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Rise of Hellion ch13 ( Barry Pepper fanart fiction inspiration)

Rise of Hellion ch13 ( Barry Pepper fanart fiction inspiration)

Rise of Hellion ch13 ( Barry Pepper fanart fiction inspiration)

previous: https://www.reddit.com/BarryPeppecomments/koihsy/rise_of_hellion_ch12_barry_pepper_fanart_fiction/
The flight touched down, under the early morning sky. I could practically taste the Cinnabon frosting. It had been over a decade since I’d been on an airplane but I loved hanging around the terminals for the delicious overpriced food.
Baron placed his hand upon my shoulder. “What happens in Jersey stays in Jersey,” he said with a laugh.
“I thought you’d be bitter.” I leaned on his shoulder as we waited for the seatbelt light to turn off.
“You thought I’d be bitter about flying as a passenger instead of a pilot?” Baron shrugged, as he stretched his arms over his head. “I’ve always loved Alaska Airlines. And if I was flying the plane, I wouldn’t have been able to spend time with this little guy.” He tickled little Abby’s chubby arm causing the baby to smile.
“I can’t disagree.” In the weeks following our arrival at Dr. Toki’s DC bunker, Baron grew close to my son. The three of us shared a room; two cots on the floor with a padded plastic box for the baby. Like all babies little Abby cried; for food, diaper changes, or just out of loneliness. Nine out of ten times, I would awaken to find Baron holding my son. Sometimes he’d walk around the small room, other times he would sit cross-legged on his bed, but every night was a different story about Noah. I learned things I knew I was never meant to know about.
In the years they spent traveling the world as renowned criminal masterminds, Noah and Baron had become more than friends. They fell in love.
“You daddy was the greatest person I ever knew,” Baron often said as he rocked my son in his arms. “He was the last person I ever truly loved.”
I listened as Baron, by the light of the moon, told my infant son stories about his many adventures with Noah and Nash. Some boarded on the obscene; drugs, weapons trafficking, and all manner of sex. He never outright said they were lovers, only that they trusted each other with their mind body and soul.
“It tears me up inside knowing he’s gone. I know this is all my fault, his blood is on my hands. We should have died together. Noah died the way he lived; with honor and integrity. But then I never would have met you.”
That was how I knew Baron could be trusted; he loved Abby with every fiber of his soul.
“Yo, Nicki,” Baron said, tapping my arm. “The plane’s empty, time to go.”
“Oh,” I took a quick breath, forcing myself back to reality.
Baron grabbed our one piece of luggage, a plain black backpack with a limited number of supplies. Axel had passed it along to us before going through security, so I had to assume it contained no weapons.
We walked down the corridor to the gate at Atlantic City international airport. “Can I hold the bag?” I asked, since he was already holding the baby.
“Sure.” Baron took off the straps and tossed me the bag. It was lighter than I thought it would be. Inside was a lot of fabric; some rolled, some folded and some pieces were clearly hiding items made of plastic or metal. I figured I shouldn’t be examining its contents right away but with the chill of the airport I wanted to see if there were any extra clothes for my baby.
No, Abby was our baby. Seeing Baron holding the child in his arms, all I could feel was love. “Oh look!” I fished out a blue, baby t-shirt with a happy dolphin. “Let’s put it on him!”
Baron did as I asked, maneuvering Abby’s wiggly little body. With his fresh new shirt, he looked like a cute little tourist baby. In fact, we looked like a typical vacationing couple traveling with their newborn.
I knew that Axel and Dr. Toki were monitoring us from the safety and comfort of an unmarked medevac vehicle somewhere within a six-mile radius. Ideally, they would follow us, observe from a distance. If and when we found Tony, we could get the hell out (to the nearest TAC bunker.) Until then Baron and I were to look for clues along the boardwalk.
“Should we get a hotel room?” I asked.
“Certain military leaders didn’t give us any money, so unless you have a credit card?”
“I could probably pick pocket one.”
“Way to blow our cover,” he said with a laugh. “Nah, we can deal with the issue of housing when we need to. With any luck Axel and Dr. Toki have plans to get us out, so we don’t have to sleep on the streets with a baby.”
We walked a further, to the land of sun, sand and casinos, stopping to rest on a bench. “Let’s see what’s in the bag.” There were more shirts, pants, a few flattened bottles to collect water, or maybe even breastmilk. I placed each of the items neatly on my lap, hoping that I would not miss anything important. However, in the end, the only item of importance was a package of baby wipes. There wasn’t even any diapers. I had to assume, if I needed to change my baby, I was meant to use the extra clothing. (Same for first aid, due to lack of bandages.) “You really don’t have any money?”
“We can always shoplift,” Baron said cheerfully as he tossed the baby in the air.
Abby squealed with joy.
I could feel my heart flutter with joy. “That’s the New Jersey spirit!”
“There has to be a Walgreens around here someplace.”
We easily found a corner store with the iconic red signage. Baron picked up a basket and headed to the food section; packaged drinks, dried cereal, candy, etc.
“What do you think happened to Anya?” I asked, following close. “Since you’re the last person who saw her.”
“She’s going after Axel,” he answered casually.
“And you’re ok with that?”
“It’s her deal, her quest or whatever.”
“Or whatever?” I asked. His tone was really starting to piss me off. Axel was my friend, a human being. But so was Anya. And that was why my soul was being torn in half.
“Anya’s going to do what she has to do but for the sake of all of us she’s going to act alone. That way the blood will be only on her hands.”
I saw his point. If and when the time came, we were under no obligation to choose sides. “How thoughtful.”
“You need any diapers?” Baron asked. He was holding an open package of men’s shaving razors. Grabbing a single replacement head, Baron somehow managed to break the plastic apart without wounding his fingertips.
I assumed he was going to cut open a package. “No, I’m good. He has on a cloth diaper and I have enough supplies to make an extra. But I could use some soap.” I grabbed a package of off brand bar soap with an image of a happy Asian baby. Ideally, I could use this for washing both skin and clothing.
After easily leaving the store with everything we needed, we ran in the direction of the beach, hoping to get lost in the crowds. Suddenly out of nowhere the sky darkened and the clouds swelled with rain. The storm came down hard and fast, transforming from freezing rain, to pin-sized hail. In the distance there seemed to be a homeless encampment. Without any words spoken, we both knew to make a run for it.
The tent city consisted of a series of tarps connecting individual homes. There were a few spots that had people huddled around campfires. Men, women and children sat wrapped in dirty, wet blankets, as they struggled to stay warm. Not wanting to take any of their limited resources we walked until we found a sparse area with just a tarp surrounded by barrels and broken pallets. The space was just enough for Baron and I to sleep side by side, resting the baby on his chest.
“Here,” he said, sliding the backpack in my direction. “You can use the bag as a pillow.”
“Thanks.” Unable to comfortably sleep I found myself staring up at the blue tarp. As my mind started to float away my mouth spewed out the words that I thought I’d never say. “What happened between you and Noah?”
“What do you mean?” Baron asked in a whisper. He knew perfectly well what I meant.
“Feng told me he gave Noah the same opportunities he gave you. Yet somehow you ended up as his right-hand man with full access to his arsenal of weapons guns and even his appointment book.”
Baron swallowed a lump in his throat. “Your point?”
“Why didn’t you convince Noah to come with you?”
Baron went silent. He held the baby close, shivering. “You don’t think I tried?” He blinked tears from his eyes.
If he’d been angry, I would have continued the conversation; I would have wanted to know why he had the right to mourn the father of my child. But Baron wasn’t angry, he was in pain. “I think we should get some sleep.”
“Yeah, totally.”
I knew better then to try to ask for my son back. Abby was an emotional support baby and Baron needed him more. I made myself comfortable on my bed of plastic and leaves, pulling the tarp over my body for warmth. “Good night.”
There was a moment of silence before we were awoken by Abby’s cries. Baron sat up, rocking the small baby, attempting to keep him warm. “I think he’s hungry.”
“Give him here.” I had gotten better at breastfeeding, but with how cold it was I would have preferred to keep as covered as possible. “Can you help me with my tarp-blanket?”
“Sure.” Baron helped cover my body, allowing the baby warmth and privacy.
“Thanks.” I looked at Baron with genuine love in my heart. “Thank you for being my friend.” I couldn’t stop the tears from falling, mixing with the freezing cold rain. “Thank you for everything.”
Baron blinked tears from his own eyes as he crossed his arms over his chest. “You really want to know what happened to Noah?”
“Yeah, I do.” I looked down at Abby, who opened his eyes as he nursed. He had Noah’s courage and strength. “I can still remember that night. Even if it was for just a moment, I felt like I had friends, a real connection. That was never something that came easy for me.” Not that it mattered. It was yet another fleeting moment of happiness in my shit-show of a life.
Baron lowered his shirt, revealing his upper chest. “Feng gave me an augmentation; I have an inorganic core made of some kind of plasma. I used to think it was radioactive but I have reason to believe it was created as a means of unlimited projectiles.”
“And it keeps you warm?” That explained why Abby loved being held by him.
“Well, the power came with a complimentary suit of armor that allowed me to be the perfect little henchman.”
“You mean body guard?”
Baron shrugged. “I assumed that was Feng’s original plan.”
I swallowed the lump in my throat, mentally preparing for the worst. “And Noah?”
“He wasn’t down for it. The only reason he surrendered to Kitsune was to allow you and Anya time to flee.”
“Oh.” I felt like my heart stopped. I should have realized it from the beginning; that was the only reason we were allowed to live, because Noah truly loved me.
“We were turned over to Feng. I could only assume she thought Feng had the ability to extract Noah’s mind; his intellect, his secrets. But he didn’t. Feng needed Noah to volunteer information.” Baron paused, blinking tears from his eyes. “That was the difference between us. My most valuable asset was my combat ability, maybe my strategy skills. All I had to do was pledge my loyalty, and wear the armor, to gain Feng’s trust. For Noah, that was asking too much. His mind contained secrets that could change the world; info that could never and would never fall in to the hands of tyrannical psychopaths.”
“And that’s why he had to die.” Since I was finished breastfeeding, I handed the now happy, content infant back to Baron.
“Although if it was up to Feng (and it was) well, you’ve seen his set up.”
“Yeah,” I said with a nod. “I’m going to see that until the day I die.”
“All of his prized victims are kept alive, conscious as their forced to exist as hood ornaments. Feng wanted them to suffer for all eternity, or until their brains turn to pea soup.”
“Now I have a craving for split pea soup.” We laughed through our tears. In truth, I couldn’t close my eyes without seeing Noah’s remains.
“You hungry?” Baron dug in his pocket, producing a smashed-up Snicker’s bar.
“We can split it.” With food in our stomachs, we fell asleep to the sound of calming rain. For the first time since he’d been born, I had a vision of my son as a full-grown man.
The sound of rain grew louder, gradually transforming to gunfire. I awoke in what appeared to be a WW2 battle scene. Thankfully I was transparent; bullets passed through me like a virtual reality game, and the area around me felt comfortably warm despite the fact I was standing in snow. In the distance I could see a man leaning on a tree.
Eyes closed, he held a cross in his hand. I watched as he kissed the rosary pendent and said a simple prayer. “Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.”
As I came closer, I could see he was gripping his shoulder while doubled over in pain. That raised the question: why was he reciting the prayer of a sharpshooter?
He moved his hand to his waist, slowly retrieving a pistol. “My goodness and my fortress.” He held the gun under his chin, cocking the barrel to his throat. “My high tower and my deliverer. My shield, and he in whom I trust.”
“No!” The sound came from behind me.
I turned to see a figure wearing pink-purple armor. It was in the same style as what Baron wore. And he or she wasn’t running, they were flying.
“Abby!” A female voice cried.
I followed as fast as I could, as she rushed to the man’s side.
“Lieutenant?” The man muttered, coughing up blood.
I now had a good view of his face. It was my son and he was dying. Before I could reach out my hand, the armored woman flew through me.
She fell to her knees, ripping off her helmet to reveal a young Hispanic face framed by lots of curly black hair. “Abby, Sir, I’m here. It’s going to be ok.” She pursed her lips, smiling at him, through visible tears.
Abaddon lowered his weapon. “You need to flee.” With trembling fingers, he lifted his free hand to cup her face. It was obvious that leaving was the last thing he wanted. “This is a battle we cannot win.”
“Not alone, Sir,” the soldier replied with confidence.
Why was she calling him Sir? I could barely make out a patch on his arm. It was possible he was an officer.
The young woman lifted his arm, adjusting him over her shoulder. “I’m not leaving you behind. The nearest medic station is about six kilometers south of here. We can make it.” Before he could reply, she lifted his broken body in her arms, flying off into the night.
The world started to spin as the scene changed.
We were now in a poorly lit underground hospital. I could tell it was underground since every few seconds the room shook with the sound of gunfire and other (louder, more violent) explosions. Abby was laying on a cot with his bare chest exposed. He had several fresh bullet wounds, as well as deep scars.
The woman was by his side, having taken off her armor she rested her head by his shoulder, holding his hand. “Why do you call me by my rank?”
“What should I call you?”
“My name is Sundra, but my friends call me Sunny.”
“Is that because you sparkle like sunshine?” he asked with a subtle smile. Abby moved his free hand to her cheek, brushing a lock of hair behind her ear. “You don’t have to stay, Sunny.”
“I want to stay. Call it my street gang code of honor; a little something, I picked up from my grandma.” She turned her wrist to reveal a tattoo. It was a stylized diamond with the words, ‘Lucy in the sky.’ Sunny started to softly hum the melody of the famous rock song. “Lucy in the sky with diamonds. Sorry, the title is the only part I know.” She kissed Abby on the forehead. “My papa’s name was Denny. He was the first of my family line born in America. You really remind me of him.”
A gang member named Lucy with a son named Denny? That couldn’t be a coincidence. I moved closer, to get a better look at her face.
She kissed Abby down his nose to his lips.
There were tears in his eyes. “I’ll never forget you.”
Sunny turned, briefly glancing in my direction. “Do you think she’s here, in the room?”
“I know she is,” Abby replied, looking up at the ceiling. “Even as a child, I could always feel my mother’s spirit watching over me.”
“Can she hear us?” Sunny asked, still looking in my path but not actually at me.
“If the calculations and the technology are correct.”
“Do you think she can save us?” Her large, emotional eyes, blinked back tears. With every blink she started to disappear, vanishing from reality like a spirit lost to time. When Sunny was completely gone, all that was left was my adult son. His arms were wrapped around the empty space.
All around me I could hear sobbing. I assumed this meant I was going to wake up. My baby son was probably crying for food or maybe because of the cold: but I was going to wake up. Right? I wanted so badly to wake up. Wake up! Wake up!
I felt a sharp pain. I awoke with a jolt under the tarp, to the collapsing of our little shelter. Touching my hip, I felt blood and splinters. All around me all I could see was tarp. I wanted to scream. Where was my son? Where was Baron?
I needed to calm down; breathe, just breathe. I opened my hands, placing them palms down as if I was going to attempt a snow angel. There was a secret, a lock. There had to be. I felt a strange crack in the pavement. Digging my fingertips in, the piece seemed to transform into a handle (or a lever.) Even if it was just a hand hold, it would be my ticket out of the tarp since I could use it to keep myself grounded in place (as opposed to flopping around like a dying fish.) Turns out, it was a handle. I found myself falling down a slide. At the bottom I finally managed to get free of the tarp.
Baron was sitting in a dark corner with a finger to his lips. “Shh, follow me. This is a mezzanine level.” He motioned towards what looked like a second series of tunnels. “I’m not sure how deep it goes. We’re not going to slide: we’re going to crawl. I’ll go first and you follow close. Do not lose sight of me. Understand?”
“Are you holding the baby?”
Baron nodded. “If shit goes bad, I want you to find my body. I’ll protect him with everything I have.”
I knew what he meant, and trusted him fully, but I was still afraid. “You’re a better fighter than me.”
“Yeah, that’s why I’m going to hold the baby.”
“Ok.”
Baron and I snuck down the tunnels, we emerged in an underground factory facility. “What is this place?”
“Trash processing facility,” Baron replied. “You head left I’ll head right.”
“Sure, I guess.” I went left until I saw what appeared to be a light source.
I passed between several cargo boxes, emerging in an open area. There was a series of large vats, bubbling with hot oil or (more likely) acid. “Acid?” I had never seen acid before but the scene looked like something out of a comic book.
“It is acid,” said a voice from a nearby balcony. “the typical use is to process heavy metals and other non-recyclable materials.”
“Faust?” I couldn’t actually see his location.
“Today we’re disposing of inorganic material of a different kind.” He hit a button causing a limp body to start to descend. It was clearly Tony, but I couldn’t tell if he was even alive. “Are you willing to make a deal; trade his life for the contents of the battery?”
“I don’t even know if the copy I have is real.” And there was also the fact that the infamous flash drive was in a van, in the care of Axel and Dr. Toki.
“The one that Baron put on the dark web? Trust me it’s the real deal.”
“So, what’s on it?” I blurted out the words, although I wasn’t expecting any kind of logical answer.
The man snickered. “Does it matter?”
“Yeah, kind of.”
“Look, do you want to know my entire evil plan or will you be a good girl and save your beloved boyfriend’s life?”
I looked over at Tony. I had no way of helping him. If he was still alive, he was more then capable of saving himself. I had to believe that. “Is it time travel?”
“What?” Faust asked with a laugh. “Seriously, what did you just say?” With a flash of light, Faust teleported, placing himself in front of me. He stood tall, in a tailored suit, staring me down with his creepy metallic eyes. “Answer me, little girl.”
Why did he look so much like the adult version of my son? Because he was a shape shifter? Or was there something else? “Time travel?”
The once stern man cracked a smile. “Time travel is the stuff of movies and fairytales. The contents of the battery will bring this world to its knees.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard.” I blinked my eyes as the pieces fell into place. There was a reason why my son had been able to communicate with me so clearly through dreams. “Selective telepathic time travel.”
Faust was no longer smiling. “Would you prefer that power fall to the hands of Kitsune? She and her brother, they’d use it to cause a gang war; an apocalypse of weapons and drugs. You wouldn’t want that blood on your hands.”
We he seriously trying to appeal to my humanity? “What about you? What’s your plan, to go back in time to give Hitler a migraine?” I knew what his plan was. Or at least I think I did. There was something about Lucy or maybe Denny. What I knew for certain was that the final goal was Sunny; her existence held the key.
“You’re not alone, are you? Such a pity.” Faust teleported off, in a blast of blue light.
I already knew where he was going and there was nothing I could do. Faust landed on top of Baron as he attempted to free Tony’s body. Both men were knocked in to the acid. There was no sound; no screams, or even cries.
Where was my baby?
Faust teleported in front of me, holding my son in his arms. “You might not have been willing to save your boyfriend, but perhaps you will be willing to trade for your child.”
My back hurt, my arms hurt and my head was pounding, but I ran straight at him, charging like a football player going in for a tackle.
I was blinded by a familiar blue light. We had teleported, but to where? I could hear Abby crying. He was alive and that’s all that mattered. I blinked my eyes once then twice.
“Fire?”
submitted by dourdan to BarryPepper [link] [comments]

[fear the dark] it lurks behind every corner

Overview
Background
This run is a continuation of the 'Gambits in the Sand' storyline, covering the PCC's inheritance of the USA government's travesties and ecological terrors in the vast deserts of Nevada province.
Meet
Runners meet at the Emerald Gryphon Bar & Lounge in Tarislar, Puyallup.
Run
Runners take the Johnson's sub-orbital shuttle ride to Vegas after agreeing to the contract, arriving at roughly three AM. During the flight they advance legwork between Tamanous made men, hire a driver through networking, and search out additional details on Mr. White's life.
Their Tamanous mortician points them to the bodies of two treasure-hunting scavengers recovered by PuebSec in the desert, who have mana burned organs consistent with their subject mage. Using their driver, they break into his apartment, under lockdown by PuebSec, and carefully avoiding the alarms discover the mage is having odd visions and building replicas of Yucca Mountain inside his dishevelled apartment. Hijacking the cameras, they see him leave the apartment in the company of a free spirit, but are unable to identify that spirit.
Wraith sends out a drone, verifying that despite the blood alchera storm holding over the deserts of the Access Controlled Areas of the NV desert, there did appear to be footprints or a track outside the entry to the facility that lined up with the timing of their perp.
The team rents an off-road dune buggy from their driver contact, and begins moving out towards the site, getting caught up in the mana storm as their weapons get sludged and the vehicle takes a couple direct combat spells to the frame, in addition to surviving a land mine hit. The vehicle survives, however, and they make it to the compound as Slicer begins countermanding the surveillance emplacements in the facility.
Entering the property in their enviro-sealed EE suits and clothing, the team sneaks past the cameras emplacements with Slicer's assistance, narrowly avoiding a secondary alarm system set by the PCC Bobcats Special Forces for training purposes. They make it to the basement, only to discover the mage already dead, apparently prostrate in worship to an odd-looking earth spirit trapped in the lowest levels of the nuclear waste storage site.
Bubblegum grabs the corpse with some magic hands, alerting 7 Diamonds to other folks who have come to worship at the gateway. 7 Diamonds confuses Bubblegum in attempt to get him to stay; the rest of the team drags Bubblegum out after snagging a genetic sample from the mage and slamming the doors shut on the final waste and depleted fuel chamber.
They get struck by another combat spell on their way out, but avoid the landmines this time as the vehicle skirts the desert, headed badck into Las Vegas proper. The team forwards intel to the Johnson, along ith the notice that she probably needs to detonate his cranial bomb before his body alerts the PCC to some military-trespassing complaints.
Aftermath
7 Diamonds stirs in his toxic pit, attempting to send messages to the Spirit of Hoover Dam, ready to exact its vengeance against all of the Las Vegas metroplex.
Expenses
Vehicle rentals, vehicle repair deposits, R2 favor (made man, Slicer), desert/radiation survival gears.
submitted by coy-coyote to NeonAAR [link] [comments]

Respect T'Challa, the Black Panther (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

"The Black Panther has been a protector of Wakanda for generations. A mantle passed from warrior to warrior. Now because your friend murdered my father, I also wear the mantle of king. So I ask you, as both warrior and king, how long do you think you can keep your friend safe from me?"
Born to King T'Chaka, T'Challa was raised in the public eye as the next in line to lead Wakanda, one of the poorest nations on earth with a strange lack of trade or diplomatic ties to any other country. In reality, Wakanda's isolationist policies were used to disguise how advanced their society was from the rest of the world due to the abundance of vibranium it was founded upon, and T'Challa didn't only inherit the throne from his father but also the mantle of the Black Panther: A figure that protected the country with physicals enhanced by a herb grown only within its borders. Accepting this role shortly before Tony Stark publicly announced he was Iron Man, the Black Panther didn't appear to the rest of the world until the bombing of a UN meeting left T'Chaka dead. Following his experiences uncovering the plot of Helmut Zemo, as well as coming to understand Killmonger's views when he attempted a hostile takeover of Wakanda, T'Challa renounced his predecessor's methods, opening Wakanda up to share its technology with the world.

Legend

Movies

CW - Captain America: Civil War BP - Black Panther IW - Avengers: Infinity War End - Avengers: Endgame

Other Sources

BPP - Black Panther Prelude

Heart-Shaped Herb

As with all Black Panthers before him, T'Challa gains his enhanced physicals through consumption of the heart-shaped herb, a plant exclusive to Wakanda through the vibranium meteorite spreading its metal throughout the soil and affecting its plant life. It is consumed through being crushed into a liquid, after which the consumer needs to be completely buried (usually sand, though in this example snow is used). For a brief period, the consumer is sent to the Ancestral Plane, where they can commune with their deceased relatives. Following this, they emerge from their burial in a brief panicked state with enhanced physicals. In this example, T'Challa was comatose and minutes away for death if not for the snow around him, and was healed by the experience.BP
This power can be painfully stripped of a user through the consumption of an unknown liquid. While the powers can usually be regained through repeating the above process, Killmonger ordered the heart-shaped herbs destroyed upon becoming king, so should his Black Panther abilities be removed once more he would not be able to get them back.BP

Strength

Striking

Cutting

Leaping

Other

Durability - Suitless

Durability - Original Habit

Blunt Force

Other

Durability - New Habit

An upgrade to his suit design created by Shuri given to him in Black Panther. This version is noted to be able to store kinetic energy to later discharge, which may further reduce damage dealt to him by attacks on top of the durability his old suit gave him.BP

Blunt Force

Other

Speed

Reaction

Movement

Skill

Panther Habit Abilities

Kinetic Energy

Other

Other Equipment

"Wakanda forever!"
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JoJo's Bizarre OC Tournament #5: Round 2 Match 8 - Arpeggi and Agnes Versus Glitch and William

The results are in for Match 6. The winner is…
Player Team, with a score of 83 to Ernie Ford’s 62!
Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Players 25-5
Quality TIE 24-24 Reasoning
JoJolity Players 24-23 Reasoning
Conduct TEAM 10-10
...“You know what I'm here for!” Effie’s words rang out as Ernie watched on at the unexpected turn of events.
“The funny thing is I really don’t know.” Ernie stood there and took in the scene. Was this the first time he had seen this type of outburst in the District? Ernie tried to recall, but now wasn’t really the time to reminisce on bad memories.
Something was afoot. Something about Ugo threatening them that was for sure. But if Ugo wanted somebody to fight him this would never be his plan of attack. “Would you care to enlighten me then, I wouldn’t mind this either way!” Ernie shouted back, his tone was neutral, the tension of the situation only increased, but he didn’t see a need to fight back even now.
“They sent us here, because they wanted us to steal your notebook!” Ernie heard the voice of Jenny behind a tree.
Things started to make sense to Ernie, the hiding, why it wasn’t Odin’s people doing this, and that outburst. “And what do you two intend to do?” Ernie moved his backpack from his back to carrying it on one arm.
“Well if you help us, you could send them a fake notebook! It’s not like we like those fuckers anyways!” Jenny replied beyond the trees.
Well that wasn’t so difficult was it, it only took one or maybe both of their ire to get to this arrangement. Ernie weighed this against the prospect that they were lying to him, but if it came down to it it would just be either a fight now or a fight later. “Alright I’ll help you! I’ll be in my cabin manuscripting! You two wait outside, this will take less than an hour!” Ernie shouted back over as he started to walk back to his cabin.
“Your funeral..wait what?!” Effie flipped as Jenny clapped an arm on her, “We did it, we can get out of this shitty situation.”
Effie looked around, The Murder receded back into herself. “Did that really just happen?” She held out the hope that it really would be that easy, she wanted to believe it but she felt a slight pang of confusion, guilt maybe?
Jenny continued on, “We just have to make sure that he does his end of the deal and we’ll be out of here in no time.” Jenny looked at Effie’s face as she noticed the change in expression, “You okay there? You let out a bunch just now and if you wanted to talk about it.”
“No I’m ok, come on we have to still keep an eye on him.” Effie brushed Jenny’s arm off and made her way closer into the clearing with Jenny following.
Well, that was somewhat anticlimactic. If you were hoping for a match with some more carnage in it, how about checking out a race out of a monster-filled urn and voting on it?
Scenario:
Sound’s Garden Eastern Strip - Heartache Casino VIP Room
“So kind of you all to come again,” a man dressed garishly in gold spoke to a roomful of wealthy highrollers, a lounge area with a wall taken up by a screen large enough to make the place double as something of a particularly cozy home theater, a setup which had typically been reserved for two things: watching games organized by Heartache Casino’s owner on the closed-circuits of buildings he owned, and being rented out for private parties and banquets.
“This is pretty unconventional,” a dark-haired sniper remarked between drinks, staring at the screen as it showed, largely, several shots of a building in Downtown Los Fortuna, which seemed to have rapidly grown occupied by a small group of Stand Users, some of whom familiar to the district’s regulars after some close shaves in the subways both occupied, “but it’s brilliant… Just needed to get your tech guy to get cameras in there, now you have a huge show for free.”
“Should you be drinking, Seido?” The gold-clad owner asked, raising an eyebrow, “I mean, if something comes up…”
“If something comes up, I’m off-duty, I’m just a guest right now, and I can shoot well enough sloshed to get myself out of a bind. If you wanted me as security, you should’ve hired me for that… Though really, I’d have rather been down there raising some hell if I was gonna shoot things.”
Tigran sighed, finding that fair enough, he supposed… He wasn’t going to hire this man when he was buzzed, and he wouldn’t do guard detail for free either. Apparently, the man literally came to the city walking out of a bar into the flag unveiling, so he shouldn’t have been surprised.
Still, though, even with moods high here, nobody seeming to mind the way anonymous characters like Oh No and Conqueror Worm mingled among them. Sure, they were kind of a low-priority target right now, with protests in the Business district, the hell-on-earth about to be unleashed Downtown keeping their worst nightmares busy, and the usual BS in places like the Waterfront and Industrial, but the man once noted for his supremely smarmy overconfidence had been feeling more anxious lately, probably because the Entertainment District’s criminal underground had taken some losses recently.
Things were riding high with several successful games, and the arrival of Conqueror Worm, revitalizing everything that they had thought they’d known and opening up whole new possibilities of what games might be possible to organize from a place of safety, all while not asking for a penny of payment. He was a weird guy, but a valuable asset, and all that was understood to be asked in return was that they pretend not to know exactly who it was underneath that big fleshy suit.
And then, the next time they had an in-person event, a bunch of them died in a fire, and on the way to… Well, who knew why he was there, but something happened that got a formerly active manager and ‘game’ organizer murdered blocks away from the site of the flames. Was it a sign, then, that the old ways really were dying, that they needed to change with the times or lose this subculture of theirs entirely?
Maybe, and maybe some would leave it like that, but Tigran “Golden” Sins knew another source of common ground with every one of their games to go wrong, to go awry, to risk the future and safety of all that they were, all that they had. Everything (besides that time he got punched in the face) that had gone wrong, from Thutmose leaving them, to events that were supposed to be disastrous bloodbaths going well for the ‘players’ and ruining bets, could trace back somewhere.
And she was sitting there looking very disinterested, nursing a sparkling juice in a very expensive evening dress and earrings, recently bought by the only man in the world he believed to be above himself.
“Having a good time, Metra?” Fox asked the star known to much of the city as TD/MD, smiling smoothly and paying her more attention than the event itself, where he was significantly more public than before. He’d spent how many thousands on her in a few days?
“Sure, yeah,” she answered, with a clear disinterest and foul mood.
“I understand if you’re not… we’re all sorry to have lost Thutmose. Most likely by where he was, whoever killed him would have done the same to us had he not interfered. So he would want you to have a good time, right?”
“Alright, everyone, last calls!” Conqueror Worm called out, many eyes looking all over. After getting back from camera work, he’d volunteered to handle bets, on account of his utter disinterest in profiting from his work there. Damn shame, honestly; Tigran loved that weird golden Stand-hurting sword he’d always been swinging around, and something belonging to a regional founder would be a hell of a get to wear around. “We know all the key players in that little downtown scuffle, so let’s hear it! Who’s biting it? Who’s comin’ out? Who’s gonna have the highest bodycount? Is anyone even gonna get IN?”
That Oh No guy, from the Institute, spoke up through that voice changer he almost always had on in his coverings. “I think that… Three people will manage to find their way inside. Nobody on this betting board.”
“Ooh, bold words from our boldest regular!” Worm leaned in close, asking, “how much’re you puttin’ on that?”
“Nothing,” No responded, “I just want to see what comes of it… I’m almost disappointed you needed to ask.”
Peas in a pod, those two. Tigran sighed, figuring he might need to drink through these proceedings, only to glance at Metra, suddenly, seeming to smirk, ears twitching as if that special pitch of hers had picked something up. “What? What’s so fun now, that-”
The heavily reinforced, hidden doorway to the VIP room burst open, bisecting the hollow yet burly door guard as sand and rocks spilled out of its hollow crevasse, the only herald within seconds of a quintet of Stand Users barreling in, led by a trio on two motorbikes as two others, curious but energetic, followed.
“All that you’ve done ends here, Fox!”
Around the same time, Heartache Casino Public Floors
“Uh… Glitch? I think… it might be good if we… go?” William Eyelash was not liking it here very much. His hyperactive coworker and teammate had practically dragged him here after what was otherwise a simple delivery performed in place of Zebra, who had been busy enough delivering food to the other side of the city. William was the one supposed to carry it out, but Glitch had practically jumped at the opportunity to do so.
Glitch herself, meanwhile, seemed to be very content eating some fries which she (very regrettably) had to actually buy instead of simply snatching it away from a poor, unaware bystander, and had already ordered another plate because they were just that good. Security was too tight, somewhat on edge - the moment she got close to someone or something, they immediately turned their attention to her. Still, she didn’t want to deprive herself of one of the many pleasures of life like that, so she didn’t mind paying too much. “Mmrgh..? Why sho?”
“W- well… you know… uh...” William wasn’t sure how to say it - he was scared enough of Glitch’s erratic mannerisms most days, and that was while he tried to steer clear of her. Were he to directly oppose her, he’d have no way of knowing what she’d do! On top of that, he couldn’t help but notice that she seemed slightly… on edge. She was usually hyperactive, but she seemed to be even more eager to jump from one thing to another recently, and to ignore anything that even slightly stressed her out. Considering everything that happened to the staff at the Elephant Bones recently, it made sense for her to be stressed, even if she didn’t really show it usually. “... um, you know the rumors about this place… right? ”
Glitch turned to look at William, tilting her head “Hm? What rumors?”. “Uh... well… about the ED… and the fighting rings… I saw an article about it on the Hermod, and… i- it could be dangerous to be here for too long...” hearing William say that, Glitch seemed to recede for a bit, thinking to herself. “Mmm... well, it hasn’t been a problem yet! Right? Besides, the other chips haven’t arrived yet!” Glitch didn’t want to think much about it - so long as these fighting rings were away from her, she could just ignore them and go on with her life, but if it really was here, then maybe it would be good to avoid this place… but the fries were so good... Glitch took another look at the table she was sitting at and at the plate of fries she’d ordered. She grabbed a handful and ate them. “Mmm… after the second order of chips comes! Then we leave! But only after then!”
“Alright...” William didn’t like this very much, and he couldn’t help but shoot nervous glances around as Glitch finished up. Just about every staff member here was on edge and uncomfortable - he knew how to notice these things, and it would make sense if this place really was connected to the underground. Ugh… Why did he come along with Glitch? He’d just have to hope that the second order would come soon, and then they’d be able leave just as quickly as they came in.
Naturally, as if fate itself had conspired to screw him over, he couldn’t help but pick up on ‘something’. Guards around the floor peered nervously into their phones, and most of them began rushing towards the stairwell. Glitch had noticed as well, her ears picking up on the nervous murmurings of the guards and their hasty footsteps.
“Uhh… G- Glitch, something’s happening, we should-” “Pleh! Can’t you wait just a second! The chips aren’t here yet! This isn’t-”
Before Glitch could finish her sentence, something flew into the room - the body of a security officer, clearly tossed away by some stand, flew from the entrance to the second floor, and landed right in the middle of a group of more security officers.
“Oh god oh god it’s happening oh no oh no oh no oh-” William was, as expected, positively freaking out by now. Meanwhile, Glitch was keeping her ears peeled out, having picked up on something… interesting. The voice of two people she vaguely recognized from “Taste of Fortuna” a month or so back.
“Hey! That’s Agnes! And that other chef whose food is good! Even better than the chips!! What are they doing here, fighting?!”
Soon enough, Agnes and Arpeggi really did pop into the room, their stands summoned as they staved off some guards with them. Much to William’s chagrin, Glitch grabbed onto his hand and summoned [Vida Loca], before hopping onto it, the massive feline hoisting him onto it as well, before running right towards the source of the commotion…
And right into the footpath of a terrifying giant who seemed to suddenly fall from the ceiling, several eyes along its body looking to them as its head rotated 180 degrees. “Well, wouldn’t you like to know?”
Several minutes earlier, A Few Stories Lower - Sound’s Garden Abandoned Subway
“Are you sure this is the place? Seems pretty fucking trashy to me, honestly…”
“That’s what makes it a secret passage, Agnes… They’re not exactly rolling out the red carpet to tell you how to get there.”
“Ugh, Astronomia wasn’t built for this shit. You’re paying if something gets stuck somewhere.”
“You’ve crashed it how many times this month alone?”
Arpeggi Osso Buco sat in the sidecar of a motorbike driven by one Ananas “Agnes” Bayley, through the abandoned subways of the Eastern strip. He’d meant to take this trip alone, like he had before, but of course, this fucking guy had to be the first on the team to learn that he was a Stand User, an active vigilante, and not only in part responsible for a certain cult’s influence plummeting to nothing in Los Fortuna, but had dedicated himself to making an enemy of the blight of the Entertainment District.
“Fuck it, I’m down.”
“You’re… What?”
“I’m down. Fuck those guys. I don’t even need to ask any more questions, they’re an absolute disgrace to be shown up by a real villain, and if you’re hunting their boss down, I’m with you.”
“You are the last person I would want watching my back in a-”
“Or I can tell Gabanna what you’re doing so soon after getting SHOT last time you tried your luck with these guys.”
“…bastard. Okay, just don’t get in the way.”
Minus a near-scare with RCR’s nightmarish train nearly running them down without noticing, and Arpeggi having to explain at some point that it was both private information from a set of informants and news now publicly printed in multiple sources about the higher-ups of this organization, it had mostly gone smoothly since then.
As they drove closer to the underside of Heartache, Arpeggi signaled for Agnes to stop, noting a destroyed set of hollowed-out mannequins of sorts, smoking and smelling like gunpowder.
“Hell is that?” Agnes asked, looking down, but Arpeggi, in turn, didn’t quite seem surprised. Before he could explain, however, another, distorted voice cut through.
“You’re late.”
The revving of a second motorcycle, a sport bike, had quietly synced with Astronomia, and the pair looked up to see a figure clad in orange and black, winglike scarf drooping upside-down, its rider atop the ceiling of the tunnel.
“You.” Agnes spoke with contempt, despite having never seen the Black Angel in person before, only for them and their bike to drop down right in front of them, flipping in midair to land gracefully.
“You didn’t tell me you were bringing a friend, let alone… Him.” The Angel sounded dubious about Agnes’ presence, adding, “since you took time picking him up, I’ve had to start picking off these weird… hollow doll-guards myself. They almost noticed me in time to signal the boss. I really don’t have the time for this today.”
“Sorry about that, he insisted,” Arpeggi wrote off, not wanting to explain the somewhat unsurprising (“ran into one another while doing their vigilante rounds, got to talking about the ED mainly”) story how he and the Angel met, “and he’s here right now… Say what you like about him, you saw that Being So Normal, I assume. He’ll be an asset.”
“I’ll kick your ass-et,” Agnes grumbled, “fighting them alone my ass. Ugh, teaming up with masked hero types like this… Pisses me off. We should be kicking each other’s asses, Angel.”
“Deal with it,” the Angel wrote off, before adding, “our contacts in there… They said basically everyone we might have any reason to get is on that floor with them, watching Downtown.”
“Right, some madman is acting out there,” Arpeggi noted, folding his arms and looking Westward, “I take it that’s why you’re in a hurry? You want to deal with them quickly and head out there next?”
“You got it,” they answered, “and admittedly, there’s a reason I had to come here first… Something I’m going to prioritize the highest, and if we take too long, I’ll have to leave having only done that.”
“You’ve got a grudge, is that it?” Agnes asked, “you wanna punt some fucker before moving on?”
“That’s… not why I’m targeting him,” The Angel noted, before adding, “that sword the Conqueror Worm always has on him… The ‘Sword of Sir Aurel…’ The future of the city might depend on me getting that Downtown. The contacts say he still has it with him, just like on that stream.”
“You’re pissing me off, pretending you don’t care about just one-upping that bastard,” Agnes chided, adding, “act like you’re ‘heroes of justice’ all you want… I’m doing this because these guys piss me the hell off, and seeing them fall will make me laugh. Do all of us a favor, cut the bullshit, and admit you’re gonna enjoy this, yeah?”
The others didn’t say too much more of note, then, beyond the Angel briefly examining Astronomia, putting something all over it that they claimed would ‘make it maneuver better,’ which Arpeggi had to calm Agnes into accepting, especially considering it meant they could ride up stairs with relative ease.
“Alright, from this secret passage, it’s a straight shot up a few flights of stairs to the VIP room… We should be able to burst it down without ever disrupting all the public patrons and fortifications up on 1F. Hold on tight, you got that?”
The motorbikes revved, then, and the Angel’s led Agnes in seeming to leap into the air, driving up and along the walls of the stairwell, before a long-haired figure emerged from the Angel, aiming something at a metal reinforced door, firing into it a few times, and it shifted in place as Pork Soda rushed towards it, placing a tab on the material before ripping it away, liquid metal blasting in the opposite direction the door would fly and swing at rapid speed, swinging like a deadly projectile and cutting more powerful puppet guards away as the three burst in.
Arpeggi called out, “All that you’ve done ends here, Fox!”
Not long after Arpeggi called that out, Fox himself, of course, was quick to stand, as were a few bold-looking members of the crowd, hurrying towards the fighters with his own accompanying doll-guard, small enough to hold in two hands and, with his large frame, swing like a hammer-thrower, lobbing up towards them and bursting open into a mess of pointed rocks as he drew closer, repelling Arpeggi’s immediate attempts to approach.
The swinging door, embedded with odd screws and still gushing metal soda, began to fly towards him, only for the sound of a rifle to fill the room, a single warping bullet putting out every one of the odd screws and careening it to strike Arpeggi back, sending him flying down the stairwell before either the Angel or Agnes could react.
Seido, sitting at his edge of the bar, finished downing his drink, holding his weapon in one hand and grinning a bit, slurring slightly, “thas’ goin’ on your tab, boss…”
Fox smirked, then, rocks and sand swirling around him and beating back the remaining attackers’ efforts to burst forward. “Let’s not fight up here, gentlemen… I’ve set this place up nice for a very special guest. Take it downstairs. Seido, consider yourself on the clock now.”
Worm, then, seemed to realize the Angel was staring at his movements, diving down into the floor below to the terror of the 1F patrons, and the rider hurriedly cut away from the clash, leaving Agnes to fend for himself against the rocky onslaught of Fox, all while Oh No watched and Seido, quickly, lined up another shot. Even on this upgraded bike, he knew the only response to make there. “Fffuck this!”
Pork Soda reached for Astronomia, a tab appearing on its wheel which, as the Stand weathered rocky blows, it pulled, blasting Agnes back into the stairwell, where he hit the wall with an, “oof!” before hopping off of his ride, which crashed and plummeted down as he abandoned it to slide down the railing, doing a cool combat roll to cover Arpeggi and the Angel as they rolled into the first floor, clearly concerned about what Conqueror Worm being there would mean for the patrons. Fox and others were shortly behind, with a certain exception.
Though nobody could hear it, by Metra Doria’s choice, as soon as Seido had spoken that aloud, she’d kicked up the chair she’d been sulking in all ‘party’ long, a pair of headphones appearing along her neck as a blast of sonic energy kicked it directly into the head of the hitman. Her heart skipped a beat, then, and she muttered under her breath, “shit, that actually worked… I got lucky, huh?”
“Entirely,” Oh No agreed, stepping forth himself and stretching, producing a very large, intimidating revolver from his cloak and beginning, idly, to load it, “but don’t treat that as a failing, TD/MD… You saw a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and you had the instincts to take it.” No closed the chamber, starting leisurely towards the stairs after the rest. “This is getting tiresome, isn’t it? You see it too, how dull this has gotten… What potential they’re wasting here. What do you say we speed along what’s been a long, long time coming?”
“Well, wouldn’t you like to know?”
A golden, shining sword appeared out of the giant’s gross hand, and his presence alone made Glitch want to wretch, the smell of the Conqueror Worm fell, and vibes even more rancid.
“We got two more troublemakers here, eh?” Worm asked her and William with an amused tone, “Hell just broke loose here, and you’re tryin’ to run headlong into it! I like that! I like that drive! So what do ya say? Attacka them!”
Glitch didn’t know this guy, but something about his gleeful nature, the way that William murmured to himself in alarm when he spoke those distorted words, made her hairs stand on end, made her want to hiss and immediately turn her attention to him, and it seemed, then, that Worm could sense this.
“Another one who ain’t a fan, huh?” He shook his head. “Disappointing, but typical.”
At that, he ducked into the floor, before attempting to burst out from underneath and drive his blade up into Vida Loca, barely being scraped before hopping away from the rising attack and meeting it with a sharp, harsh claw, beating back his raw strength with her Stand’s own.
“I don’t know who you are, but you’re really not the kind of bad news that’s any fun!” Glitch called out from atop her mount, pulling off in time to avoid the ambush of a hollowed-out guard and note two others bothering William.
“That guy looks underage… He ain’t allowed to be on a casino floor without ID!” Worm declared with amusement, fully expecting what came next as several of the doll-guards attempted to strong-arm him.
“G-get away… Get away from me!” William was freaking out, then, and fairly fearing for his life, allowed Ocean Eyes to manifest, swinging and spraying acid all around, which bounced uselessly off of Worm’s hide, didn’t so much as drop near Glitch or Vida Loca, and melted away the threats in an instant.
The casino floor was pandemonium then, several high rollers, some random patrons, and of course, every named member fighting, Stands flying. Arpeggi expertly caught rocks tossed by Fox, only for him to still control them even as they were made to burn by NEXT LEVEL 2, though this eroded away much of the sands of his barrier, backed up by Agnes as he very competently kept a rocky barrier up regardless, Metra standing close by, shifting her eyes. The Black Angel tried to drive headlong into Worm, continuing his mess of a situation, while Glitch, mostly, managed to sneak off on her own, trying to find a way to support William and calm him out of whatever this was.
“Don’t move,” a modulated voice behind her said, and she heard something click behind her.
“Mrr?” She turned, then, facing the barrel of Oh No’s revolver head-on.
“This might be a bit loud… But it’s about time this ended.”
Before Glitch could react, No had pulled the trigger twice. Neither shot so much as grazed her, but seemed to hit tables, cameras, walls, ricocheting about in apparent chaos, before finally…
“I… What did…” Blood ran down the organizational ringleader’s outfit, bleeding both from a massive wound to the back of his knee and opening a massive hole in his shoulder, as the rocks he had been flinging around dropped like… Rocks.
Tigran’s voice was the next thing to ring out through the casino, now mostly abandoned bar the combatants.
“TOBY!!!”
Fox hadn’t even heard the shots fired, thanks to Metra, let alone noticed their angles; after all, the only one he knew of who could make a shot like that was knocked out and drunk upstairs, not to mention loyal to Tigran’s paychecks.
No twirled his gun around, holstering it and patting the bewildered Glitch on the shoulder. “Thanks for holding still… Didn’t want to hit you and ruin it all, after all. Hmmhmmhmahaha!"
“You… You motherfuckers!” Tigran wanted to cry then, especially as the others drew closer, seeing everyone who had fought against an ally of his here as little more than an enemy. Still, though, facing them off, he had to calm himself.
“Stand down,” Arpeggi demanded, “you’re outnumbered, completely.”
Tigran, rather than giving up, began to speak again. “You know, as the owner of this casino, I know the power of ‘games’. You see, if you call it a ‘gamble’, that sounds so… negative, no? So you call it nothing more than a simple ‘game’. That’s what draws people in. Getting people to play ‘roulette’ is harder, but if you call it a ‘roulette game’ and mask it correctly, it’s so, so, easy… However, the moment the ball is launched, it doesn’t matter, does it? No difference between a ‘gamble’ and a ‘game’... the ‘contract’ is the same - you abandon your money for ‘entertainment’ and for a slim ‘hope’ that you’ll succeed this time and make bank… It’s all thanks to these ‘games’... All of you lot, don’t you think so? Aren’t ‘games’ great? Hell, I’ve got an idea for one we can play right now…”
“Wh- what the hell are you talking about!” Arpeggi shouted out in anger. “I’m not putting up with this shit! You want a ‘game’?! Sure, fine! Here, how about this one - I go up to you, and have fun beating the shit out of you!” rushing towards Tigran, Arpeggi readied a punch and swung towards him - only for his fist to stop in midair, hitting against some kind of invisible barrier. He reeled back from the impact, stumbling backwards, feeling… weak. A look behind him revealed that Agnes, Glitch, William, and even Metra, the Angel, and No seemed to be feeling the same, struggling to remain upright.
“Y- you ‘agreed’... heh…” Tigran’s previously panicked expression quickly faded, replaced by a wide grin. “You agreed to it! You agreed to the ‘game’!” By now, Tigran broke out into uproarious laughter. “Always! They always fall for it, tempted by ‘games’! You… you idiot! I put the answer right in front of you, and you still missed it! ‘Games’, by their very nature, are tricks! Illusions! And my [The Grid] has the power to facilitate that! By agreeing to the game, my [The Grid] forces you to participate! There’s no escape now - you’re trapped in this ‘game’ of mine!”
As he realized he had screwed them all right at the last moment, Arpeggi’s vision began fading, and he fell onto the ground with a thud, blacking out.
???, an hour later, Heartache Casino VIP room
“Alright! Seems like our contestants for the first impromptu match of the day are waking up!”
“Plrrr..?” Out of nowhere, Glitch found herself standing straight, awake, somewhere unfamiliar. She tried to listen to see what was going on, only hearing the groans of William, Agnes, and Arpeggi, indicating that they were in a similar position to her. Of course, there was also that voice - she was… a ‘contestant’. It wasn’t hard to roughly figure out what exactly she was a ‘contestant’ of. She, and...
“...William!” Behind her was a whimpering noise, evidently William, and the sound of droplets of some kind of liquid splashing onto the ground, clearly [Ocean Eyes]’s acid. Ahead of her were Agnes and Arpeggi, talking between themselves about what the hell happened. Arpeggi sounded mad. Agnes… she wasn’t sure how he sounded. But she gathered enough from their conversation to understand that somehow, they were currently inside of a roulette wheel. Or rather, she, and everyone else, was shrunk, and placed into a roulette wheel.
“Now, this match is simple - a deathmatch to see who manages to survive! However, since we’re at the heartache casino… there’s an appropriate twist involved! See, our combatants for today are fighting on a roulette table, and meanwhile, our spectators for today are placing ‘bets’ to see which colors win out! Representing ‘red’, we’ve got our very own ‘Fox’! On black, meanwhile, we’ve got ‘Tigran Sins’, who set this match up!”
She summoned [Vida Loca] besides her, taking a look through the stand’s eyes and seeing the environment for herself. She was dwarfed by the room, trapped inside of this small roulette wheel. There was nowhere to run. William’s whimpers had escalated into sobbing, as [Ocean Eyes] hugged him from behind. Arpeggi and Agnes were arguing by now, shouting at each other. She took a deep breath.
“Now… I won’t keep you waiting any longer, since I just know everyone here’s excited to see what happens! So...”
First, Glitch got tossed into Los Fortuna and found a new home there, with the rest of the staff at the Elephant Bones. Then, they started getting into fights with other stand users - Shelldrake, Effie, Byte, William. She hadn’t been in one yet, but she knew very well the effects of them. Her friends had gotten hurt, some such as Father Blue even dying. Then the situation in the slums got worse, her home becoming less and less safe by the minute, her friends getting extorted and forced to work for ODIN, and now she and William were trapped here.
“Three… Two… One...”
She needed to get out. She needed to fight. She needed to win. She could overhear Agnes and Arpeggi bickering on the other side of the wheel, but knew that they were going to try and fight her and William as well. They had to. They’d been trapped by that man’s stand, and none of them knew what could be done against it, if anything.
[Vida Loca] stood behind her, a constant vibration coming out of it and creating a loud hissing noise that was soon mimicked by [Ocean Eyes], drowning out William’s sobs. She knew full well that, even if he was her friend, William was also a dangerous killer, meek though he might have acted. As hard as that whole situation was to grasp, she understood something else - that the more she stayed near [Ocean Eyes], working alongside it, the safer she was. She and William had to get out of this. And if they wanted to get out of this...
They would have to fight for their lives.
OPEN THE GAME!
(credit to magistelles for the image, both the censored and uncensored version!(CW: trypophobia))
Location: A roulette wheel in Heartache Casino, upon which players have been forcibly placed.
The map here is roughly similar to the image of the roulette wheel above. The outer brown layer represents the rim, the yellow layer being the wooden slopes down towards the center, the black layer being the numbers, the red layer being the pockets, the next layer being sloped wood up towards the center, and the center being a metal tower.
The map is 30 by 30 meters relative to the players, with the dotted tile being 5 by 5 meters.
The diamonds are the metal bumpers, about half a meter tall, and the blue circle is a weighted metal roulette ball which is a meter tall, both heights relative to the players.
The metal tower in the center is 8 meters tall relative to the players and the outside walls are 5 meters relative to the players. Players can not go past the rim of the roulette wheel.
Goal: RETIRE your opponents!
Additional Information:
There is an invisible barrier keeping the players and their Stands inside the roulette wheel. Everything else will pass through as normal, but the players and their attacks will be blocked by this barrier. The barrier is cylindrical around the entire roulette wheel.
The roulette system is currently automatic, 5 seconds after the ball falls into a pocket or stops moving entirely, it will start rolling again at top speed clockwise. The max speed of the ball is equivalent to B SPD and the ball is A DUR. You can expect it to make around 8 revolutions around the wheel before losing most of its speed if it is unimpeded by the players.
If the ball is destroyed or unable to roll, a new one will be thrown in from outside.
Team Combatant JoJolity
The Graveyard Shift William Eyelash “W-Well, I'll be going now...” You’re being forced to fight, and you don’t want anything to do with this! During the match, try to stay on the backlines as much as possible, assisting from there!
The Graveyard Shift Tiger “Glitch” Ricky "Nowadays, 30,000 yen is gone after you make one or two trips... So all that's left is to make more money, or go flat broke." You are being forced to fight here, and you hate it, so you might as well do something to cause the casino to lose money! Do whatever you can to constantly rig the roulette in favor of odds!
BADD GUYS Arpeggi Osso Buco "Does that alien not know what 'holding back' means?" You were tricked by that asshole, and now you’ve got to fight these two bystanders?! Fuck, this makes you irritated. Destroy as much of the area as possible over the course of your strategy!
BADD GUYS Ananas “Agnes” Bayley "I did say this seemed fun, but I wasn't talking about Cee-lo. I meant that it'd be fun taking your 30,000 yen from you." That girl over there is trying to rig the game, so play the agent of chaos and rig it towards the other end! Do whatever you can to constantly rig the roulette in favor of evens!
Link to the Official Player Spreadsheet
Link to Match Schedule
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submitted by Dungeon_Dice to StardustCrusaders [link] [comments]

SKRIBBL WORD LIST

Pac-Man
bow
Apple
chest
six pack
nail
tornado
Mickey Mouse
Youtube
lightning
traffic light
waterfall
McDonalds
Donald Trump
Patrick
stop sign
Superman
tooth
sunflower
keyboard
island
Pikachu
Harry Potter
Nintendo Switch
Facebook
eyebrow
Peppa Pig
SpongeBob
Creeper
octopus
church
Eiffel tower
tongue
snowflake
fish
Twitter
pan
Jesus Christ
butt cheeks
jail
Pepsi
hospital
pregnant
thunderstorm
smile
skull
flower
palm tree
Angry Birds
America
lips
cloud
compass
mustache
Captain America
pimple
Easter Bunny
chicken
Elmo
watch
prison
skeleton
arrow
volcano
Minion
school
tie
lighthouse
fountain
Cookie Monster
Iron Man
Santa
blood
river
bar
Mount Everest
chest hair
Gumball
north
water
cactus
treehouse
bridge
short
thumb
beach
mountain
Nike
flag
Paris
eyelash
Shrek
brain
iceberg
fingernail
playground
ice cream
Google
dead
knife
spoon
unibrow
Spiderman
black
graveyard
elbow
golden egg
yellow
Germany
Adidas
nose hair
Deadpool
Homer Simpson
Bart Simpson
rainbow
ruler
building
raindrop
storm
coffee shop
windmill
fidget spinner
yo-yo
ice
legs
tent
mouth
ocean
Fanta
homeless
tablet
muscle
Pinocchio
tear
nose
snow
nostrils
Olaf
belly button
Lion King
car wash
Egypt
Statue of Liberty
Hello Kitty
pinky
Winnie the Pooh
guitar
Hulk
Grinch
Nutella
cold
flagpole
Canada
rainforest
blue
rose
tree
hot
mailbox
Nemo
crab
knee
doghouse
Chrome
cotton candy
Barack Obama
hot chocolate
Michael Jackson
map
Samsung
shoulder
Microsoft
parking
forest
full moon
cherry blossom
apple seed
Donald Duck
leaf
bat
earwax
Italy
finger
seed
lilypad
brush
record
wrist
thunder
gummy
Kirby
fire hydrant
overweight
hot dog
house
fork
pink
Sonic
street
Nasa
arm
fast
tunnel
full
library
pet shop
Yoshi
Russia
drum kit
Android
Finn and Jake
price tag
Tooth Fairy
bus stop
rain
heart
face
tower
bank
cheeks
Batman
speaker
Thor
skinny
electric guitar
belly
cute
ice cream truck
bubble gum
top hat
Pink Panther
hand
bald
freckles
clover
armpit
Japan
thin
traffic
spaghetti
Phineas and Ferb
broken heart
fingertip
funny
poisonous
Wonder Woman
Squidward
Mark Zuckerberg
twig
red
China
dream
Dora
daisy
France
Discord
toenail
positive
forehead
earthquake
iron
Zeus
Mercedes
Big Ben
supermarket
Bugs Bunny
Yin and Yang
drink
rock
drum
piano
white
bench
fall
royal
seashell
Audi
stomach
aquarium
Bitcoin
volleyball
marshmallow
Cat Woman
underground
Green Lantern
bottle flip
toothbrush
globe
sand
zoo
west
puddle
lobster
North Korea
Luigi
bamboo
Great Wall
Kim Jong-un
bad
credit card
swimming pool
Wolverine
head
hair
Yoda
Elsa
turkey
heel
maracas
clean
droplet
cinema
poor
stamp
Africa
whistle
Teletubby
wind
Aladdin
tissue box
fire truck
Usain Bolt
water gun
farm
iPad
well
warm
booger
WhatsApp
Skype
landscape
pine cone
Mexico
slow
organ
fish bowl
teddy bear
John Cena
Frankenstein
tennis racket
gummy bear
Mount Rushmore
swing
Mario
lake
point
vein
cave
smell
chin
desert
scary
Dracula
airport
kiwi
seaweed
incognito
Pluto
statue
hairy
strawberry
low
invisible
blindfold
tuna
controller
Paypal
King Kong
neck
lung
weather
Xbox
tiny
icicle
flashlight
scissors
emoji
strong
saliva
firefighter
salmon
basketball
spring
Tarzan
red carpet
drain
coral reef
nose ring
caterpillar
Wall-e
seat belt
polar bear
Scooby Doo
wave
sea
grass
pancake
park
lipstick
pickaxe
east
grenade
village
Flash
throat
dizzy
Asia
petal
Gru
country
spaceship
restaurant
copy
skin
glue stick
Garfield
equator
blizzard
golden apple
Robin Hood
fast food
barbed wire
Bill Gates
Tower of Pisa
neighborhood
lightsaber
video game
high heels
dirty
flamethrower
pencil sharpener
hill
old
flute
cheek
violin
fireball
spine
bathtub
cell phone
breath
open
Australia
toothpaste
Tails
skyscraper
cowbell
rib
ceiling fan
Eminem
Jimmy Neutron
photo frame
barn
sandstorm
Jackie Chan
Abraham Lincoln
T-rex
pot of gold
KFC
shell
poison
acne
avocado
study
bandana
England
Medusa
scar
Skittles
Pokemon
branch
Dumbo
factory
Hollywood
deep
knuckle
popular
piggy bank
Las Vegas
microphone
Tower Bridge
butterfly
slide
hut
shovel
hamburger
shop
fort
Ikea
planet
border
panda
highway
swamp
tropical
lightbulb
Kermit
headphones
jungle
Reddit
young
trumpet
cheeseburger
gas mask
apartment
manhole
nutcracker
Antarctica
mansion
bunk bed
sunglasses
spray paint
Jack-o-lantern
saltwater
tank
cliff
campfire
palm
pumpkin
elephant
banjo
nature
alley
fireproof
earbuds
crossbow
Elon Musk
quicksand
Playstation
Hawaii
good
corn dog
Gandalf
dock
magic wand
field
Solar System
photograph
ukulele
James Bond
The Beatles
Katy Perry
pirate ship
Poseidon
Netherlands
photographer
Lego
hourglass
glass
path
hotel
ramp
dandelion
Brazil
coral
cigarette
messy
Dexter
valley
parachute
wine glass
matchbox
Morgan Freeman
black hole
midnight
astronaut
paper bag
sand castle
forest fire
hot sauce
social media
William Shakespeare
trash can
fire alarm
lawn mower
nail polish
Band-Aid
Star Wars
clothes hanger
toe
mud
coconut
jaw
bomb
south
firework
sailboat
loading
iPhone
toothpick
BMW
ketchup
fossil
explosion
Finn
Einstein
infinite
dictionary
Photoshop
trombone
clarinet
rubber
saxophone
helicopter
temperature
bus driver
cello
London
newspaper
blackberry
shopping cart
Florida
Daffy Duck
mayonnaise
gummy worm
flying pig
underweight
Crash Bandicoot
bungee jumping
kindergarten
umbrella
hammer
night
laser
glove
square
Morty
firehouse
dynamite
chainsaw
melon
waist
Chewbacca
kidney
stoned
Rick
ticket
skateboard
microwave
television
soil
exam
cocktail
India
Colosseum
missile
hilarious
Popeye
nuke
silo
chemical
museum
Vault boy
adorable
fast forward
firecracker
grandmother
Porky Pig
roadblock
continent
wrinkle
shaving cream
Northern Lights
tug
London Eye
Israel
shipwreck
xylophone
motorcycle
diamond
root
coffee
princess
Oreo
goldfish
wizard
chocolate
garbage
ladybug
shotgun
kazoo
Minecraft
video
message
lily
fisherman
cucumber
password
western
ambulance
doorknob
glowstick
makeup
barbecue
jazz
hedgehog
bark
tombstone
coast
pitchfork
Christmas
opera
office
insect
hunger
download
hairbrush
blueberry
cookie jar
canyon
Happy Meal
high five
fern
quarter
peninsula
imagination
microscope
table tennis
whisper
fly swatter
pencil case
harmonica
Family Guy
New Zealand
apple pie
warehouse
cookie
USB
jellyfish
bubble
battery
fireman
pizza
angry
taco
harp
alcohol
pound
bedtime
megaphone
husband
oval
rail
stab
dwarf
milkshake
witch
bakery
president
weak
second
sushi
mall
complete
hip hop
slippery
horizon
prawn
plumber
blowfish
Madagascar
Europe
bazooka
pogo stick
Terminator
Hercules
notification
snowball fight
high score
Kung Fu
Lady Gaga
geography
sledgehammer
bear trap
sky
cheese
vine
clown
catfish
snowman
bowl
waffle
vegetable
hook
shadow
dinosaur
lane
dance
scarf
cabin
Tweety
bookshelf
swordfish
skyline
base
straw
biscuit
Greece
bleach
pepper
reflection
universe
skateboarder
triplets
gold chain
electric car
policeman
electricity
mother
Bambi
croissant
Ireland
sandbox
stadium
depressed
Johnny Bravo
silverware
raspberry
dandruff
Scotland
comic book
cylinder
Milky Way
taxi driver
magic trick
sunrise
popcorn
eat
cola
cake
pond
mushroom
rocket
surfboard
baby
cape
glasses
sunburn
chef
gate
charger
crack
mohawk
triangle
carpet
dessert
taser
afro
cobra
ringtone
cockroach
levitate
mailman
rockstar
lyrics
grumpy
stand
Norway
binoculars
nightclub
puppet
novel
injection
thief
pray
chandelier
exercise
lava lamp
lap
massage
thermometer
golf cart
postcard
bell pepper
bed bug
paintball
Notch
yogurt
graffiti
burglar
butler
seafood
Sydney Opera House
Susan Wojcicki
parents
bed sheet
Leonardo da Vinci
intersection
palace
shrub
lumberjack
relationship
observatory
junk food
eye
log
dice
bicycle
pineapple
camera
circle
lemonade
soda
comb
cube
Doritos
love
table
honey
lighter
broccoli
fireplace
drive
Titanic
backpack
emerald
giraffe
world
internet
kitten
volume
Spain
daughter
armor
noob
rectangle
driver
raccoon
bacon
lady
bull
camping
poppy
snowball
farmer
lasso
breakfast
oxygen
milkman
caveman
laboratory
bandage
neighbor
Cupid
Sudoku
wedding
seagull
spatula
atom
dew
fortress
vegetarian
ivy
snowboard
conversation
treasure
chopsticks
garlic
vacuum
swimsuit
divorce
advertisement
vuvuzela
Mr Bean
Fred Flintstone
pet food
upgrade
voodoo
punishment
Charlie Chaplin
Rome
graduation
beatbox
communism
yeti
ear
dots
octagon
kite
lion
winner
muffin
cupcake
unicorn
smoke
lime
monster
Mars
moss
summer
lollipop
coffin
paint
lottery
wife
pirate
sandwich
lantern
seahorse
Cuba
archer
sweat
deodorant
plank
Steam
birthday
submarine
zombie
casino
gas
stove
helmet
mosquito
ponytail
corpse
subway
spy
jump rope
baguette
grin
centipede
gorilla
website
text
workplace
bookmark
anglerfish
wireless
Zorro
sports
abstract
detective
Amsterdam
elevator
chimney
reindeer
Singapore
perfume
soldier
bodyguard
magnifier
freezer
radiation
assassin
yawn
backbone
disaster
giant
pillow fight
grasshopper
Vin Diesel
geyser
burrito
celebrity
Lasagna
Pumba
karaoke
hypnotize
platypus
Leonardo DiCaprio
bird bath
battleship
back pain
rapper
werewolf
Black Friday
cathedral
Sherlock Holmes
ABBA
hard hat
sword
mirror
toilet
eggplant
jelly
hero
starfish
bread
snail
person
plunger
computer
nosebleed
goat
joker
sponge
mop
owl
beef
portal
genie
crocodile
murderer
magic
pine
winter
robber
pepperoni
shoebox
fog
screen
son
folder
mask
Goofy
Mercury
zipline
wall
dragonfly
zipper
meatball
slingshot
Pringles
circus
mammoth
nugget
mousetrap
recycling
revolver
champion
zigzag
meat
drought
vodka
notepad
porcupine
tuba
hacker
broomstick
kitchen
cheesecake
satellite
JayZ
squirrel
leprechaun
jello
gangster
raincoat
eyeshadow
shopping
gardener
scythe
portrait
jackhammer
allergy
honeycomb
headache
Miniclip
Mona Lisa
cheetah
virtual reality
virus
Argentina
blanket
military
headband
superpower
language
handshake
reptile
thirst
fake teeth
duct tape
macaroni
color-blind
comfortable
Robbie Rotten
coast guard
cab driver
pistachio
Angelina Jolie
autograph
sea lion
Morse code
clickbait
star
girl
lemon
alarm
shoe
soap
button
kiss
grave
telephone
fridge
katana
switch
eraser
signature
pasta
flamingo
crayon
puzzle
hard
juice
socks
crystal
telescope
galaxy
squid
tattoo
bowling
lamb
silver
lid
taxi
basket
step
stapler
pigeon
zoom
teacher
holiday
score
Tetris
frame
garden
stage
unicycle
cream
sombrero
error
battle
starfruit
hamster
chalk
spiral
bounce
hairspray
lizard
victory
balance
hexagon
Ferrari
MTV
network
weapon
fist fight
vault
mattress
viola
birch
stereo
Jenga
plug
chihuahua
plow
pavement
wart
ribbon
otter
magazine
Bomberman
vaccine
elder
Romania
champagne
semicircle
Suez Canal
Mr Meeseeks
villain
inside
spade
gravedigger
Bruce Lee
gentle
stingray
can opener
funeral
jet ski
wheelbarrow
thug
undo
fabulous
space suit
cappuccino
Minotaur
skydiving
cheerleader
Stone Age
Chinatown
razorblade
crawl space
cauldron
trick shot
Steve Jobs
audience
time machine
sewing machine
face paint
truck driver
x-ray
fly
salt
spider
boy
dollar
turtle
book
chain
dolphin
sing
milk
wing
pencil
snake
scream
toast
vomit
salad
radio
potion
dominoes
balloon
monkey
trophy
feather
leash
loser
bite
notebook
happy
Mummy
sneeze
koala
tired
sick
pipe
jalapeno
diaper
deer
priest
youtuber
boomerang
pro
ruby
hop
hopscotch
barcode
vote
wrench
tissue
doll
clownfish
halo
Monday
tentacle
grid
Uranus
oil
scarecrow
tarantula
germ
glow
haircut
Vatican
tape
judge
cell
diagonal
science
mustard
fur
janitor
ballerina
pike
nun
chime
tuxedo
Cerberus
panpipes
surface
coal
knot
willow
pajamas
fizz
student
eclipse
asteroid
Portugal
pigsty
brand
crowbar
chimpanzee
Chuck Norris
raft
carnival
treadmill
professor
tricycle
apocalypse
vitamin
orchestra
groom
cringe
knight
litter box
macho
brownie
hummingbird
Hula Hoop
motorbike
type
catapult
take off
wake up
concert
floppy disk
BMX
bulldozer
manicure
brainwash
William Wallace
guinea pig
motherboard
wheel
brick
egg
lava
queen
gold
God
ladder
coin
laptop
toaster
butter
bag
doctor
sit
tennis
half
Bible
noodle
golf
eagle
cash
vampire
sweater
father
remote
safe
jeans
darts
graph
nothing
dagger
stone
wig
cupboard
minute
match
slime
garage
tomb
soup
bathroom
llama
shampoo
swan
frown
toolbox
jacket
adult
crate
quill
spin
waiter
mint
kangaroo
captain
loot
maid
shoelace
luggage
cage
bagpipes
loaf
aircraft
shelf
safari
afterlife
napkin
steam
coach
slope
marigold
Mozart
bumper
Asterix
vanilla
papaya
ostrich
failure
scoop
tangerine
firefly
centaur
harbor
uniform
Beethoven
Intel
moth
Spartacus
fluid
acid
sparkles
talent show
ski jump
polo
ravioli
delivery
woodpecker
logo
Stegosaurus
diss track
Darwin Watterson
filmmaker
silence
dashboard
echo
windshield
Home Alone
tablecloth
backflip
headboard
licorice
sunshade
Picasso
airbag
water cycle
meatloaf
insomnia
broom
whale
pie
demon
bed
braces
fence
orange
sleep
gift
Popsicle
spear
zebra
Saturn
maze
chess
wire
angel
skates
pyramid
shower
claw
hell
goal
bottle
dress
walk
AC/DC
tampon
goatee
prince
flask
cut
cord
roof
movie
ash
tiger
player
magician
wool
saddle
cowboy
derp
suitcase
sugar
nest
anchor
onion
magma
limbo
collar
mole
bingo
walnut
wealth
security
leader
melt
Gandhi
arch
toy
turd
scientist
hippo
glue
kneel
orbit
below
totem
health
towel
diet
crow
addiction
minigolf
clay
boar
navy
butcher
trigger
referee
bruise
translate
yearbook
confused
engine
poke
wreath
omelet
gravity
bride
godfather
flu
accordion
engineer
cocoon
minivan
bean bag
antivirus
billiards
rake
cement
cauliflower
espresso
violence
blender
chew
bartender
witness
hobbit
corkscrew
chameleon
cymbal
Excalibur
grapefruit
action
outside
guillotine
timpani
frostbite
leave
Mont Blanc
palette
electrician
fitness trainer
journalist
fashion designer
bucket
penguin
sheep
torch
robot
peanut
UFO
belt
Earth
magnet
dragon
soccer
desk
search
seal
scribble
gender
food
anvil
crust
bean
hockey
pot
pretzel
needle
blimp
plate
drool
frog
basement
idea
bracelet
cork
sauce
gang
sprinkler
shout
morning
poodle
karate
bagel
wolf
sausage
heat
wasp
calendar
tadpole
religion
hose
sleeve
acorn
sting
market
marble
comet
pain
cloth
drawer
orca
hurdle
pinball
narwhal
pollution
metal
race
end
razor
dollhouse
distance
prism
pub
lotion
vanish
vulture
beanie
burp
periscope
cousin
customer
label
mold
kebab
beaver
spark
meme
pudding
almond
mafia
gasp
nightmare
mermaid
season
gasoline
evening
eel
cast
hive
beetle
diploma
jeep
bulge
wrestler
Anubis
mascot
spinach
hieroglyph
anaconda
handicap
walrus
blacksmith
robin
reception
invasion
fencing
sphinx
evolution
brunette
traveler
jaguar
diagram
hovercraft
parade
dome
credit
tow truck
shallow
vlogger
veterinarian
furniture
commercial
cyborg
scent
defense
accident
marathon
demonstration
NASCAR
Velociraptor
pharmacist
Xerox
gentleman
dough
rhinoceros
air conditioner
poop
clock
carrot
cherry
candle
boots
target
wine
die
moon
airplane
think
pause
pill
pocket
Easter
horse
child
lamp
pillow
yolk
potato
pickle
nurse
ham
ninja
screw
board
pin
lettuce
console
climb
goose
bill
tortoise
sink
ski
glitter
miner
parrot
clap
spit
wiggle
peacock
roll
ballet
ceiling
celebrate
blind
yacht
addition
flock
powder
paddle
harpoon
kraken
baboon
antenna
classroom
bronze
writer
Obelix
touch
sensei
rest
puma
dent
shake
goblin
laundry
cloak
detonate
Neptune
cotton
generator
canary
horsewhip
racecar
Croatia
tip
cardboard
commander
seasick
anthill
vinegar
hippie
dentist
animation
Slinky
wallpaper
pendulum
vertical
chestplate
anime
beanstalk
survivor
florist
faucet
spore
risk
wonderland
wrestling
hazelnut
cushion
W-LAN
mayor
community
raisin
udder
oyster
sew
hazard
curry
pastry
mime
victim
mechanic
hibernate
bouncer
Iron Giant
floodlight
pear
sad
paw
space
bullet
skribbl.io
shirt
cow
worm
king
tea
truck
pants
hashtag
DNA
bird
Monster
beer
curtain
tire
nachos
bear
cricket
teapot
nerd
deaf
fruit
meteorite
rice
sniper
sale
gnome
shock
shape
alligator
meal
nickel
party
hurt
Segway
Mr. Bean
banker
cartoon
double
hammock
juggle
pope
leak
room
throne
hoof
radar
wound
luck
swag
panther
flush
Venus
disease
fortune
porch
machine
pilot
copper
mantis
keg
biology
wax
gloss
leech
sculpture
pelican
trapdoor
plague
quilt
yardstick
lounge
teaspoon
broadcast
uncle
comedian
mannequin
peasant
streamer
oar
drama
cornfield
carnivore
wingnut
vent
cabinet
vacation
applause
vision
radish
picnic
Skrillex
jester
preach
armadillo
hyena
librarian
interview
sauna
surgeon
dishrag
manatee
symphony
queue
industry
Atlantis
excavator
canister
model
flight attendant
ghost
pig
key
banana
tomato
axe
line
present
duck
alien
peas
gem
web
grapes
corn
can
fairy
camel
paper
beak
corner
penny
dig
link
donkey
fox
rug
drip
hunter
horn
purse
gumball
pony
musket
flea
kettle
rooster
balcony
seesaw
stork
dinner
greed
bait
duel
trap
heist
origami
skunk
coaster
leather
socket
fireside
cannon
ram
filter
alpaca
Zelda
condiment
server
antelope
emu
chestnut
dalmatian
swarm
sloth
reality
Darwin
torpedo
toucan
pedal
tabletop
frosting
bellow
vortex
bayonet
margarine
orchid
beet
journey
slam
marmalade
employer
stylus
spoiler
repeat
tiramisu
cuckoo
collapse
eskimo
assault
orangutan
wrapping
albatross
mothball
evaporate
turnip
puffin
reeds
receptionist
impact
dispenser
nutshell
procrastination
architect
programmer
bricklayer
boat
bell
ring
fries
money
chair
door
bee
tail
ball
mouse
rat
window
peace
nut
blush
page
toad
hug
ace
tractor
peach
whisk
hen
day
shy
lawyer
rewind
tripod
trailer
hermit
welder
festival
punk
handle
protest
lens
attic
foil
promotion
work
limousine
patriot
badger
studio
athlete
quokka
trend
pinwheel
gravel
fabric
lemur
provoke
rune
display
nail file
embers
asymmetry
actor
carpenter
aristocrat
Zuma
chinchilla
archaeologist
apple
hat
sun
box
cat
cup
train
bunny
sound
run
barrel
barber
grill
read
family
moose
boil
printer
poster
sledge
nutmeg
heading
cruise
pillar
retail
monk
spool
catalog
scuba
anteater
pensioner
coyote
vise
bobsled
purity
tailor
meerkat
weasel
invention
lynx
kendama
zeppelin
patient
gladiator
slump
Capricorn
baklava
prune
stress
crucible
hitchhiker
election
caviar
marmot
hair roller
pistol
cone
ant
lock
hanger
cap
Mr. Meeseeks
comedy
coat
tourist
tickle
facade
shrew
diva
patio
apricot
spelunker
parakeet
barbarian
tumor
figurine
desperate
landlord
bus
mug
dog
shark
abyss
betray HUH SO HARD
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The Last Olympian Timeline [SPOILERS - DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK]

2009 (Year 4 in Riordanverse)
January
• 28th - Nico turns 12 (not stated in book)
~~~~~
July
• 12th - Annabeth turns 16 (not stated in book)
~~~~~
August [TLO BEGINS]
• 12th - sunset = Percy and Rachel on the beach; Beckedorf interrupts; Rachel kisses Percy [>.<] before they leave; night = Percy and Beckendorf sneak on the Princess Andromeda; Percy distracts monsters (one being giant crab) while Beckendorf sets explosives; Percy gets caught and tries to fight Kronos and finds out their mission was a trap; Beckendorf gets caught, then detonates the explosives and Percy jumps in the water to escape explosion and blacks out (Beckendorf doesn’t make it off the boat [cries]); Percy has a dream of Mount Tam and Nico saying he needs to make a decision soon
• 13th - Tyson wakes Percy up underwater and tells him about the boat, Beckendorf, and that he’s at Poseidon’s palace; Percy meets Poseidon’s wife and son, then talks with Poseidon and he says to tell Chiron it’s time to hear the full prophecy; afternoon = Percy returns to camp and brings the bittersweet news of the explosion; Percy and Annabeth go to the attic to get the prophecy [Percy states that he didn’t realize it then, but that would be the last time he ever visited the attic]; at the head counselor meeting, Percy reads the prophecy to everyone, most of them (Percy included) hearing it for the first time; Percy learns of Typhon’s escape; night = Percy has a dream of Rachel and her painting past & future events
• 14th - Percy and Annebeth do cabin inspections; they have burial ceremony for Beckendorf [cries again]; Percy tries and fails to convince Clarisse to fight in the upcoming battle; Percy talks to Juniper and Leneus about Grover missing, then to Nico about the plan to give Percy a fighting chance against Kronos; night = Nico and Percy take Mrs. O’Leary to go visit May Castellan; after their visit they talk with Hestia and then she transports them to Percy’s apartment (Mrs. O’Leary included); Nico and Percy talk with Sally and Paul and get Sally’s blessing for their plan; Percy, Nico, and Mrs. O’Leary shadow travel to Central Park to get to smaller Underworld entrance; they find Grover and tell him he’s been missing for two months; he then opens up the gate to the Underworld
• 15th - early morning = Percy gets tricked by Nico and they talk with Hades; Percy gets locked in the Underworld dungeon; Percy has dream of Rachel on vacation and the gods fighting Typhon; Nico helps Percy escape; Percy bathes in the River Styx; fights Hades’ army and the god himself, but when Percy pins Hades to the ground he fades into nothingness; late afternoon = Percy meets other campers (40 including him, Ares cabin excluded) at the Empire State building; they all go up to Olympus; Hestia greets them, then shows Percy a flashback of when Thalia and Luke met Annabeth, then of them coming up on Luke’s house, then the vision stops; Hermes shows up, and Percy & Annabeth talk to him while everyone else scouts for anyone left on Olympus; they realize that Morpheus has put all of Manhattan to sleep and that the invasion has begun; while they’re planning tunnel blockades, 30 Hunters join the fight; night = Percy makes a deal with the East and Hudson rivers to help them defend the city; on Williamsburg bridge, Percy joins the Apollo cabin and fights the Minotaur and the rest of the army it was leading across
• 16th - early morning = they push them back, but then Kronos joins the fight; Percy and Annabeth fight shoulder to shoulder, then she gets stabbed by Ethan Nakamura protecting Percy’s soft spot; Blackjack gets Annabeth out of there; Percy fights Kronos and destroys the bridge, killing monsters and pushing the army back (Michael Yew didn’t make it of the bridge) [cries yet again]; Percy and Will Solace go to the hotel where they made a base to treat Annabeth’s wound; Jake Mason tells Percy the enemy army retreated at sunrise; Silena leaves to try to convince Clarisse and Ares cabin to join the fight; Percy and Annabeth talk, Percy shows her his Achilles spot, and she tells him about Luke visiting her house the previous year before BOTL; Grover tells Percy he’s rallied most of the nature spirits in the city; Percy, Grover, Thalia, and Jake talk about the spy; Percy goes to rest, and has a dream about Nico learning about his past before the Lotus Casino [totally forgot that Hades had Alecto the Fury wipe their memories in the Lethe before taking them to the Lotus Hotel] and about the curse Hades put on the Oracle; then Percy’s dream changed to show Rachel on the shore and she wrote something in ancient Greek in the sand but Percy only saw his name (Perseus) before it got washed away, and Rachel convincing her father they had to get back to New York immediately in order to get a message to Percy; late afternoon = Thalia wakes Percy up; they go outside to meet Prometheus (a titan), a hyperborean (Morrain), Ethan Nakamura, and an empousa; Prometheus tries to talk Percy into surrendering, then shows him the rest of Luke’s past, continuing from what Hestia showed him; then Prometheus gives Percy Pandora’s Box; when they get back to the hotel, Percy and Thalia talk briefly, then Percy sleeps some more; he has a dream of Tyson and Cyclopes fighting in battle at Poseidon’s palace; dream switched to Ethan and Kronos talking about Annabeth getting stabbed and protecting Percy, then Ethan asks if Luke is still fighting Kronos; dream changed one more time to reveal all that happened to May Castellan when Luke was a baby; evening/night = battle in Central Park; Percy fights Hyperion and creates personal hurricane; they defeat Hyperion, but then Kronos unleashes his surprise: the Clazmonian Sow (giant flying sow); Percy activates lion statues to defeat giant pig; Percy helps Annabeth kill a Hyperborean; late night = they fought and fought until they were backed up a block from the Empire State Building from every direction; they’re about to retreat to the doors when the Party Ponies join the fight
• 17th - very early morning (still dark) - they push back the Titan army, then regroup; Chiron fills Percy and Annabeth in on Typhon’s progress, how Mr. D is missing and Hephaestus is too injured to rejoin; morning = Percy and Annabeth talk for a bit; Percy looks around at all the injured, then is suddenly transported to a “dingy bar”; Percy talks with Mr. D and he warns that if the gods are defeated the entirety of Western Civilization will come undone; then he admits that the Olympians need heroes; Mr. D warns that Kronos’ current form is temporary, and by the next day he will burn away his host (Luke) and his very presence will incinerate anyone who's near him and he will make the other titans more powerful; Mr. D returns Percy (it’s as though he never left) and he sees his mom and Paul asleep in their car; Rachel shows up in a helicopter and Annabeth saves her from crashing after the pilot falls asleep; Percy and Rachel talk about what’s been happening with her (visions and such), and she tells him the message in the sand was “Perseus, you are not the hero”; Rachel and Chiron go and talk while Percy takes a nap; he has a dream about Nico trying to convince Hades (in the presence of Persephone and Demeter) to join and fight in the war; the dream changed to Kronos talking with Ethan and Prometheus and telling them to unleash the drakon immediately; afternoon = Percy wakes up and warns them and they try their best to prepare (down to 16 campers, 15 hunters, and 6 satyrs in fighting shape, and a lot of drunk Party Ponies); Percy and Mrs. O’Leary charge the drakon, and Percy stabs one of its eyes; 30 Ares campers join the fight, with “Clarisse” leading them; the real Clarisse shows up after the fake gets sprayed with poison, then Clarisse defeats the drakon single-handedly; the fake Clarisse is revealed to be Selena Beauregard, and she confesses to being the spy, then dies from her injuries [cries one more time but definitely not the last time]; Clarisse then fights and drives back the enemy with the blessing of Ares; they regroup in Empire State building and Percy sends Mrs. O’Leary on an errand; Percy, Annabeth, and Grover go up to Olympus and into the throne room; Grover and Annabeth leave Percy and Rachel to talk with Hestia; Percy gives Pandora’s Jar and Hope to Hestia; Percy sits on Poseidon’s throne, gets his attention, and convinces Poseidon to come help defend Olympus; evening/night = Thalia comes in and says that the enemy is advancing with Kronos leading them; when they get down there, Chiron and Kronos are having a stare-down, then the two of them fight; Chiron gets thrown into a wall and buried under rubble; as Kronos is about to attack again, Mrs. O’Leary and Nico join the fight, along with an entire undead army, Persephone, Demeter, and Hades himself; Kronos seals himself, the demigods, and the Empire State Building off, collapsing the magic around the rest of Manhattan; all Hades breaks loose [pun intended]; Paul and Sally join the fight; late night = Percy, Annabeth, Thalia, and Grover head into the building and up towards Olympus, following Kronos; Annabeth almost falls to her death (MoA parallel); Thalia gets pinned under Hera statue; Percy fights Kronos and Annabeth and Grover fight Ethan Nakamura; Annabeth gets knocked aside, Percy tries to reason with Ethan, then Ethan attacks Kronos, but he gets injured then falls through a hole in the ground made by Kronos and dies; Percy and Kronos fight more, then Kronos freezes time and shows Percy images of the fight going on and of Typhon approaching; Poseidon and his army join the fight against Typhon and they defeat him
• 18th - Percy turns 16; early morning (probably still dark out) = Annabeth gets through to Luke, Percy gives Luke Annabeth’s dagger, then Luke stabs himself, defeating Kronos; after some final words, Luke dies, shortly after the gods come in and Percy says they need a burial shroud for a son of Hermes; next few hours: the gods repair the throne room, Zeus lights up the Empire State Building blue for Sally, Percy greets those who survived, Nico and Hades were welcomed on Olympus as heroes, Percy talks briefly with Mr. D and Grover, Poseidon’s army comes into the throne room and Tyson tackle Percy; Poseidon congratulates Percy and gives him a hug; Olympian council takes place; they call up Thalia, then Tyson who’s appointed general, Grover who becomes a member of the Council of Cloven Elders, Annabeth who is assigned with redesigning and rebuilding Olympus; then Percy is called up and offered immortality, but he turns it down, requesting instead that: the gods claim *all* their children by age 13, Calypso and other peaceful titan-kind b e pardoned, and that the Big Three oath be undone; Percy talks with Hermes; as he’s leaving, Athena talks briefly with Percy; afternoon = when him and Annaebth reach the lobby, they’re greeted by Sally and Paul, then Nico runs in and says that Rachel took Blackjack to CHB; Annabeth, Percy, and Nico get to camp as Rachel becomes the new Oracle; then Rachel spouts the Prophecy of Seven [Apollo says it may not even be in Percy’s lifetime… HA, how wrong he was, as it takes place not even a full year after]; the rest of the day: campers came back from Manhattan, the dead were given proper funeral rights at the campfire, and dinner was lowkey; night/dark = after dinner and the crowd had lessened, Annabeth sat next to Percy at the Poseidon table and gave him a cupcake (made by herself and Tyson) and wished him happy birthday, and he realized that he hadn’t realized that it had been his birthday; they talk, she kisses him, then they get thrown in the lake and kiss some more
• next two weeks (camp went two weeks longer, leading right up to the school year) - new demigods popped up all over the place, all were claimed and brought to CHB with help of satyrs; new cabins for Hades and minor gods being built
~~~~~
September
• 1st [exactly 2 weeks after Percy’s birthday, but it’s in the middle of the week, so this exact date is unknown] - last day of camp; late afternoon = Percy talks with Poseidon [dude, Poseidon jokes about claiming all his other kids and sending Percy some siblings then he gave Percy one of his inside joke winks and Percy still wasn’t sure if he was serious or not. I know that Rick probably won’t make another Poseidon kid, but you never know]; evening = last night at camp and bead ceremony, the bead having a picture of the Empire State Building and all the names of the fallen campers in Greek
• 2nd [?] - Percy, Annabeth, and Rachel stand at the top of Half-Blood Hill; Rachel says goodbye; Percy and Annabeth talk briefly before racing each other to the road; “And for once, I didn’t look back.”
[TLO ENDS]
• within the next week - Percy starts 10th grade
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TLO / PJO Prophecy
A half-blood of the eldest gods
Shall reach sixteen against all odds,
And see the world in endless sleep,
The hero’s soul, cursed blade shall reap
A single choice shall end his days
Olympus to preserve or raze
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~The Lightning Thief Timeline~
~The Sea of Monsters Timeline~
~The Titan's Curse Timeline~
~The Battle of the Labyrinth Timeline~
~Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades (Short Story) Timeline/Summary~
~Percy Jackson and the Bronze Dragon (Short Story) Timeline/Summary~
~HOO Timelines (links to TLH)~
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Part 6: Amazing In Depth Essay About Sopranos Symbolism and Subtext (credit: FlyOnMelfisWall source: thechaselounge.net)

Kennedy and Heidi: Vicarious Patricide as Tony’s Decompensation

At the risk of needless redundancy, I think it’s helpful to summarize Tony’s state of mind going into the episode Kennedy and Heidi. His consciousness is teeming with ancient but recently-agitated memories showcasing his father’s violence and toxic influence, like Johnny shooting a hole through Livia’s hairdo and baptizing him in the act of murder. He’s unable to shake stories of parental neglect leading to tragic outcomes for children. He’s painfully aware of Christopher’s hatred of him and desire for murderous revenge, feelings ultimately rooted in the fact that Tony guided him into the same corrupt existence into which he himself had been led by Johnny, Junior, and company, suggesting a reciprocal, if unconscious, rage by Tony towards those men. His subconscious mind is under constant assault from hats and movie posters and coffee mugs bearing the image of a bloody meat cleaver, an emblem of his own lost childhood innocence and inculcation by his father into his brutal, ugly vocation. He is racked with acute but intense guilt over the role he thinks his life’s example has played in shaping his son’s values and poor sense of self-worth. And he is still repressing a mountain of hurt over the fact that his uncle and second father tried not once but twice to kill him, a repression Melfi warned would someday result in a total collapse of his defense mechanisms, that is, a collapse of his paternal hero-worship and related quest for the macho validation that has prevented him from critically examining his father, uncle, and the men upon whom he modeled his life.
Now consider the circumstances immediately before the crash. Tony and Chris are on a routine drive back from business in Christopher’s new black Cadillac SUV (the first Cadillac Chris has ever owned, incidentally.) The conversation turns to life priorities. Chris, conspicuously clad in a Cleaver hat, specifically mentions how Kaitlyn has changed his priorities, and Tony mentions the “shit with Junior”. So the context is immediately pregnant with the fact that Junior shot and nearly killed Tony within the past year and with the fact that Chris is in a new place of responsibility, a position where he is, for the first time, truly the custodian and trustee for another life.
In a perfectly-timed illustration of just how ill-equipped Chris is to live up to those responsibilities, he nervously and repeatedly fiddles with the car stereo, fidgets, and widens his eyes, telegraphing to Tony that he is high as a kite on drugs. “Comfortably Numb” swells on the sound system as Tony stares at him, the lyrics underscoring that, in that moment, he does not see Chris as a youngster, as the “adorable kid” he once road around in the basket of his bicycle, but as a grown man:
When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse Out of the corner of my eye I turned to look but it was gone I cannot put my finger on it now The child is grown, the dream is gone
Chris swerves, and the crash happens seconds later.

Tony as the Child in the Carseat

It’s critical to note that Tony initially manifests every intention of helping Chris, even as he’s fighting his own injuries. “I’m comin’,” he says as Chris asks for help. His expression and demeanor only change when he realizes what Chris means by “help”. “I’ll never pass a drug test,” Chris moans. “What?” Tony asks incredulously as Chris is inhaling his own blood. Almost simultaneously, Tony turns towards the back and sees that a tree limb has penetrated the passenger compartment, lodging in Kaitlyn’s car seat like a spear. While Tony would somewhat exaggerate the size of the branch in later narrations of the event, there’s no question that it was large enough to have impaled or seriously injured an infant.
Even after this warning shot over the bow, Tony apparently intends to help Chris, coming over to the driver’s side and breaking the window when he couldn’t get the door open. He draws his cell phone to call for help but stops when Chris again mentions being doped up, which suggests that Chris is more concerned about the legal consequences of his intoxication than about the fact that he is drowning in his own blood, completely belying his claim to a life newly ordered around the lofty priority of fatherhood.
That’s the moment when Tony forms a genuine murderous intent, an intent that has little to do with Christopher’s animosity towards him or the danger that he might flip. Those are conscious, background motives that help Tony rationalize and make sense of his actions later. But the factor impelling him to end Christopher’s life is his own, fundamental identification with the child who might just as easily have been killed or seriously harmed in that carseat.
To objectify this point, there is a slow pan of the limb sticking through the seat as Tony performs the suffocation, clearly not a shot representing Tony’s vision or gaze at that moment but objectively corroborating the earlier angle when Tony glances back and we see the seat from his point of view. The juxtaposition of these shots – subjective and objective – tells me the carseat is not just a convenient excuse for Tony. This is what he’s really feeling. In this moment, he is the phantom child in that carseat, a child whose safety and well-being come second to his father’s corrupt values and reckless self-indulgence, a child whose soul and humanity are metaphorically impaled by riding in and being taught to drive his father’s black Cadillac.
The exclamation point on the symbolism is provided by Christopher’s hat. Incredibly, it remains on his head throughout the crash and suffocation, its bloody cleaver logo pointing towards Tony when the car comes to rest. As Tony acts consciously on behalf of an innocent child, the symbol of his own lost childhood innocence is directly before him. And, for good measure, the cap and logo stare back at him in the hospital from the gurney laden with Christopher’s bloody clothing and the black bag containing his dead body. (The logo antagonizes Tony a final time from his coffee mug the next morning before he angrily tosses the mug into his backyard woods.)
Several points about the suffocation itself are remarkable. First was the look of absolute depravity on Tony’s face as he watched Christopher struggle to breathe. This look was unlike any ever seen on Tony’s face at any other moment in the series. Even when committing other personal and deadly acts of violence, his face and demeanor had always betrayed a commensurate level of animus, an active, passionate intent. In contrast, he reached through the window and pinched Christopher’s nose – and maintained that hold – with remarkable calm. His face and eyes throughout the suffocation were paradoxically both incredibly intense and completely devoid of human emotion, a look far more disturbing than any look of mere rage he’d ever worn before.
Second, although this act was, in my judgment, clearly about the release of Tony’s pent up rage towards his father figures, the method of killing evokes Livia. Besides her conspiracy with Junior to kill Tony (which she rationalized was for his own good) and general obsession with stories of child deaths, she had once threatened to “smother [her children] with a pillow” to save them from a fate she deemed even worse. Tony grabbed a pillow intending to smother her in the season one finale before nursing home personnel intervened. In Members Only, Tony spoke of being smothered with a pillow as a suitable form of euthanasia. Its functional equivalent at the scene of the crash had a definite vibe of putting Chris out of his own – and everyone’s – misery. So, in killing his “father”, Tony was also paradoxically suffocating his “son”, thereby channeling Livia’s filicidal urges and concept of mercy killing.
The most spine-tingling resonance with the scene comes from two season four episodes where Tony’s deep identification with “innocents” – be they children or animals – once again comes to the fore, as does his appreciation for the consequences of Chris continuing to use drugs. In Whoever Did This, Tony warns Christopher that he “can’t be high on heroine and raise kids.” And in The Strong, Silent Type, after learning that a doped-up Chris accidentally smothered and suffocated Adriana’s dog, Tony ominously snaps, “You suffocated little Cossette? I oughta suffocate you, you prick!” It’s such perfect foreshadowing that the earlier episodes seem to have been written with the outcome of Kennedy and Heidi in mind.

Righteous Retribution as the Explanation for Tony’s Lack of Sorrow

As previously noted, the most troubling aspect of the episode from the standpoint of character consistency and plausibility was not the fact that Tony murdered Chris. It was his vacuous expression during the killing and the fact that he never betrayed a moment’s genuine sorrow or regret afterwards. He remained, in fact, defiantly happy and unconflicted about it, especially to Melfi, and was sincerely troubled that neither she nor anyone else could see how Christopher’s death rescued Kaitlyn from a lifetime of risks and harm that she would naturally suffer as the daughter of a drug addict (and mob captain).
In his therapy scenes with Melfi, real and dream, Tony even makes the very contrast I raise, noting that he’s never felt this way after murdering any other person close to him. He alludes to his sorrow over Pussy and specifically allows that murdering Tony B left him “prostate [sic] with grief.” In effect, Tony himself is revealing that this killing feels righteous and justified to him on an instinctive level and is therefore not one about which he can feel guilt or sorrow.
That sentiment makes no sense if his dominant motives were those he talked about in therapy: Christopher’s animosity and resentment towards him after the Adriana hit and his drug-use and consequent risk to flip. Whatever weight those factors carry in justifying murder in the corrupt “ethics” of the mob (which, in any case, is less than the weight of the transgressions by Pussy and Tony B), they carry absolutely no legitimate moral weight outside it and could not sustain in Tony the sense of just triumph that he felt in response to Christopher’s death. What could inspire that sense of triumph is the perceived liberation of a child from a dangerous and toxic father, experienced subconsciously as vicarious retribution for the abuse and harm he himself suffered at the hands of his own father and uncle.

Significance of the Names “Kennedy” and “Heidi”

“Kennedy” and “Heidi” are the names of the young passenger and driver, respectively, in the car that sideswipes Christopher’s SUV before the fateful crash. The girls are barely onscreen a few seconds, just long enough to (somewhat artificially) learn their names in the following exchange:
Kennedy: Maybe we should go back, Heidi! Heidi: Kennedy, I’m on my learner’s permit after dark!
Much forum debate after the first airing of the episode centered around the significance, if any, of these names. I propose a related but even more basic question: why are the girls present in the scene at all?
Tony’s windfall opportunity to murder Chris and pass it off as death from accidental injury was entirely dependent upon being unobserved by others after the crash. Given Christopher’s intoxicated state and inattention to the curvy road while he fiddled with radio controls, a mere swerve and over-correction or swerve to avoid an animal (Tony’s crash with Adriana, anyone?) would have easily sufficed to trigger the accident but without the problematic involvement of another car, the driver of which would have to be made to flee the scene illegally and in contravention of the ethics and instincts of at least 95% of the motorists on the road. So the very fact that another car is involved, complicating both the story and the filming, suggests some symbolic or subtextual design to the involvement related specifically to the momentous event occurring right after the crash.
One aspect of that design is revealed and amplified when a grieving Kelly shows up at Christopher’s wake with dark hair framing her face and large, dark sunglasses covering her eyes. A member of the crew remarks, “Look at her. Like a movie star.” An odd look immediately crosses Tony’s face as he spontaneously responds, “Jackie Kennedy”, noting Kelly’s resemblance to the widow of John F. Kennedy.
In my mind, this striking moment in the episode can have only one purpose, and that’s to evoke Johnny Boy in relation to Christopher via a kind of symbolic math. If Kelly = Jackie Kennedy, then Chris = JFK = Johnny Boy since JFK was the explicit parallel figure for Johnny in In Camelot, the first episode of the series depicting cracks in the foundation of Tony’s paternal hero worship. When that foundation completely crumbles inside Tony’s subconscious a season and a half later, it’s entirely fitting that the JFK/Johnny parallel is renewed.
As for the name “Heidi”, most folks around these parts felt it was meant to evoke the idea of “orphan” because of the famous Swiss orphan tale of the same name and because Kaitlyn (and Paulie) both lost parents in the episode. That’s an entirely plausible analysis that requires no expansion, although I’m inclined to think there’s more to it than that, starting with the analogy of Tony himself to “Heidi”. No, Tony was never technically orphaned, though he arguably suffered more as the son of Johnny and Livia than if he had been. He was certainly deprived of real parental love and guidance, on both sides, and that roughly equates to the definition of “orphan”.
Before discussing this episode for the first time, I never knew that Heidi was the story of an orphan, only that it was some kind of tale for children. And I knew that only because of the epic 1968 football game between Joe Namath’s Jets and the Oakland Raiders, the climactic ending of which (an improbable comeback by the Raiders) was cut off abruptly for television viewers at the end of its scheduled broadcast slot so that a movie version of Heidi could begin airing on time. I was only four at the time of this debacle but recall my parents talking about it – and the considerable chaos it caused at NBC and at telephone switchboards around the country – for years afterwards. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidi_Game
It wouldn’t become clear until the end of Made In America, but there’s an obvious parallel to the Heidi phenomenon in the wind-up of The Sopranos. Consider that, like the Heidi Game broadcast, Made in America featured an abrupt, unexpected termination of excruciatingly tense action at a penultimate moment, pre-empting audience experience of what appeared to be an imminent and momentous climax. The Sopranos ending may not have disabled an entire telephone network, but it certainly generated an enormous amount of controversy that, for better or worse, persists to this day.
Beyond that, there were enough other football references in the final Sopranos episodes, and especially Jets references, to warrant further consideration of this football connotation for “Heidi”. In Remember When, Tony’s betting losses on Jets football games prompt his call to Hesh for a bridge loan. Later that same episode, Paulie annoys Tony and company with yet another old tale, this one relating how, after witnessing Joe Namath stagger drunk into a bar the night before a game, he bet a load of cash the following day on the Jets’ opponent. In Chasing It, Tony gets inside information on a Jets football game and is irate when Carmela refuses to bet money on it. The episode features a closeup of a large newspaper headline, “Jets Bomb Chargers”.
In Blue Comet, then-current coach of the Jets, Eric Mangini, makes a cameo appearance in Vesuvio, with Artie informing a suitably-impressed Tony so the two can go over and shake hands. News articles at the time clarified that the cameo wasn’t Mangini’s idea but the idea of Sopranos producers, who contacted him months in advance and made accommodations in the shooting schedule around his availability. So this seemed more than a casual desire to have some generic celebrity show up.
That especially seems true considering Mangini was given no dialog and that his meeting with Tony and Artie was only depicted in the silent background of a conversation between Charmaine and Carmela. Mangini’s only purpose on set was apparently to show his face briefly and to have the fact of his identity (Tony has to tell a bewildered Carm that Mangini is the head coach of the Jets) permeate the minds of the audience and the subtext of the scene, which is ultimately about chickens coming home to roost on Tony and Carmela because of the lives they chose.
As alter egos for Tony and Carmela throughout the series, folks who took the proverbial “other path” in life, Artie and (especially) Charmaine engage in subtle gloating in the scene. Football coaching was firmly established as Tony’s “road not taken” in Test Dream, so having an actual football coach present in the episode where the unsavory and downright deadly consequences of his chosen vocation are crashing in all around him provides dramatic ballast. All the better to have the coach in the scene be the coach of the team involved in the Heidi game in view of the ending planned for the following episode.
And speaking again of that ending, the wall behind Tony in Holsten’s is consumed with four large murals specifically brought in by the production crew for the shoot. The largest and most centered depicts a huge, light-colored building with lots of windows, somewhat reminiscent of the Inn at the Oaks in Tony’s coma dream. It’s apparently a high school, however, as it is flanked on either side by images of football players in full uniform with what appear to be names and year of graduation engraved at the bottom. To the side and extreme left is a mural of a tiger and the caption “Class of 1973” at the bottom. The tiger is presumably the mascot for the team and school represented in the other murals. So there is a strong symbolic presence of “football” in the last scene of the series, particularly of high school football from roughly the era when Tony would have entered high school.
Finally, though it may be completely insignificant, when Tony tells Carm about the accident from his hospital stretcher in Kennedy and Heidi, he mentions that he re-injured his knee, “the one from high school.” That certainly sounds like a reference to an old high school football injury.
If these loose strands from multiple episodes are indeed intended to connote football in relation to the name “Heidi”, what does that actually mean in the context of the episode Kennedy and Heidi? What does football have to do with Tony killing Chris or, more precisely, with him killing his father in the guise of Chris?
The linchpin in that symbolism, it seems to me, is Tony’s old high school football coach, the guy who would have been his coach when he originally injured his knee, the guy Tony dreamt repeatedly of trying to silence or kill, the guy whose puzzling duality in Test Dream suddenly makes sense when he’s viewed as a classic, Freudian composite of opposites, specifically a composite of Tony’s opposing father figures with Johnny dressed in the physiognomy of Coach Molinaro by Tony’s subconscious in order to render acceptable imagery of his latent, patricidal feelings.
If you further allow, as I do, that the Johnny look-alike shooting at Tony with a scoped rifle (ala Oswald/”Kennedy”) in that same dream is yet another Freudian “reversal into the opposite” by Tony’s subconscious to disguise his repressed paternal rage, then the Kennedy/Heidi connection is pretty clear. The names are presented proximate to the crash to connote that, in killing Chris, Tony has finally acted out the Test Dream imagery that haunted him for years: he has (symbolically) killed his father, the “Kennedy” and “Heidi” of his dream.

“He’s Dead”

In my judgment, this explains Tony’s otherwise puzzling, peyote-induced insight when he proclaims, “He’s dead,” after winning at roulette on 3 successive spins, prompting him to fall to the floor in spectacular and uncontrollable laughter. What other, real death could have inspired such a euphoric and epiphanic reaction? What real death could Tony only have appreciated while in a drug-induced, altered state of consciousness?
Many felt the line referred to Christopher because he’d just died, obviously, and because Tony’s gambling luck suddenly changed afterward. That analysis never made sense to me.
First, Tony plays roulette at the casino while sober when he first arrives in Vegas and loses every round. Chris was already dead at that time, as Tony well knew and accepted. Indeed, Tony was never in any state of denial about Christopher’s death (or about having killed him.) He embraced it, both consciously and in his dream therapy session with Melfi after the crash.
The “he’s dead” insight occurs only after Tony takes peyote and notices a sudden and complete about-face in gambling luck. Why would he need psychedelic drugs to suddenly realize what he already knew and accepted about Chris? And why would Christopher’s death be tied in his mind to his own gambling luck anyway? No prior connection between those two things had ever been suggested.
On the other hand, Tony’s sudden escalation in gambling, which coincided with the agitation and intensification of his latent rage towards his father(s), could easily be seen as a subconscious rebellion against the stern, anti-gambling lecture Johnny imparted the night Tony witnessed the cleaver incident. To the extent that the rebellion results in huge financial losses and self destruction, it obviously fails. His father retains ultimate power and authority. To the extent the rebellion results in huge winnings, it succeeds, and Tony vanquishes his father.
That conquest was the ineffable and elusive “high” that Tony was subconsciously pursuing in Chasing It but which he could not articulate to Melfi. Thus the sudden change in gambling fortune on his Vegas trip is easily tied in Tony’s drug-altered psyche to a euphoric realization that he has conquered or symbolically killed his father, none of which Tony could appreciate without a vastly altered state of consciousness.
And that leads to why he went to Vegas in the first place. He asks that question out loud to the Vegas prostitute, Sonia, immediately before admitting that Christopher once mentioned taking peyote with her. Tony then confesses to having always wanted to try the drug.
Clearly, then, he didn’t just happen to pick Vegas and didn’t just happen to make contact with this girl. His subconscious was pushing him to that venue because he craved the enlightenment of a peyote experience. So while Tony’s real motives for the murder, and for his otherwise inexplicable jubilance afterward, were completely closed off to his conscious mind, somehow he sensed their existence and yearned to unlock and understand them. However his peyote revelations didn’t stop with simply understanding why he killed Chris.

“I Get It. I Get It!”

Tony’s desert epiphany is a bookend to his near-death coma experience and, I believe, can only be fully understood in relation to it. Yet exploring that relationship is a journey all unto itself, calling not only for consideration of the coma episodes and Kennedy and Heidi but the meaning of the cut to black that ends the series. While exploring the religious and spiritual underpinnings of those episodes is of even more weight and interest to me personally than the issue of Tony’s motives in killing Christopher, it deserves and demands its own, dedicated discussion. For now, I’d simply like to posit what I strongly believe Tony’s epiphany to have been with only minimal argumentation as to why I hold that belief.
The epiphany is presaged when Tony enters the casino on his peyote trip and notes that the roulette wheel is built on the same principle as the solar system. The ball spins round and round the center or “sun” of the wheel because of two delicately-balanced but largely opposing phenomena: the momentum of the ball (which, without the wheel, would carry the ball away in a straight line) and the centripetal force of the wheel (applied by the rim, which continuously pulls the ball towards the center even as the ball’s momentum continuously pulls it on a path perpendicular to the centripetal force.) The antagonism (or cooperation, if you prefer) of the forces gives rise to a unified system: an orbit.
If this sounds a bit like the Bell Labs scientist’s explanation of how two tornadoes are in fact just facets of one, unified system of wind, it’s likely no mere coincidence. As Hal Holbrook’s character argued, separateness is a mirage. The universe, and everything in it, is one big soup of molecules interacting in cause/effect fashion according to laws, making it one whole, not a bunch of discrete parts. “Everything is everything,” as the black rapper reduced it.
That was the philosophy that really made an impression on Tony in the days and weeks following his coma. The principles of quantum physics articulated by Holbrook’s character are likely as close as you can get to a scientific codification of Bhuddism and therefore reinforced much of what the Bhuddist monks conveyed to Tony in his coma. The monks laughed when Tony claimed he wasn’t Finnerty and explained that there really is no “you” and “me, that death would bring an obliteration of individuality. Separate consciousness – and the consciousness of separateness – is an illusion of the living.
So all this laid the philosophical groundwork for Tony’s Las Vegas trip. In that trip, Tony seeks out a girl with whom Chris had slept, then sleeps with her himself. He mentions having refrained from a longstanding desire to try peyote because he always felt the weight of his responsibilities, an implied contrast to Christopher, who always indulged in drugs despite his responsibilities. The idea that Tony was seeking to almost live life in Christopher’s skin in the Las Vegas portion of the episode was something several posters mentioned in first discussions after Kennedy and Heidi aired. Even the girl, Sonia, remarks how similar Tony and Chris are, a somewhat dubious observation that somehow offends Tony but which also helps define his impending epiphany.
That epiphany is spurred when the rising sun flares at him over the desert mountain vista. This recalls Tony’s earlier comparison of the roulette wheel to the solar system. It also resonates completely with the fact that Kevin Finnerty was a solar heating salesman from Kingman, Arizona, a town which, not coincidentally, lies 95 miles southeast of Las Vegas and shares the same desert landscape. Also not coincidental, IMO, is the fact that in the prior episode, Christopher spoke of the perks of joining witness protection and of “living large” in Arizona.
So I believe that, in that desert sunrise on the cusp of Arizona, in fulfillment of his identity as Kevin Finnerty, solar heating salesman, Tony saw his “son” – Christopher – “rise” and realized that, in murdering him days before, he (Tony) was really “rising” as a “son” against Johnny Boy. And in that linkage, he suddenly realized that “everything is [indeed] everything.” He is both Chris and Johnny Boy, both abused and misguided son and abusing, misguiding father. He is murdering uncle and would-be murdered nephew. He is both the mother that sees suffocation as mercy killing and the son who is suffocated. Christopher is both his son and his father. Johnny Boy is Coach Molinaro. “Kennedy” is “Heidi”. Opposites are really two sides of the same coin. In that fleeting moment of insight, Tony was truly feeling “one” with the universe.

The Second Coming

The episode following Kennedy and Heidi is titled The Second Coming after the Yeats poem that grips AJ in the English lit class he’s auditing. While the poem speaks to the bleakness of his depression and outlook on life at that particular time, there’s little doubt that – like everything of substantial weight in the Sopranos universe – it ultimately relates, first and foremost, to Tony. First referenced in the Cold Cuts therapy session dealing with pent-up rage where Tony’s deep shame from the cleaver incident is finally revealed, the poem seems the veritable inspiration for the storyline (as interpreted in this article) that culminates in Christopher’s murder:
The Second Coming By William Butler Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight; somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
The widening gyre, the orbit that breaks down when the center can no longer hold, is clearly a parallel to the decompensation of which Melfi warned, the point at which Tony’s defenses after Junior’s second murder attempt could no longer hold and the underlying pathological rage at his fathers would take over. True to the poem, a “blood-dimmed tide was loosed”, inspired by a perverse compassion for the “innocent”. While “the best” all mourned Christopher and thought his death a tragedy, Tony, “the worst”, was full of passionate intensity and could not understand why no one else saw the greater good in Christopher’s death.
The “revelation” occurs in a “waste of desert sand”, imagery easily compatible with Tony’s “I get it” moment in the Nevada/Arizona desert. The uniquely depraved look on his face as he suffocated Christopher is evoked by the line describing a “gaze as blank and pitiless as the sun”. “Twenty years of stony sleep” refers to the decades of denial Tony maintained, the defense mechanisms that kept him all his life from confronting and admitting that, in some very real ways, he hated his father. It’s a figurative sleep that was suggested literally in the noted fact that so many episodes in season 6B started with Tony in a deep sleep. Somnolence was suggested even in the choice of the song “Comfortably Numb” as soundtrack in the moments immediately preceding the crash, the moments right before the hour of the “rough beast” finally arrived. Even the incidentals are perfect allusions, as with the image of “stony sleep” being turned into a nightmare by a “rocking cradle”, or, in this case, by a car seat with a branch sticking through it.
I’m intrigued by the line describing the emerging beast as having “lion body”. It may mean absolutely nothing. But among the story points worth considering in relation to it are the tiger on the wall in Holsten’s and the enigmatic cat in Made In America.
More obscure is the fact that in Remember When, the single episode most explicitly dealing with the violent release of stifled paternal rage, Carter Chong described his grandfather as a “lion” and noted that his father owned “Grumman” stock. (Grumman manufactured a number of high-profile fighter military aircraft, most of them named for some kind of cat, e.g., Panther, Jaguar, Tomcat, Tigercat.) Carter was reviewing these facts to himself in the scene immediately preceding his vicious attack on Junior, suggesting that, in acting out on his stifled paternal hatred, he was adopting the predatory, aggressive characteristics of a wild cat. Notably, when Junior, the paternal surrogate who modeled this kind of aggressive behavior to Carter, was seen at the end of that episode bruised and literally defanged, his sunken mouth void of false teeth, he was stroking a harmless little housecat on his lap. Once a lion, the former mob boss was a lion no more.

Asbestos Dumping as a Metaphor for Tony’s Toxic Spill of Rage

Kennedy and Heidi opens with a controversy between Tony and Phil Leotardo over asbestos disposal. One of Tony’s contractors was removing asbestos from old buildings, while following none of the strict (and expensive) asbestos-handling laws regulating worker and public safety, and was seeking to dump completely uncontained truck-fulls at waste stations controlled by Phil. Phil’s guys were denying the trucks the right to dump. As a consequence, huge, openly-smoking asbestos mounds were building up at job sites.
After Christopher’s death, Tony was doing little to find a solution, skipping town to gamble, get laid, and get high and leaving the contractor high and dry. Finally, near the very end of the episode, the contractor dumps heaps of asbestos at dawn in an open marsh area resembling the New Jersey Meadowlands.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that gained widespread use in the 19th and 20th centuries as an ingredient in various building industry materials – including wall compounds, insulation, and roofing materials – primarily because of its extreme insulative properties and resistance to heat and fire. In the last 40 years, it’s become better-known for its cancer-causing and toxic effects on those mining and working with it in manufacturing, demolition/remodeling, or other “raw” environments.
Both the heat resistance and toxicity of asbestos make the shoddy removal/dumping storyline a compelling metaphor for Tony’s equally shoddy “dumping” in Kennedy and Heidi. The smoldering heat and flames from his hatred towards his father and uncle were contained beneath his consciousness by an insulating firewall of denial and repression. In essence, this denial and repression was Tony’s psychological asbestos, and it (more or less) contained the heat and fire within him for 47 years.
But it finally broke down, allowing the flames to rage and do damage and necessitating a messy disposal. Unfortunately the breakdown didn’t happen where it should have, in his therapist’s office as the result of honest introspection and dialog about little things like his uncle trying to kill him twice and his father indoctrinating him to murder at 22. That would have been the equivalent of careful, legally-compliant asbestos removal. Instead the breakdown occurred in a roadside ravine and the resulting “waste [in the] desert sand” was every bit as toxic as the smoking piles illegally dumped in the Meadowlands immediately before the desert epiphany and which we saw reprised in the very first shot of the following episode.
Think about that for a moment. Tony’s “I get it” moment was literally sandwiched between shots of noxious mounds of asbestos blowing in the New Jersey wind, a significant clue that some other kind of perversely cathartic disposal was in the middle of that sandwich.

The Orbit of the ‘Blue Comet’: Long Journey to Nowhere

It’s fair to ask: if the broad strokes of my interpretation are valid, what impact did the epiphany have on Tony going forward? After the drugs wore off, did he actually retain any specific understanding of his subconscious motives for killing Chris? Was he left only with the impression that he had enjoyed a very brief moment of enlightenment but without intellectual distillation of the enlightenment itself?
Because the insight was founded upon the secret that he had murdered Chris, even if Tony had retained it, he couldn’t overtly share it with anyone. Still, I lean toward the interpretation that the specifics (at least the ones I proffered) were lost to him when the altered state of consciousness ceased. When he tried to describe the magic of what he experienced in the desert to his crew, he could only come up with the most mundane, inadequate words: “The sun . . . came up.” They all looked at him like he was half retarded.
He was slightly more specific with Melfi, offering that he saw “for pretty certain” that this reality is not all there is. He couldn’t define the alternative but was still convinced there was “something else”.
He did speak in therapy of appreciating a balance and unity in opposites that he hadn’t appreciated before, a “ying” [sic] and “yang”. And he offered that “mothers are like buses . . . the vehicle that gets us here,” but that, once here, we are all on our own, individual journeys (mothers included.) So, to the extent his epiphany comported with what he revealed in therapy, it seems to have had little to do with fathers and with Christopher’s murder and more to do with letting go (finally) of some of his issues with his mother.
But perhaps the best clue to his residual state of understanding came when he indicated that some of what he thought he had grasped in the desert now eluded him. “You think you know, you think you learn something . . . like when I got shot,” he begins. Then, speaking specifically about the peyote experience, he reports that the insight gained is “kinda hard to describe. . . . You know, you have these thoughts, and you almost grab it . . . and then . . . ftt.” He flicks his fingers away from his chin as if to indicate “nothing”. So, to paraphrase Edna St. Vincent Millay, a fragment of what he knew remains, but, apparently, the best is lost.
It wouldn’t take long for all of it to be lost. By the time Tony sits with AJ’s female therapist in Made In America, “going about in pity” for himself because of who his mother was, he has come full circle, essentially back to where he was to start the series. Like a “blue comet”, his orbit was highly elliptical, if not erratic, and carried with it the potential of veering off into deep space or crashing into the sun. But despite killing his own nephew, having a near-death experience himself, and saving his son from an act of suicide, the orbit held. The sober breakthrough never came. The repudiation of his father and of his way of life never took hold in his consciousness. And so, by series’ end, we, like Tony, were exhausted from a long journey that ultimately took us nowhere.
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