|Bob Universe related commissions/art/stories/scripts|
Sister Sins - The Four SissitersNewest Release of the Sister Sins story line'The Four Sissiters' This one is a pay comic and clocks in at 29 pages.However due to length/cost it is not free.For those that are interested you can purchase it at https://zero00forever.itch.io/the-four-sissiters To celebrate though the golden oldy Sister sins story 'The guard who cried bimbo' is now up fully for those that missed it in the past.https://zero00forever.itch.io/the-guard-who-cried-bimbo It's free, donations would be welcome but not required.
Like Clockwork - The Spring of Aeons epilogueA Mid-Spring Days Simmer
“Oww…” Pakin groaned as he picked himself off the anemone he had crashed into. It had thankfully broken most of the impact. Still, fighting against the powerful current had hurt. It was just instinctive knowledge to move with the flow normally but these weren't normal circumstances by any means. Larry had triggered something with the DLC, something big and he had gotten blown away by it like a beginner.
“Seriously, of all the things to run into, why couldn’t it have been pirates or a sea monster. Damn magic temples!” Pakin groaned to himself. It was one thing to injure yourself. It was a whole other matter for the person you were escorting to get injured. Even if he wasn’t one of the main VIPs, he was still a guest. L-l-larr… huh? Her name was Rylla wasn’t it?? Pakin shook his head for a moment trying to clear his head. Maybe the current had concussed him? Checking himself, his vision and s
Like Clockwork AT prologue: A New Discovery p1She closed her eyes and took a deep breath in as if she wasn’t currently standing on stage. Just as she let out her breath again, she could feel the heat of a spotlight turning on, illuminating her presence. When she opened her eyes again, she was greeted by the incredible size of her audience. The whole school was gathered here. Not only that, but a lot of family members of the students had come as well. This was to be expected, of course, seeing as the school year was coming to a close. Her final school year before she would enter the New Stepolis Academy. As such, it was tradition for the last year students to organize a variety show.For a moment, it seemed as if time had stopped as all eyes were on her. The audience waited with bated breath in silence for her to begin her performance. This was nothing new of course for a ballerina such as herself, but she had never danced for such a large audience, not to mention the fact that she was doing this part of the show solo. For just that moment, she felt as if she had forgotten everything she had practiced…But then the orchestra started playing its music, and everything returned to her. She put up her arms and began her ballet dance. She smiled as she performed her first few pirouettes. She just let her body follow the music, just as she had done for many years ever since becoming a dancer. She was dressed in a white dress and she had a white, winged headpiece in her hair. After all, she was performing the famous ballet ‘The Angel of the Waters’.She simply floated across the stage like a river. Each twirl, each step and each hop were all carried out just as she had practiced. Everything was going so smoothly that the audience couldn’t help but watch in awe.Then the tone of the music shifted. Where before it was calm and flowing, it was now a lot more intense. As such, her dance also shifted. After all, this was the part where the angel was plagued by an intense storm. She danced to all corners of the stage, as if looking for shelter. The music only got more and more intense until finally the crescendo happened, where she bent down and curled herself up into a ball. The audience appeared to find this all very exciting!After this, the music calmed down again, going back to how it was before. As such, she peeked up from her pretend cowering and carefully stood up again. When she deemed everything safe, she simply danced on again as she had before the storm. Once again, she simply floated across the stage like a bird until the orchestra’s song was finished. She made one final pirouette before bowing. Instantly, the whole audience burst out into clapping and cheering.“Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Bridget Harrison!” came the voice of one of her classmates, who was the announcer of the show.Bridget simply rose again while panting profusely, a broad smile plastered all over her face. This was her moment. All eyes were on her and she adored it! Everyone was clapping and cheering her on. Her show was a success! She bowed a few more times until the curtains started closing again. When they were fully closed she let out a sigh of relief. It was over.Suddenly, she felt someone dive-hugging her from the side. “That was amazing, Bridge!” came a familiar voice.“A-Akita! You almost made me trip!” Bridget laughed.“Sooorry,” Akita chuckled before addressing the other people that were now entering the stage. “Prepare for the next act, people! Don’t forget to tighten the net, and make sure the backgrounds are all in place!” she commanded. Bridget had known Akita since they were just six years old when Akita transferred to her school. It was Bridget who decided to befriend the overly shy Akita. Over time though, their friendship blossomed into something more than that.Bridget just smiled at her lover. As always, she had her blonde hair in two pigtails and she had tied her vest around her hips. Something that stood in stark contrast to Bridget’s own fancy get-up for the show. “You’re really giving this your all, huh, Miss stage manager?” Bridget grinned.“I’m perfectly happy doing this. Means I don’t need to get up on the stage,” Akita laughed as she got out her checklist to see if everything was in place.“Oh, come on. It’s really not so bad! It’s amazing really,” Bridget smiled, placing her arms over her chest.“Heh, and that is why YOU are the one up on stage and I’m not,” Akita giggled as she was crossing things off her list. She had always been a bit of an enigma. When faced with a crowd she would go all quiet and observant, but when alone with Bridget she was the life of the party. Even more interesting was the fact that she was seemingly handling this stage manager role pretty well, even when asked to talk to so many people at once!“I guess you’re right… I’ll get you in the spotlight one way or another though,” Bridget teased.“Yeah yeah. At our wedding you will,” Akita laughed, causing Bridget to blush furiously, before turning around to the side of the stage, where a group of four classmates stood ready for their show. “Are you guys ready?” Akita asked.“Of course, Akita!” One of them replied, giving her a thumbs up.“Good luck out there, guys,” Bridget winked at them while hopping off the stage herself.“Thanks, Bridget,” the guys said in unison. With that, the four entered the stage and got themselves into position. Akita herself hopped off the stage as well and she started giving signals for the curtains to open again.“Ladies and gentlemen, can you believe that a man can fly from rope to rope? You will now! Give it up for the acrosquad” the announcer cheered as the curtains opened once more.As the four guys started on their acrobatic performance, Bridget just leaned in closer to Akita. “Seriously though, everything is a success so far, and it’s all thanks to you,” she said.“Pshaw!” Akita huffed, “All of you are the ones performing, you know. I’m just shouting things at people and drawing checkmarks on a piece of paper.”“It would have been a huge mess without you though,” Bridget smiled. “You’re so much more organized than any of us.”“Tell that to my mom when she’s nagging me to clean my room again,” Akita laughed.“Oh, just take a compliment when you’re given one!” Bridget giggled, bopping Akita on the head. Akita had always had trouble accepting compliments. She was far too modest for her own good, or so Bridget thought at least.“Fiiiiine,” Akita laughed as a blush now appeared on her face as well. She tried to hide it though by signalling for the spotlight to turn on and focus on one of the acrobats in particular. “So are you ready for the academy?” she asked, obviously changing the subject.“I sure am! I’m especially ready for the part where we get to share an apartment together,” Bridget teased.“I was ready for that years ago!” Akita grinned, her face now only growing redder.The two just smiled at each-other lovingly for a moment before Akita leaned in for a kiss. Something that Bridget eagerly accepted by embracing her girlfriend in a hug. Their love was something special and their kisses had always felt sublime.“Well, look at that, sis. They’re at it again,” came a sudden rather shrill voice, causing Bridget and Akita to halt their kiss.“You’d think one of them would have eaten the other’s face by now,” a second, almost identical voice said mockingly. Bridget knew these two voices all too well. Without breaking her hold of Akita, she turned to the side and frowned at the twin girls that had approached them. They were almost completely identical and often wore the same outfit, with only a minor difference in colour to distinguish between the two. They had straight, raven coloured hair reaching down mid-back. The main defining feature to distinguish between the two was their eye colours. Zexa had hazel eyes while Xeza’s eyes leaned more towards gray. They themselves, however, liked to refer to their eye colours as gold and silver. For today’s performance, they appeared to have chosen white ball gowns.“Zexa, Xeza, hey there,” Bridget stammered, trying to put up a fake smile. In her embrace, she could feel Akita tense up.“What a wonderful performance, Bridget. Don’t you think so, sis?” Xeza said.“Why yes. I was sure she was going to fall off the stage, but she proved me wrong,” Zexa teased with a very audible snide in her voice.Bridget’s eye twitched momentarily but she composed herself again. She still kept one arm wrapped behind Akita’s back while turning to face them fully now. “Are you ready for your act?”“Of course we are,” the twins replied together in perfect unison.“Uncanny…” Akita muttered softly, but loud enough for both of them to hear.“You know, sis, I always wondered about something,” Zexa said, turning to her twin with a rather wide grin.“What is that, Zexa?” Xeza asked, bearing the same wicked grin.“How could someone as talented as Bridget fall for someone who’s got no talent whatsoever?” Zexa giggled.Xeza held a hand over her mouth, pretending to be surprised. “My, that’s such a good question! I don’t know, sis,” she said. “But it does explain why she doesn’t have an act of her own. They don’t want her to embarrass the school.”Next to her, Bridget could feel Akita tense up even more. It seemed she was even balling a fist. “Knock it off, you two! Why do you always have to be so rude!” Bridget snapped. She could feel her blood boiling at these insults.“Rude?” Xeza asked.“Us?” Zexa finished, placing a hand over her chest and feigning ignorance.“We’re simply stating the truth, you know,” Xeza nodded.“Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for the Acrosquad!” the announcer suddenly called out. It appeared that their act was already finished. This prompted Akita to wordlessly turn around with an emotionless glare and enter the stage to prepare it for the next act.“A-Akita…” Bridget called out after her, but it appeared that her girlfriend just stoically walked on. Angrily, Bridget turned back to the twins. “Why do you ALWAYS do this?! Even today?!”“Especially today!” Zexa sneered.“Indeed. This IS the last day of school, after all,” Xeza nodded.“We don’t want you to forget about us,” Zexa finished before the two just started laughing again. Their shrill, condescending laughter always managed to greatly annoy Bridget and Akita.Bridget just could not understand these twins. They had always been bothersome to Akita especially, probably because they thought she was an easy target. After all, she rarely talked back. “You two are the worst! As if YOUR act is anything special!” She just blurted out.For a moment, the twins looked genuinely hurt by that comment, but they quickly resumed their mockery.“Now is that really any way to say goodbye?” Zexa asked, once again pretending to feel hurt.“Especially to your dear old friends,” Xeza mused.“Oh cut it out already. Your nagging isn’t going to work on me,” Bridget huffed before turning around. “Why do I even bother…” It was true. Bridget had befriended the twins at one point, when they had just entered high school. However, she soon cut them out as friends when she began to notice that they were harassing Akita. However, it seemed that this only spurred them on to increase their teasing…“Is that really true?” Xeza wondered aloud.“I don’t think it’s true,” Zexa giggled.Bridget closed her eyes, trying her best to just drown out their shrill voices. Something that was quite difficult to do, even with years of experience.“Hey! Get on the damn stage, you two,” came Akitas sudden voice again, causing Bridget to look up at her. She still had that emotionless glare on her face. It seemed that she was finished setting up the stage.“Ah, excellent!” the twins said in unison again. They then entered the stage and passed by Akita on either side, who tried to remain unphased by them. They took their positions on either side of the stage.Wordlessly, Akita hopped off the stage and just gave the signal to the announcer.“Ladies and gentlemen, we use mirrors every single day, but I do believe you have never seen a mirror as amazing as this before! Give it up for the Mirror of Wonders!” the announcer cheered.When the curtains opened, the audience was greeted by the curious scene of a bedroom… twice. Each an exact mirror of the other, and each containing one of the twins. The two proceeded to mirror each-other’s movements exactly, pretending to wake up and go about their day. It seemed that the audience was quite intrigued by it all, judging by their clapping and occasional laughter.Bridget didn’t care enough to look though, as she had far more pressing matters to attend to. “Akita… are you okay?” she asked.Akita had closed her eyes, obviously trying very hard to force down a tear but failing. “I told myself I wouldn’t let them get to me anymore…” she muttered.“Akita…” Bridget spoke softly as she hugged her lover tightly. “They’re lying, you know. You’re not talente-”“Are they though?” Akita huffed, tears now fully streaming down her face. “They’re right, I know they are. I’m nothing special…”Bridget frowned at that. “How can you say that? You can do things with maths I never even thought possible! Your organizing has turned this show from a mess into a success! You’re a wonderful person… and I’m proud to call you my girlfriend,” she stated firmly.Akita looked at Bridget and opened her mouth to say something again, but nothing really came out. Sometimes, Bridget really wondered what went on in that beautiful head of hers… Akita just rubbed the tears out of her eyes and gave Bridget another tight hug.----------------------The rest of the show went by well enough. Akita had seemingly been able to get past the twins’ teasing for now and did her job as stage manager exceptionally well, and Bridget could only be proud of her. By the time the final act had ended, Akita turned to her lover.“Get ready for the final applause, hun,” she winked. She then made sure that everybody else had also gathered at the stage again. When she finished up her checklist, she motioned for the curtains to reopen again and for the announcer to hold his final piece.“Ladies and gentlemen, we would like to thank you all for coming to our show! Let us all give one last standing ovation for our performers!” he called. Then, just as he said, Bridget’s classmates started entering the stage one by one, in the order of their appearances.“I’ll be back soon,” Bridget smiled to Akita before joining the others up on the stage as well. The applause was so pleasing to hear, and the smiles of the audience were great to see! Looking around, all of her classmates were enjoying the applause as well to varying degrees. Well… almost all of her classmates. Off to the side, Akita was simply clapping as well. That’s when she got an idea. An idea that would give Akita the recognition she deserved. She strutted over to the announcer and indicated that she wanted to borrow the voice amplifier.“Ladies and gentlemen!” she called out, surprised at first at how loud her own voice was now sounding through the hall. Magic was amazing sometimes. “I would also like to give a huge thank you to Jacob, our announcer!” she said.Jacob laughed and just bowed to the audience as well.“I want to thank all of our teachers for dragging us through highschool and teaching us so much!” Bridget continued.Most of the teachers were just sitting in the audience, but there were a few that stood next to the stage, and they each looked a little flustered alright!“And lastly…” Bridget said, turning to the right. “Please give it up for our stage manager tonight… Akita!” she cheered, handing back the amplifier to Jacob.Off to the side, Akita looked like she’d seen a ghost or something, shaking her head vigorously. That’s when the rest of the class started beckoning for her to join them though. Even Zexa and Xeza joined in, though begrudgingly so. Akita sighed and just as begrudgingly walked up the stage as well herself. The audience cheered while Akita awkwardly waved at them, uncertain of what to really do with herself.Bridget grinned and went in for a hug. “Told you I’d get you in the spotlight!” she laughed.“I hate you…” Akita groaned angrily.“I love you too!” Bridget laughed. “We can’t have a ‘goodbye school’ show without you!”Akita just responded with some more grunting noises but it seemed that she couldn’t help but smile as well. Their high school life was at an end.
Like Clockwork prologue AT: A New Discovery P2“Whyyyyy,” Bridget whined. After the show had ended, there was an afterparty, but she and Akita only stayed long enough to say goodbye to their old classmates before leaving again.“Because it’s getting late, and we made a deal, remember?” Akita grinned. “Besides, it’s payback for pulling me up on the stage like that.”“But, but, but… I wanted you to feel appreciated!” Bridget smiled.“And I did, Bridge. Thanks for that,” Akita smiled, halting momentarily to place a hand on Bridget’s cheek. “But we’re still going,” she giggled and moved on again.Bridget cursed silently under her breath. “I barely got enough time to change into my regular clothes,” she pouted.“Again, we would have been late otherwise!” Akita laughed. “You do wanna stick to the deal, right?”“Yes… I know,” Bridget sighed.“Then let’s go before they close!” Akita said.Indeed, before the finals, Bridget really didn’t think that she would pass them. Akita, however, believed in her girlfriend all throughout and so they made a deal. If Bridget passed, they would celebrate all night long doing all sorts of activities, starting with a visit to the Book of the Gods. It was something Bridget had often talked about wanting to see it, ever since it was first brought up in history class. Supposedly, it was a divine book that showed the reader what god or goddess fits them the best.Rounding a corner, the couple could already see the place where the book was kept up ahead. It was quite hard to miss after all with its large spires. It was the Cathedral of the Pantheon; a church dedicated to all gods of all origins, right in their hometown of New Stepolis. It was a magnificent sight to behold. There were flying buttresses on all sides of a large central tower, topped with a dome.“Let’s hurry it up!” Akita shouted as her walking increased into running. “Wait for me!” Bridget called after her, breaking into a sprint as well. After all, the two could already see hordes of people leaving the church. They were going to close for the night soon enough!When they finally reached the grand gold-plated front doors, they had to catch their breath first before entering. They really weren’t made for running, alright. It didn’t help that it was the height of summer, and it was still pretty warm out, even at this late hour.“Alright… let’s… go in… shall we?” Bridget panted.“Halt!” A sudden loud voice interrupted, however it was just one of the church’s gate guards. “The church is closing for the night. You may return again tomorrow.”“But… we came… running… all this way!” Akita complained through her panting.“Please! We… only wish… to see the… Book of the Gods!” Bridget pleaded.“We just… graduated… high school… Give us a break,” Akita added, hoping it would perhaps sway the guard.The man eyed the girls for a moment, placing a hand under his chin. “Very well then. Speak to the priest at the altar. You have my permission,” he nodded. “And congratulations,” he added with a very meek smile.“Thank you so much!” Bridget cheered. Hurriedly, the girls entered the Cathedral, dodging the crowds of people that were trying to leave. Eventually though, they arrived at the altar in the exact center of the church, where a priest stood watching the people. He was an elderly, gentle-looking man. Bridget recognized him as the high priest at this cathedral, which he had been for as long as she could remember.“Uhm… excuse us uh… father,” Akita stammered. She did always seem to have trouble talking to strangers for the first time. She didn’t really know how to act around them. She then took a deep breath in. “We wish to see the book of the gods.”“Ah, I am sorry, my child,” the gentle priest said. “We are closing for the night.”“Please, sir. The guard at the gate said we had his permission to ask you,” Bridget pleaded.“Ah, did he now?” the priest chuckled. “Hmm… very well then. Please follow me.” The old man then proceeded to lead the two girls through the large hallway behind the altar. It was actually a lot easier to walk around now, since most people naturally got out of the way for the high priest! Eventually, the three arrived at an old wooden door, closed off from the public. After all, the book was a holy object, and the priests did not want people to be able to get to the book without supervision. When the priest opened the door, the girls got their view of the book. It was a pretty large book and very ancient looking, leather-bound book that was resting on a pedestal. It looked a little fragile perhaps, but it also appeared to be faintly glowing. The tell-tale sign of a divine level creation.“Are you both interested in opening the book?” the priest asked as they approached the book.“Well, she certainly is,” Akita giggled.“Ah… yes! But so is she!” Bridget insisted.“Wha… fiiine,” Akita huffed.The priest chuckled. “Very well. Let me explain how it works. All you need to do is walk up to the book. The book has many pages, but the only pages accessible to you will be those of your god or goddess. As such, the book will open on its own as you approach the page of your god or goddess. It will show you their name and symbol. The pages thereafter will contain more information about them. The book is old, so please handle it with great care.”“Of course,” Bridget nodded. She had been wanting to open this book, partially because she was curious about what god would fit her, but mostly also because she was very curious about the book itself. She approached it carefully. Up close, she could spot more details. The leather looked very much intact and it was probably the biggest reason for why the book was still intact after all these years. The paper inside looked more brown than white. The front of the book seemed fairly nondescript. However, it appeared that this was because of old age, as there was still vague lettering visible up close. It was so hard to believe that even a divine book like this could be affected by time like this.Bridget peeked behind her for a moment with a big smile on her face. She could see that Akita chuckled at her giddiness. “My bet’s on the god of dance,” she said.Rolling her eyes, Bridget just turned back and took the final step to the book. Sure enough, the book started glowing a little bit more than it was already doing and it actually started opening! She watched with bated breath as the old tome opened to a page somewhat early in the book, only to be greeted by a cloud of dust. It caused her to start coughing quite a bit.“How odd,” Bridget muttered to herself between her coughing. How could a page in this book be so dusty? Did she stumble upon a rare god or something? She softly blew away some of the dust at the top of the page to at least gather the name of the god or goddess that was her closest fit.“Well? Who is it?” Akita asked behind her.“It’s… Alinavious. Goddess of time,” Bridget replied after a few more moments of dedusting. Now that was certainly unexpected. The goddess of time?“Huh… unexpected but cool!” Akita cheered behind her. “Now… where have I heard that name before…” Indeed, the name Alinavious rang familiar to Bridget too. She couldn’t quite remember where from though. That is, until the priest suddenly spoke up again.“Impossible… that cannot be true!” he said, sounding quite alarmed. Looking over, both girls could see that he was quite pale too.“Impossible? Uhm… what do you mean, ‘impossible’?” Bridget asked, turning around.“The… the goddess of time has been dead for a thousand years now!” the high priest said.“She’s WHAT now?!” Akita gasped.“The great timestorm… she… her death…” the priest blabbered.“Timestorm… wait! Alinavious is THAT goddess?!” Bridget gasped. She remembered now. Roughly a thousand years ago, there was a great timestorm caused by the death of this particular goddess. It threatened to absolutely wreck reality, but then it stabilized itself again seemingly on its own. No-one really knows the reason for her death, or what stabilized the timestorm, but the fact of the matter was that this particular goddess was dead. And this same goddess now showed up as a fit for Bridget…“Okay, hold up. This can’t be real, right?” Akita argued.“No… it cannot be!” the priest agreed.“Is the book broken or something?” Akita asked.“Impossible! The book has never been wrong before!” the priest answered.“Well, then how do you explain this?” Akita asked, raising an eyebrow.“I… do not know! This is unprecedented…” the priest stammered.This back and forth between Akita and the priest went on for a bit. Bridget, in the meantime, was quite shocked by all of this. Of all the gods in the pantheon, why did the book show her a dead goddess? What did that mean for her? Questions filled her head when suddenly, she realized her hand was resting on something unexpected. Ignoring the argument between Akita and the high priest for now, she turned around to see what was going on. It appeared that there was some kind of bump in the book? Turning the page, Bridget’s eyes widened at what she saw. There was a pristine, brass cogwheel, still appearing as new unlike the rest of the book!“Whoah,” she whispered to herself as she picked it up carefully to inspect it. It felt quite cold to the touch, and heavier than she expected. There appeared to be a set of six odd symbols circling around the center. Bridget could only really identify one of the symbols, since it matched with the depiction of the symbol of Alinavious herself in the book. At the very least, that did link this gear with this goddess. Turning over the cogwheel revealed an even more puzzling sight. There was… writing? Or at least, it looked like writing, but it wasn’t written in any language she was familiar with. It too circled around the center. What could all of this mean? And why was this in the book?“Bridget!” came Akita’s sudden voice from behind her, shaking her out of her entranced state.“Ah! Sorry!” Bridget said, turning around again, as if she was caught red-handed. She noticed something then. “Wait… where’s the high priest?” she asked.“You really didn’t notice?” Akita laughed. “He’s off to talk to some other priests about all this.”“Oh… really?” Bridget chuckled nervously. Had she really been so mesmerized by that gear that she missed the priest leaving the room?“Uhm… what’cha got there, Bridge?” Akita asked, raising an eyebrow.“Huh? Oh! It’s… some kind of cogwheel?” Bridget pondered aloud.“Well, I can see that, but where did you get that?” Akita asked.“It was hidden in the book,” Bridget explained.“... What? A gear hidden in the Book of the Gods? Why would it be in there?” Akita frowned.“I don’t know! It was hidden in one of the pages about this time goddess!” Bridget replied. Saying it out loud made it all sound that much more alien to her, even though it had just happened.“Is there anything on those pages about that gear?” Akita asked.“Ah, maybe? I’ll read…” Bridget muttered. Carefully, she blew away more of the dust on these pages and started reading aloud what she could. “The goddess of time is the seventh daughter of Isaye, goddess of the Cosmos. She granted the world the gift of time. It is her belief that all things are deserving of time, no matter where they come from or what they decide to do with her gift. That is, unless the actions of one may take away the gift of time from others. As such, she is a peaceful yet neutral goddess.”“How poetic. The whole ‘everybody deserves time’ thing, I mean,” Akita interrupted.“Yeah… I agree,” Bridget nodded with a modest smile. She then proceeded to read aloud the rest of the pages, skimming through most of it. There was some more information about the goddess’ relationship to the other gods. There was a little bit of history about before she created time (which actually seemed quite odd. After all, how can there be anything before time?). However, none of the information detailed anything about this gear, or what the symbols meant. When she finished reading the page, she tried turning it, but found herself unable to do so. Of course, it was the magical properties of the book preventing her from doing so.“That’s all of it,” she said.“Hmmm, what a mystery. Can I see that thing?” Akita asked.“Ah, sure,” Bridget said, stepping away from the book again. As she did so, the book instantly closed itself on its own. Only now that she stepped away from the book was she able to see that this cogwheel actually also had its own faint, divine glow. Regardless, she handed it over to her girlfriend.“Whew… surprisingly heavy,” Akita muttered as she eyed the gear herself for a moment on all sides before handing it back again.“What… do we do with it?” Bridget asked nervously.A wide grin appeared on Akita’s face then. “You keep it, of course!”“What?!” Bridget gasped. Was her girlfriend really suggesting stealing from the cathedral?!“Think about it. This gear has been hidden on the page of this goddess at least since her death. Obviously, it was meant to be found by another follower of hers,” Akita said.“Wha… I’m not her follower! She’s just my closest fit!” Bridget huffed. Indeed, this book was mostly seen as a suggestion rather than a hard lock. Some people just thought it was an interesting and fun thing to do while others disregarded what god the book linked them with altogether, turning to a different god or goddess instead.“So what? The point is that this gear was clearly meant to be found by you,” Akita grinned.“You’ve got to be joking…” Bridget sighed.“Come now, when have I ever made jokes?” Akita laughed.“Cut it out! This is serious!” Bridget huffed.“Alright, alright,” Akita chuckled. That’s when the doors to the room swung open again. The priest had returned, looking noticeably paler than before.“You girls have to go,” he said.“Wha-huh?” Bridget gasped.“We cannot determine what is going on here. Whether this is some kind of prank, or if there is something fishy going on with all we know of the past, or even whether this is the work of devils,” the priest replied rather hastily.“But… we didn’t…” Akita tried to explain but she was cut off by the priest again.“The fact of the matter is that we cannot allow anyone near this book until we have made a proper examination of this all. For your own good, please leave this place!” he said.Bridget looked from the priest to Akita and back again. This all seemed very strange alright, but she really did not want to get into any sort of trouble. This was supposed to be a night of celebrations after all. “Alright… let’s go, Akita,” she said.Akita stared back at her for a moment in silence before nodding in agreement. “Right,” she muttered.---------------When the girls left the church, the doors were practically slammed shut behind them, leaving Bridget feeling quite anxious about the whole thing. Perhaps coming here was a mistake…“Well… that happened,” Akita finally said. There was a bit of a tremble in her voice. She must have been just as anxious alright.“Y-yeah… I wonder what was up with all of that,” Bridget pondered aloud, placing a hand under her chin.“Not a clue…” Akita muttered. She suddenly gasped, however. “Bridge! The gear!”“Huh?” Bridget pondered when she too realized it. She still had the gear in her hand!“You actually took it with you?! You KNOW I was kidding, right?” Akita cried out.“I… I know! I just… well he caught me off guard and… I didn’t even realize I still… I’M SORRY, OKAY?!” Bridget cried out herself, scared about what she had done. How could she have been so careless? She stole something from the church without even realizing it!Akita, however, actually started laughing. “Unbelievable. My girlfriend, a criminal,” she chuckled.“Knock it off!” Bridget huffed, still panicking and turning a crimson shade of red now. “I’m returning it right away…”“Wait, stop!” Akita said, grabbing Bridget’s arm. “This may actually work in our favour.”“F-favour?!” Bridget asked hysterically.“Yeah I was mostly joking in there about the gear belonging to you, but it’s not like that was all false. Nobody but you could find that gear,” Akita reasoned.Well, that much was true. The pages of the goddess of time in that book were only accessible to those best suited for this particular goddess, which apparently included Bridget.“Furthermore, we have no clue about what’s going on with any of this. You and I both know that the church is just going to sweep all this under the rug, so they won’t be much help. But maybe if we find out a little more about this gear here, we may uncover what in the world is going on with this goddess as well,” Akita explained further.“I… guess so…” Bridget said, calming down somewhat. “But it’s still stealing!”Akita thought it over for a moment and nodded then. “Tell you what. We hold onto this cogwheel for now and do some research into it. Then if we don’t discover anything, we can always return it later, and just say we found it or something.”“I… well… okay fine!” Bridget blurted out then. She really did not want to steal from the church at all, but she could not deny her own curiosity. She wanted to know more now. About this gear. About this goddess. About the great timestorm.Akita’s grin only turned broader at that. “Wonderful,” she said. “But for now, this was supposed to be a night of celebrations!”“R-right,” Bridget stammered.“Come on, my junior criminal, let’s go,” Akita chuckled as she started walking off again.“Cri-... oh, quit it, you!” Bridget huffed before sighing. Akita sure could be a handful sometimes. But then… she couldn’t really imagine a life without her.--------------Akita let out a sigh of relief as she stumbled back into her room. What a night it had been. She and Bridget had dinner at a fancy seafood restaurant, they watched a funny transformation show, they did some stargazing. Akita especially took joy in the part where they went to a park and just shouted obscenities, most of which she directed at Zexa and Xeza. They even got to drink their first ever cocktails, but they both agreed that it would be their last ones as well. They celebrated all night until the sun would rise again, doing things they had been wanting to do for a while now, but rarely had the chance to, if at all.But now that the night was over, it was time to sleep. Bridget had already crashed into bed while Akita had taken a bathroom break.She smiled. Seeing Bridget sleeping so soundly like that. She often considered herself the luckiest woman alive. Too lucky, sometimes. How did she come to deserve a wonderful girlfriend like Bridget? Ah, but Akita was far too sleepy to start worrying about that again. Bridget had told her many times before that such worries were a waste of energy after all.Not wanting to wake up Bridget, Akita tried to move over to the bed as quietly as possible, making sure to avoid the one creaking floorboard, when…She had to breathe in through her teeth to prevent herself from crying out, as she stubbed her toe into Bridget’s backpack, nearly causing her to fall over. She cursed at her own clumsiness under her breath when the sound of something rolling caught her attention. Something metal? Looking down, she found the source of the sound soon enough.“Right… I almost forgot about you,” she whispered to herself as she picked up the mysterious cogwheel from before. It really was quite an intriguing thing alright. Why was this thing where it was? How come Bridget was able to find it? Why Bridget?And why did Akita become so invested in this gear herself? She had convinced Bridget to keep the gear, not just for her sake, but for Akita’s own curiosity as well.“We’ll… figure you out, one way or another,” Akita muttered. She then placed the cogwheel on her desk and quietly joined her sleeping girlfriend in bed.
LCAT Fragments Of Time: A Fated Encounter“Graaaah, what do we do? We’ve not been able to find out anything about that stinking gear all summer long!” Akita groaned as she placed her head on Bridget’s lap.“I know… but I’m sure we’ll be able to find something once we enter the New Stepolis Academy in two weeks. It is a place of knowledge after all,” Bridget reasoned. They were sitting on the base of the grand fountain in Barbie Square, eating ice cream in defeat.“What sucks even more is that the Cathedral of the Pantheon isn’t even letting us in anymore because they think you’re some kind of chaos spawn now,” Akita hissed, holding up her ice cream as if it was a sword.“Heh… I actually think that’s quite funny. Imagine that. Me, a spawn from the chaos goddess?” Bridget grinned.“Yeah, and me as her personal lackey,” Akita giggled.The two laughed it off for a while more but soon they slumped back into their mood from before. Their mood of hopelessness. How could they hope to find out more about this gear if there’s no text to be found anywhere?“So… Do you think we should just give up for now? Leave it for next week when we enter the academy?” Akita proposed. When she didn’t get an immediate reply though, she looked up at her girlfriend. “Bridge?”All Bridget did in response was point.Akita raised an eyebrow and followed Bridget’s glare, only for her own jaw to drop at what she saw. Coming from one of the roads leading into the plaza, there was a peculiar looking coach approaching. Coaches weren’t all that common, since it basically placed a giant ‘rob me’ sign over your head. This one though looked to be something else. For one, it wasn’t drawn by horses, but by camels instead. Secondly, the vehicle itself was almost entirely plated with gold and encrusted with rubies and sapphires. Lastly, there was the presence of two armoured men walking besides the coach and keeping a close eye on their surroundings. Whoever was in this coach must be filthy rich alright.All Bridget and Akita could really do was stare in disbelief as the coach approached them and even stopped right in front of them. The driver then hopped off her seat and opened the door of the coach.“We have halted, as per your request, my lady,” she said, extending her hand.“Thank you kindly, Rashida dear,” came a sultry female voice from inside. The owner of the voice then took the coach driver’s hand and let herself be helped. There, from out of her coach, came a young woman who must have been around the same age as Bridget and Akita. Judging by everything about her, she looked like some kind of desert princess. Her silken clothing, her lavish jewelry, and of course the coach itself.The girl smiled broadly as she looked directly at Akita and Bridget. “Excuse me, I wonder if I could trouble you for a moment.” The way she carried herself was so delicate and posh. She certainly knew how to draw attention to herself alright.Akita had her mouth slightly agape as the scene unfolded before them. Hurriedly, she lifted herself up from Bridget’s lap and sat up as straight as she could.“You see, we appear to have lost our way,” the girl continued. “I was hoping that you could perhaps guide us to the New Stepolis Academy?”Bridget and Akita exchanged a quick glance. Akita knew her girlfriend to be terrible at directions so it was up to Akita herself to help this lady.“You uh… take that street… then uh… you take the fourth left. Then you uh… you take the second right… and then you’re there,” Akita stammered.“Exquisite! Thank you ever so much,” the girl said. She certainly enjoyed using fancy words alright. She turned her attention back to her coach driver, who herself looked to be dressed for much warmer weather as well. “Did you catch that, Rashida dear?”“I did, my lady,” Rashida replied, bowing her head slightly.“I believe we would still have been roaming these streets for another two weeks if it weren’t for your help. It is quite the maze in here after all,” the girl chuckled, turning her attention back to Akita and Bridget.“You’re… welcome?” Bridget stammered questioningly. It was clear that neither of them really knew how to act in front of this posh lady.“Ah, but where are my manners? My name is Lavini Providence. I hail from the desert regions down south,” the girl said, curtsying as she did so.“Uhm… I’m Bridget Harrison,” Bridget said meekly.“... Akita Hirano,” Akita said, even softer than Bridget had.“Ah, well it is a pleasure to meet you both,” Lavini said.An awkward silence fell as no-one really knew how to carry on the conversation from here. A silence that lasted a bit too long and so Akita just decided to blurt something out.“You’re uh… going to the academy huh?”“Oh, yes, I am! There are other academies that would have been much closer to home, but my mother insisted I go to this one, and so here I am,” Lavini explained.“Well… we’re actually also going to the academy next week,” Bridget said.“Are you really? Now that is wonderful to hear! Perhaps we could be friends if we run into one another again?” Lavini asked, sounding slightly hopeful.“Well… sure?” Bridget said, sounding slightly uneasy but forcing up a smile.“Why not?” Akita nodded, putting up the same kind of smile herself.“Exquisite!” Lavini cheered.“My lady. We must really make haste. We have a schedule to stick to,” Rashida interjected.“Ah, you are correct. Forgive me, but I must be taking my leave again,” Lavini said as she once again took Rashida’s hand who helped her climb back into the coach. When she was seated, she poked her head outside. “Once again, it was a pleasure to meet you. May our paths cross again,” she said, smiling broadly.“Likewise!” Bridget said, a bit too loudly.As the coach started riding off again towards the road Akita had pointed out earlier, they could see Lavini still waving at them. All Akita and Bridget could do in response was awkwardly wave back. Only when the coach was finally out of sight again did Bridget finally speak up again.“That really happened… right?” she said.“Yeah… I think so,” Akita replied, still in disbelief.Silence fell again. That is until Bridget’s ice-cream fell out of its cone. It must have melted during the conversation with Lavini.Both girls looked from the fallen treat to each-other and back to the ice-cream splatter again… before bursting out into laughter.
Like Clockwork AT 1: The Gears Of Faith P1“Whoah,” the three girls sighed out as they got their first real glimpse at the ancient structure within the valley of Chronis. Now that they were actually here, none of them really knew what to say or do. Even though the building hadn’t seen use in over a thousand years, they were surprised at how much of it still stood. Several side towers had crumbled but the main building had mostly withstood the tests of time. There were old broken clocks scattered throughout and the whole thing was overgrown with plantlife that had been slowly reclaiming the landscape. There was an empty belfry over the front of the main building and there were holes in most of the walls. Despite all that, strangely enough, the central tower looked remarkably well kept. It even appeared to still have a functioning clock, although its time was way off. It sure was a curiosity. All of this really made them wonder what this place would have looked like back in its hay days.“Well, we won’t find anything by standing out here,” Akita finally spoke up. Being of Weebonese descent, she had a slightly more tan skin tone. As usual she kept her long black hair tied back in ponytails. She had tied her vest around her waist since today had turned out to be quite a hot day, especially after all of that walking.“Yes… you’re right,” Bridget nodded, placing a hand over her necklace. She’d been keeping the curious gear that Akita and her had found close to her at all times just in case. She had tied her brown hair into a bun to keep it from falling over her face like a curtain. Akita always admired how, even though they were on quite the dangerous adventure, Bridget always managed to maintain her good looks. For this particular adventure, she had decided to wear a wide, loose skirt as well as some tight-fitting clothes that allowed her to maneuver herself easily should they have to fight in some way.“So, remind me again, what are we looking for exactly?” Lavini asked. Hailing from the desert regions down south, she had an even darker skin tone. She usually wore a rather fancy attire, making her stand out among her peers. Today though, she wore something a bit more sensible for the trip.“We’re looking for wherever this could fit,” Bridget replied, pointing at the gear hanging around her neck.“And we are absolutely certain that we should search here? All of the tales we’ve heard from other adventurers make this sound like a fairly dangerous place,” Lavini said hesitantly.“Heh, come on, Lavini. It looks safe to me,” Akita joked, pointing at a rather perilous-looking overhang that could collapse at any moment.“Cut it out, you two. We’ve been working for this very moment for months and I’m not about to back down,” Bridget said. Indeed, they had been. Ever since they graduated school, Bridget and Akita had been obsessed with finding out anything they could about the ancient goddess of time. When they met Lavini later that summer, who was about to enroll into the same academy as they were, they instantly hit it off and she kind of hopped onto the bandwagon right away. Throughout their years as students, they did so much research on the goddess and on time that they became experts on the subject, but there was still one thing they hadn’t yet done, which was to visit the old temples of time. Since it was dangerous, they had to prepare and be ready for whatever was to come, and so their final year at the academy was mostly spent preparing.Lavini and Akita exchanged some glances with one-another and nodded. “... You are correct, Bridget dear,” Lavini said.“So long as we’re careful, we should be okay,” Akita added.The three girls then carefully made their way down the relatively steep hill they had been standing on towards the grand entrance of the ancient church. Lavini was able to use her sand magic to make a stairway down, but it was still a pretty slippery path. Halfway down, Akita even managed to fall and she slid the rest of the way down. This prompted Bridget to hasten her pace down, but she was relieved to find that Akita was doing okay, though she did complain about the fact that sand had now gotten in places she didn’t even want to mention. When Lavini had made her way down as well, the girls were faced by a heavily overgrown thornbush that blocked their path to the front door.“Stand back. I’ll take care of this,” Bridget said as she got out her scimitar. She then closed her eyes while she channeled her energy before beginning to spin. Just as she had practiced, she began to dance. The dance she performed was different from her usual ballet routine, but a dance was still a dance and thus she gave it her all. As she approached the thornbush, she held out her scimitar and began to slice her way in. Branches and leaves scattered everywhere as she created a pathway for the three girls to enter through. When at last she had reached the door, she stopped her dance and she ended it with a bow. She didn’t need to do this, but her upbringing as a ballerina had kind of drilled it into her.“Exquisite! I knew that that dervish DLC was a perfect match for you,” Lavini said, applauding. When she turned to Akita though, she stopped and looked a little bit shocked. “Ah, Akita dear. Your mouth is agape.”“Huh, whasda?... oh… sorry…” Akita stammered, blushing.Bridget began to blush as well at this, which only made Lavini chuckle. “Let us move inside, you two lovebirds,” she said.“Heh… guilty as charged,” Akita said, grinning widely, which only made Bridget blush even more.Most of the grand doorway into the church had rotted away and so, they could already catch their first glimpse inside of what must once have been the main entrance hall. The first thing that caught everyone’s attention was the gigantic bell that lay in the center of the room. It must have fallen from the belfry up top. Incredibly enough, it was still mostly intact, and still had a shiny hue to it, even after all of these years of neglect. It led Bridget to believe that it must have some magical protections against the passage of time.The second thing that stood out was the hallway on the far side of the room that looked… off somehow. It looked like a fata morgana from a distance. It was there, but then it wasn’t. It looked like the doors were still intact, but then it looked like the doors had all but crumbled to dust. At times, Bridget could even swear she saw the glimpse of a figure standing there, but it happened so sporadically and so quickly that she felt that she must have imagined it somehow.The rest of the room did not appear all that interesting. The wall had massive holes in them and the floor was riddled with debris. There were timeworn statues all around, but it was simply impossible to tell what they were supposed to represent by now. Some of the walls that still stood held massive murals, but these, too, were rather hard to decipher at first glance. It looked like one of them must have depicted the goddess once and five other figures, and there were also several symbols here and there that looked like it could have been some form of writing.As Lavini and Akita started inspecting the rest of the room, Bridget carefully approached the hallway. As she did so, the strange effect only appeared more and more pronounced. More details started flashing around as if it was a wall of water. “What do you think is going on here?” she asked.“Bridget stop! Don’t get any closer!” Lavini cried out as she too now spotted the strange wall.“What’s going on?!” Akita called out, who had been on the opposite side of the room trying to decipher some of the writing. Of course, she’d be the first to come running if Bridget were to be in trouble.“Nothing’s wrong so far,” Bridget said, trying to calm them both down.“Regardless. This is a temple of time, is it not?” Lavini said as she approached. “I do not think this is some form of illusory effect. We may be looking at a temporal anomaly here.”“Yikes… good thing you stopped her then, Lavini!” Akita said.“How can we be certain?” Bridget pondered.“I have an idea,” Lavini said as she picked up a small pebble from the floor. She then threw it towards the door… and it instantly vanished! Or no, it didn’t. It reappeared again but a little bit closer to the girls again. It just flew forward again, but then it happened again! And again! Indeed, it appeared that the pebble had been caught in a time loop.“Wow… you really saved me there, Lavini,” Bridget said, her eyes wide. To think she could have been centimeters away from being stuck in a time loop herself… “Let’s… try and inspect a different part of the temple. And let’s keep throwing rocks ahead of ourselves just in case…” Akita proposed.Bridget and Lavini simply nodded.--------------------As the girls explored the rest of the ruins, they were relieved to find that only the central tower had been affected by the strange temporal anomalies. Unfortunately though, the rest of the temple complex was in an even worse state than the entrance hall was. There was rubble everywhere. Plants had grown to cover just about every inch of the ground, making it even harder to get around. Barely anything was recognizable as having been a part of a church. Slowly but surely, Bridget started losing hope that they’d find anything without going into that central tower and judging by the sighs they were giving, she figured Lavini and Akita were thinking the same. There was simply nothing where the mysterious gear might fit…Or so they thought.“Whoah, what’s this?!” Akita suddenly called out as she stumbled over another wall. Bridget and Lavini soon joined her and they were surprised to find a rather large room, or what must have been a room once. There in the middle lay a massive collection of metal, simply heaped up.“Well, this is certainly different,” Lavini commented as she threw another pebble forwards to make sure that the room was safe.“Why would this be here?” Bridget pondered as she carefully approached the heap. Upon closer inspection, she was actually able to make out that it wasn’t just scrap metal that was piled up here. There were gears. Thousands of them! Furthermore, there were axles, pistons, nuts, bolts, plates big and small, and you name it. It looked like a huge pile of the inner workings of a gigantic clock.“More curiously, how is none of it covered in rust?” Lavini commented.“Or stolen by looters,” Akita added.“These ruins are weird… It's like a thousand years have only passed since the goddess’ demise for half of the church, while for the rest it was only a minute ago.,” Bridget pondered out loud.“I suppose it is entirely possible that enchantments have been placed on this metal to make it immune to the passage of time,” Lavini mused.“Hmm… could it be the same enchantment that was placed on that gear of yours, Bridge?” Akita asked.Bridget placed a hand over her necklace. Indeed, if this gear and the pile were enchanted with the same protection… “It might be,” she agreed.“Do we just… throw it on there? Or is there some sort of logic to this pile,” Akita said.“Let’s investigate,” Bridget proposed. All three girls nodded then as they started to explore the pile more thoroughly. It appeared that the random pile was not completely random as they had previously thought. Most of the gears appeared to be interlocked with one-another in some way. There were almost no loose screws and bolts. Still, even though almost all parts were connected somehow, it didn’t really look like anything. If this was supposed to be one big machine, then its purpose remained a mystery.“Oh my, I may have found something,” Lavini said, catching everyone’s attention. Akita and Bridget quickly stumbled over to come and have a look. Once they joined their friend, sure enough, they found what looked to be some kind of plate with three rods sticking out of it. Two of which held a gear, but the center one was missing.“This could be it!” Bridget cheered, taking out her own gear.“Wow, hold on! Are you just going to put this gear on there?” Akita asked.“Yeah, why not?” Bridget asked.“Well, who knows what might happen once you do! True, it might be nothing, but we might also be unleashing some kind of time demon,” Akita said.“Oh come now, Akita dear. A time demon?” Lavini chuckled.“Look, it was the first thing that popped into my head!” Akita huffed.“You’re right though,” Bridget chuckled. “We should be more careful here. Somebody placed this gear in the Book of Times for me to find for a reason, and this pile might be that reason. Something might happen…”“I concur. Let us be cautious then. I shall make us an escape path using sand just in case,” Lavini nodded.--------------------As Lavini was working elsewhere on preparing an escape route back to the front gates, Akita and Bridget stayed behind, considering their options.“I say we dismantle this thing and try to work out its functions somewhere safe,” Akita said.“But if we do that, we might mess up and break it,” Bridget said.“True… we’d have to write down exactly what we do and how we do it,” Akita continued.“Akita, look at this huge pile. There’s no way we’d be able to document all of this,” Bridget argued.“I… look, I’m just worried for what might happen. I mean, think about it. If the goddess died, then who could have put that gear in the book? And why would they even do it? If they figured that no-one would be able to open that page ever again, then they must have hidden that gear for a good reason,” Akita reasoned.“Aki, I get it… but what if they knew that one day, there would be someone like us who COULD open the book. Then they must have hidden it to only reactivate this machine for us specifically,” Bridget reasoned.“I guess… it’s a pretty big risk though,” Akita said.“But it’s a risk that I’m willing to take,” Bridget said resolutely.Akita fell silent for a moment, contemplating. Bridget loved Akita. They had been friends since they were 4 years old, and they had been girlfriends since they were 16. They knew each-other through and through. As such, Bridget knew that her girlfriend was always wanting to be careful and rational. A little too much sometimes. Bridget knew that if you weren’t willing to take chances or risks, then life would be pretty boring. As such, she usually had to convince Akita. Of course, she always heeded her girlfriend’s warnings though and would always act accordingly.“Alright. You’re right. We didn’t come all this way for nothing,” Akita finally admitted.Bridget placed a hand on Akita’s then. “It’s going to be alright,” she said reassuringly.“I hope you’re right, Bridge,” Akita muttered. She still didn’t seem completely convinced, but she trusted Bridget.“Alright,” came the voice of Lavini who was now re-entering the large room. “I believe that should take care of a decent escape route should things go south. I have tried to preserve as much of the temple as I could.”“Great!” Bridget cheered as she took out the gear once more. She then approached the pile of metal and soon found the gear slot again that they had found earlier. As she held out her own gear though, she hesitated. She looked back to Akita and Lavini standing behind her. Both of them appeared equally tense about this. After all, this was the moment they had been preparing for. Bridget could feel her heart pounding in her chest. She had no idea what was going to happen once she interlocked this gear with the others. What this ancient dead goddess had intended. Of course… there was only one way to find out. Resolutely, she finally placed the gear on the rod and pushed it down between the other gears. Her heart raced as she did it… but nothing appeared to be happening.Silence filled the room. All Bridget could hear was her own heart thumping as well as her own breathing and that of her friends.“Is that it?” Akita finally asked, breaking the silence.“Nothing is happening…” Lavini said, sounding rather distraught.Bridget turned around. “I… I was sure something would happen…” she said.“But it didn’t…” Akita stammered in disbelief. It can’t be that this entire journey was all for naught! Everything that they had done. Everything that had already happened. It had to mean something, right?!And then it happened.Tick“Wait… did you two hear that?” Lavini asked.TickThe three girls fell silent once more as they tried listening.Tick… Tick… Tick… Tick Tock… Tick Tock…Bridget’s eyes widened. She quickly turned around and sure enough, there it was. The gears were moving!“Incredible,” Lavini said as she too saw the gears.“Unbelievable. This… thing… whatever it is… actually still works?!” Akita asked in disbelief.“But what’s it doing?” Bridget pondered. The sound of ticking gears was slowly increasing in intensity, and slowly but steadily, more ticks and clicks could be heard slowly spreading throughout the pile.“Perhaps it is trying to fix itself?” Lavini proposed.“Could it be a clock,” Akita pondered out loud.“Whatever it is… let’s back away for now,” Bridget said as the ticking intensified more and more. If it was indeed going to restore itself, then it might need a lot more space.The ticking and clicking soon echoed throughout the entire room as the whole pile was slowly starting to move. Parts that had seemingly been a jumbled mess before were suddenly starting to look like an organized, well-oiled machine. At first it was just the gears that were moving and ticking but as the three girls backed away, they could see that even the bigger cranks and pistons were starting to move. It was chaotic. It was orderly. Bridget could not believe what they were seeing when suddenly, a loud thud resounded through the ruins and rocked the three girls on their feet. At first, they thought that maybe a large part of the machine had broken and fallen down.“Whoah!” Akita suddenly cried out, pointing at what looked to be a giant metal arm.“That… could be worrisome,” Lavini said. It was kind of hard to hear her though over the intensifying sounds coming from the machine.Soon, there was another loud thud as a second arm slammed on the ground. The girls gasped and huddled together.“We should get out of here before this thing wakes up fully!” Akita shouted.“I concur! I think we may have just awakened an ancient clockwork giant, placed here to destroy intruders!” Lavini shouted.Bridget wasn’t so sure yet. It couldn’t be that the gear had been an elaborate trap all along. And even if it was, for what purpose? What would the ancient priests and priestesses gain from setting a trap for someone in the distant future? That said… this was starting to look pretty bad alright as the gears and plates were slowly starting to form what looked to be a leg. “Let’s go!” she shouted.“This way!” Lavini shouted, just loud enough not to be lost in the cacophony of sound. With that, they were off! They ran as fast as they could over the sand stairs and pathways that Lavini had made beforehand as another loud crash behind them signified that another limb had been finished on the machine.“Faster!” Akita cried out as they ran and ran. Sand was not exactly the best material for pathways, but it was better than staying put and getting crushed at least. Up ahead, they could see the outside wall while behind them, the hulking clockwork giant was slowly standing up. He was even bigger than they had initially thought!“Don’t look back!” Bridget hissed. Looking back was only slowing them down now as the outside wall came closer and closer. They were almost there when they were suddenly rocked out of their socks by the sounds of what could only be described as the charging of an extremely large, extremely angry bull.“Almost ther- WHOA!” Lavini screamed as the giant had managed to catch up to them with ease. It had slammed one of its massive arms into the sand path before the girls, blocking their paths of escape! In fact, the shockwave caused all three of them to fall off the path and into the ruins below.Bridget found herself falling on some smooth stones and was luckily able to catch herself before she could get seriously hurt here. “Is everyone alright?!” she called out.“Couldn’t be better!” Akita hissed sarcastically next to her. She too had managed to catch herself it seemed as she was already getting up again.“I could use a hand!” Lavini said. Bridget and Akita could see through some cracks that she had fallen on the other side of a small wall, and she was holding onto her right arm.“I’m coming!” Akita said, taking out her focus. She had worked hard on learning how to use this particular healing DLC as it was quite intricate and precise, and it was now time to put it to the test. With relative ease, she managed to hop over the wall and tend to Lavini’s wounds.“Be careful!” Bridget cried out as the hulking clockwork giant above them was starting to move again. Only now did they get a full glimpse of the incredible scale of this thing. It was as tall as half of the central tower. Its hands and feet alone were big enough to crush any of them. And now, its head was slowly starting to focus on the three of them. For a moment, it just stood there, eyeing the three of them. It looked from Bridget to Akita and Lavini, and then back to Bridget again.Bridget’s eyes widened as its gaze stayed on her. At first it was simply looking down… but then its arm kicked back into motion again, and it was reaching directly for her! She screamed as her adrenaline kicked in. Just barely, she managed to evade its hand before it could reach her.“BRIDGET!” Akita cried out from the other side of the wall, the fear in her voice audible.“I’m okay! Just get Lavini on her feet again!” Bridget yelled as the giant’s other arm now tried reaching her way. Akita said something more but it became drowned out by the loud ticking that was coming from the giant. For whatever reason, it seemed to have picked Bridget as its primary target… It was constantly reaching down to try and grab her, but every time she just barely managed to dodge it. This was really bad… but at least it gave Akita a chance to heal up Lavini. However, she was soon running out of spaces to dodge to. The giant had no qualms about smashing down the old crumbling walls of the ancient ruins and it was quickly blocking off any escape path that Bridget might have had. She barely dodged to the left as another wall came down and the giant missed her by a hair when she ducked out of the way of another one of his grabs. She tried to get away from it somehow, but it simply continued its relentless attempts at capturing her. Once again, she was thankful to Lavini for giving her the dervish DLC but her luck was soon running out, as the giant smashed yet another wall, trapping her. Up above, she could see that the giant was reaching down yet again. This was surely going to be it…That was when sand suddenly appeared and started swirling around the giant’s arm. This seemed to have confused the giant as it halted its movements. Lavini must have gotten back on her feet! Quickly, Bridget scrambled out of the rubble and she quickly jumped backwards, only to find herself back in the room that they had started in.Meanwhile, the giant seemed to look back to where Lavini and Akita were trying to grab its attention. Bridget couldn’t hear them from this distance, but it didn’t look like the giant was impressed as it simply continued to focus its attention on Bridget.“Why me?!” Bridget shouted as it gave chase to her. This was bad. This was really bad! There was no way to hide in this massive, open hall! Up above, she could see more sand swirl around the giant but he simply ignored it all. As he stepped back into the large room, Bridget knew that her time was running out. If Lavini’s sand magic wasn’t enough to stop this thing, what hopes did she have of stopping him with her scimitar? And what was it even trying to do? So far, it had constantly been trying to grab her rather than crush her. What was up with that?There was no time to think about it though as it soon started reaching down again. Between its legs, Bridget could see that Lavini and Akita were trying to reach her again. If they could reach her in time, then maybe they could find a way to escape somehow!However, that is when a massive hand wrapped itself around Bridget. Damn! How could she have let herself get so distracted! As the hand closed itself, she could feel herself getting squeezed. This was it. She was done for! But… she wasn’t being crushed. She was only being lifted into the air, right up to the giant’s face.“BRIDGET!!!” came the synchronized voices of Akita and Lavini down below. Bridget couldn’t see what they were doing but she could still see clouds of sand swirling around the giant. It didn’t matter though as she got her first look at the giant’s face. It was fully made up of interlocked gears, big and small. Its expression was emotionless as it was just carrying out what it wanted to do. What WAS it trying to do? Why had it grabbed her?“Let me go, you big hunk of metal!” Bridget shouted. The questions would come later. She had to get out of this mess somehow!Suddenly, Bridget felt herself getting lowered again down to the giant’s chest which right at that moment opened itself up like a large set of double doors. There was little time to question what was going on as she could feel herself being shoved inside where she was finally released again. She scrambled to regain her bearing and she tried to turn around again and escape, but it was too late. She could just barely hear Akita’s screams just as the doors closed, leaving her in the darkness and surrounded by nothing but ticks and clicks.
BYOB Contest Winners and jigglypuffsIt's ok their the same thing.Dun dun DUNNNN!!!anyways silliness aside and maybe one or two more surprise entries.First Place Goes to :iconAliceOfMalice58:PPesky Media TF CYOA START (BYOB Contest Entry)(WARNING Depending on your choices the story willfun little CYOA to the BYOB 2nd/3rd go:iconCydra630:SSing a Different TuneOverlord Bob has had to deal with a lot of:iconKawaiiEffect:OOverlord Bob: The Heroic journalistsWhile “Mac” raised his voice and fist demandingwinners send me a note with your Paypal info (or other)thanks all for entering. and jigglypuffs for all that thought about it but didn't.
the artists are coming! the artists are coming!
or something like that...
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