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Ask me anything
93%
13 deviants said Ok, I'll ask
7%
1 deviant said Nope, don't want to know
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No deviants said eewwww... sorry I asked
Ok, I'm a bit late getting to read this book.  If you haven't read it, and were a geek growing up in the 80's, then it is a must read.

"Ready Player One" takes place in a dystopian future, where people find some escape in a virtual online universe with endless games, shopping, schools, etc for people to make use of.  When the creator of this virtual universe dies, a video is sent out informing everyone that his 240 billion dollar fortune will go to whoever finds the Easter egg he has hidden in it.  The guy loved the 80's, so now everyone studies the movies, video games, tv, and books of the times.  The book is loaded with references to stuff like Last Star Fighter, Ladyhawk, Zork, Star Wars, Atari games like Adventure, Rush, Wargames, and so on.  

Loved the book.  If they make a movie of it the big battle near the end will be awesome!
  • Mood: Tired
  • Listening to: TYT
  • Reading: X-Men
  • Watching: Lost Girl
  • Playing: Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff
  • Eating: Plum
  • Drinking: Apple cider
----
SovietSuperwoman suggested I do a piece on what Kim thinks of other villains.
Decided to tie this in with the recent story.
----


The large screen at the front of the room came to life, as Kim loaded the presentation she had prepared. She only had an audience of one, but it was an important one. The source and nature of Typhon's AI was still a mystery, but it seemed to still be in an early stage of development. Kim wanted to make sure it developed in a way that was compliant to her desires.

"Ok Typhon, we have already gone over some aspects of how this society functions, and the 'Heroes' roll in it."

Typhon nodded, "Laws are created to bring order to society.  Heroes enforce the laws to protect the people, even though the laws are set to the advantage of the powerful, and exploit the weak."

"Yes. The heroes can be useful at times, such as protecting against external threats. But they fail at helping those they claim to protect by letting the system continue as it is. But such exploitation is human nature. Most of those that are weak would be just as  exploitative if given the chance. Many revolutions are brought about by appealing to, and using the weak, but end with just a new group of powerful being in control."

Kim started the presentation on the screen. "Now, today we will talk about people who have been labeled 'Villains'. These are people who have gotten some measure of power, either actual meta-human, or unique equipment and abilities, but do not seek to enforce the current order. Instead they usually seek to benefit themselves. The majority of these fall into one of three groups. First is the small time criminal. These usually act as mundane criminals, but with some advantage of their abilities. The second category have some power, and are seeking to increase their abilities.  The third major category are the world conquerors. Gaining some measure of power, these individuals think themselves unstoppable, and seek to take control of the world."

Typhon interrupted, "Does one such person control the world?"

"No. While they seek to control it, they tend to grossly overestimate their abilities. If they ever became a serious threat, the nations of the world would develop methods of dealing with them. Some nations have develop such counter measures in case they become needed, but as the Heroes usually handle such people, the nations are content to let the heroes do the fighting."

Kim laughed, "In a way, the heroes are doing those villains a favor."

Typhon tilted his head in curiosity, "A favor? Please explain."

"Most of the 'conquer the world' types seem to have fantasies of sitting on a throne, surrounded by wealth, servants, and maybe a harem."

"Harem?"

Kim smiled and shook her head, "Another time maybe. The point is that while such people seek to rule the world, most of them never consider what is involved with actually ruling. If you asked them what they plan to do about poverty, health care, unemployment, countless wars based on racial or religious differences, limited resources, environmental problems, they would likely not have a single thought.  Now then, here are some examples of the villains that operate in this area."

The screen transitioned to a pictures and video of a powerfully built blond woman.

"Ilsa Hauppman, also known as Genocide. Leader of an organization called the 4th Reich. She is one of the 'take over the world' types. Her organization is very well disciplined, highly trained, and well equipped. As an organization they are dangerous. Ilsa herself, in addition to being a brilliant scientist, is extremely powerful in her enhanced form.  She is amazingly strong, and has the ability to quickly regenerate most damage. Her organization could conceivably take over some small countries.  I do some business with them, to a limited degree."

"You do not believe they can succeed, then why do you work with them?"

"I do business with people for my own profit, or benefit.  In dealing with them I gain access to some technology and information that might not otherwise be available.  However, dealings with them are best kept on the business level only.  While powerful, their organization has some fatal flaws.  The main one is it is based on a fanatical racism, the belief their particular race of humans are superior to all others."

"Are they superior?"

Kim shook her head, "No, the differences between races are largely cosmetic.  In being based on the false belief of their superiority, they unnecessarily make enemies of most of the population of the world.  Plus it cuts them off from the talent and resources available from those they consider inferior.  The other problem with them is there are others in the organization that would take control of it, deposing Hauppman.  If I am seen as being her ally, then those people would plot against me as well.  I keep out of their internal fight, and will work with whoever is in charge."

The presentation advanced to the next subject.

"Next we have Robin Grant, known as Skyscraper.  Currently she has the power to greatly increase her size, though she is searching for ways to increase her power.  An admirable goal.  I wonder what she will do if she ever reaches the level of power she seeks.  She is a close ally, performing missions for me, in exchange for materials she needs to further her research.  One of the few people I would consider a friend.  However she is not very skilled at combat, relying on her size and strength too much.  I may send you to assist her."

"You wish me to train her in combat?"

With a chuckle, "No, she is not ready to train on your level.  You would be sent to accompany her while she performs a mission, and protect her if she is attacked."

Typhon's claws clacked together, as if in anticipation of a fight.

"Next is the Occupant."  The screen showed a question mark.  "No confirmed images of him exists.  Reports indicate he is a rather powerful telepath, with the ability to alter perceptions of people in the area, and even alter memories.  It is unlikely he would be able to influence you though.  He falls into the small time criminal category.  With his ability he could accomplish much, but limits himself to organized crime.  A waste of talent.  There is some rumor that he is dead, but I rarely count someone as no longer a threat without a confirmed body."

"Next is the assassin team Rin and Poison.  They are mercenaries with no real allegiance, working for their own profit.  For this reason, if we are ever in a fight against them, try not to kill them.  While we may be working against each other at some point, they could be hired by me at a later time for the right price.  While they do not have powers, they are very skilled.  Do not underestimate them.  Rin is very good with blades, and likely to find some vulnerable point to exploit if given the chance.  Poison is... she is insane to put it bluntly."

"What does insane mean?"

"It means her thinking and reasoning is not normal, not logical.  For most people it means they do not function properly, and is usually a hindrance.  In her case, she seeks to cause as much harm as possible, and can think of ways to do it that logical thinkers would not see, or would consider too dangerous to be a viable option.  However, in working with her, as long as she is given someone to torment, she can be kept satisfied."

"Next is Savant.  Sometimes referred to as Twisted Savant, though allies call him Lord Savant.  A scientific genius, who has developed some of the most advanced technology in the world.  Most of his activities that are known publicly involve taking the materials he needs to advance his research.  His long term goals are for reshaping human society."

Typhon spoke up, "So he is like Genocide, one of those who desire to conquer the world?"

"No, most certainly not.  Unlike most foolish would-be conquerors, Lord Savant does have ideas for dealing with the problems of the world.  He seeks to use his technology to overcome the human failings that hinder our advancement."

Typhon looked at Kim curiously.  "Would that not make him a 'hero'?  It seems he is not working for his own benefit?"

"Savant is smart enough to know that he can achieve more if he is able to change society to one like he envisions.  But his methods keep him from being considered a hero, as well as his own.. uh.. human failings."

"What failings are those?"

Kim chuckled, "Oh, his attitude towards women do not sit well with most.  They would reject him despite the benefits he offers."

"You referred to him as 'Lord Savant'. Do you not reject him then?"

"No, I do not foolishly reject him.  While I don't like some of the ways he treats women, I find what he offers is worth the minor indignities.  If he requests something of me that I firmly object to, it is up to me to stand up for myself."

"If he is not like others who wish to conquer the world, can he succeed then?  Would you still be his ally then?"

"No.  While he probably has the best chance of actually doing it, I still think it is unlikely to happen."  Kim considered, "But if it every looked like he was actually going to do it, I would want to be by his side.  The changes he would bring would be an improvement I think."

Dismissing the thoughts of what a Savant run world would look like, Kim continued the presentation.  The image of a man in armor, with a mask and a large ornate sword appeared.

"Xeranad.  He is an ancient, mystical being with an incredible amount of power.  He possesses an advanced regeneration ability that make him virtually incapable of being killed.  Cut him to pieces, and the pieces will just reconnect.  On offence, he can summon portals that can launch attacks from any direction, even multiple directions at the same time.  A major threat.  If encountered you should not fight him.  Instead try to get away."

"Run as a coward?!" Typhon stood taller, his mechanical wings stretching out as he looked down at Kim.

'Damn,' she thought, 'must have a macho-bullshit circuit.'

"Is it brave to kill yourself?  Because that is what one does when they fight an opponent they can not defeat.  Far better is to study an enemy.  Learn their weaknesses, and only fight them when you have a chance to win.  Which do you want to do?  Do you want to just be destroyed, or do you want to win?"  Kim faced Typhon with a fierce expression, looking the taller robot in the eye.

Typhon returned her look for a minute.  Then his wings folded in, and he assumed a more relaxed stance.  "That is logical. I will not fight this being until I can defeat him.  Do you know his weakness?"

Smiling to herself, Kim turned back to the display.  "Magic is not a subject I have a lot of information on.  I don't know any way to permanently defeat him. There are ways to deal with immortals, but I would want a better idea if they would work before trying any of them.  As for what I do know, his arrogance, and the desire to cause suffering, often cause him to not simply kill an opponent.  That can give one the time to act.  Heroes have defeated him before more by disrupting his plans than by direct confrontation.  If you can't get away, and can't disrupt his plans, or some other distraction, your best bet
would be to quickly rip him to pieces.  Then you can get away while he is reforming."

Kim considered for a moment, "If the opportunity presents itself, try putting one of the pieces in a sealed container.  His regeneration may be able to break out, or grow a replacement.  But if not, that may be a way to contain him for a little while at least."

Typhon's claws clenched and unclenched, perhaps at the thought of tearing an opponent to pieces.  "What type of villain is he?  Another world conqueror?"

"From what I hear, he is more interested in destroying the world.  Or conquering it in a way that would be little different from destruction for most people.  Other than that, he is another insane person who wants to cause as much suffering as possible.  Xeranad does have several powerful people working for him as well.  Do not let then catch you unawares."

Kim's communicator beeped, indicating an incoming message.  She called up the message on the HUD display generated by her mask.  "We will have to continue this at another time.  Some business has come up that needs my attention."
Weapons testing - know your competition
As I put at the start, this is in response to :iconsoviet-superwoman:'s encouraging me to do a piece on what Kim thinks of other villains.  So I decided to tie it into the recent story.

All characters are found in the lovely :iconangel-fallsda:


Kim Paler and Typhon are mine.

Genocide belongs to :iconsoviet-superwoman:

Skyscraper, Rin & Poison belong to :iconhotrod5:

The Occupant belongs to  :iconpathetic-virgin:

Twisted Savant belongs to :icontwistedsavant:

Xeranad belongs to  :iconxeranad:
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  Nathan in general was having a pretty good life.  He was one of the top students in Angel Falls University's advanced technology department.  His tuition was 100% paid for, with a little spending money left over.  And he had access to cutting edge technology that no other students had, giving him a little bit of an edge.  The last two points were thanks to the patronage of Kim Paler.  In return, he helps to keep her robots up to date on the latest technology.  It is a pretty sweet deal, except at times like this.

He had spent hours on this computer, exploring the systems of the large, dragon shaped robot next to him.  It was an amazing piece of work.  He had discovered many interesting surprises, but still not the one he was supposed to find.
Nathan could practically feel Kim's eyes tearing into him as she leaned over the monitor.

"Lets go over it again, please," Kim said in a tone that sounded like she was resisting the urge to slice his arms off.

"Uh, the command buffer holds all the instructions that the AI is currently following.  As you can see here, other than the standard, normal background stuff, the only standing order is to not touch you unless commanded to.  The logs show a lot of instructions for weapons testing, and the order to dock at its recharge station.  There is  nothing there about it leaving the station, or repairing your cyber unit.  None of that is recorded here."

Kim stood up straight, crossing her arms, but still watching Nathan intensely.  "Any directives or protocols that bypass the command buffer?  Or secondary command systems?"

Nathan shook his head.  "We pulled out the AI programming first thing, and replaced it with a modified version of the AI your spiderbots use.  Me and the other techs have been going over the code we pulled for advanced systems we could adapt.  There are a lot of protections in there to prevent it from being turned against Stranger Industries personnel, or the Guardians, but we didn't find anything that could account for doing repairs on its own."

Standing up, he proceeded to point out parts of the robot, "We originally checked every component in its body when we searched it for beacons, homing devices, and GPS units.  Going over it again, we further checked everything for independent memory or buffers.  There are several redundant and backup systems.  The AI structures can operate from here, here, and over here.  Nothing hidden in any of them that we could find.  Every piece that has its own memory was checked for hidden routines, with no results."

Kim tilted her head back in though.  "How about cloud control?  Is it possible it is being controlled remotely either by off-site AI, or direct human control?"

"I didn't find anything that would allow for that.  But isn't this lab shielded against signals like that?"

Kim turned to another computer, calling up security logs.  "It is, but even the best protection can be penetrated," she said with a little smirk.  "No unusual signals were picked up, but that doesn't rule out the possibility.  What about the outer casing itself?  Could there be circuitry hidden within the layers of armor?"

"I thought of that too.  There were no hidden structures or nano-mesh that the scans could pick up.  What I did find is this is not any metal the scanners could identify.  It is strong, durable, and non-magnetic which is pretty cool.  But no hidden tech inside."

"A new metal?  Interesting, I'll have to follow up on that."  Kim looked over the robot, and let out a sigh.  "Did you bring an audio synthesizer unit like I told you?"

"Yup, got it right here. Latest tech too.  Got it from my buddy Alex in exchange for getting him into the big grad student party last week."

"Ah, he was trying to make some more contacts among the advanced students?"

"Naah, he mostly wanted to go because FireBrandi was going to be there."

Kim, surprised, turned to Nathan, "You have Guardians attending university parties?"

"Not really.  It is pretty much an open secret she works in the science labs.  She doesn't have much of a disguise.  People pretend to not know, and she gets invited to a lot of parties."

Nathan stopped short, turning pale, "uh, you arn't going to.. ya know... go after her on the campus, are you?"

Kim chuckled and shook her head.  "No, I have no plans to try and kill her at the moment.  She is no threat to my operation.  Besides, assassinating a hero tends to get the attention of all the other heroes.  Though it is an interesting bit of information.  Now, the synthesizer."

"Right!" Nathan, getting right to work, was glad for the change of focus.  "Can I ask why you wanted this installed?  None of the spiderbots are equipped with anything like this."

"None of the spiderbots have ever gone off on their own initiative.  If we can't locate the programming source of this behavior, perhaps we can simply ask it."

The instillation only took a few minutes.  Once it was done Nathan started searching in his backpack.  Ignoring him, Kim touched the controls of the work table, moving the robot to a standing position.  Pressing another button, the robot powered up.  The head turned, taking in its environment.

"Robot, can you hear me?"

The robot's head focused on Kim.  Opening its mouth, "I can hear you."

Nathan stopped in shock.  He stared at the robot, "The voice synthesizer software and drivers haven't been installed yet.  It shouldn't be able to talk."

"Did it have any support for that in the original AI?  Or in the firmware of the unit?"

"No, I had to get the compatible drivers separate for this system."


Kim turned back to the robot.  "Do you have a name?"

The robot's head lowered slightly, as if in though.  After a few seconds it faced Kim again, "No, I do not have a name."

Kim felt relieved.  Having a name would mean already having an identity, a personality.  With no name, whatever what driving this machine could still be in a malleable state.

"Do you recognize me?"

"You are my master."

Kim smiled.  "Correct.  As your master, I will name you... Typhon."

The robot's eyes flickered, and it nodded.  "Understood.  I am Typhon."

"Now Typhon," Kim showed it the cyber-leg on her back that had been damaged.  "Did you repair this cyber limb?"

"Yes"

"Why did you do that?"

Typhon considered, "I broke the device.  You did not want me to break it.  I repair damage."

"Complying to my desires is appropriate action.  Now, I will power you down again so that this man can finish working on your systems."

"Understood."

Kim returned the worktable to horizontal, then set Typhon to shut down.  She stepped over to the still stunned Nathan, grabbing him by the arm.  The stern look on her face shook Nathan out of the shock he was in after hearing the robot talk.

"Say nothing in here.  Finish your analysis, and return him to his recharge station.  We will talk in private."
Weapons testing Pt 2
Previous chapter:  www.deviantart.com/art/Weapons…

Mystery investigated, and it only deepens.  Still, Kim is trying to make the most of the situation.  


All this pseudoscientific shop talk takes place in the wonderful :iconangel-fallsda:
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The heat was intense.  Not FireBrandi hot, but still impressive.  At the far end of Kim's weapon testing range, the dragon robot leaned forward slightly, mouth open, 'breathing' fire at the target.  Kim watched the monitors closely.  The robot's weapon systems were very impressive.  

After she had gotten it to a secure, shielded location, her people had spent a week going over it.  They pulled out several tracking beacons, and gps locators.  The AI had to be removed completely.  That would be checked out for useful innovations, once they sorted out all the command overrides, embedded protocols, and anything else that could prevent her control.

As for the hardware, key components had been scanned and were being analyzed for use in her own spiderbots.  Though that will take time.  In the meantime, she was evaluating the robot's weapon systems.

Testing the robot's strength was a bit tricky.  She had no equipment for adequately measuring it.  Still, the robot proved more than capable of handling what tests she could devise.

"Enough."

The flames stopped, and the robot stood straight again, turning to face Kim.  It was at the far end of the weapons testing range, near the targets, as the fire breath did not have a very long range.  Kim, at the other end, stepped away from the monitors.

"Now we will test your defensive capabilities.  First your ability to dodge.  Avoid my shots as best you can."

Kim set her Blasters to low power.  She started off easy with a single shot, which the robot easily sidestepped.  A set of thee blasts now.  One to dodge, and the others to where it would likely sidestep to.  The robot sidestepped the first one, then dropped to all fours avoiding the other blasts.  It stayed there watching her, like a predator ready to spring.  

"Interesting..  Now for a real test."

Kim switched to rapid fire, and energy blasts filled the air.  The robot sprang into action, charging forward. As the blasters focused on it the robot leapt to the side, digging its claws into the wall.  Amazingly, it kept rushing forward.  Kim's weapons again took aim, with the continuous stream of blaster fire.  The robot jumped off the wall, twisting in the air, to grab onto the opposite wall.  It had already covered half the room, and was moving fast.  

Blasters followed it up the wall, sending the robot scrambling to the ceiling.  It was almost too close to miss.  The robot launched itself at Kim.  At the last moment it used its wings to veer to one side, dodging the point blank blaster fire.  

As she turned to face it, the robot lunged, grabbing her left most cyber leg.  The robot wrenched it forward, ripping the leg from its base, spinning Kim around.

"HALT!"

Kim's heart was racing.  She focused on getting that under control as she assessed the situation.  The robot's right arm was wrapped around her cyber legs, limiting their movement.  Its left claw was inches from her neck.  

"Now let me go," she said in a calm, steady voice.

The robot let her go, and stood at attention.  Now freed, Kim stepped away and turned to fact it.  "I'm impressed.  Offense as defense?  I rather like that.  But don't touch me again without permission."  The robot nodded.  "Good, now let's get you back to your recharge station."

Kim picked up the broken leg.  Leaving the target range they entered Kim's private weapons lab.  She tossed the severed leg on a workbench.  Her cyber pack disconnected, limping to its recharge station.  On the far wall a vault door was open.  The vault contained a rack of unfinished weapons, as well as a newly installed maintenance station for her dragon robot.  At her instruction, the robot stepped into its place in the station, and shut down.

The few spiderbots that survived her raid on Stranger Industries proved to be a disappointment.  The files they managed to pull from the computers were mostly movies and sci-fi books.  She had gotten excited at what looked like a robot schematic, until she found out what a 'Gundam' was.  The dragon robot was the only thing she got out of the deal.  At least it was proving its worth.

Kim shut the vault door, typing her code into the keypad to secure it.  Turning back to the workroom she let out a sigh.  "I'll fix that cyber unit tomorrow.  Then we can work out some safer test protocols.  But for now, I think a nice hot shower is in order."

---------------

Late that night:

Inside the vault the dragon robot powered up.  It examined the vault door.  Finding the emergency release it unlocked the vault, and stepped out.

-----------------

Next morning:

Kim walked into the workshop, coffee in one hand, tablet in the other.  Glancing up from her daily reports she stopped dead.  The cyber leg was gone from the workbench.  Looking around for anything else out of place she spotted it...reattached to the cyber pack unit.  A crude job, but repaired.

Quickly stepping to the computer, she called up the security camera recordings.  She watched the robot repair the damage it caused, then return to the vault when it was done.   Kim shook her head, "this could be trouble."
Weapons testing Pt 1
Been trying to write this story for a looooong time.  Good to finally get it out.

This is continued from:  firebrandi.deviantart.com/art/…

Thanks to :iconlonestranger: for letting Kim go..er.. shopping in his Stranger Industries

Based on an idea by :iconsirdan87:

Kim Paler belongs to me, as does her new dragonbot!! It's mine now Mwahahhahaha!!   *ahem*

This little adventure into electronics takes place in :iconangel-fallsda:
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deviantID

FireBrandi
M
United States
Interests
Ok, I'm a bit late getting to read this book.  If you haven't read it, and were a geek growing up in the 80's, then it is a must read.

"Ready Player One" takes place in a dystopian future, where people find some escape in a virtual online universe with endless games, shopping, schools, etc for people to make use of.  When the creator of this virtual universe dies, a video is sent out informing everyone that his 240 billion dollar fortune will go to whoever finds the Easter egg he has hidden in it.  The guy loved the 80's, so now everyone studies the movies, video games, tv, and books of the times.  The book is loaded with references to stuff like Last Star Fighter, Ladyhawk, Zork, Star Wars, Atari games like Adventure, Rush, Wargames, and so on.  

Loved the book.  If they make a movie of it the big battle near the end will be awesome!
  • Mood: Tired
  • Listening to: TYT
  • Reading: X-Men
  • Watching: Lost Girl
  • Playing: Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff
  • Eating: Plum
  • Drinking: Apple cider

Ask me anything 

93%
13 deviants said Ok, I'll ask
7%
1 deviant said Nope, don't want to know
0%
No deviants said eewwww... sorry I asked

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:iconbearkaiju:
BearKaiju Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Happy Birthday! :D Hope it was a good one! :thumbsup:
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:iconfirebrandi:
FireBrandi Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014
Thanks, it was good.  :)
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:iconbearkaiju:
BearKaiju Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome, and good to hear! :D
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:iconiowaguy1979:
iowaguy1979 Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014
happy birthday! :iconcakeplz: :)
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:iconfirebrandi:
FireBrandi Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014
Thanks  fella's Gobbler (Party) 
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:icon79big:
79big Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014
1 Message from Hungary. Happy Birthday :-)
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:iconfirebrandi:
FireBrandi Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014
Well a big Thank You to Hungary.  :D
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:iconkmon13:
Kmon13 Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014  Student Artist
Happy Birthday :iconhappybirthdaycakeplz: Derp Hetalia Japan ICON KimRaiFan's Bday Cake LightningYayz for Kalvanas 1st Emoticon: Happy Birthday Happy Birthday GrinEXO : Suho Gift Happy Birthday DA happy birthday icon whatever Birthday Cake  :D Birthday cake  icon Happy Birthday  
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:iconfirebrandi:
FireBrandi Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014
Wow, that's a lot of cake!

Thanks  the biggest eater 
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:iconkmon13:
Kmon13 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014  Student Artist
You're welcome...  
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