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Only need one more comment for the next Madness part to be ransomed. :\ Maybe people just aren't interested in the Afterlife High (Angel Beats) saga...?
Madness Part 46 (Badlands 5) completed, on to the next cycle of parts
“'N' I just stood on that there ridge whackin' away on that sentry the whole while, 'n' they just kept on comin' 'n' gittin killed by the darn thing!”  Both Dell Conapher and Cajexin had a laugh at the story.  Struggling to cut down on his half of the outburst enough to continue the engineer added, “'N' this continues fer a good seven minutes!”

A good hour had passed since the roving ambush, their would-be assailant tied up and gagged with a bandanna over her mouth between the two of them.  A slight bit of Cure magic healed over the pinprick wounds that Cajexin had taken in the scuffle just enough to tide her over until she could get the bullet holes properly looked at.  In the meantime, she and Dell exchanged stories to pass the time while they continued their journey towards their objective.

Still, the longer the stories went on, the more she discovered her eyes watering and a second voice speaking in her head, speaking from the past.  Her eyes widened at the realization of who this voice belonged to:  her father.

A tear traced her cheek, shadowed by her blond-highlighted orange hair but escaping over her flame-retardant black jacket.  Thankfully it remained out of sight from either of the two locals to this world until it sank into one of the holes recently marking her uniform.

She steadied her laughter until she was able to speak.  “I think I need some air,” she said through a grimace.

“Heh, where do y'all think ya can git some air 'round 'ere, unless I stop?”

Without stopping to answer, Cajexin turned to the car door to her immediate right and opened it.  One boot over the other she climbed up the door using the already-rolled-down window onto the roof of the camper.

Dell didn't say a word and instead focused on his driving with another chuckle.  She had used that exact same technique to reach the intruder's position before.

Standing on the roof without the risk of another gun being pointed at her, Cajexin allowed the desert air to fill her lungs.  Before, she had been too distracted to recognize and remember the scent on the dry, dusty breeze.  The smell of gas coming off of the camper's engine and riding up to her height reminded her of the army base where her dad worked and collected the source material for the many stories he told her.  Those were the words to the voice she had heard:  recounting one of those seemingly taller-than life tales about going to war against a flying skeleton on Christmas Day.

She had believed them to be tall tales, anyway, until that fateful night when she met that same skeleton, Jack Skellington.  That night she would never forget, the least-which reason being meeting that specter and the rabble of spooks he led.

A rubber-gloved hand reflexively went to her hidden and scarred right eye.  The other formed a loose fist and pressed against her chest.

The events of that night flooded her mind like the water that flooded her eyes.  Meeting the skeleton from the stories and all the others of Halloween Town... The war where she fought alongside minions of Halloween and, unknown to him, her father... Seeing him captured by a tremendous beast she now knew to be a Heartless, a Leechgrave... Trading her life for his so that he could escape... Losing her heart to the giant fiend before burning it from existence... The study of her condition, and...

The abrupt departure.  She had left Halloween Town with numbers six through nine of the Espionage Entourage for one of their missions without having said goodbye to anyone from her family.  The nature of that mission had drained her mind as much as her body, even leading to her forgetting to go back and visit her father and mother.  Why hadn't she made a note in her diary when she had the chance...?

But the timing couldn't have been worse.  Her Superior had forbade the use of dark portals by any Entourage member during this set of excursions.  Leaving her post to return to her home world would garner her a strict reprimand, not just for the obvious reasons:  if any Heartless appeared, attracted to the tear in the darkness, and if they attacked someone, especially at either side of the tear...  Cajexin shook those thoughts from her head; nothing like that would happen.  As much as she missed home, she had a duty to--

A heavy thud sounded behind her on the camper roof.  “Ev'rything okay up there, Jecks?” Dell asked.

Cajexin didn't reply, the sudden jolt surprising her speechless.  Slowly she turned around, nervous about who (or what) had suddenly appeared.

A large leather glove on her shoulder (an unwelcome omen to most people) calmed the Butterfly down.  “Oh, Drake, it's you.”

'Indeed, my liege.'  The male version of her two minions, Drake the Riveter, stood almost twice her height normally, but this time he knelt on one knee behind her.  Still he looked down on her through his welder's mask with the Nobody Symbol emblazoned on it.  'I can tell you are troubled by something; but whatever troubles you I shall fix, Mistress Cajexin.'

She smirked at the proposal.  “I wish you could, but I don't think you--”  A sudden thought occurred to her.  Machelix had forbidden the Entourage members from using portals of darkness; he never said anything about their minions.  “Actually, there might be something you can help me with.  Could you take me to Halloween Town, the human part of it?”

'As you wish, my liege.'  The hand on her shoulder and the attached arm moved to wrap around her waist and pick her up entirely as Drake stood up.  A dark portal formed at his back as he allowed the desert wind to push him and his master into it.

Both Nobodies reappeared in a dark, deserted alley.  Night must have fallen around them.

The cloak of nightfall didn't hide familiarity from her eyes as much as her vantage point, though.  Cajexin walked out of Drake's “hug” and into the city streets, the city she had grown up in, that had at one point been besieged by Christmas toys touched by the madness of Halloween.

A roadmap dusted itself off and unfurled itself in her mind, fetched by reminisce from the forgotten corners of her mind.  Her home didn't rest in the city proper, instead being in the suburban neighborhood.  Her feet seemed to move by themselves, leading Drake away from the alley and towards her destination.

Almost with fresh eyes the prodigal daughter beheld the brick buildings and signs towering over her, towering over even Drake.  How long ago had she left?  Two, three years?  It seemed ages, but nothing had really changed.  Perhaps nothing really did, making the Christmas surprise all the more jarring for the people around here.  “You bring a Christmas toy to life, and everyone loses their minds...” she said with a chuckle.

'My liege?'

Cajexin stopped her thoughts and looked back with a grimace.  “Oh, yeah, that's right, you've never been to this world; so you wouldn't know what this sleepy little city went through those years ago.  Well, I only really know what happened from the stories my dad told me.”

'So you are from this world, then,' Drake noted.

“Yeah.”  And she still looked around like a tourist...  “My dad was a soldier; he told me war stories, mostly about the time he and his artillery regiment repelled a flying skeleton impersonating Santa.”

'Jack Skellington?'

The Riveter's master nodded.  “Yep, that's him.  But I only found out his name after I followed my dad to Halloween Town.”

'Did your father want to take the fight to the “invader's” home?'

To this Cajexin shook her head.  “Some time after the 'invasion', Jack actually hired my dad for a different purpose.”

'Why would the leader of Halloween Town hire a soldier?  Did he intend to instill fear with the horrors of war?'

“No, nothing like that.  My dad wouldn't really know much about the horrors of war, anyway.”  Her smile faded as she added, “Or, at least, he wouldn't have known them before that night.”

Drake stopped his questions to process the information, giving Cajexin a moment to herself.  Again the feelings of guilt riddled her, escalated by this fact:  not only had she failed to say good-bye to her father, but she had seemingly perished in the heat of combat, what was supposed to be his area of expertise.  How he must have pained all this time, and she had allowed him to feel that pain...

'You be came a Nobody on that night,' the Riveter finally said.

“Yes, and I never told him that I hadn't died.'

Again Drake paused, but he began again more quickly than before.  'Is that who we're here to see?'

Only a nod marked Cajexin's reply.

'You should have told me.'  Once more Drake wrapped his arm around his master's waist, but this time he walked forward into one of his dark portals.  The move surprised Cajexin out of speaking until they stepped out the other side.

She knew well the setting at the exit.  Drake set her down at the foot of a short flight of wooden stairs leading up to the front porch of a two-floor baby-blue-painted house.  She wasted no time ascending these stairs and approaching the front door.  A light shone through the small glass windows built into the door.  “But... how did... you know?” she asked her minion, turning with her eyes glistening from a fresh washing.

Drake's hand lifted up his welder's mask, the skeletal face beneath creaking into a jagged grin.  'We Lesser Nobodies are able to read the minds of our masters as well as speak to them, or have you forgotten?'  He looked up to the house and asked, '1993 Hausen Drive, correct?'

Now Cajexin's face eased into an uneasy smile.  “Yeah, that's right.”  She turned again to the front door and rang the doorbell.

...

Dell looked over as Cajexin climbed back down the camper door into her seat.  “Y'all enjoy yer time to yerself?” he asked.

The Butterfly buckled in and sat back with her fingers interlaced behind her head.  “Yeah, you can say that.”  She looked up to the camper roof, seemingly looking through it to her minion falling back through his portal of darkness before she closed her eyes.

Even if the time hadn't been by herself, she could definitely say she enjoyed it:  finding her dad and revealing her well-being, being the one to tell the seemingly larger-than-life stories about far-away lands and strange creatures, the look on his face when she showed him Drake and Maggie...  In its own way, she could call it a success.
CD: Daddy's Little Girl
A sidenote story from my recent "Madness" project, not exactly a part of it but can possibly be inserted.

Admittedly I got the inspiration to do this piece from this group, RoguesofAxiom, and a recent event they held (well, the term most likely will be "held" after this is read).  Basically the event had our Nobody visit their homeworld to redeem themselves for a past regret.  I believed that Cajexin's regrets about not saying good-bye to her father after becoming a Nobody would be the biggest burden that any of my Nobodies could possibly face.

I may or may not replace the "..." towards the end with the actual conversation, but maybe people prefer this version that leaves things up to the imagination without my longwindedness getting in the way?


Dell Conapher:  Team Fortress 2 / Steam

Cajexin, Drake/Maggie the Riveters:  :iconpumpkinapprentice431:
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I didn't think half a week would pass before I got around to this...

Since the school season has started again without me needing to be aboard, now begins the time of me finding a job.  Technically I still have a job working as a lifeguard at the local YMCA, but I need some more income.  Also I need to get my parents off my back...

What does this mean for you guys?  Well, I might not be working on my projects as diligently as I had been for one. :( Despite the number of parts I have already typed out for "Madness", I still haven't figured out half of it yet... and that's just one story out of so many other projects I could be working on... as if I didn't have enough on my plate that I didn't heap on there myself...

Well, I might as well make this gamble to simplify things:  right now I'm taking suggestions on events that could (and you think should) happen within "Madness".  These suggestions can be as simple as a world (franchise) to visit or as specific as you want to make it (X meets Y then fights Z there).  I will consider practically any and all events that won't clash with the ideas I have for the story going forward (the early death of a character, etc.), and each of these suggestions will count towards the ransom I have put forth.

Hope to hear from you all soon.


Progress of "Madness" Parts:
[:bulletblack: = ransom not started]
[:bulletpurple: = ransom 1/3 paid]
[:bulletblue: = ransom 2/3 paid]
:bulletblue:"Madness" Part 20 [Afterlife High 2]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 21 [Future Enforcement 2]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 22 [Hyrule 2]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 23 [Death City 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 24 [The Two Cities 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 25 [Justice Jurisdiction 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 26 [The Badlands 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 27 [Arendelle 2]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 28 [Isle O' Hags 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 29 [Bikini Bottom 1], CONTENT WARNING
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 30 [Afterlife High 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 31 [Future Enforcement 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 32 [Hyrule 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 33 [Death City 4]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 34 [The Two Cities 4]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 35 [Justice Jurisdiction 4]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 36 [The Badlands 4]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 37 [Arendelle 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 38 [Isle O' Hags 4]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 39 [Bikini Bottom 2]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 40 [Afterlife High 4]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 41 [Future Enforcement 4]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 42 [Hyrule 4]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 43 [Death City 5]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 44 [The Two Cities 5]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 45 [Justice Jurisdiction 5]

Current Ideas put forth to use:
-[world of Tailspin]:  Baloo and Kit flying over enemy territory
-[world of Assassin's Creed]
  • Listening to: Random Music on My Computer
  • Reading: Old Works of Mine
  • Watching: Random YouTube videos
Well, another summer's come and gone, another season at the pool evaporated, and once more people return to their days of schooling.

Well, for once, that doesn't include me.

'Cause I actually graduated! :D

Still, this hardly puts my mind at ease. :( Now I have to worry about finding a job... ugh...

But that will be for next week.  For now, I'm on vacation for the first time this... season.  I'm staying at what my family calls "the ND house", a small (well, small compared to my actual house) house close by the University of Notre Dame.  Long story short, my [filthy rich] aunt owns it but lets us stay there when we go to visit my (now only) one sister who currently attends.  (It used to be tw, but the other one also graduated.)  Currently my dad and I are staying there to spruce up the place a bit and get away from the rest of it all while also attending a game or two.

What does that mean for you guys?  Well, that means I won't have much access to the internet. :( I'm only on now 'cause we drove over to the campus and are bumming off of their wireless.  In the mean time, though, I'm still working on my various projects, stories and games included.  Look out for more next week around this time when I get back.

Until then, see y'all later.
  • Listening to: Random Music on My Computer
  • Reading: Old Works of Mine
  • Watching: Random YouTube videos, VHS's
I didn't think half a week would pass before I got around to this...

Since the school season has started again without me needing to be aboard, now begins the time of me finding a job.  Technically I still have a job working as a lifeguard at the local YMCA, but I need some more income.  Also I need to get my parents off my back...

What does this mean for you guys?  Well, I might not be working on my projects as diligently as I had been for one. :( Despite the number of parts I have already typed out for "Madness", I still haven't figured out half of it yet... and that's just one story out of so many other projects I could be working on... as if I didn't have enough on my plate that I didn't heap on there myself...

Well, I might as well make this gamble to simplify things:  right now I'm taking suggestions on events that could (and you think should) happen within "Madness".  These suggestions can be as simple as a world (franchise) to visit or as specific as you want to make it (X meets Y then fights Z there).  I will consider practically any and all events that won't clash with the ideas I have for the story going forward (the early death of a character, etc.), and each of these suggestions will count towards the ransom I have put forth.

Hope to hear from you all soon.


Progress of "Madness" Parts:
[:bulletblack: = ransom not started]
[:bulletpurple: = ransom 1/3 paid]
[:bulletblue: = ransom 2/3 paid]
:bulletblue:"Madness" Part 20 [Afterlife High 2]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 21 [Future Enforcement 2]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 22 [Hyrule 2]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 23 [Death City 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 24 [The Two Cities 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 25 [Justice Jurisdiction 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 26 [The Badlands 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 27 [Arendelle 2]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 28 [Isle O' Hags 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 29 [Bikini Bottom 1], CONTENT WARNING
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 30 [Afterlife High 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 31 [Future Enforcement 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 32 [Hyrule 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 33 [Death City 4]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 34 [The Two Cities 4]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 35 [Justice Jurisdiction 4]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 36 [The Badlands 4]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 37 [Arendelle 3]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 38 [Isle O' Hags 4]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 39 [Bikini Bottom 2]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 40 [Afterlife High 4]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 41 [Future Enforcement 4]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 42 [Hyrule 4]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 43 [Death City 5]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 44 [The Two Cities 5]
:bulletblack:"Madness" Part 45 [Justice Jurisdiction 5]

Current Ideas put forth to use:
-[world of Tailspin]:  Baloo and Kit flying over enemy territory
-[world of Assassin's Creed]
  • Listening to: Random Music on My Computer
  • Reading: Old Works of Mine
  • Watching: Random YouTube videos

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:iconzobatch:
zobatch Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't comment because I have no complaints! Keep them coming!
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:iconphantommuse:
PhantomMuse Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014
Happy birthday! :iconcakeplz:
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:iconpumpkinapprentice431:
PumpkinApprentice431 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks. :)
Reply
:iconrabbit-chainsaw:
rabbit-chainsaw Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013
IsZ lookimg for you....
Reply
:iconrabbit-chainsaw:
rabbit-chainsaw Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013
you are here Machavelli?
Reply
:iconrabbit-chainsaw:
rabbit-chainsaw Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013
Mac? you working hard or hardly working?
Reply
:iconpumpkinapprentice431:
PumpkinApprentice431 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
A bit of both, admittedly. ^^; Working on stories, working on a bit of housework (my sister's back in the house, so that was a given), you know.
Reply
:iconrabbit-chainsaw:
rabbit-chainsaw Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013
XD okay, okay. just respond sooner or later okay?
Reply
:iconpumpkinapprentice431:
PumpkinApprentice431 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You know I will. :)
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconrabbit-chainsaw:
rabbit-chainsaw Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013
haro?
Reply
:iconnaga07:
naga07 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013
thanx for the fave
Reply
:iconpumpkinapprentice431:
PumpkinApprentice431 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
No prob. :)
Reply
:iconrabbit-chainsaw:
rabbit-chainsaw Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013
hai mac! *huggles*
Reply
:iconpumpkinapprentice431:
PumpkinApprentice431 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Yo. :)
Reply
:iconrabbit-chainsaw:
rabbit-chainsaw Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
you doing anything or wut? (is curious)
Reply
:iconpumpkinapprentice431:
PumpkinApprentice431 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Still working on my games, mostly gathering the necessary models.
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(2 Replies)
:iconlexakiness:
LexaKiness Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks for the watch ^^
Reply
:iconpumpkinapprentice431:
PumpkinApprentice431 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
No problem. :)
Reply
:iconrabbit-chainsaw:
rabbit-chainsaw Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013
mac ya here o ya tired?
Reply
:iconrabbit-chainsaw:
rabbit-chainsaw Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013
mac? *is curious*
Reply
:iconrabbit-chainsaw:
rabbit-chainsaw Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013
are u 0okay? *is conserned*
Reply
:iconrabbit-chainsaw:
rabbit-chainsaw Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013
back from being mentally raped! how u doin mac?
Reply
:iconpumpkinapprentice431:
PumpkinApprentice431 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Doing alright, just got in from mowing the lawn. All by myself...
Reply
:iconrabbit-chainsaw:
rabbit-chainsaw Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013
And that fucking suck balls... :c
Reply
:iconpumpkinapprentice431:
PumpkinApprentice431 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Ain't that the truth. :(
Reply
(3 Replies)
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