More heroes join the fight, but with them comes a different kind of conflict. Continue reading
The Project Sanctuary building on the corner of Barks and Karl had once been an extended-stay hotel, albeit not one big enough even to hold the most modest conventions. The U-shaped structure had been converted into an urban garden and the volunteers opened the wrought iron gate at the open end to allow Alloy, Renaissance, Facsimile, and Kay in.
“You know,” Facsimile said, looking from her armored and costumed friends to Kay who was still in her vampiress costume. “We never came up with a name for you.”
The team’s dedicated sidekick shrugged. “I dunno. I figured that since we’re public and all now I can just go by my real name. Kay Graycloud can carry on into the real world the proud tradition of Rick Jones.”
“Who?” asked Facsimile.
Alloy offered Kay a gauntleted high five. “Nice. So you read those old comics I suggested.”
She grinned, showing false fangs. “Yeah. Lots of great stuff in there about how to be a good sidekick. But don’t expect my eventual costume being traffic light inspired.”
“We’re here,” The assumed leader of the volunteers, who the group had learned was named Kyle, said, rather more loudly than necessary. The garden was … Continue reading
“Hey guys, guess what?” Kay Graycloud was one of those people one saw at every convention where cosplay was an element: clearly she had an interest in costuming, but missed a crucial point where cosplay traditionally involves dressing up as a character from other media.
As such, she was a vampiress.
Maybe she could argue that the corset, long flowing skirt, platinum hair, and red contacts might make her look a little bit like one of the background characters from Night Flight Bite, but really it was half an excuse to don a corset and pale make-up.
She ran up to the group, palmtop in hand with of all things a clown in tow. “There’s supposed to be some big celebrity here—oh wait it’s just Alloy. I was hoping for Adi Abhed or maybe Sharon Nguyen.”
“Hardy-har-har.” Warrick rolled his eyes. “Keep talking and I won’t invite you to be in a guest with me on the Sanctum Comics panel tomorrow.”
This made Kay pull up short. “Wait. What? You’ve been here for like less than an hour and you’ve got a panel all of a sudden? I’ve been putting it out on all my social media that I’m here … Continue reading
“Oh. My. God. I have so many questions!”
That was how Meghan Rockwell greeted Warrick when he opened the door of his and JC’s apartment. The announcement was undercut by the fact that she was in full ‘orcing’ regalia: chunky black knee-high elevated boots, a wine-colored pleather skirt with rivets in place of stitches with a matching corset and fingerless gloves—and all otherwise exposed skin covered by airy green fabric that make it so her flesh was orcish green. She’d also used make-up to make her face green while her raven hair was tied up in a high tail. A set of professional quality tusks poked out of her lips.
Without waiting for an invite, she handed a case of bottled soda to him and walked in.
“You guys… are the Descendants!?”
JC was lying on the couch in the living room while Cyn had taken a recliner and Tink was on the love seat. He was wearing a lab coat smeared in fake blood with a surgical mask hanging around his neck. “They’re the Descendants. I’m just staff. Hopefully paid staff soon.”
Warrick closed the door and followed Meghan in. “I knew you sounded too chill with all this … Continue reading
I always like to point out that there is a covenant between me the writer and you the readers.
Most of this year, I’ve been failing to uphold my part of that. It’s only been recently though that I’ve really sat down and asked myself why.
It’d be easy to blame my work; it’s draining and monotonous and keeps me from devoting the thought I need into my writing. But let’s be honest: up until this February, that didn’t stop me from producing. Hell, I’ve have more time and less stress in my life thanks to having a car now, so that’s just an excuse.
I could also blame that fact that I’ve gone from playing in one game and running another to playing in three and running one recently. But RP has always invigorated me instead of detracting from my work.
No, after some thought, it came to me that… well I haven’t been happy with what I’ve been producing lately.
You see, the current arc is not one I’ve really enjoyed writing. Against all the advice and thought I’ve put on this blog, I fell into the same lazy, rushed trap I blame on most terrible writing. And … Continue reading
Dripping with swamp water and mud, Cyn clenched her fist and extended an orihalcite claw. “My origin story? Surprise, jackass: I lived my origin story. It was shitty. It was painful.” She brandished her claw with a grim expression. “Mind if I demonstrate?”
Talbot smirked, making a point of cracking his knuckles. “Oh there’s that McAllister aggression. Did I hear right? That this little party’s being broadcast globally?” He stepped to the water’s edge and threw his arms out in a grand gesture. “Come on and gut me like a pig then. Show the world that you were never really a hero; just a down south thug pretending to be one.”
Cyn growled and with some effort, withdrew the claw. “You’re really trying to play the moral high ground here? You kidnapped kids! Experimented on them! One of my friends was stuck on the astral plane because of you! You cut on Jun so much… I’ve seen the scars.” Wading through the water, she moved toward him with stony determination.
“So maybe I’m not going to kill you. But I’m going to kick your ass all the same.”
She reach Talbot in a handful more strides, feinted with a left, … Continue reading
“What did you do?” Vorpal demanded from atop the ancient tower she suddenly found herself on.
“Why do you think this was me?” Warrick shot back. He was standing on the wall adjoining said tower—no armor, no armbands he used to summon Isp and Osp, no chain-link belt—No metal at all. He was wearing only the black togs and Zorro-style bandanna over the top half of his face.
Vorpal leapt nimbly down from the tower to the wall. She was wearing her combat outfit, complete with her cowl. “Because this sort of thing is what happens to heroes, not people like me. Do you ever hear of anyone not of your… persuasion running into dragons or giant centipedes,”
“Or metal-bending ninjas who moonlight as—”
She cut him off. “Shut it. From that ‘intro’, we’re being broadcast and I’d rather everyone from Taiwan to Texas knowing my business. Now explain how we ended up here and what this guy expects us to do.” She ran one hand over the orihalcite chainmail that made up part of her suit. “And why is my suit made of… glass?”
Warrick raised an eyebrow as a sudden thought struck him. “You couldn’t have felt that … Continue reading
“Bet our president wouldn’t be part of a super-strike force against magical jackasses,” Tammy mused aloud as she, President Esteban-Vega, and Tink strode toward the main gates of Mara Sangua. “Are you the coolest world leader, or does Queen Charlotte fight aliens in another dimension on the weekends?”
She was practically skipping around her two relatively silent teammates, occasionally checking the shaped iron bars strapped to her wrists to make sure she was able to fight at the moment’s notice. When she got no reply, she huffed in annoyance and started kicking at roots along the path.
The void of conversation she left behind didn’t take long to get to the others and it was the President who cracked first. “I know what we’ve done here isn’t right.” She kept her eyes straight ahead as she walked, not even glancing aside to see if Tink was responding. “Yes, there are some of us who genuinely worry about the dangers we personally present, but you’re right: that was never really the spirit of The Separation Act.”
After a few yards walked in silence, she continued, “The… descendants… of Columbia had spent a generation being abused, treated like weapons and tools instead … Continue reading
Reaching the Mara Sangua was easier said than done. After a decade, the soil treatments inside the plantation still kept the jungle from reclaiming it, but there were no such protections for the road leading to it. Ten miles out, and the APC could carry them no further.
“We need to stay to the road—or what’s left of it,” stated the President, as they followed remnant of the road. It was mostly now marked by a lack of trees and a wealth of low-growing plant life that was wide enough to cause a break in the canopy above. “The jungle out to two miles around Mara Sangua is riddled with traps both to keep interlopers out and the workers in. We didn’t bother to clear them when we shut the place down, so many will still be operational.”
“Isn’t walking right up to the main gates going to make it super-clear to the faeries that we’re coming?” Kura asked.
“Cartel traps are designed to make an example as well as hinder or kill. Imagine a spike that drops out of the trees to impale you through the liver and leave you hanging there, or a pit trap that drops you … Continue reading
A steady rain was pattering down by the time the military APC reached the site of the attack.
An elderly electric bus had run off the road and stuck a tree. It’s rear doors had been left open and the rain was turning the dirt road around it into mud. Bluish blood mixed with it was one of the three soldiers President Esteban-Vega brought with her crouched over the body of one of the small gray-furred creatures—korrigan–that had pursued the Descendants in the Lost World.
“Shot by the bus driver,” explained one of the other soldiers, introduced tot he group as Colonel Song. He was a Chinese man whose face was badly scarred on the right side. It looked like he’d been burned. “According to the tourists, he killed this one and the other one,” he pointed to another body on the other side of the road, which the third soldier was in the process of covering with a tarp, “wounded another of the little ones and the big bastard.”
“The question is why they attacked in the first place,” said Warrick, carefully not looking at the corpses. He covered by focusing on the crud spear lodged in the bus’s … Continue reading