Thursday, 26 April 2018

Symbiotic Relationship

They'd both started as squires together, and had instantly hated each other. As they rose up the ranks of influence, they were constantly trying to find a way to ruin the other without risking their own position. Both knew they could have the other taken out by a thug for the price of a bottle of cheap booze, but neither of them wanted that, they wanted to win, to gloat. So neither man was ever truly ruined, and was rich and successful.

Then their daughters fell in love with each other and they both got what they wanted, and dreaded.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Luck Stopper

The day they banned multi-use magic items was the day I became set for life. Not so much that potions became more powerful, they were still hard to use if you weren't casting on yourself, but suddenly they were the only option. People still wanted to set things on fire or freeze them in place, but were unwilling to spend the years studying how to do it without turning their brains inside out. So they had to take their chances with throwing small bottles of liquid.

So a guy like me, good at dodging thrown bottles? I'm set baby, totally.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Contract Bridge


It took more energy than was released in a star’s entire lifetime, including the supernova at the end, to open up the bridge between the worlds and keep it stable for long enough to contact the lost ship and have them come home. Most were happy to return home, following orders, or seeing loved ones.

But one man flat out refused to return, and so was left. But what could he do, all alone, in a dead universe full of stars?

Well, see, that’s a lot of energy just sitting there to be used in building other, less stable bridges.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Birthday Reflections


Another year down.

I mean, I obviously can’t complain. Even beyond the bottom line “upright, mobile, and breathing” baseline, the past year hasn’t sucked, really. Could it have been better? Obviously, both on a global level and on a personal level. But then again, one of those I can’t control (yet) and the other would require me to risk a lot more than I am right now, and I’m not prepared to do that (yet).

So I’m just going to focus on the fact that I made it one more time around the sun.

And that the sun’s still there.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

The Lack Of A Defence

The cost of salvation is not steep, but only you can pay it. To be saved, to be one picked up from the sea of fire to be with the holy ones, you to have to just follow the rules. Certainly there is power to save all, but if that was done, why would anyone do good? Why would they behave, without the stick, not just the carrot?

Of course, the problem Is, ignorance is not accepted as a defence, and yet there's been no ordained priests of the True Gods since the English introduced smallpox to the True Followers.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

The Last Round-Up


There was a fire over in the docks that had kept Glory busy, by the time she’d blown out most of the burning buildings and was confident the firefighters were able to handle it, the gunfight she’d heard on the comm was already over.

But when she’d landed to help with the clean-up, she froze as she saw the sole survivor, carefully going to each body and closing their eyes, muttering a soft utterance over each one.

“Gunslinger?”

It was less a question, more a shocked statement. The man, hair long since greyed, face wrinkled, slowly stood up and turned to face her.

“Ah yes, you’re the local flying brick type, yes? Glory, right?”

Glory planted her staff into the ground, trying (and failing) to keep herself calm.

“I am such a huge fan, Sir, as a kid I had my Gunslinger Deputy Badge and recited the pledge every night and it’s an honor!”

“I’m sure it is, but you do know all that was just PR, for the most part, right kid?”

“Oh, absolutely, I know that all too well these days, I spend most of my time doing photo ops and interviews and talk shows and I’m sorry, can I help you? Tracking down one last no good varmint, hey?”

“Sort of. You remember Calamity Joan?”

“Of course, one of your trusty partners who-“

“Was also my wife. Well, once I retired, we finally got hitched. Twenty years, wasn’t all perfect, but it was pretty darn good living. She died a couple months back.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. You’re tracking down her killer?”

The Gunslinger laughed, soft, dismissive, insulting.

“Nah, not unless you got a time machine. Hyper-radiation cancer, gets a lot of heroes from my time, hanging around too many atomic powered good and bad guys.”

The tone of his voice finally broke through Glory’s haze of fandom and hero worship.

“You know, the Custodians could use an old school hand to help train new-“

“Nah girl, that ain’t me. I need to join Joan.”

Glory picked up her staff slowly.

“You don’t have to do anything stupid here.”

The Gunslinger tilted his head. “What was the last line of the pledge?”

Glory dropped her head, as the Gunslinger went for his magically enhanced Big Iron. She spun the staff, deflecting the bullets back and dropping him.

“A true Gunslinger knows when to holster.”