This page, The KidVegeta Anthology/Crushing Blue, is property of KidVegeta.


Crushing Blue is a story I came up with rather late in the creation of The Heels of the Unknown. It was not part of the original 8 stories finalized on August 15, 2015. Indeed, I didn't come up with it until January 12, 2016, a day after I came up with Starfall, when I decided to replace a story about The Benefactor.

So the original #6 slot was taken up by a story about The Benefactor. We haven't seen him since he was imprisoned inside Verlate's mind prison in chapter 69 of Dragon Ball Z: The Forgotten. The original blurb for that story was: "6. The Benefactor - A comedy story about TB escaping from the ice world, dealing with space truckers and the like." I did exactly zero work on this story before I abandoned it. I didn't do any pre-plotting, didn't do any research... nothing. In truth, I think I knew subconsciously that I would never write this story. I basically hadn't decided what to do with The Benefactor at the time. I didn't know if I wanted him to survive Dragon Ball: Cold Vengeance or not. I've since figured out what to do with him, and I may yet write a story about his escape from Niflheim (if he does escape), but I don't know. Anyways, I just didn't feel comfortable writing about The Benefactor at the time. Especially since it had to be a comedy (all other serious-story slots were already taken up), that limited what I could do a lot. So basically, I never liked the original idea, and it was definitely going to be replaced by something at some point or another.

That something ended up being a story about Super Handel. I don't remember exactly what made me turn to him. It might've been me re-reading Ain't No Hero, or me thinking about various unresolved issues in my universe. Certainly, with the way Ain't No Hero ended, Super Handel's fate is left unclear. That was a deliberate choice on my part. Also, Super Handel is just one of my favorite characters, so exploring him a bit more in a story was something that interested me. As well, since this story is a comedy story, that made it easier to write, since Super Handel is a comedic character in general. He provides most of the comedic highlights in Ain't No Hero, I think.

So in terms of the actual story, the concept and the end product are vastly different. This is my original blurb for the story: "6. Super Handel - A story about Super Handel, his drug addictions, hookers, murder, poker, and of course his pet cat. Set in a cyberpunk world - must have lots of focus on the city, the rain, the technology and the disparity between machine and man." I ultimately ended up using very little of that in Crushing Blue. Originally, it was going to be a total cyberpunk story, with Super Handel doing all this crazy stuff in a lighted city at night as it rains, chasing ghosts and drug dealers through skyscapers and whatnot. That idea is still cool, and I may do something similar to that in a future story, as I never got to "scratch that itch" here, but I don't know. Anyways, I abandoned almost all of those ideas for the final product.

The main reason for this is Gears of War 3, one of my favorite video games. I had been playing it a lot (I always play it a lot, but I was playing it much more than usual) around the time I decided to write Crushing Blue. I had also been watching various online videos about the game, and those influenced the direction of the story as well.

Much of the story was improv'd. I basically got drunk, sat down, and wrote what came to mind. I had a few amorphous ideas in my head, such as the mongrel Makyan descendants, and the end with Tao, but most of this was fleshed out in the actual writing. The ending was written deliberately ambiguous again, so that it's not clear if Super Handel dies in this story either. That is a nod to Ain't No Hero, and it also means that this story could either take place before or after Ain't No Hero. I probably will not come up with a "true" answer as to when exactly this story takes place, ever.

Crushing Blue is one of the most consequential one-shots in The Heels of the Unknown. You may think it's just another drunken story, relying on raunchy and dark comedy to get through a plot. But it's really not. There was extensive lore developed in this story, mostly influenced from my lore-focus on earlier stories in this one-shot collection. By this point in The Heels of the Unknown, I had realized that this one-shot collection was tying more things together, lore-wise, than any previous collection of mine. This is seen in many of the stories, and it's perhaps at its apex here (or perhaps the apex comes with The Great Sushi-Eating Contest, but we'll get to that later).

The plotline with the Makyans is tied to Dragon Ball Legacies, specifically Were It So Easy, as well as to Cool Cat. The Makyan stuff in general is a subtle, indirect plotline wholly introduced by The Heels of the Unknown that I developed through several stories, a unique aspect of this one-shot collection. And the stuff with Tao ties this story to canon (he's the only canon character in Crushing Blue, preserving a long-running streak of me having at least 1 canon character in every story of mine since Were It So Easy).

As well, the person Super Handel meets before Tao (the guy who breaks his wrist in the bar) is a major character set to appear in The Last Saiyan, and there's a lot of foreshadowing to his purpose and role in that story here. It was particularly fun to start referencing stuff with The Last Saiyan here, as I'd pretty much neglected that story for years, and very few of my other stories tie into it whatsoever. So that tie-in in particular was important for me, as it helped me not forget or neglect TLS any further. It's a significant moment that one of the biggest references in Crushing Blue is to TLS, which hasn't been referenced before elsewhere in any of my other stories.

I wrote down a few ideas for this story in the early hours of May 31, 2016. It was mostly just stuff involving the first two scenes and the plot direction I wanted to take. Similarly, I added in some more notes on the night of May 31 and the early morning of June 1. My final pre-writing notes were added in on June 2. Most of this stuff were either quotes I wanted to reference, or general phrases I wanted to use in the story.

The actual writing began on June 7, 2016. I got drunk before writing. I began writing at 12:22 am and continued writing until 2:39 am. I briefly continued on at 3:02 am, but then took an extended video games break before continuing on again at 5:18 am. I edited and wrote until 6:08 am before going to bed. In that time, I wrote and edited most of the first section of Crushing Blue.

Continuing at 9:01 pm on June 7, I finalized edits on the first section and then moved onto to new sections. Once again, I was wasted while writing this story. That made the writing go slowly and made editing Crushing Blue very difficult. I wrote until 11:20 pm, and by that time, I had finished the first draft of the entire story. I took lots of breaks during those three hours or so, but I still put a lot of effort in. I edited the second and third sections from 2:43 am on June 8 to 4:02 am. Then, I posted the story on this site. I'd say that, looking back on it now, editing those last two sections took a surprisingly long time, and that's probably because I was drunk and had to be extra careful.

The main theme of this story is the idea of 敬, or respect. This tea ceremony aesthetic principle is crucial not only to Crushing Blue, but to the other Autumn story, Starfall. These two stories have many parallels, especially in the personalities of their protagonists. Super Handel is not meant to be seen as a good guy. He's not. That's not to say that I don't love him, though. He's great. But he has a lot of problems with respect. His lack of respect ultimately is what leads to his fateful encounter with Tao, amongst others. This idea that Super Handel is living life on the edge is ever-present in the story. He disrespects everyone until someone can humble him. That's the game he's playing, but I think he's too arrogant to see that.

It was cool to write a story about a character so important to one of my longest stories out there, Ain't No Hero. It's interesting to note that all of my significant stories have an epilogue of sorts on The Heels of the Unknown - TF, IR, and Spindlerun. And yet, Ain't No Hero is grouped in with those. I didn't consider ANH to be on the level of those other stories at the onset of this one-shot collection, but perhaps I should rethink that, especially since I naturally did all these things. I didn't sit down and wonder how to make an epilogue for all of my most famous stories. It's just how it happened.

So the theme song for this story was originally Get Home by Bastille. That song worked quite well in my original concept of this story, as a cyberpunk one. But when I changed the story, the theme song had to be changed too, so I turned to a more comedic song, Deutschland by Die Prinzen. This song is great for its cheeky boasts, its blaring, pop-sounding instrumental, and the fact that it's sung in German. Super Handel of course is of German descent, and he frequently cusses in German in Ain't No Hero and in this story too. So the song was perfect for this story.

So anyways, that's all I can think to say up here, so onto the endnotes!


Story[edit | edit source]

Crushing Blue
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“Oy, oy, choir boy!”

Super Handel stood on the water’s edge, the waves lapping at his tattooed ankles (his tattoos were brilliant renditions of Clive Warren and Karl Dilkington riding dragons). The sky was the color of blood oranges; as the sun began to set behind the horizon, the light shone against the stone walls, giving everything a peach-bronze tint. The sand beneath Super Handel’s feet clung to his boots like snow. There was a cliff-face just ahead of him, with crumbling stone walls and entryways growing out of the rocks like tumors. Once a port had been here, but not anymore; decades had passed, at least, since the last semblance of civilization had graced these shores.

Now, a ruin greeted the leader of the Red Dragons. A rusted cargo ship had beached itself in the shallows, the storage units it had been transporting split onto the sand where they had half-sunk below the golden dunes like ancient statues. Palm trees and moss grew along the rocks and sand, dotting the landscape with a few sparse signs of life.

Super Handel shook the water out of his hair and spit up a bit of seaweed. He detested the taste. He had never liked seafood; he’d always found it too salty, too slimy. “Fuckin’ schwein. Fuck me.”

He could see eyes watching him, like mini lighthouses buried in the cliff-face. “Fair play,” he said, walking towards the rocks when a loud crack echoed through the beach, and a bullet whizzed past his ear. “Faggots. Motherfuckin’ cunts!” Super Handel grit his teeth and took cover behind a storage container. “I’ll bleed every one of you bitch-ass fuckers!”

The first bastard poked his head out of cover too early. He was eager, and he died. Super Handel had had a red energy blast waiting between his palms, and as soon as he saw the lil bitch poke his head out, bam! There went the fucker’s head. The sound reminded the Red Dragon of an exploding melon. Super Handel’s belly rumbled. He wanted some cantaloupe. Taking his chance, he jumped over the container and sprinted towards the man he’d downed. This one had not been with the main host up on the cliff, but had crawled down to the beach and tried to take cover behind some rocks. Super Handel wondered if there were others trying the same thing.

“Fuckin’ piranha dome,” Super Handel lamented, when he came upon the corpse. Picking up the beast’s rifle, he looked over the thing he had killed. “The fuck is this? Fuckin’ animals.”

Indeed, what greeted Super Handel appeared not to be a human, but a beast of such fine quality that it had grey-blue skin, a lanky body, and armor like a meth-addicted Saiyan. Its face had been like a mixture between a monkey, a bird of prey, and a cannibal fish, as far as he could remember. This thing was not human, but it looked vaguely humanoid (sans its missing head), that Super Handel thought this could not be an alien. He never believed in aliens anyways. All those ‘Ayy lmao’ youtube vids he’d seen hadn’t convinced him. He was highly skeptical of weather balloons (he preferred 99 Luftballons). They just made him want to smoke more weed than he used to.

Other eyes permeated the rocks, like a Sigur Rós music video. Super Handel picked up the rifle and aimed down the sights. The creatures wore ornate head-dresses, like they were priests, or something similar. Super Handel thought their misshapen heads went well with their scale armor and tattered capes and all the disgusting little chunks of dirty rags and pieces of cloth covering their bodies. When he pulled the trigger and heard the sweet pop of a foe’s head, he nearly began to drip. “That’s right shovelheads,” he muttered, “I’ll be your fuckin’ altar boy. Time for the money shot.”

One time Super Handel explored for the starfish of a woman he paid money to mate with. It was a long exploration, and he looked all over her body for this mythical five-pointed starfish, but he never found it. Peeking around a rock, Super Handel took another shot, missing the nearest pair of eyes by a cunty mile.

“Fuckin’ holes,” Super Handel swore. “Die Zicke!” He reloaded the rifle, brushing the sand from his fingertips. “Pop out your fuckin’ pumpkin heads again, and I’ll pop those fuckers like my sister’s cherry.”

The beasts sneered and growled in throaty, high-pitched tones. They sounded like kindergartners high on Oxycodone. Just thinking about that made Super Handel sad for the old days. He desperately wanted to fingerbang an older woman.

Around the land, he saw half-sunk statues of cloaked figures, humanoid and tall as the Kritios Boy. It gave him a chill to the bone seeing those weird-ass statues. It looked like the the ancient Greeks had taken some meth before carving out these ones. Super Handel really wanted some meth, but he wanted several lines of coke even more. The cloaked figures were covered completely in black-faded robes, except for their raised claws which looked vaguely reptilian and their long lizard tails curled around their robed legs, sharp-tipped and spiked. He scurried over to a couple of them and took cover anew, looking for a better opening against the monsters.

There they came for him, waddling like overborne toddlers, weapons in their hands, their lanky forms hunched over like collapsed trees. Each one held a weapon, and each one was sprinting at Super Handel. He counted four of them. The others were holding back, waiting. The Red Dragon’s adrenaline started pumping, and he felt the pulse of his heartbeat in his ears. His fingers slicked over with sweat, and he had to hold his breath to steady his rifle. He took the first one in the throat, the second in the forehead, and missed the third altogether. The fourth squealed when he shot at it, disappearing behind a pile of bones and sand and stone like a manic gopher. The third shovelhead used that distraction to come waddling up to him, sprinting all hunched-over like he was seeing colors with his waking eyes (Super Handel had once had such a hallucination; that trip had gone great until he had tried to cut Gangrene’s legs off with a chainsaw).

“Empty flesh!” the beast screamed when it reached Super Handel, shooting its pink spray-painted shotgun at him. He jumped aside easily, and aimed his rifle at the creature.

“The fuck’re you?”

The monster clicked its throat and sucked in air, producing a ghastly, congested sound. “Attaaack!” it shouted, and a host of bullets came raining down from the cliff-face, forcing Super Handel to run as fast and far away as he could. When he came to another storage container much further away that was upended in the sand, he shouted:

“The fuck’re you saying? The fuck dya want?!” Super Handel became angry; it was terrible because there was no cocaine, and not even a single bit of acid for him to trip on. He was left to face the realities of the world like an Amish pederast. The sea wind blew, dusting sand into Super Handel’s delicate eyes.

Super Handel didn’t know where he was or who he was facing; it didn’t even seem like he was on Earth anymore. Maybe he was a man, a lonely man, who was in the middle of something he didn’t really understand. This was all so very foreign to a cold-blooded drug addict such as himself. He peeked his head over the storage container and nearly lost it when the monsters unleashed their shots on him. Diving for cover again, he swore himself up a storm and thirsted for some molly.

“Fuck these fuckers. That’s it! That’s fuckin’ it! Fick dich ins Knie, shovel-cunts!”

He popped his head up again, like a prairie dog in heat. The last shovelhead was still chasing him down, like he had tunnel vision. Super Handel ripped a bullet through the beast’s shoulder, but the monster didn’t even drop his weapon. He continued on towards the man. Super Handel reloaded and hit the creature again, this time in the breastbone – and it didn’t even drop its weapon. It continued running at him, crimson blood flowing from it like a frayed cape.

“Fuckin’ Spongebird McGee.” Super Handel was more than a little annoyed at how many shots this bastard was taking. “Alright, you cunts. You asked for it.”

Super Handel threw down his rifle and stood, briefly making a target of himself. Bullets sailed around him, but he had the perception to dodge them. Internally, he called forth his energy, like he would when he was smuggling speedball anally. Those were the days. But, suffice to say, it took little more than three moments for Super Handel to conjure up enough energy to create his patented Red Comet attack. He materialized the red energy between his hands, grit his teeth, aimed, and released the beam on the cliff-face, where so many shovelheads lurked, like roaches.

“Wrraaraackakack! Skyfire!” the nearest priest shouted in dismay as Super Handel’s attack flew past him. The Red Dragon didn’t even wait to see it make impact. He had already turned his attention to that one.

The explosion rocked the world, sending ash and smoke into the sky and causing much of the cliff to collapse into the sea. Super Handel didn’t give a fuck about that. “Y’know, if you were a girl, you wouldn’t be so fuckin’ bad. I’d fuck you, with the lights off… if I had four grams of coke in me system.” He licked his lips wistfully and felt a burning in his nose. “Now, I haven’t introduced myself yet. I’m the fucking leader of the Red Dragons. The name’s Super Handel. I’m a fucking legend! Proud to make your acquaintance, cunt-mouth.”

With that, Super Handel lunged forward at the veritable Spongebird fuck, boot first. The monster squawked and tried to roll aside, but Super Handel was coming too fast. It shot at him wildly, taking Super Handel in the shoulder, ripping skin and muscles from his body. He knew he’d feel that in the morning. Screaming, the man did not stop. He’d kill that freak if it was the last thing he ever did.

When he made contact with the ghastly priest, a satisfying crunch followed as the monster’s skull fractured against the impact and its brains spilled out onto the sand. Super Handel landed and looked up for anyone who had survived. The cliff had become a burning black crater, chunks of molten rock trickling into the ocean below. None now stood against him. All of those shining eyes were gone, and he didn’t miss them.

Feeling successful, Super Handel brushed himself off, took a strand of kelp out of his hair, and swallowed hard, trying to get rid of that twitching inside his throat. He fingered his ruined shoulder, feeling warm sticky blood against his fingers, and grimaced. He knew he needed drugs – any and all kinds. Spitting, he looked around, hoping for any sign of a town or city in the distance, but there was nothing. To his back was the sea; ahead, a desert expanded out in a rocky, sandy, and semi-mossy expanse for as far as the eye could see. A bleak wind was howling across the desolation, upending sand into the air in mini tornadoes.

“Well this fucking sucks.”

He looked down at Spongebird McGee, whose brains and blood were painting the sand like a Beksiński. Everything looked so fantastically surreal. Above, the sun was beginning to set. The last breaths of day were upon the world. He really hated that he’d have to spend a night out here, but…

“Alright shovelhead fucker,” Super Handel said, grunting and flopping down onto the sand next to the corpse. “Let’s see what kinds of holes you have on that disgusting body of yours.”


There came old shovelhead, limpin’ up slowly through the dust and heat. Sweat rolled down Super Handel’s scarred face into his unshaven beard, and upon his back was the body of the last monster he’d killed. He wore its shovel-shaped hat and was singing hoarsely, trying to keep his spirits high. He came to a mountain pass, where at last he was given reprieve from the sun’s scorching gaze.

“I just wanna fuck ‘n suck, fuck ‘n suck, fuck ‘n suck!!” he bellowed, slightly out-of-tune. His voice reverberated down the rocky path. “Oh, I just wanna fuck ‘n suck all the whole night through! I love cocaine! I love cocaine! I love cocaine, I love cocaine, I looooove cocaine!!”

“Nice,” came a grouchy old voice that to Super Handel sounded like the bagpipes of a three hundred year old chain smoker. He whirled around, confused, and saw a woman sitting on a rock, not far away from him. She was smoking, much to his surprise. Dark vapor fluttered out of a hole in her throat, where she held the cigarette. She looked truly detestable, like the desert itself, old and dry and covered in wrinkles. Her hair had been braided into grey-white dreadlocks, and she was hunched over like one of those monsters he’d found on the beach. “I ain’t got any snow, but I do got this… if you’re interested.” Her voice was withered and bare, but Super Handel detected a faint Australian accent. The woman held up a bag of what looked like blue ice cubes.

“The fuck’s that?”

“Blue.”

“Crystal?”

“Yeah, that’s right.”

Super Handel licked his lips. “How much?”

“Hundred thousand.”

“Fuck.” He dropped the monster and stretched his neck. “Ya know, lady, I was just fuckin’ shot by that shit,” he complained, pointing to his shoulder, which he had haphazardly bandaged up with some supplies he’d found in one of the sunken storage containers. “Come on, I’m hurting. Gimme a little… just a pinch… just a squeeze… just a sniff…”

“Y-you killed one o’ them!” The woman’s voice shook. “Why’d you do that?!”

Super Handel looked down on the corpse of old piranha dome, may he rest in several pieces. “What’re you on about, woman? Those fuckers attacked me.”

“Were you intruding on their land?”

“Fuck if I know. I saw some stupid statues and a beached ship, but…”

“Yeah, that’s it,” the woman sighed, running a hand through her hair. “That’s their lair. No one goes there. Not anymore. You’re not supposed to go there!”

“The fuck are these things?”

“You ever heard of the Makyan War?” Super Handel shook his head impatiently. “It was a long time ago. Quite the bloody affair. Tens of thousands died, far as I remember. Eventually, the samurai fought them back, and a magical cat slew their leader… or so the story goes. Now there ain’t no more Makyans.”

“Haha, yeah fuckin’ right.”

The woman shrugged and dropped her cigarette butt, stamping it out in the sand. “Stories are stories, mate. Believe what you will.”

“The fuck are Makyans anyways? These cunts don’t look human.”

“They aren’t. The Makyans are space aliens.”

Super Handel’s face flushed. “Alright, I’ve heard enough. Fucking hell. Bloody space aliens,” he muttered to himself. “Really? You think I’m that fucking stupid, do you? You think I’m a proper div, eh?”

“It’s true,” the woman spoke. “There used to be a city here, but the Makyans destroyed it. You’ll see the ruins with your own eyes if you continue on. Good thing the Makyans moved east, otherwise most of ‘em would still be here, I’d bet. The samurai would’ve had a helluva time getting to this island. But anyways, those creatures you found are a cult of Makyan descendants that interbred with some people a long time ago. They worship a demon of the sky, as far as I can tell, but I don’t know anymore about it than that… no one does. There’s a shanty town ahead, but not many people left there… you can ask some of them if you want more answers. Now, are you gonna buy some Blue or not?”

“Why’s it so fucking expensive?”

“Best stuff around. Guy name Heidecker makes it. Chemist, that one. Best crystal you’ll ever have, I guarantee it.”

“You have any girls I could fuck instead? I’ll pay good money.”

“I’ll fuck you sir, if you’ll have me,” came a voice from behind another rock. A girl jumped out, barely-clothed and holding a rifle. There was a scarf around her neck, an onyx-goggled mask over her face, but her breasts were bare, and she was wearing the bottom half of a bikini, white with pink flowers, and a pair of fur boots. Her skin was tan and freckled, and he thought he could make out a bit of blonde hair jutting out of the sides of her mask. “I’m good at it, I swear. I’m well-trained. I’ve had a lot of practice.”

Super Handel cracked a smile and rubbed his sore shoulder. “Let’s get it on, baby. Fuuuck yeah! You got some nice fuckin’ tits on ya.”

“I’m not free,” she countered. “Three thousand zeni.”

“I’ve got that much. Don’t worry, baby,” the Red Dragon replied. He didn’t have that much, though. He didn’t have even a single zeni on him. “I’ll give you your money once we’re finished.”

She shrugged. “Suit yourself.”

He expected more of a fight, but Super Handel quickly realized that few people probably came around these parts. These women were desperate for money. He was desperate for pussy.

Out from behind another rock came an elderly black woman with curly white hair. She sat down next to the white-haired woman and began to knit something. Above, in the empty blue, buzzards circled and rode the sweltering winds.

“Here,” the younger girl declared sheepishly. “We’ll do it here, alright? In front of Mommy and Gram Gram.” She smiled; he noticed how her teeth were bright white and straight – something he would not have expected, given the condition of this girl’s mother. There was something different about this one, something a bit more proper and classy.

“You’re one fucked up girl,” Super Handel grinned. “Fine, I’ll give them a fucking show. I’m a legend. Your mother should be proud.” He turned to face the old woman with the dreadlocks. “Watch me plant my fucking seed in your daughter,” Super Handel said with cheeky defiance.

“Mmhm…” agreed Gram Gram. “Back in my day, we didn’t worry about no one watchin’ us! Heh, we’d breed on the front lawn while my Ma watched, I do say.”

Super Handel felt his desires rising, dulling the pain in his shoulder. He licked his lips, tasting salt.

He pulled the bikini down off the girl, who still stood masked, her scarf flapping in the warm wind. What he saw next made Super Handel’s Lil Handel get as small as it would if someone had rubbed an ice cube on it (which had happened before, but usually, Super Handel liked it when girls covered his ween in vanilla pudding).

“Huh?! You got a pair of fuckin’ bollocks! And your clit… it’s the size of a fucking hamster! Blimey. Blimey right in the mouth, mate. Fucking hell!”

“O-oh, sorry, I forgot to mention that I’m a–”

Super Handel’s eyes narrowed. “Don’t say it. Don’t fucking say it, you puddin’ pop bitch.”

The wind blew; a tumbleweed rolled by. In the distance, a vulture screamed. Super Handel tasted sand. In a blur, his pistol was in his hand, and he planted a bullet right in the girl’s forehead.

The shot echoed through the rocky pass; the man pulled up his pants and turned to the two women.

Gram Gram was stricken, having dropped her knitting equipment. “Lawdy, I got the vapors!” she complained, fanning herself madly before taking a handgun from her apron. Super Handel was so surprised that he didn’t point his own weapon at her. But she didn’t point hers at him, either. Instead, the old woman laughed carelessly and slapped her knee. The shot that followed fired with a loud echo, and Gram Gram dropped like a sack of gelatin, bleeding out into the cracked earth.

Ol’ Dreadlocks McGee sat there stoically. Eventually, she lit another cigarette and said, “So you paying for that Blue or what?”

Bang.

Super Handel picked up the bag of blue meth. He’d never seen blue meth before (when he thought of Bryan Cranston, he thought only of Malcolm in the Middle). Furiously, Super Handel punched the bag until the meth cubes inside had been reduced to fine powder. Then he opened the bag, took a little bit of the Blue out, and snorted it.

Instantly, he felt a heavy force rising in his chest, snaking through his veins in an unstoppable tide of euphoria. “Woo!” the man whooped, his voice echoing in the mountain pass. “That’s what I’m fucking talking about!” The pain in his shoulder was gone. He kicked the sand triumphantly, spraying it all over the rocks around him. He felt like he was on top of the world.

And for someone like Super Handel, that meant it was time for him to mount it.


The shanty town was an old scab. Its buildings were rusted and falling apart, the wood structures decaying irreparably. Almost none of them had doors, but instead thin, colorful curtains masking their insides. Nearly all of those veils were sun-worn and ripped. The roofs of many of the buildings were collapsing inward, and it looked like much of the place was abandoned. No one was walking outside, but Super Handel could hear music and conversations leaking out from a ramshackle two-story building just to his right. He knew that would be the town’s pub.

Inside, Super Handel was not disappointed. The smells of cigar smoke and drunk men permeated the building like a hanging cancer. The Red Dragon loved it.

“One Blue Hawaiian,” Super Handel told the bartender. “Make it fast. Make it sweet.”

He sat down at on a stool and tried to concentrate. Euphoria pumped through his veins like snakes on a train. Around him, everyone was talking and playing pool and throwing darts and watching television, but he didn’t care about them. He was Super Handel. He was a great guy, a beautiful guy, the best guy ever. He was going to make the world great again. He was the leader of the Red Dragons, and he’d fuck shit up. He promised he would. He wanted to fuck everything up and have everyone in the world nurse at his cock like it was their mother’s breast.

Super Handel was served his drink, and he began to play with the little umbrella that was sticking out of it like it was covered in catnip. Next to him, a tall man sat. He was bronze-skinned, bald, muscled. The man ordered water, and sat still as a statue. He wore no shirt, and half of his face was covered in strange hieroglyphic-like tattooes. That instantly made Super Handel feel better about himself, because he had much better tattoos on his ankles. He screamed out in jubilation and felt the pleasure of a thousand prostate orgasms cascade through his body.

The man gave Super Handel a look that Super Handel found most disagreeable. It was like he was a piece of meat, or worse, a plebeian. Super Handel stood, and shouted. “You wanna fight, cunt?!”

The man sipped his water and didn’t look at Super Handel.

“Hey?!” the Red Dragon shouted. “Look at me, motherfucker.” When the man didn’t, Super Handel lost it. He was so jacked up he wanted to jack off. “Come on you beautiful alien, touch me with your fucking light!”

The first punch he threw, Super Handel didn’t remember. He only realized what he had done when the man caught his fist and bent it back, snapping his wrist. Super Handel laughed uncontrollably, took his Blue Hawaiian, broke the cup against the bar counter, and shoved a jagged piece of glass into the man’s face. The man stood up then, catching Super Handel’s other hand and squeezing it so hard the Red Dragon was forced to drop his weapon.

Super Handel staggered back, confused. He’d never met anyone this strong before. “Who are you, cunt?! Why are you so strong?!”

The man sipped his water, staring at Super Handel. Super Handel felt like he was being mentally undressed, which was no good because he didn’t like getting naked in front of people. Around him, the sounds of men conversing and televisions blaring gave him no solace. No one else was watching what was unfolding here, not even the bartender (usually the bartenders didn’t like it when people started fighting, in Super Handel’s many relevant experiences). Super Handel felt an immense sense of loneliness and vulnerability.

“I am waiting for someone,” the man spoke at last, his voice as thick as molasses-covered cashmere sweaters. “You are not that someone.”

“Oh yeah, how dya know that, fucker?!”

The man’s mouth contorted slightly and his voice grew fervent, “The one I’m waiting for will have the power to cleanse the world of all its filth… like you. He or she will be stronger than me, stronger than anyone who has come before. It is written; it is known; so it will come to pass. I wait for our savior to appear, to help them on their difficult but vital journey.”

“You narcissistic seahorse!” Super Handel roared. “I’ll kill you! I’ll gut you like a fucking pig!”

“You will not. Until the one who was promised appears, I cannot not leave this world.”

“I’m tired of your stupid blabbering mouth! Why the fuck is everyone I meet so stupid?! I’ll cum on your back!”

Super Handel rushed at the man. “You’re the king of the roaches, and it’s time you meet my bug spray, cunt!” The Red Dragon began charging up his Red Comet attack in between his fingers when the tattooed man grabbed him by the shoulders, picked him up like he was a child, and threw him out of the bar.

Super Handel went rolling through the dirt for a while, and he quite enjoyed the ride. It was excellent, and he would have to remember to find a hill to roll himself down later. This was a solid ride, one he’d pay half a zeni for. He took out his little baggie of crushed Blue and snorted another line. Standing up and dusting himself off, the man looked around at the ruined town.

Chickens and party balloons patrolled the streets. In the sky, he thought he saw a UFO, but maybe it was just a shadow. “Come on you alien cucks! Come down here and try to probe me! I’ll send you back to Mars, you fuckers! Earth’s no place for your kind, space trash!” he screamed, shaking his fist at the sky.

“There have not been any aliens here for many years,” a man said sternly.

Super Handel wheeled around and noticed a man sitting up against a nearby building, sipping on a bowl of noodles with chopsticks in his hands. His face was narrow, his nose long, his eyes beady. His straight black hair was pulled back in a ponytail, as if he were a proper lady, and to top it all off, he was wearing a pink chang pao.

“Haha, your shirt is pink, you sorry faggot.”

“Excuse me?” The man looked up, his eyes flashing with menace.

“You heard me, Ponytail McGee. If I wanted to fuck someone like you, I’d go to Thailand,” Super Handel boasted. “Fucking pink-shirt-wearing faggot. Ich bin ein verdammter Legende!”

The man was unimpressed. He slurped down the last of his broth noisily before throwing his cup aside. Cracking his neck, he stepped up to Super Handel. “I’m warning you… walk away. You cannot win this fight.”

Super Handel rubbed his shoulder and realized he was still wearing the monster’s elaborate hat. He felt like the pope (now he just needed to find loads of kids to fuck). “Do you know where I got this hat, you pathetic little bitch?”

“No.”

“Good, because I don’t either.”

“You’re making a mistake.

“No, you are!” Super Handel’s face contorted into a sinister sneer. He bared his teeth like he was a huge wolf. “Ain’t nobody gonna know who you are once I’m through with you. I’m Super Handel, the leader of the fucking Red Dragons! I’m a legend, you know?! Ain’t nobody ever fucked with me and lived to tell about it.”

Trash blew listlessly through the empty streets. A warm breeze caressed Super Handel’s face; he could feel sand between his teeth, could tell the sky was fading to rust and mud as night was making its inevitable return. Super Handel could hear his heartbeat growing faster and more erratic, his heart bouncing against its stifling cage, and all he wanted to do was take another line of Blue. The man knew that old dreadlock-wearing bitch was right: this was the best damn ice he’d ever had. He wanted more… he wanted so much more. Super Handel didn’t care if it killed him. He felt more alive, more in tune with the universe, than he ever had.

At last, the other man cracked a smile. “Very well, if that’s what you think.” He shook out his hands and formed them into fists. “My name is Tao. Pleased to kill you.”


Endnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. "Crushing Blue" is a reference to Do You Wanna Get High by Weezer. The "blue" of that song and the "blue" of this story are different drugs, however. This name was rather easy for me to come up with, at least in comparison to some of the other THOTU stories.
  2. I start the story with Super Handel on the water's edge for several reasons. Most apparent is that if he did survive Ain't No Hero, he'd have washed up somewhere after being thrust off the cruise ship by the combined Kamehamehas. Another, perhaps more important reason for starting off here, is that the water's edge is a crossroads of sorts. Super Handel has a choice to go one way or the other. He chooses to run onto land, to stop here, and that of course is why this story ends up happening.
  3. Super Handel's first phrase of dialogue isn't a reference to anything, I believe, but I think he's just shouting it out at no one and no one in particular. He's mad about something - perhaps Grandpa Gohan, or perhaps someone else. That line is not directed at the half-Makyans who show up later.
  4. "his tattoos were brilliant renditions of Clive Warren and Karl Dilkington riding dragons" - Karl Dilkington is a reference to this legendary video.
  5. Notice that sand is an important motif in this story, as it is in the other Autumn story, Starfall.
  6. "There was a cliff-face just ahead of him, with crumbling stone walls and entryways growing out of the rocks like tumors. Once a port had been here, but not anymore; decades had passed, at least, since the last semblance of civilization had graced these shores." - this scene of societal decay has aesthetic worth on its own, but I should point out that it's basically meant to be the map Sandbar from Gears of War 3. The general decay, especially seen with the beached cargo ship, is indicative of several themes of this story as well as the arc of Super Handel's life.
  7. "Super Handel shook the water out of his hair and spit up a bit of seaweed. He detested the taste. He had never liked seafood; he’d always found it too salty, too slimy." - this is true about me as well.
  8. "He could see eyes watching him, like mini lighthouses buried in the cliff-face." - this is a reference to the music video for Varúð by Sigur Rós.
  9. The beasts who appear in the first scene are meant to be Kantus-inspired beings. This is again a Gears of War reference. However, it goes beyond that. The reason they look like that is because they are the part-Makyan offspring of the original Makyans who came to Earth so long ago. Their blood is somewhat diluted - they aren't pure Makyans, obviously - but they aren't very human in appearance or mannerisms. They are fiercely protective of their lands and seem to lack communicative abilities with Super Handel.
  10. "The sound reminded the Red Dragon of an exploding melon." - this too is a reference to Gears of War 3, for there are melons on some maps, and when they are shot, the sound is similar to that of an exploding head in the game.
  11. "“Fuckin’ piranha dome,” Super Handel lamented, when he came upon the corpse. Picking up the beast’s rifle, he looked over the thing he had killed. “The fuck is this? Fuckin’ animals.”" - this is a reference to what LANDAN2006, a Gears of War 3 player, often calls Savage Kantuses during his recordings.
  12. "Indeed, what greeted Super Handel appeared not to be a human, but a beast of such fine quality that it had grey-blue skin, a lanky body, and armor like a meth-addicted Saiyan. Its face had been like a mixture between a monkey, a bird of prey, and a cannibal fish, as far as he could remember. This thing was not human, but it looked vaguely humanoid (sans its missing head), that Super Handel thought this could not be an alien. He never believed in aliens anyways. All those ‘Ayy lmao’ youtube vids he’d seen hadn’t convinced him. He was highly skeptical of weather balloons (he preferred 99 Luftballons). They just made him want to smoke more weed than he used to." - a lot going on in this paragraph. The opening part gives a clear description of what these beasts look like. They don't totally resemble the GOW3 Kantuses, for I gave them more overt Makyan qualities. Super Handel not believing in aliens is an interesting character development bit that led me to make a reference to 99 Luftballons, a great German song that has a pretty famous, albeit poor, English version as well. Lots of quick references here, quick wit and jokes, so I think this is a pretty strong paragraph.
  13. These Makyans may indeed be priests. That is no throw-away line.
  14. "“That’s right shovelheads,” he muttered, “I’ll be your fuckin’ altar boy. Time for the money shot.”" - this is such a badass line that Super Handel says after thinking the Makyan descendants look like priests and shooting another one in the head. Really great stuff here, and the sexual humor is a lot more sophisticated than what appears in I'm a Candy Man, I think. "Shovelheads" is another phrase LANDAN2006 calls Kantuses in his videos, so that was another reference to him.
  15. "One time Super Handel explored for the starfish of a woman he paid money to mate with. It was a long exploration, and he looked all over her body for this mythical five-pointed starfish, but he never found it." - lol.
  16. "“Fuckin’ holes,” Super Handel swore. “Die Zicke!” He reloaded the rifle, brushing the sand from his fingertips. “Pop out your fuckin’ pumpkin heads again, and I’ll pop those fuckers like my sister’s cherry.”" - I've put on Super Handel's page that his boast about taking his sister's cherry may be just that - but given how foul-mouthed he is, and how little he cares about societal standards, it is possible that he did take his sister's virginity at some point in the past.
  17. "The beasts sneered and growled in throaty, high-pitched tones. They sounded like kindergartners high on Oxycodone." - I'm rather proud of this joke. It's unique and captures Super Handel's perspective on life quite well.
  18. "Just thinking about that made Super Handel sad for the old days. He desperately wanted to fingerbang an older woman." - of course this line implies that Super Handel believes he once fingerbanged a woman (probably his teacher) in kindergarten.
  19. "Around the land, he saw half-sunk statues of cloaked figures, humanoid and tall as the Kritios Boy. It gave him a chill to the bone seeing those weird-ass statues. It looked like the the ancient Greeks had taken some meth before carving out these ones. Super Handel really wanted some meth, but he wanted several lines of coke even more. The cloaked figures were covered completely in black-faded robes, except for their raised claws which looked vaguely reptilian and their long lizard tails curled around their robed legs, sharp-tipped and spiked. He scurried over to a couple of them and took cover anew, looking for a better opening against the monsters." - these statues bring up several themes related to Oyzmandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Themes of time and sand and legacy and power all abound in that story and are thus referenced here. Perhaps more interestingly, these statues are of The Benefactor. Yes, that is a true fact. Look over the descriptions of the statues, and you'll see. So why are there statues of him on the planet. Well, I'd like to think that perhaps Were It So Easy was not his only trip to Earth in the past, and on one of those trips, he must've left quite an impression on the Makyans, and thus this mongrel band of them started a cult of worship of The Benefactor in the distant past. They still worship him, hoping for him to return one day. It is important to remember that these Makyans do not represent all Makyans (and there are very few Makyan still around on Earth by this point in the timeline, pure-blood or otherwise), but merely one small group who must have met The Benefactor, or witnessed him do something extraordinary, in the past.
  20. "There they came for him, waddling like overborne toddlers, weapons in their hands, their lanky forms hunched over like collapsed trees." - the "roadie run" from the Gears of War series has always looked ridiculous to me. I don't know if anyone can actually run like that in real life, but I'd assume not.
  21. "The third shovelhead used that distraction to come waddling up to him, sprinting all hunched-over like he was seeing colors with his waking eyes (Super Handel had once had such a hallucination; that trip had gone great until he had tried to cut Gangrene’s legs off with a chainsaw)." - I believe this sentence gives a bit of context as to the timeline of this story.
  22. It's interesting how Super Handel, despite all his bravado, is nervous, anxious, and perhaps even a little fearful as the four Makyan mongrels rush him. He's still just a man, despite putting on such a brave front. Really cool, subtle characterization there.
  23. "“Empty flesh!” the beast screamed when it reached Super Handel, shooting its pink spray-painted shotgun at him." - two things about this one: 1, "Empty flesh!" is a famous quote that Kantuses say in Gears of War 3 all the time, and it implies that they can speak some broken English; 2, the pink spray-painted shotgun is a reference to Gears of War 3 itself, and my favorite weapon skin in-game.
  24. "Super Handel became angry; it was terrible because there was no cocaine, and not even a single bit of acid for him to trip on. He was left to face the realities of the world like an Amish pederast. The sea wind blew, dusting sand into Super Handel’s delicate eyes." - I think this is a good example of how this story is better than the previous two comedy stories in this collection. The comedic aspects are blended in with characterization and thematic content. Crushing Blue is overall a much darker comedy than the two that preceded it in The Heels of the Unknown, and I think that's a good thing. There is a sense of progression in THOTU's comedic stories.
  25. "Maybe he was a man, a lonely man, who was in the middle of something he didn’t really understand." - this is a reference to Maybe I'm Amazed by Paul McCartney. I must've been listening to it on Pandora when I got to that part of the story. The reference is not throw-away, though. It's used to characterize Super Handel.
  26. If there's one thing Super Handel is not, it's a coward. He nearly dies when he pokes his head up from behind the storage container, and what emotion does he feel? Anger. Can't say that many others would be like that.
  27. "It continued running at him, crimson blood flowing from it like a frayed cape." - beautiful imagery. Well done KV! I don't even remember writing this!
  28. "“Fuckin’ Spongebird McGee.” Super Handel was more than a little annoyed at how many shots this bastard was taking." - this is a subtle joke about how the Kantus and Savage Kantus hitboxes are a bit more generous (perhaps) than the hitboxes of other characters. Hell, it's illegal to use those two characters in competitive GOW play, so a lot of people believe that. Me, I'm not so sure, but I thought it was funny either way.
  29. "Internally, he called forth his energy, like he would when he was smuggling speedball anally." - this is a disgusting shoutout to Speedball.
  30. "Wrraaraackakack! Skyfire!" - this is another quote that Kantuses will say sometimes in Gears of War 3. I think it was appropriate to use here.
  31. "The explosion rocked the world, sending ash and smoke into the sky and causing much of the cliff to collapse into the sea. Super Handel didn’t give a fuck about that." - it's both important to note that Super Handel doesn't care about this and also to note that that doesn't mean this imagery isn't important.
  32. "“Y’know, if you were a girl, you wouldn’t be so fuckin’ bad. I’d fuck you, with the lights off… if I had four grams of coke in me system.” He licked his lips wistfully and felt a burning in his nose. “Now, I haven’t introduced myself yet. I’m the fucking leader of the Red Dragons. The name’s Super Handel. I’m a fucking legend! Proud to make your acquaintance, cunt-mouth.”" - these lines are basically straight out of Ain't No Hero. Super Handel's 24/7 foul-mouthed rage and slave-like obedience to any and all drugs are his two most important character traits. And he's also very arrogant in the way he speaks here, which is another big part of his character.
  33. "When he made contact with the ghastly priest, a satisfying crunch followed as the monster’s skull fractured against the impact and its brains spilled out onto the sand. Super Handel landed and looked up for anyone who had survived. The cliff had become a burning black crater, chunks of molten rock trickling into the ocean below. None now stood against him. All of those shining eyes were gone, and he didn’t miss them." - beautiful imagery with the molten rocks leaking into the ocean below. But most important in this paragraph, I think, is that the last Makyan mongrel dies by having his brains spilled onto the sand.
  34. Super Handel's shoulder injury is horrific. Like... he may die of that wound if he doesn't get it treated soon.
  35. The kelp in Super Handel' hair at the end of section 1 is not there by accident.
  36. "Spitting, he looked around, hoping for any sign of a town or city in the distance, but there was nothing. To his back was the sea; ahead, a desert expanded out in a rocky, sandy, and semi-mossy expanse for as far as the eye could see. A bleak wind was howling across the desolation, upending sand into the air in mini tornadoes." - again, I think it's important to focus on the descriptions of the scenery in this story because as I'm rereading them, I'm finding them to be quite beautiful. The confident, elegant style of prose of Starfall continues on in this story, even though I wrote it while drunk.
  37. "He looked down at Spongebird McGee, whose brains and blood were painting the sand like a Beksiński." - the late Beksiński is one of the finest painters this world has ever produced, in my opinion. Tried to show my love of his work here with that line.
  38. "Above, the sun was beginning to set. The last breaths of day were upon the world." - the fading light in this Autumn story is a theme paralleled in Starfall.
  39. "“Alright shovelhead fucker,” Super Handel said, grunting and flopping down onto the sand next to the corpse. “Let’s see what kinds of holes you have on that disgusting body of yours.”" - the implication here is that Super Handel's going to relieve his pain by fucking the dead Makyan in any and all of its holes.
  40. "There came old shovelhead, limpin’ up slowly through the dust and heat." - this line is a reference to "Come Together" by the Beatles.
  41. "Sweat rolled down Super Handel’s scarred face into his unshaven beard, and upon his back was the body of the last monster he’d killed." - this scene was meant to mimic how during Independence Day Will Smith's character, at one point, carries an alien on his shoulder as he treks through the desert after supposedly killing it (he doesn't actually kill it, but in this story, Super Handel's quarry is clearly already dead).
  42. The mountain pass area was conceived of because I wanted to make the setting a bit different from the area seen in the first section. It's quite a unique locale, I think.
  43. "“I just wanna fuck ‘n suck, fuck ‘n suck, fuck ‘n suck!!” he bellowed, slightly out-of-tune. His voice reverberated down the rocky path. “Oh, I just wanna fuck ‘n suck all the whole night through! I love cocaine! I love cocaine! I love cocaine, I love cocaine, I looooove cocaine!!” " - you'd think this is something that Super Handel would say, right? Well it's taken word-for-word from a scene that I consider to be Super Hans' (from Peep Show) finest moment. Super Hans of course is the character who influenced the creation of Super Handel, so I wanted to make a specific, notable reference to that dude and his good work in Peep Show. The scene that is being referenced is this one. The comedic brilliance of that scene should not be underestimated. It's so funny.
  44. The old woman sitting on the rock is mostly based on Bernie Mataki from Gears of War 3. The fact that she is smoking from a hole in her throat is quite telling about her character, and is thematically relevant to the largest, most important messages in this story. I don't want to give too much away, so that's all I'll say about that.
  45. The blue meth in this story is a reference to Breaking Bad, which is one of the greatest television shows in history (but that goes without saying).
  46. "Super Handel looked down on the corpse of old piranha dome, may he rest in several pieces." - I'm quite fond of that line.
  47. 100,000 zeni for a baggie of crystal meth seems high to me. Especially considering the woman is selling it in the middle of nowhere. How many customers can she really have? And how does she have such high-grade crystal meth? It just doesn't make sense. This absurdity of the whole situation was purposefully written into the story.
  48. The old woman serves a very important purpose aside from the comedic and drug stuff: she gives Super Handel (thus, the readers) lots of key information on what exactly those beasts were that Super Handel fought in the first scene. This was necessary for the narrative of the story to not be too confusing. Yeah, it's still confusing on the surface, and you have to put a little effort in to understand what's going on, but I'm not in the business any more of being too blunt. I respect the readers too much for that.
  49. "“You ever heard of the Makyan War?” Super Handel shook his head impatiently. “It was a long time ago. Quite the bloody affair. Tens of thousands died, far as I remember. Eventually, the samurai fought them back, and a magical cat slew their leader… or so the story goes. Now there ain’t no more Makyans.”" - really cool reference to Cool Cat here. Of course, both characters probably think that story is too ludicrous to be real, which is very cool too. There's some meta commentary here, and a neat use of fictiveness (stories within stories) as well.
  50. "Super Handel’s face flushed. “Alright, I’ve heard enough. Fucking hell. Bloody space aliens,” he muttered to himself. “Really? You think I’m that fucking stupid, do you? You think I’m a proper div, eh?”" - the "proper div" part is a reference to a chapter of the same name in The Last Saiyan.
  51. "They worship a demon of the sky, as far as I can tell" - aka, The Benefactor.
  52. Heidecker is a reference to Tim Heidecker, one of the co-creators of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. As to why I used him here, well Heidecker sort of sounds like Heisenberg, which is the name Walter White took in Breaking Bad before starting his blue meth empire.
  53. "“I’ll fuck you sir, if you’ll have me,” came a voice from behind another rock. A girl jumped out, barely-clothed and holding a rifle. There was a scarf around her neck, an onyx-goggled mask over her face, but her breasts were bare, and she was wearing the bottom half of a bikini, white with pink flowers, and a pair of fur boots. Her skin was tan and freckled, and he thought he could make out a bit of blonde hair jutting out of the sides of her mask. “I’m good at it, I swear. I’m well-trained. I’ve had a lot of practice.”" - all aesthetics here. I made her as beautiful as possible on purpose. This girl who suddenly appears is seemingly in contrast to everything around her - Super Handel, the old woman, the desert itself. She seemingly doesn't belong... but like any proper desert, she has her secrets too.
  54. The girl only agrees to paid after Super Handel is finished with her because she likely doesn't get many customers up here (she probably goes to the shanty town to do most of her business). She's too greedy and perhaps too horny to realize that Super Handel is lying.
  55. "Out from behind another rock came an elderly black woman with curly white hair. She sat down next to the white-haired woman and began to knit something. Above, in the empty blue, buzzards circled and rode the sweltering winds." - the fat, old black woman was an idea I got before I began writing this story. She's in Crushing Blue for several key comedic moments only. As to why she's with the other two women in the first place (she's clearly not related to them, while the younger girl could be the offspring of the old woman) is never made clear. Also, the buzzards circling in the air overhead as burning winds blow through the mountain pass is definite, albeit ambiguous, foreshadowing to how the second section will close out.
  56. "There was something different about this one, something a bit more proper and classy." - additional foreshadowing here that Super Handel perhaps mis-interprets.
  57. The fact that the girl wants to fuck Super Handel in front of her mother and "Gram Gram" is pretty sick.
  58. "“Mmhm…” agreed Gram Gram. “Back in my day, we didn’t worry about no one watchin’ us! Heh, we’d breed on the front lawn while my Ma watched, I do say.”" - lol.
  59. "Super Handel felt his desires rising, dulling the pain in his shoulder. He licked his lips, tasting salt." - two contrasting emotions here, I think. I'm not sure Super Handel even realizes that.
  60. "“Huh?! You got a pair of fuckin’ bollocks! And your clit… it’s the size of a fucking hamster! Blimey. Blimey right in the mouth, mate. Fucking hell!”" - I'm much less subtle here than I was in the Planet Earth Saga of TF. Yes, this girl is a trap, just like File. The way Super Handel describes this is quite funny. It's like he doesn't realize she's biologically a male - he's trying to delude himself, but her features are so extreme, so distinct, he's having trouble lying to himself. He is not attracted to her at all.
  61. "Super Handel’s eyes narrowed. “Don’t say it. Don’t fucking say it, you puddin’ pop bitch.”" - this is one of my favorite Super Handel insults ever. Also, he doesn't want her to say she's a boy because he doesn't want to admit that he got (briefly) aroused by a boy.
  62. "The wind blew; a tumbleweed rolled by. In the distance, a vulture screamed. Super Handel tasted sand. In a blur, his pistol was in his hand, and he planted a bullet right in the girl’s forehead." - this is quite indirect, I'll admit, but it ends the same as Shoekki's and File's encounters in the Planet Earth Saga of TF. There is more social commentary of such an action in this story, more anger in my writing. I definitely do not approve of what Super Handel did. The world is harsh; there is no place for beauty in this ugly story.
  63. "Gram Gram was stricken, having dropped her knitting equipment. “Lawdy, I got the vapors!” she complained, fanning herself madly before taking a handgun from her apron. Super Handel was so surprised that he didn’t point his own weapon at her. But she didn’t point hers at him, either. Instead, the old woman laughed carelessly and slapped her knee. The shot that followed fired with a loud echo, and Gram Gram dropped like a sack of gelatin, bleeding out into the cracked earth." - this paragraph is the whole reason why Gram Gram exists. I had come up with the idea of this before even coming up with the trap girl whom Super Handel kills. I think that part of the reason why Gram Gram killed herself is because the unnamed girl was killed, but much of it is just comedic randomness. I love writing about people seemingly killing themselves for no reason. There's depth behind this paragraph, too. Why did she do it? Is this just meant to be a comedic moment? Well, on the onset it was. But after I actually wrote it, I certainly recognized that the previous story up to that part had affected my writing of that paragraph. I don't think this suicide is as random as it seems. That said, I still think this is a funny scene, despite everything that happens before and after it.
  64. "Ol’ Dreadlocks McGee sat there stoically. Eventually, she lit another cigarette and said, “So you paying for that Blue or what?”/Bang." - what a badass moment. Wow. I'd forgotten about this part of the story. Anyways, the "Bang" part is a reference to the ending of the first act of The Last Saiyan. Really great stuff here thematically too. There's numbness in the woman's response (perhaps she's terrified that Super Handel's gonna kill her and is trying to play it cool), and the aesthetics of the harsh desert, the unforgiving heat and whipping sand, is represented well in this exchange.
  65. "He’d never seen blue meth before (when he thought of Bryan Cranston, he thought only of Malcolm in the Middle)" - how much more obvious can I get?
  66. "Furiously, Super Handel punched the bag until the meth cubes inside had been reduced to fine powder. Then he opened the bag, took a little bit of the Blue out, and snorted it." - I had to look up how meth is taken. I actually didn't know how people took meth before writing this story (it's a drug I'd never do, clearly), and after not finding any satisfying answers, I decided to have Super Handel do meth like Tuco does in season 1 of Breaking Bad when he snorts some off his knife. I knew that had to be a legit way to do it, so Super Handel basically mimics him at the end of the second section.
  67. "Instantly, he felt a heavy force rising in his chest, snaking through his veins in an unstoppable tide of euphoria. “Woo!” the man whooped, his voice echoing in the mountain pass. “That’s what I’m fucking talking about!” The pain in his shoulder was gone. He kicked the sand triumphantly, spraying it all over the rocks around him. He felt like he was on top of the world." - this was one of the hardest parts of this story for me to write. Since I've never done meth, I don't know how one feels once they take it. I had to do a lot of research to be as accurate as possible, and that was difficult to do while drunk. I find it hard to concentrate and retain information while drunk. Now that I am re-reading this paragraph, I'm struck by all the emotional crescendos Super Handel reaches at this point. The spraying sand is still around as he achieves euphoria - his pain dies, and everything bad goes away. It's easy to see why he likes drugs. Also, the fact that he knew how to crush up the blue (which is where this story gets its title from) shows that he's an experienced drug addict.
  68. Most stories in The Heels of the Unknown are two sections long, with one section being pretty short and the second one being longer. At the onset, I considered making this a stylistic rule while writing the collection, but never did. With the way the previous five stories had been written, none of them required more than two scenes. Most of them had the short scene to start off their story, while others had the longer scene first (Cool Cat, for example), though neither of Down the Well-worn Road's scenes were short. However, when I got to this story, I realized I needed three sections. While I could have technically combined the middle section with either the first or last one, I thought that would diminish the story. Making the story as good as possible was more important to me than stylistic conventions, so I made this one three sections - the first three-scene story in The Heels of the Unknown. As it so happened, Starfall ended up being the last conventional two-scene story in THOTU. Both Black Dawn and The Great Sushi-Eating Competition had four scenes apiece. So there's a bit of a stylistic turn by Crushing Blue, I think.
  69. "The shanty town was an old scab. Its buildings were rusted and falling apart, the wood structures decaying irreparably. Almost none of them had doors, but instead thin, colorful curtains masking their insides. Nearly all of those veils were sun-worn and ripped. The roofs of many of the buildings were collapsing inward, and it looked like much of the place was abandoned. No one was walking outside, but Super Handel could hear music and conversations leaking out from a ramshackle two-story building just to his right. He knew that would be the town’s pub." - just because this is a comedy story doesn't mean the prose isn't important. Again, I can see an improvement in my writing style in descriptions that matter both thematically, tonally, and plot-wise. I certainly think that the second half of THOTU is the stronger half. By this point in my creation of this collection's one-shots, I had gained more control over what I wanted to say, and I believe that my descriptive capabilities were better than they had ever been before.
  70. The Blue Hawaiian is a bit of a frilly drink. That Super Handel would order it is a joke in itself. I didn't know what drink I wanted him to order off the top of my head, so I had to look up lists of the girliest drinks out there. This was the most beautiful, interesting of the drinks I found on such a list.
  71. "Euphoria pumped through his veins like snakes on a train." - Snakes on a Train is a real parody movie, and I've seen it. Yes, it was awful, but great.
  72. "Around him, everyone was talking and playing pool and throwing darts and watching television, but he didn’t care about them. He was Super Handel. He was a great guy, a beautiful guy, the best guy ever. He was going to make the world great again. He was the leader of the Red Dragons, and he’d fuck shit up. He promised he would. He wanted to fuck everything up and have everyone in the world nurse at his cock like it was their mother’s breast." - the prose here got very dirty and very delusional very quickly. This was a way to show that Super Handel is high. The fact that he is thinking so arrogantly now that he's high is important, for it foreshadows his later conflicts with the man in the bar and Tao.
  73. "Super Handel was served his drink, and he began to play with the little umbrella that was sticking out of it like it was covered in catnip." - he's such a Korin wannabe. I suppose they have both killed Makyans, though.
  74. "Next to him, a tall man sat. He was bronze-skinned, bald, muscled. The man ordered water, and sat still as a statue. He wore no shirt, and half of his face was covered in strange hieroglyphic-like tattooes. That instantly made Super Handel feel better about himself, because he had much better tattoos on his ankles. He screamed out in jubilation and felt the pleasure of a thousand prostate orgasms cascade through his body." - the tattoo callback to the start of the story is not something I remember writing, so well done KV! This character will be the attendant of Tyren of The Last Saiyan. He's a major character in that story (though he probably won't appear until Act II or Act III at the earliest - maybe not even until Act IV, depending on how I plot things out). Everything he says in this story is foreshadowing his role and Tyren's role in The Last Saiyan. I doubt I'll be talking about that much in the below endnotes, for that would be major spoilers about an unwritten part of TLS. So if you can figure out what he's talking about, great. But I won't help.
  75. "The man gave Super Handel a look that Super Handel found most disagreeable. It was like he was a piece of meat, or worse, a plebeian. Super Handel stood, and shouted. “You wanna fight, cunt?!”" - it's likely that the man didn't give Super Handel a look at all, but Super Handel, being high, saw something that wasn't real.
  76. Notice that the man is only drinking water. This is a bit like Nam. But more importantly, he seems to be shunning alcohol in general, a massive contrast to Super Handel, who loves to fill his body with drugs and alcohol (and often both at once).
  77. "When the man didn’t, Super Handel lost it. He was so jacked up he wanted to jack off. “Come on you beautiful alien, touch me with your fucking light!” " - this is a reference to Jacked Up by Weezer. The line itself was used to show just how high and out-of-touch with reality Super Handel is right now. He got really, really high to numb his pain... like high enough to kill himself, it seems. This shows the extent to which he'll go to avoid pain. Says a lot about this supposed tough guy who calls himself Super Handel.
  78. It is significant that the man broke Super Handel's wrist. Despite Super Handel trying to find pleasure in this story, he's getting all these very serious injuries - first with the gunshot to the shoulder, and now this. These don't seem to be injuries he can recover from. If you believe he dies in this story, the extent of his injuries is an argument in favor of that.
  79. The man pretty effortlessly defeats Super Handel, which is scary. If this happens after Ain't No Hero, that means the man is far stronger than the combined strengths of Master Roshi and Grandpa Gohan pre-Dragon Ball. Basically, this guy is super strong - perhaps the strongest person on Earth at the time. Who is he? Where did he come from? By humbling Super Handel, a bit about this character's capabilities are revealed, but not much else is. It was my intention just to show a bit of his potential.
  80. "Super Handel felt like he was being mentally undressed, which was no good because he didn’t like getting naked in front of people." - and yet he'd been ready to mate with that trap in front of her mother in the previous scene.
  81. "Super Handel felt an immense sense of loneliness and vulnerability." - one of the most significant lines in this story right there, I think.
  82. "You narcissistic seahorse!" - I believe this is an insult LANDAN2006 once shouted in one of his videos, but I'm not 100% sure.
  83. "Super Handel went rolling through the dirt for a while, and he quite enjoyed the ride. It was excellent, and he would have to remember to find a hill to roll himself down later. This was a solid ride, one he’d pay half a zeni for. He took out his little baggie of crushed Blue and snorted another line. Standing up and dusting himself off, the man looked around at the ruined town." - notice how quickly he blocks out his humiliation. He rewards himself with more meth - perhaps enough to kill him - and just thinks about how fun the rolling around was. It's childish, pathetic, sad. Super Handel hates the man who threw him out of the bar. He has no respect for anyone, so when someone is able to humble him... well that's about as bad as it gets. Also, this is evidence for this story taking place after Ain't No Hero, for after losing to Roshi and Grandpa Gohan, he would have likely done something similar - he would've focused on what brings him pleasure and forget those who humbled him (or at least tried to forget).
  84. "Chickens and party balloons patrolled the streets." - I wanted to show how run-down this place is, and I did so in an unconventional way. That there are chickens roaming the streets implies this is quite a poor place. Also, that's a reference to Gears of War 3. Many maps and levels have chickens wandering around on them, and all of those levels either are or were refuges for "stranded" - a group of very poor humans who are trying to survive outside of the control of the government in that game.
  85. "In the sky, he thought he saw a UFO, but maybe it was just a shadow." - nice callback to the UFO/balloon conspiracies brought up in previous sections.
  86. "“Come on you alien cucks! Come down here and try to probe me! I’ll send you back to Mars, you fuckers! Earth’s no place for your kind, space trash!” he screamed, shaking his fist at the sky." - Super Handel is so high. Also, the fact that he thinks space aliens come from Mars is a nice meta joke, since we know that there are dozens if not hundreds of alien worlds in the Dragon Ball universe, and there are no aliens on Mars in canon (not counting Toriyama's non-canon works, some of which do have Martians).
  87. Up until Tao's introduction, there had been no canon characters in this story (though Korin was mentioned indirectly). Tao was always meant to appear in Crushing Blue. He was not a last-minute addition. His role is multi-faceted. He's not just here to end the story ambiguously.
  88. Tao has always looked ridiculous. His hairstyle, his clothes, his face... he's just a hideous man. So it was fun to insult him a bit from Super Handel's perspective, especially given Super Handel's state-of-mind. Still, I don't think Super Handel thinks anything about Tao that is outlandish or incorrect.
  89. "Super Handel rubbed his shoulder and realized he was still wearing the monster’s elaborate hat. He felt like the pope (now he just needed to find loads of kids to fuck)." - that is brutal.
  90. Super Handel not remembering where he got his hat from is really funny. He set himself up for a badass quote, but ended up forgetting where he got the hat from. Drugs can do that to one's short-term memory, alas. That exchange with Tao pretty much sums up Super Handel's arc in this story.
  91. Super Handel had no reason to insult Tao and start a fight. Really, it was completely unnecessary. I hope the readers will see that, because Super Handel is completely in the wrong in the third section (of course there's more to argue about in the previous two sections - in the first one, he has every right to defend himself, while in the second, it's more dubious as to if killing those two women (and forcing Gram Gram to commit suicide) was a morally acceptable move). Super Handel deserves to be killed by Tao at the end of this story, if that's what actually happens.
  92. “Ain’t nobody gonna know who you are once I’m through with you. I’m Super Handel, the leader of the fucking Red Dragons! I’m a legend, you know?! Ain’t nobody ever fucked with me and lived to tell about it.” - this is ironic of course, because Tao later goes on to become a world-renowned assassin in Dragon Ball. The ending, where Super Handel boasts, "Ain’t nobody ever fucked with me and lived to tell about it" is factually incorrect as well.
  93. The second to last paragraph of Crushing Blue was the hardest part of the story for me to write. In the original draft, I believe only the first two sentences of it existed; during the editing phase, I added in a lot of content, and it took me like 20+ minutes to write that little bunch of words. But it's a significant paragraph overall, wrapping up many themes, and all of Super Handel's characterization. Again, it's not my place to say what everything means, but if you're looking for answers, that paragraph has them all.
  94. "He felt more alive, more in tune with the universe, than he ever had." - I will say, though, that this sentence draws an interesting parallel to A Shadow on the Wind.
  95. Right at the end we learn it's Tao whom Super Handel has pissed off. This is a significant ending, an "oh shit moment", if you will. He disrespected the wrong person. All throughout the one-shot, he's coasted through by insulting and disrespecting others. He's taken a few wounds, but killed most of them. Here, he's finally met his match. Tao is a man who's not just stronger than Super Handel, but willing to kill him. That's the contrast from the man in the bar. Him being strong enough to stop Super Handel is the contrast between Tao and the Makyans. Basically, Tao represents the combined people that Super Handel has already met, and he's the one who will not be disrespected by Super Handel - he'll make the Red Dragon pay. I was able to use canon stuff here, because the readers should know how strong Tao is. They should assume he's stronger. And he definitely is. Yet, I don't make it clear if he kills Super Handel here. That's not important. Either he kills him or badly wounds him. It's pretty much only those two options, unless he's struck by lightning. Either way, this story ends with Super Handel getting punished for his reckless, disrespectful living. For all the comedy in this story, the ending is as stark and foreboding as any non-comedic story I've ever written.

I like this story a lot. The combination of overt shallow comedy with deeper stuff going on, particularly in relation to the characterization of Super Handel and the portrayal of the setting, was sophisticated beyond anything seen in I'm a Candy Man or Cool Cat. The lore aspects of this story, with The Benefactor, the Makyans, and Tyren's attendant, were all cool, highly creative additions to the plot. Honestly, those are probably the things I'll remember most about this story. The connection of Crushing Blue to Cool Cat is awesome. I also just think that this story is funnier than the previous two THOTU comedies. It's darker comedy, yes, with more swearing and sex and other X-rated material, but none of it is filler. Every word has a purpose, be it for characterization, foreshadowing, or for the sake of aesthetics. Also, there were some nice tie-ins to other stories from an aesthetic viewpoint - this is seen, for example, with thematic connections to A Shadow on the Wind and Starfall. Really cool stuff. I'm quite pleased that this story turned out well, given that I hadn't read it since completing it while drunk. Good to see that it's held up. Overall, I'd give Crushing Blue an S.


<---- Part 62

Part 64 ---->


The KidVegeta Anthology
1: Were It So Easy2: Ground Up3: So Lonely At The Top4: Dragon Ball Z: In Requiem5: Sixth6: Slaved7: Womanhood8: A Mother's Love9: Derelict10: Dragonball KC11: The Redacted Scenes12: Dragon Ball Z: Cold Vengeance (Original draftFinal draft)13: Spindlerun: The Tale of Yajirobe14: The Anonymous Series15: Speedball16: Second-best17: Strength18: Separator19: Skulk20: Soup21: Scelerat22: Serial23: Slick24: Sovereign25: Dragonball lies in the old hat26: Ode to Dodoria27: Bitterly Bothered Brother28: KidVegeta's Theogony: From Silence to the Greater Kais‎‎29: Dragon Ball Z: The Forgotten (29.1 Prince Vegeta Saga29.2 Outbreak: Paved In Blood29.3 Lauto Saga29.4 Stomping Grounds Saga29.5 Planet Earth Saga29.6 Reunion Saga29.7 Forever Alone29.8 Fulfillment Saga29.9 Characters29.10 Who Are The Forgotten?29.11 Miscellaneous Information)30: Sink to the Bottom31: Bluestreaker32: Lionheart33: From Magic to Monsters34: Tyrant35: Be a Man36: Brave37: Yellow38: Sleep39: Prideful Demons Black40: The Watcher41: The Perfect Lifeform42: Ain't No Hero43: Dragon Ball: The Great War44: Glory45: Monster46: Burning Man47: Bonetown Blues48: Ergo Sum49: Suicide Missionary50: We'll Never Feel Bad Anymore51: Before Creation Comes Destruction52: Midnight City53: A Soundless Dark54: Scourge55: The Ballad of Dango56: Zarbon and Dodoria: A Love Story57: Thank the Eastern Supreme Kai for Girls58: A Shadow on the Wind59: I'm a Candy Man60: Down the Well-Worn Road61: Cool Cat62: Starfall63: Crushing Blue64: Black Dawn65: The Great Sushi-Eating Contest66: The Adventures of Beerus and Whis...IN SPACE!‎‎67: The Guacamole Boys Hit the Town‎‎68: Fin69: Nowhere to Go70: Not So Far71: Ice Age Coming72: Small73: Shame74: Untouchable75: A Demon Tale: Running Gags and Memes: The Movie76: Superior77: He's a Baaad Man78: Sandboys79: This is a contest story 80: A Space Christmas Story81: The One Where Bulma Goes Looking For Goku's Dragon Balls82: The Ginyu Force Chronicles83: Country Matters84: Chasing Oblivion85: Bardock's Some Hot Space Garbage and You're a Cuck86: The Story Without Any Cursing Except For This One Fuck And It's In The Title or (Sex Drugs and Rock and Roll Except Without Any Of The Sex)87: A Flap of the Wings88: Broccoli Tail89: Black as Blood90: Bi Arm or the One Where Baby is Actually A Rich Man or the Last One Of All the BYARMS91: One Chop Man92: Girl93: Twelve Majestic Lies94: Spaceball95: The Monster and the Maiden96: Mountain Bird97: A Quest for Booty98: Yaki the Yardrat's lecherous crime cartel, can Jaco and Strabbary stop it?99: Across the Universe100: His Majesty's Pet101: Destroyer of Universes102: The One with Several No Good Rotten Space Vermin103: The Scouring of Paradise104: To Kill a God-Emperor105: Extragalactic Containment Protocol106: Appetent Justice107: The Naptime Championships108: Really Big Scary Monsters109: Old Nishi110: He Needs Some Space Milk111: Filthy Monkeys112: The Mortal Flaw113: Leap114: Dyspo Sucks115: The Royal Exception116: Mushin117: Doctor Piggyboy118: The Space Taco Bandit119: The Big Book of Very Important Things (119.1: Why the supreme kai thinks there are only 28 planets in the universe by kidvegeta, esquire119.2: The raisin why supreme kai thinks theres only 28 planets119.3: Supreme kai why do you think there are only 28 planets pls respond119.4: Vegeta: The Tale of Chiaotzu119:5. Sweet Nothings About Cuber by KidVegeta and Destructivedisk119.6: ☉‿⊙119.7: The Part Where He Actually Blows Himself119.8: The truefacts tht hhyperzerling ssahhy119.9: Dragon Ball Supper119.10: A list of people yamcha's been intimate with)120: Memories of a Bloodless Thrall121: Lights of Zalama122: The Deathless Scraps123: Time-Eater124: Dragon Ball: The Mrovian Series: Hidden Memories of Chaiva125: Nineteen Assassins126: Welcome to Rapture127: Bean Daddy128: Zeta Male129: One Word From The Crane130: The Big Ugly131: The Legend of Upa132: Trickster is Meaningless133: Three Foolish Monkeys134: Killing General Copper135: One of Them136: The Swindler137: Softpetal138: How To Act Like a Professional Mercenary139: Insatiable140: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Planet Trade Organization141: Dragon Ball: Heart of the Dragon142: The Last Saiyan (141.1 Skyscrapers/Cloudchasers142.2 Roshi142.3 Edge Of The World142.4 Hail to the Thief142.5 Long Road Home)143: Community Roleplays (143.1 Dragon Ball: Future Imperfect (2nd Saga)143.2 No Way Out143.3 Vacation143.4 Cool Runnings143.5 What Role Will You Play?)144: Deleted Stories (144.1 Dragon Ball: Short Story Project)145: Final Thoughts
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