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Renegade the Unicorn

Idiot Friends
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Renegade the Unicorn last won the day on May 30

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About Renegade the Unicorn

  • Rank
    Hi, how are you
  • Birthday 01/05/1998

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  • AIM
    for the toilet next time! I had to clean off your pee! D:<
  • MSN
    Before Christ
  • Website URL
    What you're reading right now.
  • ICQ
    ...Isn't that like the ER?
  • Yahoo
    is my homepage.
  • Jabber
    jaw gets no respect.
  • Skype
    is total crap.

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Pronoun
    He
  • Interests
    -Cartoons

    -Music

    -Youtube

    -Bacon
  • Location
    Singing the blues and walking the cow.
  • Favorite Episode
    Tea at the Treedome
  • Favorite Character
    Plankton

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  1. Renegade the Unicorn

    The SpongeBoard!

    #4?! FREAKING SWEET!
  2. Renegade the Unicorn

    Seahorse Rodeo

    ROUND 'EM UP
  3. Renegade the Unicorn

    First Bad Episode and First Terrible Episode of the show.

    Honestly? First bad episode: Fear of A Krabby Patty. First terrible: All That Glitters
  4. Renegade the Unicorn

    What is this, a crossover episode?!

    Fave Arthur ep?
  5. Renegade the Unicorn

    Aretha Franklin, dead at age 76

    I have, unfortunately, never heard of her before today. Nonetheless, she will be miss.
  6. Renegade the Unicorn

    Ask Patty Sponge

    Spot of tea?
  7. Renegade the Unicorn

    SBC's 9th Year Anniversary

    Happy b-day SBC!
  8. Renegade the Unicorn

    Power Rangers: Multiverse Force

    Reborn: Part II Previously, on Power Rangers: Multiverse Force… When Firehawk died in the battle against the Zero Girls, Beryl came to the realization that Dr. Maniac had gone too far in his ambitions. Working with her surviving court members, she devised a plan to indirectly kill him via a gambit using the Rangers. Once he was struck down by an enraged Kras’hir, the Rangers began planning a trek once more into the Warp in order to resurrect Firehawk and the Zero Girls. In due time, Blackhawk and Starhawk found love with one another, and Ebony and Toby were unceremoniously booted from the team. As they begin their journey into the space between realms, Trazyn begins his own journey to save Firehawk… Once they entered the Warp, the Rangers, and Kras’hir, were immediately taken somewhere. They ended up in a city on fire. As soon as they arrived, Kras’hir began screaming, collapsing to the ground and curling up in a ball. “She lives!” the Daemoness screamed. “She lives!” “Who?” Usagi asked, rushing to her side, before noticing a familiar girl in the distance. “Oh, fuck me.” “Alma…” Kras’hir muttered. “Alma…” The girl slowly approached them, humming a tune. “I...I thought she sacrificed herself to bring your father back to life, Blackhawk…” Starhawk whispered. “You expected me to willingly die to resurrect that worm?” Alma said. “The girl that you saw die was but a part of me, a fractured, weak splinter of my consciousness. She is dead. I am not.” “...What do you want?” Naruto asked, demonic fox-like features forming on his body. “Do not attempt to scare me.” Alma responded. “I am not one of the beasts you face on a regular basis, Ranger.” “Alma.” Lettuce approached her calmly yet carefully. “We mean you no harm.” “You Rangers are not even my focus at the moment.” She said. “I am currently warring with the Chaos Gods.” “Nope.” Lettuce said, walking back towards the group. “Not touching this one.” “We’re just looking for our friends.” Usagi said. “Have they been here?” “Briefly.” Alma replied. “Can you tell us where they went?” Starhawk asked. “If you promise to do something for me in return.” “Anything.” “My sons.” Alma said. “Paxton Fettel and the one you know as the Point Man. They have disappeared, and I only have a vague idea of where they are. Can you find them for me? Please?” “D-did she just say please?” Naruto asked. “Yes, she did.” Lettuce said. “And believe me, you don’t refuse someone who says ‘please’.” Starhawk pondered this for a moment, then nodded. “Of course. What details can you remember, Alma?” “Paxton was taken from me a short time ago, during an invasion by the Legion known as the Emperor’s Children. The Point Man disappeared before that, seized by the Night Lords.” “Hmmm…” Usagi replied, scratching her chin in thought and looking at Kras’hir. “Would you have any idea where those Legions would be?” “The Emperor’s Children serve Slaanesh.” Kras’hir replied. “The Night Lords are not sworn to any God in particular. They simply travel, raping, pillaging and burning their way through any city they come across.” “That doesn’t give us any leads.” Lettuce replied. “If Ebony were here, she’d know where the Emperor’s Children are.” Naruto snarked. “If she were here, she would have said something stupid to Alma that would, in turn, lead to us all getting violently killed, or worse.” Blackhawk replied. “We can find her sons without Ebony.” “To find Fettel, I suggest starting with the Primarch of the Emperor’s Children.” Kras’hir said. “Fulgrim.” “And where would he be?” Usagi asked. “Somewhere in the Eye of Terror.” Kras’hir replied. “Angron would know. He and Fulgrim have nearly killed each other more than once.” “Think you can contact him, Usagi?” Lettuce asked. “I can try.” Usagi replied, closing her eyes and clearing her mind. Angron, brother dearest, can you hear me? I can, he replied. I’d like to ask a favor of you. A favor, eh? Yes. Can you help us find Fulgrim? It’s important. Fulgrim? Why are you looking for that rape-happy bastard? His Legion has captured Paxton Fettel. Alma wants us to find him. Very well. He and his Legion dwell on the world known as Veraxis. Kras’hir will know where that is. A word of warning: Fulgrim isn't like me and Magnus. He won't care that you have the same father he does. To him, you'll be just another potential victim. I will be careful. Oh, and Angron? Yeah? Sally’s been complaining about a monster in her closet. Is that you, by chance? Have you seen me, Usagi? I wouldn't fit in a closet. That's Karanak. The Flesh Hound, not her little pup. ...What is he doing in Sally’s closet? Guarding her. Ah. Well, then, it’s been nice talking to you, brother. Thanks for the tip-off. Usagi opened her eyes, and informed her teammates of Fulgrim’s location. “Ah.” Kras’hir said. “That world. Fulgrim couldn't have picked a more harsh planet to dwell on.” “What are we waiting for?” Lettuce asked. “Let’s go.” “Hold up there, Saladleaf.” Usagi said. “Not so fast.” “We can't just travel there.” Kras’hir said. “We'll need a ship.” “And where do you suppose we get one?” Lettuce replied. “Daemons, just like humans, occasionally do each other favors.” Kras’hir responded. “It is entirely self-serving, with these deals being made in order to get something in return. A Daemon who everyone calls ‘Twitchy’ owes me a favor. She can get us a ship.” “...Twitchy? Sounds like some hyperactive, fast-talking squirrel.” Lettuce said dryly. “Hyperactive and fast-talking, yes. However, once we get there, take note of the pile of dead Space Marines outside her dwelling.” Kras’hir said. “No-one dares fuck with Twitchy, because she is very dangerous, and her favors are always helpful.” “Mmkay.” Lettuce said, shrugging. “Does she drink coffee?” Naruto asked as they began to walk. “Like you wouldn't believe.” Kras’hir responded. Silence as they kept walking, before Lettuce inquired as to what sort of Daemon she was. “That's the thing: No Daemon can say for sure. Some say she was once a Lord of Change. Others claim she used to be a Keeper of Secrets. No one can say for certain, and it makes her even more of an enigma.” “So, she’s not only a hyperactive, fast-talking coffee drinker, but she’s ambiguous as fuck.” Naruto said. “Hey, Lettuce. I think your fiancee should invite her to the bachelorette party.” “Oh, ha ha. Very funny.” Lettuce said. “In that case, let’s invite Kras’hir to my bachelor party.” “That's a bad idea.” Kras’hir responded. “Parties involving Khornates are considered to be a dull affair by said warriors if there are fewer than three deaths. We drink, feast and fight until everyone is either passed out or dead.” “...Never mind, then.” Lettuce replied. “Anyways…” began Starhawk. “I think you and Pinkie look adorable together. Can I come to this ‘bachelor party’ when you have it?” “...Uhhhh…” came the response. Before anything more could be said, a Daemon lunged at the group. Kras’hir caught it, regarding the creature for a moment, before she tore off its head with her teeth. She chewed several times before swallowing, tossing the corpse aside as she did so. “Holy shit...I am not fazed by anything you do anymore.” Naruto said. “Come here, Usagi.” Kras’hir said. Usagi did as she said. Kras’hir had blood on her hand. She used it to paint Usagi, drawing a crimson line down the center of her face. “What’s this for?” Usagi asked. “You look better in red.” “Oh, stop.” Soon after-or perhaps much later-they arrived at Twitchy’s dwelling. Outside was a mound of dead Space Marines, as Kras’hir had said. Usagi slowly approached and knocked at the door. From inside, a female voice spoke rapidly, “Guests? Now? Obviously now, Twitchy, silly, silly Twitchy. They knocked. But who could it be? Abaddon? No, that knock wasn't hard enough. Angron? No, he doesn't knock. Magnus? No, he was just here…” A pause. “Who is out there?” “I am Usagi Tsukino, Daughter of the Emperor, Bane of the Warp, future Regina of the Neo-Imperium.” “Yes yes yes, the Warmaster speaks of you. Last time Abaddon was here, he said things about you. Mean, nasty, hateful man….Why are you here?” “We need a ship to get to the planet of Veraxis.” “We made a deal, Twitchy!” Kras’hir called. “This is the favor you owe me. Give us a ship.” Another pause, then the door unlocked and opened. “Wow.” Naruto said. “You never mentioned she was attractive-OW!” “That’s not needed right now, dude.” Lettuce said, having hit Naruto in the groin. The Daemoness known as Twitchy was taller than expected, standing about a head shorter than Kras’hir. She had pale white skin, bright green eyes, and two pairs of horns on her head. Her teeth, which were sharp, gleamed a bright white. “Wow...she really is attractive.” This earned Lettuce a glare from Pinkie. “...Not like that, dear.” “So many guests…” Twitchy said. “Gifts, gifts, I must make gifts. I have so many already to make, but what is a few more? Hmmm...what to make? What would they like?” “I know what I wa-OW! WILL YOU QUIT THAT, LETTUCE?!” Naruto shouted. “...Really? You’re gonna act like Toby, I’m going to treat you like him.” Lettuce said as Usagi led the group inside Twitchy’s house. It was a very cluttered place. A roaring fireplace sat on the far side of the room, with a couch and three armchairs in front of it. Around the room were various tables, all of them covered in a multitude of things, from weapons and armor to books and various ingredients. Lettuce sat on the couch with Pinkie, while Naruto perused the various books. Starhawk made herself comfortable in one of the armchairs, Usagi did the same in another. Blackhawk sat with Starhawk, while Kras’hir examined the weapons. “Gifts, gifts, must make gifts.” Twitchy muttered, sipping from a massive mug of coffee. “Primarchs already have gifts they want, or implied they want. Magnus wants a new staff, Fulgrim wants whips, Angron wants armor, Lorgar wants a new holy book...” Lettuce leaned in to whisper in Pinkie’s ear, “I swear, she acts like your friend Twilight on a bad day, at least from how you’ve described it: fretting about, talking to herself, panicky…” “The difference is that Twilight only has to worry about Princess Celestia being displeased. This would earn her a mild scolding at worst. I can't imagine the stress of having people as dangerous as the Chaos Primarchs demanding things of you.” “Ooh, good point.” Lettuce said as he watched Twitchy drink from her mug and muttering about gifts. “Is there any reason she likes gifts?” Usagi asked Kras’hir. “Hospitality is sacred for many Daemons.” She replied, picking up a bolter rifle the size of her arm. “Many hosts will give gifts to guests, as thanks for visiting. Some expect to be paid back. Others do not. Either way, it is considered quite rude to attack your host after being given something.” “I wonder if Twitchy will offer us coffee if we asked.” Starhawk wondered absentmindedly. “Coffee?” Twitchy said. “Coffee. You want coffee. Bird woman wants coffee. Yes, I can provide coffee.” She hurried off into another room. “You just had to say it.” Usagi said. Twitchy came back in a moment later, carrying several mugs of coffee. She handed them out to the team. “Thanks.” Naruto said, sipping his coffee slowly, finding out it was quite strong. “What favor did you do for her?” Blackhawk asked Kras’hir. “An important one.” She said cryptically. “...Do you have any snacks?” Lettuce asked hesitantly, not wanting to stress Twitchy out too much. Then again, Twitchy was a Daemoness. She probably didn’t feel stress. “Snacks?” Twitchy asked. “Snacks...penguin wants food. First they wanted coffee, and now he wants food. Gifts more important than food. Gifts will last. Food is eaten, digested and disposed of. Must make gifts.” She rushed off again. Usagi picked up a massive leatherbound tome with the title Codex of the Aardvarkian Age. “Hey, Kras’hir, what’s this?” “A book.” “...Don’t be a smartass.” Usagi replied. “I meant, ‘What do you know about this book?’” “It's about some aardvark mercenary who gets into misadventures, pisses off a lot of powerful people, kills a lot of weak people, and dies at the end.” “Sounds like every adventure book ever.” Lettuce replied. Blackhawk had also picked up a thick tome, titled The Book of Lorgar. Starhawk began reading it, curious as to what was inside. “That cover isn't leather.” Kras’hir commented. “It's made from the skin of Loyalist Legionaries who died in the battle that started the Horus Heresy.” Starhawk let out a yelp, almost diving behind the armchair in fright. Lettuce looked at the books as well, getting up from the couch. Several of them, which were labeled as books about the profane and unholy, almost seemed to whisper as he looked at them. Lettuce ignored those as he found something that caught his eye: a book entitled California Dreamin’: A Memoir (1963-1975). Or rather, it was the author of the book that caught his eye. Before he could open it, Twitchy returned, carrying several objects. “I come with gifts.” She said. “Gifts?” Lettuce said, momentarily distracted as he dropped the book he’d just been about to read. “What sorts of gifts?” “Come and see.” Twitchy replied, setting the objects she was carrying down on one of the tables. “All of you, come, come!” The team got up, gathering around the table. “For you, Warp Bane, a new weapon.” Twitchy said, holding out a long chain-axe. “It is modeled after Gorefather, old axe used by Angron. This one better.” Usagi took it. “Thank you, Twitchy. I promise to treasure and maintain it.” She nodded, turning to Naruto. “For you, a special cloak. If you stand still, foes have a harder time seeing you. Good for hiding.” “Aw, sweet! This’ll come in handy for sure!” Naruto said. “I also wanna apologize for hitting on you like I did.” Twitchy waved it off. “No need for apologies. Have heard worse from Fulgrim.” She then turned to Starhawk. “My gift for you is also gift for other bird. Can sense love between you two. Gives off certain scent. So, had idea.” Twitchy picked up two rings off the table. “Wear these. They link wearers together. If the other wearer is in distress, they glow red.” Starhawk slipped hers on, giving the other to Blackhawk. He put it on, thanking Twitchy for the gift as he did so. She nodded, turning to Lettuce and Pinkie. “I made cake.” Twitchy said simply. “You asked for food, I provide it.” “Ooh, cake!” Lettuce said. “Thanks a lot!” Twitchy then tossed the ignition key for the ship to Kras’hir. “I am coming with you.” She said. “You seek Fulgrim, yes? I have gift for him. Whips.” “Fine.” Kras’hir said, heading outside to get the ship ready. Lettuce, meanwhile, asked Twitchy about the book he’d found, curious to know more. “A normal story at first. Calm. Peaceful. Summer sun and waves. Then, dark things. War. Murder. Rape. Vampires.” “...Vampires? Sounds like something out of a horror novel, not a memoir.” “Terrible book.” She said, taking it and tossing it in the fire. “Two authors, not just one. First likes positive things, simple stories. Second edited it, exaggerated dark elements and made everyone angry and depressed. Don't like him.” “And that ‘Codex of the Aardvarkian Age’, where’d you find that?” “Dumpster.” Twitchy said bluntly. “Two authors, wildly different visions. Don't like it. Too many story threads.” “Ah.” Lettuce said as he followed Twitchy back into the parlor, sitting down with a slice of cake. Kras’hir called them all outside a few minutes later. “Damn.” Lettuce said. “And I barely got into the cake.” Usagi stood by Kras’hir, admiring the ship. “A beauty, isn't it?” Kras'hir said, putting an arm around her. “Yep.” Usagi agreed. After a moment, Kras’hir spoke again, “I've been considering possible places for our wedding ceremony. I have a few ideas, but I don't think any of them are very good.” “Oh? What kind of ideas?” “Erm...getting married on the world where I was born.” She replied. “It would be a form of closure for me.” “Anything else?” Usagi asked, raising a brow. “No.” She said. “The others are all either old battlefields or places in the Warp. I'm sorry. I honestly never thought I'd get married, so I've never put much thought where I'd want it to happen.” “Maybe you can get married on Barsoom!” Lettuce joked. “Shut up.” Usagi muttered. “John Carter could conduct the ceremony.” Blackhawk added. “Whoa whoa whoa, wait.” Lettuce interrupted. “I didn’t know you’ve read those books.” “I've read so many books.” Blackhawk said. “That particular series was one I read long ago.” “Ah. Given the nature of the Warp, it wouldn’t surprise me if Barsoom existed somewhere.” “Let's get going.” Kras’hir said. “Alma won't wait forever.” “Right.” Usagi agreed, the team boarding the ship. Kras’hir made sure everything was operational, inviting Usagi to sit in the cockpit with her. With a smile, Usagi sat beside her. “I hope married life is as exciting as what we've seen so far.” Kras’hir said. “Are you kidding?” Usagi said. “Everything’s exciting with you around.” “You always know just what to say.” “I do, don’t I?” Usagi said as the Warp drive fired up. “Yes.” Kras’hir replied, before using the comm device built into the cockpit to address the rest of the team. “Before we take off, there are a few things you all need to know. First off, Warp travel is very dangerous. If these shields flicker, even once, Daemons will slip into this vessel. Twitchy and I won't be able to stop them from doing horrific, mind-breaking things to you all, things which are beyond your ability to handle thinking about. I mean that. Understanding the horrors you would go through if these Daemons got aboard would shatter your perception of reality and cause your head to explode. So, pray these shields hold. Also, don't look outside. No matter what you hear, or think you hear, don't look. You'll see things. Things which can induce madness, homicidal rage, or suicidal urges. Don't look. Got all that? Good. Let's get going.” A moment later, the ship took off, gliding into the miasma of the Warp. Immediately, the other Rangers braced themselves, the G-forces of the ship taking effect on them. The only one who didn’t seem to be bothered was Twitchy. Lettuce noted that she, as a Daemoness, was used to this sort of thing. “Hope shields hold.” Twitchy said, gazing out the window. “If they don't, everyone on this vessel dies. Unacceptable outcome.” “Yeah, statement of the year.” Naruto muttered sarcastically. Up in the cockpit, Kras’hir worked, flying the ship through the Warp like she had been doing it her whole life. Usagi watched her fiancee, wide-eyed and in awe. “I just keep surprising you, don't I?” Kras’hir said, grinning. “Of course.” Usagi said. “...I think Naruto likes Twitchy.” she observed, trying to find a conversation topic. “I dunno if it's the same ‘like’ you and I had when we first met, though.” “If he does, don't expect her to notice.” “Twitchy’s not a romantic type?” “It's not that.” Kras’hir replied. “It's just that she moves and thinks so fast that subtle hints that he is attracted to her will go right over her head.” “So he’d have to be blunt and straightforward about it?” “Yes. Just like I was with you.” “So, like if he just straight-up kissed her…” Usagi pondered. “Of course, she might not return his feelings.” Kras’hir pointed out. “I kissed you not long after we met, yes, but you were just as infatuated with me as I was with you.” Usagi blushed, looking away nervously. “What's wrong?” Kras’hir asked after a minute of silence. “N-nothing. Even after all the time we’ve spent together, I still feel like when we first met.” “Nervous and insecure?” “Yeah.” “Don't be.” Kras’hir said gently. “Do you think I would have stayed with you for this long if I didn't love you?” Silence from Usagi. Then a nod as she hid behind her hair. Kras’hir set the ship on autopilot for a moment, before walking over to Usagi and hugging her. Usagi let out a small ‘meep’ before hugging her back. Their hug, however, was interrupted by what sounded like singing from below: apparently, Lettuce had lead the others, Twitchy included, into a rousing rendition of Africa, purely out of boredom...as well as to drown out voices from outside. A moment later, a chorus of Daemonic voices echoed from outside, chanting in a language that only Kras’hir understood. “...Is something wrong?” Usagi asked. “‘With the thirty-seven keys of Tzeentch, we open the way for our brothers. With the thousand whispers of Slaanesh, we call to them. With the twelve plagues of Nurgle, we fell their enemies. And with the mighty axe of Khorne, we cut open the world for them.’ That is what those Daemons are chanting, over and over.” “...No wonder Lettuce was singing that loudly.” Kras’hir returned to her chair, switching the ship off autopilot. A moment later, something came at the vessel, causing her to take evasive maneuvers to avoid it. The creature barely missed them, its teeth scraping against the hull. Naruto, terrified, jumped onto Twitchy, causing Lettuce to snort. “Our former leader, folks. Give him a hand.” “Shut up, Lettuce.” the ninja said irritably. Twitchy shoved him off her without much thought, looking out the window. “It is coming back. It seeks to eat us.” She said softly. “I BLESS THE RAINS DOWN IN AFRICAAAAAA-” Lettuce shouted at the top of his lungs, before a pink hoof clamped itself down on his beak. “Hey, Pinks, what gives? I’m trying to stay calm!” he protested, though it was muffled. “Now is not the time.” She said. “Kras’hir needs to focus on getting us to where we're going safely.” “That creature is unusual, even by Warp standards.” Kras’hir said over the comm a moment later. “Alma made it.” “Wait, what?!” Lettuce replied. “Her presence in the Warp is causing all sorts of changes.” Kras’hir replied. “Creatures from her ‘Almaverse’ are escaping into the Immaterium.” “...We’re fucked, aren’t we?” Naruto said. “Not exactly.” Starhawk said. “I’m sure Kras’hir will think of something.” “I plan to kill it.” Kras’hir said. “However, this ship has no weapons, so I guess I'll need to get...creative.” “We’re all gonna die!” Lettuce screamed through Pinkie’s hoof. She cuffed him on the back of the head. “OW!” “Hold onto your butts! This is gonna get bumpy!” Usagi said. Kras’hir flew the ship toward the creature, before letting it devour the vessel whole. After it swallowed, she brought the Warp drive online. A moment later, the ship accelerated, punching through the creature’s spine and tearing out of its back in a hail of blood and gore. “...Holy shit, that was awesome.” Usagi whispered. Kras’hir replied, smirking, “I'm glad you're impressed. I'll make sure to impress you even more with my tongue later.” “...Kras’hir?” Usagi asked. “The comm’s still on, isn't it?” “Yup.” Usagi said dryly. Kras’hir coughed awkwardly before turning it off. “Fuck, I can't believe I didn't notice that.” Usagi giggled before hugging her. Kras’hir hugged her back, before pulling Usagi into a kiss. Meanwhile, Naruto attempted to strike up conversation with Twitchy. She was very polite, though it was clear her mind ran at a much faster speed than he was used to. He kept trying to get the conversation back on track, but to no avail. Blackhawk watched this, amused. He held Starhawk’s hand, before he asked, “What are your honest feelings towards your sister? I ask because you told me before that she put a lesbian hex on you. The way you talked about Firehawk, it seemed like you didn't care about her at all.” “I do.” Starhawk said. “I just said the ‘lesbian hex’ thing because I was in denial. And I was confused about...how do you say it...where I lean?” Blackhawk nodded, resting his head on her shoulder. “I talked to her, you know. It was a brief conversation, but she wasn't jealous of our relationship. She is more than willing to share you with me.” “She is?” Starhawk replied, her eyes lighting up. “Yar.” He said. “You don't have to worry about trying to choose between us.” “Does this make me ‘the bisexual’?” she whispered. “Yes.” Blackhawk replied. “You are what people call bisexual. It is nothing to be ashamed of. I won't judge you for it.” “Are you bisexual too?” she asked. He nodded. “Usagi is, too.” “Word.” Lettuce said, raising his flipper. “What word?” Starhawk asked, raising a brow. Blackhawk chuckled. “No word in particular. He meant that he's bisexual, too.” “Lettuce is bi?” Naruto asked. “Never noticed.” “Yeah, because you’re too focused on your ‘rivalry’ with Blackhawk.” Lettuce said. “Hey, it’s a friendly rivalry!” Naruto said. “I didn't even realize we were rivals.” Blackhawk replied dryly. Naruto shrugged, deciding to at least try and converse with Twitchy again. Twitchy looked at Starhawk, seemingly not noticing him. “You are in a relationship with your sibling, yes?” She asked curiously. “Yes, is that a problem?” “No. Both of you are same sex, so no children can be conceived. Prevents birth defects. Ancient dynasty of Hawkians destroyed by inbreeding. Brothers slept with sisters, sons slept with mothers. Last king of that dynasty was King Albert the Mad. Wretched thing. Blind in his left eye, shortened limbs, a hunched back. Murdered by rebels a year into his reign.” “...I remember reading about him.” Starhawk said. “Didn't they stick his corpse on a spike and parade him across Hawkia?” Blackhawk asked. “Yes.” Twitchy said. “Paraded Albert around, chanting, ‘Long live the King.’” Starhawk shuddered, remembering her sister showing her an illustration of that event. Firehawk had been amused by her horrified reaction. “Next ruler was little better.” Twitchy continued. “Now known as Amira the Butcher. Had her enemies flayed alive. Poisoned by her niece seven years into her reign. Many rulers followed, all of them insane or ruthless. All of them met grisly ends.” Before anything more could be said, they began landing. As they got up, Naruto cautiously took Twitchy’s hand. “After you, milady.” Twitchy stepped off the ship with him. Blackhawk followed. “Do you think she likes him?” Starhawk asked. “Why is everyone so concerned about Naruto and Twitchy?” Lettuce asked. “I don't think so.” Blackhawk said to Starhawk. “She seems too preoccupied to even really notice-” He was interrupted by Kras’hir, who pulled him back from something on the ground. “All of you, stop walking.” She said. “This is a minefield we're walking through. See?” “...Landmines?!” Naruto asked, wide-eyed. “...The hell?” Lettuce agreed. “How are we gonna cross this without getting blown up?” “Blown up?” Kras’hir repeated, chuckling. “No, no. That would be far too merciful. When these mimes go off, they burst, sending shrapnel flying. This shrapnel shreds the legs of anyone standing near the mine, which makes them sitting ducks when the Daemonettes come to get them.” “...Aw, crap.” Lettuce said. “Hold up. Pinkie, stand on your hind legs for a minute.” Pinkie did as he said. It took her a moment to balance herself, but she managed to stay on her hind legs. He opened one of her ‘pockets’, looking through her hammerspace. “Hmmm...there has to be something we can use here somewhere…” Lettuce muttered, his voice having a slight echo and reverb to it. “Monkey wrench...no. Piano...no…” “What are you doing…?” Starhawk asked. “Pinkie usually carries something that pops up from nowhere. I’m just seeing if there’s anything in here we can use.” “...Pinkie, how does this ‘hammerspace’ usually work?” Usagi asked. “I don't know.” She said truthfully. “It just does.” “Do I have to think of something, and then I’ll find it?” Lettuce asked. “Maybe.” Starhawk suggested. “But what would you be looking for?” “Something to safely get rid of these landmines-found something!” Lettuce said, removing his head from the hammerspace, an object in his flippers. “Daemonettes are coming.” Twitchy whispered. The object Lettuce had found turned out to be a remote detonator. “We need to get as far away as possible.” Lettuce said. “Quickly!” Kras’hir didn't retreat. Instead, she began making her way across the field, carefully stepping over each mine she came across. “Follow me.” She said. Lettuce, without a word, put the detonator away...somewhere, and followed Kras’hir. As they crossed the minefield, Daemonettes circled them, taunting and mocking everyone. Starhawk began to cry at their taunts. “Please…” she whispered under her breath, trembling. “Stop…” “Poor, poor Starhawk.” One of them whispered. “So full of lust and sin.” “Shut up…” Starhawk repeated. “First, you slept with family. Now, you're fucking the first man who looks your way. Such a whore…” “ENOUGH!” she screeched, her eyes glowing green as she fired beams straight at the Daemonette. The taunting creature was instantly set aflame, before burning up in the intense heat. The other Daemonettes continued circling the group, careful to avoid being seen by her. Starhawk pressed herself against Blackhawk, crying softly. He held her close. No one spoke for a while as they continued walking across the minefield. “Usagi Tsukino…” the Daemonettes whispered. “Do you really think she loves you? Cares for you?” Usagi ignored them, simply drawing the Full Moon Blade and slashing at the Daemonettes without even looking at them. They dodged. “She'll kill you one day.” One of them whispered. “That's all Khornates know how to do.” “Dear?” Usagi asked casually. “Can you please prove them wrong?” “Gladly.” Kras’hir said, smirking. They ended up having sex on that field. “...I don’t think she meant it like that.” Lettuce muttered. “I don't hear her complaining.” Kras’hir said, walking with Usagi, who was now naked. “Please put something on.” Naruto said. “Oh, and Lettuce and Pinkie get to walk around in the buff?” Usagi replied. “She has a point.” Pinkie said. “...OK, I’ll give her that.” Naruto conceded. “Walk in the nude all you want. Just leave me out of it.” “And besides,” Starhawk said. “Blackhawk goes around nude in his home sometimes.” “OK, I GET IT!” Naruto shouted. “Can we stop talking about it?” “Discomfort with the subject of nudity may suggest insecurity regarding penis size.” Twitchy said. It was hard to tell if she was joking. “CAN WE STOP TALKING ABOUT IT?!” Naruto said. “Calm down, man.” Lettuce said. “Seriously.” Kras’hir said. “The Daemonettes want us to get angry at each other. It makes it easier for them to pick us off one at a time.” “...Oh.” They soon made it across the minefield. Kras’hir said after a moment had passed, “This whole planet is a war zone. The World Eaters and Emperor’s Children have been fighting over it for nearly 5,000 years.” “5,000 years?” Starhawk asked. “Given we’re in a place between the Warp and the regular space, this must’ve been no time at all.” “Time passes in the Warp.” Kras’hir said. “But nothing changes. Neither Legion can even remember why they are fighting over this planet. Well, the Emperor’s Children can't. The reason the World Eaters are here is simple. They like killing in general, but they really like killing servants of Slaanesh.” “Honestly?” Usagi said. “It kind of reminds me of the stories you’ve told me about what you did before you met me.” “What has she told you?” Blackhawk asked curiously. Usagi began telling him some of Kras’hir’s stories; to him, it sounded like a more fucked-up version of John Carter, yet he bit his tongue. He did not want to seem unintentionally insensitive just as Lettuce had during his own storytelling about All-World. After a few minutes, Kras’hir cut in. “As I have said in the past, I was born a slave. As you can imagine, this is part of the reason I practically worship Angron. He was a slave in his youth, too.” “Oh my.” Starhawk said, covering her mouth. “My deepest condolences.” “Do you know who owned me?” Kras’hir asked. “My own father.” “...” Starhawk said nothing in response. Finally, she did something no one expected: hugging Kras’hir in sympathy. Kras’hir hugged her back. “You have my sympathies, Kras’hir. I do not wish to know what you have been through.” “You’re not gonna cheat on me again with her, are you?” Usagi said dryly. “That isn’t funny.” Starhawk said. “You're still not over that, huh?” Kras’hir said softly. “...” Silence from Usagi. At least for a time. “...No. I’m not.” Starhawk could see tears forming in her eyes. “I’m still hurt by it.” She then looked at both Starhawk and Kras’hir. “...Sometimes, I want to cry whenever I see you two near each other.” Kras’hir walked over to Usagi, gently holding both her hands. “Can I tell you something?” She asked. “...What?” “Before I met you, I had fallen in love twice. Both times, it ended in pain.” Kras’hir said. “The first person I loved was a woman I met during my time as a wandering killer. The second person...was the Red Angel.” “Wait, you and Angron…” Usagi began, but was cut off by Kras’hir. “No, we never slept together. When I first met him, Angron was brutal, but there was a certain nobility to him. As time went on, the Butcher’s Nails took a toll on his brain. He became rabid, mindless. The man I loved was gone...and he never really came back.” “...I...I just can’t believe you and Angron were a thing.” “We weren't.” Kras'hir replied. “At least, not really. He never loved me. But, that isn't the point of what I wanted to tell you. I loved two people before I met you, but here's the difference: I feel happy when I'm with you, Usagi.” “...You do?” “I do.” Usagi hugged her, smiling. “I love you.” “I love you too, Usagi.” Kras’hir said. “And I will never cheat on you again.” “Promise?” “I promise.” Usagi kissed her before continuing to walk. They searched for Fulgrim, and eventually came across a fortress occupied by the Emperor’s Children. It was under siege by World Eaters. “...What are we gonna do, Kras’hir?” Usagi said. “We could always just tear through them.” Lettuce suggested. “Or I could use my cloak and sneak in.” Naruto suggested. “Then while you guys tear through these World Eaters, I can scout for Fulgrim’s location.” “I think you’re onto something.” Usagi said. “Tear through World Eaters?” Kras’hir said, snorting. “Do you know how fucking stupid that sounds?” “...OK, yeah. But me sneaking in to scout is still good, right?” “Yeah.” Usagi said. “Go ahead and scout, Naruto.” Kras’hir said. “Report back as soon as you can.” “Will do, commander.” Naruto said, donning his cloak and becoming undetectable to the World Eaters. He began climbing one of the walls before entering into one of the fortress windows. Inside, the Emperor’s Children patrolled the halls. They didn't see him. So far, so good, Naruto thought as he braced himself against the wall and inched himself towards the first room he saw. Inside, several young women were chained, naked and gagged. They looked starved, and appeared to have suffered extensive torture. Naruto inwardly gasped. He had to do something. So, he checked to see if any Emperor’s Children members were in the room. None. The only people present were the women. Silently, he began unchaining and ungagging the women. He worked quickly in case a Legionnaire were to come in without warning. Once that was finished, he began looking for an inconspicuous exit. “W-who are you?” one of the women whispered. “I am the Red Power Ranger.” Naruto answered simply. “Now go. Before you’re caught.” They did. Kras’hir watched from the vantage point she and the rest of the team were standing on as the women ran outside, before getting cut to pieces by a World Eater Marine wielding a chain-sword. The fact that Naruto attempted to rescue these women only for his efforts to be for naught hit all of them like thunder hammers. The only one who wasn't overly affected was Kras’hir. She shrugged after watching the women die. “Eh, it's war. They got caught in the middle of it. I've seen it happen a thousand times on a thousand different worlds.” She said bluntly. “During the Heresy, Horus’ forces murdered any civilians they came across.” “...I am never going to understand your weird morality, am I?” Lettuce asked. “Weird?” Kras’hir repeated. “No. Not weird. I've just lived long enough to have any trace of idealism in me stamped out. This is war, Lettuce. People die, and you'll kill yourself if you try to save everyone.” “...I get that. Doesn’t mean I won’t try.” “Noble.” Kras'hir said. “Naive and a bit foolish, but noble. I take it the rest of you are the same?” They nodded. “Yeah.” Usagi said. “Then again, you should know me by now.” Kras’hir nodded. A brief pause. “Well, since we've got time to kill, would you like me to tell you about the Primarchs? I've met most of them. The Chaos ones, at least.” “...Sure. I mean, I know about them already, but I dunno about the others.” Usagi said. “Let's see...who to start with?” Kras’hir pondered. “Well, I liked Horus. He didn't say anymore than he needed to, but it was easy to say why so many followed him into heresy. He also really disliked being reminded that he was bald.” “...Hey, I’m technically bald too.” Lettuce retorted. “But you’re covered in feathers, so that’s a moot point.” Usagi said. “Now, Lorgar. Hmmm...well, the man loved his speeches. He would go on and on about his faith in the Chaos Gods. The Word Bearers practically worshipped him. When he wasn't giving a speech, he was very quiet and soft-spoken. Easily the most polite of all the Chaos Primarchs.” “Is he still around?” Starhawk asked. “Are...any of them still around?” “Horus is dead.” Usagi said. “Konrad Curze is, too.” Kras’hir said. “After Horus’ death, he ended up on a world called Tsagualsa. The False Emperor sent assassins to kill him. A woman named M’Shen managed to slip into his inner sanctum. Curze, for his part, didn't try to fight her. Instead, he talked to her: ‘Your presence does not surprise me, Assassin. I have known of you ever since your craft entered the Eastern Fringes. Why did I not have you killed? Because your mission and the act you are about to commit proves the truth of all I have ever said or done. I merely punished those who had wronged, just as your False Emperor now seeks to punish me. Death is nothing compared to vindication.’” “...Konrad Curze?” Lettuce asked. “He reminds me of this one book I read.” “Oh?” Kras’hir said. “Yeah, Heart of Darkness.” “I've read that one.” She replied. “Curze did, too, if you'll believe it. He was amused by how similar his name was to the character in that book.” “Really?” She nodded, turning back towards the fortress. The siege continued. “Wonder what’s taking Naruto so long…” Usagi wondered. Naruto, meanwhile, kept sneaking through the fortress undetected. He eventually reached a room that he suspected would have Fulgrim’s location. The Primarch stood at the center of the room, looking at a map of the planet. Before Naruto could slip away to tell the others where he was, a Legionnaire grabbed him, dragging him into the room. Shit...I am fucking dead…, Naruto thought. “Ah, the Red Ranger!” Fulgrim said once Naruto was tossed at his feet. “What a pleasant surprise.” “The feeling isn’t mutual.” Naruto muttered. “Now, where’s Paxton Fettel?” “Ah, Alma sent you, didn't she?” Fulgrim asked. “I thought as much. Her sons are her one weakness.” “Where. Is. Fettel?” Naruto asked again. Fulgrim stomped on his wrist. He screamed. “MOTHERFUCKER!” “I could do far worse, Red Ranger.” Fulgrim said. “And you are in no position to make demands.” “...What do you want?” “Did my dear sister come to this world with you?” Fulgrim asked. “...I’m not telling you jack shit, Fulgrim.” Fulgrim pushed his foot down harder on Naruto’s wrist. Naruto winced, but still was not going to talk. “...Go fuck yourself.” “Fine.” Fulgrim said, turning to one of his Legionnaires. “Torture him a bit, then take him outside. Let my sister see her friend bleeding.” “...Understood, my lord.” the Marine said, dragging Naruto off into the deepest levels of the fortress. Hours passed, and Naruto did not come out, which worried the other Rangers. “He must have been caught.” Blackhawk said. “Well, then, let’s go in and rescue him!” Lettuce said. “...It’s not going to be that easy.” Starhawk pointed out. “Right.” Usagi agreed. The siege had let up, with the World Eaters returning to their camps. It would still not be an easy task to rescue Naruto, even with their powers, however. Starhawk flew up to the doorway and blew a hole into said doors. On the other side of the door, Fulgrim stood. He grinned at the sight of her. “Ah, Starhawk!” he said. “A pleasure to meet you at last!” “Do not test me, Fulgrim.” she growled. “Where is Naruto?!” “Bring him out!” Fulgrim called. Naruto was brought out, beaten, bloody and heavily bruised. “...You bastard…” Usagi swore. “WHAT DID YOU DO TO HIM?!” “Ah, there you are, sister.” Fulgrim said. “To answer your question, he had a nice little chat with your friend. He wouldn't tell us where you were, so we tried to...persuade him.” Usagi growled, before summoning the Full Moon Blade again. Fulgrim chuckled. “My dear sister, even if you manage to kill me, you won't make it out of this fortress alive.” He said. “If the Emperor’s Children don't kill you, the World Eaters will.” “...We just want to know where Fettel is.” “Very well.” Fulgrim said. “Consider it a familial courtesy. He is being held in the dungeons here.” Without a word, Usagi looked at Twitchy. “Get Naruto back onto the ship. Make sure he heals.” “No.” She said. “Fulgrim and I must speak. I have a gift for him.” “I'll take him.” Kras’hir said, picked Naruto up. “I'll meet you guys back at the ship.” “Thanks, Kras’hir.” Usagi said. “Twitchy, speak to Fulgrim while we go find Paxton.” Fettel was in one of the cells, as Fulgrim had said. He looked over when they entered. “Did...Mother send you?” He asked. “Yes.” Usagi said. “We’re going to get you and your brother back to her.” “Good.” Fettel said, trying to stand up. He winced, falling over. “God...they did more damage than I thought.” “Come on…” Usagi said. “Let’s get you onto our ship.” As they made their way out, a bellowing roar resounded, before a Bloodthirster burst through a nearby wall, bellowing and brandishing a massive chain-axe. Thankfully, he didn't notice them, instead charging at a nearby group of Emperor’s Children. They were all slaughtered in a massive bloodbath, which the Rangers tried their best to ignore as they continued on their way. “MAIM! KILL! SLAUGHTER! BURN!” The World Eaters chanted as they resumed their attack. “MAIM! KILL! SLAUGHTER! BURN! MAIM! KILL! SLAUGHTER! BURN!” The Rangers tried their best to avoid them, and breathed a sigh of relief as they made it onto the ship. Twitchy made it back a few minutes later, tending to Naruto’s wounds once she was inside the ship. “Thanks.” he groaned out. “It is no trouble.” She said. “Think of you as friend, and friends help friends.” “Right.” Naruto said. “...I am in a catastrophic amount of pain.” Twitchy turned to Starhawk, who was sitting nearby. “I brought a bag. Many things are inside. Medical supplies included. Get morphine, yes? Think of it when reaching in, and it will come out.” “Like the hammerspace.” Starhawk concluded, reaching inside and grabbing a syringe of morphine. She handed it to Twitchy, who then injected it into Naruto. Once he was out cold, Twitchy got to work treating his wounds. Up in the cockpit, Kras’hir worked, piloting the ship through the Eye of Terror. “So, where are the Night Lords currently located?” Usagi asked. “If we can find them, we find the Point Man.” “They are not unified.” She replied. “Like most of the Chaos Legions, the Night Lords are divided into numerous warbands. However, some are larger than others. The largest of all are the Sons of Curze, located on the world of Vasheer.” “Let’s start there, then.” Usagi said. “After all, the largest warband always seems to be the right one.” Kras’hir nodded, setting their course. “You know you're still naked, right?” “Does it look like I care?” “I'm glad you don't. I'm certainly enjoying the view.” Kras’hir responded. “Why, thank you.” Kras’hir was silent for a few minutes, before she said, “You want to know more about the feelings I had for Angron, don't you?” “Kinda. I’m not mad, I’m just shocked about it, is all.” “As I said, there was a certain nobility to Angron when I first met him. He wasn't nice, by any means. He was a butcher, but you could speak to him and have him respond coherently. I fell in love with the Red Angel after hearing about what he had gone through in his youth. The evils of slavery had made us both into angry, murderous, broken people, and I felt closer to him because of it.” “I know you didn’t sleep with him, but were you affectionate towards him?” “As affectionate as a Khornate could be.” She replied. “I fought alongside him numerous times during the Heresy. Towards the end, he was mindless. Rabid. Lorgar saved Angron by turning him into a Daemon Prince, but the man I loved didn't come back. Not entirely.” “...It sounds like a tragic love story, but fiction and reality are two entirely different things.” “Angron returned to the planet where he had grown up. Did I ever tell you that? He went there to try and find some closure for what had happened in his youth. What Angron didn't expect was for the locals to tell him that, as far as they knew, he had run off instead of fighting to the end with his freed brothers and sisters.” Usagi said nothing, only listened. Kras’hir went silent, staring at her hands. They traveled onwards in silence for a time. “Are you alright?” “Some days, I wish I was dead.” Kras’hir said softly. “I love you, Usagi, but I have lived so, so long that sometimes living is almost unbearable.” “...I am the Emperor’s daughter. I might be immortal too, you know.” Usagi whispered. “It is a curse, being immortal.” Kras’hir responded. “Sometimes, it is not so bad, but other times...I just want to go to sleep and not wake up.” “...No. Don’t say that, Kras’hir. I wouldn’t know what I’d do without you.” “...I need a hug.” Kras’hir replied. Usagi obliged, holding her close. Kras’hir took deep breaths, trying to stay calm. Usagi kept holding her. “Imagine us on our wedding day. That’ll help calm you.” “Let's not invite your Primarch brothers, eh?” Kras’hir said. This made Usagi giggle. “Well, the Chaos ones, anyway. We’ll at least invite Guilliman.” “It's the least we can do.” Kras’hir agreed. “The man wouldn't know fun if it bit him on the ass, though.” “True.” Usagi said. Naruto, sometime later, awoke in the ship’s medbay. He was no longer in pain, but he didn’t risk getting up. Twitchy sat beside him. “Hey, Twitchy.” “Others have headed off ship.” She said. “Searching for Night Lords.” “Ah.” Silence between them for several moments. “Silence. Hate silence.” Twitchy muttered. “Uhhh….ummm...I think you look nice.” Naruto said, the first thing coming to mind being a compliment. “Beautiful, actually.” If Usagi could see him now, she’d say he was trying way too hard. Twitchy blinked. “Thank you.” She said after a moment. “You’re welcome.” “Not often I am complimented.” “Really? Why not? You’re pretty gorgeous-DAMN IT! N-no, I didn’t mean it like that!” “Just shut up and kiss me, you fool.” Twitchy said. “Know you want to.” “...Bwuh?” Now it was Naruto’s turn to be taken aback, but not before he found his lips on Twitchy’s. After a few minutes, she pulled back. “Name not Twitchy.” She said. “My name is Malir.” “That’s...a beautiful name for a beautiful Daemoness.” Naruto said. Pssh, came the voice of Kurama. She’s not that beautiful. Shut it, Naruto told the demon fox. Let me enjoy this. He then kissed Malir again, this time much more passionately. She kissed him back, and things escalated from there. Kras’hir, meanwhile, led the team towards the abandoned city that the Sons of Curze dwelled in. Usagi noted that there was an air of dread as they approached the seemingly-abandoned metropolis; as if something was watching them. “The Night Lords thrive off of fear.” Kras’hir said. “Nothing thrills them more than terrifying the people they are attacking. Many times, I have seen them decorate their armor with the blood, skin and bones of previous victims.” “So we don’t show fear.” Lettuce said. “Simple. Pinkie taught me to laugh at fear.” “It’s not gonna be that easy, Lettuce.” Usagi said. “There’s a difference between laughing at fear and not showing it.” “Let me tell you a story, just so you know what we're up against.” Kras’hir began. “A long time ago, back before I became a Daemon, I was hired by a rich bureaucrat to escort him and his family through a dense jungle. They also had a squad of heavily armed bodyguards protecting them. Things started off just fine. Then, one of the bodyguards went off to take a piss. After a few minutes, we heard screams, gunfire, then silence. Over the next several hours, the rest of that squad disappeared one by one. Each time, we heard screams, gunfire, then nothing at all. By the evening, it was just me, the man who hired me, and his family. Once the sun set, the bodyguards came back, piece by piece. Heads, arms, legs, hands, feet...all raining down from the dark sky. The bureaucrat's young daughter screamed and ran off into the night. Her screams became more high-pitched after a few minutes passed, before silence fell once again. Then, she came back, piece by fucking piece. By the time we reached our destination, the man who had hired me was the only member of his family left alive. The Night Lords left him a broken man. He shot himself two days later.” Lettuce did not react at all to Kras’hir’s story. Well, except for “laying an egg”- that was, crapping out a smelly, egg-shaped feces onto the ground. “...Wow.” Usagi said. “You scared him that badly, it seems.” “Good.” Kras’hir said. “The Night Lords aren't like the World Eaters. The latter Legion will kill you quick. The former Legion will take their time.” “...So what do we do?” Lettuce whispered. “Wait until they kill us?” “They'll try to separate us, get us divided so they can hunt us down.” Kras’hir replied. “I need you all to choose someone, your ‘buddy’, that you'll stay close to if this happens.” Starhawk immediately gripped onto Blackhawk’s arm; from an outsider’s point of view, it would seem as if she was wanting his protection. In fact, quite the opposite was true: they wanted to protect each other. Lettuce got onto Pinkie’s back. Usagi, of course, chose Kras’hir. Blackhawk handed Starhawk one of his guns, along with a fair amount of bullets. “With you being as good a shot as you are, I want you to have one.” he said. “You never know when a precisely fired round will come in handy.” “Thank you. I will treasure this gun as if it were my own hatchling.” Starhawk said. “I promise on the face of your father.” “We'll make a gunslinger out of you yet, Starhawk.” Blackhawk replied. As they entered the city proper, a deep voice addressed them, “Ah, the Rangers! What a pleasure it is to welcome you to our city!” “...Silence.” Usagi muttered, trying her best to ignore what she presumed was the warband leader. He laughed before saying, “And you must be Usagi Tsukino. My, aren't we lucky? The daughter of the Corpse God has graced us with her presence. It will be amusing to hunt you down like a dog.” “...I said shut up.” Usagi replied. “He is trying to goad you into reacting, Usagi.” Starhawk said. “Ignore it.” “And you must be Starhawk.” the warband leader continued. “I wonder if you'll be as defiant as your sister? She passed through here not long ago. Several of the men under my command are hunting her as we speak.” “...” Starhawk said nothing, lest she react and seem hypocritical. The other Rangers kept walking. “What brings you here, I wonder?” He pondered. “If you are looking for Primarch Curze, he has been dead for eons. Perhaps you are here to kill me? If so, I welcome the challenge. Or perhaps you are here to recover her son?” This got the Rangers to stop dead in their tracks; it was terrifying to know how accurate their foes seemed to read their motivations. Finally, Usagi spoke. “Yes, we’re here to retrieve the Point Man from this city.” “Splendid. I am more than willing to hand him over...if you reach the place where he is being held before my men catch and kill you.” “...So, you intend to hunt us like animals?” Usagi said. Lettuce and Starhawk gave her some dirty looks. “...Let me guess, your name is Zaroff?” Lettuce looked at her quizzically. “You’ve read that book too?” “Of course. Kras’hir gave it to me one time.” “What book?” Starhawk asked. “The Most Dangerous Game.” Usagi answered. “I do, indeed, intend to hunt you like animals.” The warband leader responded. “As for my name...I suppose I owe you that much. Funnily enough, my name actually is Zaroff. Or, rather that is the name I have adopted in recent years. Fitting, really, considering what I do in my spare time. I look forward to the challenge of this hunt, Usagi Tsukino. I will be pursuing you myself. I will give you a clean death if I catch you. However, I cannot say the same for your friends. My men are less...refined than I am.” “Must I accept this challenge?” Usagi asked Kras’hir. “Can’t we just...y’know, get the Point Man and get out?” “He's going to hunt us whether we accept the challenge or not.” Kras’hir responded. “And if you want the Point Man, we need to go deeper into the city. This means going deeper into his hunting ground.” “So there’s no way of getting out of this?” “We can turn around and head back to the ship, but good luck explaining to Alma why you left her son to be tortured by Night Lords.” “Good point.” Usagi said. “Without the Point Man, we won’t be able to find Firehawk.” “Is my challenge accepted?” Zaroff asked. “I wish to make it formal.” “Yes.” Usagi said, drawing the Full Moon Blade. In turn Starhawk drew her gun, Blackhawk drew his, Lettuce wielded his Thunder Hammer, and Pinkie retrieved her plasma pistol. “May the best man win.” As the hunt began, Trazyn the Infinite went on a hunt of his own. He was seeking a proper place to plant a beacon to allow Imotekh’s fleet to enter the Eye of Terror in relative safety. So many options. He eventually selected a small world near the Eye’s center, landing his small ship on the surface and getting out. After climbing to the top of a nearby mountain, he planted the beacon. It swiftly began transmitting to Imotekh’s fleet, waiting just outside the Eye of Terror. A few minutes passed, before Necron ships began plunging into the Eye, with the Stormlord’s flagship at the front. Kras’hir heard the distinct sound of the vessels arriving. She looked up, and said, her eyes wide, “Holy shit…” “What are you talking abo-oooooh, no…” Usagi asked. “Nnononono...this can’t be happening.” “Uhhhh…” Lettuce replied, too dumbstruck for coherent speech. “The Stormlord…” Starhawk whispered. “Imotekh has come to get his Prophet back.” Blackhawk said. “...Is she even here?” Usagi asked. “I am.” said a very familiar voice, coming from behind them. They all turned to see Firehawk standing there. Starhawk immediately tacklehugged her. “SISTER!” Firehawk laughed, hugging her sister back. “It's good to see you, Starhawk.” “It’s good to see you too.” Starhawk said. It looked like she was about to cry again. Firehawk wiped the tears away, before pulling her into a gentle kiss. Starhawk kissed her back, but did it with far more passion. Firehawk pulled away after a few minutes, grinning a bit. “Oh, how I missed you.” She said. “I’ve missed you too.” Starhawk whispered. “Isn't this cute?” Came the voice of Zaroff from nearby. “Two sisters bound in incestuous union are reunited once again.” “...Silence, hunter.” Starhawk growled. “Before I, my wife, and my husband make you.” “When we catch you, Hawkian bitch, I'll kill you first, and make your spouses watch.” Zaroff said, his tone unchanging. “Now, Usagi, I hope you and your friends are ready. The hunt begins...now.” “We need to move quickly.” Usagi said. “Do we split up, or…?” Lettuce asked. “No.” Usagi said. “That’s what he wants. We need to stay together.” As they conversed, the group had began running. They kept at it for a while, until they were deep into the city. That was when Kras’hir noticed the strange mist surrounding them. Breathing it in caused her to start coughing violently. “W-what is this stuff?” Usagi groaned, coughing as well. Suddenly, she saw Kras’hir morph before her eyes into an angry, growling...thing. “K-kras’hir? What’s going on?!” This thing, she realized, was still Kras’hir, but not the Kras’hir she knew. Gone was the Daemoness she had fallen in love with. In her place was a snarling berserker, eager to rip Usagi limb from limb. No...what she was...she couldn’t be real. But it looked real. It felt real. “I'm going to rip you apart, darling.” Kras’hir snarled. “Won't that be a wedding gift to remember?” “No...you’re not my bride.” Usagi growled. “You’re not real.” Then, another voice came from behind her. “Help me…” Sally Anne whimpered. “I just want to go home. I don't like it here…” “...Sally Anne…?” Usagi whispered, falling to her knees. She wouldn’t lose hope. But this seemed too real, as if she were in a waking nightmare. She was forced to watch as Kras’hir stalked over to Sally and slaughtered her, the little girl sobbing the whole time. Kras’hir herself, meanwhile, was having a much different vision. She was surrounded by many people, including her father, the Rangers, Omnus, Alpha, Undyne and Alphys. They were all mocking her. What was worse were the things they were saying...they were all true, at least to her. “Look at you.” Her father whispered. “So weak. So timid. Even after all this time, you haven't changed.” “I've never felt comfortable around you.” Usagi said. “You've always been a ticking time bomb, just waiting to go off. You're a monster, Kras’hir, and I know you'll kill me one day.” “Monster.” Omnus and Alpha agreed. “Coward.” The other Rangers hissed. “Freak.” Undyne and Alphys spat. Kras’hir cowered, the insults continuing to pour out. Blackhawk, meanwhile, was the only member of the team not affected, having covered his mouth when the mist appeared. Well, the only living member. Firehawk didn't need to breathe, so she wasn't affected, either. They both tried to restrain Starhawk. “LET ME GO!” Starhawk screeched. “Calm down, sister!” Firehawk shouted. “Whatever you're seeing, it isn't real!” “YOU’RE NOT REAL! YOU ARE INSULTING ME! BERATING ME! ACTING AS IF YOU NEVER LOVED ME!” Indeed, that was what the mist was making her see. From Starhawk’s perspective, Firehawk and Blackhawk were hurling all sorts of nasty insults at her. Somewhere inside her, a mysterious voice whispered, You are a gunslinger. And gunslingers show no fear. Starhawk hesitantly drew her gun and muttered the Creed before firing at the imaginary Firehawk and Blackhawk. The vision shattered, and the real Firehawk and Blackhawk stared at her. “Are you alright now, sister?” Firehawk asked. Starhawk kissed her, and then Blackhawk, both passionately. “...Does that answer your question?” “I'm glad you feel better.” Blackhawk said after breaking the kiss. Starhawk had shot him in the shoulder when she broke the vision. Starhawk noticed this, and said, “Hold still. This may hurt. A lot.” before drawing the bullet out of his shoulder. Blackhawk hissed in pain, but did not scream. “Thanks.” He said after a moment, before asking, “What did you see?” “...You and Firehawk.” she answered. “You were calling me all sorts of horrible things.” “I'm sure your memories had something do with it.” Firehawk said. “I was quite cruel to you for a very long time.” “You were.” she agreed. “But no longer. When we return to Core Earth, we will renew our vows. ...As well as have a double wedding.” she said with a smirk, looking at Blackhawk. “I'm not marrying her.” Blackhawk said. “I don't mind sharing you with Firehawk, Star, but I don't love her.” “The feeling is mutual.” Firehawk replied. “I am willing to accept my sister loving us both, but my love is reserved for her and her alone.” “I wish to have a double wedding to make it more official.” Starhawk insisted. “I will say my vows with you, Starhawk.” Blackhawk said. “I am willing to do this while you renew your vows with Firehawk. I am not, however, willing to say vows with her.” “That is fair.” Starhawk said. “I believe Sans still has his clergymanship, so it will not be a problem.” “Omnus could also do it.” Blackhawk suggested. “He isn't a minister per se, but hardly anyone can doubt his authority, especially over a something like a wedding.” “Why not both? I could say my vows for you with Omnus, and renew my vows to Firehawk with Sans.” Starhawk replied. Blackhawk looked behind her, before his eyes widened. He shoved Starhawk to the side just as a Night Lord attacked, striking Blackhawk and sending him flying into a nearby building. Starhawk, without a word, began firing at the Night Lord. Reload, fire. Reload, fire. Reload, fire. The Night Lord eventually fell, bleeding from numerous wounds. “That is what you get for messing with my husband.” she muttered. Lettuce and Pinkie, however, were feeling some of the worst effects of the fear mist. Pinkie saw her friends, all of them dead in the street. Lettuce saw Pinkie, though she was...different. Her mane and tail was now long and straight, a psychotic grin on her face. “I'm going to make you smile forever, Lettuce.” She said, giggling. “I'll give you a red, bloody smile…” “Pinkie...stay away from me!” he shouted at the hallucination. “I have a thunder hammer, AND I’M NOT AFRAID TO USE IT!” “Night, night.” She said, just before a Night Lord spun Lettuce around and hit him in the face, knocking him out. He came to in a dark room, tied to a chair with the others all in a similar predicament. “...Great.” Lettuce muttered under his breath. “So they want to torture us first, I’m guessing?” “Yep. That's right.” Kras’hir said. She had been bound by heavy chains, and her speech was slurred, the Night Lords having used heavy sedatives on her. “How are we going to get out of this?” Starhawk asked. “Don’t worry.” Usagi said. “We’ll think of something.” “I hope so.” Said the Point Man, bound at the other end of the room. “I'd like to get out of here. This place is terribly dull.” “Pinkie?” Usagi asked, getting an idea. “Yeah?” “Try and see if you can get your restraints loose.” Usagi said. “I might be able to get us out of here faster than we think.” Pinkie nodded, attempting to loosen her restraints. After a few minutes, she succeeded. “Now,” Usagi instructed. “Do you have your plasma pistol on you?” Pinkie grinned. “I hid it in a place they'd never look.” She said. “I wasn't exactly myself when they caught me, but I did manage to hide the pistol in a rather...unusual spot.” “...Where?” Usagi asked. Pinkie stared at her for a moment, before replying, “Sitting is rather uncomfortable right now. Does that answer your question?” “You shoved it up...there?” “I was still hallucinating, and I had to hide it quickly.” Pinkie responded, shrugging. “OK...nevermind. Anyway, can you cut through your restraints, then do the same for us?” Pinkie nodded, before pushing the plasma pistol out of her rear and using it to free herself. She then freed her friends, as well as the Point Man. Kras’hir’s chains, however, were too sturdy to cut through. The Daemoness, for her part, was delirious. “Usagi?” She said. “Where are we? My head feels heavy…” “The Sons of Curze captured us. They used some kind of fear gas.” “That explains a lot.” Kras’hir responded. “That explains why all of you were insulting me. That also explains why I saw my father.” “We’d never insult you, Kras’hir.” Lettuce said. “You’re our friend.” “At first, I didn't trust you.” Blackhawk admitted, trying to break her chains. “You were a Daemon, and that was all I knew about you. Now? You're one of my closest friends, and it warms my heart to see how in love you and Usagi are.” “Awwww.” Usagi said. “Thanks.” Starhawk raised her hand, before creating a small beam of energy as she attempted to break the chains. She was able to, in time. “Gods, my ass itches.” Kras’hir said, fidgeting uncomfortably as Starhawk worked on breaking the chains. “Is anyone willing to scratch it? I can't exactly get my hand down there right now.” Blackhawk and Firehawk both stared at her, before moving to the other side of the room. Pinkie laughed awkwardly before doing the same. Usagi playfully rolled her eyes before scratching Kras’hir’s ass. “I knew there was a reason I kept you around.” Kras’hir said, closing her eyes and relaxing a bit. “Besides the sex, of course. The things you can do with your tongue…” “...Nope. Nopenopenopenopenope.” Lettuce said, walking to the other side of the room. Usagi blushed in embarrassment, diligently scratching her fiance’s itch. After the chains broke, Kras’hir got up...before promptly stumbling forward and face planting. She groaned in pain before sitting up again. “Damn, those drugs they gave me had a worse effect than I thought.” She said. Usagi and Starhawk helped her up with a groan; after all, she was a Bloodthirster and much heavier than a regular human. “We ready to go?” The Point Man said, having unlocked the door using a makeshift pick. “I'd like to get out of here.” “Ready.” Usagi said. “We get out of here, return you and your brother to Alma, then try and track down the Zero Girls.” As they made their way through the corridors of the building they had been taken to, Firehawk began to feel a growing sense of paranoia, like they were being watched. Starhawk and Usagi felt it too; in fact, all of them could. “When I was a kid, my mother taught me many songs.” Kras’hir said. “Many of them were about the various Primarchs. Some, like the one about Leman Russ, were meant to make you laugh. Some, like the one about Guilliman, were meant to inspire. And others, like the one about Konrad Curze, were meant to make you feel fear. I always hated that song. It made me bundle myself up as tightly as I could with the rotten blankets I was given, scared that the Night Haunter would come for me.” “Like the Bogeyman.” Usagi said. “You know, I had a similar fear once. I thought that Yamauba would get me.” “...Yamauba?” Starhawk asked. “An old Japanese legend.” Usagi said. “Though, given what we’ve experienced, it wouldn’t shock me if she, or other youkai for that matter, were real.” “Remember the tales we were told when we were very young, Star?” Firehawk asked. “About the Red King and the Grey Queen?” “Yes.” Starhawk replied. “...Horrible stories.” “I was scared of Frankenpenguin as a chick.” Lettuce said. Usagi snorted. “Frankenpenguin?” “Yeah.” Lettuce said. “I swear, my culture and yours share some similarities.” “As if to imply all human culture is the same.” Starhawk replied. “...Good point.” “I think we’re getting off-track here.” Usagi interrupted. “Keep your guards up.” “Funnily enough, Curze actually kept his Legion in check.” Kras’hir said as they walked. “They got even crazier after M’Shen killed him.” “What happened?” “To who?” Kras’hir asked. “Curze? M’Shen? Or the Legion? Curze died, M’Shen disappeared, never to be seen again, and the Night Lords splintered into numerous warbands. Of course, they were hardly the only Chaos Legion to do so. The World Eaters and Emperor’s Children also splintered. You can thank Kharn the Betrayer for that.” “Who's that?” Blackhawk asked. “He used to be the man who kept Angron in check.” Kras’hir responded. “Even at the best of times, Angron was enraged and itching to kill someone, due to the Butcher’s Nails in his brain. Kharn would often talk him down from doing something irrational. Like beating Guilliman to death with his bare hands, for example.” “Not gonna ask.” Usagi replied. “Well, I'm going to tell, because I have nothing better to do and it will help stave off paranoia.” Kras'hir said. “Angron always hated Guilliman. To him, the Ultramarine Primarch represented everything Angron despised. The two never got along, and it was only the False Emperor’s interference that kept them from murdering each other. As you can imagine, once he turned to Chaos, Guilliman was one of the first people Angron tried to kill. Brotherly love, eh?” “Yeah, glad to be related to them.” Usagi snarked. “But only technically.” Lettuce pointed out. “I still remember the speech Angron gave to Guilliman after they fought for the first time: ‘What would you know of struggle, Perfect Son? When have you fought against the mutilation of your mind? When have you had to do anything more than tally compliances and polish your armour? The people of your world named you Great One. The people of mine called me Slave. Which one of us landed on a paradise of civilization to be raised by a foster father, Roboute? Which one of us was given armies to lead after training in the halls of the Macraggian high-riders? Which one of us inherited a strong, cultured kingdom? And which one of us had to rise up against a kingdom with nothing but a horde of starving slaves? Which one of us was a child enslaved on a world of monsters, with his brain cut up by carving knives? Listen to your blue-clad wretches yelling of courage and honour, courage and honour, courage and honour. Do you even know the meaning of those words? Courage is fighting the kingdom which enslaves you, no matter that their armies outnumber yours by ten-thousand to one. You know nothing of courage. Honour is resisting a tyrant when all others suckle and grow fat on the hypocrisy he feeds them. You know nothing of honour.’” “Angron makes a damn good point...one I can’t really argue with.” Usagi said. “Guilliman gave as good as he got. His response was short, yet it caused Angron to fly into a rage, thus proving his point. I don't like the man, but I couldn't deny what he said: ‘You're still a slave, Angron. Enslaved by your past, blind to the future. Too hateful to learn. Too spiteful to prosper.’ That was always Angron’s greatest flaw. He never made any effort to move past what happened to him. Instead, he blamed everything terrible that happened to him on someone else and refused to change.” “...That’s also a good point.” Usagi said. “Anyway, I got off track. I was talking about Kharn. After Angron had every member of his Legion implanted with Butcher’s Nails, Kharn became a bit...unhinged. It was he who caused the World Eaters and Emperor’s Children to splinter. You see, they were waging war against some long-forgotten enemy on a frozen world. They had taken shelter to wait out the cold, and Kharn didn't like that. So, he grabbed a flamethrower, and began torching every tent and dwelling he came across.” “Because they were trying to not freeze to death?” Starhawk replied. “That is disproportionate.” “Time spent huddling in a tent is time not spent killing.” Kras’hir said. “To Kharn, and me, it made perfect sense. Khorne approved, and dubbed Kharn ‘the Betrayer’ ever after.” “...Of course you’d say it makes sense.” Lettuce muttered. “Lettuce, can you shut up for once?” Starhawk asked. “OK.” Lettuce said, quite literally zipping up his beak. “I may have softened since I met all of you, but make no mistake, I'm still a Khornate.” Kras’hir said. “Nothing thrills me more than killing. It's what I live for.” “That and my tongue.” Usagi joked. Kras’hir laughed. “Indeed.” She then paused, before saying, “Is it just me, or are we going in circles?” “Are we?” Usagi asked. “I think we are.” Starhawk realized. “We're still being hunted.” Firehawk said softly. Starhawk loaded her gun, looking around. Blackhawk did the same. Starhawk could see something above them, but she couldn’t make it out. “What the hell?” Blackhawk said. “What is that?” “I. Don’t. Know.” Starhawk whispered. The creature, or whatever it was, stayed still, watching them without making a sound. It was too dark to make out just what it was. Starhawk kept aiming her gun in case it moved. In an instant, it dropped from the ceiling, grabbing the Point Man and running off into the darkness before anyone could react. “...After it.” Usagi ordered. “NOW!” The other Rangers nodded, and went after the creature. As they ran, a new sound could be heard. Namely, a tune coming from a music box, just down the hallway from them. Immediately, they associated the tune with one thing. Alma. “That must be one of her creatures.” Starhawk said. “What are we going to do?” Alma appeared near the music box a moment later. She looked at the Rangers, before gesturing for them to follow her and walking the other way. They had no choice, so the Rangers followed. As they walked, another version of Alma appeared. She was seated on a swing, and Omnus was pushing her. One of Alma’s memories, Blackhawk realized. “You look so happy.” Usagi said. “I was.” Alma said as she led them along, her tone sad. “Omnus was so good to me.” “Like a father.” Usagi replied. “Trust me when I say I feel the same.” “He tried to save me.” Alma responded. “He tried so very hard, but there was nothing he could do.” “...Nothing at all?” “Even he couldn't have gotten past the security my father had guarding the entrance to where I was.” “I offer my sympathies. Again.” Starhawk said. Alma didn't respond. Instead, she walked forward without a word, humming the same tune that played from her music box. No one said a word, just kept walking. “Thank you.” Alma said after a few minutes. “Thank you for saving my sons.” “You’re...you’re welcome.” Usagi said. “I never expected to see this side of you.” “You expected to see the vengeful spectre of hatred and rage, more than willing to kill everyone she sees.” Alma responded. “Yes.” Lettuce answered bluntly. “I don't blame you.” Alma replied. “I hate almost everyone living.” “Except your sons.” Lettuce replied. “Indeed.” The Rangers continued to follow Alma, keeping their guards up in case the Night Lords were to appear. No one said anything for quite a while, until Usagi asked where the Zero Girls were. “Well,” Starhawk replied. “If Firehawk is here with us, then they must be close by.” “...Probably not.” Lettuce said. “Otherwise, we would have reunited with them by now.” “They are not here.” Firehawk confirmed. “I was with them, but we got separated.” “Then Alma can tell us where they are?” Lettuce asked. “It won’t be that easy.” Usagi said. “We have to get her sons-well, Fettel, at least-back to her first.” “And that’s not even counting the things we’re having to deal with.” Lettuce concluded. “My point exactly.” Usagi replied. “Is Paxton alright?” Alma asked. “I can feel his mind faintly, but I cannot tell how healthy he is.” “He’s fine, Alma.” Usagi assured. “Good.” She said softly. “Good.” “Don’t worry.” Lettuce said. “He’s fine with Naruto and Twitchy.” “...I don’t think that’s her real name, Lettuce.” Usagi said dryly. “Fuck it, calling her that anyway.” “...Twitchy?” Alma asked. “One of Kras’hir’s friends.” Usagi answered. “Ah.” She replied. “Now, do you have anything you wish to ask me? It will be some time before we get out of here, and I am in a rather good mood right now.” “So, that small piece of you, the ‘nice’ Alma…” Usagi began. “How did that come about?” “My mind is very fractured.” Alma responded. “After what I have been through, I am sure that is not a surprise. There are many pieces of me scattered across both the Warp and the Materium. The one you met was the first to gain consciousness.” “The question is, why did she attempt to help us with our problems and then bring Ace back to life?” Usagi continued. “I’m guessing that she wanted to be nice. And then again, Radiguet was trying to ‘pose’ as T’zeentch.” Lettuce said. “...Radiguet is a childish moron.” Kras’hir interrupted. “Like we couldn’t have guessed.” Usagi replied. “A moron with ambitions of godhood.” “Wouldn’t it be easier for him to become a Daemon Prince of Chaos Undivided?” Starhawk asked. “It would be.” Lettuce pointed out. “But this is the same guy who believes he should be the only God.” “One day, I will kill him.” Kras’hir said. “I will wrap my hands around his throat and squeeze until he stops moving.” “If his own hubris doesn’t end up doing him in.” Usagi muttered. “Or better yet, the Chaos Gods giving him exactly what he deserves.” “...Eternal torment?” Starhawk asked. “Ironic eternal torment.” Usagi clarified. “He wishes to be a god? Then so be it. But it won’t be the type of godhood he wishes for.” “Maybe Nurgle should have him.” Blackhawk said. “I'm sure the Plaguefather has some devilish disease in store if Radiguet ever visits His Garden.” “As for why my mind fragment helped you, I cannot say.” Alma cut in. “Perhaps she wished to be a hero, and make up for my perceived sins.” “Maybe.” Starhawk observed. “She is dead now, so we will never know.” Alma said, shrugging. “Well, you seem pretty casual about it.” Lettuce snarked. “Should I be grieving?” Alma fired back. “No, not really.” Lettuce admitted. “She was a fragment of me.” Alma continued. “In the end, she served a purpose. She had a task, she fulfilled a task, and she died. So, yes, I am ‘pretty casual’ about it.” “I see.” Lettuce said. “I mean, I come from, for lack of a better term, a hedonistic culture. And even I’m confused by your weird-ass viewpoints.” “I was locked in a vault, put in a coma, forcibly impregnated, twice, then killed when I was no longer useful.” Alma replied. “Can you blame me for having a warped view of the world?” “Again, no. Not really.” “Good.” Alma said. “Now, next question.” “What have you been doing since...the incident?” Usagi asked. “The Armacham explosion.” “Warring with the Chaos Gods.” Alma said simply. “And why are you warring with the Chaos Gods?” “I am quite fascinated by the ‘Great Game’ they are playing.” Alma responded. “Tzeentch doesn't know what to think of me. My growing influence has thwarted several of his schemes.” “And what do They think of Radiguet?” Starhawk replied. “I am just curious.” “Khorne thinks he is a coward.” Alma said. “Slaanesh wishes to...well, perhaps it is best I don't tell you what Slaanesh wishes to do to Radiguet. Nurgle wants to infect him with the nastiest plague possible, and Tzeentch sees him as an idiotic, slightly useful pawn.” “...But what motives does Radiguet have for wanting to ‘kill’ Them, even though to do so would be impossible at best and devastating at worst? Other than his god complex?” “He is insane.” Alma said. “Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to his motives. Part of his plan is to clone Horus.” “...What?!” Usagi asked. “Why?!” “Abaddon won't be happy to hear that.” Kras’hir said. “Fabius Bile, a scientist and member of the Emperor’s Children, once tried to clone Horus. Abaddon put an end to that. He uses that failed clone’s skull as a drinking cup.” “...But how is Radiguet going to clone Horus?” Usagi asked. “And again, why?” “As I said, he is insane.” Alma replied. “I can only guess at his motives. As for how...it is easier than you think.” “Really?” “The technology exists, and is quite easy to acquire, assuming you know where to look.” “But cloning him would require DNA, growing the cells, possible incubation-” Usagi rambled. “All of which he can do.” Kras’hir interrupted. “You forget, he dwells here in the Warp. Logic doesn't really apply to a place like this.” “True.” “Next question.” Alma said. “Do you hate us?” “In truth?” Alma said after a few moments. “No.” “Really?” Lettuce asked. “I thought you hated almost everyone.” “You saved my sons.” She replied. “I owe you for that.” “You wanna owe us something?” “I may be hateful, angry and more than a little insane, but I am not completely heartless.” Alma responded. “I am in your debt, and I intend to repay that debt by leading you out of this place.” “Thank you, Alma.” Starhawk said. “It is no trouble.” Alma said. “Oh, and I wish you luck as a mother.” “W-what are you-” “You're pregnant.” Alma stated, smiling a bit. “Congratulations.” Starhawk promptly fainted. Blackhawk caught her, his expression one of shock. “When did you and her get, y’know, busy?” Lettuce asked. “After Firehawk’s death.” Blackhawk said softly. “It was how she wished for me to comfort her.” “...Oh.” Lettuce replied. “Huh.” Kras’hir chimed in. “I guess we all grieve in different ways. I got blindingly drunk to deal with my grief. This led to sex, but that's beside the point.” “I've heard more about the sex you and Blondie have had than I ever wanted to.” Firehawk said dryly. “Even the things you've said after I died.” “...Blondie. You’re still calling me that.” Usagi said. “Yes.” Firehawk replied, grinning. “What are you going to do about it?” “I am going to…” Usagi began. “What?” Firehawk asked. “You're going to do what?” Firehawk got her answer when Usagi hugged her. “I missed you.” “I missed you, too.” Firehawk admitted. “...Blondie.” “I prefer Debbie Harry.” Usagi joked, much to Lettuce’s chagrin. “Doesn't roll off the tongue quite like Sailor Moon, does it?” Firehawk said, beginning to walk again, her arm around Usagi’s shoulders. “It really doesn’t.” “Don’t look now, Kras’hir.” Lettuce said. “But you may have a rival.” “Now that would be a fight for the ages.” Kras’hir replied. “The Necron Prophet vs. The Blade of Angron. I'm not sure who would win.” “It would depend on whether I fought dirty or not.” Firehawk said. “There are several methods I could use to drastically turn the tide of battle in my favor, if I had no interest in fighting fair, which I usually don't.” “I was trying to imply Firehawk as a rival for Usagi’s affections, but that works too.” Lettuce replied dryly. “Oh, I am aware of that.” Kras’hir replied. “Fighting is how Khornates settle rivalries, disputes, old grudges...any issue, really.” “...Who to have as a romantic partner?” Usagi asked. “Because this ring? It signifies I belong to you and you alone, Kras’hir.” “Good.” Kras’hir responded, before saying, “As for the question you asked, that is one of the many issues Khornates resolve through bloody honor duels. At one point, I was challenged by a rather vicious Daemon who was convinced I was attempting to steal one of his wives away.” “Please, you think Firehawk will try and steal me away? I think we’re just gonna be good friends.” Usagi replied. “No, I don't think that.” Kras’hir said. “I am simply telling a story. I think she loves Starhawk too much to cheat on her.” “That’s true. Hey, Firehawk, when you’re...well, alive again, you wanna go do something?” “Sure.” Firehawk replied, before saying to Kras’hir, “I noticed you said he accused you of trying to seduce one of his wives, not himself. I am not judging, merely curious: Are you attracted to both sexes, or only women?” “Only women.” Kras’hir responded. “Men have never interested me. Angron was an...exception to that rule.” “I’m attracted to both.” Usagi answered. “Just in case you were about to ask.” “Interesting.” Firehawk said. “Would it be inappropriate to ask where you lean?” Lettuce asked. “I don’t mean to be rude.” “My last lover before Starhawk was Reinhard Heydrich.” Firehawk said. “A high-ranking, male member of the Nazi Party.” “...Ironic that you’re bisexual and dated a Nazi.” “Ironic that a Nazi spent months fucking an alien.” She replied. “...Has anyone here not been fucking?” Lettuce asked. “Besides Pinkie and I?” “Liar.” Usagi teased. “What? We’ve been celibate.” Before Usagi could answer, Starhawk stirred awake.”Mmm? What’s going on?” she asked. “You fainted.” Alma said. “You fainted after I told you that you were pregnant.” Starhawk fainted again. “And that is why Pinkie and I have not done the deed.” “Neither have I.” Alma said. “At least, not yet.” “...Don’t wanna know.” “Why are you celibate?” Usagi asked. “Because...well, I’m nervous.” Lettuce said. “Quiet.” Alma said suddenly. She stopped walking, looking straight ahead. No one said anything. Alma listened for a few minutes, before visibly relaxing. “I heard something up ahead.” She explained. “Thankfully, it was one of my creations stalking through the darkness, not some Daemon.” “Phew.” Usagi breathed a sigh of relief. “How far along until we can get out?” “Not far.” Alma replied. Soon, they reached a door. Alma pushed it open, and they walked outside. They kept walking until Lettuce saw something. A Son of Curze. He had his back to them. “If we don’t make a sound, he won’t notice us.” Lettuce said through clenched teeth. Kras’hir noticed something on the Night Lord’s armor: The head of a child, a little girl with blonde hair. Kras’hir cracked her knuckles, practically shaking with rage. “Forget what I just said...this guy deserves an ass-kicking.” Lettuce said. “Agreed.” Kras'hir said, before charging at the Son of Curze. He barely had time to react before she was on him, beating his head in with her fists. The Night Lord died in a lot of pain. Lettuce stared blankly, all too used to Kras’hir’s bloodthirsting ways. “So…” the penguin said, trying to converse with Alma as they walked. “So…” The girl in red echoed. “I like you, Alma. I really do.” Lettuce said. “Why?” “Why not? You may seem like a vengeful spirit, but you’re really not. Well, towards us and your sons, anyway.” Lettuce said. “I admire that.” “Ah.” Alma replied. Another one of her memories bled out into the space around them. This time, she was sitting on her swing alone, humming a soft, mournful tune. “What’s this one?” Usagi asked. “This memory is from the time just before I was taken to the Vault.” Alma said. “Omnus had just said his goodbyes.” “I’m...I’m sorry to hear that.” Lettuce said, hopping down from Pinkie and hugging Alma. She, surprisingly, hugged him back. Lettuce broke the hug before climbing onto Pinkie again. “Better?” “Better.” She said, wiping away tears. “Glad I could help.” Lettuce said. “...I wish we could be there to help.” Usagi said. The memory was still going, with soldiers coming over to Alma’s swing and dragging her away. The Rangers could do nothing as they watched the young Alma get dragged away, screaming and crying. “That was my last conscious memory until I gave birth to my first son.” Alma said. “Fettel, right?” Usagi asked. “Or was that the Point Man?” “The Point Man.” Alma replied. “Paxton was born a year after him, when I was sixteen.” “...Gross.” Lettuce said. “No offense.” “No offense taken, considering my father provided some of the seed used to impregnate me.” “Looks like you have a rival, Pinkie.” Usagi teased. “W-what?” Lettuce asked, flabbergasted. Pinkie stared at Usagi. As did Alma. “What? I’m joking.” Alma stared at her for another moment, before another one of her memories began to bleed out. This time, it was not Alma herself who appeared, but Fettel. He was ten years old, and appeared to be poking a rat with a small knife. “...It always starts with the animals.” Lettuce said under his breath. After a moment, they could hear Alma speaking to Fettel in the memory, “Kill them! Kill them all!” Fettel promptly began to scream, clutching his head. Two guards entered the room, trying to restrain him. He leapt on one of them, tearing into the man’s throat with his teeth. The other guard panicked and ran as his companion fell to the floor, Fettel spitting out a chunk of skin. “He killed seven guards that day.” Alma said. “Once he was restrained, they learned of the link between Paxton and I. So, in order to prevent another incident, they shut off my life support.” “So you’re technically 26? How the good die young…” Starhawk replied; she had woken up sometime before. “It took me six days to die.” Alma said. “I am a very powerful psychic, and my hatred matches my power. It kept me alive in the darkness for nearly a week.” “Rage can be a hell of an anesthetic.” Kras’hir said. “It lets you ignore things that should be killing you. I would know. I got shot in the head when I was 16.” “Ah.” Starhawk said. “...You look nice in that dress, Alma.” Lettuce said. “It reminds me of a film noir.” Alma, who still looked like a little girl, giggled, before her form changed into that of a young woman of about 20. “There.” She said. “Now it won't seem as strange for you to compliment me. Even though I am much older than I appear in that form, it still seems strange to be complimented while looking that young.” “...Boy, do I feel like I should be on a list.” Lettuce said. “Don’t be hard on yourself, dude.” Usagi said. “You were just saying what you thought. It didn’t have that kind of...what’s the word…” Before anyone else could respond, a voice came from the darkness nearby, “Mother...mother...Red mother…” “Ah.” Alma said. “One of my many ‘children.’” “...Must...not make...talk show joke…” Lettuce replied. “Kill...kill...tear...kill and tear.” The creature muttered, emerging from the shadows with a Night Lord in its claws. It then began to devour him. “Hunger...eat...tear…” “I won’t ask.” Starhawk said. Firehawk paused after she spoke, cocking her head. “Do you hear that?” She asked. “Gauss rifles...the Necrons are here.” “...Great.” Usagi muttered. “Just what we need: Terminators.” The voice of Imotekh carried over the city, the combat ceasing for a moment, “We are here for our Prophet, Sons of Curze. We know she is here. The device I had implanted in her throat is still transmitting.” He paused, waiting for a response. This gave Kras’hir and Blackhawk enough time to turn and stare at Firehawk. “What device is he talking about?” Blackhawk asked. Firehawk sighed, before pulling aside a few feathers on her throat, revealing a small incision. “A tracker attached to my vocal cords.” She explained. “Your vocal cords?!” Starhawk asked. “Yes.” Firehawk replied, nodding. “Imotekh had it put in as a form of insurance, to ensure I didn't betray him. He knows where I am at all times.” “Even in death?” “Even in death.” Firehawk said. “Have I ever told you how I became the Necron Prophet?” “No, sister.” “It wasn't entirely my choice.” Firehawk began. “I was nearly killed on a distant world. I thought I was dead. Instead, I woke up on an operating table. Imotekh was there. He offered me a choice: Serve as his Prophet, or be dissected.” “This was after the incident on Hawkia, yes?” Firehawk nodded. “Of course, I accepted. The illustrious doctor who put the device in my throat was named Illuminor Szeras. He also made other...modifications.” “Such as…?” “Augmentations to my spine and muscle tissue to make me stronger, faster, harder to kill. Cybernetics implanted in my eyes to make my vision sharper. These cybernetics also allow me to scan what I am seeing. I can scan for heat signatures, electrical systems, underground passages, and other things I don't care to name. Szeras also added cybernetics to my internal organs, making them even more efficient and unlikely to stop working. I should mention he did all this without using sedatives.” “...So he, for lack of a better phrase, made you harder, better, faster, stronger?” Lettuce glared at her. “...Really?” “What? Blame Captain Retro and his music.” Somewhere, said dog-man was laughing incredibly hard. Imotekh spoke again. “Hand her over, or I will burn this city to ash. I care not for the petty squabbles of blind, idiotic Chaos followers. I will mount the heads of every Son on my flagship’s bow if my Prophet is not returned to me. She was not yours to capture. She belongs to me, and I will tolerate no one seizing her. You have half an hour to hand her over, or you will all perish.” Firehawk said, “I suppose I should go find him. Otherwise, he'll firebomb this place while we're still here.” “So, we’re not handing you over to him?” Starhawk asked. “No.” Firehawk said. “He doesn't know all of you here. As far as knows, I have been seized by the Night Lords, and held-” “Hello, Rangers!” Came the enthusiastic voice of Trazyn the Infinite from behind them. They jumped at the sound, turning to face him. “What do you want?” Usagi asked. “Oh, many things.” Trazyn replied. “For example, I've always wanted to taste sushi. It is one of the oddest foods your species consumes, and I cannot partake in it. A pity, really.” “I like sushi.” Lettuce said. “My dad and I could make you some sometime.” “He's a fucking robot, Lettuce.” Kras’hir said bluntly. “Alas, fucking is not my area of expertise.” Trazyn said. “So, no, I am not a ‘fucking robot.’” “...Do you know any ‘fucking robots’? I’d love to meet them.” Usagi replied sarcastically. “One of Imotekh’s lieutenants is convinced she is a dancer.” Trazyn said. “The Great Sleep did a number on the poor girl’s brain. Imotekh usually ignores her, due to how skilled she is on the battlefield, but when he is trying to plan his campaigns, and she starts posing and blocking his view of the maps, the old chap’s eye twitches something fierce.” “Wait, wait, wait.” Firehawk said. “You're talking about Jezyra? Imotekh hasn't killed her yet?” “No.” Trazyn responded. “She's too valuable to waste, in his words. Like you.” “So what are we supposed to do?” Lettuce asked. “We want Firehawk, but so does he.” “You’re the ‘genius’ of this team, you think of something.” Usagi fired back. “He doesn't want her.” Trazyn cut in. “Or, rather, he doesn't intend to take her with him. He merely wants to make sure she can still carry out her task. That task, in case you don't know, is waking up dormant Tomb Worlds and convincing the Necrons inside to follow Imotekh. She is very good at her job.” “But is this a Tomb World? Hawkia was, if the sisters here are to be believed.” Usagi said. “Approximately 30,000 Necrons slept underneath Hawkia’s surface.” Firehawk said. “I did not wake them. At least, not on purpose.” “Yes.” Starhawk agreed. “It was due to fracking, as you know.” “This is not a Tomb World.” Firehawk said. “If it was, I would be able to sense the slumbering Necrons. The only Necrons I can see are the ones Imotekh brought here.” “So, Imotekh has no point in coming here.” Lettuce said. “He came here to make sure his Prophet will be able to return to the land of the living.” Trazyn said. “The Stormlord will never admit it, but he needs your help if he is to win his campaign of conquest. Your assistance in waking Tomb Worlds is invaluable. He also greatly values your counsel, and considers you one of his most trusted advisors.” “As much as I would like to call him a fool, Trazyn is correct.” Said the voice of Imotekh the Stormlord as he emerged from a nearby street. “Your role as Prophet is a vital role, indeed. My dynasty has expanded greatly because of you, Firehawk. You are of no use to me dead.” “Dying wasn't part of the plan, I can assure you.” Firehawk said dryly. “Good.” Imotekh replied. “Now, I have a task for you, but it must be discussed in private.” She nodded, following the Stormlord as he walked away. This left Trazyn and the Rangers, along with Alma and Kras’hir, alone once again. Once Firehawk returned, Trazyn bid them farewell, departing along with the Stormlord. “He plans to take his fleet deeper into the Eye.” Firehawk said. “He is going to kill every Daemon, Space Marine, and cultist who gets in his way.” “Speaking of Necrons, what’s he gonna do about Vipera?” Usagi said. “She doesn't worry him one bit.” Firehawk replied. “In his words, that ‘serpentine harlot’ is a nuisance and nothing more.” “B-but she’s convinced she can ‘control’ the Necrons.” “Necrons cannot be controlled like simple robots. They are not computers that can be hacked. They are made of metal, yes, but they are living, sentient beings. Controlling them will require much more than simple technology.” Firehawk said. “To be quite honest, many Necrons are just mindless drones. The Great Sleep has reduced their minds to their most basic parts. They can fight, but that's about all they can do. It is the leaders, the Overlords, Phaerons and the like, that are intelligent. Even so, the most mindless Necrons won't be any easier to control.” “So, it’s a shaggy dog mission.” Lettuce summed up. “Indeed. Imotekh likely won't kill her, but that doesn't mean she'll walk away unscathed. He tends to mutilate his foes, so they'll always remember him.” “I’m not gonna ask what he has planned.” “He'll probably take one of her hands.” Firehawk said. “Or maybe an eye.” “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” Lettuce observed. “Indeed.” Starhawk said. “I never did finish my earlier story, about the Daemon who thought I was trying to steal his wife.” Kras’hir said. “Our duel lasted less than thirty seconds. He charged at me, and I stopped him in his tracks, before tearing out his intestines and strangling him with them.” “...Did you get his wife?” Lettuce asked. “I don’t think that’s the point.” Usagi replied. “I ended up taking her as my own.” Kras’hir said. “Along with all of his other wives and mistresses. But, as Usagi said, that is not the point of my tale.” “What was the point, then?” Pinkie asked. “The moral of that story: Don't pick fights with opponents you can't hope to beat.” Kras’hir said. “I should mention I was twice his size. Also, don't accuse me of stealing your lover behind your back. If I wished to take someone’s wife or mistress as my own, I'd do it so they could see.” “...Whatever happened to all those wives and mistresses, if I may ask?” Usagi responded. “Daemonettes took them.” “You wouldn’t want them back anyway.” Lettuce said. “Sorry to sound insensitive, but it’s true.” “You are right.” Kras’hir said, putting an arm around Usagi. “I have the most wonderful girl in the multiverse by my side. I don't need anyone else.” “Except an entire harem of Usagis-OW! THAT HURT, PINKIE!” Lettuce shouted. She had swatted him on the back of the head with her hoof. “I love you.” Kras’hir said softly in Usagi’s ear. “I love you too.” Usagi replied. Alma watched all of this without saying a word. Another one of her memories bled out of her mind. This one was another involving Omnus. He was cradling her in his arms, holding her close to his chest and softly singing to her. Alma smiled at the sight of it, having not recalled with particular memory in a very long time. “Is it any wonder why Omnus dotes on little Sally?” Starhawk wondered aloud. “He probably saw Alma in the same way.” Usagi replied. “He did.” Alma said. “Omnus was a better father to me than Harlan could have ever hoped to be.” “Believe me, I know. He’s a father to all of us.” “He cares very much about all of you.” Alma responded. “All of you are the reason he hasn't gone on a suicide mission yet. Omnus has lived a very long life, and part of him just wants to rest forever.” “Given all the things he’s experienced, I don’t blame him.” Usagi said. “He’s very, very, very old.” “Even though he looks as if he were twentysomething?” Lettuce replied. “That’s partly because of Eltarian biology and whatever tech he has left from the Age of the Imperium.” “He fought Fulgrim, Lorgar and Magnus the Red simultaneously once.” Kras’hir said. “The three Primarchs were sent by Horus to kill him. Omnus dueled all of them on even ground, and he nearly killed Lorgar and Fulgrim.” “Why is our mentor such a badass?” Usagi asked rhetorically. “There wasn't a single person of note during that Age who wasn't a badass.” Kras’hir replied. “The Horus Heresy pitted Legion against Legion, Astarte against Astarte, Primarch against Primarch. Some of the battles fought during the Heresy shattered entire worlds. If Omnus wasn't a badass, he would have been slaughtered. His intellect was as sharp as his blades, as you already know. Many Loyalist Primarchs valued his counsel.” “So he was already mentoring teams before he made us Rangers.” “During the Age of the Imperium, he led a team of assassins, soldiers, commandos, Tech-Priests, and hardened criminals.” Kras’hir replied. “He had a partner, a woman named Amberley Vail, another Inquisitor.” “So, they were a sort of proto-Multiverse Force. We know Diabolica, before he fell to Chaos, was on that team.” “Diabolica killed Amberley Vail when he fell to Chaos.” Kras’hir said. “Omnus, in turn, nearly killed him, only sparing Diabolica because of their former friendship.” “And then he took the Zords and returned to Terra, where he built the Command Center. Well, the foundations anyway.” Lettuce finished. “We know all that.” “Let me tell you about some of his team members, then.” Kras’hir replied. “There was Callisa, an assassin of the Officio Assassinorum. More specifically, the Vindicare Temple, which trained sharpshooters. At one point, she killed a Tau commander and all five of his best soldiers with one bullet.” “Damn.” Lettuce said. “Another woman of note who served under Omnus was Veshera. She was a Tech-Priest. She was also completely insane.” Kras’hir continued. “Even so, her plans tended to work. I ran into her once. She had taken control of an Emperor-class Titan, a massive mech easily capable of wiping out armies. As you may be able to guess, the Daemonic warband I was part of didn't last long against her.” “Who made up the core team? I know Omnus was the Black Ranger and Diabolica the Red Ranger.” “They were all part of the core team.” Kras'hir responded. “You have to understand, Omnus didn't have a Ranger team under his command. They were all part of his retinue, and he trusted all of them with his life. The Ranger designations weren't relevant until after Diabolica fell to Chaos, and Omnus had to record what had occurred. In order to make things simpler for those who would come later, he called those he fought alongside most his Rangers.” “How do you know all this?” Pinkie asked. “Omnus and I have had a few very long chats.” “Ah. So they were the first Ranger team?” Lettuce asked. “In this universe anyway.” Usagi noted. “The High Lords of Terra didn't trust him.” Kras’hir said. “They disliked the amount of power and influence he had. The fact he wasn't human made their suspicions worse.” “Even though he’s physically indistinguishable? Come on, you’ve seen him.” “All of the things I am telling you are things he told me.” Kras’hir said, shrugging. “The Imperium held xenophobia as state policy. ‘Fear the alien, hate the alien, kill the alien.’” “They’d have a fucking heart attack if they knew of how all the other Ranger teams were associated with aliens in some way.” Usagi snarked. “You all live in a time where many of the aliens you have encountered are friendly.” Kras’hir said. “The Imperium existed in a time when mankind was beset on all sides by hostile foes. On average, the Imperium of Man was fighting ten thousand wars on a hundred thousand fronts. Most aliens at that time would happily enslave, kill, torture, rape, or eat every human if they got the chance.” “We are lucky, I guess.” “As xenophobic as the Imperium was, alliances with other species were sometimes necessary. Imperial forces would often fight alongside the Tau, Eldar, or, occasionally, the Necrons to deal with a greater threat. Omnus, for example, once formed an alliance with a Tau general to deal with a Tyranid invasion.” Kras’hir responded. “And, of course, many races fought together during the final war that destroyed the Imperium of Man. An alliance of humans, Tau and Eldar made a desperate stand against the encroaching mass of Tyranids, in order to buy time for members of all three races to go into hiding and avoid extinction.” “And that was when Omnus went into hiding and put himself in hibernation.” “Indeed.” Kras’hir agreed. “Now, let's get back to the ship. I've had enough of this planet.” Soon, they returned...only to find a naked Naruto and Malir. The two of them were mid-coitus when the team entered, and didn't notice they were being observed. “I love you.” the blonde ninja purred. “Love you, too.” Malir gasped, shuddering as she climaxed. Naruto noticed the others watching, and let out an uncharacteristically girlish scream as he covered himself. Malir noted, turning around to face the Rangers, that this scream was just as much due to embarrassment as pleasure, as he had climaxed a moment after her. “Hello, Rangers.” She said. “Stress-relieving activity. Did not expect you to return when you did.” “We noticed.” Usagi said dryly. “Hey, Naruto. Didn’t expect you to take up the dating game so soon after you broke up with Hinata.” “...WHO TOLD YOU THAT?!” “A little bird.” Usagi responded, pointing to Lettuce. “You bastard…” Naruto whispered half-seriously. “Thanks, I try.” Lettuce responded with his best shit-eating grin. “Honestly, I'm surprised Hinata stayed with you for this long.” Blackhawk said. “If memory serves, she's nowhere near Coastal Falls, and long-distance relationships tend to end badly.” “Which was why they broke up.” Lettuce informed. “It wasn’t working out.” “Shut up, Lettuce. I have something good going with Malir.” This was news to Kras’hir; rarely did anyone call Twitchy by her real name. “Malir must really trust you.” She said. “Very few people know her real name.” “What can I say? I’m a ladies’ man.” Naruto said flatly, snuggling up to Malir. “I wouldn’t take her trust too lightly.” Starhawk advised. “She is your lover now. Their trust is not to be betrayed.” “Especially a Daemon’s.” Usagi added. “Trust me on this.” “Don’t worry.” Naruto mumbled. “I know what I’m doing.” “Hope so.” Malir said, stroking his hair. “If you betray trust I have given to you, I will strangle you while you sleep.” “Wow.” Usagi said. “Wonder what she sees in him.” “Naruto is strong, brave, loyal.” Malir replied. “A bit arrogant, yes, but not overly so. Wonderful man, overall.” “Aww.” Usagi said. “It’s like you and me, Kras’hir.” “You calling me a man?” Kras’hir asked, grinning a bit. “N-no!” Usagi replied. “You're so cute when you blush.” Kras’hir said, pulling Usagi close and kissing her cheek. Naruto had fallen asleep by this point, Lettuce and Pinkie had gone to their room, and Alma went to see her sons. “M-mother?” Fettel said, opening his eyes. “Is that really you?” “Yes.” she whispered, tears in her eyes. “So it was you who sent the Rangers.” Fettel replied. “I knew you wouldn't leave me to the tender mercies of the Emperor’s Children.” “Never, Paxton.” “Good.” He said. “Good…” Fettel fell asleep once again. The Point Man was awake, gazing at Alma with an unreadable expression. “So you were the one who pulled me into this hellscape after the incident at Armacham.” He said. “Why?” “Why?” Alma repeated. “Does a mother need a reason to want to see her son?” “Fuck off.” He grunted, rolling over and falling asleep. She walked back to the others, looking downcast and sad. “I’m sorry.” Usagi said. “He hates me.” Alma whispered. “My own son. He hates me.” Usagi hugged her; it was the only thing she could think to do. Alma hugged her back, the tears that had welled up when she was speaking to Fettel finally falling. “It’s OK to cry, Alma.” Usagi said, running her hand through Alma’s hair. “Let it out.” She kept stroking the woman’s hair until the tears stopped. “Thank you.” Alma said softly, sniffling a bit. “You’re welcome.” Alma kept hugging her, resting her head on Usagi’s shoulder. Usagi didn’t object, just kept holding. Eventually, Alma let her go, smiling at Usagi before wandering off. Kras’hir had fallen asleep in the cockpit when Usagi found her. Usagi would have nudged her awake, but didn’t want to be rude. The events of their time in the Warp had been exhausting for everyone, including Kras’hir, it seemed. After a moment, the Daemoness cracked open an eye, looking at Usagi for a moment before gesturing for her to come over. Usagi walked over by her girlfriend’s side, and sat. Kras’hir pulled Usagi close, snuggling with her and falling asleep again. Usagi let out a small giggle before falling asleep herself. Starhawk, meanwhile, was still shocked that she was pregnant. Firehawk and Blackhawk watched as she paced back and forth, muttering to herself. “I am a mother...I need to prepare..oh, but what materials will I use to build the nest…” “She's taking this news well.” Firehawk said dryly, lighting a cigarette. “I am not taking it well, sister!” Starhawk said. “I am about to lay Blackhawk’s egg!” Blackhawk coughed awkwardly. Firehawk glared at him. “I hope you know that if my sister had implied in any way that you forced her into sex as she was grieving my death, I would have castrated you by now. As it is, I'm as unhappy about the whole situation as Starhawk.” “...I am going to be a mother, sister. I am unhappy, yes, but also excited.” “Good for you.” Firehawk said bitterly. “I just wish you had waited a bit longer than a day or two after my death before you hopped into bed with someone else.” Blackhawk sensed this was a private discussion, and promptly made himself scarce. “Please. Do not guilt-trip me.” Starhawk said. “Blackhawk and I are in love.” “I got that impression.” Firehawk replied. “That lesbian hex comment stung a bit, you know. Yes, I heard that. Part of me lingered in Blackhawk’s head after I died, and I heard the little chat you two had.” “Lesbian hex?” Starhawk denied. “What lesbian hex?” She was obviously very uncomfortable being reminded of that. “The one I supposedly placed on you.” Firehawk snapped, crossing her arms. “Did all of our time together mean so little to you, sister?” “No.” Starhawk said. “I was in denial.” She looked as if she were about to cry. “Denial of what?” “...Our relationship and my bisexuality.” Starhawk said. “THERE, YOU HAVE YOUR DAMNED ANSWER!” Firehawk stared at Starhawk for a moment, before gently embracing her. This surprised her, as she expected an entirely different reaction. “...” “Why in the name of the Gods are you ashamed of being bisexual?” Firehawk asked. “I do not know.” Starhawk said, tears flowing. “I never made any secret of my bisexuality.” Firehawk responded, about to cry herself. “I never knew you were ashamed, sister. I thought you had embraced your sexuality, as I had.” “I have. Now, at least.” Starhawk replied. “Good.” Firehawk said. “It is nothing to be ashamed of.” “But is it true you wish to share me with Blackhawk?” “No.” Firehawk said. “If I am honest, I want you all to myself. But I know you love him, and I am willing to share, however grudgingly.” “Thank you, sister.” “...What did you do with my body?” Firehawk asked after a few minutes of silence. “We buried it.” Starhawk answered. “It will be strange seeing my own grave.” “Shush.” Starhawk replied, before kissing her. Meanwhile, the ship’s autopilot had detected the location of the Zero Girls, or an approximation thereof. They had ended up on a world that, once dominated by Khornate Daemons, was now in the hands of Slaanesh, having earned the nickname of ‘the Devil’s Playground.’ Ruled by a trio of Secret Keepers who called themselves the Brides of the Prince, the planet’s surface was dominated by a massive, sprawling city. Within, depraved cultists, lurking Daemons and violent souls all dwelled, terrorizing the unfortunate dead who ended up there. The Zero Girls were among these dead, and rescuing them would not be easy...
  9. Just came back from swimming.

  10. Renegade the Unicorn

    Back at the Barnyard

    I genuinely like this show unironically. My whole family does.
  11. Renegade the Unicorn

    Spin-Off/Lit News and Announcements

    POWER RANGERS: MULTIVERSE FORCE On second thought, PR: MVF is not going on hiatus since I've brought my laptop along with me to Florida. However, the continuation of the "Reborn" arc will be slow since I'm on vacation. That is all.
  12. Renegade the Unicorn

    The SpongeBoard!

    #8 for PR: MVF and #12 for Cerebus? Sweet.
  13. Renegade the Unicorn

    Spin-Off/Lit News and Announcements

    POWER RANGERS: MULTIVERSE FORCE PR: MVF will be on a week-long hiatus due to my upcoming vacation to Florida starting tomorrow. Expect a return when I get back on the 20th or so.
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