EPISODE 8 – in which...revelations. While the rest of the house dozed, Baroness sat in the darkness, watching the early gray light of the dawn creep through the windows. She hadn't slept all night. Edge's words from earlier echoed in her mind: He'll be dead soon if we don't figure out how to rescue him. And it was her fault. She was the one, not Bio, who'd opened her mouth on the air about the Cult of Sesame Street. She was the one who responded to threats with a flippant come-and-get-it attitude. She was the one who decided to take a stand by poking the bear, and it was she, not Bio, who should be God-knows-where facing the consequences of those actions. Restless, she hugged her pink bathrobe about her to ward off the morning's chill and slipped out of the warm bed, doing her best not to disturb the sleeping Baron snoring quietly beside her. She crept silently past the guest rooms containing her dozing friends and down the stairs, through the darkened living room, and down a second set of stairs leading to her workshop. She sank into her desk chair, a click of the lamp illuminating the photos on the wall. One was a snapshot of herself, Baron, and Varyar at the first Orbfest; Baroness smiled at the memory of how the team came together that night to pull off the event, in spite of numerous technical issues and the ever-present threat of banjo-wielding hillbillies migrating down from the hills. Another was of her and Vampy dressed to the nines for RCM's first Webby Awards ceremony, with Killer photobombing in the background. A third, one of her favorites, was of Edge, Bio, and Varyar at the same awards event, all dressed in black-tie formal. In it, Edge gave a sly grin as he flipped off the camera while the other two stood laughing, Bio's facepalm covering his eyes while Varyar hung his head.
EPISODE 7, in which you'd better go to the bathroom before reading because a LOT of stuff happens ***** With a quiet groan, Bio finally started to come to. The back of his head was throbbing like he'd been hit with a bat or something. He tried to raise his hand to his head, but it wasn't until he felt the ropes tying his wrists to the chair that he struggled to open his eyes. The room was sideways – no, wait, he realized, he was sideways. Sideways and lying against a cold cement floor while tied to a chair. At some point his glasses had slid off, so the room surrounding him had a blurry, dream-like feel. Where was he? How did he get there? As he squinted into the dim lighting, trying to pick out some object, anything to help him get his bearings. He tried to think through the pain to the last thing he remembered.
EPISODE 6 in which THE CAVALRY ARRIVE! Hax adjusted the button of his suit jacket and debated whether to don his overcoat before leaving the terminal. It was difficult to gauge the temperature outside. Half of the people he'd encountered since exiting the plane were dressed in shorts and tee-shirts, while the other half bundled up in parkas and stiletto heels. I'm not sure I'll ever understand Americans, he thought.
EPISODE 5, in which Varyar rallies his troops and shows why HE is the goddamned leader at RCM! For a moment, Varyar thought he was dead. The explosion had been deafening, which made the silence that followed exceptionally stark. Unable to even blink, he watched as the flakes of ash fluttered against the night sky like snowflakes from Hell. Gradually, he became aware of an aching in his chest, his lungs burning with their plea to be given oxygen once more. In an instant, the initial shock wore off and he closed his eyes, gulping air into his harassed lungs as he assessed his bodily damage. Toes wiggle? Check. Fingers? Check. Raise arms? Check and check. Slowly he worked his way up to a sitting position and, feeling no breaks, attempted to stand. Silent no more, the ringing in his ears was nearly unbearable as equilibrium struggled to right itself, but Varyar knew that would pass in time. Thankful there didn't appear to be any major damage, he stumbled through the wreckage of his home in search of Arnold. As the dust slowly settled, Varyar heard a soft but manly groan coming from the darkness. Following the sound, he almost tripped into the hole that once served as his house's foundation. Below, in the remains of the moonlight, he saw Arnold pinned under a support joist. "Get me out of here," Arnold called up. Thankfully, the stairs that led to the basement remained intact after the blast, and Varyar was able to quickly get to his fallen comrade and carefully move the debris.
EPISODE 4 - in which the plot thickens Although he was an international superstar used to wealth and privilege, Arnold was impressed with the bachelor pad Varyar had constructed. It was comfortable without being feminine, well-stocked with weaponry but not so much that it looked like an extremist compound. It was a good balance, and pleasing to the eye. He wasn't entirely sure what to make of the legions of Internet fans waiting eagerly for Varyar's arrival – hordes of scantily clad women would have made more sense to him – but he had to appreciate the usefulness of having both a high-quality telecommunications setup in the house and a worldwide network of tech-savvy allies at their immediate disposal. To Arnold, crushing his enemies' skulls with his bare hands was easy; deciphering the gibberish that was Tara Gilesbie's epic saga made him want to crush his own skull. Fortunately, this Highlander fellow had sketched out a rough outline of the most important plot points – who was and was not a poser or a prep, a chronological listing of each character whom Snoop had raped, all the way up to the revelation that Enoby with her magnificent bobs was pregnant with Da Bark Lurd. Some of the intel seemed questionable; Arnold had personally met Albus Dumbledore once in the '70s and had a hard time picturing him screaming "motherfuckers" at a couple of whiney teenagers as reported in chapter 4, not to mention he had it on good authority that Draco was in fact dating Mary Sue. However, other passages, such as da Bark Lurd's propensity for organizing and promoting concerts where he and his Death Dealers posed as members of My Chemical Romance, were frighteningly accurate.
EPISODE TWO: In which Varyar meets a great quasi-American hero and tries to make a sweet sale The clock read five minutes to nine. It seemed like an hour since the minute hand had last ticked closer to closing time. Varyar had contemplated closing the shop early – this was the slow season, and he'd only had a handful of browsers shuffle through during his shift – but as much as he knew his internet fans would love for him to start his show on time, it was his obligation, nay, his duty to keep his business open until closing time. Five minutes. He stifled a yawn and rearranged a display of tennis balls for the umpteenth time.
Episode One: In which Varyar Narrowly Escapes a Devil's Threeway He walked into the bank lobby, clad only in his Converse tennies and an adult-sized giraffe onesie. From the other side of the counter she noticed his cool shades and the lack of ring on his left finger. 'I can help the next customer,' she said to him in a suggestive manner. 'I just need a new bank card, ma'am,' he said, not catching the meaning in her statement.