A City Under Siege.
A great storm rained down from the night sky over a chaotic cityscape. The dense urban complex was overrun with fuzzy, black, mosquito-like insects that were buzzing up and down the streets as if they owned the place; Urban Stingbies. Their larval offspring crawled along roads and all over public property, leaving disgusting trails of sticky slime in their wake that the rain could only hope to wash away. The ear-grating sound of the adult Stingbies flickering wings echoed throughout countless alleyways, every nook and cranny, as powerless NPCs looked down helplessly from the rooftops they had taken to for safety. The rumbling thunder of the dark sky only highlighted the utter despair of the moonlit city's dreadful infestation.
Suddenly, a light appeared amidst the darkness. Emerging from the shadows, the pink light zipped down the street in a blindingly fast flash, as if drawn to the rampant creatures. Colliding with one, the insect let out a pained wail before disappearing in a comical puff of smoke. Before its nearby brethren even had time to process what had just happened, they too were vaporized as more and more of these speedy flashes of light shot out of the dark towards them. The rumble of the storm and the frantic buzzing of the Stingbies panicked wings masked the sound of clacking footsteps scurrying away to the next street over. The feeble monsters zipped around in alarm, trying to pinpoint their attacker, but they simply couldn't keep up with the blistering pace of her advance. Another group was quickly taken out, and then another, as the attacker made her way through the city one street at a time using its sprawling maze of dark, damp alleyways.
The once-deafening noise of the infested streets gradually got quieter and quieter, as each road was cleared of its invading monsters. Finally, on one last dead-end street. a group of surviving Stingby larvae clamored onto the roof of a taxi, attempting to aid their kin with their own lookout. However, in one fell swoop of a long, golden staff, they too were destroyed, as the assailant lunged out from between two buildings, triumphantly regaining her poise atop the taxi and revealing herself to the remaining swarm. She smirked, giving her staff a quick spin before pointing the head towards the nearest Stinbies and blasting them away with her laser, to the alarm of those remaining further down the road.
Less confident with their depleted numbers, the surviving Stingbies let out a furious wail, summoning a new group of allies to their side. Rolling onto the street came a trio of living army tanks, each covered in a rusty coat of military green paint: Sherms. The assailant gave a relaxed smile, seemingly unconcerned with this new threat, as if this was the moment she had been waiting for all along. She continued to stand gracefully atop the taxi in the down-pouring rain, holding her staff to her chest, but making no effort to escape or even retaliate. The tanks all slowly turned their cannons to aim at their open target, the remaining mosquitoes gathering by their sides in what could only be described as excitement, anticipating the imminent destruction of their foe. Almost simultaneously, the three Sherms fired their cannonballs with explosive force, briefly overpowering the the bug buzz of the Stingbies. The cannonballs rocketed towards the woman, who simply smiled and tapped the base of her staff against the taxi roof she stood on. In an instant, her entire body was encased in a bright, blue energy field...
A City Under Sunlight.
A glistening sun beamed down from clear blues skies over a bustling cityscape. The dense urban complex was overrun with excited, hurried players that were rushing up and down the streets, the crowds flowing like a river. From one empty alleyway, a taxi suddenly emerged, parking up momentarily on the curbside as its passengers got out, before rejoining the flow of traffic and disappearing into the hectic hustle of Metro Kingdom - New Donk City
, one of Smash World's largest social areas where players could meet up, hang out and accessories and stock themselves from a huge variety of stores.
The woman who had gotten out of the taxi, a tall, buxom blonde, brushed a spot of dirty rainwater off of her dress, before strutting up to the window of a nearby store, which a band of NPCs was playing a delightful tune outside of, and checking her dazzling reflection.
"Wonderful," she grinned with satisfaction, "Even that damned storm can't knock these perfect looks out of place!"
Venomdiva is set to stun!
With a pirouette, the Fox-class player turned and began strolling along through the crowd, checking her menus as she walked. She had a message notification, but that would have to wait a moment, as there was something more important she desperately wanted to check.
For almost three days now she'd been repeating the same in-game quest over and over again. The gigantic size of New Donk City was impressive even for Smash World, and a seemingly countless number of taxis was available to allow players to travel between their destinations freely, giving them the opportunity to talk casually to their friends as they were transported, unlike the instantaneous nature of the fast travel that was available. However, among this innumerable fleet, there was one single taxi that was quite a bit special. It was a rarely-known little thing that few experienced players learned of through simple word-of-mouth, but riding in this special taxi would give players access to a small, hidden quest. This quest wasn't particularly impressive, it was merely a variant of an existing event that allows players to save New Donk City from the menace of Mechawiggler, available during special periods every couple of months or so. This variant lacked the Mechawiggler boss, and thus the loot it gave, and really only loaded players into an alternate map where they could clear the infestation of Stingbies and Sherms out from the stormy city streets. It really wasn't a must-play sort of thing, just a fun little easter egg for people who liked the aesthetic of New Donk City engulfed by a squalling tempest.
However, repeatedly clearing out a group of weak enemies who could be easily defeated was exactly the sort of thing Venomdiva was looking for, so she was delighted to be one of the lucky few in the know about this hidden gem. With the effects of the Ultimate Reset still lingering over Smash World's playerbase, it was reassuring to know that even with her dramatically weakened stats, her bread-and-butter skills were still effective enough to use for grinding herself back up, even if it was only by the slightest. It was less troublesome than PvP, and since it was rarely known, she didn't have to worry much about other players stealing any of her kills as she routinely repeated the process of weeding out the quest's enemies. It wasn't much, but by repeating this quest over and over, she had made a stress-free start on building her experience points back up.
But what's more, though it also isn't much, the quest does give a small cash reward once you speak to the Mayor Pauline NPC upon completion, before returning to the true New Donk City area via the taxi. Though it pales in comparison to the rewards from the Mechawiggler boss raid, it was easy money, and that's exactly what Diva had been looking for since the reset. Transferring the tediously-earned coins she had gathered from her efforts over the last three days to the cashier, the foxy Fox was in exchange given the prize she'd been after, a fashion accessory that came in the form of two earrings shaped like the Star Rings from the retro classic, Star Fox 64 3D.
Though satisfied that she was now looking even more stylish, she was even more satisfied that she could take a break from repeating that drab quest for the day. Though regaining her former high level was of course important in her quest to become a Smash World superstar, it was equally if not more important that she shine like a diamond in the eyes of other players, and that wasn't the easiest thing to do when she was alone in the middle of a thunderstorm. She had decided that she would spend the rest of the day socialising, meeting people, and just generally increasing her own popularity. She had even just signed up to a new guild in order to do just that... which suddenly reminded her that, before her little shop, she had received a message...
To: Eclipse Dragons Members
Subject: Important Guild Meeting
The next guild meeting will be held in the Spiral Mountain Social Zone at the Banjo's House landmark. I've set up the Guild HQ nearby in the vegetable garden, but since the guild has yet to raise any funds, we've only got a tent for now. Be careful of the enemies located nearby, that include: Topper the Carrot, Bawl the Onion, and Colliwobble the Cauliflower. I expect you all to be here at 12 O'Clock, Smash World Standard Time.
Finishing the message, Diva stared blankly at the text overlay for a moment, her cheerful smile twitching a bit as her brow began to furrow.
"Seriously...?" she muttered quietly, stopping in her tracks in the middle of the crowded street, "Are you..., I-... SERIOUSLY!?" Her suddenly raised voice alarmed some other players, who uncomfortably tried to move around her as she let her temper loose out loud.
"'I expect you here at 12 O'Clock'
, she says," reading her message again in a mocking but clearly frustrated tone, "Who does this Soluna chick think she is? She hasn't even met me yet and she thinks she can order me around like that? And 12 o'clock
? Well THANKS for the warning, missy! God, if I knew these Eclipse Dragons were going to be so--"
Catching her reflection again, Venomdiva realised she was going a bit red in the face from yelling in frustration, and tried to calm herself down a bit.
"Okay, okay, it's fine," she sighed to herself, resting her fists on the window, "It's fine! She's the Guild Leader, of course she's gonna act all bossy, I get it. Maybe it's just growing pains, starting up a guild after this reset crap is probably a little stressful, so she probably didn't stop and think-"
Letting out another hefty sigh, she slumped down a bit as she began to relax, looking her reflecting in the eye, "You've got work off tomorrow anyway, so you can do 12," she checked her clock, giving a frustrated groan as she realised she'd have to cancel her plans for the night to get some sleep, "And seriously, a vegetable garden?
The name really gave the right impression, but I guess these Eclipse Dragons might not be as cool as I was betting on... hopefully they're at least strong..."
Pulling herself together, she pulled herself and brushed off her dress again, lacking her earlier enthusiasm.
"Well whatever," she pouted to herself, "If they do
end up being a bunch of incompetent losers, I'll just tell em where they can stick their stinkin' Colliwobbles." She laughed at her own joke as she logged off for the night, hoping to god that there weren't any lame-o roleplayers in this guild.