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Erogenous Beef
Dec 20, 2006

i know the filthy secrets of your heart

Since you got in just under the wire, your :siren: flash rule :siren: is that your story involves the Monaco Grand Prix.


Cpt. Mahatma Gandhi
Mar 26, 2005

Your setting and cast of characters - 70505 - Temple of Light

Flash rule

Erogenous Beef posted:

Cpt. Mahatma Gandhi - Dreamcatchers are an important detail. No waking-up or it-was-all-a-dream copouts.
:siren: Bonus Flash Rule :siren:

Chairchucker posted:

You two jive pluralising suckas have only 400 words, enjoy!


The Dream Battle
400 words

“I won’t let you give the old man a nightmare.”

Tantibus laughed, though it sounded more like a snarl through his black helmet. “Ooooo, I’m shaking in my boots.”

They stood on opposite sides of the bed, each wielding a dreamcatcher. Sandy, God of Good Dreams, held hers high, its web luminescent gold like her clothes. Her nemesis held a circle of burnt sticks and black string, oozing malevolence. Between them, the dojo master snored.

“How about a dream battle?” she said.

“Do we have enough room?”

“It’s a dojo, Tantibus; it’s built for fighting.”

“Fine,” he scoffed. “Let’s see what you’ve conjured up.”

They moved to the center of the dojo, near a smoldering hearth. Tantibus acted first, tapping his dreamcatcher in syncopated rhythms until smoke swirled around them. Two ninjas materialized like apparitions, one with a sword and the other a crossbow, the bloodlust in their eyes as red as their armor. They growled at Sandy like wolves.

“They’re scary, I’ll give you that,” she said. “Not very creative though. Ninjas for a dojo master? You’re losing your edge.”

“Quit stalling.”

She tapped her dreamcatcher and light exploded from its webbing, blinding them all. When it dissipated, a golden giant towered over them.

“Well, this hardly seems fair.”

Sandy grinned. “Scared?”

“Not on your life.” He turned to his ninjas. “Go.”

They leapt in unison, hurling themselves through the air. The bladed ninja tried to stab the giant’s chest but was repulsed by the thickness of its skin. The other clung to its thigh, lining up a crossbow dart. He put his finger to the trigger just as a massive fist swept down and rocked him like a wrecking ball, shattering him into a puff of smoke. Now alone, the bladed ninja performed a lunging jab at the giant’s ankle, rendering a deep scratch. But the damage was merely cosmetic, and a moment later he was squashed into nothingness.

“Bah,” Tantibus said, waving the defeat away. “I’ll find a child to torment, then—plant a boogie man in its brain.”

“Again, not very creative—” but he was already gone.

Satisfied, Sandy returned the giant to her dreamcatcher and hung it over the old man’s head. The dream entered his mind and his lips curled into a smile, much to her delight. “Sleep well,” she whispered as she evaporated back into the night, on to her next dreamer.

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

I'd like to request a crit for my Thunderdome story before I post it. Anybody who's down please PM me. Thanks!

The News at 5
Dec 25, 2009

I'm Chance Everyman.
Here is my set:


735 words

“Branniger!” shouted Captain Ross as he slammed his hand on the dashboard, the gas gauge bouncing slightly off the “E” where it was rested. Scooter snapped out of his daze.

“You calling for me, Captain?”

“No, not you, Scooter. Branniger. He’s done this to us.” Scooter stared blankly. Captain Ross sighed.

“Branniger,” he reminded the rookie, “is the gas tech back at the base. He told me fourteen times that we had plenty of fuel to get us to the Blocky Mountains and back. Now-“ he waved his hand towards the gas gauge. Scooter’s face fell, and he looked forlornly out the window into the screaming blizzard. He couldn’t see more than three or four feet beyond their small truck, even to the mobile outpost they were dragging a mere seven feet behind them. They hadn’t seen the sun in three days.

“I just don’t understand,” said the Captain, shaking his head. “That man is…was my best friend. I danced the robot at his wedding. Why would he have lied? We’ll have to try and radio for help.”

“Won’t be much good through this weather, Captain. Besides, the radio’s back in the outpost and we can’t get there on account of the...the…” Ross’ gaze followed Scooter’s. On the farthest end of their field of vision, something moved against the rapidly falling snow. It was advancing slowly, carefully. Its white fur was almost imperceptible among the vast Arctic landscape.

“The bear,” Captain Ross growled. It had become their traveling curse, coming in with the blizzard and sticking as closely to them as the snow on their windshield did. Any attempt to exit the truck and reach the outpost was met with a furious roar, and a white shadow barreling toward them. Unknown miles behind them, Scooter’s scooter lay in the gathering snow, covered in claw marks, treads shredded by sharpened teeth. Captain Ross put his hand on the boy’s shoulder.

“I’m out of ideas. I hate to say it, but I think this may be it.” Scooter lowered his head into his hands. Captain Ross assumed he was crying. Instead, Scooter’s face shot up, a light from behind his eyes beaming like the sun they longed to see.

“I’ve got an idea.” Before Captain Ross could react, Scooter threw open the door and ran as fast as he could to the outpost. Captain Ross was too stunned to react. Scooter kicked open the door of the mobile outpost and hauled a grey box into the storm. He furiously pulled out piece after piece, assembling some, throwing others aside. Captain Ross could make out the white form of the bear growing larger, and quickly.

“Scooter, whatever it is, there’s no time!” The creature’s roar seemed to shake the ground.

“I can do it Captain! I’m almost done; I just need one last piece. Where is it?” His voice grew frantic. “I can never find the piece I’m looking for. I know it’s in here! I saw like twelve the other day!” The bear was almost on him now. Ross could see its black eyes. He leapt out and ran to Scooter, hoping to reach him before the bear did. The beast’s jaws opened wide.

“Got it!” Scooter shouted, holding the final piece briefly over his head before snapping it into place. Ross finally saw it for what it was.

“A saddle?”

Scooter whipped around, now face to face with the bear. He leapt out of the way just in time, slipping a makeshift bridle into its’ roaring jaws. He pulled himself and the saddle on top, and rode the monster with everything he had in him. The grip of his yellow, claw-like hand never faulted, and for three entire minutes he stayed on, despite every effort of the bear to claw, bite, and toss him off. The exhausted beast collapsed in the snow. Scooter stroked its head.

“Its okay, Captain. I think we’ve found a friend. I’m going to name him Snowcone.” Captain Ross approached cautiously, but Snowcone didn’t stir at his presence. Ross slipped on the saddle and locked his hands in place around Scooter’s middle. With a mighty “Hee-ya!” and a hard kick, the bear was up and running.

“They’ll sure be surprised to see us!” Scooter shouted to his commanding officer. A sly smile spread across the Captain’s face.

“Especially Branniger,” he laughed as the two and their mount rode off into the snowstorm.

The News at 5
Dec 25, 2009

I'm Chance Everyman.
Also my flash rule was this, to help clarify:

The News at 5 - Story opens with a betrayal. No violence, no inter-character arguments

Apr 29, 2013

Good ideas 4 free
Fun Shoe
Being my first thunderdome, and not a particularly prolific writer, this probably gone' suck.

Prompt: A friendship long grown stale, or something.

Edit: 599 words

The Brisbane International Airport was a buzz with activity. Across the counter i smiled at some fat chick, who peeled her eyes off her iphone long enough to take her change, then mumbled without looking at me and waddled off across the terminal. 'Have a good one!' I said cheerily, inwardly hoping she'd trip and smash the caramel latte straight into her face, but then i felt bad about Terry, the cleaner, maybe having to mop up her poo poo when she did.

I think i was jaded. A year i'd worked here, saving money so one day i could walk up to my own counter and order a coffee, then smile at the poor bloke in my spot who knew i was going somewhere, but with car rego and insurance and jerking off in general i was going nowhere fast. I sneaked a sip of my coffee as some suited up wanker approached, sun glittering in his Ray Bans and his lips slightly pursed. 'Hey, what can i get for ya'?' I asked. He dropped a tenner on the counter and gazed at his watch.

'Can i get a... skinny half strength Mocha with no froth.' He drawled, looking everywhere except me. I scraped up his cash with difficulty, no fingernails, and as i gave him his change he regarded me for the first time. His mouth dropped and his Ray Bans glided off, revealing eyes sparkling with recognition. 'Dave?'
'Ey?' I asked stupidly, trying to remember if his latte was full cream or soy.
'Richie Parker! From high school?!'
'Oh dude. Richie. Long time, what's up?' I asked, remembering him from Drama Class and the plays our old school used to put on. Though he used to be a lot fatter and shorter. He was the biggest Prima Donna I'd ever met, and had always liked me for some reason. Suddenly i was intrigued.

'Where you headed, man?'
'Milan Fashion Week', He whined. 'The flights so huge. I've got a runway thing for my up and coming label. Such a pain in the rear end.' He sulked, filling me in before i even asked, yet i was humbled. This fruitcake had nailed his dream while i was making coffee for a living.
'That's really impressive.' I said, gawking slightly. His face lit up. 'Thanks Dave! Anyway, i gotta run.' He handed me a fancy looking business card as i handed him his coffee. 'Let me know if you feel like a holiday.' He said with a sly wink and a smile, then sauntered off into my peripheral vision.
'Cheers.' I mumbled.

For a moment i stood, fiddling with a plastic spoon and contemplating my purpose in life before another valuable patron occupied my attention. For once i really didn't give a drat if they didn't look at me, or smile. With integrity i thought i'd abandoned long ago i actually used skinny milk when they asked, and smiled pointlessly at them as they walked off without thanking me.

Two months later I'd sold my car and bought a ticket to New Zealand; it was only a hop across the pond but it was somewhere new. As i walked up to my old coffee shop i saw my replacement. I smiled at the dejected looking bloke and asked for a flat white. Without a word or a look he took the exact change i handed him. Still smiling i thanked him as he handed me the coffee. 'All good.' He mumbled to his till. I walked a few feet away, then threw my coffee straight into his face.

'Sorry Terry.'

Vilgefartz fucked around with this message at 09:41 on Feb 23, 2014

Techno Remix
Feb 13, 2012

My set -
My rule - Pachelbel’s Canon in D is important to your story somehow


Mission Failure
Approx. 740 Worlds

“Expedition, this is Ground Control. Do you copy?”

Before Patricia could float to the console she passed the starboard viewport. Just like the last three days the view of the stars shining in the distance brought a smile to her face.

I wonder if any will hear us.

“Expedition, acknowledge last transmission.”

Patricia gripped the back of the chair and reached up to flick the comm switch over to “Transmit”.

“Sorry, Ground Control. This is Bell.”

“Expedition, copy. Good morning, Captain Bell. Please update us on the status of your mission.”

“Reynolds here,” said another voice. “I’m just finishing up work on the transmitter now. I think we’ve finally nailed that bass frequency. If this signal hits a radio receiver anywhere, they’ll be hearing Canon in D.”

“Expedition, copy. When complete, join Captain Bell inside and make ready for first transmission.”

Patricia pushed off of the console back in the direction she had come from, leaving Reynolds to relay any further details about the transmitter. She was sure that song would be stuck in her head for weeks. That was the purpose, after all: sending out a transmission with a deliberate, repeated pattern would show someone on the receiving end that it had to have been created by an intelligent being and not random noise. But heck if that same principle didn’t make that song impossible to forget.

As she neared the back half of the ship, the telltale sign of a hatch shutting signaled that Reynolds had finished his tweaks and was ready to begin. Before Patricia could call for him, Reynolds poked his head around the corner and gave her a nod.

“Ready on your signal, Captain.”

Patricia moved herself into the seat in front of the operations board and strapped herself in. She clacked away at the keyboard, bringing up the parameters for finally sending these transmissions off into the void.

“Ground Control, this is Bell,” she said, still typing away. “Coordinates are locked, ready to send first transmission.”

“Expedition, copy. You are cleared.”

Reynolds flipped a couple of switches and the encoded data poured out. It sped away from the ship at the speed of light, cast off into the darkness for someone else to find. He waited in silence for a few seconds, waiting for the final confirmation.

“Ground Control, this is Bell. Transmission one has failed. Feedback zero, signal loss at full.”

Reynolds sighed and started moving toward the main area of the ship. “Is that antenna loose again? I’ll take a quick look outside.”

“Ground Control, this is Bell. Once Reynolds returns we’ll try again. This transmitter has given us a lot of trouble. Maybe next time they can—“

“Captain!” The sudden sharp yell from Reynolds made her jump. “You need to get out here! There’s…it’s huge!”

Bell quickly unfastened her belt and pushed herself hard through the corridor. Reynolds was neither prone to excitement nor lies, so whatever was going on was enough to worry her. As she cleared the corner she could see him at the porthole, his face plastered to the viewport with an expression somewhere between fear and wonder. Before she could reach him the ship rocked violently, pitching down toward the atmosphere and sending Bell flying full force into the console at the front.

When she was finally able to open her eyes, she could only see a field of white below her. The primary instruments indicated a rapid, uncontrolled descent to the surface. The direction finder spun wildly, unsure of where it was and even less sure of where it could be headed.

“Expedition, Ground Control requests immediate response. Radar contact lost. Where are you?”

Bell struggled to get her bearings. “Ground Control, this is Bell. Location unknown. It’s like we were hit by…something, I don’t know. The ship is severely damaged. Stabilizers are non-functional. We are likely in uncontrolled descent with critical impact guaranteed.” After another frantic look at the instruments, she added, “Was that an answer?”


Outside Bell’s viewport, the white haze broke to reveal miles of ocean below.

“Ground Control, we are heading for contact with ocean in ten or twenty.” She shook her head sadly even though no one was around to see it. “We’re not going to make it.”

“Copy. We are sorry, Expedition.”

“Me too, Ground Control. Over.”

She flipped the comm switch back over to “Off” again. Maybe now that song would stop playing.

Jul 18, 2011

Deny it!” cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. “Slander those who tell it ye. Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And abide the end.”
Search and Rescue
734 Words
Flash Rule: Story includes an enchanted leather sofa.
The Set:

docbeard fucked around with this message at 15:30 on Dec 25, 2014

Nov 14, 2006

to ride eternal, shiny and chrome


Reminder that this is a thing in case you want bonus points or whatever

Chairchucker posted:

Possible bonus points if you take pictures of the LEGO inhabitants of your set acting out the story or a pivotal scene thereof.

Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why did you fail Thunderdome?

Set: Viking Fortress against Fafnir the Dragon
Flash rule: Story hinges on a minor thing that spirals/has spiraled out of control. Think “For Want Of A Nail”.

Olaf the Oaf
746 words

Olaf, they called him Olaf the Oaf, polished an apple and watched his friends prepare for war. Jorgen and Krüppe worked the grindstone. “Why we fighting this thing with axes and rocks,” Jorgen said and Krüppe shrugged. Knut, up at the ramparts, stood next to the catapult and stared into the sky. Björn, at the other catapult, looked grave. Olaf noticed, because Björn was usually very funny. King Thogar stood on top of the front gate and faced the mountains in the distance, both hands on the butt of his axe. A storm was brewing.

Olaf himself, he had no axe. They wouldn’t let him. Olaf always made things worse when he had a weapon. But Olaf helped. He made sure everything was tidy. He shined weapons. Olaf was good at that. The apple he polished, that was for practice. He would give it to the tiny dragon in the cage. The tiny dragon seemed to love Olaf’s polished apples. It ate them, lube and all. Olaf thought that was weird, but Olaf didn’t judge.

Olaf heard a screech in the distance. The men on the ramparts pointed fingers. Jorgen and Krüppe ran up to the battlements. Olaf followed.

A dragon, like the one in the cage, but four times the size of a man, flew towards them. It roared. “Ødeleggerlegos,” King Thogar muttered. Behind Olaf, Björn huffed. A creaking catapult turned towards the flying monster. King Thogar rose his fist. There was a plop and a twang and a rock flew through the air. It missed.

The dragon sweeped down and Olaf’s eyes went wide. King Thogar remained still. As the monster was almost on them, King Thogar took his axe in both hands, jerked it upwards and let out a cry as it slipped from his fingers. The dragon surged past over their heads and the axe travelled in a wide arc across the fortress yard. Its heft landed on Knut’s head. Knut, with a sigh, fell unconscious onto the catapult lever. A plop and a twang and a rock crashed into the gate of the tiny dragon’s cage. The tiny dragon took off through the opening.

King Thogar looked from the tiny dragon to his hands to Olaf. His face turned red. “Olaf, you oaf!” King Thogar yelled. Strong hands, glistening from polish, shook Olaf by his collar. “What have you done? Olaf! You oaf!”

Olaf wailed. He had to fix this! In the yard, Björn was now hanging on to the tiny dragon, which pushed its wings with all might. The bigger dragon had landed next to them. It was surrounded by Jorgen and Krüppe. Jorgen swung his axe. It slid out of his hands. Jorgen shouted Olaf’s name. Jorgen’s face was red too. The weapon landed in the grass right next to--

King Thogar’s axe!

Olaf slipped from King Thogar’s grip and ran towards the axe. Olaf didn’t take the stairs. He landed on something that was soft and hard. There were scales. The dragon roared. It bucked and threw back its head. Olaf held on.

The others shouted at Olaf to get off, but Olaf enjoyed himself. He cheered as he rode the dragon through the fort. Walls crumbled around Olaf. Olaf knew how long it had taken to build all this, but he still thought it looked pretty cool how the catapult towers collapsed.

Then the dragon stopped. It hovered in the air, beneath Olaf. It panted. Olaf patted the dragon on the back. He took the apple he had polished and flicked it in the air. The dragon caught it, swallowed and roared. It breathed fire. Björn screamed below. Björn was a fireball. What a funny trick! Olaf laughed.

“Get down here, Olaf,” King Thogar yelled.

King Thogar was still mad at Olaf. But the dragon, the dragon was nice. And more importantly, it was nice to Olaf. Olaf hovered in the air, on the dragon, and thought, long and hard, through the noise of Björn’s funny act.

“Up, dragon!” he cried and tugged at the beast’s scales. It soared upwards. The tiny dragon followed. Olaf held on. The wind pulled on his hair. The dragon screeched. The tiny dragon screeched. Olaf screeched too.

Beneath him, Jorgen and Krüppe stared at the sky. Björn rolled through the dirt. Knut still slept. None of them said anything, except for King Thogar, who stood on the ramparts and shook his fist. Olaf could faintly hear the words.

“Ooooolaaaaaaf, you oooooaaaaf!”

Jan 11, 2014

Historia de un fracaso
(495 words)

My Lego set:
Flash rule: Guevaran revolutionaries.

Rolando and Gabriel enter another village on this especially hot day in Zaire. Rolando sings in a language he still does not speak, but the song manages to attract children, women and the old. A man with a trained monkey is here to entertain them while they’re waiting for their fathers, husbands and sons to come back from a hunt. If Gabriel’s performance is good, he and his human comrade can hope for just enough fruits and water to get to the next village. That’s how it was for several years now.

When villagers are all sat and silent, Rolando gives Gabriel his drum and stands a stick with a cymbal on it. The drum is for drumsticks and the cymbal’s for the tail. Gabriel waits for a sign from his human comrade to start playing the only song he knows.

It’s a song from home brought to this country along with ideas that Gabriel could not comprehend. Maybe even Rolando doesn’t fully understand them now, but there was a time when he was sure those ideas were worth dying for. That’s why he and almost a hundred of others traveled through the great sea to get here and took Gabriel to remind them of their homeland.

Rolando waves his hand which means it’s time to start the show. Gabriel takes out two drumsticks from pockets of his red uniform and hits the cymbal with his long tail following it with a short drum roll. Now it’s four fast hits on the drum and two slow ones on the cymbal.

He’s learned this rhythm long ago, when other human comrades were still around. He used to play this beat whenever they set up a camp. Some people would smile, some people would cry, but all would sing in perfect unison.

Aprendimos a quererte
desde la histórica altura
donde el Sol de tu bravura
le puso cerco a la muerte...

But now instead of words Gabriel can only hear people’s laughter. He looks at this faceless crowd in search of support from his only human comrade. But Rolando pays no attention as he’s too busy begging for food. It feels as if the merciless Sun itself mocks Gabriel with its hot smile.

Suddenly Gabriel’s heart starts pounding faster and faster. First it beats along the rhythm and few seconds later it beats as fast as metal comrade Kalashnikov used to spit out fire both at enemies and Gabriel’s comrades. The rhythm becomes erratic and people jeer even louder and start throwing small stones and dirt at Gabriel. The beat gets slower and slower until it stops. So does Gabriel’s heart.

‘Lo siento, camarada. Saluda a Comandante de mi parte, por favor,’ says Rolando quietly when Gabriel seemingly is no longer breathing.

With people still laughing he takes the basket with food, puts the drum and the cymbal on top of it and leaves the village as he once left his comrades in a battle near Kabinda.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Flash Rule: Strong Island Iced Tea.

Wingmen 749 Words.

Mar 5, 2004

750 words, set, flash: start or end in Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Park

Packie dropped his paintbrush from the the top of the windmill overlooking Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Park when he saw the dog. It looked like a car dash ornament; the dog’s head was twice the size it should have been, and it lobbed from side to side as it walked. It mashed tulips under its feet and dug small holes in the flowerbeds. Nobody else seemed to notice the dog. It strode through a wake of attention lapses, leaving only crushed flowers as evidence of its existence. As it neared the edge of the tulip field, it turned and locked eyes with Packie.

The bulldog used its front paw to scratch at its head, a motion mimicking the tipping of a hat, before it turned aside and peed onto the leg of a man looking the other way. The dog disappeared into a bush as the man turned around. Packie opened and closed his mouth a few times; how could nobody see the arrogant mutt? He swore and climbed down the windmill. Work be damned, someone needed to get that dog.

Packie moved through the park, amazed that nobody seemed worried about the dog. There should, he thought, at least be some general concern. The dog was strange. Hell, it was a menace. Packie checked the bushes at the edge of the park for the dog before leaving, stepping out to a busy street. Hopefully the mutt had been hit by a car. As he looked for canine debris, a bark caught his attention and he saw the dog trot around a corner. He waited for a break in traffic and gave chase, only to stumble over his own feet and fall in front of a fox-headed man leaning on a weird car.

“Who the hell are you?” Packie tried to ignore the stinging on his palms as he returned to his feet. The mask the man wore was surprisingly realistic, at odds with the vehicle he leaned on. While the fox-mask had dirty fur and natural colors, the car sported a thick yellow arch over the windscreen and a blue box on the back. It had crude eyes painted on the headlights. The ugliness gave Packie a headache, made worse by the smirk on the bobble-headed dog’s face as it slapped its tail on the pavement between the two men. Packie felt a strong urge to kick it in the jaw.

The masked man scratched his neck at the bottom of the mask, revealing a grey column of what looked like bone. There were rust-colored stains on the man’s collarbone. The lips on the fox-man’s mask parted and a long pink tongue flopped out, tasting at the air for a second. It was no mask. “Where’s your collar, boy?”

“Get away from my dog.” Packie didn’t know why he said that. He had meant to turn and run. He begged his legs to move but they held fast, transfixed by the bizarre creature in front of him.

“Boy, strays own nothing.” The fox-man growled and stepped off the car towards Packie, revealing the word POLICE crudely painted in yellow underneath the window. Packie’s legs worked long enough to trip again before he was manhandled into the back of the car. The dog jumped in the passenger seat as the fox took the wheel and started the engine.

The trip took hours before the car pulled up outside a large, garish building, built in the middle of an empty field. There was a red truck parked outside the building, its proportions as unnerving as the car in which Packie was trapped. A lion-man watched the car arrive from the clocktower atop the building.

The dog hopped out the passenger seat of the police car and barked a greeting as the lion-man exited through the red double doors. It ran over and licked the lion-man’s hand, who smiled and patted its head.

“Good boy. Today, you become a man.”

Packie’s stomach turned as the lion grabbed the sides of the dog’s head and twisted. The dog’s head came off with a hollow, almost plastic pop, and was placed on the hood of the surreal police car. The two man-beasts turned to Packie and closed in.

The human head stays alive for almost half a minute after decapitation. Long enough for Packie to watch from the ground as the bulldog’s oversized head was pressed onto the wet vertebrae of his severed neck. Packie saw life flood back into the dog’s eyes, then nothing.

Crab Destroyer
Sep 3, 2011
Flash Rule: Redemption of a debt. No money involved.

Exploring the Volcanic Caves - 748 words

Rex Deadman was staring at the strangest truck he had ever seen. The cabin was missing its ceiling and doors, but had a frame where they should have been. On the truck bed there was a translucent tank, built out of Digg Corporation Fibroglass - a material extremely resistant to hot and cold temperatures, filled with dark blue liquid. A hose snaked from the bottom of the tank to a position adjacent to the headlights. Two Digg Corp scientists stood next to it, prepared to answer Rex’s questions about the machine.

“So what is this thing exactly?”

Nelson Branowitz let out an exasperated sigh. “Isn’t it obvious? This is the answer to all your problems! The Fire Blaster…”

“Fire Blaster?”

The other scientist, Ethan Folz, explained, “We’ve never let Nelson name any of our projects before. He helped fix a problem we were having with the hose, so we let him have this one.” He saw Rex’s frown and continued, “That was probably a mistake.”

Nelson furrowed his brow, “You guys owed me a favor and it’s not my fault that this is how you chose to repay me. Besides, it’s a great name. It blasts fire with a compound made to extinguish it. It’s a fire blaster.”

Rex didn’t have time for this nonsense. He wasn’t looking for a fire extinguisher, he told the scientists to give him a way to explore the volcanic caves the underground facility was connected to. Ethan could see the disappointment on his face and tried to keep Rex from abandoning the project.

“Mr. Deadman, before you go give it a test drive. I’ll guide you through the tunnels and you can be the first person to explore the volcanic caves we haven’t been able to access.”

Rex’s eyes lit up. “If this thing can navigate the volcanic caves Digg Corp can finally justify the existence of this facility.”

Ethan nodded, handing him a protective heat-resistant suit.


When Rex graduated high school he spent a couple of years as a commercial truck driver, compared to that driving the Fire Blaster was easy. Ethan was in the passenger seat, a second person was needed to manipulate the hose and keep in contact with the Digg Corporation Underground Exploration Facility. The volcanic caves were already mapped out, to a certain extent. There were sections of the caves that were unexplored due to lava flows the scientists promised the Fire Blaster could bypass.

Rex drove to the closest lava flow and Ethan prepared the hose, which could be positioned anywhere on the cabin’s frame. The hose pumped out a super-chilled liquid, and right as it hit the magma a creature jumped out. It looked like a giant salamander and swiftly crawled past the Fire Blaster toward the direction the pair came from, still dripping with magma.

“This is the Fire Blaster. We have found a strange new creature that we are corralling back into the lab. Prepare a Fibroglass holding cell suitable for a salamander approximately four feet long. Keep a careful eye on our position, we’ll try to stay within ten to fifteen meters of it.” Rex took this as a sign to turn around and follow the creature. Ethan continued, “Be sure everybody involved in the capture effort is wearing heat armor. We’re on our way.”

They led the creature back into the garage where a team of Digg Corp personnel was waiting to capture it. Once the creature was captured it was carried into the research laboratory. Rex climbed out of the Fire Blaster and called Ethan into his office.

“I’m impressed with your work Dr. Folz. I looked at the files and it appears you were the lead researcher on this project?”

“Yes, sir”

“It appears you have a knack for taking my instructions and then exceeding my expectations. How would you like to be the Head Scientist of Digg Corporation’s Underground Exploration Facility? It comes with a pay raise and allows you to be a part of all future endeavors by the research teams.”

“I would be honored, sir”

“I think you know I almost scrapped this project, but your quick thinking led to a great discovery. I’m going to be less involved in the affairs of the scientists, that’s your job now.”

“Thank you, sir”

“Start with this creature. I want you to find out whatever you can and report to me. I’ll process the paperwork for your promotion.”

“I’ll have a report on your desk by Friday.”

Apr 1, 2010

Lego set: ( The Empire State Building)
745 words.

Leaving New York.

They called him the Empire State Building, but he preferred to call himself Em.

It was a nice sunny day in June and his insides was filled busy people. The lights and noises of the big apple still appealed to him. But Em had begun to dream of other places. Em decided to try something new. He concentrated on the electric wiring inside and.. yes the fire alarm went off. He could hear the people inside him talking and walking very fast. Em concentrated on the tubes and wired inside him and with a tsiss the sprinklers went off. Suddenly people were practically sprinting down the stairs. Others slid and fell. Em sensed that his elevators had stopped. Some kind of signal was blocking it. Em quickly forced them back into action.

Beneath him a crowd of escpaing workers and onlookers was forming. Em noticed that a shiny red car with blaring sirens had pulled up. Soon he was completely empty . There was no point in wasting water; so Em turned off his sprinklers. From all over the adjacent buildings people were pointing towards him. But Em was not done playing just yet. He was tired of always being stuck on the intersection between 34th street and Fifth Avenue. It was great place to be, but the world was bigger than New York. That`s what the people inside always said to each other. Then they would laugh and say” Yeah right!”. What was that all about? Em looked up towards the sky. A flock of doves coming from Broadway flew over his spire. Em could not help but wonder. Can I do that too?

He locked all his doors and windows. The clattering noise reverberated in the streets below. The crowd tensed, a man panicked and fell on to the ground. Em focused on his fundament and all the wired and tubes that connected him to the ground. Up, up up he thought and with a roaring screeching sound he broke off from the ground. The electricity went off at once and all his windows darkened. Slowly his massive 455-meter high body floated upwards.

The whole city panicked, from Manhattan to the Bronx and all the way out to Ellis Island alarms blared. Sky was filled with all kinds of strange creatures, but most of them had blue lights on. But no one dared to go any closer. Should I stay here or should I travel even further? Em decided that it might be fun to see outer space.

Em willed himself upwards against, faster and faster he went until he shook from the sonic boom of breaking the sound barrier. The air grew thin and cold, soon he could not see the ground. Then he saw the stars. Em breached the atmosphere and entered the black void. At once he was rustled by an incoming solar storm, it made him dizzy. He turned his body around and dove back into the atmosphere. The re-entry made Em feel very hot so he slowed down. He decided to head northwards during his descent.

One hour later, he dipped into the troposphere, Em could suddenly see the ground again. In all four directions a landscape of lakes and pine needle forest stretched out. A rolling sea of dark green. Many large huge patches of land that had been clear-cut. He felt curious and descended towards one of the open spaces. Abandoned machines and heaps of equipment laid everywhere. This must be a logging camp Em thought. I wonder if I should help them out? It was only fair that he should give something back to the species that had created him.

Em allowed himself to hover horizontally a meter above the ground. Em floated in such a way that his spire pointed forwards in a 90 degree angle. Slowly Em hovered from the cleared area into the forest, flattening hundreds of trees for every meter. Em stopped after a hundred meters or so. This was fun Em tought. He could see himself trying to build a life up here as a kind of untraditional lumberjack.

New York could wait for now. The Empire State righted himself and touched down on Canadian soil . The ground gave way to his enormous weigth and Em sank into the wet earth up to his 5th floor.

Life was good Em tougth, sometimes dreams come true.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

crabrock posted:

:siren: important announcement :siren:
A lot of people ask "can I have somebody look over my story before I submit?" and the answer is GOD YES PLEASE. I'd say a majority of the people who write good stories each week have somebody else look them over. Trading crits is the best way to do this (hey if you look at mine you can show me yours). Good writing doesn't happen in a vacuum, and other people can tell you "hey, this is loving stupid and/or boring, but I liked this part" so you don't have to hear it in the judge's crit post.

If you scored mid/bottom tier in GoD's crit post up there (or have not done well in the past) I will give you a free PRE-crit this week. If you are interested:

1. Paste your document into google docs. I don't want no pastebin or whatever. Enable comments.
2. email me your document link at my forums username
3. don't respond to my crit. I'm not interested in having a shitload of conversations and hearing your excuses. i will give you my honest opinion and some advice, and you will choose to listen or ignore it, but you can do that by yourself.
4. email me sometime from now- Friday night. if it's saturday morning or later i may not get to it.

my credentials: i can type 60 wpm

Benny the Snake posted:

I'd like to request a crit for my Thunderdome story before I post it. Anybody who's down please PM me. Thanks!

Edit: Oh, up till Friday night. Well in the rigorous spirit of fairness that hangs over thunderdome like a filthy loving miasma I'll give you a pre-crit: jimbowardo, gmail.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 10:44 on Feb 24, 2014

Anathema Device
Dec 22, 2009

by Ion Helmet
Tavernkeeper's Widow (It's relevant to my story that this set is part of a larger faction: )
Flash Rule: A character is destined for/achieves/has achieved greatness, thanks to clerical error.
747 Words

I'm running my late husband's tavern, the baby strapped to my back, when the wind starts. It strikes the roof as a solid force, shaking spiders from the thatching. There's a jam in the doorway as the men rushing outside meet the people coming in.

I peek out the back door. Instead of the storm I expected, there's the pale scales of a dragon belly. I've seen dragons before, ridden by the king's knights as they fought off the troll invasions, but this beast is too large to be controlled by a rider.

The great chest expands with indrawn breath and the mouth gapes open. A gout of flame hits the manor roof. It's okay, I think. It's built to withstand a siege. Slate roof. But the slate tiles crack and give under the dragonfire. Even the thick stone walls crack in the sudden heat.

I watch as my lover burns, somewhere in the crush of stone, and I think, I can't lose another. I want to charge the castle, challenge the dragon. I stay where I am. The babe on my back is the baron's only get, bastard though he is. The child must live.

- - -

After the shock; after running up the road to the keep; after the lingering heat of the stones rebuffed us; after hours of waiting; after we pulled the servants and the cook, dizzy with heat, from the basements – after, people go to the tavern.

I serve beer and pea soup. There's no appetite for meat; we all smelled the cooked bodies, up at the manor. I feed the shocked servants and townspeople and give them a place to huddle together, a place for comfort.

The next day we start clearing the manor. It's hard, dirty work, shifting the fallen stone and the bits of burned wood. There are bodies, too. Me and Gerold, the smith, go through first and clear away those we can, and come back for those the shifted wreckage reveals. I know the baron is among them, but they are all the same: charred and black.

First a husband lost, and now the father of my child. The baby stays with the other young children, minded by the older girls. The boys do what work needs doing with the animals and the crops, and us that are old enough deal with the cleanup.

- - -

The knights come on the second week, bearing a letter from the king. The dragon struck, and struck again, throughout the kingdom. Judges are scarce. The knights will officiate. A new baron will be declared, a regent named.

By then the serving wenches are running the inn. I've been busy burying the dead, cleaning the mess, and seeing to the living. I see to the knights as well, and the scrawny boy they say is their clerk. On the second day he interviews me.

“And this is the baron's son?” he asks. I'm nursing the babe.

“Yes.” The baron had never denied that.

“And you are the wet nurse?”

“I'm his mother.” I won't have him taken from me and given into the care of some noble.

“I'm sorry!” he stammered. “I didn't know! I mean, I thought you'd have been at the keep.”

Keep his mistress in the manor with his wife? He might have, at that, if I hadn't had an inn to run.

- - -

The town square's full of nervous, tired people, staring up at the platform that's been hastily thrown together. I stand with the knights and the clerk, looking down at my town, my baby in my arms.

“With the power invested in my by the king, I hereby declare this child to be Jeffery, Baron Laketon. Further, I do hereby declare his mother, Baroness Elizabeth Laketon, having miraculously survived the fire, to be his guardian and regent until he reaches his majority.”

There's a smattering of whispers and hushing noises from the crowd. I stand, frozen by the enormity of their error. I – the baroness? Then I remember the young clerk saying “I thought you'd have been at the keep.” Is he naive enough to assume that I'm the baroness, just because I'd birthed the baron's son?

None of the townspeople speak up. Instead they look at me with silent, hopeful eyes. There will be a regent. It'll be me, who they know, or a stranger sent by the king. I nod.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007




Thank you chairchucker for the gift of this prompt

742 words

The heavy transport roared through the Cretaceous period as fast as its wide rubber treads would go. Which was only barely faster than the angry mutant Tyrannosaurs Rex behind it.

"So what's the plan, Mr. Dino-Expert?" Specs said over his shoulder. His hands were white knuckled on the controls. "Are we gonna pull over and ask the T-Rex to get in the cage please?"

Digger didn't say anything, just clenched his jaw as the big lizard thundered after them through the jungle. The whole world shook, and Specs had to fight to keep the transport under control on uneven terrain.

"Lemme get a clear shot, I'll take'm down!" shouted Viper.

"Are you kidding me? We came back here to capture, not kill," Specs said. He pushed up the throttle; the dinosaur was gaining on them every second.

Viper lowered his dino-ray, scowling. "I'm the loose cannon on this team! It says on my paystub."

"We don't need a loose cannon, dangit, we need a plan. Digger? You know these lizards. Think of something."

"Specs," said Digger slowly. "You were in hot water for some physics stuff you were working on for the government. There was a device."

Before Specs could reply, Viper shouted "Look! He's backing off!" The T-Rex had indeed slowed in its pursuit, falling back, its mouth open wide.

Digger's normal expression of confident authority switched to one of alarm. "Force field to triple max power! He's gonna use his plasma breath!"

The transport came to a halt. A wave of purple-white light spiraled out of the jungle behind them, washed over the invisible protective force bubble around the transport. Even so, all three dino-hunters ducked.

Luckily, the cage on the attached trailer had been built to withstand even the worst lizard breath, and was still in tact. The T-Rex still didn't seem too keen on getting inside. He roared and thrashed his tail; huge mossy trees fell down around him, sending flocks of scared pterodactyls screeching into the sky.

"The big guy wants to rumble," said Viper, starting to climb over the back seat toward the dinosaur. Digger grabbed him by the belt loop and pulled him back down.

"Gimme your lucky rabbit's foot, Specs," Digger said.

"What? Why?" Specs handed over a worn little keychain.

Digger pulled out his utility knife and made a slit along the side of the rabbit's foot. "Aha." A small silver cylinder fell out onto his palm.

"How did you...?" Specs was in awe that Digger had sussed out the location of the banned top secret device.

"All that matters right now is that you make this thing work."

"What does it do?" Viper asked.

Specs sat up straighter in his seat. "It acts as a quantum drill, tunneling through probability fields and--"

"It opens a dimension of infinite rabbits," said Digger. Specs hung his head.

"How the heck are rabbits going to help us with a T-Rex?"

"Bait, my friend. Live bait."

"Why didn't we have bait before?" Viper wondered.

Digger ignored him and shoved the quantum cylinder back into Specs's hand. "You know what to do."

Gulping, Specs activated the device, as only he could. Instantly, the air above the transport shimmered and wavered. Cracks started to appear in the space between the Dino-hunters and the jungle canopy.

"Now, we can only let a few rabbits out, or we risk impacting the space time continu--" Specs started to say. But Digger grabbed the device out of his hand.

"No. We need as many rabbits as you got in there. Cause here. He. Comes!"

The T-Rex, who had been waiting patiently for them to finish their conversation, snorted and clawed at the ground and by all appearances made ready to charge.

He charged.

Just then, reality broke and hundreds of rabbits poured out of thin air, directly into the path of the oncoming dinosaur. More rabbits piled onto the first bunch. The jungle shook with the nervous patter of tens of thousands of millions of furry feet in rapid exodus from some dark, confusing dimension.

The T-Rex was bowled over by a squealing river of fuzzy brown and grey and white. The Lizard King fell with a sound like a distant bomb going off and a frustrated roar that was quickly stifled by tons of rabbits.


"So what's the plan, Mr. Dino-Expert?" Specs said over his shoulder. His paws were white-knuckled on the controls and his long furry ears twitched nervously.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007




OOPS sorry judges, here is my set:

The Great Moo
Nov 7, 2005

Here's my set:
And my flash rule: A valiant struggle against an intractable problem


Next Stop After Albuquerque
729 Words

"Go go go! Get this thing moving!" the mechanic yelled while waving a large red brick at Ray's face. The brick was twice the size of his head, and looked heavy, but the mechanic was waving it around like it was cardboard.

"But ... but," Ray stuttered.

"Get this train started or I'm gonna use this block to knock your block off!"

"Um..." Ray stared at the mess of controls in front of him. After a few weeks as an apprentice he'd learned the basics, including that he wasn't supposed to leave without the engineer aboard. But every time he tried to say anything, the mechanic just yelled and waved the brick around again.

More than avoiding a beating, Ray wanted to keep his job. He'd made a decent living as an all-around handyman at the family farm back in Weatherford, but that dried up months ago. So he hopped onto a train leaving Oklahoma and headed west. He'd gotten caught by a mechanic and was almost going to end up in jail, until the mechanic saw the way Ray had rigged the door so that he could easily slip in and out at stops. Ray was offered a job on the spot–the only one in his family who'd found work. Since then he'd pushed hard, and it was finally starting to pay off.

"Hey, stop daydreaming!" the mechanic yelled.

Ray jerked and started the train. I'm just doing what I'm told, he said to himself. I won't get in trouble for that. The New Mexico desert stretched out in front of him, the bright noon sun reflecting off of the sand and into the cab. Looking out of the cab's right window, he saw Albuquerque Station slowly drift behind them. A few of his coworkers, all dressed in the same identical blue shirt and red vest that Ray wore, started racing alongside the train, jumping up and down and waving. Soon even they were left behind as the train gained speed. Ray knew something was wrong, but what could he do?

Ray glanced over at the mechanic to his left. Now that he'd gotten what he wanted, the mechanic had set the brick down on the floor and was leaning against the edge of the control panel.

"What's your name?" Ray asked. The mechanic glanced at him and lifted up his bright red hard hat and scratched the top of his bald head.

"Emmett," he answered.

"You're not really a mechanic, are you?"

Emmett snorted. "Look, it doesn't matter what I am. You just listen close and do what I say, okay?"

Ray nodded.

"At the next junction you're gonna stop the train," Emmett continued. Ray nodded again. "Then a few of my friends are gonna take the cargo off your hands. You sit tight here and your friends will get you before nightfall. You do anything else ..." Emmett finished by tapping the brick. "Got it?"

"Yes," Ray said. His gut twisted. Part of the cargo was a load of medicine, meant for a bunch of camps out in California where hundreds of ex-farmers like Ray had settled. There's probably people from Weatherford there, Ray thought. I've got to figure a way out of this.

Ray stared at the controls. Even though Emmett was about the same size as Ray, he was clearly stronger. Ray needed a way to surprise him before it was time to stop the train. Suddenly, the corners of Ray's mouth twitched up. Of course...

Ray slammed on the brakes. The train lurched and as Emmett struggled to regain his footing, Ray lunged to his left and grabbed the brick. The train's wheels screamed as they locked onto the tracks. Using both hands and all his strength, Ray swung upward, catching Emmett across the chin and knocking him backwards. Emmett's hard hat popped off as the back of his head slammed into the control panel, and he slumped down, unconscious. The train gave one final shudder as it stopped entirely.

Ray stood there, gasping for breath. He glanced out of the train's window, but didn't see anyone coming from the direction of the junction. He opened the door to the cab and leaned outside to look back, toward Albuquerque Station. Under the fierce glare he saw a dust cloud kicking up, the kind made by a band of horses galloping at full speed.

Jan 23, 2014

Mad Scientist
Title: A farm story.
Flash Rule: A shady business transaction either precipitates or is the inciting event in your story.
Words: 742

The ground was hard. Hedge wiped the sweat from his brow, and continued digging. He strained, because the hard dirt hadn’t been properly plowed since his father had died. After several hours he paused to rest. The farm house was decaying, and childhood home now looked like it had been largely abandoned. A couple of cows and farm animals were all that remained to remind the casual observer someone might still live there. Hedge bit his lip. They were no longer owned by the family and neither was the land. At least, that was what the lifeless man next to the hole had told him.

Hedge knelt down, and pushed the body into the hole. It was a shallow grave. Certainly not up to the standards of an undertaker, but Hedge tried not to think about it by focusing on filling it. He was a long ways past guilt he reasoned. When the dirt finally filled the hole, Hedge thrust his shovel into the ground. It served as a temporary headstone to the unfortunate person buried beneath. The corpse joined the other two freshly dug graves of the other men. Hedge briefly wondered if creditors made good fertilizer.

After completing his task, he walked back inside his dilapidated homestead. On the table sat several papers, and several other crumpled beside them. Some were torn, while others were cast aside, and many were covered in blood. The words on the contracts made little sense to Hedge, but the men had explained the meaning to him thoroughly. He bent down to begin the long process of cleaning, tossing the paper into the fireplace. Each burned to ash cleanly. For some reason Hedge had expected this to be more difficult.

The house was old, and every step seemed to elicit new sounds from the floor. In a moment of nostalgia, Hedge leaned back and forth shifting his weight between different floor boards and listened to the sound. He smiled, it was something he hadn’t done since he was a child. After a few moments of enjoying himself Hedge began the long process of disposing of his father’s possessions. He made no effort to think about any of the objects as he tossed them into the trash bags. Just as the contract with his father’s signature had burned to ash, the possessions burned neatly outside.

The house only took a few hours to scour of his father’s influence, but the activity had eased his anger. Hedge glanced at the floor boards. They shined with a hearty patina developed over years of polishing. Cleaning the blood off of them had been a lot easier than it seemed to be in the movies. He scoffed. Obviously the murderers in the movies hadn’t been taught to clean properly. Still, Hedge’s dry mouth contradicted his candid thoughts.

The activity of cleaning had always reminded him of his mother. When she was alive he was still too young to be of much use on the farm, and so his mother had given him chores instead. They were really the only memories he had of her before her untimely demise. The thought of her death brought a frown to his face. Now that he was a murderer he had hoped that the thought of death wouldn’t bug him so much. Contrary to his hopes, for some reason he felt like death bugged him more than usual.

Hedge glanced at the mantle and looked at his father’s urn. In a moment of anger he picked it up, but couldn’t bring himself to smash it. The phone rang startling him. In his surprise he let go of the Urn which smashed unceremoniously on the floor. A cloud of dust and ash rose from the floor and filled Hedge’s nostrils. Hedge swallowed hard and moved to quickly answer the phone.

“Hello?” He answered cautiously.

“Hey!” The voice on the phone was urgent, “It’s Mrs. Martin, your father’s lawyer. I’ve been trying to call you all day. Have the creditors been by yet?”

Hedge’s heart quickened, “Why?” He paused and caught his breath, “I mean, no…”

“Great,” The lawyer breathed a sigh of relief, “Don’t sign anything. Do you know what nondisclosure means?”

Hedge was confused, “No…”

“Well it’s the best possible case for you, it means their contract is null and void. The Creditors don’t own your farm after all!” The lawyer laughed and offered congratulations, but Hedge simply let the phone slip from his grasp.

Jan 12, 2012

Tr*ckin' and F*ckin' all the way to tha

Language Barriers
748 Words
SET: 6575 Polar Base
FLASH RULES: Tower of Babel, Hardboiled

I know that if we are going to escape, it will have to be today. The weather’s clear for the first time in days and I don’t want to press my luck. The lights won’t stay on forever. My fingers brush over my hipflask, hidden beneath the uniform. It’s been empty for a long time, but old habits die hard. If I ever escape this drifting ice station, the first thing I want is a drink.

Sighing, I leave the medical facility and make my way to the control tower. Sitting there are five of the last humans on earth.

“Captain Ross, you wanted us?” asks Doc, he’s Swedish but the only one other than myself who speaks English.

“Yes,” I say, “we need to seriously consider leaving. The base, I mean.”

The medic nods, but the rest are silent. Communication is difficult in an international mission like this one. Researchers are supposed to know English before joining, but the rules are often bent by Control. Being an expert climatologist is more important than knowing six languages. The official mechanisms to deal with this type of situation broke down weeks ago.

Doc turns to face to one of the explorers, “Мы должны покинуть базу.” Knowing English and Russian, he’s an indispensable conduit. The Russian nods and shifts toward our pilot. This time the phrase is, “私たちは残している.”

I wait several minutes as the game of telephone continues. The phrase becomes, “我们要走,” then “نحن راحلون.” I can only hope nothing is lost in translation.

“أية حالة علينا مغادرته,” says Cosmo. He’s brilliant but because conversations require five intermediaries, we rarely speak. His question is translated as, “When?”

“Now. The weather’s okay and I don’t know when we’ll get another day like it again.”

“我们可以用直升机,因为我知道勒有一个直升机停机坪” says Scooter. Three minutes and Doc relays the message to me.

“No, the winds are still too strong to use the helicopter. Even in this weather it’d crash. Probably wouldn’t get a mile.” I pause, both to let the conversation reach our pilot and to listen to the wind outside. Even though this place was built with the highest quality materials, it still sounds like the base could be blown away at any moment.

“I would recommend using the ice truck, we should have enough gas left to get us into Greenland,” Doc translates from Russian, but I can barely hear him over Cosmo’s shouting. He’s shaking his head like an idiot.

“What’s he saying?” I ask, only to hear the question repeated in two different languages.

Doc speaks slowly, bracing himself for an explosion, “He says… that we can’t leave now. That he received a transmission a couple of days ago telling-.”

“What? When did we receive a transmission? When did this happen?”

Scooter, the pilot, and Cosmo are shouting over each other. This discussion is giving me a headache. There’s a reason I boarded myself up in the medical facility after orders stopped coming in. Trying to deal with these people is exhausting. I wonder if Champollion felt the same way when he worked on the Rosetta Stone.

“The message came a few days ago on a low frequency, while Cosmo was trying to sleep,” Doc pauses to listen to the voices, “There are some survivors left in the ISS-? No, sorry, Siberia. Some survivors are in Siberia. They know people are up here. They promised to save-.”

My eyes roll so hard they almost fall out, “And who would they be, exactly? These survivors? Do you think they have the resources to find us before we freeze? Do you think that it’s even real? You know better, Doc. Scooter’s screwed up before.”

The pilot puts her hand on my shoulder but her tone is condescending. I expect that she is emphasizing the need for cooperation, but it’s too much for me. I stand up.

“Look, I don’t care. I don’t care if someone’s coming. It doesn’t matter,” my voice echoes in the damaged tower, “I’m not here to debate. I’m getting the truck now. I’m sick to death of all you.”

Before they can begin translating again, I storm out. If I can’t get the truck started, I’ll just drink the fuel and be done with them.

a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009

A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly

Set: 6765 Gold City Junction
Cool Picture of My Set: Click here
Flash Rule:


The Mercury Seven. Story may not take place in space or be a recognizable ripoff of either The Right Stuff or From The Earth To the Moon.

One Hot Stud
750 Words

Black Bart removed his pistol from the holster and dropped his bag; Banker Bill reached for the sky. It was a stickup.

“Now Billy, you know what I’m here for, so hand it over or my friend Flatnose Curry might just show you how he got his nickname. Ain’t that right Flatnose?”

“Yes sir, Mr. Bart,” Flatnose Curry said with a chuckle, banging the old skillet in his hand against the counter like a hammer. Bill winced. “How’s about a new nickname, Banker?” Curry asked. “We can start the Flatnose Crew after I finish with you.”

Bill slipped his foot into the baseplate behind the counter and took a deep breath. This was his place, the place he was made to fill. “Now boys, don’t go doing anything crazy. I’ll give you every cent I have.”

“What am I going to do with that?” Bart asked, “Pay the snow to stop falling? Give me what I’m here for; give me the fire.”

Fire blocks were a hot commodity ever since the snow started falling and the sun stopped shining. “Okay, okay,” Bill said. He stared up Bart’s pistol, “Just put that thing away.” These outlaws must have robbed him fifty times by now, and even though The Sheriff and his deputy Zack usually burst in to save the day, Bill knew that he was alone for this one.

It’s a dirty job, being the banker, he thought while stuffing fistfuls of orange flames into the sack. A single ember stud slipped unnoticed between his fingers and rolled under the counter.

Bart and Flatnose climbed through the hole they’d blown in the wall of the Gold City Junction bank and rode off, their images soon lost amongst the darkness of the freezer. Who knew where they would be by the time The Sheriff and Zack got back from their hunt.

“They took it all,” Bill would tell them, “every hot stud.”


“What he means, Sheriff, is that he gave it to them,” Zack huffed. He kicked a frozen pea across the room and continued unpacking his haul.

Bill remembered when Zack was just three studs high.

It was the day Zack’s mother came looking for a loan, tugging the little scrapper in tow. “Just a few bricks,” she pleaded “to patch the hole in my roof.”

“Sorry,” Bill said, “It’s my role to be the banker, and this just doesn’t make sense for us.” Despite her painted tears, she was still the most beautiful figure he’d ever seen. Fists clinched, little Zack shot Bill a glare.

It was the same glare Zack was giving him now.

Sheriff looked at his friend. “Bill,” he said, “You’ve been an important part of the Junction since forever, but since Harrison put us in the freezer, you’ve been nothing but a liability.”

“What he’s saying,” Zack blurted, “is if you can’t bring nothing to this business relationship, why should we do business with you? It just doesn’t make sense for us.”

Sheriff spoke to his friend Bill, “I think we all might be better going our separate ways. There ain’t no fire here anymore; staying ain’t an option for us. Maybe you could head out east; before Calvary Man left he talked about going that way. He might’ve found another settlement that Harrison put in here; maybe he escaped altogether.” Sheriff looked tired. The cold was breaking him.

“Or maybe he’s still out there, buried in the frost,” Zack added with a crooked smile.

Bill knew the decision was final. He was allowed to take a horse and a ration of supplies from the general store packed in a pickle cask. On his way out of town, Bill stopped into the bank, the only home he’d ever known. Standing at his station, he slipped his feet into the floor-pegs one last time. This place wasn’t for him anymore. It was uncomfortable. It was hot. It was the lost ember wedged in his foot! Bill pulled the Gold City flag from the wall, and wrapped it around the coal before packing it all away.

As Bill crossed the baseplate out of Gold City Junction for the first and last time, he stopped, admiring the snowy, gridless, ground of the freezer. He was on his own. Bill tucked his little coal into the cask, and lowered the cask onto his head. As he rode into the alien landscape, Bill could barely see through the cracked wood, but the world was warm, and his to explore.

Dec 17, 2003

Stand down, men! It's only smooching!

746 words
Prompt photo:

The train was enormous and I felt very, very small. I stared up at the smokestack, which to me looked like the maw of a dragon. I felt as thought it were only asleep, and at any moment it would startle and belch vile plumes of coal smoke in my face, would rear up on its back axels and swallow me between cowcatcher jaws. I had already made solid plans to bolt when Sarah slipped her hand between the briefcase and my white knuckles. She squeezed my hand. “Almost time,” she said.

I looked at her and smiled weakly. “All aboard,” I joked, and my stomach fell into my feet.

We walked along the platform. A little ways down from us a man was by the engine, inspecting the struts. He wore a grey sweater, and a red bandana, and he held a measuring device I had never seen before. I was seized by a desire to know every detail of what that man was doing to the locomotive. Sarah looked at the door to the car as we strode past it, and then at me, clearly confused. I pressed on, praying my legs would hold off on fully turning to jello. Thankfully, the structural integrity of my musculature held and I reached him.

I watched him work for a moment. The device in his hands a slide like a compass and two large pincers at the end, which were currently pincing a strut. The mechanic squeezed the rubber handles, examined the pincers, and made a mark on a small pad. I cleared my throat. This had no effect on him, so I tried a different tact.

“Hi, my name is John and I am going to be riding today, what exactly are you doing and will the train kill me?”

He looked up, surprised that someone was speaking to him. Sarah smiled at him from behind my shoulder. “He has siderodromophobia,” she offered.

He lay the pincers on the ground and pulled the bandanna from his neck. “Don’t know what that is,” he said, putting the fabric to his forehead.

“He’s doesn’t like trains,” Sarah said.

“Trains don’t like me,” I corrected. I was convinced that trains were evil creatures out to get me. My therapy bill disagreed with me.

The mechanic smiled. “I’m just checking that the struts aren’t expanding. Management likes the trains to stay on the tracks.”

He winked at Sarah. Under normal circumstances, I would have told him to stop flirting poorly with my fiancé, but I was trying to keep my heart from jumping out of my throat at the mention of the train derailing. “Train travel is safe,” I said, not sure who I was convincing.

“Sure,” the man said, picking up his tool again.

Sarah grabbed my arm because I had balled a fist and was ready to beat his loving face in. The man put pincer to strut. Sarah whispered to me: “Pump the brakes, Jon.”

I pumped the breaks and repeated my mantra in my head: “I think I can, I think I can.” It was cheesy, but it did calm me down and kept me from hurting railroad employees. Last time I rode, I had beaten an engineer who wouldn’t let me off when the panic hit. My therapy was court mandated, and I was almost at the end of it. Sarah had come along to make sure I behaved, and also that I rode.

She took my hand and walked me back to the passenger car. I was taking deep, slow breaths. She turned and faced me, putting a hand on my hand. “You ready?”

I said nothing.

She squeezed my hand gently. “It’s an hour ride. I will be at the end of it. Your briefcase is full of valium.” She stood on her toes and kissed my cheek. “Have a nice ride.”

“Thanks,” I said. I turned and faced the train. I tried to lift my feet, but they wouldn’t move; they had turned to lead. I was a statue in a train station.

Sarah gave me a push forward, and I was walking. I found myself at the train, I had grabbed the handle and pulled myself into the car. Sarah called from behind me. “You can do this, John!”

I found my seat and sat in it. “I think I can,” I said, but the word can’t echoed in my brain like the relentless turning of wheels on a track.

Feb 15, 2005
Set: Alien Conquest Battle Pack
Flash rule: A briefcase of mistaken identity
Title: Alien Disguised!
Word Count: 453 words

The business man pulled the soggy piece of straw out of his mouth and threw it in the trash. He paced back and forth for a few minutes, and then pulled another piece of straw from his briefcase. He started chewing on it while staring.

"Are you sure he's our target?" asked the younger ASU agent. He was watching from a nearby van.

"He's been chewing on straw for 20 minutes now. That's not normal human behavior," the older agent replied.

"He could be trying to quit smoking?"

"If he's not an alien in disguise, I'll buy lunch from a year. Come on, lets grab him." The older agent grabbed the stun pistols and opened the van doors. They both started sprinting towards the business man.

"Don't move! ASU agents! Hands in the air!" The business man froze, the piece of straw hanging from his mouth.

The two teenage punk girls behind him did not. The air shimmered around them for a moment. Soon, the piercings and black clothing melted away. Instead, the two girls had been replaced by scaly green aliens. As one, the alien soldiers raised their disruptor rays.

"Get down!" the older agent shouted as he jumped behind a pile of garbage. Flashes of blue and green laser beams crisscrossed the city street. The business man stared in confusion.

"I'm going to save that civilian," the younger agent yelled as he bolted from cover.

"No, don't - UGH!" The younger agent looked back just in time to see the green laser hit his partner. The older man was knocked to the ground in an uncomfortable slumber. The agent raised his own pistol and stunned one of the aliens. He turned towards the second one, already knowing it was too late. He saw the beam coming at him, and felt it land a glancing blow on his shoulder.

Everything became a white blur. He blinked his eyes a few times, and shapes started to form. He was staring up at the sky, with the disruptor pointed squarely at his face.

"How did you know, Human Scum?" asked the alien. "Tell me, before I put you back to sleep!"

"We didn't," the agent croaked. "We thought it was him." He nodded towards the business man. The alien looked up just as the business man brought the briefcase down on the alien's head. There was a heavy THUMP, and the alien crumpled to the ground.

"Thanks," the agent coughed out as the man helped him up.

"You thought I was an alien?" he asked.

"You kept chewing on that straw," the agent replied, still doubled over in pain.

"I'm trying to quit smoking," the man muttered as he stared at the two unconscious aliens.

May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch
Old Bones
Words: 749

Deep within the dark sandstone corridors, Dr. Kilroy was too old. He was out of breath, money and patience. His intrepid guide, Johnny Thunders, was just a mote of torchlight a hundred feet away. Kilroy’s appointment to Chair of the Archaeology Department had come with benefits, but the pressure mounted substantially moreso. The extra funding was vital, but it only covered the expedition into Pharaoh Hotep’s tomb for Kilroy. Hiring a competent, sober guide was out of the budget.

Kilroy knew they had been circling the subterranean labyrinth for hours. Arrows on the walls he had drawn in chalk were still as fresh as when he made them hours ago. But Johnny Thunders carried forward, making small talk to no one in his wake. Kilroy rested his back against the stone and tried to figure out what was happening. There was an exit, for there had been an entrance, but no matter how methodical they were in their pursuit, they continued to loop. After explaining the right-hand-on-the-wall method to Johnny Thunders several times, even the guide had understood how it would be impossible to loop.

This is impossible, Kilroy thought. I’ll wait for Johnny Thunders to circle back around, that will give me enough time to catch my breath.

Just then, a second light appeared from the darkness. His breath caught, Johnny Thunders wasn’t that far enough ahead to circle back around. As the light came closer, they saw each other at the same time, equally startled. Alistair Slyboots, Kilroy’s ex-graduate assistant held a torch in one hand, and worn chalk in the other.

When Kilroy finally finished his post-doctorate work, he had acquired his first graduate assistant, Slyboots. In hindsight, he should have known it wouldn’t have worked out, especially with all his ranting and raving about resurrecting pharaohs. That was really more of an Anthropological emphasis. But he had also been at fault, Kilroy realized years later. Back then he was just not experienced enough to handle the responsibility of mentoring a goateed and top-hat wearing graduate student.

“Johhny Thunders! Take heed, man!”

Slyboots took off in the opposite direction, outpacing Kilroy. Johnny Thunders caught up as Slyboots turned a corner. They could still see a faint dancing light as they closed, and Kilroy knew they had the boy cornered. As they barreled around the corner, the floor dropped out from under them.

The two fell into candlelit burial chamber. From the dusty, stone floor Kilroy saw ceremonial candles, golden ornaments and decrepit tapestries. In the middle of the room was the sarcophagus of Pharaoh Hotep, radiating golden yellows and blues like the morning sky.

Slyboots appeared at the ledge above.

“Did you have a nice trip, Dr. Kilroy?”

Johnny Thunders chuckled.

“You know, I’d love to know if the curse is real,” Slyboots said. “After all, it would be a shame if all your research was for nothing.”

Slyboots unwrapped the Amulet of Necromancy from a dirty cloth and held it in the air, just long enough for Kilroy to recognize it, before smashing it against the tomb wall.

The sarcophagus shook violently and the stone lid moved. The shriveled hand of Pharaoh Hotep appeared and frantically clawed at the open space.

“A fitting end for an old bag of bones like you, Kilroy,” Slyboots said. “I’ll be sure to let the Dean know all about your research, with my name under the by-line of course!”

Slyboots tipped his hat and darted from the alcove. Hotep strained against the stone lid, inching it further open.

“There’s only gonna be one dead thing in this room,” Johnny Thunders slurred. “And he’s already dead!”

Kilroy rose on creaky bones resolute. Next to him was a golden inlaid scepter, nearly as tall as a man, but he saw an expensive cudgel. It was lighter than he hoped.

“That’s the spirit, old man,” Johnny Thunders said. “You can’t break an artifact without waking up a few mummies.”

“That doesn’t make any sense,” Kilroy said.

Johnny Thunders didn’t hear him through the whisky and the adrenaline. Johnny Thunders twirled the torch in one hand and shook his clay whisky jar with the other. Tossing the jug, it shattered on the sarcophagus, splashing alcohol all over the Pharaoh.

“Let’s see how he likes a wet heat,” Johnny Thunders said. Dr. Kilroy nodded, and Johnny Thunders threw their last torch at the mummy. Hotep went up like samhain, and Kilroy swept in, cudgel overhead, screaming like a man in heat.

V for Vegas
Aug 31, 2004

Warspite 750

The vortex of dread that sat heavily in the gut of pilot Leftenant ‘Abby’ Abigail was held at bay by the slight, silver thread of hope that he was wrong. He must have made a mistake somewhere - heading 110 degrees, then 270 degrees, then 40 degrees to account for the movement of the ship. The course plotted itself over and over in his mind, 110/270/40. 110/270/40, an elegant dance of protractors and compass points.

The dance was cut short when he sped over the rendezvous point confirming what he had suspected since he had turned onto the final course. The Warspite was gone - all 33,000 tons, vanished into the mid-Atlantic. The compass on the Swordfish’s flight panel pointed unerringly into the infinite blue expanse where a grey mountain of steel and iron should have been steaming south at eight knots. Had been steaming south only an hour earlier.

He trimmed the ailerons to come around, circling the missed connection point like a lone albatross looking for its mate. No oil spill or wreckage from a U-boat attack. Just an empty ocean that led over the horizon to landfall another thousand miles away, making a mockery of the small fuel tank he could feel emptying by the second.

There. A small shadow against the reflection of the water. A boat? A liferaft? Taking one final pass he adjusted the wing flaps for landing and glided gently down onto the surface.

The plane’s floats threw up a white spray as the water’s drag took hold, snatching the Swordfish out of the air. Abby throttled the Bristol-Pegasus engine down and the pistons started ringing out distinctive hammer blows that fell further and further apart until, with a final clonk, they fell silent altogether. The front propeller’s blurred circle resolved into four wooden blades that also slowed and stopped. Abby sat in the cockpit, eyes closed, waiting for the machine’s humming that still vibrated through his skin, his blood, his bones, to shed their kinetic energy. Finally, at peace, he opened his eyes.

The Sargasso Sea, a blue sheet of paper, unrippled, unblemished, unholy. The only sounds were the faint tick of cooling metal and slight slaps of water on the plane’s hulls. Salt heavy in the air. Abby unbuckled himself, opened the door and stepped out onto the float. The water hazy under the sun. The humidity immediately causing Abby to break out in a sweat. The wing’s shadow providing little protection from the glare.

There. Only a few yards away a small skiff drifted towards the plane. The Warspite’s Cannon & Tackle emblem emblazoned on its hull.

‘Ahoy there,’ yelled Abby. ‘Warspite.’ His words were sucked up into the water-laden air. ‘Warspite,’ he yelled again. Silence.

The small boat came alongside. Abby saw a man lying on his back, arms crossed, eyes closed. The face had burnt black, his lips two shrivelled leeches hiding a shrunken tongue. Abby gasped, ‘Bosun Willis,’ he said. ‘Bosun, wake up.’

The man’s eyes opened. Abby dribbled a few drops of water from his canteen into his mouth. The liquid acted like electricity and with a scream Willis leapt out of the boat and into the sea. Abby could only watch as the figure drifted down into the cool dark below.


At sundown the lone pilot let off one flare. His hopes fizzling out with the green light that struggled to penetrate the looming night.

Later, he was dozing in the cockpit when he heard the voice outside. ‘Leftenant,’ it whispered. ‘Leftenant Abby.’

Abby looked out onto the water. In the thin moonlight he saw a figure treading water near the plane - Bosun Willis.

‘Willis,’ said Abby. ‘You’re alive.’

An eddy twisted Willis’ body around. Abby recoiled, now he could see that his shipmate was dead, his eyes, his nose, his entire face, eaten away by the monsters of the deep. His arms ended in two bloody stumps. Absurdly, only the white bosun’s cap, a match for Abby’s own white pilot’s cap, remained on his head.

Willis laughed. ‘Nay, leftenant, I’m dead. An’ you’re in my house, so so are you.’

The last tendrils of rust holding the plane together fell apart and it sank into the water. The last thing Abby saw was his reflection in the water, and the face of Willis looking back at him.


Warspite log for 22/08/1942. L. Abigail recon. flight at 10:21am. Did not return. MIA.

flash: one character must live in the sea.

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

Here's my set
Prompt: My story needs to involve trains

The Great Lego Train Robbery
702 words

On the 2:15 train to Santa Fe, three bandits wearing bandanas over their mouths jumped up from their seats with their plastic revolvers drawn. “Alright, this is a stickup!” The leader yelled and fired a shot in the air. “Nobody move and nobody gets hurt!”

The passengers gasped in fear and raised their plastic claw hands in the air. All except a brave mini-figure with a badge on his chest who got up and drew his gun. “Not so fast!” He hollered. But the leader was faster and shot him. The marshal fell apart in pieces strewn on the ground. “Little help?” He asked pitifully.

“Wait, I know you,” said one of the passengers fearfully. “You're Quick-Draw McClintock!”

“That's right, you scrap of cow crud!” Quick-Draw sneered. “So why aren't you getting your money out?” The passenger quickly pulled out his wallet as Quick-Draw snatched it out of his hand and threw it in the sack.

“Heh-heh! You tell 'em, Roy!” His partner said with a dumb grin on his face.

Quick-Draw turned around. “Dang it, Nutsy! I darn told you not to say my real name!” He shouted and smacked him upside his head so hard his head spun like a top. Nutsy put his hands to his head and stopped the spinning.

“I'm sorry, Roy!” Nutsy cried, cowering.

“Dang it, Nutsy!” Quick-Draw shouted and smacked him upside the head again.

“Aw, Quck-Draw! I wish you'd stop doing that!” Nutsy said and set his head right. “You know I get dizzy easy!”

“Quiet!” Quick-Draw barked. “Trigger, you go and take care of the conductor.”

“Will do, boss!” Trigger said with a snappy salute and rushed towards the engine.

“Now what are y'all doing stallin' around for?! Get to steppin'!” Quick-Draw yelled and pointed his plastic gun out as the passengers pulled out money from their wallets and purses and put them in the ever-growing sack.

Trigger made his way to the engine when suddenly, two shots rang out. A pair of marshals were in the car ahead of him, armed and waiting. Trigger ducked behind the doorway and fried blindly into the car as the passengers dived towards the ground to avoid being shot. “Boss! We've got company!”

“Nutsy, hold the sack!” Quick-Draw said and jammed the sack in Nutsy's plastic claws as he ran to help Trigger. Trigger was pinned behind the doorway as the marshals advanced from the back of the car. Quick-Draw drew a second pistol and fired wildly into the back the car, hitting one of the marshals who collapsed into a pile of separate pieces. With the second marshal pinned, Quick-Draw and Trigger ran inside and grabbed him. They dragged him to the outside of the car as the landscape rushed by. “End of the line, marshal!” Quick-Draw shouted as the two threw him outside, sending him tumbling across the desert sands.

With the marshals gone, Trigger made his way to the engine and fired his gun in the air. “See that pass?” He said and pointed ahead. “I want you to start slowing down right there.”

The conductor gulped and nodded as he applied the brakes. Quick-Draw and Nutsy made their way to the front of the train with their sack full of plastic cash and wallets. Up ahead was a fourth bandit with horses galloping alongside the train. As the train slowed, the horses caught up. Quick-Draw, Nutsy, and Trigger jumped out of the train and onto their horses.

“Good work, Boomer! You've got the explosives rigged?”

“Sure do, boss!” Boomer said as the four galloped towards the bridge. At the foot of the bridge was a detonator hidden in the brush. The four dismounted as Quick-Draw grabbed the detonator. “Take this, ya Yankee varmints!” Quick-Draw shouted as he jammed the plunger down. The bridge exploded and the train plummeted into the canyon bellow as the passengers screamed in terror. On impact, it exploded into a shower of Lego prices.

“Good work, boys! Now let's get out of here before the sheriff rounds up a posse!” The four rode into the sunset: another day, another successful stick-up for the Gunpowder gang.

Benny the Snake fucked around with this message at 07:15 on Feb 24, 2014

Mar 21, 2013

Grimey Drawer
wordcount: 749
Flashrule: Thor does not use credit cards
Lego Set: Space Lock Up Isolation Base

Isolation Base

Thor Brickson, stripped of weapons, liberty and even his credit card, was well and truly apprehended. Two Space Police officers escorted him, wrists electro-cuffed, to the iso-cage atop Isolation Base X-19. The iso-cage, all ferric alloy and preventative field generators, was empty of comfort or convenience, yet Thor felt smug.

Stupid sticklers, he thought, as the SPoffs sent a standards-compliant Personal Rights markup document to his darksuit’s filesystem. Their idiotic devotion to social justice and communal property at the expense of Blacktronic Capitalistic Virtue would be the end of them. If they’d shot him as a Blacktron would, destroying his burned shell of fighter without question, he would have died in the interstellar vastness - another asset written off in their endless war. But killing him would make far too much sense. Better to keep him alive, on the off-chance that later he wouldn’t feel like smashing their decadent regime with the iron fist of Blacktron Incorporated. Unlikely, seeing his final free action had been to activate the fighter’s auto-defense systems. If she ever woke up she would give someone a nasty surprise.

The SPoffs bleated on - squeaky clean voices to match their sparkling white uniforms. One of them asked him if he understood his rights as they had been messaged to him, and Thor took advantage of the Base’s atmosphere to flick up his blackout visor and spit at her gleaming faceplate. A rotund globule of phlegm struck her helmet, wobbling like jelly in the slight gravity. Thor imagined what they were saying on their private channel:

“He spat at me! ”

“Typical Blacktron, refusing to recognise his privilege. Electruncheon?”

“No - he has a roguish charm that you and the incredibly smooth area between your legs are lacking.”

He was still chuckling when the electruncheon shocked him into unconsciousness.

When he awoke, the SPoffs had gone; their patrol vehicle missing from the landing struts. Thor was alone in the cage perched at the highest point of the Isolation Base, surrounded by grey, dusty moonscape as far as his visored eyes could see. At least his hands were free of those infernal electro-cuffs.

He tested his darksuit, but the iso-cage containment fields dampened its functioning as he’d expected. He had no way to contact his fighter - even assuming it had regained consciousness.

There was a crackling on the Isolation Base’s comm system.

“It’s his fighter. Should we take a look at it?” said a squeaky clean voice.

Comms must be set to pick up the patrol vehicle, Thor realised.

“Be careful, it could be a...”

The comm system went silent. In the heavens above the iso-cage, Thor saw what looked like a small star being born, and just as quickly dying. He laughed out loud.

Sixteen months later, Thor saw a familiar patrol vehicle crash slowly into the dust to the west, creating a giant cloud on the horizon. Thor laughed out loud again. Laughter was, by now, his favourite activity. Sometimes he laughed for hours and hours, had a sleep, then woke up to laugh some more. The iso-cage provided a dollop of thin paste every twelve hours, which kept him alive. Thor watched the dust rise and laughed. The iso-cage made a bloop sound and dumped some paste into the dispenser. This struck Thor as hilarious, but not as hilarious as the small bits of plastic and metal that rained down for the next couple of days. One, a half a BlackTronInc credit card, fell just outside his cage.

Three years later Thor was awoken by the sound of engines. Landing on the plain amid a swirling commotion of dust was a Blacktron ship, stylish, sleek and intimidating. Thor stared at it with large, round eyes. It was the most wonderful thing in the world. Thor giggled quietly.

A figure with a darksuit and Blackout visor appeared before the iso-cage. “Thor Brickson? I greet you in the name of the Victorious Forces of the Blacktron Corporation”

Thor gaped at the figure. A cracked sound barely escaped his throat. “Victory?”

“Commander Brickson, I’m Warden Kinnecks, here take you home. As soon as you pay off the remainder of the 13 million credits you owe on the Blacktron fighter you destroyed. Please present your Blacktron Incorporated Credit Card.”

Thor pointed at the ground outside his cage, and laughed hysterically. “Victory!”

Warden Kinnex looked at the half-disintegrated credit card. “The poor sod’s gone native on us,” he said. He raised his Blacktron 2000PPG and fired three times.

Black Griffon
Mar 12, 2005


Atlantean Exile - 523 words

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

"It's like this bro," said Fishwize the warrior, "Poseidon thinks he's got this under control, but he don't, bro."

Kelp said nothing, which made sense, as he was a small piece of kelp.

"It's like," Fishwize waved his trident around ineffectually, "Po', you don't got this. You don't."

If kelp was sentient, and could speak, he'd probably say something like, "Listen, Jürgen, I realize you're in that age where you think you've got it all figured out, but you don't. Poseidon is an immortal god, you're just a soldier."

And he'd probably add something like, "And stop calling yourself Fishwize, it's ridiculous. Atlantis doesn't have a hip-hop scene, and you're just being awkward."

But Kelp remained silent.

"I tell him 'yo Po', if we don't get these gats to our homeboys pronto, we gonna have some overrun gates on our hands'."

Jürgen "Fishwize" Heimblyg started beat boxing, bubbles escaping from his gills in time with the mis-timed beats. His voice shook from embarassment, and eventually he just stopped.

"You know, Kelp," he stopped, corrected himself, "Ya' knaaa, Kelp, my homeboi, I would’ve made a real difference, a diff'. Byt 'dey threw me out, right out. Didn't deserve that."

The currents changed, and Kelp tilted away from Jürgen. If there was a higher meaning to anything, some purpose to the currents, they were doing a very good job of keeping Kelp away from Jürgen, and that was worth something.

Jürgen started rapping, and miles away, Poseidon got a sudden headache.

"Got my trident of power (power, power, power)
Got my bling-bling scales (what up with those scales)
Got my homeboy Kelp (what up plant-like friend)
Gotta get this party started (disco lights on the ocean floor)

See I tried to talk sense, but 'dey said 'boy you mad'
And I told that wench, 'don't you know I'm rad'
So she go tell Poseidon, 'that boy outa him mind'
'You don't kick him out, I be outa my mind'

But I got my trident..."

Jürgen laid down on the ocean floor, pointing his trident towards the weak glimmer from the sun above.

"I have no idea what I'm doing."

Something strange was happening around Kelp, something Jürgen couldn't see. Currents were twisting and turning around the algae, and now and then, tiny, split second arcs of electricity appeared.

"Tell you what, I'll flip a coin. Poseidonhead and I go back and show him how angry I am, Deep Sea Reagan and I'll head into the wild watery wastelands."

Jürgen stared at the coin for a while, contemplating existence, then he flipped it, and watched it lazily loop upwards, trailing small bubbles. Kelp was growing countless small eyes, and a thousand tiny mouths. The coint hit apex and headed downwards. As Jürgen caught it, Kelp spoke.

"Jesus Christ, Jürgen, what are you doing? I mean, seriously, what are you thinking? How hungover are you?"

"Very. I'm very hungover."

And he buried his head in his hands and cried.

Lake Jucas
Feb 20, 2011

Keep Going
Words: 737
Gratitude: To Crabrock

Erogenous Beef posted:

:siren: Lake Jucas - In addition to your chosen Lego set, incorporate Earth Defense HQ into your story. Yes, you’re working with two sets. Your other set may not be from the Alien Conquest series. :siren:

The Io Reseach Base team stood in silence and watched the first transmission they'd received from Earth since the communications blackout. Dr. James Avalon, mission commander, did everything he could to maintain his poise in front of his men.

“This can't be real...” muttered Dr. Hansen, whose daughter's birthday had come and gone during the weeks of Earth's silence.

“The transmission is quite real.” solicited STAN, the station's android.

Banks of computers played the same scene simultaneously. As Volgogrod burned in the background, a squad of Russian soldiers were making their last stand against hulking green beings with technology unlike anything they had ever seen. One by one the Russians fell, until all that remained was the scientist who was recording the footage. The aliens quickly cracked open the mobile command station he was sheltered in, and the transmission died with him screaming “inostranets” as a green, gelatinous creature affixed itself to the man's head.

“Inostranets?” Avalon looked to Levchenko, the other man on his team.

“It means aliens.” Levchenko stared blankly into the distance.


“I have a plan to return to Earth.” Avalon stood before his assembled men, hands on his hips.

“Is that even possible?” Hansen asked.

“STAN's calculations confirm it is.” The men looked to the android. The android hesitated while servos whirred beneath his translucent helmet.

“Dr. Avalon is correct.”

“We'll have to cannibalize a lot of the station's parts and systems, but with enough effort we can piece together a ship that will take us back home. I've forward the blueprints to your terminals, your orders are to begin working immediately. Dismissed.”

Hansen filed out but Levchenko lingered at the door for a moment. He studied Avalon with bloodshot eyes, but whatever he thought he kept to himself.

“Why did you have me lie to them, sir?” Stan asked.

“They need something to keep them going.”

“And you, sir?”


“Levchenko, are you listening?” Avalon shook the Russian. Levchenko blinked and glanced around the tram car.

“I dozed off.”

“You've been riding the monorail for hours.”

“Oh.” he muttered.

“What were you doing?” Avalon looked at Levchenko, but the Russian didn't meet his eyes.

“I was...” he didn't bother finishing.

“We're going to get home.” Avalon said.



“Have you seen Levchenko?” Avalon asked.

“I haven't seen him all day.” Hansen said, crawling out from underneath the makeshift fuselage. “Is everything alright?”

“Yeah, everything is fine.” Avalon tried to say casually, but there was something in his voice that Hansen noticed. When Avalon went to security to try to track down Levchenko, Hansen followed.

The two men poured over the station's security footage

“There!” Hansen exclaimed, but his excitement quickly turned to dread. Avalon dashed over to Hansen's terminal. He watched as Levchenko donned his spacesuit with ritual deliberateness before taking one of the rovers out into Io's desolate wilderness.

“When was this?” Avalon felt his heart sink.

Hansen looked up at him with wide eyes, “Ten hours ago.”

Avalon spun and sprinted towards the vehicle bay. He was half in his own suit by the time Hansen caught up to him.

“Jim, it's too late. He must have run out of oxygen four hours ago.”

“It's not too late!” Avalon furiously tugged at a stuck zipper. He felt Hansen's eyes on him as his trembling hands fumbled with his suit, but no matter what he did the suit wouldn't give.

“Levchenko's gone.”

That night, Avalon insisted they have a service for Levchenko. He read a poem by Dylan Thomas while Hansen stood in silence.

“It's over.” Hansen said.

“It's not over.” Avalon said.

“This shuttle is hopeless, and even if it wasn't what then? We haven't heard from Earth in months.”

“We have to keep fighting.”

“There is nothing left to fight for. Earth's gone. My family is gone. I've accepted it, now it's your turn.”

“I won't.”

When Avalon woke the next morning he discovered he was the last man alive.


“I can't keep going.” Avalon sobbed.

“You must.” STAN said.

“Why? What's the point?”

“Without you, I serve no purpose. You need to persist...”

“...For you.” Avalon whipped away his tears.

“For me.”


Dec 15, 2006

Come fight terrifying creatures in the THUNDERDOME!
Share and Share Alike
396 words

Flash Rule: Marxism-Leninism, 400 words or less.

Smith looked up from his place at the table as Bill entered the interrogation room, his face sullen. Bill smiled at him.

“Well, Mr. Smith, we meet at last. You should be honored; it took us quite a while to find you.”

Smith said nothing.

“We know what you’ve been up to, and we have the proof here,” he gestured with the file in his hand. “It will be easier if you just confess.”

He paused, but still got nothing from the prisoner. He decided to push on.

“We know that you had an entire package of cookies, and your failure to share them puts you in the top tier of unsharing criminals.” Bill leaned forward, looking the man in the eyes. “If you confess now, I can try to go easier on you.”

Bill was surprised to see that there were tears in the man’s eyes. “Okay, I did it. I’m sorry. It’s just… so hard, sharing everything all of the time. I work, and I work, and I still don’t have enough to feed my family. And when my wife got sick, I knew that I’d never be able to help her if I shared, so I kept them. I’m so sorry.” He hung his head.

“I- I had no idea.” Bill said, stunned. “I always thought the system meant that everyone had enough, but…” He stopped, at a loss for words. This could change everything.

The prisoner’s shoulders began to shake, and then laughter burst forth from him.

“I can’t believe you actually fell for that! I don’t even HAVE a wife! I just wanted the whole package of cookies to myself! And you know what?” The man leaned closer to Bill. “They were delicious!

Bill stood up from the table, grabbing the man by his shirtfront. “You monster! Those cookies were supposed to be for everyone! You’re going to unsharing prison for a long time, you sicko!! Take him away, boys!”

Bill watched Smith being dragged away by two officers, still laughing maniacally.

“What’s going to happen to him, Chief?” asked Bill’s second-in-command.

“We’re going for the maximum sentence: life imprisonment at Health Food Isle,” Bill said grimly.

His second gasped. “But they make you eat vegetables there with every meal!

“That’s the price you pay when you don’t share,” Bill said sternly. “Come on, let’s go punch a shark to celebrate.”

Alliterate Addict
Jul 10, 2012

dreaming of that face again

it's bright and blue and shimmering

grinning wide and comforting me with it's three warm and wild eyes

A Cold Day in Hell
Words: 697
Flash Rule: BEEEEES

Ryan Jones shivered as he sat in a ski-mounted ATV and looked out across the massive ice flows of Europa. Although the view was spectacular, he wondered to himself what possible reason Doc could have for dragging him to a communication outpost this far from the main base. The faint sound of an engine floated over the ridge, and he turned to see Doc coming up the frosty path with one of the outpost's slower, wheel-mounted vehicles. Jones vaulted off the side of his ATV and walked to his coworker’s side. "So what's up, Doc?"

Doctor Emmanuel Hasenpfeffer, "Doc" to all but the most uptight on base, merely shook his head. "I had to talk to you privately. I’ve found something that just doesn’t make sense, and I can't trust anyone at base with this just yet."

Jones gave Doc an odd look, then shrugged. "Alright, Doc, I'm listening."

Doc walked to the trunk of his vehicle. "You’ve heard, of course, about some of the artifacts that the Archaeology team has been digging up?"

Jones followed, nodding. "I've heard some of it. It sounds like there was a fair amount of history on this iceball before it froze over."

Doc looked around briefly, then leaned closer to Jones. "That’s the thing, I don’t think there was!" Seeing the look on the other man's face, he added "No, I'm serious! We've been seeing things analogous to Earth's own historical periods, pre-industrial era fortifications and the like, right?"

Jones nodded soberly. "There's a guy on the arch team who won't shut up about parallel sociological evolution and all that crap, yeah. I think it's a little weird, but--"

"That's just it, though!" Doc interrupted. "There's nothing on this planet apart from the ruins to indicate that kind of life would be sustainable at any point during this planet's history! And now, there’s this."

Doc pulled out a map of the outlying area, and jabbed a finger at it. Looking closer, Jones noted the elevation markings. "The side of a mountain, sure. What about it?"

"Six exploratory teams passed this point in the last three years, and none of them reported any sort of cave system. But when I drove by yesterday, there was a massive hole, big enough to drive through. I stopped to check it out, and..." He paused, then handed Jones a set of pictures.

Jones flipped through them and laughed. "Jesus, Doc, you had me going for a second there."
Looking at Doc's face, he paused, then re-examined the pictures. "This is a joke, right?"

Doc shook his head. “If I hadn’t seen it myself...but I took those pictures yesterday. A forest of giant grass, in a hole on Europa. And it’s alive! It hits -40 C out here at night and there’s a cave full of grass that wasn’t there a week ago!”

Jones stared at the pictures. " How could it possibly--"

"That's what I'm saying, Jones! Six teams wouldn’t have missed this! We keep finding things here that aren’t supposed to be, and we have no idea where they came from and it’s still happening! We have no idea how or why, and we don’t know what else might show up!" Doc stopped, with a stricken look on his face. “Please, tell me you believe me.”

Jones said nothing and just stared, pale as the landscape itself. Following his glance, Doc turned around just in time to see the giant flying yellow-and-black monster land on the roof of the outpost, buzzing ominously.


“Oh, Jill, before I forget-- I just wanted to say thanks again for that Lego set you got Mike for his birthday. Yeah, he’s been having a ton of fun with it so far. He was pretty bummed out when I told him they weren’t making that Ice Planet stuff anymore…Yeah, it’s pretty cute. He’s been mixing the sets together, and-- oh, poo poo, Mikey, are you okay?”


“Listen, Jill, I’ll call you back, I--yeah, take care. Come here, kiddo, let’s get you patched up. I told you to be careful when you’re playing out on the lawn…”

Jan 3, 2006

Super Mario Bros 3

Spaceman and Robot, 744 Words, based on Set 6807: Space Scooter With Robot
Flash Rule: "There is darkness in the deep. Interpret and incorporate."

The communications array was fried, that much was sure. Chuck dug his boots into the caked sand and dropped to one knee next to his ride. His gloves were chubby and holding the screwdriver felt like holding a pin surrounded by a bag of marshmallows.

“Anything wrong, Chuck?” asked Rod, sidling up next to his partner. “What happened here? Hit by a rock again?”

“Yeah,” Chuck sighed. “You wanna try this? I can barely hold onto the danged thing.”

“Sure thing, Chuck!”

Chuck sat in the sand, his butt refusing to sink lower to the ground. He gripped onto the ground beneath him as he watched Rod quickly whirl the screwdriver into position and remove the scooter’s faceplate. Rod seemed to almost hum happily as he inspected the innards of the scooter and, finally, turned back to his friend.

“This one’s a no go, Chuck,” Rod sighed. “Sorry, pal.”

Chuck nodded his head, his yellow helmet rocking back and forth on its attachments. He slumped against the scooter. Rod sped next to him and leaned against him. Chuck felt heavy and weightless at the same time.

“They might still send someone,” Rod beeped. “You never know!”

“They won’t, actually. Against protocol. It’s far too dangerous to try and recover someone out here. It’s okay, though. We’re trained for this and I’m a cautionary tale, you know? When I run out of air – or maybe I’ll just take my helmet off-“

“Chuck, no.”

“When I finally die, they’ll know not to try again. It was a failure! We’re just not ready to live here yet.” Chuck looked over a nearby dune and watched the waning Earth rise over it. He could make out Australia and Asia and even a little bit of Africa. Chuck wept.

“Man, it’s beautiful,” said Chuck, closing his eyes as if to shield them from what might be his final glimpse. Chuck opened his eyes again. “You know, even before wanting to travel, I wanted to do this, you know? I did my due diligence. I knew what space was like. So did the people who designed this mission - they knew too. We knew what to expect: the deepest darkness and harsh environs. Enough to kill just about anybody.”

Chuck spread his arms and held them high in the air, despairing to the nothingness that surrounded them. “Hooray! I’m anybody!”

The astronaut moved his fingers to the buttons on the side of his helmet and prepared to press down, to let space take him. It would be quicker than just running out of air. Less painful, he hoped. It was a foregone conclusion, so why delay?


Rod placed his clawed hand in Chuck’s. Servos and motors were enveloped by silence, but Chuck could still hear Rod’s voice pleading, begging. Rod was a service robot, sent to be of assistant to any spaceman who left on his lonesome. Rod was his, built to help him in any situation. Chuck knew he couldn’t be helped.

“They’re not coming for me, either,” said Rod. His voice came through the speakers more monotone than ever – the fake intonations meant to simulate happiness and chipperness were fading. “Chuck, you’re going to die out here and, eventually, I will too.” Chuck looked down at Rod. The robot stared at the moon’s surface.

“I’m solar powered, though. It’ll be maybe months – years – before my joints harden from uselessness. It’ll be a long time before I’m allowed to stop. Chuck, I’m your assistant, but please. You’re my friend.

“Stay with me.”

Chuck froze. He held Rod’s metal hand in his and it felt just like the screwdriver in that he couldn’t really feel much of anything. Rod could feel, though. Rod had been there for him the first two times the scooter had broken down and Rod had been there ever since the mission had started, a year and a half ago. The little robot had called him his friend. Chuck realize he wasn’t wrong. He picked up Rod and set him on his lap.

“Okay,” he said, “I’ll stay.”

So Chuck stayed. On the surface of the moon a machine and his best friend laid down and died together. Rod’s batteries finally gave out after a few years, but in that time he never moved – not once. There was no reason to. There is still darkness in the deep, for certain, but there is also friendship, preserved forever next to all the stars in the sky.

Barracuda Bang!
Oct 21, 2008

The first rule of No Avatar Club is: you do not talk about No Avatar Club. The second rule of No Avatar Club is: you DO NOT talk about No Avatar Club
Grimey Drawer

The following was recorded on location with the men and women of law enforcement. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

"The word on the street? Oh, that's easy: "puff," for sure. Ever since Puff showed up out here, nothing's been the same. I mean, just look around. See all these homeless? I may not know each individual story, but I can say with certainty that the vast majority wouldn't be out here if they never messed with Puff."

It was a quiet night, so we drove around and took in the streets. Officer Bradey, continuing his answer, pointed out all the homeless people and peopleless homes in the area, ostensibly due to the Puff scourge.

"So, what is the department, and the city, doing about Puff? If people's lives are being ruined, doesn't the city have a responsibility to act?"

"Lady, what do you want us to do? We can’t arrest Puff. I mean, think about how ridiculous that sounds.”

“No, not arrest Puff, that’s not what I mean. You know what, pull over here - I want to talk to this guy.”

After a shrug, Officer Bradley pulled the car over toward a man standing on the corner.

“Excuse me, sir? Do you mind if I ask you a few questions? About Puff?”

“Oh, don’t even get me started. I had a home, a good job, a wife. Then Puff came along, and now I have nothing. You don’t think it’ll mess you up. You always think you’ll be smarter than Puff, that you can use it without the downsides, just can’t. It’ll always get you in the end.”

“Why don’t you walk me through exactly what happened?”

“Okay, well, I never sought out Puff, first off. Puff came to me. One day the doorbell rang, and there he was, in all his glory, right on my doorstep. His shining purple scales covering him from head to toe, and his giant leathery wings were stretched so wide that their shadows covered the whole front lawn. He told me he would grant me anything I wanted, with the only rule being that whatever I wanted couldn’t be undone. I didn’t even stop to think what that meant. I just told him that I wanted freedom. Freedom to travel, freedom to go and do whatever I wanted. I wish I thought it through.”

“What do you mean? What happened?”

“I got what I asked for is what happened. He told me that I could be free if only I didn’t have all these things tying me down. Before I knew it, my house burned down, I lost my job, and y wife left me. Now I can go anywhere, it’s terr-



We pulled up to the scene and I finally caught a glimpse of Puff. He was exactly as the man described, and made even more terrifying by the backdrop of a burning house. Before I knew what was happening, Officer Bradey, without warning, ran to the dragon, and began yelling.

“I heard you’ve been granting wishes around here! What about me!? Do I get a wish!?”

“Of course you do, officer! What would you like? How about a promotion? Or maybe you’d like to win the lottery? Name it, and it’s yours!”

“I want you out of this town! I don’t care where you go, but I want you to leave all these innocent people alone!”

“If that’s what you want - then that’s what you’ll get!”

And with that, the monster reached out and grabbed Officer Bradey and flew off into the night. The town, the innocents, were now safe thanks to Officer Bradey, even if he didn’t quite learn from their mistakes.

Cache Cab
Feb 21, 2014
Title: The Grand Prize
Wordcount: 750

The limit is .04% for cab drivers in Phoenix, but hangovers like mine ought to be the real crime. I shoot over to the shoulder and paint the asphalt with my sepia-toned vomit.

Chauffeuring the city's profligate isn’t glamourous for most drivers. Most. I meet celebrities. I get invited to parties. I sleep with gorgeous women. Nobody likes to go home alone, and they say I look like a manlier Burt Reynolds.

My biceps and quads twitch as I race to the depot. I always lift before partying. It’s important to have a developed core. Too often I see flabby men with biceps like B-52s attempt a présage, and the girl ends up drinking a gallon of sweat off the club floor.

My body looks like a Rodin, and I plan to unveil it next week in the Côte d'Azur.

The taxi depot is like Ian Curtis lyrics held up by three walls and a garage door. Everybody glares at me in my Duffty button ups and Boateng slacks. They whisper about me behind my back: sons of Phthonos.

Relief: Donny is the only one in.

I stick my hand in my back pocket. “Hey Donny, close your eyes.”

He does. I shove the stolen panties up to his philtrum. He instinctually breathes in and then recoils.

“Oh man, what the flip?” He wipes his JC Penny sleeve on his upper lip. The panties were still moist with her secretions; they smell like trimethylamine N-oxide and iron.

“Guess what I did last night?”

He throws a lamp at me. “I don’t give a rat’s behind, you rufian.”

I bet Donny’s never gotten his phallus wet. The lamp Gallaghers against the wall.

I escape to my locker. The top shelf is empty but for a copy of Ecce Homo. I leaf through the pages. “One day my name will be associated with the memory of something tremendous - I am no man, I am dynamite.” I memorize it to impress vapid club girls.

Other people start filtering in. They ignore me; they probably had boring nights with their families. I toss the pilfered lingerie into the growing pile on the bottom of my locker. I take a step back: I am Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μέγας admiring his conquests.

Freddy looks at me and shakes his head. “Nobody is impressed, man.”

Bullhonkey they aren’t impressed. They can go chew on a saxitoxin ampoule. I don’t have time to slow down for anybody. I’m going to meet more interesting people in Monaco. I’m going to outpace these losers so fast it’s going to make Black Sunday look like my Oma out at her Teppichstange.

The boss comes around and distributes the paychecks. I am $400 short of my goal. I’ve already sold all of my possessions, and I sleep over at a different girl’s house every night to avoid paying rent. All I have left is a week’s worth of clothes and a few books in my trunk.

I head out to my cab. I start up the engine and drive to the airport. I can’t take off this early to bang tourists, so I pick up an old couple. They want to go to The Desert Botanical Gardens. I scoff under my breath. A second-rate tourist destination; the real treasures are at the 8,000 accessions of endophytic fungi at the Mycological Herbarium.

The old woman is bickering at her husband. Who cares. He’s pointing in my face telling me to turn. Like I don't know where the Botanical Gardens are, like I haven’t studied the taxonomy of Leuchtenbergiaceae and the psychoactive properties of Pachycereus pringlei.

I ignore their petty squabble and take a moment to look at myself in the mirror. I hope I never get old. Live every day like you’re twenty.

I don’t see the stalled car in front of me until it’s too late.

Seatbelts are for the frail; my body smashes against the steering wheel. My head smashes into the visor. My Monaco brochure is ripped and bloody in my lap; blood smears with the grand prix.

The old man is still screaming when I get out of the car and wander down the street in a haze. There’s no point now: insurance will cover the damage, but I won’t be given another chance.

Cars honk and swerve around me. I am exhausted and just want to go home and fall asleep. But I have nowhere to go. I lay down in the thoroughfare and close my eyes.

Oct 23, 2010

Legit Cyberpunk

Jim Spaceman: Moon Attack!
750 words

Jim Brockson, Spaceman First Class, saw the Norther patrol cruiser coming in low over Moonbase 182b to the sudden blare of the proximity sirens. “Red alert!” he spat grimly, slapping his gauntleted fist down on the red button in front of him. Durasteel shutters slammed down over the viewports and, moments later, he was bouncing across the gritty lunar soil in his rover towards the landing pad. The red lights around the pad were strobing their keep-away, illuminating the puffs of CO2 from the cruiser’s attitude thrusters.

Jim jammed on the brakes and jumped off the still-moving rover as it slewed to a stop. He took cover behind it, aiming his
rifle through the cloud of slow-falling moon dust at the cruiser as it settled onto its landing shocks. There was a cold computer in his head, enumerating the variables of their current situation and coming up with a vanishingly small chance of their survival. Still, they always knew that one day the Northers would break the Treaty. It was just a pity they’d chosen his outpost to start the war.

At that moment the canopy of the cruiser popped open and he loosed a shot at the red helmet that came out of it, missing.

“Cripes!” came over the comm in an unfamiliar accent. With a bound, the figure was out of the cockpit and running along the nose of the craft, crackling impulse fire following him as he lept for the Comms Hut. He had a big black package in his hands; doubtless some kind of explosive.

Jim stopped firing with a bitten-off curse. The dish wasn’t fully shut and he couldn’t risk a stray shot taking it out with Rorschach still in the hut. Better try talking, he thought and thumbed his radio on. “Norther craft ident LL928! You are ordered to stand down by Article 6 of the Lunar Treaty of 2048! Failure to do so will be met by –“

The figure on the Comms Hut raised his package and Jim tensed, suspecting a trick. “Uh, nah, bro,” came the voice over the radio. “We’re just delivering some kai for youse fullas. Gotta order from Base 116 for three giant monkeycheese supremes, hold the pineapple on the third? Pepper flakes on the first?” The spaceman tossed the package off the roof, then held up both his hands. “Not lookin’ for any trouble, eh.” The box landed with a puff of gritty moon dust.

Jim’s finger was taut on the trigger. “Rorshach,” he muttered on the personal band. “Check it out. I don’t know what they’re playing at, but we need to buy some time.”

Rorschach was at the package in a couple of low-g steps. He bent down. “It’s… pizza, Spaceman. Temp readout says it’s still hot.”

This is ridiculous, thought Jim. “So you’re not Northers,” he said. There was a movement from the open cockpit and Jim swung his rifle to cover it. The other pilot had his feet up on the control console, and was examining a datapad.

“Nah, I’m Hemi – Ngati Awa – and Hone over there is Ngai Tahu but we don’t hold it against him, eh. We borrowed the ship coz we were doing some runs and thought it’d be quicker, eh.”

Jim mentally riffled through thousands of hours of training, trying to remember anything that might be applicable. “So you’re going to drop off these… food supplies… and lift off.”

Jim saw the helmet nod. “Yep. Sweet as. We’ll just get a few bucks off ya if that’s cool with youse? With delivery, what are we looking at Hone?”

Another voice cut in, deeper than Hemi’s. “Ten thousand an’ fourteen bucks, mate.”

Jim noticed his hands were trembling and lowered the rifle. “We don’t… This is a military outpost. We haven’t got any

There was an awkward pause.

“No money?”

“N…no,” said Jim.

“Sorry to hear that, mate. Guess it’s plan B then.”

There was another flicker of movement from the cockpit and Jim jerked his head around in time to see the whirling pad hit his visor, which cracked across the middle and fogged up instantly. Jim pulled his trigger, spraying fire towards the ship, but it was too late. Hone was upon him, engraved steel war club in his hands. The last thing to go through Spaceman Jim’s head, before his thoughts were expunged by the jab of the taiaha, was a longing for pizza.

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 11:48 on Jun 10, 2014

Jay O
Oct 9, 2012

being a zombie's not so bad
once you get used to it
Professor Millennium's Conflicted Cadavers

based on the Twisted Time Train

730 words

"They were going to split my bones up, that's what they were going to do! Put them in bags, perhaps break them in half and poke around in the marrow. They'd even catalogue every tooth in my head! That's what Professor Millennium said. So when heoffered me a job on this train, I said to myself, 'This'll keep all my bones in one place for a while!' I figure that's enough for me! How d'you feel about working for our mysterious Professor? Worth the effort?"

The ghost sighed out an ephemeral puff to fuel the boiler, and Professor Millennium's train chugged on. It took all his energy to keep the engine going, and none to listen to the skeleton's story. Asking him for a response was asking too much. So he simply bobbed and lit up his aura in affirmation.

"He employ a lot of smoky fellows like you?" the skeleton asked. "Or d'you think he prefers post-mortems with a little more substance?"

At this remark, the skeleton thumped his ribcage with pride.

The ghost inhaled deeply and spoke.

"I. Stooooooke. Yooooou. Drive."

At this, the Professor himself came bursting in from his cabin, fiddling with his pocketwatch while his mustache twitched in thought.

"We've got a full cabin this year, boys. Post-mortems of all ages, sizes, and circumstances with places to be. But! They seem to be enjoying the ride, and that's what matters. How are you fellows doing?" Millennium asked, "Getting on well?"

"My colleague has a potentially admirable work ethic, but frankly I find his gloomy disposition fairly unpleasurable," said the skeleton.

"Ruuuuuuuude," replied the ghost.

Professor Millennium laughed, and poked his head outside the cabin. He watched the swirls and pockets of time, space, and dimension swim by, thick and amorphous and intimidating, but he trusted his two newest hires to find the way through them.

"You'll get on fine with time. Just look how well you drive the train together!"

The skeleton shrugged, then poked his featureless head into the ether as well. His hollow skull filled with the scents of the eternal void before them, and something in him knew which tracks to follow in that grand expanse of all that ever was or ever would be. His bony fingers twitched with excitement when he sensed that maybe, just maybe, a satisfying something lay just past what he could see over every mountain of vapor the train would climb. But if nothing turned up, there were other mountains ahead. So he imagined more track over the abyss, and it appeared.

The ghost could remember nothing, not even who he was in his past life, but his spirit overflowed into the burner, fueling the train and funneling back into himself just as the train's wheels turned in an eternal circle. There was satisfaction in the turning, the feeling of moving forward, even if he knew not where to. It was wonderful to burn, to feel, to taste the warmth of the train wrapped around him at all times and know that he was warming it for Millennium and all his post-mortem passengers. He was moved that Professor Millennium had hired him, and he didn't need to know why.

He wished he could depart the train someday, though. Plenty of drivers, from skeleton to spirit, and all other partial echoes of human life, had embarked and departed over the centuries, but every time they reached the end of the line, Millennium shook his head and simply punched the ghost's ticket for the return journey. He had never known a skeleton as obnoxious as this one, though.
Millennium sensed the ghost's moment of sorrow and smiled gently.

"My dear ghost," he said, "do you remember why I said you weren't allowed to depart the train last time?"

"Boooooones," the ghost sighed, "Never laid tooooo rest."

Millennium nodded, and took the skeleton's hand in his.

"Hey now!" the skeleton objected.

But he fell silent when Millennium put his bony hand into the boiler's flames. Memories flooded through the fire and into the ghost's aura, and he felt something like a heartbeat follow them. When he tasted the long-lost flavor of untold memories, the train sped up and roared its whistle.

"Try and get to know each other," Millennium said, "I think you'll find you each have a lot to give the other, before the end of the line."

Apr 12, 2006
Prompt: The Good Wizard
Flash rule: Johnny Thunder and Baby T

Black History
604 words

-see archives-

Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 02:51 on Dec 11, 2014


Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?
Flash rule(s):
Equal opportunity witchcraft (this actually turned out to be a super appropriate title, so I'm gonna use it as such :colbert: )
Blind Casanova

Lego Set: Sunshine Home

Equal Opportunity Witchcraft 747 words


Nightshade jumped at Crayvn’s voice suddenly booming in her head, “You know,” she said as she picked Crayvn up from his playpen, “just because you can do that doesn’t mean that you should. It’s super annoying.”

Crayn giggled and waved his chubby little arms, gesturing towards the kitchen, “Milk!” he said, out loud, in a regular baby-voice.

“Thank you,” sighed Nightshade, “that’s so much less creepy.”

She walked into the kitchen to warm up a bottle of milk and found Ned doing crunches on the floor.

“Babe,” she said, stepping over him to get to the fridge, “what are you doing?”

“I’m making sure I have good ab pump for the ceremony. Since I have to be naked and everything.”

Nightshade rolled her eyes, “Yeah, for like 5 minutes. Did you even pick a name yet?”

MOTHER, the baby intoned, THE MILK.

“Oh. My. Gods. You act like I didn’t just feed you 45 minutes ago.”


“Well, it would be nice if your supernatural powers extended to getting your own milk instead of just the ability to psychically yell about it.” She set a bottle of milk in a pot of water on the stove and cast a warming spell before turning back to her husband, “Ned, get dressed and summon a babysitter, the ceremony’s starting soon.”

Ned sat up, “Do I have to?” he said, pulling on his shirt, “I don’t know how I feel about this whole Witch thing, you know? Why can’t I be a wizard?”

“Because wizards aren’t real, idiot. Look, Crayvn is a Natural Witch, and there aren’t that many men in the Witch-hood, so you need to be a good role model for him.” Nightshade levitated the milk-bottle out of the now simmering pot of water and into her hand, “Besides, if nothing else you need to advance your rank so you can figure out how to reverse whatever charm you put on the house that turned it pink.”

“Fine,” said Ned, throwing his hands up in defeat, “You’re right though. It does look awful.”

Shortly after they moved in, Ned had tried to cast a simple charm to make their garden appear to passers-by as a picture of suburban perfection. It worked, in a sense, but it was difficult to explain to the neighbours how or why their house had become candy pink overnight. Nightshade was horrified, not only by the apparently irreversible colour change, but also by the fact that the neighbours thought it was to-die-for. The whole block was filled with pastel-painted houses within a month. It gave Nightshade acid reflux every time she had to go outside.

“You’d better put some towels down,” Ned’s voice floated up from the cellar, where they had painted the casting circle, “I think I got one of those Cthulhu nanny demons again.”


“Dammit.” Nightshade frowned, pinching the bridge of her nose. She was glad Crayvn wasn’t going to be a jerk about it, but cleaning up after tentacle demons was impossible. They were so slimy.

“Whew!” said Ned as the Grand Witch blinked out of existence, the naming ceremony, and Ned’s induction into the Witch-hood complete “That was awkward.”

“I know babe, I’m sorry. I thought they made Casanova retire.”

The Grand Witch was an ancient, blind, lecherous old man. He insisted that it was vital to the naming ceremony that he touch them both to “make sure” he knew who was who. He seemed to appreciate Ned’s abs though, as well as a number of his other body parts. And hers. Nightshade shuddered.

“Did you have to pick Merlin as your name though? Really?” she asked as they climbed the basement stairs.

“I told you,” said Ned. Merlin. “I wanted to be a wizard.”

MOTHER, came Crayvn’s voice as they reached the kitchen, I REQUIRE A BATH.

Merlin jumped, “What was that?”

“That,” said Nightshade, “is how your son talks to me all day, every day.”


“Uh, yeah, I guess so. Hi Crayvn.”


“Aughhhh, what?” Merlin reeled, clutching his head.

Nightshade smirked. “Well then. I think I’ll just leave you two to it and go to bed. Goodnight, Merlin!”

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