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(HS) Dark Sky

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3/9/2013 11:29:36   
Twighlight Sky

Hello! This is my first fanfic. Hope everyone likes it. The planned chapters are:

1.Highway Robbery
2.Perchance to Dream
3.Dead of Night
4.Twists of Fate
5.Changing of the Guard
6.Enemy Territory
7.Dark Horizon
8.Scarlet Streets
10.The Unexpected Tea Party

These are all subject to change. The discussion thread can be found here.

This fanfic is rated PG-13(ish) for mild drug references (very mild, so far all I have planned is a brief scene set in a bar) and somewhat frequent violence. Some mild language may occur.

Note: This story does not take place in the same city as most HeroSmash events have. However, characters, events, and locations from the HeroSmash story and/or fanfictions may be referenced. If you want me to slip in a reference, feel free to PM me.


< Message edited by Twighlight Sky -- 4/19/2013 10:18:51 >
DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 1
3/9/2013 11:33:20   
Twighlight Sky

Chapter 1: Highway Robbery:
A long, gray concrete snake of road wound through the desert valley, lit dimly by the setting sun and the weak lamps overhead. The occasional tumbleweed blew across the way, catching in the thorns of the brambly hills on the other side. Not a single car was to be heard, however, nor was the dark asphalt ever to be graced with the warm glow of headlights. No one used this highway. Nobody ever did. It was well a forgotten land, a dead world, free of the human plague which had destroyed so much of the surrounding area.

A rattlesnake wound itself into a coil on the shoulder of the highway, sunning himself in the dim light of the dusk. Suddenly, he froze, tempted by the telltale sound of the beating heart of a mouse. Food rarely passed this way, and with night falling soon, prey would run and hide from the cold. With one last chance at a hunt for the day, he would have been a fool to waste the chance. This snake was no fool. He coiled itself in the manner of a spring, ready to pounce on its prey.

The next thing he noticed was the heat. It was never this warm, even in this desert in the middle the day in the summer, let alone late dusk in the fall. Then came a sizzling sound: like frying bacon and eggs in a pan. The snake glanced around, but could not spot the site of the heat and the sound. It did, however spot the mouse, turning to flee. The snake prepared to lunge at it's victim, but then realized: the heat was coming from a blazing inferno, engulfing him. The sizzling noise was his own flesh, burning away like fat on bacon. Writhing in agony, the snake burned, a blazing inferno. And then, as suddenly as it had begun, the fire stopped, leaving behind the charcoal remains of a once proud king of the desert.

“I hate those things.” a burning figure said, kicking aside the ash. “Filthy, muderous creatures. I've never understood what the point of them is, they have no purpose.”

“Rather like yourself, Jason.” mused his companion, staring upon the scene from underneath his habitual hood and cloak. He always wore such attire, and given the nature of his disfigurement, this was most likely for the best.

Jason scowled. He hated when his friend made such observations. He was a loner, by choice, and generally by necessity, driven by naught but a drive for revenge and an apathy towards his own safety. However, his friend, if any who knew of him could be called such, had saved his life many times before, and he trusted him above all others in this world.

“And you, Chester. You're sure your source was correct about this?” snapped Jason.

“Have I ever been wrong before?"

Jason wanted to snap back that yes, Chester had many times. But he couldn't. Chester had more than proven his worth, time and time again. If Chester believed his source was telling the truth, than he had to believe him. “So, Skull and his team are transporting goods this way tonight? Are you sure? Nobody ever goes this way.”

Skull was a villain they had been tailing for many months. Two weeks before, he had lead a violent heist into the city's bank, stealing thousands of dollars, and escaped to freedom with ease. Chester and Jason had been tracking the money ever since, until Chester had picked up a lead that Skull was leading a convoy on the highway that night. It seemed that they had decided to move it somewhere safer, or transport it to some unknown dealer. Jason and Chester, however, were not prepared to let either case happen. As self-styled vigilantes and outcasts from society, it was their duty to take it back, away from the hands of those who could use it to do harm Also, they needed funds for food and supplies, as well as something to fill the emptiness inside their souls.

“Yes, I'm sure,” Chester replied. “Now shut up. I hear engines.”

A band of yellow light glowed over the horizon, the sky the deep purple of early twilight. The stars glittered in the sky as three white, unmarked vans pulled up along the winding road.

“Three of them? Reckon one is a diversion?” Chester asked.

“Undoubtedly. Skull isn't that stupid,” Jason retorted. “You take the back one, I'll take the front one.”

“And the middle one?”

“I don't think that will be a problem,” Jason grinned.

A wall of flame erupted from the tarmac, blocking the vans' escape. Jason leapt onto the road, and extended his fist, producing a pillar of flame, causing the front van's engine to explode.

“Careful, Jason!” Chester yelled. “What if that one had the money in it?”

“Let's find out,” he replied, lowering the wall of flame.

A dark figure, the villain they sought, emerged from the burning wreckage, backed by henchmen. Clothed in black armor, with red cape and boots, and a hood designed in the form of a screaming, tormented soul lost forever, all expressed in the face of a bleached white skull. Skull was, admittedly, not the brightest villain ever, as demonstrated by his lack of a creative name. However, his raw power over the mind made him a formidable opponent by all accounts. His plans had, as of late, been more crafty and more efficient than his usual work, driving him to success after success in the criminal underworld.

“I see you decided to turn up uninvited,” Skull rasped to Jason, in a high, shrill whisper. “That's fine by me. I made sure to save an extra serving of pain for you.”

Skull narrowed his eyes, and unleashed a devastating mental blast, knocking Jason to the floor. He screamed, falling, glancing around quickly for Chester, who was nowhere to be found. Skull unleashed another blast, inhibiting Jason's ability to stand up once more. He stomped over to Jason, and stood, glaring down at the prone form of the tormented hero at his feet.

“You see, it would be a mercy for me to kill you now,” he began. “But to spare you pain...where would be the fun in that? You wanted to find me, and here I am. But beware: you are messing with events you cannot hope to understand, let alone survive. Turn, and leave. This is your last chance. For if you continue, you shall not endure.”

“It's worth trying to purge this world of scum like you,” Jason sneered. “Very well then. Kill me.”

“So be it,” Skull replied. “I cannot allow you to continue.” He prepared another mental attack, stronger than the previous, powerful enough to blast Jason's already fragile psyche into oblivion forevermore.

Suddenly, the mental pressure stopped. Skull was clawing at the ground, dragged away by the very shadows he allied himself with. I glanced towards the other trucks, and saw the corpses of the henchmen, ravaged as though by a savage beast. In the midst of the shadows stood Chester, hooded and robed as always, walking through the destruction unscathed.

“What have you done?” Jason cried.

“That wasn't me. It would appear we were not their only enemies,” Chester flatly stated. “Anyway, the money isn't here. All I managed to salvage was this from the burning truck.”

Chester handed him a small, flat card, which glowed with an unearthly light.

“Are you okay, Jason?” he asked.

“I just got knocked flat by a psychopath who was using a heavily armed convoy to transport this, whatever it is, to who knows where, only to see them all slaughtered. Do you really think I'm okay?”

“Come on, let's head back to base. There's nothing more we can do here.”

“Let's hope whoever killed them all doesn't decide that they don't want any witnesses."

Meanwhile, worlds away, a shadowy figure reprimanded his disloyal subject.

“I did everything you commanded!” cried the Skull-faced figure. “He has the key, and he suspects nothing. You said if I made that happen, you would make me live forever!”

“Yes,” the shadowy figure replied. “You did all that. But that is not enough. You cannot be allowed to go free.”

“But you promised!” Skull whispered.

“Yes,” the figure replied. “But I said not that you would live forever, merely that you would endure. And you shall, as my undead servant. It's time phase two of my plan began.”

The screams of the failed subject echoed into the void, ringing loud, high, and clear.

< Message edited by Twighlight Sky -- 4/17/2013 23:25:48 >
DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 2
3/10/2013 19:53:03   
Twighlight Sky

Chapter 2: Perchance to Dream
“Dad, you forgot to buy milk again!” a young boy cried, searching through the refrigerator.

“I'll get it tomorrow,” replied the boy's father. “It's late, and you've got training again tomorrow.”

“Awww, but Daaaad!” moaned the child, crossing his arms over his chest. “I'm not tired. And anyway, training's boring, and I was in the middle of a good book, and...”

“No 'buts', Jason. Hurry up to bed, I'll be there to read you a story in a little while.”

“Oh, alright. Goodnight, Dad,” the young Jason replied.


The next half hour flashed by, and Jason lay in his bed, blankets pulled up over him, warm and safe. All his worries were miles away, all that mattered was that he was home and safe. For once in his life, things had slowed down. No more moving from place to place constantly, no more being chased by strange creatures, just him and his dad, safe at last. He was especially hoping to go to the public school soon, though his dad kept insisting on his weird training stuff. All Jason knew was that it was boring, sometimes painful, and it smelled funny. He was far more content just reading.




As these thoughts drifted through his head, though, there came a tapping sound, growing louder and louder, echoing through his mind. Reverberating through his skull, the knocking continued, louder and louder, a growing crescendo of insanity.





'Who's there?' Jason thought weakly. There was no response. However, the knocking ceased, replaced by a low hum that filled the room.

A warm glow began to fill the room, as if the flame from a candle had been suspended in midair, just above the foot of his bed. Jason stared. It was the most beautiful, most transfixing thing he had ever seen. All he wanted in that instant was to watch it dance, watch it's color change from blue, to yellow, orange, and red. It grew, pulsating and vibrating, forming an enormous sphere of flame, filling the room. Jason reached up to touch it, and was filled with a warm, content sensation. To a small child, this was extremely cool.

Suddenly, his bedroom door slammed open. Jason's father stood in the doorway, a look of terror upon his face.

“Dad, look! Isn't it brilliant?” Jason exclaimed, joyfully.

His dad was less than amused. He let loose a low, mournful groan of pain, before shouting “Get back! Run! Get out of here!”

The world shattered, as though a stained glass window had been hit with hundreds of bullets from an automatic machine gun (although, admittedly, there were quite a lot of glass shards flying through the air, seeing as his bedroom window did, in fact, explode). Physics, logic, and reason, at that point, decided that they were fundamentally fed up with things being the way they were. Up was left, down was northeast, right was backwards and thirty degrees from the floor seemed to have become a little sandwich shop in Switzerland. A dark, clawed hand reached through the broken window, grabbing Jason's father, and pulling him through the breach in reality. A face gazed through the void, familiar yet strange and unknown, a face that would haunt his nightmares for years to come. There was a scream, long and shrill, echoing through the room. Eventually, Jason realized it to be his own. He collapsed in his bed, and his house burned away around him.







Jason awoke with a start. Ever since that fateful night, sleep had eluded him, mostly due to his own fear of would sleep could bring. In his moments of weakness, however, when fight went out of him, the dreams would return. Always the same memory, the night his father died and his own life changed forever.

He opened the drawer in his bedside table, removing the small, flat object Chester had found in one of the vans. It had stopped glowing now, and he could now see it resembled an ordinary hotel key card. Something about it, however, jogged his memory. He knew he'd seen it before.

Jason had had enough. Throwing back the covers, he crept out of his bedroom in the dingy, abandoned warehouse, down the hallway, past the sound of Chester's snores, and out into the fresh night air. It was time, he decided, to find some answers.

< Message edited by Twighlight Sky -- 4/17/2013 21:29:13 >
DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 3
4/14/2013 14:42:20   
Twighlight Sky

Chapter Three: Dead of Night
A warm, muggy breeze enveloped the shady, littered streets, lit only by distant streetlamps in the fog of night. The occasional car drove by, puttering morosely as it carried its exhausted, under-rested passengers home. An empty, fatigued air filled the streets, as though the very earth had begun to rot. In the dark alleyways, criminals, dealers, and danger lurked, waiting to pounce upon any who dared explore this fatigues world, or merely wished to take a shortcut home. The dead of night bloomed in the full.

Jason clambered onwards through the streets of the dead city. He had already apprehended two would be-kidnappers, busted a dealer, and now he had stumbled upon a homeless man experiencing a seizure. The man's eyes bulged beneath his gray skin, and yellow teeth gaped wide, gasping for breath. It had happened so suddenly- one moment, Jason was passing him on the street, the next, the man was thrashing on the floor, kicking his legs in a perverse, macabre dance. Foam formed on the tips of his mouth, and a raspy howl echoed through the streets. Jason rushed to his side, but by the time he had arrived, the man was still. His pulse had gone, and breath no longer entered his lungs. The previous problems he could deal with, but this last one was beyond his power.

Death happens, particularly when I least expect it. He reflected, emptily. All around me. Is this all I bring to this world? Is everyone around me doomed to fall?
He took one last glance at the stagnant corpse, lying prone and undignified on the dirt-coated tarmac, the only sound the rustling of dead leaves upon the ground, swirling in the muggy air.
As Jason turned and departed, a cool breeze entered the alleyway. In the warm light of the streetlamp, a tremor ran through the dead man's body. A mere spasm? Unlikely.
Jason entirely failed to notice as fire ran along the tarmac road, and the man rose again, to face the world anew.


A bar. It was not Jason's first choice, but it was the only place left open at that hour. Well, that and the fast-food taco joint, but it was unlikely he was going to find any information there. Not to mention the repulsive quality of the 'food' served in those deathtraps. It was enough to make him feel sick to the stomach. No, the bar was a far better place to search.

As bars go, it was not a particularly elegant one. Dingy wooden counters and dusty glasses lined the walls, playing host to hundreds of old, filthy, unopened bottles bearing such colorful names as “CowFart” and “Spleen Killer”. A broken pool table lay in a side room, accompanied by a TV blaring out various sports replays. In one corner, shards of broken glass lay accumulated, hinting that this bar had played host to far more fights and brawls than were generally recommended for a business of its size. A low, gray haze of smoke hung over the room, solidifying the grim, lifeless atmosphere personified by this soulless enterprise.

Two figures sat by the window, separated by a vase containing a single, wilted rose, eating tasteless meals (the house specialty), and apparently deep in discussion. One wore a long, blue robe, fringed with gold tassels, yet somehow failing to appear regal, instead more wraith-like and frail. Around his neck hung a large, ornate gold cross, embedded with diamonds, sapphires, and pearls, a true work of beauty. This man, Jason knew. (Or, at least he considered them a man, as none knew for sure his identity beneath the cloak). The Wanderer. Nothing in the city escaped his gaze. He knew all, and could be persuaded to share it...for the right price.

Money, however, was not his currency. He demanded something far more potent. He made his trade in wishes: what could be, what has been, and what never shall, the darkest secrets of all humanity. Dreams were his wares, and the darkest parts of the soul his price. And, of course, there were always those willing to sell their souls for a pipe dream, to do anything to fly away.

The other, a middle aged, harassed-looking woman, appeared to be in tears. A motherly figure, it seemed, but one who was on the verge of giving up, and yet refusing to ever admit it to herself. Jason had seen the type before, for the modern world is a breeding ground for pain, sorrow, and hopelessness. In this meaningless, futile world, many could not bear their own sorrows, but fought on alone, driving others away, with a compounding interest of despair. And to those drenched in sorrow, the Wanderer gave dreams, a light in their darkness.

The deal, it seemed, had been struck. She spoke, and he listened. So simple, so easy to pay, easier than raking up debt with a credit card. Pouring forth all the stress, all the pain, and all the torment, she poured her soul out, all her grievances, trials, and despairs. And so, the Wanderer listened, and when all was done, gave her a small, leather-bound book.

The worries and cares lifted from the woman's worn, fatigued face. She smiled, a true, full smile, as all the problems she had faced faded to oblivion. She was, at last, free from all the stresses of ordinary living. She got up, laughing, and skipped out of the bar.

It happened quickly. Still smiling, still free. A loud screech heralded the end. There was a sickening crunch as the large truck collided with the woman. Her last expression was that of pure bliss.

Jason stormed over to the table where the Wanderer sat. “What have you done?” he demanded.

“Merely as she wished. She wanted an escape, so I changed her story's ending,” the Wanderer replied, aloof and uncaring.

“She had a life. She had a family. And you stripped that from her.”

“She was burned out. Her life had no meaning. She'd lost faith, her marriage was failing, and her children ungrateful and uncaring. I merely gave her the closing she desired. But sit, sit. We have much to discuss. You aren't here just to slander me, now, are you? There's something on your tiny little mind, something you cannot rest until you understand, a mystery, a puzzle which you desperately need to grasp.”

“How?..” Jason stammered.

“Your life is one of the grandest tales I have ever been blessed to witness. You want answers. I know them all. The question is...why should I provide you with spoilers?”

Jason slammed his hand down on the table. The vase beautiful red rose, full in bloom, fell shattering. A thorn pricked his hand, and warm blood began to flow.

“I see”, the Wanderer said. “Very good. Very interesting, indeed.”

“What do you mean?” Jason demanded. “Tell me!”

“A crossroads awaits for you. Several roads branch ahead, all with their own trials and terrors. You must take the path towards the right.”


“Because if you do not, you will never forgive yourself,” the Wanderer replied, smirking.

The Wanderer stood, turned on his heel, and vanished. Jason fell back upon his seat, devastated. No leads, no information, merely a cryptic message from a psychotic stealer of hope. So miserable was he that he almost missed a small, glossy piece of paper falling to the floor. He picked it up.

It said:

Madame Montagne: Renowned Psychic.
Specializes in fortune telling, dream interpretation, and astral projections.
What might the future hold for you?

82716 Willow Street

On the back of the card, there was a scribbled, handwritten note. It said: “Warning: spoilers.”

Jason rushed out the door, past the baffled police officers examining a dead woman in the street, and onwards towards the future.

The keycard in his pocket twitched in anticipation of the grim events which lay ahead.

< Message edited by Twighlight Sky -- 4/17/2013 21:29:54 >
DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 4
4/15/2013 23:48:26   
Twighlight Sky

Chapter 4: Twists of Fate

Part I:

82715. 82717.

Where the hell was 82716? Jason cursed. I've given myself another false hope. Again, and again, and again. Yet again I've screwed up in this damned life.

Willow Street was, as it turned out, located in a very run-down part of town. Boarded-up warehouses, sinister storage facilities, shady shops, and the occasional dry-clean business all lined the street, grappling for survival with gaudy signs and dusty displays. He looked again at the buildings' addresses, trying to divine some meaning, some understanding of where to go next.

82715 was an old apartment complex, dingy and drab. Dust had long ago settled upon its cracked, beige plaster walls and littered its dull, white windowsills. The Sunset Meadows Apartment Complex, as it was named, certainly seemed absent of any meadows, with a mere field of weeds growing out front. Sunset was an accurate description, however, as it was certainly in the twilight of its life.

82717, on the other hand, was a decrepit butcher's shop. Over the years, it had been a successful family business, the livelihood of a loving, caring couple and their three children. The father had been a popular community figure, and it was well known in the area that he sold the finest cuts of bacon available. Unfortunately, time tends to devour all. Over the years, the children went off to college and started families of their own. The mother wound up in an asylum, the abundance of freshly killed meat and blood finally taking a toll on her fragile psyche. The father, however, stood tall and proud, chopping away at his cutting board. The gangs, however, took care of that. Now, only a lone cat braved the unhappy circumstances which surrounded this miserable store, and sat outside, gnawing at the spine of a long-dead pig.

A black cat. Best be wary.

82716, on the other hand, was nowhere to be seen. It should have fallen in between the two decrepit structures, but merely an alleyway stood in its place. Jason reached into his pocket, crumpled the business card into a ball, and threw it into the street. It wasn't, it seemed, as though he would be needing it. He sat down on the curb, sighing, and began to despair.

Part II:

A long, stale wind blew through the street. Leaves and dust skittered along the road, carried by the warm, dry air. A lone poster, reading “Vote Simon Kyle”, blew across the way, twirling and crumpling in the breeze. The cat next door had slumped off, leaving a pile of bones in the doorway. The sun had risen, a new day had arrived.

Jason slept in the alleyway between the two decrepit buildings, propped up against the wall of the butcher's shop. The night had taken its toll, and worries and sorrows could only hold out against human needs for so long. So he slept, emptily, free of thought, the last escape.

Beep beep beep. Beep beep beep.

An incessant beeping disturbed Jason from his slumber, far too early for his liking. He groped around, trying to find the source of the disturbance. Was it on the floor? No. To the left? No. Hmm. His stomach? Still no. Pockets. Ah, hmm. Pockets. He fumbled around, groping for his pockets.

Aha! A small victory. Jason reached in, and pulled out a loud, buzzing phone, unremarkable in all aspects, other than its age and lack of use. He flipped it open.

“Hey, Jason, you there?” came a voice.

“Chester. I was asleep.” Jason mumbled. “What's so important?”

“Oh, nothing much, just headed to the grocery store. Anything we need?”

“I don't know, don't you have the list?”

“Yeah, got that.” Chester replied. “Eggs, cheese, bacon, milk, bread....Hey, what brand of bread do we get? Wonderp, right?”

“Great, okay, so beans, apples...” Chester trailed off. A percussive noise sounded from the other end of the line. Many would assume by the static that Chester had dropped the phone, but Jason knew better.

“It's getting worse, isn't it, Chester.” Jason inquired tentatively. “You need to tell me.”

“Jason, its always going to get worse,” Chester sighed. “Pandora's curse is going to destroy me. You and be both know its only a matter of time. I'm going to die, and soon.”

“Don't say that. I never could have survived the last few years without your help, remember? I'm too 'volatile', as they said. And I promised we would find a way to fix this. I'm not going to let you die without repaying you what I owe.”

“If you say so...” Chester trailed off.

“I do say so. Get some rest, okay? Food can wait. I'll pick up more bandages later.”


“Go to bed. That's an order. You're not going to die on my watch. I'll see you later.” Jason switched off the phone.

“Well, my deary, you look lost. Would you care for some tea, perhaps?”

Jason whirled around. Standing before him was an old woman, with wrinkles on her face, wearing a beige dress with a pink apron, smiling at him. Behind her, however, was the truly impossible thing. An entire building had appeared from nowhere. A cluttered, dusty shop, bearing a sign reading “Madame Montagne: Psychic”. 82716 Willow Street had arrived.

“How...?” stammered Jason.

“Well, don't just stand there, you'll catch a cold!” she chided.

“It's 70 degrees outside...”

“Yes, yes. Hurry up, deary.”

Bewildered, Jason took his first steps inside this most impossible store.


To be continued in Chapter 4 Part III

< Message edited by Twighlight Sky -- 4/17/2013 21:30:13 >
DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 5
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