Saturday, October 26, 2013

picking up the pieces

I heard Ash's voice in my head again from the green chakram thing because I accidentally cut myself on it when the world was blowing up, so he had a direct link to my nerves, which lead to the old headcase.

[[You may open your eyes now, Koen.]]

Okay, so I opened one eye. Still couldn't see anything.

"Dave? Wouldja mind letting go of my head?"

"Oh yeah...sorry Boss."

It 's desolate as always down in this crater next to New Babbage that everybody knows about but is afraid to even talk about.  Because they don't want whatever happened down here to happen up there. But I think it just did.

"No more flames, that's a good sign. Is it safe? I'm feelin' a little woozy. How much oxygen we got left with all of us..."

[[Not enough. Scanning. Atmosphere is safe.]] 

A big rush of air, hot and dry like the Wastelands. Thank Bast! Let me tell ya I don't think any of these kids have ever taken a bath in their lives!

[[Scanning life forms. All accounted for...except two.]]

Whoa! Was that a shot of anger I felt coming out of him? Ash is always the cool calm and collected one, at least in front of strangers.

[[I must investigate. Severing connection.]]


[[Rephrasing. Disconnecting. I will seal the wound. Please stretch out your paw.]]

Yeah, the fur on my arm was pretty soaked. Luckily my fur was the same color as my OW SHIT THAT HURTS blood. And there he goes floating off to reconnect with his body. His soul chip must have been fused into that thing.

"Boss! Is that Ryan down there?"

In a flash I'm four-pawin' it down there.  I don't know how it happened, but Ryan was STILL frozen under thick ice and holding that Doctor Brain dude over his head like he's gonna throw it down!

"Now this? This doesn't make any sense!"

"The energy shield for my armor is integrated into my escape unit."

Everybody jumped back. That has Cold Dead Hans' voice! He's still in that jar!

"I was able to use it to protect this carrier instead of the one of I built. If only I set to protect from internal explosions..."

"Yeah well you won't be so smug when that ice melts off! And that's gonna happen fast. You stay there. I gotta check up on my Dad."

He was cursin' somethin' at me but I didn't give a shit. There's the blown up armor thing up ahead. Gettin' closer.

"Don't touch that puddle, kids. I think that was the pink girl..."

"Mister Koen's Dad? Is you still livin'?" I heard crunching sounds.

Oh. Freakin'. BAST.


I think I'm gonna be sick. He's burnt to a crisp...hunched over...

"Kira...Sprog? Pea?"

I perked an ear. There's breathin'. Two people breathin'!"

"Sorry Dad let me just...lift you off here..."

He wasn't so badly burned on his front. His gas mask was still on. The girls have some blisters and singed eyebrows but...they're alive!

"Well done."

"HEY! This ain't the time for jokes! That was my..." I looked up. Yep, it was Him.

"No pun intended, child."

"Hey Boss, who's da guy wit' da wings?"

"He's...he's my Grandpa. You guys try ant tie down Ryan again and get that jerk in the jar. Me and the big guy gotta talk."

They high-tailed it out. They never seen a demon before.

"Yagi and Darien are gone? Is this how you planned it?"

"They are unfortunate casualties of war. But their sacrifice was not..."

I got pushed aside. HARD. I'm lookin' up and Ash is back in his body and he's lifting BW up by his throat!

"Ethical parameters overloaded! Moral compass shattered! FATAL ERROR!"

Oh NO...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Don't get me wrong. It gets cold in the Wastelands. There's only a handful of trees and some cracked concrete bunkers here and there to hold enough of that searing heat in when the sun goes down. I've got enough fur to make it by curling up in a crack with my fangs chattering like crazy.

But this is something else. The Crater is filling up with huge flakes of snow wadding up into blankets on the ground. I'm not hopping over sharp gravel anymore but my paws are digging into biting snow to keep from slipping into whatever hazards are still out here. I swear it's colder than Dad's freezer, and getting dark and colder still. We're going to die out here unless...

There. something glowing. Yes, I can make out the circle under the snow. It's Ash's power circle...thing. I have to dive my arm in, almost crushing my face against the snow. My fingers getting so numb I can't tell if they're still connected. Should I even be OW!

It's an electrical jolt jumping from my fingers up my arm and rattling my spine. I feel the hair on my neck standing straight up as I pull back, covering my eyes from this all this blinding green!

Wait...I'm feeling warm. I can still see the snow dumping down but none of it's landing on me. I look down and the snow's melting away. No, not melting. Evaporating. The ground's dry already!

We've practiced this for the sandstorms.

"SHELLLLTERRRRR!!!" I shout over and over while I hold the ring up high.

The kids pour in from all directions, crowding around me and still shivering. Most of them have frostbite. Hopefully not the kind you don't recover from.

I call a sound off. Everybody accounted for except Blue and Sprog. And Ryan.

"Did anybody catch that brain thing?" Silence. "Alright, we gotta find the others. Anybody know which way...?"

I felt the ring tugging hard.

"Okay! Moving huddle! THIS WAY!"

I don't know how the girls are gonna hang on or we even should be saving Ryan. But we don't leave our buddies behind.

"Is you gonna say some rhymin' words and make glowy stuff, Chief?" one of the kids asked me as he PULLED ON MY GODDAMN TAIL to follow me up an icy slope.

"What, me? No. I'm no hero. Just a survivor like the rest of us." I looked back and squinted at him. The ring was stuck to my hand so I shook my finger at him with the other. "And if you pull on my tail again I'll..."

"Chief? You're floatin'!"

And damned if I wasn't.