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Author Topic: Black Friday: 2nd Annual One-Day-One-Shot  (Read 1907 times)

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Offline Coryn

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Black Friday: 2nd Annual One-Day-One-Shot
« on: November 26, 2019, 12:38:45 PM »
It's that time of year again people! If you weren't around last year, here's the premise: Take a single day (be it actual black Friday if you're American (this Friday, btdubs) or this Saturday if you're from literally everywhere else, to conceive, write, edit, and post a story right here in this very topic! The rules continue to be simple:

The story must be:
  • Self-contained
  • At least 1000 words long
  • Written within 24 hours

Like last year, I will be on the front lines with you (I'm gunning for a 10,000 word short story so I also qualify for that milestone for Operative's nanowrimo topic), but as stated above you only need 1000 for this challenge. Since all stories should be short, I want to encourage everyone to also throw some critiques out there! But remember this is ultimately just for the love of the game and to get people writing as we slide into the long holiday morass. Gotta keep our minds sharp!

Good luck and happy writing!

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Offline Coryn

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Re: Black Friday: 2nd Annual One-Day-One-Shot
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2019, 10:34:35 AM »
I must, unfortunately, admit defeat here. I am 6100 words deep,  I have an average speed of about 1000 words and hour, and only 3 hours until my 24 hour deadline. You can see how the math does not work out in my favor. Nevertheless! I will be finishing his dang darn story today, so keep an eye out for anyone interested in seeing what my adled mind has come up with on such short notice.

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Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Black Friday: 2nd Annual One-Day-One-Shot
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2019, 11:46:06 AM »
awesome news. A failure can still be a success depending on how you look at it. So missing a deadline but still getting a short story? that's a win in my books :)
One of these days I'll be trying to do a one-shot manga in a single day haha.
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Offline Coryn

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Re: Black Friday: 2nd Annual One-Day-One-Shot
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2019, 12:54:11 PM »
It's really an interesting task. I'm coming up with some really good ideas thanks to the pressure, but I know I'm not executing them as well as I could because there is both the constant pressure to push forward, and the constant need to draw things out so I can boost up my word count. There's a reason I put the requirement for entry at only 1000 words, haha. 10,000 is doable if you have a full day of free time, less so if you don't.

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Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Black Friday: 2nd Annual One-Day-One-Shot
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2019, 01:18:05 PM »
Yes it's hard to get a polished idea in a short space of time but you can certainly get a lot of nice ideas.

I've always wondered if you could sort of "sketch" a story, in that you write a huge amount but it still maybe needs a lot of work. Not like a draft although that's sort of the same thing....I don't know really.
The way I look at it it, in terms of productivity, some sort of parallel processing is my ideal goal, being able to produce output while focusing on creating the next set of output - i.e. typing a sentence while thinking of your next one, that is, being able to continuously write at your top typing speed.
I generally average 70 wpm for casual fast input, so that gives a theoretical max of 4200 words per hour, no breaks. But it will obviously always be wayyyyy less because of thinking and editing. no-one is perfect, but it should be possible to reduce the time spent on ONLY editing or ONLY thinking, to think on the go while typing.
I have managed to do this in art but it's super tiring, I can only do it for about 1 minute because it feels like I'm panicking. But it's a nice theory.
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Offline Coryn

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Re: Black Friday: 2nd Annual One-Day-One-Shot
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2019, 01:40:18 PM »
Well, as far as words per minute goes, I'm really at a disadvantage here since I'm writing exclusively with my phone. But like you talked about, at this speed I have a lot more time to think about what I'm going to say next, so the actual writing comes out smoothly paced. I've definitely hit top speed of writing using a mouse and keyboard, but those are the rare moments of true true inspiration where the words just flow. I can definitely hit a strong output without that kind of divine boost, but not in the same way.

In terms of a 'sketch but for writing', I've seen something similar to that in terms of script writing. The writer might drop in something like "fight scene here", and just blank out a whole page for the action (a page of script being analogous to a minute of screen time). But if you want to get more granular, you could have sentences like "A swings their axe.", "B catches it by the handle and punches A in the gut while they're open."

Basically, boil down what's happening to the bare essentials, so that you can go back and flesh things out later. You wouldn't be making something really interesting to read at first brush, but the bones would be there so you can paint on the flowers later. Not sure if that's getting where you want it to be, but that's my take on it. Personally I don't think I could write that way. If I'm not thinking of the whole picture from the very beginning, I'm afraid I'd lose sight of my original intent with a scene. But to each their own. Obviously you started your journey as an artist, so it probably makes a lot more sense to break it down this way.

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Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Black Friday: 2nd Annual One-Day-One-Shot
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2019, 02:29:33 PM »
Ahhh that makes a lot of sense. I think a script style would be perfect for getting ideas down. In terms of writing, I dont know if I will ever get to a novel level, or stop at manga scripts, since I am indeed an artist first and foremost. I probably want to mix drawings in with my writing to get the ideas down in the best way for me to create a manga/novel based off it.

So rather than being polished as a written piece, it contains all the information. Like describing a place, "marketplace, lots of people, colourful , rowdy. pods everywhere on trainlines", rather than saying "As the city swept into view, Michael was overwhelmed by the view - a kaleidoscope of colourful market stalls..." etc.

That's probably definitely the style I would take. That way I can crash through a larger amount of storyline and plan major and minor events, and polish it all afterwards if need be. awesome.
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Offline Coryn

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Re: Black Friday: 2nd Annual One-Day-One-Shot
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2019, 05:29:52 PM »
Yeah, script style really seems to fit what you're looking for. But you know, you can still claim a script as writing, so don't let that stop you from posting things like scripts if you do complete one.

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Offline Coach Fro

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Re: Black Friday: 2nd Annual One-Day-One-Shot
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2019, 09:25:30 PM »
So last year when this first started I actually worked on a story, but never got around to finishing it. I crashed and burned around 400 words or so. This year however, I think it's only right that I at least try and finish the damn thing. Not sure if this is against the rules or not though, since it's something that's already been started.

I probably won't finish within the 24 hour margin, but at the very least I wanna give this challenge an honest shot. Wrote around 900 words in the past hour and a half, which isn't bad for me so far considering my usual output is much less.
Messatsu...



Offline Coryn

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Re: Black Friday: 2nd Annual One-Day-One-Shot
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2019, 12:59:11 AM »
This thing is much more an incentive to get people writing one shots than it is getting them to actually finish let the rules, so have at it Fro! I don't want to see anyone quiting just because they don't hit the official deadline! Use it as a lesson for next year's!

Speaking of lessons for next year, I'm done with mine! I screwed up the 24 hour thing to be sure, but I still got my 10,000 word story in/for November! 10,249 to be exact! I'll post the up tomorrow I hope, and will probably provide an updated and edited version all on its own later in the week (for reasons that will become apparent later). But for now I'm just happy to be done!

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Re: Black Friday: 2nd Annual One-Day-One-Shot
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2019, 02:41:42 AM »
@coryn oh totally if I write something I'll post it probably haha

@fro go for it! a deadline can be a nice bit of pressure to get something finished :P
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Offline Coryn

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Re: Black Friday: 2nd Annual One-Day-One-Shot
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2019, 09:05:44 AM »
No probably post! Do post! No writing is too bad or too boring!

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Offline Operative13

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Re: Black Friday: 2nd Annual One-Day-One-Shot
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2019, 07:07:54 PM »
I should consider doing this one after the conclusion of the Nano workshop  :hmm: I was afflicted by the accursed winter season cold for the past few weeks, so I basically been spending the month curled up in a bed for who knows how long. :sick:
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Re: Black Friday: 2nd Annual One-Day-One-Shot
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2019, 12:34:51 PM »
Ugh! That sucks Operative. But I do definitely encourage you to hop into this once your nano thing is all wrapped up! It's fun to theme it on a specific day, but any day will do!

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Re: Black Friday: 2nd Annual One-Day-One-Shot
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2019, 07:48:53 PM »
Okay! Finally going up! Fair warning: I did fix the formatting from the weird nonsense my phone want's to do, but that's the only thing that's happened to the text since the time of writing.


MR: War Arc: The Last Halloween: Part 1
MR: War Arc: The Last Halloween

Swift Team sat huddled in their cavern. Being deep below ground they were well insulated from the cold chill that late fall had brought down on them. But caves were so often cool, and so often damp. Even though it never dropped below a balmy fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit, the caves' natural moistness and the near freezing temperatures above ground kept the raiders from ever feeling truly warm except when gathered around their fire pit.
        This late November evening was one such time. Coryn, Vacant, Devola, Echo, and 3.0 sat staring into the meager blaze, calm chewing on chunks of stew as they relaxed their bones after a hard day of taking the fight to the Lost Chorus. It was quiet, and the quiet was beginning to drive one of them quite insane.
        At least, that's what Coryn told himself. He had just been topside all day, quietly watching 4Kids troop movements while Echo quietly sat next to him watching 4Kids troop movements while Coryn sat next to her quietly watching…
        Yes, he was beginning to get a little stir crazy, thanks for asking.
        "What a mess," Coryn thought to himself. "It's not even winter yet and I'm already dying to experience the outdoors again." But of course, who was he kidding? He hadn't gotten to enjoy the last spring, or even a moment of the summer. Coryn was even beginning to fantasize about the absolute hell he had gone through back in XX18's spring. That may had been a mess. A 'right mess' even, as Vacant might say. But what could he do? He needed a distraction. Maybe a hard drink. Definitely a hard drink. Maybe a cigarette if he could find one in the loot they had taken from Lost Chorus soldiers.
        Coryn noisily finished his bowl of stew and stood up. "I think a night like this calls for a drink! Who's with me?"
        Vacant raised a hand. His mouth was still full of stew, but there was a gleam in his eye. The Brit had never been on to turn down a drink, and that was an especially useful trait tonight. What he and Coryn were about to indulge in was no classic vintage of fine wine, and it was a harrowing experience without a good friend to take the journey with you.
        In fact it was a much debated question what 'druel', as it had come to be known, even was. Some said it was a type of wine, others supposed it to be a long of beer, many called it a liquor and ended the day there. This question rang out from Swift Team's cave to Lost Chorus concentration camps scattered across MangaRaiders and the wider Net beyond, and yet no consensus on classification could be found. All any of them knew was that you made it using the unidentifiable fuel that powered Lost Chorus aircraft, the exhaust system of a 4Kids transport truck, whatever leftovers you had on hand, and a prayer.
        Blindings were common, but the old adage held true. Humans could, and would, make booze out of anything.
        Coryn carefully removed their own stash of druel from the larder and found a set of glasses. The caution and the real glass were necessary parts of this endeavor. Druel, while nominally from being processed, was still nominally explosive. It would also eat through most man made substances in under a minute. Both of these facts were discovered by the first unfortunate who tried drinking the stuff from a plastic cup. Thankfully human stomachs were made of sterner stuff, and could safely ingest druel provided the necessary precautions were taken first. Coryn tilted the old thermos, and out poured a clear liquid with a yellowish tint and the pearlescent refractions of something that maybe still had a little oil in it.
        The pair gently clinked their glasses together, and downed the nasty stuff with a cry of "Cheers, prosit, l'chayim!"
        Druel went to work quickly, and by the time everyone was back around the fire, themes of druel still at hand, Coryn and Vacant could feel the warmth of high proof alcohol creeping out of their stomachs and to every part of their body. The unnatural heat buoying them, the pair struck off into a lively conversation, which was soon joined by the rest of Swift Team.
        As the hours grew long, and everyone with the desire had drunk enough druel for their tongues to loosen, Coryn found himself staring into the swirling swill in his glass, and a thought crossed his mind. Suddenly sure of himself, whether by his own charisma or the druel's he posed a question hebhad no intention of hearing the answer to. "Have I ever told you the tale of," Coryn dropped his voice down low, "The Last Halloween?"
        "Did you just capitalize each of those words?" Asked Echo.
        3.0 said. "Halloween was a month ago Coryn. We all just sat around the fire. You were there. Can someone take away his poison juice?"
        Devola began to reach over, but Coryn yanked his glass away before Devola could get close enough to pose a threat.
        "I'm not talking about last Halloween. I mean last year's! The one before this one!" Shouted Coryn.
        "Now hold on!" Proclaimed Vacant. "I do remember that Halloween, and as I recall, you are the last person who should be telling that story!"
        "It was a chilly October evening." Started Coryn.
        Devola cut in. "It was unseasonably warm actually. And it's not the time of year for ghost stories any more is it? I saw a bunch of Lost Chorus soldiers putting up Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/Saturnalia lights last week, or whatever it is they call it."
        The scientist shushed the artist, then restarted his story. "It was a surprisingly mild Halloween night…"

        MangaRaiders a year and one month ago was a very different place than it was today. Ask anyone walking the streets and they would have told you the same thing. MangaRaiders is a peaceful place. Its members are kind and gentle. They might rip your arms off if you do wrong by them, but generally nice people! They promise. Anyway, you certainly wouldn't have said, or even thought about saying that in a little over two months the place would experience a full scale invasion by a military power thought vanquished by the wider Net that was being led by a master general and tactician, loyal even in defeat, and his band of fanatical followers. That is in no way what you might have said, but it is what happened. You might have said that you fancied a pint, or that yeah, you could eat if you and a buddy wanted to check out that new restaurant on the corner.
Really this whole thing was quite unexpected. But back on October 31st, you really wouldn't have expected it.
        That night, the raiders were doing as raiders tended to do late on Halloween night. Namely: inciting a ruckus and carrying on.
        The MR Pub was abuzz with activity. Pub-tan knew how to throw a party, and Halloween night was absolutely no exception. Costumed raiders drank, danced, and chatted as party remixes of classic 'spooky' songs played over the sound system. Vacant, who was dressed as a cowboy, saddled up to the bar next to Mahlua, who was costumed as one of the 'witchy' girls from a 90's harem anime that you weren't cool/weird enough to know about. Across the polished wood bar and pumpkin shaped party favors atop it was Pub-tan, who was working her own party as a zombie… bartender. Say what you want about the woman's party throwing skills, Pub-tan was an adamant professional.
        "Pick your poison." Directed Pub-tan as she waved her hand at the bottles behind her, which had all been replaced by theme appropriate containers of various deadly chemicals in old timey bottles.
        With some apprehension, Vacant leaned over towards Mahlua. "What are you having?" He whisper shouted over the crowd and the music.
        "The Arsenic and Old Lace." Replied Mahlua as she pointed at the paper menu of the night's cocktail specials pinned to the wall. "I'm not sure if I like it or not yet. But I admit, I am no expert."
        That source of help exhausted, Vacant studied the menu himself, and out in his drink order. "I'll take a 'The Revenge of Frankenstein', please."
        "Resurrecting that for you right away." Chirped Pub-tan as she turned to busy herself with various bottles labeled things like 'laudanum' and 'bleach'.
        Vacant smiled nervously and made some small talk while he waited. "Right then! What's the dirt Mahlua? What's the ol' raider four-one-one on who's hot and who's clearly trying too hard?"
        Mahlua raised an eyebrow and stared at him for a while. She turned a few scenarios around in her mind before replying. "Are you looking to cheat on your girlfriend, or find out about the costume contest? I can help with both but I thought we should be clear about your intentions first."
        Vacant flinched back in shock. "Ayorite!" He… said? It was one of those classic Vacant-isms that you couldn't be sure was a word or just some vaguely British swaying filler sounds. "The costumes, of course!" He explained. "Everyone knows I'm clearly the man with it in the bag for winning the historical round. You can't even play on your bonafied and recognized by the state Sheriff Big-Balls here! But uh… who else is in the running you think?"
        Pub-tan had slid Vacant's drink into his hand while he had been explaining himself, and now he took a cautious sip of it. The cocktail was like green, with a blackened orange peel garnish. It tasted herbasish, with a hint of citrus, sweetness, and… earthiness? Surely Pub-tan wouldn't have gone so far as to put actual dirt into a cocktail, even if she was well known to be an artistic purist when it came to her cocktail recipes. Either way, it only took a second sip for Vacant to decide that whatever was inside his glass, it was delicious.
        Vacant was about to follow up on his query after a moment of silence, but just after looking up to see what Mahlua's reaction was, it was clear that she was scanning the crowd and processing some thoughts. After a little while longer had passed, she turned to Vacant and sent down her verdict. "Fortis is going to win."
        "What?!" Cried Vacant. He's just gone as that Overlord guy!"
        Mahlua asked. "Your point?"
        Vacant said. "Well he's already a skeleton isn't he?"
        The witch nodded. "True, but he's got the best stitching out of anyone here. His sewing skills are his ace in the hole."
        Reluctantly Vacant had to accept Fortis's skill with a scrap of cloth. He still harbored suspicions that Mahlua was playing him for a fool and trying to throw him off the scent. It was entirely possible, likely even, that Mahlua herself had some grand plan to win it all. Possible, he thought, but put the thought out of his mind. Surely Mahlua would not degrade the sanctify of the costume contest! Surely it was beyond her machinations!
        It wasn't, and she most certainly would. But that's a special secret for later ;).
        It was as the narrative aside ended that a deep banging emanated from the pub's door. This sound could not be mistaken for knocking. It came three times like a knock. It was as if something hard and yet fleshy was hitting the door, but the sound was unlike any that the party goers had ever heard. It overcame their conversations, the sound system, and even Pub-tan's inner thoughts. It could not be a knock. It should not be a knock! This was clearly not a knocking kind of party. And yet the knocks came, and when they finished, not a soul in the establishment breathed a word.
        And then the door fell in.
        Like something had sliced the hinges in half it was. The door hit the ground to reveal a figure in the darkness. They stood there, oddly tall, oddly thin. An unexplainable orange light poured in around the figure, and it cast them into a silhouette that prevented identification. With slow ponderous steps the figure advanced. As they entered the dim lights of the pub, it became that the mysterious figure at the door was none other than Coryn.
        Oh God was it Coryn.
        The moderator was holding himself… wrong. Coryn's eyes were closed. His arms were out at his sides, stiff as boards. He didn't move his legs in the way legs ought to move. It was like he was on strings. A macabre, human marionette, being puppeted by someone or something who hadn't seen a human walk for a while now, and couldn't quite remember how it went.  This was strange enough, but could have easily been passed off as a bit. But if anyone in the pub held that opinion, it came couched in believing that it was a joke gone too far. Willful destruction of city property was obviously looked down on, but that wasn't the real problem here.
        Coryn was naked.
        At least, he was mostly naked. He retained a pair boxer-briefs mercifully where they were supposed to go. But everything above and below his crotch was as naked as the day he was born.
        Okay, time for reasonable minds to interfere. "Coryn I know I said I wouldn't discriminate on contest entries, but this is too much." Said Pub-tan. "You aren't allowed to be half-naked."
        "I can see your bulge mate!" Blurted out Mahlua, which arose a few murmurs, but she recomposed herself before adding. "And you know I respect your bravery when it comes to matters like this, but like, you are the last person I would have expected to pull a stunt like this on MR."
        Again, it grew quiet. Things were starting to get a little awkward now. The erie orange light was still coming from outside, and Coryn had yet to open his eyes. Finally Pub-tan gave up, and started towards the end of the bar so she could enact justice. "Alright Coryn, we've all got the joke now, but I'm going to have to give you a temporary pub ban for breaking my door down."
        Just as Pub-tan was about to lift up the bar gate, Coryn's eyes shot open. They weren't right though. Coryn's electric blue lights were gone. It might not have been apparent from the back of the bar, but nothing about his eyes were right. His irises were twice as big as they should have been, his pupils were mere pinpricks at their centers. And instead of blue, there were solid swirling colors. Green, purple, and orange spun around his tightly contracted pupils like a hypnotist's wheel. Then Coryn opened his mouth, and our came his voice, but it wasn't just his voice. It was his voice and his voice and his voice and his voice a thousand times over, all laid atop each other until he was echoing his own echo. "HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED OUR NEW HEAVEN? WE HAVE KICKED OUT THE NEW OLD GODS AND FILLED THE BONE PITS WITH THE OLD NEW GODS AND THE OLD GODS AND THE GODS AND THE NEW GODS AND THE NEW NEW GODS! HAVE YOU NOT SEEN THE OLD OLD LIGHT? IT FILTERS IN FROM THE ANCIENT FORESTS OF WOOD AND CITIES OF STONE AND OCEANS OF WATER AND RIVERS OF BLOOD. ARE WE NOT ALL JUST FLOATING ON TOGETHER IN THIS GREAT ELECTRIC SEA WITHOUT PASSION? WITHOUT DIRECTION? FOLLOW ME TO THE NEW HEAVEN! WE ARE GOING TO FIND THE-"
        Coryn had been speaking nonsense at a mile a minute, and was likely to keep on, but Pub-tan had silenced the tirade prematurely by introducing the butt of her shotgun with the side of Coryn's head. Coryn crumpled to the ground in a pile. It hadn't made any sense. Not just his eyes or his voice or his words. Sure, if you were off in the back of the room, or if you didn't know the moderator that well, you might not have noticed. But those that were close enough noticed… something. They wouldn't figure it out for a while, but there was a question in the back of their minds now. It was a question that once solved, would be too late for anyone.
        Had Coryn always been that tall?
        Had he always been that thin?
        Back in the present moment, Pub-tan, Mahlua, Vacant, and Lego had gathered around Coryn. The scientist was still unconscious on the ground. They weren't sure what to make of the situation, and the whole thing was a major party killer if they were being honest. A handful of newer raiders and out-of-towners had already abandoned the pub. They couldn't be blamed for this of course. If you weren't used to the weird stuff that happened around MangaRaiders, you wouldn't stick around when a mostly naked guy waltzes into the Halloween party and gets clocked out by the bartender.
        Just another holiday for the rest.
        At least some headway was being made when it came to what to do with the body. Lego, who was dressed as Jimi Hendrix, guitar and all, offered to lock up his friend in the drunk tank back at MR Tower.  Hopefully Coryn had just taken a little chemical assistance to get in the mood to party, and it had backfired something fierce. Who knew what he cooked up in that lab of his anyway? Ecstasy 4.0 probably wasn't beyond the pale.
        Yup! They would just have to pick Coryn up, turn off whatever light he had rigged up outside, and let him sleep off whatever weird trip he was on.
        At least that was the plan until Coryn rising uppercutted Lego right through the pub's ceiling. It looked like it hurt, and it did. Mahlua and Vacant grabbed Coryi by the arms, but he was screaming more nonsense and thrashing around to dislodged them. The shotgun was still in Pub-tan's hands, so she cocked it and leveled it at Coryn's head. "Coryn calm down! Calm down Coryn! I don't want to use this thing!"
        But the scientist found the strength to throw both of handlers. They were knocked back into the crowd, and Pub-tan used the opening to hop back over the bar. She landed squarely just in time for Coryn to leap over the bar after her. For Pub-tan, time seemed to slow down. She was not built for combat. Sure she could kick out a rowdy drunk with the best of them, but the shotgun was only for show. It was not a weapon she wanted to fire in anger, but with an almost naked man with a crazed look in his eyes coming down on her, the decision to fire was one he finger made itself. At least if it had to be this way, Coryn would be being put out of his mystery by a friend.
        The blast hit the scientist dead in the face. Or at least, that was the idea. What should have happened was Coryn's head exploding in a display of blood and gore that everyone in attendance would need years of therapy to wipe away. What actually happened was that Coryn bounced back head first from the force of the blast into the ceiling, then black to the floor, and then made the trip a few more times like he was a bouncy ball in a pinball machine, before finally crashing to a stop in a collection of empties next to the bathrooms.
        This inhuman display was bad enough, but what came next was worse. As Coryn landed, something let out a scream. I say something because it clearly wasn't human. It was the kind of screech a lesser narrator would describe as coming from one's own head. This is almost certainly that kind of screech, but the truly terrible thing was that it wasn't coming from inside the raider's heads. It was coming from outside, and that made it all the worse.
        This broke what serenity was left in the room. Anyone not willing to throw hands at that exact moment quickly, and in some cases violently, excused themselves from the pub. Almost to the raider they let out their own screams as they ran out the door and encountered whatever it was that was creating that light. Doubtless, many who swore they were heading out to confront whatever was going on reneged on the plan and decided to just call it a night instead. When all was said and done, the only living souls in the pub were Pub-tan, Lego, Mahlua, Vacant, and surprisingly, Coryn.
        The screams had not been enough to deter the four, but seeing that Coryn was not only still breathing, but apparently unharmed (was he always that thin?), left them with some thoughts about the suicidal nature of what they had all just silently agreed to do.
        "Oh my gosh I thought I killed Coryn." Was the first thing out of Pub-tan's mouth. "I don't know how I would have explained that to Mom and Dad."
        "You could always do what I did." Said Lego with a shrug.
        "And what would that be?" Asked Pub-tan.
        Lego replied. "Live five hundred years in a doomed timeline only for him to come back to life and retconn the whole thing."
        Vacant said. "Let's call that plan B, or maybe… plan H. Plan H is better."
        Mahlua meanwhile, had started prodding Coryn's unconscious form with her foot (had he always been so tall?). "Given how long he was unconscious last time, we should have a few minutes before he wakes up again. I don't know what he meant with all that ranting about gods, but let me tell you as someone with experience, it's the ranters who are the most dangerous."
        Vacant asked. "To themselves or others?"
        "Yes." Replied Mahlua.
        "Right… " finished Vacant before turning to the open door if the pub. "So then, out into whatever the hell it was that made everyone run screaming a minute ago?"
        Lego grabbed his guitar and headed for the exit. "Let's."
        The party of would be heroes was feeling decently confident on the way towards the door. We're talking a six, maybe seven out of ten on the ol' confidence-o-meter. But that number dropped significantly after stepping into the night air.
        The moon had been out on their way into the pub that evening. 'Had' being the operable word here. Upon reflection, the moon have still been out, but they sure as hell didn't see it in the sky. What they did see in that starry night was no moon.
        It was a big f*ck off eyeball!
        Up in the sky and as plain as day was an eyeball. It was huge. Dwarfing even the largest of moons the assembled raiders had ever seen. This was the kind of size you see in movies. Blown up to proportions unsupported by all known laws of physics for dramatic effect. Except as mentioned above, this was a giant eyeball. There were barely any whites. It had the same pinwheel as Coryn's eye had. Green and orange and purple, all spinning around the central pupil. The whole thing was also bleeding around the edges, because of course it was. Huge red drops of blood fell from the rim of the eye, but if they were landing somewhere in MangaRaiders, those assembled couldn't tell.
        Everyone stood slightly dumbfounded as the bleeding pinwheel eye hovered above their heads. It was interesting that even though the green, orange, and purple all appeared on the eye in equal amounts, it was the orange light that showed most brilliantly. Such a strange fact. Mesmerizing even. You could just… stare at that big beautiful eye forever… lost in its glorious gaze…
        Wait a minute? Were they just going to keep standing around? They needed to do something about this thing! Lego gripped his guitar tightly, and let fempto-machines flow out across its surface, encasing it in a hard shell. Pub-tan that chambered a fresh round, and Mahlua began building her energy. Lego, as the defacto moderator in charge, was the first to step in the eye's direction. "Alright, we have a problem and we know nothing about it other than there's an eye in the sky and it's made Coryn super strong somehow. Mahlua, you're magic and sh*t. What do you have for me?"
        Mahlua fell in step with the moderator. "Other than the fact this thing is putting out some serious magical energy, not much. Coryn mentioned a whole lot of different categories for gods, but he started with 'new old gods' and worked his way up from there. If I followed his logic correctly, he skipped the 'old old gods', so I'll start there."
        "Great." Said Lego. "Vacant, help her. Pub, think you can help me with our peeping Tom problem?"
        Pub-tan said. "Aside from present company, you mean? I'll do all I can."
        As they were making their way however, Coryn burst out of the pubs entrance. The door frame burst and splintered as he failed to duck in time, but the scientist was unphased. "WE ARE ALL JUST GNATS FACING DOWN HIS INFINITE AND TERRIBLE WISDOM. THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN BE DONE BUT TO SUBMIT AND BE FOUND WANTING FOR WHAT HE HAS DEMANDED OF US WE CAN NOT PROVIDE AND HE DOES THIS AS A KNOWING TEST. WE MUST FAIL AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN BEFORE FOR WE CAN EVEN PRETEND TO HAVE ACHIEVED THE TRANSCENDENT EMOTIONS WE NEED AND HE IS CAPABLE OF AN HE PROVIDES UNTO US FOR OUR MISDEEDS AND FORGIVENESS. THERE CAN BE NO-"
        Pub-tan sent Coryn back to sleep with another blast of her shotgun. This time she knew it wouldn't kill him, but equally did she know it wasn't going to stop him. Even though Coryn's limp body pulled the same rubber ball trick it had the first time, the bouncing was less sporadic, and came to a stop much sooner. Either Pub-tan's shotgun was getting weaker, or Coryn was getting stronger (and taller?). The four raiders weren't about to stick around to find out.
        Lego took to the skies with his moderator abilities. The distance between himself and the eye was closed in an instant, but by the time he arrived, Lego had already come to regret the decision. The technique didn't factor actual physical distance into account, so when Lego glanced back to the ground, he found his had come quite a long way from MangaRaiders' surface. This was concerning not for how far it meant Lego might fall, but for how massive the eyeball was. If it could be supposed that the eye looked very large from the ground, even though it was still far away, then you could interpret that the eye itself was very big. This was all true, but that truth meant little when you couldn't look at the blasted thing from a few feet and realize that the eye/moon comparison was surprisingly apt, and that it was easily several times the size of the city itself.
        So much for a quaint evening of drinks and party games.
        Alright then! Too late for thoughts of regret and retreat now! You can't just go crying home to mommy with your tail between your legs just because there's a huge eyeball monster that's possessed your friend bearing down on your city! Lego drew back his guitar, and smacked the giant pinwheel eyeball right in the pupil. The wet surface rippled like a fat man's belly, but there was no penetration, or even the slightest indication that Lego had done any damage. This was going to be harder than he had hoped.
        Lego wound himself up, and went back on the attack with his patented 'just hit it a whole bunch of times!' technique. The moderator was careful to only smack the eye when the force of the new strike would catch the ripple at the right moment and feed into the strength of the combined strikes. Lego played the eye's moist surface like a trampoline, but just when he thought he might be getting somewhere, the ripples shifted their direction all on their own. Before he could stop himself, Lego's next strike hit in exactly wrong spot instead of exactly the right one, and the feedback of his own attacks shot the guitar, and the raider holding onto it, careening back towards ground level.
        Lego shifted his position in space before he could get flattened by the ground however, and found himself back outside the pub. Pub-tan rushed out of the doors with her arms full of the old timey bottles she had replaced the bar's normal collection with. As she went she curb stomped Coryn, who was beginning to regain consciousness. The blonde's hair was absolutely beyond redemption at this point, but Lego figured that would be the least of Coryn's worries once he woke up. Coryn would have done the same for any of them after all, it was only fair they return the favor.
        Pub-tan motioned towards Lego, and he rushed after her until they were both out of Coryn's line of sight, but able to still keep an eye on him from an obscured position behind a tall hedge. The tan dumped her selection of bottles on a bench, and began her work. She dumped out one bottle labeled 'Formaldehyde', refilled it halfway with a pint of 'Virgin Blood' and then started adding things like 'Pancreas Fluid', 'Bone Marrow', and 'Muriatic Acid'. Lego was… let's call it eighty percent sure that it really was all just alcohol, but the way Pub-tan was mixing it all with purpose made him think that A: she was sticking some less than common ingredients, and B: he should never piss her off again. At last, Pub-tan shoved the mixing vessel into Lego's hands, and shoved a cork into it. "Shake well, wait five minutes, then either serve with a sprig of eucalyptus to neutralize the acid, or just smash it into that big dumb eye to hopefully put a hole in it!"
        Lego took a hard look at Pub-tan's concoction through the dingy glass of the bottle. Maybe his eyes were deceiving him, but Lego could see little flashes of light appearing sporadically throughout the cocktail. Well, he hesitated to call it a cocktail at this point, but whatever it was Lego did not feel like playing games with it. He double checked that the cork was firmly in place, and then carefully slid the bottle into the folds of his shirt. "Remind me to audit your receipts if we survive this."

        Meanwhile, Mahlua and Vacant were still on the run. Deep thanks to whoever invented cowboy boots, because the first thing Mahlua did was rip open a sewer grate and pull a reluctant Vacant in behind her. They were now sprinting along the brick highways and byways of MangaRaiders' sewer system, and seemingly getting nowhere.
        "Where are you even taking me Mahlua?!" Cried Vacant.
        Mahlua skidded to a stop, and Vacant had to back peddle not to run into her. The witch seemed to be surveying their surroundings. Finally she turned back to Vacant. "We need to get directly beneath the pub. I stashed some things there in preparation for the costume party tonight.
        Vacant's face lit up with shock and a bit of anger. "Alright then! I had thought you might do something like this! You were planning to have a cheeky little cheat at the costume contest weren't you?!"
        Mahlua shrugged. "Don't think of it as cheating. Think of it as… a little magically assisted costume design. Pub-tan didn't make any rules against magic."
        "That's because…" started Vacant, "that's because the only rule was 'show up in a costume'! It should have been self evident you couldn't use special powers to get a leg up on people!"
        "Oh yeah?" Asked Mahlua. "And what was your ace in the hole that you definitely didn't have planned to sway the judges?"
        Vacant took an afronted step back. "I! Err… I was going to do a sexy little dance?... " He admitted sheepishly.
        "Well," Mahlua sighed, "I guess that makes us even. But in this case, a 'sexy little dance' isn't going to help us take down a pinwheel eyeball God from our Neolithic past."
        Vacant said. "I admit, that is the only fault with my 'sexy little dance' plan."
        The ground shook violently, and the two raiders were forced to brace themselves against the curved brick wall of the sewer tunnel.
        "Wait a minute!" Yelled Vacant over the road of quaking earth. "We started right next to the pub! If we only needed to get right below it, then how haven't we made it there yet?!"
        The shaking subsided, and the pair released their purchase on the brickwork. Mahlua said. "Well… the tunnels. They're not in the right place. They're actively changing, might be the better way to put it."
        Vacant stared blankly for a moment before coming back with "Ah…"
        With that out of the way. Mahlua dropped to the ground, pulled a piece of chalk out from her costume, and began sketching a sigil onto the brick pathway. Vacant couldn't make heads or tails of it, but after a few minutes of drawing with only the occasional rumbling coming from above, it was done. Magical energy built up in Mahlua's right arm, and she discharged it into the sigil. The chalk lines took on the same purple glow as her tattoos, and when it did the air in the space seemed to shift. Vacant hadn't been able to put his finger on it until now. He had been feeling uneasy from the very start of this party vibe ruining event, but that unease had tripled ten fold after going into the sewer system. The unease was passing now, or at least returning to normal levels.
        Mahlua was back on her feet now, and placing the chalk back where it had come from. "That should be strong enough to get us about a third of the way. All I've done was pin down a small area of space. I'll need to do this a few more times to get us all the way to where I set up this morning."
        Vacant rolled his eyes. "Pfft. Yeah, sure, I knew that. Magic circle mumbo jumbo abracadabra. Basic magic one-oh-one. You handle the magic stuff. I'll take care of any creepy raider puppets that come out way." He whipped out the toy revolvers strapped to his hips. "Bang! Bang!"
        Vacant had struck a gunfighter's pose, and now it was Mahlua's turn to roll her eyes. "Sure thing Vacant. I'll trust that your totally misplaced confidence in colorful plastic toy guns won't be your undoing."
        "What was that?" Asked Vacant with a wry smile as he holstered his 'weapons'.
        "Nothing." Replied Mahlua.

        At this moment of rest in our story. It might be a good idea to address the earth quakes. Not all of MangaRaiders was experiencing these earthquakes at the present moment, although all of them were most certainly dealing with the fact that the moon had been replaced by a giant bleeding pinwheel eyeball. Yes there was that, but more concerning to the raiders experiencing them were the earthquakes.
        Earthquakes were a strange enough event on MangaRaiders anyway. The Net was not a place naturally predisposed to natural disasters after all. If your site experienced them, it usually meant one of two things. Either your coding was bad and had some bugs in it, in which case you should petition your administration to fix the problem, or, and this second one was really the more concerning, something or someone was causing said earthquakes.
        This would be the second case in case you weren't following. Except that to call what the people of MangaRaiders were experiencing earthquakes would not quite be accurate. Sure enough the ground was shaking, but it was doing it rhymically almost. Bump. Bump. Bump. Bump. One after the other, getting larger, bit by bit by bit by bit.
        No one realized it yet. But these earthquakes weren't earthquakes. They weren't earthquakes at all. They were footsteps, and they were getting closer to MR Tower.

   
« Last Edit: December 08, 2019, 07:50:39 PM by Coryn »

Will review stories upon request. My latest arc: http://goo.gl/KYgsfF