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"What Happened in Calamityville" is a play by post role-playing game set to run over the month of October. It is intended as a horror game set in the world of Brandon Sanderson's Steelheart and inspired by the success of "What Happened in Oregon".

 

To join, visit the official planning thread. Be warned: violence and nightmares proceed after this point.

 

 

 

 

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It's never quite dark in Calamityville.

 

There are no stars in sight. No moon to light up the winding streets. But the city's namesake dominates the sky always. While men and Epics may fight and squabble on the planet below, I don't believe there's any doubt what the true master of this world is.

 

Calamity shines bright over this world, and the Empires of Man rise and fall beneath its shining glare. Its red rays have touched us all. With the touch of its crimson light, the lucky among us became monsters worse than any fairy tale nightmare. The rest became prey.

 

There's a kind of beauty in monsters. I need more of them.

 

 

 

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It wasn't about the pain.

 

It wasn't about the empowerment. It wasn't about their struggles. It wasn't even about their sweet, sweet screams.

 

It was about perfection.

 

Slaughterhouse drank in the sweet, sweet screams, pressing his hand deeper into the quivering flesh laid out among the rubble. The body shook and contorted, its torso twisting and reshaping. The sound of snapping rib bones 

 

Panting excitedly, the man called Slaughterhouse took a few steps away, throwing himself onto an overturned marble pillar and watching the thrashing body intently. The server had been skewered by a piece of rebar when the Palace collapsed, but Slaughterhouse's redesigns eliminated the need for his severed arteries. The man's torso was now oddly contorted, but he was alive. Whimpering, but alive. Shaking, the man fell to his hands and knees and began coughing up blood.

 

Not my best work, Slaughterhouse thought with a touch of satisfaction, but I think it will do.

 

While he waited for the man to recover, Slaughterhouse turned his attention to the city. There were no lights save for what Calamity provided, but he could make out the outlines of distant buildings. The cityscape told a grim story.

 

Buildings were shaking, trembling. It was almost like an earthquake--or a demented toddler's idea of what an earthquake looked like. They didn't simply shake and fall down like normal physics would dicate. Many of them seemed to move around the city in sudden jaunts, like some sort of massive teleportation. Others flipped upside down and held themselves upright. Still others flew into the sky, only to come hurtling to the earth again with resounding rumbles. The screaming of the terrified citizens, usually such a pleasure to hear, was reaching an infuriating crescendo in the background.

 

The bright side--the very dim bright side--was that Möbius was still alive. The queen of Calamityville survived still, and she was in fighting condition. The down side was obvious. Whatever threat had came to her was apparently severe enough to warrant a degree of devastation she'd never before inflicted on her subjects.

 

Slaughterhouse took a deep breath. The city was dark, and its streets were being torn and rearranged at the whim of an angry goddess. Worst of all, he had no idea why she was doing this, or even what had set her off in the first place.

 

Gritting his teeth, he whirled around and locked eyes on the quietly sobbing server laying in the rubble. The man seemed to sense the movement, and hurriedly rose to his feet to run. His attempt at escape began promisingly enough as he speeded away with a frightened cry, but within his first few steps he stumbled and fell face-first into the dust. Slaughterhouse reached him in a few broad steps of his own, then pulled the man to his feet with a grin.

 

"You know," he began, leering into the server's petrified face. "Nobody ever says 'thank you' when I heal them."

 

The whimpering man didn't answer except by giving another of his characteristic whimpers.

 

"Ingrates," Slaughterhouse continued, sighing dramatically. "That's what you are. You'd be dead now if it weren't for me, yet all you can do is whine about it. Though I should warn you, you'll get another shot at the whole dying thing if you try running away again. I put a piece of rib into your thigh. It should puncture a few rather important arteries if you get too lively."

 

The man's eyes widened in terror. Slaughterhouse continued smiling, complimenting himself on his handiwork. He hadn't even told the man about the new heart deformity he'd given him. It was a wonder the guy hadn't already keeled over from cardiac arrest.

 

"What's your name?" he drawled softly instead.

 

"A-Arnold," the server replied, stuttering. His voice was hoarse, probably since his vocal chords were still settling.

 

"Nice name," Slaughterhouse replied. He roughly threw the man onto a crumbled block of marble, causing him to let out a scream of pain.

 

Now, Arnold," he continued, "I'm going to ask that you be perfectly frank and honest with me. What did you see in there?"

 

"Nothing," Arnold pleaded hoarsely. "I wasn't even there when he attacked--"

 

"When who attacked?" demanded Slaughterhouse. "What happened?"

 

"I don't know," sobbed the server. "There was an Epic. He killed Robert and Debbie and Jason--"

 

"I don't care about them," Slaughterouse snapped harshly. "What did the Epic look like?"

 

"Don't know," repeated Arnold frantically. "I didn't get a good look at him. Sort of wispy. Translucent."

 

Great. An incorporeal Epic. One who'd struck so quickly, he'd forced Möbius to destroy her own Palace within minutes of his arrival. Slaughterhouse let out a deep sigh, this time quite sincere in his annoyance. He casually caused Arnold's jugular vein to explode, ignoring the man's shocked gurgles as he turned and walked away.

 

The city still shook, rattling and screaming in the night. Slaughterhouse walked out of the wrecked palace, staring down a dark city street.

 

This wasn't his fight. By rights he should go back to his own mansion and hide until the fight was over. But hiding wasn't Slaughterhouse's style.

 

It was time to face the nightmare.

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Simon looked around, confused at the sudden change in his scenery. One minute he'd been walking down 17th Avenue, chuckling to himself as he played with his latest acquisitions and the next minute he'd been here.

Wherever 'here' actually is. He thought to himself, taking in the near pitch dark scenery. A city of some kind but not like any he knew of, it could almost be Newcago except that there were no steel structures to accompany the ever present gloom.

Well, a new city means new people. He grinned. New people means new toys.

He set off down the street towards the nearest screams, people fleeing as their house rose into the air of its own volition. A powerful Epic to be able to do something like that without even being present, but Simon rarely mixed with those sorts, he was quite content to have his fun with the myriad lesser Epics and mortals, leaving the High Epics to squabble among themselves.

He had to restrain himself from skipping towards his newest victims with glee, maintaining a stately walk instead and running his hands through his sandy blonde hair as he did when he grew excited.

It was a family of four, they'd escaped just far enough to avoid whatever was uprooting their home, but close enough to watch in horror as their entire livelihood ascended slowly heavenward. The youngest, a girl of some six years old held a stuffed toy in one arm, the other hooked around her older brother.

I do so love meeting families. A sadistic grin formed on his face as Simon stepped up to them, they'd not even registered his presence yet, which was hardly surprising, he made sure to dress like most of the regulars he knew and his appearance was the very definition of nondescript, he liked it that way.

"Simon says freeze" He said, his voice low, pitched only for their ears as dozens of others ran screaming around them.

The father, a middle aged man just starting to lose some of his hair narrowed his eyes for just a second, then attempted to turn his head to look at Simon only to find it frozen in place.

Thankfully his intent filtered through his words, the family kept breathing and blinking, he'd even left their eyes alone so they could scan the scene in horror.

"Now, who'd like to play a game?" He said, moving to the front of them all, his grin stretching wider still across his face.
He looked at the young boy.

"Release" he said simply, causing the boy to collapse. His movement returned, the lad quickly stood up and prepared to flee, grabbing at his parents arms to take them with him.

"Choke"

His airways closed, his hands jumped immediately to his neck, reflexively trying to remove the blockage.
His face began turning blue, he fell to his knees when finally Simon released his lungs and froze him once more. The boy gasped in air, sucking it through his raw throat, now frozen on all fours.

"Now that you've had a taste of what I can do, let's move on to the real fun."

This was Simon's favorite part, after he'd received his powers he'd been happy at first, he could make anyone do whatever he wanted, could take what he wanted from anyone at any time, but soon he'd begun to lose interest, with no challenge in his life he'd grown bored. That was when he'd remembered that first day with his own family, and he'd decided to play a game.
He drew a knife from a pocket, handing it to the middle aged man.

"Take it" The man's hand jumped in it's alacrity to obey, seizing upon the knife instantly. A look of horror spread across the mans face.
"Now you know that I can make you do anything with that, sever your finger, slit your children's throats if I so desire, but I'm not going to make you do anything. I give you a choice."

The mans gaze grew confused.

"Simon says, move!"

The man handled the sudden regaining of his body better than his son, regaining his footing, his eyes darting about wildly.

"Now you could try and stab me, but you know that I'd freeze you with a word and then your punishment would be even worse, as your son demonstrated you know that running is pointless." Simon said, his glee showing in his every word.

This was what he loved so much, controlling people with his power was easy, just a thought and a word. Controlling people without using his power was much more fun, he'd frozen this man just as surely as he had a moment ago.

"Why are you doing this?" The man asked, they always did.

Simon's smile grew darker and he leaned in to the man, he'd already been broken, he had nothing to fear.

"Because I was bored" He whispered.

With a sigh the man nodded, doubtless he'd grown used to such things from other Epics. But there were no other Epics like Simon.

He stepped back again, making sure the entire family could see and hear him.

"Simon says, Line up" he said, snapping to attention himself, a mockery of a general commanding his troops.

The other three members of the family stood and arranged themselves in a line, facing the trusted leader of their beloved family unit. Simon nearly laughed. They had no idea what was about to happen.

"Now, you get to choose." He whispered in the middle aged man's ear, stepping up behind him. "Will you stab your wife right now of your own accord? Or will you slit both of your children's throats while she watches and then strangle each other?"

Simon loved this look, he remembered each time he'd posed a choice like this, beginning with his own brother, he remembered dozens of faces, all contorted in the agony of such a horrific choice. It didn't matter what he chose, this man had already condemned himself, he would hate himself for the rest of his life.

However long that might be.

Edited by Voidus
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His knife spun through the air, striking the man in the back of his calf. The man cried out and his attached counterpart did the same a few feet away. Empathy grinned. He walked over and retrieved his knife. He used his power to flare pain in both of his subjects' knees. Twin screams pierced the air.

All of a sudden, his targets disappeared. The street changed. Buildings were different. Empathy felt a chill breeze blow through. This was not L.A. anymore. It reminded him of his trip to San Jose when he was a child. How had he even teleported? Teleportation wasn't one of his powers. He looked around for the source of his movement and found no one. He raised the bloody knife and began walking down the street.

He saw a couple fleeing down the road. He decided they could help him. He flared the pain in their knees. They tripped and fell to the ground. Empathy walked over to the young couple and smiled. "Hello down there. May I ask why you're running? Or rather, why you were." The man glared at him and spat. So that how it'd be. Empathy linked the two together and sliced the woman's Achilles' tendon. Both screamed in pain. Her pain and her hurt were replicated in his body and his sadness and anger at the cruelty were felt in hers in addition to their actual feelings. "Change your mind?" Empathy asked.

"Horrible Epics. Powerful and brutal. The town is being destroyed. Möbius can't keep a hold of her city," the man said, tears welling up in his eyes. Möbius, like the loop. Maybe she was responsible for Empathy's displacement here. He decided he was done with these two and dropped his knife into the man's chest. He died instantly. The woman shrieked and passed out from the pain. Empathy reasoned that there was no reason to leave her unconscious on the road. So he slit her throat too. Blood stained his hands as it had so often since Calamity.

He walked towards the action farther in town and decided he might enjoy himself here. New towns with new subjects. As he saw citizens running, he would link two randomly for fun and then cause them to fall to their knees in pain. He didn't kill any more for now, there would be time for that later. For now, he would just amuse himself.

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Koschei. 

 

That was his name. He knew that. His name was Koschei, and he was Deathless. 

 

Deathless. He liked the sound of that. 

 

He slowly sat up, brushing concrete dust and bits of rubble off his cloak. Blood splattered his shirt, here and there among the rips and tears. Near to the right he saw a hand, unmoving beneath a chunk of concrete. 

 

Koschei studied his shirt again. There was a tear the size of his hand near the front, crusted with blood. I'll need to find a new one soon. 

 

No wounds that he could see. The evidence was there, but his skin was free of scars. 

 

Deathless. Yes. That was right. 

 

Koschei stood, amazed at the pounding in his skull. If he was Deathless, why did his head ache? If he had died and risen, shouldn't an aching head be one of the first wounds to heal? 

 

He tried to ponder it. Tried to work through the implications, but the pain in his head became too much to bear. So he stopped. 

 

And the pain subsided. 

 

Koschei frowned, but when he tried to consider what this meant, the pain returned. So he pushed those thoughts aside in favor of his surroundings. 

 

A building—an observatory, from the looks of it—had collapsed. Shards of broken glass littered the floor and made strange, metallic crunching sounds as he walked. Swivel chairs and desks lay upside down, on their sides, and, in one case, in splinters against the remains of a wall, as if a giant had thrown it against the wall in a rage. 

 

A giant….or an Epic. 

 

Epic. Yes. That was right. That was what he was. 

 

A moan from across the room drew his attention. Koschei followed it, squinted through the dust, and spied a foot pinned beneath an overturned desk. He moved toward it. 

 

Deathless. The word played like a song in his head. Deathless. Deathless. You are Deathless. 

 

Glass crunched as he approached, and a small bank of rubble rose up after a few steps. Koschei climbed it, pausing to cast a glance at where he had stood. 

 

Rubble rose around a three-foot circle like earth around a crater. The observatory had crashed around him, but he had stood protected. 

 

Another moan. 

 

Koschei clasped the hand. 

 

It gripped his weakly at first, strengthening as its owner gasped. Koschei tugged, the survivor righted herself, and a woman in torn office clothes stood from the remains of her desk. One look at him and what had passed for a smile fell. "Thank you," she said without certainty. As though she would have rather died than live to see him. 

 

Anger surged through his veins. She was unworthy of healing. 

 

She gasped as blood seeped through her shirt, her hand moving to cover the wound. 

 

Koschei grabbed her chin and forced her to meet his gaze. "Don't ever speak so ungratefully again." 

 

She nodded, eyes wide. 

 

"Now tell me where I am, or I'll let those wounds of yours run their course." 

 

"Calamityville." 

 

"Calamityville." He tested the unfamiliar name. "See that crater? That is where I rose. Why was I protected?" 

 

"I…" She drew a strained breath, and Koschei reluctantly sealed her wound. "You're an Epic." 

 

"I know that." 

 

"That's why. As near as I can figure, that's why. Please…." She waited, but for what Koschei didn't know. "I've never seen you before." 

 

She had never seen him before, which meant he must be from elsewhere. The thought of where elsewhere might be sent another shaft of pain through his head. "Who rules this place?" 

 

"Mobius. Queen—Mobius." 

 

"Take me to her." 

 

She pressed her lips together, but reconsidered her argument. "Yes…." 

 

"Koschei." 

 

"Yes, Koschei. I'll help you find her." 

 

"You'll help me do nothing. You will lead me to her, or I'll bring you to death's door until you do." He released her and got to his feet. The ruined observatory opened to an inky sky, dark save for the crimson rays of a single star. 

 

Calamity. 

 

Yes. Calamity. Calamity had made him Deathless. The eerie red light was comforting. No—not comforting. Something else. Something stronger. 

 

Empowering. 

 

Koschei smiled at the star. Calamity had empowered him. Elevated him above the woman who dusted rubble from her skirt. Above the dead. Above death itself. He was in Calamityville for a purpose. 

 

He was there to meet the Queen. 

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This was not the museum, it probably wasn´t even Portland and by Calamity it was not noon, at least from the bits he could see of the night sky, which was mostly blocked by the roof. Thinking about the roof it had something in common with the museum it was flying, on the upside, not a figurative one like the absence of Funtimes, no it was literally standing on its head, suspended vaguely five hundred feet above the ground.

 

Nighthound, ignoring that gravity was currently pulling in the wrong direction, noticed a whimper from behind him. Turning around he found four men, all disoriented but taking it a lot worse than him.

 

With one leap he was in front of them, tapping four of them, injecting small bits of his powers. The last one staggered away from them, falling to the ground and continuing to crawl backwards panicked. A pleased moan escaped Nighthound, finally someone with proper manners.

 

Letting the hounds stand where they are he followed the escaping man. Slowly at first, taking in the man´s fear, then he fell into a short sprint. Nighthound came to a stop behind his victim and kicked him hard enough to fling him in front of the hounds.

 

After, Nighthound sauntered back to them, he one of the man´s leg with a well-placed kick to the knee. Under his pain filled screams he pulled his powers away from one of the hounds. Showing more sense or simply less talent at being entertaining this one didn´t run away but froze up with fear.

 

He put an arm around the man´s shoulder, acting almost friendly. “So buddy, could you tell me where we are?”

“Sir, we´re in Calamityville, sir.” His voice trembled in fear.

Letting out a soft mhmm, Nighthound let go of the man and crouched to the other man writhing in agony. Crunch. He ripped out his arm and swung around, smashing the second man´s thorax with the severed limb.

 

Next. He released another man and ordered the last hound to drag him down on the same eye level with the still crouching Nighthound. “Funnily enough, I have no clue what Calamityville is and this is your chance to give me a better explanation.”

“The… the town is imprisoned in a pocket dimension, created by queen Möbius, she probably brought you here, if you don´t know this place. It would be my pleasure to guide you to her palace.”

Nighthound chuckled, “Sure, you can start by finding a way to the ground.” He nodded towards the edge of the roof.    

 

The remaining hound dragged him towards the edge, throwing both of them down to the ground. They did in fact fall down the proper down and hit the ground a short while later ending the horrified scream with a wet splash.

 

Satisfied with the result of his little test he jumped down the other side of the roof. The landing was hard and broke a good part of his bones but nothing that wouldn´t heal. Nighthound stood up as soon as his legs pulled themselves into a state that didn´t need to be described as a black smoking paste and found a thin grown blond man close to him. “´Sup?” He greeted with a half smashed arm raised in a salute.

                                                

 

Crow was sitting in a field of corpses, filled with more death wails and the shrieking of birds. Not far from him a small flock ripped apart a woman, goring out eyes, her entrails, simply everything they could get their beaks on. The flesh bursted into flames, leaving the remains of their body scarred. They swarmed back around Crow, ramming their flaming beaks into him. Flames melted into flesh, restoring him and filling his soul with more life. It repeated again and again until there was no living soul left in sight.

 

Gripping his hat tight to his head he stood up and walked away from the carcasses, trailed by the birds. There ought to be some reason why he was in this place and he intended to deal with it before it became annoying.

Edited by Edgedancer
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One scream, then another, drew Koschei's attention to the shattered windows. Bodies fell from the sky, their cries ending abruptly when they hit the ground. 

 

It's raining men, hallelujah, it's raining men….

 

The snatch of music floated into his head from no memory Koschei could pinpoint, but it drew a smile. Part of him whispered he was above such petty amusement, but he smiled anyway. 

 

"What is your name?" he asked the woman. 

 

Before she could answer, the loudest crash of all sounded behind them. Koschei spun just in time to see a solid, dark-haired man, his legs enveloped in black mist, wait before getting to his feet and offering a smart salute with what remained of a severed and smashed human arm. 

 

"Sup?" 

 

That was worth more than a grin. That salute, that smile—that was clever. Koschei laughed. "I was just getting to know my latest…." 

 

He paused, mulling over the list of words. Acquaintance suited, but not well enough, and companion was too familiar a term. Lady friend might amuse the newcomer, who looked her up and down with a gleam in his eye, but this lady was nowhere near a friend to him. 

 

"Convert." The word seemed pulled from the recesses of his mind, but the moment he settled on it, he realized its perfection. He smiled, tipping her chin, and spoke as he looked into her eyes. "Given the former state of your legs, I'm to assume you began on the roof?" 

Edited by TwiLyghtSansSparkles
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Facade had been watching with enjoyment as one of his images made his real counterpart break down in tears when it happened.  His surroundings shifted, and he was in different place.  Facade immediately noticed that he had no images up, and quickly created a few with orders to just walk around and wait.  

 

After his safety was assured, Facade turned his attention to his surroundings.  The very air seemed dark, and the city seemed to be illuminated by a reddish light.  Ahh, so it's Calamity, Facade thought, as he looked upwards, That doesn't give me any inclination of where I am, but it's better than nothing.  

 

He looked around, and started walking, keeping his images with him, and adding more as he passed people.  Their cowering stances and subservience pleased Facade greatly.  "Mortal," Facade spoke as he added two images of the woman he was talking to, "Where am I?"

 

"Cal-Calamityville, sir," the woman shrunk up against the wall as Facade and his images approached her.

 

"Where is that, and who rules here?"  The images stepped up closer to her, and started murmuring something about her son.

 

"Mobius." She whispered the name in terror, then started crying.

 

Facade looked at her, then walked away, leaving the images to torment her.  I could get used to this place, he thought as he raised his arms into a welcoming gesture to Calamity, then started exploring town.

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The Ghost King watched as people fled from before him. To most his translucent skull made it look like he was smiling at the deaths, but in reality, he felt nothing. No pity, no love, no compassion, no happiness, absolutely nothing. Killing people filled the void a little but it was small. He had no memories of his past, family, or even his name. He had awoken one day and found found himself this way, incorporeal and unable to touch anything, except to kill.  That was the day The Ghost King was born.

A young man stood in front of him pistol raised, shivering from the cold The Ghost King radiated.

 

“I will kill you,” the man said through chattering teeth. “You have kill everyone I love. I will find a way to kill you.” With that the man shot The Ghost King through the heart, or where The Ghost King’s heart should have been.

 

The bullet passed through harmlessly and killed a woman who was cowering behind a chair. The man started to empty his gun uselessly into The Ghost King.

 

The Ghost King started to glide towards the man as he reloaded his gun. The man backed away slowly unsure of what to do. Suddenly The Ghost King sped forwards and whipped out a hand. The spectral hand passed though the man freezing his heart and killing him. The Ghost King kept his hand inside the dead man’s chest as the corps dropped to the ground. The dead man’s flesh began to smoke and then the man began to rise. The thing before The Ghost King wasn’t solid anymore. It was incorporeal just like The Ghost King himself.

 

Just then The Ghost King felt a yank and everything around him went dark for a moment. When the world reappeared it was different. A desolated, ruined streets filled his view. Anger, surprise and alarm surfaced in The Ghost King’s head but were soon vanish and the nothingness returned.

 

The Ghost King drifted down the street exploring his new surroundings. Searching for  something to kill, to fill the void.

Edited by TheSilverDragon
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The alley was dark. There was a new moon tonight, but no stars visible. Dark clouds covered the sky, casting the world in shadow. A man was walking home, hunching against the wind. As he was passing by the alley, he thought he heard something rattling in the darkness. He paused, searching the impenetrable blackness for a sign of motion. All he could see was a rusty trashcan and a discarded package of cookies.  He was turning to go when he heard a rasping groan. He turned back, just in time to see the black chain snake out of the alley and soil around his throat. It was so cold it burned. He tried to scream, but the only sound that came out was a ragged gasp.  He reached for his phone, but another chain shot out of the darkness and coiled around his arm. A tall silhouette emerged from the darkness, looking like a grey reaper of death. The face was hidden within the recesses of the hood, and the chains holding the man came from under the hem of the robe. The chains lifted the man, bringing him close to the dark figure's face. The creature emitted another rasping moan as it stared at it's prey. Suddenly it spoke, it's voice colder the the marble floors of a mortuary.

 

"Any last words?

 

The chains loosened and the man screamed. The figure roared angrily and the chains began to tighten. Harder and harder they squeezed. The mad writhed and screamed silently, grasping at the chains that were crushing the life out of him. The chains wrenched suddenly, and the man's neck snapped. His limp body fell to the floor.

 

Deathrattle ignored the corpse of his victim, turning to go. Suddenly, he was no longer in the alley. He was in a different place. It was still night, but the clouds were gone and the moon shone down on a town in chaos. Deathrattle didn't know where he was or how he got there. He roared with rage, sending it echoing though the town. 

 

He was not amused.

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Pleased for now and seeking no new victims Simon did skip down the street while whistling, nodding at the people he passed who stared at him in disbelief as destruction reigned about them.

It occurred to him briefly that he still had no idea where he was, having forgotten to ask the family he'd spotted when he arrived. Ah now that was a fun one, he'd left the father cradling his wife in his arms as his children ran in fear from him, that scream had been absolutely delicious.

He stepped into the path of a passing woman in drab clothes, she averted her eyes and tried to sidestep him, he blocked her again.
"Excuse me" He said politely. "I was just wondering..."

The woman took off at a run, not stopping to look back at him.

"Stop!" He yelled at the fleeing woman, who if anything just tried to run faster.
Simon giggled to himself.

"Whoopsies. Simon says stop!"

The woman froze, momentum carrying her forward until she pitched over, her face scraping along the gravel rode.

"Simon says stand up!" He said as he approached.

The woman jumped to her feet facing him, eyes darting about terrified.

"Now that was hardly necessary don't you think? I just wanted to ask a question. Where is this place?"
The woman stared back at him.

"Oh you are a sharp one, you do know how to play!" Simon clapped his hands in mock amusement. "Simon says tell me where we are."

"Calamityville" She blurted out "Please let me go!"

"Let you go? Well that's not how the game works" He waggled an admonishing finger under her nose. "Hmm. let's see. Ah! Simon says follow me!" He declared marching back to the sidewalk, the woman following precisely in his footsteps, her rapid breathing fogging up in the chill air.
"Simon says strike a pose" He said once they'd reached what he deemed an appropriate spot. The woman adopted a smiling expression, folding her hand before her and froze.
Simon quickly ransacked the nearest house, mercifully he left the family relatively alone, leaving them with only some minor mental trauma. He returned to where he'd left the woman at a busy street corner with his new materials.
He cut two holes into the piece of paper and threaded some string through it, then hung his sign around her neck.

'Information booth' it read.

"Now, Simon says 'Answer'" he told the woman.

"What is your name?"

"I hate you!" She yelled at him, before her mouth snapped back into the disturbing smile, frozen again.

Simon laughed. "I suppose I should have said answer honestly, but I think I actually like it better this way. Have fun 'I hate you', I hope you learn a valuable lesson from this."

He walked away, leaving the woman there, condemned to be frozen, unable to move or speak unless asked a question. He had no interest in actually teaching lessons, he just enjoyed the look of fear in her face when the realization that he meant to leave her had set in.

Well what look she could make until her expression snapped back. He thought, giggling to himself again as he skipped down the street.
I wonder where the fun is in this town? It looks so dreary, I think they all need to relax, and I know just the game to play that will help them.

His smile could have frozen the most violent of murderers and perhaps would have scared even Steelheart enough to flee the demented Epic and his latest creation.

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The regal man gave a heartfelt laugh at Nighthound´s greeting. Nice to be appreciated for once. "I was just getting to know my latest…." The man, probably an Epic, paused to consider the woman next to him.

 

A nice little thing, visibly scared, downcast head. Whatever the other Epic did with her was effective enough to keep her in check. Truly a man after his own taste, even if the woman herself didn´t have looks that would strike him as remarkable but hey, to each his own.

 

"Convert." Was the word he settled on. Nighthound had to admit it had a certain ring to it, breaking people so much that they followed him out of fear for his vengeance. Although it also came together with a lot more effort than a random vanilla should be worth.

 

"Given the former state of your legs, I'm to assume you began on the roof?"    

“Yes, I did, at least I assume it is a roof.” Nighthound casually tossed the arm towards the roof and after starting in a normal arc it plummeted upwards, back to the building. Better to keep some distance from that.

 

“Huh, wonky place. Anyway, the name´s Nighthound, my pleasure.” He dusted of his shoulders and gave a nod towards his new acquaintance. “I don´t know about you but I was just teleported here, apparently by some chick called Möbius, so how about we go and make ourselves a new lady friend?”

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They were loud, screams, annoying. Someone staggered to the ground next to him, screaming. Crows live flared, feathers, fire sprouting on his leg. It surged forward, breaking open the skull, stopping the scream. Silence.

 

More scream erupted. Crow grabbed his head, Shut up, shut up, shut up! A wing out of black flames formed out of his back, stretching over the street. It´s ends opened into beaks that rammed down into the screaming masses, ripping out their souls, flaring their life into pillars of flame that scorched clusters of people, they ate, gorged, crushed, burnt, silenced them.

 

The silence was divine. He noticed his crows gathering nearby, was there something? With labored breathing he stalked around the street corner. Yes, someone was there, he could feel it, smell it.

 

Supporting himself on the corner he made one last turn, finding himself in front of a man. “Make this stop.” Boiling salvia, dripped out of his mouth, sizzling on the ground.

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Nighthound tossed the arm aside. Rather than completing its downward arc, it plummeted upwards and crashed back onto the floor, causing the woman to jump back with a yelp. 

 

Oh, please. It's a severed arm, not a snake. Koschei wanted to say that, but refrained. Were Calamityville truly as 'wonky' as Nighthound claimed, she would learn before long. 

 

“I don´t know about you but I was just teleported here, apparently by some chick called Möbius, so how about we go and make ourselves a new lady friend?”

 

Koschei smiled. He liked this Nighthound, with his carefree humor and quick healing. An Epic with that ability would keep up with him, no doubt. "I am called Koschei. And yes, this Mobius sounds as though she would be quite the lady friend. This…." 

 

The woman spoke immediately. At least she recognized a prompt when she heard one. "Rebecca." 

 

"This Rebecca was just about to lead me to her. Unless you've heard of a more direct route?" 

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Koschei introduced himself and his guide Rebecca. "This Rebecca was just about to lead me to her. Unless you've heard of a more direct route?"

“Sadly no, we´ll have to rely on your little convert. I´m sure she´ll do her best to please.” Nighthound gave her an encouraging smile.

She shacked a bit and then started to walk; let´s see where we end up.

 

Their journey was surprisingly uneventful, apart from the one plaza that was spinning around its center, which saved them the bother to walk to the other side on their own, and a segment of the street that had some of its pieces ripped into the air.

 

His new friend had quite a knack for conversations.

“The casino itself was outstanding, especially the serving girls. Anyway, one croupier, a new one from what I know, needed a bit of a lesson, so the remaining rounds that night were played with his teeth instead of the proper ball.” Nighthound stopped his story, when he noticed two men standing across from each other.

 

At least one of them resembled a mixture of an famished animal and some kind of demon.

 

“Why hello there, none of you could tell us what is going on here, could you?”

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Posted by proxy for Mailliw. 

 

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Darkest was walking down the road in the strange new city. He saw the buildings in the distance blow up and smoke clouds filled the air. Ahead of him, he saw two men, exactly alike, in fact, they were either twins or the same person. He saw the man create two illusions of a woman he talked to. A fellow light manipulator, how pleasant. Darkest walked toward the pair just as the man left. 

Darkest scanned the woman's mind. Her darkest moment had been when she had felt pure rage when her husband cheated on her. She had punched him in the face, very hard. She still loved the man, but in her rage, hurt him terribly. He left her and she hadn't been the same since. Her greatest fear was that her young daughter would be killed. Her daughter was also what she cared about most. Darkest smiled. These mothers were all the same. Too easy. 

He created an illusion of the woman's daughter. The illusion walked over to the woman. The woman, through her tears, saw her daughter. She cried out and wiped her eyes. Before she could hug the illusion and discover the lie, Darkest created another illusion, this time one of her ex-husband with a bent, broken nose and a knife in hand. The woman saw him and gasped.  The man's illusion went to the girl and slit the illusion's throat. The man ran off and the girl fell to the ground. The woman screamed and began sobbing again. Darkest got rid of the illusions and the woman clutched her head in her hands and wept. The noise had caught the other illusionist's attention, just as he had wanted. Both men turned to him. 

"Why, hello, sir, my name is Darkest Hour. I see you are also a light illusionist. Mind if I walk with you?" Darkest asked, walking towards him, leaning on his cane ever so slightly. 

 

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Empathy saw a man, whistling as he walked, strolling down the street towards the action as well. He had to be an Epic. There'd be no other explanation for his carefree attitude. Deciding to test him, Empathy caused pain in the Epic's knees. He fell to his knees on the street and turned to look at Empathy. Bring your worst, Empathy thought. We'll see if you can endure it as well.

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Facade turned around right after he had set off to explore the town when he heard the woman start sobbing again.

 

"Why, hello, sir, my name is Darkest Hour. I see you are also a light illusionist. Mind if I walk with you?" a man said as he walked on his cane toward Facade.

 

Facade glanced at the woman he had tormented, seeing that she had started crying again.  "I assume you are responsible for her.. outbreak?  Feel free to walk with me, then, you seem to be one of my equals.  However, I wouldn't call myself a light illusionist, seeing as I only can create copies of people.  But this limitation is made up for by the fact that they act like the person I based the image on."  Facade manifested a couple of images of Darkest Hour, and started walking forward when he caught up.

 

"I am told this place is called Calamityville and ruled by Mobius.  I am inclined to believe she is incredibly powerful going by objects like that," Facade pointed to a building that was floating in the sky, "and I wish to meet her.  Would you know where she is?"

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Simons knees flared in pain mid-stride, causing him to fall.
What? Ugh, sensation illusionist I guess. Doesn't he know how the game works?
He glanced behind him, identifying the only person looking at him in a haughty manner, the Epic. Simon stared back as he stood up, pitching his voice enough to carry to the man.
"Simon says freeze." He said, comfortable that he could deal with the man. Comfortable that is right up until he felt his own body freeze as well.
I've never heard of any illusionist being able to pull off something like that, maybe make it feel as though I'm frozen but not actually freezing anyone. Mirroring Epic then?
Simon had never heard of an Epic who could mirror other Epics powers but he didn't like mixing with others of his kind for the most part. He was content to leave them alone and be left alone in return.

But now he was in a dilemna, he'd frozen the mans entire body including his head, leaving only his eyes free to move, and now he was similarly frozen which meant he couldn't even release his control over them both. They were stuck in a stalemate, and unless the other Epic released his powers first they'd be stuck like this for a long time.

Seconds passed as the two stared at each other, each waiting for a movement from the other.

After a seeming eternity Simon felt himself able to move again, he looked in the other Epics eyes and saw expectation there, a release for a release then? Well best not to leave anyone too free.
"Release" He said, freeing the mans upper body but leaving his legs frozen.
A second later he felt his own legs freeze as well.

"Well I suppose that's fair, I must say that's quite an unusual ability you have there, I've never heard of anything like it. Name's Simon, and if you leave me alone to have my fun with the citizens of this fine city I'll leave you alone too, in fact given your abilities i might even help you from time to time.

Simon tried to resist the urge to rub his knees, still tender and painful from the Epics earlier display of power, Simon could make neither heads nor tails of this man and his powers.

Let's see what the rules are for this game shall we?
 

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Empathy had set up a link between himself and the Epic once he had looked at him. Empathy's own knees felt the pain that the other man was feeling. Empathy's knees twitched a little, but he had felt this before. He knew there would be times like this, times where Epics would seek to subdue him with pain. Consequentially, he had occasionally linked himself to a subject to learn about and learn how to deal with pain.

He heard the other Epic say, "Simon says freeze." Empathy immediately felt his entire body freeze. Only his eyes were able to move. He smiled, in his mind, at least, when the other Epic froze as well. Empathy stared at the other Epic, waiting for him to release the power that kept them both frozen in place. He realized that this man's powers were probably all verbal, which had been why he had called out to him. Empathy waited a few more seconds to show that he was in control, and then dropped the link.

The other Epic moved instantly. He turned around to face Empathy properly. Empathy gave him a moment to realize what he wanted. He heard the man say, "Release," and suddenly, Empathy's upper body was free. His legs were still stuck in place. He linked himself to the man a second time.

"Well I suppose that's fair, I must say that's quite an unusual ability you have there, I've never heard of anything like it. Name's Simon, and if you leave me alone to have my fun with the citizens of this fine city I'll leave you alone too, in fact given your abilities I might even help you from time to time," Simon said. Simon, like Simon Says. Empathy allowed a small grin to creep over his face.

"I'm Empathy. I see how your powers work, and I'm interested in them too. Like mine, they seem to be unique. I can link people together. What one feels, the other does as well. Pain. Emotions. The whole deal," Empathy responded. He saw Simon's hands twitch towards his knees and his grin widened just a bit. There was a dull ache in his knees as well, but he had become accustomed to it, unlike Simon.

"If you release me, I'll accompany you and we can have some fun together. If you won't, well, I hope you like where you are, because you won't be leaving," Empathy told Simon. He threw in one more pain flare in the other's knees and felt it himself. He was glad for the frozen position he was in because he couldn't show that it hurt him at all. He kept the small grin on his face as he watched Simon.

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"I assume you are responsible for her.. outbreak? Feel free to walk with me, then, you seem to be one of my equals. However, I wouldn't call myself a light illusionist, seeing as I only can create copies of people. But this limitation is made up for by the fact that they act like the person I based the image on." The Epic said to Darkest. That was an interesting limitation. One he could remedy. The man created a couple of images of Darkest Hour, and started walking forward when he caught up. The illusions walked as he did, with a slight limo and leaning on the cane. He did so, not out of necessity, but to have an advantage if someone tried to hamper him by getting rid of his cane. It also had a sharp point and was made of very strong wood.

"I am told this place is called Calamityville and ruled by Mobius. I am inclined to believe she is incredibly powerful going by objects like that," The Epic continued, pointing to a building that was floating in the sky, "and I wish to meet her. Would you know where she is?"

"My apologies, for I don't know. I only just arrived here myself," Darkest answered. "Pardon, but what is your name, friend? I can fix your power too, for I can create any image of light. Sadly, there is no sound to accompany them. If I create an illusion of someone, you could replicate it, correct?"
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"My apologies, for I don't know. I only just arrived here myself," Darkest replied. "Pardon, but what is your name, friend? I can fix your power too, for I can create any image of light. Sadly, there is no sound to accompany them. If I create an illusion of someone, you could replicate it, correct?" 

 

"My name is Facade, and I think I could replicate your illusion, but I've never had an opportunity like this before.  Shall we attempt it?" Facade asked, pondering the situation.  So I am not the only one brought here...  If there are us two, there are probably more, scattered throughout the city. 

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Simon watched a small grin stretch accross the mirroring-Epics face at his introduction.
Oh good! Someone who understands the game!
He felt a matching grin spread accross his own face, whichever way this went it was sure to be the most fun he'd had in a while.

"I'm Empathy." The other Epic said. . I see how your powers work, and I'm interested in them too. Like mine, they seem to be unique. I can link people together. What one feels, the other does as well. Pain. Emotions. The whole deal,"

Very interesting. Possibilities exploded through Simons mind, all the games he could play if he had this Epics abilities, or... his assistance?
He felt another twinge in his knee, prompting him to wonder if Empathy felt it too since they were now linked. If he did, he showed no traces of pain on his face.
A man in control of his emotions and his pain. I'm definitely going to like this one.


"If you release me, I'll accompany you and we can have some fun together. If you won't, well, I hope you like where you are, because you won't be leaving." Empathy said, maintaining his grin as another stab of pain hit Simons knees.

And a good sense of timing, perfectly delivered to punctuate his point. Simon tried and failed to distance himself from the pain as Empathy had done.

Simon waved a hand.
"You're free" He said, feeling movement return to his own body as he released Empathy, this had truly been an amusing experience,  he felt better able to understand his victims after being subjected to his own powers. But rather than feel any sympathy for them it just exhilarated him still further. He now knew from personal experience just how effective his games had been.

He smiled.
"I think we are going to have a lot of fun together Empathy." He said.
While Simon didn't usually contact other Epics unless it was to torment them he felt himself warming up to Empathy.
"Well I'll assume you arrived here under the same mysterious circumstances as I did, from what I've gathered we're in a place called Calamityville ruled by a space-manipulating Epic called Mobius. I've been given directions to her Palace but if the state of the rest of the city is anything to go by it may be in ruins."
He gave a merciless little chuckle.

"Lots of scared people around there I'll bet, Epics and others, care to find some fun?"

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Empathy saw the grimace on Simon's face as the pain hit his knees. He waved a hand at Empathy, saying, "You're free." Empathy's body relaxed as his legs were able to again move. Simon as well was relinquished from his own restriction.

Simon smiled. "I think we are going to have a lot of fun together, Empathy," he said. "Well I'll assume you arrived here under the same mysterious circumstances as I did, from what I've gathered we're in a place called Calamityville ruled by a space-manipulating Epic called Mobius. I've been given directions to her Palace but if the state of the rest of the city is anything to go by it may be in ruins."

Empathy laughed as well. "She doesn't seem to be able to take care of herself well, does she?"

Simon, still with a grin on his face continued, "Lots of scared people around there I'll bet, Epics and others, care to find some fun?"

Empathy nodded. This man was like himself. Together they would've great. "Let's do it. Shall we head towards that palace then?" Empathy released the link between himself and Simon, feeling the pain in his knees disappear. He saw no reason to inform the other man of the broken link though. Empathy started down the road, ready for some fun.

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"My name is Facade, and I think I could replicate your illusion, but I've never had an opportunity like this before. Shall we attempt it?" Facade asked. Darkest Hour shrugged his shoulders and created an illusion of a man he had seen when he first arrived here.

"Go ahead and try," Darkest decided not to use his telepathic powers to scare away Facade yet. He seemed like a nice fellow. Most Epics' weaknesses were what they feared most, therefore Darkest could glean that info from them. He could only make illusions of the weakness of course, but that was usually enough to freak them out.
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Facade watched as Darkest created an illusion of a man and said, "Go ahead and try."  Facade concentrated on the man, and with a little more effort that he was used to, created a copy of him.

 

"Well, that opens up lots of possibilities," Facade said as he watched the image start talking to a copy of Darkest Hour.  "Shall we attempt to find this Mobius, then?" he asked, turning back to Darkest.

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After passing another dark street with the same broken buildings floating above the ground, Slaughterhouse was forced to confront the fact that he had no idea what he was doing.

 

He'd suspected as much from the beginning, but that didn't make the realization any more pleasant. He looked at the distant floating buildings and gritted his teeth, once again furious.

 

As usual, Möbius had left him firmly out of whatever confrontation or scheme she had on the works.

 

Most of the screaming citizens had by this point vacated the area, returned to their homes or one of Calamityville's emergency centers. The emergency centers had never been used in earnest before, but then, the sparking queen hadn't started tearing down the city before.

 

Surprisingly, there was still one woman standing still in the street. For a moment Slaughterhouse thought she was frozen in terror--it wouldn't be the first time he'd seen such a thing. But as he drew closer, he saw that a hastily-constructed sign had been hung around her neck.

 

It read "information booth." 

 

Slaughterhouse cocked an eyebrow and looked at the woman. She looked just as you might expect from holding a sign like that in the middle of an apocalypse: completely insane. A wide smile showing all her white teeth shone across her face, but her eyes were wide and frenzied.

 

Curiosity won over the desire to track down Möbius. "Who are you?" he demanded of the woman. "And what in Calamity's name are you doing here?"

 

At once the smile disappeared from her face. "Please help!" she screamed into the night air. "Please, I'm begging you. I'm stuck!"

 

The moment her mouth stopped speaking, it snapped back into that huge, insincere smile.

 

Slaughterhouse looked at her blankly for a moment before grinning himself. "So a human face can get stuck from smiling too much. Good to know."

 

Tears started welling in the smiling woman's eyes.

 

"Who did this to you?" he asked with a sigh.

 

"Simon!" she yelped. "An Epic named Simon!"

 

That ghastly smile took over her face again, and Slaughterhouse nodded. "I figured it was an Epic. But there's no 'Simon' in Calamityville. I know every mind-controller in town."

 

For some reason the woman didn't respond this time, only staring in terror, standing stiff in place. Slaughterhouse irritably turned away and began marching back up the street. He caught a brief glimpse of the woman's eyes following him, almost pleading. He gave her a parting smile and walked away, leaving her to her fate.

 

While he didn't know any Epic by the name of Simon, there was no denying an artist's merit when his work smiled straight in your face.

 

He walked for a while more, scanning the streets and thinking. An invasion of Epics. That was the last thing Calamityville needed right now, though with any luck they'd all be too busy toying with people off the street to do any permanent damage.

 

He turned a corner into another part of town, surprised to see a pair of shapes standing at the other end of a street. Floating buildings floated above their heads, but they seemed remarkably nonchalant about it.

 

Slaughterhouse crossed the road, trying to get a better look at the two men. One looked positively feral in appearance, dressed in rugged black clothing with his hair pulled into a messy ponytail. 

 

The other man looked regal. He stood tall in the street, a circlet on his pale head and a purple cloak billowing behind him.

 

Clearly Epics, though no Epics he could recognize. Perhaps they could shed some light on the odd events in town.

 

Slaughterhouse first optimized his body, placing slightly more muscle mass around his arms and making his eyes sharper. Putting a smile across his face, he stepped forward and into the strange pair's view.

 

"Hello," he drawled. "I am called Slaughterhouse."

 

He focused on the blonde one in the circlet, smiling even more widely. "Why don't you tell me what your pretty face is doing here before I have to tear it apart."

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"Why don't you tell me what your pretty face is doing here before I have to tear it apart." 

 

Slaughterhouse looked strong, with well-defined arms and a broad, muscular chest. His hair was wild, his eyes sharp like a rattlesnake's, matching his wide, manic grin. A white lab coat hung from his shoulders and rippled in the breeze, the last of a litany of things a child might find terrifying, piled together into one ridiculous Epic. That alone would have brought a chuckle, but it was his threat that made Koschei laugh. 

 

"Please," he said when he could control it. "You're welcome to try, but I'm afraid it would be a waste of our time. I'm fairly certain I died on my way in. Did I, Rebecca?" 

 

From the way she pressed her lips together, it was apparent Rebecca either didn't know or preferred not to answer, but she nodded. 

 

"Though it is nice to be greeted by a smile, for a change. Perhaps you could tell me where this Queen Mobius is, since it seems she may be the only one aware of what is happening." 

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