WHEN SUDDENLY...! Add the Next Line - A story written by Our Community 📖

Poor Buddy, hanging off the edge of the melting travelator. He should have asked Isarnia for a complete build. He wished he had.

Just like that, the travelator morphed into a finished product … and Buddy found himself sliding down the icy bridge.

“Whee!” Buddy was thrilled. He was going too fast, but he didn’t care.

He crashed into a coconut tree. The sack went flying, gems spilling everywhere. Buddy started cleaning up, wishing he wore something else. It was too hot!

“Buddy!” @sft1965 picked up a few gems. “What are you wearing?”

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Richard strode into his office and placed his Cloud Hammer on its special hook on the wall. He gratefully dropped into his swivel chair at his desk and propped his feet up on the corner, leaning back and sighing heavily. It had been a long day, and it was only 11am!

He dropped his feet to the floor and slid open the bottom left drawer of his desk, pulling out the half-empty bottle of Kentucky Bourbon and a glass. No time like the present.

“Mr Hammer?” Viv Peregrine, Richard’s hardworking assistant piped in over the intercom. “You have a visi…”

With that the office door slammed open and a sultry redhead strode in.

“Mr. Richard Hammer? I am an attorney at law, Elena Du’Blada. I have a client in need of a gumshoe. Are you up to the task?”

Richard stood up and offered his hand, which was ignored.

“Call me Richard, or Rick if you prefer. And I am always up to the task.”

“My client is a rather powerful individual who has, umm, misplaced certain rare and powerful gems that he wishes to recover. There are other, umm, unsavoury individuals also seeking these gems. You must help my client get them first. You will receive a package with further details and a retainer to cover any expenses.”

With that the sultry attorney swiveled on her heels and briskly left the office.

“Nice gams.” Richard thought. “I wonder what she meant by ‘unsavoury individuals’.”

Suddenly …

Summary

Inspired by an old discussion:
The Ridiculous Complaints thread

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… the door burst open and Richard’s loyal clue-sniffing dog bound in!

Graymane was carrying a package.

“That was fast,” thought Richard.

Graymane dropped the package on Richard’s desk, and sat down in expectation.

Richard poured a bit of Bourborn into Graymane’s water dish. Graymane, tail-a-wagging, ran to it. But before he began to slurp, he paused. “That red-head smelled funny. Like she wasn’t telling the whole truth.”

Richard shrugged. “Most of the clients who come in here don’t, Gray. They’re scared.”

“Yeah, but she was TERRIFIED. Oh, and that package smells wrong, too.”

“What do you mean, wrong?”

But Graymane didn’t answer; instead he sighed in satisfaction, rolled over, and began to snore.

Richard sighed, and turned to the package on his desk…

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It exploded.

Sand was everywhere. Poor Graymane was howling in dismay. Then his nose got all twitchy, and he pawed at it, but that didn’t help–

“I need a broom.” Richard swept sand off his desk.

“My nose, my nose–” Graymane closed his eyes, and held his breath. Maybe it would go away. It wasn’t that itchy–

He sneezed sand and snot all over Richard.

“I need a bath.” Richard groaned, standing up, only to slip on a travel brochure. He read it out loud:

“Welcome to Tropical Paradise! Enjoy beautiful beaches in …”

Graymane whined. “Don’t stop! Where are we going? The Bahamas? Fiji? Hawaii?”

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This brochure says “Welcome to New Jersey” in the microscopic print, “Tell me it isn’t so” whimpers Graymane.

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“Where’s New Jersey?” muttered @akionna.

“Don’t forget Buddy!” Hu Tao slurped a pineapple smoothie. “The coconut tree got him.”

“Isarnia is not happy on the moon!” @CaptainjaKCsparrow hollered from far, far away.

“Did Richard really like my gams?” Elena twirled in front of the mirror. “I’ve been playing tennis with my blades.”

“You’ve been slicing tennis balls!” Graymane snorted. “Who does that?”

“I have a map of New Jersey!” @sft1965 waved folded paper at everyone. “It is spectacular!”

“There are too many people in this scene!” @sleepyhead frowned. “We need a rewrite!”

“Let me help.” @nevarmaor sighed. “Ready?”

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“Are you going to use the gems again?!” demanded @akionna

Behind them, images of burning servers and weeping programmers flashed into view.

@nevarmaor shuddered. “No, I have another way to fix this…”

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Elsewhere Belith is walking through a forest (where else would a druid be?. But we can ignore this diversion.

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It was a quaint little forest, full of leafy trees and earthy smells and, just over the horizon, the smell of rotting vegetation. Belith quite liked it. It was relaxing.

Suddenly, from behind a nearby tree a strange figure appeared.

“You are Belith, nature druid,” he said. “We need your help. There will be a group of adventurers coming soon. One of them, a much older, worn out version of Howdy Doody (you can’t miss him), seeks to reduce the number of supplemental characters in this plot. WE.MUST.STOP.HIM. Or we are all doomed!”

“But, but, what can I do?” asked Belith hesitantly. “I’m only a healer.”

“Ah, but you also dispel, and we will have help.”

“Come, meet the others” …

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No one else jumping in? Ok.

They walked over behind the tree that Jersey devil sprang out from. Behind it was a glade. Belith saw other heroes gathered there: Dawa, Karil, Prisca, and Azar.

“Welcome Belith” said Dawa. “We are the forgotten four. We used to be five, but that fat Fiar became insufferable after getting his costume. You can make us rainbow again. We need to stop the travellers from removing us, and many others, from this storyline.”

“But, but” stuttered Belith. “I am barely even in the storyline, and some of you not at all.”

“Exactly” growled Karil. “If we don’t stop them then us, and many others like us, will NEVER have a chance. Will you help?”

Belith looked around in bewilderment. What would, what could, she or any of these other 3* heroes do?

Just then, a shimmering light appeared on the other side of the glade. Out of it stepped @nevarmaor, @akionna, @sleepyhead, @sft1965, @CaptainjaKCsparrow, Isarnia, Proteus, Hu Tao, Richard, Vivica, Elena, Graymane, and a host of others.

Bith groups looked at the other in shock. “So many …” whispered Azar.

Akionna turned to Nevarmaor. “This is your great idea to reduce the number of characters?”

“Umm, no, this is actually the exact opposite of that.”

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@akionna continues: “this is @sft1965’s fault, this is not my doing. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it”.
Karil continues: “Belith, you have the character and charm to be our “Dear Leader”. Think of yourself as an organiser for us oppressed/repressed 3 stars? Dawa has assured us she can actually really fight, Azar in her new clothes is passable and Prisca just pines for her Kenjiro (so she might be a lost cause just quietly)”. “For my part I am a formidable warrior although why people don’t recognise this is perplexing???”

All the time Hu Tao is taking notes because these new heroes seem a little more traditional but they have a subversive element that smacks of trade unionism.

“Take my word” thinks Hu Tao, “this lot look like they want equal representation…”

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Azar snapped.

“Yes, we want equality! We want to be WOKE!” she drew her blades…

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Nevarmaor ran forward, hands up. “Wait, wait. Don’t you see? This is the whole problem. There are just too many here.”

“Don’t blame us, blame SGG and their plethora of HOTM’s and Event Heroes. We jsut want equal rights.” Azar countered, raising her swords menacingly.

“That’s right”, chimed in Karil. “I am just as good as any 3* event hero. Why, I’m even better than that Vlad fellow. Why do I always get fed away to bolster the ego of some other hero? I want my moment to shine!”

Graymane looked over at the forgotten 4 (+1) and then looked around at the rest assembled. He clearly remembered being fed away at every opportunity as well. It hurt. Dang it hurt so much. He ducked down and slunk across the gap and joined the forgotten ones. “I too feel the pain” he said to Karil. “Time to break the chains that bind us.”

Richard (he managed to forget his Cloud Hammer still hanging on its special hook) looked on in dismay as Graymane turned the other tail. “G-G-Graymane?” he moaned plaintively.

Slowly, out of the woods, other heroes joined the forgotten horde (for that was surely what they were becoming). Carver, Chochin, Ameonna, Agwe, Gobbler, even Arman and Vlad appeared. Brogan, Jenneh, Hou, Shaarkot, Brand, Sigrunn, Hikaru, Tudan, even Sharan.

“Well? Now what’s the big plan?” @akionna asked Nevarmaor. “Or do you even have one?”

But Nevarmaor wasn’t listening. He stared at Sharan in dismay, then with an anguished wail he collapsed to the ground insensate.

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The Copyright Lawyer fell off his chair laughing. “Fools!”

The newest summer intern dropped her notes. “What’s so funny?”

The lawyer hiccupped, struggling to catch his breath. “They tried to simplify the story … but they did the opposite!”

“Those are the original characters …” The intern squinted at the monitor. “All in one spot.”

“Indeed young Padawan.” Then the Copyright Lawyer smiled slowly.

“I don’t watch Star Trek.” The intern frowned. “Why do you look … happy?”

“Watch the screen.” The lawyer snapped his fingers. “Enjoy the chaos.”

Did he have the original stones from Thanos? How?

POOF.

One by one, 3-star heroes disappeared. The union they so dreamed of would never be. Graymane howled first, trying to jump back to Richard.

Richard caught nothing but air.

Then 2-star heroes shimmered away. It was so fast. None of that melodramatic fading into ashes.

The 1-star heroes were next. Sharan waved to @nevarmaor. But it was too late. They vanished without much effort. Like the feeders they were.

“That’s just mean.” Hu Tao sipped a new bamboo cilantro smoothie.

“Where did you come from?” gasped the intern.

The lawyer sighed. “He has back door access.”

“Oh no!” Hu Tao pointed to the screen. “Look what you did!”

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More burning servers appeared in the background!

The forums exploded, as did Facebook and Reddit.

“I can’t level up my new Lianna!!!”

“Where are the feeders??? My TC2 and TC19 have just stopped!!!”

“Oh boy…”

Copyright Lawyer fainted.

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The Copyright Lawyer lies on the ground seemingly insensate until Hu Tao walks up and gives him a few firm kicks. “Get a grip, have some personal pride… No copyright law has been violated (I have notes)”

“But this? This, is a disaster!!! What are we to do without feeders (I mean those wonderful eager recruits). For sure we are okay because we are maxed but what about those other poor starved 4’s and 5’s?”

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Indeed, Hu Tao was right. These were not copyright issues at all! So why was he lying on the ground like an idiot?

He bounced up with new resolve.

It was too bad about the exploding servers and social media meltdowns. He didn’t care about any of that. He did care about the bottom line though.

He snapped his fingers. The training camps vanished. They were obsolete anyway. Now everyone’s stronghold had four empty spots.

Then he smiled. Too many vanilla heroes? No problem. He blinked … and very slowly, the epic and legendary heroes vanished.

Hu Tao knew what he had to do. He cast his special, stunning the lawyer, giving himself just enough time to pull Proteus into safety.

The Copyright Lawyer clapped his hands. A colorful building popped up. It said–

Welcome to the New Hero Academy!

@CaptainjaKCsparrow lunged at the Copyright Lawyer. “Where is my beloved Isarnia?”

“Relax!” The lawyer tossed him a bowl of Super Porridge. “You get Mother North! She has 4000 emblems. Your heroes will never die!”

“I still have Seshat …” @sleepyhead murmured. “But no Margaret …”

“You get Lady of the Lake!” The Copyright Lawyer grinned. “And @sft1965 gets Guinevere!”

“You!” The lawyer pointed to @nevarmaor. “Your roster got wiped out. You want Gravemaker and Telluria?”

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Things were all a tumble. No rhyme. No reason. But what could be done CAN be undone…everybody knew it…“how?” was the question…

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Who cares thought @sft1965; I have Guinevere!!! A credible defence! The RNG couldn’t have planned it better.

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Sleepyhead hugged Seshat and Proteus, who were on his best Purple stack in the world, which was for the longest time his best mono stack

(though recently,with the additions of Hansel and Margaret and costumes for Caedmon and Melendor; and with Lady Wooly, Joon’s costume and Malosi popping up, and the excellent synergy between Joon;s blind, Malosi’s status block and Inari’s dodge), his Green and Yellow stacks were competing)

this thought hurt Sleepyhead. so many good memories of watching his teams come together and blast holes through enemy attackers…

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