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Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6720 on: September 29, 2017, 07:21:14 AM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER ELEVEN:
Yellow

The next stage had begun for Helen. But she did not seem to be in any agony, or macroalgia, as Goom put it. But her pearl had began to turn yellow, but no drastic changes seemed to have happened. Her Star Sapphire ring had vanished but she apparently had manifested a sort of zoopathy, accessed only with her singing voice.

Thirteen minutes later, Faerie's pearl turned yellow, but, like Helen, she didn't experience any ill effects, just that her magical abilities had been stripped away from her. All her skill with her battleaxe had left her as well. She described the feeling as feeling as if she was being drained. She was not happy about this development, feeling helpless. And she despised the whole damsel-in-distress trope.

Nine minutes later, Sakki's pearl turned yellow, but she did not experience any macroalgia like before. But she lost any ability to use her sonics. She felt as if someone had severely severed her vocal chords. And she apparently developed some rather random narcoleptic episodes.

Thirty minutes later, Horse's pearl turned yellow. But she did not feel any macroalgia, but she did feel different. Stronger even, despite no longer being able to access her cryokinesis or hydrokinesis. She now possessed Atlantean strength, Atlantean endurance, speed swimming, aquapathy, swordswomanship, rapid adaptability, thermoendurance, and a magical singing voice. She was arguably still as strong as she was before, in terms of her power level.

Two minutes later, Gaz's pearl turned yellow. She didn't suffer any great agony this time. She had lost all her vampiric abilities (which made sense, as she was human now), but retained a degree of enhanced strength, stamina, and resilience.

A minute later, Saffa's pearl turned yellow. She lost her ability to morph as well as her dagger proficiency and her ability to manipulate diamond. She was just essentially a "flatscan human".

Three minutes later, Bladeh's pearl turned yellow. She lost all her feline powers (other than her keen eyesight, as her eyes never changed), but apparently gained a sort of aerokinetic insight ability.

Three minutes later, Dino's pearl turned yellow. She lost her sizeshifting ability, and became more astute with a sword and martial arts. She secretly like having this kind of knowledge, if it wasn't for completely changing her into a human (barring her eyes of course).

Eleven minutes later, Melissa's pearl turned yellow. Melissa lost all her magical ability, all of it drained out of her. All it was replaced with was a culinary intuition, which was a poor replacement, Melissa felt.

A minute later, Kelly's pearl turned yellow. She lost her healing abilities -- well, any part that wasn't connected to her seventy-foot-long golden hair. The hair was now magical, which can heal and restore youth via a small song. Kelly wasn't sure she liked it.

Two minutes later, Shenmue's pearl turned yellow. She lost access to an ability she called "Castle Oblivion", electrokinesis, superspeed, aura sense, and something she called her "soul cannon", which seemed to be a form of soul manipulation. All of that gone, and replaced with intuitive archery. The latter seemed to pale in comparison to the former.

"This is not good," Broken said. "After yellow comes blue, then white, then . . ."

"That won't happen," SuperNate said more forcibly than he had intended. "We won't let it."

"We may not have a choice," Broken said, feeling helpless to help.


Book 162: "Dark RAFians"
Chapter 20: "Penny-Unwise"
(December 14, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Demos and myself.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6721 on: September 30, 2017, 07:37:07 AM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER TWELVE:
Unsettled

"Not to mention that now it's happening at random intervals," Broken said, concerned. "The previous stages, it happened to all eleven of them at once. Here, it was one at at a time. Like a falling domino. . . ."

"Why is that concerning, exactly?" SuperNate inquired.

"It made it far harder to predict when the color shift of these perilous pearls happens," Broken said. "Random chance -- it's what brought us to this situation in this first place."

"There has to be something we can do," SuperNate said, unwilling to give up hope on them. "I don't know what, but there has GOT to be SOMETHING."

"The scope of what we can do is very limited, if we can do anything at all," Broken sighed heavily.

<Why not just extract the pearls physically?> Esplin asked.

"That would, at this point, cause psychological damage of an unspecified degree," Broken said.

<So?> Esplin said, his tail-blade actually twitching, as if itching to use that. <They may be traumatized, but they'll be alive.>

"Which completely defeats the purpose of saving them," Phoenix said, sharply. He clearly did not approve of Esplin's ambivalence. "Traumatic events change people, Esplin. And trauma like that will not go away easily. Look at Cloaky -- he's been with us for six years, and he just recently started move on from his trauma or traumas. At least, from what he told me."

<But they'd be alive,> Esplin argued.

"With a piss-poor quality of life," Ash said, almost angrily. She was not one to curse so freely, so it was clear how she felt on this issue. "If they were to be as traumatized as Broken suggests, death would be more of a kindness to them."

Esplin did not push any further, seeing that he had no allies in this argument. He was only seeing the surface issue and not looking any deeper. And not really willing to do so.

"But there may be a way for them to save themselves," Broken said, thinking fast, not really paying attention to the argument. He was thinking any possible solution to this, and hit upon the only one possibilities he could possibly conceive. "But only if they have the . . . the willpower to do so."

"The Mark?" Goom inquired.

"Perhaps," Broken said, "perhaps not. I cannot say. Even the existence of the pearls is unprecedented. The ancient text never really illustrated a case where they were broken, unless my memory is faulty on the issue."

"Then there is still hope," SuperNate said.

"Not much though," Broken admitted.

***

"Yeah, keep up that hope," Malice crowed, as she watched this all going off from her easy chair. Her tiny micro-cameras reception was perfect and had crystal-clear clarity. "It'll make the payoff all the more sweeter . . . when you FAIL."

She cackled like Witch Hazel from Looney Tunes.


Book 162: "Dark RAFians"
Chapter 20: "Penny-Unwise"
(December 14, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Demos and myself.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6722 on: October 01, 2017, 06:56:22 AM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN:
Little Consolation

"Yes," Cloak had told his ancestors, these past Masters of the Six Elements.

"Then, don't you see, young Master?" Guardian said, as if this was all the proof he needed. "You are aware of the possibility, and fear it. That, in and of itself, reduces the likelihood of that which you dread from coming to past."

Cloak remained unconvinced by this argument.

"Naturally," Guardian continued, seeing her point not landing, and going for further clarification, "some people would lose sight of this and allow themselves to be corrupted. But you fear it, and not without merit. So you would never lose sight of this. You will understand the gravity of any amount of power you amass, and judge its use accordingly."

Cloak remained unconvinced. Even the strongest moral code can be eroded and coerced by corruptive influences and emotions -- anger, greed, jealously, amongst others. He had seen it in the practically rotating door on the Council. One moment five Councilors sat on the seat, selected because of their high moral fiber or such other altruistic things -- and, on most of the candidates, these things are often artificial constructs made to persuade the stupid and naive to ally and support their platform and agendas.

But every single Councilor, no matter how strong their morals were, no matter how unbendable their resolve was, no matter how much integrity they possessed, in the end, their morals were eroded away, their resolves and wills were bent, and their integrity was always compromised. Cloak was sure all of them were aware of the possibility.of being corrupted by the elite establishment, but either chose to abandon their principles, manipulate and spin their political views into something more PR friendly, or just stop caring.

And it wasn't that too far a fall to make. On the contrary, it's rather easy for a politician to sellout those who were supposed to be their constituents for personal and selfish gain. Cloak had hoped humans hadn't had to suffer this kind of governmental degradation, but he had come to suspect that it was inevitable for any long-running governance. Once the cancerous lesions of greed and lust for power creep in, the governance, no matter how pure and supposedly democratic, would decay and rot.

But one could make the argument that that happens because they allow it, and Cloak would not allow his power go to his head. In theory. Cloak was not without his flaws, he knew. He was at times arrogant, and at other times obstinate. He never forgot a slight, and he was slow to forgive. He knew all this, and the argument could be made that this is why his power wouldn't corrupt him, because he was aware of these flaws, because he was aware of the dangers of being corrupted with such power -- as the whole "touch of Corruption" thing clearly demonstrated. He wasn't allowed the luxury of forgetting what happened when he was under the influence of having his personality completely flipped.

He became crazed with power, revelling in it. He no longer cared about innocent lives or collateral damage. He only cared about himself and his own enjoyment . . . in a way, he became just like Malice. Only he had the power to so much more than she could, he was a powermonger -- who wielded power in a tyrannical and irresponsible fashion. It was something, since the effects of Corruption's touch ended, that he despised.

"Young Master," said the pegasus Master, "we all had to deal with this. It is just your time to find your own way to cope with this power. And you will. An Elements Master always does."

Cloak still had his doubts, but he kept them to himself. Perhaps they did not know that he was also a Truth Dreamer, and that could possibly complicate this mess.


Book 162: "Dark RAFians"
Chapter 20: "Penny-Unwise"
(December 14, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Demos and myself.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6723 on: October 02, 2017, 06:24:09 AM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN:
Blue . . .

"Oh, no . . ." Broken said, as he saw Helen's pearl start to darken into blue. She was hitting the next stage already!

Helen clutched her head, her memories seemingly infiltrated by an insidious editor. She remembered being kissed by a man in strange, archaic garb of oranges and blacks with purple highlights and trim. The man's face . . . it was . . . Parker. He had lifted her from a glass coffin, and she was to wed this prince of her dreams. She would have a happily --

No, wait. That was wrong. It didn't happen that way. Did it?

Meanwhile, Faerie's pearl struggled to turn blue as well. Faerie did as Helen before her and clutched her head, fighting false memories and feelings. She was remember dancing, utterly smitten, with someone who had a muscular body with broad shoulders. This person had fair skin, light brown hair, and hazel eyes, nothing else was in focus, everything about this person's face was blurred. Her dance partner was in a royal outfit, that consisted of a black royal jacket, green pants with a silver stripe, a silver belt, white boots, and black opera gloves. Faerie felt enthralled just dancing with him, feeling as if he was the love she so l-- no! This wasn't real!

Sakki's pearl was struggling now. Sakki held her head, just as her predecessors did. She was singing in the forest when she met a stranger. This stranger was generally seen wearing a chocolate-colored tunic over a white shirt, with pale pink pants and boots that frame tightly around the stranger's slim, but fair, built physique. This stranger was also wearing a green cape and hat. The stranger carried a dagger sheathed at his left hip. Soon, however inexplicable as it seemed, they started to hit it off. They sang together and their voices harmonized perfectly. This was really -- it really wasn't real! It wasn't her memory!!

Then Horse's pearl was struggling now. Horse held her human head with her human hands, eyes shut. She had pulled herself up on the side of a ship, unseen by the ship's crew, hidden by the cover of darkness. She wasn't wearing the dress that she was essentially trapped in. But she was a mermaid, and she had fallen for a royal on the ship. The royal had fair skin, short blonde hair, and brown eyes, and wore a black, long sleeved, collared shirt with the sleeves rolled up, orange trousers with a green sash, and white boots whose tops are folded over to reveal a darker orange inner lining. This royal's shirt collar is open to the point that it reveals the royal's clavicles. Horse felt an instant attraction to him as soon as he started playing the -- no! This wasn't real. It was fake! It was -- it was fake!

Gaz was suffering much the same fate as the others. She saw herself in a medium-length orange sleeveless dress with a black long-sleeved button-up shirt underneath, a black apron on her waist, a black petticoat, and pink ballet flats on her feet with her hair tied in a low ponytail adorned with an orange ribbon. She also wore a dark blue cloak. She was confronting a bare-chested and barefoot creature in a dark castle hallway -- it had the head structure and horns of a buffalo, ursine arms, ursine body, the eyebrows of a gorilla, leonine jaws, leonine teeth, leonine mane, the tusks of a wild boar, piercing brown human eyes, lupine legs, and lupine tail. This beast was shirtless, with ragged, light gray breeches, and a ragged yellowish-colored cape with a silver colored circular-shaped clasp. Gaz remembered gasping in fear once this beast stepped into the light, and reconsidered her -- no! That didn't happen. That wasn't true. It wasn't real!

Saffa's pearl was starting to act up in the same way. She was on the edge of the palace's balcony. It was daytime in the desert, when she saw another suitor for her hand coming. He had actually come with a veritable parade! She was so disgusted by this, she turned around and walked away. But . . . no. That wasn't right. That never happened. It wasn't true . . .

Bladeh's pearl was starting in now, too. She was standing in front of a waterfall, the spray of which gave the scene an almost eerie ambiance. She had just come across a person with blonde hair wearing a black long-sleeved shirt, a silver armor breastplate, orange pants, and white boots. He held what was probably a flintlock rifle of sorts. She ran from . . . wait. She wasn't ordinarily human. She wasn't bipedal usually. This . . . this memory was false! Implanted by the pearl!

Dino's pearl was attempting to mess with her memories and emotions as well. She was sitting in the rain, sheltered beneath a great stone dragon statue. She was contemplating many things, before coming to a decision to save . . . suddenly, the images of Dactyl, Dweebers, and Don fought for position. This is what made Dino sure the previous "memory" was just an implanted one. A false memory implanted by the pearl for some reason.

Melissa's pearl was now at it. She was wearing an iconic orange princess gown loaned with a matching tiara, as well as a necklace complete with a white diamond in this scene, and she was talking to a frog. But she was completely unnerved when this frog started to talk back. Then, suddenly, the frog was her cat. Then back again. This solidified to her that this wasn't real, that this "memory" was nothing but an artificial construct by the pearl.

Kelly's pearl had decided that it was now its turn. She had a person ensnared in her seventy-foot-long hair. This thief was average height and build with fair skin, short sandy brown hair, a scruffy goatee, and dark brown eyes. This would-be thief wore a turquoise vest with a black long-sleeved shirt underneath, coupled with light cream pants, leather bucket-top boots, and a leather belt. Kelly was holding him at frying pan-point and interrogating him . . . only for her to quickly realize that this wasn't her. Something didn't feel right -- and she was sure this was an implanted memory from the pearl . . .

Finally, Shenmue's pearl had deigned to start in. She was notching an arrow -- but immediately felt as if this was wrong. All of this was wrong. This wasn't a memory, this was an illusion! A false memory!

"They're fighting it," SuperNate said, sounding almost relieved.

"Yes," Broken said, concerned and weary, "but for how long?"


Book 162: "Dark RAFians"
Chapter 20: "Penny-Unwise"
(December 14, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Demos and myself.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6724 on: October 03, 2017, 07:13:07 AM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN:
Nothing Works

While this went on, Yarin, Aquilai, and Xeno worked almost feverishly to cure their compatriots. But the results they were yielding were less than optimal. It took them a while to create anything that they'd thought would be both safe and effective to administer, and even those so few ampules did not work.

It seemed as if everything that they tried, everything that they so much as attempted had a severe drawback or simply did not and would not work. It was highly frustrating. This amount of frustration had the habit causing tensions to rise and hurtful snapping to occur.

Broken's constant refrain of how their efforts were in vain and utterly futile didn't help their overall morale. All three took this as a challenge to their ingenuity and creativity. And challenges are meant to be overcome, as far as all three were concerned. No matter the seemingly futility of the problem at hand.

But, the increasing amount of failure was enough to wear on anyone's morality, and increase anyone's frustration to high levels. Tempers, naturally, would flare up. Things were said in anger, and, once said, things cannot be taken back.

However, they would not give up.

***

Kelly continued to struggle with these fraudulent memories. She was a little girl, singing, as the woman that she believed to be her mother brushed her hair. But, this was wrong. This wrong because it wasn't real. But it felt like it was.

Dino continued to struggle with these ersatz memories. She was writing cliff notes on her arm, with an archaic calligraphy brush -- something she would never be able to do in her normal form -- so she would remember the things she would have to when she met the matchmaker . . . that wasn't real. It wasn't real. But it felt real.

Saffa continued to struggle with these faux memories. She was talking to her father, as she had a moment with a pet Bengal tiger. The tiger had chase away a pompous suitor that she had rejected. And -- it wasn't real. It wasn't real, but it felt as if it were.

Horse continued to struggle with these spurious memories. She was a mermaid exploring a sunken ship, with a purple guppy with orange stripes, and she found a fork -- and it wasn't real. It felt deceptively real, but it wasn't. She knew this.

Faerie continued to struggle with these implanted memories. She was just waking up, humming to herself. Then she got demands from her stepsisters, and she was treated more like a servant than -- no! This wasn't real. It may have felt like reality, but it wasn't.

Helen continued to struggle with these false memories. She was picking flowers in a lovely meadow, under the watchful gaze of a hawk, as a man comes up to her, intent to cut out her heart and -- it wasn't real. It felt real, but that was a lie.

Sakki continued to struggle with these fake memories. She was leaving a cabin in a forest, and pulled a veil down over her hair. And she went out to -- no! This was lie. It felt real, but this was wrong. It was a lie.

Gaz continued to struggle with these counterfeit memories. Gaz was walking from her home just outside a provincial village, holding a orange hardback book in a handwoven basket, heading off to a bookstore. But this was not real. It felt real, but it wasn't.

Bladeh continued to struggle with these bogus memories. She was standing on sheer cliff as the wind billowed around her. Then she leaped off and dived into the deep lake below. And -- it wasn't real. It wasn't. Though she felt it was, but she consciously knew it wasn't.

Melissa continued to struggle with these ingenuine memories. She was travelling home after working a night job, and fell upon her bed. Then she had to get up for her day job and . . . and . . . and this was not real. It felt real, but it wasn't. But it felt so . . .

Shenmue continued to struggle with these phony memories. She was travelling with a bear before she abjectly rejected this as being unreal. It felt real, of course, but she knew it wasn't.

***

"Ha!" Malice said, very much like a person set in their usual schedule, watching their "stories". "Look at these Dwellers! Look at them not knowing when a cause is beyond futile. Look at them not knowing when to cut their losses!"

She cackled like Witch Hazel again.

"Their suffering is so delicious," she crowed. "Pity, Sage's spawn's spawn isn't around to suffer, too."

She paused as she watched tempers flare amongst the RAFians, with a giddy smile on her face. She watched the eleven pearl-afflicted RAFians struggle to maintain their own identities, struggle not to lose who they are, struggle not to be come the saccharine princess personalities that Malice had programmed into these pearls.

Malice remembered just how hard it was to even find the Gateburst things. It was a miracle that she managed to find eleven. There may very well have only been eleven to begin with, but Malice did not know this for a fact. She only knew that she found these eleven and airdropped them into RAF.

She smiled as she thought of the fact that there was no cure. As she thought that all these RAFians' efforts were for naught. There was nothing that they could do to stop this, and she found it immensely entertaining, the sadist that she was. She was so enthralled that one of her schemes seemed to go so swimmingly.

This was gonna get good.


Book 162: "Dark RAFians"
Chapter 20: "Penny-Unwise"
(December 14, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Demos and myself.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6725 on: October 03, 2017, 09:09:53 AM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN:
We're Done Here

Cloak still had his doubts.

This whole thing was an exercise in futility, he saw. He had hoped to prevent the power from corrupting him -- anyone with this much power, corruption wasn't a question of "if", but of "when". He was afraid of losing himself, losing who he truly was, in that power.

He knew full well that, for some, power was a drug. A drug more powerful than any other addictive substance that humans may know about, though they probably knew of the addictiveness of power, as pretty much any sentient creature probably did.

The power terrified him. What if he went too far? One could argue that he did when he killed the Siren. He knew that he could be ruthless when he felt the time and circumstance called for it -- when it demanded it. Did that make him a bad person? Did that make his path to corruption all but assured because of it?

He bid adieu to his ancestors, and only Avatar, Guardian, and Sage seemed aware that he was not entirely convinced of their arguments. But they did not persist in trying to sway him. Cloak would make his own decisions and act upon his own decisions, they knew.

But Cloak did not wake. His body was still much too worn out from the expenditure of keeping the planet rotating at about 11,000 miles an hour for eight to ten hours -- he lost count, actually. Perhaps this was best that such power expenditure put him out of commission like this. It would mean that he couldn't go into the apex tier too often, and expend such effort and energy all willy-nilly like that. It was a drawback, yes, but a well-needed one, Cloak thought.

The more Cloak thought of it, however, the more disgusted he was with himself. Here he was again. Running away. Just like he ran away from his mother issues. Just like he ran away from the Nexus. Just like he ran away from . . . from his family, his sister, his niece, and his aunt. Now he was trying to selfishly run away from the responsibility that came with this power.

His ancestors were right to refuse him this request, he realized. He was like a child who did something wrong and was trying to absolve himself of any accountability. They were right -- this was his power and his responsibility. He couldn't -- and shouldn't -- have asked anyone else to bear its burden. It's burden was his to bear, his obligation to steward. It was wrong of his to try to shift that unto the shoulders of others, others who bore the yoke of this tremendous power in their past lifetimes.

It was an incredibly selfish request. For if he lost control, or used his powers in a flagrantly malicious manner, he would have been able to parse the blame towards them had they been able to shoulder some of his power. That was a very slippery slope to go down -- one where accountability would be a foregone conclusion, and everything would always boil down to being their fault. As the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility -- it may seem like tired old rhetoric by now, but the substance of the phrase still holds true. And, as logic would dictate, with greater power comes greater responsibility.

He was so naive and foolish to believe that he had any right to make such a request to his ancestors. And hoping that they'd acquiesce and comply with this foolhardy desire. They probably did this same thing when they realized just how much pure power they possessed -- or, worse, they were enthralled by it. Treating such power with a flippant, cavalier attitude in place of the careful and respectful weight that it deserves. . . now that's truly dangerous. It would be like giving a nonsapient baboon the button to all the nuclear arsenals in the world, and he was taunting others with the button. . . .

All in all, this power was not to be taken lightly. Cloak thought he knew this, but apparently, it did not really hit home until now.


Book 162: "Dark RAFians"
Chapter 20: "Penny-Unwise"
(December 14, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Demos and myself.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6726 on: October 03, 2017, 11:02:29 PM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN:
Flurry of Fleeting Images

The afflicted RAFians were now really starting to struggle and sort out reality from falsified memories that the pearls were generating in their heads. It was not an easy thing to do -- even some of the smartest species in the galaxy (Galvans, Cerebrocrustaceans, Transyls, and the like) would have struggled to separate the two.

And still, no cure synthesized by Aquilai, Xeno, or Yarin worked. They were actually starting to get disheartened. Their resolve to not give up was starting to shake and crumble. It seemed almost entirely futile.

There was nothing that they could do, and that idea sunk into them like a vitriolic poison. Some RAFians were already beginning to mourn the eleven, that all-encompassing, all-consuming melancholy was starting to envelope them all. All except Cloak, who was still sleeping and recovering from his exertion.

The eleven would eventually tire, their fight to resist the pearls would eventually lean in the pearl's favor. The pearls would crush their resistance -- its been hours upon hours that they've been resisting. They did not have endless mental stamina, not one of them. They would tire and weaken . . .

All seemed lost. All the other RAFians could do was stand and offer the eleven their solidarity.

***

"HAH!" Malice crowed. "They've finally got it! They've FINALLY got it!"

She cackled much like a stereotypical witch, taking full delight in the suffering of these eleven and their compatriots. She was really taking too much enjoyment with this.

"Now they see!" Malice continued, with a big toothy grin. "Now they see just how puny things like 'love' and 'joy' is compared to the unbridled genius of Malice!! That will show Cloaky-poo just what happens when you fraternize with these lowly Dwellers. Not that most of the Walker public is much to look at, but they're still a sight better than these . . . matter creatures."

But her excitement would eventually take a decisive turn . . .

***

The mass of RAFians already mourning the eleven gathered outside the infirmary. Even the house-elves -- RAF's custodial, kitchen, and general housekeeping staff -- made a rare appearance to show their solidarity. (And, yes, even they bore Marks -- they deserved the same safety that it offered, Cloak had reasoned and Goom and Richard immediately agreed.) All in the forum came out to grieve, except Cloak, orlf course, due him recovering himself.

A blue mist billowed around, giving the whole area a pre-spirit-visit-Christmas-Carol vibe, as if it were snowing -- which was odd as it was early September, and too early for snowfall. But the whole forum took on a Dickensian feel as the RAFians mourned those that they feared to already be lost to them.

And, in all honesty, were they wrong to? Nothing they did to remedy the situation had worked. And they tried everything they could, every possible venue was explored, every possible curative tried. All to no avail.

The blue mist gathered around the RAFians, actually illuminating their Marks. The RAFians did not notice, given in to their morose mourning. The forum was soon obscured in blue mist . . .

No. No, it was blue light. . . .


Book 162: "Dark RAFians"
Chapter 20: "Penny-Unwise"
(December 14, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Demos and myself.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6727 on: October 04, 2017, 06:43:10 AM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN:
An Oath Cadence

A sudden chorus was heard, strong and powerful, unseen in the blue light and blue mist. It was almost like a Disney movie . . .

"In hectic day . . ."

Malice was miffed. All this blue mist and blue light was blocking her from seeing what was happening. She was missing the suffering! She was taking an inordinate amount of enjoyment from this.

Finally, the mist and light began to clear and the forum came back into sharper focus. But she seemed incapable to notice that the mist actually took on a more defined, focused form. She seemed to be ignorant of just what this blue light and blue mist was, but Malice never bothered learning about anything that she couldn't manipulate to malicious ends.

She may be intelligent, but, at times, it was a lazy kind of intelligence. And that was something she couldn't excuse with her status as an octogenarian.

". . . in fretful night,"

Wait -- why were the eleven exiting the infirmary? Had the personality pearls already done their job? Had her newest scheme already succeeded fully? Had she accomplished her goal of hurting Cloak through his precious little Dweller pets?

She hoped so. She hoped that it was painful and as psychologically damaging as possible. She had nothing but malice (hence her chosen name) and enmity for the young Elements Master, who was at least fifty Nexusian years her junior. Though she would never admit it, this was a catharsis for her. She needed to do this to unwind, like an average person channel surfing or other such favored pasttime. What did she care that innocent people were hurt in the process? They weren't Dwellers and, more importantly, they weren't anyone that she cared personally about (and there was only ever one person who she ever really cared about, and it was who she saw in her reflection).

"No villain will escape our fight."

It was only then that Malice noticed the pearls set into each of the eleven's forehead. They weren't transparent, like glass, as she had eagerly anticipated. They weren't white, either. They weren't even really blue anymore.

The pearls were paling back to yellow! That was impossible! Impossible! The personality pearls colors never backtracked like that. Never!!

She sat up straighter in her chintzy, threadbare armchair. This was not the ending she had orchestrated. This was not the ending that she mandated. This was not the ending that she ordained!

"If you revel in Malice's delight,"

This would not do! This will not do at all!

Oh, now the pearls were darkening into a deep pink again, reversing each an every transformation. Reversing the the transformation with none of the agony. It was a blissfully painless transition. This was obvious by the facial expression if the eleven RAFians.

This was what drove Malice to her feet as she angrily glared at her screen. This scheme was the perfect one! There was no escape from the personality pearls -- harmless to her kind, but able to afflict any Dweller species -- any Dweller species with a personality to alter. None should have had any defense against it, no matter how indomitable their will apparently was.

This was not possible.

"Beware our power --"

Now the pearls were going from the deep pink to a rosy pink. It was just a matter of time before the pearls would go back to swirling pink, yellow, blue, and white, rather like that of a marble.

Then the pearl would be extracted -- pushed out of their foreheads. Malice made a snap decision to fetch them and just us them all over again. She would use them again and again if she had to! This was just a hiccup. A small snafu in her scheme. It would be easy enough to rectify, she assured herself. This scheme would work, regardless of if it were the same eleven that were afflicted or not, she didn't care one way or the other.

The simple fact of the matter was that she would not accept another failure. She just would not.

"-- Unified light!!"

But this was thrown out the window as the eleven reverted fully back to their true, normal selves, personalities intact, and the pearls were pushed out -- only to disintegrate into the finest of powders.

Useless! They were useless to Malice now! Her beloved scheme had failed! This was her most perfect scheme, in her view, yet! And she was thwarted yet AGAIN!! This was really too much. She was thwarted by a bunch of DWELLERS! Primitives! Cloak did not even have the courtesy to foil the scheme. He never even showed up!

The embarrassment! The mortification! The humiliation! The abasement! The shame of it all!

No matter. She had a contingency scheme. . . .


Book 162: "Dark RAFians"
Chapter 20: "Penny-Unwise"
(December 14, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Demos and myself.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6728 on: October 04, 2017, 10:25:55 PM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER NINETEEN:
Getting Back to Normal

GH was having a day out with Leatherhead. It was a crisp September day, and the world wasn't ending. At least, not yet. The anthropomorphic crocodilian sang to his adopted father:

"You mean if ever
I'm in any kind of great big mess or trouble?
"

GH sang back:

"I'd be right there.
We'll be a pair.
"

"You mean you'll never leave me all alone?
We'll always be a double, we two?
"

"That's the arithmetic.
I'd stick with you.
"

"Just say we're hanging by a rope above an Knightly witch's brew pot.
It's bubbling blue with sticky goo.
Our rope gives way and then we crash and make a splash
Inside her stew pot of glue.
"

"Even if you're sticky sick,
I'd stick with you.
I'm sticking with you!
"

Leatherhead giggled like the six-year-old he was, which caused GH to laugh as if the laughter was contagious. Then Leatherhead yawned, and GH drew him close.

Leatherhead said, "Father and son. . . ."

" . . . And we always will be . . . always.
Through all the thin and thick.
We two will do the trick,
I'd stick with you.
Faster than the clock can tick,
I'd be there just as quick.
No one I'd rather pick.
I'd stick with you.
"

He gave Leatherhead a kiss on his forehead, and began to take him back to his thread. He may never have been ready for the harsh responsibility of parenting . . . but this, moments like this, made it worth it. Moments like this . . . it paid for the harder times worth weathering.

***

His waking self, his body, was still not ready to rise from his bed. Still covered with his navy blue sheets and comforter (which had the same effect of helping block his corona from harming the Realm -- very useful, should someone foolishly throw caution to the wind and burst into his thread, unbidden and unannounced), Cloak slumbered still.

And this is when a thought occurred to him, in this dream aether that he was in, in this lucid dream in which he was suspended. A thought that, though he would never had admitted it aloud, excited him. Enthralled him.

He could talk to the past Masters of the Six Elements who have long since passed through the Veil -- who have long since died. He could communicate with Aniyu, as well, who wasn't an Elements Master at all. Could this possibly mean . . . could it be possible . . .

He was almost afraid of the answer as much as he was excited and enthused about it. In any case, he would have to try. Whatever the results were, he would have to try.



SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=l9VVX5nLusA


Book 162: "Dark RAFians"
Chapter 20: "Penny-Unwise"
(December 14, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Demos and myself.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6729 on: October 04, 2017, 11:43:54 PM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER TWENTY:
Fit to Burst

Azguard was dispatched to investigate a flooding chemical plant. It was a dangerous mission, and one that he wasn't exactly to keen on. He entered the plant on dry land, and that remained so until about a minute later.

His route was completely blocked off by water. It looked fine. Safe enough to swim . . . but should he take that risk? Even if he had iced his way down there, he could possibly pick up something, some sort of parasite, that he would find immediately undesirable. Hell, that might not even be water at all, just a chemical that looks like water, and is odorless.

Better not take chances. Az just pulled an Iceman and created an ice bridge right above this water, and proceeded onward.

It wasn't too long before Azguard came to a padded room that this fiend decided to make its den. The creature had round, human-like eyes (yellow sclera and black irises) set into an orange head that looked like a rook chess piece with purple circular earholes on the sides. It had a purple mouth plate and a forehead plate. It had green growth attached to its back, with brown corrugated tubes attached to the front of its orange torso, with two stiff transparent structures that showed the purple explosives that were its weapon. It had two purple vertical stripes on its shoulder, and its upper arms and thighs were white. Its forearms were orange with a purple right wrist and black hand. It did not have a left hand, but some sort of bubble generator with a purple muzzle with a black interior and a green core. Its lower legs were orange with white and purple bar markings. Its pod-like feet were black atop with white soles, with a purple ankles with green centers.

Before the battle commensed, Azguard assessed quickly that there are two hazards in this room -- some Insta-Death brand spikes on the ceiling, and the walls which would make him bounce through the room.

This fiend appeared to have only two attacks: his first one involved in using its bubble generator and shooting three yellow bubbles that would make Az bounce backwards and towards the walls, then planting his bubble cannon on the floor and making big bubbles rise from where Az is standing. The yellow bubbles can be destroyed with the ice shards, and then Az would have to move around the room to avoid being carried by the bubbles to the spikes. Its second attack involved in shooting three bubble-encased explosives, and then jumping high. The bubble-encased explosives would chase Az and encase him, carrying him to the ceiling, and, if the brand was to be believed, killing him. They can be avoided by jumping on them when they are low enough, which would make them rise and pop on the ceiling, dropping the stray explosive, however. The explosive will explode after a short time. If Az presumably got caught in one of these, he could escape from the bubble by freezing it rapidly. If Az was potentially running out of space, Az should slide below the fiend, if it jumps to regain space.

Az continued to assess the fiend, and strongly suspected that it was weak to extremes in temperature. He hoped that that was not just wishful thinking. But it was worth a try, was it not?

Az quickly formed a shurriken shaped like a generic snowflake -- he had no idea why he wanted to form a cryokinetic construct in this shape, but decided to just roll with it. Then he flung the construct as if it were a Frisbee. It made direct contact with its abdomen.

The fiend flinched backward, causing four purple explosives to drop around it. Exploding around him, harming the fiend greatly. But it manages to tank the explosions enough.

"Lather, rinse, repeat," Az said, as he proceed to do this maneuver another six times, slaying the fiend on the sixth snowflake Frisbee. It was over, and Az deftly left. "Hope Kelly can heal me if I got any diseases from that water . . ."

***

Demos called it a "basutosapien". He made it so it could guard chemical plants.

***

Malice didn't watch this at all. She was already onto her next scheme.


Book 162: "Dark RAFians"
Chapter 20: "Penny-Unwise"
(December 14, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Demos and myself.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6730 on: October 05, 2017, 07:55:32 AM »
New chapter.

BOOK CLIX:
ATTACK OF THE KILLER PRODUCE

CHAPTER ONE:
Cloudy With a Chance of Fiends

Parker was dispatched to the floating weather institute. Why anyone ever thought this facility was a good idea, he didn't know. The place would be a prime target for anyone with terrorist inclinations. Do these people not consider security?

He didn't like it -- he didn't like how he even had to have Yarin drop him off at this podunk meteorological facility. He did not like all the sheer dropoffs he saw with not so much as a hand railing in sight. How has the Occupational Safety and Health Administration not condemned this place yet? The lack of handrails alone had to constitute a serious violation, let alone what potentially lay within.

Was the place staffed by aurorae or something? Parker couldn't help but wonder as he walked inside to find key bits of the floor missing. There was no way that this facility was O.S.H.A. approved. At least, by a competent inspector.

Fortunately, the fiend was not hard to find, having made its den in on of the open air parts of the facilities on a floating, circular platform. The creature was stout, yet about six and a half feet tall. It had what appeared to be five orange-flavored orange lollipops, fanned out, attached to a growth on its back that was scarlet with a purple ring around it -- these actually acted as lightning rods and the source of the fiend's electrokinesis. Its body plan had a vaguely fat teardrop shape, and its face was set into the top of its body -- if you could call it a face, as it only consisted of round, human-like eyes (yellow sclera and purple irises) set deep into the fiend's body and stern mouth. Its lower body was completely legless and surrounded in white, fluffy clouds, separated by a shiny, metallic ring with metallic orange studs. It floated instead of walking. The top of its head was blue-and-purple striped and shaped like a Hershey's kiss. It's body was blue, with three red, horizontal bars on its chest, its abdomen was dark blue with two metallic studs, and its vest-like armor was blue with purple trim. Its shoulder pads was orange with purple trim apparently affixed by large Phillips-head screws, over its blue shoulders. Its upper arms were white, its lower arms were blue with a purple stripe that had two metal studs vertically. Its wrists were purple and its hands were black.

Parker quickly assessed the situation. The fiend floated up from the center of the room, then it charged electrically himself (evidently, invincible while doing so) to fire his lightning from that height towards the RAFian. The electric bolt acted as a fast lightning bolt that created four electric spheres that go by the floor when it hits the ground (two from each side of the electric bolt). It could be avoided by jumping over the lightning, so it may fail to hit Parker along with the four electric spheres, or even fail to hit the ground. Right after that, he floated to Parker's level, and then casts rain and wind that tried to push Parker into the pit or pushing him towards the fiend to collide with him, then pushing Parker onto the pit. It will stay in the same spot and electrically charge himself again, then shock the floor, creating the same electric spheres, and he does this twice in a row. As the rain and wind's power are higher than Parker's, he had to dive to avoid falling, while jumping so he avoided the electric spheres. After the rain stopped, the fiend started chasing the RAFian, leaving a small gap below him so Parker can slide to avoid contact with him. It then repeats this attack pattern.

Parker had an intuitive, sneaking suspicion that it would be weak to his sticky bombs. When the SPARTAN gave it a test go, it worked exceptionally well, despite the fiend appearing to have tanked it. The explosion caused the fiend to lose its cloud lower half and come slamming into the ground for increased damage. Both to the fiend and the platform.

Six more sticky bombs finished off the creature -- and the platform. It began to drop to the ground, not like a stone but a meteor. Parker called Yarin to demand he get his butt over here. When he did and picked up Parker, the SPARTAN deftly destroyed the plateform into harmless debris.

Fortunately, no one lived in the area below them.

***

Demos called it a "nimbisapien".

***

Again, Malice apparently lost interest in the whole fiend fiasco. She was focused on her next scheme, holding a vial of some strange, science-y goo.


Book 162: "Dark RAFians"
Chapter 20: "Penny-Unwise"
(December 14, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Demos and myself.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6731 on: October 05, 2017, 04:15:45 PM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER TWO:
Denial of Doubt

Cloak was aware of how this may turn out. How he may be disappointed. But his waking self was still slumbering and he was still lucid dreaming. So he had a chance, and opportunity to reconnect . . .

He couldn't pass it up. He couldn't.

He would be able to speak to her again. Be able to . . . able to . . . to say all the things that he never got the chance to. This would work he was sure of it. There was so much . . . so much that wanted to say. So much that he needed to say, but never had the chance to.

Just the thought that he may be able to speak with her again . . . his heart and soul ached with anticipation. There was no way that he wouldn't be able to. So what if she wasn't an Elements Master? So what if she wasn't a Truth Dreamer? He would have one last moment with her.

He would be able to see her again. This could work. This would work. He would make it so. He had to believe this, and he did. So what if she wasn't Elements Master or a Truth Dreamer or anything like that? Those weren't stipulations. They were but mere coincidences.

He would see her again. He would. He knew it in his heart and soul. He had to just see her again . . .

***

A dark figure stood in the produce aisle of the local grocery store. She looked at all the eclectic selection of produce in various stands. Cherries. Chestnuts. Strawberries. Asian and western pears. Guava. Apricots. Bearberries. Blueberries. Blackberries. Artichokes. Chili beans. Wax apples. Babaco. Apples. Oranges.  Persimmon. Grapefruit. Figs. Kiwis. Mangoes. Papaya. Raspberries. Bananas. Pineapples. Pomegranates. ****lebur fruit. Corn cobs. Custard apples. Durian. Longan fruit. Bunches of grapes. Strawberry guava. Honeydew melons. Jabuticaba. Fingered citrons. Akebia fruit. Ackee. Langsat fruit. Lychee fruit. Plums. Mangosteen. Marang. Miracle fruit. Lemons. Cocoa beans. Coconuts. Pistachios. Peaches. Pitaya. Loquats. Rambutans. Tamarinds. Roselles. Rose apples. Salak. Cashew nuts and fruit. Horned melons. Starfruit. Tomatoes. Pitanga. Pecans. Parmentiera fruit. Watermelons. Cherimoya. Eggplants. Pumpkins. And more produce was present.

The woman -- who was obviously Malice -- opened the flask of the science-y goo that was forest green and blood red substances, swirling in cavorting, gamboling way. She uncorked it, and this seemed to almost excite the substance within, which began to froth and foam.

She chanted with an ethereally spooky manner:

"Carnivorous animation.
Mystic power that's far beyond the wildest notion.
It's so weird, so feared, yet wonderful to see!
Carnivorous animation, come to me
I don't want herbaceous substantiation,
Or remote sebaceous convolution.
Only one precise solution is the key.
Carnivorous animation, it must be.
Carnivorous animation.
Lovely carnivorous animation.
You make eclectic history.
"

Then she end this chant with what sounded like, "Nunc vive. Nunc vescendum. Non saturabimini.*"

The green-and-red substance turned into magic and adhered itself to the produce. It was like a magical contagion. A contagious magical contagion. This could prove to be a lasting problem. And Malice knew this full well as her malicious smile demonstrated as she walked away. . . .



SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=PpmshIjeSv8

* Yes, I used Google Translate for this. It's supposed to mean "Live now. Feed now. Don't be sated." in Latin, but came out "Now live. Now the meal. Not satisfied." which, honestly, I thought still worked. Bit of the behind-the-scenes info, for those interested.


Book 162: "Dark RAFians"
Chapter 20: "Penny-Unwise"
(December 14, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Demos and myself.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6732 on: October 06, 2017, 07:15:29 AM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER THREE:
The Attack

RAF was dispatched immediately to deal with this strange new threat. But many of the RAFians couldn't believe just how ludicrous and comical this new threat actually was.

Dameg and Demos had to duel with demented durian and dangerous desert yams.

Bladeh and Broken had to deal with bellicose bananas and belligerent beets.

Abby and Aquilai had to fight with aggressive apples and antagonistic arracacia.

Cerulean and Cloudbreaker had contend with carnivorous carrots and cantankerous cassava.

Esplin and E2 fought some excited egusi and enthused eggplants.

"Attack of the killer produce.
Attack of the killer produce.
They'll bash you, squish you,
Smash you, mash you,
Chew you up for brunch,
And finish you off
For dinner and lunch.
"

Horse and Hylian Dan fought harmful hanza and hellish hyacinth beans.

FuBar and Foxglade fought ferocious fennel and fierce filbert.

Guy and Gafrash fought great bunches of grapes and garroting grapefruit.

Jess and JFalcon fought juniper berries and jackfruit.

"They're marching down the halls.
They're crawling up the walls.
They're gooey, gushy,
Squishy, mushy --
Rotten to the core!
They're standing outside the door!
"

Nohensen and Noelle were dealing with nectarines and nannyberries.

Leigh and Liz were dealing with lethal lettuce and lotus seeds.

Kitkat and KitsuneMarie were dealing with killer kale and killer kola nuts.

Magdaleen and Mr. Guy were dealing with murderous mangoes and magosteen.

Oceanspray and OrcaMorph were dealing with oranges and olives.

" Remember Kandy Farfedge --
While taking out her garbage,
She turned around, and she did see
PRODUCE! Hiding in her tree.
And, now, she's just a memory!
"

Terenia and ThinkAgain dealt with tangerines and thimbleberries.

Richard and RiakDemendred dealt with rhubarb and raspberries.

Parker and Pallosalama dealt with pompous potatoes and pretentious pistachios.

QIfry and Quaf dealt with quandong and quince

Sakki and Shanker dealt with strawberries and snow berries.

"I know she's gonna miss her.
A potato ate her sister.
The produce is on their way!
"

Yarin and Yunyun battle youngberries and yumberries.

Visser :3 and Voodooqueen dealt with vanilla and velvet tamarinds.

Underseen and Unknown User dealt with undying ulex flowers and underwhelming urtica.

Whammy and wildwethel dealt with wax apples and wolfberries.

Zohrra and ZombieGoast battled zucchini and zwetschge.

"The president is on vacation!
The governor's fled the nation!
The police have gone on strike today,
The National Guard has run away,
Produce will have their day.
Attack of the killer produce.
Attack of the killer produce.
They'll bash, squish you,
Smash you, mash you,
Chew you up for brunch,
And finish you off for dinner and lunch.
"

"GH!" Saffa said sharply. She looked no worse the wear after the personality pearl incident a few days ago. She felt well enough to scold GH for singing while everyone else was fighting, anyway. "How is this helping?!"



SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=b3uIKzgcDxo


Book 162: "Dark RAFians"
Chapter 20: "Penny-Unwise"
(December 14, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Demos and myself.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6733 on: October 07, 2017, 06:29:36 AM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER FOUR:
Anger Tempest

Cloak continued to run. To run to the spot that he felt assured that she would be there. That she would be there so that he would be able to speak to. She had to be there -- she had never let him down before. She had never caused him pain before . . .

He was nearing the place now. She should be there, he believed with every bit of his heart. She would be there. She would. In this midnight blue blue void, where there were no visible ground upon which to stand, but the ground was still there, firmly supporting his weight. There was no sound with every step he took, but he found himself not really caring about that.

She would be there. He would talk to her again. He would see her again. He wanted this so much. He desired this so much that he would have seen it in the Mirror of Erised.

She wasn't there.

No matter, no matter. Cloak was just early. That was just it. He was early and she hadn't arrived yet. That was all. She would be there. She would . . .

But she wasn't.

Why was she making him wait? He never had to wait for Sage or Aniyu to manifest themselves. Perhaps she was just waiting to make an entrance, like Sage did just before he took him upon Epiphany Road? He wasn't too sure about it, and he felt a small bit of anger bubbling in him.

He did not notice the midnight blue of the void slowing and subtly translating from midnight blue to a color somewhere between maroon and dark red. And it did so as his anger grew and bubbled within him.

She was really being inconsiderate now, making him wait. The void now filled with a barn red mist, which swirled around Cloak in a loose circle. She was never this inconsiderate to him before . . . anger was building in him . . . why was he being disrespected like this?

Was this because she supposedly told his mother to tell him to forget that grizzly bear piece of . . . well, that's too bad! He would never accept his mother back into his life. She shut that door and burned that bridge, and he would not be the one rebuilding the bridge or opening the door. He may have accepted his mother for what she was, but that did not mean that his severe antipathy towards her was in any way extinguished.

No, that couldn't be it, Cloak said, trying to stem his anger. But why was she making him wait?! It had really been too long now. She was taking too long to manifest. It didn't take Aniyu or the past Masters nearly this long to do the same. What was taking her so long?! He could no longer tell if he was angry or just really impatient at this point.

He was so sure that she'd be here. . . .

"She won't come," said a familiar voice behind him.

"You don't know that, Aniyu!" Cloak spat angrily, not deigning to look at her.

"But, Cloak," she said, sadly, "I do."

"No, you don't!!" Cloak said, still irate.

Aniyu pulled Cloak around -- which was not easy as she, as a lupine Realm Walker, was smaller than Cloak, a tiger Realm Walker. She said, "Cloak, she won't come. She won't come, because she can't."


Book 162: "Dark RAFians"
Chapter 20: "Penny-Unwise"
(December 14, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Demos and myself.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6734 on: October 08, 2017, 05:18:48 AM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER FIVE:
Sheer Malice

Malice watched it as her little fusion of science and magic took hold. She watched with smug satisfaction. This scheme of hers was perfectly evil, and these RAFian pets of Cloak did not seem to realize the true genius of the scheme yet.

These Dwellers were always enjoyably slow-witted, Malice mused. They haven't even seen the true consequence of this produce animation spell . . .

Oh, look there. The spell is spreading to more fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, and the like. More and more of the produce are being animated with fangs and clawed hands. The magical contagion, she projected, would eventually sweep over all produce of the nation, then other nations, and then globally. All produce would become carnivorous.

And simply destroying and killing all the killer produce would not be a very viable solution either, as Malice grinned at her own perceived genius. Because the destruction of the killer produce would not revert the foodstuffs back to their original form, and would make it impossible to be edible again.

She cackled at the thought, smiling a toothy, Tasmanian devil* smile. Realm Walkers aren't required to eat like the Realm Dwellers are. Besides, due to their coronas, they can't even eat Dweller food. Theirs is basically a species that has a self-sustenance power, though they do require rest and sleep from time to time. It is rare when a Realm Walker won't or can't sleep, as they have problems with insomnia as Dwellers do (though the more bigoted Walkers would claim that it's worse than anything a Dweller has to deal with). So, this super-contagion would have no real impact on her or Cloak.

But Cloak's friends and allies at the forum? They wouldn't fare so easily. Sure, some of them like Oceanspray or Spectre did not require food, but a fair lot of them were human, or species that required consumption of outside resources for sustenance. They were not immune from starvation from this perverse famine. If this were not to be remedied, then they most assuredly would starve.

And, of course, this is precisely what Malice wanted. She wanted to see Cloak suffer, for him to see his friends dying one by one a most slow and painful death. Wanted to see him struggle to save them, see the futility of the action. Writhe with painful agony that nothing he can do can make the situation better, nothing he could do could save his little pets.

What did she care if she had to sacrifice the entire life on a planet in order to do so? It was all worth it, in her view, as long as she got her momentary, fleeting pleasures from it. That's how she saw, not only Dwellers, but even other Realm Walkers. They were all expendable to her -- mere ants beneath her magnifying glass to burn indiscriminately. They really served no other purpose but that which she decided for them. She saw their deaths as meaningless and inconsequential, as if this were just some sort of big video game where there was an infinite chance to respawn.

But she was aware of the grim finality of Dweller deaths would be. She just dismissed it, as a man would when he stomped and crushed an ant or spider beneath the heel of his boot. They were just NPCs to her -- their lives had no purpose other than what they could do or give to her.

You could really consider her life rather sad and pathetic. In her roughly eighty years of life (or eight hundred years, by Dweller Earthling standards), she's never had a true friend. She's never wanted one. She spurned every attempt at friendliness or affection, unless she could use it to manipulate the person for her own ends. Her family life was also apathetic and detached. She never married, and never bore any children. She considered marriage a form of imprisonment and considered raising children an inconvenience, an annoyance, and a bother. She considered both a waste of time and energy, and only the stupid would go for it.

Of course, this gets interesting in . . . well, let's not get ahead of ourselves.



* This
and not this


Book 162: "Dark RAFians"
Chapter 20: "Penny-Unwise"
(December 14, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Demos and myself.