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Count Dimensio Issue II: Vlog like an Egyptian. part 2

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posted by Gasglow Jones alias GasglowJones on Wednesday 25th of December 2019 08:36:24 PM

“Suppose this is it…” I said as I looked at the address written on the small slip of paper Fluxx had given me ages ago. I then gazed upward at what looked to be a decently sized facility with “Flickr Fighters” printed on a sign above the entrance. “Must be a typo…” Shaking off the peculiar wordage I marched inside to find surprisingly few of my colleagues. Hardly any of which I recognized. This could prove difficult… “You alright there Count?” A slightly modulated voice spoke behind me. I quickly whipped around to find a figure clad in silver and purple power armor with a cape similar to my own. I recognized them from the Halloween incident but like most instances, I could not remember their name. “Ah, Hello there. By chance do you have any idea where we keep the archives?” “Try the office next to the meeting room.” “Which is where exactly?” “Just follow me…” the figure said with a sigh as he marched through the lobby and down the hall. We reached the office and they walked over to the filing cabinet and attempted to open it only to discover it was locked. “Allow me.” I said calmly as I pulled out a couple of bobby pins from my pocket. And began picking the lock. “Why don’t you just carry lock picks?” They asked likely wondering why a gentleman had hairpins on his person. “Lock picks always raise suspicion… Not to mention I never could get the hang of them…” With that, a satisfying “click” sounded as I positioned the last pin and opened the drawer. “Let’s see… ah, here we are.” I pulled out a large folder filled with sheets of paper containing a photo of each member along with their name, powers, and a summary of their background. “What is it you’re looking for anyway?” “I’m looking for heroes with portal generation abilities…” I answered as I flipped through the papers. “You mean like this?” With a flick of the wrist, the hero summoned a small purple rift in space-time about the size of a pie pan. Then something clicked in my cluttered mind and I remembered that the hero in front of me went by the name Rift Runner. “Well. I feel like an idio-“ Suddenly a fellow in a black tactical suit wearing a bandana over his mouth entered the office. “What’s going on here?!” Agent Sharp exclaimed. “Oh bother, time to go!” I said quickly grabbing Rift runner’s shoulder and shifting to a random dimension. “Youch! Watch it man, that hasn’t fully healed- What the?! Where the heck are we?!” Rift shouted as he looked around clearly startled by our sudden change in location. I looked around and saw we stood in a room with yellow wallpaper covered in mildew stains, slightly damp foul-smelling carpet and Fluorescent lights that buzzed loudly overhead. “It appears we have ended up in the realm known only as the backrooms.” I replied as I pocketed the folder. “Backrooms? Sounds like one of those crazy stories you find online…” “Well my friend, the multiverse is often a very odd thing. Sometimes one realm’s crazy story is another’s reality… Now, if we just stay put we should return to the realm we came from shortly.” “Can’t you just shift us back?” “One does not enter or exit this realm on purpose. Only by accident. If I were to shift now we’d end up in one of the more treacherous levels of this office building of the damned…” Suddenly a loud howl echoed through the halls causing Fluffenstein to leap out of my pocket and dash off down the hall. “Oh bugger! Come on! And try to keep up, this place will drive you mad if we get separated!” exclaimed as I pulled out my cutlass and a bottle of almond water before we ran through the endless halls after the cat. As we searched I explained the Apophis Ra situation to Rift in order to try and maintain our sanity. “So what does this guy have to do with me?” Rift asked. “Well, I honestly have no idea what Apophis is capable of. Thus I devised a backup plan utilizing portals just in case- There!” I pointed as a white blur dashed towards us and clung to the leg of my trousers. “Easy there mate. You’re safe now.” I said consoling the frightened feline as I picked him up and gently placed him in my coat. Buttoning it to ensure he stayed put. “I wouldn’t be so sure Count…” Rift said pointing to a pair of shadowy creatures in the distance slowly approaching us. “Hounds…” I whispered as I passed Rift the bottle of almond water. “Here, start backing up slowly and If they turn hostile douse them with this.” Rift nodded and we began to walk backwards. The creatures slowly picking up speed and their appearance becoming clearer as they got closer. Revealing not the canine shape they had at a distance but that of distorted and tangled humanoids walking on all fours with unnatural movements. With a loud snarl, the creatures began rapidly scuttling towards us. I quickly raised my sword and prepared to strike the beast in front as it lunged towards me when suddenly a pair of purple vortexes opened in front of the first creature and above the other as the first tumbled in and sank its claws into the other’s back causing a fight to break out between them. I turned to my companion to see he had his hand raised and was breathing heavy as though he had just had quite a workout. “Quick Mate, the water!” I exclaimed. Rift tossed me the bottle and I ripped off the cap frantically before splashing the liquid onto the beasts causing them to scream in pain as it burned their shadowy hide. I then began shouting and swinging my sword as I walked towards them and the creatures scrambled back down the hall they came from. “Haha! That’s it ya yella bellied beasties! Run back to the void where ya belong!” I shouted as I pocketed my weapon and turned back to my companion. “Exceptional work my friend!” I said as I went to pat Rift on the shoulder but caught myself before I made the mistake. “What even were those things?!” “Most refer to them as the Hounds of Tindalos after one of Lovecraft’s abominations.” I explained. “Now then, what say we find a way out of this wretched place before Cuthulhu shows up…” “Should I take that last statement a joke or an actual concern?” “Best to take it as both mate…” I replied with a laugh. “Best to take it as both.” After a bit more walking we turned a corner to find the hallway opened into a desert landscape filled with mesquite bushes and cacti. “Ah, an exit!” I stated as we walked into the “room” only for the hallway to vanish once we turned around. “Now. Let’s find out where we are…” I said as I began pulling out my navigational equipment. Compass, spyglass, sextant and the like. “Hold on Capt Sparrow.” Rift said likely referencing something. “Let me handle this.” Rift then pulled out a smartphone and opened up some sort of map on it. “Looks like we’re just outside Laredo. Just a quick jump and we’ll be back in Advent City.” Rift opened a portal under our feet and we disappeared through it and landed in the lounge room of the Flickr Fighters Headquarters. Rift landing on a chair while I crashed backwards into the coffee table. “Sorry about that Count. I’m used to traveling alone.” “That’s understandable. Most Vampire hunters choose to be lone wolves…” I said as I picked myself up and let the cat out of my coat before I sat down on the couch. “Vampire hunter? What are you talking about?” “Your cape, it’s a trophy from a vampire hunt correct?” I asked. “Got mine after a fight with Dracula last centur- er, a few years ago.” Rift shook his head. “I Just thought the cape looked cool and the guys back at HQ whipped this one up for me.” Rift explained. “It helps with gliding and deflects heat and ice rays.” I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit at Rift’s description. “Fancy. But I’ll stick with being able to say I pulled mine out of the dust pile that was once a legendary strigoi.” Just then our discussion was interrupted by the lights flickering out and then on again to reveal the sudden and dramatic arrival of agent sharp. “The folder. Hand it over.” He said sternly. I sighed as I pulled out the file and tossed it onto the coffee table. (Which was now cracked down the center and was being held up by only three legs.) “Anything else officer?” I asked mocking Sharp’s serious tone. “Yes. You’ve yet to show up at any of the group training sessions or any of the meetings…” “In my defense, I wasn’t aware either of those were things.” “I figured as much.” Sharp said shifting to a somewhat softer tone as he picked up the file. “According to Fluxx you only knew about Gravestein last Thursday because he happened to say something to you.” “Hey, I was at the warehouse wasn’t I? What’s the big deal?” “The point I’m getting at is the Flickr fighters rely upon communication between heroes. And we can’t function properly if one of them doesn’t even have a phone.” “I’ll have you know I have two excellent telephones.” I said pulling one out of my pocket. “Why this one even has one of those newfangled rotary dial setups.” “Man, I didn’t know they still made these…” Rift said as he picked up one of my phones and fiddled with the dial. “And how exactly are we supposed to send you messages on these?” “Well, I figured we could set up a party line. Telephones still have that right?” “No Count, they do not.” Sharp said with a sigh. “Look, you have access to a multiverse full of tech. Just find a smartphone you like and then get someone more technologically inclined to connect it to HQ’s network for you.” “Not to mention you’ll have access to the group files and don’t have to raid the office.” Rift said passing the phone back to me. As I stuck the phone into my pocket I noticed a sneaky look in Sharp’s eyes as a smirk came across his face. “Which reminds me, which of you left a hairpin jammed into the lock on the cabinet?” “He did it.” Rift said quickly slipping through a portal before I had a chance to pull him down with me. “Well. I believe some extra time in the training room will be suitable consequences. I’ll see you at 0500 tomorrow morning for your first session.” Sharp then exited the room and once he was a good distance away Rift appeared through a portal and landed back in his seat. “Sorry man, I survived one training session with him, I don’t know if I’d last through another.” “Quite alright ol’ chap. But you better not let me down tonight.” “No prob. I’ll meet you at the museum ’round eleven. This should be interesting…” That evening… I walked around the museum half shifted to avoid detection. Looking at the exhibits to pass the time as I waited for either Rift or Apophis to arrive. I couldn’t help but notice the differences in this dimension’s history I wasn’t aware of. The Sphinx not having a nose, three pyramids at Giza instead of four. But oddest exhibit of all was in the American history exhibit. A playbill from the Ford theatre’s production of “Our American Cousin.” Perhaps this realm’s version of the event went differently than I had learned. If Lincoln hadn’t bent down to retrieve his wife’s handkerchief Booth’s scheme could have easily succeeded. “Excuse me, sir.” The night guard said rounding the corner and walking towards me. “I’m gonna have to ask you to le- GAH!” The guard screamed and frantically drew his weapon as he saw the beam of his flashlight hit the wall behind me. “Ah, Sorry my good fellow.” I said shifting back to where I was no longer translucent and held up my ITF badge. I’m an agent from the Interdimensional Task Force. I’m here to investigate a potential robbery.” “Interdimensonal? Look, kid, I have no idea what the heck you are or what you’re doin’ here and I honestly don’t care. Now come along-“ Suddenly a portal opened under the guard and he disappeared through it. “Gotten in trouble with the cops already?.” Rift said as he walked up behind me. “So it would seem… The ITF must not be very well known in this realm.” I then noticed rift was holding a cloth knapsack and something in it was moving. “um, what’s in the bag?” “your cat.” Rift said shoving the bag in my face. “you left them at HQ. Thought you might need them for whatever plan you have.” I hadn’t thought of that… If Apophis’ is fascinated with the Egyptian religion then Fluffenstein could be a valuable weapon. Genius idea mate! Just like The Battle of Pelusium!” “The what?” “During the first Persian conquest of Egypt, Cambyses II’s troops painted cat faces on their shields and placed dogs, sheep, cats, ibises and whatever other animals the Egyptians held sacred onto the front lines. Thus, the Egyptians surrendered at once instead of facing the ‘cat army.'” “Huh, neat… But last time I checked two guys and a cat aren’t an army…” “What we need is not an army, but a lookout.” I answered. “Follow me into the Egyptian exhibit. We walked down the hall a ways until we came to a room filled with ancient Egyptian artifacts. Or rather, what the people of this dimension assume to be Egyptian. “See that camera up there?” I said gesturing to the security device above us in the corner of the room. “Lemme guess. you want me to head up to the security room and keep an eye on the cameras while you wait here for Apophis” “You catch on quickly my friend.” I said with a grin. “When he gets here focus on the Egyptian exhibit’s camera and whenever you see me tip my hat open a rift under Apophis into that sarcophagus over there.” “You got it Count.” Rift gave me a quick salute before opening a rift behind him and disappearing through it. “Well Fluffenstein.” I said pulling the kitten from the bag. “I hope that Antiquitus has the same superstitions as Third Dynasty Egypt.” Around thirty minutes had passed and I had shifted in an armchair from my lair and was beginning to doze off in it whilst stroking Fluffenstein. Something about petting a small furry creature always puts one’s mind at ease. Suddenly the lights in the room turned on and then began flickering rhythmically as an electronic noise began echoing around me. I quickly stood up and shifted the chair away to my lair and tucked Fluffenstein behind my back under my cape. Wait a minute, that noise, is that, music? Suddenly a cloud of blue smoke appeared and Apophis Ra stepped through it holding an ankh staff in one hand and a strange obsidian tablet in the other. “Friends, Romans, countrymen…” The Cultist said in a semi-robotic voice. “Apophis Ra here coming at you live with a crossover I have been waiting dynasties to make! Here he is, the menace of the multiverse, Bane of Anubis, Count Dimensio!” “Bane of Anubis? That’s a new one…” I joked trying to mask my confusion as Apophis held the tablet up towards me. “Oh yeah, my dude! That ol’ doggo is ticked with you. What with your tomb raiding and all. Right folks?” “Who the devil are you talking to?!” I exclaimed in frustration as I scanned the room. “What manner of multidimensional demons have you brought here?” “Chill, I’m just vloggin dude, Gotta keep them followers posted on my conquest of the multiverse.” “Well, I’m afraid your cult’s quest ends here…” I said drawing my sword. “I wouldn’t be so sure…” Apophis replied as he set his device on top of a nearby crate and held up his staff with both hands. “BEHOLD THE POWER OF APOPHIS RA!” As he tapped the end of his staff on the floor a loud hissing erupted from the walls and hundreds of vipers began pouring out of the cracks and formed a defensive ring around their master. “Impressive eh? Go ahead my man, try and strike me!” Apophis taunted “With pleasure…” I said tipping my hat. On cue, a rift opened under Apophis and he fell into the sealed sarcophagus in the corner. Before a larger rift opened and the vipers fell into it. “Well, that was easy.” Rift said as he appeared beside me. “Indeed, I didn’t even have to use the-“ Suddenly I was cut off by the sound of a laser blast and the lid of the sarcophagus shattering and flying across the room. “HEY! Not cool dude!” Apophis shouted as he lept out of the casket. “You totally messed up the vibe I had going!” “Never mind…” I said with a sigh as I dodged a blast from the arch of Apophis’ staff. “Did he just say vibe? I thought you said he was a Cultist.” Rift asked as we ducked behind a display case whilst Apophis was firing his staff and swinging it around like a maniac whilst doing some kind of strange dance. “He looks more like one of those annoying internet celebrities…” “I’m certain, he even has a magic tablet that he uses to keep his followers updated on the fight.” “Tablet huh. Where?” I pointed out the strange device to Rift and he opened a portal under it causing it to fall right into his hands. “Uh, Count? this is just a smartphone.” Rift explained looking the device over. “albeit a rather strange looking one. I mean it looks like he’s live-streaming the fight on some kind of youtube style site but the text is all in caps and some kind of weird language.” “All in capitals? Hand me that…” I took the phone and sure enough, it was filming us right that moment and many different people were posting messages beside the video in what appeared to be Latin. Or at least a variant of it. “Hmm, I believe you’re right… it does appear to be an internet-like system..” “Hey, I have an idea.” RIft whispered. “If his internet is anything like ours I know something that just might give us an advantage.” “Hey! You fellas comin’ out or am I gonna have to disappoint all my followers?” Apophis asked mockingly before smiling towards where his phone had been and noticing it wasn’t there. “What the- WHO STOLE MY EYE-PHONE?” “You mean this?” I taunted as I shifted through the display and walked into the center of the room. “Sorry ‘dude’ but I just had a talk with your followers they think this fight is missing something.” “Oh yeah? And what do my loyal legion of fans what to see?” “BEHOLD! THE SLAYER OF RODENTS, DESTROYER OF HOUSEPLANTS! FLUFFENSTEIN!!!” I exclaimed pulling the cat out and holding him in view of the phone’s camera. “GAH! GET THAT BASTET SPAWN AWAY FROM ME!!” Apophis screamed as he stumbled backward. “Well now, An Egyptian who’s afraid of cats? Now I’ve seen everything…” I said with a laugh. “I’m n-not afraid of th-them I’m just Aler- aah, Aah, ACHOO!!” Apophis then entered a sneezing fit and dropped his staff in the process. which rift quickly snatched up with a portal. “Allergic?” Rift said with an obvious chuckle in his voice he was trying to hide. “Yeah…” Apophis answered with a sniffle, reaching for his staff and fumbling around with watery eyes. “Well, It appears we have the upper-hand here Apophis… Perhaps you better come along peacefully before we have to take you to a hospital…” “Sure man, ACHOO! J-just get that thing away from me…” a short while later we had Apophis in cuffs and we had just finished dropping off Fluffenstein at my lair with Jack. “Right, So I assume you’ll take it from here?” Rift asked. “I can, but I’d prefer if I had someone else with me. helps keep the cops from getting suspicious if I have a hero with me…” “But I thought you work for some top-secret Men in black style organization?” Men In Black? Good heavens no. It’s just the inter-dimensional police. Not the CIA. Now come on…” I grabbed Rift and Apophis’ shoulders and shifted into the large front lobby of the police station. marble pillars lining the walls, royal blue carpeting, and a large wooden desk in the center. “Well look what we got here.” The red-haired woman at the desk stated. “Chief said you’d be comin’ in with a convict but I didn’t expect you to bring in two.” “Uh, No Miss Lana. This is Rift Runner, He’s part of the hero team I joined.” Lana raised an eyebrow suspiciously as she looked Rift over. “If you say so sugar. leave Apophis with Charlie and then head on back to the chief’s office. I’ll let her know Y’all are here…” “Thank you, ma’am. Come on Rift.” I walked towards what must have seemed like a wall to Rift and apophis until we stepped through it and into the prisoner processing center. “So this is where you guys lock up the crooks?” Rift asked. “No, this is just where we throw the book at em, and that fellow over there is our head book thrower. How’s it going, Charlie?” The tall gawky looking man jolted up in his seat and straightened his uniform only to sigh once he turned his desk chair around to find me. “Oh, It’s just you. I thought it was somebody important.” Charlie said with a yawn. “Just stick the perp in cell seven while I work out the papers…” “Cell seven? Well now, You’re a lucky man Apophis.” I joked. “You get to stay in my old room.” Apophis merely rolled his eyes as rift shoved him down the hall and into the cell with a seven above it. “Right, You have a good evening Charlie, I’ll fill out any paperwork later. Gotta go see chief.” “HEY! you still haven’t turned those papers from-“ I quickly grabbed Rift and shifted to the Cheif’s office door before Charlie could finish. “Sorry about that Rift, I can’t stand paperwork…” “Tell me about it. you wouldn’t believe how many reports Sharp has us fill out when we capture a villain…” “You’re preaching to the choir mate. Preaching to the choir…”I said with a grin as I knocked on the door. “Enter…” The Chief replied from inside. I opened the door to see Chief Cahill standing at the window behind her desk. gazing out at the futuristic skyline of Capitus Prime. “Beautiful isn’t it?” Chief asked as she turned around and sat down at her desk and turned on the banker’s lamp that sat on it. “I always prefered the look of Capitus Delta.” I replied. “Of course you would. Have a seat Jones, You too Monteleone.” “HOW DID YOU KNOW-“ “Your Name? Oh relax, I know more about you flickr fighters than Sharp! why else would I have sent Jones here to Advent city to serve his parole.” “Well, just don’t tell anybody alright? I prefer to keep my secret identity.” “Of course, My lips are sealed…” Chief replied with a locking motion over her lips. “Now then, tell me everything that happened…”

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