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Prologue

Misery is a being of many strange powers, she has taken countless forms in her journies across the multiverse - yet one form she took was not of her own will, a cursed form that was put upon her by her fellow Absolutes as punishment for great misdeeds.

Yet Misery was never one to learn from her mistakes and soon she was free from her prison, to walk the stars once more - yet as Misery left the body of the insect she had been trapped in a change occured: the empty shell started to gain a life of its own.

Thus the entity known as Worry was born, neither of this world nor the next - a lesser-aspect of Misery herself: for a while this being stayed hidden in the shadows before it would finally find its moment to strike..

The Uninvited

"Ruichi-Ruichi-Ruichi!" Nebula exclaimed, leaping up and down with excitement.

Ruichi groggily lifted his head from his desk where he had fallen asleep. "Ugh... Nebula... wha-"

"It's Tuesday!" said Nebula with a mile-wide grin.

Ruichi was confused. "I don't underst-"

"We have twenty-six more days! Twenty-six! And you know what that means!"

"I... er... haven't the slightest idea-"

"Ooh, look at the time, time for lunch! Be right back!" Nebula interrupted once more, before dashing off and leaving poor Ruichi baffled.

"...what just happened?" he wondered aloud.

As Nebula leaves Ruichi becomes aware of a figure nearby, appearing out of nowhere - a small figure, no larger than a human child, covered in a long trenchcoat and hat: none of the figure's features visible as it stood perfectly still.

With almost blinding speed, Ruichi whirled about, summoning his weapon to his hand, a scythe longer than he was tall, and pointed it at the intruder. "Who are you?" he growled quietly.

The figure remains deadly silent before a cold wind blows through the area, knocking off the figure's hat - revealing emptiness beneath as the trenchcoat falls to the ground.. <<..nothing to Worry about..>> a voice seems to whisper.. or was it just the mind?

Ruichi was unsettled as he walked forward to observe the empty trenchcoat.

Ruichi finds nothing peculiar, the empty trenchcoat simply laying on the ground - yet a feeling of anxiety spreads across the area as a scuttling sound echoes across the room, a glimpse of a strange insect disappearing into a corner being the only real physical clue of something astray.

"Hey Ruichi!" Nebula called out, suddenly entering the room. "Er... what are you pointing your scythe at? There's nothing there, silly... unless... is it a ghost?!"

"I thought I saw..." Ruichi began. "...nothing. Never mind."

"Nothing? But you can't see nothing because nothing is not there! So you must've seen something!"

Ruichi sighed. "I thought I saw a person there..."

"Aha! So it IS a ghost!" Nebula exclaimed. She ran off, calling out: "Here, ghostie! Where are you?"

As Nebula exits the room something very strange occurs, a large box on wheels slides over the room and stops next to Ruichi - a single red button with a note attached reading "Press Here".

Ruichi was taken aback by this strange occurance and did what he found most natural; smash the box with his scythe.

The box however shakes in response and springs open - the scythe bouncing off almost like rubber: a large collection of musical instruments spring out as a cheerful tune plays across the room and Ruichi is greeted to what is possibly one of the most disturbingly strange things he has likely seen in a while.. an insect springing onto its hindlegs and dancing to the music as it sings, clear as day:

"Welcome welcome welcome

A fine welcome to you!

Welcome welcome welcome

I say how do you do?

Welcome welcome welcome

I say hip hip hurray!

Welcome welcome welcome

To Ruichi today!"

The insect then pauses and the box once again shakes...

"Wait for it!"

Ruichi had no intention of waiting for "it," whatever "it" was. He spun around and made a dash for the doorway out of the room.

Ruichi's decision was wise as the box explodes, a red mist covering the room as the insect disappears - when the mist fades however their is no sign of the box having ever been in the room at all.

"HI Ruichi!" shouted Nebula out of the blue, causing the poor man's heart to skip a beat. "I met a ghostie and his name was Craig! He went this way!" she exclaimed excitedly, pushing past Ruichi and heading off to another part of the house.

After a few moments, Ruichi cautiously stepped back into the room.

As Ruichi enters the room again the doors suddenly slam shut and chains appear, along with a large stylized padlock: effectively sealing him in the room as a rather tattered teddy-bear levitates off the ground with a visible red aura, one of its button-eyes are missing and the rest of the teddy-bear is in general disrepair, making it even more disturbing than it would of been under normal circumstances.. a strange voice speaking from the shadows..

"..are you scared? nervous? feeling a little anxious? well if it makes you feel any better you aren't the only one.. you see.. your little pink friend is just as nervous as you are.."

"...who are you?!" demanded Ruichi. "What are you?! Where's Nebula?!"

A cloud of red mist forms and Ruichi finds himself facing the mysterious trenchcoat-wearing figure, looking down it is notable that the figure floats slightly off the ground, the teddy-bear falling to the ground as the red aura fades:

"..her optimism, bouncy nature and eternal need to please others are all classic signs of an individual trying to hide their true feelings - escaping from reality.. yes.. Nebula is indeed a troubled soul.. as for you, Ruichi, well I'd say you were troubled but really.. you're more sad.. yes.. kind of pathetic..".

"You know nothing about us," said Ruichi darkly, gripping his scythe tighter.

"I know that you won't be able to save her, Ruichi - have fun trying.. I know I will.." - with that the figure collapses, leaving nothing but a pile of clothes as the door bursts open and something rushes out the room: moving so fast it was little more than a blur.

Ruichi leapt to the side as he caught a glimpse of the blur from the corner of his eye. His heart raced.

Ruichi is soon left alone as the presence fades - the sound of shrieking coming from the nearby hallway, sounding oddly like Nebula..

Ruichi tore through the doorway and ran into the hall, readying his scythe...

As Ruichi enters the hall he finds himself slipping on several bannanna peels as carnival music plays in the background, the area warping into a nightmarish "fun-house" as a familiar insect perches on a tall table, dressed in a tophat and tiny "ringmaster" suit:

"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girl.. presenting the amazing Ruichi! here to save the day - question is.. who will save him?".

Ruichi lunged forward trying to smash the bug beneath his fist.

Worry reacts to this by diving off the table, which shatters - the area warping back to normal as the insect scuttles under a nearby door and into a small room nearby.

Ruichi flings open the door, with a murderous look on his face, only to be confronted suddenly by Nebula.

"Ruichi? Whuzzgoinon?"

"That... bug... must... kill it..." Ruichi growled.

"Huh? That's mean!" Nebula exclaimed.

"You don't understand! That bug is evil!"

Nebula shot Ruichi a confused look, tilting her head slightly. Then she backed away. "Right... okay... I'm gonna keep looking for Craig the ghostie... Later!" With that, she bolted away.

"Wait!" Ruichi called out. "I thought I heard you-" he stopped midsentence, realizing that Nebula hadn't heard him.

Worry chuckles from the room as it observes the conversation between Nebula and Ruichi: perching on yet another tabletop - "..she really is annoying, isn't she? here you are worrying to death and she isn't even aware.. then again: maybe you *are* mad.. guess that's anothing thing to worry about, no?".

Ruichi wasted no time in trying to smash the bug with his fist once more. "Get lost!" he snarled.

No sooner had Ruichi's fist came down than Worry appeared elsewhere, this time perched on Ruichi's head with a small megaphone - yelling into it like a cartoon envisioned by a sadistic madman: "Attention everybody! Ruichi is really, really slow! Though certainly not as slow as that flying pink booger known as Nebula - in fact I bet I'm going to have a lot of fun with her.. that is if Lady Misery doesn't call me away early..".

"AAAARRRGGGHHH!!" shouted Ruichi, dropping his scythe in shock and clamping his hands over his ears. "GET OFF!"

Worry let out a laugh as it hopped off Ruichi and scurried out of the room, reality once again changing back to relative normality - the creature seemed to be toying with Ruichi, almost as if it was feeding off his anxiety and fears.

Yet the creature didn't see content at this, the time had come to try for the ultimate prize - the creature raced its way to try and find Nebula - "..What a moron! Heh, once I get the little Wisp all worked up and crazy I dare say Misery will have no choice but to give me a new body.. one more fitting to my brilliance.. no more scurrying around like a lowly insect, hehe.. it's just too perfect!".

"MUFFINS!" Nebula's voice shouted all of a sudden- before Worry could even tell what had happened, Nebula had burst out of an adjacent room in a mad rush, her foot coming down atop the startled bug as she darted down the hall without even taking notice that she had stepped on anything at all.

"This isn't happening.." Worry thought as it was stepped on by the pink blur that was the rather excitable Nebula - the bug sticking to the Wisp's foot as she darted down the hall: much like a cartoon - "..this *really* isn't happening.." Worry continued.

"Wait a sec-" exclaimed Nebula suddenly, skidding to a halt. "Caramel! The muffins could use some caramel! And cola! And cookies! Ooh, this is gonna be so AWESOME!" As Nebula was talking out loud to herself, she began to jump up and down excitedly, much to Worry's dismay.

"ack.. this.. oof.. is.. ack.. unacceptable!" Worry blurts out as it finally manages to free itself, wobbling a little before flopping down as if seeing stars.

"Huh?" exclaimed Nebula, taking notice of Worry. "Oh, hi! Would you like muffins too?"

"GAH! ENOUGH!" Worry yells, losing its cool as it suddenly morphs into a large humanoid not unlike the Grinch, only colored red and having sharp claws and fangs, glowing green eyes flaring as it points to Nebula.

"No having fun! No being nice! I HATE NICE!" Worry snaps.

Nebula giggled, seemingly unfazed by the fact that the insect had just transformed into a being many times it's normal size. "Aw, silly, how can you hate nice? Nice is nice!"

"NO!" Worry yells, looming over Nebula and growling "..No being nice! No being happy! I've.. had.. enough!" - with that the monster extends a claw and places it on Nebula's head, the Wisp: causing her to suddenly fade as if the color was being drained right out of her.

"Hey, what's going on... that tickles... stop tha...t..." Nebula said, her voice slowly losing it's former cheeriness.

Ruichi's voice suddenly split the air: "AAAAAAARRRGGGHHH!!!"

Before Worry could react, Ruichi had leapt toward him, scythe in hand, slamming into him with the full weight of his body.

"Bah! to Heck with this!" Worry roars out as he bursts into a pillar of red smoke, releasing Nebula as Ruichi's attack seems to be straw that broke the camel's back.. so to speak.. the red smoke clearing as Worry, once again in "bug" form, scurries over the room towards a crack in the wall.

"No you don't!" Ruichi shouted- but before he could move, Nebula had lunged forward, shouting "MEANIE!". She leapt across the room to bring her foot down on Worry.

"Misery will hear of this!" Worry calls out before Nebula's foot stomps him out, disappearing in a puff of smoke under her foot - the little Wisp probably thinking she "squished" the bug.. the pair free from the creature's presence..

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Following yet another embarassing defeat Worry toppled into his "home" dimension - filled with hundreds of doors, positioned in impossible ways like an Abstract painting.. cursing under his breath as he dusted himself off as best he could, glowing pink as he grumbled "..stupid Wisp.. I'm going to be seeing pink for a week..".

"Oh come now, it wasn't that bad.. I mean, sure, you failed to break Ruichi's mind and ended up stomped flat under a Wisp, of all things.. could be worse.." a voice speaks out, turning into a floating feline head with a large smile spread over its face.

"..Muse? don't tell me you were spying on me?" Worry said, somewhat surprised by the feline's arrival in his realm.

"Indeed I was.. must be tough.. being so tiny.. all the power in the cosmos and still.." Muse stops, showing a projection of the many defeats Worry had experienced from various beings across the world, ranging from being swatted at with brooms to being fired from a slingshot, in a manner similar to an old silent era movie.

"Stop that!" Worry snaps, to his surprise the projection vanishes in a puff of smoke and a tiny feline stands next to him: face to face.. so to speak.

"What I'm saying, Worry, is perhaps it's time you formed a little club.. for the "little guys".. you know? the folk everyone keeps stepping on.. not just literal.. of course.. the guys everyone forgets about" Muse smirks.

"You mean I gather a bunch of useless second-rate "villains" and make some sort of secret society? that sounds.. incredibly stupid.." Worry replies.

"Think on it Worry, with your power you could unite these so called losers and make them shine.. you can step on the good guys for a change.. you know it makes sense.." Muse says.

"Hrm.. alright.. alright.. any ideas what we should name it?" Worry finally says.

"The Society of Second-Rate Supervillains.. of course I can't join: I'm far to competent.. however I know a guy who'd be dying to help you.." Muse grins.

"Really? Why do I have a horrible feeling you are going to drag me into some cosmic scheme with this whole "Society"?" Worry frowns.

"Heh, because my dear Worry.. you already know you have no choice.. come on.. let's go make us some chaos.." Muse smirks, transforming into a more humanoid shape and carrying Worry in a palm, growing back to a "normal" size, grinning impossibly wide as they vanished into a portal..


-END-

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