Gabriella Montague was alone.
And that was scary. She had been alone lots of times, sure. But this was a new level of scary. Outside of her car she could see empty stretches of land filled with pyramids and a long fall from the section of highway that came with her. She saw a few shadows congregating at the bottom. She squinted.
It looked like a furry Mickey mouse with a Ronald McDonald outfit. One of them had a huge club and it was, oh no.
She opened her purse, her phone nowhere to be seen, instead there laid, a pack of gum, a few extra cans of pepper spray, and a small light pink crystal.
She closed the bag and the contents shuffled, but still the stone lay there.
She closed the bag and walked towards her car, taking care not to captchalogue it.
Almost within seconds, Xavier responded. Underneath her feet she could feel a shake as one of the big trolls whacked the highway with a support column.
MS: yes honey?
EC: there are a bunch of big trolls trying to knock down the highway. Can you do something about it?
MS: I am not your server player nor can I get to you. You could try and ask … Charity.
MS: yeah I know. I’m a little busy else I’d ask her myself.
EC: I’ll…. Try.
EC: I love you.
MS: I love you too.
Gabriella sighed and messaged Charity.
EC: hey charity. There’s a bunch of big monsters trying to knock down the support beams of the highway. Can you maybe drop a car on them or something?
RA: you have reached the answering machine of Charity Farelli. Please leave a message after the beep.
EC:. THERES NOT AN ANSWERING MACHINE THIS IS A CHAT PROGRAM.
EC: you just typed beep. Listen I need help. I can’t defeat them because I’m too high.
RA: Message sent. Your party will be reached shortly.
EC: you’re horrible.
She felt another shake on the platform. She wasn’t sure what else this place could hold. She poked her head out of her car. The support beam that they were at had a car on the edge, teetering off precariously.
There were two other cars in front of it.
She walked slowly forward, her lungs were alright, the air was surprisingly clear here.
She opened the first car, all the keys were still in the ignition, but no people were around her. It was haunting. She put the car into neutral and then looked at the second car behind it.
The keys were still inside.
Behind her PusheenSprite flashed in the air and meowed.
She turned the key and the car roared to life. It looked to be a Honda pilot of some sort. She put it in drive and floored the engine and then dove out.
The car jolted forward and hit the second one in neutral.
It rolled forward and hit the car that was teetering over the edge. It lost balance and toppled over.
She walked forward to check on the state of the car and looked down, a bright stain of blue, green and grey. It all then disappeared. She cocked her head. Strange. Oh well.
With a triumphant stride in her step, she walked back to her car as the Honda pilot slammed into the Nissan again and they both toppled to the ground.
She jumped in surprise but landed on her feet. PusheenSprite meowed incessantly. Gabriella missed her cats.
She opened her purse, jackpot! Her phone. She pulled it out and flipped over the card making note of the captcha code and then took a look at the card for her laptop.
She stepped out of her car again and ran towards her trunk. She knew it had to be in here… and it was! Her pictionary modus!
She hopped onto the top of her car and looked at the sports car to her left. It may be too big for her modus but she could still capture a ghost imprint. With a quick sketch, she had a relatively horrible car, but it worked. She flipped over the code and wrote it down.
Wait hold on.
She slid off the hood of her car and saw a few action figures in the back.
She quickly sketched them, an Optimus prime and an iron Man suit.
One of the reviews she had read briefly mentioned alchemizing. She wasn’t an expert but she had a brief idea of what that meant.
She started with her phone and then the stone.
She typed in the codes, carved the dowel and placed it on the alchemiter. A small pink stone with a rope around it popped out. 5 build grist. Easy.
She put it on and gave it a test.
“Okay Google, send discord message to Xavier Montague,” with a flash of light she saw a discord panel appear in front of her.
“Aaaa! It worked!”
EC: it worked!!!
EC: Here make this object asap. LOZWWS
She then got to work on the toys. Mixed a transformer with a car. Another car with an iron Man toy.
They were both expensive. They would both cost her almost every unit she had.
Her stone necklace buzzed, and a notification for Allison popped up.
She dropped the card and answered the chat.
SW: he…… sig..l ….ge? ..nd… ..l!
EC: Allison!!! Where are you? Are you okay?
SW: . …t .e. …t ..ur ….ng!
EC: this is troubling
She wasn’t sure what was going on over there. She didn’t know what to do and she didn’t know how she could help. There was one thing for sure.
Gabriella was about to kick some monstrous Ass.
Your friend appears to be in danger.
The voice came softly from the stone that Xavier had just made.
He put it around his neck and shrugged as the MickeySquidkidSprite woomyed repeatedly in the background.
MS: so you say. yet I’ve made no such move.
Perhaps you would like another reading?
MS: im not sure if that’s in the cards right now.
My my, the thief has some bite after all.
MS: I’m a Little Busy right now. Is there something you want from me?
Nothing, just a bit or narrative evolution and some info for others.
MS: You’re an odd one. I’m ending this conversation now.
Xavier was not actually busy, but he was trying to be. Allison was racking up build grist and a horde of other resources that he hadn’t seen before. Shale? Uranium? The names were in fact elements but they looked nothing like what those elements should have. The uranium was just green fruit gushers, and the shale was just a grey tear. Regardless, Xavier built. His sprite was useless but reviews were not. Building was the main point of the server end of sburb and that’s all he could do at the time. That and recommend to Allison a few things to build. He wasn’t sure if he could message her codes, but harvesting a supply of cruxite dowels and some household items that might provide useful if alchemized.
Speaking of alchemizing.
Xavier looked over at his trusty crowbar. He made one with a knife on it. And another with an hourglass attached to it? He wasn’t sure why. It just seemed useful. Luckily he had both the Crowbarkind and crowbarkindx2 strife specibi. So dual wielding was not a problem. He turned back towards his computer and continued building. It was cathartic. The build grist kept rising and so he just kept building. He glanced out the window and saw a small Goblin heading towards his house. He grabbed a black coffee mug with just the word “NO.” on it and chucked it at the goblin. The creature exploded but the mug remained, along with a pile of similar mugs around that area. The sprite behind him chittered again uselessly, as if giving an important lore dump or something. He grabbed another mug and beaned it straight in the head. It floated away unhappily and started messing with something in his wife’s room.
Another mug, Another hit. He glanced back down at his mug collection. Still had about forty more.
Minutes passed and he took a sip of blue liquid from a powerade bottle, he clicked a final time and the game yelled at him. Or moreso it shook at him and popped up with a message that said, “Unable to build higher until player reaches gate.”
“Hm.” that was interesting. He shrugged and walked downstairs, captchaloguing the pile of mugs before he left.
He crushed the powerade bottle against his head and tossed it back in his house.
A small group of Goblins and kobolds walked forward in the distance.
He grabbed a mug.
The goblins froze in fear.
Xavier nodded slowly,
The group of monsters turned tail and ran.
He smirked and the mug went back in his inventory.
The land of Lava and rocks stared at him, It’s vast unending swirling patterns of stone and red giving off an almost antagonistic heat. It dared challenge him, almost beckoning to him. There was no fun in the lava. There was only heat and death.
He whistled a beat and a cold bottle of powerade came out of his beat modus. With mug in hand in hand he walked forwards towards adventure.
Your attempt to assassinate the thief appeared to end in failure.
And your efforts to do another reading seemed to have failed as well.
This is confusing. We can’t both type in italics.
What do you propose?
Pick a color that is more suited to your needs. Preferably something that will compliment mine and also be easy to read.
How about this?
Nice segue from that burn you just got dealt.
Trickster, I do not appreciate your tone.
And I do not appreciate you interfering with the mortals. Did we not agree to a hands off approach as to avoid a culturally significant webcomic similarity being drawn between us?
As I recall, You interfered first.
Only because Paradox Space showed me your interference first.
Then it appears fate has intended for us to interfere after all.
Do you seriously believe in all that card stuff? Magic is fake as shit.
The cards show what they wish, I control no part of it.
Regardless, we have to put a limit on what we wish to interfere with in their journey. Too much will change the hand of fate.
I’m sorry I wasn’t paying attention. I was doing a reading on you and it looks like I got The Empress reversed.
What does that mean?
It means the cards think you’re a bitch.
We need to get back to the story. This moment of self indulgence must end. I wonder what Allison is up to?
At this specific moment Allison was wrecking shop on a group of mickey headed gnomes wielding spatulas and shitty burgers. The giant 12 foot tall golden robot she was riding on punched one in the face and it exploded into a buffet of grist.
She held onto the robot’s head for dear life, with a smile on her face.
“Whoa, whoa whoa!!! Slow down there ben!”
The robot did not slow down.
She had rolled a 13 on the summoner’s die and the robot she had played in a d&d campaign five years ago popped up fully healed and ready for action. He was missing his twin greatswords but she didn’t care. It was nice to escape and forget the fact that everyone she knew and loved in her life was dead.
The thought lingered for a second as the robot did a flip and wrestled a fire troll to the ground. Allison lost her grip and slammed against a wall.
She yawned as the robot continued to absolutely destroy literally everything in his path. A goblin hid behind her, shaking with fear. She grabbed it by the scruff of its neck and tried to toss it in with the carnage pile.
The goblin resisted. It clung to her arm for dear life. She shook her arm harder but it refused to budge. She pulled a Cyber Western rulebook out of her strife specibi, rolled it up and started whacking the little goblin.
She had felt bad at first about hurting things with Mickey mouse’s face on it, but with how many of them there were the shock value had worn off.
The goblin dropped to the ground and she continued to whack it with her rolled up rulebook, it held its arms up in protest.
The robot punched five more gnomes to death.
The goblin in front of her stood up and started shaking its hands with a look of concern on its face.
She smacked the rulebook threateningly against her other hand.
The goblin got to its knees and started begging.
She smiled and folded her arms.
“Alright, you can join my pirate crew” she said.
The goblin stopped pleading and cocked it’s head at her.
“Join me, and I will make you more powerful than you could possibly imagine. Hm wait. That sounds villainous. Join me, and I’ll give you a cool outfit!” She placed a finger against her face and started muttering, “note to self, alchemize cool pirate outfit.”
She looked up back towards the robot, it was running towards them about to punch the goblin she had befriended. She pulled out her summoner’s die and pressed the number 13, the giant robot friend of hers turned into a ball of light and zoomed towards the die.
= => Allison: go home.
I thought we said not much influence?
What? It makes for a nice segue
Fair enough I suppose.
Allison wasn’t sure why, but she felt a subtle push in her brain to go home. She shrugged and agreed. It had been long enough, and the giant plateau her house had warped in on was only so big.
She gathered up all the resources around her and started walking back. The goblin lagged behind.
“Get over here Avalynn Vespucci. I need to get you a cute outfit so we can distinguish you from the other goblins.”
The goblin shook it’s head.
“What is it this time?”
It looked down sheepishly and gestured in the general direction of her hair.
“Oh you’re scared of the sprites?”
It shook its head. It pointed again, this time a little more towards the house.
She turned around and looked at her house a little more clearly.
She looked back down at the goblin and it grabbed onto her leg like a child, tears dripping down from it’s mouse like eyes.
“Yeah. We’re fucked.”
MS: Hey uh allison. I don’t know if you’re even getting these messages but um.
MS: how do I put this lightly.
MS: fuck it.
MS: there is a dragon on top of your house and it looks absolutely horrifying.
Allison cautiously walked closer to her house. The dragon looked horrific.
Dark red scales graced its entire body, it’s legs were covered in red and white stripes, it’s tail furry and graceful, and it’s wings fully spread held the full chaotic logo of the twin golden arches that were synonymous with Ronald McDonald’s specific brand of stores. It’s head was the worst part. The scales had wrapped around its face like a normal dragon, but it looked as if someone had slapped a Mickey mouse sticker on its face through the WWE 2018 character editor.
It was truly a sight to behold.
She looked down at her summoner’s die. It could only summon one character at a time. From the look of it’s scales she assumed the beast was a young adult red dragon or at the very least an adult.
“Yeah I don’t think I can kill that thing. I only know what’s in two numbers on this die and I’m pretty certain I’ve already rolled the most powerful ones.”
A small head poked out of her hair, “it sounds like you need some advice. Justinsprite, how about a question?” griffinsprite said.
A second head popped out on the opposite side of her hair, “ this question reads ‘dear brothers. There’s a dragon on top of my house that is now much bigger than it was before. How do I kill it?’ and that’s from loose lips in the Land of Stars and Frogs.”
A third head popped out of the top of her head, “hey brothers, riddle me piss!”
“Why.” Griffinsprite buried his head in his hands.
Travissprite continued, “of source book and emptiness I am made, I change the way the game is played. But don’t get greedy and filled with pride. A dark secret may lay inside! What am I?”
“Stupid. Stupid is what you are. Allison, let’s be frank with you. You’re fucked. You’re no Dragonslayer. And you can’t certainly become one in the five minutes it’ll take to get to your house.” justinsprite said.
Allison stared up at the house, a loose breeze catching her long red hair and having it flow in the wind.
“You’re making life hard on yourself. You’re not trans.”
“You can’t write an entire book in a month. It’s unheard of.”
“You can’t make an entire tabletop roleplaying game.”
She glanced down at the rolled up cyber western rulebook in her hands.
Justinsprite’s words echoed back in her head
“You’re no Dragonslayer.”
She looked back up at the tower that was her house, eyes settling on the dragon as it’s horrifying wings blew gusts of air all around it, “Who says I can’t be?”
Gabriella moved her arm forward in a punching motion with joy-con in hand. The ogre reeled backwards as a giant metal fist mimicked her actions.
She reached both joy cons out and hit both triggers.
Giant robot arms connected to what looked like a cross between a giant robot and a blue Porsche. Gabriella sat in relative safety on her chunk of highway wearing an Oculus rift connected to a Nintendo switch in a backpack. She tilted the joy cons to the left as the ogre swung a massive yellow rock.
It crumbled uselessly against the ground. She threw out a right hook, and the ogre exploded like a pinata into different types of grist.
She jumped excitedly and then immediately regretted it as pain shot through her lungs. She held a hand to her chest and took a deep breath. Even remotely fighting was a little exhausting, but she couldn’t waste the precious resource that was the cars surrounding her. She had already lost two to the natural force of gravity and three to dropping them on ogres.
The remote control robot helped, but fighting without motion controls was clumsy and inaccurate.
Her stone lit up and she answered.
MS: how you holding up?
EC: the ogres keep coming and I’m running out of breath >.> I don’t know how much longer I can take.
MS: trust that I am doing everything in my power to get to you. It doesn’t help that we have two people who are MIA.
EC: Still no luck with Allison and Charity?
MS: charity hasn’t responded since we entered. I keep getting that dumb answering machine message. And I used to get static from Allison but now I get nothing.
EC: I’m worried about Charity. She and Allison were really good friends, but we really only talked to her in passing. And if we can’t reach Allison, then I’m worried she can’t either and might feel totally alone. What if she does something dangerous?
MS: from my limited experience with her she seems relatively stable mentally.
EC: Xavier. You and I have each other. We know we can be there for each other. Allison has those world’s in her head that she goes to when she’s stressed, but I don’t know if Charity has that. Everyone we know and love are dead. We’re the only survivors.
MS: You don’t know that.
EC: You saw that meteor. You know what happened to New York and Texas. They were decimated Xavier. Decimated. Not a single person survived.
MS: They could still be alive. We have to hold hope.
EC: I’m sorry but no!!! Barring a miracle? I doubt it.
EC: please don’t do this, you’re all I have and I’m barely keeping it together.
And thus with the hero of heart and space cut off from their friends, whether intentionally or by interferrence, the session fails. And everyone eventually dies. And this doomed timeline finally ends like it is supposed to.
That’s not what happened and you know it.
Okay. But the readers don’t know that.
Hello everyone, this is the voice of narration. That is not what happens. Please stay.
The hero of heart comes next.
Why should we show them that?
Because they’ve come this far haven’t they?
I wonder what Charity is up to.
Charity was asleep.
See, nothing to see here
Wrong Charity dumbass.
Atop a moon painted purple, a queen sits upon a throne made of a lighter shade of purple.
Yeah this place really just looks like someone google searched “gothic Victorian” and then painted everything shades of purple.
Shh!!!! Stop interrupting!
Ahem. Atop a moon painted purple, a queen sits upon a lavender throne. Her gnarled fingers rest upon an armrest. Upon one single finger lies a golden rings with two black and two white spheres. A long feline tail came from her backside and the horrific yellow suit and white and red stripes graced her frame. Her clawed fingers tapped rhythmically against one arm rest. Upon her shoulders rested a squid like head, tentacles where a mouth would be and perfectly circular black ears resting on top.
A draconian dignitary knocked on the giant, plum, wooden frames that separated the queen from the rest of her subjects. She beckoned him in.
The dignitary gestured outside, indicating that a guest had arrived.
She nodded and stood up. This guest was one she had long awaited. The hero of heart but also the terror of Derse. Yes, this hero had been a thorn in her side for years. Small side missions of stealth and subterfuge. Guerrilla tactics unlike any had ever seen. The princess of Derse had a raw energy of chaos unlike any the queen had ever seen.
To have this Mastermind at her doorsteps meant she needed something and the queen was more than happy to oblige. Afterall, enemies at the end of the day are really just individuals who have yet to come to an agreement.
The draconian dignitary closed the doors and a few second later the doors violently swung off their hinges and slammed against the wall behind them. One of them cracked.
“YO WHAT UP BITCHES. CHARITY IS IN THE HOUSE!”