February 11, 2014 at 11:49 am #559767
If you enjoy reading web fiction, you should try Pact. It’s written by John McCrae AKA Wildbow, who was also the author of the popular super-powered web serial Worm. His current series is a gritty* urban fantasy story with wizards and witches, demon and faeries and goblins and sundry critters of the Magickal realms. (Thankfully, none of the characters actually spell the word ‘magic’ with an extra ‘k’, although who can tell what the future may bring?) :O
It updates Tuesdays and Saturdays, sometimes more often, if enough people toss a few dimes in Wildbow’s donation box. Give it a try, although beware: this shizzle can be highly addictive.
Here’s a picture of one of the many interesting characters in the story: Maggie Holt, the self-proclaimed Goblin Queen. (Because: reasons.)
*’Gritty’ in the sense of: “Aaah! You shanked me in the belly! And now you’re cooking some grits in the stab wound, to go along with my liver, ow ow ow!”, although less silly.
EDIT: If you’d rather avoid having to trawl through a bunch of links, then you can find a lot of the same drawings that are linked below, if you visit my Wildbow folder on DeviantArt or my Wildbow section on Tumblr.
You should definitely also check out this fine blog dedicated to Pact illustrations and doodles, which updates frequently and has loads of stuff to marvel at.
Oh, and watch out for all the spoilers. 🙂
2nd EDIT: Check out the new Blakeguard group on DeviantArt, it will hopefully become a repository for all kinds of cool Pact-related stuff that people upload to that site. 🙂February 11, 2014 at 11:50 am #644005
Since there’s a long-standing tradition for posting silly spin-off parody ‘omake‘ versions of Wildbow’s stories as comments on his chapters, Pact should be no exception. (Gonna post copies of them here, in case anyone wants to read them without having to trawl through the several hundred comments on old chapters.)
(Seriously, don’t read them unless you’ve already read the chapters they were spawned from.)
Histories: Arc 2 Omake:
The bloody-haired woman approached, placing her hand on the cheek of Maggieâ€™s father. â€œYou argue best. I believe you, when you say youâ€™d sacrifice yourself for them. You love them that much.â€
He shuddered, bowing his head, unable to maintain eye contact.
â€œYou, Iâ€™ll let live, then. Youâ€™ll feel the lost most.â€
â€œNo!â€ Maggie cried out. â€œNo!â€
And, somehow, it was that idea, her dad, alone, that fed the emotion into her shouts, more than any self preservation.
â€œTake them to pieces, slowly.â€
â€œNo!â€ Maggie shrieked. â€œNo! All of us live! All of us!â€
â€œHer first. So the adults can watch.â€
Maggie had to raise her voice to be heard over her fathers. Her voice was so loud and high it was ragged. â€œIâ€™ll do anything! Just let us go!â€
â€œJust- just let us go.â€
â€œAgreeâ€¦ Let me think.â€ The blood-caked woman stroked her chin, affecting a thoughtful air.
â€œWe wantâ€¦ a shrubbery!â€ She announced in a booming voice.
Suddenly, the looming figures that were surrounding Maggie and her two dads leaned in closer to the small group, humming a dramatic â€œDun-dun-DUNNN!â€ noise in perfect synch.
â€œâ€¦A w-what?â€ Maggie stammered. The knobbly-faced womanâ€™s face split into a horrifying grin.
â€œNee! Nee! Nee!â€ She cried, the other creatures immediately joining the unearthly chorus.
Maggie and her two parental figures stumbled to the ground, screaming in pain at these nerve-wracking utterances.
â€œWe shall say â€˜neeâ€™ again to you, if you do not appease us.â€ The bumpy-lumpy-cheeked woman chuckled, cheekily.
â€œPlease, please! No more! We shall find a shrubbery.â€ Maggieâ€™s dad pleaded.
â€œYou must return here with a shrubbery, or else you will never pass through this wood alive! Umm, city. Town. Hamlet?â€ The gnarly-foreheaded woman snarled. One of her cronies lumbered closer, whispering something in one of her Mr. Spock-esque ears.
â€œOne that looks nice.â€ She hissed.
â€œO-of course.â€ Chris and Maggieâ€™s dad were feverishly nodding their heads in agreement. Another of the frightening figures hobbled over to their spiky-eyebrowed leader, and whispered in her unoccupied ear.
â€œAnd not too expensive.â€ She growled.
Maggieâ€™s two father figures were practically bouncing up and down with their nodding.
TWO MONTHS AGO
â€œYes, I do actually know a thing about shrubberies,â€ Laird said.
Maggie frowned. Her ice cream was melting. She licked the biggest dribble from her hand. â€œNee?â€
Laird jerked back in his seat, momentarily shocked.
â€œAre you saying â€˜neeâ€™ to the chief of police?â€
â€œUm, yes?â€ Maggie glanced around the shop, checking for an easy exit.
â€œOh, what sad times are these when teenagers can say `neeâ€™ at will to policemen. There is a pestilence upon this land, nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under considerable economic stress at this period in history.â€
â€œDid you say `shrubberiesâ€™?â€
â€œYes, shrubberies are my trade â€“ I am a shrubber. My name is Laird Behaim the Shrubber. I arrange, design, and sell shrubberies.â€
Maggie visibly perked up, sitting bolt upright in her seat.
Laird leveled a smug look at her.
â€œNee! I mean, no.â€
Maggie stuck out her ice cream-coated tongue at him.February 11, 2014 at 11:50 am #644006
Damages 2.7 Omake:
Blake grabbed his sandwich.
â€œâ€¦arenâ€™t immortal,â€ Maggie was saying. â€œThey die like you or me. But they breed. Iâ€™d be really interested in reading a book about goblins, to see how thatâ€™s linked to their personal power, or see what keeps that in check. Iâ€™ve become something of a goblin queen.â€
â€œA what?â€ Blake asked.
â€œSomeone works with spirits almost exclusively? Shaman. Work with time, youâ€™re a chronomancer. Fire? Pyromancer. The future? Augur, predictomancer, something like that. Work with demons, youâ€™re a diabolist. Work with goblins? Goblin queen.â€
â€œJohannes would be a goblin king, then?â€ Rose asked.
Blake narrowed his eyes, squinting at Maggie.
â€œYou remind me of the babe.â€
She looked at him, clearly bewildered.
â€œW-what babe?â€ Maggie asked. Blake leaned in closer, poking her in the sternum with his index finger.
â€œThe babe with the power.â€
â€œWhat power?â€ Rose called out, looking even more confused than the teenage girl.
â€œThe power ofâ€¦ Voodoo!â€ Blake hissed. (An impressive feat, considering the total lack of sibilants in that sentence.)
â€œWho do?â€ Maggie said, her nonplussed expression growing more flustered by the second.
â€œDo what?!â€ Maggie and Rose cried out in unison.
â€œRemind me of the babe!â€ Blake yelled, and leaped on top of the dining room table. He started dancing and kicking his legs, singing loudly about â€œdance magic danceâ€ and â€œjump magic jumpâ€.
â€œIf they put a spell on me, Iâ€™ll call demons, set â€˜em free!â€ Blake cackled and hurled a bike mirror up in the air â€“ a mortified Rose staring out from the reflective surface â€“ while Maggie scrambled to catch it, barely snagging it with the tips of her fingers before it shattered on the hard-wood floor.
Blake seemed to deflate, his shoulders sinking in on themselves.
â€œUghhâ€¦ Sorry, Iâ€™mâ€¦ Sorry, I think I must be more tired than-â€
He was suddenly interrupted when Barbatorem went cart-wheeling through the living room, disguised as a flock of blue-skinned bald eagle-men, deftly wielding shears and cutting off each otherâ€™s heads, tossing the severed noggins around like party favors.
â€œâ€¦Yep. DEFINITELY too tired.â€February 11, 2014 at 11:50 am #644007
Damages 2.5 Omake:
And then Blakeâ€™s â€˜readingâ€™ session was rudely interrupted, when Rose appeared in the bathroom mirror:
â€œHey, are you done with the Liber Paginarum Fulvarum yet? Thereâ€™s a really interesting passage onâ€¦ Erm, Blake? What are you reading?â€ Rose screwed up her face in a disgusted expression.
A furious blush was spreading on Blakeâ€™s face, as he scrambled to grab the glossy magazine that had fallen out from its hiding place, concealed behind a large arcane tome that heâ€™d pretended to be engrossed with.
â€œWell, ummâ€¦ Iâ€™ve been cooped up in this house for ages, there are certainâ€¦ urges, that need to be, ummâ€¦ dealt with.â€ He excused himself lamely.
Rose didnâ€™t stay for the rest of his explanation, as she had already hurried out away to a different mirror.
â€œHey! Youâ€™re not offended, are you? I couldnâ€™t help it, Iâ€™m horny as-â€
He cut off in mid-sentence, as the second interruption in as many minutes occurred; this time, however, the intruder wasnâ€™t his incorporeal house mate. A malodorous blast of acrid brimstone filled the enclosed space in a heartbeat, as the bath tub exploded in a cloud of porcelain shrapnel. Shrouded in sulfurous smoke, a towering figure unfolded itself, its curved horns scraping the tiles on the ceiling.
Lo! Ornias, Flayer of the Firmament, Sunderer of the Zodiac, had arrived.
Blake scrambled away from the horrifying entity in a blind panic.
â€œN-n-no fair! I didnâ€™t say your name!â€ He screamed.
The demon screwed up its horned visage in something that was no doubt meant to be a bladder-seizure-inducing scowl, but looked vaguely like a childish pout.
â€œNUH-UH! NO BACKSIES. IT TOTALLY COUNTS!â€February 18, 2014 at 9:16 am #644008
Sketch of Arsepint, goblin minion:February 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm #644009
Comic strip based on a scene from the web serial Pact: Bonds 1.5:
â€œWe can, we can. But first, I must insistâ€¦â€ Patrick hopped up onto the four-inch window sill, taking a knee, somehow without falling or touching the glass. He reached through the glass and put a hand on the back of Roseâ€™s neck, then drew her forward, his head passing into the window to plant the lightest of kisses on her forehead.
He hopped down, giving me a plain view of a very startled Rose.March 1, 2014 at 1:16 am #644010LightPagoda
- Posts : 512
- Gelatinous Cube
Damn you Monkey. I have been reading the supers story for all this week. It has taken up more of my time than almost anything else recently.March 3, 2014 at 1:01 pm #644011
Blake Thorburn gets a visit from Lardo, AKA Laird Behaim.
In case you’re wondering, the greenish severed hand belongs to Padraic, who lost it in the previous totally non-canon comic strip. Because, you know. This type of scene traditionally calls for a severed hand. 😉
Damn you Monkey. I have been reading the supers story for all this week. It has taken up more of my time than almost anything else recently.
You’ve been Wildbow’ed! 😛March 5, 2014 at 9:28 am #644012
Huzzah! Other people have started to make Pact fan drawings, as well:March 6, 2014 at 8:29 am #644013
Fan comic of how the battle between Blake Thorburn and Letita the Faerie Familiar Swordmistress coulda panned out, in the excellent web serial Pact: http://pactwebserial.wordpress.com/category/story/arc-2-damages/2-04/
She drew a sword slowly, with second after second of the clean sound of the weapon leaving the scabbard. I wasnâ€™t sure what kind of sword it was.
The damned weapon was easily twelve feet long. Her arms outstretched in front and behind her, she bent the metal until it bowed in a â€˜uâ€™. When it came free, it did so in a shower of sparks, the blade practically dancing as it recoiled, returning to its straight length. The sound of metal singing filled the air.
She held it pointing straight up until it stilled, then lowered it so the point was aimed straight at my heart, her position very much like a fencerâ€™s. If I looked past the movement of the wind that made the length of thin metal sway, the blade didnâ€™t shake or waver in the slightest.
Now, this scene is starting to sound like something straight out of an over-the-top anime*. However, it’s also reminiscent of a scene in the graphic novel Poison Elves, where the outrageous character known as the Purple Marauder would leap out and terrorize people with his needle-sharp sword and simultaneously homoerotic and -phobic overtones. At one point, another character tries to confront the Purple Fruitcake by engaging him in conversation, even going so far as to carry out Freudian psychoanalysis of the implications of the swords they like to poke people with.
It does not end well. 😉
PS: Of course, Letita’s dress in the drawing is nowhere near as elaborate or gorgeous as it’s described in the story. That’ll have to be remedied, at some point; in another drawing, perhaps.
*And no, that’s not an oxymoron – there are, in fact, anime series that aren’t over-the-top, believe it or not. 😉March 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm #644014
Omake for Collateral 4.1:
Typing â€œLeonard-in-a-bottleâ€ can be a bit annoying on mobile, so I now dub him, the Liab
Now it makes even more sense for Blake to make the wish that Quite Possibly A Cat suggested! (See the comments thread.)
SCENE: Jacobâ€™s Bell, early morning.
Laird Behaim opened his front door, and noticed something odd. Somebody had left a parcel on his door step, but hadnâ€™t rung the door bell. His Practitionerâ€™s survival instincts were well-honed from a lifetime of fucking other people over mercile- â€¦err, serving his community, and he prepared his Anti-Demon Countermeasure Technique, and shook his arms and sleeves to free up his wrists*, before he picked up the package.
There was a note.
Dear Lardo Behasshole,
Hereâ€™s a gift for you.
Laird turned the note over with his gloved hand, checking for any eldritch booby traps. There werenâ€™t any. There was, however, an addendum.
PS: A dead drunkardâ€™s ghost tea-bagged the present. You should totally not eat it.
PPS: No, seriously. You should DEFINITELY NOT EAT IT. I am going to emphasize that so much, itâ€™ll totally absolve me from any Karmic debt that would otherwise be incurred if you ate it and promptly dropped dead, thatâ€™s how much Iâ€™m warning you NOT TO EAT IT.
Laird sneered at the scribbled â€˜warningâ€™, expertly repressing his urge to burst into a clichÃ©d villainous guffaw. â€˜Mwa ha haâ€™ was such a hackneyed phrase, and the Thorburn youthâ€™s amateurishly blatant attempts at subterfuge were equally laughable. Did he really expect that Laird wouldnâ€™t be able to see through such a flimsy ruse? These and sundry derisive thoughts bobbed through Lairdâ€™s big, fat fatty fat-head, while he casually tore the wrapping paper off the package. His Second Sight had already revealed that the package itself was harmless, and there was no way that Thorburnâ€™s so-called â€˜giftâ€™, whatever it was, would pose any conceivable threat to La-
The package was open.
Inside it, still wafting with the faint, yet succulent aroma of having been freshly baked scant few hours ago, was a single doughnut.
It had sprinkles on it.
(Although some of the sprinkles looked vaguely like wrinkly old ghost pubes.)
For a long moment, Laird Behaim simply stared at the lethal pastry.
â€œâ€¦DAAAAAAAMN YOOOOUUUUUU, BLAAAAKE THOOOORBUUUUUmmph!â€ he bellowed, as his trembling hand reached into the box, unbidden, and automatically scooped up the savory morsel and crammed it into his pie hole.
â€œMmmph. Chmff. Gniam. MYYYYY OOONLYYYYY slurp WEAKNEEESS!â€ screamed the corrupt Chief of Police, and promptly dropped dead.
*Which, as anyone whoâ€™s ever cracked open a Terry Pratchett novel knows, is the wizarding equivalent of reloading a pump-action shotgun.
â€œThe carpenter resurrects, only it takes him a week,â€ Joseph said.
â€œSays â€˜Josephâ€™?â€ Goosh asked.
â€œIâ€™m more a handyman than a carpenter,â€ I said. â€œAnd Iâ€™m not middle-eastern. But Iâ€™m damn glad to be back, whatever I am.â€
OMG! Blake was compared to JC?! This fits totally with the calculations! Look! [Pulls out huge wad of crumpled paper with endless scribbled notes]
See here? If you take Blake Thorburnâ€™s initials, BT, and shift each letter 8 places ahead in the alphabet (remembering to loop back to A once you pass Z, and skip W, which definitely wasnâ€™t used in Biblical times), look what you get! B become J, and T becomes C.
JC! It all fits! IT ALL FITS! ÃA! ÃA!
[Curls up in the fetal position and gibbers quietly in a corner:]
â€œBut Blake turned, and said unto Barbatorem: Get thee behind me, Satan! Thou art going to have to push the car, for thou savourest not the things that be of service stations, and hath neglected to refill the gas tank. Blr blr blrâ€¦â€
â€œTiffany?â€ I asked.
She looked up at me.
â€œHow much for one of your paintings?â€
â€œTwo hundred?â€ she asked.
I thought of the allowance the lawyers had given me. â€œIâ€™ll pay you five hundred for your best one, but I need one now.â€
â€œY-yeah,â€ she said.
I looked at Conquestâ€™s messenger, â€œWe can pick that up on the way?â€
Tiffany at my side, oblivious to the man with the gun, we strode from the apartment.
â€œHello, Mr. Toronto Lord Conquest, Sir! Iâ€™ve brought you this present, which is a painting of, errâ€¦ Well, itâ€™s abstract, very modern, so, ummâ€¦ It looks a bit like someoneâ€™s kidney exploded onto the canvas, which is kinda conquest-y? Right?â€
â€œâ€¦Hoo-kay, so. Moving on. Itâ€™s a very exceptional piece, hope youâ€™ll enjoy it. It was painted by a friend â€“ well, friend-with-potential-benefits, really, sheâ€™s currently having an open relationship with a girl that Iâ€™ve had a massive-yet-semi-secret crush on, ever since she saved my ass. So, yâ€™know, itâ€™s a peace offering, because I just realized that holeee crap I just presented you with an item that holds a potentially huge connection, as in: magical Connection, between me and a person that I care deeply about, which means that it could be used as leverage in casting spells on me. I mean, this could turn out to be a major vulnerability for me, big time. Good thing itâ€™s in your hands, eh, Lord?â€
[Lardo and Duchamps leap in through the window, dressed as Team Rocket, and snatch the painting]
â€œYoink! Weâ€™ll just go and, err, get the painting evaluated for you, Lord!â€
[Blake goes:]March 6, 2014 at 4:22 pm #644015
Omake for Breach 3.3:
â€œYou know what, Rose? I can even change size. I can be huge! Ooh! Fill the whole house.â€ Blake stretched himself, swelling in size until heâ€™d completely filled the bathroom.
â€œI can be teeny, small as a mouse.â€ He braced himself against the wall and compressed himself into the size and shape of a small boy.
â€œDiablerie is my dish of tea. Ooh, it comes easy to me.â€ Blake crooned and twirled like a ballerina.
â€œIs this really a good time to be singing to yourself in the bathroom?â€ Rose said, glaring plaintively at the obviously insane Blake-turned-black-man-turned-mustache-dude-turned-small-boy in front of her.
â€œâ€˜Cause Iâ€™m the magnificent, marvellous, mad Blake Thorburn! Marvellous, Rose! Marvellous, Iâ€™m marvellous!â€
Blake turned and whispered to Rose out of the corner of his mouth.
â€œThe Glamour is powered by belief, remember? If Iâ€™m going to be able to infiltrate the secret part of this meeting, I need every ounce of confidence that I can scrape together.â€
Rose looked somewhat mollified by this, until Blake proceeded to turn himself into a Gamorrean guard.
And then Blake foils their wicked plan by turning himself into a tiny germ, a rare disease called malagolintomontorosis, and infecting all the Behaims and Duchamps.
Lardo Behaim slammed his beer bottle into the table and half-wailed, half-burped his despair.
â€œWaagh! That Thorburn is a menace! Heâ€™s come into town and started spreading his diabolical influence! Heâ€™s already started seducing our innocent children, our precious little babies, into the Dark Lordâ€™s/Lordsâ€™/Ladyâ€™s/Ladiesâ€™/Whateverâ€™s sway!â€
Cruella DuChamps, matronly matriarch of the clan of Enchantresses, sneered scornfully. Or perhaps she was smiling, it was hard to tell, with her.
â€œIndeed! Theyâ€™ve started listening to this dreadful â€œRoc and Trollâ€ music, which is clearly corrupting their young minds even further. Not to mention the ghastly satanical clothing.â€
Lardo opened a bleary eye and looked at her, swaying in his chair.
â€œYou mean the t-shirts? Horrible! Simply horrible. Can you believe that my son â€“ my son â€“ said that he wanted a â€˜life of his ownâ€™, and that I was â€˜totally oppressing him, manâ€™? Well, of course Iâ€™m a man! What kind of man wouldnâ€™t arrange who his own children were to marry, years in advance?â€
The DuChamps matriarch swirled the claret in her long-stemmed wine glass â€“ widdershins, of course â€“ and glared into the middle distance. Her jaws worked, as though sheâ€™d just eaten Blake Thorburn alive and was trying to dislodge a particularly loathsome and vexing morsel of Blake-flesh from the space between her molars and bicuspids.
â€œPfah! Thatâ€™s nothing. You should see the state of my grand-daughters. Theyâ€™ve collectively started wearingâ€¦â€ she said, shuddering before uttering the next word.
â€œâ€¦Pants. And theyâ€™re reading books about something called the Suffragette movement.â€
Lardo fell off his chair in sheer shock, leaving a minor ass-shaped dent in the linoleum floor and knocking the wine bottle into the plate of leftover vol-au-vents.March 6, 2014 at 4:50 pm #644016
Omake for Collateral 4.2:
I continued forward, leaving ruined walls behind me as the hallway continued, unsupported by anything beneath. A bridge of broken stone and tile, slow going when I had to pick my way around skeletal remains.
â€œHello, little morsel,â€ a voice murmured, just to my right. I very nearly jumped out of my skin.
She was big. Maybe, if sheâ€™d been human-proportioned, she would have been two or three times my height, going by the size of her head and upper body. But her body from the waist down was that of a great cat, the rise and fall of the muscles beneath the short fur very distinct. Great feathered wings were folded against her body, the snow piling on them.
â€œHello,â€ I said, my attention now caught by this new figure. She might well have been the biggest living thing Iâ€™d seen in person.
â€œStop. Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see. Whatâ€¦ is your name?â€
â€œCan I tell that to a sphinx without putting myself at risk?â€ I asked.
â€œYou can,â€ she said.
â€œOkay,â€ I said, â€œLet me rephrase. Will I open myself up to any risk by sharing it?â€
â€œWe only want to get to know you better, but we can ask more innocuous questions.â€ Isadora said. â€œAnswer me this, who are you?â€
What was going on?
I had to remember what I was dealing with.
A sphinx andâ€¦ a riddle.
Did that even count as a riddle?
I seemed to recall that the Greek or Roman myth of the Sphinx involved the murder of those who gave the wrong answer.
Who was I?
How close had I come to giving a simple, casual answer? Had they collectively maneuvered me into this, or was it Isadora doing what her kind naturally did, timing the question so I might slip up and give the wrong answer?
As for answers, I deliberated for a moment.
â€œIâ€™m the Fool card, drawn with the right hand, the High Priestess drawn with the left,â€ I said.
â€œWhatâ€¦ is your quest?â€
â€œTo seek redemption from my bad karma.â€
â€œWhatâ€¦ is the lower intestinal capacity of a goblin on an empty stomach?â€
â€œWhat do you mean, and African or an European goblin?â€
â€œI donâ€™t know that.â€ The sphinx was thrown over in the abyss.
â€œHow did Maggie even know so much about goblins?â€ asked Rose. â€œI donâ€™t supposed sheâ€™s had the occasion to travel overseas since awakening.â€
â€œWell, you have to know these things when youâ€™re a goblin queen, you knowâ€.
â€œConquestâ€™s Demesne!â€ Blake said, surreptitiously admiring the movie poster with Jenna Jameson, hanging on a wall.
â€œConquestâ€™s Demesne!â€ Rose said, peering excitedly out from the bike mirror around Blakeâ€™s neck.
â€œItâ€™s only a model,â€ groused No-Name. The other two gave him odd looks.
â€œI mean, a house. He just lives here, you know?â€ he said. Blake leaned in very close, the tip of his nose almost touching No-Nameâ€™s ditto.
â€œNoooobody likes youuuu!â€ he hissed.
â€œFirst off: I donâ€™t see this ending well for Conquest. â€œIâ€™ll just add some conquest brought by demons directly into myself. Gâ€™yup. Its not like this could possibly end poorly for me. Gâ€™yup.â€â€
â€œSecond: The lawyers are fucking brilliant. â€œOh here have this piece of free super-demon power!â€ Then Conquest wants it. And Blake goes further down the road. Oh and more importantly Conquest gets roped straight in to demonology.â€
â€œW-wait!â€ Rose cried. â€œBefore you force us into servitude and make us teach you all we know about diabolism, Iâ€¦ umm, I have a gift for you!â€
â€œWell, donâ€™t just dilly-dally,â€ Conquest grumbled. â€œFork it over. Donâ€™t have all day, yâ€™know. Places to conquer, people toâ€¦ Well, you get the drift.â€
Rose fumbled in her pockets, eventually producing a small, crumpled pamphlet.
â€œTell me, Lord Conquest: Have you let Jesus into your heart?â€ she said, holding up the pamphlet. From where Blake was standing, he could barely make out the letters â€˜ATCHTOWERâ€™ on the front.
Conquest narrowed his eyes. â€œAre you trying to pull a fast one, missy?â€
â€œN-no, not at all,â€ Rose said. She gulped nervously. â€œItâ€™s just that, ummâ€¦ According to the Bible, God and Jesus, and the Holy Ghost-â€
â€œNot you, Leonard,â€ Blake muttered, as he felt the bottle stir. Wait, how was that possible? Heâ€™d left the bottle in the apartment, hadnâ€™t he?
â€œ-Well, theyâ€™re supposed to be stronger than Satan, arenâ€™t they?â€ Rose said, unheeding of Blakeâ€™s quandary. â€œMuch, much stronger, in fact. So, rather than trying to add diabolism to your portfolio, I think it would be much better to add some holy righteousness to your CV.â€ She stopped herself before she launched into her improvised spiel about the cost-benefit analysis involved in deciding whether or not Conquest should add Jehovah as a reference on his LinkedIn profile. Conquestâ€™s face was screwed up in concentration, an even more vacant look in his eyes.
â€œDamn straight!â€ he bellowed. â€œFuck those demons! Iâ€™m gonna turn the other cheek â€“ so I can head-butt people when their guard is down!â€
His enormous slab of a hand reached out to Rose with the grace and poise of a Roman legion trampling Europe, palm held upwards in an imperious gesture.
â€œRENDER UNTO CONQUEST THAT WHICH IS CONQUESTâ€™S,â€ he said. â€œTHY PAMPHLET. RENDER IT, NOW.â€
â€œPhew! I think I managed to get us out of it,â€ Rose whispered to Blake, while Conquest was trying to fish his reading glasses out of a bird bath full of congealed blood.
Blake just continued screaming and writhing on the floor, suffering the nasty whammy of blundering into a continuity error.
â€œYesss,â€ Conquest hissed. â€œStrike me down and take my place. Give in to your conquestinessâ€¦ Conquestination. Thing. Look, just give in toâ€¦ whatever it is youâ€™re about to give in to, aâ€™ight? Ahem.â€
The Duchamps enchantresses looked at him blankly, while their matriarch stamped her dainty Pucci-Grada shoe on the bone-strewn floor.
â€œNever! We will never become like you,â€ she said. â€œJust look at yourself, all dishevelled and greasy. Completely undignified.â€
â€œAww, please?â€ Conquest said. His lower lip pouted. â€œItâ€™d be so great if you merged with me, and became a part of the Southern Ontarian avatar of Conquest.â€ Despite the dead, seemingly-painted look of the Lordâ€™s eyes, they suddenly filled with a wistful look, a hint of longing. â€œIâ€™veâ€¦ always wanted to have proper sweater melons.â€
The Duchamps all recoiled as one, revulsion as plain as the Elven mage-scara on their faces, as Lord Conquest stared down at his chest and started playing with his man-boobs.
â€œJiggle, jiggle,â€ he said. â€œLook, if I squeeze them like this, they kinda look like crushed enemies, driven before me, accompanied by the lamentation of their women, whoâ€™re totally jealous of my phat rack. Or maybe they look more like a pair of baby seals. What do you think?â€
Official shipping post, because it is never to early to start shipping.
I say Sphinx for familiar!
â€œRiddle me this. What is part woman, part cat, part bird, and all going to kick your ass?â€
“Ooh!” Rose said. “I love guessing games. Umm, is it bigger or smaller than a bread box?”
The Sphinx replied by holding out a paw, and suddenly unsheathing all four claws in a swift, smooth motion. A low rumble emanated from her throat. Rose digged out a measuring tape and started measuring the perplexed lioness-chick’s flesh-carving appendages.
“What else have you got in your pockets?” Isadora said.
“Nuh-uh!” Rose said, wagging her index finger reprovingly. “You only get to ask one question at a time. Otherwise, you’ve got to give me three guesses on the next one.”
The Sphinx pondered for a moment, rubbing her chin with her other paw.
“Umm, umm… String! Or nothing!” She frowned. “Wait, which one of us is doing the riddling, and which one is doing the guessing?”
“I dunno,” Rose said, shrugging noncommittally. “But you’re the one who’s naked in a cave, threatening to eat people if they get their answers wrong.”
The Sphinx’ frown deepened.
“Gollum,” she said. “I mean, damn.”
Well, at this point Blake getting screwed is par for course. In fact Iâ€™m starting to get a bit disheartened by how impossible things are looking for poor Blake.
True. You could say Wildbow is one of the finest provider of world-on-human porn.
Stay tuned for the next exciting chapter of Pact, where Blake tries to escape his enemies by driving non-stop to Cape Canaveral, Florida, sneaking aboard one of NASA’s space shuttles, and hiding on the moon!
“Finally!” Blake said. “We did it, Rose! We managed to get away from Lardo, and Rob Fo- err, Conquest, and all the other people who were trying to murderize us. Ahh, free at last, free at last.” He sighed, enjoying the sensation of floating in zero G, even if the space suit was starting to smell a bit musty.
“Umm… Blake?” Rose said. “I think you’ll want to see this.”
Blake pushed against a bulk head and floated over to one of the portholes, where Rose was standing in the window, looking into space.
“What is it, Rose?” Blake said. She simply pointed. He looked, following the direction of her finger.
Planet Earth was directly in front of them, like a majestic green-and-blue marble tumbling through space. A verdant oasis in the desolation of the interstellar void. Cloud formations spun and twirled across its surface like cotton candy spilled in a bath tub.
The clouds were coalescing, forming… letters? Blake tried to rub his eyes, only to end up lamely groping at the visor on his helmet. He looked again.
“YOO’VE SHURE GOT A PURDY MOUTH,” the planet said. “BITE YER HELMET, AH’M GOIN’ IN DRY.”March 10, 2014 at 10:49 am #644017
Maggie and Blake hanging out at the Thorburn mansion, until Blake decides to pop the big question: Why is Maggie unable to swear?
Larger version:March 17, 2014 at 9:05 am #644018
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