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Similar Deviations
The Signal


The planet was bright red as I looked at it from inside the cockpit and as I approached the sensors picked up a weak, but constant signal originating from somewhere along the planets equator in an area caught in  a massive storm.

Wind and sand battered the ship as I brought it down into the planets lower atmosphere. It was barely possible to see anything out the cockpit due to the storm raging around the ship, but I did not need visual either as the on board computer was more than enough to set the ship down safely. In fact the storm was only a gift as it allowed me to land my ship closer to my target than under normal circumstances.

The moment the ship touched solid ground I rose from the cockpit seat and headed towards the lift in the back of the ship. As I walked towards the lift a simple thought was all I required to activate the materialization process of my Power Suit. The yellow and red armor plates quickly covered my body, the green arm cannon formed around my right arm and finally the helmet closed around my head as the visor materialized.

The lift quickly descended carrying me out into the raging storm on the planet's surface. There I quickly locked the ship with the control panel on my arm cannon.

The data on the inside of my visor quickly told me that the winds blasting across the surface would thrown a normal human to the ground and the heat would have killed a person in moments. Standard Federation soldiers would be unable to handle this without special equipment.

But that was why they had asked me to investigate as my suit could handle these conditions without any problems. Quickly locking on to the weak communication signal that had gotten the Federations attention in the first place I walked forward through the storm.

As I walked I shifted to the x-ray visor with a quick press of button near the helmet, turning the otherwise blinding storm of sand into something that looked more like rainfall as the entire world around me turned monochrome. Though the range of vision was greatly limited with the visor on, it was still way longer than the storm allowed me to see.

I did not have to walk far though before I found the source of the signal as a massive hole opened up in the sand strewn ground before me. The limits of the x-ray visor prevented me from seeing the other side of the hole, but it was enough that I could see a large communications disc rising up on a pillar in the middle of the hole.

Looking downwards into the hole a suspicion I had had concerning the source of the signal was immediately confirmed as I saw the clear outline of a hunched over alien with three fingers on each hand, standing on two claw like toes and with a long beaklike face with six eyes and insectoid mandibles. A Space Pirate.

I immediately hunched down at the edge of the hole as to not get spotted, but a quick switch back to the normal visor told me that I was not in danger of that as the storm was still blinding even a short ranges. The normal visor did however reveal a shimmering red containment field covering the hole which had been invisible in the spectrum used by the x-ray visor. It seemed to keep out the sand and heat allowing the Space Pirates to work unhindered.

The presence of Space Pirates also explained the communication discs purpose. This was probably a listening post for spying upon nearby systems.

As I changed back to the x-ray visor I observed the Space Pirate for a moment, comparing the body structure with my suits database. It quickly turned up that these Space Pirates were most similar to the ones I had encountered on Aether and during the Phazon Crisis.

Just to be on the safe side I then observed the Space Pirate for any hints of Phazon mutation, but found none. However it was clear from the dim outline around the Space Pirate that it was is fully armored and armed with a wrist mounted cannon on its right arm and a energy shield on the other, not that it surprised me.

With that conclusion I looked around a bit trying to identify more of the Space Pirate base. I immediately noticed a hatch in the rock wall almost directly below where I was, as well two more Space Pirates fiddling with some crates, but I could see nothing beyond that.

Working my way along the edge of the hole more crates came into view as well as another Space Pirate who was unloading a small transport ship, likely the one that had brought them to the planet. It took up most of the opposite side of the hole and a quick comparison to known Space Pirate crafts in my suits database gave me its specifics.

A simple craft made for setting up small spy bases, the craft was equipped to quickly enter a system and set down upon a planet before it was detected. However it could only carry a crew of six Space Pirates at max, plus the cargo necessary to set up the base and that was all I needed to know.

With an idea of the scope of the base as well as the location of four of the Space Pirates I was ready to leap into action, all I needed was to breach the containment field covering the hole.

The field completely covered the hole with only the large communication disc rising out of the middle of it. Looking closer where the field met the pillar the communication disc was standing on I noticed a series of projectors set in ring around it creating the field.

I almost smiled as I raised my arm cannon towards the communication tower the gentle hum of building energy sounding from it  even as I locked on to pillar right where it connected with the field. Few things made me feel better than taking on the Space Pirates even if this seemed to be nothing but a simple communications outpost.

With a simple pull of the mechanism inside my arm cannon the end of the cannon opened a bit as missile materialized in the chamber and was infused with buildup energy before being released in a blast that drove my arm upward from the recoil.

The insuring explosion ripped the pillar the disc was resting on in half and I watched satisfied as the field disappeared and the disc crashed down into the hole below crushing one of the Space Pirates.

Immediately I leapt into the hole even as the sandstorm filled the air to use the insuring confusion to my advantage. I landed on top of the Space Pirate who had been unloading the transport ship, placing both my feet in his neck snapping it instantly as I drove him to the ground.

I then ran to the fallen communications disc, leaping over it towards where I knew the two Space Pirates by the crates would be. Both had their weapons at the ready and opened fire as I leapt towards them.

However it was clear they had not been prepared for me as their shots were imprecise and reflexive with only a single energy bolt striking me, easily being absorbed by the power suit without major damage.

As they fired upon me I also returned fire quickly taking down the first one with  a few shots to the head even as I landed before them.

The other reacted fast, leaping behind a crate and activating its energy shield before opening fire again. But I did not allow myself to be an easy target, leaping aside and throwing out my grapple beam in mid air.

It latched on to the Space Pirates shield and I quickly yanked backwards ripping the shield from the Space Pirate. I then opened fire upon the Space pirate forcing it to take cover behind the crate as I slowly approached it.

The moment I was standing before the crate the Space Pirate jumped over it slicing at me with a scythe mounted on its left arm, but I quickly dived under it and then rammed my arm cannon upwards into its jaw lifting it of the ground before I pulled the trigger, ending its life.

I had barely done this however before the blue security field on the hatch nearby disappeared and only a moment later a Space Pirate leapt out clearly trying to find out what the commotion was. It only needed one glance at me and its dead pals to realize it and in a sensible act it threw itself backwards towards the still open hatch.

But I was not about to let it get away and fired a missile at it, which reached it just as it entered the hatch and the resulting explosion sent the Space Pirate flying through the hatch, damaging it in the process.

I quickly entered the hatch as well finding the corpse of the Space Pirate thrown against the far wall of the hallway. The hallway itself was carved out in the rock of the planet with only a few installed lights casting a dim orange glow over it all, illuminating that the hallway split in two only a little forward.

I walked slowly down the hallway knowing that there could still be one more Space Pirate left. As I reached the split I glanced down both paths and saw a hatch at the end of another short hallway on both sides.

The moment I stepped around the corner to the left an orange dot appeared on the radar on my visor. The last Space Pirate was behind me, on the other side of the hatch furthest from me and even as spun around the hatch opened.

The Space Pirate that stood in the hatch was not a normal soldier however, that was abundantly clear from its thick black armor and the grenade launcher covering its arm, an arm pointed at me. A Pirate commando!

The muzzle of the grenade launcher flared even as I leapt forward towards the commando and the grenade struck the wall behind me, exploding in a burst of electricity which arched to my suit distorting my visor as the energy pulse ran through me.

But it would take more than that to take me down, much more. Though my vision was distorted I continued forward towards the commando and soon enough my vision cleared, just in time to see it readying its launcher again.

But as the muzzle flashed I activated the morph ball becoming a small ball even as the grenade passed over me. Quickly building up energy I boosted forward towards the space pirate leaping into his stomach at great speed.

The force pushed him backwards into the room he had come from where he landed heavily on the floor, me still on top in morph ball form. But he recovered quickly swiping for me with his wrist scythe, forcing me to leap away even as I uncurled again. But not before I left a few presents for him.

The commando shrieked in anger as the morph ball bombs attached to his chest exploded, but it only nicked of a little of his armor plating. I was going to need something stronger to take him down and I knew what.

As the pirate jumped to his feet I used the delay to alter my arm cannon from the standard power beam to the plasma beam in order to burn through his armor.

Tthe commando once again raised his grenade launcher and I quickly lashed out with the grabble beam, wrapping it around his launcher and pulling him off balance just as he fired. However I only noticed as the grenade passed me, not where it landed as I moved forward.

With the grabble beam preventing him from getting away I closed the distance with the commando opening fire as I moved. Each shot tore of pieces of his armor slowly witling him down to nothing but what a standard soldier used.

That did not stop the commando from lashing out with his scythe though and I only narrowly sidestepped it even as I released the grabble beam. Before he could get chance to swipe again I began building up energy in my arm cannon and leaping forward I grabbed his neck, swinging around to his back.  

There I delivered a swift kick to the back of his knees collapsing him even as I placed the now fully charged cannon at the back of his head and released the blast.

The charged plasma shot went straight through the commando´s armor at point blank range leaving a gaping hole in the back of his head as he sunk forward on to the floor.

I watched the dead Pirate commando thoughtfully for a moment. Trained to,  "Hunt the Hunter," to hunt me, Pirate commando´s were among the most formidable warriors the Space Pirates had at their disposal…so why had one of them been sent here to a simple listening post? Was there more to it?

I looked around the room and noticed a computer nearby. Switching to my scanning visor I quickly hacked my way into the computer. Once in I quickly sorted through several reports and work logs before finally finding something that shed some light on the commando´s presence.

Log 00.015.7: Communication Established

We finally got the communication disc working despite the hostile conditions and were pleased when we almost immediately made contact with Project Dread. A quick report from them assured us that the project is continuing as planned except for a minor setback which will be elaborated on in a future report. Command will be pleased to hear this.



I deactivated my scanning visor and quickly searched my suits database. I was certain I had heard the term "Project Dread" somewhere before. It did not take long before I was met with success as I found a small log entry dating back to the Phazon Crisis and the Federations attack upon the Pirate Homeworld.

Experiment status report update: Metroid Project Dread is nearing the final stages of completion.

I stood for a moment thoughtful at this development. I remembered now how I had found the entry back on Pirate Homeworld, but the attack by the Federation as well as nearby computer log mentioning how an experiment with using Metroid as energy sources had been a failure, had led me to believe Project dread had been ended…but now it would seem it was still very real.

I quickly went through the computer again finding the mentioned report from "Project Dread" and coordinates for where it had originated from. I then turned around to leave, but stopped as I reached the hatch.

The project mentioned Metroids, could a batch of them have survived among the Pirates? If that was the case it would not be the first time discovered this "extinct" race to be very much alive.

Making a quick decision I turned around and blasted the computer terminal with several missiles reducing it to a pile of slag.

I then headed outside where the control panel on my arm cannon quickly summoned my ship to me through the storm. Entering the ship I cast only one last glimpse back at the Pirate base. Without the containment field to protect it the sandstorm would soon cover any traces of the base.

I then entered my ship and set of out of the planets atmosphere. Stopping in orbit I then opened a channel to the Galactic Federation. After the usual verification codes I reported my success in locating the source of the signal in the system and the destruction of the Space Pirates.

But I mentioned nothing of Project Dread to the officer taking my report and he simply said "Well done Samus, the standard fee for destroying a small Space Pirate base will be transferred to your account" like it had been any other assignment I had completed.

But to me this was just the beginning. While I would have normally reported the location of a major Pirate base without hesitation, the alleged  involvement of Metroids  made me hesitate. I remembered only to clearly the last time I had encountered Metroids aboard the BOTTLE ship and how the experiments there had implied that someone high in the Federation command wanted bio weapons for some unknown purpose.

And with the death of Adam Malkovich during the same mission I did not have anyone left I trusted within the Federation command.

I punched in the coordinates I had retrieved from the communications post. I would investigate this "Project Dread" myself and then if needed contact the Federation.

My ship turned correcting itself with the new cause and the stars dotting the black void became lines of white as my ship accelerated heading towards my destination.
Hello

Next chapter: [link]

This is a new fan fiction story I am starting based on the kickass heroine Samus Aran.

Things you might want to know about this story:

This story takes place between Metroid: Other M and Metroid: Fusion as should be indicated by parts of this chapter.

It will be a multi chapter story and I am writing it under the assumption that the people reading it know the basics of who Samus is. If I bring in some obscure lore I will explain it in story. Else feel free to ask me if there is something you want elaborated :)

Also see this journal entry for a bit more information regarding this project: [link]

Samus and anything Metroid (C) Nintendo

Hope you enjoy this first chapter and the rest of the story :)
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Dark Nova Technology FAQ

Q:  What kind of engines are used in Dark Nova? What about FTL?
A:  Engines break down into two types, main engines for sub-light speeds and jump engines for FTL. The most common type of main engine in the Terran sphere is the gravitic drive. This is a cutting-edge gravity-manipulation engine that is only theoretical today in the early 21st century. It serves three simultaneous purposes- allowing for phenomenal acceleration and maneuverability, creating an inertial-dampening field through the gravitic bubble it creates around the vessel (in other words, the ship may be accelerating at 1.25 AU per hour, but within the bubble velocity is unchanged, and thus the crew are not turned into a molecular smear on the rear bulkhead from acceleration G-forces), and it creates the AG fields that allow the vessel to float above the ground AND create artificial gravity inside. Gravitic technology was- in the history of the setting- one of the Big Three breakthroughs of post-Fall Terran civilization, the other two being the development of the jump drive and the creation of advanced nanotechnology.
Main engine speeds are determined by the mass of the vessel. The maximum relativistic velocity that a vessel can achieve is equal to .9 C (90% of the speed of light), minus .1C per class of the vessel (i.e., small starships max out at .8C, medium at .7C, large at .6C, etc.) However, some vessels have special systems or designs that allow them to go faster. Acceleration is measured in Astronomical Units (AU) per hour, roughly 93 million miles per hour (roughly 13% of the speed of light). A vessel can accelerate from zero to the listed speed in one standard hour (60 minutes or 360 rounds). For example, a vessel that can pull 4 AU/hour can go from a dead stop to a little over .5C in one hour. This tremendous acceleration would be lethal to the crew- leaving them a fine organic paste on the rear bulkhead- were it not for inertial dampeners and artificial gravity fields.   
Jump engines, on the other hand, are not actual propulsion engines in the conventional sense. A jump engine does not move the vessel, it punches a quantum tunnel from normal space into hyperspace. Physicists have long theorized that the universe exists in layers not unlike those of an onion, with the normal space of the physical universe being the outermost layer, and each subsequent inner layer being the many levels of hyperspace. Jump engines act like a needle, piercing through the reality barriers from normal space into the deeper layers of the universe, and then again back to the surface. Thus, movement of a few thousand kilometers in the navigable layers of hyperspace equates to light years of movement on the surface.
A ship traveling through hyperspace is contained in a relativistic bubble that traveled along this penetrating tunnel- called a wormhole- into, along, and back out of hyperspace. Unfortunately, the denser structure of hyperspace is comprised of energetic particles that cause molecular degradation over time from exposure. This limits the amount of time a ship can remain in hyperspace, and how deep they can go into it. Venting this radiation is a long, laborious process. Generally, this process takes about an hour for every five spent in hyperspace, but it can be sped up through the use of ailerons and other structures to act like a form of heat-sink to draw the tachyons out and vent them into normal space, where they dispersed in an attempt to fill the vacuum. This is why vessels in Dark Nova are relatively streamlined- to reduce the T-rad build up- and why they have ailerons and wings.

Q:  What kind of weapons are in Dark Nova?
A:  There are two categories of weapons, civilian-grade and mil-spec. Civilian grade weapons are either surplus military hardware that is considered obsolete, and has had the high-powered reactors and particle acceleration systems replaced with weaker ones, or weapons built from the ground up for the civilian market. They are far less powerful than a military weapon- comparable to the difference between a .40 round and a 40mm grenade, as a 21st century comparison- though still quite lethal. The survivability of a civilian-grade weapon is comparable to the survivability of a 12 gauge shotgun at close range firing .00 buckshot mixed with a slug. In other words, not very. Mil-spec weaponry is designed to combat the heavy armor worn by 24th century soldiers and is very powerful. The average mil-spec sidearm has as much firepower as 21st century heavy artillery, and is impossible to survive without armor or substantial augmentation. Mil-spec heavy weapons can often unleash kiloton or higher yield firepower- albeit much more focused than an omnidirectional 21st century nuclear weapon- and are understandably highly restricted. There are several types of weapons in Dark Nova. Ranged weapons are predominantly energy weapons, usually based on tried-and-true particle weapon technology. Older technologies that have either seen a renaissance of new use with updated technology, or have stubbornly held in there, regardless of advancements, include lasers, Gauss weapons (railguns and Magnetic Accelerator Cannons, or MAC guns) and plasma projectors. Cutting edge weapons are anti-proton variants of their conventional particle projection or particle beam cousins, adding the extra potency of matter/antimatter annihilation to the mix by firing antimatter charged particles.
Particle Beam (PB): Uses a focused EM field tube to contain a stream of charged particles that travels from the emitter to the target at near-luminal velocities (i.e. .999999% of the speed of light). As the charged particles have some mass- minute though it may be- travelling at hypervelocity speeds, they cause significant kinetic impact on the target. This can knock the target back, depending on the size of the pulse and the target it strikes. Additionally, the charged particles release explosive energy upon impact, causing thermal, radiant and explosive damage. While these effects are only a fraction of that seen in particle projection weapons, particle beam weapons have an ace up their sleeve that only lasers can duplicate- burn-through. The concentrated punch of the stream of particles- even if only for a brief pulse- can overwhelm a shield's defenses when focused on a single point. Particle beam weapons burn through shields on critical hit, ignoring them and doing full damage to armor. As with lasers, particle beam weapons are zero time of flight weapons and cannot be detected by conventional sensors within their effective range due to their luminal velocities. They virtually strike the target the instant they are fired. Outside of their effective range, sensors can detect the incoming fire, allowing the target to evade.
Particle Projection (PP): Particle projection weapons comprise the bulk of commonplace weaponry of the 24th century. They use magnetic acceleration to project self-contained packets of protons cocooned within an EM field that lasts for a few tenths of a second. Upon impact, the field disperses and releases the charged particles into the target with tremendous force. Particle projection weapons have significantly higher levels of kinetic impact from the larger packet of hypervelocity charged particles. Whereas a particle beam is like being hit with a light-speed pencil, a particle projection weapon is like being hit by a twenty kilo boulder hurled at a tenth that speed. Needless to say, it knocks target back and has much greater explosive, radiant and thermal damage. If the weapon is a particle projection rifle or larger, the damage has an area affect, doing damage to everything within a one meter diameter, and then radiating outward with damage being reduced per every meter outward. Unlike military versions of the technology- which have an order of magnitude greater particle density, resulting in staggeringly higher damage- civilian-grade particle projection weapons are generally not subject to overpenetration and internal wall breaches, as they dissipate rapidly into the surrounding material.
AP Lancer (APB): The anti-proton version of a particle beam, requires more power to produce anti-hydrogen from which to strip the antimatter particles, but results in far more damage upon impact.
Anti-Particle Projection (APP): The anti-proton version of a particle projection weapon, requires more power to produce anti-hydrogen from which to strip the antimatter particles, but results in far more damage upon impact. The most powerful particle weapon in use to date.
Plasma (PL): Plasma is the product of a fusion reaction, pure energy in its most primal state. The stuff stars are made of- literally- and the base component of particle weapons, plasma is commonly found in the cores of fusion reactors. Plasma is used to generate the charged particles used in particle beam and projection weapon, and is the base for initiating anti-proton manufacture as well. Pure unfiltered plasma is very powerful, but also dissipates very rapidly. The shotgun of the Dark Nova universe, plasma weapons are area affect weapons no matter whether they are pistols or cannons. Like particle projection weapons, this damage is reduced every meter that it radiates out from the impact zone, but the amount of reduction is only -8 per meter radius instead, affecting a larger sphere. The dispersion gives these weapons a very short range, and they lose 25% of their damage per range category above short (i.e, they lose 25% of rolled damage at Medium range, 50% of rolled damage at Long range, and 75% of rolled damage at Extreme range).
Laser (LA): Like particle beam weapons, a laser burns through shields on critical hit, doing full damage to armor, and is a zero time of flight weapon. It is weaker, and does not have any kinetic component.
Gauss (G): Gauss weapons use magnetic or gravitic energy to accelerate a projectile to super-mach or high sub-luminal speeds. This hypervelocity projectile is difficult to trace back to its source due to a low energy signature, and is often used as a sniper weapon. Like grenade and missile launchers, it is ammo-dependent. Due to kinetic nature, penetrates shields- though it is slowed- on 18, 19, or 20 and does half damage to armor or body.
Grenade (g): Grenade launchers are similar in principle to Gauss weapons, though with lower-speed variable settings to affect range. Due to the nature of the projectile, hyperkinetic impacts would defeat the purpose of an area-affect or special-ordnance warhead, necessitating a lower-speed launch. This, in turn, allows counter-battery or interceptor fire at longer ranges, requiring a shortened flight time and- as a result- shorter range.
Fusion Nuke (FN): A older, less-efficient type of plasma weapon, this warhead or grenade does not have the implosion focus retention of conventional grenades or warheads, and unleashes its full fury across a wide area. The area affect "splash damage" is reduced by -20 per 100 meter radius of blast, giving these weapons blast radii of many, many miles with explosive capacity comparable to the most powerful of 20th and 21st century nuclear weapons. Highly restricted due to the very high propensity for collateral damage.
Antimatter (AM): Powerful warheads or grenades that contain a small quantity of antimatter in a suspension field that releases upon impact with predetermined target or by timer. Unlike area-affect fusion nukes, these weapons are more advanced, and have an implosion focus retention field that concentrates the blast into a pre-determined area of effect ranging from 100m to 100km wide.
Vibroblade (VB): Vibroblades use an adaptive frequency harmonic vibration field suspended nanometers in front of a diamond-sharp cutting edge. This harmonic vibration field can disrupt molecular bonds with ease, and if it strikes in just the right way, can separate electrons from their atoms, allowing the blade to disrupt the atomic cohesion required in atomically-bonded armour. Ignores shields, and bypasses armor to do half-damage to the wearer on a critical hit.
Stun: This weapon uses an electron packet neural disruptor pulse to render targets unconscious in a fashion similar to disruptor weapons used to knock out electronics.
Nanite Ordnance: This is a specialized grenade or missile warhead using deconstructor nanites held in dense suspension within a gel. This gel is a liquid synthetic neural network that contains the core operating system of the nanites as well as simple targeting instructions that limit their destruction to pre-determined targets only, and prevents them from causing collateral damage.
Disruptors: These are specialized Electronic and Network Warfare Operations (ENWO) weapon systems that disable rather than damage a target vehicle or vessel. Most disruptors use a combination of photon attractor/repulsor and electron arrestor fields to scramble the fiberoptics and synth-neural circuitry of electronic systems.

Q: What about armor? Shields?
A: Armor: There are a wide variety of types and combinations of armor plating, but many of the more exotic ones are reserved for mil-spec warships. Even the ones available to the civilian and privateer market are potent, and come in a few key types. The materials and the form the armor takes will determine how much protection it offers, how much space it will take up, and how much it will cost.

Ablative Armor: Ablative armor is designed to be a universal defense against a variety of different threats. Thick, hyper-dense, and backed by recoil-absorbing tenser fields, it is the standard armor used on non-military vessels.

Deflector Plating: With the widespread use of energy weapons as the primary offensive technology, some races and manufacturers have adapted by developing deflector plating. Lighter, thinner, and designed with embedded energy-reflecting crystalline structures, this armor works superbly well against directed energy weapons. It reduces the damage done by standard energy weapons (lasers, particle beam and projection, etc., but NOT kinetic energy weapons such as MACs, missiles, nor against antimatter-variants of energy weapons) by 20%, rounded up. The downside is that kinetic weapons do 15% more damage to the armor, and penetrate it on a critical hit, doing damage directly to structure.

Laminate Armor: Laminate armor is a mixture of ablative and deflector armor. It is a layer of deflector armor plating over an ablative backing. It reduces the damage done by energy weapons by 20% to a point, but once the armor has been reduced by 25%, this damage reduction no longer applies as the deflector armor layer has been cooked off. Due to the advantages of the outer deflector layer, the inner ablative layer is thinner than standard ablative armor, making the overall plate roughly the same thickness.

Battleplate: The toughest and thickest form of armor plating is designed for warships. Battleplate is a composite of multiple overlapping layers of ablative armor in varying crystalline alignments, and often of different materials. This makes the plate incredibly resilient as it disperses incoming energy- directed and kinetic- throughout the outer layers of the armor plating, much like aramid fiber body armors such as Spectra. This means that, pound for pound, battleplate is an order of magnitude tougher than conventional plating.

Armor plating is made from hyper-dense materials, either modified naturally-occurring ones such as turine or exotic artificial materials such as duridium and stabilized metallic hydrogen. These materials are atomically bonded, interlinking the atoms with one another in a fashion not unlike three-dimensional chainmaille armor. This makes the materials very, very heavy, but also lends them the density required to withstand directed energy weapons and hypervelocity kinetic impacts. Each of these materials will have different potency and effects when used as armor.

Carbon Composite: Carbon was the first material successfully atomically bonded for use as armor plating. Carbon composits had been used in armor since before the Fall, but as an atomically bonded material it has proven to be effective and light. Typically used on lighter vessels and small craft.

Turine: Turine is a naturally hyper-dense form of iron that forms at the heart of super-giant stars. As these super-giants go into their death throes at the end of their life, with hydrogen having fuzed into helium, and helium fuzing into iron, the subsequent iron atoms fall into the core of the star and are compressed and ionized due to plasma and pressure. The result is a hyper-dense metal that is then flung across the cosmos when the star explodes. It is the standard material used in hull and armor plating due to the ease with which nanites can interlink the already densely-packed atoms to create atomically-bonded armor, making it cheaper to mine than produce in a nanovat.

Duridium: Duridium is an artificially-created ablative armor material that was developed by the Dunbaren Trade Federation for their stealth frigates. It is designed to absorb energy, including sensor pings as well as weapons, reducing the signature of the vessels sheathed in it. While not as tough as other materials, it is still quite effective.

Metallic Hydrogen: An exotic material that normally is found only in the depths of gas giants, metallic hydrogen is the best armor plating one can buy. Due to the superconductive properties of the metal, incoming energy is dispersed across the whole of the hull, radically reducing the impact to the plating itself. This means that, pound for pound, metallic hydrogen is ten times harder to damage than turine or other, similar materials. The Ahruga were the first to use nanotechnology to make metallic hydrogen metastable- keeping it in the metallic state outside of the massive pressure in which it naturally occurs- and the first to interlink the atoms to atomically bind it. Originally desired for use in chemical rockets before the Fall, in its atomically-bonded state it is completely inert and non-reactive to plasma and other high-temperature ignition sources. It retained its superconductivity, however, and was used to develop polarized armor plating for their ships. The material has evolved into the toughest substance known when used against energy weapons and hyperkinetic weapons, a fact reflected in the high HuP per module, able to simultaneously absorb the impact of near-luminal charged particles and projectiles and to disperse the energy released across the entire surface of the vessel. Some vessels even capitalize on this, channeling a portion of the dispersed energy into their capacitor banks, supercharging them and allowing them to surpass their capacitor limit for a short time.


Q:  Man-portable weapons that do megatons in damage? That's absurd! That's just foolish because [insert some short-sighted technical babble based on 21st century technology and completely ignoring the fact that this is a sci-fi game set 300 years in the future here]. What were you thinking? (believe it or not, this is actually MORE polite than the way this has been voiced many times by self-styled intellectuals seeking to inflate their own egos by pompously posturing as if they were an authority on all things technological)
A:  You have to understand the technology of the setting as opposed to our technology today. The books- and the game based on them- are set in 2318, with exponential leaps and bounds in technology, both from Humanity's own R&D and tech as well as that acquired from alien races. They have the ability to manipulate gravity the way we manipulate electricity, and antimatter production and containment is kid's stuff.
You also have to understand the scope and scale of 24th century warfare. If you walked into a modern Afghani battlefield wearing 16th century plate armour and carrying a crossbow, you would be dead in seconds as a 5.56 or 7.62 round punched through it like butter, and your crossbow bolt thudded impotently into the ESAPI plates of the IOTVs of the modern soldier. Our weapons today would mow down legions of troops from three or four centuries ago. Yet, those same weapons that would slaughter 16th or 17th century troops are often effectively mitigated, if not stopped entirely, by our body armour today. Trust me, been there. Hurts like a bitch, but you live.
It's an ever-escalating arms race that eventually leads- in the setting of the novels and the game- to atomically-bonded hardened environmental body armour and personal shield generators being developed to counter extremely potent and powerful energy weapons. Mil-spec small arms- pulse pistols, pulse rifles, etc.- have more firepower than a 21st century tank, but the armor they are being pitted against is super-dense tenser-field-reinforced energetic hard armor designed to withstand anything short of being hit by small stars. Which, frankly, is pretty much what most small arms shoot.
The super-powerful weapons the original poster was bitching about fill a role similar to our M-47 Dragons- it is designed to take out grav tanks, battlewalkers, APCs, and small craft like fighters, GACs, and shuttles, often at long ranges. They use a short-lived containment field to concentrate that damage into the target, be it fusion or antimatter, in order to limit collateral casualties and increase the on-target damage. This means a blast radius of only a quarter mile or so instead of the many, many miles these weapons would produce otherwise. If an armoured infantryman- or even someone in powered armour- were hit by these things, they would be so dead they would hit the afterlife twice and leave skidmarks.
So, to say it is absurd now, true. To say it is absurd in a day and age where nanobatteries and microreactors can produce terrawatts of energy, gravitic and magnetic fields are created and toyed with in middle-school science classes, and stars can be created or destroyed... well, that would be like a French musketeer three centuries ago saying that horseless chariots, libraries without books that are instantly accessible anywhere in the world (yay cellular/satellite modems!), weapons that shoot metal balls at several times the speed of sound so fast that the tenth one has been launched before the first one hits, and that a weapon can be made that fits in a barrel that could reduce Paris to poisoned ash would be absurd. Stop thinking in such short-sighted terms, expand your mind :)

Q: When is the game coming out? Where can I find it? What's it about?
A: The game is debuting for public release at Comicpalooza sci-fi and fantasy convention in Houston, TX 27-29 May of this year. The website for Dark Nova Games is still being retooled to upgrade the online store, but it should be up and available for pre-orders by mid-May.
As for what it's about, the Dark Nova Roleplaying Game is a table-top roleplaying game set in the early 24th century based on the series of novels by the same name. The game is a combination of space opera and high-tech Cyberpunk genres, where political intrigue, technology and the vast expanse of known space create a dangerous setting for the players to shape their own stories. Mankind has spread out amongst the stars, discovered other races, and come face-to-face with its own nature. Centered around the loose coalition of nation-states known as the Terran Alliance of Nations, humanity still fights, engages in political intrigue, and is just as prone to acts of great brutality and nobility as they are today. They are not, however, alone. The universe of Dark Nova is a dynamic- and often dangerous- place similar in many ways to the 19th century with its combination of heavily-settled civilized Core Worlds and the dangerous Wild-West-like fringe colonies. Pirates, organized crime syndicates, predatory alien races, and good old fashioned internecine warfare go hand-in-hand with the heroism of the Templars, the defiance of authority of the independent Freetraders, the fierce honour of the Ahruga, and the steadfast stubborn determination of mankind to overcome its darker nature and become a better species.

More to come as I get questions :-D
The much-demanded FAQ for the technology of Dark Nova. This will be a work in progress based on the questions I get (valid ones), however I'm also not going to dump the entire game manual on here. So, if you have questions about the setting, feel free to ask, and if I can I will address them :)
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"Broke? What do you mean broke?"

Bon Bon flashed her partner a stern look. "We have nothing. We have no money."

A shocked Lyra stammered. "Wh-, what do you mean 'nothing'? Your business has been doing great! I've seen it!"

"Not great enough, apparently." The earth pony didn't move her gaze from the floor. "If I can't pay rent by the end of the month, I'll lose the shop."

"We'll lose the shop," Lyra corrected. "We're in this together."

Bon Bon stood up and hugged her marefriend. "Oh Lyra. I just don't know what to do. I'm scared."

The unicorn ran her hooves up and down her partner's back. "We'll figure this out. Together."

The cream colored mare looked up at her before digging her face into her neck, desperately searching for whatever comfort it could offer. The pony made her best attempt at holding back her fearful tears, but to no avail.

Lyra tousled the pony's mane. "C'mon. Let's go sit down. You need a break."

The mare couldn't protest. However unwilling to move she was, Bon Bon was herded to the cushions in the living room, tiredly falling down upon them. The mint pony sat next to the mare, continually trying to be a handkerchief for her. Time caught itself in a limbo as the two stared off into space.

Lyra continued to trace the edges of the earth pony's back on the couch, Bon Bon slowly moving to lay on her lap. The unicorn watched the mare sigh, her partner longing for security in her body as she played with her mane.

Her mind started searching for answers; she tried to think of everything she could do, if not just to make her marefriend happy. Her brain danced towards different notions and possibilities, only for her trance to be broken by Bon Bon's stirring.

The earth pony rolled off of the couch to her hooves, silently making her way to the stairs. Lyra followed her slowly, still weighed heavily upon by her contemplation. By the time she reached the bedroom, she saw Bon Bon already curling into the bedsheets, herself wordlessly slipping under the covers.

It wasn't long before the sound of her partner snoozing was the only noise resonating within the house. Although she was happy that she had returned to her own bed, she found her eyes only wandering the ceiling, her thoughts not wanting to yield her any rest.

The unicorn's brain continued to sprint through her alternatives. She considered all the things she could sell; she thought about asking her parents for money; her mind even flashed to doing a swimsuit photoshoot, but all of her options returned to one thing:

She had to get a job.

***                        ***                        ***

The crackle of cooking eggs and aroma of french toast greeted Lyra as she awoke, her lack of sleep urging her to keep her eyes shut. She sat up and shook her mane, looking at the impression her chef and marefriend had left on the bed.

Yawning and not even bothering to run a comb through her hair, she made her way down the stairs and into the kitchen.

The fantastic smell, coupled with the sight of Bon Bon cooking away in her apron, hit her as she entered the room. She considered making her jump once more as her eyes traced up her flank, but quickly decided that it was not in her best interests.

The unicorn trotted over, pecking her on the cheek and greeting her with a "good morning".

"I don't know what's so good about it," the earth pony replied.

"I'm here, you're here, and I'm going to save your store."

Bon Bon frowned, flipping the eggs onto a plate. "How? Are you going to start working the streets?"

Lyra couldn't stifle a laugh. "You know I wouldn't do that. Well... Nah, I wouldn't."

She levitated a healthy helping of eggs onto some freshly made toast. "Anyway, I'll be back tonight. I've got some things I need to take care of."

The unicorn kissed the cream mare, not even letting the pony get a word out before she trotted towards the door. "Love you, bye!"

Bon Bon may have replied, but she wouldn't have heard her over the sound of the door shutting. She took a breath as she stepped out into the sunlight.

She prepared for her job hunt to begin.

***                        ***                        ***

In a near sprint the mint unicorn left a factory, her chest heaving as she tried to regain her breath. She collapsed to the dirt road face first, quickly rolling herself over onto her back.

"Well," she muttered in between pants. "I am not working for Elmer."

Slowly, the unicorn lifted herself up, trying to break into a brisk trot as she escaped from the adhesive factory.

"It seems like every place is either not hiring, or absolutely insane," the pony said to herself. "I don't know how anypony finds a job in times like these." She looked back at her flank.

"Oh, right."

There were times when she despised having a musical cutie mark. To make any sort of living in the musical field, let alone a profit, was a nearly ludacris notion. She would play her lyre in small halls or bars as much as she could, but nopony knew better than herself how little space there was for small musicians like her. Unfortunately for the unicorn, it was what she was destined to be good at. She was good at it; the music industry was unforgiving at best, more classical musicians such as herself being tossed aside for new genres.

Lyra sighed, walking back into Ponyville and scanning shops for "Now Hiring" fliers. The familiar streets were just that: too familiar. None of the family owned businesses around could possibly need a new employee, let alone one such as herself. She turned a corner as she prayed for a sign, tripping over an object and falling to her stomach with an "Oof!"

The pony quickly turned, looking to apprehend the culprit to see that it was, in fact, a sign, the words "Now Hiring" displayed proudly at the top with an arrow pointing to the building next to her. She muttered a thanks to Celestia for the blessing and blindly trotted into the structure.

***                        ***                        ***

The lyre-flanked mare's ears perked at the familiar ding of the bell as she entered Bon Bon's sweet shop; her home. The evening sun was setting, basking the landscape in beautiful shades of red. She was happy, tired and, most of all, surprised as she levitated her new work uniform through the doorway. Smiling to herself, she walked into the kitchen.

"What's that?"

At the sound of Bon Bon's voice, she quickly threw the clothing aside. "Nothing. Nothing at all."

"Lyra, where have you been?" the earth pony questioned as she approached her, her eyes widening at a realization.

"Lyra! I know I joked about working the streets, but prostitution is not the way to save us!"

The unicorn almost fell over. "What? I'm sorry, what!? That doesn't even make sense! It's way too early in the evening for that!"

Bon Bon let the notion slip away, not wanting to embarrass herself anymore by jumping to conclusions. She speedily trotted past her marefriend, making her way to the clothes Lyra had discarded and picking up the fabric in her mouth.

"Welf? Then wafs thif?" She dropped the dress shirt from muzzle and coughed. "Well, what's this, then?"

Lyra sighed, levitating the clothes up and dusting them off. "I suppose this is important enough for you to know." The mare drew a slow breath. "I got a job."

Her partner's glare turned to a look of confusion. "You mean a real one?"

"Ouch okay. Yes, a real one, Bon Bon."

The earth pony looked down. "Sorry, I didn't mean that. I've just been really on edge lately."

Lyra walked forward, wrapping her hooves around the mare. "We both have. Believe me, this isn't easy for either of us, but I think we'll make it." She smiled as she kissed Bon Bon.

"Thanks. You're too good to me."

The unicorn broke away, heading towards the stairs. "Well, I better put these new clothes up."

"Wait, you never told me what your new job is."

Lyra stopped. "That's not important."

"Not important?" Bon Bon replied as she trotted to her marefriend. "Of course it's important! I need to know where to go to visit you at work."

"No, it's really not important."

The cream mare frowned. "Please? I'll be your best friend."

"No."

"Come on!" Bon Bon playfully poked at the unicorn's sides before wrapping her hooves around her neck. "I'll make it worth your while."

Lyra's ears perked up. "Well... I guess I can be persuaded. You promise not to laugh?"

"Promise."

"You won't say anything about it?"

"Not a word."

Lyra took a step back, floating out a paper a recently obtained paper name tag. She took a deep breath.

"I'm a waitress."

***                        ***                        ***

"Bon Bon. Hello? Bon Bon! You can stop laughing now!"

Lyra watched as the mare tried to pick herself up from the floor, only to fall back down. At this point, the unicorn had seated herself, propping her head up with her hoof as she waited for her theoretical partner to stop.

"I'm- I'm sorry Lyra. You know I love you, but this is too good."

The unicorn hopped to her hooves, trotting over to the couch and levitating pillows. For another time, she began to construct her fort, Batmare clenched in her hoof. The mare soon found herself entombed by the pillows, tackled by Bon Bon in a crushing and loving hug.

"I forgot to say thank you," Bon Bon said to her as she stared into her eyes.

"For what? Giving you a good laugh?"

"No, for doing this. You really care about us."

Lyra smiled. "I care about you. Waiting tables will be all worth it to keep you happy."

"Promise me one thing, though," the earth pony said, pecking her with a quick kiss.

"And what would that be?"

"Please, please, treat your customers well. I don't know how to say this, but you aren't always the best with whiney ponies."

"What's that supposed to mean? I treat you well, don't I?"

"Yes, well- hey!" Bon Bon drew back as Lyra snickered.

"Oh, come here." The unicorn tightly wrapped her hooves around her marefriend, the pair continuing to lie in the pile of pillows.

Lyra felt her ear twitch as Bon Bon whispered into it. "I'm tired. How about we head up to bed?"

"I'm alright with sleeping here, though. These pillows are pretty comfortable."

"No, I mean bed."

"Oh. Oh! Yeah, I'm really tired too, let's go," the almost oblivious unicorn spat out as she scrambled to her hooves. "You still have some making up to do."

***                        ***                        ***

"This isn't diet soda!"

"You sure these hay fries are low sodium?"

"You forgot to put the lemon in my water."

"Where's the bathroom? This train ain't waiting!"

Lyra was fed up. Not even done with her first day on the job and she had had it with the customers of the Everfree Café. While nowhere near the Everfree, and hardly a café, the customers sure acted like they were feral animals. At least to Lyra.

"Heartstrands, go pick up table three."

"Heartstrings, and yes ma'am."

If there was anypony in the building that she didn't like more than the customers, it was her boss. The fact that she had one at all was a completely new experience for her.

The mare in charge, Cinnamon Swirl, was a short and stocky pegasus and, from what Lyra had seen, was always in a bad mood. It made her wonder how ponies like Cinnamon ever could even make it through high school, let alone open their own restaurant.

"Done, ma'am." Her magic could make quick work of whatever mess that could appear.

"Good, good. Now get ready, the lunch rush is coming. That's when the bulk of the customers show up."

Lyra contemplated talking back to the reddish-brown mare, but decided that it would not be a good idea to immediately get fired. She looked over the already packed restaurant, sighing heavily.

"Great. Can't wait."

Could this job get any worse?

"Excuse me, miss, but my foal just had an accident."

Yes.

The unicorn could see why the restaurant had been so desperate to hire a new waitress/busmare/custodian. She was beginning to rethink grabbing a position at the glue factory.

The mare trotted into the bathroom to wipe some mess off of her clothes. She looked in the mirror, watching herself as she sighed. "I'm sorry Bon Bon, but I just can't do this. I don't think this job is right for me." She put her weight on the sink, continuing to stare at herself.

"What are you doing in here?" a male voice called out.

Of course she had walked into the stallion's restroom.

***                        ***                        ***

"Hey honey. How was your day?" Lyra heard her marefriend call out as she walked past her store's counter and into the kitchen.

"It was... It was something," she muttered as a reply, clenching her net tip in hoof; hardly a  hoofful of bits.

Bon Bon wrapped her loving hooves around her as she turned the corner. "Oh, Lyra. I'm so proud of you. It takes a big mare to pony up and do this."

"Yeah." Lyra didn't break her gaze from the ground, not returning her partner's embrace. Her mind raced; she couldn't quit her job now. Not with Bon Bon thinking like this. Slowly, the mare broke away.

"What's wrong?"

"Oh, nothing. It's just that..." the mare searched for an appropriate excuse. "Just that we won't be able to spend as much time together." She put some effort into convincing her own mind into thinking that was the truth.

Bon Bon kept her suspicions visible on her face for a spell, but quickly dropped it. "Well, I'm glad it's all working out for you and I. We may be able to save the store yet!" She hugged the unicorn.

"How has business been, anyway?"

The earth pony sighed, releasing the mare. "Slow. Very slow. I'm mainly blaming it on Ponyville's recent pushing of health food on school children. What kind of world do we live in when kids can't even pester their parents into buying a box of candy?"

Lyra quickly forgot about her own dilemma, hugging and kissing the mare. "Don't worry, I still like your candy. In fact, I'd like to make an order."

"Oh, you would, would you?" The cream mare quickly grabbed an order form and a pen.

"Hmm, let me think." The unicorn put on her best contemplative face. "I'd like some Bon Bon. Perhaps for dinner."

The mare facehooved at the corniness of her marefriend, but couldn't hold back a laugh all the same. "I think that one was a sign that it's time to go to bed. I'm suddenly very tired."

"But what about my order?"

"We have a policy about bad jokes."

Lyra trotted forward, planting a deep kiss on the mare's lips. "I think your policy can be overlooked. I've been buying from the company long enough."

"Hmm... maybe." The earth pony began to lead the unicorn up the stairs. "Just this once."

The mint pony met her at the peak. "It's a pleasure doing business with you, Miss Bon Bon." She opened her mouth to put out more innuendo riddled teasing, but was interrupted by a low grumbling noise.

"I actually do want some dinner."

***                        ***                        ***

So far, Lyra's second day had gone much smoother than her first. She was slowly getting used to all the quirks of working in a restaurant, and was quickly learning how to deal with less-than-pleasant customers. She had made it through the heavy lunch hour, and it was almost time for her own lunch break; she just had a few more tables to get situated.

Dropping off drinks and a couple entrées elsewhere, she decided to pick up one more booth before she sat down, herself. She could feel her enthusiasm falling.

"Hello. Welcome to the Everfree Café. How may I help you-"

She looked upon the single pony seated in the booth.

"Octavia?"
A Secret Mission

Chapter 1: [link]
Chapter 2: [You are here]
Chapter 3: [link]
Chapter 4: [link]
Chapter 5: [link]
Chapter 6: [link]
Chapter 7: [link]
Chapter 8: [link]
Chapter 9: [link]
Chapter 10: [link]
Chapter 11: [link]
Chapter 12: [link]
Chapter 13: [link]
Chapter 14: [link]

Special thanks to :iconmuffinshire: for the awesome cover art! [link]

If you enjoyed the story, please rate on FiM Fiction [link]
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Waking up in strange places never was a good feeling for Lyra. Especially when she was awoken by the voice of a mare who was not her marefriend.

"Lyra? What in Luna's name are you doing here so early? I thought I told you to lock up last night."

The only response the mare could muster was falling off of the table she had been sleeping on. She felt the cleaning towel she had been using as a pillow fall on her face. Groggily, she threw it off of her, her eyes being met with the sight of Cinnamon Swirl towering over her body.

"Well?" she said. "This isn't a hotel for you to just waltz in and out at your own desire."

"I... I never left last night. I couldn't. I-" she thought of making up some sort of excuse, but decided that if she was ever going to enjoy working for this mare, she would have to open up sometime. "I don't have any other place to go."

Cinnamon seemed indifferent, but still surprised Lyra with a response. "Well I can't have you sleeping on the job, can I? What happened?"

The unicorn sighed. She really didn't want to have this conversation, but felt that it was necessary. "My mare-" she still didn't know how much of a bigot her boss was. The last thing she needed was being randomly fired for being a 'fillyfooler'. "My significant other kind of kicked me out. We had a fight, and I haven't been able to-"

"I don't care."

That illusion didn't last long. "But I thought-"

"I don't care about your life. I do care if you can get the job done, however. Go home."

"What?"

"Go home. You need some real rest. You can't make me money like this."

"No, no. I'm fine." To prove her point, Lyra jumped to her hooves, only to wobble and topple over. She muttered some curses on gravity under her breath.

The pegasus' gaze narrowed. "Get out of here. I can't be paying employee medical bills."

Slowly, the unicorn brought herself back to her hooves, using a table for support. Despite her boss being absolutely selfish, she was right. After her utter exhaustion and lack of real sleep, be it in a couch fort or otherwise, there was no way she could work today. "I gotcha. I'm going."

"Good. Be back when you're useful."

Those words hurt Lyra more than she would have at any other time. Considering how her entire relationship was falling apart, she did feel useless. It seemed like no matter what she did, everything just fell apart. She wondered why she should even try. Everything was just wrong.

She exited the building, tears welling up in her eyes.

As soon as she stepped out into the open air, her hooves stopped in their tracks. She knew that she had to go home, but how much of a home was the place she lived? It felt as if she was no longer welcome anywhere she went. She lifted a hoof, wiping her eyes clean. The unicorn forced her legs to move forward.

It didn't matter where she was going at this point. Bon Bon was always good at dealing with situations like this, except for when she was directly involved, of course. She was Lyra's map, and without her, Lyra was lost in the wilderness.

Her hooves had carried her to Ponyville's market. Celestia's sun was just beginning to rise above the horizon, and with it, shopkeepers were just setting up. Florists, potters, salesponies and the like were all preparing for a day of sales.

Seeing all the businesses made Lyra worry. Bon Bon didn't seem like she was in any position to work today, and despite the boom of customers they had on Saturday, she wouldn't be able to make enough profit. Lyra's ears drooped. It's not like it mattered anymore, anyway. She found that her biggest challenge was not caring. Everywhere she turned was a reminder of the pony she used to share a bed with.

The mare continued to trot through the market, stopping only whenever she saw something interesting. She was halfway through the square when something really caught her eye. The price tag was a little much, but it was something Bon Bon loved. Without second thought, she put her bits on the table.

***                        ***                        ***

A massive lump was in Lyra's throat. She was standing silently in front of Bon Bon's bedroom, her hoof pausing just outside of knocking distance. With her magic, she clutched a bouquet of the most beautiful roses she could find as well as a large box of imported chocolates; Bon Bon's favorite.

The unicorn figured that it was worth one last shot to try to get her mare back. This was the worst she had ever seen her, and for the sake of at least her own sanity she had to at least try. She took a gulp of air and slowly tapped the door.

Immediately, she heard a startled yelp from the other side. At least she wasn't told to go away yet. Silence soon followed, the only sound being the pounding of Lyra's heart. She tapped the door once more. "Bon? Can I come in?"

The response scared her. A painful whine came from the other side, soon accompanied by a loud sob. She couldn't tell, but she was relatively sure that she heard "please come in."

Breaking through her hesitation, she opened the door, the flowers and candies in tow. Entering the room revealed an absolute mess. Tissues, paper and plates were strewn about, Bon Bon sitting on her bed and crying loudly. If there was anytime Lyra felt needed, it was now. Quickly, she sat next to the mare, opening her hooves. Her offer for a hug was accepted, and the earth pony was soon crying into her coat.

Lyra didn't need to know what was wrong. All she needed was to let Bon Bon know that she was there for her. She found her hoof running through the pony's mane, doing whatever she could to comfort her. It may have been an hour or it may have been a minute, but Bon Bon's tears eventually subsided. Soon Lyra was just holding her in her hooves.

"Bon Bon," she decided to start. "Are you..." It was fairly obvious that she was not alright. Lyra let out a breath. "What can I do?"

Bon Bon looked up at her, the sight of the mare's irritated eyes wounding the unicorn. Slowly, she looked back down. "Just... please hold me."

Lyra tightened her grip on the earth pony. "Of course." She knew what the answer most likely was, but she still decided to ask. "Only, please tell me what's wrong."

She couldn't see her face, but she could feel the mare's tears return and run across her coat. Before she could apologize, Bon Bon spoke. "It's me. I'm an awful, awful pony."

"What?" Of all things, the unicorn hadn't expected this. "You're not. You're a wonderful mare who I don't deserve. What would make you say that?"

Bon Bon broke away from her. "I did something terrible. Just terrible." She could see the terror and sadness in her eyes.

"Please, tell me what it is."

"I..." Bon Bon began. She tried to continue, but was overcome with tears once more. Lyra wrapped her hooves back around her, wanting to comfort the pony in any way she can. She didn't deserve this.

"I'm here for you, Bon Bon."

Breaking away once more, the earth pony took a deep breath. And another. Slowly, she began again. "I thought you were gone... I thought Octavia took you..." Lyra wiped the pony's face with a tissue. "I didn't see you on the couch and just-" She collapsed onto the unicorn. "Oh Lyra! It's just terrible!"

Lyra could but tighten her grip around the pony. "Please, tell me what's so terrible."

Slowly, the mare reached out a hoof and pointed towards the pile of crumpled papers. They littered the floor and filled the trash bin. "I... I couldn't stop myself. When I saw that you were gone I wrote the nastiest, most awful letter I could to Octavia... I... I'm horrible." She collapsed into Lyra's hooves once more. "She'll hate us."

The unicorn silently lost herself in her own thoughts. Octavia wouldn't hate them over a small letter, would she? Who's to guarantee she would even read it? Lyra took less stock in the power of words than Bon Bon did. "Are you sure she would? I know that I still love you."

The cream mare looked up at her, her teary eyes shining as she spoke. "How could you still love me? I don't deserve you."

This, as well as the whole situation, was unexpected to Lyra. She was positive that Bon Bon would remain mad at her for a long, long time; possibly eternity. Sometimes, she was glad when she was wrong. "Of course I love you. You're a beautiful mare who always tries to do the right thing. As far as I'm concerned, you've done nothing wrong at all." It was painful to say that her marefriend was right despite all she had been through, but she felt that it would help their relationship's healing.

"It's all wrong and it's all my fault. I probably hurt Octavia and I definitely hurt you. Please, please forgive me. I..." Another wave of tears overcame her. "I need you."

Lyra slowly began to run her hooves up the pony's back. "I forgive you. I will always, always be here for you." She smiled and decided to test the water. "If not just for the sex."

The moment she said it, she questioned if it was the right time to make a joke like that. Relief washed over her when Bon Bon returned a grin through her tears. "That's alright with me." Lyra was soon met with the kiss that she had so missed. It wholly made her feel better.

Moments slowly passed after the mare broke away. The unicorn continued to stare into her eyes, searching to find any way to comfort her. She decided to just ask. "What can I do for you? How can I help?"

She watched the mare close her eyes. "Just... please hold me."

Without hesitation, she tightly wrapped her hooves around her marefriend. Lyra could feel her ragged breath against her fur, the mare's breathing slowly returning to normal as her crying subsided. Before she became too comfortable on her fur, the unicorn decided to interrupt their cuddling, her horn glowing.

"I almost forgot," she said quietly, levitating over the flowers and box of chocolate. "I picked these up for you. I know it's expensive, but I also know it's your favorite." She opened the box to reveal splendid candies of different fillings and coatings, each one a piece of art within itself. At the same time, she brought up the flowers and presented them to Bon Bon.

The earth pony sniffed the flowers deeply. "They're beautiful, Lyra. I... I don't know what to say."

"You don't need to say anything. Seeing your smile is enough for me." The mint colored pony dropped the bouquet into what was probably a half-drank water glass, picking out the prettiest rose of the bundle and offering it to her marefriend.

"Thank you, thank you so much. It means the world that you would do this for me." She wrapped her hooves around the box of chocolate, returning the flower to Lyra and falling to her back on the bed with an exhausted thump.

The unicorn placed the flower with the others and quickly let herself fall beside the mare, tightly embracing her and staring into her eyes. She watched as those beautiful blue eyes slowly closed, Bon Bon's cute snoring soon following. It always made Lyra smile to see how beautifully adorable her mare, because she was her mare once more, could be.

Overall, she was just happy to be back. She was glad to see that her long term relationship wouldn't crumble and fall away. Although she may never be able to look Octavia in the eye again, at least the pony she truly loved returned her affection still. Despite the turbulence, she felt like she belonged.

Her eyes danced across the face of the sleeping mare, taking in her beauty one more time. You know what? she thought to herself. Sleep sounds fantastic right now. She was too tired for it to matter if it was day or night. She was just happy that the last thing she gazed upon before she slept was the face of her marefriend.

***                        ***                        ***

"Why do we have to?"

"I need to make things right, and this may be my only chance."

"But why do I have to?" Lyra's pleading was met by a stern glare from Bon Bon.

"Because I love you enough and you're as much a part of this as I am." Bon Bon was preparing to visit Octavia and Vinyl's apartment. She had found their address when she had mailed the letter, and figured that visiting and apologizing was the only way to make things right. Lyra disagreed, but also didn't want to risk upsetting Bon Bon once more.

"Can't we eat more or something? How about that chocolate? Still need to eat that chocolate. Are you feeling sexy? Because I'm feeling pretty darn sexy." Lyra was saying everything she could to keep herself from going, or at least to slow her down.

Her marefriend kissed her on the cheek. "No."

The unicorn had expected this. Redeeming herself had been all Bon Bon had talked about all morning and through lunch, which they had eaten laying in each other's arms not long before. Lyra still didn't think it was too big of a deal. Sure, they wouldn't be able to talk to those ponies again, but that was a relatively small sacrifice compared to the embarrassment of actually visiting their apartment and apologizing.

"Don't worry, Lyra. I'll make it worth your while afterwards, but for now we definitely have more important matters." Lyra smiled, thinking of all the possibilities, many of them being belly rubs.

"I suppose I could be convinced to go along."

"Good. Are you ready to go?"

The unicorn thought for a moment. "Hold on. You need one more thing." She levitated up the pretty rose she had set aside, checking it for thorns. Deeming it safe, she gently tucked it behind Bon Bon's ear. "There. Now we're ready."

She watched the mare smile, internally boasting at how thoughtful and romantic she always was. As a reward, she received a nice little kiss. The pair trotted down the stairs, heading for their home's exit. They were greeted with clear and pretty skies on a warm day and began to trot down the street.

Her flank rubbing against Bon Bon's as they walked, Lyra spoke up. "Where do they live anyway?" She realized that she had no idea where they were going.

"The apartments on eastern Ponyville. I was actually surprised when I found that out. I was positive that Octavia would live somewhere in Canterlot with a bunch of..." Lyra was sure she was trying to stop herself from calling her a cheating mare-stealer. "With a bunch of her Canterlot types."

The gravel path crunched as they walked. "Well I'd guess that she's probably staying at Vinyl's place. Like a bachelorette pad or something." The unicorn thought of all that Vinyl had told her about Octavia and her relationship. "Although it being a bachelorette pad wouldn't be the case."

"Yeah," Bon Bon agreed. "She was a strange mare." She seemed to chew on the words.

"Who, Vinyl?" Bon Bon nodded. "She seemed pretty cool to me. Party all night and sleep all day. Sounds like my kind of time." Lyra wasn't surprised when the earth pony rolled her eyes. She knew that that wasn't her kind of time at all. "It was nice talking with her, though."

"I'm glad it stopped at talking." The unicorn was reminded that she still wasn't in completely safe territory yet; she still didn't want to risk upsetting Bon Bon by saying something absolutely stupid.

Lyra coughed, searching for some reason to change the subject from other mares. Now was not the time to risk undoing all the comforting she had done the previous night. She looked at the mare next to her, scanning her familiar and comfortable features that she so loved. "You know, you look very pretty today."

To the unicorn's relief, the pony's gaze softened. "Thanks."

The mint pony wished she had said more, but just continued to stare at her. She really did look rather beautiful; more so than she would on another afternoon. It may have been the flower behind her ear, or it may just be the determined look on her face. Lyra always thought she looked cute when she set her mind to something. She felt like she could just lean up and kiss that mare right at that moment, and she probably would have if Bon Bon didn't stop abruptly.

"We're here."

They came upon a medium-sized apartment complex, somewhat less elegant than Lyra expected. They didn't travel to this area of Ponyville very often, as they had no business there. Of course, the building wasn't as large as one would be in a city like Canterlot, but it was still the biggest in their town. Lyra looked to Bon Bon to see that she was standing still, just staring at the building. "Are we going in?"

The mare snapped out of her trance. "Yes, of course." Lyra could hear the mare swallow hard.

Of course she's nervous, Lyra thought. Apparently she wrote the nastiest, meanest, most dream crushing letter feasible and she's about to see the mare who she wrote it to. She stared at the pony. Of course, this is Bon Bon. Her level of nasty is probably calling Octavia a glue stick. Her eyes continued to trace the outline of the pony.

She almost shrugged, trotting forward and planting a deep, comforting and passionate kiss on the lips of her marefriend. However short it was, it was no less meaningful. She broke away, looking into her eyes. "Come on," she told her. "Let's go in."

Without hesitation, the pair moved forward, entering the apartment complex with confidence. Not speaking a word to any of the ponies inside as to where they were going, they trotted to the elevator, immediately hopping inside. It didn't take long for them to arrive at the fourth floor.

"Well, here we are," Bon Bon muttered nervously. Lyra could tell that her nerves were back. "Might as well get it over with."

"Don't worry about a thing. She'll accept your apology and we'll all be friends again." If anypony knew about Bon Bon's apology, it was Lyra. She had been practicing it all morning until she could speak every word with poise and dignity. It was apparent the the unicorn that she took this rather seriously. "Which room are they in?"

"That one," the earth pony said immediately, gesturing to a door at the end of the hall. Lyra assumed that she had spent a considerable amount of time trying to find their exact place of residence. Sending an insulting letter to the wrong house by mistake would not have ended well, especially when there was such a thing as a return address.

Lyra began to lead the pony to the door, her front hoof purposely placed on her flank to push her forward. It took longer than the unicorn would have thought to get to the end of the hall because of the lethargic pace of her marefriend, but they made it all the same. Bon Bon just stared at the door.

Slowly, the earth pony lifted her hoof, hesitating and mentally debating. She gave the door some quick successive taps and waited. Nothing. Time seemed to stand still as absolute silence engulfed them. Lyra mentally joked that Octavia was sharpening her assassination weapons.

Again, Bon Bon tapped on the door, and again she was met with silence. The unicorn suddenly worried for her; if the couple wasn't home, that would be absolutely devastating. It was by the third succession, however, that the door swung open.

"Octavia, I'm so, so sorry about that letter I sent," Bon Bon began to sputter. This wasn't as graceful as she had practiced at all. "Please forgive me for all the pain I must have caused you and-"

She was interrupted by the yawning of a white unicorn. It wasn't Octavia on the other side of the door, but Vinyl. The mare smacked her lips, looking exhausted. "What?"

Lyra watched a deep red glow on Bon Bon's face. "Oh, I'm sorry. I was hoping Octavia would answer the door."

Vinyl stared at her for a moment. "Well, if you're here for a foursome, I'm the one to see."

The mint pony laughed, only to receive a disapprove glare from her marefriend, reminding her why they were there in the first place. Of course, the unicorn wasn't opposed to the idea.

"No," Bon Bon spoke up, not wanting to delay any longer. "We're here to see Octavia."

The DJ responded by dozing off while standing. Her head started to fall, jolting her awake. "What?" She shook her head, her beadhead mane falling over her face. "Oh, I'm sorry. I just got out of bed." The mare yawned and stretched. "That knocking was loud."

"At two in the afternoon?" The earth pony looked visibly concerned.

"Is it that early? Dang. I could have gotten a few more hours." She looked like she could collapse at any moment. Her eyes, lacking both their glasses and possibly coffee-fueled perkiness, just aimlessly wandered the doorway. "You said you wanted Octavia, right?"

"That's right."

"No can do. She's been in her room crying all night and," she looked back at the clock on the back wall. "And apparently morning."

Lyra watched Bon Bon's expression turn to one of shock. "What? Is she alright?"

The white unicorn shook her head. "No idea. I'm the one who's really been suffering here, though." The mare yawned once more. "I had a cool thing planned out. Got some lingerie, some fancy booze that she likes and all that good stuff. That all went to the moon the moment she checked her mail."

The candy maker's face lost all of it's color. "Oh... that's not good at all..."

"It's alright. I have a refrigerator."

"No, I mean about Octavia. It's all my fault..."

Vinyl shrugged. "Pretty much, yeah." If there was anything that the DJ was, it was blunt.

Seeing the sorrow in Bon Bon's eyes, Lyra silently wrapped her hooves around her. She hated seeing her marefriend like this. Especially when she almost felt like it was her fault. The mare looked as if she could break down in tears again.

No tears came, however. The earth pony spoke up. "I need to see her."

"Go on ahead. Good luck getting her out, though. The only time I've even gotten to talk to her was when she asked for another box of tissues." Lyra cringed at how painfully familiar the situation was. Slowly, she followed Bon Bon inside.

It was a medium, two bedroom room apartment, although Lyra assumed that only one of the rooms was usually used. There were three pizza boxes piled up in front of the couch, assumed to be Vinyl's dinner from the previous night. The unicorn doubted Octavia would stand for such things. The room itself was rather modest, save for a couple corners, one of them solely dedicated to classical instruments and composition. Papers were strewn all about, dotted with unfinished musical pieces. It reminded Lyra of back when she had a dream of becoming a concert lyrist.

In another corner, large speakers towered over the ponies, almost touching the ceiling. Turntables and stacks of vinyl records as well as a mixing board and old radio were all piled up in front of them. A keyboard along with an electric drum kit were also found, somewhat hiding behind the turntables. The piles of electronics made the apartment feel cramped, and made Lyra feel jealous. Bon Bon never would let her buy something so awesome. It was blatantly obvious which side of the apartment belonged to who.

The unicorn probably would have asked to play with the equipment if Bon Bon hadn't started tapping the door that Octavia was presumably in. She was sure that she could hear light sobbing from the other side. It looked like it could be awhile before her marefriend could coax the pony out. In this time, she decided to trot over to Vinyl, curious as to how she was taking it all.

She found the pony levitating an energy drink and was impressed with how fast she could chug it. That type of speed takes practice. Seeing the pony come up for air, she decided to ask what was on her mind. "So I'm guessing Octavia told you what happened between... us?"

"Kinda." The mare sipped out the last little bit of liquid from the can, crushing it and throwing it behind her. "She was really depressed for the past couple of days. I eventually got out of her that she had some 'unresolved issues', as she called them. It wasn't until I read that letter 'Tavi was crying over that I really found out."

"Oh..." It made Lyra curious as to what exactly was in the letter.

"Yeah. That marefriend of yours has some colorful vocabulary."

Lyra smiled. "Believe me, that's not a bad thing." She shot the mare her best 'if you know what I mean face'. The pair shared a good laugh.

"I gotcha. Octavia says some crazy things as well." She smiled. "It lets me know that I'm doing something right."

Vinyl seemed to have a way of making a foursome not only desirable, but seemingly possible. Lyra chuckled once more. She looked over to see that Bon Bon was still trying to get Octavia out of her room.

"Although she has requested some weird things," the DJ continued. "This one time, she asked if she could rub my tummy. That was pretty unexpected. I mean, I was up for it and all, but it was kind of weird for 'Tavi to say that, y'know?"

Luckily the DJ seemed too distracted by opening another can of an energy drink to notice the light blush that appeared on the mint unicorn's face. She decided to steer the conversation away from uncomfortable territory. "Uh, yeah." She quickly found a new subject that was another question that had been bugging her. "So you're alright with... with what happened?"

She watched the mare shrug. "It's whatever. I mean, I've kissed my fair share of mares. And stallions. I never did learn some of their names..." Vinyl seemed lost in thought for a moment. "Anyway, yeah, it's cool. I'm just mad that she didn't share."

It wasn't until she caught the wink that Lyra suddenly felt genuinely uncomfortable. She didn't think that the DJ was that... promiscuous was the nicest word she could think of. "I... uh..."

Vinyl bust out in laughter. "I'm just messing with you. 'Tavi's the mare for me."

The flustered unicorn breathed a sigh of relief. Before she could think of a response that wouldn't make her look like a fool, she heard the click of a bedroom door.

Octavia emerged from the depths of her room. Tears stained her coat, and her eyes inflamed an irritated red. Her eyes followed the room, immediately welling up once more when they came upon Bon Bon. The air was thick with discomfort.

"Listen, Octavia..." Bon Bon started, wanting to get her apology over with. "I wanted to-"

She was interrupted by the gray mare wrapping her hooves around her, almost falling upon her. Lyra watched the mare dig her face into her marefriend's coat, sobbing loudly. "I'm so sorry," Octavia said, looking up at her before plunging back into her fur.

Recovering from her shock, Bon Bon patted her on the back. "It's okay. I think we've both done things that we regret."

"But it's not okay!" The classical musician pushed her away, raising her voice. "There's nothing okay about anything I did! I just ruined everything!" She let her rump fall to the ground, hanging her head low.

Bon Bon just stared at the mare, seemingly unsure of what to say to her. "You- you didn't ruin everything."

"But I did! I acted like a stupid schoolfilly with her first crush! I felt so much remorse the moment I did it, and your letter brought it to life for me. I'm an awful, awful pony."

The similarities were eerie to Lyra. This was something she did not like reliving twice. She watched Bon Bon just stand motionless. She herself felt no desire to move as she watched the mare's breakdown.

"A terrible pony like me doesn't deserve anything I have," Octavia continued. "I don't deserve the cello; I don't deserve music; and I definitely don't deserve Vinyl. Vinyl..." she looked up at the white unicorn. "I know I've hurt you. I'm sorry."

The DJ didn't look all that hurt. From what she said, she seemed to be more surprised than anything else. She didn't seem like the type who would hold a grudge over a silly mistake that a pony made.

"I... I'm not helping anypony am I? I must look like an utter fool..." Octavia just fell to the ground, flat on her stomach. She buried her head in her hooves. It hurt Lyra to see her like this; it hurt her to the point where she trotted over to her, laying on the ground next to the pony.

"Listen, Octavia. You don't have to be sorry. It's okay."

The musician looked back up at her. "But I must have hurt you most of all! I drove a spike into your relationship without even thinking. I'm... I'm so sorry."

Lyra found herself leaning into the mare, tightly hugging her, not letting up until she felt Octavia relax in her arms. "Listen to me, Octavia," she said quietly to her, almost whispering into her ear. "It's alright. You're not a horrible pony or anything like that. You did one thing wrong and that's all. Me and Bon Bon are fine. We're still together."

"But it's not alright!" It was clear to Lyra that the mare wasn't going to give up on her self-hate. "I owe you a dinner- a thousand dinners! Anything! I just want to fix all the damage I've caused."

It was Vinyl's turn to speak up. She used a more serious tone than anypony would have expected. "'Tavi, that's enough."

"I just need to-"

"No. You don't. They forgive you." She trotted over to her marefriend. "I forgive you. Everypony forgives you. Don't tell yourself what you don't deserve. Sure, you made a mistake. Whatever. You've apologized, she's apoligized, blah blah blah. This whole room is a big cesspool of pointless apologies that leave us running in circles. You can stop." Lyra was surprised that Vinyl was actually being the voice of reason.

"But..."

In a quick motion, the white unicorn picked her up from the floor. "Shut up. I love you." She planted her lips upon the mare. Lyra was glad she wasn't a pegasus, because this was really hot.

Slowly, they broke away from each other. Octavia began to gather herself. Her tears subsided and her expression crawled back to its neutral state. She took a deep breath, and then jumped upon Vinyl with a hug. "I... thank you."

"Your mouth is salty."

Even Octavia laughed. It made Lyra happy to see that somepony could get through to her. She trotted over to Bon Bon's side, turning to her. "Well, it looks like we did what we came here to do."

"I suppose." The pair watched the couple in front of them sharing their loving embrace. It seemed like everything was finally falling into line, however crooked the line may be.

Lyra watched Octavia slowly break away from Vinyl. She trotted over to their kitchen, returning with a tear-stained piece of paper in her muzzle. "Here," she offered to Bon Bon. "You can have this back."

Now the mint unicorn was started to get excited. She may finally get to read the letter and all the nasty things that Bon Bon had put in it. For that reason, she felt like she had just been stabbed when her marefriend ripped it up. "Thank you," was the earth pony's reply.

The gray mare stuck out her hoof. "Friends?"

It was accepted, Bon Bon shaking it lightly. "Friends."

They stared at each other, both earth ponies with comfortable smiles on their faces. "I need to thank you for stopping by," Octavia said, sniffling on last time. "If you didn't come here... I don't know where I would be."

"Oh, it's no problem. I was in a pretty bad place as well. If it wasn't for Lyra, I'd probably be lost in a sea of tissues." She turned to her marefriend, nuzzling her.

"I just did what anypony would do. Plus, I wanted to sleep in your bed again," came the unicorn's reply.

"Well don't worry. You'll get to soon enough." She shot her a loving smile. "Maybe very soon." She kissed the mare on the cheek.

Lyra almost jumped with excitement, turning to the other couple in the room. "I think that means we have to go." She didn't normally want to take a hasty leave, but this seemed to be an important enough reason. Besides, Octavia was all better now. Hopefully.

Luckily, the gray mare seemed to catch what she was implying. "Ah, yes. I understand. I must thank you, both of you, again for stopping by. It really means a lot to me." She thought for a moment. "And I am serious about that dinner. I owe you big time. More than I could ever hope to repay."

The two couples said their goodbyes to each other. Lyra and Bon Bon, both emotionally exhausted, made their way to the door of the apartment. They were stopped just short by Vinyl's voice.

"So... is that a no to the foursome?"
Tears

Chapter 1: [link]
Chapter 2: [link]
Chapter 3: [link]
Chapter 4: [link]
Chapter 5: [link]
Chapter 6: [You are here]
Chapter 7: [link]
Chapter 8: [link]
Chapter 9: [link]
Chapter 10: [link]
Chapter 11: [link]
Chapter 12: [link]
Chapter 13: [link]
Chapter 14: [link]

Special thanks to :iconmuffinshire: for the awesome cover art! [link]

If you enjoyed the story, please rate on FiM Fiction [link]
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If life is a slow torture anyway,
Then it is a blessing to be,
From time to time,
Tortured by love

And if be consumed,
Let it be by fire
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NOTE: This is a mere concept-script about an idea, I had. A Dream Game, if you wish!
DO NOT understand it as a request to WayForward, or something like that!

(And I still hate the limited title space... <.<)



Shantae - The Genie Battles
(I dunno if the title is any good. But it is the best one I could come up with...)
After two platformer-games, Shantae and her friends are trying out a different genre for a change.
This game isn't a platformer, but a 2D fighting game. There are 12 fighters in total.
Fight as Shantae, as another hero or even one of their enemies. Alone or with a friend...



Another NOTE: Normally I start with the controls and explain everything in detail.
But this time, I am leaving out the Button-configuration list.
And this script assumes that you know how 2D-fighter's work. So I will only explain what needs to be explained.




Plot
Strange things happened recently, in the Sequin Land.
Many half-genie's suddenly lost their powers. And the few genie's, who secretly still lived in the human realm, have disappeared without a trace.
Nobody can explain what caused this to happen.
On top of that, an interdimensional rift seems to have appeared somewhere, which apparently leads to the realm of the genie's.
Shantae and the other heroes can feel that something strange is going on and want to investigate.
Wheras their adversaries only seek the entrance to the genie realm, for their own evil plans.
The big fight is about to begin...




Gameplay
This game follows the same formula, as classic 2D Fighting games like Street Fighter II.
The player chooses one out of 12 fighters and proceeds to compete in either a single fight against a friend or an AI or in a series of fights against AI-controlled opponents, depending on the chosen game mode.

The button-layout however doesn't follow Street Fighter's six-button layout.
Instead there are only 4 attack buttons. Light Punch, Light Kick, Hard Punch and Hard Kick respectively.
The game does feature movements, Basic Attacks, Special Attacks, Super Attacks, Grabs and Throws, Blocks, Dashes, Throw Escapes, Stuns and Taunts, as in all classic Street Fighter games.
On top of that, some techniques from the VS-Series are also present. Those being Air Dashes, Super Jumps and Chain Combo's.

Chain Combos work a little differently. In the VS-games you need to input L>M>H, chaining those attacks together.
In this game, you merely need to press either of the Light Attack buttons multiple times in a row, if you hit the opponent, for a series of three Light Attacks.
This combo can be followed up with either a Hard Punch or a Hard Kick, resulting in a combo of three light attacks and one hard attack. So 4 hits in total.
During the series of light attacks, you can also alternate between punches and kicks, if you want.


A new kind of attack is the Sweep Attack.
Which is performed by pressing both Kick-Buttons simultaneously, while crouching.
It does very low damage, but causes the opponent to trip and fall.
In other words, it is a knockdown-attack.
It also has a high priority. So it can be used to stop most attacks.
But it costs a little of your Super-Energy, if it's used as a Counter Hit.
(The crouching hard kick IS NOT a knockdown-attack in this game!)

Another new technique is the Counter Tech.
It is used by pressing both Hard Punch and Hard Kick simultaneously while blocking.
When performed, it instantly stops the opponent's attack and your character counterattacks.
But it costs one level of Super-Energy, if used.
It cannot be used against a Super Attack!


Speaking of Super-Energy...
Each player has a Super Gauge. It builds as the character performs basic attacks or blocks attacks.
A small portion of Super-Energy is consumed, if Special Attacks are used.
Like in the VS-Games, the Super-Gauge gains a level, for each completely filled Super-Bar.
Up to three Super-Bars can be filled at once. So the maximum level is 3!

Each character has one or two Super-Attacks, which cost one level of Super-Energy, when performed.
And a Hyper-Attack, that costs 3 levels. So you need your Super-Level at max, to use it.
Certain techiques, like Special Attacks, Counter Sweep Attacks or Counter Techs will also consume Super-Energy.


Depending on the chosen game mode, various options can be set.
Such as AI-Level/Difficulty, Number of Rounds, Time Limit, Game Speed, Normal/Semi-Auto/Auto Blocking, Normal/Easy Mode.



There are various game modes...
The Arcade mode is exactly like you expect it to be...
You fight against a series of 6 random opponents and 2 boss-characters.
If you defeat the final boss, you will see an ending. Each character has a different ending.

There is also a Versus mode, where you can freely choose characters and stages. You can fight either against a friend or the AI.
You can also let AI's duke it out, if you want.

The remaining modes are Survival, Time Attack and Training.
which shouldn't need to be explained...




The Characters

HEROES

Shantae
The main heroine of this game. Scuttle Town's famous half-genie is also a skilled fighter.
She has a bad feeling about those incidents and wants to find out, just what happened to the genies and half-genies.
Of course, she also uses her hair in battle, as well as dances and some of the items, known from her platformer-gamers.

Her stage is the Main Plaza of Scuttle Town.

Eliza
A street fighting thief, who is a very skilled fighter.
However, she actually is a friendly person and cares deeply for the people close to her.
She only steals what she needs for her life. Such as food...
Nevertheless, she also has a strong sense for justice, just like Shantae. And can't leave those strange events unattended.
She only attacks with melee-attacks and hasn't a single tool or magic spell at her disposal. But frankly, she doesn't need that...

Her stage is the entrance to her cave, deep inside the Water Woods.

Natalya
A travelling mercenary, from a land far away. Normally she only fights for something she is paid for.
But the instant she spots injustice, she fights for the ones who need her help. For free, of course.
She is a ninja, and has ninjutsu as her main fighting style.
Mostly she fights barehanden. But when the need arises, she also uses throwing knives.

Her stage is the summit of Twinkle Mountain.

Jasmine
A blade-dancer from Oasis Town. She has a pretty arrogant personality and is kinda short-tempered.
However, she still is a sweet person. She made friends with the guardian genie of Oasis Town, who now lost her powers.
Jasmine got from a witness that someone attacked and apparently drained her powers from her.
With that knowledge, Jasmine now seeks to find the culprit and put him to justice.
As a blade-dancer she uses her blades as means of attack. Her dances too make great use of her blades.

Her stage is a backalley in Oasis Town.

Solen
One of the half-genies, who didn't have their powers drained from them.
She is guardian genie of Solar Town, which lies on an adjacent continent.
Normally she prefers to live a peaceful life and taking care of the flower fields of Solar Town.
But the news about the events in Sequin Land eventually reach her as well. And she got worried about her half-genie comrades.
In battle, she makes use of her Solar Powers. Means that she can absorb sunlight and use it for a variety of attacks.
She is even able to fly for short time periods.

Her stage is the Flower Field of Solar Town.

Rottytops
Leader of the zombie-clan, that everyone should know.
Normally she wouldn't bother herself with anything that happens in the world outside of her Zombie Caravan.
However, after hearing so much about the events that transpired, she ultimately couldn't resist the urge.
She decided to check it out and have some fun.
Rottytops has a rather grotesque way of fighting.
Not only is she able to use her removable limbs as throwing weapons, but she even learned to use her bones.
Like, she can form an arm-blade with her bones or extend her backbone to grab distant opponents.

Her stage is the Zombie Runtrack (where she raced with Shantae in the GBC-game) with the Zombie Caravan in the background.


VILLAINS

Risky
Of course, no Shantae-game without Shantae's arch-nemesis. The nefarious lady-pirate, as you know her.
She seeks to find out more about the rift to the genie realm. Since she hopes to find the power there, that will grant her the rule over the seas.
While she is a decent hand-to-hand fighter, her special attacks also involve the use of her gun, her sword and even her Tinkerbats.
She can summon them to aid her in battle, if necessary.

Her stage is the deck of her ship, with Tinkerbats in the background.
They either cheer for their master or are shocked. Depending how Risky is doing.
If she loses the battle, the Tinkerbats will panic and hide. While some of them appear around Risky and try to carry away their unconscious leader.

Paras
Paras, also known as the 'Devil from the Desert' is a leader of bandits, that roam around the desert and plunder from anyone they can find.
However, Paras and his bandits no longer dare to enter towns. Since they fear the power the guardian genie's, ever since an initial conflict with one and they were powerless against her.
But eventually, even Paras hears of all the events and rumors about an entrance to the genie realm.
He hopes to find the means of becoming a ruler of the desert, who has nothing to fear.
His main fighting style always involves the use of his blade. But he also has some throwing weapons, should he need them...

His stage is the bandit hideout in the desert.

Stryker
He is a muscular juggernaut, who obviously possesses a huge load of strength.
Violent and short-tempered. And he stops at nothing to get what he wants.
He secretly makes a lot of cash in (illegal) underground arenas, where people fight battles until one loses consciousness.
Since he has giant muscles, the first hit of each combo won't cause him to flinch.
He has a lot of power and relies on Melee and grappling-attacks.

His stage is the underground arena near Bandit Town.

Snake Queen
The leader of the Snake-ladies, that roam around in the desert. Who resides in a secret palace.
She is a ruthless Medusa and enjoys to torment people. Yet she is very protective of her kind. And also has a grudge against humans, who treat snakes with little respect.
After hearing about the strange events and the rift to the genie realm, she sees her chance to teach humans the true meaning of fear.
As a medusa, she can summon snakes. But she also can transform parts of her body into a swarm of snakes.

Her stage is Throne Room of the Snake Palace.

Syl-Och
Syl-Och is the strongest of Del-Mar's henchmen. She isn't as ruthless as her master and actually shows some respect towards her opponents.
And yet she doesn't think too highly of human's, unless she sees them as worthy opponents.
She is sent by her master to investigate the strange events. And take back some 'samples', if it turns out to be true.
Syl-Och is equipped with a strange device, that grants her the power of Psychokinesis.
Which she surely knows to use in battle. It also allows her to fly for short time periods.

Her stage is the beach of an island, with Del-Mar's tower emerging in the background.

Delvo
Delvo is a female assassin. She is a dirty, cruel person for sure.
The thing is, she actually looks like a wealthy young woman. But don't be fooled and you will pay!
Of course, upon hearing of all the events, she seeks to find the entrance to the genie realm for her own evil plans.
She is a capable hand-to-hand fighter and knows how to break her opponents with just that.
Nevertheless, she always has a hand-knife, should she need it...

Her stage is the gallery room of her house.


THE BOSSES
The following characters are Bosses. They are (normally) unselectable for the player.
Their stages can be unlocked though.

Yuriko
(Sub-Boss. You will face her in the stage before the Final Stage.)

Once a troubled half-genie, she has turned into an evil, arrogant and sadistic genie, whose powers actually surpasses the ones of full-fledged genies.
It is unknown what caused that change though...
Yuriko has very long hair, which she can control freely like her arms and legs.
She can also form all sorts of things with her hair. Like a giant fist or a drill, to attack.
As if that isn't enough, she can also pick up things with her hair and throw them. And lastly, she can use her hair to hang onto the ceiling and move.
In other words, she is a very nasty boss to deal with.

Her stage is the Interdimensional Rift. The entryway to the genie realm, can be seen in the background.

Domozu
(Final Boss, whom you will face in the Final Stage.)

The main antagonist of this game. He is pure evil and extremely powerful.
A humanoid entity, with the power to absorb any kind of magic and thus increase his own power and gain new abilities.
With that kind of power, he can drain magic from human beings, leaving them bereft of their powers.
Wheras beings made of magic energy, such as genies, are absorbed as a whole. (Which give him the largest boost.)
After years of travelling the lands and absorbing any kind of magic he could find, he eventually arrived at Sequin Land.
Where he absorbed the remaining genies and drained powers from half-genies and gained a massive boost in power.
This eventually allowed him to create the interdimensional rift, which led him to the genie realm.
There he absorbed all the genies he could find, who were helpless against him. And now he has become an allmighty being.

He has all the abilities you can expect a Final Boss to have...
He can fly, teleport and fire energy projectiles and beams. Even in his ground-animations, he is levitating above the ground (except when crouching).
One of his projectile-attacks can even track the opponent. But that isn't all.
He can also drain life-energy from his opponent and add to his own, gain invincibility for a short time and even change reality to devastate his opponents in all kinds of ways.
There is an aura around him constantly. The shocking sight, is that it's made of genie-spirits.
Even his projectile-attacks and some other attacks are made of them. Which should give you an idea, just how many he has absorbed...

His stage is the Ruined Genie Realm. Which clearly shows all the destruction and misery he caused there...



ABOUT ENDINGS
The endings start off with your character talking to the defeated Domozu.
He is so weakened that he cannot hold the genies anymore.
Eventually all the genies that he absorbed are released and the magic powers returned to their owners, as he perishes.
How the ending proceeds from there, depends on the chosen character.



Closing Comments
This is my basic idea for a 2D fighting game with Shantae. I am not quite sure about some characters.
Plus, in the end, it is rather a random idea I came up with.
But I still figured it'd be worth sharing. ;-)


SCRIPT END!
Hi there, folks.

This is a concept about a 2D Fighting Game with Shantae, that I had in mind for some time now.


I must admit though, that I am not quite sure, if all the characters that I came up with suit this franchise.
And the story takes a darker approach, once you get the Final Boss.

So all in all, I think it's a nice concept.
But I am unsure, if it fits.
Fell free to share your thoughts. :)

Then again, I would be a mere spin-off.
So the story is non-canon either way.
But still...


And I am sure some of you might think: Where is Bolo?
Well, I did think about putting him in. But I wasn't sure.
In the end though, I decided not to add him.
I didn't want another Dan Hibiki...



So there you have.
Feedback is always welcomed.
Keep em coming. :D


Credits:
Shantae belongs to Matt Bozon and WayForward.
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While walking through the snow covered grounds around the castle a strange force
struck at Herobrine's core, dropping him down to one knee.

Confusion clouded his mind while he took deep calming breaths trying to pinpoint where
the attack was coming from. Never had he felt something like this. Not since the early
days with his twin Steve.

Yet this time it was different. Standing back up, Hero looks out into the night, worried
as the feeling passes like it had never happened.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yet Hero was not the only one affected by this force.

Itoe's eyes shot open and haltered her tears while Brineary's head snapped towards
the open window.

Getting up Brineary walks to the window and a frown appears on his face grabbing
Itoe's attention "What is it Bri?"

"There's too many mobs out there... and out of the blue like that?" he replied quietly
while scanning the horizon "Enough for me to practice?" Itoe pipes up scrabbling out of
bed to stand by her beloved twin and gasps at the amount of mobs roaming the dark grounds.

"Not now, Itoe! This isn't a good time! You see what I'm seeing there's just too many!"
Brineary's anger starts to boil up again at Itoe's stubbornness "I'm trying to PROTECT
you!" Huffing Itoe's cheeks redden with her own anger at Brineary's own stubbornness
"How can I ever really be safe if I always have to rely on someone else?!"

Brineary rolls his eyes growling "It's DIFFERENT! I feel like there's something really bad
out there!" too wrapped up in her own craving for freedom Itoe swings her arms around angrily
at her brother, ignoring the foreboding feeling that she and her male family members felt.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Screaming and yelling. That's all Six could hear for the last half an our as she rolled over
grumpily, staring venomously at the clear night sky.

"You're so frustrating!"

"Your SO tedious!"

That was the last straw for Six. She was lost and in a way, very alone in the world with her
amnesia. The last thing she needed right now was a pair of squabbling children keeping her
up at night. Storming out of bed and over to the window, she flung open the windows causing
them to smack harshly against the cold stone brick walls that housed them.

"I wouldn't be so 'tedious' if you didn't try to nag me into being a little house-wife-to-be
one day like everyone else seems to!" Itoe growls before a loud and very angry voice from a
window below cuts her off "SHUT THE *tweet* UP YOU IDIOTS!"

A long dead silence fills the air. Even the large and unusual group of mobs stopped their
groaning.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hearing all this Herobrine rubs his temples and teleports to the roof to keep an eye on the
trio who he had thought went to bed.

Blinking in annoyance Brineary leaned out the window to see Six glaring up at him "WHAT WAS
THAT?" he yelled back his anger now aimed towards the teal haired girl "YOU HEARD ME *tweet*
HAT!" she growled back not backing down from Brineary's threatening gaze.

Unfortunately the yelling had also woken up Mary "YOU KNOW HOW I GET WHEN I DON"T GET ENOUGH
SLEEP! HERO DO SOMETHING!" the brunette screamed with her mind to her husband.

Shaking his head in a irritated fashion Herobrine thinks back to a time when he was the most
terrifying being ever. Of all time. In perspective he still was in most parts of Minecraftia but
that had in some way changed when Mary had decided to grief his supply of 30 diamonds.

With sagging shoulders Hero stomps on the roof and shouts down to the bickering trio "Quiet down
there!" this has little to no effect as Itoe starts clawing at Brineary who in turn with out thinking slaps Itoe hard across the face.

Once again silence filled the air. A Brineary sized red hand print now adorned Itoe's left cheek.
Gingerly touching the tender skin she flinches at the pain that comes from the contact of her fingertips. Brineary stares slightly dumbfounded at his action and internally curses himself for not keeping his temper with Itoe.

A few more seconds went by before Itoe snapped and leapt at Brineary, sending them both tumbling out the window. Luckily the snow covered ground cushions the twin's fall though Brineary felt more of it due to holding Itoe close to him so she wouldn't get hurt.

Once the aftermath of the fall had passed the pair got to their feet but Itoe's rage was still fresh and once again lunged at her brother, her scream killing the nightly silence.

Itoe's hands, now slightly clawed leav a nasty cut down Brineary's bicep and would of again if it wasn't for the strong hand of her father holding her back as he teleported between them.

Itoe's mind finally registered what was going on as her other strike hit her father. Freezing at the sudden realization, she shrinks into herself. Brineary on the other hand glares up at Herobrine.

This only gains a tired growl out of Hero and hurtful, empty words "I brought you both in to this world and I can EASILY take you both out. Your mother and I can always make better children."

Two sets of eyes widen at these words but get two different reactions. Pushing herself away from her father, Itoe runs back to the castle to hide while Brineary flips Hero the bird and stalks of "*tweet* off old man".

For the second time that night Herobrine's shoulders sag and he remembers simpler days.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fuzzy would come to a completed stop as an angry scream echo's through the quiet night, startling her. "People, yelling, at this hour?" Fuzzy asked one of the snow golems while looking to her right and sees the looming shadow of a castle which told her exactly where she was.
This delightful chapter was helped along via a rp by our dear mods who played as themselves except for TTSnim who played the part of Herobrine XD 

Featured in this chapter are characters based on TomBoy, FuzzyArtemis, Itoe and Herobrining.
Six belongs to me

Previous - Denizen Reborn - Chapter 10

Next - Coming Soon
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  This is chapter five.  To view other chapters find the links below.

Disclaimer: I do NOT own Kuroshitsuji/Black Butler and sadly never will. *cries in corner*

Title: Your Attachment

Pairings: Sebastian/Ciel

Rating:  T / Pg-13

Genre: Drama/Angst/Romance

Summary: He needed me.  As for myself?  Well...I needed a lot of things.  Too bad pretending to be a girl while also pretending to be Sebastian's girl friend weren't some of them.

Timeline: Actual universe.  Also known as 21st century.

Warnings: Will eventually be yaoi! (Sorry mom.) 
sorry for OOCness.  I won't try to have it that way, but since it is AU it will have to be slightly OOC.  Also, I will place warnings on the chapters that have yaoi, so don't worry.  This chapter is yaoi free! 8D (Mostly XD) Also some cursing is in this chapter.

A/N:  Uhh so this chapter will likely have a lot of typos.  I'll clean them out as soon as I can!  Thank you. =3

Status: Continuing


-


Your Attachment

By Sasurealian

Chapter Five
 






    I stood on my tip-toes behind the counter with a sack in my hand.  I was sure there was an ashen blush over my cheeks, but decided to ignore that as I thought of how to explain this.

"Err, Claude…"  I said as I turned my head away.  I found the black and white tiled floor much more interesting and cursed myself.

"Why are you back in here?  I thought I kicked you out?"

I opened my mouth to speak, but was at a loss for words.  I blamed Sebastian for this.  He was the reason I got sick to begin with!

"Listen I need you to do a favor for me."

Claude dried his hands off with a rag as he approached me, "And what is that?"

I placed the bag in his hands and huffed, "I need there to be some padding in the breast part of that suit.  Please make it quick."

Claude pulled out said item and stifled a laugh, "You're going to wear this?  I didn't know you cross dressed as a hobby."  Claude smirked as he raised his eye brows up and down.  I gawked as I crossed my arms.

"Stop being a perv and please do it.  In under ten minutes!  I know you have sewing shit in the back."

Claude giggled as he eyed the bikini, "Oh of course.  This will be…fun…"

I tried not to kill him as he skipped off towards the back.  I was pretty sure that guy had kid porn all over his computer.  Sicko!

I turned around and glared once I saw the persecutor.  He was to blame for my pain.  I marched outside and crossed my arms, "We'll leave once my boss does a favor for me."

Sebastian tilted his head forward, "And what favor is that?"

I thought for a few moments on what to say.  I couldn't tell him the truth, "Just some stuff I had to finish today, but since I'm sick I can't do them, so he decided to help me."

It was a lie, but a good one at that because Sebastian nodded his head in agreement.

After a while of standing outside I went back in a decided to go bug Claude about the suit.

"Ohh Cielllllll."  Alois said as I went behind the counter.  His arms slung around my shoulders as he swayed back and forth, "I saw my dad sewing something for you in the back.  It is for me?"

I cocked an eye as I tried to pull myself away for sir annoying, "Please don't touch me….and no it isn't for you."

Alois frowned as he clung to me tighter, "I thought we had something special."

"I think you're bipolar."  

I shrugged away from the sad blonde as I walked to the back room of the café.  Right as I opened the door I bumped into Claude's chest, "O-oh…"

"Ciel, good of you to find me.  I'm done."  Claude said as he pressed the bag into my face.  I blushed as I grabbed it and headed back outside.  I no longer wanted to be inside there where I would be teased until the end of my life.

"Okay I'm ready, let's go."  I rushed into Sebastian's car and I was sure the raven haired man was confused more than ever.

He climbed in and grinned at me as I clung the bag into my chest, "You're face is red."

I turned and looked out the window trying to ignore him.

"Although it is a good color for your tan face."

Just keep staring out the window and life will get better….yea…window…trees….flowers….life…people…

"As for why you're blushing I don't know, but-"

"Shut. Up."  I spoke as I knotted my brows.  I never felt embarrassed as I did right now.  "You're such an idiot."

"I'm not the one blushing."

That was it.  I was totally going to make that man blush tonight and prove to him that I'm not a weirdo.  Although..…how do I do that?  I guess I will have to get one of the girls at the party tonight say or do something to him.

Yes.  Tonight's mission would be to make Sebastian blush.

To have that happen would make this moment vanish!


"So where is this party at?"  I asked after a long moment of silence.

Sebastian stopped at a red light as he looked towards me, "At the lake.  There will be a lot of people there.  Although it is going to be a lot of rich folk and their friends, my father insists I go because there is a girl there who he wants me to date."

The way Sebastian scrunched his nose made me realize how much he hated this idea, "I'm sure you will be able to keep her away from me."

He sounded dead serious about that, too.  What did I looked like to him?  A hound dog?

Ugh, whatever.  I just have to pretend like I want to help him so I can get paid and leave.  I mean, getting paid to be used as a pretend girl friend sounded bad, but if you thought about it, I was being paid to hurt people.  That actually amused me.  Just slightly.

"The lake is about ten miles down this road.  Once we get there you can change into that outfit and start your first night as my date."

I glowered, "Yippi…"


-


     Once we reached the lake I felt my stomach drop.  There were so many people here and the sun was still high in the sky.  I noticed the boys popped a beer and laughed as a girl hung around their shoulders.  Geeze…did Sebastian realize I looked like a kid compared to all these people?  Wait, I was a kid..well sort of anyway.  I was seventeen and that wasn't considered old.  I cursed my shortness at this time as I grabbed the sack and tried to find the bathroom.

"I'll be waiting here for you."

I scoffed, "Whatever."


-

    Fuck my life.

Okay okay, so I realize cursing isn't the most beautiful of words, but heck, they were needed.  I glared at my reflection in the mirror and growled.  I looked like a girl with tiny boobs.  Claude did a nice job on the padding, but it was still embarrassing.  

I cupped my cheeks and frowned.  I looked like a DAMN GIRL!  I turned to the side and watched as my long pig tails followed me.  My eyes glowed blue and my tiny frame looked too perfect in the bikini.  I feared for my male and fake female virginity.  Oh dear lord…

I walked out of the bathroom with my hands over my chest like I'm trying to hide a secret- wait…oh yea, I am trying to hide a secret.  Ahem, that isn't what it looks like from the raven's angle.  Although, once his dark blood eyes find my figure he stares.

At first I assumed he was going to laugh at me, but what he does scared me.  He just stands there with his lips eased apart less than an inch and then he smiles, but the smile breaks once a flock of girls jump him.

"OH SEBASTIAN, YOU CAME!"  They squealed as they pulled at his white tee.  I nursed my temples with closed eyes.  I knew this was going to be one of those nights.

I walked over to Sebastian, thinking that maybe I can try and get them to back off and be some help to him, but Sebastian must have needed me more than I thought.

He yanked my arm and pulled me into his chest.  I can smell the deep cinnamon scent on his body and bite my tongue.  

"H-hey!"  I hiss as I try and give us room for Jesus.  Apparently Jesus was on a potty break, because we were a little too close for my liking and the way the girls pancaked us together make some forgotten region stir.  That only made me shut my eyes and regret being alive under my breath.

Finally the girls noticed me and all my shortness glory and backed away.

"Aww who is she!  Your cousin?"  One of the girls pouted with an evil glare toward me.  I sneered with my cerulean eyes, but she didn't walk away.

"This is my date for the night."  Sebastian calmly said as he laid his hand over my shoulder.  I wanted to run for my life, but he hold was like a death grip.

"B-but your father said you were going out with me!"  A girl with brown hair and brown eyes spoke with a snort.  I tried not to gag at her figure.  Girls who look like the Peach from the movie James and the Giant Peach should never wear a tiny bikini.  It just shouts I'm desperate.  I wanted to wash my eyes with oxy clean, but Sebastian saved me as he pulled me away from the flood of girls.

"That is her.  The one my father wants me to get to know tonight."  Sebastian spoke in a whisper so his fangirls wouldn't hear him.  I gazed back at the girls and then back at Sebastian.

"You must be a walking sex god to them….or the most wanted man on the face of the planet.  Look at their faces!  They want to eat you."

Sebastian sighed as he took hold of my shoulders, "This might go well if you stick to my side like glue."

I didn't like where this was going, but I had a mission to do.

Sebastian grabbed my waist and pulled me into his chest surprising the- edit edit edit- out of me.  With wide eyes I looked up at me and stared.

"Besides, I think you look delectable in that suit."  He purred into my eyes making my cheeks heat up.

"You're such a perrrvertt!"  I spat covering my ears.

Sebastian grabbed my hand snapping me out of my complaints and I followed as he lead me around the girls, "You need to eat.  Your face is really pale and that sickness of yours isn't getting better."

I rolled my eyes as I was pulled around like some toy, "Well, since when did you start to care?"

Sebastian shrugged as he released my hand and grabbed some food from a table set up in front of the lake.  I began to notice more and more people were showing up.  This didn't feel like a date to me at all;  only a disaster.

"Here eat some of this."  Sebastian said as he held up a cheese stick.

"Ew no!"  I hissed backing away.

Sebastian rolled his eyes as he continued to search the table for more food.  

I know being here with all these people should have scared the shit out of me, but knowing that I could go over to Sebastian made me feel really safe.  

What did I just say?  Hell no.  That man was bad news!  I knotted my eyes into Sebastian's back.  He was a pervert!  Besides, he didn't care about me.  He just wanted to party without peach girl stalking him.

Sebastian turned back around and held up a strawberry, "This look good enough for you?"

I eyed the fruit and puffed my cheeks, "I don't need food."

Sebastian leaned closed towards me as he dipped the fruit in whipped cream.  He then brought it to my lips and teased them with the sugary sweetness, "I'm sure you'll change your mind….Ciel…."

Oh gosh I felt like I was about to do something very unholy.  Who knew what my face looked like, but the whipped cream and the voice and the….he was a sadist!  That man IS a sadist!

I opened my mouth in weakness as Sebastian settled the strawberry into my mouth.  I bit down on the fruit as he pulled it back with half of it remaining.
"Taste good?"

"I can eat without your help."  I murmured as I grabbed a napkin.

Although it didn't go unnoticed that Sebastian popped the rest of the bitten fruit into his own mouth.

The next hour was spent with Sebastian trying to force feed me food I didn't want.  I kept trying to hide from him, but he would always find me.  Gosh I was wondering when this charade would finally be over.

There were also the times when those same girls would come back and attempt to flirt with Sebastian, although said man would ignore them and play on his cell phone with occasional looks towards me.

"So, do you want to go swimming?"  Sebastian asked as he watched the people run into and out of the lake.  I shuddered at the sight.

"Nope, I'm just fine right here, thanks."

It wasn't that I hated water or anything, but I…well, I couldn't swim.  If you can't swim then you don't float and when you don't float you sink and when you sink your drown and when you drown you die.

The thought of getting in the lake sounded less inviting.

"Too bad, as my girl friend you have to swim."

"Correction, date."  I said with crossed arms.

Sebastian bowed his head lower until his face was an inch from mine, "I'm the master here."

"And I'm the lady….which reminds me…"  I pushed Sebastian away as I looked back at the swarm of girls who kept giggling and whispering.

"Hey ladies, Sebastian says he wants all of you to have his babies."

Immediately all the women rushed towards the ebony haired man and the look that was plastered on Sebastian's face was priceless.  With that I smirked and walked away as the girls tackled him in coos and giggles.

I started to walk towards the forest area away from the lake.  I needed to get some fresh air and that meant away from water.  Besides, Sebastian started it.  He was being rude…..

….I am starting to act like a girl.  I sighed as looked off down by the lake.  Sebastian was trying to fend off the girls and the smile on his face make me cringe.  Why did he not scream at them and make them screw off?  He could totally be mean and they'd never go near him again, but instead he pretended to be nice to them.  It didn't make any sense to me.

I bit my lip and decided to ignore him and the girls.  This wasn't my issue, but his.  If he didn't ask me-

I froze instantly and lowered my gaze to the ground.  He was the one being kind to me by paying me to do something as easy as pretending to be his date.  He had to have been desperate if he would pay someone like me to be his date.  Then I went and threw a bunch of lovesick girls at him.

I let out a deep breath.  I was NOT getting soft, but I was being a little cruel.

"Hey chickie."

I paused at the deep voice.  Cautiously I turned around and eyed a man with a beer bottle in his hands, "Feeling a little lost?"

Another man came out from behind the trees.  He has a bottle in his hands, too and was smoking on something, "Oh you found a cute one."  He spoke as he inhaled the bittersweet smoke.

"I was just getting some air.  Back off."

The man reached for my shoulder and I pulled back running.  I was glad once I was away and running down the hillside back to the lake.  I wanted to get far away from them and quick….

The next thing I did shocked the ever loving shit out of me.

I ran past the babbling women and latched my arms around Sebastian's middle.

Pause right there.  I know you're probably wondering what the hell…..I don't even know myself.

I couldn't breathe.  Those men…the way they smelled was absolutely despicable.  Maybe I just wanted that cinnamon smell to return to my nostrils?  I didn't know, but I instantly felt safer once I was near him…or…in his arms.

It took me a moment to regain my cool.  All the girls went silent and most of them gave me death glares.  Sebastian had the look of a deer caught in the highlights on his face and I swallowed back the lump in my throat, "U-uh….Sebastian is my date, so you ladies s-should back off."

The women snorted and walked away once Sebastian's arms laced around my middle.   

"There, I made them go away, now let me go."  I snapped as I tried to pry the blush off my face.

"Hmm, that was awfully real.  How long did it take for you to rehearse that?"

My eyebrow twitched as I gave Sebastian a deadpanned look, "Shut it, idiot!"

"To the lake we go."  Sebastian picked me up in his arms and my heart jumped into my throat.

"Woah, wait!  N-no!"

He walked towards the water and tears brimmed in my eyes.  The memories of a long time ago…my family…water….and then…

"No, Sebastian!"

We reached the water and as he walked in and I clung to his chest.  I didn't realize I was trembling.  Why was I so scared?  I shouldn't be, but there was nothing more terrifying to me than water.

I felt my toes touch the water and gasped.

"Ciel….are you crying?"

I jumped and looked up at Sebastian's face, "I don't cry!  EVER!"

"Then….they're turning red or something.  You afraid?"

I gawked at him as my arms clung to him like a cat hovering over a bathtub, "I…I…."  I looked away and bit down on my lower lip, "I can't swim."

Sebastian burst into laughter and I inwardly scowled.  It wasn't like it was my fault, but the way he teased me hurt.  It was my pride and he was sticking knifes in it, "You bastard….put me on the ground."

Sebastian disobeyed as he settled me into the water, "You can touch, see?"

My nails must have dug into his shoulder as I touched the water, but once my feet felt the ground below the water I relaxed, "Oh my gosh…I hate this.."

"This is supposed to be fun!"  Sebastian cheered.  I felt like killing him, but he looked to be genially happy.  Was this some sadist trick?

We sat there for a while as the sun set.  Darkness had finally set in and the sun had melted away.  

I had found a good spot on the edge of the lake.  I felt safe from the void of the water.  Sebastian continued to float around while I watched him.  My knees curled into my chest as I stared.  His skin was totally flawless in the moonlight.  He looked like a china glass doll….beautiful..


Woahhhh, did I just call Sebastian beautiful?  I bit my tongue to keep my thoughts from going a place they shouldn't.  Sure, I could admit he was a beautiful guy.  Heck, anyone who saw him knew he was beautiful, but then why didn't he want all those women all over him?  Most of them were pretty and they had money.

If those girls knew who I really was, (ignoring the boy part) they would have me for dinner.  I was a poor kid without a home and nowhere near as fortunate as them.

"SKINNY DIPPING!!!"  

I jumped as a bunch of naked girls ran past me and into the lake.  My eyes went super wide and I felt like strangling myself.  Sebastian quickly got out of the water and sat next to me, "This is when you hide."

I nodded, "You never told me there was skinny dipping."

"I never knew there was skinny dipping."

We both laughed under our breaths as the girls screamed and went totally insane.

"Sebastiannnn!"  

I looked up from where I sat and saw that peach girl from earlier.  Wow, I really needed to get her name 'cause peach girl wasn't cutting it.

"Margaret, please stop this."

Oh Margaret.  That makes more sense now.  So this is the girl Sebastian's father wanted him to date huh?  She looks like a piece of work.

She glared at me once my eyes met her.  I mused as I looked back into the lake and the broadcasting moonlight.  There was no way I was going to be apart of their mess.

"Ciel and I are on a date tonight.  Sorry."

"Buuuut Sebbyyyyy!"  She whined.  I closed my ears at her whine.  She was almost as bad as that Lizzy girl.

"We're going skinny dipping and I know your father doesn't allow that, so if you'll excuse us."

I choked on the spit in my mouth, "HUH?!"

"Sebbbyyy, please!  I LOVE YOU!"

Sebastian grabbed my hand and pulled me from the water,  I watched as he lead me towards the deck.

"What…are you serious?!"

"We're going to swim over here….away from all the girls and away from Margaret.  Everything will be fine."

I narrowed my eyes, "I don't do skinny dipping."

"They're only going to leave us alone if we go skinny dipping.  They'll think we're…doing things…but with your clothes on they'll only pester us more."

"I don't like where this is going."

Sebastian released my hand as walked towards the deck and began undressing.  I looked away and forced back a blush.  What did he think he was doing?!

I knew a loud splash and turned back around as Sebastian came up from air.  On the deck were his clothes….down to even his boxers.  Ohhh no…..no no no!

"Coming Ciel?"

I grimaced as I looked towards Sebastian.  I didn't sign up for this and I didn't know what to do?  I couldn't…..if I did then he would find out what I really was.  

Gosh I never hated who I was more than I did now….

Ugh,  this is why I don't do contracts!

Chapter one:
[link]
Chapter two
[link]
Chapter three
[link]
Chapter four
[link]
Chapter five
[link]
Chapter six
[link]
Chapter Seven
[link]
Chapter Eight
[link]
Chapter Nine:
[link]

Next update Not sure....maybe 8/19/2011




Sorry about the late update...again. At least it is a longer chapter! xD

I'll clean the typos once I have time. ;;


The preview picture BELONGS to me. 8D Haha, so no one can be a jerk. =P It was drawn for me for my birthday by my angel. 8D ILU luff!

She is here :iconebily:
Although if you annoy her I will hunt you down. She is mine and mine only. Muhaaa! 8D

Comment and all that jazz!

And if you have an issue, PM me about it. I'm a reasonable person. ^^
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It had been five years. Five years since the mint green unicorn first laid eyes upon that cute, cream coated mare from science class at Canterlot College. Five years since she had accidentally tripped eying her candy embossed flank while walking down the halls, and five years since she was called a "creepy stalking weirdo."

Things had changed since then. It was only one year after her awkward confrontations that she found out that she would be roommates with the pony that had so interested her, and one more after that for her to work up the courage to ask that blue-eyed beauty out to dinner.

That was all behind her now as she looked upon the face of her marefriend, lover and soulmate with a wide smile, observing her familiar features as the candy maker giggled and laughed. She hugged the pony tightly, thoroughly enjoying the time they spent together during quiet evenings like these.

"Well, the afternoon is all ours until our dinner reservations at eight," the earth pony said to her, excited about the evening. "So what would you like to do until then?"

Lyra smiled. "Well your bed's nice and warm. I think you know exactly what I want to do."

The cream mare blushed, although she completely expected this to be the answer. "No. I mean yes, but not now," she giggled. "I mean, three years together is an achievement. We might as well enjoy the afternoon before some waiter ruins it. For you at least."

The unicorn glared, being reminded of how waiters always seemed to mess something up for her whenever she ate at, well, anywhere. She broke her expression and smiled back at her partner.

"I want to do what you want to do."  The pony had gotten used to saying that; she figured it scored her extra points for later.

"Hmm..." Bon Bon thought for a moment. "Well I do like laughing at you, and we have known each other for quite a while. Why don't we look through each of our high school yearbooks?"

Lyra nearly sighed at the lameness of the idea, but quickly remembered what she had just said. "Sure, I'd love to see you in braces," she replied with a smile as she hopped over the back of the couch.

"Great," the earth pony smirked. "I'll go get mine."

The mint colored pony quickly trotted up the stairs, walking straight up to the attic and uncovering an old tome with the words "Canterlot High" strung across the top. She picked it up with her magic and blew off the dust, coughing as it dispersed through the lofty room. Her thoughts drifted to of what life would be like if they had attended the same high school, but she quickly tossed them aside. Seeing that all was as well as it could be, she levitated the book down the stairs with her, slightly grumbling to herself.

Upon her arrival at the bottom floor, she looked upon Bon Bon already casually flipping through her book. A wide grin spread across the unicorn's face; in one motion, she hopped over the couch, loudly landing next to her marefriend and drawing a startled "Eep!" from her. Lyra fell on her back, rolling in laughter.

"My Celestia, you need to stop doing that!"

"No," the unicorn replied, pecking the mare on the cheek. "Now let's look through these, shall we?"

Receiving the invitation from her partner, the earth pony eagerly turned the pages of the Ponyville High yearbook, occasionally pointing out different ponies that Lyra might know. The unicorn tried to suppress a yawn, hoping that her marefriend wouldn't pick up on her false interest.

To her dismay, Bon Bon forcefully shut the book and turned to her. "Why don't we look at yours now?" she commanded more than asked.

"Uh, sure," came all that the unicorn could respond, realizing she was caught as she levitated up her yearbook.

The mare swiftly opened it, a picture flying from the pages and into the air towards Bon Bon. Seeing what it was, Lyra instantly reached out with both her hooves and her magic, only for it to be snatched up by the earth pony before she could reach it.

"What's this?" she questioned, looking it over to find a gray, purple eyed mare kissing her Lyra on the cheek. Her eyes narrowed. "More importantly, who's this?"

"Oh, uh, just somepony," the unicorn stammered, lunging for the photograph, only for it to be kept just out of her reach.

Bon Bon held the picture in the air, examining and judging Lyra's high school sweetheart. The unicorn was nearly sweating, fearful of what the candy maker might say.

"She's cute," the pony suddenly stated. "But not your type. I know you made the right choice."

Lyra exhaled, wholly relieved that her partner wasn't mad at her for some reason. "Of course I did. Now could I please have that back?"

"Hold on." The earth pony flipped the picture over, revealing a pretty hoof-written message.

"Dearest Lyra," she read. "I wanted you to know that I had a most wonderful time with you throughout our years here at Canterlot High,-"

"Yeah, it's all warm and fuzzy, but can you please give that back to me?"

"- and I am ever so glad that you decided to enroll in Canterlot College with me. Hopefully we can take this relationship to the next level, just like you always wanted.-"

"You don't need to read on, do you? I mean, it's just some boring sappy stuff."

"-I look forward to seeing you-- all of you-- and eagerly await our next year together.
Forever the mare in your life,
Octavia."

Lyra had dug herself into the couch, covering her head with her hooves. She slightly peeked out to be met with a stern gaze and a questioning raised eyebrow from her marefriend.

"Well Lyra?"

The unicorn immediately hid herself again as the pony spoke. "W- well what?"

"Are there any other lovers I should know about? Any other special someponies?"

"No! Of course not! That was a long time ago. Octavia was just..." the mint green pony trailed off.

"You're thinking about her, aren't you!"

"No!" Lyra shouted, snapping herself out of a trance as the treble clef on the flank of the pony became refreshed in her mind. "... A little..."

"A little!?" Bon Bon stood up, trotting towards the stairs.

"H- Hey! Where are you going?"

The earth pony was already up them by the time she had turned around. "I'm going to lock myself in our-, MY room, Lyra Heartstrings."

The unicorn stammered, trying to speak but no coherent words came out.

"You can forget about dinner and you can forget about how warm my bed is!"

The door slammed, the noise echoing through the home. Lyra sat, dumbfounded at what had just transpired. A sigh escaped her lips as she wondered what she could have done.

"For starters, I could have lied better about picturing her rump," she emptily laughed to herself. "Well, I guess it will be one of those nights."

She levitated out her, as she called it, "emergency supply kit", complete with pillows, blankets, snacks, comics and anything a pony could need when sleeping on the couch.

As she had done multiple times before, she began constructing her fortress of solitude, stacking up pillows and blankets into a small tent to keep herself entertained. The unicorn smirked to herself, trotting into her doghouse and laying down with a loud sigh as she cracked open a comic book.

The mare found her eyes aimlessly wandering the pages, unable to focus on the characters of the latest issue of Batmare. With a grunt, she shut the story, throwing it to the side and falling to her back.

"It never gets any easier, does it?" she muttered to herself as she stared at the ceiling of her fort, her hooves behind her head as she relaxed. "Why in Luna's name did I keep that picture? It's not like I've even seen Octavia since college."

She wrapped herself in her hooves as she shivered, turning to her side. "I'm sure Bon Bon will remind me of my mistakes in the morning."

Her eyes closed slowly, her last thought being of the image of that grey mare, it slowly disappearing as she fell into sleep's embrace.

***                        ***                        ***

The unicorn's eyes slowly opened in her foalish fort, bright sunlight breaking through a strategically placed window in her pillow and blanket structure. Slowly, the mare sat up, brushing her messy mane out of her eyes as she stretched while yawning loudly. Her ears perked up swiftly as she heard the sweet voice of another pony.

"May I come in?"

"Sure. Nopony in here but me and Batmare."

Bon Bon ducked into the structure, tripping onto the couch as she entered while the unicorn tried to suppress a giggle. The tan mare pulled herself up, immediately embracing her marefriend.

"I'm sorry, Lyra. I overreacted."

"And I'm sorry that I'm such an attractive mare," came the mint colored mare's quick reply.

The earth pony laughed. "You're pretty quick to forgive, you know that? Almost as quick as you are with building these forts."

Lyra kissed her on the cheek. "Years of practice."

Bon Bon sighed. "Well, we missed dinner, and I'm quite hungry. What do you say that we grab a bite to eat?"

"Oh, you're hungry, are you? I'm right here, come and take me."

The earth pony's face lit up a bright crimson. "Not that kind of hungry, my dear. Well... Not right now."

The unicorn looked up at Bon Bon, turning on the puppy dog eyes and the quivering lip guise, only for it to be broken by her own rumbling stomach. "You know what? I'm hungry too, let's go grab a bite."

"First we should probably clean up th-"

Lyra jumped up, destroying her couch fort and sending pillows flying across the room. "Did you say something?"

Bon Bon almost facehooved before the unicorn levitated all the pillows back to their appropriate places and returned her doghouse supply kit, complete with Batmare, to its hidden crevice, should she need it again. She looked over the still wrecked area, muttered "close enough" and turned back to her marefriend.

"Well, where would you like to eat?"

The earth pony thought for a moment. "Wherever you want to go is fine, Lyra."

The mint green pony cleared her throat and recited as if she had practiced "I want to do what you want to do."

"Oh yes, right. I nearly forgot your mantra," her mare replied sarcastically. "Well how about where we usually go? Sandy's Sandwiches is usually nice and quick."

"Well it depends. Is that what you want to do?"

Bon Bon sighed. "Yes. I want to go there. Now comb your mane."

Lyra levitated a comb as the couple began to trot towards the door. "Yes, mom."

***                        ***                        ***

"Tell me about Octavia."

"Mmph?" Lyra questioned, in the middle of her sandwich.

"What was she like? How did you two meet?"

The unicorn swallowed, unsure of what she was to reply. "Are you sure you want to know that?"

Bon Bon smiled. "Yes, of course. Now tell me the story."

After taking another bite, Lyra cleared her throat. "Alright, story time with Lyra I suppose."

The cream colored pony giggled as she began her tale. "Well, as you know, I have a thing for earth ponies, and back then I was playing in high school band. Pretty boring stuff, right? But then one day, a dragon came swooping in and scooped up Octavia. Naturally, I was the only one who could save her, so I did."

Her marefriend frowned as she spoke the final lines. "There, end of story."

"Has anypony ever told you that you're a lame story teller?"

Lyra leaned back and propped her hind hooves up on the table, sipping on her drink in hoof. "Yeah, but it is what it is," she replied smugly.

"You'll have to tell me the real story sometime, and you know it. But for now..." Bon Bon focused on the bill in front of her that the water had plopped down, opening her coin purse to see a couple of dusty flies float out. "For now we need to figure out how we are going to pay the check. Did you bring any bits with you?"

"Yeah-" the unicorn patted herself down. "-no."

Her partner sighed, flipping out her checkbook. "I'm tired of doing this; just scraping by by the strands of our manes. That dinner would have killed us."

"Good thing you got mad at me, then. Much cheaper."

"I'll have to do it again sometime. I mean..." The earth pony leaned in. "I don't think we'll be even be able to tip our waiter."

"What a tragedy," Lyra sarcastically stated, putting on her best surprised face to remind Bon Bon of her dislike of waiters.

"I never understood why you hate them so much," the pony giggled. "I mean, put yourself in their horseshoes. They have to deal with snotty customers who don't tip all day."

"They're always passing tables like they're planning something. One of these days I'll figure out what they're up to."

Bon Bon kissed her on the cheek. "Sure you will, my dear. Shall we head out?"

"Yeah, before the waiter figures out that I've uncovered their secret plan." Lyra hopped up, taking her place beside her marefriend as they slowly made their way back to Bon Bon's candy store.

***                        ***                        ***

The mint colored pony seated herself on the couch, clutching a cup of soda in the cleft of her hoof as she sipped on it. One room over in the kitchen, her partner was sorting through the day's mail that a grey pegasus had just dropped off.

Lyra listened to the letters being tossed aside, Bon Bon muttering as she sorted through them.

"Spam. Spam. Bill. Check? Oh, wrong house. Spam. Bill... There we go!"

"What is it?" the unicorn inquired, hopping off of the couch and trotting into the kitchen.

"Note from the bank," the pony said as she tore the letter open, throwing it's contents onto the island in the middle of the kitchen. "I've been eager to see how we've been doing over the past couple of months for a while now."

She picked up her account details, her eyes quickly darting over them while Lyra watched as her expression grew cold. The earth pony slowly let out a heavy breath, throwing the piece of paper back on the table.

"Bon Bon... Bon Bon, what's wrong?"

The pony allowed herself to fall to the floor, her flank hitting the ground with a thud as she sat up.

"Lyra... We're broke."
As with any couple, Lyra and Bon Bon experience problems and have disagreements. Be it past marefriends or financial distress, the pair must confide within one another to save both each other, and themselves. Theoretically, love conquers all, but love alone doesn't put bits on the table.

Couch Forts

Chapter 1: [You are here]
Chapter 2: [link]
Chapter 3: [link]
Chapter 4: [link]
Chapter 5: [link]
Chapter 6: [link]
Chapter 7: [link]
Chapter 8: [link]
Chapter 9: [link]
Chapter 10: [link]
Chapter 11: [link]
Chapter 12: [link]
Chapter 13: [link]
Chapter 14: [link]

Special thanks to :iconmuffinshire: for the awesome cover art! [link]

If you enjoyed the story, please rate on FiM Fiction [link]
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