Prompt: The Purge

(On Paladin and Demon: I ran into some issues with the story, not the least of which being the inability to write it while out of town, so I need to push it back. I don’t want to say Tuesday for certain, but I’ll put it up Tuesday if it’s done by then. If not, I’ll post the next part of my Warcraft 3 LP. Thank you for your patience, all 2 followers of mine)

Many people hate even the concept behind the series of movies known as ‘The Purge’. Many others see it as wasted potential. Imagine you were the writer of the next Purge movie. What would you pitch as the concept? (You may submit multiple)

Okay. The purge is an absurdly stupid concept that relies on its viewer knowing nothing about how crime and evil work. But hey, they made a movie about Battleship, why not?

Here we go.

1) A young man kills a politician during the Purge for doing something bad. Let’s say, causing the death of his younger brother, or hitting his father with a car. Whatever it was, he is arrested for it due to a law that makes it illegal to murder government officials in high office (basically, the President and Congressmen) during the Purge. However, the case goes to the supreme court, since it brings up the question of whether or not politicians can be killed during the purge. The protagonist is a lawyer who wants the purge gone entirely, but sees the best way of defeating it as chipping away at the legality of it bit by bit. She argues that because the Purge makes ALL crime legal, the murderer should be let off, and that the purge is invalid if the defendant cannot commit murder against anyone. The Purge is upheld, but the law that allowed the defendant to be arrested is struck down. So now politicians can be killed during the purge.

However, the Defendant is killed before the next purge can take place, and the lawyer’s reputation is destroyed by tying her to the murder despite her innocence.

2) A scientist, in a bid to cure cancer, kidnaps and experiments directly on humans during the purge, ignoring all ethical concerns in his race. He does so for decades, and our movie’s protagonist is his latest victim/subject. At the end, the protagonist dies, but the doctor has indeed found the cure and distributes it. The fact that the cure is found is critical, as it shows why anyone would ever tolerate something like the Purge and makes that line about ‘all the good the purge does’ actually MEAN something. Statistics about crime and unemployment are too abstract to pose a legitimate question regarding morality in the viewer’s mind.

3) Show us the man credited for starting the purge getting involved in the wrong end of the purge itself. This would be something incredibly interesting if done correctly. Show us why he instituted it, any guilt he might feel. Ya know, psychological character study type thing. It could work.

4) What kind of militia or guerilla groups would operate during that 12 hour time frame? Like, would the KKK and the Black Panthers wage their bloodiest wars when they can’t be arrested for them? Perhaps against each other? Perhaps with magic ninja laser powers and giant robots?! … COME ON, WORK WITH ME HERE!

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Prompt: HarsH ReaLiTy Flash Fiction Challenge Part 2 of 2 – Destroy your City

“Take the city you built in part 1 and destroy it in whatever manner you please.” –HarsH ReaLiTy

CRACK

The frozen city’s only warning.

The ice that surrounded and encased the city began to shatter and break as the enemy’s magic willed. In the senate, hundreds of empty balconies snapped from their resting places and tumbled down, crushing and shattering the others. Decadent old men in scarlet robes began to blame each other for the disaster as ice buried and killed them. Those with sense tried to flee, only to be crushed in the city’s collapsing tunnels.

The warehouse district’s frozen ground fell apart beneath it, and all of the city’s supplies collapsed inward. Underneath the district lay a lake forgotten by time, where the supplies fell and the people froze. Supplies were ruined beyond repair and food would come to spoil, not that anyone would be alive to try to claim the ruined goods in any case.

The market took the longest to collapse, and so the people within were foolish enough to try to flee. But the tunnels that led out collapsed upon the peoples, and their blood seeped from their now caved-in entrances before the walls came down as well and crushed those who tried to flee. Those still in the market would soon die as well, however, for the market’s structures both wood and brick and stone were brought down to pile on the poor citizens of the city of ice.

The military district sounded the alarm, and gathered as many as it could to save. However, the tunnels to the other districts collapsed too quickly for their efforts to save the city. The ice on the outer walls fell and crushed the outer buildings. Those in the atrium gathered in the center and waited for their inevitable demises, trying not to listen to the screams.

The Housing section had the worst of it. Filled to the brim with icy spires and pathways, what didn’t shatter like glass was broken apart by what did. Thousands died in an instant as their homes collapsed around them. Still thousands more fell to their deaths as the pathways they walked across crumbled beneath them. A great spire fell and crashed into the ice wall of the atrium.

At the end of the horrible day, only three dozen citizens remained to carve an exit, and only 14 lived long enough to leave.

And through it all, Gioco, god of order and ice and the supposed protector of the city, was nowhere to be seen.

Prompt: HarsH ReaLiTy Flash Fiction Challenge Part 1 of 2 – Create a City

“The challenge is to create a city in 1000 words or less. It can be a city in any time or place, real or fantasy, and as much of the city should be revealed in those 1000 words as possible.” –HarsH ReaLiTy

Wish I’d found out about this a week ago.

The city was carved within a colossal block of ice, once a mighty glacier frozen by the powers of Gioco himself. Within the ice, tunnels and passageways twisted and wound their way through like an anthill. Strangely, the ice did not melt, and so did not provide as slippery a surface as one would imagine. At the center lay five massive atriums, one at each compass point and the center. At the southern position, the first was covered in housing. Bridges and pathways honeycombed throughout this atrium to the various dwellings carved into the walls and the homes in many of the massive spires of ice. The citizens of Liraheim went about their daily business here in their strange, exotic animal skin clothing that seemed to cover far too little for the climate, simply chatting and living their lives.

The second was the senate seat, in the northern position, and this was perhaps the most grand of the five atriums. On the walls were small balconies with the seats for each of the empires 20 territories, and room for several thousand more. At the center was a massive throne, on which rested the king, with his crown of ice. Old men in rich, dark red robes bickered and yelled in this room at all hours of the day, some leaving in the middle of a speech or debate and coming back later through the pathways behind the seats. On the center of the throne sat Gioco, god of ice and order, who would occasionally decree his will and force the senators’ silence.

The third atrium, in the eastern position, contained a bustling marketplace, and was one of the few chambers not entirely composed of ice. The people of the city bustled about with their purchased goods as merchants shouted out their wares. Most of the stalls were selling some sort of food, but there were goods from all across the world in this place.

The fourth atrium was the military district, in the central position. The entire structure was placed into a grid pattern, with the four largest roads going to each of the other four atriums. They were the only way into the atrium, and each was both gated and guarded. The district was arranged into a mighty castrum, with the district laid out into a grid. The final atrium, at the western position, was a massive warehouse district used for storage.

The people here are grimy and rough, but also friendly and warm. They have nothing to fear from you here, and so they do not. Drunken brawls in the street are common, and occasionally there is even a church. There are altars in every alley, but no actual churches for dedicated worship. The city sparkles in the daylight like a cavern made of stars, and at night it shines the silver of the moonlight.

Prompt: “10 things I believe”

10. We are living in the golden age of humanity that most apocalypse stories look back on fondly, and that’s fucking depressing.

9. When writing a promiscuous character, there must be something interesting about them that has nothing to do with sex, as well as a reason that they wouldn’t have sex, in order for them to be interesting.

8. Sex is as bad for you as drugs.

7. The fanfic ‘Harmony Theory’ is the actual future of the main MLP storyline… well okay, this is more ‘something I wish’, but still.

6. There’s nothing wrong with capitalism… except for black Friday, but that’s not so much the system’s fault, since it’s largely caused by massive sales starting Black Friday instead of… ya know… THE WEEK OF THANKSGIVING. (seriously people, I get that everyone wants to visit their families on thanksgiving, but PEOPLE ARE DIEING, extend the sale a bit and have people work on thanksgiving so there’s not as much of a mad rush!)

5. Price Gouging is like amputation: it sounds and looks harsh as fuck, but it saves lives.

4. One day, when I’m ultra famous, someone’s going to go trawling through the internet, find this list and use it to publicly smear me because some people are assholes.

3. Earth’s history is moving as close to a proper anarchist society as it can manage, which is pretty good, but it’ll be at least a few more centuries before we don’t need the state, and a millennium after that before we actually get rid of it.

2. The only thing worse for your soul than politics is to talk about politics.

1. Uther from Warcraft 3 is an idiot.

Prompt: The Reason You Suck Speech

Write a “The Reason you suck” speech that one of your characters would give, had they been present in the last scene you read that called for one.

“Do you know why treason (through murder, especially) is considered the worst crime in existence, and war is considered a diplomatic maneuver?… The reason is really quite simple. See, a person can almost respect an enemy, no matter what horrible deeds they perform. ‘They’re our enemy’, they’ll say. ‘Of course they’ll do that’. It takes real balls to tell someone that you’re their enemy and you will do everything in your power to destroy them.

Traitors, on the other hand, pretend to be your friend. They’ll saddle up, have a few drinks… and when you’re too calm around them to even keep your guards around, then they’ll kill you. A traitor doesn’t even have the balls to tell you that they hate you and want to see you dead.

Oh, but you’re even worse than that. See, plenty of traitors simply have the conviction that what they do is right, and just keep it secret until it’s impossible. Think John Wilkes Booth, or Brutus. The former yelled ‘Death to the tyrants’ before he fled like a coward. But Brutus had enough of a spine to not only confess his crimes, but to explain them in such a way that he expected to get off. But no, you just planned in secret, expecting to be an unsolved murder for the rest of eternity. You didn’t even have enough of a spine to confess.

And Brutus regretted it. He had the heart to care about what he was doing – he knew he was doing wrong and he accepted it. After all, it’s one thing to kill your best friend – it’s another to let your best friend become a scourge upon your nation. Booth? He had a fierce, fervent belief that he was doing the right thing. Sure, he was wrong and evil and all that, but he believed in what he was doing.

And here, we have the worst part of your betrayal. You didn’t even manage that.

You didn’t believe in what you were doing. You didn’t even have the decency to be as good as Booth. Let me repeat that: JOHN WILKES BOOTH – a man who murdered the leader of a free nation because he wanted slaves – was a better man than you. You killed a wonderful, innocent, intelligent hero of this land who was about to lead your world into a golden age… because you didn’t like that she got power and you didn’t. You didn’t even have the spirit to fight for a cause.

And if you don’t have spirit, heart, spine or balls, then what good are you?”

A little wordier than I’d like, and bringing Booth in may be a bit controversial, but I think it works.

Prompt: “Favourite super hero?”

Captain America. Specifically the MCU one, since I don’t read comics.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I grew up with the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons, I love me some DC. Batman’s friggen awesome, and Superman is just too good not to like. However, I believe Captain America occupies a middle ground between the two that overall just makes him more awesome.

Steve Rogers started out as a mopey, weak kid with no combat ability whatsoever. After seeing him in his first movie, many speculated that he had survived Polio, which was why he was so sickly and scrawny looking.

However, despite all of that he applied to join the military four separate times (i think – don’t remember the exact number) because he wanted to stop a country run by bullies. He didn’t want to kill Nazis, he didn’t want to ‘serve america’ or go off to win some glory for himself. He wanted to go and put a stop to a world-conquering bully, and that’s… just perfect. That’s exactly what I want to see in a superhero.

This is a guy who will throw himself onto a grenade (admittedly kind of dumb considering no one was in any danger from it anymore) to save the people around him without the super-soldier serum. Steve Rogers would behave like a hero even if he didn’t gain superpowers, and that’s what made him the perfect candidate for the super soldier serum.

I like Batman’s dark vengeance shtick and all, but it’s nice to have a guy who’s just plain good. And yes, Superman is ‘just plain good’, but he’s also invincible. Captain America strikes a fine balance between the two – someone who’s vulnerable enough for there to be tension, but good enough to be someone you want to idolize and imitate… okay maybe not imitate, but you get the idea. Superman in Batman’s body.

There’s also one particular even in one of the few comics I know anything about: Ultimatum. It’s a terrible comic, but there are some good moments in it. Partway through the story, Thor and Captain America are fighting an undead army led by Hel to retrieve the former’s lover. Hel has agreed to give up the soul of Valkyrie for revival, but only in trade for another soul. Cap decides that he should do it, since Thor went in there to save Valkyrie and, as he points out, it doesn’t make sense for Thor to stay if he came to bring her back in the first place.

Compassionate, logical, and perfectly willing to make that kind of sacrifice. THAT, my friends, is a fucking superhero.

And, less importantly, I like that Cap is a sort of timeless American hero. I mean sure, he’s named after the country and he’s got the flag on his chest, it’s not like you can avoid being political about this kind of hero, but that’s not what I mean. I mean that ultimately, Cap represents the American ideal over its reality. And let’s be honest – most of the time, an ideal that a country strives for is something most definitely worth fighting for, even if its reality doesn’t always match up. Captain America is a freedom-loving patriot who wants nothing more than to ensure your freedom and to do the right thing.

Oh, and we can’t forget the shield. It’s a great piece of symbolism that Cap’s most important and iconic weapon is also one invented for defense. He uses it beautifully as a weapon of attack, and no one in their right mind would call his shield anything but a weapon, but it’s still a shield, a tool made to defend the user. That’s great symbolism right there.

And sure, the MCU hasn’t given him much of an arc, but personally I don’t think he really needs one. The guy’s a compassionate hero that does everything in his power to be good. The external conflict of Nazis and people that might as well be named ‘McBadguy’ is good enough. Captain America is compassionate, intelligent, strong, and everything good about the place he’s named after. I’m sure there’s something more you could ask of a superhero, but I can’t think of anything.

Prompt: What does being a Solar Exalted mean to you?

To be a Solar is a process, a journey.

A Solar is gifted with power that no human being can truly grasp. It is not only the strength to do the impossible, but the responsibility to do the impossible. But this isn’t going to sink in to a brand-new Solar at first. They’ve lived their entire lives as human mortals in a world where they may as well be a walking sack of meat surrounding gunpowder. The idea that they can change the entire world won’t even cross their mind. They’ll be focused on small, personal things – what they know they can do, and might have been able to do before if they’d been just a bit stronger.

Of course, before long you begin to realize that the things you thought were nearly impossible suddenly are as easy as breathing. Your strength, your intelligence, your sheer power begins to really sink in, and you start to shoot higher. You take on ever greater challenges, testing your abilities and pushing the limits of what you can do, all the while thinking you can make things better for yourself……and still it’s easy as breathing.

And as The Elegant Nova once said, you have no problems, and that is the problem. A solar that thinks in human terms gets everything they want from life and is going to be bored to tears before long. And as a Solar looks for any stimulation they can, they begin to think bigger. A mercenary that wanted to rule a city turns his eyes to ruling a nation. A priestess who converted a village thinks to convert the region. An assassin who killed the south’s worst mortal slaver starts to plan an attack on the Mask of Winters.

And only then, when you find yourself facing an actual challenge to your skills, do you realize just how powerful you are. Because dozens of nations bow to you now. Because a city that speaks a language you’ve never even heard of turns their voices to you and to the sun. Because you wear the Mask of Winters.

To be a Solar is to think yourself weak, to realize you have earth-shattering power, and to learn to use it.

To be a Solar is to learn to be great, because you can no longer be anything less.

To be a Solar is to realize the crapsack world you were born into is not only fixable, but is now yours to fix.

Because the cynics have had their run.

Hope has returned to Creation.