Part 16 of 29 in Unjust Deserts

Part 16: Now let it simmer



With thanks to Heffenfeffer for the party idea.



Neagle Eyes was a Life Scout.


Well, okay, technically he was a Scout for Berliner, and yes, he would likely be a scout for his natural popped life barring a lucky promotion, but what he really meant to say-- er, think, was that he wouldn’t trade his life as a scout for the world. And so, as a scout for life, he thought of himself as a Life Scout.


He did that a lot: prevaricate, backtrack, correct and amend his train of thought. Sure, he could go into razor sharp focus at a moment’s notice, and large chunks of his attention were always wired patiently awake to observe the environment around him… but others kinda drifted, y’know?


Like, right now he was using his Scout Veil to pretend to be a treelike elephant cactus among a little family of cacti, standing stock still with arms akimbo, and bright yellow flowers for eyes. He’d picked a good spot on a little hill on a hex inside of Adman territory, and gotten lucky enough to spot a patrol of some three mounted Admen ride by. This would be the highlight of his day: he tallied and memorized them, their numbers, their levels, their path, and resolved to jot down the notes in his ledger once he could move his arms again.


Neagle had spent most of his life alone, but he didn’t feel lonely-- funny how a single letter could completely change the meaning of a word. Alone. A lone. Lone. Lonely. Anyway, Neagle might have been alone, but he rarely felt lonely with his thoughts and the desert for company, especially since the big cheese himself, Overlord Kaz Blintz had put him and a few of his fellow scouts around Madsense.


The overlord was interested in these weirdos, and he’d even felt the overlord look through his peepers during their turn, remotely ordering him to look this way and that; or at night with Orders to show him his ledger. It made him feel nervous and uncomfortable, but who was Neagle to finagle and nag(le)? That was another thing he liked to do, make word plays and rhymes to pass the boring times.


He was doing his best to follow the Admen’s path without turning his head, when a large chunk of both his active and idle attention was eaten up by a grave threat. A Flipthee bird was circling above him, cawing that ridiculously ear piercing caw and threatening to dump a big steaming pile of cwap on him.


The bird, however, had a worse idea in mind. It landed on the ground in front of him and looked straight into his flower-eyes, no doubt thinking of poking around for nectar.


Cawing again, the Flipthee took flight and started circling, moving in closer to his flower eyes with each pass. Oh no way bird-ay! Neagle had been cwapped on. Poked at. Peed on. Stood stock still in the middle of sandstorms. In short, all sorts of hazards and indignities had befallen him, but he was not about to stand by-- literally-- and let that little beast crack his scouting goggles with its razor sharp beak and fill his eyes with glass shards!


Since the Admen were now beyond the ridge he was hiding on, he took the chance to slowly close his fists around the scouting veil covering him, intent on catching the bird on its next flyby by flipping the veil inside out and throwing it over the bird, only to snap it’s little neck. It’d be a fly-by bye-bye.


This would also have the upsides of getting rid of an environmental hazard to his scouting, muffling any sound if he didn’t croak it on the first try, and landing him a… well, rubbery, insipid tasting and lean bird dinner… but food was food! It’d make a good snack before he got scouttahere.


The Flipthee flew in close on this pass and took up most of his field of vision, and was likely getting ready to peck at his eyes. He waited, took aim with the veil, and then he flipped off the bird!


It squawked indignantly, muffled inside the veil but didn't seem to be struggling. He grabbed with both hands to where the neck should have been, but found only air.




Did it get out? No, maybe he’d been spending too long under the veil without hydrating, and gotten a heat induced hallucination? He certainly felt a lot cooler now with the veil off… chilly, even. And why was he having trouble breathing?


He felt a boot on his back and fell forward onto the ground, just now realizing he was fully incapacitated after losing all of his Hits!


The dutiful parts of him focused on breathing, which came unevenly, and his eyes darted around clinically, looking for the attacker. Meanwhile, the rest of him was beyond panic, trying to understand what had just happened.


Foolamancy Veil falling away, a pair of black boots came into view, and a gauntleted arm grabbed onto his collar and lifted him up slowly, giving him a full view of a warlord in black and white chainmail armor with silver trim. Finally seeing eye to eye -- well, no, Neagle was actually seeing ‘eye to visor’ -- he found a pair of dark brown eyes set in a scarred face glaring at him from behind a helmet.


Sucking in a breath, Neagle resolved not to be a fear scout, and asked. “W-what do you want?”


The warlord waited for the span of three breaths, seeming to search Neagle’s eyes for something, then asked. “Is he watching?”


“Th-the overlord?”


The warlord’s eyes narrowed in response.


“No.” And Neagle, for once, wanted with every fiber of his being for that to not be the case, to be able to feel like he wasn’t about to croak alone, unnoticed, forgotten.


The warlord’s glare softened a fraction, and he nodded. “It’ll be quick.”


With a crack and thud, he fell limply to the ground; Neagle Eyes was now an eternal scout.




The upgraded city of Madsense was, if anything, uglier than ever.


But Beck now felt it was a purposeful sort of ugliness. Much like his scars, it seemed to say “You wanna step up and get a piece of this?! ‘Cause I will mess you up!”


Actually, he thought he saw the phrase plastered somewhere along the outer wall. The original slogans were now buried under the collage-sea of signage and graffiti that had added twenty feet of height and who knows how many more in thickness to the outer wall. Each message was making the whole thing tougher, thicker, more impenetrable.


He and Kevin were making their way back from a scouting mission. It wasn’t strictly necessary they come back given he and Madsense had hats, but he had some big news for Roe, goodies for Riker, and wanted to get another cooking lesson in. Maybe relax.


The wall guard called down. “Stop. Ide-antify yourse-alf.”


Beck sighed and took off his helmet. “Beck Packer, password zero, zero, zero, zero… zero.” And drew a circle onto the chalkboard on the main gate, allowing him through.


Even though Shelley was croaked and gone, they still insisted on this security precaution. It was an odd way to be reminded of her existence and loss.


The rest of the inner city seemed more or less the same, albeit with new half-houses appearing crammed on top of each other, or even clipping through each other. Combined with the mixed architectural styles of the buildings, it looked like the upgrade had smooshed three or four cities on top of each other but at odd angles and elevations. Sort of like a favela painted in Wiley Peyote Juice.


The tower itself had grown in stories and size, with metal and wooden gangplanks everywhere around the steel and glass framework. Busy drones buzzed all over its surface, building, expanding, even in parts of the inner and outer city. All part of Riker’s experiments. He’d built scaffolding, harnesses, even moving scaffolding that used ropes and pulleys to help the drones around.


What they were building, he couldn't say, they seemed stuck in perpetual remodeling.


A faint swoosh overhead perked his ears, and he looked up, finger aiming up in time to see a shadow quickly descend near him; Aimee flying down on a magic carpet, bow nocked and ready.


Beck took off his helmet and shot a smirk her way. “Nice going Aimee, I almost didn’t see you coming in.”


Sitting cross legged on her carpet, Aimee shrugged, putting the arrow away and monotoning: “wutevs u 2 slow 4 aggro”


This was a game they liked to play-- at least, Beck assumed it was a game-- to see if Aimee could get the drop on him and get close enough to engage. She’d been growing on him, and had surprised him in a good way: though she’d been moved around to patrol several cities on her own, she’d not claimed any to start her own side. Roe either, for that matter. That talk in the cave about being ‘happy to serve’ and not wanting to spin off a side was apparently bluster free.


Aimee flew a little closer to Beck, Kevin looking insulted at the existence of the Flying Carpet as it got near her. Though Aimee’s pale face was a blank slate, as always, her tone at least sounded excited. “find n e loot ???”


Beck grinned and patted one of the saddlebags on Kevin. “Only some specimens for Riker. But I did find something you might like.” It’d taken him some time, but he was getting much better at reading between the lines of what she said and the orders she sent underneath, but he was getting there.


He reached into his rucksack and pulled out some wraparound goggles. He’d nicked them from a Berliner scout he’d found snooping around Madsense territory, which was the big news he wanted to share with Roe.


Their hands brushed, and she didn’t smile or frown when he handed them over, but she eagerly put them on over her bald pate and drew her bow, pointing this way and that, then trying it without them on. Seemingly happy with the eyewear, she kept them on. “thx bro g2g patrol l8r”


He waved her off as she flew away with a couple of their strange new flying units, the dark spiderweb looking Botnets, in tight formation.


He made his way to the tower, passing far more troops marching in silent lockstep. The city was busier, more lively, but always oddly silent of the chatter you’d expect from garrisoned troops.


Beck dropped Kevin off at the stables, and as usual, she seemed to delight in the pampering she got from the dutiful drones.


Taking one of the drones aside, Beck started listing some of Kevin’s care instructions. “She likes warm oil baths, not hot, the last thing we want are the corn kernels on her popping, and--”


“--Prickly pear seeds for feed. Auto-fill complete, her care-a preferences are-a still in our memory.” Interrupted the drone.


“Oh. Good.” Finished Beck, a little flustered. Had he talked to this drone before? It was almost impossible to tell them apart by faces, he only had some luck going by the placement of tubes and wires on their raiment or armor.


He turned to Kevin and rubbed her back. “Now be good you big bird, no fussing.”


She beeped non-committally, and padded along with the drone getting her feed.


With a chuckle and a shake of the head, he turned around made his to his next stop: the dungeons.




A hollow, vibrating metal clanging from the main dungeon gate distracted Riker from his latest experiment.


Normally, interruptions made him furious, taking him out of his stride and pulling him out of what little peace he’d found in his work. But this time… it only made him irate. There was something nice about the knocking. Not getting chirped at by a Con Badge with orders to go do this or that, but an actual knock on the (admittedly, barred metal) door.


Then again, it might have more to do with there only being one person who bothered to knock.


He carefully put down the prototype F.L.O.O.D. unit, and mentally ordered the door for the solitary confinement cell holding his test subject, Thex Bell, closed. Though he was bound and gagged to a table, it wouldn’t do to have the unturned Beirutcake infantryman interrupting.


He turned from the workbench to the hallway leading out and, as he’d expected, saw Beck with his helmet off and walking in with a mid sized box covered in cloth.


“G’morning, Riker! Not that anyone can tell down here.” He called, a smile playing on his lips.


He frowned back. “You’re interrupting. You’d better have brought me something interesting.”


Beck shook his head, smirking. “And it’s nice to see you too. I found some more interesting plants now that the Swiss Mississippi is flowing, and something you’ll be especially interesting in.”


The barbarian found an empty stretch of table and put the box down carefully, pulling away the cloth covering over it and revealing a barred cage with… nothing inside.


Riker’s frown turned to a sneer. “Is this some kind of joke? It’s empty.”


“Is it?” Beck asked back coyly.


Eyebrow arching, Riker put on his Stuffamancy goggles and flipped through the optics. He started with the Stuff Sight lenses but saw nothing, same with Magic Detection. But the Greenlight vision revealed it. A little reptile hugging the bars, tail wrapped around one.


He took them off and, yes, eyeballing it closely he could see minute shifts in color, lagging a second or two behind the change in parallax from moving his head left and right.


Beck smiled, pulled off his gauntlets and stuck a finger through the bars, rubbing the lizard’s back. “It’s a Carameleon, darndest little thing. It’s using some natural Foolamancy to change its skin to match whatever it's on. It’s pure luck I even noticed it in the trap; I thought it might have been something else that ate the food and managed to slip out through the bars.”


Riker pulled off the goggles and looked at it more closely, really saw into it.


His Changemancy senses became focused on the cellular level, and he saw the Carameleon’s hide had various types of skin cells, but uniquely, the top layer of skin cells were a new type he’d never seen before-- iridophores. He focused his sight more deeply, to the atomic level. These cells had an outer structure coated in a lattice of light-reflecting nanocrystals. But how did it change color?


“Go on, you can touch it. It’s really docile.” Beck’s voice didn’t jar him out of his concentration, but the suggestion did.


Riker started shaking his head. “No, it’s fine. I don’t need to touch it to--”


Ignoring him, Beck opened a latch at the top and stuck his hand in the cage and, after a moment of carefully fishing around inside, he pulled out the caramelon. He stroked the air over his empty hand in a light arch, and slowly, the lizard relaxed enough to start appearing. The carameleon’s natural coloring was sandy and caramel brown, and as it appeared Riker could appreciate how it was changing it’s color. It was relaxing the nanocrystals on its skin; stretching or contracting its skin altered the wavelengths of light that bounced off of the crystals. Amazing.


Tentatively, Riker lifted up his hand and rubbed the little lizard’s back. Touch was overrated. There was nothing it could tell him that his Changemancy senses couldn’t. Still, it was a nice texture, smooth yet bumpy, and it seemed to preen at the added attention and warmth. One, then both of its lazy eyes focused on him, and it managed to curl its candy cane swirly tail around his finger, only for it to change to the same ash gray as his skin.


Beck looked up to Riker and smiled encouragingly. “See? It likes you.”


He struggled to put an offhand, dismissive note in his tone and keep his emotions in check. “Yes, very interesting. I think I can learn something from it. Put it back in the cage and I’ll examine it later.”


Beck looked down to the lizard in his hand and put his other hand over Riker's, dragging it back in a sweep to get the Carameleon’s tail off of his finger.


While Beck was putting it back in the cage, Riker looked at the back of his ash gray right hand, then mirrored Becks gesture and swept his left hand over it.


He quickly put both his hands down to either side and coughed. “It’s scrawny for a specimen, but I have a few leftover accessory prototypes of my goggles and spring boots I’m working on. I’ll trade you one for it, then we can get to your cooking lesson.”


As they walked into kitchen area at the back of the lab, Riker kept repeating one thought to himself, like a mantra:


‘Touch is overrated.’


‘Touch is overrated.’


The cooking lesson had gone well. It was, sadly, the last one. With some grudging fanfare, Riker proclaimed him a passable chef, and that he would no longer croak himself or anyone else from his cooking.


Riker had, in fact, made a point of stopping in the middle of some lessons to point out how to identify some types of toxic or poisonous plants and animal parts, and made Beck promise to bring him back samples of such things for study before he got any ideas about using them for seasoning. It was, in typical Riker scare-you-straight-fashion, a gruffly endearing show of concern.


Beck made his way up to the war room, passing clean, minimalist stone halls of black stone. The inner tower was still a mostly confusing mess, but at least the various styles somehow helped make a mental roadmap of looks leading to the war room: Classic, romantic, realist, absurdist, minimalist, modern and postmodern.


Once there, he was surprised to find a new(ish) face along with Roe and the Overlord. Beck nodded in greeting. “Your Overlargeness, Chief.”


The Overlord boomed back merrily, his rictus smile bright and happy. “Remember! Madsense Club Gold members receive special discounts and promotions!” The Overlord’s undercurrent of orders was one of being pleased with his current performance, and there was something he wanted him to see Kerri about.


Roe nodded back more formally. “Barbarian Beck Packer, it is amenable to see you. Please, allow me to introduce Warlady Spamela Bott. She has just popped this turn.”


Beck put on a polite poker face and put his hand forward, getting ready for whatever… ‘quirk’... Spamela might have popped with. “Good to meet you Spamela. Madsense needs all the warladies it can pop. We could mark the occasion with a feast. We could call it a Bott Mitzvah!”


She shook back and, miracle of miracles, Spamela actually spoke comprehensible Language! “Likewise, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” And then she took a step closer, and the illusion broke… “I’ve already heard so much about you, Dear {{Firstname}} {{Lasstname}}!”


“... it’s Beck, Beck Packer.” Offered Beck in case she’d forgotten, smile dimming and wondering why she’d said ‘Bracket bracket firstname bracket bracket.’ Was it a stutter? Maybe she’d misheard his name? Still, ‘Beck Packer’ and ‘Bracket’ sounded only a little alike.


She smiled and slapped her head lightly and self effacingly with the heel of her palm, while taking another step just a little too close for comfort. “Of course, sorry! I just have a lot of names in my head right now. I’ve been memorizing the names of nearby sides and their leaders. Father wants me to try and reach out to them by hat, so we can get our message heard and they know we mean business! Do you have a hat? Would you like to subscribe to my mailing list service and learn more?”


Much like his patience, what was left of Beck's poker face folded like a bad hand. “No. I already work for you.”


Undeterred, Spamela kept smiling and took a full step right into Beck’s personal space, coming nearly chest to chest. “Of course, my mistake! Maybe we could talk about this amazing offer for herbal Provision supplements we--”


“That will do, Spamela.” Intoned Roe neutrally. She immediately shut up and stepped back, all while still smiling charmingly.


Roe went on. “I am afraid a ‘Bott Mitzvah’ would be an inefficient use of resources. Use of Riker’s nutritional supplement paste #4 will suffice.”


Beck suppressed a shudder and a frown. Riker’d been doing a lot of experiments, one of which was an easily mass produced and Ditto’d pink food paste out of their farm output. It could feed most of Madsenses’ forces… but tasted like boiled mildewy cardboard… after it had gone cold.


Yeah, he’d definitely be cooking his own dinner tonight-- though it was a shame this’d be what Spamela’s first meal would be. He cleared his throat and put his rucksack on the map table, pulling out a long map tube and a log book from the croaked Berliner scout. “So anyway, you’ll never guess who's been sniffing around.”




“Ah, Beck! Wait up! Wait up!”


Kerri’s voice echoed off the Art Deco hallway outside the War Room like so many sugary gum balls bouncing on the floor.


Beck smiled, rolling his eyes before turning “Yeah?”


Before he could even get another word out, Kerri had him in a bear hug and quickly switched to holding his right hand in both of his. “Oh it’s wonderful to see you! You’re ending turn in the city, right?”


“Yeah. Kevin’s pretty low on move, no sense spending it out in the open.” Beck suspected Kerri might have a little crush on him, but it was always hard to tell since he also seemed to be just as warm and touchy-feely with some of the drones and other warlords.


“Normally this would cost a pretty Shmucker, but since you’ve been helping out with lots of other things, well, I managed to talk Overlord Bott into a great idea!”




“Well, now that you’re done learning cooking from Riker, how would you feel about spending some time together doing something really… fun?”


He raised an eyebrow. “I’m listening.”


Kerri beamed, seeming to shimmer a pale pink. “Great! Now, first, we need to get you out of all these clothes--”


“--and into this wonderful dancing raiment!” Finished Kerri almost a minute later, having run Beck around the palace by the hand at speeds Kevin would find respectable thanks to Double Time. Beck was blushing furiously the entire way, all while he desperately tried to figure out if sweet innocent Kerri was really propositioning him.


Beck’s inward ‘Oh thank you merciful Titans’ once they were inside a dance studio came with the kind of deep religious devotion some spend a lifetime seeking.


He looked around and admired the industrial, mirror covered space with a black foam padded floor, colored Powerballs and strange boxes hanging in the corners. This was new. Huh, it must be what all the garrisoned drones were doing on the scaffolds.


And with that, he fully processed the other implications of what Kerri had just said. “Dancing raiment? You mean you’re going to teach me to Dance Fight? Well darn tootin!”


He’d only ever seen Kala Vera’s demonstration of Dance Fighting on the Rock Band’s Mesa, but just going by that it seemed like an incredible skill to master.


Kerri nodded happily. “Training is something I do in my spare time, since the real me doesn’t leave the capital so much. I already have sessions for the knights and warlords, one more head wouldn’t be any trouble.”


He handed Beck a hoodie, string drawn cotton pants and some comfortable shoes. “It’s just general dance practice raiment, but every little bit helps when you’re starting out!”


Beck started to hold out his hand, when he stopped suddenly before taking the offered raiment. The hoodie was sleeveless, the pants didn’t cover his full legs. He’d be showing so much of his skin, it--


Noticing his hesitation, Kerri reached out, putting his right hand out to Beck’s. “It's the scars, isn’t it?”


Beck could only nod. Despite the brave face he would put on at times, his feelings over it hadn’t gotten any less conflicted, and Shelley’s offer-- the fact that he’d given up his only chance to look normal again, at the cost of her life, even, weighed on.


Kerri put the raiment under an arm, and gave him one of those compassionate, warm hearted looks that made Beck uncomfortable for various reasons, mostly boiling down to it seeming saccharine and painfully genuine. “It’s okay, it’s only going to be people you can trust in these classes. And if it makes you feel any better, I thought this might help.”


Kerri reached into his brown onesie and pulled out a small, thin book. “It’s ‘The War of Art’, by Sunny Sunday, (or Sun Two to his friends, just a lovely man). It’s mostly about Signamancy for warlords, but it really helped me figure out how to make what I wear project who I want to be. I think it might help you ‘own’ who you are, and not see your scars as something to be ashamed of.”


Beck reached out, took book in hand, breathed in, and nodded. “Thanks Kerri, I’ll give it a read… at least it’s short.” He finished, noting it couldn't be more than a hundred or so pages.


Kerri beamed “I know! I thought you’d like light reading.” Beck breathed out through his nose and chuckled at the unintentional backhanded insult.


Finally taking the clothes in hand, Beck claimed it, changing it from Madsense grey on black to his own black and white with silver trim. The back of the hoodie gained a stylized running Baudseed wearing a rucksack. Looking around, Beck didn’t see anyone else in the dance hall. “Who else is coming?”


As if on cue, Chief Roe walked out from behind a privacy curtain wearing a sleek, chrome silver jacket and pants and face painted the same color. “Beck, Kerri, it is agreeable to see you for today’s training.”


Surprised to see Roe in such a getup, Beck had to comment. “Nice face paint, Roe. Is the idea to distract enemies with the glare?”


Roe raised an eyebrow before answering. “It is an efficient set of raiment and war paint, and yes, it will cause negative psychological and tactical effects on opponents.” As usual, quips and sarcasm tended to roll off Roe like oil off a Tin Golems hide.


Analogy in mind as Beck brushed past the chief to change, he had to agree. “Yeah, you look like a polished heavy metal golem, that’s bound to scare and confuse them.”


While changing behind the curtain, a dark thought overtook him, so he yelled it out. “I, uh, kind of have two left feet. I don’t know if I can actually learn to Dance Fight...”


Roe met his gaze as he walked out, seeming oddly comfortable in silver skin and clothes. “That will be all right. Kerri and I will begin your training by having you dance backup, and slowly build up your confidence, teach you dance moves, and help you find your own funk.”


Beck squinted at Roe. “Wait, you already know how to Dance Fight? Since when?”


Meanwhile, Kerri had been adjusting some dials on the side of the wall that changed the color of the lighting in the room and causing a burst of static to come out of the (he now realized were) speakers, which seemed to be linked to his Con Badge now. “The chief has been training with me whenever we spend enough time in the same hex. It helps that when we train, I cast a Dittomancy spell to make the training work faster.” Here he put a hand to his chin.”Though I’ve never figured out why it's called Half Time.and shrugged.


Roe nodded. “Kerri will attest that though most dance moves are not quite ‘my style’, I have already learned to Dance Fight and created a personal dance.” Roe adjusted the sleeves and collar of his silver suit and went rigid.


And just like that, peppy, synthetic music filled the air and he started doing his dance, twisting his torso without moving his legs, holding his arms at right angles, stepping and moving in a calculated and precise manner, then gliding across the floor. All while twisting his hands, arms and torso this way and that in entirely fluid… yet oddly rigid and mechanical patterns sure to confuse any enemy while chopping them to bits.


Dance over and stunned speechless, Beck could only lift up his hands to clap.


Undaunted by the acclaim, Roe simply stood up straight again. “I am not very creative when it comes with names, so I simply call it ‘Dancing the Roe-Bott’.”



Part 15 << O >> Part 17



Wasteland survival guide

Rule #1: don’t panic! Panic makes you do stupid crack.

Rule #2: It’s dangerous to go alone; tame a friend.

Rule #3: Trust is built when someone is vulnerable and not taken advantage of.

Rule #4: The desert is weird; roll with it.

Rule #5: That’s the way the Kooky crumbles.

Rule #6: Foolamancy isn’t just a special, but a state of mind.




Part 16 of 29 in Unjust Deserts


    • Free Radical

      Domo Arigato, Mister Roboto...

      I never fail to be impressed by how well you manage to stretch a punny name from one joke to another.

      • despree

        Keep it going!  Help keep Erfworld alive while the main story is away!


        So excited about this story, great follow on to the jungles; it's always, funny and clever, but you don't trade actual "story" for chances at a quip or joke.  So cool!

        • falcore51

          @spicymancer omg this pun here ‘Dancing the Roe-Bott, was so bad it was worth the entire read.  :-)

          • Spicymancer

            @Free Radical & falcore51: It's all about being kind to the environment, and learning to reduce, reuse and recycle names for puns and jokes whenever you can. :D (Well, okay, maybe not reuse, there is such a thing as overusing jokes)


            @despree: Thanks! And yeah, I'm kinda feeling... maybe not pressure, per se, but that it's extra important now to keep the story going while the hiatus is on. At least on that front all is good, I have 4.5 parts in the buffer so even with RL stuff I can keep up the Sun/Mon updates.

            • Heffenfeffer

              Yay, one (or two) of my horrible puns made the story! This co-authoring thing is easy! Seriously, though, thanks for your great writing style making this something I'm happy to be a very small part of.

              It's a shame that the Berliner never made it to the air corps to become an Eagle Scout. I know many Life Scouts that have been scouts for years, then one day something cooler kicks their legs out from under them, and they never finish their final project to their master. Hopefully they can negotiate a peace treaty with the Berlinners, because everybody loves donuts. I know I do. Everybody loves donuts, so let's eat just one or two...

              • Spicymancer

                @Heffenfeffer: this reference probably flew under the radar, but if it's any consolation Neagle's journey isn't over. He really IS an Eternal Scout.


                • falcore51

                  @spicymancer what I gotta do to bribe you to read 4 chapters ahead ?

                  • Spicymancer

                    @falcore51: Why you gotta ask that man? Now I gotta decide whether to make this an early access exclusive! ;D

                    Joking aside, I think you'll enjoy them more as finished products. I don't have everything hammered down, so you'd probably get a different experience. As in, part 15, which came out a week ago, was half written four months ago, was supposed to be out two months ago, and kept being revised and pushed forward.