"Deaths At Work" by NobodyAtAll

Note: read “Miss Carrey”, “Primal Earth”, “Strength in Numbers” and “An Actually Nice Day At The Park” first. Spoilers for the Alien Invasion and Fiendlord Sagas.


In the Canadian wilderness, a thunderstorm is raging.

A lone feral, ousted from his herd by the smarty, ambles along, hoping to find shelter soon.

It’s raining, too. Water is so bad for fluffies.

Just as the feral passes by one particularly large tree, lightning strikes the tree.

CRACK

The tree breaks in half, and unfortunately for the feral, he’s standing in the way.

SPLAT

That’s even worse for fluffies.


The Death of Fluffies arrives to pick up the soul of the feral.

He’s accompanied by another Death.

While this Death looks like a human skeleton, humans are not his clients.

Rather than wearing a black cloak, this Death wears a black plaid flannel shirt, a black trapper hat, black denim jeans, and heavy black boots.

Rather than holding a scythe, he’s holding an axe. Which is just as sharp as the scythes most of his co-workers wield. Or, in the case of the Death of Tyrannosaurus Rexes, the scythe blades he has instead of regular T-Rex teeth.

This Death is the Death of Trees.

He turns to the Death of Fluffies, speaking in a deep, dark voice with a Canadian accent.

IT’S A ROUGH NIGHT FOR IT, EH?

The Death of Fluffies nods.

YUS. DIS WUZ NU YU FAUWT, FWUFFY. DA WITE-NIN CUD HAVE STWUCK ANEE TWEE.

The feral’s ghost looks at his corpse, which a silvery thread connects him to. He can’t feel sad anymore, but he thinks sad.

“If it wuz nu da twee, it wudda bin da sky wawas. Wawa am bad fow fwuffies.”

YU HAB A POINT DEWE.

BUT IT’S ABOOT TIME FOR YOU TO GO, BUDDY.

DAT AM WITE, DEATH OF TWEES.

The Death of Fluffies cuts the thread.

DEATH OF FWUFFIES WIWW SHU YU DA WAY, FWUFFY.

As the Death of Fluffies departs with his new client, the Death of Trees reaps his new client.

He hears lightning strike again, and turns toward the source.

CRACK

As he sees another tree collapse, the Death of Trees stomps off, singing to himself.

:musical_note: I’M A LUMBERJACK AND I’M OKAY… :musical_note:


Somewhere in America, the Death of Fluffies walks through a wall, entering a kitchen.

There’s blood everywhere, which the Death of Fluffies knows is fluffy blood.

On the kitchen table, two fluffies are huddled together in a box with their foals, sobbing and shaking.

Next to the box, there’s the corpse of a mare, along with several foals who were almost ready to enter the world.

Connected to the corpses by silvery threads are the ghosts of the mare and her foals.

The Death of Fluffies cuts the threads, and then, as the ghosts vanish, he hears someone pick the lock of the door leading outside.

It turns out to be a pale man, wearing sunglasses, and a brown-haired man in a tweed jacket.

For some reason, the pale man stays outside. The other man runs inside. He grabs a box of treats, hands them over to the pale man, runs back over to the corpses, puts them in a plastic bag, runs over to hand that to the pale man, and then runs over to the box of living fluffies, picking it up carefully.

The two men mutter something under their breath, and they vanish, along with their quarry.

blip

The Death of Fluffies leaves just as a young woman enters the kitchen from the hallway, holding a mop and a bucket of soapy water.

He doesn’t need to stick around. He knows how this ends. He knows that one of his colleagues will be here shortly.

He knows who those two men are, too.


On Primal Earth, somewhere in the vast jungle, the Death of Fluffies reaps a feral herd who just met their end.

Another Death is also here, to reap the thing that killed them, and choked to death on them.

As the Death of Fluffies cuts threads, the other Death, having already reaped his client, looks at his client’s corpse, obviously disapproving.

SKREEEEEOOOOONK.

The Death of Fluffies nods at the Death of Tyrannosaurus Rexes.

YUP. DIS AM WAI YU CHYOO BEFOWE YU SWAWWOW.

While the Death of Tyrannosaurus Rexes is retired, he still reaps the T-Rexes of Primal Earth.

A guy’s gotta have a hobby in his golden years.


In Blueberry’s Forest, the Death of Fluffies reaps the soul of a fluffy from a rival herd who apparently learned nothing from the other fluffies who attempted to rob the Brownie Palace solo.

Before the Death of Fluffies ushers his client into the black desert, Blueberry notices the two of them.

He’s completely failing to hide his amusement.


In Turkey, near the Black Sea, the Death of Fluffies reaps the souls of another herd. However, the corpses are nowhere to be seen.

The Death of Fluffies knows what killed them, but the killer falls outside of the Deaths’ purview, so the Death of Fluffies can’t do anything about it.

And as much as the Death of Fluffies would like to warn those who could do something about it, the Rules forbid him from doing so, unless it’s a matter of cosmic importance, or if Azrael allows it. So far, Azrael hasn’t allowed it, and he has a reason for everything he does.

The Deaths could get involved with the Alien Invasion, because the potential destruction of Earth is something that Azrael simply cannot ignore. Not only would billions of people die, trillions of people would never be born, and Azrael understands that Life and Death depend on each other.

That, and Bertrand’s forces were all fated to die that day, as the Death of Humans said.


Meanwhile, Legion, the flesh golem made of fluffy corpses, stomps across the bottom of the Black Sea.

Legion’s gotten even bigger and stronger, but it’s still not enough to carry out its instructions.

So instead, it’s carrying out hit and runs on any feral herds living close to the Black Sea, until it is strong enough.

However long that takes.

When Legion runs out of herds, it’ll move on.

Exactly as the late Ianos planned.

Legion doesn’t have the brains to come up with a strategy like this on its own.

It doesn’t have any brains at all.

Well, it’s got a lot of fluffy brains, but none of them work anymore.

But Legion does have instructions, and it will carry them out to the letter:

  • Find Calvin Korkea.
  • Beat him to a pulp.
  • Bring him to the Fiendlord.
  • And kill anyone who gets in the way.

Nothing, not magic nor logic nor the laws of postmortem metaphysics will stop Legion from following its orders.

Nothing.

If it isn’t strong enough to beat Calvin to a pulp, it will become strong enough.

Even if it has to assimilate every last fluffy on the planet.

“Fwblurble chblurble fblurble dblurble Cblurble.”

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