Shop More Submit  Join Login
About Deviant Member Making Silly Things Serious26/Male/Hong Kong Recent Activity
Deviant for 7 Years
Needs Premium Membership
Statistics 36 Deviations 724 Comments 4,866 Pageviews

Newest Deviations

Activity


Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: sexual themes, violence/gore and strong language)



The Gloom Family, Charlotte Jekyll/ Cheryl Hyde, Paranormal control, L.o.V.E and the associated world setting were created by Sephzero, on deviantArt.
This story was written by Engineseer, also on deviantArt.

    Katherine studied her latest acquisition with a slight air of buyer’s remorse. After escaping the clutches of Paranormal Control she had brought Alden to a safe house in a rough part of town. Looking thoroughly dishevelled with his wrinkled shirt and three day stubble, he wasn’t at all what she was expecting. Katherine had expected dark alchemists to look more… esoteric, Alden looked like burned out salary man.

    “So what happens now…boss?” said Alden
    “Now, you will aid me in carrying out an act of infamy.”
    “You mean commit a crime?”
    Katherine gave him an annoyed look.
    “Common crooks commit crimes Alden, super villains commit acts of infamy.”
    Alden stared at her sceptically.
    “Super villain? Really? Do you know how pretentious that sounds?”
    “No more pretentious then the term ‘dark alchemist’.”
    “Hey I didn’t come up with that label, the alchemy community slaps it on anyone who doesn’t conform to their sanctimonious code of ethics.” Alden squinted at her for a few moments as something dawned on him. “Oh my… don’t tell me you work for the Legion of Villainous Enterprise? They’re the only ones who throw around terms like ‘super villain’ and ‘act of infamy’.”
    “So you’re familiar L.o.V.E?”
    “Most illegal underground communities are vaguely aware of one another. I’ve done contract work for some so called ‘super villains’ in the past. They like to buy alchemically engineered henchmen from me on the cheap, citing the high cost of hiring competent minions from L.o.V.E.”
    “Yes, I figured that out when I was tracking you down. You weren’t very smart about covering your tracks. You delivered to too many clients too quickly. It was only a matter of time before Paranormal Control came knocking at your door.”
    Alden eyed Katherine suspiciously.
    “You seem to know a lot about what’s going on. Just who the hell are you anyway?”
    Katherine allowed herself a smug grin before striking a pose.
    “Why I am none other than Katherine Gloom!”
    Alden just stared at her blankly. “I’m sorry should I have heard of you?”
    Katherine’s eye twitched in annoyance.
    “No matter, the world will tremble at the mention of my name soon enough and you will be the instrument of my ascension.”
    “Oh I will, will I? Well since we’re both bad people it should come as no surprise to you that I will require more compensation than just the warm fuzzy feeling of helping you achieve great infamy.”

    Katherine savagely grabbed Alden by the collar, and hauled him to his feet.
    “You’re in no place to bargain alchemist! Defy me and I will collect Paranormal Control’s bounty on you myself, but serve me…” her expression softened as she raised a hand to tenderly stroke his hair. “ …and when the world trembles at my feet you will be richly rewarded… in more ways than one.”
    Alden looked deep into Katherine’s eyes and decided that this was a woman he didn’t want to fuck with…in both senses of the word.
    “F-Fine, I am your creature... and I’ll take cash please, no need for the whole ‘more ways than one’ I consider it unprofessional.”
    Katherine released him from her grip.
    “I’m glad we understand one another. Now build me an army worthy of Gloom!”
    “Slow down there miss super villain. I’ve got nothing to work with here. Before we start I’ll need a few things from my lab.”
    “What!? Couldn’t you have taken something, anything with you when I rescued you!?”
    “I’m sorry but being moments away from death kind of made me forget about that little detail.”
    Katherine threw her arms up in exasperation.
    “Paranormal Control will be all over your lab by now and I have no minions to retake it by force. I was banking on having a squad of alchemically grown creatures to help me with my next move.”
    Alden crossed his arms unsympathetically. “You’ve proven yourself a capable action hero type why don’t you just ‘Rambo’ your way back into the lab and make off with my stuff?”

    There is a type of withering look that all women reserve for men in their lives who make especially stupid comments… usually their boyfriends. Katherine gave one such look to Alden now.
    “ I know a little bit about how Paranormal Control operates, they’re split between their regular agents and all the freelancers they have to deal with. If you dress up as a bounty hunter looking to apprehend me you could probably bluff your way into lab and abscond with a few things I need.”
    “You really think that will work?”
    “You killed one of their pet freaks and caused a bit of chaos on the way out, if you act fast then you can sneak in while they’re still trying to clean up the mess. Once they move all my projects out of the lab our job gets exponentially harder.”

--------------------

    Katherine was starting to regret letting Alden help in the creation of her disguise, she looked more like some sexist video game character than anything else. She was wearing tiny brown leather jacket over a low cut tank top that exposed her midriff along with a tight pair of hot pants, and there were swords everywhere. She had a claymore and bastard sword strapped to her back, a katana and tanto on her left hip and rapier on her right. Every step she took made her rattle like a sack of wrenches. To make matters worse the whole look was topped off with a huge pair of sunglasses and a spray tan.

    “Trust me,” Alden had said. “They eat this shit up.”
Katherine bristled inwardly at how undignified she looked, not to mention how impractical the entire get up was. She knew how to use all of the swords true, but wearing them all at the same time would slow her down.

    Milling around the lab were a bunch of people wearing large jackets and long coats. Alone they might be inconspicuous but their collective attempt to look incognito practically screamed that something dodgy was going on inside the building. As Katherine approached, a fresh faced young man moved to intercept her.

    “Ma’m I’m with the Department of Industrial Safety, they’s been a little accident at the lab behind us and…”
    “Drop the act. I know this is a PC operation. I’m looking to collect on the bounty for Terrence Alden, was hoping I could find some clues here.”

    Flustered by her candour the man tried in vain to reassert some measure of authority.
    “I-I’m sorry miss, it’s highly irregular to let our… contractors participate directly in an investigation. Any information we find will be made available on the official job boards.”
    “Aww come on Mr. Agent. Being a freelancer is a hard life, if I sit waiting at the job board some one else will get to him first. We’re all on the same side here, help a gal out will you?” As she said this Katherine made sure to lean forward giving him an eyeful of cleavage. The agent glanced downward briefly before looking over the rest of her body.
    “Hmm…well… I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to let you look around. Just don’t interfere with our own investigation.”
    Katherine smiled sweetly at the fool.
    “Thanks, you’re a real darling.”

    As she entered the main lab she found it swarming with PC agents, most of them wore lab coats and some where even in hazmat suits. Alden had instructed her to retrieve three things: his main computer hard drive, a leather bound tome titled The Essence of Life and an artificial heart. She didn’t have to look far for the first two items. Standing in front of a computer terminal was a bespectacled orange haired lady flipping through a large leather bound book. She seemed quite lost in thought as she thumbed through its pages. Katherine stood next to her for a few second before coughing. The woman looked up with a start.

    “O-Oh hello, can I help you?”
    “Hey. I’m a hunter looking to nab the bounty on Alden. One of the guys outside told me you could help me.”
    The other woman looked at her quizzically, eying her arsenal of blades.
    “Well I’m not sure how I can help you. PC sent me to supervise the removal of any hazardous alchemical materials. Tracking the rogue alchemist isn’t really my department.”
    “Hey anything you can tell me about this guy could still be useful miss…uh?”
    “Charlotte. Dr. Charlotte Jekyll.”
    “Ah…” Katherine glanced at the book Charlotte was reading. “What’s that book you’ve got there?”
    Charlotte perked up immediately, clearly happy for an opportunity to talk about alchemy.
    “Oh this? This is a copy of the Essence of Life. It’s a comprehensive work on the creation of artificial life such as homunculi. All of it is of course forbidden but it’s still a fascinating book to read. It looked like our friend was pursuing the creation of a true homunculus.”
    “A true homunculus?”
    “Yes. All alchemically created life requires a sample of naturally occuring genetic material to use as a base. A true homunculus would be an artificial creature built from scratch without any existing genes. It’s one of the holy grails of alchemy, right up there with the Philosopher’s Stone.”
    “Uh that’s nice… is there anything else?”
    “Several jars containing dormant homunculi. We dare not awaken them as we have no idea what their final forms may take, there were also some cultured organs.”
    “Organs? Don’t tell me he had a big old heart in jar just like the horror movies?”
    Charlotte blinked in surprise.
    “Funnily enough he did.”
    “Eww, gross! Can I see it?”
    Charlotte gave a faint smile, appreciative of someone who seemed curious about these things.
    “I suppose it’s alright if you just want to look, we’ve loaded up all the biological material into those refrigerated suitcases over there in preparation for transport and eventual incineration. Whatever you do don’t touch anything. Now if you’ll excuse me. I need to make my report to HQ.”
    Charlotte pulled a tablet from within her lab coat and set it up on the table in preparation for a video conference. Behind her Katherine   wandered over to a line of large open cases. Within the cases were jars, vials and cylinders surrounded by coolant packs.   Occasionally a person in a hazmat suit would come along carrying a jar of something macabre and place it within one of the cases.

    Looking around it seemed most of the staff were pre-occupied with their own tasks. Katherine began scanning the cases for the heart.

---------------------

    Idelle Gretz stared at the scattered folders piled on top of her desk. The Alden case was supposed to be cut and dry; another rogue alchemist putting dangerous things in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, find him, put a team together and take him down. Needless to say things had not gone according to plan. Looking up Idelle regarded the man sitting across from her with a look of disappointment.

    “You had one job Nolan, ONE JOB!”
    “I’m sorry ma’m, we got hit from behind. I was so focused on making sure nothing got out that I neglected anything trying to get in… it won’t happen again.”
    Idelle sighed and flipped through the mission’s after action report.
    “This mission was already gonna be a pain in the ass with me having to do the paperwork for cleaning out the lab, but now we’ve got two casualties and I also have to co-ordinate an investigation to find out where our target escaped to.”
    “Our intelligence indicated that he would be alone that night, but I saw someone helping him, the psychics pulled her image from my head; do we have any idea who she was?”
    “It’s still a tenuous lead, memories can be very unreliable and we can’t put them on a computer and compare them with our database so…” a small chime interrupted her train of thought. “Hold on, I’m getting a report from one of our agents in the field.”

    Idelle pressed a button and an image of Dr. Jekyll popped up on a large wall mounted screen. “Oh… it’s you, what do you have for me?”

    Charlotte Jekyll was well known within Paranormal Control’s as its foremost expert on alchemy. It was also well know that she was a Hyde, a fact that didn’t sit comfortably with many agents. Charlotte for her part just focused on her work and avoided talking about it while her alter ego; Cheryll just didn’t care.

    “Well we’ve almost finished here, there’s not much more we can do on site. I’ll be moving the confiscated materials back to our own lab where I can perform a more through analysis before incinerating everything. My initial finds reveal that…”
As Jekyll continued giving her report Cliff couldn’t help but notice a strange sword wielding woman in the background.
    “Hey doctor, who is that lady behind you?”
    Charlotte glanced over her shoulder. “Oh her? She said she’s a bounty hunter chasing Alden. She came here looking for clues.”
    Idelle squinted at the screen. “I don’t recall assigning any new hunters to the Alden case and none of the freelancers besides Al knew about the lab operation.”
    Cliff leaned forward, scrutinising the image. “She… looks really familiar,” the woman glanced in the direction of the camera giving Cliff a glimpse of her face. “Oh…shit. Gretz I think that’s her... that’s Alden’s accomplice! Dr. Jekyll you need to detain that woman now!”

--------------------

    After several minutes of searching Katherine finally found the heart, a strange dull red organ that seemed to have a few more arteries and chambers than a regular heart would have. Now that she had located all three of the items she was going to recover she needed a distraction.
    Out of the corner of her eye she saw Dr. Jekyll saying something to another PC agent while pointing in her direction. No time for plans, she needed to think fast. Grabbing a jar containing a homunculus she remembered how Alden had taught her to awaken them by feeding them human blood. As the agent walked towards her she unsheathed her tanto a few inches and cut her thumb on the exposed blade.

    “Miss I need you to come with me.”

    Katherine jammed her hand into the jar and grabbed the homunculus, she could feel it squirm and grow as her blood awakened it. Whirling round she threw it at the agent.
    “Kill them all!” she yelled.
    The Homunculus grew in mid air and latched itself onto the agent’s face which it immediately started to rip apart. The chaos was immediate. Several people screamed and everyone in the lab started running for the exits…perfect.

Reaching behind her Katherine picked up another jar.

--------------------

    Charlotte ran down the corridor getting jostled by the other researchers and technicians as they collectively fled the lab. It was the first time she had seen a homunculus up close. She had studied them in the course of her research but had never made one herself, the practice being considered taboo. It was a testament to her curiosity that it managed to occupy the same headspace as sheer terror, and make no mistake the homunculus terrified Charlotte even as it fascinated her.

    Agents from the outside were running towards her now, pistols drawn. Her curiosity temporarily overriding her fear Charlotte ducked behind a corner and poked her head out from behind it. The agents entered the lab, several seconds later gunshots could be heard followed by screams… human screams. They didn’t stand a chance. Charlotte knew that protocol dictated she run outside and wait for back up, but she also knew that she had the ability to contain the incident now. Maybe she shouldn’t, using the formula would only hasten her corruption, but this was important right? Lives where at stake and she’d be being really helpful by putting down that homunculus… Yes, doing that would be a big help and once it was dead she could take her time studying it!

    Part of Charlotte knew that she was just rationalising things, another part reached inside her coat, pulled out a familiar vial of liquid and drank it down.

    The change came quickly as if responding to the urgency of the situation. Charlotte’s skin quickly took on a green tint while pointed ears extended out from beneath an increasingly unruly mop of red hair. Pain and pleasure wracked her body as it stretched and grew. Within seconds she had gained almost a foot in height. Her stockings ripped as her legs became longer and more toned while her skirt button popped off to accommodate widening hips and fuller rump.

    With some embarrassment Charlotte noticed her normally modest breasts growing fuller and rounder. Slowly at first, gently pushing her shirt out by a few millimetres, then they surged, pressing more vigorously against the confines of her clothes. She flinched as her bra snapped; unleashing the twins and tearing open a hole that revealed deepening cleavage.
Her fingernails hardened and grew into claws. At some point she had lost her glasses, leaving nothing to frame her now predatory yellow eyes.

    Even as her body mutated Charlotte’s mind was changing. The terror that had once inhibited her curiosity was fading away while her inquisitive nature grew into something more obsessive and manic. Why wait to get all the confiscated material back to HQ when she could conduct experiments right now! Yes! Lets not waste any time! Rising to her full height the once diminutive researcher had grown into alluring green monstrosity that called itself Cheryl Hyde. The creature smiled in anticipation as she strode confidently back towards the main lab.

    As Cheryl stepped through the door a homunculus immediately pounced on her, pinning her down and sinking its teeth into her shoulder. It looked like the fight had ended before it even started when the homunculus abruptly released her and staggered backwards hacking and coughing. Sickly black veins bulged beneath its pale skin as it fell to the floor and started convulsing, foam frothing from its fanged maw. Eventually it just lay there waving its limbs around weakly like a cockroach dosed in bug spray.

    Cheryl got to her feet, the bite marks on her shoulder rapidly healing. She wanted to get a closer look at her fallen assailant but was interrupted by a low growl. It seemed that the imposter had awakened several more homunculi. Two of them came for her at the same time, claws flashing. Cheryl ducked under their outstretched arms, slashing each one in the leg with her claws as they lunged past her. The homunculi didn’t even seem to feel the hit and spun round to face her. With a disturbing cry they came at her again but fell over as their legs went numb. Cheryl smiled at them sweetly as one by one their limbs froze until they were completely paralysed. Her neurotoxins acted fast.

    The threat neutralised Cheryl decided that she should at least make a token effort to see if everyone was alright. Most of the agents that had tried to fight the homunculi had been badly mauled and as a result died of their wounds. One lucky one still seemed to be alive.

    “D-doctor,” he croaked. “Please…help me.”
    Cheryl smiled sweetly as she crouched down beside the fallen agent.
    “Why of course dear. Just relax and I’ll make you all better.”
    Cheryl began her treatment and the man screamed.

--------------------

    Cliff led the containment squad down the corridor towards the lab. Half an hour ago he had seen the disaster unfold via the video link and had wasted no time putting together a team. Behind him were five agents with assault rifles. Five more similarly armed agents were advancing down the opposite corridor. Cliff gave a hand signal and both teams stacked up along the wall near the lab entrance. He took a moment to steel himself… then gave the signal to storm the room.

    With violent yell all eleven agents rushed in guns raised. The lab interior was a macabre sight some of the walls had bloodstains and the odd corpse littered the floor. In the middle of the lab a rather annoyed Cheryl Hyde was vivisecting two homunculi. Their beady eyes darted around the lab feverishly as Cheryl rummaged around inside their paralysed bodies pulling up fistfuls of guts. Even if they were monstrous creatures Cliff couldn’t help but feel a (very small) pang of sympathy for them.

    “If you people are done pointing your guns at me I’d like to resume studying my specimens.”
    “Dr. Jekyll? Is…that you?” said Cliff.
    “No dear. The good doctor isn’t home right now but you can leave a message if you like.”
    “Where did the fake hunter go?”
    “She’s escaped I imagine.”
    “And you didn’t try to catch her?”
    “She was already gone when I cleared out this room, besides it’s not really my job to handle that sort of thing. It’s more the type of work Elaine would enjoy.”
    “Who’s Elaine?”
    Cheryll extracted what looked like a spleen from one of the homunculi and examined it thoughtfully. “Oh… I forgot. Paranormal Control can be a bit of a sprawling organisation, we don’t all know each other, so many personnel to keep track of, makes it a bit too easy for someone to masquerade as one of them hmmm?”

    Cheryl was completely oblivious to the glare Cliff shot her then, instead extracting another organ from her "specimen". “It would seem that our infiltrator also stole the lab’s hard drives as well as a copy of forbidden literature. I really hope you get them back soon; I was looking forward to examining their contents. ”

    By now the rest of the containment had lowered their rifles and were starting to fan out across the room. The agent that Cheryl had “healed” sat propped up against a wall looking traumatised but otherwise unwounded. When one of the squad members asked him if he was okay he simply gave a thumbs up and weakly whispered “I feel good.”

    “Oh and you’ll definitely want to get the surviving members of the clean up crew back in here now that it’s safe. This place has become even more unsightly than it was when Charlotte first came here,” said Cheryl without looking up from her vivisection.

    Cliff bit his lower lip in frustration before raising a hand to his radio earpiece.
“HQ this is Nolan…yeah the area is secure…no casualties on my team, but we lost several of the original clean up crew…no, Dr. Jekyll is alive although she’s not ‘present’ right now if you know what I mean… uh huh…roger that I’ll keep the team on site till everything’s wrapped up, Nolan out.” Cliff closed the radio channel and sighed, this was going to be a long day…
Rise of Gloom 2: Loose Ends
The second story in the Rise of Gloom series. Katherine returns to Alden's lab to tie up some loose ends, meanwhile Paranormal Control struggles to figure out what's going on.
Loading...
So I've started writing another story now. It's become clear to me that I don't really have the inclination or the self discipline to put out a steady stream or art or journal entries, so I'm just going to come out and say it: I'll be coming and going as the mood takes me. I'm here now because I've decided to write another story and I'll probably disappear again once it's done (or I get too lazy to finish it) only to come when the urge to create bites me again. Judging by my record of posting content that may well be a year or more.

Having started a new story has put certain things into focus for me; namely a phenomenon I see on deviant art where a lot of people create original characters that don't have much story to go with them. Oh sure they have back-stories but after that a lot of people just have lots of pictures of their character, sometimes said characters star in little vignettes or 4komas but they never seem to be part of an actual narrative.

A little disclaimer here; I'm not trying to look down at the people who do this. I don't begrudge anyone their creativity and I get it; creating characters is easy and it's fun. We often have cool character concepts that pop into our heads and we have this little head image about how awesome this character is, but when someone asks: "What's the story behind this character?" I almost never see anything beyond a few scattered comic strips and stand alone shorts.

I have a theory about why this is the case because I've run into this pitfall myself. Recently I discontinued the DTSA series (technically it died years ago but now I've made it official.) That series started out as a bunch of character concepts. I had this idea for Evelyn and the members of Exolon squad and vague back stories but when I tried to put it all together it all fell apart. It fell apart partly due to my own lazyness and partly because after the first few stories I wanted to set up a proper plot arc but it just never happened.

I think there were two reasons why this happened. One was that some characters (like Evelyn) didn't have much of a back ground and thus creating motivations for them was really hard. I have several deleted scenes in a folder somewhere where I tried to flesh out Evelyn's back story but couldn't quite make things materialise. A second reason was that some characters had too much back ground. I had a very specific direction I wanted Katherin Gloom (not even my character) to go in and factoring that in to my plot was a headache.

Basically I had many characters to juggle and some were too vague while others were too specific. Both types are hard to insert into a narrative that takes shape as I write it, and this is the pitfall of starting a storyline based on "I have all these cool characters and I want them to have adventures."

I have since learned it is easier to have a direction for your story then add characters as necessary. It's what I'm trying to do this time around with the Rise of Gloom series, which is a quasi reboot of the DTSA series. I started with a more concrete direction and moved from there and funnily enough I've cut out many of my original character concepts as there is simple no room for them and shoehorning them in would detract from everything else. The DTSA is gone, the series is basically a fanfiction for Sephzero's Paranormal Control worldsetting and it already has an organisation of monster hunters, it doesn't need another. Of all the members of the original Exolon squad I've recycled only one and he now works for Paranormal Control.

With Rise of Gloom I really want to create a complete story with a definite start and end. Only time will tell if I have the discipline and drive to finish it off.
  • Mood: Artistic
  • Listening to: Rat King
  • Reading: The Elements of Style
  • Watching: Tokyo Ghoul
  • Playing: Starcraft 2
  • Eating: Food
  • Drinking: Coffee
Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: violence/gore)
The Gloom Family, Paranormal control, L.o.V.E and the associated world setting were created by Sephzero, on deviantArt. This story was conceived and written by Engineseer, also on deviantArt.

  Katherine Gloom floated in the darkness, her world permeated by a dull booming noise that rolled across her consciousness like distant thunder. Slowly the world returned to her; light, colour, shapes, focus…Pain.

  She blinked and felt the warm trickle of blood on her face. The metal room she was in was tilted at an awkward angle. Around her the place shuddered. Just as she managed to regain her sense of balance one of the Gloom family’s cyborg minions burst into the room and thrust a jet pack into her hands.
  “What is this? What’s going on?” said Katherine groggily.
  “A jetpack ma’m, put it on there’s no time to explain!”
  Katherine strapped on the device and allowed the cyborg to lead her to the nearest escape hatch.
  “Is my…”
  “Your brother’s escaped already, he sent me back to make sure you made it out, now come on! The ship is going down and there are reports of a Hyde on board.”

  Katherine’s eyes widened at the mention of a Hyde but she didn’t question her minion. The cyborg opened the hatch and shoved her out into the open sky. As Katherine fired her jetpack she looked over her shoulder, behind her the Star of Gloom; her family’s prized aerial dreadnaught crashed into the sports fields of Malkin Grey University.

--------------------

Several Years After the Incident at Malkin Grey

  Master Gloom, head of the Gloom family of criminal masterminds stood in the middle of a sparse, dimly lit room. One wall was dominated by a large screen which displayed the words “audio only”. To the sides of the room were dark alcoves where hulking shadows loomed.

  A voice came from the screen, heavily distorted in a manner that made it sound creepy but also impossible to identify the speaker.

  “You’ve got a lot of balls coming to us Gloom, you haven’t accomplished a profitable act of infamy in over a decade and still you come back to beg for resources and manpower.”
 
  “I know my family isn’t what it used to be but I can assure you that this next act of infamy will yield a massive profit for the Legion!” said Master Gloom.

  “Of course it will…,” said the voice sarcastically. “Normally I’d just give you another squad of z-grade minions and leave you to your inevitable failure because we in the Legion of Villainous Enterprise find your bumbling amusing.”

  Master Gloom bristled at the insult to his family but remained silent.

  “But here’s the thing,” the voice continued. “You’re in debt to us, and you have been for quite some time. Now when we forcibly collect on our debts our clients have the option of liquidating their assets until they can pay us back but you Gloom, have nothing left to sell after your last failure. So the only thing we can liquidate… is you. To the side two combat cyborgs stepped out of the shadows and levelled their arm mounted cannons at the hapless super villain. Gloom’s eyes went wide but he kept his composure.

  “G-go on, end it. If my family’s legacy is to end here I will face it with dignity.”
  “Relax Gloom, there’s no profit in killing you. You’re more useful to us alive. You will pay off your debt by working as a minion for our other clients. If you survive, maybe you might learn how to pull of a real act of infamy.”

  Gloom’s shoulders sagged as the words hit him. In many ways this was worse than simply being executed on the spot. He’d heard stories about those pressed into service to work off their debt and he knew that L.o.V.E would never consider it repaid.

--------------------

  Terrence Alden was having a lousy day. It had started with a security breach and ended with a rather pretentious looking vampire standing in the middle of his lab. And what poser this guy was, all dressed up in a trench coat complete with a wide brimmed hat, round sun glasses and a pair of oversized hand guns.

  “Greetings Mr. Alden” purred the vampire. “I am Al…”
  “Lucard?” asked Alden with mock curiosity.
  Behind his sun glasses the vampire’s eyes narrowed in annoyance.
  “Err…no. It’s just Al. You must be thinking of another vampire.”
  “Clearly…” said Alden dryly. “So Just Al, to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?”
  “Paranormal Control sent me Mr. Alden. They seem to think that you are engaging in a  spot of dark alchemy, something about engineering predatory artificial life forms.”
  Alden raised his arms and gestured around the lab. “Well do you see any ‘predatory artificial life forms’ around here?”

 Al raised his pistol and fired a shot at the ceiling. A pale man sized creature with gangly limbs and sharp claws fell to the ground with a massive hole in its chest, it writhed and squealed in pain for a few seconds before Al blasted its head apart with another well placed shot. Alden’s look of mock bewilderment melted into one of derision.

 “Kill him.”

  From the ceiling six more of the pale creatures pounced on Al. The vampire flashed a the kind of grin that you can only pull off if you have fangs and shot the first creature between the eyes before it could even touch him. He then neatly side stepped the second and kicked it in the face even as he unloaded his second pistol into the third. Creatures four and five sank their teeth into opposite arms; Al brought his arms together smashing their skulls. Number six came at him from behind and stabbed its claws clean through its belly causing him to fall to his knees coughing blood. Just when it seemed that the fight was over Al twisted his arms at an unnatural angle and rammed his thumbs into his attacker’s eye sockets. The creature squealed and trashed as he drove is thumbs deeper and deeper until it went limp.

  Slowly Al rose to his feet allowing the claws to slide free. At some point during the fight he had lost his hat and sunglasses. Hollow eyes with predatory intent burned into Alden who was now visibly trembling.

  “If you want to kill a vampire Alden, you need to destroy its heart. Something to keep in mind for your next batch of minions… Oh who am I kidding? There will be no next time.”

  “N-now, now… Al. I’m sure Paranormal Control would like you to take me alive, I have valuable information that could…”
  “Paranormal Control doesn’t always get what it wants, and all this fighting has made me thirsty. Oh sure they’ll waggle their fingers at me when I hand them your dried out corpse but in the end they know that they need me more than I-urk!”

  A soft “ffwppt” could be heard behind the vampire shortly before the head of a huge crossbow bolt erupted from his chest cavity. Al looked down and muttered a curse as his entire body disintegrated into dust. Behind him Katherine was reloading a massive crossbow.

  “Are you Terrence Alden?”
  Alden just stood there and gawked at his saviour. Katherine primed the crossbow and pointed it at him.
  “You deaf or something?”
  “Y-yes, yes I am…Terrence Alden I mean…not deaf.”
  “Good, the name’s Katherine. You work for me now.”
  “I don’t remember applying for a job.”
  “Paranormal Control has more guys outside waiting for you; if you want to get out of this alive and avoid getting locked up you will follow me.”
  “I suppose I have no choice then.”
  “Do you have any more of those things?”
  “The homunculi? Yes, but they are not fully awakened yet.”
  “Well wake them up and set them loose, we’ll need the distraction.”

  Alden opened a cupboard, pulled out several jars containing what looked like monstrous foetuses and set them on the ground. He then took a pipette out of his coat and squeezed a drop of red liquid into each of the jars. The previously inert creatures shuddered and began to swell up, shattering the jars. On the ground their bodies stretched and grew. Claws extended from bony fingers while lanky limbs erupted with lithe whip chord muscle. Within a minute they had grown to full human size.  

  Being the first time she had seen any alive and up close Katherine took the opportunity to examine them. The Homunculi were unnaturally pale, they had only small slits where their noses should have been and black beady eyes. They were completely hairless and sexless; their crotches were blank and their bodies devoid of any feminine curves or masculine bulk. Reptilian tongues darted out of their fanged maws as they tasted the air. Alden pointed imperiously at the lab exit.

  “Leave this place and kill any person who crosses your path.”

--------------------

  Clifford Nolan watched the entrance to the lab down the sights of an automatic shot gun. He was part of what they called a containment squad. Paranormal Control outsourced most of its jobs to freelance hunters and “pet freaks” but kept a sizable pool of human agents for situations that required more direct oversight.

  In this case Cliff and two other agents had been tasked with watching all possible exits to the Lab while one of agency’s pet monsters confronted the alchemist within. Cliff was getting antsy, Al had been gone for a while and a class A monster like him would have captured or killed his quarry by now.

  “Team report in” said Cliff over the radio.
  “Hey boss this is Echo two, everything’s all quiet on the north exit.”
  Cliff waited for Echo three’s response but none came.
  “Echo three respond,” still nothing but silence. “Echo two check on three’s status.”
  “Roger that boss”

  A few minutes later Echo two called in with bad news. “Uh boss we’ve got a problem, Echo three is down, crossbow bolt through his neck, shot from behind by the look of things.”

  Alarm bells went off in Cliff’s mind as he processed what this turn of events could mean. “Al! Al come in,” nothing but static over the radio. Cliff cursed under his breath “Echo two move in on the objective and rendezvous with me in the central lab, you are authorised to use lethal force on any hostiles encountered.”

“Sure thing boss, see you on the inside.”

  Cliff advanced into the lab. On the surface it was just another pharmaceutical lab in the middle of a science park. The inside looked pretty mundane as well. For a minute he wandered the sterile corridors, the place was clean and quite, no signs of a fight anywhere. Suddenly he heard footsteps coming from a side passage, rounding a corner he saw two figures heading towards the exit. One he recognised as Terrence Alden, the other was a blonde haired woman he’d never seen before, she was carrying a crossbow.

  Cliff raised his weapon and yelled at the pair to freeze. Alden stopped and started to raise his hands but the blonde shoved him forward, encouraging him to run. Cliff was about to open fire when a low growl caused him to turn around. Behind him a homunculus lunged at him claws out stretched. Cliff dived to side, grimacing as the creature’s claws gouged his leg. Without thinking he rolled over, brought up his automatic shotgun and unloaded the magazine into the creature. The homunculus’s body jerked around violently as it was perforated with buck shot, by the time the gun clicked empty the only thing left of the creature was a shredded fleshy mess.

  Cliff groaned in pain as he tried to stand up, his injured leg meant that he’d have no chance of catching Alden now. Raising a hand to his earpiece he called for a status report.
  “Echo two what’s your status?”
  “This is Echo two, “ her voice sounded strained. “Things don’t look good boss, I ran into a bunch of hostiles on the way in, I’m wounded, and there’s no sign of the target. I also found a pile of ashes in the central lab. It looks like our friend Al got staked.”
  AL dead, one man down and two remaining squad members injured, they were in no shape to continue the mission. Cliff knew he had to call this one in but he didn’t relish the prospect of explaining himself to his superiors when he returned to base.

  “HQ this is Echo Lead, mission is a failure, the target has escaped, our hunter is KIA and the squad is one man down. Remaining squad members are injured, requesting medi-evac, be advised there may still be hostile alchemical life forms on site.”

  “Roger that Echo lead, additional agents have been sent to extract you, just sit tight, ETA one hour.”
Rise of Gloom: The First Incident
The first part of a new series set in Sephzero's :iconsephzero: Paranormal Control Universe. This story sets the stage for a tale of super villainy and dark alchemy starting Katherine Gloom: sister of a has been Z-list super villain as she attempts to restore her family name to infamy (and maybe rescue her idiot brother.) 

For more insight into the Gloom family consider reading:

<da:thumb id="46865370"> 
Loading...
So I've started writing another story now. It's become clear to me that I don't really have the inclination or the self discipline to put out a steady stream or art or journal entries, so I'm just going to come out and say it: I'll be coming and going as the mood takes me. I'm here now because I've decided to write another story and I'll probably disappear again once it's done (or I get too lazy to finish it) only to come when the urge to create bites me again. Judging by my record of posting content that may well be a year or more.

Having started a new story has put certain things into focus for me; namely a phenomenon I see on deviant art where a lot of people create original characters that don't have much story to go with them. Oh sure they have back-stories but after that a lot of people just have lots of pictures of their character, sometimes said characters star in little vignettes or 4komas but they never seem to be part of an actual narrative.

A little disclaimer here; I'm not trying to look down at the people who do this. I don't begrudge anyone their creativity and I get it; creating characters is easy and it's fun. We often have cool character concepts that pop into our heads and we have this little head image about how awesome this character is, but when someone asks: "What's the story behind this character?" I almost never see anything beyond a few scattered comic strips and stand alone shorts.

I have a theory about why this is the case because I've run into this pitfall myself. Recently I discontinued the DTSA series (technically it died years ago but now I've made it official.) That series started out as a bunch of character concepts. I had this idea for Evelyn and the members of Exolon squad and vague back stories but when I tried to put it all together it all fell apart. It fell apart partly due to my own lazyness and partly because after the first few stories I wanted to set up a proper plot arc but it just never happened.

I think there were two reasons why this happened. One was that some characters (like Evelyn) didn't have much of a back ground and thus creating motivations for them was really hard. I have several deleted scenes in a folder somewhere where I tried to flesh out Evelyn's back story but couldn't quite make things materialise. A second reason was that some characters had too much back ground. I had a very specific direction I wanted Katherin Gloom (not even my character) to go in and factoring that in to my plot was a headache.

Basically I had many characters to juggle and some were too vague while others were too specific. Both types are hard to insert into a narrative that takes shape as I write it, and this is the pitfall of starting a storyline based on "I have all these cool characters and I want them to have adventures."

I have since learned it is easier to have a direction for your story then add characters as necessary. It's what I'm trying to do this time around with the Rise of Gloom series, which is a quasi reboot of the DTSA series. I started with a more concrete direction and moved from there and funnily enough I've cut out many of my original character concepts as there is simple no room for them and shoehorning them in would detract from everything else. The DTSA is gone, the series is basically a fanfiction for Sephzero's Paranormal Control worldsetting and it already has an organisation of monster hunters, it doesn't need another. Of all the members of the original Exolon squad I've recycled only one and he now works for Paranormal Control.

With Rise of Gloom I really want to create a complete story with a definite start and end. Only time will tell if I have the discipline and drive to finish it off.
  • Mood: Artistic
  • Listening to: Rat King
  • Reading: The Elements of Style
  • Watching: Tokyo Ghoul
  • Playing: Starcraft 2
  • Eating: Food
  • Drinking: Coffee

deviantID

Engineseer's Profile Picture
Engineseer
Making Silly Things Serious
Hong Kong
Engineseer is a man who writes things. He writes to soothe his soul, he writes to work out his frustrations, he writes to say something he feels is important, he writes for fun, and he writes because he can't draw. Occasionally he may actually draw something despite the previous sentence but mostly he's too busy playing videogames.
Interests

AdCast - Ads from the Community

×

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:iconsavagescribe:
SavageScribe Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Student Filmographer
Very many thanks
Reply
:iconengineseer:
Engineseer Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014
Cheers, stuff like that is always good to know.
Reply
:iconkorokage:
Korokage Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I have detected a... Schnoz. You probably don't remember me but what's up?
Reply
:iconengineseer:
Engineseer Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013
 Hey I remember you. How'd you know it was me? I'm doing fine. Going through a very interesting period in my life moving around between jobs and all.
Reply
:iconkorokage:
Korokage Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I was looking around for some of the peeps and there you just happened to be, commenting on a page not so subtly implying that it was you.

I'm all right. trying to get through college. So like, stuff is just happening.
Reply
:iconengineseer:
Engineseer Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013
Well I'm trying to get into college. Just got out of working job for 2 years and I realized I really, really needed to upgrade my skillz.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconstarburst98:
starburst98 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
hey man, how you doing? i've been well. moved to a new place tgchan.org come hang out sometime.
Reply
:iconengineseer:
Engineseer Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013
Wow, of all the people to suddenly walk out of my past... I'm doing alright though I'm afraid this DA is quite inactive. What goes on in tgchan?
Reply
:iconstarburst98:
starburst98 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
it's a quest board. as in, one person posts a picture and text and asks what the character should do next. everyone else then posts their ideas and the artist then draws it up. how they pick an idea is up to the author in question.

pictures are also technically optional except in the first post of a thread.

need more help come on IRC Server: Rizon channel: #tgchan
Reply
:iconvarawdn:
varawdn Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for the :+devwatch:
Reply
:iconengineseer:
Engineseer Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2011
Ah...heh..heh. Just decided to keep tabs on you since you're my beta reader and all. <.<

Still thanks for the watch and fav. :)
Reply
:iconvarawdn:
varawdn Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Ah... ulterior motives... :D No prob. :D
Reply
:iconengineseer:
Engineseer Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2011
I did the same for the author I'm beta reading for.

Glad to see you liked Ode to Bullshit. I think it's my opus. Even if people don't like my stories they all enjoyed Ode to Bullshit. :P
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconmana4x2:
Mana4X2 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Heya Engineseer,

You've been very quiet lately. Are you okay?

:wave:
Mana
Reply
:iconengineseer:
Engineseer Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2011
Hey

I've been very busy. Lots of work to do at school. I've been trying to move forward with some of my own projects too but there's so little time. Plus my work usually goes through a period of revision after it's finished which means it's even longer before I put it up.

Thanks for saying hi.

How have you been?
Reply
Add a Comment: