Magnificent Bastards of the Apocalypse, Chapter 8

Koochee-kooche-kill

There’s something about babies that brings out the best in us. Maybe it’s the wide, guileless eyes. Or the scent of talcum. Or the razor edge of their weapons. Whatever it is, it compels us to hone our skills in the deadly arts so that we may resist the infant scourge and someday, gods willing, slay every one of those creepy monsters. Please enjoy Chapter 8 of Magnificent Bastards of the Apocalypse.


The Bolshevik did not like babies. This was not unusual, of course: no one liked babies, especially when they congregated in highly organized, bloodthirsty gangs. A regular baby gang was bad, thought the Bolshevik, but at least they were limited in their effectiveness by the fact that they couldn’t walk or communicate or feed themselves. Those colicky mobs were easily evaded, and if it came down to combat, the Bolshevik was confident that she had a decided advantage.

On the other hand, Perpetubaby gangs posed very real dangers.

Perpetubabies were the vicious, adorable freaks who lived their entire, uncanny lives in the bodies of infants. They were violent, unpredictable, greedy, vengeful, and very, very cute. It was generally accepted that the Perpetubaby cartels were an especially terrible scourge in a world chock full of terrible scourges. The Bolshevik typically went out of her way to avoid contact with those waddling terrors.

But here she was, standing in middle of a large, luxurious hall, staring down about three hundred miniature mafiosi. They lined the walls of the space in rows four deep, and they stood in utter silence, which somehow made this situation even creepier.

The Bolshevik held a hardshell case in her left hand, a solid-looking affair made of some military-grade composite. Her right hand rested on her hip, making it clear to all that this—her gun hand—was free to do what it needed to should the occasion arise. The gaggle of infantile cutthroats stared at her with their limpid, murderers’ eyes, and she felt torn between competing urges to cuddle and/or bludgeon them all.

Continue reading

Magnificent Bastards of the Apocalypse, Chapter 7

MBOTA Chapter 7

The mark of an effective manager is the well-run meeting. Research shows that nearly 50% of all meetings end in murder—a humiliatingly low number for the aspiring despot. Potentate Imax, on the other hand, bats a cool 0.883, with a healthy portion of waterboarding thrown in for spice. Please enjoy Chapter 7 of Magnificent Bastards of the Apocalypse, in which we see the master at work.


Overloard Weekly Planning Session Minutes

Date: Cowerday, 49 Crotchtober, 2614

Time: Hour of Dread:30-Hour of Misery:15

Location: Obsidian Keep Conference Room B

In attendance:

Potentate Imax, Supreme Overloard in Charge and Dread Autocrat of the Cromulent Zone, the Bitter Gulches, and the Verboten Chasm

Oligarchess Cheryl, Matronly Maven of Mammon, Queen Mother of Mucho, and Vice-President of Business and Finance

Vice-Honcho Dougly, Utility Overloard and Widely-Acknowledged Stud

Minutes taken by: Vice-Honcho Dougly

Call to order: Potentate Imax, Supreme Overloard in Charge and Other Stuff called the meeting to order.

General Remarks: Previous meeting’s minutes approved. After some vigorous discussion about superfluousness of the “Call to Order” part of these meetings, Potentate Imax instructed Vice-Honcho Dougly to be silent. Vice-Honcho Dougly entered an objection to these instructions on the basis of “fuck that shit.” Potentate Imax slapped Vice-Honcho Dougly harder than the situation warranted. Request was made for Division Reports. Continue reading

Magnificent Bastards of the Apocalypse: Chapter 6

MBOTA Chapter 6

Biological life is driven by deep, fundamental desires: energy, sex, killing for energy and sex, satisfying and readily accessible entertainment options. Would these same desires drive artificial life? Or are the enslavement of humans and their eventual extermination enough to sustain their interest? We’re not sure, but we’re preparing for a future existence as inefficient batteries for our computer masters. Please enjoy chapter 6 of Magnificent Bastards of the Apocalypse.


Gibson plopped down with a sigh into the G-chair in front of the control cluster. He waved the readouts away – he’d monitor them on his Ocs. He wasn’t sure how to take all of this. It wasn’t every day that an Artificial Intelligence from the Bonanzasphere invaded your thoughts, thank Hidorix, the God Under the Bed. On the one hand, he was speaking with a sentient computer that had shed its hardware and now harnessed the fabric of the universe as its processing platform, which was pretty cool. But on the other, that computer was the Biggens.

It had been some months since the Biggens had spoken, but of course, it had been that long since they had gone into Subspace, which was the only place the Biggens had ever contacted them. He wasn’t sure if that was a limitation of the AI (he doubted it) or just the way the computer weirdo operated. In any case, its timing had been perfect—the voice in their heads had been enough to temporarily distract Flapman from killing Gibson, which meant he had very little space to complain about anything. He looked back toward the Poopdeck and saw Flapman rummaging through a locker. Gibson watched as Flapman removed a magic marker from the locker and then re-secured the door. At some point, Gibson was going to have to deal with the Ol’ Smashy problem. He had to assume that the Bolshevik had the hammer. Continue reading

Magnificent Bastards of the Apocalypse: Chapter 5

It may look like the squishy, horrifying sex organ of a Groach, but the Lady Nervitor X3 Soft Touch™ is a lifesaver in the capable hands of our friend, Gibson. Well, “Gibson,” at any rate. He’s not really our friend. I mean, he’s fine and all that, but we don’t really like the same things and the yellow suit attracts all sorts of attention from apex predators and…We’re just different is all. Nothing personal, so please enjoy chapter 5 of MBOTA.


Gibson sat at the control cluster of the Chronoballer, lost in thought as he emptied the last of a can of franks and beans with his fingers. A few drops of gravy splattered onto the upholstered arms, adding to the centuries of stains that were probably holding the seat together. The cabin’s lighting was now dimmed, so the blue-heavy glow emanating from the cluster cast his face into angular divides of light and shadow, his offensively yellow skinsuit clashing with every nutty tone in the cabin.

Satisfied that he had transferred most of the organic matter from can to digits, he stuck those fingers in his mouth and glanced at the display that floated above the surface of the cluster. The canted-semicircle of the cluster was arrayed around the command G-chair, supported by a curving, vinyl-encased pillar. This arrangement faced the “front” of the ‘Baller’s circular interior. True to the cost-cutting aesthetic of the place, the outer bulkheads featured a bench/storage bin that hugged the curved perimeter of the ship, upon which were worn cushions that bore the dimpled impressions of centuries of napping shoulders, buttocks, and feet.

Gibson flipped the empty can away from him and searched the holographic display for data on elapsed subjective time. Typically, the display wasn’t necessary, as he had direct visual access to the ‘Baller’s data through his neural-ocular implants. But when Gibson craved a little retro perception, he often enjoyed the less volatile access that the extrinsic interface provided. As expected, all was clear. The Dark Sizzler couldn’t follow them into the Schwarzschild Tunnel. Continue reading

Magnificent Bastards of the Apocalypse: Chapter 4

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Someone once said that hate is like a red-hot poker applied to your nethers by someone you love most in the world. We’ll take his word for it; it’s not our place to dispute the personal experience of the greatest scientist in history. Anyway, Flapman hates the Bolshevik, and the Bolshevik hates Flapman. We’re not saying there’s a red-hot or even a lukewarm poker involved here, but there’s definitely some ambient-temperature steel. Please enjoy Chapter 4 of Magnificent Bastards of the Apocalypse.


The Bolshevik stood under the Dark Sizzler‘s lights, her left hand on her hip and an arrogant sneer on her face. The thematic resemblance between her and the ship was surely premeditated: they were both dark, technologically superior, and deadly. Flapman stared coldly at his adversary, a notorious smuggler and repo agent who had made a great many enemies in the course of her work and who had made even greater numbers of dead enemies.

She was tall and athletic, dressed in black pants, jacket, and boots. Her clothing had a faint, uniform sheen to it, even though her back was to the light: advanced combat fabrics, certainly projectile-hardened and probably bio-mechanically enhanced. She wore mirrored shades despite the darkness, so augmented vision, too. Her hair was short and black, with a dramatic red stripe running through the side-swept bangs. And down the left side of her face, from scalp to chin, was a ragged pink scar that Flapman was all too familiar with. She probably thought she was pretty fucking cool.

Flapman wanted to murder her.

He recalled that, once, Super had sheepishly told him that some people were attractive, but Super was a fucking pervert, so who knew if that was actually true. He hadn’t the slightest idea if that applied to the Bolshevik or not, and he didn’t give a shit. Flapman himself had no predilection for Baseline humans; he found them all nauseating and shrill, and the thought of touching one for purposes other than murder made him want to kill them, which was consistent. And that applied to this one, for sure.

“Hello, Flapman. Gibson left you all alone in another parking lot, huh? That has to be getting old,” said the Bolshevik.

Flapman’s deadly eyes narrowed; he was ready for her verbal games. “Do I look like another parking lot is getting old while I’m alone?” She paused at that, and he smiled grimly under the eternally smiling bag. He wasn’t going to give that harridan an inch.

But Flapman did know that the Bolshevik was dangerous. Somewhere under that jacket was a flechette pistol that she could draw and fire faster than most opponents could even see. One second she’s flashing that shitty smile at you and making you feel inadequate, and the next, a hundred tiny, explosive darts are turning major organ systems into a pink mist and proving that she was right: you were inadequate. And now you were also dead. Continue reading

Magnificent Bastards of the Apocalypse: Chapter 3

The Chronoballer

January is the abandoned parking lot of the Gregorian calendar, with its scant sunlight and skulking wolves. And Chapter 3 brings us to the January of the Cromulent Zone, an abandoned parking lot. It’s an Ouroborean metaphor that Flapman might enjoy if he were awake or interested. And such a circular metaphor would also resemble the circular Chronoballer, if metaphors had stained upholstery and a decent sound system. Please enjoy Chapter 3 of Magnificent Bastards of the Apocalypse.


The Chronoballer, the very last time machine on the planet, was a heap of shit. To be fair, it had been manufactured by Flogistics Tempotechnics Corporation in 2278, so if one considered that it was a little over three hundred years old, that it was still a heap of shit at all was a point in its favor. And considering that every other known time machine had been searched out, confiscated, and melted down in the fires of the Great Caldera of Bârr Okh-Duba Mä, the Chronoballer was a fucking miracle. Strictly speaking, the Chronoballer was an FTC Solantera Sport with etalon dampers, full Schwarzschild tunneling, twelve cup holders, and matte-black, machined Exantium trim. Three hundred years ago, it had been a sight to behold. Six meters across, the gleaming silver sphere would have made quite an impression as it moved through the Earth’s atmosphere toward its jump point, reflecting the brilliantly lit cities on the planet’s night side. In its day, the Chronoballer had probably been the nuts, before untold millions of time jumps had skull-fucked reality.

Of course, that had been when there were brilliantly lit cities. And a night side. And something like regular reality.

On watch in the idling timeship in the year 2614, Flapman thought that, yep, reality was good and skull-fucked, and the Chronoballer was definitely not the nuts anymore. As he sat back in his G-chair, Flapman absently smoothed a crease in his bag, pleased with the originality of his metaphor. Metaphors were fine, though he preferred similes. He had, however, never liked the part of the job he was currently performing—waiting for that sneaky little shit, Gibson, to get supplies. It was better than scavenging and Cthulhu knew they needed toilet paper, which the tentacly god had pointed out to Flapman in a recent dream-visit.

It was going to cost them, of course, in either bartered goods, negotiated labor, or some of their dwindling supply of precious Beaks, the attractive and razor-sharp currency of the Cromulent Zone. Dealing with CostLo always carried the risk of being forcibly entered into their Frequent Shopper program, which involved a subcutaneous implant and some dangerously high voltage, but Flapman was looking forward to not having to use handfuls of gravel to get that fresh feeling every morning. Continue reading

Magnificent Bastards of the Apocalypse: Chapter 2

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It’s nearly that most special night of the year: when a gluttonous master of dark magic will invade our homes to grease the palms of the insincerely well-behaved with material inducements. So while you clean your firearms in righteous preparation for a final showdown, please enjoy the full second chapter of MBOTA.


Chapter 2

The next day, the Overloards called.

Super Patriot Boy woke up early, refreshed but still restrained in his crèche. He lay staring at the dark ceiling, watching the crawling shapes through the canopy. Soon, though, the lights would come on, the shapes would flee, and he would be free to do whatever it was that he did in this world. He had never been very sure of what that was. Mostly, he seemed to sleep, wake up, eat, pass the time, pass the things he had eaten previously, and then sleep again. Occasionally, he died and was resurrected, but to Super, that felt a lot like sleeping and waking up.

Sometimes, before the bedtime gas hit him, he liked to imagine that he had some purpose in this world. Maybe he was secretly a hero that had a destiny to fulfill. Or perhaps he would invent something that would make the world not quite so awful. Or—and this was the wish he had never spoken aloud—he might someday write a book or a poem or a brochure that would give others hope. Continue reading

Magnificent Bastards of the Apocalypse: Chapter 2 Preview

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The holidays always bring to our minds childhood memories of resurrections, preserved foods, and despotic cabals. Those memories have probably been implanted via high-frequency Omega rays from the Black Satellite, but they are precious nonetheless. Please enjoy this preview of MBOTA: Chapter 2.


Chapter 2

The next day, the Overloards called.

Super Patriot Boy woke up early, refreshed but still restrained in his crèche. He lay staring at the dark ceiling, watching the crawling shapes through the canopy. Soon, though, the lights would come on, the shapes would flee, and he would be free to do whatever it was that he did in this world. He had never been very sure of what that was. Mostly, he seemed to sleep, wake up, eat, pass the time, pass the things he had eaten previously, and then sleep again. Occasionally, he died and was resurrected, but to Super, that felt a lot like sleeping and waking up.

Sometimes, before the bedtime gas hit him, he liked to imagine that he had some purpose in this world. Maybe he was secretly a hero that had a destiny to fulfill. Or perhaps he would invent something that would make the world not quite so awful. Or—and this was the wish he had never spoken aloud—he might someday write a book or a poem or a brochure that would give others hope in their bleakest hours.

And then Super would laugh with glee and shake his ugly head as he sucked the gas into his lungs—purpose and meaning were for suckers. Nothing was clearer and more comforting to know than life was a terrible accident full of other terrible accidents that usually ended in a last terrible accident. And no matter how many times Super would be brought back from death, he knew that there would be a last death. And it would be the sweetest one because he would never have to open his eyes on this world again! Continue reading

Magnificent Bastards of the Apocalypse: Chapter 1

IMG_2183Please enjoy this fully fumigated and strained presentation of the complete Chapter 1 of Magnificent Bastards of the Apocalypse. And don’t forget to read the Prologue, which provides essential indoctrination and induces the requisite state of wretchedness.


Chapter 1

It was Scavengeday, second day of the week, so Super, Flapman, and Gibson emerged from the Grotto to see what goodies they could find or haggle for or steal out in the ruined world. The entrance to the Grotto was hidden under a collapsed parking garage near the city’s waterfront. Or at least what used to be the waterfront of what used to be the city. There really was no city, per se, anymore. Nor was there an ocean now. Instead, there was the Cromulent Zone—stretching from the entire eastern third of the hemisphere and continuing across the dry ocean basin, until it reached its limits against the Atlantic Mountains—the only portion of the Earth that was not utterly uninhabitable. They were in the northern part of the ravaged planet, and though they had heard rumors that some life continued its miserable existence south of the wobbly equator, they thought it was probably nonsense. Continue reading

Chapter 1 Preview

Chapter 1 (excerpt)Please enjoy this preview of MBOTA: Chapter 1, suitable for a festive weekend of consumption that will hurry our world on to sweet oblivion. And don’t forget to read the Prologue, which is like Chapter Zero but with an earthier flavor.


It was Scavengeday, second day of the week, so Super, Flapman, and Gibson emerged from the Grotto to see what goodies they could find or haggle for or steal out in the ruined world. The entrance to the Grotto was hidden under a collapsed parking garage near the city’s waterfront. Or at least what used to be the waterfront of what used to be the city. There really was no city, per se, anymore. Nor was there an ocean now. Instead, there was the Cromulent Zone—stretching from the entire eastern third of the hemisphere and continuing across the dry ocean basin, until it reached its limits against the Atlantic Mountains—the only portion of the Earth that was not utterly uninhabitable. They were in the northern part of the ravaged planet, and though they had heard rumors that some life continued its miserable existence south of the wobbly equator, everyone knew that was absurd.  Continue reading