Jay White x Female Reader
Word Count: 1155
Warnings: Fluff? Enemies to lovers, sexual innuendos, the beginning of smut.
Summary: Jay hates the new backstage event coordinator and she hates him back.
Inspired by C-Tangana’s song, “Comerte Entera”
A/N: Was listening to this today and the first thing that came to mind was enemies to lovers with Jay. Despite the title being in spanish, the story is written in english! (there will be a bit of spanish and portuguese in the mix because of the lyrics.) Also, maybe y’all should listen to the song while y’all read it.
Entera, comerte entera
He met her when he came back to Japan for his full time run. She was a new addition to the administrative personnel that took care and made sure that the shows ran smoothly. Coordinating the team, she took care of the schedules, making sure the talent cut their promo on time and not extending it so it wouldn’t ruin the slot for the next wrestler. It was also under her wing the maintenance of the media room, where the camera people should be positioned, where the wrestlers should cut their promos, if there’s enough water for them or if the air conditioning was comfortable enough for not to cause a heat shock for those who just got back from their matches.
No puedo más que pensar
En tu forma de hablar
She was known for having a strong personality, even thought she was friendly and almost a mother to those who worked under her, she was a completely different person when it came to the wrestlers, specially the gaijins. Jay would be amused watching from afar how she handled Finlay and Juice when they decided to act up, he won’t even get started on how he felt when he saw how done she always was with Ospreay and his girlfriend, the only gaijin she was actually friends with was Zack Sabre Jr.
She was a mystery to most, a mystery Jay would love to solve.
No puedo más que pensar
En tu culo al pasar
All of that curiosity came to a stop when her feisty personality made its way to him. It began when he started to demand that chairs were laid out for him during his segments and she even went out of her way to explain, calmly, to him that she couldn’t have one in front of the camera.
He took it to heart, and every single week he would make a show about it, about how he wanted his goddamned chair, and she would always tell him “Jay, we run on a schedule, I can’t put on a chair for you and take it off as you please. You know it’s ‘come, say your piece and go’.”
Things got really bad when he decided to grab one poor camera woman and bring her in front of the cameras to demand the fucking chair. She waited for him to end his show, gave him enough time to leave the room and went after him. She doesn’t know what possessed her, but next thing she knew, she had grabbed Jay by his forearm and slammed him against a wall, got on his face and “If you ever touch another person of my crew again, I will end you. I don’t care who you are, I don’t care if you are the top guy in this company or that I’m getting fired for this, but I will end you.” all Jay did was give her one of his signature “full of himself” smirk as she left.
“I told you not to mess with her.” Gedo shook his head and left Jay thinking.
Y en tu forma de atarte el pelo con una cola, para atrás
Quiero agarrarte, no aguanto más sin
Jay wouldn’t admit, but all he had on his mind that week was the way she grabbed his arm, the way she slammed him against the wall and the way her nose almost touched his lips.
She wouldn’t admit, but all she had on her mind that week was the way Jay cradled the camera woman’s neck on his hands, the way he squeezed her cheeks and the stupid smirk he gave her after she exploded with him.
Comerte entera (Ey)
Comerte entera (Ey)
Comerte entera (Ey)
Comerte entera (Ey)
On the following weeks, Jay slowed down a bit, still made his chair demands and would make a snarky comment or two towards her when she was nearby, but nothing that disrupted her peace.
That was until the fateful day where he thought, for some reason, that Yujiro and the Bullet Club were conspiring against him to take his win on the Jay-1. He did what he did best: started screaming around, grabbing chairs out of one of the crew members hand and threw them around, almost hurting a few passers-by. Gedo had to intervene to calm him down, telling him nothing was happening, that no one was turning against him and that he was going to talk to Yuji.
Once again, she waited for them to leave, giving them a few minutes and went after the two men. She found jay by himself, crouched by the door of his locker room. She walked slowly to him, stopping in front of him before speaking.
“What is wrong with you?”
He looked up to her and laughed, the same laugh he always gave when he was about to lose it.
Essa mina é um perigo (Ey)
É um perigo (Ey)
Essa mina é um perigo (Ey)
É um perigo (Ey)
“What did I tell you the last time you touched one of my friends? What do you want, Jay?”
He propped himself on his two feet in one quick move, opened his locker room door and pulled her him. He was quicker than she could process, and next thing she knows, she is pressed against the door, its knob pressing tight against her back and Jay’s body pressed even tighter against hers, his beard scratching the skin of her face, his lips furiously pulling hers in. She protested a bit before giving in.
Soon his lips made their way down her neck, leaving wet trails on their path, biting her, marking her, making her moan. She could feel how hard he was and mixed with how rough his touches were, it was driving her insane. She got back to her sane state of mind when she felt one of his hands getting inside her bra and pinching one of her nipples.
“I can’t do this.” she said, pushing him away.
“I knew you would back out. Fucking weak.”
She slapped him. “I can’t do this right now, you dumb fuck. I still have four segments to film, and I have to wrap up everything.” Trying to get it together, she tied her hair up and smoothed her clothes down.
Jay gave her a sheepish smile, his cheeks blushing. “Oh, ok. I’m sorry. I’m at the Hilton too, room 1206. Meet me there?” he asked her, shyly, looking like a completely different person.
“Yeah, two hours top.”
She was about to open the door when he grabbed her again, held her by the hair and slammed their lips together once more. This time the kiss was slower, both of them making sure to cherish it. Jay finally let her go, smoothing her hair before she opened the door.
“Bye, see ya in a few.” she winked.
Texts I sent a friend the first time I watched The Boys, Season 2:
- Gird your loins
- I’m dying to know more about Black Noir
- Ugh ffs Homelander smarming about on stage at Translucents funeral
- It’s an empty box but I suppose how would people know cause invisible corpse
- WHY IS ANNIE SINGING AT THE INVISIBLE PERVS FUNERAL
- Aw no straight in with Sad Kevin
- Oh ok angry drunk Kevin
- Ugh not these Samaritans Embrace fuckers again
- Oh Annie. Parroting the company line. I hope she’s gonna fuck them all over
- SAD HUGHIE OH NO
- BILLY JOOOOOELLLL
- Aw Kimiko is learning
- Her lil smile
- Oooh Hughie is a liiiiiar
- Meeting on the subway like a couple shifty teenagers
- Oh I forgot they microchipped the supes like dogs
- Oh nooooo young love angst
- Oh no a Sad Kevin incident
- Aaaaand he’s been arrested
- A nice archer bailed him out
- Omfg the fake Butcher re-enactment
- Oh do NOT tell me this crazy bastard is gonna drink the frozen breast milk
- Oh fuck he is
- What the FUCK, HOMELANDER
- This visually impaired ninja seems nice
- That probably means he’s gonna turn out to be a dick
- OH FUCK
- Homelander what the fuuuuuck
- Ok what the shit is happening here in the motel
- What the fuuuuuck
- I – MM is making a dolls house? That’s so cute
- Oh shit smuggled people
- Homelander is nuts with power
- Uhhhh who is Carol and why is she staring at Kevin while he sleeps
- Finally an archer who is honest about how useless they can be once they run out of arrows
- Oh noooo are they gonna try brainwash Kevin with homeopathic stuff? And why do they keep offering him Fresca
- OH FUCK ME NOT ANOTHER RELIGION THING
- Oh Hughie has grown a pair since last season. Good for him
- Where’s Butcherrrrrrrr
- Body gore porn dude is called Gecko that’s too cute a name for him
- Stormfront seems like fun
- She’s gonna be pissing off Homelander so much I like her already
- OH WHAT THE FUCK THE CIA LADYS HEAD EXPLODED
- I like Stan
- Giving Homelander the dressing down he needs
- I know it’s convenient for Toni to wear the padded suit all the time but does Homelander ever wear anything else
- Oh hiiii Becca I still think you’re a bitch and Butcher deserved better
- BUTCHERRRRR YASSSSS
- “Daddy’s home”
- I’m dead. It’s official.
- The fuckin smirk and the voice I’m fuckin dead
- OH NO KEVIN IS TRYING THE CHURCH THING
- Is he making shroom tea
- Why is Patton Oswalt voicing Kevin’s gills this is delightful
- Atrain is awake again that’s not good
- I’m cracking up at Sad Kevin and his singing gills
- Homelander is gone way off the deep end oh boy
- Awwww soft Maeve in the hospital with her girlfriend
- I want to like Becca but I can’t shake the bad feeling
- Homelander is a terrible father
- I mean I know he has no role models to base his parenting on, but yikes
- It’s like if Scar was raising Simba instead of Mufasa
- ….are the gang raiding a party city store
- I love how Frenchie always looks a mix of horrified and amazed whenever Kimiko kills someone
- AWWW IT’S HER BROTHER YAY
- Oh shiiiiiiiit
- Butcher STOP JUST SHOOTING PEOPLE
- You were right this season is weird
- I like Kimiko’s brothers bedazzled denim jacket
- Butcher don’t punch Hughie wtf
- Starting with Hughie listening to the same song again, nice
- Butcher is terrible at apologising it’s so cute
- I’m sorry did Hughie just fall over trying to throw a punch
- The kid’s a dandelion omg
- Why are they on a boat? Did Karl just decide “I like being on boats lemme go on a boat”?
- I see what you mean about Homelander being scary
- He’s completely insane
- Why does this storyboard guys shirt say assbinder
- Chace Crawford is an excessively veiny man
- BLACK NOIR IS CRYING
- Or possibly laughing
- Hard to tell when they have no face
- Annie actually leaked all the compound V stuff good for her
- FRENCHIE KISSED HUGHIE
- Homelander is gonna get this kid killed tryna make him fly
- Honestly the kid looks more like Hughie
- OH MY GOD HE PUSHED HIM OFF THE ROOF
- OH MY SWEET FUCKING JESUS HOMELANDER YOU CAN’T DO THAT
- Oop there’s the laser eyes
- Oh Homelander is back at the Tower and freaking Maeve out
- OH FUCK THE BROTHER IS LOOSE
- Hughie don’t do it
- Oh ok I thought he was gonna jump off the boat
- Kevin and the cult weirdos are up to something
- Hughie no you don’t call the girl you like crying over Billy Joel lyrics
- Oh god boyo you don’t then drop the L word in the same voice message!
- He’s hopeless
- Oh nooooo Kevin is attacking the boat goddammit Kevin
- OH FUCK A WHALE
- For fuck sake Kevin
- Butcher what the fuck
- Hughie having a nervous breakdown inside of a whale
- No but why is Karl so hot covered in blood
- Actually I didn’t even need to include the blood part of that question
- Oh boy here we go, the 7 show up to find Sad Kevin crying over spilt whale
- ….why is Stormfront tryna get all up in Homelander’s ass?? I thought she was cool but now she’s all lemme suck that radioactive dick
- OH NO
- Poor Kevin he’s worked so hard to accept his gills and now Homelander has knocked him back down
- Oooo dear Atrain is having a heart attack again this isn’t good
- Oh fuck is Hughie gon get caught
- Oh no it’s Annie it’s ok
- OH FUCK
- ANNIE WHY
- THAT’S YOUR HUGHIE
- OH MAN KIMIKO’S BROTHER IS BADASS YES SQUASH THE SMUG PRICK
- Oh I do NOT like Stormfront holy fuckin shit what’s wrong with this woman
- Poor Kimiko
- What’s with the random woman talking about calling off her wedding?
- Why is Frenchie taking drugs
- FUCK SAKE FRENCHIE DON’T TRY KISS A GIRL WHEN SHE’S GRIEVING
- What the FUCK is thiiiiis
- Is he dreaming or is this the shapeshifter tryna stay alive by granting Homelander some sick wish
- Yikes I feel bad for Doppelganger
- I am fascinated by whoever and whatever the fuck Black Noir is
- MM sees right through everyone’s bullshit
- I feel so bad for Annie
- Ooooo Atrain getting fired
- MM having to put up with Hughie and Annie having a we didn’t start the fire singalong 😂
- Ok who’s in the weird group therapy sesh with these women with strange views on love
- Vending machine date so cute
- Omfg ahahahaha the girl with the Ed Sheeran tattoo
- I really want to like Becca cause she stands up to Homelander but I can’t shake the suspicions about her
- I feel bad for Butcher
- Homelander is a scary good liar
- Oh shit interviewer lady is pulling out the diversity questions
- OH FUCK
- HE’S OUTED MAEVE
- Poor Maeve what the fuck
- Ugh Stormfront
- Shut your racist hole bitch
- Oh shit Kimiko on the warpath
- Frenchie! Kimiko listen to him he’s tryna help
- MM is doing a lotta sharing this episode
- Ohhhh something bad is gonna come out about this Liberty lady they’re looking for oh fuck
- Wait WHAT. STORMFRONT IS LIBERTY
- Stormfront is like 70????
- She’s really good with social media for an old bird
- Ohhh fuck Homelander is pisssssssssed
- Christ you’d know Homelander was an only child
- Bitch you better not be fucking Butcher over
- I FUCKIN KNEW IT
- BECCA YOU RAGING BITCH
- Got her goodbye fuck then called the supercops on him cause he’s a little broken? FUCK BECCA
- Oh no Annie don’t give Hughie the “we can’t do this” talk
- Pick your emo ass up and stop being melodramatic
- All these women are chatting to Kevin?? Why??
- Also this most recent one is super weird
- THEY WERE INTERVIEWING TO BE KEVINS WIFE
- This cult thing is so fuckin weird omfg
- KEVIN GET YOUR SAD BUTT OUT OF THE CULT
- Oh gross not the Doppelganger shit again
- Doppelganger is really bad at flirting
- WHAT THE SHIT
- Nonononono don’t do the selfcest
- Not even Homelander is that fucked up
- This is super weird
- Why is Homelander crying
- OH SHIT HE KILLED HIM
- Uhhhh are they doing a lesbian scene in a vcu movie
- Christ that was terrible and way too on the nose
- “Strong female lesbians”
- Homelander you himbo fuck what other kind of lesbian do you get
- I feel bad for Ashley
- She just wants to do her job well
- Poor Butcher. His lil heart is broken
- Oh no baby you’re hurt and upset? That’s so sad let me suck your dick about it
- Oh no what’s he gonna do
- BUTCHER WHAT THE SHIT
- I mean it’s really fuckin hot but still
- There’s always a cut on the cheekbone
- “They’ve been moving her around like a Catholic priest” omg HUGHIE
- Aww he called Hughie his canary
- Oh shit are Frenchie and Kimiko missing?
- KEVIN GOT MARRIED
- BILLY HAS AN AUNTIE
- Awwwww soft Butcher with his dog
- Aaaand now I feel bad for Atrain cause he’s being kicked to the curb
- Oh gross this interview with Kevin and his cult wife
- This is so cringe holy fuck
- Bring back the Patton Oswalt gills
- Why are the gangsters discussing musicals specifically Hamilton
- FUCKING HELL KIMIKO PEELED OFF THAT GUYS FACE
- Ahahaha the boys showed up at Butchers aunties house
- The dog’s name is Terror that’s so cute
- Hahahaha Hughie was holding the fuck pig
- Why is there a sniper on the roof
- Oh shit it’s Black Noir
- Ugh what does Annie’s mom want and why is Stormfront being her friend
- Oh hey it’s dickless
- These two writer dudes are hella irritating
- Poor Elena getting dragged into this shit
- Yes Maeve scheme against his ass
- Heartbroken Butcher is so tired
- He needs a hug
- Hughie give Butcher a hug please
- Why is Kimiko in a church
- Oh hey its Frenchie’s other girlfriend
- Oh ok Kimiko is doing hits that’s fair
- The old man just looking away like “I do not see it”
- Aw no Frenchie don’t break up with Kimiko
- Oh fuck off Cult Kevin
- Stormfront again?????
- Does this bitch ever fuck off
- DID SHE JUST CALL ATRAIN GARBAGE
- Wait why is Homelander giving an unapproved speech
- This is gonna end in someone getting murdered isn’t it
- OH FUCK
- That’s a lot more murder than I expected
- Ohhhh phew ok he was just daydreaming
- Ashley is gonna go bald from stress
- I adore grumpy Butcher
- Omg auntie Judy is a drug dealer I love her
- Ohhhh shit Homelander is having a nervous breakdown
- BOBBY FROM X-MEN????
- Uhhhh why is Homelander talking to Stormfront this can’t be good
- Ooh MM set a trap this gon be good
- BUTCHER HAS A BROTHER???? THAT HUGHIE IS LIKE
- Oop Lenny is dead
- The random explosions as Black Noir trips the traps
- Oh shit Butcher locked the others out to face Black Noir alone
- YES MM
- OH NO MM
- YES HUGHIE
- Oh fuck did he KO Butcher
- Shiiiit shit shit shit
- Yes Butcher save your Hughie
- Oh good they all survived
- For fuck sake Kevin stop with the cult shit
- Maeve please save Kevin from the cult
- Annie why are you sneaking around don’t do it
- There’s a lot of shots of Annie’s bum
- What the fuck is Sage Grove
- Stormfront needs to go choke on a bag of dicks
- Oh fuck no not Homelander again
- Stormfront x Homelander was not what I was expecting
- These two have the WEIRDEST relationship
- They’re gonna do some really fucked up supe bdsm shit aren’t they
- Frenchie is Betty White. Fair enough
- Wait what is happening. Why is Annie letting Frenchie at her with a lil saw
- Ohhh the chip
- “This might sting a little” FRENCHIE IT’S A FUCKIN SAW
- Oh fuck that’s a big chip
- Oh look it’s loves psychotic dream
- Well that’s suitably gross
- Aww Kimiko hugging Annie
- Butcher is so menacing I love him
- Kevin tryna be helpful to his buddies he’s so cute
- NO! NO BAD KEVIN! STOP TRYING TO MAKE PEOPLE JOIN YOUR CULT
- Kimiko with her brass knuckle
- Oh man, flowers??? Homelander has it BAD
- Annie back the fuck off and leave Butcher alone
- OH SHIT IT’S STORMFRONT AT THE HOSPITAL NOOOO
- What the fuck is going on at this hospital
- OH FUCK BOBBY FROM X-MEN IS LAMPLIGHTER
- Oh shit who got let out
- What does Cindy do
- OH SHIT SHE’S THE HEAD BURSTER
- Aaaaaaand now they’re all out
- Good job, guys
- Ewwwwww acid vomit
- OH NO HUGHIE
- Are you kidding me?? Annie can’t go all Starlight unless there’s a power source in the immediate vicinity??
- What kinda fuckin shite superpower is that
- Aha Butcher agrees with me
- Ok so I’m guessing Homelander went berserk on set
- Uhhhh apparently Cult Lunch is a therapy sesh?
- Atrain get outta there
- This cult leader guy is an arsehole
- Hospital escape lookin like a horror survival game
- Awwww flashbacks to happy times
- Omfg Butcher with the slicked back hair
- Welp, Annie just killed a guy
- Oh shit a baby seat
- Annie is gonna have a bad case of the guilts now
- Oh fuck ok Lamplighter killed the kids by accident
- So Frenchie went to save his friend instead of tailing
- Oh god that’s the penis isn’t it
- Stormfront to the…rescue? Maybe? She’s gonna kill Lamplighter isn’t she
- Oh, no ok she didn’t kill him
- Aw no sad Butcher cause Hughie’s hurt
- Oh nooooo Elena found a video from the plane
- Mallory gon kill sad Lamplighter?
- Stormfront is coming clean to Homelander? Whaaaa
- She was buddies with the Nazis??? SHE WAS MARRIED TO THE VOUGHT FOUNDER GUY
- Oh fuck the head burster is still alive
- A montage of how Stormfront is brainwashing people into racist attacks, nice
- I hate Annie’s mom so much
- Black Noir has just fuckin LAMPED Annie
- Butchers mum called him 😂😂
- Oh shit his dad died
- Why are Hughie and Lamplighter watching knock off supe porn
- Oh boy a racist rally
- Homelander just threw Annie under the bus
- Hughie that’s a really weird pep talk
- And he’s gonna get Lamplighter killed
- BUTCHERS MUM IS ADORABLE
- Oh shit it’s Denethor
- And he’s not dead
- Oh fuck he’s why Lenny died?
- Shit Lenny shot himself
- Butcher was SAS???
- WHERE ARE MY PICS OF BUTCHER IN HIS ARMY UNIFORM
- Ah fuck he’s bringing stepmommy Stormfront to meet the kid
- I have an urge to run my fingers through Butchers beard
- Frenchie and Kimiko are too cute she’s teaching him her sign language
- Is this a cult birthday party?
- Poor Eagle the Archer. He pissed off the cult so he’s gon be excommunicated
- Uhhhh kiddo made a Lego film?
- Good for him
- I know it shouldn’t be sexy when Butcher starts threatening to brutally murder people in his growly voice, I know, but hear me out: sexy growly voice
- 11/10 would let Karl Urban murder me
- Oh FUCK Lamplighter killed himself
- Poor Hughie
- Why do all the bad things happen to him, like having to saw off a dead guy’s hand with a broken whiskey decanter
- Annie versus Black Noir, beat his/her ass girl!
- HUGHIE COME SAVE YOUR ANNIE
- YAY MAEVE
- Black Noir has an almond allergy that’s such an off the wall weakness
- Annie’s favourite chocolate bar saved her life
- Well Maeve did, technically. But still
- Omg Hughie accidentally saving Annie’s mom
- Hughie and Annie are too cute
- Oh shiiiiit Homelander screwed the pooch and showed the kid everything
- HAHA SUCK IT BECCA
- OH SHIT HEADS ARE BURSTING ALL OVER THE PLACE
- Butcher in his lil jumper
- For a non-American, this school safety psa video is supremely weird
- BOBBY FROM SUPERNATURALS CHARACTER IS CALLED BOB
- BOBBY FROM SUPERNATURALS CHARACTER IS JUST BOBBY FROM SUPERNATURAL BUT FANCY
- Annie’s mom critiquing her choice in boyfriends while in mortal danger is gas
- And typical
- The lads going nuts with weapons they’re so happy look at them
- And Butcher in his lil jumper again he looks so comfy
- I would very much like to cuddle him in the soft jumper and give him beard scritches
- Annie ffs let Hughie enjoy his Billy Joel, that’s a good choice
- Ahahaha Maeve just called Hughie a twink
- She’s not wrong
- Oh fuck off Becca
- Uuuuugh OF COURSE Mr Edgar is in with the cult
- Oop Atrain overheard all of that
- Poor Ashley she’s going bald from stress
- The kid is gonna have a meltdown
- Poor Hughie with his mom leaving
- I wonder if she’ll pop up at some point and turn out to be a supe that would be fun
- ATRAIN YOU CAN’T JUST APPEAR IN A CAR LIKE THAT YOU COULDA KILLED SOMEONE
- Hold the phone is Homelander actually being a good dad for a minute
- What the actual fuck is Stormfront on with this white genocide shit
- Ahahaha the news broke
- Uh oh the Vought soldiers got caught by Homelander
- OH SHIT
- MM BETTER BE OK
- Becca fuckin constantly squawking about Ryan is so annoying
- WHY IS KIMIKO LAUGHING
- It’s adorable but still
- Oh FUCK she snapped her neck
- She’ll be fine
- She’s like a wolverine, snapped neck won’t keep her down
- AYYYYY MAEVE
- The lads just watching them kicking the shit out of her like uhhh
- Oh hey Becca did something useful and stabbed the Nazi in the eye
- Huh. The kid melted Stormfront
- Good for him
- AHAHAHA YES HE GOT BECCA TOO
- BYEEEEE FELICIAAAAA
- I mean yeah, heartbroken sad Butcher isn’t nice to see, but Becca sucked
- Aaaand now Homelander covered in blood has arrived to listen to Stormfront babble in German
- This is like in those scenes where it’s like oh who will the dog go to
- Ayyy Atrain got back into the 7
- Aww poor Kevin getting rejected again
- See Kevin this is why we don’t join cults
- Annie thought he was breaking up with her, girl don’t be daft
- Butcher and the kid, not awkward at all
- The one lesson Butcher can teach a kid – “don’t be a cunt”
- Aww happy endings for all the boys
- Aaaaand a “happy ending” for Homelander too by the looks of it
- Oh ffs a corrupt politician in with the cult, what a surprise
- HIS HEAD BURST
- Wait the politician lady is the head burster? I’m so confused
- Confusion may have been aided by it being almost 3am
- Hughie getting a real job, bless him
- Too bad it’s with the head burster
- Oh this is such a good song to end the season with
- Welp, now begins the long wait for season 3, I guess
- Should I sleep or find fic to read
- Body says sleep, heart says fic
- That’s a lie, heart says Butcher
- ….Butcher fics it is
Here’s some things that I’ve overheard recently
- Michael Jackson part 1, before he came around
- That’s a sexy gauge
- We have cones in our eyes??? *Turns to friend* Show me your eyes.
- What’s ROYGBIV? Is that a person?
- I put the jewish inside of him
- The air in my house is polluted with sleeping pills
- One day someone will react to my gay jokes
- One day someone brought a tub of ice cream out of their backpack in the middle of class
- Hey Francis (Talking to a blow up alien)
- Why do you like assholes
- Aladdin doesn’t have nipples
- Support your own god damn neck!
- I saw my friend in the bathroom and he gave me orange juice
- FORM THE EQUATOR!!!
- Yes, indeed my good sir
- Sharing your wealth is the way to become poor
- I’m sorry I don’t have calcium in my body
- Why the pancreas?!
- I watched this show and these characters exploded and it was my favorite show
- Someone is going to lose a pancreas
- A: Don’t lose your pancreas B: I’ll try to hold onto it
- She knew how to multiply! And I was like “You’re only three!”
- Come on Moser, hitting the nut won’t do anything
- I work with a prostitute
- I love crunchy pancakes
- You are a big neon doof
- Look I can spit, I’m cool now
- ‘Ay! Trout!
- In her free time she did her taxes
- Hey! You like Raisin Bran?
- If you get a rooster you’ll be hungry, unless you eat him
- It smells like Hawaii
- If A claims he’s a god and Jesus says he’s the son of god... Does that mean Jesus is A’s son?
- We managed to convince our sub that this was a film and lit class so we watched infinity war all period
- A- So let’s keep the duck B- It’s a vulture...
- Did you just call me fuzzy?
- I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on
- He looks like a punk rock jazz drummer
- A- British! British! B- I HAVE A NAME!
- Stop putting your dog in the oven!
- Did you expect it to be that good of a cactus?
- I relate to Squidward so much
- He was like the dad that left to get cigarettes and never came back
- We’re literally following Marty Mcfly
- My elbows are funky fresh
- A- You shank em’ B- No! That is the exact opposite of a solution!
- Unicorns caused global warming
- A- No balls in class! B- But we’re in health
- The crazy chellos are back
- See! I do have friends!
- It’s a train, a train of love
- A- Why do they keep getting rid of the babies? B- I don’t know, abortion
- You have to earn the bucket hat
- My friend brought in 7 bucket hats
- Hide the forks!
- The turtles tried to cross the road once
- I’m scared of turtles
- So does everyone just carry a sword around in their back pocket?
- When you’re fishing, anyone in a bucket hat has authority
- She has cheese on her hook!
- Are your knee pits moist?
- Why are you molesting me with water
- I was born vaccinated
- I was born to be a little spoon
- Why do I look like a hispanic man
- Can I tickle your knee pits?
- You’re going to get eaten by the ocean
- A- You’re a hot mess B- Hey! At least I’m hot!
- They’ve developed a handshake! Isn’t this a problem?!
- We’re in the OG thirteen colonies
- A- I’m not used to seeing those big grassy structures B- You mean trees?!
- My name is bagged milk
- You only drink bagged milk once, in Canada
- It’s not expensive, you’re just poor
- I forgot I’m a lady
- That’s you after I poop
- I want to be Brazilian
- I figured out what the voice was! They’re playing Bingo
- A- Do “coo coo” B- CAW
- It’s probably in a nice aisle, aisle 9
- So inside the bag there are 3 more bags full of milk
- Mom we got the bagged milk
- He told me I looked like Nicholas Cage
- Her bio says inhale the kale
- I feel like an easy bake oven
- The bags just like, left
- But what about the unicorns
- Look at that potato! That looks free!
- Everyone! Find a piece of metal and lick it
- I’m the toilet man
- Go fetch me grapes
- All girls want to molest this
- He ate a whole pancake out of an Applebee’s dumpster
- Why did he eat turf
- I’m on a mission to find dairy products
- I was going to go to school and pretend to be a witch
- Remember when you put the lotion in my mouth and I drank it?
- We’re playing quarter baseball
- Pretend you’re sleeping
- The ultimate frisbee association
- My mom picked me up from school so I could go to ultimate frisbee practice
- They got a $2000 grant for a barely existing ultimate frisbee team
- She’s ultra mom
- The dodgeball guy called my friend a walrus
- We did a dramatic reading of an adult novel
- He was buying materials to make a whip
- Grate her down like a piece of cheese
- We sat in a circle and named our most Jewish quality
- 4 is the cosmic number
- I hate being a fertile woman
- Excuse me I’m Jewish
- Surprise disco duet
- I shook like 7 tents
- She’s the strings teacher, we keep her in the basement
- Whenever we finished a test and we said “I’m done” he would say “I’m done! You’re finished!” his last name was Done
- I thought the fire hydrant was a turkey
- I asked him if his password was like an anniversary or something and he said “It’s the date of my grandparents death”
- He gives us weekly quantum physics lectures
- Bruh! That looks like a lunchbox!
- No offense but this guy would make out with a floorboard
- You seem like the kind of person to kiss a floorboard
- You sound exactly like my pediatrician
- Lots of poop, no sock
- She’s not doing her work, she’s looking at Peppa pig
- Yo neighbor, I need some sugar
- White moms are really easy to scare
- Even though it’s part of Asia, ITS NOT
- Why was there a hanging waffle?!
- I got complimented on my croissant
- You can sell your liver
- Bernie Sanders reminds me of a muppet
- WHY IS THERE A HELICOPTER IN THE KITCHEN!!!!
- What are you going to do? Hunt squirrels?
- *A bunch of AP students shouting “Linguini”*
- I got bitten by an iguana in Aruba
- We got an actor to join the hammock group chat
- Say goodbye to your ovaries
- I’m half a butt cheek away from death
- Are you one of those people who puts ice cream and pop tarts in a blender
- Yo! You got any shoes I can eat???
- That’s how you segregate your trail mix???
- He has a six pack of ribs
- I’m so done with books about African children
- Do homies kiss
- I’m here for the num nums
- Don’t touch my pizza you savage!!!
- HURRY UP AND MEDITATE
- What are you for Halloween? Jewish?
- Do ducks have tails
- He was the one that broke the constitution
- Oh god now there’s Hitler on my paper
- God given right of ruling... Manifest destiny in China
- Do you shampoo your eyebrows
- This isn’t Bayblade!
- Bob Ross wasn’t an artist, he was an art therapist
- If anyone on the team is a jellyfish, it’s definitely Brandon
- It’s your fault that I’m not going to college!
- I’m having spinach for dinner! I’m so excited!
- I locked him in his toolbox
- Let’s rent a midget for a day and we can throw him against a wall
- I know how to utilize money, but do I know how to utilize it well, that’s another question
- Man, that place needs a Chick-fil-a, and I’m going to make it
- We should have the purge in school one day
- If you’re weird enough, people won’t want to rape you
- Flex seal it with tape
- Oh yeah, I got vinegar all over my sweatshirt
- Don’t say “Have a good day”, because I’m not having a good day
- Well maybe someday you’ll have cancer
- What’s up guys, I’m from Richie’s pizza, and today I’ll be showing you my body count
- An obo sounds like a clarinet with Down syndrome
- I DONT HAVE ANY MARINARA SAUSCE ON ME RIGHT NOW
- WE WILL SMUGGLE OUR KIDS TO AMERICA
- I’m the jolly black giant
- You pissed off a priest
- If we get a lot of money, I can take her boyfriend to prom
- Ted Bundy would share a lot of ideas with you
- They’re doing a milk experiment... But with marinara
- A- That’s not a color! B- But it’s on a crayon!
- Hey what’s up cheese goblin
- I’m letting my toes breathe
- I’m just saying, tinfoil doesn’t taste that bad
- YOURE EATING IT YOU UNGRATEFUL SWINE
- When I was away were you in my house? Because it’s happened before
- How do you say I have scoliosis in Italian?
- I’m gonna give give birth to a duck, right here, right now
- Are you comparing a 3D printed violin to genocide
- I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE
- Brother from another mother, TELL ME ABOUT THAT
- I’m a vulture, just vulturing
- I’m going on a field trip to the sewage treatment plant on my birthday
- You’re making my vagina angry
- Competitive Just Dance team
- Oh no there’s spaghetti falling out of my pockets!
- (Yoda impression) Take anger out on minorities I must
- I can turn off the lights and you’d still be white
The Aspect: Chapter 11. “The breakpoint”
“How easy it is to judge rightly after one sees what evil comes from judging wrongly.”
Elizabeth Gaskell, ‘Wives and Daughters’
“I’m telling you! She remembers the haircolor of every single doll, and there are more than two hundred of ‘em! Lil’ Kate will eat me alive if l bring her the wrong doll!”
“That’s why I don’t even try to start a family,” Jason laughed and sipped his diet cola. “Mate! It tastes like shit!”
“You better know.”
They were walking down the street in South Gotham after Vic had bought a super rare doll for his daughter. His contract with Sionis was over, and he finally had free time to see his family: his wife and the little naughty princess. The older friend had lots of doubts if he needed to return to his mercenary being.
His family was already safe, and there was no need in worrying about.
Vic’s bank accounts were full of the payments from the pleased employers, and Roman Sionis’ name was among them.
It was his wet dream - in a good sense - to stay at home and live just as usual family guys did. Despite Victor being an old comrade of Slade, he was another sort of a human. Those features Victor possessed contrasted so much with Deathstroke’s nature, and Jason liked that. It was Victor who counter the hot head, the blood lust during the battle scenes they walked through. It was Victor by his side who never betrayed and never said money could buy anything.
A rare friend for Jason who asked nothing in return.
“So, gonna have a sweet vacation?” It was a long pause, Jason already threw his empty cup and was thinking about Roman’s offer.
Yes, it was about vacation. Sort of. It was hard to explain, and Roman rarely wanted to explain details he found either obvious or too inconsequential to pay attention to. Few nights after Christmas Sionis claimed he had been planning their leave. From Gotham, from the dirt and smog, and from the pressing presence of ‘unwanted objects’. He mentioned no route nor a destination point.
Jason wasn’t a fool and had never been.
It wasn’t hard to put two and two.
The Ring, the Black Lantern power, was guiding Sionis. After the day he took off his mask, Jason noticed the man started breathing more freely. Though it was not a plan to reveal his true identity - the fakeness would not be met with great joy. Jason had no idea how it could be, what the consequences they could meet.
Nobody knew, and nobody should know Roman Sionis was not the Black Mask.
“...a luxury hotel room, for newly-weds...” Vic went on and on smiling and throwing glances with cunning sparks.
“I said…” A long, not so distant cry, interrupted his stream of obscene words. “D’you hear that?”
The supersoldier must hear those things when someone was crying for help.
He frowned and looked in the same direction. At daytime Gotham was hard to be called secure. And at night it became uncontrolled. If there was a place, a single spot in the world where all the sins and human’s disasters came from, then it had to be night Gotham.
“Mary will kill me,” he sighed when they both rushed into the darkness of the abandoned railway station.
The station used to belong to Penguin when he had more power than he did these days. As his ambitions grew, the non-flying bird of Gotham had lacked his resources, and the influence reduced. Several unsuccessful cases almost killed his enterprise. But Penguin was a true Cobblepot and he knew some positions were easy to come and easy to go. If he tried to fight for the station, he’d fail.
Oswald did great, and that’s true.
He had an incredibly profitable deal.
With none other than Batman.
“...stop! You’re doing the wrong thing!”
This voice… So young, younger than Jason. And desperate, it sounded anguished, at the edge of hysterical tone.
“Either you do what you were taken here for or you can kiss goodbye to the Robin mantle.”
Raspy sounds of the old corrupted metal, the darkness full of little rustles made Jason’s nerves ring with the high level of tension. The sweat dropped from his temple, streamed down to the chin as he saw Vic gesturing to him.
They took different positions, as they used to do during training and multiple missions.
Victor - on the highest possible spot to see the whole scene, to analyze. The super-soldier serum helped them all, Vic’s eyes never failed.
“Please!” Vic’s hands froze as they heard a high-pitched voice, hysterically frightened. The female voice. “Why are you doing this? You were a hero! You were -”
Biting sound of a strong slap colored Jason’s sight with red.
A distant kid’s cry almost blinded him with primal fury.
“Shut up, you filthy whore…!”
Maybe, they shouted at once - Victor and Bruce - but Jason didn’t hear both of them. He rushed into the unknown. His own pull motion ran unnoticed by him, Jason didn’t see it, he just took Tim away from his way to save the kid.
He saw the boy.
In the car, embraced with fire.
“Well-well, the prodigal son came back. Classic.” Bruce was holding the woman, his hand in her hair, pretty young face dirty, in blood and something black. Probably the soil and diesel oil. Her tears were not able to erase the dirt. “You’re too predictable, Jason .”
“And you’re too healthy for a mere mortal, B.”
Whatever Jason’s cocky mind could think about Bruce, his exosuit was just perfect. Spine and full-back support connected with the joints, and the whole structure covered and forced by the patented Wayne’s technologies. Titanium, the green lights of the kryptonite, and several layers of the fully AI controlled inner system, supporting his damaged body.
A compliment to Jason’s work.
He left unbeatable Batman, the Dark Knight, disabled!
He died and came back, again and again.
But Bruce didn’t.
He possessed no power except money, and they would not return him to life after his death.
“With your efforts...”
Jason never knew what was wrong with his effort because Vic crashed with a high kick into Bat’s helmet, cracking it and shouting at Jason.
“‘The hell are you doing?! Get the boy out of here! The kid!”
Right, he was just an idiot who let his old fears prevail…
Burning car kept its balance pretty well for a piece of crumpled can. Batman’s work was too obvious to ignore: the doors smacked, and the traces of fingers left just under the windows. Surprisingly, he didn’t break the windows. The car was about to explode, and the kid already passed out which made Jason’s main mission for that moment more difficult.
The battle behind him distracted his chaotical stream of thoughts. Images of the past mixed: little Jason, the next Robin, was hiding behind the door of the abandoned factory; the flash of the gunshot glistened and blinded him; the fire, lots of fire, and then it turned to green…
“Jay! Jay! He’s fucking maniac! Help me! Jay!”
Tim was already fighting the fire and the burning car. The sharp scent of the gas and melting car paint hooked his conscience, his sense of the reality and pulled forward, saving from the overwhelming memories.
“Save the cloak. The mantle, Tim! Keep it for the kid!” Jason broke the car window, trying not to inhale deeply. The fire licked his biker coat, slowly burning his skin through the fabric, almost merging both the human skin and the leather. The boy was lying on the back seat, his face also dirty, just as his mother’s. Poor creatures. The bastard would pay for that. Again and again, till it’s enough. But Jason doubted if there was a limit.
When Tim took the boy from his hands and jumped away, to take the little innocent victim of the former hero’s arbitrariness, when Jason already caught his breath, he heard a cat-call.
Vic’s grenade belt was thrown to his face.
“Mayday! Mayday! Anyone hear me?” Victor coughed out his blood and maybe a piece of the right lung. He tried to shift his legs but the bloody stumps of his legs turned to several inches above the knee joints didn’t move. “May...day… Vic and Hood… Hood’s dead again. Bat’s got on his wings.”
The comm was silent, only white noise followed him into the darkness of the blood loss.
Dick rushed into the hospital not even bothering himself to ask about the location of the needed room. He knew. Thanks to fucking Deathstroke he was the last to know.
Bruce and Jayson met again.
And Jason’s dead...again.
Sometimes this city seemed to ignore the rules of normality.
“What happened?!” The room was on the third floor, no need to use the elevator but Dick found the stairs endless while he was running up. “You..?”
They were standing there. All of them like Jayson’s life cost more than just a life of a nice mercenary, like Jason turned out to be a precious stone never supposed to be vulnerable and now just shards of it were lying on the hospital bed.
Everything was white to emphasize the death scent, the awful disaster Batman caused.
All of them were standing like a dangerous cloud, electrized and ready to strike. Roman Sionis in the center of the group was the heart of the danger; Dick felt, and he could almost imagine how ready he was to bite his own tongue.
Black Mask, Deathstroke, Diana, Clark, and Tim. Standing there, and the glance Clark threw was too sharp and painful, like it was Dick who caught a whole grenade belt into his face. Diana tried to hide her tears, failing but still trying. She loved her rare but intense training with Jason, she was a good friend to him. But Richard wasn’t.
Slade watched him with a frown. Nobody moved.
Even Tim came here before Dick.
“You! You fucking bastard!” Tim was a flash when he jumped over the chair with a hand carried to strike, but Wilson’s movement got ahead, he grabbed Tim’s collar and pulled back. “Let go! I’ll kill him! You let Bruce do that! You’re such a fucking dick ! You don’t deserve to stand here..! Let me go… Mph!”
The bitterness struck him, flooded Dick’s internal bay and slain all the good or any neutral motives he had before stepping in this particular room.
It was his fault.
He could’ve dissuaded Bruce from his insane idea, he had to do his best, he was obliged. Richard knew Jason would be there. Everyone knew Jason could not resist the combat if he saw Bruce.
“Why are we here, not chasing the perpetrator?” Clark’s voice was reticent, but it was better than just let the beeping life support equipment drop on everyone’s nervous system like a cold water torture. It was insane. The air smelled with insanity, not the decontamination liquid.
“Wayne’s now too far from here...”
“Then we must hurry up and..!”
Roman’s burning stare reflected the dreadful power, the strength that caused a frost wave to run along Dick’s spine.
“We - and I mean the real protectors of Gotham too, Mr.Kent - are needed here. Be patient, please. I’m the last in this city interested in wasting the time.” Sionis’ glance paused to examine Nightwing’s figure, then Tim’s, still twisting and ‘hmm-ing’ in Slade’s hands, and then he turned to Victor. “Now everyone you asked to call is here. Details, Vic. How did the fake Knight leave you disabled? Does your serum have an expiration date?”
Victor’s legs ended several inches above the knee. The medicine devices stretched their tentacles-tubes to his major blood vessels. The cut wound was already treated by the surgeons Roman Sionis trusted, and it meant those were the best surgeons either in the US or in the whole world.
Dick knew the simple fact that rich people never try to save money on important things. Instead, the better investment they did, the better profits they got. If Sionis could find and hire surgeons able to keep silence about Black Mask’s employees, then he had his business blooming rightfully.
Despite the fact of his illegal deals.
“The bastard invented the antiserum shit.” Dick’s heart skipped a beat. Vic’s words brought him out in a cold sweat. Bruce didn’t tell him. Grayson couldn’t help looking at Tim, already silent, but still kept by Slade. If looks could kill, Dick would have already had his mouth foaming and his heart agonizing in spasms.
Tim really hated him.
“...caught me off guard. None believed the antiserum was possible to invent. And then…it was a fucking bizarre.” Victor’s eyes looked at the wall and it looked like he was watching that day. “Hood and Robin took the kid - the car was burning. The asshole took a sword! A fucking sword! Anyone seen Batman using swords?! God… He cut my legs and next what I felt was the fucking hemorrhaging. Not the healing effect, not the primal rage as it usually happened. The gas, that shit that was burning on the car, it was the antiserum stuff. He waited for us to come into his trap. Then he took my belt and...”
Simultaneously, like all of them were a giant part of the one system, they turned their heads to Jason’s bed.
“It was different this time. No green flashes, nothing. He was just...like minced meat. His body healed a bit, but again...” Vic frowned. Jason’s face still looked like it was used to wipe off the chainsaw. With craters and canyons of deep burns, the flesh was of a dark brown and ruby red colors, somewhere with a few hints of yellow - the subcutaneous fat. “...no green lights. His body didn’t heal properly, but it should've already.”
With a heavy sigh Roman approached Jason’s bed and then… Dick wasn’t sure he saw the right thing happen, but Sionis took off his mask to show everyone in the room his face wasn’t burnt at all, though it was believed in Gotham Roman Sionis got his pen-name after a tragedy…
It was a handsome man in his mid-thirties, with pale white skin and inhuman red eyes.
“Don’t worry, Vic.” Without the leather mask his voice sounded surreal, like another creature took his place. A creature none in this room ever met. “We’ll get nice cyber prosthetics for you. I’ll cover all the inconveniences.”
“Thanks, but Mary’s still gonna kill me. I’ve lost the fucking doll.”
“Sorry, Vic. My power ends when the one talks about children. But if Mary gets the antiserum, you better find another doll for your daughter.” A slight hint, a ghost of a smile appeared for a few seconds on Roman’s lips when he turned to Slade and Clark. “Shut the doors and be sure nobody is around. I don’t want anyone to witness my power.”
Richard didn’t see Roman Sionis take off his gloves too, but when the black matte fog, impenetrable for a human’s sight and thick, twined around his figure, Grayson experienced the most incredible feeling in his life. He forgot to inhale, and didn’t even notice that.
He watched as a giant fog arm froze above Jason’s head, and in the next second he opened his eyes.
The icy cold snakes of primal fear didn’t leave him for weeks after that day.
There was no Pit, the voices too distant, almost unhearable. Just some miserable echos like annoying little flies didn’t allow him to close his eyes and melt into the liquid black of the subconscious.
He didn’t feel.
Not his body nor his own thoughts.
It was only darkness around, and he was a part of it. Eternal, endless, never living and never dying. He had always just been, and also he never existed as an independent piece.
What was ‘he’?
What was ‘Pit’?
Did it matter at all?
And could there exist anything important if there was only nothingness around?
The voice broke the ideal steadfastness of the darkest dimension. It was a stone thrown into the black waters. None could see, but there appeared circles, they disturbed a lot, and the only wish to return to the firm, constant state appeared.
“This is the last time you’re allowed to die”
Words with no meaning, a mix of sounds, senseless.
“ She is not going to get you back since I possess Her powers now, and even She is not an omnipotent essence in our universe ”
The waters of Chaos, of the origin substance everything came from, lost its peace.
Sounds of the waves were now more physical.
“ Come on, Jason, I am waiting for you ”
And then he saw the light.
“...we evacuate residents of this district.” Diana took a couple of steps back to look at the hologram map with red and blue lines showing their plan. “If you’re able to protect the city, Sionis, then we have a nice battlefield where no one gets hurt.”
“Of course, I am.” Roman rolled his eyes, but didn’t even shift in his chair. “All I need from you all is just to kill one lantern. Just one. It will be enough to devour the power of the Ring and adjust to its working principle. And then none of the rest lanterns will be able to get out of here alive.”
Nightwing frowned. It felt strange to trust Black Mask especially after discovering some true facts about him. Why did he actually bother about Jason’s safety? Why did he ask the League for help if he had the greatest plan in the world and possessed the power none could resist?
“How did you know they’d appear exactly in this spot? All of the city, why here?” He couldn’t help asking, and even Clark’s cautionary glance didn’t stop Dick.
“I know that, young Grayson, because it has already happened. In other universes, with other Romans, with other Jasons, with hundreds of different versions Gotham city. I’ve come from one of those, and that battle was lost. Any further questions or we can switch back to our agenda?”
He was right though it was the most hard thing to swallow.
Nobody wanted to work with Sionis, but since the whole city - and the universe if you could believe Roman’s words - was in danger.
Those lanterns wanted to murder him, and they wouldn not stop until every single Jason ended his existence. Or Roman, but Black Mask turned to be a difficult goal for slaining.
The door of the meeting room opened with an undetectable sound, but Roman knew it was Jason. Back to life, with his body fully healed and with no time to be prepared.
The kisses were too chaotic to remember where the lips had already been and where they had not, but Jason wasn’t bothered with it at all. He just let Roman smile at his lips and take the unnecessary clothes off.
His bare skin smooth and beautiful again, with no evidence of the previous death.
He was just eager for tender caresses, and nothing could matter more than the time in bed.
It hurt, because the timer was already to stop soon.
It was bitter-sweet and heaven-like.
Jason left scratches, lots of them, tens of bloody trails. He was happy to leave those prints and marks, the ownership stamps.
It turned out he could possess something, someone .
He was allowed to feel something overwhelming, something simply human .
A fear came, the fear that he was not able to love enough and to leave more emotions.
The hunger seemed to be eternal.
He didn’t want those thrusts and groaning to end.
Roman cupped his face with hot, burning hands.
Looked into his eyes and leaned forward to leave the very last kiss before the dawn would rise above the city.
“Whatever happens, Jason, don’t look back. You hear me? Never look back.”
Decepticon For Life, Part 12
You get Autobot mechanic Bulkhead to help your side, Decepticons to finish the Space Bridge. Now if only things would go as planned...
NOTE, I’m trying to bring this story back! It has been my most read story and now with Killer May reaching for this story’s hits I need to update this story. It’s been a while, but give the Decepticon For Life a read and I won’t disappoint you! Also, happy Juhannus!
It was all going according to lord Megatron's plan. He got Bulkhead to work with you and now he was giving orders to Constructicons how to finish the Space Bridge... The only problem was that he couldn't help but argue with professor Sumdac about how to move forward. You groaned as you listened to them argue where hollow cato tube should go.
Out of all the jobs, Megatron could give you it was to watch over them. You knew nothing about Space Bridges but apparently you knew enough is someone was trying something. Suddenly there was a loud clank as the giant tube was thrown on the ground and the Constructicons sat down.
"That's it! We're on a break!" Mixmaster exclaimed and he and Scrapper poured oil down their intakes. You shook your head and went to them. "Okay, guys, do what you must but next break is in 3 hours!"
"Whatever you say, babe," Scrapper said between the chugs of oil. You groaned but then you heard professor and Bulkhead argue with each other. You walked up to them and cleared your intake, getting their attention. "I hope you don't plan to do anything stupid. Lord Megatron gave me permission to knock some sense into you if you decided to act foolishly."
Bulkhead shook his helm. "Wouldn't think of it."
You nodded, "Good." and turned to go and get your Constructicon friends to work again. When you were out of the earshot professor Sumdac turned towards Bulkhead. "I can't believe she was an Autobot...!" He grumbled in disbelief and Bulkhead looked at the man like he had grown a second head.
"What? What are you talking about?" The green mech asked, "The femme Decepticon? She isn't an Autobot!"
"Oh, but she was!" Professor exclaimed as loudly as he dared so he wouldn't catch your attention. He looked over his shoulder and when you didn't turn towards them he looked at Bulkhead again. "She came here months ago with Starscream but she had this Autobot symbol with wings on her chest. She appeared to have amnesia and she couldn't talk until I fixed her. Starscream was most likely using her so when Megatron took her in she fell for everything that monster has to say."
"Wait, are you saying that femme is an Elite Guard?!"
"Shh...! Not so loud!" Professor hushed before checking if you heard. No, you were nagging at Mixmaster and Scrapper how they chugged too much oil to be healthy. Professor turned to Bulkhead. "I don't know who she was when I fixed her, but she had some poor lady's purse. You don't happen to know anything about it, do you?"
"Hmm, not that I can recall..." Bulkhead admitted before turning serious. "But if you tell me she was an Elite Guard then she could have been a spy!"
"Impossible! As I said, she had no idea who or what she was before Megatron took her in!" Professor snapped and this time you had heard them.
"What are you doing?!" You asked as you stomped over to them and placed your hands over your hips. "Did you come to an agreement over that tube? Because if not, I will personally stuck it up to your aft Autobot!"
"Yeah, we got it now..." Bulkhead grumbled and the professor nodded with him. You nodded and turned towards Constructicons, yelling them how their break was over.
It took hours, but finally, the Space Bridge looked like it was done. Megatron stood by the control panel with you behind him and Bulkhead stood next to him.
"I did what you asked. Now, why don't you let me and professor go and we call it even?" The green Autobot asked. Megatron glanced at him from the corner of his crimson optic.
"All in due time, Autobot," He said. "Are you certain it will work this time?"
"Ooh, absolutely." Professor Sumdac said as he walked to the controls and pushed a button. The bridge's engine sputtered and coughed, but nothing happened. Your optics widened in shock. Had they failed? If they failed, what would it mean for you?
"Oh well, too bad, nothing anyone can do, I guess we should just keep going-!" Professor was saying when suddenly the giant machine turned on, coughing and roaring as it created a blue ball of energy between its long towers. You smiled excitedly. It was actually working! Oh, Megatron was right when he got that big oaf Bulkhead!
"At long last, I will lead my troops back to Cybertron and reclaim what is rightfully mine!" Megatron boasted and you clapped your hands behind him. "Bravo, my lord! Your plan worked as planned!" You praised him. You have no idea what this Cybertron planet held, but you swore you would be right behind your lord as you would claim your home planet.
Suddenly there was an explosion behind you and you all turned to look what it was when you saw the Autobots emerge from the newly made tunnel they had exploded open.
"Too bad there is nobody for you to lead, Megatron!" Optimus Prime, leader of this small Autobot group shouted. You were about to pull out your guns when you noticed Scrapper above the mine. You grinned at the evil bots, "I don't think so!"
Scrapper jumped down with a warcry and snatched the two smaller Autobots, the yellow and light blue ones, into his arms. "Who you're calling nobody!?" He asked and Mixmaster shot cement mix at the Autobot leader and their ninja bot, trapping them on their spots. Mixmaster jumped next to Scrapper who held the bots in his arms and Optimus glared at them, "So you two are working for Megatron now."
You walked up to the Constructicons and grinned. "They were always on the winning side." You said but just as the last word left your mouth, the mountain trembled and groaned as the mountain's roof over your helms was blasted into oblivion. You shielded your face from falling rocks.
Who dared to attack you like that?! Did Autobots come with backup?
When the smoke cleared you looked up and you couldn't believe what you saw. It was Starscream! He was using the jets on his legs to stand above you all and he wasn't alone. There were 5 jets circling him. Had he come for revenge? He couldn't have picked any worse time, but you might as well take him down with Autobots and make him tell who you were.
"Megatron, my old friend! Thanks for making all the hard work for me! Ha ha ha ha!" Starscream laughed and you grounded your denta together in fury. You wouldn't let him get away again. Not without answering your questions first.
"Concentrate your attacks on Megatron!" Starscream ordered, cutting you off, and the jets behind him transformed and shot straight at your lord. You watched in horror how the shots landed and threw Megatron back into boulders and stone wall. "Lord Megatron!" You shouted and quickly run up to him.
"More Starscream clones!?" The ninja bot exclaimed followed by Optimus' question, "How is that even possible?!"
The blue bot started to rant in a quick manner about a theory that Starscream had claimed pieces of AllSpark and made clones with it. You didn't listen that closely as you focused on helping your lord up to his feet. Megatron growled and pulled out his sword.
"Lugnut, Blitzwing! I need backup at once!" He shouted, out loud and through comm links, but no one came. "Where are you?!"
Where indeed were they? Should you go look for them, but would you dare to leave your leader alone to fight against Starscream, his clones, and Autobots? Granted, Autobots were out of the picture. The shots get coming so you jumped behind a boulder and returned the fire at the clones with your gun.
Megatron was doing amazing, fighting off 5 clones and blocking their attacks with his sword and fusion cannon attached to his right arm.
"It will take more than a few pathetic clones to defeat me Starscream!" Your lord shouted and shot a blast of energy at Starscream who dodged the attack. You shot at the clones with your best abilities and you managed to keep a couple of them on their toes if they didn't want to get shot.
"Mixmaster, find Lugnut and Blitzwing! Dreadtrap and Scrapper back me up!" Megatron ordered. Scrapper let go of the Autobots he was holding and as soon as the bots' pedes touched the ground they took off quicker than you have seen someone go.
"You, hey, I never bargained, but this? I'm a builder, not a fighter!" Mixmaster said, but just as he was done a shot went through the oil canister he had on his hand and all the precious oil leaked through his hand. The Constructicon saw red, just like his optics, and threw the messed canister on the ground. "That's it! Nobody messes with my motor oil!"
You heard banging and saw that Optimus Prime had broken free from cement and with a single punch he released the ninja bot also. You growled but focused on Starscream's clones. You wouldn't let them hurt your lord any more than they had already. Mixmaster run past you and he came face to face with a blue Starscream's clone.
"Fool! A mere construction bot is no match for my superior firepower!" The clone boasted and Mixmaster frowned. "Oh really? Then you know where you can stick it?" He asked as his hand transformed and he shot a load of wet cement at the clone. He hit the bullseye and the clone screamed as he couldn't move.
"Gaah, impossible! You can't defeat me! You're not worthy, you're an inferior and your job stink!" The clone shouted as he struggled against he gooey cement like a fly in spider's web but just like on the web, he just got himself more mixed up. Mixmaster seemed satisfied with it, but when he turned there was a white clone pointing his gun at your friend.
"Don't worry, I won't shoot!" The clone shouted but his actions told another story. You switched tactics and took a shot at him and just as you were about hit him, the ninja bot thew one of his throwing stars at the clone's leg. That sent the white con flying and hurling through the air and he hit ground face first and hard. The ninja bot jumped at him ad cuffed him. "One Starscream down, five more to go."
You had a shot at him. You had him in your scope but you didn't take the shot. He could be useful against the clones, you ensured yourself. You cleared your optic and the ninja was gone.
"I'm not down, I can escape anytime I want to! I just don't want to." The clone talked to himself when an orange clone flew to him and shot the static cuffs off from the white's hands.
"Brilliant strategy, brilliant! It's such an honor to help you escape from such an elegant Autobot trap!" The orange clone praised and the white looked at him as he got up, "What are you talking about? I escaped all by myself!" He claimed and flew off. You tried to shoot what you thought was the real Starscream but he wouldn't let you get a clear shot. That's when you heard pathetic crying coming and you looked to the side.
The blue Autobot had a whiny clone in cuffs, but then came the blue clone who was still struggling against the cement mix around him and he hit the Autobot and clone head-on. The blue bot shouted rapidly for the cons to get off from him, but they were just as trapped as he was. The jets in blue clone's legs were still working and they pushed the trio through the Space Bridge's portal.
Three enemies gone, a bunch of them left. You took a shot at the white clone and he noticed you hiding behind a boulder as you kept shooting at him and his allies. He laughed and shot at you and you quickly ducked your helm down before he blew it off. As soon as you could, you took a shot at him again and hit him straight on the wing.
"Ouch! You didn't hurt me, didn't hurt at all!" The white clone exclaimed and you were starting to doubt everything this clone said. Megatron and Starscream were fighting hand in hand combat, though your lord had his sword and Starscream had his guns attacked to his arms.
"Starscream! Give up this foolish mutiny!" Megatron ordered but Starscream didn't give up. He gave Megatron an ugly glare and activated his jets and dodged a sword's cut, rounding around your lord. Megatron turned to shoot him, but two clones, white and femme ambushed Megatron from behind.
"My lord!" You shouted, but just as the clones were about to take a shot, Optimus Prime out of all the mechs tackled them head-on, saving your lord. The grey mech lowered his sword and looked at Optimus. "Why, you would be the last bot I expected to come to my rescue."
"I wasn't coming to your rescue." The Autobot leader snarled. You looked him through your scope, but you didn't shoot. You saw both leaders fighting back to back, against two clones and one original scumbag Starscream. You saw orange at the corner of your optic and you saw a blur of orange before you were tackled hard.
You let out a loud 'oof' as you lost your gun and the orange clone got up from on top of you and pointed his gun at you. You glared at him and he cackled. "Brilliant spot, just brilliant for shooting from a hideout!"
You glared at him. "You have no idea." You lifted your leg and activated your own jets, sending flames at the clone's face. He screamed and backed up, just enough for you to get the opening you wanted. You reached for your gun and took the shot, sending the clone flying through the room.
Suddenly you heard screaming and you turned to look, only to see your lord using Autobot leader Optimus Prime as a shield. What a brutal turn of events. Mixmaster was shooting wet cement at the ninja bot who kept dodging his attacks and then the small yellow bot tried to ambush the Constructicon from behind, but he was quickly pinned into the wall by quickly hardening the cement.
"Mixmaster, considerate your attacks on head Starscream!" Megatron ordered as he threw his Autobot shield on the side. Your leader and Starscream shared words and insults and you started shooting at the femme clone, trying to keep her busy. The ninja bot went to his leader's side, but he couldn't help him as the orange clone snapped static cuff on him.
"Brilliant, such a brilliant move with static cuffs! I just had to try it out!" He kept praising and you took a shot at him, but he saw it coming and dodged. You growled and followed his movements through your gun's scope when you suddenly saw a bright light and you fell back in pain. Someone shot you!
You groaned as you tried to get your processor and limps working. Whoever had shot you they had gotten you good. Your vision was fuzzy, but when it started to finally return you watched in horror how the clones were holding Megatron back as Starscream approached him with your lord's own sword. How did he get the sword from your lord's hands?
"Oooh, I have been waiting a long time for this...!" Starscream smiled as he looked at his reflection from the sword's black blade. Megatron tried to struggle and get the clones to release him, but it was in vain. Starscream grinned. "Don't worry, I'll tell you went offline valiantly... Just as you named me as your successor!" He raised the sword above his helm and you cried out in horror.
My 10 Favorite WWE Matches of All Time (updated)
10: The 2001 Royal Rumble
No matter how daft and stupid the product gets, I will never not stoke my head in around January. The Royal Rumble is my favorite match, but this one is my favorite favorite instance of that match. The pacing, the beautiful endurance of Kane, the hardcore interval (which Kane just decides to destroy), the Big Show returning after 4 months just to get shit-canned a minute into his run. There is so much to love about this mess. The preview of Rock and Austin that year for their Wrestlemania showdown. The fact that 4 or 5 of them (Rock, Austin, Kane, Undertaker, even Rikishi) could have been main event contenders. The best midcard in WWE history. Scotty 2 Hotty having the worst night of his life. Drew Carey just showing up. Bradshaw just cliffing everyone, because he's gotta get his shit in. Good Rumbles are like a 3 course meal, and this one is like all your courses at once, and then dessert is a treat you could die on.
9. Tyler Bate vs. WALTER - Takeover Cardiff
Crowds make a lot of matches for me (thanks, 2020) but this crowd is especially electric, and for 24-year-old Tyler Bate, who is taking on a TANK, and that tank's name is WALTER, a TANK.
But I will never not be a sucker for a David vs. Goliath story, and it was never better told than the boy made of thighs vs. the destroyer made of shattering palms. It is SO CARNY, so many feats of strength, so many OOOOOFS AND UUUUUURGHS that make this so great. Tyler was a hero on this night, but everyone knew he wasn't ready to win. Every feat is a magnificent reach. And it all means something to everyone. Make them what they know SHOULD happen and still surprise them with it. His "refusing to quit!" only to get shut down by a fucking chop. HE STANDS but is immediately ruined. It makes me. This shit fucking makes me.
8. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley, 30-Minute Iron Woman Match - Takeover Respect
Most of this is just a remix of their epic and warranted classic in Brooklyn. but then Sasha takes the headband off of Izzy. And then they both stepped it up and were *amazing*. We somehow lost Bayley's "RAAAAAH'S and that's sad for me. But then they RAMP IT UP. NOBODY LIKES YOU. FUCK YOU. WE'RE HAPPIER NOW. (WE'RE NOT.)
But seriously, Sasha taking Izzy's headband and then THROWING IT AT HER started something special, something grand. THE OUTRAGE. The bastion of heel heat. And then the match got better. They hugged at the end of their encounter in Brooklyn, but then they started poisoning one another. And it all started with this amazing match.
(Also, Bayley's amazing red and gold robot tights.)
7. Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels, Wrestlemania 21
Listen. HBK's 'Mania outings with the Undertaker are solid "match of the decade" contenders, piss-easy. They are peerless, they are in a league of their own. But saying they're your favorite? Unless you are an actual wrestler, that's like saying "UH, MY FAVE BAND IS THE BEATLES." Ya boring, ya basic, and we can all do better. And seeing how I'm in my late 30s, I understand wrestling a little different than I did when I made this list in...2016??? Christ. I bet AJ Styles vs. John Cena was on it that year.
Two of the best performers, both in their prime, and looking back on it, I just prefer the mix of character dynamics at play. Angle is easily one of the best in the world, but he has such an inferiority complex, because he's an Olympic gold medalist who is told *nightly* that he sucks, and he CAN'T best Michaels. He keeps coming back, and he's so charming, so effortlessly good at this whole "wrestling" thing, and it's slowly making Angle, who SHOULD be all of those things, absolutely *spare.* And that informs so many spots and story moments in the match itself, specifically when Angle LOSES it and starts shouting at him, only to have a superkick partied under his face. Angle is one of the best ever because his wrestling acumen served his character, never once defined it.
6. Vince McMahon vs. Shane McMahon, Wrestlemania 17
I haven't gone back to watch the whole of Vince vs. Shane THAT many times. What I have done is watch the finish about 65 times. There is something so addictive and magical about that one pop, when Linda stands up from her chair, and the ENTIRE crowd stands with her. And I'll 100% agree that Vince's comeuppance - one slap, one hoof to the balls, a Mandible Claw and a Coast-To-Coast dropkick - is not NEAR the actual comeuppance he should have gotten for some of the deplorable shit his character got up to from around the Rumble to this match (two of which they've done their very best to scrub from history, they're THAT bad.) But it's the purest example I can think of, of that pantomime aspect of wrestling.
Vince McMahon is a deranged bastard. He likes dumb, cruel, crude things, but his commitment to being the world's 2nd-worst lizard man makes some of the stuff that happens to him more richly rewarding than almost any retribution in any medium, ever. The final 4 minutes of that match, the crowd is a fireworks display. They rise, they explode, they rise and explode, over and over.
And again, shoutout to my boy 2020 for making me miss a crowd THAT big having THAT good a time.
5. Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano - 2 out of 3 falls - TakeOver New York
Now look, I'm not saying that NXT is essentially perfect for me, in terms for what I look for in wrestling. What I will say is that when it cooks, it combines the very best of indie stamina, choreography and stunt work with something WWE sometimes gets VERY right, and that is unabashed, unironic emotion. And it's not even that the intimacy of NXT being a smaller promotion has a denser, more specifically passionate fanbase. It's just the fact that NXT understands that so often, nuance and drama in wrestling doesn't come from promos, or swerves, or endless escalations of said drama, but from getting the FUCK out of the way and letting two of the best in the world *wrestle.* NXT is so good for providing context for the acts of jealousy, pride and entitlement, and then laying out a match that touches on all of these emotions throughout.
This main event, built in two weeks, after a terribly-timed Ciampa injury, is actually VERRRY clever booking...disguised to look really simple. Cole starts the match as the crowd favorite, because he's the cool tweener everyone likes (with a catchphrase) to Gargano's unironic Disney prince. Over the course of Cole going all out, making subtle references to Johnny's feud with Ciampa, Gargano fighting from underneath, total fuck-off bastardry from the Undisputed Era (making poor Mauro Ranallo yell "YOU SNAKES!!")
Maybe Cole WAS the better choice, but by the end of it, you didn't care. On that night, Johnny refused to lose, and the constant, exciting, *involving* wrestling dragged you to that emotional place.
Damn right, you deserve it.
4. CM Punk vs. John Cena, Money In the Bank 2011
It might be a simple choice, but also, sometimes, it's really really gratifying to see a crowd who wants something get what they fucking want for once.
A hot crowd makes a good match great, and a great match THIS. A crowd united, either for one guy, and against another, and in this case, BOTH. It makes every. Move. Matter. Trying to find a new angle on this match is like trying to find a new way to say fire is warm. And this crowd created a CAUSE. The no-sold pinfall, the attempted rehash of the Screwjob.
Point out the botches if you must. The angle, the promo...it got my friends back into wrestling, a reason to care until the Shield.
It's not the best, but it deserves to be.
There is no wrestling crowd I wish I was more a part of. And I was at King of the Ring 1998.
3. Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar, 60-Minute Iron Man match, Smackdown of September 18, 2003
It MAYBE was a bit of a "hipster" choice to name this my number 1 in 2016. But you know what? Bloody holds up. Two performers who feel "destined to do this forever," like a Triple H/Shawn Michaels, or a Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn. Possessed of freakish physical charisma, could go for days if pressed. Brock Lesnar, literally at the time ONE OF THE BEST ATHLETES in the WORLD being a lazy fucker and taking DQ points, laying the foundation of what Brock Lesnar would come to be known as. And Angle, in that rare position of everyone knowing he's the best thing going. Brilliant Lazy Asshole Brock and Certified Wrestling Machine Angle are two of my unironic favorite characters in all of wrestling, and it's a buffet of THAT. Like a Royal Rumble, only it's just two dudes, being the best they've ever been.
2. DIY vs. the Revival - 2 out of 3 falls - TakeOver Toronto
"Tag team wrestling?" says main roster WWE. "What is this...tag team wrestling?" Well, this is it, at its absolute best. It's up there with Rey Mysterio and Edge vs. Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle from No Mercy 2002 for just brilliant, rock-solid tag team psychology. There are more story opportunities when there are more rules to break, how can WWE *not get behind that?* In terms of chemistry, both between opponents and between teams, in terms of callbacks like Johnny muscling through the exact same inverted figure four that lost them the belts in Brooklyn. It is a perfect match. Not an ounce of fat on it. And that closing sequence, of each member of DIY locking the Revival in their signature holds, and the men now known as FTR clinging to one another. It's probably the best tag match in the history of the WWE, and considering the caliber of tag matches on TakeOvers, is FUCKING saying something.
1. Daniel Bryan vs. Brock Lesnar, Survivor Series 2018
This match is everything I always hoped for. For the longest time, after the 2015 Royal Rumble debacle, when Reigns won, when simply everything we knew about storytelling said "no, of course it should be Bryan," I wondered what that 'Mania match would look like. If it were anything like this, I would have died a happy man. But then again, what makes this match so GOOD is that Bryan had just come back from an early retirement caused by head and neck surgery, and here he is, being dropped on his head and neck by Brock Fucking Lesnar, aka what would happen if the concept of "not giving a shit" gained corporeal form and starting shilling for Jimmy John's. The match gets really ugly, really fast, and Bryan takes us to uncomfortable places with his selling. It wasn't just the retirement angle, it was also the fact that Brock had turned out some REALLY lazy shit by that point in his career, so we had all mentally prepared for another finish-spamming early night. And then. AND THEN...
Bryan hoofs him in the walnuts, hits the running knee, gives us the absolute closest 2-count of the decade, and then the fight is fucking on. Bryan went, over the course of 2 minutes, from never having a chance against Brock Lesnar to it being an *absolute certainty* that he was going to BEAT BROCK LESNAR. Anytime you visibly leave your seat every few seconds during a match, you know it's a special one. Again, it took me away, had me absolutely *screaming* at my monitor, elated, invested, and I don't know what more your favorite match can ask of you.
But what happens when your favorite match isn't a match at all?
No. 0: The Firefly Funhouse - Wrestlemania 36
I'm not kidding, it actually might be my favorite thing. It could be just my brain latching onto the Cult of the New, but I don't think so. It's not a match, I get it. It exists in a weird null-void outside of time and space, but mostly I am floored that they would broadcast something so virulently anti-WWE. Like, we talk of CM Punk and how WWE let him get away with all his little jokes and cut his little Pipebomb promo. But then WWE signed off on Bray Wyatt tearing the soul out of their business. Burying the biggest star of this generation, skewering and laying bare all of terrible WWE's terrible priorities, and also celebrating insider knowledge, wrestling history, and I just...love it. Right now, it's my favorite thing WWE have ever put out, because it did something they've never done before, told a story I didn't think they were capable of telling. And sure, it was Bray who told it, but I still can't believe it aired. But I am endlessly thankful that it did.
Octavius dragged himself out of bed and his chest seemed to explode at the simple movement. Octavius let a chesty cough rumble through his throat and wiped his sweat from his forehead. He had been sick for a while now but he had to force himself to move now. He had run out of the supplies he had borrowed and he knew if he didn't go borrowing again soon then he would starve.
He slowly clipped on his utility belt, his head was throbbing and he kept blacking out vaguely. He let a steady breath cascade over his cracked lips, this was going to be one of the hardest borrowings he had ever done.
Octavius walked through a tiny gap in the wall, the secret entrance to his home. It was quite a large split in the skirting board but luckily there was a chest of draws stood in front of it, hiding it from the prying eyes of the beans.
Octavius kept up a slow jog out of through the gap between the carpet and the bottom of the chest of draws. Octavius stopped next to one of the legs and scanned for the human bean.
Octavius shared a house with a young girl, from what he had gathered she was about 25 and her name was Candace. She had a job so was out from 7-5:30 every day except Sundays. Sundays were so boring as Octavius had to sit inside all day and try not to make a noise that would draw attention to himself.
Once he was satisfied that the coast was clear he started jogging out into the lounge and made his way into the kitchen. Octavius liked the kitchen floor as it was hard wood and was much easier to walk on than the carpet.
He took his curtain hook tied to a shoe lace and threw it up to catch the cupboard handle. It took a few attempts it finally caught on and looped around the metal handle. Octavius let out a sigh of relief as he prepared himself both mentally and physically for the climb.
Wrapping the shoe lace around his hand a few times, Octavius started to climb up the side of the cupboard. His body shook violently as he demanded more and more from his sick body.
After what seemed like forever he finally flopped onto the kitchen counter. Octavius took a minute to catch his breath, this was so much harder than what he had imagined. He coughed a lot before starting on his borrowing.
Like usual, the giantess who lived here had left the cereal box open on the counter. She always got up late and rushed around the house like a hurricane every morning. That was good for Octavius as the cereal was always left out.
Again he threw up the curtain hook and pulled over the box. Some of the cereal spilled out but Octavius was too ill to care. Usually he made sure he made it look like he never had been there. Octavius thought that he giantess will think the wind blew the box over or something. He began to collect the hoops of cereal when his worst nightmare came true.
The door lock unlocked and the front door was swung wide open by the giantess who had her phone glued to her cheek. Octavius froze in fear as she suddenly stopped speaking on the phone as her pale brown eyes pinned the tiny on the counter.
"I'm going to have to call you back Steph." She mumbled as she brought her phone down from her cheek. She was carrying a cardboard box and 2 bags hung from her arms.
She wasn't meant to be home yet! He had at least another 4 hours before she came home from work and yet here she was! It all became too much for Octavius, the shock and the fever kicking in. Before he knew it his vision blurred and he fainted on the counter.
Candace looked on in amazement at the tiny boy on his kitchen counter. He just wanted some food, he was so cute! Candace put her bags down and carefully picked up the tiny. He felt very hot, warmer than he should, maybe he had a temperature? He did look pale. Candace was thankful that he was breathing.
She took him into the living room and placed him on one of the sofa cushions. She rushed into the kitchen and tore off a piece of kitchen towel and rinsed it under the cold tap.
Candace rushed back and draped the cloth onto his forehead. She then rushed back into the kitchen to fetch her laptop out of her bag.
She sat down on the sofa next to the tiny and typed in her laptop. She looked at how much paracetamol something as small as him could handle. The best thing she could compare him to was a hamster...
Candace checked the measurements her laptop gave her and then ran into the kitchen once more. She mixed some of the paracetamol tablet into a thimble of warm water.
By the time Candace came back into the living room the tiny had moved off of the cushion. Candace desperately searched around for the little tiny and found him clumsily trying to hide himself in the CD rack. He kept slipping with his footing and fell back onto the carpet.
Candace giggled and whispered, "Hey, little guy. I'm not going to hurt you."
Octavius turned himself over and looked at the giantess in pure fear. "Please don't hurt me!"
"I just told you I wasn't going to. I couldn't hurt something as adorable as you!" She smiled softly. "Can I pick you up?"
Octavius shuddered at the thought of being picked up by a giant but it wasn't like he had much choice, he was discovered, he was at her mercy.
Octavius nodded glumly. Candace crouched down slowly as not to startle him and gently scooped him up in her palm. Octavius was surprised with how gentle she was being.
Candace placed him back onto the cushion and handed him the metal thimble. "Here drink this, it will make you feel better."
"What is it?" Octavius asked skeptically.
"Paracetamol. It should help you feel better, you don't look too well." Candace said, pity in her voice.
Octavius took a sip and grimaced at its taste but drank until the thimble was empty regardless.
"How long have you been here... what's your name?" Candace asked tucking a stray strand of brown hair behind her ear.
"Octavius and I've been here for a few years." Octavius muttered. Candace felt bad for him, he looked to only be 16 or so. A kid...
"I'm Candace, nice to meet you. Can I ask if there are more of you?"
"Just me." Octavius sighed.
Poor kid, all on his own. No kid his age should be living in hiding his whole life, Candace thought.
"Well, since I know you're here now, you don't need to hide yourself." Candace said happily.
Octavius' jaw slacked slightly. "Y-you don't w-want me to leave?"
Candace snorted at the question. "Heavens no! Why would I kick you out? You need nursing back to health not throwing out on the streets! I'm willing to be your friend if you let me."
Octavius couldn't help his heart lifting. "You absolutely sure you're not going to hurt me?"
Candace rolled her eyes and smiled softly. "Absolutely sure." Candace let out a sigh and leant back into the sofa. "I got to get you better, not make you worse."
"I don't want to be a burden... what about your job? You'll be away for most of the day." Octavius stated.
Candace ran a hand through her brown hair. "Actually, I won't. If anything you'll keep me from being bored. I got fired this morning, that's why I'm home early."
"I'm sorry. You'll find a new job soon though right?"
Candace opened up her laptop again and picked up the tiny. He squeaked as she picked him up but she found that adorable. She placed Octavius on her shoulder.
Octavius laid on his stomach and nuzzled into Candace's neck. She pulled up a job site online and started scanning through the many pages of vacancies.
A smile crept onto Candace's face as she heard soft snores coming from the tiny. She stroked his soft blond hair as he slept and Octavius smiled in his sleep.
The Gamer Hero, Deku Chapter 19
"So the cavalry battle's about to start," Mic-sensei said, "and I've just gotta say..." I strapped myself into the harness Hatsume had thoughtfully made for me so that I wouldn't fall while I was Meditating, because I really needed to use Meditation for my crazy plan to work. "IS THAT ONE OF THE ROBOTS FROM EARLIER!?" The two-pointer that I'd stowed in my inventory during the obstacle race. I was sitting on the center of the robot's torso, which thankfully acted a bit like a platform, Uraraka and Hatsume were by the front of the robot, with Hatsume arm-deep in the robot's guts still. Our final teammate, Tokoyami, was by the back of the robot due to its size. While I was the only one with a harness, my teammates had bits of scrap metal that Uraraka had magnetized that let them stick to the robot but still allowed them to move if they needed to.
"Too loud, Mic," Aizawa complained. "And yes, that is one of the robots from earlier. The problem child argued that if his teammate, Hatsume, modified and hacked the robot, then it would be her creation and therefore, as she is a support student, her team would be allowed to use it." He sighed. "And apparently the principal specifically wrote into the rules that hacking the robots is okay, so it's not even technically a loophole. When I asked Nedzu about it, he just maniacally laughed."
"To be honest I probably should've seen that coming."
"Probably. And by the way, the cavalry battle begins in about one minute, so get ready."
I took a deep breath and focused on my mana. A ball of faintly glowing light blue mana appeared on my chest, and three tendrils of mana extended from it. The tendrils touched my teammates on the chest, forming balls of mana on their chests like mine. Bestow, a spell I thought of that allowed me to share my mana with others, though there was a bit of mana lost. "So interesting!" Hatsume shouted as she poked the ball of mana on her chest, her eyes glowing. She was actually pretty good with magic, judging from how quickly she'd picked up Eye For Magic.
Tokoyami put a hand up to his mana ball. "I feel power flowing through me," he muttered.
I nodded. "Just remember that even with Meditation, I have a limited amount of mana. And there's three of you, which means that my mana will be split between you. We should be fine if only one person does something big at a time, so coordinate your spells."
"On three!" Midnight shouted.
"And finally snap me out of it if we need something big and I'll use Limit Break," I said quickly, then activated Mana Dome and Meditation.
"Begin!" Midnight shouted.
I couldn't really see much of what was happening at first because of how I was meditating and in the center of the robot. However, after a few moments, it seemed like Bestow started to synergize with Open Mind and possibly even Meditate, Tactician, and the party we'd made, because I was able to see through my teammate's eyes. I mostly focused on Uraraka because Tokoyami was watching the rear and Hatsume was piloting the robot. I kept a bit of an 'eye' on Hatsume, though, because I hoped to absorb some of her mechanical expertise. Uraraka saw that a lot of the teams made a beeline straight for us. One of the teams used some sort of ground-softening Quirk. "I'm gonna lower gravity!" Uraraka shouted. "Hit the jets, Hatsume!" I felt a sudden drain on my mana coming from Uraraka. A pink glow spread from her body, engulfing the entire robot. Hatsume activated the robot's jets, and despite its weight it flew. Tokoyami deflected a few shots that came after us with Dark Shadow.
When we touched down, the robot sank a bit. Hatsume looked down at the legs and saw some mud, using Eye For Magic. "Someone's attacking my new baby with water magic!" she shouted.
Uraraka looked around and saw Tsu and someone from gen ed that I didn't know very well riding on Shoji's back. "Tsu-chan!" she shouted.
Tsu spat out a glob of water, which shaped itself like a buzzsaw. "Ochako-chan, I'm sorry to do this, but-"
"Well I'm not at all!" Hatsume shouted, then laid her hands on the robot. She stared at her hands with Eye For Magic as she poured mana into the robot. She, and therefore I, could see how the mana interacted with the technology. I heard a text box open as I learned the skill from her. Blue lines spread across the robot, and Hatsume's vision changed to the robot's camera. She shot a net at Tsu's team, entangling them, and made the robot carefully step out of the mud.
"DEKU! YOUR FUCKING ROBOT WON'T SAVE YOU NOW!" All three of my teammates turned in unison to see Kacchan's team. Kacchan jumped off of Kirishima, his front horse, and started flying at us with Fire Dash. Tokoyami had Dark Shadow curl around me protectively.
"He's going after my baby!" Hatsume screeched.
"I've got this!" Uraraka shouted. She slapped her hands on the robot, blue sparks springing into existence and traveling over to the leg Kacchan was aiming for. When Kacchan tried to explode the leg, it just... compressed a bit before springing back with a wave of energy. Kacchan was knocked back, but another one of his horses, Sero, grabbed him with his tape. "Get us out of here, Hatsume!"
"What did you do to my baby?" Hatsume demanded as the robot ran.
"I temporarily messed with the strength and stuff of the armor using particle magic. I can do that to my skin, too. It feels really weird." If I wasn't drawing in the energy of the world or however Meditation worked I'd have asked how that worked. It sounded interesting.
A few teams moved to intercept us. "I'll be taking your headband, Midoriya," Todoroki said. "Kaminari!" His teammates were Yaoyorozu and Kaminari in the back, on roller skates that I assumed Yaoyorozu made, and Iida in the front.
Yaoyorozu made a sheet and a grounding rod while Kaminari started to build up lightning. "I believe my power will be the most useful in this situation," Tokoyami said. "My comrades, please allow me to complete access Midoriya's font of power." Tokoyami drained my MP even faster than Meditation could bring it back. In return, a shroud of near-total darkness engulfed the world. "Primordial Void!" he intoned. Through Hatsume's enhanced eyes, I could just barely see Corvo and Dark Shadow emerge, though Dark Shadow was so big that it dwarfed our robot. I remembered what he said, about how Dark Shadow got stronger but harder to control the darker it was. "Now, my minions of shadow, let us have a true revelry in the dark." Dark Shadow rushed forward, with Corvo riding him and seemingly controlling him, or at least directing him.
Kaminari shot most of his lightning at Dark Shadow, or at least I think that's what happened in the gloom. It wasn't very effective with such poor light, and it seemed that the dark magic was dampening the lightning itself somehow. Dark Shadow raged, knocking back all of the teams. The drain on my MP abated, and the black shroud started to fade away. "Run, Hatsume!" Tokoyami shouted. "Away from Todoroki's team!"
"I can see!" she shouted as the robot started running away. Tokoyami saw Todoroki freeze out the other teams in the confusion and then Iida shouting something. Todoroki made a ramp of ice and Iida shot off faster than I'd ever seen him run before. Tokoyami made to intercept with Dark Shadow, but Todoroki's team sped up even more as the ice at the tip of the ramp exploded, and then Kaminari shot a bolt of lightning at Dark Shadow that stunned it. Yaoyorozu shot a miniature cannon past Tokoyami. I opened my eyes just in time to get hit in the back of my head with the cannonball that shattered my Mana Dome. It didn't hurt, but it was really jarring! Because I'd flinched from the hit, I wasn't able to react in time to stop Todoroki from snatching my headband. Their team landed on a platform of ice, then slid down the slide that Todoroki turned it into.
I took stock. The two skills that I'd learned, Sight Sharing and Technomancy, wouldn't be very useful. However, we already had everything we needed to get that headband back.
"Ditch the robot and go after them, guys!" I shouted. Luckily, Todoroki didn't think to melt the slide. Actually, I couldn't remember him ever using his fire in battle. That probably wasn't a good sign... My teammates jumped into the formation that we'd discussed on the slide, and I used Sonic Embodiment to take my place as the rider. Tokoyami used Dark Shadow to push us down and I used Speed Up on my teammates. Now that I wasn't using Meditate, which didn't let me use Observe while I was using it, Tactician told me that Iida's engines were stalled by whatever special move he'd used. "That move wiped out Iida's Quirk for the rest of the game, so we have a chance! Get me close!"
Uraraka lowered our gravity, letting us run faster. I noticed that the robot was tailing behind us, but I didn't give it much thought. We got within range, and Todoroki's eyes widened as his left arm caught fire, a knee-jerk reaction. I slashed my arm at him with wind mana, blowing his defenses away, then used a light amount of One For All to grab the golden headband. They'd flipped the headbands around and mixed up their order to try and trick us, but with Observe and Tactician that meant nothing to me. "We're flying away!" I shouted, activating the jetpack I hadn't had to use yet in the cavalry battle. Uraraka used a mixture of her Quirk and gravity magic to lift us out of there. Apparently the reason why she got such bad nausea when she used her Quirk on herself was because she was resistant to it, but she didn't have as much of a problem with gravity magic.
"DEKU!" Kacchan screamed at me, flying toward us. It looked like he was back to attacking us...
"Uraraka! My baby!" Hatsume shouted. Uraraka got what she meant immediately and pointed at the two-pointer, which jumped and started using its jets. Uraraka pulled on Bestow again, causing the robot to glow pink and start flying. It intercepted Kacchan, but it looked like Uraraka did the strengthening spell again. This time, though, well...whatever the spell did, it didn't completely solve the problem of Newton's third law of motion. The robot absorbed all of the force, yes, but when it rebounded the force... It was weightless. "MY BABY!" Hatsume shrieked as the robot was repulsed away from Kacchan. I didn't want a giant robot, even a giant robot with the weight of a beach ball, crashing into the stands or even worse the stalls outside, so I grabbed it with Mana Rope and braced myself on an air platform. I swung the robot down to try to take some of the motion off.
"Get on the robot!" I shouted after getting the robot to only be slowly falling. We landed on it and I started meditating again to help with keeping us lightly falling.
"And Team Midoriya are back just in time for the end of the cavalry battle!" Mic-sensei shouted when we touched down. "The game was totally crazy, but now it's OOOOVEEEER!"
"In first place, we have Team Midoriya, clearly," Aizawa-sensei said. "Second place is Team Todoroki, third is Bakugou, and fourth is... it looks like Team Shinsou snatched a few last-minute points. Impressive."
"We'l be taking a lunch break, but we'll move on to the final games after the break, folks! Stay tuned!"
I dropped off of the robot, not waiting for Hatsume to lower it. "Are you okay, Midoriya?" Yaoyorozu asked me, rubbing her elbow.
"O-oh, I'm fine," I reassured her. "I can fall from higher than that without any problem."
"No, I mean from when I shot you. That looked like it hurt..."
I shook my head. "No, no, it was more surprising than anything! My Mana Dome probably took most of the hit, and my Quirk is really overpowered. I think I wouldn't be too hurt if All Might were to punch me in the face."
She nodded. "That's impressive. I still apologize, though. I was aiming to just pop your barrier, but we were going very fast, so..."
After we left to get lunch, Todoroki stopped me and rather forcefully asked to meet me alone. I saw no reason not to, so I followed him to an abandoned hallway. "What did you need me for?" I asked. "Did you get hurt in the caval-"
"I was overwhelmed." He glared at me. "Your power. I only saw it once, but it reminded me of All Might."
"I'm pretty sure All Might doesn't use wind magic. He just punches the air hard enough that it looks like he does."
"I don't mean your magic. You did... something that wasn't magic."
"How did you know?"
"I can sense magic. And that sudden movement you did, it was more like All Might's Quirk than magic."
I blinked. "I'm sorry, did you just say you can sense magic?"
"And considering how All Might seems to be supporting you, I have to ask one thing." I gulped. I didn't know what he was going to say, but he was getting pretty close to the truth... "Are you All Might's secret love child or something?"
I spluttered. "Wow, I wish I was All Might's secret love child! All I know about my dad is that he had some kind of firebreathing Quirk and curly white hair. And that he owes us a lot in child support."
"Regardless, you clearly have some kind of connection to All Might. Just know that I must beat you. You see, my father is an ambitious man. He wanted to be the number one hero, and wasn't even satisfied with second place." His voice became ice cold. "And so he made me to carry out his ambitions."
"What do you mean, 'made you?'" His Quirk involved two separate powers, even stated in Observe to be two Quirks in one body. It reminded me of that Nomu thing...
"Are you aware of Quirk marriages?" Oh. In hindsight that was the more likely conclusion. Probably worse, though. He snarled. "My father used his influence to put pressure on my mother's family, forcing an arranged marriage. It took the bastard four tries, but he finally made me, his masterpiece, and trained me relentlessly. My mother hated my left side. I don't blame her. It's his." I'm not a psychologist or a Quirk counselor... yet... but that seriously did not sound like a good sign, psychologically speaking. "I remember one time, she was talking to someone on the phone, about my left half." Seriously, I could tell Tokoyami was joking whenever he called his power a curse, but it seemed that Todoroki genuinely felt that the entire left half of his body and the power it gave him was some sort of... well, curse. "She saw me, and threw boiling hot water at me face, as you can see. As you've probably noticed by now, my left side is heat-resistant, but not fireproof."
"Yeah, I may not have a fire Quirk, but I still have some weak fire resistance from my dad. Speaking of which, I suddenly feel very grateful my jackass firebreather dad was an absent jackass firebreather father."
"I envy you for your absent parent."
"You know, if you want I could try to heal that scar? It's obviously tied to some serious trauma, and I figure not seeing it in the mirror would ease some of the pain?"
He shook his head. "No. My purpose was to tell you this: I plan to deny my father the satisfaction of using his fire. I'll defeat you without ever using my left side again, this I can promise you." He started to walk off, leaving me in thought.
I Flash Stepped behind him a moment later and put my hand on his right shoulder. "You do realize I'm going to have to report this, right?"
His head whipped back. "What?"
"One of the stipulations of Shuzenji-sensei's training program. If I find evidence of any of my classmates being abused, I'm to report it to her or another teacher, with or without their permission. Even if I wasn't, though, I wouldn't just take that and say nothing. What kind of hero would I be if I learned my classmate was being abused and didn't say anything?"
"I appreciate the offer, but Endeavor's influence is too much. He always boasts how, if we did do anything, he'd have his people on it." He shuddered. "And then he'd punish us."
"Have you ever actually done anything?" I asked.
"I just said-"
"You said what he told you," I corrected. "A few years before Endeavor's debut, there was, obviously, another hero in the number two spot. Undertow. He had a flashy, powerful water Quirk that let him shoot water from any part of his body, and lots of it. To be honest, it'd be pretty funny how similar he was to Endeavor if it didn't extend to the point of abusing his daughter in the form of 'training.' Apparently, he even married a telekinetic so he could get a child with hydrokinesis, much like with your situation."
"It took a while, but Undertow's sister reported him. She'd known for a while, but he'd threatened to... do something to his daughter if she did." I wiped a giant tear from my eye and sniffed. "It wasn't publicized much, because people were afraid that a pro of that ranking turning out to have done something like that could've triggered massive unrest, but Undertow was arrested and some of his charges were released, enough that nobody would question the arrest. He's still behind bars today." I smiled. "And at the same time I'm sure All Might would be willing to help you if he heard what happened, and I doubt that the influence of the number two hero outstrips that of the symbol of peace."
Todoroki nodded. "I'll take your word for it. Though, how do you know about Undertow if, as you said, the whole story was suppressed?"
"My grandmother told me about it." I used some magic on my tear ducts, causing a massive amount of water to pour from them. Then I wiped off my face and shirt because I didn't put any pressure into it, making the water dribble all over me. "She didn't want me to repeat her mistake."
Todoroki blinked. "Wait, so are you saying-"
"Undertow is my great uncle, yes. We don't talk about him much, though, because of the whole, ah..."
"I see. You have my condolences. If I may ask, would it be possible for you to get me in contact with Undertow's daughter?"
I rubbed the back of my head. "Ah... that won't be possible, unfortunately. For one, she kind of hated my grandmother? Okay, not exactly hate per se but, well... Grandma didn't blame her, what with how she didn't say anything about the abuse for a while. And I think Undertow made it worse somehow..."
"When was the last time I talked to my siblings..." Todoroki muttered.
"Yeah, child abuse is pretty awful," I said. "Anyway, I think she reached out to my mom a few times, but... well... Then she died..."
"I'm sorry for your loss."
I shrugged. "I didn't even know her. Well, I didn't know her personally. I knew a lot about her. She was actually a pro hero."
"Was that... how she..?"
I gave him a small nod. "The hero duo Water Hose. A husband-and-wife pair. About two years ago, they sacrificed themselves to take out a dangerous villain with a powerful enhancement Quirk. But enough about my messed up family. I won't force you to go to Shuzenji-sensei now, but when the sports festival is over we are talking to him, even if I have to drag you there myself."
He grunted. "Fine. If it will really destroy my father, then I'll happily talk to Shuzenji-sensei."
"That's probably not quite the healthiest thing to say, but it's better than not telling anyone about the abuse, so I'll let it slide," I muttered. Todoroki shrugged and started to walk off. This time I let him.
A/N: Okay, so originally Undertow wasn't going to be related to Deku, but then I remembered that I said that his grandmother had a water Quirk and decided that he'd probably have reason to know about this guy if grandmother dearest told him about her evil twin. I mean, hero-nerd Izuku would probably know about the guy even without being related to him, but there's the reason for him to know the censored bits.
I’m all caught up and presenting my August playlist just in time for September to end! Disco! Italo-pop! 90s gangsta rap! 3 hours worth of music for everyone!
Good To Me - THP: The most surefire way I’ve found to track down a great song you’ve never heard before is to look up every single sample on the Duck Sauce album. It has quite literally not failed me yet. This song is great, and being so used to the sped up sample in Goody Two Shoes this song sounds like the expanded chopped and screwed version to me which is even better.
Who Do You Love - THP: The other thing about THP is they’re extremely hard to search on Spotify because it thinks you’re trying to type ‘The’ and suggests 'The Beatles’ which is helpful.
Beleriand - The Middle East: I started rereading The Lord Of The Rings this month, and even got so deep in it that I started reading the Silmarillion for the first time and I suddenly remembered the time The Middle East wrote a song about Melkor and Angband and all that. Maybe the best Lord Of The Rings song I’ve heard almost exclusively for the drum work in the intro before it really settles into its Tolkein vibe.
Dead - San Fermin: I love this song but god I wish it were louder and more out of control. The sax sounds great but every other part isn’t nearly as turned up to 11 as it should be. The problem is that everyone in this band is such a professional they don’t know how to play like the maniacs this song deserves!
Tuesday Fresh Cuts - Bree Tranter: I’ve been looking up what all the members of The Middle East have done since they broke up and the best thing I’ve found is Rohin Jones writing music for a Dulux Paint commercial after the verse in Ninth Avenue Reverie about the guy who sniffs paint every night and dreams about being dead. Anyway as far as I can tell Bree Tranter is the one that’s had the most consistent and normal output since they broke up. This song is very much an ultimate night driving type song, except the lyrics are really not great but you can ignore that for how great it sounds, especially near the end when it really gets into a meditative state.
Ted, Just Admit It - Jane’s Addiction: Continuing my Jane’s Addiction phase, I really love this song. This is such a great brooding piece of music before it finally explodes into the declaration that sex is violent. Kind of a shame that it’s a serial killer song because he’s right about everything. Sex IS violent, the tv DO got them images, etc.
Fire Back About Your New Baby’s Sex - Don Caballero: I think this is probably Don Caballero’s most popular song, and with good reason. It’s among the most straightforward of their backward-ass songs and gives you a good grounding in how to understand the total chaos that is everything else they’ve done.
Ballad Of Circling Vultures - Pageninetynine: The entire last half of this song, when it slows down, is one of the best things I’ve ever heard. It feels like the entire mix begins to close in around you as it gets darker and darker before a door slams and you wake up somewhere else entirely.
You’ve Never Been Alone - Andrea Balency: I was watching this live video of Mount Kimbie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6co64HYurg and they’ve got like a full band now! They’ve been slowly expanding from a duo and I suppose it makes sense because their last album really sounded like a band playing in a room rather than two guys on computers. Anyway it turns out the woman in their band is Andrea Balency and this song of hers is very beautiful and you can see exactly why they asked her to join.
The Conspiracy Of Seeds - 65daysofstatic: I was going through Circle Takes The Square’s performance credits on discogs (very cool hobby) and found out they’re credited on this 65dos song and was shocked that I didn’t know that already. It feels like they pretty much split the song down the middle and did half each, which is great!
Spanish Sahara (Deadboy remix) - Foals: This song isn’t on Australian spotify as far as I can tell, so if you’re in the UK I think you can listen to this. Otherwise it’s on youtube for everyone here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lk24ujPN4Lo This is probably one of my favourite pieces of music ever, it’s such a beautiful remix even though it’s not particularly far from the original. It just does the work of focusing the vibe down to a laser point. I love how mechanical every part of it is contrasting against the dreamy vocals and organ, until it almost feels overloaded with hats and clicks in the highest points before it focuses down again and introduces the bassline alone. Then the last section! The stabbing insistence of the synth driving the whole thing to a fever pitch.
T69 Collapse - Aphex Twin: I’ve never been huge on Aphex Twin because all his songs sound like you pressed the demo button on a keyboard and then turned the tempo way up but I really like this one, almost exclusively for the bassline the comes in in the second half after the big space-out breakdown. It’s groovy! It’s the most I’ve ever liked the evil man!
Kansas City Star - Kasey Musgraves: The Kasey Musgraves album everyone was going wild for didn’t really do much for me but this cover is so fantastic, the slight melody change she’s done to the chorus is such an improvement and really makes it soar. Also google is good because right now the 25th image result for 'kacey musgraves’ is a deviantart pic where someone’s photoshopped her to be extremely obese called Kollosal Katy. Not really related to the song but I thought it was worth mentioning.
Pyramids - Frank Ocean: A big group of friends and I went to karaoke a couple of weeks ago and the version of Pyramids they had didn’t even have the second half! If I can’t subject everyone to ten full minutes of me doing it badly then what’s the DAMN point?
Aqua - Eurythmics: I heard this song on NTS and was instantly in love with the lyrics. Don’t touch me, don’t talk to me, throw me in the water, watch me drown! It’s that simple!
gonk steady one - Autechre: I went and saw Autechre when they were here a few months ago and I’m still thinking about it because it was like a multiplayer dream. They insisted on total darkness and everyone just kind of stood still or sat down for the whole show in the dark while an endless wave of sound from another dimension washed over us all. Then eventually the music stopped and the lights came on and I never actually saw Autechre the whole time I was there. I’m still working my way through their fucking 8 hour long new album but this is an early highlight. I don’t know how to explain this but it sounds good. It sounds like music by and for aliens that we can listen to and understand a small part of.
Poor Kakarookee - Venetian Snares: I was listening to this song and thinking the other day there’s a certain subset of Venetian Snares songs that sound like that bit from Parks and Rec where Adam Scott is like 'could a depressed person do THIS?’ and is holding up his deformed little stop motion figure from the deformed little stop motion movie he’s making. This is absolutely one of those songs. It’s a great song but it’s one of those songs.
Future People - Alabama Shakes: For a long time the only Alabama Shakes song I’d heard was Don’t Wanna Fight because it was just so good I figured there was no need to go further, which it turns out was extremely wrong because this whole album is completely killer. I just can’t believe her voice. The album version is great but the live version really shows it off https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbR999N5MiALa
Mia Mania - Giani Morandi: I rewatched all of Harvey Birdman a couple of weeks ago and finally looked up what the song is in this clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xkhqce43mA because it gets stuck in my head all the time, and the only version I could find is this one with vocals which sounds even better!
Capriccio - Gianni Morandi: Then I dug deeper and started looking up the rest of this guy’s songs and totally loved it. There’s nothing better than digging around and finding what you think is some obscure artists before looking them up and finding out they’re incredibly famous and like the Italian Neil Diamond.
Parli Sempre Tu - Gianni Morandi: This is my favourite of his just for the insane pitch shifted vocal at the start, what an insane piece of sound for 1964! I’m desperate to know how they made it.
Forgotten Children - Mouse On The Keys: I suddenly remembered Mouse On The Keys the other day and thank god. They’re an instrumental band that’s two pianists and a drummer that looks like its jazz because of the instrumentation but is really more like post-hardcore in execution.
Can’t Get Right - Ghost-Note: I normally don’t go in much for this sort of drum clinic type music for musicians only but the central groove in this is just so good. It feels like two completely different songs playing at the same time, except if that sounded good. I found it because the bass genius Mono Neon played on it, watch the video and see if you can tell which one is named Mono Neon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVw1b4gVYrU Also one of the guys seems to be playing a vibraphone that is a midi controller which I have never seen before in my life.
Shoot Myself - Venetian Snares: Venetian Snares has such a great melodic sense and it feels kind of underappreciated just because of how much his percussion is at the forefront of every critical appraisal. In songs like this where the drums are more restrained you can really feel the melody and harmony shine through, the layers of cascading synth lines piling up louder and louder before returning to the jazzy organ near the end is just such a beautiful moment.
Bad Boy - Den Harrow: This song sounds like an 11 year old wrote the lyrics and I absolutely love it. The best and most sexy lyrics: “Some dress Valentino, others wear t-shirts to show what a shapely bust they’ve got.”
Summertime - Barney Kessel: Barney Kessel the jazz guitarist that I only found out about this month did a bossa nova album when bossa nova was the biggest thing in the world and it’s so so good. He also does some very interesting playing on it that’s a lot closer to surf rock and rock n roll than anything else I’ve heard of his. This is also a good example of that thing when Stereo sound was brand new where every single instrument is panned hard left or right which is a treat in headphones.
Slice Of Heaven - Dave Dobbyn: It’s kind of a shame that this song never really gets better than the intro but when the intro is this good it’s fine. I remember this song from when I was a kid because it’s on the soundtrack to New Zealand’s first ever feature length animated film, Footrot Flats which I watched a lot.
Sailin Da South - ESG + DJ Screw: The hardest part about putting any one song from 3 N Tha Morning Part Two on a playlist is they’re not designed for that and it sounds awful and cruel to cut them off like that. So really instead of listening to this song listen to the whole album and turn purple.
Right Action - Franz Ferdinand: I think Franz Ferdinand deserve better than the sort of one hit wonder status they’ve got, because they’ve got a lot of great songs and this is one of them, and probably the danciest summary of the Noble Eightfold Path I’ve ever heard.
The Thing That Should Not Be - Metallica: I have done zero research but to me the 80s feels like the decade when HP Lovecraft and the Cthulu mythos really hit the mainstream. Dungeons and Dragons and all that. Anyway apparently Cliff Burton was a huge Lovecraft fan and they would all read his stories in the tour van which is a funny thing to imagine. Metallica have five or six Lovecraftian songs and the bulk of them were written after Cliff Burton died which is sort of touching in a way. Paying tribute to your friend by invoking the nameless horror that sleeps in R'lyeh.
Waters Of Nazareth x We Are Your Friends x Phantom - Justice: Justice’s new album is so good because it’s sort of halfway between a remix album, a live album and a Best Of. It’s essentially a studio live album, or maybe just a live recording straight from the soundboard with no crowd noise. Either way it’s great and leads to incredible three way mashups of their best songs like this one.
Mr Ice Cream Man (feat. Silkk The Shocker) - Master P: I was thinking about how you don’t really hear about Master P these days, but according to the first result when you google 'richest rappers’ he’s doing fine with a net worth of $227 million, which is more than Eminem. So good for him. Even if his music hasn’t really lasted I’m sure his many, many business dealings will leave him in good stead for the rest of his life. I’m just going to copy and paste some phrases from his wiki article here because it’s truly ridiculous: “He has since parlayed his $10,000 initial seed capital investment into a $250 million business empire spanning a wide variety of industries” “As a businessman, Miller was known for his frugality and keeping business expenses down and profit margins high” “He has since invested the millions of dollars he made from his No Limit record company into a travel agency, a Foot Locker retail outlet, real estate, stocks, film, music, and television production, toy making, a phone sex company, clothing, telecommunications, a jewellery line, auto accessories, book and magazine publishing, car rims, fast food franchises, and gas stations.” “Miller also has his own line of beverages, called "Make ‘Em Say Ughh!” energy drinks" “first rapper to establish a cable television network.”
The Party Don’t Stop - Mia X: Anyway via Master P I found Mia X, who sings the hook on Mr Ice Cream Man, and her album is actually good as fuck for an 80 minute No Limit album, mostly because it’s so packed with guests (it feels like everyone else on No Limit is on here, including guys with great names like Mo B. Dick and Kane & Abel, but also Mystikal and Salt N Pepa are here!) that you never get tired of the flow, and the production is nicely varied too.
Shut Up - Stormzy: This is like Stormzy’s biggest song and I’m dumb as fuck because I haven’t heard it until now when I was listening to Functions On The Low and found out he used it as the beat for this song. What an absolute thrill to see this perfect beat back in the limelight thanks to the man bringing grime back to the limelight!
All N’s - Mia X: I wanna talk about the beat on this Mia X song because it’s incredible front to back. (Lyrically this song is fucking great, especially the chorus) but the vocal synth bass sound is just amazing, and the hook melody is the damn 'there’s a place in France where the naked ladies dance’ melody. Every part of it’s insane.
Milk - Kings Of Leon: I got into a real groove this month and learned how to play this whole Kings Of Leon album on guitar for some reason. So now I’ve got that knowledge. But I forgot just how incredible this song is. It’s a testament to how if the music is good enough and the performance is good enough the lyrics can be absolutely anything. By the time he says “she’ll loan you her toothbrush, she’ll bartend your party” I’m already crying.
Sometimes It’s All You Can Do
Here’s another fic with my OCs Hailey and Nate (ft. Hailey’s best friend, Kameron), in which Nate has a monster flu from hell and Hailey has a monster endo flare from hell, and Kameron has no clue what to do with these two idiots.
Note: Hailey is chronically ill (she has polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis)
Warning: Because of the nature of endometriosis, there is a lot of discussion of Hailey dealing with stomach pain. Therefore, she deals with feeling nauseous a lot during this fic. I don’t believe it is described graphically, as I am emetophobic and really prefer to avoid those things (I only included it because I have endo and it is a very real, very difficult part of the symptoms for me, and I wanted to show that through her). There is no vomiting, and again, the nausea is not graphic. More than anything, she’s just in a lot of pain.
Fic is below the cut!
It’s anxiety. The heavy weight twisting inside Hailey’s stomach is worry, plain and simple. Everyone gets stressed out when their boyfriend calls them at seven in the morning because he woke up with the flu. This is normal—this pain is normal.
Hailey sits up in her bed and leans against the wall, listening to the stillness of her dorm room and Nate sniffling on the other side of her phone. Coughs erupt in her ear, and she winces as he fights to catch his breath on the other end with staticky wheezes.
“Oh, honey,” she whispers. “You sound miserable.”
“’S okay,” he whispers, his voice already shot. “My temmperature’s ondly onde-o’-onde … point … sombethi’g, I dond’t … snff … I don’t rehehh—rembember—eh’kshuh! Hgkk’ngxsh!” He lets out a low groan and makes soft, snuffling sounds, like he’s rubbing his face into his blanket.
“Bless you.” Hailey tenses as she shifts to hold her free hand against her stomach. Beneath her hand, it’s swollen and tender, already bloated despite the fact that she’s been awake less than five minutes. “You need to stay home today, okay? I can stop by after school and work and bring you some medicine and food. Does soup from Panera sound good?”
“Hailey, I’b okay … I just wandted to talk, is all.” He gives a weak, wheezy cough that makes Hailey’s chest ache. “You’ll catch it if you combe over.”
“No I won’t.”
“Babe, I love you, but your im’bune systemb is shit.”
“You say as you’re so congested I can barely understand you.” She slips her hand under her shirt and rubs it over her stomach, the movement slow and gentle, her fingers warm on the sore area. It’s more distracting than a relief from the achiness inside. “I want to see you … you shouldn’t be by yourself when you’re not feeling good.” When he just gives a few harsh coughs in response, she frowns. “Are you using your inhaler?”
“I used it ondce this mborndi’g. It’s ndot that bad, just sounds crappy.”
“Just be careful.” Hailey’s teeth catch her lip as a pang goes through her stomach; her hand stops its rubbing until the rush of pain settles into the steadier ache. “I love you … take some medicine and try to go back to sleep. Call me if you need anything, okay?”
“’Kay. Love you, Ley-Ley.”
“Love you, too, honey.”
Nate gives a couple more congested, raspy coughs before he hangs up, leaving Hailey in the dimness of her room, staring at her phone as an anxious knot burns in her stomach.
It’s fine, she tells herself. People get the flu. Nate’s a college student and a paramedic in training, of course he was bound to get it eventually. He’ll be fine, even if he has to miss a few days of classes and feels cruddy. For once, she’ll be the one taking care of him, not the other way around, if he actually lets her come over.
She swallows hard and pushes herself out of bed. The pain shifts in her stomach, dropping lower like a rock settling inside her, but she shuffles out to use the bathroom connecting hers and her roommate’s room, then heads out to the living/dining room area.
Kameron sits at the table, flipping through a marine mammals textbook. The faint morning sunlight from the kitchen window turns her warm brown skin gold and shimmers off her glasses. She reaches for her mug of coffee as she looks up at Hailey, her short, dark curls bouncing over her forehead and around her ears. “Hey, dumb-dumb,” she says, using the nickname she and Hailey have called each other since they were in kindergarten. “You’re up early. Who were you talking to?”
“Nate.” Hailey pushes her fingers through her hair and slides into the chair opposite Kameron. “He has the flu.”
“Aw, poor guy.” Kameron pushes her glasses up her nose. In the morning light, Hailey can see the freckles spattered across her nose that so often hide beneath her makeup. “I thought people like him were supposed to be immune to stuff like that.”
Hailey tugs at the waistband of her pajama shorts. “People like him?”
Kameron waves her hand around. “Medical people. I thought he wasn’t supposed to be able to catch all the shit his patients bring in.”
“Yeah, that’s definitely how it works.” Hailey steals Kameron’s mug and takes a sip, grimacing on the bitter liquid. Kameron’s coffee always starts out black in the morning and gets sweeter and lighter the later into the day she makes it. “I’m going to take him food after work today.”
“Okay, just don’t bring me back his hell bug.” Kameron flips the page in her textbook and drags her coffee back across the table. “The last time I got one of his colds off of you, I almost died.”
“No you didn’t, weirdo. You just got it at a bad time.”
“I’m sorry, but whose sinuses almost fucking exploded? Mine.” Kameron takes a sip of her coffee, the lenses of her glasses fogging in the steam. “Meanwhile, you bitched about your throat for maybe two minutes and then managed to sleep through the whole thing.”
“I had a fever, of course I was sleeping.” Another jolt of pain goes through Hailey’s abdomen, shooting from her belly button to somewhere deep down inside her, all the way to her tailbone, and she can’t stop herself from wincing. Her hand presses against her midsection, and it takes several seconds before she can breathe again.
Kameron nudges her glasses up with her knuckle, watching Hailey with anxious eyes. “Is your stomach hurting?”
Hailey nods. She holds her hand low on her stomach, cupping the swollen surface. Kameron’s known her so long, has known her problems so long, there’s no use in hiding them. “It’s already bloated.”
Kameron leans in to get a better look through Hailey’s pajama shirt and cringes. “Is it really bad?”
“No, I think maybe I’m just … anxious about Nate. I don’t know.” Hailey steals another sip of Kameron’s coffee. “It’ll be fine.”
“Maybe you should put some heat on it.” Kameron waits for Hailey to take another drink of the coffee before she reaches for the mug again. “You’re period’s not for another two weeks or so, right?”
“Right.” Hailey shifts to pull her feet up onto the edge of the chair and drag her knees up to her chest, grimacing when the pain shifts as she curls over herself. “It’s fine. I’ll just … I’ll just use my heating pad since I’m already up and see if that helps. Like I said, it’s probably just anxiety.”
“I know.” Kameron reaches over and squeezes her knee. “Just be careful, dumb-dumb.”
Everything is fine.
Hailey grips the edge of her register, her knuckles bulging beneath her skin. What began as a dull ache in her stomach has blossomed into some kind of mutant endo flare, hormonal storm from hell. A migraine pounds in her forehead, reaching its claws around to the back of her head and twisting the muscles in her neck. Her stomach rolls and growls, a mix of cramps and nausea wrenching through her entire abdomen. She imagines a wild animal inside her, shredding her insides and climbing her spinal cord to chew at the back of her brain. It’s like a monster is growing inside her, consuming her. Becoming her.
The pain flickers through her body like a fire, roaring in her pelvis and blazing up into her abdomen, curling around her stomach and wrapping it in coils of white-hot smoke. Her vision blurs in and out as she rings up groceries and places them in bags.
But it’s fine. It’s fine.
It’s been like this before and she’s made it through. She can do it again. She should do it again.
Hailey’s mind can’t focus on what she’s doing, her thoughts untethered by the pain slithering through her. Blurry memories bubble in her brain, foggy images taken by a camera with a cracked lens. Herself, in class, holding her stomach. Shifting every few seconds because the chair was too hard and it made her tailbone ache, her legs ache, her back ache. Nate texting her not to worry but that his fever had spiked up to almost a hundred and three. Her telling him to keep an eye on it and to call her if it got worse, telling him if it got worse she would take him to the ER. The rock of anxiety in her stomach turning into a bomb that erupted again, and again, and again.
Sweat coats her palms as she hands a receipt to a customer and croaks out a “have a nice day.” She has some vague thought that the words are a little slurred, but everything feels too blurry for her to be sure.
The nausea stirs in her stomach, a sickening sea tossed by the storm of her body. She forces in a breath as a shiver crawls across her skin.
It has to be fine. Because if it’s not fine …
She doesn’t know what to do if it’s not fine.
The beep of the scanner blurs in her ears. Her next customer says something, and Hailey forces herself to smile and nod as sweat pops up on the back of her neck. Her mouth floods with a metallic taste, and heat flashes across her skin. For just a moment, she lets her eyes close, lets herself put down the scanner, just long enough to force back the nausea, just long enough to—
There’s an eruption in her abdomen, filling up her pelvis and boiling up into her stomach. It knifes through her, shooting, stabbing, blinding. Her eyes squeeze shut and she grits her teeth to keep from screaming; she hears something clatter, something fall.
It isn’t until she opens her eyes a moment later that she sees that she’s the one who’s fallen: sitting on the floor, her hand clutched to her forehead, knees halfway pulled toward her chest, entire body shaking from pain and adrenaline.
The entire world tilts on its axis, and she swallows hard to hold the rush of nausea at bay.
The thing about pain like this is that it numbs out all your other senses; it pulls you into yourself, turns the rest of the world dull. Hailey is conscious, but it’s not quite right. She’s not quite awake as above her the customer yells for help, not quite awake as her supervisor rushes over and crouches beside her and asks her what happened while another cashier escorts the customer to their lane. She’s not quite awake as another supervisor comes running from the back room with a water bottle and ibuprofen. Not quite awake even when he tells her he’s calling Nate, her emergency contact.
Everything is a hazy, sick nightmare of confusion and blinding agony in her abdomen and dizziness that keeps her sitting on the floor for a long time.
The breakroom door bursts open. Hailey flinches at the sound, the adrenaline putting her senses on hyper alert. She swallows back the sick feeling in her throat and blinks up at Nate.
“Hi,” she whispers.
“Hailey,” he croaks, his voice gone from his flu and choked from fear. “Oh mby god, Hailey. What—they said you collapsed—”
“I’m okay. Just … hurting.” She reaches out toward him from her chair at the table and wraps her arms around his torso, burying her face in his stomach. The material of his hoodie is soft on her skin, and something about feeling him close to her, and the smell of him, the feel of him, brings the prickle of tears to her eyes. She’s been too foggy to properly cry up until now, but she can feel the dam threatening to crack. “I’m … I’m so sorry.”
He ducks into his elbow as he lets out a couple of coughs, each one snagging with a wheeze at the end. He sags into her, shivering so hard it makes her ache in a fresh, awful way. “Do you ndeed the hospital? Why didn’t they call a’d ambulandce?”
“I told them not to.” Hailey sniffles into his hoodie and blinks against the tears. “I’ll—I’ll be okay, I just—I think it just got bad with the standing, you know?”
“Yeah, I kndow.” When he coughs again, Hailey winces.
“You sound … I mean … is your fever still high?”
He pushes his wrist against his nose. “’S okay … cambe dow’d to onde-o’-two … point sombethi’g—snnnf. I dond’t re’bember.”
Hailey hugs him closer, though her grip feels shaky with adrenaline. “You shouldn’t have driven.”
“Ndeeded too.” He brushes a clumsy hand over her hair. “Do you hurt a lot ndow?”
She bites her lip. A tear slips from each eye and soaks into his hoodie as she nods.
“Combe on,” he says. “Let’s go to the ER. They cand … they’ll give you sombethi’g. It’ll help, right?”
Her breath shudders as she fights back more tears. “I just want to go home.”
Nate rubs a hand over his forehead and gives a heavy snuffle. He sinks into the chair beside her, his shoulders slumping. Purple splotches like bruises color the skin beneath his eyes. “Baby, they’ll help you.”
“No, they’ll examine me and hurt me.” She props her head up with her hand, the dizziness still swimming at the edges of her consciousness and brain fog turn sentences into puzzles with missing pieces. Tears drip down her face and onto her pants as her breath snags in a suppressed sob. “They … they might give me pain medicine, but they also might not. And I just … I don’t want to go through it, Nate.” Her voice drops to a broken whisper. “I just—you’re sick and it hurts so, so fucking much right now, and I—I can’t do it. Please don’t make me do it.”
He rubs his hands over his eyes, his shoulders shaking as he heaves out a low cough. Red tinges his eyes when he looks up at Hailey. “What if sombethi’g is really wro’g? What if it’s your appendix?”
“It’s not. I just … I know my body. It’s not.”
Something sad colors Nate’s fever-bright eyes and creases his forehead. “If you kndow your body, why didn’t you call out?” he whispers.
Her mouth opens, an explanation—an excuse—trying to push its way out, but she can only exhale a shivery breath. “I—I don’t …”
“You always push yourself.” Nate coughs into his fist, the sound week and wheezy. When he stops, Hailey sees the sheen of tears in his eyes. “You ndever stop and listen to how you feel. I just …” He rubs his hand over his eyes, shaking his head in a tired, disappointed kind of way that makes something shatter in her chest. “I love you, Hailey. But you cand’t keep doi’g this to yourself.”
She bites her lip and clenches her eyes shut, tears hanging in hot droplets on her lashes. Because he’s right, she doesn’t do what’s best. She fights the pain and she gets everything done, but she never listens to her body. And most of the time, she gets away with it. But not today.
And she’s starting to wonder how much longer she can deny that something is wrong, how much longer she can suck it up and work through it, when every day something hurts a little more than it did the day before.
“What the fuck.” Kameron’s voice hisses through her teeth as she steers her car back toward campus. “What the actual fuck.”
Hailey curls against the window, her knees pressed up to her chest. The beast writhes in her stomach, and she swallows back acid as her vision flickers, her head throbbing against the cold glass of the window. “Sorry,” she whispers.
“Don’t,” Kameron spits. “Just fucking don’t. I just—god, are you guys just complete idiots? You’re in so much pain you’re passing out at your fucking register, and he’s so sick he’s basically delirious, and you thought it would be smart to just, what, carry on as usual?”
“I’b ndot delirious,” Nate croaks from the back seat of Kameron’s car. When Hailey couldn’t shake the wooziness and Nate didn’t trust himself to make the drive back to school, they called Kameron to pick them up.
“Shut up,” Kameron snaps. “I’m pissed at you both.”
Hailey rubs her hand over her eye as a tear trickles out; she hasn’t been able to stop crying since she started in the breakroom, a combination of pain and frustration at her body and something like guilt causing the slow but steady stream of tears. Kameron’s anger is out of love, she knows that; it’s because she’s scared and doesn’t want to see either of them hurt and hates it when they do stupid, self-destructive things. But right now, any hot words just sound biting and only make the tears come faster.
They spend the rest of the ride back to school in relative silence. Nate’s coughing is becoming more and more incessant, and every so often it triggers a small fit of congested sneezes that he’s too tired to stifle back.
When they get back to Hailey and Kameron’s hall, Kameron wordlessly helps Hailey out of the car, looping her arm around her back and letting her lean on her while the three of them walk inside to the elevator. Hailey shakes as she and Kameron and Nate wait for it to open, adrenaline and dizziness and nausea turning her weak and sick.
The trip up to their dorm is foggy, but somehow they get up there without any of them collapsing. Kameron practically shoves them toward Hailey’s room. “Go,” she says, her voice still sharp. “Just … go lay down. I’ll get you water or something in a minute when I’m finished being pissed.”
Hailey grips Nate’s hand as they stumble into her bedroom. She swallows hard as she looks up at him. The flush of his fever burns bright on his cheeks, but the rest of his skin has faded to an even lighter shade from when they were back in the breakroom, and if the way he’s shivering is any indication, his fever is probably spiking.
“Do you want me to get you water?” she whispers as he tugs back the blankets on her bed.
He catches a cough against his wrist and furrows his brow at her. “What? Ndo, combe lay downd.”
“You’re really sick, Nate.”
“So are you.”
The lump in her throat presses on her airways when she swallows. Fresh tears burn hot like acid in her eyes, and they trickle out before she can stop them.
Nate drops onto the bed and looks up at her, his eyes unfocused but a frown tugging at his mouth. “What’sa mbatter?”
“I just … I really don’t feel good,” she whispers. Her breath catches on a sob. “And I’m really scared, and I just … I’m sorry.”
“Hey. It’s okay.” He reaches out for her, pulls her down onto the bed. The gesture is clumsy, his arms weak and uncoordinated from his fever, but it’s gentle all the same. Together, slowly, carefully, they lie down together, Nate’s back pressing up against the wall and Hailey’s forehead resting against his. She nudges off her shoes and draws her knees up toward her chest; somehow, curling in on herself helps calm the monster eating away at her insides just the tiniest bit.
Tears trickle onto her pillow as she blinks at Nate. “I’m sorry,” she whispers again.
He rubs a thumb across her cheek, brushing away some of the wetness. “’S okay. Snnf. Ndothi’g for you to be sorry for.”
“I’m stupid. I shouldn’t … I should have stayed home.”
“Doesnd’t mbake you stupid.” He rubs his fingers along the bridge of his nose, sniffling again in a sharp kind of way that sounds like it itches. “You just … you just ndeed to listen to your body, Hailey. You’ve gotta stop pushi’g through everythi’g.”
“I hate this.” Hailey shivers as she struggles to hold back a sob. “I hate my body, I hate that I can’t just … just be fucking normal.”
“I kndow, baby.” His arms tighten around her, and he tucks his face into her neck, his skin hot on hers. “I’b so sorry.”
The sob she’s been holding back breaks free. Her body heaves with it, and she buries her face in the pillow as more and more follow. They’re deep, gut-wrenching sobs, the kind that come from feeling like your world is spiraling out of control. Each one sends a wave of pain through her stomach and her head, but she just lets them keep coming for a long, long time as Nate keeps a shaky hand on her back. Because this is something neither of them can fix. All she can do is cry and try to get through it.
Eventually, she wears herself out crying and clings to Nate’s chest, sniffling and gasping in spastic breaths through chapped lips. She listens to his heartbeat, its rhythm unusually quick and a little erratic with his fever. Beneath her head, his chest goes tight as he rolls his head toward the wall and lets out a harsh string of coughs, his shoulders jolting with their force.
“Y’okay?” she whispers.
He nods, though a faint groan grates in his throat. “I’b gonna get you sick.”
“No. Let me … I should have Kameron get you some water.” She rubs her hand across her nose and lifts herself up off his chest. Pain and dizziness flash through her head, and she can’t stop herself from wincing.
“Hailey.” Nate reaches up to grab her sleeve. “Lie back downd, combe ond.”
Hailey props herself up on a shaky elbow. “But you’re sick … your fever feels awful, baby.”
“So I’ll text Kamberon.” Nate scrunches his nose and gives a scratchy little cough, like he’s still fighting an itch in his sinuses. “It’s ndot your responsibility right ndow.”
She massages the pulsing in her head and frowns at him. “But I’m you’re girlfriend.”
“Sweetie. Listen.” He blinks a few times before he can get his eyes to focus on hers. “I dond’t care about that. I care about how you feel right ndow. And … hondestly, I’b starti’g to get really fuzzy and I cand’t keep telli’g you to stop bei’g stubborn, so … please just … just stay?”
Her breath shivers as she inhales for a long moment. “If that’s what you want.”
“That’s what I want.” A small, exhausted smile tugs at his mouth as he tugs her back to lie down beside him.
She curls up beside him, snuggling in close, letting herself melt into the warmth of his body. “Okay,” she whispers. “Then I’m not going anywhere.”
When Hailey wakes, the first thing she’s aware of is Nate coughing and struggling to sit up beside her. The second thing is the pain seeping from her head down into her abdomen, dulled from the medication Kameron brought her before she fell asleep, but still there, low and throbbing.
She raises herself up on an elbow and pats Nate’s back as he chokes on a cough. “It’s okay,” she murmurs. The dizziness has faded to a more bearable foggy feeling, and she only has to blink a few times to settle herself with the sudden shift upright. “Do you need your inhaler?”
He nods and gestures toward the nightstand beside her.
Shifting onto her side, she fumbles for a moment before she gets ahold of the inhaler and hands it to Nate. She bites her lip as she watches him breathe in the medicine and struggle to hold back the coughs for several moments before they inevitably end up bursting out, ragged and thick. Each one makes her head throb.
“Oh, baby,” she whispers. “You sound so, so sick.”
The inhaler shivers in his grasp as he breathes. There’s still a slight hiss-gurgle-wheeze each time he inhales, a slight catch and whistle each time he exhales, but the sounds are becoming softer. “’Mb really ndot feeli’g good,” he whispers, his voice completely shot. He blinks a few times, the gaps in between when his eyes close and open again spaced out like he’s struggling to stay awake. “Thi’gk mby fever we’dt up.”
Hailey touches her fingers to his cheek. His skin burns against hers, and she winces. “Yeah, I think it did. Do you want me to take you to the ER?”
He shakes his head, his expression collapsing as he heaves with another round of coughs. Hailey rubs her hand up and down his chest, slow and gentle. The pain and medication weigh her down with a heavy, foggy feeling, but there’s still that deep, instinctive want—no, need—to make sure he’s okay.
The coughing barely eases up before Nate tenses. His expression goes bleary and ticklish, and he lifts his sleeve to his face and jolts forward with an unusually harsh, breathless hreshhhuhh!
Hailey reaches for the box of tissues on her nightstand. “Bless you.”
Nate squints at her for a moment, his eyes red and full of irritated tears, before collapsing into his hoodie sleeve again. “Ekk’xshuhh! Eshhuhh! Huhh—huh’rrshh! Oh-h god—hp’TCHshhoo!”
“Jesus, Nate, bless you.” Hailey pulls out a handful of tissues and presses them into his hand. “Are your allergies bothering you, too, or is this all from the flu?”
“Dun’do,” he mutters. He gives his nose a couple of weak, snuffly blows and then falls back against the pillows, more congested than ever. When he tries to breathe through his nose, his breath squeaks with congestion. “Probably just the flu, but … I ca’dt tell.”
There’s a knock on the door, which is nothing more than cursory as Kameron steps inside a second later. “Hey, shitheads, I made you dinner,” she says, holding up a tray of steaming bowls.
Nate crumples against Hailey as he shudders with a fresh round of coughing. “Soup?” he rasps.
“Yeah, soup. Albeit canned soup with noodles that look disgustingly mushy, but I’m guessing you can’t taste anything anyway.” Kameron lifts her eyebrows at Nate as she sets the tray down on Hailey’s nightstand. “Are you dying, by the way? Because you sound like you’re dying.”
He shakes his head, rubbing his knuckles against his nose and blinking his eyes against that bleary, itchy sheen. “Ndo, just … feeli’g really sh—snnf!—shitty.”
“No shit. You’ve been coughing in your sleep for the past two hours.”
He winces. “I ca’d tell … chest h—snff—hurts a—hihh—a lot—hih’ngshhh!”
“Bless you,” Hailey and Kameron say. Nate waves them off as he fights a losing battle against a sneezing fit, his eyes streaming and breath hitching miserably.
Hailey rubs his back and looks up at Kameron. Something squirms inside her, something tight and cold like anxiety or guilt, though she’s not sure why she should feel either, at least not because of her best friend.
“I didn’t mean to scare you,” she murmurs.
“I know.” Kameron gives her a weak smile. A loose curl brushes the top of her ear, and she reaches up and twists it around her finger. “I just … I love you a lot. And you guys are idiots, okay? I mean, you”—she aims a look at Nate as he scrubs his nose into a handful of tissues—“you fucking drove with a temperature of a hundred and three.”
Nate coughs into the tissues. “It had dropped a little—”
“Shut up, I’m making a point, which is that it was still really fucking high. And you,” she adds, her gaze flicking to Hailey, “you’re an even bigger idiot, going into work when you were literally dying.”
Hailey hands Nate more tissues. “I wasn’t literally dying.”
“You had the worst cramps you’ve had in months and a migraine. That’s basically dying.” Kameron brushes Hailey’s mess of too-long bangs away from her eyes, her brow creasing. “How is your migraine, by the way? And your cramps?”
A faint smile tugs at the corner of Hailey’s mouth. “You know, you’re going to make a great mother someday. You’ve really mastered the ability to switch from being terrifying to caring in an instant.”
“Shut up and answer the question, dumb-dumb.”
“They’re … there. They’re all there, but not as bad.” Hailey lets out a slow sigh. “I don’t know. I want to use my heating pad and take more medicine and just sleep for a while.”
Nate tries to sniffle in a breath and just ends up coughing beside her. He lets out an exasperated “Jesus” before clearing his throat a few times, then says, “If you wa’dt sleep, I should probably go … I ca’dt get mby asthmba under control endough to be quiet.”
“No.” Hailey bends over him to press a kiss to his fevery cheek. “I don’t want you going anywhere, unless you need to to get different medicine.”
“Which I can get,” Kameron says, her words riding out on a sigh, “because I’m such a good friend.”
Nate rubs at his eyes, though his gaze is still bleary when he looks between Kameron and Hailey. “I’ll be okay, I thi’gk, but … are you sure?”
“Honestly, you’ll probably die if you leave.” Kameron perches on the edge of the bed, the mattress dipping beneath her weight. “You’re pretty helpless.”
Nate’s brow furrows. “How a’b I helpless?”
Kameron scoffs. “How many times do I have to remind you, you drove to the store with a fever of a hundred and three.”
Nate makes a sound somewhere between a sputter and a cough. “That’s ndot bei’g helpless, that’s … that was …”
“Not very smart.” Hailey cards her fingers through his sweat-damp hair. “Really, really sweet, but not very smart.”
“Speak for yourself, baby,” he whispers.
In spite of everything, she smiles a little. Sometimes it’s all you can do.
Is there more about the coffin maker& fed modern au? I really liked it and would love to read more!
There is a bit more. I keep going back to it and thinking: “man I should finish that” and I started an entirely separate story (but not the original story) for them but didn’t finish this AU.
The Coffin Maker and the Fed (the modern version) | PG-13 | language, themes, some violence?
Clarence, future G-man, FBI academy applicant, had a disastrouslove affair with the seedy criminal underground. When he was a child hehad been intrigued by shoplifting and vandalism while his mother stared downher long nose at the filthy poor illiterates that would stoop to such crimes. She had gone on for hours about how vagrants and delinquents should befunneled into jails and milled out in work farms so they could make up for theevil that they had inflicted on humanity. It didn’t matter to her what their crime was—from stealing bread tobutchering babies—or even if they hadn’t committed one. The fact was that Mother was simply above allthe common things that affected common people and whatever she couldn’tunderstand should be punished. The onetime—and it was only one time—he had shoplifted a candy bar, he was seven andthe shop clerk gave him the sternest, meanest stare she could manage while shecalled his mom (but not the police) and by the time his mother arrived in fullregalia breathing fire out of her nose and shooting laser beams out of hereyes, the shop clerk looked terrified and repentant. Clarence was lectured and berated the entireride home and then he was sent to bed without dinner, had all of his toysremoved from his room, spent two months grounded to his room and went withoutbirthday or Christmas presents that year. (His father, predictably, had done nothing to temper his wife’s rage buttook Clarence aside and asked him if he were ever going to do anything sofucking stupid again and Clarence—miserable and lonely and bored—had said no.)
The fact that he was aterrible crook with an insane mother and a push-over father notwithstanding,his love affair with the criminal mind and the criminal underworld had movedbeyond petty crimes and developed into a full-fledged romance with the mosttwisted and disturbingly wrong facets of humanity. At twenty-one, born and bred upper class,stationed in a beautiful apartment just within walking distance to the collegehe attended (not that he had to walk because he had a car), Clarence’s grasp ofthe anything criminal was almost entirely theoretical. What little of the seedy underbelly he hadmanaged to see consisted of amateur drag races and small-time drug dealerssubletting their stash to pay for food or more drugs. He’d met a prostitute once, at a party, andshe was short with thick thighs and red lips that talked to him about politicswith more intelligence than half the stoners that he went to school with. She never offered him a deal on her servicesand it was just as well because he liked to remember her with pink on hercheeks complaining about Republicans.
Still, whenever helearned about anything resembling remotely illegal, he was compelled to go to it. Thatwas how he found himself driving two towns over to an underground fight, allbut bare-knuckled in an abandoned parking lot. His friend Ed (or Ned, or Ted or even Fred—he forgot because his friendswere passing whims, always here and then gone) sitting shotgun and running awild commentary on how he’d seen these guys fight before and the blood was ridiculous. Clarence could care less about the blood, orthe violence, but it was the whole idea of it and the sort of people that itattracted that made his body vibrate just under his skin.
He parked them away fromthe other cars, locked the doors with a wince and shoved his keys down into thedeepest part of his pocket and followed the smell-and-sound of the crowd with (T)Edat his side. They were stopped at amake-shift gate by a guy without a neck that demanded a modest fee forentry. Clarence paid it and then workedhis way through the dense crowd of bodies. The smell was end-of-the-day, summer-after-dark strong with a tinge ofgirl perfume and hair product thrown in now and again to break off the chokingsmell of sweating-bodies. By the timehe’d wormed his way through to the front, he’d lost (N)Ed among the otherruddy-cheeked spectators. They werealive with the prospect of blood and the whole homoerotic mess of half-nakedsweating men grabbing and smacking on each other.
(Clarence wouldnever-not-ever understand how the heterosexual mind worked, and how it managedto compartmentalize all of its various contradictions without imploding fromthe effort.)
There was a refereein a black-and-white striped jersey with a mike calling the fight from thethick of it. Off to the side there werevendors selling cold microwave popcorn and muggy-warm beer while bookies workedthe lines of people taking bets. Clarence wanted to stop one and find out what the odds were but he wastoo caught up in the sheer glory of the grunt-and-punch fight. There was no way (none at all) that they wereall going to make it away from this fight without the cops dropping by to breakit up and he was straining his ears to listen for the wail of sirens over theroar of the thick crowd.
The third fight hesaw was the last fight of the night, the ref was calling back the winners ofthe previous rounds—the same guy he’d just watched beat the hell out of someredheaded man with freckles over bruises on his skin. Clarence was half-willing to put money onthat guy (the Amazing-something, according to the ref) because he was like afucking machine that never just couldn’t stop but as the ref called out thesecond name, the crowd exploded in a mix of cheers and hisses of disapproval.
There was Elias, Burger-StopElias of syrup stocking fame, bare-chested, tan, fat lip and bruised knuckles,stepping into the make-shift ring with a beautifully crafted blankexpression. His hands were wrapped insome kind of tape and he was barefoot on hot asphalt without a wince. He had blood at the edge of his chin likehe’d been wiping it off his face and he walked up to his opponent to touchfists together like they were both old pros at this. Elias walked a circle around the ring, gotclose enough that when a few hands darted out to touch him they nearly grazedhis over-sized shoulder.
The fight wasshort-and-brutal. The amazing-whoevercame after Elias as soon as the bell was sounded, and like before he was allfury and flying fists, landing blows wherever he could catch enough skin. Elias took it in silence, protected his faceand waited for a clean shot. The amazingdumbass took a half-second to catch his breath and Elias shifted from defenseto attack. He landed three hits and theother man went down, hard, like hard-enough to crack-the-sidewalk-hard.
The crowd wascaught between hisses and cheers, separated by fans and losers who were chantingout cheat in an effort to reclaim their suddenly lost bets. Clarence was the only one (as far as he couldtell form a hastily hazarded look around) that was shoving his fists into hispockets to conceal an ill-timed boner while he watched Elias wipe at the newsmear of blood on his mouth as he walked toward the exit of the ring. As soon as he was through it, disappearingout of the bright utility lights and fading into the shadows, the whole crowdwas breaking up. Women in slut shoeswere working through the men, picking out the happy faces that were suddenrecipients of handfuls of cash and getting high on their own giddyaccomplishment. Clarence worked his waythrough the crowd as it started to move, threaded through to the side wherethere was a brief, warm catch of fresh air before it was overwhelmed again bystale butter popcorn, spilt beer and cigarette smoke. He splashed through a puddle of suds that hesincerely hoped was beer and not piss and jogged toward Elias. He was standing apart, accepting his share ofthe winnings with his shirt thrown over one shoulder and his shoes tucked underone arm.
Clarence was,literally, five short feet away from him when the first shrill peal of policesirens cut into the murmuring noise of the dispersing crowd. The man doling out cash to Elias jumped likehe’d been shocked and hastily shoved over the rest of the money owed before heturned and ran. Behind him, there werehalf-frightened screams with the undercurrent of a sudden stampede. Elias just turned toward the sound, towardthe light of the ring and let out a sigh like he was already resigned to beingcaught and questioned for his part in it.
“I’ve got a car,”Clarence said because Elias was looking over him and not at him and because hehad a car. The sirens were closer-now;the edge of red-and-blue lights coming in around buildings and Clarence grabbedElias by the hand and pulled him into a run. “Work with me, here.”
Elias was aslow-start runner, like a rhinoceros that had to build up and like a beast toodamn big-and-heavy for its own good; he couldn’t corner worth a damn. Clarence made a quick right and Elias knockedthem both over, Clarence face-first into the ground with only his hands and oneknee to catch himself and Elias rolled across his back and hit the ground nextto him. Something popped in Clarence’shand but he didn’t have time to worry too-much about that because Elias wasalready back on his feet and grabbing him by the elbow to drag him up and thenpull him along until he’d managed to jump start his limp into a full-outrun. They fell into the car at fullspeed, Clarence’s throbbing, bloody palms catching painfully on the keys shoveddown into his pocket before he was able to open the locks and get into the damncar.
His heart wasbeating the inside of his ribcage sore by the time he got the car started andpulled out of the parking lot a few buildings away from the fight. The first cop car was already on the scene,highlighting the fleeing bodies with its red-and-blue strobe effect. He slipped away as quietly as he could, triedto drive in a way that seemed nonchalant and innocent when he felt tipped-overand out of control. Elias was silent nextto him, taking up space and giving off heat but not even managing to make enoughnoise with his breathing to be noticeable.
Clarence parkedthem in front of a twenty-four hour pancake place and flopped back against theseat with the car still on and the radio still playing the worst hits of theeighties, nineties and today. Elias letout a breath and squinted up at the neon letters promising drunken college kidscheap food at all hours and then looked back at him.
“Should I assumethat every time I meet you is going to involve pancakes?” Elias said.
And maybe that waswhy Clarence remembered the first time they met, hung over as hell, becauseElias remembered it. He was grinninglike an idiot because Elias rememberedhim and because he was exhausted from the slide down from adrenaline andthe pain in his ragged bloody-palms was working its way back into hisbrain. He looked down at his hands, theground chuck look of them and the fattening swell of his now-crooked ringfinger on his left hand. “Shit,” hesaid.
“That looksbroken,” Elias said helpfully from the side.
“No shit,” hesaid. He touched it gingerly, poked atthe red-blush of heat around the broken bone and decided he was really too muchof a wimp to even try to nudge it straight again. “Guess you’re going to the ER with me.”
“Why would I dothat?” Elias asked.
“Because if yourolled over me and broke my finger and it’s your responsibility to make surethat I get medical attention for my injury,” Clarence said. He turned his hand over once-or-twice andtried to ignore the boiling pain that was working up his hand toward his wrist.
“That’s a veryentitled view on the situation,” Elias said, “besides I don’t have a shirt orshoes. I lost them when I rolled overyou and I don’t think they let you sit around the ER waiting room shirtless.”
Clarence used hisgood hand to open his door and popped open the trunk of the car with his keyfob. “Come on,” he said when Eliasdidn’t move to follow him immediately. They stood at the trunk, Elias staring in disbelief in the array ofclothes he had stockpiled and with one hand on the car and the other hanginglimply at his side as his finger swelled even fatter. “I can feel you judging me.”
“These aren’t yourclothes,” Elias said, “why do you have a trunk full of clothes that don’tbelong to you?”
“They get leftbehind. The point is that there is ashirt in here and,” he dug under the piles until he found the pair of terribleflip flops that were tucked in the side by the tire iron, “these are verynearly shoes.”
Elias looked at himsideways, thinking all the worst possible things about him from slut to insaneand Clarence wouldn’t have denied a single one of the accusations if they’dbeen spoken out loud. It was just thatlook of disbelief and disdain on Elias’ face, that same look that sometimeshis-mother used on him whenever she found him messing in dirt and couldn’tbring herself to touch him because of it. That face was half the reason Clarence had gone off and gone throughwith every stupid idea he’d ever had, just fucking because (and fuck their perfect faces too). “I’ll drive,” Elias said, “what hospital doyou want to go to?”
Clarence had adisconnected moment between hearing-and-registering the words. So he was full of venom when he opened hismouth and it came out in his voice like fire, he said, “you know—what?”
“I said, I’lldrive. You can’t hold the wheel withbroken fingers.” He dug around throughthe shirts, found one that he thought was decent enough and smelled it in fourdifferent places before he put it on. “What’s your name?” he asked.
“Clarence. And—thanks,” he said. He tossed his car keys to Elias withoutworrying about whether or not he was a legal driver, if he could drive stick,if he were a crazed killer in his spare time between Burger-Stop and streetfighting. He just watched him fittinghis dirty-bare-feet into the flip flops after he pulled the long sleeve T-shirton over his head and then went to get into the passenger side of the car.
Blood of Olympus - Chapter 45
*disclaimer* This is a project done for fun, and none of these characters/works belong to me. I do not claim to own any of the material on this page.
This is a Lesbian edit of The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan.
Chapters will be posted every day at 10am EST.
Google doc version can be found here. The chapter can also be found under the cut. Enjoy!
ABOUT FIVE MILES EAST OF CAMP, a black SUV was parked on the beach.
They tied up the boat at a private dock. Nicola helped Dakota and Leila haul Michael Kahale ashore. The big guy was still only half-conscious, mumbling what Nicola assumed were football calls: ‘Red twelve. Right thirty-one. Hike.’ Then he giggled uncontrollably.
‘We’ll leave him here,’ Leila said. ‘Just don’t bind him. Poor guy …’
‘What about the car?’ Dakota asked. ‘The keys are in the glove compartment, but, uh, can you drive?’
Leila frowned. ‘I thought you could drive. Aren’t you seventeen?’
‘I never learned!’ Dakota said. ‘I was busy.’
‘I’ve got it covered,’ Nicola promised.
They both looked at her.
‘You’re, like, fourteen,’ Leila said.
Nicola enjoyed how nervous the Romans acted around her, even though they were older and bigger and more experienced fighters. ‘I didn’t say I would be behind the wheel.’
She knelt and placed her hand on the ground. She felt the nearest graves, the bones of forgotten humans buried and scattered. She searched deeper, extending her senses into the Underworld. ‘Jules-Albert. Let’s go.’
The ground split. A zombie in a ragged nineteenth-century motoring outfit clawed his way to the surface. Leila stepped back. Dakota screamed like a kindergartner.
‘What the hell is that?’ Dakota protested.
‘This is my driver,’ Nicola said. ‘Jules-Albert finished first in the Paris–Rouen motorcar race back in 1895, but he wasn’t awarded the prize because his steam car used a stoker.’
Leila stared at him. ‘What are you even talking about?’
‘He’s a restless soul, always looking for another chance to drive,’ Nicola said. ‘The last few years, he’s been my driver whenever I need one.’
‘You have a zombie chauffeur,’ Leila said.
‘I call shotgun.’ Nicola got in on the passenger’s side. Reluctantly, the Romans climbed in the back.
One thing about Jules-Albert: he never got emotional. He could sit in crosstown traffic all day without losing his patience. He was immune to road rage. He could even drive straight up to an encampment of wild centaurs and navigate through them without getting nervous.
The centaurs were like nothing Nicola had ever seen. They had back ends like palominos, tattoos all over their hairy arms and chests, and bullish horns protruding from their foreheads. Nicola doubted they could blend in with humans as easily as Chiron did.
At least two hundred were sparring restlessly with swords and spears, or roasting animal carcasses over open fires (carnivorous centaurs … the idea made Nicola shudder). Their camp spilled across the farm road that meandered around Camp Half-Blood’s southeast perimeter.
The SUV nudged its way through, honking when necessary. Occasionally a centaur glared through the driver’s side window, saw the zombie driver and backed away in shock.
‘Pluto’s pauldrons,’ Dakota muttered. ‘Even more centaurs arrived overnight.’
‘Don’t make eye contact,’ Leila warned. ‘They take that as a challenge for a duel to the death.’
Nicola stared straight ahead as the SUV pushed through. Her heart was pounding, but she wasn’t scared. She was angry. Octavian had surrounded Camp Half-Blood with monsters.
Sure, Nicola had mixed emotions about the camp. She’d felt rejected there, out of place, unwanted and unloved … but now that it was on the verge of destruction, she realized how much it meant to her. This was the last place Bianca and she had shared as a home – the only place they’d ever felt safe, even if only temporarily.
They rounded a bend in the road and Nicola’s fists clenched. More monsters … hundreds more. Dog-headed men prowled in packs, their poleaxes gleaming in the light of campfires. Beyond that milled a tribe of two-headed men dressed in rags and blankets like homeless guys, armed with a haphazard collection of slings, clubs and metal pipes.
‘Octavian is an idiot,’ Nicola hissed. ‘He thinks he can control these creatures?’
‘They just kept showing up,’ Leila said. ‘Before we knew it … well, look.’
The legion was arrayed at the base of Half-Blood Hill, its five cohorts in perfect order, its standards bright and proud. Giant eagles circled overhead. The siege weapons – six golden onagers the size of houses – were arrayed behind in a loose semicircle, three on each flank. But, for all its impressive discipline, the Twelfth Legion looked pitifully small, a splotch of demigod valour in a sea of ravenous monsters.
Nicola wished she still had the sceptre of Diocletian, but she doubted a legion of dead warriors would make a dent in this army. Even the Argo II couldn’t do much against this kind of strength.
‘I have to disable the onagers,’ Nicola said. ‘We don’t have much time.’
‘You’ll never get close to them,’ Leila warned. ‘Even if we get the entire Fourth and Fifth Cohorts to follow us, the other cohorts will try to stop us. And those siege weapons are manned by Octavian’s most loyal followers.’
‘We won’t get close by force,’ Nicola agreed. ‘But alone I can do it. Dakota, Leila – Jules-Albert will drive you to the legion lines. Get out, talk to your troops, convince them to follow your lead. I’ll need a distraction.’
Dakota frowned. ‘All right, but I’m not hurting any of my fellow legionnaires.’
‘No one’s asking you to,’ Nicola growled. ‘But if we don’t stop this war the entire legion will be wiped out. You said the monster tribes take insult easily?’
‘Yes,’ Dakota said. ‘I mean, for instance, you make any comment to those two-headed guys about the way they smell and … oh.’ He grinned. ‘If we started a brawl, by accident of course …’
‘I’ll be counting on you,’ Nicola said.
Leila frowned. ‘But how will you –’
‘I’m going dark,’ Nicola said. And she faded into the shadows.
She thought she was prepared.
Even after three days of rest and the wondrous healing properties of Coach Hedge’s gooey brown gunk, Nicola started to dissolve the moment she shadow-jumped.
Her limbs turned to vapour. Cold seeped into her chest. Voices of spirits whispered in her ears: Help us. Remember us. Join us.
She hadn’t realized how much she had relied on Reyna. Without her strength, she felt as weak as a newborn colt, wobbling dangerously, ready to fall at every step.
No, she told herself. I am Nicola di Angelo, daughter of Hades. I control the shadows. They do not control me.
She stumbled back into the mortal world at the crest of Half-Blood Hill.
She fell to her knees, hugging Thalia’s pine tree for support. The Golden Fleece was no longer in its branches. The guardian dragon was gone. Perhaps they’d been moved to a safer spot with the battle so close. Nicola wasn’t sure. But, looking down at the Roman forces arrayed outside the valley, her spirits wavered.
The nearest onager was a hundred yards downhill, encircled in spiked trenches and guarded by a dozen demigods. The machine was primed, ready to fire. Its huge sling cupped a projectile the size of a Honda Civic, glowing with flecks of gold.
With icy certainty, Nicola realized what Octavian was up to. The projectile was a mixture of incendiaries and Imperial gold. Even a small amount of Imperial gold could be incredibly volatile. Exposed to too much heat or pressure, the stuff would explode with devastating impact, and of course it was deadly to demigods as well as monsters. If that onager scored a hit on Camp Half-Blood, anything in the blast zone would be annihilated – vaporized by the heat, or disintegrated by the shrapnel. And the Romans had six onagers, all stocked with piles of ammunition.
‘Evil,’ Nicola said. ‘This is evil.’
She tried to think. Dawn was breaking. She couldn’t possibly take down all six weapons before the attack began, even if she found the strength to shadow-travel that many times. If she managed it once more, it would be a miracle.
She spotted the Roman command tent – behind and to the left of the legion. Octavian would probably be there, enjoying breakfast at a safe distance from the fighting. He wouldn’t lead his troops into battle. The little scumbag would hope to destroy the Greek camp from a distance, wait for the flames to die down, then march in unopposed.
Nicola’s throat constricted with hate. She concentrated on that tent, envisioning her next jump. If she could assassinate Octavian, that might solve the problem. The order to attack might never be given. Nicola was about to attempt it when a voice behind her said, ‘Nicola?’
She spun, her sword instantly in her hand, and almost decapitated Jill Solace.
‘Put that down!’ Jill hissed. ‘What are you doing here?’
Nicola was dumbstruck. Jill and two other campers were crouched in the grass, binoculars around their necks and daggers at their side. They wore black jeans and T-shirts, with black grease paint on their faces like commandos.
‘Me?’ Nicola asked. ‘What are you doing? Getting yourselves killed?’
Jill scowled. ‘Hey, we’re scouting the enemy. We took precautions.’
‘You dressed in black,’ Nicola noted, ‘with the sun coming up. You painted your face but didn’t cover that mop of blond hair. You might as well be waving a yellow flag.’
Jill’s ears reddened. ‘Lou Ellen wrapped some Mist around us, too.’
‘Hi.’ The girl next to her wriggled her fingers. She looked a little flustered. ‘You’re Nicola, right? I’ve heard a lot about you. And this is Cecil from Hermes cabin.’
Nicola knelt next to them. ‘Did Coach Hedge make it to camp?’
Lou Ellen giggled nervously. ‘Did he ever.’
Jill elbowed her. ‘Yeah. Hedge is fine. He made it just in time for the baby’s birth.’
‘The baby!’ Nicola grinned, which hurt her face muscles. She wasn’t used to making that expression. ‘Mellie and the kid are all right?’
‘Fine. A very cute little satyr boy.’ Jill shuddered. ‘But I delivered it. Have you ever delivered a baby?’
‘I had to get some fresh air. That’s why I volunteered for this mission. Gods of Olympus, my hands are still shaking. See?’
She took Nicola’s hand, which sent an electric current down Nicola’s spine. She quickly withdrew. ‘Whatever,’ she snapped. ‘We don’t have time for chitchat. The Romans are attacking at dawn and I’ve got to –’
‘We know,’ Jill said. ‘But, if you’re planning to shadow-travel to that command tent, forget it.’
Nicola glared at her. ‘Excuse me?’
She expected Jill to flinch or look away. Most people did. But Jill’s blue eyes stayed fixed on hers – annoyingly determined. ‘Coach Hedge told me all about your shadow-travel. You can’t try that again.’
‘I just did try it again, Solace. I’m fine.’
‘No, you’re not. I’m a healer. I could feel the darkness in your hand as soon as I touched it. Even if you made it to that tent, you’d be in no shape to fight. But you wouldn’t make it. One more slip, and you won’t come back. You are not shadow-travelling. Doctor’s orders.’
‘The camp is about to be destroyed –’
‘And we’ll stop the Romans,’ Jill said. ‘But we’ll do it our way. Lou Ellen will control the Mist. We’ll sneak around, do as much damage as we can to those onagers. But no shadow-travel.’
Lou Ellen’s and Cecil’s heads swivelled back and forth like they were watching a really intense tennis match.
Nicola sighed in exasperation. She hated working with other people. They were always cramping her style, making her uncomfortable. And Jill Solace … Nicola revised her impression of the daughter of Apollo. She’d always thought of Jill as easygoing and laid back. Apparently she could also be stubborn and aggravating.
Nicola gazed down at Camp Half-Blood, where the rest of the Greeks were preparing for war. Past the troops and ballistae, the canoe lake glittered pink in the first light of dawn. Nicola remembered the first time she’d arrived at Camp Half-Blood, crash-landing in Apollo’s sun car, which had been converted into a fiery school bus.
She remembered Apollo, smiling and tanned and completely cool in his shades.
Thalia had said, He’s hot.
He’s the sun god, Penny replied.
That’s not what I meant.
Why was Nicola thinking about that now? The random memory irritated her, made her feel jittery.
She had arrived at Camp Half-Blood thanks to Apollo. Now, on what would likely be her last day at camp, she was stuck with a daughter of Apollo.
‘Whatever,’ Nicola said. ‘But we have to hurry. And you’ll follow my lead.’
‘Fine,’ Jill said. ‘Just don’t ask me to deliver any more satyr babies and we’ll get along great.’
I cant even believe ive pulled it off either, took a while to set up and almost got caught a couple times but it all payed off! Was actually stupidly easy if i do say so myself! he has only started his official guard training but has already proved to be quite capable with the basics, not as good as me of course, if you are reading this then thats one thing you should take away, you must be better than the rest or you will not survive in this new world attached is is his note paper he left around his latrine board which lists all the other shifts so ive done them all now! , some of the older residents already queing up to use it when ive come on shift, he has already made 200 from me alone he is now the richest boy in the guard aside from me :) Too late to back out now does this mean im in charge now? i'm not sure about this, im going to need some help directly to the awaiting bows etched beautifully on the surface, they look like stained glass windows The church has a logo too but it looks different, perhaps its different in the bible times? Like this alligator bladder inflatables, alligator collagen and many others that are all neatly organized into these clever boxes via conveyer belt to each corresponding window There are also windows for people to put their wastes in as well!! lies on a tray which collects them from the windows and comes around in a cycle that reminds me of those claw crane games, whatever you can squeeze out of the vending machine is yours I guess as far as the waste goes, the amount you take is based on your ranking in society Poor people cant take much but they get more than sodarites so they can trade it i suppose are dispensed from chutes hidden in the walls next to the windows This seems pretty complicated i hope you all are happy its your asses if this thing breaks, apparently everything is monitored via those cameras from control so maintenance is not something i need to worry about, as for retrieving the profits if the creature has been killed is also pumped out from his magical portal costume or something, i dunno Also washboards tons and tons of them and bubble wrap the alligators must really love to sleep on that stuff anyway this is all to be expected We basically sold out completely, 7 minutes of every hour are taken up by products thats why they scampered around so much at first, gave them more room to pump out more crap simultaneously , a flatbrim ballcap and navy jeans standing at one of his windows cheerfully greets every customer with a big smile I sometimes break from my gatekeeping to inspect some of the meat, it gives me mixed feelings to see it go through not knowing if im sending dead gators to a warm cozy home or chucking it in a trash pit somewhere, i ponder this as im picking flesh chunks off my claws , a high ranking position to be sure The most obnoxious thing is it came with matching shoes with little gators on them like COME ON!!! You shouldnt advertis ewho you are on your shoes for god sake! They cant take you seriously in these things, they look clownish We have even had talks to passing alligator ranchers about potential business deals in the future In any case our family has started rolling in the dough, unfortunately GiGi is still a dog biscuit away from the good fairy granting her speech but she doesn't seem too bothered by it, we really dont talk too much anyway The shivers are happy Life is easy, all i have to do anymore is open the gate that's it a HUD, with the locations of all the turrets and cameras for the stadium, best to keep the customer experience top notch afterall Although I don't think it matters too much,there are so many shivers in now every one has a different path to their tunnel system that even at a 5% attrition rate the population keeps climbing! Its starting to reach overcrowding levels but its not like we're sending anyone back alright? Were not! encryption codes for all the conversations that happen so far using your custom security systems A fulltime worker you have hired helps manage the trading floor while you police the stock market multiple times a day incase any occurances need your attention You created jobs for everyone, you created a life and a grand beard that laves the belly area of his long coat He wears light hiking boots presumably to trek through the sewers with and a travler's backpack for over night trips, sure signs of a trader! The success has lead to others trying their luck in there, but only few have even come close to GiGi's success, it might be your tech or the shiver's that attract them but one thing remains true It's your name that sucks to them most of the time, most of it stuck in there own routines, seems like they barely tolerate him now Water is quite rare for us now so we have to wait until it rains before doing the wash,still worth it though! or we salvage it from the toilet tanks any way the guy is called Mike, goes by GiMMiX online, one of the newer traders that have recently started coming here Normally I don't hear them until they are at the top floor then they normally eat at GiGi's before they leave He must be pretty confident to try sell me stuff when he knows who I am You should do this more often Dad, this is a nice talk over dinner, see ya with that guy and helped create a community of thriving humans who enjoy the gifts this world has to offer You and Lena? Yep that'll do, you'll name your robot Lena as a sign of appreciation Once you have entered her name you are greated with a box asking for a last name, you type in GiGis and it accepts it CONGRATULATIONS! "Lena GiGi-S-I-S" has been added to your home! You have created a second living creature that enjoys your presence A screen pops up with her picture on the left and some more information about her on the right, this is where you can change her name, informaion, add or remove her from your home and much more Some buttons appear at the bottom letting you navigate through the various screens you are glad that you managed to get communications working on a large scale between herds again You decide to leave the GiGis identification screens for later, you have just noticed that it is already outside and the herd of Shreks haven't gone past yet! Last night when you saw them they were making sounds that the Calvary were coming soon and every one was getting excited You always felt that division was the ruin of the humans indeed a couple of weeks pass and the music has been rejoined by happy trumpets that could only belong to GiGis It's nice to see her so happy, she really loves that music next week you get a visitor You hear a voice on the PA asking for you and asking to visit outside You buff up, take your gun and head to the top floor You open your window and see a woman your age looking up at you,she is pretty obviously pregnant, has grown nails and dark green skin She speaks "Hey, I'm Lena" "I know" you reply cautiously "i also Know that you have GiGis" She says pointing at your robot who is sitting to the side of the window "Yes, she is mine" Lena nods "I want to add her to the herd, the music has brought all of us joy and peace for years, GiGis would be a welcome edition to our little community" You weren't really sure what to expect when you got your first visitor, but it wasn't this You complte the transaction and feel very HAPPY as a result Music truly is the mystical link that connects all creatures on this planet! You wonder how you never saw it before,of course the differentherBS would feel joy at GiGis playing, what kind of a horrible person does this to beings who love music as their mother plays piano in the next room! The happy GiGis announces a new song "Go die in a fire (Ilium update discussion #405)" You don't mean to listen, but you can hear it quite clearly as the topic of the songs is pretty relevant to you right now You leave your home and head straight for the gate, you aren't really sure what you will do when you get there, but you are really angry! Before you know it you are flying through the air and in a yard with a massive collection of shreks and GiGis himself He is strangely cheery You stand up and aim your gun at him "Downѕtand!" you shout angrily He laughs "No" You fire at him, and are surprised to see that you shoot a stream of confetti GiGis laughs even louder now YOu start firing in all directions and realise that all you are doing is shooting party favors into the air, including one very large one right behind GiGis You dart back inside just as your entire house explodes into a million pieces and rains down onto the remaining houses You peek outside a bit later and see nothing but rubble where there were once houses and the words "All are GiGis" hovering above it all
John T Mainer 28840: Meat Shields
The war was not going well. Rockets Raccoons were up against the Mullah's of Mayhem, a threepeat gold clan in the division the Raccoons had found themselves advancing into as the fresh meat. Out of the gate the Mullah's of Mayhem issued a fatwa calling Racoons trespassers in Division X and an abomination in the sight of the Craftsmen. They were ordered to burn their own mecha, or burn in them. The Racoons washed down a plate of bacon with a fifth of bourbon and told the Mullah's of Mayhem where they could insert their gold medals, and offered a boot to pound it home. They expected to have some time to scout before things got hot, that is the way things worked in Division W. Turns out Division X is more intense.
The second the clock struck O murder hundred, the Mullah's struck. Rolling out of the darkness in a tide of niode powered intolerance, they cut through Rockets Raccoons like a Galaxy Eye through an open cockpit. Two of the Raccoons were in specialist lineups to go hit the Mullah's scouts, just a few minutes from ready to hit the badlands to go hunting, but caught in tens and twenties when the Mullah's Kami, Notas, and Charon tore through, freezing, burning and stomping everything in their path.
My job is usually pretty chill. I pilot a third rank Magnus in Chubby's Cherubs. Me (Grinner) and Sweet Meat Stevenson act as flankers for Isabella in her Regis. We have a bit of niode gear here and there, but our guns are pure crystal. Best guns forward is the Raccoon creed, but each of our lines is designed to fight as a line. Me and Sweet Meat have pretty decent freeze, good trample, hit hard with missiles or cannon. Sweet meat has a lot of forking missiles, nothing super hot, but it spreads the love around. I pack a mix of good crystal cannons and OK crystal cannons. We keep being promised upgrades as soon as we score some loot, but every time I get a good one, I get a new weapon slot, so retiring my third rate guns keeps getting put off.
Isabella though, her Regis "Body-Count" is a real killer. I mean, sure her guns do less damage than mine on paper, but her lizard is a real laserbrain, and gets almost as much extra out of them as a Red Ant would, and packs about three times as many. It also loves to kill. I mean its not the fastest beast out there, but it loves to get the pure kill shot, often passing up an opening to wound to wait for the clean kill. Grinner and Sweet Meat our Magnus are sluggers, but Body Count is a pure killer, so is Isabella. We make a good team. Or we did until the Mullah's of Mayhem hit us. Isabella was shut down by trample before we even knew the second rank was under fire. I had my Lightning Shield on, so I lived, but I got frozen by the forking hit on Meat Shiled and never got my guns to lock on before both my legs got taken out by some kind of advanced plasma weapon I have never seen before. Some kind of Vortex crap that I will be having wet dreams about owning probably forever after seeing it burn through my Magnus legs like hot coffee through a sugar cube.
Sweet Meat got off three shots before he fell. One miss, two clean hits, one forking, and the Mullah Notas and Charon didn't even notice. The hits exploded all over the shields in their niode perfection and didn't even break their concentration. No weapon we had could touch them. They were just outclassing our crystal machines, too fast, too many guns, and shields we could not even scratch. There was literally no point in my Grinner and Sweet Meat firing at all.
As we were getting anti-radiation chelation therapy at the aid station, I made the mistake of bitching to Isabella about how useless we were against those bastards.
"We can't beat their shields, what is the point of even trying?" I complained.
Isabella slapped me so hard my head just about hit my shoulder it snapped so far around. She was furious. All five two of her. She should have looked ridiculous, little her tearing both my own six two, two forty, and Sweat Meats six even three fifty a new exhaust port, but all she looked was fierce and intimidating, because she was not intimidated. Her response was pure Isabella, as irrational as it was inspirational. She had a point.
"Sheilds? You are worried about their shields? I will teach them to fear MINE!" Isabella shouted.
Sweet Meat kneaded his temples, the big Chinese pilot looked like a defeated Buddha, and his words were filled with dump shock and despair.
"I know you have some good fire shields, but honestly each of us has one niode shield, but the rest of yours are nothing to write home about, I mean my own Magnus probably has better shields than you when you crunch the numbers" Sweet meat was a bit of an analyst, as well as manic depressive, magnus pilot, and avid gardener. What can I say, a weird dude.
Isabella gripped both of us by the back of the neck and pulled our heads together against hers in a fierce hug. She continued her rant low and intense, practically the same height standing as we were sitting getting our blood cleaned of the radiation from our engine breaches.
"No you morons, not my mecha shields, my meat shields. You two losers are going to keep me alive long enough to EAT THEIR SOULS!" She was scary intense sometimes, but there was a reason she anchored the third line, if we were needed, it was bad, and when it got bad, you needed somethign scarier on your side. We had Isabella. She kept on, finally getting through to us. "OK, so they are faster, stronger, tougher than we are. So what? I will swap out my niode shields with you guys for anything you have against trample and fork. I am maxed out to do two things, strike first, and kill things. You losers only have to stand upright, look, big stupid and ugly, to keep their attention while I tear their hearts out. It almost like you are over qualified!"
Sweet Meat and I started to laugh. What could you do? The Mullah's of Mayhem had read from their Scrolls of Holy Ass Whooping, so now maybe it was time to read them a passage from The Book of Payback. Payback is a bitch they say, and her name is Isabella.
This time we were the ones attacking. Not the brightest idea in the world, but Raccoons are curious critters by nature, and there was loot to the victors, if you had the nerve to dig for it. Nerve we had, so dig we didl.
Our front line can match anyone out there. The boss is a badass. We always wondered why he stayed with us when the big outfits kept offering a place in their own ranks. He laughed it off. He got through the first two of their ranks before they got him. With the front rank gone, that was 70% of our niode weapons, all our niode BFM, the next rank was niode heavies, but the gear was mixed, the weapons were mostly crystal. They were pretty chewed before they stepped to the line, and only got one kill before they got eaten alive. A smart man would have made a career change at that point, but I stopped thinking when Isabella screamed.
"EAT THEIR SOULS!" She screamed as her Regis roared and charged forward.
I opened up my own engine amplifiers wide, Race Engines spooling up pure power for my engines and guns, Lantern engines howling power into my limbs and overcharging my capacitors (also making me a huge target for any wandering missile, but life is like that). We charged at her side, two gun metal grey Ogers flanking a hunting dragon. We got hammered. Something called a Rift Beam hit Bubba on the left wing square, and the Xango that fired it milked every erg out of it. Damned thing had so much power that after blowing him right the heck up, it tracked right to take me where I was shielding Isabella's flank.
Alarms went off everywhere, my gun capacitors overloaded and exploded. I had NO GUNS. I had no sensors operating beyond peeking out the cockpit and seeing bad guys that a way. I was able to move because I needed no external data to do that, but was helpless as a newborn babe. Helpless, not useless.
Isabella cut loose with a Galaxy Eye and caught a Kami that had just ignited Sweet Meat's Magnus. Her beam was a pale thing against the bright fury of the flashing niode powered laser shields that fed that monster, and even healed it as they did so. On its own, the Galaxy Eye lacked the power to even warm the Kami's paint. Isabella on the other hand was a matadora. In her hand a slender blade that you could stop with a thick button could slide into and out of the heart of a charging rhino before it even realized it was dead. That Galaxy Eye flowed through an eddy where shield emitter zones interfered with each other, splashed against a plasma charging chamber feeding the Kami's own guns and caused a dissonance in their own shielding. The plasma to punch through shields, armour, and still have enough power to devour two mecha at a time was released INSIDE the Kami, and it died in a shattering explosion.
Isabella and Body Count screamed their joy to the world, and we, her meat shields, howled with her.
The Xango pilot was a veteran, and spotted the threat, swinging his Planetary Defense laser to take her under fire. It could punch through her laser shields and blow her reactor core through the rank behind her. It could not punch through her meat shields and do it. I stepped my tottering and shut down Magnus into the path, and snapped my arm cannon mounts up to bring his cockpit into line with their gaping muzzles. Reflex triggered his burst before thought could interfere. His coherent light death beam wasted itself in incoherent frustration as it screamed through my already shut down mecha. Sure, it gutted me and shut down the Yallan to my rear (poor tyke looked like it was about to trip and fall on my exploding ass too), but Isabella's splash shiled shrugged off the hit like rain on a dragons arse as she triggered a Vulcan Phaser. The Xango did not live long and prosper.
The Charon did not take that well and closed with its great claws to tear Isabella in half. His Leviathan punched with killing force, but Sweet Meat took it on the chest plate. Freeze fractures shattered his chest and took his right arm when he tried to take a step forward. The Charon's claws were deep inside Sweet Meat, ripping his torso off his legs when the Flavian Spear took him in the armpit. Nanobots contained in the great tanks flash activated from the laser energy bleed and instantly absolute zero was achieved in the crystal metal matrix of the bones of the mecha. DIfferential cooling of the couplings caused the unstoppable power of the Charon to be, well, unstoppered. Charon got to ride his own ferry across the Styx as Isabella gave him a taste of what he fed Sweet Meat.
The Apatotron that remained in the line cut loose with a Heartbreaker missile swarm, and without us to shield her, what little armour remained on her Regis failed under the 75mm armour piercing warheads coming in two converging swarms to overwhelm her point defense lasers and ECM lures of her missile shields. She fell, but not before gutting that line. The fourth line buried the Apatotron in fire, as it spent its last rockets on a Yallan that was already shut down anyway. Our boys carried the fight. It wasn't pretty or cheap, but it was a win.
We pulled Isabella from Body Count, what was left of her noble Regis. She was bleeding and laughing (she was that kind of girl) and hugged us as we slapped trauma patches on the bits that were spurting not dripping. She was almost shouting before the trauma patches drugs took her into unconciousness.
"Meat shields over niode shields boys! Those bastards got Raccooned! We got it done"
Sweet meat listened to her rambling as she drifted into unconciousness. He was grinning his soft Buddha grin. He looked at me and said what we both were thinking.
"She's crazy as a bed bug. She's right too,, but crazier than a pet raccoon" He held up his fist to me.
"Meat shield!" He said.
I banged my fist into his
"Meat shield!" I swore.
Welcome to Mecha Galaxy. Prepare to be Raccooned.
John T Mainer 28840
Bailey's on Me CoCoaPuffs!
Pairing: Saboo/Tony Harrison
The night was beginning to wind down at the Shaman Shack, where the famous Board of Shaman were celebrating their approval for a spin-off series. The bar was swimming with the sounds of glasses clinking, groupies giggling, magic men laughing loudly and of course, the singing; “We’re super magic men! We go on at 3 am! Although we’re on The Mighty Boosh, we’ll kill them lads! Watch for proof!” After the minutes turned to hours, the board were wasted. Dennis, Head Shaman, was off caressing himself and sniffing the curtains, all while softly weeping. He would say later that he had taken the wrong pills for his migraines and that it mixed with the mass quantity of alcohol that he consumed.
But everyone knew that he had only had a few sips of his pint and spilled the rest. Kirk was on the bar wooing four groupies who eagerly awaited escorting him to his hotel room. The wild, red-haired magic man Barry had popped by to join the festivities. He had four Mick Jaggers and half a crate of poppers. Now he was over by the jukebox with his arms around two beautiful, curvaceous young women; a tall blonde and a shorter queen with jet black hair. They remind one of this unsuccessful duo from a few years back… Naboo and Bollo were finished with their karaoke rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” and were staggering around trying to remember the lyrics to “Peacock Dreams”. They soon gave up on it and launched into another track from “Tusk”. Saboo was drunk, but he still had the capacity to hate.
“You’re rubbish ya berks! Shut it!” Saboo shouted. He hated Fleetwood Mac not only because they were indeed bullshit munchers, but also because it seemed that people hadn’t had enough of them in the 70’s and had to keep playing their songs. Yes, there was that one track off of “Rumours” that didn’t suck so hard, but “Tusk”?! ONE song off that album got airplay! ONE! These thoughts were racing through his head and he shouted, “No one knows that shite! It sucked in ‘79 and it sucks now!”
“Oooooh! Ease up on it ya nonce!” Saboo didn’t even have to turn around. He knew that it was the unmistakable voice of Tony Harrison. “Tusk was brilliant! Buckingham at his best! Have you listened to Not That Funny? Absolutely genius!”
“Can it, you magenta mongrel!”
“If I weren’t so wasted, I’d come at you, ya ball bag!”
“Get back in your box, you pink poof! You’ve had enough!”
“Had enough?! I’ve only just begun! I’m toppin’ it off with Bailey’s on me Co-Co Puffs!”
“Oh! Sick you are!” Saboo watched in disgust as the little pink octopus slithered [is that the appropriate term?] over to the bar. He stared in silence as Harrison tried to climb up to the bar to order his hideous “meal”, but fell onto the floor. In that moment Saboo felt something he had never felt before; compassion. He bolted up almost immediately and trotted over to Tony. He saw that Tony wasn’t hurt, but that he was done for the night and needed to sleep this off. Saboo realized that he had to shoot off some sarcasm to play this act of care off.
“Oh, great! Look what you’ve done. Bravo, Tony Harrison!”
“Awww. What’s happenin’? I’m blazin’!”
“It’s about time for you to get home and out of our sight, ya berk.”
“I can’t drive! And I can’t go home to the Mrs. Like this! She’ll throw me out!”
“Oh, for Christ’s sake, Tony! Then what the hell are we supposed to do with you?”
“I need a place to stay.”
“Well let’s find some poor, unfortunate spirit to take you.” Saboo looked around the bar for a fellow Shaman that he could dump Harrison onto. Dennis was nearly passed out on the floor twitching and shivering. Kirk had disappeared with the four groupies (and some others that trailed after them.), Barry was half attempting a three-way with the two girls (who were practically undressed. Had the patrons been more sober, this would have been quite a show) and Naboo and Bollo were finished singing and they had their arms around each other. They appeared to be… intimately embracing one another… No! Could it be? Either way, there was no possibility of them taking on the burden of Tony. He went up to bar tender.
“Oi mate! Is there any way this, thing here could get a cab?”
“Oh, sorry lad! Cabs don’t come out this far at this hour. ‘Cept Death Cabs, but you really don’t want to call one of them. Don’t operate too well, and they sing Union Gang songs ‘til you WANT to die!”
“This wank here probably enjoys that 60’s shite!” Saboo was hoping that the bar keep would do him the favor and get him the number, but he just turned around. Saboo gave him a nice two fingered gesture behind his back and twirled back to Harrison. He looked down into Tony’s blurred and strangely familiar eyes and read them perfectly. He shook his head, but realized that there was no alternative. He’d have to take Harrison home with him.
Saboo was beyond annoyed; even beyond angry. Harrison was probably the most obnoxious being on this or any other planet! He had to get shitfaced if he was going to survive this night. He went back to the bar and ordered two shots of Bacardi 151 and a straight Tanqueray chaser. With the liquid fire resonating in his system, he was ready to go home, put the pink ball bag to sleep and crash. He lifted Tony up and they left the Shaman Shack. They boarded the magic carpet and headed off. Saboo knew he shouldn’t be driving, but clearly, there was no alternative. He hadn’t even thought about booking a hotel room, most likely because he hadn’t planned on either getting laid or getting drunk.
Saboo had hoped that Harrison would pass out from the booze, but he was actually still speaking coherently. He was babbling on about Lindsey Buckingham’s inspiration from John Stewart. Wait. Wasn’t he some American news guy? Had to have been someone else… And then something about an early career with Stephanie Nicks. Now it was actually Saboo who felt close to passing out. He couldn’t even come up with an insult to hurl at Tony’s taste in music. Saboo began to listen to Tony and the voice became less irritating and more, well, soothing. He started to feel weird. For a few moments he seemed to black out and only remembered feeling the carpet beneath him, but nothing else; he couldn’t feel himself. It was all very strange, but then he came back down to catch Tony talking about the girls from the bar.
“Those birds that were all over Kirk were pretty sexy, but Barry was the real winner!” Saboo recalled the two girls and finally found his voice.
“I know! They were hot double X’s! I would let them use my body like a primary school play structure!”
“That slag probably won’t even remember it!”
“I wish the Mrs. was hot like that. She’s at that age where they never open the valve, ya know?”
“That’s a shame.” It didn’t even bother Saboo to be talking about Harrison’s sex life. It then occurred to him that no one knew what Mrs. Harrison looked like. “Hey Tony, what exactly is ¾” He was cut off by the sound of the Moon letting about a burp, which in the sky was like having a car explode next to your ear. The shock and then the next minute and a half of shouting obscenities at the Moon made him completely lose his train of thought. The carpet eventually passed on.
The Moon watched it go by and muttered to himself, “Well that’s just bloody rude.”
Saboo calmed down and looked back at Tony. He was staring back up at him with a huge grin. He then got the courage to ask Saboo something he had wondered for ages.
“So, you’re an attractive young man, why don’t you have a lady?” Saboo was confused. No one had ever asked him something like this before. Truth be told, he didn’t have many friends, which is probably why the subject of his personal life never came up.
“I.. I am dedicated to my work as a Shaman… And you know, now with the series, I’m going to have a lot on my plate… I still get my fill of women. Oh yes! Just a brief affair is all I need.” He looked at Tony and knew that he wasn’t buying it. “Look! It’s none of your concern! You’ve got no room to judge me you mauve menace!” Harrison looked shocked. Saboo hung his head and turned away, shamed. He then felt the touch of a soft tentacle brush his side. He turned and met Tony’s understanding gaze. He let go of all sobriety and inhibitions and embraced the little creature.
At first he told himself it was like practicing kissing with your stuffed animal, which a young Saboo had once done. He had gotten good at it, but so rarely ever had to use the skills acquired. Now he was making good use of it. Eyes shut tightly, he locked tongues with the miniature being. Tony felt like he was getting warmer and his soft tentacles soon became stiff. He was aroused. The feeling of the phallic like limbs began to excite Saboo. He found himself stroking them and this made Tony moan. Saboo stuck one in his mouth and sucked hard. He didn’t exactly know what Tony’s body was doing, but he got the basic idea. Tony was having an awesome alien orgasm. Saboo was drunk, but not gone. He backed away from the tentacle just in time to get a face full of extra terrestrial semen. He hoped that the shame of this would never kick in, and that’s when he felt the squishy limbs around his dick. The feeling was different than that of hands, better. It felt like a hot and moist flower closing its pedals around him. It was great. Better than great. Spectacular. It was over in a matter of seconds.
Saboo managed to stay functional until they reached his place. He parked the rug and put it away. He carried Tony into his place and put him to sleep in an arm chair. He found his way to his bedroom and crashed, quite literally.
Neither of the Shaman remembered what had happened the next morning, but they seemed to like each other a lot more. They ate breakfast together; Co-Co Puffs with Bailey’s. It was actually rather tasty.
Tony from then on was puzzled as to why after sex with the Mrs., he always thought of Saboo. And Saboo always questioned why he became aroused by the sight of flowers.
interview tape 33300
1# - Got another pile for you captain
2# - seriously rookie, I haven’t gotten past halve-way of the last pile yet
1# - you did say you wanted all the mad bomber sightings brought straight to you
2# - that was before I found out just how many of them I’d be receiving
1# - well surely more information on him is good news?
2# - it would be if any of this were useful. Leave the papers on the desk and listen to some of these, they have to be heard to be believed
1# - I thought you were working?
2# - I need a break, and with this sheer number of reports 5 minutes won’t kill me. Besides, going over this from the start will help me clear my head
1# - very well. What did you mean that all this information is useless? There must be something?
2# - True there are bits and pieces. Locally, the hysteria hasn’t helped. Everything from murder, petty theft, vandalism and a few cases of adultery are all suddenly being blamed on the mad bomber.
1# - so do we know anything about him.
2# - Well I’ve been able to get a reasonably accurate timeline so far. His first sighting was when he was caught red-handed at that alleyway. Probably would have been the end of it if he hadn’t escaped the holding cell.
1# - I thought there were anti-magic fields in effect over the precinct?
2# - In the cells sure, but only the negating manacles are used everywhere else. My current theory is the lawyer who visited him must have had something to help negate his cuffs so when he left he was free to make his move. I would have more, but I haven’t been able to find the lawyer since then. I checked his credentials and found they were very similar to one’s we seen involved in mob cases, so it’s likely our bomber has links to the mob families, if not directly working for one. A few guard reports suggest he was around the library when it was robbed, but his confession at the warehouse proves that he was the one behind it.
1# - what happened to him after that?
2# - Best I was able to find was that after the warehouse exploded he must have made his way into town the next morning. There’s a couple of conflicting reports but one about a farmer who found a group in his barn seems noteworthy. He claims he drove to town with some in the back, but when he got to a check point half of them had disappeared. The descriptions he and his wife gave match those of the guards at the warehouse, and those of a group fleeing from that direction that ran into the reinforcements from the capital.
1# - they didn’t stop them?
2# - they had no idea who they were at the time, but their reports helped us with getting the profiles down. Then there was the bank incident, which proves our bomber must be something else. The bank’s anti-magic fields are even stronger than ours, so the fact he was so easily able to cause those explosions means he’s either got incredible magic power to overcome it, some magic artefact that can enable him to bypass it or he’s got connections good enough to let him have authorised access in said field. No matter what way you look at it, he’s trouble. After that, the trail gets messed up by all these reports
1# - you think he’s giving us false leads, covering his tracks
2# - I would if any of them were half way intelligent. I’ve seen it before, whenever something big like this happens. Part of it is hysteria, people making connections that don’t exist or getting jumpy and acting panicked. I have a report here that the third town over saw a figure with a flame in its hand looking sinisterly over the town late at night, so they gathered a mob to capture him. Too bad it turns out it was the local crazy cat lady who lived near there. One of her pets was missing so she’d gone out with a lantern in hand to look for it and ended up getting jumped
1# - well that must have been embarrassing when they realised, right?
2# - When did I ever say they realised? They tied her to a tree, stoned her then brought the body here, hoping to cash in the reward
1# - SWEET IOMEDAE!
2# - yeah, and that’s a legitimate one. The second town over had a guy claim his shop was burned down by the mad bomber as part of an insurance scam. Would have worked if he’d worn any kind of disguise when he’d bought all the alchemist fire the shops had the day before.
1# - so I guess there’s lots of people who claim they saw him for different reasons
2# - yeah, and there’s just as many trying to claim they are him
1# - WHAT, there is no way anyone has pretended to be the mad bomber. Why would someone pretend to be a known criminal?
2# - Why don’t you ask Jake Filbar. He’s a fresh out of mage collage graduate who got drunk and started going around trying to pick up women claiming he was the super badass criminal everyone was talking about. Too bad for him the woman he offered to “set off his biggest explosion in her beef portal” happened to be an off-duty officer.
1# - wait, I heard about that from the others, I thought it was messier than that
2# - it was. Turns out the barkeeper had a moonflower distribution ring going on. When Jake started resisting arrest, he threw around a bunch of weak fire spells and managed to set fire to a hidden stash worth around 6000GP. We had to cordon off a whole section of the city to deal with the simultaneous fires and the mass rioting cause by the hallucinogenic smoke spewing out of the place. At least we busted a drug ring out of all that though.
1# - ok, so drunken idiots might pretend to be him, but no sober and sane person would
2# - Kasandra Millientop did. Used it to try and apply for a magical university
1# - could you repeat yourself, I seem to have misheard you, I thought you said someone applied to a university as a known mad criminal.
2# - from what I gathered she was trying to get her foot in the door. A lot of these schools tend to be extremely presides and hard for the common people to access. She hoped by using the name it would get her noticed long enough to show she had the power and skill needed to enter
1# - how did it turn out?
2# - well the old dean decided to be cruel and give her a chance to fail in front of everyone. So, he positioned himself and the grading panel behind an anti-magic field of his own casting and told her to give him his best shot after all, and I quote “the mad bombers skills are well known to all here. A field like this should be no problem for you who use his name”.
1# - permission to speak freely
2# - permission granted
1# - the man sounds like a complete ass
2# - yes, he was. There were some complications, turns out she had been trying to boost the effect of her magic to replicate the mad bomber by mixing gunpowder and alchemist fire, and her first attempt nearly killed herself
1# - poor girl, I can’t imagine the dean would have let her in after that
2# - yes, the old dean wouldn’t have. Fortunately for her she did succeed the challenge of hitting him through the barrier.
1# - Really, I assumed the deans magic would have been far more powerful than anything she could have cast
2# - Indeed, that barrier would have blocked even the greatest of magical feats the world has ever known. Fortunately, the spell was made solely to block magical power, and so failed to simple logic and force
1# - you mean she?
2# - Beaned him with a rock, yes. Coroner’s report says he was dead before he hit the floor. For a mage that girl has one hell of an arm
1# - wait, she killed him! Shouldn’t she have been arrested for that?
2# - no one pressed charges, and the new dean apparently approved of her ingenuity. They enrolled her in their alchemist course and she became the most popular girl at the school from what I hear
1# - so the new dean approved his predecessor’s murders ingenuity
2# - while he was prising the official hat of leadership off his predecessors freshy caved in skull, yes
1# - so all this paperwork and there are no leads, just random stories?
2# - it’s not that cut and dry. I’m sure at least one of these reports is the real one, but I’m going to have to go over the crazy ones just to find it. There not all this bad, like for example I just finished going through. A bunch of poachers were brought in by some druids. Although it doesn’t initially look like much, there descriptions of some of the adventurers that took them down sounds a lot like the mad bombers gang. What’s more apparently their wizard got in a commotion with the adventurers spellcaster and they started bouncing fireballs off each other
1# - I’m no wizard, but I don’t think counter spelling works like that. Surely there must be more to it than that
2# - your right. At one point the wizard starts yelling out about what spells their group are casting, causing everyone to start shooting at him. That sure sounds like our mad bombers MO, getting a lot of attention pulled straight towards him while the rest get on with other things. A couple of leads like that one and we might just pin enough down to find him, or at least get a scrying spell on him
3# - Well, I’m glad to hear the investigation is going well
1# - sir, you’re not supposed to…
2# - stand down rookie, its fine. Might I introduce you to the guild-master of the order of the white lotus, the adventuring guild we called in to help us with the investigation.
3# - you know captain, when you said you had some leads to investigate I wasn’t quite expecting this much
2# - well that’s the city guard for you, we don’t do anything in half measures
3# - you know dear, you really don’t look to well, have you gotten any food or rest recently
2# - I had a donut with my extra strong coffee at 3AM if that counts
3# - Well this won’t do. Tell you what, how about you let me have a go with those leads, it is my guild who is supposed to be tracking him down after all. Why don’t you take the rookie to the canteen and finish your stories there?
2# - thank you! But I couldn’t possibly leave all this to you to finish by yourself, it’s far too….
3# - you don’t get to my position in life without learning a few tricks to deal with paperwork, no go get some rest and unwind, leave finding this bomber to me
1# - thank you sir, that’s very generous
3# - come on rookie, I’ll tell you the one about the bomber and the teacup
3# - yes, you don’t get to this position without learning to deal with paperwork
3# - there, all ‘finished’. It’s my job to ‘track’ you down, and when I do I’m going to wring your neck for all the trouble you’ve caused me. And to think I left him to keep a track of the others, what was I thinking
Ghost recon wildlands
Boy, some game.
My beta impressions of the game were hilarious. The game was an incredible mess and still is, but now mostly by design. Or rather the lack of good design. Many issues have been patched, but you can’t patch out poor game design choices!
It’s a half decent operators operating kind of a open world game. Where you go about in a weird version of Bolivia, dismantling the operations of a huge drug cartel as well as give the corrupted military/police/whatever a good kicking on the side.
The game features a huge map where you can choose freely where to go, when to go and clear any area of the map at your on pace, in any order. You essentially go to a zone, gather intel, do story missions and then take down a leader in that zone, move on to the next until bigger guys notice you and then you go after them.
Its open ended in every way, you can do full stealth or go in boom boom bang bang if you so wish, but the more loud option is sometimes the harder option, especially when going against unidad (the military types) since they can call in some pretty dangerous helicopters and such if the fight draws out to be a long one. Though to the games credit, escaping unidad can lead to some hilarious moments here and there.
All this sounds fun on paper, right? Well, honestly. It kind of is sometimes. To my surprise. Though mostly fun in co-op with a friend or two. The AI is not only worthless (makes sense balance wise), but their presence is so weird. They can teleport to your car if you drive past them and don’t pick them up, they barely ever die and it seems like that they can conveniently teleport to your location if you get downed so they can revive you. They are like literal ghosts.
The biggest issue with the AI however is their “banter”. Its so fucking bad. It tries to be this “cool&edgy” grizzled military talk with some pretty cringy, poorly used operator jargon thrown in here and there. It’s all so poorly delivered and the voice actors are just...not good honestly. One of them especially sounds so fucking irritating. They make awful jokes that are not funny in any way and none of them have any character to them.
Their voices are mixed so stupidly in there too. Just adding some reverb when indoors could have helped.
This dialogue is carried over even to co-op, but its slightly less present there. I was mostly playing with one friend, we had markers off (of course the game has that irritating thing where you can see spotted enemies through walls, but you could turn it off, thank god), played on a harder difficulty and I have to say that when you get into the roleplaying mode, the game becomes fun after you get used to its shitty parts.
Still, there is some dialogue there during missions and such and so many times we both went “hooly fuck SHUT UP! YOU ARE RUINING THE MOOD!”.
The open ended nature of the game was to its detriment sometimes. The map is huge and it has many good different areas in it. There are desert areas, a salt flat area, jungles, a marsh, forests, coastal areas. A wide variety of places which was nice. But since the game has this system where you can find the guns and attachments in different regions after you gather intel in those areas, the first 10 hours of the game was “oh, FAMAS is in that zone, lets go there!” and we traveled from one zone to another, just picking up weapons and not doing any of the missions. We could have just...not done that, but there was always some weapon than I or my friend wanted and we just couldn’t control ourselves.
The game also has no structure and the story gets drowned underneath a chaos of random information about the bosses in the areas and such. When you enter a new zone, you get a new video briefing for the boss of that area and it wont go away until you fucking watch it. It all got in the way.
Most of the bosses/leaders were honestly pretty interestingly made character wise, but taking them down felt like taking down any other trivial enemy in most cases aside from few exceptions. One leader we took out accidentally during their main mission. We didn’t realize that the target was there until one of us had accidentally shot her. Not good!
There is a bunch of weapons in the game and most of them handle okay after you get used to them. Most of them are not really useful on paper, but I never get bothered by that. I’ll use guns that I like based on their looks, sometimes I didn’t attach any scopes on them, no lasers most of the time just to make the guns look neat. I like that. Having options on that stuff is always great. The character customization was alright too, but it could have been a bit more extensive. More actual military gear would have been neat.
There is lots of optional stuff that has a purpose. Like gather resources/skillpoints to allow you to get all kinds of perks and new equipment. I liked that, it could have been better, but most of the options there were meaningful. Like more resistance to bullets, getting an EMP or an explosive charge on your drone, a grenade launcher, a parachute for base jumping/jumping from planes etc. There were some pointless ones, but I like how squishy you start out as and you can upgrade yourself to live at least a moment longer in firefights. Allows for some more fun later on.
You can gather resources by tagging stuff in towns, small and large enemy camps, military bases etc.
You can also stop enemy convoys that were always pretty hard, but it was actually fun. Some drive by action that always seemed to go south. Chasing a convoy, people firing back and forth wildly, unidad car driving randomly by, getting hit and then they are added to the mix. Sometimes a fuel truck we were supposed to stop and tag ended up exploding due to it, but it was still fun.
Then there are some building clearing missions, some infuriating “drive to this place before time runs out” stuffs and so on.
The main missions did have a good amount of variety to them. Some forced stealth missions, tailing missions, interrogations and personnel extractions, some simple ones like blow up drug caches.
The ones where you need to grab some guy from a base were the most fun ones. Sometimes we did them mostly by stealth, by it always went to shit towards the end. It almost always ended up in everything exploding, my friend stealing a shitty car from somewhere, we would throw the guy we need into the trunk and drive away. Good stuff.
The stealth system is a bit so so. You can sneak fairly well and as long as you sync up shots and go for close range/melee kills, you can stay undetected pretty well. The is a cover system, but the character sticks to cover automatically. Its fairly smooth, but I sometimes wished that I could have just locked myself into a cover without accidentally jumping out of cover. The enemies are fairly perceptive (atleast on the harder difficulties, I hear they are braindead on normal and apparently rarely notice dead bodies) and they actually flank and investigate areas well.
For some time we played without the minimap too and we had to use mines if we chose to be sniping far away. Few times they surprised us by coming from a weird direction in great numbers and gunned us down before we could say SHIT.
Firefights themselves play out fine. It took a while to learn to aim in the shoulder view without the crosshair, but it wasn’t too hard. There is an actual aim down sights mode that is sometimes a bit awkward, but works fine for medium/long ranges.
Actual close quarters firefights were almost always incredibly awkward. Many of the indoor areas are so cramped and the third person view was to the games detriment there. Sometimes I died when playing solo because the camera would not co-operate with me and I couldn’t see some areas as well as I would have in first person shooters. In Co-op it wasn’t that much a problem since we cleared houses and such at the same time.
I really wish there were more larger indoors areas. There were factories that you could enter, a few mansions, a casino and so on. But they were criminally underused. At least the military bases and cities had a good amount of buildings you could enter.
Sniping was fine balance wise, but the bullet drop was pretty ridiculous. DMR’s for example completely worthless when not in stealth as in stealth enemies have less health. When they are in combat mode, their body armor magically becomes effective. It’s fine honestly, but feels a bit odd how a fucking DMR turns into a worthless piece of junk. Only bolt action snipers were worth it, but I don’t really like sniper rifles so I rarely used those.
I mostly ran with an SMG and LMG setup. Sometimes an AR and a shotgun. When playing with a friend, he did most of the sniping. I would spot targets for him or just go sneak around in some objective area and he watched my back from the distance. It was honestly pretty fun like that.
We mostly drove/flew to places and tried to avoid fast travel, but goddamnit the cars are fucking horrible. They have no weight to them. They are like balloons that have tires glued to them. They slide all over the place, they can climb any surface and any terrain. A sports car has no trouble climbing a steep mountain in the middle of the jungle. The biggest issue really is the lack of weight with them. They feel so weird. Car chases and stopping convoys was still fun when on asphalt roads, but when it went to the dirt roads, it all became nightmarish.
The people saying the game is okay in co-op were right. I’ll give them that. It can be fun when playing with someone you get along with, but overall the open world plague, the lack of refinement and lack of structure really bring this potentially great game down.
I oddly enough enjoyed my time with it and I can see myself dropping back in from time to time if need be. But if you want to operate like an operator operates, just play rainbow six siege.
The game ended up being better than I imagined it would, but its still not great. Its not for everyone and you have to be able to overlook a huge amount of irritations and issues. Most of which you get used to overtime.
One reason why I can look at it so positively is the fact that I didn’t buy this game myself. My friend bought it to me since I refused to drop 60eurodoubloons on this game. So my view on its actual value is a bit all over the place due to this.
If you are not tired of the open world genre, you might actually enjoy this far more than I did.
worth getting from a sale, grab a friend with you and you can have a surprisingly good time. Avoid cars, disable HUD elements and increase the difficulty. Take your time and try to clear areas in order and you might make some sense of the overall story.