Monday, June 4, 2018

Living With Red Daniel Part 10; DanXferriS

Daniel Ferris sits alone on a bench in the park. Red Daniel teleports nearby and approaches him.

Red Daniel; Got a call from Sal. He said you were looking for me.

Daniel Ferris; Not you specifically, but I needed to speak with one of us. And while you weren't at the top of the list, you're still not my worst option, and your the easiest to find.

Red Daniel; So what's up? Haven't seen you in quite a while.

Daniel Ferris; I've been looking into some recent incidents. Some of which are a bit worrying. Tell me, have you heard anything about a local cult?

Red Daniel; Just rumors. Figured it was best to stay out of it. Why?

Daniel Ferris; Come with me. I need to show you a few things.

Red Daniel; Sure. Let's get to it.

Daniel stands up and grips Red Daniel's shoulder, teleporting them both elsewhere. The two of them now stand outside a small, single story house.

Red Daniel; What's this place?

Daniel Ferris; Residence of the Miller Family. Married couple. No kids yet. Husband went out drinking.

Red Daniel; What's so interesting about a married dude getting drunk?

Daniel Ferris; He went drinking three weeks ago.

Red Daniel; Oh...

Daniel Ferris; Wife spent the next few days trying, and failing, to get a old of him. Called his work, his friends, anyone she could think of. Ended up reporting him missing.

Red Daniel; Okay. So how does the cult fit in here?

Daniel Ferris; In her report, the wife mentioned him interacting with some shady characters a few days beforehand. But that's all he information I could get out of this particular incident.

Red Daniel; That's not much to go with...

Daniel Ferris; I've got more. Come on.

Daniel Ferris takes Red Daniel's shoulder again, and they teleport somewhere else.

Meanwhile, back at Acelegin's apartment, Acelegin is in the middle of a phone call with Sal.

Acelegin; Did Daniel say anything else?

Sal; No. Just that he needed to meet with himself.

Acelegin; I see. Well, I'll talk to Red once he gets back.

Sal; Are you sure letting the two of hem meet up is a good idea?

Acelegin; Don't worry. They both signed the accords. They won't start anything with each other. If they do, I'll know, and I'll do something about it.

Sal; You sure you've got it under control?

Acelegin; Relax. Just get back to work, okay?

Sal; Alright... I'll talk to you later.

Acelegin; See ya.

Acelegin hangs up his phone.

Acelegin; Alright, where were we?

Pounce; Meow?

Acelegin; No, I already fed you. Stop begging.

Ghost Sans; We were about to watch that new horror movie, weren't we?

Acelegin; Oh, right. "Rise of the Franken-Werewolves 4; Return of the Cyborg-Pharaoh."

Ghost Sans; Yeah. I'm hoping it'll be better than its disappointing predecessor, "Rise of the Franken-Werewolves 3; Dinosaurs from the future."

Acelegin; Yeah, but I doubt it could compare to the original classic, or the record breaking second entry, "Curse of the Cyborg-Pharaoh."

Ghost Sans; Well, let's get started, shall we?

Acelegin; I'll make some popcorn.

Meanwhile, in a different part of town, Daniel  Ferris and Red Daniel appear outside of an old house.

Red Daniel; So what's this place?

Daniel Ferris; Abandoned. That's what it is. Look.

Daniel Ferris points to one of the windows, which is shattered.

Red Daniel; A break in, huh?

Daniel Ferris; Looks like it. Lot's of important stuff missing. Including the owners.

Red Daniel; So a kidnapping on top of all that...

Daniel Ferris; Maybe. Neighbor were questioned, of course. A couple of them reported that the owners of this house had been visited a few times by some strangers. Suspicious looking fellas that they didn't recognize from the area.

Red Daniel; Interesting, but still not much of a lead.

Daniel Ferris; After the homeowners disappeared, the strangers haven't been seen since, but one neighbor claimed to have seen them lurking around the block the night before it happened.

Red Daniel; Yep, that sounds like prime suspect material to me. But no one can really confirm who these people are, or if they're connected to the cult?

Daniel Ferris; Oh, I've got more.

Daniel Ferris grabs Red Daniel's arm and teleports them to the edge of a river.

Red Daniel; I know this place. We're close to the dam, aren't we?

Daniel Ferris; Yeah. About a week ago, the cult was sighted here by a passing sheriff. They scattered before they could be caught, but they left behind a few things. including Mr. Miller's driver's license and a couple of the missing items from the house we just stopped by.

Red Daniel; Alright, now we have a connected. I think... Are we sure this was the cult, and not just some randos?

Daniel Ferris; Well, the sheriff reported they all had black robes on. Sound pretty culty to me.

Red Daniel; Okay, that brings up another question. How the fuck do you know so much about these police reports?

Daniel Ferris; I'd rather not get into it...

Red Daniel; Oh, come on, Danny Boy.

Daniel Ferris; Please don't call me that...

Red Daniel; I can always seduce the answers out of you.

Daniel Ferris; Don't you fucking dare.

Red Daniel gives a cocky smile and takes a step toward Daniel Ferris, who takes a fighting stance and wraps a hand around a hilt of his wakizashi.

Daniel Ferris; Get back.

Red Daniel; Oh? Is this a threat?

Daniel Ferris draws he blade out a couple of inches, narrowing his eyes. Red Daniel chuckles, and his eyes start glowing red.

Red Daniel; Well, if my sex appeal doesn't work, I guess I can just beat the answers out instead.

Red Daniel clenches his fists and takes a fighting stance.

Meanwhile, at Acelegin's apartment, Acelegin and Ghost Sans are watching the beginning of the movie.

Acelegin; Man, this is off to a slow start...

Ghost Sans; Eh, I'm sure it'll pick up soon enough.

Acelegin; I sure hope it doe-

Acelegin pauses, and looks in the direction of the river.

Ghost Sans; What's wrong?

Acelegin; I can sense hostility between two of the Daniels.

Ghost Sans; Uh-oh. Are you gonna get involved with it?

Acelegin; I don't know yet. I'll give it a second, see if it escalates. If so, I'll get between them...

Back at the dam, Red Daniel and Daniel Ferris continue staring each other down, prepared to attack.

Red Daniel; Come on, Danny Boy. You really wanna violate the accords?

Daniel Ferris; I don't know. Can't say I trust myself.

Red Daniel; Which of us are you referring to?

Daniel Ferris; I think "Both" is an accurate answer.

Red Daniel chuckles, and lowers his guard slightly.

Red Daniel; We should probably chill out before Ace has a reason to come here and kick our asses.

Daniel Ferris slides his sword back into its sheath, but keeps his hand on the hilt.

Daniel Ferris; Fair enough. But keep in mind. I won our last fight.

Red Daniel; Yeah.

Red Daniel places a hand over his sternum, wincing slightly.

Red Daniel; How could I forget...

Red Daniel's eyes stop glowing.

Red Daniel; Seriously, though. How do you know all of this police stuff?

Daniel Ferris; I uh... had to use some of my powers in ways I'm... Not exactly proud of...

Red Daniel; Fair enough. So, anything else you wanna show me?

Daniel Ferris; Just one. Let's go.

Meanwhile, back at Acelegin's apartment, Acelegin relaxes a bit, and exhales slowly.

Ghost Sans; So everything's cool now?

Acelegin; Yeah. I think they were just toying with each other.

Ghost Sans; That's good. It'd be a shame if you actually had to kill Red. I kinda like the guy, weirdly enough.

Acelegin; I wouldn't actually kill him, but I would give him more than just a broken arm if he broke the accords.

Ghost Sans; Ah, I see.

Acelegin; You know? I think I'd enjoy this movie a bit more if I had a drink in my hand. Mind pausing it for a bit while I grab a beer?

Ghost Sans; Sure.

Ghost Sans pauses the movie while Acelegin walks over to his mini fridge. As Acelegin is about to open the door, his eyes fall on Red Daniel's copy of "The War of Vices And Virtues". Acelegin hesitates for a few seconds, staring at it.

Ghost Sans; Are you actually gonna read it this time or not?

Acelegin; Huh? What?

Ghost Sans; Seriously, if I had a quarter for every time you've considered reading that thing before deciding to put if off a little longer, I could almost afford a bottle of ketchup.

Acelegin; Geez, alright, I'll have a look.

Acelegin nervously opens the book to the page Red Daniel had bookmarked.

Acelegin; "Chastity felt the music flow through her. She threw off her coat and began dancing along with the crowd. So far, this was turning out to be one of the best parties she had ever been to."

Ghost Sans; Seems nice.

Acelegin skips ahead a couple of paragraphs, hoping to find what had upset Red Daniel so much.

Acelegin; "She followed the young man into the spare bedroom. He was undoubtedly handsome, and had such charisma flowing from him that she couldn't help but enjoy his company."

Ghost Sans; Cool. She met a nice guy.

Acelegin; "Once the door had been closed, the boy grabbed her by the throat and pinned her to the wall."

Ghost Sans; Wait, what?

Acelegin; "Her elation turned to panic as she met his lustful eyes. Eyes that quickly became consumed by a crimson glow. His hair shifted color as well, turning from dark brown to a fierce, fiery red. Even his clothing seemed to fade into that sinister, loathsome color."

Acelegin clasps a hand over his mouth, and reads on silently, wide-eyed and horrified. A few moments later, he throws the book down and begins panting.

Ghost Sans; Are you okay?

Acelegin; Carol...

Ghost Sans; What?

Acelegin; Her name isn't Chastity! It's Carol Zuiver!

Ghost; Who... Who is that?

Acelegin; An important part of Red's Backstory. A long time ago, he... violated her. He was forced to, by the Redness. He felt so guilty that he almost killed himself. But instead he sold his soul so he could abandon that guilt.

Acelegin looks down at the book.

Acelegin; This is her story. That's why he couldn't finish it. He's afraid to know what happens next.

Acelegin is suddenly filled with intense rage.

Acelegin; Just who the fuck is this Severin Albert asshole and how does he know all this!

Meanwhile, Red Daniel and Daniel Ferris arrive at an alleyway, surrounded by police tape. The chalk outline of a small figure lays in the middle of it all.

Red Daniel; A crime scene?

Daniel Ferris; Her name was Clair Redmond. Age 14.

Red Daniel; 14? Seriously?

Daniel Ferris; She put up a fight. Bloody knuckles. Bruised knees and elbows. Fresh knife wounds...

Red Daniel; Fresh?

Daniel Ferris; Police arrived as the culprits were fleeing. Figures in dark robes.

Red Daniel; The cult...

Daniel Ferris; Police suspect it might have been an attempted kidnapping gone wrong.

Red Daniel; Shit, dude. So young, too.

Daniel Ferris; That's what pisses me off about this one. It just happened last night. And so far, I have no idea about who this cult actually is, or why they're doing any of this.

Red Daniel; Well, I might have some potential explanations.

Daniel Ferris; I know. You were sort of in a cult before. You know their mentality better than I ever could.

Red Daniel; You sought out the right guy.

Daniel Ferris; So what's with the kidnappings? What's their endgame? Even if you don't know their plan, any theory you have could be helpful.

Red Daniel; Well, the thought of human sacrifice is a pretty obvious motive, but I have a more likely solution.

Daniel Ferris; And that would be?

Red Daniel; Recruitment.

Daniel Ferris; And how exactly do you convince the people you've literally kidnapped into joining you?

Red Daniel; Oh, there's a number of tricks cult leaders can pull. You can break down someone's self esteem so much that they think signing on will make them a better person. You can exploit Stockholm Syndrome in people who are potentially susceptible to it. You can get in their head at a young age and slowly convince them that your way is right...

Red Daniel narrows his eyes a bit.

Red Daniel; You can force them to do something so horrible that they end up thinking that abandoning all feelings of guilt is their only alternative to suicide...

Daniel Ferris raises an eyebrow.

Daniel Ferris; Speaking from experience, buddy?

Red Daniel; Maybe. Fuck you. Who wants to knows.

Daniel Ferris; Sorry. Didn't mean to touch any soft sp-

Daniel Ferris pauses suddenly.

Daniel Ferris; Do you feel like we're being watched?

Red Daniel; You're just noticing?

Daniel Ferris; Wait, what?

Red Daniel; Dude, that drone up there's been following us all over town.

Red Daniel points to a drone hovering in the sky. Daniel Ferris angrily draws a gun and shoots it down.

Daniel Ferris; Son of a bitch. Who the fuck was controlling that? The cult?

Red Daniel; Beats me.

Daniel Ferris; I'd better be careful. Thank you, by the way. You've given my a lot of insight to work with. If you figure out anything else about this cult, let me know. Somehow...

Red Daniel; Should be easy enough. We have the same email. Just keep an eye out for messages to yourself written in red.

Daniel; Alright. See ya.

Red Daniel; Peace, Danny Boy.

Meanwhile, in a dark room filled with televisions showing various surveillance images, a man in a brown, hooded coat with green markings stares silently at once screen, showing only static.

Hooded Man #1; Hmm... interesting...

A second hooded man enters the room, with white markings on his coat.

Hooded Man #2; Was one of our drones taken out, sir?

Hooded Man #1; Yes. It's seems Red was aware of it the entire time. Raised the question of if he's always known of our surveillance.

Hooded Man #2; That could be troublesome...

Hooded Man #1; Time will tell. In the meantime, though,  he has had a conversation with the original Daniel that has peaked my curiosity...

Hooded Man #2; How so?

Hooded Man #1; There seems to be a cult operating in the area. We should look into that. We may be able to use them for something...

Monday, May 21, 2018

Living With Red Daniel Part 9; Backstory

Hey guys. Acelegin here. The following post touches on themes of sexual assault, self harm, and suicide, so I'm placing a mature content warning on this entry. You have been warned.

Red Daniel enters Sal's bar with his right arm bound in a splint.

Alyssa; Red, why are you here on your day off? And why is your arm broken?

Red Daniel; Well, I got my ass kicked, and I could use a drink. Could you get Sal to whip up an APple daiquiri?

Alyssa; Hold on. He's in the back. I'll go get him.

Alyssa goes to the back, while Red Daniel has a seat at the bar.

Red Daniel; Damn it...

Red Daniel clutches his wounded arm.

Red Daniel; Every goddamn time...

Sal and Alyssa return from the back room.

Sal; Let me guess. Acelegin, again?

Red Daniel; I'll win one of these days. Mark my words!

Sal; Sure you will. What can I drown your pain in today?

Red Daniel; APple Daiquiri. Iced.

Sal; Alright. Give me a minute.

Sal goes off to prepare Red Daniel's drink.

Alyssa; Acelegin's the one who broke your arm?

Red Daniel; Yep.

Alyssa; How'd he manage that? Don't those crazy super powers make you almost invincible?

Red Daniel; Yeah, exactly. "Almost" isn't always enough.

Sal returns and hands Red Daniel a drink.

Sal; Here.

Red Daniel; Thanks. Anyway, the thing with Acelegin is that all of his creations have a disadvantage while fighting him.

Alyssa; How does that work?

Red Daniel; Think of it like a stat boost. Acelegin gets stronger while fighting any of his creations. And if his facing more than one of his creations, the stat boosts stack.

Sal; In other words, we just can't beat him.

Alyssa; Then why do you keep picking fights with him?

Red Daniel; He'll slip up someday. And when he does, I'll finally kick the shit out of him. 

Sal; I mostly just challenge him for sparring purposes. Who better to train with than someone you can't defeat?

Alyssa; You guys are fucking weird...

Red Daniel; Thank you.

Meanwhile, at Acelegin's apartment, Acelegin walks through the door.

Ghost Papyrus; Greetings, human!

Acelegin; I have a name...

Ghost Sans; What have you been up to?

Acelegin; Nothing much. Are you guys watching the news?

Ghost Papyrus; Indeed!

Acelegin; Why?

Ghost Papyrus We are trying to learn more about humans!

Ghost Sans; There's also nothing else on right now.

Acelegin; Okay... Also, how? I don't have cable. Or satellite...

Ghost Sans; That's a good question...

Acelegin; So what are they talking about?

Ghost Papyrus; I don't know. Let's turn it up.

Acelegin turns up the volume.

News Reporter; ...Reports of possible cult activity in the area have seemed to be on the rise as of late, and while no evidence seems to be available as to who these people are, there is some speculation that they may be involved in a number of recent disappearances.

Acelegin; Cult activity? That's so...

Ghost Papyrus; Terrifying?

Ghost Sans; Unsettling?

Pounce; Meow?

Acelegin ...Boring. You guys wanna play Mario Kart?

Ghost Papyrus; Yay! Mario Kart!

Meanwhile, back at Sal's.

Alyssa; So what's the deal with your powers? You never explained how you got them.

Red Daniel; That's not a tale I like telling.

Alyssa; How many more drinks is it gonna take to get that origin story out of you?

Red Daniel sighs.

Red Daniel; Whatever. Pour me a shot and I'll explain how I got like this.

Alyssa pours a shot of rum for Red Daniel, who tosses it back before taking a moment to get his thoughts together.

Red Daniel; This power is called the Redness. It's basically pure Vice. I got infected with it at a party when I was a teenager. It got inside of me. Pulled my inner vices to the surface, twisting them into something... horrible...

Alyssa; And what happened.

Red Daniel; I saw a girl. One of the popular chicks at school. And I just... lost control.

Alyssa; What do you mean "lost control"?

Red Daniel closes his eyes for a moment, before opening them and looking Alyssa in the eyes.

Red Daniel; I raped her.

Alyssa takes a step back, alarmed.

Alyssa; Holy shit...

Red Daniel; Told you. Don't like telling this story. Afterwards, the Redness subsided, and I regained control. But by that point, it was too late. I got arrested. Locked up. Virtually disowned by everyone I cared about. I spent the next few years alone with the overwhelming guilt I had from what I'd done.

Alyssa; But you just told me! You weren't in control. Everything that happened was the Redness's fault! Right?

Red Daniel chuckles.

Red Daniel; That must be easy for an outsider to say. But I was there. I was conscious of everything going on, and I was too weak to stop myself. 

Red Daniel looks down a his left arm, examining several, barely visible, faded scars.

Red Daniel; The guilt and shame... they came so close to destroying me. I nearly ended it all before the Redness resurfaced. It offered me an alternative. It offered me a chance to live without guilt. A chance to live without the judging eyes of my peers making a damn difference to me. It offered me a chance to trade in my guilt for power. All I had to do was let the Redness consume me.

Alyssa; And you accepted...

Red Daniel; I was desperate.

Red Daniel wiggles his shot glass toward Alyssa, who refilled it.

Red Daniel; What I didn't see coming, however, was that without guilt, my other emotions grew stronger to fill the gap. Anger. Sadness. Grief...

Red Daniel downs his shot.

Red Daniel; I fell in love with a guy. Doug. He was great.

Alyssa; What happened to him?

Red Daniel; He got torn apart. Right in front of me. And I was forced to watch it all happened.

Red Daniel looks sadly at his empty shot glass.

Red Daniel; Again, I was too weak to do anything. I wanted the grief to end so badly. But of course, the Redness had too much power over me. It wouldn't let me end it myself. So, I pissed off another me so badly that he impaled me with a flaming samurai sword.

Alyssa; Wait, what?

Red Daniel; Oh, right, there's some crazy fucking multiverse shit involved. It's weird... But, sometime after all that, Acelegin brought me back. Since then, I've been in control of the Redness. I can't feel its pull on me anymore. Almost like it doesn't have its own consciousness anymore.

Alyssa; I see. So, is she the only one you've... you know...

Red Daniel; I haven't raped anyone else, if that's what you wanna know. I've done some fucked up shit, but I haven't crossed that specific line since then. 

Alyssa remains silent for a while

Alyssa; What was her name?

Red Daniel remains silent.

Alyssa; Do you... remember?

Red Daniel; I could never forget...

Red Daniel sighs.

Red Daniel; Carol. Carol Zuiver.

Red Daniel gestures for Alyssa to fill his glass again.

Alyssa; Have you seen her since then?

Red Daniel; No. I've thought about checking up on her... but...

Red Daniel sighs.

Red Daniel; I'm afraid to. I don't know if I wanna see how what I did affected her.

Red Daniel and Alyssa sit in silence for a few minutes. After a while, Red Daniel grabs his splint, and tears the entire thing off with little effort. He bends his elbow a few times and flexes his arm.

Red Daniel; Alright, good as new. I'm gonna head home now. Just put this all on my tab.

Meanwhile, back at Acelegin's apartment.

Acelegin; Damn it! So close!

Ghost Papyrus; Victory is mine! I love this game!

Acelegin; Ugh, you suck.

Acelegin's phone begins ringing.

Acelegin; Hey Sans, I gotta take this. Wanna play the next track for me?

Ghost Sans; Sure.

Acelegin hands the controller to Ghost Sans before picking up his phone.

Red Daniel; Hey, Ace.

Acelegin; Sup, loser. How's your arm?

Red Daniel; All ready to go for some alone time. I'm on my way home. Is there anything good in the fridge?

Acelegin; I think here's some chicken and potatoes in there... Want me to get the rice cooker started?

Red Daniel; Sure. See you in a bit, dumbass.

Acelegin; Fuck you too.

Acelegin hangs up his phone.

Acelegin; I'll be the kitchen for a minute. Let me know when the next race starts.

Ghost Sans; Sure thing.

Later, at Sal's, Sal and Alyssa and busy cleaning up the bar, when another version of Daniel walks in. His long brown hair flows down past his shoulders, and he wears a dark, black vest. In his left hand, he carries a wakizashi. The sword's sheath has been noticeably split in half and repaired with gorilla glue. Alyssa and Sal notice him approach.

Alyssa; What? Another Daniel?

Sal's eyes widen.

Sal; That's not just any Daniel! That's the original Daniel! The first of them...

Daniel Ferris; I'm looking for me. Have I been here recently?

Monday, April 9, 2018

Living With Red Daniel Part 8; Shopping

Acelegin and Ghost Papyrus are sitting on the couch. Papyrus playing Sonic the Hedgehog, while Acelegin drinks beer and watches.

Ghost Papyrus; Argh! I died! And that was my last life.

Acelegin; That sucks, dude.

Ghost Papyrus; So now I have to start the entire game over again?

Acelegin; Yup.

Ghost Papyrus; How on Earth did you ever beat this game.

Acelegin; Well, I played the version on the PS2's Mega Collection. I had the option to save my state, which I exploited the hell out of.

Ghost Papyrus; Isn't that cheating?

Acelegin; You think I give a shit?

Suddenly, Red Daniel bursts through the front door.

Red Daniel; Papyrus! I need to borrow your car!

Acelegin turns to Papyrus, shocked.

Acelegin; You have a car!?

Ghost Papyrus; What do you need it for?

Red Daniel; I sort of ruined one of Alyssa's outfits, so now I have to buy her a new one...

Ghost Papyrus; Oh. Okay, sure. My keys are on the table over there.

Red Daniel; Thanks!

Red Daniel retrieves the keys and exits.

Ghost Papyrus; Wait, does he have a driver's license?

Acelegin; No. No he does not.

Later, at the mall.

Alyssa; Wow. You actually showed.

Red Daniel; Yeah, yeah. Let's get this over with. What store are we going to?

Alyssa; I don't know yet. Let's go browse a bit. I'll make up my mind later.

Red Daniel; Fine...

A few minutes pass in silence as Alyssa's looks at some different outfits. Red Daniel catches sight of Dank Memes passing by the store they're in and calls out to him.

Red Daniel; Yo! Dank!

Dank Memes; Huh? Oh, hey Red.

Red Daniel; What are you up to?

Dank Memes; Came here to do some light shopping. Maybe see if I can get a date this Friday,

Dank Memes notices Alyssa.

Dank Memes; Ah, speaking of dates, what are you guys up to?

Red Daniel; Not what you're thinking. I'm just here because I owe her clothes...

Dank Memes; Clothes?

Alyssa; He split a cherry daiquiri on one of my favorite outfits, and then tried to solve the problem with fire.

Red Daniel; Hey, scorched clothes are really in these days.

Dank Memes; That might explain all the slightly burnt t-shirts I've been seeing lately...

Alyssa; But yeah, He owes me some new clothes now.

Dank Memes; Well, I've got a bit of an eye for fashion. I could help you pick something out.

Alyssa; You're literally wearing a cat themed shirt right now...

Dank Memes; Hey! I make this look good, okay.

Meanwhile, back at Acelegin's apartment, Papyrus is continuing to struggle with Sonic the Hedgehog.

Acelegin; Hey, you made it to the Labyrinth zone. Good job. I've never got that far without save states.

Papyrus; But I'm down to my last life again! And I've only managed to get one of the Chaos Emeralds...

Acelegin; Don't worry, you're getting the hang of it. Just keep trying.

Acelegin stands up.

Acelegin; In the meantime, I'm gonna go get another beer.

Acelegin walks over to his mini-fridge, and on his way to open it, his eyes fall upon a book sitting on top of it.

Acelegin; This is Red's book, right?

Acelegin; picks the book up, examining the bookmark marking the last page Red Daniel had read.

Acelegin; Just what was in this thing that bothered him so much?

Acelegin holds the book in his hands for a couple minutes, debating whether or not to open it up to the marked page. In the end, though, he sighs and sets it back down.

Acelegin; Another time...

Ghost Papyrus; Damn it! I died again!

Meanwhile, Red Daniel, Alyssa, and Dank Memes are exiting the mall. Dank Memes and Alyssa are both carrying bags, while Red Daniel stares sadly into his much lighter wallet.

Red Daniel; Just had to get the most expensive one they had, huh?

Alyssa; Serves you right.

Red Daniel; Whatever. We're even now, right?

Alyssa; I'm still peeved with you, but yes. You're debt's repaid.

Dank Memes chuckles.

Alyssa; What's so funny.

Dank Memes; You two are cute together.

Red Daniel; You take that back, you son of a bitch.

Dank Memes; I'm kidding, I'm kidding.

Dank Memes pauses for a moment, staring at something in the distance.

Dank Memes; Uh, Red? Does that guy look kind of like... you? But with, like, a completely wrong color scheme.

Red Daniel follows Dank Meme's gaze, and lets out an exasperated sigh.

Red Daniel; Not this prick...

Green Daniel; Golly! Red! I wasn't expecting to run into you here!

Red Daniel; Hello, Green...

Green Daniel; Are these friends of yours?

Red Daniel; You could say that...

Alyssa; I'm... um... his coworker...

Red Daniel; Her name's Alyssa.

Green Daniel; Well, I'm pleased to meet you, miss Alyssa.

Alyssa; Um... Thanks. You too...

Green Daniel; And you are?

Dank Memes; I'm Dank Memes. I'm a dating sim protagonist.

Green Daniel; Is that why I find you weirdly attractive?

Dank Memes; I have that effect on people.

Red Daniel; So what brings you here?

Green Daniel; Oh, well... it's a little embarrassing, but...

Green Daniel shows some unopened packs of Yu-Gi-Oh cards.

Green Daniel; I was actually picking up some of these...

Dank Memes; Oh, you play too?

Red Daniel; Oh god, I'm surrounded by fucking nerds...

Alyssa; I used to play in Middle school, but it's been a long time since then.

Green Daniel; Hey, what do you say we have a quick game? There's four of us, so we could easily have a tag duel.

Red Daniel; Really? Is this what's happening in this post? I thought this was the shopping episode! Why is it going in this direction?

Dank Memes; I don't object. You've got a deck, right Red?

Red Daniel; I live with Acelegin; Of course I do.

Alyssa; I don't.

Green Daniel; I've got a spare I can lend you.

Green Daniel offers Alyssa a deck of cards.

Green Daniel; How would you like to be on my team, miss Alyssa?

Alyssa glances over at Red Daniel.

Alyssa; If it means I can embarrass this asshole, sure.

Red Daniel; I'm embarrassed that we're even doing this. Let's just get it over with.

Red Daniel presses a button on his watch, which then transforms into a duel disk. Duel disks also appear on the other's wrists.

Alyssa; You have a watch that gives everyone around you their own duel disk?

Red Daniel; Acelegin gave it to me. For some reason.

Green Daniel; Alright, let's establish some rules real quick. Each team shares 8000 life points. Red Daniel and I will start on the front line. Only the player on the front line can activae cards and effects, and only the front line will be affected by them. The order of turns will go Red, Alyssa, Dank, then me, then back to Red.

Red Daniel; So I go first then? Sounds good.

Red Daniel and Green Daniel stand across from each other. Everyone draws five cards for their starting hand.

Red Daniel; Alright. Let's go! For my first move, I normal summon Inferno Juggernaut!

A large soldier, dressed head to toe in silver and red armor, and wielding a giant flaming sword appears before Red Daniel. It is level 4, with 1900 attack points.

Red Daniel; And next, I activate the spell card, Tremendous Fire! This card deals 1000 damage to you, and 500 to me!

Red Daniel and Green Daniel are both engulfed in flames, and their life points drop to 7500 and 7000 respectively.

Red Daniel; I'll end my turn with that.

Green Daniel; Very well. Alyssa, you're up next.

Alyssa move to the front line, while Green Daniel steps back.

Alyssa; I'll start by drawing a card, then I summon Emerald Goliath!

A massive golem made of dark green stones appears. It is level 4 with 1800 attack points.

Alyssa; I'll now equip it with Axe Of Despair, increasing its attack power by 1000 points!

A monstrous looking axe appears in her monsters hand, and its attack power rises to 2800.

Alyssa; Now I'll attack your Inferno Juggernaut!

The Emerald Goliath swings its axe, and Red Daniel's monster raises its sword to defend itself.

Red Daniel; Once per turn, while in attack position, Inferno Juggernaut can survive one battle.

Red Daniel's life points drop to 6600.

Alyssa; Whenever Emerald Goliath deal battle damage, my opponent discards one card from their hand.

Red Daniel; Fine, whatever...

Red Daniel discards a card from his hand.

Alyssa; I set one card face down and end my turn.

Red Daniel; Alright, Dank. You're up.

Red Daniel steps back while Dank Memes moves to the front. Dank Memes draws a card.

Dank Memes; I'll start by tributing Red's Juggernaut to tribute summon Battle Triker!

A man in a white leather biking uniform and helmet, riding a three wheeled motorcycle appears on the field, replacing Red Daniel's Inferno Juggernaut. Its level 6, with 2300 attack points.

Red Daniel; Really? A "card games on motorcycles" joke?

Dank Memes; Trust me, I could have done a lot worse. Next, I play the quickplay spell card, Gold Romance Letter.

Alyssa; What does that do, exactly?

Dank Memes; Simple. I offer you a hug. If you accept, we both gain 1000 life points. If you refuse, we both discard three cards from the top of our decks.

Alyssa; Uh, sure. I'll accept. I don't see why not...

Dank Memes steps forward and gives Alyssa a hug. Both of their life points increase, with Alyssa's rising back to 8000 and Dank Memes becoming 7600. They then release each other and return to their respective spots.

Red Daniel; Nice job giving them back the points I took from them earlier...

Dank Memes; Calm down. It's just a game. Anyway, fo my next move, I'll use another quickplay spell, called Tailor Of The Fickle.

Alyssa; Oh shit...

Dank Memes; Ah, you're familiar with this one? It allows me to take that Axe Of Despair of yours, and equip it to my monster, instead.

The Axe Of Despair vanishes from Emerald Goliath's hand, reappearing in Battle Triker's grip. Battle Triker's attack rises to 3300, while Emerald Goliath's returns to 1800.

Dank Memes; Now, I'll have Battle Triker attack your Goliath!

Battle Triker revs up his trike, and charges at Emerald Goliath, swinging the Axe Of Despair.

Alyssa; I activate the trap card, Armor Of Virtue! After activating this card, I can equip it to a monster I control! And as long as it's equipped, it can't be destroyed in battle!

A soft green light surrounds Emerald Goliath, and it endures the hit. Alyssa's life points fall to 6500.

Dank Memes; Good play. But, I still have a trick left. Would you like to hear Battle Triker's effect?

Alyssa; What?

Dank Memes; You see, since I've activated two quickplay spells this turn since summoning him, he gains an additional attack. So, I can still hit you one more time.

Battle Triker swings its axe again, striking Emerald Goliath and bringing Alyssa's life points down to 5000.

Alyssa; Damn it...

Dank Memes; Sorry 'bout that. I'll go ahead and set two cards, then end my turn.

Green Daniel; In that case, I guess I'm up.

Dank Memes; Let's see what'cha got, Green.

Green Daniel moves to the front line and draws a card.

Dank Memes; Before you do anything else, I wanna go ahead and use one of my face-down cards. You cool with that?

Green Daniel; I suppose so. Go ahead.

Dank Memes; I think you'll like this one. I activate Green Romance Letter.

Green Daniel; Gosh. What does this one do?

Dank Memes; Once again, I offer my opponent a hug. Should you accept, we both draw a card. If you refuse, We both banish a card from our hand face-down.

Green Daniel; A free card for both of us? I see no reason to decline.

Dank Memes; All righty then. Come 'ere, you!

Green Daniel and Dank Memes approach each other and exchange a brief hug. They then break apart and return to their positions. Dank Memes looks at Red Daniel uneasily.

Red Daniel; (whispering) Something up.

Dank Memes; (whispering) He's missing something. Can't quite explain it.

Green Daniel and Dank Memes turn back to each other, and they each draw a card.

Green Daniel; Okay. First of all, I activate the spell card Arrow Of Virtue. Since your life points are higher than mine, I can deal you 1000 points of damage.

A green arrow falls from the sky, hitting Dank Memes and reducing his life points to 6600.

Red Daniel; There goes those life points you just gained...

Green Daniel; It's cool.

Green Daniel; Next, by sending a face up spell or trap I control to the graveyard, I special summon Celadon Fox.

The Armor Of Virtue surrounding Emerald Goliath vanishes, and a grayish-green fox appears before Green Daniel. It's level 5 with 1800 attack points.

Green Daniel; Next, I normal summon Jade Sparrow.

A small green bird appears on Green Daniel's field. It's level one, with 200 attack.

Green Daniel; When this card is summoned, I can inflict 300 damage to my opponent's life points for each monster I control. That's three right now, so you take 900 damage.

Dank Memes life points fall to 5700.

Green Daniel; Next, I use Celadon Fox's effect. At the cost of 500 life points, I can deal you 300 damage for every monster currently in play. That's currently four, adding up to 1200.

Both of their life points fall to 4500.

Green Daniel; Then I play the spell card Scroll Of Awakening. If the total levels of every monster I control is ten or higher, I can pay 500 life points to add one card from my deck to my hand.

Green Daniel's life points drop to 4000.

Green Daniel; The card I'll be adding to my hand is the ritual spell card Devotion To Virtue.

Red Daniel; A ritual spell?

Green Daniel; I'll now activate it. So by tributing the level four Emerald Goliath, the level one Jade Sparrow, and the level 5 Celadon Fox, I can now ritual summon the level ten, Paladin Of Virtue!

A knight in gleaming green armor appears on Green Daniel's field. It stands tall with a mighty 3000 attack points.

Green Daniel; When this monster is ritual summoned, it allows me to destroy any spell or trap card in play. I'll use this effect to target Axe Of Despair!

The Axe Of Despair shatters, and Battle Triker's attack points return to 2300.

Green Daniel; I'll now have my monster attack! And any monster it battles loses attack equal to its own level times 100!

The Paladin Of Virtue lunges at Battle Triker. Battle Triker's attack falls to 1700, and Paladin Of Virtue's blade cleaves it in two. Dank Memes life points are reduced to 3200.

Dank Memes; Geez, just how many effects does that thing have?

Green Daniel; Gosh, it has quite a few, actually. But I'll leave the rest of them a mystery for now. I end my turn.

Red Daniel steps forward.

Red Daniel; Alright, it's you and me then. I draw!

Red Daniel looks a the card he drew, disappointment flashing across his face.

Red Daniel; A monster might've been nice. Oh well. I play another copy of Tremendous Fire!

Red Daniel's life points fall to 2700, while Green Daniel's fall to 3000.

Red Daniel; Alright, now how do I deal with this fucking paladin?

Suddenly, Red Daniel's phone goes off. He answers it to hear Acelegin speaking.

Acelegin; Red, I need you to come back soon. It's urgent.

Red Daniel; What's up? Are you under attack? How bad is it?

Acelegin; I'm out of beer.

Red Daniel; Oh god! The worst of all possible fates has befallen you! I'll be back ASAP!

Red Daniel hangs up and turns back to Green Daniel.

Red Daniel; Hey, uh, can we maybe postpone this thing a bit? I gotta go a beer run for Ace.

Green Daniel; Uh, I guess we can call it a draw for now, if you need to.

Dank Memes stands watching, as a pair of choices appear before him. The first choice says "Let him go", while the second one says "Finish the game". Dank Memes hesitates for a second, before selecting the second option.

Dank Memes; Hey, why not finish your turn, at least? Ace can wait a couple extra minutes, right?

Red Daniel; Huh? Well, there's really much I can do here...

Dank Memes; You've still got my remaining face down, don't you?

Red Daniel; Huh? Oh Right! I activate whatever the hell Dank set earlier!

The card Dank Memes had set earlier activates.

Green Daniel; What is this, exactly?

Dank Memes; This is my Red Romance Letter. Allow me to recite its effect for you all.

Dank Memes clears his throat.

Dank Memes; "Target one face-up monster on the field, then offer your opponent a kiss on the lips. If they accept, destroy the targeted monster, and all face-up monsters with equal or lower attack than it. If they refuse, both player take damage equal to the attack of the targeted monster."

Green Daniel raises an eyebrow and looks at Dank Memes.

Green Daniel; So, you want me to kiss you?

Dank Memes; Me? No, of course not. I didn't activate the card.

Green Daniel's eyes widen in shock as he looks at Red Daniel. Red Daniel smirks.

Red Daniel; So, how 'bout it, big boy? Care to pucker up for me?

A viridian fire burns in Green Daniel's eyes as he narrows them.

Green Daniel; I refuse.

The Red Romance Letter begins glowing crimson.

Green Daniel; I guess this ends in a draw, then.

Red Daniel; Not quite...

Green Daniel; What?

Red Daniel; Remember when Alyssa forced me to discard a card? Well, now I'm gonna activate it's effect.

Alyssa; Wait, what?

Red Daniel; I banish Red Kuriboh from my graveyard to negate the damage I would take from this effect!

A little red ball of fluff appears before Red Daniel to protect him. The Red Romance Letter explodes, reducing Green Daniel's life points to zero, while Red Kuriboh Protects Red Daniel's remaining life points.

Red Daniel; This is the second time I've beat you, Green.

Green Daniel chuckles.

Green Daniel; Golly, it sure is. But, you know what they say. Third times he charm!

Red Daniel turns, and begins walking away.

Red Daniel; We'll see about that.

Alyssa and Dank Memes both join Red Daniel as he walks.

Dank Memes; This was fun. We should hang out more.

Red Daniel; Come by the bar sometime. I'll hook you up with a discount.

Dank Memes; Sounds good. I'll see you two around.

Dank Memes turns and begins walking away. Alyssa stares at him for a few seconds as he leaves.

Alyssa; He really does look good in that shirt...

Meanwhile, back at Acelegin's apartment.

Ghost Papyrus; I'm so close to beating the Scrap Brain Zone! Ace, what do I do next?

Acelegin; I dunno. It's been years since I played this zone.

Ghost Papyrus; But I'm on my last life again! If I screw this up, I have o start back from the beginning again!

Acelegin; Yeah, well, old school games can be fucking cruel. You just have to live with it.

Ghost Papyrus; This sucks... So when is Red getting back, anyway?

Acelegin; Well, he had to finish up his card game, but it shouldn't take him too much longer...

Ghost Papyrus; Wait, how do you know he was playing a card game?

Acelegin; I always know when people are playing card games. Oh, you should look out for those-

Ghost Papyrus; Damn it! Not the spikes again!

Acelegin; Ouch. Sorry, dude...

Ghost Papyrus; I think I'll just take a break...

Acelegin; Good idea. It helps to clear your head a bit.

Red Daniel enters, carrying a case of beer.

Red Daniel; Sorry for the delay. Had to put Greeny in his place. How Papyrus doing on the game?

Acelegin; He's improving. Slowly but surely.

Red Daniel; Cool. I'm gonna go insult people on twitter.

Acelegin; Have fun with that.



Alright! Time for another vote! What should Dank Memes do next?

A) Play another card game

B) Go to the moon

C) Enter a hot dog eating contest

Let me know in the comments what you guys think!



Monday, March 12, 2018

Living with Red Daniel Part 7; Lights Out

Acelegin; ACHOO!!!

Red Daniel; Whoa! You okay, dude?

Acelegin; Woke up with a cold this morning. Had to call in sick to work.

Red Daniel; Man, that sucks. Speaking of work, I should probably get out of here before I catch any of that.

Ghost Papyrus; But weren't you telling us the other day that you have super human immunity?

Ghost Sans; Yeah. A cold wouldn't affect you, would it?

Red Daniel; I'm immune to STDs and a handful of other diseases. But no one is safe from the common cold. That includes ghosts, by the way. You two should leave to.

Later, at Sal's

Sal; Okay, everyone! I'm planning to close up early tonight, so get your cleaning does.

Alyssa; Yes, sir.

Red Daniel; You got it, boss!

Red Daniel goes to retrieve the cleaning supplies, but before he reaches them, the lights suddenly die, casting the bar into pitch blackness.

Alyssa; EEK!

Sal sighs, and lights his lighter to provide a small bit of light.

Sal; That's odd. Something must be up with the power...

Alyssa looks around a bit, and her eyes fall on a dark figure in he shadows. Fear overtakes her, and she stumbles backwards, crying out in fright.

Red Daniel; Relax! It's just me! I'm just using my scary eyes for light.

Alyssa; Can you not? You damn near gave me a heart attack!

Red Daniel; Well, I'd have used a lighter, but I'm way to lazy to reach into my pocket right now.

Sal; Enough, you two. Alyssa, help me get some candles going for now. Red, go check the breakers. See if you can get things working.

Red Daniel; On it.

Red Daniel leave the room, entering the cellar. His glowing eyes provide enough light for him see a few feet in front of him as he walks over to the breaker box. He opens it up and flips the main breaker a couple time, but the power remains off.

Red Daniel; Damn. What could be...

Red Daniel's eyes scan the cords extending from the box, and notices that the cords have been sliced through.

Red Daniel; Huh. That's not right...

Red Daniel hears a scuffling noise behind him, and turns to face it, only for things to go silent again. He can't see much in his limited field of vision.

Red Daniel; In most other bars, I'd chalk this up to a rodent problem. However, Sal's pretty damn thorough when it comes to pest control.

Red Daniel steps forward.

Red Daniel; Why don't you show yourself before I force you to come out.

A voice suddenly sounds softly in Red Daniel's ear from behind.

?????; That might be harder than you think.

Red Daniel spins around, striking at the space behind him, only to find no one there. Red Daniel scoffs, drawing a switchblade from his pocket.

Red Daniel; Fine then. I don't mind things getting hard.

Back upstairs, Sal and Alyssa continue lighting candles around the bar, making it a bit easier to see around the place.

Alyssa; Um... boss?

Sal; What is it?

Alyssa; Do you feel like... someone's watching us?

Sal sighs.

Sal; You shouldn't have said anything...

Alyssa; Wait, did you know/

Sal; Yes.

Sal's eyes scan the shadows around them. While he can't see anything there, he can feel some kind of presence around them.

Sal; And now they know we know. That could complicate things.

Back down in the cellar, Red Daniel paces around, searching for whoever he had heard before.

Red Daniel; How long do you think you can hide?

The sound of chuckling echoes round the room.

Red Daniel; Fuckin' peachy... Just who the hell are you?

?????; Wouldn't you like to know.

Red Daniel; I would. So why don't you tell me?

The strange voice remains silent.

Red Daniel; So what was the point of cutting our power? You got beef with Sal, or did someone put you up to this?

?????; Sal? Who cares about him? I'm more curious about you.

Red Daniel forces his eyes to glow brighter, but he's still unable to find the source of the voice.

Red Daniel; There's easier ways to ask a man out, you know. You're coming off a little creepy here.

?????; That's...not why I'm here...

Red Daniel; Why don't you come out and talk to me face to face, if you find me so interesting?

The voice doesn't reply.

Red Daniel; You know what? Fuck it. Two can play this game.

Red Daniel vanishes from the real world, reappearing in an almost identical one. The room looks the same, but everything has a dark blue, almost black color to it. Twinkling red lights occasionally flicker in and out of existence. Now in a better lit environment, Red Daniel can now see the man, standing close to one of the walls, looking around, confused. Red Daniel grinned. In he world he was now in, he could see what was going on in the physical world without being seen himself.

Red Daniel; Looks like the tables are turned, jackass.

Back in the room above, Sal and Alyssa stand near the center of the room, scanning the shadows.

Alyssa; Who do you think it is?

Sal; No idea. Just keep your eyes peeled in case you see anything.

Sal pauses for a second, sensing a shift in Red Daniel's energy.

Sal; What on Earth is he doing down there?

Alyssa; What's holding him up? It shouldn't take this long to check on a breaker.

Sal; I'm sure he's got it under control. But he'd better not break anything down there...

Down below, Red Daniel approaches the man, getting a good look at him. He seemed inhuman. The left half of his face was just pitch black, as if made of darkness. The mans right arm and the fingers of his left hand seemed to be that same. His short hair was seemingly composed of thousands of shadowy tendrils.

Red Daniel; Just what the fuck is this guy?

The man, still confused about where Red Daniel had gone, stepped backwards into the wall and seemed to fuse with it, as if becoming a living shadow. He moved along the wall, moving to the other side of the room.

Red Daniel; So that's how he keeps himself hidden.

The man re-emerges from the wall, and Red Daniel calmly approaches him, knife in hand. he man continues looking around, unable to find Red Daniel.

Red Daniel; Gotcha...

Red Daniel steps back into the physical world, slashing at the mans chest. Blood, and what seems almost like black ink, oozes from he wound. The man quickly covers it up, and stares at Red Daniel in shock.

Red Daniel; Hey, handsome.

The man turns and rushes to the stairs. Red Daniel chases after him. The man gets to the top of the stairs and runs directly to the exit.

Alyssa; Who the hell is hat?

The man runs past Alyssa and Sal and runs out the door, only to bump into Acelegin on the other side. They both fall to the ground. The man takes a look at Acelegin and panics, immediately melting into the ground and fleeing before Acelegin can get a good look at him. Pulling himself together a bit, Acelegin stares at the spot the man had just been.

Acelegin; Was that...? You know what, fuck it! I'm to sick for any supernatural BS right now.

Red Daniel and Sal reach the door and look down at Acelegin.

Red Daniel; Ace? What are you doing here?

Acelegin; Came to talk to Sal. You got that ginger stuff I called about.

Sal reaches into his coat and pulls out a bottle, handing it to Acelegin. Acelegin get up and takes it.

Sal; It'll work wonders for a soar throat, and should help with the sinuses too. But it's strong, so you should wait until you're home. Wouldn't want you knocking yourself out in the middle of the street. 

Acelegin; Got it. So what happened here? Why are the lights off?

Red Daniel; Just a power outage. Don't worry about it.

Acelegin; Whatever. I'd better get going.

Red Daniel; See ya.

Acelegin leaves.

Sal; So who was that shadowy guy?

Red Daniel; Don't know, but I'll be ready for him if he tries this shit again.

Sal; Whoever he was, he took all those presences I felt earlier with him. So what's the damage exactly?

Red Daniel; He sliced the cords. Not much I can do to fix that.

Sal sighs. 

Sal; We'll just have to clean up with the candlelight. I'll see what I can do about power in the morning...

Later on, in a mysterious room, two men in brown, hooded coats stand in front of a wall covered in tv screens. One of the men has white markings on his clothing, and he other has green markings. The darkness of the room keeps their features hidden. The man with the green markings speaks first.

Hooded Man #1; Turn them on. Let's see if he got the job done.

Hooded Man #2; Sure thing.

Hooded Man #2 flips a switch, and several of the screens light up, displaying Sal's bar, from a number of different angles, as well as the cellar, storage, and kitchen areas.

Hooded Man #1; So he actually got the job done.

The shadow man emerges from the floor behind them, his chest now fully healed.

Shadow Man; You mean to say you doubted me?

Hooded Man #2; I personally thought you could do it, but my friend here was a little skeptical.

Hooded Man #1; That's unimportant now. What matters is you succeeded. You may go now. We'll let you know if we require any more assistance.

As the Shadow Man turns to leave, Hooded Man #2 stops him for a moment.

Hooded Man #2; There's blood on your clothing. What happened.

Shadow Man; That Red guy got the jump on me for a second. He's more clever than I was expecting.

Hooded Man #1 chuckles, and turns to the cameras, watching Red Daniel scrub the floors, completely oblivious to the cameras watching his every move.

Hooded Man #1; Not clever enough, I'm afraid.

Suddenly, the Shadow Man lets out a loud sneeze.

Shadow Man; ACHOO!

Hooded Man #2; Um, you alright.

Shadow Man; I seem to have caught a cold. God damn it...

Monday, February 26, 2018

Living With Red Daniel Part 6; The Woods

Acelegin; Okay, Red. I need you to run an errand for me.

Red Daniel; Okay. What do you need?

Acelegin; I need you to go to the Dollar General for me.

Red Daniel; Okay.

Acelegin; And while you're there, I need you to pick up some toilet paper and a hair dryer.

Red Daniel; Got it. Toilet paper and hair dryer.

Acelegin; Don't forget.

Red Daniel; I won't, I won't! But why can't you go yourself?

Acelegin straps his sword across his back.

Acelegin; Sal wants to spar with me, so I'm gonna be a bit busy today.

Red Daniel; Cool. Ask him about my schedule for me, alright?

Acelegin; Fine, whatever.

Later, outside Sal's.

Acelegin; Alright, you ready?

Sal draws his sword.

Sal; Sure am. You?

Acelegin draws his sword as well.

Acelegin; Sure thing. But why do you wanna spar so badly?

Sal; Need to hone my skills somehow.

Acelegin; Alright. Let's get started.

Acelegin and Sal get into fighting stances, but before they can begin, Acelegin suddenly vanishes.

Sal; Wait, what the...

Sal sands motionless for a few seconds, perplexed.

Sal; God damn it! Now who am I supposed to spar with!?

Meanwhile, Acelegin reappears in a dark, heavily wooded area.

Acelegin; What?

Acelegin glances around, unsure of where he is.

Acelegin; God damn it! Hate when this happens...

Meanwhile, back in town, Red Daniel is on his way to the store, repeating the items his was asked to purchase in order to keep them in his memory.

Red Daniel; Toilet paper and hair dryer. Toilet paper and hair dryer. Toilet paper and hair dryer.

As he walks, a couple of cute girls walk past him in the opposite direction. He becomes momentarily distracted as he watches them pass.

Red Daniel; Toilet dryer and hair paper...

Red Daniel pauses for a moment.

Red Daniel; What store was I going to again?

Back in the woods, Acelegin is wandering around looking for a way out. He has his sword drawn in order to cut through any vines or bushes that might get in his way.

Acelegin; How the fuck did I wind up here? Ugh. There's gotta be a way out somewhere.

After several minutes of walking, Acelegin encounters a beautiful woman, dressed in a black silk gown, with flowing blonde hair even longer than she is tall. Her hair seems to float somewhat, not touching the ground at all.

Acelegin; Um.. hi...

The girl chuckles and beckons Acelegin to follow her. She then weightlessly glides into the distance.

Acelegin; Damn it. Why can't I talk to girls...

Acelegin pulls himself together and begins chasing after her.

Acelegin; Wait up! Do you know a way out of here?

Meanwhile, outside of a Home Depot.

Red Daniel; Here we are! Home Depot! I'm sure they'll have... whatever it is I was looking for...

Red Daniel enters that store and begins his blind search. After of few minutes, he accidentally bumps shoulders with a man with shaggy, mousy brown hair, dressed in a leather coat over a navy blue hoody. Red Daniel turns to the man, annoyed.

Red Daniel; Hey! Watch where you're going, bro!

The man stops and looks at Red Daniel with his stunningly bright green eyes. He addresses Red Daniel in a British accent.

Man; Sorry, mate. But from where I'm standing, this encounter seems like your fault.

Red Daniel grits his teeth.

Man; Now, if you'll excuse me, I've shopping to attend to.

The man turns away and begins walking off. Red Daniel racks his brain for a few seconds before calling after him.

Red Daniel; I know you!

The man stops in his tracks.

Man; Do you, now?

Red Daniel; Ben Malkator, right?

The man chuckles, and turns to Red Daniel.

Malkator; So you have met me before. Might I ask where?

Red Daniel; Back in my original universe I got thrown into a crazy death tournament. You were my semi-final opponent.

Malkator; Oh really?

Red Daniel grins.

Red Daniel; I mopped the floor with you.

Malkator grins as well. His pupils expand, eclipsing his green irises.

Malkator; Well then. That iteration of me must've been pretty damn inexperienced to lose to a bloke like you.

Red Daniel; I doubt this iteration of you could do much better.

Malkator; Well I say. That's not a challenge, is it?

Red Daniel; It just might be.

Malkaor's expression becomes serious.

Malkator; I promise you. If you go through with this, it won't end well for you.

Red Daniel takes a fighting stance.

Red Daniel; I'll take those odds.

Malkator also takes a fighting stance.

Malkator; Don't say I didn't warn you.

Red Daniel and Malkator charge a each other. Red Daniel throws a right hook, that Malkator easily blocks before getting in several close jabs to Red Daniel's torso. Red Daniel manages to push Malkator away and then aims a thrust kick at Malkator's midsection. Malkator vanishes before the kick connects, and as Red Daniel's eyes widen in surprise, Malkator reappears behind Red Daniel and hits him with a swift side kick to his kidney. Red Daniel stumbles forward before straightening up and turning back to Malkator, grinning.

Red Daniel; Thank you, daddy. Got any more of that in you?

Malkator cringes a little.

Malkator; I got plenty. How 'bout you?

Red Daniel; Oh-ho-ho. I'm just gettin' started.

Malkator tightens his fighting stance.

Malkator; Well then, Daniel Xavier Ferris, shall we continue?

Red Daniel chuckles, returning to his own stance.

Red Daniel; Please. Call me Red.

Meanwhile, back in the woods, the woman comes to a stop in a wide clearing. Acelegin catches up shortly after.

Acelegin; So, where is this place exactly? Are you gonna answer any of my questions?

The woman sits down, smiling, nd gestures for Acelegin to join her.

Acelegin; Um, I think I'll just... stay over here for now...

The woman parts her lips and speaks a single word in a hushed voice.

Woman; Come...

Acelegin; Look, it's empting, but we just met. I don' even know your name. And...

Acelegin rests his sword on his shoulder and glares at the woman.

Acelegin; This is clearly some kind of trick.

The woman hangs her head, and floats limply into the air. The space behind her starts rippling, as a creature seems to materialize there.

Acelegin; What in the hell?

A massive mosquito-like creature towers over Acelegin. The woman dangles from a tentacle attached to the back of her head, linking her to the creature's forehead.

Acelegin; She's a lure?

The creature stabs its proboscis at Acelegin, who manages to deflect it with his sword. Acelegin runs to the side, trying to gain some distance. The creature swings its lure at Acelegin, and the woman's hands morph into giant mantis claws as she lets out a shriek and attacks Acelegin with them. Acelegin parries blocks her with his sword.

Acelegin; Oh come on! That's not fair!

Meanwhile, at the Home Depot, Red Daniel and Malkator continue their fight. Malkator lands a strong hit on Red Daniel's ribcage, breaking a few of his ribs. Red Daniel steps back, chuckling.

Red Daniel; Heh. You're pretty good.

Malkator; That makes one of us.

Red Daniel's blood repositions his broken ribs and fuses them back together.

Malkator; So you've got healing powers.

Red Daniel; You noticed? That's pretty observant.

Malkator; You have no idea...

The two begin fighting again. Malkator dodges some of Red Daniel's attacks and catches his arm in a vice grip. He shifts his weight and hurls Red Daniel into a nearby shelf. Some nails embed themselves in Red Daniel's arm. Red Daniel picks himself back up and turns to face Malkator, smiling.

Red Daniel; Bad idea making me bleed, buddy.

Malkator; Is it now?

Red Daniel yanks he nails from his arm. His blood rapidly expands and crystalizes into several large, jagged shards.

Red Daniel; Take this, jackass!

Red Daniel launches the shards a Malkator. Malkator casually dodges them all, and grabs one as it flies past and charges at Red Daniel, smashing it over his head. A sword of crystalized blood forms in Red Daniel's hand, which he swings at Malkator. Malkator continues dodging the blade and lands a few punches on Red Daniel's midsection. Red Daniel swing his sword again, but Malkator vanishes and reappears a few feet away. Malkator rolls up his right sleeve as Red Daniel forms more crystal shards.

Malkator; More of these, eh?

The shards surround Malkator from all angles.

Red Daniel; Dodge this!

Red Daniel sends them all flying at Malkator, who vanishes again. Malkator reappears behind Red Daniel. A red blade made of chitin grows from Malkator's forearm, and he slashes Red Daniel across the back with it. Red Daniel's blood hardens in time to stop most of the damage.

Red Daniel; Son of a bitch!

Red Daniel turns sharply, and clashes blades with Malkator. He swings his crystal sword repeatedly, as Malkator continues blocking with his arm blade. Red Daniel's assault slows down a bit as fatigue sets in. Malkator notices this, and draws his arm back o counter attack. He slashes at Red Daniel, shattering his crystal sword. Red Daniel's eyes widen in surprise before Malkator kicks him hard in the chest, sending him crashing to the ground, several feet away.

Malkator; Had enough yet?

Between pants, Red Daniel lets out a soft laugh.

Red Daniel; I could go all day.

Red Daniel rises to his feet, wiping some blood away from his mouth.

Red Daniel; But first, I got a question for you, pal.

Malkator; And what would that be?

Red Daniel closes his eyes, falling silent. He opens his eyes again. His eyes are now glowing with a deep, crimson light.

Red Daniel; Why the fuck are you still holding back?

Malkator snickers at that comment, as he rolls up his other sleeve.

Malkator; I could ask the same thing.

A second blade sprouts from Malkator's other arm, and a set of large wings grow from his back. Two smaller blades, almost like horns, grow from his forehead, and his black pupils grow even larger, enveloping his eyes entirely. Red Daniel's body is engulfed in red light, and his hair and clothes begin waving as if in wind. The wo charge at each other once more.

Back in the clearing, Acelegin continues to fight for his life against the mosquito and its lure.

Acelegin; What the fuck even is this thing!?

Acelegin manages to block more of the lure's blows, and lands a cut on one its collarbones. He darts behind it, and prepares to stab it from behind. Before he can, its hair entangles his arm and twists hard, causing him o drop his sword.

Acelegin; Ah! What the hell?

More of its hair entangles the rest of his limbs, and lifts him helplessly into the air.

Acelegin; Shit!

The mosquito stands upright, prepared to impale Acelegin on its proboscis. Another figure suddenly falls from the sky, slashing through the lure's hair with a katana. Acelegin falls to the ground, as the lure les out a blood curdling scream. The mosquito emits a low sound almost like a cry of rage.

The new figure lands on the ground next to Acelegin. He lowers the hood of his longcoat, revealing himself to be another Daniel. He has long hair, and his skin seems paler than normal.

The mosquito lets out another noise, stabbing its proboscis at the new Daniel, who calmly steps aside, causing the proboscis to stab into a tree, becoming stuck there.

Mystery Daniel; Nice stinger.

The new Daniel raises his katana, which begins glowing white.

Mystery Daniel; Here's mine.

The blade of the katana rapidly extends, piercing one of the creature's multifaceted eyes. It's lets out a pained screech and pulls its proboscis from the tree. It spreads its wings and flees, leaving Acelegin and the Daniel alone. Acelegin brushes the severed hairs, that seem to be bleeding, away from him and stands up.

Acelegin; Long time no see, Dark. Your complexion's looking better.

Dark Daniel ignores Acelegin's comment. His katana returns to it's normal length, and he slides it back into its sheath.

Acelegin; So I guess you can control the Devil Killer mutations, now?

Dark Daniel; For the most part. It wasn't easy.

Acelegin; I like the new coat.

Dark Daniel; I needed a new one. But that's besides the point. What the hell are you doing here?

Acelegin; Dunno. Teleported here somehow. You?

Dark Daniel remains quiet for a few seconds before speaking.

Dark Daniel; I came here to train.

Acelegin; Okay. So where are we, anyway?

Dark Daniel; The Dreadwoods. Not somewhere normal people should be coming to. That Stealth Mosquito you just saw is one of the friendlier things one can fall victim to around here.

Acelegin; Well, in that case, it would sure be great if I knew the way out.

Dark Daniel sighs.

Dark Daniel; Fine. If I et you back home, will you agree to stay the hell away from this place?

Acelegin; Uh, sure. But could you bring me to Sal's, instead?

Dark Daniel; Whatever.

Acelegin retrieves his sword as Dark Daniel grabs him by the shoulder.

Dark Daniel; Brace yourself. This'll hurt a bit.

The two of them disappear, and then reappear outside of Sal's. Acelegin collapses in pain.

Acelegin; Holy shit! It feels like my bones are on fire!

Dark Daniel shrugs.

Dark Daniel; Take's some getting used to.

Acelegin; Yeah, no shit!

Acelegin rises to his feet, brushing himself off.

Acelegin; I'm glad Red's not here to make a "first time" joke.

Sal; Ace! Where the hell did you go?

Dark Daniel; Idiot got himself lost in the Dreadwoods. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'd rather not stick around here any longer then I have to. The ore distance there is between me and that Red creep, the better.

Dark Daniel vanishes.

Acelegin; Sorry about all that. It too late to pick up where we left off?

Sal; Another time. You look beat.

Acelegin; Yeah. Today was... intense. I should head home.

Sal; Alright. See you later.

Back at the Home Depot, the powered up Red Daniel and Malkator resume their fight. Malkator slashes downward with one of his arm blades, but Red Daniel blocks it with one of his arms. The blade doesn't harm him at all. Malkator attempts to stab Red Daniel with his other blade, but Red Daniel catches it with his free hand and tries to kick Malkator, who teleports away and reappears behind Red Daniel, attempting another slash. Red Daniel blocks it again and releases a pulse of red light from his body, knocking Malkator backward. He then raises a hand and fires a beam of red light at Malkator, who teleports upwards, away from the blast.

Malkator; So you were hiding this much power. I'm impressed.

Malkator spreads his wings wider and readies his blades.

Malkator; Not impressed enough to back down, though!

Malkator charges at Red Daniel, arm pulled back nd ready to strike. Red Daniel calmly raises a hand up to Malkator's face as he gets close, and Malkator freezes for a split second, surprised by this.

Red Daniel; Drown.

Red light flows into Malkator's eyes, and he clasps his head in his hands as a memory surfaces. He sees himself, as a young boy, on his knees, weeping. There are scratch marks on his face, and dirt on his clothing. In front of him is a girl, not much older than himself. There are dark bruises around her throat, and blood on her finger nails. She lays lifeless in the grass in front of him. Another boy enters the scene, looking at what had happened. He sees he girl. He sees the bruises on her throat and the blood on her nails. He sees the scratches on young Malkator's face. His eyes light up with fury, and he charges a young Malkator.

Malkator; NO!!!

Malkator snaps out of the illusion, and kicks Red Daniel hard in the chest, sending him flying away.

Malkator; I won't be broken by guilt! Not again.

Red Daniel rises to his feet, only weakened slightly, and grins.

Red Daniel; Still got fight in you after that? Good. I was worried you might have a conscious.

Malkator growls through his teeth and whispers to himself.

Malkator; Damn him! That aura of his is messing with my vision. I can barely predict his actions any more.

Malkator's arm blades are engulfed in silver light.

Red Daniel; Oh?

Malkator; I'll just have to up my game a bit more!

Malkator glides closer to Red Daniel, and he two continue trading blows. Red Daniel releases another pulse of light, which Malkator manages to teleport away from. Red Daniel charges a blast of light in one hand. Malkator swings one of his arm blades through the air, sending of wave of silver energy at Red Daniel, who fires his own attack at the same time. The two attacks pass by each other and connect with their targets. Both Red Daniel and Malkator are knocked to the ground by the blasts. The silver light around Malkator's arm blades fade, and Red Daniel's aura begins flickering. The two of them slowly get back to their feet, panting heavily.

Red Daniel; Heh. Looks like you're getting a bit worn out heir, buddy.

Malkator; Speak for yourself, mate. You can barely hold that aura of yours together right now.

Red Daniel; Don't kid yourself. I got enough juice left to finish you off.

Malkator; Heh. Well, I still got aa trick left too.

Red Daniel; Oh really? Let's see, then.

Malkator unzips his hoody, exposing a large, vertical mouth on his torso, extending from his collar bones down to his navel, filled with jagged, crimson teeth.

Red Daniel; Whoa! I got a thing for vore, but that's fucking weird, bro.

Malkator; Well, wow do you feel about bondage?

Red Daniel; Well, actually, I'm a pretty big fan of- HRRK!!!

Red Daniel is instantly silenced, as a long, black, prehensile tongue zooms out of the mouth on Malkator's chest, and wraps itself around Red Daniel's throat. It tightens with immense strength and hoists Red Daniel into to the air. Red Daniel's aura vanishes.

Malkator; What's the matter?

Eight more tongues shoot out, grabbing Red Daniel by the wrists, ankles, knees and elbows.

 Malkator; Thought you were a fan.

The tongues pull hard on Red Daniel's limbs, stretching them as a rack would. Red Daniel gasps in pain as his joints pop, and his blood begins hardening around the area's, desperately trying to hold his body together.

Malkator; I think it's time to end this.

Malkator begins slamming Red Daniel against the nearby shelves and floors repeatedly, before tossing him into the air like a ragdoll. He then teleports above Red Daniel and grabs him by the throat. Silver light bursts out from behind Malkator, propelling them both downward, where Malkator slams Red Daniel with all his force into the floor, creating a huge crater. Malkator weakly rises to his fee, staring down at Red Daniel's barely conscious figure.

Malkator; You know, I foresaw this. I even warned you. But you were just too stubborn to listen. Maybe next time, you listen.

Malkator turns and begins walking away.

Malkator; Hurry and flip on that healing factor of yours and be on your way. We're done here.

Later on, at Acelegin's apartment.

Acelegin; Ah. Finally. Back at home, with my junk food, my booze, and my videos.

Pounce; Meow!

Acelegin; Uh, yeah, and you too, I guess...

Red Daniel enters.

Red Daniel; Yo! Ace! I got the things you asked for!

Acelegin; Oh! You actually did?

Red Daniel; Yep! Sandpaper and a cement dryer!

Acelegin stares blankly at Red Daniel for a couple seconds.

Acelegin; Why do I ask things of you?

Red Daniel shrugs.

Red Daniel; You look like shit. Was sparring that intense?

Acelegin's eyes dart to the side awkwardly.

Acelegin; There was a... um... bug...

Red Daniel; A bug?

Acelegin; It was pretty big...

Red Daniel; You squash it?

Acelegin; Uh, yeah! Of course...

Acelegin chuckles nervously.

Acelegin; It was just a bug! A big, stupid bug...

Acelegin examines Red Daniel's batter body and torn clothing.

Acelegin; What about you? You get a fight?

Red Daniel's eyes dart to the side as well.

Red Daniel; Oh, just some British punk...

Acelegin; Who one?

Red Daniel; Um... I did! Duh! Who do you think I am? You should see the other guy...

Acelegin; Okay, cool. I'm gonna go to the store and get the toilet paper and hair dryer that you completely fuck up buying.

Red Daniel; Hey, the things I got can serve the same function if you're brave enough!

Acelegin; Yeah, no. Go take a shower. You look like you were in a train wreck.

Red Daniel; Ugh, fine, mom.