Warranty Void if Soul is Broken
"Greetings," a tall, thin, faceless man wearing a dapper business suit at least half a century out of date said pleasantly, despite the complete lack of mouth.
A heavyset man with dark hair that was prematurely turning gray spun around trying to figure out what had happened and why he was suddenly standing naked in front of a British Slenderman knockoff on a deserted beach. "Where am I and why am I naked?"
"You don't hold any great desire for things, such as clothes, thus your soul is naked," Slenderman explained in a British accent that was probably lifted from Alfred Pennyworth.
"I'm in a CYOA and you're my ROB," he realized with a grin, having read quite a few of these stories and excited about the idea of being the subject of one.
"Very good, Sir," ROB said, "I knew I made the right choice in picking you."
"So is this my floating extradimensional island base?!" he asked excitedly. "If so, I'm thinking Gamer Powers, Permanent Gate, and a magical sword to start!" a familiar looking sword appeared in his right hand and he found himself wavering on his feet as power flowed through him.
"Slow down, Tex," ROB said with a laugh, "you haven't even signed the contract yet."
"Good point," the man agreed, "where do I sign?"
ROB pulled a rolled up velum contract and black quill from out of nowhere. "Right at the bottom."
"I have so many ideas for how to munchkin everything," the naked man said eagerly, switching the sword of Thundara to his left hand and accepting the quill, "and all without worrying about the ethics involved. Seriously, everyone who does this seems to pick the worst ways to go about everything and spends half their time moaning about it rather than just thinking about their actions in advance."
The ROB unrolled the bottom of the contract to display where he should sign, which the man eagerly did, the feather cutting into his hand to provide the blood or in this case a silvery ichor for the ink.
"That's not my signature," he noted, "it's… glyphs?"
"English is not a language that one can write a true name in," ROB replied as he checked to make sure the signature was in the right place.
"It looks… unfinished," he said with a frown.
"Well, I don't need all of you," the ROB replied as he tucked the contract away and numerous black tentacles spurted from his back, "that would be boring. I only need about a third to combine with pieces from two other subjects to create the agent I desire."
"Fuck!" the naked man exclaimed and started swinging wildly with the sword to try and deflect the tentacles, to no effect or at least not that great of one, as while several tentacles lost at least half a foot of length and golden ichor sprinkled onto the sand, it didn't slow them in any way as a third of him was… shaved off, taking the left half of his body from the top of his skull to the bottom of his ribs before they and the ROB vanished.
The man fell to his knees with an aching void where a third of his soul had been and reached out for anything that could fill it.
The sword of Thundara was an item of power, power that was quickly absorbed, lessening the hunger by a noticeable amount, his new glowing red left eye quickly focused on the bits of tentacles ROB had left behind and he pounced on them, grabbing and absorbing them.
Flesh black as the void between the galaxies grew across the left half of his body, bringing with it alien thoughts and desires that would have driven the mad sane, but it was a cold form of sanity that provided no comfort and forced him to come to terms with his new reality. He climbed back to his feet, feeling quite well and knowing what he had to do, surprised at how clear everything was now.
"Okay, the B stood for bastard and I was still convinced I was dreaming and jumped the gun so now… I'm a bastard child of a ROB or maybe a cousin," he said, examining his left arm and hand, noting the silver Thundarian metal that formed his nails and the tiny specks that seemed to randomly move beneath his skin, making it look like the night sky. "I may have wanted to lose some weight, but not like this."
He looked at the drops of golden ichor that were soaking into the ground and was tempted to absorb them, but he instinctively knew the island he was standing on had just been created by an idle thought of the ROB and not been meant to last, so he needed them to stabilize it.
He closed his eyes and laid his will upon the island, forcing it to absorb the eldritch ichor as he altered it to fit his desires. There were limits to what he could do, as he only had so much energy to work with, but also because he was finding it hard to visualize what he wanted… or possibly the problem was he was finding it hard to want something enough to visualize the change.
In the end he managed to create a duplicate of Gilligan's island, with a few additions like a hot spring, a freshwater lake, and lots of wild vegetables and fruit trees. He was also pretty sure Gilligan's Island wasn't ten miles wide, but he'd wanted the space, sacrificing potential for size.
He started walking towards the gate he'd had ROB create before he'd signed the contract, the greater being cheerfully throwing massive amounts of energy around to convince him to sign.
It was only a five minute walk to the clearing where the gate was and naturally it resembled a Stargate, because that's what he thought of when he thought of a gate for moving from world to world.
He examined the gate with its moving rings and stone ramp before examining the DHD which looked kinda like a stone age Lightbright filled with crystals.
"I have no idea how to operate this fucking thing!"
Half an hour of grumbling, examination, logical deduction and prayer later…
"None of these symbols match anything, even each other, because they are just decorations," he decided. "I created it, it's from my head, so naturally it'll be easy to operate."
He placed a hand on the DHD and willed the gate to turn on.
The gate hummed and decided to become a mirror.
"Man I look strange," he complained, examining himself, "and I still need to lose some weight and probably body hair."
He stared at the gate, but it seemed content just to hum and reflect.
"Maybe I need to concentrate on a destination." He racked his brain for someplace to open the gate to and the mirror vanished leaving him staring at a thin young man who's jaw dropped in disbelief before he sprinted off in a panic yelling, "Skipper! Skipper!"
"Okay, that works," he said, pleased and shut down the gate.
"I'm more or less intact, I have my world gate and island," he said as he paced back and forth, "and while I don't have any points to spend… I can feel the connection that handles it, so if I capture girls for my harem I'll be able to buy all the stuff I'd planned on bringing anyway."
He willed the stamp, ostensibly given to all employees of the company at no cost, to his hand and frowned when nothing happened. "This complicates things," he muttered, "claiming a girl without a stamp or any of the other tools requires her to fall in love with you and I look like a horror movie extra right now."
He grabbed an apricot off a tree and ate it while he tried to figure a work around. "Belle from Beauty and the Beast would be easy… if I had a huge library and castle. No, I need someone who is even more susceptible to Stockholm syndrome, someone who's life is so bad that getting kidnapped by me is a vast improvement."
He racked his brain, trying to think of a girl who fit the bill. He was sure he'd once known dozens who he could grab, but for some reason there were gaps in his memory. "Getting half my head carved off hasn't done my memory any favors."
His mind drifted to primetime cartoons, there were always a few people who ended up the butt of the joke over and over. "Lisa Simpson has a bright future and manages a win pretty often so she's out, none of the girls in Futurama have it all that bad, the guys are usually the ones who take in the ass there. Hailey from American Dad… would drive me nuts. How about Family Guy... Meg is perfect!"
He walked over to the DHD and placed his hand on it. He focused on Meg, but nothing happened so he thought of the house she lived in and the portal opened in the backyard of the Griffin household. He tried to move the portal into the house, but it stopped at the back door. "Okay, I can only open it outdoors, good to know."
He was tempted to walk in and simply grab her, but he didn't want to risk it as her mother was an expert martial artist, the baby of the family built disintegration rays, and there was no telling what Peter or Chris would do if some strange looking naked man walked into the house and tried to carry someone off.
He closed the portal. "I need clothes, a ski mask, and some chloroform… if I'm going to go the traditional route, which would probably work best, considering the nature of that universe."
He reopened the portal to a small town in the Midwest from Stephen King's The Stand and stepped through.
The town was dead, but as Captain Trip's took a few days to kick in, all the bodies were at home in bed or at the local hospital rather than hanging out in the streets like they did a lot of plague worlds.
It was a bright and sunny day, the birds were singing, a pleasant breeze was blowing through town carrying the scent of flowers… and ninety nine point nine nine percent of the world's population was dead, which made the odds of running into anyone slim to none and slim had left town.
The general store was closed with a sign on it saying the owner was down with the flu and would be open in a few days.
The sign was at least a month old.
A half full garbage can shattered the glass front door rather easily as the owner hadn't used any type of security glass.
Bare feet carefully stepped over the glass. "I feel like I'm in Die Hard," he said with a chuckle, as he headed for the clothing section and hopefully some nice work boots.
It only took him a few minutes to find everything he wanted, as everything in the store was laid out for convenience rather than to get you to wander around searching in the hopes that you would buy more.
"Haynes white t-shirt and tighty whities, blue Levi's, tan steel toed boots, a red flannel shirt, and black gloves and a ski-mask," he listed off, "I feel like I should be working on a farm somewhere."
Properly dressed and no longer worried about cutting his feet to ribbons, he returned to the front of the store and gathered a handbasket to stock up on clothes and toiletries. It quickly became apparent that he was going to need to make a few trips to drop things off before he even got to camping supplies, much less beach gear… which this place probably didn't have a lot of unless there was a community pool or something similar nearby.
He found most of what he wanted and some stuff he hadn't thought of, piling it all at the foot of the stargate to sort later before thinking to look behind the counter. He didn't take the shotgun or billy club he found under the counter, not needing any weapons at the moment, but he did empty the till and grab the keys labeled RV.
Exiting the back of the store he found a small parking lot and a Winnebago. It wasn't a new model, obviously having seen some use, but it looked well cared for and a lot more comfortable than sleeping on the ground.
"I feel like I should have stolen a white windowless van for this," he complained as he hid in the bushes with a bottle of chloroform and a rag, waiting for a schoolgirl to pass by.
There was a clicking noise and a disquieting hum from behind him before an effeminate voice with a British accent said, "Game over, fat boy!"
"Well… fuck," he cursed, turning around and finding himself facing a toddler in red coveralls holding what looked to be a toy raygun. "Stewie Griffin? Did you use a time machine to come back and find out why Meg vanished?"
"How did you know?" the young boy asked in disbelief. "What is with that eye? Remove the ski mask!" he ordered, gesturing with the ray gun.
The man removed the ski-mask. "I know a bit about your family, of course I'd know about you."
"What is up with your face and why are you trying to kidnap Meg?" Stewie demanded.
"An outer dimensional being carved it off and I replaced it with his flesh," he replied, "and I'm kidnapping Meg because she'll be much happier with me and can help me on my rise to power."
"It'd be hard not to have a happier life away from Lois and the fat man," Stewie admitted, "but how is Meg going to help you rise to power? I mean she's Meg!"
"I need to collect a harem of powerful women to accomplish my goals," the man explained.
"Meg powerful?" he asked doubtfully.
"I gotta start somewhere," he replied with a shrug.
"Talk about starting at the bottom," Stewie muttered. "Why not… Jenna Elfman or Margot Kidder for that matter? At least then they'd be attractive."
"I need someone who will genuinely be happy after being shanghaied to my extradimensional island for this to work and isn't Margot Kidder dead?"
"The girl who played Harley Quinn in the new movies," Stewie said.
"Margot Robbie," he replied, "Margot Kidder is the woman who played Lois Lane in the original Superman movies."
"That's probably why I got them confused," Stewie said. "You want Meg in a harem… You have seen her, right?" he asked doubtfully.
"Once I gain enough power it's a simple matter to give her the perfect body," he explained.
"And her personality?"
"Enough power can work miracles," was the confident reply.
"Oh," the young genius said, lowering the ray gun. "Do you have any idea how annoying Lois and the fat man get after she vanishes?"
"Enough to create an android replacement?" he suggested.
"By Jove, that just might work," Stewie said with a nod. "I can create an android replacement who can assist me when she babysits me rather than always interfering with my work."
"I can't believe Mom forgot she was supposed to take me to school this morning," a female voice complained. "I'm going to be late and end up stuck in detention!"
"If you'll excuse me, I have a kidnapping to carry out," he said, pulling back on his ski-mask.
"Are you sure I can't offer you an android replacement?" Stewie asked. "A Harley Quinn model would be attractive and entertaining."
"While I wouldn't mind a gynoid assistant, I really need a human to make this work," he said as he poured some liquid over a rag from a bottle in his pocket and stepped out onto the sidewalk. "Hey, does this rag smell like chloroform to you?"
"Yeah, it kinda…" Meg's voice trailed off.
The man drug her unconscious form into the bushes.
"That's the line you went with?" Stewie asked in disbelief.
"I try not to overthink things," the man replied as a silver portal opened and Stewie leaned over to peek inside.
"A Winnebago? You really are working on a budget."
"I'll replace it with a magical mansion or castle first chance I get," he replied as he drug Meg through. "See you later."
"See you around," Stewie said before the portal closed. "I'd give it two days before she drove him nuts and he returned her, but the timeline suggests otherwise. Oh well, time to build an android replacement."
Typing By: fyrewolf5
TN: Always read the contract when dealing with cosmic superpowers offering you a deal, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.