DeviantART. A website filled with many forms of creativity. Images and writings. Fiction and nonfiction. The abstract and the definite. And the D virus.
No one knew who created the D virus, or how or why. It was an enigmatic computer virus that infected the profiles and galleries of DeviantART members, seemingly at random, to wreak its havoc. No security measure, no antivirus, was known to be effective against it.
There was one quirk to the virus, something that sometimes made it its own bane. Whenever it infected a user's gallery, it first brought the artist's creations to life within the digital landscape it operated in. Fancharacters, places and creatures of all natures became live and sentient during the D virus's attack, and often fought back against it. Occasionally they won, and the artist's works were safe.
One day, the D virus landed on a profile page owned by an insignificant writer by the alias of *sonicinterface.
Before the virus showed up, the virtual world of *sonicinterface's gallery was a blank landscape. Despite the black, featureless sky, the area appeared well-lit. The only surface was the ground, stretching on infinitely and decorated with images and words of the many works of fiction *si had created.
The first creature flew in seemingly out of nowhere. It was an insectoid/reptilian creature the size of an average car; it was as if someone took a griffin and replaced the bird parts with parts from a mantis and the cat parts with parts from a giant lizard. And its entire body was a sickly grass green in color.
A swarm of smaller creatures just like it followed it at a distance. This swarm of creatures, "D-beasts", was how the D virus had chosen to manifest itself. Since nobody in the real world had ever seen this or any other manifestation, nobody could say whether it chose this form every time.
As the D-beasts passed over various features of the floor, people and places sprang up. The first was a beautiful-looking garden being tended to by an orange maned wolf. Almost immediately he looked up at the creatures as they decorated the black sky.
Just beyond him, a private eye's office materialized, the door marked "J. MARINA". The woman inside had been napping in her chair, but quickly woke up and rushed to the door to see the swarm.
The digital ground was soon well populated with all sorts of characters, as *sonicinterface had something of a varied gallery. Every single one of them was looking up at the D-beasts, and every single one of them knew, somehow, instinctively.
They knew that these creatures were evil.
They knew that they were out to destroy everything in this world.
They knew that they had to be stopped.
A black-backed jackal held his flying fox companion close as they examined the swarm. "Fruits," the jackal whispered, "go get the truck of Ultraballoon gas. I think we're going to need it."
Elsewhere, a blue wolf dressed in black crouched low. She made a simple stroke with two fingers on the reflective shield on her back, and one by one, more wolves began to climb out of it. Each one took a position behind the blue wolf, ready for action. By the time they were all assembled, there were about a hundred of them.
"...Numbers 11 through 30," she ordered, "head for the left and support anyone who needs it. 31 through 50, head right. 51 through 70, towards the back. 71 through 90, the front. 1 through 10 and 91 up, stay with me. GO!"
At her command, the wolves moved out to their respective positions. The D-beasts changed formation, spreading out evenly over the different settings as every character prepared for battle. The leader remained in the center, high up.
After taking a moment to survey the area, the D-beast leader let out a screech and clashed its blades together. All at once, the attack began.
All over the landscape, D-beasts divebombed the different characters and settings and attacked with their powerful blades and mandibles. Every world that was hit fought back however it could.
Up on an open-air stage, a pangolin wielding an electric guitar blocked and dodged as one D-beast tried over and over to cut her up.
"Hurry up, Copper!" she yelled to the side. "I can't keep this up!"
"Working on it!" a voice called back. Copper, a brown bull, had just managed to down another of the green beasts by punching it between the eyes. He then picked up two wires and carefully plugged them in.
Hearing the feedback, the pangolin strummed her guitar, creating an ear-shattering chord. D-beasts were knocked out of the air left and right by the shockwave.
Somewhere across the field, a Tails lookalike with red eyes winced as the noise hit his ears, distracting him for a brief instant from the fact that he was battling a D-beast in mid-air. When the creature sliced at him again, though, he caught the hint and ducked again.
With one final strike, the fox brought both himself and the creature to the ground, landing squarely on and crushing another D-beast in the middle of a large library.
The chimera-like creature that made her home in the library glanced up. "Thanks, Topaz," she muttered in demon-speak, "but I didn't need the backup."
The fox blinked. "You know my name?"
"I know every name in every story ever written, including yours and mine. For instance, over there are Tanya and Max, the kangaroos."
Tanya and Max were perched on top of a blimped-up, floating Johnny Jackal, surrounded by D-beasts. Max had already pulled out a bazooka from nowhere in particular, but wasn't making much progress.
"Max," the elder kangaroo suddenly cut in, "put the bazooka away. I've got a plan."
Confused, the joey did as he was told... after which he felt his older sister's foot tapping him in the back. Realizing what was coming, he braced himself.
With a quick swing of her powerful leg, Tanya kicked Max directly at the nearest D-beast. Max almost immediately balled up from reflex, and hit the beast square in the forehead, knocking it down as he rebounded to the next one.
Tanya grinned as she watched her brother pinball around the swarm, glad she'd picked up something useful from the soccer incident. Then he struck her from behind, sending them both plummeting to the ground.
CRASH! The noise wasn't anywhere near as loud as Ozone's guitar riff from before, but it definitely made a few heads turn towards the newly made kangaroo-shaped hole in the ground.
As Tanya pulled herself to her feet and tried to climb out of the hole, she noticed a bunch of blurs whizzing over as a bunch of animals joined in the fight. The D-beasts found it difficult to fight back as they were trampled by six-legged cheetahs, punched and kicked by kangaroo-like creatures, decapitated by purple panthers with bladed tails, and frozen by white wolves.
One of the white wolves paused for a stern gaze at a gray wolf and phoenix not far away. The two of them were fighting off D-beasts with a sword and a stream of fire, respectively.
The phoenix noticed the glance and returned it. "Mind your own business, okay?" she called over. "We've got a common enemy to worry about!"
Acknowledging the command, the white wolf moved on... just as a defeated D-beast collapsed on top of the phoenix and gray wolf, comically flattening them both.
Way up above, the leader of the D-beasts examined every corner of the battlefield as it circled, occasionally giving orders. Then something caught its eye.
A girl with butterfly wings was hiding under a desk, guarded by the orange maned wolf from before. This girl was special, and the leader knew it.
The leader dove, heading straight for the girl. It spun in midair, knocking the maned wolf away with its tail, before grabbing the girl and hauling it into the air with it.
With a loud screech, the leader directed everyone's attention to itself and the girl. Almost all at once, the entire crowd stopped fighting and looked. It had her tightly gripped, with one blade ready to skewer the girl at a second's notice.
She wasn't just a girl, she was *sonicinterface's muse. The avatar of his creativity. Without her, it would be curtains for the entire gallery.
The leader let out a final, malicious roar before bringing its blade squarely into... the empty air?!
A yellow-clad female exhaled a breath as she put the muse down; she was no lighter than she looked.
The winged girl turned around. "Reach, is it? I can't thank you enough for that one."
"Think nothing of it. I'm always looking for ways to prove myself useful."
Furious at having its victory stolen from it, the D-beast leader let out a new screech that represented a special command. Instantly all the other D-beasts flocked towards it, assembling themselves in a specific manner. Once in position, they seemed to melt together, taking the form of a humongous green D-beast, easily several stories tall.
A spider monkey grinned from inside a helicopter at the edge of the arena. "Looks like this one's our territory, Sylvia. Take us close."
"Roger that, Vince."
As the helicopter coasted towards the colossus, Vincent perused his weaponry and decided on a grenade launcher. Carefully he armed it and took aim.
Down below, a private eye turned werewolf lunged at the beast and clawed its leg, causing it to scream in pain. Vincent took the opportunity and fired a grenade square into its mouth, forcing it to swallow the explosive projectile.
Tense seconds passed before the monkey pressed the detonator, at which point everyone flinched as the explosion literally tore the giant creature apart. D-beasts landed all over the ground, every one either dead on impact or quickly finished off by whoever was nearby.
The D-beast leader let out a weak screech as it tried to pull itself off the ground, but a paw against its body forced it back down. The paw happened to belong to the Librarian, who glared deep into its eyes.
"You have been VERY irresponsible with your library privileges. It's time to face the consequences of your actions."
A sphere of light began to form in the Librarian's palm as she focused. The leader tried a sneak attack on her while she charged up, but it didn't have the strength to pull it off, and just collapsed on the ground again.
Then, a flash. When the light faded, the D-Beast leader had been replaced with a green hardback book titled "The D Virus".
The battle was over. The D virus had been defeated, and the gallery had survived.
The Librarian looked up at the clear black sky. "The creativity of our author has prevailed over the evils that threatened it!" she declared loudly. "Let us all return to our own worlds and continue to be as we were meant to be!"
Already the virus's effects were fading. As people and objects returned to their home terrain, they vanished and once again became part of their stories and pictures. The deceased D-beasts rapidly decayed and disintegrated (I wouldn't recommend trying to say THAT five times fast).
Finally the last character disappeared, leaving the digital landscape vacant once more.
The D virus was not gone altogether. *sonicinterface's gallery was not the first to repel the virus successfully, and would not be the last to be infected by it.
No one knew who created the D virus, or how or why. But some theorized that it was a higher power's way of culling the less creative from the ranks of DeviantART.
An artist's creativity is their most important asset, vastly more so than any other. They can have all the time and supplies in the world, but what matters is that they're creative enough to use those resources in ways that people appreciate.
DeviantART is an artist's community, so it thrives on creativity. I've had enough in me to score a whopping 500 deviations so far, and I'm not stopping there.
Keep being creative, fellow deviants. I know I am.