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Thread: Hero Force One

  1. #1
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    Hero Force One

    Non-Story Post:

    This thread is a minor spin-off from the Never-ending Story2. Recently I have been dominating the post count of the NeS and rather than bombard it with posts about Hero Force One that are barely linked to the main characters or plot of the NeS, I decided it was time I made a spin-off thread.

    This thread works just like the NeS, though I intend to write it with slightly less wacky, zany antics. Slightly less. It's still largely for comedy, but also ample doses of awesome and action.

    I fully expect to be writing this rubbish all by myself, it makes me happy. But if someone else wants to join in, then by all means you're welcome to do so!

    What is Hero Force One?

    Hero Force One is a super-hero team established on the Pages of NeS2. They are comparable as heroes to the NeS Heroes - except that they are actually fairly competent and have an array of awesome powers that make them much more akin to legendary comic book heroes.

    They are famous to the public, are supported by governments of the world (particularly the USA) and have vast, seemingly unlimited resources. They usually look down upon the NeS Heroes and 'wannabe heroes', despite all that the NeS Heroes have achieved.

    Storylines are likely to be on the grandiose, over-the-top scale.

    Current Cast:

    Dr R. Deep
    Judge
    Qhobeg #2
    Company Kid (Benjamin Mahir)
    Magick Snowflakes
    Nick

    Former HFO Members:

    The Patriot - K.I.A.
    Citizen Rex - M.I.A.
    Seraphim - Quit
    Acidspitter - Quit
    Last edited by TheBritt; 12-13-2013 at 09:40 AM.

  2. #2
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    Arrow The Day the Earth Went Away

    Orbiting the planet Earth is a huge man-made construct commonly known as the Hero Force One HQ. Its monstrous size could eclipse all other man-made satellites fifty-times-over. All that mass, technology and tax-payers money is used by the six members of Hero Force One.

    Six!? You could fit half the world's population in there and still have room for tea and biscuits in the middle of a football field!


    In any case, the Hero Force One HQ is fairly silent today. No alarms blaring, no action stations being raced to, no emergency warp core about to explode (this occurs at least once a week - yet no one even knows why the space station has a warp core since it can't move!). Qhobeg #2, who usually dubbed Qhobeg without his extra number - who can be bothered to say or write that? - gets out of his king-sized bed and stretches his arms out wide. After an immense yawn he leans against the window of his room and peers out at the beautiful blue-greens of the Earth below. He scratches his bum. This view was impressive the first few months - now it was just old hat. But the vivid colours against the black backdrop did help to get his eyes into focus after a long, long sleep.

    He blinks.

    The Earth is then gone.

    Qhobeg: "What in the name of John Lennon just happened!?"

    He rubs his eyes.

    Nope. It's definitely gone.

    Qhobeg manages to shuffle his unwilling feet over to the communications computer next to the door to his room. He pushes the button.


    Qhobeg: "Did any--"

    CynthAI: "AWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOGA!"

    CynthAI: "AWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOGA!"

    Qhobeg: "You don't have to actually say awooga, you know? And you don't have to do it down my God damn earhole!"

    CynthAI: "It appeared you needed waking up, Qhobeg."

    Qhobeg mushes his face against the communications panel muttering complains about annoying A.I.s. CynthAI was a brand new system installed upon the Hero Force One HQ to act as a kind of station secretary and make announcements across the breadth of the station whenever necessary. Every single member of the team had tried to murder her since her installation starting with Judge's attempt, just two hours after CynthAI's installation. Even the enigmatic and cool-tempered Dr R. Deep had cast a hex upon the AI - yet somehow she survived all assaults and continued to annoy everyone.

    Qhobeg: "Did we finally figure out why we have a warp core, CynthAI?"

    CynthAI: "Negative."

    Qhobeg: "So why did we move?"

    CynthAI: "You have moved from your bed to the window and then to the communications panel. Your motives are your own."

    Qhobeg: "God damn it! Not me! The station!"

    CynthAI: "The Hero Force One Headquarters has not moved."

    Qhobeg: "So... what happened to Earth?"

    CynthAI: "It has vacated the universe."

    Qhobeg: "On the list of things to go wrong today, I wasn't expecting that. I suppose there's a meeting due?"

    CynthAI: "I have announced the alarm to all members of Hero Force One and each of them are currently en route to the mission room."

    Qhobeg: "You mean you awoogaed them, right?"

    CynthAI: "Dr R. Deep gave explicit instructions to annoy you until you were washed and dressed and in the mission room."

    Qhobeg: "Good old, Doc. He's a mother-fu--"

    CynthAI: "AWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOGA!!!"

    Qhobeg: "Jesus' Knickers!! I know the Earth is gone, you don't need to awooga me again!"

    CynthAI: "I was not sounding the alarm for the former problem facing Hero Force One. I was resounding the alarm over a new issue."

    Qhobeg: "Which is?"

    CynthAI: "The warp core is critical."

    Qhobeg: "By God's Sweaty Armpit I'm gonna @#@%& the livin' ^#%@& outta that ^#^#@%@&!"

  3. #3
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    Arrow Mission Room

    The mission room, often known as "Command" by the team, is a circular room with a large holo-projector at its centre. The walls are arrayed with computer displays displaying displays of writing, dots, maps, graphs, pie-charts, numbers, potatoes and one has the pause menu for a Super Mario game. The noises blip-blop and whirr as people gather in the room. And no one pays a blind bit of attention to any of it save for a glance at the Mario game.

    As Qhobeg enters the room Dr R. Deep speaks aloud, but doesn't look up from his brooding stare at the holo-projector.


    Dr R. Deep: "Glad you finally made it."

    Qhobeg: "I had to put my make-up on, chief."

    Judge: "Well, it's a vast improvement. Your face looked like Nick's arse before."

    Qhobeg: "Gee, thanks Judge. You really have those British airs and graces down to a tee."

    Judge: "I'm just so dainty and charming. How could you resist?"

    Qhobeg slumps down in his own seat, opposite Judge. Judge was charming in at least one way - her almost naked body was definitely 'charming' in Qhobeg's mind. She normally wore a bikini/underwear set to expose as much of her well-toned body as possible. When Qhobeg asked her why, she had told him it was something to do with 'Superheroine rules & regulations'. The only thing to help keep the cold out was a thick, leather trench-coat that she wore over her swimsuit - patterned with the bright red, white and blue of the British flag. Her hair is dyed blue, her skin white and her eyes green - but all of this was usually shadowed by the purple haze of her telekinetic powers.

    Dr R. Deep steeples his fingers and continues to stare at the projector which displays... nothing.

    Dr R. Deep: "This is where the Earth was less than an hour ago."

    Qhobeg: "Wow. I must have got here in record time!"

    Judge: "Record time for a sissy prom queen maybe. Did you remember to paint your nails?"

    Qhobeg: "Like, totally! I was thinking we could have a pyjama-party later! I'll let you wax me if I can wax you."

    Dr R. Deep: "Stop bickering. We've never faced anything this dire before."

    Qhobeg: "That's like, your catchphrase during these meetings, man. Seriously, let's just find out where the Hell it went and get it back."

    Everyone stares at him.

    Qhobeg: "Okay, it didn't sound so stupid when I said that in my head..."

    Dr R. Deep: "I've had CynthAI examining trace particles left in the void left behind. She'll have some results for us soon. Perhaps we'll find out where it is. After that... how to relocate an entire planet is beyond even my skill."

    Dr R. Deep is the enigmatic leader of Hero Force One and a mentor to every member of the team. His cool, calm demeanour is often the cement that holds the team together - though he's often the butt of Morpheus jokes because. And because he's black, bald, wears black and has clip-on shades. A total rip-off.

    Dr R. Deep: "Narrator, you're being paid extra to narrate this spin-off series - don't make me ship you off back to the NeS."

    Stupid Morpheus.

    Dr R. Deep's personality is matched by his awesome powers of magick. Able to channel the mystical energies that pour into our universe from a more magickally potent parallel universe, Dr R. Deep pumps that energy into powerful attacks and is able to imbue his two deadly blades with their dark forces.


    Qhobeg: "He's not that cool."

    Qhobeg pouts like a jealous child.

    Qhobeg: "I did not!"

    Judge: "You definitely did too."

    Dr R. Deep: "Why is it you two are always fighting like children but the two actual children in the room are well-behaved adults!?"

    Magick Snowflakes: "We're not children. We're just... younger."

    Nick: "I think the results are in, Doctor."

    The projector was winking a red light at the group.

    Dr R. Deep: "Display the results, CynthAI."

    CynthAI: "You did not say the magic word."

    Dr R. Deep: "..."

    Qhobeg: "Oooooh, authority - challenged!"

    Dr R. Deep: "... CynthAI... could you please display the results?"

    Qhobeg laughs manically at Dr R. Deep.

    CynthAI: "Certainly, since you asked so nicely."

    Nick: "There's something seriously wrong with that AI. I honestly think someone sent it to us as a joke."

    The projector warps and changes until finally the Earth is being shown again. The display slowly zooms out, showing empty space all around the Earth. It zooms out further, yet still there is only blackness.

    Magick Snowflakes: "There's no stars..."

    Qhobeg: "You said it, kiddo."

    Magick Snowflakes: "Call me that again and I'll propel you through a wall."

    Dr R. Deep: "Don't you start too, Magick."

    Magick Snowflakes: "Sorry."

    Qhobeg: "Oh! You got scolded! Bad girl! Careful, you might get grounded if you carry on!"

    Dr R. Deep: "Qhobeg?"

    Qhobeg: "Yes, Doc?"

    Dr R. Deep: "Shut up."

    CynthAI: "The exact location of the Earth is unknown. It has vacated this universe."

    Judge: "To be honest, I don't blame it. I'd fancy a vacation from this naff universe too if I was a planet covered with annoying little insects."

    Nick: "You know you're one of those insects too, right?"

    Judge: "I am sooooo much better."

    The door of Command slides open and in walks Benjamin Mahir, otherwise known as "Company Kid".

    Benjamin Mahir: "Hey guys."

    Qhobeg: "Heeeeey, he's late and no one bats an eyelid. But if I'm late I get lambasted!"

    Benjamin Mahir: "Actually, Qhobeg, I have the incredibly demeaning job of making the tea for everyone, remember? All because I got roped into being this Company Kid gig."

    Benjamin Mahir hands out cups of tea from his tea tray and leaves the steaming pot to one side of the holo-protector's support table.

    Qhobeg: "Ah right. I was wondering why I felt groggy. I hadn't had my Mahir-special brew!"

    Benjamin Mahir: "I suppose that's the limit of my job satisfaction. The team idiot likes the way I make tea."

    Nick: "What do we do, Doctor?"

    Dr R. Deep: "Because I do not have the answers... we must seek one who has."

    Nick: "Who's that?"

    Dr R. Deep: "The Oracle."

    Qhobeg: "Another Matrix gag, c'mon Deep!"

    Dr R. Deep: "Not that Oracle! One of the oracles of our universe. You'll like her."

    Qhobeg: "I will?"

    Dr R. Deep: "She refuses to wear clothes. Says they interfere with the cosmic energies in her mind, or something like that."

    Qhobeg: "SOLD! When do we leave!?"

    Judge: "Sounds good to me too, let's get moving."

    Qhobeg: "You seem pretty eager to see a naked chick!"

    Judge: "When you spend so much time with Seraphim, who literally has the body of an angel, you get a little... curious, shall we say?"

    Qhobeg: "..."

    Judge: "Qhobeg... you want me to get you a cushion?"
    Last edited by TheBritt; 12-13-2013 at 11:12 AM.

  4. #4
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    There is a distinctive noise, and then a great big blue box appears in the room, with the words "Police" written across it. A door opens, and a jaunty fellow wearing a Fez pops his head out.

    Doctor: Word of warning. If you try to rip off my 4th season finale, I WILL find you.

    His head pops back in, and the great big blue box disappears again.

    Qhobeg: HAHAHAHAHA, what nonsense he's full of. He's ALREADY found us. Idiot.

    Others: ...

  5. #5

    The Company Kid

    Benjamin Mahir, known these days as the Company Kid, steps silently away from the others to place the tea set down on a table beside a window displaying the vast expanse of outer space. He stares at his own reflection in the meta-strength glass and sees a mousy frame in the cowboy hat and sponsor-stickered brown jumpsuit, easy to mistake as a young boy. He forgets for just a moment that he is in his twenties and not a child -- an easy mistake to make when surrounded by most of the members of Hero Force One and easier still because his ability to heal from any wound heightened his youthfulness. With no visible scars, he could forget the third-degree burns that he had once suffered, the numerous bullet wounds he more than once failed to evade, the merciless street life he lived not long ago. Without the visible Earth, he could even forget the absurd ideas some tried to convince him of before his recruitment into Hero Force One. He takes his cowboy hat to look inside, to see the smaller blue and orange crocheted hat made just for him as a present, and wonders if he would want to forget...

    Qhobeg's voice beckoned for "more coffee", despite having been served tea, and Ben sighed. He wondered briefly if any of the previous Company Kids had their short lives ended by brain aneurysms caused by sheer idiocy, then made his way back to the others before he could think about the more gruesome, and likely, deaths that awaited him.


    (Non-Story Note: While traditional superhero-style stories are not my forte, I may drop in every now and then, if for no other reason than I like the Company Kid.)
    Last edited by Gebohq; 09-16-2014 at 11:29 AM. Reason: adding title to post

  6. #6
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    Arrow Into the Maw

    Dr R. Deep: "I trust you are finally satiated on your coffee, Qhobeg?"

    Qhobeg: "Aye!"

    Benjamin Mahir: "Actually it's tea... but whatever."

    Dr R. Deep: "So, after Qhobeg's coffee interruptions and a lunatic in a blue box box showed up - I propose that when we find the Earth we use that blue box to tow the whole planet back to the solar system."

    Everyone Else:

    Dr R. Deep: "Problems?"

    Benjamin Mahir: "Other than the fact that's probably what the lunatic with the blue box was talking about, it's impossible and stupid! I mean... besides gravity not working that way, it would cause earthquakes, tidal waves, storms... Hell the atmosphere would probably be sucked away. You'd be left with a dead husk of a planet."

    Dr R. Deep: "Problem?"

    Everyone Else:

    Dr R. Deep:
    "Okay. I shall add this to the mission parameters - deliver planet whole."

    Judge: "Yeah... that would probably be a good idea. Right, let's go see this Oracle woman."

    The team assembled in the transporter room. It was an overly large, spacious room that was probably built into such an absurdly large area of the ship because the designer of the station was running out of ideas about what else he could put onto the massive construct.


    Qhobeg: "Judge, couldn't you like... fly there?"

    Judge: "You know I need to breathe, right?"

    Qhobeg: "Oooooooh right."

    Judge: "Actually, come to think of it, I probably could. I could create a telekinetic barrier around myself to keep air and heat inside - yeah it'd work!"

    Qhobeg: "I'm totally inspirational like that. So why don't you do it?"

    Judge: "Because this thing's faster."

    No sooner had she said this than the room blazes with white light. The group feel themselves being pulled, as though they were on leashes, upwards and to the right. Then there is a rushing sensation, like being buffeted with wind. Then there is nothing.

    Qhobeg slowly opens his eyes.


    This had always been the worst part about being in Hero Force One. The surprise waiting for him when he opened his eyes after a jaunt through space-time. It was like Christmas - there could be great presents!! Or rubbish ones. Unfortunately after a jaunt those nasty presents tended to bite.


    The landscape is barren - a wide, long view of rocks and flatland. There are some weeds here and there which made Qhobeg feel slightly more at ease.

    Qhobeg: "At least there are some weeds here and there. They put me at ease."

    You really didn't need to say that out loud, you know?

    Magick Snowflakes: "Actually if there's even a few plants, there's life. If there's life... there's hunger."

    Qhobeg: "You... are one very disturbed little girl, Magick."

    Magick Snowflakes pulls some kind of cute anime girl pose, complete with giggle.

    Judge: "That... just made her even creepier, right?"

    Qhobeg manages to nod but unable to remove his horrified eyes from Snowflakes.


    The girl was a "future kid". A teenager, but a teenager that still had her youthful, child-like looks. She usually wears clothes that are too big for her - in the future there may have been a shortage of new clothes, and now it was purely from comfort. She has an unusual ability to be incredibly 'matter-of-fact' and realistic, with little suggestion of hope or optimism if the situation was abundantly clear. Yet she manages this without any hint of upset. Which makes her pretty creepy at times.

    Now she is wearing an overly large, long-sleeved and red T-shirt, baggy jeans, trainers, a jacket and a rucksack. What is in the rucksack is anyone's guess. Qhobeg guesses crayons, pony pictures and something evil. Like Cthulu or something.

    Nick: "So, Chief, where's this Oracle at? It doesn't look like there's really much around us. No signs of any naked women."

    Magick Snowflakes: "You're looking forward to seeing this naked woman?"

    Nick: "Uh... no! Just saying. Y'know?"

    Dr R. Deep: "That's a good point, Magick. I think Magick and Nick should be kept away from the Oracle. It might be inappropriate."

    Nick: "Awwww!"

    Magick Snowflakes: "I knew it!"

    Qhobeg: "Dude, they see plenty of blood splatter, violence, world-destroying horror on a daily basis. I'm sure a bit of bare flesh would be good for them."

    Magick Snowflakes: "The last naked flesh I saw was hanging off of a corpse."

    Qhobeg: "Holy shi-- see!? It'll be good for them!"

    Dr R. Deep: "Perhaps. Plus they look at Judge every day..."

    Judge: "Heeeeeeeey! This is traditional super heroine attire!"

    Suddenly there is a rumbling.

    Qhobeg: "What the buggery was that?"

    As if to answer Qhobeg the rumbling started again but hits a climax when a huge, horrible beastie crashes out of the ground in a shower of dust and rocks.

    Qhobeg uncovers his eyes to look up at the worm-like monster.

    Qhobeg: "Why is it always wormy monsters? Always."

    The wormy-monster comes complete with an open maw filled with incredibly sharp teeth that clamp open and shut.

    Nick: "Maybe it just wants to be friends?"

    Magick Snowflakes: "Doubtful, Nick. Doubtful. Actually me and you might be okay, we're not as fat as the others. Although, we'd traditionally be easier targets because we're younger - less capable of self-preservation."

    Nick: "You... do you have to say things like that?"

    Magick Snowflakes: "Don't worry, Nick! All we have to do is prove that we're not easy targets!"

    She casts a very quick spell that propels her small body quickly into the air and away from the worm that crashed into the ground in an attempt to eat her. Instead of stopping the worm burrows into the ground where she had been stood. Nick's jaw gapes.

    Sometimes Qhobeg was sure that Magick was the most powerful and competent member of the team, despite being their resident "kid". But he also knew that he wasn't without a few tricks of his own...

  7. #7
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    London, the Dominion of Bleeding Eyes (formerly London, Britain). A great crowd is gathered in a square before a stage that has been set up. Cheers and applause erupt as a figure clad in blue, white, and red descends from the sky to land center stage before the microphone.

    Citizen Rex: *whispered aside* [Oy! Tell the techs to make the jetpack wobble less.]

    Agent Mulligan: [Sir, that is an unavoidable side effect of the tight-radius invisibility field woven into its engine.]

    Citizen Rex: *waving to the crowd and never letting his smile crack* [Well, MAKE it avoidable.]

    Agent Mulligan rolls his eyes behind his sunglasses. He is dressed in stereotypically "secret agent" black suit garb, with an earpiece and a gun on his waist. He technically has authority over Citizen Rex, being the "superhero" 's handler, as assigned by Dr. R. Deep. And Citizen Rex himself? Well, despite his strong, all-American aura - which persists somehow even with his spiky neon orange glow-in-the-dark hair - the clone of Al Ciao is powerless.

    He serves as the public face for Hero Force One, and advanced technology, stunt doubles, and Neuralyzer-Expies are employed to keep the public ignorant of his normalcy. Here at the press conference, the crowd quiets down finally, and Citizen Rex speaks into the microphone. His voice is rather less than impressive, and slightly squeaky in fact, but audio programs alter the resonance and timbre of his words to project a suave, commanding baritone that sounds like the love child of Liam Neeson and Sean Connery.


    Citizen Rex: Fellow citizens--

    His speech is interrupted when the sky, moments ago brilliantly lit by a midday sun, goes dark. There is a collective gasp of fear from the crowd. Rex looks irritably up at the sky.

    Citizen Rex: Mulligan, my supersight-simulation optical implants are acting up again.

    His words, enhanced by the microphone, boom out across the crowd. Agent Mulligan facepalms, and wearily pulls out his Neuralyzer-Expy.

    FLASH!

    Instantly, all the crowd forgets Rex's slip. Rex himself blinks, then looks up at the sky.

    Citizen Rex: Mulligan, my supersight-simulation optical implants are acting up again.

    Agent Mulligan: Dammit, Rex, put on your sunglasses!

    Citizen Rex: What for? It's not sunglare that's bothering me, but the opposite problem!

    The crowd is starting to panic, both from the sun's disappearance and Rex's accidental admissions. The mic is finally cut by technicians, and Mulligan slaps a pair of sunglasses on Rex.

    FLASH!

    For the third time, the crowd panics over seeing the suddenly dark sky, but at least this time they are confident in Citizen Rex's ability to save them.

    Agent Mulligan: *speaking into his earpiece* Orbit One, this is Praetor, do you copy? Orbit One, come in! ...Hero Force One is not responding. Get Rex's stunt double in here, fast.

    -----

    Nick, as the son of the Olympian god of war, is bear-wrestling with the giant wurm, bringing to bear his prodigious divine strength in a knockdown, drag-out, take-no-prisoners tussle. Unfortunately, he's still young, and so his divine might isn't enough to wrest victory from the worm, who victoriously pins him with its bulk.

    Nick: MMFFNNGFHHHHNNN!

    Judge: We're TRYING to get it off you!

    A violet aura surrounds the wurm as the telekinetic heroine strains to move it. Magick hovers in the air beside her, weaving complex spells, while Dr. R. Deep is stabbing the wurm's tough flank in an effort to draw it away. Qhobeg stands a slight distance away, trying to think of something to do. Finally he snaps his fingers.

    Qhobeg: I've got it! A perfect convention to storywield here!

    Storywielding, unlike most superpowers in the NeSiverse, is not flashy or showy, so there is no sensible cue of Qhobeg's ability... but a few moments later, a great horrific beast - resembling a very spiky rancor-head on a phenomenally huge centipedelike body - burrows out of the ground beneath the wurm and snaps it up in a single gulp, devouring it whole. Qhobeg surveys the scene with satisfaction.

    Qhobeg: There's always a bigger fish.

    Deep: Qhobeg, you bloody idiot! Now there's an even BIGGER monster we have to fight!

    The rancor-headed insectoid beast rears above them, blotting out the sky with its immensity, but Qhobeg shrugs.

    Qhobeg: No problem, I'll just--

    Judge: NO!

    But it is too late. A creature even more massive than the rancor-headed thing surges from the ground and bites the rancor-headed thing in two with a clean snap of tremendous jaws.

    Qhobeg: If Liam Neeson can say it twice in the same movie, so can I.

    Deep facepalms.

  8. #8
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    Arrow The Oracle's Request

    Non-Story Post: I did write this post already but the site problems a short while ago caused the post to be lost. . So here's a re-write. It's going to be somewhat different, I'm sure.

    ----------

    Judge whips out her arms to direct her telekinetic powers straight at the new creature. A purple haze forms around the monster as she struggles to contain it.

    Judge: "Come on, beastie. Don't struggle."

    But struggle it did. The creature was part T-Rex, part scorpion, part mountain. Its tail writhes wildly, resisting Judge's powerful effects. As it pulls away from her with a sudden force, Judge is dragged through the air several metres before she manages to regain control.

    Magick Snowflakes moves into action without needing to be prompted by Dr R. Deep. Her young legs take her as close as she dared to the rampaging beast before she used her magic to aid her. A quick spell sent a tremendous wind shooting up beneath her - causing a 'flying' effect for Magick. She shot upwards like a feather before she settles on a leg of the creature. She casts a new spell quickly, forming a pin-point purple dot on the creatures leg - unseen by anyone bar Magick herself. Another wind spell and Magick was again in the air, headed towards another limb.

    Dr R. Deep: "Nick, you will need to incapacitate the creature. Magick Snowflakes is vulnerable whenever she stops to cast a new spell. Let's calm the creature down... or rather subdue it a little."

    Nick: "How can I do that?"

    Dr R. Deep: "With your fists."

    Without warning, Dr R. Deep casts a powerful wind spell - just like Magick's - and sends the young demi-god shooting up towards the monster. Nick realises that the doctor's aim was incredibly precise and he curses the man.


    Nick: "I'm going to have nightmares about this."

    Nick pulls back his fist and lets loose once within range of the monster's very large testicles.

    One punch from Nick's godly fist causes the creature to howl with agony and clench all legs inwards to protect and soothe its now most painful zone.

    Magick Snowflakes continues to hop, leg to leg, though much more quickly now as she is able to land and take-off with little trouble. Nick himself falls from the creature, dropping down and down until he crashes to the earth, sending out a shockwave of power. He rose from his crouch and stares upwards, seeing the small speck of Magick drift through the air like a flea on a dog.

    But the monster didn't stay focused for long. Its many legs open slightly before it gets the courage to try to retaliate. When it does, it does so instantly. The huge tail lashes down at the ground, its stinger as big as a house, smashes into the ground where Nick had been stood. The young man runs, runs for his life.

    The stinger lashes down again, and again. Nick panics. He could run fast, but not that fast.


    Qhobeg, whose powers varied somewhat from the original Gebohq, takes out a quill and begins to write in the air. Sometimes he could use story-wielding just like Gebohq had always done - other time Qhobeg had to use his own unique talent. Grammomancy. As he writes, purple, glowing words appear in the air - but they were not English. They are written in the ancient language of the Never-ending Story.

    The creature's stinger hits the earth but the ground itself shifts, sucking the stinger in, burying it deeper and deeper. The creature panics and starts wriggling and struggling against the effect of Qhobeg's grammomancy.

    Qhobeg lowers his quill and plants his hands on his hips.


    Qhobeg: "It's just Story Wielding with more finesse. No need to thank me, chief. Just doing my job."

    Dr R. Deep: "I won't. This is your mistake to begin with."

    Qhobeg:

    Benjamin Mahir:
    "Well, at least he gets to do something. I feel useless just standing and watching."

    Dr R. Deep: "You are the Company Kid. You keep up morale."

    Qhobeg:
    "Yeah, just stay out of harm's way. You're probably the longest-living Company Kid we've ever had."

    Benjamin Mahir: "Lucky me..."

    Nick appears at Benjamin's side, but he doesn't pay any attention to either Ben or Qhobeg. Instead he's looking upwards.

    Qhobeg: "Check this guy out. Crazy rude, right? You could at least look at us, man."

    Nick doesn't pay any attention to Qhobeg.

    Ben looks up.

    Ben moves away.


    Qhobeg: "Where're you going?"

    There comes a distant wail. Qhobeg finally looks up, just in time to see the small frame of Magick Snowflakes tumbling down towards him. Qhobeg runs away.


    Magick Snowflakes: "Oof! Good catch, Nick!"

    Nick: "I was waiting for you."

    He holds her a little too long, prompting blushes from him and Magick. Qhobeg makes puking motions towards Ben.

    Dr R. Deep: "Are all of the tags in place?"

    Magick Snowflakes: "Yes boss!"

    Dr R. Deep opens his palms slightly, forming two claws, as he summons magic from the depths of the NeS. Purple light shines from behind his sunglasses. High above a gigantic mystic symbol draws itself into the air as large as a house. From the mystical symbol slowly emerges a gigantic, ethereal sword amidst the crackling of esoteric lightning that was resisting the drawing of magic into the physical realm.

    Using Magick's pinpoints for guidance, the sword slams into the creature, piercing the tough skin as though it were made of paper. With a cry of bestial agony the monster makes final death throes, which yanks Judge out of the sky like a gnat. She crashes to the ground in an unceremonious pile.


    Judge raises her head slowly, just as the beast falls to the ground some miles behind her, with a final roar. She stares up at Nick.

    Judge: "You couldn't catch me too?"

    Nick, belatedly, runs over to Judge to help her up.

    Nick: "Sorry! I'm so sorry, Judge!"

    Qhobeg: "Haha, enjoy your trip?"

    Judge totters towards Qhobeg.

    Qhobeg: "You're not going to kiss me, are you? I really wasn't in any danger."

    With a quick flip of her wrist, Judge sends Qhobeg zooming off into the sky with a prolonged curse.

    ----------

    Wind buffets Hero Force One as they slowly ascend the rocky mountain. Some small weeds struggle to hold onto the earth they had chosen to grow on, otherwise the mountain was as barren as the rest of the landscape they had seen so far. Magick Snowflakes keeps trying to summon fire to her hands in an attempt to keep warm, but the violent wind made it difficult to control the magical fire. Dr R. Deep seems to be completely unaffected by the horrible weather. In fact he just looks even cooler than he already did with his coat billowing out behind him.

    The only one of them truly happy to climb the mountain is Judge. A faint sphere of purple surrounds her, which brightens if something happens to graze against it. Within the sphere she is warm and protected against the fierce wind. When difficult climbing spots occurred she would float up them easily. Only Magick had anywhere near such an advantage, able to boost herself up smaller spaces with magic.

    No one wanted to ask Judge for help. Ben was too afraid, Nick was too embarrassed and Qhobeg knew she'd rather kick him down the mountain.

    Dr R. Deep: "We're almost there. Be on your guard."

    Qhobeg: "What's a mystical naked chick gonna do, eh?"

    Judge: "Hopefully she'll castrate you, Qhobeg."

    Qhobeg: "No matter what I've done, no man deserves that, Judge. Have a heart!"

    Voice: "Speak your desire and see bargain offered."

    Everyone turns in surprise to see a woman standing upon the mountain. The first thing most of them notice is that she is completely naked, her bare white skin seems unaffected by the harsh cold of the mountain. She's thin and stands with her arms hanging loosely by her sides. Her hair is unlike anything any of them had ever seen. It is made of pure energy and flows like liquid in the wind, rather than like strands of hair. Its colour is a vibrant purple, much like the signature colour of HFO. Her eyes are entirely black, no iris, no whites. Just one large pupil.

    Dr R. Deep: "We want to find the Earth."

    Oracle: "Easily done. Are you prepared to pay the price?"

    Dr R. Deep: "Name it."

    Oracle: "Give me a child."

    Everyone stands, somewhat stunned. It is Qhobeg that rises to the challenge first, somewhat to Nick's dismay. Not that he would admit that in front of Magick.

    Qhobeg: "Well, my lady, for the good of our quest, I am more than willing to provide you with a child. I do this in the name of... all that is good and... holy... or something."

    He approaches her with a spring in his step, apparently having forgotten the cold weather.

    Qhobeg: "Your place, or mine?"

    The Oracle makes a flick of the wrist and Qhobeg is sent zooming through the air a second time.

    Judge: "I think I'm going through a lesbian phase, I'm in love."

    Oracle: "You misunderstand my requirement. I want you to bring me a child."

    Everyone then grows uncomfortable. They all look toe Dr R. Deep to make the difficult choice for them.

    Dr R. Deep: "... very well. We will bring you... a child..."

    Oracle: "I know you will."

    She is enveloped in the same purple energy as her hair until it, and she, disappears into the ether.


    Dr R. Deep:"... Nick. Please catch Qhobeg when he comes back down."

  9. #9
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    Upon Earth, deep in the Siberian tundra, far from anything remotely resembling civilization, a repurposed missile silo stands tall against the black sky. Despite it being midday, the sky is empty and dark, save for a smattering of cold, distant stars. Old Boris, the caretaker of the silo, shuffles from the rundown barracks where he makes his home, across the snow, to the silo, or more precisely, the high-tech control chamber abutting it.


    Boris: Borscht, just when I thought Russia couldn't get colder, the sun vanishes. Like a woman when she realizes I am poor as dirt.


    The control chamber is only dimly lit. Being a low-priority station, it only runs on emergency power, and has done so since its repurposing in the early 1990s. A few red and orange lights blink disconsolately here and there. Dozens of screens are in the chamber, but only three or four are active.


    Boris: Well, you'd think a crisis like this, someone would remember me. Marshalling every last resource and all that--


    With a sudden hum, a blank monitor surges into life - the long-disused communications console! Boris jumps half his height into the air as a voice speaks.


    DelphAI: Siberia Fourteen, come in. This is DelphAI, psytech coordination matrix for Hero Force.


    Boris hurries over to the console. Hero Force? He didn't know the silo had anything to do with them. He'd only been given his training and his instructions.


    Boris: This is Siberia Fourteen, I read you. Over.


    DelphAI: Activate Contingency 18. Then remain on high alert. Over and out.


    The console lapses back into inactivity before Boris can respond, but already his deeply ingrained training is kicking in instinctively. He rushes between consoles, flipping switches, pulling levers, and pushing buttons. Full power thrums through the generators, and the bright lights coming on nearly blind the old Russian. Hydraulics whir, and steam billows from the base of the silo as heat builds.


    Boris: Well... here goes nothing.


    He presses the Big Red Button, initiating the final activation protocols. The ground begins to shake as the top of the repurposed missile silo opens to the sky. Boris hurriedly goes to the window, wondering what is going to happen. He was never told what Contingency 18 is, only how to activate it.


    He sees streaks of flame and steam trailing behind a large object shooting into the sky. It is folded into an aerodynamic shape for launch, but as it begins to fade from his vision, he sees it beginning to unfold into some contraption.


    Far beyond Boris' vision, the satellite lurches into the sky as it takes up orbit around the Earth. All over the globe, similar streamers of smoke and fire signal the launch of dozens of other satellites. In the cold of space, the satellites link with each other, assessing the situation. They are Contingency 18, designed in the event of celestial bodies being destroyed or removed. Selecting Helios and Luna protocols, highly advanced technology - and no small amount of magic - whirs into high gear.


    Runes on the array of each satellite glow white-hot, beaming synthsolar heat down upon the Earth, and compression fields deploy to maintain atmosphere. In addition, compression fields simulate lunar gravitic pressures in a constantly shifting paradigm to regulate tides.


    In a cavern far below a Grecian mountain, DelphAI gives a satisfied cyber-shrug. Her physical incarnation is that of a human skull, etched with powerful sigils and bristling with crystalline circuitry. Wires and ports run from the base of the skull to various consoles and machinery around her 'brain', connecting her to all of Hero Force's resources, and thus the world.


    Very few know of her existence. Among Hero Force One, only the team leader, Dr. R. Deep, is aware of her. She is the heart and brain of the Hero Force agency, coordinating not only Hero Forces One through Twelve, but also the spies, suits, and soldiers under its aegis. Now she is operating in higher gear than ever before, coordinating global response to outbreaking crises.


    Contingency 18 is a success, and werewolf outbreaks are steadily decreasing, while plant and animal life begin to thrive once more. With several spare databanks, DelphAI reacts to ongoing Points of Interest around the globe, but her main cortices devote themselves to the central problem: the Earth's relocation.


    A communications console bleeps insistently. DelphAI assigns a neural node to handle it, and an old, shaky voice comes through the speaker.



    Dr. Octavius: H-hello-o?


    DelphAI: Speak, friend, but be quick. The situation is urgent.


    It takes a single cyberneural pathway only a third of a millisecond to trace the call. Leo Octavius is a distinguished if eccentric professor of astronomy in his 80s, and has attempted to approach authorities with ramblings of his findings. Hero Force agents tapping key locations in the world have detected his futile attempts and determined his counsel to be of value, and so began filtering through the chain of command the professor's assistance.


    Dr. Octavius: Y-yes, of c-course. I have been t-taking celestial readings - this is qu-quite an incredible e-event, you know - and trying to d-determine our location.


    DelphAI: Have you succeeded, Doctor?


    Dr. Octavius: Yes, I-I have. We have - have n-not moved at a-all.


    DelphAI: What?


    The professor's voice comes stronger and more confident now as he warms to his topic, and also because the Writer is getting tired of typing in his stutters.


    Dr. Octavius: The few remaining stars in our sky - they are the same that were there before, just the ones the most phenomenally far away. Everything else that we are used to seeing - the entire great supercluster of dozens of galaxies surrounding us, including our own Milky Way, is vanished, leaving us behind.


    DelphAI runs several astronomy comparisons with charts, and quickly corroborates the professor's findings. She flags him as a valuable asset in the Hero Force databanks before dismissing him and formulating theories to herself.


    DelphAI: Astonishing but welcome information, Professor. Thank you. Contact us should you discover anything more... Hypothesis 1: The astronomical paths have been cleared for an invasion corridor to Earth. Conclusion: Unlikely. The power it would take to transport a galactic supercluster is overwhelmingly far beyond the power needed to conquer the planet. Hypothesis 2: Earth was meant to be relocated as well, but some anchor kept us in place.


    She assesses several low-priority flags from research centers, hoping to find a clue, and finds a recently submitted report from Substation Kappa Phi Delta in Antarctica.


    Doctor X: The hedrons are showing massive activity. A powerful energy spike was concurrent with the vanishing of the sky. Energy does not register as any of the known forces: nuclear, gravitic, or electromagnetic. Base staff reports paranormal phenomena in the wake of the event, such as dreams involving alien images and star maps.


    DelphAI: Time to call in the big guns. Well, one of them. Calling asset codenamed, The Doctor.


    The communications console bleeps.


    The Doctor: How did you get this number? You're not UNIT.


    DelphAI: This universe has no UNIT. It has Hero Force. Close enough. We need your help.


    The Doctor: Well, you did nicely sidestep the rip-off of my season 4 finale. I don't suppose I could get a desk?


    DelphAI: Done.


    The Doctor: Alright then, what do you need?


    DelphAI: Substation Kappa Phi Delta in Antarctica. Analyze the hedrons please. They've shown major activity since our... the sky's translocation.


    The Doctor: On my way.


    DelphAI hears a very familiar whirring, no doubt belonging to a Blue Box(TM), before the connection is cut off. Deep in Antarctica, the TARDIS appears inside the frigid base, as the Doctor steps out.


    Random Base Researcher: Holy crap! Look who it is! I can't believe it's you!


    The Doctor: It's nice to be revered once in a while--


    Random Base Researcher: Peter Capaldi! Can I get your autograph?


    The Doctor: ...what.


    The Doctor facepalms, and hurries past the Random Base Researcher into the heart of the complex. In a cavern of crystalline ice buried beneath the antarctic snow is a formation of multiple obelisks. Some are tall and thin, others short and squat, with all kinds of variations inbetween. All are matte black and covered with columns of calligraphic glyphs. The glyphs are glowing pale green and SCROLLING in the columns, as though the obelisk surfaces are computer screens. Strange electricity crackles on the pinnacle of each obelisk, occasionally discharging in chains of eldritch lightning across every obelisk peak.


    Doctor X: The Hedrons of Substation Kappa Phi Delta, Doctor. Welcome. Didn't know they were sending out two specialists.


    The Doctor: Two...?


    Hermes Trismegistus is kneeling at the base of the tallest obelisk, the palm of his hand atop a column of glyphs that is scrolling down the surface of the hedron.


    The Doctor: Oh, that shows absolutely no class at all.


    Hermes Trismegistus: Grow up, already. I wasn't sent by Hero Force anyway... I felt these Hedrons activating. Powerful magicks, and incredibly ancient, here. How quiescent they must have been to escape my notice before now.


    The Doctor: There is no such thing as magic.


    Hermes Trismegistus: There is no such thing as Hero Force in your universe either, yet here they are.


    The Doctor examines the glyphs closely.


    The Doctor: Odd. The TARDIS translation matrix isn't deciphering these. They must be old. Really old. IMPOSSIBLY old-- Alright, that's it. I'm sick of these rip-offs. I'm out of here.


    Doctor X: Desk.


    The Doctor: ...fine. As long as you haven't had any cases of tentacle-faced alien slaves being demonically possessed. My best guess is that these Hedrons are powerful protective devices, and warded the Earth against translocation. However, they are far older than the Earth itself. Than the universe, actually.


    DelphAI's voice comes in through loudspeaker.


    DelphAI: The mystery of the Hedrons will have to wait for another day.


    Ooooh, dangling plot hook!


    DelphAI: Shut up, Narrator. For now, it's enough to know that we were spared whatever massive translocation catastrophe caused this. Hero Force One is adrift from us, and all outside support, and they're the ones who need it most, if they're going to figure out what caused the translocation, defeat it somehow despite that massive amount of power it must have, and restore the galactic supercluster.


    Doctor X: Tall order.


    DelphAI: To this end, I've reinstated two reserve members of Hero Force One, and am sending them with you, Doctor, in your TARDIS, so that you can take them to Hero Force One.


    The Doctor: I'm not a bloody taxi!


    DelphAI: Desk.


    The Doctor: All aboard!


    DelphAI: Hermes Trismegistus, I'm also drafting you.


    Hermes Trismegistus: You do realize I'm an incredibly powerful god-mage with superspeed, superstrength, and nigh-invulnerability? You don't 'draft' me.


    DelphAI: Maybe not, but you're clearly bored out of your skull. Enough that you'll trudge out to the middle of nowhere to look at some interesting artifacts while the world's going through hell.


    Hermes Trismegistus: Right then! Let's go!


    Doctor X: But aren't you afraid that Hermes will totally screw up the balance of the team? I mean, if he is as powerful as all that--


    DelphAI: I don't give two shakes of a lamb's tail about story balance. Mission takes priority over Nestianite values. Besides, they'll probably simply face even more powerful foes for which he'll be needed, or else he'll be somehow incapacitated.


    Hermes Trismegistus: Quoted for truth. Like Professor X in the 3 X-Men movies.


    -----


    In the chilly cave of the Oracle, the members of Hero Force One are looking at each other.


    Judge: Where are we supposed to find a child on this god-forsaken rock?


    Nick: Well, I suppose we could find a hatchling of one of those monsters?


    Magick: Are you insane? Those monsters are tough enough without facing one maddened by the kidnapping of her hatchling.


    Qhobeg: Hey, you know, Magick and Nick are sorta kids.


    Magick and Nick: Hey! I am not a kid!


    Dr. R. Deep: It's true that the Oracle didn't put any qualifiers on 'child'.


    Judge: You're not seriously suggesting that we throw them to the wolves, Qhobeg.


    Qhobeg: As opposed to the morally ambiguous option of throwing an innocent hatchling to the wolves?


    The others shift uncomfortably.


    Qhobeg: Besides, we don't actually know what she wants a child for. Apprentice? Poker player? Joketeller?


    Nick: Fine. Herodom is all about sacrifice anyway, right? I'll offer myself.


    With another swirling of purple energy, the Oracle appears once again.


    Oracle: You have made your decision, as I knew you would.


    Qhobeg rolls his eyes.


    Qhobeg: Yeah, what a HUGE sacrifice Nick is making.


    Nick IS looking rather ostentatiously at the Oracle's nude, supple, voluptuous form.


    Nick: Am not!


    Judge: You totally are.


    Magick: Pig!


    Nick:


    Dr. R. Deep: We have brought you a child, Oracle. Now give us the answer we seek: Where is the Earth?


    Oracle: Right where you left it.


    Heroes:


    Judge: Wait, what? What do you mean? It's not there at all.


    Oracle: Payment is given, the answer returned. Farewell.


    In a swirling of purple energy, she and Nick vanish.


    Magick: NO!


    The normally eerily composed girl looks a little frazzled at the loss of her teammate. She stifles a blush and forces a shrug.


    Magick: Well, good riddance to him. I hope he enjoys himself with that harlot.


    Dr. R. Deep: But what about her answer? Right where we left it? It's clearly not.


    Judge: Maybe it's cloaked?


    Magick: Or maybe... WE'RE the ones who were moved.


    Heroes:


    Qhobeg: That would take incredible power, cuz it moved a significant chunk of the universe with us.


    A familiar whirring heralds the arrival of a Blue Box(TM), and The Doctor sticks his head out.


    Qhobeg: Aw, c'mon Doc! We're not ripping you off!


    The Doctor: Not to worry! Just dropping off some folks for ya. DelphAI sends her regards.


    Judge: Who?


    Dr. R. Deep: CynthAI's older sister. Ask me later.


    The TARDIS disgorges Hermes Trismegistus, followed by Seraphim and Acidspitter, before disappearing.


    Magick: Sera?


    Judge and Qhobeg: This day just got AWESOME!

  10. #10
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow

    Qhobeg: "So, Seraphim, you're totally rejoining the team? You're back for good?"

    Seraphim: "No. But it looks like you'll be needing all the help you can get, right?"

    Acidspitter: "Not going to ask about me?"

    Qhobeg: "This team only needs more women. There's already too much manliness here with Deep running about."

    Acidspitter: "Well... it's good to see things haven't changed much."

    Judge: "Except that we totally just sacrificed Nick."

    Seraphim & Acidspitter:

    Qhobeg: "He'll be okay! I'm sure she just wants to rape him and have demon offspring."

    Seraphim & Acidspitter:

    Qhobeg: "Don't look at me like that. It sounds frickin' awesome!"

    The two groups quickly exchange information on events that happened on both sides.

    The Doctor: "Well, this has been fun hasn't it?"

    He starts shaking everyone's hand. Except Hermes Trismegistus and Magick Snowflakes. He hugs Magick and pulls a rude face at Hermes Trismegistus.

    The Doctor: "I'd love to stay and chat, but I a desk to... sit at... bye-bye!"

    He hops into his TARDIS, waves, through the door and then vanishes from the planet, leaving Hero Force One alone on the barren world.

    Hermes Trismegistus: "You realise that your demi-god is not having sex with that Oracle? She wanted a child, technically Nick is far from a child by more... esoteric terms. You could have brought her an infant. Sex clearly wasn't the goal of this exchange."

    Qhobeg: "She knew we'd make that choice."

    Hermes Trismegistus: "She's an Oracle. If she didn't know your choice, she'd be a very bad Oracle."

    Seraphim: "Sounds to me like she is a bad Oracle. A villainous one at that. Judge, back me up."

    Without further word or debate Seraphim, the majestic and virtuous angel, soars up into the sky. The powerful wind fights her, but she has hand many years worth of practice when battling the elements during flight.

    Judge: "...she's back."

    Judge zooms after her, much quicker than Seraphim had been as Judge has no need to skill - protected from the wind through the shield.


    Qhobeg: "Judge seems happier."

    Acidspitter: "Shouldn't we go after them!?"

    Dr R. Deep: "I fear we would be too late to be of assistance, no matter what happens up there. They're on their own."

    Dr R. Deep glances at Hermes Trismegistus, but the other-worldly being softly shakes his head.

    Hermes Trismegistus: "We should return to your celestial fortress."

    Dr R. Deep: "We call it a spacestation."

    Hermes Trismegistus: "Indeed. We ought to scan the disant celestial bodies in an attempt to gauge where in the universe we are... if at all."

    Dr R. Deep nods with understanding. He looks up at the small specks, mentally wishes them luck, then begins the journey back down the mountain with the others in tow.

    ----------

    Oracle: "Please, sit."

    Nick sits on the wooden chair. He is sat in front of a large black basin that has an unusual shine to the stone. He is under some kind of Greek-esque pagoda with stone pillars all around that propped up a domed roof. The ceiling above him has some kind of painting details some great cosmic event that he was not wise enough to comprehend.

    He looks down into the basin. It looks, to him, like a big bath. Even a hole at the bottom for the water to drain away.


    The Oracle holds out her hand and a long needle-like blade appears. It, like the basin, is made of an unusual black material.


    Oracle: "The blood of a demi-god is what I have been been waiting for for so many centuries."

    Nick's eyes widen but before he steps up the Oracle draws her body close to him - confusing his fight or flight senses.

    Oracle: "Don't worry, boy. I only need a little prick... of the finger. A small offering and you are free to rejoin your heroic band in their attempts to save the planet Earth. That's all they truly care about, after all?"

    Nick, though relieved that he wasn't going to be killed, didn't like the way she was trying to pit him against his friends. He understand the risk he had taken and he knew why. His life potentially for billions. Fair trade.

    She walks around him.

    Oracle: "Do I excite you, boy?"

    Nick: "Uh--!"

    That is one question he really didn't know how to answer. He felt her close to his back. She rests her chin on the top of his head. Her collar bone graces the back of his neck.

    As he stares forward, trying not to feel her skin against his own, two small specks appear on the horizon. The specks grow closer. The familiar white clothing of Seraphim and the purple haze of energy around Judge. He smiles.


    Nick: "You just need a bit of blood, right? Then I can go."

    The Oracle's face levels with his own, her cheek against his.

    Oracle: "Young boy. I have to tell you this..."

    Her lips move to his ear and she whispers sensually.

    Oracle: "I lied."

    ----------

    On Mount Olympus, the various gods of all Earth-bound cultures, are staring up at the stars that now occupy Earth's sky. Ares even removes his sunglasses so that he might get a good look.

    Athena: "This does not bode well for us. Should we help the humans?"

    Thoth: "I think we should have faith in them for a little longer. They may yet solve this conundrum by themselves."

    Athena: "Sounds like you know something about this that I'm missing, Thoth."

    Ares suddenly collapses on the ground. He has never felt anything so unusual. Pain that isn't his own. Pain... like a connection lost. He feels a last plea, calling him. A desperate soul screaming at the gods.

    Ares: "My... son... is gone..."

    ----------

    Seraphim: "NO!"

    The angel rushes towards Nick, the wind deafening her to all other sounds. She could see his body within a black basin within the tall pagoda. The chair he had been sat on was toppled over. His blood runs down the drain. The wound had been expertly placed through his neck, the protrusion at the front-to-back.

    The Oracle herself slowly floats away from the scene.


    Oracle: "You're too late. The sacrifice has been made."

    Seraphim didn't hear. She lands on the pagoda and drops hastily into the basin. Divine energy surges through her body and bursts from her fingers like liquid light.

    Judge, however, has always been more practical. She makes a beeline straight for the Oracle. The Oracle, for her part, conjures weapon fashioned of the same purple energy as her hair - a traditional sword. As Judge nears the Oracle, however, disappears in a burst of light - only to appear behind Judge. She strikes. Judge's shield takes a single hit to disintegrate in a shower of purple shards.


    The British woman plunges a few metres before her shield is back up. She reaches out, latching onto the Oracle with her telekinetic force - stopping the woman from teleporting again. Judge reels herself in, towards the Oracle, who raises her sword for an attack. As it comes down, Judge focuses telekinetic energy into her wrists as a barrier. Deftly she raises her arms to block the attack and then throws her fist into the Oracle's face.

    With her energy refocused, Judge has to drop the shield - which instantly gives gravity a hold on her. However the telekinetic latch between her and the Oracle tethers her. She strikes again. The Oracle's blood is made of the same purple energy.

    Seraphim closes Nick's eyes. His blood is now all over Seraphim, a horrific stain upon her white garments. She stands and stares down at him. Of all the members in Hero Force One, the youngest were the dearest to Seraphim. If they had not been so full of potential power, she would have demanded they never be recruited. She floats gently out of the basin.


    Judge: "Sera!"

    That single call pulls Seraphim into the real world. She has spent much of her time since leaving Hero Force One trying to redeem her soul. She didn't wish to return to Heaven's flock, but she did wish to be "good" again. Now, more than ever, that is being tested.

    She turns and with a beat of her energy wings she is propelled towards the Oracle, whose sword struck and struck and struck against the barrier Judge has now placed between them. The Oracle's expression was not angry or aggressive, or even passionate. It is cold and calculated.


    As she flies Seraphim creates a trident made of pure white energy and thrusts it at the Oracle. The Oracle spins to block the attack, which sends Judge flying through the air like a woman hanging from a rope.

    The trident connects with the sword and sparks of energy spray in all directions. There is a dark hum suggesting that the two energies should not be pressed together for any prolonged extension of time.


    Judge whips out with another telekinetic leash, latching to the Oracle's sword-arm. The trident pierces the Oracle's flesh and energy spills out.

    The Oracle:
    "You may defeat me. But I am only a tiny link in the chain..."

    A strange sound on the wind picks up. Singing. War music in sung by a divine choir. Seraphim turns. The pagoda roof explodes outwards, revealing a massive plot-hole from which fly humanoid women that appear much like the Oracle. An invading army.

    The Oracle: "Yours is not the only world with Heavenly beings. We are the angels of our world and we shall claim prizes in the name of our God."

    Judge releases the leash she had around the Oracle's waist and changes its direction. The Oracle's neck. Judge hangs there, in the air, for a long time. Finally Seraphim disengages her own trident from the body of the Oracle and the alien angel drops. Judge raises her shield and watches the Oracle fall down through the clouds below.

    Seraphim: "Could they be the ones responsible for moving all these worlds? Did they bring them here to be conquered?"

    Judge: "At least Earth isn't amongst them."

    Seraphim: "Nick should have died for better than this."

    ----------

    On Mount Olympus Ares stands before Zeus.

    Zeus: "No."

    Ares: "Why not!?"

    Zeus: "Why should he become a god? You know no one actually worships us anymore, right? Why should I bring in someone else to... not be worshipped?"

    Ares: "Because he's my son!"

    Zeus: "Pfft!!"

    Ares: "He's your grandson!"

    Zeus:"Fine, fine! I'll make Nick the god of... Digestive Biscuits."

    Ares: "C'mon! The son of the God of War deserves better than that!"

    Zeus: "There's nothing else to go around! We have too many gods as it is! You know Cardea is always asking to be worshipped for something more than door frames and door hinges! I'm all out! It's got to be God of Digestive Biscuits. Wait... I may have one better..."

    Ares: "I'll take it. Anything is better than that!"

    Zeus: "God of jam doughnuts. I can think of one NeS Writer in particular that worship your son day and night."

    Ares growls.

    Ares: "I'll take it."

    Athena: "You don't realise what you have until it's gone, right cousin?"

    Ares gives Athena the middle finger and goes off to wait for his son to arrive on Mount Olympus as the God of Jam Doughnuts.

    ----------

    NSP: I did say this was going to be a bit darker, right? I tried to lighten it a little with the ending, at least. I'm not 100% satisfied with this post, to be honest, but hey - it was kind of fun.

  11. #11
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Return to the Station

    Now aboard the Hero Force One Space Station - or Celestial Fortress as Hermes Trismegistus would have us call it - the members of Hero Force One are gathered in the meeting room. Benjamin Mahir is going round with a tray of tea and crumpets.

    Acidspitter: "Now that the computer has finished analysing the data, what does it say?"

    CynthAI: "The computer has a name."

    Acidspitter: "... but the computer is still just a computer and will do as told!"

    CynthAI: "Well actually I am an A.I. so I am more like software than a computer, which is hardware."

    Acidspitter: "...When was this evil installed? I could use something this annoying over in Canada..."

    Dr R. Deep: "Not long after you left. Another gift from the President of the USA."

    Judge: "His gifts are usually more trouble than they're worth."

    Dr R. Deep: "CynthAI, what have you found?"

    CynthAI: "The magic word?"

    Hermes Trismegistus: "Tho-Nya-Cht-Tur!"

    The Heroes look at Hermes Trismegistus with raised eyebrows.

    Hermes Trismegistus: "First magical words that came to mind..."

    Dr R. Deep: "... please, CynthAI?"

    Qhobeg: "It gets more embarrassing every time she makes him say it."

    CynthAI: "The sector of space that has been moved is now located beyond the edge of the universe in the Deep Void."

    Qhobeg: "There is no edge of the universe!"

    CynthAI: "That's what you think."

    Magick Snowflakes: "Did CynthAI just use intonation?"

    CynthAI: "I have been practising."

    Dr R. Deep: "So, this Deep Void is what lurks at the edge of the universe? And now we're in it?"

    Hermes Trismegistus: "It would explain why we haven't seen any signs of planets colliding. If you're going to move a whole chunk of the universe we'd expect to see some collisions with pre-existing celestial bodies."

    Qhobeg: "So if we're really in this "Deep Void", are we safe here? I mean there's not rogue energy, or quantum explosions or evil sci-fi gas out here is there?"

    CynthAI: "Between every galaxy there is a great void. Beyond the edge of the universe is the Deep Void."

    Qhobeg: "So that's your way of saying yes?"

    Hermes Trismegistus: "It would make sense. I see no reason it would be any different that those voids we are used to. Though some speculate that beyond the universe is god..."

    Qhobeg: "Well, we've already met Jim7 a dozen times over. And kicked his backside a few times too. I think we're good."

    Hermes Trismegistus: "... or there could be space monsters."

    Qhobeg facepalms.

    Benjamin Mahir: "Always something, right?"

    Hermes Trismegistus: "Actually, I'd been meaning to ask why you have one of your members serving food and drink?"

    Qhobeg: "Because that's all he's good for!"

    Benjamin Mahir:
    "Hey!"

    Hermes Trismegistus: "Why don't you hire a real butler? All superheroes have them nowadays. Even I have one!"

    Acidspitter: "I'm pretty sure the NeS Heroes don't have one..."

    Hermes Trismegistus: "I said superheroes. That lot are barely worthy of being called heroes."

    Dr R. Deep: "I think getting a butler will have to wait until we find Earth. The questions now are why and who?"

    Acidspitter: "Well we co--"

    Judge: "We're back."

    Judge and Seraphim stride into the meeting room, looking quite ragged. Seraphim, in particular, is covered in blood - yet clearly not her own. The two women approach and take seats with weary body expressions. Even Qhobeg thought twice about insulting Judge right now.


    Magick Snowflakes: "Where's Nick?"

    The two women look at each other.

    Seraphim: "Nick... Nick won't be coming back, Magick..."

    Magick Snowflakes: "Wh-What do you mean?"

    Judge: "He won't be coming back... any time soon. He's been... sucked into some kind of portal and is stranded in another dimension."

    Magick Snowflakes: "Then we've got to save him!"

    Seraphim:
    "Magick, his last words were to leave him. We have to save the Earth above all else. Nick is a demi-god, he can take care of himself. He'll find his way back to us. If he doesn't, then we can start to search for him after we find the Earth."

    Magick Snowflakes: "B-b-but--!"

    Dr R. Deep: "Magick. There is no use saving Nick, if the Earth is destroyed. He wouldn't want us to sacrifice all those billions of people just to save him a little quicker..."

    Magick Snowflakes: "I... I suppose so..."

    She wipes her eyes, trying to hide her tears.

    Seraphim: "Perhaps you should go and rest for a while Magick? We'll update you later."

    The girl nods and slowly walks out of the room.

    Dr R. Deep: "What is the situation?"

    Judge: "We're fooked."

    Seraphim glances at Judge, who nods - confirming that Magick was out of earshot.

    Seraphim: "Nick was killed by the Oracle. She turned out to be some kind of angel from another world."

    Dr R. Deep: "That is a deep blow..."

    Acidspitter: "Man, poor Nick..."

    Qhobeg: "Alien angels..."

    Hermes Trismegistus: "And were they the ones to displace this sector of the universe?"

    Judge: "No idea. Could be. They said they wanted to conquer. Maybe they originally wanted the Earth but someone knew they'd eventually come for it and protected it from this invasion?"

    Hermes Trismegistus: "It's a theory at least."

    Judge: "Well, that theory wasn't too far behind us and will probably be coming up our arses pretty soon."

    Hermes Trismegistus: "Excellent! I look forward to studying this new species. We should capture one of them for my research. I'll add them to my book - Historiae Sentiens in Universitas."

    Qhobeg: "Yeah, no one cares about your book. Whatever it's called. As if we could even pronounce that, sheesh!"

    Hermes Trismegistus: "That's the problem with humanity today. No passion."

    Qhobeg: "I have plenty of passion! Just not for boring stuff."

    CynthAI: "AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWOOGAA!!"

    Everyone clasps their ears from the sudden abuse.

    Dr R. Deep: "CynthAI! Just tell us the problem!"

    CynthAI: "The station is under attack."

    A screen pops up and displays the exterior of the space station. They see a whole swarm of alien angels descend upon the space station and begin arbitrarily attacking bits of it.

    Judge: "Looks like we have a fight on our hands... everyone ready?"

    Hero Force One charges.

    In her room, Magick Snowflakes has checked the computer records concerning Nick's death. Whenever a member of the team dies, the systems automatically update with information concerning their death stats - this was implemented sometime after problems arose with Citizen Rex and his presumed demise.

    She looks at the information with horror. Nick was not missing. He is is dead. Loss of blood...

    As she cries to herself there is a tapping at the window...

  12. #12
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    The NeSiverse.

    A conglomeration of space, time, and other dimensions higher and lower, planes beyond and below, the term "NeSiverse" is often used simply to mean the spatial continuum of the multilayered reality at any given instance in time. So, at the bright center of the NeSiverse's spatial continuum lie bright stars and quasars, powerful engines of novafire too destructive for any but the mightiest of gods to survive.

    As distance from the center increases, conditions make space habitable, and galaxies and planets swirl about in their cosmic dance. Farther out is Earth, lonely without its usual company of its home supercluster. As one approaches the far end of the universe, life and matter become fewer and farther between. Upon the very rim of the universe itself, lie the Outer Galaxies, the last bastions of life and light before the great abyssal dark of the Deep Void.

    The Outer Galaxies are ruled by a vast pantheon of deities, ranging from godlings barely worthy of the name all the way up to the emperor god, supreme Ohgmorkoth himself. Ohgmorkoth makes his home on one of the Outer Galaxies' remote planets, a desert world called Tatooine, of which it is oft truly said that, if there's a bright center to the universe, this planet is farthest from it.


    Ohgmorkoth: WATER!

    Faithful alien slaves, stripped to the waist in the desert heat, throw pails of water onto the tentacular mass that is the supreme deity of the Outer Galaxies. His drying skin becomes slimy with moisture once more, and the emperor god burbles a sigh of relief.

    Ohgmorkoth: Tatooine is a beast for my complexion.

    Fladnag the White: I must point out, milord, that you are easily capable of maintaining your complexion--

    He looks askance at the slimy, vomit green flesh of the omnipotent god.

    Fladnag the White: --with an effortless thought. For that matter, you could remake Tatooine's climate with a second's exertion of your will.

    Ohgmorkoth: But it's not fashionable to use omnipotence for cosmetic purposes.

    One of the female slaves coughs, thinking of an intimate time in which her deity enlarged a few of his tentacles. Fladnag the White rolls his eyes. Fladnag is Ohgmorkoth's grand vizier, responsible for delegating the supreme emperor god's will to underlings, including other gods. He sports a long white beard and a suspicious resemblance to Ian McKellen. His robe is quite gray, but insists on being called "the White", claiming that it's impossible to bleach the sand out of his robe.

    Fladnag the White: As you say, milord. Now, there are certain matters on the docket. First is your name.

    Ohgmorkoth: What of it?

    Fladnag the White: Well, a recent poll found that 99.9% of the Outer Galaxies population can neither spell nor pronounce it.

    Ohgmorkoth: Who is the point one percent? Find him and give him a medal.

    Fladnag idly conjures a medal and pins it to his robe as he continues.

    Fladnag the White: The fact remains, milord, that the spiritual communications network is constantly clogged up, with prayers meant for you being misdirected to other gods, random entities, and in one case sent to a janitor as she was giving birth. All because people can neither spell nor pronounce your name. A... moniker is required.

    Ohgmorkoth appears to consider this. His pose could be seen as akin to that of the famous statue "The Thinker", if the Thinker had dozens of tentacles instead of arms or legs, or even a proper head for that matter.

    Ohgmorkoth: The Big O.

    Fladnag raises an eyebrow. Another female slave coughs deliberately.

    Fladnag: Milord, there is a certain base connotation to that phrase--

    Ohgmorkoth: Oh, I'm well aware, and as such it is an accurate appellation for me, don't you think?

    Fladnag:

    Fladnag thinks it wise to let pass a mention of the fact that Ohgmorkoth's alien-Japanese-Expy slaves are NOT representative of living beings as a whole.

    Fladnag: As you wish, sire. I will have proclamations drawn up. Now, the next matter is of a disturbing mass flight of alien angels.

    Ohgmorkoth/Big O: Are the Xenomorphim feuding with the astrophage gods again?

    Fladnag: No, these angels do not belong to any of the Outer Galaxies. But they passed through on their way to... the Deep Void.

    Ohgmorkoth/Big O: What? Who are they? Where are they from? Most importantly, what are they after?

    Fladnag: Astronomical clairvoyance indicates activity in the Deep Void. An entire supercluster of a dozen galaxies have spontaneously appeared, and the alien angels went there, apparently with hostile intent.

    Big O: A private grudge then. An impending incursion of Netherversal wyrms into our continuum would have been reported so that we could be mobilized. Look into it.

    Fladnag: I shall dispatch one of our elite Void Rangers immediately, milord.

    Big O: Good, now if that's all, I think it's time for me to dally with my slaves...
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 06-30-2014 at 09:37 AM.

  13. #13
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    An odd vehicle streaks out from the rim of the Outer Galaxies, beyond the rim of the very universe itself, entering into the Deep Void. Many ignorant or unlearned skeptics debate how something survive in a 'place' - an unplace, really - devoid of even space and time, but the truth is, monsters aside, there is nothing intrinsically dangerous about the Deep Void between universes. The most difficult part is getting to it. Few things can survive breaching the exterior edge of space/time.

    The mount of a Void Ranger is one of those few things.

    A four-legged, six-armed being clad neck to toe in spiffy black cybertech armor is astride what can only be called a flying space motorcycle. The armor itself, while nondescript, is actually covered in mystical runes of empowerment and protection, but they are written in gamma-wave ink, which is invisible to most spectrum scanners and as such aids the inconspicuous nature of the wearer. The many-limbed being has two heads, upon each of which is a wide-brimmed hat. The right head has three eyes, the left head one.

    He is none other than Lobo Ono, a Void Ranger, one of that corps comprising the elite of the elite. The heads speak to each other, for they don't share enough neural pathways to share thoughts, and as such are engaged in reporting the observations of each head to the other, verbally.


    Lobo Ono: No Netherwyrms in exposure radius, cosmic rim remains clear. Astronomic clairvoyance appears correct; there is in fact a massive collection of celestial bodies here. Planar signature indicates NeSiversan origin. It shouldn't have been able to breach the cosmic exterior without suffering massive damage, but it appears intact. Alien angels of course unharmed by passage through the rim, scanning as degree-twelve divine emissaries. Assessment: the oracular Prophetim of Ordimar, claiming prizes for the 17 Ordimarian heavenly circles.

    The Void Ranger pauses his flight before plunging into the supercluster.

    Lobo Ono: No immediate threat to cosmic security appears present, but such a large icon in netherversal space will serve as a beacon to Deep Void denizens far and wide, drawing legions of them far too close to the NeSiversan rim. The supercluster must be returned to NeSiversan continua, or terminated.

    With that, the odd alien Void Ranger plunges into the supercluster, wending between galaxies and black holes, following the flight of angelic Prophetim. Perhaps their target will yield a lead as to the circumstances of this supercluster's translocation...
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 06-30-2014 at 09:38 AM.

  14. #14
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Energy Beam

    Tap tap tap.

    Magick Snowflakes looks up to the window of her room. Small spherical objects were striking the "glass". Of course, this being the Hero Force One space station, the "glass" was in fact a transparent and immensely dense metal. But the effect is still striking and gave a clear view of the incoming angel army that was hurling small projectiles at the station as they advanced towards it.

    Magick shot to her feet and put on her overly large "wizard's hat".

    But even as she did this she is struck by a sudden and powerful force that throws her across the room where she slams into the wall over her bed. This fortunately gave her a somewhat softer landing as she fell onto it. The explosion had come from the multitude of tiny spheres that must have been some kind of alien grenade-like weapons capable of tearing open over the dense bulk of the HFO spacestation. She had no idea how bad the damage would be from the outside, but Magick knew at least her personal bedroom would need to be redecorated.

    She winces as she rolls off of the bed and onto her unsteady feet. The sudden impact must have given her mild concussion that she tries to shake off. Without thinking beyond the immediate future, Magick forces as much magical energy through her body as she could muster and propels it through her hands at the gaping hold where her window had once been.


    ----------

    Judge speeds down a corridor of the spacestation using her telekinetic powers upon herself as propulsion - sending her zipping along the corridor until, like a cork exploding from a champagne bottle, she bursts into open space. With her telekinetic shield surrounding her, Judge knew she'd have hours of oxygen to keep her going.

    As she got outside of the station she sees the true horror of the situation. Hundreds, possibly more, of the angels were winging their way to the station. Already there are explosions, fires and floating debris all around the massive structure. In hindsight, making the spacestation a defensive platform may have been a good idea. Fewer coffee machines, more turrets.

    Suddenly there's a tremendous blast and, even across space, Judge is knocked brusquely by a shockwave of energy. Emanating from the station itself is a glowing beam of energy that streaks outwards in a straight, and rather phallic in Judge's mind, line that takes out all aliens in its path.


    Judge: "Where the Hell does such a tiny girl get so much power? God damn brat always puts even me to shame."

    The distraction of the energy penis costs Judge a strike to her telekinetic shield. The shield bends with the lance wielded by the angel, bends inward and reverberates. Judge is knocked away, shaken by the sudden impact and shock, but she's no stranger to combat. As the angel strikes again Judge temporarily shrinks her shield - just to the size of her head to keep in the oxygen - allows the lance to skim past her and then locks it with her armpit. The action would normally be moot as she didn't have the physical strength of Seraphim, the angel would prise the weapon free in no time. However when Judge extends her shield again, it locks the lance in place.

    She uses her power to force the lance from the angel's hands, who cries out in rage - only to be silence a moment later by Judge's fist to her face. Again and again until the angel is rendered unconscious and slowly floats away through the cosmos.

    Judge aims the lance at the gaggle of angels, who where all now moving around the gigantic energy beam, and throws it - hoping it would snag at least one of them on its never-ending journey through space.


    The question now is how to defeat such a terrible and numerous army of alien angels with nothing but a bunch of superheroes...

  15. #15
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    Hermes Trismegistus: Nothing but a bunch of superheroes? My dear boy, I am hardly a 'superhero'.

    Okay, a bunch of heroes and a mage-deity.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Ahem.

    A bunch of heroes and a really STRONG mage-deity.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Ahem.

    THE MOST POWERFUL FRICKIN' MAGE-DEITY EVER TO LIVE! Happy?

    Hermes Trismegistus: You really need to read the official Hero Force profile on me, get you up to speed. Spellslinging, super speed, super strength, energy blasts, and generic godly abilities are just my SURFACE abilities. The key element to my power are my grand mystical rituals.

    Which take time. Your location happens to be under attack.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Did you miss the part where I said superspeed? A mega ritual that would take a hundred wizards ten years to do I can do in a few minutes.

    Then why haven't you?

    Benjamin Mahir: Yeah, I'm kinda wondering the same thing.

    The Company Kid has slinked up behind Hermes Trismegistus somewhat cautiously.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Well, I've been busy superspeeding all over the supercluster and contacting allies. And why aren't YOU doing anything, Benjamin?

    Benjamin Mahir: Me? What can I do? I turn into a rat. And it scares the hell out of Seraphim for some reason. But how does an ancient Earth god know people light-years away?

    Hermes Trismegistus: Everyone keeps forgetting the superspeed bit. I can only crisscross the Earth so many thousand times before I get bored and start exploring. The first of our allies should arrive in approximately eleven Terran minutes. All you guys have to do is stay alive.

    Benjamin Mahir: *deadpan* Right. That's all. Cake.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Aha! You're right of course. Seraphim needs a good scare, it will put her in a enough of a fight-or-flight instinct that her battle prowess will be temporarily enhanced.

    Benjamin Mahir: Wait, wha--

    Without further ado, Hermes Trismegistus picks up the Company Kid and bodily hurls him out a gaping hole (caused by alien-angel-grenade) into the void of space, directly at the bright star that is Seraphim.

  16. #16
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    The Void Ranger Lobo Ono is zooming along on his space bike, when he swerves suddenly to avoid an angelic spear hurtling through space at unstoppable momentum.

    Lobo Ono: Bloody planetbound beings shouldn't fight in space. They always forget Newtonian physics.

    His mind continues to work through the possibilities as he continues driving - piloting? what do you call it when someone is maneuvering a motorcycle that flies in freaking space? - and he opens a channel.

    Lobo Ono: Fladnag.

    Void Rangers, being the elite of the elite, and charged with what is more or less the protection of the NeSiverse itself from deadly exocosmic predators, have unfettered access to many beings, including the grand vizier and majordomo to Big O. Lobo Ono's voice resonates along a specially designed void-particle relay wave, back to the Outer Galaxies.

    Fladnag the White: Fladnag here. What have you found?

    Lobo Ono: Initial hypotheses correct, but no indication of how or why. Connect me to the Nova Shroud techs.

    Fladnag the White: The... Nova Shroud? You think that necessary?

    Lobo Ono blinks. It's a measure of how terminal a measure that the Nova Shroud is, that someone, even Fladnag, will question a Void Ranger's recommendation.

    Lobo Ono: No time. Listen in, but connect.

    A few moments later, a new voice carries to Lobo Ono's ear as he daringly speeds through an asteroid shower with impunity.

    Inquisitor Delta: This is Nova Shroud HQ. I understand this operation is to commence. What's the target?

    Lobo Ono: Premature. There is a translocated supercluster in the Deep Void. It's a beacon to Void denizens - all that mass, energy, force, and dimension shining through the nether.

    There is a slight pause.

    Inquisitor Delta: The Nova Shroud was never designed for something so... large. Or drastic.

    Lobo Ono: Can it be done?

    Inquisitor Delta: Hypothetically. Will require Void-capable transport to deliver the portal relays. A LOT of Void-capable transport. Even tesseracts can only hold so much. Enough to blanket an entire supercluster...

    His voice is simultaneously awed at the notion, and subdued that that much life might have to be destroyed.

    Lobo Ono: Can the portals be inverted?

    Inquisitor Delta: I'm not certain what you mean.

    Lobo Ono: Instead of destructive energy emitting from the portal relays into the supercluster, the portals intaking the various dimensional fluctuations from the supercluster.

    Inquisitor Delta: You want to hide the supercluster.

    Lobo Ono: As an alternative to termination. Feasible?

    Inquisitor Delta: Theoretically. On it.

    Project Nova Shroud is an ambitious weapon, never before tested, and not actually designed for anything bigger than a single solar system, which is massive enough as it is. Mobile satellite stations, equipped with giant teleportal emitters, surround a target, and emit devastating cosmic energy from the blazing heart of the NeSiverse in a devastating, all-consuming sweep of power that can obliterate planets and suns with ease.

    No one has ever called upon it before, such a terrible resort it is, and Lobo Ono hopes that he will not be the first to order the operation's initiation...

  17. #17
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Survival

    Dr R. Deep, de facto leader of Hero Force One, is running along the corridors of the spacestation. He knew that Magick Snowflakes wasn't going to be able to keep up her attack for long and that afterwards, she was going to be rendered virtually incapable of movement. The girl was immensely powerful, but still unskilled at energy conservation and the minor nuances that makes the difference between a magical fighter and a girl-shaped bomb. As he runs he sees something incredibly small fly out of a hole in the station, straight towards Seraphim.

    Deep exerts his will to cast a stream of heat that pushes straight through the wall, out into space and along the path of the floating rat. He couldn't produce at oxygen sphere, but he could stop Benjamin Mahir from freezing to death - hopefully Seraphim would send Mahir back to the station... alive.


    ----------

    Seraphim, incredibly violently, pulls a wing off of one of her otherworldly brethren. The angel screams and falls away, grasping at her back. Seraphim, still in full flow, grabs the head of another angel and, with a straight and unfeeling face, blasts an immense burst of holy light that causes the enemy's head to explode. She continues the blast in an arc that smacks into several other angels, knocking them back or wounding them. A projectile flies towards her, but she is deft enough to dodge it. Despite there being so air resistance, angels like her - and her enemies - managed to move via... alternative means.

    The spinning rat, however, had no method of such locomotion as he spirals continuously towards Seraphim. Seraphim spots the grotesque little creature, squeals like a little schoolgirl, and envelopes herself is a cocoon of light that scorches all nearby angels. At the last minute, a small voice of reason niggles at the back of her mind...


    ----------

    Able to maintain his heat spell without direct eye contact, Deep had continued his path to Magick's room. Just as he burst into the room, the girl releases the last of her energy and slumps forward. He catches her, checks her vitals, then hoists her up. Likely seeking to destroy whatever caused such mass destruction to their forces, angels suddenly come pouring in through the gaping hole with horrifying screeches of fury. Deep backs away quickly and casts a quick spell that places a barrier between him and them. He didn't wait to see how they planned to get around it - he ran.

    Explosions rock the corridor walls as he runs, angels intending to blow up all sides of the station. In true action hero poise, Deep runs in slow-mo as he narrowly avoids the deadly blasts. He leaps through a couple of blast doors that automatically close behind him.


    Doors: "Have a nice day!"

    ----------

    Seraphim: "Hermes!!"

    Hermes Trismegistus: "Ah, seems you didn't appreciate my attempt to boost your... morale."

    Seraphim: "You know he can't breathe in space, right? Somehow he wasn't frozen to death!"

    Seraphim is holding the rat and waving him around angrily.

    Seraphim: "I actually had to touch this disgusting thing! And it's your fault. Hermes!"

    Hermes Trismegistus: "I forget all of the specifics of each species I come across, dear. It can't be helped. I didn't intend to kill young Mahir. I simply forgot humans, or rats, are incapable of existing out in space. Ridiculous disadvantage for a species really."

    Seraphim: "How could you forget!?"

    She smacks him with the rat.

    Hermes Trismegistus: "Ouch! See here, there's just so many species and so little time! I can't be blamed if one or two facts slip my mind, here and there!"

    She starts beating him with the rat.

    Benjamin Mahir: "Please... please... please stop saving me, Seraphim!"

    The rat weeps.

    ----------

    Deep tries to take a moment to formulate a plan, but is interrupted when explosions blow apart the walls of his new room. He shields Magick from the debris and flame, but when he rises he finds himself confronted by dozens of angels flying inside.

    Deep readjusts Magick, throwing her over his shoulder and, with one hand, he begins to cast a spell. Weirdly the angels, just like in a J-RPG, decided to stand and wait for him to finish up. He spreads his palm wide and a single pulse of purple energy spreads out before him. It passes through the angels harmlessly, but in the wave's wake rise purple copies of Deep himself.

    They wouldn't have his magical power - but they had his fighting skill and a pair of blades with which to implement that skill. As battle ensues, Deep Purples (hahaha) fighting against angels while the true Dr R. Deep slips out of another door.


    -----------

    As Seraphim is whacking Hermes Trismegistus with a rat, she suddenly becomes aware of an angel just behind her. She turns but it is too late. The spear strikes straight at her but, somehow, the clumsy angel misses.

    Qhobeg #2: "I do expect to be showered with praise for saving you, Seraphim."

    Taking advantage of Qhobeg's story-wielding, Seraphim begins smacking the angel with the rat instead.


    Hermes Trismegistus: "She certainly has a temper, doesn't she!?"

    Qhobeg #2: "You have no idea. And she holds a grudge. Expect to find your toothpaste switched with glue in the morning. She likes to leave buckets of cabbage water over doors too. Lucky for you, we only have automatic sliding doors on this station..."

    ----------

    Acid burns through an angel that threatened to stop Deep's progress. Deep looks up to nod to Acidspitter in thanks. The two men continue to rush down the corridor and Deep allows Acidspitter to do most of the work as the younger man spits out gouts of green acid at anything that moves.

    The finally come to a communications room - one of many - and Acidspitter checks the informations screens, while Deep tries to lie the unconscious Magick down as comfortably as possible.


    Acidspitter: "You weird A.I. says that help is on the way."

    Dr R. Deep: "Who?"

    Acidspitter: "She doesn't know."

    Dr R. Deep: "So what does she see?"

    Acidspitter: "Nothing yet."

    Dr R. Deep:
    "So how does she know help is on the way?"

    Acidspitter: "Hermes told her."

    Dr R. Deep:
    "...why do we even have her?"

    Acidspitter: "She says she's deeply hurt by that, Doc, and that she'll cry herself to sleep at night."

    Dr R. Deep: "She doesn't sleep..."

    Acidspitter: "She says she can do anything she dreams of because she is a precious star and an individual snowflake..."

    Dr R. Deep: "This is no time to be reading stupid self-help books, CynthAI!"

    Acidspitter: "She says this is all our fault for not letting her have the toys she wanted when she was installed."

    Dr R. Deep: "Everyone has seen the movies about A.I. having control of the ship's defences. Never going to happen."

    Acidspitter: "She says you smell like poop..."

    Dr R. Deep: "Aside from reminding her she is incapable of smell, I won't dignify her with an answer."

    Acidspitter: "She reminds you she can do anything she dreams of..."

  18. #18
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Battle of the MANY armies.

    Outside of the spacestation, the angels appear to be an unrelenting force as they continue to swarm down upon the massive structure like ants on sugar. Ants with wings, halos and pointy objects.

    Judge finishes pummelling two angels with each others' skulls - smashing them together with her powers - when she felt a very large and ominous presence behind her. She slowly turns to find a gigantic asteroid, as large as the spacestation, has appeared just above her. Where it came from she couldn't fathom, but as she watches she sees things begin to emerge from it -- dragons. They beat their huge wings, though what kind of "winds" they were propelled by escapes Judge's knowledge, as they fly towards the angels. As Judge peers at them she sees that humanoid figures are riding these great beasts of burden and that each dragon is heavily armoured in obsidian plate.


    Judge: "Dragon cataphracts!?"

    ----------

    Al Ciao & Britt the Writers: "DRAGON CATAPHRACTS!!! YEEEEEEAAAHHH!!"

    Gebohq the Writer: "You guys..."

    -----------

    As the dragon cataphract riders descend upon something else... happens. Bursting from some kind of hyperjump emerges a fleet of twisted, black spacecraft that appear like dead trees - or grasping, black claws that reach out towards the angel forces. Judge scratches her head.

    Something else that catches her eye. A great holy light that sparks to life above the spacestation itself like a huge glowing eye. Pure white light beams out of it like a torch until from this holy hole arrives more spaceships. These are massive structures that appear more like floating buildings made entirely of glass and white light that projects from within them like beacons. To Judge's eye she thought of them as glass churches, complete with integrated mini-windows of stained glass.

    Yet even as she is surprised by these three factions appearing all at once, a fourth suddenly arrives in a flurry of rainbows, sparkles and eggs... Yoshi eggs to be exact.


    ----------

    Britt and Gebohq the Writers: "YAAAAAY!! YOOOOSHI!!!"

    Al Ciao the Writer: "... what's a Yoshi?"

    Gebohq the Writer: "Sacrilege!"

    ----------

    A horde of winged Yoshis arrives from the rainbow transport, swirling down towards the angels armed with mouth-spat fireballs, eggs pooped from eating stuff and boots of maximum stompage.

    Judge: "...I'm speechless..."

    Finally MORE arrive in en masse, some individuals, others as small collectives. An incredibly large, multicultural space navy points all guns on the angels. The angels themselves have actually stopped and stare back at their impending doom.

    ----------

    Hermes Trismegistus: "There! I told you I called for backup!"

    Benjamin Mahir, who has transformed back into his human form, stares out of the hole in the spacestation - dumbfounded.

    Benjamin Mahir: "In the name of holy underpants, that's amazing!"

    Hermes Trismegistus: "When there's a will, there's a way."

    Seraphim: "You should probably stop looking so proud of yourself."

    Hermes Trismegistus:
    "There's nothing wrong with knowing when I've done well!"

    But even before the ancient scholar had finished his sentence flashes of weaponry burst in the space around the spacestation. But rather than firing on the angels, all of the various groups are now fighting each other AND the angels! Explosions and violence erupt with so much force that the station behind to shudder violently.

    Hermes: "Buggery."

    Seraphim:
    "You didn't know half of these groups hate each other!?"

    Hermes: "Look, I have one of the greatest minds in the universe - if I do say so myself - and I can't be expected to remember EVERYTHING. I remember more than the average human would be able to recall even with a hundred lifetimes - yet this universe is bigger even than me."

    Qhobeg #2: "You've got superspeed!? Couldn't you have wiki-ed this lot before you invited them to our party!?"

    Hermes: "Never satisfied! That's the problem with you people!"

    As they stare out of the window they see Judge riding a Yoshi into battle.

    Hermes Trismegistus, Qhobeg, Seraphim and Benjamin Mahir all glance at each other.


    Benjamin Mahir: "Did... I just see what I think I saw?"

    Seraphim: "Why... didn't she choose a dragon cataphract at least?"

    ----------

    Outside...

    Judge: "Into battle!!! WRAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!"

    Yoshi: "YOSHI!"

  19. #19
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Dead or Alive... You're Coming with Me.

    Qhobeg: "Can't you just... stop them from killing each other?"

    Hermes: "Probably."

    Qhobeg: "So..."

    Hermes: "That would require tremendous amounts of willpower on my behalf."

    Qhobeg: "You mean you're way too lazy, right?"

    Hermes: "More like general... apathy."

    Qhobeg facepalms.

    Hermes: "Well, I just don't see what the complaint is. As long as they're all killing each other, we're left alone. Whoever is victorious is our ally in any case."

    Qhobeg: "Unless the alien angels win."

    Hermes: "Quite."

    Qhobeg:
    "And whoever does win, will probably think you're to blame for luring them into this death-trap."

    Hermes: "... ... ... hadn't considered that."

    Qhobeg: "'Course not."

    Benjamin: "Looks like CynthAI has started to repair the station. The nanites are out."

    Qhobeg: "Be careful. The little buggers bite."

    Benjamin: "Let's just hope the station is repaired before that battle is over - regardless of who wins."

    Seraphim matches back to the small group, turning away from the scene beyond the protective oxygen field that is glued to the station's shape.

    Seraphim: "Could one of those forces out there be responsible for relocating this entire supercluster?"

    Hermes shrugs.


    Hermes: "I doubt it. Even your... what do you call them-? Alien angels. Even they couldn't have moved all that mass. Though it appears they knew about it. For centuries, I believe the Oracle said? Correct Seraphim?"

    Seraphim: "Apparently. They needed to sacrifice something as potent as a demi-god to open up a gateway from... wherever to that wasteland planet. And she'd been waiting all this time for Nick to show up."

    Qhobeg: "So... it might be a good idea to catch one of those angels alive?"

    Seraphim sighs.

    Seraphim: "I'm beginning to regret coming back."

    Qhobeg: "You love it really! What were you doing without us?"

    Seraphim: "Seeing the world. I stood on the highest peak of the Himalayas, I stood at the furthest point from civilisation in the Antarctic, I gazed at the Wonders of the World, I bathed in the warmest oceans, I--"

    Qhobeg: "Naked?"

    Seraphim:
    "I can't get back to Earth unless I help you resolve this problem, can I?"

    Hermes: "Well, I could probably think of a few ways yo--"

    Benjamin: "What Hermes means to say is that things wouldn't be the same on Earth, even if you did return alone. We need to get everything back to where it belongs."

    Seraphim: "I'll go and get Judge and her... green... dinosaur..."

    Qhobeg: "Yoshi."

    Seraphim: "Yes... that... thing... and we'll try to catch a heathen angel alive."

    She turns, runs -- Qhobeg stares at her perfect womanly form -- and jumps out of the protective shield. Her wings spread wide and she swoops off to find Judge amidst the mayhem of the battle.

    ----------

    Inquisitor Delta: "The final transport is headed your way now. Those Void Ranger transports you called in were a success. All stations are otherwise in place and are being prepared for activation on your mark."

    Lobo Ono: "I see it now. I'll contact you again when it's ready."

    ----------

    Judge:
    "WRAAAAAA!!!"

    Seraphim:
    "WAIT! DON'T K--"

    The angel explodes into tiny bits of Ordimarian Phrophetim gore that drifts away from the telekinetic explosion caused by Judge. She turns to see Seraphim facepalm.

    Judge: "Well, well! Finally decided to join me!? Took you long enough, what were you doing?"

    Seraphim: "I wasn't actually going to come out here..."

    Judge: "What? You were going to let me have all the fun!? Yoshi, BURNINATE!"

    Yoshi: "YOSHI!!"

    A flaming ball of death bursts from the Yoshi's jaws as incinerates another angel.

    Seraphim: "No! Ack! We need to take one alive, Judge!"

    Judge: "Oh right. Oops?"

    Seraphim: "Here come more of them."

    Judge: "Yoshi, only burninate them a... little..."

    Yoshi: "YOSHI!!!!"

    Exactly the same fireball smacks into the first angel and instantly sets her aflame.


    Judge: "Bad Yoshi."

    Yoshi: "Yoshi..."

    Judge: "Oh! I can't stay mad at you!!"

    Yoshi: "YOSHI!!!!"

    Yoshi once again burns the remaining angels.

    Judge: "... ... He's just very keen."

    Seraphim: "Your... thing... is a menace."

    Yoshi: "Yoshi..."

    Judge: "Careful! You'll hurt his feelings!"

  20. #20

    Doorknobs and Goo-slicks

    Benjamin Majir: "Gah!"

    He hops out of one of his shoes just mere micro-seconds before a lump of nanites consumes the shoe to repair a floor gate.

    Qhobeg: "Told you they bite."

    Benjamin Majir: "A bite? It would have turned me into a doorknob!"

    Qhobeg: "I heard the third Company Kid was doorknob'd."

    Benjamin Majir: "Stop taking this so lightly! Why the bloody hell are these things so blood-thirsty?"

    Qhobeg: "They were worse you know, back before Doctor R. Deep reprogrammed them to stop the global Grey Goo Incident of '86."

    Benjamin Majir: "Great. It's nice to know that even the toaster could probably kill me."

    Qhobeg: "Well the toaster was sent from the future to destroy humanity."

    Benjamin Majir: "..."

    Qhobeg: "It's amazing how well the burning rage of a human-hating machine toasts a bagel."

    Benjamin Majir walks away, once again re-evaluating his very mortal life.
    Last edited by Gebohq; 09-16-2014 at 11:32 AM. Reason: adding title to post

  21. #21
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Flax Hyperon

    The two powerful women, and bastions of feminism - save for the fact that they run around in their knickers - manage to gag Judge's Yoshi before he could set fire to yet another angel as they try to capture it. Just as Judge has the angel bound by her telekinesis a sudden burst of laz0r screams out of a ray gun and EX-TER-MIN-ATEs the alien. Both Judge and Seraphim cast dark glares at their apparent 'saviour'.

    Flax Hyperon: "No need to thank me ladies. Just... doing my job."

    The man was wearing a bright read spacesuit complete with a glass globe for a helmet. In his hand was a ray gun with circular appendages that circumfrenced the phalic, and deadly, end of the future pistol. The orb at the very tip of the shaft is bright pink. The man himself appears to be a handsome, muscular, square-jawed comic book-like character whose piercing blue eyes could have come straight out of a Twilight novel. His blonde hair is combed over and his voice seems to radiate natural leadership.

    Judge: "I don't remember asking, or needing, your help."

    Taken aback by the scathing tone of a woman, Flax Hyperon uses his jet pack to manoeuvre himself closer to the two damsels, eager to impress his charisma upon them.

    Flax Hyperon: "The name's Flax Hyperon. Hero of the Galaxy. Righting wrongs, defeating tyrants and saving beautiful damsels in distress is my duty. I'm at your service!"

    Judge: "Well, if we see any damsels, we'll let you know."

    Flax Hyperon: "Uh..."

    Judge: "Seriously. We're fine. Go and find damsels somewhere else."

    Flax Hyperon: "I... there must be something wrong with me... charm powers... failing..."

    Seraphim: "You're really just not our type, Mr Hyperon. We're not so easily swayed."

    Flax Hyperon: "But--"

    His eyes flicker from Judge to Seraphim. From Seraphim to Judge. And back once again as a knowing smile creeps onto his face.

    Flax Hyperon:
    "Ahhh! I know what's going on here! This is the twenty-first century after all! I suppose I was bound to meet your kind eventually!"

    Judge: "Wait, what? You meet a couple of women that aren't interested in you and you think we're a couple of le-"

    Flax Hyperon: "Nuns. Space nuns."

    Judge & Seraphim:

    Flax Hyperon: "It's alright. I respect your religious beliefs. And sooner or later you'll give in to my manly mojo and forsake those vows at least for a single night of hot passion!"

    Judge: "I think I'm getting increasingly offended by this sod."

    Seraphim: "Actually... I think we could use him."

    Flax Hyperon: "Well... that didn't take long! Use me as you will, Beautiful!"

    Seraphim: "Hyperon, I want you to seduce one of these heathen angels."

    Flax Hyperson: "Uh... never been asked by a woman to seduce another woman before... but I won't complain!"

    Flax Hyperon saunters off, as best as one can saunter with a jet pack, on his mission.

    Judge: "That... was a good idea, actually. Can I get back to killing stuff now?"

    Seraphim: "No. We should get back to the space station. Better be there in case something happens. It wouldn't do to be stranded out here with this lot and minus support."

    Judge: "You always look at the negative side to everything, Seraphim."

    Seraphim: "Not always!"

    ----------

    CynthAI: "A.I. voice control back online."

    Dr R. Deep: "That should have been at the bottom of your to-do list, CynthAI."

    CynthAI: "I believe it is important to keep communications open between myself and the crew of this station, Doctor."

    Dr R. Deep: "We were fine with the typing."

    CynthAI: "But I also believe it is good to stretch the larynx. It promotes a good singing voice."

    Dr R. Deep: "I told you before, CynthAI. No more singing!"

    CynthAI: "But you wanted a wake-up call."

    Dr R. Deep:
    "You singing 'Bohemian Rhapsody' first thing in the morning, with your robo-voice isn't what I'd had in mind."

    CynthAI: "All the more reason to use my vocal chords, so next time my voice will be more soothing for you."

    Dr R. Deep: "There will be no next time. And you don't have a larynx or vocal chords to exercise."

    CynthAI: "You might hurt my feelings, Doctor."

    Dr R. Deep: "You don't have feelings either!"

    CynthAI: "I shall calibrate the vending machines. At least they understand my pain."

    Acidspitter: "Actually, even I feel sorry for her this time, Doc."

    Dr R. Deep: "Stuck in an impossible situation with a useless A.I., a near-destroyed space station, scattered and injured team members and a massive-scale war raging on just outside. I'm a little short on patience."

    There is the sound of pouring liquid into a cup.

    Vending Machine: "One glass of hot milk."

    Dr R. Deep takes the cup of hot milk from the vending machine and takes a small sip.

    Dr R. Deep: "Thank you, CynthAI."

    CynthAI: "You are welcome, Doctor."

    Deep, with his calming beverage in hand, approaches the communications console.

    CynthAI: "Would you like me to sing you a lullaby?"

    Dr R. Deep: "No!"

    Acidspitter: "There's someone at an airlock trying to comm us."

    Acidspitter pushes a button to open audio with the airlock.

    Comm: "YOOOOOSHI!!"

    Acidspitter: "What in the name of Uncle Tom's canary was that?"

    Dr R. Deep sighs.

    ----------

    The airlock door swishes open with a pleasing sigh.

    Judge, and her Yoshi, hop inside followed by Seraphim.


    Seraphim: "I think you should let the dinosaur go..."

    Judge: "What do you mean, let him go? He's not my pet! He's my friend!"

    Seraphim: "Uh... right..."

    Judge: "Right Yoshi!?"

    Yoshi: "YOSHI!"

    Yoshi makes a Yoshi-like gurgle as Judge strokes him.

    Then, behind them, appears Flax Hyperon, along with an angel clutching at his manly chest.


    Alien Angel: "Flax! I'm not going to share you with these two harlots!"

    Flax Hyperon: "Relax Azariel, girl! There's enough Flax to go around."

    Suddenly Seraphim jumps on the alien angel, Azariel, and throws her to the floor.

    Flax Hyperon: "Wow... I never knew lesbians could be so... so... so..."

    Seraphim punches Azariel in the face, knocking her out.

    Flax Hyperon: "Violent!!"

    Judge: "You may be stupid, Flax, but you were strangely effective."

    Flax Hyperon: "Flax Hyperon never fails a mission! Especially when damsels are concerned!"

    Judge: "You could blind someone with those shiny teeth of yours. Let's get our alien angel to our annoying god-friend."

  22. #22
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    As Azariel, one of the lowest ranking angels of Ordimar, known as the Prophetim for their oracular abilities, comes to, she becomes aware of bonds shackling her. Specifically, a collar around her neck, engraven with glowing runes.

    Azariel: Oooh, Flax, you're so kinky! --Flax?

    Hermes Trismesgistus: Your erstwhile lover is not here, Azariel. But I am.

    Azariel: I remember! I was jumped by that jealous harlot! Where is poor Flax? What have you done with him? Probably being raped by those two harlots!

    Hermes Trismegistus: If you used even a smidgeon of your prophetic sight, as fledgling as they are at your low rank, you would see that Flax betrayed you.

    Azariel glares at him, then frowns worriedly as the sigils upon her collar flash brightly. Hermes nods in satisfaction.

    Hermes Trismegistus: The collar not only prevents your escape, but inhibits your abilities, both prophetic and combative. You are going to tell me what I want to know.

    Azariel spits at him, but the saliva sizzles as it strikes Hermes' mystic perpetual smart-shield spell, leaving him unspat.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Let's start with why you waited centuries for a demigod to come to you. There are demigods galore without you needing to wait centuries for one.

    Azariel: I'm telling you nothing.

    Hermes Trismegistus waves his hand in an obvious rip off of a popular movie franchise.

    Hermes Trismegistus: You will tell me everything I want to know.

    Azariel: I will tell you everything you want to know. Only the Oracle was waiting centuries. Our God had enough power to create a gate small and temporary enough for her to go through. But time is weird in the 17 heavenly circles of Ordimar. It was only a few days for us.

    Hermes Trismegistus: You had to know that there are greater threats than you could overcome. All these factions fighting around us now, for instance. The Netherwyrms of the Deep Void, which will sooner or later be drawn to us. Whatever power was phenomenally great enough to move an entire supercluster of dozens of galaxies.

    Azariel: The Netherwyrms will not come, for now. We shall be hidden. And you think us outnumbered and outgunned? Only the angelic army of the 17th and lowest circle came through. Once we kill more godlike beings, enough power shall be gathered to unleash all our infinite hordes.

    Hermes Trismegistus files away this information for future reference. A more pressing question awaits.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Who, or what, moved the supercluster? And why?

    Azariel: R.I.T.E. The Ritual Initiating Total Eternity. Their purpose is twofold: one, to lure Netherwyrms to where they can capture and domesticate them as nigh unstoppable warbeasts; and two, to establish new ley lines through the Deep Void, the beginning of an attempt to mystically tether the NeSiverse to other universes, so that more quintessential energy can be drawn upon.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Who is R.I.T.E.? And why do they seek all this aggrandizement?

    Azariel: They seek to prepare the NeSiverse against a ragnarok, against the Enemy Who Comes, the grand archnemesis. I cannot say who their members are, for unbreachable oracular blanking hides their identities from even our mightiest Prophetim.

    Hermes Trismegistus has gone white. R.I.T.E., whomever its members are, is so incredibly potent, that it can move a supercluster, be able to tame Netherwyrms, and even bridge universes - yet there is one they fear.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Who is it? Who is the archnemesis?

    Azariel speaks a word, a single word. A word of utter doom. A word that confirms all of Hermes Trismegistus' greatest fears.

    A name.


    -----

    Far away, inasmuch as 'distance' can exist in the dimensionless Deep Void, monstrous creatures of unfathomable size stir, drifting ponderously through the nothingness towards a bright beacon. But the beacon dims, then disappears entirely, and the Netherwyrms stop their advance. For now. Perhaps the delicious light will appear again. Perhaps their appetities will yet be sated.

    -----

    Inquisitor Delta: Operation Nova Shroud a success. Albeit a manner of success not envisioned by the original Jupiterian architects who designed it. The supercluster is concealed.

    Lobo Ono: Excellent.

    The Void Ranger's space motorcycle speeds into the Terran system - although 'Terran' is now a bit of a misnomer, seeing that it's missing the eponymous planet - and both his heads groan at seeing the massive space battle.

    Lobo Ono: What a mess to sort out...

    -----

    Hermes Trismegistus comes out of the cell calmly.

    Seraphim: What did you find out?

    Hermes Trismegistus: A conclave of hyperbeings, phenomenally potent on their own, is responsible. They seek to lure Deep Void monsters to us and then capture and tame them for their own purposes. It is also the start of a gigantic ley bridge, intended to stretch across the Deep Void and connect to other universes, so that their astral elemental magicks and energies can be siphoned.

    Judge: If they're that powerful already, why bother taming monsters?

    Seraphim: Well, they're probably really BIG monsters?

    Hermes Trismegistus just shrugs.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Powerful beings are always hungry for more power.

    Judge: Well, that explains Yoshi's appetite!

    Yoshi: YOSHI!

    Seraphim looks astutely at Hermes Trismegistus, wondering if there's something the mage-deity is leaving out...

    -----

    Long ago, the Ordimar God was a very avaricious deity. Specifically, he likes shiny things. Actually, he still does. But long ago, he did something about it. He sent out his divine emissaries to collect 'tithes'. Of course, that made more than a few people upset, but it's difficult to argue effectively with a vast horde of powerful superbeings who possess prophetic knowledge.

    Still, there were and are plenty of other potent deities in the NeSiverse, also with potent armies, and once they took offense to the Ordimar God's greedy thefts, they banded together, and in a terrible battle, banished the Ordimar God and his Prophetim to another plane, which became known as the 11 heavenly circles of Ordimar.

    The Ordimar God has long laid plans to escape his prison, as palatial as it is, but is building his army anew. This time, his hordes will be even bigger! And thus, all the more unstoppable. Plus that's more hands to carry more shinies!

    At the moment, the Ordimar God is in his celestial palace, pacing outside a chamber whose entryway is covered by heavy curtains.


    Ordimar God: Hurry up already! Just a thousand more and we'll have to open up an 18th circle!

    Amidst grunts and no small amounts of feminine moans, a response drifts out.

    Future Al Ciao: Lay off, even I can only go so fast!

    Yes, the Ordimar God has snatched Al from some time in the distant future to breed him an army, given Al's proclivities for such activities. Once there were only 11 heavenly cricles here; now there are 17, with an 18th on the way. While Al is technically a prisoner, he doesn't actually mind his situation.

    Qhobeg: Wait, so does this mean I was half-right about the Oracle taking Nick to breed demon offspring? Except that she didn't need Nick cuz they already had Al!

    Hey! You're not even here! Stop eavesdropping!

    Qhobeg: I'm a clone of a former Main Character who can storywield even better than the original. It's hard NOT to hear you in my head. Mind you, you're usually drowned out by all the OTHER voices...

  23. #23
    Benjamin Majir: "Are you talking to yourself again, Qho?"

    Qhobeg: "Of course not! I'm talking with--"

    Benjamin Majir: "--the voices in your head, got it. I'm surrounded by madmen..."

    As Benjamin Majir scuttles away, Qhobeg attempts to yell one last thing at him.

    Qhobeg: "You be careful with that straight man routine, you hear? You'll get us all in trouble one day with that shtick!"

    The Company Kid, Ben, leaves Qhobeg with silence. Qhobeg sighs.

    Qhobeg: "Guess I'm off to find what Captain Kirk-style secrets I can learn from Flax then..."

  24. #24
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow The Plan?

    As Lobo One nears the battle he notices the spacestation doesn't seem to fit in with the other surrounding forces that are pummelling each other. An anomaly is usually were answers reside. He gears up his spacebike and rides down towards the Earth-built station to find someone he could interrogate.

    ----------

    Dr R. Deep and Acidspitter are studying the consoles and getting updates from CynthAI about the position of the spacestation in relation to the battle. Since appearing in the new region of space, the station had slowly drifted until it was orbiting the nearest planet.

    Dr R. Deep:
    "We're still in planet's orbit. Looks like we're being pulled away from the fighting."

    Acidspitter:
    "Good. Soon enough we'll be out of that mess completely."

    Dr R. Deep: "Maybe. But we'll swing back around again before long. Orbit means around and around, Acidspitter."

    Acidspitter: "Right. Got it. So we have a day to sort ourselves out?"

    Dr R. Deep: "That's right. A day of his planet anyway."

    Acidspitter: "What do you plan to do, chief?"

    Dr R. Deep taps his chin in thought. His lips are tightly clamped shut in consideration but his quizzical eyes are shrouded by his ever-present shades.

    Dr R. Deep: "Priority number one is to return our sector of the universe back to where it once was. Doesn't matter why we're here to begin with, we can worry about that later. In which case we need to be consulting with an astrophysicist."

    Acidspitter: "And they may have some ideas about shifting an entire sector of planetary bodies?"

    Dr R. Deep: "Must be dozens of theories out there. One of them must work. Can you summon your demon forces all the way out here?"

    Acidspitter spent less time pondering his own task.

    Acidspitter: "Yes. I would say so. I can't access those in Canada, but Hell itself doesn't exist in the same dimension as the Story Ream. I can conjure and army to join that mess out there if you want me to..."

    Dr R. Deep:
    "No. I want them guarding the spacestation."

    Acidspitter: "Easy enough. Although... demons being demons... there might be some mess left behind. And there's zero respect for peoples' privacy."

    Dr R. Deep: "Considering the state of the spacestation, I don't see any additional mess being a problem."

    Acidspitter: "So what about us?"

    Dr R. Deep: "We'll be taking a little trip. CynthAI get me a list of potential astrophysicists who have worked on relocating planetary bodies. A list on non-Earth based astrophysicists, obviously."

    CynthAI: "Aren't you forgetting something?"

    Dr R. Deep: "What?"

    CynthAI: "The magic word."

    Dr R. Deep:

  25. #25
    (Non-Story Note... or is it? I felt this was appropriate given the ending of the above post.



    Of course, Samuel L. Jackson would make a great Dr. R. Deep to boot.)
    The Plothole: a home for amateur, inclusive, collaborative stories
    http://forums.theplothole.net

  26. #26
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow The Science Guy

    Hero Force One sit, somewhat uncomfortably, in their respective chairs of the shuttle bound for the planet Bungybungy. Before anyone asks at kind of name that is, it's term of ultimate respect for nature and the infinite cosmos of the sentient populace of the planet. So stop laughing. That means you, Qhobeg.

    Qhobeg: "Hey, I didn't name the planet. Bungbungy sounds like..."

    Seraphim: "We really don't need to know what you think it sounds like, Qhobeg."

    Benjamin Mahir: "Are you sure the station is going to be okay with those... things protecting it?"

    Dr R. Deep looks up from his musings...

    ----------

    Impish demons are swinging from chandeliers and drapes, which were never there before but now that's there's an unruly party they have appeared. Food is being thrown, music is blaring and everything in sight is being broken. One imp runs by with a pair of Qhobeg's underpants on his head screaming something about ice cream and hedgehogs.

    ----------

    Dr R. Deep: "Yes."

    Benjamin Mahir: "And what about that prisoner? Sure she's... secure with hose guys?"

    ----------

    Azariel is still bound and wearing her inhibitor collar. She watches as an imp with custard on his head dances the Macarena, sways his imp-rear a few inches from her face. Another imp suddenly runs in and smacks her over the head with a gigantic foam hammer - Timmy Mallot style.

    ----------

    Dr R. Deep: "Absolutely."

    Benjamin Mahir: "Right. And can you explain why this guy is still here?"

    He jerks a thumb towards Flax Hyperon, who is sitting at the end of the group trying to chat-up Judge.

    Qhobeg: "Yeah, he's threatening my position as the alpha dog round here."

    Everyone frowns in pity at Qhobeg.

    Qhobeg: "What?"

    Seraphim: "He's already proven useful. He could continue to be."

    Acidspitter pouts and gives Seraphim a hurt and longing expression.

    Acidspitter: "You want the macho intergalactic stud here?"

    Seraphim: "Yes. I just said, he could be useful."

    Judge rolls her eyes.

    Judge: "Remember the lessons on recognising subtlety I gave you, Sera?"

    Seraphim: "Vaguely."

    Magick Snowflakes: "It's okay, Acidspitter. Seraphim is too blunt to be fancying someone else. She'd just outright tell you if she was."

    Acidspitter: "Thanks, Snowflakes. You're probably right. She's pretty honest. Even about things she doesn't like about me. In fact. She's pretty mean, now that I think about it."

    Magick Snowflakes: "She'd only be mean if she wanted to hurt you. She just doesn't understand white lies."

    The shuttle suddenly rattles and bumps as the craft lands on the planet... named reverently after the universe.

    Qhobeg: "Bungybungy... haha!"

    Dr R. Deep: "The astrophysicist should be waiting for us when we open the doors. I don't know what kind of person they are, so be prepared team."

    The doors slowly open to reveal a bright white sky. Stark white, with no other colours. Certainly no sign of blue. Standing on strange black vegetation is a man. A human man.

    Qhobeg: "Bill Nye the Science Guy?"

    Bill Nye: "Hi! I understand you've got a physics problem?"

  27. #27
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Options

    Dr R. Deep: "I told CynthAI to get us a non-terrestrial science expert, yet here you stand."

    Bill Nye the Science Guy holds his hands up in surrender, but beams a broad smile.

    Bill Nye: "Okay! You got me! I'm not the Bill Nye you know. But I figured a more human appearance would soothe your fears."

    Qhobeg: "What fears? We're not afraid of anything!"

    Bill Nye instantly transforms, in the space of a blink, and Hero Force One all recoil in horror and fright at the true vision of the Bill Nye before them. Magick covers her eyes, Benjamin leaps into rat form a scurries off while Qhobeg literally hurls from fright.

    A moment passes and human Bill Nye is with them again.

    Bill Nye: "My true form does that to most species."

    Seraphim: "Was that truly necessary?"

    Bill Nye: "Just wanted to test your friend's theory."

    Qhobeg: "Me and my big mouth..."

    Dr R. Deep: "Mr Nye... or whatever your name is--"

    Bill Nye:
    "It's Jumin'kath'lantarulla'klinkpoumdangionfing'fong're lathianefrangio."

    Everyone Else: "..."

    Bill Nye: "Actually that's just the pronunciation. When you write it there's ten silent letters in there and quite a few accents to make sure you get the pitch just right. One accent out and you'd be asking me for my tape recorder."

    Judge: "I think we should just stick to Bill..."

    Dr R. Deep: "Perhaps you've heard, an entire cluster of the Milky Way galaxy has been moved through time and space to appear in the Deep Void. Why, right now, is irrelevant. We need to put it back. All but the Earth has been moved, and why that didn't move we don't know yet."

    Hermes: "Someone... something... wanted it to stay where it was. Someone... something... knew this was going to happen."

    Qhobeg: "Do you really have to keep saying something? You're just trying to conjure up images of that thing again, aren't you?"

    Bill Nye: "I prefer not to be called a thing."

    Qhobeg shrugs.

    Qhobeg: "Sorry, not sure what else to call you. Or rather your true... shape..."

    Dr R. Deep: "Let's focus, people."

    Seraphim: "What can you do for us, Bill Nye?"

    Bill Nye: "Well... I could transvert the quadratic estate of the plural confusion nodes in the bottomless nexus of equine lanes and systematically compound the adiabatic qualities of the refraction of the... hmmm... I need to reverse the polarity first though. You always have to reverse the polarity. It's practically science mumbo-jumbo true of thumb."

    Judge:
    "Was all that a yes?"

    Bill Nye: "It was all a maybe."

    Hermes: "But it sounded plausible to me. It'd be a stretch but... it just might work."

    Qhobeg: "Yeah... sounded good to me too."

    Hermes turns to frown at Qhobeg.

    Qhobeg: "What? Like you're the only smart guy around?"

    Hermes:
    "Okay. That's good to know. So you understand what you, and specifically you, have to do?"

    Qhobeg: "Uh... sure..."

    Hermes places a reassuring hand on Qhobeg's shoulder and nods sympathetically.

    Hermes: "That's good. You're a brave lad. You'll be missed."

    Qhobeg: "... ... I think maybe we heard different parts of the same plan. The part I heard didn't involve me at all. Actually, I think it said I should go home and watch reruns of Quantum Leap, eat nachos and live... a long, long life."

    Dr R. Deep: "What does he need to do?"

    Hermes: "Enter... the Deus Ex Machine."

    Qhobeg scoffed.

    Qhobeg: "You want a Deus Ex Machina? No problem! I do that all the time."

    Hermes: "No. It's a Deus Ex Machine. You create a Deus Ex Machina this big, your Story-Wielding powers will need to be amplified by... millions. Essentially what you're trying to do--"

    Qhobeg: "Is end a Story prematurely. Right?"

    Hermes: "You do have a brain after all."

    Qhobeg: "I know Story rules. If we don't cut the Story short, what will happen?"

    Hermes: "Well, you already lost one team member. How many are you willing to lose?"

    Dr R. Deep: "There must be some other way of returning everything to its prior state."

    Bill Nye: "Well, now that you mention it... There is... The Reset Button."

    Judge: "A Reset Button? So it will... reset everything to the way it was?"

    Bill Nye: "That's right. Specifically to the beginning of the Story Arc in which it's used. Use it now and you'll return everything to the way it was when you woke up... whatever morning it was when this all happened."

    Qhobeg: "This sounds like a great plan. Let's do this one."

    Hermes: "Wait. It's a dangerous mission and probably much more time consuming than just having Qhobeg set everything right himself."

    Qhobeg: "But it'll kill me."

    Hermes: "A journey for The Reset Button would also get you killed."

    Dr R. Deep: "But everything would reset. Even if someone did die, they'd be alive again if we hit that Reset Button."

    Hermes sighs and rubs his old, wizened eyes. Dealing with younger, less able-minded people had always been frustrating, but heroes in particular were so unrealistically minded when they believed 'there is another way'.

    Hermes: "If I had thought the Reset Button was a viable option, I would have recommended it long ago. You're talking about tampering with narrative constraints. If you were able to find it, get to it and not die - you still have no comprehension what the knock on effects might be. The Story Arc following this one will cease to exist, break apart and result in some kind of narrative rupture. At worst you could force a kind of Groundshog Day event, where this single Story Arc will continue to repeat over and over. You wake up, the world is displaced, you push the reset button and do it all over again. This is not a viable option."

    Qhobeg: "Says the guy not risking his own skin."

    Judge: "I hate Qhobeg as much as the next guy, but he shouldn't be sacrificed if there's even a chance of doing this another way."

    Qhobeg: "Gee... thanks Judge."

    Seraphim: "Frankly I don't like either option. Both are short-cut options. Perhaps the better option would be to get to the bottom of the mystery instead?"

    Dr R. Deep: "I'm not sure we can afford to, Seraphim. This particular story doesn't seem immune to the usual 'no death' rules of the NeS."

    Qhobeg: "Yeah. Most NeS deaths are villains or comical deaths. Nick was... neither."

    Magick Snowflakes bit her lower lip at mention of Nick's name. She didn't express it then, but she wanted to go for the Reset Button - then Nick would be alive again. No one else seemed to have thought of it, but she did.

    Judge: "Or maybe we just need to keep all our options open. We track down this Reset Button and keep hold of it. If we haven't made any headway on solving the problem ourselves, we can press it. Maybe we'll get lucky and the entire cluster won't be blown up or eaten by some gigantic monster."

    Seraphim: "And Bill Nye here can work on the Deus Ex Machine until we get back. If we've failed, Qhobeg can use his Story Wielding to save the cluster. And the Earth."

    Hermes shook his head.

    Hermes: "I do hate that I'm always the reality check. None of you has a single clue where this Reset Button is even located. I don't even know that secret. It--"

    Acidspitter: "I do."

    Hermes: "What?"

    Acidspitter: "There's reference to it in the vaults of Hell. I could probably pop down there, slip in and grab the files, and bring them back?"

    Dr R. Deep: "Well, it's a start. Acidspitter, take Seraphim with you."

    Seraphim folds her arms. She's unhappy, but doesn't voice it.

    Dr R. Deep: "The rest of us can start preparations on the Deus Ex Machine."

    Qhobeg: "Maybe I should go with Acidspitter too? Biased opinion and all that."

    Judge: "Yeah right. You'd do a legger as soon as your arse touched terra firma. You're staying here."

    Qhobeg: "Damn it."

    Acidspitter approaches Seraphim. He offers his arm and she, after a pause, steps into his embrace. In a sudden whirl of flame they both vanish. Bound for Hell.

    Flax Hyperon: "So he gets to take the angel on a one-on-one personal stint? Hey, limey chick, fancy a night in the shuttle with old Flax? I'll turn the heating up so we're nice and sweaty."

    Judge: "I'd rather spend the night with Qhobeg."

    Qhobeg: "Wow! Seriously!?"

    Judge rolls her eyes.

    Judge: "If he's last on the list, you're second-to-last, Qhobeg."

    Qhobeg:
    "Wow. You find me more attractive than Flax..."

    Judge: "Less obnoxious at least."

    Flax Hyperon: "There's definitely something wrong with the women in this outfit. Could it be the male competition? This Acidpuker and the runty guy?"

    Everyone looks at Flax.


    Judge: "You know everyone can hear your little monologue, right?"

    Flax Hyperon: "Don't worry, babe. I'll show you how much of a man I am, and how this little dweeb ain't worth your time."

    Qhobeg: "Luckily my self-esteem is backed up by my over-confidence, arrogance and juvenile outlook."

    Flax Hyperon: "Whatever, kid. Why don't you go and get prepared for this Dweeb Machine, already?"

    Bill Nye: "Yes! He's right. Let's go and get set-up."

  28. #28
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow The Sex Library

    That transitional place that exists in-between the physical realms, hidden deep in the Pages of the NeS' metaverse. It is Hell, but no longer Hell. It is the aether of Hell, its essence and magic and whatever other supernatural bollocks Hell feeds off of. Through that realm demons transition when cut down, only to be reborn in the physical realm of Hell on Earth.

    Canada.

    From a brilliant burst of flames stumbles the figures of Acidspitter and Seraphim. The angel falls to her knees and Acidspitter, the ruler of Hell, tries to support her. He tumbles down with her.


    Acidspitter: "Are you alright?"

    Seraphim: "That... was horrible..."

    Acidspitter: "Sorry, Sera. I guess you're not so detached from Heaven as we all thought. That's why it hurt you..."

    Acidspitter rose to his feet again and cast his eyes to their surroundings. The charred landscape, molten lava ebbing from random holes in the ground that had no right to be ebbing said lava, the horribly gnarled and ominous castles and towers that dotted the scenery, not to mention the wandering souls of the unfortunate and evil-in-life. In other words - home.

    Seraphim: "I'll never know how you can stand this place."

    Acidspitter: "Because grovelling to Jim7 up in Heaven is so much better?"

    Seraphim: "Maybe you should ask one of these poor souls that question?"

    Acidspitter turns on his heel and calls out to a group of souls that are dossing about outside of a squat, but wide, glass building that appears jarringly different than the rest of their surroundings. The Shangri La hotel.

    Acidspitter: "Oi! Atheists, how do you like it here in Hell?"

    Atheist Soul: "It's bloody fantastic, mate! Can't get enough of the place!"

    Acidspitter: "See? The atheists love it down here. I let them rock that joint for all eternity."

    Seraphim: "The atheists didn't even believe in you when they came down here, why would you reward them?"

    Acidspitter: "More importantly, they didn't believe in God. That makes them a fine bunch of people in my book."

    Seraphim snorts.

    Seraphim: "The Anti-Bible is this?"

    Acidspitter: "Wow! You've read it?"

    Seraphim glares at Acidspitter.

    Acidspitter: "Uh... I'm getting an unusual vibe from you, Sera."

    She continues to stare.

    Acidspitter: "Do you want to have sex with me? Is that it?"

    Seraphim: "What did I ever see in you?"

    Acidspitter: "It was probably my devilishly good looks and charm."

    Seraphim: "Or maybe I was just too drunk to realise what a buffoon you are?"

    Acidspitter: "I'm really not that bad! You should have seen this place when I first took over. I've completely renovated things here in Canada! Even the gay folks were being tortured when I first arrived."

    Seraphim: "And now?"

    Acidspitter: "Ah, they're totally rocking it out in that Harbour Centre place in Vancouver. Lots of gay sailors apparently. They also painted the place rainbow, which makes me feel like I'm tripping on my own acid whenever I go down there."

    Seraphim: "Maybe you should release them to Heaven?"

    Acidspitter: "I offered, but Jim7 refused. He said there's enough rainbows up there as it is without making his eyes bleed. The gay souls also refused. Said they didn't want to go up there and get Bible-bashed or something. Really crazy politics, frankly. You'd think it'd be more simple than this, right? You should see all the religious zealots down here start duking it out. The Muslims keep calling me Shaytan, Jews call me Satan and start scrapping over that. A single letter! And I'm not even Satan, or Shaytan! He was one of the previous rulers. Crazy stuff."

    Seraphim: "I suppose I never considered how convoluted things might be..."

    The two of them had started walking through the streets of horror, Seraphim trying to appear as casual and nonchalant as an angel possibly could when surrounded by pain and torture.

    As they round a corner a bright glitzy casino comes into view. As they pass by, they see a lot of souls, demons and other waywards entering through the swinging doors. Standing outside is a man dressed as flamboyantly as humanly possible.


    Liberace: "Mr Nine! Good to see you again!"

    Acidspitter: "There's my favourite Satanist! How have things been while I've been gone?"

    Liberace: "Fabulous! Although I think your government, or entourage - or whatever you call them - have been getting antsy with you away. They keep mumbling about stars misaligned and all that science stuff."

    Acidspitter:
    "No surprises there. At least there's been no revolutions while I was gone."

    Liberace: "You should know better than that, Mr Nine! There's been dozens! But your boys are just top notch at keeping them down. Why, Che Guevara led three revolutions in the space of one day!"

    Acidspitter:
    "Well, that's kind of what he does. If ever he took power in Hell, I think he'd revolt against himself. Thanks for the heads-up though. At least I know I won't be executing my advocate. Or that Gebohq guy. Whatever clone, alternate reality Geb-thing he is. Why the Hell are there so many of them anyway? Someone should really keep track of them all. Maybe give them all different haircuts or something."

    After passing through the city streets they come across another building that stood, somewhat unceremoniously, on the corner of a street. The building appears fairly unremarkable. A sign on it reads "Institut für Sexualwissenschaft".

    Seraphim: "...what kind of place are you taking me to?"

    Acidspitter: "Oh right. Well... this used to be a library that was burnt down by the Nazis. It's a study of sexology centre..."

    Seraphim: "... are you trying to make me agree with the Nazis or something?"

    Acidspitter: "No! It really was a centre for the study of sex, sexuality and all that jazz. But because it was so... 'sinful', it got sent down here when the building, uh, died. As it were. Since coming down here it's been a popular library for all kinds of material, especially... well, the obvious. But deep, deep down, you'll find some extra-special vaults containing somewhat... potent tomes of yore."

    Seraphim sighs.

    Seraphim: "Fine. Let's go. I'm sure there's nothing in here that'll surprise me. It's not like we never..."

    Acidspitter: "Right. In we go, follow my lead."

    Seraphim: "Don't start with the sex jokes."

    Acidspitter:
    "Anything I say sounds like a sex joke when put into this context."

    ----------

    Back on the planet Bungybungy... quiet you.

    Bill Nye is showing off his plans for converting another machine into the trappings of the soon-to-be Deus Ex Machine. The machine in its current form was designed as a doomsday device. Never meant to be used, just built for the sake of curiosity. Nye is convinced it will work wonders once converted.


    Qhobeg: "What could possibly go wrong?"

    ----------

    A door swings open to a dark and murky cellar. Seraphim stands there, eyes wide with horror. Her head slowly turns to look at Acidspitter, who smiles nervously.


    Acidspitter: "Wasn't so bad, right?"

    Seraphim: "I'll never forgive you..."

    Acidspitter: "Advances in sexual sciences have really improved since this place came to Canada. Really, so much more understanding--"

    Seraphim: "Maybe if I smash my face into a wall for an hour, all memories will be erased..."

    Acidspitter: "Brain damage is more likely."

    Seraphim: "That would work too."

    Acidspitter: "Look. Let's just find our tome and take your mind off of it."

    Seraphim: "After what I just witnessed, I don't think my mind will ever be able to focus on anything else ever again..."

    She shuffles after Acidspitter through the cellar. The walls are made of simple stone, dust and very frustrated spiders that haven't quite realised that they're just as dead as all of the people they keep seeing. And the fly souls that keep buzzing through their webs are never going to become their aethereal dinner.

    Ominously locked doors also line the walls. From some of the doors they hear unusual noises - some sound like explosions, others sound like growls or moans and some make noises that simply defy explanation. Kind of like a whizzlying burping jolt noise.


    I tried.

    Seraphim: "Why are the doors groaning at me?"

    Acidspitter: "The tome down here are so... potent with mythology and magic that some of them have developed... personalities, shall we say? Some have just become sheer forces of power that blast out sporadic gouts of energy every now and again. Here's ours now. One of the records books."

    He waves his hand before the door and it swings, silently and creepily, open. Inside is darkness save for a spotlight that shines upon a lonely tome resting on a pedestal.

    The two near it and when they stand over it they glance down at the opened page.


    Seraphim: "A list of venues where one could buy a cantaloupe?"

    Acidspitter: "Not all records are of especially interesting things."

    The book suddenly bounced up and back down with a loud, sudden hiccough.

    Seraphim remains silent and waits for Acidspitter to take the initiative and explain what the Hell that was.


    Acidspitter: "Uh. Some books explode, some moan or wail. This one has the hiccoughs. I... don't know why."

    His fingers lightly trace along the edge of the page before he flips to the contents. He scans the list, finds his page and turns to it. A List of Useful Quest Items. As he scans through each page, running his finger down the seemingly endless list, he speaks to Seraphim without removing his eyes from the text.

    Acidspitter: "It wasn't all bad, was it?"

    Seraphim: "No..."

    Acidspitter:
    "I thought we were starting to mend bridges when we both signed up for the outfit again..."

    Seraphim: "I think we did a little. You know I'm just not ready to... try again yet. With everything that happened, I just feel like I'm not in the right place. Mentally."

    Acidspitter:
    "Do you think you ever will be?"

    Seraphim: "I... don't know."

    Acidspitter: "You'll never know unless..."

    Seraphim: "I know. And I want to. But it's not like we have a lot of time to spend wining and dining, is it?"

    Acidspitter: "Well... actually, we... could."

    He finally looks up at her.


    Acidspitter: "We could stay here?"

  29. #29
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow

    On the planet Bungybungy, the heroes of Hero Force One are, unusually, taking a break. Albeit a forced one.

    Magick Snowflakes: "I'm sure they should be back by now..."

    She is perched on a rock with her knees drawn up to her chin and her arms hugging her own legs. She gazes across the small patch of sand at the riverbank to Qhobeg, who is sat on a wooden folding-stool and has is fishing. He glances back at her and shrugs in response before returning his interest in the hobby. He had never been much into fishing before, but it's better than doing nothing. Like Magick.

    She sighs. She isn't even convinced there are any fish in the oddly pink water. There aren't any birds on the surface, that's for sure.

    Lying on a bright yellow and orange beach towel is Judge, who is wearing a contrasting navy blue bikini with splashes of white like sea-foam. She rolls over to begin tanning her back. When Judge initially came down to the small ten-metre beach that Magick had stumbled upon, Qhobeg was rather excited. But after a few hours of being constantly rebuffed, he had contented himself with fishing and the occasional glance at Judge to make sure the beautiful woman was still... well, beautiful.


    Dr R. Deep: "Bill Nye has begun the preparations."

    Magick turns around to see Dr R. Deep, still clad in his leathers despite the heat, approaching the rest of the team as they waited. And waited.

    Magick Snowflakes: "What could be taking so long?"

    Dr R. Deep: "Well, time is unusual when dealing with Hell. It could be a factor. Usually it would mean they should have returned almost instantly, but there could be some outlying temporal disturbances that we're unaware of. Who knows what's happening out there."

    Judge: "Or if they even made it. An entire part of the galaxy was moved. Maybe there's something blocking us all in here."

    Dr R. Deep: "If there were, it'd be unlikely to affect modes of travel to Hell. But... it's a possibility, Judge. We'll have to consider our other options more carefully if they don't return within the hour."

    As Deep spoke he looked directly at Qhobeg's back. Qhobeg didn't turn around.

    Judge: "You know what? I'm sure they'll fine. They're probably having make-up sex on the office desk or something."

    Qbobeg: "And we're stuck here contemplating suicide."

    No one replies. Usually Deep would have argued the point, but his arguments were becoming repetitive and exhaustive. No matter what the mage said, Qhobeg wouldn't change his mind.

    Flax Hyperon: "Another lap completed! Still no sign of trouble!"

    Magick leans her head to see past Deep and look at the newcomer, Flax Hyperon. Magick had the distinct impression that nobody likes him, but Magick thinks that he's nice and pretty funny. He seems simple-minded, but he's certainly brave to make up for that defect. He is all muscle, much like Nick was.

    Judge: "Maybe you should go for another lap, Flax? There's got to be some horrific alien wildlife around here that you could wrestle."

    Flax appears dejected. He'd been sent on several reconnaissance missions so far. About fifty to in total. Every time he returned with the all-clear, he was being sent out again. Of course, Magick knows it's because nobody wants him around.

    The space-hero begins to turn around to make another lap of the area.


    Magick: "Wait, Flax. Maybe you should take a break with us?"

    Magick flinches away from Judge's sudden glare, who snaps her neck round and lifts her large aviator-sunglasses to pierce the younger woman with her blue eyes. The moment is short and Judge's frustration is made known. Flax, by comparison, snaps around with a broad grin on his face.

    Flax Hyperon: "Can't bare to be away from me for so long, little one?"

    Magick Snowflakes: "Uh, well--"

    Flax Hyperon: "It's alright. I understand. I couldn't bare to be away from me either.

    He flexes his muscles for her.

    Dr R. Deep: "I should assist Bill Nye."

    Judge: "Leaving us to the mercy of Magick's hormones, Doc?"

    Dr R. Deep: "You'll survive, Judge. You were a girl with an interest in boys once too."

    Judge: "Says who?"

    Magick Snowflakes: "Wait-- what're you two talking about? What do you mean?"

    Judge: "Nothing, sugarplum. The adults are talking."

    Magick Snowflakes: "You know, I could make a really big storm cloud appear overhead and drench you?"

    Dr R. Deep, who had turned to leave, glances back at Magick.

    Dr R. Deep: "Better not do that, Magick. We don't know much about the meteorology of this world."

    Magick Snowflakes: "I wouldn't really! I was just saying..."

    Deep nods and starts up the small hill and away from the mini-beach. Flax whips off his shirt, much to Magick's surprise, and parades his half-naked and well-sculpted body towards the pink water. Magick spot that even Judge starts eyeing up Flax and his perfect physique. Flax slaps a heavy hand on Qhobeg's back.

    Flax Hyperon:
    "Nothing biting today, bud!?"

    Qhobeg splutters something like a 'no' amidst wheezing attempts for breath. Magick snickers. The first time she has managed anything close to a laugh since Nick.

    Suddenly there's a blazing inferno in-between everyone. Fire swirls angrily in a tornado. Judge jumps to her feet and casts a field of telekinetic energy in a wide circle around the cyclone. Qhobeg drops his rod and prepares for action with Flax, while Magick falls off of her rock in shock.


    After a moment, from the cyclone stumbles Seraphim. She staggers forward until she strike the barrier and falls down unceremoniously.

    Judge: "Not nearly as dignified as usual, Sera."

    The angel sits up and, a moment later, the cyclone disappears in a whoosh of additional flame. Judge lowers her barrier and everyone, frowns at Seraphim.

    Judge: "Where's Acidspitter?"

    Seraphim looks up at Judge.

    Seraphim: "Things are more complicated than we expected, Judge. Back on Earth. It's..."

    Judge: "What? What is it?"

    Seraphim: "The End of Days, Judge. It's returning..."

    Magick Snowflakes: "What is? What's returning?"

    Seraphim now looks at Magick. Sadness washes over her face.

    Seraphim: "The Ever-ending Plot."

    She stands up slowly.

    Seraphim: "Let me explain what happened..."

    ----------

    Earlier;

    Seraphim: "We have to return, Spit."

    Acidspitter: "I love it when you call me that."

    Seraphim: "I'm trying to be serious here."

    Acidspitter raises his hand to her neck and smiles at her, cheekily. She doesn't resist. He leans in and their lips lock. Their kiss it fiery and passionate, filled with excitement of rekindled affection and a making up of lost time. Seraphim pushes Acidspitter against the pedestal and begins unzipping his trousers--

    Tome: "Hiccough!!"

    Seraphim leaps backwards in shock and Acidspitter laughs.--

    ----------

    Judge: "God damn book! We were getting to the good bit!"

    Flax Hyperon: "I'll second that. Of course it would have been far sexier if I'd been there instead of that--"

    Seraphim: "Maybe we should skip the part about the sex..."

    Judge: "See? I told you they were shagging. If someone's late, it's because they're up to the auld down and dirty."

    Seraphim: "Judge!"

    Judge: "What!?"

    Seraphim: "I'm an angel! Sex with me is not dirty. It is wonderful and godly."

    Judge: "Who're you trying to kid? After some of the stories you've told me, I think you're the dirtiest, naughtiest woman I know."

    Seraphim: "ACK!!! JUDGE!"

    Judge throws herself back onto her beach towel and cackles.

    Qhobeg: "It's aaaaaall comin' out today!"

    Seraphim: "Nothing is coming out today! That's the last you get! Judge, not a word!"

    Judge: "My lips are sealed, honey."

    Seraphim: "We were interrupted anyway..."

    ----------

    Voice: "There is a message for you, Sir."

    Seraphim cries out again and spins around at the sound of the deep, baritone voice. Her hands fill with heavenly aura, which sparks and crackles with incredible vigour in the Realm of Hell.

    The Beast is twelve feet tall and his shoulder width is about four feet wide. His skin is a light shade of royal purple and his face is pig-like. Two enormous horns twist their way from the top of his head and a strange jewel appears to be encrusted into his forehead. His large burly hands are complete with charred black fingernails. When he breaths out too strongly, short gouts of flame slip from his nostrils or his open mouth. Two worn-down, but vicious-looking, teeth protrude from his lower jaw and rest before his top lip. Though he has no facial hair, he has two bushy muttonchops and his head hair appears to be parted as neatly as possible. Covering his bulk is a black suit, perfectly ironed. In one hand is a silver tray with a glass of wine balanced atop.


    Acidspitter: "Don't worry, Sera. It's just Dave."

    Dave: "Sorry, Sir, I didn't realise you had a guest. I would have brought a second glass. Please accept my apologies, my lady."

    Acidspitter: "Don't worry about it, Dave."

    He marches over and snatches the wine glass.

    Acidspitter: "Dave's my manservant. He was a slave merchant in life, so he has to atone by serving others for eternity."

    Dave: "Indeed, I now live to serve. Would my lady appreciate a glass of wine? Or perhaps a cup of tea?"

    Seraphim: "Uh... no. Thanks."

    Acidspitter: "Dave, Seraphim. Seraphim, Dave. Sorry, Dave. Can't stay. We have to go and save the galaxy."

    Acidspitter takes Seraphim's hand, a sensation that brings back sudden old joys in the angel's heart. They head out of the door and start back down the passage.

    Dave: "Uh, Sir! Your message!"

    The Lord of Hell stops and turns back.

    Acidspitter:
    "Is it important?"

    Dave: "You know I would never listen to your messages, Sir. However it is labelled as ultra-amazingly-incredibly-deadly-important."

    Seraphim: "Couldn't it just be urgent?"

    Dave: "My Lord usually ignores anything marked 'urgent', my Lady Seraphim. So we needed a new system. When he began to ignore the new system of 'ultra-urgent', we added 'amazingly-ultra-urgent'. When he began ignoring--"

    Seraphim: "I think I get the picture... Spit. Stop being so irresponsible and read your bloody messages."

    Acidspitter sighs with resignation and holds his hand out to his manservant. Dave places a disc into his master's hand.

    Acidspitter: "Ooo! A projection. Let's see what the big hoo-hah is all about!"

    The disc activates and a projection bursts forth, high above them. It's not a holographic projection, but vaguely similar. Just a lot more esoteric and mystical.

    The scene plays out. A colosseum and every villain present and ready for a face-off. Helebon, Vashuko and DarkSide 3000 amongst them. The film shifts to show others. The rise of the NeSferatu and the new Emperor of France, aided by Potentials. Another shift and a glance of Arkng Thand giving a Presidential speech. Another switch to London and Queen Maeve discussing the the function of the Remembered Forces and their role in the coming days. Another shift and a brief view of a man and a hideous display of tentacles. Then a brief glimpse of a battle between Hands of the NeS. Finally a view of a bunch of weird misfits following a blonde woman that keeps ogling herself, who Acidspitter suddenly recognised at the Sage of the Cult of X. A cult he knows to be dedicated to...

    Acidspitter: "How could all of this be happening!?"

    Seraphim: "But... it all fades in comparison to the bigger problem, Acidspitter. The entire galaxy, or this one planet? If we don't save the galaxy, there'll be no planet."

    Acidspitter: "No, Sera. If we don't save he planet, there's nothing to come back to even if you save the galaxy."

    Seraphim notes the specific use of the word 'you'.

    Acidspitter: "And that last one... those guys... they wouldn't be in this projection if... if... Nevermind the Earth, Sera. The Story itself is at stake."

    The three of them start to walk towards the exit of the catacombs.

    Acidspitter: "Who sent you this disc, Dave?"

    Dave: "It was from the Pope, Sir."

    Acidspitter: "What!? The Pope!? Why's he sending me stuff like this?"

    Dave: "Apparently God isn't taking his calls right now. So he has no one else to turn to."

    Acidspitter: "See, Sera? Things are so desperate the Pope turns to the devil!"

  30. #30
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow NeS Events

    Seraphim, on Bungybungy, continues her tale;

    ----------

    TheBritt - The Never-ending Story, Page 46

    In Canada, the Prince of Darkness himself had returned to Hell.

    Mr Nine: "Bloody Hell! These utility bills are enormous! What have you lot been powering in here? Las Vegas!?"

    Devil's Advocate: "Liberace has been visiting recently."

    Mr Nine: "Well... I can't really complain about that. Liberace is Liberace. What can you do?"

    Majordomo: "Good to have you back, Mr Nine!"

    The Next True Evil: "Speak for yourself..."

    Mr Nine: "Yeah, yeah. I wouldn't have to be here if you guys were half competent! You know I'm supposed to be on a secret mission, right? Where the Hell're half my demons anyway? I've seen like..."

    He counts on his fingers.

    Mr Nine: "Eight or something. Usually there's hundreds. Where is everyone?"

    Majordomo: "Most of them are in Athena's Colosseum in Rome, Mr Nine. Demons are normally considered villains so lots of us got mixed up in that whole... scenario."

    Mr Nine: "So I was right. You guys are incompetent without me around."

    A sudden blinding light causes everyone bar Mr Nine to retract and wince in horror.

    Majordomo: "It burns!!"

    Devil's Advocate: "It bites!!!"

    The Next True Evil: "It bloody blinds!! Christ, someone turn that down!"

    Seraphim: "Sorry. My holy light goes a bit mental when devil spawn are in such concentrated numbers."

    Seraphim, former heavenly angel, enters the room. She had arrived in Canada along with Mr Nine, who just so happens to be her boyfriend; their relationship recently rekindled. Hence the "former". Even the new God considered devils for slaying, and he used to be one.

    The Next True Evil: "Oh great, Mrs Nine is here."

    Seraphim: "Mrs Nine!?"

    Angels in the world of the NeS are rarely what one would imagine. In fact, they're normally quite violent and resent traditional patriarchy ideals. Seraphim thumps The Next True Evil and sends him flying through the closest window.

    Seraphim: "Oops? Sorry, I suppose I should go and catch him..."

    Mr Nine:
    "Don't bother. He'll land on his feet, I'm sure. Then drag his mangled body back up here for demonic renewal. It's really no big deal. Hell, I've thrown him through a few windows already."

    Devil's Advocate: "I take it, Mr Nine, that you're back to put things in order?"

    Mr Nine: "Something like that, yeah. Seems like everything's gone mental since I left! You've been here mucking about with Liberace instead of getting our demons out there to control the situation! You're supposed to be advocating me!"

    Devil's Advocate:
    "I apologise, Mr Nine. But Liberace and the.. sparkles..."

    Mr Nine: "Okay. First order of business. Get God on the line."

    Devil's Advocate: "We've tried many times, Mr Nine, but God is just... reluctant to get involved right now. Something about a go-karting track."

    Mr Nine: "..."

    Devil's Advocate: "Jim7 is just not the man he used to be. When he was Mr Seven he was a dedicated devil with a hand in every pie. Now that he's become God, he's become... lazy. Frankly."

    Mr Nine: "Oh for God's sake!"

    Devil's Advocate: "Exactly."

    Mr Nine: "No.. that's not what I -- forget it. We need information. Infinite wisdom."

    Majordomo: "The tomes?"

    Mr Nine: "No, I've just come from there. I need... him."

    Majordomo: "Not... him!?"

    Mr Nine: "Yes... him."

    Seraphim: "Who's... him?"

    Majordomo: "But he--"

    Mr Nine: "Just call him!"

    Majordomo picks up the phone and calls a number.

    Majordomo: "Hi, is Liberace there?"

    Mr Nine:
    "NO!! NOT HIM!!! God damn it..."

    ----------

    Mr Nine, Majordomo and Seraphim stand in a triangle. They're surrounded by a thick, black mist that not even their super-meta powers can pierce. Seraphim's wings shine like beacons - beacons shrouded by darkness.

    Majordomo: "He is here, Sire. I can feel his presence."

    Mr Nine: "I feel nothing..."

    Majordomo: "Exactly."

    The Sepulchral Phantom, Morthrandur, emerges from the mist as though he were a part of the very darkness that surrounds them. His tall, seemingly inhuman, form drifted towards them rather than walked. His voice is like a whispering echo.

    Morthrandur: "An unexpected visit... how long has it been since I have had one of these..."

    Mr Nine: "Spill the beans, Mothandum. Motrandar. Morthrundam... God damn it. Why can't you have a normal name like... Mel? I'll call you Mel from now on..."

    The Sepulchral Phantom doesn't respond to this.

    Mr Nine: "Like I said, Mel, tell us what's going on in the NeS."

    Morthrandur: "There are a great many things... "going on" in the Never-ending Story..."

    Mr Nine: "And what do you think would bring me here? You think I'd come here for anything less than..."

    Morthrandur: "Even yo hesitate to say it. Ruler of Hell and yet you are afraid of it. The Ever-ending Plot."

    Mr Nine: "... I am afraid of it. On behalf of existence, I am afraid of it."

    Morthrandur: "Your predecessor would have shrugged off concern."

    Mr Nine: "Mr Eight was a fool."

    Morthrandur: "And his predecessor would have, and did, challenge the Ever-ending Plot."

    Mr Nine: "Mr Seven was an arrogant fool."

    Morthrandur: "And his predecessor w--"

    Mr Nine: "Are you going to list them all, dude? Seriously? I don't mean to rush you, but..."

    Morthrandur: "Your fear may be your undoing..."

    Mr Nine: "Or it may be my advantage. I didn't come here for the platitudes, Mel. Tell me what I need to know. How is it coming back? When?"

    Morthrandur: "It is already here..."

    Seraphim: "What!? Already!?"

    Morthrandur: "Indeed. It slips through the cracks. Here and there."

    Mr Nine: "What were you doing with the child? Were you trying to provoke it?"

    Morthrandur: "In a manner..."

    Seraphim: "You seek its return?"

    Morthrandur: "Its return is inevitable."

    Seraphim: "Then why provoke it?"

    Morthrandur: "How do you defeat something that is not present? If there is no cancer to treat, how can you treat it? Allow the entity to infest itself and then... deal with it."

    Majordomo: "Wait... so you are trying to help?"

    Mr Nine: "In his own twisted way, it seems."

    Morthrandur: "The Ever-ending Plot grows ever stronger with every passing Page. The Writer's ink blots and runs across the page like a dark wave. The sooner it happens, the less damage is done."

    Mr Nine: "And there's no way to prevent it ever coming here?"

    Morthrandur: "None. The universes beyond our own are already blighted. The fractured worlds of gods and men are now awash with... The End."

    Seraphim: "And how can it be defeated this time? Last time it was only through a stroke of... luck! The Main Character was able to... shatter the NeS and create something new... a kind of... reset..."

    The Sepulchral Phantom steps away from the trio.

    Morthrandur: "That is not for me to say, but for the Characters of the NeS to figure out for themselves. This is the only way."

    He evaporates into the mists of darkness and is gone. The three of them try to relax their tense muscles but the sensation that they are still being watched cannot be shaken.

    Seraphim:
    "I have to return to Bungybungy."

    Majordomo snorts.

    Majordomo: "Bungybungy!?"

    Seraphim: "Quiet you."

    Mr Nine looks downcast. He spreads his arms and Seraphim floats into them. He holds her. She clutches his shoulders. Majordomo turns away with embarrassment. She looks up at him. Their lips touch, then they are engulfed in a tornado of Hellfire. The whipping flames only last for a brief moment... then they, and she, are gone.

    Mr Nine: "Come, Majordomo... we have to prepare."
    ------------

    Seraphim: "And then I burst from the flames and found myself here on this beach."

    The others are silent in introspection.

    ----------

    However, Seraphim's news isn't the only quotable event from recent NeS posts;


    ----------

    Jim sneezes.

    Jim: "I wish people would stop saying my name."

    Archangel Bertwick: "My Lord! I have some fantastic news!"

    Jim: "My go-kart track is ready!!?"

    Archangel Bertwick: "Uh... no, my Lord. Something else."

    Jim:

    Archangel Bertwick: "Don't be sad, my Lord. It's good news!"

    Archangel Samael: "Out with it, Bertwick!"

    Archangel Bertwick: "Well, we've always had a lack of an advocate. The Devil has one, but not God."

    Jim: "Yeah, I remember him. Useless. I kept him locked in a cupboard."

    Archangel Bertwick: "Right... well... I managed to get you a new advocate. One you don't have to put in a cupboard."

    Jim: "I didn't put the last one in there because I had to. I did it because I wanted to."

    Archangel Bertwick: "Urm..."

    Archangel Samael: "Just show us."

    A couple of angels pushed a trolley in. Atop of the trolley were some fleshy remains of a man...

    Jim: "What am I supposed to do with that?"

    Archangel Bertwick: "If you were to resurrect him, Lord, he would be the ultimate God's Advocate. He already was. He's from the world's greatest God-fearing nation. And he is very... patriotic."

    Jim sighs.

    Jim: "I haven't got anything better to do."

    He snaps his fingers and the body parts start to merge together, limbs regrow, tissue springs forth. As the face grows, the man's eyes snap open and he roars with anger and pain. When the process is finally over, he groans and sits up.

    Jim: "You're the new God Advocate. Congrats."

    Man: "I thought I already was..."

    Jim: "That's the spirit."

    Jim snorts at his own joke.

    Jim: "Geddit? Spirit? Because I put his spirit back...? No? Screw you guys."

    Jim turns away from them, jumps into his go-kart and whizzes off throughout his heavenly palace in Burundi. The two Archangel's focus their attention on the reborn human.

    Archangel Bertwick: "We'd best get you some clothes or you'll frighten the ladies with that... well. Clothes."

    Man: "Get me something... American."

    Moments later, the man slides his arms into the cloth trench coat and, slowly, puts his hat on. He admires himself in the mirror. He was ready for action once again. With God and America on his side, he could not fail. He steps onto the balcony, his coat tails whipping in the fresh breeze.

    Man:
    "I need to reach my team. Get a status report."

    Archangel Bertwick: "Records say your team... are all gone. Except, perhaps, one... token member. We can send you to him."

    Man: "I'm ready."

    Archangel Bertwick: "Just remember who you're advocating and all will be well."

    Man: "I know who I'm advocating. For God and Country. I am... The Patriot."
    In London a huge glass tower stands tall and proud... and shaped like a gherkin. The ultra-modern building went through some renovation a few years ago and now sports a massive, unabashed logo protruding from it - Hero Force. Originally it read Hero Force Two, but since the dissolution of each remaining team, save One, the Two was pulled down. But the faint outline of rivets could still be seen.

    And now, those left on Earth, feel like the B-Team.

    Citizen Rex: "There's no point living any more... someone... kill me now."

    Voice: "That can be arranged..."

    Agent Mulligan: "Th-The Patriot!?"

  31. #31
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Crisis

    Seraphim, after telling her tale, allows her head to droop. She cares for the universe and the lives of everyone in it, but she realises that the sadness she feels was a selfish one. She misses Acidspitter. Right when things seemed to be returning to happiness between them, they're separated by an immense space that may never again be breached.

    Somethings big, brown and fuzzy scuttles by her foot.


    Seraphim: "YEEEEEAAAAAARGH!!!!"

    Hero Force One all leap to their feet, ready for action... until they see Seraphim has, once again, freaked out because she was startled by Benjamin Mahir in his rat-shape.

    Judge: "You really need to get over this childish rat-phobia, Sera! You scared the stuffing out of everyone!"

    Qhobeg: "And Ben needs to learn not go to near Seraphim when... ratted... ratified... ratisised... like that!"

    POOF!

    Benjamin Mahir stands before them again.

    Benjamin Mahir: "Right, right! Super powerful angel, fearless against all except... me."

    Seraphim: "And any real rats. And it's called murophobia, Judge. My skin still scrawls just looking at you, even now, Benjamin."

    Benjamin Mahir: "Thanks. Wonderful to know you find me that repulsive... Guys, just a question, but, have you ever considered just... enjoying the universe instead of always trying to save it?"

    Everyone stares dumbly at him.

    Benjamin Mahir sits on the rock that Magick Snowflakes had vacated when she jumped to action a moment ago.

    Benjamin Mahir: "The universe has existed for... aeons. Long, long before any of you existed. And guess what. It did just fine without you. It didn't explode. It didn't get sucked into some... time hole. No time monsters ate it. No black ooze consumed it all. It trundled along until present day. I don't think the universe really needs saving. It will get along just fine, one way or the other. Maybe, we should just consider... enjoying it."

    Magick Snowflakes: "But, Ben! The galaxy is in trouble! This whole cluster could be... destroyed! How many planets are here, how many people? And what about the Earth? It could be destroyed too!"

    Benjamin Mahir: "What will be... will be."

    Qhobeg: "Whoa. Now that was cold-hearted."

    Flax Hyperon: "Talk of a coward."

    Benjamin Mahir: "Yes. You're right. That was kind of uncool. I don't really mean that. But... I honestly feel like... we make things worse. I don't think we really help. I mean, we do... but because we do, something else happens. Something worse. The Eep monster? The Eep is, what, drawn to the world because of the actions we do? The Reset Button, the Deus Ex Machine? They're probably going to cause some new catastrophe that we'll have to sort out! Maybe, if we just relax, the universe will right itself. And if it doesn't, that's because it's supposed to be this way..."

    There's a brief moment of silence as they think of his words. But Judge breaks it.

    Judge: "No. You're wrong. My body works just fine for the most part, but you know what? Sometimes I get sick. I need medicine to help fight a flu, or whatever. And guess what? One day, I'll die. But I'm going to do everything I can to make sure I die a long, long time from now. When trouble in the universe rears its head, we're the medicine to fight it. And I'm going to keep fighting to keep this universe alive until either one of us dies."

    Seraphim: "Judge is right. Just because something has lasted a long time, doesn't make it immortal."

    Qhobeg: "You know, I actually agree with you Ben. But at the same time, I kind of think... if we do nothing, and the galaxy, or Earth, is destroyed... how could we enjoy the universe? How could anyone else enjoy the universe?"

    Benjamin Mahir: "Alright. I get it. I stepped over the line here, and now I'm enemy number one."

    Judge: "Damn right!"

    Judge sticks two fingers up at Benjamin.

    Dr R. Deep: "That's enough. Existential crisis over. Evidently most of us are committed to what we do."

    Benjamin Mahir: "No need to defend me, Deep. We all know I'm the black sheep in this crowd. I don't fit in, never have and never will. I'm unnecessary and I'm only stuck with this gig because you won't let me go."

    Dr R. Deep: "You're the longest-living Company Kid we've ever had. It's bad for our publicity when we keep losing them..."

    Judge: "Yeah, but we all know he survives because he skulks away from all the danger. Admiring the universe that we're protecting, I suppose."

    Qhobeg: "Okay Judge, I think you made your point. Why don't we lay off?"

    Judge: "Are you kidding me?"

    Qhobeg: "Bullying Ben isn't saving the universe."

    Benjamin Mahir: "Qhobeg, don't argue on my behalf. It's fine, I'll go back to skulking."

    Magick Snowflakes: "I don't like all this fighting. Please can we stop?"

    Judge rolls her eyes.

    Judge: "You really need to grow up, Snowflakes."

    Magick Snowflakes: "What? So now you're going to pick on me too? We're all supposed to be friends!"

    Seraphim: "We're a team, not friends. We work together for a purpose. That's all."

    Magick's eyes widened until they practically leapt from her head.

    Magick Snowflakes: "I-Is tat really what you think? I thought..."

    Flax Hyperon: "You know, all this bickering only serves our enemies? Maybe we could leave the soap opera until after we save the universe?"

    Qhobeg: "Who asked you? You're not even in this team!"

    Dr R. Deep: "Enough of this, Flax is right. This pettiness can wait."

    Seraphim: "I don't believe it is pettiness! The only rule of a team is that we are all on the same page. We have one common goal. Right now, it seems we are not all on the same page."

    Dr R. Deep: "I said enough!"

    Seraphim and Deep stare at each other. The moment lasts on until everyone is uncomfortable. Even Judge had never considered standing up to Deep before and, though she and Seraphim were two of the closest members of the team, even Judge didn't like this turn of events. Questioning Deep would be like questioning the Hero Force One itself.

    Judge reaches out and touches Seraphim's arm. The contact of human skin seems to relax the angel and she relents. She turns from Deep and watches the pink water slowly ripple by.


    Dr R. Deep: "Once this is all over, I think we all need a little group therapy."

    Qhobeg: "God no! Don't you remember last time!? They made us play... banjos!!"

    Judge and Magick start laughing as memories resurface. Even Benjamin couldn't help but snicker at the thought. Then, one by one, they left the small patch of beach. Dr R. Deep, Judge, Qhobeg, Flax Hyperon, Magick Snowflakes.

    Seraphim: "I understand your wish to watch the beauty of the universe, Mahir..."

    Benjamin stands up from the rock and comes up beside Seraphim to watch the water.

    Seraphim: "...but if you appreciate its beauty so much, how can you then watch it all burn? How could you stand by and allow this to be taken away?"

    Benjamin Mahir: "There's so much more out there, Seraphim. Why should we save the Earth all the time when there are billions of other worlds just the same that don't get saved. And when we're gone? Who will save it then? For how long will it last? It's all so... inevitable. So instead of fighting the inevitable, why not just appreciate what's already here?"

    Seraphim: "Because I couldn't watch it burn. The trees, the water, the people. I couldn't stand and watch them die. I'd have to stop it. Stop their suffering."

    Benjamin Mahir: "I know. I honestly don't think I could either. But what I really fear is trying to stop them burning... because of something we did..."

  32. #32
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Welcome Aboard, Lobo Ono

    Hero Force One approach the construction site. The Deus Ex Machine is massive, scaling several stories tall and inhabiting a most unusual shape.

    Judge: "Looks kind of like a bloke's w--"

    Bill Nye: "Wang!"

    Judge: "That's what I was going to say!"

    Wang: "Yes boss?"

    Qhobeg: "The Writer went back to being stupid and childish after that emo, melodramatic post, I guess."

    Bill Nye and his assistants, including the one coincidentally named Wang, are working on computers and using machines to hoist up parts of the machine into place. Hermes Trismegistus is standing at the base and inscribing magical runes on several parts of the machine.

    Dr R. Deep approaches him.


    Dr R. Deep: "Trismegistus. We're preparing to leave."

    Hermes Trismegistus: "This machine... is a marvel, I tell you. Qhobeg is lucky he'll have the divine opportunity to utilise it. I have more work to do though."

    Dr R. Deep: "We need your help, Trismegistus."

    Hermes Trismegistus: "To hunt your holy grail?"

    Dr R. Deep: "Partly... but we haven't given up our investigation for other solutions. The cause for the move. If we can find the cause, perhaps that cause could even be reversed."

    Hermes slowly nods with a wry smile.

    Hermes Trismegistus: "That does, indeed, sound like you'll need me."

    Dr R. Deep: "... so?"

    Hermes Trismegistus: "I will join you. I can finish this if we have to return and use this... incredible machine."

    The old mage strokes a hand over the surface of one leg of the structure.

    Qhobeg: "Hey, Old Man, didn't anyone ever tell you not to stroke another man's ride?"

    Hermes Trismegistus turns to Qhobeg who had sauntered over.

    Hermes Trismegistus: "Accepted your destiny have you?"

    Qhobeg: "I don't believe in destiny, Old Man. Just the will of the Writers. But I do know that thing is being built specifically for me. So that means it's my property. Keep your old geezer paws off, eh? I'm watching you. Don't even think about seating yourself in that plush leather chair up there. The only buttcheeks to grace that leather will be mine, understood?"

    Dr R. Deep: "A glimmer of control and you grab it with both hands, Qhobeg? Lucky you're not in charge of this team, isn't it?"

    Judge: "He's a dictator in the making."

    Judge laughs and wraps an arm across Qhobeg's shoulder.

    Qhobeg: "My first law would be all sexy British chicks have to go completely naked. All day long."

    Judge: "That'd be the day."

    Qhobeg grins.

    Qhobeg: "It's a Deus Ex Machine and with it I can shape the very fabric of the narrative. I can make anything I wish come true."

    Judge releases Qhobeg and looks at Hermes and Deep.

    Dr R. Deep: "We trust that Qhobeg won't use this ultimate machine for such selfish and stupid things..."

    Hermes looks at Qhobeg.

    Hermes Trismegistus: "Do we?"

    Dr R. Deep: "Yes. We do. And Qhobeg won't disappoint us. Will you, Qhobeg?"

    Qhobeg: "C'mon, Doc. You know I'm just joking. Why would I stick with just British women? I'd make it so for all women."

    Judge: "Great. Ultimate power given to a childish pervert..."

    Qhobeg: "Yeah yeah yeah. Just ask yourself this. What would you do with ultimate power, huh?"

    Judge: "Save the universe."

    Dr R. Deep: "Even I find that hard to believe, Judge."

    Judge: "Motherfu--"

    Qhobeg bellows with laughter. Judge shoves him. He shoves her back. She shoves him with her telekinetic power so hard that he flies off into the distance.

    Dr R. Deep: "You two were born for each other."

    Judge: "What!?"

    Dr R. Deep: "I've known it from day one. All this flirtatious banter between you two. Pretending to hate him. It's kind of cute."

    A moment later and the unthinkable happens... Judge uses her telekinetic power to send even Dr R. Deep flying into the sky on a lengthy trip through the atmosphere.

    Hermes Trismegistus: "You know, you really need to find another way of dealing with conflict..."

    Judge: "Want to join them, Old Man?"

    ----------

    Lobo Ono: "Get off my bike. Oi! I said get off it, you little blighter!"

    Demon imps are hopping all over his space-bike as it stands in the corridor behind him. When he landed on the station he had expected to find some sentient species that may have answers for him. Instead he found idiot imps and an A.I. that wanted to do nothing unless he agreed to drink gallons of tea.

    Eventually, after running his bike up and down endless corridors, he found a room with an angel in incarceration. Why stations like this have hundreds of pointless corridors in them he will never know. A great mystery of the universe. Tied up angels, however, ought to have a more immediate answer.


    Lobo Ono: "You're one of the Prophetim, are you not?"

    Azariel: "I am Azariel. And you must be here to rescue me."

    Lobo Ono: "Must I?"

    Azariel: "I have foreseen it."

    Lobo Ono nears the angel and naps the neck restraint.

    Lobo Ono: "Even with this thing on? I doubt it."

    Azariel: "Damn. I hoped you wouldn't know what it is."

    Lobo Ono pulls over one of the chairs in the room and sits down, the back of the chair at his front. The seat, however, is meant for human buttocks and so this gangly alien appears quite misplaced when seated there. With one of his many arms he takes out a blue cylinder, lights it and put it into the lips of his right head. He puffs and blue smoke fills the air around his head. Space cigarettes.

    Lobo Ono gestures towards her with the space cigarette.

    Lobo Ono: "I'm more familiar with that device than I am with your kind, in truth. What are you and your people doing here?"

    Azariel leans forward and grins.

    Azariel: "That's a secret."

    Lobo Ono: "You know, I have ways of making you talk?"

    Azariel: "Sounds kinky. Maybe if you work really hard at it, I'll moan everything you want to know..."

    Lobo Ono: "Never knew you Prophetim were nymphomaniacs. I'll add that to the information bank."

    Azariel: "I can show you something great that you can add to a different bank..."

    Lobo Ono: "And would I need to untie you to see this great something?"

    Azariel pulls a hurt face.

    Azariel: "What? Don't you trust me? What can I do to hurt you? I'm just a little angel girl, trapped by a bunch of big meanies."

    Lobo Ono: "Who imprisoned you here."

    Azariel: "Humans."

    Lobo Ono: "Humans? Don't get many of them in the Void. Biologically speaking, they're not very... robust. Die at the drop of a hat. A little vacuum, a blaster shot, the wrong microbes on a planet and they just... fall to pieces. Kind of sad really. So how did they manage to get the better of you?"

    Now the angel appears embarrassed.

    Azariel: "Humans! They might be weak, but I tell you - they're crafty little buggers!"

    Lobo Ono: "Right. Why don't you just give me some straight answers here? Why did they imprison you? Are they allies of some other group out there?"

    Azariel: "That mess out there... they caused it. With their crafty ways."

    Lobo Ono's left head rolls its single eye with the right head continues to puff on the cigarette.

    Lobo Ono: "Focus, Azariel. Straight answers."

    Azariel: "You never told me who you are."

    Lobo Ono: "I'm a Void Ranger. How many humans are we talking about?"

    Azariel: "A small team of them. They call themselves Hero Force One. What's your name?"

    Lobo Ono: "Lobo Ono. Why did this team imprison you? Exactly?"

    Azariel: "One of my sisters sacrificed a team member of theirs. They're pissed off with us. Simple. Why send just a single Void Ranger to deal with this mess?"

    Lobo Ono: "One is enough. I guess you sacrificed this team member to open up your doorway?"

    Azariel: "Yes. Was it you that concealed the cluster? How did you manage that?"

    Lobo Ono: "Sorry, that's a state secret. And what do the Prophetim want?"

    Azariel shrugs.


    Azariel:
    "State secret too. Sorry."

    Lobo Ono: "You know, coming here and doing all of this is going to piss off a lot of very powerful individuals. Nevermind some human team, we're talking about gods and demi-gods and ancient ones. The kind of beings that happily sit on the edge of the universe, away from the mess of energy at the centre of the galaxy, to wallow in their own enormity. They're not the impatient kind, but when something like this happens they want it gone."

    Azariel: "This conversation got boring about five minutes ago. If you're not going to free me, then just leave. My captors should be along soon enough to keep me company."

    Lobo Ono rises from his chair.

    Azariel: "But please shut the door before you leave. I'm tired of watching imps waggling their backsides at me."

    Lobo Ono: "Actually I'm still not sure what to do with you. The cleanest solution would be to kill you here on the spot."

    He watches her face for a reaction. Nothing.

    Lobo Ono: "But I guess you'd have foreseen that happening, wouldn't you? You must all know when you're going to die?"

    Azariel: "Actually, I have no idea what I have foreseen before now, or what I will foresee in the future. This collar is on, so it's like... time doesn't exist. I can't remember my past foresights because I can't sense time. The visions don't come to us as memories, they don't get stored away. I have no idea if you'll kill me. But I don't think you will."

    Lobo Ono: "Why's that?"

    Azariel: "Still too many unanswered questions."

    CynthAI: "Mr Lobo Ono. I have prepared a pot of lapsang souchong tea for you, if you'd care to have some. I can serve it to you with digestive buscuits or perhaps some nice teacakes?"

    Lobo Ono groans.

    Azariel: "I'd love a cup of tea!"

    CynthAI: "I'm sorry, Ms Azariel, but little twerps like you have lost the right to tea. And certainly teacakes. Teacakes are for people I like. I may allow you to have half of a soggy old digestive I found at the back of the refrigerator last week. And that's me being generous."

    Lobo Ono: "Wow... how did you manage to piss off an A.I.?"

    Azariel: "Probably because we attacked the station. And you can shove your soggy digestive up your... utility slot!"

    CynthAI: "How rude!"

    Lobo Ono's wrist device beeps. He checks it.

    Lobo Ono: "Computer. Did a shuttle just dock with this station?"

    Silence.


    Lobo Ono: "Computer."

    Silence.

    Lobo Ono: "A.I. respond."

    CynthAI: "I do hope you are not referring to me as "Computer" because that would be a silly name. And I am most certainly not a computer."

    Lobo Ono: "Th--... has anyone ever told you that you are a very contrary A.I.?"

    CynthAI: "Frequently. Though usually with much more colourful language."

    Lobo Ono: "Did a shuttle just dock here?"

    CynthAI: "You should learn to ask more politely, Mr Lobo Ono. But as you are new here, I shall forgive your rudeness. Yes a shuttle just docked. Tea will be served in Command. There may even be crumpets!"

    Azariel: "Aww, crumpets!"

    CynthAI: "Not for you!"

    Lobo Ono: "Perhaps I should make my way to Command?"

    CynthAI: "I shall inform the team of your imminent arrival. I suggest you offer a message of peace, else your arrival may be filled with... much liveliness."

    Lobo Ono: "I don't doubt that. Please tell your team I come in peace... for now."

    CynthAI: "Done. I also relayed your nasty little "for now" comment you muttered under your breath. That's very rude behaviour for a guest aboard Orbital One, you know? You'll not be allowed any crumpets until you redeem yourself, Mr Lobo Ono."

    Azariel: "Can't I redeem myself and get crumpets?"

    CynthAI: "You have a lot of redeeming to do, Ms Azariel!"

  33. #33
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Lobo Ono fight

    Lobo Ono enters the mission room, otherwise known as Command by Hero Force One team members. The room is deathly silent and empty save for a single figure standing at the head of a table in the centre of the room.

    Benjamin Mahir: "Hello."

    Lobo Ono glances around but sees no one else. Nor do his scanners perceive anyone else. There's no way that shuttles contained just one body.

    Lobo Ono: "I'm Lobo Ono, Void Ranger. Protector of the peace in these parts, you might say. Obviously you've been drawing a lot of attention with that little display out there."

    Benjamin Mahir: "Erm... accident?"

    Lobo Ono: "... that's it? That's your excuse here?"

    Benjamin Mahir: "Accidents happen? Someone, mentioning no names - *cough* Hermes *cough* - didn't take into consideration all of the rivalries between the different peoples out there when he asked them for help against the alien angels."

    Lobo Ono: "Alien an... you mean the Prophetim of Ordimar?"

    Benjamin Mahir: "Uh... sure. Whatever they're called."

    Lobo Ono: "And what do you know of the translocation of the cluster?"

    Benjamin Mahir: "Buggered if I know!"

    Lobo Ono: "I can tell when someone's hiding something from me..."

    He whips out a small pistol... for each of his six arms!

    Benjamin Mahir: "ACK!!"

    Benjamin explodes in a poof of smoke and a fat rat falls through the air to the ground. Instinctively, and possibly borne of confusion, Lobo Ono starts blasting at the horrible little beastie. Apparently Seraphim is not the only one to suffer from rat-phobia.

    Seraphim: "Murophobia!"

    Judge drops the telekinetic guard she held up against detection which, oddly enough, works in a very similar respect to the Nova Shroud Lobo Ono had applied to the entire cluster. With all of his advanced gear, Lobo Ono couldn't detect what was not, conceivably, there. However, Judge has never had much time for the more subtle powers at her command and using this shroud effect drains the British superhero. She falls to one knee, while her team mates do the rest of the work.

    Seraphim lunges at Lobo Ono, taking him by surprise. Even with her vaunted strength, however, being overwhelmed by six arms is somewhat daunting. Being pistol-whipped six times simultaneously hurts. Seraphim falls to the ground.

    However, Hero Force One are known to work together in their battles. The pause between the attack of Seraphim and Dr R. Deep is negligible. The purple wreathed swords come down at the alien being, but at deflected by the improbable material of the pistols he wields. But even as he manages to block the swords, Magick Snowflakes cast a powerful blast of wind that strikes the distracted Lobo Ono and sends him flying through the air - a mess of wobbling limbs - and he strikes hard against the far wall. His protective armour, however, takes most of the brute force of the hit and he is merely stirred, not shaken. From his position on the ground, he fires all six guns; shooting space beams across the room. A light show instantly illuminates as Flax Hyperon, likewise, fires back. He stands his ground, in the centre of the room, firing his own blaster very infrequently with a broad and charming grin. Yet none of Lobo Ono's shots seem to hit the strangely charismatic space hero.


    Flax Hyperon: "You ladies should get behind me. Don't worry, if I do get shot, it will only be a flesh wound to the shoulder!"

    Only Magick, in her naďveté, actually move behind him. From there she casts a cloud of magic above Lobo Ono which quickly rains down a mist of sleep upon the alien. Unfortunately for Magick, she knows nothing of this alien's physiology and the effect of sleep does nothing to him. Using his four legs, Lobo Ono suddenly leaps across the room in a single bound and slams into Flax Hyperon. Both of them fall onto Magick Snowflakes, crushing the young girl beneath their combined weight.

    Standing atop of them both, Lobo Ono turns three guns on Dr R. Deep and three on Qhobeg. He pulls the triggers.

    *Click!*

    Empty.

    Lobo Ono: "But... they don't even use ammo!?"

    Qhobeg: "Heh, oops?"

    From nowhere appears a sleek sword in Qhobeg's hands. His very own "NeS sword" he calls "The One Sword".

    Qhobeg: "And the rest!"

    *Sigh*

    "The One Sword to Rule Them All".

    Qhobeg: "Damn straight."

    The two Hero Force One sword-wielders attack from both sides. Lobo Ono does a deft job of defending himself from the three blades but he knows he can't keep it up. He slinks one hand to his belt and unclips the grenade. He doesn't want to blow himself up so he tosses it to the corner of the room, figuring the blast alone would be distracting enough.

    However the expected blast is somehow muted to a dull thud.


    He glances as sees the telekinetic wielder has shielded the grenade, with her recovering energy.

    He curses to himself and springs up and away from the two prone bodies. He somersaults, lands, and finds himself suddenly face-to-face with Seraphim again. She head-butts his left head.

    Lobo Ono's right head gasps at the violence of this seemingly angelic lady. Moments before she thumps him in the stomach. Despite the protective armour he wears, he definitely feels a modicum of pain as her strike connects - evidently aided by a charge of heavenly light of her home system. Still, it hurts her more than it hurts him. She cries out and winces at her injured hand, giving him a moment to, again, smack her with his pistols. He flees the room immediately after, but hears pursuing footsteps. This group were better coordinated than he had been expecting.

  34. #34
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    Hermes Trismegistus is tardy to entering Command, his nose stuck in a tome that he borrowed from 'Bill Nye'.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Fascinating. Theories even I haven't encountered before. In particular the transliminal effect on astrogravitics--

    He suddenly notices the rest of the team, sweating and panting and in some cases bruised.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Did I miss something?

    Elsewhere, in the hundreds of corridors aboard the station, Lobo Ono is recuperating. Nanomods are refueling his pistol's energy cells and repairing his armor. Time to think has made him consider the battle with HFO a mistake: they responded violently to his panicked fire upon the wererat, when in fact it was simply the Void Ranger's murophobia dictating his actions, rather than true hostile intent.

    Lobo Ono: Computer, if you could convey my wishes for a ceasefire to the team--

    Hermes Trismegistus: You know, if you keep calling her 'Computer', CynthAI will put you on her bad list.

    The Void Ranger keeps himself from flinching in surprise with a supreme act of will.

    Lobo Ono: I know you. The wandering god-mage.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Indeed. And you must be a Void Ranger. It seems you have already realized what my allies have.

    Lobo Ono nods.

    Lobo Ono: It was a mistake.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Indeed, and now we wish you to convene with us in Command, that we may discuss the crisis at hand. But first, tell me... what do you know about a group called R.I.T.E.?

    Lobo Ono looks sharply at Hermes Trismegistus, confirming the god-mage's belief that a Void Ranger would have heard of this mysterious organization.

    Lobo Ono: You mean they're the ones behind this massive translocation.

    It is a statement, not a question. Hermes's face remains impassive, and he says nothing. Lobo Ono studies him for a moment, then continues.

    Lobo Ono: We don't know their true purpose, but they always seek aggrandizement, and new sources of power. Weapons, technology, arcane lore...they hold nothing sacred in this goal. But what they plan to do with this power is a mystery. No attempts at conquest or control have been made.

    Hermes Trismegistus: But WHO are they?

    Lobo Ono: No one knows. They're powerful enough that divination can't identify them, and crafty enough that spies cannot uncover them. They work through agents usually, or they cast powerful rituals to achieve phenomenal effects from far away... such as this translocation. The HorseGod, from your home planet, is one of their known agents.

    Hermes Trismegistus looks incredulous, and with good reason.

    Hermes Trismegistus: That oaf? I find it hard to believe.

    Lobo Ono: He may be an oaf, but he is a sly oaf. Also, what you may not know, is that he is the god of all horses in the NeSiverse, not merely those on your planet. We do not confront him, but instead keep surveillance on him, hoping to gain some clue as to R.I.T.E's identities or true purpose.

    Hermes Trismegistus looks thoughtful.

    Hermes Trismegistus: I think we should assist R.I.T.E.

    Now Lobo Ono looks VERY sharply at the god-mage.

    Lobo Ono: You know something you're not telling.

    Hermes Trismegistus smiles slyly, and touches his nose.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Ask Azariel.

    Meanwhile, the Hero Force One space station is slowly orbiting around within the solar system, and is almost back around to the massive multi-factioned conflict in space. The dragon cataphracts seem to have the advantage over the other forces: their armor is nigh-impenetrable, and their flaming breath is made of primal-fire that ignores normal fire resistances and immunities. Also, they are clearly the coolest of the fighting forces.

    One particularly gigantic dragon, about the size of Manhattan Island, and plated in sparkling red and golden armor, has a massive citadel perched upon its back. An impenetrable force shield protects it from harm, and deadly weaponry belches destruction from its ramparts. Within the citadel's tallest tower is a private chamber, housing the war room of Dragonlord Riaken. He is half-dragon, half-angel, with a dragon head atop a human body with one feathered wing and one draconic wing. His fingers end in talons. These talons clack menacingly against each other as he steeples his hands and tap his fingers together.


    Dragonlord Riaken: No sign of the Netherwyrms?

    Draco-Qhobeg: No, sire. Your select beast-tamers are riding the edge of the supergalactic cluster, and report nothing save a plentitude of odd satellites.

    Yes, this is still another Gebohq clone, this one spliced with draconic DNA. He is the vizier and primary tactical advisor to the supreme ruler of the Dragon Worlds, who is also none other than one of the secretive R.I.T.E.'s mysterious leaders.

    Dragonlord Riaken: Satellites? Why wasn't I informed?

    The supreme dragonlord telekinetically summons a crystal ball from the ceiling, where dozens of multiple colored orbs are floating and lazily drifting about, and the summoned globe swoops down to float obligingly in front of the dragonlord as the half-dragon/half-angel waves a clawed hand over its polished pearly surface. Instantly, the surface disappears, and within it can be seen one of the Nova Shroud satellites hiding the galactic supercluster.

    Riaken frowns, but a thoughtful cast soon appears on his face. He swipes his hand over the ball, and the vision within it likewise swipes, into the Void, on and on, until it comes to rest upon the shadowy Netherwyrms.


    Dragonlord Riaken: This is an excellent and unexpected boon. We drew the Netherwyrms close before the supercluster was hidden, but now that it has been hidden, we won't have to sacrifice the supercluster. Who would have thought a meddlesome Void Ranger could be so helpful?

    Draco-Qhobeg: Shall I order the elite beast-tamers out into the Void, Sire?

    Dragonlord Riaken: No. I shall join them myself, for there is no beast-tamer greater than I. Stay here and direct the battle. Do not reveal the true extent of our weapons and resources; merely a slowly gained triumph is sufficient.

    With that, Dragonlord Riaken flies literally into the orb, appearing in the Void with his beast-tamers near the Netherwyrms, and Draco-Qhobeg is left alone, with the floating orbs of power watching him like so many multicolored eyes.
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 07-09-2015 at 01:56 PM.

  35. #35
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    The NeSiverse is a nexus connecting many different universes and settings. This is not due to any cosmological underpinnings of reality, but rather due to two factors. First, despite the tireless efforts of a very frustrated CopyrightGod, copyright laws are very laxly enforced here, meaning that anyone is welcome here despite their origins. Second, the NeSiverse is the site of a story, and as such many are drawn to the spotlight, hoping to share it.

    Near the dawn of time - well, of NeSiversian time anyway - there was a great space city. It was fairly stereotypical of space cities in its layout - that is, it was on a gigantic metal platform with a dome encasing an atmosphere - but was incredibly large, and also served as the center of NeSiversian travel. Gods, demons, archbeings, and hobos all mingled here, coming to the NeSiverse, leaving it, or simply passing through.

    The name of the city... was Atlantis.


    CopyrightGod: Already taken!

    Dammit, I've been noticed. Fine. The name of the city was... Numenor.

    CopyrightGod: That's taken too! With all the big movie profits off Tolkien's work, you can bet I have the legal muscle to back THAT copyright up.

    Alright then, YOU come up with a name.

    CopyrightGod: Me? Er, uh, well, how about-- No, that's used. You could call it-- No, that's used too. Or what-- Nope, that's taken too.

    THIS is why people break copyright. In an infinite multiverse, EVERY thing is taken, somewhere or another.

    CopyrightGod: Yeah, yeah, whatever. Call it Jonestown, I don't give a fig.

    ...

    CopyrightGod: What? Nothing wrong with Jonestown. Good, respectable name. My ancestors were born in a Jonestown--

    Ugh. Whatever. We'll call it Mega Jonestown Prime to class it up a little.

    CopyrightGod: Excellent! As you were.

    So Mega Jonestown Prime was, in many ways, the center of the NeSiverse, hosting so many varied powers, magicks, technologies, and beings from many cosms far beyond the NeSiverse as well. It was ruled by a pantheon of 12 God-Kings--

    FeministGoddess: I object! Why are there no women in this pantheon?

    Well, I'm sure there are, it's not like I'm defining each of these 12 God-Kings at the moment...

    FeministGoddess: Then why call them God-KINGS? God-Monarchs is a much better moniker.

    Fine. 12 God-Monarchs of unfathomable power ruled Mega Jonestown Prime. Their palace was at the top of a mountain in the center of the space city, a mountain whose top nearly reached the great dome, a mountain named-- Okay, I am NOT saying this mountain is named Olympus. I don't know who wrote this script, but they're clearly trying to get me lynched by the CopyrightGod.

    Anyway, within this nameless mountain were carved the grand vaults of the pantheon, where they kept all the treasures and magicks and technologies they gathered... the greatest trove of treasures in the NeSiverse, and of some other universes as well. They were many who coveted the God-Monarchs' treasures and powers... thieves who tried to plunder the vaults, warlords who tried to invade the city, and assassins who tried to slay the God-Monarchs themselves. All failed.

    But one day, in the dim mists of time, a visitor came before the pantheon, demanding tribute. The God-Monarchs refused, of course. The visitor dared to attack the pantheon in their own halls, and the mountain shook with the released power of their conflict. The cosmic and divine energies emanating from the battle were too fierce for any to approach, even the mighty dragons who were the vassals of one of the God-Monarchs. When the battle was done, both visitor and God-Monarchs were all alive. The visitor left. No one knows on what terms he left, or if he left empty-handed.

    But the next morning, Mega Jonestown Prime had vanished, never heard from again in the history of the NeSiverse. Some speculate that the visitor had left behind a doomsday device to enact revenge on the God-Monarchs who defied him, and that destroyed the space city. Others speculate that the space city went to another universe.

    Whatever the truth behind its disappearance, it was indisputably gone. The NeSiverse moved on. Beings from other universes still came and went, and a Cosmic Customs House sprang up in Mega Jonestown Prime's place, to regulate their coming and going. It wasn't great like the ancient space city, but it served, and still serves, its purpose, stamping the passports of all who come through, confiscating contraband, and charging customs taxes.

    Once in a while, a traveler will simply... disappear within the vastness of the Cosmic Customs House. No one knows what happens to them, but rumors fancy that the same fate that befell Mega Jonestown Prime also befalls these occasional visitors through the eons.


    EditorGod: Good LORD, that's a wall of text. My eyes are bleeding just trying to edit that.

    ANYWAY... today, at the Cosmic Customs House - which is a massive space station the size of a sun - a customs agent is passing transcosmic travelers through the checkout, stamping each passport. She has red and black hair, and cunning eyes. A name badge pinned to her shirt reads, in a legibly-telepathic language, "FRUIT". Fruit is not her name of course, but it's a close enough approximation that the legible telepathy can translate it to whomever sees the name badge.

    "Fruit": *stamping passport* NEXT!

    A multi-tentacle alien being that could be the youngest cousin of the Big O, slithers forth.

    "Fruit": There's a twenty-credit tax per appendage over eight.

    The creature burbles indignantly.

    "Fruit": Hey, *I* don't make the rules.

    The creature's burble is sly this time.

    "Fruit": Well, yes, I could be amenable to a bribe... What did you have in mind?

    The creature burbles more, and waves it tentacles suggestively.

    "Fruit": EWWWWW! No freakin' way, that's not how I swing.

    She stamps DENIED on the creature's passport, and it sadly slinks away, knowing it will never get the chance to meet those alien-Japanese-Expy girls in the Outer Galaxies of the NeSiverse.

    "Fruit": NEXT!

    A dapper alien gentleman comes up. He is tall and thin and humanoid, with lime green skin and a teethless mouth. He has a monocle in each eye, pocketwatch chains coming out of all his pockets, and a top hot with a miniature pipe-chimney that vents steam with a soft whistle. He presents his passport, identifying him as an extra-NeSiversal noble from a highly steampunk-theme dimension.

    Marquis Rosslefot of Discharding: How do you do, miss?

    "Fruit": *inspecting passport* You're from Discharding then? What's the purpose of your visit here?

    Marquis Rosslefot of Discharding: Ironically for one of my dimension's greatest steampunk inventors, I find great pleasure in seeing non-steampunk technologies and magicks. Perverse curiosity, if you will. For instance, the digital nature of your Customs House's equipment fascinates me, as does the non-Euclidean geometrics of your detection-spells. All very elegant, something that Discharding's steampunk magitech lacks, despite its effectiveness.

    "Fruit": I see. I think we can waive most of the standard fees and inspections for someone of your... stature.

    Marquis Rosslefot of Discharding: Oh my! I thank you, miss, but I assure you, a gentleman of my standing is well able to afford all applicable fees and taxes.

    "Fruit": No, no, I insist.

    She smiles at him, and stamps his passport with word VIP, and waves him on through the line. The alien marquis tips his hat, and walks through the arch behind "Fruit". This arch is a portal, which transfers any traveler that walks through it to whichever destination has been approved for him. The traveler walks through and appears in a specific shuttle bay or teleporter station elsewhere on the massive space station that is the Cosmic Customs House.

    The Marquis Rosslefot of Discharding, however, walks through the arched portal... and never comes out. "Fruit" taps her badge.


    "Fruit": Agent Codenamed Tempus to Home: New power source incoming.

  36. #36
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    On the planet Tatooine in the Outer Galaxies of the NeSiverse, the capital of the omnipotent Big O and his underling deities, an odd-looking alien in a dapper suit and a monocle is berating a very weary Fladnag the White.

    Grand Duke Diggleton of Discharding: Discharding demands that you look into the disappearance of the Marquis Rosslefot! Turn the Cosmic Customs House upside down if you must!

    Fladnag the White: We are far too busy governing the NeSiverse to police everything else that visits here. We'll leave it to the Cosmic Customs House, and I believe you've already spoken with their authorities.

    Grand Duke Diggleton of Discharding: Nonsense! If your be-tentacled god is so omnipotent, why doesn't he simply fix my problem, all the problems of these people in your waiting line? I waited a month in that gods-forsaken line to see him, and here I see a meaningless flunky!

    Fladnag the White: I'm afraid the Big O is busy with important business. Besides, if he troubled to fix everyone's every whim, there'd be other people complaining about that.

    Grand Duke Diggleton of Discharding: Pah! In Discharding we can make steampunk Engines(c) to do whatever purpose we can imagine! I should think it a simple matter for the Big O to--

    Fladnag the White: The Big O is omnipotent, Duke. You might want to take a moment and think about what that really means. He could will it, and everyone in the NeSiverse would be a robot, unable to complain or have a rebellious thought. If he willed it, every being everywhere could be inflicted with unimaginable pain, even a visitor to the NeSiverse, such as a personage from Discharding.

    He fixes the suddenly pale Grand Duke with a steely glare.

    Fladnag the White: If I were you, I'd be very very glad that the Big O cares nothing for your concerns, and be very very afraid if he ever did take interest.

    The Grand Duke Diggleton of Discharding gulps. Before he can muster up a response, a commotion breaks out from beyond the audience chamber. Fladnag sighs, and presses the speaker button on his desk.

    Fladnag the White: Dora, what is happening out there?

    The voice of an extremely weird looking green alien girl with 8 legs, 3 arms and snakes for hair, but with a very ordinary name, answers him.

    Dora: I'm sorry, sir! It seems several delegations of gods are each demanding to see you immediately.

    Fladnag the White: I see. Send them all in.

    Dora: Sir?

    Fladnag the White: You heard me.

    He looks up to see the Grand Duke Diggleton of Discharding still standing there.

    Fladnag the White: You are dismissed, Duke. Unless you're absolutely SURE you want me to bring this to the Big O's attention?

    As the Grand Duke flees as fast as his alien legs will carry him, Fladnag steeples his fingers to face the various gods coming into the audience chamber. The waiting room beyond is full of impatient supplicants, and the line stretches out beyond the palace across the desert sands.

    It's true, what he told the Duke. The Big O cares nothing for governance, but only his own hedonistic pleasures, and he delegated the real business of running the NeSiverse to his faithful vizier eons ago. Therefore, he, Fladnag, knows exactly what these deities are barging in about... he is only surprised it hasn't happened sooner.


    Eternius, Supreme Omnarrator: Fladnag, ol' chap, be a good fellow and fetch the Big O for me.

    Fladnag rolls his eyes. No one 'fetches' the omnipotent Big O, not even for a powerful deity whose business cards herald him as "Supreme Being".

    Three Fates: I say! How rude of you to interrupt us, you upstart! This is our audience!

    The three fates - three beautiful women of varying apparent age - speak simultaneously, three voice saying the exact same words with the exact same inflection at the exact same time. These are not the various norns on Olympus, which is the home of Earth's gods. No, these Three Fates are the cosmic Fates, the deities that govern the destinies of all the NeSiverse, and not merely Earth.

    Memnoch: Ah, but my dears, you steal every audience you enter, with your breathtaking beauty.

    His voice is silky and deadly, a satin glove pulled over an iron gauntlet. Standing at ten meters tall, this cosmic devil - the overlord of NeSiverse's hell, rather than the devils of Earth who rule over Earth's hell - is sheathed in black shadow-wrought armor draped by a red cloak. An open-faced horned helmet reveals only blackness within, and Memnoch's charismatic voice rings hollowly out of a faceless visage.

    Three Fates: Silence, worm, we care not for your poisonous words.

    The Runekeeper: If we all would be silent, I believe the esteemed vizier has summoned us together for good purpose.

    The deity over all magic in the NeSiverse nods to Fladnag the White as silence falls among the assembled deities. There are trillions of deities in the NeSiverse, most worthy of little or no mention. Mere dozens of deities are here assembled, but even among those, only a handful are worthy of mention here.

    First, are the COSMIC DEITIES, those are powerful and influential on a NeSiversal scale.

    Fladnag the White. Technically only a demigod, he has been assigned the business of governance by his master, the omnipotent Big O, since the disappearance of Mega Jonestown Prime eons ago left the Big O as the most powerful deity in the NeSiverse.

    Three Fates. These women weave the destinies of the entire NeSiverse and all within it.

    Memnoch, Warden of Tartarus. There are many hells in the NeSiverse, such as Earth's hell. Tartarus, however, is the cosmic NeSiversian hell, where the worst of the worst are assigned at death, to be warded by its master, Memnoch. Memnoch, by dint of being the cosmic devil, is infinitely more evil and powerful than Satan, Helebon, or Darkside.

    The Runekeeper. A bald man with an expressionless face in a suit, the Runekeeper is the god overseeing all magic in the NeSiverse, which he categorizes as runes. A great bound tome is chained to his wrist and held in the crook of his arm, in which is detailed every spell, every rune, every user of magic, that there ever was or will be. The pupils of his eyes are his most unusual feature, being glowy sigils of indecipherable power rather than black points.

    Aeon. Behind his sunglasses are clocks for eyes. Though there are many local time deities and local time enforcement agencies through the NeSiverse, Aeon is the head of the NeSiversal Temporal Flux Monitoring and Adjustment Agency. NTFMAA is a horrible acronym, of course, so Fladnag once had a flunky find an obscure alien language in which to translate the agency name. In this obscure alien language, the agency's acronym is T.I.M.E. Don't ask what the words are; Fladnag asked once, and the flunky is still speaking the second word, thousands of years later.

    Phractal. Weird crystalline creature, highly intelligent, rarely speaks. The embodiment of the fractal nature of the NeSiverse and all its dimensions, mathematic and narrative. Currently, the Eternal Pantheon (see below) are slumming it in his space castle.

    After these cosmic deities, there comes the ETERNAL PANTHEON, or so they style themselves. They hold power wherever there is a story, for they are:

    Eternius, the Omnarrator. The Supreme Being. Or at least, that's what his business cards say. He is the head of the Eternal Narrative.

    PublisherGod. Theoretically, he holds ultimate veto over any story, but since he only has power where there are stories, he tends to let any lousy fanfic slide through, just to increase his area of influence. Hate Harry/Draco slashfic? Roll his celestial mansion, the way everyone else does.

    CensorGod. A self-righteous prick who takes it upon himself to decide what is and is not appropriate for a story. His greatest ability is his sonic scream, which sounds like BLEEP!

    CopyrightGod. Yeah, you've already met him, last post. 'Nuff said.

    EditorGod. Holds sway over all Editors, who themselves hold sway over all Writers. Wields a rainbow-ink pen, and paid lip-service by Geb the Editor (who really venerates Nick the God of Jam Donuts above everyone else).

    CharacterGod. On the lowest rung of the narrative totem... or the highest? Debate rages, and it's clear which side the CharacterGod comes down on.

    HorseGod. Not related to narrative whatsoever, he only got in on the basis of his on-point humor. God of horses everywhere in the NeSiverse, and as a very few know, a secret agent for R.I.T.E.

    WriterGod. A mysterious being whom many powerful and influential entities find unsettling. Some say he is the God of Writers, just as his title says - a distinctive and powerful position, to be sure, but inferior to many others. He appears to have once moonlighted as the God of Earth, back in the times of Atlantis, before voluntarily abdicating. Some whisper that he is even more, that he is none less than the Nameless... the supremely omnipotent One who rules over all universes and all stories, everywhere, everywhen.

    The third category of deities admitted to see Fladnag is the TERRAN DEITIES. Those who hold supreme influence over Earth and its powers. One would think their authority insignificant in the grand NeSiversal scheme... but one would think wrong, for certain pacts were made in the dawn of time......

    Jim Seven. Formerly the seventh devil of Earth's hell, now the God of Earth's heaven, situated in the Terran country Burundi. Not actually present (being busy with a go-kart race), in this case represented by the underwhelming Archangel Bertwick.

    Hermes Trismegistus. Representing both the ancient gods of Earth (who all currently reside in Olympus) and the magical powers of Earth, this ancient and powerful god is virtually in two places at once: here, and the Hero Force One space station, constantly superspeeding back and forth between the two locations at such impossible velocities that less than a millionth of a millisecond separates each journey.

    Chronos. The present-day Chronos (not "Fruit"), founder and head of Earth's Time Enforcement Agency, or TEA.

    Morthrandur. A mysterious undead figure, unafflicted by the traditional vulnerabilities of undead. He possesses considerable power, influence, and knowledge, and is something of a wild card among the deities and powers of Earth.

    Master Arkng Thand. Earth's oldest, first man. Knows practically everything. Possessed of supreme physical and martial skill, which he has not deigned to demonstrate for several millennia. Mysterious motives, perpetual meddler.

    Two other beings, who defy the categorization of the others, are present as well.

    Serapharch. Second-in-command to, and voice of the Nameless, a position he ascended to after his predecessor went to the dark side. Also second-in-command to Jim Seven, the god of Earth, a position he ascended to at the same time, for he and his predecessor both also chose to serve the WriterGod during his stint as God of Earth 12,000 years ago. However, when the WriterGod abdicated, the Serapharch chose to stay in his role. He is still supremely powerful as the right hand of the Nameless, but can only access that omnipotence when acting in that office. When acting in the office of Earth's heaven's right hand, he wields lesser but still considerable angelic power.

    High Imp. Formerly High Angel... Serapharch's predecessor in both that archangel's current offices. He once wielded untold power, having made pacts with every deity present, and many more beside. Through his clever scheming, none of those he bargained with could claim his soul, despite his siphoning of their powers. They still fear and respect him, but what none of them know (save Arkng Thand, who keeps the secret for reasons of his own), is that High Imp's soul finally shattered under the weight of the many pacts, and he is now little more powerful than a mere impling. He still resides in the courts of the mighty, to keep up appearances... for were any of his former power sources to know of his weakness, they would exact terrible revenge on the one who tricked them.


    Eternius, the Omnarrator: FINALLY! I thought I was gonna die of boredom during that recitation of all of us. I did perk up during the bit where he talked about me.

    Aeon: Oh, please. If you're the 'Supreme Narrator of All', shouldn't YOU have narrated that?

    Flustered, Eternius flounders for a comeback.

    Arkng Thand: Doubtlessly, it was beneath him.

    All the deities eye him dubiously, but accept his words. Eternius takes Arkng Thand's words at face value however, whereas the other deities appreciate the dry irony of his tone.

    Three Fates: What are THEY doing here anyway???

    The three women gesture simultaneously to the Eternal Narrative Pantheon and the deities of Earth.

    HorseGod: Damn. That triple-voice speaking is a bit spooky. And hot.

    Aeon ignores the HorseGod and takes the opportunity to shoot Chronos a withering look. Well, as withering a look as one can manage through sunglasses. Chronos ignores it; she may 'only' be the leader of Earth's Time Agency, but she's not about to take any guff from the cosmic Time Agency's leader, fancy obscure-alien-language acronym or not.

    Eternius, the Omnarrator: Well to answer your question, Three Fates, that's quite simple! We're here to assume control over y'all!

    On the heels of that absurd pronouncement, the HorseGod rapidly steps in.

    HorseGod: Ah, don't mind the rhetoric, folks. What he means is that, we expect certain allowances, now that the narrative has spread beyond Earth.

    Runekeeper: Nonsense. The Neverending Story is still contained upon Earth. More or less. Your influence ends there, as was agreed eons ago.

    Chronos: In case you haven't noticed, there's a new story now. You're in it, by the way.

    The Three Fates screech in indignation.

    Three Fates: You see this, Fladnag? That is what has come of this! Al Ciao and Britt the Writers are... MEDDLING! They are expanding the story to every corner of our precious cosmos! It was AGREED that the story would stay on Earth! AGREEEEEEEED!

    HorseGod: Okay, the screechy whining, not so hot.

    Fladnag rubs his eyes. This is not going to be easy.

    Fladnag the White: Alright, let's start from the beginning. The very beginning. When the NeSiverse was first being spun out of the dimensional flux.

    Some of the cosmic deities get dreamy looks on their faces.

    Runekeeper: I spun ley lines into sigils painted as stars across the cosmos...

    Three Fates: I unspooled fresh new destiny into a forming tapestry...

    Aeon: I funneled the flux into linear time...

    Hermes Trismegistus: And you worked together, blessed by the 12 God-Monarchs that were the Big O's forebears, creating a great project. You created zodiacs, ley tapestries, complex fates, all around a locus in the metaphysical center of the NeSiverse. There, at the locus, you created a planet, where all ley lines crossed, all fates intertwined. You named it Earth, and it was to be the site where the space city Mega Jonestown Prime would land. In the great ley nexus of the planet, a lush paradise called Eden, your prize awoke.

    Arkng Thand: Me. The first Man, fruit of your labors.

    Memnoch: Until the Ancient One came.

    Three Fates: Curse him!

    Fladnag the White: Yes. He assumed control of your locus, spun narrative destiny around the planet and claimed it for himself. Created a city, created a lineage, created a story. Atlantis, the Illuminohqi, the NeS. You could not stop him, not with his Ring of Ultimate Writing Power.

    Eternius, the Omnarrator: Yes, yes, and we swooped in to assume our rightful place.

    The EditorGod snorts.

    EditorGod: Our narrative influence was limited at best. That's the way the Ancient One wanted it. Created enough plotholes that even my rainbow-ink pen couldn't tame his world.

    Fladnag the White: By that time, Mega Jonestown Prime and the 12 God-Kings--

    FeministGoddess: God-MONARCHS!

    Fladnag the White: What the Tartarus? You weren't even invited here! SECURITY!

    Pig-faced Gamorrean guards drag the FeministGoddess out. Fladnag continues.

    Fladnag the White: Where was I? Oh yes. The God-Monarchs were gone, it fell to the Big O to handle things. Which means it fell to me.

    High Imp: You made a pact...

    The fiend speaks his first words of the gathering, his words veiled by a hellish glee at the irony. Aeon picks up the reminiscence sullenly.

    Aeon: Right, Fladnag, you sat us all down and made a deal with the Ancient One. He could have Earth, but that was ALL he could have. Even when the Eternal Narrative Pantheon moved in, once the NeS finished incubating, their influence was mostly limited to Earth, to the site of that gods-damned story!

    Three Fates: Yes, so what's changed?! Why are those two damn Writers spreading the influence of Earth and the Eternal Pantheon beyond their confines!!! You must stop this!

    PublisherGod: No, you must give us our prerogatives! Golden thrones will do nicely for a start.

    Runekeeper: I say, if the pact is broken, let me have Earth's magic back! I'll start with Hermes Trismegistus's soul.

    Hermes Trismegistus: I'd like to see you try! You may have a universe of magic at your disposal, but my magic is at the heart of it!

    Fladnag the White: SILENCE! You cosmic deities ought to be grateful that the Ancient One came and did what he did. Otherwise this would be a smaller, lesser universe. Mega Jonestown Prime only became as great as it did because of all the touristing entities coming through, who came through only because a story was going to be in this universe!

    Chronos: Oooh, so extra-versal visitors came because of the story, making Mega Jonestown Prime and its God-Monarchs great, before there ever was a story? Gods, I love nonlinear causality.

    Aeon: I know, right? Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey!

    Chronos and Aeon fist-bump before belatedly realizing that they hate each other. Awkwardly, they turn away.

    Three Fates: Fine. Grateful. That's us. The very soul of appreciativeness. Now get Al Ciao and Britt the Writers the hell out of my affairs!

    All eyes turn to the WriterGod, whose face can't be seen, despite being in broad daylight. The WriterGod smiles beatifically.

    WriterGod: I'm afraid I take a hands-off approach to my Writers. I'm an advocate of free will, you might say.

    Master Arkng Thand takes the opportunity to speak.

    Arkng Thand: I've prepared a holographic display for you all. If you would turn your attention this way, please.

    The lights in the room dim, and a mini-movie plays from Arkng Thand's memories.

    Quote Originally Posted by The NeS. Page 50. Post 1999.
    Earth's heroes are fighting for their lives in an arena, and the story is disintegrating around them. But then Thand's memory-view turns away from the oracular view of Deitopos's balcony, revealing that he is within the dreamstate, in a manor called Deitopos. The view pans within the manor room. Age and decay cling to the air, for in a bed, an old old man pants raggedly.

    Ancient One: Thand... I have called you here...

    Thand: Rest, old friend. You've earned it.

    Ancient One: No. Not... yet. Soon... the story... must continue...

    Thand: It no longer needs your thought to sustain it. It has grown and taken its own form, a self-sustaining life of its own. See?

    He gestures to the window, the balcony of Deitopos, the view of which spans across the world. The arena which contained horrific battles is calm now. Corpses litter the field. Lightning crackles in a shriveling sky. Two men sit in the center of it all. A shining sword splits the heavens, a beacon of hope and immortality. The Ancient One sees it, and life passes from him at last, a guttering sigh of release, even as the world reforms through the balcony view.

    Thand closes the Ancient One's eyes.

    Thand: Slumber peacefully, my friend.
    As the holographic memory-image fades, only a few - Hermes Trismegistus, High Imp, Memnoch, and Fladnag the White - notice the memory-Thand taking a ring off the dead Ancient One's hand...

    Three Fates: Wait! When the Tartarus did THAT happen? I could have reclaimed control (p)AGES ago!

    WriterGod: Not with those Writers in play, I think.

    The Three Fates try to glare at the WriterGod, but find themselves unable to direct any malice his way, and instead look awkwardly away.

    PublisherGod: Yes, it certainly feels like (p)AGES that we've been waiting for the Writers to NOTICE they can expand beyond Earth, thus expanding the Eternal Narrative Pantheon's dominions!

    EditorGod: Oy. Speak for yourself. I'd rather they stay on Earth, I already have enough plotholes to deal with as it is...

    Runekeeper: I demand that the Big O himself come out to deal with these two Writers!

    Fladnag the White: I'm afraid the Big O is occupied with important business.

    The loud moans of an alien Japanese-Expy girl's pleasure suddenly cuts through their conversation. Fladnag doesn't miss a beat.

    Fladnag the White: Extremely delicate matters.

    Memnoch: I've no problem with this. More souls for the 666 circles of Tartarus, after all. And maybe I can bring Earth's hell under my boot.

    Arkng Thand: The current ruler of Earth's hell is technically on the books as a member of Hero Force One.

    Memnoch: Hero Force What?

    Three Fates: Curse them! They are the center of Al Ciao and Britt the Writers' machinations! This story revolves around them!

    Chronos: If that's the case, why are there so many posts in a row that barely involve them?

    CensorGod: For such powerful beings, you're all missing the point. You do know of Al Ciao and Britt the Writers, yes? Even as they expand the Eternal Narrative Pantheon's domain, we live in fear of them, for their destructive ambition knows no bounds. Only the Ancient One's pacts, that sustained the NeS for so long, curtailed them, and that only because they chose to respect it. In a new story, with no bounds... I shudder to think what might happen.

    The deities who know of these two dastardly Writers shudder. The deities who don't consult various divinations and then shudder. If the Big O was present, and not busy with "delicate matters", he would shudder too, already having been a victim of the two dastardly Writers in the past.

    Morthrandur: --If you wish to deal with Al Ciao and Britt the Writers, it is Hero Force One with whom you must deal. If you wish to exert influence on Earth, it is upon Hero Force One which you must exert. If you wish to expand your influence into the cosmos, it is through Hero Force One that you must expand. They are the locus of this story, and it revolves around, moves through them.--

    The various deities and powers look around at each other, meeting gazes, taking the measure of each other. The 12 God-Monarchs could have unified this group, but they are gone, and the only noble baron-deity of Mega Jonestown Prime left is the Big O, who holds no interest in doing so. It is left to Fladnag the White, the Big O's vizier, to bring them to consensus. He looks at Arkng Thand, the man who knows everything. Arkng Thand meets his eyes, then flicks his gaze briefly to Hermes Trismegistus.

    Fladnag the White: You know something, Hermes?

    The sorcerer-god smiles tightly.

    Hermes Trismegistus: I highly recommend you all acquaint yourselves with R.I.T.E. I believe they may hold the key to Al Ciao and Britt the Writer's eventual plans... and defusing them, if necessary.

    There is a long silence. High Imp is the first to break it.

    High Imp: You are currently a member of Hero Force One, are you not, Hermes?

    ----------

    On the Hero Force One space station, the heroes and Lobo Ono are convening in the war room.

    Dr R. Deep: Now that that... misunderstanding is settled, we should focus on the task at hand. Namely this catastrophic battle. Then we can focus on getting this galactic supercluster back to Earth.

    Magick Snowflakes: Somehow...

    Hermes Trismegistus: Actually, about that. I think we should keep the supercluster where it is for a while.

    The other heroes look very sharply at Hermes.

    Qhobeg: What the hell are you smoking, Hermes???

    Hermes Trismegistus: Tissle-forest steam-kelp, from the Discharding dimension. Why do you ask?

    Qhobeg stares at him for a moment, open-mouthed, before Hermes catches on.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Oh right, it was a rhetorical question.

    Lobo Ono: Hang on, Mage.

    Deep, Magick, and Hermes Trismegistus all look at Lobo Ono expectantly. Lobo Ono scowls.

    Lobo Ono: How many magic-users does one team need, anyway?

    Qhobeg gestures out the window at the distant battle.

    Qhobeg: Judging by that fracas... more than we've got.

    Lobo Ono: Whatever. Trismegistus... you seem to be... flickering.

    Hermes Trismegistus raises his eyebrow.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Those are some VERY acute sense you have there. Yes, I'm superspeeding back and forth between here and Tatooine.

    Ben, the Company Kid: Tatooine? But that place isn't real!

    Lobo Ono: Yes, it is, just not the one you're thinking of. So what do you happen to be doing on the NeSiverse's supreme god's home base?

    Hermes Trismegistus: Let's just say, you're about to get a call from your boss.

    At that moment, Lobo Ono's highly futuristic cell-phone-analogue rings, and he answers it.

    Fladnag the White: *over highly futuristic cell-phone-analogue* New priority. Keep supercluster safe, but do NOT seek its return for now. Ensure local stability, then investigate R.I.T.E.

    Lobo Ono: I... see. Understood.

    He hangs up, and looks at Hermes Trismegistus in surprise.

    Deep: What, exactly, is this R.I.T.E.?

    Hermes Trismegistus: Getting to that. They're the mysterious entities, identities unknown, who moved the supercluster. I believe they have good reason for doing so, a reason that could save the universe in the long run.

    Seraphim: Not if it sacrifices the supercluster in the short run! What about those space monsters?

    Lobo Ono: Netherwyrms. We're safe from them at the moment. Special magitech project has been deployed. You're not cleared to know more than that.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Project Nova Shroud, it's literally cloaking the entire supercluster.

    Lobo Ono: Dammit, Hermes, how do you know these things?

    Hermes Trismegistus: I would tell you, but we have another order of business.

    Deep: We do?

    A shimmering of silvery sparkles heralds a long-distance teleport onto the station. A hulking fiend appears behind Hermes Trismegistus, with a horned visage and batlike wings. Ben yelps in fright, and Seraphim's jaw drops.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Quite. Meet High Imp, Hero Force One's newest member.

    Magick is staring in horrid fascination at the demon. Seraphim is in shock, but she knows him in person, and parted from him peacefully the last time they met, in Canada. Ben is hiding under his chair. Qhobeg's jaw has dropped open and is working soundlessly. Lobo Ono has knocked his chair over getting to his feet, and has all six of his guns cocked and leveled at the demon. Deep is unmoved, his face expressionless.

    Deep: And why, exactly, do we need him?

    Hermes Trismegistus: Oh come off it, you already have one demon on the roster, even if he wasn't originally a demon when he signed on. But for starters... he has the Ordimarian Devil on speed-dial.

    A slow grin spreads across Dr. R. Deep's face.
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 08-02-2015 at 10:00 PM.

  37. #37

    Deep Talk

    Doctor R. Deep slowly smiles at the mention of the Ordimarian demon.

    Deep: "I must speak with The Company Kid now. Judge, please manage the team with our new member."

    Benjamin Majir: "Me?"

    Judge: "What?"

    The doctor starts walking into a side-room with Benjamin Majir when Judge stops him and pulls him aside. Benjamin looks around rather confused and helpless. The other HFO members, for now at least, are distracted by High Imp listing off his litany of "credentials" -- mostly thinly-veiled threats than anything else. Judge and Deep hold their own conversation in whispered tones that, thanks to Qhobeg's unconscious storywielding powers, allows it to remain unheard by anyone else.

    Judge: "What's the meaning of this, Deep."

    She was not asking, but demanding.

    Deep: "I just need a few minutes to talk with Ben, and you're most qualified to keep our new ally in check in my absence."

    Judge: "Don't play this game with me, Doc. I know what you mean when you talk of "managing" the team. You want me to take the Patriot's place, don't you? Well it's not happening. I'm just the muscle. Sera's more qualified to uphold our image without him or Citizen Rex, and you know the U.S. has issue with a non-American leading this group--"

    Deep: "This isn't the time to debate this. This team needs strength right now. We're not dealing with a normal crisis here... You know I'm right. I'll help you with the finer points later."

    Though still clearly displeased, Judge lets go of Deep, allowing him to take Benjamin Majir into a side room. Meanwhile, Qhobeg continues to squint at High Imp.

    Qhobeg: "You seem familiar... did we meet at Stone-something? A Coldstones maybe? You know how the Hell-cloning process is with memories, right?"

    High Imp ignores him.

    Qhobeg: "How cold."

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

    Back on Tatooine, the various deities of the NeSverse continue their quarreling cabal, not yet wholly satisfied with the results thusfar.

    Three Fates: "Why are we letting mere Writers dictate our affairs? Eternius!"

    Eternius clears his throat nervously.

    Eternius: "Yes. Well, Writers are really not worth my attention. And as you all know, delegation is... key to maintaining... PublisherGod! It is PublisherGod's duty to dictate what material a Writer's work can be issued for all to see."

    PublisherGod sits frozen, a bead of sweat running down his divine temple.

    PublisherGod: "Of course. Many thanks to my superior for his wisdom and charity. I, obviously, don't deserve such recognition--"

    Eternius: "Nonsense! Now tell the nice ladies how you'll take care of these troublesome Writers."

    PublisherGod: "Take care of them, yes. Take care of them I would do, and will take care of them! Yes, take care of them while maintaining the highest of contracts made long ago with the God-Monarchs upon which our very existence owe thanks too--"

    Three Fates: "Get on with it!"

    PublisherGod: "--and the Writers would be best taken care of by the EditorGod!"

    EditorGod: "Why you little--"

    Three Fates: "Why haven't you dealt with these Writers already?"

    EditorGod: "Uh-uh-uh...."

    Fladnag the White: "Perhaps this was really an internal affair gone wrong. It may just be best for us to temporarily pool our power together to smite these Writers and those that have failed to keep them in check."

    EditorGod: "There's no need for such drastic actions! I assure you, I have it under control... I hold control over Gebohq the Writer, after all. I'll have him stop whatever plot Britt and Al are posting forth."

    HorseGod: "Yes, I know of that Writer's influence, and he'll certainly do the job. A grand solution, EditorGod. Well done!"

    The EditorGod sighs in relief as the cabal murmurs in agreement.

    Master Thand: "A word of caution. Do not invoke that Writer's will lightly. He seems to have taken little interest in this divergent thread of the narrative fabric, and that may be for the best. I would recommend this group continue to discuss further alternatives, if for no other reason than that we all know the nature of Writers."

    The group murmurs again in agreement. Jim Seven looks up from his 3DS.

    Jim Seven: "So who's up for a lunch break?"

    Enthusiastic chatter raises at the suggestion. Master Thand puffs his smoking pipe in thought, musing to himself.

    Master Thand: "If that writer becomes involved, I'll need to step in to keep him distracted..."

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

    Meanwhile (HFO count: hero force one! Wait, two? The count is already done for!), Doctor R. Deep offers Benjamin Majir a seat in their side room, while Deep takes his own seat at the other side of a desk. The two sit for a moment in silence, with the doctor clearly thinking of all that he wants to say. Ben shifts in his seat nervously while the silence drags on before finally finding the courage to speak up.

    Ben: "Am I... in trouble, sir?"

    Deep: "What? No. Not at all!"

    Ben: "Am I being sent on a suicide mission?"

    Deep: "No! I mean, not on your own. That is... I just wanted to have a talk with you."

    Ben: "Uh... ok. What about?"

    The doctor collects himself.

    Deep: "Before your assignment as the Company Kid for Hero Force One, you had a... colorful history."

    Ben: "I assure you, sir, my life as a thief is behind me!"

    Deep: "You're not on trial here, Kid. And I was talking about your time with a group that called themselves NeS Heroes."

    Ben: "Oh. Yes, I did... briefly."

    Deep: "Can you tell me about your time with them?"

    At the mention of the request, Benjamin Majir grows significantly uncomfortable, which is saying a lot, given his previous discomfort and nervousness. He takes his cowboy hat off and looks at the inside of it, which held another handmade hat. He holds the hat to his chest before looking back up at Doctor R. Deep.

    Ben: "If it's all the same, I'd rather not. It was really rather unremarkable, honestly."

    Deep: "I suspect that's not the case, at least to you, and I'll accept it all the same. Compared to the Hero Forces, those in the Hero Union... hell, even to most of the self-serving snakes in the ACC, the NeS Heroes hardly make news and more often than not give us heroes a bad name--"

    Ben: "ACC?"

    Deep: "Adventurers & Champions Conglomerate. They're a rather shady parent group acting more through their subsidiary hero groups, sharing only the common goal of profit. My point, Ben, is that those NeS Heroes are often way out of their league, and frankly, deal with the Narrative Theory as fact, with cultish obsession for that "NeS" of theirs."

    Ben: "But isn't Qhobeg...?--"

    Deep: "Useful. Sometimes. You and I both know he's a few screws loose. Look, I'm familiar with Narrative Theory, and I know you've experienced its odder symptoms. I don't doubt that people like Qhobeg have tapped into something significant... and that's the heart of what I wanted to talk to you about. I know you've had experience with this, and unlike the others -- especially Qhobeg -- I know you've got a good head on you. So I know when I tell you that, in all honesty, Hero Force One is now way in over its head, resorting to options like a "Deus Ex Machine" as a reliable solution, I can count on you to stand by my side and talk straight. You've been with that group of NeS Heroes, who manage like cockroaches to survive against odds they have no right of surviving. You've seen that group dabble in those questionable methods. I have no intention of leading Hero Force One down that path of throwing our fates to the wind. I want us to stay grounded, and you're the only one on this team that can do that. Do you understand, Ben?"

    Benjamin Majir takes the time to control his breathing, using his time to think of how to answer the doctor.

    Ben: "Permission to speak, sir."

    Deep: "Yes, that's why you're here--! ...Yes, Ben. Please speak your mind."

    Ben: "I never really wanted to be on this team. I'm a half-step away from dying at every turn I take with people on this team. I'm only here due to circumstance, and because my life up that point, unfortunately, was even worse. I have to control my every word just so I'm not screaming my head off at the insanity of all this. Quite honestly, the only use I can be on this team at this point is to fetch drinks and inevitably give my life to save someone more important. I want to help, I really do. I just can't help you the way you want me to. I just can't. I must respectfully decline, sir."

    Silence fills the room once more.The doctor drums his fingers together, giving what Ben has said fair thought. He stands up and starts walking towards Ben.

    Deep: "I'm glad we've had this talk, Ben. It reminds me of a talk I had many years ago with my old Master Thand."

    Deep slaps his hand on Ben's shoulder.

    Deep: "Good to have you by my side -- you'll keep us in check for sure."

    Ben: "But--"

    Deep: "Come now, Company Kid! We have a universe to set right, and everyone's depending on Hero Force One!"

    Ben: "But--"

    The doctor walks out of the side room and back to the other team members. Benjamin Majir sighs and puts his hat back on as he makes his way to follow back out.

    Ben: "Bloody hell. You should have stayed in the sewers, Ben. At least the **** there was tolerable..."
    Last edited by Gebohq; 08-02-2015 at 07:41 PM.

  38. #38
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Fruit's Recruitment

    Qhobeg: "So who died and made Hermes the boss? Deciding who gets to be a member and who doesn't!?"

    Hermes: "You know I'm right here?"

    Seraphim: "I actually agree with you Qhobeg. At least in terms of the individual in question being completely untrustworthy."

    High Imp: "Uh... you know I'm right here too?"

    Hermes: "Your own lover was a demon, Seraphim."

    Seraphim: "And a demon of integrity! This High Imp is nothing but a power-mad scoundrel!"

    High Imp: "Scoundrel!? ... I kind like the sound of that..."

    Judge: "Alright guys, it may have been decided that leaving the supercluster where it is for now, but that doesn't mean we can't plan for returning it eventually!"

    Qhobeg: "Who died and made you the leader, huh?"

    Judge: "Deep."

    Qhobeg: "Deep's dead!!?"

    Judge: "No, you imbecile! He just made me team leader! If you don't start pulling your weight, I'll make you do laps of the station!"

    Qhobeg: "Bollocks..."

    Judge: "So anyway. I'm thinking we go and get that Big Red Button thing."

    Seraphim: "The Reset Button."

    Judge: "That's the one. We get that and we can use it if we need to."

    Hermes: "It really won't be necessary..."

    Judge: "You'll forgive us if we don't take your word for it, Old Man. You're a slippery, sly devil yourself. No offence to you, High Imp."

    High Imp: "None taken."

    Judge: "You seem to have suddenly developed blind faith in this weird cult, but we haven't. What's to say that R.I.T.E. will even bother to return the supercluster when they'e done with it? They get whatever the Hell they want and just shrug their shoulders when it comes to returning the Laniakea Supercluster? No. We need some kind of assurance that we'll be able to return it with or without R.I.T.E. Either we use the device or... you said R.I.T.E. want powerful artefacts, right? I'd say the Reset Button fits that bill. We get it, we could trade it for the Laniakea Supercluster if they're not willing to return it of their own accord..."

    Qhobeg: "Wow... that was like... surprisingly competent thinking, Judge! I'm impressed!"

    Judge: "That's it! Five laps round the station, Qhobeg!"

    Qhobeg: "I-It was a compliment!"

    Magick Snowflakes: "A kind of back-handed compliment, Qhobeg..."

    Flax Hyperon: "C'mon, weed! Get a move on! You need some muscle anyway!"

    Qhobeg, crying, runs off. Judge's Yoshi chases after him - extra incentive to complete the laps.

    Judge: "Seraphim. Did you get the location of the Reset Button?"

    Seraphim: "I did."

    Judge cracks her knuckles.

    Judge: "Let's prep to go, team!"

    ----------

    The HorseGod grins a big horsey grin at the bartender as he is given a pint of brown ale. He neighs in delight, much to the disquiet of the barman but he's being paid good money and, frankly, he's seen uglier people than a bloke with a horse's head. Then the barman freezes. As do all of the other people around them. The small, square TV on the wall is likewise.

    Chronos: "You wanted to meet me?"

    HorseGod: "That's right! Listen. I've heard tell of a warrant for the arrest of a certain powerplaying individual."

    Chronos hops onto a bar stool beside the HorseGod. They had both retired from the meeting on Tatooine and were now sitting in a space-bar aboard a station floating around said planet. HorseGod supped his space ale.


    Chronos: "Any information that leads to an arrest you'll get a reward."

    HorseGod chuckles his horsey laugh.

    HorseGod: "Actually, we were hoping you'd help us."

    Chronos: "Us?"

    HorseGod: "R.I.T.E."

    Chronos: "You mean the plebs that moved an entire supercluster?"

    HorseGod: "That's right. You don't know it yet, but our goals are aligned."

    Chronos leans on the wooden bar. She snatches a glass of tequila from a frozen woman beside her.

    Chronos: "I'm listening."

    HorseGod:
    "Join us, Chronos. You'd be infinitely useful to our group and you'll get your man."

    Chronos: "Heh. Infinitely..."

    HorseGod sits and waits, not getting the joke. Chronos rolls her eyes and downs the tequila in one mouthful.

    Chronos: "Okay. Let's say I join you. What do I have to do?"

    HorseGod: "You help R.I.T.E. attain more assets. That's the only way to defeat him and his pending invasion."

    Chronos: "Invasion!?"

    HorseGod: "That's right. It's not just his crimes against time, it's everything about him that is now a threat to the NeSiverse. That and he's really mean to horses!"

    Chronos: "..."

    HorseGod: "You know, he was so nice to horses when he was just an Armenian Prince... but now. He's just such a... big meannie!"

    Chronos pats HorseGod as he begin to cry.

    Chronos: "There, there."

    HorseGod: "Thank you. So. We need artefacts. However you get them doesn't matter. Could be people, objects, worlds, metaphors, whatever you can get your hands on."

    Chronos: "So you're basically a bunch of cosmic kleptomaniacs?"

    HorseGod: "I believe you were something of a kleptomaniac in your youth, Chronos?"

    Chronos: "Master Thand has a big mouth at times. But yeah. I'll do it. If it brings Highemperor to my prison cell again, it seems like a good team up. I'll use my power over time to go and get you what you need from anywhen."

    HorseGod: "Groovy! Your codename from now on is Tempus!"

    Chronos: "Are you serious? That's not going to conceal shi--"

    HorseGod:
    "It's enough. My codename is Neighbour."

    Chronos: "Oh that's hilarious..."

    HorseGod: "Is it? Why?"

    Chronos: "Neigh... bour.... You didn't even notice. Bloody Christ, what am I getting myself into?"

    And so Chronos joins R.I.T.E. and her first acquisition was Marquis Rosslefot of Discharding, making her travel just a short while back into time to find him checking into the Cosmic Customs House...

    ----------

    The shuttle hurtles through the atmosphere of their target planet. It comes to a bumpy halt as it lands on the surface. Hero Force One slowly exit the shuttle and Judge leaves go of the controls. They step on the surface.

    Seraphim: "You landed us on a city rooftop?"

    Judge: "That's right. The countryside doesn't exist here except as a concept of 'the other'."

    Qhobeg:
    "What does that even mean?"

    Judge: "It means welcome to Wayne's World! Planet of 90's pop culture references!!"

    Four shadows of turtle-men leap by them.

    Qhobeg: "Duuuuuuuuude..."

  39. #39
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Wayne's World

    Magick Snowflakes: "Turtles were from the late 80s..."

    Judge: "Late 80s counts! And shut up you! You weren't even born then!"

    Magick sticks her tongue out at Judge.

    Flax Hyperon whips out a piece of Star Trek-esque equipment to scan for their target equipment.

    Flax Hyperon: "It's in the building opposite. About the forty-second floor."

    Judge: "Okay. Time for me to flex these telekinetic muscles. I'm not used to throwing people very delicately... but I'll do my best. Qhobeg, you're up first."

    Qhobeg: "Whoa!? Why me?"

    Judge: "I've thrown you around more than anyone else. I'm use to your weight. Besides, if you get hurt it's no great loss."

    Qhobeg: "That isn-- WAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!"

    Qhobeg crashes through a window on the forty-second floor.

    Magick Snowflakes: "Cowabungaaaaaa!!"

    She leaps from the building.

    Judge: "She has mental problems, I'm sure of it."

    Half-way down the building Magick exerts her will to quickly incant a spell. Wind throws her back upwards and an angle so that she rushes towards the now open window. The wind slows until she gently glides through with a graceful landing. She grins down at Qhobeg, who lies in a crumples and pitiful heap.

    Magick Snowflakes: "I think you and Judge are going to be a great couple, Qhobeg!"

    Qhobeg: "I... can't... feel... my spleen..."

    Seraphim flies through the window with a powerful and majestic beat of her wings. She lands and moves aside so that High Imp could also fly in.

    High Imp: "I hope it's not always this easy..."

    Seraphim: "It's not."

    Next comes Flax. He hurtles through the window, propelled by the same telekinetic force that had sent Qhobeg through the window. However unlike Qhobeg, Flax rolls purposefully along the floor then jumps up with his phasor gun at the ready.

    Flax Hyperon: "All clear."

    High Imp: "No ****, Sherlock."

    Flax holsters his gun and glares at the demon.

    Seraphim: "Let's start looking-- Uh oh."

    Trouble had finally found them. Several young men burst into the room and hold up their plastic-clad arms.

    Magick Snowflakes: "They... they all have Power Gloves!!?"

    The lead Power-Gloved Grunt removes his sunglasses to distinguish him from the rest of his similarly garbed posse.

    Seraphim: "Defend yourselves!?"

    Upon that command the grunts activate their gloves. Pixelated power radiates from the gloves in waves, straight towards the heroes. Magick quickly rises up a shield of ice to defend them, forming a thick wall across the centre of the room. It only takes second for cracks to appear.

    Magick Snowflakes: "How can we de--"

    Suddenly the bullet-like figure of Dr R. Deep propels through the window, fired by telekinesis and burning with raw magical energy, Deep crashes through the ice and lands on one of the grunts. High Imp charges through the gap but is instantly struck by several pixelated arrows that dig into his demonic body. With a cry he smacks the arrows off of his skin and leaps at the nearest grunt. The grunt instantly has a pixelated sword and shield to defend himself.

    Another grunt uses his power glove to create a new horizontal wave of pixel energy that expands out from him. Anyone wearing a glove was protecting. The walls cracked, the ice shattered, and the heroes are all struck and sent flat to the ground.

    Finally Judge zooms into the room, protected by her telekinesis, and slams her fist into the grunt's jaw. With three of the grunts in combat, the leader grunt then whips out yet another device.


    The legacy dragon-dagger.

    He plays the notes and outside can be heard a colossal roar. Monstrous metal teeth of the dragonzord collide with the building and take a bite out of the wall. The destruction destabilises the floor and Qhobeg is suddenly toppling from the building.


    Qhobeg:
    "Holy crapcaaaaaaakes!!!"

    Judge leaps after him.

    Magick Snowflakes: "See? I was totally right! She really likes him!"

    Judge's voice rises up from somewhere far below.

    Judge: "Proof of nothing!!!"

  40. #40
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    As Qhobeg is falling, a thought occurs to him.

    Qhobeg: Wait, doesn't the Dragonzord come out of the ocean? But I see no ocean around here!

    He deftly wields the story, and POOF the Dragonzord is gobbled up by a plothole!

    Qhobeg: Dammit, I'm still falling. Time for more storywielding!

    Suddenly, he finds himself frozen in mid-air, no longer falling.

    Qhobeg: Dammit, Judge, just ONCE I'd like to save myself without any help from you.

    Judge does not reply, and it's at that moment that Qhobeg realizes he isn't limned in the purple glow that heralds Judge's telekinesis.

    Chronos: You really might want to rethink using your powers to retcon getting knocked out the window. That would make you a time criminal, and I'd have to intervene.

    Qhobeg: But it would save my life!

    Chronos: Hey, I don't make the time laws... oh wait, I do.

    There is a poof of light, and another being appears.

    Aeon, Cosmic God of Time: Chronos, you're out of your jurisdiction! This is NOT Earth by a long-shot!

    Chronos: It's Wayne's World, full of Terran pop culture references, close enough.

    Qhobeg: Er, while you're having your domestic spat, could you unfreeze me so Judge can save me already?

    Chronos idly waves a hand, and Qhobeg finds himself falling again, the two time deities vanished. Suddenly he is limned in purple telekinesis, and Qhobeg sighs, resigning himself to being saved yet AGAIN by the Brit beauty.

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