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Torbjorn Lindholm: Merchant of Death (Prompt)
Feh. Now this is a fine mess I've gotten myself into...' Torbjorn Lindholm mused internally. He wiggled around in a chair seated in front of a table and did the same with his wrists, trying to do the best he could to alleviate the discomfort from the cuffs keeping him restrained to his seat, while simultaenously trying not to pay attention to the harsh red Talon logo painted on the wall of the room he was imprisoned in.
It just happened out of nowhere. During the day? He was speaking at Stockholm University, serving as a special guest lecturer for aspiring engineers. And later that night, when he returned to his hotel room for a good night's sleep before heading back home in the morning? He was ambushed by a pair of Talon stealth troopers that forced their way into his room. He fought valiantly, but due to being well past his prime and caught without his trusty rivet gun, the assailants overpowered him, knocked him out cold, and hauled him off. And now, here he was: likel
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Gorilla With a Lonely Heart (Prologue)
"Right up here, big guy! C'mon, quick! Before they get you!"
It was hard to hear his friend's voice over the sound of taunting war cries, laser-fire, and the pounding of his own heart. But thanks to his keen gorilla senses, Winston could isolate his friend's calls from across the dark, neon-lit city streets. They came from the top of what looked like the balcony of a restaurant, where he could see a woman's gloved hand wave him over from the upper doorway. Gritting his teeth and giving a determined huff, Winston broke out into a brisk run on all fours and leaped into the air by using a parked car as a springboard. While the bespectacled ape wasn't able to achieve the ridiculous height that he'd get from using his jump pack, he was still able to grab onto the edge of the restaurant's balcony, and just barely managed to pull himself up and away from a hail of laser gunfire.
"Lena! Lena, I'm here!" Winston huffed after usin
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A Boy and His Stove: The Outline
Well folks, if you're reading this... it's finally come to this. After several long years, after two different reboots of my fanfic... and it's finally come to a premature end, once and for all.
I honestly feel like crying, typing this. Because goddamn, it's been a wild ride these years. I love the MegaMan Battle Network games and anime, and jumped at the chance to write fanfiction for it. My first attempt, the one I got furthest with, was crap. Shit. Iredeemably garbage. The second try? Better, but still really lacking. Third? A lot better, and ironically the one I struggled with the most. It has taken so long to put out chapters in it, partly because of demotivation with the lack of people wanting to read about my shitty OC. Partly because of me spending time on other projects. Partly because I may or may not have ADD. But now... I just don't have that creative drive anymore, at least as far as this fic is concerned.
And to the two, three of you who liked this story,
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A Boy And His Stove: Chapter 10 (redux)
Chapter 10: Calm Before Another Storm! Mr. Match's Progress Report!
ACDC Town, Hikari Residence
June 29, 200X
10:00 AM
(Song: Undertale, Live Report:
"Good morning, Electopia! This is your anchor Ribitta reporting live from my cozy little station in DNN Studios, and I'm bringing an update on yesterday's Omega Initiative incident in Elec Town!"
"Ribbit! ToadMan.EXE here too, reminding you guys to stay in your seats 'cause this is really, REALLY important news, ribbit!"
Dressed in a blue bathrobe, his hair messy with a plate of warm, steaming cinnamon rolls on his lap, Lan couldn't help but feel oddly mature while he sat back on the family sofa, having made sure to get up in time for the ten o'clock news for the first time in his life. And at the same time, he felt a bit guilty. He had known Ribitta and ToadMan quite well: the pretty, plucky brunette and her amphibious Navi had been a big help with saving MegaMan in the past, as they w
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A Boy and His Stove Part 9-2
Villain Intermission 1
???, Omega Initiative HQ
June 28, 200X
7:21 PM
(Song: Mega Man Maverick Hunter X, Sigma Palace 4: [link])
"Really Mr. Terry, I'm sorry! I'm so-so-so-so-so-so-so-sorry! I didn't mean to let a bad Navi get me, I-"
"And I've told you a hundred times that sorry doesn't cut it, you moron! You botched our mission, and now we're gonna pay the price for it! I hope you're happy!"
"Aw, Mr. Terry..."
"SHUT UP! Things are bad enough as it is, and I don't need your whining to make it worse!" Terry shut his PET off so he wouldn't have to deal with DynamoMan's blubbering, and set it in his pocket while he strolled down the underground base's sinister dimly lit hallways. He was glad he did so, because now DynamoMan couldn't tell just how shaken up he was at what was to come. 'Useless Navi!' Terry thought, trembling slightly while a wave of nausea thrashed around in the pit of his stomach, 'You were supposed
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A Boy and His Stove Chapter 9
Chapter 9: Cozy Dinner and Good Friends! The Fight Has Just Begun!
June 28, 200X
6:32 PM
(Song: MegaMan Battle Network 4, ACDC Town: [link])
"Hey, hey, hey! Looks like we're here, you guys!" Dr. Skrenta announced with a wide grin on her face as she pulled up to the blue-painted Hikari household, "So go ahead and get your butts outta my car! You guys have some barbecue to tear into, and I've got a program to analyze!"
"You're leaving? I thought you were going to eat with us!" Lan complained. He was already growing to like this eccentric goofball of a scientist, and she was going to leave?
"Hey, hey, hey! I never said that I was gonna eat, just that I might be able to weasel my way into getting some grub. And besides..." Her smile turned into a disinterested sneer while she cast her gaze upon the house, "Wily's hanging out there, and last I checked I'm allergic to batty old loons, you know what
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A Boy and His Stove: Chapter 8
Chapter 8: A Fun New Friend! Skrenta the Screwball!
(Song: Phoenix Wright Dual Destinies, Themis Legal Academy: [link])
"So Chaud?" Lan asked as the trio of youths ascended the cobblestone staircase up to Scilab's pristine glass doors, which were crowned by the facility's somewhat gaudy yellow-green "S" logo, "Who exactly are we showing that Virus generating program to?"
"Well, considering that their pet project involves the mass extermination of all Virus-based threats on the Net, your father and Wily are the obvious choices!" Chaud explained when they reached the doors. "But after getting friendly with the rest of the notable staff on hand, I realized that there's possibly another helpful soul who would want to see this."
"Well, who's that then?" Lan asked, to which Chaud replied with a sigh.
"You'll see her soon. All I'm going to say is that I'm sure you'll both get along just fine" He then took hold of the
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A Boy and His Stove: Chapter 7
Chapter 7: Harsh Words From Chaud! Useless?!
(Song: Apollo Justice Ace Attorney, Investigation Opening: [link])
In the wake of DynamoMan's deletion, Elec Town's chaos began to wind down. A chorus of screaming sirens rang through the air which heralded the arrival of emergency workers, and distraught civilians poured out of nearby buildings. Meanwhile, Lan and Dex stood near the speaker in the town square as they were asked to. It didn't take long for a singular charcoal police vehicle to break off from the pack and pull over near the duo. The passenger window rolled down, and revealed the neutral, cold expression of one Eugene Chaud.
"Hey, Chaud!" Lan nervously greeted the surly-faced boy, his icy glare causing him to sweat a little. "Long time no see!"
"But we saw each other a few minutes ago." Chaud corrected coldly, which caused Lan to stick out his bottom lip.
"Yeah well... you know what I mean!" Lan whined, "We
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We Can Be Heroes! (Chapter 1)
Chapter 1: Walk Away
(Song: Super Mario Galaxy 2, The Luma and the Hat: [link])
It had been the funnest night that Lapis Lazuli had experienced in her life. Not to say that it had much competition mind you, seeing how the past 5000 years or so had awful tragedies in store for the blue Gem every night. Whether it was being trapped inside of a mirror for a majority of her life, being set free and trying to desperately flee the planet she was trapped on with a broken gem, being captured and tortured by the ones that she were supposed to be safe around, or having to imprison herself in a fusion with a sadistic thug for months on end to protect the only one she cared about... saying that Lapis wasn't a stranger to bad nights (and days, for that matter) would certainly be underselling it.
But yet, this was a genuinely fun night indeed. After being freed from Malachite, Lapis had been dead set on leaving Earth. The lush blu
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We Can Be Heroes! (Steven Universe AU Fic)
Prologue: I'm Blue
(Song: M&L Bowser's Inside Story, Deep Castle: [link])
Organic Life. Just the mere thought of those words and the inferior life forms they were attached to made Blue Diamond want to retch. If she had lacked considerable self-control, she was certain that her normally stoic, straight face would be twisted into an expression of pure disgust and hatred. But considering that she was surrounded by all sorts of rank-and-file Gems who looked to her as a pillar of stoicism and cool-headedness, she decided to take a deep breath and repress those powerful emotions for her own sake. After the incident that went down between her comrade and sister Yellow Diamond and a particularly mouthy and rebellious Peridot, she certainly didn't need to be the next Diamond to lose face with her followers. Besides, it wouldn't be that long before she got to take out her disgust on some organics on the planet sh
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A Boy and His Stove: Chapter 6
Chapter 6: Defeat Him! The Innocent Electric Bomb, DynamoMan!
(Song: Wario Master of Disguise, Count Cannoli theme: [link])
StoveMan dove out of the way just in time. Had he been a second late, he would have been crushed flat by DynamoMan's attack. And it would have hurt, too: DynamoMan's impact cracked the tiles he landed on, and caused a large amount of electricity to spark dangerously around him in a 3-inch radius.
"Geez, that kid's packing some serious power!" StoveMan whistled, feeling equal parts horrified and impressed. "Too bad it ain't gonna cut it against me!" StoveMan cackled while he bent over and focused. The flames on his head burned brighter and brighter, and it wasn't lost on Terry either.
"DynamoMan, get up! I said GET UP, you're gonna get hit!"
DynamoMan had been spending the last few seconds slowly recovering from the powerful attack he had unleashed earlier, which
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A Boy and His Stove: Chapter 5
Chapter 5: An Old Foe's Return! The Petty Revenge of Jomon's Heir!
Elec Town, Elec World Shopping Mall
June 28, 200X
2:34 PM
(Song: Mega Man Star Force 3, Incident Occurance: [link])
"Dex, what in the world is going on?!" Lan asked, absolutely flabbergasted by all the chaos erupting around the mall. It was unlike anything he had ever seen: all these electrical devices going nuts for absolutely no reason defied any sense of logic or reason. It was as if multiple net crimes were happening at once as opposed to them happening one at a time, and was far too much for him to handle. Where would he even begin? With the flame-spitting ovens? Or perhaps the screwy air conditioning? And that's not to mention all the other electrical devices connected to the internet such as the cars and escalator going completely haywire.
Dex however wasn't quite as worried or flustered, and kept a cool head while he and Lan remained in
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A Boy and His Stove: Chapter 4
Chapter 4: Palling Around With Dex! Mall Mates!
(Song: Phoenix Wright Justice For All, Toccata and Fugue: [link])

"Geez... oh geez... how did it come to this?!" Lan raced down the empty datascape, desperately running as fast as his legs could carry him. From behind he could hear the towering footsteps of something big... something angry.
"GIVE UP, LAN! YOU CAN'T RUN FOREVER!" the powerful, bellowing voice from behind shook Lan's body to the core. As tempting as it was, he refused to look back and continued running. "NO MATTER WHAT, THERE'S NO ESCAPING FROM WHAT YOU'VE DONE!"
"Grr, he's getting closer!" Lan grit his teeth and tried his best to pick up the pace, only going somewhat faster than before as he had already reached near-full speed. He continued his desperate sprint, only to suddenly stop in a mad panic. He had reached a drop-off point that revealed nothing but an empty abyss that stretched ou
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Chapter 3.5
June 27, 200X
3:01 PM
(Song: MegaMan Battle Network 2, ACDC Town: [link])
Lan and Dex were approaching the Hikari household while the lovely afternoon sun shone down. The larger boy was in great spirits, and walked with a confident swagger in his step while the smaller had a dreadfully exasperated look on his face.
"Man, I can't WAIT to tell everyone that I actually did it! I finally beat Lan Hikari! I FREAKING BEAT HIM!" Dex whooped while Lan sighed.
"Dex, you do realize that I was using a completely new Navi that hates listening to common sense, right? You know that if I still had MegaMan, GutsMan would have lost!"
Now, it was Dex's turn to feel bummed out as he did a complete 180 from his original upbeat attitude and hung his head down in shame. "Yeah... I know." he sighed, "But can't ya just give me this? Come on Lan, be a pal and gimme credit just this once!
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Beach Summer Fun Buddies! (Long SU Oneshot)
Ah, Beach City: the pride of Delmarva! A huge tourist trap in an otherwise unremarkable state, famous for both its beautiful beaches (hence the name) and its magical guardians, the Crystal Gems! During the busy summer months, tourists are often torn on how to spend their time: most as you would expect, hitting the beach. Others swing by the city's surplus of fantastic restaurants: the Fish Stew Pizza, The Big Donut, the Beach Citywalk Fries, you name it! And others still like to poke around the enormous cliff face at the far end of the peninsula to take in the beauty and mystery of the ancient Crystal Temple. But while most tourists and locals were caught up in the summertime hustle and bustle, one boy and his father had other plans on there minds...
"Hey Dad, do you see Lapis anywhere?!" Steven asked as he scanned through the huge crowd flocking to the boardwalk's side of the beach, the pair of binoculars he bought along proving so far to be of no help whatsoever.
"Ah... nope! I'm sor
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A Boy and His Stove: Chapter 3
Chapter 3:  A Gutsy Sparing Match! Dex Isn't Playing Around!
Hikari Residence, Toilet Network
June 26, 200X
5:43 PM
(Song: MegaMan Network Transmission, Relaxation: [link])
"Alright, time ta close up shop! SUCK ON THIS!" StoveMan enveloped himself in fire and propelled himself like a missile, completely obliterating the group of Mettaurs he plowed through before slamming into a wall and coming to a halt. "Heh, piece'a cake." StoveMan sneered as he dusted his arms off. "Hey, we got anymore Viruses ta bust?"
"Nope! That just about does it!" Lan sighed in relief. As he had predicted, just about every device connected to the Net in his house was infested with Viruses, ranging from small gatherings of three or four to large mobs of twenty and more. Thankfully it was only Mettaurs and not anything stronger, which made the process of busting them go pretty smoothly for the most part as StoveMan easily bulldozed through
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Don't Ask... by DrawMeAPonyNamedBob Don't Ask... :icondrawmeaponynamedbob:DrawMeAPonyNamedBob 45 8 Bride Holly by DrawMeAPonyNamedBob Bride Holly :icondrawmeaponynamedbob:DrawMeAPonyNamedBob 29 19 White Diamond by DrawMeAPonyNamedBob White Diamond :icondrawmeaponynamedbob:DrawMeAPonyNamedBob 33 10 Tumble her rocks, somebody by DrawMeAPonyNamedBob Tumble her rocks, somebody :icondrawmeaponynamedbob:DrawMeAPonyNamedBob 31 10 Bedhead by DrawMeAPonyNamedBob Bedhead :icondrawmeaponynamedbob:DrawMeAPonyNamedBob 29 9 Don't Worry Buddy by Ziggyfin Don't Worry Buddy :iconziggyfin:Ziggyfin 239 17 Overwatch Gowns by einlee Overwatch Gowns :iconeinlee:einlee 15,969 502 Overwatch Suits by einlee Overwatch Suits :iconeinlee:einlee 11,001 667 [Fan-art Overwatch] Moira (CHIBI) by aude-javel [Fan-art Overwatch] Moira (CHIBI) :iconaude-javel:aude-javel 74 10 Re-Drawing Bowser by fryguy64 Re-Drawing Bowser :iconfryguy64:fryguy64 51 10 [Overwatch] Sombra by camynart [Overwatch] Sombra :iconcamynart:camynart 48 4 Moira Oasis by bluecrystals7 Moira Oasis :iconbluecrystals7:bluecrystals7 392 25 comm - RoadPig by Jetaixx comm - RoadPig :iconjetaixx:Jetaixx 118 5 Pig pig by ChuraGhost Pig pig :iconchuraghost:ChuraGhost 119 14 Congratulations Everybody! by Lumatora Congratulations Everybody! :iconlumatora:Lumatora 54 11 Sombra's Dress by ahueonao Sombra's Dress :iconahueonao:ahueonao 153 7


Feh. Now this is a fine mess I've gotten myself into...' Torbjorn Lindholm mused internally. He wiggled around in a chair seated in front of a table and did the same with his wrists, trying to do the best he could to alleviate the discomfort from the cuffs keeping him restrained to his seat, while simultaenously trying not to pay attention to the harsh red Talon logo painted on the wall of the room he was imprisoned in.

It just happened out of nowhere. During the day? He was speaking at Stockholm University, serving as a special guest lecturer for aspiring engineers. And later that night, when he returned to his hotel room for a good night's sleep before heading back home in the morning? He was ambushed by a pair of Talon stealth troopers that forced their way into his room. He fought valiantly, but due to being well past his prime and caught without his trusty rivet gun, the assailants overpowered him, knocked him out cold, and hauled him off. And now, here he was: likely miles away from home, trapped in a Talon base with his future uncertain... and his family and friends none the wiser.

'They'll catch on sooner or later. Reinhardt, Brigitte, Angela, even that beeping bucket of bolts? They're not stupid. When I don't return home, they'll realize something is amiss and search for me. Talon can't keep me here for long...'

Torbjorn had no idea why Talon was holding him captive: did they need him as a hostage? Were they going to torture him for information? Whatever it was, it was bound to be unpleasant, and painful as well. The dwarf-like mechanic had to admit that he was a little afraid of what was to come, but he wasn't about to panic. He survived the Omnic Crisis and all it's horrors. He was a prominent figure in the fight against Talon once they rose to power. Whatever was coming, he could handle it. He was sure of it. So when the automatic door to his cell slid open, he tensed up, took a deep breath, and braced himself for whatever came his way...

"Torbjorn Lindholm," a feminine, familiar-sounding husky voice called out from the doorway. "Now there's a sight for sore eyes."

Torbjorn wrinkled his nose in disgust when the speaker walked into view: tall, thin, and gaunt with pale skin and fiery orange hair, dressed in black robes like an evil sorceress...

"Moira O'Deorain..." Torbjorn growled at the sneering scientist as she took her seat opposite of him, smug as can be. "I suppose I should be surprised, but honestly? You always did strike me as the type of scum who'd happily rub shoulders with Talon."

"Come now, Mr. Lindholm," Moira scolded with a sarcastic wagging finger, "Is that any way to greet a former colleague? And after all the trouble I went through to make sure this was a happy reunion..."

Torbjorn silently fumed, and glared daggers into the scientist's void of a soul. He never interacted with Moira much during her tenue with Blackwatch during Overwatch's heyday, but he never did like her. It wasn't just her sense of smug superiority or the way she callously talked down to others, but he always felt that there was something... off about her. When she looked at people, there was no joy or tenderness in those mis-matched eyes of hers. She always seemed to look at people with an odd detached curiosity, as if they were potential lab rats she could vivisect and torture without a care in the world. And now that he knew she was deep in bed with the world's most dangerous terrorist organization, that look of sociopathic fascination on her face scared him more than ever.

"Oh, stop beating around the bush you weasel-faced hag!" Torbjorn spat, to which Moira scoffed in amusement, "You had me abducted from my hotel for a reason, so let's hear it! Do you want to dissect me, or perform sick, twisted experiments perhaps? Let me guess, you've never had a dwarf test subject and you just can't wait to get me under the knife, HMM?!"

"As cantankerous as ever, I see." Moira observed with a light chuckle. "Well you need not worry: I am not here to hurt you. No, more than anything... I need your help. Or rather, we need your help." Moira gestured at the Talon symbol flag, and the gears in Torbjorn's head clicked together.

"Ah... I see where this is going: you and your gaggle of goons want me to help you develop gear for Talon, hmm? Have me crank out weapons and armor to help pave the way for Talon siezing control over the world?"

"You're close." Moira admitted as she reached to a small holographic projection disk attacked to her hip and placed it on the table. "Take a good look at this."

The projector turned on, and showed a ridiculously huge Omnic that had to be the size of a skyscraper and was as wide as an aircraft carrier. It's monstrous appearance looked vaguely familiar, and after a few seconds Torbjorn realized exactly what he was looking at.

"That's... the colossal Omnic that's been assailing South Korea the past few years! What's it called, Grishin, Gwishin..."

"Gwishin would be correct." Moira replied with a nod. "It is not, however, the same Omnic that Korea's M.E.K.A team has been fighting. In truth, it's a completely different specimen that we found lying dormant off the coast of Bikini Atoll in a state of disrepair."

"God above, there's two of those accursed monsters..." Torbjorn muttered to himself, absolutely horrified by the ramifications.

"We haven't a clue as to how it came to be. An educated guess would be that it is another product of the East China Sea Omnium, and that it fought with the Korean Omnic and lost for reasons unknown to us." Moira mused, before shaking her head dismissively. "But that's hardly important. What is important is the fact that we are now in possession of a very valuable asset. An asset of immense size that, if the Korean Omnic is any indication, can level cities, kill soldiers by the thousands, survive catastrophic damage, and adapt to any strategy employed against it."

Torbjorn grit his teeth, and narrowed his one good eye. He had seen pictures and reports of the destruction created by that monstrous Omnic in South Korea: flooded cities with buildings reduced to rubble, hundreds of corpses eerily floating and bobbing above the water... it was bad enough that an independant Omnic was wreaking that kind of havoc, but one controlled by Talon? The damage on a world-wide scale would be catastrophic.

"However, the Omnic has been heavily damaged and won't be seeing action in the field anytime soon. For the last few months, a team of engineers from our Research and Development department have been working tirelessly to get the beast working again, but thanks to it's immense size and complex inner workings, it has been a most tedious process... and that? Is where you come in, Mr. Lindholm." 

"Oh ho, I know where this is going..." Torbjorn sassed, which got a wolfish grin out of Moira.

"You are to take the helm and lead the effort in getting this beast up and running." Moira ordered. "Your feats as an engineer are legendary, and you know Omnics better than anyone."

"Figured as much." Torbjorn grumbled, "Well, I hate to disappoint you Moira, but I'm not lifting a finger to help. Go find somebody else to help work on your killer Omnic."

"How queer." Moira mused, crooking an eyebrow at Torbjorn's defiance. "It isn't like you to pass up the opportunity to tinker with destructive machinery."

"Not when innocent lives are at risk, you psychopath!" Torbjorn growled.

"Funny, I could have sworn that such a thing was your forte."

Torbjorn's defiance made way for shock, with Moira's words acting as a metaphorical sucker punch to the gut.

"Wha- No. NO! Don't you DARE lecture me about... about..."

"How your work on early Omnics led to millions of deaths in the Omnic Crisis?" Moira asked, her comment cutting deeper than any knife could. "There is no need. The results of your handiwork speak for themself."

Torbjorn glanced down into his lap and let out a heavy, regretful sigh. He was about to hear a familiar spiel thrown his way for what felt like the hundredth time, but it was going to hurt below the belt just like every other time. He just knew it.

"You were an outspoken critic of Omnic intelligence, but did you actually take any meaningful action to prevent Omnic progression from advancing? No: you stood on your podium bellowing and hollering but shut up and fell in line when the Ironclad Guild was contracted for Omnic development. Under your tenure you worked on Bastion units, war machines in the purest sense. With gatling guns to tear people to shreds and a tank configuration to reduce buildings into rubble, countless lives were lost to these beasts. You also helped develop the Titan Omnics, and never once thought that those towering robots would ever be repurposed into weapons that could effortlessly flatten buildings and demolish entire city blocks by themselves."

Torbjorn opened his mouth to object, but the grumpy loudmouth had nothing he could really say in his defense. It was true, all of it. He never went beyond loudly criticizing the development of Omnics, and the ramifications went beyond the Omnic Crisis: even now people were still being killed by Omnics that went berserk for any number of reasons.

"Even ignoring the weapons you helped design, your inaction has led to far more blood on your hands than what came from the Omnic Crisis. Null Sector's attack on London, the second Omnic Crisis in Russia, your friend Sven's rampage in Boklovo... had you truly put your foot down on your anti-Omnic stance, these disasters would have never transpired."

Torbjorn remained silent, and breathed harshly through his nostrils.

"So let me make our terms clear, Mr. Lindholm. You will help troubleshoot the colossal Omnic for us. We expect you to work tirelessly and efficiently, and by the end of each week we expect you to make a signifigant amount of progress towards it's operation. Should you drag your feet, intentionally sabotage the project, or rebel against us in any way, punishment shall be delivered swiftly and without mercy."

"Then punish me, why don't you?" Torbjorn huffed defiantly, in spite of the humiliation he just endured. "Torture me all you want, but I'm not doing it! I've got enough blood on my hands as it is!"

"Oh believe me, nothing would bring me greater joy than teaching you a lesson in pain," Moira hissed, her affable facade melting away before the surly Swede's eye, "But I was outvoted by the rest of Talon's council of leaders. Despite my medical expertise, they ruled that torturing you ran the risk of killing or otherwise irrepairably injuring you in the process, thus defeating the point of enlisting your help. So torture, sadly, is off the table... but I do have other ways of making you cooperate. Something far worse than mere physical pain..."

"Short jokes? Feh, yours might honestly sting worse than Reinhardt's..."

"I will light a torch to your name, your very legacy, and burn it all to ash." Moira explained, an ugly smirk on her face. "Talon holds far more influence over the mainstream media than you realize. With a snap of my fingers, hitpieces, news articles, and documentaries will flood the airwaves, and each and every one of them will go in detail over your role in the Omnic Crisis, and how your inaction and inventions led to the loss of so many innocent lives. No longer will you be Torbjorn Lindholm, Overwatch founding father and legendary engineer. You will be remembered by the public as a merchant of death, a man who is drowning in the blood of millions... and your awards? Commemorations? All shall be stripped away, and you will be left destitute."

Torbjorn had no words. He simply stared on the rambling witch, his face betraying no hint of any emotion whatsoever.

"Now should you cooperate with us? We will release you without a fight, and your good name shall be left intact. In fact, you can feel free to fight the Omnic as you see fit, it matters little to us. All we wish is to see that monster in action, to have it ravage humanity, and in turn inspire them to grow stronger as they fight back. A never-ending cycle of violence that will further mankind's evolution!" Moira made a clutching motion with her gnarled, twisted hand and brandished it triumphantly into the air before calming down.

"Now what shall it be, Mr. Lindholm? Will you cooperate without so much as a fuss? Or will you dig your heels in, and force us to take extreme measures?"

Torbjorn sat in silence, mulling over Moira's options... and laughed. He laughed harshly, mirthfully, and mockingly at the scientist's woefully ineffective threat.

"BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Are-Are you serious?!" Torbjorn sputtered, his good eye tearing up from laughter, "That's the best you can do?! Say bad things about me on the news and the internet?! I've had the wrong idea about Talon all along: you're not dangerous! You're PATHETIC!"

Torbjorn slapped his prosthetic hand against the arm of the chair it was cuffed to and resumed his mirthful fit of laughter. "You think people don't know that?! For the last thirty years or so, I've had that thrown in my face time and time again! People who lost their loved ones to the Omnics, people whose homes have been destroyed, people who simply want to push me around and take cheap shots! You try to tar and feather me, and nothing will change! NOTHING!"

For once, Moira looked genuinely taken aback. Her heterochromic eyes widened in surprise, and she went from smugly looming over Torbjorn to sitting up straight and leaning away while defensively holding her arm to her chest. It was clear that this was far from the reaction she was expecting, and Torbjorn was all too aware of it. He pressed the attack, and pointed with his good hand towards the stunned scientist.

"Feh... you know something?" he asked, having calmed down from his laughing fit. "You're just like every other stinking, smug little engineer I've worked with: high as a kite off the smell of your own farts, convinced that you're god's greatest gift to mankind! People like you don't give a damn about helping the world or bettering your fellow man, you want people to bow down at your feet and worship the ground you walk on! And every single person like you? Heh, you're so in love with yourself that you can't stand it when people talk bad about you! To you, insults and a tarnished legacy hurt so much because you're such a fragile little loser!"

Moira clenched her gnarled hand into a fist, her clawlike fingernails digging into exposed bits of handflesh and drawing blood. 

"And because you're so damned self-absorbed, you project like mad and expect everyone to have the same fears and insecurities! Well take a good look at me, O'Deorain! I'm short, I'm fat, I'm uglier than a toad somebody ran over, I'm indirectly responsible for millions of deaths! I'm already a walking, talking punching bag as far as the public is concerned, so what's a bit more negative attention?!"

Moira's lips curled into a horrifically hideous scowl, and color was slowly seeping into her ghostly face.

"By all means, go ahead and air my dirty laundry to the public eye. But don't forget that while you hide all evidence of your misdeeds and associate with Talon in the shadows, I'll be scrapping evil Omnics, fighting Talon, and making the world a better place, negative attention and all! So why don't you take your "terms" and shove them where the sun doesn't shine?!"

Now completely beet red in the face with her hands soaked in blood, an enraged Moira lost all semblance of self-control and dignity: with a frustrated growl, she reached forward and extended a series of thin purple tendrils towards Torbjorn. They latched onto the little fellow, and began painfully draining the life out of him. While they glowed and pulsated vibrantly, Torb's skin grew grey, veiny, and lifeless. The pain was unbearable: he felt like his very soul was on fire and wanted to scream, but all he could manage was weak gasping and pained grunting. For a second he really thought he was going to die... until a black, clawed hand wrapped itself around Moira's arm and restrained it, causing those voracious tendrils to release Torbjorn from their grasp.

"Enough, Moira." 

Now barely clinging to life thanks to Moira's attack, Torbjorn was convinced that Death himself had come to take him away. And it was easy to see why he reached that conclusion: a mysterious man had entered the cell, and wore a monstrous skull mask, dressed in a hooded outfit that was as black as the midnight sky, and spoke with a horrific voice that sounded less like a human being and more like a demon that crawled out of the deepest pit of hell.

"Reaper..." Moira growled at the masked terrorist, who shook his head disdainfully at her.

"We agreed against torturing him exactly for this reason. He's trying to provoke you into killing him."

"I am not killing him!" Moira snarled defiantly at her comrade, pulling her arm out of his grip. "I am merely showing him that his insolence will not be tolerated here and-"

"You sure about that? I doubt he'd still be breathing if I didn't intervene."

Moira went red in the face and glanced down at the floor, her rage now giving way to shame as she truly understood the gravity of her actions.

"Forgive me, I allowed him to get under my skin and reacted foolishly. It shan't happen again, I promise you."

Moira then extended her right arm forward, and sprayed a thick golden mist at Torbjorn. The excruciating pain and weakness he had been suffering slowly subsided, and the color returned to his skin by the time Moira lowered her arm.

"No need to apologize." Reaper growled while Torbjorn's senses began to clear up, "But we need to take a different approach. Shaming is a good method, but not when your mark has no shame to speak of..."

Now that the pain had fully come to pass, Torbjorn was now able to parse what all was going on. The Reaper... after Overwatch was disbanded, he had heard reports of a skull-masked wraith assisting Talon with costly terrorist attacks as well as hunting and killing former Overwatch agents. Each and every target of his was left a lifeless husk... was that going to be his fate at the end of all this? Even if it was, he couldn't, wouldn't show any fear. He wasn't going to let some coward behind a mask scare him.

"Torbjorn Lindholm..." Reaper mused as he folded his arms, and took Moira's place in front of the table. Instead of sitting however, he opted to stand and menacingly tower over the dwarf, likely to add to the intimidation factor. Torbjorn wasn't impressed in the slightest.

"Oh, you know my name! Good for you." Torbjorn sneered dismissively. 

"For someone as obnoxious as you, I'm surprised by how many loved ones you have." Reaper droned with a noticeable snarl in his tone, "You have a beautiful wife who you've had nine children with. Reinhardt Wilhelm and Angela Ziegler are among your closest friends. And that Bastion unit living with you... you treat him well, despite your hatred for Omnics..."

"I happen to be endearingly obnoxious." Torbjorn huffed proudly.

"How does it feel, knowing that they're scared out of their minds, and have no idea where you disappeared to?"

Torbjorn grit his teeth, but otherwise didn't lose his tough, smug demeanor. "Feh! Well they'll find me eventually, and when they do? My daughter, Reinhardt, Bastion, Angela?! They'll put the lot of you in your place!"

"How does it feel, knowing that Ingrid is sobbing into Brigitte's arms, not sure what to do?  How does it feel knowing that Angela and Reinhardt are trying to keep your children occupied with fun and games, while a feeling of dread permeates the house?" Reaper droned on, completely ignoring Torbjorn's remark. An act which put the man on edge.

"Wh-What do you think you're prattling on about?!" Torbjorn barked, a feeling of unease creeping across his back.

"Your family is so busy occupied with fretting over your well-being, that they're unaware of the danger they're in due to your unwillingness to cooperate."

Moira grinned smugly while Torbjorn's eye widened in shock. He was starting to put the context clues together, and the wind was considerably knocked out of his sales. He grew clammy and sweaty, and his heart hammered and pounded in his chest as he realized the implications of Reaper's behavior. 

"And poor Ingrid doesn't realize how big of a health hazard turning her back to a window is..."

"Y-You wouldn't...!" Was all Torbjorn could gasp, his chest feeling uncomfortably tight and suffocating.

Reaper reached for an earpiece under his hood. "Widowmaker, take the sh-"

"STOP!" Torbjorn cried out, banging his head on the table and pounding his fists on the chair arms in despair, "STOP IT, STOP IT! For god's sake, I'll cooperate! Please... please don't kill my Ingrid... pl-please..."

All dignity thrown out the window, Torbjorn didn't even try to fight back the tears streaming down his left cheek as Reaper paused, and fiddled with the earpiece one last time. "Stand down, but hold your position until I say otherwise."

"Thank god... oh thank god..." was all Torbjorn could say, sighing with relief as the feeling of terror was dispelled. Moira laughed softly, evilly at his moment of weakness, but he didn't give a damn. Ingrid was safe, and that was all that mattered.

 "Bravo, Reaper. It seems that you finally got through to him." Moira congratulated the hooded horror.

"Love... it's the greatest weakness of them all. Threaten somebody special to the person you're coercing, and they'll dance to your tune every time, without fail." Reaper turned back to Torbjorn, and slowly leered down at him while pointing a threatening finger. "I'll show you mercy this one time, and after that? Each and every slip up will result in the Lindholm family growing a lot smaller."

"Understood..." Torbjorn sighed, completely and utterly defeated.

"Good. Tomorrow, we'll fly out to the Bikini Atoll site and put you right to work. Remember that your family and friends' safety depends on your willingness to cooperate. If you value their lives, then you better work diligently and professionally."

"I will, I promise. You'll get your machine of destruction..."

Reaper ignored Torbjorn and turned back to his partner in crime. "Moira, come. We're reporting back to the council."

"Oh, they should be quite pleased with our report." Moira purred. She and Reaper took their leave, but before she shut the door, Moira turned back to Torbjorn and mockingly bowed to him. Even after she left, Torbjorn's eyes never left the surface of the table he was sitting in front of. There was no joy or life in the forlorn engineer's heart, no enthusiasm or energy bubbling up in the pit of his stomach. Just pure, regretful despair, at the lives that would be lost to yet another war machine of his...

Torbjorn Lindholm: Merchant of Death (Prompt)

I am proud to introduce a new thing coming to this account: Overwatch prompts I'm porting from my Archive of our Own account! I've found a few really good tumblrs such as Overprompt with cool writing prompts that I'll be writing about as a series of writing exercises with this being the first. Don't expect a smooth schedule of uploads, but know that you'll be seeing these pop up here and there because I love writing about the characters so much.

Anyway, this prompt? To quote Overprompt: Talon has kidnapped Torbjorn. Moira attempts to get him to cooperate with Talon and troubleshoot a superweapon by lecturing him about his role in the Omnic Crisis, and threatening to announce that role in the deaths of millions of humans to the world. When that fails, Reaper makes a much more direct threat against his family.…

I honestly loved working on this one because I freaking love Moira and Torbjorn: Moira because she's equal parts sexy and sassy, and Torb because he's such a lovable little grump. But in all honesty, his voice lines and comics actually paint him as a complex individual and while he's usually ignored or the butt of the jokes among the fandom (probably because he isn't a ruggedly handsome yakuza that fangirls will write about reenacting Brokeback Mountain with McCree), I liked being able to play with his feelings of guilt in the Omnic Crisis, willingness to do good in spite of that, and his love for his family.

So expect more to come in the future! I've actually got a Mei-focused prompt that I hope I can get up before November starts~




"Right up here, big guy! C'mon, quick! Before they get you!"

It was hard to hear his friend's voice over the sound of taunting war cries, laser-fire, and the pounding of his own heart. But thanks to his keen gorilla senses, Winston could isolate his friend's calls from across the dark, neon-lit city streets. They came from the top of what looked like the balcony of a restaurant, where he could see a woman's gloved hand wave him over from the upper doorway. Gritting his teeth and giving a determined huff, Winston broke out into a brisk run on all fours and leaped into the air by using a parked car as a springboard. While the bespectacled ape wasn't able to achieve the ridiculous height that he'd get from using his jump pack, he was still able to grab onto the edge of the restaurant's balcony, and just barely managed to pull himself up and away from a hail of laser gunfire.

"Lena! Lena, I'm here!" Winston huffed after using a tactical combat roll to safely enter the restaraunt's empty top floor, where his scrawny, spiky haired sister-in-arms Lena "Tracer" Oxton was pressing her back against a wall and breathing heavily.

"Oh thank God you made it out of there alive, Winston!" Tracer huffed as she nervously eyeballed the staircase leading to the ground floor, "Those savages have been kicking our behinds like crazy!"

"You're not kidding. The way they ganged up on Peter, ambushed Carlito, and sniped Timothy?! They're downright merciless!" Winston anguished, gesturing wildly while his eyes widened in panic. 

"After going toe to toe with these guys? Give me Talon or the Deadlock Gang any day of the week! Or heck, Null Sector for that matter!" Tracer groaned as she glared down at the unweildly laser rifle she was clutching in her hands. "Oh, how I hate this stupid gun! I'm not meant to use weapons like this!"

Winston grabbed a similar gun that he had slung to his back and gave a sympathetic sigh. Indeed: this firearm was something he was incredibly unfamiliar with and nowhere near as comfortable to use as his trusty Tesla Cannon. But this was no time to complain: Winston could hear multiple sets of footsteps entering the downstairs room and it was only a matter of time before they had company. They needed a plan, and fast.

"Alright Lena, soon we'll have hostiles coming up those stairs, and we're outnumbered seven to two. But if we play our cards right, I think we can tip the odds in our favor..."

"So what's the plan, big guy?"

Winston looked out the doorway leading to the balcony and pointed. "We go for a pincer manuever: I stay here and hold them off! Meanwhile, you jump off the balcony, rush back inside from the ground entrance, and surprise them from behind! With any luck we'll both come out unscathed and with less hostiles to worry about."

Tracer furrowed her brow, held her gun closer, and nodded in understanding. "Got it."

"Alright then. See you on the other side, Lena."

"Cheers, Winston."

The friends parted ways: Winston headed for the stairs while Tracer made a break for the window. The gorilla made it halfway down the steps before he was ambushed by a quartet of attackers who blocked the foot of the stairs and aimed up at him.

"Take this, monkey man!"

"I'm not a monkey..." Winston growled as he readied his gun and took aim. "I'm a SCIENTIST!" A primal roar erupting from his chest, Winston fired a flurry of noisy laser shots at his opponents. He could feel a grin spread across his grey lips as a pair of noisy alarms confirmed that he nailed two of his targets... only for it to be wiped clean off when his vest's weakpoint was shot and a similar alarm sounded.

"Yeah, got him!" The shooter, a black boy who couldn't have been any older than nine cheered as he high fived the blonde kid next to him.

"NO! Agh..." Winston grumbled as he fell onto the floor in defeat. As his attackers celebrated, he looked up at the sky and reached upwards before clenching his hand into a defiant fist. 'Lena, it's all up to you...'

"AW, RUBBISH!" Tracer hollered from outside the building as another vest alarm sounded off.

'Or not...' Winston thought with a sigh as Tracer's vest siren was soon drowned out by an even noiser alarm that rang across the combat zone through overhead speakers.


All across the battlefield, the darkness was dispelled as the neon lights went off and were were replaced with more natural lighting, which made it more apparent that the ruined streets were little more than an elaborate laser tag arena. While Winston got back up on his feet and removed his laser tag vest, the children he was playing with began giddily celebrating amongst one another.

"Dude, we beat them! We beat Winston AND Tracer!"

"Yeah, we kicked their BUTTS!"

"Ooh! Ooh! If we beat those guys, it means we're better fighters than them! Does this mean we can join Overwatch?!"

"If we join Overwatch, I'm going to marry Tracer!"

Winston laughed jovially, unable to resist the contagious feelings of excitement from these kids. He and Tracer had been engaged in laser tag battles with kids all day long as a huge charity fundraiser the pair had put together: Laserfest. For just five dollars kids were free to spend the entire day playing laser tag with these two, and in turn the funds would go to under-funded children's hospitals throughout the United States of America, with plans to go international in the future. Sure, it may not have been as thrilling or larger-than-life as saving people from terrorists or hostile Omnics, but as long as he was making people happy and still making the world a better place, there were no complaints on his end.

"Alright kids, face front! Your pal Tracer has an announcement to make!" Tracer called out as she entered the "building" with the rest of the kids they were just playing with in tow. Having always been appealing to kids in particular, Tracer needed next to no extra effort on her end to get the children's attention: they faced her and fell silent almost immediately.

"I just wanted to give you lot a big whopping "congratulations" for that game just now. We didn't even stand a chance against you! You should be proud of being the first laser tag team to beat me and Winston today!"

The children began cheering and excitedly telling again.

"Again! Again! I wanna play again!"

"Come on guys, let's do a rematch!"

"Mr. Winston, Ms. Tracer, can we please play one more time?"

"Hey Tracer, my dad thinks you're hot!"

"Aw, real sorry luvs, but that's it for today!" Tracer's announcement was met with a cacophony of disappointed groaning while she removed the laser tag vest that bulged awkwardly against her Chronal Accelerator. She pointed at a huge digital clock display on a wall in the main battleground, which read 7:00 PM: the time that LaserFest would officially end.

"Oh my, it's seven already?!" Winston was completely taken aback: when he was a young ape his father figure Dr. Harold Winston taught him the proverb about how time flies when you're having fun... but he could have sworn that only a few minutes ago the clock read 4:53...

"Hey hey, don't go all "doom and gloom" on me now!" Tracer consoled the children, one of which had full-on dissolved into teary-eyed hysterics, "LaserFest is hardly gonna be a one-time thing, you'll get to hang out with us plenty more times in the future! Besides..." a knowing grin spread across her face, "You lot are forgetting about the pizza afterparty we had planned for you!"

Right on cue, an Omnic delivery boy walked into the battlefield carrying a stack of pizza boxes that were stacked to the point of nearly touching the ceiling. "Delivery for one Lena Oxton!"

Immediately, the tone of the children changed on a dime.

"YEAH! You guys are AWESOME!"

"Pizza! Pizza! PIZZA!"

"Don't eat all the cheese pizza, guys! I want some!"

Cutest of all, the crying child ran up and wrapped his arms around Tracer's waist in a hug. "Thanks Ms. Tracer."

"Aw, you're welcome, little guy!" Tracer cooed as she ruffled the little tyke's hair before turning to the rest of the crowd. "Alright you lot, let's go! There's pizza to be eaten, fizzy drinks to be sipped! Come on!"

She and Winston led the way to the party room, eager to tear into some tasty, tasty pizza. It had been way too long since Winston had this kind of fun, and he knew he'd savor every individual second of it: while he loved putting the hurt on bad guys, he couldn't say that it beat out good old-fashioned wholesome fun like this. He couldn't wait until he got back to HQ and shared today's events with his subordinates...

Gorilla With a Lonely Heart (Prologue)
Hey ladies and gents, For the next month or so, I'll be uploading a fic that I'm currently working on over on Archive of Our Own! This is a... strange story that's a very experimentive work for me: it's about Overwatch's Winston being curious about romance and wanting to experience it for himself. It actually plays into a headcanon I have about Winston that I want to explore: he feels lonely in regards to being a gorilla with human-level intelligence and sentience who can't easily score a date: humans and Omnics think it's too weird to date a gorilla, and he isn't interested in a gorilla mate since his available choices are either genuine wild animals, or bloodthirsty brutes on the moon who killed his loved ones and hate him. 

This isn't meant to be an outright shipping fic but more of a character study... with a bit of shippy stuff happening with other characters, ha ha. But right now, just enjoy a fun, fluffy game of laser tag Winston and Tracer are playing with some kids. I like to imagine that when Overwatch isn't fighting terrorists and whatnot, they do cute charity things like this. :p

Anyway, all characters either belong to Blizzard and me, and a special thanks to Haly-K for helping me cone up with the beginning scenario.


United States
Current Residence: Houston, Texas
deviantWEAR sizing preference: Dunno
Print preference: Dunno
Favourite genre of music: Video Game Soundtracks
Favourite style of art: Dunno. I like many.
Operating System: Don't care.
MP3 player of choice: Whatever works is fine with me.
Shell of choice: A nice turtle shell is fine with me.
Wallpaper of choice: See second and third answers
Skin of choice: My skin...?
Favourite cartoon character: Zuko, Wreck-it Ralph
Personal Quote: Stay calm, stay fresh, and most of all, stay safe!
  • Listening to: Coc'n Rolla, Begnagrad
Alright, I'm pretty sure most people aren't really gonna care about this journal entry. And that's fair, most people shouldn't have to be subjected to other people's whiny rants about stuff. But personally, there's a show that I loved dearly once that's been consistently letting me down to the point to where I only watch it as an obligation to this day, and don't really have another place that I can air my grievances personally. So here's the short of it, I'm falling out of love with the cartoon Steven Universe.

Unlike many people, I actually thought the series started strong with Season 1, even the very beginning. I really loved how even way back then, the show had a distinct "feel good" vibe to it: Steven was an innocent sweetheart, Greg was a good, if nervous dad, and the Crystal Gems felt like a happy surrogate family. As shown as early as Laser Light Cannon, there was a hint of something far more sinister over the horizon, but it was good at showing Steven's innocent and naive viewpoint and quickly grew into a fun action/slice of life show with awesomely horrific episodes like Cat Fingers and Frybo. As the series went on, the show began to show some serious depth: Steven, Pearl, Amethyst, Garnet, and Greg are all bundles of insecurities and serious issues, and I love the maturity and respect the show (usually) goes with handling these issues. Stuff like death, grief, self-loathing, and anxiety were all expertly handled, with later episodes even touching on domestic abuse. And of course, the heroes weren't the only selling points: Beach City is full of lovable, eccentric, and memorable characters who have issues of their own: Sour Cream's hailing from a fractured family, Mayor Dewey's position as a buffoonish yet well-meaning and good-hearted politician who's out of his depth, and Kiki Pizza's struggles with putting her foot down for her own sake. And of course, once the show touched upon a darker past to the Crystal Gems involving a rebellion from an oppressive fascist alien race of sociopathic planet looting psuedo-Nazis, we got to meet wonderful characters like Lapis Lazuli and Jasper, as well as the baggage that came from Steven's mother Rose Quartz's controversial decision to kill Pink Diamond.

For two seasons the show consistently impressed me and left me eager to see more of its lovable characters, take in the raw emotions, and root against the nasty Diamond Authority... but season 3 has been going downhill like crazy, a trend that hasn't stopped in season 4. And it really, really saddens and scares me. There are multiple reasons why I'm starting to lose faith in the show, and it'll take some time to get it all out, so bear with me here.

Reason 1: Poor and Inconsistent Characterization

Boy oh boy, this has REALLY been a problem in season 3, and even a bit late in season 2. Steven Universe started out having consistent, well-rounded characters who not only had wonderful personalities, but ones that made sense. Come season 3 however... maybe it'll work better if I break it into particular characters who I take issue with.

My BIGGEST issue is with Peridot. Peri, Peri, Peri... much like her characterization, my feelings toward this character have varied considerably. I started off not caring about her in the slightest, grew to love her once she was stuck with the Crystal Gems, but now she teeters between a mid-favorite and among my least favorites. When she first appeared she was a rather cold and surprisingly heartless villain: showing a startling lack of empathy by viewing Steven as a pest in need of extermination and crushing an injured Robonoid of hers. I didn't hate her, though I didn't get the hype around the character (I got left behind on watching the show and got back into it after Jailbreak aired. Note: I'm no bandwagoner, I liked the show from the start! I just slacked off on watching it :p). Come season 2 however I fell in love with her. It was entertaining as all hell seeing this coldhearted bitch show her hidden layers as a goofy, dorky, bratty little gremlin who thinks a wee bit too highly of herself, and it was humanizing seeing her slowly mentally unravel due to being stuck on the planet with the enemy and no way to go back home. It was cute seeing her reach out to Steven and through him, develop a conscious. And yet, it didn't feel forced, at least at first: she still held on to a lot of bad behavior that rubbed off from growing up in a bad home: she was bigoted towards Garnet and Pearl, openly gushed about how Dear Lead- er, I mean Der Fuhr- AHEM, I mean the Great Diamond Authority should have strip-mined Earth into oblivion, and was hilariously rude towards others. I loved how flawed and multi-faceted she was, and liked seeing her grow a grudging respect for the Crystal Gems and learn how to be a better person though.

That was all ruined at the tail end of season 2 and most of season 3, when she kind of grew into the token "small annoying forcibly cute teammate" of the Crystal Gems. She became a fangirl of sappy cartoonishly Canadian TV, got big into social media, started using human slang, and for whatever reason has this obsession with befriending Lapis Lazuli (Probably because some of the writers, one in particular REALLY wanna shill Lapidot). She feels like a completely different character than she did for most of season 2, and I don't like it. She's not the intelligent jerk with goofy nerdy tendencies and an inflated ego learning how to be a better person anymore, now she feels like what I can only call "le quirky Peridot!1!!1!!! XDDDDDDDDDDDD": a character whose quirky tendencies completely overtook her identity instead of being a part of it. Plus, her redemption was honestly poorly and sloppily handled: right after gushing about how Hitl- (Okay I'll stop) er, Yellow Diamond did nothing wrong, she suddenly burns her bridges with Yellow Diamond by insulting her to her face, declaring that Earth had things worth protecting, and otherwise did the Crystal Gem song and dance despite it being made clear in the previous episode that she had lengths to go to unlearn her toxic mindset. Sure, after her traitorous behavior sinks in she's horrified... but gets over it really quickly. And what feels REALLY weird is that she still comes off as inconsistently characterized: in Beta, she's "le quirky Peridot!!1!!!!!!1 XDDDDDDDDDD" in full force, but in Kindergarten Kid, a season 4 episode, she's suddenly back to her old (and far more likable) rude jerk with goofy tendencies characterization. Out of all the characters, her inconsistent writing sticks out the most.

Lapis Lazuli is another big offender of inconsistent/bad characterization. This one really hurts because she's an incredibly nuanced character and one of my absolute favorites. For a while, she was consistently characterized as icy, vengeful, and standoffish towards most people after being put through so much crap, but had a much sweeter side she reserved for Steven which shows her as being debatable a better mom than most of the Crystal Gems. She also has a lot of issues that ring home with abuse victims: she has downright awful self-esteem, is prone to shutting down emotionally, and became an abuser herself after being yanked around by Jasper. I LOVED this so much... which is why I find episodes like Hit the Diamond and Beta downright insulting to the character. In those, she's this cartoonish goth girl who is incredibly apathetic and feels completely different than she usually does. And in Beta, she's suddenly best friends with Peridot with some blatant Lapidot pandering going on while in her previous appearance she loathed the very ground Peri walked on, and for good reason. And to add insult to injury, SHE was treated as the bad guy in Barn Mates despite having every reason to hate Peridot. Gah.

Garnet... alright, it isn't inconsistent characterization or even really bad: she's still the same stoic badass with the occasional asshole moment who nonetheless is adorably affectionate and maternal towards Steven. But in recent episodes... I dunno, there are some who feel that she's been losing her sense of identity and is basically reduced to being a fusion. It's hard to explain... but I kind of agree. Lately it feels that she's less her own character like she was in the past, and everything about her is now related to being a fusion. And even worse, her components, Ruby and Sapphire are dreadfully boring characters. They have no depth whatsoever, and can be defined as either being rambunctious and fiery or cold and distant, and being super in love for one another. And what's worse is that due to them being lesbians, not liking how one-dimensional they are or how unhealthy their relationships seem (Seriously, they put Peridot's life at risk because they couldn't hide their lady-boners for one another) will get you put under fire for criticizing a sacred cow. Bleh.

Connie I feel instead of being inconsistent or poorly characterized is just boring. I don't HATE her as she is a nice kid... but that's all she's got going for her. A bland, nerdy, nice girl with not much else to her. I liked her better back when she was struggling with her emotionally abusive parents because I could heavily identify with her feelings of anxiety regarding mom and dad... until that problem was suddenly taken care of. Now she just bores me. It's kinda fitting, her fusion with Steven, Stevonnie, is in my opinion the most boring fusion. But that's for another day.

That's about it for my characterization rant, part two's gonna have me talk about my issues with wasted potential in recent episodes. So uh... yeah. See you guys next time. Or not. I dunno.


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