Following a confusing exchange with Fortress and Skye in the park, Vox and Blackfeather continue on through the treeline. Out the otherside, they cross the street into “Miner’s Bounty,” an upscale gated community where many of the Halcyon heroes live. Stopping at 130 Minion Lane, the guys head up Vox’s cobbled driveway to a sprawling mansion. Vox stops at the door and turns to Blackfeather.
Vox– What about Malene?
Blackfeather (counting on his fingers)- Doesn’t like me; high maintenance; and, as far as I know, still asleep.
Vox– You tried the kiss?
Blackfeather– Yes, and after a dozen attempts I began to fear legal action. Are you sure you won’t be needed in the Fold?
Vox– Psshh, I’m far from meta right now.
Blackfeather– And the public has not quite “deduced” me as of yet.
Vox unlocks the electronic door with a complex beatboxing combination.
Vox– Would you like the grand tour?
Blackfeather– Might that take a while?
Vox opens a side table drawer and pulls out a Clockwork.
Vox– Not if you keep up.
Vox zooms off, Blackfeather dashing close behind. The two speed around the huge estate.
Vox (as they enter each room)- Great Room. Parlor. Guest Bath. Kitchen. Library. Dining Room. Bedroom. Bedroom. Office. Bedroom. My Beat Laboratory, don’t touch my drum set. Billiards Room. Bill Paxton Room. Hey, Bill.
Bill Paxton is standing in an empty room wearing his costume from Twister.
Bill Paxton– Hey, Vox. Wanna hang out?
Vox– Not right now. This is Blackfeather. (To Blackfeather) Bill used to star in movies. Now, he’s just sort of in them.
Bill Paxton– Nice to meet you.
Blackfeather– You as well. I am sorry, I don’t know who you are.
Bill Paxton– I get that a lot.
Vox– Bye, Bill.
Bill Paxton– Maybe later we-
Vox slams door.
Vox– Let’s wrap this up. Conservatory. Garden. Jungle Room. Theater. Pool. Panini Buffet. And Tiger Pit.
They return to the main room off the kitchen.
Blackfeather– You have a lovely home.
Vox– You should have seen it before I got nerfed.
They stand in foot shuffling silence.
Blackfeather– I am sorry. As the gentleman, I usually take the lead. However…
Vox– Don’t worry. Why don’t I start by slipping into something a little bit more comfortable.
Vox zooms out and returns wearing his full tier 2 Cloud Raider regalia.
Blackfeather– Pardon, but this does not seem more comfortable.
Vox– It’s not. Rather itchy, really. But I just got it, so I gotta show it off.
Blackfeather– Then why don’t I change as well?
Blackfeather runs out and returns looking exactly the same.
Blackfeather– You do not see?
Vox– Is your pony tail shinier?
Blackfeather (pointing to this pants)- These are far fancier than those others.
Vox– Oh! I see it now. They’re wonderful.
Blackfeather is proud. Vox is full of $#%€.
Vox– What we need now is ambience.
Vox throws a few sound waves around the room and initiates some mood music.
Blackfeather– Bravo, but there is more to beauty than just what you hear.
Vox (wry smile)- Coming from a guy who loves to listen to himself talk.
Blackfeather– You have not yet begun to see me bloom!
Blackfeather lunges around hitting tables, walls and the mantel, leaving roses scattered about the room. Glancing off of a curio cabinet, Blackfeather beelines for Vox but is redirected by a well-timed reflex block.
Vox- Slow your roll. This mood is far from set.
Blackfeather– Are my flowers not, how you say, OP enough?
Vox– With proper light, anything can wilt. (Hands cupped around his mouth, his voice resonates) Yo, sis! How ’bout a fly by?
A moment later, a whoosh of sound overhead is coupled with one of Celeste’s stars dropping down the chimney and igniting into a roaring green fire.
Vox– How do you like that romantic splash damage?
Blackfeather- How did she get up there?
Vox (shrugging) On her broom.
Blackfeather– Intruiging, but what good is all of this if we aren’t as Lady Catherine when she has her full build?
Vox– What’s that?
Blackfeather strikes an elegant pose.
Blackfeather- Would you care for…refreshments?
Blackfeather looses a trilling whistle. He holds the pose for several moments, smiling from ear to ear, while nothing happens. Slightly frustrated, he whistles again. And again. And again, as his mouth goes dry and it comes out weak and desperate. Finally, the front door opens and heavy steps plod down the hall. Phinn enters the room holding a tray of golden drinks and wearing a bow tie.
Blackfeather– You were just next door!
Phinn– That’s why I started walking an hour ago.
Vox (to Blackfeather) Is it okay that-
Phinn– Don’t worry, I think all love is grand. Your beverages, Messieurs.
They each take a goblet.
Blackfeather– During my dev stream reveal I may have taken a few extra vials of Level Juice for such an occasion. Thank you, Phinn.
Phinn– I’ll be in the jacuzzi.
They wait an excruciatingly long time while Phinn leaves.
Blackfeather (raising his glass)- Vox, your power is that of art, your music fills my heart. Be it jungle or the lane, my feelings are never plain. Your smile to your golden locks, gets my “on-hit effects” proc’d. So let’s get down to–
Vox’s silence blankets the room.
Vox– Shhhh, I think you’ve said quite enough.
They share a smile. The air between them grows tauter than 1,500 year old Viking skin over undead bones. Seal reaches a crescendo with “…my power, my pleasure, my pain!!” and both men feel it too. Vox takes a step closer. Blackfeather assumes a delicate fencing stance. They close their eyes, lean forward, breathe deep… and the door bursts open. Ardan stomps into the room wielding a Sorrowblade and half empty Halcyon Potion.
Ardan– Wuzzzup Blood?
Vox– Hey, Pops. Now’s not a great time.
Ardan– Pshh, yer great. (Squints at Blackfeather) Oh, hey Celeste. I like yer hair.
Blackfeather– I am not–
Ardan (swinging Sorrowblade at Blackfeather)- Whoa, if you got a cold I don’t want it, Cel! Nowz not a good time.
Vox (his voice booming)- Dad!
Ardan and Blackfeather wince.
Ardan– Harsh, man.
Vox- What are you doing here?
Ardan– You dunno?? I’m crushing it! Number 2 support rankola on the tier list, baby! (Shaking his weapon for emphasis) Now, I’m going full jungle carry. Watch this!
Ardan Vanguards the couch and starts hacking away. Stuffing fills the air.
Ardan– What’s up now, Glaive?? You didn’t see that coming! Cuz yer blind!
Blackfeather (to Vox)- I should go.
Vox– I’m sorry about this. Ever since…
Blackfeather– Your mother.
Vox- Actually, the goat. I’ll call you.
Blackfeather turns to leave.
Ardan– No! Don’t leave!
Ardan plunges the Sorrowblade into the couch, smashes his potion on the wall and throws an arm over the shoulder of who he thinks are both his children.
Ardan– Kids, this is important. Yer fodder is ready to settle down again. Meet yer new mom. (Shouting) C’mere, babe!
A blur of motion and shredded wallpaper settles into the form of Koshka with a ring the size of a vain crystal around her claw.
Koshka– I killed the mailman!
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