LNH20: Post-Metal Doomcore #2: "The Duel Named Friendship"

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Drew Nilium

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Jan 26, 2022, 12:57:02 AMJan 26
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LNH20 presents:
POST-METAL DOOMCORE!
Featuring Imperilus the Exterminating Son!
S01E02: "The Duel Named Friendship"
by Drew Nilium

====

[Warning for fantasy gore]

Roaring in basal delight, Imperilus punched all the way thru a draconic ogre,
guts coming out the other side.

[See, what'd I tell you]

As the monster gasped its last, he could feel a burst of incandescent power flow
into his flesh.

Imperilus was a pretty simple dude. When he had ended up in that last universe
[Hungry, Hungry Sabertooths! #17 - Ed.(UE)], his head had gotten full of this
weird energy that made him way stronger, and when he had left [HHS! #47 -
Ed.(UE)], it had gone away. He rolled with that kind of thing - easy come, easy go.

And now, in this weird world, every time he killed a monster, he got an all-over
wave of a different kind of weird energy, which felt like something between
having sex and eating a really good hoagie. Which, let's face it, he would've
been killing monsters anyway, but it was a *great* motivator.

As Imperilus turned to face a horde of spider-goblins, a faraway mind watched
the Experience Points streaming into the warrior's body and soul. The plan was
going better than they could ever have dreamed...

====

It was a struggle, but I had to face facts: I am gay for girls.

Specifically, the struggle was between the desire to kick out the weirdos who
intruded into my space and get some alone time, and the desire to eat pizza with
a bunch of stone cold hotties. My depression and social anxiety are powerful
foes, but they simply cannot contend with the force of my queer.

I was sitting on the old beanbag rescued from my college dorm, eating a slice
(oh yeah, not having to cook was also a factor) and quietly absorbing the
intense, colorful energies the foursome were giving off. But I did have to ask.
"So... where are you all *from*?"

"I'm from Oregon!" said Harper, the cute, nerdy one who probably wasn't far out
of college herself. "But these two were talking about being from another world
so you were probably asking them."

"Oh, yes," said Velaria, who I was pretty sure was some kind of elf, and who I
was very sure could crush me between her arm muscles. "We... well, it turns out
our world wasn't real."

"It was a comic written by spiders, or something?" said Maitrakh, the absurdly
voluptuous one with the lobster-red skin and the metal bikini. *Wow*. "I don't
really get it."

"Oh, well," said Taurea, the adorable short girl in the blue robes and the
shaven head. "Our world is a comic too." Wait, what?

Harper sat up straight, mouth in a surprised O! "You believe in Author Theory too?"

"Ah, no-- well, sort of--" Taurea flapped her hands a bit, blushing, then sat up
and folded them in her lap. *Jeez* cute. "So, what I'm talking about is the
spiritual philosophy of the Order of CMYK. You see, the world was created by the
gods, who drew and wrote and sang it into existence, and its existence continues
because the Key, who is not part of our time, continues the act of creation for
all eternity.'

"The Key?" asked Maitrakh, scratching her head.

"The Missing God of the @lantean pantheon." Taurea gestured to her robe. "Cyan,
Magenta, Yellow, Key. Every god is associated with a color, and the one for
black is nameless and unknown; they are the space between stars, and as long as
that emptiness persists, so too does our world."

"Yeah, well." Velaria sighed. "I was never good at religion, but if we had one
of those, they got unlocked, and everything I-- we-- knew blew apart like
dandelion seeds, scattering to the four winds." There, that expression - I knew
it way too well, from all that staring in the mirror.

An awkward silence settled over the room, almost comfortable in its oppressive
weight.

Taurea squeezed her hands around each other. "Uh... may I...?"

Velaria nodded, staring off into space.

"You know... stories never really die. Every story that never gets finished
becomes something in the writer's mind, like... like compost, turning into fresh
soil, and the ideas in it get reused in something else. Someday... someday you
might find the things you remember, in another form."

"..." Velaria's expression was unreadable. "...thank you. I'm... if I could use
your bathroom."

"Oh, sure," I said. "Right down the hall at the end."

"Thank you."

"They had bathrooms in your world?" said Harper.

"Oh yeah," said Maitrakh. "Rune was so relieved..."

Things relaxed after that, and eventually, we finished off the pizzas. I cleared
away the boxes, sticking them behind the trash can. I'd have to take that out
eventually... maybe one of them would come with me, in case there were monsters?
No, that was probably asking too much...

"So, you were gonna raid the LNHQ basements?" said Harper, checking over her armor.

"Yeah, the El Naich Queue! Sounds like a big dungeon."

"Nobody knows how big, I hear," said Taurea.

"Then, you're going to do something about the monsters?" I said, surprised I was
getting my hopes up but unable to not - looking at these women, it was hard to
imagine something they *couldn't* handle.

"Hells yeah!" said Maitrakh, flexing. "The Slayers of the Net are on the job!"

"Awesome! Then let's get going!" Harper hopped up and grabbed one of her rocket
gloves!

I opened my mouth, closed it, opened it again, let it hang. Was I about to tell
them they could come back? Did I want them to? They were hot, sure, but did I
want to invite this kind of chaos into my life? And where was Velaria? "...where
*is* Velaria?"

"...hey yeah, did she fall in?" Maitrakh ran down the hall and banged on the
door. "Yo yo yo! ...yo?"

She turned the knob... and the room was empty! Velaria had disappeared!

====

Imperilus could feel the power within him rising up, almost to the point of
boiling over; the slightest push would do... *something*, and he wanted to find
out what it was!

Looking around the slimy dungeon, he spotted a demon-cockroach scuttling out of
the stony walls, and ran over, bringing his foot down on it with a satisfying
crunch!

DING! A bell-like noise reverberated through the floor, and the power exploded
out from inside him, forming a fearsome aura!

"You have done well, O adventurer!" came a booming voice from nowhere. "Now, you
have achieved your first level... of *summoner*! Focus your mind, and bring
forth your servant!"

YES! The power was churning within him, and all he had to was reach out... and...

PFAMF! In a rush of brimstone, a mighty elvish servant appeared before him!

"...what," said Velaria.

====

Drew "finding a structure to this narrative" Nilium
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