This is the first episode of The Launch Pad. It features shorts demonstrating scenes from potential projects collected into a single episode-length post.
Edge of Glory
Edgy of Glory was initially envisioned as a spiritual sequel to Not Applicable, featuring an edgy anime protagonist as compared to a hot-blooded anime protagonist. However, as it stands now, if this were to become a real series, it would likely be published on BTFF EX.
“This...is the power known as ‘Edge’” He explained, holding up his knife-like hand. “The art of manipulating existing matter into ‘edges’, so to speak. Those who have mastered this ability are known as ‘Edgelords’.”
The stranger turned away to stare wistfully into the distance.
“My name is Damon Soulreaper, and it is my destiny to become the greatest Edgelord of them all.”
“Well, okay, that’s nice and all,” I said. “But you didn’t really elaborate on what the heck ‘Edge’ is supposed to be. Is it magic or something? Can it be taught, or is it some sort of genetic thing?”
“Oh, it’s a taught thing.” Damon explained. “You can’t just be born with the ability to use ‘Edge’. It requires a lot of training and internal strife. As for whether it’s magic or not, I can’t say. I never asked.”
This whole situation struck me as odd, but Damon’s personality in particular was difficult to pin down. What kind of person would be so oblivious as not to ask something so basic?
“So if it’s a taught thing, who taught you?” I asked.
“An old Chinese Edgelord named Yo-Po. God rest his soul.”
“What, is he dead?”
“Oh, no, he just found out about manga a few years back and stopped doing pretty much anything but reading. A Spanish Edgelord named Mig ‘The Pig’ fell to the same fate not too long after, so I’ve made sure to stay away from the stuff as long as possible. It seems that Japanese comics are very popular with Edgelords.”
Damon’s eyes narrowed.
“...You know, I think I’m just gonna be on my way.”
I turned to walk away, but Damon swiftly back-flipped over my head and landed in front of me.
“It’s too late for that now. The JOKS already know where you live. They want the power of Edge wiped from the face of the Earth, and that means destroying anyone who’s so much as witnessed it in action. You’re no longer safe.”
“Well, what am I supposed to do?!” I snapped. “Help take down some massive criminal organization?!”
“How am I supposed to do that?!”
“I may be relatively inexperienced, but I’m still a powerful Edgelord.” Damon replied. “I can teach you the ways of the Edge. How to fight. How to win. How to survive.”
“...There really isn’t any other option here?”
“Not one that results in you living, there isn’t.”
I sighed in frustration.
“You know what, fine. This doesn’t really sound appealing, but neither does dying, so hey, whatever.”
“Good.” Damon reached into his pocket and pulled out a couple of pink Pepto-Bismol tablets, then tossed them to me. “Start by eating these.”
“These tablets contain high amounts of Bismuth, which naturally enhances Edge. They’re mostly used by new Edge users, but can come in handy for full Edgelords too.”
Damon turned and began walking away, gesturing for me to follow him.
“Besides, I haven’t had diarrhea in years.”
It was at this point I realized I had gone way too deep into this rabbit hole of insanity.
Little did I know that this was just the beginning.
The Strange Seven
The Strange Seven is unique in that I already had a lot of material produced for it, including art and pages and what not, but ultimately decided not to go through with it for various reasons. It features a very different kind of Omnitrix, known as the Odditrix, that scans animals instead of sapient beings, much like the Nemetrix. Unlike the Nemetrix, however, it cannot be used to transform, instead summoning the scanned animals, which may or may not obey the user depending on their current relationship with them.
Dex slowly began backing away as the strange animal began approaching him on all fours. It was similar in appearance to a red and black ape, with a slight rainbow-colored sheen covering its coat. It didn't seem particularly hostile, but considering that it was about twice Dex's size, he wasn't planning on taking any chances.
As the ape came within a few feet of him, however, a gunshot suddenly sounded from nearby. A large bullet bounced off the ape's back, seeming to do little more than annoy it. It turned away from Dex, looking around the area for where the bullet had come from. After a few moments, what had previously only been visible as a cloud of dust in the distance began moving towards the two at high speeds. As the cloud approached, a humanoid alien wearing a gas mask and wielding some sort of sniper rifle came into view, riding a hoverboard that kicked up the dirt around him as he went.
The alien stopped a few meters away from the two, reaching into a satchel it was carrying and swapping out its rifle for a shotgun.
"Shoulda figured you'd be tougher than that." The alien chided himself, evidently ignoring Dex. "Course I can't have this getting too messy; that rainbow pelt of yours is gonna fetch me a pretty penny."
"Hey, who are you?!" Dex demanded, stepping forward a bit. The ape glanced at him before turning its gaze back to the new arrival, baring its teeth threateningly.
"None of your business, human." The alien waved him off. "Just run along and nobody has to get hurt."
"Nobody except for...uh..." Dex began wildly gesticulating at the ape. "Whatever this thing is, huh?!"
"That right there is an Etiris Simia, also known as the Great Rainbow Ape. They hail from the Montes Nebula, though I don't expect you to know what that means either. Long story short, these fellas are mostly extinct, so every last bit of them can net a poacher a pretty penny on the black market."
"That's terrible!" Dex snapped. "You can't just go around killing things for money! That's gotta be illegal!"
The alien on the hoverboard lowered its gun to stare at Dex with a mix of annoyance and disbelief.
"...I don't think you know what the word "poacher" means."
"It doesn't matter!" Dex ran out in front of the Rainbow Ape, spreading his arms out in a rather feeble attempt to shield it. "If you want to shoot this alien, you'll have to shoot me too!"
The poacher stared at Dex for a moment before shrugging and taking aim.
Before the poacher could pull the trigger, the Rainbow Ape suddenly roared, spitting out a stream of rainbow-colored liquid. The liquid hit the poacher’s gun straight-on, melting it into a puddle of black goop within seconds.
“That’s, uh...” The poacher looked down at what used to be his shotgun. “Unexpected.”
“You don’t really know what you’re doing, huh?” Dex observed.
“These things are almost extinct, there ain’t exactly much info on ‘em. Not that it matters.”
The poacher reached into his satchel again, whipping out what appeared to be a massive rocket launcher.
“This is gonna be messier than I wanted, but screw it, I ain’t got all day!”
Dex jumped back, turning around and waving his hands at the Rainbow Ape, who had been watching the situation with no small amount of confusion.
“Okay, I know there’s probably a zero percent chance you understand me, but you gotta get out of here!”
The ape just stared down at him in confusion. It wasn’t quite sure what to make of this funny small thing that kept moving sporadically and making loud noises, but seeing as how the ape was twice its size, it wasn’t particularly worried. As for the larger one pointing some sort of tube at it, it didn’t seem particularly threatening either, but the small one seemed panicked by it for whatever reason.
‘Ah geez, this isn’t working!’ Dex thought to himself. ‘What should I-”
It was at this moment that Dex remembered that he was wearing the Odditrix.
He pulled up the strange alien watch and aimed it at the Rainbow Ape, activating the scan function.
‘I’ve only scanned in aliens that were summoned using this thing, so here’s hoping it’ll let me scan in a new one!’
The poacher finished prepping his rocket launcher and pulled the trigger, launching a rocket at the Rainbow Ape. In the same instant, the Odditrix created a flash of blinding light, fading to reveal that the Rainbow Ape had vanished. Without a target to hit, the rocket flew off into the distance, eventually hitting a cactus and creating a large, needle-filled explosion.
“...Excuse me, what?” The poacher rubbed his eyes and blinked a few times just to make sure he wasn’t seeing things. “What the hell was that?”
“Yeah, that’s pretty weird!” Dex quickly hid the Odditrix behind his back. “You don’t really know that much about these things, right? Maybe they can teleport!”
“Given all the other crap, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised.” The poacher huffed, turning his hoverboard around. “Whatever, I ain’t got time for this. If you know what’s good for ya, human, ya won’t go running in front of guns anymore.”
The poacher flew off, leaving Dex standing alone in the desert. After a few moments, Dex sighed in relief and pulled up the Odditrix, looking at the “Scan Successful” screen.
“That was a close one. Now...”
Dex put his arm down and stared out across the desert, slumping over a bit.
“Now comes the walking.” He sighed. “Lots and lots of walking.”
Okay, first of all, if you’re thinking this is going to even remotely resemble the Reform project I announced earlier in the year, don’t. I kept a couple ideas from the concept I talked about, but for the most part, this new version is entirely different.
It will still take place on Earth-83, but it’ll have little to nothing to do with Tech 10 story-wise. It’s going to be a lot darker than most of my fare, but not to the point where it gets suffocatingly edgy. This is actually the project that sketch of a potential protagonist I uploaded a few weeks ago is for, so there’s that. I'll go into more detail in my Fanon Con main blog and chat presentation. Without any further ado, here’s a potential excerpt from the potential first episode. Potentially.
(Note: This entry has Tooltips enabled. Hover over colored words to get a picture and some brief stats on the things mentioned.)
[Suited Man]: “You’re remarkably calm, given the situation. I must commend you for that. Most people don’t understand what I’m doing and start panicking by now.”
]: “To be completely honest, I’m not entirely sure I wasn’t just slipped some weird-ass LSD. This seems more like a drug-induced fever dream than anything.”
[Suited Man]: “Your knowledge of how hallucinogens work seems rather poorly influenced by modern media. I can assure you that this is quite real. Assuming you don’t believe me, I think you will rather soon.”
The suited man picked up a syringe fitted with a hypodermic needle and carefully began to fill it with some sort of liquid. His movements were oddly calm, indicating an unsettling familiarity with the process. The sinking feeling in Tess’s stomach grew larger as she tugged against the ropes holding her down. She noticed that she might be able to squirm out of them with enough effort, but took another look at the pistol laying near the suited man and decided against trying for the moment.
[Tess]: (Attempting to sound oblivious) “What is that?”
[Suited Man]: “It’s primarily a unique chemical I discovered that temporarily increases the nervous system’s sensitivity. From what I’ve observed, it can increase the pain of something as simple as a slight cut to the level of having a limb severed.”
Tess’s blood ran cold as her eyes darted to a small scalpel that was on the table next to her.
[Suited Man]: “Of course, it also contains several other ingredients that prevent the person injected from losing consciousness. If it didn’t, there wouldn’t be much of a use for it.”
[Tess]: (Nervously) “...What are you going to do with it?”
[Suited Man]: “You seem somewhat intelligent, I’m sure you can figure it out. Besides, I’m sure you’ve seen the stories about my work.”
[Tess]: “The stories?”
After a few moments, Tess suddenly remembered the headlines she had seen in the local newspapers. Dismembered corpses with their various body parts arranged in a grotesque, abstract manner.
[Tess]: (Frightened) “Shit. Shit, shit, shit. You’re...you’re the one behind all those murders?!”
[Suited Man]: (Flatly) “Yes.”
[Tess]: “Why?! Why do you do this shit?!”
[Suited Man]: (Turns to face Tess) “It’s a belief of mine that each human being has a hidden beauty, one that remains unknown to most. A beauty locked away by fear of pain and the grotesque, the challenges that we seek to avoid. My hope is to show that beauty to them and the outside world, by any means necessary.”
[Tess]: “...That’s fucking insane!”
[Suited Man]: (Sighs) “Art goes unappreciated in its own day, I suppose.”
[Tess]: “If you think so highly of it, why don’t you just do it to yourself and leave everyone else out of it?!”
[Suited Man]: “You know, you’re the first person to actually ask me that question. Good insight. Unfortunately...”
The suited man suddenly picked up a knife lying next to him and stabbed it through his left hand, raising it into the air without any sort of reaction whatsoever.
[Suited Man]: “Such an idyllic solution has long since left me.”
[Tess]: (Eyes widen) “Wh-who the hell are you?!”
The suited man removed the knife from his hand and began bandaging the bleeding wound before replying.
[Suited Man]: “...That’s a difficult question, to say the least. I get the distinct feeling I used to be someone, but I’m not anymore. Beyond that, I have no answer for you. Now, onto business.”
The suited man approached Tess, picking up a sterilized hacksaw from the table next to her.
[Suited Man]: “I’ll begin by taking off your left arm. The blade on this is fairly sharp, but this may still take a while.”
Time seemed to slow down for Tess as the suited man walked around to the other side of the table she was strapped to. Her mind raced, trying desperately to come up with some sort of plan or method of escape. She remembered the explosive marble Tobias had given her earlier, noting that she didn’t have much time left before it went off. Realizing that this could be bad given her current situation, she did a mental check of her pockets, but wasn’t able to feel the hard, round marble in any of them. She began sweating nervously.
[Tess]: (Trying not to panic) “Uh, out of place question right now, but have you seen a marble lying around?”
The suited man pulled up the sleeve of her left shoulder, injecting her with the chemical mixture and placing the edge of the hacksaw at the top of her arm.
[Suited Man]: “If you’re referring to the one I found on your person, I placed it in my coat pocket. Why?”
[Tess]: “Wait, you...went over my body while I was unconscious?”
[Suited Man]: (Annoyed) “Don’t get the wrong idea, please. I needed to make sure you weren’t carrying anything dangerous.”
[Tess]: (Snapping) “You’re about to cut my fucking arm off!”
[Suited Man]: “And I’d rather do it in the cleanest way possible, thank you very much.”
Without giving her a chance to reply, the suited man used his wounded left hand to pin down Tess’s arm as he began sawing with his right. Intense pain shot through Tess’s body, proving that the man’s conjecture about the effects of his chemical mixture had been fully justified. Tess screamed in pain as the hacksaw went deeper into her flesh, eventually beginning to hit bone.
[Tess]: (Screaming) “IF...IF I GET OUT OF THIS...I’M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU!”
[Suited Man]: “You’re rather shortsighted, aren’t you?”
The man continued sawing without pause, starting to cut through the bone of Tess’s arm.
[Suited Man]: “Not that it matters, really. You’re not getting out of here. Nobody ever has.”
Almost as soon as he had finished talking, the suited man’s coat pocket exploded.
[Suited Man]: (Stumbles backwards) “What on Earth?!”
Despite her head being clouded with residual pain, Tess wasted no time in taking advantage of the distraction to pull her right arm free of the rope binding it above her head to the table. The suited man fell over backwards, spitting up blood as he did so. The explosion had pulverized the right side of his abdomen, with pieces of bone visibly jutting out through the tattered remains of the right side of his shirt.
Tess undid the rest of her bindings and ran for the door, the hacksaw still being lodged in her arm. She used her right arm to fling the door open and slam it shut behind her, hoping it would buy her a couple seconds. She turned to run forwards, but found herself in some sort of cave system that branched off in multiple directions.
[Tess]: “What the hell?! Where am I?!”
Deciding that she wasn’t going to get anywhere by just standing there, she ran down the tunnel directly in front of her, moving as fast as she could with the hacksaw stuck in her shoulder. She moved to remove it, but remembered being told that removing a sharp object from your body could result in serious blood loss. She decided against removing the saw and kept running through the dark tunnel, leaving behind a trail of blood drops as she went.
After a few minutes of running, she began to feel a slight breeze coming from up ahead, accompanied by the distinct scent of ocean water. Feeling a brief sliver of relief, she quickly slid back into panic after rounding a corner and nearly falling out of the end of the tunnel. On the other side of the gaping hole in the rock was a straight drop to the ocean far below. She briefly considered jumping, but noted that hitting the water from this height would be about as soft as hitting a slab of concrete.
She turned to go back through the tunnel, but froze upon spotting the suited man lurching towards her from inside the cave. He was covering his injuries with his left hand and wielding a pistol with his right.
[Suited Man]: “I hope you realize I didn’t put my base of operations in a cave system to make it easy to escape.”
Tess instinctively tried to back away, but stopped as she felt her foot start to slip off the ground.
[Tess]: “Wh-what are you going to do?”
[Suited Man]: “Well, that all depends on you. Are you going to come back with me peacefully, or will I have to make this easier for myself?”
The suited man cocked the pistol he was holding to accentuate his point. The panic that Tess had been feeling began to grow, her mind desperately racing with ideas of what she could possibly do in this situation. After a few moments of examining things further...she gave up.
[Suited Man]: “Excuse me?”
Instead of replying, Tess simply allowed herself to fall backwards. The suited man realized what she was doing and lunged forward to grab her, but he was too late.
Tess was already falling.
Dying by falling into the ocean wasn’t especially dignified or appealing, but given her other options, this had seemed like the best possible way out. At least this way she wouldn’t leave a body behind for the suited man to use in one of his twisted art projects. She took an odd comfort in knowing she had at least made all of this pointless from his perspective.
Before she could have any of what one might consider the usual introspections someone might have when faced with death, she slammed into the water below at full speed. Any sense of pain was abruptly replaced with a dull darkness that began consuming her mind. Briefly and vaguely confused by this, Tess realized that there’s no chemical able to stop death.
As she limply drifted down through the cold, dark water, her thoughts began fading away. Her last thought was a rather unimpressive question as to whether her body would end up as food for the local ocean life or just rot away on its own. After that, she felt herself it the seafloor, and then...nothingness.
Or so it seemed.
After some amount of time, Tess’s barely-functioning mind was snapped to something resembling attention by a sharp needle of some kind jabbing into her left wrist. She weakly turned to look at what had punctured her skin, findingan odd watch-like device
attached to her wrist. The device had a dial with a curved hourglass on the front, said dial suddenly activating and lifting off the base of the device by about an inch.
Curious, she attempted to take a closer look at the device, but was unable to lift her arm more than a few inches before she lost control again. Her arm hit the bed of the seafloor, causing the raised dial of the device on her wrist to move back into its resting position. As soon as the dial was pushed all the way back to the base, a bright light of various colors flashed out from it, traveling up Tess’s arm and eventually covering her entire body.
The suited man looked down at the sea below with a stunned look on his face. Never had one of his victims voluntarily attempted to kill themselves, and especially not in a manner such as this. Of course, none of his other victims had ever been carrying an explosive of some sort, so this kind of situation had never really come up before.
After a few minutes of staring down at the ocean, the man turned and began limping back towards the operating room. He’d need a fair bit of first aid to take care of his injuries, especially given the risk of infection. He hadn’t made it more than a few steps, however, before a bright light suddenly flashed from outside the cave opening behind him.
[Suited Man]: “What the-”
He turned around just in time to seea blue figure of some kind
fly into the cave system after him and slam him against the wall as it passed. The figure turned to face the suited man, allowing him to get a better look at it. It appeared to be a humanoid figure with various shades of blue marking its somewhat gelatinous body. It had a clearly defined head and upper chest, with the rest of its body comprised of tentacles wrapped around each other to form limbs and a torso. A blue hourglass symbol glowed in the center of its chest.
[Suited Man]: (Eyes widen) “That...that symbol...”
The man pulled himself up against the wall, never taking his eyes off of the symbol on the figure’s chest.
[Suited Man]: (Confused) “I’ve seen that before, but...where? Why do I know that?”
[???]: “Don’t bother trying to figure it out. You don’t have the time.”
The man shot the new arrival a suspicious look at this odd statement.
[Suited Man]: “What do you mean?”
[???]: “You don’t remember? Let me spell it out for you.”
The figure’s left arm unwrapped into several tentacles, one of which made a sawing motion above its shoulder.
[???]: “I said I was going to kill you, remember?”
The suited man began backing away down the tunnel, his eyes widening in shock.
[Suited Man]: “That...that’s impossible! You should be dead!”
[Tess]: “That’s what I thought too. Unfortunately for you, it doesn’t look like I am.”
[Suited Man]: “I don’t understand what’s going on, but I can’t let you leave here alive!”
The suited man drew his pistol and took aim at the symbol lying at the center of Tess’s new form. He wasn’t quite sure what it would do, but figured that aiming at the large glowing target in the middle of his opponent’s body was a relatively safe call. Before Tess could react, he pulled the trigger, shooting a bullet that bounced off the symbol on her chest. The force of the shot pressed down on the dial, triggering a transformation back to her human form and slamming her against the cave wall.
[Tess]: (Scrambling to her feet) “Agh! Son of a bitch!”
[Suited Man]: (Cocking the pistol) “Hold still. This will go faster that way.”
[Tess]: “Not a fucking chance!”
Tess whipped up the device attached to her wrist and tapped down on the dial, causing it to pop up and display a simplified silhouette of some kind on its screen. She wasted no time slamming down on the dial again, transforming in another flash of multi-colored light. Before the suited man could react, he was slammed in the face by a charred-brown metal fist.
The suited man stumbled backwards, holding his now broken nose as blood began pouring out of it. He wasn’t given a chance to recover, however, as Tess grabbed him by the throat and lifted him into the air. Her new form was that ofan armored humanoid figure
with some sort of construct on its back that gave it a somewhat hunchbacked appearance.
[Suited Man]: (Choking) “You...can’t...do this!”
[Tess]: “And what’s stopping me?!”
Before waiting for a reply, Tess marched over to the mouth of the tunnel overlooking the ocean.
[Tess]: “I’d throw you down, but given that I managed to survive, I’d rather not take my chances with you.”
[Suited Man]: “You...idiot! I...may be a killer...but I...have the disposition...for it!”
[Tess]: “The hell’s that supposed to mean?”
Tess loosened her grip on the man’s throat, allowing him to speak better.
[Suited Man]: (Gasps for air) “I’m not like most people...I’m aware of that much. Most humans don’t wish to kill other people, and once your adrenaline rush ends and your anger subsides, what will become of you? Your conscience? You would be throwing away the very beauty I try to bring to light!”
[Tess]: “Let me get this straight. Killing you now would make everything you did here pointless for you?”
[Suited Man]: “Yes! You’ll have suffered for nothing!”
Tess paused for a moment to think. After a bit of considering her options, she aimed the arm holding the suited man off to the side a bit and began winding up what appeared to be a turbine of some sort in her arm.
[Tess]: “No. You’re the one who'll have suffered for nothing.”
[Suited Man]: “What are you-?!”
[Tess]: “I’ll just be able to sleep a bit more soundly at night.”
Before the suited man could protest any more, Tess dropped him, simultaneously shooting a massive burst of superheated air that sent him careening downwards at a diagonal angle. His trajectory sent him spiraling into a patch of sharp rocks jutting out of the ocean. As he was about to hit the water, he was suddenly impaled through the stomach on one of these rocks, letting out a yell of shock and a few weak gurgles before falling silent.
Tess silently stared down at the unmoving body of the suited man with a stern expression. After a few moments, her own body suddenly jerked backwards, as if something was fighting to escape from her own skin. She reached for the odd symbol on her chest and pressed down on it, reverting to human in another flash of light. She stumbled backward for a few moments before falling to her knees and fighting back the urge to vomit.
[Tess]: (Gasping) “What...what the hell was that?!”
She managed to pull herself together enough to crawl forward to the mouth of the tunnel, looking back down at the rocks the suited man had been impaled on. His limp body seemed to have disappeared, leaving behind nothing but a stain of blood that was almost impossible to see in the darkness of the night.
After a bit, she got up and began stumbling back down the tunnel she had come from. As she walked, her brain began to process the series of events that had just taken place. Everything seemed to crash into her at once, as she stopped walking and slowly sank to the ground. Anger, fear, and stress crashed over her in waves, grinding all rational thought to a halt. Unable to make any kind of sense out of what was going on, all she could do was sit there and wish for all of this to just end.
She was there for a very long time.
Welp, that's all the series concepts for this round. Reform is probably going to become an actual series, but I can't promise anything. Be sure to leave your thoughts on these in the comments section below!