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Steam Over The Post-Apocalypse


This is a story set in one of my original settings, the Midnightverse, a post-apocalyptic post-human fantasy isekai story starring a human from a "normal" world getting yeeted to there as a weird chimera, plus a native human descendant and her dog. It is also a homage to Steamed Hams that is Caliburn 's fault. I'm sorry.

Steam Over The Post-Apocalypse

A woman in a black dress and cloak, a black dog, and a teal-haired person with hyena ears and a lizard tail sat by a campfire in the dark of night.

"So Riley," said the woman. "What story from your world are you going to tell me tonight?"

"Gimmie a sec, Eris," said the teal-haired person.

Riley thought to themself. They had started telling her about the Avengers the night before, so mabye tonight should be a breather. But what? Then they had a thought. No, they couldn't possibly - that was a meme! But it was sorely tempting, and she had the context from some of the previous stories... To hell with it, they were going to go with it.

"You remember me telling you about the ballads of the Simpsons, right Eris?"

The dog's head perked up. Eris thought a bit.

"Yes you did... Those always made me laugh."

"That's because I only told you the good ones," said Riley. "But there's one very special one I haven't mentioned yet."

"What is it?"

"The Ballad Of The Steamed Hams."

The dog tilted his head. Eris raised an eyebrow.

"Steamed... Hams?"

"I'll explain when I get there."

Riley took a deep breath.

"One day, in an act of strange generosity, the great Principal Seymour Skinner invited his archnemesis Superintendent Chalmers to lunch."

"Super Intendent? Is that like that Super Nintendo we found the other day?"

"Uh, no, completely different. He's Skinner's superior. Anyway! Skinner just wanted Chalmers to have an unforgettable luncheon. But to Skinner's shock, he burnt his roast!"

"Roast what?"


"He must have good reflexes to catch a flying pig."

"Er, yes. Anyway, Skinner came up with a delightfully devilish plan - raid a restaurant next door and pass it off for his own cooking!"

"Remind me what a restaurant is again?"

"Uh, it's a magical place where you pay someone else to make you food."

"Sounds... Wonderful..."

"It beats ramen cooked in a college dorm that's for sure."


"Nothing! But anyway, Skinner tries to escape through the window, but he's almost caught by Chalmers! He thinks of a plan - he tells Chalmers the smoke from the burnt roast is steamed clams, and that his window escape is a new form of exercise!"

Eris raised an eyebrow again. "This is stretching my suspension of disbelief."

"Try being Chalmers. Anyway, the lies work, and Skinner escapes to the restaurant."

"Hmm. This Skinner is better than I thought."

"Eventually Skinner returns, hamburgers in tow. Chalmers questions the lack of steamed clams, but Skinner claims he misspoke, saying the hamburgers are steamed hams! And thus this ballad gets its name."

"Are hamburgers also made from pigs?"

"Uh, no, they're actually made of cows."

"...What's a cow?"

Riley paused. "Uh, big, bulky herbivores with hooves. They were good for meat and milk in my world. Make a sound like this: Moooooooooooooooo!"

"I see. Carry on."

"Okay. Chalmers starts pointing out the flaws in Skinner's narrative - the burgers are obviously grilled and not steamed, they taste like the ones at the restaurant, where in the world do you call hamburgers 'steamed hams'... Skinner invented more lies to cover his tracks."

"This Skinner has quite a bit of guile."

"Yep. However, something goes horribly wrong - the roast has caught aflame, and the fire is visible from the kitchen!"

Eris blinked. "Oh. That... That escalated quickly."

"Yep." Riley cleared his throat. "But Skinner has a solution! He reassures Chalmers it's just the Aurora Borealis."

Eris stared. "The northern lights? In his kitchen?"

"Oh, your word still has those?"

"Yes. I've seen them in my travels up north..."

"Yes. Anyway, after much questioning, Chalmers buys it."

"This Chalmers doesn't seem too bright."

Riley smirked. "I can see where you'd get that impression. Anyway! Skinner's tale suceeds, and Chalmers has a good lunch, leaving Skinner's home in good spirits."

"Oh, a happy ending then."

"Well, Skinner's house is still on fire."

"...Oh. I guess the moral is don't lie to your superiors?"

"I... guess?"

Eris shook her head. "Anyway. Is Skinner a famous trickster hero in your world?"

"Er, no. But that story is very famous. Especially... Well, I'll tell you another time."

"Alright. That was a fun one. Goodnight."

Eris started getting ready for bed. Her dog gave Riley an odd look. Riley sighed and muttered to himself.

"I've got to think of some better material for tomorrow night..."

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