I decided that I wanted all of my Character Creation Contest (CCC) entries in one place. These are the entries as they were posted to the original contest threads, no embellishments, no edits. Many of these entries have appeared individually on the Fan-Fic forum, retitled and edited for better reading (the others will be edited and appear there eventually). I'll update this as each new contest ends. I hope you enjoy them, and as always, thanks for reading. -cb
|Last Issue:||#67-82: .Part 4.|
All of my CCC entries, from CCC #83 to CCC #?:
The smooth baritone voice of a station announcer calls out, "You're watching ISPN: The International Super Person Network!"
In HD where available
The voice of a male narrator says, "Welcome to Alien Life As We Know It."
Serene music starts to play.
"Earth. For thousands of years, we thought we were alone in the universe. Now, we know we were wrong. After all of our searching for intelligent life in the universe, aliens finally came to us- The Accord. We thought they were the first, but again, we were wrong. The Accord had long been preceded by Hyper-Parasites, or Parasitoids. You might know them by another name."
"We first became aware of the Superbugs when Superblonde, the daughter of Osmosis, attacked Supermodel at the Richmond Rotunda, and revealed them to the world. With this revelation, other information soon came to light."
A clip of the U.S. President addressing the United Nations plays.
"The governments of the world have been aware of the existence of Superbugs for decades, and have worked actively to not only keep them a secret, but to wipe them out wherever they find them. They are considered a threat to public safety. They are attracted to fecal matter, and are easily destroyed if they're not bonded to a host. We have had measures in place to trap and destroy them since the Eighteen Nineties. As evidenced by Supermodel, Superblonde, and others like them, these measures are not one hundred percent foolproof."
"Not only are they 'not foolproof,'" continues the show's narrator, "but some are not sure that they can be wiped out, because it's believed that every meteor crater on the planet is a potential spawning ground for the Superbugs. Going all the way back to the oldest crater on Earth: the Vredefort Dome, created in South Africa some two-point-oh-two-billion years ago.
"However long ago they really appeared on Earth, our introduction to them was through Superblonde. We soon realized that many of the world's superpowered people were bonded with Superbugs. Through these people, Superbugs have irrevocably changed our lives- our very way of living. They're super strong... virtually impervious to harm... and they breathe fire. It's this last trait, and one of their most famous, that has gained them their best known moniker."
The Dragon Men
"There are easily a hundred Dragon Men across the planet, and that's just the ones we can put a name to. Here's just a brief list of some that have had world shaking impact:"
Special Agent Heironymous
"Before Superbugs were common knowledge, Special Agent Heironymous covered his secret with the claim that he was actually a dragon in human form. Although he's never spent time as a superhero, he was in Detroit on the Day of the Dragon Men, where he fought against The Accord. He was reportedly dispatched by the President of the United States himself, as Heironymous is a member of the U.S. Secret Service. Interestingly, there are rumors that he has been in the Secret Service for longer than humanly possible, and he's probably the only one of the Dragon Men who still sticks to his cover story. He stubbornly insists that he is a dragon, and not just a man empowered by a Superbug."
Hyperman (aka Super-American)
"Hyperman is the founder of the Super Corporation. Whe he started the company, he started going by the name Super-American, after the long-thought-lost World War II hero. He's responsible for the creation of The Sponsors, and Hyper-Parasites got their name from him once their existence had been revealed, as Hyperman had arguably been the most famous of the Superbug-powered people before the Day of the Dragon Men.
"On that fateful day, once the Accord was defeated, Super-American was killed by the Black Sultan, who had long been his arch-enemy."
The Black Sultan (aka Turkeyman)
"The Black Sultan is probably the one that best sheds a light on our darkest fears- a Dragon Man bent towards evil. Once empowered by a Superbug, The Black Sultan- quickly dubbed Turkeyman by the press- used his power to become enemy to Super-American, whom he saw as the very symbol of America and capitalism. This enmity found its culmination on the Day of the Dragon Men when Turkeyman fought Super-American for the final time, killing him. This quickly led to his death at the hands of another of the Dragon Men."
Supremacist (aka The Grand Dragon, aka The True American)
"Supremacist is sometimes called 'the biggest racist on Earth.' Once empowered by a Superbug, he took leadership of the Ku Klux Klan. That and his ability to breathe fire quickly earned him the moniker The Grand Dragon. Supremacist has always referred to himself as The True American. Bent on race war in America, Supremacist, like the rest of the planet's Dragon Men, put that aside long enough to battle The Accord. Once that war was won, Hyperman was killed by Turkeyman, and Turkeyman was in return killed by Supremacist who looked up to Super-American - a fact that Hyperman found detestable. Ironically, it was this act that heralded the return of the real Super-American who battled and defeated Supremacist."
"Supermodel was Hyperman's girlfriend, and the promotional face of the Super Corporation. After Hyperman's death, she took over the leadership of S-Corp. Her name is forever intertwined with the history of the Superbugs, as it was her fight with Superblonde that revealed them to the world."
Superblonde (aka The Blonde Bombshell, aka American Beauty)
"Her debut to the world not only revealed the existence of the Superbugs, but resulted in the death of several people, and the injury of many more when she fought Supermodel at the Richmond Rotunda. Indicted, she was convicted, and sentenced to work with the Major League. She served her time, eventually joined the Sponsors, and later moved to England where she joined The Protectorate, and became known as American Beauty."
"Speaking of The Protectorate, they get their name from their leader, Lord Protector, although there have been two Lord Protectors so far. With exactly the same powers as American Beauty and any other Dragon Man, Lord Protector's impact on the world stage comes from the fact that he enforces the will of England's monarch, Iron Liege."
Ankara (aka Odalisque, aka The Sweet Sultan)
"After the death of Turkeyman, Ankara took the sultanate of Turkey for herself in order to fill the vacuum of power there. Strategically, she offered asylum to The Accord refugees stranded on Earth after the Day of the Dragon Men, and used Superbugs in her possession to transform the Black Sultan's former harem into The Harama. Despite all of this, and although Turkey is a closed state, Ankara has become known to the world as The Sweet Sultan."
"Feared the world over should they ever step outside Turkey's borders, The Harama are the women who had been trafficked to Turkey by The Black Sultan. In revenge for their 'treatment at the hands of men,' The Harama embarked on a genocidal swath across Turkey that killed all but about eight percent of the Turkish male population."
Heavyweight (aka Champion of the World)
"Not much is known about Heavyweight. He became known to most on the Day of the Dragon Men. Wearing gloves that somehow increased his strength, he launched himself at the Accord ship like a missile, bringing it down, but destroying Detroit in the process. He currently resides there, monitoring the Motor City that has built itself on the ruins, and is dedicated to rebuilding it."
"Before we knew about the Superbugs, Richard Idol claimed to be empowered by the old gods of the Mayans. He was worshiped by some, and took over a good portion of the Yucatan jungle. It is believed that he wiped out much of the drug trade there, but also rumored that he took over the drug trade himself. He fought alongside the rest of the Dragon Men to defeat The Accord. Once that battle was won, he went back to the Yucatan."
"Leader of The Accord, it was Cassiopeia's will that the Accordian hive mind centered on. The computer intelligence known as Crayniac nearly took over The Accord, but it was the combined effort of Cassiopeia and Doctor Boom that pushed Crayniac out, and led to it merging with Doctor Boom. Cassiopeia initially took asylum in Turkey with the rest of the Accord refugees, but was made persona non grata a short time later. Her current whereabouts are unknown."
The Accord Refugees
"Although hive-minded, The Accord was not a single race, but many races that had been convinced to 'be in accord.' Most are in Turkey, adding to that country's might. In addition to Cassiopeia, a few of the known members of The Accord are: Antarmada, Aquila, Centaurus, Corvus, Draco, and Lupus. There are others of course, but these have become the most known."
Newsman and Cameraman
"And then there's me," says the narrator as he appears onscreen. "You've come to know me as Newsman- the Dragon Man who's willing to follow the stories wherever that may lead me. And my Cameraman- also a Dragon Man- who films the stories I report. And thanks to ISPN, whether Dragon Men or some other extraterrestrial, I'll be reporting them to you here, on Alien Life As We Know It. Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you next time."
A woman walks up to a crime scene looking like she just found her way back from an Eighties punk rock concert. She wears pink high-tops with no socks, black combat trousers, a pink-and-white tank top under a long, ratty black coat, and an equally ratty black fedora that doesn't quite hide her hair. It's pink, shaved to stubble on the sides and back, and with the top coming up in lazy, pink curls that poof out from under the hat in the front. She wears a black, fingerless glove on her right hand, and a silver-sequinned, fingerless glove on her left hand.
A uniformed officer is about to stop her at the edge of the cordon, but she reaches in her pocket and pulls out credentials with a badge. Sounding bored, she recites, "My name's Pandora Jones. Yes, like 'Pandora's box.' Yes, I am a detective. No, I don't know Jessica Jones. She's a P.I., and she's fiction. It's not funny anymore. It was never funny. Yes, you were going to say all of that. Yes, I do know. Yes, I am a scary bitch. It's late. Who's in charge?" The officer only manages to stammer for a couple of seconds before she says, "Speak!"
The officer barks.
Before Jones can respond, a voice from behind the officer says, "It's okay, Officer Sashen. Let her through." A tall man with a handlebar mustache and no hair steps up next to the officer and offers his hand. "Agent Heironymous."
Rather than take the hand, she rubs the officer's face, and then scratches him behind one ear. "He's cute; has a good sense of humor. Can I keep him?"
The agent raises an eyebrow, and the officer smiles stupidly. "He's not a stray." Fixing Sahsen with a scowl, he adds, "And he's not off the clock." Then he waves for Jones to follow him.
As she steps under the cordon, the officer hands her a card, and whispers, "I'm off as soon as things wrap up here."
She purses her lips at his bravado, then pats him twice on the cheek- the first is light, and the second is more of a stiff slap. She says, "Down boy. Stay," and smirks as she walks away.
"Bitch," whispers Sashen.
Pandora turns and faces him, but has not lost her smirk. "That's scary bitch, Al. And fug you; you liked it," she says with a wink. Her smirk broadens a bit as she turns back to catch up with Heironymous.
Al smiles stupidly again, and wonders briefly how she knew his first name. He hopes to see her later only for a moment before he's slapped in the back of the head, and a short-haired blonde says, "Get back to work, Al."
"Dammit, Salt!" he complains.
"Agent Salt!" she corrects. "And fug you, jagoff," she says smiling over her shoulder as she walks away. "You did like it." She flips him off playfully as she turns to head after her partner.
Al rolls his eyes and waves her off as he turns back to watch the cordon. Then he smirks, and shrugs to himself. He did like it.
Up ahead, Pandora catches up to Heironymous, points a finger so close to his face that his mustache twitches, and she says firmly, "You stay too."
Heironymous stops involuntarily, and blusters, "What?"
Turning to walk backwards, she continues on as she says, "I don't like dragons, 'Agent.' I'll deal with your partner." Without another word, she turns and heads down an embankment to the crime scene.
Heironymous watches her descent for a few seconds before Salt reaches him. "What are you waiting for, partner?" she asks.
"Apparently, I'm staying here," he answers, sounding only slightly perturbed.
"What the hell?" balks Salt.
"It's her," he says, nodding in the detective's direction. "She told me to stay, and I stayed; can't go forward."
Agent Salt scoffs. "Damn, Heironymous," she says as she starts down the embankment. "I'm going to have to get her to teach me that trick."
"Crystal," calls Heironymous. She looks back at him. "Be careful of her."
His partner just nods, and continues down to the crime scene. Stepping up beside Jones, she looks down at the corpse, and says, "Agent Crystal Salt."
"Detective Pandora Jones. Paranormal Crimes Unit," she answers, never taking her eyes off the body.
The body is contorted, standing on its hands and feet in an inverted bridge pose, shuffling back-and-forth, and babbling in a language that nobody understands. The head is at an odd angle on account of the broken neck.
"What's it going on about?" Pandora wonders aloud.
"You tell me," says Salt. "You're the Ghostbuster."
Jones sighs. "It doesn't matter. It's not him. He's dead. The gibbering nuisance is a demon."
"Y'don't say," Salt deadpans.
"This boring you, Agent Salt?"
Crystal shrugs. "Yeah, kinda."
"Seen one supernatural freak, seen 'em all, then?" Pandora says with a little amusement.
"Girl," Salt sighs, "I could tell you stories." Shaking her head, she says, "So, what do we do about the Crab Man, here?"
Pandora just looks at Salt for a few seconds. She's not used to someone acting so casually about a case she's called in on. She chuckles lightly, and pulls a small, highly polished brown box from her pocket. She reaches her sequin-gloved hand palm out towards the body, and it flashes a bright flare. Whether it comes from her or from the glove isn't immediately apparent. "It's the glove," she says to Salt's unasked question.
The corpse collapses as a shadowy, growling something is thrown away from the body. It's sleek, and kind of humanoid, but with what looks like a tail and claws. It growls furiously, but then Jones tips open the box, and says, "Hope?" Something much like the shadowy form flies from the box, but appears to be made of bright, white flames. It grapples with the shadow, and drags it back into the box. The lid slams shut behind them of its own accord. Pandora puts the box back in her pocket, and turns to go up the embankment.
"Wait!" calls Salt, sounding perturbed.
Jones turns towards her with a questioning look.
"That's it?" Salt balks.
Jones taps the box through her pocket, and shrugs, "Demons go in, but they don't come out."
Salt looks stunned. "That simple?"
Pandora shrugs again. "Like I said when I got here- it's late. You want more action, go see a movie."
Salt just shakes her head as she watches the detective go.
"Agent Salt!" Pandora calls back, turning to look at her. "You have--" she starts, then seems to be searching for the right words. "You have a very interesting... timeline." She seems to be searching the air as she thinks about it, and then nods. "Yeah, 'timeline.' Even without the dragon." Then she turns to leave.
As she gets to the top of the embankment, she flips off Heironymous without saying another word to him, and keeps walking. Heironymous and Crystal just stare at each other for a long minute before she heads back up as well.
The History of Labberanth
The ship had landed on a broad, round surface surrounded by sculpted canyons that ran in every direction. The landing pad was part of the walls dividing those canyons, had its own watchtower, and was connected by bridges to several points at the top of canyon walls. These points were varying distances from the pad, each had their own watchtowers, and all were guarded by fierce, winged soldiers called Daedalons. One of these Daedalons stopped me as I debarked from the ship, and demanded, "What's your business on Labberanth, off-worlder?"
"I'm here to see The Labyrinthian," I answered calmly.
The Daedalon laughed. "We're all Labberantheans here."
"No," I said with minor aggravation, "not..." I sighed in frustration, but let it drain away. Then I said, "Okay, fine. Asterion; I'm here to see Asterion."
The Daedalon lost all traces of mirth as he eyed me suspiciously. After a few seconds, he pointed to a bridge on the other side of the pad. I nodded, and turned towards the bridge. The soldier called after me, "Sir--"
"--I know, soldier. 'Be careful of the crosswinds.' Thank you," I called as I waved over my shoulder. "It's not my first visit," I muttered.
The canyons beneath the bridge are mostly dark, so there wasn't much to see on my way to the next watchtower. There wasn't much to hear either. Despite the teeming populace in the canyons, stealth had always been the custom on Labberanth. Man, woman, and child alike learned to sneak before they could talk. Labberantheans were highly sought after for these skills. Whether for reconnaissance, thievery, or assassination, a target would never detect them coming or going. As a visitor, it was best to stay to the web of bridges that crisscrossed the canyons, to take care of any business in the watchtowers, and depart, leaving life in the ebon canyons to be explored only in the depths of imagination.
I was here for a story, and since the bridge was a long one, I swiveled the mic over my ear in front of my mouth, and started dictating some preliminary notes. "The story of Labberanth is an old one. There used to be a place called Greece, a king called Minos, and his queen, Pasiphae. Having angered their gods on multiple occasions, the final insult came when Minos did not sacrifice a bull that was provided to him for this purpose by one of the gods.
"So, Pasiphae was made by the gods to want for the bull. She enlisted the aid of a genius named Daedalus, and his son, Icarus, to satisfy this want, and the result was a half-man, half-bull that became known as the Minotaur. Enraged, Minos made Daedalus design a labyrinth to imprison the man-bull child, and then shut Daedalus and Icarus in there as well. His punishment for Pasiphae was knowing that she could not see her son. Pasiphae's revenge was to name her son after her husband's father; she named him Asterion.
"It's not the same Asterion as I'm on my way to see, of course. By this point the name has become more of a title passed down from generation-to-generation. This Asterion has called for me, apparently to ask a favor. This is rare, but my curiosity was too much for me. I have to see what this is about." I finish as I reach the watchtower at the other end of the bridge, and before the Daedalon can ask me my business, a voice from inside the tower's door tells him to let me pass. Surprised at the voice, the Daedalon steps aside immediately. I enter.
"I figured I would have to cross several more bridges before seeing you," I said calmly.
The man-bull with the white fur stepped out of the darkness, munching on a long sheaf of grass he carried in his hand. "Do you really believe I'm not the same Asterion?" he asked.
I couldn't hide my astonishment.
"Daedalus' genius covered many areas. Surveillance was one of them." The bull face seemed to smile.
I looked back over the bridge, trying to tell where the devices used to listen in on my narrative would have been. Seeing none, I looked back to Asterion, and nodded appreciatively. "Are you saying immortality is another area of his genius?" I asked in reply to his question.
Asterion snorted. "No. Immortality is granted by the gods. The white bull that fathered me was created by Poseidon. He was created to die, but when Minos didn't kill him, part of Poseidon and Athena's revenge was to grant me immortality, that Minos would be reminded of his folly for all of his days. He shut me away in a labyrinth, but he could never be rid of me."
"How does that story come to all of this?" I ask in official reporter tone.
"Bulls are herbivores," Asterion said simply. "All those teens brought to my labyrinth as tribute were never in any danger from me, but if anyone knew that, the labyrinth would have been destroyed, and all within its walls would have been put to death. Thus, our custom for stealth. Daedalus put his genius to work, giving us ways to expand the labyrinth, both above and below ground. As time and technology grew, we even expanded between the spaces, creating dimensional pockets for the tributes to live in, safe from harm and detection by the outside world."
"Tesseracting?" I asked.
Asterion nodded. "It allowed us to expand the labyrinth until the very world belonged to us."
"Dimension hopping seems to defeat the purpose of a labyrinth."
"The labyrinth is for outsiders, to make it hard to find our people," Asterion said simply.
"Sir," came the voice of a Daedalon entering the watchtower chamber.
"I said we are not to be disturbed!" shouted Asterion.
"But sir," protested the guard.
"Go! Now!" he roared.
As the Daedalon left, I said, "Are they really clones of the original Daedalus?"
"They are, and they're the reason I've asked you here," said Asterion.
"I don't follow."
"Somewhere in one of the tesseracts of Labberanth, Daedalus still lives. The Daedalons, as you've seen, have become... well, dumber," said Asterion. "We need Daedalus to fix this. Their stupidity could be the end of us all."
I considered for a few minutes. This was a story that would make my name with every news site across the solar system, but it would mean having to enter those dark, dangerous canyons of Labberanth. I would have to enter the Maze World. The choice was clear. "I'll do it," I said simply.
"Welcome home, Labberanthian," Asterion said gratefully. "The only one of us to escape this world unescorted. You, Icarus, are our only hope of finding your father."
|085||Weapon of Choice||1,225||1||2nd||T|
"Alley-Kat Abra, what is that?" asked Captain Carrot.
Abra looked at the sword in her hand with a sadness in her eyes that made everyone in the room want to scratch her behind the ears. Then with a light sigh, she answered, "It's the sword of Catana."
Holding his pointer finger in the air, Rubberduck said, "Ah! You mean that cat fu vixen from the Outsidecats?"
Fastback scratched his head and said, "Ah thought Vixen was a member of Just'a Lotta Animals?"
"Wrong universe," said Yankee Poodle.
With one finger on his great, metal lip, Pig-Iron said, "I thought it was 'quack fu.' "
"Gah!" blurted Captain Carrot. "Wrong universe, Pig-Iron! Whattaya trying to do? Get us sued?"
"Huh?" asked the giant purple pig.
"A'right then," said Fastback, quickly stepping back into the conversation. "So Catana was with the Outsidecats. Weren't they led by Bat-Bat?"
"YOU GUYYYS!" screamed Captain Carrot, almost pleading. "Wrong universe! It's not bad enough that we lost the Z-Building when those turtle ninjas sued us over Fastback's Halloween costume last year? Now you're trying to tick off the Mouse?!"
"I'm not mad," squeaked Little Cheese from a nearby hole in the wall.
"Duh, and The Tick is the wrong universe, Captain," said Pig-Iron.
A green arm suddenly shot out, coiling three times around Pig-Iron's mouth. "Hey!" shouted Rubberduck. "Listen, you big dumb ox--"
"--He's not an ox," came Little Cheese's voice from the hole.
"I don't know how you know all these other universes," continued the flexible fowl, "and I don't wanna know. What I doknow is the Zoo Crew is currently headquartered in the fabulous Califurnia home of Byrd Reynolds, an--"
"Isn't he dead?" Fastback asked no one in particular.
Rubberduck's head stretched over until he was nose-to-nose with Fastback, and he yelled, "WRONG UNIVERSE!"
Putting his hands up in front of him in mock surrender, Fastback's head sank into his shell as he said, "Okay, sorry, y'all." As Rubberduck's head and neck curved back around to Pig-Iron, Fastback's eyes peeked over the edge of his shell, and he added, "Actors. Such primadonnas."
"I'm surprised you know that word," said Yankee Poodle from nearby, "but you're not wrong, dahling."
"As I was saying," continued Rubberduck, "we're headquartered in the well-feathered nest of my Byrd Reynolds alter ego, and I don't plan on losing it to some corporate lawyers because you guys can't keep your traps shut about other universes! SO SHUT UP!" he bellowed.
"Can we get back to the sword now?" asked Captain Carrot. "Abra, why do you have Catana's sword?"
"She doesn't," came a voice from the living room's doorway.
The group looked over at a Siamese cat in a samurai-like costume, and a short-haired Persian floating beside her that trailed rainbow colored energy behind her.
"Catana!" gasped Alley-Kat Abra.
"Yes," answered the Siamese. "And this is my friend and teammate, Hola."
"I thought it was Halo," said Fastback.
"Ah thought Halo was a video game," said Pig-Iron.
"Wrong universe," said Hola.
"I thought your soul was in your sword!" cried Alley. "How did you get out?"
"Nevermind that," said Byrd in a mild panic, looking around quickly. "How did you get in?!"
"Nevermind that," said Captain Carrot. "We have to keep this story moving. So what's the story with your sword?" he asked.
"Quite simple, Captain," answered Catana. Reaching behind her back, she pulled a weapon from its sheath, and said, "That is not my sword."
"My Magic Wanda revealed to me that this sword holds the souls of all those that it's killed," said Abra.
"Ew," said Yankee Poodle. "Really, dahling."
"That is kind of gruesome," came Little Cheese's voice from the hole.
"There's only one sword like that in all the world," continued Abra. "Yours," she said to Catana.
"Correct," said Catana. "So what does that tell you?"
Looking at Hola, Fastback said, "Ohhh, I get it! It's from another planet!"
"No," said Alley, slapping her forehead. "Of course! It's in the--"
"--Wrong universe," said the entire group.
Captain Carrot's ears perked up straight as he pointed a thumb towards the sword in Abra's hand, and asked, "Uh, then wait. Who does this belong to?"
"Hola?" Catana asked her friend.
"Si," she answered as she formed a weird glowing sphere.
"It belongs to Hola?" asked Pig-Iron. "An' she speaks Spanish?"
"Espanol," came the voice from the mousehole.
"I thought she was Persian," continued the pig.
"Buddy," said Fastback, patting his pal on the shoulder, "let's not get ourselves in any more trouble, okay?"
Pig-Iron shrugged. "Okay, Beagly-Beagly."
"Huh?" said Fastback.
Pig-Iron hunched his shoulders and grimaced. "Sorry. Wrong universe," he said with a weak smile.
The sphere glowed brighter as it grew, and then a large moose-like being stepped through the portal.
"My friends," said Catana, "This is Carrie Boo."
"Of course she's a caribou," said Yankee Poodle, a bit perturbed, "but what's her name, dahling?"
"My name is Carrie," answered the caribou. "Last name: Boo. Carrie. Boo."
"No need to get testy, dahling," answered Poodle.
"I thought it was BumpyBoo," said Byrd.
"Wrong universe," said Little Cheese from his hole.
"And that's my sword," Carrie added, pointing to the weapon in Alley-Kat Abra's hand.
"How is it that it has the same ability as that of Catana's sword?" asked Abra.
"I don't know. Lazy writing?" answered Boo. "It's true that it holds the souls of all those it has killed. And like Catana's sword, they can be brought back with a ritual. All those held in the sword, and the sword itself, are called The Menagerie. I need it back."
"To do more killing?" asked Captain Carrot. "I don't know if we can allow that," he said with grim determination.
"I only use it to kill mosquitoes," she said.
"Couldn't you do that with a flyswatter?" asked Fastback.
Whipping a flyswatter out of a sheath on her back, Carried said, "Yes, but the sword is for the main mosquito. I have to trap his soul in The Menagerie to free the souls of my Caribou Clan that he's enslaved."
"Enslaved how?" asked Rubberduck.
"By biting them, and turning them into mosquitoes."
Looking at the team, Rubberduck said, "Do mosquitoes do that here?"
"No," said Alley-Kat Abra. "Magic Wanda reveals to me that in another universe, they'd be called 'vampires.' Grisly creatures that drink blood."
"Well, they do that here," said Rubberduck.
"Yes," said Yankee Poodle dryly, "but you don't turn into one afterwards, dahling."
"Ah, I see now," said Byrd. "Continue!" he said happily.
"It's imperative that I have The Menagerie back if I am to win my battle," said Carrie Boo.
"Well, of course," said Captain Carrot as Abra gave the sword back to Carrie. "Maybe the Zoo Crew should go back with you to help you fight this menace?"
"What? And get my writer sued? Are you kidding?" she asked as she headed through the portal. "Thanks, but no thanks," she said with a wave, and then the portal closed behind her.
"I still think we could have helped," said Captain Carrot.
"We have our battles here, Captain," said Alley-Kat Abra. "There, we would have merely been in the..." she paused, smirked, then continued, "...wrong universe."
The group groaned loudly, and pelted Abra with pillows.
|084||Jester and a Jest||Didn't Participate||-||-||-|
|083||Battle of 2 OC's||761||1||2nd||M|
Attempting to pick himself up off his backside, the Steerman's voice coming through his helmet speaker sounded pained. "Damn, you kick like a mule. What's your name, filly?"
Without smiling, and with her pistol trained at his head, she answered, "Benefit of being half horse. Just call me Night Mare."
Electricity starting to crackle around his armor, he sounded more confident. "You're dreamin'. Time to get back in the herd. We have to get through City Center before morning."
Ships headed to the auction passed by overhead as they faced each other down. She warned, "I didn't say you could get up, Steerman. I'm not part of your herd, and Centaurs aren't cattle to be rounded up."
The Centaur herd watched intently, murmuring as they backed away, hooves pelting the smooth metal.
"Law on Texas-S says different," he said defiantly, energy still building in his gauntlets.
Firing a laser past the side of his head, she said, "I don't give a damn what Texass has to say about it. I'm a Proxima Centaurian! I'm nobody's property. Now power down before my next shot cuts through that soft spot under the chin of your helmet."
The crackling diminished, but the Steerman's attitude didn't. "'Nobody's property,' huh? So no one's put their brand on your hind end yet?" He tsked, which through the helmet sounded like a static squelch. "Shame."
"You'd fetch quite the price," the Steerman taunted.
The Centaur snorted, taking two angry steps forward, hooves banging on the hard metal. "Yeah?" she said angrily.
"Yeah," he barked. "As dogfood!" and suddenly his left gauntlet powered fully, firing at her feet. She reared up, shooting wide as she did so, giving him time to roll to one side and jump from the ground. As he did, the grav units in his boots fired, and he took to the air. Firing two more pulses at her, he growled, "Maybe I'll just brand ya myself!"
Bringing her gun up quickly, she fired and clipped one of his boots, shorting the grav unit. As he spiraled towards the ground, she called out, "Now who's dreamin'?"
The herd cheered.
As he crashed and clattered across the walkway for the second time that night, he rolled to a sitting position, quickly pointing a gauntlet in her direction. She was already on top of him though, and her right front hoof to his chest pushed him firmly flat on the ground. Grabbing the wrist of the powered gauntlet with her right hand and twisting it away from her, her left hoof stood on his other wrist, and her left hand brought the pistol up under his chin.
The armor protected him from being crushed under her weight, but the immobility was clearly not to his liking as angry breaths came like static over the helmet's speaker. "Well?" he shouted. "What are you waiting for?"
Leaning down further so her face was inches from his, through gritted teeth she demanded, "What's my name?"
They stared each other down for long seconds before he finally spat the words, "Night Mare!"
"Damn right," she said angrily. "Your worst," and she fired.
The Steerman's body went limp. The herd gasped collectively, and they all fell silent.
Night Mare turned towards them, and raised her pistol in the air. "Centaurs! It's time to take back your lives! It's time to fight back!"
The herd murmured. Some agreed, and some sounded panicked.
"Proxima Centauri once belonged to us! It's time to show these Texasshats that it still does!"
The murmured agreement began to grow. The agreement mingled with cheers of support.
"I'll be a nightmare to these people until they agree to live in peace! I live free! I'll die free!"
Throughout the herd, Centaurs reared up and crashed down on the metal walkways, cheering defiantly at the night. The sounds were explosive.
"We need to shut down the auction that sells our people like animals, separating families, and shipping them to other planets!"
Wild screams went up from the herd, as if hearing their plight aloud released years of repressed torment.
"Will you stop being part of their herds? Will you fight with me?"
A long, collective roar went up from the Centaurs, and as one, they turned and galloped full tilt after Night Mare, heading for the auction. The sound of their hooves on the metal combined with their war cries thundered through the city, and cowered all who heard it. War was coming to Proixma Centauri, and those who called it Texas-S weren't ready.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed my entries. Participate in the next Character Creation Contest- we always love having another writer compete! -cb :^D
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