Author Topic: Maullar's Museum of Maudlin Madoka Media  (Read 1304 times)

Quad City QBs

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Maullar's Museum of Maudlin Madoka Media
« on: August 04, 2014, 01:03:53 AM »
THREAD INDEX--

* A Little Threshing Floor (SFW / Historical / Madoka AU) -- 1
* A Train Ride (NSFW / Homura x Madoka) -- Click
* In the Locker (NSFW / Homura x Madoka) -- Click
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 05:16:26 PM by Quad City QBs »

Nothing in this post should be construed as legal advice, nor as creating an attorney-client relationship, nor as an advertisement for legal or law-related services.
Art Thread | Writing Thread | Tumblr NSFWAsk.fm

Quad City QBs

  • tumblr, tumblr, in the attic,
  • who is the most problematic?
    • maullarmaullar @ Tumblr
Re: Maullar's Museum of Maudlin Madoka Media
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2014, 05:15:23 PM »


One.

The clap of distant cannon rolled over the hills, broke on the burned-out trees and houses. Eddies of sound washed over ruined fields and lapped at Elisa's eardrums. They spoke to her, whispering of fighting and work and food.

Elisa consulted some tables scribbled on the inside of her riding cloak, figured the fighting was six days' march away. Traveling alone, with no guns or baggage to slow her down, she would easily make it in two--three, if she was cautious. The roads of the wartime Holy Roman Empire were no place for a young woman--save for the "Hures" who accompanied the mercenary regiments that roved the countryside. These camp women had many specialties, but in the parlance of the day, any woman who ran with an army was a Hure. Elisa had no interest in being a Hure. She kept to the back roads.

Lunchtime came once Elisa found a stream that had just a minimum of human excrement floating in it. She started a fire and boiled some water in a steel cuirass she had taken off a soldier. The cuirass had been cut cleanly in two along with its wearer and wasn't much good as armor anymore. But it held water okay. Carefully Elisa untied a little bag and poured a mix of unrefined flour, barley meal, and probably some gunpowder into the hot water. She drank the gruel quickly, noting with a frown that the grain bag was becoming rather light. She would need to take a detour.

The next village was not hard to find--it glowed in the twilight, seething with flames that cracked and sputtered wretchedly even as they gorged themselves on homes and barns and bodies. Windows sweated in the heat, wept rivulets of molten glass. A pair of corpses dangled from a tree, swaying gently in the searing breeze. Still clothed. Whoever had sacked the town had left in a hurry. Now is that a good thing or a bad thing, Elisa mused as she checked the dead men's pockets. She found some shrivelled kernels of corn wrapped in a silk kerchief. Probably a good thing.

In their haste, the looters had allowed a sack of precious milled flour to tear. A faint trail of white crossed the ground, seeming to fluoresce in the firelight. Elisa followed the trail and carefully scooped flour into her bag, trying to mix in as little dirt as possible. The trail led her to the house of what must have been an engraver of some skill. Elisa took a wooden plaque from the wall, looked into a scene of the world before the ambitions of the Habsburgs had plunged it into war. Cakes and dancing and tall healthy horses. And not one man or woman in the picture wore a weapon. I've seen some outlandish things before, thought Elisa as she replaced the plaque, but this was pure escapist hogwash.

At about that time, Elisa became aware of someone watching her. She turned and looked upon a gaunt-faced man sprawled against a wall, limbs twisted with starvation and fever. Elisa took a step to the side and the dull eyes were slow to track her. No matter. She was much more interested in the cheese wheel tucked under the man's arm.
"You there. Sell me that cheese. I'll give you five groschen."
"I refuse."
"Fine. Ten groschen."
"No. Not at any price. My wife and daughter need it."
"Your wife and daughter," Elisa gestured to the flames outside, "are dead."
"That's not true! It's not--Don't try to--"
"Look around yourself, man!" Elisa hissed sharply. "There is nothing for you here. Take the money and pray you make it to Thuringia. Don't be an idiot."
"You LIE, Hure--!"

Elisa's boot slammed the man's head into the wall.

"You had your chance," Elisa declared as she wrenched the cheese from between the man's fingers. As she turned to go, she forgot all about the man and began to fantasize about what she might do with the cheese. It smelled sweet and nutty, and with a rind that was hard and chalky to the touch, it would travel well. If she could find some bread--

An impact to the side of her neck jolted Elisa back to reality. At first she thought she'd been punched. But when she brushed her hand against her neck, it came back bright red.
"Jesus Naza-Fucking-Renus!" she cursed, spinning to face the thin twisted man with his bloody little blade.
"G-give it back. Y-you witch..." No follow-up strike. Elisa was right--he had had his only chance. And perhaps, in a way, the man was right as well.

Elisa's bloodied finger bore a ring that now unraveled into threads of light that twisted on themselves and hardened into the shape of a carnelian stone, round and polished and luminous. The reflected firelight danced crazily on its mirror surface. Then an outpouring of tangerine-colored light made even the flames look dim and weak--or had the flames shrunk in fear?

The light surged up over Elisa's body and fell away, washing over the resplendent contours of a suit of magical armor. Roses of gold filigree over a mirror-polished chestpiece over curved, fluted plates that clinked like chimes when Elisa moved. Ribbons and feathers trailed from her puffed and slitted sleeves and from her wide-brimmed hat. In her mailed hand, a cruciform executioner's sword, broad and straight and nearly as long as Elisa was tall. The runed blade seemed to flicker once in the hot air--then the man's head split open, part of the skull sloughing down to the ground. Elisa lowered her sword with an irritated huff.

Shit. She'd just had to lose her temper, hadn't she? She could have easily handled this situation without transforming, but she had to be all fancy about it. As if it wasn't bad enough that she was low on food, she'd wasted precious Soul Gem integrity! Stupid, stupid, stupid--but there was nothing to be done about it now. Elisa made ready to transform back. Then a musket ball crashed against her armor.

Elisa stumbled backward, simultaneously glad she had transformed after all, and even more upset with herself for walking into such an obvious trap. It was all too simple. In a town that was on fire, any idiot with a matchlock could sneak up on her. She would never smell the smoke of the match. The second musket ball grazed her cheek--Elisa wondered for a second what matchlock could fire this fast, then her blood ran cold as she realized the shot had been aimed at her Soul Gem. Her attacker knew. Her attacker was also a girl of the contract--a Puella Magi.

A third shot--but Elisa was ready this time. She knew the path the ball would take. So all she had to do was put her sword in the way--step into the motion, put her hips and shoulders into it-- With a sharp crack, the musket ball bounced off the flat of Elisa's sword and caromed into the air. For a minute it seemed like it would disappear into the night, spiraling heavenward with the embers. Then the ball fell back to earth, back into the flames, where someone caught it.

From between the burning timbers a girl about Elisa's age walked out, lightly rolling the still-hot musket ball between gloved fingers. A girlish face twisted by an unfriendly smile. Compared to Elisa, she was lightly armored, a coat of frills peeking out from beneath a set of angled plates. A priming flask hung from her shoulder, but Elisa didn't see a gun--until she realized that the girl's half-pike had a wheel-lock of some sort built directly into the shaft. Ensconced between the curving blades, the muzzle still smoked. And as the girl came closer, Elisa picked up a faint scent she vaguely recalled was called caramel.

"Who the hell are you?" Elisa asked.
"I'm Saint George," the girl gaily declared. "Yourself?"
"I've got no name for the person who just tried to shoot me."
"Hey, hey, can you really blame me?" The girl shrugged, resting her half-pike at her shoulder. "I thought you were one of the Landsknechte I just ran out of here."
"Is that why you shot at my Soul Gem?"
"Ah, you would've done the same." The girl bared her teeth as her twisted smile deepened to a snarl. "The only people dumb enough to travel these roads are mercenaries and magical girls. And anyone who lives by the contract does what she has to do."
"Then God won't mind if I take your head." Elisa bent her legs slightly, raising the executioner's sword into a guard position.
"Ho--? But you're not dressed for an execution. Here, let me get you a hood--!"

Watching the head of her opponent's weapon, Elisa didn't notice the butt whipping up, catching a scrap of black cloth from the ground and throwing it in her face. Elisa tore the cloth away just in time to see the speartip surging toward her face--she parried and struck back. Blades flashed bright orange in the firelight as sword and half-pike clashed; each strike and counterstrike gouged deep channels of vacuum out of the air, and hot wind traced the magical girls' movements as the air rushed in never quite fast enough to fill the void. Finally Elisa caught the spearhead on her crossguard, wrenched the weapon to the side just as the other girl fired the wheel-lock. Elisa didn't blink as the gunsmoke stung her eyes and the musket ball whistled past her ear.

"Almost had ya there!" the girl laughed as she pushed on the locked weapons, trying to unbalance Elisa. But Elisa had other plans--laying her hand on her own sword and using her fingers as a fulcrum, she flipped the sword around so that the heavy crossguard came free of the bind and arced down on top of her surprised opponent's crown. The girl staggered back under the concussing force of the murder-strike, and before she could recover, Elisa kicked her hard in the chest, knocking her backwards through a wall.

Elisa took a minute to catch her breath, her eyes never leaving the ragged, splintery hole that her opponent had gone through. Elisa could have been forgiven for failing to notice the trail of shiny white powder that the girl's priming flask had spilled. Seemingly of its own volition, the powder bubbled and browned and liquefied, a syrupy tendril that seized Elisa by the ankle.
"Wha--?!" The breath fled Elisa's lungs as she was yanked feet-first through the hole and into a ruined hut. Before Elisa could get up, her opponent was standing over her, half-pike flashing down toward Elisa's face. Elisa narrowly managed to grab the haft, struggling to keep the speartip and its gun pointed away from her.
"You've got a good grip," the girl remarked.
"Thanks," Elisa stalled. "Interesting trick you pulled out there."
"What, this?" Without loosening her grip on the half-pike, the girl released more of the white powder from a compartment hidden in her glove. "If you like it so much, I'll show you again!"

With that, a searing hot filament raked Elisa's face, narrowly missing her eyes. The pain jolted Elisa's system and she let go of her sword--it was all she could do to hold on to the speartip pointed at her. Reflexively she tried to wipe the burning substance from her cheek, but it cleaved stubbornly to her skin, almost like...
"...sugar? Did you just attack me with melted sugar?"
"Yep, I control sugar. What of it?"
"What in the four corners of God's creation did you wish for that you got... -sugar- as your magic?"
The girl's face reddened. "Laugh all you want! You're still under my gun, bitch!"

She was right, of course. Elisa was still in serious trouble. But she had bought time to think--somewhere in her previous life, a bakery accident swam at the edge of her memory... It was worth a shot. Elisa's leg flashed upward and pulverized the girl's priming flask, filling the little hut with a cloud of fine sugar dust.
"Oh, now you're just -trying- to piss me off--" The words were barely out of the girl's mouth when a few embers dripped from the ceiling and touched the sugar cloud. Small sparks cascaded through the mixture of air and fuel--then an explosion tore the hut board from board.

Standing upright and lightly armored, the girl had taken the brunt of the blast. She lay among the splinters, battered and stunned just long enough for Elisa to kick the half-pike away and point her sword at the girl's neck.
The girl's eyes flicked to Elisa's sword, then upward to her face. The magical girls' eyes reflected the debris and the flames and each other. "Do what you gotta do. I ain't got nothin' to say."

"Well, I do." Elisa replied. "Do you want a job?"

Nothing in this post should be construed as legal advice, nor as creating an attorney-client relationship, nor as an advertisement for legal or law-related services.
Art Thread | Writing Thread | Tumblr NSFWAsk.fm