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No. 4246
Finally, I finished! I'm sorry to Marlowe for doing this and possibly distracting from his/her fic. Next part probably won't even be out until Nov. 1 or so, since I'm going to a party and sleeping over for Halloween. But until then, please critique and enjoy!


“What the freakin’ hell is this place?” The convoys sounded like sneezing elephants as they drove off the new sight, sending flurries of leaves about as they went. There were no silos, no industrial plants, just a bunch of decrepit buildings and sheds spread out over an otherwise empty stretch of land. Already, a dark orange sun was setting over the sky, striking everything in eerie shades of red and bruised purple. “Some kind of farm?” Scout, and all the teammates behind him, found themselves somewhat perplexed about this new location.

   “Zhe place is called ‘Harvest’,” Medic replied next to the boy, studying a map in his hand. Behind him was Heavy, laden with both his and Medic’s possessions, and Engineer, a toolbox under his arm. Behind them all were crates of ammo and medical supplies, as well as their personal effects, all of which had been dumped out unceremoniously by the convoys before they took off.  “It’s a new acquisition of zhe company.”

   “To be specific, both companies,” Spy waltzed to the front of the group, a cigarette hanging from his mouth. “Zhe BLUs should be arriving tomorrow, if my intelligence ees correct.”

   “Well, then what in the hell are we waiting for?!” With a ‘harumph’, Soldier lifted all the cargo he could and started marching forth towards the buildings. “I’ll be damned if we don’t have everything ready to blow those BLU mongrels up when they show their ugly mugs! Troops, get unpacking!” The rest of team complied with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Scout led the way towards the compound, followed by Pyro, who was humming “There was an old lady who lived alone” as he carried a box, in turn followed by Sniper, shivering from the cold autumn wind in his thin shirt. The rest of team behind them, they formed a sort of shifting, wavering parade, their shadows long and tenebrous like tendrils in the distant sun. Demoman, tipsy from having found his way to his scrumpy in the cramped convoy, kept bumping into people and swaying unsteadily, until he finally collided into Spy and made them both lose their things.

   “Ah! Imbecile!” Spy dropped his briefcase, which popped open to reveal several old, waxy photos. Turning red behind his mask, he stooped down to cover them up and close the case.

   “What’re those?” Scout asked, coming forward in an attempt to see.

   “Highly secret intelligence, leetle boy,” Spy sneered, standing up and brushing off his tie indignantly. “Much too complicated for you or Braveheart over zhere.”

   “How ‘bout me?” Engineer asked, walking up. “Think me and my dozen or so Ph.Ds can’t handle yer photos?”

   “Go back to cowering behind a sentry gun, laborer,” Spy said emphatically. With a click of his watch, he had disappeared into the air, the suitcase he held turning to nothingness with him.

   “It’s bloody cold,” Sniper muttered, wrapping his hands around his arms. “Why in the hell are we even at this place, anyway? What do the higher ups see in it?”

   “It must be in good spot!” Heavy cried enthusiastically. “Maybe good location. Good for strategy.”

   “Perhaps,” Medic said, “But it does us no good to vorry. For now, vhe must get ourselves settled down and prepare for battle.” Everyone, with the exception of the absent Spy, were in agreement and began the arduous work of unpacking everything they had. Their base consisted of an old, drafty manor, an adjacent barn, and a shack where they would set up the respawn chamber. Soldier had envisioned them to be a cohesive unit of his own liking, but with Demo still woozy, Spy nowhere to be found, Pyro getting distracted by every little spider web and pumpkin he saw (an awful lot of those seemed to grow on the lot), and Scout getting scared shitless over the ghost stories Sniper was telling him, nothing seemed to be working.

   “Aw c’mon man, a h-haunted Koala attacked you?” Scout could so vividly imagine its ruby red eyes, the claws, the vampiric teeth it would brandish before it struck…

   “Not haunted, /possessed/,” Sniper corrected. The two were each carrying a side of a sleeping mat into the old manor. Engineer had managed to get electricity running to this place, which made its old, dusty light bulbs like a beacon in the spooky dusk. “And I don’t think you’d doubt me if you had been there. Ah, still gives me the willies…” For dramatic affect, he gave a shiver and shifted the mat in his hands. Scouts looked around the room they’d entered warily, perhaps looking out for a fanged marsupial lurking somewhere.

“Hurry it up, magets!” Soldier called from his comfortable position on a haystack. Since he was, at least himself, the only competent person on the team, it was obvious that he should be in charge and giving orders to everyone else. “I swear, at this rate, BLU’s gonna be at our doorsteps before you all even get in your jammies!”

   As they made their way into the foyer of the building, Scout suddenly noticed something bright in the corner. “Oh hey, look over there!” He dropped his side of the mat and rushed over to it, making Sniper stop and take the sudden weight with an /unf/. There, in the corner of the room, was a bright little jack o lantern, hollow and grinning gleefully at Scout. It must have been new, as there was no sign of rotting. “Hey Snipes, come look, I found a jack o lantern!”

   “A wha?” Sniper dropped the mat and walked over, the old wood floorboards creaking under his every step.

   “A jack o lantern, man!” Scout picked the thing up and examined it, oblivious to the explosives strapped to its back. “You know, you cut them out at Halloween…hey!” He thought back to the last time he’d checked the date. It was just before they left for Harvest which was two days ago…and it was… “Aw, dude, tomorrow’s Halloween!”

   “Halloween?” Sniper asked. “Wot’s that? Some kind of holiday?” Scout turned to gape at him with a hanging jaw.

   “Woah, dude…you kiddin’ are somethin’? Who the hell hasn’t heard of Halloween?”

   Sniper took off his glasses and put on his dourest face. “This look like I’m kidding?” he asked, deadpan.

   “Well, no but…seriously, man? No Halloween? What the hell do you /do/ in October? I mean, New Zealand must totally suck!” Sniper gave a peeved glare, and before the boy could react, he gave a resounding /thwack/ to Scout’s head with the flat side of his kukri.

   “Australia, ya dumb wanker,” Sniper muttered as Scout grasped his head and let out a string of curses. “Now c’mon, let’s get this bed upstairs.”

   “Hey, doncha wanna know what happens on Halloween?” Scout said, forgetting the jack o lantern and coming over to meet the marksman.

   “Not particularly,” Sniper muttered. Truth was, he was quite interested, but he had to make sure not to show that to the kid in front of him. If he did, he’d never hear the end of it.

   “Oh, c’mon, it’s really cool!” Scout heaved and groaned as he lifted his side of bed. In one silent, fluid motion, Sniper did the same.

   “Ah, fine,” they started moving towards the stairs, passing dusty shelves stacked with oil, rope, and other various tools. “Just don’t chew my ear off ‘bout it.”

   “Okay, well, it happens on the 31st of October,” Scout began, nearly tripping over a rake as he talked. “And you go from house to house all dressed up in costumes and get candy from people, if you’re a kid.”

   “And if you’re an adult?” The first step of the stairs groaned under Sniper’s foot.

   “Well, you scare kids and give them candy!” Scout said, following suit with Sniper. The stairs were unsteady and narrow, and the bed swayed between them dangerously as they slowly climbed. “You dress up as ghosts and do all sorts of tricks and crap. Oh man, I remember one year when me and my bros dressed up as gremlins and chased a buncha little kids down three blocks…”

   “Scaring people, eh?” Sniper thought about this as they made their way up the stairs. He knew a few tricks about scaring, undead Koalas being only one of them. “Sounds loike a good time.”

   “Hell yeah, it is!” Scout said, nodding in eager agreement. “And the best part-” he was just then interrupted as the lights abruptly turned off, leaving the room totally dark. “Hey, what the hell?”

   “Prolly jus’ the Engineer working the kinks out of the system,” Sniper said. “We can jus wait here till the lights come back.”

   “I dunno, man,” Scout said, putting the bed down and sitting on it. “Seems kinda…creepy.”

   “Creepy?” Sniper asked.

   “Yeah, I mean, first we find a jack o lantern that just /happens/ to be in perfect condition, and then, as I’m explaining scaring people, the lights go out.” Scout turned to face the Australian with a wide eyed expression. “Weird, or what?”

   “Okay, maybe a little,” Sniper admitted, shivering as a draft hit him from the open window. “But it’s prolly jus a coincidence. Christ, why’s it gotta be so cold here?”

   “It is a conspiracy to irritate you, obviously.” Scout jumped, shrieking at the sudden voice. Sniper whipped around and pulled out his Kukri to face the nascent materialized Spy. In the dark, Scout could see him smile. “What is zhis of ghost stories I am hearing? Is zhe spectral night /scaring/ you two?”

“I ain’t scared,” Scout muttered, rubbing his arms. “Just need some shut eye, is all. Where the hell have you been?”

   “Scouring zhe place,” Spy nonchalantly brought a cigarette to his lips. “Zhe information I ‘ave gather indicates something quite…interesting is here.”

   “What? What is it?” Scout sat up and looked at the Frenchman eagerly. The room suddenly became acutely colder as a windless chill crept through it.

   “Oh, I do not zhink I can disclose zhat,” Spy said, his air of coolness unabated by the cold. “Suffice it to say, I can see why zhe company has such an interest in zhis old place.”

   “So…they’re after something?” Scout asked.

   “In a sense,” Spy replied.

   “And they think its here?”

   “Zhat would syllogistically follow from your original premise, yes.”

   “Out with it, ya bloody spook!” Sniper was getting rather irritated with these word games and wanted to get back to the rest of the team. The cold and dark were making him feel rather uneasy.

   Spy smiled at the marksman’s bluntness. “Zhis place has a sordid past, mon ami. Old specters still lurk in its facilities…”

   “Specters? L-like ghosts?” Scout looked around the room. “You don’t think there are…” Scout was cut off as a look of terror came over his face. Something ethereal blue seemed to be seeping from the wall in front of him, seeping the room with a chilling glow. He tugged on Sniper’s shirt, who turned and was frozen silent at the sight. Spy, however, did not notice either this phenomena or the looks spreading over his teammates’ countenances.

   “No, you imbecile, zhat is a manner of speech! I mean this place has history! Honestly, ‘ow old are you? Thinking zhere are-”

   “GHOST!” Scout finally managed to cry out. The thing, shimmering blue and wearing some sort of hat, had come all the way out of the wall and began floating towards them, a ghastly chill accompanying it. Scout jumped off the bed just as Sniper pointed to it in exclamation, prompting Spy to turn and see what the commotion was all about. When he saw the floating creature only feet away, he let the highest shriek Scout had ever heard from a man and bolted, jumping over Sniper and Scout and the bed in his haste. Sniper cried out and followed suit, waving his akubra behind him in an attempt to ward off the ghost. Scout stripped past both of them and ran down the hall and the stairs, the lights all around him flickering on and off. He didn’t look back until he had bolted down the stairs and out the door to the outside, which felt somewhat warmer and safer. He collapsed onto a giant pumpkin and caught his breath before turning to see Sniper and Spy coming out behind him. Sniper slammed the door shut and ran towards Scout, leaning on the pumpkin and panting. Spy joined them as well, his eyes wide and dilated and his presence uncharacteristically shaky. There was no cigarette in his mouth.

   “Zh…zhat was…” Spy began, bringing a gloved hand to his forehead.

   “If that was one of your Halloween scares, I swear to god I’ll rip your throat out and feed it to that koala,” Sniper said, glaring darkly at Scout.

   “It wasn’t me!” Scout spat. “And it wasn’t your trick, was it, Spy?”

   “Non,” Spy said, trying to regain his composure. “Zhat was…oh mehr…”

   “Come on, maggots!” Soldier called to them. “These bags aren’t gonna unpack themselves!” Silently, the three men trudged, shaken by their paranormal encounter. There were only a few more things to be unpacked, and with Heavy unburdened by Medic’s things and ready to help, everything went much more smoothly than it had before. That night, Scout and Sniper slept in the same room, and Spy, usually so aloof and isolated, joined them. Like some unspoken mutual defense pact, they were looking out for each other that night. Something was very, very awry.

   “What are we going t’ do?” Sniper asked, suddenly standing upright in his bed at the sound of a tree rustling. “I’m not snipin’ any ghosts.”

   “Like you could,” Spy muttered, sinking back into his pillows. He, too, had been alarmed and aroused by the slight noise outside.

   “We’re gonna have to find it again!” Scout said, pressing his fist to his hand.

   “Find it?” Spy asked. “It seems like it would razzer find us. /TO EAT/.” He turned away in his mat.

   “There’s no other way!” Scout insisted. “We’ve gotta do something!
   “We have to at least try,” Sniper agreed. Spy nodded, ever so reluctantly. Scout nodded to himself, suddenly energetic in his bed.

   “We’ve got a mystery to solve!”

Marked for deletion (old)
>> No. 4247
Okay I'm interested.
>> No. 4248
Eeee, yes!
>> No. 4249
Good premise so far. I'm really interested, and the characters were voiced quite nicely. I love the thought of Sniper telling ghost stories of possessed koalas, and of Spy screaming like a girl over ghosts. Keep up the good work!
>> No. 4250
I hope you were intended to make me think Scooby Doo with that last line, because I totally did. The gang there makes me giggle.
>> No. 4251
Obligatory; Who're you gonna call?

Not Spy, that's for sure.
>> No. 4252
Oh man. Scooby Doo music, here we come!
>> No. 4255
>> No. 4264
Okay, so I'm envisioning a shrieking Daphne!Spy (ginger wig, high heels and all) being daringly rescued from the ghost of Old Man Petersen by Fred!Sniper.

This is intriguing Halloween fic, I am excite for next chapter.
>> No. 4294
This is going to be fun. I think they may need to invest in some proton packs now. I also have a strange feeling that this really will turn out to be a conspiracy by the company, but that's just me.

And don't worry about my fic, I'm going to be busy anyway so no time to update it for a while ...
>> No. 4312
This is great! I found a YouToob of someone singing "An Old Woman Who Lived Alone" to listen to while I read it.
>> No. 4314

Ooh! Link please! My elementary school music, teacher sung it to us just before halloween, and I haven't heard it since. I wondered if it was so obscure that the internet didn't have it.
>> No. 4354
"“We’ve got a mystery to solve!”"
Is this where the guard dog comes in with his hippy friends?
Hehe, I kid, of course.

This is a cool tale, so far, wot. I was SO hoping someone would write up some ghost stories involving harvest!
>> No. 4385
Here's a little update. Sorry Charon, I am impatient and didn't see you all day, so I had Marty beta it (I hope we can still be friends). Shenanigans a le Scooby Doo to commence shortly.

  The next day, Sniper, Spy, and Scout woke up bright and early to prepare for the day. In a flourish of good fortune, a telegram informed the team that BLU wouldn’t be arriving until at the earliest tomorrow, which would mean more time for preparing-and sleuthing-on RED’s behalf.

    “Now vie can get zhee sentries und teleporters in gear,” Medic said as they had breakfast in the barn that morning. Engineer jovially agreed with him. The rest of the team, having gotten a good night’s sleep in beds that weren’t in perpetual motion, were in high spirits and ready for the work of the day. The Frenchman, the Australian, and the Bostonian, however, had barely gotten a wink of shut eye. They’d spent almost the whole night talking about what they’d seen, what it might have been, and what they could do about it. Already spooked, it only took a bit of prodding for Spy to reveal that this was a historic place-where a man who might or not have been the father of the founders of RED and BLU died.

    “It was his idiotic sons zhat killed him,” Spy said, retrieving an old, discolored piece of parchment from his intelligence briefcase and handing it to Sniper. They’d returned to their rooms after breakfast to discuss Spy’s information. Sniper took it and looked it over, his glasses falling to his nose and revealing a pair of confused green eyes. “Zhey squandered his savings away on gravel pits and dustbowls, leaving him to die here with his protector, Barnabas Hale.”

    “Barnabas Hale?” Sniper asked, turning to the assassin. “Was he…?”

    “He was zhe great-great grandfather of Saxton Hale, you sad, leaky loverboy,” Spy sneered, taking the letter from him and handing it to Scout. Sniper blushed slightly and looked away.

    “So, this guy’s dumb kids founded RED and BLU?” Scout asked, nearly ripping the frail letter as he held it.

    “Possibly,” Spy took the letter back with a disdainful look and stored it in the briefcase. “He died here, on zhis ranch. He left his company to Barnabas, and his money to his maid, Elizabeth. His sons were given what few other assets he had left. Here.” he withdrew a small photograph from the brief case and extended his arm for Sniper and Scout to see. There was an old man in a bed, wearing a gibus, dour-faced and with a slightly younger woman sitting beside him. He was flanked by two small, seedy men on each side, one dressed in red and one in blue and each looking at the other disdainfully. Below the man in blue was a doleful German shepherd lying, and besides him was a tall, muscular brown haired man wearing a buckskin coat and carrying a rifle.

    “Is that Saxton’s great-grandfather Barnabas or something?” Sniper asked, pointing to the tall man.

    “I believe so,” Spy said.

    “I see the family resemblance,” the Australian whispered as he looked over the picturem a fond twinkle in his eye.

    “And these must be the RED and BLU guys!” Scout said, pointing at them with two fingers. “And this must be the maid, right?”

    “She is the only woman in the picture,” Sniper said. “Except maybe this bloke here.” he pointed to the side of the picture, where one could see the outline of a suit. The rest was torn away.

    “Zepheniah was, as his letter indicated, a very bitter man,” Spy said with a cluck of the tongue. “He hated the world and wanted it to go to hell. Very angry.”

    “D’ya think he was too angry to get into…y’know, heaven?” Scout asked, a nervous waver in his voice.

    “If heaven existed, I don’t zhink zhey would want him,” Spy said. “Zhat much, I can say.”

    “So he has to be the spook!” Sniper said. “Then we gotta find some way of setting his soul to rest.”
    “And how to you propose zhat?” Spy asked. He suddenly realized he needed a cigarette. He turned to where he’d put his case was only to see it wasn’t there.

    “Why don’t we ask Engineer for help?” Scout said. “He’s smart, maybe he knows what to do.”

    “He’s an Engineer, not some science-fiction scientist,” Sniper said dismissively. “If anyone, we should ask Demoman. He knows more superstitions then I’ve got headshots.” Spy bent over and shuffled through their things with a grumble. Where was that thing?

    “No way, man!” Scout said, shaking his head. “All he knows how to do is get drunk and blow stuff up. Ya can’t blow a ghost up.”

    “Can ya get it drunk?” Sniper mused. Finally, Spy spotted his cigarettes behind Scout’s duffel bag. But just as he reached a glove hand for them, they scurried away like a scared mouse.

    “Let’s ask them both!” Scout exclaimed. “Maybe Engie can develop some kind of ectoplasmic detector for us or something, so that we always know where the ghost is-”

    “I think…I know where he is, mon ami,” Spy said, having turned very pale behind his mask. Sniper and Scout turned to see him looking up at his cigarette case, floating high above him, seemingly of its own volition.

    “He can…hold things?!” Sniper stuttered, falling over in his haste to back away.

    “RUN!” Scout dashed out the room yelling, followed by an alarmed Sniper and a terrified Spy.
>> No. 4388
>> No. 4390
*cue Yakety Sax*
>> No. 4391
I suppose this battle will boil down to if Spy is scared of ghosts more then he wants a cigarette.

I mean if anyone can backstab a ghost in pursuit of sweet nicotine, it's Spy.
>> No. 4394
Spy's cigarette case is floating...FLOATING ON FISHING LINE.
Because it's the sixties and anything that floats in the sixties was connecting to fishing line.

Yay, update!
>> No. 4397
bustin makes me feel good
>> No. 4398
Now I have the mental image of a ghost holding a fishing rod with cigarette case attached. Spy bait, anyone?

Also, I'm surprised Scout knows words like ectoplasmic. But then again, he does read comic books, doesn't he?
>> No. 4399
I love Sniper's... fascination with Saxton's relatives
>> No. 4401
>>11 please link it, can't seem to find it and google is being a bitch.
>> No. 4404
Oh man, I can't wait for the next part. well done!
>> No. 4453
Sonn, I love your stuff.
>> No. 4510
I love all of the little references you've got in here. Aahahha.
>> No. 4582
I'm going to sound like an idiot but who is Saxton Hale?
>> No. 4655
The manliest man that has ever graced the earth with his concept.

He's the rough Austrailian CEO of Mann Co, a company that speiallizes in Spy-wares in the TF2-verse. Most people think that he's Sniper's father and helps out Sniper's "main" rival/enemy, the Spy, because he doesn't approve of Sniper being a Sniper and using a gun from who-knows-how-far-away instead of his own two hands. He's really manly.
>> No. 4740
Ah, finally finished. It's not as clever as I hoped it'd be, but at least I managed one explicit scooby doo reference. THANKS MARTY FOR BETA BUT I AIN'T CHANGING EVERY H IN HELL I'M LAZY

“So…ye’ve come fer me help, have ye?” They’d gathered Demoman and Engineer in the barn after breakfast, away from the rest of the team to talk candidly.

“Both of you bloke’s help, actually,” Sniper said. “There’s a bit of a…problem ‘round this place.”

“Problem?” Engineer asked. Whatever it was, he was sure he could fix it. That’s what an engineer did.

“Yes,” Spy said, taking a deep, calming breath before continuing. He felt ridiculous, like he was a child complaining about a bad dream. But this was no bad dream. “Zhere is…something ‘aunting zhis place.”

“Haunting?” Engineer asked, raising an eyebrow. “Y’mean like, a memory…?”

“Like a freakin’ ghost!” Scout exclaimed, nearly falling off the crate he was sitting on. “It’s here, and it’s hauntin’ us!”

“A ghoost?” Demoman asked, leaning forward. “Are ye sure it waren’t a changeling, or a will-o-the-wisp?”

“Of course!” Scout said. “What else could it-wait, a what?”

“A will-o-the wisp?” Demoman said. “Ye knoo, a bog light, a Corpse Candle. They’re the spirits of the dead, come tae haunt the living with thei-”

“They’re the oxidation of phosphine and methane with high albedo levels,” Engineer said, rolling his eyes behind his goggles. “Dead people don’t haunt the earth, boys. There ain’t no such thing as ghosts.”

“Says you!” Demoman said, turning to face the Texan. “And I suppose there’s noo such thing as the Loch Ness Monster either, Mr. 10 Ph.D.s!”

“That don’t exist either,” Engineer said, turning away from the Scot to face Sniper, Spy, and Scout. “And besides, it’s 11.”

“I know wot I saw, mate,” Sniper said, slamming his hand to the crate Engineer sat upon. “And we figured you’d be the best blokes to ask, since Engie here has more Ph.D’s and Demo’s knows more ghosties and ghouls than I get headshots in a day.”

“I ain’t got no Ph.D’s in pseudoscience,” Engineer said, but this was up for debate to him. How the hell is psychology a science, anyway? “I’m ‘fraid I can’t help ya with what doesn’t exist.”

Sniper and Scout were about to open their mouths when Spy cut them off with a loud, disdainful /humph/. “Fine,” the Frenchman said, standing up, “We do not need zhe ‘elp of a coward.

“Coward?!” well, if that didn’t get the ol’ cowboy riled up. He stood up and pointed his wrench at spy, almost poking the man in the chest with it. “I ain’t no coward! I’m just not afraid of things that don’t exist!”

“Zhen prove it,” Spy said, taking a slight step back. “Come to zhe ‘ouse tonight, and see for yourself what is ‘appening. If zhere is nozzing, zhen you win. But if zhere is…”

Engineer grunted. “Fine,” he picked up his toolbox and started trudging out of the room, grumbling to himself as he did. “But when I show y’all what a bunch of fools y’ are, you’ll feel mighty foolish.”

Spy /hmphed/ and lit a cigarette. “We shall see.”

That night, when everyone was settled into bed and the moon was high in the pellucid sky, Spy, Sniper, Scout, Demoman, and Engineer all sneaked across the base and into the old house, looking around for the ghost all the while. They were all equipped with flashlights and walkie talkies, except for Demoman, who had equipped himself with a large iron lantern with a special candle inside, to ward off evil spirits. “Somehow, I think any ‘spirits’ are gonna be more afraid of your bombs than any silly candle,” Engineer noted dryly.

“Says you,” Demoman retorted, lifting the lantern to face level. “Ye’ll be seein’ none of yer fancy technology’ll do ye a bit a’ good in the face of a ghost.”

“I’m shakin’,” Engineer said, shaking his head. “So, you think this here ghost is the spirit of Zepheniah Mann?”

“Zhat is our theory,” Spy said, opening the door with his shoulder and turning on the flashlight. A rat scurried out of the light, the only sound or movement in the otherwise still, silent place. “And we figure if we can find out why ‘e is ‘ere, we can put eet to rest.”

“We’ll need to trap him before we can do anything,” Demoman said. “When we got the devil where we want him, we’ll trap him in this,” he pointed to the lantern, “And then release him in the graveyard, so we can put him to rest!”

“That’s the dumbest thing ah ever heard, Demo,” Engineer said with a frown, quietly stepping into the house. The floorboards creaked and groaned under his boots, sending shivers across the foyer and even to the walls.

“So stupid it’ll work, right?” Scout asked. Nobody answered him.

“Let’s split up,” Sniper suggested, pointing his flashlight down one hallway. “Spy and I’ll take this hallway, and Demo and Engie can take the main floor. Scout, you get upstairs.”

“Me?!” Scout asked, his face becoming a pallor in the dark. “Why do I gotta be the one who goes alone?”

“Because you are zhe least likely to be attacked by zhe ghost,” Spy said with a sneer.

“Why’s that?” Scout asked, scrunching his face up at the Frenchman.

“You can run zhe fast, silly boy. And your girlish screams will surely scare ‘im away,” Spy said, chuckling to himself. Scout turned profusely red.

“Hey, it’s not my fault!” he protested. “It’s puberty’s!”

“At age twenty?” Sniper asked.

“I wish I was you, Spooky,” Scout said, starting up the stairs. “It’s the girl that always lives the longest.” Scout stuck his tongue out at him before making a turn and disappearing out of sight. Spy just sneered back at him.

“Well, let’s get this going,” Engineer said, starting down the foyer with Demo at his side. “So we can end this silliness and get some shut eye.” When he and Engie were out sight, Spy and Sniper’s eye met. The same thought passed between both their minds.

“Besides zhe ghost, we /are/ all alone,” Spy said, resting his hands on Sniper’s chest. The disdain they showed towards each other was a very good act. No one ever suspected.

“Don’t worry,” Sniper said, smiling as he took Sniper’s tie in his hands. “If you’re the girl, I’ll protect ya.”

“Oh, mon cher,” Spy said, sighing as Sniper half dragged him into the hall. Who cared about a silly ghost anyway?

“Here, Mr. Mann,” Scout said, his hands shaking around the flashlight as he stalked up the stairs. “I don’t wanna hurt ya…just send you back to hell, is all…” a sudden creak came from one of the rooms, followed by a moaning sound. He froze in his tracks, then, turning as if in slow motion, whispered, “Mr….Mann?” the door creaked as Scout slowly pushed it open, moonlight filtering through to reveal an old, dusty room that held an old wardrobe and the metal frame of a bed. In the corner was a hunched figure, cloaked in darkness. “H-hello?” at the sound, the figure turned around swiftly and suddenly, making scout cry out and shine the flashlight straight at it in surprise. It was none other than Pyro, who gave a jovial ‘Mmm!’ and hopped up at the sight of the boy.

“Pyro?” Scout said, still reeling from surprise. Pyro nodded to him, something hanging limply in his hands. “What the hell are you doin’ here?”

“Cm lkk!” Pyro walked over to scout and showed the boy the item he had in his hand. It was a thick, vinyl covered notebook, filled

“What the hell’s this crap?” Scout said, taking it from Pyro. The pages fell lightly as he flicked the book open, revealing a series of photographs on one page and an letter on the other. “What’s…” he looked over the pictures, seeing them to be a bunch of diagrams. “Hey…this is…” he flipped the page to find more pictures and notes. “Damn, firebug, it is! Where’d ya get it?”

“Fnnd ut,” Pyro said through his gasmask. “Nnr th brrn.”

“Freakin a, the rest of the team’s gonna love that we found this!” Scout said, flipping through the pages. But one page caught his attention, a page with several ghostlike sketches on it. “What the…”

“Uff?” Pyro asked, putting a hand to his hip. Scout, however, wasn’t paying attention. The Bostonian squinted to read the tiny notes written by the sketches, and flipped the page to have his suspicions confirmed.

“Those freakin’ bastards!” Scout said, huffily stuffing the notebook into his back pocket. “They’re…c’mon, Pyro, we gotta stop them!” and before Pyro could react, Scout had grabbed his thick gloved hand and dashed with him out of the room.

“Here, ghoosty!” Demo said, calling into the dark hallway. Engineer followed reluctantly, finding the entire excursion quite silly.

“Yer not callin to anything, pardner,” the Texan said, shining his flashlight towards a shelf stacked with oil cans, bolts and screws, and bits of metal. “Only ones here are you, me, and the others.”

“That’s wha’ a ghoost’d want ye to think,” Demoman said dismissively, waving his archaic, obtuse lantern in front of him. “Ye’ll be sorry if ye keep thinking that.”

“I’m shaking,” Engineer said. Just after he said it, a sudden chill came over him, literally making him shake in cold. “Now what th…” As Demoman bent over to examine a shelf, Engineer turned to see a tall, ethereal blue figure with a gibus materialize before him. For a minute, the Texan just stood and stared, before muttering, “Heh heh…look, Demo, it looks like we’ve serendipitously stumbled upon some never before seen phenomena…take some notes, would ya?” Demoman turned around just in time to catch Engineer as he fainted. Then, looking, up, he saw the ghost, and his face turned from surprise to fear, and then to anger.

“Ye’ve gone and killed him!” Demoman said, lifting his lantern to face the spectral figure. “And now I’m sending you t’hell tae join him!” the Scot gave a cry and waved the lantern at the ghost. It, and his hand passed through effortlessly, leaving the ghost unfazed. The ghost floated closer, and let a low cackle that send shivers through Demo’s spine. “Ah-hah…” the Scot stuttered, stepping back, “Maybe ye ought tae…get in th’ lamp…” but then Demo remembered genies didn’t exist. Silly him.

“Wh-…what the…” just as Engineer was waking up, he was grabbed by the scruff of the neck and pulled backwards, the ghost of Zepheniah before him. The scene was enough to make the skittish Engineer fall unconscious.

“No bloody demon’s gonna take me alive!” Demo yelled back at the ghost, racing down the hallway with Engineer in tow. He ran into a room and slammed the door shut, forgetting that nasty little trick ghosts can do. In a moment, the ghost had passed through the wall and floated to Demo’s shoulder, giving the quietest cackle in his ear. With a hoarse yell, the Demolitions Expert jumped a foot and raced out of the room, arms flailing up in the air and totally forgetting Engineer. Engineer had the luck to wake up just then, to find Zepheniah floating before with a ghastly gleam in his ominous oculi. The Texan started panting and sweating as the creature floated before him, like an owl over a mouse.

“N-now…” Engineer said, pushing back against the floor, “About that stuff with y’all not existing…y’know I was kiddin, r-right?” the ghost responded with a high, unearthly cackle, prompting the Texan to scramble up and rush for the door. Forgetting it was closed, he simply smashed through the thin wood, sending a ringing through the house that alerted the then occupied Sniper and Spy.

“If you like zhe man so much, why don’t you invite ‘im to your next scary expedition?” Spy spat, turning away from Sniper with a /humph/.

“For the last toime, I didn’t say ‘Oh, Saxton Hale,’ I said ‘Oh, sex, tons of hell!” Sniper said, struggling with his boxers.

“Zhat doesn’t even make sense!” Spy shouted.

“It does to me!” Sniper retorted. Internally, he was berating himself. ‘Tons of hell?’ what the fuck does that mean?

Just then, the sound of something smashing rang through the halls, distracting the two from their bickering. “Wot the hell was that?” Sniper asked, finally managing to get his pants back on. The question was soon answered for him, however, by Demoman coming bolting through the door, a look of panic on his face.

“Run! That ghostie’s got a vengeance!” he yelled, running past them and through another door. He was followed by Engineer, who was yelling at an octave rather higher than one might have expected from such a man. Spy swiveled around to see the ghost come through the wall, and couldn’t help but scream at the sudden occurrence.

“Eek! Les fous! Kill it, Sniper!” and Spy was off, running at the pace of a Kenyan runner out of the room and leaving the marksman alone with the ghost.

“Uh…g’day,” Sniper managed, before running out of the room with the rest of the them. The ghost let out a cackle and floated back through the wall, intent on the chase.

“C’mon, we gotta tell ‘em!” Scout was saying to Pyro as they came down the stairs. He was still flabbergasted by the truth, but determined to make it known. Pyro was short behind him, fumbling with the flashlight as he waddled down the steps. “Now where the hell could they be?”

“Fnnd thmm,” Pyro said, pointing with the flashlight to Spy as he came sprinting down the hall.

“Run! Eet cannot be stopped!” the Frenchman cried, pushing past Scout and Pyro as he scrambled up the stairs.

“Hey, wait-” Scout began before Spy disappeared up the stairs. “Dammit!” what the hell ever happened to being a professional? “C’mon, let’s get the others-” he was interrupted by three more screams, these ones coming from Sniper, Demoman, and Engineer as they all scrambled by. The ghost of Zepheniah Mann trailed behind them, floating swiftly and cackling as it went.

“Run, laddie, before it takes ye to the dark below!” Demoman cried as they took a turn and ran down another hallway. The ghost did not follow, but instead chose to float directly upwards, to where Spy was hiding. As Sniper was running with Engie and Demo, he heard the girlish scream of his lover and stopped in his tracks.

“What’re ya doin?!” Engineer said, skidding to a stop to avoid hitting the Australian.

“I gotta go rescue ‘im!” The marksman protested, running back the opposite direction. Fight or not, he wasn’t going to let anything happen to Spy.

“I thought y’all hated each other!” Engineer yelled as he followed. The two of them ran up the stair and past Scout and Pyro before the Bostonian could say what he wanted to.

“Wait-guys-oh god dammit!” Scout said, turning to Pyro. “Come on, let’s grab the tools!” Scout jumped off the stairs and towards the supply shelf they’d seen, Pyro close behind.

“Oh, bloody hell!” Demoman said, retrieving his sticky bomb launcher and shooting a single bomb. “Imma comin, lads!” Closing his eye, he jumped up and set the bomb off, blasting through the ceiling.

Spy was cornered in a bedroom, cowering behind a bed. “Oh, merci, I beg of you…” the assassin stuttered, going as low to the bed as he could. “I ‘ave been a good person…never told a lie in my life!” the ghost cackled, making Spy give a little shriek. “Okay, maybe just that once…”

“Spy!” Sniper said, bursting into the room with his kukri in hand.

“Sniper!” Spy said, a sudden smile coming to his face. He was saved! With a growl, Sniper swiped at the ghost, only to have it go right through. Spy’s smile did a one eighty. He was screwed.

Just as Engineer came to the door, the floorboards burst as Demoman came flying upwards and landed on the bed, unusually graceful for someone so big. The ghost turned to see him, and when it did, Spy cloaked and tried to slip away, only to be stopped by Engineer. “If we’re dyin’, we’re doin it together, dag nabbit!” the Texan said as he forced Spy to rematerialize. Recovering from Demo’s dynamic entry, the ghost cornered them all to a corner of the room, leaving them nowhere to go.

“Sniper, if zhis is it…I want you to know…” Spy started, breathily heavily.

“Y-yeh?” Sniper said, pulling the Frenchman close to him.

“…I always pretended to be your fazzer on zhe phone.”

“…Wha-” He was interrupted as Pyro and Scout burst into the room, crying out and tossing buckets of water on the ghost. Instantly, it stopped dead and started sparking, sending sizzling sounds out and flickering.

“What in the hell…” Engineer said, coming closer to it and reaching his ungloved hand out. A spark of electricity passed to it, shocking his index finger.

“We’ve been tryin’ to tell you since we saw you!” Scout muttered, stepping right through the ghost. It was cackling now, over and over at varying pitches and frequencies, until it stopped altogether and produced a low buzz. Pushing past Spy, the boy gave the notebook to Engineer. “Look at it.”

“Why…” Demo, Sniper and Spy leaned over Engineer’s shoulders to see. The Texan’s eyebrows raised and he gasped slowly as he read. “This is…”

“Tht’s rhht,” Pyro said, coming behind the ghost. “Thh ghst ss actlly…” he pressed the back of the gibus and the ghost turned into a solid blue sheet, falling to the floor with a thud. The hat fell open to reveal a radio and antenna on the inside, the logo BLU emblazoned on it.

“BLU team!” the gang cried out all at once.

“They were trying to scare us off the base so that they wouldn’t have to fight,” Scout said, picking up the hat.

“And we would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for you meddlesome REDs!” the radio turned off with a fizz after it said this, leaving the room quiet.

“What low, cowardly snakes!” Spy said, cursing as he pulled out a cigarette. “Anyone ‘ave a light?”

“Maybe I can get Pyro here to light up, in light of recent revelations!” Sniper yelled, whipping his kukri out. Back to their old ways, Spy chuckled before jumping down the hole Demo had made, Sniper following.

“So it was thaym Bloos behind it this whole time,” Demo said, shaking his head. “Well, this has been one hell of a night, But I think I’ll be headin for a kip meself. Night, lads.” with a yawn, he hopped down the hole as well.

“What a cheap trick!” Engineer said, looking through the notebook. “But imagine the kind of technology they must of used. To create an intangible cloak around a sheet, yet balance a gibus with a radio…it must have something t’do with the refractory properties like in Spah’s watch…”

“Sure it ain’t just anything spooky, hardhat?” Scout asked, punching him on the shoulder. “That’s what ya thought back there.” Engineer frowned.

“I didn’t buy that ghost thing for one minute, boy,” the Engineer spat before heading back to the door. “I was just trying to observe.”

“Yeah, cause pissin ya pants and running the opposite direction is a real good way to observe stuff,” the Bostonian said, snorting with laughter. “Oh man, Pyro, I can’t believe we solved this!” the boy said as Engineer left the room grumbling. “Now we can get back to life as usual, huh? But it makes me wonder…if that ghost was just a BLU trick, then is the real Zepheniah Mann…” as he mused, a luminous blue glow appeared behind him. Pyro saw it and squealed, silenced by the appearance of this figure. Seeing Pyro’s look and the blue glow, Scout muttered “what the…” and turned around…

“Oh, you have /got/ to be kiddin me.”
>> No. 4742
I lol'ed a number of times I did.
>> No. 5024
D'Oooooh, I see what you did there.
>> No. 5199
“…I always pretended to be your fazzer on zhe phone.” That made me crack up I AM A FAGGOT HUMP MY RUMP I AM A FAGGOT HUMP MY RUMP
>> No. 5210
no need to get insistent solly dear...

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