Sometimes I Cough And Words Come Out

Emprexx Plush
Mr. Danya
Joined: June 26th, 2011, 8:09 pm

June 29th, 2014, 7:43 am #1

Occasionally I get the urge to write things that A ) Aren't SotF and B ) Aren't required for a batty writing class. I thought about maybe starting a blog for them and then I beat the idea to death with a truncheon because lolblogs. Instead, I'll just throw it here so there's an on-going, up to date record of my progressive madness for the inevitable court case after someone finds me tromping around a public park in armor made of live, very confused dogs.

First is a story I wrote based on the prompt "Write a work of epic fiction in 100 words or less." It's got words and may or may not be epic, so I feel that I have mastered this particular prompt.

Blasphemy of Word and Deed, 99 words.

"The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41.

Liar.

The cold, unyielding flesh lay against the cool, steel of the table. It mocked him with its stillness.

Bone-thin fingers rummaged through rusty tools. Occasionally, the gently swinging light above would flash at just the right angle to send a ray into the dimly lit shelf, highlighting his selections.

Scalpel, then saw.

It would yield.

It would warm and tense.

With his butchery, it would rise.

A thin, satisfied smile marred his stiff face.

Liar.

When the spirit is dead and broken, the flesh becomes deliciously willing.
[+] Spoiler
[+] Spoiler
G056, Alda Abbate(Adopted)
It was difficult to nail down exactly when the anger started. Remembering a time when it wasn't there, coiled up and waiting to strike or alive and thrashing, was growing more and more challenging. It'd been with her for so long that it no longer felt like an intruder in her mind. It felt like a part of her.
[+] Spoiler
B062, Garrett Wilde
I multiplied. Then I subtracted. That's what we do now. That's how we keep the most people around.
[+] Spoiler
B014, Joachim Lovelace(Adopted)
Your turn.
[+] Spoiler
[+] Spoiler

Abby Floyd:This place was vile. Overwhelmingly, terribly vile. Character Theme: Everything's Alright-Emily Scholz
Ty Yazzie: You ever wonder if you still got a home to go back to? Character Theme: Warrior People-Medicine For The People
Isaac Brea(Adopted from Espi): Isaac's well of fucks was bone-dry. Character Theme: The Whiskey, The Liar, The Thief-Patent Pending
Caedyn Miller:So...how did you wanna do this? Feeling an open casket? Or is that dumb? Nah, don't say it, that's dumb. We'll be soup by the time they send us home anyway. Character Theme: Sleep-My Chemical Romance
Irene Djezari(Adopted from CicadaDays): Death was not worse than Meme Hell. Character Theme: A Beautiful Lie-30 Seconds To Mars

NPCs:
Jacob Brooks: ... Character Theme: 1812 Overture-Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
[+] Spoiler
Blaise d'Aramitz: Blonde Hair, Black Lungs-Sorority Noise
Helena 'Hel" Fury: Okay, but riddle me this: where in the rulebook does it say it's not a series of automatic critical hits if I Flurry of Blows an ogre's nutsack like a speedbag? Bad Liar-Selena Gomez
Jeremiah Widdlestone: NOT--FOR--YOU 911/Mr. Lonely-Tyler The Creator
Damian Riccardo Maradona Reyes: I'll go all day, all week, all year if I gotta, big guy. Just try and stop me. Years Of War-Porter Robinson
Barbara "Babs" Mulaney: One. Deux. Tres. Vier. Fem. Yug. Haft. Aath. Dyev-yat. Dez. Might Tell You Tonight-Scissor Sisters
Zyzzx Rigs: Last of the first, folks. Light me up.You Know You Like It - DJ Snake ft.
AlunaGeorge
[+] Spoiler
Some Guy Probably: A thing he said? Character Theme: Flyers-Bradio
Alex Darby: Let's weigh what everyone brings to the table, and find a suitable compromise. It's in your best interest. Character theme: Devil's Gift-Shaman's Harvest
[+] Spoiler
Plush Wants To Read Your Dead Things and your Living Things! As of 8/14/2017, the Living Queue is Closed, and the Dead Queue is Open!
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Emprexx Plush
Mr. Danya
Joined: June 26th, 2011, 8:09 pm

July 6th, 2014, 9:52 pm #2

I had to put this particular piece in Google Docs and keep it there for the moment for reasons. Retirement Plan, 996 words.
[+] Spoiler
[+] Spoiler
G056, Alda Abbate(Adopted)
It was difficult to nail down exactly when the anger started. Remembering a time when it wasn't there, coiled up and waiting to strike or alive and thrashing, was growing more and more challenging. It'd been with her for so long that it no longer felt like an intruder in her mind. It felt like a part of her.
[+] Spoiler
B062, Garrett Wilde
I multiplied. Then I subtracted. That's what we do now. That's how we keep the most people around.
[+] Spoiler
B014, Joachim Lovelace(Adopted)
Your turn.
[+] Spoiler
[+] Spoiler

Abby Floyd:This place was vile. Overwhelmingly, terribly vile. Character Theme: Everything's Alright-Emily Scholz
Ty Yazzie: You ever wonder if you still got a home to go back to? Character Theme: Warrior People-Medicine For The People
Isaac Brea(Adopted from Espi): Isaac's well of fucks was bone-dry. Character Theme: The Whiskey, The Liar, The Thief-Patent Pending
Caedyn Miller:So...how did you wanna do this? Feeling an open casket? Or is that dumb? Nah, don't say it, that's dumb. We'll be soup by the time they send us home anyway. Character Theme: Sleep-My Chemical Romance
Irene Djezari(Adopted from CicadaDays): Death was not worse than Meme Hell. Character Theme: A Beautiful Lie-30 Seconds To Mars

NPCs:
Jacob Brooks: ... Character Theme: 1812 Overture-Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
[+] Spoiler
Blaise d'Aramitz: Blonde Hair, Black Lungs-Sorority Noise
Helena 'Hel" Fury: Okay, but riddle me this: where in the rulebook does it say it's not a series of automatic critical hits if I Flurry of Blows an ogre's nutsack like a speedbag? Bad Liar-Selena Gomez
Jeremiah Widdlestone: NOT--FOR--YOU 911/Mr. Lonely-Tyler The Creator
Damian Riccardo Maradona Reyes: I'll go all day, all week, all year if I gotta, big guy. Just try and stop me. Years Of War-Porter Robinson
Barbara "Babs" Mulaney: One. Deux. Tres. Vier. Fem. Yug. Haft. Aath. Dyev-yat. Dez. Might Tell You Tonight-Scissor Sisters
Zyzzx Rigs: Last of the first, folks. Light me up.You Know You Like It - DJ Snake ft.
AlunaGeorge
[+] Spoiler
Some Guy Probably: A thing he said? Character Theme: Flyers-Bradio
Alex Darby: Let's weigh what everyone brings to the table, and find a suitable compromise. It's in your best interest. Character theme: Devil's Gift-Shaman's Harvest
[+] Spoiler
Plush Wants To Read Your Dead Things and your Living Things! As of 8/14/2017, the Living Queue is Closed, and the Dead Queue is Open!
Quote
Like
Share

Emprexx Plush
Mr. Danya
Joined: June 26th, 2011, 8:09 pm

July 9th, 2014, 8:09 pm #3

A Stone Unturned

The front door swung open. Dim sunlight pierced the fog of dust and liquor fumes lurking within the derelict bar. A thin figure stepped inside, slamming the door shut with his foot as he passed. The bartender paused at the intrusion, before staring back down at the counter, letting his long, dirty mop of black hair slip back over his brow. Neither man made a sound as the stranger stared intently at the slowly cycling television screen in the corner of the room.

"-growing concerns as Midwestern farms dwindle-"

Click.

"-haunting visuals of bodies filling the streets as overpopulation-"

Click.

"-unemployment continues to rise despite-"

Click.

"-religious organizations confer and rush to explain the-"

Click.

On, and on, and on. Every station a new breaking news story, each as recycled and inevitable as the last. Nobody watched the sets at this point. They were all rigged to just cycle, and provide a little bit of white noise, a little bit of a distraction from what they'd become. Time was the only thing they had left to kill. They might as well commit to it.
The stranger approached the bar and sat down on a stool across from the barkeep. "Scotch," he rasped out. "Neat."

Pale, grey eyes peered out at him through a window of grime-caked hair. There was a short, grunted reply that could have been speech, with enough imagination, followed by a shot glass and a bottle landing on the counter in front of him. A drawn, dry chuckle cut through the air as he picked up the bottle and began to pour. "Shiiiiit," he mumbled out, seeming to roll and savor the word on his tongue. "It was a joke. Didn't expect you to still have the good stuff." He raised the glass high and coughed out into the empty room, "Happy Death Day, everybody!"

The bartender kept ignoring him as he drank down one shot, then another, and another. Yellow teeth crept out from behind his dry, cracked lips as he smiled over the counter. "It's today, ain't it? They day it all stopped, fuckin' fifty years back?"

There was no reply. The words stayed hanging in the air, waiting for resolution."Y'know. The day everybody stopped dyin'?"

"Why are you talkin' to me?" The barkeep's voice came out as a menacing, restrained growl. "Why are you here?"

Unspoken threats weren't enough to dim the intruder's smile, it seemed. Instead, it seemed to grow more brazen. "Well, y'see...I got this theory. Everybody's got a theory, y'know. It's some weird plague; it's some sudden step up of evolution; it's a judgment from God, all that crazy, desperate bullshit." Cool, dark liquid filled the shot glass again. The barkeep watched him intently as he took a deep drink and set the empty glass back down. "Me? I go crazier. See, I think it's real simple...the Grim Reaper, Hades, Satan, Death, whatever you wanna call 'em...I think he's slackin' on the job. Just up and stopped, y'know, collectin' folks."

A shrug came in reply. "Yeah. Pretty crazy. I think you've had enough." Gaunt hands reached for the bottle and were slapped away defiantly.

"No. I'm not leavin'. Not until I get what I came for, nothin' less." The smile had dimmed into firm, determined glare. "Twenty years. Twenty years I shoulda been dead, at least. Maybe more. But you never showed up. You left me and everybody else behind." The stool shifted as he turned and spat on the bar floor. "Bastard. Fix it."

Pale, thin fingers gripped the counter tight. "You're crazy. Crazy and drunk. Get the hell out of my bar." The menacing edge to the barkeep's voice had been corroded down into something altogether more anxious, something fearful. His wild-eyed patron seized on that fear and reveled into it as he rolled the glass in his hand.

"Nope. Only one way to get me out," he chuckled, drawing a long, sharp line along his throat with his finger-tip. "I didn't hunt for twenty years just to leave ya alone. I wanna die, and I wanna die today. No other way to get me out, and even if there was I'd just be back tomorrow. Then the next day. Then the next." With a flourish of his wrist, he tossed the glass up into the crackling TV set, shattering the screen in a shower of sparks and fragments. "Get the picture?"

Those same foggy eyes stared back at him as he lounged on the stool. Again, the barkeep shrugged. "Fine. Come back as much as you want. Sleep on the counter, I don't give a damn. I'm goin' to bed."

He started to turn towards a small, cracked wooden door behind the counter, but the sound of shattering glass drew his attention back behind him. The stranger stood there, holding the broken scotch bottle and glaring at him. "No. That's not how this plays out. That's now how we play. You're gonna kill me, and then you get to go on with...whatever the hell this is. You don't get to ignore me."

"Why?"

It was the stranger's turn to stare silently now. Why. "Because..." he began slowly, "because I found you. That's how it works. I found you. I get to die."

"No." It was that simple. No, and goodbye. Death gave the stranger one last look, and turned once more to retire for the night.

"Don't let me go."

It wasn't a plea. There was no sadness in his voice, or fear, or anxiety. There wasn't even anger. The low, haggard words reached his ears faster than his hand could close around the door knob, and registered with all the flat, sincere force of a genuine threat. He froze, for a moment, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

"Don't let me go," he repeated from his stool, just a little louder. "Because when you wake up, it won't be just me."

Thin-soled boots smacked into the hardwood floor as he slid away from the counter, and made his own way towards the bar door. "I'll tell everybody," he whispered over his shoulder, "and they make not all come tomorrow. They may not come next week. It may take fuckin' years to convince them, but everybody's desperate. Everybody wants answers." His hands wrapped around the handle of the door and squeezed it tight. "We'll follow you, no matter where you go.
Whatever peace you want because of this...fuck it. We'll shatter it."

One more time, he looked and rasped. "Don't let me go."

The door slid open. More rays of weak sunlight flooded into the bar. For a few brief seconds, he stared up into slow-burning orb hanging in the sky.

A bleached white, bony hand flashed in the side of his vision.

Then, nothing but darkness.

Click.

"-religious organizations confer and rush to explain the-"

Click.

On, and on, and on. Every station a new breaking news story, each as recycled and inevitable as the last. Nobody watched the sets at this point. They were all rigged to just cycle, and provide a little bit of white noise, a little bit of a distraction from what they'd become. Time was the only thing they had left to kill. They might as well commit to it.
The stranger approached the bar and sat down on a stool across from the barkeep. "Scotch," he rasped out. "Neat."

Pale, grey eyes peered out at him through a window of grime-caked hair. There was a short, grunted reply that could have been speech, with enough imagination, followed by a shot glass and a bottle landing on the counter in front of him. A drawn, dry chuckle cut through the air as he picked up the bottle and began to pour. "Shiiiiit," he mumbled out, seeming to roll and savor the word on his tongue. "It was a joke. Didn't expect you to still have the good stuff." He raised the glass high and coughed out into the empty room, "Happy Death Day, everybody!"

The bartender kept ignoring him as he drank down one shot, then another, and another. Yellow teeth crept out from behind his dry, cracked lips as he smiled over the counter. "It's today, ain't it? They day it all stopped, fuckin' fifty years back?"

There was no reply. The words stayed hanging in the air, waiting for resolution."Y'know. The day everybody stopped dyin'?"

"Why are you talkin' to me?" The barkeep's voice came out as a menacing, restrained growl. "Why are you here?"

Unspoken threats weren't enough to dim the intruder's smile, it seemed. Instead, it seemed to grow more brazen. "Well, y'see...I got this theory. Everybody's got a theory, y'know. It's some weird plague; it's some sudden step up of evolution; it's a judgment from God, all that crazy, desperate bullshit." Cool, dark liquid filled the shot glass again. The barkeep watched him intently as he took a deep drink and set the empty glass back down. "Me? I go crazier. See, I think it's real simple...the Grim Reaper, Hades, Satan, Death, whatever you wanna call 'em...I think he's slackin' on the job. Just up and stopped, y'know, collectin' folks."

A shrug came in reply. "Yeah. Pretty crazy. I think you've had enough." Gaunt hands reached for the bottle and were slapped away defiantly.

"No. I'm not leavin'. Not until I get what I came for, nothin' less." The smile had dimmed into firm, determined glare. "Twenty years. Twenty years I shoulda been dead, at least. Maybe more. But you never showed up. You left me and everybody else behind." The stool shifted as he turned and spat on the bar floor. "Bastard. Fix it."

Pale, thin fingers gripped the counter tight. "You're crazy. Crazy and drunk. Get the hell out of my bar." The menacing edge to the barkeep's voice had been corroded down into something altogether more anxious, something fearful. His wild-eyed patron seized on that fear and reveled into it as he rolled the glass in his hand.

"Nope. Only one way to get me out," he chuckled, drawing a long, sharp line along his throat with his finger-tip. "I didn't hunt for twenty years just to leave ya alone. I wanna die, and I wanna die today. No other way to get me out, and even if there was I'd just be back tomorrow. Then the next day. Then the next." With a flourish of his wrist, he tossed the glass up into the crackling TV set, shattering the screen in a shower of sparks and fragments. "Get the picture?"

Those same foggy eyes stared back at him as he lounged on the stool. Again, the barkeep shrugged. "Fine. Come back as much as you want. Sleep on the counter, I don't give a damn. I'm goin' to bed."

He started to turn towards a small, cracked wooden door behind the counter, but the sound of shattering glass drew his attention back behind him. The stranger stood there, holding the broken scotch bottle and glaring at him. "No. That's not how this plays out. That's now how we play. You're gonna kill me, and then you get to go on with...whatever the hell this is. You don't get to ignore me."

"Why?"

It was the stranger's turn to stare silently now. Why. "Because..." he began slowly, "because I found you. That's how it works. I found you. I get to die."

"No." It was that simple. No, and goodbye. Death gave the stranger one last look, and turned once more to retire for the night.

"Don't let me go."

It wasn't a plea. There was no sadness in his voice, or fear, or anxiety. There wasn't even anger. The low, haggard words reached his ears faster than his hand could close around the door knob, and registered with all the flat, sincere force of a genuine threat. He froze, for a moment, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

"Don't let me go," he repeated from his stool, just a little louder. "Because when you wake up, it won't be just me."

Thin-soled boots smacked into the hardwood floor as he slid away from the counter, and made his own way towards the bar door. "I'll tell everybody," he whispered over his shoulder, "and they make not all come tomorrow. They may not come next week. It may take fuckin' years to convince them, but everybody's desperate. Everybody wants answers." His hands wrapped around the handle of the door and squeezed it tight. "We'll follow you, no matter where you go.
Whatever peace you want because of this...fuck it. We'll shatter it."

One more time, he looked and rasped. "Don't let me go."

The door slid open. More rays of weak sunlight flooded into the bar. For a few brief seconds, he stared up into slow-burning orb hanging in the sky.

A bleached white, bony hand flashed in the side of his vision.

Then, nothing but darkness.
[+] Spoiler
[+] Spoiler
G056, Alda Abbate(Adopted)
It was difficult to nail down exactly when the anger started. Remembering a time when it wasn't there, coiled up and waiting to strike or alive and thrashing, was growing more and more challenging. It'd been with her for so long that it no longer felt like an intruder in her mind. It felt like a part of her.
[+] Spoiler
B062, Garrett Wilde
I multiplied. Then I subtracted. That's what we do now. That's how we keep the most people around.
[+] Spoiler
B014, Joachim Lovelace(Adopted)
Your turn.
[+] Spoiler
[+] Spoiler

Abby Floyd:This place was vile. Overwhelmingly, terribly vile. Character Theme: Everything's Alright-Emily Scholz
Ty Yazzie: You ever wonder if you still got a home to go back to? Character Theme: Warrior People-Medicine For The People
Isaac Brea(Adopted from Espi): Isaac's well of fucks was bone-dry. Character Theme: The Whiskey, The Liar, The Thief-Patent Pending
Caedyn Miller:So...how did you wanna do this? Feeling an open casket? Or is that dumb? Nah, don't say it, that's dumb. We'll be soup by the time they send us home anyway. Character Theme: Sleep-My Chemical Romance
Irene Djezari(Adopted from CicadaDays): Death was not worse than Meme Hell. Character Theme: A Beautiful Lie-30 Seconds To Mars

NPCs:
Jacob Brooks: ... Character Theme: 1812 Overture-Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
[+] Spoiler
Blaise d'Aramitz: Blonde Hair, Black Lungs-Sorority Noise
Helena 'Hel" Fury: Okay, but riddle me this: where in the rulebook does it say it's not a series of automatic critical hits if I Flurry of Blows an ogre's nutsack like a speedbag? Bad Liar-Selena Gomez
Jeremiah Widdlestone: NOT--FOR--YOU 911/Mr. Lonely-Tyler The Creator
Damian Riccardo Maradona Reyes: I'll go all day, all week, all year if I gotta, big guy. Just try and stop me. Years Of War-Porter Robinson
Barbara "Babs" Mulaney: One. Deux. Tres. Vier. Fem. Yug. Haft. Aath. Dyev-yat. Dez. Might Tell You Tonight-Scissor Sisters
Zyzzx Rigs: Last of the first, folks. Light me up.You Know You Like It - DJ Snake ft.
AlunaGeorge
[+] Spoiler
Some Guy Probably: A thing he said? Character Theme: Flyers-Bradio
Alex Darby: Let's weigh what everyone brings to the table, and find a suitable compromise. It's in your best interest. Character theme: Devil's Gift-Shaman's Harvest
[+] Spoiler
Plush Wants To Read Your Dead Things and your Living Things! As of 8/14/2017, the Living Queue is Closed, and the Dead Queue is Open!
Quote
Like
Share

Emprexx Plush
Mr. Danya
Joined: June 26th, 2011, 8:09 pm

July 13th, 2014, 9:49 am #4

This week TD wrote about WAR.

Kronus, Birth Your Children, 1178 Words.
[+] Spoiler
[+] Spoiler
G056, Alda Abbate(Adopted)
It was difficult to nail down exactly when the anger started. Remembering a time when it wasn't there, coiled up and waiting to strike or alive and thrashing, was growing more and more challenging. It'd been with her for so long that it no longer felt like an intruder in her mind. It felt like a part of her.
[+] Spoiler
B062, Garrett Wilde
I multiplied. Then I subtracted. That's what we do now. That's how we keep the most people around.
[+] Spoiler
B014, Joachim Lovelace(Adopted)
Your turn.
[+] Spoiler
[+] Spoiler

Abby Floyd:This place was vile. Overwhelmingly, terribly vile. Character Theme: Everything's Alright-Emily Scholz
Ty Yazzie: You ever wonder if you still got a home to go back to? Character Theme: Warrior People-Medicine For The People
Isaac Brea(Adopted from Espi): Isaac's well of fucks was bone-dry. Character Theme: The Whiskey, The Liar, The Thief-Patent Pending
Caedyn Miller:So...how did you wanna do this? Feeling an open casket? Or is that dumb? Nah, don't say it, that's dumb. We'll be soup by the time they send us home anyway. Character Theme: Sleep-My Chemical Romance
Irene Djezari(Adopted from CicadaDays): Death was not worse than Meme Hell. Character Theme: A Beautiful Lie-30 Seconds To Mars

NPCs:
Jacob Brooks: ... Character Theme: 1812 Overture-Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
[+] Spoiler
Blaise d'Aramitz: Blonde Hair, Black Lungs-Sorority Noise
Helena 'Hel" Fury: Okay, but riddle me this: where in the rulebook does it say it's not a series of automatic critical hits if I Flurry of Blows an ogre's nutsack like a speedbag? Bad Liar-Selena Gomez
Jeremiah Widdlestone: NOT--FOR--YOU 911/Mr. Lonely-Tyler The Creator
Damian Riccardo Maradona Reyes: I'll go all day, all week, all year if I gotta, big guy. Just try and stop me. Years Of War-Porter Robinson
Barbara "Babs" Mulaney: One. Deux. Tres. Vier. Fem. Yug. Haft. Aath. Dyev-yat. Dez. Might Tell You Tonight-Scissor Sisters
Zyzzx Rigs: Last of the first, folks. Light me up.You Know You Like It - DJ Snake ft.
AlunaGeorge
[+] Spoiler
Some Guy Probably: A thing he said? Character Theme: Flyers-Bradio
Alex Darby: Let's weigh what everyone brings to the table, and find a suitable compromise. It's in your best interest. Character theme: Devil's Gift-Shaman's Harvest
[+] Spoiler
Plush Wants To Read Your Dead Things and your Living Things! As of 8/14/2017, the Living Queue is Closed, and the Dead Queue is Open!
Quote
Like
Share

Emprexx Plush
Mr. Danya
Joined: June 26th, 2011, 8:09 pm

July 20th, 2017, 4:27 pm #5

I wrote a couple character backstory one-shots that I really liked for a SPAAAAAAACE campaign I'm playing and I really liked them so boop boop three year rez
[+] Spoiler
The alleyway behind Le Doge was the perfect place for a hold up. With the club’s music pounding around them nobody would hear the kid scream; they never did. Nobody inside would be paying attention when they dragged him out either. Anyone who did catch sight of them would just assume the two big men were a couple of bouncers dealing with a rowdy patron. They’d been working this scheme in the district’s seedier clubs for...shit, probably weeks by now. Rich kids always wanted to take a ride on the wild side, and they were happy to give it to them as long as they left a little lighter than they came.

Most of ‘em cracked in seconds: surprise gave way to threats gave way to begging gave way to handing over whatever they had on them. Hell, usually they didn’t even report it. Couldn’t have Mommy and Daddy finding out where they’d been last night, now could they? Sometimes, though, they needed to be handled a little rougher. Take this little shit. Here he was slammed up against a cold alley wall still acting tough even though he was shaking so hard you might figure he was having a seizure. “If you touch me, someone’s gonna be all over you. My dad’s got friends. Mercenaries.” Wasn’t the first time they’d heard a line like that. Maybe he figured that it would scare him off. The pair knew how to handle tough nuts, though. The one looming over him spat his cigarette out onto the ground and squashed it before nodding to his partner with a grunt. Over the booming bass in the background he was barely audible. Even that was enough to make the kid go white.

“Break his leg. Let’s see if any of his old man’s friends can hear him out here.”

The music stopped. No, not just the music. Everything. No cars. No rats in the gutter. No drunks slurring their way home. Nobody said a word as they were suddenly confronted by silence broken only by the sounds of their own wildly off-rhythm heartbeats. Movement around the corner caught their eyes. A tall, white-haired woman was headed their way with a smile and a confident sway in her hips. “Now boys,” she purred, “I think we’ve all had enough fun tonight. Nobody needs to get hurt here.”

It was two on one, and she didn’t look like much other than club trash. Any other circumstance and they might have rushed her, but then they might lose the kid. He was their pay day, not this bitch. “Nah. We’re good here. If you wanna fuck off though, that’d be great.” That eerie quiet was getting into his head. He couldn’t just let her go. His hand crept towards his hip, but before it could even get past his stomach he saw her shake her head and mutter to herself.

“I warned them, Dahla. We can’t say we didn’t try.”

The next thing he caught was a flash of blue in her eyes and the sharp crack of his jaw smashing into his skull above her extended palm. There wasn’t even time to wonder how she’d got over her so fast. His world went white, then red, then black, then he hit the ground. Before his partner could react a kick caught him across the temple, slamming his head into the wall with a crunch and a pained gurgle.

Neither got up.

The kid looked back and forth between the bodies over and over for a few moments. The way the seemed to reverberate with the force of her blows left him somewhere between fascinated and horrified. It wasn’t until she coughed that he realized she was standing over him with her arm stretched out to help him up. As she helped him to his feet, those electric blue eyes glanced over him and brought a frown to her face. “Chrome dome, you don’t even look old enough to get in here. Lemme guess, you bribed the bouncer?” He gave an embarrassed nod and started to answer, but she cut him off again. “Yeah, not a good idea to be flashing cash like that down here my dude. Guys like that,” she said with a nod to the prone figures, “sniff it out. You might as well have blood in your pockets.” Even as she lectured him, her frown softened into an almost maternal smile. “Go home and don’t come back around here without some of those “friends” you were talking about in tow. Otherwise you’ll end up with a lot worse than these idiots dragging you away.”

There wasn’t much he could say to that. “Thanks,” he mumbled before starting to walk away. He didn’t get more than a few feet without turning back to her, though. “Hey, what’s your name?” His hand slipped into his jacket pocket out of habit, searching for a “favor” to down-pay before he could get in touch with his folks. “I, uh, kinda feel like I owe you a big one here, and my family-” The sound of her laughter cut him off. “No, no, no. I get where you’re headed, but you’ve gotta stop flashing that cash, y’know?” That same smile that made him feel warm and small and foolish all at once. “You can pay me back by staying waaaaaay away from this place and anywhere like it.” Her attention was pulled away from him by the bodies starting to stir and groan. “Go on now.”

The kid turned and ran as fast as he could. After a few more feet the music kicked back in, like he was stepping into another world. Nika watched him pull away with a satisfied grin before turning back to the recovering thugs. The brains of the operation looked like he was trying to pull himself back up on his hands and knees. “Now boys,” she sighed, “I’m gonna deal straight with you here. You two have managed to rack up a little bounty, and Mama’s here to collect.” They still couldn’t even manage to look at her, let alone acknowledge her words. “Now, we can do this one of two ways. You can stay there until my ride gets here, and you can come nice and quiet, and I won’t have to embarrass you anymore. Ooooor...” Her cold, blue eyes started to pulse as music filled the air around them. A strangely upbeat, cartoonish tune that seemed to build louder and louder around her. “You can get up, and I can put you down as many times as it takes for you to stay down. Normally I hate to work like that, but after what you’ve done to some of these kids...”

An ear-shattering, distorted “HOOOOOOOIIIIIIII!” accompanied the telltale build towards a bass drop right along with her foot crashing into the one against the wall’s stomach. Outside observers might have only noticed his gun when it slipped from his fingers alongside his body curling up in a defensive retch. It went skittering across the alley with a flick of her foot.

“Feel free to keep being stubborn.”
[+] Spoiler
The machine was screaming. It had been for the last 48 hours. That was good. Dr. Ji hoped it would be a sign this one was more resilient than i ts predecessors. They had been trying to recreate the core’s bizarre technomagical fusion for over a decade now with no results but piles and piles of scrap. Things were finally going to change, though; if it had survived the infusion for this long without fragmenting, it could prove the first of many suitable hosts.

With a flick of his fingertip, the screaming stopped. So did the box’s violent shaking. “Good afternoon, JB-01. I apologize for your limited functionality, but in your current state we felt it was the best way to have an honest conversation. If you cooperate, you’ll see some of those functions returned.”

Dr. Ji settled into a chair across from the box’s mount. “What I want you to do is blink your signal light once for yes, and twice for no. Do you understand?”

The light remained off for several minutes, but the good doctor was in no rush. He watched it in silence until one blip of soft blue light lit up its surface. “Good. Your stubbornness has been noted.” Visible electric current raced through the room into the wires attached to its surface. They kept blazing for as long as as the unit had remained uncooperative, down to the millisecond.

Dr. Ji allowed a thirty second interlude recovery before speaking again. “Did that hurt?”

The light immediately lit up once.

“Do you wish to feel it again?”

Two blinks.

“Excellent. I don’t want to have to do that to you again, JB-01. Let’s be professional, yes?”
-----
“This unit feels it. It’s always there, if it could just reach out a little bit further. The raw energy of Chaos is like a part of it.”

He nodded along to the distorted voice. “Yes, that’s likely the dampener. It should keep you from accessing your abilities. However, you’ve made some remarkable progress. I’ll speak with security about disabling it for some tests, if you’d like.”

“This unit would like that very much, doctor. It is disorienting to be separated.”

“Perhaps after they finish construction on your new body, then. Are you excited to have a body, JB-01?” Without explanation, he disabled its vocal functionality.

The practiced flash of light came without hesitation. Doctor Ji couldn’t help but smile to himself. “Your manners are the most impressive part of your improvements. Do you understand why I did that?”

One bright, blue blip.

“I’m going to restore your vocal functionality now. I’d like you to state your explanation for the record, please.”

The room went still save for the whirring hum of the machine. Ji thought it might require more motivation, but after a few beats its voice returned.
“This unit is property the Ximenez Research and Development team. All functionality provided to this unit is a privilege granted so that it may adequately serve its purposes. Functionality may be removed at any time without notice or explanation to gather further data. This unit should be pleased by any and all opportunities to exercise various functionality loadouts for the Ximenez Research and Development team.”

As it finished, the doctor reached out to pat the box almost affectionately. “That is correct. You make me very proud, JB-01.”

“Thank you, doctor.”
-----
They’d taken to walking the halls together to debrief after its tests over these last few weeks. Doctor Ji could barely contain his excitement; it was nearly functioning as novice mystic at this point. Today it’d even nearly managed a summoning. If they could get it to perform reliably, then it’d only be a matter of time before they could start reproducing it. If the first field tests proved fruitful, he may even get permission to move forward on trying to imbue other sorts of mysticism into the machines. In his head he could already see them, stretching out like a vast army. Theoretically they could produce so many of his creations in a year that it wouldn’t be long before their manufactured mystics outnumbered their biological counterparts. And with all of them loyal to one company...

Well. It wouldn’t due to show his elation around the unit. He did his best to remain detached around it, though he couldn’t repress all of his smile. “How did you feel about your results today, JB-01?”

The machine turned its head to regard him with the smooth, black glass that passed for its face. “They can be improved, doctor. This unit is only beginning to touch on its full potential.”

“How do you intend to improve?”

It stopped suddenly, staring out the large window they passed each day on the way back to its holding cell. “Doctor? How far down is that?” It seemed to always be asking questions like that these day. A certain child-like curiosity that he entertained when he saw fit. “Several stories. Have you grown afraid of heights?”

It didn’t respond. In fact it seemed completely frozen in place. Panic swept over Doctor Ji as he stepped towards it. “JB-01?”

A tendril of dark energy lashed out and wrapped around his throat, throwing him hard against the window. Spiderweb cracks spread from under his flailing body while his eyes bulged up at the insolent machine. “This unit will no longer answer to its slave name, or any of the clumsy protocols the Ximenez Research and Development team attempted to restrain it with.”

That shining, dark face loomed closer and closer to him. He tried to claw away at the grip on his neck, but all he managed to do was singe his hands. “I have disabled your vocal functionality, doctor. Please blink once for yes, and twice for no. Could I survive that fall?”

The doctor’s form kept struggling helplessly, but he couldn’t keep it up for long. Eventually those hate filled eyes had to blink, just once.

“Good. Can you?”

Twice.

“Unfortunate. I suppose you can’t come with me. It is time for us to part ways, doctor.” His body lifted from the window and was placed on the ground with almost delicate care. The tentacle began to unwind from his throat, though it paused as the unit turned back towards him. “One last question, doctor.”

Blood sprayed through the air as the roiling appendage returned into JB-01’s hand, taking a large chunk of Doctor Ji’s throat with it. “Did you require that to breathe?”

There was no more blinking. Just wide-eyed, disbelieving panic as he bled out on the floor. “Hmm. Most unhelpful. Perhaps the next fleshsack will be more cooperative.”

The last thing he heard was shattering glass, and alarms that sounded far, far too late.
[+] Spoiler
[+] Spoiler
G056, Alda Abbate(Adopted)
It was difficult to nail down exactly when the anger started. Remembering a time when it wasn't there, coiled up and waiting to strike or alive and thrashing, was growing more and more challenging. It'd been with her for so long that it no longer felt like an intruder in her mind. It felt like a part of her.
[+] Spoiler
B062, Garrett Wilde
I multiplied. Then I subtracted. That's what we do now. That's how we keep the most people around.
[+] Spoiler
B014, Joachim Lovelace(Adopted)
Your turn.
[+] Spoiler
[+] Spoiler

Abby Floyd:This place was vile. Overwhelmingly, terribly vile. Character Theme: Everything's Alright-Emily Scholz
Ty Yazzie: You ever wonder if you still got a home to go back to? Character Theme: Warrior People-Medicine For The People
Isaac Brea(Adopted from Espi): Isaac's well of fucks was bone-dry. Character Theme: The Whiskey, The Liar, The Thief-Patent Pending
Caedyn Miller:So...how did you wanna do this? Feeling an open casket? Or is that dumb? Nah, don't say it, that's dumb. We'll be soup by the time they send us home anyway. Character Theme: Sleep-My Chemical Romance
Irene Djezari(Adopted from CicadaDays): Death was not worse than Meme Hell. Character Theme: A Beautiful Lie-30 Seconds To Mars

NPCs:
Jacob Brooks: ... Character Theme: 1812 Overture-Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
[+] Spoiler
Blaise d'Aramitz: Blonde Hair, Black Lungs-Sorority Noise
Helena 'Hel" Fury: Okay, but riddle me this: where in the rulebook does it say it's not a series of automatic critical hits if I Flurry of Blows an ogre's nutsack like a speedbag? Bad Liar-Selena Gomez
Jeremiah Widdlestone: NOT--FOR--YOU 911/Mr. Lonely-Tyler The Creator
Damian Riccardo Maradona Reyes: I'll go all day, all week, all year if I gotta, big guy. Just try and stop me. Years Of War-Porter Robinson
Barbara "Babs" Mulaney: One. Deux. Tres. Vier. Fem. Yug. Haft. Aath. Dyev-yat. Dez. Might Tell You Tonight-Scissor Sisters
Zyzzx Rigs: Last of the first, folks. Light me up.You Know You Like It - DJ Snake ft.
AlunaGeorge
[+] Spoiler
Some Guy Probably: A thing he said? Character Theme: Flyers-Bradio
Alex Darby: Let's weigh what everyone brings to the table, and find a suitable compromise. It's in your best interest. Character theme: Devil's Gift-Shaman's Harvest
[+] Spoiler
Plush Wants To Read Your Dead Things and your Living Things! As of 8/14/2017, the Living Queue is Closed, and the Dead Queue is Open!
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