The writing contest portion of Fanon Con culminates in an epic battle of Beast VS Beast! Who will win? Who will lose? Who cares, these entries are both amazing! Still, only one can be declared the definitive best, so let's get onto that judgement, shall we?
The world is not a nice place. MY world is not a nice place. My family and I have been settlers and farmers here for so many solar cycles that I've lost count. Keeping track wasn't doing me any good anyway. My mate was right when she said keeping track of numbers every hour of every cycle would drive me mad.
Some people call this place Hell. I feel like that's a little extreme. The Plumbers know of us, but they still call this place the Null Void.
My family calls it home. It's the only name that sounds right.
My children Gham and Rodin were out processing our Ground and Crystal Root, and my mate Lup walked alongside me, Drek, as we carried along the Blood Root in a basket back to our village. Yes, there were lots of roots. But in our Home, we must take advantage of what we can. I never meant for my family to end up here, farming roots and tending to fields. But life, for quite possibly every being in the universe, is tricky like that. And sometimes-
“Drek, my love. Snap out of those deep thoughts of yours and talk to me!”
Lup always brings me back down to Earth after such a deep contemplation. I'm quite fortunate to have her. We talked for the rest of the trek back from our fields, across the boulders that float, static in the air. Deeper red skies here in our Home signify that the evening has arrived, and this evening proved to be special. A special guest that has come to visit our village more and more lately has told our chief of a holiday called “Giving Thanks?” Or was it “Thanks Giving?” Ah, no matter. Our chiefs decided we had enough resources for a celebratory feast, and this holiday was excitedly brought to their attention to the foreigner. So a decree was made that every family would harvest a small portion of their crop and join in the center for a rousing supper. Smiles wouldn’t leave our faces as hurried through the entrance of our village towards our chief’s tent. But Gham and Rodin came running our way, smiles replaced with grimaces of fear. Something was wrong.
“Father! Mother! Criminals have escaped from the prison!” Gham yelled from down the road.
Lup and I dropped our harvest and all 4 of us ran for the village. “Rodin, when did this start?!” I yelled over to my other sun. His breath was quickened and he panted through each word. “Not...too...long...ago! They must’ve...saw us bringing in all of this food...and decided to try and take it for themselves!” We finally made it to our village, only to find it utterly ransacked. The huts our eyes met were of Alpha Section and were devastated all around us, crumbled to pieces by flames, physical attacks, viscous slimes, and other means. I saw no fellow villagers, but this could’ve been good or bad. I signaled my family to head east, towards the Beta Section huts. From the looks of it, those huts, along with ours, hadn’t been touched. We quickly reached our abode, frantically unearthing our weapons from hidden holes all around. It was not much. A simple farming scythe from our living room, two blades from a decorative vase, and two dense irrigation pipes, one for both of my sons. It broke my heart seeing my family arm themselves, each taking off their work hats one by one. Truthfully, we are a peaceful race. We fight when we must, but it is a risk every time. We are farmers, not warriors. But our village is unified. Men, women and children alike would take up arms to protect the village, its resources and its elders and infants. Though we are all not related, the bond sewn throughout this village is strong, and we will never leave one another behind.
My family and I hurried outside, and I pressed my forehead to each of theirs. I stepped back, looking into each of their eyes and made a fist to my chest. “I love you all. Be safe. Stay alive.” They made the same fist back and responded back to me. “We love you. Be safe. Stay alive.”
Suddenly a curious sound made itself apparent, and we all turned back to back, weapons at the ready. Amongst the sound of wreckage and fire farther in the center were...the sounds of beating wings. And maniacal, terrifying laughter. Looking to the skies, we all laid eyes on a squadron of 6-8 Lepidopterrans, buzzing about in a triangle formation. One in the front released a piercing screech, and each began to fire bullet after bullet of acidic spit. “BACK IN THE HOUSE!”, I yelled to my family, and all 4 of us pushed into the door. Falling to the floor, I covered all three of them as the attack pelted our roof. Dust and bits of stone crumbled down until the attack had stopped. A putrid smell had begun to overtake our senses, and a glance upwards saw the house’s structural integrity being melted by the lethal substance. We all stood and ran for the back entrance, pushing out into the alley and coughing violently. Our hut was in ruins, disintegrating into nothingness before us, but we had to keep moving. I pulled them up one by one, and pushed them to get going in the alley. “We stay together!!!”, I yelled to them.
We all began to head for the center, going the long way and weaving in between houses as to avoid the Lepidopterrans. The buzzing was heard again, along with that loud screech. No time to think. I pushed Lup and Rodin to the side, and grabbed Gham as we fell to either side of the alley, underneath the thin shade of two hut roofs. Just barely shielded enough to avoid the attack, another wave of acid ripped up the gravel of the road we traveled on. I nodded to Lup and Rodin, who gave a nod back. I pulled Gham up and we all continued on as the Lepidopterrans began to pull up for another circle back. “Can we keep holding them off like this?”, Rodin yelled to me. I couldn’t answer back; I wasn’t certain myself. We kept traveling under the rooftops until we made it to the edge of Alpha Section, where just a quick scaling up a wall would lead us into the main section, where our village was containing most of the fighting. But with a squadron of Lepidopterrans trying to kill us, staying in plain sight wasn’t the best idea.
All 4 of us scrambled for the rock wall, with Lup and I stopping to make footholds for our children. Gham and Rodin leaped up off of our hands, and scrambled up as the criminals up above reached the top of our swoop. I ran over to Lup and helped her up just as fast, making sure she made it up before I made my attempt. I latched onto the wall quickly and began to hastily scale up, but the horrid sounds of beating wings and strained screeching shot panic through my heart, with me only halfway up. “Run! Go, now!” I yelled up to my mate and sons. “Father, no! We won’t leave you!” Gham yelled down, reaching for my hands. He was just out of reach. I waved back up at them. “THAT’S NOT UP FOR DISCUSSION! YOU ALL LEAVE, NOW!” Lup pulled my sons by their shoulders with tears in her eyes, and I watched them disappear behind the cliff face. I turned back to the sound of acid hitting stone, and watched in terror as the squadron sped towards me. I clenched the stone in my hands and shut my eyes tight, waiting for the inevitable. I wished for my family’s safety, keeping their faces in my thoughts as the criminals flew closer and closer.
Null Guardians had arrived.
From past the cliff face, 4 of the grey, many toothed angels, all side by side, began to fire blazing hot beams of energy that completely wiped out every Lepidopterran in their path. My attackers were completely incinerated, leaving me stunned. I took a breath, and continued up the wall to see my mate and sons, hidden in the wreckage of another hut. We all embraced in a tearful group hug, holding each other in the tightest grips we could provide. The Guardians circled around, and as they approached, we could see...riders. Other beings in brown cloth robes had tamed these amazing beasts, and one of them extended his hand as they pulled around next to us.
“Is everyone okay? I’m sorry for the trouble, this Thanksgiving isn’t turning out as good as I wanted it too. We won’t leave you here to fend for yourselves. Hop on, we have a mess to clean up.”
“All that matters is that there were no deaths today, thanks to you all. You’ve already been such an incredible help keeping watch over our village for the past few cycles. I must ask. What are your names?”
All of the riders finally took off their hoods.
“This is Manny Armstrong, Helen and Pierce Wheels, and usually these three call me The Wrench. But if you and your village can keep tight lips, you can call me Max.”
The two shook hands as we all looked on.
“Now what do you say about us seeing what we can salvage from the crop we’ve all gathered? I’ll be the first to tell you that you’re gonna LOVE my new recipe I’ve brought along: pink pygmy squishers, raw and still squishing! Enough for everybody!” The chief began to walk with Max towards more people in the center while his team followed behind them, all wearing disgusted, yet accepting faces, prompting chuckles out of my family. I hugged Lup, Rodin and Gham tight and smiled.
It might not have been my first choice, but this is our Home; this is MY Home.
My opinion on this entry hasn't changed since I covered it in the Normal Writing Contest blog, so go read that if you want my full thoughts. Suffice to say I really like it.
|THE ULTIMATE EVIL: A Short Story by Beast
Green. Green. GREEN. I’m so SICK of the color green. Even my own putrid skin is the color green. I’ve lost count of how many days I’ve been in Hell. It’s been two halves of a full millenia. Half in that God-forsaken wasteland of a jungle, being eaten by predators over, and over, and OVER, until I finally evolved with the strength to protect myself from being eaten throat first, and half in HERE, this green Limbo of a world with pillars of the strange material reaching into this artificial sky.
The only solace I get; the only solace ANY of us trapped in his Hell get is when the Devil brings us out to fight. Only then do we see a new world, a view as refreshing to the eyes as one can be when you’ve been staring down the Pit and its eternal flame for as long as you can bare it. We’re weapons to him. Tools to get the job done when our weak, and long since forgotten forms can’t get his jobs done. He doesn’t even know of the suffering he’s caused; he doesn’t know what’s happened to us and what we’ve lost for him to gain a few advantages in his petty battles.
The blue, metallic one used to be smaller; used to be able to duplicate himself however many times he wanted. But every time one of those clones died...not knocked unconscious. His dupes could keep going from a knockout. But every time a clone DIED...every time he was eaten, smashed, torn apart, decapitated and swallowed, whatever the damage...it was like losing a limb. Each clone was the equivalent of an arm or a leg, severed from his body. Do you know what pushed him to evolve? It wasn’t to survive attacks from his predators or to live longer, in general. He wanted the pain to stop. But even he couldn’t have that. It still hurts him when he breaks one of those disks he throws around. Just a little less, now. But if you ask me, I’d rather lose just a finger than an arm.
The red moth thing has gone crazy. I caught him so many times just huddling in front of the fire the Pit spits out. But it’s the only thing he really knows if you think about it. His entire life before he was dropped here was in a desert, with nothing to see except three burning suns that never went down, the red sands of his world, and more giant moth beasts, bigger than him, and capable of taking over his mind, leaving him powerless to protest the gnawing of his flesh. That’s if the beasts caught him before he died of heatstroke. Not only was he a walking target, with the blue of his skin standing out against the red earth, the three suns that illuminated his world warmed it so constantly that he couldn’t cool himself down. And he would die. Again, and again, and again...until his world MADE him turn down the heat. He said he puffed out ice until his lungs burned, until the world froze over completely, and the three suns dimmed. Only then was he dumped here. With this newfound power also came completed shutdown of his nerves. He can’t feel anything now. No touch, no sensation...his body has gone cold. Maybe he sticks around the Pit to experience ANY feeling now. Even if it’s the feeling of his flesh searing to a crisp.
The fat one can curl into a ball to roll around and crush his enemies. But the spikes he wears on his back, and his tough hide were not easily gained. He tells me his world was darkened, and that his beady little eyes couldn’t make out anything in the inky blackness. But his other 4 senses worked just fine. His deaths were swift, but not any less excruciating. He never got to see what they looked like, but his predator was one that possessed some sort of skewer. Whether that be its mouth, hands, or horn he doesn’t know. But the only thing he does know about his predator is that it doesn’t eat its’ prey whole. The predator jabbed this skewer into the fat one in the guise of the darkness every single time, through the head, eyes, stomach, almost every part of his body, he says, and would drink him DRY. What made this his Hell, he explained, wasn’t his grisly deaths. It was the fact that each could not be anticipated in such a dark place. Each time the fat one smelled the stench of the beast creeping in, he would immediately surrender, and just stand. Sometimes the skewer would come immediately. Sometimes a few hours after that, sometimes a few minutes after. But one day he had enough, and became either so bold, or so insane, that he peeled his original yellow plating away from his skin and allowed it to scab over and over, layer after layer. His scars had eventually hardened into a thick grey coat that could actually hold its own against a skewer. But still, with every new life he lived, he would tear it off once again to grow it thicker and thicker, even sticking torn flesh back onto his head to create extra defense in the form of points. And his body conformed to the dramatic change he subjected himself to. Flexing muscles where the pain is most severe force the exposed flesh to poke the points on his body out, turning him into the ultimate defensive being, and equally earned him a spot amongst our ranks.
The plant tells me that he’s dying, every second of his existence, even within our green prison. A dry environment with no water or nutrients forced his body to start EATING itself. His many deaths were the result of his body having no more energy to give itself, and leaving him a husk that would die not too much long after. That is, until his body began to tap into his burning flame inside. The plant is also able to produce fire from his hands, and instead of using it to fight, or to just sear his husk of a body alive to end the pain and get onto his next life, his body began to eat at his fire and get its power from there, giving him a few years more to live. But soon, his flame just wasn’t enough anymore. So, to make more energy at the expense of his physique, his form is in a fixed state between life and death. With more of his energy going to his fire to feed his body, his flames turned blue and more sustaining; at the same time, his skin turned brittle and dead, falling off even when he walks, sometimes. His body had become almost like a star, eating away at himself. And if or when this body of his runs out of energy? Who knows what will happen.
The monkey scares me the most. But I also feel the most sympathy towards his situation. He wasn't scared like the rest of us. His survival instincts kicked in on Day 1, and never turned off. He moved, he fought, he DIED…..and he learned. Learned a new technique to avoid being killed. Made himself tools...and when the tools got too inconvenient for him, he made HIMSELF the tool. The monkey began to dig through and yank forward dormant bones near his ribs that had since been shrunken down from underuse out through his sides. And they only got longer and longer with each death of his. Survival is one thing, but instead of evolving from it like we did, the monkey DEVOLVED. He grew fatter and stronger with each kill, eating until he could burst. The arms coming out of his ribs began to grow and once they fully set in with skin and all, he set to work improving himself by getting rid of his extra arms over a few thousand more deaths and…even I don't want to get further into that. The point is, this Hell made the monkey go crazy, but he might be the smartest out of all of us if he began to fight for his future like that since the beginning.
And that leaves me, I suppose. Who knows if the others had parents that brought them in their worlds, because I never asked...but I did. My own mother ate me so many times before I gathered enough strength to attack her throat or eyes RIGHT when I was birthed. And then I ran away, to be attacked somewhere in the jungle, or in the desert, or the lake that wasn't too far from my home. Something always lurked where I wanted to go; I know it did. But that's where the food, water and shelter was. And if I wanted those things, I was gonna have to get my hands dirty. Literally. There came the time to improve my body as well. Joints in my fingers were broken. Built up my pain tolerance, but broke a lot of bones in the process. But I found out that a good enough squeeze would shoot the remaining fragments out in a spray. Adding rocks and flint and whatever I could find only made those fragments more solid, and to a further extent, flammable. I pushed myself to grow until my muscles tore, now able to reach even taller than before. And all along, I didn’t know my survival through countless lives and deaths was all so that the Devil could have some muscle.
He put us here in this prison. His face, his body, his voice, everything about him had been burned into our minds, and we would gladly give another arm or leg or eye if it meant the chance to meet him face to face, and have him see firsthand just what he did to every single one of us. He stole our innocence, our sanity, our identities, and our beings from us. The Devil must be stopped. He must be killed.
Holy shit Beast, I'm glad you were enthusiastic about the contest, but you didn't have to literally murder your competition. This is the best goddamn thing I've read on this wiki, and that's not even me being hyperbolic. The insight this provides into something that was such a small part of the original canon not only makes the entry itself an amazing story, but it actually makes the canon it references even better on top of that, which is no easy feat.
Congratulations to Beast for winning, and many thanks to all those who participated! Make sure to stay tuned for the rest of Fanon Con! Tomorrow is the final stepping stone for our Fanon Con competitors, the Art Competition! Will Beast sweep this Fanon Con, or will someone be able to sneak up and claim a surprise victory at the last moment? Check back in tomorrow to find out!