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December 18th, 2005, 11:34 AM

This is a ridiculosly huge post for a new arrival, but if you can be bothered reading it, I'd love your opinion, comments, critique or feedback!

The First of War

It must’ve been one street-shaker of a party because Dot-dot-dot had fazed-out big-style, and she’d only just got a grip on reality again.

While recovering only moments ago her whole vision had gone fuzzy, like the white noise on a holo projector, and everything around her had melted and morphed like some crappy SoCA graduates attempt at drug-influenced art. This kind of thing didn’t usually worry her - it being a regular part of post-party recovery – but, just before the warped visuals and the white noise, she’d been having some kind of weird, lucid trip that had tugged on the edges of her memory as a flashback normally might. Flashbacks are a whole lot rarer than plain old spin-outs, and the whole experience had felt incredibly real, to the point of being just a little bit scary.

She’d been a Sky Viking in the trip-cum-flashback, sitting around talking bullshit with a bunch of no-hopers. It made no sense, had no connections to her real life or her nightmares or dreams. These moments of instability usually tend to play with your mind and your emotions, but for there to be no obvious links back to your real life was just plain odd. And wrong. But it was all fading away now, as quickly as a nightmare in the morning usually does.

All that was unimportant, however, compared to the fact that she couldn’t even remember where she’d been all evening.

Looking down at what she was wearing Dot-dot-dot thought that, yes - that must’ve been one kicker of a party; if not just for her, then for a good portion of the men there too. She was wearing all of her best clobber: her prised ChunkyBoots, knee-high stripy socks, her scarlet bio-plastic microskirt that revealed a tormenting glimpse of her thong when she walked, and to top it all off with panache, a boob tube. She was also carrying what appeared to be a cat-‘o’-nine-tails in her right hand. Wow, she thought, she was lucky to have made it safely to anywhere wearing that get-up on the streets, let alone to here, to the Podlands.

To try and make everything go just a little more smoothly than it was at present, Dot-dot-dot decided to class all this worrying information as: Currently Unimportant. What was of immediate importance was the fact that she was nearly home, and she was as tired as, well, as a very tired and gorgeous thing that had partied very hard indeed.

Casting her eyes around briefly to check everything was still safe, she saw nothing, or to be more precise, nobody, which was extremely disturbing in itself. She was standing near the centre of the Podland Plaza. Ahead of her was the looming stacked mass of the Pods themselves, behind her was the polished MCTV building, and over her left shoulder she could see the horror of the Orphanfridge. What she could not see, however, were people, and the Podlands were always busy with hordes of scum coming and going or just idly hanging around picking their arses. Something big must be happening somewhere for everyone to have gone there in such a rush, wherever “there” was. Either that or something very nasty must have happened here for everyone to leave so quickly.

A cold wind blew across Dot-dot-dot and made her shiver, and that was even odder than the lack of people. She was sure that today was Feliday, and on Feliday it was always sunny and calm. Considering the state she seemed to be in however, she thought it more than possible that she’d skipped a day or two.

Without warning the wind around her built up in strength to an almost ridiculous degree, and Dot-dot-dot’s ponytail was lifted from her back and lashed across her face. She didn’t like this one bit, not one bit at all, and she began to jog and then sprint towards the safety of her pod.

From inside her pod it was clear the weather outside was rapidly becoming wilder, and she figured that if this had been the pattern of things during the night that was exactly where the other residents had to be - safely locked inside their pods. Her micro-home began to rattle and shake as the conditions outside worsened, and as everything started falling onto her from the shelves and the drawers around she began to feel like just another ice cube in a cocktail shaker.

A sudden jolt and she was being thrashed around the insides of her pod, which now, against all odds of wind versus steel bolts, seemed to be travelling at a very high speed. Just before her head was thrown against the side of the pod knocking her unconscious, she thought to herself – hang on, I don’t own a boob tube, do I?

* * *

Dot-dot-dot checked herself for damage. She couldn’t be sure without a mirror but she thought she’d probably have a decent black eye in a matter of hours, and the taste of blood in her mouth confirmed a busted lip. Apart from that, and the splitting headache, and the pain in her right-shoulder, and the bruise on her upper left thigh already turning an attractive shade of purple, she seemed fine.

She tried to rationalise what had just happened: possibly, the weather system had f****d-up badly. Presumably, some sort of freak wind had built up from somewhere, which toppled the stacked pods and sent them crashing, but Dot-dot-dot had never felt more than a breeze before, and this thing had been whirling the Podland’s trash around like turds in a flushed toilet bowl. She was hoping that the fall it caused hadn’t jammed the pod’s door closed when a whimpering from its rear end reminded her of what an incredibly irresponsible pet owner she was. ****, she thought, The Dog.

The pod was now at an inconvenient angle, entrance side down, and she had to push herself up to the back of the container to flip the release switch on the rear cupboard’s door. The Dog bounded out and into her arms, or at least it would have done if her arms were twice their size. As it was, its bulk crashed into her and the two of them were sent sliding down, crashing into the pod’s front door.

Dot-dot-dot, crumpled, twisted and half-suffocated, couldn’t help but giggle as The Dog furiously tried to find her face with its tongue. Fighting off its badly timed affection and trying not to swallow fur, she reached out an arm between The Dog’s rear legs and fumbled for the button to open the door. Just as The Dog managed to turn itself around and its warm wet tongue made contact with its target, she made contact with hers, and the two of them rolled through the door to the outside.

After Dot-dot-dot had calmed The Dog and found herself a nice hard rock to perch on, she tried to assess the situation she was in. She couldn’t. One thought alone occupied her mind – where the frick are we?

Dot saw that The Dog, once its excitement at being rescued had faded, hadn’t fared well with the ferocity of their journey. It sat whimpering, eyes cast down, in an appealing mix of its own vomit, urine, and ****. What normally looked like a vicious beast of an animal, a behemoth of teeth and muscle, now looked like a whining newborn puppy sitting in the spillage of its dirtied birth fluids, trying to make sense of this new and scary place it found itself cruelly ejected into.

Surrounding the two of them, bar one battered pod, was nothing, and the nothing seemed to stretch off into infinity in every direction. The nothing was dry and hard and punctuated with an occasional rock or boulder, or, interestingly enough, groups of rocks and boulders. The nothing was also an unpleasing shade of orange, and covered with an irritatingly bright blue sky.

Once again, Dot-dot-dot tried to pull herself together. Once again, she failed. Lucidity would not come – questions floated through her mind but were cast aside one by one. The entire ridiculousness of what had just happened, or indeed, what had not happened to her and The Dog prevented her from considering any aspect of the reality (or unreality) of their situation. As she inched her way towards some form of acceptance she heard the faintest of noises from behind her. It sounded like the intake of a thousand tiny breaths.


Dot-dot-dot flinched, screamed, and fell off her rock.

The Dog immediately shot into action and pounded past Dot-dot-dot to attack. It didn’t look like a ****-plastered puppy anymore: it looked like a ****-plastered pre-historic killing machine.

The crowd of tiny orange people exploded in panic as The Dog charged into them. They sprinted in every direction (which was mostly into each other) screaming as they ran. The Dog trampled the first few tiny folk it reached and then snatched one from the midst of the crowd, shaking it in its muzzle like a rag-doll. Its tiny head departed its traumatized body and flew over the crowd increasing the other tiny folks’ panic.

“Dog, stop!” screamed Dot-dot-dot, pulling herself up from the ground.

The Dog, if nothing else other than adoring, was extremely obedient, and froze the instant it heard its mistress’s command. Unexpectedly the whole pack of little people also stilled; their panic abated so suddenly it was as if they had never been afraid.

"You bitch! What's the matter with you? Old Bob was just messin' around!"

The voice had come from somewhere in the pond of foot-high people that were spread before the dazed Dot-dot-dot and around the hairy island of The Dog. Dot-dot-dot looked down to The Dog, who dropped the beheaded torso from his mouth and looked up at her wide-eyed, waiting for its accepted admonishment, but still searching for that tiny chance of praise.

A smattering of the little people groaned and some covered their eyes as ‘Bob’s body flopped to the ground.

Dot-dot-dot’s head span as she tried to cope with this new addition to the insanity that her life was becoming that morning. She considered that she might have actually passed away from an overdose during last night’s party and that these tiny orange freaks were here to guide her to everlasting paradise, or to the other place. Or more believably; the party must still be going on, and she’s slumped in a quiet corner somewhere dribbling and groaning and these little weirdoes are the best her mind can make of the revellers surrounding her. She closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths before peeking out. Nope, the freaks were still there. Trying harder she squeezed her eyes closed, searching for something to hold onto, something plausible, something that would give her the bite of reality she needed.

One more peek: bugger - still there.

Deciding that she was going to have to face up to this and at least pretend that everything was real for the time being, she took a few more deep breaths, opened her eyes wide, and then spoke.

“I’m… sorry?”

* * *

Scarface couldn’t really be described as ‘different’, because that just wouldn’t do justice to the truth - only ‘repulsive’ would do, or possibly ‘revolting’ or ‘repellent’ or, ‘really, really, really ugly’. Scarface was dressed in tattered, soiled rags, and his weathered, grimy skin fell saggy and folded from his emaciated frame, like a Stagram with all the fat sucked from him. The face Scarface bore held no features of note, but the cranium atop it was a different story, it being swollen and stretched and slightly translucent, like a red and purple balloon inflated to the point of bursting.

Scarface was, he claimed, a Jupiter-Brain. Dot-dot-dot had no idea what that meant, but for now she was supposing it meant he was some kind of freak-genius, and hopefully of some help to her on this most nightmarish of days.

Dot-dot-dot and The Dog had encountered Scarface shortly after leaving the company of the little orange people, who in time they had discovered to be named ‘The Numpkins’. Dot-dot-dot’s time in their company had been thankfully short, and almost completely unproductive. The Numpkins were quite probably the most foul-mouthed, insulting, and perverted little creatures she’d ever met – and considering some of Dot-dot-dot’s ex-lovers that was really saying something. After vague attempts at friendliness - then pleading, then begging – she’d eventually threatened them with the repeated wrath of The Dog, and under this duress they’d coughed up what she could only presume to be helpful information. Without doubt they’d known more than they were willing to tell, but they had confirmed that Dot-dot-dot and The Dog really shouldn’t be here (wherever “here” was), and they’d also admitted that they had no clue as to how Dot-dot-dot and The Dog had managed to travel to here. The last morsel they offered seemed to be squeezed from the group by two of their members who appeared to be more imposing than the rest; slightly larger and somehow squarer. These two were possibly the leaders of these Numpkins, but Dot-dot-dot couldn’t really tell, as they seemed to dart around within the pack every time she tried to focus on them. Under their leadership however, the Numpkins as a whole had suggested the name of someone who might be able to help her and The Dog find their way home.

“Zoo. Nephrite City’s the place you want,” they’d offered in unison, “You need to find the Warlock there, he’s called ‘Zoo’. Just follow that sallow slabbed path over there, it leads the way. Now f**k off home, bitch.”

Nice. Nice, and helpful.

As Dot-dot-dot turned to look in the direction the Numpkins had been pointing she was only the slightest bit surprised to see a forest of trees where just a few moments before there had been a big fat nothing. She did become worried however: not worried about how unnecessarily ominous and downright evil-looking the thick gnarled forest appeared, and not worried that the bricks in the path she was meant to follow had an odd liquid-like quality, a certain sinkability in the way they seemed to be flowing between each other – no, she was worried that she was beginning to take all this madness in her stride.

With a sigh that said ‘I give up’, Dot-dot-dot had turned from the precious little Numpkin darlings and headed off. Glancing back one last time at several hundred pairs of beady little eyes she swore (not for the first time during their encounter), that their several hundred sets of little orange mouths were quivering, trying their best to hold something back. For some reason, she’d had the distinct impression that they were trying their best not to burst out into a song and dance routine.

When Dot-dot-dot encountered Scarface, her fellow traveller on this voyage through insanity she’d somehow unknowingly signed-up to, she thought the answer to her prayers might have arrived. Scarface, Dot-dot-dot eventually discovered, was as about as much use to her as a brick on a string in a kite-flying competition, and she was beginning to regret letting him join her and The Dog on their little adventure.

“Man, I’m depressed” he muttered, for the umpteenth time.

He was (as she’d suspected from the ridiculous proportions of his head) some kind of ultra-genius. Or at least that’s what he claimed he was - either that or he was about to burst open from the nastiest case of brain cancer existence had ever seen. He’d also said that after years of staring at a field of poppies from atop the fence he lived on, he’d finally calculated the equations of existence - he had worked out the x, y, and z, of life, death, and sex; he had realised the size of a life, and the dimensions of the big picture it floated around in. Obviously, Dot-dot-dot was intrigued. She’d coaxed him down from the fence she’d found him sitting on and encouraged him to spill the proverbial beans. Scarface was having none of it though. He said he was “like… utterly depressed” by his findings, and he “like… really couldn’t be bothered thinking about it all again.”

Uninvited, Scarface joined the two of them along the path, and after only ten minutes in his company Dot-dot-dot was close to the end of her tether, ruminating on the possibilities of suicide, or possibly murder. The Dog – ten steps behind, head hung low – seemed equally pleased and lifted with their new-found company. Dot-dot-dot had tried to charm any helpful information from Scarface that she could, asking questions like: where were they, really; where were they really going; who was this Warlock bloke; and, what the frick was up with this stupid place anyway? But Scarface’s responses varied little from the depressed mumblings regarding the meaning of life that he offered regularly, and without request. He even shied away from simple demonstrations of his boasted genius. She was beginning to think he was no more than a miserable moron, and was about to explain her thoughts to him in quite clear terms when a rustling from the trees to their left stopped all three of them in their tracks.

The Dog span round into a crouch; hackles tensed and readied to attack. It cocked its head towards its mistress slightly, waiting for the command to attack. Dot-dot-dot however, wasn’t about to let the same mess that evolved earlier happen this time. A pregnant moments silence was followed by the rustling sound again, this time accompanied by an almost inaudible metallic scratching noise.

“Hello” Dot-dot-dot ventured towards the forest. “Hello, is somebody there?”

Rustle, rustle, rustle. Scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch.

“It’s probably just a Soarascal, looking for food,” offered Scarface.

“What’s a ‘Sore-arse-kill’ when it’s at home? Is it dangerous?”

“You know, I’m really not sure that I can be, like, bothered to explain”. With controlled fluidity, Scarface collapsed to a cross-legged sitting position, and began scratching the fluxing path below him with a dirty nail, obviously happy to wait while events saw themselves out.

“Erm… hello?” Dot-dot-dot tried again, “Hello, is there anybody there? If there is then… well… look, I’m in a bit of a pickle out here, and if there’s anything you could do to help, I’d be eternally grateful.”

Rustle, rustle, rustle. Scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch.

Scarface was probably right, of course. It was most likely just some kind of animal out there, but Dot-dot-dot still had a feeling that there was a person out there – why else the scratching sound? Although, going by the events and discoveries so far today, a rat with a metal arse taking lead-pellet shits in the forest wouldn’t even make her flinch. She attempted to hold back the desperation and need in her voice and tried once more.

“Me and my dog, and this, this person we ran into, we’re lost…”

“…I’m not lost, man. Like, speak for yourself, yeah?”

“Shut up, Scarface!” Dot-dot-dot screamed in frustration. She took a deep breath and appealed back to the forest, “We’re lost you see, lost and trying to find our way home, and perhaps if you could help, or if you could just point us in the right direction? We ran into these little people back along the path, and they sent us this way, looking for some Warlock or other, but they were a bit nasty and I’m really not sure if… Anyway, if you could help us, perhaps we, I, could help you?”

Dot-dot-dot immediately regretted that last sentence as a clearly erect p***s appeared from behind the nearest set of bushes, closely followed by a pair of trousers.

The Dog barked. It never barked.



December 18th, 2005, 11:35 AM
...continued from above...


* * *

Dot-dot-dot sat on the sun-baked ground, face in her hands, crying softly. Close behind her sat The Dog, gently nuzzling and licking the back and sides of her neck, trying its best to coax its mistress back. To her left was Scarface, sat and slumped forwards like a discarded string puppet, legs spread, doodling in the earth with a finger, and to her right was the seemingly dumb and newly-named ‘Steely-boy’. Steely-boy was crouched on his haunches, m********ing.

Behind all four of them was the end of the path they’d just left, which snaked its way down and off through the forest they’d just left. Ahead of them was a grassy slope, leading down to Nephrite City.

When Dot-dot-dot had first spied the city ahead she’d simply collapsed from exhaustion, and a cocktail of tears mixed from any of a dozen conflicting emotions had began to pour. She knew that she should be happy and optimistic as they finally reached what she and The Dog hoped was a chance at getting home, but she was seriously losing a grip on the whole situation she was in.

After finding the sexually obsessed mute, Dot-dot-dot, The Dog and her two unwanted companions had walked in almost complete silence for what felt like hours. At first Dot-dot-dot had attempted to communicate with the Steely-boy, but had quickly given up. All he would give in response to her words was a flash of his constant, insane smile, a raise of his eyebrows, and a suggestive nod – all while (*non-coarse but removed*) (or is that scratching?) himself. The aptly named Steely-boy was attractive, and positively God-like in appearance and build, but nonetheless, Dot-dot-dot had no interesting his x-rated come-ons. Besides, the wide, wired eyes he had, and the fixed grin he wore seemed to have a home somewhere between blood-thirsty psychotic and tortured prisoner.

Regardless of Dot-dot-dot’s rejections Steely-boy was incorrigible; he hadn’t stopped trying since they’d met him. More than anything else Dot-dot-dot simply felt pity for the poor lad, because from a casual examination of his anatomy it seemed obvious that he was cursed, and try as he might he was never really going to get anywhere, unless he was going to shoot bullets of course. It was unlike any surgical enhancement she’d seen before, a million miles from the Sky Viking’s bionic Snob, and certainly not any kind of removable sex toy. She wondered what the lad had done to deserve it, because surely it wasn’t there through choice.

It was this pity that she felt for Steely-boy that had made her allow him to join their increasingly contrary group. After all, what else could she do?

No-one said a word to Dot-dot-dot as they sat on the crest of the hill; they simply let her have her down-time, which she was immensely grateful for. She needed some time to think. She wasn’t trying to come to terms with the events of the day so far, because that had failed with every effort, in fact she wasn’t attempting to consider anything at all, she was simply trying to push all her confusion, fear and desperation back into the box that it had just burst from, because if she didn’t, she knew she’d crack.

Just as Dot-dot-dot was putting a lid on her metaphorical box, Scarface spoke.

“I think, like, someone or something is heading our way from the forest, man. It’s like, big – and it’s running.”

Dot-dot-dot wiped her watery eyes and peered back towards the way they’d come. Something was indeed coming in their direction, and it was moving incredibly quickly. The four misfit companions watched as the huge figure darted around at ridiculously high speeds. It was zigzagging and feinting and sprinting as if it was playing some kind of ball game with invisible teammates, and it looked distinctly like it was showing off. Before the four of them had time to think or even intake a breath to scream, with one final superhuman burst of speed the hulking figure stood directly before them. For the second time that day The Dog wet itself.

The monster in front of them stood over ten feet tall, and the claws on its hands and feet were bigger than Dot-dot-dot’s head. Its dark oiled hide was stretched to bursting point by the engorged mass of twitching muscles barely contained within it, and where its chest heaved from the exertion of its arrival routine the skin had in fact given way, and dark purple blood was trickling from a series of tears. Its face was the stuff of nightmares, and was framed by a huge mane of matted hair which continued down its back and under the loincloth it was wearing. Saliva was dripping from the beast’s muzzle, and was being drawn in and out of its mouth by its deep breathing, but it seemed to be recovering from its exertion quickly.

The beast drew one of its knee-length arms to its face, wiped away a portion of the saliva there, and spoke.

“Hi, I’m Liol – Liol Ion,” it said. “And I’ll be killing one of you today. Would you four like to decide who that will be, or shall I?” His voice, which should have undoubtedly been a roar, sounded more like a loving father gently chastising his daughter.

“Come on then, hurry up,” Liol Ion continued. “Somebody make a start – I haven’t got all day. And you boy… will you please stop doing that, with that thing. It’s making me feel a little uneasy.”

The four potential victims didn’t flinch.

“I’m afraid it will be quite a painful experience for the chosen one – I’m rather vicious you see,” warned Liol. “I’ll probably toss you around a bit; maul you, rip you, break, and tear you apart a bit – that sort of thing. Gets my appetite up you see. Then I’ll tear out your guts, rip off your head, and drink the blood from your neck. But I expect any pain will probably have stopped affecting you by then, hmmm? And then, of course, I’ll eat you. Now doesn’t that sound splendid?”

The lid from the box Dot-dot-dot had recently closed exploded off, and she ran towards Liol Ion with a death-scream, arms flailing. Liol deftly plucked her up and raised her head to his level.

“Oh dear,” he cooed. “Somebody seems to be a little tense.”

* * *

“Well if I don’t kill something soon,” Liol explained, “I’m going to have to rip you all to shreds, it’s what I do you see: I’m a born killing machine – can’t stop myself. Tell you what; let me kill your dog. You can get another one. Go on… please… can I kill it?”

“No,” answered Dot-dot-dot. “P**s off. And for the last time, please will you go away and do something less boring instead. Why don’t you see what happens when you put your head in a blender?”

The Dog, for its own safety, was now walking several yards ahead of the four figures that were making their way down the grassy slope towards Nephrite City. From this distance Dot-dot-dot thought the city resembled a giant circuit board, with silvery roads and striped cylindrical towers looking like resistors and capacitors. Dot-dot-dot stomped on towards it, ignoring the scratchings, moanings, and incessant pleadings coming from the imbeciles surrounding her. She was close to her target now, and just a few minutes away from escaping this stupid place. She was almost feeling excited.

The beast Liol, who would not stop pleading for blood to be spilt, had not broken the pattern of madness of the day; he’d decided to become yet another unwanted companion on her search for the Warlock named Zoo. She had no doubts that she was perfectly safe in his company, because in a similar vein to Scarface and Steely-boy he seemed completely incapable of doing exactly what he was built for. A thinker who can’t think, a killer who can’t kill, and a lover that can’t love.

Dot-dot-dot had begun to wonder what she might have in common with her companions. Was there actually a purpose to everything that was happening to her here, a reason behind everything, a puzzle to be solved somewhere? If so - what was it then that she had been built for but could not do? She wanted desperately to return home, but that’s not what she’d been built for. She was built, she believed, to party – but partying was the last thing on her mind right now.

As Dot-dot-dot turned the day around in her head looking for a conundrum, Nephrite City stealthily sneaked up on the five of them, and with a final, swift unseen movement, it sat proudly in front of them all, giving off a silent air of smugness. From this close-up Dot-dot-dot thought the city still resembled a giant circuit board, with narrow silver roads and striped cylindrical towers that looked even more like resistors and capacitors. She could also make out what seemed to be is populace – fast moving faceless jelly-men trailing long tails that discharged irregular electric bolts into the polished silver lanes they moved along. Dot-dot-dot thought it all looked very odd, but she wasn’t about to admit so; she didn’t want to lose the air of confidence she was trying to build, and she thought it best to act as if everything was normal, no matter how bizarre it actually was.

“Follow me,” piped-up Scarface. “I know the way. It’s just along here.”

“Oh, right,” Dot-dot-dot said as Scarface walked off. “Well thanks for finally deciding to contribute. Thanks a bunch.”

Dot-dot-dot and The Dog had to dodge out of the way of several fast moving electric jelly-men on the short walk to the huge ‘capacitor-building’ that Scarface led them to. There were no guards by the door to the building they’d arrived at, no security, no pomp or ceremony – the five of them, led now by Scarface, simply walked through an opening and into the structure.

Inside they found themselves standing in a semi-circular high-ceilinged room that spanned the building’s diameter. A staircase climbed up its curved wall to the level above and a large wooden door sat in the middle of the room’s flat wall opposite the entrance. The floor of the room was piled high with a beguiling assortment of equipment and machinery. Monitors buzzed atop what seemed to be microcomputers, analysers, and other hi-tech and downright dangerous-looking equipment; robotic arms busied themselves moving samples and beakers and data chips from one slot to another; chemical equipment bubbled and frothed and popped. It looked like a funhouse for science-freaks. Behind all this organised chaos a single figure was bent double, moving from screen to readout to control panel, tweaking and turning and flicking.

“Come in, come in,” said the figure without raising his head. “I’ve been expecting you, but I’m far too busy to help you I’m afraid.” Dot-dot-dot’s stomach turned at this, its twisting most likely caused by her heart sinking past it as her anger rose from below.

“Oh, I’m Zoo, by the way,” added the Warlock.

“This all looks depressingly interesting,” groaned Scarface, and flopped to the floor.

“Looks like it might be fun to go on a bit of a rampage in here,” said Liol. “Would you mind if I smashed up some of your stuff at all Mr Warlock Sir? You seem to have an awful…”

“…No you may not!” the Warlock snapped huffily. “Look, You’re very welcome here Dot-dot-dot my dear, but please, do try to keep your friends under control. Now, make yourselves at home, please. There is food and water upstairs, so please help yourselves. And when you’re done, kindly close the door on the way out.”

Dot-dot-dot could just make out that the ‘Warlock’ was dressed in an extremely filthy lab coat, and that the oversized goggles he wore seemed to be fused onto or under the skin of his face. A classic mad professor she thought, and most inventors and scientists, Dot-dot-dot figured, love two things: to talk about their work, and to be congratulated on their achievements - so she decided the softly-softly approach.

“This place is amazing; fascinating. Just what are you trying to do here?” asked Dot-dot-dot, as sweetly and innocently as she could muster.

“Oh, lots of things, lots of things,” answered the Warlock, obviously disinterested in further explanation.

“And this place - Nephrite City. It’s, well, it’s like nowhere else I’ve ever seen before. And the people…”

“Yes, yes, yes. Amazing isn’t it? I built it you know, and the Nude-Rons - they’re my slaves – industrious little buggers. Now if you don’t mind, I’m rather busy.”

Just as Dot-dot-dot thought she was getting nowhere fast, the Warlock sprung up straight and tall for the first time and turned to face the rear wall.

“Move away from that f******g door!” the Warlock bawled at the Dog, who was sniffing the wooden door in the centre of the rear wall. “Move away from the door NOW!”

The Dog cowered, a reaction completely out of character, but fully in-line with its current emotional state, due to the increasingly stressful day it had been going through. As The Dog backed away, Dot-dot-dot had a sudden rush of realisation, and she didn’t pause to check the logic of her hunch, she simply sprinted towards the wooden door. The Warlock immediately anticipated her move, and headed to cut her off, but the Warlock wasn’t the only one paying attention. Liol Ion bounded across the room too, and swept Warlock Zoo from his feet and into the air, giving Dot-dot-dot a clear run.

“Do you want me to kill him Dot? Can I kill him please? Please, please, please, please, please?” Liol looked like a giant hairy child, bouncing up and down in excitement with its birthday present in his hands.

The Warlock screamed in anger and frustration as Dot-dot-dot reached the door and grabbed its handle. “Nooooo!” he screeched.

* * *

Dot-dot-dot could not believe she was doing this. What kind of idiot was she?

Zoo had pleaded for the door to remain closed like most men might beg for their manhood to stay attached. He had offered anything, everything, and had admitted that he could help them all achieve what they most wanted, if only Dot-dot-dot would let go of the handle, back away from the door, and let him explain.

All through the Warlock’s explanation he had glanced nervously towards the door that Dot-dot-dot had nearly opened. The expression on his face had convinced her that she’d made the right decision in leaving it closed, but the explanation that the Warlock gave regarding the fulfilling of their dreams had filled her with dread and disgust. It was only the conviction of Scarface and Liol (and the frantic nods of Steely-boy) that the Warlock was a powerful and capable scientist and magician that convinced her to listen on and try to trust him.

The Warlock had a spell, he’d explained, that used in combination with his Belepharon Particle Field Transducer, and his insightful understanding of Chaoto-Oxymotic Psychology, would grant their wishes. Only, it was a bit uncanny.

So Dot-dot-dot found herself now in the most unbelievably unwise position she had ever been, but she was willing to do anything to get out of this nightmare, even this. Even if it meant death. She was bent over double at the waist, resting on the support of the dog, arms wrapped around it, fingers woven through its matted fur, gripping on for dear life. Behind her was Steely-boy, to her left was Liol Ion, crouched by her head was Scarface, and to her right was the Warlock.

The Warlock knelt and fiddled with a small black box by his feet. In a trice the box began humming and a cold blue light spilled out from it in all directions. “Begin!” he commanded.

As per instructions from the Warlock, Steely-boy lifted Dot-dot-dot’s red plastic microskirt, pulled down her p*****s, and (*removed for decency*), finally relieving himself.

“Oh… my… God…!” screamed Dot-dot-dot. The Dog shook. A tear rolled down Steely-boy’s cheek.

Scarface shuffled closer to Dot-dot-dot’s head and whispered into her ear, finally relieving himself of his heavy burden of knowledge.

“Oh my God, no? No – it can’t be! It can’t be that simple,” screamed Dot-dot-dot. A smile broke the despair of Scarface’s face. The Dog wet itself, it knew what was coming.

Liol Ion raised his massive clawed hands and plunged them straight through Dot-dot-dot’s back, carrying her heart out of her chest and into the Dog beneath, and with this, Liol too was finally relieved of his weighty frustration.

The Warlock flicked a switch on the small black box he was gripping and it exploded in a harmless bright white light, filling the room with its radiance. Then, rather than fade away, the light headed back to its source, like a collapsing star, and a clear ringing “pop” filled the room as air rushed in to fill a gap where a second before there had been a substantial mass. The five adventurers were gone - almost. Zoo picked up a small grey statuette where the five ignorant fools had been just a second ago. It was bubbled and cracked and a little deformed, but you could still recognise the five of them and make out what they’d been doing in their final seconds.

Zoo chuckled to himself; he thought the statuette would look most excellent on his mantelpiece.

* * *

Now that those bothersome imbeciles were gone, the Warlock could give his full attention to that door that was bothering him so. Zoo knew he wanted to open the door, but he dared not. The door couldn’t help him - it couldn’t open itself, and it couldn’t tell him what it held behind it (after all, it didn’t know), and it couldn’t give him the encouragement that he needed to do what he wanted most.

Blocking out all the parts of him that are screaming ‘no’, Zoo the Warlock grasped the door’s handle, slowly turned it until he heard a quiet click, then opened it up a tiny gap.

A piercing scream fit to burst his ear-drums spilt forth, echoing in his head a thousand-thousand times.

December 19th, 2005, 03:40 PM
And this is chapter 1? An r-rated takeoff of The Wizard of Oz?

The pace of the story was rushed, with little time for character development.

December 19th, 2005, 04:24 PM
Yes it is (yes it is).

Yes, it was. These characters carry on, but end here. Chapter two stops me from developing the characters too much in chapter one.

Do you think this is asking too much of my reader?

December 22nd, 2005, 07:35 PM
Crude, but you've got ability. Had a hard time getting past the name dot-dot-dot. Are you planning on submitting this somewhere or just writing for yourself? Who is the audience, I guess I'm asking.

BTW, an R-rated knockoff of the Wizard of Oz is the bestseller WICKED, which I foolishly thought was a kid's book. My 12 year old stopped reading after a risque scene or two and I caught hell from the wife. My fault for not reading it first, though. :mad:

December 24th, 2005, 05:21 AM

The audience, at the moment, is you! It's part of a larger sci-fi/cyber punk work. Hopefully, eventually, a novel.

Why do you say 'crude'. Please explain - I'd like any opportunity to improve my writing.

December 27th, 2005, 11:31 AM
My bad ... crude referred only to the general impression of the subject matter in a few phrases such as that marked with (*removed for decency*) and to a lesser extent, "Then I’ll tear out your guts, rip off your head, and drink the blood from your neck." ... it does not refer to the overall writing itself, which I thought was pretty slick, actually.