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Avecy Elise by AlfaKay
by AlfaKay

Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the worst drawings I think I've seen on the entire site. The image is extremely poorly coloured. Th...

Service Station Space by M-Delcambre

One of the first genuinely good works of art I've seen in a while The first reason is that it's very well painted. Even the smaller par...


Ah Sonic ocs. The worst kind of recolour. Like most of them, this looks exactly like any other Sonic OC. In fact (and I may be wrong he...


Great image if I do say so. The colours of the image are very warm and striking which is a good thing as it means that anyone who see's...

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Charging through the gateway of the fortress, the group smashed it into splinters with very little effort and forced their way inside.
“That was pretty easy!” Chowder looked at the Doctor. His face showed a stern demeanour as though he was dreading what was coming next.
“No” The Doctor said as the group charged into the main hall which was surprisingly empty “They’re just preparing to attack”
As if on cue, the door at the end of the hall burst open revealing a massive group of shades.
“Brace yourselves!” The Doctor and Chowder managed to get back with the rest of their army as the two group charged into one another.

At first, it looked like Chowder’s group would triumph. The various troops on his side were able to knock out the shades with little effort. Soon though, they realised it wouldn’t be that easy. Every time they destroyed a shade, a second one quickly replaced it. After a while, the Shades began to push them back.
“It’s not working!” Mario was barely heard over the deafening sounds of the battle. Before he could make a new strategy, a voice screamed “Wind scar!”

The voice in question belonged to Inuyasha who had produced his sword. The sword glowed as he swung it. It then fired a terrific blast of light which sent several Shades flying into oblivion. This tactic allowed the group to charge forward destroying several more shades in the process. This allowed them to advance through the doorway and into the room that the shades had come from.

Upon entering the room, the group were surprised. The entire room was completely empty save for a few bits of furniture that looked like they’d been brought from a two bit antiques shop.
The Doctor held up his hand, gesturing to the group to stop.
“Hello?” he called out “Abyssmall, if you’re here, say something!”
Immediately after he finished speaking, the doors behind them slammed shut and a hissing laugh filled the room. The group immediately drew their weapons.

As the laughter echoed through the room, a door on the other side of the room opened revealing Judge Death grinning like he normally did.
“Ssssso” he hissed “You’re here to make a final sssstand”
“Give up now Death” the Doctor said
“Yeah” Chowder added “We’ve got you surrounded.”
Death chuckled “You really think I shall jusssst sssssurender like that. Massssster Abysssssmall is sssssso close to his ultimate goal of creating a perfect world. It’d be madnessss to ssssimply sssssurender like that”
“Oh shut up!” The Nerd stepped forward “You really think Abyssmall is gonna let you be part of his perfect world”
Death nodded “Of courssssse. I have been hisssss loyal ssssservant sssssince the very beginning of thissssss operation”
“Get real!” The Critic replied “He’s just gonna destroy you the moment he knows-“
“Enough!” Death’s voice echoed through the entire fortress “I have no time for thissssss! I’m going to leave the shades to deal with you!”
With that, Death pressed a button on a small device clamped around his wrist. Within seconds, hundreds of shades appeared all around the group
“Get them!” Death yelled.

With that, the Shades launched themselves at the group. To Judge Death’s surprise, they weren’t killed instantly. In fact the group were able to fight them off without breaking a sweat although they still had to deal with the constantly spawning Shades.
As the group fought their way through, Death decided to flee into another part of the castle and control the Shades from there.

Fighting his way through the hordes of Shades, the Doctor looked up briefly to see Death exiting the room through a doorway to the left
“Oh no you don’t!” he said, and leaped from the Shades towards the door.

At the same time Chowder found himself fighting through the shades. Chowder never thought that he’d be much of a fighter, but he guessed that’s just how adventures work. As he battled the Shades, Chowder could feel the sweat running down his face. For once in his life, he didn’t stop to think about food. In this sort of situation, you couldn’t afford to let your guard down.

After fighting for what could have been hours or minutes, Chowder found himself able to briefly catch his breath. He then noticed a door on the wall opposite him. This gave him an idea. Rushing across the room, he was confronted halfway by a Shade that he was able to take down using his claws with little difficulty before reaching the door. Before the Shades could catch him, he charged up to the door and ran inside.

Serena was having a similar situation to Chowder. Normally fighting large hoards wasn’t her strong point. But with her friends there, she felt as though she had to, not just for her sake, but for the sake of her friends as well. As she knocked out a trio of Shades with her tiara, she saw Chowder walking up to a door on the left side of the room.
“Now where’s he going?” she thought. Serena then stopped temporarily to knock out another Shade advancing on her. Then she decided to follow Chowder in case he needed backup.

The Doctor rushed through the corridors of the fortress using his Sonic Screwdriver to track Death. After running through the dull grey rooms for a short while, the Screwdriver showed that he was getting close. The Doctor opened a door and found himself in a vast dark room. So dark in fact that the Doctor couldn’t see more then a few inches in front of him He called out
“Give up Judge Death! We’ve already won”
After a few seconds Death’s voice sounded back through the room
“Do not be ridiculousssssss Doctor. Your friends can only fight for assss long assss their ssssstamina allowsssss. My Sssshadessss can fight assss long assss they wish and I can jusssssst ssssspawn more if they are dessssssstroyed.”
“Don’t be a fool Death!” The Doctor called back “You’re just a pawn in Abyssmall’s game. He doesn’t really care about you. If you join us, we can work together to prevent-!”
He was then interrupted by something thumping him in the face which knocked the Doctor to the floor.

The corridors of the fortress were strangely quiet and barren. Chowder wondered if Abyssmall had fled the fortress and left Death to deal with the group. He then turned a corner and saw a door on the left wall. Curious, he tiptoed up to it, opened the door a little and peeked inside.

Chowder’s eyes widened. Abyssmall was standing with his back to the door in front of a strange machine. The machine itself resembled two large metal pods with doors on the front that were linked together by a mesh of cables. In between them was a control panel and on top was a small glass case containing the runes. Chowder didn’t know what to do. In the time it’d take him to go back and get help, Abyssmall could have done something terrible with the runes. If he went in and confronted him, a very good chance existed that the whole situation would end with Abyssmall wiping his remains off the ground.

Chowder was still agonising over the decision when Abyssmall finished pressing buttons on the control panel. The panel beeped and the machine started up. Abyssmall then walked into the left pod and shut the door. Quick as a flash, Chowder charged through the room and jumped up onto the display case that housed the runes. He took a deep breath and punched the case with all his might. Shattered glass flew through the air and cut his paw slightly. Chowder winced but didn’t stop and grabbed two of the runes. Before he could do anymore, a blast of energy sent him flying back across the room.

Chowder picked himself up off the ground. Thankfully he’d managed to hold on to the two that he’d recovered. His attention was drawn to the pod on the right. It was shaking violently as though something. Chowder then noticed that the three runes left in the destroyed case had disappeared. Before he could think further, the right pod’s door burst open.

Chowder gasped as Abyssmall stepped out. However he looked different. Less like a child’s scribble and more grotesque. In fact his general appearance now resembled the halfway point between a scribble and a work of art. As soon as he stepped out, he saw Chowder cowering in the corner
“You!” he said “What have you done-“
It was then that Abyssmall noticed the two runes in Chowder’s hands
“So that’s it!” he roared “You stole my runes!”
Abyssmall then began to advance upon Chowder who was too scared to even move. When Abyssmall was so close that Chowder could practically see the veins in his eyes, he managed to pluck up the courage to say “What have you done to yourself?”
A sinister smile crossed Abyssmall’s face “I have merged myself with the power of the runes. Now I am more powerful than any other being in existence. I’ll start by destroying you!”

Chowder leaped out of the way as a beam of light exploded out of Abyssmall’s hand. Where he’d been standing a second ago, a smoking hole now existed in the wall.
“Stand still and let me kill you!” Abyssmall raged

Chowder dived down onto the floor narrowly missing another beam that sailed past his head. It was then that he realised he was still holding onto the two runes. Not only that, but they were beginning to glow. As Chowder held onto them, he could feel energy flowing through his entire body. In fact, he felt as though he could destroy Abyssmall. Whether this was because of the runes, or due to an adrenaline rush flowing through his body, he couldn’t tell. So he made his decision and charged at Abyssmall

Before Abyssmall could destroy Chowder with another laser blast, a white flash filled the room blinding him. When he was able to open his eyes, he was met with the sight of a taller, tougher looking Chowder standing in front of him. This Chowder was holding a huge sword that appeared to be made out of the same material as the runes. Chowder was looking confused
“What happened?” he said staring at his pumped up body
“You have unlocked the power of the runes!” Abyssmall said “You’ve merged like me.”
Chowder grinned “Cool”
Abyssmall fired another laser blast only for Chowder to swat it aside with his runesword.
“So you can block my lasers! Well you still won’t defeat me!” Abyssmall then lunged at Chowder and swung his claw at Chowder’s face. Chowder blocked it with his sword and began to push him back.

Serena continued to hurry through the corridors hoping to find Chowder before something terrible happened to him. She then heard the sounds of weapons clashing from down the end of a long hallway. Approaching the sound, she heard that it was coming from a door on the left. Peeking open the door, she was stunned by what she saw. Two enourmous creatures that resembled Abyssmall and Chowder were fighting. The Chowder one was holding a sword similar to the runes while the Abyssmall one had growths coming out of his arms similar to the runes. Both of them were glowing. Then as they swung their weapons at each other, the two of them vanished in a flash of light.

The Doctor began to gather his senses, when he heard a hissing voice from in front of him. As his vision cleared he saw that the lights of the room had turned on revealing it to be devoid of furniture and Judge Death advancing upon him
“Really Doctor?” he hissed “Ssssurely sssssomeone asssss intelligent asssss yourssssself wouldn’t be idiotic enough to fall for that”
“Well nobody’s perfect” The Doctor picked himself up from the floor “Not even the so called perfect world that your master has planned”
“Liessss!” Death spat “Abyssssssmall hassssss planned a world without crime or evil. A world where the ssssstrongessssst will florish”
“Oh come off your high horse” The Doctor sighed “The only thing Abyssmall cares about is a world where he can live perfectly. Everyone else can go hang”
“Oh really  Doctor?” Death’s voice sounded sceptical “And what about your world. A world filled with crime and evil. Ssssurely you cannot defend sssssuch a world”
“At least we have free will” The Doctor said “Take that away and all we’ve got is a mindless police state-“
Before the Doctor could finish, Death lunged at the Doctor, aiming to crush his heart. The Doctor however was expecting this and grabbed Death’s hand before snapping it downwards. Despite the very audible breaking noise it made, Death showed no pain and ripped his arm away from the Doctor’s grasp.
“I musssst admit Doctor” Death replied “For ssssssomeone about 750 years old who happenssss to be an enemy of mine, your fight sssssskillsssss are not terrible”
“Well I practise every day” the Doctor grinned. He then shot his head sideways to avoid a punch from Judge Death and grabbed him by the neck in an attempt to paralyze him. Death caught on immediately
“That won’t work Doctor” he hissed “I have no nervesssss to be paralyzed with!”
He then grabbed the Doctor’s arm and threw him back across the room causing the Doctor to collapse in a heap on the ground. The Doctor began to pick himself up, only to have Death grab the Doctor by his hair and slam his head into the wall.
As the Doctor staggered round, his nose bleeding from the impact, Death laughed again
“You ssssssee Doctor? I’ve wiped out the life on entire planetsssssss. Desssssstroying one time lord will not be a problem!”

Chowder looked around. Where he’d once been in the laboratory of Abyssmall, he was now standing in the middle of a dark grimy street lit by several neon signs. To his left was a large office building with a sign above the door reading Sense/Net. Standing around him were numerous passers-by, confused by the site of a giant purple warrior who had appeared in their street.
“What’s going on?” Chowder said to himself. He then turned around to see Abyssmall standing behind him.
“The power of the runes must’ve allowed us to shift in space!” Abyssmall said
“Wow” Chowder said “Is there anything they can’t do”
Instead of answering his question, Abyssmall lunged at Chowder with his claws. Chowder blocked the blow with his sword and set him flying through the air and into a nearby hotdog stand.

Abyssmall pulled himself up from the remains of the stand and scattered sausages and snarled at Chowder. The two of them charged at one another. Chowder made the first strike only to have Abyssmall block it with his claws. Chowder then swiped his sword a second time and managed to slash part of Abyssmall’s body. Abyssmall looked down at where the sword had hit
“I’m bleeding!” He looked at Chowder and snarled
“Nobody makes me bleed my own blood!”
Abyssmall then slashed at Chowder who was just barely able to dodge the blows. He then focused on his sword and swung it at Abyssmall. The people in the street could only watch as the two strange figures disappeared into thin air as quickly as they’d arrived.

In the front room of Edmund Blackadder  located in Tudor London, his servant Baldrick was putting the finishing touches on the cleaning. He’d been at it all day and was glad to get it finished. He then left the room in order to great his master home from the court of Queen Elizabeth.

No sooner had Baldrick left the room, then Chowder and Abyssmall found themselves teleporting into the room where they proceeded to continue their fight. Abyssmall’s claws were slashing so rapidly that Chowder was starting to find it difficult to block them.
“Why don’t you just surrender!” Abyssmall yelled still trying to penetrate Chowder’s defences and slowly succeeding
“I’ll never join you!” Chowder swung the runesword knocking away Abyssmall’s claws. As Abyssmall recovered from the blow, Chowder slammed the handle down onto Abyssmall’s skull knocking down. Before Chowder could land another blow, Abyssmall grabbed a wooden table from behind him and hurled it at Chowder. As it sailed through the air, Chowder sliced it in half when it was just inches from his face. The two wooden pieces sailed past Chowder’s head as he threw himself at Abyssmall. This time however, Abyssmall was expecting his attack and blocked it with his claws. Chowder then had to dive out of the way of another laser blast which blew a large smoking hole in the wall behind him. Abyssmall then hurled himself at Chowder. A few seconds later, the two of them vanished into thin air.

A few seconds later, Baldrick was leading his master up the stairs to the main room.
“And are you sure you’ve cleaned up the room?” his master asked with that familiar grumpy scepticism that Baldrick had come to expect
“Oh yes sir” Baldrick grinned and then opened the door. When the two of them saw the state of the room, Baldrick laughed nervously. Blackadder then proceeded to hit him on the head.

The Doctor meanwhile was still fighting for his life. As Death loomed over him, the Doctor rolled over to his right just barely avoided Death stamping down on his face. He rapidly picked himself up from the ground and was greeted by the sight of Judge Death advancing on him. The Doctor felt in his pockets. He then saw something lying on the floor. With horror, he realised the portal circuit he’d used earlier had fallen out of his pocket during his roll and was now lying on the ground just behind Judge Death. Realising that he’d have to go through Death to get it, the Doctor tried to think only to find himself backing away from Judge Death and the circuit.
“What’s the matter Doctor?” Death hissed “Are you not asssss confident without your friendsssss to back you up?”
“No I just like to take my time instead of going in all guns blazing” The Doctor grinned. Inside however, he was genuinely scared that this would be his final stand.

Chowder and Abyssmall meanwhile found themselves in some sort of enclosure filled with plants. Surrounding them were hundreds of spectators all looking in awe at them. Before the two of them could start fighting, they heard a loud roar from behind them. Turning round, they were greeted by an enormous Tyrannosaurus Rex looming over them. Chowder and Abyssmall jumped into the air as it charged towards them and landed down on it’s back. As soon as they did, the two of them fought not just each other but also to keep their balance. All the while the crowd roared thinking this was part of the act.

Abyssmall flung himself in the air and proceeded to slash right at Chowder’s face. Chowder was barely able to dodge due to the erratic movements of the T. Rex’s back and felt Abyssmall’s claws barely scratch his face. Shaken from his narrow escape, Chowder swung round to attack only to be kicked in the face by Abyssmall. The force of the blow knocked him back and he was able to just barely grab on to the top of the T. Rex’s body with one hand. As he clung on for dear life, Abyssmall walked over to where he was hanging and laughed
“Well well well. It seems the tables have turned. So what’s it to be, my purple friend? Death by T. Rex? Or death by my own hand?”

Chowder didn’t answer. Abyssmall simply grinned
“Very well then. You brought this on yourself”
As Abyssmall prepared to blast Chowder, Chowder saw an opening. Quick as a flash, he flung himself up in the air. Before Abyssmall could react, Chowder stabbed him through the chest. He let out a gasp and the two of them vanished in a flash of light.

Meanwhile, The Doctor and Judge Death were still facing off. It wasn’t much of a face off however as the Doctor’s Venusian akido was very little match for Death’s supernatural powers.
“Giving up yet Doctor?” Death laughed “If you do, I will make your death quick and merciful”
The Doctor didn’t replied. Instead he discreetly stared at the circuit on the floor in front of him. He then began to inch to his right, only to have Death move in the same direction to block his path. The Doctor continued to inch to his right until he’d moved directly in front of the circuit. He then ran to his left causing Death to do the same. Just as the Doctor had gotten halfway towards Death, he broke to his right and just barely scrambled past death, grabbed the circuit and ran up to the door.

As the Doctor began pressing the buttons, he looked up to see Judge Death charging towards him. Before the Doctor had a chance to run, Death had grabbed hold of him by the neck and began choking him.
As the Doctor fought to stay conscious, Death snarled at him
“Tell me Doctor. How does it feel to come sssssso clossssse to victory only to have it ssssssnatched away at the last sssssssecond?”
The Doctor just managed to choke out “You tell me”
At that, he pressed a button on the circuit and a portal opened a few feet in front of them. It began sucking in the air around it. Had the Doctor not been holding onto the door handle, him and Death would have been sucked inside. Instead, Death clung onto the Doctor’s leg for dear life
“Ssssssstop right now!” Death yelled “I can destroy you with a sssssingle ssssssstrike!”
“I’d like to see you try from a million miles away!” The Doctor replied. Then with a single strike of his leg, the Doctor kicked Judge Death right in the face. The force of the blow caused him to let go and get sucked right into the portal screaming all the way. As soon as he was on the other side of it, the Doctor pressed a button and the portal closed.

Back in the main hall, Chowder’s army were still battling the shades. However the battle was beginning to wear them down. To make things worse, the Shades just kept spawning and were beginning to overwhelm the group. Just when they thought they’d give in, the Shades all dissipated into thin air.
“What the heck?” Mike looked around as confused as the rest of the group
“The device that controls them must have been destroyed” Dream smiled.
“Correct!” said a familiar voice. Turning to where it had come from, the group were met by the sight of the Doctor emerging from a door. His face had a few cuts, but other than that, he looked fine.
“What happened doc?” Bugs asked
The Doctor grinned “Nothing much. I just set Judge Death off to meet some old friends of mine”
“That explains it” Dream said “His shade device was cut off from this world. With no signal to control them, the Shades have all faded away”
For a moment, the group were relieved. Then Paul realised something
“Where’s Chowder?”
The group looked around. However he was nowhere to be seen. A scary thought then occurred
“He must have gone on ahead” Luna started to panic
“Quick!” said Luigi “We gotta find him before it’s too late”

In Abyssmall’s lab, Chowder stood over the corpse of Abyssmall. He couldn’t believe it was all over. All his travels and losses had been leading up to this moment. Chowder let go of the runesword which was now embedded in Abyssmall’s chest. As soon as he did, he found himself shrinking back to normal. Before he could lament the loss of his cool form, he heard a voice from behind him.

Turning round, Chowder was met by the sight of Serena entering the room.
“What happened?” she asked. Chowder ran up to her.
“It’s ok now. Abyssmall’s dead. I used my rune powers to destroy him”
Serena looked at him blankly.
“Ok” Chowder said “I guess this could use a little more explanation”

As Chowder explained to Serena, he didn’t notice Abyssmall stir from behind him. A few seconds later, he stood up.
Chowder continued to explain to Serena what had happened. He then noticed she was looking scared.
“What’s wrong?” he asked
“Move!” Serena yelled.

Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. Serena pushed Chowder to the side, just as Abyssmall fire a laser blast. Chowder found himself flying onto the floor. He then saw Serena scream as the blast hit her. She then fell lifeless to the floor. Looking up at Abyssmall, Chowder was too shocked to speak. Abyssmall let out a mocking laugh
“Should have kept your guard up!”
Before Chowder had a chance to get up, Abyssmall burst into the left teleporter with the rune sword and shut the door. Chowder could only watch in horror as the teleporter started up. It proceeded to make several loud scary noises. Then the right teleporter began rumbling and shaking.

The right teleporter then exploded open. Chowder was shocked, Abyssmall was much taller than he had been before. He also looked even more grotesque and disfigured, no longer resembling a childs scribble.
Chowder began to back away as the Abyssmall abomination loomed over him. The abomination let out a hideous guttural laugh.
“I think I’ll eat you as my victory meal!”
Before Chowder could do anything, the Abyssmall monster began inhaling. The strength of it’s inhaling was like a tornado. Chowder didn’t stand a chance and was quickly inhaled into Abyssmall’s mouth and swallowed.

As the group tore through the castle, they heard a hideous laughter.
“What the heck is that?” Jerry shivered
“I have a horrible feeling that it’s exactly what we feared the most” the Critic replied. The group followed the laughter to a door. When they arrived, the Doctor summoned up all his courage and opened the door.

Bursting into the room, the group felt a collective shock when they were met with what appeared to be a twisted grotesque parody of what Abyssmall had once been. The Nerd was the first to speak
“What the hell have you done to yourself!!!”
“I have become one with the power of the runes!” The Abyssmall creature replied in a deep distorted version of Abyssmall’s regular voice “And now I’m gonna begin the great rebuild of this world into a world I can live in happily!”
“What about us?” Strong Bad managed to ask through fear
“Who cares about you?” Abyssmall roared “I’m the only one that’s important when it comes to what I want. And now I’m gonna break you dead!”
The Fictionland Chronicles chapter 42
Chapter 42 of my ongoing story. Tune in next time for the final showdown.
Notes:

During the universe spanning fight, the places Chowder and Abyssmall visit are the Sprawl from William Gibson's Neuromancer, Blackadder's front room from Blackadder II and Jurassic Park from the film series of the same name

Jurassic park was originally going to play a much larger role in the story. Unfortunately Jurassic World came out and I had to scrap it.

Some of Abyssmall's traits are taken from the work Sonichu itself. For example, his self centered sense of morality is one of the bigger problems (and there are many) with Sonichu. Likewise, some of his quotes are actually expressions of the author.
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Some people like music with great catchy lyrics that they can sing along to.

This thread isn't for them.

Inspired by a chat I had with another user a few days ago, what are your favourite songs that don't use singing?  They can be any genre as long as they don't feature vocals.

A few of mine:
Steve Roach: Structures from Silence www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDjl5d…
(I Know the track isn't Structures from Silence. Unfortunately finding Steve Roach music on Youtube is ruddy difficult)
Jean Michel Jarre: Oxygene 4: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DDEl7…
Tangerine Dream: Rubycon: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xl6zl…
Klaus Schulze: Velvet Voyage: www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5kIO6…
Godspeed You! Black Emperor: East Hastings www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9Ty3Y… (Admittedly this one does start with a sampled recording of a street preacher)
Staring at Judge Death, the group realised that Dream had been right all along. The group couldn’t believe who the traitors were. Chowder turned to them
“But why?”
The Critic and the Nerd looked around nervously
“Ya gotta understand. We ain’t exactly doin’ this because we wanna”
“Then who are you doing it for?” The Doctor raised his voice in anger that the group had never seen before.
“I can answer that” Death said “They are doing it for our masssster”
“What!” Now it was Luigi’s turn to be angry “Is there some other guy pulling the strings?”
“That’s right!” came a disembodied high pitched voice

The whole group looked around. However they couldn’t see anyone who could have been the source of the strange voice
“Who said that?” Chowder was now genuinely frightened “Are you some sort of ghost”
“Don’t be ridiculous” the voice replied “I guess I should show myself”.

At that, the wall with the mirror opened revealing that the mirror was in fact made from one way glass. A figure then stepped out.

“Who the crap are you?” Strong Bad was as confused as everybody else. The figure looked nothing like they’d seen before. It was a bright yellow colour with a peach coloured stomach and snout. Its two white eyes appeared to be joined in the middle and its hands were covered by white gloves while its feet wore blue sneakers. The most confusing thing though was that it resembled the scribble of a 5 year old child. The figure laughed
“My name is Abyssmall. I’m the one pulling the strings around here!”
“What?” Chowder was now really confused and scared simultaneously. Abyssmall continued
“All this time, the Critic and the Nerd have been working for me as you probably guessed!”
“Then what about Judge Death?” Mario asked “Is he really a good guy?”
Abyssmall laughed even harder “Don’t be stupid. Judge Death is a terrible guy through and through. I pitted the two of you against each other deliberately. I find that opposing market forces tend to produce the best results”

Luna then stepped forward “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand one thing. Who exactly are you?”
Abyssmall grinned a grin that looked both childish and evil simultaneously
“I am the one who really wants those runes. And you’re gonna give em to me right now!”
“And if we refused?” Chowder said and immediately wished he hadn’t
Abyssmall merely snapped his fingers.

For a very brief moment, the group assumed he was bluffing. Then the room began shaking
“What’s happening?” Luigi said with extreme terror
“Come my minions!” Abyssmall yelled. A few seconds later, a dark shape appeared in the doorway. Chowder recognised it instantly
“A shade!”
“Run for the hills!” Strong Bad and the Cheat then began to set an example. The group rushed after them.
“After them!” Abyssmall screamed. With some reluctance, the Critic and Nerd followed after them.

After running through the house for a few seconds, the group found themselves in a corridor with a window to the side. Before they could take it in further, the window smashed open and a shade crashed into the room. As it advanced on the group, the Doctor whipped out his sonic screwdriver and sent a pulsing frequency into the shade, temporarily stunning it. As the group ran past it, the shade shot out one of its tentacles and grabbed Chowder by the leg.

“Chowder!” The Doctor grabbed Chowder’s arm and began to pull. The rest of the group quickly joined in only to be pulled towards it as well.
At this point Chowder thought everything was hopeless. No matter how hard he tried to pull himself free, he remained firmly in the grasp of the shade. Just when Chowder was about to be pulled in to his almost certain demise, he noticed one of the runes in his backpack. Remembering what had happened to Tenebrarum, he impulsively grabbed it and stabbed the shade directly in the head. The second they both connected, the rune lit up and the shade burst in to flames. It let out a piercing scream that nearly caused the group’s eardrums to burst and dropped Chowder in the process. When the flames died down, all that was left of the Shade was a small burnt stain on the floor.

As Chowder picked up the rune, he looked out of the window.
“Hey guys!” he said, beckoning the group over. When they looked out, Luna said “Oh my”
The landscape outside the house was a uniform shade of grey and looked really desolate. Very little life could be seen outside with the exception of a few dead trees.
“What the crap is this place?” Strong Bad asked “I thought that the gods of this world would have a something a little more fancy!”
“Something’s definitely not right here” The Doctor said
“You think?” Luigi rolled his eyes with a dripping sense of sarcasm. The Doctor merely ignored him “Whoever this Abyssmall is, he’s obviously far more dangerous then he looks.”
Before the group could think about it further, they heard the sounds of shades approaching
“Let’s get going!” The Doctor said “The TARDIS should be just up ahead”.

After running through a few more uneventful corridors, the group came to the door leading to the room where they’d landed earlier. Pushing open the door, they were met with a familiar nasal high pitched voice saying “Well well well. I knew you’d turn up here”
Standing in the room was Abyssmall along with Judge Death, the Critic, the Nerd and several shades who had surrounded the TARDIS.
“You hero typessss really are predictable” Judge Death added with a mocking hiss. The Critic and the nerd said nothing, instead choosing to remain silent and look slightly ashamed.
Before Abyssmall could give the order to have the shades wipe Chowder and co from the face of reality, the Doctor stepped forward
“Mind if we ask a question?”
Abyssmall chuckled “I suppose so. I can grant one final request.”
“Who are you?”

Abyssmall continued to grin “Haven’t I already told you? I’m the one who really runs this scene and the one who truly deserves those runes. Now gimme!”
“Wait just a second” Luna said before Abyssmall could resume the duty of destroying them “If we don’t know who you are, why should we trust you with them?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” Abyssmall’s smile faded “I’m more powerful than anything else. That means that I must be right”
Now the group were starting to get irritated
“We’re just goin’ round in circles!” Strong Bad clutched the sides of his boxing mask head “Ain’t you got any better reasons?”
Abysmall shook his head “Whatever. I don’t have to explain myself to you! Shades! Get them!”
As the shades began closing in on the group, the Doctor spoke again
“Tell me!” he said “Why are the Critic and the Nerd working for you anyway?”. When the Doctor finished speaking, he glanced up at the Critic and the Nerd.
“Because they know I’m the best there is” said Abyssmall “I’m a genius who has more power in my little finger then both of them have in their entire bodies”
“So they don’t do it because they want to?” said the Doctor. Abyssmall ignored him. Within seconds, the shades had closed in on the group blocking every exit they could take.

The Critic and the Nerd watched as the group struggled to get free among the onslaught of black tendrils. The two of them knew that this was pretty much the end of the road. Not just for Chowder but the whole of the multiverse as they knew it. Then the Critic and the Nerd felt something inside them snap. They decided they didn’t care if Abyssmall was as powerful as he claimed. They knew where their priorities in life lay.
“Enough!” The Critic screamed.
Before Abyssmall could react, the Critic landed a punch directly into Abyssmall’s face, knocking him to the floor. The Nerd meanwhile charged through the shades ripping apart their tentacles as he went.

As Abyssmall got up, he saw that the Critic and the Nerd were grabbing ahold of the group.
“Get them!” he yelled.
Judge Death was on his feet in a flash.
“Die you treacherous ssssscum!” he screamed, lunging for the Critic’s chest. Before he could, the Critic launched a kick directly to his jaw line knocking him backwards into the wall.

Chowder and co were just recovering from their ordeal when the doors of the room blasted open revealing hundreds more Shades.
“Quick!” the Doctor yelled “Get in the TARDIS!”
Rushing up to the TARDIS with the Critic and the Nerd, the Doctor pulled on the door which didn’t open. He began frantically rummaging through his pockets.
“Open the freakin’ door!” Strong Bad managed to gasp out in terror
“Just a second!” It was days like this when the Doctor wished his pockets weren’t larger on the inside.

Dream managed to use his own powers to temporarily incapacitate the Shades. Likewise, Serena managed to destroy a few with her tiara. Unfortunately it seemed like no matter how many Shades they destroyed, more of them simply took the destroyed one’s places.
As all seemed hopeless, the Doctor felt a familiar cold piece of metal in his pocket. Yanking it out, he was relieved to see the TARDIS key in his hand. He then proceeded to open the door.

As the group hurried into the TARDIS, Abyssmall wasn’t going to let them escape that easily.
“Don’t let them get away!”
Chowder had been at the back of the group, so he was the last one to enter. As he lunged for the open doorway, he felt something grab at his legs. Before he knew anything, Chowder was pulled from the door.
“Guys!” he yelled

The group spun round just in time to see Chowder being dragged along the ground towards the shades. Without a single concern for their own safety, they all rushed over. The Critic was able to grab his hands and began to pull. The rest of the group soon joined in except for the Doctor who stayed at the console to start it quickly.

As Chowder desperately tried to pull himself towards the TARDIS, he didn’t notice his backpack loosen. After all he was too busy trying not to become the Shade’s next victim.
“Come on!” Mario tugged with all his might “Almost there!”
Then with one large yank Chowder was pulled from the tendrils of the Shades and into the TARDIS. As soon as he was inside, the group shut the doors and the Doctor activated the controls causing the TARDIS to dematerialize. The group let out a collective sigh of relief and flopped down on the floor exhausted.

Sitting on the floor, Chowder was glad they’d made it out alive. Deciding he needed a snack after all he’d been through, he reached round for his backpack only to discover nothing there.
“Erm… guys?” he said “I’ve got a problem”

Inside the room, Abyssmall and Judge Death stared at the spot where the TARDIS had been. After a few seconds Abyssmall let out a noise that could best be described as sounding similar to “Rrrrraaaaaagghh!”
He then grabbed a nearby shade and hurled it against the wall. Death said nothing. In these situations it was best to remain quiet and hope for the best.
As Abyssmall continued raging about the Critic and the Nerd’s betrayal and Chowder’s escape, he noticed something on the ground. A small backpack which he deduced belong to Chowder.  Abyssmall rushed over to it and picked it up. Upon opening the backpack, he let out a long loud laugh.

“What the hell do you mean you lost the runes!” The Nerd and the Critic were furious. Chowder hadn’t even seen Mcclane get this angry. He blushed and looked away
“Well I think it fell off my back pack in there and-“
“You mean that Abyssmall now has them!”
Chowder couldn’t even speak. He simply nodded sadly
“Damn it!” The Nerd screamed at a volume so loud, the TARDIS shook “This is it! Game over man! We’re finished!”
“Sorry…” Chowder managed to whimper. However nobody heard him over the ranting of the Nerd and Critic. Finally the Doctor spoke
“Now calm down a second. Where there’s a will, there’s a way”
“Not this time!” The Critic said “Now Abyssmall’s completely unstoppable”
“Well while we think of a way to make him stoppable, you have some explaining to do” Dream looked at the Critic and the Nerd sternly. The two of them sighed
“Fine then” said the Critic “What do you want to know?”
“You can start by explaining who Abyssmall is and how you came to work for him” Luna said
The Critic and the Nerd nodded “Ok. You’re not gonna like it” The Nerd sighed. The Critic then began to tell them

“You probably remember what we told you about this world being made of energy.”
“Yeah” Luigi nodded “You have to check if the energy is right”
“And if it’s not right” Mario added “You send it to another world where it dissipates”
The Critic and the Nerd looked slightly uneasy “Well that ain’t entirely true”
“It’s not?” Chowder was getting more concerned with the Critic and the Nerd’s habit of concealing the truth
“Yes” The Critic said “A few years ago, a massive wave of negative energy found its way into our universe. We sent it to the dumping grounds. But it didn’t dissipate”
“So what happened?” Serena asked
“It was so powerful that it took on a life of its own” The Nerd looked scared now “It then transformed the dumping ground into its own personal domain.”
“Is that the place that the house was in?” asked Chowder
“Yeah” replied the Critic “That world you were just in is the domain of Abyssmall, the embodiment of dark energy.”
The Doctor looked up from the TARDIS console “So how did you two get involved in this?”
“The shit really hit the fan when Abyssmall learned about the runes” replied the Nerd. Before he could continue, the Nerd was interrupted by Strong Bad
“What’s so great bout these runes anyway?”
“They hold the raw power that makes up this entire multiverse” The Doctor replied
“Well yeah” The Critic said “But there’s more to them than you realise.”
“Go on” Luigi said with a healthy degree of apprehensiveness
“They have the ability to completely eliminate any type of energy and rebuild it to the user’s whim.” The Critic shuddered at the thought
“So why did ya build em in the first place?” Strong Bad asked
“To help the legendary hero” said the Nerd “See the whole incident with the dark energy become Abyssmall was prophesised thousands of years ago. We built the runes to prevent it”
“Unfortunately” said the Critic “Abyssamll learned about it and launched a direct assault on our on realm”
The Nerd continued “He captured us and forced us to reveal the location of the runes. Then he manipulated Chowder and Judge Death into competing against each other to find them.”

At that, the whole group went silent. Then Chowder realised something
“But why choose me to find the runes. I’m not some fantastic legendary hero. I’m just a trainee chef”
“Because you’re more than that” The Critic said “The prophecy specified that you were the legendary hero. We decided to play it safe and send you on the quest.”
“Yeah” said the Nerd “We were hoping you’d instead turn the tables on Abyssmall and kick his ass!”
He stopped and choked slighty
“But it’s all over now. We’ve got nothing left. It’s just a matter of time before this entire world is rebuilt in his image.”

At that, the Critic and the Nerd broke down. Luigi and Serena did likewise. Though you couldn’t really blame them. At this point all seemed hopeless. Then Chowder spoke
“Are you sure there’s nothing we can do?”
“Are you crazy?” The Critic said “We’ve told you already. Abyssmall is more powerful than anyone else now that he’s got the runes”
“Yeah!” The Nerd added “You’d need an army to take him down!”
At that, Chowder smiled
“Guys. I think I’ve got an idea”

The whole group stopped what they were doing to look at him. Chowder continued smiling
“I think I know where we can get an army”
“Oh yeah?” said the Critic “Where?”
“Well” Chowder began pacing up and down with excitement “On our travels we’ve met loads of nice people who’ve managed to help us in ways we can’t imagine. If we could get them to help us, we just might have a chance”
The Critic and the Nerd scoffed
“Oh yeah?” The Nerd scowled “And how we gonna get them here? It ain’t exactly simple travelling to this place and back”
“I think I can help you with that” the Doctor cut in “You brought Mcclane into Chowder’s universe didn’t you?”
“Well yeah” The Critic shrugged “But like we said, it ain’t easy”
“What if we wired you up to the TARDIS dematerialization circuits and opened a few portals simultaneously?”
The Critic and the Nerd stopped and thought for a few seconds
“It just might…” The Nerd started to say, but then changed his mind “It’d never work. Abyssmall’s too damn powerful”
The Critic simply nodded in agreement
“Aw come on” Chowder looked at the Critic and the Nerd “We can’t give up now. We’ve gotta do it for the sake of the whole multiverse!”
“Get real!” The Critic snapped “You don’t understand just how powerful Abyssmall is! Now that he’s got the runes, he could wipe out the lot of us without breaking a sweat! It’d be completely hopeless no matter what we did!”
“You can’t just give up like that!” Luna said with anger in her voice “If there’s any way that can save the universe, we should follow it to the bitter end.”
“Yeah!” Mario chimed in “I say we go for it. We’ve got nothing to lose!”
The Critic and the Nerd went to speak again, only for the Doctor to interrupt
“Besides. If we’re going to die anyway, why don’t we go down fighting?”
The Critic and the Nerd looked unsure at the group
“You really think it’ll work?” the Nerd asked
“If I’m really honest” Chowder frowned “I’m not entirely certain.”
Before the Critic and the Nerd could interrupt him, Chowder spoke again
“But I still think it’s worth a try. We’ve met some brilliant people on our adventures”
“Fine then” The Critic said “I suppose we can look at it this way. If we fail, then no harm done and at least we tried to save the day. But if we succeed we’ll go down in history”
The whole group let out a simultaneous cry of “Yeah!”

As the TARDIS tumbled through space, the Doctor worked on setting up the TARDIS while the rest of the groups worked out what they were up against.
“The main thing we’re going to have to fight is shades” said the Critic “Abyssmall’s got an infinite army of them”
Dream raised an eyebrow “How so?”
“He’s created a device which allows him to manipulate the dark energy itself. The shades you saw earlier are different from the ones you saw in Melodia.”
“Why?” Mario asked
“These are made of pure dark energy instead of people that have lost the energy that makes them up.” The Nerd explained “That also makes em stronger. Now if we can destroy the device that lets him use them, they’ll all fade away and die with nothing to sustain them. Once we’ve done that, we’ll make a move into grabbing the runes”
“Yeah” The Critic nodded “If we get those quickly, we might just have a chance to defeat Abyssmall”

Not long after, the sound of the TARDIS landing resonated through the control room.
“Right” said the Doctor “Let’s go save the universe.”
AS they stepped out, the Doctor turned to Chowder
“I just want to tell you something in case we don’t make it back alive”
Chowder looked at the Doctor confused
“What?”
The Doctor smiled “I want you to know that it’s been an honour serving alongside you on your adventure. I also want you to know that Mcclane would be proud of what you’ve achieved”
Chowder blushed “Oh thanks. It was nothing really”
“Don’t be silly” The Doctor laughed “It was much more than that”
“Come on” Chowder beckoned to the TARDIS door “Abyssmall’s waiting”

On the top of the fort, Abyssmall had made his domain, Judge Death was watching the scene unfold directly beneath him. First a blue box had appeared out of nowhere directly in front of the fort. Then Chowder and his friends had stepped out and began assembling a small machine which involved the Critic and the Nerd being wired up to a metal box. He soon came to his senses and went to get his master.

Chowder and co were just finished assembling the device when they heard a voice from above them. Looking up, they saw Abyssmall and Judge Death standing atop the fort
“Come to accept your fate?” Abyssmall scoffed
“On the contrary” Luna said “We come with a proposition”
Abyssmall laughed a long and hearty laugh. When he’d finally finished, he spoke in mocking tones
“A proposition. You do make me laugh! What can you possibly propose”
“An act of mercy” The Doctor smiled “If you surrender and give up the runes, we will do everything in our power to allow you your own universe with your own freedom to do what you want providing you do not attack or threaten any other races”

A pregnant pause sounded out. Then Abyssmall laughed again
“Is that it! You races come to me begging for mercy and expect me to give up my plans to be the master of all reality? I say no to that and I dare you to try and stop me”
“Very well” The Doctor turned to the Critic and Nerd who both nodded. They closed their eyes and the Doctor pressed a button on a small control panel attached to the box.

White lightning exploded from the machine as the Critic and the Nerd grimaced. Abyssmall and Death watched in amazement. For a moment it looked like the machine would explode. Then portals began to open all around them.

In her home in Elmore, the Wattersons were just sitting down at the table for dinner. Then to their amazement a glowing circle opened up in front of them. Then a voice sounded out from it
“Attention all residents of the multiverse. This is Chowder calling. We need your help to save our world and everything in it from an extremely dangerous enemy! We beg for you to join us in what will almost certainly be our finest hour!”
At that, the Wattersons knew exactly what they had to do

In the great castle of Anor, Aragorn was in shock. A portal had opened directly in his throne room and Chowder’s voice had sounded out. Then he called for his servant
“You rang sir?” The servant asked
“Get me Andúril” Aragorn replied “I’m going to be heading out to a very dangerous mission”

Chowder and co watched in amazement as the various characters they’d helped across their travels began stepping through the portals. The Looney Tunes, Paul Atreides, even Jerry and Indiana Jones stepped through. When they had all entered, the Doctor switched off the machine.
Abyssmall gestured to Judge Death and the two of them stepped downstairs to prepare for the fight ahead.
“Hey Chowder!” Mike said upon seeing him “Why’d you call us?”
The Doctor then stepped forward and explained to the various characters where they were, who Abyssmall was and why he needed to be stopped.
“You can count on us!” Inuyasha said
“Serena!” said a woman’s voice from the back of the crowd.
Serena watched in amazement as the rest of the Sailor Scouts pushed to the front
“Guys!” she said running up to them. As soon as they saw each other, the Scouts grabbed each other in a group hug. Luna then rushed forward to break it up
“I appreciate your concern for one another” she said “But we’ve got a battle ahead of us that’s going to require all our wits and skills to survive”
The Scouts simply nodded. The Doctor then whistled as the various characters assembled into a formation while he grabbed the device that they'd used to make the portals.
When they were ready, the Doctor and Chowder stepped to the front.
“Are we ready?” Chowder yelled. He was met with a wave of approval from behind him. Chowder simply smiled and nodded while the Doctor whistled again
“Party charge!”
The Fictionland Chronicles chapter 41
Chapter 41 of my ongoing fanfic. This chapter I like to think of being what TV Tropes calls a WHAM episode

Notes:
Abyssmall is intended to be the embodiment of bad fiction, hence the name Abyssmall which is derived from the world abysmal meaning terrible

When I was first planning out what the villain would be, I considered having them take the forms of media figures who I dislike (IE Uwe Boll, Seth Macfarlane). Then I hit on the idea of making the villain a personifaction of bad fiction. I considered a few ideas for his design, but ultimately settled on the character Sonichu from the webcomic of the same name as I consider it to be the worst work of fiction ever created.

Abyssmall's strategy of pitting Chowder and Judge Death against each other was inspired by an exhibit I saw at the London Science museum. It claimed that Margaret Thatcher's government believed that opposing market forces produced the best results and set up two rival phone networks in the UK

For the record, if Chowder and co fail their mission and Abyssmall gets what he wants, there'll be no more ground breaking films or genre defining books. All fiction will be mediocre at best and all creativity and originality will be gone from human imagination forever
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For a while, all Chowder could see was a bright white light. Likewise all he could hear was a ringing sound. Then it began to fade away leaving him standing in the cavern where they’d found the sphere. Only where the sphere had been was a small brown stone. Chowder grabbed it and stared at the stone. Like the other runes it was a brown colour with a darker brown mark. On this occasion the mark depicted what appeared to be a desert island with a small palm tree. Then Chowder remembered something else

“Guys!” he said. Looking up from where he’d been standing, Chowder saw that the rest of the group were still standing in the entrance way staring. However the shades that had been attacking them were gone. Chowder rushed over to where they were standing to see what they were staring at. When he saw, his face lit up
“Doctor! Strong Bad!”
Sure enough, the Doctor, Strong Bad and the Cheat were lying on the ground with their eyes closed.
“Are they…dead?” Serena asked nervously
As if to answer her question, the Doctor groaned and opened his eyes. A few seconds later, Strong Bad and the Cheat did likewise
“Oh man, what did I drink last night” Strong Bad held his head in pain
Looking around, confused by how he’d ended up here, the Doctor asked “What’s going on?”
“I think we’ve got a bit of catching up to do” Luna jumped down from Serena

When the group had finally finished explaining what had happened, the Doctor merely smiled and nodded
“I see”
“Hey doc?” Mario asked “Ya got any idea bout this?”
The Doctor shook his head
“Sorry. I’ve never seen anything like that before. But I’m willing to bet that it has something to do with the catastrophe that devastated Melodia”
“There’s just one thing I don’t understand” Strong Bad looked around the cavern “What happened to that Leader guy?”
“Oh he’s right over there” Luigi pointed to the charred remains of the Hood. Strong Bad held his mouth as though he was about to vomit.
“Anyway” said Mario “We’ve finally got all the runes.”
“So what ya gonna do know?” Bugs asked
The group thought for a moment
“Well first we’ll head back to the TARDIS. Then we’ll get the next stage of our quest”
“From who?” Daffy looked at the group sceptically
The Doctor grinned “Oh from the maintainers of the multiverse”
Daffy shrugged “Ask a simple question…”

When the group started heading back through the tunnels, they noticed something strange. The tunnels were no longer dark and quiet. Instead, they were well illuminated making the tunnel’s similarities to a subway line even more obvious. To top it all off, the group could here noises above them like that of a busy city.
“What the heck did that rune do?” Strong Bad asked. Before he could get an answer a figure stepped out from the corridor in front of them. The group recognised him immediately
“Sam!” Chowder said with a small amount of fear.
As Sam walked towards them, he held his hands up.
“Don’t worry boys, ah ain’t gonna hurt ya. Ah just want some answers”
“To what?” Dream asked
“Well the last thing ah remember is bein’ eaten by one of them there shadow monsters. Next thing ah know, ahma lying in this darn cave and the leader’s up and vanished”
Bugs and Daffy stepped forward
“I think ya need to hear this, doc”

After Bugs and Daffy had explained everything to Sam about who the leader really was and how he’d met his demise, he went silent as he processed what he’d just heard. Then he nodded
“That makes sense I guess. That darn leader or Hood or whatever his name is, pushed me into those shadow things”
“Come on” The Doctor smiled “It’s time we got out of this place”

The group followed the Doctor back through the tunnels until they’d arrived at the staircase that had lead them in. Stepping out, they were practically blinded by the light. When their vision had adjusted, they saw that the ruins were no longer that.

Instead it had become a bustling 2d cartoon city that reminded the Doctor of 1950s America. The street they’d emerged on was filled with cartoon characters similar to the cartoons they’d met at the settlement.
“Where’d they come from?” Sam asked
“They’re the shades” A smile spread across Dream’s mouth “Looks like releasing the rune restored the world”
The Doctor then stepped forward
“Attention!”
At that, the various cartoon characters stopped what they were doing and looked at him. This did little to relieve their confusion. After all the concept of 3d live action individuals was almost completely unknown to them. Curious, they began to approach the Doctor
“Don’t worry!” he said “I’m not going to hurt you. I just feel you all deserve an explanation of what has happened”

With that, the Doctor told them everything. How their world had been consumed by darkness, how they’d been turned into shades and how Chowder and co had restored them. For a few seconds, the cartoons were silent and unsure how to react. Bugs and Daffy then stepped forward
“Don’t worry guys, he’s tellin’ the truth”
“Yeah” Daffy added “We saw it with our own eyes!”
Bugs, Daffy and Sam then stepped forward to discuss it further with the rest of the cartoons. The Doctor meanwhile walked back to the group
“I think we’d better leave” he said. The rest of the group silently agreed.

When the group left the city, they found that the landscape was no longer a barren desert wasteland. Instead it was a series of vast green fields. Even the cliff they’d climbed down from was teeming with plants. Climbing up it again wasn’t as difficult as the group had imagined. When they reached the top, they felt joy in seeing that the TARDIS was right where they’d left it. So they walked up to it and stepped inside.

Upon entering, Chowder eagerly pulled out the marble and pressed the button. When the image of the Critic and the Nerd appeared, Chowder was so excited, he could hardly speak.
“What is it?” said the Nerd. The Critic caught on immediately however.
“Let me guess. Did you find the final Rune?”
Chowder simply nodded
“Kick ass!” The Nerd gave Chowder the thumbs up
“So where do we go now?” Strong Bad asked
“You must travel to our domain” The Critic looked around. Chowder thought he looked a bit worried. He then shrugged it off. The Critic was probably just excited that they were finally going to meet.
“Just give me the coordinates and I’ll set a direct course” The Doctor rushed over to the control panel as the Nerd did just that. The Doctor then pressed a few buttons and the TARDIS began to dematerialize.

Before the Critic and the Nerd could disappear, Dream spoke
“There’s something I wish to ask you.”
He then told the Nerd and the Critic what they’d seen in Melodia, from the devastation to the rune being sealed in a glowing sphere. When he finished, the Nerd and the Critic both sighed.
“I suppose we ain’t exactly been honest with ya” said the Nerd.
“What do you mean?” Serena felt a bit uneasy by the whole ordeal and she wasn’t the only one.
“Well we kinda caused the catastrophe in the first place” The Critic noticed the unease on the groups faces
“Hey don’t judge us until you hear the full details”
“We’re all ears” The Doctor leaned on the TARDIS console and listened with the rest of the group.

“It all started about 20 years ago. A dark being attacked the land in an attempt to get the runes for himself”
“Judge Death?” Mario asked
The Nerd shook his head
“Nah. Just some evil bastard. We had to seal away the rune. It was the only way we’d be able to save the universe.”
“So how did that cause the catastrophe?” Dream eyed the Critic and the Nerd suspiciously
“Because we had to use the energy that made up the world of Melodia to do it” The Critic shuddered at the memory “It was the antithesis to this dark being and would destroy him if he went near it. Just for safe keeping, we also made it so only the legendary hero could unlock it.”
“That explains the Hood getting burned to a crisp” Strong Bad said. Luigi was a bit more sceptical
“But why did you have to wreck the land of Melodia to do it? Surely there must have been another way”
“It would’ve been great if there was” the Nerd said “But it was all we could do. Our choice boiled down to either Melodia or the whole multiverse.”
Luigi was still not convinced
“So you nearly destroyed an entire world?”
Seeing the animosity in his brother’s eyes, Mario stepped forward
“Don’t worry about it bro. We saved the world and it got restored in the end. All’s well that ends well”
Luigi simply huffed
“Anyway” the Critic said “We’re gonna prepare for your arrival. See ya in a few minutes”
With that the holograms of the Critic and the Nerd disappeared leaving Chowder and co to wait out the journey.

After signing off, the Nerd turned to the Critic
“Ya think they still trust us? That Luigi looked a little pissed off”
“Ah don’t worry about it” The Critic replied “We did what we could. Chowder understands that more than anyone”
“I just hope he ain’t too upset” The Nerd glanced around worried “We’ve had to keep a few things from him already”
The Critic simply shrugged
“We just gotta do what we gotta do. Now come on. Chowder’ll be here in a little while”

Sure enough, a few seconds later, the TARDIS made the familiar landing chimes. The group stepped out and found themselves in the living room of an ordinary looking house. Though the curtains were drawn, the room was still very bright. Chowder was about to investigate the curtains when a door at the end of the room opened.
“At last we meet in person” said one of the figures.

When Chowder saw the Critic and the Nerd, his face lit up
“Guys!”
The Critic and the Nerd were largely how Chowder had expected them to be. They were a bit shorter, but he didn’t mind.
“It’s an honour to meet you both” The Doctor stepped forward and shook the Critic and the Nerd’s hands
“Likewise” said the Nerd. The pair of them turned to Chowder
“Did ya bring the runes?” The Critic looked at Chowder hopefully
“I sure did” Chowder took them out of his rucksack and handed them to the pair. The Critic and the Nerd inspected them carefully, then gave them back to Chowder
“Good” said the Nerd “Everything looks peachy keen”
“So whadda we do with em?” Luigi asked. Although he didn’t show it, inside he was feeling uneasy. Something about the whole scene didn’t feel right
“Follow us” said the Critic.

The Critic and the Nerd lead Chowder and co through the house until they came to a room which was mostly bare except for a table and chairs. A mirror hung on the wall to their left and another door stood opposite them
“Just wait here” said the Critic “And then we’ll get started”
As if on cue, a knock sounded out at the door
“Who’s there?” Serena asked
“Somebody we’ve been waiting to introduce to you” The Nerd got up to open the door. The group were all confused. At first Chowder thought that the person on the other side of the door would be the Critic and the Nerd’s boss who would introduce them to a new secret of the runes. After all that’s what usually happened in this sort of story. However when the door opened the group were shocked at the sight of the figure. Said figure’s large toothy mouth fashioned into a grin when it saw them.

“Ssssssso. You did collect them afterall. I mussssst sssssay I sssseriously underesssstimated your ssssskills” hissed the figure.
The group were completely dumbfounded. Luna managed to say "Judge Death? But why?"
“Allow me to summarize what you have just told me” The Leader loomed over Sam with an air of intimidation. Sam had never seen his boss this scary before. Usually he was a benevolent, if slightly mysterious leader. Now though, as he stood in the leader’s main office, he wasn’t so sure about the benevolence part.
“You found out where Chowder and his friends were hiding. You tried to capture them but they escaped into another room and locked the door. When you finally broke in, you found that they had escaped through a back window you weren’t aware of and now they are someone out in the desert. Is that your report?”
Sam nodded nervously
“You idiot!” the leader roared “Why didn’t you surround the building!”
“Please leader sir!” Sam replied “It ain’t mah fault. They was too quick, runnin’ away like and-“
“I don’t want to hear excuses!”. In the dim light of his study, the leader’s expression looked even more menacing like a wild cat about to kill its prey “However!”
Sam edged forward “However what?”
The leader stared at him “You did get us one lead. For that, I shall spare your punishment. Bring him in”
Sam nodded nervously “Oh right away sir!”. He then rushed out of the room.

A short while later, Sam brought Sylvester in. His hands were cuffed and he was shaking with fear. The leader walked up to him and looked him over.
“So” he said in deep menacing tones “You are the one who is guilty of harbouring a dangerous fugitive”
Sylvester practically burst into tears
“Pleath mr Leader!” he sobbed with that familiar lisp “I didn’t mean anything! I don’t wanna die or get banished or… or…”
At that, Sylvester was completely overwhelmed with fear to the point where he could barely even speak. The leader simple shushed him
“Do not worry. You won’t be punished”
Sylvester looked up with hope in his eyes “Really?”
“Yes” The leader smiled “As long as you cooperate”
Sylvester was puzzled “Cooperate? How?”
“If you tell me where Chowder and his friends have gone, I shall lift all punishments for you and your friend”
“And if I don’t” Sylvester immediately wished he hadn’t asked. He wasn’t sure he wanted to hear the answer.
“Then you shall be banished from this town forever!”
“Forever?” Sylvester was so scared at the thought, he could only say the one word. The leader smiled a sinister smile
“Yes. Where you shall have to deal with bandits, starvation and no companionship until you die!”

Most people at this point would have called the leader’s bluff and heroically refused to betray their friends. Sylvester however wasn’t the brave heroic type.
“Ok ok!” he said “I’ll tell you what I know. They’ve gone to the danger zone. I told em not to go, but they inthited!”
The leader smiled and nodded “Very good. Sam will escort you and your friend out”
As soon as Sam released Sylvester’s chains, Sylvester threw himself at the leader’s feet
“Oh thank you great leader!” Sylvester bowed
“Now get out!” The Leader bellowed, causing Sylvester to leg it out of the room.

When Sam reentered, The Leader explained to him what Sylvester had told him. Sam gulped
“Ya don’t mean we gotta head there!!!”
“Correct” said the leader. Sam breathed a sigh of relief. The Leader then picked that moment to say “You are”
Sam went white “What! Ya gotta be kiddin’ me. I’ll never survive that place!”
At that, he noticed the leader was glaring angrily at him. Sam stopped
“Fine then Mr Leader. I’ll go and ready the troops.”
The leader nodded “Good”

No sooner had Sam left, than the light in the Hood’s room flashed. Realising what this meant, the leader locked the door to make sure Sam wouldn’t enter unexpectedly. He then pressed the buttons on the painting frame, causing the room to transform into the command centre. Walking over to the control panel, he pressed a few buttons and the face of Judge Death appeared on the screen.
“Good morning commander” The Hood looked nervously as Death began to speak
“Hello agent Hood. Have you managed to apprehend Chowder yet?”
The Hood hesitated
“I’m afraid not. However-“
Before the Hood could tell Death what the however was, Death roared in his face
“What!?”
The Hood fumbled over his words
“Sorry commander. Chowder has so far managed to evade my forces, but we’re closing in on him as we speak!”
Death’s expression relaxed ever so slightly “Are you now?”
The Hood nodded
“Very well. I want you to lead the expedition to find him”
The Hood felt nervous “Are you sure about this. He has fled to a very dangerous place”
“Exactly” Death smiled an evil smile “I want you to prove to me that you are not asssss sssstupid asssss you appear to be. Find and kill Chowder and I will not have to do the sssssame to you”
Before the Hood could protest, the image of Death disappeared. The Hood sighed.  This was going to be a long day.

After trekking through the desert all night, the group finally reached the TARDIS just as dawn was breaking. When they saw it, Daffy scoffed
“That’s your all powerful spaceship. Forgive me if I ain’t a little sceptical”
“Looks aren’t always what they seem” Dream retorted
“Yeah” Strong Bad added “It got us here in one piece didn’t it?”

Upon stepping inside, Bugs and Daffy were stunned. Bugs removed a bottle from his pocket
“I quit” he said, throwing it away.
“Wow” Daffy said “I guess I take back what I said”
The Doctor meanwhile stepped over to the TARDIS console and set the controls to land them at the forbidden zone’s coordinates. While it was in flight, he turned to Bugs and Daffy
“So tell us what you know about this forbidden zone”
“There ain’t much to tell doc” Bugs replied “It’s just a dark place where everybody who goes there never comes back”
“Yeah” Daffy added “If ya ask me, it’s stoopid going there anyway. For all we know, the treasure could be in a completely different place”
Mario nodded “Yeah, but nine times outta ten, the runes always seem to be in the most horrible places. So it makes sense to look there”
Luigi shuddered to himself. After the constant dangers, the group had faced, he was beginning to wish he’d stayed at home in the mushroom kingdom.

A little while later, the Doctor stepped over to the TARDIS console.
“Looks like we’ll be landing soon-“
Before he could say anything else, the entire control room shook, throwing the group off their feet. Sparks shot out of the console as a repeated droning sound similar to an electronic church bell echoed through the control room.
“What’s happening!” Serena shrieked with tears in her eyes
The Doctor rushed over to the control panel
“We’re flying off course! Something in the area is pushing us away!”
“Well do something!” Strong Bad screamed
The Doctor continued to frantically push buttons and pull levers. The force that was repelling them was so strong, it was actually pushing them further into the future. If the Doctor didn’t do something soon, they could end up at the point in time where the entire multiverse collapses into a singularity. He then tried an old trick he used before which was to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow. Slowly but surely, the TARDIS began to move against the force until they were right back where they’d started. Pressing away at the levers, the TARDIS shook again
“Brace for crash landing!” The Doctor dived on the floor followed by the rest of the group.

In the early morning desert landscape of Melodia, a wheezing sound was heard. After a few seconds, a blue box appeared in mid-air and hurtled spinning towards the ground. When it connected, it slid along the ground and eventually came to a stop. Sadly no living thing was there to witness this extraordinary sight.

Inside the TARDIS, the group found themselves scattered all over the floor.
“Anybody dead?” Strong Bad was the first to break the silence.
“I’m ok!” Bugs said. Daffy grumpily picked himself up from the floor
“I knew this thing was unsafe. Putting me inside this stoopid thing! I’ll remember this”
Daffy continued to grumble while the rest of the group picked themselves up from the floor. The Doctor checked the TARDIS console and smiled.
“No major damage at least. Well nothing that can’t be repaired with a little elbow grease”.

After stepping out of the TARDIS, the group found themselves on top of a ledge and were greeted by a sinister sight. The sky above them was a dark purple colour while stretching out below them was a colossal structure, similar to a ruined city. However it was extremely quiet to the point where it reminded Chowder of when they’d been in New York City. The group began to make their way down the cliff face slowly, but surely

“Hey Doctor?” Chowder looked at his friend
“Yes” The Doctor replied without looking away from the sloping ledge they were descending.
“Why did the TARDIS fly off course like that?”
The Doctor looked at Chowder with that familiar mischievous grin on his face.
“Because whatever energy is emitting from that place, it’s so powerful that it repelled the TARDIS’s dematerialization circuits like two opposite sides of a magnet”
Chowder was already concerned, but for reasons he’d never figure out, he decided to probe further
“Was it dangerous to land?”
“Oh absolutely” The Doctor looked at Chowder with a slightly malicious grin “If I hadn’t done something, we could have ended up in the very end of the universe or been vaporized into a thousand pieces”
Chowder shuddered. He didn’t know if the Doctor was joking or not, but he certainly didn’t want to find out.

After descending the cliffs for some time, the group saw people moving around at the bottom of it. Chowder was about to call out to them when Dream stopped him. He turned to the others and told them to move quietly.
Upon getting to the bottom, the group could see why. The figures appeared to be various cartoon characters, some of which they’d seen in the settlement. As the group watched from a vantage point behind some rocks, a familiar figure walked out of a tent
“The Leader?” Bugs was shocked
“What’s he doing here?” Daffy added, just as shocked as Bugs was.
“If I didn’t know any better” Luna’s tone was very worried “I’d say that he’s been sent here by a third party to investigate”
“Well that just settles it” Chowder said “There must be a rune or something around here!”
“I say we turn back” Luigi began biting his nails (or at least the part of his gloves where his nails would be) “I’m sure it’s just a coincidence anyway”
Mario shot his brother a look “Don’t start that up Luigi. We’ve come way too far in our adventure to give up now.”
Luigi groaned and began following the group towards the ruins

The Hood meanwhile was waiting for a report from Sam. Already aware of how dangerous this area was, he wasn’t about to walk into a potential death trap without knowing what he was up against. So he’d sent Sam to search out the area for anything dangerous. If he didn’t return, then he knew the place was dangerous. This may seem cruel, but when you’re an evil overlord with virtually no conscience, you tend to ignore the moral side of things. As he turned around to go back to his tent and plan his next move, he heard a voice yelling out from behind him. Turning around, The Hood saw Sam approaching him trembling.
“Well?” The Hood asked “What’s it like in there?”
“It ain’t pleasant” Sam replied “It’s dark and creepy and...”
Sam shuddered. He’d spent the last half hour afraid that at any moment he was going to be torn apart limb from limb
“Did you see anything dangerous?” The Hood asked
Sam merely shook his head
“Good” The Hood smiled “We’re heading inside. Grab your weapon and inform the others”.

Chowder and co had already headed inside by that point. All were silent as they walked through the dark ruined streets. The smell of death filled the air and the group were deadly silent.
“What happened here?” Luigi whispered
The Doctor rubbed his chin
“I don’t know. I’ve never seen anything like it before”
This scared the group even more. When the Doctor didn’t know what was going on, then it was obviously something sinister.

As they continued trekking through the ruins. Daffy heard a noise
“Did you hear that?” Daffy glanced over his shoulder. However the darkness that surrounded them meant that it was very difficult to see anything.
The Doctor then took out his sonic screwdriver and scanned around. The light from the screw driver provided slightly better illumination. However as the Doctor waved it around, he saw a large shadow up against one of the walls. At first the group thought nothing of it. Until they realised it wasn’t being projected by anything and was much more solid in appearence.

At this point the group were confused and began to make their way towards it. Then Dream yelled “Stop!”
Before the group could ask why, the shadow began to move. Bugs rubbed his eyes in shock as the rest of the group simply stared. Then a dark tendril shot out from the shadow, grabbed Strong Bad and began dragging him along the floor towards it. Strong Bad screamed and clawed at the ground in a desperate attempt to avoid being dragged into the shadow.
“Argh! Get it offa me, I don’t wanna die!”
Without thinking, The Cheat squeaked, rushed over to Strong Bad and grabbed one of his boxing glove hands. Despite his pulling, it appeared to be in vain and Strong Bad edged ever closer to the thing. He tried to pull himself free but it was no good. The shadow’s grip was simply too strong. Chowder then rushed up and grabbed the Cheat, followed by the Doctor and Dream.

As they pulled Strong Bad, Chowder found his grip slipping away from the Cheat. Then with a terrific yank, the Cheat was pulled clean from Chowder’s grasp. Within seconds, both he and Strong Bad were pulled into the darkness of the shadow where they were consumed by the blackness.
Chowder and the gang stared in shock as Strong Bad and the Cheat’s screams faded. Then the shadow began to advance towards them.
“Run for it!” Serena yelled and the group did so.

As they fled through maze of buildings, none of the group could think about anything except getting away from whatever the shadow creature was. Eventually Serena collapsed from exhaustion. Turning round, the group saw that the mysterious shadow had vanished. So they huddled together inside small alleyway and began to collect their thoughts.

“Poor Strong Bad” Chowder said, his voice wobbling “I kinda feel bad for not trusting them”
“We can mourn them later” The Doctor said “Right now, we’ve got to focus on the big questions. Namely what was that thing, what happened here and does it connect to the rune?”
“If I didn’t know any better” Dream began “I’d say that creature was a shade”
Chowder stared at him in wonderment “A shade?”
Dream nodded “Yes. It’s a shell of a former being.”
“What!” Serena gasped “You mean that thing used to be a person!”
“I’m afraid so. It must have had its energy drained away until it’s nothing more than an echo of its former self”
“But what could’ve done something like that?” Mario wasn’t the type to get scared easily, in contrast to his younger brother, but even he was feeling unnerved by what he’d gotten themselves into
“That I do not know” Dream shook his head. Then the Doctor had a thought
“Maybe it has something to do with the state of the world of Melodia.”
He turned to Bugs and Daffy “Tell me, do you remember anything happening the day the rains stopped”
Bugs and Daffy both shrugged
“Nah Doc. It was just there one day and gone the next”
“Then do you remember anything about this place before it was ruined?”
Bugs and Daffy both thought for a few seconds.
“Nah” Bugs finally said “Now dat ya mention it, I don’t remember much from before the rain stopped”
At this point, everyone was puzzled
“You know” said Luna “I have a feeling, this place is more important than we first thought”
“Come on then!” Mario said “We’d better get searchin’ if we wanna find some answers!”
So with a great deal of reluctance, the group set off back into the ruins.

Elsewhere, The Hood was leading the exploration to find Chowder. However despite their worst things, none of his men had encountered anything. As the Hood lead his minions into another deserted street, a sudden noise made him jump with fear. It took him a few seconds to realise that the noise was in fact Sam calling for his attention. The Hood scowled at him
“What do you desire now?”
“I just hadda thought” Sam said “Why are we doin’ all this just to look for some varmints. If ya ask me, it ain’t worth the time an effort.”
The Hood thought fast
“Yes. I’m afraid I have a slight confession to make. I may have lied to you slightly.”
The whole group went silent. So silent in fact, that you could have heard a pin drop.
“You….lied to us?” Sam replied in shock
The Hood nodded “Yes. Allow me to explain. In this place is an incredible treasure. One that could make our continued survival in the world that much easier”
“What is it?” Sam asked with a look of wonder in his eyes.
“It is an ancient rune that contains immense power. However Chowder and his friends also know this. That is why they are trying to steal it. They wish to use it to destroy us and claim the settlement for their own purposes. Bugs and Daffy have already been seduced by the lies they’ve told. If we don’t do anything, any one of us could be next.”
All of the Hood’s minions shivered. They were thankful that they’d stayed with him. Their world had already suffered enough hardships, so the last thing they needed was to lose their only settlement. They were then brought back to reality by one of the soldiers calling out “Hey, what’s that!”

The Hood turned to face him with the rest of his troops and saw that he was pointing a flashlight at a window of one of the buildings. Inside the window, they could see a group of shadows.
“It’s them there varmints!” Sam said “Let’s get em!”
The Hood lead the charge as the the cartoons broke the door down and burst inside the building. When they got inside, they were met with a room that could have easily been the front room of an ordinary house had it not been wracked with holes in the floor and other signs of devastation. This however was not what caught the group’s attention

“It’s empty!” Sam said in shock
“They cannot have gone far” The Hood put out an air of calmness, but inside he was worried. If he lost Chowder and co and they got the rune, he’d be out of work. And possibly killed for his failure. He was brought out of his trance by Sam tapping his shoulder.
“Hey boss!” Sam pointed at the wall. “Check that out”
It was then that the group noticed a trio of shadows on the wall.
“They’re the shadows we saw earlier” Sam looked uneasy “Only thing is, they ain’t comin’ from anything”
At that, one of the soldiers walked forward slowly to get a better look at the strange shadow. Then a black tentacle shot out of the shadow and grabbed him. He barely had time to scream as he was pulled into the shadow and consumed
“Run away!” Sam didn’t need to tell the rest of the group twice. The cartoons practically fell over one another in an attempt to get out. The only problem was that the door was extremely small as was the room. Within seconds many of them had already been grabbed by the shadows and were being consumed.

The Hood however was the luckiest and was able to charge through the door pretty quickly. As he turned to leave, he heard a voice yell “Boss!”
Turning round, the Hood saw Sam clinging on to the door frame. Without thinking, the Hood grabbed Sam’s hands and pulled. A few seconds later, the two of them were flung backwards and found themselves lying on the ground. Then the door of the building slammed shut. Inside the two of them could hear the rest of the soldiers screaming. Sam went to open the door, but the leader stopped him.
“Don’t” he said “We’ve got to get going”
“But that’s mah friends in there!” Sam snapped
“And their sacrifice will not be forgotten” The Hood spoke in such a way that Sam felt as though he didn’t exactly trust him “But we’ve still got to find that treasure before Chowder does. Or else their sacrifice will have all been in vain”
Sam tried to protest “But…”
“You don’t want them to die in vain do you?”
“No sir-“Before Sam could say anymore, the Hood shushed him “Then shut up and do as I say”
“Yessir” Sam replied. Deep down however he was starting to become less trusting of the leader.

Chowder and the group meanwhile had left the alley they’d been hiding in and had begun navigating back through the streets. The Doctor was using his sonic screwdriver to detect any trace of the energy that they’d found earlier.
“Wait” The Doctor said, holding up his hand “I think I’ve found something”
“The rune?” Dream asked
“I’m not sure” The Doctor scratched his chin “It doesn’t seem like the energy the runes normally give off”
“I say we follow it” Mario said
“Yeah” Luigi added “The sooner we get outta this place the better”
“Where’s it coming from?” Chowder glanced over his shoulder. For a second he thought he’d heard a noise behind them. However nothing was behind him, so he decided to ignore it and focus on the matter at hand.
“Looks like it’s coming from beneath us” The Doctor scanned around a bit more “Yes. I think we’re going to have to travel underground.”
“Like that” Bugs said. Looking down the street, the group saw a hole in the ground. Upon getting closer, they realised it appeared to be a descending staircase.
“Oh great” Serena sighed “If there’s one thing I hate, it’s dark damp places”
Ignoring her whining as usual, the rest of the group began to descend the stairs. Only Luigi remained where he was
“If it’s ok with you guys, I think I’ll just stand guard and make sure nobody comes after ya”
“Ok” Mario didn’t even look back at his brother “If you see a shadow monster, be sure to give it my regards”
Luigi shivered at the thought and decided that it was in his best interest to remain with the group. He hurried down the stairs to catch up with them.

As soon as the group had left, a pair of figures emerged from an alley way opposite the hole.
“So whadda we do now?” Sam asked the Hood as the two of them walked over. He’d already worked out a good guess, but he was hoping the Hood would be in a good mood.
“What else?” The Hood asked “We go after them.”
“Are ya sure bout that?” Sam looked down into the hole and trembled “What If there’s more of them there monsters hiding in there”
“Simple” said the Hood “We let them deal with Chowder while we sneak out and get the treasure. We shall have dealt with two birds with one stone”
Sam opened his mouth to protest, but decided better of it.
“You’re the boss” he thought to himself.

The interior of the hole resembled that of a large tunnel. The walls appeared to be made of bricks and the floor was damp with what Chowder hoped was water. No sound could be heard and the temperature was freezing cold.
“You know what I still don’t get?” Chowder stepped over a piece of rubble on the floor “How come you don’t remember anything from before all this happened”
“I tell ya, I dunno” Bugs replied “Da whole things a mystery to me as well”
“Actually now that ya mention it” Daffy thought for a second “I think I remember something”
The whole group looked at him
“Go on then” Despite his calm look, Dream had a slightly eager tone to his voice. Daffy began to speak
“I remember some sorta flash of light and then all my thoughts goin’ blank. Then…”
The group looked in anticipation
“Go on” Serena was getting impatient “Don’t keep us in suspense!”
“Sorry” Daffy shook his head “That’s all I can remember”
With a sigh, the group carried on making their way through the tunnels. After about a minute of wading through the water and trying not to bump into the walls, Luigi spoke up.
“Doesn’t this place look a bit like a subway?”
“What’s your point bro?” Mario asked.
“I think I get what he’s implying” The Doctor chimed in “If that’s the case, then this place isn’t as ancient as we thought. In fact I’m going to go one step further and suggest it may be the source of whatever great catastrophe hit this world”
“Well that settles it” Luna said. Serena was carrying her in her arms at the time “We’ve got to find the rune now, no matter what and-“
At that, she stopped and looked around

“What’s wrong?” Luigi shivered. Whenever he had to ask something like this, he knew the answer wasn’t going to be pleasant.
“Didn’t you hear a voice just now” Luna’s eyes darted around the tunnel. In the darkness however, she couldn’t make anything out apart from the group. It was then that the group heard a slightly familiar voice from behind them. The Doctor was the first to realise what it was
“Didn’t that sound like Strong Bad to you?”
With a flick of his wrist, the Doctor shone his sonic screwdriver into the darkness behind them and was greeted by a pair of dark moving shapes. Instantly the group recognized what they were
“Shade monsters!” Luigi screamed. As he turned to run, Dream yelled “Wait”

For a second, the group were confused by this. Surely a better option would be to flee for their lives. It was then that they noticed something. In the shades they could make out a pair of familiar faces. Being as close as he was, the Doctor identified them immediately
“Strong Bad! The Cheat!”
The group gasped. It was true. Inside the shades were the distorted, but still recognizable faces of Strong Bad and the Cheat.
“But how…?” The Doctor asked. A second later, the group got their answer.

A dark tendril shot out of the shade with the Cheat’s face and grabbed the Doctor. Within seconds he was pulled towards it, screaming in pain. Before the group could even intervene, the Cheat shade completely absorbed the Doctor into its body. Then it split into a third shade much like an amoeba.
This was enough to convince the group to run for their lives.

As they ran through the tunnels, all of the group were in shock. The Doctor had been one of their closest allies. Now he was gone. The thought was enough to cause them to consider giving up. It was after all, thanks to his help that they’d been able to travel as far as they had. As they rounded a corner, Dream looked behind them and saw that the shades were no longer following them. He told the group who promptly stopped running to catch their breath.

Chowder then burst into tears
“Whatta we gonna do now?”
None of the group answered him. The Doctor was the one who’d been leading them through the tunnels. Now without him, they had no way of navigating and it was entirely possible that they’d wander the tunnels until they got themselves permanently lost. Another bigger problem that the group had realised was that he was the only one who knew how to pilot the TARDIS. Now they had no way of getting back to their own worlds.

For several long moments, the group didn’t say anything. All that could be heard was the silence of the tunnels. Then Luna spoke
“Come on. We’ve still got to find those runes”
“Are you nuts?” Luigi looked at her, extremely annoyed “It’s over. We’re never gonna win now!”
“But we’re so close!” Luna said “We can’t just give up now!”
“Look around!” Luigi practically exploded with rage “Even if we do find them, we’ll never get outta this place! Face it. We blew it”
“Now that’s not true!” Luna’s eyes showed determination that the group had never seen in her before “What would the Doctor want us to do?”
The group went silent again. Then Dream spoke
“He would want us to find the rune.”
“Exactly!” Luna nodded “We have a duty to the people of this world to find those runes. If even one falls into the hands of evil, then we’ve failed everybody!”
“Just curious” Daffy raised his wing “What are you actually spose to do with the runes once you’ve found them?”

The group went silent again. Chowder was the one to break it
“I dunno. We just got told we gotta find those runes before the bad guys do”
“Right” Daffy rolled his eyes
“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it!” Luna said “Right now, what matters is that we find that rune!”
And with that, the group set off again into the darkness of the tunnels.

Meanwhile, the Hood and Sam were traveling through another part of the maze of tunnels when they came to a T junction.
“Which way do we go sir?” Sam asked
The Hood inspected it for several seconds
“Straight on”
Sam looked down the tunnel to their left
“I dunno. I think we should make a left”
“Are you questioning my orders?” The Hood shot Sam a menacing look
“Oh no sir” Sam frantically shook his head “I just think that going straight on sounds a little easy for a great treasure”
“Haven’t you heard of Occam’s razor?”
Sam shook his head
“Well I wouldn’t expect someone like you to know about it. It says that the simplest solution is usually the best”

Sam opened his mouth to protest, but stopped when he caught a glimpse of movement behind them. Not realising the movement, The Hood said “I know it’s a fascinating concept for someone as simply as yourself, but it’s hardly that shocking”
Sam then managed to stammer out “Behind you!”
The Hood swung round and was greeted by the sight of several shadow monsters like the ones they’d encountered earlier advancing down the corridor that ran straight on.
“Run for your life!” Sam yelled
“Good idea” said the Hood “You distract them and I shall stop Chowder”
Sam managed to say “What!-“ before the Hood pushed him into the path of the shadows. Sam screamed out as he was absorbed by the shadows while the Hood fled down the corridor to the left.

Unlike Chowder and co, the Hood wasn’t particularly worried that Sam had just been taken by the shadows. He also didn’t feel a pang of guilt for pushing him into the shadows like that. After all, as far as he was concerned some had to die so that he could achieve his goals. As he continued to run, he noticed, too late that the darkness made it very difficult to see what was in front of him. A few seconds later, he heard voice in front of him. Then The Hood crashed into something and found himself sprawled on the ground.

“Hey!” said Daffy, picking himself up from the ground “Watch where ya going buster!”
The group then took a look at the figure. In the darkness, he looked vaguely familiar, but they couldn’t figure out why. Then the figure yelled “You!”
As he stood up, the group finally realised where they’d seen him before
“The leader!” Bugs said
“Yes” The Leader replied “It is I. Your powerful leader who you betrayed to work with these criminals”
“You got it all wrong!” Bugs said “They ain’t no criminals! They’re just trying to save the world from bad guys”
The Leader began to laugh
“Oh really? And what do these bad guys look like”
“Well we ain’t seen him” Daffy shrugged “But apparently he’s some guy called Judge-“
“Death!” finished the leader

Bugs and Daffy were shocked
“How could ya have known that, doc?” Bugs eyed the leader suspiciously
An evil smiled spread across the leader’s mouth.
“I suppose I’d better be honest with you. I have been working with Death the whole time”
“You dirty slimeball!” Daffy lunged at the Leader. At that point, the leader’s eyes lit up and Daffy collapsed to the ground in agony. The leader continued to speak
“My real name is the Hood. I am one of the greatest criminal minds this world has ever known. And you are at my full mercy”
The Hood then released Daffy from his grasp
“Now” he said “We are going to do things my way. You are going to find me the rune”
Without thinking, Chowder said “And if we refuse?”
The Hood’s eyes lit up again and the whole group collapsed in agony
“Stop!” Luigi managed to gasp “We get it”
The Hood released them “Good. Now lead the way. And no funny business. Or you’ll end up as shadow food”

Travelling through the tunnels was already bad enough for the group. They’d lost three members of their party and were in constant risk of being eaten by shadow monsters. Now they had their enemy with them who could easily choose to kill them at any given time. As they continued to walk, the Hood began to get impatient
“Hurry up!” he snapped
“We’re doing our best” Dream replied “The Doctor was the one who knew where it was, but-“
The Hood snarled “No excuses!. I have to find that rune or I’m a goner”
“Just like the rest of the universe” Luigi murmured.
After wandering around the tunnels for the better part of an hour, the group were beginning to lose hope that they’d ever find the rune. Then just when they thought they were going to spend the rest of their lives wandering in the darkness, they turned a corridor and saw a light at the end of it.
“That must be it!” Mario said with excitement
“Then don’t just sit there!” The Hood scowled at the group with impatience “Hurry! Now!”

When the group reached the end of the corridor, they found themselves in a large circular room. The room they’d entered in was the only way in or out of the room. In the centre was a glowing sphere on a pedestal which was the only illumination in the whole room.
“Is that the rune?” Serena had to squint due to the brightness of the orb
“It has to be!” said Mario. Before the group could do anything else, the hood stepped forward
“Well then. I think I shall just relieve you all of it. It’s been nice working with you, but I have a world to run”
At that, he walked up to the orb. Dream said “I wouldn’t do that if I was you”
“Silence!” The Hood yelled back “You should count yourself lucky. I could have easily killed you all a while ago”
At that, he reached out and grabbed the sphere

The moment the Hood did so, a terrific flash of blue lighting blasted out and zapped him. The Hood screamed as he was thrown back across the room. When it was over, all that was left of him was a charred black skeleton thrown against the wall. All Bugs could managed to say was a simple “Ouch”
“I knew there was some sort of trap” Dream said “These things always have one”

Chowder then walked up to the pedestal that the sphere rested on. Just below it was a tablet with strange hieroglyphs scrawled over it. Dream noticed as well and took a look.
“Hero of the multiverse. Prove you are the one and release the energy of Melodia”
Chowder tilted his head to the side “How do I do that?”
“I don’t know” Dream shook his head “That’s the only thing written” Before the group could ponder it further a moan sounded from the corridor they’d entered in.

Looking down it, the group were shocked. Several shades were rapidly advancing down the corridor towards them
“We’ve got trouble!” Daffy said. Before he could panic further, a tendril shot out from one of the shades and grabbed him. In seconds, Daffy was consumed and another Shade had spawned.
“Whatdowedo!” Luigi could barely think straight from terror.
“We’ve got to hold them off somehow!” Luna said. At that, a tendril grabbed and pulled her screaming into the shades
“Luna!” Serena practically broke down in tears. Then more tendrils shot out grabbing the Marios
“Help!” Luigi screamed while Mario tried to break free. Dream, Serena and Bugs rushed forwards grabbing the Marios, only to be dragged towards the shades as well.

In all the panic, Chowder simply stood in shock. Not knowing what to do, he practically broke down in tears. It was then that he noticed the sphere. Chowder reached out to grabbed and stopped. Suppose he got incinerated like the Hood had been?. The scream of his friends put a stop to that hesitation. With nothing to lose, Chowder reached out and grabbed the sphere

The second he did, beams of light blasted out in every direction. Chowder couldn't even scream as a wave of white light washed over his vision.
Like many of my threads, you only have to read the title to get what I'm asking. 

I've always said that if Slint hadn't broken up when they did, they would have been one of the biggest bands of the 90s. 

I've said a similar thing about the Soft Boys. Especially when you realise that they were a major influence on R.E.M. among others.

And even though they eventually reunited, I still say the Stooges shouldn't have broken up when they did

So who are the bands that you think should have carried on when they decided to quit?
“So what’s Melodia like anyway?” Mario asked the Doctor as the TARDIS tumbled through the time vortex
“Is it anything like Marzipan city?” Chowder added hopefully
“Well I’ve never actually been there” replied the Doctor “But according to my research it’s one of the oldest places in your universe.”
“What are the people there like?” Luna looked at the Doctor concerned
“From what I’ve heard, most of if not all of them are a little odd. You might even call them Looneys.”
The Doctor paused to press a few more buttons on the TARDIS console
“It used to be one of, if not the most influential worlds of Chowder’s universe, but very little has been heard from it in a while. Still it can’t be all bad”
At that point, he was interrupted by the sounds of the TARDIS landing.
“Right then” The Doctor grinned at the rest of the group “We’ll learn more by getting outside”
With that, the group stepped out of the TARDIS and into the world of Melodia. The moment they stepped out, they froze
“Woah” said Strong Bad “If this was the most influential world in the universe, then it’s really gone down the crapper”

The world they’d stepped out into was a vast barren cartoon desert that was largely featureless with occasional rocks dotting the landscape. The only sound that could be heard was the sound of the wind rustling across the scenery. Dream looked at the Doctor
“Are you sure we’re in the right place? I imagined something a little more grand”
The Doctor scanned about with his sonic screwdriver
“No we’re definitely in Melodia”
Luna offered a suggestion of her own
“Are you sure that the sources, you got your research from were valid? It might have been an incorrect source”
The Doctor shook his head
“Those were official records. Mind you they hadn’t been updated for a while. Maybe something’s happened here that we’ve missed”
Luigi then had a terrible thought
“What if….some horrible disaster’s hit the planet and wiped out all life.”
Serena was mortified “That’s terrible! Then we’ll have to find the rune all on our own!”
“Well you’ll be pleased to know that isn’t the case” The Doctor grinned at her “According to my readings, there’s civilisation a few miles to the south of here. If we set off now, we can reach it before nightfall”
Serena began to despair “Do we have to walk? Why don’t we just take the TARDIS”
“I’d rather we didn’t” The Doctor replied “If these locals are hostile, then the last thing we want is to draw attention to ourselves”
“Besides” Luna took the opportunity to scold Serena “The exercise will do you good”

Setting off across the desert, the group were mostly silent and deep in thought. The first thing they were wondering was what the civilisation the Doctor had found would be like and if the locals were hostile. But that wasn’t the only thing. The mention of a traitor in their midst was keeping them on edge. None of them had any idea who it could be, but each one was developing their own theories.

After travelling in the direction the Doctor had specified for about half an hour, Serena was still whining
“Are we there yet?” she asked for what must have been the 15th time
“No!” Luna was gradually losing her patience. The weather did nothing to help as it was boiling hot. Not as bad as Arrakis had been, but still hot enough to fry a steak to ashes on a block of ice.
As the group continued walking whilst trying to ignore Serena’s whining, Dream spoke
“Do not be alarmed. But I feel we’re being watched”
At that, the group stopped and looked around
“I don’t see anything” said Mario “You sure you ain’t mistaken? This heat could be playing with ya senses”
Dream shook his head
“No. There’s definitely somebody nearby”
As the group continued to look around, Luigi shivered
“I don’t like this. I just know that something bad’s gonna happen and-“
A voice then called out “Ahoy there!” causing Luigi to jump and hide behind his brother.
The group looked around, but could see no sight of anyone. Then it called out again
“Up here on the rocks!”
At this point, the group saw that it was coming atop a small rock formation to their right. Looking up they saw a figure standing atop it
“Well don’t just stand there!” The Doctor grinned “Come on down! The desert’s fine!”

When the figure had climbed down from the rocks the group were able to get their first good look at him. He appeared to be a grey humanoid 2d cartoon rabbit about the size of an average sized person. Walking towards them, he asked “What’s up doc?” Chowder was confused
“Hey doctor? Do you know this guy? Cos he sounds like he knows you”
The Doctor shook his head
“No. I’ve never seen him before in my life”
He turned to the rabbit
“Who are you and how do you know my name?”
The figure held up his hands in protest
“Woah, sorry doc. I just call people dat. Didn’t mean no harm”
The group looked at him sceptically.
“Hey! Don’t look at me with those big eyes. I ain’t gonna hurt ya”
“Then would you kindly explain yourself” Dream said “We’re in a bit of a hurry”
“Sure thing doc” The Rabbit smiled at them “Names Bunny, Bugs bunny or Bugs to my acquaintances. I was just on my way back ter the settlement after looking for gold”
The Doctor instantly looked interested. Before he could ask what he wanted to ask, Strong Bad spoke up
“Did you say gold?”
“Yeah” Bugs nodded “It’s how I make a living. It ain’t the easiest of jobs, but its better then nothing”
“Well it’s great to meet you!” Chowder stepped forward and offered his hand. Bugs shook it
“And it’s a pleasure to meet you too buster. So tell me, what’re you and ya friends doing out in this neck of da woods anyway?”

Chowder then explained to Bugs how they’d ended up in the desert. Bugs merely nodded although Chowder couldn’t tell if he believed the story or not. When he finished, Bugs smiled
“Well doc, ya’ve really done the whole thing ain’t ya?”
“Don’t think that it’s been fun” Luna said “We’ve been through hell and high-water. Now would you please explain what you were doing up on that rock?”
“Well like I said, I was just on me way back to the settlement when I heard voices. Thinkin’ that I’d ran into bandits, I decided to hide until they’d passed by. So I’m kinda happy it turned out ter be you guys. I mean you don’t look like bandits or nothin’”
At that point. The Doctor cut in
“What is this settlement that you speak of?”
“It’s my home” Bugs replied “Me and the others live there. It’s not too bad, once ya get used to the heat”

As they walked across the desert, the group had a few questions to ask Bugs. Dream got the ball rolling
“So tell me, is it true that this world used to be one of the most powerful of its kind?”
Bugs nodded “Well doc, ya could sorta say that”
“Then what happened?” Luna asked
“I dunno” Bugs replied “First the rains became less frequent. Then the temperatures shot up. The whole thing lead to food shortages and society pretty much collapsed.”
“Which brings me to another question” The Doctor looked at Bugs “What exactly is the settlement”
Bugs looked at him “Well Doc, it’s exactly what it says on the tin. A humble abode for survivors. Before now, we lived on the move, constantly at risk of being killed by bandits or starving to death. Well some guy calling himself the leader set up the settlement for people who got nowhere else to go.
The Doctor raised a sceptical eyebrow “The leader?”
“Yeah” Bugs nodded “We all work together under his leadership, helping everybody out. It ain’t glamorous or nothin’ but it’s all we got”
“So who is this Leader guy anyway?” Strong Bad was the next to speak “He sounds like he’s got it made”
“He’s only one of several” Bugs replied “He says that there are other colonies out there. Some of our supplies go out to them and in return we get stuff from them”
“And how do you know he’s honest?” The Doctor asked “I’ve heard of people like this before”
“We ain’t got no choice in the matter” Bugs replied “The settlement is all we got. So we just gotta put our head down and focus. Speaking of which, there it is”

In the distance, the group could see a small town of some sort. Walls surrounded the buildings, so they couldn’t see what it was like inside. So they simply followed Bugs up to the entrance. Upon arriving, a voice called out “Who goes there?”
“It’s me doc!” Bugs yelled back “Bugs Bunny!”
After a few seconds, the voice replied “There’s some suspicious people with you! Explain yourselves!”
“Don’t worry!” Chowder said to the voice “We’re just here looking for treasure. We aren’t going to rob you or anything like that. Honest”
“Well ya still can’t come in!” the voice said “If we went around letting in every single person who showed up, we’d be wiped out for sure!”
“Well that’s really welcoming” The Doctor spoke up “Aren’t you all about helping others who are down on their luck?”
“Well yeah, but-“
“Then surely you can spare us some time” Luna chimed in “We’ll probably only be here for a matter of days. You won’t even know we were here”
Silence. Then the voice said “Ok. You can come in. But don’t try anything funny!”
With that the doors swung open. Chowder and friends followed Bugs inside.

The buildings of the settlement appeared to have been cobbled together from multiple materials such as wood and iron. 2D cartoon characters were running all over the place and the air was filled with the sounds of activity.
Bugs lead them through the streets to a stand where a humanoid black duck was sitting looking extremely bored. When he saw Bugs, his expression didn’t change. It was only when he noticed Chowder and co that he perked up slightly.
“Oh it’s you” he said with a slight lisp “Made some new friends have ya?”
“Hey Daff” Bugs replied to the Duck “I guess I better introduce you guys. Guys, meet Daffy, the resident gold buyer. Daffy, meet Chowder, legendary hero”
Daffy snickered
“You a legendary hero? Oh brother, that’s the best joke I’ve heard all day!”
Daffy then chuckled while Chowder looked disappointed. At this point, the Doctor stepped forward
“No really. Would you believe we’ve done battle with alien gods from beyond the realm of human understanding and giant desert worms?”
Daffy just laughed even harder
“Now I know you’re just pulling my leg!”
“But it’s true!” Chowder jumped up onto the stand and looked Daffy directly in the eye.
“We’re trying to save the entire universe from destruction! I know I don’t look like much, but it’s the truth. Honest”
Daffy’s laughter subsided “Ok buster. I’ll accept that”
Something in Daffy’s voice suggested to the group that he still didn’t entirely believe them. He turned his attention to Bugs
“Got any gold for me?”
“Sure thing Daff” Bugs replied.
He then opened the sack revealing several small nuggets of gold. Daffy’s eyes widened. He took the nuggets out of the bag and inspected them one by one. After taking them away, he spoke again
“The best I can give ya is a week’s worth of rations”
“Really Doc?” Bugs replied “After all that trouble I went through ta get em?”
“Hey I got my own problems” Daffy looked annoyed “I barely got enough food to eat, myself!”
Just when it looked like an argument was going to flare up, the pair were interrupted by the sound of a bell ringing.
“What’s happenin?” Strong Bad asked
“Looks like the leader’s going to speak” said Bugs “Follow me, I’ll take you there”
“Now this I gotta see” Mario said

The group followed Bugs through the streets again until they came to a large white building in the middle of a plaza. On top of the building was a bell tower where the ringing was coming from. The plaza itself was filled with all manner of cartoon characters, all of whom were looking up at a balcony that overlooked the plaza. As the group got into a spot where they could see the balcony, the bell stopped ringing and a door on the wall of the balcony opened. Then a figure stepped out.

He appeared to be a balding human man with thick black eyebrows and was wearing robes that reminded the Doctor of an oriental nobleman. His appearance was strange, in that he didn’t look like a cartoon character, nor did he look like he’d come from the Doctor’s world.
“My friends!” he spoke in a voice that sounded both grand and foreign “I bring tragic news! Earlier today another settlement was devastated in an attack by bandits. The people there are starving and in need of aid! We must do everything we can to help them. After all everyone in this land deserves the same right to a decent state of living.”
At that, Daffy groaned
“Great” he said quietly to the group “Times are tight enough already. Now we gotta help out some other unlucky chumps.”
“That’s not very nice” Chowder “Those people didn’t choose to be attacked. How would you like it if you needed supplies and they refused to help?”
“Actually I think he’s right” The Doctor butted in to the conversation. Chowder was shocked
“How can you say something like that?”
The Doctor turned to Bugs and Daffy “Have you ever been to one of these other colonies?”
Bugs shook his head “Nah doc. We ain’t got time to travel to any of the others”
The Doctor smiled “Then how do you know they exist?”
“Well...” Bugs hesitated for a second “I just assume dat the leader ain’t a liar. He’s gotta be at least half decent if he’s willing to set up a place like this”

After the leader’s speech had finished, the cartoons dispersed, leaving only Chowder, his friends and Bugs and Daffy in the plaze. Dream was the first to speak
“I would really like to speak to this “Leader” fellow. I have a feeling he knows far more than he’s telling”
“Yeah” Strong Bad said “Any guy who looks as weird as that has gotta be hiding something”
Bugs and Daffy looked apprehensive. Noticing this, Mario asked “What’s the matter”
“Well the leader don’t normally allow others into his headquarters” Bugs said
“Yeah” Daffy added “He says that we can’t come in for security reasons”
The Doctor smiled “All the more reason to try and visit him”

The group walked around the leaders building until they came to a large set of grand double doors. Pulling them revealed that they were locked and so the group decided to try an intercom that was built into the wall next to the doors. Pressing the button gave them no response
“Maybe he’s gone down the shops?” Serena suggested. As Chowder went to press the button again, a voice came from the intercom
“Hello? Is there somebody out there?”
“Yes” The Doctor replied “We’re travellers and we wish to speak with you”
“I’m sorry” The voice sounded mildly annoyed “I do not have time for this. I’m very busy”
“Oh it’ll only take a second” Luna said. All of them got the impression that the voice just didn’t want to speak with them personally.

Inside the Leader’s office, he stared at the strange figures on the screen. He’d installed a secret camera at the front door, just to make sure that he knew who exactly he was speaking to. Right now he was puzzled. The group that had gathered at his door didn’t resemble the type of character you’d normally encounter in this part of the universe. He decided to play it safe.
“I’m sorry, but you cannot enter! I have a lot to deal with and I must get it finished as soon as possible. Goodbye!”

With that, the intercom went silent leaving only the sounds of the group standing in silence.
“Ya know” Mario broke the silence “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say he didn’t want to talk to us”
“Quite” The Doctor nodded “Tell me, does he ever allow anyone into the palace?”
Bugs shook his head “Only his closest minions. Even then, from what I heard, they ain’t allowed to just walk round.”
“Yeah” said Daffy “They just go where he tells em”
“For a benevolent leader, he sure doesn’t like having people in his home” Dream looked up at the leader’s building “In fact, why is it that he gets an opulent mansion while the rest of you live in shacks? Doesn’t seem fair to me”
Bugs and Daffy went silent.
“It’s just one of those things” Bugs said “We got nowhere else ter go, so we ain’t complaining either way”
“What I’d like to know is what we’re going to do now” Luna added “If only there was some way of searching the entire world quickly”
“Now that ya mentioned it, there is one place that could help ya” Daffy said “Slyvester and Tweety’s map services”
“I know em’” Bugs added “I use em when I have ter explore unknown territory”
“Well why didn’t you say something?” Luna asked annoyed
“You never asked” Bugs got up “Come on, I’ll show ya the way”

Walking through the streets of the settlement, the group realised just how rundown it was. Most of the buildings appeared to have no windows and were made of random materials that had probably been salvaged. Chowder wondered what would happen when the temperatures dropped. The rest of the group had similar thoughts. None of this seemed fair and yet the cartoons were willing to simply go along with it. The Doctor theorised that they must have been extremely desperate to the point where this existence was preferable to the alternative.

Eventually the group came to an old wooden shack. Above the door was a sign that read “S and T mapmaking. The best place for miles! “Looking up at the place, Chowder asked Bugs and Daffy “Do you think they’ll be able to help us?”
“I dunno” said Bugs “I spose if ya know what ya looking for, they might have something”
“Yeah” Daffy added “They’re usually pretty thorough when it comes to geography.”
With that, the group walked up to the door, pushed it open and walked inside.

Inside the Leader’s headquarters, he was busy working away at some files when a beeping noise sounded through the rooms. Looking up, he saw that it was coming from a chandelier which was flashing in time to the beeps. The Leader knew exactly what this meant. Getting up from his desk, he walked through the corridors of his villa until he came to a living room which was filled with antique furniture. In the centre of the room was an old coffee table. Walking over to a painting, the leader pressed a button on the frame causing the painting to slide up into the wall, revealing a control panel built into the wall behind it. He pressed a few buttons.

First wooden panels dropped down over the windows to hide what was going on in the room from passer-by’s. Then the various furniture spun round and flipped over to be replace by high tech communication equipment. Finally the easternmost wall of the room slide up to reveal a large screen behind it. The leader walked over to the coffee table which had spun round to reveal a control panel built into the floor underneath it. Pressing a few buttons caused a familiar face to appear on the screen.
“Lord Death” The leader smiled “It’s been a long time since I have seen your face”

Judge Death looked down at the leader
“Agent Hood. I have newsss”
“Do go ahead master” The Hood replied “I’ve missed hearing your voice”
“SSShut up” Death snarled “If you had done your job properly, the plan would be coming along niccccely by now”
The Hood remained emotionless “I know. But fooling these silly cartoons and taking advantage of them is so easy.”
“Neverthelessssss” said Death “I have interessssting newsssss. Our greatessssst enemy hasssss arrived in the world of Melodia.”
“Really?” The Hood replied
“Yesssss” Death smiled that familiar toothy smile he always did when good news was on the way “I have a picture of him for identification purposessssss”
At that, the image on the screen changed to show a small purple cartoon character that looked very familiar to the Hood
“Ah yes”
“You know him?” Death asked hopefully
“I do. Him and his friends came to the palace earlier. Unfortunately I sent them away. If I had known they were important…”
“Never mind that now” Death interrupted the Hood, desperate to get back to his own work “Your missssssion is ssssssimple. Find them and the rune”
As Death went to press the button to sign off, the Hood spoke once more
“Just one last question. What if they don’t know anything?”
“Then do the ssssssame as what you’d do if they did. Wipe them from the faccccce of the earth.”

The interior of the maps shop was full of dust. A musky smell pervaded the entire room and filled the group’s nostils. Sitting at the end of the room was a black and white humanoid cat studying over some papers. At the end of the desk, a small yellow bird was perched in a cage. Bugs and Daffy walked over to the cat. As soon as they approached he looked up
“Oh, itth you again” The Cat said with a very prominent lisp “Going out on another expedition?”
Bugs shook his head “Nah. Me friends here are looking for something”
The cat then looked at Chowder and co. He moved his head up and down as though he was scanning them, then turned back to Bugs and Daffy
“Thrange looking friendth, ya got”
“Oh ya get used to it” Bugs turned to the group “Guys, this is Sylvester. Sylvester, this is Chowder”
Chowder walked forwards and shook Sylvester’s paw
“Tho what can we do for ya?”
“We’re looking for a legendary treasure” The Doctor said “Mind if we take a look at your maps?”
Sylvester nodded “You can, but you’ll probably be dithapointed. We haven’t got no treasure mapth”
“Oh don’t worry about that” Luna said “We’ve had unexpected results in the past”
Sylvester stared wistfully at her
“Well if you want, we can alwayth go back to my plathe and check em out a bit more”
Luna instantly realised what Sylvester was up to
“Sorry” she laughed “I already have a boyfriend.”
Disappointed, Sylvester lead them into the back of the shop

“Here’th where we keep em” he said, opening a door. Upon entering the group saw that the room was filled with maps stacked across shelves. Every shelf had a label above it showing the coordinates of
“Wow” Mario was impressed “You make these yourself”
“Don’t be thilly buther!” Sylvester laughed “I managed the bookth. Tweety’th the one who mapth it all out”
“Who the crap’s Tweety?” Strong Bad asked
“The yellow bird in the cage out there” Sylvester explained “He flieth around making noteth of the ground and I turn it into mapth. Well happy hunting!”
Sylvester then left the room, leaving the group with the maps.

“Well let’s get started!” Chowder walked up to one of the shelves which was marked “Lat: 51.1091401 Long: -0.18722750”. As soon as he looked at the map, Chowder was baffled by what it depicted. The map was a coffee colour and was covered in all sorts of strange symbols. Any one of them could be the location of the rune. The rest of the group were equally as disappointed. They were going to have to search through every single map until they’d found something that looked like it could be hiding the Rune. Even then, no guarantee existed that it would be the one.

An hour later, the group were still pouring over every single map. At his estimates, the Doctor guessed they’d covered less than half and yet still hadn’t found anything. Then the door opened revealing Sylvester carrying a plate of fish
“I thought you’d want thomthing to eat”
Chowder perked up
“Oh thanks!”
As he stepped forward, the Doctor stopped him
“Thanks, but we can’t accept. You need the food far more than we do”
“Don’t be thilly!” Sylvester laughed “We all gotta help each other here”

As he set the plates down, Dream asked “Have you ever seen anything unusual around here?”
“Nah. I never leave the thettlement” Sylvester replied “But Tweety might know thomething.”
“Can you ask him for us?” Luigi asked “We still gotta go through these maps”
“Thure thing” Sylvester nodded and left the room. As the group continued to search through the maps, they could here Sylvester talking in the main room. After a while, he re-entered the room
“He thais he hasn’t seen anything that lookth like a legendary treathure”
The whole group groaned. It looked like they’d be back to the old drawing board again.

As they began to search, Luna noticed a gap in the numbers of the shelves. Curious, she inquired to Sylvester as to what this meant
“Oh that?” he replied “That’th the danger zone”
The whole group turned to look at him at this remark
“What’s the Danger zone?” Strong Bad asked
“It’th the plathe where none of uth go” Sylvester looked around uneasily “Nobody who’th gone there hath ever come back”
Serena shuddered “Well good thing we don’t have to go there, right guys?” The rest of the group ignored her
“Do go on” The Doctor said
“That’th all there ith to it” Sylvester replied “None of uth wanna go there and thee if it’th true or not”
The Doctor grinned “Well then, we’d better go and find out”
Bugs, Daffy and Sylvester were all stunned
“You ain’t serious aint’cha?” Bugs asked “Whatever treasure ya looking for, It can’t be that valuable”
“Trust us” said Chowder “It’s way more valuable then you think”
“Then count me out!” Daffy stood with his hands folded “I ain’t risking my life for some dumb treasure-“
He was interrupted by a voice shouting from outside “Open up! We’ve got you surrounded!”

Rushing to the front of the shop, the group could see through the windows, a gang of characters standing outside. At the front was a short man with a red beard. As the group stepped in, he looked up, saw them and promptly entered the shop, Serena leaned over to Bugs
“Who’s this guy?” she whispered
“Sam” Bugs replied in hushed tones “He’s the head of law enforcement around these parts”.

Bugs then stepped forward.
“What’s up doc? Are we in trouble”
“Move over rabbit!” Sam pointed his gun directly at Bugs who didn’t even flinch “Those no good varmints are here to raid our settlement and destroy everythin’ we love. Ahm’a takin’ em in on the orders of the leader himself!”
“Now hold on one second” Luna (Like the rest of the group) was understandably confused. “We haven’t done anything wrong.!”
“Yeah!” Strong Bad leaped forward “We’re just visiting a map store and-!”
He was interrupted by Sam firing his gun at his feet. Strong Bad leaped in the air and hid behind the others. Bugs walked up to Sam and put his gun down.
“Now listen doc. Me friends here ain’t bad people. They just gotta find some treasure, dat’s all”
Sam began to speak. As he opened his mouth however, Bugs grabbed him and violently kissed him which sent him staggering back.
“Run for it!” Bugs yelled

The group raced into the map room as the officers stormed into the shop. Sylvester and Tweety weren’t as lucky and were quickly grabbed and apprehended. Sam walked over to the door where Chowder and co had entered and pulled it. However the door didn’t budge.

Inside the map room, the Doctor had used the Sonic Screwdriver to jam the lock preventing anyone from entering. Daffy was the first to spot the flaw in this
“Great move genius. Now how do we get out?”
“Dat’s how!” Bugs pointed up. Following the direction of where he was pointing, the group saw a small window up on the wall. It was covered in dust and muck. In fact it was so dirty, that Chowder wondered if it had ever been cleaned. Before the group could ponder this further, the door slammed with such force that it looked like it was going to come out of its frame.
“Open the door or we’ll break it down!” Sam’s voice yelled from the other side

Without wasting time, the group grabbed a small chest of drawers that had been perched in the corner and began to move it towards the window. All the while, Sam continued to try and break the door down. The Doctor climbed up and began working at the window. All the while, the door continued to crash and splinter
“Hurry up!” Serena was close to tears
“I’m trying!” The Doctor was just as agitated “It’s stuck-!”
Just then, the window swung open. The Doctor pulled himself through and plummeted out of sight. Chowder leaped up and followed him out, followed by the Marios
“Outta the way!” Daffy yelled, pushing past the rest “Duck coming through!”
As he disappeared through the window, Dream and bugs jumped up and pulled themselves through followed by Strong Bad and the Cheat. Finally it was Serena’s turn to jump.

As Serene peaked out the window to jump, she hesitated. On the ground directly below was a large pile of waste. The stench was so bad, she felt like throwing up.
“Come on Serena!” Luna was extremely anxious. Any second now, Sam and the rest of his platoon would break through the door at which point there would be no escape.
Serena stared at the waste pile. At this point she was caught between a rock and a hard place. She could either stay in the room and be arrested or drop down and get herself mucky. For most people, this wouldn’t be a major decision, but Serena was the type to hate muck.

Fortunately Luna accidentally made the decision for her. When the door slammed much harder than it had before, Luna jumped in fright, thinking that Sam had broken through the door, and landed on Serena, accidentally digging her claws into Serena’s behind. With a scream, she shot through the window and the two of them ended up in the garbage. Serena jumped up and screamed
“Oh man that’s so gross! I think I got some in my mouth-“
She was then interrupted by Dream grabbing her arm and running with the others into the evening.

The activity in the settlement had largely calmed down for the evening. Despite this, the group still didn’t relax. They still had Sam on their tail and had until he broke down the door and realised they’d escaped. As they approached the gates of the settlement, Bugs yelled “Hey guys! Let us out wouldja?”
The voice of the gate guard called back “Why. Ain’t it a bit late for gold searching?”
“Yeah” said Bugs “But er….”
Thinking quickly, Bugs came up with the best excuse he could manage
“I’ve just found a really good place. But it’s in a dangerous spot, so I’m heading there at night where there’ll be less bad guys”
Silence rang out for agonising seconds. Finally the guard’s voice sounded out again
“Well ok. Just this once.”
“Oh you’re a real sport!” Bugs and the others watched in anticipation as the gates slowly opened. No sooner were they wide enough to squeeze through, the group charged through the gap and quickly vanished into the horizon. The guards who’d been watching just shook their head. Bugs had always been the reckless type.
The Fictionland Chronicles chapter 38
Chapter 38 of my ongoing story. This little arc is a tribute to the stories I told as a child.

Notes:
Melodia is named after Merry Melodies, the company behind many of the classic Looney Tunes shorts.

At one point, Tom and Jerry were considered to make an appearance. This was scrapped as the two of them are silent protagonists which don't translate well to text based formats.

The Hood was a recurring villain in Gerry Anderson's classic 1960s supermarionation series Thunderbirds which, like Looney Tunes was one of the defining shows of my childhood
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A little piece of humour that I saw on the web. Just share with us the things that Hollywood films have taught you (Not seriously obviously)

A few of mine:

Cars that crash always explode in a fireball

Grocery shopping bags always contain a stick of french bread

If your town is threatened by a giant monster or natural disaster, the mayor's first concern will always be the tourist trade or the forthcoming art exhibition

Medieval peasants had perfect teeth

All bombs are fitted with big red LED timers so you know exactly when they'll go off
The first thing Chowder remembered after stepping through the teletransporter was him standing in the office of Commander Willard. Willard was understandably confused by this whole turn of events. Realising this, the Doctor turned to Willard and smiled
“Please excuse us. We were in a bit of a hurry. So much so that we couldn’t use the door”
“Where’s Mcclane?” Willard looked at Dream, puzzled by his strange appearence “And who’s your new friends?”
“Ah” The Doctor then explained to Willard what had happened in New York and how they’d ended up teleporting into his office. When he finished, Willard shook his head
“I’m sorry about your friend. I’m sure he was a great guy”
Jones put his hand on Willard’s shoulder
“You haven’t gotta be sorry. It wasn’t your fault”
Willard nodded “I see. So tell me, where are you going to go from here?”

Chowder tilted his head
“Well we gotta find the last of the runes, so I’m guessing we’ll be heading wherever the last one is”
“Correct!” Luna stood forward “So let’s not waste any more time standing around! Now where did they put the TARDIS?”
“It’s in the storage area under armed guard” Willard replied “We decided that it was so powerful, it would almost certainly attract crooks of some sort. You see we aren’t the type of people to take chances””
Willard leaned forward
“Now tell me. Is Death gone from New York?”
“I would think so” The Doctor nodded “That whole incident was only a ruse to capture us. Now he’s going to focus on trying to get the runes before we do”
“I hope to god, you’re right” Willard looked as though he wasn’t entirely satisfied by the Doctor’s response “That guy is the single worst thing to hit America since the giant squid invasion of 1985”
“Right…” As confused as he was, Luigi decided it was best not to ask
“Then let’s get going” Luna said “The sooner we set off, the better”

“Wait a moment” Jerry looked down at Chowder “I’m afraid I can’t come with you”
Chowder was disappointed by this turn of events
“Why?”
“Because I’m not really adventure material” Jerry said “I’m just a comedian who happened to be in the right place at the right time. I can’t go about trying to save the universe. I’d never survive”
“I dunno” Mario replied “You’ve been lucky so far”
“It’s not just that” Jerry continued “I don’t think I can cope with any more killing. I’ve just watched my hometown and one of my old friends get killed. I can’t go through that again”

Chowder went to speak, but was interrupted by Jones
“If it’s ok with you, I think I’ll remain here as well”
“Not you too!” Chowder was getting fed up with this. In fact he was beginning to think that he was just very unlikeable
“Yeah” Jones sighed “I ain’t getting in younger. I’ve been thinking bout settling down anyway. So you can think of this as my grand finale in adventuring.”
“Aw come on” Chowder nuzzled up to Jones “We could really use your skills and expertise and and…”
Jones smiled and patted Chowder on the head
“Don’t be silly kid. You don’t need an old bastard like me. You guys have plenty of skills of your own”
“He’s right” Mario looked at Chowder “We’ve been doing great so far, I betcha that rune is as good as ours”
“Yeah” Strong Bad chimed in “Plus you got me and the Cheat to help ya. I mean we may not look like it, but we’re actually pretty good adventurers!”
“Oh all right” Chowder sidled back to the group. The Doctor walked up to Jerry and shook his hand
“It’s been great having you on this adventure. I hope your comedy career continues successfully”
Jerry nodded “Thanks. And I hope you find that last rune”
“Oh don’t worry about that” Luna smiled “We’re going to make sure of it”
She turned to the rest of the group
“Now come on! Standing around here isn’t going to make it arrive any faster!”
And with one final goodbye, the group walked out of Willard’s office and made their way through the base.

After walking around for the better part of an hour, the group finally managed to find the storage area. As soon as they opened the door, they were greeted by hundreds of wooden crates. Luigi sighed as he realised they were going to have to do yet more searching. Dream meanwhile shook his head. He’d never understood certain human customs like having to label and package everything, then piling it all up together.

Fortunately, the navigation of the warehouse didn’t take nearly as long as navigating the base. After a short while, the group turned a corner and were greeted by the sight of the TARDIS being guarded by a couple of soldiers. Approaching the duo, the Doctor said “At ease soldier!”
That got the officer’s attention. As soon as they saw him, they both saluted
“Doctor sir! Permission to ask a question”
The Doctor chuckled “Oh don’t start all that military talk. You can just go right ahead and ask me”
“Very well. Are those alien guys gone?”
The Doctor nodded “They are. Now if you’ll excuse me, me and my friends have a job to do”
“Yes sir!”
At that, the two soldiers stepped aside, allowing Chowder and his friends to enter the TARDIS.

Upon entering, Strong Bad and the Cheat were pretty amazed by the sight of the TARDIS
“Woah” Strong Bad looked around “This is weirder than I thought”
“Oh don’t worry” Luna replied “You get used to Time Lord technology fairly quickly”
Meanwhile Chowder took the crystal out of his backpack and pressed the button. The familiar image of the Nerd and the Critic immediately appeared.
“Chowder!”. For once, the Critic and the Nerd seemed happy to see him.
“Hey guys! Guess what?”
“What?” The Nerd looked at Chowder curiously
“We got the last rune!” Chowder smiled
“Terrific” said the Critic “Any other news”
At that point, Chowder and the rest of the group went silent, wondering how to break the news of Mcclane’s death. Finally the Doctor stepped forward
“Unfortunately it’s not all good news. We lost Mcclane”
The Critic and the Nerd’s face fell.
“Aw crap…” The Nerd said in a much sadder tone than usual
“I’m really sorry to hear it” said the Critic “I mean, we’re the people who brought him here”
“No don’t blame yourselves” came a voice from the back of the TARDIS “You did what you had to do”

At that, Dream stepped forward. As soon as the Critic and the Nerd saw him, their faces lit up
“Dream!” the Critic said “Haven’t seen in you in years!”
“Wait” Chowder was confused “You know each other?”
“Of course” Dream replied “They are among the few beings older then the Endless. We’ve crossed paths a few times. Though when I last saw them, they looked very different”
“Hey!” said the Nerd “If you’d been around for about 4000 years, you’d look different too!”
“They’re not the only new friends we’ve made” Serena said. At that, Strong Bad and the Cheat stepped forward. As soon as the Critic and the Nerd saw them, their expressions changed
“You guys!!!”
Strong Bad and the Cheat looked around nervously
“Us?”
“Yeah” said the Critic “You were working with Judge Death weren’t you”
“Well yeah” Strong Bad looked around nervously “But we’ve changed now. We ain’t gonna do that anymore.”
The Cheat squeaked in agreement. The Critic and the Nerd however weren’t convinced
“I dunno” The Nerd eyed Strong Bad suspiciously “You guys caused Chowder a lotta trouble”
Strong Bad and the Cheat looked down at the floor “Yeah, but we regret it! Seriously! Look at our eyes! Do we look dishonest!!!”
The Critic sighed “Fine. We’ll let it slide for now. But we’ll be keeping a close eye on you”
Strong Bad and the Cheat both nodded “Oh thank you so much! Trust us, you won’t regret this!”
Luna then spoke up “Moving on, we still have the matter of the final rune”
“Well” said the Critic “We’ve got more good news. The last room is in Chowder’s home universe”
Chowder’s eyes widened “Really? Does that mean I get to see Mung again?”
The Nerd shook his head “No. Instead you’re going to a place known as Melodia”
“Melodia?” Mario asked
“Yeah” said the Critic “It’s one of the oldest worlds in Chowder’s universe. Gotta warn ya though, it might get a little wacky”
“Well it can’t be worse than anything we faced previously” said the Doctor “Give me the coordinates and I’ll send the TARDIS in its direction”

Back in the Star Destroyer, Vader had arrived at Death’s office. Taking a deep breath he entered and was greeted by the sight of Death sitting at his desk.
“Ssssso” Death stood up “Did you desssstroy them?”
“I’m afraid I did not” Vader replied “They overwhelmed me and I was forced to retreat.”
“Really?” Death looked at Vader sceptically. Vader simply nodded. To his surprise, Death fly into a rage. Instead he merely said “I beg to differ”

With that, Death whipped out a remote and pressed a button. On an enormous screen behind him, a video started playing. Vader recognised it instantly. It was security camera footage showing him talking to Chowder. As Vader said his final words and Chowder and co walked through the portal, Death switched it off. He then began to advance upon Vader
“Explain yoursssself!” he screamed

At this point, Vader had a strong feeling he wasn’t going to get out of the room alive. So he decided to ask one final question
“Very well master. Just answer me one question”
Death stopped advancing
“Oh yesssss? What?”
“Are you doing this alone? Or is there another that you are taking orders from”
A smile crept across Death’s face. Then he began to laugh
“Really? That’sssss your quessssstion? Well if you must know…”

At that Death pressed another button on his remote. The image on the screen changed to a figure. Vader was astonished. This was what Death was working for?
The figure yawned
“Why did ya wake me Death? I was just about to crash into slumber”
Death chuckled and gestured towards Vader “Well our old friend here has decccided that hissss loyaltiessss no longer lie with ussss”
The figure’s expression changed
“So he’s a traitor. Well that makes me blangry! And you know what happens to people who make me blangry?”
Death nodded “Very well”
Death then resumed advancing on Vader. Vader decided he’d rather die fighting. So he produced his lightsaber and lunged at Death.

When Vader got within striking range of Death, he began to swing his lightsaber. Unfortunately, before it impacted, Death struck his hand out straight into Vader’s chest. Vader felt an unbearable agony as Death crushed his life support and internal organs. Then a few seconds later it was all over. Vader collapsed to the floor and his vision began to go dark. Just before he was completely consumed by the darkness, he had one final thought
“Good luck Chowder. It’s all up to you now”

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Mrgreen36
Max Green
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United Kingdom
Hello. Thanks for choosing to check out my page. I'm just a guy who writes stuff people can enjoy. So check it out if you have time. And possibly leave a comment. I like that
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:iconsamm22443:
samm22443 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Student Digital Artist
You Aren't Respecting Opinions.
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:iconmrgreen36:
Mrgreen36 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Elaborate
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:iconquackrichboys:
Why hello there. I am quackrichboys. I came here because SuperMarioFan65 talked about you some time ago and said that you don't respect opinions. I really want to see proof though. He didn't show any so I don't really believe him for what he said about you. He probably misunderstood or I am just surrounded by idiots. Nice to meet you.
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:iconmrgreen36:
Mrgreen36 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Him saying that I don't respect opinions is funny considering how he reacted when I criticised his art:

supermariofan65.deviantart.com…
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:iconquackrichboys:
quackrichboys Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2016
He flagged some comments as spam. But I believe you. He might be stupid enough to do that.
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:iconmrgreen36:
Mrgreen36 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
That's the typical reaction of someone who can't take criticism. Hide the comments and block the critic.

The truth is, some people don't get that just leaving comments that are merely biased gushing praise designed to make them feel good isn't what the site is about. They also need to understand a little concept called free speech. In other words, if they put crap art on the site, people have the right to tell them it's crap
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(1 Reply)
:iconnooreoforu:
NoOreoForu Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2016
Who are you
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:iconmrgreen36:
Mrgreen36 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Just a guy who writes. Who are you and why do you want to know?
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:iconnooreoforu:
NoOreoForu Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2016
Idk
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:iconmrgreen36:
Mrgreen36 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Why did you come on my account in the first place?
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