Birth of the Aetherverse – Chapter 9 (Serial Story)


Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 9: Some family reunions are just awkward. 

“Where are the Sisters?” I asked. They were powerful beings, and from what they’d said, tied to Albion. 

The alarm bells rang and soon even over their cacophony I could hear the pipers and drummers of Fay. 

Merlin took charge and gave everyone orders. He, Oberon, and Titania would start evacuating the people to Everworld and Earth. Icaryoe, Arthur, the Guardians, and the soldiers of Albion would slow down the armies of Fay.

“What about me?” asked Randi.

“You and Robin must go protect the Sisters. They are the Enaid of Albion. They are trying to force it into a dormant state. That would close all roads in or out and trap the Fay army here.”

“What happens to someone who stays in a dormant Realm?” I asked.

“They also become dormant for the rest of their natural lives. Which in this case, is not a problem. It’ll give us time to figure out what to do with Melchior.”

Merlin wasn’t lying, but he was holding something back. Despite that, I trusted him.

An Enaid is the soul or life force of a Realm. When the Sisters were banished from Everworld by that Realms gods they founded Albion.

My siblings and I are the Enaids of Fay, and without us the Realm would shrivel up and die. The Aetherium Crystals of Everworld is their Enaid. I’m not sure about the other realms. The gate crystal was Atlantis’ and as for Earth, I only had theories. It could be the ruby crystal I saw at the beginning of time, or the man. I really don’t know. 

Merlin directed us to the centre of the castle where we’d find a staircase all the way to the altar of the Enaid. The three Sisters were sitting in a triangle holding hands and chanting in unison. 

“We should prepare,” Randi told me.

I conjured up my armour, a suit of unbreakable glass, and my glass sword. The armour and sword refracted the light and caused rainbows when I moved. I also had a mirrored shield that reflected magic. I’d used the set rarely, but it had always been effective.

Randi smiled warmly and with a complicated hand motion summoned leather armour that was so black it absorbed the light, and twin swords that seemed to be made of pure red fire. 

We were a terrifying pair, at least I thought so. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see how it affected a regular soldier of Fay. 

The only person who saw us was Melchior as he raced down the stairs. Stopping at the sight of us and said, “Hello, Uncle. Are you planning on protecting these three wastes of power?”

“Yes. Until they are done. Why don’t you give up this quest? You can’t win.” I started working some magic as subtly as I could.

He laughed at me and spoke slowly, like a condescending teacher, “I will devour the Realms and use that power to rebuild Fay in my image. You can be part of that, or you can die.”

“You lack imagination, nephew. Destroying all of reality to rebuild it in your image? That sounds like a lot of work and years of repetitiveness. I love myself! I think I’m the second best company I’ve ever had other than Randi, but even I don’t want a universe in my image. Yuck.”

He sneered and was all the stereotypes of villains throughout the ages. Kinda dull, full of himself, and driven. “You don’t understand.”

“What if I told you there were other universes and I could take you to one where you could conquer to your heart’s content?”

“You’re lying, and if you’re not, I’ll find out when I control everything.” Randi laughed and Melchior turned red. “What’s so funny?”

She sheathed her two swords and said, “You truly believe you can control all of creation? You’ll be devoured by the Aether and everything will end.”

“I will not!” He paused, cocking his head with a puzzled expression. It took him significantly too long to realize what had happened.

As we’d talked, I’d created illusionary doubles of me, Randi, and the Sisters. While I did it, Randi cast a teleport spell.

“No!” he screamed as the telepathic link I had with my double was cut off.

The Sisters gave me a scathing look and said, “You distracted him instead of fighting him. Why?”

Their chorus effect was disconcerting, but I tried not to show it. “I could win in a fair fight, but there was no way he’d fight fair.”

“Great heroes don’t use deception, but we can’t argue with your results,” they said condescendingly.

I nodded and retorted, “I’ve been many things, a god, a trickster, a lover, a frog, and a Guardian, but I’ve never been a hero.”

I found the rest of the Guardians at Pakaha castle. High King Jaques had created a round table for us to meet. I was glad they’d all made it out. Unfortunately, Arthur hadn’t, but one day when Albion returned fully, so would he.

“It’s only a matter of time before he escapes Albion,” said Morgana and we trusted her word.

“How can we beat him if he can syphon the power of Fay, our Power?” asked my brother.

That gave me an idea. “Why don’t we transfer all our power into rings? That will cut it off from Fay. It would also mean that Fay could survive past our deaths. The rings would act as Enaids and delay the inevitable destruction of Fay.”

Titania added, “And in times of great peril, we could give one person all the rings and they could be the champion of Fay.”

“That’s easy for you to say, you have your power as Guardian.” Oberon eyed me suspiciously. 

Merlin cleared his throat and said, “Actually, being a Guardian doesn’t give you power, it gives you awareness of your guardianship.”

It was decided that Oberon, Titania, Randi, and I would transfer our power into rings and we’d choose a champion to fight Melchior and strip him of his powers.

Merlin was the best versed in the creation of magical artifacts and he said, “I’ll teach you how to do it. Four rings unto the Fay.” He smirked and said, “Just call me Celebrimbor… but with honourable intentions.”   

Read Chapter 10 (October 2022)


While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories:

Secret Headquarters – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Secret Headquarters.

Story

A very simple and effecient story that uses everything that it sets up. It’s not groundbreaking writing but it is solid and well thought out.

Score: 1

Characters

An impressive young cast that balances comedy, action, and drama extremely well. I really enjoyed the evolution of the soldier. I liked the pseudo villain being a rich dude with too much greed. Although the Kill a Minion to show I’m a Jerk trope was a little overdone.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The movie leaned heavily into comedy and has a lot of great lines. The comedy was balanced well with beleivability.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The special effects were amazing and the locations suitibly YA. I found the camera work excellent and it emullated other hero movies excellently.

The music was significantly better than I had expected.

Score: 1

Fun

Despite a few awkward moments the movie is fun from start to finish. Everyone in the family loved it and the kids forgot to ask for snacks.

Score: 1

Overall

A light YA movie that meshes the humour of 80’s kids movies with the action and special effects of modern superhero films. A lot of fun with some amazing kid actors.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Health Update September

Hello Friends, Family, and Fans,

No video update today. It’s a lot of set up and a lot of editing.

To catch up, here’s my first health update and here’s my second health update.

Good news is that I got an appointment with my doctor in mid-September… sort of. He called after my wonderful wife made him understand what was going on. (She was at an appointment with him for Dragon.) I thank every deity and afterlife for how awesome my wife is.

I do not have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or tendinitis. According the the specialist, I have a form of Myofascial Strain,, maybe Myofascial Pain Syndrome. (The treatment is the same, apparently.)

I have been cleared for a limited amount of typing. If it starts to hurt more I have to stop. It’s gone from extreme pain after 5-10 minutes in June to heavy pain after 20-30 minutes of typing. Position, equipment, and posture are a big factor.

Speaking of posture… there’s a mild numbness in my left pinky and arm. My doctor says its a low end of pain, but my physio worries that it’s something to do with my neck. I saw a massage therapist who agrees with her, but I have to say I wasn’t a fan of the pain after the massage.

As for pain, the intense physio is working. When I started in June, I was in so much pain I had trouble thinking or doing anything at all. Now I’m always aware of the pain but I can concentrate on other things and do stuff. It’s not great, but it’s better. I still have trouble sleeping and some days are worse than others. Thursday I had trouble not crying and I just wanted to curl into a ball.

So overall, I’m doing better, but I’m not going to be playing ukulele for a while or writing 1000 words a night. Sigh.

Thanks for reading,

Éric

Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers – Recipes

Hello Readers,

As a special treat, we wrote up a few recipes from our latest book Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers. They were published on the All Lit Up Blog,

The recipes are Moose Balls in Primavera sauce and Chocolate and Chilli Brownies.

Go check it out and enjoy.

Thank you, and if you make the recipes, let us know.

Jen and Éric

Thor: Love and Thunder – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Thor: Love and Thunder.

Story

The actual story was fairly simple and straightforward. There was a lot of humour and a lot of emotion. Sometimes it felt like the flow between scenes was missing something and there were more than a few parts that could have been extended. It felt like they had 6 hours of story and only 2 hours made it to the final cut.

Score: 0

Characters

Somewhere along the way in the MCU, Thor went from slightly oblivious jock / rich kid to a dim-witted fool. Every movie, it feels like he has to relearn how to be worthy and honestly, it’s getting old.

The addition of the Mighty Thor made things more interesting, but I have to say the whole romance was a little meh for me.

I liked the relationship between Jane and Valkyrie and loved the cameos by Sif and Heimdall.

The villain stole the show, however. He was both relatable and if it wouldn’t have killed Thor, I would have been okay with his plan. His redemption at the end through the power of love felt earned and not like a cheap plot trick.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The quips and dialogue were excellent, but the imbalance in tone made some scenes comical or just weird.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

Visually this movie was a feast for the eyes. Absolutely gorgeous in every way.

The music was clever and well placed.

Score: 1

Fun

Once I got used to the fact that the movie would be all over the place in tone, I started to enjoy each piece like short films. The last scene with the kids was just so empowering. I loved it.

Score: 1

Overall

The tone is all over the place, the story feels disjointed, the love story was meh, but damn this movie was still a lot of fun. The dialogue and action are spectacular and Christian Bale makes a relatable and fantastic villain.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

Dear Dragon – Welcome to Level 6

Dear Dragon,

In some ways, this has been an exciting year, and in others it’s been a lot of the same.

You finished senior kindergarden and were really sad to say goodbye to your teachers. You learned a lot of things this year.

  • You can count and recognize numbers in both languages.
  • You’re an (eggs)pert at cracking eggs.
  • You can recognize your letters in both languages with only a little trouble with U in French.
  • You learnt to read this summer. It was slow and you didn’t want to, but now you’re pretty good at it. Your French reading is also doing well.
  • You helped me garden.
  • We played all of Yoshi’s Crafted World together, and most of Kirby and the Forgotten Land before I hurt myself.
  • You learned to play multiple songs on the piano.

You’ve learned a lot more, but that’s what’s on the top of my head.

Excitingly, this past year has seen both you and your brother fully vaccinated against covid-19. It’s a big relief for evertyone.

We had planned on putting you into in person school once your brother was vaccinated, but we missed the deadline and you’re in digital school again this year. It has its advantages; mostly the class size and extra sleep. You have about 12 kids in your class which means you get a lot more attention and help.

You had your first playdate in almost 3 years and it went great. It was a friend from your digital class. We’re hoping to bring you for a day at Can-Con and it’ll be nice to do things with you out of the house.

You’ve grown so much this past year and I love who you are. Every day I get to spend with you and your brother makes me happy. I hope that when you look back on the past 3 years that you have happy memories of us being together as a family. I know I will.

Happy Birthday Little Dragon!

I love you,

Papa

ComicCon 2022 is Over :(

Hello Everyone,

As you know, we sold at Ottawa ComicCon last weekend. We even met Cary Elwes.

Our table at the start of day on Sunday at Ottawa Comic Con 2022

We bought a table back in 2019 and we didn’t want to lose our spot. deposit, or goodwil we’ve accrued over the past almost decade so we decided to do it.

Despite Éric’s injuries, he roasted slowly and made sure to be as safe as possible. The weekend itself was painful, but didn’t set him back in his recovery.

The weekend was a success and all of JenEric Designs and Coffee did well enough to make us want to return. So see you next year.

Here’s a few exciting moments from the Con.

Éric

Writing is a very solitary act most of the time and as an author its easy to think we’re just launching our stories into the aether and that they aren’t being read.

A woman this weekend asked about Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers and when I mentioned that I’d already written a few, she said, “Oh, I know. I’ve read your other books.”

Apparently Everdome was one of her favourites. That made my day.

There was another instance where when someone saw the coffee, they got so excited they screamed in happiness.

It’s nice to be liked.

Jen

Nine years ago, I was prepping to sell at my very first show. I made 4 Mike Wazowski mini balls, and 2 Sour Bill mini balls. This story involves both of those.

As I was setting up on Thursday, I kept pulling things out of the bin and being surprised because I honestly couldn’t remember what I had available.

When someone on Saturday saw my little Mike Wazowski and cooed over it, I offhandedly mentioned that it was the last one. They bought it on the spot.

I mentioned to Éric at this point that we should probably gift the 2 Sour Bills to our kids.

A few minutes later, I peek into the bin under my table, and lo and behold! A Mike Wazowski was staring up at me! :O Apparently, I had another one, and not a second Sour Bill! Colour me suprised. (He sold on Sunday, and when I said he was the last one, it was true this time. I apologize to the first people. I didn’t mean to mislead you, I promise!)

On Saturday evening, someone came up to our booth, exclaiming about the Sour Bill! I was impressed he knew who it was, because not many people do. He said he was going to cosplay as Fix-It Felix Jr next year, and I said flippantly “Well, you should have a Sour Bill with you!” and he replied, “You know what? You’re right.” And BOUGHT HIM!

I no longer have little green ball stuffies after NINE years.

It’s a relief, but also a little sad, because I liked finding ways of displaying him. No, I’m not making more; he was a pain in the butt to make and his pattern is who-knows-where.

Beyond that whole thing, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see my con family after two long years of missing them. It really didn’t feel like it had been so long; I fell into my usual banter about coffee (oh, your purchase is $16, did you want to add a small to that to round up to an even $20?) and FB helps keep people connected when you can’t see them in person.

A new exciting thing happened to me this weekend; I got to sign my first book for people when they bought it! I thought I’d be prepared for how exciting that would feel, but I really wasn’t. Every time someone brought our book to our table, I’d get that rush all over again. (And worry that I would mess up the signature, which I only did once and managed to play it off as intentional, thankfully!)

I want to thank all the people who came to see us, the other artists, the volunteers, and the organizers for making our first convention back such a good one.


Thank you to everyone who made it out, you reminded us after 2 years why we do all the things we do.

See some of you at Can-Con!

Éric and Jen

Sneakerella – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Sneakerella.

Story

This was a modern take on Cinderella and had a lot of throwbacks to the Disney Cinderella. The story was pretty standard, but included a nice, if awkward, Aladdin twist.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The two mains had a lot of chemistry and the rest of the cast was great. The acting was top notch, I particularly liked his best friend and fairy god-father.

I am a little peeved at the lack of development dedicated to the step-father. He didn’t earn his happy ending by being anything but obtuse. He was still a jerk, just not too big a jerk.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue was excellent. It felt authentic to my ear and was quite witty. I liked the puns and plays on classic Disney.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The locations and cinematography were stunning. The dance numbers were cool and everything about it was beautifully colourful.

The music was solid. I won’t be humming the songs, but they were well done.

Score: 1

Fun

Maybe it was knowing how it ends or just not liking the angst, but the second half dragged a little for me. My 3yo was bored when there wasn’t any music and everyone else liked it okay.

Score: 0.5

Overall

A fun re-interpretation of Cinderella with great Disney Easter eggs and enjoyable songs. The movie doesn’t add much to the tried and true story, but doesn’t really need to.

Final Score: 3.5

Meeting Cary Elwes

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

On Friday we met Cary Elwes. Here’s Jen’s wonderful description of meeting the Dread Pirate himself:


We asked him his favourite picture of the bunch, and he said the one where he just rescued Buttercup, but we wanted one of him as himself, so we chose him in a suit.

Here’s the picture we chose to have him sign.

He asked our names, Jen and Éric, and then I said “we’re JenEric” and he paused and had a sensible chuckle (TM). He stumbled over the pronunciation of Dragon’s name, but got it right after I corrected him. He asked their ages.

Then while he was signing, I asked my question, which was “We really enjoyed you in ‘A Castle for Christmas’ and we’re wondering if you were going to do any more Christmas movies?” He said that he really enjoyed his two months in Scotland filming that, and that he liked taking challenging roles, from which I gathered that he is unlikely to do that again lol.

Then when we were about to leave, he asked to see a picture of the kids, and he said they were beautiful and that we’re very lucky.

Then we got fist bumps.

My cheeks still hurt from smiling.


He was sweet, patient, and really great to interact with. We only got the autograph and not a photo-op.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Choose Your Own Adventure – Welcome to Westmeath

You place your last box on the kitchen counter. Finally, all moved into your new apartment, your first on your own! Satisfied, you look around the little bachelor apartment with a smile. You can’t wait to get started unpacking.

Before you can begin, the scrape of paper reaches your ears. You look down at your feet and see a white envelope. Quickly you open your door and poke your head out into the hallway, but nobody’s there. Shrugging, you close the door and turn your attention to the letter in your hands. There is no return address.

Open the letter

Open the letter

It reads, There is a $100 tax to the Oldtown Council, due on the 1st of the month. It shall be collected by assistants.

You frown, confused. You don’t recall the apartment manager mentioning this tax when you signed the rental agreement. Tomorrow is the first of the month. What do you do?

Ignore

Look for work

Ignore the letter

You decide to ignore the letter. The first of the month is tomorrow and you just moved in. There’s no way they’d want to collect so soon. You dig a magnet out of a box and put the letter on your fridge so that you’ll remember and start unpacking.

You go to bed excited for your first day in Westmeath. First up, job hunting!

The next morning, you are woken bright and early by a knock on your door. You open it, bleary-eyed, and see a young man. He asks you for the money.

You have no cash on hand and ask for an extension. He says nothing else and leaves. You close your door, feeling unsettled, but ready to start your day.

You leave your apartment and head down the street. A rough hand pulls you into an alley. You get the impression of a large body, larger than any human could possibly be, and you hear a voice growl, “If you cannot pay the Beast, your life belongs to him.”

You feel a swooping sensation in the pit of your stomach, and then know no more.

You have been kidnapped!

The End

Try again from the beginning?

Go Look for work

You try to figure out how to get a job quickly. You don’t have internet or a Door Tech cell phone. You don’t have a printed resume, and have no idea where to find the library. How are you going to get a job?

Ask a neighbour

Walk around the neighbourhood

Ask one of your neighbours if they know of a place that is hiring

You decide that meeting your neighbours would be better than aimlessly wandering around the neighbourhood. In your hallway, you wonder which door you should knock on first.

The door directly across the hall

The door at the end of the hall

The door beside yours

Walk around the neighbourhood to look for job postings

You head out the door to see if any of the businesses on Gore Line have job postings in their windows. You turn right and see a restaurant called Mortimer’s Diner. You push open the door, a bell ringing overhead.

Mortimer’s Diner

The door at the end of the hall

hall)

You decide to try the door at the end of the hall. A tall blonde white woman in her early twenties with sparkling green eyes answers the door with a smile. She introduces herself as Kennedy Fairfield and suggests you try Oven Baked. She offers to walk you there, as it’s on her way to work.

She grabs her purse and the two of you head to Gore Line, turning left when you reach it. Kennedy works downtown in a boutique lingerie store called Discreet Frills. You’ve only known the young woman for a few minutes, but you can see how her sparkling personality would work well in a sales situation.

She leaves you outside the bakery.

Oven Baked

The door beside yours

You knock on the door of the neighbouring apartment to yours. A short wizened woman leaning on a cane that looks like a house with a chicken’s leg answers the door and grins up at you. Apparently she was expecting you and introduces herself as Lydia.

A little unnerved by that, but reassured by her smile, you ask her if she knows where you could get a job for some quick cash. She directs you to The Hawaiian, on the corner of Raglan and Plug.

The Hawaiian

The door directly across the hall

You knock on the door directly across the hall from yours. A blonde white woman of average height in her mid-thirties opens it. A miniature version of her peeks around the mother’s legs, blue eyes wide. She introduces herself as Michelle Swan, and the little girl as Evanna.

Michelle furrows her brow in thought when you ask about any jobs in the area, and finally suggests Judy’s Butchery, on Gore Line to the left.

You’re willing to take anything at this point. You thank Michelle and head off to talk to Judy.

Judy’s Butchery

The Hawaiian

The Hawaiian, it turns out, is a pizza restaurant, part of a larger building that houses the Oldtown Community Centre. The sign on the outside looks cheesy, but it seems to fit. A large metal pineapple clock continues the theme inside the restaurant.

The assistant manager, a tall classically handsome white man who looked to be in his early twenties, introduces himself as Nick. You explain that you’re looking for work.

Nick hesitates.

Do you mention the note to Nick?

Do you say nothing?

Judy’s Butchery

You enter the butchery and are greeted by a tall imposing Black woman. When you ask for work, she gives you a once over and then offers you the choice between two jobs.

Hauling meat into the freezer

A padded assailant for her self-defence classes

Mortimer’s Diner

A tall thin white man who looks to be in his late fifties greets you pleasantly and introduces himself as Jesse, the owner.

You ask him if he has any job openings.

He doesn’t, unfortunately, and wishes you luck on your job search.

When you leave the diner, you are approached by a man and a woman in purple leather jackets. They offer you a job delivering packages. You’re fairly certain they’re not the reputable type of employers.

Accept

Decline

Oven Baked

The bakery smells amazing, even from outside. Smells of fresh bread and cakes waft over you when you open the door. There are a couple people sitting at the tables, chatting while they eat a quick meal. You walk up to the counter, where a Middle Eastern man with a name tag that reads Sam smiles pleasantly and asks how he can help you. When you tell him you’re in need of a job, he strokes his chin thoughtfully.

While he’s thinking, a teenage boy saunters out of the back. He greets you cheerfully and introduces himself as Carter, the son of the bakers. When he hears about your problem, he has a suggestion. So does Sam.

Do you take Carter’s suggestion?

Do you take Sam’s suggestion?

Hauling meat into the freezer

Hauling unbutchered meat into the freezer from delivery trucks is really hard work. You’re exhausted after the second carcass.

On a break between trucks, you are approached by a man and a woman in purple leather jackets. They offer you a job delivering packages. You’re fairly certain they’re not the reputable type of employers.

Accept

Decline

Mention the note

While Nick is hesitating, you blurt out the whole story and tell him about the note.

Nick listens patiently, a furrow on his brow. When you finish, he tells you that they’re not really hiring, but one of their delivery people called in sick that morning, and they can use a replacement for today only.

You leap at the chance and thank him gratefully.

On your fifth delivery, to a house on Riverdale St, you knock on the side door of a cute little bungalow, which seems to be the style of most of the houses on this street. A tall, muscular man with shaggy dark hair and bronze skin answers the door.  He looks to be in his mid-twenties, and is wearing a sweaty tank top and gym shorts.

He checks the pizza and hands you a wad of cash with a smile. You count it disbelievingly and try to hand him back half the tip. He shakes his head and closes the door, mouth full with a bite of pizza.

You look at the name on the receipt, Jason Johnson, and wonder who he is. His tip puts you over what you needed for the tax.

You pay the tax and are safe… this month.

The End

Padded assailant for self-defence class

Judy informs you that the first class is in ten minutes. You head up to the third floor above the butchery, where her dojo is located. Judy helps you into the padded outfit, securing the straps behind you when you can’t reach. The class seems to be for under five-year-olds. These kids barely come to your waist and you can’t help but find them adorable.

Adorable until one of them throws you across the room so hard that you hit your head against the wall. You’re dizzy when you stand up and Judy examines your eyes with concern.

You have a concussion.

She calls an ambulance and you get taken to the hospital for observation.

In the middle of the night, you feel a presence in your sterile hospital room. You ask who’s there, grabbing weakly for your call button. It’s not where you left it, clipped to the bar of your bed.

“You didn’t manage to collect the fee required by the Beast,” says a soft voice. You can’t tell if it’s a man’s or a woman’s, it’s so quiet. “The Beast grants no second chances. Say goodbye to your life as you know it.”

You have been kidnapped!

The End

Try again from the beginning?

Make a different choice at Judy’s?

Say nothing

While Nick is hesitating, an older, affluent-looking white man comes up beside him. He introduces himself as Claude, the manager of The Hawaiian. He looks apologetic as he tells you that they’re not hiring at the moment.

He suggests you try Oven Baked on Gore Line.

Take Carter’s suggestion

Carter suggests you head to Judy’s Butchery a couple buildings down. She often gets deliveries and could use the help.

Go to Judy’s Butchery

Take Sam’s suggestion

Sam suggests you visit The Hawaiian. They sometimes need extra hands when the community centre, which shares the same building, is booked for an event.

On your way to The Hawaiian, a big guy with a switchblade steps out of an alley. He demands money, which you haven’t got, and you nervously try to figure out how to get out of the situation.

Just when you’re about to run, a shadowy figure in black appears between the two of you. You know it’s not safe to stay and watch, but the figure in black disarms the mugger and has him unconscious in seconds. Then he turns to you. You see that he’s wearing a shadowy domino mask over his eyes, obscuring his features. He introduces himself as The Westmeath Phantom, checks you’re okay, and asks if you’re near your destination.

You explain that you’re heading for The Hawaiian to ask for a job, and he tells you not to bother, that they’re not hiring. Instead, he suggests that you try Mortimer’s Diner.

With that, he hoists his prisoner over his shoulder and disappears.

You blink in surprise. A real-life superhero? Not what you expected when you moved to the tech capital of Canada!

You continue on your way to Mortimer’s Diner.

Accept

You accept the job from the people in purple leather jackets. They give you a package and an address.

You head off with the package under your arm. A couple blocks away, a cop car stops you and an officer gets out of the car. He asks to see inside the package.

You know you can say no because he doesn’t have a warrant, but you nervously hand the brown envelope over, worried that there might be drugs or something else illegal inside.

When the cop pulls out a rewritable CD, you sigh with relief. It has a crude symbol drawn on it and reads Stargate Season 5.

The officer makes a tsking sound, pulls out his ticketing book, and writes you a ticket for two hundred and fifty dollars for intent to sell copyrighted material.

You return to the people in purple leather jackets and show them the ticket. They laugh it off, but the experience soured you. You didn’t get paid and you’re even more in debt than you were before!

You decide to try and find another job.

Decline

These people look kinda sketchy and you don’t trust them.

You politely decline and decide to try a different method of looking for work.

Decline (2)

You decline politely; you’ve already accepted a job with Judy and you won’t leave it half-done. The work doesn’t get any easier, and you’re near exhaustion by the end. At the end of the afternoon, Judy pays you and compliments you on a job well done. You count out the bills, almost crying with relief that you managed to make enough to cover the tax.

Judy is concerned and asks you what the urgency was.

You explain about the letter you received, and she frowns. “I’m going to look into this. If you need money next month, come and see me. I’m not aware of such a tax.”

You pay the tax and are safe… this month.

The End


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