Triassic Invasion – The Final Chapter, Period 5 (Period-a-Day)

(If any of our fans would like to draw a better logo we would be happy to accept fan art or pay!

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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Period 5

Kyane met Desmond at the hospital. His arm was raised up on a stack of pillows. She entered the room holding herself. It was dark with just a single light on above him.  Her hair fell in front of her face. Desmond offered her a seat. She just stood the whole time. “Did you get them?” he asked. 

“no.” She moved her hair aside. It just fell back down. “it’s my fault. you shouldn’t have been out there.” She shook her head. “i got distracted by you being in trouble that i didn’t save those guys. now they’re gone or dead or whatever!” 

“No,” Desmond said. He sat up. The popping pain blasted itself through his arm. He crippled back. “I wanted to go. I knew the risk. So, they got away. Well we can get them next time.” 

“no.” Kyane kept shaking her head. “i will get them.”

A knock came from the door. “H- he-hey. How are-how are you feeling?” Jamie said. 

“Yeah, what happened, man,” added Harry behind him.

“Clean fracture,” Desmond said. He tried to raise his arm. It sent a pain down his arm. “How did you know about this?”

“Jerry told me.”

“And he told me. We rushed over here.”

“of course, it was jerry.” Kyane kicked the floor. 

“What happened?” Jamie asked. He took off his messenger bag and sat down in the chair Kyane refused.

“Got hit by a table.”

“Like fell on a table?”

“like a raptor threw a table and broke his arm.”

“What!?” Harry exclaimed.

“It’s cool. We have a weird life,” Desmond said. “I’m pretty sure a couple of the nurses know me by name.”

“They know mine,” Jamie said. 

“they should know mine.”

A silence filled the room. 

Kyane still trembled. 

“Who’d have thought the semester would have gone like this?” Desmond said.

“I don’t think like anyone did,” Harry said.

“I-it is different.”

Kyane continued to tremble. Her eyes drifted up for only a second. She saw Desmond’s casted arm. It was all her fault. She knew it and yet they kept her around. They hated her; she knew it. She got up and left. The only note of her leaving was the slamming of the door behind her.

“Wh… w… what’s wrong with her?”

“It’s pretty obvious.” Harry pointed to Desmond. 

“I told her it was my fault for wanting to come anyway.”

“Bu-but why is she upset?”

“I got hurt!”

“Yeah, you got hurt,” Harry said. He balled his fist. “All that seems to happen is that we get hurt now! Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why!?” Harry said. “Why did we agree to get involved? Why did you agree to get involved?” He pointed to Desmond. 

“We both agreed to help Jamie.”

“Ye-yeah.”

“No, I mean beyond that! You found out your girlfriend was a superhero, and instead of just accepting it or whatever you dove in. In fact,” Harry looked around the room for the words, “in fact you have been doing a lot for her. Why?”

“Cause I like her, dude. I told you that.”

“But why her? You were feeling her really since we drove by her a few weeks ago. I saw it on your face! Why?” He stood up and paced the room. “She was rude to you, to us. She is kind of obnoxious, holds back information, and is kind of a bit-”

“Stop!” Desmond said. “Do not finish that word!” He looked out the window. It was night. The city lights reflected off the trees. “Why? I-I… Because I want more. I was bored with constantly just playing the sports and the normal, and the usual. She was not that! Jamie is not that! I got bored and wanted to do something more. Something different. It may be dumb. But I want to do it.” Harry looked away. “We’ve been friends since like fifth grade. We’ve always agreed and did stuff. Just, but just seeing her told me something would come. I wanted that something.”

“I understand, man. I do. I just don’t. I knew this was coming. I thought I could handle it after the lieutenant took us hostage. I wanted to.” He tightened a grip around his phone. “Just it keeps going. They attack you at the mall, then all of us at the restaurant. I don’t want to see where it goes next with you guys. I just can’t. I’m sorry.” He checked his phone. “Right.” He looked up. “Because of your injury you’ll be out the last game. The coaches did get you and your two friends’ special seats to be with you.” He turned and left. “I hope you come, man.”

“Har-” Desmond tried to speak, but he already passed the window.  

Harry walked past Kyane, who just stood against the hospital wall, holding herself. He stood in front of her for a second. Vic came up on the other side. He spotted Harry and just gave him a shake of the head. Harry huffed and left. Vic took a spot next to her. “How are you holding up?”

“how do you think? desmond is hurt, and it’s my fault.”

“I’ve seen you grapple with a lot of problems in my time with you and Jerry. Those were things I could never have done when I was your age.”

“thanks?”

“I know I have been just background in all of this, but I just wanted you to know that if you aren’t alone.”

“what do you mean?”

“We’ve all got a guilty conscience.” Vic adjusted his stance. “When I was on tour in one of the I-places in the Middle East. It’s been so long now I can’t remember. My team and I were put in charge of rescuing hostages in a terrorist hideout. We were to go in, take the terrorists out and get the hostages. Simple mission. Did a thousand simulations like it before. Only, when it was time to breach the door there was an IED that blew up. Two good friends of mine were the ones that took the hit. I was in the back.” He sighed. “We excavated them back and finished the mission. When I got back to base, they were both dead. K.I.A. They were in the front because I told them it would be better. That should have been me that was dead.” He rubbed the bridge of his nose. “I was supposed to take point and chickened out. Every time I saw-see, I don’t know, but just when I think about them, I can only see them staring at me like they knew I was a coward.” 

“i’m sorry.”

“Thanks. It wasn’t until later that I realized that they still chose to take point. They could have let me stay as the point on the op, but they chose to take it. If I had died, they would have felt bad for not taking that for me. Once I figured that out, I decided to live like they would have wanted. I mourned them, but then carried on.” He put his hand on her shoulder. “Desmond is alive. He will be okay. He’s a good kid. Just know that he wants to do it and help you because you feel like this.”

“Because I feel guilty and hate myself?” Kyane’s voice echoed the roll of her eyes.

“No, because it shows you really care.” He pointed to them. “Just like they do. 

Kyane looked in the window at Desmond and Jamie.

Hot 100 Review: POPSTAR by DJ Khaled (feat. Drake)

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/E66p1SlIe6g

For someone as big as DJ Khalid (no pun intended) it’s strange that I never covered any of his songs before. That’s more beneficial than it should be considering how his songs are always so hit and miss. This song is definitely a miss.

The song has a bad start. DJ Khaled has his signature phrases he likes to throw out to denote he helped make the songs. When they’re used for fine enough pop songs they kind of blend in and help set a tone. This time, not only does DJ Khaled use all three: “We the Best Music,” “Another One,” and his name, but it clashes with the tone of the rest of song. This is because the song, though it fails, is trying to be sadder song about being a popstar. It can’t do that when it has a loud mouth trying to hype you up only to get depressed about what being famous is like.

The song attempts, and mostly succeeds, at correcting this immediately with the chorus. The chorus is a microcosm of everything wrong with the song by brings up the main ideas it wants to tackle but doesn’t tie them together. The chorus Drake laments how women and cops constantly harrase him even has he gets to live the life of luxury, with the cops specifically harrasing him because they only see him as a dealer and criminal, not a popstar.

These lines clearly try to make living the high life sound like a terrible burden and that having all that wealth any money is hollow. He can do whatever he wants and have whatever he wants but it means nothing. This is supported by the first verse where he says how he wants to take 2020 (he can have it by the way) and makes a list of things he wants and can easily have. One of those being a pretty and honest woman. After some wordplay about a manager for pop stars he goes into trying to wooh the ladies by bragging about how much money he makes and how successful it is.

This is a trope Drake does often. He likes to tie success to unsuccessful relationships. The best one of these, and his best song ever, “Too Good” is all about that. This song feels more calculated and makes him come off worse. He just moans (and his singing does sound like moaning) about stuff he wants and brags about what he can have. The problem with doing that is how that will attract women who think bragging and spending money is important (Makes me think of the truly dreadful song “Make his pockets hurt”). Being shallow will get you shallow people in return. Too bad he doesn’t spend time talking about that.

After another chorus he goes into the second verse which is him just, I guess lamenting, it’s not clear, but he basically is shocked how successful he is even though he isn’t white. He doesn’t say that. He cites Justin Bieber as an example, but Drake was successful befor Bieber so that doesn’t make sense. Also he doesn’t bring in any more cop stuff even tough the chorus does, meaning he’s leaving a great verse untouched. It honestly makes this verse feel pointless because he doesn’t say anything.

It doesn’t help that the production is so slow, sleepy, and generic that when it mixes with his voice it’s easy to kind of get lost in the song and block out whole parts of it. It has no energy, which would be an interesting parallel to draw with how rich can be shallow and dull but nothing else supports that.

There is no video. There is a visualizer that goes with the Spotify version. It has an owl land on this key on stage as the music plays. Maybe that’s a reference to DJ Khaled and his thing with key to success, but hard to tell.

It’s hard to feel bad for people who have lots of money and feel empty. They need paychological help for sure if they’re depressed, but saying how you can just got to the Virgin Islands, get long texts from girls that like you and can ignore them, or get to travel in style, or make lobster for fun, or have a platinum visa credit card is basically bragging to all those who are currently out of work and saying that they’re sad so you should feel bad for them. Just ignore the fact Drake could give so much of his money away and still have mansions, women, good looks, and opportunities to spare. It reminds me of the video for “God’s Plan” (that song is also a terrible trash fire) where he gave away the budget of the video to people in need. That was a great one time gesture, but you can do more. I do not feel bad for you when there are people you could help and saying you’re just a popstar is a cop out (that was targets for Drake, but DJ Khaled is the same way. He does even less and could give away his money to help).

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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Triassic Invasion – The Final Chapter, Period 4 (Period-a-Day)

(If any of our fans would like to draw a better logo we would be happy to accept fan art or pay!

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

If you enjoyed this: like, comment, and follow us here, and on Facebook & Twitter at Tower City Media! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Tower City Media and Submit to the suggestion box: TowerCityMedia@gmail.com!)

Period 4

A raptor pounced onto one of the guys. The guy held the raptor back by his neck. The raptor snapped its ferocious jaw. One of the other guys kicked the raptor in the side. The raptor rolled into the street. A second raptor came up behind the two guys and whipped them in the head, then dragged them by their feet. The third guy backed away. The raptors encircled him. Their humid breath was suffocating. The hum of an incoming car caught the raptor’s attention. 

One raptor turned to see the Jeep barreling down at them with the blue visor of Dieous staring them down from the roof. Dieous tapped the roof. The Jeep skidded hard to the side. Dieous flew off and close lined two raptors, then reached her hand out to the guy. 

“can you speak. my voice is still gone?”

“Of course, Kyane.” D13 pipped his voice through the speakers. “Here to help you, sir. I hope these hooligans were no harm to you.”

“They got my boys, man.”

“We will save your boys.” A raptor stood up and slashed Dieous in the back. “After I deal with these hooligans.”  Dieous turned only to get a face full of teeth. The third raptor knocked the guy out and dragged him to join his friends. 

Desmond stepped out of the Jeep and saw the two raptors on Dieous, and third dragging the guy into the store. Desmond looked and Vic and pointed to Dieous then took off into the store. He ran down the street and lunged at the raptor dragging the guy. “Let go of him you ancient ass chicken!” 

They flew through the broken window and rolled into a dining room set. He stood up and stretched his body. The raptor kicked him in the knee. Desmond fell and the raptor followed with a whip to the face. Desmond’s vision blurred. He saw the outline of a chair, grabbed it and smacked it across the raptor’s face. The raptor fell to the side. Desmond stood up only to feel the weight of a raptor slam onto his back and send him gliding across the table and knocking down the chair on the other side. 

Vic stepped out of the jeep and fired at the raptors on Dieous. It didn’t look like it had any effect. Dieous rolled around and pushed them off. The raptors flew backward into the air and crashed onto the pavement. She rushed over to the first one who stood up. Punched them in the chest, elbowed their face, then flipped them onto their back. Vic fired at the second raptor the bullets hit the ground. The raptor turned and leaped at him.

“i said no guns.” 

“I see why.” Vic holstered his gun and took out a knife. The raptor wrapped his tail around the knife-hand. Dieous ran over to him. Vic looked and saw Desmond take the tumble over the table. “Get him.” He nodded. 

Dieous nodded. She ran past the raptor and Vic and jumped feet first through the window. The glass rained down inside. Dieous kicked the dining table. It flew out and knocked into the raptor. He flipped forward out of the fall. The raptor who got knocked with the chair stood up. Dieous punched him back down. 

Desmond stood up and brushed the glass off of himself. “I totally had them babe.”

“of course.” Dieous scanned the room and saw the fifth raptor dragging the two men to the portal. “then i’ll save them.” Dieous leaped onto the table and boosted off it to the bedroom section. The raptor held the guys up to the portal. The men began breaking creaking and leaking red dust into the portal they were ceramic plates, or glass screens. Dieous jumped off a bed and kneed the raptor into the portal. A bolt of green lightning blasted the raptor back into Dieous. Dieous spun him around punched him, then kicked his knee. 

The raptor that got hit by the table stood up, wrapped his tail around an end table and hurled it at Desmond. The raptor Dieous punched looked up and hissed. Desmond raised his arm to punch. The end table collided with Desmond at the forearm. He felt an uncomfortable pop coarse through his arm. “Yoww-holy!” The side of his arm bulged. The two raptors jumped him. 

Dieous flipped around to see them attack. She blasted his engines and bounded across the store in two jumps, ending the second jump with a devastating punch to the raptor’s face.

The raptor in the bed section stood up, picked up the men and continued breaking them down. Bolts of lightning cracked against the men’s skin and left ash floating into the portal. 

Vic struggled with the raptor in a push and pull. The raptor clashed at his side but just hit the vest. Vic stepped in, wrapped his leg behind the raptor’s and pushed. They fell. He tossed his knife to the non-wrapped hand, then twirled the blade downward and stabbed the raptor in the chest. Green blood flowed from the wound. The tail loosened from around his wrist. He untangled the tail and went inside and froze when he saw it. 

Dieous continued to pummel the raptors face. Desmond held his arm tight. The other raptor shakily stood back up. “get desmond to a hospital. i’ll take care of these guys.” He punched again, and again, and again. Vic wrapped Desmond’s arm and helped him to the Jeep. They looked back. Dieous kept pounding at the now empty floor. Completely unaware that her foe had destabilized at all. 

Dieous couldn’t feel time pass. All the focus stayed on what he did to Desmond. He felt his hand touch the hardwood floor. The raptor had destabilized at some point. She couldn’t remember when. She looked up, the other raptors and guys were gone. She curled onto the floor. A pit formed in her stomach. She dove headfirst in.

Triassic Invasion – The Final Chapter, Period 3 (Period-a-Day)

(If any of our fans would like to draw a better logo we would be happy to accept fan art or pay!

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

If you enjoyed this: like, comment, and follow us here, and on Facebook & Twitter at Tower City Media! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Tower City Media and Submit to the suggestion box: TowerCityMedia@gmail.com!)

Period 3

Kyane cuddled up to Desmond’s chest. They sat along the armchair of a couch in Kyane’s living room. She moved her bandages off to make room for him. Desmond put his one arm around her and grabbed the remote in his other. He turned on Netflix. “I’m surprised your parents gave us the place for a while,” Desmond said. He snuggled into position. 

“i guess they assume an injured teenager and her boyfriend wouldn’t try anything while the parents are away.”

Desmond laughed. “How wrong they are.” He flipped through the Netflix queue. “What do you want to watch?”

“i don’t know. I’m just in the mood for something cozy.”

“This is cozy.” He hugged her tighter. 

“but it’s not a movie or tv show.”

“Okay, well what have you seen already?” He made his way into the action movie section. “Superhero stuff is good.”

“i’m over the hero ‘stuff’ for a while.” She scanned the selection. “Maybe comedy. Actually, no. Definitely comedy.” Desmond flipped through the comedy section while they voted to pass or choose a movie. They didn’t get too far in until Kyane’s phone rang. Desmond grabbed it. 

“Whose D13?” 

Kyane took it. “that’s the a.i. in the suit. i have an app that lets it interact with my phone.” 

Desmond nodded. “Sure, right,” he said in a way that was not sure, or right. 

She answered the phone and tapped on the speaker. “hey, die, what’s up? i see you’re back online.”

“I have regained most of my logistical functions. How are you feeling?”

“busted ribs, bruised insides and outsides, cut lip.” She looked at Desmond. He smiled. A warmth spread through her body. “so pretty good.”

“Your summary of injuries is very interesting compared to the hospital’s documents.”

“you’re not good at small talk. so, what is the problem?”

“We have a small team of raptors come through. I have sent for a Jeep to transport you to the site.”

“Own personal Lyft, I like that.” 

“i’m on sick leave, die. i can’t go. send my grandpa. he can take care of a couple stragglers.” She kept examining Desmond. She wanted to kiss him again if she wasn’t sure her face would explode in pain. 

“He is in a meeting with the others about the UDC situation. You are the only one who can go-your ride is here.” Headlights blasted through the blinds and into the room. 

“fine,” Kyane huffed. She stood up. A sting ran down her side. She held it while she put on her bracelets. She needed two hands for the belt. “i’m sorry, desmond. i will pay you back next time.”

Desmond grabbed her hand. “Na-uh!” He rose. “I’m going with you.”

“what? no.”

“Your parents said I could help.” He flicked his nose. “Plus, I did help you take two of them out before. I can take them. Give you some backup since you’re injured.” 

“Still, this is, like, really dangerous.”

“I wanna do it Ky!” He stretched his arms out. “It’ll be something different.”

Kyane’s head flashed with an image of her and Desmond on the mall dance floor fighting the raptors. Her heart didn’t stop fluttering the whole time. She smiled. “fine.” She walked to the door and grabbed her jacket. “hurry up. innocent people to save.” 

The two went outside and saw the Jeep idling in the driveway. The soldier in the driver’s seat had buzzed, short, gray hair. He had on a vest with a sidearm attached. He opened the passenger door for Kyane. “oh no,” Kyane said when she saw who it was.

“Who is he?”

“Jerry’s lap-guard-watchdog.”

 “My name is Lt. Vic Spencer.” He extended his hand for a shake. Neither one took his offer. 

“And he talks,” Kyane said. “That’s a first.”

“I have been cleared by Col. Saucher to take you to the site.” Desmond opened the back passenger door. Vic turned to look at him. “Is he clear to go?”

“yes.”

Vic dug around the middle console of the Jeep and tossed Desmond a vest, then took out a sidearm. “Have you fired a gun before?” He took the piece out and cocked it back.

“No. Not really.”

Kyane put her hand on the gun and lowered it down. “i’ve found that guns aren’t too good against these guys. They’re quick.”

“Fine.” Vic tucked the gun back into the console. He shifted into reverse.

My JK Rowling

I never cared much about Harry Potter. That is not saying I think it’s bad and has always been bad. I did hold that impression when I was younger. I just mean that I read the first 6 books, saw all the movies and came away with a feeling of meh. I don’t care about them or get why they were so popular. I have family members who will die by the series, but it just felt so uncreative and stale compared to the manga and anime I was reading/watching at the same time. So JK Rowling finally falling off the wagon after multiple early attempts with her backfill canon nonsense is not something that hurt me. She is just another misunderstanding person who refuses to see people the way they want to be seen. I don’t like it, but her being hateful doesn’t hinder anything for me personally with her series. I mean it’s a wizard book where they shoot lasers from their wands.

That isn’t to say I don’t have someone that hurt me. I do. His name is Joss Whedon.

Joss Whedon is often seen as one of the kings of nerddom, and boy that profetic. Most people know Joss Whedon as the Avengers and Firefly guy (Firefly is bad by the way. Fight me). He knows how to write compelling, funny, and entertaining characters while also knowing how to be thoughtful. That makes it all the worse that he, himself is not a thoughtful person off the page and screen.

Things started when it came out that he had been cheating on his wife for a bulk of their marriage and tried to spin it that what he was doing was a good thing. That’s bad enough, cheating on your wife, but then trying to stay the hero makes it all the worse. Unfortunately lots of people commit adultary, and as bad as that looked he really only had to deal with the direct people in his life. He hurt them and them alone in doing it, no one else.

That’s changed recently upon the statements of many people on his myriad projects saying that Whedon was abusive on set. This started with Ray Fisher coming out about how he acted during the filming of Justice League. And I’ll be honest, without the full backing of any evidence it was hard for me to support him on that. I mean they reshot an entire movie in a fraction of the time it took to shoot it the first time. I can imagine a schedule like that would make every irritated. As in to say that it was not an ideal situation. He should not have taken out frustrations on an actor, but it sucked for everyone.

Unfortunately it got worse. Accusations by Buffy production staff and James Masters himself all paint Whedon in terrible, bullying light.

Now being a bully isn’t the worst thing you could be. It’s bad, but not the worst. Yet something does make it the worst. That is everything Whedon writes and stands for.

In much of Whedon’s writing, that being all of it except Doll House (I haven’t seen it) there is a profound take down of that toxic male culture. Xander from Buffy is that exact person Whedon is talking to in his writings, a nerd who can be rude but learns to grow, change and be better by the end. That’s kind of shown in Mal from Firefly, Scott in his X-Men run; both Captain Hammer and Dr Horrible fall into that category making them far more interesting protagonists since they are equally flawed, and why his villains end up losing in both Avengers films. They are too full of themselves to see their flaws, and boy…

I say all this because it makes sense. I stated early that Whedon is seen as a nerd king and the thing about nerds is that once they have the power to abuse others they do. Just look at the numerous outings in the comic and gaming industries as of late. It all centers around men who have gotten power they didn’t have before and are abusing it to feel bigger and better, and that’s what Whedon has seemingly done, and considering he rails against it that hurts.

Unfortunately I don’t know where to go from here (the path is unclear) much like many Harry Potter fans. My personal feelings are tied so deeply in his work that imagining not watching Buffy during a personally hard time is a rough prospect, or watching his new show if that ever comes out. The best one can hope for is that he learns to change, and unlike JK Rowling who believes she’s right about the issue, seems more possible. Everything is out in the open, and it seems like he is getting pushback for it, but it’s not proof of anything yet.

I am still debating whether to watch Doll House or not. It’s an impossible choice I feel, and what makes it worse is that it shouldn’t be. It should be easy for me not to. I guess that says I have stuff I need to work on too (Unrelated, but I’m never touching Nobuhrio Watskui’s stuff. He’s a pedophile or was caught with periphnalia of that. That’s an easy choice to make).

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

If you enjoyed this: like, comment, and follow us here, and on Facebook & Twitter at Tower City Media! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Tower City Media and Submit to the suggestion box: TowerCityMedia@gmail.com!

Triassic Invaison – The Final Chapter, Period 2 (Period-a-Day)

(If any of our fans would like to draw a better logo we would be happy to accept fan art or pay!

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

If you enjoyed this: like, comment, and follow us here, and on Facebook & Twitter at Tower City Media! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Tower City Media and Submit to the suggestion box: TowerCityMedia@gmail.com!)

Period 2

Desmond and Kyane’s parents sat in plastic booths at the Year of The Zodiac. A small hole in the wall Chinese restaurant. The logo on the outside of the building just had an image of a zodiac wheel. The inside was small, with four booths and two tables for eating, and a counter to order. 

Desmond finished up his egg roll in a full bite and crunched away. Crumbs scattered onto his plate and table. They joined his Beef and Broccoli with white rice. There was a reason he didn’t do food dates as his first option. “Sorry I’m such a mess,” he said with a half-stuffed mouth. “I’m starving.”

Damon chuckled. “It’s all good. I played a wide end on my school’s football team. I ate the whole damn cow back in the day.” His eyes sparkled with flashes of his glory days. 

Hinotomi let out a pained smile. “So, what other sports do you play, Desmond?”

Desmond pushed his beef around with his fork. “Well baseball, football too, hockey actually, and basketball of course.”

“Hockey?” Damon noted. “Favorite pro team?” 

“Penguins, I guess. They’re cute.” 

“He knows animals,” Hinotomi said. 

“Yeah. Just like you know girls,” Damon said. 

“Yeah, Kyane is pretty cool,” Desmond said. Kyane’s parents’ faces contoured in new ways. “I mean pretty,” that didn’t help. “I mean cool,” that worked better. 

“Just cool?” Hinotomi jabbed. 

“I Ahh, yeah, cool. Like a cucumber or an Ahh fruit. I don’t really like cucumbers so that doesn’t work to compare. I mean cucumbers are alright. But how do they become pickles? And Kyane isn’t a pickle. She’s pretty a’ight. I mean very a’ight. I mean awesome.”

Hinotomi tapped his hand. “We’re just kidding you. I like you.”

“You’re good in my book.”

“You have a book?”

“Yeah,” Damon said. “Right below Jake Gyllenhaal, but above…” he searched for a name but couldn’t find one. “You get the point.” 

The check came. Desmond reached for his wallet. “No, no. We have you this time,” Hinotomi said. “You’re good to our girl when you didn’t have to be.” Desmond snuggled back into his seat. 

“Yeah. Also, to pay back for making you drive off without her for the date. But you should have come over first.”

“You’re right. But like it didn’t go that way. I can’t thank y’all enough for this. I want to help y’all more with this stuff.”

Damon and Hinotomi looked at each other. They spoke their own language with eyebrow wiggles and eye gazes. Hinotomi turned to Desmond. “That could be arranged. There doesn’t seem to be any big trouble coming soon.”

“Cool!” Desmond said. “I get to wreck it up!” He clapped his hands together too loudly. Everyone in the restaurant turned to him. Hinotomi smiled. Damon tried to hide worry behind a stuffed mouth. 

Sctellou reaches his hand out toward the portal along the cave wall. He felt his bones shake and buzz. His scales snap, and teeth jitter. He touched the portal. It felt like a mix of viscera and flowing blood churned together. A bolt of lightning flew out and scorched his hand. He pulled away and held it. It burned for a minute. He scanned the portal. It was normal. It should have had the strength to let him in, yet it kept him at bay, a door with only a lock on the outside. He stepped away to a group of raptors. 

“What’s wrong with it?” he said. He kept nursing his hand. 

“It might not have enough power,” one of the raptors said. “A total rejection because you exert too much force on it, so it snaps back and stops you from breaking reality.” 

“Yes, I know the science. I had it given to me while I gestated. I know how the portal works. But why does it not work for me? Now I question if it will work for my brethren.” 

“I can summon Dracorex.” 

Sctellou shook his head. “He will not help. He will solve the problem but not help the situation. Not help me learn what I must do.”

“You can sacrifice some men. Our life energy does boost the portal’s energy.” The raptor’s voice was flat. His eyes did not convey the true terror it must entail. 

Sctellou shook his head again. “Herreas and his captains were fools who only thought of themselves surviving to win, not the people. Herreas said he was the savior, but clearly only cared for himself to save.” Sctellou froze and his brain clicked with a solution. “Have you tried the humans? Can they boost our portals energy to cross over?” 

“That would be a Dracex question, sir.”

“No,” Sctellou paced around the cave. “What difference in human biology are there? I mean we both live. Our energy signatures may be disparate, but we both can cross over. We just use them to make and reinforce the portal. It weakens them while also stopping us from wasting our own power.” He tapped the soldier on the shoulder. “Get men rounded up and go through a portal. Collect a bare number of humans close to the portal and use them to boost it.”

“Yes, sir!” the raptor said. 

“Also get me into contact with our person on the other side. I need an attack plan for my invasion.” 

The raptor soldiers gathered a full platoon of six men and passed through the portal. Their bodies were used to the flexing and reverberation that enveloped them. They emerged on the other side in an abandoned furniture store. Beds, tables, chairs, nightstands, and davenports decorated the inside. A large going out of business sign hung high above them.  

One of the raptors looked out of the large display window and saw a group of guys walking down the street. They were dressed in well-worn jeans, oversized t-shirts, and matching gold chain necklaces. One of the guys looked at the window and double-takes. He patted his friends’ shoulders. They all looked in awe at the life-like model work on display. The raptor blinked his eyes. The men flinch backward. The raptor leaped into the window, showering the men glass. The raptor forced himself on top of one of the guys. The other guys backed away only to see the other five raptors approaching from the other sides.

Two Trips to The Kissing Booth (a Review of The Kissing Booth 1 and 2)

With movie theaters maybe never opening for the rest of the year it is hard to get new movies to review weekly since I don’t want to spend the $20 to rent (since I barely spend that much going to the theater) home releases. This brings me to a double feature look at something I never would normally watch, The Kissing Booth and its recently released sequel.

This might come as a surprise to all, but my favorite film, no qualifiers, full out, non stop favorite movie of all time is Mean Girls with Lindsay Lohan. I say this to make it clear that I like teenage centered romantic comedies. I like them a lot. So when I say that the first Kissing Booth is a fine enough version of that kind of story with the sequel being an honest to god continuation and improvement of what came before.

To go into detail, the first movie follows Elle Evans, an adorkable girl, dateless, going into her sophomore year of high school. She is twins with her best friend next door Lee and has a crush on Lee’s older brother Noah, the resident bad boy hottie. When the school fundraiser comes around Lee and Elle come up with the idea for a kissing both. Hijinx ensues after Elle ends up kissing Noah blindfolded and they must question their relationship.

As stated above it is a good enough version of one of these teen rom coms. It is exceedingly earnest, funnier than average, but too standard, uneven in the production and tone, and shallow for its own good.

What makes it all work is the cast. Oddly enough the cast is great all around. Even the bit players at the school all feel like real. Even the really cheesy moments work because all the casting is strong. They also help build the comedic moments in a great tightrope.

Unfortunately it is incredibly standard as far as these things go. It might be hard to believe considering how over complicated the incidting incident is, but beyond that it’s a girl falls for the bad boy story. It doesn’t help that much of the relationship is built in montage, and not a whole lot of time with the characters. It doesn’t help the production is stale. The only thing that feels like it really has money and time in was the school, which is a whole problem unto itself. Outside of that if I kind of standard Los Angeles scenery and backdrops.

What honestly makes the movie bad is how the earnest nature clashes with the comedy. It has some truly funny scenes, lines, and one note characters. It feels like it’s trying to be a full on farce but wants to have real “drama” making the movie less than what it could have been. The main example of this is their school. They clearly go to a high end prep school, but seems way too outlandish for something this earnest, but not funny or different enough to be anything other than odd. I mean the idea of a kissing booth is something that a school would never do in real life, like much of the sexualization that occurs at the school. It’s too much for an earnest story but just enough for a farce.

The final bothersome note is the mysongsny in the film. Despite Elle being a strong woman it feels like too much of the movie is centered around how guys feel about her, protect her, and don’t listen to her in ways that feel like they should. It all seems like standard romance stuff. The bad boy who really is just protective and looking out for you is an alluring trope but does fall into gross and possessiveness, something this movie does drip in a little too much.

In the end it’s not bad. Not terrible, but enjoyable enough. It secretly being a coming of age story at the end helps and make the ending more satisfying than it should be. I could see it being a good background movie if it were to just be on, but nothing outstanding.

The sequel is an incredibly consistent, maybe better, movie and is actually a direct sequel. It makes Netflix branding it Part 2 feel very right.

To explain, the movie picks up with Elle entering her senior year and is dealing lots of changes in her life. She’s dealing with her long distance relationship with Noah, an evolving friendship with Lee that is hindering Lee’s own relationship, and the new hottie Marco coming into her life with everything coming to a head at the kissing booth.

It’s odd to have a sequel where the first movies premise was so bare that a sequel would feel unnecessary, but it feels like a natural extension of the previous story. All of the previous story elements that worked, the chemistry, acting, and sincerity of the story being told are all on full display. On top of that it gives time to the characters. Lee and Elle have a more fleshed our relationship (and start a podcast with a whole 37 followers), additionally Lee and his girlfriend get more story time, and Elle and Noah’s relationship feels like it is honestly kind of tested.

However that is not what’s impressive. It’s impressive how it feels so much more tonally and thematically consistent it is overall. The series has moved from part farce/part drama to just a medium dramadey. This makes it less funny overall but has the drama hit harder and the characters more fleshed out. Additionally it is about more than what Elle’s narration (this time given form in a college admissions letter) says it is. It is honestly about the balance between friends and lovers and uses thematic parallels to great effect to make it feel far less paint by numbers even if it ends up filling in all the same.

The greatest choice of all however was moving the Kissing Booth to the climax instead of the inciting incident. It feels like such a simple and easy change that I feel dumb. This is going to be a terrible comparison but it is like how A New Hope and Force Awakens were so similar so Rian Johnson decided to make his film the reverse of Empire. It’s simple and works wonders for the pacing, though made me question the title for most of the film.

Oddly it is also less mysogoniatic than the first one. Elle feels like she makes her own choices and doesn’t have a bunch of men controlling her. Some of that actually gets consequences in this film making it work all the better in retrospect, though it is still a problem in the first movie.

The problems are also the same. The production is very flat, the orchestrated music is not good and relys too much on incidental tracks. The movie is also too long and has drama built on characters not knowing information or not being told information. It makes parts of the film stressful, but some of it is also kept from the audience to play as a reveal. It would make subsequent watches bothersome for sure.

Though it is hard to find problems because I’m invested in the characters now which is a sign for something.

I don’t think these are great or anything but I want more in the same way I want more of my favorite sitcoms. I just like these characters and want to spend more time with them and experience their journey. The sequel ends with an interesting cliffhanger that would make whichever sequel idea they go with all the more intriguing, but I will be there for it.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

If you enjoyed this: like, comment, and follow us here, and on Facebook & Twitter at Tower City Media! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Tower City Media and Submit to the suggestion box: TowerCityMedia@gmail.com!

Triassic Invasion – Final Chapter, Period 1 (Period-a-Day)

(If any of our fans would like to draw a better logo we would be happy to accept fan art or pay!

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

If you enjoyed this: like, comment, and follow us here, and on Facebook & Twitter at Tower City Media! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Tower City Media and Submit to the suggestion box: TowerCityMedia@gmail.com!)

Class 12 – Rhaetian Revelation

Period 1

Kyane plummeted down a pitch-black hole. Ink pens would be jealous of the blackness she fell through. There was no light above or below. She reached around her to grab onto anything, but never did. Her stomach threw itself up her chest and into her throat. She covered her mouth to try and tide the sickness. It helped. 

“Kyane,” a faint voice said in the echoing darkness. “Can you hear me?” It felt warm and familiar, but the name and face of the person escaped her. Like if she could just look past the dripping ink around her, she would see exactly who it was, and it would all click.

“Hello,” she called back. Her own voice echoed back to her. “Can someone help me?” She asked. The falling continued. No reply came. She looked around again. Still no light. She patted her body. She didn’t have any of her armor pieces. 

“Can you hear my, Ky?” said another distance, echoing voice. The darkness around her buzzed and shivered. 

“Hey? Where the hell am I? What’s going on?” she asked. The fall continued. The rushing of her body awakened something inside her. Like a trigger. A memory hit her. When she fell during class there was blackness followed by her at an amusement park roller coaster. She was falling in black ink… she was out! The ink shivered again. 

“Ky, wake up!” said the faded voice. Yet, it didn’t echo this time. 

Light began shining in Kyane’s face. The light was overbearing at best. It felt like she just removed a face mask at the beach. She covered her eyes only for the light to adjust. She blinked and heard a beeping by her head. Her vision cleared and feeling returned to her limbs. She was in a hospital gown in a hospital bed. Her parents, Jerry, Shaotoro, Jamie, and Desmond were around her on both sides. 

“Told you she would wake up!” Hinotomi said. 

“I knew she would,” Shaotoro said.

“You were a total badass, Ky,” Desmond said. “Sorry for my language.”

“The video was pretty cool,” Jamie said.

“what?” Kyane said. Her voice was still weak. “what happened? how long was I out? where’s Die?” 

“We’ll tell you later, just rest,” Damon said.

“You were out for two days,” Jamie said. He then pulled a tray over with her belt and bracelets. “They took them off when they changed you. We kept them for safety.”

Jerry stood up and clapped his hands. “Good to see you’re up and will be back soon. I have work to do.” Vic stayed huddled in the corner.

“bye, thanks for not letting me die,” Kyane said, waving him out. “such a way with words.”

Jamie checked his phone. “I should go too. I’ll be back tomorrow after school.” He got up, slung his book bag over his shoulder and walked out.

“so what happened?” Kyane asked. “while I was out, I mean?” 

“Well…” Damon began. His voice trailed off when he realized he didn’t have the words. 

“I saw you kick that big guys ass.”

“Watch yo language, son!” a stern voice came from the doorway. “You know I raised you better than to curse in front of a woman!” The group turned and saw a couple, one was a shorter woman in scrubs and curvy hair. The other was a big guy with a short flat-top cut in business casual attire. 

“Give him a break, Jude,” the man said. “His woman was attacked by some thugs.” 

“Hey… mom, pa,” Desmond said. He stood up. “What’s up?” He ran his fingers over his jeans. 

“I heard your girlfriend got hurt and we decided to see if she was okay. Also she can’t run away from us this time,” the man joked. He reached out his hand. Damon met it with his. “Barry Dice. Nice to meet you.” They shook hands. Barry put his free hand on top of their shake. He stepped aside after and showed off his wife. “This is my wife Judy.”

“Thank you dear.” Judy rested her hand along his arm. “Why didn’t you introduce us to her parents? Are you so embarrassed by yo mother and father that much?” 

“Na… na… no.” Desmond walked to the other side of the bed to meet his parents. “I just didn’t expect you to visit Kyane, she was hurt.”

“hi,” Kyane said. “it’s great to see you again.”

“It’s nothin darlin,” Judy said. “I heard from Dessy here that you got attacked by some thugs, but that nice Dieous man saved you. How you feelin?”

“tired.”

“I bet.”

“Well, we better get going,” Barry said. “It was nice meeting you guys. Desmond, you coming with us?”

“He can stay with us for a bit. Treat him for dinner,” Hinotomi said. “If that is okay with you guys?” 

“Great, love it!” Barry said. 

“Call when you’re done, Dessy.”

“Will do, ma.” 

Desmond’s parents left, leaving it only in silence. 

Shaotoro eyeballed Damon and Hinotomi. Damon got it. “Are you hungry, Desmond?” He asked. “There is a good Chinese place just down the block. Best dumplings in Tower!”

“I could eat,” Desmond said. He walked over to Kyane and placed his hand over hers. “Get better, Ky.”

“all i can do.”

Kyane’s parents kissed her and told her the same, and that they would be back later. The three left, leaving only Kyane and Shaotoro in the room. Shaotoro was oddly silent through the whole ordeal. He kept his legs crossed on the seat and head facing her but face never giving away what he was thinking or feeling. 

Kyane leaned forward and squinted at him. “how are you, sensei?”

“Scared. Worried. Nervous. Futta, magomusume.”

“why? i’m here. bad guy is beaten. time to party.”

Shaotoro shook his head. “You almost died. You were not ready to use the move.”

“i was just beaten half to death before i did it. it’s no biggie. i can do it fine, no problem.”

“It’s always going to be something.” He uncrossed his legs and walked across the cold tile flooring. 

“maybe not. that might have been the end.”

“You know that’s not true.”

Kyane rolled her eyes. They stung. “what’s your point? you were hired to train me to fight and be a teacher. you should expect it.”

Shaotoro nodded to her points. “You’re correct on all of those things. But,” he exhaled and paused. He looked over Kyane lying in bed. Wires and an IV drip hung off her body. Her face was generously painted in black and blues. He couldn’t imagine the rest of her. “I did not think it would hurt so much to see my own granddaughter getting torn apart like that.” He scratched her arm. She was freezing. “You got lucky; I just don’t know when it will be unlucky.” 

“sensei,” she said. she covered his hand with her own. “i need to do it. no one else can. and you can’t put anyone else in danger. i won’t pass this responsibility over to anyone else. you can stop training me, but i won’t stop fighting. not until tower city is safe.” She cracked a smile. She started laughing. Shaotoro furrowed his brow. “training me will keep you in shape.”

“Yeah…” Shaotoro said with no guidance.

Kyane kept laughing. “no, you don’t get it-ow. i just imagine you sitting in the dojo eating like a million rice cakes and getting fat and getting into jerry springer or something.” Her laugh started to fade. “ow, ow, ow, ow.” She grabbed her side. 

Shaotoro cracked a smile. “You’re a special girl, Kyane. I love you.”

“love you too, sensei.” 

Shaotoro shook his head. “Grandpa. Call me grandpa.”

“okay, grandpa.” He put his hand over hers.

Triassic Invasion – Chapter 11 Conclusion (Period-a-Day)

(If any of our fans would like to draw a better logo we would be happy to accept fan art or pay!

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

If you enjoyed this: like, comment, and follow us here, and on Facebook & Twitter at Tower City Media! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Tower City Media and Submit to the suggestion box: TowerCityMedia@gmail.com!)

Period 5

Danny’s house sat at the end of a block, a mile or two away from Kyane’s house. It was a two-story yellow house with brickwork covering everything else. Lattice up the sides, and comfortable porch room, and usually four mid-high-end cars in the driveway. It was different on the night of the party. Rows of cars lined the street. All the windows were open letting out loud trap, mumble rap, decade-old pop songs, and less than legal smoked plant scent out into the world. The usually cozy porch held a gaggle of the school’s athletes, friends, girlfriends, and future hook-ups chatting up all the nonsense. 

Desmond banged the desk he was sitting at. He, Jamie, Jerry, and Kyane’s partners were a block away, parked in a camouflaged cable van watching the party on the monitors. Marshal and his soldiers stationed themselves on the opposite side of the house to help with any possible evacuation situations. 

“I should be there!” Desmond chopped the air around the screen with his hand. “I would kill at that but have my date home by 10:30 like the dad would want. Of course.”

“Right,” Jerry said. 

Jamie vigorously shook his head. “Nope, too noisy for me. Can’t deal with the people.”

“Finally, someone I agree with,” Jerry said. Jamie peaked at his screen. Jamie rolled over, Jerry made room for him to examine all the meters and charts he was examining. 

“It’s fine by me,” Hinotomi said. “I think you guys need to go out, have fun, and make mistakes.”

“And get punished when you do,” Damon added. “Like it should be. Not like how it is now.” He looked at a screen of a horizon of roofs with a park off to the side. A caption at the bottom read: DIEOUS. “How you are holding up, sweetie?” Damon said into his mic.

“Fine,” Kyane replied. “Tell Desmond I wouldn’t want to go to the party. Too much testosterone, BO, and misogyny.”

 “My girl,” Damon said. 

“Other than that, everything is silent. I’ve been checking the tracker and the homo-ischians are still on their way here. From the map Die gave me,” she looked at a map of Tower City with a clump of green dots on one side of the suburbs, and another heavier group of green dots on the other side, “they split up. Sensei said he would get the smaller group without Herreas and report back to you guys.”

“After I refill the tea,” Shaotoro added over the airwaves. He huffed and landed hard. He laid out on the grass under a tree in someone’s yard. “I’ll just take it easy. My group shouldn’t arrive for a little bit. I shouldn’t have said that.” He bounced to his feet. “I’ll call you back.” His line hummed. 

“I guess that means I should start actually doing my job,” Kyane said. “Die, start a wide scan for any homo-ischians.” 

“On it, Kyane,” Die said. 

Dieous rose, spun around to scan the area around him. The air whistled off his bits of extended metal on the suit. The HUD beeped red around the community park. The image zoomed in on a group of six raptors and the hulking body of Herreas. “I got them coming up too. Good call on the party Des,” Kyane said. 

“Don’t mention it, except to all your friends.” He thumbed his nose.

“I just did.”

“Just go intercept them!” Jerry commanded. 

“On it,” Dieous said. She blasted her engines and leaped to the house across the street, up a few houses, and into the park. 

Jerry switched his radio over to Shaotoro. “How are you doing?” he asked.

Shaotoro loudly huffed into his mic. A raptor flew into a small tree on a lawn and shattered it in half. “Almost ready for cleanup.” Four raptors remained. One went through the tree and the other had his head shoved through a nearby mailbox. The four raptors encircled him, with one on each side. The pounced at the same time. The two on the sides were inches closer. Shaotoro jabbed them in the jaw with his palms. He ducked, grabbed the one behind him by the chest and chucked him into the one in front. They tumbled down the street. The raptor on the right rose and whipped his tail. Shaotoro stepped away from the whip, kicked the middle of the tail, stepped in, grabbed the head of the raptor and dropped him to the ground. A raptor attacked from the side. He rolled onto the lawn with the halved tree. His foot touched a torso length tree limb. He grabbed it. The raptor swiped again. He dodged to the side, then swung the wood, bashing it against the raptors face. Another raptor stood up. He threw the limb. It rolled in the air and pinned the raptor in the chest. That raptor immediately pulsed into nothing. The fourth raptor executed a final charge. Shaotoro jumped to the remaining stump of the tree, and into the air, somersaulting over the raptor, grabbing its tail on landing, and swinging him in close to finish with a series of quick punches. The remaining raptor destabilized and vanished. “I’ll come join you at the van.”

“Roger.”

“Don’t have too much of a party without me,” Kyane said.

 Dieous landed in a large patch of shrubbery. She peaked over the edge. The homo-ischians crept through the empty grass field, not even trying to be in the tree line or shrub cover around them. A raptor turned its head in her direction. Dieous dropped low.

“What’s the plan?” Kyane asked. 

“I was planning on saying that,” D13 said. “With the six raptors you could easily take them out by surprise with the taser and then fight Herreas.”

“I’m too weak when I tried to fight him before. I need some energy.”

“A joint taser to take out as many as possible?” 

“I can’t waste them. Plus, Herreas is immune to the static for some reason.”

“The millennium fury?”

“I’m nowhere close to ready.” 

A thud reverberated under Dieous. She looked up to see Herreas’s hand grasp her neck and toss her onto the grass. She left a series of imprints on the freshly cut green. “Well, well, well, this will be too easy,” Herreas said. He cracked his knuckles. “Grab him.”

“Improvise it is. Taser time,” Kyane said. 

The raptors rushed him. Dieous flipped the tasers out and fired four shots. Two made contact. The raptors fell in a mix of convulsion and static. One stung Herreas in the shoulder, and the other blasted a mark into a tree. She activated the engines, dropped her legs and spun around the circle. The kicks knocked the four remaining raptors to the ground. They got back up like it was nothing. 

“Your fancy fighting won’t help you when you are faced with such overwhelming force, child,” Herreas said. His men parted ways for him. He reeled his hand back and slapped Dieous across the field and into a tree. 

Dieous’s HUD flickered on impact. Energy levels dropped. The four raptors split, then ran across the field. She hoisted herself out of the tree and onto her feet. She looked around and saw the noise readout from the partying at Danny’s house. 

“I really hate that douche. Don’t look that word up I know what it means you just need to know it’s a bad word for garbage people.” Kyane said. 

“Then why do it?” D13 asked. 

“What are our levels at?” Kyane said. 

“Not good at all. You’re avoiding the question I posed to you.” 

“Can we make a super tased blast thing?” 

“Just one, but it would make us easy prey for Herreas. You still are not answering my question.” 

Dieous flipped up the tasers and extended the bars on the side. The taser notes on the HUD merged to show the single-shot remaining. She raised her arms and aimed them at space around the charging raptors. 

Dieous fired the taser blast. Blue electricity compressed into a ball and hurled itself in the space. It sat in the space, weightless, waiting for direction to move. The grass below jutted toward the sky. Cracks of blue static began pouring out and filling the air until… Crazoom! The ball exploded. The electricity coursed through the air along the currents and jabbed into the raptors’ hard skin. They dropped to the ground; statuses covered in a blue blanket. The whole process took less than a second. 

Kyane examined the HUD. The remaining energy left dropped to 20%. Warning flashes filled the sides of the screen. 

The raptor soldiers destabilized and exploded in a loud hum of energy. 

“Your gadgets may help against the weak simpletons but will get you nowhere with me!” Herreas hopped off the grass. The small jump metamorphosed into an arc across the field. “No wonder you are weak when you rely on such trivial toys and tools.” His collision with the ground shook the trees. He stood inches from Dieous. He raised his arm, only dropped it like a hammer. 

Dieous curled and rolled to the side. The swipe cleared past him. “I have more than just gadgets.”

“Now!” Kyane commanded. 

Dieous’s gauntlets opened and released the smoke, steam, and gas from the tasers into the air. The thick gray cloud wafted around the two of them and stuck like it was being held by the fishing line. 

“Ahh, this same trick. I want to feel bad for how insane you are for trying to fight back.”

“I’m fighting for something important, unlike you!” Dieous darted through the smoke, vaulted into the air and chopped Herreas’s back. He didn’t even flinch. Herreas turned and swatted at the fly. Dieous ducked, grabbed the arm, pulled it in close, then fired off a series of body shots. Herreras cracked his tail. Dieous flew out of the smoke and tumbled onto the grass.

“You’re wrong, child. I’m fighting for a cause greater than you’ll ever know.” Herreas rapidly cracked his tail. The sounds morphed into a machine gun going off. The smoke dissipated quickly. Herreas stood unfazed. He marched through the remaining wisps of smoke, leaving marks all the way. 

Shaotoro made his way into the van. The team was huddled around the screen of Dieous’s POV, the blue glow beaming off their faces. Damon held Hinotomi tightly. Desmond held a crushed wireless mouse in his hand. Jamie sat in the corner. Jerry held his hand over a button to call Marshal’s team. Shaotoro’s mouth unhooked and plummeted down. He turned out of the van and took off. Desmond saw him leave and followed. 

Dieous crawled backward. 

“What do we have left?” Kyane asked. Her heart kicked up like a jazz drummer. Her breathing quickened to her typing speed. “What can we do? What can we do?” She saw herself careening through the wooden crates. Shuttering behind boxes and hoping against everything not to be found. 

“We only have one move we haven’t tried,” D13 said. 

“No, no-no-no. I’m not ready. I can’t do it yet. I can’t. I’m not strong enough, I’m not fast enough.” She looked at the party. The red glow of tacky tiki lamps dampened into smears of blood on the wall. “I’ll fail them. I’ve failed them!”

“I see you’re not saying much, girl!” Herreas made every word seethe with vile and hatred. “Get up! Face me like a warrior! You were given all this power and do nothing! This was my team’s great foe? Great nemesis? You don’t deserve to be a slave to us, let alone your people’s champions. You say you fight for a noble cause. That’s clearly a lie. Step up so you can do something noble, die!” His footsteps rattled Kyane to her bones. 

Shaotoro darted down a side street. The park was almost in sight. He looked and saw the tops of the taller trees clearing the field. He then heard the second set of steps behind him. He pivoted and struck his palm out. Desmond stumbled away from the hit, stopping a pencil length away. “What are you doin’, boy?” Shaotoro said.

“I’m going with you to save, Ky!” Desmond said. “I can’t stand by and watch her get her ass kicked from here to their world and back. I have to help.”

“How?” Shaotoro scanned him with elevator eyes. He noted his big physique, and athletic build, but nothing much else. 

“I took down a couple of those raptor guys. One more can’t be that bad.”

“You’re an idiot. I’m not letting you go and fight that monster.” 

“Try and stop me, grandpa…” in seconds Desmond was on his back with his arm stuck in the air and a cracking pain flowing through him.

“I do not have time for your help. Go to the party and start the evacuation. Just leave this area.” 

“Okay,” Desmond said. Shaotoro let him go. Desmond stood up and dusted himself off. He looked and realized he was in front of Shaotoro now. He cocked his eyebrow. “But I’ll go check on Kyane first.” He blasted toward the park. His legs jolted him a yard at a time through the street, passed the houses, and to curb across the street. He froze when he saw what was happening. 

“Stupid, lovesick, boy.” Shaotoro followed. He built up a speech in his head only for the entirety of it to be flushed down the toilet when he saw Herreas holding Dieous up by his chest, claws buried inside the armor. Dieous turned his head and stared at the two through his blue visor. The hyperlight blue visor started to dim. 

Desmond’s mouth didn’t wait for the rest of his body. “KYANNNEEE!!” He screamed. His voice carried across the field.

“what?” Kyane murmured. 

“What was that?” Herreas oscillated his head, stopping when he saw the audience. “Hmm, I recognize them. Why is that?” He kept his eyes on them until the vision came to him. “Right, from the mall.” He looked back at Dieous. “Is that your mate and dad?” He jostled Dieous around. He said nothing. “No? Well I’ll torture them to find out. Then kill them just as easily as you.”

“no, you won’t,” Dieous said, his voice low and dipped in static. 

“Finally, you talk again!” He looked back at the onlookers and saw their jitters to get into the action. A grin crawled across his face. “Now let me make you scream.” 

Desmond jumped up and down and mumbled. “I’m ready to go. I’m gonna kick that dude’s scaly butt!” 

“No!” Shaotoro slapped him in the chest. “She can do it. We have to believe it.”

“She’s going to die, dude!”  Desmond said. 

“And so, will you,” Shaotoro said. “If it gets worse, I’ll intervene, but you need to start the evacuation.” He grabbed Desmond by the shirt and pulled him to his level. “You will do it! You want to be a hero, save the people, not kill yourself.”

Desmond’s eyes grew wide. “Okay, dude. I will.” He pulled back and adjusted his collar. “You don’t have to be so aggressive.” 

Dieous looked back at the two. Kyane saw them talking. The memories of training, talking, dating, kissing, holding hands, punching hands, arguing, and wanting washed over him. “i won’t let you hurt them,” Dieous said.

“what do we have?” Kyane asked again.

“Nooothing, goood,” D13’s voice faded and reverbed in the helmet. 

“awesome,” Kyane groaned. She looked deep into Herreas’s eyes. They were dipped in hatred, and contempt. She could feel what he wanted to do to her through the visual feed of the helmet. Everything would be over if he did. She knew that couldn’t happen. “can we try the millennium fury? do we have the power for that?” 

“I can divert all energy to visuals and movement functions.”

“but I’m still too slow.”

D13 brought up the visual image of a chip at the base of Kyane’s skull with the words she said going through it and out the speakers. He pulled the image back to show the same chip going to the body. “Kyane, I am this chip. I am an operating system designed to help control and dictate all your brain’s functions through me to not overload both you and the systems.” Kyane continued to stare at Herreas getting ready to kill. “If you turn those systems off you will be able to move more freely but keep all the advantages. It will however be incredibly-”

“do it!” Kyane commanded to the best of her ability.

“I will be unable to speak to you.”

“do it,” she said again. “we need to beat him”

“Yes, Kyane.” The line ended

The visual D13 brought up zoomed in on the chip. A crack opened in the middle. The brainwaves rushed through the body with no regard. Kyane could feel the heavy metal around her body, yet it felt like a weight was lifted off her. Along the armor, small slats opened, and blue lights ran from the belt, up the chest, down the legs, to the diamond gauntlets and out to the fingers. She kicked Herreas in the chest. It was quick, precise, and felt like it happened before she completed the thought. Herreas flinched. She kicked again, and again, and again. 

Herreas tossed Dieous away. He rolled on the ground, stopped prone, and jumped to his feet with ease. It seemed like all the damage Herreas inflicted passed. “This is what I wanted. Die with the honor of trying.” Herreas jumped at Dieous. He landed with a thud and cloud of grass clippings. Dieous was already on his side. He fired off a group of punches to the rib cage. Herreas leaned in to protect himself, only to get a face full of foot. Dieous flipped in the air, hitting Herreas with a series of kicks, landing in front of him and kicking him in the chest. Herreas slid back. 

Kyane’s breathes came quickly. She felt liquid metal coming from her nose and into her mouth. She tried to wipe it away but couldn’t. Her vision faded. A series of pop-up shot onto the HUD. It was an overlay of Herreas’s body with impact points and damage readouts, and more information she couldn’t parse. It felt like an aggressive pop-up ad virus took over. They started to fade, and she quickly felt her eyes picking up the weight her body lost. “i have to finish this quickly.” 

“How will you do that, child?” Herreas asked. He held his side. Green fluid ran down his snout. 

Dieous didn’t respond. He jumped at Herreas, leading with his knee. He slammed him in the solar-plexus, landed, and hit him in the chin with an uppercut. Herreas went for a grabbing motion. 

“you want to know why I fight?” Dieous slapped the Herreas’s arms away and punched his biceps. She looked up and saw Desmond. “it is so innocent people don’t get hurt because you think it will help your cause.”

Dieous brought her arms out. She felt the whipping winds collide with her palms. She collected as much wind then clapped his hands. The air whistled its way through the arc and between his palms. She then slammed his palms into Herreas’s chest. The air snapped and exploded outward, around the two. With no air, Herreas could no longer heal from his wounds quickly. Herreas’s eyes bulged.

 Dieous brought his arms back and punched Herreas in the chest. She repeated the move with the other arm. She kept punching him over and over. The speed hastened until the only way to follow was the trail of blue neon his suit left behind. Each punch pushed Herreas’s chest in deeper and deeper, leaving ever-expanding bruises behind. The rhythm of the punches began shuttering the leaves and grass around them with the same in and out motion. Each punch became a gust of wind knocking Herreas to nothing. The blue lights quickly started fading. Dieous widened his stance. Brought his arm back and through a final punch into Herreas’s stomach. He coughed up green blood and flew into the sky, landing on a tree. The limbs quickly snapped, bringing both Herreas and the tree to the ground. He then destabilized and evaporated in a loud pop and green wave. 

“Holy shit!” Desmond said. He ran his fingers through what hair he had. “That was so cool!” He bounded off the curb, down the street, jumped over a bench, through the grass and over to Dieous. “That was amazing, Ky!” She didn’t respond. “Ky?” The blue neon mask and armor accents faded. He placed his hand on her shoulder. She was a statue being knocked down. Locked in its pose and unable to do anything about it. “Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no!” He placed his hands on the cold metal. He could feel them burning and sticking. He rocked Kyane’s back from side to side. “Wake up, Kyane! Wake up!” His cries rang through the park but fell on deaf ears. All Shaotoro could do was watch.

Hot 100 Review: Come & Go by JUICE WRLD and Marshmello

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/Dxm3cHrKcbA

Juice WRLD continually pumping out new hits this past his passing feels like Michael Jackson. He has been gone for a couple years, yet more and more music continues to come out with his name attached. I had nothing against his music. I only really listened to Lucid Dreams which felt, like 6ix9ine but on the other extreme, of child’s first emo song. I also got some of him on Godzilla with his fun chorus. All of this leads to how odd Marshmello, a producer who’s name is so apt that it is scary. I mean his music is empty fluff. He’s not the kind of guy you would want to pair up with a deceased rapper still somehow putting out hits.

What’s stranger of all is how great and refreshing the song actually is.

The song itself is incredibly straightforward lyrically. The first verse explains everything about what the song is trying to say, the narrator wants to be a better person and a love interest comes into their life allowing them to see hope in that.

The opening isn’t amazing, or says just how enjoyable the rest of the song will be, but it works. It has a subtle guitar strum at the start working in generic sad boi beats as it sets up that first verse. Where the song changes is what I’ll call the pre-drop.

Since this song doesn’t have chorus really, just a repeated line, it doesn’t have a pre-chorus. Instead it has a drop, so this pre-drop is where the song finds its own. It brings in a flush of life with a great guitar riff, something that is incredibly rare in pop music and rap more so, all to say that Juice WRLD doesn’t want to mess up because love doesn’t always just come and go. Come and Go being a unique turn of phrase for something fleeting and easy to lose.

That idea of coming and going is actually reinforced in the following verse, like an actual song, when Juice talks about being wrong and going when he should stay how he keeps messing up, wants to get better, and stop letting mistakes eat away at him leading to ruined relationships.

From there the song does petter out with the pre-drop, even if it’s called a chorus. Thankfully the guitar and strong beats make it sound totally different from any other rap song out there.

The video starts out normal enough, just a tribute to Juice WRLD before becoming a fan-made Castlevania AMV with Juice and a woman who has magic just like Sypha from that show fighting ghouls and a magical demon guy. As far as AMVs go it is pretty standard. It has good build up to the drop. When the drop hits and the song picks up energy it gets more action packed. The editing and action match very well. The animation is spotty, but has a strong vibe that the team cared even for the rough look. Outside of that it feels like a unique choice but works. Though the girl is captured that’s resolved quickly and their fighting together gives a good reason why their relationship is special (imagine that as a guy who wrote a whole dance sequence but was really a fight into a novel). I can also see that as being a request from Juice WRLD befor passing, wanting a video like that considering the main character looks like a mix of Trevor Belmont from Castlevania and Jaden Smith’s character from Neo Yokio (hey, remember that pretty decent adult comedy with an anime aesthetic people hated cause it was such an obvious parody but looked like it was serious). It makes the video fun to watch, but doesn’t really feel on theme other than not-Sypha using her powers to help fight.

There are problems with the song but they all feel wrong to bring up. Not because it’s bad to avoid problems, but because they wouldn’t be for anybody. Juice WRLD was gone too soon and this song feels like a character in a show finding the last message of a departed loved one. In fact the start of the music video has that feel. This song had so much potential and hints that he wanted to grow as an artist but can’t now. He can’t go more outside of himself to build this chunk of a relationship we gets and add more to the chorus. He can only survived through other producers and artists coming in and trying to push him to be better through new means. That makes the production work all that much more. It’s better so he can try to reach something he could not in life.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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