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Topic Summary

Posted by: Cloak
« on: Yesterday at 05:20:22 AM »

We'll see.

New chapter.

CHAPTER SIX:
Courage Control

When they got to GH's thread, GH turn on the television for Leatherhead, while he got to work on some pedal thing for his guitar's amp. He was planning to totally Tim Taylor (Tim Allen's character on "Home Improvement") it. Supe it up, and hopefully get halfway decent sound from it. It was delicate work, so he asked Leatherhead to just play quietly, or watch cartoons.

Leatherhead, not in a particularly fussy mood, complied with no objection. He immediately found his humansuit, freshly laundered by the forum's house-elves, and he immediately put it on. He saw it as a human six-year-old would see a play suit, only this was full-body. Then he rooted in his bookbag, and pulled out what appeared to be a smartphone.

He turned it on, after giving a slight glance at GH who was busy at work, saying what Leatherhead came to know as naughty words, or "grown-up words". Then he touched the touchpad, bringing up several emoji, and he tapped the one in the center. The phone's screen went green with a "courageous" emoji on it. . . .

***

Shinobi and Blue were training by meditating, both unaware of the moodulator on Shinobi's neck. Both were silent, focusing their thoughts and abandoning their emotions.

Shinobi felt a sudden swell of emotion, of courage that was unfiltered and potentially dangerous, but the meditation actually suppressed the full effects of the moodulators. Not too surprising as they have never been tested for weakness before Kluge mass produced them.

***

Irma, Leroy, and Lyndon were kneeling before the KoH King -- they thought the term "King of Humanity" was a bit self-aggrandizing, and didn't really fall into their beliefs -- the KoH King, named Jeffrey Booker (his wife was Meredith Perkins-Booker). King Booker was displeased with their apparent failure, all present unaware that Leroy and Irma had moodulators on their necks, as their hair hid them.

"You failed to procure the mind control technology," King Booker barraded. "And what's more? You compromised the identities of our moles in the local police force!! It was not easy getting them in those positions, you know!"

It was at this point that the moodulators L.E.D. screens, unnoticed by all, lit up green with the "courageous" emoji. Irma and Leroy felt a sudden, inexplicable swell of feeling in their being. It was like fear of consequence and inhibition due to repercussion was wiped away. The moodulator had eliminated all other emotion other than courage. And, while having courage was a remarkable thing, without perspective and clarity, it becomes little more than arrogance and being overbearing.

Irma interrupted King Booker and sang:

"It's time you learned a lesson.
It's time that you understand.
We don't ever count on anybody else
From any other land!
I once hoped for leadership,
To find a place among my kind.
But those were the childish wishes
Of someone who was blind.
"

But Leroy wasn't taking this laying down:

"Maybe I make things a mess,
And maybe you're right to have doubts in me.
Maybe, but nevertheless!
If you for once could just trust me.
"

Irma continued, addressing King Booker, without acknowledging Leroy:

"Open up your eyes!
See the world from where I stand!
Me, among the mighty!
Him, failed at your command.
Open up your eyes!
"

Leroy persisted:

"Just this once let me come through for you
The way that you want me to!
"

Irma addressed Leroy now:

"Give up your sweet fantasy land!
It's time to grow up and get wise!
Come now, little one, open up your eyes!
"

Leroy ignored her and sang, addressing the KoH King:

"Let me make you proud.
Let me show you the best in me.
Let me give you a reason to believe that I can stand tall!
"

Irma sang, more to herself than anyone else:

"We all start out the same
With simple naive trust,
Shielded from the many ways
That life's not fair or just.
But then there comes a moment,
A simple truth that you must face.
If you depend on anyone else,
You'll never find your place.
"

Leroy persisted still, addressing the KoH King:

"And when I return --
And I'm more than you dreamt I'd be --
Maybe then you will realize that you never actually knew me at all!
"

Irma sang, addressing no one in particular:

"And as you take that first step,
Upon a path that's all your own,
You see it all so clearly.
The best way to survive is all alone!
"

Leroy sang more:

"Sure, I've made lots of mistakes.
I know that I've disappointed you.
Still, though, whatever it takes
I'm gonna fix it, just watch me.
"

Irma belted out, as Lyndon watched all this confused and dumbfounded into incredulous silence.

"Open up your eyes!
See the world from where I stand!
Me, among the mighty!
Him, failed at your command.
Open up your eyes!
"

Leroy continued:

"Just you wait, I'll make it up to you.
If it's the last thing I ever do
I will make you proud.
I will make you have faith in me.
I will prove that the way I used to be is all in the past!
"

Irma concluded:

"And behold the faded light!
It's time to grow up and get wise.
Come now, my King, open up your eyes!
Open up your eyes!
"

And Leroy concluded:

"I will save the day
And come back here triumphantly.
'Cause I long for that look of surprise when you see me rising at last,
The pride in your eyes when you see me rising at last.
"

King Booker just stood at the top of his throne's dais, looking stoically onward. But he was hiding his irritation as the green glow from the moodulators faded, with the two looking on horrified.

"ENOUGH!!!" he bellowed. "Get out of my sight. All three of you. Now."

When they hesitated, he replied, "Did. I. STUTTER?"



SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=UvZrcLFYpWk and https://youtube.com/watch?v=iF6SzWvggq0.
Posted by: Underseen
« on: Yesterday at 02:49:26 AM »

164 books of this in 6 years. That's an insane amount of dedication. Here's to how many more left until the end.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: January 18, 2018, 06:17:16 AM »

Memoirs is six years old today!

New chapter.

CHAPTER FIVE:
Battle Commences

The three charged forward, towards Leatherhead. Leatherhead cowered at this blantant targeting at the overtly youngest, overtly nonhuman RAFian. GH had feared that he was not ready yet, especially after the werecat incidents.

"I guess they are being serious right now," Cloak sighed at the sheer incompetence of the three.

GH blocked the three's path with his body, unshouldering his guitar, grasping it by its neck, and turning it into its battle axe form. This was a nonverbal sign towards the three that said, very clearly, "stay away from my son, you bastards". This caused Leatherhead to be jostled backward, knocking the wooden bookshelf, painted black, behind him. Something small and flat slid into his open bookbag without him realizing.

But the three frozen after three steps. Cloak had exercised his Mastery over the Metal element again. He looked seriously annoyed by the three.

"Master of Metal, remember?" Cloak said, his annoyance plain in his voice. "You should, after all. I demonstrated it not more than three minutes ago!!"

Cloak's eyes glowed briefly gold and scarlet, before he shut his eyes, and calmed himself down. He took a deep breath. He opened his eyes again, and they returned to their normal amber.

"You Knights," he growled, "are all the same. You are nothing more than thugs playing dress-up. You Knights are nothing more than pathetic, xenophobic children with frangible ethics and questionable motives."

He heard several protests from the three that came out as a cacophonous noise, which caused their voices to be tangled up. Their messages were uninterrupted due to this.

"Your goals are both foolish and counterproductive to human society at large," Cloak said. "Bigotry and xenophobia holds back your society. They are the malignant cancers of any society."

Cloak turned to Kluge, and said, "Sorry to impose upon your hospitality, we shall take our leave now. And we will take these three to the police -- we may need you to make a report."

"Very well," Kluge said, deciding to destroy the moodulators as soon as they returned. He would never know that three were.missing -- he never counted them.

"The Knights own the police!" Leroy roared. "There are a number of our people in there!"

"LEROY!!!" the other two yelled.

"Really?" Cloak said, dryly. He wasn't really surprised at the news. "How surprising. Like who?"

"A.J. Pi, Eddie Carson, and Ike O'Reilly!" Leroy said, as if he was playing a trump card.

Cloak smiled. They hadn't met a Knight with such loose lips before.

"Interesting," Cloak said, as the other two admonished him again. Cloak thought Police Chief Justice would find this very interesting, and internal affairs would be called in. "And just what did they do, as police officers?"

"YOU SAY ANYTHING ELSE, LEROY, AND I SWEAR THAT WHEN I CAN MOVE AGAIN I WILL KILL YOU WITH MY OWN BARE HANDS!!!" Irma roared.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: January 17, 2018, 08:41:37 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER FOUR:
Unseen Security Detail

"Be silent, old man! Just give us the goods! " Irma snarled, fingering her mace in a malicious manner. "Or else."

"Or else what?" Kluge asked, mildly. He wasn't as afraid as he should be, it would seem. Or maybe, like Cloak, he internalized his emotions, and his external reactions seemed placid and apathetic.

"Use you imagination!" Lyndon snarled, now fingering his axe.

"But you are mistaken. My work hasn't a thing to do with controlling the mind, but the manipulation of --"

"Stop your talking, old man! Just hand it over!" Irma said, hand on her mace's handle. She was rather eager to use it, but was exercising all her restraint not to go bashing heads. "Comply or we get . . . physical."

"I cannot give you the technology you want," Kluge said, succinctly, "as it does not exist."

"And now we bash -- urgh!" Irma began, before she, Leroy, and Lyndon were thrown against the far wall. Irma and Leroy was knocked into the tub of moodulators. Their helmets lifted off, faces revealed. Leroy was baby-faced with red hair and freckles, Lyndon was an older man with white hair, and Irma was a woman with black hair and a pinched, snobby face. And there was now a moodulator on Irma's and Leroy's necks, unnoticed by everyone.

"He said no," came a voice from the darkness. "'No' means 'no'."

"You'd think, after all this time, they'd know not to use metal armor," came another voice, with acidic disdain.

"Perhaps they didn't expect us to be watching them," came another, quieter voice.

"Who's there?" Kluge asked, politely. He was starting to think his whole moodulator experimentation was not worth it, if there were people who wanted to steal them thinking that they were mind control tech. He made a mental note to destroy all of them after this whole ordeal was over. It just wasn't worth it anymore.

In response to his question, Cloak came from the shadow, his cloak mincing around his body like a deadly guillotine pendulum. His amber, feline eyes seemed to glow in the darkness. To his right, Shinobi and Blue appeared, as if materializing out of the darkness. To his left, GH and Leatherhead (not in his human suit, as it was still being cleaned) stumbled out of the darkness. Leatherhead wore a blue backpack with fluorescent yellow straps and zipper tassels.

Cloak released his ferrokinetic hold on the Knights, and gave them a baleful, scornful look. "And this is why you're considered D-list villains. This is why you are considered jokes. Laughingstocks! You know of my mastery over metal, and what do you do? Use it as your uniform. You're more pathetic than the Banned. At least Queen considers these things more."

"Shut up!" Irma said, throwing the tub of moodulators -- the technology they were actually after, ironically enough -- toward Blue and Shinobi. They appeared to dodge it, but Shinobi had somehow got a moodulator lodged onto his neck, unnoticed by the neophyte RAFian.

"Pathetic, Knight," Blue said, disdainfully. "Pathetic actions, shameful rhetoric."

The three Knights righted themselves, and drew their weapons.

"You cannot be serious right now," Cloak said, his stoicism giving way to annoyance.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: January 16, 2018, 07:28:53 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER THREE:
The Break-In

"Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy Perkins!"* shouted a sudden voice.

Kluge jumped in surprise. He wasn't expecting anyone, especially at this late hour. And, in any case, he usually turned away visitors, especially the uninvited kind.

"Gee, thanks, Leroy," came an angry woman's voice with an acerbic tone, as a dark figure in full Knight of humanity regalia burst into the room that Kluge and the moodulators were in. "There goes the element of surprise. Not to mention he now knows your name, you damn fool!"

This figure was followed by two others in full Knight regalia: full-body metal armor, with helmets that recalled an Empoleon head (but in full metal), with a white cloth draped onto their shoulders and tied at the waist. The edges of this cloth were colored blood red, with the emblem of the Knights -- a stylized "KoH" in forced perspective -- on their chests.

"Your impetuous act may have already jeopardized the mission, Perkins," said the other, in a slow, calm drawl with a deep voice. "How you ever managed to get into the elite guard, I don't know."

"He's the Knight King's brother-in-law," the woman sneered. Her name was Irma Essex, and she took secret pride in being a member of the elite guard of her chapter of the Knights, but she wasn't brave enough to do it with her face uncovered. "He didn't earn this position. He never worked for it!"

"I'm right here!" Leroy protested at being talked about as if he wasn't present.

"Oh, be silent." said the other knight, a man named Lyndon J. Bauer. "Your hasty actions have grown old for a long time. Shut your mouth for one time in your life, and use your head to think!"

Leroy was mollified into silence.

"Excuse me," Kluge said, with all the dignity he could muster. "But I haven't the time or energy to entertain such . . . ah, flamboyant personalities such as yours."

Kluge knew nothing of the Knights of Humanity. He never kept up with current events. So, he didn't know the danger he was in. He didn't seem to notice Leroy's sword, still in his scabbard. Didn't notice the double-headed battle-ax at Lyndon's belt. Didn't notice the heavy mace in Irma's belt. They weren't toys. They were clearly prepared to use violence. Kludge didn't recognize the position he was in.

"Silence, old man!" Irma snarled.

Kluge seemed to register this, finally taking the weapons into account, and came to the correct conclusion. He said, "What is it that you're after?"

"We've heard word that you've come up with a mind controlling tech," Lyndon said. "We've come to appropriate it for our own uses."

This admission just showcased how the Knights' xenophobic rhetoric flounders wildly in the marketplace of ideas. They have to deceive, manipulate, and force people to believe their lies, mistruths, and half-truths. Xenophobia generally never has any science or facts to prop it up, just pseudofacts and pseudoscience.

"You've been misinformed," Kluge said, apparently unaware that this wasn't the answer that they wanted. "My work had nothing to do with mind control. I'm sorry that you've gone all this way for nothing."

This was the wrong answer.



* Yes, a reference to Leroy Jenkins.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: January 15, 2018, 11:05:00 PM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER TWO:
Dreams and Kluge

Cloak stood before . . . something unidentifiable. It a big mound of something. All he knew was that he had to get this thing out of here. He had to -- or else she would be mad at him. She would -- he rather not think what she would do. She was . . . scary, when she was mad. When there were not instant results.

Then he heard someone behind him. He asked, "What are you doing here?"

"I was about to ask you the same question," Wheeza said. "What do you plan to do now that you've found that? Keep it locked up at home?"

Cloak turned to the mound, "First, I have to get it out of here."

"AND THEN WHAT?!" Wheeza asked forcefully. "You never think these things through! This is exactly what happened when --"

"I would have figured something out!" Cloak protested.

"No!" Wheeza shouted. "If your RAFians hadn't found you, you would have frozen to death!"

"I know my own destiny --"

"Is it your OWN destiny?" she asked. "Or is it a destiny that another has tried to force on you?"

"Stop it, Wheeza, I have to do this."

"Cloak, I'm BEGGING you," Wheeza said emphatically, "it's time for you to look inward, and start asking yourself the big questions. Who are YOU and what do YOU want?"

Cloak collapsed with his hand on his head . . . *

Then he woke up. He was alone in his thread, so he felt no compunction in allowing himself to cry openly. Her death . . . it still hurt. He still missed her dearly.

He knew it was just a dream, and that he wasn't really talking to the real Wheeza. But it just reminded him how much he missed her. . . .

***

His name was Doctor Emanuel Lucius Kluge. He was a bit what you may call a mad scientist, though his doctorate was legitimate, unlike a lot of mad scientists running around nowadays.

He was a neuroscientist, specialized in what he called emotionology. He specifically researched how the human brain reacted to various emotions. He had become curious if there was a technological means to manipulate another's emotions. This is where the mad scientist part comes in.

He had successfully mapped how the human brain processes various emotions: sorrow, shyness, suffering, boredom, surprise, shock, trust, awe, wonder, shame, worry, confidence, self-confidence, anger, schadenfreude (the experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures, or humiliation of another), contempt, saudade (deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves), attraction, sadness, contentment, resentment, avarice, remorse, curiosity, regret, apathy, rage, depression, pride, anticipation, pleasure, desire, pity, fear, passion, despair, panic, annoyance, outrage, disappointment, lust, courage, loneliness, disgust, joy, anguish, jealously, hope, interest, distrust, humiliation, angst, hostility, ecstasy, horror, compassion, hatred, embarrassment, happiness, affection, empathy, guilt, love, grief, enthusiasm, gratitude, anxiety, frustration, envy, and euphoria. It was one of the most comprehensive mapping of the human emotional spectrum ever done, and it was a massive undertaking that Emanuel undertook with great enthusiasm and gleeful abandon.

He quantified all those into seven emotions -- which, unsurprisingly, aligned with the emotional spectrum (with courage replacing willpower, which, technically speaking, wasn't an emotion). From there, he created several small chips which looked rather like the faceplate of the Omnitrix only black and blank, with four metal clamps on it. They were roughly the size of small coins. He called them, and trademarked them, as "moodulators",  a portmanteau of "mood" and "modulators".

They were intended to stick to a person -- humans, obviously, as he hadn't mapped any other species' brain who were capable of emotion. Anyway, the moodulators were designed to adhere to the skin of a human being where the skull and spine met, right beneath the hairline. From there, when activated, they could control the chipped target's emotions -- although he only really got far enough to program in anger, greed, fear, courage, hope, compassion, and love.

And all these moodulators were controlled by a simple device that looked remarkably like a smartphone, with a rather generic cover on it. He just thought a touch screen interface to control these devices would be simpler and easier to use than some clunky remote control device out of the eighties.

He had no idea if these moodulators would even work, and never conceived of the kind of misuse such a device would have. He just wanted to see if it was possible.



* Based on this.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: January 15, 2018, 05:02:48 AM »

New chapter.

BOOK CLXIV:
MOODY

CHAPTER ONE:
The Tengu Fiend

Az was dispatched to take care of the next fiend released. Honestly, how many of these things did Demos make unnoticed by anyone in the forum? Az used the Iceman trick of creating a ice slide to the floating facility. It was rather curious that no one knew of this facility before now.

Upon landing upon the deck of this Helicarrier-like facility, he immediately became aware that this was a former Cadmus facility -- as their emblem was plastered everywhere. The strand of DNA within a beaker within an eye sigil was everywhere that it would have been aesthetically pleasing. But it was remarkable that this floating city (with minor aesthetics to the buildings on board that had a slight traditional Japanese architectural motif to it) was still somehow airborne without and visible means of propulsion, especially as it carried signs of being abandoned and defunct. Forgotten by Cadmus itself, apparently.

Az was given pause to wonder just how many of these abandoned and/or forgotten Cadmus facilities that there were. But his mind had hit upon an necessary point to consider -- when this facility loses power and falls, it would cause untold collateral damage, both in lives and property damage. He had to nip it in the bud -- he immediately when to what appeared to be the bridge of this aerial research facility. He immediately programmed the coordinates to the ocean -- just in case.

The fiend wasn't that hard to find either. It was right outside, on the deck, which wasn't unlike the deck of an aircraft carrier. The creature was the size of a rather tall human with triangular, human-like with one eye having a crimson sclera ands a brown iris and the other having a brown sclera and an black iris. It had barn swallow-like wings, with a jet pack-like structure on its back. It had a golden plates on the back of its head, which had brown hair sticking out here and there, and a green mask-like face without a mouth and a long, spike-like nose. It had a brown crest, and overlarge silver epaulets on its green shoulders. Its upper arms were brown with its elbows being purple. Its lower arms were zigzagged with monochromatic colors. Its right hand was black, while its left was a structure similar to that of a Shiftry's hand, and either red or orange (depending on how the light hit it). Its high chest was yellow with vertical orange stripe, with a brown abdomen. It had a green disc around its waist which came to a sharp edge all around. It had a green crotch with two purple rings where its legs met his body. It had brown thighs, brown growths on its knees that matched its crests with another purple ring over this. Its lower legs were black with white markings. Its feet were pod-like and orange with a green triangle marking that was oriented from toe inward. There was also a small red divet in each foot.

The creature saw Az, made a scoffing sound as it floated down near the ground, as if to get Az and it in the same camera shot. This it slashed outward with its leaf-like, three-pronged blade, and held a pose, as if it was posing dramatically for a camera.

"What the --" Az said, as it immediately floated up, hovering rather like a drunken hippo, Az thought. But this was a deception, for when it dived (blade forward, of course) it was with astonishing aerial mobility and agility. Az had somehow managed to do a rather poorly-executed backflip over this, escaping any harm from the attack.

Then, when it came back, it fired off its blade, which spun like an industrial fan. This cause a column of air to billow up, like a cylindrical tornado. But it stopped before it reached the end of the deck. Az dodged it by basically encasing it in ice, before the fiend regenerated the blade.

Az had had enough of this. When the tengu-based fiend landed, Az froze its feet to the floor and proceed to pummel it with ice punches and ice projectiles until it was no more.

Az, breathing hard, called Yarin for a pick up.

***

Demos called it a "tengusapien". Demos wouldn't elaborate on its purpose.

***

Malice watched with detached interest, asking herself why she was still doing this. She answered herself that it was because she hadn't anything better to do.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: January 13, 2018, 06:43:21 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER TWENTY:
Staying Frosty

Parker was dispatched to an evacuated ski resort. He wished that he could go up to the lodge and kick back by the open, inviting fire, pulling Helen close . . .

But he had a job to do. And he had to do a thorough job of it. But it became increasingly obvious that he would have to ski to the base of the resort to even find this fiend in the first place. It was not something that he enjoyed. Skiing down the mountain in insane weather conditions on a track that clearly was not maintained yet before the evacuation order. And all that in heavy SPARTAN armor, which alone should have made it impossible -- had it not been for the improvements Parker made to the armor during his years at RAF. Every time he came across a useful piece of tech for his armor, he would mimic and replicate it for his armor. This is what made it lighter than normal, but still.

At the bottom of the resort, he came across a shack where he deftly entered, and found a staircase leading downward. He immediately took it, where he eventually entered a large room where they clearly create more snow and ice if the skiing season's weather wasn't kind enough to oblige. There were ice blocks going on conveyor belts -- for some purpose that neither Parker nor Tyr could ascertain. But that wasn't too important as the creature was right before him.

The creature was twice as tall as Parker and three times as wide. Its white, mouthless, noseless head with a pale yellow cranium with four green divets was sunken into its massive torso. It had round, human-like eyes with dark orange sclera and pink irises. It had a round collar made of black ice bricks. The upper half of its torso was made of ice blocks in an opening-less igloo pattern, above a pale yellow section, with a cold generator emblem on its chest and back with black tubes linking the two. The creature's spherical shoulders were made from ice bricks sitting upon green sections that connected it to its white upper arms. Its lower arms were made of ice blocks with yellow wrists. It had black, mitten-like hands with attached knuckledusters. The knuckledusters were pale blue with silver nodes. Its waist was white and its pelvic area was light blue. Its thighs were white, pale yellow kneecaps, and its lower legs were made of ice blocks, like an igloo's main portion connected to yellow ankles. It had purple feet with blue, pod-like toes with four red divets.

It saw Parker and had a stupid-sounding guffaw as it generated several ice sculptures of him. It jumped and smashed half of them. Slammed its left fist down on a third of the remainder, then its right fist down on the second third of the remainder, and finally slammed both fists down on the final third. Then guffawed again, as if it was being clever.

"Oh, boy," Parker said, urged to rub his temples. "All muscle, and no brain."

It charged forward, with an ice-covered fist. Parker, surprised by this goliath's astonishing mobility and agility, had just managed to pivot and sidestep in order to avoid it. It slammed the ground, causing a crawling wave of ice spikes that slithered its way to Parker, who immediately and instinctively shot it.

It was here when he got the idea. He had to move quickly, for it to be effective. He threw a sticky bomb onto the fiends head. It exploded with a flash. But the fiend survived, only dazed by it. But Parker wasn't done -- that sticky bomb was just a distraction.

Parker had deftly adhered flashbang grenades on the fiend shoulders, torso, lower legs, and forearms. Parker then ran to a safe distance as the fiend collected its senses. Then Parker detonated the flashbangs.

It was done.

***

Demos called it a "furosutosapien". He said nothing more on the subject.

***

Malice watched it, but seemed restless and bored.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: January 12, 2018, 06:19:50 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER NINETEEN:
To Be a RAFian

With the training room gone, the RAFians had to be more creative with their training. It didn't really affect Cloak's training regimen, as he never used the so-called "Danger Room". But the others no longer had that luxury.

Cloak looked on from his spot underneath a large oak tree. He watched Esplin training a couple of newbies to see if they were up to snuff. He was not afraid to get into their faces, either.

<Let's get down to business, to defeat the Banned.
Did they send me daughters when I asked for sons?
You're the saddest bunch I ever met.
But you can bet before we're through --
Mister, I'll make a RAFian out of you!
>

He got into the face of this newbie, who was quite intimidated at his Andalite face -- the lack of a mouth, the stalk eyes, the whole shebang.

<Tranquil as a forest,
But on fire within.
Once you find your center,
You are sure to win!
You're a spineless, pale pathetic lot,
And you haven't got a clue!
Somehow I'll make a RAFian out of you!
>

Despite his gruff, intimidating exterior that Esplin was putting on, Cloak knew Falwell that Esplin was enjoying this. He was enjoying scaring these potential new RAFians.

One complained:

"I'm never gonna catch my breath."

Another complained:

"Say goodbye to those who knew me!"

Yet another repented:

"Boy, was I fool in school for cutting gym!"

Yet another regretted:

"Now I really wish that I knew how to swim!"

Cloak continued to watch with a sort of detached interested, trying not to think about Danger, the unnamed creature that aged to dust. They took care of the remains, but it wasn't something easily forgotten.

<Be a RAFian.
We must be swift as the coursing river.
Be a RAFian.
With all the force of a great typhoon.
Be a RAFian.
With all the strength of a raging fire,
Mysterious as the dark side of the moon!
>

Cloak saw some improvements. These improvements looked promising. Except one.

<Time is racing toward us
Till the Banned arrive.
Heed my every order,
And you might survive!
>

He turned to the one who wasn't improving, and sang:

<You're unsuited for the rage of war.
So pack up, go home.
You're through.
How could I make a RAFian out of you?
>

This idealistic boy was turned away. He wasn't ready for the kind of demands being a RAFian has. They've learned from past events about having unqualified RAFians.

<Be a RAFian.
We must be swift as the coursing river.
Be a RAFian.
With all the force of a great typhoon.
Be a RAFian.
With all the strength of a raging fire,
Mysterious as the dark side of the moon.
Be a RAFian.
We must be swift as the coursing river
Be a RAFian.
With all the force of a great typhoon
Be a RAFian.
With all the strength of a raging fire,
Mysterious as the dark side of the moon.
>

Now, would Esplin pass the remainder of these new recruits? They won't get a Mark until at least six months of service.



SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=TVcLIfSC4OE
Posted by: Cloak
« on: January 11, 2018, 10:39:25 PM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN:
Bore Witness

The hologram was now whizzing in and out of resolution. The texturing on the holographic model had been long gone for a few minutes now. The hologram was deteriorating, but that was nothing compared to what was happening within the hologram itself. Where this creature had resembled an enfeebled, emaciated, bald, androgynous octogenarian to an enfeebled, emaciated, bald, androgynous centenarian.

Within moments, the hologram would give out all together. Danger, despite no one else knowing the name it took for itself, was dying. Dying, and there wasn't a damn thing that anyone could do about it. No one but a chronokinetic could possibly reverse the effects of rapid aging. And there was no time, no time at all, to seek out a Chronosapien, a Chronian, or a Celestialsapien. And there was no guarantee that all they'd be doing is buying this poor creature another few minutes to live.

The other three apparently could not see this poor creature languishing like this. This . . . this was not what Cloak had anticipated. He hadn't even suspected that this would be how this would end. He felt guilt and shame at his attitude towards this thing -- and they never would know precisely why it lashed out at them.

Its black form was graying and the gold markings in addition to its golden eyes were becoming paler, and more silver. It seemed to age fifty years in the span of two minutes. The hologram was struggling to be displayed. The render was gone and the boy it projected looked like the rough animation of a CGI movie.

Cloak kept his face solemn as he pityingly bore witness to this dying creature. He probably should have let the others know this, but they read his body language. They knew.

"How long, Cloak?" Parker said. He adopted the tone one would at the bedside of a dying man.

"Shouldn't be too much longer," Cloak said, quietly.

"Isn't there anything we can do?" Helen said, as the hologram popped out of existence. "Anything?"

Cloak sighed, solemnly, as he watched Danger's body collapsed upon the floor. It's breathing heavy and labored. There was no doubt that it was dying. It was aging itself to death.

"Not unless you can manipulate time itself, Helen," the Realm Walker said.

"There . . ." Parker said, stopping himself. But he couldn't help himself. "There is something we can do. But it . . ." he glanced at Helen, almost apologetically, ". . . it won't save it."

Helen's eyes widened, as she got what Parker was getting at, as did Az and Cloak. It was very clear that she didn't like it. But Danger was suffering. It was aging so rapidly that in a manner of minutes, if not seconds, its body would be dust. What Parker suggested was the only thing that they could give it -- mercy. And freedom from this pain that would made its body convulse, if not for the fact the body was exhausted. Its body was truly that of a dying invalid.

"Hesitation," Cloak said, breaking the uncomfortable silence, "won't make it any easier. We must act now or --"

But it was already too late. Danger made a long exhale, but did not inhale. Its body collapsed into gray dust with tarnished bronze flecks. Danger had aged itself to death. There was no coming back from this kind of death.

"Um," Az said, uncertain. "What do we do now?"
Posted by: Cloak
« on: January 11, 2018, 06:34:10 AM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN:
The Failed Escape

The environmental hologram collapsed completely. Shattered as if a field spell card in Yu-Gi-Oh! was destroyed.

"Not long now," Az noted.

"Come on out," Cloak called out. "It's over. You clearly have a finite power source. Make things easier for yourself."

Cloak Metalsighted it before he heard the slapping footsteps. And Cloak noticed a rather large discrepancy between the two. The footsteps he Metalsighted were heavier than the slapping footsteps that he heard. So, clearly the perpetrator of this was finally making a move himself, or herself, or itself, whatever the case may be. And it was clear that it was sheathing itself in a hologram to hide whomever it was from visual or audio recognition. Although, it clearly didn't really think it through all the way.

Within a matter of moments, this person of interest came into view, Cloak saw the true form hidden within the sheath. The holographic sheath was a boy that wore blue pajamas, a puffy, long-sleeved shirt with a small zipper, and light blue sweatpants, and has a metal strip around its left foot with a broken lock. It had large amounts of black hair with long bangs, which cover its face and only revealing a tiny mouth and nose. His feet and hands are bare. It appeared to have possessed no objects.

But, within this sheath, was the true of form of Danger. It looked like a bald, androgynous, geriatric, techno-organic human. Cloak was surprised when he saw Danger -- the poor individual was horribly emaciated and rail thin. Like a skeleton with skin stretched taut over it, without any flesh between. Eyes that must have once been a sharp gold was now more of a tarnished gold color.

It took Cloak a moment to remember that the others couldn't see this. They saw it as the holographic boy sheath. Parker may have been able to see it within the tech of his armor -- Cloak didn't know, especially since, apparently, Tyr decided to go silent.

Suddenly, Danger tried to run by the four, but the hologram wobbled as he stopped. It looked as if it was in pain. Cloak was at a lost for words. There was this techno-organic being that looked like a geriatric humanoid Technarchy, horribly emaciated and frail looking, ensconced within a hologram that disguised it as a boy around nine years of age, while it looked to be an octogenarian, at least. There may have been a statement to be made there, but Cloak wasn't of the mind to make it just then.

The hologram wobbled each time Danger staggered. Old age was affect it as it would any average human of similar age and build.

"Cloak," Az asked, "what's inside that hologram?"

Cloak assumed they saw the wobbles of the hologram and came to the right conclusion. Cloak told them with a few words as necessarily possible.

"Is that why it's just . . . just standing there?" Helen asked.

"It's not standing," Cloak said, sadly.

"What do you mean?" Helen said, quickly.

Cloak trained his eyes on the creature within the hologram. It was on a knee and Cloak though he heard heavy, labored breathing. It seemed to be aging rapidly . . . and there was nothing any of them could do to stop that.

"It's on it's knees," Cloak said, as the hologram gave its largest and longest wobble yet. "Its aging to death."
Posted by: Cloak
« on: January 10, 2018, 11:30:29 PM »

Yep. And it also means Memoirs will be the same age as Leatherhead. ;)

New chapter.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN:
The Unseen Crone

Cloak kept his mind on tracking whatever was behind this. He kept very attentively searching for it. It had no scent and kept perfectly still, which made this quite difficult.

These holograms must have seriously drained the energy to maintain the physicality of these holograms as hard light constructs. The cohesiveness and texture rendering would surely, Cloak reasoned, be the first to go if whatever was causing this was running out of power. These huge environmental projections couldn't be kind to its power supply either. Well, unless it bore the same power source as the forum itself did (the one they had as a backup supply, which slumbered, forgotten, deep in the bowels of the forum), but if that was the case . . .

Well, they'd cross that bridge when they came to it.

Suddenly, the environment changed again. It was now as if the floor was several feet below them, and the building had flooded, with detris such as boxes and boards floated upward to serve as platforms for which they stood on. Az instinctively made an ice floe for him to stand on, and Helen generated a platform from her ring for both her and Parker to stand comfortably on. Cloak, however, couldn't be bothered.

Even when he saw the creature, which appeared horribly translucent to him, like that of an insubstantial ghost, which slithered into the waters with a sickening splash. The creature from beneath the simulated waters was a large humanoid, looking rather like an old, decrepit woman with long, thin limbs and relatively small, slender hands and feet. Her head was balding, with only wispy tufts of stringy, dead, gray hair clinging to it. She had a waddle-like neck folds, and her face looked as if it was just beginning to melt off her face. She had rather distinct bags under her eyes, and rather beady, dark eyes. Her nose was moderately broad and blunt. Her teeth were small and needle-like. She wore a ratty, moldy rag rather like how Dobby from "Harry Potter" wore his original enslaved garments.

Had Cloak not known that it was a fictitious monster, he would have marvelled at how well and how long she was holding her breath. He would have suspected her possessing marine respiration. But this monster wasn't real, so it was pointless in fretting about it.

Not to mention the hologram was already losing its coherency, consistency, and cohesiveness. Cloak's feet sank through a wooden box, and it appeared that he was wading in water up to his ankles. Cloak folded his arms over his chest, and scrutinized the holographic image with narrowed eyes. It was clear that he wasn't impressed.

He noticed that the hologram even had a sort of reality wobble to it. The hologram was not succeeding in its rendering so much anymore. The texturing renders had apparently blinked off, and the water looked rather like amateurish CGI and the detris looked like half-rendered shapes you'd see in some sort of animatic or something.

Then with another blink it was back to the realistic rendering. This just served to confirm Cloak's thoughts, as he glanced back at the others, Helen and Az having done away with their platforms. Even the hand, reaching for Cloak, from the CGI water, looking eerily like an Inferius, wasn't really all that frightening. Especially when it cut out for that rough cut animation.

"I think it's safe to say," Parker said, matter-of-fact, "that whoever, or whatever, is behind this is running their batteries dry."

"Agreed," Cloak said. "Time's on our side here."

He would come to regret that logic.
Posted by: Underseen
« on: January 10, 2018, 06:39:50 PM »

Six years old? That's pretty impressive, but when you look at your future book list, it's only a drop in a bucket.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: January 09, 2018, 10:17:14 AM »

Sorry for the delay, still developing that idea. Oh, and a week from this Thursday, "Memoirs" will be turning six years old. Yes, that's right. SIX years old.

New chapter.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN:
The Lady Hologram

Cloak saw movement through both Metalsight and his own feline eyes. He reacted in much the same way that an ordinary housecat that might do when they sighted a piece of string slithering along the ground. He immediately pounced on the site of the movement, but there was nothing there. Just the detris of . . . of whatever happened here, two days ago, by his estimation.

Perhaps Az, Helen, and Parker talked amongst each other, but Cloak had stopped paying attention. He was allowing his feline instincts to hunt to rule. But whatever he was hunting had no scent. The only scents he found was the three others and his own. This would be difficult, even for some who can Metalsight.

But they should be able to find the culprit soon enough. It was just a matter of time. Cloak circled around a particular area, as if he got the scent, which he hadn't. But he was sure whoever or whatever was behind this mess once sat here. There wasn't much evidence left behind to say what it was.

Cloak crossed off the names of probably species in his mind. One of those Jury Riggs? Nah, too quite. A Galvanic Mechamorph? Possibly, but his gut told him no. A Psycholeopterran? No -- it didn't fit at all. A Nemuina? Nah -- they were perfectly awake. Sylonnoids? Not likely. Synthroids? Not straightforward enough.

As he pawed through some of the detris and debris, looking for whatever could be at fault, going through the litany of alien species he knew of with some sort of disguising ability or illusionary ability.

Skrulls? Nah, he'd be able to see through the disguise. Though it would be potentially dangerous if one was lose on Earth. Dire Wraiths? Cloak dismissed it as highly unlikely. A Chitauri? He dismissed it tentatively, despite his knowledge of the species was spotty at best. Outside the fact that they were shapeshifters and had 192 ways to say "hate", he didn't really know much more. Durlans? Nah, they're, for the most part, too xenophobic to leave Durla, if Cloak recalled correctly. Chee? The projections were similar in their rendering quality, but Chee were hardwired for pacificism, as Rocky proved time and time again.

Then Cloak noticed how he was ensconced in darkness. But his eyes easily penetrated through it, due to their feline nature. He looked back as only saw Helen's violet glow. Though the hologram attempted to make it look like they were further away (via forced perspective and the like), Cloak could see through this and knew that they weren't that far away.

Cloak sighed audibly. Darkness may be a useful tool for hiding or distracting or stealth purposes, but for simple frightening and spooking purposes? It was too Slenderman for his tastes. Too "jumpscary". But maybe it was because Cloak was able to see in the dark, due to being a tiger-form Realm Walker, that he didn't find darkness an obstacle. Or maybe because he's used the darkness to disappear into unnoticed before. But, all in all, he didn't find it getting dark all that scary.

Then, right before him, coming from the darkness, was a tall, slender figure. She was dressed like a Japanese geisha, but with a mask on in lieu of facepaint. Her raven hair was done in an updo like a geisha. Cloak supposed that this sudden appearance was supposed to be frightening, but the effect was completely ruined on him, as he could see through the hologram, as if it were nothing more than a harmless ghost. He knew that it couldn't harm him, so he wasn't afraid.

But he was blinded by a bright spotlight that he couldn't determine the source of. He closed his eyes so they could adjust. Then he heard a shriek, like a hawk diving on a mouse, coming from behind him, about eight o'clock. He fired a blast of golden scarlet energy in that direction. He heard a shriek of pain, and he knew his blast hit its mark. Twice more did he do this before the darkness vanished.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: January 06, 2018, 07:08:09 PM »

New chapter.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN:
Please, Don't Be Our Guest

Helen was silent, glancing at Parker for help, but he was still too busy cursing Tyr with every name under the sun that the SPARTAN could conjure up.

"Point is," Cloak continued, "we have to make contact with whatever is making these constructs before we can discern his, or her, or its, intentions. Good or bad, that is the first step that must be taken."

Helen couldn't find a fault with this logic, and said nothing. She felt a bit mollified at this, but did her best not to announce the feeling. While she could be empathic, she was not an empath. She couldn't manipulate emotions, or sense them with absolute certainty. And, if she was honest, without her Star Sapphire ring, she'd be an ordinary, if athletic, flat-scan human. A human without powers of any kind.

Suddenly, the entire environment blinked in and out of existence seeming. Although, to Cloak, it was more like a ghostly environment was striving to take over reality but remaining somewhat translucent. The hologram present a hardwood floor, with Japanese paper walls and sliding doors. All four appeared to be a sixteenth their normal size, in scale with the furniture in this holographic corridor.

"Well, this is new," Az commented.

Then, suddenly, a wave of flesh and Armani suits came barrelling down towards the four. These were apparently very gluttonous people, who wanted to eat them, despite having had plenty of flood set in front of them. All of them seemed incapable of walking on their stubby legs, so they moved along rather like a seal or a walrus. Cloak did not flinch at all, but did not see the reactions of the other three.

"Oh, look," Cloak said, dryly, "it's the one-percent."

"Huh?" Helen asked, not really paying attention to anything but the hideous mass of holographic bodies and holographic flesh that was undulating their way towards them with alarming rapidity.

"They never can have enough," Cloak said, more to himself. "Even in this realm, they never can have enough. These voraciously greedy, ravenous, gluttonous, pantagruelian, rapacious, edacious esurients -- all they know is 'take, take, take', and they think that they they're entitled to it."

Cloak didn't flinch as they proceeded ever closer.

"Sadly," Cloak muttered, "such things seem universal."

"Cloak, can we focus here?" Parker said. "These slobbering things --"

Cloak formed the two swords mounted from his wrists again. Then he slashed the right blade left, leaving a crescent of energy behind it, apparently breaking off the sword in a deliberate fashion. Then he made a downward slash, intersecting the other energy crescent, breaking off the sword at the bottom of this arc. It made an energy "+" construct, and Cloak pulled back his right arm. Then he slammed his right hand, open palm, at this intersection.

This fired the construct forward at the speed of a sluggish bullet. It shattered this hologram just like all the others. Cloak watched intently, as he forced the construct to dissipate. He was hoping to notice a reaction of some sort.