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Happy Birthday Aja!
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Aja
Pajamazon


Joined: 21 Jul 2002
Posts: 2098
Location: Thataway

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2023 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*emerges from the supply closet, followed by a traumatized-looking operative*

You're going to be okay now, Mr. Simmons. How did you get in there, anyway?

*Simmons glances around nervously, eyes darting every which way*

Simmons: Is... *huff* ...is he... *huff* ...gone? *huff*

I don't know who you mean, sir, but you seem to be hyperventilating. Here -- breathe into this party whistle.

Simmons: *fweee*... *fweee*... *fweee*...

There you go. Now why don't you have a seat, and I'll bring you a nice--

*Simmons's gaze falls on his own cake simulacrum*

*the 2021 Shadowcake is currently in the process of engulfing cake!Simmons from the feet up*

*GRNF, GRNF, GRNF*

Simmons: O_O

*the Shadowcake rotates two of its candles toward the real Simmons, making some approximation of eye contact*

*GRNF... purrr?*

*Simmons bolts across the room, out the door, and over the horizon*

Simmons: *FWEEEeeeeee...*

That was weird. I guess he must not like cake.

...Oh, hey, Shadow! It's great to see you here in person again.

I'd offer you a pint of tea, but our main keg seems to have gone missing. Here's a very tasty slice of keg-shaped cake, though!

*glances over and sees Tulsi slowly sinking into the frosting-like surface of their table*

Well, it looks like we'll have plenty of cake for everyone this year. Cheese!

Thank you for coming, guys!

I'm sure the 2021 Shadowcake can take care of any leftovers.

*having finished its assimilation of cake!Simmons -- and now looking noticeably larger than before -- the Shadowcake shambles around hungrily in search of more food*

Such a sweet boy~

*cautiously picks up the knife, and gives both the white cake box and the apparent gift box an experimental poke*
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"The one concession a sane man will never yield the universe is that of considering it seriously."
~ James Branch Cabell
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Shadowstorm
Noble


Joined: 21 Sep 2003
Posts: 145
Location: The place you would least expect.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2024 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like another year has gone by, and now that the passage of time has been decidedly more....uniform, for me than in previous years, it has given me time to reflect. Like on how being pursued for frankly exaggerated charges of trying to bring about some confectionery-related end-times makes it very difficult to attend annual celebrations with one's friends. And, so, in a gesture of goodwill to the international community as a whole, this year, I will be baking my customary birthday cake to Aja under careful observation, and in a controlled environment.

**Shadow is standing in what appears to be, by all accounts, a perfectly ordinary kitchen. A perfectly ordinary kitchen only accessible by airlock, and only observable through triple-reinforced bulletproof glass, but a perfectly ordinary kitchen nonetheless**

Now, you actually did leave ingredients for me to bake this cake for Aja with, yes?

**A voice replies over an intercom**

"Pre-selected, pre-measured, MUNDANE ingredients have been provided. They have been extensively analyzed so as to verify their safety."


But isn't that kind of....boring? Aja deserves a more exciting dessert than that!

"This is what you agreed to. In addition, you are to use the provided, vetted recipe, which you are not to deviate from in ANY WAY."


Huh? What recipe? Where...oh. Here it is. Let's see here....*skims through the instructions* No magic circles? No chanting?! What kind of cake recipe is this?!

"A NORMAL ONE! Now get baking!"

Fine, fine! Could have at least let me do a conjuration to do the mixing, now I gotta do this by hand...

**And so, Shadow set to work following the recipe, which, considering the ingredients were already pre-measured, ultimately amounted to pouring the ingredients in the indicated order, and mixing for the appropriate amount of time...**

"Annnnndd...STOP! The batter is sufficiently mixed."

Y'know, this is FAR less exciting without all of the midnight rituals...let me guess, is the next step pouring the batter into a pan?

"You have been warned not to deviate from the provided recipe. That includes following steps out of turn. The next step is to....pour...the batter into the pan."


Urrgh....

**A few boring steps later, the ready to be baked cake is placed into a pre-heated oven**

**Closing the oven door** And...there! I think you've made everyone here fall asleep in the process, but I do believe I've gone through the process of baking what you deem to be a non-Apocalypse causing cake.

"Conventional ingredients utilized...following a standardized recipe...in a properly secured kitchen....Yes. I believe that fulfills the terms of the agreement."

Great...great...so, how long until this cake is done?

"30 to 40 minutes. Why?"

That's too long! You can't just expect everyone to wait around like that for the cake to be done! Luckily I prepared one in advance!

"You...what?"


Prepared one in advance! You know, like on those cooking shows on TV! They show all the steps of preparing whatever dish they're making, and then after they put the dish in the oven, they take immediately another one out of a different oven that just finished baking since they made it earlier!

"No, no, NO! You can't have! There was nothing else in this kitchen! We checked! And we searched you before locking you in there!"


Like I said, I prepared it earlier! Outside! Good thing too, I'd never have been able to make it with the ingredients in here. That's how I'm able to take it out of a completely different oven than the oven I put it in. Neat, huh?

"...Security! SECURITY!"


**Shadow opens the door to the oven underneath the one where the mundane cake has just started its 35 minute cooking process. A frosting-covered blur impacts the reinforced glass observation window looking into the kitchen, shattering it instantly**

Oh, shoot. I left it in for too long. ....Or not long enough? Anyway, Happy Birthday Aja! I hope this day and year go well for you. Please help yourself to some freshly baked cake...

"Shoot it! SHOOT IT! A...ahhh! AAAHHHHHH-"

...when it calms down I guess. Hey, you in the booth! Save some for the rest of the birthday guests!
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"Can it be that those in power are on the verge of repeating a senseless and deadly mistake?"~Final Fantasy VI
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Tulsileaf
Mink Sith Lord


Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 581
Location: Behind you.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2024 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hear hear! Another year and another joyous celebration! Merry Birthday and a Happy New... umm... wait...

*frowns looking somewhat confused*

*shakes their head and resumes an expression of exuberance*

Arnyways!

*plops a cardboard box on the counter and opens it revealing an ordinary cake with white frosting and red lettering on the top*

I brought ca-

*notices the cake reads "Happy New Year" and is shocked*

*silently and solemnly sinks into a chair*

*gazes into the distance, their expression slowly turns thoughtful*

**Voiceover of an old man who, unlike Tulsi, has a strong Japanese accent: I often think about that day. Such a small event, but ultimately the moment that would lead me to becoming the Underdog, the supreme leader of all the mole people.
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Aja
Pajamazon


Joined: 21 Jul 2002
Posts: 2098
Location: Thataway

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2024 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*strolls in, humming along to the sound of the traditional Birthday Helicopters circling the premises*

My, the Birthday Sirens are especially festive this year -- and those flashing lights really sparkle up the place.

*beams appreciatively at the various suncatchers, crystals and disco balls adorning the windows for just such an occasion*

Ahoy, Tulsi! Thank you for the good wishes and another lovely ca--

WHAM

*one wall of the tavern shudders with a tremendous impact*

Eh?

WHAM

*boards crack as part of the wall bows inward*

What was--

WHAMCH

*something blasts a hole through the wall and streaks across the tavern, sprinkling the floor with splinters, and vice versa*

Oh! And thank you too, Shadow. Here, have a cup of tea and make yourself at home.

*the rampaging cake-shaped blur ricochets off the back wall behind the counter, then careens off a nearby table, then launches into the rafters, and then...*

BLOAMP

...

*GrooOOOoo...?*

*the 2021 Shadowcake, its mass now filling most of space above the rafters, has pinned the newcomer to the ceiling with one giant spongy pseudopod*

Wow... you've made a frisky one this year.

*the new Shadowcake shoots out more ballistic sprinkles, which embed themselves in the larger cake's chitinous frosting and the nearby wooden beams*

*the 2021 Shadowcake examines it curiously as it thrashes around*

I'm sure they'll become great friends. Less Than Three

Meanwhile, who wants some tasty inanimate cake?

*sets about serving everyone slices of the red-and-white confection while they wait for the Shadowcakes to settle down*

I actually like the idea of wishing someone a Happy New Year on their birthday. It IS a new year for them, after all. Grin
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"The one concession a sane man will never yield the universe is that of considering it seriously."
~ James Branch Cabell
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