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Topic Summary

Posted by: Cloak
« on: Yesterday at 08:41:28 PM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN:
Shallowly Burying the Hatchet

"Look," Aloth said, trying to temper his anger and revulsion. Trying his damnedest to put them aside. "Look, Queen, you don't like me, and I don't like you. But the fact of the matter is we're stuck. We can bicker and feud AFTER we solve this damn mess."

Queen was sorely tempted to make a withering remark about Aloth, but, despite it all, she could not deny the truth of the matter. Despite not really liking it, Queen had to acquiesce to these truths. She had to be nuanced with her decisions here, and she wasn't really accustomed to it. She had to comply with Aloth at this. Or else she would, quite literally, never be free of him. She may have regretted taking him in and putting him into any position of power (though, to be fair, aside from Yorick, Aloth was the only really other intelligent, competent person in the entire Bannedlands aside from herself, as the trolls had really limited intelligence and rather below average competency at best).

"Fine," was all she said.

Then they had to figure out how to coordinate enough to walk in a halfway stable way. They had to walk as if they were in a three-legged race, only at a slow walking speed. They also had to learn how to coordinate their arms as well, as they couldn't use their other ones, as they were pinioned to their sides. Immovable. The Kluge Glue was stronger than any superglue imagined, though very runny when in its hydrated form, which made it very dangerous potentially. Unless an economically-viable dissolvent could be found.

The two moved as one toward the tub that contained the adhesive. It was mostly translucent, like water, with bits of what looked like rose quartz shards and pink diamond shrapnel within it, almost like glitter in glue. The main substance was obviously not water, though. Neither one of the two Banned were particularly gifted in chemistry knowledge without having some method to test and experiment. And both agreed, they did not want to wait that long if they didn't have to.

They tore the laboratory apart looking for the dissolvent solution, apparently neither paying attention that Kluge was actually still trying to devise one when they broke in to steal whatever invention that he might have been working on. Queen had heard about a mind control device that had a rather unique matrix of crystallized blue and white diamonds, but she couldn't find what it was. It never occurred to her that he might have already destroyed that invention because of the inherent dangers it presented to him and his work from unscrupulous intruders who were looking for it for their own schemes and desires.

It did not dawn on either of them to actually wake up Emanuel Kluge, as he would have made their search much easier. But people often have a knack to not see the simplest solutions for any given predicament they find themselves in. Even the wisest man could have difficulty with this, unless the solution makes itself apparent.

"There's nothing here!" Queen burst, unable to contain herself any longer.

"There HAS to be something here," Aloth said, sounding desperate. "ANYTHING."
Posted by: Cloak
« on: Yesterday at 02:58:17 PM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN:
If I Didn't Have You

They continued to bicker back and forth, and -- surprisingly -- this didn't help get anything done. It didn't make their predicament any better or move them any closer to solving it. But, still they continued to poke at each other with all theses jibes and jeers. They both had a tendency to not leave the subject alone and constantly blame the other for their current situation. They both failed to see that this wasn't helping at all.

"-- Only because you're holding me back! If I didn't have you, I could do a lot of things -- a LOT!
I'd be rocking with the winos  Swinging with the winos.
I'd de-Queenize this cave in a minute!
Aloth, they would sing,
'Cause I would be the Banned king.
I would love this world without you in it!
If I didn't have you!
"

"If you didn't have me?" Queen said, miffed and offended.

"If I didn't have you!"

"Well, how about if I didn't have you, huh?"

Than they sang together, but in an antagonistic way:

'Oh, what I could be if there was only me!
Oh, what I'd do if I didn't have you!
"

Then Queen belted out:

"If only we were separated apart,
And you were the target for my darts.
I'd be the star of R-A-F, a lot!
You'd be the fool that the whole world forgot!
If I didn't have you!
"

Aloth declared, "I should be so lucky!"

"If I didn't have you!"


"Oh, wait! You'd be dead!" Aloth announced.

Then both sang:

"Oh, what I could be if there was only me!  Oh, what I'd do if I didn't have you!  Oh, what I'd do if I didn't have you!"

"Trapped! Aah! Trapped!" Queen said, as she tried to free herself from Aloth, as she considered if this was a permanent situation.

"Stuck here with you for like 500 years!" Aloth snarled.

"Oh dear, it's learned to count." Queen said, condescendingly.

"If I'd gotten me a good lawyer, I would have split a long time ago!" Aloth said.

"Now, listen here, pal! I didn't come here to be insulted!" Queen argued.

"Oh?" Aloth asked. "Then where do you usually go?"

Queen gave him the stink eye, as she decried,

"You'd be nothing without me!
You'd be extinct! You'd cease to be!
"

"I'm so tired of your nagging!"

"And I'm so tired of your bragging!"

"Without me you'd have no brain. . ."

Both sang:

". . . with which to think!"

Then they started to sing their respective verses, overlapping each other. This made a cacophonous mess. Then they concluded.

"I would love this world without you in it! If I didn't have you!
If I didn't have you!If I didn't have you!
Life could be so sweet if we were never to meet!
What I'd do if I didn't have you!?
"

After a brief period of silence, they finally realized that this wasn't helping matters either. This, after all, wasn't a Disney movie.



SOURCE SONG: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-nNhGikahU
Posted by: Cloak
« on: Yesterday at 08:06:20 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER TWELVE:
Saddled Together

"WHAT DID YOU DO?! WHAT DID YOU MAKE ME DO?!" Queen demanded shrilly.

"I didn't make you do anything, Queen!" Aloth protested angrily. "You have your own agency! I will not take responsibility for your own actions! Not anymore!"

"It's your fault. All of this is your fault!"

"You are so damn unreasonable." Aloth said, resuming his efforts to twist away from Queen. But there wasn't anything to be done about it. He was hopelessly stuck to the one person he wanted to get away from the most. "You're so damn unwilling to admit fault, to take any responsibility for any of the negative consequence of your OWN decisions! You tell other people that they need to grow up, shame them as if they were basement-dwelling neckbeards, but you aren't as mature and grown-up as you THINK you are!!"

"Stop your babbling, fool, and fix your mistake!"

"Why do I bother trying to talk to you?" Aloth said, making no effort to lower his voice. "Why do I bother trying to reason with you?"

"Be silent and fix this, Aloth!"

"I will NOT be silent!!" the Banned snarled back. "Get a clue, Queen! You're not my boss, and I am NOT going to treat you as such. You need a hard reality check right now, you arrogant piece of --"

"Me? What about YOU, Aloth?" Queen said. She was very obviously trying to flip the conversation while not acknowledging a thing Aloth said. "From what I know of you and what I heard about you before you came crawling to me when you were Banned --"

"I DIDN'T crawl to you when I was Banned," Aloth protested hotly. "I was sent to the Bannedlands and just happened into you. And I allowed you to treat me like a goddamn servant for too long. I allowed you to treat me little more than you treated the TROLLS."

"When you came crawling to me when you were Banned," Queen said, plainly ignoring everything Aloth said and not bothering to take it into account. "You aren't the pinnacle of virtues like you're currently pretending to be. You were a liar and deceptive. At least I'm forthright and honest with everything I do. You thrive in insincerity and deception. You revel in lies and mistruths."

"You're making things up, Queen," Aloth said, now on the defensive.

Which was precisely what Queen wanted. She had turned the tables on Aloth. She felt that she allowed him to prattle on too long and had to put him in his place. She was far too kind to allow him to babble his vitriolic nonsense as long as he did. But her kindness had a limit, as with all powerful people. She felt as if she could take criticisms but not if they had, she felt, no basis in fact or reality. Aloth's skewed perspective was clearly not cemented in reality, she thought. She had to ground him back to reality.

"How many times did you try to return to the forum after you were Banned, Aloth? Thirteen?" Queen asked. "You must forgive me, but the story was so pathetic that I didn't bother remembering."

"It's -- I wasn't -- I didn't --" Aloth spluttered. He didn't have a comeback for this. He wasn't prepared for Queen to go in this direction.

"At least when I was Banned, I left with dignity and respect." Queen said, standing a bit taller. Of course, she neglected to mention the fight that she got into with the other RAFians about race relations and how she kept attacking Cloak, despite Cloak trying to reason with her, granted he got heated with her barbs. "And, once Banned, I never returned."

"That's bunk," Aloth said, finally having grounds for a comeback. "You spent several times, several schemes, to try to take over the forum, and oust the mods running it."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Queen said, rather smoothly, though her eyes burned with anger.

"Bull," Aloth said, turning the tables on Queen this time. "You tried to invade and overthrow the mods no less than nineteen times! Possibly more than that, I lost count after nineteen."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Queen denied.

"You don't?" Aloth said, refusing to let up. "You should remember, especially when you allowed that Realm Walker to take the lead that one time*."

"That never happened," Queen said, repressively.

"Just because you refuse to acknowledge it, doesn't mean that it didn't happen." Aloth said.



* Book 1.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: February 18, 2018, 05:02:30 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER ELEVEN:
A Sticky Situation

The entire left side of Queen and the entire right side of Aloth were covered with the Kluge Glue. And you couldn't say that Kluge didn't warn them, granted he could have done so beforehand if not for his determination to be absolutely polite to a fault. But the two Banned found themselves stuck to each other, Queen's left arm and Aloth's right arm pinioned against the sides of the other, and her left leg and his right leg were as if they were one. No matter how they tried to twist and contort themselves, they could not get unstuck.

"What the --" Aloth said, desperate to get away from Queen, to be free once more.

"What is this nonsense?!" Queen demanded.

"Interesting," Kluge found himself fascinated. The Kluge Glue seemed to have been a bit runnier than he had anticipated, and apparently soaked through the two intruder's clothing and allowed this fusion of the two. He was very tempted to experiment and satisfy his scientific curiosity. But he resisted this excitement, thinking it to be improper and impolite. There was a societal procedure to these sorts of thing, he knew. He would have to make sure the two were medically safe first and then --

"LOOK AT WHAT YOU DID, YOU BUFFOON!"

Queen wasn't addressing Kluge. She was blaming this all on Aloth, who was used to this sort of reaction, but he had no intention on letting her scapegoat him once again.

"What I did?!" Aloth countered, shrilly. "Oh-ho-ho-ho no, Queen. No. You're not putting this on me."

"It's your fault!" Queen shrieked, as if that would make it true."

"It is not!" Aloth responded in kind. "I will NOT be taking sole responsibility for this, Queen!"

"You shall!" Queen snarled. "Because you are at fault!"

"You slammed your fist down on the counter too!" Aloth said. "You are equally responsible!"

"I am not! I will not allow your lies to besmirch my flawless reputation!"

"You are so full of yourself!" Aloth shouted back. "You will not push this off on me, just so you can save face! This is just as much your fault as it is my own! At least I'm grown-up enough to be able to take my share of the responsibility! You can't even do that!"

"You don't know what you're talking about, you dimwitted --"

"Don't call me dimwitted!" Aloth snarled. "And don't even THINK to call me 'Number Two'!"

"You two need to calm down," Kluge said, finally stepping in, trying to defuse the situation. "There is a dissolution solution that I --"

"SHUT UP!!!"

And both of them knocked him out.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: February 17, 2018, 05:42:05 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER TEN:
The Argument


"What am I doing here?" she said, slowly. Her anger simmering slowly. Dangerously. "The question, Aloth, is what are YOU doing here?"

"I asked first!" Aloth said, ripping away his poor disguise.

Kluge was relegated to the sidelines, forced to watch this argument as if he was at a tennis match. He didn't much appreciate being sidelined in such a way, but he was unable to get a word in edgewise. Yeah, that tended to grate on him, and his propensity for politeness in inordinate circumstances. He was taught the lessons of politeness too well as a child, apparently, as he didn't try to object while either one of the Banned were speaking. He tried to get a word in edgewise one or twice, before it became perfectly obvious that that would never happen. So he stopped trying to find a way to interject into their little spat until he could find a more auspicious opening.

"You don't tell me what to do, Aloth!" Queen had countered swiftly and easily. "It is I who have such a distinction."

"Oh my god, you think that you are so smart, don't you, Queen?" Aloth snarled. "Well, news flash, prima donna -- you aren't. You aren't nearly as all-knowing as you think you are!"

"And you think that you're smart? You don't have enough intelligence to even have the semblance of being even remotely intelligent." she said, scathingly. "That disguise, for instance. A toddler of three could see right through it. And, yet, you pride yourself on being a so-called master of disguise. Your disguises always have a piss poor, lazy quality about them, Aloth!

"You lie!" Aloth retorted. "You think you're so great, so high and mighty, so holier-than-thou. And, yet, you OBSESS over that goddamn forum. They BANNED you from there, just as I was. Only difference is that I don't constantly harp on and on and on about it. I don't care if you don't think it was justified -- it's really old, Queenie."

"And you don't harp on about your Banning?" Queen said. "But never mind that now. Stand aside, boy, while I procure what I want."

"No, Queen. You don't seem to get it." Aloth said, voice low and dangerous. "You don't call the shots. Not anymore."

"The hell I don't!" she shouted, slamming her fist on the table. The table that had the vibranium tub with the Kluge Glue on it. Queen was getting quite careless, in her anger. Kluge wanted to warn her about it, but he still couldn't get a word in edgewise, as the argument was getting more and more heated. Kluge was helpless to stop this -- unless he was willing to be rude, and he was taught, severely, to never be impolite. And Aloth escalated this argument even further by getting in Queen's face.

"The hell you do!" Aloth said, intending to shove Queen. He didn't care about treating this annoying woman with kid gloves. She wanted to push him? He would push back. Literally, if necessary. "I am so SICK of this attitude of yours. What exactly makes you my boss, Queen? Why are you 'Number One'? I'll tell you why, Queen. You're only 'Number One' BECAUSE YOU DECIDED THAT YOU WERE. And I'm not going along with it anymore!"

"You don't know want you're talking about," Queen said, dismissing everything that Aloth just said. "I'm Number One because I'm the smartest, strongest, and generally best in the Bannedlands."

This wasn't really anything to boast about.

"The hell that you are!" Aloth said, slamming his fist upon the table.

"Watch out!" Kluge said, but his warning came too late. He really should have spoken up before now.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: February 16, 2018, 05:15:02 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER NINE:
The Other One

"What the -- what are you doing here?" Kluge demanded, finally dropping his politeness. He was starting to really consider getting a new security system, The current one clearly isn't cutting it. "What do you want?"

It was another shadowy figure. This one was distinctly feminine, wearing some sort of regal dress and having her hair teased into a hairdo that Kluge couldn't begin to guess the name of. But that wasn't important, Kluge didn't care about those specifics. He wanted to know what there were two uninvited people breaking into his lab. It couldn't possibly be about the moodulators again. He had destroyed them all. Granted, he never did find the remote control device that activates them, but he was sure that he would eventually find it again. He would gut it, so the parts could be used elsewhere. That was his intentions, anyway.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk," the woman intruder said, in a slow manner. A manner eerily similar to the simpering tones that Malice loved to use when she was being coy with Cloak. "Perhaps you need to lock your front door more often, you bumbling oaf."

"I asked you a question, miss," he said, showing this intruder more respect and politeness than she deserved. Although, he had a bite of impatience in his tone now. "What. Do. You. Want?"

"How rude!" said the figure, turning towards Kluge. "Is that any way to treat a guest in your laboratory?"

"Guest?" Kluge snorted. "You broke in, miss. You aren't in a position to claim guest rights."

"I walked in," she corrected, "again, the door was unlocked."

"Still, you came, unbidden and unwanted," Kluge countered, "why should I allow you guest rights?"

"You can't offer a weary traveler such treatment?" she said sounding distinctly condescending. "Are you always so callous with your words?"

Kluge couldn't help but feel like he had been slapped across the face.

"Ma'am," he said, trying very hard not to be cross. "I would appreciate if you didn't come into my domicile and insult me to my --"

"I don't really care what you would appreciate or not, you rotund nincompoop," Queen said, as she stepped into the light. She allowed what she clearly thought was an intimidating countenance and imperious demeanor to wash over the dumpy man. Kluge was hardly impressed. He was just very weary of all these interruptions and intrusions to his work. Not to mention that he was finding himself very tired of the sheer rudeness of all five (and hopefully no more) intruders that thus far had infringed upon him.

"Now, you rolly-polly little idiot," she said, insulting him more freely now because she wasn't getting any push back from the round, stout man. "Where is your new little project? The sticky stuff?"

"The Kluge Glue is not ready for the market yet, madam," he spoke the last word as if it was an insult. "I still --"

"Don't like to me, you flappy excuse for a human being," she said, abusively. "Where is it?"

"What the hell are you doing here?" said a voice behind Kluge.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: February 15, 2018, 11:58:59 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER EIGHT:
Breaking and Entering

Kluge was puttering around in his lab. It was your standard laboratory setting -- sterilized surfaces, sparkling white everywhere there wasn't the silver of metal. It wasn't a particularly large laboratory, but it wasn't as cramped or dilapidated as one might assume, neither. Everything was neat and orderly. Kluge loved it -- loved this place. He spent almost every waking moment within this place. It was only when he had to take care of biological needs that he ever left. He actually lived in a small efficiency apartment, a studio apartment, that was located upstairs from this spacious laboratory. And he paid for it out-of-pocket, somehow. Probably due to his past inventions that made things only slightly easier to live in the city, despite all the unusual goings-on happening there. He made enough to continue his experiments, and that's all that he really cared about.

Sure, he was primarily a neuroscientist, but that didn't mean that he wasn't knowledgeable in other fields. He would often admit that he dabbled. Dabbled in chemistry, biology, biochemistry, etcetera, etcetera. Granted, knowledge of the human brain was his strongest suit, he acknowledged it himself. Although he didn't have the best sense of cause and effect. He never understood the sheer severity of the consequences of his moodulators until it was very late in the process and less scrupulous people tried to take them from him. Kluge always tried to see the best of things and tended to overlooked the dangers the ramifications of his inventions and decisions.

And it was the same with this adhesive, this quantum glue, as it were. He just saw it as a useful product, but did not see how it could be used negatively. Though he seemed to be aware of the fact that accidents may happen, which is why he was trying to develop a solution that would dissolve the glue should such an incident happen. He thought it prudent before potentially marketing it under the name of Kluge Glue. He'd put that Elmer guy out of business easily.

He heard shattering glass -- and he briefly thought that the Kluge Glue would make window repair easier, disregarding the idea that no one would have the patience to glue together every shard of glass back into place. He wondered idly if he should go investigate or stay within his laboratory, his safe space. It probably would be more prudent to ascertain nothing was damaged other than the window, he considered. He walked back into his living quarters, which was up a short staircase to his left, and saw that there was a shadowy figure standing between him and his queen-sized bed, which was still disheveled and unmade despite the fact that it was nearing dinnertime and the sun was going down.

"Excuse me, sir," Kluge said, announcing himself. This was not a good idea. It's never a good idea to reveal your location to a home invader in such a way -- especially if one looked as unhinged and violent as Kluge thought that this one did. "Excuse me, but I take umbrage at your breaking of my window and entering my premises without my permission."

Kluge may have been brilliant when inside his laboratory, but, socially? Socially, he was as dumb as a brick. The shadowy figure snapped his attention to Kluge and approached him in what was supposed to be a slow, intimidating way. Only Kluge wasn't intimidated, but looking rather annoyed. He saw that this figure had no knife or firearm. His stringy, thin frame indicated that he wasn't a fighter.

"Sir, please drop the pretense," Kluge said, succinctly.

"Where is it?" came his voice. It sounded as if he was trying to affect a gravelly voice, but the effort was a poor one.

"And what 'it' is it you seek?" Kluge said, deciding to indulge this buffoonish burglar. "I have many 'its' which you many seek."

"SHOW IT TO ME!!" the figure demanded, coming into the light to reveal a poorly disguised Aloth.

"You must be more specific, sir," Kluge said, being unnecessarily polite with this home invader.

Just then, Kluge heard something shatter behind him, from his laboratory. He completely disregarded Aloth and rushed to his lab.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: February 13, 2018, 11:03:13 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER SEVEN:
Obliviousness and Oaths

Kluge had made the adhesive, quantumly enhanced somehow, but he had yet to conjure up the solution that would break down the adhesive. This adhesive was so strong that it bound together two surfaces, no matter the composition, almost immediately. The only thing that it really didn't bind totether so strongly was if one of those surfaces was insubstantial, like energy, or vibranium or nth metal. Adamantium could cut through it, but it was able to bonded to it if still unset or "wet".

Kluge dabbed his balding head with a hankerchief. He was sweating profusely. This was proving to be hard work, especially since he was a neuroscientist by trade and training, and inventing was more of a hobby of his.

He breathed through his prominent and bulbous nose very audibly, obviously he had exerted himself and expended a great amount of energy on this little side project of his. But he was happy to do it, and he didn't even need any grant money to do this project. It was all out-of-pocket for him, as he discovered this adhesive completely by accident.

He patted his lab coat which was draped over his stout, rotund body loosely, almost casually. He was looking for -- ah, never mind. It wasn't there.

But none of these solutions seemed to work. Perhaps that seaweed extract might work. Or that seeds from those pomegranates. Or maybe some loquat leaf oil extract. Or maybe a honeydew rind? A grape stem? A tomato vine? Hmmm . . .

***

GH and Leatherhead were in their thread, and Leatherhead was playing his keytar, while still wearing his human suit, which was synonymous to a play suit a normal human child his age would wear. GH was cooking them some lunch.

They had already gone over the moodulator control business and settled everything. Leatherhead wasn't even punished, but he still felt that he had let GH down, though he didn't say this. He didn't like feeling like that, if he was honest.

As he played, as sang in his thoughts:

Proud of your son.
I'll make you proud of your son.
Believe me, bad as I've been, Daddy,
You're in for a pleasant surprise!
I've been one naughty kid.
Some kid, some pride, and some joy.
But I'll get over these lousin' up,
Messin' up, screwin' up times!
You'll see, Daddy, now comes the better part.
Someone's gonna make good
Cross his stupid heart!
Make good and finally make you
Proud of your son!
Water flows under the bridge,
Let it pass, let it go!
There's no good reason that you should believe me,
Not yet, I know, but
Someday, and soon,
I'll make you proud of your son.
Though I can't make myself taller
Or smarter or handsome or wise!
I'll do my best -- what else can I do?
Since I wasn't born perfect like you.
Daddy, I will try to
Try hard to make you
Proud of your son.

"LH, it's lunchtime," GH said, gently. Then he took a look at his adoptive son. "Leatherhead, are you okay?"

Leatherhead deftly turned his head away, wiping away tears that he wished to hide. "I'm fine, Daddy."



SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=kV3D1ASN7Xc
Posted by: Cloak
« on: February 12, 2018, 03:48:09 PM »

Sorry that this book's story is progressing so slowly. Hopefully, because what I have in mind, it will pay off.

New chapter.

CHAPTER SIX:
Aloth and Queen Alone

Aloth had been fuming and grousing for a long time after what he felt and hoped to be the final confrontation with Queen. She was really too full of herself. He did everything -- EVERYTHING! While she sat up in her little throne room upon her paper mache chair. Aloth was sure -- sure! -- the Bannedlands were verdant fields with sparkling water just like the forum both he and Queen were Banned from.

Perhaps he should have lied better or maybe have not have been so rude, and he did don several unique and clever disguises, to get back into the forum. He, to this day, didn't know how they were seen through -- despite the disguises being quite easily seen through. He never seemed to realize that he wasn't a cartoon protagonist, and such disguises only worked within the confines of those realms. But he was certain, in his own arrogant, supercilious way, that those disguises were infallible. The Mark wasn't a thing at this point, and, as such, neither was the scar-like Mark of the Banned. So, his disguising abilities were . . . less than impressive.

He eventually stopped when they forced him into the Bannedlands, and he lost his resources to make any more of, in his opinion, his ingenius disguises. And after awhile, he felt his skill atrophied (though the fact of whether he even had talent -- well, consensus would have that he didn't). He had only served Queen until this point because she intimidated him. Until she had him fed up with the piss poor treatment.

Then he saw a stucco building off to his right, about nine o'clock. He thought that he might have some resources there to make a disguise. . . .

***

Queen was fuming and grousing just as much as Aloth, upon her ramshackle throne. She had decreed once that this throne be made from the blood and bones of her enemies, from which she can oversee her relentless reign of terror over the troll masses. She sat with her hand on her cheek, bored and irritated with the limited intelligence of the trolls which made up the entirety of the Bannedlands which she ruled over with an iron fist -- which was incredibly difficult with trolls, considering how abjectly stupid they were.

Especially those with the trumpet horns*. They were more stupid than the rest, and apparently they took pride in their stupidity, misconstruing it as shrewdness of thought and, ironically enough, intelligence. They were easy enough to mislead with propaganda and misinformation, as they swallowed it with little difficulty or skepticism. It helped that they saw skepticism as stupidity -- which, again, was ironic in its way. But this held no enjoyment for Queen, who found conversations with a brick wall as more scintillating conversations than those with these trolls, especially with the Trumpet Horns.

It's the reason why she didn't banish Yorick and Aloth away, despite Yorick bening there before her, roughly. She was the leader here. She called the shots here. She gave the orders, and everyone else was expected to follow them. Aloth included!

How dare he . . . ! How dare he sass her like that! How dare he turn his back on her! She hadn't gave him permission to leave! She hadn't allowed it!! And, yet, he still left!! The gall! The gall that he had to disobey her!! Disobey a direct command, a direct order, she issued!

Those RAFians had the same problem. They refused to see when she clearly knew better. They refused to obey her when she clearly knew what was best for the moment. She knew so much more than those . . . those . . . those CHILDREN.

She took two deep breaths, quickly recognizing that she was working herself into a state. She calmed herself down, and looked upon her iPad-like contraption. Then she smiled, seeing something that she would want for her own.



* I doubt anyone who isn't FaceBook friends of mine would get this reference.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: February 11, 2018, 06:46:40 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER FIVE:
Who Needs You?

"Watch me, Queen," Aloth said.

Queen grabbed his upper arm tightly, to which Aloth smacked her. Her shock was the only thing that allowed Aloth to pull free of her grip.

"How dare you strike me, Aloth," she said.

"Who needs you?" Aloth said angrily.

"And who needs you?" Queen countered angrily.

Aloth pointed an accusing finger at Queen.

"I need you like a hole in the head."

Queen responded with pointing a finger as if she were Phoenix Wright.

"And I need you like a bug in the bed."

Aloth countered:

"You constantly bite the hand that feeds you!"

Both sang:

"Who needs you? Not me!!"

Aloth sang:

"I need you like a punch in the gut!"

Queen sang:

"Oh, yeah? And I need you like a kick in the butt!
You truly disgrace the race that breeds you!
"

Both sang:

"Who needs you? Not me!!"

Queen sang:

"Who needs you?
You're ugly as sin.
Just a scraggly bag of skin!
"

Aloth countered again:

"And who needs you?
You're thin-skinned and a bore,
Draggin' your trolls 'round the floor!
"


"Oh, I need you like a boulder on my toes!"

"And I need you like a sock on my nose!
I'm shocked and appalled by your behavior.
"

"Don't try bein' nice
'Cause that won't save ya!
"

Together they sang:

"I'm better off without you I can see.
So, who needs you? Not me!!
"

Aloth sang:

"I need you like a cold in July![/]"

Queen countered:

"And I need you like a punch in the eye!"

"Of all the dumb beasts
Not one precedes you!
"

Together, they sang:

"Who needs you? Not me!!"

Queen sang:

"I need you like I need a disease!

Aloth countered:

"Oh-ho, and I need you like the sun needs to freeze! . . . Again.
For quickness of mind,
A rock outspeeds you!
"

They sang together:

"Who needs you? Not me!!"

Queen sang:

"Who needs you?
You cross-eyed crazy critter.
You twitter and squawk
And you're knock-kneed when you walk!
"

Aloth countered:

"And who needs you?
Ya flat-foot, four-foot quitter!
You're bitter and you're mad
'Cause you're as ugly that cad!!
"

"Oh, I need you like I need some more teeth!"

"I lift a rock and find you underneath!
I'm deeply upset by your demeanor!
"

"I know that I'm mean
But you're de meaner!
"

They then sang in unison:

"No more unlikely pair could ever be!"

Queen sang:

"The word is incompatibility!"

Aloth countered:

"Not only that,
We don't get on, you see!
"

Together, they sang:

"So, who needs you,
Except the race that breeds you?
Who needs you?
"

Queen:

"Not me!!"

Aloth:

"Not me!!"

"Not me!!"

"Not me!!"

Together, they concluded:

"Not me!"

With that, they go their separate ways, with Queen now becoming the sole Banned in the Bannedlands.



SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=TxigJoKRv1Q
Posted by: Cloak
« on: February 09, 2018, 05:31:09 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER FOUR:
A Parting of Ways

"Yeah, yeah," Aloth said, "when I'm good and ready."

"DO AS I SAY, YOU WORTHLESS PIPSQUEAK!!" Queen roared.

"Ya know something?" Aloth countered, rounding on Queen. "You're nothing without me."

"WHAT?!"

"Who comes up with all the good ideas? Me!" Aloth shouted. "Who does all the work? Me!"

"If it weren't for ME, you'd be out on your own, starving and alone!"

Suddenly, as Aloth was getting fed up, music started up.

"That's it! I've had it!
I hate to be dramatic,
But it's time for me to fly the coop.
Terrific! Fine!
I'm drawin' the line
Before I wind up in a Grammy's* soup!
I was a fool to let you run the show.
I'm cuttin' ya loose, pal!
Look out below!
Arrividerci! C'est la vie!
Hope all goes well!
I'm lookin' out for me!
"

With that, Aloth stormed outside and strode away from the Banned headquarters as the troll army looked on stupidly.

"Okay! I'm little,
Been playin' second fiddle,
And I don't get any respect.
I turn the other cheek,
But this busted beak
Is the only thanks that I get!
I never found a friend that I can trust.
They promise caviar,
And leave me eatin' dust!
That's some reward for loyalty.
From here on in,
I'm lookin' out for me!
Oh, I don't need nobody else.
I'll never fail,
I'll cover my own tail.
I can take care of myself!
"

Queen, always the control freak, was outraged that Aloth got out from under thumb, and began to follow him.

"You know, it just don't pay
To give a hoot.
I'm givin' all my heart
What do I get?
The boot!
I'm through with that,
I'm walkin' free!
From here on in,
I'm lookin' out for me!
"

"Not unless I say you can!" Queen roared. "Whether you want to admit it, Number Two, you need me!"



SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=DxgHLsF2hio

* A "TFS At the Table" reference.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: February 08, 2018, 11:11:30 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER THREE:
A Sticky Solution

Dr. Emanuel Kluge had found his new project. He was working on an adhesive that he could make bank off of. He was designing it on a quantum level, trying to make the ultimate adhesive -- better than superglue. Ultra glue! Perhaps calling it "Ultra Goo"? Nah, that's stupid. "Ultra glue" will serve as the proper nomenclature.

He had only expected to make it on the molecular level, which would have been significantly easier than the end result. But this was beyond that. This adhesive would not let go. And it would be very dangerous to get on one's skin or clothing.

There was no dissolving agent he discovered, though he did suspect of a possible one. But he had yet to make this solution or test it.

***

Meanwhile, in the Bannedlands, Queen was talking to AlothAssassin with her grandiose plans. Aloth wasn't really interested, but Queen took no notice of this. She only did when Aloth posed a question of who would get top billing. Correctly interpreting her silence, he asked if his name would even get any billing whatsoever.

"Yes, my name -- space bar, space bar, space bar -- your name."

Aloth was less than pleased with such an answer. He was even less than pleased when she started to sing:

"I'm number one,
You're number two.
We're Banned at large,
But I'm at larger than you.
I'm number one,
You're number two.
I believe in equality
As long as you get less than me!
I'm one --
"

Aloth tonelessly spoke-sang:

"You're one --"

"You're number two!"

"I'm number two."

Queen started the next verse, singing directly to Aloth:

"You may think that you're smarter,
But I'm smarter than you!
I'm number one!
You're number two!
You're lucky to be number two,
Not number three!
I can see by the look in your eye that
You want to get the bigger piece of the pie
One day, you'll get your chance.
But in the meantime, you've got to dance monkey dance!
"

Aloth snarled, "I hate dancing."

"Do it!
"Dance, monkey, dance!"
Ha ha!"

Aloth spoke-sung bitterly:

"I'm number two.
She's number one.
I can't believe I'm working for this comedian.
I'm number two.
She's number one.
"

"I'm number one!"

"You know life's gone to the dogs
When your boss is an ideologue.
I can see it's just a matter of time before she's gone
And I'm at the front of the line.
It won't be long 'til I get my chance.
But, in the meantime, I've got to dance, monkey, dance.
"

"Dance, monkey, dance!
Now, watch me!
I'm number one!
"

"She's number one."

"You're number two!"

"I'm number two."

"That's it, kid. There you go.
Now step aside, this ain't your show!
I'm one!
"

"I'm one."

"I'm number one!"

"Yes, we know!"

"I'm number one!
That's how it's done!
"

Aloth was still less than impressed.

"Aloth," Queen said, in what she clearly thought was a commanding, impressive way, "go get the thing!"



SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=e4m27BipdvQ
Posted by: Cloak
« on: February 06, 2018, 11:15:13 AM »

Sorry that I'm not posting as regularly as I used to, it's mostly me being tired from work and developing another series (seperate from Memoirs and RAFians) that I actually like how its shaping up.

New chapter.

CHAPTER TWO:
Set Yourself Free

Cloak was back in the prison that was his mother's house. He sang to himself:

"Locked inside a shack.
Kept behind a wall.
Sheltered from a realm I've barely known.
That’s the way she treats me.
And what’s worst of all --
Who's to blame? Just me and me alone.
"

Then the scene cinematically fades to a blank background as Wheeza comes up, and places her hand on her shoulder. This was big since Realm Walkers weren't big on the contact comfort thing that humans and other Dwellers are all too familiar with.

Wheeza sang:

"There's much more inside of you than anyone can see ,
And now the choice is yours.
Life waits beyond the doors.
So, step on through, the time has come,
And only you can set yourself free!
No one else can tell you what to do
Or who to be!
No one gets to say if you will stay or go.
So, use the gifts you're given.
Make the world your own.
Look inside your heart and find the key,
And set yourself free!
"

He had left with her. It is important to note that at this point, it was obvious that this was a dream, and Cloak was even semi-lucid. He was lucid enough to know that none of this was really real, and Wheeza was just some oneirokinetic construct, but it was like a memory. A cherished memory.

"Bound up by your worries .
Trapped by your mistakes.
Forced to play a role you never chose.
Why not test your limits?
You've got what it takes!
Let it out and follow where it goes!
No more letting someone else define you to a tee.
You know that you are strong.
You've known it all along.
So seize the day, let down your hair.
You’ll find a way to set yourself free!
"

Cloak wanted so badly for this to be more than just a memory. That Wheeza had come back for him, like Sage, like Aniyu . . . but she couldn't. He knew it, deep down. But that didn't mean he couldn't wish with all his heart for it to be so.

"Now it's up to you and what you'll do,
And who you'll be.
You get to decide how far and wide you go.
So, look to the horizon,
Open up your wings!
Fly away to find your destiny
And set yourself free
"

And with the ending note, she vanished into nothingness, leaving Cloak crying out, "No! Please! Don't leave me again! Wheeza! Don't . . . leave me."

It was at this point that Cloak awoke, and he immediately flung his legs over his bed. He haunched over and buried his faces in his hands.

"Why?" he bawled. He was alone and unseen in his windowless thread. So he didn't feel any compunction to "man up". "Why is this so hard?"



SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=Xdk4ETEvBCM
Posted by: Cloak
« on: February 06, 2018, 06:23:33 AM »

New chapter.

BOOK CLXV:
BOUND TOGETHER

CHAPTER ONE:
Astro Nut

Parker was dispatched to the local planetarium. He wasn't exactly enthused about going after another fiend. He wondered how many more they had left to take care of. Demos really had too much time to create all these things -- he had clearly abused his laboratory privileges.

His reluctance to do this wouldn't make it go any faster, so he pressed onward into the planetarium. And, from the moment he stepped into the planetarium, he knew something was up.

It looked as if he stepped onto a techno-organic alien world, one that was overly saccharine and kid-friendly. Parker, suffice it to say, wasn't a fan.

"Tyr, screen out the holograms," Parker said. After a few minutes, Parker snarled, "Don't you sass me, just do it."

Suddenly, through his helmet, he saw the planetarium as it really was. Granted, if he removed his helmet, he would see the hologram yet again, as it was the helmet filtering out the hologram. He trotted through the planetarium, until he ran into another hologram, different from the previous one. It was an indoor, three-dimensional maze of cartoonish structures and button puzzles.

"Tyr, stop being a petulant child," Parker barked. "I distinctly said to filter out all of the holograms."

Once again, the hologram faded as Parker ignored Tyr's complaints. The two were like an old married couple at this point. Then he continued along, until he ran into yet another hologram. This one of a sinking building and he would have to climb upwards to escape, if he was to follow along with the premise of the hologram.

"Tyr . . ." Parker said, now getting annoyed.

The hologram vanished, and Parker continued along. He was nearing the heart of the facility, and the fiend would be lurking there, he knew. But then another hologram started up, a new maze. But it vanished before Parker could say a word.

With that, Parker made it to the central part of the facility, and he was right. The fiend was here, floating in the upper left corner of the room. The fiend had a red screen with pale purplish-black dots which passed for eyes. Its cranium was silver with a barometer like structure as a crest. It had an all-metal collar around its sunken with white highlight. It had spherical golden shoulders, and thick, silver arms. Its spherical hands were white with four thick silver fingers and one thick thumb on each one. It had a white backpack and a black regulator-type on the center of its chest. It had a white waist, and spherical white lower body, evidently able to manipulate its own personal gravity, as well as two spherical orbs orbiting around it.

It noticed him, and seemed terrified of having to fight him. Parker almost felt bad, until he reminded himself that this fiend had already severely injured a planetary worker, while the others managed to escape. And the fiend provoked the attack by attacking Parker first.

It basically caused its orbiting orbs to bounce of the walls and attack Parker, who just took out his gun and began to snipe at the fiend. Some shots went into the orbs, but most hit home. After about seven shots, the fiend was disposed off. Dissolving into ashes, as all of the fiends before now did.

Parker then left.

***

Demos called it an "astrosapien", and that he designed it as a mascot of sorts for a planetarium (which was unsolicited). He wouldn't go more into the subject.

***

Malice found it irritatingly frustrating at her perception of the fiend's cowardice, and just how easy and uneventful that battle was.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: February 05, 2018, 05:00:47 PM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER NINETEEN:
A Searching Sniper

Blaze was dispatched to a jungle area where the most recent fiend was found, wrecking havoc. Blaze was not a fan of this jungle. It pressed in so tightly around him, almost in a claustrophobic sort of way. There was not nearly enough room for him to extend his wings to their full wingspan, which led him to feel the whole place was confining. It didn't help that the native species felt a rather disobliging inclination to be busy just now when he needed to get through this heavy foliage.

"Why me?" he moaned as he pressed onward.

He pressed on, until the point that he had to use his sword to slash some of the thicker vegetation. Imagine his elation when he saw the open sky. He saw some odd brackets, as if someone with a whip or a whip-like appendage or flagellum of some sort could use them to swing onward. He didn't need to such a thing -- he had wings, and, by gum, he was gonna use them.

He shot from the spot on which he stood, and elated on being in the air. Feeling the wind in his face, the buoyant lift on his wings that kept him aloft. Was there ever such a feeling of freedom? He floated above what appeared to be an abandoned military base that was nearly entirely reclaimed by the jungle.

Wait, no. That emblem. This was another discarded Cadmus base. Those guys had bases EVERYWHERE, it seemed.

Blaze burst through several unmaintained blast doors, not even landing or slowing down, showcasing his aerial agility and his pyrokinetic accuracy. And, yes, he was showboating a little. It was in no time when he came upon the fiend in a heavily forested area with a canopy "ceiling" and bushes everywhere.

The bicephalic fiend had camouflage pattern swathed over it. Its right cranium was like a sniper's camouflage helmet, with a black mouth plate and two human-like eyes (blue sclera and pale brown irises). Its left head had a human like face and tawny hair, and its eyes had pale brown sclera and blue irises. Both necks were white, with green collars. Its wide, broad torso was colored in camouflage, with a scope inside it, and its comedically large, dark red shoulders. Connected to these shoulders were white and their forearms were in camouflage. Its right hand was a long bazooka. Its left wrist and knees were a pale green. It had a deep purple ring around its waist. Its thighs were white and its shins were colored in camouflage. Its pontoon-like feet were scarlet with silver soles. Its left hand was black.

""You are one UGLY mother--" Blaze said, before he could stop himself. But, to the RAFian's confusion, the fiend jumped away and hit. It didn't yet occur to him that this fiend was, in effect and aesthetically, a sniper.

He figured it out rather quickly, though, when it began to take tracking potshots at him. He managed to slash through them and block them with his sword. He decided to get proactive, and he slashed his way through the bushes until he found the fiend. Then he punched it upward, and ignited his blade. Then he went to town slashing the fiend, as if he was performing a Final Smash.

It was done, and Blaze simply flew away.

***

Demos called it a "sachisapien". He designed it as a sniper, and refused to expound upon this.

***

Malice watched dispassionately. She hadn't come up with any good schemes in a while. She found this depressing.