Jump to content

Writing Prompt #13: Close encounters (TW: Death/Violence/Threats of harm)

Crystal Dragon

Recommended Posts

This is the first trigger-warning writing prompt, so if you are anxious or triggered by death mentions, violence, or threat of harm

I hope that you exit the thread. I care about your mental health and do not wish to cause any episodic flashbacks, collapse or upset for you.

Your well being is priority #1. 

For those wishing to read more and write replies, read on under the spoiler line, and please, if you have content to add that might make others uncomfortable, spoiler it. Thank you.



Life is so damned precious, but we often are faced with events that have us questioning our purpose. Death is a very awakening experience to be brushed by, and everyone will experience it at some point in time, or have close brushes with it during their lifetime.

What are some close encounters you've had with death?

Again, I warn, this is triggery content, but is safe to post without delving into explicit detail.


Crys lost quite a few important people in her life in her origin world, and her experiences there made her a lot more aware of the lives of the people around her in Praetoria and later in Prime Earth. Her close brushes with death were at the hands of her clan brothers, and she had been mistreated and harmed by their allies for some time before an unexpected rescuer found her caged in the underground ruins near one of the ancient nexus portals hidden away on Pellea. She was in a pretty bad way when her dear silver dragon friend, Cory Skydragon, had found her and it took a while for her to recover from those experiences. She had children, a family with the clans, but the wars took that from her, and witnessing the deaths had shattered her mentally. She's slowly rebuilding herself from the fragments of what was left of her original self, and the remains of her hatch-sisters memories. (Long story with that...but it's part of the nature of this particular type of dragon.)


She still occasionally falls into quiet observing states of mind, because of the hypervigilance that had been learned as a way to cope and recognize harmful traits and behavior in those around her. Her clan had been completely wiped out during the dragon wars in her home world, and she'd learned from those experiences to value the lives of those around her, and to guard the humans she encounters if at all possible, and put those that wish to cause harm to each other to a quick end, rather than allow them to run wild. In a way, I suppose you could imagine her as a gardener of humanity, she doesn't control them, or force them into anything, that's not her role, she's still very much a destined Guardian from her upbringing and her experiences in Pellea before arriving in this world had left her very much warped and slowly relearning how to use her talents and abilities to her fullest advantage. 

(Yes double checked with forum COC to stay within the rules, if you feel your content might break them, please review them to make sure and edit as you feel needed. Stay within the PG-13 range content wise for guidelines.)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chase Arcanum and Partizan both served together under the man, the legend, Cole MacKinnon, and were two of the very few people to survive his command.


Although Cole's (heavily redacted) memoirs inspired an entire blockbuster movie franchise and he's widely recognized as a hero,  Chase hasn't bothered to see one of them... and not just because the writers took creative license with his character (renamed "Chance" and given an uncanny ability to stumble successfully through messy situations for comic relief- something Max (Partizan) loves to tease him about).  

Chase blames Cole for... a lot- for some legitimate reasons and some maybe less.   I have an incomplete story for Chase. He's isolated in some Circle of Thorns cell, keeping himself sane by playing "spades" with his phantasmal army when his deceased squadmates manifest in each phantasm.  They banter like they always did over the course of a few hands while lecturing to him about living and letting go and that sometimes- just sometimes, maybe, asking "what would Cole do" and doing the opposite is not the best show of leadership.   They then help in his escape using classic Cole battle tactics   To this day, he doesn't know if those were real manifestations or some sort of dissociative break.


Cole, for his part, has always been struggling by the realization that killing (and ordering others to their death) came so easy to him.    An old quote from an old military book haunts him-  is this dark realization reflecting something terribly wrong in himself, or in all humanity.   Which would be worse?   I have (another) incomplete story set in the Chum Bucket- a conversation between him and Russian Blue, or as he puts it, "An old warhorse trying to find empathy and one of the world's most powerful telepaths trying to hide from it."   

I tried to dust off both decade-old stories and finish them for posting here but... hey! I guess I shoulda had trigger warnings on them because it ends up I'm not as ready as I thought to revisit them.   

Another time.

Ima now gonna go write something weird and funny and embarrassing- bordering on torturous - to some catgirl that'll remain unnamed to protect the innoc  for dramatic impact later.

Edited by chase
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tend towards the light touch, but I can think of two major examples:


Alce and the other Warriors have a lot of issues with B34T-D0WN - they have NOT forgotten what the Freakshow like to do to them for fun, to pick on the 'nerds'. Things get tense when B34T-D0WN comes by the warehouse to visit Quickfrost and other friends made in jail. B34T-D0WN herself is a human capybara, besides her love of exploding stuff, so she just hopes that by being herself the Warriors will calm down around her. Also that she towers over them, which keeps them from trying anything for now.


Chrono-Bot's big violent moment was shortly after she arrived, a man claiming to be from DATA (which hasn't been confirmed) came up to her and told her she had to be disassembled so that her advanced tech from the year 3??? could contribute to advances for this time period. She kicked him in the soft parts as hard as she could. She hasn't been bothered since, which the more she learns about this time period, the more she suspects he was NOT a real government worker. They wouldn't have given up so easy.

  • Like 2

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tiltowait almost didn't survive his Coalescence.


Tiltowaits are powerful spells.  Even the least of them can collapse mine tunnels or blow out an entire floor of a building.  Most Tiltowaits have to be combined with protective magic to prevent them from being a suicide spell, and to limit their destruction to a useful area.  As a newly Sentient Spell, Tilt was a bad, bad combination - excitable and highly explosive.  Imagine a stick of dynamite that explodes of its own volition, can explode repeatedly, and has the personality of a hyperactive puppy and about the same level of self-control.  That was Tilt.


Tilt was unapproachable at first.  He'd rush up to anything that he spotted and explode.  Thankfully newly-Sentient Arcana are weak, so he wasn't quite the "Nuke it until it glows" level of devastation typically associated with Tiltowaits.  Still, he was dangerous and indiscriminate in his 'attacks' and this got him into trouble with literally everyone - Resistance, Loyalists, Carnival of Light, Carnival of War, Black Knights, Drudges... anyone in line of sight of him was liable to get explosively tackled.  A lot of these groups had plans to simply kill him from afar before he could blow up on them, and the Arcane Council of the Animus Arcana seriously debated just letting it happen, seeing him as too dangerous to train or educate.


It was a passing Primal hero that solved the problem.  Endowed with nigh invulnerability, she offered to go play with the overly-affectionate little bomb.  And thankfully, she succeeded in tiring him out.  Much like human children who play hard and then stay still a moment, Tilt fell asleep, allowing him to be taken back to the Midnight Mansion, where he'd be safe, and the rest of Night Ward would be safe from him.


Of course, the prospect of him waking up and blowing holes in the Manor would definitely be a problem.  To that end, Dispel Magic stepped in, using his abilities to suppress Tiltowait's ability to explode until he could be taught that exploding hurts the people he's trying to befriend.  This was the first step in Tilt learning right from wrong, and it's what helped him develop a conscience.  It's also the reason why Tiltowait and Dispel Magic are quite close.

He never really got the chance to thank the hero that helped him survive his 'childhood' or even learn her name.  One of the reasons why he wanted to go to Primal Earth was for the chance to find and meet her.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

((While debatable whether there is any real threat of harm present in this account, it certainly represents a moment of sheer terror for poor Emily Chang during a mission at sea. Heavily inspired by a thrilling TV documentary on rogue waves))


”But how can a freighter that big just disappear without a trace from one moment to the next? It makes no sense.”

 “Have you ever heard about rogue waves Ms. Chang?”

  Captain Swanson looked at me as if trying to search my soul. I didn’t like the strange glow in his eyes.

 “Rogue waves? I don’t understand.” 

I squirmed uncomfortably on the galley bench and pushed my plate further away. The raging storm outside and all this talk of waves was starting to make me feel seasick and lose the last traces of any semblance of appetite I had otherwise managed to muster. Swanson, however, seemed to be really enjoying himself as he continued.

 “For centuries, sailors and fishermen have been whispering in awe about colossal waves. Giants the size of cliff sides or five storey buildings haunting the seas. And for all that time, it was dismissed as just drunken seamen’s tales. Impossible. If anything at all, then maybe a freak occurrence every 10.000 years or so. And then came the New Year’s Eve wave.”

 Swanson paused, lapping up my obvious discomfort.

 “The New Year’s Eve wave?”

  Against my better judgement, I had nonetheless felt I had to ask, and find out what he was on about. Swanson’s eyes shone like those of a loving father reading goodnight fairytales to a long lost child.

 “New Year’s Eve 1995. The Draupner oil rig platform. Right here in the North Sea, less than 20 nautical miles from where we are now.”

 The shining glow in Swanson’s eyes had now evolved into a full blown fire. I tried to suppress a particularly nasty spell of nausea. Wherever this was going, I felt certain it wasn’t somewhere I was going to like.

“It was a storm much like this one in fact; waves 35 to 40 ft. high,” Swanson continued, “the platform had a downwards pointing sensor high in the air. Suddenly, a giant wave of 84 ft. was picked up by the sensor.”

 “84 ft. – but that’s almost …” I gasped and glanced fearfully into the blackness beyond the galley porthole.

 “Almost 30 meters in your preferred world of measurements Ms. Chang,” he confirmed triumphantly, “the kind of wave they said could only happen once every 10.000 years. And yet there it was, and generated by a storm not much worse than this.”

Outside, as if to provide further dramatic background to Swanson’s account, the already violent winds gathered further strength and launched into a chilling culminating scream worthy of the Nazgul in Lord of the Rings and having a similar effect on my nervous system. The smile on Swanson’s face, as he prepared to continue his tale, made me begin to seriously fear that the captain had gone mad.

“Imagine a ship being hit by a wave like that Ms. Chang. Be that a ship like our modest one here or a huge freighter like the München. No matter what size the ship, it is not built to withstand the devastating power of a breaking wave like that, and there is no way it can just roll with it. The result, Ms. Chang, is inevitable. Instant and complete destruction. Vanishing without a trace. For all you know, a monster like that may by lurking out there right now. Coming towards us in the darkness and ready to strike without any warning or mercy.”

Swanson was smiling in almost divine bliss. There could no longer be any doubt - the man was stark raving mad. Why in heavens name had I ever let myself be persuaded to sail out with him? The thought of a monstrous rogue wave out there, just waiting to crush the ship and send us to a watery grave, made me feel as if my soul had been ripped from my body and placed in the electric chair. I looked plaintively at Swanson, grasping for any hint of a comforting straw.

 “But surely, where we are now … it’s not as deep here as in other parts of the North Sea. Surely that must make the risk …”

Swanson raised his hand eagerly to cut me off. The crazed smile on his face left no doubt that this was just the question he had been hoping for.

“Worse, Ms. Chang. It makes it much, much worse. As you so correctly assert, the floor of the sea rises here. Rather than making things better, if a wave like that comes, this is exactly the place you don’t want to be. Say we really do have a nice 84 ft. rogue wave building and approaching out there from the darkness. Once all that water reaches more shallow depths, it will most likely rise even higher – the effect will be like a tsunami ravaging the coast.”

I gulped. My nausea was reaching a level where I might no longer be able to suppress it. Swanson only seemed to revel ever more in the sight of me, the worse I felt.

“There is one small measure of comfort though Ms. Chang.”

“There is?” I looked up, eager to grasp at whatever tiny carrot of hope he was dangling in front of me.

“Well Ms. Chang, if a wave like that really is coming towards us, I promise you, we most likely will never get to know what hit us.”

I jumped up from the bench and darted towards the far wall. The waste bucket was just within kneeling reach as the few bites of beef stew I had managed to consume finally decided to leave me the same way they had come in.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She'd been so careful.


The death of a world leaves one changed. Especially if it was unwarranted. Excessive. Uncalled for. And if it, and the beings on it, had created stirrings of wonder, even fondness. She'd taken time not just to learn where the two Peacebringers they'd been hiding were - but to learn about these beings, walking, singing crystal drops and leaves. Listen to their singing, to their cities proclaiming every change of day, welcoming every sun with the shifting of the winds. She'd learned their history, their myths, their music.


She'd made the excuse at the time that they were a possible resource. That the odd gravitational phenomena that made it so hard to get here - and a perfect place for the Peacebringers her unit/family was hunting to hide - was worth studying. And made it hard to get out, of course. Three stars, circling a point of equilibrium that had an impossible planet trapped in the center. She'd done the calculations. Another million or two years at most and it would destabilize, either flinging the planet out into space or grinding it into dust, tearing it apart as the suns went their own ways. She'd admit, later, that she'd fallen in love with the world and its people.


But she had to report in to her father/commander/master. And so she had. She hadn't expected him to sacrifice so many of her unit/brothers to twist the suns and reduce the planet to ash...


She hid her pain, her mourning, even as she was praised and promoted, then sent off on another mission. A sort she normally liked, bit of a free hunt. And with it, time to herself, and the first of several betrayals. A warning to a few Kheldians who were assisting a race clean up their world. She warned them, diverting her father/commander/master to a nearby molecular cloud to "rest" and "regain the strength of the unit."  A few chose to fight... and so her unit eradicated them, the fight helping hide her delay.


Betrayal leads to betrayal, though, and at some point one of the Kheldians reported back while she was away. A traitor in the ranks. She noticed some of her unit disappearing as her father/master/commmander destroyed them out of suspicion. She became more wary - but didn't notice <designation unintelligible> following her.


She returned, reporting to the void between the stars as she'd been commanded. If she'd had a stomach, she'd have been sick to it. This was a place used for... questioning. Interrogation. Punishment. And her father/master/commander could draw it out. Whatever sickness he had was spreading to the rest of her unit.


When she saw the formation, she knew who the accused was, this time.


She'd been so careful...


She feigned ignorance, doing what she could to let them think she was unaware. Harmless. Let them forget she'd seen his techniques. Learned from, studied them, not just watched as some poor being was torn apart. She didn't beg or struggle... she *fought.* This time, she was the cause of the dissipation of the newer members of the unit. She countered every twist of space, avoided the gravitational pits, and when he finally became angry enough to just release a torrent of energy meant to tear her apart, she twisted space and time to split it, hitting even more of her unit/brothers. And behind the shadow formed, she *ran.*


She'd been hunting on her own. Hunting Peacebringers, but not for execution or subjugation. Hunting those with a hint of a whisper of a rumor, of a place of sanctuary - of others, she realized, like her, who had turned against the Nictus. The traitors - the Warshades. She'd gained trust, as she saved worlds instead of destroying them, helping the Kheldians escape, feeding them information, sure this would lead to her painful death. But that would be atonement.


Now that the moment had come, she'd realized just how much she wanted to live and fight back.


Her strongest brothers/squadmates chased her. One, she trapped in the beam of a quasar. He'd be fortunate to get out anywhere near her. She led the others on a chase, pausing breefly in a green gas giant, a stellar nursery, occasionally sending desperate word out for aid.


And while it might not be obvious, Kheldians can bruise. Kheldians can bleed. Near an outpost of a blue giant, she'd gotten a reply about sanctuary, fighting off her brothers with the aid of the Peacebringers until it was down to her and just two of her former unit. Her matrix was damaged, though. The last of the Kheldians had pointed her in a direction and realized she was emitting an unhealthy amount of her energy. But if she could make it...


One last jump...


She was so tired, but she had to keep running...


She called out toward the nondescript star, racing around the giant blue world spinning on its side. She saw the Peacebringers coming to guide her as she ducked through the next world's rings. She gathered a little strngth as she passed through the radiation of the world with the great red spot, looking behind her at the battle which ended her brothers pursuit. She took the coordinates she was given, aiming towards a nondescript world of white, green and blue, listening to the radio waves coming from it.


She touched down on the dark side, in the midst of some ... soemwhat primitive biologicals' buildings. She was told help would arrive. Which was good. If her calculations were correct, she'd need aid, or to merge to heal, in two, maybe three of this world's rotations. As good as oblivion might feel, she didn't want to die. Not yet.


What she took to be one of this world's inhabitants scrambled around some containers nearby. Bilaterally symmetrical, four limbs, upright, though she suspected this creature was being hunted as well. Maybe they could help each other... She called out in what she'd picked up as the local language. "Help me... please."


The creature started. "... Hell are you?" She looked over at a sound. "I don't know that I'm in a position to help. Those two goons aren't too happy with the FBI being called in on them and they're not too impressed with this .38." She'd snorted. "Maybe I stuck my nose in one place too many this time. But if this is it... it's worth it." She'd considered this .. purple cloud standing in front of her. "But if I can help, I can. Got a name?"


The creature winced as the former Nictus sent her designation. "Right. I was always lousy with math, and that's a bit more than just algebra. Why don't I just call you Allie for now..."

Edited by Greycat
  • Like 4
  • Thumbs Up 2

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Death has nipped at the heels of Mental Killness from the moment she plummeted to the depths of the Rogue Isles. In fact, the first thing she remembers is snapping out of a daze with a knife between her ribs. She recalls clutching at the face of her attacker, and hearing him howl as his mind shattered. Then waking up on a blood-stained table, her wound roughly stitched, and taking the first of many debts.


Since then she has been in thrall to many shadowy masters, all of which have treated her as a disposable asset. Powerful but uncontrolled, she makes for the perfect walking bomb - just wind her up, coerce her into invading the local Longbow offices, and you've got an instant mass casualty event. Whether or not she survives is secondary to those who control her.


One day her luck - if that's what you can call it - is going to run out, and when that happens, nobody is going to shed a tear for her. Until that day comes, she's going to bite and scratch and fight desperately to balance on that knife's edge between life and oblivion.

Edited by Itsyagirl
  • Like 3

LGBT Plus Ultra on Everlasting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Talk of suicide. Nothing graphic.


Rachel has the "she can die, but she'll be back" type of immortality, and... well, she doesn't have the scars to show it, because they go away when she resurrects. She's died so many times, so many ways she's not afraid of it anymore and almost seeks quests that have a low chance of survival. (She's not suicidal by any means – in fact, she won't commit suicide because she thinks she may not come back from it and she has a very Catholic belief on suicide and afterlives – but after hundreds of years, she'll welcome Death if it ever takes her, and as long as it doesn't, nothing's lost when she "dies.") She says her brushes with death are like a dreamless sleep – as far as she's aware, she dies and then wakes up (somewhere safe, with her armor, sword, and shield nearby) with a splitting headache and phantom pains wherever she hurt when she was dying.


Chris did attempt suicide, but was discovered in time and saved. She started attending a support group, which is where she met the Nictus whose alien half she would later join with. Nowadays she can't even remember what drove her to the brink, as if she'd have time between being a doctor and a superhero.



  • Sad 1

Playing on Excelsior. Champion forever.

50s: Placta • elec/elec blaster // Rye Lily IV • mind/psi dominator // PLACT-A • bots/ff mastermind // Danielle Connelly • elec/elec dominator // Acme Coin Rink • ice/cold controller // Yin Blazer • psi/wp scrapper // Chalky Webs • db/sr stalker // Ultra Lance • kin/en scrapper // Eye Shell Coda • elec/elec tanker // Mind Wanna Fly • psy/emp corruptor

Others: Virtual Lines • peacebringer • 43 // Favours Green • plant/nat controller • 39 // Clear Corn Ion • elec/storm controller • 34 // Hum a Crypt • claws/regen scrapper • 29 // By Her Ant • psy/ment blaster • 24 // Clean a Hall Arch • shield/sword tanker • 19 // Paler Vow • ninjas/ta mastermind • 10 // more...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pretty much all of mine have come pretty close to death at some point or another. Most of them a lot in the early days.


Raphael Firestar definitely felt like it was the end when Ra-Akhnaten took him over and has, as a result, nearly died or experienced mental/personality death from being suppressed so much for so long by said evil priest. His body is the one that has to deal with the wounds and the act of possession still left him rather shaken, even after having been free of it a while and done some good, met people, had fun, etc. Trauma takes time to heal and having to live with the possession and the sheer malevolent glee Ra-Akhnaten took in tormenting some of those he killed, the crimes his body was involved in committing... He's still trying to reconcile all of it and legitimately accept that it wasn't him, even though he does still get the odd glare from other "heroic" types.


Ra-Akhnaten never had it pretty either. Not just because of having his soul torn from his body at the moment of physical death at the hands of actually devout priests and warriors in service to the pharaoh. He came close a few times because of rituals going wrong and sending pain through him like an electric current down a river. And in some of the scraps he got into as a kid. The son of a priest versus a soldier's son was never going to be weighted that heavily in his favor as, for all his cleverness, he still nearly took a few too many punches to the face and gut.


Raphael Firebane was severely maimed as a child by a bunch of Resistance as he was watching his parents be killed for, albeit tacitly, supporting Cole's regime and contributing to improving life in Praetoria. He may have been seen to but the scarring hasn't faded. And after all this time, he can't even remember his parents' faces. Just the anger and hot, searing, raw hate pounding in his body. You can't completely get over something like that.


And Carmilla de Borgia? Well, she did technically die in that most consider vampires to be the living dead. And she can still remember the heated, heaving pleasure coursing through her at first, slowly replaced by cold, gnawing hunger and sadness. A little guilt over not being able to do what she had wanted to with her life. It's been a bit motivating but mostly sad. So... It's complicated. And a very close, though somewhat pleasurable, encounter with death.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/20/2021 at 10:06 AM, CrystalDragon said:

What are some close encounters you've had with death?

Shadeknight is almost impossibly immortal. He cannot stay dead, and he cannot die by age. One part is just who he is, and the other is a curse that just refuses to go away. So he tends to have a less than normal view on death. His first death was generations ago as a teenager - many moons before the modern civilizations started to rise.

His closest encounter in modern day would be before the retirement he took. He was put near death by an encounter with one of his nemesis (A necromancer by the name of Baron Abbadon) - who essentially used every trick in a necromancy arsenal against him. It wouldn't have been a true death, but it was close enough that it pushed Shadeknight close.

  • Like 2

i am entering my unhinged villain era.

i am the local forum cop.
fear my keystrokes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A close encounter with death was how Basil Green became the Grimoire of the Void.


Everything about Basil's old life before he got his powers was a spiraling disaster. He spent his teen years messing around and barely graduated high school, then the real world crashed down on him hard. He ended up lurching between various dead end jobs before he ended up at a shipping warehouse where flagrant violations of workplace safety were the norm and high productivity quotas rapidly sapped workers' sanity.


After working at the warehouse for about a year, Basil was reduced to a shell of his former self. His desperation to avoid getting fired made him a nervous wreck. His personal life had been whittled away so much that his only hobby was smoking. He would have tried to find something better, but he just had no energy.


What kicked Basil out of that life was a drunk coworker with a forklift. The intoxicated operator sped round a corner, accidentally pinned Basil to a rack, panicked, and hit the accelerator.


Basil would have been cut in half if the rack didn't hold a poorly secured crate labeled "CAUTION: MAGICAL HAZARD." A strange book fell from the crate and hit Basil on the head. Then he heard booming in his mind:







  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Create New...