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Short Story Community Competition!
IGN: MoMo1925
Genre: Comedy
No sound, no light. It was cold and quiet. MoMo did not know how or why, but knew he had to escape quickly. Mountains of stone were everywhere, blocking the sun with their magnitude. He ran for the Altar.
Just 1337 yards away, at the top of the largest mountain, he let out a scream like a woman as he was startled by the whale. “What is this whale doing on this mountain, and why is he spooning two porcupines,” he thought. As he ran, he could hear the giant awaken behind him. 
“STOP,” yelled Donteric. MoMo froze like the porcupines. Warmth flowed quickly down his leg before he began to run again. Donteric was the largest whale MoMo had seen since the mighty Spectrumo had sunk his boat the month prior. Donteric was strong and fast. MoMo would have to think fast to defeat this Chaos. As he looked around for a weapon, he saw Disorder and Many Dangerous Knives. MoMo readied himself with a knife inscribed with “Storker” on the blade. The blade squealed as MoMo flailed it about.  This only angered Donteric further. Just as Donteric was set to squash MoMo like a bug, he paused. “If you can make me laugh, I will let you leave with your life,” he said. 
MoMo thought to himself of his best joke. Nothing would come. His mind wandered to how he ended up in this situation. “How many whales does it take to screw in a lightbulb?... I don’t know, but if you find out, let MINNOW! ”, he said quietly to himself. “Haha… HAHAHA”, Donetric exclaimed. “I love whale jokes… you are free to pass”, he said. 
What did he say, what joke did he tell, MoMo thought. He was clueless as usual, but that didn’t matter. He was free to leave so he headed towards the Altar. 
As MoMo sat at the bus stop along the street, in front of the Altar, he saw movement in the alley across the street. As he peeked around the corner of the alley he noticed a sickly being hand an envelope stamped “TOP SECRET” to a monkey. The monkey in return handed  Lamborghini  keys to the sicky being. The monkey only “Lolled,” but it was the evilness in the tone that chilled MoMo to his core. Without warning, MoMo was spun around by the largest of them all. MoMo trembled. “Git gud” is all he heard before everything went black. 
As he approached the gates of Incubus, MoMo realized that Chaos will defeat all. On the wall as MoMo’s picture with a large red slash covering the face. The picture to the right seemed familiar to MoMo. He could not place it at first, but then he remembered. It was the sickly being. His name was written below. Ray’s picture was merely stamped with “SOON™’.
IGN: Handofgod82
Genre: Comedy

The Great IOU Bacon Famine of 2018
For added effect, listen while reading:
In a small guild amongst the lower ranks of Idle Online Universe™ a great famine has befallen its flock of weary alts.

Our story begins with M.K. the ComingSoon™ guild leader summoning young Hoggy to her chambers. "Hoggy we have run out of bacon, and I am afraid that our guild will not survive the harsh IOU winter. You must go deep into the mines in search of the last piece of bacon, and save our guild."
The dutiful Hoggy nods and oinks with determination as he tromps into the dark depths of the looming mine. Our young hero quickly realizing that in order to reach these immense depths he would need an unheard of amount of wood! So with that Hoggy jumps on Discord and tells all who will listen of his plight and to his surprise the community was eager to help! First came Hmann with all of his wood saying:
"take this wood, but only with the promise that if you shall find Ray, tell him that the mine can go deeper if he wills it." Hoggy nodded.
Then Came Edu, and Benfatto with hoards of dynamite. Both saying "We shall entrust our dynamite to you, but you must seek the guidance of the all powerful Challenge master Driller" Hoggy nodded.
Dynamite in tote Hoggy marched back into the mines. Twas then he happened upon Driller. Pickaxe in hand as he towered over the small hog. With a glint in his eye, he simply said. "G5 Group Inferno 2/6" Hoggy a bit dismayed began to tell Driller his story when he was stopped and was told. "Please call me Drillerino. All my friends do." Hoggy nodded.
Driller took the wood from the young hog and began to build support for the mine. "that should about do it, he said" Now on to the dynamite! Hoggy handed over his cache of dynamite and watched as Drillers' flame danced closer to the fuse. "get down yelled Driller" and with that a thunderous boom echoed through the mine. As the dust settled Driller looked at Hoggy and said "you are on your own from here little one."
Hoggy knew that this was it. He had to brave the darkness for his friends and find that bacon! As Hoggy slowly made his way into the seemingly endless darkness, numbers aligned the walls. D.750 was the final one that he could make out. Up ahead he caught a glimpse at a small light in the distance. As he neared, he came upon a man sitting at a computer screen. (This must be Ray) Excuse me, sir.... My name is Hoggy and I have come for the bacon that I hear tell may be in these depths.. The man grinned and said "silly hog you are the last of the bacon"!! Horrified Hoggy let out a squeal. "Don't be alarmed young Hoggy, for you have fulfilled the prophecy. Since you have made it to this level of the mine, I shall supply all of IOU with all of the Cake that they can eat."
With utter delight Hoggy clicked his heals knowing that MK and all of his guildmates would be delighted at the news. He turned to head back topside. Oh he stoped in his hooves. I almost forgot. Hmann told me to tell you "that the mine can go deeper if you will it". Ray slumps back down at his computer and lets out a sigh.. Tell him I said "Soon"™ Hoggy makes his way topside and to all of IOU's delight begins handing out loads of cake to the hungry guilds. Our young Hoggy returned home a triumphant hero to all.
The End
IGN - Esobe
Poetic Lore

I owe it to you, to tell the story of the other-worldly realm of an idle universe,
a space, a separate space of time and girth, not remotely alike our dear earth.

there dwell the denizens of myth and lore,
many eons and more doth they endeavour.

to rend asunder the travails of heroes,
on their perilous quest across the planetary spheros.

equipped with orbs of power, escorted by pets of unbridled glower,
no match are those pathetic creatures, Look! how they cower!

an endless maze of ascension, harnessing upgrades, shrugging dissension,
a lively community, a tireless developer, the future -- a new dimension.

and if I haven't said enough, in the least...
surely, to look forward, we have the Beast...


Esobe - Master Fisherman of Chaos
IGN: BuzzAldrin
Genre: Written for "Dark," but it seems to fit "Lore" about as well.
Word Count in Microsoft Word: 997

Finding a large enough clearing in Alpha 38-914’s dense forests to rendezvous with my craft had been nearly as challenging as my quest there. As I climbed the ladder, my head turned, planning to survey Alpha for the last time. Nothing remained for me here. I’d defeated the forest guardians. As expected, I’d located their orb. During my time on the world, I’d even secured the crystals I’d need to activate it. With no conceivable reason to stay, I pondered why my gut was telling me there was something more.

A night owl burst from a tree, catching an overgrown rat almost before I had reflexively raised my weapon. I’d been here long enough neither of these threatened me, but any activity in this place was a cause for concern. A realization overcame me. The physiology of neither species was right for their level of aggression. I’d killed enough of both to know that the rats, while clearly quite carnivorous, had the teeth of an herbivore. The talons on their claws where almost comically oversized. The night owls were their own worst enemies. I’d seen more dead from accidental wounds during preening than I’d killed myself during my mission here, as if the creatures were still adapting to their razor-sharp beaks. These were recent, almost haphazard, adaptations. This forest had been considerably more peaceful a few centuries ago.

Securing my weapon in its holster, I climbed the remaining rungs towards the portal into my craft and paused again. Reason told me not to look back. I was through here. Still, I found myself making one final survey of the valley below. Dusk was slipping towards twilight and Alpha’s already ominous forest grew more menacing as it fell into shadow. A glint from the far side of the valley caught my eye. Whatever it was, it was metallic and had no place on this forsaken world.

Then, I could count three places in the universe less appealing to me upon which to spend another night. (I count more now, and one of the worlds I then counted was actually rather nice except for the presence of an ex I was desperate to avoid.) Still, sleep there I did. I was confident I’d cleared all the Forest Guardians in this valley, and motion sensors would wake should that belief proved ill-founded.

I rose early and began my trek. The experience I’d gained here left me with little to worry about; the local fauna was far too viscous to hunt in packs. Four hours later, I’d reached the foothills across the valley. Finding a promontory sufficiently above the trees for a quick survey took longer than I’d hoped, but I’d done well keeping to a relatively straight path through the thick wood and arrived closer to the metallic object than I had expected. Approaching it revealed more detail. What had reflected the sun last night was the upper portion of a stabilizing fin on a spacecraft of some sort. Utterly utilitarian in design, the vessel had no discernable markings on the modest fraction of its hull not covered by creeping vines.

Something resembling an embarkation ramp was extended and the hatch remained open. Alpha’s ecosystem had spread inside to the point that thick debris made much of the interior inaccessible, but upper floors were relatively clear. Hundreds of genetic modification pods lined the walls. Most were shattered and whatever contents they once held had decayed beyond recognition, but the oxygen-free environment of those few which had remained intact preserved the specimens surprisingly well. Three held creatures resembling dark spiders, but without the species famed armor-piercing fangs. The single tube holding a nightowl held a creature one might picture catching mice.

After three wretched days exploring the craft, examining the electronic logs and my Discord unit’s imperfect translations, it became clear what had happened here. This world had once been an idyllic forest world, quite suitable for colonization in fact. Something had genetically modified its inhabitants into the rabid predators haunting these forests today. The Forest Guardians had once been peaceful. Their lives extending through many millennia, they preserved the equilibrium of the forest. It was hard for me not to imagine them as gentle and wise, an image virtually incompatible with the savage giants I had battled only days previously. I took some comfort in piecing together that some modified entlings had escaped and eviscerated this ship’s crew, whoever they were.


I usually found peace during interstellar transit. The barely perceptible motion of nearby stars against distant constellations, the hum of life support, days with nothing more urgent than finishing books on history and philosophy while sipping fine wine. A palpable gloom hung over this trip. It was more than the perfectly justified dread of what I would face on Beta 10-3238e. I’d never set foot there myself, but I’d heard more than enough stories. I somehow knew I was ready for the world, but I didn’t know if I was ready for what I might find there. Though I’d pieced together what occurred on Alpha, I couldn’t discern who or why. The only clue I had was a storage room. Though of the supplies had deteriorated beyond recognition, several environment suits were recognizable. Whatever creatures once dawned these were decidedly not humanoid. But, shards of something glasslike had pierced several of them. Examining it, I found not glass but ever-ice – centuries old but still bitterly cold to the touch. A search through my ships database confirmed what I already knew. Ever-ice had only been found once, when the body of the famed Ray Lynn, the madman who sought the legendary Ice Elementals rumored to inhabit the upper crags in Beta’s Desolation Mountains, was recovered in a glacier four centuries after his disappearance. I pocketed six shards, the smallest of which could easily finance my next major spacecraft upgrade. I was unsure whether answers awaited me on Beta, or only questions more disturbing than those now haunting my sleep.
IGN: porkbob
Wordcount: 993 (

The Prize

     The ship bobbed and shuddered as it began atmospheric entry. I leveled my gaze to my monitor to double-check the readings. Mirth began rooting within me as I confirmed they were good.

     Long had I heard tales of hidden wealth in the bowels of Planet Lambda, and long had I awaited the day I could chart a course here. If anyone could sniff out that treasure, it was I, Binaur. And I knew it. The legends had been relegated as myth to common folk. But I was too smart for that.

     The ship landed and taxied to a hangar. Then my scruffy form emerged. I was squat and round, with splotchy skin that varied from faded teal to dull cobalt to rough granite. My nose jutted, curling and hooked, and I possessed a small, useless set of wings.

     I also possessed a sober expression of determination as I combed the streets, scanning for what could yield some sort of direction. After a few hours of treading public areas, finally I spotted something.

     Alone, smoking against a building, was a slender orange creature. But it was not their appearance which seized my interest; it was the wardrobe. What might look to most like an unassuming dull brown trenchcoat, actually had a significant tell in the shape of its lapels. This was a man who dealt in the underground informations trade! Binaur had scored!

     I approached and inquisited, taking care to drop some discrete terms recognizable to those in the underground. The creature became cross as it focused onto me. "The Lab," it sneered in a garish accent, then flicking away its cigarette and haughtily marching off.

     Wasting little time, I tapped into local directories to zero in on this Lab. After some difficulty, I managed a pretty good idea. Not soon afterward my stumpy little legs were carrying me as eagerly as they could.

     Forty minutes later I found myself out of breath, staring at a sign. "Lab". This seemed it, but was just a street vendor. Undeterred, I called out over the counter. I stood on my toes, but was still unable to peer over.

     Abruptly, a burly dark-skinned fellow rose from behind the stand, looming well above, along with his parrot. It was the most ugly parrot I had ever seen. Dark red body, with splotchy white chest and head. A sickeningly-bright green tip to the mangled and splayed feathers of its wings and tail, matched (or it should be said "mismatched") by a similarly-colored toothy beak.

     The shopkeep must've caught my gaze. "Yeah, he's an old guy. But what can I say? Don't have any way to get rid of 'im." The bird halfheartedly paced the man's shoulder.

     After a moment of acknowledgement, I inquired about the "wares". The man pushed a button and a piston underneath me lifted me up. The anxiousness brewing within suddenly gave way, as my gut dropped. Beyond were several rows of fishing equipment. Fishing gear? At the "Lab"?!

     I protested and dropped more discrete underground terminology. The man re-pressed his button, returning me to floor level. "I think you're after some other Lab," he uttered before again disappearing.

     Frustrated and tired, I trudged off and checked into a nearby Guild Lodge for rest. Fortunately, recent inflation hadn't reached this sector so the gold fee was very cheap—less than one-thousandth of my per-second income.

     After days of exhaustive research, I finally uncovered something. Long ago, in the far outskirts of the metropolis was another Lab, once-frequented. Nobody had any reason to go there now, so it and its purpose fell into mystery. The pieces seemed to be coming into place. I knew what I had to do. Binaur would crack this timeworn tale!

     I boarded my ship and streaked to the outreaches. I came upon what seemed to be the ancient site in a desolate area, surrounded by crumbling buildings. After precipitous searching for a means of penetration to the interior, I ultimately powered up my ship and blasted a hole into an outer wall. Armed with an ambient light and a small set of tools, I executed entry. Within, I saw faded paint lettering spelling out "LAB". This looked the place.

     I ambled a labyrinth of partially collapsed corridors for some time, before coming to something which made my heart leap. A golden door. As in the tales I had heard. It appeared to be sealed mightily, however. There was no obvious mechanism to open it, although great hinges were visible. Pokes, prods, probes; all returned no avail.

     I procured my telescoping crowbar and pried at the door, unsuccessfully. Then an idea occurred to me. I retracted it and placed it over the hinge before extending it again. Metallic cries ensued, but the aged doorhinge ultimately couldn't withstand the newer technology.

     It splintered across the area. The door warped slightly, hinting at what mighty secret it may hide. My heartrate began to increase. I didn't notice that the entire structure gave a bit of an unholy shudder. I eagerly repeated the process on the second hinge. A slowly increasing groan could be heard. When the door finally gave way, it immediately slammed open, opposite to the direction it was intended.

     Then the wave of green swept me away. Down the hall. Darkness and glints of green accompanied me on the trip, as I was battered and bruised. Around the corner. The building felt like it was in seismic upheaval. And then, all was still.

     I found myself encased, unable to move. I peeled open my eyes. Thousands of fist-sized green icosahedrons had poured out of that door. My eyes focused on one directly in front of my face. Bright yellow letters spelled out "AP". Was it a trap? Was this useless plastic somehow once deemed of value? I had a strong feeling I would never know. As the weight began settling and crushing my chest, I could only pray the end would come soon.
Leader in Fire Clan
Guild lvl 475+
Currently full
IGN: Latency

There are many stories to be told, not just one for everyone who lives to tell their own, but one for every paths crossing.  most such tales that we remember are about heroes rising, to face villains who already inhabit a world before them.  My story would be that of a pirate admiral,  call me hero or villain the truth is that I live, and I do that well.  I command such ships as [i]The Sinking Raft, The Drifting Wreck, The Floating Jetsam, [/i]and [i]The Scuttled Lifeboat.  [/i]But this is not my tale, and I am not here to defend my piracy,  I am here to confess,  for I am responsible for unleashing another monster upon this accursed universe.  I claim the world of Delta for my own,  I sit atop node 20,  but it may as well be Kappa 50 for all it helps you.  The monster I am responsible for is on Epsilon, for it was there that I took my vacation.  I'm on my ninth fishing pole,  I've tried most every bait and line, and near every lure to be found in our universe.  I sought fame,  and infamy!  a place on the first page of every fishing competition.  Also a way to launder my plundered gains.  but alas, as I upgraded my pole, others upgraded faster.  I reached page 4, only to fall back to page 14.  I meant no treachery when I sought her out,  the witch of node 7.  I sought only a potion to lure a bigger fish,  akin to the bosun whistle we all know and love.  She was certain she'd sell me some potion #9, after seeing the names of my fishing tackle,  but in the end, she unloaded that to someone else.  I used a blue lagoon spray she traded for my favorite compass.  Generously spritzing the lure whilst my helicopter hovered on autopilot, I began to fish.  I knew the spot must be good, because three other helicopters hovered nearby.  I saw what they caught and chuckled the way old RedBeards had done when he tamed that "attack treasure chest"  I believed in this sea spray from the witch.  And that's when I hooked it, though i'll never get credit.  The fish value was over 1M, and with multicatch I had snared a beast that would repeat forever.  It was a Lagoonsman,  and I dropped him on node 9!  He sits there furious to this day, never a villain would he be, save for the fact I hooked him.  And this me heartys, be my greatest crime.  Say what ye will of my world Delta, or my piratin ways,  Thus ends me tale,  for me glass is empty and I needs more rum.

lore for category (did I need to express which category or are they thus assigned?)
IGN: Pft Genre: Comedy (all in emoji) Translation at bottom but the fun part is trying to work it out.

[Image: MYo37JH.png]

The positive side of emojis.

First a short introduction.

Emojis are used as a tool, a way of expression and can give context or humour to many situations. When a day is dull they can brighten it up. From time to time everyone will show hate to them because it's a new way of expression that may not be there cup of tea and people hate change. 

Starting my mission to bring emojis to the idle online universe. I faced alot of rage and many people rolling their eyes and decided to block me. With persevering I kept to my guns and goal. With each post exists an appropriate reaction, Used correctly in each channel and server even the most miserable person can value them. Emojis are strongest in social media, in quick short messages and they connect with the reader and add colour, flavour and emotion.

I'll be quiet now and see you soon.

Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
IGN: GameInSky
Word Count: 998 without "The End"
Genre: Fantasy

Lancrife, a reasonably small kingdom in the lands of IOURPG, is ruled by king Yermo the first.
His subjects were very loyal, but the kingdom lacked prosperity.
King Yermo was in his thinking room, he wants the best for his people, but for that, his ways need to change. He has to make a risk. He grabs a rope hanging next to him and pulls it down.
Footsteps can be heard sternly approaching towards his room. Opening the door, a sturdy and very well dressed man.
“Ah, Don Eric Tric, quick to respond as always” Said Yermo. Eric nods.  Yermo continued: “As you know, things could be going better, but I think I have figured out something.” Yermo opens his drawer and takes out of it: a piece of paper. It’s a map of the nearby area.
He points his finger at the forest located on the east. “In this forest, rumours has that a mad wizard, known only as ‘Ray’, has turned a random selection of monsters into gigantic mimics. But recently one of my subjects has said to have seen one of them. He was too scared to come close. But if this is true, then we could fill our coffers with this.” Eric nods again, he understood perfectly what was going to follow up.
“I can bring with me 38 of my finest men in an effort to locate and slay one of these beasts.” He responded.” Yemro looked a bit worried but then clamped his fist. “I can only pray that your venture will end well.”

The next day already Eric, with the help from his commander, Al Linok prepared for the hunt. As they marched out of the gates they were cheered on by the populace. They set camp not too far away from where the mimic was sighted. Despite the danger, the mood was pretty cosy. They were about to go to sleep, but the ground started trembling. “Do you hear that!?” said someone. The trembling became stronger. Al commanded: “I believe we found what we were looking for, everyone grab a weapon, before it finds us! But keep it down, we do not want it to know we’re here.”
Everyone ran to grab a weapon as quickly as possible, some even started climbing trees to better assault the monster. The trembling became louder, and with each shockwave a loud thud could be heard. Everyone anxiously awaited the beast. The thuds grew louder, some people started to have trouble keeping grip on the tree branches they were sitting on.
There it was, a big mix of wood and metallic framing, the size of several adult horses. It slowly hopped its way into the encampment. Everyone started signing each other and nodding. One of the men decided to bite the bullet and jump straight for the thing and pierced his sword through the wood. The beast let out an agonising scream, more people started to rush into to kill it. The hopping became more random as more people started stabbing and striking it with whatever weapons they had. This is the first time such a thing was seen so nobody really knew how you kill it. Nevertheless, everyone kept at it.
The mimic tried to shake of people by jumping around erratically, occasionally doing a big jump to squish someone under it sheer, monstrous weight. Fortunately everyone was able to get up or roll away before that could happen. By sheer luck, someone was able to cut out one of the hinges. The mimic visibly became weaker. “Aim for the hinges!” said Al, who had taken notice. Despite this now clear goal, it was still quite difficult to strike the hinges, as the mimic was still trying to shake off everyone. Every time someone managed to cut off a hinge, the mimic became more docile. The last hinge was really easy to cut off compared to the others. The beast let out one final weak groan before collapsing to the floor. Everyone was tired. Miraculously, at worst, people were merely wounded. It took a few dozen seconds for people to regain their breath.

“Did you hear how loud that thing was? It was full of gold, that was all the weight of gold!” muttered someone. After 5 seconds of silence, someone began to cheer, and soon enough the whole group was cheering. With this, their kingdom could prosper again! However, it was getting late and everyone was tired from the battle. They decided to let the mimic be until tomorrow and to return to Lancrife then.

The next day Don was abruptly woken up by some of his men. Confused he look up to them only to hear: “Al has disappeared! And the mimic has clearly less gold than it had yesterday!” Don immediately stood up and went to check the mimic. He immediately knew what had happened. He turned back around and looked at his men, now clearly less cheerful than yesterday. “There is still a lot in the mimic left, I will inform our king, but for now we should transport the spoils to Lancrife, we’ll see what to do once we’re there” he said. The mood was a bit lightened, but this will keep haunting them. This changed when they arrived at the gates were the populace cheered them on again for the spoils of war.
Don walked straight to Yermo and asked him to speak in private, where he would explain what happened.
“He must have taken some of the gold and fled to the wealthier kingdom of Chock Sereli… I actually had a gut feeling this would happen. He may have taken some of the gold, but I’m willing to pay that price to not have people like him amongst my ranks. We have always been able to survive with less. I’m optimistic things will go better, despite this.”
Don nodded, they decided to not have this event demoralise them and went to discuss what to do next.

The End
Status: Leader of Fire Clan (GL 636), Level: 25000+
IGN: Fritzb
Title: Haz and the Elder.
Category: A mixture, but if I need to choose one then (hopefully it's) Dark.
Word Count: 997 with asterisk dividers, 992 without. 

     "...Citrusus, they practically flavour their own sauces!" 
     "...Fokyoush! Fried!"

     "...whatever, just don't bring back another Poopaul..."

     Haz chuckled as snatches of their Guild-mate's famished-fancies echoed through the mind. 'Dinner-Catch-Duty' was a welcome exception, as that week the guild were working on the Altar. Its glowing runes and eerie flames had always given Haz the shivers. No, that day certainly felt a good one to be with nature and away from those gloomy slabs. 

     Enjoying the satisfying 'foomf' that the picnic-blanket made as Haz threw it down, they prepared for the monotonous solitude of the day's catches. Save for the occasional squawk of a Paulie or comforting 'bloops' near lily-pads, there was little for Haz to focus on besides the bizarre odour that Anana Fish-corpses emitted. 

     "Human? What is your name, human? FOOL! Down here, you fool!" The voice was gravelly and resonant; an image of a dry, grey leaf with red, pulsating veins fluttered across Haz's mind.

     Haz batted the image away as they carefully lowered themselves to a stomach-crawl. Fishing-knife in hand, they carefully gripped the pier rim and pulled themselves to peek over the edge, eyes parallel to the turquoise surface. 

     Orange? Yellow? 

     Haz gave way to relieved laughter. It was only a River Elder! Although known for their mysterious air and an unsettling gaze, at signs of danger, River Elders were more likely to dart off and lurk in safe shadows than cause harm to the fisher. 

     Haz snorted, shaking their head. "Okay, you can come out now. I could probably do with the company, if I believe I'm hearing fish talk! Bravo, etcetera..." Haz spread their arms welcomingly, demonstrating that the knife had been sheathed. Nothing. Haz checked each direction in case the voice were thrown somehow. "I say, come on ou-" 

     "SILENCE. First you draw a weapon in my presence, then dare to laugh at me. Now you have the audacity not to look at me when I am talking to you. You will look at me and youWillListen. NOW, give me your name!" The voice ripped through the air like forked-lightning, rubbing more sickly images of throbbing husks through Haz's mind. 

     "My name is..." Haz's voice caught as curiosity turned to horror, for the River Elder had enlarged to fill almost the entire expanse of water. Those incandescent eyes then towered above Haz. Jet-black pupils sliding downwards to give Haz the extent of its gaze, the vacillating hues of its irises became all. As the Elder's will etched itself across Haz's mind, they fell to one knee in awe. "...Haz." They croaked, finally. 

     "Better." Whipped back the mocking voice of the Elder, its double-tendril moustache twitched over a warped cross between snarl and smirk. "There shall be no more playing, and you will make noises when I tell you to. Now, tell me, do you know what it means to 'Ascend'?"

     "I think... I mean... yes? I know I've felt it more than once, but..." A distant tugging warned Haz that they should focus, but concern seemed a vague memory. "It's impossible now. Every time I've tried again I just... Blocked..." Haz's face crumpled.

     The Elder's eyes slid shut, to a mask of bittersweet satisfaction. Its voice rolled to a crinkling, purring whisper: "What if it were? What if you could just... keep, on, going?" Then, as if called elsewhere from its indulgence, the Elder simply stated: "It shall be. Goodbye, 'Haz'."

     Streaks of all frequencies and colours. Blocks of bizarre substances stacked where they shouldn't've been. Rising, pixelated fog threatened to...blind? Choke? Was that still possible? Enough. Find home. Haz tore to their house to find their pets. Tried to tear but... smudged there. Throwing open the pen gate, what should have been a wooden gate, were elongated shards of blue crystals. 

     Shrieking, reeling back, Haz stared slack-jawed at the shimmering field. Two hideous shapes slid out from a flickering tree. Comforting cuddles and gentle nose-presses had become punctures from splintered bones tearing from too-stretched flesh. The creatures spoke in wails of confused despair: "Hazzz... what have you done to us? Was it worth it? And for what, Haz? For w-"

     Once the dry-heaves had ceased, the world seemed to settle. 

     "Pull it together, cadet! We can't afford to lose any more of you lot. Just setting up here cost a fortune. Combined with the cost of-"

     The ranting behind the luminous green visor was gradually drowned out by the onslaught of memories in Haz's mind. Endless days of dumping waste, the merciless torching of the ice-bergs, mountains upon mountains of anything they could get their filthy orange mitts on becoming revolting pyres of constantly spewing- 

     "-AND FOR WHAT?" Haz erupted, the maelstrom of thoughts becoming lucid barks spattered inside their visor. Consumed, Haz couldn't hear their leader:

     "Just get over here! You have any idea the resources we burned through just to save you from your little fall NEAR that crud? Check in when you've cooled down, I've got dozens more to pump back to life because you're all too stupid to..."

     Everything appeared to slow down as Haz felt their heels slipping, falling backwards. Before the agony seeped in and their body melted out to the very same filth they created, Haz took in the skies of Beta as they sank.

     "Oh, Haz, but you don't have a choice!" Came the mocking voice of the River Elder. As Haz gazed helplessly into those orange-yellow orbs, it removed something from the chest of Haz's rapidly deteriorating suit. Raising the badge with a long, fluffy white tendril, the Elder grinned as it tasted Haz's terror, the name tag read through the oily sheen of their visor:
HAZ-MAT #9595
A Time After...

     You wake bright and early from your sleep pod, eager to make a good impression at your first day on the job. You can't help but glance over with pride at your new suit. Your name-tag reads: 
HAZ-MAT #9595


IGN Baramuf
Word Count: 997
Genre Fantasy


He looked up at the sky and marveled at how it was such a clear and cloudless day. He had been planning this raid for quite sometime now and was glad that the weather was finally agreeing with his plans. Ammit turned back to his query and realized he must focus on the task at hand again. Ammit dug his teeth deep into the earth and continued work on his tunnel.

As Ghul sat by the window seat of the smokey tavern he couldn’t help but be distracted by Jotunn’s uproarious laughter. Probably making another ridiculous joke about the dwarf’s stature. Ghul took delight in seeing how Huli Jing reacted to the joke. Although she was pretending to laugh along with all the other distinguished imperial leaders, he could see in her face the aversion she had to him. Of all the noble leaders Huli Jing was one of the only ones who ever acknowledged his presence. As a member of the Golden Squad, he was seen as nothing more than an unnecessary expense to most of the nobility, today more than ever. The city was celebrating 150 years of respite from the Allburning Brightness. The Allburning Brightness was an ailment of their distant ancestors and no one alive today had ever witnessed one. It was documented in the history books of course, a sudden overwhelming change in the weather where the sun burned so bright people were blinded and it got so hot entire cities were burnt to a crisp. How historians knew people could be blinded by such a tragedy Ghul never quite understood. Either way the documentation on the instances was limited as almost everyone used to die from the natural disaster. It was the legendary historian Incubus who was the first to survive that changed the ancient ways. Incubus was a wealthy trader who had an enormous mansion, which most importantly incorporated a basement 3 floors deep. When the everburning brightness struck he retreated to the lowest level of his house to escape the heat and survived off nothing for 3 days while the brightness lasted. When he emerged the entire house was gone and his skin and turned a deep shade of red, but he survived and went on to tell his tale of survival. It was because of him that the Golden Squad existed now. Every city had an elite trained group of citizens who knew all the protocols of what to do during an everburning brightness. Where all of the safe houses with deep basements resided within the city and how many people could stay in each safehouse. It seemed an enviable position to end up in when they were kids learning of the terrifying events in school. But now that Ghul had been a member for 3 years he realized how little it was the golden squad actually did now. There may have been a time when the position was glorified but today it was on par with being a latrine digger in society’s eyes. Ghul was startled out of his reverie when he began to realize people had crowded around him and were jostling him for a spot next to the window. Ghul began to feel warm and just wanted to escape the people surrounding him but they kept pushing in closer. It was Jotunn that started the panic. “ALLBURNING BRIGHTNESS!” the monstrous man bellowed at the top of his lungs, “RUN FOR CITY HALL”. And just like that the tavern descended into madness. Ghul was pushed up against the window and could feel the heat start to penetrate into his back. He watched as the citizens pushed and shoved their way to the door. He also noticed the tavernmaster slip into the central door behind the bar and quietly close the door. As a member of the Golden Squad Ghul knew this tavern had a safe house that could sustain about 10 people for 3 days. He also knew almost all of the regular citizens would be unaware of such a fact as they were all shoving their way out the door to get to city hall. Every city was required to have a large bunker that could house the entire city beneath its city hall. Ghul was well aware that the city of IOU had not upgraded their bunker for almost a century know considering it an unnecessary expense and that their city hall would only hold about ⅓ of the ever growing population. As the madness began to ebb Ghul was able to break free from the window, his back burned and his eyes stung as it was getting so bright in the tavern he could barely see a few feet in front of him. He got on his hands and knees and began crawling towards the secret door he saw the tavern master go into. As he fumbled and crashed into and then over the bar, a hand suddenly grabbed him and pulled him through a door. As Huli Jing slammed the door behind him he realized how quickly the Allburning Brightness had struck. Even behind the closed door in the center of the tavern the room was still as bright as it would be outdoors under the midday sun. He realized with horror that most of the people running towards city hall would likely have not made it as the brightness and heat swept over the city in a matter of a minute or two. Huli Jing told him to shut his eyes and hold on as they descended the stairs grasping onto the walls and the rails. Down, down they went for what seemed like forever. Eventually they reached the ground floor to find the tavern master and his family 10 floors beneath the tavern. Exhausted Ghul lay down against the wall. “Crunch, Crunch” “can you guys hear that?” Ghul asked. He put his ear to the wall again and the sound got louder. “CRUNCH, CRUNCH” “Oh shit… they’re back” he whimpered...

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