"I have called the seven of you here, to this world of stories and imagination, for one very simple reason.
Nine years ago, this story began. Born of schism and squabbling of Writers not yet mature enough to face their creation, our story branched and shattered and was retold time and time again. One of these stories is very nearly over.
But it is not over yet. My story continues still, and I refuse to lose again. But before we tell that story, I will tell you what has come before."
Hey there! Bet y'all thought you saw the last of me, huh. Well, almost there, and you won't have to deal with me again. : P Once a week, every Wednesday, I will be posting an edited down recap of a story I've written here before. Every weekday, including those Wednesdays, I will also be posting a profile of one of my characters. This will culminate in me releasing on Wednesday, April 29th, 2020, the 10th anniversary of the Icy Taco, Ice Mage's Icy Taco Story 5, which. I don't want to oversell it too much now if I can't manage it, but it's going to be something.
There will be some brand new content as well, but based on my schedule that won't start until February 12th. Until then, feel free to enjoy the retcons and pared down versions of the stories that came before, because whoever is telling this story isn't the most reliable narrator. And, since this is a weekday, my first character profile is Doctor Lupe.
Monday, August 9th, 2010, Afternoon Lupe Manor Haunted Woods Neopia
*"Our story begins with four children that may seem somewhat familiar to you, doctor. The scene opens with Dr. Lupe's children (Docz, ExDoc, Nymph, and Dryad) playing with their action figures in their bedroom."*
: This is boring. We should go on an adventure!
: An adventure?
: Sounds like fun! Let's head to the Taco. We can visit mommy on the way there.
: Heh. Sounds like a plan is possible.
: Well, let's tell dad we're leaving, at least. HEY, DAD! WE'RE GOING TO SEE MOM, OKAY?
: *from downstairs* Okay! Just have her call me when you get there!
: That was easy. VOID!
*ExDoc holds out his hand and opens a swirling portal of darkness.*
: The wandering wind continues on!
*Docz charges forth through the dark corridor, followed by the other three.*
Dia's Clearing Icy Taco Woods The Forum
: Oh, hello all of you!
: Hi mom!
: What brings you here?
: We wanted to go on an adventure!
: An adventure? That sounds a little... dangerous.
: Please mom, can we go on an adventure? We won't get into trouble!
: Okay, fine, but find somebody else to go with you.
: Fine with us. Let's split up to find somebody. ExDoc, you're with me.
: Well, I guess that's you and me, Nymph. Oh, mom? Dad said for you call when we got here. Well, let's get going!
*The two groups go off in different directions.*
: I hope they don't get into any trouble... *She takes a cell phone out of her branches and goes to call Doc.*
Deep Forest Icy Taco Woods The Forum
: Why are we here?
: Because! I didn't want anyone to know what we were going to do.
: And what is that?
: We're going to go free canon!daddy.
Dungeon Castle Samurai The Realm of Abandoned Characters
: Trapped here... Not knowing what or when my next meal will be... Is this the price for my sin...? ... Hmm? A sound at my window?
*Dryad peers through the bars.*
: HI CANON!DADDY!
: ... What.
: We're here to bust you out so we can go on an adventure!
: ... What.
: Do your thing, Exy!
*The bars shatter in a burst of dark energy, and Dryad and ExDoc jump in through the window.*
: ... What.
*Shadows form around the bars on the door and break them.*
: ... *tries to recover* So you two are... treekids?
: Of course! Now, come on. We're going on an adventure. Any ideas?
: Ideas? Well, there's the one... I must take advantage of this... No more time for hesistation... Have you ever heard of a man named Nightmare?
Abandoned Battlefield Icy Taco The Forum
*Dryad and ExDoc stand watching Canon!Doc pacing around a large burn mark on the ground.*
: This is the site where Nightmare was wiped from existence. Amidimaru Oshiro stabbed him with a holy blade, and he burst into flames. Now... It is time for him to return to the realm of the living.
*Canon!Doc scatters some phoenix feathers around the burn mark while chuckling. He then tosses a match and they erupt intoflames.*
: ARISE, MEMORY OF NIGHTMARE!
*The phoenix fire turns greenish gray, and terrifying laughter is heard.*
Sorry it's pretty late, I underestimated how much time I'd need to spend working on this, though the time should decrease exponentially the more smilies I have done in advance. Profiles are still slightly behind, but are at least caught up to where they would have been when this should have gone up. Profiles Since Last Update:Dia, Memory of Nightmare, Miles Griffin, Professor Glitchio, Holly Frost.
Monday, August 9th, 2010, Afternoon Plaza Icy Taco The Forum
: So, who do we ask to help us?
: Hey, Miles is over there. Let's ask him.
: Mr. Griffin!
: We're going on an adventure so we can get a story of our own. Can you help us?
: But I have a story!
*Docz and Nymph look at Miles blankly and doubtfully.*
: ... Okay fine.
*The two treekids walk back to the Dialogue Tree, when red light suddenly starts shining out from the gem on Miles's sword hilt. Miles takes it out in panic.*
: What is it?
: This sword... The gem in it blinks when there is a new national monster somewhere. But... it only glows if it is within the boundaries of the nation with it.
: ...! What does it mean?
: It means... the NTWF is under attack.
Monday, August 9th, 2010, Late Afternoon Abandoned Battlefield Icy Taco The Forum
*A short man with slicked back blond hair steps out of the inferno. He pulls his black jacket tightly around himself as he brushes soot off of it.*
: Hello, Memory.
: Hey Vision. Took ya long enough.
: I was chained up in a dungeon, and my powers were weakened in there, somehow. I revived you at the first opportunity.
: Don't worry about it. Anyway, what's the plan, then?
: No more hesistation. We call our leader at the next opportunity. And then...
: This forum will be ours!
*Vision and Memory erupt into maniacal laughter as the two treekids flee in terror.*
Dia's Clearing Icy Taco Woods The Forum
: A monster in the NTWF!?
: Yes. And with the regulars, that means that this monster has to be... it's unimaginable.
: I'm worried about Dryad and ExDoc.
: You don't think...
*At this moment, Dryad and ExDoc run into the clearing screaming.*
: What happened!?
: NIGHTMARE IS BACK!
Streets Neopia Central Neopia
*A little later on, Vision and Memory find their way to a dark alley in Neopia Central, and are consorting with a figure in a dark purple hood.*
: So that is the story. You have been imprisoned, and you have been dead.
: Thanks to Doc and that ghost samurai, yeah.
: What is the plan, Master Premonition?
: There are two people who know far too much. I know how to take care of both at once. I will contact you later tonight. Stay hidden, do not allow the others to find you.
*Premonition steps backwards and fades into the shadows of the alley. Vision opens a shadowy portal similar to the one summoned by ExDoc and steps through it, gesturing for Memory to follow. Memory simply snaps his fingers and vanishes in a puff of smoke.*
Abandoned Battlefield Icy Taco The Forum
: This is definitely where Nightmare's last stand was. *He leans down and picks up a phoenix feather that still remains.* And now he's back.
: What do we do?
: I don't know. I need to find Nightmare, apparently. He's the NTWF's national monster.
*Dr. Lupe dashes out of the city into the battlefield.*
: I heard what happened. Docz, can you copy my sword for me? I left it at home.
*Docz focuses for a moment, and in a burst of light a sword appears in his hands. He hands it to Doc.*
: Thank you. I am going to find Nightmare myself. *He runs back into the city.*
: Doctor! Wait!
*Miles and the treekids run after him, but lose sight of him after he turns behind a building.*
: And... gone.
Monday, August 9th, 2010, Evening Plaza Icy Taco The Forum
: Yes. Doctor Lupe ran off to fight him, but we lost sight of him. So now we need to find them both.
: I have an idea. Slothbird!
: *flies to Holly's shoulder* Woo?
: Go find Doctor Lupe and Nightmare. When you find them, come back to us and lead us there.
: Woo! *flies off*
: We should start looking too. Come on!
*The group runs off to search. Later that night, they all reconvene in the same place.*
: I'm exhausted. This isn't like Nightmare. Usually he's causing complete chaos.
: It's getting really late.
: Yeah. My office isn't too far from here, we can all just crash there for the night.
*The group stumbles off to Frost & Co. Law Offices.*
Streets Neopia Central Neopia
: I never thought I'd see you around here again.
: Such bravado for a man about to die.
: You cannot kill me in a way that matters.
: No? *He takes out his scalpel sword and it begins glowing with dark magic.* I beg to differ.
*Glitchio steps back, the G emblem on his helmet glowing red.*
: Goodbye, you have been a thorn in my side for far too long!
*Doc drives the sword through Glitchio's chest, and Glitchio collapses to the ground, unmoving.*
Tuesday, August 10th, 2010, Morning Frost & Co. Law Offices Icy Taco The Forum
*The next morning finds the group sleeping on various couches around the office. Holly is woken up by the sound of the phone ringing. She rolls off the couch and answers it groggily.*
: Hello Holly.
: Where are you!?
: ... Prison. Can you come to the Detention Center in Neopia Central?
: ... I'll be there as soon as I can.
*Holly hangs up, and leaves a note for Miles and the treekids.*
Detention Center Neopia Central Neopia
*When Holly arrives, Doc is sitting behind the glass, looking frustrated. Holly is the first one to speak.*
: What did you do this time?
: Nothing! I didn't leave the manor all day, until the police came and arrested me!
: (No Psyche-Locks...) Well, what are you being accused of?
: ... Murder. ... Of Professor Cinnabar Glitchio.
: ... There's a witness who saw me murdering him. I was nowhere near there.
: ... Miles and the treekids said they saw you yesterday too.
: I have no clue how that could be. Well, I can't investigate, so it's up to you. The crime scene is the alleyway next to Draikview Place Apartments, you should probably check that out. Also, Dr. Soup is performing Glitchio's autopsy back at the Taco. You should probably talk to him too.
: You can trust me.
: Thanks. Get to the bottom of this.
Frost & Co. Law Offices Icy Taco The Forum
*Miles walks out into the reception area of the office with a yawn.*
: Time to go monster hunting again. Hey, what's this note?
Miles, Doctor Lupe is in the Neopia Central Detention Center. I'm going to meet him now. Don't tell the treekids what's going on. Thanks, Holly Frost
: This probably has to do with Nightmare. I need to take the treekids back to Dia, this is getting dangerous.
Streets Neopia Central Neopia
: This must be the scene of the crime. Cops are running around everywhere.
: And you should be nowhere near here! Who are you?
: Holly Frost, the defense attorney for James Lupe.
: Heh. You should probably just give up. James Lupe is a dead man walking.
: What makes you say that?
: We've known of his criminal activity for ages, we just haven't been able to catch him at it. He's guilty, and the best defense attorney in the world won't change that.
: You seem pretty confident!
: If I wasn't confident I'd turn in my badge! A high ranking officer like myself, Captain Tomago Jidan, leader of the Chi Ops, doesn't have time to doubt himself!
: The Chi Ops?
: A special division of the Chia Police. We handle special cases like this one.
: Why is it a special case?
: Neither James Lupe nor Cinnabar Glitchio are natives of Neopia. That alone makes it a special case indeed. Glitchio is very different from most other beings as well, as I'm sure you know.
: I guess it is a special case.
: In fact, the prosecutor isn't even from Neopia for this case. The prosecutor is a man named Payne.
: Payne? (The so-called "Rookie Killer"?)
: Well, you should be leaving now. I've told you more than I should've. GO!
*The rest of the chia cops look up, and start moving towards Holly.*
: Okay, I'm leaving!
*Holly runs off towards the Deep Catacombs, where the doorway to the Forum lies.*
Dr. Soup's Office Icy Taco The Forum
: Doctor Soup! Are you here somewhere?
*A man in a doctor's coat with a bowl of soup for a head steps out of the back room.*
: Hello, Holly.
: What's going to happen with Glitchio?
: Due to his own magic, Phoenix Down doesn't work. We must wait for Glitchio's body to regenerate on its own.
: What do the autopsy results say other than that?
: The stab wound matched the scalpel sword. There was a strange burn on his armor around the stab wound. The results from the forensics lab show Doc's fingerprints on the blade. I assume you're representing him?
: I wish you luck. You will need it.
: Thank you. ... I should probably tell Dia what happened before it gets too late. Thank you, doctor.
Dia's Clearing Icy Taco Woods The Forum
: Hello Holly.
: Hi Holly!
: Dia, I think you should send the treekids away. Best they not hear it.
: Okay, Holly. Kids, go play over there while mommy talks to Holly.
*Holly catches Dia up on what is going on.*
: So you still think James is innocent?
: Nightmare's involved. It can't be the doctor.
: I certainly hope so, if only for the kids' sake.
: I'm headed back to my office. I'll send the kids back over.
: Good luck with the trial.
Plaza Icy Taco The Forum
: What happened with Doc?
: If you want the whole story, come with me to my office. I need to get my files in order there anyway.
Wednesday, August 11th, 2010, Morning Defendant Lobby Neopia Central Courthouse Neopia
: Are you prepared?
: I think so. All the evidence is against you, though...
: I know. However, Anzam is bringing some evidence of our own from the Manor, but probably won't get here until after the trial starts.
*An elderly man in a grey suit walks into the defendant lobby.*
: You're still just a rookie, Frost! You've only got a trial and a half under your belt, there's no way you can win!
: Shouldn't you be in the Prosecution Lobby?
: I just came from there.
: The trial is about to start.
: Time to head in.
Courtroom Neopia Central Courthouse Neopia
: The court is now in session for the trial of James Lupe.
: The defense is ready, Your Honor. (That's odd... Payne went to the gallery instead of the prosecutor's bench...)
*A younger man in an orange suit with bright red hair steps up to the prosecutor's bench.*
: The prosecution is ready, Your Honor. I apologize for being late.
: Is there a problem, Frosty?
: I thought Payne was the prosecution for this trial.
: He is. My name is Uther Payne. I am Winston Payne's cousin.
: (Great. So I'm not facing W. Payne. I'm facing Cousin U. Payne. I have no clue how this will go...)
: I believe that this conversation can be continued later. Mr. Payne, please give the court your opening statement.
: Thank you, Judge. Or, sorry, Your Honor. I am still getting used to your country's system.
: Uh, very well then. Your opening statement, then.
: This is getting ridiculous...
: Doctor James Lupe has been suspected of criminal activity for years. This, however, is the first time we have decisive evidence to catch him. Decisive evidence, and a decisive witness. That is all I need to say, Judge.
: Thank you, Mr. Payne. You may call your first witness.
: I call Captain Tomago Jidan to the stand!
*The chia cop that Holly had spoken to the previous day takes the stand.*
: Please state your name and occupation for the court.
: I am Captain Tomago Jidan, the leader of the Chi Ops, a special division of the Chia Police.
: Thank you, Captain Jidan. Please testify to the court about your findings at the crime scene.
: With absolute precision!
WITNESS TESTIMONY --The Scene of the Crime-- : As soon as we recieved the call, we rushed to the scene of the crime! : When we got there, we found the body of the victim sprawled out on the ground. : The sword was still stuck in his body. : The fingerprints on the sword matched those on file for James Lupe.
: Thank you, Captain Jidan. I'd like to submit this sword and Cinnabar Glitchio's autopsy report to the Court Record.
: I will allow it.
Scalpel Sword added to Court Record!
Glitchio's Autopsy Report added to the Court Record! Time of death: 8/10, 8:30-9:30NST Cause of death: A stab wound to the chest damaging Glitchio's magic in some way.
: Now, Ms. Frost, you may begin your cross-examination.
: As soon as we recieved the call, we rushed to the scene of the crime!
At about what time was this?
: It was approximately 9:30 NST!
: And what did you see when you got there?
: When we got there, we found the body of the victim sprawled out on the ground.
: The sword was still stuck in his body.
That contradicts the evidence, doesn't it?
: Excuse me?
: This sword has no blood on the blade!
You should know better than anyone else in this courtroom that Glitchio is no ordinary being! As such, he does not have any actual blood!
*The gallery begins muttering at this, until the JubJudge slams his foot on the podium as a gavel.*
: Order! I will have order in this courtroom! We have established that Cinnabar Glitchio was stabbed with this sword, despite the lack of blood. Mr. Payne?
: I do not believe that any more testimony is required from Captain Jidan. The words of an officer who appeared after the fact? I believe that a decisive witness is required. If we take a short recess, this witness will be able to offer testimony.
: I will allow it. *He slams his foot on the podium again.* This court will take a ten minute recess, after which we will hear testimony from Mr. Payne's witness.
Plaza Icy Taco The Forum
: Nightmare, where are you!? *Miles swings his sword angrily.* I'm right here!
: Yes you are. But he isn't.
*Miles turns around to see Vision looming behind him.*
: I think I should take you to see Nightmare. Whether you want to or not.
*Vision holds out his hand and opens a swirling portal of darkness, shoving Miles through it.*
Defendant Lobby Neopia Central Courthouse Neopia
: I have brought the evidence you requested.
Second Scalpel Sword added to Court Record!
NTWF Files: Holly's Persona added to Court Record!
: Will these even help at this point in the trial?
: Anything will help. Apparently we've got a "decisive witness" who saw the impossible.
: James. You know exactly how this is possible. It is time to stop you from keeping those files secret.
: What's he talking about, Doc?
: I... I'm not sure. We'll discuss this later, Anzam, right now we must go into the courtroom.
Courtroom Neopia Central Courthouse Neopia
: The court will now reconvene for the trial of Dr. James Lupe. The prosecution may call their witness.
: The prosecution calls Mr. Keith Marsh to the witness stand!
*A cloud chomby in a lavender jacket over a pale blue shirt and slacks takes the stand.*
: Please state your name and occupation for the court.
: Oh man! This is so exciting! I can't believe it! This trial will be in the Neopian Times, all over NeoVision! I'm going to be famous!
: Gah! Would you please state your name and occupation!?
: I'm Keith Marsh! As for my occupation, I am a restocker!
: A... restocker?
: It's amazing! I just buy things from the Neopia Central shops and throw them in my own, and wait for somebody to buy them.
: Are you telling me your occupation is... shopping!?
: (Apparently Uther Payne isn't completely used to Neopia yet...)
: Is this line of questioning relevant?
: I apologize, Judge. Witness!
: There's no need to be so informal~~~ You can just call me Keith!
: Please testify to what you saw that night.
WITNESS TESTIMONY --What I Saw That Night--
: 'Kay, so this was around nine fifteen, I'd say? : At that time, I was up in my apartment, rocking out to some M*YNCI, : When suddenly a scream interrupted my music! : I looked out my window, and saw some guy with wolf ears and a weird coat standing over a robot, a sword stabbed into it! : I called the police right away! It was so scary!
: Yes, I can imagine that being quite the terrifying experience. Ms. Frost, you may begin your cross-examination.
: 'Kay, so this was around nine fifteen, I'd say?
Are you sure about the time?
: Positive! My clock doesn't lie~!
: Um, I guess not. What were you doing then?
: At that time, I was up in my apartment, rocking out to some M*YNCI,
... Can listening to M*YNCI really be considered "rocking out"? They're a boy band, aren't they?
: You need to listen to better boy bands, I'll give you some recs after the trial.
: Ms. Frost, is this relevant?
: Well, it just kind of bothered me, Your Honor...
: Mr. Marsh, you may continue with your testimony.
: 'Kay. So as I was saying, I was listening to M*YNCI...
: When suddenly a scream interrupted my music!
: It was really electronic sounding! For a second I thought my CD player was messing up!
: Yeah, that could definitely be Glitchio. Though I can't say I've ever heard him scream before... What did you do after that?
: I looked out my window, and saw some guy with wolf ears and a weird coat standing over a robot, a sword stabbed into it!
Who were these two?
: Clearly he just described the defendant and the victim, Frosty.
: After you saw those two, what did you do?
: I called the police right away! It was so scary!
You say you called the police right away?
: Yes I did~! I was happy to help!
: Well, according to your testimony, you witnessed this at nine fifteen. However, the police did not get there for fifteen minutes! It does not take that long going from the police station to the crime scene, even walking! I did it myself yesterday in five minutes!
: W-well, maybe they took their time! I've called them before about thieves in the alley who turned out to be Meowclopses.
: I'm afraid that contradicts earlier testimony. Captain Jidan said, and I quote, "As soon as we recieved the call, we rushed to the scene of the crime!" How do you explain this, at least, ten minute gap!?
: W-well... First I had to listen to more music to calm my nerves. I wanted to be cool and collected when I called. Then, my phone wasn't available, because I had it hooked up to my printer to print the photo I took of the murderer!
: You took a photo!?
: Grarrgh! Why was the prosecution not informed of this!?
: (I guess Payne didn't know either...)
: Testify to the court about the photograph!
WITNESS TESTIMONY --The Photograph--
: Here it is! It, uh, didn't turn out so well. It was dark! : Anyway, you can clearly see the murderer in this picture. : Isn't it terrible!?
: ... (Well, it is terrible, alright...)
: *ahem* Uh, Ms. Frost, you may begin your cross-examination.
: Here it is! It, uh, didn't turn out so well. It was dark!
... (I could go after the obvious question, but I'll wait.) Why was it dark?
: It was night, silly~!
: The streetlight near the alley was out, and there were none in the alley. It was very nearly pitch black.
: I guess that answers that...
: Anyway, you can clearly see the murderer in this picture.
How can we be sure that this photograph was taken at the time of the murder?
: Do you think I'm framing him!?
: Everything is a possibility.
: I believe that you can answer that question by asking the question you've been avoiding.
: ... Huh?
: Isn't it terrible!?
This situation, or this picture? Because something is very wrong with the picture!
: What do you mean?
: What do I mean? I mean, what on earth is that green blob in the corner!? It's unexplainable!
It's perfectly explainable. You should be able to explain it yourself. Glitch magic. When Glitchio was stabbed, his magic went berserk. This also proves that this photograph was taken at the time of the murder!
: Now then, unless there is a person who looks exactly like James Lupe, right down to the fingerprints, it is impossible for your client to be innocent!
: Actually... there is a person like that.
: WHAT!? Show me where I can find this person!
Right here, in my Dramatis Personae!
: Oh!? And who might this person be!?
: A man also by the name of James Lupe, who for clarity goes by the name Canon!Doc!
: Let me see that profile! ... Are you a fool, Frosty? Your own files say he is a pacifist, and wields no weapon!
: That is only to the best of my knowledge, it could be an act, and we won't know without his testimony!
: That is ridiculous!
*The JubJudge slams his foot on the podium.*
: Enough! I agree with the defense on this matter. We will reconvene tomorrow to hear testimony from the other James Lupe. Until then, court is adjourned!
Dungeon Castle Samurai The Realm of Abandoned Characters
: Well, Memory of Nightmare won't be here for some time. Until then, you can stay here, as I did, trapped behind these bars.
: Canon!Doc! Why are you working with Nightmare?
: That is for me to know, and you likely not to find out.
*A swirling portal of darkness opens up, and a Darigan Lupe steps out.*
: Vision. I knew I'd find you here.
: So you know my true name? I expected as much from you. Why don't you join us? You know that Master Premonition is a better leader than that fool James Fenrir.
: Sorry, I don't need your help.
: If you know my name, you should know what happened to the last person who refused to work with us.
: I do not have fear of Nightmares. And furthermore,
: ... I need to take this. *Anzam sheathes his sword and answers his phone.* I'm a bit busy, James... Actually, that's fine. Goodbye. *He hangs up, and draws his sword again.* My mission has changed. Now my mission is to capture you and bring you to the Neopia Central police. I take my missions very seriously, Vision, so you're coming with me.
"I can tell that am I beginning to lose your attention. My story is clearly not moving at a brisk enough pace for you, monster hunter, as you've taken to playing games—"
"Hey! Sans came out in Smash Bros., you expect me to just NOT download him?"
"Controversial pick, but I think Sans was Danny Devito's best role."
"Whoa! Danny Devito is gonna play Sans? You better not be lying to me, future man!"
"Not a man but carry on I s'pose."
"Cleric, ranger, mystic, thank you for behaving yourselves."
"I've just been assuming there's going to be a test."
"I've been doing my best not to behave myself so I'm guessing you mean the other cleric."
"Let me do my best to finish this story quickly..."
"Holly continued on to interrogate Keith and Dr. Lupe further, learning that the true killer was also a user of dark magic. Meanwhile, Anzam took Vision of Nightmare in for police questioning, during which he continued to deny even his CAPACITY to murder."
: Locked up again. Ms. Frost, I do believe that you and your allies are making a habit of this.
: So, you're still not going to confess?
: "First do no harm." Have you forgotten I am a pacifist?
"Clearly growing tired of this game of cat and mouse, Vision of Nightmare puts up a very weak and easily pierced testimony, at which point the other two Nightmares, Memory and Premonition, appear in the courtroom. Everyone flees, and Dr. Lupe explains what he knows about the Nightmares."
: I was hoping no one would need to find out. However, you must know the true nature of the Nightmares. I have no clue why they are here, but here they are. Memory of Nightmare, the one you know as simply Nightmare, has power over the past. He can change into any character that you will never use again, his biggest resources being strange dreams you wouldn't want to use again. Vision of Nightmare, the one you know as Canon!Doc, has control over the present. He can transform into any current character, which is why he took my form. Finally Premonition, the one you have just met, has power over the future. He can take the form of planned characters, or those that will change dramatically as the story continues. He takes the form of Death, only because he feels that because Death is in the future for all, not by his normal powers.
"The team rushes back into the courtroom, and has a short verbal confrontation before Premonition teleports all of them to a vast desert, with sword-sized writing implements stabbed into the sand for as far as the eye can see: The Story's Graveyard, Premonition's home turf. He explains that each pen, pencil, quill, marks a grave of a character somewhere in the multiverse who has outlived their purpose. The group breaks off into a climactic battle, which ends when Glitchio, fully recovered, appears to pull the Nightmares back into the Forum, stunning them long enough for Miles to finish them off. Dr. Lupe and Glitchio are still hiding where they gained this knowledge of the Nightmares."
"I feel like there's some information about the Nightmares YOU left out. What did their plans look like before their identities were revealed?"
"Fair question, doctor. So let's step back for a moment before we go forward..."
((Short update! This is gonna be the new format for these, because I've been staring at my old writing trying to work up the gumption to rewrite it for... three months? So now the narrator is just going to recap stories, cutting to short scenes when necessary to elaborate, and interacting with those that she is telling the story to. I've gotta figure out what the schedule will look like now, but hopefully once I do I'll be able to keep it consistent.))
((So before I start: this is not the update I thought I'd be giving you right now. Surprise global pandemics make it hard to focus on writing, who'd've thunk it! But 10 years later, I had to post something. Happy 10th anniversary, Icy Taco, you big beautiful mess.))
"There's not enough time... The timelines are about to converge. I need to quickly give you all the key players. Before all of this started, there were two opposing sides: Holly and her ragtag group of Neopets and Pokémon... and on the other side, the Lupe Pack. The Lupe Pack was nominally led by Dr. James Lupe, but the real person pulling the strings was Anzam. Anzam was a unique form of undead known as the Heartless, the form taken by an errant heart after it is ripped from its body and corrupted by darkness. The empty vessel left behind turned into his Nobody, Mazna. The two sides clashed frequently, with the Lupe Pack trying to take over the worlds, and Holly's friends trying to stop them.
This all changed when they came to the Forum. Holly gained what would come to be understood as Writer powers, the power of Writers to reshape the universe around them. Meanwhile, Dr. Lupe and his pack began having changes of heart shaped by the chaos of the Forum, especially after the birth of the children cloned from him.
The two adapted to this change differently. Holly split herself into two: the primary Holly Frost, and Dame Holly, thus knighted by King Mazna. Holly Frost would stand separate as a Writer, whereas Dame Holly would follow her path as a character. Anzam, meanwhile, simply plotted more deviously in the background, trying to salvage what control he had over the rest of the Pack.
The Writer Holly would continue to summon more characters from more worlds: the spirits of historical figures inside of machine bodies, law enforcement from a mashup of Los Angeles and Tokyo... an alien incel troll for some godawful reason. All of this drew attention from another Writer from a parallel world.
Unbeknownst to Holly, another Writer sent enemy characters into her subconscious, both disguised as variants of Dr. Lupe. The first, claiming to be the Canonical Dr. Lupe (or, Canon!Doc), was a taciturn chessmaster who would serve Anzam's purposes far better than the original Dr. Lupe. The second, simply referring to himself as Nightmare, appeared in a lucid dream of Holly's upon trying to summon Dr. Lupe. A short, blond man in contrast to the tall brown haired doctor, the imposter then found his way to the Forum proper.
These two would be defeated handily. Nightmare was killed with a magic sword, and Canon!Doc was locked away in a parallel world called the Realm of Abandoned Characters. This sets the stage for the story I have already told you: Canon!Doc breaks free, resurrects Nightmare, and frames Dr. Lupe for a murder. Later, they reveal themselves to be part of a trio of Nightmares: Nightmare actually being Memory of Nightmare, Canon!Doc being Vision of Nightmare, and their leader: Premonition of Nightmare.
The prosecutor who opposed Holly in these events, Uther Payne, would begin taking cases in Neopia, his first helping a young faerie woman and in turn being granted fire magic. This magic would come in handy because only a month after the events I told you, the Nightmares kidnapped Holly, Dr. Lupe, and their friend (the former murder victim) Glitchio. A strange man calling himself Fon leads a group of Holly's friends to rescue the three of the kidnapped heroes. Along the way, they fight villains summoned by the Nightmares to oppose the heroes, but mostly deal with them without consequence.
When the party rescuing Holly reaches her, it is revealed that Premonition has used dark magic to awaken a latent vampiric curse that had plagued the town before. Holly rises as Vampire!Holly. Fon, seeing no other option, uses powerful light magic to once more split Holly into two halves: the Writer Holly once more and the Vampire!Holly doppelganger. Fon then reveals himself to be Fantasy of Nightmare, a traitor to the trio of villains.
The Nightmares then go quiet, for a time. Uther takes more cases in Neopia, getting wrapped up in the plans of a spectral villain from his world, the Yatagarasu. The historicalbots, the historical figures in robotic shells, decide to investigate who made those shells, and find the laboratory of Shaman Partenen, a cyborg ghost who is sapping the Writer powers used to summon them from the aether and making the robots himself.
Soon after, the Nightmares become active again. Once again teaming up with their summoned villains and Vampire!Holly, they launch an invasion into the Forum with some strange shadowy beings. Upon each of the Nightmares being defeated, they are berated by an otherworldly voice and destroyed in a pillar of greenish-gray fire.
Fantasy of Nightmare then reveals the leader pulling the strings the whole time, King Escritor. Escritor then likewise summons those flames to immolate him, and the mourning heroes charge into a portal to Motinspire, Escritor's world. Escritor sends hoards of the shadowy enemies at the heroes, and then in a last-ditch attempt at defense before they reach him, he fuses the summoned villains into one monstrous body known as Fuel of Nightmare. After Fuel is defeated, the heroes face down the king himself, who reveals that he is doing this to protect the Writers from the pain of having to hurt their own characters. The heroes reject this logic, and weaken the king severely. The king tries to destroy them with the last of his power, but Holly realizes she can summon the Nightmares back into existence to strike down their former leader. The Nightmares kill their king, sinking his castle into the sea. Vision decides to side with Fantasy, attempting to make things right, but Premonition and Memory go off on their own paths, planning their own schemes.
Another schemer is Shaman Partenen, who has a new collaborator in the form of Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear. Lotso, spurred by his own rejection and by the violence of King Escritor, tries to seize Writer power and mount a rebellion: no gods, no masters, no Kids, no Writers. The two are brought down by the heroes and their respective clashing megalomanias, and Lotso is cast back into his world.
The Nightmares become an active force again during the restoration of Motinspire. Vision of Nightmare is murdered, and the only possible suspect is Holly Frost. Defended by one of her historicalbots, Gandhibot taking up the mantle of barrister once more, it is revealed that Prosecutor Pace von Brandt is a resurrection of Vampire!Holly by Premonition of Nightmare, and the true culprit of the crime.
An unrelated murder case happens two months later. An engineer is killed, and a member of the robotic race known as the Rinamians is the suspect. A spirit lawyer takes up the case as prosecution, and realizes far too late that the case is a trap: the final day of the case would coincide with his deathday, and he would be taken out of commission and his case lost.
That case would not have been solved without the intervention of some friendly time travelers. a Time Lord known as The Doctor lands in the Taco two years later, and recruits Dr. Lupe to help him scrub the parasitic cybermen from the Taco's timeline. When they land, they realize that Shaman Partenen had been crafting new cybermen, and they have to travel back to the time of the previous case. They follow the trail of cybermen parts to the trial, and sit as spectators. As the clock strikes midnight on the prosecutor's deathday, the spectral Yatagarasu reveals herself to be hiding inside of the robotic defendant. The Doctors help fight off the spirit, and manage to clear out any cybermen that arrive.
Dr. Lupe then guides The Doctor slightly forward in time: to the last conflict between the Lupe Pack and Holly's friends. They are the planet Aipoen, Mazna's domain, and Dr. Lupe explains that when Anzam and Mazna were one complete person, they had a plan to split the multiverse into two: pulling all of the darkness into Aipoen. Anzam, then corrupted by darkness, became power hungry and wanted to reshape all of the worlds in his image. The two are met by the Glitchio of that time, who explains that their arrival was always meant to happen, so the timeline is still secure. The Dr. Lupe of the future and The Doctor go to the echo of Partenen's lab on Aipoen to find cybermats, the small ratlike robots that cybermen use to infect others.
Meanwhile, the Dr. Lupe of the past fights against his secret master Anzam. When Dr. Lupe weakens him, Mazna joins the fray and starts to fuse with Anzam, recompleting himself. Due to them being the link keeping Aipoen separate, the world itself begins to collapse.
Because of this collapse, The Doctor and the future Dr. Lupe flee, leaving the cybermen to be destroyed with the rest of the world, returning to the Taco present. At this point Dr. Lupe reveals he has been infected with a cybermat, and teams up with Memory of Nightmare to steal the soul of The Doctor's time machine. Stranded, The Doctor waits in his dead TARDIS as the spirit of Vision of Nightmare appears. Vision possesses The Doctor's TARDIS, and they chase Memory back to the past: the moments before King Escritor is defeated.
In the final moments of Motinspire Castle, Dr. Lupe fights off the cyberman infection, and the three heroes manage to stop Memory from changing the past. Vision is weakened from powering the time machine, however, and begins to fade into oblivion. With his last bit of power he copies The Doctor's ability to regenerate and grows himself a new body: half Nightmare, half Time Lord.
Later, Vision found the Memory they stranded in the past causing trouble. Memory had become more powerful, allowed to train with himself for years. Vision fought Memory nearly to the death, but Memory struck himself down because he didn't want his blood on Vision's hands. Vision, in mourning, forced Partenen to put Memory's soul into his own time machine, letting Memory live forever in the vessel.
Then... things are quiet for a few years. Most people didn't realize it then, but the timeline was fractured. The chaotic goofy world of the Taco that we knew continued in one timeline, while war was errupting in another. We stand stranded in that other timeline: the Taco City timeline.
I, of course, needed to find a way out. I found a way to replicate King Escritor's shadowy figures off of some of Anzam's old research, which named them the Ersatz. But they were likewise useless to me. I needed characters, not minions.
That's why I sent you those dreams, Dranus and Janus. The dreams of you teaming up with Jinzo to fight off evil. But you two wouldn't have been enough to kickstart this world. Dranus, Janus, Sally, Bog, Eri, and Dr. Lubin, I am going to send you all back to your own worlds. You will not remember this one until I pull you back into the timeline where you need to be. But before you go, I have one last story to tell you."
Ice Mage's Icy Taco Story 5: The RPG: Part 1 will release on August 3rd, 2020. Demo will be coming... sometime before that. Some time in May, probably.