Switch to full style
Fan-fiction, short stories, screenplays, poems -- anything text-based really belongs here.
Topic locked

Re: Puff Most Epic

Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:32 am

Part Five – Reason For Madness

[][][][][][] Time passed like information through a fiber-optic network... even though only a modicum of cycles had actually gone by, to the girls it could have easily been years. Buttercup's mind was weak; tired from years of internalized rage and self-pity, and was easily subjugated to the hypnosis that Bubbles was implementing... but Blossom's mind was offering a strong resistance to the stimulus, and the computer, though it calculated, compiled and ran a number of different scenarios... each process was killed almost the instant after it was set to float.

[][][][][][] Nothing was furthering the progress of the stimulus. All executed programs were being analyzed, second guessed and outright rejected, even when her mind should have been the most susceptible.

[][][][][][] Finally, the computer determined that it had no choice but to concentrate all available resources on Blossom. It would be no difficult task to complete Buttercup's conversion after Blossom was under its domain. It was a detailed task, and patience was required.

[][][][][][] And so Buttercup's dream was set to idle for a time.

[][][][][][] Blossom's dream was set to the highest priority available.

[][][][][][] It began anew.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Suddenly and without warning, she felt a pressure, like someone were lightly squeezing her skull. It wasn't painful, but it was certainly uncomfortable.

[][][][][][] She had been talking with the Principal of the school just moments ago. He didn't seem to notice anything wrong with her behavior; to him she had simply been glancing around his office.

[][][][][][] "Well, Blossom, I believe it's time to go. Your father will worry if I keep you too long, won't he?"

[][][][][][] "Yes, sir." She got up to leave, but she stopped. All this time, they had been talking about tactics in superhero work, and he had knowledge of a certain attack plan they had only used... once. It bothered her. How did he know? She had to make sure.

[][][][][][] "Sir, before I go, I have a question I'd like to ask you."

[][][][][][] "Yes, Blossom?"

[][][][][][] "This attack pattern right here." She pointed to a paper on his desk with a complex line-drawing.

[][][][][][] He furrowed his brow. "Yes, what about it?"

[][][][][][] "Well, I remember using this move in one fight... and only that fight. It wasn't on the news, and there couldn't have been anyone else who could have seen it."

[][][][][][] He smiled weakly. "Well, great minds think alike, I guess."

[][][][][][] She steeled her tone. "I don't think that's it. I think there's something else going on here. Something you're not telling me. And I think I know what it is."

[][][][][][] He didn't seem to like where this was going. "Blossom! Are you trying to imply that I am perhaps some arch-nemesis of yours, posing as your principal?"

[][][][][][] She stared at him a moment more and then smiled slyly. "You took the words right out of my mouth, sir. Or should I say, Him."

[][][][][][] The Principal didn't say anything. Instead, he stood there, giving her a dour look for a few more seconds and then brought his hand up, slowly, and snapped his fingers.

[][][][][][] Instantly, he was Him. Just as Blossom remembered him, not for the better.

[][][][][][] "So you figured me out," his voice echoed, and he was obviously angry from being unmasked.

[][][][][][] She darkened her gaze. The very sight of Him filled her with anger. Of all the times they fought, he used the most devious tricks to try to kill them. He was not to be trusted. "Where's our real principal?"

[][][][][][] He put one claw to his chest. "Right here."

[][][][][][] She affected not to understand.

[][][][][][] "I am your principal."

[][][][][][] Ridiculous. "No, really, where is he?"

[][][][][][] "Please don't make me repeat myself, Blossom. The last one left of his own accord, peacefully. Nice fellow. Hated him with a passion, but saw no reason to harm him. For the last year and a half, I have been your principal."

[][][][][][] She growled in frustration. "All right, then. Why are you helping me?"

[][][][][][] He waived his claw dismissively. "You do not need to know the reason. Suffice to say that I am helping you. You must achieve greatness."

[][][][][][] She stared at him, nonplussed. "So then why have you been trying to kill us?"

[][][][][][] "Why? Because I knew that if I tried to kill you—really tried—and you survived, you would be stronger than before. You have an innate ability to grow, and to adapt, more so than any human before you. I knew that this was the best way to do it."

[][][][][][] She furrowed her brow. "Let me get this straight. You... tried to kill us... so we could survive."

[][][][][][] "You make it sound crass."

[][][][][][] "It is! You're not making any sense. The ends do not justify the means!"

[][][][][][] He looked at her with mild derision. "Don't they? Many humans think like you, while others would say that if you limit yourself to that way of thinking, it's that much harder to attain your goals. So which is it, Blossom? Are you free, or is something holding you back?"

[][][][][][] She frowned. If anything were holding her back, it would be common sense and decency.

[][][][][][] "Please do not mock me, Blossom. I can read your mind. You should already know that by now."

[][][][][][] That was definitely new to her. When did he—

[][][][][][] "I've always had this power. I previously chose not to use it to my advantage in fighting you. Right now, I am not speaking to you as your enemy. I am trying to make you see the light."

[][][][][][] She scoffed. "Light? You're as dark and evil as they come. There's no reason for me to trust you."

[][][][][][] He regarded her with some bemusement. "No? Not even after I told you in all seriousness that I am trying to help you?"

[][][][][][] "That's the biggest load of—"

[][][][][][] "Just think about it." He furrowed his brow back at her. "No, don't look at me like that. Take a breath, and think about it."

[][][][][][] She glared at him and then took a quick, deep breath through her nose, and then closed her eyes in contemplation. It was after some brief thought...

[][][][][][] She realized that he was right.

[][][][][][] It wasn't exactly the most comforting feeling she had ever experienced, but it was there, and she was staring it right in the face. Perhaps he had a point. In order to become stronger, you must face a stronger opponent.

[][][][][][] Wait a minute. She was thinking like him. Was that his intention?

[][][][][][] She needed to clear her mind.

[][][][][][] Shaking her head, she put her hands on her temples, massaging lightly.

[][][][][][] The side of her hand touched her right eye, and she saw, for just an instant.

[][][][][][] She saw Bubbles and Buttercup floating in front of her, in an alleyway―it looked familiar―debris lifted off the ground, spinning with them. Bubbles was radiating a blue flame―an aura? On the other side of Bubbles, Buttercup, eyes open, but glazed over. She looked calm... almost happy.

[][][][][][] She blinked, and looked up in surprise. Him was still there, shaking his head in empathy.

[][][][][][] "Blossom, let's let bygones be bygones, so to speak. If you will but take my hand, Blossom, I can help you. Please let me help you." He extended his hand—no, claw, in her direction.

[][][][][][] She had finally figured it out.

[][][][][][] None of this was real. She was trapped in a sort of dream, if even that. She just needed an escape. Something to lock her to reality in a way that couldn't be broken.

[][][][][][] "Take my hand, Blossom."

[][][][][][] Never.

[][][][][][] Him let slip a twitch; his face grew livid.

[][][][][][] She stared at him, saying nothing. Saying everything.

[][][][][][] " 'Never?' You dare―" he balked, and then snarled, "YOU ARE MINE!!" With a wave of his claw, she sailed across the room, held to the wall. He was hovering in front of her now, dark magic emanating from his claws, preventing her from moving, though she struggled as hard as she could. She could see him now, and he was right in front of her, his eyes glowing red, and his features in a furious scowl.

[][][][][][] His tone returned, deep and evil. "I have worked hard to bring you down... to take you for my own... and you have the audacity to oppose me?!"

[][][][][][] He pointed his claw at her, opened it, and she was pressed harder against the wall, and she could hear the boards in the walls creaking and snapping as the wall began to give way to the intense pressure. The pain she felt was very real. Or...

[][][][][][] Or was it?

[][][][][][] "I tried to be nice. I tried to make you see a different side of things... but if can't convince you to take my side, then I will FORCE you!

[][][][][][] "Join me, right now, or I will destroy your mind, and leave your body an empty husk!!"

[][][][][][] There was another flash. The alley, her sisters.

[][][][][][] She let out a slow breath, and concentrated.

[][][][][][] None of this was real. There was nothing Him could do to her.

[][][][][][] Her surroundings became fuzzy and immaterial.

[][][][][][] She felt the pain subside, as well as the pressure against her body. She pushed herself gently away from the wall, and even as Him stared back at her, full of rage, and with a vicious swipe knocked her across the room, there was no impact; no pain. He was screaming, but his voice was faint, and unclear.

[][][][][][] This is my mind.

[][][][][][] She puzzled, and held her head, standing as Him moved to strike her again. Her hands passed over her face as she pulled away, and with the slightest touch, brushed her right eye. Buttercup stared dumbly from across the storm; Bubbles―

[][][][][][] Him stared her in the face. From a great distance, it seemed, he was screaming.

[][][][][][] "Impossible!"

[][][][][][] Yet it didn't matter. She understood now.

[][][][][][] Her eye.

[][][][][][] Her right eye. It was the only thing in this world that had stayed with her. It was the only thing world couldn't recognize. Maybe it didn't know it existed.

[][][][][][] Of course it didn't. It was Bubbles, wasn't it? She made the sights, and the sounds. Somehow, Bubbles could now shape others' minds. As to why, Blossom had no time to consider: all that mattered was that Bubbles didn't know what had happened. She hadn't looked deep enough into Blossom's mind to know about her eye.

[][][][][][] That was it, that was the key. Her right eye. Of course that would be what did it. Of course it would make sense that it couldn't be fooled―it wasn't made to see what wasn't there. Him was contorting horribly, shaking her around violently, and it made her vision swim, though there was no pain. It was time to end it. She closed her eyes.

[][][][][][] Carefully, she opened just her right eye.

[][][][][][] The alley had returned to her.

[][][][][][] They were in a vortex. Objects where whipping around in different directions, and they were in the eye of the storm, floating as if being suspended by the wind, although she could see the cerulean aura, a visible light from Bubbles' newfound power, and knew it for what it was. But why? Why would she do this?

[][][][][][] Bubbles' eyes were closed as if she were in great pain―Blossom suspected this might be the case.

[][][][][][] Then he saw a metal cylinder on Bubbles' back.

[][][][][][] She was suddenly reminded of the computer's twin. It had hung above her inside the robot; she had been on the verge of life and death after Buttercup's attack. The core... pieces went flying as Buttercup smashed it, and she remembered the feeling of the computer's influence draining from her head.

[][][][][][] That's it! She doesn't want to do it at all. It's the computer! That's what's controlling her! Just like me...

[][][][][][] She concentrated. She had to have some power left in her somewhere. Something. Blossom drifted directly behind Bubbles.

[][][][][][] Dig deep! It's there! Use it!

[][][][][][] The psychic storm began to grow more violent. Whatever was moving her sister knew it had little time; debris began spiraling upward, bits of broken glass and metal scratching at her skin as they passed. Blossom desperately searched for something... anything... power that she knew should have been gone. She didn't dare open her left eye, fearing that the combination of distractions might overwhelm her, leaving her exhausted and essentially helpless back inside her mind with the illusory body of one of her greatest foes.

[][][][][][] She concentrated harder. The canister on Bubbles' back was right in front of her.

[][][][][][] Come on...ANYTHING!

[][][][][][] She gave one final push, and it happened. She heard her robotic eye energizing. A bright red ray of pure energy came out of it, incinerating the synthetic coating around her eye, revealing it for what it was and striking the computer on Bubbles' back in an instant. The canister exploded, sending metal, silicone shards, and integrated circuits flying. The ripple of the blast shook Blossom's already frail body, but she didn't feel it yet. She was just glad she had finally won.

[][][][][][] Bubbles recoiled with the force of the blast and everything went still in midair.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Bubbles! Blossom is free! She must be―

[][][][][][] She gasped as she felt something hit her in the back.

[][][][][][] She felt it die and the robotic legs in her spine go limp.

[][][][][][] She was free.

[][][][][][] After a brief pause, she realized where she was, and what was happening. And she was instantly aware of two other people. Buttercup, in front of her, and...

[][][][][][] Blossom!

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] "So you see, Buttercup," Him was saying, wrapping up his explanation. "I am your ally. The battles you and I have had, the tricks I've played on you, the enemies I've pitted against you...all of these served to turn you into the powerful, perfect little girl that you are today."

[][][][][][] She was glaring at him, her anger slowly subsiding, understanding his reasoning, though she couldn't really remember everything that he had said. All she knew was that he was trying to help her rather than hurt her. It was an odd feeling, but it did make sense. Each time she fought, her powers grew, and her strength became her most powerful asset, and one that set her apart from her sisters. She knew it to be the biggest difference between them, and that she had been wrong to flaunt it all these years.

[][][][][][] "You are not a bad person, Buttercup. Headstrong, perhaps, but everyone has their flaws. All it stands to show is that you have humanity. This allows you to appreciate life, and it is what makes you a better superhero."

[][][][][][] She nodded, on the verge of tears. Never in her life had anyone understood her so well.

[][][][][][] He smiled at her, and it made her feel warm. She felt the anger she had against him draining away.

[][][][][][] He presented his hand—or claw—to her. "I ask only of your trust, Buttercup. Give me only that, and I shall help you achieve all of your dreams."

[][][][][][] She fully intended to take his hand but never got the chance; just as she was raising her arm, her vision went white.

Previous: Part Four - Out Of Sight, Out Of...
Next: Part Six - Post Trauma: Stress and Disorder
Table of Contents
Last edited by Rough Giraffe on Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:48 pm

This is getting interesting :)

Can't believe nobody commented after this post yet...

Re: Puff Most Epic

Sat Mar 21, 2009 3:47 pm

They're probably busy waxing their carrots, I completely understand.

Hm. Is that line against the Rules? I'm not sure.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:07 pm

It was totally against the rules, your banishment is imminent, quick, PM Beer to cancel the ban request!

As for now, it mostly resolves around emotional problems of the 3. Some actual ass kicking and gory action is in order in the near future. Oh, and as much as I like the idea of a HAL-like computer/machine adversary who apathetically and restlessly pursues the girls' destruction or submission, I must say it's been done before. See Terminator, HAL, and many others. That's why I'm not commenting and rather waiting for the plot to reveal something unexpectedly original that could not have been predicted.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:17 am

This story is interesting to say the least, but i really want to see where all of this is going. I actually got confused as to which puff was experiencing what, in my opinion you used pronouns a little to much. Great job nonetheless, keep up the good work Ruff!

Re: Puff Most Epic

Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:20 am

@ Q.U.
Well, you say all that, but in the end, we're going to write it the way we want to anyway. We're not taking fan suggestions yet, if at all. In fact, you telling us what you want to see us write is the equivalent of going to a comic-book convention, stopping by the Action section, and telling the artists they should do more "Pretty Girl" or "Shojo" genres to get your attention. Doesn't that seem a little arrogant?

If you don't like the way I write, by all means, lend some criticism. I'm open to discovering my weak points.

This "Terminator" and "HAL" and "2001 Space Odyssey" thing you're talking about... is nothing like what we're going for. As far as I understand, in "Terminator" it wasn't Mind Control motivating the characters, it was killing the one man that could lead to the machines' destruction. In "2001," HAL starts breaking apart/killing off the crew members--sending them into deep space, cutting off the oxygen--one by one until the one that's left rips out its programming module by module.

Here, the Machine is not trying to kill either of the girls. It wants to control them.

And another thing to consider: I never watched Terminator. I looked at a synopsis. JUST NOW. Yeah.

So, we're being as original as we can. It's hard to come up with a new idea that's never been done before, especially when you DON'T KNOW what's original and what's not.

If I give away too much of the next few chapters, they'll lose their capacity to surprise you. So I'm not saying anything about it. Those who are anxious will just have to be patient.

It's supposed to be confusing. All that stuff is like the state of the mind. It's abstract; not concrete.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:12 am

you expect some strange things Q.U. for a story that has no disclosure as to what events are coming along, nor much any expectation to lay upon the reader, from the description given--which makes your critique of a lack of original progression in the story confusing, to say the least (not to mention the fact that RD is right, reading the story reveals that the AI is, indeed, now against the presupposed desctruction of the girls, hence the particular method of involvement it has chosen).

do you have more specific critiques in mind, and especially critiques regarding the arrangement of the words themselves? The plot and its progression are that which, for now, have taken a backseat to the method of progression--these ideas introduced by critique would be more engaging to us.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:20 am

Well, you say all that, but in the end, we're going to write it the way we want to anyway. We're not taking fan suggestions yet, if at all. In fact, you telling us what you want to see us write is the equivalent of going to a comic-book convention, stopping by the Action section, and telling the artists they should do more "Pretty Girl" or "Shojo" genres to get your attention. Doesn't that seem a little arrogant?

Where do you people get those ideas... :>
No, I have no intention to influence the plot of this story which as far as I'm concerned had already been decided. I'm just stating MY opinion on what I see when I read it. Keep in mind that the story had barely started, and that's why I don't try to give an evaluation on what it is about, it hasn't shown its full potential yet. And when I say that action is in order then I mean that this is what I predict to happen at some point. Unless this is a drama only with no action to mention, but that would be unlikely seeing as we have 3 girls with superpowers as main characters, right? I'm waiting for the story to present itself from every angle before going into more specific debate.
stopping by the Action section, and telling the artists they should do more "Pretty Girl" or "Shojo" genres to get your attention

No, it's like posting on an internet forum that you prefer fantasy genre over romance.

If you don't like the way I write, by all means, lend some criticism. I'm open to discovering my weak points.

As said, you barely jumped up into the air, there isn't enough to criticize properly. I want to wait until you fly for a bit and have a more than 40k of words and a good display of the fictional reality to present. All that it is now is, correct me if I'm wrong, a setting to the story. We barely met the main characters and now we get to see what their reality looks like. We jumped straight into the action part without any disclosure of what the setting is or who, where and what. That's why for now all we see is action and we presume what is going on.

Here, the Machine is not trying to kill either of the girls. It wants to control them.

I mean the adversary, not their motives. Destruction is a way to further control. When you cannot control something and you want to control everything you must destroy what you cannot control. But anyway, I'm pointing out the machine vs human issue.

So, we're being as original as we can. It's hard to come up with a new idea that's never been done before, especially when you DON'T KNOW what's original and what's not.

Make no mistake, I'm not blaming you for not being original, I think you're doing a damn good job on making a fresh concept out of this overused powerpuff idea.

do you have more specific critiques in mind, and especially critiques regarding the arrangement of the words themselves?

I'm not a writer. Unless the story contains obvious flaws that I can see I cannot give you critique. I like the way it's been written. Word choice is quite professional. I'm not fit to give critique to that, you should know.

Nonetheless, wasn't expecting such a vivid reply to that statement. I just try to compare the little glimpse we've had so far to whatever I can relate it to. Hence the Terminator/HAL comparison.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:47 am

Blood Lord approves of this story, and requests more.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:22 pm

Blood Lord, your request will be answered momentarily.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:34 pm

You have one the medal of Internet originality! Its worth about as much as it sounds. Also at the risk of sounding absurdly cliche: Update soon.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:04 pm

Part Six – Post Trauma: Stress and Disorder

[][][][][][] Buttercup regained her senses almost instantly, and fell to the asphalt below. She was disoriented and confused. Her eyes were blurry, and she tried to blink them clear. It was dark. She shook her head, focusing on the streetlight near the end of the alley, a low sick yellow.

[][][][][][] "What just happened?" It was a question to no one in particular. She rubbed her head and looked at her surroundings. Bubbles was standing across from her, clutching something red in her arms, while her robotic appendages sprawled lifelessly around her.

[][][][][][] "Bubbles!" Buttercup shot to her feet and stood beside her sister. She looked down. "Blossom!" She dropped to her knees, holding her hands out as if to offer some help, but didn't know what to do. Blossom's eyes were closed, and she was breathing weakly.

[][][][][][] What do I do? she asked herself. She couldn't think. She felt powerless. Her eyes became damp. She couldn't move.

[][][][][][] "She's okay," Bubbles said, lifelessly, and Buttercup stared at her in surprise. "She's just weak."

[][][][][][] Buttercup continued to stare at Bubbles; she knew something was wrong, but even if she could see it, she didn't know how she would be able to help. She brought her gaze back to Blossom... her body was thin... pale... but... for some reason, it looked different. She couldn't figure out how.

[][][][][][] Blossom moved in Bubbles' arms and opened her eyes.

[][][][][][] Buttercup started. Blossom's right eye was... What the— "Blossom!" She gripped her sister's hand, eliciting a quiet murmur of protest from its intensity.

[][][][][][] Blossom smiled wanly. "Hi." She turned to Bubbles. "Are you all right?"

[][][][][][] "Yes," Bubbles murmured. Her eyes were running tears down her face, and she was doing her best to hold back her weeping.

[][][][][][] Blossom shook her head. "It's okay to cry, Bubbles."

[][][][][][] Bubbles screwed up her face and began to sob; at first, she simply squeaked. Soon, her emotions burst forth, and she threw her head back and began to cry in earnest.

[][][][][][] She cried what seemed hours, and her tears dripped down to mix with Blossom's, as if to help her sister make up for the fact that one of her eyes could no longer make any. Buttercup had fallen from a kneeling to a sitting position, and sat there, too dazed to think. Even about her sister's fake eye.

[][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] When Bubbles seemed to be calming down, Blossom looked at Buttercup.

[][][][][][] "Buttercup."

[][][][][][] "Yes!" she said, all too eager to ease her sense of helplessness.

[][][][][][] Her eye, it's... But she couldn't bring out the words.

[][][][][][] "Could you help me to my feet?"

[][][][][][] "Yeah, I—" Huh? "Didn't you have problems before?"

[][][][][][] "Yeah, but I wanna try again."

[][][][][][] "Oh." Pause. "Okay." She lifted Blossom gently from their sister's lap, and Blossom sat up and came to a standing position against Buttercup's shoulder.

[][][][][][] "Wow... you did it," Buttercup said, clearly impressed. "I honestly didn't think you could stand right now."

[][][][][][] Blossom laughed weakly. "Let's go home."

[][][][][][] They walked.

[][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] They walked, and the city loomed above them in the still darkness. There had been sweet rays of sunlight still feebly clinging, clutching at the sky when Bubbles first walked forward on the arms. Now, apart from the spanning haze of light that seeps through the bottom of every city's sky and the occasional glimpse of the downtown through the shapes of buildings, an inking glow from the lamps shining on the empty streets was all that lit the girls' way. The thinnest layer of clouds kept the night sky empty, kept the stars from appearance save for the rare break in their lining.

[][][][][][] In the unending night, every skyscraper, every office building, every restaurant and diner, every apartment complex rose around them broken down; it seemed that each block was worse than the last, rotten and menacing, reaching off into the horizon and eventually becoming one with the mire of dark concrete and sparkling lights that formed the unruly skyline of downtown Townsville.

[][][][][][] The lights were brightest at the downtown checkpoint into the place where the girls now walked. A radio on the edge of these ruins came alive, and, solemnly in this quiet hour, the military began to pack their gear and move out.

[][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] There was no sound except scraping on the concrete; Bubbles cowered as she walked, the robotic limbs tangled behind her, bathed momentarily in the light of the moon. The soft pule of her voice drifted out between the raking of metal. She began to slow down.

[][][][][][] Still helping Blossom walk, Buttercup turned her head to Bubbles. "Are you okay with those?"

[][][][][][] Bubbles faltered. "I—I can't..." She jerked her body, looking back at the arms; they were dead weight.

[][][][][][] Buttercup winced at Bubbles. "Want me to tear them off?"

[][][][][][] Blossom inhaled. She didn't turn her head, her eyes lucent and hazy, but she spoke with apparent awareness despite her exhaustion: "It's probably not... Not a good idea just yet. The computer. It was forcing you to control them. Your... with your head. They're in your back... Aren't they?"

[][][][][][] Bubbles' head was low. Her mouth moved several times before she gave a more concrete reply.

[][][][][][] "Blos—Ye—Yes. I c-can feel them... B-but they won't move..."

[][][][][][] Buttercup shuddered. "Does it hurt?"

[][][][][][] Barely above a whisper, Bubbles murmured, "No... n-not... not really."

[][][][][][] "Let's wait, then. Wait until we..." Blossom took a slow, weak breath. "...until... we get home before we do anything."

[][][][][][] "Right," Buttercup nodded. "Good idea."

[][][][][][] Bubbles stopped to gather them up and they kept walking. As she walked, she kept stealing glances at Blossom; her lower lip trembled. Still on the verge of tears, she finally found the words.

[][][][][][] "Blossom?"

[][][][][][] "Yes, Bubbles?" She was still facing forward, but listened closely.

[][][][][][] "I'm..." the lump in her throat pressed hard against her Adam's apple, but she forced it back and said, "I'm so—" she chirruped, "—happy... that you're alive."

[][][][][][] Blossom smiled even as Bubbles wept again, turned her head, and told her, "Thanks. I'm happy to be back."

[][][][][][] Bubbles' face glistened with tears even as the smile spread across her lips.

[][][][][][] Now, still in Buttercup's embrace, Blossom directed her attention to this closer sister; even as she did, she began to tire.

[][][][][][] "You had a dream, didn't you?"

[][][][][][] "Wha—yeah. How did you know?"

[][][][][][] "Something with Him in it?"

[][][][][][] Her eyes went wide and she stopped, gaping at her sister with those words. "Yeah, Him was in it! How did you—what's going on?"

[][][][][][] Bubbles let out a horrified squeak as Blossom slipped from her sister's grasp, stumbled, but managed to maintain her balance. Buttercup leaned to stop her fall, but pulled back when she didn't. Deliriously, Blossom moaned out, "Bubbles was... being forced by... the computer. She—this is as far as—as far as I..."

[][][][][][] "Blossom, wait. I can't understand you. Are you okay?"

[][][][][][] Bubbles gasped.

[][][][][][] Blossom's body dipped to the side; and then she crossed her legs, and then she was barely standing, and then her head fell back, and then her eyes went limp and closed. "...go."

[][][][][][] And then she dropped.

[][][][][][] Buttercup dove to catch her, easing her to the ground. Bubbles' eyes bugged, and she began wailing hysterically. In her panic, she dropped her metallic arms, took a step, and tripped over them. She crawled toward Blossom, still babbling incoherently, one hand outstretched. Her bionic limbs scraped along the pavement, crashing against the side of the adjacent buildings, deforming nearby trash cans, slamming into anything within reach. Losing her balance, she pitched forward, head landing on the asphalt. Her eyes, devoid of sense, were locked on Blossom even as she lay twitching, her arm still reaching for her sister. Despite her apparent catatonia, Bubbles' cries still flooded the air, tears streaming down her cheeks.

[][][][][][] Buttercup was nearly gaping as she shook Blossom's shoulder sternly. "Blossom! Blossom!!" Even as she tried to revive her sister, Bubbles' horrified cries reached a fever pitch, and she hastened to calm her down. "Bubbles! Shut up! I mean, be quiet! I'm sorry. Be quiet! Okay?"

[][][][][][] Bubbles held her hands to her face, crying silently; if she had grown up on any kind of religious foundation, she might have been praying. There was no indication that Blossom was alive at that moment; she relived a painful past experience. The limbs held rigid, cutting up the concrete.

[][][][][][] Buttercup's panic was showing: she started to sweat, and she gripped the sides of her head, teeth grinding. She was talking to herself. "What do I do? What do I do? Bubbles, do you know CPR?" A wail. "No. None of us learned CPR. Hang on. Calm down. Just a sec. Are there pay-phones around?" There were none. "Damn it, what do I do?"

[][][][][][] Bubbles was reaching for Blossom, and then pulling her arms back over and over, squeaking painfully. Buttercup looked up at her for a moment, and she went silent, all her powers of concentration set on determining what happened next.

[][][][][][] Finally, Buttercup did something she only learned while watching T.V.

[][][][][][] She checked Blossom's pulse.

[][][][][][] She exhaled sharply, her eyes the widest they had ever been. "She's alive."

[][][][][][] Bubbles started crying all over again, but for a different reason. In one movement, she threw her body over Blossom's, sobbing joyfully. Then, she too passed out.

[][][][][][] Buttercup fell back onto her hands, just taking deep breaths, the stress from the event slowly fading away.

[][][][][][] The lights on the building top closest to her flickered for a moment. She looked up, and then into the distance, and saw the whirl of blades around flying lights: helicopters. She strained, consciously stretching for her super hearing, and then all at once, she heard the troops trekking into Townsville. Her eyes narrowed; she knew what they were here for. She looked down at her sisters, then back up at the helicopters, and nodded. She took another deep breath and looked down at Blossom, at Bubbles, and at her tube-like arms.

[][][][][][] She blinked. How am I gonna get them both home?

End Chapter One

Previous: Part Five - Reason For Madness

Next: Chapter Two - Reclamation

Table of Contents
Last edited by BeeAre on Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:29 pm

Damn. This is really, really good.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:42 pm

Thanks much.

Anyone who wishes can join the ALL NEW* Puff Most Epic Fanlisting!

Deleted Scenes, Updates, Previews, etc.

PM me for details.


*Not quite all new. Been around since about Chapter 1, Part 2. Some restrictions on how new it actually is may apply. Mileage may vary.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:09 pm

Can't wait for chapter 2!

Re: Puff Most Epic

Sat May 23, 2009 11:33 am

Hey guys, just giving you an update.

EXTENSIVE work going into chapter 2, combined with both our busy schedules has been delaying chapter 2.

However, for all our work, we've got a lot to show, and we think you'll enjoy it.

Chapter 2 should be posted soon.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Mon May 25, 2009 6:05 pm

Alright, we'll be here when it comes.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Tue May 26, 2009 9:12 pm

Awesome story :grin:

Re: Puff Most Epic

Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:20 pm

Chapter Two - Reclamation

Part One - Cold Sleep

[][][][][][] The door slams, and the walls shake.

[][][][][][] Through every inch of these walls, there is evidence of life, small but not in retreat. The fine lines are split: like veins. It tears at itself, standing firm, rippling, holding still. Fading white, gray, from the dirt from years of slow neglect.

[][][][][][] It had given no care: it did what it was meant to do.

[][][][][][] It had received no care: no one had done what they were meant to.

[][][][][][] There are no creaks of regular steps passing up the stairs, but strange thick clangs of metal, on the banister outside the room. Muted, inarticulate curses.

[][][][][][] The ceiling: like the edge of a towel; dry; irregular. Dust shivers away from every bump, every stalactite, every facet. It screams a story it saw, still sees, overlooks in the world of this large room, listening to every conversation and every murmur.

[][][][][][] The dust falls as the door stumbles open, and though she is not really tired, the weight bearing down on her makes her gasp softly. The others are senseless: they can't feel her moving them, tenderly.

[][][][][][] Years of harm. Intentional and unintentional. Rage let into the wall by the cracks, sadness in by the fading paint. It is all this way, but it is still there.

[][][][][][] Confusion and shame are too complicated—she is getting wearier by the moment. The bumps of steel on the door frame only elicit heavier breathing.

[][][][][][] The more unbelievable of the two goes on the couch. It's an easy enough answer for now.

[][][][][][] That leaves the unbroken bed. Guilt surges past the building fatigue for a moment. She breathes, and then she pulls with one arm, over her head. Gently places. Moves the dark shapes, sets them on the bed. Ungainly, one of them falls, but does not drag the sleeper, she's near the middle of the bed.

[][][][][][] And then! Like a blessing, the cloud and night are broken. Light from the window.

[][][][][][] One crack, a fissure from top to bottom splitting the light in shadow. Pale moonlight glints in the sky, and casts itself through the middle of the room.

[][][][][][] A dull sheen from the bed sleeper's back. Her carrier breathes in softly, unnerved despite exhaustion, turns and sees the sleeper on the couch. It's all too much.

[][][][][][] Because of this, she does not notice. The relics of their lives fortunate enough to meet the moon half way glisten, and in one quiet moment, she is gone from the room; she never notices the moon highlighting the past. Hinting at the future. A soft impact from outside the room suggests the living room sofa.

[][][][][][] There is hope rekindled as had not been.

[][][][][][] The calm of that full, peaceful love expands, and though their minds are quiet, though they are none the wiser, they feel it.

[][][][][][] It is back. And it is beautiful.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] In the mind of the carrier, however, it was nothing but nighttime.

[][][][][][] The only thing left that could put her mind at ease. If she'd wanted that.

[][][][][][] It went unnoticed. Her mind, blank, staring at the floor, exhausted. Exhausted, and too tired. To tired to sleep. So tired; it had finally caught up. All at once.

[][][][][][] Would she dream? She wasn't sure.

[][][][][][] A pulse, a thought: tired. Then nothing. Gasps, coughing.

[][][][][][] A pulse, a thought: hurt. Then nothing. Before the question; the answer.

[][][][][][] A pulse, a thought: done. Then nothing. Cold, and sweating.

[][][][][][] Could she dream? She didn't know.

[][][][][][] For hours it stayed like this. Finally, her body could take no more, and she fell limp to the cushion and lay flat, snoring softly.

[][][][][][] Did she dream? She didn't remember.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] It is morning, or really, not quite. The clouds keep the sun from being piercing, and from bringing the steady vibrancy of the new day. There is no sharpness to the rooftops, the shingles are dull in the gray, even from inside the window, where there is no mist. Lightly, beads of condensation drip down onto the windowsill, faintly blue this early in the morning. Both sides: the outside only marginally colder and paler than the quiet chipping of the paint in the living room. The starkness of this blue fills the room, sad and solid and full, drifting past the girl who restlessly shifts on the sofa, dark hair spreading into what will be a thick mess when she wakes up.

[][][][][][] A houseplant in the corner, defiantly green despite the murk, quietly alive despite everything, can almost be imagined to feel the coming light, to stir and quiver ever so slightly despite so much trouble in the night. But in this not quite night or day, the rugged tenacity of the plant only makes the dulcet thickness of the morning haze only that much more powerful, and so it can only wait, smothered by so much melancholy.

[][][][][][] And then at last, the sun! Bright and powerful and shocking, for only a moment, it cuts through the clouds, red and orange and pink and energy that lives. Though it is gone in an instant, and the pale blue remains, it now seems less somber, and more tolerant, if still so sad.

[][][][][][] The plant is given its first taste of a lean day, and is grateful.

[][][][][][] The tall crystal clock clicks past the hour, seven silent clicks, one hour before it becomes a chime, thoughtfully appended from its standard operation to allow everyone in the house to sleep a little easier, if just for an hour. Even in an hour, when the chimes do ring, no one will wake up.

[][][][][][] Not yet.

[][][][][][] Because there are clouds. The dullness will hang thick, and though the roar of starting automobiles will sound in the distance, and the city and people in it will live and move and contemplate, in this house, the lights will remain off.

[][][][][][] The cool softness; the sad and patient early morning will keep the sleeping the sleeping. Night comes again, and deep navy becomes deep shadow. Because there are clouds, and no one is awake.

[][][][][][] Not yet.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Cowardice. That's what it was.

[][][][][][] Slow and infuriating. The sun simply refused to emerge; to doff its poor concealment by the clouds. All through the azimuth, a murky overturned bowl dominated the sky, blocking light, blocking all feeling and sense. It smothered the earth, defeating the day, which sulked and sat, head low and idle with futile hope. A somber idea that maybe sometime soon, it could find an ounce of will to shatter the nothing and bring... anything. Whatever it could to cast this dismal day into something good and wonderful.

[][][][][][] But it sat, and it stayed, and it sank.

[][][][][][] And so it became one with the cloudy detachment of the early evening sky.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Morning. The light's dim. She shifts against the sofa, trying to sleep. When she turns her head, she can see into the kitchen, the fruit flies over all the dirty dishes and stagnant water. Idly, she squints and fires her heat rays at them, in quick, tiny blasts. Several of them disintegrate in midair. Eventually there are more black spots on the wall than there were flies. She doesn't even acknowledge her misses. Finally, she lays back, bored, resting her head against the cushions.

[][][][][][] Noon. It's too bright. Hungry but no appetite. She tosses, turns, rolls, crosses her legs, uncrosses her legs. Just can't sleep. Idly, she reaches for the remote. The television flipped through the channels; cartoons, sitcoms, black and whites. All boring.

[][][][][][] Evening. It's getting dark. Shuts it off. More and more tired. Sit up, try to rest. Hits a position, twists her hips slightly. Doesn't dare move: like the upstairs has been all day.

[][][][][][] She closes her eyes.

[][][][][][] She drifts off.

[][][][][][] All is night.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] The empty gloom that kept the previous day from starting was gone, but the second day back home, slumbering in fading pink, still started slow.

[][][][][][] Low lights, low thoughts, low dreams. The house beat the world, the walls and doors seducing and defeating the distant hurt. The mind and soul rested, and the body endured. The rain had gone in the night, and the sky was somber, no tears to wash waking hope.

[][][][][][] In the living room, violent green eyes darted back and forth: nothing was happening, and now she was feeling it. She was twitchy. She didn't want to go into the bedroom. Her stomach growled her into the kitchen. She opened the refrigerator.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] On the bedroom couch there was little response from the pale figure.

[][][][][][] From the unbroken bed came a morose sniffle from a blonde little girl. Her ending dreams were deep, and played on her long-suffering heart:

[][][][][][] She loved but was unloved;

[][][][][][] She found an apple and it was rotten;

[][][][][][] She felt herself rest against a soft, warm lap;

[][][][][][] She was an eagle, above the clouds;

[][][][][][] A poacher caught her in his net and sold her to a wharf;

[][][][][][] Millions of bright, tiny fireflies and glowworms danced around her and told her stories of ages past, present and future.

[][][][][][] And from far away, Buttercup was asking for the time of day.

[][][][][][] Her reply was muttered in her sleep; the first thing she had said in days.

[][][][][][] "The sun is up... I'll help you... okay?"

[][][][][][] And together, they flew around the world, making it spin, forever.

[][][][][][] She cried peaceful tears against the soft, course texture of the couch.

[][][][][][] She longed for such sweetness, ached as she felt its echoes.

[][][][][][] Then she woke up.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Her sister managed to throw everything in the refrigerator into a large garbage bag and tied it off—and then double-bagged it. As she closed the lid on the trash can at the end of the driveway, she turned and saw Robin, staring at her with wide eyes.

[][][][][][] "Buttercup! You're okay!"

[][][][][][] The embrace was sudden, as were the tears streaming down. "I thought you'd... n-never come back to us. I was so afraid that you'd... that you would—"

[][][][][][] She hugged back tolerantly.

[][][][][][] "I'm fine."

[][][][][][] Robin's face rose. "Is Bubbles okay?"

[][][][][][] "She's fine." The response was automatic. What else could she say?

[][][][][][] Robin gasped, and sighed with relief. "Is—is there anything I can do to help?"

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] She stopped disinfecting the refrigerator when the doorbell rang, and took the groceries from her.

[][][][][][] "You didn't tell anyone we were back home, did you?"

[][][][][][] "Nope, I just bought the groceries. I can keep a secret. Here's your credit card. I signed your name."

[][][][][][] "Robin...” Her gaze began to drift, but she forced it to resettle. “Thanks."

[][][][][][] "Are you... are you sure I can't see Bubbles?"

[][][][][][] "No. Sorry.”

[][][][][][] "But... we're friends!"

[][][][][][] "Robin, I... She... Not yet. Sorry. Bye." And she closed the door, leaning up against it with a sigh. She left the bags in the kitchen.

[][][][][][] The dull musking smell of sleep warded her with sharp regard for her siblings as she glided through the door frame. She failed to ignore the metal arms, but her blonde sister managed it quite well. Her movements were slow and deliberate, arms low over the face of their impossible sister on the sofa, still unconscious. One hand supported the back of her head while the other hand held a cup, passing water, little by little; she kept swallowing, obediently. Blue eyes met green expectantly.

[][][][][][] "I told her to go."

[][][][][][] Her neck declined, the pigtails drooping over her ward's pale face, but when the cup came away empty, with no coughs or sputters, she nodded assent.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] Another night. She closes her eyes. She can see it. It's getting clearer all the time. Outside, the house is for all practical purposes, constant, day or night. Rain-damaged, with the paint dirty, gray and spotted, with the white still showing through. Ugly, with the peeling paint at the corners and the walls, though not cracked, faded. The garage door is dented inward just slightly, warped with time and seasonal changes, enough so that it is rusted at the joints. Spotted. Caked with dirt. Decrepit. Illuminated in high definition, it hurts, so she is relieved as she moves away.

[][][][][][] The red door mirrors it. The hurt continues unabated. The window on the left is cracked. All the windows are dirty. A lone car slides down the street, temporarily shattering a thoroughly silent night. She winces and passes straight through the door.

[][][][][][] She is drifting back through the foyer, slowly spinning to face the cracks revealing the living room's drywall in the wall above the girl on the worn yet still austere sofa, a rich green that deepens the sleeper as well as the night. She is afraid. The turn into the kitchen reveals more obvious neglect. With no one in it for some time, all the kitchen utensils and cutlery are dirty. She does not disturb the thin layer of dust over everything as she passes by, inexorably pulled up the stairs, which remain relatively unchanged, except for the carpet: slightly matted.

[][][][][][] She stops for a moment in the Professor's room, almost mourning. It is made up well, but for the distinctly thick dust covering his bed (its sheets neatly folded over it), the lamp on the nightstand (two drawers, mahogany, and empty), the dresser on the other side of the bed (three picture frames, two of which are turned down). His closet is empty.

[][][][][][] It takes her a great deal of effort to back out into hallway. She can see the banister's recent dents, handiwork of her peculiar malady.

[][][][][][] There, right across from the girls' bedroom, is the bathroom. Still white tile from top to bottom. Not exactly clean, but it's not as bad as the rest of the house. The tub is caked with a yellow ring against the white, and there is a stench of mildew coming from the drain. Her interest in it is passing. The large mirror pulls her in.

[][][][][][] A numb feeling of horror passes over her as she realizes.

[][][][][][] The mirror is empty.

[][][][][][] Her eyes shoot open. She hasn't left the bed. One of the metal arms is aloft in the air above her, the weight pressing just slightly on her back. She stares at it in panic, and it begins to drop. Only when she sees it on bed beside her does she realize how hard her heart is beating. She breathes it slow. Closes her eyes again. This time it's dark.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][] * * *

[][][][][][] The Mayor turned the key twice and pulled it out of the lock. A turn of the doorknob and she was inside. The click-clack of her high-heeled shoes was loud inside the small room as she stared at the paperwork in her hands. Police reports, ambulance records, all administrative. This woman, wrapped in a bright red blouse and matching dress, was reeling from a draining pressure. She slapped the documents onto her desk, sat back in the office chair, and ran a hand through her voluminous, bright orange hair. The one good thing about this day was that it was finally over.

[][][][][][] The machine had been given several aliases: Tektite, Dragoon, Khagan... but now, it was destroyed. Had been for two days, now, but she was still dealing with the fallout. For all of it, she had Buttercup to thank, obviously. But something was... strange. Woman's intuition―or something along those lines―told her that there was more to this story, but she had no proof, nothing to go off of. It was almost like a void had been filled somewhere. But with what?

[][][][][][] She continued perusing the documents, and had been for some time, when the door opened, and the Chief of Police poked his pale, balding head in the doorway. "Hello, Mayor," he drawled as he stepped inside her office.

[][][][][][] She regarded him curiously. "Hello, Chief. Do you... have something for me?"

[][][][][][] He took a slow, deep breath. "A dozen witnesses saw Buttercup taking out the trash at her home."

[][][][][][] She blinked, rife with confusion under her thick head of hair. She screwed up her face and turned away slightly in contemplation. She turned it the other way as one thought led to the next. Finally, she shook her head, and turned to him, unsure of how to proceed. "Keep me posted."

[][][][][][] He nodded and left the way he came. Sara sat back in her chair, and folded her hands over her lap. "Buttercup... what are you doing? Why aren't you out looking for Bubbles? She's not dead. I know she's not." She took off her reading glasses and rubbed her eyes in contemplation.

[][][][][][] The clock on the wall clicked silently past eight as she reflected on the reports. She sat in silence for a moment more before she leaned forward, over her desk. The leather creaked beneath her as she picked up the phone, and punched the very last button on her speed dial.

[][][][][][] It rang once... then twice... and before it had a chance to ring a third time, the call was answered by a very official-sounding woman.

[][][][][][] The Mayor parted her lips and took a deep breath. "This is Sara Bellum, from Townsville. Mister Utonium will be expecting my call."

[][][][][][] It wasn't long until she was patched through.

[][][][][][] "Mister Utonium, I'm calling about the...” She trailed off as there was an interruption. “What about the robot?" Pause. "You know as well as I do that even though it's been destroyed—" Pause. "She apparently left after destroying it. Went home." Pause. "We... well, no, we didn't, yet." Pause. "Yes, I'll take care of it personally."

[][][][][][] More instructions came, swift and unrelenting, then suddenly over. Did she understand?

[][][][][][] "I understand, yes." Pause. "Thank you. Goodbye, General."

Next: Part Two - And On The Third Day...
Table of Contents
Last edited by Rough Giraffe on Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:43 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:21 am

So it does update eventually.

Many poetic retardations, which isn't really my forte, since I'm not a good reader and sometimes lose track of the plot. But interesting nonetheless. And "General"? It's unlucky that we get no intro on who is who and doing what, all left for speculations. And narration swiftly retreating to behavioural whenever we see people whose intentions and motives are to be kept secret for the time being.

He took off her reading glasses and rubbed her eyes in contemplation.

"She took..." Or did the chief do it in the end?

Re: Puff Most Epic

Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:45 pm

Man, what a tiny error... I wonder how I missed it.

Thanks, it is fixed.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:57 pm

Q.U. wrote:So it does update eventually.

Many poetic retardations, which isn't really my forte, since I'm not a good reader and sometimes lose track of the plot. But interesting nonetheless. And "General"? It's unlucky that we get no intro on who is who and doing what, all left for speculations. And narration swiftly retreating to behavioural whenever we see people whose intentions and motives are to be kept secret for the time being.

Behavior is the only sense of motivation you can get, up to and including the very act of explaining your motivations.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:14 pm

Not bad Ruff.

Although the poetic descriptions played hell with my ability to keep track off things.

Still pretty good, can't wait for the next update.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:25 am

Blood Lord wrote:Not bad Ruff.

Although the poetic descriptions played hell with my ability to keep track off things.

yeah that's about right

don't worry about the waxing descriptions, we've got events to cover now. This was interlude, a sort of parsing of the time between movement, and only necessary for this particular revival, as we are establishing the main characters.

Re: Puff Most Epic

Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:58 am

Actually, I'm amazed how much that sort of style reminds me of Bruno Schulz. I doubt if you ever had a chance to read any of his works though.

And I am awaiting some more action.
Topic locked