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Offline DinosaurNothlit

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Enter RAF
« on: May 19, 2012, 09:28:39 PM »
A quick shout-out to Cloaky, for the inspiration that his own fic provided (although the plot is an idea that had been festering in my brain for a while now, your fic was what gave me the motivation to actually do something with it).  My muse thanks you.

EDIT: And a shout-out to Saffa, as well.  For A) writing the sequel-to-the-sequel to this fic, and B) for being awesome and compiling the whole thing into a PDF.  If you are a guest and you want to read the whole thing, well, now you can!  Just download the attachment at the bottom of the page.

ANOTHER EDIT: Click here to read the sequel.

Oh, and some notes for anybody reading this who might not be familiar with some of the RAFians involved.  Tony = Unknown User, Jess = Kit Cloudkicker, Parker = Darth Revan, Cody = Capt. Jack Harkness (or Broken), GazStalker = Giggle Tumor.  I'll edit this list to add more, as needed.

Chapter One

It all started on a Saturday, pretty much just like any other.  It was kind of a boring Saturday, even, if such a thing exists.

Dino had gotten up late, thankfully having gotten a day off, and was sleepily scrolling through Facebook before visiting RAF.  She yawned, unimpressed by most of the status updates, but then an interesting article someone had posted caught her attention.  Something about researchers in Switzerland making progress towards inventing an actual method of teleportation?  That was interesting.  Dino kept reading.

Supposedly their hypothesized technique would operate through the internet to transport people as files of data.  But, there was a catch, they were having a difficult time finding ways to safeguard that data from being altered by other data already stored within the internet.  And the article also mentioned several paranoid naysayers, who were adamant that the Swiss research was dangerously volatile and might trigger a global catastrophe at any moment.  These critics were trying to get the laboratory shut down, before the experiment affected the entire internet.

Dino raised an eyebrow, skeptical, and quickly decided that this had to be fake.  If it were real, the entire internet ought to be buzzing with the news, but all she saw was just that one post.  So she shrugged, and was about to log off of Facebook and onto RAF, when suddenly Tony showed up in Facebook chat and asked her how things were going.  She responded in kind, and quickly they had a good conversation going about the events of the day.

So it went, for about half an hour, just idle chit-chat.  But then, Dino began to feel somewhat strange.  She suddenly noticed that she could no longer feel her fingers touching the keys of her computer.  As she looked down, she froze in terror, because she saw that her fingers had simply absorbed into the keys, like she was a ghost phasing through the keyboard.

As she continued to watch in horror, her arms began to glow, and the glowing light spread up her shoulders and across her body, and suddenly she watched herself break into a thousand tiny pixels of light, which flowed into the computer's screen.

Somehow she stayed conscious, even though she no longer had a physical body, and even though she knew that was impossible.  And somehow she and Tony were still talking to one another throughout this transition, which had actually only taken a matter of seconds.  Their typed words flowed seamlessly into digital-sounding voices and then on into sounds more and more like speech, so that when she found herself in an entirely different place, Tony was just finishing speaking what he had previously been typing.

". . . and that's why zombies don't-" he had started, but cut himself off as he looked around at his strange surroundings.  He was in a sterile room, lined with pictures on the walls, and a whiteboard that various people had written on, and in the corner was a TV that was scrolling haphazardly through various unrelated news stories.  "Where are we?" he asked Dino, who was now standing next to him.

Dino was as perplexed as Tony was.  She was back in her physical human body, as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened.  But she didn't recognize the room they were in, either.  She shrugged, glancing at Tony with a look of confusion.  Suddenly, her eyes widened as she focused on the pictures on the walls.  They were pictures of her!  She ran over for a closer look, and Tony followed.

"Why are there pictures of you all over the walls?" Tony asked.  "Is this your room?"

"No, I've never seen this place before," Dino answered dumbly.  "Wait . . . wait, I think I recognize these pictures though.  These are all the same pictures that I've posted to- to- Facebook."  She stuttered a bit as the implications of her realization suddenly hit her.  If these were all the pictures from Facebook, and she had just seen herself be absorbed into her own computer, then . . .

"Facebook?" Tony echoed back.  "We were just talking on Facebook when this happened.  Hey, Dino, did you see that same thing I did, with the glowing light?  It was like I was being broken down into pieces or pixels, and then . . . I know this sounds crazy, but I thought I was flowing into my computer.  Did that happen to you too?"

Dino nodded, speechless, and then stumbled numbly over to the whiteboard on the other wall.  Indeed, it was filled with commentary on the Avengers, which she had written about in her status updates on Facebook recently.  "This IS Facebook.  These are all the comments on my wall!  Somehow, I don't know how, but somehow we've gone into the internet.  Oh man, that article."

"What?" Tony asked.  "Oh!  About teleportation through the internet?  Yeah, somebody linked me to that article too.  Must've been a RAFian, since we both saw it."

"Yeah, that's the one.  Somehow, I guess something must've gone wrong to trigger it before they were done testing."

"Hmm, I suppose this is one of the things everybody was worrying about.  People getting stuck in the internet, right?"  Tony pinched himself.  "That's funny, though, I don't feel like a bunch of digital data."

Dino thought for a moment, and commented, "Well, it would make sense that our minds would project our physical forms here, and for that matter, a physical place around us, so that we have a familiar point of reference.  Sort of, I don't know, a mental safety mechanism to keep ourselves from going crazy, from being digitized and all."

Tony looked skeptical, but then shrugged and said, "Yeah, that makes about as much sense as any of this.  Which is approximately, absolutely none at all."

Dino pinched herself, even though she knew that wouldn't actually tell her anything.  She could still be dreaming, since she knew she'd slept through worse than a pinch.  In any case, she didn't wake up.

"RAF!" Tony suddenly exclaimed, and Dino took a moment or two for her frazzled and confused brain to realize what he was talking about.  "Oh my god, if the internet has become a real place, then what's happening in RAF?"

Dino looked around at the room that she now knew to be her Facebook profile page.  "How do we get there?" she asked.  "There's no way we can navigate Facebook to get to the edge of it.  There have to be thousands, maybe millions, of profile pages like this."

"Hmm," Tony hummed thoughtfully, looking around.  "Well, lets try that door," he said as he confidently strode towards the exit to the room.  He opened the door and peeked through, seeing a hallway lined with more doors.  Each door was labelled with a name, most of which he didn't recognize, but there were a few that he knew to be RAFians.

As Tony walked out into the hallway, Dino was a few seconds behind him.  As she looked around, she recognized almost all of the names, for the doors that were clustered around her own profile bore the names of her Facebook friends.  That made sense, that they would be connected by a hallway, representing their connection in the digital world.  "Hey, there's my profile!" Tony exclaimed, enthusiastically moving towards the door with his name on it.

Dino followed, noticing as she entered that there was another TV displaying more disjointed news.  Her attention snapped to the TV when she heard the newscaster recite, word for word, the article she had just read about digital teleportation.

"Huh, so that's the Facebook news feed," she said to herself.

Tony, meanwhile, was looking over his pictures and his comments, as though confirming to himself that they were really in his profile page.  Satisfied, he led the way back out into the hallway, and they strolled down the corridor, both of them recognizing fewer and fewer names the farther they went.

Many hours later, they were both hopelessly lost in the endless maze of profiles.  It just went on and on and on, an infinity of hallway.  And more and more people were filtering into the hallways, bustling with confused activity as they all tried to figure out what was going on and where they were.

"Let's go back," Dino said worriedly.  "We're not getting anywhere this way, and at least if we can find our own profiles again, we might meet some other RAFians, right?"

"No, no, let's keep going," Tony argued.  "It has to end somewhere.  We can't get to RAF by going back the way we came."

Suddenly, they heard urgent footsteps clapping down the hallway behind them, and they both turned to see someone pushing their way through the crowd.  "Dino!  Tony!" a voice called out.  "Oh, thank goodness I found you."

They turned to see Jess coming down the hallway towards them.  "We have, well, a bit of a situation on RAF.  We need every single RAFian we can find."

"What's going on?" Tony asked worriedly.

"It's Pootang."  Dino and Tony both gasped, instinctively tensing up.  A few Facebook bystanders, with no idea of the significance behind that name, burst into giggles at the ridiculousness of anyone so dramatically saying that word.  Jess furiously glared daggers at them, and they gulped and stayed silent after that.

She looked back at Tony and Dino, terror written plainly across her face.  "He's so much worse than any of us ever imagined."
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 10:12:04 PM by DinosaurNothlit »
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Offline Cloak

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Re: Enter RAF
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2012, 09:52:45 PM »
Facebook, eh?  So, I'm not there, then.  I don't have a Facebook profile.

Nice work, though, Dino!


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 4: "The Distraction"
(September 22, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: GH, and me.

Offline DinosaurNothlit

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Re: Enter RAF
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2012, 11:23:27 PM »
Thanks!

Just so you know, you probably won't show up until around the third or fourth chapter.  Turns out it's way harder than I thought, trying to write a story with this many potential characters.  :P  And in any case,

Spoiler: Slight Plot-spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Offline Cloak

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Re: Enter RAF
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2012, 09:58:05 AM »
Understood.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 4: "The Distraction"
(September 22, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: GH, and me.

Offline DinosaurNothlit

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Re: Enter RAF
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2012, 10:36:49 AM »
A quick guide to names, for any newbies reading this.  Tony = Unknown User, Parker = Darth Revan

. . . I think that's all the differing names/usernames that might appear in this fic so far, but I'll list more as they join the cast.

Chapter Two

Dino and Tony both pressured Jess for more information about what the deal was about Pootang, but she wouldn't speak more about the subject.  She seemed to think that whatever it was she had seen was beyond her ability to describe, and thus she said that it would be best if Dino and Tony saw the creature for themselves.  So, eventually they gave up and changed the topic.

"So, how do we get to RAF?" Tony inquired.

"Just close your eyes," Jess instructed.  Dino and Tony both obeyed, and were surprised to see a glowing white bar floating amid the blackness of their own eyelids, bearing the text 'www.facebook.com.'

"Whoa," Tony commented, surprised.  "How did neither of us notice that before?"

"Okay, now you just think the address you want to go to," Jess said.  "But, a word of warning.  We will become our RAFsonas as soon as we pass into the forum.  TT, what is your RAFsona, anyway?" Jess asked, using her nickname for Tony.

"A guy sitting on a question mark?" Tony said.  "I don't know, I never really put much serious thought into an actual species."

"Then you'll show up as a human," Jess said.  "Same thing happened to a few of the newbies.  They didn't put enough thought into what they were supposed to be, and they just defaulted to human."

"Darn," Tony sighed.

Dino, meanwhile, was grinning ear to ear in excitement.  "Come on, let's go!" she said enthusiastically, and immediately she thought the address 'www.animorphsforum.com.'

In an instant, like someone changing the channel on a television, they were somewhere else.  Tony stayed his human self, while Jess had become a unicorn-like creature but with a melding of vaguely humanoid features, sporting a multicolored horn.  Dino could now feel the massive armored muscular body of her Ankylotyrannus form.  She flexed her three-toed feet, and almost daintily swished her clubbed tail, careful not to hit the others.  Tony couldn't help but to stare at both of them.

Dino turned her head, feeling the new weight of her massive skull as she did, and looked around at the forum.  They were outdoors, facing rows of long and narrow buildings decorated in RAF's familiar blue-and-white color scheme.  The buildings were labeled such things as 'Bored,' 'Media,' 'General,' 'Animorphs,' and 'Roleplaying.'  Above, the sun shone brightly, and for some reason Dino got the strange feeling that it was watching her.

"Whoa," Tony commented, looking up at Dino as she towered over him.  "Dino, may I touch you?" he asked.  "I've always thought it would be cool to touch a dinosaur."

<Sure,> Dino answered, surprised to hear her own thought-speak.  <Wow, hey, this is cool.  I can think at you and you can hear me!  Hello.  Hellooo,> she said, acting like Ax in human morph for the first time.

Tony brushed his hand against Dino's scaly skin, a little weirded out at the cobblestone texture under his fingers.  It was hard to imagine, that this giant lumbering creature had just moments ago been a human being, his friend Dino.

It was kind of weird for Dino, too, seeing that perplexed and astonished expression on Tony's face, like she was some kind of museum exhibit that he was studying.  It made it clear just how strange the whole situation really was.

But they were both snapped out of their respective reveries when Jess impatiently cleared her throat, and pointed her horn at the 'Roleplaying' building.  "The basement of RAF is over that way.  That's where the Yeerk pool, and Pootang's lair are.  They're easy enough to find, just press the 'RAFbasement' button.  So I'm going to head back to Facebook and see if I can track down any more RAFians.  See ya."

Jess headed out, blinking out of sight like she had never been there, leaving them both gaping slightly at the oddness of hearing such a strange unicorn-like creature speaking perfect English.  After taking a moment to once again grapple with the sheer weirdness of the entire situation, Dino and Tony turned and headed towards Roleplaying, and Tony opened the door.

They both gasped in awe at the incredible sight before them, as an entire galaxy seemed to stretch out before their eyes.  The building was bigger on the inside than it was outside!  There was an entire universe inside!

As they entered, Tony and Dino found themselves walking within an ornate glass chamber, a little like a glass elevator, but large enough to easily accommodate Dino, and much more futuristic, with organic edges and bubble-shaped chairs tucked away towards the sides.  All around was glass, and beyond the glass was the beautiful starry blackness of space.

In the 'bridge' of the glass ship, there was a panel of buttons.  Dino lumbered over to the panel, and read the names of the various roleplays, from the 'Galaxy's Edge Space Bar' to 'Introduction Randomness' to 'Superheroes' to 'Hogwarts.'  Towards the bottom, in smaller type and with miniscule buttons, were listed the older roleplays that had long-since become inactive.  There were a couple of other buttons off to the side of the panel, one marked 'Exit,' and another marked 'Create New Roleplay,' with a little microphone underneath the button.

<Wait a second,> Dino said, perplexed, as Tony joined her in looking at the buttons.  <Intro Rando?  That roleplay takes place in RAF, doesn't it?  So, that would have to mean that there is another RAF right here within this Roleplaying board, which is also within RAF itself.  So, what, is there an infinite loop of RAF within RAF within RAF?>

"Let's find out!" Tony suddenly declared, and decisively pressed the 'Introduction Randomness' button.

<Tony, NO!> Dino yelled, but it was too late.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 11:19:32 AM by DinosaurNothlit »
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Offline Cloak

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Re: Enter RAF
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2012, 12:03:09 PM »
That's interesting.  You've cast Pootang as a primary antagonist in your fic, whereas it's pretty much like the Box Ghost (Danny Phantom reference) in mine.

Anyway, excellent chapter, Dino.  Now I realize you speak in thought-speak . . . which I should have realized earlier, I guess.


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 4: "The Distraction"
(September 22, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: GH, and me.

Offline DinosaurNothlit

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Re: Enter RAF
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2012, 12:47:52 PM »
Although, you'll soon find that my version of Pootang has a bit more in common with yours than you'd think . . . but I digress, that's for next chapter.

Thanks again.  As for the thought-speak, it probably would have been fine with me even if you'd forgotten.  I'm not a stickler for the 'thought-speak vs. quotation marks' thing.

This is probably going to be the last chapter until tomorrow.  Gotta keep you guys in suspense, I'm evil like that.  >:D

Chapter Three

The glass ship flew through space at a breakneck speed, stars flying past like a tape set on fast-forward.  But somehow there was no sensation of motion within the ship.  It was as though space itself was what was moving, reality itself warping at insane speed all around them.

The physics-defying ride slowed as they approached a planet that looked like earth, and from there they zoomed in on a place that was nearly a mirror image of the RAF they had just come from.  Except that this RAF seemed to have seen better days.  It was a worn and beaten wreck of a place.

Below, they saw Seal, Ghost, and Blaze, engaged in battle with some kind of stick-figure robotic creatures.  Dino had to supress an instinctual squee at seeing Seal as the absolutely adorable little white harp seal that she was.  Seal looked up and waved a flipper happily at the two newcomers.  A robot took the opportunity to shoot a laser at her while her back was turned.  She barely even flinched at the sting, and absentmidedly flung a hydrokinetic wave at him, the water rising up through the grass and sweeping him away while he smoked and fizzed with static.

"Dino!" Seal greeted enthusiastically as the glass ship touched down on the sparse grassy field.

Tony cleared his throat.  "What, no greeting for me, Sealykins?"  He mocked a sniffle.  "I'm so hurt!"

"Oh, it's Tony!" Seal exclaimed, surprised.  "I didn't recognize what you looked like!  I only know you by your voice!"  It was almost unspeakably strange, Dino thought to herself, to witness a seal's mouth moving and hear spoken English coming out, but Dino quickly reminded herself that it wasn't any weirder than anything else she'd already seen.

"So, are you guys here to help us fight?" Blaze asked, keeping his focus on his three opponents as their light-sabers clashed with his own sword, though he didn't seem to mind that he was outnumbered.

<No, actually, we're only here because someone pressed the wrong button,> Dino answered, with a pointed look at Tony.

"It had to be done," Tony retorted.  "Questions needed to be answered."

<Anyway, we were actually headed for the basement.  Apparently something about Pootang?>

Seal's smile suddenly fell, her expression becoming remarkably serious for a seal.  "Yeah, that, that thing has all of us worried."

"It didn't escape, did it?" Tony inquired.

"Oh no, no, of course not.  Trust me, if it did, we would not be here idly chatting," Seal said ominously.  "Anyway, I should probably come with you.  Blaze?  Ghost?  You good here?"

They both nodded, never even pausing in the fight with their metallic opponents.

"I want to stop by the GESB first.  I think that's where Bear and Terenia are," Seal explained, as she led the way back into the glass ship, bouncing somewhat comically as she moved across the grass.  Once they were all in the ship, she pressed the appropriate button with a surprisingly dextrous flipper.

The ship took off again, blazing through the stars like a Star Trek ship going through warp.  They arrived this time at a small planet, more of a moon than a planet, really.  The glass ship parked itself near an old wooden building marked by numerous scorch marks, sitting in a clearing among the surrounding woods, next to a lake.

Dino briefly wondered if she would be able to fit inside, but then she recalled that, as her RAFsona, she had the ability to change size.  She concentrated, and felt her body subtly shift as she 'fell' towards the ground, following the others towards the building as she shrank down to human size.

By the time they got there, Dino was no bigger than Tony, and able to easily walk in through the front door.

"Dino, I didn't know you could do that," Tony commented when he noticed her shrink.

<Yeah, it's sorta like a altered version of morphing.  I can absorb the genetic size of a creature, just not its form.>

Inside the bar, they saw a bear, lapping at a bowl of punch.  Towards the other side of the bar was an Andalite, who was engaged in conversation with an aluminum-plated android.  The Andalite turned a stalk eye towards the newcomers, but didn't show much interest beyond that.  The android, which Dino decided must be Lumy, turned and waved, while Bear loped towards both of the newcomers.

The bartender kept behind the bar, wordlessly polishing glasses.  Dino thought something looked a little odd about him, as though his body was just slightly blurred around the edges, but she decided that it was probably some general weirdness about the Bar, because it was a pretty strange place anyhow.

<Dino!> Bear exclaimed enthusiastically.  <How are you doing?>

"Oh, again with noticing Dino before me.  I see how it is," Tony grumped.

<Tony!> Bear added with a thought-speak laugh.  <Sorry, buddy, I didn't recognize you.  My bad.  How are both of you doing?>

<Bear, I- wait,> Dino interrupted herself, suddenly thinking of something.  <I didn't know your RAFsona could thought-speak?>

Bear looked down dejectedly, as though reminded of something he'd been trying to forget.  <I can't.>

Another voice piped up, oddly coming from the same direction as Bear.  <Hey, guys, Terenia here!> the voice introduced.  <Yeah, um, Bear can't actually speak at all.  That was me.  Sorry for that.>

<Whoa, what?> Dino commented, confused and taken aback.

<This is probably going to sound weird or crazy or both,> Terenia explained, <but I'm actually, well, inside his brain.  I'm translating his thoughts for him.  It's convenient for the both of us, this way.  I mimic his voice with my thought-speak, which, by the way, turns out to be easier than you might think, and then I say whatever he directs me to.  I only use his 'voice' to distinuish his words from mine, it's less confusing for everyone that way.  It's so I don't have to keep saying 'Bear says this' and 'Bear says that.'  And, in return, I get to use his eyes and ears, and I don't have to worry about people stepping on me.>

"Oh, that's right, you're a Yeerk, aren't you," Tony said.  "Ugh, that must be weird.  No offense."

<Tell me about it,> Terenia sighed in agreement.  <But at least I can thought-speak, so it didn't take long for people to find me.  I'm really worried about Myitt.  Nobody knows where she is.>

"I'm sure we'll find her," Seal reassurred.  "Don't we have some RAFians with psychic powers or something?"

<None that I can think of,> Terenia said.

"I'm sure she's fine," Seal repeated.  "There are plenty of people who just weren't logged in when all this happened, she's probably still in the real world."

The conversation stalled for a moment, as everyone worriedly considered the possibility that Myitt could be somewhere on RAF, possibly without a host, helpless, and unable to tell anybody where she was.

<Anyway,> 'Bear' interjected, making a throat-clearing noise.  <How are you guys?>

<Oh, right, we were on our way to the basement, something about Pootang,> Dino remembered.  <Apparently everybody is super freaked-out, and I for one want to know why.>

<No, you probably don't,> Terenia said coldly.  <There's a darn good reason we're all freaking out.  Bear and I, we'll come with you.>

<Moral support,> Bear added, as he padded out of the Bar and towards the glass ship.

"Hey, what happens if you need to go somewhere and this ship isn't there?" Tony wondered, as the ship once again sped seemingly motionlessly through the cosmos.

<That never happens,> Terenia answered.  <Somehow, I don't think it actually moves.  It's always in each place, simultaneously, and it only seems to move from one place to another from our perspective.  That's the theory, anyway.  I don't know what actually happens.  All we know, is that nobody has ever gotten stranded anywhere.>

A few seconds after Tony had pressed the 'RAFbasement' button, the glass ship arrived on earth once more, and slowly descended in front of a dingy-looking hole in the ground.  Another RAF forum was close by, but it looked newer than the Intro Rando one, and more like the real one.  For all they knew, it could have been the real one, since the laws of basic logic seemed to mean nothing in this place.

The five RAFians slowly crept down the dark stairway into the earth, nervous of what they might find.
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Offline Cloak

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Re: Enter RAF
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2012, 01:05:01 PM »
I find Terenia inside Bear's head creepy for some reason.

Anyway, nice chapter, Dino!


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 4: "The Distraction"
(September 22, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: GH, and me.

Offline Unknown User

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Re: Enter RAF
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2012, 01:38:40 PM »
This is brilliant, Dino. I too find Bear being yeerked a little creepy, and I like the way you've described the internet. Have to say, I like this "Tony" character as well. :P I'll definitely keep reading.  Can't wait to see who else pops up.
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Re: Enter RAF
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2012, 05:39:03 PM »
Awesome!
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Offline DinosaurNothlit

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Re: Enter RAF
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2012, 10:32:05 PM »
Heh, I was kinda going for 'creepy.'  The way I like to write, if you don't have nightmares by the end of the story, I haven't done my job.

Oh, hey, speaking of which . . . here's the next chapter!

Chapter Four

After the five RAFians had gone down for a long time, probably at least a mile underground, the stairway branched off, and from one side it widened into an enormous cavern, from which they could hear human voices screaming.

<Don't worry about those screams,> Terenia assured the others.  <That's just a taped loop.  Ambiance, I guess.  Yeah, you guys have read the books, you know what that place is.>

The other branch of the stairway kept going down, and in that direction they could hear a very different sort of screaming.  It was far, far worse than the human screaming, a bloodcurdling sound, like a mixture of every sort of bestial anguish imaginable.  It sounded like dozens, perhaps hundreds, of different animal voices layered on top of one another, yet somehow all screaming as one creature.

The hair on the back of Tony's neck was standing up on end, even as he led the way down the stairs with false bravado.  Bear/Terenia and Seal followed, with Dino trailing nervously at the back of the group.

They descended another mile underground.  It was hard to judge distances, when all the stairs ran together in the monotony, but it felt like it had to be at least a mile.  They could feel the air slowly heating up with depth until it was stifling, when they finally emerged into a dank, torchlit cavern containing an enormous and thick-barred wrought-iron cage.  Phoenix was there, his body glowing with fire that wrapped around him as he idly toyed with his own powers, as were Parker in his Spartan armor, and a hooded figure that Dino decided must be Cloaky.  The trio looked to be formidable guards indeed, but they each visually paled in comparison to their terrible charge.

Inside the cage was something the likes of which neither Dino nor Tony had ever seen.  It was vaguely Pikachu-like in shape, but it appeared as an interlaced image of dozens of horrifying apparitions, each one subtly different from the others.  It was like watching an image reflected on glass behind which a different image lurked, only it was hundreds of such images, and yet somehow they all blended together into one creature, in utter defiance of any possible logic.

Almost all of the interlaced creatures had fangs, bloodshot eyes.  At least one had dozens of sharp teeth, like a shark.  Most of them had mangy grizzled fur, and there was a garish mixture of blurred and indistinct scars and injuries, some apparitions missing eyes or ears or other pieces of their face.  The various interlayered creatures were not all the same size, either.  One or two of them were hundreds of feet tall, but others seemed smaller, and there was at least one that looked almost nonthreatening.

But somehow they were all the same creature.  The interlaced phantoms moved as one being, and when the creature opened its mouth to roar, hundreds of different animal screams issued forth as one haunting, tortured voice.

"Why is it like that?" Tony asked, nervous.  "What the heck happened to it?"

<Well, we have a theory,> Terenia began.  <We think that, because Pootang is not a user on RAF, but rather an idea brought forth by many different people, the various and often conflicting versions of him that people have created over time were forced into one entity.  For example, see the really huge one?  Notice that he looks kind of pixellated?  We think that one is Blue's version of him from 'The Animated Series.'  And the smaller one, the one that generally looks a bit less intimidating, that one is probably Cloaky's version from 'Memoirs of a RAFian.'>

"Is Cloaky's version the one that keeps looking at me like I'm a steak?" Seal chittered nervously under her breath.

<So,> Terenia continued, <since Pootang isn't a user himself, he isn't capable of 'deciding' which version of himself is the correct one, so he was forced to become all possible interpretations at once.  You might have noticed some slight blurring around the bartender from the GESB, too, for the same reason.>

"What happens if that thing escapes?" Tony asked, a panicked edge creeping into his voice.

<That's what has everyone so worried,> Terenia said nervously.  <By most accounts, each version of him would have been plenty powerful enough on its own.  But, we're thinking that now it may not be enough to only defeat him once.  We're worried that each incarnation may need to be subdued separately, before he can be truly defeated.  And even worse, it's also possible that the cage containing him might be all that's keeping him bound into one form.  If he gets out, then we may be facing an entire army of Pootangs.>

<'Army,' and 'Pootangs,'> Dino muttered to herself, trying to make a joke to ease her own nervousness.  <There's two words you never want to hear in the same sentence.>

"We've noticed something else about him, though," Cloaky added, striding forward with feline grace, while Phoenix and Parker tightened their focus on the caged creature.  "I don't suppose any of you noticed something there that doesn't belong?"

Dino swallowed her fear and looked hard at the creature.  She saw something blurred and indistinct, but which didn't fit with the rest of the monsters.  It was hard to make out, a very faint apparition.  But it seemed to be a human infant.

<I see it,> she said.  <It's a baby.>

"Right," Cloaky said.  "That is the original son of Anna and Ken, or so we believe.  Long before Pootang became the monster that we know today.  So, if we can find Pootang's parents, they may be able to convince him that the baby is his true self.  We've sent Jess to scour Facebook to find Anna, but none of us know where Ken might be."  Cloaky glanced back at the caged creature, and added quietly, "They may be our best hope."

Pootang screamed again, throwing his dimensionally-fractured form at the bars of the cage.  The space between the bars flashed blue, a force field holding him back.

"That's just if he escapes, though, right?" Tony asked.  "As long as he's in there, we have nothing to worry about.  Right?"

"There is one thing that all iterations of Pootang have in common," Seal said darkly.  "And that is that they always escape.  Always.  And so it is not a question of 'if' he escapes.  Only 'when.'"
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 12:33:09 AM by DinosaurNothlit »
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RAFdating Bear!

But above all else, he was a RAFian, and always would be.

Offline Blazing Angel

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Re: Enter RAF
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2012, 11:16:03 PM »
This is awesome
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Offline Sakki

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Re: Enter RAF
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2012, 01:26:12 AM »
An Army or Pootang. Enough to make any Roxean tense.

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Re: Enter RAF
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2012, 11:15:55 AM »
Yay, I got a kind of cross-promotional plug for "Memoirs"!  Where Pootang escaping is just an exercise, and a bit of fun.  Dino, you actually made it (I was told that it didn't have a gender) actually sinister and threatening!!

I feel I must also note that the Pootang was before my time as a RAFian.  I don't know why, I just thought I should mention it.


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 4: "The Distraction"
(September 22, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: GH, and me.

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Re: Enter RAF
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2012, 05:36:59 PM »
Another fic getting updated often.  The Pootang move is brilliant.  Btw Bear was a host to a Goa'uld once and I think he would die before doing something like that again.  It also makes Teach a weird third wheel in the whole Bear and Dino relationship.  If there is one here...