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Artificer [Worm/Essence Meta CYOA - SI]

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by UrielCifer, Mar 17, 2023.

  1. Threadmarks: Chapter One

    UrielCifer Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

    Feb 8, 2022
    Likes Received:
    The feeling of being shunted across dimensions wasn’t one that was really describable. It was like something eldritch, something that you could know to exist, but completely and utterly ineffable to your senses. You could see it, but not know its features. You could hear it, but couldn’t recognize its voice. It was strange, to say the least.

    Which was why I was both relieved, and disgusted when the swirling dimensional vortex spat me out in the middle of an alleyway, right into a puddle of muck.

    With a face of disgust I lifted myself out of the probable biological hazard, trying in vain to wipe the shit and trash off of my now thoroughly soiled clothes. They weren’t anything special, just jeans and a long sleeved shirt, but they were mine, dammit, and the only thing I had on this god-forsaken rock called Earth Bet.

    Oh, right. I never said anything about what I was doing here, was I? Well, let me spin you, my hypothetical audience, a tale as old as fan fiction.

    Unsuspecting victim, ie: me, wanders across a certain website on the internet titled the ‘Essence Meta CYOA.’ Of course, this unsuspecting victim clicks on said website out of curiosity, and proceeds to pick and choose the Essences they desire. Unsuspecting victim then writes out the Essences he chose, and then proceeds to go about his day, as per usual.

    For most, that’d be the end of it. But, oh ho! Not so for this unsuspecting victim, the chaotic forces of the universe, aka ROB, says.

    Thus, the unsuspecting victim finds himself sitting across a desk from a man-shaped blob of complete and utter nothingness. Unsuspecting victim, expectedly, freaks out about the sudden change in venue. Man-shaped nothingness laughs, and puts forth a deal to unsuspecting victim. The terms of the deal were as such:

    ‘I give you all the power you want, and all you have to do is entertain me for a time.’

    No seriously, the man-shaped nothing had it written out on a sheet of paper and everything, the signing line with the big ‘X’ at the front included.

    The unsuspecting victim, after calming down a moment, decides in a moment of delusional whimsy that everything he is experiencing is a very vivid hallucination, and stupidly signs on the line. The next thing the unsuspecting victim knows, and he’s being sent tumbling through the space between multiverses, aimed right for the hunk of shit waiting to be flushed called Earth Bet, from the story called Worm.

    And thus, we’ve arrived at the unfortunate present! Are you entertained yet, ROB? Cause no one else is laughing!

    I sighed, cutting off my little internal monologue. Honestly, if just being sent through an eldritch dimensional portal was enough to have me talking to myself, even if just in my head, I really wasn’t optimistic about my chances in the fucking Worm Universe. Still, I had to at least try and do something interesting, else ROB might get bored and smite me, or whatever.

    “Hey, you!”

    Hearing the gruff, gravelly voice that called out from behind me, along with the telltale click of a hammer being primed, had me already promising vicious revengeance upon the ROB that had sent me here.

    I turned around, slowly, and got a good look at the blatant ‘couldn’t look more like a druggie if I tried’ stereotype standing before me. Balding scalp, sallow skin, blackened and rotting teeth, obvious scarring on the arms and nostrils. Ratty clothes that seemed to be almost falling off of his borderline anorexic frame.

    “Yes? Can I help you with anything?” I tried to keep my voice as dry as I could, and I succeeded rather well, in my not-so-biased opinion.

    Apparently, the druggie didn’t like my tone. With a growl, the man fired a shot off at my feet, setting bits of concrete dust into my face from the force. I barely blinked. Yeah, something about me: Self-preservation was really not something I excelled at. Like, I could have a bear roar in my face and I’d try and touch it kind of lack of self-preservation. Stupid, I know, but meh.

    I just stared at the druggie a bit more. “Was that supposed to do something?”

    Mr. Druggie’s eyes bulged and some veins in his forehead pulsed. “Dammit, gimme all yer fucking evr’thin, ya fuckin cunt rag!” Wow. The linguistic skills of what I assume to be a Merchant leave me in awe, awe I say.

    “Well, if you had used your eyes and looked,” I drawled, rolling my eyes at the terrible grammar of the druggie. “You would notice that I’m in barely any position to give you anything at all, given I don’t have anything on me.”

    It took the Merchant a few seconds to parse my ‘big-boy words,’ and when he did he took a quote-unquote “threatening” step forwards. He raised the gun again and pointed it right at my face, though it was shaking enough that I doubted that the guy would be able to hit anything but the wall behind me, maybe my shoulder, if he was lucky.

    “Lis’n ‘ere, fuckin shitstain,” the merchant growled, again ‘threateningly.’ “You’s gonna gimme all ya fuggin money, an’ eva’thin else ya got on ya, or Imma put a bulle’ in yer fuckin brain! Got tha’ you monkey-fucker?!”

    I just blinked. “I mean, I could do that,” I said leadingly. “Or, I could do something, like-” I leaned forwards, getting in the man’s guard even as he panicked and fired off again, sending chunks of brickwork over the both of us.

    I grabbed the merchant’s flailing gun arm by the wrist, and punched his elbow as hard as I could. A sickening crack sounded out, and the merchant’s arm was bending the other way. His gun dropped out of limp fingers, and I kicked the weapon away. It was unnecessary now.

    Another step and a sweep of my legs, and the merchant fell flat on his ass, cradling his arm and flailing and twitching as he cried in agony. I just rolled my eyes.

    “You know,” I said conversationally over the man’s screams, crouching down next to his head. “This is why you people need to actually look at the people you try to rob. If you pulled this stunt on anyone halfway competent in self-defense, and you’d have ended up in just the same way, if not worse than how I’ll be leaving you.” It seemed the merchant didn’t care to listen to me, given he was still screaming and rolling around like a pig in mud.

    I shrugged, unconcerned. “Oh well.” Then I jerked the man up by his collar, and nailed him in the nose. A crack echoed, and the man’s screams redoubled though they were more blubbery now that his nose, and many of his facial bones, were now either cracked or broken. Another fist to thee face, and the man finally shut up, unconscious or as close to it as was possible while still awake.

    I stood back up, skating my hand and trying to flick off the blood that had stained my skin. Turning towards the entrance of the alley, I saw that there was a pair of what looked like teenagers standing there, gawking at me.

    The left one, a slightly taller-than-average kid in a white suit decorated with clock faces, seemed to be holding in laughter, as evidenced by his shaking shoulders. The other one, a short girl dressed in a green skirt with a visor on the top half of her face, was looking at me with a slightly disbelieving tilt to her mouth.

    I quirked a brow at them. “What? You want an autograph or something?” It seemed that was enough to set of the clock-based Ward, as he soon devolved into cackling hyena laughter. The green teen just sighed at her teammate.

    I ignored the guffaws of Clockblocker and focused on Vista. “So? Got any reason why you two decided to just stand there while I dealt with that?”

    Vista winced slightly at that, and turned away just a tad. “W-Well, it seemed like you had it under control. Plus, Wards aren’t supposed to actively engage without permission, which we didn’t have.”

    I waved a hand. “Excuses, though i suppose they’re acceptable given that no one except ugly over there was harmed, and he had that coming. But for future reference?” I stared at the girl in her visor, and she stood straighter. “If you see someone in danger, regulations or no, permission or no, you save them, got it?”

    The green clad pre-heroine looked at me for a moment longer, her mouth slightly open in apparent shock before she collected herself and nodded. “Got it, sir.”

    I gave her a nod in return. “Good. Now, you both should be getting on now. I’ll get this bozo somewhere so the proper authorities can take care of him.” Vista nodded again, and made a gesture to the still chuckling Clockblocker. The duo started to walk off, with the both of them turning to wave at me before they disappeared around a corner.

    I went and grabbed the merchant, dragging him out and propping him up against the nearest wall. I looked around a bit, and saw a woman walking closer to me. I flagged her down.

    “Excuse me, ma’am,” I asked politely. “WOuld it be a bother if I were to borrow your phone for a moment? I’d like to call this idiot in with the police, but my device was broken during our little scuffle.”

    The woman flinched a bit when I addressed her, but she nodded her acquiescence. “Alright, ‘s long as it doesn’t take too long.”

    I nodded in thanks to her. “Not a problem, miss,” I assured as I dialed 911. “It shouldn’t take very long at all.
    Several minutes later, the police came by and picked up the merchant. I gave them my statement, omitting the part about my sudden and unplanned dimensional travel, and then we all went on our merry separate ways.

    Well, merry for most of us. I was still covered in muck, exhausted, and with no place to call my own. Well, not really, but I hadn’t tried to use any of my Essences yet, so until I managed to figure out how to do that, I was without shelter.

    Seems like I knew what I was going to do next, then.

    Walking through the streets of a city that I'd previously known only through fiction was a somewhat novel experience. It was rather sullied though by the fact that it was Brockton bay that I was walking through, the cape capital of the USA, and one of the most crime infested cities in the American country.

    The titles were earned for a reason. As I walked closer towards the beaches of the bay, the structures and constructions became worse and worse. More of the buildings became pitted with holes and what I assumed to be buckshot scars. More windows were broken, the shattered glass still lying where they first landed.

    Streets and sidewalks became more pitted with dents and potholes, and the graffiti and gang tags grew almost exponentially in number. I also took notice of how they were becoming more and more East Asian inspired and themed, and the increased presence of red and green in them.

    I knew that the ABB, Lung’s gang, was situated in the Docks, which I guess let me know where I was in the city. Luckily, no gang members afflicted me with their presence on my trip to the Boat Graveyard, and I made it to the beach in rather short order.

    And now I could finally discover if what the ROB promised was true.

    Using the bits of meditation and breathing techniques that I knew, I tried to focus on something out of place within me, to see if I could make them activate, or work, or whatever I had to do to get the Essences to operate like how they were supposed to.

    I searched deep within myself, and… found what I assumed was the right thing almost immediately. What, were you expecting some big explosive find, like something from Naruto or Dragon Ball? Please, the real world doesn’t work like that, my hypothetical audience.

    I shook my head, grimacing at how my thoughts had tengented into talking to myself again. I tried to focus back on what I assumed were the Essences that I had chosen.

    All six of them were burning within the core of my being, what I assume most would call my ‘soul.’ I didn’t doubt that that was the place they had decided to situate, given how deeply in twined the Essences should become with a person once they are imbibed.

    I reached out towards the Essences, each of them an individual flame burning within a larger inferno. I knew with a certainty I didn’t know I could muster that once I activated these Essences, there would be no going back to what I used to be. I would be completely and utterly different. Would I be prepared for that?

    Fuck it.’ And I touched the inferno.

    Blazing power rushed through my veins, though not in the sense that most would have expected. My body was strengthened to the peak of human ability and then some, but it stopped there. I felt my appearance shift towards something more ideally me, but it wasn’t anything too crazy. No, the power I felt rushing through me went almost entirely to my mind.

    Locks that I didn't know existed shattered as the power touched my mind, and I felt as if everything was different, despite remaining exactly the same. Knowledge poured into my mind from sources unknown, and I felt the potential of what could be rise to the forefront of my mind.

    Machines of limitless power, hordes of cybernetically enhanced homunculi, nanomachine swarms that could shape and reshape landscapes with but a thought, tools and utilities that boggled the mind and allowed the facilitation of near-infinite possibilities to go from mere fantasy to reality.

    I sucked in a deep breath as the information and blueprints and Ideas swam to my mind from wherever they had recessed, and I tried to calm myself from the overload of information, knowledge, and sheer potential. Several long moments of battle with an uncooperative mind, and the ideas waned, leaning into the darkness of my subconscious, ready to be called upon once more.

    I slumped where I stood, opening my eyes and glancing around myself. Circuit-like details had been inscribed in the sand, all of them centering around me and extending for several meters. Bits of sand seemed to have been glassed as well, leaving the sun to gleam off the beach in patches of rainbow colored light.

    I sighed, letting my body relax. I was drenched with sweat from the power that rushed through me, and I was left feeling thankful that I decided to come to the beach to do this. I didn’t know what the effect could have done to my surroundings if they were concrete and brick instead of sand. Plus, this was much easier to hide away.

    Shaking my head, I went about scuffing all of the marks from the sand and burying the glass as best I could. When I was done, it looked like someone pushed around a bunch of sand with their shoes, but it was better than the obviously supernatural marks it was before.

    With that little thing done, I looked around the beach for a moment. No one was present from what I could see, but this city had Armsmaster and, occasionally, Dragon to monitor it, so I had no doubt there would be someone here in a matter of minutes to check on what was probably a massive energy spike.

    Sure enough, if I strained my ears hard enough I could hear the telltale rumble of a massive vehicle on concrete, and it was getting louder.

    “Alright,” I muttered. “That’s my cue to skedaddle.” Raising a hand for dramatic effect, I snapped my fingers and channeled the Essence of my choice into the world.

    A swirling, blue black tear in the fabric of reality opened before me, and I couldn't help but grin. With a step and a hop, I was through the portal. And with the tear in reality fabric snapped closed behind me, the only evidence of something having been there was the scuffs in the sand.
  2. SluggyBuggy

    SluggyBuggy D&D grimdark lover

    Jan 24, 2020
    Likes Received:
    I have no clue what essences you chose, but i can take a quiet guess. Me likey, and you writey well!

    This can only go well from here, totally not chaos incarnate.
  3. Threadmarks: Chapter Two

    UrielCifer Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

    Feb 8, 2022
    Likes Received:
    The Essence of the Home turned out to be everything it sold itself to be, and more.

    My version manifested itself as a massive house, probably closer to a mansion in scale, along with a surrounding area of just nature. There were grassy plains, forested areas, streams and rivers and what I assumed was a lake, and there were even mountains I could see off in the distance!

    The house was three stories, not counting the basement, and each floor had what felt like several dozen rooms each. There was the possibility of some kind of non-Euclidean shit going on, but I didn't really obsess over it. I had my home, and I was happy.

    Or at least, I would be once I found the workshop, because I was dying to make something with my other Essences. Because I don't know if you realize, but the combination of Scholar, Crafter, Mad Doctor, and Archmage could make some real crazy shit, if I put my mind to it. Which I definitely would.

    For now though, I was stuck wandering and trying to find a room that I didn't even know if it existed.

    I growled at the room, a library, and slammed the door shut. “Alright!” I roared. “If I open the next door, and there isn’t a workshop there, I’m going to find the fucking brain of this fucking house, and I’m going to kick it in the fucking balls!”

    Intent proclaimed, I stalked over to the nearest door, a snarl of frustration and rage covering my features. I barely noticed, but could feel tramples and shakes coming from the house with each step I took. And with a pull like I was trying to rip off something’s arm, the door to the room slammed wide open.

    The rage evaporated when I saw the workshop within.

    It was beautiful, even though I hadn’t ever been in something like a workshop before. Several stations stood around the room, situated so as to fit as many in the room as possible. There were machines and benches that I could recognize, vaguely, and others that I had no idea of what they were.

    Looms and thread weaving stations, metal working benches stocked with hammers and anvils, a forge that I could see in the far back, a classic workbench with sheafs of paper and pens stacked upon it, and so many more that I hadn’t an idea as to what they did.

    I glanced at the ceiling of the room. “Thank you, house. Your punishment shall be delayed another day.” I swore I felt the house shudder at my words. And so, with a victorious smirk, I set about creating the first thing that I’d make with my new powers.

    I walked to the workbench and immediately started to plan out the first thing I wanted/needed at the moment. Clothes. Cause the ones I was wearing were still covered in muck.

    They needed to be durable, ‘cause I’d probably just use them as my ‘cape’ attire. They needed to allow me full movement of my body, and likely have to be able to stretch a good amount despite the form. Implanted plates of either metal or ceramic to add armored defense to the clothes, and maybe some sewn in weapon holders. Steel-soled boots, gloves with metal plates on the backs of the hands, belt with a great many pouches. Oh, and pockets, don’t forget the pockets.

    The barebones done, I started to get everything I needed. The Crafter Essence let me summon up any basic materials I needed, so the creation of these clothes would be simple enough.

    I started out with leather as the base, and made a general shape of my body out of the stuff. I didn’t know how I knew my exact measurements down to the millimeter, but I wasn’t complaining about it. Next I split the leather body suit into an upper body portion and a lower body one. Then I split it further, cutting it up across the joints and other places of mobility. I sliced the sides of the torso in a cross-hatching pattern to try and keep the armor up while still allowing movement by cutting it into little diamonds.

    Summoning up some stretchier fabric, I set about sewing up the joints with it, so as to hopefully allow myself more freedom of movement in the clothes. The sides of the torso were easy enough to do, just set a large piece of the fabric over the entire cutout and sew the leather rhombi into it.

    Then I started to get out the metal sheets. I headed over to the metalworking station, and got to hammering out the general shapes that I needed. The armor pieces would be going on my chest, shoulders, abs, back, forearms, thighs, and shins, so I had quite a bit of metal that I needed to shape. It took a couple minutes, maybe a half hour, before all of the metal was shaped.

    Back at the workbench, I went about securing the metal in place. I used a kind of glue substance to stick it down to the leather, and it was secured tight. I repeated the process several more times before I deemed this first iteration of my clothes complete. Now I just needed to get the gloves, belt, and pouches.

    This process went by significantly faster, thanks to my having practiced a bit with the steps. In short order, I had my accessories ready.

    I smiled as I looked down on my outfit, before I had another though. And with a flourish, and several extra minutes, I went and colored the thing. The leather was a dark gray color, while the joints were black. The armor pieces I kept mostly colorless, just adding something to dull their reflectiveness. Okay, now it’s done.

    With the clothes complete and laid out before me, I stripped out of my dirty clothes and was about to put the things on when another thought occurred to me.

    “…I’m still disgusting,” I said in a tone of faux-realization. Then I grinned. “Well, time to make something magic!”

    I walked back over to the metalworking station, and summoned up a couple materials. A small length of black zirconium and a smaller amount of white titanium. With careful precision and likely inordinate amounts of care, I shaped and carved out the zirconium, and inlaid the titanium where I carved. The result was a black metal band with white highlights.

    With a force of will, along with tapping into a reservoir of something that I assumed was mana, I forced onto the ring the concept of cleanliness. After several moments, my reservoir drained a tiny bit, and the ring shined a lustrous black and white, and I grinned.

    Slipping the ring onto my right middle finger, I felt my body repel all of the muck, dirt, and grime that had accumulated on me over the past day and a bit. On the floor around me was a ring of filth that had been on me, and when I walked towards my new clothes, it was repelled further.

    I hummed as I walked. “So it made something like a field that repelled grime, rather than just clear me outright.” I nodded. “Alright, note to self: when enchanting, specifics must be kept in mind to get the right effect.” Then I went on and put on my new clothes, because I was already tired of being naked.

    The clothing fit me perfectly, as I had expected. Going through a quick set of movements showed that my efforts to preserve mobility had worked and I kept my full range of motion. However, it came to my attention that I forgot to make the boots, and was thus barefoot. ‘Twas an easy enough fix, and a couple minutes and some fiddling later, I had my mid-calf high, steel-soled boots.

    Then I went and enchanted everything. It wasn’t much, just a simple durability and mending effect, but it would be useful. And a self-cleaning enchantment, because I did not want to deal with cleaning them myself. And with that, my clothes were complete. I’d upgrade them later, once concerns or issues surfaces, but they’d suffice for now.

    With my first little project out of the way, I decided to make myself something I could defend myself with. Preferably several something’s. As I was thinking, my eyes drifted to the ring that sat on my finger, and a grin split my face.

    I got to work immediately, summoning up several alloys and metals to make my rings. They’d be simple bands, maybe some would have inlays or details, but they didn’t require them to work, so they would most likely stay unadorned.

    The metals were quickly shaped, each ring being formed quicker than the last as the Crafter and Scholar Essences worked their magic and let me get faster and more fluid in my motions as I practiced. And when I was done, I had an array of rings laid out before me. Gold and platinum. Blue, red, yellow. Indigo, green, orange, violet. Nine rings of varying colors sat before me, and I made them work based around those colors.

    Unfortunately for my min-maxing ass, I was only able to put one or two enchantments or abilities on the rings, depending on the power given, and I based them vaguely off what I remembered of the Lantern Corps, though not explicitly.

    Blue allowed me to heal, both myself and others. Red and yellow enhanced my body and my senses, respectively. Indigo lets me generate and manipulate ethereal chains, like the Uzumaki from Naruto. Green was a personal shield, surrounding my body and attire and acting much like Glory Girl’s, but without the popping. Orange let me see into the future by a couple seconds, and Violet gave me flight. Because I couldn’t go without.

    Gold and platinum were different, though. They would be scanning my surroundings and taking readings of any parahumans nearby, and taking samples of their powers. This would benefit me twofold. One, it would give me basically parahuman radar, which broke so many of the Unwritten Rules that it wasn’t even funny. And two, it would allow me to copy the parahuman’s ability and get a read on how the shards connected with their hosts. Which meant I’d be able to find the Warrior that much quicker.

    Yes, yes, praise me more. I’m waiting.

    I chuckled to myself, and slipped all of the rings onto my fingers. Gold and platinum went on my thumbs, and I moved my cleanliness ring to my right pinky, and lined up all of the other rings accordingly. I inhaled deeply as the power of my rings flowed through me, even as slight as their power was.

    Largely, the rings were just a stopgap. I could and would be making things superior to all of them in due time, but for now I just wanted a quick way to go and do the cape thing without having to modify my body or do some alchemy. Eventually, they’d be obsolete.

    I shook those thoughts from my head. I wasn’t trying to focus on it now, and I just wanted to go out and punch some shits.

    And so, with a snap of my ring-clad fingers I vanished from my Home and returned to the shit world called Earth Bet.
    You want to know the surprising thing about Brockton Bay? Despite its infamy for its cape population and the gang, it was frustratingly difficult to find someone doing anything illegal.

    I’d been flying over the city for about an hour now, and I had still yet to find anything of note. Oh sure, there were a few purse snatchers and attempted mugging, but a quick chain around their legs of arms and it was all said and done. I wanted to actually fight something, dammit!

    I sighed, landing on the highest point I could find, which was the peak of a skyscraper with a crown logo on it. I took a seat on the ledge and let myself relax a bit, propping my head on my hands and just looking at the city below.

    It was basically dark out, with the sun barely peeking above the horizon and making the Bay glow a fired orange-gold. It’d be just a few minutes before night truly fell, and I hoped that by that time there’d be some people for me to punch the daylights out of.

    Okay, I get it, I was a little punch happy, but can you really say you wouldn’t do the same in my place? I was given the power to be able to make nearly anything at all, as well as being shoved into one of the most target heavy settings in fiction. I couldn’t think of anything to do right now but to punch something in the face.

    Luckily, for me, it seemed my chance was coming sooner than I’d though.

    A flash of light flared from my orange ring, and an image of a burning city entered my mind. Five figures lay dead on the street, with three other things close to them. And above it all, a silhouette of a roaring, flaming dragon.

    I was in the air and off like a shot in moments, zipping straight towards the docks area. My enhanced eyes caught sight of a fire plume being shot into the sky, and I couldn't help the slightly manic grin that emerged on my face. Finally, something I could punch!

    It took me about a minute to get over to the docks, and in that time the fighting had only grown more and more intense, the flames becoming hotter and brighter, and the silhouette behind it becoming larger and more draconic. With a final twist and a quick halt of my momentum, I surveyed the scene below me.

    A massive creature that looked more dragon than man was swatting at the swarm of insects surrounding itself, roaring and spewing fire to cull as many of the bugs that he could. Off down the street, four people were gathered, two men and two women along with a trio of only vaguely canine looking monstrosities. And up on the roof of a building to my left was a girl hiding behind a ledge.

    “So,” I mused quietly to myself, my voice lost in Lung’s roars. “That’s when I am. Neat.” Then I turned my eyes on Lung, the Dragon of Kyushu, and shot forwards.

    I wasn’t the strongest brute in the world, let alone the city, but with Lung being where he was right now, I could probably take him on and win, if only barely. If he grew any further, I’d have to resort to more drastic measures.

    With that final thought, I plowed right into the dragon that fought off Leviathan.

    We both went flying off, Lung being pulled by my momentum and I body slammed him into a nearby warehouse. The metal warped and smoldered where Lung touched it, and the building came tumbling down on top of us.

    I flew back out of the wreckage, protected by my shield, and looked at the Undersiders.

    “Go!” I shouted at them, waving a hand away. “Run while I preoccupy him!” I caught a glimpse of the quartet talking among themselves before I turned back to Lung and released my chains. The long, ethereal indigo armaments grew to several yards long, and I grabbed them like whips.

    I stood at the ready, waiting for Lung to pop out and rush me. And he didn’t disappoint.

    With a wrath filled roar, the Dragon surged from the collapsed warehouse like a demon from hell, molten metal steaming on his silver hide as flaming orange eyes rolled in their sockets before fixing themselves firmly on me. He roared again, and dashed at me, arms open and hands clawed.

    I swung one of my chains in a wide arc as I rose in the air to avoid Lung, and my chain wrapped around his torso. He passed me by as I fly above him, and I tensed and heaved.

    The chain grew taut and I felt my arms strain as I fought against the might and momentum of Lung. Luckily for me, my red ring could compensate for strength differentials, though only just. With a surge of red light, I roared and swung Lung up and over me, whipping him towards the Bay. Then I dissipated my chain, letting him fly.

    I looked back at the Undersiders, and saw that they were standing stock still, likely from shock. “GO!” I roared, and they finally seemed to get the message. They ran as quick as they could, mounting Bitch’s dogs and sprinting under the cover of Grue’s darkness.

    I sighed in mild relief. Despite them being villains, I didn't want the death of children on what I had for a conscience. I looked over towards where Skitter was hiding, and I didn’t find anything, so i assumed that she had gotten the fuck outta dodge too. That had me relieved as well. Didn’t want the potential Khepri to die this early on-

    A flash of orange, and I rocketed into the sky, barely avoiding the fist that was now as large around as my torso. The heat of the limb scalded my skin despite my protective layers and my shield, and I winced. Lung had grown, shooting up from his previous nine-ish feet to closer to twelve feet and counting. Vestigial wings had begun to sprout from his back, and I knew that I had to end this quickly, else it would get out of control.

    I rushed towards the massive Lung, letting my chains loose once more and I swung them towards the dragon man once more. They spun around him again, wrapping several times as I let them grow, and I made them fuse, locking together on Lung’s torso.

    He roared at me, saliva and spittle flying from a maw filled with teeth and fangs, and I roared right back as I pulled up with all of my enhanced strength. Luckily, the combination of the red and blue rings made me all but numb to the pain of literally tearing my arms apart trying to lift Lung. And yet I could not move the Dragon.

    Lung held fast against my pull, and I was not going to relent. One of us was going to break eventually, but we were both brutes with regeneration. However, Lung was superior to me in both of those regards, and I could feel his pull growing as time went on. One does not simply beat Lung in a battle of attrition, I could tell you that much.

    And then our stalemate broke with the sound of the agonized scream/roars of Lung. I glanced down at the dragon sharply when I was suddenly able to move against the pull of Lung, and I saw a swarm of insects surrounding the dragon. It seemed like he had neglected to keep up his fire with how focused on me he was, and that had come to bite him in the ass. Probably literally, from what I was seeing.

    I still needed to take care of him though. So, with a great deal more ease than previously, I hauled Lung into the air and started to spin. Lung began to swing around me, slowly at first, but faster and faster as we picked up momentum. When the speed of the spinning Lung began to make him blur in the air, I knew I had won. The roars of Lung slowly grew softer and softer as I continued to spin, and the shine of silver scales slowly began to recede told me that all too well. And I had to grin, because I had no idea if this would work or not.

    You see, Lung’s head was facing towards me. I was spinning him so fast that even with his power working at the level it was, it wasn’t enough to keep his blood from being able to be centrifuged towards his feet, thus rendering him unconscious.

    I stopped my spin slowly, allowing the momentum to bleed off and occasionally using a chain or two to stop some momentum more drastically. When I could finally land and secure Lung, I took a look at him and couldn’t help but grimace, despite this being my intention.

    The upper half of Ling was a pale, almost paper white hue with spots beginning to look blue and even black. Conversely, his lower half was a bright cherry red with spots of darker crimson with a blotchy, bloated look to it. I could see his regeneration taking care of it, but it still wasn’t fun to look at.

    Shaking my head of those thoughts, I summoned up the chains again and wrapped them around Lung. Then I summoned more chains, then more, and even more chains, until Lung was trapped in what looked like a cocoon of chain links.

    I left the man there, and turned around again, tuning my ears to the surrounding area to try and find where Skitter had hidden out. I heard a clang somewhere off to my left, and I glanced over at the fire escape on a nearby building. And standing there, having just walked out of the alleyway, was Taylor Hebert, dressed in a spider silk suit with chitin armor and a shitty, vaguely bug-like mask.

    I waved the girl over, and she slowly made her way towards me.

    “Hey,” I called when she was close enough I didn't have to shout. “I thought I told you to get out of here? Why didn’t you run?”

    The girl froze, indecision practically reeking off her before she squared her shoulders. “I couldn’t just leave you alone to fight him. I had to do something.” Her voice, soft and wary, held a tang of steel that I had to appreciate.

    “Well, next time, do what you’re told when you’re up against Lung, got it?” And then I put a hand on her shoulder and smiled. “And thanks for the help there, Bug.” I could feel the heat of her blush from even behind the mask, but I didn’t have much time to comment before the thundering of a vehicle on asphalt came roaring around a corner, Papa Smurf himself on his trusty steed.

    “Yo!” I called out with a wave. “You’re kinda late, dude. Lung’s already down for the count.” And I saw Armsmaster stumble as he got off his bike, his mouth open slightly from what I assumed to be shock.

    “What?” His voice was dour and monotonous, but urgent.

    I just nodded, hooking a thumb over my shoulder to point at the chain cocoon. “Yeah, Lung’s over there. I chained him up after Bug and I beat him to shit.” I smirked as I saw Skitter shrink into herself a bit at the praise, before a thought hit me. “Hey, Bug, what did you even hit Lung with? Cause it put him down pretty fucking fast.”

    “Black widows, brown recluses, wasps, and bees, plus some of the other bugs I’ve got around here.” The answer was swift and immediate, something I felt Armsmaster would appreciate. I, however…

    “Alright. Halbeard, you might wanna get Lung some antivenom for those bites, cause unless some miracle happens he’ll be dead by midnight.” I saw Taylor stiffen out of the corner of my eyes, and Armsmaster nodded.

    “Yes, that would be a good idea.” He mused, before walking over to the cocooned Lung and jabbing him with a needle from his halberd. At my questioning glance, he elaborated. “Tinker sedative. It should keep him out of it until we get him into containment.”

    A nod and a small ‘Ah’ from me came in response. “Alright then.” I clapped my hands together then. “So, what’re we gonna do now? Cause I want to get home and crash, and I expect Bug here is out past her curfew.” Again, the heat of her blush could be almost felt by me, even three feet away. I had to stifle a laugh at that.

    Armsmaster hummed at the question. “As I see it, there are two options before us.” He started, grabbing both Taylor and I’s attention. “Lung was a prominent cape in the Bay, and him being defeated at all will make waves. The fact that it was done by two capes on their first outings will make that even more so.

    “So I am proposing that we proceed with as much discretion in regard to you two as possible,” he said. At my raised eyebrow, he continued. “You could take the credit for the defeat of Lung. That is option one. But if we do that, then the sights of almost everyone in the Bay will be on your heads. Villains and heroes alike will be gunning for you, either to press gang you into joining, or to kill you.”

    I saw Taylor shiver, but I kept my attention on Armsmaster, my grin faded. “Alright. And what was that other option you mentioned?”

    “That you let me take the credit. Now wait,” he said quickly, hands raised placatingly as he saw Taylor swell in indignation. “I only say this as an option because, were I to do this, the sights of those same villains will be turned on me. Except I have the support of the Protectorate and the PRT behind me, so I am much more readily equipped to handle the burden that will bring. You two, for good or for ill, do not have that kind of support.”

    I hummed. “I get it. I don’t care much either way though, so you can do what you will.” I yawned then, using a fist to cover my mouth. “I’ve gotta get home though, and take a nap. I’ve been running on empty for the past 36 hours or some shit like that.” I was exploring the Home for a while when I first got there. Don’t judge me.

    Armsmaster just nodded. “I see. Then I’ll just have to talk this over with the young lady then. I bid you a good night…?”

    I pulled a mock bow. “Artificer, at your service. And yeah, you two have a good night as well.” The slight jerk or Armsmaster’s frame when I said my name was the only hint that he realized what I meant by the name. Namely, that I was a tinker. Too bad for him, but I wasn’t going to join the Protectorate. Too many rules n’ shit.

    I snapped my fingers again, and the swirling portal to the Home opened before me. I ignored the sharp gasps of the two behind me as I stepped through into the Home.

    Sitting down on the closest thing, a table, I pulled off my boots and chucked them over to the corner of the room. I did the same with the rest of my armored clothes until I was left completely in the nude.

    With slightly staggering steps I waddled my way onto the massive bed in my Home, where I collapsed into a heap. Despite the Home negating all of the requirements of life, I was still mentally exhausted from running for almost two days with no sleep.

    And so, it was with a blissful sigh that I sank into the mattress of my bed, pulled the covers and sheets over my body, and passed the fuck out.
    Wanden, Tiny Tim, Finale and 106 others like this.
  4. Extras: Message to Readers

    UrielCifer Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

    Feb 8, 2022
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    Hey there, people who decide to look at my wall of words!

    This is just me telling people that this is the first story I’ve actually posted, after spending probably way too much time hemming and hawing about whether or not I should post any of my stories. As I’m sure you can guess, I chose to post the crap.

    Reviews and moments would be much appreciated, as I am writing this thing with absolutely no plan in mind, so your comments might actually make an impact on how the story goes, for however long I decide to keep updating the story.

    Hope you enjoy! Toodles!~

    (Meant to put this after Chapter One, but forgot. Anyways, enjoy the story so far?)
  5. Xcell

    Xcell Know what you're doing yet?

    Dec 7, 2019
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    (Lis’n ‘ere, fuckin shitstain,” the merchant growled, again ‘threateningly.’ “You’s gonna gimme all ya fuggin money, an’ eva’thin else ya got on ya, or Imma put a bulle’ in yer fuckin brain! Got tha’ you monkey-fucker?!”)
    Look just do what fry does and just slowly start taking off your pants for the merchant robbing you.
    Ventari and Phylonemios like this.
  6. Jure

    Jure Know what you're doing yet?

    Sep 5, 2021
    Likes Received:
    I don't mean this as an insult but nothing original has happened so far. The character feels generic and I'm pretty sure this is like every iteration of the Lung fight ever. Hopefully, there will be more prominent changes later.
  7. GeekGod_of_Speed

    GeekGod_of_Speed Not too sore, are you?

    May 10, 2022
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    Please have him main a bow, I don’t see archers often in fanfiction and it allows modular effects while sticking with the medieval aesthetic he has
  8. mpbjunkie

    mpbjunkie Not too sore, are you?

    Feb 27, 2021
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    Thanks for the story. I too found the MC a tad generic. I also found that the tinkering session begun a bit too abruptly and that MC could have been more creative in his choices.

    I don't want to sound too negative, this is meant as constructive criticism and you can take it or leave it. I'm having fun and will keep on reading.
  9. Eragon13579

    Eragon13579 Getting out there.

    Jul 11, 2019
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    Great story so far! The grammar is well above average for a fanfic, especially by QQ standards, and the plot seems interesting and reasonable so far. I personally love the Essence CYOA, and there's not nearly enough fics that use it out there that are worth reading. Picking a theme for your characters powers and sticking to it was a good idea as well, many CYOA fics seem to have problems with that, either just stacking powers willy nilly or randomly picking and choosing without really seeming to think it through.

    Your character could use some more fleshing out, but given that this is only two chapters in, that's understandable. My impression of him so far is that he seems kind of bland though, the only thing that stood out at all was his recklessness. I would recommend giving him some more quirks of some kind, because he seems competent and his powers are well above average, which can quickly lead to a Gary Stu situation.

    I've found that a great way to avoid that is to lean heavily into eccentric behaviour, make reading about his antics entertaining for more than just getting shit done. A great example of this is Forging a Waifu Harem by Infonticus.

    I'm looking forward to reading more of this, so keep up the great work!
  10. EclipsingDragonMoon

    EclipsingDragonMoon BB Simp.

    Mar 31, 2022
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    Interesting. This has potential. The main issue with Essence fics is the balancing of a good story and just how OP the Essence are, but if you can deal with that this has a lot of potential.
    Ventari and mpbjunkie like this.
  11. TheToFu

    TheToFu ToFu

    Jun 13, 2020
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    Good start so far, I can already see alot of potential here since he can both summon his supply and craft any tech he needs. The rings ideas were a nice touch for style of combat since he gave each ring a purpose so that's a massive flex and could cover alot of the gaps in his arsenal. Still have necklace slot open along with watch, wrist or arm guard, and even weapon options are very much still open for him.

    He's a little too punch happy since he could have just held Lung under the bay till he taps out, but that power spin move was a very nice touch. I look forward to some Armsmaster trolling and further developments of the MC.

    My only gripe is the whole Taylor thing but that's only minor and this is only the opening chapters.

    This is going on my watch and follow list.
    Ventari, Lichzim and I slay gods like this.
  12. Mgunh1

    Mgunh1 MONKE

    Aug 4, 2014
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    I hate region-locked content on youtube -.-
    Could you tell us what that video was supposed to be so I can search up a more user friendly version?
    Ventari likes this.
  13. Xcell

    Xcell Know what you're doing yet?

    Dec 7, 2019
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    It was fry from Futurama getting mugged and he starts to take off his pants because he's too scared to reach into his pants to find his wallet. So he decides to start to take off his entire pants and the mugger like I don't like what I'm seeing here.
    Ventari and Mgunh1 like this.
  14. COShepard

    COShepard Not too sore, are you?

    Oct 18, 2020
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    lewd the Bug at all costs... the girl needs to relax and so does Panpan
    Ventari and Gaufdig like this.
  15. Mastersgt

    Mastersgt Experienced.

    Dec 26, 2019
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    So... What we know for sure, is that the MC has Essence of Home, Scholar, Crafter, Mad Doctor, and Archmage...

    I'd have preferred he grabbed more, or different ones. Since he has only one more Essence free, and I'd have wanted him to have Essence of Blank, for its Infinite Potential for Growth/Improvement, and Essence of Self, so the MC would be immune to any kind of Manipulation to his mind/body/soul, so he would be safe from precogs(If I remember right), and his powers/abilities could not be copied, stolen, suppressed, blocked, or destroyed/removed.forfff

    Aside from those 2 must-haves, I'd have gone for stuff like Essence of the Binder, Breeder(or Sex God), Portalmaster(for the ability to travel to other worlds easily, though the MC should be able to whip something up with Archmage, Crafter, or both), and Mad Scientist.
    ilikeFanfiction and RogueGlitch like this.
  16. ilikeFanfiction

    ilikeFanfiction Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

    May 1, 2023
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    • Rule 7 - Thread Necromancy
    Will you be updating this story, because this is as good as any other story I can find that is decent.

    A teenager? Please, he should go out and get Dragon, maybe the Dallon family and that's it. Unless he wants anyone else.

    Imagine he has these:
    Your intellectual faculties (mental capacity, mental focus, calculation, computation, cognition, competence, memory, wit, ingenuity, creativity, mental perception, learning capacity, deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, visualization, analysis, instinct, intuition, self-awareness, composure, mentality, multi-tasking, etc.) are increased to the absolute maximum possible in all existence, and perhaps slightly beyond even that
    Your intellect is not only exponential but also transcendent and flawless. The only possible cause for your making a mental error would be the garbage-in-garbage-out principle, because your cognition is perfect within the limits of the data available. Even a supermassive quantum-computing Matrioshka Brain would be less than a protozoa compared to you. Your processing capacity also scales up without limit when necessary, to the point you could effortlessly solve any finite algorithm in a single unit of Planck time
    You no longer have a subconscious, your intellect being enhanced to the point that you have a "supra-conscious" mind instead. Like a subconscious your supra-conscious is capable of performing both mental and neuro-physical actions as background tasks without needing you to actually focus on them (although your heightened focus and multi-tasking could let you simultaneously concentrate on any number of separate things if need be), but unlike a subconscious you may have your supra-consciousness execute almost any task or tasks that your conscious mind would be capable of, however complex, and have your conscious mind exert total control over its functions when necessary
    Your supra-consciousness also gives you instantaneous and effortless access to every iota of every quality and characteristic that you possess, and every scrap of knowledge that you ever have acquired or ever will acquire. This grants you, among other things, a perfect memory with unlimited storage that is retroactive across your entire life to date to a degree bordering on postcognition
    Your supra-consciousness also allows you to fully comprehend and control your emotional state. While you still have a normal capacity for emotion should you so choose, you never become emotionally compromised or traumatized by anything unless you allow it. Furthermore, your mind is capable of processing, resolving, and overcoming trauma with almost instantaneous speed when you focus on doing so, and will also autonomously use this self-repair capacity to return you to at least adequate mental functioning should your mind somehow be too catastrophically damaged to focus
    Your intellectual expansion will not materially alter your personality against your will, although you may of course apply your newly heightened capacities for self-awareness and introspection towards the goal of personal growth and change if you want to. Otherwise you will still remain "yourself" as much as possible despite your new level of sentience, without risking the death of personality that can sometimes accompany transcendence
    On the principle of a 'sound mind in a sound body', this essence grants you perfect health and average fitness for a member of your species. The heightened capacity for conscious bio-feedback that your supra-consciousness provides allows you to, among other things, maintain your level of physical fitness without deliberate exercise​
    By consuming the Essence of Ideal Growth, the crystallized essence of possibility and capability, you gain the following boons:
    * Any limits you have are broken. You may improve any aspect of yourself, including those aspects that normally could not be improved at all, to an infinite extent. While you may not be unstoppable now, time is all you will need before you surpass everyone.
    * The passage of time lends you strength and even when doing absolutely nothing you may passively grow as if you were doing all-out training at a modest rate of improvement. If you were to put any actual effort into improving then this growth would gain an astronomical boost. You have total control over where any growth is allocated, will never advance further or faster than you are comfortable with, and have an exact awareness of your amassed capabilities and how they measure up.
    * So long as a particular skill, trait, or power exists within your local context, and you have a basic understanding of what it is and entails, you have the potential to develop it. This does not require educational resources or external aids and disregards entirely the limitations of your physiology and metaphysiology. You may even develop traits that one is normally only born with.
    * Development in any area will never preclude or hamper development in any other area, and as such you may safely acquire mutually-incompatible traits. This is to such an extent that in a Xianxia world you could simultaneously cultivate dozens of distinct foundations without any issue.
    * As they improve, your skills, qualities, powers, techniques, and perks may develop a degree of potency, applicability, and versatility that defies their normal limits. With sufficiently good balance you could walk on intangible holograms.
    * Since improvement necessitates the removal of flaws, you may use training to remove vulnerabilities, crippling effects, and requirements. As an otherwise ordinary human you could eventually erode away your hunger completely, allowing you to not only go without eating but deny conservation of mass as your body generates replacement tissues without absorbing any external material.
    * Your powers and internal power supplies cannot be removed, drained, suppressed, weakened, copied, altered, controlled, or otherwise manipulated against your wishes, even if you were somehow mind-controlled. You may toggle any of your powers from fully off to fully on, or anywhere in between. You may even permanently shed powers or abilities if you find that you truly do not enjoy them, only to retrain them later if you change your mind. You cannot ever be forced to use this metaphorical dimmer-switch against yourself.
    * Time is your ally and you will never be lessened by the passage of time, even in the subtlest of ways. No maintenance is required to retain the fullness of your powers, and no eternity is long enough to diminish your ability to enjoy life.
    * At the time you first drink this Essence you will be cured of any and all physical ailments, psychological trauma, and other unwanted mental conditions, ailments, disabilities, etc.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2023
    Wanden likes this.
  17. Generic_Generica

    Generic_Generica Verified kōhai Moderator

    Feb 29, 2016
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    ilikeFanfiction, please consult the rules:

    Do not post in threads that have been inactive for more than a month if you do not have anything substantial to add. That post isn't nearly substantial enough. Begging for an update does not count as a significant contribution.

    Also, I've merged your posts. Please don't triple-post, it bloats thread pagecount.

    Let sleeping threads lie now.
    Ventari and ilikeFanfiction like this.