Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Chapter 29: "Inside"

Climax City. It looked every bit like those spooky villain hideouts you always see on TV. A perpetual dark cloud loomed above, casting long shadows on the entire place. Even the buildings had this jagged uncomfortable feel to it.
"Now this is strange," U said. "Everything's the same as I can remember, but those papers littering the streets...they seem to be gone."
"Perhaps," murmured Toby. "It has something to do with the death of the Archiver."
I nodded in agreement.
Then without warning, a red patch materialised before our eyes. It quickly took form, spelling out "FOLLOW".
Unsure whether to heed, I looked at the other two. "Well, guess we don't have much of a choice."
It took us down a winding street, snaking in and out of dim paths expertly. An almost deafening silence hung in the air, lessened only by our plodding footsteps.
Was that a face a saw in a window of the house? I quickly looked away, not exactly keen on getting scared out of my wits.
"Pst! We're here."
Wow. We'd come to a huge book-looking structure fastened by gigantic straps, no less than twenty feet tall. The cover was intricately designed with all kinds of fancy illustrations only an extremely gifted artist could've conjured up. "Look at that," I whispered in awe.
"Um...so what do we do now?" Everyone appeared just as clueless.
Like smoke from a dying fire the red letters began fading away. It seeped into the pages of the big "book", making it quiver a little. Slowly this quivering grew more intense till the book was downright shaking violently.
Pop! A latch opened, followed by another. Three more at the bottom burst as a strong wind picked up. The cover creaked and groaned, then with a thunderous BOOM! It was open.
A passage on the first page caught my eye. "My, my, here are we at last. Let us see...three of you, three of them, all creations of mine. Shall we, gentlemen?"
The next page flipped open to reveal...
"Moby! Telly! Melly! What happened to you guys?"
Three chillingly real pictures of them in shackles glared back at us. So utterly real they could only be real.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Writer's Block

So they are coming for me next. Coming to tear down this world I painstakingly created inch by inch, character by character.
Could it be a mistake of mine that it has all come down to this? After all, I was the one who felt Blogspot could no longer survive on the same tired plotlines it had been thriving on for so long. Caught in the past he might have been, but perhaps Archiver was right when he said I should not risk it all for one shot at glory.
So he comes in as clueless as the others. He had that first meeting just as he should have. Being in no state of mind to choose, I paired him with two companions myself.
But that was when doubts started appearing. He questioned my authority, he seeked answers, he wanted more than I would allow him to have. Instead of using his gifted mind to hunt down his Antagonist and provide the ultimate battle I wanted, he decided to challenge me.
I had not counted on that happening. After all, his memory had been erased completely, not partially. It was just unfortunate that he still possessed much of that strong-mindedness I had never dealt with before.
So knowing that he had no intention of finding out the whereabouts of his Antagonist, I sent him straight to him. For all his hatred against me, this defiance of his only made me all the more excited at the prospect of two such personalities colliding.
And what happens then? He somehow manages to defeat his Antagonist, and oh joy, he turns him against me as well. But not to worry, Archiver would take care of this menace once and for all. So I foolishly believed.
That old fool's best days are behind him, yes they are. He lost faith in me, and thus lost faith in himself. Now, all the glorious memories of the past, all my stories I cherished so much are...lost. Lost in the earth the Archiver sank into.
Oh, I could be devastated. By all means, I SHOULD be devastated. But if he thinks he is strong, I am even stronger.
Forget the Archiver. Forget the Antagonists. Forget Climax City. I have let go of everything - all for the sake of that ending which will leave everyone asking for more. My Blogspot shall live forever.
Ah, yes...a new chapter is dawning, I believe. And this time, it shall be a story the world was destined to read. The story of my victory.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Chapter 27: "Nearly"

I tried to flee, but my feet just wouldn't budge. It was like the pause which occurred before each Load, just that it was happening to nothing but the three of us.
To confirm my worst fears, a glimmer of red light materialised in the sky. It kept growing, turning redder as it neared. This didn't seem good...U and I couldn't move to avoid it!
Any moment now and we'd be crushed by the light, I was sure of it. Archiver really was going to make sure he went out in a blaze of glory.
If only this was an action movie, I thought. This was where the hero always appeared suddenly just in time to rescue the...uh, man-sel in distress.
And would you believe it, out of the utter blue a strong arm grabbed me away from the impending doom!
I tumbled onto the ground, not a clue whether I was still alive or dead. A ear-jarring zap rang out, like the sound of a malfunctioning appliance. "What the...?" I rubbed my eyes, looking to see who that arm belonged to.
"TOBY! What are you doing here?" Ecstasy washed all over me. But wait! The last time I saw him, hadn't he been fighting with Moby and Telly? There still was no knowledge of whether he was good or evil.
"Hey," he grinned, flicking back a loose hair. "Are you yourself, or your Antagonist?"
"I'm the Antagonist," U strode over and shook his hand. "And you are?"
"I'm Toby, one of his First Meeting Characters."
"Hold it," I raised a hand. "Toby, where are Melly, Moby, and Telly?"
"I don't know. After that light hit, I found myself alone on a mountain road. I trekked some distance, came to this place, saw you guys in trouble, then Tabbed you both away. End of story." "Looks like we did indeed defeat Archiver." U pointed at his lifeless body sprawled nearby. Before my very eyes it disintegrated into strange symbols, then sank into the ground.
And that was the end of strange old man who lived for Blogspot itself.
"Climax City," U said out loud suddenly. "Somehow, it found us."
"What?" I turned where he was looking, and gasped. Plastered across the gates in inky red letters was "CLIMAX CITY" - I could've sworn it wasn't there before.
Ominously the foreboding gates creaked open. The red words swirled round, reappearing as "HE AWAITS YOU".
We glanced at each other, waiting for one to say what all of us were thinking.
"Let's go in."

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Chapter 26: "Defeated"

Once more, I was frozen in place. Another Load, but U clung on tightly to Archiver.
"YOU SHALL RELEASE ME!" he roared in fury. "YOU SHALL!"
Pause, and a new scene appeared. We found ourselves in a valley of some sort, but just before I could even take in the surroundings we paused again. This time the place changed to an eerie stone hall. Pause! A crowded marketplace. Pause! A field full of overgrown weeds. Pause! A beach strewn with blue blocks.
This went on for quite a number of scenes; I was even sure we passed that empty void where I first came to at Blogspot at least twice. Each scene lasted no more than a second, and the ordeal must have gone on for something like two minutes. You do the math.
At last we came back to the same forest where the fight first began. "No," Archiver wheezed, drenched in sweat. "You cannot win with your inferior knowledge."
"Funny how I was just saying those same words a while ago," U smiled. "But now I understand that nobody can ever plan how everything will turn out."
"Shut up," A look of pure malice burned in his eyes. "I haven't lost yet."
He raised a hand, making me look at where he was pointing. Instantly my jaw dropped wide open in horror. It couldn't be. It simply couldn't be. Of all things...
It was the light from afar!
"U!" I screamed. "It's the light! Run, before we get killed!"
He glanced at it for a moment, then fixed his gaze back at the weakened Archiver. "It's a trick, isn't it?"
The light slowly turned lighter shades of grey. "You can't tell. Nobody can. Nobody but me."
"Are you sure? Nobody else knows what you know?"
"NOBODY! Nobody could ever possess the knowledge I've been given! Not you, or you, or anyone else in this wretched place!"
For no reason, the light dimmed and fizzled out. It morphed into dark red words splattered across the landscape.
"Archiver, you have forgotten the source of your powers. How dare you think you know more than I do!"
"No, Master!" he fell on his knees. "Forgive me! I would never....Master! Master! Come back!"
The red words evaporated, drifting away with the wind. Tears trickled down both sides of Archiver's face. "He left me...I've nothing left."
"Don't think that way," I put a hand on his shoulder. "Now you're free from His rule."
"You moron...you utter, pathetic, brainless moron. It's all your fault. "
He Loaded one final scene outside two towering black gates. "This was where I was born...it shall be where we all die."

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Chapter 25: "Oppurtunity"

No! This was the closest we'd ever get! I couldn't allow him to Load the scene once more!
"AGHHH!" I closed my eyes and screamed, but already we were back in our original positions.
However, Archiver didn't seem as calm as always. "Let go of me!" he struggled to break free of some invisible hold. Our surroundings freezed and unfreezed again repeatedly.
Finally he stopped, panting hard. U, who had strangely been missing from the previous few Loaded scenes, was standing beside me.
"I've found it," he whispered excitedly. "There is a way to counter Save/ Load."
"Whenever he Loads, anyone who is in contact with him will stay in that same position in the new scene. So the trick is just to keep touching him before he Loads the scene."
Yes! Now I understood. But Archiver was no fool either...how would we be able to get close enough?
"Guess He was right," said Archiver. "You two really are smarter than the rest. It doesn't matter though, all I need to do is just keep my distance, keep Loading, and presto! All your previous attacks down the drain."
"Let's see about that!" I reached for him with all the speed I could muster. However, he saw it coming even before the end of my sentence. Pause, and I was back at the same distance away.
U then Cut himself, but couldn't get close enough either.
"I might be old," Archiver hissed. "But I've enough experience to see an attack before it comes."
Feeling somewhat pissed, I made another dash at him, but was once more stopped short.
"Tee hee hee, it doesn't matter whether you know how to break my powers or not. The fact remains, you can't beat someone you can't touch."
I looked at U, at a loss for words. He, on the other hand, seemed to have something on his mind. A plan, maybe?
"Throw." He mouthed at me.
At first I didn't quite catch his drift, until he bent down and picked up a stone. He sent it hurtling at the Archiver's face, but Archiver just managed to stop it inches before it hit.
Back to the same old pose, but I could now grasp a bit of his plan. Since a thrown stone could travel much faster than us, it would be our best chance of landing that first blow.
Archiver glared at U, a little flustered at nearly being outwitted. "Both of you ar-ARGH!"
Too distracted, he didn't see my stone coming. It took a somewhat lucky swerve, and...right between the eyes!
And that was it! U sprinted like mad, digging his fingernails into Archiver's skin. The old man howled in pain, trying to shake him off. Sensing an oppurtunity, I tried coming to U's aid.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Chapter 24: "Spirit"

"Why, I think you're getting the hang of this," he fixed his eyes on us. "I might not be the quickest or toughest around here, but I sure know how to break a person's spirit."
"Who could ever fight a battle where no matter what you do, it always amounts to nothing? A battle where your only outcome would be a never-ending draw or a loss? If I were you, I'd save us all a lot of time and give up."
Surely he had to be proven wrong. I reached for his face as fast as my arms would allow, but it happened again. Short pause, and we were back where we began.
"What's the point of all this?" U exclaimed in frustration. "Even if you keep Loading this scene, you can't defeat us as well."
"Do I sense hopelessness? Like it or not, all of you grow desperate long before I even get the slightest bit bored. I've been in so many of these battles, and they surrender to me every time. Every single time."
I looked at Archiver from top to toe. Surely there was some method to break his ability.
"Oh, and I suppose you think you're different from the rest?" His sneering voice saw through my thoughts as always.
"Perhaps you don't understand the true extent of my powers. Or how insignificant you are in the greatness of His plans. You're just another character, and a failed one at that. You won't be the first to be written off, and sure as anything not the last. Sorry, but that's just the way things work."
"It's over," U looked totally drained out. "Nothing can defeat Save/ Load. I used to not believe that, but now I do."
"Snap out of it! He's just trying to crush you!"
"I'd say he's got as much brains as you have gusto," Archiver strode to us decidedly. "Now, shall we? It won't hurt much, I promise."
Then a simple idea came to me. Perhaps I could use the same trick I'd used to defeat U - the oldest one in the book.
"You're right," I pretended to comply and kneeled before him. As he edged closer, I scooped up as much sand as I could, and glanced upwards once more to estimate the distance.
Direct hit! Smack into his eyes! "U! Get him - NOW!"
Like a cat he took no more than a split second to Cut, then stealthily sneak up behind Archiver. POW! The old man was flung straight to the ground, still writhing in pain.
Yes! We were winning! I tried to follow up with another swift kick, but...I just couldn't budge. Like everything else.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Chapter 23: "Scenario"

Feeble though he seemed, there just was something about this old man which unsettled me. He claimed to possess knowledge about Blogspot second only to the creator, yet how much did he really know? How was it possible that he always appeared beside me, then vanish without a trace?
"Let's get him," U whispered at me before Cutting himself.
Suddenly everything paused for a moment. The leaves on the trees didn't move a single bit, Archiver's beard remained still as a rock, and I swore even my heart stopped beating. Oh no, did he know Freeze Frame as well?
Then it all resumed. What had just happened? It was probably some trick to scare me off. Without much thought, I charged forward and directed my fist at his face.
The very moment before it could connect, everything froze again. "You fool," I thought to myself. "As soon as you un-freeze us all, I'll break your nose."
Sure enough, this state of immobility didn't last long. I was about to land the punch when I noticed something very weird. I was standing where I had before the first pause occurred, and even Archiver was in the same pose.
Perhaps he could Tab his opponents and himself as well? But that was impossible! The switch had been absoulutely instantaneous, and everything was the same way it had been!
"Gotcha!" I heard U's voice as he managed to bear-hug Archiver from behind.
Archiver skillfully slithered free and once more, a pause occurred. And after a few moments, I was again in the same previous pose. So was Archiver.
"U? Are you there?"
He reappeared by my side. "H-hey! Didn't I get him?"
"Looks like this won't be ending anytime soon." Archiver stretched. "No matter what ways you can find to defeat me, all I need to do is to Load back to the scene when we first met."
"Heh. As the Archiver of this world, I've seen so many grand scenes that one would never wish to let go in their lifetime. It is, therefore, fitting that I possess the power of Save/ Load."
"I knew it," U slapped his forehead in exasperation. "He controls the flow of time in Blogspot. We'll never be able to get the better of him."

Friday, November 19, 2004

Writer's Block

Shortshortshortie here, i promise. It's actually just to just to clarify Sarah's (and maybe some of you less outspoken ones ;^p) question on whether I'm still going to kill off somebody. Heh, was kinda hoping you people wouldn't notice.
Fact is, after I made that solemn-but-not-so-silent vow, there was this teeny bit of regret in my heart. Once again, I'd succumbed to peer pressure without much prior thought, boo hoo hoo.
Daydream Of The Day, all of you: If this story was made into an animated series (don't they use "cartoon" anymore?!), how long would each Chapter/ Episode be? I read back on some of the older posts, and to my horror...they wouldn't even last 5 minutes each! For even more laughs, check out Chapter 2: it would probably just exceed the 45 second mark!
Death is always a space-consuming plot device, what with all the past flashbacks, scenes of death, and aftermath. And space is something I just realised I don't have much of...that one extremely rushed scene with U took no less than 3 chapters, sigh.
Did I hear a chorus of boos? Haha...I broke a promise, didn't I? Well, not exactly. I said I'd kill someone off "soon", but a "soon" here isn't the same "soon" most of us are accustomed to, since I can only do a very limited number of scenes all in all. Supposingly I had a fight scene between A and B which lasted 3 Chapters and I promised someone would die within that 3 Chapters, wouldn't it be painfully obvious? Death jolts us the most only when it happens to someone who should be alive.
And with that, I renew my vow: Someone may or may not die, soon or not so soon. Eee-vil.
And I'm rather excited at the prospect of that final fight scene, I have some blurry visions already mapped out. Now is the time to sand ot all those rough bits I've peppered throughout the story. But hey! Let's not forget that the first ever Archiver Fight Scene is up next.
Should I make another promise? Ooh, what's another one: The next edition of Writer's Block promises to be very special indeed.
Here's to another shortshortshortie. =]

Chapter 22: "Origin"

I could tell U did share many things in common with me; after all we were two of a kind. He too was a determined character made to believe in what was wrong. The only difference was that I chose not to accept, and he did.
"Tell me," I said to him. "What do you know about the creator of Blogspot?"
He closed his eyes, straining hard to recall. "It's getting harder to remember, because there's this light..."
"Oh, you're affected by that light too?"
"Sure am. It makes everyone in Blogspot forget some things, making their goal to defeat their opposite even clearer."
Now I understood the purpose of the light...it was a sort of constant measure to slowly mould them into utter single-mindedness.
"There's this place I have some recollections of," U said. "Everyone lives there before they're born. The streets were always filled to the brim with used papers, and you could see odd characters of every manner walking about."
"Weird...what's this place called?"
He frowned deeply again. "The sign...the sign...what did it say? There was a C...another C...something City..."
Within the recesses of my mind, a tiny bell rang. Someone had mentioned that name to me before. Since I'd forgotten everything from the real world, it had to be someone from Blogspot. That meant either Toby, Melly, Moby, Telly, Archiver, U, or...Archiver! It was Archiver! The other time in the hut!
"Climax City! It's Climax City, no?"
"Y...why, yes! Climax City, that's it! How did you know?"
"I met the Archiver, and he was going on about how he'd seen this place being built up. Is that where we should be going?"
"You could always try, that's for sure," A voice that didn't belong rang out. A voice that sounded like it belonged to...
"Yes, Archiver..." His sinister smile reflected in my eyes. "You are turning out to be quite a marvel, kid, I'll give you that. All my time here I've never seen anyone who managed to talk his Antagonist out of a fight. But this is where it all ends, I'm afraid."
He struck a pose. "I've been sent to write you off."

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Chapter 21: "Enlightenment"

"You're wrong! I do have a purpose, to defeat you! You're the one who's clueless here."
"You might think defeating me is your purpose," I stared at him. "But you just can't see beyond that. In other words, you don't have a purpose for your purpose."
I noticed that blank glassy look in U's eyes. The meaning of my words seemed to have sunk deep into him, eating away at his perception of everything.
"You understand, don't you? And I'm afraid it's not just happening to you; it's happening to everyone in Blogspot. Someone - or something - has managed to convince all of you that this is a real world with real motivations, when it isn't."
U muttered something inaudible. Would he trust me?
"It has to be a real world...it has to be. It's the only world I've ever known."
"Consider yourself fortunate, U, to be pondering over this dilemma. All the others here are just unable to grasp the reality of what's truly going on around here."
"What is real, then?"
"I could tell you," I offered him a hand. "But then I would be no different from He who brought you all here. Life is all about something to look forward to, and surely there has to be more to that than defeating me."
Slowly he got back on his feet, eyes never leaving the ground. "Who told you all this?"
"More importantly, it's who I refused to believe in blindly."
"I didn't know where I was headed for in Blogspot, either. But after listening to what some people here have to say, I now know I must save everyone else before I can save myself. And I'm going to need lots of help."
"What could I do? I've been wrong all my life."
"Then it's time to finally be right. You know this place much better than I do."
He sighed deeply. "You sure about this?"
I nodded.
Another sigh, and he nodded in reply.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Chapter 20: "Purpose"

"Stop it!" I thrashed my arms about wildly. "Why are you trying to hurt me? Because He asked you to?"
I felt a powerful blow to the back of my head, bringing me to my knees. Fortunately, quick thinking made me roll out of the way, just in time to avoid a footprint which imprinted itself on where I'd lay moments ago.
There wasn't even time for me to feel the pain from the previous hit. Only the oldest tricks would work best in situations like this...I scooped up some sand and flung it to his eyes!
And it missed by inches! However, sand to the nose wasn't exactly a joy either. U wheezed to clear his throat, and that was all the time I needed. I tackled him to the ground and threw more sand on his face for good measure.
"Stop it!" he cried as he reappeared. "This wasn't supposed to happen!"
"And what was?" I threatened him with another handful of sand.
"I could Cut myself, and you couldn't! It should end with me defeating you!"
"Should...suppose. That's all nothing. Unlike you, my decisions are not from the minds of others."
"But...but...I developed the Cut ability myself!"
"You still don't get it, do you? Why did you develpo it?"
"I had to defeat you!"
"And what made you want to defeat me? Do you even know me?"
He paused for a moment. "I-I...I've always felt this urge to take you down."
"When were you first born?"
"As in, since when did you exist?"
"How would I know? I've always existed all my life."
Well, he did have a point. "U, listen to me. What is happening to you is one of the most terrible things that can happen to any being. You're living through your life without a purpose."

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Chapter 19: "U"

He approached me at a steady pace, revealing every exact feature on himself which I had.
"So," grinned my Antagonist sinisterly. "You do look like what I've always imagined."
It was one thing seeing two similar-looking people standing together, but coming face to face with a real yourself is ten times more unsettling.
"You seem disturbed. Please...how can you be afraid of something that's so totally un-alien?"
I couldn't help retreating. Perhaps I should even run?
"Oh, silly me," he moved in on me. "I haven't even introduced myself yet. Call me U."
It figured. I was I, wasn't I?
"You're probably wondering where I came from, and what I'm here for." U ran swiftly behind me. I turned to face him, but he was no longer there!
Where had he gone? He couldn't have possibly disappeared so abruptly.
"And that's where you're wrong!" A hard fist landed on my cheek, flooring me. I tasted blood in my mouth. How come I hadn't seen that coming?
"That's because I've Cut myself."Another kick sent pain jolting through my ribs. "As long as I don't Paste myself, I can't be seen."
Now this was both scary and threatening. There was not even the remotest mathematical chance of me defeating U. I couldn't see him well enough to escape, I had no idea of countering his powers, nor did I have any myself.
"What do you want? Are you going to kill me?" I roared at the space before me.
An elbow to the forehead was all the response I got. "Probably." came his cheeky reply, echoing from somewhere to my left. I lunged at where he might be, hoping to get him before he got away again.
Yes! I succeeded in catching hold of a limb. U tried to wriggle out of my grasp, but I wasn't going to let him get away so easily. "When did you first come into Blogspot? And how?"
Uh-oh. A nearby rock floated to the air, positioning itself to strike my face.
I raised a hand to shield myself, but U was smarter. He slammed the rock onto the arm I was using to grab him, making me let go.
"Ho, ho, ho," I heard him chuckle as he slipped away. "Let's try to end this in five moves."

Writer's Block

Today my friend told me something, and...argh! It made me want to kick myself. This guy suggested I include "Scroll Lock" as a special power, which would make the victim unable to move. Without batting a Revlon-laden eyelid, I told him I already had such a "power", the Freeze Frame. Only then did it strike me...ARGH! Why didn't I name it Scroll Lock instead? Surely that made more sense, since I'd earlier mentioned that people in Blogspot moved using scrolls. And the killer blow, "Uhh...is there actually a Freeze Frame command on the keyboard?"
Oh well, let's just make do with what we have. Perhaps I'll find some way to cover it up later, but on with the story. I sense we're approaching the grand finale, but just a few more loose ends to tie up before we get there. The sensible path to go would be to defeat your Antagonist, then some filler/ explanation stuff, and bada-bing, bada-bang. However, I do succumb easily to temptations...
Anyhow, noticed how I haven't even yet revealed what gender "I" is? Yeah, go check it out! All 18 chapters, and still nobody knows whether it's a guy or a girl whom we've been reading about all along. I thought this would be cool at first, carrying all the way till the end, but...nah. I mean, how are you supposed to relate to someone you don't even know the gender of? Lesson learnt.
Guess I won't be able to hide it anymore, since "I" will be fighting his Antagonist next...whoops. It's a boy! Heh, as though that made a whole world of difference.
Now this is ironic...I'm getting writer's block while writing Writer's Block. Bye. Keep reading. Bye.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Chapter 18: "Message"

I blinked my eyes twice, trying to come to terms with this alien surrounding.
Still white. Everything was washed in the whitest white possible, from the earth to the rocks to the sky.
And of course, not a single soul in sight.
I plodded on dejectedly, not a clue how this would end. Or whether it would end at all.
Suddenly, a slight rustling of paper caught my ear. I looked down and was utterly surprised to see a sheet in my hands.
"Greetings," it read. "We had to talk sooner or later. I am, of course, the one you have always heard Archiver babbling about, the old fool."
"I see you have been asking a lot, and I would not expect less. After all, you were my proudest creation next to the Archiver. What is it with those Antagonists, you wonder? Listen."
"Every character I have ever written in has an opposite I created seperatedly. As you know, this is called their Antagonist. Everyone has a different tale of how they met their Antagonist, and the outcomes of the battles they fought. It is these incredible tales which drive me to write more and more, in search of that perfect story."
"But that is how you are alike the rest; in many ways you are one of a kind. You see, unlike you, every person here was taken in when they were at the edge of desperation. Only with such weak minds could I compel them to give life to the stories I have written for them. However, I do realise that fact is many a time stranger than fantasy."
"Already I am sensing some defiance on your part, and I like that. Perhaps sometime soon you shall deliver a tale beyond anything I could ever conjure up. And perhaps that time is...now."
I put down the note and looked back up. Just like I had guessed, a total replication of me stood in the distance.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Chapter 17: "Reset"

Archiver? What was he doing here?
"Quite entertaining, don't you think?" he stroked his beard. "I bet He's watching from somewhere too."
Smash! The giant Moby flung Toby to the ground, but he narrowly managed to Tab to soften his fall.
"You mean..." I looked at Archiver in horror. "You mean you planned all these? That they would meet and try to kill each other?"
"Hey, don't blame me, I'm just watching from the bylines."
This was too much. Unable to contain my anger, I squeezed my hands around the old man's throat. "Tell me! NOW!"
He struggled in vain to pry my fingers away, face turning red.
"Tell me, or I'll snap your neck, I swear!" I'd never felt angry like this before. The more I looked at him, the more I felt like everyone here was being used.
Out of the blue, a hauntingly familiar sight caught my eye. It was a speck of light from afar, so small a careless eye could well have missed it.
I swallowed hard. Could it be...
Expanding as fast as I could think, it turned a metallic greyish hue. This was bad! It was that exact same light I'd been hit by previously, and it was coming fast!
"AHHH!" There wasn't even enough time for me to let go of Archiver's neck, when shwoop! I had no choice but to close my eyes.
Then came that indenfinite period of time. My mind went completely numb to the concept of time, not even sure if I was growing older or younger.
I could only imagine what would await me next.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Chapter 16: "Again"

Helping Melly up, Toby glared at them both. "You might think you're good, but that meant nothing. Nothing, you hear me?"
"Let's see how long you'll sing this tune," Moby sneered. I shook my head in disbelief - was he growing bigger as he spoke? "Caps Lock!"
True enough, he was getting taller before my very eyes! He stood at least 12 feet from the ground, twice the height of the other three.
This was going to get ugly. Should I stop them? And if yes, how? I didn't possess any special powers like them. But if this went on, one of them could very easily get hurt.
"I've never destroyed anyone with my bare hands yet," roared Moby as he lifted Toby by the collar. "Yet."
Tab! Toby managed to escape his grasp, but this time he only managed to re-appear less than a foot away.
"Running out of energy? No surprise to me. You see, unlike your wimpy tricks, the longer I stay huge the stronger I become."
"Melly!" Toby called out to her. "Try your Freeze Frame on him!"
"I can't! I'm having trouble with Telly and her duplicates as well!"
I glanced over. She'd managed to freeze two Tellys, but one more was still loose. Having to fend her off, Melly had no choice but to release the Freeze Frame.
Somebody was tapping on my shoulder.
"It's me, the Archiver."

Monday, November 08, 2004

Writer's Block

Whew...haven't had one of these in a long while, huh? Something big's going on in my life now, and I apologise for not updating as faithfully as I'd got you accustomed to. Said the delusional writer to legions of applauding fans.
Enough about me, let's talk about...i said STOP CLAPPING. Let's talk about the story.
Finally got to that fight scene I was so terribly clueless about. Comic fight scenes I've seen, movie fight scenes are aplenty, but story fight scenes? I even had trouble describing "A Day At The Beach" in my English essay.
The genre of the fight was an issue too...I've only generally seen three sorts of fight scenes- kick/punch/jump, sword/gun, and mystical aura/fireball. The first could only last two sentences before making your computer enter sleep mode, while the latter two were either too cheesy or difficult with my limited knowledge.
Hehe, and so...there you have it. The making of the Computer Functions Fighting Genre. Pretty much a straightforward concept, hopefully I can add in little tidbits now and then to arouse interest. I'm guessing it's either "Favourites" material, or fit for the Recycle Bin.
Plot-wise, everything seems to be progressing OK-ly...need to speed things up a little, we're halfway through the intended length already. As you probably can guess, "He" will be your Villain For The Month.
Reconsidering additional characters and killing off somebody. I mean, somebody will die, but must it be at the expense of potentially attention-grabbing characters? There're no less than 17 million different ways to make Toby/Melly/Moby/Telly exciting, try discussing possible storylines people!
What, me trying to milk free storylines out of you people? I plead innocent!

Chapter 15: "Battle"

In a split second, Toby magically disappeared and reappeared a few feet away, where the three Tellys were coming at Melly. Their eyes grew wide, rather bewildered at how he could've done that.
"Ladies, I give you...Tab," he said, with all the pizzazz of a ringmaster. Before I could even blink, each Telly was on the ground and there he was, back where he had been. Two Tellys faded off into nothing, leaving only the real one.
Moby, still being caught in Freeze Frame, tried in vain to come to Telly's aid.
"In your dreams, Moby," grinned Melly. She tightened her invisible grip on him, making him vince in pain.
"Oh, look...poor Telly's trying to get up."
Gritting her teeth, she got back to her feet and motioned for them to fight her. "So you want another look at my Tab," Toby said. "I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you."
Telly remained stone-faced.
Tab! And Toby was behind her. Without skipping a beat, Telly broke free and ran towards Melly. Meanwhile, a duplicate of Telly appeared, striking Toby from behind. He fell to the ground, but upon seeing Telly making her way to Melly, sprang back up.
Tab! He clutched her shoulders, and spun her around so that she faced him. Pinning her to the ground with ease, he beamed proudly at Melly.
Horrors! He had been pinning Telly's double! The real Telly raced swiftly to Melly, and faster than Toby could Tab once more, POW!
Melly managed to get a hand up to block, but not quite in time. She staggered backwards, then fell with a loud thud. But that was enough. The Freeze Frame had been broken!
"My turn next, huh?" said Moby, cracking his kunckles.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Chapter 14: "Confrontation"

"So...Toby and Melly. I see you found us."
I glanced back and forth between both pairs, trying hard to spot any differences between them. There were none. Each was as alike as the other, right down to the number of hairs on their heads, I believed.
Toby and Melly didn't utter a word. They just stood there, glaring intensely at Moby and Telly. In return, they were greeted with scornful half-smiles.
"Tell me something," I nervously broke the tension. "Because I've been confused ever since I got here. Who truly are the Antagonists, and what're your motivations?"
Strangely, the four of them seemed to have entered another world. It was like when I first met Toby and Melly, I couldn't see the four, but I could imagine them. What was happening? Were we still in the woods?
"We should've done this a long time ago." said Telly. She stepped forward, and lo and behold! Another Telly was right behind. That Telly moved sideways as well, and behind her was one more Telly!
Melly stared at the three Tellys, her lips giving away slight trepidation. Then she smiled. "Copy/ Paste. I know that as well."
She proceeded to take one step forward, and in the same way, a duplicate of herself appeared where she had stood.
"Tch, tch, tch," Moby clicked his tongue. "Only two? That's one short o...o...o..."
He struggeld to complete his sentence, but couldn't quite seem to move his jaw. The three Tellys watched in shock, but abrupty snapped out of it. "I'll break your Freeze Frame!" cried them as they charged forward.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Chapter 13: "Revelations"

Toby and Melly! Was it really them?
"Do you know where Moby and Telly are?" asked the girl allegedly called Melly.
"They...they..." I paused for a moment, wondering whether I should tell them. Numerous possibilities were running through my mind. They could be good, and Moby and Telly bad; or they evil, and Moby and Telly good. Alternatively, all four could be evil. It seemed unlikely that all four were good, seeing how this place seemed to stink of bad people with bad ideas.
"You were following them all this while, weren't you?" Toby took a step towards me. Instinctively I retreated, not too keen on getting near him.
"Hear me out," continued Toby. "Whatever they've been telling you are all lies, lies which He asked them to tell you. They are the true Antagonists, and I presume they were taking you to meet Him."
"What for?"
"Because," Melly cleared her throat. "He must meet every newcomer before He can create your Antagonist."
"So you mean both of you were tricked the same way into meeting Him, and from that He created Moby and Telly?"
"Yes. And the same scenario happens every time another being is brought into Blogspot. They'll always meet a Protagonist first, followed by an Antagonist. You must then decide who you want to follow, but the Antagonist will always try bringing you to Him."
Hmm...why had I gone with Moby and Telly in the first place? "But I didn't make a decision! The light appeared suddenly, and I found myself with them after that, remember?"
Toby and Melly didn't answer. They just stared blankly behind me, where a pimply-faced boy and pony-tailed girl stood.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Chapter 12: "Reverse"

Suddenly I had every reason to suspect Moby and Telly. If they knew that we couldn't destroy any Antatgonists, where were we headed then? Why had they brought me here?
"I know what you're thinking," spoke Telly. "But please trust us. All I ask of you is just to follow us till we get out safely."
I stopped dead in my tracks. "All right, and in return for that trust I think I deserve to know everything you know about the Antagonists."
"We've already said every thing we can."
"Yeah, come on along now. I know a shortcut to the next village."
"Oh, so you won't say any more, will you?" I snapped. "That's what you said at first. And then I find out that we can't get rid of Antagonists. How do I know you guys aren't even Antagonists yourself?"
They both appeared positively horrified. Perhaps I'd been more rash than smart. What if they really were evil, and intended to kill me? They could do it right away, and nobody would know.
Well, I wasn't sticking around to make their job easier. I fled down the dirt path with all the speed I could muster, never once looking behind. Okay, just once. But by then, they'd already vanished from sight.
Finally, just before I swore my lungs would've burst, I stopped and collapsed in a pile. Panting five times harder than any dog, I looked up and realised I had come to the nearby woods. Phew! Now that was one impulsive move. Only problem was, where could I go now?
That was when I heard footsteps behind me. I looked up, and to my disbelief, before me stood Moby and Telly!
"H-how on earth..."
"Huh, at last we found you." said the pony-tailed girl. "Remember us? I'm Melly, and he's Toby."

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Chapter 11: "Uncertainty"

This Archiver was starting to get nasty. I didn't relish the thought of being a puppet at the end of some mastermind's string.
"He put in charge of enlightening all those who're new. Now that you know the basic works of our world, I've completed my task for today."
"No, wait!" I grabbed hold of his sleeve. "There's a lot more I need to know!"
"Let go of me," he wrested his arm away from my grip. "I shall return to you when the time is right.
"Ponder upon what I told you." And with those words, I was left with nothing more than emptiness before me.
"Ponder upon what I told you." What did he tell me? The Antagonists...this mysterious 'He'...that was mostly what I remembered.
"Found anything?" came a pair of voices from the entrance of the hut.
Moby and Telly! Didn't Archiver tell me I'd been tricked by them? But wait...he had seemed to be supportive of the Antagonists himself. Could he actually be hoping I'd have followed them as well?
"Moby? Telly?" I popped up my head meeky. "If you don't mind me asking...what happened to Toby and Melly?"
"We don't know. They can't be far off though, since they need to prevent us from escaping, remember?"
"If that is the case, shouldn't we be trying to get rid of them first?"
Melly laughed. "You can't eliminate an Antagonist, my dear. We need them to survive just as much as they need us to survive."
"WHAT?" Surely that meant our escapade was going nowhere then! "But if we can't get rid of them, and they won't let us leave, how-"
"It's all right," Moby cut me off. "We'll find a way."
I caught him throwing Telly nervous glances.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Writer's Block

Stalkers I don't mind, flashers I don't really either, but lately I've been receiving calls to...kill off characters! What are you people, SICK?!
Hehe...in all seriousness, a wise lecturer once said, "Life has meaning because it stops.". For those of you who aren't into this whole Wise Sayings Which Make You Appear Learned thing, that simply means things would get boring if you could live everyday like today forever. Likewise for pretty much everything else, a book would get tiring real fast if the pages just went on and on, and the characters stayed the same every time. No matter how exciting a gimmick appears to be, it cannot stay fresh without changes every now and then. (Disclaimer: Said the naive, uninformed one)
Having spewed all that, here're my Thoughts For The Day:
a) As much as the idea of a long-drawn 500-episode soap opera seems appealing, my stories will each last ROUGHLY 30 posts.
b) Be careful what you wish for...someone's gonna die die a terrible death soon. And no, I will not bring them back to life via some magical elixir.
c) There is no C.

Chapter 10: "He"

I'd been tricked? Was he saying that Moby and Telly were in fact Antagonists?
"Hold on there a minute, Mister. Why should I believe you?"
"Heh," he sneered. "You've got some nerve, kid. Listen here; when this universe was made by Him, I was the first being to be created. I've seen all the wonders He's done, from the creation of Climax City to the formation of the Antagonists."
My ears perked up. "You mean someone made these Antagonists? What are they here for?"
"Bah, you'd never understand. Every place, every setting, needs a contrast. Contrast is what makes us see who we really are. Only when people know what they actually believe and disbelieve in can there be a masterplan."
"And so this person created Antagonists for his great masterplan?"
"Well, not quite. There never has been doubt He had us all and this place figured out. I'd say Antagonists further made His wildest dreams come true."
"And that would be?"
"A story." The old man's eyes turned to slits. "We all love a good story."
I stood there, dumbstruck. "W...who is this 'He' anyway?"
"Why, He is the one who created you, of course."
"Shut up! Enough of this! I was brought into this sick place without a clue, and I demand to know how I can get out!"
"You can't," he grinned as though this was all unbearably amusing. "You might have been in control of your destinations back in your world, but over here He takes you wherever He wants."