Command: Rewind: 2 Months Before Present Time
“Damn it Slick....” Diamonds Droog looked at Slick with a cigarette held tight between his teeth. The shorter Dersite was lying in an inky black mess in the bathroom. Shadow ink was all over the place, mostly in the toilet, but the ink on the floor mixed with another liquid... Blood....
Droog sighed, this had been going on for a long time. A few months ago Slick had begun making deals with the Horrorterrors of the Furthest Ring in order to get powerful dark magic. At first he was fine, only using the magic sparingly but then he became addicted to the power like it was some sort of horrible drug. He kept making more and more deals, and the more deals he made the higher the prices got. Lately the Horrorterrors had been asking for larger and larger amounts of Slick’s blood as a trade for more power, it was only a matter of time before they try to take Slick as a whole...
Droog made his way up to his leader and wrapped an arm around him to lift him up “Come on Slick, time to get up.” He said as he lifted Slick up so he was standing “Rise and shine sleeping beauty.”
“Shut up Droog.”
“Look the princess is awake.”
“I said SHUT UP DROOG.”
“I’ll stab you if you make any more remarks you asshole, just help me get to my room goddamn it.”
Droog rolled his eyes but did as Slick asked and helped him to his room. Once they were inside Slick pushed off from Droog and stumbled over to his bed. Once he was comfortable Droog crossed his arms “Slick we need to talk...”
Slick looked over at Droog with his one good eye “There’s nothing to talk about, now leave.”
Droog raised a non-existent eyebrow at this “Yes there is, we need to talk about your problem with these deals you’re making. They’re dangerous Slick and you know it. Its only a matter of time before the Horrorterrors turn on you and-”
“I said there’s nothing to talk about. Leave. NOW.”
Droog shook his head and turned to leave, just as he was out the door he said over his shoulder “Don’t come crying to me once they try to take your last working eye or arm...”
Command: Fast-Forward: 1 Week Before Present Time
After Slick’s and Droog’s argument, Slick continued to make deals and gain more and more power. Droog, Hearts, and Deuce could do nothing but watch as their friend was slowly losing himself to the Dark Magics.
It happened on a dark night, it was raining which was rare for the desert oasis that was Midnight City. Droog was reading while Hearts Boxcars was watching one of his soap operas, Deuce was sitting on his lap and watching too but he wasn’t really following what was happening. Slick was off somewhere, probably making another deal....
Suddenly all the lights went out, Deuce screamed in alarm “AH! B-B-Black out!!” Hearts comforted his startled friend “Its okay Deuce I’ll just go get a flashlight and we’ll-”
Heart’s words were cut off by a loud blood curdling scream that came from Slick’s room. Droog, Hearts, and Deuce jumped to their feet and dashed to the scream’s location.
“SLICK!” Droog called out “Slick what’s going on?!” He tried to open Slick’s door to find it locked “Slick open the damn door!” There was some more horrible screaming coming from the other side, Hearts pushed Droog out of the way and pulled Slick’s bedroom door off of its hinges. The three Crew members ran inside, the sight that greeted them was terrifying.
Slick was being dragged into dark shadows by giant black tentacles. The tentacles were definitely a Horrorterror and they were trying to drag a struggling and cursing Spades Slick into the shadows that were most definitely a portal to the Furthest Ring. Droog grabbed Slick’s hand and pulled “Hang on Slick, I got you!” Deuce and Hearts also grabbed a hold of Slick and tried to pull him away, it was like a terrifying game of tug-o-war with Slick being the rope. Slick groaned in pain as he felt his midsection strain from all the pulling, for a split second he felt like he might have ripped in half. At first it looked like they would be successful in pulling Slick free, but just as they thought the Horrorterror would let go, it yanked all four of them into the Furthest Ring. The Midnight Crew were face to face with a gigantic Horrorterror and its massive mouth. Deuce was screaming his head off, while the others were silent in awe and horror. They were being rapidly pulled towards the huge monster’s gaping maw, it looked like it was going to be the end of the Midnight Crew.
Slick was desperate, as fear and adrenaline filled his heart. He knew he went too far this time, he knew he should have listened to Droog, he didn’t want to wind up as some ugly monster’s dinner so he racked his brain for a way out of this. Slick’s heart beat a mile a minute, when suddenly an idea sprung to life in Slick’s mind. He wasn’t sure if it could work, but it was worth a shot. If he timed it right, then he might be able to walk out of this alive. Just as the monster was about to devour them all, Slick dug up all the magic he had collected from his past deals and unleashed a devastating fiery blast onto the beast. Burning it to a crisp. The Horrorterror shrieked in pain and released its captives, letting them float freely in the empty void of the Furthest Ring. Soon the beast’s movements became slow and its cries of pain dulled as it breathed its last breath. The Horrorterror was slain, and the four mobsters rejoiced. However they didn’t get to celebrate for long, because the Horrorterror suddenly exploded in a violent red and purple blast that engulfed them.
A shattering noise rang through the air as they all cried out in pain. Ever so slowly their bodies began to painfully change, bones cracked and snapped as they took new shapes and angles, teeth became sharp fangs, hands became devastating claws, features changed and shifted, as their souls were ripped in half. While they all struggled and screamed in pain they heard a voice speak in a strange language. At first they didn’t know what it was saying, but as they changed more and more they slowly began to understand the demonic language. It was a single word being chanted over and over, rising in volume until it sounded like unholy screaming.
“guilty… guilty….Guilty….. Guilty…. GUILTY. GUILTY. GUILTY. GUILTY. GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!”
The loud voices pounded in their heads, getting louder and louder until they couldn’t hear their own screams. Slowly the red and purple blaze dimmed, leaving the now tired and transformed Midnight Crew floating in the void of the Furthest Ring. Moaning in pain as their new bodies were sore and weak, they drifted in the never ending darkness for what felt like eternity, barely conscious from the whole ordeal, but eventually they all passed out.
Command: Fast Forward: 2 Days Before Present Time
Spades Slick moaned as he slowly opened his eyes. His head throbbed with a lovely headache while his entire body screamed in pain. His back felt like it had something heavy weighing it down, but he was too tired to try to lift whatever it was off of him. Where was he? He looked around, it looked like he was back inside the Hideout but the place was ransacked! Everything was somehow destroyed after that whole ordeal in the Furthest Ring, glass was shattered, furniture in shreds or overturned, whole walls and pieces of the ceiling were missing! The place was irreparable, he and his friends would have to find a new place to live! Speaking of his friends, where were they?
Slick was able to sit up on his hands and knees and look around. It was dark, probably really late at night and since the place was destroyed the electricity wasn’t working. He got up on his feet, still feeling a strange weight on his back. He was probably just imagining it, he was still pretty weak from using up all that magic on the Horrorterror that tried to eat them. He took a few steps forward, but stopped when he heard a strange scratching sound on the hard floor. He looked down at himself, his clothes were ripped, burnt and completely destroyed, his shoes were missing and his feet were.... His feet... WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO HIS FEET?!
Instead of his normal black carapaced feet, there were large carapaced talons in their stead. Not exactly like a bird’s but the similarities were there. He quickly sat down to get a better look at them, but cried out when he felt a wave of pain shoot up his spine. He rubbed the sore spot near his rear end to see that he had a small tail poking out of the back of his pants. Slick turned his head in an attempt to see his new tail, but couldn’t when he saw another new feature he had gained. Huge black bat-like wings were jutting out of his back, that explains the weight he was feeling. He looked around for a mirror, a puddle, anything that could show him his reflection. Slick found what used to be the bathroom and looked into the broken mirror at his new reflection. Horns had grown out of his head and had torn through his favorite wide-brimmed fedora (plus his eye-patch was missing leaving his scar exposed) , his teeth had become incredibly sharp and two fangs poked out of his closed mouth. He opened his mouth to see a pointed tongue and even more sharp teeth. A shiver ran up Slick’s spine “What... What the hell happened to me?”
He put his hands on either side of the mirror and leaned in close just to make sure he wasn’t seeing things, but deep down he knew this was real and it made his stomach twist into horrid knots. Slick spread his new wings out as far as they could go, he had an impressive wingspan, he could probably fly pretty fast with these babies. He brought one around and gently touched it trying to see if it was in-fact a part of his body. Slick felt his hand touch the wing and he even pinched it a little, that was his new wing alright... He sighed and put a hand to his head, taking off his now destroyed fedora and looking at it sadly. Two massive holes were punched in it where the horns grew. He sighed again and stuffed it in his back pocket for safekeeping, maybe Droog could fix it later?
But where was Droog? Where was anybody? Slick heard a loud groan and the shifting of rubble, he turned around and dashed out of the remains of the bathroom to what used to be the living room. A huge pile of ceiling rubble was moving and shifting, Slick used caution when approaching the pile “Who’s there?! Show yourself asshole!”
Slick was happy to know that it was just Hearts Boxcars and not some crazy intruder or anything. One Crew member found two more to go.
“What are you doing under all that shit Hearts? Rise and shine! I need some help finding Droog and Deuce!”
“Okay, okay! Gimme a second will ya?! I just woke up!”
The rubble pile started shaking again, Slick couldn’t wait to see the look on Boxcar’s face when he saw Slick’s ‘new look’ he would probably be scared shitless! Ha! This was going to be good! Slick stood there confidently with his arms crossed as he waited for Boxcars to shift himself out of the rubble. However Boxcars wasn’t the one shitting his pants when he found his way out of the pile, Slick was the one scared like no tomorrow. Why? Because Boxcars was HUGE. Turns out the ‘pile’ was actually just Boxcars laying on his stomach while covered in a thin layer of rubble and dust. The now demonic Dersite had grown to be even bigger than he was previously!
Boxcars was now roughly the size of Cans, maybe an inch or two taller. He could easily hold Slick in the palm of his giant clawed hand. Boxcars was also sporting a set of horns, unlike Slick’s that looked like dog ears Boxcar’s horns jutted out from the top of his head like the horns of a bull but instead of curving up they curved downward. Spikes ran up and down his spine from the back of his neck to the tip of his new lizard like tail. He had a slight hunch to his posture so his hands were always posed in front of him. His mouth was also very big and filled with large and sharp teeth, two huge fangs were clearly visible poking out from Boxcar’s closed mouth. Another new feature was that his left eye was now completely blood red instead of its usual white. It took Slick all of his willpower not to scream his head off at Boxcar’s new appearance, and it took him even more willpower not to laugh his ass off at a second realisation. Boxcars was almost completely naked! Since he had grown so big, his old clothes had ripped right off of him. His jacket was like a collar around his neck, his pants split in two and looked like ankle warmers or something, and his hat was so small on his now massive head that it looked comical.
Slick couldn’t hold it in any longer and began to laugh hysterically, at the sound of his laughter Boxcars looked down at Slick. His eyes widened in surprise “Slick? Holy shit what happened ta ya? Why do ya look like a monster? Why are ya so small? And what the hell are ya laughing?!”
“H-Hearts, I-I think you might want to. Pffffff!” Slick was having a horrible laughing fit as he pointed downward to tell Hearts to look down. The huge demon did so and screamed “WHY THE HELL AM I NAKED?!?! HOLY SHIT!!!!” Boxcars immediately covered up his private area with his hands and looked around the room to find something to cover himself up. He found some curtains and blankets and wrapped them around himself as best he could, but since he was so big it only managed to cover up the important areas. This is when he noticed his new appearance “What the hell happened ta me?! I’m huge!!” Slick walked over and patted his leg “Hey don’t worry big guy! I’m sure you’ll get used to it! Bet you’re even stronger now that you’re the size of a school bus! HA!”
“Don’t make me to eat you Slick....”
“MOVING ON! We still have to find Droog and Deuce, and I bet ten bucks that those two got some sort of weird new looks too...”
“Yeah... Wait... Hang on...”
“What is it?”
“I-I think I see them?”
Slick looked up at Boxcars who was staring at the opposite wall, he followed Boxcar’s line of sight but only saw the wall not Droog or Deuce.
“What are you talking about? All I see is this fucking wall!”
“No, no I can see them! Sort of... Its kind of like I can see them through the wall?”
“Hearts did you get fucking x-ray vision or something?! DAMN, I want x-ray vision!”
“I don’t think its x-ray vision Slick, besides if you got x-ray vision you’d use it to look at girls naked.”
Slick put a hand to his chin as some perverted thoughts crossed his mind. Boxcars lumbered up to the wall he was staring at and punched through it with his fist. When he pulled his hand back he was carrying an unconscious and demonized Droog and Deuce. He placed them on the floor and Slick poked Droog’s head with his taloned foot.
“DROOG WAKE THE FUCK UP!”
Slick kicked Droog’s side, which made the taller Dersite hiss in pain. Droog shot to his feet as Slick wore a shit eating grin on his face.
“Good morning sunshine! Have a nice nap?”
Droog opened his eyes and was about to say something before he saw Slick’s and Boxcar’s appearances. His eyes widened in shock “W-What?”
Slick laughed at his reaction “Like the new look? You got a makeover too.” He bent down and found a broken hand mirror, he held it up to Droog’s face “Have a look.”
Droog grabbed the mirror and held it close so he could get a good look at himself. He had horns that looked similar to cat ears, along with incredibly sharp fangs, he frowned when he saw that his new horns had poked two big holes in his hat. He tossed the mirror to the side and looked down at himself, his suit was a mess and that made him even more upset, his shoes were gone and his feet were clawed, he felt a strange weight from the back of his pants and turned his head to see a large furry tail poking out. Droog tried to remain calm, taking deep breaths so he wouldn’t fly off the handle. He has to be the calm collected one of this group after all, if he flipped out the others might start to panic too.
“I have no idea.”
Droog gave Slick a long hard stare, he opened his mouth to say something but was interrupted when he heard someone groan. All eyes turned to the small figure of Clubs Deuce as he sat up from his position on the floor. Deuce was now sporting a new set of horns too, unlike the other crew members though he didn’t have a tail, only long razor sharp claws, he had fangs and small clawed feet as well. He rubbed his eyes and looked around “Wow what happened? The place is a wreck!”
Then Deuce’s round eyes fell upon his teammates who all looked very menacing and scary. Deuce didn’t recognize them at all. So the little Dersite screamed at the top of his lungs and hid in an attempt to get away from the ‘monsters’. He hid underneath an overturned laundry basket with his rear end sticking out, the little guy was shaking like a leaf. Slick started laughing his ass off at Deuce’s reaction, Droog and Boxcars looked at each other and then at Deuce. Boxcars walked up to the basket, grabbed Deuce’s leg with his thumb and forefinger, and gently lifted the little demonized Dersite. The little guy looked like he was about to have a heart attack as he was dangled upside down. His eyes were wide with fear and shock as he looked at the massive ‘monster’ before him. Boxcars smiled a little and dropped Deuce in the palm of his other hand “Deuce calm down it’s just us!” He laughed. Deuce jumped a little “Hearts? I-Is that you?”
Boxcars nodded, still wearing a warm smile on his face “Yeah its me! And there’s Droog and Slick too!” He pointed over to the mentioned Crewmates, Slick had calmed down from his laughing fit and Droog just nodded in greeting. Deuce looked confused “But... Why do you all look different?”
“You got a new look too you moron! Take a look!” Slick picked up the same hand mirror he used with Droog and passed it up to Deuce (Who was still in Boxcar’s hand). Deuce looked at his reflection with child like fascination “Wow..... I have horns now, cool!” Boxcars chuckled and lifted Deuce so he was sitting on his shoulder.
“So now that everyone is accounted for” Droog began “What exactly happened in the Furthest Ring? Why do we look like... Monsters?”
Silence filled the room as they all pondered this till Slick spoke up “I remember that weird fire that swallowed us, and all that pain...”
“Yeah! And I remember some weird voice in my head!” Deuce piped up from his spot on Boxcar’s shoulder.
“Now that ya mention it, I remember a voice too...”
Droog searched his torn up suit for a cigarette and managed to find one, unfortunately he couldn’t find his lighter “Damn, I really need a smoke right now to calm my nerves....” Slick looked at the cigarette hanging in Droog’s mouth, and suddenly he felt like his body was on autopilot. He raised a his hand, made his thumb and forefinger in the shape of a gun, and pointed at the cigarette, a warm feeling traveled through his body and into his hand. A small purple flame burst from his finger and lit the cigarette as it flew past Droog’s face and hit the opposite wall. Droog jumped back in surprise and looked at Slick who also looked shocked.
“Slick that was amazing! How’d you do that?!” Deuce called out, watching the fire that was now burning on the wall. Purple flames licked at the crumbling wall as it lit the dark room with its eerie light. Slick stared in amazement, first at the flame and then at his own hands. He clenched his fists and felt that same sensation as his hands lit up with the purple fire, yet he didn’t feel burnt. Slick smiled as he looked down at his hands “Now this... This is FUCKING BADASS!” He flung a fireball at a broken ceiling lamp and it burst into flames. Droog took a long drag of his now lit cigarette, eerie purple smoke floating out of his mouth when he breathed outward “Smokes got a nice tang to it. You make one good lighter Slick. Now try not to damage this place even more than it already is...” He gave Slick a sideways glance.
“Can I do that?! I wanna try!” Deuce started flailing his hands in an attempt to get them to light “Hey hey HEY! Careful Deuce! Yer gonna poke someone’s eye out with those claws of yers!” Boxcars picked up Deuce by the back of his shirt and gently put him down on the floor as he continued to try to make his own purple fire. Droog, Boxcars, and Slick watched as Deuce ran around flailing his arms. Eventually Deuce ran over a shadow and he fell through it... Wait, he fell through a shadow?!
Slick’s eyes widened as he stared at where Deuce disappeared from, he rubbed his eyes and looked again, still no Deuce “What the fuck?”
They all turned to see Deuce sitting on top of what used to be the refrigerator kicking his little legs back and forth with a big smile on his face. They all looked at where Deuce disappeared from and where he was sitting now “Deuce how’d ya get all the way over there?” Boxcars scratched the top of his head in confusion. Deuce smiled “Guys look what I can do!” He leaned forward and fell into the refrigerator's shadow, he then popped up out of the shadow of a nearby chair “Ta dah!”
“Looks like Deuce can teleport wherever there are shadows...” Droog took another drag of his cigarette “Interesting...”
Slick looked at Deuce as he started jumping in and out of shadows “This is so much fun! Hahahaha!”
“Deuce stop being an idiot for five minutes! Get back over here!”
The smaller dersite stopped his shadow hopping and walked over to his friends with a crestfallen face.
“Jeez Slick, you should at least give Deuce some fun. He’s just been turned into a monster give the little guy a break...”
Droog’s voice rang out and Slick turned “Hey we have some serious business to take care of, but if you have any bright ideas Droog feel free to shove them up your ass!” Droog looked at Slick, slightly surprised “Slick... I didn’t say anything....”
“Yes you did I heard you! You said that I ‘should give the guy a break since he has just been turned into a monster’ well I say BULLSHIT!”
“I didn’t say anything but-”
“QUIT LYING I HEARD YOU!”
“You didn’t let me finish Slick, I didn’t say anything. I thought it though...”
“Yes thought it. Which means if I thought something towards you, then maybe...”
Droog took another drag of his cigarette “Can you guys hear me?” His voice rang out through their heads. Boxcars eyes widened in shock “Uh, yeah we can Droog!”
“I must have developed telepathy. That’ll come in handy... Slick stop thinking about all the stuff you're going to burn with your fire powers, the images you got in there are disturbing. Hello is that a sexual fantasy of Snowman I see?”
“GET OUT OF MY FUCKING HEAD DROOG!!!”
And with that Droog got a fist square in the face, courtesy of Slick. Droog stumbled backward, his cigarette flying out of his mouth. Slick cracked his knuckles “You should listen to your boss instead of being a smart ass!”
“Whatever.” Droog wiped his mouth and looked down at the ground at his cigarette “Damn that was my last one.”
“So what? We’ll just get som’ore! No big deal!” Boxcars said as he sat on the floor with a loud thud. Droog looked at Boxcars “One problem, don’t you think our new appearances would attract some negative attention?”
Slick stood up on the charred table that sat the the center of their base in order to get their attention “ALRIGHT LISTEN UP! We got a lot to deal with now that we have new bodies and powers. We have a looong new agenda to follow boys. The first thing on our list is finding a new place to live, since this place is in shambles.” Slick gestured to the destroyed place that used to be their glorious hideout. All their money, prized possessions, everything was gone. It made Deuce a little sad to see their home in ruins “But.... Where will we find a new place to live? I liked this place, this place was nice...”
Slick sighed and crossed his arms “Okay, let's sift through the rubble and see if we can find anything intact. We’ll take any weapons, food, or any essentials that we might need. We leave in two hours, now spread out!”
Command: Fast Forward: 2 Hours Later
What they found wasn’t much, luckily it looked like their Card Decks were still safe and sound meaning that their weapons supply was still plenty. However most of the food was either burnt or spoiled and other essentials like clothes, medicine, and hygiene based products were completely destroyed. Deuce however was lucky enough to find a box in the back of the pantry filled with water bottles and packages of pretzels, so they would have to stick with those for awhile. Slick took inventory of the supplies they had, the box of pretzels and water, their card decks, their back-up hats (A little worn and torn but still in good condition, however they still couldn’t wear them due to their horns), a small canister of oil for Slick’s robotic arm, and finally Clubs Deuce’s stuffed bear Blacky who Deuce refused to leave behind. He sighed, it wasn’t much but it was at least something. He waved Boxcars over and had him carry the supplies.
“Alright boys, time to go!” Slick walked over to the latter that lead up and out of their underground hideout. He climbed up to the top and slid the manhole cover off of the exit, carefully peeking out of the hole. It was still nighttime, the purple and green moons of Alternia still hanging high in the sky. No one was out on the street and all was quiet except the far away sounds of night time traffic and music from the casinos and night clubs. He looked down “Okay all clear, lets blow this joint!”
Slick jumped out of the hole and stretched as he felt his muscles loosen up, he also stretched his wings out too, feeling the new joints and muscles wake up. He experimented moving his wings a bit, now that he was outside he had much more room to test them out. So while Boxcar’s fat head was stuck in the exit, Slick decided to see if he could get off the ground with his new wings. He flapped them a bit, to get the feeling of them but not wanting to be airborne just yet. After a few more little exercises Slick bent his knees, pushed up like he was making a jump, but at the same time he made one massive flap of his wings. The powerful force of his wings caused Slick to become airborne, at first the feeling made his stomach twist as he quickly rose into the air. He flew higher and higher, flapping his wings whenever he felt the need for a boost. He flew straight up, all the way to the top of the buildings surrounding their hideout. Slick landed on the roof of one and looked around, maybe he could spot a good place for their new hideout.
To the north he could see a lot of flashing lights and signs, the Northern District was where most of the night action happened. Casinos, bars, hotels, you name it they got it. A tall white tower of a building stuck out among the bright lights of the district. It used to be a clocktower before some guy bought it and turned it into one of the biggest most luxurious hotels in the city. The Royal Hotel. Slick shook his head, definitely not, too many people are there. They’d draw too much unwanted attention.
Slick looked to the Eastern District, over in that direction was where all the posh rich assholes lived. The Mayor lived in that district too with his wife who was a former mail woman. That guy has some weird tastes in women... There was no way the Crew would be able to get a hideout there, the streets were patrolled regularly by cops AND there wasn’t many places to even go unless you count their fancy pantsy parks.
Now Slick looked to the Southern District, the slums... It was dirty, and rundown. Filled to the brim with bums, homeless, and hookers looking for a quick buck. Not only that but that was where most of the city’s illegal drug distribution took place since the police force in that area was corrupt to the core. However, if they went to the south district they would also find themselves closer to Felt Manor and that would not be good.
Finally there was the West District, also known as the ‘Old Town District’. It was the first area of the city ever built, the buildings were small and old fashioned yet sturdy, the area was well populated with apartment and office buildings along with a variety of stores. Out of all the districts this one had the lowest crime rate and was considered even more safe then the East district. It used to be really popular for this Theater that was open a long time ago, however the place went bankrupt and closed when the Northern district came in with all its attractions.
Slick smiled, the Western district was perfect. He jumped from the roof and used his wings to parachute himself down. When he returned to the other Crew members, he saw that Droog and Deuce managed to get Boxcars out of the hideout. There was a massive hole, about the size of Boxcars, where the manhole exit used to be. It looked like Boxcars made the hole bigger so he could get out.
At the sight of his leader Droog turned “Where did you go? We could have used some help getting Hearts out of the hole.” Slick shook himself off and then pointed up “I was trying out my wings and looking for a new place for us to live and I think I found the perfect place!”
“The Old Town District.”
“Its quiet, it has a low crime rate so no one would suspect us living there, AND there’s that theater there too. I think it sounds perfect.”
“You mean the Consonance Da Capo? I thought that place was abandoned.”
“It is, but soon it won’t be!”
“Yep! The Consonance Da Capo is about to become the Consonance Da Crewo.”
“That... Was a terrible pun....”
“SHUT UP DROOG!”
Command: Fast Forward: Present Time
It was a quiet day in Felt Manor, Crowbar didn’t mind. In fact he welcomed the new found peace even if it was a little boring it was better than getting raided by the Midnight Crew. Speaking of the Crew, nobody at the manor had seen any Crew members for the past week. Some of the other Felt thought that the Crew fled town, Crowbar however thought differently. Crowbar sat and read the newspaper in the livingroom, Itchy and Doze were playing cards (Itchy was cheating of course), while Fin and Trace were flipping through channels on the radio. As they were flipping through the channels they came to the local news station.
“And now back to the top story of the week! Two days ago a gigantic hole was found on 612 street where a manhole cover once sat-”
“BORING! Change it to that new music station Fin!” Itchy called out from his spot at the table “But isn’t 612 street the same street the Crew’s hideout is on?” Doze observed as Fin changed the channel. Crowbar’s eyes widened, Doze was right that was the location of the Crew’s hideout “Fin change it back!”
The shark obeyed and turned it back to the news station.
“-haven’t seen anything like it. Reports say the hole was massive, about the size of a school bus maybe even bigger right there in the middle of the street. When investigated by authorities the hole lead down to what appeared to be an underground base, upon further investigation it was discovered that this base belonged to the infamous Midnight Crew. The base was entirely destroyed and the four members of the Midnight Crew: Spades Slick, Hearts Boxcars, Diamonds Droog, and Clubs Deuce are nowhere to be found. We are getting further reports from people who live in the area saying they heard and saw strange things the night the hole appeared. Sightings of what appeared to be a flying creature and strange voices have been reported, but no one seems to know exactly what took place that night. As of now the Midnight Crew have officially become missing persons, if anyone has any information on the whereabouts of these criminals please alert the police as soon as poss-”
“Turn it off Fin.”
“I said turn it off.”
“Alright.” Fin said as he switched the radio off.
“Get your stuff, we’re going over there.”
“To their hideout? Why?”
“Because something is definitely wrong about this picture.”
“What? The fact that their base is destroyed? That idiot Deuce probably blew it up or something.”
“True, Deuce is an idiot, but I don’t think he’s THAT much of a careless idiot when it comes to managing his explosives.… I think we should go take a look anyway. If we can find them while they’re cut off from their resources it might prove as an advantage to us.”
“If you’re looking for someone might I suggest having some luck?”
Clover walked into the room, probably eavesdropping on them. The shortest Felt member adjusted his hat with a smug grin on his face “Finding missing people is hard you know~!” Crowbar sighed, but nodded “Sure whatever, lets just get down there. The longer we wait the less clues there are going to be as to where they went...”
Eventually Crowbar, Itchy, Fin, Trace, and Clover were all piled into the van. Doze decided not to come because he had other things to take care of (plus when it came to the Crew he always got nervous). The car drive was anything but peaceful because Itchy started annoying Trace who promptly got pissed off and tried to throw a punch which Fin tried to get him to hold back. Soon there was a huge fight going on in the back seat, Itchy poking fun at Trace, Trace trying to kill Itchy, and Fin trying to hold Trace back. Clover looked back at them from his spot in the passenger's seat while Crowbar tried to focus on the damn road. Eventually it got so out of control that the whole back seat started screaming their asses off “WILL YOU ALL SHUT THE FUCK UP BACK THERE?!”
At the sound of Crowbar’s shouting everyone froze and looked at him, Crowbar was about to start a really long lecture on how they’re adults and should act like them when he saw that they had arrived “We’re here...” He parked the car not too far away from the hole, no one was around seems the cops decided to pack it up for now. There was caution tape surrounding the hole so no one would accidentally fall inside, the Felt members approached the hole.
“Holy shit......” Itchy said under his breath “HOLY SHIT! LOOK AT THIS THING ITS BIGGER THAN FUCKING CANS!”
“LETS GO BACK AND GET HIM AND THEN PUSH HIM IN!”
“You and Fin are on lookout duty, if anybody is coming this way tell me immediately!”
Itchy nodded and used his time power to speed himself off to patrol. Fin just waved at Trace and wandered off in search of any future trails coming their way. Crowbar motioned for Trace and Clover to follow him, jumped down into the hole, and landed in what used to be the Midnight Crew’s base. The three of them looked around with pure shock on their faces “What the hell happened here?”
Clover had brought his camera on the trip, he pulled it out and started taking pictures of things he thought were important. While he did that Crowbar turned to Trace “Are you getting any past trails?”
“Not any fresh ones. The freshest ones I’m finding are from about two days ago, they’re really faded I can barely pick ‘em up but they’re there...”
“What exactly do you see?”
“Not much, the trials aren’t fresh enough to see anything clearly. Its all blurry. But something is definitely up, these trails are funny.”
“Yeah there is something wrong with them. A hint of darkness and emptiness. I don’t like it...”
“Hey guys! Check this out!”
Trace and Crowbar turned to see Clover pointing at a massive burn on the wall “What do you suppose did that?”
“Probably the same thing that destroyed the Crew’s base...”
Crowbar walked up to the smudge and ran his index across it, getting some ashes on his finger. He rubbed his index finger and thumb together feeling the ashes and eventually smelled it “Its smells like..... Ink?”
“Yeah smell it.”
He held his hand out to Trace who sniffed it “It does smell like ink!”
“What kind of thing leaves ashes behind that smell like ink?” Clover asked as he took a picture of the burn mark on the wall. Crowbar cleaned his hand off “I’m not sure, but whatever it is it can’t be good.”
“Hey guys look at this” Trace pointed to the burnt remains of a ceiling lamp lying on the floor “This thing smells like ink too...” Crowbar walked up to the broken ceiling lamp and tapped it with his foot. He sighed and pulled out a cigarette and match “What the hell happened here…?” He lit the cigarette and put it to his mouth, tossing the match on the burnt remains of the ceiling lamp. The match however was still partially lit and it reignited the lamp, the fire wasn’t very big and if it was a normal fire Crowbar wouldn’t have paid any attention to it. However the small fire flickered from a normal flame to an abnormal purple color “What the...?” Trace, Clover, and Crowbar eyed the tiny purple flame. Clover took a picture of it with his camera as the small fire died out “Purple fire.... Something is definitely going on. Trace is it possible you can track the Crew’s past trails?”
“Well they’re pretty faded, but I might be able to get a feel for where they were headed.”
“Close enough, Clover go back up top and round up Itchy and Fin. Tell them to get the van ready, we’re going on a manhunt.”
“Trace you work on getting those past trails into better focus, I’m going to look in Slick’s room for any clues.”
Crowbar left Trace and Clover to their jobs as he made his way to Spades Slick’s room. The door was clean off of its hinges, and the room was just as badly damaged as the rest of the base. He took a few steps in, a shiver ran up his spine as a strange feeling of unease crept up on him. The shadows in the room seemed to get darker and the air became a little hard to breathe, a feeling of paranoia filled him as he checked over his shoulder. Whatever happened here, whatever happened to the Crew, this was where it started.
He saw strange markings on the floor, claw marks? Upon further inspection they looked like they were made by accident, like the creature was stumbling but then broke into a run. Before Crowbar could follow the markings he heard Clover call for him telling everyone was ready. He gave one last uneasy look at the claw marks before rejoining his fellow Felt members.
Trace had managed to pick up the direction the trails were headed, so he was the one driving. Crowbar shared what he had found in Slick’s room and Clover showed Itchy and Fin the pictures he took
“It looks like a hurricane hit that place!” Fin exclaimed as he looked through the pictures “What the hell is going on here? The Midnight Crew disappears, their hideout is completely destroyed, and... Well yeah that’s pretty much it...” Itchy facepalmed as Fin shrugged “This is one hell of a puzzle!” Clover stated as he crossed his arms.
“We’re getting closer, the trails are getting a little fresher but not by much.” Trace said as he followed the past trails. The past trails themselves were like faded watermarks compared to all these other past trails that Trace was seeing along the street. However soon the trails mixed into other past trails and Trace lost track of them “Damn it!” He pulled over “Their trails are faded and mixing into a bunch of other past trails, I lost them...”
“Wait a minute... We’re in the Western District!” Clover said as he looked out the window.
“Why would the Crew come this way? It doesn’t make sense...”
“Maybe they came this way to throw the cops off?”
“No, that can’t be right... Alright, everyone line up.”
Everyone jumped out of the car, Crowbar had them line up in number order and walked up and down the line pacing back and forth. He was thinking of a good strategy, good team pairings if they had to split up, who would be good with who and what not. Finally he came to a decision. If the Crew’s past trails lead there then they must not have gone far, which meant they were somewhere there in the Western District. If their trails were fresher then Trace could have easily tracked them, but no they just had to be faded and mixed with the past trails of other people. Which meant if they had any hope in finding the Crew then they would have to search the whole district. That would require back-up... Crowbar sighed and looked at the four other Felt members before him “Alright here’s how we’re going to do this. Fin, Trace you two are going to see if you can pick up the Crew’s trails here in the Western District. Clover, Itchy I want you two to patrol around on foot. I’m going to head back to the mansion to get some of the others to join in the search. If any of you get any leads on the Crew, you call for back up immediately. We have no idea what they are up to and for all we know those bastards could be planning something big and most likely dangerous. Got it?”
Itchy nodded “Yeah sure, whatever. Don’t worry Crowbar, we’ll find those asshats and off’em easy! No worries!”
Crowbar gave Itchy his famous ‘Shut the fuck up before I hit you over the head’ look. Number one instantly shut up. Crowbar climbed back into the van, gave one last look at the four Felt he was leaving behind, and then drove away back toward Felt Manor.
After that they split into their respective groups of two. Trace with Fin and Itchy with Clover.
Itchy wasn’t happy, because Clover wouldn’t shut up. The shorter Felt member kept asking Itchy his retarded riddles, Itchy of course had no ideas what the answers could be so he just said the first thing that popped into his head. Of course Clover would be a little asshole and tell him he was wrong, whilst calling him dumb. It took all of Itchy’s willpower not to just speed away and leave the little prick behind, but knowing Crowbar he’d probably flip out. He had gone on red alert since he heard about the Crew’s disappearance. GOD HE’S SO PARANOID! Deuce probably just blew the place up and they came this way to avoid cops or something. They’re fine and probably not ‘up to something’ like Crowbar kept claiming. Itchy crossed his arms and scoffed as he thought this.
He then noticed that Clover had gone silent and had fallen behind. Itchy turned on his heel to see Clover staring up at the building behind them. “Hey Clover, HURRY UP!!” Itchy sped back over to Clover “What are you even looking at?” He looked up at the building. It looked like some old run-down theater for plays, the place looked like a rundown piece of shit. There were several glass doors, all of them were boarded up except for one pair of doors. Itchy looked up at the sign that hung over the theater entrance “Consonance Da Capo” it read in faded golden letters.
“What the hell, its only an old run down piece of shit theater. Why’d you stop?”
“Oh, just taking a small trip down memory lane~! I came here on the theater’s last day before it closed down for good.”
“Yep, it was a really nice place too. Shame it went bankrupt and all.”
“Yeah now come on lets get moving!”
“Hang on Itchy! Why don’t we go inside?”
“Yeah! I mean, all of these doors are supposed to be boarded up but that double door there looked like it was forced open! See the weird marks?”
There were claw marks on the wooden boards and the glass door itself, along with a few hairline cracks. Something about this place gave itchy a bad feeling, but his curiosity was peaked. Could it be the Midnight Crew came here? Why would they come to an old theater? Clover could see Itchy’s curiosity rising, he was also curious about this strange new development and made a gesture toward the door. “Shall we?”
Command: Chapter: END