Tango's Castle of Cards - Chapter 10 - EvilRat_Sabre (2024)

Chapter Text

Death is a curious thing to dance around

To think about

To fear

Death plagues the minds of anyone who dares to live

As to be alive is to be aware that it will end someday

That everything will end someday so you have to make it count

But the thing about death

and about how inevitable it is

Is that often we try to turn a blind eye to it

We try to ignore that death is part of life

That living is part of dying

That decaying is part of growing

We like to ignore the ugly parts

the disgusting


terrifying parts

until we can't anymore.

Jevin jumps.

Free falling for some blessed seconds, a firm grip on his sword, communicator stuck in the side of his head, the slime looks wide eyed at the egregious quantity of magma cube, before landing on the ground with a glorious splat. His slime feet absorb the impact, it sizzles in the hot terrain but that isn’t anything new, he tentatively shoots a glance at Hypno, barely seeing a blur, before having to jump, bouncing on his feet, dodging the attack from one of the myriad of magma cubes.

He looks around at the unnatural flat terrain of the glitched chunk, overwhelmed by the quantity of cubes not only trying to kill him, but absorb him , Jevin can’t run to Impulse like he intended too.

He curses under his breath, slashing his sword around, killing mobs so similar to him, but at the same time so different. Jevin is an overworld slime, he wouldn’t consciously try to absorb a magma cube, he isn’t trying to boil alive, but that doesn’t mean the magma cubes will not try to absorb him.

He yelps, jumping out of the way, before he steps in a tiny cube, not only is he surrounded by big magma cubes, but the tiny magma cubes he just killed are a hazard of their own.

A shadow covers him momentarily, as Hypno jumps from the cliff, wings wide open, gliding to his direction, he lands at his side, his own sword out already making work of killing the magma cubes.

Jevin presses his back against Hypno, and Hypno adjusts his wings so as to not disturb Jevin. They both enter a battle stance, working like a well oiled machine, no words are said, as they concentrate, slowly trying getting closer to Impulse. At this point it's clear that the magma cubes will keep coming, so their best bet is to get Impulse out of the chunk.

It's overwhelming, the amount of mobs coming at them, from every direction. Jevin hears Hypno grunting in pain, being hit by a medium sized cube. Grian’s voice crackles at the side of his head.

-Jevin everything alright there?

The slime jumps, dodging and slashing another cube, Hypno kicks one of the smaller with his hooved feet, and the thing splats like boiling soup on the ground.

-Everything is peachy, just-

Jevin dodges another bigger magma cube trying to absorb him

-A LOT of magma cubes. We are trying to get to Impulse but it's been-


Hypno screams, and the slime throws himself into the ground, a cube the size of a ravager catapulting itself through the space where his head was merely seconds before.

-Hard- it's been hARD.

The comm crackles, and Jevin dodges another flying magma cube.

-Try not getting killed.

The avian’s voice is taught with concern.

-I just read through the chunk analysis Hypno sent, the magma cubes will not stop spawning, you need to get Impulse out of the chunk… also tell Hypno to stop typing and fighting at the same time, I can take care of admin stuff for now – focus on Impulse.

Jevin grabs Hypno by the shoulders, taking him out of the path of yet another cube. An admin screen follows the hypnotist's line of sight and Jevin eyes it, dumbfounded.

-Dude, focus! We need-

-To get Impulse out of the chunk, I know!

Now it's Hypno who steps in front of Jevin to slash at another cube before it can make contact. He clicks his tongue as he closes the admin screen that was following his motion.

-The problem is how?

Swirling yellow eyes meet deep blue ones, before both of them have to go back to stabbing cubes.

-Can't you Hypnotize him?

The slime asks, he jumps killing another magma, his slime drips on the floor sizzling. He didn't come prepared for this type of excursion in the nether.

-And risk getting attacked while doing that?

Hypno kicks another tiny magma, his face contorts displeased with the way his hooves are scorched in the burning gel.

-I could fly him out of the chunk, the problem is if he tries to attack me. I think he is too out of it to realize he can just fly out instead of fighting.

Hypno turns his head to looks at the demon who is fighting his own overwhelming amount of magma cubes, so close but so far, he ducks when another flying cube tries to get him, one of the tiny ones, Jevin sees the opportunity and swings his sword like a baseball bat, flat metal, meets boiling cube, the mob goes flying in a comical bounce, being thrown back to the scuff of never ending cubes.

- Annnd strike!

The slime jokes.

Hypno side eyes him, giving him the stink-eye while slashing through another wave of the cubes.

Jevin huffs at his lack of reaction.

-What? Can’t I at least have fun. We both know it was funny.

He says, bouncing on his feet and stabbing another magma, his slime sizzles and he tries to not think about his rapid loss of mass to the heat of the fight.

Hypno smirks and concedes–

-It was funny.

He is way more stationary than Jevin and his bouncy way of fighting, slashing wide, using his wings and hooves as both defense and attacks.

-I can always restrain him.

Jevin offers.

-From what I hear, Impulse loves a good hug.

He jokes, but Hypno looks worried at him, frowning.

-Are you sure? I know the nether hasn't been really good for you.

He ducks and stabs.

-I have never seen you lose mass so fast, you are almost Bdubs sized, dude!

It would be funny if it wasn't true, Jevin tries to not focus on the fact that he is indeed almost one head smaller than when they first entered the nether, looking at Hypno he has to look up to meet his eyes.

-Nothing that eating something after this will not help.

Jevin says nonchalantly.

-We weren't expecting whatever this is

He swings his sword while gesturing at the same time.

-If I knew we would be doing something like this, I would have bought some compacted ice, but for now, our best bet is to get Impulse out of this, before one of these magma cubes manages to actually absorb me.

Jevin is clearly stressed even if he tries to keep his cool, Hypno knows Jevin long enough to get the distress in his voice.

He offers his hand to him and the slime grabs it. Hypno is quick to beat his wings and get both of them away from the magma's range.

-We should have done this since the beginning instead of trying to fight our way in.

Jevin comments, finally having some seconds to breathe without being attacked. His slime still drips, and the hand Hypno is holding is more of an amorphous shape than anything worth calling a hand.

Hypno grunts, using his other hand to grab the slime by the hood, scared of dropping him with the drippines of his normally more solid slime.

-You jumped out of the cliff first dude. I just followed you.

Jevin snorts.

-And what are you? A sheep?

At the joke Hypno kicks Jevin with his hooved feet, The slime makes a oof sound even if not truly hurt. Hypno smirks.

-Nah, just half goat. Are your eyes melting too? You should get that checked out, dude.

Jevin snorts.

-My eyes are fine.

He says despite the drippiness of his entire body.

-Maybe it's your brain which is melting, you should get that che- oof -Hypno stop kicking me.

The Hypnotist snickers.

-What are you two doing?

Grian asks through the comm, sounding done with the entire situation.

-Well Hypno is being a- Hey stop it I am talking with Grian!

Jevin glares at Hypno, annoyed, being kicked by him again.

-Ah, you are no fun. Tell Grian I said hi.

-Hypno says hi. As I was saying, me and Hypno are currently flying over Impulse-

He looks up at the Hypnotist, who even with all his kicks is still holding him tight, strong wings flapping, almost unbothered by the extra cargo.

-The plan is that I will restrain him and Hypno will fly us away from the chunk-

-Then Grian can reset it.

Hypno interrupts and Jevin nods.

-Then you can reset it. Sounds good?

He hears typing from the other side.

-We don’t have a better plan, do we?

Jevin looks at Impulse, being overwhelmed by magma cubes but still holding his ground, clawing at them, not a sword to be seen in his hands.

-Not really, I don’t think so.

Grian sighs.

-Okay. I will keep an eye on the chunk, the moment the three of you are out I will manually reset it… try to not die.

Jevin snorts, a grim smile on his face.

-Will try G, I need to get my comm out for this, you will be hearing from us in some minutes.

He clicks the end call button, reabsorbing the comm back into his inventory.

-So, are you ready?

Hypno asks, he has a nervous smile on his face, as his wings flap, getting closer to the ground. Jevin nods.

-Ehh, the closest I can be.

His smile is tense, every second they spend there, more and more of his slime drips into nothingness.

-Just throw me in there, dude. Don’t take too much time to get us and it will be fine.

Hypno nods.

-If you say so.

His nervous smile evolves in a sh*t-eating grin.

-Oh, I have always wanted to do this.

He lets go of Jevin’s hand, now holding him only by the hoodie, he flaps his wings with more strength now, swirling in the air, gathering momentum, before letting the him go, the slime flies like a cannonball, straight to their target, as the bat goat hybrid prepares himself, getting ready to follow him when his cue comes.


the best way to go forward

is by looking backwards

at what has since passed.

There is no mountain that I have climbed

that I wish to forget

as to forget wouldn’t serve me any other purpose

than to make me more vulnerable

to rocks that may collapse beneath me

- Heey, Impulse right?


The demon perks up hearing his name, turning from the system he was tweaking with, to look at whor*ver just called him. His eyes widen.

-Oh. You’re Tango, right? The iron farm guy?

He asks, eyeing the redstoner, his blonde hair is combed and probably looked really tidy some hours ago, but Impulse can see the red powder that is now dusting it, his face is painted with what the demon can honestly admit is a stunning piece of art in makeup format, he isn’t sure if there is any other person in this redstone convention as well presented as the blonde right now, but even so, this isn’t what calls his attention, no. The most interesting thing about the guy is his bleeding red eyes, the only thing separating him from any other human there.

-Iron farm guy… That’s a new one.

He mumbles under his breath, scratching his neck, and smiling sheepishly, musing over the title.

-You could call me that, yes. But Tango is fine!

He extends his hands for Impulse to grab. The demon eyes it, surprised by the lack of hesitation, shaking his head, he accepts the hand shake, clawed hands meeting gloved ones.

-Tango of the Tek variety.

The blonde says, nodding his head. He smiles at the demon, not lingering long on the handshake.

-And you are ImpulseSV, right? I saw you on one of the panels. You’re a big guy, hard to miss.

He waves his hands, eying the giant wings folded across Impulse’s back, and the sharp claws that he had shaken merely seconds ago. The demon is taller and buffer than Tango, but it’s obviously not what he is talking about. Impulse snorts.

-I hear that a lot. I noticed you too, you know?

Warm brown eyes look at pupiless red eyes. Tango starts looking at the ceiling instead.

-It’s my first time at this brand of this convention, I honestly thought it would have more non-humans, but I guess it’s just us two.

Impulse bumps his shoulders playfully against the blonde. Tango startles a little, taking a step back. He coughs awkwardly into his hand before mumbling something under his breath.

Impulse tilts his head.

-Sorry, what did you just say?

Tango puts his hands in his pockets jumping from one foot to another.

- I am human.

He says it a bit too quickly.

- Just – just the eyes, it’s a curse. Nothing special.

Tango waves his hand a little, still not meeting the demon’s eyes. Impulse nods at that. Smiling kindly.

-Well, still way less boring than everyone else. Us cool guys tend to notice each other.

He tries another approach. Tango looks over his shoulder, before smiling at the demon. Impulse frowns.

-Is there– Do you need anything? I can’t help but notice that you look a bit nervous.

Paranoid, Tango looks over his own shoulders again, biting his lips before saying.

-I am human.

He repeats.

-But it’s easy to think the contrary, there is- some guys.

He now steps closer to Impulse.

-They have been following me for some minutes now.

Tango sounds scared, and Impulse just mouths a simple wordless “oh.”

He moves one wing to cover Tango’s back, the blonde yelps with the proximity, but doesn’t pull away. Impulse eyes a group that he now notices was lurking around, looking at them from afar.

-I was getting hungry anyway.

He announces and starts walking, Tango follows him. Impulse picks at his claws, in a way he knows the group can see.

-My buddy Skizz is waiting for me at a cafe. If you want, we could go there.

He offers nonchalantly, tail swishing agitatedly under the eyes that are burning holes in his back. Tango’s eyes widen, he still looks a bit uncomfortable, but smiles grateful, bouncing from one foot to another.

-Oh. I would love it. Do you think they have pancakes?

The red eyed man asks. The demon snorts.

-I bet we can ask! If they don’t, well-

Impulse leans closer, whispering conspiratory.

-I know a place close by, we could go to instead. They make some killer pancakes.

Impulse jokes and Tango grins at the wording.

-I bet I can kill them faster.

Impulse snorts, amused with his new acquaintance.

-Sure buddy, I bet you can.

I don’t miss my past

As to miss it would be admitting a loss I don’t believe I have

It may look different but it is still there

And loss is too strong of a word anyways,

to be used so lightly like that.

The past is the bricks which I used to build the houses of tomorrow.

They are heavy and strong, but precarious as I am still building myself.

Brick by brick, I guess I will get there.

Maybe they didn’t think this plan all the way through.

Jevin can at least admit that he shouldn’t have jumped the first time. And even if Hypno was on board with the second time, it was still not a great idea.

Jevin flies.

He doesn’t have an elytra on, but Jevin flies.

Well he is freefalling with style, but details.

The ground is coming closer at breakneck speed.

A fun fact about being a player and a slime hybrid, is that he does get fall damage.

Welp even normal slimes get it .

A fun fact about Jevin specifically, is that he has more brain cells than a normal slime so he can choose not to. It’s exactly what he does now.

Jevin splats against the ground, his feet absorbing the impact, briefly becoming one, legs and feet meeting his torso, but as fast as his impact was, he springs back, sword in hand as he slashes a close by magma cube, his eyes meeting Impulses; crazed and feral as they are.

And for a second it’s like time has stopped, the demon assesses him, tail swishing wildly, a snarl carved into his face, while he flexes his clawed fingers, but he doesn’t lunge forward. It makes Jevin hopeful that maybe, maybe he isn’t as out of it as they thought he was.

- Heeeey , Impulse, buddy, are you there?

That was a bad idea , Impulse’s eyes widen at the address, but no recognition passes across his crazed irises, a magma cube approaches yet again, Jevin swings his sword at it and Impulse lunges. The slime isn’t really sure if it is to attack him or the magma cube, but he sees an opportunity and he grabs it.

Another fun fact about slimes, is that the lack of muscles doesn’t make them weaker, on the contrary. Jevin would argue that his lack of anything that isn’t slime, makes him far stronger.

He is quick to pocket his sword, and opening his arms wide he grabs Impulse in a bear hug, which is a bit awkward considering that on a normal day Impulse is already bigger than Jevin, but with his loss of mass he is even smaller this time. Not that it really matters, his arms stretch, and in seconds his hands touch each other, melting and becoming one. Impulse’s arms are bound against his wings, he can feel the demon clawing at him, but Jevin’s health bar doesn’t drop.

There are situations, where he plays fair, with damage and physics, limiting himself by the rules that almost everyone playing the game follows. This is surely not one of those situations.

- Impulse you owe me a new hoodie. HYPNO IT’S NOW OR NEVER!

Jevin shouts, before his body loses its humanoid shape, he makes one last eye contact with his flying friend, before letting all finally go, his “lungs” melt with his body, rendering him incapable of speech, as he spreads his mass, strengthening his hold on the panicked demon. His clothes rip, and Jevin thinks, annoyed, that he should have had the forethought of putting it in his inventory before throwing himself at his feral friend. Well he can always get new ones later, it’s not like his clothes were hiding anything important, he is all slime, nothing more.

At the call, Hypno closes his wings, nose diving in the air, getting closer and closer to the duo. Magma cubes are already trying to butt into the scuffle, but the hypnotist gives them no chance, he comes close to the ground and his wings snap open, stopping his fall. He throws himself against the restrained demon, grabbing him by the shoulders, Jevin wraps his slime around Hypno’s hands, strengthening his hold, while Hypno flaps his wings, it makes a loud snapping sound with the strength he needs to raise the three of them from the ground, and in seconds they are in the air again.

Different from when it was only Jevin, Hypno’s muscles scream having to carry someone that is way heavier than himself, he pays it no mind, though. Focusing on flapping his wings and holding Impulse, who is still thrashing fruitlessly against Jevin’s unwavering binding.

- Come on, we’re almost there.

He clenches his jaw, the heat of the nether and the strain of the flight, making him annoyingly aware of the sweat dripping on his face, soaking his bandana.

Only when he is far enough to not load the glitched chunk that Hypno looks for a place to land.

He eyes a netherrack island in the middle of a lava ocean, and for all that the lava may be dangerously close, this is the nether and he prefers the lava to a hoglin or god forbid another magma cube .

He tries to get close to it before letting Impulse go, but the demon, still thrashing all the way there, manages to contort himself, biting Hypno’s hand with his sharp teeth. The flying player yelps, he lets go of his passengers without meaning to.

Impulse and Jevin fall to the ground like a sack of potatoes.

Panicked, not knowing if the demon would survive that or not, and well aware that a respawn will do no good to Impulse’s situation, Jevin lets his hold go, he still clings to the demon, amorphous slime covering his arms and a weird part of his back, but any restrain he had over him is gone, prioritizing his survival over his restraint.

Impulse’s wings snap open, he flaps then, panicked, barely managing to contain his fall. The demon slumps against the netherrack, his hearts drop, but he doesn't die. Better a scraped knee, than a rough respawn.

Jevin doesn't have time to think, as the moment Impulse falls in the ground he doesn't waste time, shaking himself, while grabbing the slime that even if a goop is still a singular sentient mass, throwing him against the ground.

Jevin doesn't have time to think, because all he can feel is the sudden white-hot pain.

He wasn't as stuck to Impulse as he would like to, his body is stretched and distorted, and he doesn't have lungs to scream or call for help. He hits the hot terrain with a splat, his body long and so far from humanoid that he may as well be a slimy rubber band. He doesn’t have feet to absorb the impact, and the singular hiss of his body evaporating into nothingness is all he can hear.

It hurts, Jevin isn't used to pain, but when he feels it, he feels it with his whole body and soul.

He barely has a mind to collect himself, gathering his slime together, compacting himself, so as to have less contact with the burning ground.

It's nauseating, his slime burns, and boils and he hurts like he hasn't in a long time.

If he was playing by the game rules, he would be already dead, respawning back into his base in the middle of the water, on his bed which he regrets having left this morning. It's sheer stubbornness that keeps him from puffing into smoke.

He reforms his eyes and cowers in instinctual fear. Oh he lost so much mass.

He is tiny. And Impulse is enormous, the demon still looks at him like a threat, and Jevin regrets whatever he did that ended with him in this situation.

Hey did you know?

The person you used to be is still here

They are not dead, nor buried somewhere

They are still you, even with all the ways that you have changed

As with them you share scars

You share flesh, blood and bones… even if rearranged

And tomorrow, more than a memory of what you one day were,

You will be just one more part, just a modicum of the more complete being that you amass

The moment they step inside the cafe, Tango takes two steps to the side, putting distance from the demon whose wing was covering him until now. Impulse looks a bit hurt, frowning at the way Tango was eager to let go of him, but the blonde is quick to try to correct any misunderstanding.

-Sorry, sorry.

He puts his hands up in an appeasing way.

-It’s nothing against you, I just don’t like to be touched… by anyone.

The blonde taps the demon’s arm awkwardly, smiling gratefully.

-Thank you so much! For a second I thought that I would end up stabificated by those jerks, you saved my skin.

Impulse beams at him, sharp fangs in full display, Tango doesn’t flinch, and his smile only gets bigger.

-It was no problem, dude! So…

His tail swishes happily behind his back, pleased with the praise, he points at a table, where a guy with massive dove wings is sitting. He waves, noticing Impulse.

-Do you still want to eat something?

He asks, well aware that now that Tango is safe he could just turn around and go away.

-Oh, hell yeah!

The blonde says excitedly, walking in the table’s direction as if he owns the place, gesturing for Impulse to come. The demon shakes his head meeting his pace.

-Is that your buddy?

Tango asks, eying the winged man that is wearing a ripped suit.

-Yes! That's Skizz my-

- Dipple-Dop!

The guy - Skizz, shouts getting up, his wings open in excitement, some stray feathers coming loose with the movement. Tango winces, noticing how crooked the wings are, but the guy doesn’t look like he is in pain.

-What took you so long?! I have been waiting for forever!

The guy has the energy of someone who would try to wrestle Impulse into a bear hug, he has the size to do it, but instead, he just comes closer, hovering around, but not touching the demon. His eyes meet Tango, and the blonde notices for the first time the thin, crooked, glowing halo that hovers over the winged man’s head, some scars in his exposed arms glow in the exact same way.

-Oh. And you brought company, hi! The name is Skizzleman, but you can call me Skizz. Nice to meet you!

He offers a hand for Tango to shake, and the blonde eyes it a little conflicted. He takes a bit too long to accept it, as Impulse steps in, briefly putting a hand on Skizz’s shoulder, taking it off after it starts sizzling slightly. Tango eyes it, but Impulse pays it no mind.

-Skizz, this is Tango. Tango this is Skizz.

Impulse leans closer to Skizz.

-And he isn’t too much of a fan of touch.

Skizz recoils his hand, putting it in his pocket, his wings fluff behind his back and Tango smiles at him sheepishly.

-Sorry dude, nothing against you.

He now waves, jumping a bit in place, smiling at the crooked angel.

-The name is Tango, Tango of the Tek variety. Nice to meet you too!

Skizz beams back.

-So… are you Dipple Dop's friend or– you know.

He waves his hand in a circular motion, Impulse puts a hand in his face, groaning loudly.

- Skizz

Tango just shakes his head, mortified.

-Oh, no, no, no. Impulse just saved my ass, BUT NOT THAT WAY.

Tango voice goes up a pitch, and Impulse looks so done. Skizz barks a laugh, amused.

- Sorry, sorry.

The angel says, not sorry at all.

-So what's the story?

He asks, turning and sitting back towards the table, Impulse follows him, grabbing a chair, huffing loudly.

-Some assholes were following him. I guess the claws finally served for something other than accidentally getting stuck on fabric.

He jokes and Skizz snorts, having helped Impulse with annoying fabrics before.

Tango sits at Impulse’s side. Sighing.

-At least you can scare people with them.

He points out, gloved hands pointing at him accusatory.

-People look at my eyes and get disgusted because “What if it is infectious.” or try to beat the sh*t out of me, because I guess I have a punchable face.

He says in a joking manner, waving his hands nonchalantly, but both Impulse and Skizz’s faces scrunches in worry.


Impulse says a little shocked.

-I didn't know that it was still so bad like that…

Skizz says feeling a bit sick. Both he and Impulse are used to some vitriol from random people, but you would think that at this age and time it wouldn’t be that big of a problem.

Tango shakes his head.

-It used to be way worse, but it's fine .

He smiles reassuringly, but neither Skizz nor Impulse look that convinced.

-If you say so…

Impulse concedes for now. Skizz nods, picking at the menu and asks.

-So how was the convention?

Both Impulse and Tango perk up at the question.

Impulse turns to look at Tango, tail swinging excitedly.

-Did you see the panel about the future of sticky pistons?

He asks and the blond nods excitedly.

-Oh dude, did I-?

Both men start talking enthusiastically about slime and doors and everything else they found interesting in the middle.

Skizz nods his head, listening to both men slip into using the sort of technical jargon he only understands the half of, but even so, he smiles, happy with the new friend that they accidentally acquired.


Sometimes I wonder how much the people I care about really know about me, and how much of that is just the lies I said without thinking.

There is never consequences, when you feel so invincible that the word “now” sounds like “forever''

Tango's Castle of Cards - Chapter 10 - EvilRat_Sabre (2024)
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