TwiLyghtSansSparkles

Fanfics of Oregon

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This is a place to put all of your fanfics of this RP, so we don't lose track. 

 

(And don't be too serious now. These are fanfics of a fanfic, after all. :P

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Here are a number of fanfic-fanfics written by various members of the RP, based on the prompt "What would (your characters) do if they went to the store specifically for Cocoa Puffs, which they had been craving, and saw they were out?" As things do on the Question thread, however, things tended to get a bit crazy from there...

 

By Kobold King:

 

  Sam and Revolution:

 

"They're all out."

 

Sam looked at the blank spot on the shelf with a small sigh. "Figures, doesn't it?"

 

Revolution nodded sympathetically. "We can't be the only ones after a good bowl of Cocoa Puffs. Shall we grab a box of Fruit Loops, maybe?"

 

"No." She nearly surprised herself with the vehemence of the word. "I came here for a box. I'm not going without just because some shop manager didn't know how to stock properly."

 

"Fair enough," Revolution replied, smiling. "Are there any other stores in town?"

 

"The only others are in Thoughttown, and I don't have my Cereal License with me."

 

"We could check for knock-off brands."

 

"They're bland and uninspired."

 

Revolution stared off into space, clearly lost in thought. "Maybe," she said slowly, "the shop manager isn't bad at stocking."

 

Sam seized on the idea. "If people buy out the boxes so quickly, he'd buy extra..."

 

"But he couldn't put them all on the shelf at once..."

 

"They'd be in the back of the store!"

 

Sam wheeled around and thrust her hand in the air, flagging down a man in a blue workshirt. "Employee assistance requested!" she called triumphantly.

 

  Lightwards:

 

"They're all out."

 

The Warrior's bland voice made Lightwards' fist clenched. He came all this way, sacrificed so much time, all for nothing.

 

A quick glance at other brands was pointless. He hated them all. Truth be told he wasn't even that fond of Cocoa Puffs, but a craving was a craving. And now his craving would go forever unappeased.

 

Lightwards shook his head in denial, turning to the line of armed Warriors that followed him. "Seal off all the exits," he hissed. As they quickly scurried away to do so, he stepped onto a clearance rack full of pet food bags and fired a pistol into the air.

 

"People of Walmart," he proclaimed, keeping his voice calm and business-like. "It has come to my attention that one of you has absconded with the last box of Cocoa Puffs. If any customer in this facility still possesses a box in his or her shopping basket, it must be brought to me immediately. I will execute a patron of this store for every minute my craving goes unappeased."

 

An employee in a blue workshirt ran up to him with his hands in the air. "Please, sir," the man pleaded. "We have some in the back. Let me get it for--"

 

Lightwards shot the man in the chest, then knelt and raised his blood-splattered corpse. "Bring me three boxes," Lightwards ordered him severely.

 

  Möbius

 

"You're all out."

 

The employee in the blue workshirt looked unsure of how to treat the woman before him, glaring at him in a baseball cap and hiking boots.

 

She, on the other hand, seemed to have no doubt as to how to treat him. She grabbed him by the collar, firmly but not roughly, and pointed him towards the shelf. "Take a long look at this shelf," she told him coldly. "What is wrong with this picture?"

 

"I... I think we're out of something?"

 

Möbius let out a long sigh. "Well, you'll have a long time to figure it out. You're spending the rest of your life here until you figure out how to treat a customer."

 

The employee let out a frightened yelp as she shoved him forwards, but he and the cereal aisle disappeared from view, banished to a separate pocket universe.

 

 

Maybe I'll have better luck in Newcago, Möbius thought irritably. I definitely need to get better supermarkets for Calamityville.

 

 Upon the suggestion that Lightwards and Möbius would make a good couple...

 

"Möbius?" Lightwards forced himself to look into those cold, analytic eyes. Even now, staring into those sent a chill straight through his bone. But there were some women who who worth a tingling through the spine to be with.

 

"What is it, Lightwards?" the Epic replied, giving him an appraising glance. "You had something you wanted to tell me?"

 

Lightwards swallowed. "I know we've had our differences," he blurted finally. "You killed me, I almost killed you. But let's put it all behind us. I've been in Oregon for a while now. I've been leered at, shot in the chest, trapped in tar, and been made fun of for my choice in hats. I've come to realize that there's only one place in the world I want to be in. "He gave her a weak smile. "And that's in your arms."

 

"I'm afraid that's no longer possible."

 

Lightwards frowned. That wasn't Möbius' voice. That sounded like a man--

 

Then he saw him. A tall man with pale blonde hair, a purple cloak trailing behind him, crowned with a circlet of what seemed to be gold.

 

"This is Koschei," Möbius explained, putting her arms around his thin body. "We met last October when I went insane for a little while, and we sort of hit it off."

 

"You're my little loop-de-loop," Koschei said warmly, pulling her closer to himself.

 

"And you're my little creepy-bear!"

 

 

Far to the sidelines, unnoticed by any Epics, stood Remington Springfield. His gaze flickered first to Lightwards' heartbroken expression, then back to his dead nemesis passionately making out with the queen of Calamityville.

 

 

"I've got very mixed feelings about this," he said finally.

 

By TwiLyght Sans Sparkles:

 

  Nathan:

 

There was nothing worse than wanting Cocoa Puffs when your girlfriend was in a Fruit Loops kind of a mood. 

 

 

Actually, yes there was. Wanting Cocoa Puffs when your girlfriend was an insane matter transformer, currently bent on turning every cereal in the house into Fruit Loops. Not to mention the soap and dish towels. 

 

Nathan washed his hands in the Walmart bathroom, then changed into jeans and a T-shirt, stowing his suit and duster in his backpack. Funtimes was still insisting he act like an Epic, but he hated the looks he got. Especially from servers and retail workers. Surely it wouldn't hurt if he spent one trip to the store as a normal guy—one who wouldn't make the clerks scatter and give him fear-filled glances as he grabbed a box of Cocoa Puffs. 

 

He tugged the fishing hat down lower, covering his hair, and made for the cereal aisle, unconsciously hurrying his step. They were so close. So close he could taste them, covered in milk, or maybe he'd just eat them right out of the box….

 

Gone. 

 

Nathan stared morosely at the shelf. Every box of Cocoa Puffs was gone. Not that he could blame Portlanders—Cocoa Puffs were delicious—but they couldn't have left him just one box? 

 

"'Scuse me," he said to the nearest clerk. "You wouldn't happen to have any—" 

 

Shots rang out. People screamed. And a terribly familiar voice promised to execute one person for every minute he went without his cereal. 

 

Time to change tactics. 

 

Nathan took the clerk by the hand. "Let's get to the back. You don't want to be anywhere near this guy, trust me."

 

Seriously, he thought as he hurried to the back, can't I just have one normal trip to the store?

 

  Doctor Funtimes:

 

She sat in the Tillamook cottage, cramming fistfuls of Fruit Loops into her mouth.

 

This is boring, she suddenly thought. 

 

With that, the box of Fruit Loops became a box of Cocoa Puffs.

 

  Remington Springfield:

 

"Bring me three boxes," Lightwards demanded. The bloodstained clerk got to his feet and shuffled toward the back. Dead—over a box of Cocoa Puffs. 

 

 

As Lightwards stood, Remington nudged the barrel of his rifle against the back of his neck. "How many lives have you got?" he asked quietly. "And how many are you willing to spend on that box of cereal?"

 

By Tulir:

 

  Mundivore:

 

Mundivore didn't know why he was in this store, nor why he had this craving.  He didn't need to eat, so why did he feel the urge to eat as many Cocoa Puffs as he could?  He shook his head, trying to get rid off whatever was making him feel like this.  Must be a powerful physic Epic, Mundivore thought as he entered the store.  He quickly made his way to the cereal isle, watching as people scattered before him.  Mundivore quickly located where they should be, and none were there!

 

"This is unacceptable," Mundivore mumbled to himself.  He noticed how the isle vacated immediately, and walked to the end to grab an employee.  "Sir, you seem to be out of one of the most basic foods for breakfast.  You better bring Cocoa Puffs out quickly, but take you time," he said with as smile, "I have plenty."  The employee quickly ran to the back of the store.  Well, time to wait, I guess, Mundivore thought as he started examining the rest of the isle.

 

By The Only Joe:

 

  CorpseMaker:

 

CorpseMaker strode through the isle, heading for the Cocoa Puffs. He'd always loved them, you might say he had a, Weakness, for Cocoa Puffs. But when he arrived there, There were none to be found. He turned to the Nearest Employee. "You! Bring me Cocoa Puffs."

 

The man trembled. "Please Sir! Hundreds of Epics have been in here today, we're all out of Cocoa puffs."

 

CorpseMaker stared, then walked outside of the building to where he had left Upgrade. "Uber-Charge me." Upgrade nodded, and placed a hand on CorpseMaker's arm. CorpseMaker targeted the store, and counted down. There was a geat thud, and everyone in the store died all at once. Not finished, CorpseMaker looked down at the planet he stood on, and counted down again. Everyone in the world died instantly.

 

"Never again, will anyone refuse me Cocoa Puffs."

 

By Voidus:

 

  Penumbra:

 

Jeff Carlisle walked down the supermarket, looking for his favorite cereal, he enjoyed doing simple things like this now that he'd banished his alter-ego Penumbra.
He stopped a nearby employee as he walked past.
"Excuse me, could you please direct me to the cocoa puffs?"
"I'm sorry sir, we've just run out."
"Run... out?"
Shadows writhed around the pair, Jeff felt Penumbra stirring again, it had been a long time, but this injustice would not, could not be tolerated!
"PENUMBRA WANTS COCOA PUFFS!"
The shadows severed the mans head from his body before turning on the store, leaving ruin in their wake in search of the glorious cereal.

 

By Edgedancer:

 

  Lucentia:

 

She tapped her foot on the ground, annoyed by the time she had to wait. She had a whole city, was someone organizing her a bowl of cocoa puffs expecting too much? No, no it wasn´t. So where are her cereals?

                                               

 

Sometimes the job is hard, Deathgale thought. Naturally, he could understand Lucentia´s desire to eat cocoa puffs; in fact he wanted to eat some himself, if he could find a rusting box of them. The shop didn´t have any, not only were there shelves empty, they also didn´t have any in storage. He checked and people don´t lie about cereals after you start breaking fingers.

 

Where else to get cocoa puffs from? The last box must have been bought by someone and that someone was still in the city, time for an inquisition.

                                                                        

 

Finally, Deathgale delivered her the cereals. “I apologize for the delay, my Lady.” She dismissed him, while eating her long awaited cereals.

 

  Voidgaze:

 

It was time to refill her cereal stockpile. Now, with what does she want to fill it up with? Cocoa puffs sound good.

 

Voidgaze wandered through the rows of shelves, she never visited this place often enough to remember its layout. The staff respected her determination enough to not instantly bother her, although they seemed very tense about letting a customer wander around at random.

 

It took her a while but she ultimately found the row with cereals. Alright, Apple Jacks…  Cap'n Crunch… Cheerios… Diamond Shreddies… Frosted Flakes… Fruit Loops… didn´t she already pass the C-section? She took a look back over the shelves and saw the description over an empty area, cocoa puff.

 

Noticing her sullen look a clerk carefully approached her. “Ma´am is there something I could help you with?”

“I was searching for Cocoa puffs.”

The man’s face went pale. “A lot of Epics wanted Cocoa puffs today; I fear they are out of stock.”

Voidgaze visibly slouched down and after a short while pointed at the row she already walked down. “I´ll take all of those then.

This time the clerk seemed as if he was ready to throw a party.

 

Nighthound's Cereal--by TwiLyghtSansSparkles

 

Nighthound's smile was frozen, acidic, the sort that preceded torture and murder. "You mean to tell me," he said, "that you have no more Cocoa Puffs?" 

 

 

The clerk swallowed. "Yes, sir. We're—we're all out. That Epic who was just here—diamonds in her dress—she—she took the last box." 

 

Lucentia. 

 

His own sister. 

 

His own sister had taken the last box of Cocoa Puffs. 

 

"Well, then," Nighthound said with the same smile, "I suppose I'll have to speak to her about it, won't I?" 

 

"That is an excellent idea, sir." 

 

"Or perhaps you should speak to her." 

 

"Sir?" 

 

Nighthound reached out a hand, rested it on the clerk's head. He would have a new hound, a hound who would—

 

And then Nighthound died.

 

After the insanity wrought by the original prompt, it comes as no surprise that a second prompt was soon proffered: "Dare I ask what the various members of our cast would do if they arrived at the laundromat, only to find that one person was using all the washing machines?"

 

By TwiLyghtSansSparkles:

 

  Doctor Funtimes:

 

He was there. 

 

Lightwards. 

 

He was there and the machines were spinning, spinning, spinning all around with all his clothes inside. She would have stopped to watch, maybe spun like the machines, had he not been there and taken every single one for his stupid clothes. 

 

Stupid clothes. 

 

His clothes were stupid. 

 

She giggled. They shouldn't be stupid. "You're the Emperor," she sang. 

 

Lightwards turned, his eyes narrowing at the sight of her. "Oh, hello, Doctor. I wasn't aware you needed to wash your clothes, considering you can simply make more." 

 

She blew a raspberry. "Emperors shouldn't wear stupid clothes." 

 

"My clothes are not stupid!" 

 

"Are too." 

 

"Are not!" 

 

She could have continued like that—would have liked to continue like that forever and ever or until he got so angry his face turned red. Like a joyous leprechaun, her friend Revolution had called him. But she had places to be, and she couldn't waste time arguing. So she waved her hand over the washing machines. 

 

"There," she said with a smile. "Now your clothes aren't stupid." 

 

Lightwards dashed to the nearest washing machine, pried the door open, and removed a frilly pink tutu. 

 

"I am going to kill you for this," he said. 

 

Funtimes giggled. "Gotta catch me first!" And with that, she vanished.

 

  Nathan:

 

She was there. 

 

 

Lucentia, Diamond Queen of Astoria, was in the laundromat. And every single washing machine was filled with her clothes. 

 

Nathan ground his teeth. What kind of a queen used a laundromat, anyway? Unless….

 

Unless she knew he would be there and had taken every single washing machine just to annoy him. 

 

She couldn't have known, he told himself. She's not a precog. She's just an Epic using a laundromat. 

 

An Epic who could trap him in diamond like a dragonfly in amber. 

 

Stifling a sigh, Nathan backed away from the laundromat before he was seen.

 

  Remington Springfield:

 

"What kind of an Emperor uses a laundromat, anyhow?" 

 

 

Lightwards' eyes narrowed. "I needn't explain my choices to you." 

 

Remington leaned against the doorjamb, laundry basket in his arms. "No, but I'd like you to." 

 

"It doesn't matter what you like. What matters is that I get my laundry done." 

 

"That all?" Remington paused in thought a moment, then marched inside, opened the nearest washing machine door, and threw Lightwards' clothes onto the floor. 

 

A bullet clicked into place beside his ear. "Put them back, or I'll brave Funtimes' wrath for a new Warrior." 

 

Remington tossed his clothes into the washing machine. "No you won't." 

 

"You think you know me?" 

 

"Nope. But I know she's right behind you." 

 

Lightwards turned, eyes wide in horror, to the empty space behind him. That was all the time Remington needed to whip out a pistol of his own, take aim, and fire. 

 

"Should've used your own washing machine," Remington said as Lightwards resurrected.

 

By Kobold King:

 

  Sam:

 

Laundry day.

 

Sam carried a small basket full of black and violet clothes, letting out a small sigh as she pushed open the laundromat doors. Laundry day wasn't much fun, but at least she'd managed to come over without Funtimes tagging along. Considering what her new shoes looked like, she definitely didn't want the cuckoo slontze to get any ideas about the rest of her wardrobe.

 

She frowned slightly as she looked over the various washing machines. Each and every machine in the building was taken Rows of people stood at attention beside them, staring dully at the swirling contents.

 

Warriors of Light.

 

Sam glared from one end of the laundromat to the other. At one end was Lightwards pompously ordering his basket-laden zombies. At the other, CorpseMaker was shoving clothes into machines, one turtleneck for each one.

 

Sam gritted her teeth. Great. The two worst Epics in Portland, and they had to pick today to do their laundry.

 

For a moment she turned towards the door, prepared to scurry out without being noticed. But no, she decided with a sudden smile. I got this.

 

She pulled out a chair from the corner of the room, leaning back with a smile. She propped her feet up on a spinning washer, clanking those pink shoes together to draw the Epics' attention. Those pink shoes that screamed I'm with Funtimes so don't hurt me.

 

"Look at you two!" she called out cheerily. "Doing your laundry together!"

 

Lightwards's expression was puzzled. CorpseMaker's was murderous. The latter's eyes narrowed as he fixed her with a glare, the glare that would have her dropping to the floor in a second--

 

"Personally, I think it's wonderful that you feel comfortable doing laundry with your soul mate in public," Sam continued with an innocent smile. "You make such a cute couple!"

 

CorpseMaker's death glare suddenly turned to a more uncomfortable glance directed at Lightwards. The professor, on his part, started ordering his Warriors to gather his laundry and meet him outside.

 

"I've got... stuff to do," Lightwards said uncomfortably, not making eye contact with CorpseMaker.

 

"Yeah, I should probably get back to the armory," CorpseMaker mumbled in reply, doing likewise. The pair awkwardly shuffled out of the laundromat, leaving Sam beaming widely at their exit.

 

"Love and tolerance for the win," she mumbled to herself happily, and threw open a washing machine door.

 

By Edgedancer:

 

Nighthound walked through the street and stopped, when he saw Nathan inside the Laundromat. The doors flew open as he entered the building. “Hello Tina, what ch´a doing?”

Nathan visibly flinched as he heard Nighthound´s voice but quickly regained his composure. “Nighthound, I´m already using all the washing machines for Funtimes laundry, so unless you want to deal with her you have to wait.”

The Epic sneered at the other man, “Yeah and who´s gonna tell her, if I do something? Your corpse or the eyewitnesses I´ll kill?”

The red head shot a look at the people on the street. “Typical for you, why don´t we… wait, you don´t even have any laundry with you.”

The statement was meet with a fake innocent expression and a wave of Nighthound´s hand. “Of course I don´t have any laundry, anytime I wear clothes for more than five hours some female Epic comes over and ruins my clothes, just comes with being this attractive. Thinking of it halve the time it´s your girlfriend that strips me, you should really rethink your relationship.”

Nathan sighted, “Why are you even here, if not to do your laundry?”

“Hum? Oh, I wanted to deepen our male friendship. See, we already bonded over your girlfriend stripping me but if you also want to go the next step and do our laundry together I could strip. That would be really mean to Funtimes, though.” Nighthound started pulling up his shirt.

The situation was just too much for the vanilla and he left the building. Alone and holding his shirt Nighthound thought about what to do next, he could mix their laundry but if anything Funtimes would like that and before he could reach a decision Nighthound died

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The first instance of the now-infamous whack-a-mole meme.

 

 

Koschei the Deathless lay at his feet, blood congealing on the stump of his neck. That had been almost too easy. Paladin turned away, feeling content.

 

"You pitiful fool. You think that slaying a God is so easy?" He turned back. The rusting Epic had somehow risen. After losing his head. He knew it had been too easy. Killing an Epic was never that easy. Calamity. Why did I get myself into this?

 

He swung again, rewarded by the wet thump of a body nearly cut in two. The seemingly dead body started to heal even as it slid off of his blade, however.

 

Paladin gritted his teeth as he set down to the work of cutting down the supposed god every time he rose. This was going to be a long day.

 
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Some of my more (in)famous crack ships. 

 

 

Aldo/Wes

The raptor studied the mammal before him. He tilted his head to the left, then to the right, then to the left again. Never before had he seen a mammal with such a strange headcrest. Never before had he seen a mammal with such a strange set of wings. Never before had he seen a mammal this strange. 

 

The mammal made a sound the raptor had come to associate with amusement. "Careful now, old chap. Tilt your head much further and you'll be on the floor in a second." 

 

The raptor tilted his head again. Those wings…no, they weren't wings. Couldn't be wings. They—or should he say it—was a single piece of flimsy covering. No mammal could fly with that. 

 

"Trying to figure me out, are you?" The mammal smiled. He had a caterpillar of some sort stuck to his upper lip. A dead one, for it did not move. He smelled like….

 

What on earth did he smell like? 

 

The mammal laughed again. "No need to be confused, my good fellow. I am Aldo the Enigmatic. Perhaps you would like to join me for a spot of tea?" 

 

The raptor tilted his head again. Tea was a drink those mammals seemed to enjoy. He nodded. Joining the mammal for tea would give him time to decide what to make of this mammal. Time to decide whether or not to devour him now, or later.

 

CorpseMaker/Murphy

"Please." Murphy's voice was soft. "Please, CorpseMaker. Just do it." 

 

"Negate everything that makes you mine?" CorpseMaker ran a hand through Murphy's hair. "Never." 

 

"For once in my life, I want to do one thing right. Do it now, and I'll never ask again." 

 

CorpseMaker pushed every objection aside. This was what Murphy, his Murphy, wanted. He negated Murphy's power…and Murphy pulled him into a kiss. 

 

And then CorpseMaker's pants fell down.

 

 

Lucentia/Mister Hamsterface

Mister Hamsterface, for that was his name now, skittered along the forest floor. He loved this forest, with its tall grass and sweet smells, plentiful food and shelter if you knew where to look. 

A loud rustling sent him running for cover. There were footsteps, loud ones of the sort he hadn't heard since the night Doctor Funtimes set him free in his new home. 

Suddenly, he was lifted into the air by a strong, soft hand. Mister Hamsterface turned in panic, tried to run for cover--and found himself staring into the most beautiful pair of eyes he had ever seen. 

Most beautiful....and saddest. The owner of those eyes must have gone quite a long time without another soul to understand her. Mister Hamsterface knew then that he could never bite her. Such a sad creature must never be bitten. 

Lucentia studied the hamster for a long moment. "Odd," she said, "I have the distinct feeling you understand me."

 

 

Lightwards/Hat

Lightwards tipped the bottle of wine back, but only a few stray drops landed on his tongue. He righted the bottle and held it at arm's length for a long moment. 

 

Lucentia had left him for a hamster. 

 

Voidgaze was too busy stuffing her face with greasy sandwiches to care. 

 

Ray hadn't left that unicycling abomination's arms since morning. 

 

Even Funtimes—Funtimes!—had a boyfriend, never mind he seemed too terrified not to kiss her. 

 

And now the bottle was empty. 

 

Lightwards tossed the bottle aside in disgust, but it didn't give him the satisfying crash he wanted, landing instead on a patch of prehistoric fern with a hollow thunk. Not even the bottle could make him happy. 

 

Fighting tears, he lifted his precious bowler hat from his head and held it in his hands. "Well, hat," he slurred, "looks like it's just you and me." 

 

The rational side of his brain told him that the hat was inanimate; barring Funtimes' intervention, it could neither move nor speak. But the side of his brain too distraught or too drunk to bother with rationality thought that, for just a second, the hat smiled at him. 

 

Lightwards laughed, crying a bit, and crushed the hat to his chest. "Oh, hat! I've been so lonely…"

Edited by TwiLyghtSansSparkles
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The Pug Prompt

Red was going to kill someone. More specifically the evil genie who turned her into a pug. What in Calamity's fires was wrong with him? Quite a few other pugs were milling around here too. Red wondered if the evil genie was some kind of Epic. Probably. Red couldn't hear the blood. It was gone. The sparking genie had stolen her powers too. Red was going to pee on this genie's lamp until she could kill him.

--

Mistwraith was amused. The genie had turned her into an adorable pug, of all things. She looked at herself in the mirror. Yes, she was still adorable. It would be a waste of time, yes, but Mistwraith could use it to spy on Epics and vanillas. Who would think about a pug as being a spy? She nosed her way through a crowd of vanillas. Mistwraith realized she was starting to think of people as "vanillas." She shrugged. That's what they were, anyway. Inferior. A few vanillas tossed her scraps. Mistwraith glared at them. She was a High Epic. Actually, she was a pug. Whatever. Still, even a Pug High Epic declared attention. They deserved to be punished. Mistwraith tried to summon the mists to destroy them, but her abilities were gone. How dare the genie? How dare him. Mistwraith bit the leg of a nearby vanilla. Maybe she was a pug, but she could still fight, right? Wrong. The vanilla kicked her away. Mistwraith remembered the face of the vanilla. I'm going to kill you once I'm Epic again, she promised. For now, I have some spying to get done.

--

Margaret was in the middle of getting away from an angry Epic when she found the genie. She didn't really listen to what he said. She only cared that the genie would give her the perfect escape. Nobody would suspect a pug to have a bag of frozen Epic blood, would they? Margaret sprinted out the door as she transformed, huffing and puffing all the way. It was a hot day in Astoria and she needed to lie low for a while. The Epic would be hunting for her.

--

Brightdeath was in the middle of torturing some vanillas when she transformed into a pug. That genie. The vanillas started kicking HER. The epic that deserved to rule. For 24 hours, they kept her in a cage, laughing at her. Then she finished the job she'd started.

--

The genie nearly got Amber killed. The job on Sundance had been going perfectly when Amber had gotten herself turned into a pug. A pug can't snipe. Amber ran. But that supermarket didn't need food in it, did it? At the end of the day, a very satisfied pug was sitting in the doorway with a full belly.

Amber considered getting her teammates nearly killed worth it.

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What follows is a collection of some of the more notable pony comics created by Kobold King. Created using General Zoi's Pony Creator, the Super Speedy Comic Squeezy 6000, and Microsoft Paint.

 

The very first pony comic, starring the mental illusionist of Portmane:

 

42916e11a56483bea2292562c9e36ed4.png

 

 

An Oregon cover of "What My Cutie Mark is Telling Me," from the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

 

7db054535987906febda25340825eee1.png

 

 

Detailing the hypothetical break-up between Earl Greyback and Doctor Funtimes:

 

c0856fbbec52ad8692621ac4fe63ce19.png

 

 

A scene from a forthcoming romance novel featuring Autumn Glass, Backtrack, and a pair of pink sunglasses:

 

475bc9305fac8488b3e54f2a1ce88b0a.png

 

 

Backtrack goes to desperate measures to escape Fortuity's recent romantic approaches:

 

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Derpy Hooves, Nighthound, and Koschei the Deathless have a picnic:

 

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The Birth of Venus by Alexandre Cabanel. Now censored for your viewing pleasure:

 

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Kobold King sends out a birthday invitation:

 

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Cocoa Puffs: a tragedy of woe and breakfast.

 

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A dramatic summary of Firefight. Spoilers for said book abound.

 

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Quota goes up against everybody's favorite timid yellow pegasus:

 

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In memoriam: Scorch, who nobody really wants to remember. Adapted from this post.

 

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Reader is a slontze (and Remington lives the life we all dream of):

 

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The Great and Powerful Trixie tells a tall tale:

 

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A comic celebrating Valentine's Day with some of the RP's greatest ships:

 

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Here we go! First of a 10 part series about What happened in Springfield.

Bullets. Gatling burst through the empty doorway into an abandoned house, clutching a machine gun, breathing heavily. The machine gun was at full ammo. Well, of course it was, Gatling. Have you forgotten your Epic power? Gatling shook his head, banishing out the thoughts that tried to invade his brain. He held his finger to his earpiece and spoke.

“This is Gatling. I am at 101 North St. I request immediate backup. Multiple insurgents closing in on me. I repeat does anyone copy?” Thankfully, a voice came replied.

“Gatling. This is Target. I am at your location. Over.” Gatling started to reply, but Target burst in the doorway, holding his bow. He was a mess. His armor was chipped and cracked, and he was missing his helmet. He was almost out of arrows, and his knives were gone. A series of shots sprayed at the side of the house. Target cursed. Gatling raised his gun.

“Where are the dang reinforcements, Target?” Gatling forcefully whispered. He raised his gun firing at a man with an assault rifle. The man fell. “I don’t know, Gatling. My squad should be here now.” Target retorted. He drew, aimed and fired an arrow. Suddenly, a series of shot’s rang in the air. All went quiet. Target, then Gatling, stepped out of the abandoned house. A group of soldiers, maybe 6 or 7 of them, walked out. Gatling relaxed.

“Where were you, Beta Squad?” Target admonished. “You should have followed me.”

“Sorry, sir.” Said a big man, holding a RPG with a tight grip. “We was fighting off the 4 guys that had our backs, we was.” The man bobbed his head. Gatling yawned. It had been a long day and he was ready for some sleep.

“He did what?” Powerhouse asked, furious. “You are telling me that a rogue Epic attacked Harvester’s and my soldiers?” The aide giving him the report, nodded then cowered on the ground. “Super speed, fast enough to dodge bullets, leaves a blue trail in the air behind him.” Powerhouse mused. “Yes, my lord.” Powerhouse snarled, killing the aide with a ball of electricity. Her corpse fell, smoking. This Epic could ruin everything. Ruin his chance of winning the war.

Enjoy! If you want to contribute, PM me.

Edited by Venture Mistborn
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Deadhorse, Alaska 

December 10 

 

Were it not for the oil rig, Khione would have forced Deadhorse's inhabitants south years ago. 

 

Power wasn't exactly common in the Fractured States. Even Alaska, with oil rigs like Deadhorse, did without. Fuel was reserved for more necessary endeavors, like bush planes and boats dredging for gold off the coast of Nome. What excess there was Khione sold at exorbitant fees, though few outside her inner circle were fully aware of this. Best for her people to enjoy their rugged lifestyle in ignorance than grumble about it in secret. 

 

The oil town's caretaker saluted her arrival. Khione acknowledged him with a nod, then scanned the horizon. She hadn't seen the herd on the flight over—according to messengers, it would arrive from the east. Yukon Territory, much of it belonging to her by virtue of few Epics having the foresight to claim it. Her hunters had been successful there. 

 

And now this Epic, this Wrangler, thought to steal from her. Take her caribou and make them into his slaves. 

 

Khione's eyes narrowed. He wouldn't dare. 

 

And if he dared, he would pay the price. 

 

Deadhorse's caretaker shivered in the cold winter wind. Khione scarcely noticed. She commanded the wind. It couldn't harm her. 

 

"Are the drillers safe?" she asked. 

 

"Yes, Your Majesty." 

 

"Good. I won't waste time training more." 

 

He fell silent, and after a moment, Khione heard his boots crunch the snow as he retreated. Deadhorse was miles away, but he would wait for her signal. She watched the horizon, wind tugging at her polar bearskin cloak. 

 

Then, she saw it: a cloud of powdery snow, growing larger every second. If her messengers had accurate information, the cloud would be a herd of caribou, alive but not in control of their faculties. If she was correct, their shapeshifting commander would be one of their number. 

 

The sound of hooves became nearly deafening as the herd approached. Khione bared her teeth, like the erstwhile animal she wore, and raised leather-gloved hands to the sky. 

 

The wind obeyed. 

 

It swirled before her, growing larger, taller, becoming that funnel cloud generations were right to dread. The approaching stampede did not stop, did not falter, thundered toward her trap. 

 

Khione sent the tornado into the herd. 

 

Caribou were sucked into it, legs flailing as they bleated in terror. The storm tore through their ranks, lifting animals, knocking them aside, spitting them out when it found a tastier sample. The creatures, made stupid by their master, showed no signs of fright until lifted off their feet. Only one had the sense to flee. 

 

Keeping the tornado on a mental leash, Khione summoned a second storm. Thunder boomed, heralding a flash of lightning seconds later. For an instant, the snow-covered tundra was illuminated, the flash sending her an image like a photograph. Caribou, scattered, some dead. One caribou fleeing for the east. 

 

Another flash. A tornado doing its work. Two caribou breathing, one trying to stand. Another bolting away from the herd. 

 

Khione commanded the lightning, and it obeyed. 

 

One strike, a foot away from the fleeing animal. 

 

Two strikes, flanking him. 

 

A fourth, the last, striking his body, returning him to his true form. 

 

Grinning, Khione made her way to the fallen Epic, leather boots crunching the snow. The winds could carry her, but she would rather see his face up close. Floating above an enemy as they lay on the ground didn't provide the view walking did. 

 

And this way, he would feel the dread with every footfall that reached his ears. 

 

Wrangler dressed much like her people did, though with unnecessary garishness. Where her hunters wore fur-lined parkas, Wrangler wore a leather coat with six-inch tassels. Where her oil drillers wore hoods and caps, he wore a Stetson. He had forgone the chance at good winter boots and snowshoes, opting instead for a terribly impractical pair of embossed cowboy boots. He sucked in ragged breaths through clenched teeth. 

 

"Look," Khione said, lifting him by the collar. "Look at your herd." 

 

"Not—" He sucked in another breath. "Not—controlling them—anymore." He barked a laugh. "Take more than that to stop 'em." 

 

She sent another flash of lightning toward the herd, illuminating those few still standing. 

 

"Idiot. What possessed you to attack me?" 

 

Wrangler laughed, but it was the crazed, desperate laugh of a dying man. It grated. 

 

She finished him with the knife on her belt. 

 

Khione stood, illuminating the tundra with another flash of lighting. No caribou still stood. Those that lived would not remain so for long; they lay breathing on their sides or trying and failing to stand. She sent the tornado through their ranks once more, then let it die. Four flashes of lightning blazed through the sky before returning the tundra to its midwinter darkness. 

 

Her signal sent, Khione stepped carefully over caribou corpses. Her people would finish them off. 

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A day in the life of Metronome: (Archived for easy viewability, more may follow)

Greetings reader, I am an Epic, some of you may already know me, some may have only heard my name and trembled but I am the great and powerful Metronome! And this is the story of my day.

I woke up usually enough, precisely 7 minutes before 6 AM and spent 12.3 seconds getting out of bed and a further 2 minutes 34 seconds getting dressed for the day, my hair was then neatly combed in a record 11 seconds and I made my way out of my room to the adjoining room. The co-ruler of Salem resides in this room, Soulcaster the scourge of Salem, I generally leave most of the official decision making in the city to him so that I can enjoy my priveleged life as the other ruler of this city. As usual I wake Soulcaster up 13 seconds before 6 to allow him to get out of bed before I assist him in dressing for the day, other Epics might call it demeaning work but that's just because they have no confidence in their own status, as a friend and fellow ruler I'm always happy to help Soulcaster with the occasional small task, I'm sure he'd do the same for me but he always knows how efficient and capable I am so there's never any need.

Leaving Soulcasters chambers as his breakfast is delivered by one of the house maids I set about my duties for the day, leaving Soulcaster to the mundane task of watching the Epics fight eachother I set about my calming routine of checking all of the mansions faucets are running correctly, the 2nd bathroom faucet is filling slowly today, taking 2.3 seconds longer than usual to fill a bucket. It takes me 2 minutes to find one of our servants assigned to maintenance and after I introduce myself to him (Amazing that some of my own servants still don't know of my name and great power) it takes me another 5 minutes to calm him down from what I can only assume was a severe fit of terror, the poor man was crying as his mouth was agape in hearing of the great strength of my ability as an Epic, muffled sounds that were almost more like bursts of laughter than sobs emerged and I could only guess that the poor man had gone insane.

Telling him to take 3 hours and 45 minutes to rest after fixing the faucet (A time I'd found to produce maximum restfulness) I briefly toured the many clocks Soulcaster and I owned, tuning each one until they were all perfectly in sync produced a sense of rightness within me. The house maids had all gathered to watch as they often did, exchanging whispers of my great prowess behind their hands as they beheld me in all of my grace and strength.

This done I proceeded to my usual luncheon appointment, taking some time out of my day to comfort poor Soulcaster as he was stuck with his drudgery, though he always put on a smile to try to pretend he enjoyed his work. Still he had to know that his powers were not great enough to handle the real responsibility of ruling the city as I did, it was best he stick to the arena and signing off on all the orders and leave the important clock-setting to me.

We finished our lunch at 2:34 and I left Soulcaster to continue his work, I walked proudly down the street, watching people stop and point in awe as they recognized me. Walking through the city I ensured that all the city patrols were on time, both Epics and human troops of guards were timed to perfection, an accuracy I'd insisted on, though many of the poor Epics were barely powerful enough to make it within 5 minutes of their correct time slots. When I criticised them these Epics and sometimes even regular humans made a show of bravery, trying to pretend that they would actually stand up to me, their great leader and push me to the ground for telling them not to slack off. Seeing the sadness in their eyes and knowing they could never match my power I usually leave them unpunished. It must be so sad to live life in such weakness.

Returning to my room I take a simple dinner of bread with a slice of beef, fetched myself from the kitchen since the maids are also horrendously late in bringing my meals if I let them, I let them go unpunished for the same reason I let the guards go, for it makes me sad to rub their faces in their powerlessness. But still, that one time when it went over 5 days late was a bit severe.

At 9:29 precisely I lay my head on my pillow, ready to rest for another 8 hours 23 minutes until my next day begins.

I am Metronome, ruler of Salem and now at 9:34 I am dreaming about owning a lamb.

 

A day in the life of the Amputee:

Greetings reader, statistically speaking you are probably a regular human, living in a world ruled by chaotic despots with superpowers who annihilate entire city blocks when they're feeling a bit grouchy and entire cities when they're annoyed. This is the diary of someone who has it much worse than you. I am the Amputee and this is my day...

My day began typically enough, I rose from my bead and climbed through the pile of twenty or so corpses that had been generated during the night as I lost a few hairs and skin flakes. Struggling through the room to the door I examined the days clothing choices, tutus featured prominently as they usually did, 10 of the 20 cloned bodies were wearing tutus of assorted colours with a wide variety of tops, although one of the clones seemed to have forgone a top entirely in favour of a bib with the words 'daddy's little princess' emblazoned across it.

I began the arduous task of moving the bodies out of my room and into the shed where I kept them. Thankfully the bodies seemed to vanish after a few days or else I'd have a problem with storing my dead clones.

Spending a morning shoving dead copies of yourself wearing ridiculous clothing into a shed filled with yet more dead clones of yourself is the stuff of nightmares for some people. For me it was a tuesday. And for that matter, wednesday, thursday and friday too. But today was a tuesday.

Finishing the days corpse shifting I had a quick breakfast of toast, accidentally scraping my elbow on the table as I ate spawned another clone wearing nothing but a thong, cowboy hat and some truly outrageous glasses.

Sighing I picked up the glasses, which at least seemed like they might sell, within seconds another pair had formed on the body, which served to keep my clone corpses constantly embarassing but at least I had an infinite source of clothing. After stockpiling a few pairs of the sunglasses I finished my breakfast and went to open my shop.

Yes that's right, I'm an Epic who has to run a shop to make ends meet, what did you expect from someone who spends an hour every day shoveling his own corpse twenty times?

Opening Amputees discount clothing store I sat behind the counter and waited for my first customer, I got few customers but enough to get by, a few regulars who mostly just liked the novelty of an Epic working for them for a change. A few teenagers inevitably came in to try and mock me, which forced me to choose between the humiliation of an Epic being teased by teenagers and doing nothing about it or the greater humiliation of fighting off those teenagers by throwing dead clones of myself dressed in a leotard at them.
Eventually I'd opted to buy a shotgun instead which had thankfully minimised their disruptions although not completely eliminated them.

The sunglasses from this morning sold out pretty quickly, people enjoying the novel look of bright green sunglasses with feathers around the rim. Most people who still made things these days focussed mostly on practicality so the novel nature of some of my wares did attract some interest. Making a note to grab a few more boxes worth of those sunglasses before that clone disappeared I closed up shop to go get lunch.

Unlucky's cafe was just around the corner, something of a joke after the first three stores he'd named lucky's cafe had been destroyed during Epic fights this cafe had survived a remarkable 6 months with no damage, practically a miracle these days. I grabbed my usual pie and coke and sat outside to eat it when a shadow loomed over my table. A man in an orange cape and some strange tophat stood there glaring at me.

Oh Calamity, not again.

"You must be the one known as the Amputee, the High Epic whose healing is said to be so great that it can heal even a single hair off his head!"

How do they always find me? Why do they always find me?

I already knew the answer, after I'd deprived them of their fun making fun of me in person the teenagers who had formerly harassed my store had started spreading rumours that I was some kind of super powerful High Epic. Inevitably a storm of weirdos like this had challenged me to duels, forcing me to either publicly declare how useless I was, or else try to actually fight with my incredibly useless powers.

"Look, I don't want to fight I'm just trying to eat my lunch here." I began.

"The Tangerine Crusader cares not for your lunch!" The Epic declared before sweeping off his top hat, reaching inside it and producing a large tangerine which he proceeded to throw at me. I almost didn't bother dodging it but luckily my reflexes kicked in before I'd fully registered what it was because the tangerine promptly incinerated the table behind me as well as a decent chunk of ground.

Explosive citrus fruits conjuring? What the hell kind of a power is that!? I thought wildly as I dived out from my table, leaving my half-eaten pie behind.
The kind that's better than making stupid looking dead clones I suppose.

Sure that this guy wouldn't take no for an answer I darted around the cafe, narrowly missing several dangerous tangerines as the crazed Epic chased after me calling me a coward.

I ran back to my shop and entered through the side door, just as a tangerine blew a hole in the front wall and the other Epic stood before me.

"Cornered at last my foe! Feel no fear though, thou ending shall be verily so swift as a thousand eagles!"

Learn what words mean before you say them you idiot. And why would a thousand eagles be any swifter than one!?

Resigning myself to an inevitable duel with the psychopath I put on my best  'angry Epic' face and slowly walked towards him.

The Epic reached into his hat as I reached onto my head, plucking a hair out and throwing it straight at him, the clone that rapidly formed from the hair collided with the tangerine and exploded mid way between us.

"Ah! Most excellently blocked my wise foe, and your shield already reforms itself I-" The Epic choked off his sentence as he saw what exactly my 'shield' reformed into.

A clone of me wearing high heels, denim mini-shorts and a red tube-top.

"What hast thou created! It is more displeasing to thine eyes than a thousand daggers!"

So distracted was he that he didn't even notice me pulling a second hair from my head and flinging it at him.

Surprised by the attack, the Tangerine Crusader was stuck under yet another clone, this one thankfully wearing nothing more embarassing than a full body whinnie the pooh costume.

"Firstly" I said, walking over and pulling out my shotgun from under the counter. "Thine means your, not my and you don't know what's displeasing to my eyes, secondly daggers are painful, not displeasing and thirdly..."

I pulled the trigger, a spray of bullets entering the horrified face of the Epic and spraying blood all over my floor.

"Thirdly, you have terrible fashion sense."
 

Resting my shotgun back on it's shelf underneath the counter, I began pulling the body of the Tangerine crusader into the back of the shop where I kept a few of my clones whose clothing had proven itself a good seller. After taking the two clones back as well I brought out my mop and began to clean up the pool of blood.

Mr. Jonas from the furniture store adjacent kindly offered to help with the mess, one of the only shop owners who helped me, though they all pulled in when any of the other shops had been attacked by Epics. Thanking him as he set about sweeping up the broken wall I set about cleaning up the knocked over displays and the many boxes of tutus before calling the local disaster-repair store. They'd marketed themselves as experts in Epic-damage repair and had certainly done a good enough job that time all of my light fixtures had been transmuted into custard.

"John? Yeah it's Amp, broken wall this time, bout the same as that time the Great Mosquito flew into it."

A few grumbled sentences from the other end of the line and I'd settled on an afternoon appointment to fix with payment due up front.

Sighing, I emptied out the register, looked like it was another day with nothing to eat but those hats made of nachos.

Hoping I at least might be able to salvage my pie I asked Jonas to look after the shop as I sprinted back to the cafe only to find that my group of vengeful teenagers were happily spreading pictures of my fight with the Tangerine Crusader around the cafe while one of them finished off my pie.

Deciding to slink back to the shop rather than risk being humiliated even further, I encountered the repair team already evaluating the damage. After some negotiation I managed to reach a price I could just afford and still be able to buy some water at least for the night.

Heading home early I bought some water from the local seller and settled in for a night of water, nachos and crying only to find that the clone with the nacho hat had disintegrated while I was working.

As I sat in my chair and tried to cry myself to an early sleep one of my tears picked up an eyelash on its way down,  the clone that formed nearly broke my nose of course.
Because my day wouldn't be complete without me breaking something would it?

After shoving the clone off I habitually checked to see if there was anything that might at least sell, not expecting much.

Bedecked in thigh high stockings and a diaper, the clone had no shirt on at all but was remarkably wearing one of those hats with the straws in them that beer-guzzling dads used to take to baseball games. On each side of the hat rested a frosty cold can of coke.

The cans may have been a horrendous shade of pink but it looked like for a few days I had access to limitless soft drink.

I guess sometimes my power isn't all bad.

My name is the Amputee and this was the best day I've had all year.

 

A day in the life of: Atrophy

Hello morsel, how you found this tome is irrelevant, know only that it once belonged to a being far beyond the likes of you. It records the daily activities of a powerful and dangerous Epic. Me.

My name is Atrophy and this was my day.

I felt the morning-life suffuse my body, the light gouging its way through my shut lids and into my protesting eyes tinting the inside of my eyelids red as my blood began to flow freely.

I may be slow to wake but once I do so I waste no time, I hurl my thin blanket into one corner of the bare room I sleep in and stand up, stretching limbs and cracking my neck before throwing on some clothes. Unlike some Epics I wear no outlandish outfits like the fantasies of comic books. If I want to advertise my presence I have other ways to ensure that people know what I am.

I leave my house quietly, not a wasted movement or any excess sound. I've been told that along with my nearly skeletal thinness my preference for avoiding making noise as I move about has caused more than one person to assume me to be dead.

They should be so lucky.

I am indeed quite alive, an unfortunate side effect of which is my continued need for sustenance. Some Epics liked to boast that they needed no food but the truth was that even those High Epics who could technically live without it prefer to eat. Be it a last vestige of their humanity or simply an enjoyment of the taste I'd never met an Epic who never ate.

My first purpose for this morning was to secure some more sustenance, and perhaps someone to make it into something palatable for me in exchange for their life. We would wait and see.

Some significant time later (My first choice of market had been burned down the previous night) I entered through an open doorway through an irritating curtain of beads into a local foreign foods market. I hadn't particularly payed attention to which and it hardly seemed like it mattered, the idea of travelling overseas had become somewhat laughable in recent years, no airports still remained open and what boats there were generally preferred to spend all their time at sea pretending the world hadn't changed.

 

"Mornin hun, I'm Mindy. You need any help? You certainly look like you could use a few good meals."

A cheerful voice greeted me from a slightly brighter corner of the room, a young girl standing up and taking in my appearance skeptically.

"Quite. I'm in need of some sustenance, and not entirely sure what would be best. What would you recommend?" I did my best not to appear too menacing. Irritating though her voice already was, people were much more helpful when they didn't think you were a murderer.

"Well we just restocked on a few of our home-made sauces, we have a very nice vindaloo base that goes wonderfully with some of the beef from Al next door? We have papadums as well though some weirdo keeps buying out our entire stock. Says he needs them to avert disaster or something."

"That sounds excellent then, I don't suppose you could get a recommended cut of that beef you mentioned too could you? I'll pay extra."

 

I received a somewhat strange look but the young girl was more than happy to speak to the butcher next door on my behalf.

"Well then, will that be all? All up it will be-" Midway through ringing up the order the young girl grasped suddenly at her throat.

 

I smiled at her gently as she looked at me in terror, the ability to weaken muscles of my choice came in tremendously handy when I wanted to shut someone up and they were annoying me.

"Not quite all I'm afraid, you see I'm actually a terrible cook and you seemed so passionate about the whole affair that I thought I'd really like to try your recipe for myself."

Focusing a smidge more power into her legs I caught her just as she collapsed, legs now unable to support her weight.

Grabbing one of the trolleys kept near the entrance I hauled Mindy's limp body into it, tearing out those stupid bead things on my way out of the shop.

A hand on my shoulder spun me around and I was confronted by a large man holding a meat cleaver.

"You'd better back off now friend." The big man said menacingly, obviously not considering me much of a threat.

Big mistake.

"Sorry friend." I said, placing my hand on his and sending a rush of power straight to his heart.

As he collapsed I turned slowly, watching the look of horror in Mindy's face increase tenfold.
 

I quietly began pushing the trolley back down the road, other pedestrians giving us a wide berth, at first because they'd seen what had happened to the butcher but then just to follow suit, no one wanted to risk confronting an Epic after all.

 

I smiled grimly as I eventually pushed the trolley through my front door and deposited Mindy in a corner of my bare kitchen. Then I crouched down with her to explain.

"Now, this is probably one of the most terrifying things that's happened to you, you've heard of other girls getting picked up by Epics and the ones who came back alive probably wished that they hadn't. Let me assure you now that I have no intention of touching you in any way or making you do anything unpleasant. I really did just want a cook and you seemed like you knew what you were talking about. So, I get food, you get to live in relative sanity and safety as long as you don't annoy me. Sounds like a good deal yes?"

Opening her mouth a few times, Mindy tried to say something but all that came out was a croak.

"Oh yes, I'm not a big fan of conversation so I've basically paralyzed your vocal chords, just nod or shake your head. If you're any good I might let you start speaking again but it'll take a few days before you'd be able to even if I released you now."

Tears creeping down her face, she nodded slowly a few times.

"Excellent. I've released your legs, you should be able to stand again in about an hour. Don't try to run, it won't be pleasant."

I sat down in the opposite corner of the room, resting my back against the wall. Some Epics loved opulence, I just didn't see the point. Even before I'd gained my powers and along with them an incredibly low opinion of the value of human life I'd never put much stock in material possessions. Tools for buying social approval. Even if I wanted approval, being an Epic basically guaranteed that the whole world would hate me, my penchant for killing people who annoyed me made it a sure thing.

 

An hour later after several stretches and practice attempts under my smiling approval, Mindy managed to stand up unaided, albeit with a bit of a wobble to her step. I thought I might actually keep her at about that level, it made her kind of cute in a clumsy way. I closed my eyes, not even bothering to check if she was actually making that curry instead of running away.

I was awoken by a gentle tap on the shoulder and a rich aroma under my nose. Blinking slowly awake I saw Mindy sitting next to me and holding out a bowl of curry, it was a simple dish, little more than some beef cubes with sauce on a bed of rice but to someone who'd been subsisting off of packet noodles for a week now it was more than sufficient. Even more importantly she hadn't tried to stab or poison me while I was asleep. That was nice.

Licking the last remnants of sauce from the bowl I looked down and noticed a few grazes on Mindy's shins.

I tutted gently.

"I did tell you not to run didn't I? Good thing you didn't get to far or it would've been worse than just falling over. You get too far away and it won't just be your legs, it'll be your whole body. Get a bit further and your heart stops. I die and your heart stops. You annoy me and your heart stops. Clear?"

Another terrified nod followed.

"Good, you can have some food now if there's any left, and you can come shopping with me tomorrow if there's anything else you need. Sleep wherever."

Turning over I gently closed my eyes once more.
 

My name is Atrophy and today I discovered that I enjoy curry.

 

A day in the life of: The Jedi

Greetings reader, My name is Wilson Smith (No relation) although I now go by 'the Jedi'. See a few years back some weird red star started handing out superpowers like it was candy at a sociopath convention. Some people got the ability to throw fireballs, some people drowned cities, some people got the ability to see the future.
I got the ability to open doors. Any door, anywhere, no matter whether or not it's locked.

This was my day.

Waking up at sometime around noon I gave a mental command to the vault door of the west Houston central bank, causing its intricate locking mechanisms to unlock and the door to swing gently open as I exited. Taking a brief moment to grab a slice of bread from the entry hall I let the vault doors swing shut as the entrance doors opened just in time for me to stride outside.

In case you were wondering, yes I absolutely do the jedi handwave when I open doors. I don't have to but it looks cool. Better than dressing up in a cape and wearing my underwear on the outside anyway.

Walking down the steps I waved a cheerful hello to a few people who gave me an odd look. I never quite knew how but somehow people always picked me out as being, not necessarily an Epic, but different at least. Still enough people knew that I was one of the few people who didn't need to work (One of the benefits of being able to walk through any door you like, you're never short of money) so maybe that was the reason they were looking at me strangely.

I walked down the street to the nearest supermarket, today felt like a chips day and one of the reasons I'd chosen to sleep in this particular bank vault is that it was quite close to one of the only stores that still sold good old fashioned salt and vinegar flavoured chips. The couple dozen gold bricks someone had left there was nice too but really it was all about those chips.

Waving my hand as I approached the automatic doors they slid smoothly open and then closed behind me. I know it's pointless to use it on automatic doors but you've got to get your kicks somehow right? Walking down the aisles, dimly lit by a few flickering fluorescent lights, I spotted the chips only to find that they'd run out of salt and vinegar.

Twirling dramatically I set about finding the manager. After a heated discussion and several threats to boycott the store the manager still hadn't budged. Causing the cash-register to whisk open, I exited the stoor, still not sure why cash registers worked sometimes and not others.

I set about finding whoever had bought the entire weeks stock of salt and vinegar chips. I should clarify that by 'set about' I meant I weant house-to-house following the faintest whiff of salty flavourings in search of my beloved chips.

After accidentally walking in on three people on the toilet and two people in slightly.... less decent circumstances I opted to at least just stick to kitchens, it wasn't too likely that someone would stash them anywhere else was it?

I nearly got shot another time, an angry man in a v-neck gesturing at me angrily with his 9mm, luckily I had some amount of control over the force with which doors opened and the last I saw of him the man was clutching a broken nose after the pantry door had mysteriously burst open next to him.

 

It was nearly 3 o'clock when I first found success, several discarded chips packets in someones bin outside. The chase was on.

Entering through the front door I stalked through the hallways of the old yellow-brick house, salty scent growing stronger with every step I sprang into the kitchen, causing fridge, pantry and every cupboard door in the room to burst open.

 

There they were, nearly 20 packets of delicious potatoey goodness.

"Who dares enter the house of GreaseTrap!?" A voice yelled as an acne-faced man in his mid-20's thundered down a set of nearby stairs before slipping and crashing to the bottom.

I quickly grabbed as many packets as I could before vaulting over the grease-covered body of the flailing man. I guessed he was an Epic? Either that or he had some serious skin condition. Causing the front door to slam shut behind me I ran down the street, ducking into another nearby house before hopping their back fence to lose the weird grease-guy.

It was nearly 5 by the time I got back to the bank, one packet of chips opened already to enjoy on the way back was nearly empty, I'd stopped to pick up some soda on the way back and as the vault doors closed behind me I threw most of the chips into one corner of the room before setting another packet down next to my armchair. I turned on my tv, my small generator chugging away to supply the power for it and sat back to enjoy some chips, soda and my blue-ray copy of return of the Jedi.

I am the Jedi and today was pretty cool.

Edited by Voidus
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This thread is old and I am new, so pardon me if this is a useless or unwanted comment, but all of the images for the pony comics are broken. :(

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Empires and Recreation 

Episode 1: The Cat Ear Incident

Thie isn’t finished, so anyone who wants to continue it can. Shrug.

 

Spoiler


EXTERIOR SHOT: The Oregon skyline is cast in silhouette, with the Museum of Natural Awesomeness floating above. Cut to the inside, where FUNTIMES is skipping around and turning random objects into balloons. NATHAN is standing nearby, shuffling awkwardly back and forth.

FUNTIMES:

Party, party, party! Parties are awesome, don’t you think so?

Nathan takes a moment to realize yes, she is talking to him.

NATHAN:

Yeah, parties sure are... parties.

She BEAMS. Apparently this was the right thing to say.

Camera cuts to Nathan standing against one of the few walls that’s remained mostly in tact, throughout the various renovations, with the exception of a few holes.

NATHAN:

Doctor Funtimes saved my life two days ago. Well, several times. She can turn anything into anything else. And she 

He pauses and whispers conspiratorially. 

NATHAN (continued): 

She can teleport, but most people here think that’s me. Here being the center of the newest Epic run empire, obviously. Which I am running. Because people think I’m an Epic. 

(Louder)

And I TOTALLY know what I’m doing.

SAM (off screen):

No, you don’t! 

Nathan sighs.

This is my life now.

*****

The camera cuts to Funtimes, who is now making streamers that say things like “CAKE AND WORLD DOMINATION!!!!!” and “REALLY WE HAVE A LOT OF CAKE!!!! GLUTEN FREE AVAILABLE OPTIONS!!!” 

 

FUNTIMES:

Nathan is awesome. He has the bestestest face and the bestestest friends. 

 

She cocks her head, as if listening to someone ask a question.

 

FUNTIMES (continued.) 

Oh, who? That’s easy!

 

The camera cuts to Sam, who is spinning in a rolling chair. In the middle of the jungle. 

 

FUNTIMES (voice over) 

First off, there’s Sam. She is just the coolest. Super smart. Probably. Also, she makes Lightywarts mad, which is funny.

 

Earlier that day: Sam hands Lightwards a piece of paper with a doodle of a pile of poop. He takes it, absentmindedly, before noticing it was her.

 

LIGHTWARDS, distractedly:

What is it.

SAM, mischievous:

I drew you, most dearest and benevolent Emperor.

 

Lightwards turns to examine it, and she sprints into the jungle before he can react. 

 

FUNTIMES (still a voice over):

 

Next, there’s Revolution Sunburst Jones. Yes, that is her real name and it is awesome. Just so cool.

 

Revolution relaxes, drinking orange juice, on the root of a tree. She is holding a headband with cat ears and sits next to Sam, who is ticking boxes off a list. 

 

SAM: 

Do you think I could get those on Nighthound?

 

She gestures towards the cat ears.

 

REVOLUTION:

It depends on if you value your life or not.

SAM:

Yeah... you’re right.

 

She thinks.

The camera cuts to REMINGTON SPRINGFIELD. He is, without doubt, the coolest person in the room, even though he isn’t doing anything more than staring intently at Lightwards.

 

FUNTIMES (voice over, continued)

 

Remington Springfield. Sooooo cool. I heard, once he got into a fight with Chuck Norris and WON. And everyone knows Chuck Norris is an Epic. 

 

Now we see the Unicyclist.

 

FUNTIMES (voice over, cont.):

That’s... 

 

She pauses.

 

FUNTIMES (voice over, cont.):

Okay, to be honest, I don’t really know who this guy is? 

******* 

Also in the jungle, NIGHTHOUND is eating a cookie covered in MUSTARD and something that might be blood or wine by tearing pieces off and chewing on it slowly, while trying to make eye contact with a disgusted RAY. He has another cookie, which RED is looking at hopefully with puppy dog eyes. C4 is lying face down on the ground because she is having an existential crisis. 

SAM, hiding in the bushes: 

Pssst.

 

Red doesn’t turn to face her or crouch to hear her better.

 

RED:

What do you want, Traveller’s Vanilla Pet #3?

 

Sam looks directly into the camera with a look of exasperation. After a moment, she turns back and pulls out the cat ears.

 

SAM, extremely sarcastically and in a mockery of Red’s unnecessarily sultry tone:

My most powerful and sexy master, The Traveller of Vast and Probably Sexy Distances, ordered me to give this crown to you, so you could bestow it upon that guy. Oh, and it should be a surprise- wait till he’s not looking and then slip them on. 

RED, completely missing the sarcasm:

I am, of course, sooo grateful for the attention. However, he must know I am a one master sort of trashy minor Epic. If he thinks to win me over... well, I’m certain he knows what he must do.

 

Sam’s expression is somewhere between amused and revolted. 

 

SAM:

I’ll... tell him that. Paraphrased. Somewhat. 

*******

Funtimes is now making several cakes, each with a different allergy in mind. She doesn’t seem to have considered the possibility that someone might be allergic to edible glitter, though, as every cake is practically covered in the stuff. 

 

NATHAN:

So, is there any particular reason for throwing a party? 

FUNTIMES:

You mean, besides for the fun fun?

NATHAN:

Of course.

 

A shot shows him back against the wall, rubbing his head.

 

NATHAN:

What the actual heck is fun fun?

SAM:

It means you’re an idiot, Traveller!

NATHAN:

Not helping, Sam!

SAM:

Wow, I’ve never had my existence summarized so succinctly before!

 

Cut back to the scene, where LIGHTWARDS just happens to be passing by. 

 

FUNTIMES:

Lightywarts said everyone should tots get to know each other, so we can be all besties! Everyone knows you can’t take over a city without being tots besties.

 

Cut away to Lightwards in something approximating an office. There’s piles of glitter everywhere, which he tried to get cleaned up. After a while, he realized the more clean he tried to get things, the bigger the piles got, and just gave up. 

 

LIGHTWARDS:

She’s paraphrasing, obviously.

(He pauses.)

LIGHTWARDS:

Theres no way I’m just taking over this city.

 

Back to Funtimes.

NATHAN:

So the best way to get half a dozen homicidal maniacs to work together is to—

FUNTIMES:

Yup! We’re going to turn them into HOMIE-cidal maniacs!

NATHAN:

That sounds like...

 

He has to keep himself from including the word terrible.

 

NATHAN (cont.)

...an idea.

******

Nighthound is finished with his first cookie and considers the other one. The group has moved to the area directly outside the museum, looking off the edge.Red is holding the cat ears with BLOOD TENDRILS. 

 

NIGHTHOUND: 

I’m not hungry anymore. Would you like this cookie, Ray?

RAY, deadpan: 

I would like your head separated from your body. 

C4, not looking up from the ground:

I’ll take it.

 

Nighthound proceeds to lean back and throw the cookie as far as he can, off the edge. His super strength makes this a rather sizeable distance. It lands right in front of BACKTRACK, who starts crying.

At the same time, Red pops the cat ears on his head. C4 doesn’t see this, as she’s staring at the ground, but Nighthound and Ray are shocked.

 

C4:

I hate you. 

 

Cut to Ray, standing against a wall.

 

RAY:

Nighthound kidnapped me yesterday and the chick lying on the ground today. It’s been terrible and I hope he dies.

Ray pauses.

And Red... How do I describe Red?

She rolls her eyes.

She’s the craziest person I’ve ever met, and that includes the Epic covered in glitter. So, sure, randomly shoving cat ears onto the biggest slotze in the world? Can’t be worse than making out with him. On purpose. Audibly. With tongue. While I’m trying to sleep

 

Cut to Sam and Revolution watching Nighthound’s reaction through the window, on a tree they climbed up.

 

SAM:

She did it. She actually did it. 

REVOLUTION: 

That absolute madwoman. Did she notice the glue? 

SAM: 

How would I know?

 

Remington comes up behind them, casually and as silent as a ninja, as if they weren’t sitting in a tree.

 

REMINGTON:

What are you two up to?

REVOLUTION:

Humiliating Epics. Wanna watch?

REMINGTON, sincerely:

Between my busy schedule of wrestling dinosaurs and trying to keeping our mutual friend from getting himself killed, I might just have a few minutes.

SAM:

Our mutual friend? You mean Nathan?

REMINGTON: 

So you do know. It’s a good plan, keeping up your mockery so nobody else finds out. 

SAM: 

Oh, that’s not why I’m making fun of him.

REVOLUTION:

Sam is an equal opportunity mocker. 

SAM:

Very much so. 

 

 

Cut back to Nathan standing by the wall.

 

NATHAN:

Am I doing a good job at convincing people I’m an Epic? Sure. I mean, there are at least five people here who don’t know. Not sure about the Unicyclist. That guy’s kinda weird. 

******

Cut back to Nighthound. He’s sitting on the edge, head in his hands. The cat ears are still on. There’s some sort of adhesive. 

Then cut to Nighthound wearing the cat ears at something that could  generously be called an office. The bright pink wallpaper clashes with the disturbingly large blood stains. 

NIGHTHOUND:

I’ve murdered so many people. Just... so many of them. In a variety of creative manners. All the blood... man, it’s just great. Murdering people.

 

Someone coughs off screen. 

 

NIGHTHOUND:

The point? Besides the fact I can’t get these off without ruining my perfect hair? 

 

He pauses.

 

 

NIGHTHOUND:

Actually, that’s pretty much it. 

 

 

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2000px-Blood_drop_2_12.png.d9751643613195ffc7a127faf1eba32c.png

 

David Charleston had a very stringent set of goals for his life.

One: join the Reckoners. Check.

Two: kill Steelheart. Check.

Three: buy a Chicago style hot dog. Check.

Four: ...cupcake.

That last one wasn't necessarily something that had been planned out as precisely as the others. Honestly, it hadn't even been on the agenda until this morning. The smell of fresh baked goods after a lifetime without them, like an angry High Epic attack, had a way of reshaping your schedule.

"The way I see it," David said, walking briskly with his rifle slung over his back, "Back before Calamity, companies would have breakrooms where people would, you know, take a break."

"Your understanding of the world before your time never ceases to amaze me," Abraham said dryly. He said it with a smile. Since the Mitosis incident he'd normally been the one to accompany David on these occasional excursions into the city; after all, someone had to.

"I'm going somewhere with this," David replied. "I'm saying that, in some of those breakrooms, you'd probably find cupcakes. So us making this detour is basically like any regular person with a cubicle job."

"Except instead of a cubicle, there are murderers with superpowers waiting for us when we're done."

"Well, yeah. That'd be the biggest difference."

Abraham stroked his chin for a moment. "Truth be told, I am glad to have avoided the cubicle. Small victories, I suppose. This was still a terrible and rather pointless metaphor, David."

"It's not a metaphor. It's more like a rationalization."

"Why on Earth do you need a rationalization for buying a cupcake?"

Honestly... he didn't have an answer for that one. That was sort of the thing you understood or you didn't. David didn't fully understand himself. Maybe it was the tension in the air; killing Steelheart had essentially declared all-out war against the Epics, and they were acting in turn. Just walking down the street he had to keep a constant eye out for anybody who looked like they might start shooting laser beams out of their eyes or summoning marshmallow golems, because, well, they might.

And it wasn't even the ones who wanted to incinerate him on the spot he was most anxious to pick out of the crowd. Blonde hair and a thin figure still made him do a double take every time they walked by, and not for any of the normal reasons. In so far as having a dead but reincarnated almost girlfriend who might be evil wasn't normal.

The long and short of it was, little distractions meant all the difference in the world right now. Even if they felt unearned, with how much the world at large still sucked.

Then again...

Newcago had changed, and it was hard not to appreciate the fresh new pace the city enjoyed even when you were constantly checking over your shoulder for lunatics with guns for hands or lightning in their fingertips. The city was already almost unrecognizable from the dark dystopia that Steelheart had ruled; even aside from the novel sensation of daylight, the buildings themselves were different. Paint was going up at a rapid pace. No longer was it a neverending labyrinth of drab stainless steel architecture; now pastel blues and the brightest of reds all blurred together like a clown in a washing machine.

Abraham said the clashing colors gave him a headache. Prof, when asked, expressed indifference. But to David there was no better symbol of the change they'd brought to the city, except maybe the little businesses beginning to sprout up here and there. Back in normal days, hot dog stands or small home bakeries wouldn't be anything unusual. But here and now, they were the mark of people beginning to act like people again.

A bell rang when they walked in the business door, which put a grin across David's face that Abraham only shook his head at. A bell on a door! He hadn't heard one of those in years! But even that little wonder was quickly overtaken by a fresh wave of incredible smells.

There was a display case at the front of the shop that shielded tons of cupcakes. Every one of them was a tiny masterpiece; their forms were as cupcake-y as could be, and the frosting on top of them danced in all sorts of designs.

Most had black and red roses delicately emblazoned across their tops. Others were plain except for a pretty shade of orange. A couple had somehow been decorated in a creative military camo motif. Still others swirled with the brightest, most flamboyant colors imaginable, topped with what he assumed was edible glitter.

Just from looking at these he was briefly a kid again. A kid in a world where candy and pastries were just a trip to the store with Dad away.

"Whoah, hey, real customers. Hang on and I'll be right out."

A woman's voice snapped him out of it, and he straightened as she made her appearance. To his surprise she didn't actually seem that much older than him. She had the permanently widened eyes that most newcomers from the outside world had when they arrived in Newcago, and a couple of lines across her forehead that no teenager would have had in the world before Calamity. But setting those aside she looked like a normal young woman, maybe nineteen or in her very early twenties. With her vivid green eyes and smooth black hair she might even be pretty, if David noticed that sort of thing in women who weren't toting at least three guns.

She poked her head out of the kitchen, evaluating them for a moment before recognition lit up in her eyes. He should have braced for that. As much as he'd tried to stay mediocre and unnoticeable his whole life, all of a sudden everyone knew his face.

"I know who you are," she said in a matter of fact tone. She put a tray of fresh cupcakes down on the counter, those green eyes drilling into him. "I've seen your face before."

"Er, yeah," he replied awkwardly. He still wasn't sure what to say when the citizens singled him out like this. Abraham chuckled behind him, which was not cool given teammates were supposed to have each other's backs.

"You," the woman went on, "are the dorky guy who was greeting newcomers last month."

"Oh." He'd been doing that a lot here lately, always trying to make a good impression on those who'd come flooding into the city upon hearing the news. As many people had left fearing the inevitable Epic reprisal for Steelheart's death, it had been important to him that those who had braved the harsh roads of the Fractured States had met a friendly face. He put on a smile for the baker. "Yeah, that's me. Just trying to make everyone feel at home."

"You were doing a pretty good job," the woman noted. "Then Instabam showed up like ten minutes after I got here. That was a little less comforting but I guess it turned out okay."

He grinned awkwardly. "So you were part of that group. Sorry for the weird first impression."

"Ha!" she actually grinned back, looking genuinely amused. "Instabam, weird? He was the bottom of the barrel. I know weird. I grew up in Portland."

With that she turned around, working on something in the cabinets behind her as David's eyes widened. Abraham whistled softly beside him; not many people had made it out of Oregon in one piece.

Megan had. She also had rarely talked about it, and he'd never pressed her. The chaos, the turf wars... they were all the stuff of legend even to the lorists, and those rare survivors who'd seen the happenings with their own eyes wouldn't often talk about it.

Yet this woman had made it out. Not only had she survived, but she was also one of the only Newcago immigrants bold enough to start their own shop.

"Anyway," she went on, turning around with even more of the brightly colored cupcakes, "I think you're eligible for this new policy I'm trying to start. People who've killed an Epic get a free cupcake. Instabam qualifies you. Barely."

David blinked. He liked seeing the people of Newcago finally taking risks again, but this...

"That is... bold," Abraham remarked.

The woman shrugged. "If you're a target just for starting up a shop, you don't really have anything to gain from being subtle about it. Worse that could happen is I get murdered by an Epic, which, let's face it, would happen sooner or later anyway if you guys didn't catch them first."

"I guess that's one way of looking at it," David admitted. "Look at you. Fighting the Epic establishment with cupcakes."

"It's more profitable than just making fun of their fashion sense," she said with another little smirk. "Now. There's a scaling system to it. Instabam was only worth one free cupcake. But others are worth more."

Abraham raised an eyebrow. "You've put thought into this?"

"Yup. I call it the ATTD system. The cupcakes scale according to how happy you are to hear 'And Then They Died.' So hearing Instabam is dead is only worth one. But Nightweiner-"

"Nightwielder."

"-that's what I said—is worth two of my cupcakes because two equal the amount of happiness people have hearing 'And Then He Died.'"

"I am not sure if you are ambivalent towards Epics or very confident in the quality of your baking," said Abraham.

"Definitely the latter." With that she turned her eyes back to David. There was a twinkle in them; the same kind of twinkle that were in Cody's. Hurt, maybe even diminished, but still very much present even when everyone else had lost theirs. "So anway, what I'm getting at is that Steelheart is worth at least three. You might be able to talk me into four."

Aaaaand suddenly that grin and that twinkle made sense. David kicked himself for considering otherwise. "You know exactly who I am."

"Uh, obviously." She gave him a flat expression. "I'm not stupid. Well, that's arguable since I'm giving out free cupcakes for dead Epics in a city that still has Epics. But that just makes it worse that I could see through your ingenious disguise of..."

She looked him up and down for a pointed moment. "...long Reckoners coat and combat rifle on the back, with no mask."

"Alright, I get it," David replied, putting his hands in the air. "To be fair I'm not trying to disguise myself. I'm just... not announcing myself everywhere."

"Probably smart," she noted. "So are you claiming the free cupcakes or not? Obliteration is worth five, if you take commissions."

"I'm paying," David said firmly. "You're a new business. You need actual patronage."

"You'd think that, wouldn't you?" She smiled widely. "My plan was to sign up for a cafeteria and work my way up, but the moment I said I wanted to start a shop they practically threw money and an empty building at me."

"The mayor wants to make the city a place of commerce again," Abraham said. "But not many are seizing the opportunities just yet. You arrived at just the right time, if you aren't afraid of being annihilated by a random Epic."

In spite of Abraham's comment, David found himself smiling. The city's efforts were working. This bakery was proof of it.

"So your plan went further along than you expected," he said. "What's the next step?"

"Well... I didn't think I'd get this far," she admitted. "So for now the plan is to sell cupcakes, to get plump from the leftover frosting, and to die at the ripe old age of thirty-five. I'd count that as a win."

"Don't be so pessimistic! Things are looking up!"

"Go kill some more Epics and I'll think about it." She waved a hand at the empty street outside the bakery. "Now hurry up and place an order, 'Steelslayer'! You're holding up the line!"

So soon his plan came to fruition. He sat across from Abraham at the only table in the building, a platter of cupcakes laid out in front of him. He wanted to give this new business as much of his support as possible, so he'd bought one of everything; at least, that was his excuse to himself for not being able to choose just one.

A full platter was in front of him. He picked up a rainbow-sprinkled, glittery treasure of a cupcake, letting its amazingness soak into him. From behind the counter he felt the baker's eyes watching him like a hawk, no doubt ready to gauge his reaction. Well if that's what she wanted, he'd give her one.

He took a big bite, and-

...

Bliss. Pure, unadulterated bliss.

He chewed and he swallowed in stunned amazement, well aware of Abraham scarfing down his second already on the other end of the table. When he was done with the bite he turned to the baker with a smile.

"That..." he said in awe, "...was like a unicorn commando."

Her expectant face suddenly went blank with confusion.

"...what."

"It's like this," David explained. "A unicorn's something incredibly rare and amazing that you never thought you'd actually find. But then imagine finding one, and it's also a commando—it's more awesome than you'd ever even dreamed!"

She stared at him, blinking slowly. "Uh... thanks! I guess."

David didn't mind the questioning tone. He was already digging right back into the platter, which seemed to satisfy her more than his very eloquent praise had.

He reveled in that afternoon of sugar and frosting. Occasionally chatting back and forth with Abraham, with Newcago's best baker adding her own remarks every now and again. Sparks, this was exactly the sort of afternoon the world had been missing.

"One thing I'm still missing is a name," the woman remarked after a while, scrolling on a recently issued mobile. "Proper businesses have names."

"You are currently the only functioning bakery on the overstreets," Abraham pointed out. "And I would not expect there to be any down underneath."

"That won't always be the case," David said. "More will follow, and it won't be crazy to make yourself stand out from them."

"That's what I'm thinking," she replied. "But coming up with names isn't easy. Thought about using mine, but if I call it Sam's Bakery people will think it's the hot dog guy."

"He makes great hot dogs though," David said, ignoring Abraham's grimace.

"Yeah, doesn't really help sell cupcakes," the woman—Sam—replied. "And 'Samantha's Bakery' sucks too. I want something with a little more pizzazz, but there aren't a ton of good names available that won't paint an even bigger target sign on you. Like if I called it Tasty Treats, I guarantee you some slontze with baking powers will show up because I violated his trademark."

"It's not quite that bad," David said. "There was one called Treat-tastic, though."

"See! Epics always pick the worst names. Except maybe-" She bit her lip, not carrying on. Abraham kept on wolfing down the cupcakes, but David found himself looking curiously at her.

This was someone with stories. Maybe not stories she wanted to tell. But stories nonetheless. Every little thing she said or did made that clear.

He started to open his mouth again, but was interrupted by his own mobile buzzing.

He and Abraham checked them quickly, having learned not to delay with this sort of thing. Sam's eyes went wide.

"Epic alert?" She was tense; as much bravado as she showed, like any sane human she was ready to get the Calamity out of dodge if an Epic was coming through.

"It is very much worse," Abraham said with a grimace. "About a half hour from now the city council wants us to sit in on a meeting. Those are the worst."

"And a long walk," David groaned. "We should get going."

"Oh. I see." Sam had relaxed, but her shoulders had drooped. There was a fresh new anxiety on her face, and David had no clue what it might mean. "Here, let me just... get you a to-go box."

"That'd be awesome. And you know, we'll be back sometime soon."

"Pfft. You're Reckoners. You can't promise that." She set about dutifully pulling a box out for them, as the two Reckoners made themselves ready for travel. "Also I'm packing those free cupcakes in here. Don't care, so don't argue. You can feed them to the city council if you want. They're the ones who hooked me up with more flour than I know what to do with."

"Business will start booming," David promised. "You'll do great."

"Or I'll get burned alive or something. Either way it'll be a ride." She gave a crisp grin as the two turned to leave, thanking her for the food.

But right when they were starting to open the door she interrupted.

"Wait."

They both paused, David turning all the way back around.

"Aww, sparks." She was staring straight at the ground, looking awkward for the first time since they'd walked in. She tapped her fingers together, as though trying to figure out the words to what she wanted to say.

"Look, I don't want to keep you, but..."

What was this? A last minute expression of gratitude? David steeled himself. Those always made him uncomfortable, but maybe he could take this one in stride.

"I... I need to tell you about what happened in Oregon."

Oh.

Oh.

"...you don't have to," David assured her. "There aren't many accounts left, but... we can put together the details. You don't have to relive any painful memories for us."

"It's not the painful ones I'm offering you."

She bit her lip, before blurting out her next sentence as though worried she might stop herself.

"There—there was a good Epic."

David froze. So did Abraham. They shared a look with one another, unsure of what to say.

Before the last few hectic months, it would have been a laughable claim. Maybe not to Abraham—after all this time he was still one of the Faithful. But to David, the mere idea would have been anathema.

But then he'd found out he was working for one.

And then, if that wasn't enough, he'd fallen in love with one.

"Yeah, yeah, I know it sounds crazy," Sam went on, an irritable edge in her voice. She had no way of knowing what Prof was, let alone Megan. "But Oregon was crazy. Maybe there was something in the air, but nothing at all happened like you'd expect there."

She took another deep breath. "This one... well... have you ever heard of Doctor Funtimes?"

"Matter manipulator. Teleporter." David spoke without thinking, years of Epic studies rushing to the front of his mind. Though in this case, he had nothing but a mere quarter of a notebook page entirely filled up with weird tall tales. Her stories were obscure and usually discounted even in the most serious of scholarly circles. Sometimes especially in the most serious of scholarly circles. "She's in some of the Oregon accounts, but lorists aren't really sure if she was real or not. A lot of weird stories came out of those. Weird even for Epics."

"She was real," Sam said flatly. "You can trust me on that. And whatever you've read about her, she was weirder. The first time I saw her she made it rain pancakes."

"...what."

"It's true." Her expression was fierce, and somehow even the idea of doubting her was ridiculous. "And then she kidnapped me and carted me around Oregon with her for a while. Me and a few others. I got a front row seat to way more of that whole... thing than I ever wanted."

"...I'm sorry," David said, unsure.

"Don't be. Everyone has an Epic sob story. I'm not trying to tell you mine." Sam folded her arms, before looking up to meet his eyes. "I'm trying to tell you that... she let me go. At the end of it all. She released me, and never actually hurt me."

"Not every Epic kills for no reason," Abraham said.

"You don't get it. She didn't just let me go... she apologized to me."

David and Abraham both stared at her blankly. Weak explanations came bubbling up in David's brain, though he didn't get a chance to voice any of them.

"I know what you're thinking. Weird Epic was just being weird, right? But you don't get it. When she kidnapped me she was all... bubbly, with scariness underneath. But when she apologized... when she told me I could go... that all melted away."

With another shaky breath she continued. "She just seemed like... an ashamed woman. Like she'd just... snapped out of whatever it was that came over her."

This was all impossible. Not because a good Epic wasn't possible. Prof was proof of that. So was Megan—he knew it.

But all accounts said Doctor Funtimes used her powers basically non-stop. There couldn't be any possible way...

"I know how it sounds," Sam repeated, firmly. "But it's true. And what's more, without her getting me out of Portland I would probably be dead."

"This is a lot to take in," Abraham said matter of factly.

"Yeah? Try being there." She rubbed her shoulder, eyes drifting. "I... I don't know what it means. I don't know why she changed. I don't know if it's even something that could ever happen again, or if it was all part and parcel with just how... weird everything got there. Maybe it was a once-in-a-million-years sort of deal. But it's a story, and it's true. It happened to me. And I don't go around telling people that story, because they won't believe me, but..."

"I believe you," David said softly.

She stopped, looking at him askance. "...you do? 'Cause you don't have to say that."

"I don't know what exactly happened," David admitted, "But I believe you when you say something happened."

A look of what could only be described as relief went across her face. "I... thank you. Really."

She shook her head, looking for a moment as though she were somewhere else entirely. "I don't know if it'll be helpful to you. But if there's even a chance that this is something you're looking into, or if this is a clue you need, then... I figured this was my one chance to tell it to someone who could actually do something with it."

A weak smile crossed her lips.

"You know. So maybe what happened in Oregon could lead to one good thing."

David nodded slowly. "I think I get it."

"I hoped you would. Most Epics are still slontzes, don't get me wrong. Most of them back in Oregon are buried there under all the dust they made, and I wouldn't have them any other way. But if you ever run into Doctor Funtimes..." She gave an uncertain shrug. "...maybe do some research before you put a bullet in her head. Assuming she doesn't just turn your gun into a hamster anyway."

David smiled at her. "Thank you. I think... this was actually what I needed to hear right now."

"Glad to hear it."

"You know, it's actually kind of like-"

"Oh don't you dare."

"No no, this one's actually pretty good," he went on. "It's like a garbage daffodil."

"I hate you and I hate that that one almost makes sense," Sam informed him.

"It does," David explained. "Because the world's so full of garbage right now, you root through it and you only expect to find garbage. But your story's like a daffodil, somehow growing in it. Something beautiful and hope-inspiring."

Sam rubbed her forehead. "I'm starting to think you didn't actually kill Steelheart. I think you just made bad comparisons at him until he went and blew himself up."

"That's, uh... more accurate than it has any right to be." David's mobile gave yet another buzz, as did Abraham's. "Oh, that. We should actually get going this time."

"Probably, yeah. Get out of here, you lazy bureaucrats. Don't you know you've got meetings and stuff to get to?"

She said it and watched them leave with a smile. Looking over his shoulder, David could see her through the window watching them, before suddenly seeming to have an idea, typing it up on her mobile before heading to the back room.

He was glad they stopped there, and made a note to be back soon. Maybe next time with Cody.

 

-----------------------

 

David Charleston never again made it back to Sam's bakery. It wasn't long after this chance meeting that he fought and killed the Epic Sourcefield, soon finding himself traveling across the Fractured States to the city of Babylon Restored. Many events of import happened there. Even more happened when he left; he found himself far too busy to stop at the bakery he'd been to in Newcago for some time.

But he and Sam both were right about something. Good Epics were possible; even with their powers. The woman he loved proved that. And in time, as Calamity retreated, a new age came forth; an age of retreating villains and of blossoming heroes.

And in this new age, in the reclaimed city of Newcago, there stood a bakery. It had business day in and day out, such that the woman in charge had to hire quite a few employees just to keep it running.

("And I have to rule them with an iron fist," she'd say. "Isn't that ironic?")

It was a simple business, but a powerful idea; she was a human, and she pursued her happiness like anyone had a right to. And as time went by, you would often hear citizens of Newcago giving a simple recommendation to their visiting friends from elsewhere in the Reunited States.

"Oh man. You've got to stop by Funtimes Bakery."

7

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