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Band (Worm/Scion)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by BrotherMouse518, Jul 26, 2020.

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  1. Charles Flynn

    Charles Flynn Not too sore, are you?

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    I concur. I've sincerely enjoyed this story thus far.
     
  2. BrotherMouse518

    BrotherMouse518 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Alright. Last Question before I work tomorrow and get back to writing;

    Would it be clearer to set the rules of the crossover I wrote in a spoilered Info post? So people know exactly what the stakes are in terms of Scion V Parahuman?
     
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  3. Charles Flynn

    Charles Flynn Not too sore, are you?

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    Yes.
     
  4. Assblaster5000

    Assblaster5000 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Seems reasonable, yeah.
     
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  5. Extras: The Rules of the Crossover
    BrotherMouse518

    BrotherMouse518 Know what you're doing yet?

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    The Rules of this Scion/Parahumans Crossover​


    Due to how varied their powers are and how wildly different they are, having a 1:1 matchup on the mechanical scale is impossible without houserules. As the proverbial DM in this instance I have made some;

    Scions are still very much bound to their tiers and Fate, a Pre-Visitation tier Scion and a Hero tier Scion are in very different weight classes and thus cannot really punch outside of them. Fatebindings and the chains of Fate are also a factor for them, thus even if a Scion wanted to lay low in a hairy situation they WILL be dragged back into the conflict they are avoiding. No ifs ands or butts. On the flipside; as Parahumans are Human+ and not supernatural by any means, Parahumans are not bound to Fate or the tier system of Scion. So if a Parahuman was determined to disappear, nothing could really stop them.

    Why?​

    Fate loves humanity and thus doesn’t go as hard on them (as a whole)

    Parahumans who have abilities that can influence/puppet/control people no longer are guaranteed to succeed. At least against Scions and creatures of Legend. In game terms the Scion would have to roll either Willpower (in 1e) or Resolve + Integrity (in 2e) and anything they can use to modify their dice roll or dice pool (that would be appropriate in the scenario) CAN be used. Don’t matter what it is, a Scion of any tier, a creature of Legend of any stripe, can do this roll. Gods flat out negate it.

    Parahuman precognitive abilities cannot factor in Scions/Gods/Creatures of Legend AT ALL, unless that Parahuman is Fatebound to a Scion/God/Creature of Legend. Likewise, Divine/Magical precognition cannot target Parahumans barring that of a God who has a precognition Knack or Purview, or exceptionally high Legend Scion/Creature of Legend who is invoking a title as a Feat of Scale.

    In terms of matchups; it comes down to this. If a Parahuman has the Willpower to do so, if they are in more control than their Shard, they have confidence in their own capabilites, and the more the understand their powers will determine their weightclass. Unless they try to take on a God, Titan’s Avatar, or Titan

    At that point, please re-evaluate your life choices and hope they are merciful.

    THE EXCEPTION; If a Scion/Titanspawn/Creature of Legend are acting in a way that makes something Fated to happen, such as a Scion swearing an oath to hunt down and kill someone/something and taking every opportunity to fulfill that oath. Only then can Parahuman/Shard Based precognition factor in such things without being Fatebound in any capacity.

    Scions and Creatures of Legend are unable to become Parahuman. They will never Trigger. Ever. Period.

    Parahumans can become Scions (and therefore rise to Demigod and God if they last that long). However this is a very rare occurrence and requires the following;
    1. The Parahuman must become Fatebound to a Scion/God/Titan/Creature of Legend
    2. The Parahuman must perform deeds worthy of forming a Legend
    3. The Parahuman must reach a breaking point similar to one that would cause a Second Trigger. (Think of it like a Resolve roll from Darkest Dungeon but permanent; Affliction is Second Trigger and Virtuous is becoming a Scion.)

    Now on to some SUPER SPOILERS

    How do The Endbringers fit in to all of this?​

    Fate does not like them or favor them in any capacity and thus has given their favorite toys (Scions) the means to face them.

    Scions can detect when and where an Endbringer will strike within a week of the attack, however only Scions who have means of Divine/Magical precognition would be able to realize what is happening as it usually manifests as a vague feeling of “Something REALLY bad is going to happen somewhere in that direction” at best. Prophets flat out know exactly what the vague dread and direction is and will either go out of their way to warn EVERYBODY or GTFO while the getting is good.

    Usage of Scion’s Birthrights (their Relics, their Guides, their Creatures, their Followers with supernatural abilities), Purviews, and Knacks can bypass all “resistances” Endbringers have within reason (Bashing damage is still Bashing damage, that shit will not do enough to flow over into Lethal my dude stop trying to cherry tap the damn thing).

    If enough Scions (the higher tier the better) use an appropriate Purview, they can weaken or even negate an Endbringer’s “Zone Control” abilities (Behemoth’s Kill Field, Leviathan’s Storm, Simurgh’s telepathic Scream/Song) and may even be enough to lightly weaken their offensive capabilities (but not negate, Fate still wants a fight dammit)

    How do The Entities fit in all of this?​

    That we will have to get into within the Fic itself my friends

    Why have the Gods not intervened?​

    Again, something we will have to get into in the story proper.

    OK, but what exactly are The Mists?​

    This I can partially answer; When YHVH Fatebound himself into so many contradictory ways as to essentially becoming a crying mess in constant schizophrenic pain, the rest of the gods realized that they would have to withdraw from The World and let the Mortals go at it on their own (For the most part) and limit their interaction with The World to a minimum. Thus they did a lot of endgame level questing to make a worldwide “Mist” that would hide the supernatural from the mundane and keep both worlds save. Sadly it aint perfect and shit slips in to both sides quite often (so long as its small) in the modern day, bigger and bigger shit is coming in on occasion and nobody knows why (I DO, AND WE’LL GET INTO THAT AT A LATER DATE!)

    If Scions are made and active even in the time of Parahumans, where are they all?​

    The Short Answer I can give; They were told to maintain as low a profile as possible and essentially act as supernatural border patrol until given further notice.
    So what the fuck changed?
    We’ll get to that in the fanfic my friends.

    And with that, our quick rundown of the rules is over.

    IF I HAVE MISSED ANYTHING, IF THERE IS A QUESTION YOU HAD THAT WENT UNANSWERED AND YOU WOULD LIKE ME TO ANSWER IT, PLEASE LEAVE A REPLY OR COMMENT AND I WILL AMEND THIS INFO PIECE AFTER MY REPLY. PLEASE AND THANK YOU!​
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
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  6. BrotherMouse518

    BrotherMouse518 Know what you're doing yet?

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    So yeah, im gonna try and use my time indoors from the California smog and smoke to get to writing, but with what little ive been able to do the chapter will be released late sunday evening pacific time at the earliest and sometime Wednesday at the latest.

    Once again, I welcome any and all comments. complaints, and concerns.

    Thank you all. Stay safe out there
     
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  7. BrotherMouse518

    BrotherMouse518 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Guys. So I was doing research on Ellisburg, NY for the interlude i'm writing right? THERE'S NOTHING THERE! It's a town of (as of the 2010 census) 3400 people and is mostly farmland, HOW THE FUCK DO YOU LOSE IN THAT SCENARIO? IT'S OPEN FIELDS! FUCKING ARTILLERY THE FUCK OUT OF IT! HOW DO CAPES LOSE IN THAT SCENARIO? I LOOKED AT NILBOG'S POWERS AND WHAT KIND OF SHIT HE MAKES YOU COULD NOT HAVE POSSIBLY LOST THAT FIGHT? WHAT THE FUCK WILDBOW?

    T_T

    Literally the shit I was writing for how that lone survivor got Nilbog doesn't work any more and now I have to go from an urban warfare shit, to guerilla warfare IN OPEN FUCKING FIELDS. Godammit Wildbow, did you throw a dart at new york state or some shit?

    Rant over, back to writing. Please laugh at my pain.
     
  8. Assblaster5000

    Assblaster5000 Know what you're doing yet?

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    It was a matter of him building up for about week or two(?) with all that mass as a tinker and some stealth nonsense letting him take the PRT/Protectorate teams, who were there for one part recon/detective work and one part rescue mission so they didn't really have any big guns, off guard I believe.

    After that they had given him build up time and all of their thinkers basically said "If you don't bother him the world has a smaller chance of ending, so don't bother him."

    Not saying it makes sense, because it doesn't, but that's the canon explanation.

    Edit:Spelling.
     
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  9. BrotherMouse518

    BrotherMouse518 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Literally they could habe mortared the fuck out of the area, apache helicopters, NAPALM, As I recall; golden boy only got rid of the nukes and the US has the largest stockpile of weapons ij the world. The federal government is more than willing to use excessive force on CULTS in compounds. I guaranted they would habe gone LETS DO SOME WARCROMES on Nilbog's ass, the Protectorate be damned.

    Not to mention. As I recall; it is literally just the town of ellisburg, not the surrounding towns, that got hit hy Nilbog. IT ALSO DOESNT HAVE A BANK. It has a post office, a town hall that doubles up for damn near everything else the town needs, and like two stores. They have to go to bigger towns for other shit.

    I am sorry for ranting but all that progress undone

    Edit: He isnt a tinker. According to the wiki and ts citation, hes a master. He cocoons biomass in sacs and then absorbs it through these placenta sacs in his palms and shapes his monsters.
     
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  10. Assblaster5000

    Assblaster5000 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Oh totally, Nilbog not getting nerve gassed basically the second the PRT/Protectorate pulled out and confirmed there was no cicvies in the areas to even bother worrying about, purely from a PR stand point of course, makes no sense.


    But I guess the tinker thing is just pretty wide spread fanon then, so sorry for getting that wrong, I just hadn't considered that he wouldn't be a tinker considering how skittish literally everyone was about just nuking him.
     
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  11. BrotherMouse518

    BrotherMouse518 Know what you're doing yet?

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    According to the worm wiki, they suspected he was a tinker that was entirely based on making monsters, maybe a changer.

    On the initial walk in on Ellisburg the PRT would have been able to call on the following for support;

    NSA, FBI, US Marshals, State Troopers.

    Even when shit went sideways if the PRT existed as an actual alphabet soup organization, they would have been able to call ANY of those people to mobilize quickly and efficiently, in fact theyre kinda known for collabing on big unknown situations like this.

    When they were quarantining off the area the PRT would have National Guard, State Guard, Army Reserve, and any and all other branches of the military ready at a moments notice to step in an unfuck the situation violently. Especially with the world's largest stockpile of weapons in the world. Nukes or no; artillery, air support, armored vehicles such as tanks, the works.

    Ellisburg shouldn't have been a quarantine. It should have been a memorial monument to a tragedy.
     
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  12. Charles Flynn

    Charles Flynn Not too sore, are you?

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    To be honest, I think that Ellisburg's very existence is a result of the same trend that allowed Jack Slash to prosper: The government only ever sends capes and the PRT to deal with cape shit. The common, unpowered man is generally thought of as helpless, even when that's patently untrue.

    Personally, I'm not sure whether Cauldron is to blame, or if it's simply a natural side effect of what's essentially a Mycenean hero-culture: the idolization of the few, mighty elites that makes people ignore the damage a team of well-trained normals can do.
     
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  13. BrotherMouse518

    BrotherMouse518 Know what you're doing yet?

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    This is gonna sound rich coming from a story where there are Mythic heroes, but that's gonna change here. A well trained and well armed force cam even take on Demigods.
     
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  14. Miller At the Wash

    Miller At the Wash Versed in the lewd.

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    A bit of helpful information for you, Earth Bet is not and never was our Earth, nor is Earth Aleph.

    Both resemble our Earth but have significant differences, the one glaring difference is that they both have a small city named Brockton Bay in New England somewhere, there are likely many other subtle differences like their Ellisberg being significantly bigger than ours or Dr. Pepper tasting like Pepsi and vice-versa or all the weirdos in spandex flying around.

    We can't know unless its mentioned in canon what changes exist so by definition we can make that shit up!

    Edit: I underlined the helpful hint for you.
     
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  15. BrotherMouse518

    BrotherMouse518 Know what you're doing yet?

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    True. But when you use a real city, do not elaborate on the differences, and expect us to take it at face value. That's bad writing. I should know, y'all read my stuff. It aint great. I am going to take that approach but not to making ellisburg a city. Just a minor tweak that will make what our lone survivor did to survive make sense.
     
  16. BrotherMouse518

    BrotherMouse518 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Alright, here over at the Mouse Hole there has been YET MORE HICCUPS on the outlining front.

    Interludes a hefty one and encompasses the last week of winter break and as I've said before; we find out what happened at Ellisburg (don't worry I had to do a big research dive and a retool of the survivor to actually make his survivability "believable"), Taylor makes a new friend and picks up a new hobby, we get a peak behind the curtain of the divine, and a certain someone from Winslow meets our socially inept cowboy in a chance encounter with long reaching consequences.

    In the meantime, I'm gonna tide you over with some of the mood music for this trainwreck of a fanfic and a bit of a informal poll for some stuff in future

    The song that inspired me to write this in the first place;


    I have been listening to the Guilty Gear Xrd/Strive vocal tracks and holy shit they are bangers one and all. Smell of The Game here is a great anthem to destroy a status quo and keep fighting. This version of it is a fan edit removing the "What am I?" slow bit, keeping the "Best Parts". Someone made a Monday Night Raw opening to this by the by.

    Now on to the impromptu poll;

    Which of these revolvers do you like best?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Don't worry, I ain't YandereDev and the update WILL come out in a timely fashion. If I over update you on the behind the scenes shit, please tell me. Please stay safe out there and enjoy yourselves.
     
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  17. Assblaster5000

    Assblaster5000 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Ah, a fellow man of culture I see.

    As for the revolver I rather like the Remington from an aesthetic point of view, sadly I know little of actual usage of firearms so that's all I can offer.
     
  18. BrotherMouse518

    BrotherMouse518 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Don't worry, aside from the action. It wont be 1:1
     
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  19. Simonbob

    Simonbob Really? You don't say.

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    The SAA looks nice.
     
  20. BrotherMouse518

    BrotherMouse518 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Heads up ladies and gents, outlining is almost done on the interlude "Days Gone By" and it's getting a bit bigger than I'd thought it would and with work being on the busy end due to some employee fuckups I haven't had the time to write as often. With outlining being 95% done, the actual writing it out will take significantly less time and no additional research should be required (although Energy Drinks will)

    Please stay tuned. in the meantime here's a few links to some great Scion content!





    I hope you're all doing well, have a good one.
     
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  21. BrotherMouse518

    BrotherMouse518 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Ok, I don't know why i forgot that strawpoll was a thing, but from now on when I pose a poll I'll just use that. It'll also help me get results across the three forums I posted this fic too rather than having to tally posts and stuff. So as I said in an earlier post (BUT NOW WITH STRAW POLL LINK)

    Which of these revolvers do you like best?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sidenote; Coworker's Father in Law tested + for that bug thats going around so I got my coworker's shifts while he's quarantined. Gonna split the interlude in to an "A" Side and "B" Side so y'all can get that meat finally.
     
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  22. Miller At the Wash

    Miller At the Wash Versed in the lewd.

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    I think the SAA is the nicest looking gun of the bunch with the Remington being a close second. The Schofield is kinda ugly in a bad way. The Colt Thunderer looks like it has a piece missing, hard pass. The LeMat while not being that pretty has a certain ugly-cute charm to it.

    I'd say if you want something with brand name recognition that just screams revolver go with the Remington. If you want something a little more obscure go with either the LeMat or the SAA.
     
  23. Threadmarks: Interlude - Days Gone By "A" Side
    BrotherMouse518

    BrotherMouse518 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Broken/Reforged

    01/01/11

    Director Emily Piggot of The Protectorate East-North-East checked her watch for what felt the thirtieth time, counting the fifth hour since she heard word of Nilbog’s demise and of a survivor at Ellisburg supposedly being the one to do it. She waited for the initial field report of the situation on the ground, tapping her fingers against the watchface impatiently, a cacophony of questions roared through her mind as she boarded the helicopter en route to the Ellisburg Quarantine Zone. An agent aboard the chopper handed a tablet to her containing the first response field report she had both eagerly awaited and dreaded.

    The survivor had breached the wall with a household sledgehammer, a feat that boggled the mind in and of itself with the QZ’s 13 feet thick concrete and rebar walls, a sheathed sword slung to his back and the head of Nilbog hanging from a length of old rope tied to his belt. The agents and capes manning the walls had all opened fire, believing that Nilbog finally decided to breach the walls, and the survivor had dove back inside the wall behind cover to safety while trying to explain that he was human and Nilbog was dead. After a tense thirty minute standoff, the agents on site quarantined the survivor and began recon of the zone, three hours of recon and a second opinion from the Think Tank later and the Ellisburg Containment Zone was declared safe to enter and clear of all threats. Throughout the ruined town were the charred remains of Nilbog’s monsters on pikes, crude signs taunting the self proclaimed Goblin King hanging from their charred necks, the rest of Nilbog’s body was found in a farmhouse north east of the main town thought to be Nilbog’s primary residence position of the body indicating he was decapitated while kneeling. All throughout the zone was pure devastation, land that was picked clean of life to make more of Nilbog’s creatures, homes defaced with the crude “art” of Nilbog’s monsters or destroyed outright, only one spot was completely untouched from the desolation of Nilbog; a small man-made lake surrounded by large rocks, a simple dock, and an island with a lone tree in the middle. This lake was filled with freshwater fish, plants, and even some of the immediate area surrounding the lake still had grass and trees and there was no evidence of Nilbog ever attempting to defile it as he did the rest of Ellisburg.

    The survivor meanwhile underwent several dozen tests, to determine if he was affected by the countermeasures Nilbog had up his sleeves according to the Think Tank’s predictions all those years ago. The reports that had so far been completed showed no signs of contamination from biological or chemical weapons, several signs of past injuries that healed faster than they should have, and a rather advanced digestive system. Curiously, the brain scans showed no signs of either Corona Pollentia or Corona Gemma. This survivor was a mere mortal man, not a Parahuman. While this revelation brought a smile to Piggot’s face, it only raised more questions. How could a mere mortal man have survived for a decade in that hell? And how had he managed to defeat such a dangerous Parahuman? The end of the report said that aside from an agent that had brought out recording equipment, the survivor had refused to speak to anyone beyond stating that he would only speak with a PRT Director. Piggot would get her answers directly then.

    As soon as the helicopter landed, Piggot was led by several agents to the QZ’s Command Bunker, where the survivor was being held in a retrofitted M/S Containment Cell. Piggot only half listened to the regurgitated information, her focus was entirely on putting one foot in front of the other and attempting to go into the interrogation, for what else could it be, with no expectations. Finally, she was at the entrance to the containment cell’s interrogation booth. Piggot took a deep breath, composed herself, and stepped through the door.

    Towards the back of the cell, doing alternating one handed pushups, shirtless and barefooted, with a sheathed sword slung across his back was this survivor who demanded to speak with a PRT Director.

    Why hasn’t he been disarmed.” She asked one of the agents who entered with her, nametag said Briggs

    We tried ma’am.” Agent Briggs, poorly hiding how nervous he was “The sword kept flying back to him every time we took it more than a couple feet from him.”

    Agent Briggs rung his hands together before saying with all the confidence of a frightened mouse “We kind of…just gave up after a while.”

    The look of utter disdain Piggot gave to Briggs shattered what little spine he had left, leaving him to quietly excuse himself with his tail between his legs. Piggot took a seat at the console and activated the microphone control, a short squelch of feedback rang through the cell, its occupant paying it no mind.

    This is Director Piggot of the Protrectorate East-North-East.” she said with her practiced tone of authority “You wanted to talk. Let’s talk.”

    The survivor halted his pushups and looked towards the sole window of the cell, opaque from his perspective. He lazily came to a sitting position, slinging the sheathed sword across his lap and leaned against the walls of the cell. Piggot observed him, a slim and lean build, raggedy dark brown hair, scars all about his body, and rather unremarkable brown eyes. Despite how unremarkable his face was, Piggot would recall it for the rest of her life.

    Hey, I’m Dino.” his voice hailing from the deepest and thickest Brooklyn neighborhood “Didn’t think youse would’a listened to me. Good to know the silent treatmen’ still works.”

    Please state your full name for the record.” Piggot said, years of experience hiding the storm of emotion within

    Dino.” He said with a roll of his eyes “Russo.”

    Mr. Russo can you tell me why you felt the need only to speak to a Director of the Protectorate rather than the agents in charge at this facility?”

    Felt like it for one.” Dino shrugged his shoulders and cocked his head to the window “Also had a question that only a bigwig would be able to give me a straight answer on.”

    Dino closed his eyes, opened his mouth as if he were going to ask but ultimately shut his mouth and shook his head.

    Later.” He said almost quietly “It can wait till later. You probably wanna know what went down exactly.”

    That is correct.” Piggot said “If you could begin with the initial attack from Nilb-”

    James Rinke. Fucker’s government name was James Rinke.” Dino said, swiftly and with a hard look in his eyes “He wasn’t no king, he wasn’t no goblin, fairy, monster, demon, devil or otherwise. He was just some fuckin’ random asshat who snapped and got powers. Don’t give him any more power or respect than he deserves.”

    Piggot was taken aback, one for hearing Nilbog’s real name, and two for hearing someone demand that such a threat be referred to by their birth name and merely for the sake of denying them the power that their chosen name held. A pregnant pause filled the space between the director and the swordsman. Both survivors of a terrible event, one forever scarred by it and the other living it for a whole decade.

    Fine.” she said, breaking the silence “Can you begin with the intial attack by James Rinke?”

    Dino cracked a smile “There we go.”

    He smiled and sighed eyes closed in recollection

    See, it all started ‘round November. Ellisburg decided to hold a little event; a renaissance fair and medieval fantasy thing. One of the locals, guy who had a big ass property, made some fairgrounds and organized the event as a tribute to his late daughter. She loved knights, horses, tales of chivalry, the works. She had passed, cancer I think, a couple years prior and this guy wanted to do something to honor her memory and bring some joy in the world.”

    Dino chuckled to himself and rubbed his neck, working out a kink

    That’s how I got dragged into it; me, some buddies of mine, came by to help set it up and do an exhibition for the crowd. We were from a HEMA school.” His eyes popped open and he held up a hand “HEMA stands for Historical European Martial Arts. Swordsmanship, pole-arms, that kind of shit. I joined in to it cause I was a scrawny thirteen year old kid who thought that swinging a sword and wearing plate would bring in the honeys. Who knew that I’d actually enjoy it and make friends there? Anyway; my buddy Virgil, roped us all into the damn thing. ‘Come on, could be fun, LARP for some dudes and maybe find some girls who are into this to play the part of a fair maiden for the first weekend of summer vacation, make some memories’ and being a bunch of teenagers who went to shitty schools where all the ratchet shit happens, there weren’t many girls into guys who played with swords and read Tolkien, Moorcock, Burroughs, or shit like that. So we all went ‘fuck it!’ and piled into Virgil’s van and took off for Ellisburg, don’t worry we told our parents, shit I should probably call dad and ma when I get out.”
    A look of concern and surprise flew across Dino’s face, as if this were the first time he actually thought about his family. A shrug and a nod dispelled it.


    Eh, later. Either way; we drive out to Ellisburg Wednesday, I think that was the eight, we meet up with the guy who’s already got all the vendors, tents, and all kinds of shit setting up with no issues. The tourney is all that’s left and we meet up with the guy who started this whole thing, can’t remember his name I think it was Glen, and we meet up with him, we run through the shit we’ll be doing, get saftey checks, whole nine. Guy’s theme for the tourney was honoring his late daughter, got a big portrait done up of her in her favorite renfaire dress, put it up in the king’s booth and him and his wife were playing the king and queen, had this speech all prepared and he delivered it beautifully when day one of the tourney rolled around. So, me and Virgil are the ones who had to go out and grab snacks and drinks and shit for everyone on the setup days so we drove into town a lot. It was on these trips that we first saw Rinke.”

    Dino’s grin fell, becoming a deep scowl.

    Apparently guy was nabbing pets, pests, and livestock for over a week or so before we showed up. I say that cause there was all these lost pet signs, farmers complaing about a lost pig here, lost chickens there. Anyways, Rinke was always wanderin’ round the main drag looking like a tweaker or a drunk out to get a fix whenever we saw ‘im. Me and Verge just played it off ‘Oh I guess theirs asshats like that out in the sticks too’ and shit like that. Aside from that nothing out of the ordinary happened, buddies and I helped set up, we went over what we’d do for the tourney, last minute we got the OK to bring in some jousting dudes with their trained horses.”

    His grin returned, his eyes closed in recollection once more.

    Man we thought it was sweet! Glen lit up and almost cried when he saw the guys in full plate with the jousters taking a photo with the portrait of his daughter. We all were kneeling and shit, thought it’d be a good gesture, one of the guys even shouted ‘FOR THE LADY!’ at the opening for the tourney. So, first day goes off without a hitch. Crowd rolls in, everyone’s having a good time, tourney’s good, games were good. Glen and his wife were having a blast too.”

    Dino took a deep breath and opened his eyes, his face neutral

    Day two of the fair, Rinke started nabbing people from their tents. Once he had enough of his fuckin’ freaks he started storming the place. Had the corpses dragged off to somewhere, me and my buddies managed to defend ourselves somehow. We ended up chased back into town, he had his freaks sabotage all the vehicles and shit while we were asleep so the van was out, we holed up with a farmer and his family. Rinke fucked up all the phone lines so nobody could get word out and they was some accident with some cell towers so we couldn’t call out with our cells either. Farmer’s name was Chris Lambesis, his wife was Cathy, his daughter’s name was Grace, and they had Chris’ ma’ Peggy. You wanna know how I survived for so long? Chris showed us Ellisburg’s secret; a network of tunnels and bomb shelters the locals had been building in secret from the start of the Red Scare. They just kept adding on to them and making ‘em better up until Golden Boy showed up with that dumb ass loincloth diaper thing, hey it could have been worse guy coulda had his schlong hanging out in the breeze like a dumbass. See, Rinke wasn’t born and raised in Ellisburg, he only lived there because he couldn’t afford or find a place wherever he worked, there wasn’t a Bank there he worked at. Guy also did his damndest to make himself feel unwanted from what Chris told me, see he got it in one that it was ‘that weirdo yuppy banker’ that casued all this. See guy didn’t like the locals and tried to lord it over everyone, fancy car, fancy suit, that kind of shit. Guess when he lost his job he couldn’t keep up appearances and he didn’t want to accept help either. Must have got his powers when the debt collectors and bankers came to notify him of his foreclosure. I’m going off on a tangent but you get the gist; locals didn’t like him, he wasn’t a local himself, never found out about the tunnels. Chris and his family led us down there, Verge and I would go topside to find other survivors or food, maybe send help if the cell towers went back up.”

    Dino slowly pulled the sheathed sword across his lap and started tracing his left hand across the inlays of the sheath, eyes filled with contempt and disgust.

    Me and Verge got to see Rinke use his powers on a couple people. He would cocoon them with some shit that came out of his hands, liquify them, then absorb that goop and he would sculpt all of his freaks like that. A few times some dudes got out, but his freaks just-” Dino swiped his free hand across his neck “-ended them like that. We never found anybody to bring back, most of the food was gone topside, turns out Rinke could make that goop of his out of anything that was living. Plants, animals, people specifically. That was a hard week. Verge ended up buying it, leading a group of Rinke’s fuckin’ freaks away from me when we were on a run for some medicine for Grace. He died making sure that I got inside with that fucking medicine. I cried so damn long, woulda been fuckin’ loud too if I didn’t bite down on my arm.”

    Dino pointed out a place on his right forearm, deep scarring from clearly human teeth.

    Then you guys, Protectorate, came by. Christ thought you’da brought the National Guard, State Guard, State Troopers, US Marshals, maybe some FBI dudes. Naw, turns out it was, what, two or three squads? A couple capes? Either way, Chris said we had to go for it, I agreed. We popped up topside, Chris and his wife had their guns, I had my training sword, a couple of my buds had some makeshift clubs. We wandered out, ended up running in to a PRT squad, they were getting’ overrun and we all tried to help. Most of the squad bought it. This one agent, she got hurt bad. We dragged her off to a spot and hid, patched her up best we could, asked if there was somewhere we could run too. Her radio was sayin’ the capes bounced and that they were gonna evac soon. Heard the damn horde coming, took a look at everyone else; tired, hungry, trying to make peace that they were all about to die being butchered up by a bunch of freaks. Told one of my buddies, Marvin, ‘tell my ‘ma and dad that I love em, tell my nonna that I love her and that I’d be meeting Jesus and nonno and tell them she loved ‘em. Ran out a bit, started hooting and hollerin’ can’t remember what I said exactly.”

    Piggot did, vividly; “Anybody hungry? Got some prime Italian meat here, pastrami, salami, and enough balls to make a kickass sub!”

    -ran like fuckin’ hell, shouting, making noise, dunno how but I lost em and made it back to the tunnels.”

    Silence filled the room, Piggot’s hand hovered over the micophone control for a beat before she pushed the on button

    Shelter aside.” She said, hiding the storm of emotion under a veneer of distant professionalism and authority “What did you do for sustenance?”

    Dino chuckled hollowly

    Well, first two years I just did my tunnel rat thing and raided all the little emergency rations and shit the locals stashed or forgot about. Got water from that lake that Rinke never touched for whatever reason. There’s a hatch that was hidden amongst some big rocks, I’d grab water from the lake and boil it in my little bolthole. Once the rations ran out I got desperate, I had trapped a few of Nilbog’s freaks and cooked ‘em up. Like I told that agent with the microphone and camera; surprisingly good eatin’. Dry as fuck though. Even then, shit was lookin’ dark. Didn’t want to have my corpse turned into one of those freaks, hoped and prayed for y’all to turn Ellisburg into a damn parkin’ lot but that never happened. Couple of times I made a noose and tested a few spots to see if it’d be strong enough to support my weight. Obviously I never went through with it, but I came close a few times.”

    And the sword?” Piggot asked “Was it something from the fair?”

    Dino smiled and shook his head

    “Nah.” he chuckled “After year two, I found it at the bottom of that lake. Got spotted by a patrol of Rinke’s freaks. Managed to reach the lake and dove in, figured I’d wait them out or drown trying. Just swam as far down as I could, till there weren’t barely any light. Almost did drown, felt like I was fadin’. Right before I gave up, saw a glint of something.”


    Dino slowly unsheathed the sword, a glorious ring as it was freed

    This sword’s pommel. I just reached out and grabbed it, dragged it outta the mud. Figured if I was gonna die, it’d be better to die fightin’. Came outta the water, sword in hand, like I was fuckin’ Aragorn, Elric, Conan, Kane, and every other literary swordsman out there. Barely had any real form, just kept swinging, sword cut through those freaks like a hot knife through butter. Eventually, the fuckers ran when more of their bretheren got saughtered. Dragged my ass back to the hatch and slept it off, still wet and everything. See, that night I didn’t have a nightmare like all those other nights. Had a dream, a woman. Most beautiful woman I had ever seen in my life. She said the sword chose me, chose me to find it’s rightful owner. Said he’d been missing that sword for a long ass time and that until I brought it to ‘em the sword would help me. Said it’d help keep me alive until I got the fuck outta there. Soon as I woke up, knew I couldn’t be on the backfoot anymore. Had to start taking the fight to Rinke and his freaks. Started training myself, gettin’ bolder on my raids, started doing my sword forms again, had dreams that were me doing action movie montage shit that helped me focus. Eventually, ol’ Jimmy Rinke found an entrance or two into those tunnels, he tried to drown me in waves of his freaks. Didn’t think I had already thought of that, left some traps, Arnie in Predator style. Got em in a chokepoint by collapsing a couple tunnels and fucked em up. Got to a point where he stopped sending raids my way, tried to placate me with whatever those fuckers considered food. See, I just ate the messengers and he tried sealing me in. Didn’t work, he didn’t know about the real outta the way hatches.”

    Dino smiled and laughed heartily

    That’s when I got really bold, started puttin’ the fear in ‘em. Every time I’d get a couple of his freaks alone. Took some for meat, burnt the rest and put em up on pikes around corners on patrol routes. Hung signs off their necks. Baitin’ Rinke had an added bonus; his ‘children’ started thinking of me as the fuckin’ boogeyman. More I fought back, more the years flew by, more Rinke started falling apart mentally. His freaks started living shorter lives, he was runnin’ out of organic matter to make more with how much I was killin’, eatin’, and burnin’ ‘em. Then a couple months ago, I started makin’ a plan to take The Castle.”

    Dino closed his eyes yet again, centering himself with a deep breath, and his mouth turning up in a genuine smile.

    Guy made Glen’s farmhouse his own personal fortress, had his meanest freaks there. His favorites too. Started scoping the place out, found out his most favorite freaks and then I made a plan. Lead him and what was left of his army out into the open and deal with him once and for all. See, Rinke’s favorites were a ‘mother’ and ‘daughter’ pair, they even talked. See they went out to their little well they collected rainwater and snow from. I was waiting, nabbed em, put em up on unlit pyres I set up outside The Castle. Acted like I wanted to parley or ransom them. His forces came out, he came out on the walls he made. Offered heaven and earth for ‘Polka’ and ‘Dot’, I even played along a bit. Told him if he could give me the lives of everyone he had killed then his children would go free. He tried to think of a clever way to adress it, got bored and lit those pyres up!”
    The cell filled with Dino’s rapturous laughter, the kind recalling an amazing concert or a night out with friends. Not setting monsters to burn alive.


    Man! They screamed, cried, ‘Father! Father!’ oh man! Got a kick outta that, Rinke started wailing too! Then he just screamed ‘Kill him! Avenge your bretheren!’ and it was on! Whipped out the sword, and just cut them down lke they were a field of wheat ready to harvest. I didn’t really have a plan beyond that, just wanted to end this bullshit once and for all and figured breaking his favorite toys would do the trick to kick it all off. Either he was gonna die, or I was. Just kinda slowly advanced through his ‘army’ and cornered that bastard in his little ‘throne room’.” Dino paused, looking Piggot directly in the eye purely by coincidence “All my life I’d heard that revenge wasn’t worth it. ‘Dig two graves’ and shit. But when I saw Rinke there, pissin’ hisself in fear, I made sure to look him in the eyes before I ran him through. I wanted him to know exactly who had beaten his ass’, tell him that this would be for every person he killed, tell him that he got beaten by a HEMA practicin’, Ren Fair goin’, fantasy lovin’ nerd from Brooklyn and that his victims would be avenged. Man that was priceless. I’d do it again in a hearbeat. Slept soundly ever night since.”

    Dino held his chin and looked up towards the flourescent lights

    Motherfucker said somethin’ that didn’t sit right with me though.” He said, breaking himself of his recollections “Somethin’ he said before I ran ‘em through and cut off his head; ‘We’re all so small in the end’.”

    Dino chuckled sardonically

    I don’t think he realized how fuckin’ retarded that was. Cause lemme tell you; it may seem like that when you’re staring at death and knowing you’re about to die. But it ain’t like that at all. His death, his life, his actions. Even after he’s gone will be felt for ages, they have touched so many people, for ill in his case, and will effect them long after they’ve forgotten. Don’t matter if you’re some cape like Rinke, or some bum with nobody. Your actions, they effected others, and they’ll keep effectin’ em. Don’t matter how small or big. At the end, you’ll have made waves. Those waves can get damn big.”

    He looks around, then down at the sword in his lap.

    I dunno. It’s stupid to be hung up on some asshole’s dyin’ words but, maybe that’s just provin my point.” Dino looked back up to the opaque window “OK if I ask you something Director Piggot?”

    Go ahead.”

    That agent, the one my buds and Chris’ family went with. They make it out okay, did she make it?”

    Piggot smirked to herself, devoid of mirth and humor. “They did. Although that agent sustained heavy injuries and her health had declined ever since. She sends her regards, saying she wishes she could have seen the only real hero at Ellisburg had made it out ok and that she will be eternally grateful that James Rinke is dead.”

    Dino breathed out a heavy sigh of relief “That’s good to hear. Thanks Director.”

    Goodbye Mr. Russo.” was all Piggot could say, before taking her leave

    Dino merely waved and closed his eyes to rest.

    Piggot exited the booth, the Agent Briggs in tow. Once they arrived to the elevator down the hall, Briggs spoke and broke the comfortable silence

    Director. Why didn’t you tell him?”

    He could find out on his own when he’s cleared to be released, Agent Briggs.”

    The elevator doors opened, and Piggot was met with the frantic and panicked face of another agent

    Ma’am! PHO was taken over and the Ellisburg story got out!”

    Piggot took this news with all the poise and grace of a bull in a china shop.

    WHAT?”

    Good fucking god this took way too damn long. I didn't expect this to get so out of hand, but here it is. The other "sides" of the interlude will be posted as I finish them. I hope you enjoy this and that it was worth the wait. Special thanks to my friend Vee for being a great sounding board and consultant. Thanks Vee! You're the tops!
     
  24. Ryan Lozano

    Ryan Lozano Versed in the lewd.

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    I hope the Entites are some figment of the spirits only bigger
     
  25. Panaka

    Panaka Making the rounds.

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    All hail the once and future king.
     
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  26. Ryan Lozano

    Ryan Lozano Versed in the lewd.

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    Has King Arthur Return
     
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  27. BrotherMouse518

    BrotherMouse518 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Nope. Still big fuck off aliens.

    Damn straight

    Dunno. Dino's gonna find out. We'll be checking in from time to time
     
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  28. Assblaster5000

    Assblaster5000 Know what you're doing yet?

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    All kneel for The Baber comith! (Yeah I know, wrong universe, but a guy can dream)

    Fantastic chapter as always though.
     
  29. MadMarx420

    MadMarx420 Not too sore, are you?

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    Bruh ngl you’ve got a serious talent for writing, really great chapter, read it multiple time’s and really looking forward to the next.
     
  30. BrotherMouse518

    BrotherMouse518 Know what you're doing yet?

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    thx!
     
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