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Topics - OhGodHelpMe

Pages: [1] 2 3
1
break Room / Just Putting it Out There...
« on: October 17, 2017, 03:54:30 PM »
I had Sincerely Your Dearest Phantom removed because, well, for as much praise as it got, I didn't like it. Like, at all. But I realize that I kind of burned down the parade on that one with its swift removal. There's no way in hell I'll ever get back to writing that story, but I can at least tell you THE SHOCKING TWEEST

Spoiler
Yes, the world Shiya and whatever the other girl's name was a digitized simulation, one made of the collective conscious of thousands of other people. In the real world humanity had nearly come to an end and the Earth was torn asunder as the sun began to die and morph into a red giant. Humanity was only able to build a few Celestial Arks (Basically giant space-travelling ships) to save roughly 1 million people while the other billions were all killed.

Shiya and Whatsherface were able to get on because Whatsherface's father was one of the people working on Japan's Celestial Ark. He was also the one who invented the digitized space that everyone on the ship would live until their arrival to a hospitable planet, as well as the AI guardian of that space, Daedalus. Shiya was gravely injured as she first got on the ship, but was treated with prompt medical care before having her consciousness uploaded to the alternate world. Whatsherface had an organ complication and would certainly die in short time while in the alternate world. All 50,000 or so people on the ship were sent there, as it was meant to be a form of morale control and body preservation.

However, Shiya's body continued to suffer from complications during her extended time in her Chamber of Respite (the terminal by which people's minds are uploaded to the digitized world). There was one occurrence where Shiya collapsed in the digitized world because her comatose body was going into shock in the Chamber of Respite. This was when Yonaka collapsed in the classroom as Shiya (I just remembered her name lol) was cradling her. On that day, Yonaka's Angel was born and initiated the scene with the solar eclipse and mass rapture of souls into the dark orange sky.

Got all that? Notice the error in detail there? Okay.

Here's the truth.

In that scene, the one known as Shiya was cradling an unconscious Yonaka as the angel went on its rampage. Yonaka revisits this memory from Daedalus as she realizes something isn't right with it. Without telling her, Daedalus has it so Yonaka revisits the memory as she experienced it when it happen, so she's essentially reliving it. Yonaka could see what appeared to be Shiya cradling her, with her vision greatly blurred and POV taking place from the side (She thinks its an outer body experience like the first visit of this memory). Some surviving students came into the classroom to offer help, laying Yonaka on a row of desks until she woke up again. One of the students then says "But...what about her?" They all turn around and look directly at Yonaka. No, not the one on the table. The Yonaka witnessing all of this, having no idea that she's experiencing it exactly as it happened, and not as a mere spectator. Do you recall the angel that was detected by Daedalus in the classroom? Yonaka is experiencing all of what happened from her body.  :ninja: The one we've known as Shiya all this time was not the cute blonde either. Shiya was originally in Yonaka's body, and the angel they would both later despise was actually the blonde cradling who you knew up to that point to be Yonaka, but was actually Shiya at the time.

Right, so we have a 3-way identity swap here. Here's what happened. The story began after this swap occurred. Let me put this bluntly. As you Know them = How they were

Yonaka = Shiya

Shiya = Angel (forgot her name too)

Angel =Yonaka

The angel that served as the antagonist was Shiya's actual best friend and step sister in the real world. They boarded the Celestial Ark together and entered the simulated world together. Yonaka was a friend of theirs and a sort of role model to Shiya (who was the real source of the angel). Following that classroom incident, the Angel, turned the series of misfortune and loss of life in her favor. The less minds Daedalus has to tend to, the easier it is to simulate the world and tend to the person's body. Since Angel's father (the one you thought was Yonaka's father) was the keyholder of Daedalus, control over him and the world went over to her after the father himself died and released an angel.  Daedalus, under her command, diverted all of the ship's power to keeping Shiya stable, but it was clear she wouldn't last long.

And so she devised her master plan. A reckless, insensitive, and cruel plan.

Angel needed to save Shiya, and that would only be possible if she could receive a new body. She devised a plan where a mental switch would occur in the digitized world, where Shiya's consciousness could be tampered with, swapped out, and placed in her body. This was to fool the angel that was still loose in the world, throwing the heat off of Shiya herself in case it tried to destroy her. While this would happen, Daedalus would tend to her organs in the real world. This is the "Transfer" that is referred to in the story. However, Tenshi (Just remembered Angel's name too!) didn't quite want to die in all of this. So she switched her own consciousness with Yonaka's before doing any of this, without consent as Yonaka was still unconscious. Tenshi tampered with both of their memories, not just their bodies.

Yonaka = Received Tenshi's memories as her own and Shiya's original body, thinks she has been Shiya's best friend this whole time and inherited Tenshi's intense will to save her at all costs, bearing the brunt of the Transfer's consequence in Tenshi's place and becoming the decoy for the angel originally released by Shiya.

Shiya = Inherited Tenshi's original body and retained some of her own memories, but does not remember anything beyond her first day in Daedalus's world, helplessly thinks its the real world.

Tenshi = Stole Yonaka's original body, maintaining her memories.

The world is recreated with the populace that was killed during the disaster simulated by Daedalus instead of, you know, actually being alive. Daedalus is tasked by Tenshi to act as Yonaka's guardian for the sake of the plan to save Shiya, knowing full well the two would have to fight against each other. Daedalus, being the loyal AI he was, successfully fulfilled this role and followed Yonaka. While the first transfer between all three gave Shiya a new body, the second transfer between Yonaka and Shiya ensured that Shiya's original organs would be transferred to the new body in the real world. Otherwise, Shiya would've died from Tenshi's original, faulty organs.

From then on, Tenshi continued to play her role as a villain, provoking Shiya's sense of self throughout the story, fighting against Daedalus and his system, and outwitting Yonaka. In the final cour, Tenshi was to reveal all of this to Yonaka as well as a few other things.

1. Tenshi reveals that Angels are the manifestation of the subconscious will of self-preservation, in a world designed to do that for you. Thus, the angels are naturally destructive in this world, seeking to break free and set others free through rapture so they can freely fight to preserve themselves. Daedalus was supposed to mitigate this, but couldn't keep it under control when Shiya panicked as she neared death in the classroom. Her subconscious fought viciously to break free and maintain itself.

2. Tenshi gained her angel powers by devouring the heart of her father's angel, the one crucified in the church. She and Daedalus managed to grab hold of the angel's corpse after the father died in the first disaster. She decided to absorb the heart after Daedalus discovered it is the nucleus of the instincts that drive the angel. With his help, she was able to balance her own sense of self and the angel's inherent will to break free from the false world.

3. Tenshi reveals that she has played her role as a villain because the "voyage" as she vaguely refers to it, is nearly at an end. At this point, she is confident she has already won, and that Shiya will be perfectly fine now.

In the final chapters, Yonaka is completely destroyed. Everything she knew about herself was a complete fabrication. She remains at home, silent, naked, and too numb to even think of suicide. Tenshi confronts her again, apologizing for what she had done to her and thanking her for playing her role. Also at this point, Daedalus is gone and has not reappeared for some time, despite Yonaka's rather emotional pleas for his company.

With the world unguarded, Tenshi releases Yonaka's angel (though, it's really Shiya's angel), from the moon and initiates the end of the world. The moon approaches the earth just as it did the first time, but then splits open like a dissected eyeball, covering the world in blood. The souls of those that were raptured out come down as angels and begin rapturing the humans still left in the digitized world (yes, there were still thousands of them way outside the town Shiya and everyone was confined in).

Yonaka and Shiya watch all of this from the roof of a skyscraper and Daedalus finally reappears, explaining the role he took in all of this. He also leaves Yonaka with her final responsibility by explaining what Tenshi meant when she referenced the voyage. The Celestial Ark, low on power but still chugging it to its destination, was nearing arrival of a hospitable planet. Soon, there'd be no need for the alternate world. It was up to Yonaka to accept what had been done to her and give Shiya the push of bravery to step out from this eggshell world and awaken in the real world.

A lot of action, blood, and trippy visuals later, we reach the prologue scene where Yonaka and Shiya lie together on the beach, truly and completely alone in the world. Shiya, knowing the truth of everything now, has to make a choice. Stay with Yonaka, who has reached the end of the transfer and will die soon, and wander the desolate fake world alone. Or, wake up, leave Yonaka behind, the fake world behind, and live her new life on a new planet. It's here that Shiya understands the "I am you" dynamic presented in the prologue. Yonaka is trying to say that, through Tenshi's cruel actions, she inherited what was originally Shiya's body.

Tenshi appears in front of them, taking Shiya in her arms and carrying her off in the Fetal Moon. Daedalus sits with Yonaka on the bloody beach, the world locked in eternal, scarlet night. Its implied they remain there together until Yonaka dies.

Shiya and Tenshi wake up in the real world, the transfer successful. Tenshi had stolen Yonaka's body and gave her own to Shiya. They awaken next to each other, slightly malnourished with their hair and nails grown out wildly. A holographic letter sits in wait for Shiya as the Celestial Ark's door opens and lets in the light of the new world. The letter is the one Yonaka mentioned in the prologue, written during her final hours in the fake world. Whether or not Shiya or Tenshi are alone in the new world is left up to interpretation.


So there you have it. Yonaka was the subject of the transfer and was cruelly designated to act as the decoy for Shiya's angel, and as the last person who would remain on and die in the digitized world. The ship is also mostly a necropolis after it lands. All of its inhabitants except for Shiya and Tenshi were killed off (So that Daedalus could stay with Yonaka a little longer until she dies).




What a convoluted mess. I really just took the "identity swap" TWEEST from 6 Cataclysms: Guilty Rat and intensified it. I'm a hack lol

2
General Manga writer discussions / Tugging At Your Heartstrings
« on: September 19, 2017, 01:29:58 AM »
When you're reading a story, whether it be on here or elsewhere, what is it, when a story is trying to convey sadness, that really tugs at your heartstrings? Is it the mere subject matter, something like a dying loved one? Is it overt sadness and drama that gets you, or a slow, painful march into the ultimate sorrow ahead? When a story is trying to make you feel this way, what specifically about the story or characters actually makes you feel saddened?

Trying to master the art of crushing sadness in my writing, so any input would be greatly valued  8)

3
I'm seeking a talented artist to draw covers and characters for the Death by Ex-Girlfriend novels, which I'll be releasing online and selling very soon. The story as a whole consists of 10 arcs, which will most likely be divided into 12 individual books. The story as a whole is already written and completed, with two of the mentioned books edited and ready to be published. It's just that I would like some quality art to make the cover pop, to draw attention, of course. It would be most ideal to have the same artist for the entirety of the series, so your willingness to stick around for the long haul is most valuable.

Death by Ex-Girlfriend's arcs are partitioned into books as so:

Aika Crsis
War Cloud Part 1 & 2
Dawn and Dusk
Satori no Akuma Part 1 & 2
Himushi Redemption
Letting Go
Inari Standoff
The Corpse's Romance
The End of Osamu Ashikaga Part 1 & 2
Senkumo War Stories Part 1, 2, & 3

Arcs divided into separate parts like War Cloud and Senkumo War stories will have separate covers for those parts. So, having put that into perspective, asking you to draw covers for Aika Crisis and War Cloud would be asking for three covers.

There has already been art completed for much of the main cast, so you'll have good references to start from. I'm in no particular rush or time table of any sort, so you'll have the luxury to take your time. Not sure if anyone here is all that interested, but if you have the skill and interest, please do message me. We can work out how to split everything, how long we'll be working together, payment method, all that good stuff.

Thank you.

4
General Manga writer discussions / If You Could Build a Bioweapon
« on: May 17, 2017, 04:38:20 PM »
Greetings, Mankoraiders. I have an interesting question to ask you all for the sake of a story I'm working on.

I'm doing a bit of planning(wow, OGHM plans things?) for the next few chapters of 6 Cataclysms: Operation Guilty Rat, and I'm trying to dive into a topic I've always wanted to write about: Ethnic Bioweapons, or just Bioweapons in general. Chemical weapons are already a thing in the 6 Cataclysms universe, but I wanted to get really creative about Bioweapons. See, it would be easy to just do something like anthrax letters or shipping rice blast crops in the disguise of foreign aid, but as I said, I wanted to get creative.

So, I'm asking you to put yourself in a hypothetical position. If you were an evil mastermind that wanted to destroy a specific race or ethnicity of people at an extraordinarily fast rate, what would be your dream bioweapon? It can be as ridiculous as, say, toilets that eject pneumonic plague when flushed, similar to how they eject fecal matter upon flushing (this is why you put down the toilet seat, kids). Or fireworks loaded with some sort of powder light enough to be carried by the wind that only kills X race of people, or perhaps it infects specific crops or plants the population is dependent on.

You don't have to know the science behind it, and you can use anything, be it a munition, common object, or living organism as the vector. (There's no electronic technology like phones and computers in this universe, but even if your idea revolves around that, let me see it)

I've only come up with two so far.

Medicine-based Ethnic Bioweapon
Spoiler
Common vaccines suffused with inactive bacteria that is injected into the patient's bloodstream as they receive their medicinal shot. The bacteria becomes active upon contact with specific DNA sequences, thus being used to target certain races of people possessing those sequences.

But that's kind of lame huh? How about this one?

Currency-Based Bioweapon
Spoiler
If introduced, would probably be the result of the failure to make a true ethnic bioweapon. Banknotes and paper currencies are common between the Great Nations (Vevoskovia, Syvia, Sankadesh, Asaji). Smaller countries like Skalda used paper currencies out of a necessity to save their common metals for other uses. However, lack of resources prompted Skalda to recycle banknotes and denominated bills, then recirculate them after they were pressed and cleaned

Of course, Skalda took the necessary steps to ensure the bills were safe for everyday use until they could find a more supplemental source of paper. If I were the evil genius here though, I'd take advantage of the fact those bills are recycled. You wouldn't think a bioweapon can be applied to a paper currency, but recycled paper does contain binding agents such as starches and fillers that bacteria can feed and grow off of. The idea would be that, in lieu of making a more direct ethnic bioweapon, using a nation's currency as the vector for the weapon is just as good.

Whatever bacteria used would most likely be applied to smaller denominations of bills since they're used more often in common transactions. Man gives paper bill to children as allowance, children give it to their friends to borrow, those friends give it to a bakery cashier, money is then collected by hiring manager and paid out to employees at the end of their work week, those employees take that money on their day off and give it to the ticket salesman at a theater when they're on a date with their romantic others, etc etc. Money passes through a lot of people and it passes quickly. If one were to apply some sort of bioweapon to paper currency that facilitated the growth of the bacterial agent, I'd imagine it would be pretty damn devastating  :hmm:

The second one is probably the most thought out, but I'm still iffy on it. Give me all your wacky, crazy ideas for how you'd commit genocide  :clapping:

5
Develop Your Story / [New] The Two Wraiths (6 Cataclysms)
« on: May 09, 2017, 06:51:15 PM »
Yet another developing tale from the 6 Cataclysms universe I built. Operation Guilty Rat. I know it tends to look like I know what I'm doing when I write, but I really don't. If anyone can read one of these chapters and give me some constructive criticism, I'd appreciate it. I don't expect anyone to know exactly what's going on or who everything is since this particular story takes place in the middle of the overall storyline, but just give me whatever you can.  :hmm:


Operation Guilty Rat

Set shorty after the death of Queen Kalina, King Tokahev takes the throne of Vevoskovia. Katya is now the commander of the Deshavi Black Ops, and joins her troops in a mission knows as Operation Guilty Rat, a mission to secure a researcher by the name of 'Nikolai', and extract him out of war-torn Sankadesh. The problem is that the Deshavi Black Ops are not the only ones who want Nikolai.


Nikolai was hired in secret by Queen Kalina prior to her death, to research the Forbidden Statue the Deshavi came in contact with during the events of Katyanaishka Chronicles. Somehow, details of what Nikolai was researching leaked to the other nations, forcing him to evade capture by fleeing to Sankadesh. Sankadesh Loyalist Guard and Syvian KGR are both on the hunt for him when it is discovered he is posted in one of the hospitals in Sankadesh. Without fail, Katya puts together the mission to secure Nikolai before the Sankadesh guard or Syvian KGR can capture him.


Much is at risk in this operation. Not even the Deshavi Black Ops know how the leak occurred, where it came from, or the extent of the leak itself. It seemed the other nations knew Nikolai possessed knowledge that could greatly aid weapons development, but did they know about what lurks inside of the Forbidden Statue? If it was Nikolai who leaked the information, Operation Guilty Rat will quickly become a mission to terminate him. If the leak came from elsewhere, Sankadesh and Syvia may not be the only other parties in search of Nikolai.


Lest the next world war be fought with cataclysmic demons, and the war after that fought with sticks and stones, Nikolai must be captured, and the mystery of the leak must be solved.

Guilty Rat
Spoiler
Coughing. Multiple people coughing, as if mildly sick with the flu. Chatter...references to medical conditions such as minor head trauma, with others being as serious as life-threatening infections of the pharynx, violent convulsions, and septic shock. Now she understood. Now she remembered.

She finally woke, brushing her blonde, voluminous hair to the side of her gorgeous, blue eye and remembering that she was in a packed hospital in the middle of Sankadesh. The floors were white, tiled, and polished to perfection, reflecting the flickering lights of the electric lanterns and oil-based lamps hung from the green walls as if they were still water. Though every bed was partitioned by white curtains, she could tell...the hospital was operating at maximum capacity.


Her vision was still blurred, to the point she couldn't even see her own hand in full detail with the aid of a candle on her night stand. Still, she could make out the obvious feeling, or lack of it, in her arms, which were both wrapped in white gauze up to her elbows. Small spots of dried blood stained the gauze from her hand all the way up to her elbow, and even more stained the gauze wrapped around her stomach.


So many people were groaning, writhing in pain from their injuries and afflictions as doctors and nurses tried to assure them they'd be okay. One of the suffering patients responded in vicious, loud anger, shooting down the doctors' reassurances as insultingly false hope. She could see none of it beyond her bed's partition.


She sat up in her bed as a voice echoed inside of her head, dressed in a thin and embarrassing hospital gown that failed to cover all of her butt and breasts. Who's 'she', you might ask? 


Voice: We got your signal. Commander Katya...'Monarch'...you've come to. 








*OPERATION GUILTY RAT*




*SIX CATACLYSMS*







Voice: We're ready to begin, Commander. We're starting the clock in three, two...one. All teams, Operation Guilty Rat is go.


Of course, the beautiful blonde with the ocean in her eye was none other than the newly appointed Commander Katya, unsung hero of her home country, Vevoskovia. Her usual eye patch was missing, replaced by more gauze wrapped around her temple, covering her missing eye. Her single eye traced the shoes of the doctors and nurses visible beneath the partition as she clasped her hands together, as if she were praying to God.


Katya: Understood, HQ. All teams, this is Monarch. Proceed with operation as planned. I'll try to establish contact with the target. Team two, are you already at the coroner wing?


As if the regular patients' quarters weren't clean enough, the coroner wing was twice as pristine, reflective, and clean. A team of 10 surgeons donning face masks and white coats marched through the halls of the other end of the hospital, each pair pushing a loaded gurney along with them. The bodies on the gurneys were wrapped in white sheets, concealing their deceased faces from the other hospital staff. Nurses ran past them up and down the hall, all of them in a hurry to complete some sort of dire task.


Upon reaching the autopsy room, two of the masked doctors held open the double doors, letting the other doctors pass by them with the bodies. Like Katya, one of them clasped their hands together and spoke softly.


Locke: This is Team two, we've entered the autopsy room with the bodies. We'll get to work immediately.


Telepathic communication, a power bestowed upon them by the Art of Venus, allowed everyone to communicate from afar, no matter the distance. 


HQ: Team two, you'll have 20 minutes at most to get those bodies prepped and dispersed inside of the crypts. Katya, that gives you 15 minutes to make contact with the target once the first phase starts.


Deshavi HQ was just as chaotic as the hospital. The communication team stationed there set up shop in the Lunar Cave of the base, a massive, round cave with an open view of the sky, exposing the whole room to moonlight, which was essential for the mission. As they always did, the Deshavi Black Ops utilized the moon as their own celestial eye, using it to spy and keep watch over the entire world. Luck for them, the moon and the stars were bright, beautiful, and full that night. 


Dozens of Deshavi agents ran around, in, and out of the room, bringing paper, charts, scolls, and other necessary items with them wherever they went. Chatter buzzed all around the base and echoed from within its cavernous halls. Twelve agents donned in black, short sleeve shirts and dark denim sat beneath the moonlight in the center of the room, all of them cross-legged and their hands clasped as if they were meditating as a group.


With their cooperation, a map of the area around the hospital, entirely made out of moonlight, reflected off of the floor like a glowing, neon sign. One more agent stood just outside of the ring, holding his open palms up to the moon above with his eyes closed. He was the one talking to the teams inside the hospital This operation was of clear importance.





Locke wiped the tiny beads of sweat off of his glistening, bald head and fixed his face mask as he and the other agent closed the doors.



Locke: Understood. We'll get it done as fast as we can. What's the situation outside?


HQ: A force of roughly 80 potential enemies are closing in on the hospital from the north and west. Identities not confirmed, but they're most probably Syvian KGR, Inodus Tachtussen branch.


Katya: If that's true, our intel was spot on. Somehow, the Syvians caught wind that Nikolai was paid a premium to research 'Material that could lead to a leap in weapons development'. 


Locke: Little do they know he was actually researching the Forbidden Statue. We're the only ones who know what's inside, including Nikolai.


HQ: Which is why it's imperative we catch him before he's taken by Syvians or Sankadesh revolutionaries. I want to remind everyone that although we want Nikolai brought back to Vevoskovia alive, you are authorized to terminate him should he be captured by the enemy or leak any of the information he gained during his research. The knowledge of the Forbidden Statue must not be allowed to reach anyone, be it the military or the public. Tokahev's orders.


Katya: Of course.


In five teams of two, the doctors unwrapped the fresh corpses and laid them on the metal operating tables, using electric lanterns as light. All of them turned their heads as a masked nurse opened the doors, pushing in a small cart covered with a sheet. With her flowery shirt and midnight blue hair, everyone knew it was Jaya.


Deshavi: You're late, Jaya. Did you bring them?


Jaya, panting through her mask like a tired dog, uncovered the cart, revealing the glorious contents within.


Jaya: Fresh canisters of ethylene and oxygen, comin' right up! How much time do we have?


Locke: Just under 20 minutes at best, probably less considering the KGR are already on their way. No time to waste, let's make our incisions.


Jaya: I'll pass these out to everyone then!


And so it began. With all the bodies laid out on the tables, the teams grabbed their scalpels, pressing them through the skin and flesh of the corpses and cutting down from the shoulders to the chests. From the chests, they all made one long cut down the stomach, a standard Y-incision. Weak streams of blood dripped from the cuts as Jaya passed out the containers of oxygen and ethylene as if she were passing out books to her students.




Deshavi: Sir, what exactly is this for? 


Locke: How much do you know about corpses?


Deshavi: Just what's written in the Deshavi Thanatology Manual up to Chapter Thirteen, sir.


Locke: Then you know that when people die, autolysis takes place immediately. It's like the body is digesting itself. With blood circulation and respiration put to a halt, the body, nor its cells, have any means of disposing of waste. Pull back that side of his skin for me.


Deshavi: Got it.


With their Y-incision complete, the skin and layers of fat beneath in the torso area of the corpse were pulled back, revealing the internal organs, intestines, and rib cage. Sudddenly, as the Deshavi agent's eyes traced back to the young face of the deceased man, he seemed less like a human and more like a doll, or a dissection frog. The elements of a human, their skin, their hair, their nails, even their very organs, all just seemed like playthings with no meaning or consequence.


Locke: Now, with all of that excess carbon dioxide just sitting in the body, things start to get a little..acidic. This causes?


Deshavi: Cellular membrane rupturing, sir?


Locke: Exactly. And when that happens-


Jaya so rudely, yet so helpfully chimed in as she set down the last containers to the side by Locke and the masked agent.


Jaya: When that happens, the cell's membranes release enzymes that causes the cell to eat itself from the inside out. Ethylene can burn in oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and water, hastening decomposition if it were to take place within a corpse! The enzymes help produce nutrient-rich fluids in the body, causing it to bloat and leak through the orifices! You know, if you let this occur on a patch of grass, the fluid is often so rich with nutrients that it kills the grass, but makes the soil more fertile for future patches!


Locke: Perhaps we're being a bit too...enthusiastic, Jaya. Vera's curse lives on...








*FINAL THROES OF SANKADESH CIVIL WAR*


*TOKAHEV TAKES VEVOSKOVIAN THRONE AFTER QUEEN KALINA SUCCUMBS TO ILLNESS*








HQ: Team two, how far along are you?


Locke: We're implanting the canisters now. We'll be ready to move the bodies to the crypts in three minutes. 


HQ: Understood. Katya, that's your cue to get ready.


Katya: Already on it.


Katya was already on the move, leaving the room filled with wounded and ill patients and their overloaded doctors and nurses behind. The halls offered no change in scenery. Most of the rooms were so full that many more patients had to be treated right in the middle of the hospital's halls. The sheer volume of chaos throughout the hospital startled Katya as she pressed on, making her steady, cautious march in search of Nikolai.


Katya: So much screaming...how many of these people are-


She was abruptly stopped by a patient who grabbed her wrist as she walked by. Most of his face was wrapped in bandages and soaked in blood. His long, black hair and scruffy beard poked out from beneath the gauze.


Patient: YOU KNOW IT TOO, DON'T YOU?! WE HAVE TO KILL THEM! WE CAN'T LET THEM LIVE!


Doctor: Calm down, sir! You must compose yourself!


An elderly doctor aided by a group of young nurses all restrained the wailing patient, freeing Katya from his grip. His bloody hand print left a crimson stain around her arm bandages. Katya watched in awe as his gurney was hurriedly strolled away, disappearing into the sea of chaos to her rear as she prepared to march forth through even more of it.


Katya: We were right to try and pull him out. Nikolai is in danger here.





*'NIKOLAI' IS THE MOST WANTED MAN IN THE WORLD*


*HE POSSESS KNOWLEDGE OF A 'WEAPON' CAPABLE OF MASS, WIDESPREAD DESTRUCTION*






One room at a time, Katya quickly traced her eyes across the patients' faces in search of Nikolai. The same chaos in the previous room and the halls repeated themselves in a compact mess of screams and blood inside of the other rooms. The thunderous sound of a gurney rushing down the hall captured Katya's ears as she turned her head to see a team of nurses waving everyone out of the way. As they rolled by, yelling for space at the top of their lungs, Katya saw a little girl on the gurney, her pink pajamas soaked in blood as she loosely clung to her dirty teddy bear.


HQ: The loyalists started using rockets bought from Syvia a while ago, but lately, they've been using explosives packed with hydrogen chloride. No one in the international community wants to take responsibility for the loyalists using chemical weapons on civilians. It's a damn tragedy.


Katya: No...it's an atrocity.


Katya kept searching, coming up with negative results in every room she passed by. As she crossed the intersection in the hall, she heard a shuffle of footsteps behind her unlike all the others. They were much, much heavier and synchronized. Looking behind her, she spotted a small squad of Sankadesh soldiers rushing into one of the rooms. It seemed they were on the search as well.


Katya: All teams, this is Monarch, the Sankadesh guards are already searching for him as well. Team two, what's your progress?






*IT IS MUCH MORE SEVERE THAN A 'WEAPON'*


*NIKOLAI WAS RESEARCHING THE FORBIDDEN STATUE IN KOGA*


*IT CONTAINS ONE OF THE HERALDS OF THE END, THE GREAT DESTROYER*





Now in the crypts, Locke, Jaya, and the other agents loaded the unwrapped bodies onto the shelves. Dozens upon dozens of wrapped corpses, some in white sheets and others in see-through plastic, cluttered up the shelves and tables. Some were in good condition, others were already turning a blackish-green from the increase in sulfuric bodily compounds as a result from decomposition. Many of the corpses had their feet exposed so doctors could easily access the identification tags on their pale feet and toes.


Locke clasped his hands and replied as Jaya and the others loaded the corpses.


Locke: We're loading the bodies in the crypts now. We're ready to go on your mark, Monarch.


Katya: Once your done over there, get out of the crypts and take the central hall down to the Geriatric wing. The Sankadesh guard are searching the left hall on this wing.


Locke: Understood. We'll wrap up here quickly.




*IF HE IS CAPTURED, THE GREAT NATIONS WILL PURSUE WAYS TO USE THE STATUE*


*THEY WILL PURSUE WAYS TO USE HERALDS OF THE END*


*EASILY SPARKING ANOTHER WORLD WAR*




Katya: Where are you...


Katya picked up her walking pace, squeezing herself through crowds of doctors and severely wounded or sick patients. The crowd ahead of her all filled the hall with shrieks and yells as more Sankadesh guards ransacked the hospital rooms, forcing several patients and even nurses to either line up against the wall, or lay down on the floor with their hands on their heads. 


Katya: Damn it!


Katya immediately made a hard left, rudely and hurriedly squeezing past the gathering crowd of scared and clueless patients as the doctors and nurses tried desperately to ease their worries, shouting that everything was alright, that the Sankadesh guards were merely searching for some sort of criminal avoiding arrest. Despite their best efforts, frightened word of mouth circulated through those halls, building up their worry and panic. 


Pushing through the crowd in the opposite direction they were looking, Katya sought to get away from the more heavily cluttered areas of the hospital to get a better grasp of her surroundings. However, as she waded through the sea of wounded Sankadesh soldiers, most of them smelling of blood and explosive residue, yet another team of Sankadesh guards pushed through the crowd on the other end of the hall, heading straight towards Katya. She was alerted to their sudden intrusion by the sound of screaming and frantic yells ahead as the guards pushed patients out of the way.


Guard: To the side! Step to the sides, damn you! Move!


Katya followed the motions, stepping to the side of the hall and hiding her face as the soldiers passed by. Though she did not look at them for herself, the chatter among the crowd detailed the situation she was in.


Patient: Oh my god, are those the Heavies? No way they're just here to arrest one man!


Patient 2: Most of the people here fought against the Loyalist forces! They're probably here to exterminate us!


Nurse: Don't say that! It doesn't matter what side you were on! When you all came here, you became patients, not soldiers! It stays that way until you put your uniforms back on! We're just helping our people here!


Katya: Where is he?!


Katya proceeded down the hall for just a few steps, coming at another intersection where she intended to turn right. To her left, a loud crash echoed down the length of the hall, the sound of a trash bin being violently knocked over. 


Patient: No! Get away from me! You have the wrong guy!


It seemed to be another young man, perhaps another wounded soldier taken to the hospital. He seemed deathly afraid of the Sankadesh guards in pursuit behind him. 


Guard: Stop immediately! Stop, you fool!


The man ran up to Katya with tears in his eyes. She noticed now that one of his hands were missing, covered up with bandages that were slightly stained with blood. He placed his remaining hand on Katya's shoulder, screaming in her face for help.


Patient: Please! You have to help me! They're-


Katya hadn't even figured out how to respond or what to do when he suddenly shrieked and fell silent. His body was pushed forward by something, forcing him to hug Katya. She held him for a few seconds and saw the steel bolt shot into his back by one of the guards. Looking up again, she could see one of those guards withdraw their crossbow from their combat stance. His fellow guards pushed him against the wall as Katya let go of the patient. The dying man quickly exsanguinated from his hospital garments as the guards berated the shooter. The halls erupted into screams and cries as witnesses of the man's death circulated the words "He's dead! They killed him!" around the crowds.


Guard: Damn it! Why did you shoot?! 


Guard 2: We don't have time for this! He could be getting away! If anyone resists and they aren't the target, just shoot them! They're revolutionary scum anyway! If we don't hurry, the target will get away!


Katya's breathing grew more labored and heavy as the situation only intensified like flames being fed a sudden supply of gasoline. Another hand gripped her shoulder, forcefully pulling her back. It was another squad of guards, shoving her out of the way so they could partition that section of the hall.


Guard: Out of the way! Leave the hall immediately!


HQ: All teams, The KGR teams are 10 minutes away. 


Locke: Understood! Katya, we're starting now! Hurry and find Nikolai!


Katya: Easier said than done, but do it! 


Katya took one of the face masks laying on a hospital tray as she walked by, fixing it firmly over her mouth and nose. Having vacated the crypts, Jaya clasped her hands, utilizing the Art of Mars to ignite the canisters implanted inside of the corpses. The doors to the crypts were left wide open as team two put their face masks back on.


Locke: Those canisters are going to cause the corpses to bloat and rapidly decompose until their stomachs pop open. Jaya, we'll trust you with manipulating the resulting gas and flooding the hospital wings with it. Once you've done that, leave the area. The guards and doctors will surely converge here to seal the crypts.


Jaya graciously saluted.


Jaya: Gotcha! 


Deshavi: This stuff won't kill anyone, will it?


Locke: No, it should only make them sick to their stomachs to incapacitate them. Come on, let's help Katya search! Good luck, Jaya!


Jaya: Good luck to you too!


Mostly free from the overly congested halls, Katya was able to sprint in short bursts, checking every room and corner she passed by with only a few other patients in her way. 


Locke: Monarch, the gas is building now. 


Katya: Understood, I-


In the corner of her eye. Katya spotted a man walking into the bathroom, the light of the electric lanterns inside glaring against the metal "Male" sign on the door. Another guard dressed in a black rain cloak walked in after him, slowly and cautiously.


Katya: Hang on. I may have just found him.


Locke: Be careful, Monarch.


Katya crouched, sneaking by the door and slowly pushing it open just enough for her to see inside. The man she saw earlier was out of sight, but she could still see the Sankadesh guard. The guard seemed very, very cautious, taking slow, soundless steps as he opened each of the stalls, checking for the man he chased. The guard appeared to be armed with a wrist blade that protruded from under the sleeve of his cloak, glimmering like a star. Katya watched as he opened the second stall with no luck and proceeded to the third. 


Her eyes then turned to a pair of bare feet that quietly touched down on the floor of the fifth bathroom stall. She knew it in her gut that the patient was her target. 








*NIKOLAI*


*'GUILTY RAT'*






The patient barged out of the stall, surprising the guard. His face was completely bandaged up, concealing his identity. Katya quickly entered, closing the door behind her as the guard swung his bladed arm. The patient crouched and tackled the guard against one of the urinals before he was kicked off, breaking through one of the stall doors. 


Katya sprinted in, grabbing the guard by his arm and using it to swing him into the bathroom mirror, shattering into into dozens of pieces. The patient stormed back in with a punch to the guard's cheek, drawing blood from his eyebrow. Clearly trained well in hand-to-hand combat, the guard did not let their attacks leave him open for too long.



He firmly planted his hands on the patient's shoulders, using them to hoist himself up and kick Katya square in her neck, cutting off her breathing. Stunned by the sudden blow, her feet scuffled backwards until she fell on the bathroom floor, barely even able to cough. 




As she tried to free up her airway with the Art of Pluto, the guard slammed the patient's face into the cracked mirror and withdrew his combat knife from its holster, stabbing the patient through his wrist to render his dominant hand useless. Just from the voice that yelled out in agony, Katya confirmed that the masked patient was him. It was Nikolai, the Guilty Rat.




The guard kicked him back into the stall and entered with him. Before Nikolai could get back up, the guard dunked his head into the toilet and held it there against all of his kicking and struggling. After restoring her airways, Katya knew Nikolai was drowning from the sound of his gurgling screams beneath the toilet water. She ran to the broken mirror, picking up one of the fallen pieces of glass and proceeded into the stall, pulling the guard off of Nikolai, who fell to the side coughing up the water from his throat.




The guard swung his knife horizontally, intending to slice open Katya's throat. She managed to dodge with a quick backwards lean, grabbing his exposed arm and dislocating his wrist with her own two hands. His wrist snapped with a loud pop accompanied by his screams, the signal that his guard was completely broken.


Still holding his arm with one hand, Katya slammed the back of his head against the green, tiled wall. She grabbed the knife from his loosened grip, stabbing it right through his throat and quickly drawing the blade out from the wound. Finally, she dunked the guard's head into the toilet, holding him down as he struggled to free himself from her grip. 




The guard was breathing, sucking in air through his open neck and airway and gargling on the blood and water through the wound. It mattered not if he managed to hold his breath through his mouth and nose, since his very airways themselves were flooded with his own blood, turning the inside of the toiler red. His struggling grew weaker and weaker until, finally, they stopped completely. Blood continued to drip down in streams as Katya released the dead guard, letting him fall opposite of Nikolai.




With no time to waste, she grabbed Nikolai's hand and forced him up, both of them breathing heavily, Nikolai even more so than Katya.




Nikolai: Hahaha! You found me! I knew you'd come!


Katya: Bastard, where were you?! 


Nikolai: I would've stayed in my room if the Sankadesh guards did not storm the hospital. I wrapped up my face and moved locations. It was the only way I could've traversed the hospital safely.


Nikolai unwound the bandages around his face, revealing his lightly wrinkled face and partially grayed, short hair. Nikolai appeared to be in his late fifties, and in mighty impressive health considering he managed to fight against a trained Sankadesh guard. With Katya's help, of course. 


Katya: You alright? We need to leave immediately. The whole world wants you dead, buddy. Thankfully, you're in King Tokahev's good graces.


HQ: Monarch, what's your status?


Katya clasped her hands and spoke aloud.


Katya: I've got Guilty Rat. I repeat, I have Guilty Rat. Preparing to exfiltrate now.


HQ: Alright, hurry and get out of there! You only have three more minutes until the KGR arrives! Jaya should be spreading the gas around the hospital now.


Jaya: Yep! I'm moving the gas through your wing, Katya. Be careful out there.


Katya: Understood, I've got a mask for Guilty Rat. We'll be safe. Team two, I've found Guilty Rat. Exfiltrate the hospital immediately. Jaya, once you're done, you go ahead and leave t-


All of a sudden, the electric lanterns died out, cloaking the bathroom in darkness. It wasn't just the bathroom, but the entire hospital. Every light source relying on electricity died out, some of them violently popping and shattering the bulbs.


Katya: What the hell just happened?


Jaya: Hey, did it suddenly get dark for anyone else?!


Locke: We're near the reception area now, all the lights cut out here too.


Nikolai: Those are carbon filament lanterns, all hooked to walls and support pillars. If they all went out at the same time, someone cut the master wires powering them all. Either that, or the storm outside.


Katya: Damn it...if I blow open the wall to create an exit, the KGR will hear it from their distance and converge upon us.


Katya turned her attention to narrow view outside of the rain-pelted window. Just the fact that it was raining was bad news.


HQ: Damn, we can't see anything anymore, Monarch. The storm moved in faster than we calculated. I won't be able to call out the KGR positions from here, but you're right in saying the'd hear the explosion. I suppose you'll just have to find a traditional exit, eh chief?


Katya: It's a pain, but alright. Stay close, Nikolai.


Nikolai: I'm a wanted man. You don't have to tell me twice.

6
General Manga writer discussions / Getting Started on Medibang
« on: March 19, 2017, 11:05:57 PM »
For all those wanting to get started on Medibang, here's a little rundown for you.


About Medibang
Anyway, Medibang. It's a pretty cool site where users share their manga/comics, artwork, and novels. You can find some pretty cool people there, all of them in love with what they do, be it a fancy manga or the occasional short story. If you're a writer/artist and you want another place to share your work, that's probably a good place to start.

Signing up and posting stuff
It's got a pretty standard sign-up process, and of course, it's a free service. They don't sell anything extra as far as I know. After you sign up, make sure you flesh out your profile, yes? Make it so people can get a feel for who you are if they see it. No one likes having seeing blanks where they want to see a bit of info about you. Next, you share some content. Now let's say you've got a short story you want to put up in the Novel section. If you have a PDF or something containing your story, you can just upload that, attach your cover (can also make one if you don't have one), and post it. It's as simple as that.

There's also a text editor there if you'd rather do that, which is probably a little more work, but it's my preferred option because I like to format things a little differently when a post a story there. If you don't plan on changing anything about your story, you can just go ahead and go for the other option. Otherwise, doing it by text editor allows you to quickly go back and correct any mistakes should you notice any down the line.

Some of the interface prompts are in Japanese, which isn't a problem for me since I know Japanese reasonably well, but you don't you're just gonna have to see which button does what you want it to do. Usually, the "accept" or "ok" buttons are green, so its easy to know what's a yes or a no.


Rankings
There are ranking sections for manga, artwork, and for novels. I believe they're ranked by frequent and recent views and not overall popularity, but you can change how these things are organized if you want (views per month, views per week, default is views per day). For instance, Death by Ex-Girlfriend: Aika Crisis, is, at this moment, 4th place with a total of 5,277 views. Whenever that happens, I know people have been reading it in the past 24 hours. The creators themselves are also ranked by points, dependent on how much attention their works have been getting. If you post some quality artwork frequently, you're gonna see yourself in the top 5 positions a lot.

Take your ranking as a measure of how much interest there is in your work.


Socializing
Talking to people on Medibang is a lot like...Facebook, I guess?  :hmm: You can follow and/or friend request people as you please. There's an Everyone's News section on the front page, where people generally share their thoughts, mundane life stories, upcoming works, discussion topics, pretty much anything. Not too different from the Chit Chat thread here, if you want to think of it like that. You'll find most users speak English, but quite a few mainly speak Japanese. You want my advice, learn Japanese so you can converse with everyone, because some of the best artists there are Japs.

Contests
Some other cool stuff goes on at Medibang. For instance, there are several interesting contests that occur there. Weekly Shounen Magazine partnered up with Medibang for a One-Shot manga contest, where everyone submitted their manga for review and possible cash prizes. The MCPO Award for 2017 just finished up there. They have people submit their art or manga for generally the same kind of rewards, as well as publication of the winning works. There's silent manga contests as well from time to time. If you've got some quality work on your hands, it's always a good idea to submit your stuff when these contests pop up.


Let's see...I think that's it for now. My brain is fried from writing nonstop, so I need to rest. Hopefully this helps anyone who wants to get started on Medibang. I go there quite often, mainly just to post the stuff I post here for a bigger audience. The biggest problem I had with it was some of the interface being in Japanese even when the site language setting was English, but I quickly got over that annoyance.

7
General Manga writer discussions / Me?! SELL MY WRITING?!?!
« on: March 09, 2017, 08:28:24 PM »
As more and more people have been reading Death by Ex-Girlfriend, I've been getting more pushes to go professional with the story, to publish and actually start selling copies. Now, I'm an extremely humble guy, almost to a fault, so I was pretty averse to this idea for a while. Buuut...if there's even a tiny bit of demand for it, why not satisfy the demand?

I've yet to piece together the exact steps I'll take to go through with this, but one of my hopes is to raise enough Freedom Bucks (US Dollars) to hire an artist to illustrate some of it, in comic/manga form. Of course, finding the artists who would be willing to do this would be challenging, but nothing in life is ever easy.

So, for anyone who has read Death by Ex-Girlfriend, I must ask you something. Do you actually believe that any part of the series is worth money? And if so, how much money would you be comfortable spending on it, per book? And I mean comfortable, not maximum, or "stretching it".

Your input is very valuable as I try to decide whether or not I should go for it.  :hmm:

8
Develop Your Story / Could You Love the Empress of Earth?
« on: February 06, 2017, 06:45:51 PM »
The fact that I wrote this is proof that God has abandoned us.

My Girlfriend Rules the World
Spoiler
(Imagine this: Your beautiful, blonde girlfriend is shielding your eyes with her smooth and soft hands, leading you to some fantastic surprise she's prepared for you on Valentines Day. You can hear her giggling as she teases you and eggs you on.)

Freya: Come on, Ivan! Keep going, keep going!

(Each strand of her hair is like a ray of sunshine, and her eyes...well, one of them is covered by an eye patch. The other is beautiful on its own, glimmering like the deep, blue ocean.)

Ivan: Freya, listen to me! I don't know what on earth has gotten into you, but you've taken things way too far!

Freya: Huh? Too far, you say? You just woke up and you already think so poorly of your sweet and pwecious wittle girlfwend? Hmm?





*SIGH*




(Yeah...she does the cute little baby pronunciation thing when she's trying to persuade people. It's a stupidly obvious trick that works every time.)

Freya: Now, I know you just woke up and all, but I've got to be honest with ya, my man. You limp like you have polio or something. Are your legs really working? Are you gonna die? You're not gonna fall over and die, are you? Hey, let me know if you're gonna fall over and-

Ivan: I'M FINE, FREYA! I just need to get used to walking, which is impossible when you're pushing me all the damn time!

Freya: Shh! It's okay! We're almost there, sweetheart! I swear, you're going to love your Valentine's Day gift!

(Christ, I have so much to explain, don't I. Okay, okay, just bear with me. Now, where do you think we are? A house? The street? A gift shop? The first option would be the most accurate, and yet, it's still insanely wrong. What do you think this blonde goddess Freya is wearing? A spring dress, perfect for the sunshine and cool breeze outside? Perhaps some atrocious getup like a punk girl? Or perhaps a very formal outfit, like what one would wear to church. Wrong. It's none of those. Now perhaps you're thinking "Well, you're just being a dick and leading us into wrong answers!", but believe me, you wouldn't have gotten it right no matter how many times you guessed.)

The sound of their footsteps echoed far and wide, indicating to Ivan that they were definitely marching down a large and beautifully spacious hall...but to where?





*LOVE*




Finally, Ivan felt the warmth of the Spring sun hit his skin. That cool, wonderful breeze blew through his thick and unkempt blonde hair, which curled around his collar bones and covered one of his green eyes, disregarding Freya's hands, of course.

Ivan: Are we...outside?

Freya: Yep!

Freya's lips curled with a smile that she'd been waiting to crack for minutes that felt like hours.

Freya: Okay, on the count of three, I'll remove my hands.

Ivan: I really don't want to-

Freya: ONETWOTHREE

Her hands lifted away from Ivan's eyes just as quickly as she blew through those numbers. Ivan was dressed in a hospital garb as his eyes adjusted to the light of the day. When the intensity of the sunlight died down to normal levels, and the colors of his surroundings weren't so harsh on his eyes, he could finally see his massive Valentine's Day gift.

Ivan: I can't see too well...is that...a golden skyscraper?

Freya: pffffttt.....keep- keep looking, babe! Just..haha! Just wait for your vision to clear up! I swear, you'll love it!

(Your vision is still blurry, but the image becomes clearer and clearer by the second. You realize you're standing on a balcony so high up from the ground that it becomes nauseating. You can see the entire city around you, all of the buildings and shops and...what? High walls? Why is the city surrounded by walls? And that golden skyscraper ahead...it's...wait...no....nooooo....it can't be!)

Freya: SURPRISE! IT'S A 3,000 FOOT LONG GOLDEN STATUE OF YOUR PENIS!







Freya stood right in front of him, pointing her hands to the statue in the far distance as if it was God's gift to earth. This woman was not wearing a nice dress or even a crummy punk outfit. She was clad in golden armor like some sort of knight or paladin. A white sash around her waist danced around in the breeze along with her alluring, blonde hair. It was thick and magnificent, much like the golden penis staring the entire city in the face.

(Now imagine being so mortified that you wish that a meteor would just strike the planet and kill all life inhabiting it. "Just end it all, God. We've clearly finished evolving. This is our peak. This is our finest moment. We're not worthy of your love.")

Ivan: FREYA! I can't believe you did this!? What the hell were you thinking?!

Freya: I know, right?! I forced the United States and the Netherlands to hand over all their gold at threat of exterminating their entire countries with our brand new Space Laser! They gave up so quickly! So, we had them build this just for you! It's my Valentine's Day gift to you, my love, for being the best boyfriend that an Empress of Earth could ever ask for! Behold its golden, phallic glory, piercing through the clouds and teasing the heavens! Soon, we'll even have the testicles built!

Ivan: What?! What did you just say?

Freya: Soon, we'll even have the testicles built!

Ivan: No, before that!

Freya: Uhm...you're the best boyfriend an Empress of Earth could ever-

Ivan: EMPRESS OF EARTH?!

Freya looked like a confused dog at first, but she heartily laughed it off and brushed her initial confusion aside.

Freya: Oh, my bad! That's right! How could I be so silly? You just woke up from your cryogenic stasis! You have five whole years of history to catch up on. Well, Ivan, I suppose now's a good time to just say it.

(Now imagine...)

Freya: Your girlfriend...

(Dating the most powerful woman on earth.)

Freya: Has become the Empress of Earth!





*SILENCE*




Freya: Your girlfriend has become the Empress of Earth!

...

...

(...)



*...*


Freya: Your girlfriend has-

Ivan: YOU DON'T NEED TO SAY IT A THIRD TIME!

Ivan slouched down against the wall, cradling himself in a fetal position as he desperately tried to wake up from what was obviously a nightmare.

Ivan: He...hehehe...I get it now...this is all just fake, isn't it? None of this is real. Maybe this is one of those weird community mods for that porn VR game I bought right? None of this is real at all. You're not real, the giant penis isn't real, none of this is real and you're not here! Yes, yes, it makes perfect sense! Haha! I'm just dreaming! Of course! How could I have been so blind?! When I wake up, you'll be 15 again, and we'll go on normal dates like we used to...

Freya: Hey...I'm almost 20 now, you know...

Freya pressed the side of her curled index finger against her lip, turning her gaze to the side as she too meandered in thought.

Freya: Hmm...it seems I'll need to properly adjust you to your new life. Come, my love! Let us take a tour of my Imperial Palace!

Ivan: La Li Lu Le Lo....La Li Lu Le Lo... La Li Lu Le Lo...

And so began the tour of what Ivan learned was a massive palace, constructed like a modernized and idealized palace from Babylon. Countless skylights above let the sun beautifully pour through and illuminate the halls and rooms, with its light radiating and bouncing off of walls, bleeding their blue or golden color onto their surroundings. So many potted plants filled the lounges, which were decorated like the lounges in a luxurious hotel.

Crystal chandeliers set the mood with their soft, warm light as the band on the stage filled the massive lounge hall with the sounds of upbeat jazz with attitude. Striking piano chords, walking bass lines, and quick drum fills all took Ivan by surprise.

Freya: This is our main lounge! I typically invite most of the world's major corporate and political leaders here for our annual World Conference! Leaders from Russia, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, China, Saudi Arabia, you name it! At first, we were only able to hold these conferences through threats of crashing their economic markets and nuking strategic positions valuable to each country, but now we only have to threaten to publish the occasional politician's sex tape and start a scandal!

Ivan: I can't believe this...you've got to be joking! Freya, tell me you're just kidding! This is just some weird role playing thing, right?!

Freya: Huh? Of course not! Geez, I conquer the entire earth for you and you won't even give me any credit! You're such a cruel man, Ivan.

(No way...there's no indication that she's joking about any of this...how would you even explain the statue, or this palace?! Is she seriously the empress of the earth?!)




*JAZZ*




Freya stepped up to the stage, waving her hands around to stop the jazz trio's performance.

Freya: That was beautiful, excellent work! Can you do your kind and loving empress who practically owns your lives and souls a huge favor and play Erika Marschlied?

Though Freya's smile was nothing but flowers and sunshine, the pianist was shivering as if he had a bad case of hypothermia, and sweating like he was running a marathon through the Sahara desert.

Pianist: E-E-Erika Marschlied, my lord?

Freya: Yes! You see, my mother was a native German who absolutely loved listening to Erika and other popular marching songs passed down from her parents! It would mean the world to me if you could play it!

Bassist: Boss, this song wasn't on the set list! We don't know what the hell she's talking about!

Freya: Hmm? What was that? What are you whispering about? Surely you can appease the Empress of Earth by fulfilling a simple song request, right? Can't you? You can do it, can't you? I don't have to sew your fingers to your dumb f*cking face and make you play the piano with it, right?! RIGHT?! YOU'D NEVER RUIN THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY TO AN EMPRESS, RIGHT?! YOU'RE LOYAL, AREN'T YOU?!

(Holy crap, is she possessed by Satan?!)

Ivan: Freya!

Pianist: Okay...w-we'll do our best...

Freya: Excellent! Don't mess up, or I'll...you know..."dock your pay".






*GULP*




Freya: Come, Ivan, my love! Let us continue!

Welcome to the Hall of Achievements, a literal hall decorated with pictures of Freya meeting with countless amounts of political and corporate leaders all around the world. All of them were beautifully framed, sitting above nightstands holding busts of some of her favorite historical figures, such as Alexander the Great, Cyrus the Great, Phillip of Macedon, Hammurabi, and Harun Al-Rashid.

Ivan: What is all of this?

Freya: A very expensive pat on the back in the form of a hallway! Over here is when I met with the US president to discuss a peace treaty following their series of catastrophic losses in the Arabian Wars 4 years ago. Ooh! And this one was taken in Qatar, when I fought alongside a reformist militia partly funded by yours truly to overthrow the Qatari government! Ahh, such beautiful memories! Oh, and this right here is a bust of you!

Ivan: What?

Indeed, Freya held up a marble bust of Ivan...with an incredibly exaggerated and almost inhuman jawline. Freya was gushing and squirming just holding the accursed thing.

Ivan: So let me get this straight...you erected a giant-

Freya: PFFTAHAHAHA! ERECTED!

Ivan: You BUILT a giant, golden statue of my genitals and then made a marble bust of my head?

Freya: Hehe..."bust"...

Ivan: CUT IT OUT!





*PARDON*




Freya: Well, the bust came first, and then I built the statue. It's all in your honor, my dear! These past five years without you have been...unbearably lonely...you know?

Ivan caught a hint of sadness in her eyes as she caressed the bust. Her smile softened, and it seemed she entered a moment of somber reflection.

Ivan: I...don't really remember anything about going to sleep for five years. What exactly happened to me?

Freya: That's...well, that's a story I'll save for another time. But I promise, I'll tell you everything. I just don't want to overwhelm you, you know?

Ivan: I guess...

Freya: Be honest with me, Ivan.

Ivan: About what?

Freya: Are you...happy to see me?

Ivan: What kind of question is that? Look, I don't know what on earth is going on here, and touring this place is just making me more confused, but there's one thing I could never be confused about. I love you, Freya. Of course I'm happy to see you. I just need to get caught up on everything.

Freya bowed her head to hide her blushing face.

Freya: Good! I'm so glad!

Ivan:...Can we get rid of the giant-

Freya: Absolutely not.

Ivan: Okay, I won't argue then.

In their moment of awkwardly romantic silence, they could hear the band playing Erika just down the hall...out of tempo and out of key, a pure insult to the legacy of Freya's German ancestry.

Freya: Ugh, what is that abomination?! You call that Erika!? Unbelievable!

Ivan: Well, I wouldn't expect a jazz band to be able to play a military marching song.

Freya: What?! Your expectations should be exceedingly high and unrealistic! Like mines! I've had enough of this!

Freya whipped out her ultimate weapon...a flip phone.





*CALL ANSWERED*




Servant: Yes, my lord?

Freya: Hey, I need you to do me a favor. I need you to...dock the band's pay.

Servant: Ah, you mean you want me to take out the trash.

Freya: Yeah, take out the trash!

Servant: It will be done, my lord.




*CALL ENDED*




Ivan: What on earth were you talking about?

Freya: Oh nothing, dear! Come, let's go check out the ba-



*BOOM*

*BOOM*

*BOOM*


Gunshots rang out from the distance, and the awful, dissonant music came to a halt.

Ivan: FREYA?! WHAT WAS THAT?!

Freya: So, how about those baths, huh!

Ivan: No! Did you just kill those guys!?

Freya: How could I kill anyone when I'm right here? Your sweet, innocent girlfriend would never order the deaths of a mediocre jazz band for insulting the performance of such a personally important song to her! Don't be silly, babe! Who do think I am, Satan?



*BOOM*



Ivan: Another shot?!

Freya: Damn those idiots, I thought I trained them to shoot the back of their heads...

Ivan: So it was you!

Freya: So, how about this soda fountain, huh! Come darling, we have so much more to see!

Ivan: Don't try to change the subject!




*CALL INCOMING*




Freya: Hmm?




*CALL ANSWERED*




Freya: Defense Minister Julius?

Julius: My lord, we have a problem.

Freya: Damn it! What is it? I told you, today was supposed to be perfect!

Julius: My apologies, my lord, but it seems the "Three Sinners" are here for an abrupt diplomatic visit. They don't seem too happy.

Freya: The Three Sinners, huh? Crap...and I wanted a stress-free day today. Alright. I'll be down there in a second. Let me just get Ivan to his room.

Julius: Yes, my lord.


*CALL ENDED*




Ivan: Three Sinners?

Freya: I won't bore you with the details. Sorry darling, but it looks like I'll have to cut this tour short. Your girlfriend has some business to take care of.

(It was so odd...her smile was the same...her behavior was still oddly, charmingly crude...but the air around her was so different. When did she lose an eye? What scars or tiny details is hiding on her body, beneath all the armor? How on did my girlfriend become the Empress of Earth in five years?)

Pianist: OH GOD HELP ME!





*BOOM*




Ivan: ANOTHER ONE?!

Freya: Christ...we really need to hire better executioners- F*CK, I JUST ADMITTED TO IT!





*WE'RE GOING TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD*


*WITH LOVE AND FIRE*






9
break Room / November is Upon Us, God Have Mercy On Our Hell-Bound Souls
« on: November 02, 2016, 01:42:07 PM »
"Hey! Look who came out of their cave! Join us, anon!"



*INTENSE GREGORIAN CHANTING*

The PTSD will never go away. The faces of family members I never wanted to see, the bland taste of slightly overdone Turkey, the torture of mentally flagellating conversations about nothing and stories about things and banal events that are less than nothing.

Can you hear it? That's the agonizing, melancholy polyphony of millions of introverted souls crying out in ungodly amounts of pain that you could ever only understand if Satan himself kicked you in the throat. That's the silent soldiers of this earth screaming as barrages of festive artillery and Eggnog Gas kill their comrades and soften their position.

'Nam ain't got nothing on this.

We're all gonna die here.

Alone, our stomachs full of turkey during the day, and our entire bottles of sleeping pills in the night. Prepare your souls to meet God, if he still even cares for the human race at this point.

I for one, am certain he has abandoned us all.


10
Develop Your Story / La-La-Laila!
« on: October 28, 2016, 06:50:02 PM »
One man. One little girl. One joyful walk through the countryside.

La-La-Laila: The Girl Who Only Sees Positive Things
Spoiler
Happiness.

*START*

It was a sunny, very warm day as two people took a stroll through the countryside of Koga. Flowers were blooming all around, the grass was a vibrant green, and the blue sky was so deep and beautiful it could make you cry. These two people, one 10 year old girl, and one 23 year old man. The little girl, singing an improvised tune as she skipped along the dirt path, was a native to Koga, gifted with their unique, hazel colored, perfectly straight hair. She had let it beautifully grow down to her her elbows.

(Meet her. Her name is Laila.)

Always smiling, Laila turned around to face her partner, pointing her finger down the road.

Laila: Just a little more! It's this way, Hugo!

Hugo: You said that same thing two hours ago!

Laila: No really, I'm serious this time!

Hugo: So you weren't serious the other times...damn kid...

(Me...I'm Hugo. I cannot tell you my last name. Certain reasons prohibit me from doing so. What I can tell you is that I've taken up the responsibility of making sure the girl got home safely. We found her lost in the fields, a long way from home. I figured, maybe if I could just take her back, god will forgive me for the sins I have committed in this land, and the sins I will be forced to commit once she returns and we go our separate paths.)

Hugo was tall, towering over the little girl as if he was her father. Most of his body and apparel were hidden beneath his green, hooded cloak, save for his brown boots. A natural blonde, he tied his long hair into a messy bun, keeping it out of the way of his green eyes.

*ROUGE*

Hugo: Why were you even so far from home in the first place? A little kid should never be two hours away from their parents unless they have a guardian.

Laila furiously halted her steps, unleashing pure hell on Hugo with her mere gaze of apocalyptic hatred.

Laila: I am not little! I'm 10 years old! In 4 years, I'll legally be and adult! And my sister told me I'll grow boobs too and become a mommy!

Hugo: Your sister doesn't sound like a very good influence...

Laila gasped, as if someone had just proudly uttered absolute heresy around her.

Laila: You take the back or I'll...I'll...

Hugo: Do what?

Lacking strength, she did the one thing a child could always do just to prove a point. Hold her breath until she was blue in the face.

Hugo: Come on, stop that.

*PINK*

Hugo: I said stop it!

*RED*

Hugo: Whatever, you're just bluffing anyway. No kid would actually-

*PURPLE*

Hugo: BREATHE, KID! You win!

Laila let go of her breath, smiling as her lungs filled up again.

Hugo: I wouldn't be surprised if your parents abandoned you...

Laila: Hehe! You admitted defeat! I win!

A strange noise ripped through the sky. It sounded so far, yet so close, like the screech of a massive bird. The two turned their eyes to the ski, but saw no such bird above, nor anyone near them.

Laila: What was-

The boom of thunder captured Laila's ears, and turned her view to the other direction. It all began to make sense to her, as she spotted the possible source of the thunderous boom. It seemed the other end of the countryside was shrouded in dark clouds. It was like a massive wall of darkness, an approaching storm. The screeching and thunder continued even as she admired the breath-taking sight.

Laila: Wow! Mother nature can be so scary, right, Hugo? Hugo?

Hugo: Ah! Yeah...you're right. Come on, we should keep going. We definitely don't want to get caught in that.

Laila's smugness returned.

Laila: Hehe...don't tell me you're scared of thunder!

Those clouds did not amuse Hugo.

Hugo: Those kind of clouds are the most terrifying of all. We should just keep going.

Laila: Yes sir! You're still a wimp though! I love the thunder! My mother told me I was born during a thunderstorm too!

The two continued their walk with those terrifying clouds behind them. At long last, with their legs feeling like melted butted, Laila's village was in sight. The two experienced completely opposite reactions upon approaching the village. Laila was overwhelmed with joy, but Hugo wrapped his cloak around her, keeping her right by him.

Laila: Huh? Let me go, you weirdo!

Hugo: Don't just go running off like that! Don't you see what's ahead of you?! Every-

Laila: No way! So many people are napping by the tree together! We always did that when it got warm like this! Hugo, we have to be quiet as we pass by them! Not a sound!

Hugo: Napping? I...yeah, sure. We'll be quiet, so we don't disturb them.

Their walk was as silent as could be. In fact, all they could hear were the sound of their own footsteps along the dirt path, and the crunch of the tiny pebbles beneath their feet. So many people were fast asleep beneath those trees, some facing the sky, some with their faces buried in the grass.

Laila: It's called the Day of Rest! After a long, hard week of work, we all take the time to bond with our neighbors by sleeping with them beneath the trees and a warm day with a cool breeze.

Hugo: I see...

Laila: Hmm...hey, Hugo, that storm...should we wake them?

Hugo: Oh...uhm...no. I'm sure it will be fine. They'll wake up before it hits. They'll be able to sense when it gets colder and awaken.

Laila: Okey dokey! Come, my house is this way! We just have to cross Town Square now!

Laila so joyfully skipped through the village and arrived in the middle of town square, where the shops, bank, and community hall all formed a square around a beautiful stone fountain that spewed water up into the air, and back down into the fountain. Though, Laila was angered to find that even the people in town square were all napping on the grass.

Laila: Hmm? Here too? Some people are just so lazy! Hugo, do people nap in town square in your country too?

Hugo: Vevoskovia? No, we don't have any tradition similar to this....but...Laila.

Laila: What is it?

Hugo: We shouldn't disturb them. Let's just keep going to your house, alright? Let's hurry.

Laila: Geez, are you in that much of a rush to get rid of me?

Hugo: Yeah, now I'm certain your parents abandoned you.

*SHOT THROUGH THE HEART*

And so, after 2 and half hours of walking, talking, smug insults, and strange occurrences, Laila and Hugo finally made it to their destination, or rather, Laila's stop. It was one of the biggest houses in the village, clearly belonging to an affluent family.

Hugo: This...this is your house?

Laila: Yep! We finally made it! Hmm...I guess this means we have to say goodbye, huh?

Hugo stayed silent, unable to draw his eyes away from the house.

Laila: Ah! I know! Come inside! I'll let my parents know you helped me get home! I'm sure they'll give you a good meal for the trouble!

Hugo: Laila-

Laila grabbed Hugo by the hand with a grip so tight it almost seemed desperate, gladly guiding him inside. The first thing she saw was the butler who always greeted her whenever she returned home. He was quite elderly, welcoming, and warm.

Butler: Good day, young master Laila! Welcome home!

Laila: Thank you! Glad to be back! This is Hugo! He helped me get home, so I'm going to introduce him to my parents!

Butler: Oh dear, a future husband?

Laila: HUSBAND?! N-n-no! He just helped me get home! If anything, it's like awarding a stray dog with some food! Anyway, just show me where my parents are!

Butler: They're actually preparing dinner right now. The should be setting the table, young master Laila.

Laila: Got it! Right this way, Hugo!

Hugo: Hey, hang on a second!

(Dragged around by a little girl...)

The dining room was large and lavish indeed, as one would expect from the house. Just as the butler told her, Laila met her parents just as they were setting down the food. Her father was gray in the head, but her mother looked very, very young and beautiful. The aroma of sweet buns, roasted chicken, and roasted potatoes filled her nose. Hugo dragged behind her, admiring the size of the house and all of the paintings hung on the walls. Laila didn't seem to notice.

Father: Oh! Laila!

Mother: Goodness, where were you? Did you sneak out again?!

Laila: Hehe...sorry! I wanted to go down to Locksville with my friends! Everything was fine, Mom!

Mother: Locksville? That's two hours away! Did you pay for a carriage?! It would've been expensive!

Father: Oh, calm down, love! She's fine!

Mother: Darling, you are much too light on her! Isn't a father supposed to be stern!?

Father: Yes, but we also have to give our children some independence. We taught her how to go out by herself, so I trust she was responsible. Besides, it's time to eat! I'm sure she's hungry!

*GROWL*

Laila: Hehe...yeah, there it is...

Mother: Goodness...fine. I'll let it go for now. Come on and eat, darling. Did you wash your hands?

Laila: Yep! Washed them in town square!

*LIAR*

Finally, a warm meal. Laila took her seat next to her father and took a big bite of her father's famous sweet buns. It was soft, buttery bread that was just slightly, perfectly sweet. Every bite was pure bliss.

Laila: Mmm! So delicious!

Mother: You just make sure to eat your potatoes, dear.

Father: Come on, don't nag at her!

Mother: I am not nagging! Am I, darling?

Laila: Yeah, you kind of are.

*SHOT THROUGH THE HEART*

Father: So, Lockesville, huh? Did your friends get home too?

Laila: Yeah, they all shared a carriage home. Oh! That reminds me! I met someone today named Hugo! Admittedly, I did get a little lost, but Hugo is the one who helped me get here! I brought him in with me! Hugo! Come here!

Mother: Oh my, a guest? You should've said so!

Laila: Hehe...I smelled the food and forgot all about him.

Hugo entered the room, standing just outside of the hall and daring not to go any further. A sorrowful expression wore on his face as he stared at Laila.

Laila: Mom, Dad, this is Hugo! He's from Vevoskovia!

Father: Whoa, Vevoskovia?! They're a young country, aren't they? Only about 12 years old, but they're already so large and powerful!

Mother: I heard the kings of the Eastern States united and formed a single country together to prevent Syvia from absorbing them. Their king was from Omni, right? Taught by Phaedra Asane herself! What as his name again? I know his last name, the royal name is Menlayev, but what about the first?

Father: Ah, it escapes me...sorry young man, what was his name? You must forgive us, we rural folk aren't as well informed on the political world as others!

*NOIR*

Not a word escaped from Hugo's lips. He kept his eyes only on Laila.

Laila: Hugo, how rude! At least answer the question!

Hugo: Laila...I'm sorry, but...no one is here.

Laila:...Huh?

The house was grand, but it was empty and in ruins. Though food was on the table, the fresh cooked meal Laila saw with her own eyes had already gone rotten. Her parents, the classic lovey-dovey couple with innocent arguments were not there. The butler was not there.

(Laila had not realized any of it. Maybe she didn't want to. The screams in the sky and thunder we heard, and the clouds we saw...those were the screams of rockets flying through the air. The storm clouds was the massive cloak of black smoke from the burning countryside from whence she came. I dared not tell her the truth then. The people we had seen napping under the trees and in town square, her fellow villagers and countrymen, were not napping. Rather, their sleep was an eternal one.)

*ROUGE*

(Her friends, who "shared a carriage", were but the corpses of her friends, hauled away from Locksville to be disposed of off-site. And I, the kind stranger who guided her home...)

Hugo's cloak moved aside as he placed his hand on the grip of his sword, sheathed to his hip. He was wearing a protective, lightweight vest and green thermal beneath. His belt secured his pants, but also held valuable tools given to him by his country, smoke bombs, gas canisters, daggers and the like.

The very center of his vest was a golden emblem, a lotus flower blooming beneath a crescent moon. It was the emblem of Special Operations and Espionage, a special military branch belonging to Hugo's home country, Vevoskovia.

(I was an SOE agent, deployed to Koga as the War of Four Corners broke out. In addition to the full might of Vevoskovia's military, the SOE were deployed as well to handle more underhanded operations. Other powerful nations like Asaji and Sankadesh joined the war on Vevoskovia's side.)

Laila: What do you mean? My parents are right here...aren't they?

Hugo: No. No one is here. Not a single living person is here.

(All three nations were fighting against the Kogans and the Syvians that were backing them. Laila was the most unfortunate child I had ever met, the first war orphan I had ever encountered. She was much too young to understand the reasons behind such a massive war, too young to understand the sounds of sword meeting sword, horses charging down the valleys, or rockets screaming in the sky.)

The pleasant and loving home she saw disappeared as reality set in. Everything was dead, destroyed, and rotten. Her head sunk low as she fought hard to return to her loving home. It grew farther and farther away from her.

*THE WAR OF FOUR CORNERS*

*TOTAL CASUALTIES EXCLUDING NON-COMBAT PERSONNEL*

*8,000,000*


*ONLY AFTER 2 YEARS OF WAR*

*PROJECTED CASUALTIES WITH RECENT ENTRANTS TO WAR*


*20,000,000 AFTER ANOTHER YEAR*

*IF FIGHTING REMAINS AS INTENSE*


(Welcome to the most destructive war so far in our history as a species.)







11


It's that time of year again  :ninja:

I don't actually expect to find anyone for this, but I figured I may as well let people know in case they want to go and submit something. Never hurts to try, right?

I've already got 8 and 1/2 friggin arcs of Death by Ex-Girlfriend written and divided into neat little novels, so I hope to get lucky and maybe make something nice, at least just a one shot.  :clapping: Anyways, hope this was useful/interesting

12
Develop Your Story / Katyanaishka Chronicles (6 Cataclysms)
« on: September 27, 2016, 06:14:15 AM »
I told myself I'd never share this, but oh well. Katyanaishka Chronicles everybody! It's a work within a series I've secretly worked on for like two years.

6 Cataclysms is it's own full fantasy world complete with a long history, countries, and cultures, mainly centering around the country of Vevoskovia, and the dynasty that rules it, the Menlayev family. Katyanaishka Chronicles focuses on (my favorite girl) Katya, a member of the Vevoskovian Deshavi Black Ops (it's as serious and sub rosa as it sounds).

She's a major and pivotal character in the series, and this goes over her background, and how she became THE legendary Commander Katya that she ends up being known as in the main story. I'm only sharing a little bit.

Katya's Heartfelt Preface
Spoiler

This book, which I so pridefully name Katyanaishka Chronicles, is a long and painful tale, for it has forced me to recall the voices of my friends and comrades, all of whom I still sorely miss to this day, and so sweetly reminisce about in my nights.

And I so sweetly honor these people, because as of now, in my 39th year of living, they are no longer with us.

Vera was perhaps my greatest friend. As you will come to see in this story, she was a very, very strange and foul person. Potty-mouthed to her very core, with a vexing obsession with violence and corpses. However, if you get far enough, you'll also see just how much love she had in her heart. Vera lived a few good years after the events of this book until her death by my hands.

Vera, I will always sweetly recall our days together. I love you, forever and always.

Locke was always level-headed, perhaps even the center of the group. He was the oldest, so he was more matured and experience than the rest of us. After the events of this book, he served under me when I became Commander of the Deshavi Black Ops. Locke tragically met his fate in the country of Providence, killed by King Hita's false brother and reincarnated prophet, Luxaura.

Locke, your years of service and dedication to the Deshavi and to me is probably why even one of us is still alive right now. Thank you, for everything. Please, rest well.

Kruger...well, there's many things I could say about him. He was chosen as the squad leader after Locke passed up on the position. Kruger was a good leader, but unfortunately, he was not very strong of mind. This character fault is what led to the great tragedies written here, which consumed all of us, and nearly the entire world. Kruger was disgraced and shamefully executed by the Deshavi, after betraying us.

I can only hope you've found peace, Kruger. No matter what, I still consider you a great friend to this very day.

Borealis, the Deshavi Commander at the time, was a very powerful and experienced soldier. He had served Vevoskovia for decades in the Deshavi, and even still, he's revered as one of the best commanders we've ever had. He was my mentor, my teacher, and a beloved comrade. I am honored to have met this man and served under him for as long as fate allowed me to. He would be tragically murdered after his retirement, but an opponent much more powerful than he was.

His murderer was discovered to be Phaedra Asane, the last leader of the Omni Nation. She was supposed to have died hundreds of years ago, but she still lives by the same immortality that Luxaura lives. Each time I've fought her, I have failed to kill her.

Thank you, Borealis, for your teachings, and for making me the woman and commander I am today. I still have your jacket, my friend.

Last but not least, L'amica. L'amica served as a medic in the Deshavi Black Ops for years. She was kind and friendly, one of the nicest people you could ever meet. She was beautiful, too. Admittedly, I had one of the biggest crushes on her, and dreamed about her often. I dare say I even loved her. L'amica, too, would be killed by Phaedra Asane.

And even Queen Kalina, who I adored and served proudly, left behind her son when she died far too young of a lung infection. Her son Tokahev would grow to be a fantastic king, but this curse of death would claim him and his wife Amiya as well. They were both murdered by Roy Diadara, one of the founders of Vevoskovia, another person who should have been long dead, but still lived and breathed among us.

I am the only one left. Though the people of the past have been replaced by new faces and smiles, I still fondly remember those that were part of my youth, and part of who I am today. Kruger, Locke, Vera, Borealis, Kalina, Tokahev, and Amiya, may god serve as a witness to how much I love you, yearn for you, and miss you all every day.

Thank you for everything.



Katyanaishka Chronicles: The Eyes of Death
Spoiler

It was a dark, eldritch night on the border of the Sankadesh Kingdom. The sky rained upon the vast stretch of forestland heavily. The only source of light came from a village built alongside a deforested hill. The buildings were very well kept, and their corrugated roofs allowed for the rain to slip off onto the ground. The roads were well carved and maintained, but the village itself was empty tonight. Towards the heart of this village, a group 0f 16 camouflaged individuals met up under the rain.

Their men brought out suitcases and crates, with their contents clearly visible as they were laid down under a powerful electric light fixture. Just west of this village, over the deforested hill, was the sea. A masked face emerged from the sea, and so did three other masked faces.

Each mask was a silver demon mask, depicting demons from the Book of Wisdom, the holy book of Agzatona. One of these masked people spoke as the rain poured down on them, and they made their way towards the shore. It was none other than a 17 year old Katya Nenyin who was being deployed on her first mission.

Katya: This rain just will not let up. We're not going to be able to utilize the moon for this. What do you wanna do, Kruger?

Kruger: We'll push up and go around the hill. We may not be able to use the moon as our eye, but we can still make use of its invisibility prowess. You and Vera will go around the right, me and Locke will go around the left. You'll move in on our mark.

Vera: We have at least 160 individuals within the village. Given the nature of the meeting, we should expect some of them will be a bit far off from the group and patrol the village.

Kruger: We'll be sure to handle that from our side. Katya, summon our gear and let's get moving.

The four all sat on the shore as Katya removed her mask, revealing her light skin, sharp blue eyes that seemed to glow in the night, and her long, thick mane of blond hair. She removed her swimming gloves, revealing her bare hands and purple finger nails. Katya clasped her hands together and locked her fingers. The symbol of the moon appeared on both of her hands as she placed them on the sand. With just a quick flash, a wooden chest containing plastic-wrapped gear appeared.

The chest was marked with a Moon Seal, which consisted of the moon symbol and a stylized circle surrounding the symbol. Katya took out the gear and handed it to her squadmates. Each of them unwrapped their items and placed them in the pockets of the protective vests, or in the pouches and pockets fastened around their belts. Poison needles, throwing daggers, wrist bolts, chlorine bombs and short swords were all unwrapped and put in their appropriate places.

Katya: Vera, let's hurry up and get going.

Vera: Oh don't be so hasty, Snow Queen.

Vera removed her mask and her face was revealed. She had brown eyes, with long black hair tied behind her back in a pony tail that stretched all the way down to her tailbone. Her bangs were parted and covered her round cheeks. The wind began to pick up and blew her hair in all sorts of directions as she placed her sword on her back and prepared to move out with Katya.

Vera: Don't be late, Kruger.

Kruger and Locke kept their masks on as they were still preparing.

Locke: When have either of us ever been late? And don't bring up the Shuzu incident, that was completely different.

Kruger: Let it go Locke. We won't be late, Vera. Try not to contact us using the Venus seal. Let's try to do this in complete silence until we reach our positions.

Katya and Vera ventured carefully through the forest together, with Katya leading the way. Suddenly, Katya crouched and help up her fist, signaling Vera to stop moving. She pointed to the ground with her hand, indicating the forest was booby trapped. Katya and Vera chose to travel atop the trees instead of walking on the ground. They jumped from branch to branch and made their way to their destination.

Meanwhile, Kruger and Locke approached the front of the village, which had its gates guarded by four men in camouflaged rain cloaks.

Locke: Four sorry souls, armed with longswords. Not much to speak of for armor. Do you want to take them out or bypass them?

Kruger: Let's go ahead and take them out from here. The rain is heavy, so let's use our needles. We'll aim for their necks. On my mark.

The two gazed eagerly at the four men who stood around joking together, unaware they were about to die.

Kruger: Three, two, one.....mark.

Kruger and Locke threw their poison needles forcefully, quickly, and synchronously. It took just 5 seconds for the men to fall to the ground, unable to move, speak, or see. Kruger and Locke moved their bodies off into the brush and continued towards the village.

Katya and Vera spotted a lone man below them from the treetops.

Vera took out her throwing knife, but was stopped by Katya's hand. Katya closed one of her eyes for 3 seconds. When it opened again, it was a glowing pink color, with the symbol of Venus imprinted on the pupil. She gazed at the man with this eye for no more than 2 seconds before closing it and bringing it back to normal.

Katya: Let's go.

Vera: Wait, what did you do?

Katya simply looked back at the man, and Vera did too. They watched as the man suddenly stabbed himself in the stomach and bled out on the floor.

Vera: Oh my god...shouldn't he be screaming?

Katya: The Art of Venus has the distinct power of influencing one's brain. A skilled user can do things such as shut down the nervous system with it.

Vera: As always, mailbox tits, you're just showin' off ain't ya?

Katya let out a gentle and innocent laugh

Katya: Maybe I am just a little bit. I just wanted to use it, that's all. Regardless, we're almost there. Kruger and Locke should be too.

Vera: I swear, going on a mission with these dolts is pure suicide. I wouldn't even be surprised if the village just suddenly erupted in a giant ball of flames and-

A loud, thunderous explosion rocked the village. The flames shot so high up into the sky, the light from the explosion reached over the hill, where Katya and Vera were.

Vera sat with wide eyes and a shocked expression

Vera: Son of a bitch! Now our cover is blown!

Katya: Forget it! Go loud! We're rushing towards the village now. Kill everyone and destroy the shipments! Go!

Katya and Vera made their way inside the village, illuminated by a great flame that consumed half of the hill. To their surprise, this was the work of a 3rd party. a group of soldiers rushed the village and fired disposable launchers at the weapons caches that were scattered about. Katya and Vera remained on the sidelines and watched the chaos unfold.

Vera: They're doing our job for us...

Katya: I don't see any coat of arms on their uniforms. They might just be another criminal organization. Regardless, it's kinda nice that we don't have to do anything right?

Vera: No.......I WANTED TO BLOW SH*T UP!

Katya: Whoa! Hey...uhhh....it's really not a big deal, this saves us the trouble-

Vera: All this saves us is the pleasure of doing our own job!

Kruger and Locke appeared behind Katya and Vera.

Kruger: Looks like we stumbled right into the hornet's nest with this one.

Vera: Hey, Kruger...

Kruger: Yeah?

Vera kicked Kruger in the one place a man should never be kicked. Vera began cursing, pointing her fingers at her team mates while doing so.

Vera: EVERY SINGLE TIME WE'RE ABOUT TO GRAB THE ENEMY BY THE ASS, WE SOMEHOW END UP BEING THE ONES TO GET SCREWED! GOD DAMN IT!

Locke: Damn it, there she goes cursing again. On a religious holiday nonetheless...

Vera: God damn it! And I was actually getting a little wet for once!

Locke: How is it that someone likes you gets off on violence but you still don't have to take a psych evaluation?

Vera: Because I do whatever the hell I want! Screw your psych tests!

Kruger: Well, none of this is our fault, so it's not really on us.

Katya: Should we just head back? I mean, our mission is just about done right now.

Vera: Screw you pussies. I'm going down there!

Katya: What?! Vera, wait!

Vera: You're not stopping me now, Snow Queen! Nothing is going to stop me from getting off this time! Join in or piss off!

Vera lept from behind the wall and jumped down into the middle of the chaos. Her sudden appearance made the fighting parties stop and gaze at her. The fire behind her casted her long shadow towards the men as she took out 3 canisters of chlorine bombs and chucked them at the crowd of criminals. She then took her sword from off of her back and began charging the fleeing criminals

Kruger: Ah to hell with it. Let's go in. and join her.

Katya: You've got to be kidding me...

Kruger: Come on, it will be fun!

The remaining three also jumped down and watched as Vera slaughtered the small army by herself.

Vera: YES! I'VE NEVER FELT SO ALIIIIIIIIIIVVEEEEE!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Locke: Honestly, I'm scared to even go near her.

Locke removed his mask. He had a shaven head, a large, scruffy beard, and a vertical scar on his right eye.

Locke: There's no need for the masks anymore, sir.

Kruger took off his mask as well. Kruger's long brown hair was free from the confines of the mask. His green eyes shone like emeralds in the illuminated village.

Kruger: Alright everyone. You've got my permission to engage. Knock yourselves out!

Katya charged in to save Vera from an incoming sword lunge from behind.

Katya: Hey! You dumb bitch! Behind you!

Vera ducked as one of the soldiers lunged his sword at her. Katya took advantage of his confusion and threw throwing knives in his eyes and in his forehead.

Katya: You are just an absolute handful!

Vera: That's what it means to be alive, baby!

The night was filled with the dying screams of men, and the twisted laughter of Vera. It would take 3 hours until the group was finished. They returned to Deshavi HQ before dawn, appearing before the massive waterfall that acts as a guarded entrance to the HQ, which was carved out of the cave network beyond the waterfall.

Locke: Sheeh, what an ordeal.

Katya: True, but the weapons were destroyed, the HVT's died, and we got to dance with a very organized army for once. Though I'm not to psyched about having to report that Vera went on a sex crazed massacre and started chopping up people just for the hell of it. Ain't that right, "Butcher"?

Vera: Oh shut the hell up. We got the job done either way. There's nothing wrong with having some fun!

Katya: Hothead.

Vera: Thundercunt.

Kruger: Enough! Let's just get back inside. I'll handle the mission report later. You guys just get some rest, alright?

Kruger walked on the water of the lake leading to the waterfall. He clasped his hands exactly how Katya did before, using the Art of Neptune to split the waterfall and allow for safe passage into Deshavi HQ. The group returned their gear, and separated into their dorms. Kruger and Locke said goodnight to Katya and Vera.

Kruger: Well, despite the mission not going the way it was planned, the objectives were completed. Good job, both of you! Nighty night!

Katya & Vera: Goodnight!

Katya and Vera went off into their room, removing their protective vests and other gear as they got ready to go to sleep.

Katya: Hey, how do you do it?

Vera: Do what?

Katya: Charge into crazy situations like that. I'd think you're a complete psychopath if I didn't know any better.

Vera: The fact that you DON'T think I'm a complete psychopath shows me you DON'T know any better!

Katya: Nah, I just have too much faith in you.

Vera: Thanks, bitch. I'll be sure to dream about you in my sleep.

Katya: Oh, burn in hell!

Katya sunk into her bed and immediately closed her eyes.

Katya: You're not coming to bed?

Vera: I will, I'm just gonna be in the bathroom for a few minutes.

Katya: Huh? What for? You already used the restroom.

Vera: After today's massive blueballing? What do you think?

Katya: Ah, right. I understand. Make sure nobody hears you. And try not to make a mess on the floor this time. I still haven't forgotten when I slipped and hit my head on the bath tub because of you.

Vera: No promises. I've got at least 2 months of stress built up. Need anything while I'm out?

Katya: Nah, I'm good. Night, sis.

Vera: Goodnight.

Meanwhile, Kruger met with Commander Borealis in his office to discuss the events of the mission. It was customary for subordinates to kneel before their superiors in meetings like these, with their fists placed firmly on the ground, and their swords laid down in front of them.

Borealis: I see. So there was a 3rd party involved. That may have a lot to do with Sankadesh being embargoed by Asaji. Their country depended on Asaji's support. That may just be the reason why they've stopped though. Sankadesh is on the verge of economic crisis while fighting a civil war. Meaning there are most likely many factions trying to get their hands on smuggled materials.

Kruger: Isn't the Asaji DAY supposed to handle things like this, sir?

Borealis: Daijin Aiwa Yozuruu. They're a very resourceful and skilled branch of the Asaji military. I'm sure Vashi is utilizing them in some form, but he's minimalizing their operative authority in the region. It only makes sense, Kruger. Your mission today proved Sankadesh is tearing itself apart from the inside. Why throw your best men in that kind of pointless fray?

Kruger: True, I suppose it does make sense. Either way, the HVT's on our end were killed. This is going to have a heavy effect on the Loyalist faction.

Borealis: Indeed. Getting the young Sankadesh prince into power is paramount to maintaining a strong economic relationship with Sankadesh. If the Loyalists continue to deal with Syvia instead of Asaji, you'll have my full permission to wipe them out completely. Until then, we'll just have to see what happens next. Oh, and Kruger?

Kruger: Yes, sir?

Borealis: Follow me to the White Room. Zetnya's team captured an HVT on their end. We have questions and he has answers. You're the one who's best suited for this.

Kruger:....Of course, sir.

Kruger followed Borealis with a blank look in his eyes. The White Room was an awful place. At the same time, it was a place that was absolutely necessary for the Deshavi Black Ops to do its job. Kruger had shown exceptional skill in enhanced interrogation techniques in his time with the Deshavi Black Ops. For this reason, he was often called upon to the White Room when his expertise was required.

The White Room had no doors or windows. The only way in and out of the White Room is to use the Art of Saturn, which allows the user to dematerialize and slip through objects. Once inside, Kruger and Borealis were greeted by Zetnya and his team. They moved out of the way as they approached their prisoner. In this pure white and spacious room, there was a man sitting naked, chained to the ceiling by his wrists, with a black blindfold around his eyes. He hung there bloodied, bruised, and confused. Kruger approached him.

Kruger: Do you know where you are?

The man nodded no.

Kruger: You're in the worst place in existence, bested only by hell itself. We know you've been helping smuggle weapons and supplies to the Loyalists in Sankadesh. You will either tell me everything about your involvement in these operations, or you will face the consequences.

The man's face grew flustered. As it was clear he was trying to make a choice in his mind, he began to cry.

Kruger: Depending on your willingness to cooperate, this might be the last few minutes you have in this world. I wouldn't waste them crying.

Everyone waited and waited, but the man wouldn't say a word.

Kruger: Very well then. I've given you 3 minutes to comply. And you failed. I'm going to inflict every kind of pain on your body, heart, and mind as I possibly can. Prepare yourself.

With the Art of Neptune, Kruger placed his hand on the stomach of the man, manipulating the stomach acid that rested within. Burning pain filled the man's stomach and esophagus, as his screams did the White Room. Borealis simply watched with his arms crossed. Borealis untied his long, white hair and watched as the man burned from the inside. It reminded him of the day half of his body was scorched during a mission, and he thought of the scars that still remain on his body.

Borealis: Kruger, don't go at one method for too long. It will affect your kidneys.

Kruger: Right, I know, Sir.

After hours torture, the man had spilled everything he knew about the Loyalist operations in Sankadesh. Names, locations, addresses, everything.

Man: Please.....let me go. I've told you....everything. Please, god. I just want to see my family....

Borealis looked at the man and then closed his eyes before speaking.

Borealis: We know your family was involved in the smuggling operations. There are already people on the way to dispose of them.

Man: What? NO! You're lying!

Borealis: If you wanted to see them so bad, you should've thought about their future the moment you involved them in the operations. Having a 14 year old girl smuggle grenades Katsuya Rockets. What kind of father are you exactly?

Zetnya: Your family became enemy accomplices the moment you got them involved. Today will be their last day alive.

Once again, the man grew quite and began to cry.

Borealis: You'll have plenty of time to apologize to your wife and daughter for failing them in the Underworld. Kruger, do it.

Kruger clasped his hands and the man bursted into flames. He swung around in the chains and screamed as the flames engulfed his body until they burned through his muscles and he could no longer move. In under a minute, his life was over.

Vera: Hot damn! No pun intended, of course

Borealis: Vera? When did you get in here?

Vera stood watching in her fishnet top and underwear, completely unnoticed until that point.

Vera: Just a few minutes ago! Yo, Kruger! That was so damn rad, baby! The way you mercilessly burned that man alive! And hell, you guys are even gonna kill his family too? F*ckin' A. I've never been so aroused in my life just watching this!

Kruger: Vera! That's enough. It's still early. You should get back to bed.

Kruger exited the White Room without glancing at anybody. This line of work had its toll on those who were obligated to do it. One by one, everyone else began leaving the room as well, leaving Vera alone in the White Room.

Vera: Ah, screw em.

Vera took one of the metal chairs standing against the wall and sat in front of the scorched remains of the prisoner. Vera took off her fishnet shirt, and stuck her right hand in her underwear.

Vera: There's no use in wasting a sight like this now, is there? When do you ever get to stare at the charred remains of a god-forsaken criminal one-on-one like this? What a sorry bastard.

Kruger found Vera's behavior towards the sights she often sees as symbolic more than annoying. To him, it was the embodiment of the heart of someone within the Deshavi Black Ops. Perhaps nobody else interprets those feelings the same way Vera does, but it was always commonplace in the Deshavi to blacken one's heart to the sight of ghastly violence.

Kruger: "The mind is the first casualty in war. The soldier who dies in his head in battle has already lost the fight. Through the unholy displays of blood and thunder throughout the world, the soldier who keeps his mind steady will always
emerge victorious." Sometimes I really question if that's the truth.

Kruger could hear Vera behind the wall, and began to wonder how she can react this way with such a grim sight in front of her.

Kruger: At least she's adopted this mentality. Well, one way or the other.

Katya's team was among the most awkward teams in the Deshavi Black Ops. Vera drew sexual excitement from violence. Kruger was the designated interrogator. Katya herself was the most skilled member of the Black Ops, and also held a very precious ability within her. Locke seemed to be the only normal person in the Deshavi. As normal as it gets, anyway.

Katya finally awoke alone in her room, ready to start another day of life in the Deshavi Black Ops.

Katya let out a yawn.

Katya: First thing is first. I need to talk to Borealis about my eyes.

Katya closed her eyes and opened them again. Revealing the symbol of Saturn in her left eye, and the symbol of Mars in her right eye. These deadly eyes. What kind of power is this? What secrets lay beyond the eyes of death itself?


13
General Manga writer discussions / What Makes a Good Hook?
« on: August 16, 2016, 09:43:02 PM »
Sometimes, when you read the first chapter of a story, or watch the first episode of a show, it starts off in a way that manages to grip you, or "hook" you in, leaving you excited to read/watch the rest of it.

So, what makes a good hook to you? What are some characteristics of those first chapters/episodes that grab you by the hand and pull you in?  :noidea:

14
Discussions / Death By Ex-Girlfriend Discussion
« on: August 05, 2016, 12:55:55 AM »
I really should've done this a long time ago, but I also wanted to have several arcs written before opening up a discussion.  :ninja:

The story is here, is still in development.
http://forums.mangaraiders.com/index.php/topic,15620.0.html

A lot of things have happened to the characters since the story was first made. They've gotten older, some have passed away, and some are still around. I always wondered what people thought of the characters, their growth, the arcs, who the best girl is (don't answer that, it's Shinju), or what they think of the dramatic changes to format the story goes through during the Dawn and Dusk arc.

I suppose it's as good a time as any, as the Inari Standoff arc has just begun. So, yeah. DBEG Discussion for anyone interested

*CIAO*

15
*WINK WINK*

*HELLO THERE*



 :clapping: Alright, alright. So, as the title suggests, I'm looking for any decent artists up for the challenge of drawing the cute, eccentric girls of one of my (ongoing) stories, Death by Ex-Girlfriends. Quite a few girls have been added since the story first began, so I would like to have art of them all.

Death by Ex-Girlfriends is posted here, if you haven't skimmed through it before: http://forums.mangaraiders.com/index.php/topic,15620.0.html

It's hard to describe what it's about, because instead of an overarching storyline encompassing the length of the story itself, it's divided into arcs that tend to focus on a character or certain group of characters. However, a recurring theme in all of these arcs is the re-emergence of old loves, friendships, and bonds, and how they're either preserved, reconciled, or tragically severed.

A heavy sounding theme, but it's a comedic story, sprinkled with action, lewdness, stylistic flair , and some sadness here and there.

*THAT RHYMED*


Anyway, if anyone's up for it, I really just need the characters drawn. There doesn't even have to be a background, really. If you're good at drawing women (and men, but not necessary), please do message me or just post your interest here. I'll be using the art as covers whenever upload the next arc to medibang (not selling the story for money, it's all up for free reading and enjoyment)


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