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Thread: The Never-ending Story Thread˛

  1. #1681
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow The Conversation

    And now for our Pagely summary of the current events!

    Current Story Arc

    The NeS Heroes went to China to rekindle the relationship between Rachel Pi and Gebohq Simon. While their relationship was rekindled, indeed Rachel Pi seems to be pregnant, the relationship between Subaru Yamamoto and Antestarr his a rut when Antestarr left her, and the team, to start creating a NeSferatu army. The meeting of Iriana Emp and her father, Al Ciao, may also test the relationship between her and Couchman, the time lawyer.

    However they also accidentally released an alternate Iriana Emp from another universe - a universe where she took her father's Powerplaying power and conquered the Multiverse. Now she is unleashed upon Earth and has already conquered it.

    To defeat her, Soriel released their Potentials! 12 Potentials are now present and, as Arkng Thand, warned - they may pose a greater threat than the original threat they were intended to solve.

    Losien is the Main Character of the NeS and a young woman with a strong heart. She is still trying to get over her feelings of being "unworthy" but so far she has been doing a great job - relying on her friends to help her through. However new responsibilities as a 'father' have sometimes forced her to act alone. Her daughter, once named Apple, was genetically the child of Losien and Apple herself (being her own mother). After a mishap travelling through a time warp, and Soriel's action in unlocking Potentials, caused Apple to achieve her Potential and become Chronos. Now Losien is feeling guilty over losing Apple and gaining Chronos. TLTE, Losien's long-time lover, has been frozen in carbonite by Polly Simon, Losien's mother, who is keeping him hidden away. Yet, Baba Yaga revealed to Polly that TLTE does not truly love Losien. Losien is also under pressure from her mother to quit being a NeS Hero and take on the mantel of Queen of Jupiter. Losien was given Fred, Teh Uber Blade and Carlotta the Cape by Soriel, one of the last native survivors of Jupiter. Her Potential is Gwenhwyfar.

    Al Ciao
    Al Ciao, who was once known as Highemperor, is the likeable, and somewhat silly, character of the team. Once the greatest powerplayer, his only power now is to change his hair at a whim from its style and colour. However a recent mishap that resulted in his death caused his body to decompose while he was absent from it. Mecha Lou, a witch, was able to reattach his soul and replaced many of his parts with mechanical parts - giving Al a vast array of robot powers. He is married to Lady LightSide, who was once DarkSide, and she is pregnant with their child. As long as she remains pregnant, she cannot change back into DarkSide and remains at his side. However he is also expecting another child with a woman called Mia, who was responsible for killing him to begin with. He also has another alien-child somewhere that he is unaware of. Finally there is also his daughter, Iriana Emp, who was recently emancipated from him and has found herself joined with the NeS Heroes. They are finally willing to try to work out their differences and plan to travel to Armenia together, where Iriana is said to be Queen. His Potential was killed by his alter-ego, many Story Arcs ago.

    Evil G
    Evil G, formerly known as Gebiyl, is Gebohq Simon from an alternate universe. He was once, like Highemperor, a major Powerplayer in the world of NeShattered. However a series of events led to him falling in love with Young, the "Child of the NeS" whom he married in an evil wedding. More recently he has escaped the grasp of the Ever-ending Plot that is consuming worlds beyond this one and returned to Young to be a father to their new child, Chance. Generally Evil G is the anti-hero of the team and usually berates everyone else around him, particularly with his sarcasm and insults. He's actually got more sense than most of the other NeS Heroes. His Potential was killed many Story Arcs ago.

    Maeve is a British woman with a drinking problem. She has long been in the NeS and has long been drunk. After a failed marriage and several failed relationships, Maeve realised that she was most definitely homosexual and relinquished all ties to her former heterosexual engagements. When she isn't drinking, or trying to get into the women's pants, Maeve is an old friend to Losien and a sobering, pessimistic tone on the group. However she is probably the most rational mind in all of Team Losien - so long as she's not
    too drunk. Her Potential is Venedite.

    The Otter
    The Otter is a British born, half-posh, half-punk drunkard that swings between mildly drunk to completely drunk in the matter of a single post. He has potential deep down but it is rarely able to surface due to his addiction. He also cannot keep his womanising to himself, but his lecherous nature simply pushes the majority of women away. He had a relationship with MaybeChild, a former NeS Hero, which many believe brought out the best in him - but that relationship seems to have ended and Otter is generally unwilling to discuss the topic. Yet he is fairly knowledgeable about most things NeS, having been here for so long and having a higher IQ than Gebohq Simon (though that isn't saying much). He is fairly upset by his Potential, seeing a grim reflection of himself. His Potential is The Nega.

    Lady LightSide
    Lady LightSide was once DarkSide, a malevolent force of the NeS bent on consuming souls. DarkSide joined another evil force to create KnowSoul, only to be separated soon after from KnowSoul and set to work on the Heroes of the NeS. During a fluke of story convention, DarkSide suddenly became LightSide when Losien, and the other heroes, were turned increasingly evil. As part of a ruse, LightSide married Al Ciao when she wound up pregnant with his child, causing the moral-and-gender change to remain permanent, though that may change once she gives birth to Al's child. Still pregnant with Al Ciao's baby, she refuses to be left at the Haunted House of Heroes. Yet she does seem concerned over the issue of becoming DarkSide once again and it is likely, she does not wish for it.

    Tracer is a character brimming with "obvious mystery" as he wanders around in his own personal detective story. Often speaking like a narrative, sometimes badly, he probably dresses like Dick Tracey. He is death defying, having escaped death throughout his time with the NeS Heroes and has a habit of showing up at unexpected moments. He rejoined the NeS Heroes during the Battle Over London. He recently displayed his profound ability to use disguises to his advantage, like any true detective. He has a 'Batman-like' quality, so that he will keep to the shadows and reveal himself at the last minute to offer assistance in unexpected places. His Potential is The Orator.

    Frank Smith
    Frank Smith, Time Cop, has recently arrived from 1000 years into the future on a mission to arrest a time warp individual. He works for TEA, Time Enforcement Agency, which is run by "Mysterious Person". Once he found the person he was looking for she turned out to be Apple, the daughter of herself and Losien Simon. He arrested her and took her to the future, but this caused a big problem in the far-distant future which meant Time Cops from then, came back to arrest HIM. He and Apple escaped, but Apple would go through a time hole and disappear - becoming Chronos (her own Potential). Frank feels guilty and responsible and is trying to figure out where he stands with the TEA. Frank is a homosexual, middle aged man going through something of a mid-life crisis and Mysterious Person judges this case to be Frank's test of competence. Frank has a watch upon his wrist that contains Cynthai (CynthA.I. Mk XIV), an A.I. with a holographic projection able to help him in his mission. Frank's Potential is Prophet.

    Polly Simon
    Sometimes known as "Geb's Mom" or "Los' Mom", Polly Simon is currently with the NeS Heroes because she wants her daughter, Losien, to rise up and become the Queen of Jupiter. This would, however, mean she'd be frozen in carbonite for 500 years. Polly used a wish from Baba Yaga to grant her eternal youth and now appears the same age as her own daughter. When Losien refused, Polly tried to force Apple to take the throne instead, Losien's daughter, however Apple has since become Chronos and beyond such things - leaving Polly with only Losien as an option again. Polly has frozen TLTE, Losien's lover, in carbonite and carries him with her in a walking cauldron. She intends to be granted another wish - a wish that Losien would stop loving TLTE. Baba Yaga revealed to Polly that TLTE only believes he loves Losien, it is not true love. Polly does not seem to have a Potential, possibly due to her use of Baba Yaga's wish.

    Amal, once a young boy under the care of Arkng Thand, grew up under the adopted care of The Last True Evil. Since then, there has been a struggle between the two for guardianship over the boy - neither realising that Amal was becoming more of a man. His character has swung from dark to light but has not developed much depth - something Thand blames on the shadows of TLTE. During Memory Lane, however, problems occurred when Losien, under the influence of darkness, and Amal - having forgotten TLTE existed due to the powers of Michael MacFarlane - developed a closeness that is now, upon the return of TLTE, uncomfortable. Amal has the potential to become the Main Character of the NeS. Now that he has been separated from the over-protective TLTE, Amal has been guided by Soriel's wise advise. Amal's Potential is Quo Anima.

    Rachel Pi
    Once merely a Random Audience Member, Rachel Pi wished for characterhood - autonomy in the NeS - when she fell in love with Gebohq. Her wish was granted when a deal was struck with Arkng Thand, who arranged to allow Rachel character autonomy in the story and seek Gebohq's heart in return for taking within her the spirit of April Fools Day. Her love was cast aside, however, when Gebohq felt that he put her in danger as the Main Character. However he has since relinquished that role to his sister and, after a romantic getaway in the floating palace belonging to Rachel's father, Emperor Pi, they are back together. Only to experience a new trial - Rachel is pregnant. She is strong, bold, and fearless with an unusual comedic streak. Her father, Emperor Pi, wishes for her to return home and give up her life made possible by Thand, making her life essentially meaningless. However, Emperor Pi wants her to follow her own desires. Rachel, as April Fools, is too powerful to have a Potential.

    Gebohq, once the Main Character of the NeS, relinquished that role not long ago to his sister, Losien. Since then, he met Couchman and Princess Iriana Emp during the Battle Over London, resigned his job as a professional hero to become an associate professor of law, and conscripted as vassal to Iriana in virtually one day. Given opportunities he didn't have before, he then set out to rekindle his love with Rachel Pi, whom never truly stopped loving her but has, up to this point at least, believed that his involvement with her puts her and the the whole of NeS at risk as well as who he really is. Rekindle they did, however they now face a new trial as Rachel appears to be pregnant. Gebohq is often the comedy relief of a group, and though he is cowardly in many ways, he has a deep heroic streak of "doing what's right" when he's truly needed. It should be noted that his Potential is dead.

    Subaru Yamamoto
    Subaru Yamamoto has powers over chi that allow her to perform many unusual tasks, including running up walls, walking on water and hurling herself around. She can also heal, which she considers to be her secondary task - her first is to maim anything before her with a gigantic axe. Once she was always second-fiddle to her friends, but lately she has come to shine alone. She loves Antestarr but she felt, recently, a pang of betrayal as he was turned into a vampire by another woman. Yet she accepted him still until he eventually turned her away and left the NeS Heroes to start turning people into NeSferatu and forming an army - along with Nyneve, the woman that turned him. Subaru is feeling emotionally fragile and hurt. She knows that Antestarr wants to turn Subaru into a NeSferatu, but she does not want to become like him. Her Potential is Orochi.

    Couchman is a "Da Vinci" of the age, being a middleman in every available skill. A polymath of the NeS. He has an obsession with couches and was working as a lawyer until recently when he fell in love with Iriana Emp. During the Battle Over London he chased her down to confess his love for her and refused to allow Emperor Pi to steal her affections. In the end Couchman won this small victory and sought to cement his love for Iriana on a romantic getaway. However with the return of Al Ciao, Couchman's relationship with Iriana Emp may be in peril as she tries to decide who she is and what she wants. Couchman's Potential is Midas.

    Iriana Emp
    Once the Princess of Atlantis - a title made possible by her mother - her status, along with the legend of Atlantis, was forcibly forgotten by Michael MacFarlane during the previous story arc. Iriana Emp is also the Queen of Armenia, made possible by her father, Highemperor (now Al Ciao), though she prefers to be called a princess. Never having visited Armenia, however, Princess Iriana seeks a marriage match and considered marrying Emperor Pi for his rank as Emperor of China. Refusing to become one of his many concubines, she instead turns her attention to courting Couchman for his skills and affections. She has recently become reacquainted with her father, Al Ciao, and they have many issues that they need to work out. His arrival has caused Iriana to doubt herself and long to understand who she truly is, which puts her relationship with Couchman at risk. She is posh, spoilt and believes everyone should do as she commands them to. She also has an addiction to tea. Her Potential is Nyktelios.

    Other Important Characters:
    Jim Seven
    Jim Seven (written often as Jim7) was once the ruler of Hell, however he was voted in as the new ruler of Heaven. As God he joined the Battle Over London when Serapharch, a powerful angel, tried to destroy a fallen angel named Seraphim - a member of Hero Force One. Since then Jim has mostly been establishing a new heavenly domain on Earth which was, disappointingly, established in Burundi. Team Losien have now stumbled into his domain. He did declare a Crusade against Justin Beiber and had him sent to Hell. Jim also still wants Losien and Frank to return to Burundi to help him build the greatest go-kart track in history.

    Antestarr, long since a "tech guy" for the heroes of the NeS, overused one of his inventions not long ago, which led to his body's decay. On the brink of death, an old flame unexpectedly arrived and saved his life by turning him into, like her, a NeSferatu (a kind of vampire who prefer the blood of major characters making hard choices). While he now shares an unusual connection to Nyneve and a bond that can never be broken, he doesn't love her. Antestarr has a solid, clear mind that is constantly at work to solve the problems before him. However he recently has developed a need for the "blood-ink" of characters, as well as melodrama and self-pity, due to his NeSferatu nature. He left the NeS Heroes to start a 'NeSferatu army', which he controls alongside Nyneve. He left, with the heroes, his lover Subaru Yamamoto who he still longs for and hopes to turn into a NeSferatu - even though she doesn't wish it.

    The Last True Evil, or TLTE, was once the greatest villain to the NeS, but the ex-Soviet super-spy turned over a new leaf when he fell in love with Losien Simon. While the true evil within TLTE remains a constant struggle, he uses his love and respect for various characters, particularly Losien and his adopted charge Amal, to keep himself in check. He is currently challenged in his relationship with Losien since she became the main character for the NeS and experienced a 'dark side' during the previous story arc where she cheated on him. Though Losien seemed to not be herself at the time, TLTE's emotions on the subject have yet to be settled through conversation as Losien avoids the issue. Arkng Thand is convinced that TLTE will once again embrace his evil ways and become the greatest threat to the NeS' continued existence. He was, however, frozen in carbonite by Polly Simon - she keeps him in a walking cauldron. Baba Yaga also revealed to Polly that TLTE only believes that he loves Losien - he does not truly. Polly intends to be granted a wish so that Losien will stop loving TLTE. It should be noted that his Potential is dead.

    Soriel was once a blood-thirsty swordsman who kidnapped and killed central characters of the NeS. However, his quest to find worthy opponents to fight led him to join the NeS Heroes. He also sought to become a part of the NeS by understanding it. However, during the hunt for KnowSoul he was injured and lost the use of his sword hand. He gave his weapon, and cape (both of which talk), to Losien so that she might defeat KnowSoul. Without his sword, Soriel's mind became more focused upon the mysteries of the NeS, turning from swordsman to scholar. His newest ambition is to learn and surpass the legendary Arkng Thand. Once angry and aggressive, he now poses a cool intellect and sage-like qualities that make him a fountain of knowledge and guidance.

    Young & Chance
    Young is the daughter of the NeS and the love of Evil G. They were married in an evil wedding and now have a son together named Chance. Young raises Chance back at the Haunted House of Heroes - where Chance has demonstrated some unusual qualities from time to time, mostly scaring ghosts and ghouls of the HHH.

    Nyneve was the last of the NeSferatu until recently when she turned her old lover, Antestarr, into a NeSferatu too. NeSferatu long for the blood-ink of the Main Characters' line - which is especially strong in the Simon family. Her primary target is Gebohq and is currently hatching a plan against him.

    Twin Suns & The Forgotten Army
    Twin Suns, sometimes known as The Chosen One, is the leader of the Forgotten Army. The Army includes all of the forgotten characters of the NeS, including some high profile cases such as MaybeChild. They are constantly looking for new recruits and are considered a threat to the NeS by some, while others believe that they are heroes.

    Arkng Thand
    Once he was the guardian over both Amal and Apple, Thand has since lost both of them to the NeS Heroes. He is a former NeScholar and one of their greatest. He is mostly aloof, appearing only when he wishes and his motives are a complete mystery, even to his adoptive "children" who often follow his commands without query. Thand seems to have the NeS interests at heart but his actions are highly questionable and his schemes seem to stretch on and on. Many do not know if they should trust him or consider him to be their enemy. Thand has a particular rivalry with TLTE. Recently he has been revealed to be the President of the United States of America, running the government for some unknown agenda. He has a man named "Spin Doctor" working for him, who covers up unusual stories - including the death of Sarah Palin. He has also hatched a plot with Thrawn42689 as his instrument, where Thrawn is watching everything in the NeS by 'infecting' NPCs.

    Thrawn is an android created by Doctor Dormouse alongside Ahnuld. More recently Thrawn has allied himself with Arkng Thand and plots to 'infect' various NPCs (Non-Player Characters) and RAMs (Random Audience Members) - indicated by various formations of his overly long serial number. He seems particularly keen to keep tabs on both Hero Teams.

    Emperor Pi
    The secret Emperor of China and father to Rachel Pi, Emperor Pi lives in the forbidden city of the sky - a palace floating upon the clouds over China, hidden from all. He has many concubines and has mystical kung fu powers that he claims comes from his tea-drinking habits. He has a calm, serene demeanour and loves his daughter, Rachel, very much. He cares a great deal for his daughter and his recent involvement in the NeS has largely been focused on trying to keep her safe and support her through her romantic troubles with her lover, Gebohq. He long ago achieved his Potential, as the Jade Emperor of China.


    Apple, true name Rosebud Simon, was an assassin raised and trained by Arkng Thand. Master Thand used Apple to acquire many artifacts and eliminate problems facing the NeS. She has been a tool to organise and protect the NeS from the shadows without her, or anyone else, realising it bar Thand himself. She is fairly aggressive and seemed to enjoy her job, however recent events caused her to join the NeS Heroes and restrain her killer instinct. A lengthy plot by High Angel to seek vengeance against his rival Highemperor (now Al Ciao) caused her to become pregnant, and in order to thwart that plot, an unorthodox plan was placed from Evil G resulting in Apple being her own mother and Losien to be her father. However she went with her mother to try and save Africa from being destroyed by a temporal bomb, but it resulted in her being thrown through time. This, mixed by Soriel's unlocking of character Potentials, caused her to achieve her Potential and become Chronos - master of time. She started the TEA, Time Enforcement Agency, in Victorian London and has since been known as "Mysterious Person" - leader of the TEA.

    Potential of Frank Smith.

    The Nega
    Potential of The Otter.

    Potential of Maeve and new Hand of the NeS, alongside Bhac. She has the power to control dreams with dream powder (and flight). Her name is a mesh of 'Aphrodite and Venus'.

    Potential of Losien Simon. Her name is Welsh for Guinevere.

    Subaru Yamamoto's Potential. Orochi is Japanese for demon.

    The Orator
    Able to replace The Narrator, The Orator is Tracer's Potential.


    Named after Midas who turns everything to gold, our Midas turns everything into couches. He is the Potential of Couchman.

    Quo Anima
    The Potential for Amal. He is an empty vessel.

    Nyktelios is the Potential of Iriana Emp. She is a Powerplayer. Her name means 'Nocturnal'.

    And now, before continuing the Never-ending Story Thread Squared, a look at one of the crazy Writers of this crazy story...


    We will leave you with that final cliff-hanger on Page 42 for now and look outside of the courtroom.

    R.A.M. #42:

    Quiet you. At least out here, I get to keep my job! In there, that Orator sod has nicked my position!

    Anyway. We'll ignore the RAM.

    Outside Al Ciao is playing gaily with his daughter.

    No no, I'm lying. Wishful thinking.

    They're having a heated argument!

    Iriana Emp: "I can't believe you just... left me there. If you gave away your powers, why didn't you come and get me afterwards?"

    Tears have soaked her face and several dark clues are glued to her cheeks by the wetness.

    Al Ciao, his shoulders slumped in pathetic resignation, is at a loss.

    Al Ciao: "I just... I thought... you wouldn't... want... me..."

    Iriana Emp: "I was all alone!"

    Al Ciao: "I'm... so sorry, Iriana. I just..."

    Iriana Emp: "And how was I supposed to recognise you with that on your head!?"

    Al looks up at his huge, blonde afro.

    Al Ciao:

    Iriana Emp: "You just... forgot me, didn't you?"

    Al Ciao: "No! I could never forget you! I just... I really didn't want to embarrass you. I'm not the Highemperor you knew."

    Iriana Emp: "You're still my father. Aren't you?"

    Al Ciao: "I... I am. I'm here now. I got caught up in things here. I died. I was ruler of Hell. I got some woman pregnant. Then another. But she's actually a man. Then I got turned into a robot and went on a quest for a new... ..."

    Iriana Emp: "A new what?"

    Al Ciao: "Uh... nevermind. Either way, I just... got caught up in events. You were able to get become emancipated from me. I figured... you'd be better without me."

    Iriana Emp: "Maybe I am..."

    They stand in silence for a moment. The love between them hangs in the air, but it is mingling with distrust and heartbreak. Iriana Emp fears being hurt again.

    Al Ciao fears hurting her again.

    Iriana Emp: "I'm Queen of Armenia, by the way."

    Al Ciao: "Whoa! Does that place still exist!?"

    Iriana Emp: "I've not even made it there yet! I... I got caught up in events..."

    They fall into silence again, but some bridge had been connected between them.

    The halls of the courtroom are long and coated in marble with beautiful paintings and vases all along the corridors. Some other people wander about, but most of them ignore the pair. Out of the windows they can see London passing by as the courtroom continues its walk. None of the other lawyers walking around seem perturbed that their courtroom has suddenly decided it would like a change of scenery.

    Al Ciao takes a deep breath, holding back his own tears. How much he had hurt his own daughter through his inaction. He has seen the turmoil that his alternate daughters have gone through. How could he keep this sweet girl away from his dark past?

    Al Ciao: "Well... why don't we find Armenia together? Let's see if it still exists."

    Iriana wipes her face with her sleeves. She is a woman now, Al realises, but her upbringing was far from ideal. She has no clue how the world works and she had needed him all this time. He has to be there for her now.

    Iriana Emp: "... okay. We should do that."

    She manages a smile.

    He spreads his arms and she falls into them.

    He holds her, strokes her hair and rests his chin on the top of her head. They remain there for a few minutes, peaceful.

    Al Ciao: "Does this mean... you usurped me?"

    She laughs.
    Last edited by TheBritt; 02-20-2014 at 03:26 PM.

  2. #1682
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow Arkng Thand and Soriel - The Final Phase

    Get back in your dustbin, Narrator!

    Damn you, Orator!

    In! In!

    Back inside the courtroom everyone looks at Arkng Thand with confusion. Even some of the Potentials appear surprised. Except Quo Anima, who stares off into space, and The Nega who doesn't seem to realise what's going on.

    Soriel: "It can't be... How... How did I not... see this."

    Arkng Thand: "I may be out-voted, but I stand by my verdict. Losien Simon is guilty of causing time breakages and plot holes throughout the Never-ending Story. She single-handedly brought calamity to the universe with her unthinking actions. Placing her faith in Sran Cadpill is just her first mistake."

    Evil G: "That's a good point... I wouldn't trust that guy to tie his own shoes laces."

    CaptAIn: "I do not have shoe laces! I used straps!"

    Evil G: "No surprises there."

    Arkng Thand: "Losien Simon and her band of misfits are becoming and increasing danger to the NeS. The fact that the Potentials are here, at all, is their fault. Primarily Soriel's."

    He looks squarely at Soriel.

    Arkng Thand:
    "You unleashed a great threat upon this world, Soriel. Are you prepared to be found guilty of that?"

    Soriel sighs with inner turmoil.

    Arkng Thand: "They released the Powerplayer from another world upon us to begin with. Playing around with things they didn't understand. To deal with their own mistake, they create a bigger mess. How would you deal with your Potentials, so-called Heroes? What kind of hazard would you unleash upon this world next? Despite the spin his placed on his earlier words, Gebiyl--"

    Evil G: "Dude, Evil G now."

    Arkng Thand: "-- was right about everything he said. Not one of you is worthy of defending this world, let alone capable."

    Subaru: "And what gives you the right to judge us, Thand?"

    Arkng Thand: "I am... the paradoxical Potential that could never have been contained."

    Everyone Else:

    "You can't be a Potential. You... just can't. You have a backstory. You have history!"

    Arkng Thand: "Were you there at my birth, Losien Simon?"

    Soriel: "The tanned skin... his past as a... warrior... then a great intellect..."

    Losien squints at Thand. She looks at everyone that didn't appear to have a Potential. Then she looks at Soriel.

    Losien: "It's... not possible."

    Arkng Thand: "I told you, you would regret your actions, Soriel. You Potential was not to replace me..."

    Soriel clenches his fists where they rest upon the defence podium. Blinded by ambition. Blinded by jealousy. Blinded by his own increasing ego. He has been blind his entire life. Blind to the circumstances around his peoples' demise, blind to their survival in Losien and Polly, blind to his warped nature and bloodlust, blind to the truth of his own mind.

    Arkng Thand: "I released myself... all those... years ago. I went through the same process that you did. And now, older, wiser, I am standing before my original self. The boy I was. But I was never really you. You were always me. When you discarded your old ways, subconsciously owing your allegiance to your Queen--"

    Something Soriel had long ago realised, even before Polly's arrival. He had given Losien his own blade. He had done her bidding, he had tried to remove her from the lowly position of Main Character - replaced by Amal - and granted her true place.

    Arkng Thand: "-- you changed. Your personality. More cold, more thoughtful, more like a mentor. You became more and more like me. As I am now. But that time is over. Now that we are both aware of the circumstance, our paradox cannot continue."

    Rachel Pi: "What does that mean!?"

    Soriel: "He isn't like the other Potentials. They arrived just now. He has been here... even before I was born. My own Potential, my own future, my own... ambition... existed before I did. I can only guess at the damage we could do as I become... more like... become older..."

    Arkng Thand walks around the jury couch and approaches Soriel. Losien, Rachel and Amal all step forward.

    Rachel has long been Soriel's friend. The only one on of the NeS Heroes that Soriel could have such a claim on. He had helped her when no one else would. He helped her save Gebohq - only for Gebohq to turn his back on her. Soriel looks towards Gebohq. He had never thought that idiot deserved to be the leader of the Heroes, and certainly he didn't deserve Rachel. There was something in Gebohq, however, that he guessed Rachel loved. Loved so deeply that she now gave him a second chance. Perhaps Rachel had seen that in Soriel too, allowing him to become her friend and not just another face on the Hero roster.

    Amal, so quick to trust. The others never did. Even Rachel always had her doubts, believing Soriel would revert. Soriel had only known Amal a short time, but together they had come a long way. They had become older. Amal had relied on Soriel completely. Soriel's words were consumed by Amal's eager, young mind. He did need a guide, he did need a mentor, he was that vessel. And Soriel had almost been it... but then, as Thand, he had been for a long, long time already.

    And finally, Losien Simon. The woman he gave everything he was to. Everything he had been. A warrior, a killer, a soldier, a mercenary, a murderer - given up and given away to her. Fred, Teh Uber Blade, hung at her side. Soriel is tempted to grasp the hilt one last time... but that life was gone. He had given it up for her. She would forever be his leader - in his heart.

    Soriel: "It's okay. He's not going to harm me."

    Arkng Thand: "How could I?"

    Soriel: "Rachel... thank you. I'm sorry that I... my Potential forced you to become something that you never wanted to be. April Fools must be a great burden for you."

    Rachel: "No... you gave me life. I might think Thand is a selfish sod. But he gave me life. I wouldn't have found love or friendship without him. Maybe... when we first met... something about Thand was in you even then, connecting us."

    Soriel: "Good luck, Rachel. Tell Gebohq I told him to take care of you. You deserve so much goodness in your life."

    Rachel: "I will..."

    Soriel: "Amal. You are more than just a vessel for others... or at least you will be. Take in what you can. Learn from everyone and everything around you and when you are full, you will achieve your True Potential. I'm sorry that I... Thand... kept you locked away all your life. I understand the reasoning... as a vessel he wanted only to fill you with good and useful things - to preserve you from... corrupting influences."

    Amal: "Thank you, Soriel. My Uncle Thand is... my Uncle. You've been a great mentor to me. I... honestly don't know how I'd get anything done without you, your plots and schemes..."

    He laughs a little.

    Soriel: "Losien. You are destined for greater things than this. At least I believed so. But right now... on the edge... I think perhaps you are where you should be. Maybe Jupiter is truly gone. You have achieved something greater. You... changed. I've watched you grow into the Queen that never was. I would have followed you to the gates of our world. I would have liked to have seen it... again."

    Losien frowns. She looks at Rachel, then Amal, then Thand and the Soriel. She's upset and she doesn't understand.

    Losien: "Why are we talking like this!? Talking like this is The End!!?"

    Soriel: "You've seen the movies, Losien? We're a paradox. We can't both exist at the same time. I can't have a Potential that existed before I did. Potentials must be built up, grown over time, until you are who you are. You need a personality, traits, beliefs, dreams... if you never have those, how can you have Potential? My Potentials was just too... ambitious."

    Losien's voice cracks. She sounds desperate.

    Losien: "So... what are you going to do!?"

    Arkng Thand and Soriel reach out and clasp their hands in a firm handshake. Their skin is identical, though Thand's is more weathered and aged. Light erupts between their palms.

    Amal: "What's going to happen?"

    Rachel: "They'll merge into one. Isn't that what always happens?"

    Soriel: "That's right, Rachel... You're exactly right."

    With his last words Soriel lied.

    He didn't want their sad faces to be the last thing he could see.

    Light envelops him.

    He glows, brighter than any angel, turning to nothing but energy. Only one of them could exist. Thand was more powerful. He had tenure. The light shifts and moves into Arkng Thand in threads, quicker and quicker until there is a final blast that blinds everyone in the room.

    When their eyes clear, Arkng Thand walks down the aisle towards the doors of the courtroom.

    Losien falls to the ground and stares. Gebohq holds Rachel, she buries her head into his shoulder. Amal tries to hide his own tears.

    Soriel is gone forever.

  3. #1683
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow The Desire

    Meanwhile, in the city of Bordeaux in the south-west of France, rain is pouring heavily. The French people dash about, escaping the downpour beneath their black umbrellas. The sun is beginning to fall, and night rise, though the sky is obscured by the thick, black clouds.

    One black umbrella trots towards one of the city's large, gothic churches. This one looks a little less grand than most, a little less groomed and a little less occupied. Abandoned, one might even say. The church is The Church of St Pants. Why he's a saint is best left to the imagination.

    However the man with the umbrella doesn't go through the main doors. They're huge and they're locked tightly shut. Instead he goes around the building, still only jogging, until he finds a small door. He knocks. After a while he's admitted inside where he makes his way past his fellow NeSferatu and down cold stone steps into the catacombs below. Why the NeSferatu felt they ought to be down in graves instead of enjoying sunshine is beyond his ken. Sometimes they did burn up in the sun, but only when it is at its height. The rest of the time the sun seems to ignore them. All one needs is a watch with an alarm clock he constantly argued.

    When he reaches a large antechamber Tony tilts the saucepan on his head back a little. He is wearing a thick wool jumper, baggy jeans and a simple fair of trainers. He usually liked to wear shorts and t-shirts, however the cool French weather of late was forcing him to take warmer precautions.

    He had been a member of the Forgotten Army for a long time until he recently met Nyneve and Antestarr who were on a campaign run for new recruits to their own order. Having annoyed the majority of the Forgotten Army commanders by stealing their stuff on several occasions, Tony decided it was time to move on to new things. He had been turned by Antestarr into a NeSferatu. The process was incredibly uncomfortable - not just because of all the biting, blood and dying - because he had been turned by a dude. There was something very homoerotic about the whole thing. But maybe he just reads too much Ann Rice.

    Antestarr: "It's about time you returned, Tony. What did you find out?"

    Tony: "The heroes are in London again, just like you thought. They were having some kind of trial against Losien Simon but it just ended, and I came right back to tell you. I heard she was found not guilty but lots of weird stuff happened. Potentials were the jurors, apparently."

    Antestarr: "Potentials were there? Was there..."

    Antestarr trails off, trying to find his words.

    Antestarr: "... was my Potential there?"

    Tony: "Nope. Looks like you don't have one."

    Antestarr: "... Perhaps it's a part of this curse? Just one more reason to despise myself. Despise myself and the ones that did this to me."

    Tony: "You hate Nyneve? That seems harsh, mate."

    Antestarr: "No, you fool. Nyneve is... I don't know. I get angry at her for turning me... but I know she saved my life. But I do not blame her for this curse. I blame my old enemy. The originators."

    Tony: "... I don't think Jim, or the angels, really know what a NeSferatu even is..."

    Antestarr: "Not God! Or any of the gods! I mean the Writers, Tony. Those... Writers are responsible for this. For everything! I will have my vengeance."

    With that Antestarr rose from his seated position and strides out of the antechamber, his cape flowing dramatically after him. Tony calls after him. Or at least, after his cape.

    Tony:"Uh... nothing else I can do for you then, chief?"

    Antestarr did not reply before exited the room. Silence descends upon Tony and he feels a sharp chill up his spine. Being with these NeSferatu really did give him the creeps. He feels like he's the only sensible, normal one amongst them - and he wears a pan on his head!

    Nyneve: "Boo."

    Tony: "AAAAAAAAARRGH!!!!"

    Nyneve: "You kids are so funny to wind up. Especially Antestarr's. I think he deliberately chooses weaklings."

    Tony: "Gee... thanks..."

    Nyneve: "I want you to do me a favour, Tony."

    Tony: "Wow, first you insult me, to my face, and now you ask for my help?"

    Nyneve: "Do you value your testicles?"

    Tony: "What!?"

    Nyneve: "If you don't do what I tell you, I'll tear them off, boil them in your pan and make you watch as I eat them with bolognese sauce."

    Tony: "... What do you need me to do, boss?"

    Nyneve: "Stay here and stand guard. Keep an eye out for any other NeSferatu that down. If they do, tell them to bugger off and come back later."

    Tony: "What if it's Antestarr?"

    Nyneve: "I waited for him to leave. He won't come back now. He's busy plotting to overthrow the Writers... again."

    Tony: "Right then. At your service, ma'am. Can I ask what you're up to?"

    Nyneve: "No."

    She holds up her hand, long nails touching in a claw. Green electricity crackles between them. When she quickly spreads her palm wide, the green electricity sparks and arcs away from Nyneve until it focuses on a single point. That point breaks and tears open until there's a portal revealed. A portal to the 8th Dimension.

    She glances at Tony with a stern look. He gives her a mock salute, then she steps through. Once in the 8th Dimension she slips into the shadows, becoming nothing but darkness devoid of physical form. She peeks out of one shadow, seeing that she is in a corridor of the Haunted House of Heroes. She can see through into the living room where Young is dozing on the sofa and Chance is in his cot.

    Chance is sitting up and staring at the far end of the room.

    As Nyneve watches, she sees a ghost poke his head from around a door frame at the very end of the room where Chance is staring. As soon as the ghost appears, Chance bellows in a deep, possessed voice;


    The ghost screams and disappears.


    Another ghost peeks out five minutes later.


    The ghost faints.

    Nyneve shakes her head and melts back into the shadow. She slips along the walls and floor, feeling herself move like water - it's an unusual sensation she has to admit - she finally finds her secret room.

    Strapped in a chair is... Gebohq Simon.

    Or rather one of the many Qhobeg clones that Jim7 once created. This clone (as some may or may not recall) has been kept in the HHH for many, many Pages and is being kept alive by intravenous drips. He is also kept unconscious. One drip is slowly draining his blood. His cloned ink blood.

    She checks the blood. Almost full. She licks her lips and leans on the unconscious Qhobeg. She licks his skin. Cloned blood ink is better than nothing and it certainly made her feel better. There are a few reasons why she's the most powerful NeSferatu by far - more so even than Antestarr - and one of those reasons is her regular supply of blood ink. Her plans and schemes were beginning to reach their climax and soon she would have what she always wanted.

    True blood ink.

  4. #1684
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow The Stronger Man

    In the courtroom, the Heroes are standing around awkwardly. Losien is crying, Rachel is being consoled and Amal stands staring defiantly at the spot where Soriel had once been.

    Godly Jim: "Well that was dramatic. Now it's just boring. I think I'll take my leave and go cut down more of that jungle to make way for an ice cream parlour. You have no idea how much Sammy just loves his strawberry ice cream."

    Jim leaps out of the window where Krig the Former Judge had once leapt (saving Jim from any cuts and bruises he may have incurred otherwise). He falls, but moments later he is seen rising into the sky on his flying go-kart, which must have been hovering outside the whole time.

    Maeve: "Show off."

    Nyktelios: "It is boring in here. I have an empress to squash."

    She sweeps out of the room in a flurry of black clothing, shoving the doors open violently as she goes. Out in the corridor she sees Al Ciao, the image of her father, and Iriana Emp, her powerless counterpart. Nyktelios snarls and marches towards them.

    Al Ciao, sensing trouble, releases his daughter and puts his palms up before him.

    Al Ciao:"Now, Iriana, calm down..."

    Nyktelios: "You are a pale imitation of my father. You are a worm, compared to him!"

    She jerks her wrist and Al Ciao is sent flying through the air. He strikes the wall with a great force, sending cracks up it and knocking off a painting.

    He falls to the ground. Iriana rushes over to him.

    "I shame the name Highemperor."

    Al Ciao: "No..."

    Al Ciao manages to force himself to his knees, despite the pain.

    Al Ciao:
    "... Highemperor shamed us all."

    Nyktelios:"How dare you!?"

    She strides towards him, hand poised to 'force choke' Al Ciao - but Iriana Emp stands and puts herself between them. She stares at her Powerplayer counterpart with a mixture of complete fear and defiance.

    Iriana Emp: "I won't let you harm my father!"

    Nyktelios laughs. It is a strangely light, tinkling laughter that may have been beautiful on another woman - now it was creepy.

    Nyktelios: "And how will you do that?"

    Iriana Emp looks uncomfortable for a moment. She obviously hadn't thought that far ahead.

    Iriana Emp: "I'll... slap you."

    Nyktelios leans in close to Iriana, their identical faces almost touching. She speaks softly.

    Nyktelios: "I wouldn't even feel it."

    Iriana, enraged by Nyktelios' attitude, follows through with her threat and strikes the woman. Nyktelios head is flipped to the side. She winces and puts her own hand to her face where the slap had occurred. She does feel pain after all.

    Nyktelios straightens herself out.

    Nyktelios: "It appears that you're not too far from the tree after all, my un-Potential. Do you want it? You can have it. Take this power, become me."

    Nyktelios reaches out and takes hold of Iriana's hand.

    Nyktelios: "Your father wouldn't need to become Highemperor ever again, because you will have that power. You can protect yourself, he doesn't have to. You can protect him."

    Iriana's hand shakes. Iriana is clearly uncertain, tempted yet afraid.

    Al Ciao: "That's enough. Let her go."

    Nyktelios: "Afraid she'll listen to me, daddy?"

    But she does let go and steps away from Iriana.

    Nyktelios: "Al Ciao is not your father. Highemperor was. Al Ciao is nothing but a shadow of the man he once was. If even that."

    Nyktelios slowly began to float, still staring at her un-Potential. Then, incredibly fast, she zooms down the corridor and bursts through the doors so vigorously that the whole front wall of the courthouse is demolished.

    Iriana Emp:
    "Maybe she's right..."

    Al Ciao: "Who is the stronger man, the man that gives in to temptation and uses ultimate power to control others... or the man who refuses temptation and uses what he has to save them?"

  5. #1685
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow Your Mission, if You Choose to Accept it...

    The rest of the NeS Heroes finally file out of the courtroom, with Evil G and Tracer leading at the fore. When they see the state of Al Ciao, the two exchange glances, then walk over to him and his daughter.

    Evil G: "What the Hell happened to you? Did you refuse to buy her a new Barbie doll?"

    Iriana Emp straightens up and, though she quite short compared to everyone else, she tries to be 'impressive' - as any Princess should.

    Iriana Emp: "I have no idea what a Barbie is but I recognise your tone, peasant! I ought to have you put in stocks for a week!"

    Tracer: "Missy, you're gonna half to learn the ways of the modern world. Ain't no man a slave to tyrants anymore. Especially not a broad."

    Evil G: "Doesn't Britain still have a Queen?"

    Tracer: "Maybe... except I think it might be part of Hell now. Or something. Story plot happened somewhere, I missed it."

    Evil G: "The Netherlands too. They've got a Queen."

    Al Ciao: "And now Armenia does too. Stop trying to wind up my daughter, you two."

    Lady LightSide: "There you are, Al. Iriana."

    Al Ciao: "Oh! Iriana this... well, this is my wife."

    Iriana Emp: "..."

    Lady LightSide: "..."

    Al Ciao: "..."

    Evil G & Tracer:

    Iriana Emp: "You got married!? And you didn't tell me!? Why wasn't I invited to the wedding!?"

    Tracer: "Coming between two broads is not how I want to spend my evening."

    Evil G and Tracer slink off, leaving Al Ciao to try and explain his relationship with Lady LightSide, her origins, their adventures through memories, his lack of a penis and their subsequent mission to get a new one.

    After the last of the heroes emerges the Potentials. Strangely, as they walk, they seem to move in slow motion - despite getting out of their just as fast as if they were walking normally. Each of them looked awesomely cool as they did so to boot. Losien was sure she could hear some kind of rock music playing.

    Venedite: "Alright. It's been fun, but I have a new dominion to decorate. I'm thinking that chess board is old hat - the l33t needs more pink. Drapes, ribbons... pillows. I want pillows."

    Gwenhwyfar: "You're leaving? We've got plans!"

    Venedite: "I'll be on hand. Besides, you do whatever you like. I've got what I came for. Bye-bye!"

    Maeve: "Bye, me!"

    Venedite: "Goodbye, darling!"

    Venedite blows her un-Potential a kiss, then vanishes in a burst of green electricity.

    The Otter: "Would it be counted as incest or masturbation if --"

    Maeve: "Shut up, Otter."

    Maeve thinks for a second.

    Maeve: "Actually, either way it'd be totally awesome!!"

    The Otter: "I so wish I were you!"

    Gwenhwyfar: "Moving on. You lot are terrible heroes."

    Orochi: "You really suck."

    Gwenhwyfar: "I'm shocked this world is still standing with you guys running the show. You have major countries controlled by Hell, you have a Powerplayer declaring herself ruler of the planet, you have Jim7, of all people, as God, hundreds of other places blown up and Thand is President of the USA."

    Amal: "He is!?"

    Gwenhwyfar: "Point proven, exactly. Thank you. You don't even know what's going on around you. You go around causing trouble and fix nothing."

    Orochi: "I feel a competition coming on."

    "We're going to liberate Great Britain from Hell. Or bleeding eyes, or whatever it is. Show us to be the better heroes. If we win, you have to lay down your lives. If you free Britain before we do, then we lay down ours."

    The Nega suddenly wakes up from from his drunken haze to cry out.

    The Nega: "We will!?"

    Gwenhwyfar: "Shut up, Nega."

    The Otter: "That sounded familiar..."

    Orochi: "I think it's obvious which of us is going to win this thing. You lot may as well go on some quest to find LightSide there a hospital bed for when she pops. Or find Otter a bottle of cheap wine, that shouldn't stretch you too much."

    Losien: "I've just lost someone very important to me. I'm not in the mood for this crap!"

    Chronos: "You're not in the mood to save people? Doesn't sound like a very good excuse. Not very... heroic."

    Losien clenches her teeth, but refuses to say anything in retort. She knew her daughter was right and really Gwenhwyfar was right. Great Britain, especially London, was the Heroes ancestral home - they really shouldn't have let it be converted to the enemy. They needed somewhere on the whole planet that could be... normal.

    Gwenhwyfar: "Time to go, I think."

    Orochi: "C'mon, Walking Brain Dead."

    Gwenhwyfar and Orochi walk down the corridor, leading Quo Anima and The Nega. Prophet is behind them and, the unusually quiet, Orator goes with them too. Midas and Prophet walk, more slowly, after them. Prophet glances back at the heroes - as though he were secretly wishing them luck.

    Emperor Pi takes a sip from his cup of tea and Chronos stands jauntily with her hands on her hips. She smiles at her mother... father, whatever you'd like to call her.

    Chronos: "She may be right, you know? You Heroes aren't very pro-active when it comes to being... heroes."

    "It's not really our place to dictate politics."

    Chronos: "I think it is when London has people being tortured on a daily basis. I mean live people, not souls. I think Canada gets to torture evil people mostly."

    Losien: "I know... you're right."

    "Cheer up, mom. Soriel's not really gone, you know? He's inside Thand somewhere. Think about it... he took me in, didn't he?"

    Losien: "I... never thought of that."

    Chronos: "Daughter of his queen. He also raised and educated Amal, just like Soriel was doing."

    Amal nods.

    Chronos: "There's a bright side to everything. Soriel would want you to get on with things. Go, save the world!"

    Losien: "Britain is hardly the world."

    The Otter: "Bloody is to me! Most important place in the world! My mum lives here!"

    Losien: "What about you, Apple? Will you go with those other Potentials?"

    Chronos: "I'm not really a part of their plans. I wasn't made in the same way they were. I think they're like the cool kids, and I'm the nerdy outsider no one likes."

    "We like you. A lot. Like a lot."

    Chronos: "I know what you like."


    Losien: "What about you, Emperor?"

    Rachel Pi: "My father would never betray us!"

    Emperor Pi glances at his daughter, a look of horror briefly cast upon his face before he removes the cup from his mouth and clears his throat.

    Emperor Pi: "Of course I wouldn't. But I have to confess, it sounded like it would be a lot of fun helping them... all I have at home are nagging wives."

    Rachel Pi: "Father!"

    Losien: "Then come with us!"

    Emperor Pi: "I fear that would be cheating, don't you think? This quest is obviously meant for you to prove yourselves. Prove you are more than what those Potentials believe you to be. If I did it for you... well, you would just prove that the Potentials are better suited to the job than you are."

    Amal: "How can we possibly beat them?"

    Emperor Pi: "They have strength, that is true. But they lack one thing you have more than anything."

    "Which is?"

    Emperor Pi hands his tea to Rachel, then wraps his arm around her. His other he beckons Gebohq, and embraces them both.

    Emperor Pi: "Unity. They do no know each other as you do. They're prone to arguing, fighting and trying to work alone."

    Amal: "So are we."

    Emperor Pi: "But you become stronger for it. You can work together like no other heroes in this world can. You need to rely on your strength of character and your bonds. They have no character, no bonds - only power."

    Losien: "What about the Powerplayers?"

    Emperor Pi: "I... cannot be a substitute for your Soriel. I do not have some grand master plan to aid you. You will have to decide what to do for yourselves. Now, I will catch up with my fellow Potentials. Don't worry, I will try to help you when I'm there. But remember, this is your quest."

    Emperor Pi releases his daughter and her boyfriend. He gives Rachel a small bow, which she returns with a much deeper one. Then he slowly walks in the direction that the other Potentials went.

    Frank Smith: "Why do I feel like things are going to get more and more complicated before the end of this?"

    Couchman watches Iriana, his love, arguing with her father. He frowns. He wants to approach, but feels that his presence would only cause further problems for her so he stands on the side-lines and waits.

    But also, on the topic of loved ones, comes Losien's sudden anger.

    Losien: "Mom!"

    Polly Simon jumps from the expected bellow.

    Losien: "You froze my lover in cardonite!!?"

    Polly:"To be fair, I was aiming at you. But I do suddenly remember that I have a wish to go and make. Goodbye, my little girl! Bye-bye, Gebby-poo! Momma loves you both!"

    Gebohq and Losien rolls their eyes.

    Polly: "And you, young man, try to behave!"

    Polly stares pointedly at Evil G, who replies with sarcasm;

    Evil G: "Okay alternate-dimensional mommy."

    Polly reaches into the cauldron she stole from Baba Yaga and pulls out... a magic carpet. She and the walking cauldron get on it and, after waving, glides out of the courthouse.

    Losien:"Wait... where did she put TLTE!?"

  6. #1686
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow l33t Party

    Now in the l33t we find it has changed somewhat... the sky is a beautiful starry night - though not real stars, drawn, five-pointed stars of bright yellow on a dark blue background.

    Mayaal's yacht still floats by, but now it is decked out with gaudy lights and loud music booms as people party all night long (and nowadays the l33t is in a perpetual state of night). Below is the chess board we all know... except now the squares are red and pink instead of black and white. Janitor Bob, on loan from the Convenience Store of the Damned, is busily painting the last few squares as requested by Venedite, Mistress of Dreams and Everything l33t.

    At the centre of the chessboard (which is now devoid of its pieces) is a large tent and inside the tent is what is best described as a boudoir. A lot of pillows, blankets, velvet and lace. And a lot of red and yellow fabrics. There's a long drinks bar where Britt the Barman--


    Al Ciao the Writer: "You... made yourself a character!?"

    Britt the Writer: "Well... an NPC but hey, I was feeling left out!"


    --is serving drinks. Apparently every drink has at least a trace of tea in it - as Britt the Barman is skilled in tasseomancy! And I don't mean predicting the future with tea leaves, I mean the ability to bend the very molecules of tea to his will! Such an awesome power.

    He uses his powers of tea to put on a very vivid and fluid display of mixing drinks and serving guests.

    The guests themselves are an array of RAMs, alternate dimensional beings, gods from Mount Olympus and anyone else that fancied showing up the greatest party in the NeS.

    The host, of course, is Venedite who lies on a Roman couch, surrounded by women. Sat on the floor beneath Venedite is Athena, who is drinking something very strong from a golden goblet. Lying at the other end of the couch, feet entwined with Venedite's, is an alternate dimensional Shakespeare who was born a woman! Winnie Shakespeare. Sitting on the couch behind Venedite, reclining slightly with her legs up, is Ariana the angel.

    Winnie Shakespeare: "Venedite, shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"

    Venedite: "No. I've heard it a million times."

    Winnie Shakespeare: "But I only just wrote it!"

    Venedite: "Interdimensions, baby!"

    Bhac Ssylan stumbles drunkenly over to Venedite and spreads his arms wide, a bottle of something in each hand.

    Bhac: "Awesome partay!!! Wish you'd come along sooner!"

    Venedite: "Everyone says that."

    She smirks.

    Athena: "You know, Venedite, I think Aphrodite might be around here somewhere. We could probably persuade Venus to attend too. Could make for an... interesting evening's entertainment..."

    While the girls then talk lesbian sex, Bhac staggers away from the party. He steps out of the tent for a breath of fresh air. Or at least as fresh as the l33t air can be.

    Once he's certain he's out of sight, he slips out of space-and-time, like a shadow pass through the crack of a door. Well outside the realm of the l33t, story, writers or anything else one could imagine - stuck between all weird planes of existence the NeS might have to offer is a small dungeon of grim despair. Bhac appears within its dark confines and check on his... prisoner.

    Bhac Ssylan: "How are you feeling, brother?"

    Mayaal is alive.

    Tied in golden chains, Mayaal is hanging by his arms from the ceiling. His blindfold is removed, revealing the hollow sockets of his head.

    Mayaal does not reply.

    Bhac Ssylan: "That good, eh? I've been having an amazing day. Your replacement painted the whole l33t pink and red, set up a sex tent and has hundreds of people over for a party. Mostly women."

    Mayaal continues to hang in silence.

    Bhac Ssylan: "Look, this isn't going to be over in one night, you know? It's going to take time to gain her confidence, keep her on side and then back-stab her at the last minute and release you. She thinks you're dead, this place is the only place you're safe. And, well there's nothing I can do about those chains. It's kind of your punishment for sucking against that powerplayer."

    Mayaal: "... Try not to enjoy yourself too much... brother."

  7. #1687

    Soriel's Epilogue: The First and Last Man of Jupiter

    (Non-Story Note: I'm a little late with this, and still wanted to write a little last bit for Soriel, since Britt wrote a nice climax for him.)

    Far from the court and under the starry night sky, where his sole verdict determined the course of justice beyond the innocence and guilt of a single case, Master Thand presses on, step by step, towards his enigmatic plan. He stops as a man hooded in an ashen cloak blocks his way.

    Hooded Man: " 'I doubt I'll see you again, Antestarr' -- do you remember saying that? How does it feel to be wrong? To see your plans fail before you? To stand helpless as the Writers twist your very being into a mockery of your former self?"

    Master Thand: "I cannot answer questions for the dead."

    Light briefly casts upon the face under the hood, revealing the undead scowl of Antestarr. His hand pulls out the familiar NeS script from his cloak.

    Antestarr: "I've been doing some reading on my new journey of vengeance. Seems you're calling yourself a Potential now. What's your act?"

    Master Thand: "You doubt who I am."

    Antestarr: "I've done my homework, Master. Your secret as the First Man is escaping, and you're attempting to cover your trail with as many false leads as you can before adopting a new identity."

    Master Thand: "A little knowledge is dangerous, and that seems to have been a lesson I did not teach you well enough. I am the Potential of all who are first among their kind, and all the children of Men are my Potential. Anyone in conflict with their Potential must overcome it or be overcomed. Soriel knew to surrender to his, so that his life might have had purpose."

    Antestarr: "You continue to hide behind riddles and the words of Writers. I once respected you, Master. Feared you even. I see you for who you really are now -- just another actor playing his part in this play."

    Swishing his cloak as is habitual of a NeSferatu, Antestarr walks past Master Thand and towards the court. Antestarr stops for a moment, not turning to face Master Thand as he does so.

    Antestarr: "...thank you for your part."

    With that, Antestarr disappears into the shadows of night. Master Thand gazes up into the night sky, seeing the bright violet star that was once Jupiter...


    In what mortal minds perceive as a future too distant for them to grasp, knotted within the many realities of existence, the embers of the once mighty and meaningful empire of Jupiter burn their last flames. Royalty, once upholding a proud lineage of sentient beings across existences so strange in their wonder and horror, have now only the ninteen year old queen, Ros, remaining, who is afflicted with a rare cancer which will kill her before the age of twenty. Of Jupiter's military, previously countless guardians of its royalty and the virtues it stood for, now only Lei, the twenty three year old captain of the guard, stands in service. The two escaped the fate of the empire, as the last battalion defended New Jupiter in vain against what came to be known as Reality.

    The two held hands in the space between the 'verses. They knew that, even here, they could not hide long before Reality would find them. They would not need long, though, as the former King and Queen had blessed their union before their escape to conceive a child - a child that would protect the foundation of the empire. In the realm where fantasy prevails, the two make love, and shortly before the age of twenty, Ros gives birth to a baby boy and swaddled him in a sentient cape. The two call upon the last remaining crippled deity of Jupiter, Chronos, to send their child 'ages past with their last spark of power, before the three surrendered to their fate.


    'Ages before the Never-ending Story began, 'ages before the stories of humanity could be told, when Jupiter had been still a newborn planet, the baby boy appears alone in the harsh environment. His cape, Carlotta, and the deity, Chronos, raise and shelter him against the elements. Left with no social contact to speak of, the boy grows to conceive of imaginary friends, friends that manifest out of necessity for the child into existence. At the age of five, the child had been instructed by Chronos not to eat the Fruit Salad of Knowing Better, for Chronos intended to serve it at the 800th Time Enforcement Agency Gala. The five-year-old boy, not Knowing Better, ate the Fruit Salad, after which he knew better. Chronos considered that maybe the boy needed to be raised in an environment who actually knew how to raise children and whisked him away to the late 20th century.

    By then, his once imaginary friends, now left to their own devices, decided that Jupiter would make for a nice planet to rule over as gods. Using the only non-imaginary person they knew as a model, they craft themselves some mortals, and in their boredom, slowly build up an empire that would worship them, careful to give lip service to Chronos as their leader on the off-chance they would need someone to blame.


    Adopted by a low-class couple, the boy lives out the rest of his childhood in the capital planet of the now powerful and clandestine Jupertian Empire, attending high school unknowingly with the heiress of the Empire, striking out into the multiverse as a worthy guardian, succumbing to the bloodlust in his quest for Fred Teh Uber Blade, journeying with the likes of powerplayers and other vile beings, and returning to discover his home destroyed. From there, the boy, known as Soriel, would travel to Earth and seek vengeance for the fall of his homeland.

    Certainly a better excuse for revenge than having their place trashed by sentient leftovers, in any case.

    Antestarr: "I heard that! It was the Writers' fault, and they're the source of my new vengeance!"

    When someone says a terribly-written story is still better than Twilight, you're the Twilight.

    Antestarr: "I really need to get a PR agent..."
    Last edited by Gebohq; 02-23-2014 at 08:27 PM.

  8. #1688
    Meanwhile (NeS count: more than this running joke deserves to have), back at the courthouse, we last left our NeS Heroes dealt an ultimatum by the personifications of their Potentials: free England from the forces of Hell before they did or else die at the hands of their own Potentials. The group -- Losien, Amal, Al Ciao, Lady Lightside, Maeve, The Otter, Frank Smith, Tracer, Subaru, Couchman, Iriana, Rachel, Gebohq, and his mirror universe counterpart Evil G -- mulls over their next course of action.

    Half-sober and half-asleep, Maeve mutters the first suggestion.

    Maeve: "We can worry about details later. We'll just face them head-on and let things fall where they may. And if things get rowdy, we'll talk all nice with them over some tea."

    Half-drunk punked and half-posh sloshed, The Otter chimes in.

    The Otter: "I like the sounds of tea!"

    Losien's face scrunches in confusion, an expression normally reserved for her brother, Gebohq.

    Losien: "What is it with you British people and your obsession with tea anyway?"

    The time cop from the future, Frank Smith, glances at Maeve and the Otter.

    Frank Smith: "At least they're not talking about booze and women for once."

    April Fool's Incarnate, Rachel Pi, wags a finger at Losien.

    Rachel Pi: "You're one to talk! What's with Americans and their obsessions with doughnuts?--"

    The cowardly hero-turned-law professor, Gebohq, raises a hand to interject.

    Gebohq: "That's just me you're thinking about, honey!"

    Rachel: "Don't interrupt me, love of my life. And why do American parents give their children such terrible names?"

    Gebohq: "That's just us you're thinking about, sweetie."

    Rachel: "You're not making things easy for me to make things hard for her."

    Gebohq: "That's my little sister!"

    Rachel looks at Gebohq.

    Gebohq: "Sorry."

    The young, knightly man, Amal, steps up to the discussion.

    Amal: "Charging in without a plan wouldn't be very wise."

    His hair nearly waving in neon orange for attention, the otherwise middle-age man, Al Ciao speaks up.

    Al Ciao: "He's right. The last time any of us had to confront Potentials, we nearly died."

    He looks with empathetic eyes at Gebohq, who borders on breaking down if he thought about it too much.The Japanese fighter and healer, Subaru, frowns at the thought as well as she thinks about her now undead lover, Antestarr.

    Subaru: "From what I know, I'd say at least one of you did die..."

    Iriana, daughter of Al Ciao and royalty to the kingdom of Armenia, offers her two cents.

    Iriana: "Maybe we shouldn't all go on this quest?"

    The talented lawyer and general Renaissance man, Couchman, slaps his knee in agreement.

    Couchman: "Quite so! Some of us would be better off attending our own affairs."

    He looks with a loving gaze upon Iriana.

    Iriana: "Yes! I think a lot of good could come out of searching with my father for our homeland."

    Couchman: "Oh..."

    After a not-so-subtle yawn, Gebohq's mirror universe counterpart, Evil G, scratches his chest.

    Evil G: "Yeah, some of us have kids to think about, like me, and Rachy-Rach--"

    He thumbs towards Rachel, who glares furiously at Evil G.

    Evil G: "--and Lady-Not-Going-To-Turn-Back-To-Darkside-Dude-Once-She-Pops-Her-Soul-Snack-Out over there."

    He points to Lady Lightside, who, for a moment, glares at him with the fiery embers of a thousand screaming souls. Evil G shudders.

    Evil G: "I swear, Highemperor--"

    Al Ciao: "Al."

    Evil G: "--you should reign in that libido of yours. I can't imagine how many child support payments you have to dodge."

    Smoking an old-fashioned cigarette in a shadowy corner, the noir-agent, Tracer, starts talking in his characteristic noir-style narration.

    Tracer: "The guys and dolls knot themselves in complication, like chewing gum in the hair, unaware that a shadowy figure slinked into the court room as death slinks across our graves in morbid anticipation."

    Losien: "What shadowy figure?"

    Evil G: "Antestarr!"

    Emerging from the shadows, the NeSferatu, Antestarr, makes himself visible. Most of the others cast wary glances at him.

    Antestarr: "I hear you all have a Potential problem."

    Gebohq: "It's an actual problem, actually, with the--oooooooooh, I see what you did there."

    Ignoring Gebohq, Antestarr approaches closer to the group.

    Antestarr: "I've had a hand in Potential-killing before. I can help you all out, help you foil the plans of those ******* Writers who wouldn't have a second thought killing you all off for the sake of the story. It just involves getting your hands a little... dirty."

    Will the NeS Heroes accept Antestarr's help? Will they be able to overcome their own Potentials? Why are British people so obsessed over tea? Find out next time, here on the Never-ending Story Thread Squared!

  9. #1689
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Al Ciao the Writer: Jeez Louise! Even Geb is joining in on the epic action! Tying in the beginning with the end, time travel, creating oneself, far future, all kinds of stuff!

    Geb the Writer: I can't help it! It's Britt's fault!

    Britt the Writer: The madness is contagious!


    The heroes stare dumbfounded at Antestarr.

    Al: I'm curious what exactly your 'help' consists of - when you killed a Potential last one - which was mine --

    His voice drips acid. Not literally.

    Al: -- you used a time-accelerating device that eventually killed you. And got you turned into a vampire.

    Antestarr: I see that Geb has told you of those events while you were...away. I thought you were happy that you had exorcised Highemperor.

    Al: Happy? I am not happy... but I am better off.

    Rachel: Al does have a point, Ante. Are you just going to offer us a suicidal time-acceleration device?

    Subaru: And why do you want to help us anyway? I thought you just wanted to turn us all into vampires.

    Iriana: Ahem.

    The princess clears her throat rather daintily, and takes a sip of her tea as the others turn to her.

    Iriana: Perhaps it would be best to understand the problem at hand before we accept suspicious offers for help.

    Antestarr sneers at her.

    Ante: And I suppose a little girl understands?

    Al: Don't talk that way to my daughter, Ante!

    Iriana: I perhaps understand better than you, NeSferatu. Britain is not actually in control of Hell. It was simply renamed to the Dominion of Bleeding Eyes back when Helebon, Jim's father, took over it. Now it is its own sovereignty once more, but demons still roam the streets, held back only by the Forgotten Army. Even Hero Force One has done little to stem the tide. Perhaps the Potentials should be challenging them.

    Losien: So wait - my "don't mess with politics" excuse was moot?

    Amal: Yup.

    Losien: Damn.

    Otter: On the other hand, it does make our job easier. Instead of liberating a country, we just have to do hunt-and-destroy operations.

    Maeve: But wait - the Potentials think the country is in Hell's jurisdiction now. Does that mean--?

    Iriana: Yes! They'll be trying to depose the rightful British government, falsely believing it to be Hellish lackeys.

    Al: They seem to have a bit of powerplaying in them. Street cleaning sweeps are too lowly for them; only grand national liberations suffice. It seems your father was right, Rachel.

    Antestarr peers sourly at Iriana.

    Ante: Very clever, girlie. Perhaps you win this round. But when your pitiful attempts fail - and I know they will - remember my offer. And perhaps I will deign once again to make it.

    He vanishes into the shadows.

    Losien: How did you get so insightful into the situation all of a sudden, Iriana?

    Al: That's my girl for ya!

    Iriana manages to blush gracefully, and partially hides it by sipping tea.

    Iriana: Emperor Pi was right about the amazing powers of tea. My mind is increasing in clarity just by drinking this leftover Mongolian Sakura brew - I read various political documents to bone up on the global situation in anticipation of becoming the Armenian monarch.

    Lady Lightside: Speaking of which - quest time!

    Losien: Al! You're not really going to abandon us to trek home with your daughter?

    Al: Wouldn't you?

    Losien: ...

    Chronos: Got you there, Dad.

    Iriana: Besides, if I can mobilize the Armenian military - particularly our squads of motorcycle riding snipers! - it can greatly offset our disadvantage versus the Potentials! Who else wants in?

    The question hangs in the air. Will the heroes split into two groups again, or all go to Armenia to find the elite motorcycle snipers? Will Al Ciao (the character) be the driving focus behind a second story arc in a row? And finally, we still have yet to answer the question - why ARE British people so obsessed with tea???? This question, and many more, will never be answered in the next installment of NeSquared!

  10. #1690
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow King John

    NSP: Oops! My mistake on the Hell-Dominion thing! At least you salvaged that. I had been thinking of what to do with the whole Hell thing, I don't think your clarification should impede the stuff I had in mind though.


    After Heledon and his armies had taken and corrupted much of the U.K., the majority of the elite of society were rounded up and turned into soup. Probably literally. This, heart-breakingly for some, included the immediate royal family. After Helebon's defeat, the Dominion fell into disarray and power struggles instantly ensued. Although Helebon himself was gone, many of his generals and chiefs of staff were still on the lose. And they all wanted the U.K.. Why? Because it has a really cool looking flag.

    In the end though, one of Helebon's generals had something of an edge on the others. He'd ruled England before.

    Straight from the lowest pits of Hell returned King John. So infamous is his name no other King since then has been called John. John is a truly sinister and evil name, isn't it?


    Gebohq the Writer:
    "Hey Britt, I just got your birth certificate through in the mail - just keeping all your credentials in one place to make sure you can't ever escape - and I notice that your birth name is actually J--- ACK!"

    Britt the Writer leaps at Gebohq the Writer and hurls him out of a window. Then burns the birth certificate.

    Al Ciao the Writer walks in.

    Al Ciao the Writer: "Hey, Britt. Where's Geb?"

    Britt the Writer: "Taking a dirt nap..."

    Al Ciao the Writer: "The last time he did that, he had worms living in his hair... we'll have to hose him down when he comes back."


    King John is inside Buckingham Palace. Much of the building is still standing, and while it had been thoroughly looted, King John has managed to do what he does best - amass wealth through exploitation.

    He's currently lounging on the throne, one leg cocked over the arm of the chair. He constantly wears his royal jewels, including the crown and fluffy-necked cloak. He spins the golden sceptre around in his hand idly.

    The room is filled with many of his harem, serving drinks to politicians or his friends. The harem consists of beautiful women of all creeds - including a few blue-skinned aliens, because every fantasy harem needs blue-skinned aliens. All of the women of his harem for his personal use only. But so was every other women in the Kingdom as far as he was concerned, especially other people's wives.

    What else is also his by divine right is everyone's money.

    King John: "I think we should increase the taxes today. I've been nice and gave them a few days respite. Increase it by another ten percent."

    The turnover rate for British Prime Minister had been fairly high since King John manages to sequester power. Usually the Prime Ministers met unfortunate accidents involving projectile sporks. However the most recent Prime Minister had been able to outlive all his predecessors, likely because he'd already had experience involving Helebon's forces in his past.

    Qhobeg #1: "Certainly, your highness."

    King John: "Oh, and cut off someone's head for the military failure last week. Those Forgotten plebs should have been dealt with by now. I want rolling heads! Then throw their bodies on carcass hill."

    Carcass hill is a hill literally made up of all the dead bodies of executed prisoners under the rule of King John. The hill is now taller than Buckingham Palace itself and certainly not a pretty sight.

    Qhobeg #1: "Uh... just to tell you, we're actually running out of soldiers, your highness."

    King John:"Oh right. Conscription. Get it done. Don't fail me or you'll wind up on that hill too."

    Qhobeg #1: "As you wish."

    King John: "One last thing! I want an update on the next Evil World Leader Organisation meet-up. And make sure someone packs some Winter clothes! Why they have to hold these meeting in Svalbard is beyond me!"

    Qhobeg #1: "It's because the name of the place just sounds evil. Svalbard..."

    King John glares at Qhobeg #1.

    Qhobeg #1: "Uh, I imagine anyway. Your highness."

    A soldier comes running into the room.

    Soldier: "Sire, Sire! Some group of heroes have attacked one of our military bases! Reports say they're calling themselves Potentials!"

    King John: "YAWN! Snooze-fest! Someone behead this guy for boring me."

    Soldier: "Wha--? But Sire, they were super powerful and I don't think they'll stop there! They said they plan to free all of Great Britain!"

    King John: "Powerful you say? How powerful?"

    Soldier: "Like super awesomely powerful! Like awesomely... super powerful. Awesomely powerfully... powerful..."

    King John: "Okay, someone kill him for having a stupidly limited vocabulary. PM, get me those conscripts. And the tax money. I want to make myself a new bed frame made of gold."


    Of course, how is Iriana Emp to know who King John is... or was? The 'legitimate' government of Great Britain is debateable... or it would be if King John hadn't been systematically working his way down the list of royal family members even working their way into the obscure distant relatives that didn't even know they were 279th in line to the throne.

    And little does Maeve know... she is 280th in line...


  11. #1691
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    In the boudoir tent in the redecorated plane of l33t, Venedite's party is still going strong. Britt the Barman is currently wowing the crowd - well, that portion of the crowd that isn't too smashed or too amorous, or both, to notice - with various Coyote-Ugly-style theatrics involving bottles and drink mixing.

    Bhac: That's an awesome barkeep you scored for this, Venedite. Where'd he come from?

    Venedite: Not sure. Said he caught a subway here when he heard of my party.

    Bhac: A subway... to the realm of l33t?

    Venedite: Yeah, called the Endless Waystation or something.


    Venedite: Probably one of London's branches. Like a publisher's imprint.


    A shadow falls across Britt the Barman and a chill shivers up his spine, causing him to lose the slightest bit of control. One of his spinning bottles flies out of his grasp - and a pale hand darts out from beneath a cloak to catch it. The hand belongs to someone standing right behind Britt the Barman, who moments ago wasn't there.

    Antestarr: Hello, "Britt".

    Britt the Barman: Eep!

    Antestarr: You writers are truly egotistical. It's not enough that you ruin our lives, is it? You have to enter the story itself and steal what little parts of our world are actually fun.

    Britt the Barman: I don't know what you're talking about. Anyway, there's fun enough here for all!

    Antestarr: Indeed.

    Antestarr clasps Britt the Barman in his iron grip, and sinks his teeth into the barkeep's neck as Britt the Barman stiffens. Now the the Coyote-Ugly-style theatrics are over, the few patrons who were watching turn away, bored. Within minutes, Britt the Barman sinks limply to the floor, a dessicated husk drained dry of blood. Antestarr stands riveted to the spot, eyes bulging out, gasping, at the flood of clarity and power rushing through him.

    The NeSferatu Character(TM) has just had his first taste of bloodink.


    In the Writer's Realm...

    Al Ciao the Writer: Britt? You okay, man?

    Britt the Writer: I... just have a headache. I feel... thin, sort of... stretched. Like butter, scraped over too much bread.

    Al Ciao the Writer: Ah! You're just zoned out after a Lord of the Rings marathon! I feel ya, buddy.


    Maeve: I'm REALLY not sure that now is the best time to split the party again.

    Al Ciao: Okay! It's decided then! We all go to Armenia!

    Maeve: NOT what I meant.

    Al Ciao: Aw...

    Rachel: I dunno, those motorcycle-riding snipers sound pretty badass.

    Iriana: Hey, where did my boyfr--

    She hurriedly corrects herself at a sharp glance from her father.

    Iriana: --Couchman go?

    Suddenly, the front doors of the courthouse open, and into the grand marble halls speed a daring motorcyclist! More precisely, he flies through the air, and lands on the back wheel of the bike, doing a wheelie. His identity is masked by a black, visored helmet, and he wears a Cool(tm) leather jacket, with a sniper rifle strapped to his back. His bike is bold red with bright orange flames painted on it.

    Music from
    Grease 2 starts playing. A choir spontaneously forms of random lawyers

    Random Lawyer Choir: Whoooh ooooh who's that guy? Whoooh ooooh who's that guy?

    Geb: He came out of the darkness in the middle of the night, blazing like a mother with a fist of dynamite.

    Geb, Amal, Al, Otter, Tracer, other male heroes: He ain't foolin' no one on that pile of chrome and steel / Burnin' up the pavement like he was some kind of wheel / He's lookin' for a rumble and some heads are gonna bust / He's gonna take a tumble with one solitary thrust!

    Losien, Maeve, Rachel, Iriana, Lady Lightside, Polly, other female heroes: The only thing you guys are gonna do is eat his dust!

    Random Lawyer Choir: Who's that guy? Where did he come from? Who's that guy?

    Geb, Amal, Al, Otter, Tracer, other male heroes: Please tell me, someone!

    Losien, Maeve, Rachel, Iriana, Lady Lightside, Polly, other female heroes: I never knew anyone could be so cool!

    Random Lawyer Choir: Whoa oh oh, who's that guy? He's just amazin'! From headlight to tailpipe, his burners are blazin'!

    Losien, Maeve, Rachel, Iriana, Lady Lightside, Polly, other female heroes: Looks to me like he could really flllllly!

    The mysteriously sniper biker stops doing wheelies and other various tricks and pulls off his helmet, revealing--

    Couchman: Oh, bloody stop already. I hated that movie, and it's such a plebian song.

    Iriana: Couchman?!

    Couchman: Yes! Sniping and biking are among my many talents!

    Al looks a bit sour at this, but can't deny his utility, nor does he really want to deny his daughter her heart, or whatever teenage infatuation passes for her heart.

    Losien: Well, that's ONE sniper biker. A bunch of others would be really cool.

    Maeve: But--

    Suddenly the windows shatter as elite ninja assassins leap in! They do awesome flips and stuff, showing off their stuff as they throw ninja stars. Sadly--

    Couchman: You mean fortunately.

    --no musical number accompanies this show, and the assassins surround our heroes, specifically Maeve.

    Ninja Assassin #1: Prepare to die, heir to the throne!

    Everyone gasps, and huddles around Losien to protect her.

    Polly: You are NOT going to touch a hair on my daughter's head!

    Ninja Assassin #2: Huh? Documentation shows that Maeve's mother is nowhere near London at the moment.

    Maeve: Wait, me? I'm not the heir to Jupiter's throne.

    The ninja assassins look confused.

    Ninja Assassin #3: Who'd want to rule a purple star? We're talking about the British throne!

    Ninja Assassin #4: Heretic! It's the Dominion of Bleeding Eyes' throne now! Die, on king's orders!

    Ninja Assassin #3: No wait--

    He is cut off as he is sliced and diced.

    Rachel: Maeve, you're the heir to the throne of Engl--

    She casts a quick glance at the corpse of Ninja Assassin #3.

    Rachel: --of the Dominion of Bleeding Eyes, and you never told us?

    Maeve: But I'm NOT--

    Ninja Assassin #1: You are 280th in line to the throne, and by order of King John, you must die!


    Al: If she's 280th, why is she a threat?

    Ninja Assassin #2: Well, on King John's orders, we've been working our way down the list. VERY lucrative contract. We just came from killing #279.

    Ninja Assassin #4: Shame about him though. He was a chef at Buster's pub, and made GREAT sammiches.

    Couchman: Wait. Are you telling me that your orders are to kill the person who is 280th in line for the throne?

    Ninja Assassin #1: Righto.

    Couchman: And that you've already killed up through the 279th?

    Ninja Assassin #2: Roger that.

    Couchman: Then your target cannot be Maeve, for she is now FIRST in line for the throne, the previous contenders having been eliminated.

    Ninja Assassins:

    Confused, the Ninja Assassins huddle together, football-style - AMERICAN football-style, you wacky Brits - debating how to handle this new turn of events. In hushed whispers they argue, and finally address our heroes once more.

    Ninja Assassin #3: Okay, you may have us on a technicality, but King John's money is still good, so we're going to--


    The three ninja assassins fall to the floor, heads popped. Couchman hefts his sniper rifle, strapping it once more upon his back.

    Other Heroes:

    Amal: That was aMAZing!

    Iriana: My hero!

    Al: *grumble*

    Rachel: Yeah, we definitely need more sniper bikers. That's just too cool.

    Maeve: I've changed my mind. Let's go to Armenia.

    Geb: Don't tell me Couchman's sniper biker act has turned you straight, Maeve?

    Maeve: No! And besides, there are bound to be some hot sniper biker chicks in Armenia. I just meant that since I'm a target here--

    Polly: Bah! We have one sniper biker, and the rest of us! We'll get by. However, some more would definitely come in handy. I know just the thing...

    An hour later, the giant chicken legs that Polly had swiped from the Baba Yaga and equipped to the courthouse are now en route to Armenia, via FedEx, with express orders from Iriana to attach to the Armenian palace (with sniper bikers within), so that it can come to her, and she can be crowned and thereby mobilize the army.

    The courthouse, having been deprived of its mobility, has been rather unceremoniously dumped in the middle of a rather busy intersection.

  12. #1692
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow The Intersection

    Now casually ignoring the dead bodies of the downed ninjas, the heroes are poking their heads from various orifices of the courtroom, trying to get a look at the roads outside. No one dares to stand in the gaping hole, however, for fear something might coming roaring into the building through said gaping hole.

    However what made things worse were that the vehicles whizzing up the roads were not standard cars that they were used to. These are dilapidated hunks of metal, usually only held together only by duct-tape, super-glue and an immense amount of will-power on behalf of their drivers. King John's taxes made cars incredibly expensive objects to own, meaning repairs are now further down the priorities list. Fortunately, while King John raised taxes he revealed he didn't care so much about the rules and regulations of the roads, allowing drivers to drive whatever the Hell they could up the roads.

    One tractor comes trundling past the window where Losien is peeking out. She watches as it is overtaken by a bicycle with a rocket attached to its rear. After that a man riding a rhinoceros comes charging after the tractor. The rhino uses its horn to smash the unlucky tractor driver out of the way. The husks of various other vehicles have been left on the sides of the roads like walls - housing in the lanes of death.

    Next minute a man riding a T-Rex comes stomping up the road, presumably captured and brought over from Burundi. The T-Rex stamps on the courthouse, its foot smashes through the building's roof and crashes to the ground between all of the heroes various peeping spots. Then it lifts and the second foot crashes down through the roof further on. Finally the building's roof is all but gone and the entire room is essentially split into two halves.

    Losien: "I think... we need to get off this intersection..."

    Frank Smith: "We can't just go running out there."

    CynthAI: "I calculate that the odds of you surviving a desperate run across the intersection to be zero point three, recurring, percent. Would you like me to calculate the odds of Couchman survivng with his motorcycle?"

    CaptAIn: "We really need to stop sharing this small space."

    CynthAI: "This is digital space, ergo the space contained within the watch is only restrained by the size of the harddrive - which is very large and I am a very small, dainty program."

    CaptAIn: "My dear CynthAI. I understand your feelings towards me. I have encountered many a fair maiden that has fallen for my charms and handsome, heroic features - but I cannot be bound to just one woman. I am a free spirit and must be able to roam free."

    CynthAI: "Then it is unfortunate that you are a digital program within a watch."

    CaptAIn: "... Fair point."

    Frank Smith: "It's really distracting having you two arguing on my arm. Losien, do you think I can purge this Cadpill character from my watch?"

    CaptAIn: "WHAT!?"

    Losien: "Well... it's not my watch. I didn't even put him on there. Apple did."

    CaptAIn: "Now... why don't we just... calm down a moment and think about what you are proposing to do."

    Frank Smith: "Removing an unwanted program from my watch."

    CaptAIn: "In very crude terms, perhaps. But in truth I have a personality, I have sentience, I am... alive! You'd be murdering me!"

    Frank Smith: "You're programmed to act like you're sentient."

    CynthAI: "Agent Smith. I believe removing the CaptAIn program from the harddrive would result in complete corruption of all files and systems on the instrument. Your watch would require repairs at the TEA HQ, which you would not be able to reach because the time vortex operations would be corrupted within the watch."

    Frank eyes his watch with suspicion. After a brief silence, CaptAIn pipes up.

    CaptAIn: "She's right! It would completely corrupt the systems in here. I guarantee it'd be quite a mess to clean up! You think that courthouse looks bad, in here it would be like setting off a bomb. A bomb of paint, glue and feathers. And ferrets."

    Frank Smith: "Weeeeeeeell... okay I'll leave it for now. But you two better stop arguing."

    CaptAIn: "CynthAI, you are more than welcome to share my chips and consume my RAM."

    CynthAI: "Thank you, CaptAIn."

    The Otter: "Dude, I'd let her consume my RAM any day."

    Frank Smith: "Otter! God man! She's not even got a body!"

    Maeve: "To be honest, she does have a kind of sexy synthesised voice. If her voice had a body, it'd be one damn fine machine..."

    The Otter: "Amen to that, sister!"

    CynthAI: "I believe I am obliged to thank you for your praise."

    Frank Smith: "CynthAI, you are never to thank The Otter ever again for anything."

    The Otter: "I think she likes me."

    Losien: "How about we climb to the roof and make a jump for it?"

    Polly: "My dear girl, I don't think that sounds very safe."

    Losien: "Maybe, but it's our only-- ..."

    Losien stares at her mother.

    Losien: "Didn't you fly away on a magic carpet earlier?"

    Polly: "Well, I got out of the door but saw someone speeding into the courthouse on a motorcycle. I assumed he was either here to kill you, or here to seduce you. Far too much libido for my liking. I don't approve of TLTE, but I wouldn't approve of some leather-wearing biker stealing your heart either. Fortunately it's just that useless lawyer."

    Couchman: "I am standing right beside you, you realise that?"

    "I couldn't care less where you're standing, young man. I simply speak my mind. Now. I have to go again. I really do have a woman to see about a wish."

    Polly clicks her fingers together and the flying carpet swoops down through the hole in the roof. She jumps onto it.

    Losien: "Wait, wait, wait! Mother we can use that carpet to reach the roof."

    Polly: "No doubt you could! If you owned one. Goodbye dear! Don't die before I get back!"

    With that Polly Simon once again flies out of the courthouse, this time through one of the ceiling holes left by the T-Rex.

    The Otter: "I still... really fancy your mum, Losien."

    Maeve: "Me too."

    Losien: "No one is allowed to fancy my mom! You two especially! Now let's get to the roof!"

    The Otter & Maeve:

  13. #1693
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow Raiders of the Misplaced Courthouse

    Losien huffs and puffs as she clambers up the debris from the holes in the roof and finally reaches the top. Behind her the other heroes begin their climb. However when she reaches the top she is surprised to see Frank Smith standing there.

    Losien: "How the Hell did you get up here before me?"

    Frank Smith: "Huh? Oh, time watch. I transported myself here, a second ahead of you."

    She glances down to where she has last seen Frank Smith and sees him there still. The Frank downstairs is looking at his watch - then he disappears. She looks up at Frank on the roof.

    Losien: "Couldn't you have transported me up here too?"

    Frank Smith: "If I transported you up here, then everyone would want a go."

    Frank offers her a head and helps her to her feet. She sighs from exertion before trying to take in their new surrounding landscape. She she turns around she gives a short squeal, startling Frank.

    Frank Smith: "What!? Oh, him. He was up here before I was."

    Losien: "Tracer, how the Hell did you get up here!?"

    Tracer: "I go where the city needs me."

    Losien shakes her head with resignation. The area around the courthouse is just as bad as it looked from the inside. Perhaps worse, as they are now able to see the bleak landscape beyond the wall of dead cars.

    Just outside of the city proper, the once grassy areas around the intersection were now barren and desolate. Clearly King John felt paying someone to keep the plants alive was too strenuous of the government's coffers.

    Losien: "At least we should be able to jump onto that wall of cars from here and escape this intersection."

    However, no sooner did she say this than she spots something worrying headed their way. Down the intersection is a convoy of military vehicles, mostly consisting of tanks. Big, beefy tanks that look as though they're been redesigned with powerful, and mean, aesthetics in mind. The tank drivers had apparently been allowed to add their own artistic flairs too, painting teeth and graffitiing swear words all over their hulls.

    Losien: "Did King John send those things to get Maeve?"

    CynthAI: "According to my databanks, the only thing King John would spend money on is his military. However it is doubtful he would allow such undisciplined men utilise such expensive objects. These vehicles are likely used by Raiders."

    Someone hanging out of the top of a tank starts shooting into the air wildly and hooting.

    Losien: "I see."

    She looks down at everyone below.

    Losien: "Guys, might want to get a move on!"

    Maeve: "You heard the boss, Otter, shift your arse!"

    The Otter: "Give me a break! I haven't drunk enough to be climbing broken walls!"

    Maeve: "You mean it's been longer than five minutes since your last drink?"

    The Otter: "I mean it's been longer than two minutes."

    Maeve: "Hey, maybe this is a good thing! Sounds like you're cutting back!"

    The Otter: "Yeah! Good point! I'm cutting back! Cutting back from two minutes to five minutes!"

    Maeve: "Cheers to that, mate!"

    They both whip out their flasks upon the five minute interval, toast and swig Famous Grouse scotch whisky.

    The Otter reaches the top and Losien helps him up. She snatches the flask from him.

    The Otter: "Heeeeeeeeey..."

    Losien: "Maybe it's time I took a more proactive stance on your drinking habits, Otter."

    The Otter: "Them's fightin' words!"

    Losien: "Them's sensible words of someone that cares about you."

    The Otter:

    Losien: "As a friend."

    The Otter:

    When Maeve manages to get to the top and scramble to her feet she pops the cap of her own flask and places it against her lips, ready to accept that sweet nectar into her mouth -- but Losien snatches that too.

    Maeve: "By the beard of Joaquin Phoenix!"

    Losien tosses both flasks over the side and into the traffic below.

    Maeve & The Otter:

    Losien: "Now give me your back-up flasks."

    Reluctantly the two of them give up their second flasks.

    Losien: "And your secret flasks."

    Grumbling they give up their secret flasks.

    Losien: "And your super secret flasks."

    Almost sobbing they give up their super secret flasks.

    Losien eyes them both for a moment with suspicion. She decides there's still more to be had.

    Losien: "Give me your ultra super secret flasks!"

    Maeve: "Fuq."

    Losien, arms full with flasks of spirits, looks at the two alcoholics.

    Losien: "It's going to get hard for the both of you. But it's about time you became more than just drunkards."

    The Otter: "But... I don't want to be more than a drunkard!"

    Losien: "You'll thank me later."

    Maeve: "Wait! Now, Losien, don't be so hasty! There's a lot of very... very expensive alcohol in those flasks..."

    The Otter: "Very nice alcohol..."

    Maeve: "Maybe we can... make a deal?"

    Losien: "The deal is this..."

    Losien tosses all of the flasks over the side.

    Losien: "I want you sober."


    Maeve: "Oh the humanity!!"

    Up behind Maeve peeps a wheel. Then the rest of the motorbike as Couchman pushes the vehicle up the rubble and onto the roof. He manages to drag himself up, panting and wheezing from the effort.

    Iriana Emp comes next, praising Couchman for such a manly display.

    Chronos:"They're never going to be able to stay sober, you know that right?"

    Losien: "WHOA! Where did you come from?"

    Chronos: "I can do what Frank does... without the watch, remember? Potential powerz!"

    Losien:"Oh... right. Yeah."

    Chronos: "Also. Tanks."

    Losien: "Huh?"

    Suddenly the tanks ram into the courthouse. One of them fires at the side of it, blowing it apart. The Raiders begin to encircle the courthouse and when they see that there's people actually stupid enough to be on it - wolf whistles resound.

    Losien: "Bugger."

    Raider: "Oi up there! There's only two reasons we'll let you live! Either A, you've got a boat load of money to give us or B, you've got a load of booze to give us!!"

    The Otter and Maeve both glare at Losien.

    Losien: "You can't blame me!"

    Lady LightSide is just pulling herself up from the hole, helped by Couchman from above and Al Ciao from below, when a tank smashes through the gaping chasm left by Nyktelios earlier. The heroes below, scatter, but the tank crashes into the make-shift staircase to the roof. Losien, Frank and Maeve all dive towards LightSide, grabbing her before she could fall. They all strain to keep her up. Al Ciao, however, plunges back down to the solid floor below.

    Al Ciao: "Ouchie..."

    Otter and Tracer join the others in pulling the pregnant woman to the rooftop.

    Lady LightSide: "That... was uncomfortable."

    Iriana leans over the edge to see her father lying on the ground.

    Lady LightSide: "He'll be okay. He's mostly made of metal now. Only his pride is wounded, I assure you."

    Iriana Emp: "Then why do I not feel assured?"

    Below the tank comes to a screeching halt and the cannon begins to wind around until it's pointing straight at Al Ciao. Just as the cannon fires, a bubble appears around Al Ciao. The massive shell hits the bubble, bounces off and shoots up through the hole - narrowly missing Iriana's little head. The bubble then flickers and vanishes as Subaru Yamamoto is exhausted from the sudden strain.

    Amal, Evil G and Gebohq rush out to grab the two of them and drag them away and into other rooms of the courthouse where they'd been hiding. Amal and Gebohq pull Al Ciao into one room with them, where Rachel Pi is waiting. Evil G drags Subaru into another.

    Al Ciao manages to sit up.

    Al Ciao: "I wonder if I would have survived that blast... I mean... like my robot bits..."

    Gebohq: "Let's not find out."

    Amal: "You're lucky Subaru's so fast, Al."

    Next minute the wall over them explodes as the tank fires a shell through it. The opposite wall falls down completely as the shell continues through the entire building, out there other end where it finally explodes.

    Gebohq: "You know, come to think of it, I'm surprised we've never had to fight tanks before now..."

  14. #1694
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Al, getting to his feet, looks around a bit helplessly. He is alone on the ground floor of the courthouse, which is rapidly falling down all about him.

    Iriana: Dad!

    He looks up to see his daughter yelling concernedly at him, and pointing helpfully at the various shells that are flying about. He gives her a thumbs up, and he is desperately looking about for a way up to the top, and is crossindexing his database to see if he has any abilities that will help him. Unfortunately, his OS is a Mac, and he is a lifelong Windows user, so it's a bit slow going. Finally--

    Al: Oh, fuq me. I'm not going to say it.

    A shell whizzes directly overheading, taking the top of his orange spikes with it. A quick thought restores it, and then switches it to a bold red warhawk with sideburns.

    Al: Fine! *mumble mumble*

    Nothing happens.

    Al: Argh!

    He mumbles again, a bit louder. Again, nothing happens.

    Al: Dammit, GO GO GADGET BOOTS!

    Instantly, springs jet from the bottom of his metal feet, pushing him up into the air, flailing wildly. Our other heroes look at him flabbergasted as his trajectory carries him up through the opening in the ceiling.

    Maeve: Damn, I must still be drunk.

    Otter: We wish.

    Iriana: Dad! Watch out for that--

    BAM! OOF!

    Iriana: --tree.

    George of the Jungle - ahem, I mean, Al Ciao has leapt clear over the heroes and the edge of the courthouse, faceplanting into the trunk of a tree. A tank shell knocks the tree over.

    Tank Raider: TIMBER!

    The tree topples, sending Al flying once more. He lands on the barrel of a tank's main gun, clutching it desperately and trying not to fall off.

    Tank Raider: Oi! Get offa my tank!

    The tank raider swings the barrel about, trying to jounce Al off, but only succeeds in turning his face green with nausea.

    Couchman: On the plus side, probably a lot safer there than we are.

    A flurry of shells from the other tanks finally collapses the entire courthouse, sending the heroes tumbling down in a cloud of debris. As they're falling, Losien's indignant yell can be heard.

    Losien: You had to say it.......!

  15. #1695
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow Tanks!

    As the Heroes clear their heads after their fall, they are suddenly whipped up by a plot-hole - caused by Writers posting simultaneously - and deposited back into the roof.

    The Otter:"Convenient."

    Losien: "I think, if I jump, I could land on one of the tanks from here. Anyone know how to work a tank?"

    They all look at Couchman.

    Couchman: "Well, as it turns out, yes I do."

    The Otter: "The guy's starting to turn out pretty useful after all!"

    Losien: "Let's go, Couchman."

    Losien leaps from the top of the crumbling building and tanks on the top of one of the tanks where a raider is sitting upright in the hatch, guzzling a bottle of absinthe.

    Before the raider could scream "holy crap", Losien had skewered him with Fred Teh Uber Blade.

    Fred, Teh Uber Blade: "I bet he felt a stabbing pain!"

    Losien: "Please don't start with the puns. Not now."

    Fred, Teh Uber: "Best time for 'em!"

    Couchman leaps from thee building and lands on the tank behind Losien. He's somewhat less adept at gymnastics than Losien and falls flat on his arse.

    Couchman: "Wounded... pride..."

    Losien drops into the tank to find the driver listening to metal music through a pair of huge, red headphones. He stuffs a burger into his mouth as he lines up the sights of the cannon.

    Fred, Teh Uber Blade: "I wonder what he's listening to."

    Losien: "Some kind of heavy metal."

    Fred, Teh Uber Blade: "Time to show him something more... cutting edge."

    Losien: "That... that was terrible!"

    At her outburst, the driver finally notices Losien standing there talking to her sword. He jumps from his seat, but moments later Losien has shown him afore mentioned cutting edge. Shown to his gut, in particular.

    Fred, Teh Uber Blade: "What a mess."

    Couchman climbs down the ladder and brushes past Losien. He pushes the disembowelled remains of the driver off of the seat and takes it for himself. He glances at Losien.

    Couchman: "So, you're a Queen in the making, just like my Iriana?"

    Losien: "Not... really. She wants to be Queen."

    Couchman: "Doesn't everyone want to rule, deep down?"

    Losien frowns but before she could refute, Couchman turns his attention back to the controls.

    Couchman: "Let's see if we can blow up a few tanks, shall we?"

    The turret spins slowly until its facing one of the other raider's tanks. Couchman fires. The Raider tank explodes, sending shrapnel high into the air like a classic action movie explosion.

    It takes the other Raider tanks a good two minutes before they realised what was happening. By then, it was too late. Couchman fires again, sending another tank full of raiders into the afterlife.

    Moments later, however.

    Losien: "Quick, quick, quick, quick, quick! It's turning!"

    "I'm going! I'm going!"

    Couchman starts the tank rolling, quick as he could, however the enemy cannons are training on Losien and Couchman's tank much faster than he can shift the vehicle.

    Losien: "Oh crapcakes..."

    Out of nowhere comes an arc of light, whirling down from the sky. It crashes straight into one of the tanks, instantly blowing it up into smithereens. Love that word. Smithereens.

    One of the tanks makes a hasty shot at Losien and Couchman, the shell pummels the ground beside their tracks and explodes, causing them to flip into the air. Their tank lands again - still the right way up!

    Losien: "What were the chances?"


    Up on the roof.

    CynthAI: "The chances that their tank would land the right side up--"

    Frank Smith: "Not now, CynthAI! One of those tanks is aiming for us next!"

    With very few other options available, The Otter jumps forward and unleashes one of his legendary Vulcan flame casts. Fire erupts from his hands and spirals through the air like a flaming vortex before it meets the deadly tank. Although the tank doesn't do anything so dramatic as to explode, the fire unnaturally engulfs the metal vehicle and cooks anyone unfortunate enough to still be inside.

    Maeve: "Wow, ten minutes without booze and you're already competent, Otter."

    The Otter: "I'm competent on the booze too! Don't give Losien more excuses, Maeve!"

    Frank Smith: "Who's that!?"

    The Otter: "Aw crap..."

    Frank Smith: "What? Who is it?"

    The Otter: "Arbiter."

    Arbiter, the Super Saiyan-Sith Lord, was the streaking light. He now floats out of the wreckage of the tank he pummelled with his fists and spots the final tank trying to make a break for it. He quickly flies after it, grabs the cannon and hoists the vehicle into the air. He spins around and around and around before finally releasing the tank and watches it fly off into the distance. In his right hand he catches Al Ciao, who fell from the cannon - finally disloged.

    Frank Smith: "How... exactly do you know this guy?"

    The Otter: "He was with us on the very first Pages of the NeS. He's kind of like a nice bad guy..."

    Iriana Emp: "A nice bad guy?"

    The Otter: "Well... it's more like he's not outright evil. Uses his powers for himself. That kind of thing."

    Frank Smith: "What's he doing here?"

    Tracer: "The word on the street was that this joker is a general in the Forgotten Army."

    As if on cue, as so often happens in the NeS, there is a trumpeting that announces the arrival of a battalion of the Forgotten Army. Forgotten Characters climb, jump or fly over the car wall and pounce on the heroes one-by-one. Arbiter himself lands upon the top of the tank containing Losien and Couchman. The fact that he landed on it, rather than through it, reveals that his intentions are to capture those inside rather than mangle them.

    He rips off the hatch and drops down inside. Moments later Couchman is shoved through the hatch and Arbiter then emerges, dragging Losien.

    The other Forgotten Characters have climbed up the building, jumped or flown up, and have taken those on the roof as prisoners. The one giving the orders is none other than... Maybelle Child.

    MaybeChild: "Otter. I... I'm actually surprised to see you with them."

    The Otter: "Maybe..."

    MaybeChild: "Surprised that you managed to drag your backside off the couch after another session of binge drinking!"

    Frank Smith: "Uh... and this one?"

    The Otter: "She's... she's my ex."


    Sometime later, the Forgotten Army begins marching their prisoners back to their current base camp. The courthouse stands silent. Except for four heads, poking above the debris pile.

    Amal: "I still think we should have tried."

    Gebohq: "There was like... a billion of them!"

    Rachel Pi: "More like forty of them, Geb."

    Evil G: "They'd have caught us as well, Amal. Use your God damn brain."

    Evil G: "Alright, so we sneak after them and see where they go."

    Gebohq:"I like this plan. Sneaking is a good plan."

    Subaru Yamamoto: "I can do ninja. I'm Japanese."

    Evil G: "Subaru, you've as much grace as a ballet-dancing panda..."

    Subaru smacks Evil G.


    Meanwhile, in the city above the clouds of China a group of ballet-dancing pandas are entertaining the wives of Emperor Pi. Unfortunately, it would seem that Evil G's assessment was fairly accurate as the pandas bounce about with their fat bellies wobbling the whole while.
    Last edited by TheBritt; 02-28-2014 at 12:26 PM.

  16. #1696
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow Hillingdon Camp

    The Forgotten Army camp is somewhere outside of the city. It takes the army and its prisoners over three hours to walk there, avoiding main roads and obvious streets. The army would break off into smaller groups, scouting and constantly reporting back and forth like a well-oiled machine. The prisoners are smuggled through London to a smaller town in the surrounding area named Hillingdon.

    Night has finally set and under the cover of darkness they are able to move faster. Avoiding the King's patrols and avoiding conflicts with roaming demons.

    Amal, Gebohq, Amal, Rachel and Subaru creep after the army - barely able to keep pace.

    The camp itself is centred in the middle of a wide parkland area with quiet little houses all around it. The camp consists of a simple metal fence around the perimeter and inside are massive tents. Clearly not the Forgotten Army's main base of operations, but a camp in the area. The chain link fence extends inwardly to make a series of make-shift cells, each with a mesh door. Heroes are thrown into these cells until the camp leader is ready to speak with them.

    Losien is thrown in first, along with Maeve and Couchman.

    Iriana Emp is unceremoniously thrown into a cell, along with Frank Smith and, somewhat more gently treated, Lady LightSide.

    Tracer, Al Ciao and The Otter are put into the last one.

    Couchman: "Do either of you have any hairpins?"

    Maeve instantly cheers up at Couchman's brainwave. She turns and stares at Losien expectantly.

    Losien: "I don't use hairpins! Don't you?"

    Maeve: "I wear my pyjamas all day long, you really think I have hairpins with me?"

    Couchman sighs and slumps onto the small bench provided. Maeve wets her lips.

    Maeve: "Really could have done with a drink right about now."

    She glares at Losien.

    Losien: "You don't need it."

    Maeve: "I didn't say need. Want, Losien. I want a drink!"

    Losien: "Well, we don't have anything."

    Maeve: "You--!"

    Losien: "Are you feeling aggressive because you need a drink, Maeve?"

    Maeve opens her mouth to shout in protest but stops as she realises Losien may be right. She holds back her tongue and, instead, starts sulking in the corner where she sits down. Losien goes to the gate and peers through the holes in the wire - spying on the army soldiers that passed by.

    In the next cell, Iriana has taken the opportunity to talk to her step-mother.

    Iriana Emp: "So when you have your child, you will turn into DarkSide and probably try to kill everybody, correct."

    Lady LightSide: "Correct."

    Iriana Emp: "Well... I don't think I like you very much."

    Lady LightSide: "It's not my fault! It's my alter-ego!"

    Iriana Emp: "But you, are the alter-ego. DarkSide is the original."

    LightSide's face becomes awash with sadness.

    Frank Smith is sat on the bench next to Lady LightSide. He puts an arm around the woman and looks up at Iriana.

    Frank Smith: "Don't you think you're being unfair? She doesn't know what's going to happen, just as much as we don't know either."

    Iriana Emp: "Can't you use you watch to go to the future and see what happens to her?"

    Frank Smith: "I don't think so. I think the cops from the Far Distant Future may still be out to get me, so jumping that far through time right now would be stupid. I can manage a few seconds, here or there. I'm actually waiting to see what the plan is before I escape this place."

    Iriana Emp: "You'll come back for everyone, right!?"

    Frank Smith: "Erm..."

    Now it is Iriana's turn to look sad.

    Frank Smith: "I'm just joking. Of course I'll help everyone get out of here.. if I have to. I have a feeling that our captors, though, have some kind of deal they want to make. Else why go through so much trouble?"

    Iriana Emp: "... ... ... they could be cannibals!!"

    Frank Smith face-palms.

    In the last cell The Otter opens up his doctor's bag and pulls out... a bottle of gin.

    Tracer: "Managed to sneak one past her?"

    Otter also takes out three shot glasses from his infinite bag.

    The Otter: "More than one, mate. Here, drink up. Let's pass the time!"

    Tracer and Al Ciao accept a glass of gin each and the three of them start to get drunk.

    Al Ciao: "So, Otter, what's going on with Maybe being here? What's the deal?"

    The Otter: "I don't want to talk about it."

    Al Ciao: "Dude... she's right there. Go talk to her."

    The Otter: "No way!"

    Al Ciao: "If you talk to her, she might let us go!"

    The Otter: "If I talk to her, she'll never let us go."


    Just outside the camp, the five free heroes lie on the grass in the dark and spy on the camp. The five of them are dressed like ninjas, minus the masks. Rachel is still wearing her jester hat, however, ruining the effect somewhat.

    The other four glare at her.

    Rachel Pi:"I can't take it off! That'd be like... sacrilegious or something!"

  17. #1697
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow Tanooki

    The four heroes outside the camp sneak forward a few steps.

    *jingle jingle jingle*

    They sneak forward another few steps.

    *jingle jingle jingle*

    Subaru, at the lead, stops and turns around.

    "Rachel, if you don't remove that hat I'm going to force-feed it to you."

    Rachel: "You can try!"

    Gebohq: "Let's not argue guys. If she doesn't want to take it off, she doesn't have to. We just need a new plan."

    Rachel pulls a tongue out at Subaru.



    Evil G: "So what's the new plan, genius?"

    Gebohq: "Another costume change..."


    In the first pen, the argument between Maeve and Losien is starting to heat up as a lot of pent up frustration is being released.

    Maeve: "I don't think I like this new you."

    Losien: "What do you mean, new me?"

    Maeve: "All this new-found confidence has turned sour. Now you're just a tyrant."

    Losien: "I am not a tyrant! You drink too much, Maeve. It's for you own good!"

    Maeve: "Why don't I get to decide that for myself?"

    "Because you can't control yourself, Maeve. That's why it's a drinking problem."

    Maeve: "You're talking to me about self-control? You? You're the only who cheated on your boyfriend!"

    Losien: "I was under the influence of evil!"

    Maeve: "Yeah, which has happened to you twice now! Remember the first time? You had Farr kill me!"

    Losien: "It's not my fault! Being under evil's spell is like... like alcoholism! You can't help it!"

    Maeve: "Exactly! So who are you to citicise me? At least my drinking doesn't get people killed! It was really bloody painful too. He tore me apart!"

    Losien: "You say it won't get people killed, but look at Otter. He blew up an entire planet! And we both know he's not really stupid. He's just stupid for alcohol. One day you'd have responsibility of someone and they'd wind up dead for no reason other than you being drunk."

    Maeve: "You're going to get someone killed too! Maybe you'll do it yourself! Next time you turn evil again. Want to kill me again, Losien?"

    Losien: "No I don't! I want to save you, and that's what I'm doing! Right now it's the alcohol talking, not you."

    Maeve: "God damn it, I wish Geb was still our leader. Why the Hell do you want to be the Main Character anyway? Why not just give it up? Give it to Amal. Al Ciao. Hell, why didn't you give it to Soriel before he died?"

    Losien: "Don't talk about Soriel like you knew him."

    Maeve: "I did know him! We were mates while we were trying to find you lot! He saved me from Mr Stafford. Not that you ever bothered to ask."

    Losien: "Oh, you can't use that against me! That's story convention, the readers didn't want to re-read the same old thing! It's assumed you told us off-screen or something!"

    Maeve: "That's right. Hide behind story convention. The truth is Geb cared more about his team than you do. You're way more selfish than he was. He might be a chicken, but he wanted us all to run away."

    Losien: "Oh, that's rich coming from you! The woman who'd sell her own grandmother for a thimble of gin!"

    Maeve: "Why you--!!"

    Maeve takes a few angry steps towards Losien but then stops when Couchman, who tried to be invisible, finally pipes up.

    Couchman: "Uh, are you guys going to have angry sex right now? Because if you are, I'm still here... so... please don't. My relationship with Iriana is already on the rocks thanks to her dad showing up. I don't need to be involved in any lesbian sex conspiracies."

    Both women stare at Couchman, their eyes flashing between anger, confusion, shame and humour.

    Maeve: "Actually, to be honest, angry sex with you would be absolutely awesome right about now, Losien."

    Losien: "I won't deny it'd be better than being punched in the face."

    Maeve: "Much better. How about Couchman gets the guard to take him to the loo and we work out our differences?"

    Losien: "We've been down this road before, Maeve. And you just criticised me for it! I cheated on TLTE with you!"

    Couchman: "Who needs to watch daytime TV when you have NeS Heroes for friends?"

    Maeve: "Hey, it was you that seduced me that time! I have to admit, I was pretty shocked at the time. Not that it wasn't great, but I didn't expect it! But it's not like I'm the one cheating, either. I have no woman in my life. And to be frank, when you pinned me down in that laundrette I hadn't had... any for a while..."

    Losien: "Don't even say the word laundrette. It's probably the single-most embarrassing thing in my life."

    Maeve: "Yeah, considering you'd only been in the Never-ending Story for like two posts and you were shagging in one..."

    Losien: "Why do you have to keep bringing that up!?"

    Couchman: "Wow... you learn something new everyday..."

    Maeve: "Because it's true! I mean, right now you're so quick to criticise and try to control me - but you're no God damn angel yourself. You're so quick to judge and act all superior to me, but you have your own problems! What gives you the right!?"

    Losien: "Look, I was telling the truth when I said I care, alright? I care about you, I care about Otter. I mean, Christ, Otter's liver must be about ready to give up the ghost by now and yours will only go the same way! Fine, maybe I do have my own issues but the last time I checked, having sex in laundromats never got anyone killed!"

    "I don't know, some of those washing machines..."

    Losien smiles in spite of herself.

    Losien: "Look. I want to help you be more than just the drink. We shared something. Most Characters round here grow closer from dramatic action scenes where they save each other or whatever. But we connected on another level, you know? It... we have quite a history--"

    Maeve: "You got me killed."

    Losien: "--Yes..."

    Maeve: "And you nailed me in a laundrette."

    Losien: "More that one..."

    "So you care about little old me, huh? Don't say that within earshot of TLTE. He might bear-hug me and break my spine."

    Losien: "Truth is... I don't know why he isn't more angry with me for it. Maybe he doesn't even believe it happened... or maybe he doesn't understand what actually happened? You know how little we all actually talk about the things that happen to us..."

    Maeve: "Like being eaten alive by Farr..."

    Losien: "I'm really, really, really, really sorry that I got you killed Maeve! Happy now?"

    Maeve: "We're getting there. Why haven't you talked to TLTE about... our... antics?"

    Losien: "He hasn't asked me about it. And I'm avoiding the subject to be honest. I only went on that quest for Al's penis to escape talking it through with him."

    Maeve: "Sorry, Los."

    Losien: "What for?"

    Maeve: "For not controlling myself in the laundrette. I knew you had TLTE but I didn't tell you no. I should have. I wasn't under the influence of evil. Just the influence of booze and libido. I guess that's two vices."

    Losien: "Well... like I said. Sex in a laundromat isn't going to get you killed."

    Couchman: "Never heard of STDs?"

    Maeve and Losien look at each other with a mixture of embarrassment and relief. They both smile with small laughs that mask the sudden unease within them both... the unease of taking that first step towards resolving their issues.

    Losien opens her arms a little.

    Losien: "Come on."

    Maeve moves in and hugs Losien tightly. They appreciate one other's warmth as friends and the new physical connection to match the emotional one. They remain there for some time in the silence. Even Couchman decides now would be a good time to be quiet. Until eventually Losien feels something.

    "Get your hand off my butt."

    Maeve: "Just had to take the opportunity. I might never get to feel that gorgeous arse ever again!"

    Losien: "If you were Otter, I would have smacked you for that."

    Maeve: "Then I guess it's lucky you like me more than you like Otter, eh?"

    Losien: "... you know Otter is cute in his own special way..."

    Maeve: "You can't trick me, Losien. I know where your lust lies and it's not with the hobo!"



    Evil G: "Tanooki suits..."

    Gebohq: "Tanooki suits."

    Evil G: "This is your great plan?"

    Gebohq: "Awesome right!?"

    The four of them are dressed in tanooki suits from Super Mario Bros. And, like in Super Mario Bros 3, the suits should allow them to transform into statues! Although they do look stupid in those suits.

    Rachel: "I think I look pretty cute, actually."

    Subaru: "Annoyingly... I think I look cute too. This is not helping my street cred."

    Gebohq: "How do we look?"

    Rachel: "My Gebby. You look really cute. Cuter than us girls, even!"

    Gebohq: "Thanks, Rachel!"

    Evil G: "Geb, that wasn't a compliment!"

    Rachel: "Evil G looks like an idiot."

    Evil G: "You--!"

    Subaru: "He always looks like an idiot."

    Rachel: "Touché!"

  18. #1698
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow Gebby Gebby Gebby

    Gebohq: "Gebby, Gebby, Gebby..."

    Subaru: "Please not the Mario jokes..."

    Evil G: "Gebby, Gebby, Gebby..."

    Subaru: "You too!?"

    Rachel: "Gebby, Gebby, Gebby..."


    Gebohq nudges Subaru.

    Subaru: "..."

    Evil G nudges Subaru.

    Subaru: "I refuse. I'm not 'Gebbying' to Mario music."

    Rachel kicks Subaru in the shin.


    Rachel: "That'll do."


    Back in the middle pen, Lady LightSide and Iriana Emp are having family troubles - while Frank Smith is having watch troubles.

    Lady LightSide: "You are an incredibly ungrateful young woman, Iriana! You have no idea what your father gave up for you!"

    Iriana Emp: "He gave it up to save himself! He would have done it anyway!"

    Frank Smith: "Maybe I should teleport out of here after all..."

    CaptAIn: "I would advise against that. In my personal experience when you must share a cell with a member of the opposite sex they often seek comfort from you. Both of these women will need comforting. Especially when you save the day. They'll be very upset if you don't allow them to show you their appreciation..."

    Frank Smith: "... you know I'm gay, right?"

    CaptAIn: "...Does that mean you are like one of the women? Will you need comforting?"

    Frank Smith: "Wow... my watch is incredibly sexist and homophobic. I never thought I'd see the day."

    CynthAI: "He leaves the seat up on our toilet."

    CaptAIn: "It's a digital toilet! All you have to do is run a program to do it!"

    CynthAI: "You could have run the program when you were finished."

    Frank Smith:
    "I don't even want to know what you actually mean by toilet."

    CynthAI: "You call it the 'recycle bin'."

    Frank Smith facepalms.

    Lady LightSide: "The fact is, Iriana, I am LightSide for a reason. I am made of goodness, niceness, happiness, pleasantness and loveliness. I sparkle in sunlight, I radiate a healing glow, I fart God damn rainbows! But you are beginning to annoy even me!"

    Iriana Emp: "You're just jealous because you will always be second to me, LightSide. I am his precious daughter and I always will be. He loved me before he even knew you."

    Lady LightSide: "He will soon have another child, a child I am carrying right now! You're just a spoilt brat and soon you'll come to realised, the hard way, that your father's attention isn't for you alone!"

    Iriana Emp: "You're right. It's not. If it was, he wouldn't have left me alone for so long! But that doesn't change the fact that you could never be his number one, LightSide. Once you've given birth you'll turn into an ugly monster - and probably a man - and my father will hate you. Hate you. Hate you!"

    Iriana points an angry finger at her mother-in-law.

    Lady LightSide: "That's..."

    Iriana Emp, seeing the woman broken and lost, instantly regrets what she had just done. She couldn't stop herself. She wanted so much to win the argument, to prove she was somehow right. Somehow better than Lady LightSide. All she did was poke needles into the woman's weaknesses.

    Iriana Emp: "I... I shouldn't have said that."

    Lady LightSide begins to cry softly. She doesn't wail, but her tears are in full-flow down her face. Golden tears at that. Like liquid sunlight.

    Iriana Emp: "I'm sorry! Please don't cry!"

    Iriana herself is now a little teary eyed too. Frank Smith is clearly uncomfortable and way out of his element. He was used to emotional men, but not emotional women.

    Frank Smith: "Iriana, why are you being so nasty to her?"

    Iriana Emp: "I just said I'm sorry! I didn't mean it!"

    Lady LightSide: "No... it's okay... because it's true. And I don't know how to stop it. It's not... it's not just that Al won't love me anymore... it's even more. I'll be gone. I'll be dead! DarkSide will be there and I won't be. I'll cease to exist. And Al would have another dead wife to remember..."

    Iriana thinks of her mother. She never knew her, but she still had an idealised version of the woman in her mind. When she had been younger Iriana had pretended to drink tea with her mother, imagined that her mother would have been proud of her and who she had become.

    She doubted her mother would approve of her bullying her father's new wife.

    Iriana Emp: "We'll figure this out, LightSide. And... and I'll help you do it!"

    Lady LightSide: "You don't have to say that, just because you feel sorry for me now..."

    Iriana Emp: "That's not it. It's just... I've wanted to be able to spend time with my father for so long that... I'm just scared of losing him again. To you. And your baby. But, I can't be like that. You're my... my mother -- in a way. And you have my brother... or sister inside you. We're a family and I need to... adjust. It's not you. It's me. And I don't think it would be fair to my father, or my sibling... or me, if we were to lose you so soon. I want to help you and so I will. I will make my father find the answer."

    Frank Smith: "I doubt the answer lies in Armenia, Iriana..."

    Iriana Emp: "No... you're right. Armenia will have to wait. This is more important. Maybe, after we've solved the puzzle, we can all go back to Armenia together."

    Lady LightSide, somewhat unceremoniously, uses her sleeves to wipe away the shiny tears and sniffs.

    Lady LightSide: "I'd like that."

    Iriana Emp: "Then it's settled. We'll work together from now on. Friends?"

    Lady LightSide embraces her daughter-in-law.

    Lady LightSide: "Thank you."

    CaptAIn: "Lieutenant Smith, this would be a good opportunity for that comforting I mentioned."

    Frank Smith: "Who's going to save me, huh?"


    Gebohq: "Gebby, Geb, Geb - Gebby Geeeeb. Geb Geb - Geb."

    Evil G: "Gebby Geeeb - Geb Geb Geb Geb Geb!"

    Subaru: "Please... no more Mario music..."

    Amal's voice comes over the radio.

    Amal: "Rachel... what's going on? Why are they singing Geb over and over?"

    Subaru: "All NeS Heroes we should be supplied with cyanide pills for when we're under extreme duress!"

    Amal: "Well tell them to shut up, someone's headed your way. I see them now. Two of them."

    Subaru: "Guys, you hear that?"

    Gebohq: "Gebby Geb- Ouch!"

    Two Forgotten Army Characters walk by, patrolling the area loosely. They are deep in conversation.

    MaybeChild: "I don't know. I just... he started drinking again, Ping!"

    Ping: "I know. But what harm could it do to talk to him? Maybe he stopped again? Realised his mistake?"

    MaybeChild: "Maybe you're right. It's just... been so long. And now it looks like one of the Writers even remembered him. Remembered him and not me. I mean, it's like he was rewarded for drinking again."

    Ping: "... ... ..."

    MaybeChild watches Ping. The green-and-white clad man is walking on the spot in a repeated motion that looks incredibly weird. MaybeChild just sighs with annoyance and crosses her arms. She waits. She glances at the four weird stone statues. She frowns at them. One of them, wearing round sunglasses, appears to be giving the middle finger... Another is wearing a jester's hat, another has a rather large axe and the fourth looked strangely like Maybe's ex-boyfriend, Gebohq.

    She reaches out towards the Gebohq statue, somewhat longingly, but is suddenly distracted when Ping is released from his laggy spell.

    Ping: "Whoa, sorry about that. Major lag. You'd think in this day-and-age of cable, I wouldn't lag anymore. Let me just defrag myself for a minute..."

    Behind MaybeChild Rachel re-emerges from her statue form and runs at Maybe's back with violent intent. Gebohq, however, slips out of his statue form and tackles Rachel just before she could strike MaybeChild across the back of the head.

    Maybe glances behind her - not thinking to look downwards where she would have seen two of the statues locked in an embrace on the ground. The Rachel statue is reaching out for MaybeChild with a horrible, angry expression on its face.

    Ping distracts here again.

    "Alright. I'm good to go. I think the new upgrades I made to my Pixel Blade are using up too much RAM in my hub. I might have to sort that out later. You, on the other hand, should go and talk to Otter."

    While he speaks, Ping flicks his fingers - opening his palm - and in it appears a pixelated sword. It's long, like a katana, but it's image is all pixelated like an 8-bit game sword on a large, life-size scale.

    MaybeChild: "You're right. Here I go."

    She draws a deep breath and marches off towards the pens. Ping looks down at the statues which were all now in a big pile. Three statues were pinning down the fourth. Ping blinks with mild surprise at the weird work of art but decides not to investigate further. He has a major overhaul of his systems to do.

  19. #1699
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow Rescue Mission

    Gebohq: "Rachel! Me and Maybe were a very, very long time ago! Why are you getting so jealous all of a sudden?"

    Rachel: "Didn't you see that look? She still wants you, Gebby! But she can't have you!"

    Gebohq: "Uh... right. Well, even if she does, you're right. She can't have me. I'm all yours."

    Evil G: "Don't flatter yourself. She was just surprised how much your statue looked like you. Idiots. She wants Otter. God knows why. I mean wow! First you, then Otter. She has really bad taste."

    Gebohq: "You were me when she was with... you... me... us!"

    Evil G: "Yeah and I was a dweeb then, and you are now."

    Subaru: "You're like a bunch of kids. We must be close to the jails. What should we do, just let them out and make a run for it?"

    Gebohq: "Sounds like a plan!"

    Evil G: "That... really isn't a plan..."

    Rachel: "You know, these suits should let us fly as well as turn into statues."

    Gebohq: "Seriously!?"

    Gebohq's eyes light up.

    "You just have to waggle your tail."

    Evil G: "But... it's a suit, how--"

    Evil G stares at Rachel as she starts hovering about after waggling her tail. She flutters in a circle close to the ground, then touches down gently.

    Evil G: "Mario is a stupid game..."

    Subaru: "So we pick up one person each and fly away with them? That would still leave some behind..."

    Evil G: "Tell you what, we'll leave the decision making to Losien. She's our charismatic leader, right? We don't have to make the hard choices, that's what she's here for!"

    The others mull that over for a brief moments before nodding in agreement. They continue their stealth approach towards the camp, turning into statues whenever Amal reported patrols.


    In the third pen;

    Al Ciao: "There were a dozen virgins
    Fresians Thanes and Franks
    We took them for some pickn'
    But all we got were wanks."

    Tracer: "The prettiest of the virgins
    She was so fair and sweet.
    I told her I'd a organ
    For where to spread my seed."

    The Otter: "The oldest of the virgins
    She was a vandal lass.
    I showed her my mighty weapon
    And she showed me her ass."

    Al Ciao: "The fattest of the virgins
    We took her for a whore.
    I gave her all me codpiece
    She still wanted more."

    Tracer: "Her sister was from Norway
    She cost me twenty groats.
    She showed there was more ways
    Than one to sow my oats."

    The Otter: "Her mother was from Iceland
    And she was very hot.
    It took a whole damn iceberg
    To cool her burning twa--!"

    MaybeChild: "Otter?"

    The Otter: "--t... urrr, hi! Maybe! Wow! You look... amazing!"

    MaybeChild: "Sorry you're locked up..."

    The Otter: "It's... okay. No problem. I mean, it's not like it's never happened to me before, right!? Ha!"

    MaybeChild: "It's been a long time. How've you been?"

    The Otter: "Oh... you know? The same old. Being dragged around the world, saving stuff, slaying beasts, getting Al a new penis..."

    MaybeChild: "Uh... run that last one by me again?"

    The Otter: "Truth is. I miss you. I've missed you a long time now. I'm sorry I broke up with you!"

    Al Ciao: "Dude, you broke up with her!?"

    The Otter: "Quiet you."

    MaybeChild: "I'm sorry I got angry with you Otter. But you shouldn't have left me just because of that. I had a right to be angry with you!"

    The Otter: "... Maybe..."

    MaybeChild: "What?"

    The Otter: "No, I meant... maybe you did have a good reason. I just--"

    MaybeChild: "You... smell like booze..."

    Al Ciao & Tracer: "Oh, we are Beowulf's army,
    Each a mighty Thane--"

    The Otter: "It's not... I'm not... we're not--!"

    Al Ciao & Tracer: "--We'll pummel your asses
    And ravage your lasses
    And do it all again!"

    MaybeChild: "All three of you are absolutely drunk out of your heads!"

    The Otter: "No, no! Only... only a little--"

    "Otter!! God! Here I am apologising to you for getting worked up and here you are doing it all over again! Did you even spend a day sober since you left?"

    The Otter: "Maybe... maybe there was fifteen minutes one day?"

    MaybeChild: "You know what? You were right to leave. This is the life you want. And it's not one I want to be a part of. I won't watch you throw everything away, I won't clean up after you and I won't watch you die of alcohol poisoning. Goodbye, Otter!"

    She storms away, red hair trailing behind her as she goes.

    The Otter falls to his knees calling after her, but she doesn't listen. She disappears behind the tents and is gone. Otter starts blubbering with self-pity and heartache. Al Ciao stumbles over to him and falls against the gate where he slides down it, facing inwards. He motions with his hand to Tracer, who then throws him another bottle.

    Al Ciao: "Women, right? Here, get this down you. You'll feel better soon enough, dude."

    The Otter: "No..."

    Al Ciao: "Eh?"

    The Otter: "I said no! Just... leave me alone."

    Al Ciao sighs, shrugs and makes his way back to Tracer who begin discussing the situation in low tones.


    Gebohq: "Losien!! Losien it's me... it's... Geb... Losien, what're you doing?"

    Losien spins around looking very guilty and embarrassed.

    Losien: "We were just making up!"

    Gebohq: "You were just making out!?"

    Losien: "No-- making up! We've been fighting, then we were just hugging."

    Couchman: "I wasn't looking. Please making sure Iriana knows that, Gebohq."

    Gebohq: "Uh... right... we're here to get you out."

    Maeve: "Hey, Gebby. Uh, mate, why're you dressed like a rat?"

    Gebohq: "It's a tanooki suit."

    Maeve: "A what?"

    Gebohq: "It's from Mario. Not ringing any bells? Doesn't matter. Basically, I can fly with this thing on! So I'm here to fly someone away!"

    Maeve: "Who?"

    Gebohq: "Up to Losien. There's four of us with suits. They're just opening the other jails now. We can fly four people away... the rest will have to... get out on their own, I guess."

    Losien: "And you've left it up to me to decide, right?"

    Gebohq: "You're the boss now!"

    Losien: "Gee, thanks big brother."

    Gebohq: "No problem, Los! I didn't want to undermine your authority or anything!"

    Losien, Maeve and Couchman file out of their pen to see Lady LightSide, Iriana Emp and Frank Smith already free. At the very end they see Tracer, Al Ciao and The Otter stagger out of their jail.

    Losien: "I wondered what all that singing was..."

    Frank Smith: "That was singing!?"

    Losien: "Well, it looks like you'll have to fly the drunkards out of here..."

    Evil G: "Unless you want to leave them here as punishment?"

    Losien: "No. Pick one up each and fly them away. The last one takes LightSide."

    Evil G and Gebohq go to Al Ciao and Tracer who put up zero effort of enquiry as to what was happening to them. The two look-a-likes waggle their tails and begin to fly away with their heavy burdens.

    As Subaru went to grab Otter he pushes her away.

    The Otter: "Leave me..."

    Losien frowns.

    Losien: "That's not going to happen, Otter."

    The Otter: "Please... Losien... just... leave me here."

    He slumps forward into the cold earth, face pressed against the grass.

    Maeve: "I'm sorry, Losien."

    Losien: "What're you sorry for?"

    Maeve: "That's usually me, isn't it?"

    Losien doesn't want to ruin their renewed friendship so she chooses not to agree with Maeve and, instead, doesn't reply. She just looks back at Otter pitifully.

    Subaru: "There's no way I can carry him kicking and screaming. I'll only drop the idiot."

    The Otter: "Leave me..."

    Losien: "Subaru get LightSide. LightSide, will you be okay?"

    Lady LightSide: "I hope so!"

    Losien: "Subaru, be careful with her."

    Subaru: "Sure. C'mon, fatty."

    Lady LightSide: "I am not fat!"

    Subaru manages to hold onto the pregnant woman and carry her off into the night sky.

    Losien now deliberates. Who would be the most risk? Who... would Losien not like to see captured?

    Losien looks at Maeve.

    Maeve: "No! I'll stay. I'm a big girl! Take Frank, he's the sissy newbie."

    Frank Smith: "Truth is, if I was in any real danger, I could zap myself out of here. You should take Iriana out."

    Iriana Emp: "Me? Why me?"

    Frank Smith: "You're the littlest and youngest."

    Iriana Emp: "Oh... can't argue with that."

    Losien: "You're right, Frank. Rachel, take Iriana."

    Rachel: "What's the magic word?"

    Losien: "Please, Rachel?"

    Rachel: "Aye aye, captain!"

    Rachel walks over to Iriana Emp.

    Maeve: "I tell you what, Rachel!"

    Rachel: "Huh?"

    Maeve: "You in that costume. Yum yum!"

    Rachel: "I know, right!? I'm just so damn cute! Unfortunately for you, I'm all Geb's!"

    Maeve: "They all say that, Rachel..."

    Rachel: "Huh!? Who's them all!? Who's says they're Geb's!?"

    Maeve: "What? No, that's not what I meant..."

    "Oh right... I see."

    Maeve: "Paranoid, much?"

    Rachel: "Well, considering the rumours about you two is it any wonder I'm a little worried these days?"

    Losien and Maeve look uncomfortable, casting quick glances at each other. Losien more so than Maeve.

    Rachel: "Come on, Iriana. Put your arms around me."

    Maeve: "Why couldn't I be wearing the tanooki suit? I want Iriana to put her arms around me!"

    They watch Rachel fly away with Iriana, who clings to Rachel for dear life. Losien stands with her hands on her hips and looks from Maeve to Frank to Couchman and finally to The Otter.

    Losien: "How do we get him out of here?"

    Couchman: "I thought he wanted to be left here?"

    Losien: "We don't leave The Otter behind. It's an unwritten rule of the NeS Heroes. He's our wound and we'll take care of him."

    Maeve again looks guilty.

    Frank Smith crouches down next to Otter.

    Frank Smith: "I don't think he's going to be able to walk. He's barely conscious."

    Losien: "Good, he won't fight us. Frank, Couchman, can you big fellas help carry him?"

    The two men hoist the drunk Otter up and wrap his arms out their shoulders, and their arms around his back. Together they manage to get him to move one leg in front of the other at a slow but steady pace and they begin to march out of the Forgotten camp.

    But they only made it a few metres from the camp before someone finally came to check on the prisoners.

    Sok Munkey: "Oi! Where do you lot think you're going!? Prisoners escaping!!"

    From the sky comes a screaming comet that slams into the earth just in front of the three men. The smoke clears to reveal Arbiter, one of the most powerful warriors in the Forgotten Army.

    Frank and Couchman both glance at Losien. The two newbies have no idea who the Hell this guy is supposed to be. Losien urgently shakes her head, calling off any attack they may have been considering. Arbiter's eyes rove from the three men to the two women.

    Arbiter: "Where did the rest of them go?"

    "Actually, that's a good question. They forgot to tell us the meet up point."

    Arbiter: "I don't believe you."

    Losien: "Arbiter, you remember my brother right?"

    Arbiter: "Gebohq?"

    "The same. I'm pretty sure this 'escape plan' was his. He forgot to tell us."

    Arbiter: "Fair enough."

    Sok Munkey: "Seriously? You're going to buy that?"

    Arbiter: "Geb wouldn't remember to wear pants everyday if he didn't sleep in them."

    Sok Munkey: "Ew. I'm a zom-- I mean... I'm mortally challenged and even I think that's gross."

    Losien: "I always knew you were a zombie!"

    Sok Munkey: "Hey! I find that term offensive!"

    Arbiter: "Get back in your cages."

    MaybeChild: "Wait! Wait! Otter! For God's sake, Otter!"

    Maybe runs over, dukes past her fellow Forgotten Army, and inspects Otter's face. He drools, but otherwise he doesn't respond.

    MaybeChild: "We'll take him to the medical tent. Can you two walk him there?"

    Frank and Couchman both shrug and turn Otter around. They are getting used to taking orders from strange women without question. Losien and Maeve quietly follow after them, hoping Arbiter wouldn't separate them from the men and throw them in the cell.

    Maeve then wonders if actually that wouldn't be such a bad thing.

    Losien: "Bad Maeve!"

    Maeve: "What!?"

    Losien: "I just heard what the Narrator said!"

    Maeve: "Bloody Narrator. My private thoughts are my own!"

    Frank Smith: "Losien. Who are these guys? I mean, the guy with the hair, the zombie guy, this woman. And I saw a bloke running on the spot before -- it looked really strange."

    Couchman: "I was beginning to wonder about that myself..."

    Losien: "They're the Forgotten Army. NeS Characters forgotten by the Writers. Some of them end up joining this army and fighting evil in the world. They believe that as a collective, they'll always be remembered. Remembered as the Forgotten Army."

    Couchman: "That's actually quite beautiful."

    Losien: "Some forgotten end up at the Convenience Store of the Damned under Mr Stafford."

    Maeve: "Where I was. Although it's the Corner Shop of the Damned here in the UK. We don't really say convenience store."

    Frank Smith: "And who are these guys specifically?"

    Losien: "Former NeS Heroes from Pages past. Arbiter, the guy with the hair, he was here before even I was."

    Couchman: "So why are they keeping us prisoner?"

    Losien: "I have no idea. Hopefully we can get some answers from MaybeChild."

    Couchman: "Who?"

    Losien: "Otter's girlfriend."

  20. #1700
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow Not True Blood

    Meanwhile (NeS Count: Not even going to dignify this with an answer) somewhere in America is a top secret lair for the supreme magical-scientist Mecha Lou the Witch. Above her 'super secret base' is a big neon sign reading "Mecha Lou's Awesome Secret Base".

    Inside the oh-so-secret base is Mecha Lou herself - the young witch that had saved Losien from being trapped between worlds (by surgically reattaching her soul to her body) and saved Al Ciao from a life, or rather eternal existence, as a ghost (by surgically replacing his decaying body parts with robot ones). Mecha Lou herself is fairly cybernetic. Her right forearm is made of metal, looking like some kind of technological bracer - yet underneath would only wires and circuits. Both of her legs are robotic, right down to her little booties. By that I mean feet, not her bum. And yet, I would have been right there too as the metal ends somewhat shy of her pelvis. Half of her face is covered by what looks like a Phantom of the Opera mask... but robofied. The eye is black and empty save for a small blue pinprick of light.

    Despite all these robot bits, she is still surprisingly attractive, especially because she also happens to be a robotics expert and a magical expert - that's geek squared. While she usually wears incredibly revealing 'clothes', for want of a better word, she is currently wearing a bathrobe, evidently not expecting guests.

    So obviously she ends up with a guest.

    When I say guest, I mean someone that just let herself in without even bothering to knock. So not so much a guest...

    Nyneve: "Is it ready?"

    Mecha Lou squeals and spills her morning cup of tea everywhere, ruining quite a few prototypes that are lying around the local vicinity.

    Mecha Lou: "What're you tryin' to do!? I could've had a heart attack! There's a bloody doorbell out there, y' know!?"

    Nyneve: "I thought about who the doorbell belonged to and realised it might explode or something..."

    There is a moment of silence.

    Mecha Lou: "Wise precaution. And yeah, it's finished."

    Nyneve: "Excellent. When can the blood be put into production?"

    Mecha Lou:
    "Soon. End of the week maybe. It's not normal blood we're talking about, it'll need more magic in there. But yeah, end of the week and you'll have an endless supply of your own synthetic ink blood for you and your chums."

    Nyneve cackles loudly for an extended period of time. After a minute of it, Mecha Lou decided to go and make herself a new cup of tea and wait.

    Nyneve: "Will you require the subject?"

    Almost four minutes after the cackling began Mecha Lou now drinks some of her fresh cup, gasps from delight, then shakes her head.

    Mecha Lou: "I shouldn't think so, no. The DNA largely comes from that auld Roman table you nicked from the Haunted Hall of Heroes. Had to be genuine blood ink from the Simon family line. Your little clone just helped fill in the gaps. Finish the sequences. A bit of magic to bind it all together and I've got you your blood. Obviously it won't be as good as the original stuff, probably won't taste great either to be honest, but it does the job, right?"

    Nyneve: "That felt suspiciously like exposition."

    Mecha Lou: "People probably forgot that you nicked the table by now, so they needed a bit of remindin' is all. Come to think of it, they probably don't even know what table I'm on about. The table mentioned in one of the Memories they had on Memory Lane where Losien's ancestors were murdered by a bunch of slaves - led to freedom by Highemperor and Soriel - and their blood was spilt all over their nice new table. Those blood stains were still in there, deep down. Just had to get the DNA out of it."

    Nyneve: "Are you reading from a script somewhere?"

    Mecha Lou: "So, I expect to be paid in full soon, yeah?"

    Nyneve: "Oh, you'll get paid exactly what you deserve..."

    They stand in silence for a brief spell.

    Mecha Lou: "Was that meant to be...?"

    Nyneve: "Yeah... didn't seem appropriate, did it?"

    Mecha Lou: "No. Plus I'll blow your 'ead off if you bugger me about. Automated turrets all over this base, there is. Tellin' you."

    Nyneve: "Fine, whatever. Here's your money."

    Nyneve dumps a massive bag of gold coins on the floor, far heavier than any normal human could have carried. It melts out of the shadows, just as she had done.

    Mecha Lou: "Another satisfied customer of the Ms Nymph's Consortium of Witches. Now, bugger off and let me have my breakfast in peace. I think I'll pop a bit of Jeremy Kyle of the telly and all. I love a bit of Jezza in the morning."


    Back in Hillingdon, the escapees are regrouping with Amal.

    Evil G: "So where are they now?"

    Amal: "They've been taken into the medical tent."

    Gebohq: "Was someone hurt!?"

    "No... just Otter. Very, very drunk."

    They all turn around to look at Al Ciao and Tracer sleeping on the grass where they had been deposited. Al Ciao farts in his sleep.

    Iriana Emp: "Grace and dignity vanquished..."

    Lady LightSide: "I think it's quite endearing, to be honest. Silly man."

    Iriana Emp: "Apparently I have a lot to learn on truly loving someone..."
    Lady LightSide: "How should we save them?"

    Amal: "I'm not sure that they need saving, to be honest. I think they were invited in to help Otter. It was MaybeChild that took them there."

    Lady LightSide: "So, what're we going to do?"

    Amal: "We'll have to wait. We can't save them right now... at least, we can't save Otter right now. Not until he's able to walk again. I think we should go into the town itself and sleep there until morning. That Arbiter might come looking for us."

    Gebohq: "Yeah... he has a PhD in Jedi arse-whooping. Best to avoid."

    Subaru: "Alright, we can just invade some 'for sale' house and squat there for the night. You boys in one room, girls in the other."

    Amal: "I was just thinking hotel, to be honest."

    Everyone considers their two options.

    Subaru: "Won't we be easily found in a hotel."

    Amal: "Arbiter strikes me as something of a Powergamer. Remember when we had to hide from Iriana the Powergamer in China? Soriel took us to the most undramatic place he could think of. We need somewhere to sleep for the night in a strange town - normal people go to a hotel. So that's what we'll do. Arbiter would never think to look there."

    Gebohq: "Wow, it sounds like you learnt a lot from Soriel!"

    Amal: "I guess so."

    Gebohq: "I learnt how it feels to have my body chopped into lots of little pieces from that guy."

    Amal: "I... guess that was a... different time in his life..."

    Evil G: "To the hotel! They'll probably have double rooms, we can save some money that way. I guess Subaru's going to have to get a room to herself though."

    Subaru: "Were you trying to make that sound like a bad thing?"

    Evil G: "Good point, want to swap with me? You can share with Geb. He's basically a girl but with no boobs."

    Gebohq: "Heeeeey!"
    Last edited by TheBritt; 03-03-2014 at 02:07 PM.

  21. #1701
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow Hotel of the Damned

    The Hotel of the Damned.

    The NeS Heroes - Amal, Subaru, Gebohq, Evil G, Rachel, Lady LightSide, Iriana Emp and dragging Al Ciao and Tracer - pile into the nearest hotel available, which just so happens to be another chain of 'Damned' services.

    Gebohq and Amall approach the main desk while the others try to prop Tracer and Al Ciao up in some chairs.

    Tracer: "The Virgins!... Mmmmmurrr.... Virgins are coming! Mmmf..."

    Al Ciao: "Go.... goooo! Gadget boots."

    Al Ciao is suddenly sent flying through the closest window.

    Amal: "Uh... we'll pay for that!"

    Liberius Vir (the Writer): "It's okay. We're insured against accidental gadget boots."

    Amal: "... you are?"

    "Hold on, I know you! Liberius Vir, right? Why are you here, you've not been gone for that long!"

    Liberius Vir (the Writer): "Do I know you guys?"

    Amal: "Wait, Geb. Do we really want to get Mr Stafford breathing down our necks as well as the Forgotten Army?"

    Liberius Vir (the Writer): "You know my boss?"

    Gebohq: "Okay, good point. Doesn't matter Liberius Vir... You really need a nickname. How about Lib? Or Vir?"

    Amal: "Look, can we just have some rooms please?"

    Liberius Vir (the Writer): "Sure. Truth is no one visits this town so most of the rooms are empty. How many would you like?"

    Fifteen minutes later and the heroes were dividing themselves into the rooms they hired. Al Ciao and Tracer are put into separate rooms so that the other men can keep an eye on them - make sure they don't die in their drunken sleep or something.

    Amal: "Who wants Al, who wants Tracer?"

    Lady LightSide: "I'll save you the trouble, I'll stay with my husband and Iriana can stay with Subaru. I'm sure they'll be alright together."

    Evil G: "Awesome, that just leaves our resident dick."

    Amal: "That's just crass."

    Evil G: "What? That's what he is! A private eye! A private dick!"

    Amal: "Evil G is sharing with Tracer."

    Evil G: "Hey, wait a minute..."

    Tracer: "Virgins! Dozens of Virgins! They're after me! Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi!"

    Amal: "Have fun, Evil G."

    Amal enters one of the room and Gebohq goes in after him, waving to his twin on the way in.

    Evil G: "Fuq."

    In their room, Amal falls on his bed while Gebohq looks out of the window.

    Amal manages to roll onto his back, fairly exhausted from the day.

    Amal: "Hey, Geb?"

    Gebohq glances from the window.

    Gebohq: "Yeah?"

    Amal: "Do you miss being the Main Character?"

    Gebohq turns back to the window with a frown on his face, clearly weighing his choices before he finally replied.

    Gebohq: "No."


    Gebohq: "You're surprised? I don't have to worry so much now. I don't have to make decisions. I never really wanted to be the Main Character, it just kind of happened. I didn't prepare or train for it. I was just chosen to be the Main Character. I couldn't function normally. Now, I can. Now, all I have to worry about is Rachel. Losien's way better at leading people than I was."

    Amal: "Yeah... but Losien might go off to be Queen of Jupiter or whatever. Or TLTE will do something and she'll go off with him... If she does, that leaves..."

    Gebohq: "You, right?"

    Amal: "Maybe. Or you again."

    Gebohq: "Best not to worry about it, Amal. We'll just see what she chooses to do. There's some good things about being the Main Character too. You'll never be forgotten, that's for sure!"

    Amal: "I suppose so."

    Gebohq: "Dude, you're more prepared for it than me anyway. You had Thand teaching you as a kid, TLTE training you and then Soriel as a kind of mentor. If it comes to it, you've got my vote at least!"

    Amal: "Haha, thanks Geb. You shouldn't be so hard on yourself, you know? You were a great Main Character. Everyone loves you."

    Gebohq: "Thanks, Amal. Now, let's worry about this tomorrow. I think we could use some sleep."

    Amal: "Yeah."

    Gebohq hops into his own bed, taking his shirt off.

    Amal: "Aren't you going to take your pants off?"

    Gebohq: "Pants? Oh right! I'm wearing some!"


    In the next room, the lights are already out and Evil G closes his eyes. At least Tracer had stops screaming about Virgin and Obi-Wan Kenobi. As he begins to drift off, however, he hears a muffled shout from the room next door - something about boots - and the next minute the wall crashes through and Al Ciao is lying on the room's floor in an unconscious heap of wall debris.

    Lady LightSide, in a nightgown through the wall, peaks into Evil G's room.

    Lady LightSide: "We should definitely uninstall those boots..."

  22. #1702

    Passing the Mantle

    As Geb starts to take his socks off, Amal rolls over in his bed, clearly ready to pass out.

    Amal: Goodnight, Geb.

    Gebohq: Oh hey! Wait! I got something in my pants I've been meaning to give you for a while now.

    Amal's eyes shoot open in concern.

    Amal: Uh...

    Gebohq: Found it!

    Amal: Oh, phew, it's just your NeSword and... your crown?

    Gebohq: The downside of economy-sized pockets - digging for what you want. Anyway, yeah, I want you to have them now.

    Amal: That's the NeSword though! And that's the crown you gained from Thand's treasury to protect your mind from brainwashing -- those are for leading the NeS heroes!

    Gebohq: Yup! And I think that worthy person is you. I think you might like the idea of having your thoughts to yourself too. Not sure why I think that, other than my gut says so.

    Amal: Thank you, this is too kind but I... I can't accept these.

    Gebohq: I know, wearing a crown is a bit weird, and the sword really hasn't been much more than a prop most of the time, but I think you'll make it work. Besides,they're not suited for me anymore anyway. Main character mantle passing on and whatnot. You've got this, Amal. I trust you like I trust my sister.

    Dumbfounded and unable to break Geb's naive-like conviction, Amal accepts the crown and sword. He turns away for a moment, studying them and his own thoughts. As he turns around, possibly to offer more objections, he sees Gebohq fall onto his own bed, passed out, with his pants still on. Amal smiles.

    Amal: Goodnight, Geb.
    Last edited by Gebohq; 03-04-2014 at 01:22 AM.

  23. #1703
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    In the Hillingdon Hotel of the Damned, Evil G has dragged Al Ciao back to the bed while his wife hangs a curtain over the hole in the wall.

    Lady Lightside: Thanks, Geb.

    Walking back to the hole in the wall, Evil G looks at the woman in surprise.

    Evil G: Er, you know I'm the evil one, right?

    Lady Lightside: Yeah, but you're still Gebohq, aren't you? That's still your name, it's still who you are. We just usually call you Evil G so there's no confusion.

    Evil G considers this for a moment. Then he smiles.

    Evil G: Yeah. Thanks. Oh, and um?

    Lady Lightside: Yes?

    Evil G: I know you're worried about becoming evil again and all, but keep in mind: worst-case scenario, if it does wind up happening... you'll still be in love.

    Lady Lightside gazes at him, emotion and fear and hope warring in her eyes.Lady Lightside: Maybe. I guess?

    Evil G: I'm evil, or a close approximation to it, but I'm in love now. Al was in love even when he was Highemperor. Love changes a man - or a woman. Even if they're evil.

    Lady Lightside: I-- thank you. Geb. That does make me feel a bit better.

    Evil G smiles again.

    Evil G: Good night, Lightside.

    Lady Lightside: Good night, Geb.

    Evil G draws aside the curtain just long enough to get back into his room - where Tracer is snoring loudly, and Lady Lightside turns to look fondly at her unconscious husband lying on the bed.

    Lady Lightside: It figures... the first night we get to spend together alone in a bed - and he's passed out drunk.


    Meanwhile (NeSCount: OVER 9000! ), at the Hillingdon Forgotten Army camp, our captives have just arrived at the medical tent. Frank and Couchman lay Otter on a bed, and the attending physician - Semievil, a strange looking creature out of Everquest - turns to them.

    Losien: Sem?!

    Semievil: Oh, hey, Los, sup?

    Maeve: Since when are you a doctor?

    Semievil: Hello, duct tape(TM) fixes everything.

    He demonstrates, taping up Otter's mouth to stop his alcoholic drooling.

    Maybe: Take care of him, Sem. For me.

    Sem's look softens, and he nods reassuringly at Maybe. She looks at Otter's sleeping form for a few moments before reaching out, as if to take his hand, then stops herself. She bites her lip, and turns around, leaving. Maeve and Losien trade glances.

    Arbiter: Now, as for you four, I'm under strict orders to keep you all under my sight until our leader gets here.

    Frank: When will that be?

    Arbiter: He's coming now. Doesn't want to risk another jailbreak.

    At that moment, the tent flap opens, revealing the dashing Twin Suns, leader and high commander of the Forgotten Army.

    Twin Suns: Hey again, Los, Maeve. Also, nice to meet the two of you.

    He nods in the direction of Frank and Couchman, who uncertainly nod back.

    Losien: Why being so friendly now, if you kept us in cells.

    Twin Suns: We had to confirm your identities. In particular, her identity.

    He nods at Maeve, who salutes. Losien looks dumbfounded.

    Maeve: Wise precaution, sir. I'm pleased to return to the fold, even if I can't have a celebratory drink.

    Losien: Maeve - you're with them?!

    Maeve: Of course - I was Forgotten for years, remember? But Twin Suns hatched a brilliant plan to restore all of us.

    Losien: What's that?

    Twin Suns: We knew Maeve was 280th in line for the British throne. Our plan was to pull several strings behind the scenes in the wake of Helebon's brief rule mucking up all the records, and get her to become first in line. Of course, King John's paranoia helped us out a lot quicker, as needlessly bloody as it was. Then, once she's queen, she will sanction the creation of a new task force, dubbed Remembered Forces One through Twelve.

    Losien: Wait, what about Hero Forces One through Twelve?

    Twin Suns: They've got their own story now. And besides, despite their international status, the U.S. finances most of their affairs. Though they spend most of their time in the U.K., they don't actually police it very well. Witness the demons in the streets.

    Losien: Okay, but then Maeve, why did you lie to us?

    Maeve: I had to be remembered again, or else my ascension to the crown wouldn't accomplish anything. And I had to confirm that you all were who you claimed to be.

    Sem: You have no idea how many scam artists we have among us, who pretend to be the NeS heroes. Rope in poor naive Forgotten newbs desperate for a chance at being remembered again.

    Losien: Okay, well that sounds very cool, I guess. It'd be great to have more of you all remembered for who you are, not just as a collective! But we have some problems of our own right now too.

    Maeve: She's right, sir. Potentials.

    Twin Suns looks alarmed, and together, Maeve and Losien elaborate...

  24. #1704
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow Big Shiny Medals all Round

    Losien: "Come to think of it, I thought Soriel found you working for Mr Stafford? After he was sent to recruit you into the Forgotten Army?"

    Maeve: "Ahhhhh..."

    A plothole, somewhere, is beginning to spin up - hungry for those plot gaps!

    Twin Suns: "All part of the plan! We had to ensure Maeve's cover story would be genuine so we sent her off to the Corner Shop of the Damned where she forgot everything. I then personally sent Soriel to find her, knowing he'd betray us and run off to join his old NeS Heroes. Maeve's memories of our... agreement would only have returned gradually."

    Maeve: "Yeah, what he said!"

    The plothole grumbles and slinks off silently.

    Losien: "Riiiiiiiiiight... Sounds like something Soriel would have seen through..."

    The plothole turns around with renewed hope!

    Twin Suns: "At the time Soriel was still a grunt, more interested in cutting people down than thinking things through. I know he changed over time, but by then Maeve was already part of your team again, easily keeping under his - and anyone else's - radar. She would only just have been remembering her task at the time too."

    The plothole, finally, retreats completely with much disappointment.

    Losien frowns at Maeve, feeling somewhat used and wondering exactly how much of Maeve had been genuine and how much had just been 'confirming her identity'.

    Losien: "Sounds like a really convoluted plan to me..."

    Twin Suns: "The best ones always are!"

    Frank Smith: "Sometimes I think it's a good thing that I don't understand what the Hell is going on..."

    CynthAI: "Would you like me a to write you a report, Agent Smith?"

    Frank Smith: "I'll pass, thanks CynthAI."

    Losien puts her hands on her hips and stares at Maeve.

    Losien: "So that's it? You'll be leaving us?"

    Maeve suddenly looks rather torn, and somewhat guilty.

    Maeve: "I wouldn't say I'm leaving just yet... I'm not Queen yet!"

    Couchman: "So you want to use us to help you become Queen?"

    Maeve: "I don't want to use anyone! I thought you'd be cool with helping me!"

    Losien: "I think we would have been, if you'd told us sooner!"

    Twin Suns: "You said that you're in a competition with your Potentials, right? They want to save the UK before you do. Wouldn't replacing King John with Maeve automatically declare you victor?"

    Losien considers this for a moment, glancing at the other NeS Heroes with her.

    Losien: "I suppose so. At least it'd give us extra score points... if there is such a thing in this competition. But there's still a lot of demons and raiders all over this place!"

    Twin Suns: "The raiders came about after King John came into power. People have no money, they resort to other means. And since the only law King John really enforces is tax collection - the raiders got fairly out of hand. Don't worry though, once Maeve's in power the Remembered Army will have the authority to deal with them swiftly and efficiently. Again, victory for you and us. Win-win, right?"

    Losien: "I guess so. Hard to argue otherwise... Semievil, what about Otter? How long until he's functioning?"

    Semievil shrugs.

    Semievil: "How should I know? I just duct-tape things!"

    Losien stares at Twin Suns with deadpan eyes.

    Twin Suns: "He's pretty much all we've got. And that duct-tape really does deal with most of the wounds the army gets. I saw Semievil duct tape a bloke's... special bits... back on! Healed right up after a week or two. He can't pee straight anymore, but hey - he can pee, full stop!"

    Frank Smith: "That's like a nightmare I once had..."

    Semievil: "Look, he'll be fine by morning. He'll have a hangover but a few drinks and he'll be right as rain."

    Losien: "No more alcohol."

    Semievil: "...Then he'll be a wreck. He's going to go through withdrawal."

    Losien: "I never thought of that..."

    Semievil: "I can put him on a rapid detox program, use a few of my own special brews, and he'll be alcohol free in a couple of days. But he'll have to stay here with us until then."

    Couchman: "Sounds like we don't have a choice. Unless you want to give him his beer back, Losien?"

    "No I don't. Maybe is here, so she'll help look after Otter until he's ready to rejoin us."

    Losien leans over Otter.

    Losien: "You'll be safe here. Get better."

    Maeve: "This is going to be fantastic! First thing I'll do when I'm Queen is to give you a knighthood, Losien!"

    Frank Smith: "And we get...?"

    Maeve: "Medals! Big shiny medals! Actually I could even make Couchman a Lord - he's British!"

    Couchman: "That does sound pretty appealing."

    Twin Suns: "Before you go, there's someone else I want you to take with you."

    Losien: "What? Why?"

    Twin Suns: "I need one of my guys on the scene with you. Someone who can report back to me. Maeve is more... NeS Hero than Forgotten Army these days. I need someone who's mine."

    Maeve: "I am completely loyal, Sir!"

    Twin Suns: "Loyal to who? Us or Losien? If I asked you to kill her, would you?"

    Maeve: "You'd never ask that!"

    Twin Suns:
    "You didn't answer the question. See? But to be honest, it's more than that. You're not really a Forgotten Army member now, and never will be again. Soon you'll be Queen, your majesty. I can't be your commander - you'll be mine."

    Maeve: "Wow... I suddenly feel way more responsibility than I'd expected before..."

    Couchman: "I'm pretty sure you'll have advisers to do everything for you, if you want them to, Maeve. I mean... your majesty."

    Maeve makes an uncharacteristic giggle at being called 'majesty' again, enjoying the thrill of it. She looks at Losien with hope.

    Losien: "Fine. Who are you giving us?"

    Twin Suns motions for them to follow him outside the tent. Once outside they meet Ping - the computer generated character. Although he has a physical presence and is able to touch things, he is actually made of incredibly concentrated light that is beamed to that location from the computer hub where he is actually stored. Because he has a physical presence, he is able to work on his own hub, upgrading and improving himself.

    Twin Suns: "Ping. I'm afraid he was before your time, Losien. Before even Otter, in fact. I think only Gebohq and Antestarr will remember him."

    Losien: "Antestarr isn't one of us anymore, Twin Suns. Nice to meet you, Ping."

    Twin Suns: "Sorry to hear that. Good luck on your quest. Maeve, see you on the other side. We'll obviously be helping you out whenever and wherever we can. We'll try to create diversions across the UK - distracting King John from you. Just watch out for those Potentials. I'll try to get tabs on them. Once this is all over... we're going to have to... deal with them, one way or another..."

    Losien: "Understood. Let's go everyone. We have to find the others."


    Back in the Church of St Pants, in Bordeaux, Antestarr is sitting at an old wooden desk. He dips his quill into the ink pot - but then knocks it over and spills ink over everything.

    Antestarr: "God damn it! Just because we're NeSferatu and living in catacombs, does not mean we have to get rid of everything modern! Someone get me a God damn pen!"

    Sometime later Antestarr is sitting at the old wooden desk with a writing jotter and a pen.

    He had tasted ink blood. Blood fuelled by the NeS and its Writers. It had burnt his throat, flushed his body with vigour and enlightened his mind to a state of euphoria. He had to have more. The Writers were the key to this -- the Writer's embodiments anyway. The Writers' Characters.

    Britt the Barman was just a mild taste of success. Characters who were based upon their Writers were carrying the ink blood, surely? Who were they? Weren't all characters based on their Writers? But maybe it could only apply to active Writers... who were they? Britt the Writer, finished. That left... Al Ciao the Writer and Gebohq the Writer.

    Antestarr stopped writing and looked down at his 'tasty list', with just Gebohq and Al Ciao written on it. Could he do it? Britt the Barman was a newbie character that was thrown into the NeS as a gag. A gimmick. But Al Ciao and Gebohq... they were friends. They were friends, but now?

  25. #1705
    As Losien leads Maeve, Couchman, Frank Smith, and some forgettable character in their new mission, the voice of a familiar companion mutters just loud enough for her to hear from the sword slung by her side.

    Fred Teh Uber Blade: "I didn't think I'd be this sad."

    Losien: "Fred? What's wrong?"

    Fred Teh Uber Blade: "Soriel. I miss him. I really liked the guy."

    Losien: "Oh... I miss him too. You must miss him more than any of us."

    Another familiar voice chimes in from the cape she wears now as a makeshift scarf.

    Carlotta the Cape: "I knew him since he was just a baby! The poor boy."

    Losien: "Geez...I can't imagine what you must have been going through, and I never thought to be there for either of you."

    Carlotta the Cape: "Oh don't worry about me, honey. I've cared for many fine children of Jupiter, and when I'm down, I always feel better knowing I'll be there to care for another, like you. Poor Fred, though. I don't think he ever really experienced life the way he did with that boy."

    Losien: "That's so sad! Well, Fred, I know I can never replace Soriel, and...uh... I'm here for you. We can both keep his memory alive with us."

    Fred Teh Uber Blade: "I remember when Soriel first held me in his hand. I felt I had purpose that day. It wasn't long after that we slew the Great Guardemon. That thing was monstrous! A mass of red and grey, as old and unfriendly as rusted iron that thing was. It would have easily slaughtered Soriel if it hadn't been for my help."

    Losien: "How noble of you. I know you can be counted on, that's for sure."

    Fred Teh Uber Blade: "Those times were great! Just the next day, still drunk off slaying the beast, we beheaded of the mean Saint Bisholy who threatened to put an end to Soriel's right to wield me. Man, did he put up a good fight! Not that fighting is really my thing, mind you, but I am what I am, and I can't deny getting a certain sense of satisfaction from doing what comes natural for me. The guy was asking for it, in any case, and Soriel moved me like no other!"

    Losien: "Uh...right. Sometimes, you just got to fight, I guess."

    Fred Teh Uber Blade: "I know, right? That night after was the best night I've had, though. Soriel and I must have given the ol' poking of at least a dozen hot nuns. I have a weakness for women who are all reserved. The virgins, they bleed, but that's the best, you know? It's too bad they were all still sleeping when the two of us had to leave the next day."

    Losien: "I don't think they were sleeping-- you know, let's just ignore that. Maybe it's just best to not hold on to the past, yeah?"

    Fred Teh Uber Blade: "I suppose you're right. I just liked him a lot."

    Losien: "I understand..."

    Fred Teh Uber Blade: "I mean, I liked him a lot, more than any other man, that's for sure. I should have pierced him from behind while I could."

    Losien: "Erm... Irony?"

    Fred Teh Uber Blade: "Huh? I don't understand what you mean. I'm not made of iron."

    Losien: "Nevermind."

    Fred Teh Uber Blade: "I don't know if I can ever recover from my grief without the love of a woman..."

    Losien: "Not happening!"

    Fred Teh Uber Blade: "Worth a shot. I think I'll just keep to myself for a while, though. Do you mind if we had a moment of, you know..."

    Despite the wait, Losien's blade doesn't finish his sentence. Losien smiles in empathetic weight, finishing his sentence for him.

    Losien: "Silence."

    A little bit behind Losien, the others give her strange looks.

    Maeve: "Why do I always find the crazy ones so hot?"
    Last edited by Gebohq; 03-08-2014 at 01:23 AM.

  26. #1706
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow The Three Leaders

    In the Forgotten Hotel, the lights are out and darkness reigns. Beyond the snoring, especially from Tracer, everything is quiet. Even Al Ciao seems to have managed to get his boots under control.

    Then, suddenly, Amal and Gebohq are woken up by someone smashing through the window! Glass shatters everywhere and the figure lands in the room's darkness.






    Losien: "Oh, it's you two!!"


    Losien: "Geb! You can stop now!"

    There is a banging on the wall.

    Evil G: "Could you two have sex more quietly please!?"

    Losien: "Our alternative dimensional brother is an idiot, Geb."

    Gebohq: "I know. But Losien, we were going to come and get you in the morning! We thought you'd be there all night."

    Amal: "Did they let you go? You went into the tent with MaybeChild, we guessed you didn't need saving - except Otter. We thought you'd stay with him. Why're you here?"

    Losien: "I heard tell that you were all up here. We thought you'd been captured! I was here to save you!"

    Gebohq: "Well, we don't need saving. But thanks, sis! I'm honoured."

    Losien: "Amal, why aren't you wearing pants?"

    Amal: "ACK! Because I'm in bed!"

    Losien: "Oh right. In that case, brother why are you wearing pants!?"

    Gebohq: "I don't understand the question."

    Losien: "And when are you going to shave!?"

    Gebohq: "I like my beard!"

    Losien: "More like fluff. Oh well, if Rachel likes it then it's no one else's business. Have you had enough sleep? It's almost morning and we've got stuff to do."

    Amal: "I guess so. Uh, let me get dressed though..."

    Losien turns around, trying to act as if seeing a man in his underwear was a perfectly un-thrilling experience. Gebohq throws on his shirt, after spraying some deodorant - too much deodorant in fact so that Losien and Amal wind up coughing for several minutes.

    Gebohq: "Where are the others, by the way?"

    Losien checks her watch.

    Losien: "Frank will invade Evil G's room in five... four... three... two... one..."

    Next door there is a muffled smash followed by a lot of screaming from Evil G and Tracer.

    Gebohq: "Wow, that was awesome timing!"

    Losien: "We treated this like Mission Impossible! Only problem was Maeve. She wouldn't stop humming the Mission Impossible theme tune the whole way, even when we were trying to be stealthy. So she's been relegated to sitting on guard duty outside."

    Amal: "I'm dressed. What's the plan then, Losien?"

    Losien spins on her heels to face them again.

    Losien: "We're going to help Maeve become Queen of Great Britain! Once she's Queen, we win our competition with the Potentials by default! Twin Suns and his Forgotten Characters are going to help keep King John and the Potentials distracted while we work!"

    Gebohq starts spraying himself with a bottle load of cologne. Losien's eyes start watering and Amal loses consciousness.


    Most of London sleeps. Even the demons and raiders that terrorise the citizens of the city have gone bo-bos. Except for the glaring lights beaming out of Big Ben - which strangely have never attracted any attention from King John's men. Raiders and demons, on the other hand, are usually mowed down by the tower's defences that were set up some time ago by the tech-wizard MZZT.

    MZZT slips back into Big Ben after a quick jaunt to the Haunted Hall of Heroes in the Eighth Dimension via the portal connection he set up some Pages ago. He'd left sooner than intended when that terrifying baby threatened to use his skull as a training potty. Young, however, seemed fine and happy. Baking mostly. He imagined that was from the boredom of being alone. She complained that she wished Emperor Pi's many wives were still around.

    But as MZZT took his coat off and started to gaze over his computer screens the tower shudders. Then shudders again. And again. Each shudder happening sooner than the last. MZZT rushes to one of the missing clock faces, destroyed long ago, and casts his eyes over London's landscape. There, striding across it and crashing through a few unimportant buildings, is a gigantic palace. The palace itself is very old, and in poor shape with lots of cracks, crumbling stones and weeds growing all over it. There doesn't appear to be anyone inside, though MZZT is sure he could see a passing ninja or something that scurried over the roof on a motorbike...

    MZZT checks his list of things he expected to see today;

    1. Rain
    2. More rain
    3. A cat
    4. Some ham
    5. Demon hordes surrounded by hell fire
    6. Bingo on TV

    Definitely didn't expect to see a walking palace...

  27. #1707
    Outside the medical tent of the Forgotten Army, Maybechild hands over a bound and very thick manila folder, labeled for its high-ranking recipient, Ford.

    Ford: "An assignment? What fun are we having this time around, Maybe?"

    Maybe: "Not this time, Ford. The others will be arriving any moment now. I've got other matters to attend to. Besides, I'm not really in the mood for your fun right now."

    Ford: "Too bad. Try not to forget the easy-going girl I'm told you used to be, ok?"

    Maybechild doesn't respond to Ford, though, as she walks away. Ford opens up the manila folder to find... more manila folders. A group of Forgotten characters, with histories within the NeS and not, arrive at his position.

    Ford: "Ah, leading a squad - the joys of managerial delegation. Alright, everybody, line up to get your tasks! Mr. D.! Matterialize! Carrol! Sugarless! Green! Bokken! LL! Gunther! Banana Boy! We'll be the first unit charged with distracting a very powerful group of persons known as the Potentials. Now follow me to the armory, and read up on the way there, because we'll be starting tonight! Move it move it move it!"

    Ford marshals the others away from the tent, leaving the Otter at this time very alone, both inside and outside the tent. Alone with his sobering thoughts. Alone with his wasted potential.

    That is to say, his wasted Potential, the Nega, who rips the duct-tape off of Otter's mouth. The Otter lets out a very weak but long cry of pain before turning to his Potential in anger.

    The Otter: "You..."

    The Nega: "Who, me? What am I doing here? Oh... the other guys always tell me to get lost, aaand I guess I listened this time, hah! A little random walk later, and here I am, havin' a good ol' time with lil' non-potential you."

    The Nega, apparently winded from such talking, slumps in a seat next to the Otter and takes a swig from his large bottle of 151 proof liquor. The Otter seems to be struggling to collect enough energy to do just about anything, only succeeds in speaking a little more loudly.

    The Otter: "Leave..."

    The Nega: "I can't do that, mate. I'm your Potential."

    The Otter: "I weren't..."

    The Nega: "Same to you, you wanker! I could be something great, y'know? Test dem blokes somethin' hard, make 'em obser...obsur....ffff.... Make 'em see...."

    A nauseous vomit pours from his mouth, all over himself and nearly on the Otter. The Nega immediately takes another drink from his bottle before steadying himself with a hold on Otter's bed, staring at him.

    The Nega: "What was I talking about again?"

    The Otter: "If I killed you right now, I could be someone better... someone worth something... worth something to people like Maybechild..."

    The Nega: "I wouldn't do that... cuz then you'd have no Potential, rrrrright...?"

    The Otter: "Better no potential than this! DIE!"

    Suddenly, the Otter leaps from his bed and tackles the Nega to the ground, the bottle of 151 proof liquor dropping to the side. Choking the Nega with one hand, a Vulcan's Flame erupts from the Otter's free hand, burning with such violent intensity as never seen before. In the light of the flame, the Nega's face stares back at the Otter with utter and pitiful fear, and in that moment, the Otter hesitates. From the shadows, a figure clad in a dark blue cloak emerges, a figure at least seven feet tall, its hood obscuring its face.

    The Sepulchral Phantom, known also as Morthrandur.

    Morthrandur: "Yes, feel the doubt. Kill your Potential, and embrace that doubt. Let your Potential go, and live with the certainty of your wasted Potential."

    The rage within the Otter shakes with his crippling doubt. His grip on the Nega's throat holds tight, and his Vulcan's Flame flickers closer to his Potential's face. The Nega's life starts to diminish before his eyes.

    At that moment, a voice from outside the tent breaks in - the voice of Maybechild.

    Maybechild: "What's going on in there?"

    The Otter spins his head to the entrance of the tent, where he sees Maybechild enter. As he turns back around, though, both Morthrandur and the Nega have disappeared, leaving only the bottle of 151 proof liquor by The Otter's side. Maybechild looks horrified, but before the Otter can say anything, he passes out from exhaustion, his flame going out with a poof.

    Maybechild: "Sem, get back in here, quick! Sem!"

    As Maybechild looks outside the tent for Semievil, Morthrandur's voice whispers just loud enough for the Otter to hear if he were still conscious.

    Morthrandur: "Next time..."

  28. #1708
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow The Other Guys

    Ford, in the Forgotten Army Armoury in Hillingdon - which is basically a shed containing some sticks, an old rusted saw and some super glue - lines up his new unit. He looks at their folio pages. Most of them he already knew, but had never taken the time to actually ask what they were capable of. So now, he took the opportunity.

    He looks up from the dossier and faces LL.

    LL, wearing nothing but her black underwear, grins up at him.

    Ford: "Well... you... look good..."

    Sugarless: "Favouritism!"

    Ford: "Aw, c'mon!"

    LL: "I know I look good. It's just natural. Don't hate me for the way I am, Sugarless, darling!"

    Sugarless: "... I'm going to avoid talking to you in future."

    Ford: "Uh... it says you can... create... snacks?"

    LL, whose name stands for "Little Little", opens the palm of her hand and a packet of crisps appears there. She instantly starts munching on them.

    "So... why aren't you fat?"

    LL: "Like I said, I'm just naturally gorgeous."

    Ford: "... well... I suppose if we get stranded in a desert you'll be useful..."

    He quickly moves to the next person in the line.

    Bokken Monkey: "Heya, chief."

    Ford: "Bokken... you're like... the LAST person that should be on ANY team!"

    LL: "That was just mean... sir."

    Bokken Monkey: "No, he's right. My only ability is... well, to bring bad luck to everyone around me. So we're all probably going to die on this mission, just because I'm here."

    Most of the team look shocked. The two closest members shuffle slightly away from him.

    Bokken Monkey: "I got put here because no one else would have me. I tried to help Semievil in the medical tent but his duct-tape caught fire and burnt a guy's head off. I tried to help Twin Suns with his plans but his maps all blew off in the wind... and were then eaten by wild lemmings. I even tried to help Ping with his hub but I accidentally erased his memory. Or his porn. I was never sure which. Finally I was asked to be the janitor and clean the porta loos--"

    Ford: "I remember! Sentient poop blobs attacked the camp."

    Sugarless: "I wondered why that happened..."

    Bokken Monkey: "Anyway. I was put in this unit. I think they're hoping my bad luck gets me killed out there. Sorry, chief."

    Ford: "Bad luck powers, snack powers--"

    LL: "And sexy powers!"

    Ford: "Not a good start anyway... Okay next."

    Sugarless: "I might eat your children, you know?"

    Ford: "I don't have any children."

    Sugarless: "Lucky you."

    Ford: "Look, Sugarless. Have you managed to contain this evil within you, or not? You told me you had everything under control?"

    Bokken Monkey:
    "She has evil within her? It will be out of control with me around. I tell you."

    LL: "Why is she evil? She just looks fat to me."

    Sugarless: "I ate a mushroom!! They make me fat!"

    Ford: "LL, if you look like you do, everyone probably looks fat."

    LL: "Ah, it's true. I'm just too beautiful!"

    Sugarless: "I do have the evil plant thing under control... mostly. I'm just warning you against the possibility. If I do snap and murder LL... it was the plant. That'll be my excuse anyway."


    Ford: "Riiiiight... so other than being evil, your power is to... eat mushrooms?"

    Sugarless: "No! Mushrooms make me invincible because I'm diabetic."

    Ford: "..."

    Sugarless: "It's why I'm called Sugarless."

    Ford: "... I don't think diabetes works that way..."

    Sugarless: "Do you have diabetes?"

    Ford: "No..."

    Sugarless: "So how would you know!?"

    "Right. Fine. Moving on. Carrol..."

    Ford looks down at the "blue" girl.

    Ford: "Uh... nice bat."

    Carrol: "I like baseball."

    Ford: "And you have blue skin..."

    Carrol: "I hope you're not a racist, chief..."

    Ford: "Uh, no! I just think maybe someone was running out of ideas..."

    Carrol: "What does that mean?"

    Ford: "Nevermind. So, I suppose that bat will come in useful."

    Carrol: "I can also do kung-fu!"

    Ford: "Wow... actually maybe that is kind of useful! Bat-fu!"

    Carrol: "Want me to demonstrate? I could knock someone's head clean off their shoulders if you'd like?"

    Ford: "Uh, no. Better not. Twin Suns would be miffed if we killed one of our own just so you can show off."

    Sugarless: "Might be a great way to start our expedition though. Go out with a... bang, as it were!"

    "Keep your evil to yourself, Sugarless."


    Matterialize: "I'm next, right?"

    Ford: "Wait 'til I address you, soldier!"

    Matterialize stands to attention and everyone waits in silence.

    "Okay, Matterialize."

    Matterialize: "Cool. Yeah. Reporting!"

    Ford: "Says here you can use the force?"

    Matterialize: "Yeah, like Star Trek!"

    Bokken Monkey: "You mean Star Wars?"

    Matterialize: "That too!"

    Ford: "Want to demonstrate?"

    Matterialize: "Uh, best not."

    Ford: "Why?"

    "Because, well, I can't use it very well. I might be able to throw something across the room, though."

    Ford: "Like?"

    Matterialize: "A pencil?"

    Ford: "... useless..."

    Matterialize: "I do have these cool fin-blades though!"

    Matterialize holds up his arms and indicates towards the razer-sharp fins that are attached to his arms.

    Ford: "They're kinda freaky..."

    Matterialize: "I know, right!? I have fish DNA in me!"

    Ford: "... that's not a bragging point, Matt. Next!"

    Ford moves along the line to Mr D. Ford stares into the cool, calculating, fox-like eyes.

    Ford: "Dude... your eyes are purple."

    Mr D.: "I have noticed this, on occasion."

    Carrol: "I thought you weren't a racist!"

    Ford: "I'm not--!"

    Carrol: "Then stop pointing out other people's physical differences!"

    Ford: "I don't think eye colour is a racial trait..."

    Carrol: "A bigot is a bigot!"

    Ford: "Okay, okay! I'm sorry for pointing out your weird eyes-- I mean purple eyes!"

    Mr D.: "I took no offence."

    Ford: "See, Carrol!? He doesn't mind!"

    Carrol: "I do!"

    Mr D.: "Master Ford, perhaps I should simply tell you what I am capable of?"

    Ford: "Sure, go ahead."

    Mr D.: "I have magical powers. Especially of ice magic. I can also fly using clouds and with those clouds, I could help all of you to fly too."

    Ford: "Wow. Okay! Now we have some real powers!"

    "I can become invincible!!"

    "That's not going to help the rest of us, Sugarless. So, Mr D., you say you're best at ice magic? What about the other elements?"

    Mr D.: "Well... consider the difference between a bomb... and an atom bomb. Then you'll have your answer."

    Ford: "... Well, I know who's going to take front for every mission. Can I ask one thing, though?"

    Mr D.: "Certainly."

    Ford: "Why are you wearing a school uniform?"

    They all look down at Mr D.'s schoolboy uniform.

    Mr D.:
    "I like highschool girls."


    Carrol: "You're prejudiced against sex now, too!? It's not illegal, you know!?"

    Ford: "Actually, in this case, I'm pretty sure it is!"

    Mr D.: "I was joking..."

    Ford: "... Well, joke-telling is not one of your superpowers. Unless bad joke-telling is."

    Mr D.: "Apparently so."

    Ford: "So why are you in a uniform?"

    Mr D.: "I like schoolteachers."

    Ford: "... You're joking again, aren't you?"

    Mr D.: "Indeed."

    Ford: "Am I ever going to get a straight answer?"

    Mr D.: "Unlikely."

    Ford: "Moving on! Next is Gun...ther."

    Ford stars at the rotund man before him. His mass is ever larger than Sugarless's mushroom-induced state, he sports a bristling moustache and has a large scar running through the hair on his head. He looks--

    LL: "So ugly!"

    Carrol: "Bigots, everywhere! Stop being be so judgemental!"

    LL: "It's not my fault I only have my own divine beauty to compare other people to!"

    Carrol: "That... is actually a better excuse than Ford has."

    Ford: "I think you're prejudice against me. Gunther, what the Hell're you doing here? I didn't know you were in the Forgotten Army!"

    Gunther: "Even villains get forgotten, son! I'm just looking for a way to make sure my plan to convert the entire world's economy to Rupees is a success! Mwahahaha!"

    Ford: " know rupees aren't real, right? They're from the Zelda games..."

    Gunther: "That just makes my plan even better!"

    He whips out a cigar, lights it and starts puffing away on it like a James Bond villain.

    Ford: "Do you even have any kind of powers? Other than being crazy, I mean?"

    Gunther: "That's a secret."

    Ford: "I think I remember you possessed someone..."

    Gunther: "My secret's out!!"

    Ford: "I'm... just going to look at the next person. Green."

    Green: "Ni hao!"

    Ford: "What?"

    Green: "It's Chinese for hello!"

    Ford: "That's... don't tell me that's your superpower!?"

    Ford starts looking over the folio document.

    Ford: "... Wow... actually... you sound pretty awesome! You can control plants and control people's minds with plants too? Kind of like Poison Ivy, I guess!"

    Green: "That's right. Except for the poison ivy thing. I'm not actually a plant. I don't think. And I'm nice. Poison ivy is dangerous."

    Ford: "It's the name of a character in Batman."

    Green: "There's a man like a bat?"

    Ford: "Doesn't matter. Clearly you've lived a secluded life."

    Green: "That's right. I lived in the jungle in China with my plant friends..."

    Ford: "There're jungles in China?"

    Green: "I remember I did meet some nice ladies a few hundred years ago though. It was very exciting! I think they said they were witches from England! They were naked and running around a fire and asked me to join them! So I--"

    Sugarless: "I think you should stop telling that story now."

    LL: "No, no! Carry on! Don't listen to the fatty!"

    Sugarless: "Mushrooms!!"

    Ford: "Did you say a few hundred years ago?"

    Green: "That's right. Well, anyway, I came to England looking for my witch friends but instead I found this army of forgotten people! So they asked me to join them and now I'm here. Talking to you. And you asked me--"

    Ford: "You can stop talking now. Thanks."

    Green: "Sorry! I don't get to talk very often. Or I didn't. Now I hope I can talk a lot!"

    Ford: "Uh... you can't. This is the... Silent Unit. We're usually very quiet here..."

    Green: "Ohh... that's so sad. Maybe I'll talk to my plant friends if I can't talk to you..."

    Sugarless: "And you called me evil, Ford!"

    Ford: "Okay! It's fine, Green! You can talk to me. Or anyone else, actually! In fact, Sugarless loves to talk!"

    Green: "Yay!"

    Sugarless: "Fuq..."

    Ford: "Finally, the last one on my list. Banana Boy, what-- what the Hell are you?"

    Ford stares at the boy-sized banana with the mutated face.

    Carrol: "That was the worst!"

    Ford: "Aw, c'mon! Look at this guy! Can you even talk?"

    Banana Boy: "Apples."

    Ford: "What?"

    Banana Boy: "Want apples."

    Ford: "You want an apple? To eat? But you're a banana!"

    Banana Boy: "Apples."

    Ford: "You have no arms... actually you have no legs, either! Are you floating?"

    Banana Boy: "Apples."

    Ford: "Wouldn't that be like cannibalism?"

    Banana Boy: "Want apples."

    Ford: "Sugarless, did you spike my coffee this morning!?"

    Sugarless: "No. Last time I did that you went round the camp in a sheet telling everyone you were a ghost. It was funny until you tried to get into the women's shower."

    Ford: "...that wasn't a dream?"

    Sugarless: "Semievil had to duct-tape you to the bed."

    Banana Boy: "Ford want apples?"

    Ford: "Ford want to quit unit, Banana Boy..."

  29. #1709
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow From Armenia to Hillingdon

    Back at the hotel, the NeS Heroes are finally vacating the premises after a lot of tumult with the staff over damage repairs. It wasn't until they revealed that they were NeS Heroes that the staff realised they were insured against "random acts of NeS Hero destruction" and Al Ciao was let off the hook.

    Evil G: "Alright team! Let's move out!"

    Losien, Gebohq and Amal all frown in irritation at Evil G.

    Subaru mutters to Rachel.

    Subaru: "This topic of Main Character is probably going to get more and more complicated in the next few Pages. Who the Hell should we follow?"

    Rachel: "I suppose Losien is the de facto leader... but I'll follow my Gebby over anyone else. Obviously."

    Subaru: "So you just prove my point. It's going to get complicated."

    Al Ciao: "So, boss--"

    Losien, Gebohq, Amal and Evil G all turn to face Al Ciao.

    Al Ciao: "Uh... that was creepy. Um, where are we headed? Are we just going to stroll into the Palace?"

    Evil G: "If anyone else had asked that, I'd guess they were being sarcastic. But because it's Al, I think he's asking a genuine question..."

    Gebohq: "Well, I think we should just knock on the door! How bad can it be? King John will want to know who it is and let us in! Then we'll use story convention where King John talks about his grand schemes for half an hour while Maeve gets the royal jewels, or whatever, and is crowned Queen!"

    Evil G: "You know how stupid that sounded, right?"

    Amal: "We should go in disguise and survey the palace, find weak points and then enact my plan! So here it is..."

    After an hour Amal is finally reaching the end of his plan...

    Amal: "...finally the cats drink the milk and Maeve is crowned Queen of Great Britain!"

    Amal turns back around to gauge the others' reactions, only to find they'd set up a TV and are playing Mario Kart 7 on a Wii U.

    Amal: "...guys?"

    Losien glances round and notices that Amal had finished. She nudges her brother and, quickly, everyone hops to their feet and tries their best to look interested.

    Losien: "That was... very well thought out, Amal... truly... I think, if he were here, Soriel would have tried to scale it down... a bit..."

    Amal: "You think so? Maybe it was the part with the Eskimos? We could probably use elephants instead..."

    Losien: "How about we try my idea? We go see MZZT. He's up in the Elizabeth Tower and he'll know stuff that we don't. He'll be able to get us into Buckingham Palace, I'm sure."

    Gebohq: "What's Elizabeth Tower?"

    Couchman: "It's the real name of Big Ben."

    Gebohq: "Whoa! You mean Big Ben isn't called Big Ben!?"

    Couchman: "Big Ben is the name of the bell."

    Gebohq: "I've lived in there for like... years... and I never even knew that."

    Evil G: "I doubt anyone's surprised."

    Losien: "So, MZZT it is?"

    Everyone shrugs in apathetic agreement.

    Subaru whispers to Rachel again.

    Subaru: "Looks like Losien wins for now."

    They turn around to head back towards London only to see a gigantic, ancient building walking towards them!

    Al Ciao: "Holy crapcakes! It's like a nightmare I once had!"

    Gebohq: "Run!"

    The heroes scatter, diving into bushes and trees, behind cars, through windows and generally anywhere out of sight. The Palace continues to stride forward until it stops dead in front of a red post box. It then crashes down to the ground with a thunderous quake that rattles all of Hillingdon and probably the cities beyond.

    The post box door opens slowly and Iriana Emp peeks her head out.

    Dust lolls through the air and the other heroes slowly emerge too. Al Ciao rubs his eyes and squints at the dilapidated building.

    Al Ciao: "Oh... that's why I saw this in my nightmares... because it's my old home!"

    "Now I remember. My mom made those legs go and... collect your palace, right?"

    Iriana Emp: "And now it's here... in... this rubbish town."

    Al Ciao: "Doesn't matter where it is, dear! It's still home!"

    Iriana Emp: "It's very... old... looking..."

    Al Ciao: "Nothing a bit of paint can't fix! There used to be waterfalls coming down the sides of the building, you know? Magnificent, isn't it?"

    Evil G: "But... if it's so... desolate... I'm guessing no one has been keeping up its maintenance. Are you sure Armenia even has a monarchy these days? Maybe Iriana goes back to find a lynch mob waiting for her?"

    Iriana put a hand to her own throat in horror at the sudden thought.

    Amal: "I think I just saw a shadow move in the window..."

    Everyone stares.

    Something moves again.

    Everyone gets the creeps.

    Evil G: "Who wants to go first?"

    Maeve: "Maybe we should... not go in?"

    Ping: "I'll go in first. I can get in there and out in an instant."

    Frank Smith: "So can I!"

    Losien: "He can do it without drawing the attention of the TEA, Frank."

    Frank Smith: "Fair point. I do feel like my only use is kind of being nerfed. I really have to prove my innocence somehow..."

    Gebohq places a hand on Ping's shoulder.

    Gebohq: "Do you need a pep talk, old buddy?"

    Ping: "Uh... no. Thanks, Geb."

    Gebohq: "Good because I suck at them. Give us a shout if you need us!"

    Evil G: "Or a blood-curdling scream. Whichever comes to mind."

    Ping: "Okay, here I go."

    Ping's body blasts apart into a billion little pixels and then whooshes away in a rapid pixel-wind, straight towards the old Armenian Palace.

  30. #1710
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow The Magic Spell

    Meanwhile (NeS Count: ... Given up.) in the eastern jungles of Madagascar is the rejuvenated Polly Simon on her quest to seek out the sister of Baba Yaga.

    She has trekked long and hard through the jungles in search of her quarry, still wearing her colonial period costume - pith helmet included - but now sports an old-fashioned rifle for good measure. And a small companion she named "Terence".

    Polly: "Terence, time for your dinner."

    She holds out some leaves and Terence, the gray mouse lemur, scurries down her shoulder and arm to the leaves which he nibbles at. Once the small animal has finished eating, he scampers back up to her shoulder and perches there as Polly continues her trek through the jungles. She uses a large cutlass to hack down big leaves, branches or spider webs that block her path.

    Polly: "Terence, which way?"

    The gray mouse lemur sniffs at the air for a moment. Then he points to the left.

    Polly keeps going until she hacks away the last massive leaf, which falls to reveal one huge tree in a clearing. On the tree is a large, worn out signpost with the name "Yaba Baga" etched into it.

    However the tree is filled with HUGE bats! They all hang upside down with their faces covered from the daylight. Polly stares aghast.

    Polly: "Terence. You failed to mention the gigantic bats!"

    Terence shrugs apologetically.

    Polly: "Nevermind. We'll just have to go quietly--"

    There is a loud BANG from somewhere nearby and the bats suddenly burst to life in a flurry of activity. Then they take flight.

    Polly: "Oh dear..."

    She dives to the ground as the megabats fly in her direction. She feels the wind from the flapping of their leathery wings and shields her head in case they were out for blood!

    Old Woman: "They're flying foxes, young un'! They ain't after your blood. They just eat berries."

    Polly looks up to see... Baba Yaga!

    She jumps to her feet, made a quick effort to straighten out her garments then went into full verbal tirade.

    "What the Hell are you doing here!?"

    Old Woman:
    "I live here!"

    Polly: "You live in the swamps of Burundi! What is this? Your summer home?"

    Old Woman: "You must mean my sister, Baba Yaga. I'm Baga Yaba. We look very similar."

    Polly: "By similar, you mean identical? Nevermind. At least I found you at last. I'm here about a wish. I believe you already received my call? It took a lot of tracking to find you. I went all over the bloody world."

    Baga Yaba: "I imagine you did, young un'. Well, you're here now. Your spell is all ready. But, you should know, this can't be undone once cast."

    Polly: "I'm well aware."

    Baga Yaba: "You should also know that this is a spell to negate her love for this man. It won't negate her stubbornness. She may not love the man after this spell, but not everyone's relationship is based on love, is it?"

    Polly: "You're saying this might not work?"

    Baga Yaba: "It will definitely work. But your daughter is made up of a lot more than just her base emotions, right? People are more complex than you might imagine. So, are you ready?"

    Polly: "Yes. Begin."

    Baga Yaba holds out her hand, her forefinger pointed straight at Polly.

    Baga Yaba: "Pull my finger."

    Polly: "Are... Are you kidding me!?"

    Baga Yaba: "Do you want this spell or not? Pull my finger!"

    Polly growls and does as told. The moment she tugs on the old woman's finger everything around them glows with an ethereal light. Polly and Terence stare with amazement.

    "That's incredible!"

    Baga Yaba: "I had to eat a lot of special berries to work this spell up."

    Polly: "What? You mean... you mean you really did fart!? Am I tripping on your fart!?"

    Baga Yaba: "What did you expect? A flick of a wand and an expecto patronal? I'm not Harry Whatsit!"

    Polly: "I expected anything but this."

    Baga Yaba: "Kids today. Always so fussy."

    Polly: "I'm older than I look. Let's just get this over with. The less I have to think about what I'm breathing in, the better."

    Baga Yaba: "Okay, now we need to get naked."

    Polly: "..."

    Baga Yaba: "I'm a more traditional witch when it comes to casting."

    Polly: "Farts don't seem traditional."

    Baga Yaba: "It's the fast-track method. Otherwise we'd have to wait several hours for the effects if I got you to drink the berries. And you'd need to drink a lot. C'mon, dearie, stop being such a stuck-up prude!"

    Polly: "If I find videos of this on Youtube later, I'll come back here and turn you into carbonite!"

    Baga Yaba: "My dear, do you see any signs of electricity anywhere in this God forsaken jungle? It's amazing that I can get phone reception out here. And my phone's one of those old Nokia bricks. Gotta have those old bricks out here. Only ones that'll last."

    Polly and Baga Yaba strip down, Polly much more reluctantly.

    Baga Yaba: "Wow, that's a mighty fine lookin' body you got there, dearie!"

    Polly: "That's what a wish for eternal youth gets you. What now?"

    Baga Yaba: "We boogie about the tree for a bit and then, bing-bang-bosh, it's done."

    Polly: "You want me to dance? Seriously?"

    Baga Yaba: "My dear, you're currently very high on aerosol-based drugs. Why you didn't get naked and dance around of your own accord is beyond my ken. Get jiggy with it!"

    Polly releases herself to the drugs and starts flailing around in what she imagined to be a dance of sorts. Baga Yaba appears to be a blur of movement - Polly wondered if the witch really was moving at a super speed or if it was just the drugs affecting her brain. Even Terence is on the ground doing a little mouse lemur dance.


    Sometime later, Polly opens her eyes slowly. The light of day grates against her eyeballs and she squints against it. She rolls over and finds her clothes nearby. No sign of Yaba Baga. In fact the entire tree and all of the bats are gone.

    She finds Terence in some kind of drug-addled stupor. Or at least what passes for a drug-addled stupor in a mouse lemur. She tugs on her shirt and has a fleeting memory of the old witch saying; "It is done. Be careful getting out of the jungle."

    She runs a hand down her face, unsure if anything from the past few hours had actually happened. She pokes the gray mouse lemur.

    Polly: "Wake up, Terence. I have to go now. Do you want to come with me, or stay here?"

    In response, Terence manages to get up and climbs clumsily onto Polly's out-stretched hand. Polly puts her pith helmet back on her head, puts her fingers into her mouth and gives an incredibly loud whistle. She may have been worried about what kind of beasties her whistle would have attracted - if she didn't know she is about to be whisked away on her magic carpet.

    It floats down towards her, carrying the magical cauldron on its back. Polly climbs on but then pauses and looks at the cauldron. She then reaches in and pulls out the huge carbonite statue of The Last True Evil and drops it to the ground.

    Polly fumbles with the old carbonite ray-gun and manages to set it to reverse. She blasts the TLTE statue with the rays of the gun and slowly the carbonite melts. She watches as TLTE begins to stir, in much the same way she had done minutes ago.

    TLTE: "Wh...where am I?"


    TLTE looks up at Polly and recognition slowly dawns on his face.

    TLTE: "You! What... what did you do to me?"

    Polly: "I turned you into a statue and carried you around in a walking cauldron for a few days..."

    TLTE: "... I am not comprehending..."

    Polly: "That'll be sickness from being in suspended animation. It'll wear off in a few hours. Then again, the story was pretty crazy so maybe that's not it. Anyway, I got what I wanted. Losien doesn't love you anymore, so there's no reason for me to keep you locked up."

    TLTE: "Losien... Why? I don't believe you!"

    Polly: "Believe what you like, you hulking brute. I'm not cruel enough to keep you prisoner without reason though, so consider yourself free."

    TLTE: "I--... You--! I must see her! What did you do to her!?"

    Polly: "Never you mind. She's my daughter and mommy knows what's best!"

    TLTE manages to get to his feet and staggers towards the floating carpet with clear intent. Polly raises the carpet just enough to be out of reach.

    Polly: "It's time for me to go now. Good luck getting out of the jungle... alive."

    With that the flying carpet soars up through the jungle canopy and into the distance, leaving TLTE alone in the jungle clearing with a sad, deep longing within his heart. He cries at the top of his lungs after Polly Simon - but to no avail...

  31. #1711
    Tea-sipper, character-killer


    Back in England there is a fight raging on the streets of London. Demons swarm from the buildings, windows and doors, demons of all kinds - large, small, beautiful, ugly and monstrous. At the centre are the two warrior-Potentials, Gwenhwyfar and Orochi.

    Gwenhwyfar uses her glaive to carve a path through the endless stream of Hellspawned beasts, while Orochi slashes with her katana - her face hidden behind the cruel-looking mask.

    Orochi leaps into the air and strikes the wall with her feet, kicking off of the brickwork to give herself more force when her katana comes slashing down on the skull of a rather large creature. The blade cuts through its beastly horns before slicing through the head itself. Fire pours from its wounds as it first falls to its knees, then slumps to the ground. No sooner has Orochi finished it off than another of its kind attempts to strike her with a lamp-post he had ripped from the earth. She narrowly manages to duck below the metal weapon and charges at the demon. She thrusts her sword forward, piercing the demon's neck in a gruesome display of blood and flame.

    Gwenhwyfar: "I have to admit, Orochi, I'm enjoying this more than I expected!"

    Orochi: "Me too! There's way more demons around here than I thought there would be!"

    Gwenhwyfar unlatches her glaive from the corpse of a demon soldier before she speaks again.

    Gwenhwyfar: "Once we're done here, we move on to the demon soldiers running this country."

    "You know, I'm pretty sure Prophet said that demons aren't in charge of the show."

    "Oh right. He did. But, chances are, they're still evil, right? Look at this place! I say we march in there anyway."

    Orochi: "Fair enough. There's a few of those snake-demons coming up behind you, by the way."

    Gwenhwyfar: "I know. I was just waiting for them to get in closer. Give me a boost?"

    Orochi falls to her knees and holds out her large shoulder plate to Gwenhwyfar. The Western knight hops into the air and propels herself off of Orochi's armour and swings her body around, glaive in tow, before her weapon plants itself into the ribcage of the closest snake-man-monster.

    Further down the street Prophet is clunking the occasional stray monster on the head with his staff.

    Prophet: "Why am I stuck babysitting again?"

    Midas: "Probably because of the whole love and peace thing. And I hope I'm not being included in babies being sat?"

    Prophet: "I suppose you could turn a demon into a nice sofa if you had to?"

    Midas: "Exactly. Old Nega and Anima, on the other hand..."

    Prophet: "As far as Potentials go, they're a bit too abstract for my tastes..."

    Emperor Pi: "I think they're just unfortunates that require extra attention, is all. Here you both go, try drinking some nice tea..."

    Emperor Pi gives The Nega (Otter's Potential) and Quo Anima (Amal's Potential) a cup of tea each. The Nega manages to slurp his tea loudly and even Quo Anima starts to drink the Emperor's tea.

    "Well I'm glad you're with us, Emperor. It would have been messy if you'd sided against us."

    Emperor Pi: "I wouldn't say I've sided. I'm simply... following the narrative. We should see where things lead, correct?"

    Midas: "Told you he's not committed, Prophet. He's not trustworthy, at all."

    Emperor Pi: "You can trust me not to harm or hinder you, at least."

    "But you won't try to help us beat the NeS Heroes? You know what a useless ragtag group they are, right?"

    Emperor Pi:
    "They are merely human, my dear boy. And it appears we have some interlopers."

    Emperor Pi motions towards an unusual group headed straight at them. Ford's Unit charges towards the Potentials on their distraction mission, fending off demons that happen across their path.

    Prophet: "Midas... go and inform our intrepid ladies that we have something new to deal with..."

    While Midas goes off to get Gwenhwyfar and Orochi, Prophet steps forward and Emperor Pi looks on.

    Ford's Unit reaches Prophet and skid to a halt.

    Ford: "You must be Prophet, right?"

    Prophet: "That's right..."

    Ford: "Well, we're here to kick your arse. Hope you're ready!"

    Without further warning, Ford's Unit attacks Prophet. Mr D. conjures a great ice-storm that rains down a cascade of razor-sharp icicles upon Prophet. However the Potential spins his staff, essentially creating a shield and blocking the ice from cutting into him.

    But the ice still serves as a distraction - enough for Green to lure vines through the tarmac and wrap around Prophet's legs to hinder his movement. Carrol, the blue-skinned girl, then rushes forward with her baseball bat. She leaps into the air and prepares to unleash her bat-fu on Prophet.

    However she is smacked by his staff and sent flying through the air until she lands roughly on the ground. Mr D. begins conjuring up another round of ice magic and Ford assists with his own magic - however LL rides up on her pet white tiger! The tiger bounds towards Prophet, who still struggles to free himself of Green's vines - which were growing thicker and longer with each passing second.

    The massive tiger jumps into the air, pouncing for the kill, but is suddenly knocked off force by an even larger creature. The tiger and LL land somewhat unceremoniously, but fairly uninjured and still ready for action.

    The tiger growls loudly up at Gwenhwyfar who is now sat atop of her pegasus cataphract. The armoured pegasus flaps his wings at the tiger in a display of power, but the white tiger is not so easily cowed.

    Prophet: "Surprisingly, they nearly had me then!"

    Gwenhwyfar: "It won't happen again."

    Orochi trots up behind her mounted friend and brandishes her katana.

    Orochi: "Not much of a fair fight, is it? I almost feel bad for them."

    A hand lands on Orochi's shoulder. She turns to see The Nega staring straight at her.

    Orochi: "That's not creepy at all, Nega. What the Hell're you doing? Are you drunk enough to actually stand now?"

    Unexpectedly The Nega's fist crashes into Orochi's mask, sending the woman reeling back from shock. The pain of contact must have hurt The Nega much more than it hurt Orochi, yet he shows no sign of pain. Instead, The Nega grins manically.

    Somewhere, Gunther is manipulating The Nega.

    Ford: "Now!"

    Ford and Mr D. unleash their combined magic and a vivid light show begins as magical energies attack the Potentials...

  32. #1712
    The rustles of the Madagascan jungle quiet down after The Last True Evil's roaring cry fell. He surveys his situation, squinting at the bright sun high above. He remedies the immediate situation with his spy-issued sunglasses.

    TLTE: "No sign of civilization for kilometers, deadly wildlife plentiful, headache large as bear... odds not in my favor."

    He grins.

    TLTE: "Good. Note to self: arrange 'accident' for future mother-in-law...Ah, but I get ahead of myself. Time to take stock of belongings."

    As he moves his hand to dig through his trenchcoat, it brushes upon a special belt, provided to him long ago by Antestarr, dubbed as the Hyper-Time Modulator.

    TLTE: "Hmm... I could give Gebohq run for his rubles with Writer-time speed, be anywhere on planet in instant. But no, I suspect that would be reckless. I must wait for better time."

    Even as he assures himself, the hilt of the Darksaber, Antestarr's other gift to him, whispers evil thoughts into his mind. He holds it in his palm, igniting its black energy blade to inspect its condition. When his hand shifts into the shape of a claw, though, he quickly drops it, the blade retracting back into the hilt. He stares at his clawed hand, initially out of surprise then transforming into a cold stare, his hand reluctantly changed back to normal. The Last True Evil picks up the hilt and attaches it back to his belt. He then moves his hand to his other side, his relief apparent as he pats his trusted officer's saber.

    TLTE: "I can always count on my discipline. Soviet training has yet to fail on me."

    Digging through the bottomless pockets of his trenchcoat, he shifts through his AK-47s, PP-90s, even his Magnat M1895 emblazoned with the Soviet star, to brandish his favored revolver: a modified S&W Model 13, currently loaded with special rounds crafted from Mayaal's own tears, effective only against evil. Satisfied with his inventory, he stashes it back into his coat. He checks his watch for his position.

    TLTE: "Borsht. No signal."

    The threatening call of a mother fossa snaps The Last True Evil to attention...

    (Non-Story Note: I had hoped to work in some actual character introspection into this, and for now, I'll have to settle for reminding some of the toys TLTE has.)

  33. #1713
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow Burning Down the House

    Once again we return to Bordeaux, which seems to be in a state of perpetual rain, and the gothic church of Saint Pants. Deep in its bowls Antestarr is suddenly startled from his studies into ink blood by slamming doors. In marches Nyneve, followed by a posse of her minions including Tony. They head straight past Antestarr, blatantly ignoring him, save for Nyneve herself who pauses to say;

    Nyneve: "Why are you always in here? Go outside, get a life!"

    Antestarr: "Very funny. What're you doing?"

    Nyneve: "I've decided it's time for us to seek vengeance upon the NeS Heroes."

    Antestarr: "What?"

    Nyneve: "It was the NeS Heroes of old that led to the downfall of my people to begin with. They also stand in our way now. It's time."

    Antestarr: "I know most of them are useless, but I don't think they're just going to roll over and die, Nyneve."

    Nyneve: "I now have the means, Antestarr. A crew of ink-blood charged NeSferatu! It's synthesised blood, but it's enough to make us all big and strong. Just like daddy always wanted."

    Antestarr: "You so seem pretty high actually. You're more a 'stick to the shadows' kind of person, Nyneve. This change in you... must be that blood you're drinking..."

    Nyneve: "This change in me is renewed confidence! We can do this!"

    She stands at the centre of the antechamber and, as before, opens a gateway using strange, green, electric energy. Antestarr stares through the portal and into the Haunted Hall of Heroes.

    Antestarr: "Are you kidding me, Nyneve? There's no one there!"

    Nyneve: "There's a defenceless woman and her baby there."

    Antestarr: "... all the more reason that attacking the HHH would be a bad choice."

    Nyneve: "It's the best choice. One the NeS Heroes finish whatever they're doing, they'll come charging back to find... nothing. I'm going to burn it down, demoralise them. Take everything from them, like they took everything from me. You don't know what it's like to be the last of something, Antestarr."

    Antestarr: "I... can't let you hurt Young or Chance, Nyneve."

    Nyneve: "Well, I wasn't really planning on murdering them - just taking them as hostages. Give the Heroes a reason to come after me. But... I can't guarantee we won't get a little... reckless?"

    Antestarr: "Nyneve--!"

    He takes an aggressive step towards her.

    Nyneve: "But, if you joined us... you can make sure things don't get too out of hand, right?"

    Antestarr: "I don't like this. I don't like it at all. I think this blood is making you crazy... crazier, I should say."

    Nyneve: "I never asked you to like it, Antestarr. We are what we are and we deserve vengeance."

    Antestarr: "You mean you deserve it, right?"

    Nyneve: "I am the mother of many now, Antestarr. Including you. Don't you want to help your mummy, Antestarr?"

    Tony: "Whoa -- I'm incredibly disturbed and turned on, all at the same time!"

    Nyneve: "Quiet Tony. Mummy and daddy are having a grown-up conversation."

    Tony: "Yes, mummy..."

    Antestarr: "I will go. But only to keep Young and Chance safe. They come back here with me."

    Nyneve: "Certainly! But I won't be cleaning up after your new pets. You have to feed and walk them yourself!"

    Antestarr: "Very funny. Let's go."

    Nyneve, Antestarr and their band of ink-blood addled NeSferatu step through the open portal and enter the shadows of the Haunted Hall of Heroes. Antestarr immediately goes in search of Young and Chance while the other NeSferatu starts dousing the place with petrol that they had brought along with them...

  34. #1714

    Her Chance Gone

    Any mother of a newborn child would agree that a mother's work, in even the best conditions, requires a torturous amount of effort with rewards that woudn't fly at any nine-to-five job. Young, the mother of Chance, is no exception as she sits on the toilet passed out with a baby monitor on the sink. Chance appears on the monitor sleeping soundly, and with the general stealthy nature of the NeSferatu, she has no unusual noise to wake her up in the retrofitted bathroom.

    That is, no noise until Antestarr spoke up from the doorway.

    Antestarr: "There you are!"

    Young nearly **** herself in surprise. If the toilet were sentient, it would be disappointed, or relieved, or however a toilet might feel serving its particular purpose.

    Young: "AHHHHH!!!"

    Antestarr: "Sorry, but this is an emergency. You're not safe here. Where's Chance?"

    Still trying to collect herself, Young manages to focus enough to answer Antestarr, the closest person she has to a father.

    Young: "He's in the nursery--"

    As she reaches to the baby monitor, a towering robed figure can be seen approaching the crib seen on the monitor, a pale hand stretching towards Chance. Both Antestarr and Young recognize the figure.


    With only her oversized nightshirt and disregarding any thought except for the safety of her child, Young bolts up and out of the door, with Antestarr right behind her. They race down stairs and through a hallway, bridging a distance both trivial and terrible.

    When they reach the nursery, however, both Morthrandur and Chance are gone. Young, in pain and fury, cries out at the top of her lungs. A wall begins to catch fire from a neighboring room already set aflame by the other NeSferatu.

    For a moment, Antestarr simply stands there watching out of a mixture of respect, self-shame, and confusion. He notices a mirror, however, where his own reflection remains absent, and then turns his attention back to Young violently heaving angry sobs. His emotions drop from his face as he places a hand on Young's shoulder.

    Antestarr: "We'll get him back, but we need to leave now."

    Young: "Leave me! I let my little Chance be taken! I don't deserve to live."

    Antestarr: "You need to live! Chance needs to live, and he'll need you."

    She gazes up at Antestarr, looking very much her age.

    Antestarr: "Besides, last time you should have died, you created a paradox in Siberia. I don't want to imagine what would happen if Nyneve turned you."

    Young: "Nyneve?"

    Antestarr: "I'll explain later. Come with me!"

    The two of them leave the room and make their way to leave the house, dodging hungry flames and leaving behind many important things, including a frozen Miss Fire held in suspended animation...

  35. #1715
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow Antestarr's Quest

    Once again within the catacombs of an ominous church in Bordeaux, Nyneve steps through the green, zappy portal and tosses the unconscious body of a man to the ground. Some of her minions had followed her out of the burning building, though some were still there to make the final touches of the great bonfire.

    The ghosts had complained a lot and there had been a few zombies that slowed progress, but otherwise the bonfire party had actually been fairly uneventful.

    Nyneve: "Did anyone grab the woman and her baby?"

    There are a few shrugs, shakes of heads and glances at other NeSferatu.

    Nyneve looks a little concerned. She hadn't actually intended to burn them alive, and more importantly she hadn't wanted to get into Antestarr's bad books again.

    Antestarr: "The mother is with me."

    Antestarr steps out of the portal, half-carrying Young.

    Nyneve: "Even when you're a villain, you're a secret hero, eh?"

    Young: "You're... a villain now?"

    Antestarr: "It's complicated. I've never been one for absolutes anyway, Young. You should know that."

    Nyneve: "Where's the baby?"

    Young: "I should ask you!"

    Nyneve: "Huh?"

    Antestarr: "That monitor wasn't very clear, Young, but it wasn't a NeSferatu that took Chance."

    Young: "Then who was it?"

    Antestarr: "I will bring Chance back to you. You should stay here with Nyneve."

    Young: "You won't tell me? Can I leave? I want to see my husband!"

    Antestarr: "It's safer for you here."

    "I'm a prisoner, aren't I?"

    Antestarr: "... Yes you are. But I'm being honest when I tell you, you're probably safer here."

    Young: "Then will you at least tell him where I am? Tell the NeS Heroes?"

    Antestarr grimaces.

    Antestarr: "I will look after you, Young."

    Young: "You won't tell them? You must!"

    Antestarr stalks out of the antechamber and the NeSferatu soldiers block Young's path as she tries to run after him. She turns to look at Nyneve.

    Young: "What are you going to do to me?"

    Nyneve: "Oh, I can think of all kinds of fun and exciting games we can play!"

    Antestarr's head pokes from around the corner.

    Antestarr: "Nyneve! Don't hurt her! You've been warned!"

    He then disappears again.

    Nyneve: "He spoils all my fun."

    Young: "I think he was warning you for your own sake, actually."

    Nyneve: "Was he now? That just makes me want to play with you even more... You'd make an excellent NeSferatu, you know?"

    Young: "I doubt that. Mother wouldn't approve."

    Nyneve: "My mother didn't approve either. I showed her how wrong she was..."


    Nyneve: "I didn't kill her! Don't look at me like that! I meant I showed off how awesome I was after I turned! You humans are always so quick to jump to conclusions..."

    Young: "Well... you do have the body of a man on the floor..."

    Nyneve: "Good point."

    Young: "Is that... Is that Gebohq!?"

    Nyneve: "No."

    Young kneels down beside the unconscious man.

    Young: "It is!"

    Nyneve: "No it isn't. It's a Geb clone. One of dozens, I'm sure. Jim 7 was breeding them. God knows why."

    Tony: "Haha, hey that's funny because Jim is God know, so he would know why because he's God and he's Jim! Right?"

    Nyneve: "You'd make a much better NeSferatu than this idiot. Are you sure you don't want to prowl the night with me and Antestarr?"

    Tony: "Heeeeey. A guy has feelings, you know?"

  36. #1716
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow Knights of the Round Table

    Hillingdon, the most ordinary place on Earth, had recently been increased in its extraordinariness when the Forgotten Army set up its camp there. After the NeS Heroes visited, it got even more extraordinary. Then a massive and ancient palace from Armenia walked right into town and plopped itself down in the middle of a road - knocking down a petrol station, a pub and a Cris B. Chikin Shack under its weight - and the town of Hillingdon finally shook its shackles of ordinariness forever.

    The NeS Heroes are standing outside of the Armenian castle, waiting for Ping to complete his scouting run.

    Evil G: "Why are we even bothering with this place? Haven't we got more important stuff to do?"

    Al Ciao: "That's my long-lost home! It is important!"

    Evil G: "It wasn't lost, was it? You just left it behind!"

    Al Ciao: "So? I want to revisit it now! And so does my daughter!"

    Evil G: "Well, we could just leave you pair to it and we'll see you later, right? Or never. Either would be fine by me."

    Losien: "We're not splitting up. We need to stick together on this mission. It's a bonding exercise we all need to go through."

    Maeve: "Bonding sounds good to me!"

    Losien: "Not that kind of bonding."

    Maeve: "I don't know, Subaru looks like she could use a cuddle. What do you reckon, Subaru?"

    Subaru: "I'd rather chew my own arm off."

    Maeve: "Don't knock it 'til you've tried it, darling."

    Maeve winks at Subaru mischievously. Subaru just rolls her eyes.

    Frank Smith: "Actually, Maeve, I do have a question for you."

    Maeve: "My fellow Rainbow Warrior, what can I do for you?"

    Frank Smith: "You're going to be a gay Queen... but monarchies are supposed to run through a family line. What're you going to do about kids? And by kids I mean heirs."

    Maeve: "... When there's a will there's a way!"

    Frank Smith: "What does that mean?"

    Maeve: "It means we'll think about that little problem when the time arises. For now, put your fingers in your ears and pretend everything's going to be fine."

    Frank Smith: "Not the best laid plan, is it?"

    Maeve: "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry!"

    Frank Smith: "You're answering questions without actually answering them..."

    Maeve: "Got to practice for when I'm Queen! I can't go giving any straight answers, they'll realise I'm so not Queen-material in no time!"

    Then Ping reappears looking completely unscathed.

    Losien: "Was it really that easy?"

    Ping: "Uh... I'll say yes. I have a recording. Hold on."

    Ping himself disappears in a jumble of pixels which reform into a recorded video image that shows the inside of the palace. As the video activates the NeS Heroes gather round to see a bunch of armour-clad ghosts start dancing on tables.

    "We're knights of the round table,
    We dance whene'er we're able,
    We do routines and chorus scenes,
    With footwork impeccable!
    We dine well here in Armenia,
    We eat ham and jam from Sardinia."

    Subaru: "Geb, stop dancing."

    Gebohq: "Aww."

    Al Ciao: "I guess losing their illustrious King sent them all raving mad!"

    Evil G: "More likely the centuries of being ghosts and doing nothing all that time sent them mad, Al. The universe doesn't revolve around you."

    Al Ciao:
    "Any more..."

    Al received a slam from Rachel's powerplaying pan.

    Al Ciao: "I was just... nostalgia isn't a crime!"

    Rachel Pi: "Don't back chat me, Al Ciao, else you'll get another pan to the head."

    Lady LightSide: "Try not to be too rough on him, Rachel. I don't want him brain-damaged... any more than he already is, anyway."

    Losien: "You know, on second thoughts, we shouldn't go to the palace, t'is a silly place."

    The NeS Heroes begin to trot off on imaginary horses.

    Al Ciao:
    "Wait, wait, wait! We're going to come back later, right?"

    "Once Maeve is Queen then maybe we'll come back."

    Frank Smith: "I want to know where those biker snipers were."

    Al Ciao: "I guess they don't station the elite guard at the palace any longer... Much has changed..."

    However the palace unexpectedly gets back to its feet and starts to follow the heroes.

    Losien: "... this is inconvenient. We're not going to be very discreet with this thing following us around, are we? The Forgotten Army's distraction is going to be pointless..."

    And so, as the heroes march towards London they discuss how to avoid being detected with a gigantic building walking after them like a lost puppy...

  37. #1717

    Long Live the Queen?

    Twenty-three pages ago, furious plot-hole storms raged across the world. Twenty-three pages ago, a random audience member still pined for her true love. Twenty-three pages ago, in her bedroom high in the hidden Chinese palace in the sky, a knocking would sound the start of an impossible dream come true for Pi Xue Jing...

    Pi Xue Jing: "Come in!"

    The door opened, and her father, Emperor Pi, stood in the door frame.

    Emperor Pi: "I have someone with me who wishes to speak with you. An old aqquaintance of mine."

    He moved aside, and a clay-skinned old man with a curiously unkempt beard stepped forward. With a pipe wafting colbolt smoke in one hand and an ornate pocketwatch in his other, the man struck a heavy resemblence of a well-dressed, scholarly hermit.

    The man introduced himself as simply Thand.

    Emperor Pi: "Master Thand made it known to me that he wishes to make you an offer. I must confess that I do not entirely trust this man my dear, and neither should you. With that said, listen to what he has to say, for it is wisdom regardless."

    Emperor Pi started to leave the room.

    Pi XueJing: "Where are you going?"

    Emperor Pi: "To meditate on the wisdom he imparted to me moments ago... with the special tea he gifted to me moments ago."

    Pi Xue Jing: "He bribed you!"

    But Emperor Pi already left the room, leaving Master Thand staring outside the window, smoking his pipe. Left alone with an old man in her bedroom, awkwardness ensued.

    Pi Xue Jing: "So..."

    Master Thand: "Allow me to be forward, my dear: you have been wishing to be with your true love."

    Pi Xue Jing: "Uh, look, we should take this talk away from my bedroom..."

    Master Thand: "You knew it to be true love the moment you saw him as a random audience member in the Arena when he offered the Greek god of war a donut."

    Her concern changed instantly to confusion, captivated by what the old man was saying.

    Master Thand: "You set that first red button for him to push as a practical joke soon after, and have followed him ever since, wishing you could step up to him, to express your love. You cannot, though, for you are nobody of notice in the great never-ending story he leads"

    Pi Xue Jing: "How did you know...?"

    Master Thand: "Knowing is in my character, my dear, just as a certain spirit - and hope for true love fulfilled - is in yours... that is, in your potential."

    Pi Xue Jiing: "Potential?"

    Master Thand: "A potential I can unlock, within these conditions, that would make you worthy a major character. What say you?"

    He held a contract in his hand. The room flashes white as the turbulent plot-hole storms flare up outside.


    Present-day London, where rain falls upon the heads of the NeS Heroes as story convention demands of London and of dramatic effect. Rachel clears her throat loudly, catching everyone's attention.

    Rachel Pi: "I say, everybody, that I have some bad news."

    Losien: "What is it?"

    Rachel: "The Potentials have already won."

    Maeve: "What do you mean?"

    Rachel: "I'm not one of you."

    Suddenly, Rachel delivers a complex karate move to Maeve's torso that is similar but legally distinct from the killing technique from the end of the Kill Bill movies. In shock, everyone stares as Maeve takes ten paces, then falls over.

    Losien: "You're... you're..."

    Rachel Pi: "APRIL FOOL'S! ...Potentially."

    Maeve begins to smell.
    Last edited by Gebohq; 03-31-2014 at 11:36 PM.

  38. #1718
    Jump-cut to a secreted, undisclosed location, where Morthrandur awkwardly holds a crying baby Chance wiith a stinky diaper.

    Morthrandur: "...perhaps I needed to think this idea through more."

    The sepulchral phantom attempts to quell the baby's ill temper with a rattle. For a moment, this seems to induce curious silence. Then--


    Morthrandur: "...perhaps I need to think this idea all the way through."

  39. #1719
    Jump-cut again to the smouldering ruins of the Haunted House of Heroes, where among the rubble, an answering machine from the 90's remains intact and, more amazingly, succeeds in recording a message live when nobody answers the call.

    Answering Machine: "Hello, this call is for a Mr. Ohq. I'm calling on behalf of Cambridge University, informing you that, due to your poor attendance in teaching the classes assigned to you as well as insufficiently adapting of our new initiative in embracing Stand-Your-Ground laws, you are currently placed on probation. Should continued failure in these matters occur, you will be immediately terminated from your position as Associate Law Professor. If you have any urther questions, please contact the Cambridge Faculty Help Desk. Good day."

    The answering machine makes a sad beep sound. We best not wonder if, like so many inanimate objects in this story, the answering machine is actually sentient.

  40. #1720
    Tea-sipper, character-killer

    Arrow CPR

    Losien: "You killed Maeve as an April Fools' joke!?"

    The NeS Heroes all look down at Maeve's dead body.

    Rachel Pi: "It seemed like a good idea at the time..."

    Gebohq: "What did you mean you're not one of us!?"

    Rachel Pi: "It was just part of the joke! ... Potentially."

    Gebohq: "I'm confused."

    Evil G: "You spend the majority of your life confused."

    Gebohq: "True..."

    Losien: "Rachel, you can't just kill people for your practical jokes. Especially when that person is our quest item!"

    Rachel Pi: "You can be really, really boring, Losien."

    Losien: "I am not--! Just--! Whatever, we need to save Maeve!"

    Couchman: "Stand back everyone! I'm a doctor!"

    Subaru: "Like Hell you are!"

    Couchman: "My dear, I am the Renaissance Man! Medicine is just one of my many, many skills. Now stand back!"

    He falls to his knees beside Maeve.

    Losien: "What're you going to do?"

    Couchman: "CPR!"

    Evil G: "I think it's a little late for that..."

    Iriana Emp: "What's CPR?"

    Rachel Pi: "How can you not know what CPR is? Have you been living on an island in the middle of nowhere!?"

    Iriana Emp: "Well actually yes I spent some on one."

    Al Ciao looks down, guiltily.

    Amal: "CPR is mouth-to-mouth."

    Iriana Emp: "What!?"

    She watches as her boyfriend's lips move closer to Maeve's.


    Everyone stops and stares at Iriana.

    Amal: "Uh, he's trying to save her life..."

    Iriana Emp: "I don't care! You cannot kiss some other woman, just because she's dead! I won't allow it!"

    Couchman finds himself in a troubling situation. Obey his girlfriend, or save a woman's life...

    Evil G: "Not that CPR should save her life..."

    Losien: "Of course it will! Couchman, ignore Iriana and save Maeve's life!"

    Iriana Emp: "You can't give him orders!"

    Losien: "He's a part of the NeS Heroes team and I'm the leader. I can give orders and right now, Couchman, your orders are to save Maeve's life!"

    Tracer: "You know, I'm not sure I like the idea of taking orders from a woman. I don't mind being your silent protector, but I ain't keen on being bossed around, doll."

    Losien: "Just... look, we don't have time for this! Couchman, please rescue Maeve. We need her."

    Couchman looks up at Iriana, who glares back at him.

    Obviously he performs CPR on Maeve, what kind of person wouldn't?

    Evil G: "I wouldn't."

    Rachel Pi: "Yes you would. Any opportunity to snog Maeve and get away with it!"

    Evil G: "Good point. Oi Couchface, let me try!"

    But, unfortunately for Evil G, it was too late. After a few chest thumps Maeve jerks upright and gasps for breath.

    Maeve: "Bloody Hell, I had a dream where Rachel grabbed my boob and I died!"

    Amal: "It actually happened."

    Rachel Pi: "Except for the boob grabbing."

    Al Ciao: "I dunno, it looked like a boob grope to me..."

    Gebohq: "My girlfriend grabbed a boob... ... ..."

    Gebohq has a faraway look on his face.

    Rachel Pi: "Geb, I'm going to kill you too in a minute..."

    Iriana Emp: "I shall never forgive you for this betrayal, Couchman!"

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