Monday, February 29, 2016

New Pom Pom Angel: First Dates pt. 5

I rushed down the street, sweat dripping down my forehead.  I needed to get the Café Bubble fast, before everything went wrong.  I was an idiot to think for one second that Regina could pick a good person.  Regina was a demon, for crying out loud!

I could see the café on the next block.  I slowed my run to a jog, and then finally a casual walk.  I ran my sleeve over my forehead. I needed to act like this was nothing special, like I was just checking in.  I needed to make sure that Gus didn’t lose confidence in me. 

Sure, I had made a dumb decision in going with Raven, but dammit, she seemed like such a good person.  It wasn’t just the research that I did, either.  It was the feeling I got from her.  My Angel Senses were tingling! That usually only happens with good people.  But when Mama reminded me about Regina… well…

Before I could reach the café I felt a hand roughly grab the back of my shirt and yank me into the alley next to the building. 

My back hit the brick wall hard, and I found myself nose to nose with Regina.  Her eyes were glowing red with hellfire, and she looked pissed. 

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” She was spitting mad. 

“I could ask you the same question!” I pulled my shirt free from her clenched fist, and pushed myself off the wall.  “You tricked me.  You made me think that Raven was a good person so that I would set him up with her again.” 

“I… what?”  Regina shook her head, the hellfire dying from her eyes. “No! Raven was a mistake! I had meant to set him up with Skull Crusher, the muscular Swedish dominatrix with an affinity for glass tables.” 

“Glass tables?” I cocked my head to the side, confused.

“Don’t ask.” Regina shuddered. “Anyways, I thought you had figured out my mistake, and were trying to rub my face in it.”

“I…” I paused.  So, Mama had just been testing me.  “Well, it’s too late now. Unless you want to go in there like a psycho, and…” I grabbed her arm, stopping her from walking towards the café. “The rules are the rules, Regina.  The date is in progress.  We can only watch.”

She pulled her arm free.  “Fine, then let’s get front row seats for Gus’s latest dating disaster.”

Looking like a pouty child, Regina headed towards the café  I followed her in, suddenly hopeful that I made the right choice.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Tentacle University 2: The Sorority pt. 2

Stephen Markham sat at his desk, his eyes closed, the heels of his hands rubbing at his temples.  How had it gotten to this?  Bethany was dead, and it was all because of those damn pictures.  Even though no one had said anything to his face, he knew what the word was around campus.  

They thought he had taken and posted them.  

The kicker was, he hadn’t.  He had no idea where those pictures had come from, or how they had gotten on his GreekLife page.  He had been hacked before, but it was usually just one of the guys from the house, and it never had been anything like that. Those pictures were… cruel.  

When Stephen had questioned the other brothers involved in the past three photo incidents they had all said the same thing.  Yes, the pictures had been taken in their rooms, but no, they hadn’t taken them, and they sure as fuck hadn’t posted them online.  

Then how the hell was someone taking those pictures?

He leaned back, sighing loudly.  Even though he hadn’t posted those pictures, he still felt guilty.  Bethany’s death still ripped him up inside.  She had been so sweet, and Stephen had actually really liked her.  Sure, he hadn’t known her all that well, but she seemed like the kind of girl he could have started something with.  Now, that would never happen.

The door to his room opened, and Stephen opened his eyes.  His roommate, Chad, walked in.  He had been accused number two.  Photos of a guy he had been seeing had shown up on the web, first on Chad’s GreekLife page, and then later on some anti-gay forums that a few students at the school had started.  Chad had claimed his innocence at the time as well, and Stephen had paid him lip service, but he hadn’t really believed him.

Now, though…

“You look like shit.” Chad plopped down on his single bed on the far side of the room.  

“I feel like shit.” Stephen sat up and stretched.  “I can’t stop thinking about her.”

“I know.” Chad shook his head. “So, what do we do about it?”

Stephen looked at him, confused.

“We know we didn’t take those pictures,” said Chad, “but someone did, and we need to find out who.  This shit needs to stop, man.  The son of a bitch who did this to me ruined any chance I had at starting something with Lance, and now this whole disaster with Bethany... “

Stephen’s brain kicked into high gear. “Hey, you still got any of the photos?”

“Are you kidding me? I trashed my old computer just in case.  Those things are fucking evil.” Chad was on his feet now. “Why?”

Stephen didn’t say anything.  Instead he turned to his computer, and did a search on Bethany.  Instantly he was greeted by those now familiar photos.  The nudity had been blurred out, but her face was still clearly visible.  He glanced from the photo, then back at his room.  His head swiveled back and forth, from the computer, then to his room.  

“Holy shit…” he muttered.

Chad was standing next to him now.  “What?”

“Someone hacked our fucking web cameras.”


It didn’t take much for Stephen to get proof that his computer was hacked, and a little extra digging showed that every laptop in the Delta Alpha Kappa house had been hit by the same IP address.  

Sure, the information would clear his name, and the names of his friends, but more importantly, it would help them find the son of a bitch who had humiliated Bethany, and the others.  

When he presented the information to Dean Stanton, he had requested that Rachel Fischer, and the other Sorority presidents were present.  He had doubts that they would come, but on the day of the meeting, Rachel was there, as well as representatives from three other houses.  

They had all been there when Stephen had given the Dean copies of all his research, and the list of IP addresses that led back to the hacker.

“Listen, if our house got hit, then that means every single house on Greek Row is probably hacked as well, not to mention the dorms.” Stephen glanced back at Rachel.  “Someone has been spying on us, taking pictures of us, hacking our social media accounts. I got you everything here, but my access is limited.  Still, there is enough in those files to prove to you, and everyone else in this room, that my friends and I not only didn’t post those pictures, we didn’t take them.”

“Well…” Dean Stanton stood up, handing the documents and discs off to Smithers, “thank you Stephen for doing such thorough work, and I promise that my office will look into your claims.  However…” He paused.

Stephen felt his stomach drop.  He glanced at Rachel again, expecting to see surprise or shock on her face.  Instead she was shaking her head, as if she already knew what the Dean was about to say next.  

Dean Stanton started again. “After the suicide of that young woman, we think it is best that Hartford allow proper time for the students and families involved to grieve before further investigating these claims.  You understand that Hartford is in a very sensitive position, and our aim right now is to…”  

“You want everyone to forget about Bethany, right?” Rachel laughed. “Someone actually gives you evidence that you can use to shut down the pervert who has been spying on all of us, and you want to sit on it? What bullshit.”

“Miss Fischer,” Smithers looked flustered, “such language!”

“No,” Stephen glanced back at the Dean, “she’s right.  That is complete and total bullshit.”  

Dean Stanton sat at his desk, watching the students before him.  He was smirking, his hands clasped over his slight belly.  “While I understand your frustration, you must allow the school to handle this situation as it sees fit.” He leaned forward. “Now, as far as you are concerned, the matter is closed.  Leave this up to the grown ups, okay?”

And suddenly the meeting was over.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Eye See You: Infection pt. 26

“He’s in apartment 306.” Dina pointed her light towards the door.

I walked towards it, pulling a small, heavy crowbar from my backpack. I tried to knob. Locked. I reared back, giving the door a hard kick. It gave easily, the thin, cheap wood cracking under the pressure.

I looked at Dina, and she nodded.

We headed into the apartment.

It was a studio apartment, with a small bed pushed to the left side of the room, and an easy chair in the right corner. The sound of computers humming was only slightly louder than the intense buzzing of flies.

The air was stale and rank, the smell of rotted human flesh and God only knew what else smacked me in the face.

I shined the light towards the bed. My stomach lurched.

It was Randy.

His chest was ripped open, his face rotting away. Flies seemed to fill the gory chasm in the middle of his torso.

“Oh God.” I turned, my hand going over my mouth.

“Holy shit!” Dina stepped back, bumping into me.

I looked up, and saw that she had her light pointed towards the easy chair.

When I saw what she was looking at, I nearly screamed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Rituals pt. 8

When I awoke, Doug and Alana standing over me, I suddenly knew what I needed to do.  I didn’t know how I knew, or who had told me, but I knew. 

“We need to find their leader.” I sat up so quickly that both Alana and Doug stepped back. 

“Find their… Are you out of your mind?” Alana laughed. “We don’t have time, Ren John.”

Doug just watched me, his eyes narrowed.  “What did you see?”

“I’ll tell you later.”  I stood up, my body aching.  It didn’t matter, though.  I had a mission.  “Just trust me on this.  If we want to save New Eden, then we have to do this.  We have to take out the leader of those… things.”

Alana looked at me like I was crazy. 

To be honest, I wasn’t sure she was wrong.

A bit of trivia!

So, as Rituals moves along I thought I would drop this bit of Square Zero trivia here.

Accidental Demon Slayers, Pom Pom Angel and Tentacle University are all set in the same universe. Why mention it now?  Well, because Rituals is going to be the story that starts bringing all those other stories together.  So be on the look out for a few familiar faces as Rituals continues! (And I promise, I have planned it this way all along.)

Also, Rituals and Ruins, while eventually connecting with the other series, are actually set in an alternate "possible" timeline.

So, as a handy little guide, here is how the stories do, or don't connect.

The Zero-verse

  • Accidental Demon Slayers (including Letters from the Dead)
  • Pom Pom Angel 
  • Tentacle University

The Alterna-verse

  • Rituals 
  • Ruins

The Viral-verse

  • Eye See You

Basically, the Zero-verse and the Viral-verse are two completely separate universes.  The Alterna-verse runs between all potential worlds, and works as a world possibilities. The events in the Alterna-verse can happen in the main universe, but they also can be avoided.

This is something that I have been slowly developing over time, and now that I have a more solid idea of how it is all going to piece together, I thought I would share it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Eye See You: Infection pt. 25

The inside of the building was dark and dusty. The smell of rot and decay was stronger, seemingly trapped in the decrepit structure. Behind the closed doors of the apartments I could hear the sounds of flies buzzing.

“His apartment was on third floor.” She started towards the stairs.

I stopped her, handing her a flashlight from the backpack slung over my shoulder. “You ready for this?”

“Do we have much choice?” She turned her flashlight on. “Virus reached New York today. Who knows how far it will get tomorrow.”

I couldn’t argue with her. This whole situation was escalating quickly. Fifty people, that we knew of, had died this morning several states away. Who knew how many blocks were like this one? Unseen, unreported and completely decimated.

We started up the steps, stopping briefly on the second floor to scan the hallway with our lights.

One of the apartment doors was open, a body lay half out. The skin was green and puffy, and flies clung to the collapsed flesh of the person’s face.

“Mrs. Harper.” Dina bit her lip. “She had two kids. Worked at the Walgreens down the street.”

“Do you want to check to see if her kids are…”

“I doubt it.” Dina started up the last flight of stairs.

I followed her, my fear growing with every step I took. We were close now. Maybe not to ending it, but to at least figuring out what the hell was going on.

Monday, February 22, 2016

New Pom Pom Angel: First Dates pt. 4

I rushed down out of the apartment, and down the hall to the apartment that Regina had moved into.  I banged on the door hard enough that my fists hurt. 

“Regina?” I hit harder. “Regina, open up! I need to ask you something!”

The door opened, and a young man poked his head out.  He was pale, with shiny black hair that was short in the back, but long in the front, his bangs hanging over his striking silver eyes. 

“What do you want?” His voice was low, slow and not too happy to see me. 

“I… I need to speak to Regina!” I was suddenly having a hard time catching my breath.

“You’re that angel she keeps going on about, aren’t you?” He smirked. “Missy, right?”

“Yes, listen, I really…” I tried to push past him, to see into the apartment. 

“Name is Dante.  I’m Regina’s brother.” He took my hand, giving it a healthy shake. “Anyone who gives my sister a hard time is someone I like. So, let me help you out Missy.  Regina isn’t here.  She’s out stalking that Gus guy.  Apparently he’s going on a second date with one of her picks. She wants to see how it goes.” 

Shit!  How long had I been asleep?  I looked down at my watch, and saw that it was almost seven.  At least I knew where the date was.  I could probably get there in time to stop Regina from doing whatever she had planned.

“Thank you!”  I don’t know why, but I jumped up and hugged Dante.

“You’re welcome.” He watched me as I ran away.  “As repayment, maybe you could introduce me to that Nando guy? He’s kind of my type.” 

“Sure!” I waved at him as I darted down the stairs, and out of the building.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Accidental Demon Slayers 2 Game Update

So, if you haven't check out the actual game page yet, I'll post the update here.

Sadly, this isn't a good update.

I'm basically having to start from scratch.  Due to a computer issue, all the files that I've been working on are long gone. So, after starting over, I've got maybe 5% of the game done. While this obviously isn't good news, or the news that I wanted to be announcing, I'm not giving up.

Hopefully I can get more work done over the weekend, and maybe give a more hopeful update.