Short Fiction

番号は五です


Prologue

Sometimes I love this job, he thought, drinking in the sight of the full moon hanging in front of him, eclipsing the stars. He reached out with a gloved hand. So close I can almost touch it…

“Grab that ass and you’re a dead man, Guri.”

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In a Parallel Universe…


[Peem] whispers: wiped in TIB, can u tank 4 us

[Ferendo] whispers: Maybe, what's up?

[Peem] whispers: need 2 clear 4 1st boss, u tank 6 whelps we dps

[Ferendo] whispers: That sounds easy. Go ahead and summon me.

Ferendo joins the party.

[Ferendo] says: Okay, where are the whelps?

[Peem] says: dead ahead, dood

[Ferendo] says: What, past that nest of elite dragonkin?

Peem points at Enraged Harbinger Whelp.

[Ferendo] says: Ah, right in the middle of the nest of elite dragonkin. That’s a problem.

[Peem] says: u said easy

[Ferendo] says: I said tanking six whelps would be easy. Nobody told me about the 18 elite dragonkin fireballing me and healing each other in the middle of the fight. All my fire resist gear put together won’t keep me alive for fifteen seconds in that, and there’s no way you can DPS them down before I die. And when I die, you die.

[Ferendo] says: Look, send a tell to my friend Akamai; he’s got a full set of Molten Core gear and some fire pots, and he could clean this room out with his eyes closed.

[Peem] says: tried, he said no pugs

[Ferendo] says: What’s your repair budget?

[Peem] says: ??

[Ferendo] says: Without the right gear, we’re going to wipe half a dozen times before they’re all down, and that’s going to cost me at least six gold.

[Peem] says: no cash, just got [Gaudy Shiv of the Poser] at AH

[Ferendo] says: Then you’re fucked. Sorry, guys, I’m out of here.

Ferendo leaves the party.

[Peem] whispers: u suck

Ferendo is now ignoring Peem.

Champions Online: That’s Just Super!


Lane Carter didn’t think much of Supers. Heroes were chumps; villains were creeps. So what’s a girl to do when an alien death-ray backfires, granting her super-speed and super-strength? She managed to keep the strength a secret for a while, but after the incident with the baby and the tiger cage, her speed gained her fifteen minutes of unwelcome fame.

Okay, so she got a nice writeup in the papers, and a big thank-you from the parents, but she also had to register with the feds, listen to boring speeches about Responsibility, deal with the suck-ups who insisted they’d always been her Best Friends, and learn to cope with the Internet. The bloggers were only a brief annoyance, and the way-too-personal edits to her Superpedia page were quickly reverted by the editors, but the basement-dwelling mouth-breather who called her “Fast Lane” and wrote hardcore lesbian “team-up” stories was too much. She thought his scooter looked much nicer as an ashtray.

Once they found out about her strength, the recruiters showed up:

  • "Join your 'team' and fight for justice? How about 'no'?"
  • "Become your 'henchman' and help you take over the world? Is your stupidity contagious?"
  • "Be your sidekick? Oh, come on, did your Mom make that outfit?"
  • "You want to give me 'special training' and a 'unique costume'? Put it back in your pants, creep."

The worst part was that she liked her new powers. She could explore the City any time of the day or night, zipping past terrorists, gangsters, aliens, and creepy middle-aged men without being noticed, and if someone did try to mess with her, well, a girl who can toss an SUV like a softball only gets hassled once.

If only there were some legal, rational way to use them to make a decent living…

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Hero meets Villain


[What really happens when heroes and villains interact? In Champions Online, we don’t have the opportunity to chat with our adversaries. There’s some random speech bubbles and the occasional monologing cut-scene, but no real dialogue.]

“I’m not a super-villain.”

“You have a lair.”

“I have a lab.”

“It’s hidden in a deserted warehouse.”

“The lease was cheap.”

“It has security cameras and electrified doors.”

“In this neighborhood? I should think so.”

“It has multi-level interior defenses, including pit traps, gas bombs, and little flying robots with lasers.”

“I like my privacy.”

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Tales From The Dog Side


Presented without comment. It just sort of popped into my head while driving to work…

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