Stalemate: By Stwumpo

In the hills of upper Michigan, a great party has begun. It is the seventh birthday of Hamilton, the wealthiest fluffy East of the Rockies. To celebrate, he has demanded tribute and sacrifice.

The big tubby green unicorn reclined on his chaise lounge, flanked by butlers his mummah and daddeh paid overtime to fan him. Spread out before him on the massive grounds of his palatial home, there was a chessboard built specially for him. Each space was large enough to fit one adult fluffy, and two opposing sides had been laid out.

Nearest to Hamilton were the White Pieces. The forward row of pawns as well as the more powerful pieces behind were all party fluffies. They’d been purchased outright and boot camped for three weeks to learn chess. After two more weeks of intense positional training (to make sure the pieces understood how they moved) they were ready.

Across from them was their obvious mirror. A similarly skilled black team. It was to be manipulated by Hamilton’s best friend and only rival on four weggies, the legendary racing pegasus Angus McSorley. He was nestled in his favorite sleepytime bed as he surveyed the landscape. The game began.

The two competitors fiercely waged tactical war. Game after game after game they played, always going down to the last few pieces. Neither had a clear advantage of any kind, and the party fluffs were growing fatigued.

“Haf…haf…can pwease…pwease nu mow? Nu wan meanie owwies nu mowe…” One of the pawns was complaining. He was particularly bruised because his starting position was sacrificed virtually every single game, at the beginning. This meant his attacker was fresh, as the important pieces were more heavily armored and took less physical damage.

They were not without difficulties. The armor did little to protect them from anything harder than peanut brittle, but it slowed them down and was uncomfortable - even painful - to wear. “Pwease wet gud fwuffy outta meanie casswe! Nu wan be Wook nu mowe! Wan be Bwian 'gain, pwease?” The two players were ambivalent to their suffering. “Shaddup dummeh Bishup, nu cawe bout dummeh pwobwems.”

The White Bishop was drenched in sweat and had vomited from overexertion twice. Hamilton had sent him corner to corner on seven of the last ten turns to break up plays. They weren’t hard calls, so Hamilton’s turn was short, but so was Angus’ turn. He was attempting two different attacks, hence all the Bishop shifting. Consequently of the time it took for those ten turns to pass, almost 70% was taken up by the white bishop running back and forth.

“Dummeh Bishup! Gu fastew! Nu awwowed gu swow! Dis am waw! Haftu gu gif huwties tu stoopi Pawn!” The Bishop kept trotting, he was jangly and loose, like his bones weren’t in tight enough. “Am…sooo…saaaaahahahaaaaawwyyyy huuuuuuu…” He reached the square containing a relatively carefree and unconcerned black Pawn. “Hewwo, nyu fwend? Wook tiwed, nee huggies?” Brian knew he shouldn’t. He knew he was supposed to give hurties. But he could barely stand, let alone deliver even moderately sorry hoofsies! A hug sounded so nice…maybe? Maybe just one?

The pawn wrapped him in a warm embrace and his cares melted away. He could hear distant screaming from Hamilton. It didn’t matter. He could rest, if only for a moment. He could get through this. He could-


The Bishop was dead before he hit the ground. An air rifle pellet had torn through his skull and embedded in the gut of the Pawn he’d been hugging. The Pawn was shell shocked, barely able to speak, just looking around frantically.

Hamilton and Angus both started calling for help. Angus’ daddeh was on hand and ran to retrieve him, saving him fust before pellet fire shredded his cushion. Then a call came out from up above.

“Fuck your party you pieces of shiiiiiiit!”

Up in the sky, a ramshackle hoversled circled menacingly. The pilot was a woman in full riot gear, and the gunner was wearing a brilliantly reflective dome helmet for visibility. In his hands was a custom made air rifle with a digital scope that broadcast direct to his HUD for easy aiming.

Having noticed the sled, guards on the ground below open fire with their sidearms. Unfortunately they are insufficient, both in range and stopping power. The man with the gun just takes aim.





“Huuuuuuuuu weggies hab h-”

p’ pop

No matter what those on the ground did, nothing stopped the killing aside from lack of targets. By the time the hoversled screamed away via the not at all stealthy boosters, all the chess pieces were dead. Angus had been saved by his Daddeh, and Hamilton had hidden beneath his couch, shitting and pissing in fear to make himself gross and unappealing. “Huuuuuuu nu wike dis…Hammytun sowwy! Nu wan be bestes kow-mush-aww fwuffy no mowe! Tuu scawy!”

Across the way, Angus sobbed into his daddeh’s shirt. “Huuuuuu daddeh wai meanies take aww Angus nyu fwens way? Nao onwy hab meanie Hammy obah dewe! He smeww wike dummeh!”

“Shaddup! Nu smeww wike dummeh, smeww wike nice safe awweyway whewe babbeh fwum!”

“Ou nu am babbeh, an ou nu fwum awwey! Ou mummah hab own teebee show!”

The two began the screaming match which traditionally ended their playdates. Normally there wasn’t so much bloodshed, but these new cheaper hoversleds being pumped out of Cuba found eager buyers in America, embargo be damned. They vastly multiplied the lethality of any two man team, even when applied to fluffies only. They swoop in quickly and quietly, position themselves so their shots are aided by gravity while their target’s shots are hindered, then their boosters let out that goddamned noise when they engage for retreat. Like a bottle rocket the size of a bassoon.

Hamilton’s daddeh came out, lighting his very cool cigar with a hundred dollar bill. “Bandits again?”

“Yes sir,” said the guard captain, “on a hoversled.” The rich dickhead frowned. “Damn. I need one of those.”

“Mud Dauber to Tower? Y’all read us? Over.”

“Hive Tower 3 to Mud Dauber, we read you loud and clear. Are you requesting clearance to land at a docking bay? Over”

“That’s a big 10-4 Angie, preferably one by the overhaul hangar. Over”

“Tower to Mud Dauber, stick to protocols for all ATC chatter. Do you copy? Over.”

“Mud Dauber to…to Tower. I copy. Won’t happen again. Over.”

“Roger that Mud Dauber, we’ve got an open spot here for you at…looks like two. Yep, bay 2 is all clear and you have the green light to approach. Want me to prep the repair team? Over.”

“That’s a firm negatory on the repair team, Queen. Nothing serious, just took some small arms fire. Want to make sure it’s only superficial. Over.”

“We copy, not bothering the wrench jockeys. You riding with Yellowjacket? Over.”

“Correctamundo, An-Tower! Ah…uh… Affirmative, tower. Over.”

“Roger that. Please let her know to come speak with me after you’re done landing. Flight plan needs review. Over.”

“10-4 Tower, will do. Mud Dauber out.”

“Angie sounded pissed.”

“She’s just being professional.”

“Professionally pissed, Daub.”

“You think she’s still mad at me?”

“Do you not?”

“I mean I thought we were-”

“Yeah, well, you thought she wouldn’t mind that thing back in Dawsonville. Remember how that turned out?”


"That’s what I thought. Now get your gear stowed, it rattles when the engine gets to low revs unless you have it strapped down, and this bucket of bolts is already noisy enough in there."


“Daub? You with me?”



“Yeah. Yeah, sorry.”

“You good?”


“You gonna be?”


“Wanna talk about it?”


“Roger that. Watch your hands, gonna deploy the landing skid.”

Far above the clouds, away from prying eyes and meddlers, a massive cluster of rigid airships float in defiance of nature herself. Hanging from it like a steel parasite was the Hive: A cylindrical airbase seven stories tall and big enough to house 12 sleds and their crews. Onboard, dozens of people sleep, eat, and work to continue the mission.

To fly from place to place killing fluffies from the sky.