Re-writing Congeria

Happy 2020 everyone, hope you all are handling the year well.

I’ve been returning to writing bit by bit, and as of late I plan on returning to Congeria, namely starting and finishing Joy and Simon’s story first. Though re-reading it, I realize there’s a lot I want to change, to make more consistent for future plans, and brush up since my skills have improved over the past few years.
Of course, I’ll keep the older chapters still available under an archive section, but when I return, I hope to get Joy and Simon’s story off to a fresh, engaging start. For those who still stuck around, thank you for reading, and hope all goes well.

Update once more

Happy 2020 everyone!

I’m sorry for my lack of writing as of late… I’ve hit some serious humps in almost every area when it comes to my own writing. I’m working a second job, I’m finding myself at a terrible loss of motivation, my depression is hitting hard, and much more going on. I barely have any time to think of what to write, let alone the motivation to continue.

I’ve still renewed the payment for the site so everyone can still browse it ad-free, but I’m not sure if I’ll put anything new up anytime soon. If any of you do want to see more, please do speak up! Feedback of any kind is too few and far between, and I do seriously appreciate any bit of vocal enjoyment of my work. It helps motivate me a lot

Take care, and hope you all have a good decade!

Story Concept: Pluto Rising

A bit of an authors note, I have a bunch of notes to really fully flesh out this into a full kinda short novel deal. It’s a bunch of fluff to something that can be summarized, but I hope it’s a fun read at the very least. If you’re intrigued by this concept, please do comment or tweet at me and let me know! I’d love to continue if there’s interest.


Pluto had its five minutes of fame as children across the US learned about its planetary status, and five more when it was declared a dwarf planet. Even despite the fact Pluto had shifted hundreds of thousands of miles from its original position in orbit, the governments of the world would do their damndest the planet would never get a devastating five more minutes. Kayden Copper, a budding new-hire astronomer, was one of few regular folk to notice how Pluto was not where it was supposed to be. Questioning this online on an astronomy forum, he was unpleasantly surprised by men in suits, who quickly arrested him and cuffed him inside a black hummer. His perception and skill didn’t go unnoticed, as his captors did make an offer to them as they sped away from his home: Either he could become a stellar navigator for the Juno project, or spend his days locked up until the governments of the world could go public with this information, if at all.

Taking the more sensible option, what met Kayden was nothing he could have ever expected: His building where he studied was a massive space center, surrounded by several factories and industrial buildings churning out building materials. Several tons of steel, munitions, and missiles all being hauled by rockets up into presumably high orbit. Stellar Navigation was more memorizing the stars, something he had done years ago, and learning how to use new navigational computers. Amongst classes, he still had time to think: Are we militarizing the Mars base? I’ve never heard of ships constructed in-orbit before. What does this all have to do with Pluto?

A year of training later, which included rocket conditioning and zero G training, Kayden was strapped in with a few other personnel and launched into orbit. He must have been the only one who was forced into this position, as what he saw caused him to audibly gasp: Thirty massive spacecraft all sit together, each one varied in size yet larger than all the spacecraft he’d ever read about, docked at a large wireframe space station. Mechanical suits twice the size of a human worked to weld on armor plating to the last few nearly-finished craft. Astronauts were hooked to the sides of the ship’s bridges, doing whatever checks could feasibly be done to such behemoths of starships. And the final crowning jewel to this fleet was what he could only assume to be the flagship to all of this: An even more massive ship doubling the size of most of the smaller ships, receiving its last tune-ups from dozens of the mecha-engineers. He turned to one of the men seated next to him.

“Did the Mars colony revolt or something? Is this all to blow up mars?”
“Wrong planet. It’s Pluto we’re gonna blow up.”

Tales from Congeria: Joy and Simon 5

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With a huff and a dull thud, Joy stacked a large crate on top of another.

Simon had surprised her early this morning by tossing baggy work clothes on top of her. He said she wasn’t going to get off easy from disobeying orders, and was relegated to warehouse duty. Her mind still fumed at the thought. 

I’m a one in a million person and this is the treatment I get here?

All day and afternoon for the past week, she worked tirelessly, reorganizing and stacking crates full of armaments, munitions, and others supplies. She was covered in dust and sweat, the humidity of the warehouse not helping at all either. She turned away from her finished wall of crates to begin a new one, bumping into a familiar face. Paul was strolling towards her with a smile on his face and hands in his pockets.

“I guess he’s really making you live up to the name of ‘Miss Cost Efficient’ now, hm?”

She paused, raising an eye. “I’m being called what now?”
He stopped not too far away from her. “It’s a little joke I thought of. Since you’re so keen on using fists and don’t use any armor, I thought you must have no impact on our budget. And now you’re giving our warehouse workers a run for their work!”

She rolled her eyes. “I’m really losing my mind here. Did you really come down here just to bug me?”

“Here to deliver a bit of a message actually. Your punishment is up, and Simon wants me to run you through some field work.”

Her face instantly brightened up. “I can lose this piece of crap I’m wearing too, right?”

“You’re actually going to have to dress in something a bit more casual. You don’t exactly want to stick out like a sore thumb when out on the field.”

She literally tore her work shirt off, exposing her well-built musculature only covered by a sports bra. She tossed the rag to the side. 

“Finally, I’ll be able to wear something other than these garbage bags. We get a selection, right?”

Paul slowly lowered his head into one of his hands, shaking it slightly. 

“For that, what do you think your punishment is going to be? One more week of warehouse duty or actually wearing garbage bags out on the field?”

She stared at him with an irritated look. “Please, from how uncomfortable this stuff feels, it wouldn’t make any difference if I was wearing garbage bags or not. You ever worn this stuff?”

“A few times in the past, but I have a good feeling you’ll be getting used to them in the future.”


With a bit of searching for the right-fitting clothing, Joy had changed into sneakers, shorts, and a nice fitting tank top, while Paul wore a bomber jacket, t-shirt and slacks. The two arrived together to a small office. Inside sat Simon, in front of a large table with a screen built into the top of it, and a few computers and consoles behind him. The two pulled up a few chairs and sat in front of him as he began to tap away on the table screen.

“So, I’m hoping you enjoyed your time in the warehouse Joy. Follow my orders next time and you’ll avoid bathroom duty stacked atop of that.”

She huffed and rolled her eyes.

“All right, now that that’s out of the way,” Paul turned to face Joy. “Hopefully you remember the ins and outs of field duty from your guide, right?”
Simon butted in “There’s a reason she’s assigned with you.”
She was smiling wryly, rubbing the back of her head. “Yeah, it’s kinda been well over a month since I last touched that thing.”

“I’m going to assume firsthand experience works better for you than books, so that’s no issue. The entire basis of field duty, at least for us, is responding to reports of demonic activity and dealing with them appropriately. Sound easy?”

“Dealing with them like pummeling the shit out of them, right?”

She could have sworn she head Simon sigh through his helmet.

“You’re half right,” spoke Paul. “The most important part of field duty is finding who specifically was responsible for it. Demons themselves don’t leave anything much to trace, and depending on the demon summoned, it’d actually be better to find the perpetrator instead of the demon first.”

“So find the cartel guys first, right?”
“A reminder for you.” She turned to Simon. “The cartels aren’t the only people who can perform demonic rituals. They merely treat it as a business, doing the killing for those who don’t want to dirty their hands. With a lot of asking around, maybe with a few greased palms, anyone can find out rituals and perform them on their own.”

“Huh, never really gave it that thought. I was wondering why there were so many non-lethal demons listed…”

“Keep in mind that some of the perpetrators are civilians. If you manage to find any, arrest them first, and have Paul deal with the rest.”

Pressing a few more buttons on his table screen, and a city map projected from it, marked with several orange and red blips. 

“All around here are reports of confirmed and suspected demonic activity in the past week. We’ll deploy you both near the neighborhood, and then make your way there on foot. The sight of Crusader jets directly overhead would scare them off anyways.”

Paul stood up and stretched out his arms. “All righty then, simple enough for you to understand Joy?”

“Of course, stop treating me as if I’m that dense!”
“Just follow my lead, and everything will go smoothly, all right?”


Less than an hour later, the two were landed atop a skyscraper from one of the VTOL transports. Taking the elevator the the ground floor and walking out, Joy was greeted with the familiar sight of one of Romitum’s commercial zones, one she lived near in particular. Multiple shops, from small businesses to multi-floored stores were all packed together on the streets. Crowds of people walked in and out of the human traffic that moved slowly on the sidewalks. Trucks and taxis made the majority of the traffic that cruised alongside.

Joy turned to Paul. “We’re still allowed lunch breaks, right? I know a really good barbeque place around here.”

He gave her a thumbs up. “A good four hours of demon hunting and we’ll get thirty to eat.”

She beamed a smile back in return. “Let’s get going, lead the way to the demons!”

Working their way through the crowds, the large department stores petered out, smaller businesses, restaraunts, and homes taking their place. To the plus of the duo, the crowds had also thinned out as well. Past a few more blocks later, they eventually entered a large neighborhood consisting of dozens of fancy looking houses lined up side by side. Joy whistled, gazing around.

“I expected us to stop off somewhere a bit… grimier. You’d think the people who live here would hire their own guards rather than get us to come out here.”

Paul chuckled. “You remember what PMC stands for, right?”
“Paid military-… Oh now I get it. But still, you’d expect to find these demons in skeevier places, right?”

“Alongside narcotics and weapons, the cartels can offer quite a few solutions for petty theft and revenge.”

The two continued to walk into the neighborhood, as Joy stared down at the sidewalk, pondering to herself.

“I get the theft stuff, but what do you mean ‘revenge’? Again, I’d expect that in seedier places.”

He held up his hand in front of her. She bumped into it, looking up. A black, furry, dog-sized beast had just dashed across the street, and was making its way towards a home. Alongside, a van screeched and sped away past the two.

“Maybe you’ll find out in a bit. That thing’s a Devil Skunk. You have my permission to smash the shit out of it, I’m going to head after that truck.”

He threw off his jacket, sprouting a pair of wings and taking to the skies. Unfased by his flight, Joy broke into a sprint, hurrying after the demon that had just hopped a wooden fence into some poor person’s back yard. She easily vaulted over it, and caught sight of the beast again, skittering into a small open window. A scream from somebody followed. The window being too small for her to fit, she hurried around the back yard, finding a doorway into from the back. She ran through, not realizing it was a glass pane door, and accidentally shattered the door, causing the poor homeowner to shriek once more. Inside a small kitchen, she stared sheepishly at the rather aged man, standing atop of a chair with a broom in-hand.

“Hey, don’t worry, I’m here to deal with that demon that came in. Let me just find it and I’ll be out super quick.” 

Running from the kitchen to the home’s living room, she found the beast, viciously hissing at her. She quickly recalled what she could remember about Devil Skunks, and the only thing she had to worry about was the stench it could spray. If it did, the surrounding houses would have to move out due to the stench, and gods help her if she herself got sprayed. As she ran closer towards it, the beast’s fur literally stood up straight, firing several needles at her. Each one bounced harmlessly off of her skin as she killed the beast with a powerful stomp. The house shook a bit with the impact, the floor even cracking, and the demon slowly dissolved into dust. She sighed, wiping a trickle of sweat off of her brow.

“Thank god that thing didn’t spray.”

She began strolling back out the back door.

“Hey, hold on! You’re going to pay for the damage done, right?”

She turned to the man, who had stepped down from the chair and looked rather angry. She simply shrugged. “It’s the price to pay to avoid getting your house labeled as a biohazard.”

She continued on, pressing a button on her earpiece. “Yeah Paul, please tell me there’s some kind of coverage for property damage, right?”

She heard a sigh. “Did the thing spray? No way in hell we can cover that.”

“No no, just a shattered sliding door. Kinda didn’t realize one was in the way.”

“Whew, well since you asked, we can cover for minor repair costs. Anyways, meet back out front.”
Hopping to the fence and waiting, Paul shortly landed in front of her. 

“Those two men were most certainly part of the cartels. The back of their truck was all set up for rituals, with a now killed sacrifice, and was probably where that devil skunk came from. Unfortunately, they killed themselves with cyanide tablets before I could get ahold of them.”

She groaned in response. “Cowards, the both of em.”

“Let’s just hope they were sloppy and left some clues for detectives to find, yeah?”

He retracted his wings, putting back on his jacket. 

“There’s still more reports of activity around here. Let’s get scouting and hope to get lucky.”

Hours passed of a mostly dull day of patrolling the neighborhood. Hoping a bit more excitement like when she first arrived, Joy was looking less for signs of demonic activity, but more something she could actually do. Paul constantly kept a good watch on the rows of houses, finding nothing out of the ordinary for the entirety of their patrol.

“You sure we weren’t fed false info or something?” Joy put her arms behind her head, stretching.

“Or maybe you aren’t being vigilant enough?”

She glared angrily at him, opening her mouth. He held up his hand, smiling.

“Hey, I’m just teasing! Today just may not be our day, you know? If you can’t tell, it’s not common sense to use demons blatantly, let alone summoning a beast.”

“Eh, figures. Hold on.”

She turned, noticing a man crouching in a bush at the end of somebody’s lawn. His head was barely peeping out of the top, staring through the window of a house. Joy sneered to herself and walked behind the man, slowly placing her hand on his shoulder.

“Hey, you trying to hide from anyone?”

The man shrieked and sprung out from his hiding place, landing on his back on the grass. His clothing was dirty and all patched up, looking like he’d been wearing the same shirt, pants, and jacket for the past week nonstop. He scrambled back, a bewildered look dominating his face.

“What the fuck? Who are you, and what do you want?”

She scoffed. “I’m not the one hiding in the bush. Maybe you want to tell me what you’re doing first?”

Bewilderment turned to anger as he simply spat at her, giving her a middle finger. She merely rolled her eyes, turning to Paul.

“Don’t these neighborhoods have rent-a-cops for people like this?”

Paul glanced over at the man, his eyes widening slightly. “Well, kinda. Notice something funny?”

Joy turned back to the main getting up, brushing the fresh dirt off of his clothes, and she noticed he spread blood on his pants. He looked up, still glaring and the two Crusaders.
“Either that was a sharp bush orrr…. There we are!” Paul pointed towards the house the man was standing at. Literally squeezing itself under the door, a fleshy rodent creature began scuttling towards the man. He kneeled down, picking it up, and turned back to his observers.

“What, I got a pet rat. You two got a problem or something?”

Joy quickly stepped forward, shoving the man to the ground, the creature flying into the air. She caught it, crushing it with her hand as she did. As the flesh slowly dissolved into dust, she felt something much harder in its place. When she opened it, a few expensive looking rings and a pearl necklace were in its place. She snapped her head towards the man, glaring deviously at him. 

“So thought you could use a snatcher without consequence, huh?”

The man quickly scrambled to his feet, but Joy effortlessly pushed him over once more, placing her foot on his back. Paul walked up to her, staring down as the man tried to scramble free.

“Nice catch Joy. Now then mister, I’m sure you realize that summoning a demon is one hell of a crime, pun intended. We might be able to lessen it however if you tell us who taught you how to do that?”

The man stopped scrambling. “Demon? Fuck I was told that thing was just some kind of special thief rat! I swear to god, I didn’t do any of that, some guy just sold this thing to me!”

He screamed as Joy applied a bit more pressure. “Really wiseguy? How do you explain that fresh cut on your hand?”

“The thing bites, and I didn’t have any carrier for it! Please, I didn’t intend to get involved with this demon shit, let me off easy!”

Joy stared at Paul, him nodding in response. Joy removed her foot from the man, and Paul dragged him up.

“I guess we can believe you, but you aren’t off the hook pal.”

He took him over to a lampost, cuffing his hands around it. He pulled a small tablet from his jacket, taking a few photos of his face.

“Just hang tight and the police will come and get you, all right?”

He struggled and yelled, screaming for help as Paul ran away. Joy stared nervously at him.

“You sure it’s all right to do that? He won’t get free?”

“If by some miracle he does break free, he’ll get caught fairly quickly. His face is all over the Crusaders database, all it’ll take is one match on any sort of security camera and local police will be all over him.”

“Ah, well that- Hold up, some sort of security camera? Do the Crusaders have cameras everywhere?”

“We don’t, but everyone else does. A bit of a lesser known fact, but the Romitum Council, and by extension the Crusaders have access to every CCTV feed around Romitum. Makes it pretty easy to clamp down on known offenders with good ole facial recognition tech.” He paused, noticing Joy giving him a stare of concern. “What, you expected this country to be so orderly simply by the goodwill of everyone living here?”

“The largest breach of privacy known to mankind running here and you still can’t get rid of these cartels?”
“I did say known offenders. Plus those slummish areas tend to be lacking in cameras for us to use.”

“When I get home, if I find a single hidden camera anywhere I’m going to give a good thrashing to whoever…. I don’t even know, who thought of that system?”

“Whoever suggested it is probably long dead to be fair. Now then, how does a lunch break sound?”

“Barbeque sounds great!”


Shoved snugly between an apartment and a large department store, “Slice of Radi” certainly lived up to its name. It’s wooden walls contrasted with the concrete around it, and the tonal whiplash was still the same on the inside: Old sanded down plank flooring, wooden chairs and tables that constanty creaked, and ceiling fans to really tie together the ancient feel of it. Paul relaxed at one of the tables with a glass of water in front of him, glancing around at the few customers who stuck around. Joy soon bounded back with two plates of ribs, cuts of beef, beans, and coleslaw, one plate with larger helpings than the other. She plopped the tray down, taking the larger plate for herself and bit into a rib.

“This place doesn’t skimp out when it comes to their meats. I hear they get it imported from cattle living way far outside city walls.” She spoke between bites.

Paul took his plate and started cutting a slab of beef into a smaller size.

“Does that really affect the taste? Beef is beef, be it grass-fed or raised in a factory.”

She laughed a bit, now shoving half a slice of beef into her already stuffed mouth. “It depends how much you like the taste of soot and chemicals! By the way, I had to pay with my cash for this. The Crusaders covers for costs like this, right?”

Paul shook his head as he took a bite of beef. “You know since we’re here and on topic, why did you want to join the crusaders… Well the special operations unit more specifically so badly. I haven’t mentioned why I joined, right?”

With a mouthfull of beans she shook her head. “I think it was something about search and rescue?”

“Yup. I don’t think it’d be a good idea to show my wings off again right now.” He chuckled. “Search and rescue just felt like a job for me when I first started, ya know? I started way back volunteering for my neighborhoods fire department, and just thought, ‘this is what I wanna do with my life.’ Not working for the fire department, but there’s something just wonderful about the feeling you get when an innocent family is saved. Not even just the glory of it, it’s just nice to see good honest people safe from disaster. The Guardian Angels was a perfect fit for me to join up with my life plotted out, like an added bonus to doing work I already love. I was already just so good, and when Simon extended his hand to have me join special operations? I’m not sure what excited me more, the position itself or the new opportunities it’d offer. The Crusaders just helped me get connected to help even more people.”

Joy was cleaning off another rib. “That’s nice. But why are you telling me this?”

“You just seem odd and I want to get to know you more Joy. Tit for tat except with our pasts. What’s your passion, why did you so… well… aggresively seek to join special operations?”

She stared at him for a few moments and shrugged.

“Honestly I just wanted to push myself further and beat the shit out of demons.” She picked up another rib and took a large chomp out of it. Paul simply felt the need to spit out his water if he was drinking it.

“You WHAT?”
“Is there something wrong with that? I do a good job at it.”
“So you just… What even was your plan? Just beat the shit out of demons? Get lucky and…”
He dropped his face into his palms. “What did you even do before this insane idea?”
“MMA and I used to be a personal trainer, but that didn’t work out too well. MMA meanwhile just lost its spark to me, so I thought “What’s the next best thing to do?” I did a bit of searching, found out about the God of Righteous Fury, heard word about the Special Operations Unit, and thought that it would work out pretty well for me. And so far, it has! I haven’t been this challenged in forever!”

“You wasted your pledge on a con artist of a God just for thrills?”

“What do you mean con artist? I’m the purest person I know!”
Paul took a deep breath, taking a quick drink of water. “Gods almighty I need to dull my senses to just process how you think.”
She glared at him. “You do realize I could literally bury you beneath the concrete, right?”

“But doesn’t the God of RIghteous Fury have any rules or drawbacks? Any other shit he’d jump on you if you’re deemed worthy or something?”

She raised an eyebrow. “Rules?”

“Yeah you know, guidelines to follow or hindrances. Followers of the Crusaders pledge their life to fighting demons and can’t use their skills anywhere else, Guardian Angels have to dedicate their life to rescuing other humans, be it in military or for civil service. Enforcers under the Divine Judge can only use their abilities for law enforcement, and they may never take another life. All to stop gods from becoming too powerful.?”
“Wait, like, if you break those rules your pledge gets revoked? I always thought for most Gods it was more related to their organization than the god.”
“What, do you think members of the Clergy of Companionship just killed themselves when their bonded animal died?”
“Good point… But back on topic, nope. He just told me to wear this insignia with pride.” She pointed to her abs, where the insignia was proudly displayed.

“How is that God even legal then? They HAVE to have some regulations, else that archstone would be several thousand meters below the surface.”

Swallowing a bit of food, she lifted up her finger. “Oh there’s actually a funny story about that. Apparently about half a decade ago, some officials saw him as a threat and petitioned to remove his church and archstone with the Council. Little did they know, one of those who was pure of heart was a VERY talented lawyer who fought and won against that movement. That must be pretty nice huh? Being able to destroy people in and out of the courtroom.”

Paul leaned back in his chair, dumbstruck as she cleaned off her plate. “Hey, you gonna finish your food?”

“I’ll get to it when my brain fully processes this insanity. I thought I saw it all working for special operations…”

“But given from history, he’s done a good job of picking those pure of heart, right? Hasn’t been a single man who went on a rampage of righteous fury.”

“Fair enough, I guess.” He picked up his fork and stabbed into a piece of beef. 

A few more bites into his meal, his tablet began to buzz noisily. Putting down the fork, he quickly yanked it out of his pocked, eyes widening at the sight.

“Looks like we got some action to get to. A berserker has been spotted in a nearby neighborhood.


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To new visitors!

I noticed a sudden influx in visitors today and decided to write a quick update post for yall!
Welcome, hope you enjoy the stories. As for updates, I’ve been pretty busy with real life. I’m working two part time jobs and attempting to keep up with classes. I’ve been pretty exhausted mentally and only find the energy to write once or twice a week as of late. Hopefully with a bit of luck, I can start writing more in the future!

An update on the state of writing

So it’s been almost a good few months of inactivity and I figured I SHOULD post some kind of update.
First, I’m still alive, and I’m not finished with writing. I’m simply MUCH much more busy than I anticipated. I’m working retail alongside night classes at school so it leaves me little time to even process ideas. With summer coming up, I should hopefully have more time to sit down and focus.

Regarding Congeria, I’ve been thinking on and off how to continue but can’t find any good idea that sticks just yet. So I might be writing a few short story ideas I had inbetween to try and take a SHORT break from Congeria writing. I’ll try and get on that bi-weekly schedule to write when I’m writing, I just need a lot more future planning for where to go with the story.

Hopefully that answers most of the questions I expect people to have, please comment if you have any other! I’ll be glad to respond. Hope y’all do well!

Joy and Simon – Chapter 2.5

Once again, another .5 chapter kinda deal. Mostly doing this to get a groove on with writing/practicing/exploring character stuff. So enjoy the read!


With Joy patched up and sent off to bed, Simon returned to the training arena. He brought up a small clock on his visor. 2:34 AM.

I need to de-rust myself for her anyways. There should be plenty of time to sleep afterwards.

He walked forward to a computer console overlooking the arena, with a large lever next to the screen. He typed away a flurry of commands into the device, perusing through various screens and typing in a new program. He compiled a threateningly long list of demons held captive, stretching across the entire screen, setting each one to come out in timed waves. Saving his program, he prepared to launch it, still staring at the list he put together.

Can’t tell if this is too much or too little for me to handle. Only one way to find out.

He briefly left the room to the now-empty armory. He started by grabbing his strange rifle, preemptively loading a large round into it. He walked over to a locker, unlocking and opening it. Inside was practically a miniature armoy in it of itself. A few other matching camo jackets, dozens of boxes and belts of differing types of ammo, a few large looking drum shotguns, various large pistols, and a diverse amount of explosive devices ranging from fragmentation to plastic. He grabbed an ammo belt of rounds for his strange rifle, holstered two pistols, slung a shotgun and a few drums over his shoulder, and took a few of every type of grenade, stowing most of it stealthily in his camo jacket. Behind his mask, he cracked a smile.

Knowing what’s coming should make this fight no issue.

Strolling back to the arena, he grabbed hold of a large lever next to the console

He pulled the lever, and the sound of whirring machinery surrounded him. A distant clanging emanated from within the arena, all of the elevators moving simultaneously. He still strolled over to the entrance elevator, hitting the button. He slowly descended into the arena, watching as all three massive doors slowly began to open. From the center elevator, a large, berserker-sized winged beast took a step out of the darkness of the elevator. It screeched, breaking through the loud sound of machinery. At its feet were a dozen blood beasts of varying size, ranging from the size of boars to as large as rhinos. From the right, ten shredders began rushing out, encircling the arena hunting for their prey. From the left elevator, several quadrupedal skeletal demons with a razor-sharp hooked tail, Acrobats, scurried out, sniffing out the area with their strange doglike heads. As Simon’s elevator finally touched the ground, he quickly reached inside his jacket and took out two tin-can looking grenades. As his door slid open and he noticed the horde of shredders enclosing, he tossed them both out. Instinctively, the shredders barreled out of the way, and the moment the grenades hit the ground, they exploded into a cloud of smoke. Calling it smoke would be an understatement, as its consistency was more that of ash. Every shredder was trapped in a prison of thick ash, most of the material stuck in their eyes. Despite this disadvantage, they still maintained their composure, standing perfectly still. On the outside of the cloud, the blood beasts blindly charged in, the acrobats observing and smelling the strange substance, and the great winged beast observing the smaller ones charge forward.

Simon had finally taken his first step out of the elevator. His visor glowed a deep red as he aimed his strange rifle, pointing straight at the stomach of the large winged beast.

With a loud crack, the large demon let out an ear-rending screech as a fireball erupted from its stomach. It slowly fell over with a burning hole in its center, crushing the few blood beasts who failed to charge forward fast enough. Simon observed through the smoke how every last shredder whipped their heads over to the sudden screeching. He loaded a new round into his rifle quickly and slung it over his shoulder, pulling out one of his pistols and breaking into a sprint. He neared the closest group of three shredders, shooting all of them in the head. The other seven whipped their heads over to the gunshot and immediately began sprinting over to him. With lightning-fast speed, he holstered his pistol and slung the shotgun into his hand. Despite their insane speed, the approaching shredders still fell victim to his aim. One, two, three, four, five, six, each approaching shredder suffered the same fate, exploding into a mix of flesh and bone, as every heavy cluster of pellets slammed into them. His drum empty, the seventh leapt into the air towards him, claws outstretched and mouth agape. Unfortunately for the demon, Simon had merely stepped a foot to the side as the beast crashed into the ground. He quickly hurried over to the collapsed beast with the shotgun still in hand, and smashed the thing’s skull with the butt of his gun. Moving quickly to reload his shotgun, he heard another deathly shriek, and felt wind whip all around him. His ash blew away along with the wind, all caking itself on the wall of the arena. He slung his shotgun and drew his rifle, whipping around and firing to the source of the scream. The shot flew fast, striking the shoulder of the great winged demon, still fanning its wings. The bullet went straight through, but the demon only responded with a grunt, glaring straight at Simon. He shifted his focus to the oncoming bloodbeasts and acrobats, now well aware of his location. Two of the rhino-sized ones charged forward, forming a wall of demonic flesh intent on entrapping him. As they let out a primal roar, Simon took out a few fragmentation grenades, tossing them right into their mouths. He quickly pulled out a third red-marked grenade and threw it at their feet, it exploding into flames and disrupting the beasts’ formations. They reared back, trying to avoid the burning napalm and tumbled over themselves, skidding to a halt mere feet away from him. Only a few seconds later did they explode outwards into a mass of unrecognizable flesh.

Seizing the opportunity, two acrobats had leapt over the flames towards him. Unfortunately for them, he had already drawn his shotgun, and shot them both out of the air. More acrobats and lesser bloodbeasts approached, and he broke into a sprint, circling the outer edge of the arena. Five bloodbeasts, two acrobats, and the greater winged demon were all that remained. The bloodbeasts were the first to close in on him as he continued to sprint. From his jacket, he dropped a few plastic explosives onto the ground. As the pack of beasts passed over, he tactfully detonated the devices, pulverizing the entire group. The next threat on his mind was the winged demon. Despite the hole in its stomach, it still stumbled slowly towards him, with a morale-ruining look of rage on its head. He cursed himself for missing its head earlier as he glared back at the oncoming acrobats. Knowing it would be a bit tougher to take them both, he skidded to a stop and reversed course, charging straight towards the oncoming acrobats. They leapt into the air, lashing out their tales towards him. He slid under the beasts, actually grabbing them by the tails as he did so, and slammed them both into the ground. Grabbing his second pistol, he fired two shots for each demon: One in the stomach, and another in the head. He sighed internally after pulling that stunt off, and turned his head to the still-approaching winged demon. Its face had slowly transitioned from rage to pain over the course of the battle, and with the mortal wound it could not heal, it visibly struggled to move forward. Without any hesitation, Simon slung his rifle over, loading in a new round, and fired a final shot between its eyes. The demon barely had any energy left to let out a screech. It merely froze up after taking the hit, and slowly fell over, dissolving into dust.

That was what completely populated the arena. Large yet scattered piles of demonic dust. Simon’s suit was coated in a mix of the dust and ash. He glared back at the wall behind him, finding ash caking the windows of the observation chamber. He put a finger up to his helmet, cycling through contacts.

“I’m going to need a cleaning crew to head over to the training arena ASAP. There’s one hell of a mess for you all to clean up.”

It was a hell of a mess for them to clean up, but they bore witness to something they’d never expect to see in their lifetime: The aftermath of a battle Simon participated in.

Joy and Simon – Chapter 1.5

Authors note: this is mostly just a kinda exercise chapter that I did just to have fun with Joy’s character and get back in a writing kinda groove. So if you want to enjoy it, feel free to enjoy it

Joy sighed as she let a pen roll out of her hands. She had arrived at the recruitment center only around the afternoon, and already the sun had set. Her sprint to and from had barely burnt any energy, and passing Simon’s test only bolstered her excitement. She stood up from her desk, walking into her living room.

She hurried over to her weight bench and loaded up a barbell with the heaviest plates she had, around four hundred pounds. Not even bothering to lie down, she easily lifted the weights with one arm, curling it. To her dismay, she felt nothing, and placed it back on the rack. Looking around, she noticed the bent plate lying on the floor. She smirked.

Maybe I can improvise something.

She hurried back to her office, booting up her computer.

The night air was cool, a nice change of setting for Joy, as she jogged towards a scrapyard not too far off. Despite the time, the streets of Romitum still retained their liveliness. Significantly less people were walking, but several cars still drove fast down the well lit streets, many shops and apartment complexes still lit up to onlookers. The lighting of the shops eventually died out as she entered the outskirts of one of the many industrial districts. Compared to the inner city, it was much more quiet. Trucks were pulling out of lots and heading from where she came, and very few lights were left on. Only the faint sound of heavy machinery could be heard in the distance as she continued her jog.

Eventually, she skidded to a halt, arriving right outside of a chainlink fence. A local Romitum scrapyard. All of it would be melted down and re-processed, so she had a good feeling nobody would mind if some of it went missing. Pulling out a flashlight, she easily climbed over the fence, lighting it up and navigating through the maze of metal. Girders, steel bars, broken down cars, old appliances, and so much more surrounded her as she grinned at the sight. Keeping her blessing in mind, the entire place made her feel like a kid in a candy shop. Finding a small shack near the back of the yard, she hurried over. Trying to open the door, it was lock, so she simply tore the door off, tossing it into one of the piles of scrap. Walking in with flashlight in hand, she found and opened a small breaker box, flicking on several switches. Light flooded the inside of the shack, and she turned outside, smiling as her new playground was well lit. Stepping outside, she did a few stretches, scanning around for her first target. Finishing, she found an old rusted pickup truck, near a pile of scrap. She walked over, and gave it a kick. She accidentally put a large dent in it, feeling it move significantly as she did. She grinned, squatting down and grabbing the front of the truck. She shook a bit as she slowly rose up, taking the truck upward as she began to stand up. With a hefty grunt, she stood up straight, lifting the end of the truck along with her. She smiled at the effort, and slowly moved under the truck, crouching down. Once she was under the center of the truck, she pushed up with all her might, and slowly stood up. With less effort than she expected, she eventually held the entire vehicle overhead! She looked up at her efforts, smiling wildly. With it still in hand, she decided to do a few more squats while she still had the truck in hand. Despite struggling a bit, she still felt as if an entire truck wasn’t enough, and carefully returned the truck to the ground.

Now with a bit of a pump, and the truck providing only an adequate workout, she glanced around for something to work out her arms with instead. She wandered around the scrapyard, finding that nothing really provided much of a challenge to her strength. Dismembered cars, she could easily yank them from their scrappy graves without much effort. Refrigerators and old heavy wooden furniture barely provided any challenge. Finding a heavy wooden dresser, she decided to have a bit of fun at the very least. Hoisting it up, she wrapped her arms around it as much as she could, and began hugging tightly into it. The wood barely gave any resistance and immediately began splintering. The dresser exploded into two pieces, wooden chunks flying everywhere and the two halves tumbling to the ground. She giggled at her handywork, happy that she didn’t have a single splinter or scratch to show as well. Smashing the dresser changed her perspective on her visit.

I’m here to burn off energy, not just work out!

She remembered a feat she heard about online, and decided with her blessing, she’d take it to a new level. Finding another junk car, she grabbed the wheel rim, ripping it out. She sat down in the dirt, placing the wheel rim between her thighs. She squeezed them, grunting as she slowly felt the rim give away to her muscular thighs. It deformed as she slowly clamped her thighs closed, her continuing to crush it until she could no more. Gasping for breath after the effort, she picked up the rim. It was deformed into a goofy looking squashed oval. She laughed at the sight.

“Maybe I should start a new trend online or something.”

She hurried back to the old pickup truck, a wild grin on her face as a new idea bubbled in her mind. She jumped at the truck, smashing her fists into the front of it. The hood completely caved in from the blow, the rest of the truck rocking forward. Ripping away the hood, she grabbed onto the engine tightly, feeling her grip slowly bending away the metal. With a few good tugs, she managed to rip the engine right out, stumbling back with the machine in her hands. She tossed it up and down as if it were a ball in her hands, and then hugged it. Every muscle in her arms went into overtime as she clamped down tighter and tighter onto it. Soon she felt her arms sink into it, and felt the entire engine deform as she squeezed tighter and tighter. Metal shrieked as she strained harder and harder, trying to crumple the engine as if it were an oversized soda can. She closed her eyes and clenched her teeth, straining her arms as much as possible, until she felt her arms close to her chest. She released the engine as it dropped to the ground, finding it bent awkwardly inwards with a large, arm-sized dent in the center. Sweating a bit, she smiled at her handiwork. Turning to the frame of the truck, another idea entered her mind. She grabbed the front of it again, towing it over to a large pile of scrap. Without the engine, it was surprisingly easier for her to flip it over, the top of it leaning against the scrap pile. With it propped up facing her, she took a deep breath, clenched her fists, and threw a punch at the center of the framework. It dented inward horribly, and she took a step back. She envisioned the flipped truck as an downed demon, just waiting to be finished off. She continued her barrage of several more punches, eventually punching a hole straight through it. She began tearing at the hole, making it larger and ripping out every part she could find. The shrieking of metal filled the air as she continued her assault of punches, kicks, and tearing parts out. After horribly abusing the machine, making it look like it had gone through multiple minefields, a new idea infiltrated her mind. She jumped on the truck, grabbing onto the front bumper. Feeling her fingers dig in, she pulled hard at it, feeling the already abused machine deform even more. The front of the car bent inwards more and more shrieking horidly. With a sudden snap, the front of the car ripped free, Joy tumbling backwards with it. She lost her grip, and the destroyed half tumbled away, crashing into another pile of scrap. Covered in dirt and dust, she got back to her feet, staring at her accomplishment wide-mouthed. She jumped happily, flexing her arms in victory.

“See that demons? That’s gonna be you! You just wait till I get my hands on you all!”

To further prove her point to her invisible demonic audience, she grabbed a nearby metal pole. She grunted and slowly bent the thing around, eventually bending it into the shape of a pretzel. She giggled at the work, and then tossed the thing aside.

“Maybe the Crusaders can let me play with their broken military equipment… I wonder if I can smash a tank with my bare hands!”

She froze when she heard the jingling of chains.

Shit, I did make a lot of noise, didn’t I?

She sprinted over to the shack, quickly flicking every breaker, and almost literally leaping over the back fence. She sprinted away, looking back as she saw a few flashlights light up, shining around the yard. She grinned.

I wonder what they’ll think happened.

Update: Work and School

So figured I’d write a quick thing here

With the spring quarter starting up, my time to work has kinda drastically decreased. Some days I’ll be at both my job and school, resulting in me spending almost 12+ hours away from home for around half the week, with the other half dedicated to catching up on homework. I’ve been rather exhausted as of late from all the work, and hitting some serious motivational humps regarding my writing and hope for readers and such

The long story short is, I can’t really guarantee a proper schedule anymore given all these factors. I can only really upload stuff when I can. Just wanted to update all my followers here, and I hope you all won’t mind