"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!" Evil Fred screamed as his essense dissipated.
Fred continued the assault, punching his own head full-force, causing
massive brain damage - and banishing Evil Fred to an alternate plane of
"Damn you!" was the last Fred heard of his evil twin. "I'll be back!"
Fred knelt groaning, clutching his head. Astra walked over to him and put her hand on his shoulder. "Are you okay?"
"Yo! Yo Astra!!" Fred slurred. "I did it, Astra!!"
Suddenly the ground began to shake. Before Fred and Astra's unbelieving eyes, the very fabric of reality began to distort in strange ways. When it was over, instead of standing in a single cave passageway, they were now in a nexus of dozens of passageways, some continuing on the same level, others branching up or down at a steep angle.
"What's going on?" Astra asked, blushing as she let go of Fred's arm.
"It's the Shoggoth's rebirth!" Fred said. "As it gathers its powers from the core of the universe, reality is twisted to its sinister will. So far, no further than the Caves should be affected - but if this goes on, all of our world will become a twisted parody of itself."
"Couldn't you just teleport us to the Shoggoth like you did just now?"
"I'm afraid its not that easy. I can only teleport to a place I've already been, or next to a person I already know, if I hope to have any degree of accuracy."
"Right." Astra sighed. "Then let's hurry!"
"Hey Bozo!!" Shaggy2Dope yelled. "What are we doing sitting on our asses when there's some fools runnin' around in here killing juggalos?"
Bozo cracked open a barrel of beer and chugged it, then tossed it with the empties. He belched thoughtfully. "You are not like the other evil clowns of this world."
"Dat's right, bitch!" Violent Jay said. "We be psychopatchet gang-banging southwest killa juggalos! I'll cut your neck, muthaf*cka! Da Shogs summoned us from our Dark Carnival to help yer ass out, muthaf#cka!"
"You hungry, bitch?!" Shaggy2Dope screamed at Bozo. "I got some salty nutz here for ya! You motherf@#ka, put me in a straitjacket! I'm sick and twisted! I'll f$ck your wife and your daughter and your motherf#cking mother! Bitch!!!"
Bozo gave them a glance like one would give an annoying insect. "Fine. Go, kill Fred. He is close."
Meanwhile, Fred and Astra had arrived at a store. Fred looked closely at the price list...
Steel Sword: 25 GP
Magic Sword: 50 GP
Steel Chainmail: 30GP
Magic Chainmail: 50GP
Steel Shield: 20 GP
Steel-Toe Boots: 10GP
"Fred..." Astra whispered. "Isn't this a little strange? What's a store doing here in the middle of the caves?"
"I assure you I'm a hundred percent legit!" said the shopkeeper. "I used to sell to the Dragon's minions. Now that the clowns have moved in, they allow me to operate as long as I pay them "protection" money."
Fred checked his money pouch. He had 100 gold pieces. He didn't need any items himself - his bare fists and Magic Jerkin would suffice. But Astra was weaponless except for a set of heavy Iron Keys. And although she was trying to hide it, she was cold, shivering in the freezing winds of the cave.
7/11/2004 12:14:37 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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