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Similar Deviations
I've noticed a trend of having dictator/world-ruler/people in a position of power characters. Normally, I find these types of characters fascinating - I love hearing the minutiae of how they keep their regime in control, the cults of personality they develop, their rise and their fall ... it's one of the reasons I love 1984 so much; is Big Brother real? Did he even exist in the first place? Who is the real leader of Oceania? Unfortunately, I've begun to see it addressed shoddily and without much thought, so I decided to make a guide of sorts (more like a glorified checklist) for anyone who is curious on how to develop their dictatorial character, and to make them realistic.

1. Why do they want power?

I have seen this written away with, "because they want to control everyone", which is true to an extent with many historical figures who were dictators, and also fictional characters. However, this often goes much deeper than "wanting to control everyone" or "they're mad, I tell you! MAD!". What are their reasons to act this way? Why did they seize power? I'm pretty sure the majority of us wouldn't mind being waited upon hand on foot as we see the territories we own slowly expanding under the steady march of one hundred-thousand booted feet. The difference is, most of us see this as purely fanciful, a bureaucratic nightmare, and just plain stupid.

Yes, I know generally, this is true, but is normally hidden by other reasons, the most common one being, "I want to make the world a better place. I will build a utopia". This simple idea can be expanded wonderfully - what exactly does your character dislike about the world at the minute? A broad spectrum of ideas can be considered - is it poverty? Ideological differences which keep people from getting along? The current government's policies? Obviously, these are very simple, and can once again be expanded - what caused the poverty, has it directly affected your character? Why are there radical idealogical differences, does your character hold fast to one particular idea? Do many people like the current government, are they ineffectual, are they too effective?

Worried you don't know enough about either politics or history to work this out neatly? Well, learn! You'll find it much more satisfying to be able to fill in plot holes you'd left before, and find it gives your character more personality. You can link them more personally to their regime, things will make more sense, their past can be expanded - what started this desire, why did they choose to act on it?

2. How will they gain power?

This next point is linked in closely to the first - how will takeover be achieved? I've seen a lot of, "oh, they just walk up and kill the previous government", but in reality, this step up is often hard worked for (over several years, maybe even decades), and much more subtle. Of course, former leaders have been murdered for the new position, but it still has to be worked for - do they have allies in the right places? What do the public think of them? Would people be desperate or willing enough to follow?

Generally, for a big political change like this to happen, an equally large catalyst is needed - for example, the famine of 1889 in Russia could be argued to have started the rumbling that lead to the Revolution in the 1910s. A lot of characters I see don't have such developed worlds in which they inhabit - the loopholes that allow them to gain support aren't specified, or make little to no sense. Was there a crucial international affair handled terribly by the government, perhaps, or a history of only a privileged few being treated well?

Hitler didn't just storm in and become Führer, Mao didn't just walk in and tell the whole of China that they would be going from aristocratic rule to Communism; these things take planning, often years of being patient and gathering followers have to precede becoming the leader. I don't care how powerful your character is, I don't care if his only weakness is glitter, he is not going to become leader by (presumably) charging in and going "I rule, now!". Which neatly brings me to my next point.

3. The Cult of Personality fail

Another thing I notice is barely touched on, or completely messed up. Yes, your character can be an unpleasant person - they can be short tempered, arrogant, and childish, but unless they project an image of benevolence and care for their citizens, there will be widespread political unrest. Look at propaganda used by real life dictatorships - the leader is often presented as unable to do wrong, or even godlike - they may be pictured as almost Jesus-like saviours of their people, maybe shown as omniscient - in 1984, Big Brother is said to see whatever you do, and as you can tell from Winston's distress, many think he can know the thoughts of his subjects, even though he obviously can't.

How does your character present themselves when in public? As a passionate warrior for their people, or a generous and kind-hearted aide? Do they stay out of the public eye, feigning immortality long after they die, or do they live in it, kiss babies, and embrace adults? And what about out of the public eye? How do they cope with the stress of keeping an entire nation in adoration?

Read this short article on the Cult of Personality, and see how Stalin is presented; compare this to your character, or character in progress - www.historyguide.org/europe/cu…

4. How do they hold their position of power?

The Nazi Gestapo, the Hungarian AVH, the Soviet KGB, all were used to simultaneously terrify and control the citizens. I don't see these types of organisations too much around the types of character this article was written to help improve. Once again, this tends to hinge around world building more than anything. Sometimes a vague secret police is mentioned and then handwaved away, but is never again felt, there never seems to be fear hanging heavily on the shoulders of the characters, they're just brought in where the plot calls for it, and are often nameless, faceless, and we have no idea what they actually do. Why are people so scared? I know sometimes less is more, but still, vague ideas as to what they do should be addressed.

How does your dictator remove potential opposition? Through careful political manouvering, quiet assassination, or blatant murder? How do they crush revolution? Do they outright kill dissenters, or do they turn revolutionaries against each other. Do they prevent it by drugging the water, through propaganda depicting rebels as inhuman, wanting only to tear families apart?

This point links in very neatly with the Cult of Personality - if you develop one well, the other comes much easier. Both are great opportunities to show your character cracking down on what their people do, to show their nastier side.

5. What will they do in power?

Once again, there are a lot of characters I have seen that do nothing in power, apart from maybe gain new lands (without the stresses of war) or have statues of themselves built. There is little to no detail on home affairs, diplomatic relations with other countries/nations, or even smaller things such as healthcare or tax. What are their policies? What do they tell their people they'll improve upon or change? Once again, this may seem intimidating if you don't know much about politics, but it can be easily sorted out, and adds more flesh to the world and your character, tells the reader of their personal beliefs.

Look at the policies historical dictators have stood for, other than war or their own gain. How did they carry on convincing their people everything is done for the country? How did they deal with war? How will your character? Will they go with diplomacy and creating allies, or fighting other countries into submission? How will they deal with the economic strains of war?

6. One-sided characters.

Something I have noticed happening with 'evil' characters in a position of power, is that they don't really do all that much evil. Take Galbatorix from the Inheritance Cycle as an example - what has he done that is so awful? We're told something vague about taxes being high, but Eragon's supposedly poor family can eat chicken for breakfast and have spending money at a fair. We're never really shown what he does that's so awful - for all we know, the Varden could be a terrorist organisation, whilst Galbatorix raises taxes to give his subjects a higher standard of living.

Another simplified version of "they're evil" I often see is something like this -
My character is evil and awful and a bad person.
Why?
They kill babies.
Why?
Because they're evil and awful and a bad person.

It's very rare this is expanded upon. Very few reasons are given for atrocities. Even something as simple as paranoia could work, but is very rarely mentioned.
We don't often see another side to the character, just the stereotypical cold bad boy, occasionally. We never see how they act with family, or friends, or if they're actually a decent person with twisted ideals. Someone can still be pleasant and a bad person, in the same way someone can be moody and a good person. People who don't develop their characters very well often stick with making the bad guy a one-sided 'bad' character because it's much easier than giving them a personality, dreams, hopes, goals and quirks that can also be associated with a 'good' character.

In conclusion, I hope that this guide helps people with characters they want to make a bit more solid and realistic.
A guide to making decent ~ruler~ characters, because people fuck what could be interesting characters far too often.
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After months of protesting the wrong people, the Occupy Wall Street movement finally got a clue and went to Washington D.C. on January 16 to stage Occupy Congress.

And boy was it a real bust!

Despite the liberal media praising it, the protest only managed to garner a few hundred protesters instead of the over ten thousand it claimed it was going to have. Add the fact that donations have been dwindling and protests across the country have been getting evicted, and the Occupy movement could very well be going through its death throes.

People keep asking me why I don't support the Occupy movement. After all, my hero Dr. Ron Paul supports it, many protesters are libertarians like myself, and the protests are against things I oppose like the bank bailouts, drug war, and Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Sadly, those are the only issues I agree with them on. Everything else (when they can manage to articulate them) is nothing more than Marxist utopian wet dreams which sound good on paper, but would do more harm than good if implemented in real life.

The following list of demands was posted on Occupy Wall Street's website a few months ago. The website claims that the list was an unofficial one posted by a single user and thus did not represent the views of the entire movement. That may be so, but I think it still perfectly articulates why I think the movement is so wrongheaded.

So without further ado, here is the list of demands, followed by my common-sense rebuttals:


Repeal the Taft-Hartley Act. Unionize ALL workers immediately.

But what if I don't want to join a union? What if I don't want my job performance limited by needless union restrictions? If employees want to voluntarily band together to negotiate with their employers for better wages and working conditions, they should be free to do so, but only if others are free not to join if they don't want to. That's called freedom of association.

"But unions represent the will of the working middle class," I hear you say.

Then why do big labor unions support SOPA and PIPA? They claim the bills would help save jobs lost through online piracy—which is obviously false, as both bills would wind up costing jobs.

And what about teacher unions? Do they help the middle class when they lobby against offering students life-saving medicine, or transforming failing public schools into more efficient charter schools, or implementing education reform in general? Since when did job security take precedence over our children's education?

Can we please end this false dichotomy of "Unions good/Corporations evil"?


Raise the minimum wage immediately to $18/hr. Create a maximum wage of $90/hr to eliminate inequality.

Ah yes, the $20/hr. minimum wage fantasy. Tempting idea, but how will companies compensate for it? A multinational corporation making record profits could easily pay their errand boys $20/hr. (perhaps even more), but what about a local mom-and-pop restaurant forced to obtain a second mortgage on their home just to start their own business? Would they be able to pay their busboy $20/hr. to bus tables and wash dishes? I highly doubt it.

And that's the problem with minimum wage: it kills entry-level jobs, thus hurting small businesses and poor people—in other words, the 99%!

And then there's "maximum" wage. Hey, here's an idea: if you really care about inequality, why not just have an equal set wage across the board? That way, everyone gets paid exactly the same? That's the Marxist mantra: "All work is equal!" Because the work of a janitor mopping the bathroom floors is equivalent to that of a CEO who manages the very existence of the company, right? Right?!

As with minimum wage, maximum wage sound good—on paper—until market forces hit companies with a heavy dose of reality. Case in point, both Ben & Jerry's and Herman Miller had significant caps on their top employee's salaries, but when faced with economic hardships, forcing them to seek new management, they were forced to drop these caps.

Maximum wage makes it difficult to hire for top-level positions just as minimum wage makes it difficult to hire for entry-level positions. Businesses get hurt. Workers get hurt. The 99% get hurt.


Institute a 6 hour workday, and 6 weeks of paid vacation.

Let's see here: 6 hours a day x 6 days a week x 50 weeks in a year – 6 weeks of paid vacation = WHO THE HELL IS DOING ALL THE WORK IN THIS COUNTRY?! In other words, you want workers to be paid more for working fewer hours? And you expect businesses to compensate for this how?


Institute a moratorium on all foreclosures and layoffs immediately.

No real opinion on this, other than economic martial law probably isn't the best term of action. Martial law period rarely is.


Repeal racist and xenophobic English-only laws.

So expecting people to learn English in an English-speaking country is racist and xenophobic? I always thought it was common sense. Go figure!


Open the borders to all immigrants, legal or illegal. Offer immediate, unconditional amnesty, to all undocumented residents of the US.

So anyone should be allowed to wander into this country and set up residence? Even if they're convicted criminals? Even if they have a contagious disease that may spread and cause a pandemic? (Swine Flu, anyone?)

Look, I get it: America is the "Great Melting Pot" built upon immigration. And I do want people to come into this country and make a better life for themselves. But is it too hard (or xenophobic) to ask that immigrants come into this country legally and with proper documentation, that they apply for citizenship, pay taxes, and learn our language and customs so they can better integrate into our society? Or is that racist of me?

And concerning amnesty for illegal immigrants: how well has that worked out in the past? Nixon granted amnesty. Carter granted it. Reagan granted it. Clinton granted it. Both Bushes granted it. Anyone else seeing a pattern here? Immigrants illegally enter country. We grant them amnesty. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. I'm sorry, but what's the point of amnesty again? Because it's obviously not curbing illegal immigration.


Create a single-payer, universal health care system.

"You don't want universal healthcare?!" I hear you cry. "Do you want people to die without healthcare, you immoral social Darwinist?!"

As a matter of fact, no, I don't want people to die without healthcare. And no, I don't want universal healthcare.

You know what else I don't want? Hospitals that turn over bed sheets in order to save on laundry bills. Cancer patients being denied life-prolonging medicine because they cost too much. Pregnant women being forced to give birth in a hospital hallway because other hospitals are too full. Hospitals where patients are more likely to starve than prisoners. Clinics where hip operations are 20 percent more likely to go wrong. Tens of thousands of hospitals being shut down due to budget cuts. (Need I continue?)

So yeah, color me unimpressed when socialists brag about Britain's universal healthcare system, because gleaning through British newspaper headlines gives me a different perspective. Even the British Health Secretary says the system is royally screwed beyond reason. You may want a healthcare system where hospital wards have worse conditions than most third world countries. I don't!

Yes, our healthcare system has problems. No, universal healthcare is not the solution. There are plenty of smaller, less radical solutions we can implement to improve the system we already have—and we don't even have to spend a dime!


Pass stricter campaign finance reform laws. Ban all private donations. All campaigns will receive equal funding, provided by the taxpayers.

I don't like special interests hijacking our elections either, but I highly doubt repealing corporate personhood is the solution, and if you feel that corporations should be sued and taxed, then neither should you, as corporate personhood makes that possible. Even the ACLU supported Citizens United. Hard to argue with them.


Institute a negative income tax, and tax the very rich at rates up to 90%.

Progressive liberals keep insisting that everyone pay their fair share in taxes, yet insist that the rich pay more in taxes (even though statistics show, time and again, that the rich already carry the lion's share of the national tax burden). Wouldn't it make more sense to institute a flat tax across the board, allowing everyone to pay at the same rate? The rich would still pay more than the poor, but at least it would be at an even rate.

But no: taxing everyone equally is unfair and taxing some more than others is fair. Up is down. Left is right. Slavery is freedom. War is peace. Ignorance is strength. That's liberal logic!


Pass far stricter environmental protection and animal rights laws.

As with overall regulation, environmental regulations have been exponentially increasing, not decreasing. The EPA alone has increased their federal regulations from over 7 thousand rules in 1976 to over 169 thousand in 2009. Hard to argue for far stricter regulations when we tax cow farts and regulate farm dust.

"But we need stricter regulation to prevent another BP oil spill," I hear you rebut.

You mean the same BP oil spill that occurred on federal property, was caused by an industry regulated by an inept federal bureaucracy, and whose economic liability was capped by the federal government (allowing for such risky behavior in the first place)?

And screw animal rights. Animals are not human beings. They don't have the mental cognition to recognize the concept of rights. This isn't to say that we should abuse them, just that we shouldn't give them the same legal standing as humans.


Allow workers to elect their supervisors.

No real opinion on this.


Lower the retirement age to 55. Increase Social Security benefits.

Social Security comprises 20 percent of our federal budget and is quickly going bankrupt. And you want to put more people onto the system?

"It's not going bankrupt!" I hear you say. "It's solvent until 2036!" (Which is just a positive way of saying that it's going broke by 2036.)

Progressive liberals keep telling us that public policy needs to change with the times. And since life expectancy has been increasing since Social Security was first passed (back when most seniors probably weren't expected to live past 65, and thus be on the dole for that long), shouldn't the collection age for Social Security be raised? Or is that akin to shoving Grandma off a cliff? (You know, as opposed to allowing Social Security to dry out completely!)


Create a 5% annual wealth tax for the very rich.

Please refer to my response to "Institute a negative income tax, and tax the very rich at rates up to 90."


Ban the private ownership of land.

"Oh you right-wing conservatives and your obsession with property rights! Those are the only rights you care about, aren't they?"

Actually, no. I do care about other rights. But I also care about property rights (something most progressive liberals don't care about). You want to know why? I need but give one example: Kelo v. City of New London.

This controversial Supreme Court decision involved Susette Kelo whose house (the very first she had ever owned), along with those of other home owners in New London, Connecticut, was threatened to be seized through eminent domain and sold to a local corporation. The Court ruled 5-4 against her and the other homeowners, claiming that such economic development fell under the definition of "public use" under the Fifth Amendment. Their land was seized, and was supposed to go to an economic redevelopment plan that promised over three thousand jobs and over 1 million in tax revenue. Instead, this "public land" remains today a barren lot, the site of a city dump.

Don't believe in private property rights? Believe the government should hold all property in common? Then you support this court decision! You may not agree with it personally, but you support the decision behind it. You support the government seizing another person's land and doing with it as they please, even if it means reducing it to a useless city dump.

I, on the other hand, believe everyone has the right to the fruit of their labor, and that includes property. If man is not entitled to his own property, then how can he be entitled to his own body?


Make homeschooling illegal. Religious fanatics use it to feed their children propaganda.

In other words, ban the only form of schooling that's actually educating our children. Ignore the hundreds of studies that show that home-schooled children outperform their public-schooled peers on standardized tests. Ban homeschooling and private schools. Make education a government monopoly. Because monopolies make everything better, right? It worked for the phone company!

To show just how draconian and backwards this would be, only a handful of countries have banned homeschooling. One of them is Brazil—which isn't exactly known for its excellent educational system!


Reduce the age of majority to 16.

I don't even trust 16-year-olds with driving, let alone voting. Some of them may be intelligent, but most of them are complete idiots. But if they want to vote, they should also be expected to pay taxes and join the military. You can't have the privileges without the responsibility.


Abolish the death penalty and life in prison. We call for the immediate release of all death row inmates from death row and transferred to regular prisons.

So you're all for building more prisons? Where else are we going to put all these inmates?

I don't support capital punishment anymore (as it doesn't deter violent crime), but I still support life imprisonment, at least for the most violent of offenders. Not everyone can be rehabilitated!


Release all political prisoners immediately.

Only item I agree with.


Immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Make that two items I agree with.


Abolish the debt limit.

So America should be allowed to infinitely pile up debt? Anyone else see a serious problem with this?

Here's a saner solution: why not pay off the debt we already have? Instead of worrying about how much we can max out on our national credit card, let's do something to eliminate the debt we already incurred. And yes, that means cutting spending. There are no other options. We spend too much. We need to cut back. And we should start with the three items we spend the most on: military and entitlement programs. Combined, that's 60% of our federal budget. There's no excuse for that. Slash military spending. End all wars. Withdraw overseas military bases. Reform entitlement programs. It won't be much, but it would be a good start.


Ban private gun ownership.

Ignoring the fact that gun control does nothing to deter gun violence, as cities with the strictest gun laws also have the highest violent crime rates. Under gun control, only three people own guns: the police, the military, and criminals. But forget criminals! At this point, with the militarization of our police—something that OWS protesters know all too well—the police pose a larger threat than criminals! And you seriously want to give them more power over law-abiding citizens? More power to the police state then!


Strengthen the separation of church and state.

There's no official state religion, and there's no state church. Separation of church and state seems to being doing a good enough job.

Let's not forget that separation goes both ways: not only is it separation of church from state, but also state from church. If the church can't interfere with the state, then the state can't interfere with the church. Sounds fair, right? So why do progressive liberals support taxing churches and dictating employment standards for religious organizations?

What we really need is a more lenient interpretation of church/state separation. Does it really make sense to cut the microphone of a valedictorian for mentioning Jesus in their speech, or to prohibit a school-age student from hanging his "Happy Birthday Jesus" ornament on a state capitol Christmas tree, or to suspend a student from drawing a cross during a school assignment, or prevent Mother Teresa from being commemorated on a postage stamp, or prevent a pair of crossbeams from being featured in a 9/11 memorial museum? I respect separation of church and state, but good grief do some people take it way too far!


Immediate debt forgiveness for all.

Isn't it ironic to protest bailing out big banks but to demand the forgiveness of all debt?

"That's totally different!" I hear you cry in protest. "Those bailouts went to corporate fatcats! The bailouts we want will go to struggling Americans, especially students burdened by student loan debt."

Fine. College students shouldn't have to graduate with a crushing amount of debt—most of which was caused by the student loan bubble created by the federal government subsidizing student loans! But how, pray tell, do you suggest relieving them of this debt? With taxpayer money? So you want to raise taxes during an economic crisis when most are scrapping the bottom of the barrel as it is? How will that help the 99%?

Oh, I see: you just want to raise taxes on the rich. They clearly don't pay their "fair share" in taxes. The top one percent only pays 40 percent of the nation's income tax and 27 percent of the nation's tax burden. Lazy freeloaders! They should pay 400 percent! That will solve everything (even though merely confiscating all wealth from every billionaire in the country would barely make a dent in our deficit).


End the 'War on Drugs'.

That makes three things I agree with.

Unfortunately, that's all I can agree with. Everything else, as I clearly demonstrated, is dangerously naïve! Don't get me wrong: I would love to live in a world where I had a $20 minimum wage and six weeks of paid vacation, where all student loan debt was forgiven, and where the government gave everything from healthcare to education for free (and by "free," I mean at the expense of Bill Gates and other rich people). I would also love to live in a world with lollipop trees and Mountain Dew oceans. That's not happening anytime soon, and neither are any of those utopian demands.

And this is why I fear Occupy Wall Street. If these moronic protesters actually managed to get any of these insane demands fulfilled, the result would not be a progressive socialist Keynesian utopia. It would be a dystopian wasteland brought about by an eventual economic collapse. And I wouldn't want to live in said world, not without a good shotgun. (Oh wait, I forgot, firearms would be banned! Ah crap!)
And I'm apparently "radical" for wanting to return to a constitutionally-limited federal government? If these Occupy goons had it their way, America would be worse than Somalia!
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Sitting in a palatial wardroom
Surrounded by bullet-ridden walls
He watches the latest soap opera
Tearing up as he learns
That Jeffy won't be playing football again

Fool the people
Play the game
Before you knock
Tell me my name


His guns are shiny
His shoes are too
His teeth are capped in platinum
His arms are tattooed

Fool the people
Play the game
Showering with filthy billions
Still you reek of shame


It's the U.S. on Line 1
It's the Kremlin on Line 2
Is my yacht ready
Make sure it's stocked with champagne

Fool the people
Play the game
Are you winning
As you run in vain?


Schmoozing with the debutantes
Of Princes in your land
They bow to kiss your ring
Isn't life grand?

As choppers cut down the rabble
Thrill to the 30mm auto-cannon serenade
Blood fills the gutters
And new orphans weep, afraid

Fool the people
Play the game
Satan has your table ready
At the Chateau d' Profane


Cameras flash as reporters query
Do you still intend to parry
The critique of your style?
Amid news of a vast campaign
To quell the voices of dissent?

It's all a part of your Master Plan
But wait, is that Geraldo?
He changed his hairpiece
Call my barber now

Fool the people
Play the game
Hide the bodies of the slain
Beneath the new playground


Ray-Bans are his shades of choice
Black Dragons are his smokes
His shoes are Stacy Adams
His suits are London bespoke

Sipping Louis XIII cognac
While watching reruns of Starsky and Hutch
He secretly enjoys our Western culture
That he publicly hates so much

Fool the people
Play the game
In his mind he's Jesse James
Riding a stallion named Infidel


Listen people; listen well!
I harbored you under my wings
In times of war I was faithful
To keep our nation sacred
Against the West's betrayals

Now you turn your back
On your Master and your Lord
You dare to bite the hand that feeds
You dogs! You shall taste my sword!

Fool the people
Play the game
Castrated are the dreams
Of a land under terror
All Rights Reserved. 2012.
Comments welcome

Dedicated to all those who have died under the regimes of bloodthirsty men and their reigns of terror...from Stalin to Ayatollah and beyond.

As serious as this is, I take pride in dark, dry humor that mocks those who were born without a conscience.
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Leeds is the first awake.  Shadows of his dreams still echo in his eyes when he paces into the kitchen and startles her.

"Sorry."

"You're too quiet."  She smiles.  

He doesn't.  "Did you sleep?"

"I couldn't," she says.

He just nods.  She pours him coffee.  He drowns it in milk and sugar.  They welcome the morning in companionable silence.

"I wanted to be there for him."  It's a whisper.  He stares at the coffee mug in his hands, seeing something very different.  "I saw him get hit.  I wanted to be there so bad.  I would have gone in, but Vance held me back.  Probably saved my life.

"Zack."  He stops, almost overwhelmed, then forces himself to go on.  "I would do anything for him.  I would die for him.  But I couldn't be there."  His eyes are rimmed with tears.

She lays her hand over his.

Leeds wipes his face.  "I know you didn't want him to go for the second tour."

She shakes her head.  "It was his choice.  I respect that.  I love him.  I couldn't keep him home.  It meant so much to him."

"Thank you."  The tears escape anyway, and slide down over the scar and stubble on his face.  "Thanks for letting him come with us again.  I'm sorry I couldn't bring him home."

"It's not your fault."

"Maybe not.  But it feels like…"  He falls silent.  He's the same age as Zack, twenty-two, almost twenty-three.  Same strong shoulders and narrow chest, flat stomach, straight hips.  His arms are all muscle and sinew, skin deep tan from months in the desert.  His dogtags rest lightly against his drab green tshirt.  Unconsciously she reaches to the chain around her own neck, Zack's dogtags, which she has worn since he first graduated boot camp.

Leeds scrubs his face again, and this time, he stifles the crying.  He lays a dirty white envelope on the table and slides it across to her.  She starts to reach out, but he keeps his hand over it.  "Chia... You know what this is."

She realizes in that moment.  It chills her.  She nods, not trusting her voice.

"I think you should wait," Leeds says.

The first thing she feels at his words is relief.  She can put it off!  She doesn't have to confront this now.  She feels sick with guilt after that.  She feels the heat in her cheeks as she blushes with shame.

"I know," he tells her.  "It fuckin' hurts.  You can wait.  Wait until you're ready."

She can only nod again.  Brandon withdraws his hand, leaving the crumpled envelope lying there .  It is thin and plain, unassuming, but it might as well be a bomb.  There are faint, smudgy fingerprints on the front.  Zack's fingerprints she thinks, and feels her heart fist, her guts go icy and knotted.  She nearly breaks down.  Her eyes sting, her throat aches.

She slides it off the table into her lap so she doesn't have to look at it for the moment.  It is light – too light and thin to carry so much import.



She puts the letter into the footlocker at the foot of the bed.  Into this she has already placed Zack's dusty uniform, his boots, and gloves, his watch, a pair of sunglasses etched by sand.  Kits, and papers, a couple of journals, dog-eared manuals, and photos.  The things he had in his pockets when he died; a gum wrapper, spare change in several currencies, a stone, three spent brass bullet casings, a safety pin, a new pair of bootlaces, a pack of cigarettes, a die-cast Matchbox car with most of the paint worn off, a stub of pencil, a soft-cover notebook he'd reinforced with duct tape.  His wallet has no money in it, only more photos, and a video-rental membership card; a frequent buyer's card from their local bagel shop with eight of the ten punches filled up; a few postage stamps, already obsolete; a scrap of paper with international phone numbers written in pencil.

On top of this pile rests the tri-folded flag.  She came home from the funeral and the flag went straight into the footlocker.  The unread letter drops like a dry leaf on top of the flag.  She shuts the lid and breathes a sigh.  It is like relief.


Direct continuation of Requiem: Continued

Once again, this is a work of fiction.
For those who don't know the "death letter" is written by most service members before entering combat to be delivered to their next of kin in the event of their death. These letters are meant to be collected and held by the command element, but they are often entrusted to comrades in arms.

:bulletred: Any feedback is much appreciated.

© *KreepingSpawn
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A young girl of the age of four
Sat silently on the kitchen floor
Eating cookies to her hearts content.
Unaware of any ill intent.

She ate until she could no more,
And quickly moved up off the floor,
She put her vice back in its stash
For her room she quickly dashed.

As she walked through the room,
She heard a voice mutter "doom"
Unsure of it she couldn't see,
What in this world could it be?

But the darkness made her blind,
No trace was there for her to find
So warily she kept on walking,
And silently it continued stalking,

Her heart raced as she peered,
Pace quickened as she steered.
Not stopping for any hesitation,
Kept heading for her destination.

In her room, door slammed shut,
Her imagination cought in a rut,
Of horrors recently conceived,
Monsters so vivid she believed,

Then as the  floor boards creeked.
Overcome she quickly peeked.
Nothing seen, nothing moving,
but the danger was ever looming.

But she kept staring,
Nostrils flaring,
Struck down by fear,
Horrible images did appear.

In her room, door locked shut,
In her bed she curled up.
Watching shadows on her wall,
Tightly clutching her favorite doll

She noticed something oddly prying
Something watching, something spying.
It started creeping towards her bed,
She stiffened with a sudden dread.

She shut her eyes so very tight,
Not sure if she'd survive the night.
She felt it graze her tiny arm,
Triggering every alarm.

And as she wished her mom goodbye.
She couldn't help but begin to cry.
Then the beast licked her little head
And she knew she'd soon be dead.

Then it let out a fearsom mew,
And finally she thought she knew,
So her eyes flung open wide,
To find her kitten by her side.
A suspensfull tale of a little girl and what took place during her late night cookie raid.
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     Some would call me crazy. How could that be?Those people had it coming! Why? Because of how the looked at me!

     The first one was a mistake, yes. Yes, a mistake. She looked at me like I was some, some animal! So, I pushed her. And down she descended, down the stairs of an empty hall.

     But, something happened! I got a feeling, one that had been missing most my life. Bliss, that I could control someone else's life in my very own hands! Watch the fire go out of their eyes! Oh, and how much joy their screams have brought me! Ha! They all deserved it!

     How could you call me a monster? If anything, I am an angel!
     Art is what it is. All the ways I have killed. Drowning, cutting their hearts out while it still beats, cutting off their fingers as they scream. The last two are my favorite.

     Best of all is the fame! Every night they talk about my murders! My works of God! They hope to find. Ha! I was careful, so careful not to leave any trace.
How petty life is. How easily sdestroyed it is.

     Do you still think of me as a monster?
I wrote this in creative writing club today. The prompt was violence and one of the scenarios was : Serial Killer.
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“Nileas!”  Ausrius bellowed again.  He could find no trace of his fellow, even with his enhanced senses, and helmet overlay.  No trace of the daemon either.
     He surveyed the cavern again, slowly re-examining all the corners.  He checked the load in his bolter, and advanced, weapon at the ready, continuing to scan in visible light, infrared, and wireframe overlay.  The ripples and folds of the tunnel played tricks on the mind, casting odd shadows and concealing entire caverns behind seemingly solid formations of stone.
    “Nileas,” he voxed again.  “Brother, do you copy?”  Likewise the dense rock played havoc with the vox net.  He had no contact with his squad commander, or Imperial forces on the surface, and, up until a quarter-hour ago, only intermittent contact with his battle brother, and that plagued by static.  Now it seemed that too was gone.
    Something slithered across stone nearby; something massive.  Ausrius turned sharply, bringing the bolter up.  He couldn’t see it, but it was dangerously close.  He moved forward, stalking the hideous presence.  Though he and his squad were nominally doing the hunting, he could not shake the feeling of being hunted.  He heard the clicking of insectoid limbs and mouthparts; the heavy slithering sound again.  Overlapping echoes, reflecting and magnifying sounds in unpredictable ways, made it impossible to tell where the source of the sound was.
    He slowed, almost shuffling as he came around a shoulder of stone into an entirely new section of the cave.
    The broad chamber was dome-like, and smooth, the space carved out over millennia by the slow trickle of water.  Stalactites depended from the ceiling in eerily organic formations.  Stalagmites of formidable stature loomed from the uneven floor.  Some were as large around as Ausrius himself.  Others were even larger.  A damp mineral smell pervaded, but Ausrius’ charmed senses detected notes of other things: Astartes sweat ripe with glanded stimulants and pain suppressants, the burned-metal and melted electrical smell of damaged ceramite armor.  Blood.  Nileas had passed through here.  The scents told him his brother was hard pressed, but gave him some thin hope that his fellow yet lived.  There was also an odor of organic decay, rancid meat, ozone and cold – that was the warp beast.
    The thing lurked here somewhere.  Even without the smell, Ausrius could sense its hateful existence.  It was like a cold whisper down the back of his neck.  A feeling of utter wrongness.  But he still could not see it.
    He saw Nileas first, leaning heavily against a stalagmite formation.  His battle brother was sorely wounded, even his gene-hanced physiology laboring under the awful damage he had taken.  His beautiful red and gold power armor was dented and sheared apart, splashed with bright blood.  His left pauldron had been torn away completely, as well as the lower vambrace and gauntlet.  His naked hand, large as it was, seemed tiny and fragile against the bulk of his armor.  The chainsword in his right fist snarled at idle.
    “Nileas.”  Ausrius started forward to his brother’s aid.  
    Nileas’ helmet was also gone, but he did not need the vox speaker to amplify his formidable voice; “Keep back!”  He threw up his left hand, bloody palm out, to emphasize the command.  “It is here.”
    The thing was on them in that moment.  It moved like lightning, like a striking serpent, and a spider, and every terrible thing imagined by human nightmares.  It was too big to move that fast!
    Ausrius unloaded his bolter at it as it dove and surged around the chamber.  It had too many limbs and too many joints in those limbs and parts of its body were like smoke or oil, shifting and reforming in ways that made him nauseous to behold.
    Nileas tried to keep his face toward the thing, his back to the stone, and always the purring chainsword between them.
    The atrocity suddenly threw itself at the wounded Astartes.  Its face – if such a perversion could be said to have a face – split apart, the lower half of the elongated, skull-like head separating into four greedy mandibles.  It’s tooth-lined maw was large enough to swallow a Space Marine whole, power armor and all.
    Nileas braced, holding the chainsword out, ready to meet the thing head on.
    Ausrius poured bolter fire down its throat.  It squealed, shrieked and writhed in on itself in impossible ways.  Ausrius shuddered with revulsion, but kept shooting, reloading when the magazine ran empty.
    One mis-jointed limb shot out and impaled Nileas with a blade-claw more than a meter long.  It sheared through his ceramite armor like it was nothing.  The Astartes groaned aloud.  Ausrius roared his fury.  Nileas struck, slashing off the blade-limb even as it was withdrawn with the same uncanny speed.  The chainsword bit through hard carapace and fleshy inner parts, the blade snarling and gurgling.  Hurt, the daemon wheeled, flailing limbs and loose coils of itself.  It threw Nileas to the floor before boiling away into the shadows, into the next chamber down the tunnel.
    “Nileas!”  Ausrius charged to his brother’s side and knelt protectively over him, the bolter still held ready.
    Nileas groaned again, blood ran from his mouth.  He was panting for breath and Ausrius thought he might be relying entirely on the smaller third lung.  Blood poured from the wound.  Normally Astartes blood clotted quickly, they were fast healers and could weather monstrous amounts of punishment and brutal pain.  But Nileas was past all limits.
    “I’ll get you out of here, Brother,” Ausrius promised.
    “No, Hellan.”
    “Fortitude,” Ausrius urged him.  He slung his bolter across his back and lifted Nileas’ shoulders, supporting him to ease his breathing.
    “Fortitude,” Nileas agreed, “and faith.  You will need both... for this mission.  Take it.”  He pointed toward the chainsword.  He had dropped it when the monster threw him down and the blade had cut off automatically.
    Ausrius hesitated.  “My brother,” he said, “I don’t understand.”
    “You must finish it,” Nileas charged him solemnly.  “Destroy that abomination.  Burn it from existence.  In the Emperor’s name.  You must not fail in this.”  He spoke haltingly, as his breathing labored, but with fierce conviction.
    Slowly, Ausrius understood.  Still cradling his dying battle-brother with one arm, he reached out and grasped the hilt of Nileas’ chainsword and lifted it.  The elder Space Marine nodded.  “Finish this,” he sighed, at the end of his strength.
    “I will, Brother.”
    “Swear.”  Blood pooled on the stones beneath them, and dripped from his mouth.
    Fighting despair at the weight of responsibility hanging over him, Ausrius drew a tight breath.  He firmed his grip upon the chainsword, the heft of a ready weapon always a comfort.  It was an ancient and venerable piece, marked with a roll of honor stretching back into the far history of Kermodes Squad.  Dozens of Howling Griffons heroes had carried this blade into battle for Guilliman and the Imperium, for the Emperor.  Drawing his strength from their memory, and their example, he improvised an oath; “Upon this weapon, and by the Throne of Terra, I swear to pursue this mission until I have succeeded, or until I am dead.”
    Nileas reached up and pressed the bloody palm of his left hand to Ausrius’ cuirass, a make-shift seal to witness and acknowledge the oath.  He let the hand fall and his head rolled back.  He was failing; this nigh-immortal super soldier, this hero, was sliding rapidly down to death, and Ausrius could not help him.
    “Brother,” the younger Astartes began.
    “Go,” Nileas charged him.  It was a whisper, but it carried such weight of authority it could not be refused.
    Ausrius knew every moment he lingered was another moment the warp-beast had to make good its escape.  He loathed the thought of abandoning his battle brother to die alone, but he also knew Nileas expected him to place duty foremost.  Gently, he lowered Nileas to the ground.  “Rest easy, brother.”
    Nileas could not answer.  He clasped his armored right fist across his ruined chest, a warrior’s salute.  He closed his eyes against the pain of each shallow, sucking breath.
    Ausrius steeled himself and turned away, advancing in the direction the monster had gone.  As much as he wanted to, he did not look back.  His brother would not expect such sentimentality, and the beast could strike again at any moment.
    He held Nileas’ chainsword right-handed, in a low guard, and drew his bolt pistol with his left hand.  The bolter rode by its sling, in reserve.  He had also the simple but reliable gladius, and three grenades.  It wasn’t much.  He hoped it would be enough.
    The beast had left its scent like spoor and Ausrius followed that, trying not to gag on the stench of corruption.  Black, oily fluid pooled on the stones in places, faintly sizzling; the noxious ichor which served the thing as blood.  They had hurt it, and if it could be hurt, it could be killed.
    He paused as he heard it; slithering, chittering to itself.  It sounded like it was right beside him, though he could not see it, the acoustics of the cave playing tricks again.  He moved steadily forward, ever vigilant.  He could smell ozone and felt the unholy chill he associated with psykers and the warp.
    It almost escaped.  He came upon it just as it approached the portal.  Ausrius had never seen anything like it.  It was a hole in reality.  A cold rush of air, and faint mist drifted out of this impossible gateway.
    The warp daemon sensed his approach and turned its neck inside out to bring its obscene head around to face him.  It flared its mouthparts at him.  It seethed, limbs and spines and eyes and hungry mouths full of teeth appearing and disappearing across its flesh in a wave that traveled down and around its length.  It was taunting him.  It made a wet, basso, shuddering, purring sound and rolled like a water serpent in a spiral swimming motion into the portal.  It flowed into the unreality as if sinking through the surface of a mirror.
    Ausrius had seen many terrible things in his decades of service with the Adeptus Astartes.  He had weathered them with commendable stoicism, but now he wavered.  Astartes do not feel fear, but alone in this dark desolate place, faced with such an unspeakable monstrosity, and the prospect of following it through a warp gate to an unknown destination, Hellan Ausrius came very close.  How could he, alone, hope to succeed against this?
    He controlled his breathing, willed his racing pulse steady.  He swallowed the bile which had risen in his throat.  He fought down the urge to vomit, conquered the tremor in his limbs.  He recalled his oaths, and his debt to Nileas.  He had no choice, he had to proceed.  He clenched his fist on the grip of the chainsword and thumbed the activation stud.  The blade snarled into life.  Leading with that august weapon, and with a prayer to the God-Emperor on his lips, he strode forward into the warp gate.
This looks so much shorter here! ;p Ah well.

A bit of something. ~NotAnselAdams might find this interesting. :nod:

Notes: Guilliman is the Primarch of the Ultramarines Legion, according to my research the Howling Griffons Chapter is derived from the Ultramarines.

For those not familiar, the Space Marines often swear oaths specific to the mission they are about to undertake, these are usually witnessed by their battle brothers and commemorated by an oath paper which is sealed to their armor. images.dakkadakka.com/gallery/…

The description and function of the 'warp gate' is based on similar device found in the Gaunt's Ghosts novel His Last Command by Dan Abnett.

Rough concept art for the warp daemon:
WIP: Warp-Daemon by KreepingSpawn
and Hellan Ausrius:
Hellan Ausrius - Lineart by KreepingSpawn

Warhammer 40K, Astartes/Space Marines, terminology, universe, etc © Games Workshop
text/chars © =KreepingSpawn
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Red Vix?

Tyler Benson arrived at 6pm to his apartment building, exhausted from yet another long day at work. While 24 is not too old, that wasn't to say he often found the job tiring. Opening the door to his empty apartment, He practically threw his briefcase on the couch as he opened the door and headed to his room without a care as to where it may have landed. As usual, thinking about how he was doing in the company he was working in, CirMor. It specialized in software development, ranging from organization programs to smart systems which used from advanced genetic algorithms to neural nets.

As he kicked his shoes, wishing Friday's were casual as he got on his normal home clothes, discarding the suit and shirt in favor of a more homey attire. Working as a salesman in CirMor really wasn't as interesting as he thought in the first place. Now he was utterly bored of the place, the protocols were exaggerated and tedious as his co-workers were really apathetic to even offer a helping hand to the new guy. He walked back to the living room and took out his laptop. Sitting down and opening it while lying back in a more comfortable position and starting his Fridays evenings. As with normal people, were the most awaited moments of the week. Mostly because he could actually take a break from his absorbing job.

"Got to start looking for another job sooner than later" Tyler muttered as he checked his mail. The pay was good, that's the only reason he stayed really, no matter how horrible the work area is. He was commonly avoided and ignored by his co-workers. He was being so overloaded with responsibilities that made even the pay not worth it. Even more, his boss, Rob Genthis, seemed to have pleasure in exploding and abusing of Tyler's work time. With a frustrated sigh he glanced at his check his inbox: three new mails. One was promotional garbage from E-bay

Sir, know that by the moderate price of 9,99$ you can certainly enjoy more of the services that E-bay has to offer…. He clicked the delete message.

The second message was from an old friend from the school. Her name is Rachel Skye, a cute black haired beauty from the last time he recalled. In his memories she had nice hazelnut color eyes that took his breath away. Last time he saw her, he was bidding her farewell...always regretting never daring to go past being just friends. Sighing he read the message:

Hi, Ty, It's me Rachel, remember me? Haha of course you do. How are you doing? I missed you all my time here in Italy, I've been looking forward for my vacations to travel back home for Christmas. Maybe we can chat on later. my plane is coming on Saturday afternoon, around 1pm there, so we can get in contact.  

Tyler smiled at the news as well as the message, he knew of Rach's eagerness on some things, and was one of the details he liked of her. He smiled and opened the airport's schedule. Of course he was gonna greet her there, give her a surprise on the arrivals section. After a quick inspection he opened the last mail. It was from his friend, Matthew, one of his co-workers and a bit of a crazy fellow, liked to talk and was likely to be the first person one could ask about films and comics. He could always count on him to find entertaining videos or in investigating stuff that either he was interested in or would keep him busy. Of course, he did that during his free time and somehow he always managed to avoid getting caught red handed by the boss since, of course, that was against the workplace's policy. Anyway, reading the message…

Yo Ty, guess you're having a bad day judging by how you were at work. Look what I found here? Check it out, I'm sure it'll keep you entertained for a while… Story, plot, good art and exotic women, that sort of types you told me you look for ;p

Tyler blinked, it was a bit odd on how short the message, a tad unusual for him to be brief.  But upon checking the time, it was sent from inside the CirMor building. He shrugged, the company didn't approve the use of the building's computers for 'personal entertainment' so that could explain the length of the message.

He gave a click to the link attached. The icon took a second to react and a loading icon appearedThe load was quick as the screen flashed twice, oddly brighter than the computer was capable of. For a second he thought he opened up some sort of virus. As a firefox window popped up Tyler was opening up the antivirus and spyware scanner.

By the time the scan was done, the issue was over and the computer appeared to be clean of any sort of Malwares or spywares. Skeptically he shrugged and looked at the window that had opened. It was a comic that depicted a futuristic setting, probably some sort of space base. But what lured his attention were the characters and people in it. They were, how would a person put it… they were foxes, vixens, standing on 2 legs wearing military uniforms as well as weapons that made star wars to look dated… not that it was hard. Anyway, to Tyler, this was some sort of furry comic… not that he could complain as the girls had their cute allure, even thought this wasn't what he meant when saying 'exotic'… and since he was alone and had time to spend he started watching the plot as well as the first chapter.

About one hour or two later he finished skimming the comic. Since it was relatively new, it was only 2 chapters long. Tyler wasn't into furry girls but the girls were cute with the ears and tail as well as sexy in figure, and the fact that all the soldiers were vixens made him wonder… as well as leer, additionally plot was interesting enough to keep him intrigued.

The story was the following. These vixens arrived on earth from space and started wreaking havoc. Their weapons were superior, cluster grenades that turned walls and tanks into rubble as their guns shot beams that practically pierced through flesh. A force to be reckoned and the art depicted the scenes pretty nicely. Anyway, so far they caught the earthlings by surprise as they attacked main centers, airports, energy plants governmentally relevant places and communication hubs. The humans didn't stand a chance during these quick yet effective strikes. They were just hit-and-go attacks, making sure that the infrastructure was damaged and that the message was delivered: "they are back".


The most recent pages about dealing with a struggler. The trapped human taunted the vixen's squad leader by insulting them. A grin appeared on her muzzle as she pulled a gun from her holster, then saying "maybe this will put things in perspective."  After shooting him he appeared to be enveloped by a green light, in contrast to the piercing nature of the lasers. And that's where the comic caught up to date, the latest page showed, something weird, another vixen was in the human's place wearing his clothes. The weird part is that the straggler was a male and he was now a vixen hearing and obeying orders from his… her shooter.

Tyler smiled "nice comic, Matthew, I gotta hand it to you" leaving aside the last pages which were a tad too weird for him. Glancing at the clock on his laptop "10:30pm… woah, time flies" he muttered adding the page to his favorites and closing his computer he stretched. To his luck tomorrow was Saturday, that meant relaxation as well as a moment to meet Rachel again.

---

Tyler sighed looking at his watch, it was 1:12 pm. There he was in the airport waiting for a friend to come out of it. The area was crowded with a tall and long glass window facing the airplanes. The place was a bit crowded as people went to and from minding their business. Taking a seat on a nearby bench he waited as Rachel's flight seemed to arrive, thinking on the things to be done as well as the things to talk about. He was so glad to see her again. Ty stood up looking through the window as the plane taxed it's way to the bridge ready to unload the passengers "I wonder if' i'll be able to recognize her. Heck, I wonder If she'll even remember me… Maybe she already has somebody waiting for her in Italy. Nah, think positive." he thought and reassured himself. Occasionally he would glance over at the TV of the airport, as the waiting time grew longer and longer, taking notice of the news channel talking some fire, some loss of communications or some sort of wave or sonic disruption. The waiting was boring… until something caught his attention as he started hearing comments from the people near him.

"What's that?" "have you seen anything like it?" "Aliens!" His first thought was 'Aliens? That's crazy."
Lifting his gaze after listening to the comments, Ty stood with his mouth hanging in shock as he saw what seemed to be several small ships hovering above, not flying saucers but more realistic looking as well with military characteristics such as mounted guns. More like the type only a sci fi fan would identify. "What the..."  muttered Tyler before looking down as Rachel's plane was already connected to the arrival's bridge and the passengers were hastily making their way to the waiting zone while his sight moved over to the crowd to identify his friend, until, couple of shakes brought him back to reality and more pressing matter "What...?" He gasped alarmed while looking as red flashes came down to earth, destroying some of the airplanes in loud and red explosion in the background that shook the earth. People stared in awe at the event.

People started to panic as they started to become uneasy and world blurred around Ty as everyone started moving, most started running towards the main airport exit. Some kept watching as they could make out some midsized figures, in comparison to the other ships, descending from the sky. Tyler only catch a glimpse of this before a bright flash came from it hitting near the windows shattering them into pieces that flew inwards hurting people while knocking them back. Tyler managed to jump back covering his face as that happened, ending unharmed. "What the hell is going on?!" he asked and thought alarmed.

He looked at the plane back and forth "We have to get out of here!" he yelled with a new found courage probably because of the adrenaline. Just then, someone called his attention "Ty! Ty!" it was a feminine voice that rang a bell in his memories. And the moment he turned around he felt 2 arms wrap around him in a tight hug.

"R-Rachel?" asked looking down at the woman with him. Lifting her face off his chest, it was her, just like he remembered, her brown eyes adorning that pretty face of hers as her black hair cascaded down over her shoulders. Unfortunately wasn't calling for admiration. "W-we have to get out, Rach" he spoke after what was a second of contemplation.

She gave a small nod. Her shaky movement showed she was scared as was he. Her arms shuddered and she pressed closer to calm herself down, she was sweating and her face sported a couple of small cuts from the window burst. I squeezed her for a second to calm her down whispering that everything was gonna be ok and held her hand as he led her towards the exit.

Ty followed the crowd till reaching the main wall and doors that were the exit, which by this time the attacks had reduced it to a pile of pulverized crystal. Squeezing Rachel's hand he kept his distance from the rest of the people along with other stragglers, and kept eyes peeled at the exit of the building as flashes of beams and explosions, followed by deafening electric sounds stunned people lightly. His mind couldn't process this was really happening, even less accept what he saw. Moving closer he could see several rows of… of vixens???… Like in the comic he was shown the day before. They were standing on their hind legs, wearing a skin tight suit with a sleeveless suit giving the quite a nice look as well as an athletic look. Their outfits were designed with a black and blue pattern, quite hard to tell anymore details from the distance. All of them holding weapons and ready to shoot "This can't be happening…" he muttered taking a step closer to look.

---

Th vixens move aside to allow another one through. This one had a special suit with armor-like platings, adorned with badges that sparkled under the sun. She sported an assault rifle, technologically more advanced in appearance at first glance, as well as a normal-sized secondary gun carried in a holster by her hips. A special visor scanner was suspended above her right eye that none of the others had. The rest of the squads and vixens saluted her as she walked in front of the human mob, which was now circled. "The empire says 'Sit!'" she yelled, practically barked raising her assault rifle and shooting the sky. The crowd's reaction was to lay low on the ground so as to keep away from the weapons. This also helped in making it easier for the invaders to keep them under control.

Ty kept distance from inside the building remaining as far as he could from the invaders. He could have ran back deeper into the airport but he wanted to keep looking. So far they haven't been noticed them. The people in the crowd muttered lightly in discomfort (more likely planning on how to escape), it was then when a man from the crowd lifted a handgun aiming at the vixen not losing time to shoot. It was a security guard, possibly thinking that by taking the apparent leader everything would work in their favor. As soon as he took a shot, another one was fired in immediate retaliation and it pierced through the man's chest as he missed to hit. The man yelled in pain as he fell back into the crowd as second later, people gasped and screamed from the shook. The screams started to cease until they stopped. The leader vixen had managed to avoid the bullet and remained with a stern and cold.

'This is bad… really bad.' He muttered as there was a couple of blasts and noise up in the sky as the booming sounds of jets were heard. The vixens reacted at the noises and the leader started ordering to the other vixens in sort of an alien language, even though she spoke in English not long ago. The invaders retreated back to their ships, probably to provide further air support, leaving the huge crowd control task with fewer personnel, barely 9, not counting the main one.

"It'll be good to take another road" Rachel proposed tugging Ty's arm.

Tyler nodded and about to leave with the other stragglers when the leader barked "I welcome you to your first mission" she announced with a malicious grin as she took out the smaller gun out of her holster. Tyler couldn't help but notice the similarities between this and the comic, it was such that he wishing with all his might to wake up from this, and view it as an induced nightmare, but no matter how hard he pinched he couldn't… was this really happening?

"And I'll start with you" she aimed her gun towards a spot in the crowd, where the security guard laid, probably about to die from the wounds to his stomach. The scene sort of made Ty recall the latest page of the comic and made him wonder if the same thing was gonna happen as in the story.  The leader shot the wounded human causing him to let out a loud groan. People started gasping as his voice started sounding more and more feminine. Several people in the crowd made sounds of amazement and fright, several of them actually screamed in fright and tried to run away, regardless of the armed guards. And those who got out of the group received a hit from the butt of a rifle and a shove back. The stirring in the crowd would escalate until panic set in.

"No… no… this can't be happening" Ty muttered as the leader was starting to shoot people in the crowd as 2 of the guarding vixens helped the former guard, now with orange fur, muzzle and… breasts rose up in a slowly manner to have people stare in fear to what they were capable of. A weapon was passed on to the new vixen and the order to stand guard. And just as the words came out of the leader she stiffened keeping an eye on the guards as if she hadn't been one of them just before. To Tyler, this was impossible. This had to be a dream. More and more vixens started to rise from the crowd, the people moved away leaving a radius around the new addition out of fear, all wearing civilian clothes. It wasn't long before the number of Vixens had started to double in number, all armed and obedient.

"Ty, we have to get out" pressed Rachel pulling from his hand and bringing him back to reality. Ty took a couple of steps "Let's go" he muttered to her and the other humans that were lucky to be late enough to skip being in the mob. The subtle sound of their retreat got to the ears of the nearest vixen, who alerted the leader. She narrowed her eyes looking at the humans run away. To her this seemed as a challenge, a hunting challenge. Gathering her troops she prepared and set off after her prey.

"Shit, run!" He yelled the others and as a result, everybody sprinted back into the inner zone of the airport.

---

Ty and a group of runners managed to find refugees in a backroom of a fast-food chain.  After the fast retreat the group split up in several factions as they ran towards different places. Some got trapped by the newly transformed and either taken to the rest of the people, or used to bolster their forces. He is left with a small group of survivors gathered with him hiding. They were Rachel, a family (a mother, a father and a kid), a businessman clad in a suit that made it hard to belief that he'd survived and a young teen, around 18 years old.

The outside was almost desolated, it had fallen silent outside and staying quiet was a hard task considering the ears of their pursuers. Ty took a peek out through a small gap through the door. He stood guard briefly while the others tried to unlock the backdoor exit.

Ty moved aside to let the youngest member of their group, a young man that looked to be around 18 years old, to take post. An almost 40 year old man, a bit robust was trying to lock pick the door along with Rachel. A woman, as old as the other person, was calming the child that was, judging by the looks, the son of the two, while a guy in a business suit, probably travelling to close a business, approached Tyler "I can't believe all this" he whispered.

"I know" he replied "but there'll be plenty of time to contemplate later, right now I think it'll be better to get as far as possible from this place"

"But how and where, they have airships all up in the sky fighting the air force" The man' voice was beginning to lose himself into despair.

"The air force is out there and hopefully the U.S. marines will be arriving shortly. If we manage to get out we'll be fine…" Tyler muttered as a *click* was heard from the backdoor and Rachel gestured at the other's to come as the father scouted ahead for a second, only to return to give them the thumbs up.

"Ok, it's clear, lets go" he whispered gesturing at the family and guy in suit to go out. Ty was ready to call the teen when there was an explosion causing the metal furnaces and tables to shake. The seer was thrown back as the doors were blasted into pieces. The Vixens had found them.

"Run!" Rachel yelled from behind Tyler. The young man left behind made a sprint, thinking he could still make it. Unfortunately, the leader took a shot with her assault rifle piercing through the man's chest. It was a sight Ty wished to never see again. The teen fell to his knees, just a couple of meters away from the door. He was gasping for air as the shot seemed to have pierced his lung, trying to reach for the exit. By the time he touched the ground the vixens were already speeding after them.

Tyler, looking at the situation, took the only rational decision. He closed the door to the half dead comrade. He cursed never having gotten to know his name and leaving him behind like that. The moment he closed the door, the father and business man were bringing some furniture to block the door.

"That'll hold them… for now" panted the father as he backed away from the door as the pursuers knocked it. "We better bolt" he said as he started running towards the boarding areas thinking they could access the outside through there.

As they ran Tyler looked at the rest of the group. "I'm sorry for him…"

"There was nothing to be done, it was the correct choice…" added the man in the business suit, making an effort to run in his formal shoes.

"Yeah but still… I can't shake the feeling of guilt"

"We all have it… the important is that we're still alive thanks to him" Pointed out the mother carrying her son as she tried to keep up with the rest

"I would have wished to know his name, at least" Tyler added as an explosion was from the doorway they had escaped from. They were still being hunted, but now had a decent head start. Everyone heard that and sped up lightly as the father of the family turned towards him.

"You can call me Theo, this is my wife, Yanine, and our son, Ben" Theo gestured towards his other half.

"I'm Arthur" the man in the suit added.

"My name is Tyler and this is my friend Rachel"

---

After some minutes of keeping up the pace, they manage to come into sight with the dead end of the boarding area. A flat wall indicating they were almost in the end of the building stood in his way. They knew they were close to getting out, just needed to get out of the building somehow. Behind them they could see the vixens charging after them, shooting and failing due to the distance advantage.

"Almost there!" Tyler pointed at a door near the wall "Look! That's our exit!" He said while glancing at the rest of the team. Theo was carrying Ben now, who was now clutching his father's shirt as he saw the lasers soar around them. His wife, already having ditched the heels after the last escape was catching up. The only one at risk was Arthur, who was falling behind, having already agreed to ditch his briefcase when they left the main entrance he now refused to leave behind his expensive shoes.

"Hurry up, Arthur!" Rachel yelled as they arrived the door, Tyler was starting to work on it as Theo arrived to help. Yanine was dragging some tables and seats to use as cover with Rachel's help.

"I'm almost there!" Arthur panted running lightly after them, the shoes weren't simply made for running, and especially after tripping a couple of time when doubling in corners.

"Almost there… almost…" whispered Theo, now taking over the lock picking job as Tyler moved out of the makeshift cover to help… only to see 4 vixens sprinting against them, one of those was the leader and 2 were former humans, judging by the clothes one was a guy before. There was still quite a distance, would take them a minute or two to reach them.

Tyler stopped as he saw the leader take aim with the gun she used to change people "shit" he muttered as he saw her take a firm stance and hold it with both hands. He was about to warn Arthur but it was too late, there was a shot that travelled at high speed, yet everything seemed to go in slow motion for Ty. A ball of green energy flew through the air, Arthur didn't had time to duck as the beam hit his right shoulder causing him to groan in pain as the glowing energy of the 'bullet' seemed to course through him. To his horror, he could see fur growing on his body, black on the arms and white on the chest.

He fell to his knees groaning as his vocal chords started to change as his voice started to rise "Oh no…" muttered Ty, seeing his hair was growing from the formal short now falling down his back as his head changed, his nose collapsing and turning black as his faced pushed out into a muzzle, his ears moved up his head and started twitching nervously. A loud rip came from behind as a busy orange tail with a white tip on it appeared behind him. His figure could be seen changing, becoming less scrawny and, curvier as his hips started to grow tight against his pants as his… her waist was now shrinking noticeable as the shirt grew looser around him. She arched her back lightly to hold her head giving the escapees a look at his chests as two mounds grew in.

Tyler shook his head, he was gone, soon she would probably go after them and try to capture them, Noticing the vixens were closer and shooting with better precision he returned to the door after barely dodging a shot. "It's open!" Announced Theo as they group barged into the other area.

Ty gave the vixens a quick glance as he closed the door, just in time to get the lock on it.

---

Ty panted, they had travelled quite a distance, after losing Arthur they had to take down several stairs and jump into several rooms, hoping that their pursuers would get lost in the maze. Right now they were in the luggage handling area, where the luggage was transported into the plane. It was a wide area and the view was obstructed by several conveyor belts.

"So far so good, I don't hear those… aliens" Theo muttered closing the door and throwing several bags and packs to block the entrance they came through "We'll head over to the area that exits to the nearest exit, which is by the staff entrance, I guess it must be around the left area." he commented once after checking that the door was fully obstructed.

Tyler pondered for a moment "I think we should split up…" He proposed causing everyone, even little Ben to look at him.

"Ty, are you sure that is the safest bet?" Asked Rachel, a bit worried, even more than after having ran for their lives through the airport. "We've survived all this together…"

"I know that but we're the ones running and the fact that we split in 2 teams will give us a better change, if we split now we can have them divide or follow one of us…"

"But where will you go?" wondered Yanine.

"You are heading to the front exit of the place, we'll be heading to the back door, into the airplane field, and we'll stick close to the building to avoid being noticed by the ships and make our way to the fence that leads to the road…"

After a heated conversation, shortened by the knowledge they were being pursued. In the end they agreed in splitting in two groups, one was the family, the other were Rachel and Tyler. Starting to bid farewell to each other, the prepared to depart, knowing they didn't have as much time as they thought.

"See you on the other side, kiddo" said Theo shaking hands with Tyler.

"Good luck, and thanks" said Yanine as little Ben waved at them.

And with that we parted separate ways, hoping we both could make it.

---

The outside of the airport was now covered in the wreckages of destroyed commercial airplanes as well as the remains of jets shot down from the skirmish taking place up In the sky. The building somehow managed to remain intact despite all.

In the area by the farthest part of the terminal and close to the fence, was the loading dock for luggage. "Here we are…" announced Tyler in a whisper as he led Rachel out of the building through a door for the staff.

"Ok, at least we're out in the open… " she muttered looking up into the sky, only to see several odd looking ships fighting the air force, casting shadows over the sky as they weaved to avoid getting shot down in the dog fights above "…You can actually believe this is happening? I mean, do we even stand a chance? After what they did to Arthur…"

Tyler held her close before she could say something else "d-don't get scared…" he said feeling her grow calmer as she felt his embrace. As soon as he felt her breathing steady up and become more regular he looked at her "we'll make it… look, we're just a couple of kilometers away…  If we make it…"

"…I love you" she muttered shyly.

"What?" Tyler gasped surprised "what did you say?" for a second having forgotten what they were running from.

"That I love you… in case we don't make it… I just want you to know that" She whispered reaching over to kiss him. Tyler was surprised but accepted making it a meaningful yet short kiss. This was a dream come true… in the middle of a nightmare.

"I love you too." Was his answer as he pulled away the kiss "and we'll make it… I promise… now let's go, let's make a last effort" says holding her hand and sprinting with her, running by the wall hoping to avoid being noticed.
Making the runs of their lives now making their way to their target and cutting distance as fast as possible. The two were even encouraged as they caught a glimpse of a small hole in the fence, that was their exit. Suddenly there was an explosion behind the door they just came through got burst open as the squad of vixens pulled out, lead by the leader vixen, and judging by the numbers he guessed the  family was safe since he counted a high number of them, meaning they weren't taking any new vixens back with the others… at least they hoped. Tyler and Rachel kept running, speeding up as they saw the battalion right behind them. The two were already panting from the long marathon but kept pushing on as they were less then a kilometer from the hole.
The two made it to the fence and tried to go under it but, to their dismay, the hole was too small. They were forced to dig their way out as fast as they could, occasionally taking quick glances at their pursuers. Ty managed to convince Rachel to go under the fence first, she made it fast to the other side, "Come on!" she yelled looking at the vixens behind him as she waited for him to make the crossing. The vixens took shots while running, failing badly as the human managed to slip under the fence.
"We're almost there" Ty muttered panting, completely exhausted as he moved over to the road and tried to follow it. The vixens, the leader especially, crawled under the fence, even faster than the humans.

"You hear that? It's a truck!" Rachel yelled, excited as they seemed to be saved as a military APC was seen coming from afar. If they reached shooting range, the two would be saved by them. Thinking this was the last effort, the two made a final sprint just as the vixens went after them.

"We're almost there…" panted Rachel, completely focused in their goal. Tyler took a quick glance behind him and his eyes widened at what he saw. The leader was now taking a firing stance, with the special gun. He gasped noticing she was aiming at his friend. In slow motion he saw the weapon charge up with a light before it released the energy ball.

"Rachel!" He yelled jumping in between and receiving full impact of the beam and getting knocked on the road. He felt his world around him collapse as a tingle was felt expanding all over his body. Lying on his side he caught a glimpse of his hand as, to his horror, hair started growing in. Black fur. It was spreading and becoming thicker as it covered his hand. He knew this was coming yet he was having a hard time believing this was happening. He saw his fingernails thickening and changing form as they became claws and noticed how his palms were growing calluses.  "Shit…" He muttered with a cracking voice as his arms and hands started to thin becoming thinner and distinctively feminine, while keeping his strength.

Using his arm to sit himself upright he could feel something twitch on his head as his nose now sported a black smudge and it was now more prominent. His clothes were now looser on some parts as the chest area seemed to grow in the front. He saw it coming now, looking down he sensed two breasts growing in, stretching his shirt as his hips pushed outwards, and pushing the limits of his pants. He let out a groan as his face finished pushing out into a muzzle as he felt what he guessed was his hair. He felt light headed for a second as his brain rewired himself to work with his new set of nose, ears and eyes.

A loud rip and a sharp pain averted Ty that his pants were ripped in the process. Instinctively glancing back he could see a fox tail rapidly growing, and getting fluffier by the second. And immediately after he could feel a sharp pain in his crotch as he could feel his manhood shrinks and contort, changing into womanhood. He… She grabbed her head fearing the mental changes. The moment she felt a head splitting pain…

---

"*Gasp*" A vixen woke up throwing the bed sheets, scared and panting, sweating in fright as she looked around. The place was fairly familiar, fairly disorganized. The shirt and pants from work were curled and mashed into a ball and thrown over the nearest chair. The laptop was sitting on the desk, closed, like it always was after work.  Aside from her deep breaths as she tried to calm herself, the place was silent.

"It was… it was just a dr…" she trailed off as she heard her own voice. Slowly she reached down to tug her shirt's neck only to see her rack causing her to start to hyperventilate again.

There was a long scream coming from her room "What the hell happened!?"

TO BE CONTINUED?
Well, i failed to meet the deadline. But i managed to post it and get this story out of my system. May i present what could be the begining of a new series (depending on the feedback) presenting a sneak peek in universes, this time is :iconsquato:'s Red Vix universe.

His setting is about the invasion of outerspace vixens, and as odd as it may seem, he has everything sort of planned, with a good background i'm sorry i can't tell here. So far the story is in development at the moment, but here's some artwork he commisioned ([link])

As always any comments are welcomed, be it good or bad (i'll try to handle this)
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A pencil is a small thing
Irrelevant to most
But it can create anything

It can create images of a beautiful coast
It creates images that can change your life
It creates images that will withstand time

It creates words that make you feel alive
It creates words that can describe a crime
It tells a story of the past
While looking forward to the future

A pencil shows you a world which is quite vast
It can create images that are quite obscure
A pencil can defeat a sword
But it can also create a sword

So if you're ever down
And you are sitting in your room with a frown
Pick up a pencil
And let it guide you to a world
Beyond your wildest dreams
Hello, and I'm back again
I'm afraid that I didn't do the punctuation on this one either, so if anyone could point out how I can fix that (yeah my English skills are not so good so I don't know where to put a comma or where I need to end the sentence, I definatly don't know how to do that in a poem so if anyone could point out in a comment or a note where I need to end the sentence or a put a comma I will love you forever xD)

A pencil is a small thing, but it can create so much.
An artist can use a pencil to show us a world that we never could have imagined.
Anyone can use a pencil, anyone can create art.
Art is not just about image, it's about what it means to the creator and the people who view it, even the doodles of a 2 year old kid can be amazing, as long as it means something to the child itself.
If there is a person who loves your art and ten people who don't, than you shouldn't let those 10 people get to you. You should care about the one who does like it.
I came here to Deviantart not only to improve my art, but also to make some friends, and I must say those friends, are some of the best I ever had.
Sorry for the long history lesson xD

Oh yeah and next time I will try to come up with a more creative title cause these just seem to simple xD

Written by Jerrel Simons
© Jerrel Simons AKA Koratoshisfriend

(Image was a free stock from this site: [link] and was later edited by me)

Please leave feedback, so I can improve my art

If you like this one also check out this one: [link]
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Hufflepuff: The Nearly-Forgotten House of Hogwarts</i>


    In the Harry Potter series, there are four separate houses of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, the house representing courage and justice. Ravenclaw, representing intelligence and wisdom. Slytherin, representing ambition and resourcefulness. Hufflepuff, representing loyalty and tolerance. Each of these houses embody important virtues. So why do many people assume that Hufflepuffs are useless?

    I recall the Sorting Hat song which mentions Helga Hufflepuff's statement "I'll take the lot" when the other founders revealed what virtues they would value in their students. I feel that this statement by Hufflepuff has been vastly misinterpreted by many fans of the series. As the importance of blood status has always been a major issue in the Wizarding World, to the point that that Godric Gryffindor and Salazar Slytherin (who were great friends before founding Hogwarts) came to resent each other over their opposing feelings about it. So it is my understanding that Helga Hufflepuff meant taking in any student regardless of blood status. Even if "take the lot" did not refer to blood status, think about this: She'll take the lot. That means she'll gladly accept the smart kids, the brave kids, and the ambitious kids. According to Rowling, Helga Hufflepuff was known for her kindness. So even if she didn't care how well her students do in academics, or even if they aren't always brave, or particularly cunning, the point is that they are, above all else, good people.

    It's stated frequently throughout the series that Hufflepuffs are hard-working, loyal and honest. So why are they considered the "useless" and the "throw-away" house? Are these qualities in a person that one would simply want to 'throw away'? Is a person who has a strong work ethic, unfaltering loyalty, and believes in doing the right thing "useless"? Who ever said that just because a Hufflepuff's most obvious qualities were loyalty and honesty, that these individuals could not be intelligent or courageous as well?

    Think about this when comparing Hufflepuff to the two most popular houses, Gryffindor and Slytherin. The primary Gryffindor quality is courage, but loyalty can inspire courage. If you never have anything or anyone to feel loyal to, be it a person you care for or an ideal you believe in, what would there be to fight for? Hufflepuffs also value tolerance of all people regardless of race or blood status. Having such tolerance for others is just, and justice is another Gryffindor quality. The primary Slytherin quality is ambition, and another Hufflepuff quality is hard work, but in many cases performing hard work, in itself, is a form of having a great deal of ambition. This shows that Hufflepuffs can be ambitious, but will only attain their success through hard work, as opposed to more dishonest means.

    Another factor which suggests that Hufflepuffs can have many other important qualities, is, believe it or not, Gryffindor's own Hermione Granger. She is certainly brave, as Gryffindors are meant to be, but she also displays a great deal of intellect, which is valued by Ravenclaw. In the fifth book of the series, Hermione says that the Sorting Hat had also considered placing her in Ravenclaw, but that her own personal preference was Gryffindor, so the Hat sorted her accordingly. As we also know from Harry's sorting in the first book, he asked the Hat to place him in Gryffindor, though it said he could also do well in Slytherin. This proves that students sorted into one house can still uphold qualities of other houses. Therefore, a particular Hufflepuff may be as brave as any Gryffindor or intelligent as any Ravenclaw, but their strong sense of loyalty or great belief in tolerance may be the strongest quality in that particular individual.

    Also consider this: (spoilers for the 4th book in this paragraph) During the fourth Harry Potter book, the Goblet of Fire would choose only the student most capable of the tasks in the TriWizard Tournament. Aside from Harry Potter (who was chosen only because of the interference of Crouch Jr.), the student chosen to represent all of Hogwarts was Cedric Diggory- a Hufflepuff. Therefore, out of the entire 7th year class, among all of the other houses, a Hufflepuff was the best suited for the tournament's dangerous, life-threatening tasks. And Cedric excels at each of these tasks. Had a cruel plot not intervened in the end, I think it's safe to say that Cedric would have taken home the TriWizard Cup: He certainly earned it.

    Never, in any book or interview, has J.K. Rowling said: "Hufflepuff is the house you go to if you aren't good at anything else." Aside from the talented, kind Cedric Diggory and the fiercely loyal, courageous Nymphadora Tonks, Hufflepuffs are not prominent characters in the series. However, Rowling has spoken well of them. In a web chat following the final book, Rowling has stated that Hufflepuffs have the most comfortable (and in my opinion, interesting) of the common rooms and dormitories, having a warm, inviting common room, big, comfortable furniture, tunnels that lead from the common room to the dormitories, and circular doors that resemble "barrel tops" (and Hobbit homes, anyone?). Rowling also had several Hufflepuff characters join Dumbledore's army, such as Hannah Abbot, who, although not a particularly well-known character, has been a friend to Harry throughout many of his years at Hogwarts.  Hannah's friends and fellow Hufflepuffs, Ernie MacMillan and Justin Finch-Fletchley, are two other members of Dumbledore's Army, and are both very well-spoken, bright young students whose intelligence and courage have been displayed throughout the course of the series. To be fair, I will not pretend that all Hufflepuffs are equally just and loyal, however, as a Hufflepuff boy named Zacharias Smith had been shown as being judgemental and a poor sport. However, in any group, there will be a few less-than-honorables, even in Gryffindor, as in the case of Romilda Vane, and Marietta Edgecomb in Ravenclaw.  

In the Final book (more spoilers, obviously) Hufflepuffs undoubtedly prove their worth: second only to Gryffindor, Hufflepuff is the house which had the most students willing to stay at Hogwarts and risk their lives to fight in the final battle. This gives concrete evidence to my prior statement: loyalty can inspire courage.

So when you think of Hufflepuff, remember that they are more than just one extra house in addition to Gryffindor, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. They are the most loyal of friends, they are the ones willing to work hard to make the world a better place, and the ones who are willing to fight to keep it that way.

Never underestimate a Hufflepuff.
I wrote this because I've gotten really tired of some Harry Potter fans wrongly assuming that Hufflepuffs were "useless". It's long, but please bear with me.

If you like it, feel free to post this on any Harry Potter forum, site, etc., just please link back here or give me credit for writing it. I've posted it on my livejournal as well. And if you read this thing in it's entirety, oh my gosh thank you! You win the internet- all of it!

(Obviously) Harry Potter, Hogwarts, all it's great houses, and all characters mentioned in this essay, belong to J.K. Rowling.
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