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Thunk.

Everything fell apart before they had fully materialized, two bodies tumbling and striking the smoking, sizzling floor the instant the effects of teleportation had worn off. Underprepared. Always underprepared. Like toy soldiers they tumbled down, bouncing against objects, flashes of pain sprouting as arms instinctively raised, head naturally tucking inwards until the backbone struck the corner of the table. Sunburst and starburst, agony that numbed too quickly like a firework that disappeared, scorching a thoughtless afterimage as cowardly words drowned themselves in the echoing aftermath. And then the boom-boom of his heart, drowning out the numbing rain splattering against his helmet. Waterproof. Goggles were waterproof and floated too. A miniature Ark when God drowned out the world, unleashing the reservoirs of the deep. Gotta prepare. A pair. No, just George. He envisioned moving, abdominal muscles pulling himself upwards, fresh numbness like too much aesthetic causing him no pain and only regrets. Wisdom teeth were still there, digging into the baby molars torn out. He wanted to taste them. No. His legs had to go first. Focus. The big toe. Twitch the big toe. But it was more sandy numbness, nothing working like it was supposed to. Should have prepared better. Shouldn’t have wasted his time. Not with relationships. Requests forms. He kept forgetting, kept putting it off, but if they could move things from DC to Balled Island, then they could do it with the USA of East. Brent rolled his eyes. More regrets, piling up like a town of twitching corpses. This was better than that. He still had his upper body. Could crawl? But would crawling let him dodge? Just crawl anyways. Worms and humans alike crawled. People who didn’t prepare for everything ahead of time, who didn’t even come to a dangerous place armed to the teeth, could just crawl. Silver lightning ran down his legs, sparking uselessly when he lost focus an instant later. Invertebrate. That’s what he was. That’s what you’ll always be. Pushing shit in and pushing shit out at the same steady rate, the slightest tinge of moistness dying his lower torso as a wonderfully personal stench erupted. He was losing control. He never had control. Just impulses that he followed without meeting the proper criteria. DPS check? Not high enough. Rarity check? Not high enough. Heal check? Not high enough. All that versatility meant nothing if he didn’t have plans upon plans, if it was ruined just with an injury like this. All those skills, wasted with a singular, shitty suggestion. Ah, good time to give up, right? Suicide missions all around, and Marco and Emerson and Chloe and Danielle and Maria and Jesse and Eun and and and. Disconnected and discovered and this illusion. He laughed and he got sent seven feet down the smooth hallway like an amusement park ride he didn’t know he signed up for and everything span and spun and spoon while hiccups hiccupped his cup. Dishes were still there. Clean the sink as well. Sink? No, ink everywhere, a soggy mess jammed down his throat as colors span and chest compressed. Depressed. Unpressed? Not a word. Not a privilege. Right. It was not a right. Everything was wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong crosses and xes and red marks everywhere, bludgeoning him with imperfections as it continued to decay, stale cookies mixing into a slurry of milk and crumbs. Something had to be done and he could do nothing. Only chatterboxes infected with opinions and memes, regurgitating the virus and swallowing the infection.
He was there to save someone.
But that someone didn’t matter.
He was there to kill someone.
But that someone didn’t matter.
So if it wasn’t save, and it wasn’t kill, then what was it?
It was…
Sour drops for rewards, cyanide drops for punishments, when they masticated both and spat out both because they didn’t want either, since the elusive third was universally better and molecularly worse and yet they never got it at all when spirits flew at the speed of light but clouds were standstill guardians that consumed it all with vaporous stomachs that only grew and grew until they spewed everything out in transparent music notes over broken ceilings so they could shower.

The unkind delusion was still missing pieces, a feverish morning daze in light that was still more like night, amethyst eyes boring intensely upon fleshy appendages that were better off amputated.
Ain't got time at this time. Just make me disappear or something. Peace, yo.
Upgrade unlocked.

Brent can now overclock objects up to the approximate volume of a queen-sized bed.

It was supposed to be an ordinary morning. Just wake up, get dressed, and leave for the gym. But when that red flare shot upwards, lighting up the night sky, accompanied by a panicked maid’s screaming off in the distance, it was all too easy for Brent to change that routine. They had a pleasant enough of a break. He blew off steam with Siena, discovered the fluffiest cutiepie with Marcus and Ernie, finally got around to chilling with Grant, and even made some pretty sweet corndog recipes. Not to mention that super fun beach party that Emma organized.

It had been a fulfilling, relaxing experience, and it never was going to last.

It was easy enough to change his routine. A proper belt, threaded through the loops of cargo pants. A tough coat to accommodate for the weather. Steel-toed boots, just like the ones that Ernie lent him during that friendly game of Flag and Seek eons ago. Combat helmet, his machete, and a canister of pepper spray, all remnants from Wisford. And, most importantly, most gloriously, his night vision goggles and his gas mask. Clipping the goggles to the rim of his helmet, the overdressed, underprepared arbiter was just about finished when a maid kicked open the door, waving at him to get out.

Gas mask went into his backpack then. Another smart trick learned from Ernie. As sirens blared, familiar and unfamiliar faces merged into a disorderly line, Brent’s eyes flickered about, confirming as many people as he could. Lisa was there. Ernie. Marcus. Over there, Emma. Allison without Angelic handholding her? Weird. Siena of course. Oh, Callan came out of hibernation.

His own headcount continued as they were ushered down the steps and his own headcount was just as grim as theirs. Brent didn’t know an Elvia, but Gregory and Angelic? In the darkness of the storage room, the arbiter pulled out his combat phone, bringing up the GPS once more.

A sharp intake of breath.

Gregory was outside, moving. Alive.

Angelic wasn’t.

[DISCONNECTED].

Amethyst eyes turned towards Allison.

Brent slipped the sturdy phone back into his pocket.


Hostiles. Amigos. Dangerous. Attacking USARILN property? No, Zhang’s property. No monsters in the basement here. Just kids with enough power to drive them mad. Ernie was scared. Past experience? Chris wanted to stay. To fight. A martyr. Kusari was cocky. Confident. Hah. Hazel and Sander were already gone, taking most of the Unit’s destructive power with them.

Take it in.

Blink.

That butler, Aldrich, was going to die for them. That maid, Elvia, may have already going to die for them. Zoe and Lawrence duelled with words, the latter somehow managing to convince that firecracker to leave, to make sure everyone else left. Brent noted the glow. Funny, how the first time that blond’s power was used was on an ally. Leave two to their fates so that a larger group could make it out. Compromise and sacrifice.

Take it in.

Blink.

He h-

It seeped into him, an eternal expanse of ethereal blankness. No longer an ocean, but an endlessly, dazzlingly, painfully bright space. No turmoil, merely tranquility. No light, just white. Every color and no color at all.

Birds of a feather flocked together.

The blankness fused with his body, caressing his bones, blotting out his veins. Burying and burying and burying him in the pointlessness of it all, until he was but a skeleton fused with the canvas.

Likes repelled.

And yet, that skeleton stayed distinct, pushing and pushing and pushing against the pointlessness of it all, the whiteness that consumed his skin, hair, flesh, and organs unable to bridge that final gap. There was something there in that blank garden, a faintly yellow tinge.

Overhead, another star, another gift, another fruit ripe for the picking was swallowed by the Other within that garden.

But the skeleton didn’t even notice.

Bury. Push. Bury. Push. Bury. Push.

Overdose.


-eaded towards Siena. She had her e-reader. She had unlimited power.

But she was still so frail. Like tinder. Burning bright and burning easily, but burning out so soon.

“'ena,” the arbiter said, standing beside her, “Teleportation range?”
I mean, if a waifu dies alone and unseen, was there really a waifu?

Alternatively, who here is demented enough for necrophilia?
Empty Words


Brent | Chris


Assurance?


Brent | Sander


Two Guys, No Fish


Brent | Grant

Too many fumbles. Too many unexpected occurrences. Too much strength expended on weapons that were too great for them to handle. After being dragged backwards by that pillar like a dog on a chain, Aiv had no recourse but to return to the writhing sin-weapon while the combined might of the anchorman and Ihosha pulverized the beast into oblivion. Hefting the pillar over his shoulders, he approached the corpse of handcannon-wielder, pillaging what he could from the monster. They were all too weak, their weapons demanding more out of them than they had. The unnamed one had the right idea, really, and now, they had another weapon that helped them out. It was weighty in his palm, but not nearly as much of a burden as his pillar. Turning it around in his palm, Aiv was about to test it out in the moment of silence they had when the staircase exploded once more, fiery rounds causing him to drop low, using his pillar as a shield against the oncoming threat.

There was no threat, not immediately. Only an Ezain that had no hope of living when they had no certain access to medical supplies. Even Solomon had been gored by a foe, and it was increasingly clear to the white-haired warrior that though Nera had wished them to slay her corrupted worshippers, she had, cut off from reality, not realized just how perilous and difficult such a task was.

Or perhaps she did, and cared only for the ones that survived such an ordeal, not those who perished in the face of it.

Nevertheless, with others retreating down the Eastern passage, Aiv had no choice but to follow, pulling up the rear as Solomon plunged into the darkness. With one hand occupied by the hand cannon and various other trinkets pillaged from that corpse, and another hand holding the pillar that almost seemed to be thrashing now, Aiv pressed it against the wall to serve as some sort of guide through the dimness. His bare feet hammered against the stone floor, his side and back both throbbed from the pain of various minor injuries, but he had to press on regardless.

They had to press on regardless.
Ah, premature application. Understandable.
So we're getting another wisp that no one noticed previously appearing now?
Also not sure if you missed it, but Unknown's target was the gunman, not the dude Solomon was fighting. So yah...MEGA PHONE POST may have been a bit zealous?
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