1094 Alone.

The same forces that make Jolene popular with readers function in universe for her as well.

Those of you who steadfastly refuse to use any of the many social media outlets I make myself available to you with, who are also brave enough to return to a site with malware warnings, might well be curious about what happened.  The short version is that it was a hoax.  My host’s ad system was hacked in a very small window of vulnerability by an attack that makes it look like sites affected are infected with malware when they are not.  It targeted Chrome users specifically and since Google owns most of the internet the warnings spread out from there.  It was a deliberate attack meant to harm one, or many, people who use the network.  This is the information as I understand it.  There was never any danger.  In fact I never even got a warning on a single one of my devices.  Had no one said anything I would be completely unaware of the attack even now.  I have no idea why that is.  Generally I use IE and Safari and I guess they don’t give two fucks what Chrome (or Firefox) thinks about things.

Google reviews problems like this in order of popularity.  Meaning that Questionable content had its warning taken away waaaaay before mine.  I think my warning finally expired after about a day and a half, give or take.  The security problem was patched and that type of attack is, as far as I know, unlikely to work again.  So that’s what all that shit was about.  For the most part the ads I run are safe but every so often someone has to dick it up.  If ever the site does do something fishy try to get a screenshot and don’t do whatever stupid thing the ad tries to get you to do.  Like the one that tries to get you to upgrade your flash player…  Don’t do that.  The site should never do anything apart from show you a comic.  If it tries to do anything else be sure to let me know.  Alternately you can contact Hiveworks on their twitter feed (Or whatever else they use. I only use twitter and email though.)  Ultimately that’s who I will contact so if you want to leave me out of the loop feel free.

Now, before the last crash you could have just switched over to the dotnet version of the site, but it remains destroyed and will remain that was for as long as it takes for some family issues to be sorted out.  In the event that something goes wrong here are a list of places you can contact me.

http://crave-the-bullet.deviantart.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BetweenFailures

https://www.facebook.com/groups/263417838175/

https://www.facebook.com/Jackie.Wohlenhaus

https://twitter.com/betweenfailures

http://betweenfailures.tumblr.com/

betweenfailures(at)Hotmail(dot)com

The deviantart isn’t a good place for news, but you can contact me there. The facebook links are essentially the same thing, but one is my personal account but since I make no distinction between my personal life and my work it doesn’t matter what one you use. Twitter is great because you get to enjoy my puns and other various droppings of wit.  Tumblr will likely become the fallback position if anything ever really fucks the website over.  At least until such time that I can fix the spare.  The email is just my email.  The old site account quit working so I just started using the Hotmail backup I made.  It’s also my messenger name so if you want to chat on it go ahead.  I figured out a long time ago that the best way to prevent stalkers was to let people talk to me for about 5 minutes.  Just long enough for them to realize how tiresome and irritating I am “in person”.  I am much better on paper than in practice.  I seriously will talk to you and god forbid you catch me in a chatty mood.

Anyway, I always try to make myself as available to you guys as possible.  If anything ever goes wrong there’s all these ways to contact me.  So, go ahead on.

 

 

The room was quiet beyond quiet.  It was little more than an empty square of stone.  It was cold, dry, and a film of grit covered the floor.  No person had been in this room for years without count.  It seemed almost a crime to disturb it.  In spite of the fact that the room was ventilated it was agreed that starting a fire was a bad idea.  Niona produced a small lantern. That glowed with a small blue flame. It became their only light source.

 

The idea of going without a hot meal didn’t please Julius, but the three party members who had started the quest with an idea of what was going to happen had though to bring food that didn’t require cooking.  Niona, whose pack was the most burdened, seemed to have tried to pack for any eventuality.  How she lugged the thing around without withering beneath its weight was beyond him.  Hard breads, biscuits, cheese, dried meats, candy, jellies, jams, among other things were set out on her blanket for the group to enjoy.  The nature of the food caused them to eat in silence for most of the meal.  The sounds of their consumption reflected back and around the walls.  They were all feeling uneasy about staying in the claustrophobic space, but no one said so.  By the end of the meal all save Niona seemed jaw worn by the act of chewing the difficult food.  Julius couldn’t help but wonder if her prominent teeth had magical properties beyond her smile.

Eventually Niona began making nervous small talk.  Her familiarity with Alina and Regalius made it hard to continue finding topics so increasingly her attention turned to Julius.  The others were not only glad to have attention drawn from themselves but also to learn more about their untested party member.

 

“Have you lived in the city all your life?” Niona asked

 

“No, I came there after my village was sacked.” Julius replied morosely. “It was the first place to be attacked and bore my family name.”

 

“I knew I’d heard that name before!” Alina exclaimed, leaning forward quickly. “They say it was the first time anyone lay eyes on the Skeleton King.”

 

“I don’t know if that’s true,” said Julius “but less than ten pairs of eyes lived to tell the tale, including mine.”

 

“Did you get a good look? What was he like?” Regalius asked, unable to maintain his air of arrogant dissinterest.

 

“He was just a boy as far as I could tell.” Julius replied, his responses sounding more and more distant with each question. “He could have been my age.  Maybe younger, but men bowed before him as though he was a god. They obeyed without question.  We had no idea what was happening until it was too late.”

 

“A boy?” Regalius scowled. “I thought he was called the Skeleton King because he was one.  That’s what I’ve always heard.”

 

“That was the only time he appeared on a battlefield, or so they say.”  Alina explained. “I’ve seen reports from most of the survivors, even they don’t agree on what he looked like.  I doubt he he wandered into the town and declared himself Skeleton King and started ruining the place.”

 

“You’re right.” Said Julius “He didn’t get that name until later.  When he started sending the reanimated into battle instead of men.  He was only the Skeleton King retroactively.  I don’t think even his closest minions know his true name.  If they did they never spoke it.”

 

“How could you know that?” Regalius asked with a hint of accusation in his voice.

 

“I was guarding the shrine when he wandered into town.” Julius relied, emotionless. “The only person to actually face him in combat.”

 

“Nonsense!” Regalius exclaimed. “I don’t believe a word of it!”

 

“No one ever does.  That’s why I quit telling the story.”  For a moment Alina locked eyes with Julius.  Deceit made no home there.  Regret, perhaps, sadness… but not deceit.

 

“What did he want?”  Alina asked.

 

“I think he thought our shrine held a weapon, but whatever secrets it kept they died with my family.” Julius explained.  “I wasn’t old enough to learn them.  He had already killed most of the town before he thought to ask anyone what you were supposed to activate the shrine… and I didn’t know.  He beat me nearly to death trying to get me to tell him, but I couldn’t.”

 

“I’ve been to that shrine.” Alina said. “The alter is still there, intact.”

 

“Yep…  I still don’t know how to open the damn thing.”

35 Comments

Yeah seen this kinda thing before on other webcomics

the hacking that is

It was the advertisement provider that was hacked, I think, if I recall the Misfile thing. Chrome keeps telling me not to go here, but screw that. I have enough computer knowhow to deal with it should it happen and it shouldn’t unless I click an ad that’s already been dealt with.

Friggin Google customer service is the problem, should have whitelisted the site by now.

Yeah… That’s social anxiety. Feeling alone even though you’re surrounded by loved ones. Being afraid of every thing and not being able to do everyday things all the time… then being fine with them other times. Even you don’t always get why it works sometimes. Not everybody believes you because they only see the “fine” times. Calling in sick just to hide under the covers for the day.
And also being glad when somebody gets it. <3 Thanx.

Jo got screwed over when I created this world because she was the one who got my social anxiety. People don’t understand it at all. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but I still have trouble going to unfamiliar places. It’s a lot cuter when she’s afraid to go to the post office than when I am.

Been there, am there, know exactly what you’re/Jo is feeling.

Count me in too. What Jo said really resonated with me. Im going to a convention this weekend and I plan to cosplay all the days but I still am more nervous as hell which ruins my feelings of excitement. Unfortunately, I dont know of anyone in my life who could relieve me of my loneliness.

I don’t have that kind of social anxiety, but my husband does. Jo pretty much sums up what he goes through on a daily basis. Though she seems to have better ways to cope with it. My husband would most likely be a shut in if it weren’t for the fact that he’s the primary bread winner in our family. It’s the only thing that gets him out of the house most days, the fact that he has to go to work or we wouldn’t have the money to have a place to live. Fear of becoming homeless is a pretty big motivator for him.

I have my own issues that prevent me from having a standard job, but my home based business doesn’t bring in much money, so he’s kind of left with no choice. I wish I could help him more than I do, but, yea…

I know this is way late to the conversation, but I recently started reading the comic and this segment really hit me hard.

I know the feeling very well. When I am with my friends, there is no problem until someone new enters the picture. I’ve also never had a relationship because of it.
But my difference is that I work in tech support so i have to deal with people all the time. Then I can’t deal with people outside of work and I feel emotionally drained all the time.

Side note: This comic is awesome. Tied with QC for my favorite series.

Count me in on the social anxiety train. Add depression to it and being kicked out of college for it, no medical insurance, and all this other crapton of stuff, makes for a not happy Bamfykins. The depression makes getting out of bed hard, then I don’t take care of my responsibilities, then I get the social anxiety basically sending me in a tailspin of, “OhGodOhCrapOhJesusIDon’tWannaGooooo.”

All in all, I really, really, REALLY identify with our little Jo…y’know, beyond the “I’m only 5 feet tall” thing. :P

D’awwwww, Jo looks so sweet in that last panel.

Also, glad to see the malware warnings have been cleared up!

I just started reading a week ago. I have read the whole comic four times thru . Keep up the great work. 1092 second panel would make a good wallpaper . Carol is my Favorite character then Jolene and Nina.

I remember being forced to used some harsh chemicals to be able to dye my (once) thick black hair a much lighter colour.

Over the past year I put my hair through hell going from a dark brunette to ultra blonde. Now I’m brunette again, not quite my own shade, but my hair is kind of coarse feeling without a lot of extra conditioning done to it now. I was so tired of being blonde though…

Luckily(if you can call it that) my hair has slowly but surely turned grey, thus allowing me to use less powerful(and harsh) bleachs to achieve the same level of colouring.

I’m only in my very early twenties…kinda don’t wanna be gray yet….also don’t want to be bald either though, but with my current record I may end up being that way. Idk, the professional who did my current color swore my hair wouldn’t fall out….after the platinum blondeness, professional help was required in my case, unfortunately.

That’s got to be one of the cutest pages I have even read in this comic. If you ever made another banner ad, the final panel would make a perfect advertisement.

I actually relate quite a bit to Jolene. The funny thing is, there’s also the voice of Carol’s reason in my mind, as well. I guess this kind of means I relate to you a bit. The fear is manifested differently, though.

Even as a former U.S. Marine, there are things that scare me that most people don’t expect. There are some things that don’t make much sense to me, either. The biggest thing I am trying to deal with is why I am willing to move all over the place, but not willing to get a part-time job. I don’t really need one right now, but the money would make my life quite a bit easier.

I know it’s not because I’m lazy. I really love to volunteer. Shoot, I did some work on an airplane using the skills I’m learning at school for free. The airplane is owned by Wings for Christ; a not-for-profit organization that teaches ministers how to fly at no cost to the minister if they have a need. Our chief pilot is giving lessons to a pastor from Alaska this month.

It doesn’t really do me much good to be counted as unemployed because I know I wouldn’t have trouble getting a job if I just tried.

I just don’t know exactly why I won’t try.

Misfile’s got the same damned problem. I think it’s just trying to kill awesome webcomics. I refuse to allow this.
Social anxiety? Well, tell you this: all of you who have a hard time functioning in society, believe me when I say you’re not missing much. If it bothers you that much, though, let’s just say you have at least one person to call upon- the walking enigma that is Mr. Bulbmin. People deserve what happens when legitimately a jerk, but when the issue is fear it’s a whole seperate ballgame. The Jolenes of the world have a guide. One prone to detours, butstill.

I can attest the warning has in fact shown up for some Safari users, or at least me. I figured it was a hack or a glitch, though.

Yep, got the warning on Firefox, it happens so often on webcomic pages that I automatically ignore it anyway. Knew it was the spam-meisters, wouldn’t trust those idiots, they have their own agenda.

Is there a place where we can read your story in full without having to go back through the comics to try to find the beginning? I just finished reading through your comic for the first time and I really like it. Empire Records is one of my favorite movies and this reminds me a lot of that. Keep up the good work!

Aww that’s the tenderest way I’ve heard of someone telling you “yer acting stupid” I’ve ever heard. Haha.

Gosh, I’m never shy in public. I know how to be confident. I read all about it in a ….web….comic. So, uh, hey? could someone pick up my package at the post office?

Okay, I have to be perfectly honest. In all my time reading this web comic, never have I wanted to give Jo a hug more than I do right now! Seriously, that expression and text in the second panel is great, and is actually managing to make me feel like a bad person for not being able to hug Jo through the computer screen!

so many feels in this comic. social anxiety is a huge bum. (I would use stronger language, but I’m not in the mood.) Getting it when you’re young (I was about 12/13 when the symptoms first showed their head) is annoy as all hell. So hard to relate to other people because I kept/keep myself isolated, it’s a damn never ending spiral. Hopefully one of these days I’ll be comfortable around a stranger, or having my bare skin touched, or being in a crowd. Stupid world is made for extroverts. Anyone wanna do my shopping for me?

Oh! The skin touching! Yes! Sooo many people ask me about the jackets on hot days. Also, loud noise crowds… I find myself trying to follow every talker all at once because they’re so loud, and getting super flustered. Feel happy people know. I keep checking back just to see more of who says what. lol

Ah…the therapeutic power of Carol’s breast. I find it interesting that some times, the only thing that you need to make the world a better place is a hug.

Busty hugs will always cure what ails you. :) Or at least make you comfortable for the time being. I’m loving the maternal instinct that Carol is expressing.

As for the malware notice, I doubt I’d have ever seen it. I usually read my Webcomics through Taptu on Android or in the RSS reader in Thunderbird.

Dear god I sympathize with Jo. But that’s not what gets me. I was gonna die of adorableness if Jo began purring in the last panel..

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