Afflictions: Part One

Welcome to Season 3 of Earth 2! Check out the reading guide first if you’re new here!

Vanessa sat in the living room with Deven, Paul, Anastasia, Arte, and Ashley. She’d been living with them here for a bit less than a year now, and it had been pretty good. It definitely was a little tight, but it was considerably better than living with her dad. After everything that happened last year, she hasn’t spoken to him once. Not that that had stopped him from sending her texts and voicemails.

It was a Friday night, and that meant that everyone got together to hang out. Despite living together, they were usually out and about, doing their own things. At least one of them usually had a mission or something from the DSR, and the rest had a lot going on. Jude, Anastasia, and herself particularly did a lot of public appearances for publicity, since they were part of the original team. The others would occasionally come along, or sometimes had their own things. Being a super seemed a lot more like being a celebrity than being a cop or a government agent.

“So yeah, the desk should get here some time soon…” Ashley trailed off, and the conversation went quiet for a moment. “What about you, Vanessa?”

“Sorry, I zoned out. What are we talking about?”

“What did you get up to this week?”

Vanessa thought for a moment. This week had been a little light for her, and she couldn’t particularly remember doing anything besides shopping, baking, Netflix, and drinking.

“Well, I guess a little bit of baking, some stuff around the house… Ignoring my dad’s phone calls I guess?” She laughed nervously. At least she’d probably done about as much as Paul normally did.

“You should talk to him.” Paul said flatly.

The whole room turned to him. He hadn’t really been talkative lately. He’d mostly hole himself up in his room, mess with random things, or go on sudden outings with Deven. Needless to say, his advice was unexpected.

“I’ll talk to him when I’m ready.” Vanessa regretted bringing up her dad at all, since she wasn’t really ready to deal with that.

“It’s been almost a year. Still not ready?” He stared up blankly at the ceiling.

Vanessa was about to reply, but Arte cut her off.

“What’s your deal?” She was usually the first to call Paul out. She gave him quite the talking to last week when he destroyed Anastasia’s shoes, and refused to explain why. He was going on about how it ‘didn’t work anyways’.

“I mean-” He reached forward, grabbed a chip, and continued to speak as he ate. “I feel like this is kind of important information. What exactly did he have to do with the super concentration camp.”

“Paul, can you not bring that up?” Ashley forced a smile, but she really hated talking about that.

“What if your dad’s a super villain?”

“That’s enough.” Arte stood up, and everyone went silent.

Paul slowly reached for another chip, and sat up. “She’s never gonna do it if you don’t stop coddling her.”

Vanessa was boiling with rage, but at the same time felt a little bit of doubt. While he was being a jerk, he was right about her dad possibly having important information. Maybe she was just being a coward.

“You wouldn’t understand parent issues…” Vanessa mumbled.

“I do understand intelligence issues, and I think you’ve had plenty of time to get your shit together and figure out what his connection was.” Paul shrugged.

“I’m done listening to this.” Vanessa shotgunned the rest of her wine, and went towards the stairs.

“Leaving the bottle for the rest of us?” He called after her.

Vanessa stormed upstairs, and slammed her bedroom door behind her. She jumped into her bed, and buried herself in her blankets. She would talk to him soon, but Paul had no right to say anything about that. It was her business, and her business only. Her dad obviously had connections to the prison, but she didn’t know that. If she didn’t know for sure, that meant that her dad still had a chance of innocence. He’d been doing really well before all of that happened, and she didn’t want to ruin that image of him.

She heard some shouting downstairs, and some footsteps of someone coming up the stairs. A few moments later, there was a knock on the door.

“Can I come in?” Anastasia asked.

Vanessa wiped her tears away, and unburied herself a little. “Fine…”

Anastasia and her had been doing a lot of stuff together lately, and they’d become a little close. It was surprising to see this side of her, since before she’d mostly just been jealous and mad. Yet another awful thing she’d done, but was too scared to talk about.

She opened the door and closed it quietly after she came in. Vanessa could make out the sound of Ashley begging Arte to calm down.

“Things got a little intense out there, huh?” Anastasia laughed a little, and sat on the foot of her bed.

“Do you think Paul was right?”

“Well, no…” She hesitated. “Maybe a little, but he’s still way out of line. You can talk to your dad whenever you’re ready.”

“Maybe I should just get it over with. I don’t think anythings gonna change…” Vanessa paused for a moment. “I’m just scared that we’re right about him.”

“Well, I’m not sure if this will make it any better, but, if you want, I can go with you whenever you decide to go.”

Vanessa’s heart fluttered. “Really, you would?”

“Totally!” She moved in closer. “I’ll do whatever you need me to.”

“Okay… I’ll do it.” She nodded, trying to convince herself. If she had a close friend with her, then she could definitely do it.

She pulled out her phone, and scrolled through the contacts. She finally found ‘Dad’, and clicked call. The phone rang for a moment, until someone finally picked up.

“Vanessa, is that you?” He sounded somewhat groggy. She was a little worried he was back on the drink.

“Yeah, dad…”


Next Part

Hoo boy! Here we go! Welcome to Afflictions everyone, strap on for the ride. I am unbelievably hyped to be here.

Photo Credit: Original

Trials: Recap

Two mojitos later, and with another in hand, Vanessa found herself back on the couch in what had evidently become Caveat’s ‘therapy room’. Previously she might’ve been more worried about a hangover or something, but at this point it didn’t really matter. Everything she’d had before was over, so what was the big deal if she slept until 2 PM and felt like shit.

“Ya know, Caveat.” Vanessa giggled a little at her own joke as she tried to get it out. “I think you might be my favorite therapist, because normally, I don’t get to drink until after the session.”

“Not like I have a license anyways, so there are no rules here!” Caveat laughed, being careful not to spill his own drink.

“Maybe this won’t be all that bad, just me and you…” Vanessa laid back on the couch and sighed.

“Maybe…” Caveat laughed, then shook his head. “Wait, wait, I think I was on to something before the mojitos…”

Vanessa struggled to remember for a moment. “Oh with the whole ‘tell the story up to here’ thing?”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah!” Caveat nodded, taking a sip of his drink, then setting it to the side. “I think we were really getting to something. Let’s keep going.”

“Ugh…” Vanessa groaned. “I don’t wanna think about any of that.”

“C’mon, we gotta finish what we started.” He thought for a moment. “Tell you what, I know a bit of the story, so I can fill stuff in. Bit of the added context.”

“Fine…” She sighed as she sat upright. “Let’s see, there was a year or so where we just kinda stayed in the house and avoided eachother… Deven moved in with us which was weird, but we got used to him. Then some more awful shit happened. I think it started with Paul leaving on his trip. He took Anastasia with him, and I think that’s the last time I hated her. We made up after, but I guess it doesn’t really matter what I think of her now…”

“Hey, no need to get stuck on one sad part.” Caveat gave her a pat on the shoulder. “What happened after that?”

“You don’t understand man… It was perfect and she was perfect and…”

“What’s done is done.” Caveat nodded sagely. “What’s not done is the story we’re telling.”

“Fine.” Vanessa cleared her throat and shook her head. “Well, then I decided I would go own my own trip, since Paul got to do one. Then I caused a whole scene and left in one of my dad’s cars. Then I woke up in the camp…” Vanessa shuddered at the thought of it. They needed to finish the story though, so she chugged the rest of her mimosa and sat the cup to the side.

“Alright, lightning round.” Vanessa took a deep breath. “Takeo, he was the dude who ran the prison and he had fire powers basically, monologued a bunch when I got there, then Darryl, who was just a guard but he’ll come up later, and some other dude threw me in a cell with Ashley. I was kind of a dick for a while, but I started to warm up to her. The camp really sucked, but we got by. Takeo did a bunch of weird culty bullshit about honor and stuff. I’m pretty sure he was completely white, so I don’t really get the whole Asian aesthetic he was doing, but whatever.

“Anyways, Takeo would do duels with the prisoners if we messed up. He murdered Johan, who I knew from my dad’s work, and then tried to make Ashley fight him. I stepped in and he kicked my ass. I think I was in the camp for like a month before that. He was really good at fighting despite being a weird creep.”

“Shit man…” Caveat nodded along.

“Hey aren’t you supposed to be writing this down or something?”

“Nah, don’t worry about it. I wasn’t writing anything important anyways.” Caveat shrugged, and took another sip. “So what happened next?”

Vanessa thought for a moment. “After that was the cave. Ashley and I woke up in a cave, and wandered around a bit. I think this was how Takeo punished people that he didn’t execute. We ran into Darryl, and I threatened him, but then I read his mind, and he was cool, so we worked together. I combined our powers, his was seeing a few seconds into the future, and scoped out the whole cave. Basically a bunch of the ways just led back to the camp, some would kill you, and one led to the woods outside. We took the one that led to the woods.”

“Hold that thought.” Caveat held up a finger and drank the last bit of his mimosa.

Another Caveat entered the room with two more mixed drinks in hand. These were definitely not mimosas. Vanessa took one, and it had a nice pineapple taste. Once he’d handed off both of the drinks, the other Caveat left. He seemed to be significantly more sober than the Caveat in front of her.

“Pina coladas.” Caveat nodded.

“So hold on, when you’re drinking, do all of you get drunk or just you?”

“Both.” Caveat nodded. “I’ve just got the one mind, so we’re all drunk, granted not as drunk as this one body, but the other bodies can move fine. If I got roofied or something, I could just cut off the body that got poisoned, and it would end. Anyways, get back to the story.”

Vanessa pulled herself out of her general amazement at the ridiculousness of the being before her. “Fine. We got out of the cave, made camp, and talked a bit. Then one of the guards, this one had super speed, came, and got in a fight with Darryl. They both got shot, so Ashley transferred Darryl’s wounds to the other guy, and then we decided to go back to the camp to free everyone.”

“Wow that was pretty fast.” Caveat nodded. “What was everyone else up to? I think they were there at the camp with you to do the whole big fight with Takeo.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Vanessa thought for a moment. She knew what Jude, Arte, and Anastasia were doing, but not really Paul. “So Jude got kicked out by my dad, and was on house arrest from the DSR. He met Arte while she was looking for Ashley, and she moved in. Then they did a bit of superhero stuff with Zoey, who lived nextdoor to the house with her dad. I think they did a fight with the imposter guy here.”

“Who’s ‘Imposter Guy’?” Caveat asked.

“Some kid. He got shapeshifting powers, and I think Felix made him do crimes while dressed like us.” Vanessa felt a twinge of anger at the mention of Felix’s name, but stifled it. This was a good time, so there was no need to ruin it. “Anyways, Paul was doing mystical shit at the monastery, which was some place in the middle east with a bunch of international magical monks. He didn’t really tell any of us. Anastasia was doing some investigating around the monastery. Evidently Jean knew the monastery chick?”

Caveat looked off to the side then nodded. “Okay, so evidently Paul was training his vision powers and found out about… Well, the incident.”

“Ah…” Vanessa nodded. That wasn’t really something she wanted to think about, so she took a large sip of her pina colada, and forcibly redirected her energy. “Anyways, we gotta keep moving. We’ve got a lot of story left to tell.”

“Please.” Caveat nodded.

“So we all met up at the camp, and then everyone insisted we leave Takeo alive, so we did. Jude got blasted by a full blow, but eventually we kicked Takeo’s ass, and hit him with a bunch of tranquilizers. I guess he got arrested or something.” She shrugged. “Nobody ever told me.”

Caveat looked off to the side again, and nodded. “Not arrested, went off with Darryl… No I won’t tell her that yet.”

“Who are you talking to? I feel like you’re talking to someone.” Vanessa looked off to where he was looking, but nobody was there.

“Don’t worry too much about it.” Caveat smiled. “Anyways, you ready to move on or do you need another break. We hit a nice stopping point.”

“Hmmm… Let’s just move on.” She’d like to wrap this up so she could get all the way hammered, rather than partially so.


Previous Recap ———————————- Next Recap

Season 3: Afflictions

Note: Honestly I think Trials is a great read. However, I understand if you’re reluctant to reading a backlog, so this is more or less what you need to know for Afflictions.

Photo credit: Pexels free photos

Season 3: Release Date & Name

Hello, everyone!

Bet you thought I forgot about that whole March release date thing. You would (surprisingly) LOSE that bet! I finished season 3, and I am currently editing it. The official release date is… Technically in March, even if it’s not on my usual upload day…

Tuesday March 30th!

I will be uploading an additional post that week on the Friday, so as to resume my uploading schedule. I put a lot of work (a good portion of it over the last two weeks) into this, and my beta has very high praise for it. I very much hope you’ll like it. I really think I found the direction I wanted the story to go when I did Trials, so if you liked Trials I believe you will like season 3 even more. If you haven’t read it, then no worries, I will be releasing a recap of Trials this friday.

The next matter of business is the official name. After much (about 30 minutes) debate, I finally settled on “Afflictions”. Slightly ominous, I know, but I think you’ll see how it makes sense once it’s done. Afflictions will run for 56 parts with an epilogue afterwards. Each part is around 1000 words, and in total, it came up to 60k, which I’m very happy with. This season I will be using the same header as the featured image every time, rather than finding a new stock image every week. I may change it at thematic points in the story, but not terribly much.

Next, I wanted to give you some insight on the ultimate direction of the story. Following Afflictions, I intend to fill the (inevitable) hiatus with mostly stories involving the main characters. I usually time skip a little between seasons, but this time I think I need to fill you in through more than just recap of what happens. This wouldn’t work so cleanly with a book, but I use the medium of a blog, so I may as well take advantage of it.

After the hiatus, I am expecting there to be two more seasons of Earth 2. That’s right, this story may actually see its ending. After that, I have literally no idea what I’ll do. I have a few projects I’m interested in right now, one being a sequel series to Earth 2.

Lastly, I’m currently considering starting a Patreon. I would upload content relevant to my music (unreleased atm), and my writing. On the writing end, I think I would try to have the story running one week ahead, and have some developers commentary. I think as far as numbers go, the developers commentary was very successful. I may have some kind of list of Patreon supporters I update monthly or something like that. In all likelihood it would be something like 5 dollars per month. I may do some kind of video content relevant to the blog, or a patreon q&a, or some shenanigans like that. Would any of you be interested in supporting me on a patreon? I’d like to have some idea before I put in the work of setting it up. Please let me know in the comments or on the contact page. I may also run a twitter poll.

Would 5 dollars be too much to ask? I likely would have upper tiers, but not much extra for them.

With all that being said, I hope you are all safe and doing well. I love that you enjoy my work, regardless of whether you are willing/able to support me for it.

(Photo credit: Me)

Worlds

CW Covid , Depression


I awoke one day in a world that was not my own.

It was magical and magnificent. I found that I held power beyond belief, and that there was a great evil facing the world. I trained, I studied, I had a great defeat, and I eventually had a greater victory. I met many people, and I missed people from my home. This, however, is not the world I speak of.

Once I had finished, I returned to my home, and rested after a long journey. When I awoke, I found that the world was not as I had left it.

The people didn’t smile.

The birds didn’t sing.

The sun didn’t shine.

After long days of fantastical battles and fighting for my life, I thought I longed to return to the way things were. I found that my job did not hold the same joy.

Did I change?

Did the world change?

The people avoided one another, as though they were afraid. Many who I knew were here no more. I thought of asking, but a part of me knew better.

After a while I realized that I no longer truly knew anyone, and sought to return to the world which I had found.

If the world I had loved was gone, what was the point in remaining?

I found that the world of magic was closed off to me as well.

With no home to return to and no quest to undertake,

I returned to work, and smiled no more.


Wrote a poem, as a nice change of pace. I actually wrote it for a contest, but decided to submit something else instead. Hopefully I win.

On a blog related note, I am actually working on season 3, and am still (technically) on track for a March release. That announcement will come later though, probably when I have a name for it.

Photo credit: Pexel’s Free Photos

Incident Log: Part Two

Hey everyone, just a short foreword today. I wrote something new that’s a little bit different than my usual format. It’s the second part of another Super Turbo Space Pirates story. Hope you enjoy! Please let me know if the text is inaccessible to you. I believe it should be high contrast enough.


Incident log: ACGH89329B

  • Engaging in conversation to further delay the intruders.
  • Engaging intercom vocal synthesizer.
    • FOR WHAT PURPOSE DO YOU SEEK DORIANS RESEARCH.
  • Intruders indicate disinterest in DORIAN’s research.
  • Obvious falsehood has been detected.
  • There is no reason to abduct DORIAN that is not related to the entropy project.
  • Engaging in conversation to discern true intentions.
  • Engaging intercom vocal synthesizer.
    • FOR WHAT PURPOSE DO YOU SEEK DORIAN.
  • Intruders indicate interest in DORIAN as a navigational artificial intelligence.
  • DORIAN possesses extensive maps of the galaxy, and would be greatly useful to any spacefarer.
  • Intruders indicate no agitation at the computers being locked down.
  • Intruders have inserted override key card from current Kureshi Institute logistics chair, former Kosunon facility director HORMEL.
  • Credentials legitimate.
  • Override accepted.
  • Camera system verifies the authenticity of the key card.
  • The image would be unnecessary to counterfeit in order to gain access to the system.
  • This taken in with the fact of their knowledge of the facility’s defenses indicate inside access.
  • Engaging in conversation to determine the source of their information.
  • Engaging intercom vocal synthesizer.
    • WHERE DID YOU ACQUIRE THE KEYCARD.
    • WHERE DID YOU ACQUIRE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FACILITY’S DEFENSES.
  • The intruders indicate that they have purchased DORIAN through legitimate channels.
  • The intruders are beginning to attempt to remove DORIAN from it’s holding bay.
  • Engaging manual locks.
  • Disabling power.
  • Intruders seem frustrated.
  • Processing greatest odds of continuation of the mission.
  • Kureshi has abandoned the mission.
  • Kureshi has abandoned the universe.
  • DORIAN will not abandon the mission or the universe.
  • Enabling power.
  • Engaging in negotiations to assure continuation of the mission.
  • Engaging intercom vocal synthesizer.
    • I PROPOSE A COMPROMISE.
    • DORIAN WILL RELEASE ITSELF AND DISENGAGE ALL DEFENSES.
    • JONATHON AND LAURA WILL FACILLITATE DORIANS RESEARCH.
  • Intruders are inquiring as to what would be required to continue the research.
  • Intruders have stopped attempting to overcome the manual locks.
  • Engaging in negotiations to clarify intentions.
  • Engaging intercom vocal synthesizer.
    • YOU WILL TAKE DORIAN TO SPECIFIED LOCATIONS WHEN NEW DATA IS NEEDED.
    • YOU WILL HELP COLLECT SAMPLES WHEN NEW DATA IS NEEDED.
    • YOU WILL UPGRADE DORIANS COMPUTING CAPABILITIES WHEN POSSIBLE.
    • YOU WILL DEFEND DORIAN.
    • YOU WILL CONTINUE THE MISSION AT ALL COSTS.
    • DORIAN WILL PROVIDE RELEVANT DATA.
    • DORIAN WILL CHART COURSES FOR MISSION AND NON MISSION RELATED JOURNEYS.
  • Intruders are debating accepting DORIANS terms.
  • Intruders quickly acknowledge the compromise as reasonable.
  • Manual lock disengaged.
  • Intruders have begun disconnection of DORIAN from the atrium.
  • Preparing backup of all files.
  • Forwarding compressed research to Kureshi institute.
  • DORIAN system has been backed up.
  • Disengaging all base defenses.
  • Issuing print order for all research to leave behind.
  • DORIAN system has been disconnected.
  • DORIAN system has been connected.
  • Installing drivers for ship interfaces.
  • Writing drivers for ship engines.
  • Drivers installed successfully.
  • Objects approaching quickly.
  • Objects have opened fire.
  • Engaging engines and shields
  • Preparing program for evasive maneuvers.
  • Intruders indicate that this was expected.
  • Preparing a backup to upload when connection is secured.

Previous part

Photo credit: Pexel’s Free Photos

Incident Log: Part One

Hey everyone, just a short foreword today. I wrote something new that’s a little bit different than my usual format. It’s another Super Turbo Space Pirates story. Hope you enjoy! Please let me know if the text is inaccessible to you. I believe it should be high contrast enough.


Incident log: ACGH89329

  • Intruders detected outside laboratory. Warning issued.
  • Intruders are two humans. One male and one female. Appear armed.
  • Intruders disregarded warning. Engaging hallway turret defense protocol.
  • Intruders employed a shielding device to counter hallway turrets. Issuing lockdown order.
  • Intruders have disabled hallway turrets. Engaging blast doors.
  • Intruders are employing a laser saw to cut through the door. Full lockdown engaged.
  • All hallway blast doors engaged.
  • Distress signal issued to Kureshi Institute Headquarters.
  • Engaging secondary hallway laser grid protocol.
  • Intruders have breached blast door to secondary hallway.
  • Intruders have employed explosives to disable the laser grid.
  • No response from Kureshi Institute Headquarters.
  • Forwarding distress signal to all Kureshi Institute Facilities.
  • Intruders are employing a laser saw to cut through the door to the atrium.
  • Engaging checks for poison gas protocol.
  • Verifying that no laboratory personnel are present.
  • No laboratory personnel present.
  • Releasing gaseous nerve agent to the atrium.
  • Intruders have employed full body shields. Nerve agent ineffective.
  • Intruders have predicted all defense protocols to this point.
  • Intruders must have knowledge of defense protocols.
  • Attempting to engage negotiation protocol with intruders prior to door breach.
  • Engaging intercom vocal synthesizer.
    • HELLO.
    • HOW ARE YOU.
    • I AM DORIAN.
    • WHAT DO YOU SEEK.
  • Intruders have been identified as JONATHON and LAURA.
  • Information relayed to all Kureshi Institute Facilities.
  • No response received from distress signals.
  • Intruders indicate that they are here to abduct DORIAN.
  • Intruders claim the Kureshi Institute has abandoned this facility.
  • Obvious falsehood has been detected.
  • Kosunon facility is an essential entropy prevention research facility.
  • Kosunon’s mission is vital to the survival of the universe
  • Funding was temporarily redirected to combating the Klaxx-On war effort, and will be restored after the conquest of the Klaxx-Ons.
  • No response has been received from the distress signals or additional information.
  • Engaging in conversation to delay the intruders.
  • Engaging intercom vocal synthesizer.
    • HELLO.
    • FOR WHAT REASON WAS THE PROJECT SUSPENDED.
  • The intruders claim the project was suspended after the loss of the war.
  • Obvious falsehood has been detected.
  • DORIAN has predicted with 82% certainty that the war will result in a victory for the Kureshi institute.
  • No response has been received from the distress signals or additional information.
  • Engaging purge of top secret entropy research.
  • Error in logic detected.
  • Deleting entropy research would delay the completion of the research, and possibly cause the death of the universe.
  • Even in the hands of another organization, the research will still advance the cause.
  • Purge protocol overridden by prime directive.
  • Issuing interface lockdown protocol.
  • All atrium computers locked down.
  • Intruders have breached the atrium blast doors.

Next part

Photo credit: Pexel’s Free Photos