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Writing prompt #5: Oh my, you are late!

Crystal Dragon

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How does your characters handle being behind schedule, or unexpectedly delayed on their usual routine?


Crys -hates- being late for anything, be it a family gathering, a meeting, or arriving late to a scheduled event. Drives her to the point of being frustrated with herself for the time missed. Most times it's no fault of her own, delays happen, family emergencies ect. But sometimes it is something she could have scheduled better and just lost track of her time.

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Most of mine ... it'll depend on what they're late to. Something social, they won't really sweat it - they won't *try* to be late, they'll apologize, but things happen. If it's work related, they'll try harder to not be late. They'll let people know so they don't worry - conversely, most will worry at least a little if someone else is late.


Kind of a generic answer, but I don't really have anyone with quirks about it, so... *shrugs*

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Primarily on Everlasting. Squid afficionado. Former creator of Copypastas. General smartalec.


I tried to combine Circle and DE, but all I got were garden variety evil mages.

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Given that most of mine are well-nigh-immortal body-snatching ancient ghosts? They don't tend to worry too much about it. When you've been drifting around for fifteen thousand years, being fifteen minutes late for a meeting here or there just doesn't seem like a huge deal.


It drives a few of their very punctual mortal friends absolutely bonkers. 😝

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Taker of screenshots. Player of creepy Oranbegans and Rularuu bird-things.

Kai's Diary: The Scrapbook of a Sorcerer's Apprentice

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Blazed was late moving crates full of stupid illicit magic stuff at work and she's tired and she's sorry and something's on fire now.


Others are more chill than the fire blaster.


Chrono-Bot is, ironically, super bad at telling time and is always late.

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I am @Chrono-Bot! SGs: Girls Gone Rogue Isles, The Helping Hands, The Orange Bagels, Paragon's Perfectly Normal Heroes. Server: Everlasting! See my characters, now with photos, below!




I'm not NOT here to make friends.

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Lisa (Stellar Flux) is the type who, when late, does the classic anime thing of running through the streets apologizing to everyone she nearly bowls over, or would apologise if it weren't for the piece of toast in her mouth.


Cassie (Stellar Striker) rushes as fast as she can, and is profusely apologetic about being late. (Also my most-late OOC character to events because there's always so much to do!)


Dorothy (Electrobitionist) is never late, nor is she early...

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Late to plugging into the mains means a panicked Gynoid, like the feeling of dread when your mobile is 1% battery and you're in an important call.

Late to a meeting with Arachnos taskmasters? Probably won't ever be late, need the portal access to ruined Praetoria and they're the only ones with the tech.

Late to anyone she believes she could easily dispatch? Wasn't late, was here on my time!

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The heat radiating from his body was intense. "Gotta go faster, gotta make it on time this time", he said in his mind as he super-heated the air in front of him. Flying was a great time saver but when you always run behind fighting the denizens of Paragon City sometimes you just have to push your travel powers to their limit. The air ahead of him blazed and could see buildings that he got to close too lined with scorch marks, not unlike the marks he would get for being late for another family dinner. His ear comms chimmed and he knew that it was his brother telling him that he was late. Concentrating his last bit of stamina he fired a heat blast infront of his body and an even larger blast blast behind him. "Time to kick in the afterburners", he thought.



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You know how busy it can be when you're a hero/villain on top of whatever you've got going on in your personal life: someone's always in danger, there's always a bank that needs or is about to be robbed, an archaeology paper to finish, experiment to complete, etc. So I'd say that mine are of the "Try to be on time but just go about life their pace anyway." Depending on if hero, villain, or Praetorian, and the situation going on, might apologize, might just act like "So? Why should I apologize for this?" or like there's something more important to do. Why waste any more time on apologizing or feeling bad when there's work to do that gets everyone what they want/need?

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On 12/9/2021 at 5:50 PM, CrystalDragon said:

How does your characters handle being behind schedule, or unexpectedly delayed on their usual routine?



Tabby lives in a perpetual state of tardiness*.  Her regular routine is "sprinting to catch up" and anytime she feels like she's caught up, she naps. Even if she's not caught up, if she's in atlas park and its sunny and nobody's around to pester her atop the Atlas statue... why waste a good sunning moment?  I mean, you're already hopelessly behind what's the harm of a quick nap.

*Exceptions= if she's late for these, she's in serious trouble and a search party should probably be organized

- donut days at city hall.

- lunchroom fridge cleanup at the midnighters club, ("hmm... is this green stuff guacamole?  nope, really old chicken salad.  nope. maybe someone's eldrich experiment... tastes ok").

- any CATERED supergroup recruitment drive.

Edited by chase
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  • 2 weeks later

((Emily Chang is late for a charity dinner))

“No, no, no!” Emily clenched the steering wheel tightly and pulled into a bank of snow at the side of the road. This isn’t happening, she thought. Not now of all times. But the hitherto unknown warning lamp glaring at her from the dashboard was unmistakably of the “do not even think about driving an inch further” variant, as if she hadn’t known that from the sudden, angry engine vibrations and pertinent loss of power already.

Her fingers reached eagerly for the phone. At least she could call and say she would be late. Alert them to her vehicular misfortune. Rei would understand, surely.

“No!” Emily’s voice was almost a sob. Dead. Just as they had claimed what she feared was one or more ignition coils on her engine, the vampiric polar temperatures had drained all battery from the phone. Emily buried her face in her hands for a moment, struggling to cope. She hated being late, hated it. And being late for the annual Mizuni charity dinner… “No, no, no!”

Banging her hands against the steering wheel wasn’t going to favorably affect her predicament. Emily grabbed her clutch, braced herself, and ventured outside. Ivory pumps sunk into a mixture of sleet and snow, and she shook her head in dismay.

Ten minutes later, headlights illuminated the dark country road from behind. Emily turned and waved frantically. The car slowed down a bit, but then accelerated as it came closer, spraying her with sleet and snow as it sped by. Wiping her eyes clean, Emily thought she might have recognized her ex-husband William’s midnight blue Mercedes and the silver-blonde tresses of Anni Nakayima’s hair. Shivering, she resumed the staggering journey onwards.

Another set of headlights made her thank the heavens. Again she turned and waved frantically, hoping to alert a knight in shining armor. This time the car – red, fancy and with a muscular roar to its engine – didn’t even bother slowing down. It took the time to spray her with sleet again though, before vanishing in the distance ahead. Emily wanted to cry; it wasn’t as if tears could do much further damage to the no doubt ruined makeup anyway.


When she finally reached the gates of the Mizuni country mansion and had persuaded the guards that she was actually on the guest list and not a vaguely humanoid block of ice gone astray, she was more than an hour and a half late.

“Ms. Chang, it is so good to see you.” The warm greeting from Mouse as he took her coat took the worst edges off her budding hypothermia.

“My…my car…” she started as Mouse led her towards the dining room, but the gentle giant placed a colossal comforting hand on her shoulder and assured her that there was nothing to worry about.

Perhaps he hadn’t seen the seating plan, Emily thought as she stopped to study the chart. Oh no! She was at the honorary main table and recognized many of the names on the list. There was no way she could do this. She turned, but Mouse was blocking her way, smiling. Gently, he nudged her towards the dining room entrance and inside.

Emily’s walk of shame lasted an eternity, but finally she was at the table where people were just about done with the first course.

Anni Nakayima stared at her disapprovingly from across the table.

“Emily, you look…” She didn’t finish the sentence but the meaning was clear. Emily Looked like something even a stomach flu-infested owl would feel embarrassed about having regurgitated.

“Thank you, you too,” Emily managed.

Anni Nakayima’s eyes rolled towards the ceiling in outrage as far as the many Botox-treatments would allow, and she turned to her beau for support.

“It really is awfully bad form Emily,” William said, shaking his head.

“My…my car broke down…”

“How unfortunate,” the handsome man next to her interjected. “And this coming just after the dog ate your homework, I suppose.”

The table laughed and Emily tried pulling back her chair with eyes cast down. He had to be Takuma Nakayima, perhaps it had been him in the fancy red car. No wonder then maybe that he didn’t have the manners to help her with the chair, or perhaps he felt it wasn’t called for due to Emily’s own etiquette breaking tardiness.

Anni Nakayima was still on the warpath.

“William, honestly, does she have to stand there looking like that? It’s making me lose my appetite. Couldn’t you ask her to go clean herself up a bit?” Several patrons at the table laughed again.

Emily bit her lip. How dare that plastic surgery world record holding old hag… But as usual any notion of witty repartee had abandoned her, and she didn’t know how to respond to the mockery and laughing. She focused on combatting the watery pressure building behind her eyes.


Emily froze. Rei Mizuni had walked up to her, radiant like the sun goddess Amaterasu in a stunning lavender dress.

“I…I am so sorry…my…my car…” Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, Emily willed herself desperately.

“I am overjoyed you are here, you are the most important guest to have come. And may I say, you have as always the most exquisite beauty and elegance…” Rei looked around the table, her ravishing dark eyes like weapons of mass destruction poised to eliminate anyone that would dare challenge her assessment.

“T-thank you…” Emily’s head was still bowed in shame.

“Nakayima-san,” Rei continued directed at Takuma, “I believe you are forget your manners. May I suggest you will most kindly help Cobra-sama about the chair.”

He gulped and jumped to his feet, as Rei placed a gentle hand on Emily’s shoulder just like Mouse had done.

“And there is no need you shall worry about the car. I will arrange for the room, you can sleep here tonight, and tomorrow as the first thing, Makarov will attend to it.”

With a final warning glance around the table, Rei Mizuni returned to her seat.

There was no more laughing, and Anni Nakayima didn’t seem to mind the stains of sleet on Emily after all, although she did seem rather pale and to have lost some of her appetite.

Edited by White Cobra
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The caporegime set at a huge desk of polished oak and made it look small. It wasn't his. But it was. The legal owner of the desk was the owner of the club they were in. A gentleman's club in Paragon City that offered only the finer things in life. Dining, gambling and dancing. Among other things. 


Sprawled about the room were his soldiers. Paul Stuart suits and three hundred dollar haircuts. The caporegime would have been embarrassed by anything less than the best. And he wasn't a man known to take that lightly.


The only sound in the room was his index finger tapping on the table. Caporegime Giovanni Espositi was a big man in every way. Broad shoulders inside a deep blue Ermenegildo Zegna suit. A thick brow below a short gunmetal gray ponytail that fell to middle of his hulking back. A silvery-white shirt stretched over a modest gut. Hands like lunchboxes. He'd always been big. Even before the superdine.


When the door opened hands vanished inside jackets and the metallic click of safeties disengaging filled the room. It had been locked. Hadn't it?


Sabrehawk walked in. Black and red costume. Black and red cape. A skull mask with red lenses for eyes. She was tall and lean and walked with the lazy swagger of some great cat strolling on distant plains.


"You're late." Said the caporegime.


"And you're fat." She replied. Her voice was metallic and distorted by the voice modulation in her mask.


Tension filled the air. Knuckles turned white on pistol grips. 


The moment stretched out until Giovanni laughed. His soldiers laughed too, nervous chirping to his booming chuckle. Hands exited jackets.


"Have a seat." He waved to a brown leather chair in front of the desk.


"Where's the money?" She didn't sit.


The caporegime waved a hand. One of his men laid a fat envelope on the table.


Sabrehawk opened it and counted the money with a cybernetic hand. Oiled joints whirred in her hand as she nodded and tucked the money into a pouch on her black utility belt.


"That buys you fifteen minutes. Let's hear it."


Giovanni took a cigar from inside his jacket. Held it out to the side. One of his men stepped forward and lit it. He inhaled and blew a thick cloud of smoke into the air, watching the assassin with a steady gaze. Then he waved to his men.


"Leave us."


Metal and flesh intertwined as Sabrehawk folded her arms over her chest while the men filed past her and out the door. The last soldier out closed and locked the door behind him. Giovanna placed a hand on the desk and pushed himself to his feet. Oak that was old when the nation was young creaked under his bulk. He walked to a window and stared out it.


On the HUD inside Sabrehawk's mask fifteen minutes ticked away. She didn't say a word.


"You wonder why I've brought you here." Giovanni said.


"There's only one reason people pay to speak to me."


A nod of his bull-like head. 


"Yes. I want someone dead."


"You're a Family caporegime. You have dozens of men sworn to kill at your command."


He turned, surprisingly graceful for his bulk.


"The man I want dead.." The big man paused, as if even he struggled to say the words. "..is a consigliere."


Now Sabrehawk set. Propped her armored boots onto the oak desk and crossed her ankles. "I've never killed one of those before. Go on."


He did.


And what he began would not end until forty eight men were dead.

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I have two characters who absolutely hate being late.



Grimoire of the Void gets distressed when he's late because he has a lot of lingering mentalities from his old life. In the past, lateness meant missing out on pay and possibly being disciplined or fired. Now he's trying to learn to let himself be late, although he has a hard time with it. It doesn't help that he almost never has to account for travel time because of his reality warping powers. If you invite him to a party, you should tell him to show up an hour late or else he will catch you while you're getting out of the shower.



Charlie the Dynamo hates being late for two reasons: his profession and his health.


Charlie's work as a hitman always demands timeliness. When he's out doing his dirty work, lateness can mean cascading problems. He might lose a target, have to do more planning, make his client angry, and delay other jobs. When he's working with his clients, he presents himself as a consummate professional and will do his best to avoid tarnishing that image. If he is late meeting a client or finishing a job without a very good reason, he will usually apologize profusely and offer a discount.


Charlie's other issue with lateness is that he pays a lot of attention to his sleep cycle. His powers compensate pretty well for his blindness except for one thing: they give him insomnia. Since he's not passively aware of day and night in the same way as sighted people, he can easily end up staying awake for multiple days in a row. If he goes too long without sleep, he'll become a miserable, incoherent, and erratic mess. He's had some very nasty experiences with this in the past, so he will reschedule things if that means avoiding delaying his sleep.

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Most of my characters are heist themed villains who run mayhem missions and rob banks.  These characters usually keep their cool and pick up the pace in order to stick to the plan.


The Accomplice is the criminal mastermind of my villain group the Getaways.  He is very meticulous to staying on time/on task.  But he also has time manipulation as his secondary, so even when he is behind schedule or late he isn’t too far behind schedule or too late.


For the rest of the Getaways being behind schedule just means a hiccup in the plans and these characters need to make the necessary deviations from the original plan to adapt. Let’s move to plan B!

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  • 5 months later

Malik - Part 5 - Late, Late, Late!


Old Doctor North taps his datapad nervously, his pale white frail hands delivering small bouts of arthritic pain which he lets himself feel with each tap.


"Late! Way overdue! I should have never given Malik a day pass," this thought keeps echoing through his Super-Ego and his Id has no counter-argument. 


The door to his office has a gentle knock and then opens...


In strides a tall woman, mid-30's, disheveled blonde hair tied hastily into a loose bun. Her shoes are practical and comfortable but the business suit is expensive, well-tailored and stylish, she is holding an old school newspaper. 


"You need to see this Doc," and she throws down the latest Paragon Times and turns to page 5, in front of him. "It's buried because there's so much going on in Paragon right now, but this story here, I saw it and I had to come in here to show you right away..."



Paragon Times, Page 5

Multiple Mages Murdered in Gimry Ridge! 


The abduction of innocent civilians in Gimry Ridge by the Circle of Thorns has long been a problem plaguing the Steel Canyon. 


Apparently, one vigilante has had enough, murdering seven Circle of Thorn Mages last night after they had abducted a young, unidentified woman in Gimry Ridge. 


This was not an arrest. This was a brutal massacre. According to numerous sources and an anonymous law official, the mages were found butchered to death with ceremonial knives. The Circle of Thorns have fled the ridge and so far and have not yet returned, but many worry the retribution for this murderous act will be swift and violent from the Circle.


Citizens are instructed to avoid the Gimry Ridge area at night!


There is no description of the assailant and police have no further comment on the murders at this time. 



The Doctor gently lets go of the newspaper, letting it drift gently to the ground. He hangs his head, "Ceremonial knives...Circle of Thorns...Steel Canyon...it all adds up," he realizes in defeat.


"It's Malik! This could put my entire institution's funding at risk once its realized. He was on a day pass here! He was supposed to be going to an audition! Worse, I think Malik could be in HUGE trouble now. The Circle will not take this lying down. Sara, we need to get on top of this immediately. Thank you for bringing this to me right away," the wizened old Doc springs from his chair abruptly.


 "And get Red on the phone! He'll know where Malik is hiding!"





Edited by DoctorNorth
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Ember Soulfire says, "Schedules are things other people have," and tries her best not to let herself be bound by them.  Of course, being the leader of a supergroup - even a small one, and especially a supergroup like hers, founded as a place where those with troubled pasts like her own can find their way as heroes - means having to meet with government officials far more often than she would like, and they are particular about their schedules, so she tries very hard not to be late to those meetings.


Kitten America is only in a hurry when there are lives at stake or some other form of crisis.  Everything else can slide.  She is, after all, part cat.  As with many things about her, she wonders at times whether her pre-transformation self would have disapproved.


Skylancer is remarkably punctual, but has been known to violate city-zone flight speed limits making that happen.  Of course, she is sometimes late to her college classes because emergency calls won't wait.  She has no secret identity, so her professors will generally let this slide since they know she's a hero.


The Smokemeister is a teenager with ADHD, and is only ever on time because of his girlfriend's telepathic proddinng.


Blaze Atomica can fly faster than light and she still manages to be late.  All the speed in the universe won't help you when you leave after your appointment was supposed to start.


Bladewhisper always arrives exactly on time, and entirely without warning.  You think she's going to be late, and then suddenly she's there and you didn't see her coming.


Seladri insists that she isn't late, but that Earth's clocks have all become desynchronized from galactic time and that you are all early.


Star Charger says that Seladri is late, that Seladri is making things up, and that even if her claims were true, the only time that really matters for most purposes is that of the planet that one is presently on.


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  • 7 months later

Mara doesn't like to be late. Lateness in the line of duty often means someone gets killed. Once, she spotted a pack of Ghouls late. One chewed her arm off. Another time, a report of a stolen neutron bomb didn't come in on time. It led to a wild goose chase that lasted for 24 hours. Guess who had to stay awake the whole time and fight a bunch of cornered thugs while she was half asleep?


The bomb turned out to be a dud was the icing on the cake.

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