Entry #1 in the second Dreams of the Quill Writing Challenge.
Occupy Flak Street
It was a time and a place that lacked conventional definitions, and in ways it could be said that they existed beyond our mortal comprehension, but for the purposes of this missive let’s just say it was mid November in the vast recesses of an antediluvian California. The fact that California will someday be reclaimed by the oceans and the vast, unfathomable intelligences that dwell far beneath the waves and light is not one that will be explored in much depth here, but rest assured that it will happen, it will be horrifying, and those who survive will quickly envy the dead.
The tale we shall explore today is one of the very recent past, and concerns our most esteemed man-identified masculine male heterosexual hero, who as we all already know is identified simply as Flak.
It was on this mid November in California (and remember for the purposes of the story we are just calling it this) that Flak burned. No, dear friends, he did not burn with fire or an excessive exposure to the electromagnetic spectrum, nor was his mysterious and inexplicable heat vision involved. Rather, Flak burned with the metaphorical fires of social activism and justice. The #OccupyWallStreet movement was in full swing, and all throughout the country men and women of various ages and political alignments (but lets be real here most were totes left) were uniting under the common banner of protest. While many, intentionally or otherwise, muddled the issue with their own agendas or ignorance, the rallying cry was very clear: the wealthy were too powerful, and something had to be done about it.
While Flak had always been a fan of progress, it could not be said without a hint of guile that he was a progressive, for he knew all too well the dangers of relying on government to enact #Change and #Fairness. No, this was a matter he had to see to personally, and see to it personally he would. Equipping his Yellow Hat of Excellence and Running Shoes, Flak had almost left his abode when it occurred to him to equip some Badass Shades as well. They provided no tangible statistical benefit and would indeed only serve to encumber him and interfere with his vision, but they were simply too badass to disregard.
His vision thus limited (and yet augmented by totally radical badness), Flak made his way towards UC Davis (I think that is what it is called, but in the vast emptiness of the universe does it truly matter? No, it does not). Along the way, he pulled from his pocket his Technologically Advanced Pocket Sized Phone Computer Device, which by the way was equipped already earlier in the day. With it Flak decided it prudent to enlist the help of allies for this quest of his. It was then he realized he had few such beings, though on the other hand he has an impressive listing of rivals and adversaries. Flak decided to call them as well, because why the heck not.
The first person Flak called was Gojira, who if you recall, gentle reader, had once joined Flak in a tag-team match. Gojira was thankful for the invitation, but informed Flak that he had volunteered to help with the ongoing cleanup of the terrible disasters that had befallen Japan, and for the time being lacked the ability to be in two places at once. Flak was very understanding of this.
The next person Flak called was the Clerk of the Night. His relationship with the Clerk of the Night was a rather strained one, and he wasn’t expecting much of a response, but he went ahead and called regardless. However, in a delightfully hilarious twist of events, when the Clerk of the Night answered, he was overjoyed at the prospect of attending some manner of protest. In fact, the Clerk of the Night pointed out that he did not even care what it was they were protesting. The cause was irrelevant to him, as it turned out. The Clerk of the Night simply wanted to raise his voice against something, anything, and #OccupyWallStreet was as good an excuse as any. Flak found this anti-conformist attitude rather off-putting, but nevertheless acquiesced. It was then that the Clerk of the Night reminded Flak that he would be unable to attend until after sunset. Flak gritted his #Teeth, but simply said okay and goodbye, and then hung up.
It was with great hesitation that Flak made his next call, for the next person he decided to call was neither a trusted ally like Gojira, nor a mysterious personage with whom he had an ill-defined relationship like the Clerk of the Night. Then, one does not make alliances or ill-defined relationships with beings like The Loli. Flak needed all the help he could get, though, and decided to call The Loli anyways. Worst he could say was no, after all. Or yes. That might be bad too.
Just as Flak started to dial the number into his Technologically Advanced Pocket Sized Phone Computer Device, however, the Technologically Advanced Pocket Sized Phone Computer Device began to make the “you’re getting a telelphone call” noise, and to Flak’s shock and surprise, it had turned out that The Loli was calling him! Imagine that! Flak answered the phone, at which time The Loli told Flak that he was The Loli. Flak already knew this of course, but decided to keep quiet about the fact that phones tell people who is calling nowadays. It was a contentious issue Flak wished to avoid at this time. The Loli then proceeded to tell Flak that he was flattered that Flak was thinking of inviting him to #OccupyWallStreet, but that he had other plans for the day and probably would not be able to make it. Secret, terrible plans, The Loli explained. Flak mentioned that he did not ask. Plans that couldn’t be mentioned over insecure lines, The Loli elaborated. Flak rolled his eyes and groaned; unfortunately for him, he had all too good an idea of what The Loli’s plans were, as much as he did not want to.
Having failed to equip any Brain Bleach for this venture, Flak was forced to endure the painful knowledge inflicted upon him. Thankfully, Flak did have some #OrangeSoda, which I should mention had been in his Inventory for quite some time, but hasn’t gone bad or anything because time does not pass in the Inventory. Drinking the #OrangeSoda helped put Flak at ease, so that over the next several minutes the sting of the all too revealing conversation with The Loli faded.
With the speed and endurance granted by his Running Shoes, Flak soon arrived at UC Davis, just in time to see a most terrible and police brutalityish sight; it was that of a rather frumpy looking police officer hosing down some protesters with pepper spray. Like, right in their eyes and stuff. There was a sort of soulless empty look in his eyes as he did it. A look Flak recognized all too well.
The cop was possessed.
Acting quickly, Flak lifted his Badass Shades from his eyes and blasted the cop with a light emission of heat vision, just enough to make him faint and maybe cause a really nasty sunburn, but nothing lethal or anything. As the demonicus-suffering officer fell, the can of pepper spray remained suspended in the air, cackling maliciously. The sky grew dark and stormy, and the can grew into a large humanoid shape with a spray can like mouth, announcing that the reign of Pepperos had begun. Flak insisted that everyone stand their ground against the foul creature, but the ordinary humans at the protest scattered, unprepared to face an extradimensional entity. As fear and panic overcame the resolve of the #OccupyWallStreet people, Pepperos grew in stature, his metallic armored skin visibly crackling with horrific power.
Flak blasted the now three-meter tall demon with his heat vision, this time unleashing his maximum power, but even this display of raw thermal might merely left black marks on the demon’s red skin, causing no real harm. The demon then attacked with a torrent of pepper spray, which Flak barely managed to avoid with the speed and agility provided by his Running Shoes. His exertions were leaving him winded, however, and Flak knew he would not be able to dodge many more of these attacks.
As the last of the Occupiers and police fled the scene, Pepperos ballooned in size, now standing with the stature of a skyscraper. Flak knew his doom was at hand, but refused to run away. In his #OrangeSoda coated heart, he knew he had to stand his ground, even in the face of agony and death. Just as Pepperos was about to unleash his next spray attack, the darkness of the sky suddenly deepened, as though blotted out by an invisible presence. Flak couldn’t see a darn thing with the Badass Shades on, so he removed them and put them in his Inventory. His vision thus unimpeded, Flak could now see a small shape descending from the black clouds. While at first it was impossible to discern, as it approached Flak noted the familiar outline of a man riding a computer keyboard like some manner of futuristic hoverboard.
Settling down at ground level, the Clerk of the Night gave Flak a subtle nod, equipping a pair of Badass Shades of his own before pulling out a Galactic Hole Punch; a formidable weapon for those versed in the ways of the Clerk. Flak returned the nod, equipping his Rhetoric Book of Spells and pulling his shades from his Inventory once more.
“Things just got…”
(Flak equipped his shades)
“…99% more awesome.”
Yeah, Pepperos replied despite himself, immediately realizing he had contributed to Flak and the Clerk of the Night’s fearsome Dual Technique: Administrative Argumentation.
Letters rose from the Rhetoric Book of Spells, cycloning above Flak’s head. The Clerk of the Night then began punching them out of place, until the bright green letters spelled out the phrase “Notice of Intent to Impose Discipline.” The words hung in the air for a moment before Flak willed them forward, accelerating them into the towering form of Pepperos, unleashing a flash of 50’s style radiation appeared that would surely have blinded both Flak and the Clerk of the Night, had they not been wearing their Badass Shades. When the light faded however, they could see that Pepperos was wounded but not defeated.
Gurgling with capsaicic humor, Pepperos attacked them in turn with a deluge of burning torment. Again, the pair were spared the worst of the assault by their Badass Shades (and here you thought these things were worthless), but they knew that at this rate Pepperos would defeat them before they could defeat him. They were determined to go down fighting, and were readying another Dual Technique when a voice cut them off.
“What if Strike Witches took place in an office?”
The thought seemed too stupid to consider, and for a moment Flak, the Clerk of the Night, and Pepperos were all struck wordless at the consideration. It was in this cloud of dumbfoundedness that The Loli materialized in a flourish of ribbons. He winked at Flak and the Clerk of the Night before insisting that they think about it. They at first refused, but as the thought wormed its way into their skulls, sudden power began to envelop them.
The Loli put on a pair of Ridiculous Oversized Pink Shades.
Triple Technique: Strike Witches Office Dissertation
(The true form of this technique is simply too spectacular to put into words, but if you were to imagine a girl with an eyepatch wearing the top half of a business suit, holding a cup of coffee and telling you that she needs you to come in and work over the weekend you are on the right track.)
The attack struck Pepperos head-on, shattering him into dozens of human-sized Pepperos clones. The fight was grossly one-sided at this point, with Flak, the Clerk of the Night, and The Loli mopping up the weak foes with their powers (but to be fair The Loli mostly did support, having basically no combative power by himself) and equipment. When the last Pepperos fell, he laughed even as his death throes overtook him. He said that as long as fear and complacency ruled the hearts of humankind that he and his ilk could never be truly defeated. Then he was no more.
Flak, the Clerk of the Night, and The Loli posed like a team. This fight was won, but the war had only begun…