IN A WORLD where people wrote porn for every kink imaginable, Jace Cockblock and the other members of the Creep Crew did whatever they were capable of to make sure that no one ever jerked off or got laid from reading newly published smut on the internet.
Given how tenacious writers could be, it wasn't an easy job but if it was, where would the fun be in that?
"There's another fanfiction exchange coming up," Jace said, flicking down his sunglasses and staring at the other members of his crew over them. "And it's a big one and not just any big one but the biggest of them all, Yuletide! But we're not going to let its size intimidate us, are we? No! We're going to go out there and do our jobs and if we do them right, you know what that means. No pwps, no fucking, no stuffing, no eating out, nothing that anyone can fwap to or get turned on by. Got it? We will live and die by our motto: Nobody's getting laid tonight." After pausing long enough for their shouts and cheers to taper off, he barked, "Colonel Closeup!"
"Yes, sir!" the Colonel shouted, jumping to his feet and was suddenly mere centimeters from Jace's face.
"Your assignment is to linger and loiter in coffee shops, libraries, waiting rooms, busses, trains, and any and all other similar places that you can. Anytime you see someone opening a word document—Google Docs, MSWord, Evernote, writtenkitten, whatever, I don't care—you will suddenly be right next to them and well within their personal space. You won't be touching them, of course, we don't do that in this crew, but you're to get close enough to them to read over their shoulder which will make them uneasy and uncomfortable about writing anything above a G rating in public. Think you can handle that?"
"I won't disappoint you, sir!"
"Temporary Tattoo!" Knowing his subordinate well, Jace ignored the look of derision Temporary Tattoo sent his way in lieu of a reply. "Your job is to wreck your usual havoc. Disrupt traffic everywhere you can with fake construction and detour signs that lead nowhere in order to make people cranky and perpetually late. Spoof memos from corporate to encourage bosses to not only purposely understaff shifts but also to force employees to come into work when sick. See if you can get a few of those utterly ridiculous 'can you believe this story' news articles riddled with broken sources and obvious inconsistencies to make the rounds of social media to annoy people and clog their feeds." Taking the low hiss as one of acceptance he called out, "Chain Male!"
Chain Male smacked a length of chain against his palm. "Want me to smash some hands, boss? They can't write if their fingers have all been broken."
"Some might be desperate enough to try speech-to-text software, so that's not a guarantee. While it will deter, or at least delay, most authors, true, I think we should still save that for a last resort. I have a much more devious job for you: cats. Cats are great for distracting and inhibiting writing. Pets in general actually, whichever ones happen to be available: cats, dogs, hamsters, birds, lizards, or whatever I'm not a speciesist, if they're there, use them. Encourage them, using your invisible chains if necessary, to sleep on keyboards, snuggle on laps, demand skritches, puke on powerstrips, nibble on wires, whatever you think they're capable of that will prevent the writer in their household from managing to be able to reach their computer and use it without interruption. Understand?"
"You can count on me, boss!"
"I know I can." Jace turned to the last member of his crew. "Abracabastard, unfortunately not every writer will be trying to work in public or in a place with convenient animals that Chain Male will be able to leash into serving our cause so I'll be relying on you to work your magic on as many of the remaining ones as you can. Off the top of my head, some suggestions are: breaking people's concentration by setting off car alarms or smoke detectors; randomly restarting computers; unplugging coffee machines; getting tunes stuck in their heads, the more disruptive for creativity the better— perhaps the Teletubbies or Barney theme song or something they just can't quite remember the words to; or causing playlists to skip songs or repeat the same ones ad nauseum. I'll leave the specifics up to you."
Abracabastard gave his traditional, saucy wink. "You know I won't let you down."
"I do indeed. While you three are busy making life hard for the writers I'll be going after the archive itself. It may be more robust today than it used to be, but it's been having issues with the load on Elasticsearch, not to mention upgrades spitting out atypical "retry later" messages and I'm sure I can arrange for it to have some unscheduled downtime due to server crashes. Maybe I can even force a few 404 Not Found errors as well. After all, if the porn is prevented from being posted, there's no way anyone will be able to jerk off to it, right?"
"Right!" they all shouted in reply.
"Okay, you all have your assignments and you know what you have to do so get to work!"
And work they did. All throughout the world writers were inconvenienced and thwarted. So much porn languished, either unfinished or unwritten that Jace Cockblock was positive his Creep Crew were winning the war against pleasure and the chance that Yuletide might contain fanfiction that could get anyone laid at all.
Finally the day came. "Let's see what we have here." Feeling positively triumphant, Jace cracked his knuckles and then clicked on the 2019 Yuletide collection tags page. He started reading through the list. Century and decade settings were first, then the ubiquitous 5 Things, 5 Times and 5+1 things, all of which were to be expected. Then came the typically seen A's like Accident Baby Acquisition and Action/Adventure. Good, good. Wait a minute… "Airplane Sex?" One explicit fic, okay. It had always been unlikely they'd prevent every single one from getting written or posted. Altar sex as well? Two then. That wasn't worth getting worked up about. What else was there? Lots of Alternate Canon and Alternate Universe tags, that didn't surprise him in the least, neither did the five dozen different ways they got broken down. Ah, that favored trope, amnesia, such a classic. "Damn it, four different tags for anal? And here's angry sex! How badly did we fail here?" Giving up reading every tag he skimmed for the ones that seemed to relate to sex. Clothed sex, comfort sex, dream sex, drunk sex, emotional sex... explicit sexual content ?!?
Oh, no, no, no.
This was horrible. He forced himself to keep reading.
Floor sex, ghost sex, group sex, hate sex, intercrural sex, non-penetrative sex, oral sex—oh no, that was a big, bold one; he didn't have the heart to see how many works had used that tag. His eyes drifted further down the list where he was stunned to see a plethora of horrible tags all in a row. Sex followed by sex on furniture, and then sex pollen then sex shop then sex toys then...
"How'd we do, boss?" Chain Male asked, sounding a little nervous.
"We failed, boys. Utterly and completely failed. If these tags are anything to go by a lot of readers will be getting off tonight." Jace Cockblock snapped the laptop shut.
"I suppose that's the magic of Yuletide." Abracabastard flicked his magic wand, sending brightly colored sparks everywhere. "There's no stopping it."
"I refuse to believe that. If we start planning now, maybe next year will be our year. After all, we are the Creep Crew! We have the power!"