Tempestuous is a story written and illustrated by Iron Eater. It originally ran in Yes, And 4 at http://s2b2.livejournal.com/339246.html, and is mirrored at http://www.shousetsubangbang.com/mirror/tempestuous/.
Two trained specialists handle a problem in the usual professional manner, though there's something different back at HQ.
Charles adjusted his grip on his tray. By then he had shaken off most of the lingering fuzzy-headedness; you could see it in his face when he tweaked to how nobody else was moving, much less still in color. He hid a fidget. "If you will excuse me, please...?"
"You haven't been feeling very well, Charles," said Vic, who has a knack for breaking the news. He didn't ask how she knew his name. "You've been going too long without tending to things you should, and you've not been treating yourself very kindly. Things have gone awry as a result. We're here to help fix said things up a bit."
Now that we weren't quite so in the thick of things it was much easier to feel out every little emotion that rippled out of Charles and around us. Angels? was the best way to summarize one. Demons? Aliens? were two more. He was confused and worried, but not actually afraid. The fury that lingered on him like perfume probably contributed to that. "Who are you?" he asked us after another beat."We are agents of a higher power, but I assure you it is not the one you think," I said. I hid a smile as his thoughts rummaged through a variety of answers, only some of which came close. I try not to be a puckish little thing while on duty and it's so hard sometimes. My face a mask of serenity, I continued. "Can you tell us why we might be here?"
This story is very, very, very lightly connected to Shakespeare's The Tempest. No characters from the play appear in the piece.
This story has no related links.
I am currently pouring absurd amounts of time and energy into a comic project and therefore have much less time to write than usual; as a result this piece had about two and a half days' time to actually come into being, edits included. I wasn't even sure what I was going to be writing until the last minute! Some Netflix-provided anime on one of my off days helped me get some ideas together, then I spent a frantic day off banging the thing into shape. The readability of the final product is in no small part to my usual beta reader (thank you!).
I simply didn't have the time to beef up the literary allusions in the story to make them a bit more clever, but I liked that thread and wanted to run with it. Hence making it more obvious in the title! This is the source of Pero's name (his is abbreviated, of course) and the agents' classification. Ignore the fact that the end of that play saw the various sorcerous tools discarded and we'll all be fine.
The symbol on the key in the illustration is the alchemical symbol for air. I painted the whole thing furiously at the last possible minute, as the aforementioned comics work had me forgetting I'd neglected to supply a header and generally-abstract picture (due entirely to time crunch and not at all related to playing several hours of Chrono Trigger as a much-needed break from said crunch, I assure you); I think it turned out rather nice. Painting with purple is fun and the gold was in my history palette, so I did my damnedest I had to put a little effort somewhere!
The existence of the Arial font and my familiarity with said made keeping names straight a living nightmare at times.
Don't ask me how any of this works because I couldn't tell you. You're clever, I'm sure you can come up with something good.