Comics by Shaenon II
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Tales of Madness
http://comicsbyshaenon.free-forums.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=54
Page 2 of 41

Author:  FriendlyTroll [ Sat May 24, 2008 9:44 pm ]
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chicgeek wrote:
Yeah, the 'meep!' cracks me up. Nice touch!

Hee! not to mention the "say hello, fredric' bit.
Plus, when he was a baby he was barely half s big as Andrew's palm.

Author:  chicgeek [ Tue May 27, 2008 8:41 pm ]
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Okay, here it is-the first part of the daring adventures of the Tinker Twins!
Don't say we didn't warn you....

“Uncle Richy! Uncle Dicky!” As little Andy Tinker hugged his uncles, he whispered, “we HAVE to talk!”
“What ho, little Andy!’ laughed Dr. Richy ‘Gamma’ Tinker.
“And how did you and Katty enjoy the circus?” Inquired Doctor Dicky ‘Delta’ Tinker, ruffling Andy’s hair. The two exchanged a glance over their nephew’s head.
“Oh, it was loads of fun! And mummy scared the clown away!”
Dr. Risk’s lip curls slightly. “He was harranging the audience, complaining we weren’t laughing enough.” Shrugs. “So I obliged him.”
“Good lord, Katty, I’m surprised you didn’t cause a stampede.”
“Don’t be so quick, brother-perhaps she did.”
Little Andy giggles in spite of himself. Uncle Richy swoops him up. “Now, nephew-we must fly! I believe there’s some ice cream that needs vanquishing.”
“Indeed, and we would be helpless without our faithful sidekick.” Doctor Tinker overrides his sister in law’s protests-“Uncle’s privilege, you know.”

His brother chimes in. "Indeed it is. Now, Katty, you got to have the fun of accompanying young Andy to the circus. We can't top that,I fear."
"But at least we can investigate the local ice cream parlor, eh, Gamma?"
Dr. Kathleen Risk sighes. "There's nothing heroic about rotting his teeth-hmm, there may be hope for you yet. Oh very well, just don't keep him out too late."
"Never fear!"
"We shall be back before you've had time to miss us."

Evil grin-"I *never* miss. Now,shoo!" She lets her son leave with only a token protest. Eric is gone on another mission, and Andrew is so happy to see his uncles. Good(shudder) influence they may be, but she has a soft spot for her little boy.

The ice cream parlor is bustling on this summer night. While they wait in line, his uncles amuse themselves by balancing little Andy on their outstreched hands, so he can see all the flavors.
Treats finally procured, the trio established themselves at one of the tables outside. Most customers have chosen to join the crowd inside tonight, leaving them free to find a somewhat seculded spot with ease.

Cheerily,-“Now, then, what has you so perturbed, my lad?”
“Whatever it is, it certainly hasn’t affected his appetite.” Doctor Tinker adds dryly. “I’ve never seen such a sweet tooth.”
Andy gulps down another spoonful of rocky road. “Oh, Uncles, look at this!” He pulls a creased and grubby sheet of paper from his pocket. It’s a flyer for Doctor Payne and Sue Fring’s three ring circus. The sideshow acts and menagerie are featured prominently. Dr.Tinker turns it over to find a crude note scrawled upon the back. “the town’s in danger-the third night-he must be stopped-oh save a poor prisoner.”
“How did you come across this missive, Andy?”
“And have you shown it to anyone else?”
“Mrfl”. Swallows his ice cream.” It was shoved in my pocket when mummy and I were looking at the animals. I felt it, but when I looked around, no one was near us! And daddy’s gone on business, and mummy, well…” His voice trails off.
Uncle Dicky grins.“Say no more, my lad! Now finish up your treat so we can get you home.”
“And don’t worry,” his uncle Richy assures him.”The Tinker Twins will soon have this conundrum sorted out.”

Later-
“Delta, do you think-“
“Indeed I do. Katty scaring off that clown gives us just the opening we need.”
“Oh, this will be fun!”
“Perhaps, Gamma, perhaps…now’s here’s what we’ll do…”

Author:  Zobot257 [ Wed May 28, 2008 10:51 am ]
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Ok, Chicgeek? That was awesome.

That being said, it's getting entirely too perky in here...I need to finish up my bit of Desius' story and get it back to him so we can balance out the jovial Tinker twins with a bit of angst.

Author:  chicgeek [ Wed May 28, 2008 3:11 pm ]
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Hee, thanks,Toboz. (Notice how I finally spelled it properly?) Tinker and I are tag teaming on this.
And yes, we need some more angst to balance out the silliness! I look forward to your next posts.

Author:  FriendlyTroll [ Wed May 28, 2008 6:03 pm ]
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Hee hee! You'll have to do it before I post part two!

Author:  FriendlyTroll [ Thu May 29, 2008 3:59 pm ]
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The Amazing Tinker Twins In:
The Adventure of The Circus of Mystery.
Part Two: 'Enter a Villain, a portrait of Doctor Payne'

A True Story, Written by Miss Chic and Prof. A. Tinker

Dr. Payne was simply not having a good day. A good day was a day where he was riding atop his trained Nightmare Horse, listening to the screams of the frightened peons as they fled from his nightmarish army of harlequin horrors.

Why the very thought of it brought the ghostly curl of a smile to his face, even as he restrained the urge to hunt down and kill the cowardly fools who's sudden departure had left him bereft of clowns for that nights show.

"Um, excuse me sir but you never answered my question. . ." intoned Staniel, Dr. Paynes Stage manager for the Circus.

Dr. Payne turned, staring down at the poor terrified- well, he was more confused than terrified - Stage Manager, narrowing his eyes at him.

Usually, this had the *desired* effect of causing his minions to hastily retract their statements and scuttle out of his sight. After all, Dr Payne was a solid six foot, with a shock of mostly silver hair (a few dustings of black remaining) spiked as if he had been hit by lightning after surviving a hairspray tornado.
To add to the image, he wore a floor-lenght black and orange coat that swept behind him dramatically, and carried a riding crop upon his person at all times.

... and yet, his Stage Manager insisted on standing there impassively, neither groveling nor scampering. Bah, serves him right for stitching together a employee from scratch.

He huffed, crossing his arms.
"I was having a inner monologue, you passionless patchworked pansy." he huffed, receiving an eye-roll from the dead-pan assistant.

"That's nice, sir. But I still need your approval to hire some new clowns." Staniel monotoned, sighing slightly at his Creators melodrama. Payne was great with the crowds, and a magnificent villain, but in the end it was Staniel that kept everything running.

Dr. Payne started slightly, blinking in confusion. When had he hired new clowns?!
"New clowns? You already found some- I mean, or course! Bring them to me for inspection." he commanded, recovering quickly.

"...send in the clowns?" suggested Staniel, hiding a small smile behind his clipboard.

"[Just. Get. Out." hissed Dr Payne, which *finally* inspired his henchman to make a quick exit.

Staniel trotted hastily to where he had left the winning applicants in the Big Top, giggling softly to himself.
It wasn't often he indulged in a bit of humor, but for some reason he had just felt in the mood. . .
It was these new clowns, he decided. Something about them would probably make almost *anyone* feel happier, even an undead patchwork like himself.
They were very good. During the audition they had flipped and tumbled in perfect unison, telling jokes and doing tricks with expert ease.

"Congratulations Aydee and Aygee, the Ringmaster will see you." he said, two quick jingles sounding as the new clowns raised their heads.

They were tall, and skinny. Both were dressed in well-fitting diamond-checked jester's costumes, Aydee in cerulean and white, and Aygee in robins egg and white, and each wore a small black mask over the top of their face.

"Fantastic! Thank you so much, good Sir Staniel! My brother and I..."

"...Are so happy to get this chance. We've always wanted to work in a circus as wonderful as this."


"Mm, yes, well, you're lucky that that... woman chased off our last clowns."

'A-D' and 'A-G' looked at each other, sharing a knowing grin.
"Oh, we know..." the said simultaneously, flipping up onto their feet, hand on hips.
[/url]

Author:  That Guy [ Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:06 pm ]
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[narration]We will join Thaddeus once again on his journey through childhood. Perhaps to get a glimpse into his mind. With enough hints we might eventually find out what makes this disgruntled Henchman tick.[/narration]

"Dad?"

"Yes Thad."

"Why do we have to be henchmen?" asked the small boy.

"Well son, we really don't have a choice," answered his father. "We're from a long line of genetically altered Henchpeople. Our ancestors go back a long time..."

"-You mean like a hundred years or something."

"Closer to a thousand. Anyway, ...our ancestors go back all the way to one particular man. We don't know where he came from. Because he was deprived of his memory by a Mad Scientist. That Mad Scientist was called Castor Valian. He told our ancestor his name was Ichor Guy."

Sebastian Guy continued, "He argued with his master, but it was no use Valian had altered Ichor's genetic makeup. He had made it so that Ichor would have to obey him. Even if it was against his wishes. Eventually, Castor died. Ichor was free to live a life free of his demands. He settled down with a girl from a few villages over and had a few children."

"Then disaster struck. A crazed Mad rode into the town they lived in. Ichor found himself unable to disobey this Mad too. What's more, his children were in the same condition. Castor Valian had created the ultimate henchman. Over the years and through the centuries, our family spread. We kept special care of the records of ancestry. Over the years we spread into branches and have changed names. There's the Misanthropys, the Fernandys, and the Heinmen. We've managed to stay in contact though."

Thad was a thoughtful kid so he asked, "Dad, why couldn't we just avoid Mad Scientists?"

"Thaddeus, we would, but eventually we're found. We might be cursed. We might be fated. We might just have bad luck. Though most people agree that we emit some sort of signal that those with the Mad Gene seek out."

"Thad, you have to be a henchman because no matter what you do, a Mad will eventually find you. He or She will be able to command you if they have the right stuff. If they have authority and can intimidate you, you'll find yourself obeying them whether you want to or not."

"Thaddeus," Sebastian said sadly. "You'll end up being a Henchman no matter what. I'm sorry, but that's the way it is."

---------------------------------------------------------------

"Thad pack your things already."

"I'm going Dad," said an preteen Thaddeus. He put his laser in on top of all of his messed up clothes.

One long plane ride later.

They got off the plane and entered a crowd of people speaking in a language Thad didn't understand. His dad talked one of them in that language.

"Come on Thad. This man will give us a ride."

They rode through the medium-sized city they were in, and then they traveled through the countryside. After what seemed like a long time they pulled up in front of a large manor.

"Here we are," said Sebastian. As they walked up to the house he said, "Now Thad, remember to respect your elders. Don't laugh at anyone with extra or strange body parts. And don't drink any of Aunt Urselene's blue punch."

"Yeah Dad, I remember."

"Good."

They walked through the front door... and into chaos. Things flew through the air. People were shouting in a multitude of languages.

Thaddeus managed to pick out a few snippets of conversation:

"I don't care what you say. The Omega 488 is one of the best..."
"<...you hear what happened to Uncle Theo? Another child at his age! You'd think his boss would stop impregnating him.>"
"<I don't care if he is family. Ed Misanthropy can't just up and invite himself to...>"
"...know Mad botanists. Always thinking up new motile vines, but they never seem to make them resistant to fire."

Then a large woman came up to them and said, "Oh Sebastian, you're here. That's good. You'll have your usual room in the east wing. Young Thaddeus here will be in the room to the right of yours." She took their bags, "I'll put these in your room."

Then, Thad felt himself be absorbed into the general mayhem. He passed men in large goggles. Women who seemed to glow a suspicious shade of orange. And one man who was apparently Uncle Theo.

He eventually found his way into the rear garden. Once there he was pulled out of the stream of people by an bear of a man, who talked in a rough and accented voice, "You must be Sebastian's boy. You look just like him. I'm your Uncle Alaric. You sure are a sturdy lad," he said as he clapped down on Thad's shoulder (possibly breaking bones). "You'll make one fine assistant for a Funke someday."

...Some time later he got away from Uncle Alaric when another man started an argument with him over the price of accelerated matter in China.

He wandered through the crowd for a long while. He stopped several times to snack on food he found on tables. (He tested the food with a small kit beforehand) Much later he found his father and they went up to their rooms.

Family Reunions sure are hectic. Thaddeus fell asleep that night to the sound of echoing explosions.

Author:  chicgeek [ Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:38 pm ]
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The Amazing Tinker Twins in-
The Adventure of the Circus of Mystery
Part Three-Making New Friends, or -all is not what it seems.

The Tinker twins roll and tumble their way to see the ringmaster. They finish with a spectacular double flip and a deep bow. “The new clowns, for your approval, Dr. Payne.” intones Staniel. “Aygee and Aydee at your service!” says the one on the right. “We would be deeply honored to clown for such a magnificent establishment.” Adds the one on the left. They simultaneously drop to one knee.
Dr. Payne preens. “Yes, yes, it is quite an honor for you, isn’t it? You may have the morning to meet your fellow performers and familiarize yourself with our layout.”
“Staniel!”, he barks.
“Yes, master, ah, I mean, yes, Dr. Payne?”
“Show our new attraction to their lodgings.”
“At once, sir.”
The overworked patchwork manager hustles them out. “Quickly, now-I don’t have a lot of time to spend showing you around. The menagerie is over to your left-just don’t stick your hand through any bars. If you’re very lucky, we’d be able to retrieve it and sew it back on. Although I must say Dr. Payne’s a dab hand at the needle. That’s the chow tent, and here we are.” Staniel unlocks a dilapidated trailer. “This will have to do for your quarters for now, but there’s only two more performances to go. Rehersal is at two, do NOT be late.” When he checks his watch, the twins notice the neat stitching circling his wrist. “Oh, Aygee and Aydee?” he points to a magnificent black trailer, skillfully painted with a macabre mural. “That is Dr. Payne’s private quarters, and off limits under any circumstance whatsoever. If you have a problem, I’m the one you track down. Try not to have any problems. Get it?”
“Got it” they chorus.
“Good.”
As Staniel scurries off, Dr. Richy Tinker murmurs to his brother. “Free rein to roam about-that’s a bit of luck.’
“Indeed-but we save the ringmaster’s quarters for later. Perhaps during the performance, when he’ll be in the ring.”
“So, where first, brother?’
“Where else?” Doctor Dicky Tinker replies. “We go where young Andy has a note stuffed in his pocket. Not a person around them, he said.”
“Do you think-“
“Yes, I do.”

The twins stroll nonchalantly through the circus grounds, casually flipping and tumbling around any obstacles. There are a truly impressive amount of sideshow freaks, and even the ‘performers’ seem a bit…off. A hideous brute of a strongman, wearing the traditional leopard skin, bares yellow teeth at them in a grimace as they pass.
Dr. Tinker murmurs-“mutated gorilla?”
“Obviously.”
They saunter past the animal cages, retracing young Andy’s steps. Until they reach a shrouded cage, bearing the sign-“Mortimer the Magnificent!” –and a picture of a mongoose .And overhear a voice…
“Poor prisoner”, sighes a sweetly feminine voice. “Oh, whatever shall I do?”
There hasn’t been a Tinker born who could resist. Quickly fiddling with the lock, they burst in. To find a vision of loveliness holding a mongoose, and turning an astonished look upon them.
“Fear not, M’lady! Succor is at hand!”
“Your plaintive missive has reached us, and Aygee and Aydee stand ready to aid you!”
“My…missive?” Dr. Tinker pulls out the circus flyer bearing the cryptic note. Her eyes widen, and she clutches the mongoose to her tightly. “I did not dare hope…”
“Come, let us escort your from this place.”
“You shall be safe with us, never fear.”
“Alas,” she sighes, “I cannot. Not while my poor aged mother is hostage for my good behavior. But perhaps…tonight, while Dr. Payne is riding the Nightmare horse, in the center ring-No, I cannot ask you to risk it!”
“Ask!”
“We insist, my dear.”
The mongoose struggles wildly.
“I could show you how to break into his trailer. Oh, I would not ask for myself, kind sirs, but mother…” she stifles a sob. A single tear trails down one lovely cheek.

Needless to say, after they pat her cool hand, and each receive a single kiss of gratitude…

"What a stroke of luck that was" Dr. Richy Tinker crowed enthusiasticly."finding the letter writer so quickly."
"Hmm, Gamma, I don't know. I don't have a good feeling about this.Awfully convinient, what?"
"Oh, you're always suspicious! Can't things simply be going well for once?"
"Perhaps...all right, we'll do it your way." Doctor Dicky Tinker sighed. "But I'll thank you to keep my reservations in mind later."

That night-
“This way! Oh, hurry!” she whispers, leading them on at breakneck speed. A door opens-and clangs ominously shut behind them. With her on the other side. She looks at them through the grill, gloating transforming her innocent face into something wicked. “Pitiful fools-sweet dreams. The venom should be kicking in about…3…2…1…”
The brothers stare at each other in dismay. And slowly crumple.

They awaken to find themselves tied to the pole supporting the big top. Surrounded by an army of harlequin horrors. And before them, sneering-
Dr. Pain. And on his arm, Sue smiles broadly at our heroes, baring her sweet little fangs. “Ah, clowns, I believe you’ve met my daughter?”
“Daddy, I told you we should’ve drowned the little weasel long ago. If I hadn’t happened to have been holding him when these buffoons burst in, he would’ve told them everything!”
“Later, Sue. After I show these fools the folly of risking the wrath of Dr.Pain! STANIEL!” he bellows.
“Yes, master?” Staniel sighes quietly. He’d rather liked the duo. Far too late for them now.
“Bring me…my elephant gun.”
“Dr.Pain!” Staniel gasps, his unflappable exterior for once giving way. “Not …the elephant gun!”
“QUIET! Now, fool!”
A crew of beasts rolls it forward, staggering under the load. Gun? It’s a cannon! Loaded with…
Dr.Pain smiles terribly. “Do you believe an elephant can fly?” he whispers.
“THREE!”

“We’d better think of something quick. I was expecting him to gloat, and detail his nefarious plan before it got this far.”

“TWO!”

“Not playing by the rules, is he? Now didn't I tell you so? Honestly, you'd think you'd know by now things are never that easy! We’d better…”

“ONE!”

Something is gnawing at the rope binding them.

“FIRE!” shrieks Dr. Pain, then throws back his head, laughing maniacly.

_________________

Author:  Desius [ Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:48 am ]
Post subject: 

Now for your daily dose of Angst and Misery: The What If show! Written by Professor Zobot and Desius Raize!

Aftermath:

"Damn you Zobot!" Des cursed, screaming at the sky.
"Already am," Zobot smirked, placing his cigarette in his mouth. He tried to light it, the lighter failing to work. He sighed and tossed the useless thing aside, turnig to face the fallen emperor. " 'sides, my name's Toboz, David Toboz," he mumbled patting for a match.
"I gave up the name Zobot, when I finally regained those memories..." he paused watching the disconnected Mads. He shook his head, to anyone else it must look like they weren't there, gone forever. Desius waved his hand through Chicgeek, as she stood still, a beautific smile on her face. He sighed tossing the matches aside after the first twenty or so attempts. Nothing worked here, they were out of synch, doomed to watch forever, but never interact.
"... I chose to not be bound by those actions, I'm not a monster anymore." he said sadly flicking his cigarette away.
Des laughed long and hard. He reached up and the metal skin rippled as he pressed his hand to his face. The silver blurred and with a sickening squelch Des ripped downward, pink and pale skin showing for the first time in years. "No, Zobot," Des hissed dryly, voice weak after so many years of misuse and neglect. the first true words he'd spoken in years. "You've earned that name. Not a monster? Ha!," he barked weakly, pulling his second skin away. "How many Mads did you just sentence to die. How much of the world's population did you sentence to starve. Everything I did, I did for the good of the people. There was no wars, no religon to divide us. There was only me!"
"I set them free."
"You set them to die!" Des snapped, falling weakly to the ground. David sighed, walked over and held out his hand.
Des looked at it warily, and grabbed it.
David pulled him upward, and said gently, "Lets get out of here, I want to show you something. Something I think will help you understand."
"No." Des said holding tightly to Toboz's hand.
"Oh," said David with a sigh, shaking his head, "you can't hurt me, not here not now. You're stuck here with me, for better or worse, alone, unable to connect another person to your network."
"Not my plan," Des smiled hard, matching his stare. " I can hurt you just fine without ever raising a hand."
"Your little 'something,'" Des sneered, "will it be there in a few days?"
"Yes." David said, gently trying to shake off Des's hand.
"Then we sit here." Des said.
"Why?" The two sat, Des releasing his hand while David watched his foe.
"You need to see something too." Des sneered, wiping a tear away. "I just hope your little 'present' lets us sleep otherwise its going to be a long couple days."
"No, we don't need to sleep or eat or anything anymore. We just watch."
"How long?"
"I...I don't know," admitted David, settling down, "everything was so... hectic those last few days, I wasn't sure... well about anything, if it would work or what would happen to us."
Des nodded saying nothing, and the two waited until night settled down. David finally broke the silence.
"What are we waiting for? There isn't anything here 'cept your broken puppets."
Des looked at Toboz hard. An awkward moment passed before Des finally spoke. "You don't even think of them as people anymore, do you?" he whispered.
"Who?" laughed Toboz, "Your puppets? They died the moment you took them over."
"No," said Des silently, "I ran their bodies, true. Do you know why?"
"They wouldn't come back," he continued on ignoring Zobot's reply. "My network was a place were everyone was equal, true freedom of thought and meaning. Every idea large or small weighed with equal importance, the smallest voice as powerful as the loudest. It... wasn't perfect, no place was. But it was a slice of something grander."
"Do you know why I let you live?" Des said suddenly as they watched the stars shine silently.
"You couldn't catch me," David laughed looking younger as the weight of the world slipped off his shoulders, "I couldn't be forced into your network, and slipped through every crack. You miscalculated there, Des m'boy."
"No," said Des flatly. "I admit, you were better than I gave you credit for. You foiled me at every turn, doing damage no other could. But you seem to misunderstand. I had the mind of every mad in the world, Zobot," Des said bitterly. "Do you really think you could have stopped me if I really felt you had to die?"
"No," Des continued on, sighing deeply, "You served two purposes. One, you were the great distraction, the great enemy to keep everyone focused. You hid my greatest shame. The one thing I could never beat, the problem I could never solve. The second reason I let you live. There was a flaw in my network. A big one. I relied on that damn gene you know. The one all mad's had. How could I claim my utopia, the cure I needed for this sad world, when I couldn't let the normals, no, the real people in? I had no solution. You were the perfect halfway point, somewhere between normal and Mad. Allowing you to enter would help me allow them. What could I do? A retro-virus giving everyone the gene? Temporary fix at best, it would be undone eventually. The same with every solution my network could come up with. And how could I force madness on someone. I was forced into it, a damn virus made me this way. How could I do the same?"
"You showed no qualms when it came to forcing people into your network." David pointed out harshly.
"Everyone was already connected, I merely let them know how." Des retorted. "Besides they could leave at anytime. Take the madness cure, it would sever the connection. I knew it, you know, the Narbon's spilled that secret fast enough," he smirked, "and I made it freely available, but no one would give it up. It was a drug. My drug."
"Enough games, Des," Toboz said standing angrily, 'What are we here for?"
"You're going to sit down," Des said, his voice taking on the hypnotic quality that told when he was using Voice.
"No," laughed Toboz, "your tricks don't work here, I'm not-"
"David," Des said weakly, hand over his eyes, voice breaking from the srain. "Please."
"Sit."
"Please," he begged, tears coming down steadily.
David looked on, stunned at the broken man that hours ago was the God Emperor. He sat gingerly down next to Des.
"What are we watching?" he asked gently.
"My dreams die." Des choked. "My... family die."
"This...," he said moving to one of the blank faces filling the room, "This is Andrew Lusth. He was from Fort Worth, Texas. He loved to dream stories, stories that would break your heart of flying. He was Mad for less than a day, when he found my network. They welcomed him with open arms."
Des sniffed, moving to the next mad in line. "This is Eric Spangenburg, he was from Cleveland, Ohio. He could make metal sing, and iron bloom like roses. He had a dream, to grow an apple tree, a normal, everday apple tree, and eat its fruit before he died. This is...," he continued moving down the line...


Seven days later.
Des sobbed, the wild dogs had come in the last few hours, gorging themsleves on the silent, motionless bodies. Desius had awoke to find that the last of his collective had died. He didn't think that any of them had felt pain in their passing, but with the connections severed, he couldn't be sure. He didn't remember when sleep had claimed him. Zobot had claimed that they wouldn't require food or rest in this realm, but habits formed over a lifetime aren't easily broken. He looked around to find that Zobot was gone. He was alone.

Although he considered the possibility that the other man had somehow escaped, it was quickly dismissed. Zobot wouldn't have remained for seven days of watching men die if he had a way out. So either he had vanished against his will... or he was somewhere else. For lack of anything better to do, Desius got to his feet and searched for the only other person in his prison.

He found Zobot, a hour later, outside of his stronghold, surrounded by graves.


David Toboz had his eyes closed, so he didn't see Desius approaching. “You deserved better than this, Amy. You and all your children.”

The former emperor cleared his throat. “Was this what you wanted to show me?”

David paused and sighed. “No... my reasons for what I did are a bit more complicated than a dusty tombstone amidst hundreds more like it. This is just... a ritual. Every week I visit her grave.”

“Seems awfully risky to tread on my territory just to honor a grave.” Desius sounded skeptical.

David turned around, opening his eyes and glaring at the other man. “This is NOT her grave. This is merely where she was buried.” He turned back to face the stone. “Amy Ferrington's grave lies far to the north, in the ruins of what was once a small town a few miles outside of New York City. Her grave lies within the ashes of the orphanage her heart never left.” He sighed. “You don't even remember her, do you?”

Desius looked around. “If she was buried here, then it meant she was someone who served my government, but I will admit I do not recall her directly.”

“Amy Ferrington was one of the first.” David reached out and put a hand on her grave, his insubstantial hand passing straight through it. “She was a Latent who had almost no potential for going mad at all. She didn't even study the sciences when she went into college. She became a social worker, and because she loved children, she eventually started an orphanage.” He started to smile. “A few months after it opened, she met a nice man with one arm and the two of them began dating, in between his attempts to save the world. A few months after that, you came for her. I am not surprised that you do not remember her. Most people don't like to dwell on their failures.”

Desius rubbed his chin and looked up towards the clouds in the sky. “ No, at the time she died, that means she would have been the nineteenth or the twentieth. But that would mean she was one of the ones to-”

“I was never sure, but she must have been the ninth or tenth to join your collective. When I found out what had happened to her, I rushed to save her. From what I heard later on, the first few that “joined” you never could quite stand it. Knowing what it was like to be other people, being able to see and understand differences between race, color, and creed... It was a pretty idea, but not everyone's capable of standing that. It drove her beyond sanity, beyond madness, and to the brinks of death. When I finally found her, she had a revolver pointed to her head. The looked at me, tears running down her eyes. I'll never forget her last words, Desius.”

Desius' eyes wideded. “I remember. It was back before I had fully mastered how the process worked. I still wanted the others to play a part in the physical world. I'll never be sure how why she did it, she seemed so happy... we tried to stop her. Just before she severed the link, she said something...”

“Don't let anyone else end up like me.” Both men spoke in unison. “Wait... those words were meant for me, not you!”

Desius frowned. “Back then... I-I hadn't quite figured everything out yet. So many of the initial subjects did the same thing she did. I wasn't sure if my utopia was even possible. But her sacrifice, and that of the other failed ones...”

“'Her sacrifice'? Damn it, Desius!” David almost growled, narrowing his eyes. “Do you think any of them would have taken their lives if you had left everything alone? You meddled with their lives! You destroyed their minds! All in the name of your perfect mental world. How many people besides Amy were sacrificed for your vision? Ten? Twenty? One was too many!”

Desius glowered at him. “Such a sentiment from the man who called his genocide 'acceptable losses'.”

Enraged, David pointed at him. “DON'T EVEN TRY TO COMPARE ME TO YOU, YOU-” He caught himself and shook his head to clear his mind. “No, you're right. That's my cross, and I'll bear it, until the day I am crucified with it.” He gave a faint smirk. “You know...Amy was the sort of person who could keep smiling even when she was in the worst pain. I'm nothing like her. But it wasn't her death that drove me to do it. If it had just been that, I would have just put a bullet in your head and called it a day.”

“So what was?” Desius stared back at Amy Ferrington's grave. Temperature never changed in this quasi-reality, but when he looked at the tombstone, he felt cold.

Heaving a sigh, David folded his arms. “It's just that... well, look around you. What do you see? I see graves. I see a field of clear-cut stumps. I see gray clouds along the sky, blotting out the sun. All this is because of you and me. Your vision of a utopia...and my vendetta against you. Had neither of us ever been born, none of this would have ever happened.”

Desius stepped forward. “But-”

“Let me finish. I listened to you, didn't I?” David took a breath and resumed speaking. “We got so caught up in our own little worlds that nothing else mattered. Of course, it doesn't seem like ANYONE who devotes themselves to 'The Greater Good' ever does. And not just us, either. All mad scientists seem to be like that, good or evil. The evil ones focus solely on what they want, and the good ones don't ever gain any ground, they only fight to reclaim what's been lost. Either way, all we ever did was fight... destroy... and kill. The only difference is that the 'heroes' try to rationalize it.” David lowered his head, his hair shading his eyes. “I was the same way as all the rest :so focused on walking the path of Greater Good to avenge Amy that I didn't see the small sins of negligence I left on the trail behind me.”

Desius smirked. “Are you really suggesting what I think you are? You can't expect me to believe that no one ever-”

“That's exactly what I'm saying. When was the last time a mad scientist, good or evil, really did anything to further the world? So many of the evil ones claim things will be so much better under their rule, but look at what happened when you were in charge? Earth is DESPOILED, Desius! It's a dying planet, almost beyond redemption. How many species went extinct in the last few years because of our war?” He pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. “Good mad scientists aren't much better. They're kinder, yes, but even the greatest of them never does anything to impact the whole world. Ask yourself: who are the people who have had great impacts in the last thousand years?”

A woman in a tattered dress entered the fringe of the graveyard, bending next to a grave and folding her hands in prayer. David stretched his hand out to her. “It's them. Ordinary, sane humans. Albert Einstein wasn't mad. Nor was Abraham Lincoln. All of the great figures that shaped history were sane individuals! (Granted, we have no PROOF that Nicola Tesla wasn't Mad, but that's neither here nor there.)” The sun glinted off of his eyes. “Mad scientists are, and always have been, irreverent to the world. We're the equivalent of negative and positive numbers: We cancel each other out, and nothing is accomplished. That's why I did what I did.”

Desius winced, a hand over his heart, as if he was in pain. “T-that's why?”

David nodded. “Yes. This is their world now, Desius: almost as far from a utopia as it can be. You're right. Because of my actions, there will be more wars. There will be religious intolerance, and racial strife. Everything that divides people will remain. But so will all the things that unite people as well: There will be compassion, and mercy, and virtue, and everything else, good and bad. This is their world to build now, a world unhampered by the madness our kind brought into it.” He looked up at the sky, where a few beams of sunlight had pierced through the smoggy sky. “Perhaps someday, there will even be hope.”

Author:  Zobot257 [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

Huh...kinda surprised that this channel hasn't seen any new material in the last day or so.

BTW: Chicgeek and Tinker! I just got done reading the stuff about the Tinker twins: I love those two. This story collaboration between you guys has been awesome!

Author:  chicgeek [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:27 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks, Zobot-it's been fun!

Author:  FriendlyTroll [ Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

Meep! I'm working on the next one, I swear!
And thanks! Now, lessee...

Author:  FriendlyTroll [ Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:34 am ]
Post subject: 

The Amazing Tinker Twins In:
The Adventure of The Circus of Mystery.
Part Four: 'A New Comrade' or 'Why Do They Always Have An Accent?'
A True Story, Written by Miss Chic and Prof. A. Tinker


Just as the Gun fired, the ropes suddenly fell through, allowing the Tinker Twins to leap away just in the nick of time, making a mad dash out of the Circus.

"Damn your fool eyes! SHOOT THEM!" screamed Dr Pain, a barrage of various projectiles following the twins as they rolled and flipped into the near bye woods.

"Whew! Close shave, ey Delta?" Chirped one of the twins, sitting on a log to rest.

"It wouldn't have been a shave at all if you had listened to me!" groused Gamma, leaning against a tree.

"Bah! Eff eyther of hyu ask me, hyu are both ediotz." The twins both started and stared at Gammas shoulder, where sits... the Mongoose that Sue had been holding?!

"Oh, of course! A talking mongoose." said Gamma, nodding and grinning widely.
Delta stared at him bewilderedly for a moment, before shaking his head and getting back to the matter at hand.

"Ah, Mortimer the Magnificent I presume?" he asked, tilting his head slightly. These things always tended to happen, he supposed...

The mongoose nodded, standing up on his hind legs and giving a little bow.

"Hyu may Presume avay, sir. And hyu are my vould-be rescuers." scoffed Mortimer, crossing his arms.

The twins, however, simply grinned and nodded.

"Indeed, sir! For we are the incredible.." began Gamma, leaping to his feet.
".... the magnificent..." continued Delta, putting his hands on his hips.

"TINKER TWINS! Gentleman Scientists!" they chorused, posing dramatically next to each other.

Mortimer tilted his head, appraising the duo.

".. Vell, I zuppoze since my career en showbezniz ez over, I haf to take vat I can get. Hyu two looking for a vize-cracking zidekick?" he asked hopefully, lying down on Gammas shoulder.

The twins looked at each other and grinned.

"Certainly!"
"Why, Indubitably!" they chorused, causing Mortimer to slap his forhead.

"Yeesh, hyu two really are clowns, aren't hyu? Vel, cut the funny ztuff. Ve got *problemz*." he said crossly, shaking his head.

The twins looked at each other, sobering slightly.

"You're right, Morty." said Gamma, ignoring the Mongooses cry of
"Etz Mortimer, hyu tîmpit glumă!" and continuing.

"The note you wrote- there was something about the town being in danger."

"Hyu bet et is. being a captive vos bad enuf, but thiz... Doctor Pain is truly a Madman- erm, no offenze."

"None taken."

"I vos attempting to ezcape hiz pzychotic daughter, Sue-"

Delta interrupted him
"Wait, how come you can pronounce an 'S' in sue but not in 'psychotic'? Why do you even *have* an accent?!"

"Firzt off: She zaw to it I vould remember hot to zay her name. Zecond Off: Hyu think zer iz Mongoose in America? Ve live in Asia and Zouthern Europe, ze latter hafing been my home- before Dr. Pain captiured me for hez Circuz." he explained, shivering slightly.

Gamma scritched his head comfortingly, nodding for him to continue.

"Vell, anyvays, I voz attempting to ezcape ven I overheard Zer Doctor monolouging to himself in his caravan. Apparently he planz to attack zer town tonight, vile zey are zleeping. I got caught by Sue before I could hear anything elze, but I'm villing to bet zat zer planz are in there ztill."

The twins sat down, each leaning against a different tree.

"Well, we may have lost our chance to snoop around much, but we know enough thanks to you, Morty-"

"Mortimer, tîmpit glumă!"

"- we can just go ahed and search his caravan during the performance like we were planning."

"Right, sounds good, Delta."

Mortimer huffed, crossing his arms.

"I don;t know how hyu two can call me 'Morty' ven hyu two are named 'Delta and Gamma'."
Gamma griner, shaking his head.

"Oh no, morty! We're both named Rchard!"

"Vot?"

Delta shrugged, smiling as well.

"He's Richard Gamma-Proton Tinker, and I'm Richard Delta-Neutron Tinker."

Mortimer boggled, before hiding his eyes under his paws.

"Tell hyu vat: hyu can keep calling me 'Morty', an hyu forget I ever azked."

Author:  FriendlyTroll [ Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:32 pm ]
Post subject:  The Night Dr. Eric Epsilon Nucleus Tinker Died.

Eric Tinker sat in the dining room of his house, at the table with a piece of paper and a pen in front of him. There was also a envelope, already addressed to his lawyer M. Kelly, as well as some sealing wax and a seal.

He sighed, taking of his glasses and staring out the window. The windows in the dining room were huge picture windows, and they overlooked the valley below their house perfectly. It was only ten minutes to the town, but from the dining room it was as if they were in the wilderness.
It made him smile. A castle on the hill for his Queen and his little Prince. Everything he could have wanted in life.

He had put Andrew to bed some time ago, like he always did when he was leaving on a mission. Then he and Kathleen had sat with each other and watched the Mystery Science Three Thousand Movie, laughing and snarking, before she, too went to bed, giving him a kiss for luck and a long, lingering embrace.

He would be leaving for the Grand canyon in about an hour, under the cover of night. But first he needed to do this.
Because he wasn't sure is he was coming back. There was something he needed to do. And he had to do it by himself.
And he hated it. He wanted nothing more than to just go upstairs and fall asleep next to his wife and hope that someone else would take care of this.

After a moment, he put his glasses back on and picked up his pen, beginning to write. IF his eyes began to mist slightly while he wrote, he did not notice.

"Last Will and Testament
I, Eric Epsilon Nutron Tinker-Risk, being of Insane Mind and Sound Body, hear-by deem this to be my final Will, revoking any other wills I have made.
To the love of my life, my perfect rose, my wife, Kathleen Empress Risk-Tinker, I will my estate and everything connected to it (save that which i specify below) Also, I would like her to have the parcel in my safety deposit box, which contains my very first invention.
To my Father-In-Law, Prof. Linus Dictator Risk, I will the miniature model of earth I made last summer. It was going to be his father's day gift, so that he could finally rule a planet.
To my finest creation, My Son Andrew Kaboom Omega Atom Tinker, I will the house in the City for when he graduates, my laboratory space in Area 42, my second swiss bank account and everything in it, and my glasses. I wore them when i met your Mother, and I hope they bring you the same luck. I will always be proud of you.
To my Older Brothers, Richard Gamma Proton Tinker and Richard Delta Neutron Tinker, I will my pocket-watch, the first lasers i made, and my teddy bear. You both did your best to take care of me, and now I would like you to look after Andy. You were always my heroes.
I would also like them to have my Quantum tool-belt, for their Son. Have a good life, child. None of this is your fault, okay?
And finally, to my arch-nemesis Doctor Ethan Entropy , I will my super-powered laser-pointer, the secret to my many escapes. I'll miss you, old friend. You were always there for me.
Signed, Dr. Eric Εε N Tinker."

Eric waited a second for the ink to dry, and slipped it into the envelope. He heated the sealing wax and used it to close it, stamping it with his signature 'Epsilon-N'.
He would date the envelope and have two of his coworkers sign it as witnesses before mailing it.

Before he left, he looked around his house one last time, hoping against hope that he would be returning the next day.
But when it came down to it, if the choice was between his sacrificing himself, and the possibility of his wife, his son, his brothers, his freinds- his people being hunted down and killed...
Then there was no choice at all.

"Goodnight Andrew, Kathleen. And J-just in case... goodbye." he said softly, before walking out the door into the cold night, a slim figure in a green lab-coat, framed against the stars.

Author:  chicgeek [ Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

aww, that's so sad. And heroic.
And raises questions-
"my Quantum tool-belt, for their Son." Gamma *and* Delta's son? And "none of this is your fault,child."
You're just going to tantalize us with this, aren't you?

Author:  FriendlyTroll [ Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:50 pm ]
Post subject: 

chicgeek wrote:
aww, that's so sad. And heroic.
And raises questions-
"my Quantum tool-belt, for their Son." Gamma *and* Delta's son? And "none of this is your fault,child."
You're just going to tantalize us with this, aren't you?


*eating massive pile of chocolate to stave away the weepies*
Yes, as in they deiced to raise him together. Make of that what you will.

And yes, yes I am. For a leetle while, anyways.
Also, the muse snuck up behind me and hit me with a boat oar. *ow*

Author:  Desius [ Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:04 pm ]
Post subject: 

Wow...
Just wow...
Sad and heart moving, a man pushed his edge and he has the courage to walk into what he obviously knows might be a trap.
While Chic ponders about the unknown child, I wonder just what he was fighting that was such a threat to everyone he cared for.

Author:  FriendlyTroll [ Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:52 pm ]
Post subject: 

Desius wrote:
Wow...
Just wow...
Sad and heart moving, a man pushed his edge and he has the courage to walk into what he obviously knows might be a trap.
While Chic ponders about the unknown child, I wonder just what he was fighting that was such a threat to everyone he cared for.


Nawwww, thanks! I'm glad you like it, Des. It's a nice look at Eric's character.

Bah! Quiet, you! I never get to plot anything around here... You'll see, you'll all see!!

Author:  FriendlyTroll [ Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:18 pm ]
Post subject:  The Night Dr. Eric Epsilon Nucleus Tinker Died, part two.

Eric Epsilon N. Tinker sat at the edge of the Grand Canyon, watching the stars. He wasn't wearing his glasses, or his coat. He looked very small, and very young without them.

He had a steaming mug of hot-chocolate spiked with a little coffee in one hand, which he sipped slowly as he waited.

"Dr. Tinker." said a low voice, the soft crunch of rough dirt under a heavy foot the only noise the man made as he stepped behind him.

"Hmm. Came here yourself, did you? Not making a child do your dirty work?" said Eric, a note of bitterness seeping into his voice.

"I prefer to see this taken care of myself. And besides, It seems we are overdue for a little... chat."

Eric made a small, noncommittal noise, waving one hand dissmisively.

"Oh, please. We both know what this is." he said, sounding tired.

The man laughed, an unnatural sound in some way. Like the protesting rasp of unused machinery.
"Funny, I thought that your ilk enjoyed banter... say, where is that adorable coat of yours?" he asked.
Eric shivered at the way the man had said 'your ilk'. He had been called a monster with more warmth and fondness.

"I left it. I had to leave a lot of the things I usual have with me behind, so that the people I love can keep them after I'm dead." he said mellowly, a tear streaking down his face.

"Oh, so you admit defeat, then? How polite. You really are a gentleman." Sneered the man.

"I admit nothing. Mind if I finish this before we begin?" he gestured at his hot coco, sipping it softly.

"Certainly. I have all the time in the world."

It was a few minutes before Eric set an empty mug aside, finally standing up. He didn't turn around.

"My brothers used to make that for me when I was little, to help me stay awake when we were adventuring... Funny, they were really the only parents I had. I wish that I had told them that... I doubt you care. I doubt you care about me, them, or, really, anything else. That's what makes you so horrid to me- you're just empty. All the people I have faced, all of the villains, the bad guys.. they were people. Mad, broken people, but people. I *liked* them. One of them was- is - my best friend. He could have done this- killed me - a hundred times. But he never did. sometimes I wonder if he ever really wanted to."

He sighed, noting the presence of many more people than just the man behind him. Good.

There was a long pause. All of the calculations were already in Eric's mind, crisp and clear, the numbers and lines like old friends. He had put the last details in hours ago.

"... Funny thing is, I really am afraid of heights." he said suddenly, turning to face the man behind him.

The man smiled, a slow predators smile.

"Really?" he said delightedly, placing the business end of a nasty looking gun against Eric's temple. .

Eric smiled, feeling the soft, comforting twinkle of the stars and the buzz of calculations in his mind..

"Yes. Really." he said, suddenly looking very pale and alien.

And with that, he stepped forward and grabbed the man in a bear hug, before he pulled him off of the edge, reality warping around him obligingly even as the gun went off.

Author:  Wallycaine [ Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:31 pm ]
Post subject: 

Darn it Tinker. I've always been a sucker for a good heroic last stand, and that is one of the best I've read in a while. Thanks for sharing.

Author:  FriendlyTroll [ Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:08 pm ]
Post subject: 

Wallycaine wrote:
Darn it Tinker. I've always been a sucker for a good heroic last stand, and that is one of the best I've read in a while. Thanks for sharing.

You're very welcome. It's a good one... if i were filming it, the screen would just cut to black, like the best kung fu movies.

Author:  chicgeek [ Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:19 pm ]
Post subject: 

My god. That was ...heartbreaking, amazing, astoundingly well written. Indeed the most heroic of us all.

Author:  chicgeek [ Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:35 pm ]
Post subject: 

Okay, I know I need to get to work on the next section of the Tinker Twins saga. But a question prompted a chain of thought, and I just started typing and couldn't stop. I was going to call this a what if, but I think I'll make it cannon. Desius, if I've played you out of character, let me know what parts are wrong, and I'll edit this, Okay?*
*I've added/changed a couple of paragraphs at the end, and a little bit earlier, after talking with Desius.

“Des? Where did you get that?”
“Hmm?” he replies. Chic has strolled by while he’s playing with his toys, a.k.a. guns. She picks up the new rifle sight. “What, this? Got it while we were at the convention, why?”
She picks it up to examine it. “Do you remember where from?”
“Ah…lemme see, I’ve got the package here somewhere.” He sighs inwardly, hoping he can distract her into putting it down.
“I’ll build you a better one.”
“Oh, that’s okay, you don’t have to bother, this one’s fine.” This one is top of the line, and didn’t come cheap. Please, Chic…
“Desius.” He voice goes flat. “I can certainly improve on *this*.” Pauses. “I was twelve that summer.”
“That’s nice…wait, wha?”
Chic sighs. “Find the package, and try to remember all you can about that booth.”

“Lopez Munitions, Ltd. Hmm…..” Chic murmurs, twirling the sight, lost in thought.
“Chic?” Desius asks hesitantly. “Why the interest? And…what’s that about being twelve?”
She gives him a measured look. “You’ll just investigate it yourself, if I don’t enlighten you.”
“What, me pry?” Des tries to radiate innocence, and fails miserably. “Chic, you ought to be able to trust me a little by now.”
“Trust? Maybe…but Lagos is your poker buddy. And Tinker is as much your friend as mind. How close mouthed can you be?”
Desuis pauses, choosing his words carefully.She should know he wouldn't blab. Whatever's going on must really have her rattled. “Guilty as charged. But I’m your henchman. I stayed on to work for you, when you would have let me free. That ought to count for something. My first loyalty is to you.”

She gives him a measured look. And begins, slowly, to talk.
“I always made things, as far as I can remember. School sucked, home sucked, blah blah blah. So whenever I had a chance to spend time at the lab, I did. This little project was supposed to be one component of an arcade game. You know, point the toy gun at the video screen kind of thing? There were a lot of projects back then. And I usually only saw one small part of the whole. I never asked too many questions, I was just happy to be working on something.” She stares into space for a moment. “Maybe if I’d been a little older…”Shrugs. “Moot point.”
“Anyway, I didn’t know these were in production.”
Desius looks at her, and carefully says-“Family firm?”
“Yep. Left them behind long ago.”
“Chic? What now?”
“Well,…how do you feel about a little industrial espionage? And maybe sabotage? Too late to worry about patents now, but I’m not sure I like them selling my old inventions. And I really don’t like the idea of them being at a convention catering to mads. I should just ignore it, that’d be sensible…” her voice trails off. “I …I washed my hands of them long ago. But…”
“But you’re curious.” Desius states.
“Uh huh.”
“Me, too.” What am I getting myself into? “When do we leave?”
She grins at him, and he finds himself grinning back. “Bring the mini anti grav generator, maybe we can pilfer a crate of ammo for you while we’re at it.”
“Temptress.”

It’s a fairly long ride, even with the zeppelin at hyper speed. And she’s kept it cloaked and force shielded all the way. Whenever the controls don’t demand her attention, Chic keeps busy tinkering.
Desius suspects it’s so she doesn’t have to make conversation. “Des? That’s it.” He looks down upon a vast complex of buildings. Warehouses, office buildings , some not so easily identifiable. “We’ll set up some radio receivers around the perimeter. Then I want to place some bugs inside the main complex-it’s that building over there. That’ll do for tonight. Just keep your eyes open. I’m leaving the Zephyr parked up here-there’s no good place to land that isn’t far away. The automatic pilot will move it out of the path of anything that might collide with it, then back to these coordinates. Put this on.”
Chic hands Desius a mini jetpack and goggles. “I’m going to fly you down myself, but I thought you might appreciate having your own means of locomotion.”
At least I don’t have to worry anymore about her dropping me in midair. Now I just have to worry about it exploding. “Thanks, Chic.”
She picks up an ordinary lab coat, and hands him one. “As good as a passport.” Smiles. They have name badges attached. Dr. Smythe and Dr. Mordoy.

Amazing. She electronicly unlocks the door instead of blowing it to smithereens. It’s late enough most people have left for the day, but not so late it’s implausible to find someone working late. They do run into one harried worker, as they make their way deeper into the complex. But with the labcoats and clip boards, Chic and Desius might as well have been invisible. Chic murmurs , “Too many people work here to know everyone.”
Desius grows increasing apprehensive the farther they go. “One more office, then we’ll leave.” Chic assures him, noticing.
This is big. She’s gotten them past all the security systems so far, but how long will their luck hold? This rabbit warren has Des hopelessly lost, but she hasn’t made a wrong turn yet. One last office, he chants silently to himself.

“I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist the bait.” The lights snap on, focused on the tall man lounging behind the desk. Dark eyes behind wire rims, dark hair starting to silver. “Well, little Emily, aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend?” He smiles, with no warmth whatsoever.
“No, I don’t believe I shall.” Chic replies calmly. “Place hasn’t changed much.”
Little Emily? File it for later.
“I knew you’d come back. It was only a matter of time.”
“Hardly. This is just an inspection. I shook the dust of this place from me years ago, when I left for college.”
He smirks. “You never could see the big picture, could you, little Emily? College didn’t free you. Who do you think arranged for that scholarship when you were fourteen?”
Chic looks rattled for a moment, then composes herself. “And why would you do that? Not out of human kindness, I know.”
“Can’t you guess? And you’re supposed to be so clever, too. Why don’t you guess, Emily.”
“Don’t call me that.” Chic forces out between gritted teeth.
“Why not? I’m certainly not going to start calling you Dr. Lopez-Smythe at this stage of the game, now am I? Or that ridiculous psudonem.”
File it for later, watch this bozo. Whoever he is to her, he’s bad news.
“I never liked guessing games. And why should I care why?”
Good, Chic, keep calm, don’t let him rattle you.
“You should thank your uncle. I got you away in the nick of time. After all, with your father…we couldn’t risk you going mad too soon. You would probably have killed them both, if you’d stayed there much longer. And they were still useful to us.”
He broadens his smile. “Not that your mother was ever particularly useful, but your father did keep her in line enough to throw her votes our way.”
Uh oh. I know that look on her face…
“That’s. Enough.” Chic replies, in that voice that sends chills down my spine.
“I still can’t believe she ever found the gumption to leave you her shares in her will. Oh, we’ve managed to work around that. Had to. We need that government contract. The only reason I didn’t give the terminate order for you long ago, is Grandfather.”
Her eyes are getting that look.
“And it’s not out of sentiment, believe me. He still likes the idea of having a pet mad, Emily. I must say, I’m surprised you held out as long as you did. Funny, finding her body didn’t do it. Sending your father to prison didn’t do it. I can’t believe your boss taking credit for your work is what finally pushed you over.
You always were a silly girl.”
That tore it. She takes careful aim.
“You’re here now, Emily. And here you’ll stay.”
“Her name”, Desius says firmly, “is Chicgeek.”
He aims and pulls the trigger a full half second before she does.
It’s a hologram.
As it winks out, steel bars slam down over all the exits.
Chic and Desius simultaneously aim their blasters at the roof. Rubble crashes down, but her forcefield handles it. Somehow they make it past the missile fire and back to the Zephyr.
On board, silence reigns, broken only once. “Damn. We didn’t snag you a crate of ammo.” Chic says in a voice so matter of fact it’s almost eerie.

Back at her base, she turns to Des, as expressionless as a mannequin. “Some of that was true. Some half truths. And at least one lie. And sometimes the truth itself is the best lie of all.”
Desius nods, not trusting himself to say anything. She’s wound tighter than one of her clockwork springs. Mecha has picked up on Chic’s mood, and has hesitantly reached a vine her way and gently pats her.
Desius turns to go to his room, pauses.
"Chic? You know, if I can help at all...if you just want somebody to listen? That's what a good henchman's for, right?"
She gives him the ghost of a smile.
"Maybe later, Desius."
The smile fades. "You don't know some of the things I've done. Or you wouldn't make that offer."
"Wanna bet?" he says softly, and leaves the room.

Information. He needs information. Whatever dark thing is going on is hurting Chic. Just how twisted is her family? A family running a munitions plant, and wanting a pet mad-that doesn't bode well.
He said she could trust him. And she can. That also means trusting him to help her. Better get to work on it-he won't be sleeping for a while anyway.

Author:  FriendlyTroll [ Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

chicgeek wrote:
My god. That was ...heartbreaking, amazing, astoundingly well written. Indeed the most heroic of us all.


Yeah. I was re-reading and editing a teeny bit the first part, and i started musing about how Eric would face his end.
And then I just saw him, sitting at the very edge of the grand canyon*, sipping a cup of hot coco with whipped cream and marsh-mellows, just like his brothers used to make for him. Thinking about the past, and not regretting a moment of it.


Your piece is ... man. Poor Chic. I like how Mech is very emphatic, much like Andrew.

(note: as of this moment, I have typed the phrase 'Grand Canyon' more times than i have ever needed to before.)

Author:  chicgeek [ Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

The hot cocoa was the perfect heartbreaking touch.

And, yeah, that's how I see Mecha. Chic is very fond of her machine plant.

This kind of had to be written. I like sweet, giggly Chic having a backstory like that. And Des still doesn't know her most henious secret. No one will, as long as she can help it.

Author:  SoItBegins [ Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

Prof T: Wow. That's... beautiful.

Chic: Hmmmmm.... Emily, huh?

(@primeCOMMAND:search[-pn]*Emily*Lopez)

Author:  chicgeek [ Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:18 pm ]
Post subject: 

remember-the truth itself is the best lie of all.

Author:  chicgeek [ Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:48 pm ]
Post subject: 

After talking with Desius, I've gone back and made a few changes.
I think we'll have this happen after they get back from the convention.

Author:  SoItBegins [ Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:17 pm ]
Post subject: 

chicgeek wrote:
remember-the truth itself is the best lie of all.


Nanobots with certain arcane powers that I won't go into just yet versus one truth. Or lie.

Hmmmm...

Author:  chicgeek [ Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:21 pm ]
Post subject: 

SoItBegins wrote:

Chic: Hmmmmm.... Emily, huh?

(@primeCOMMAND:search[-pn]*Emily*Lopez)


That's Lopez-Smythe. Dr. to you.
Yep, we Smythes are a fighting breed. Man, I'm looking forward to developing the evil Lopez family...secrets are fun.

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