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View Full Version : To the Death: A Nexus Story



TechnoScrabble
2010-12-15, 03:59 PM
This is a story about one of my Nexus FFRP characters Garrett Everett, as he heads out on the not-so-heroic quest to kill the vampire that murdered his older sister five years back. I was gonna do it IC, but it seemed more fun to just do this. I'll be adding a new installment every day or so.

Part 1
Garrett Everett stepped out into the snow, his boots crunching in the snow. He looked up at the crystals failing daintily from the sky, and shivered. The snow he loved, but the cold? Not so much. Behind him was Trog’s Tavern, easily to most visited establishment in all of Inside. Warm, promising, aglow with light and expectations, he wouldn’t be returning for quite some time.

You see, Garrett had discovered something about himself recently, about his mind. Deep within the recesses of his consciousness were memories, memories that had been forcefully suppressed for quite some time. His father had taken him to the greatest arcanist in County Everett to have certain memories erased.

Unfortunately, the pathetic excuse for a mage only buried the memories. Two days ago, an ancient mindmage, going by the name of Ghar, had forced himself into Garrett’s subconscious and found these memories, as well as evidence that the suppression had been carried out multiple times before. Ghar dislodged the memories, and allowed the separate consciousnesses and egos that had been created to store them to mingle within Garrett’s mind.
And Garrett remembered something horrible.

His older sister. Now, that isn’t horrible outright, but what had happened to her, the act that now forced him to leave the Perfectly Appropriate College for kids and get vengeance, or at least condolence, was.

Gwyneth Everett had been brutally murdered by Michael Von Behr, a vampire in the same knightly order Garrett’s father Simon had joined years ago. Gwyn and Michael were going to be wed the next day much to Garrett’s dismay, but Michael had been trying to live off the blood of animals for the last year, and could take it no more.

He killed the guards, ripped her throat out, and fled out the window.
Garrett, ten at the time, had walked in on the whole thing.

That was five years ago, now, the empathic, unskilled mage set out to end the bastard Michael Von Behr.

He set off at a full run for the slums, located within the Red Zone of Inside. Certainly not a safe place to be at night, but there was someone he needed to be, supplies he needed to get. He had more than enough supplies for the trip itself, and the weapons for any fights he might get in, but the wineskin of holy water clipped to his belt was not going to be enough to heal him if it got damaged or he ran out.

He needed medicine. And if his plans worked out, he would need a lot of it.
He worked his way through the alleyways, past the buildings of inside, until he came to the border of the Red Zone. There were several Imperial Army soldiers and Security Force officers patrolling the area, armed for the recent vampire and alien activity taking place in the red zone, but the black armored warriors didn’t care to bother him aside from a few off hand comments about how he should have been at home. He didn’t register on their infrared visors as any sort of undead, so he was free to go.

Above floated the Last Moon Medical Center, a flying hospital with the appearance of a white onion that had been cut horizontally in half and given a green half-moon stamp. Below it, several gray, spherical orbs in spinning wire chassis floated about, waiting for anyone to get hurt or call for help. Garrett ran up to one such orb, and tapped it. It turned to him and opened up, revealing a speaker within the sphere.

“Welcome to Last Moon Medical Center, what is the nature of your emergency?” Garrett recognized the voice of the Halfling greeter Mote coming from the speaker.

“No emergency, just visiting, Mote,” Garrett relpied.

“Oh, Garrett! Lemme guess, here to see Edgar?”

“Yeah, I have to talk with him about something important,” Garrett shifted on his feet, as if moving would shake the cold away from his legs.

“You got it, let me ‘port ya up!”

The sphere closed and spun around Garrett, emitting a sparking blue glow. It went around faster and faster until it was whistling and the glow had become a cylinder, there was one last spark and Garrett felt a squeezing sensation move up to his head, starting with his toes. It was as if he had simply been pushed up a tight tube, and into the pristine, orderly visitor’s lounge he now stood in.

“Hey, stay here and I’ll go get Edgar, alright?” Mote waved at Garrett from behind his desk, then ran off, his short black hair the only part of him visible in the crowd of on break nurses he pushed his way through.

Garrett waited until Mote was out of site, then made a dash for the security door, squeezing through before it closed. The nurses seemed to busy to notice him, but he still removed the headband his art teacher Charity Evans had given him to block out other people’s thoughts to see if anyone had actually thought about the fact he was in an area he shouldn’t have been in. Nothing. Just the typical worry, pain, and focus one might expect in a hospital.

He scooted past one of the dalek-shaped EDDs as it slid down the hallway, looking around for a medical supply closet or something similar. The steel colored doors against the creamy white walls quickly formed a monotone pattern as he ran along, reading each door number aloud.

“7-132, 7-134, 7-13-Here we go!” the sign outside the door read SUPPLY in large, green, blinking letters. Garrett pressed a button on the door and it slid open sideways.

“Awesome.”

The room was filled with all sorts of things. Bottles of pills, anesthetics, antibiotics, injectors, painkillers, tablets, first aid kits, IV packs, fold-out braces, biofoam, suture guns, and all sorts of scary looking tools and strange sounding medicines.

Garrett grabbed a paramedic’s bag and started filling it with the basics, as well as anything he might need if a fight went badly for him. Stitching thread, biofoam, a med-drone, hydrogen oxide, toothpaste, containers of liquid diet nutrient mixes, the bag quickly filled.

He paused over a container of illegal nanobots. The robots were smaller than small, and programmed to give soldiers chemical boosters in combat and repair small wounds. They were also very dangerous and had an almost eighty percent rate of addiction.

No, Garrett shook his head and pushed the thought out of his mind. He didn’t need drugs, just supplies.

Click-swoosh.

The door opened and Garrett whipped around, brandishing the bowie knife he had been given by the goddess Vasilisa.

He was pointing his knife at a squat, scrawny gray haired skaven rat man in a set of white robes and combat armor with green trim.

He was pointing the knife at his old friend Edgar.

“****e. How’d you find me?” Garrett lowered his knife and sighed.

“Garrett,” Edgar put his hand on the boy’s shoulder, “You’ve pulled this before. Same closet, too. Remember when you found that dog that had been hit by the car?”

“Yeah. This time the stuff’s for me.”

Edgar shook his head,” Garrett, I know you’re not a junkie, so I know the stuff isn’t for you and-“

“It is for me,” Garrett insisted,” There’s something I have to do, and if I get hurt along the way I’ll need a way to-“

“Then ask someone for help!” Edgar didn’t bother to try and stop Garrett, he understood that sometimes people in the Nexus just needed to do something, somewhere, somehow,” I know the kind of stuff people pull around here and none of that is for a fifteen year old kid! You don’t have that stuff where you’re from, you don’t know how to use it! You’ll kill yourself!”

“I already asked for help, Edgar. I don’t know anyone around here. The nicer ones gave me supplies, and I plan to repay them, but nobody’s coming but me and maybe Dirt, if I summon him. Unless…” Garrett discreetly grabbed a bottle of chloroform and poured some of the chemical on the sleeve of his jacket.

“I can’t Garrett, I have to stay here. We’re understaffed as it is, and I-“

“I remember, Edgar, that’s why I’m going. To kill him,” Garrett stated calmly.

“What?” Edgar’s eyes widened, his tail twitched.

“You know exactly what I’m talking about, you were there when my father did what he did to my head. I’m going to kill Michael,” Garrett found it hard to admit this to someone who had a gun visibly holstered.

“Garrett…I can’t let you...You’re father would…”

“I’m sorry, then,” Garrett lunged at Edgar and pressed his sleeve against the skaven’s nose, his other hand clenched around the furred man’s throat. Edgar struggled, but he was frail, weak, even compared to a human child. In a few seconds, it was over. Edgar was sleeping on the floor, twitching and groaning now and then, but showing no signs of consciousness.

“Bye,” Garrett peeked out the door, walked calmly back into the visitor’s center, pressed the return key on the teleporter ring’s control panel, and grabbed the first taxi that passed by to the edge of town.

He had a way’s to travel, and if he could cut off a few minutes taking a taxi out of Inside instead of walking, all the better.


Part 2
Garrett had gotten no sleep last night.

Just as he got out of sight of Inside, just as he knew he was going the right way, just as he knew he could rest, the sun rose.

And with a weary curse, he had dragged himself from the soft pile of snow he had collapsed upon and continued forth. It was cold, the sky was gray, and he could not summon his friend Dirt, for the weather was far too cold for the amphibian outsider.

That was hours ago. It was now the beginning of sunset, the ‘blue’ hours, when the sky was no darker, but everything was hazy and dream-like. Despite the fact most feared the night, the blue hours were the most dangerous to be out and about alone.

They were also the signal to make camp.

Garrett was glad. He had been up for far too long with nobody to talk to, to share his ‘brilliant’ ideas with. And he was halfway to his old home already. At this rate, he could easily get home, find out where Michael had been hiding, kill him, and get back in time for Christmas. If he was lucky, something along the way would jog more of his memories.

Of course, being an arcanist, luck was not something he could rely upon.
Having reached the edge of a forest that had not yet lost many leaves, he decided he would set up camp along the side of the road.

“Tent…tent…Ah, tent!” Garrett dug through his bags, mumbling to himself until he found a folded leather package inside one of the larger sacks. He threw it aside, then pulled out his spellbook, bound in orange wyvern hide and silver, and looked through it. He needed to clear away some of the snow for his tent, and it seemed that whenever he cast a spell lately, his hands would glow and get hotter and hotter.

He found a simple, easy to maintain cantrip, and memorized the trick of arcane fan-fare, then focused on the snow. Humming to pass the time, he focused on the spell-meant to make sparks fly from his hands-and grinned at his own ‘genius’ as his hands glowed red-hot and the snow quickly melted beneath his palms, parting like a curtain in some oracle’s tent.

Within minutes, he had made a large clearing for himself. He unbuttoned the tent sack and pulled out the collapsible tent-poles. He set up the two supporting pairs, cursing when one collapsed, then put up the crossbar and draped the first layer of thick furs over it, tying the corners to stakes which he drove into the ground once he had pulled the furs taught. The furs were followed by a layer of burlap, and then one of treated skins and hides meant to keep out the snow. Satisfied, he crawled in and laid out a flaxen lining to put his bedroll on and pulled his bags inside.

“****e. Firewood,” he cursed to himself shortly after laying down.
He fished around in his bags and found a small hatchet, perfect for chopping down dry branches and small trees. He took the simple, sharp bowie knife Vasilisa had given to him, the hatchet, and a sunrod and set out, gathering any dry wood he found.

Night was quickly falling, and the silence was occasionally broken by creaking, cracking, groaning, and all those other scary sounds one would expect to hear in a snow-covered forest. It was extremely discomforting, but he put up with it. He needed a fire to keep out the sorts of things those sounds brought up thoughts of.

To comfort himself, he started thinking aloud.

“I am a scholar, a knight-to-be, and an arcanist. I know what’s making those sounds and I know it can’t hurt me. I am a scholar, a knight-to-be, and an arcanis-“

Uuuurrrrrrrrr!

“GYAH STAYTHEHELLAWAYFROMMEORISETYOUONFIRE!” Garrett dropped his bundle of branches and flipped around, falling on his rear end, and shot a lightning bolt from his hand.

KRACKLE-BOOM!

The bolt hit a dead, dry tree, shattering it and causing the trunk to burst into flames. What had once been far too large to chop down with such a small hatchet was merely a job of carrying the wooden shards back to camp.

As an arcanist, he couldn’t rely on luck, but he could definitely hope that it favored him.


Few hours after part 2
It had been hours. The fire was still crackling, and sparks flew up from the dying embers, dancing around each other in slow, drifting circles.

“Too. Damn. Cold!” Garrett shivered, bunched up beneath his winter blanket. It was the third time that night he had been stolen from sleep by winter’s icy claws. At this rate, he’d be lucky if he got enough sleep to make up for the hours he lost running from Inside, much less the day spent marching through the snow afterwards.

He didn’t have the right reagents to summon a fire elemental, or some other large, warm creature to watch over him and keep him warm, and heating up his hands required that he stayed awake. He had written, drawn (rather well in his own opinion), and hummed to pass the time, but sleep just wouldn’t take him

Crunch.

“Thehellwasthat?” Garrett shot up from the bedroll and tripped over one of the bags, making quite a racket and getting himself a face full of snow.

“Pfthu!” spitting the snow out and shaking the frost from his face, he looked around his small camp. He couldn’t see much beyond the few feet of dim light the dying fire gave him. That was the worst part. Something could have been standing on top of him and he wouldn’t have been sure.

Crunch.

Garrett slowly pulled himself back into the tent and grabbed his knife from its spot beneath his pillow. As quietly as possible, he turned back around, crouched outside the tent, and listened.

Crunch. Crunchity crunch crunch.

Garrett wasn’t sure what was out there, but he vaguely remembered someone once telling him that if a bear smelled food and didn’t know you were there, it would attack in surprise if it found you.

“Hey, bear! Go the freak away!” Garrett ineffectually threw a handful of snow at the darkness, and immediately regretted the decision.

Crunch-WHUMPF!

“GYAH!” Garrett ducked and rolled out of the way as something large and furry launched itself at him, growling. The fur was multicolored, messy, and…that was all. Garrett couldn’t see it anymore. Whatever had just jumped away wasn’t going for him, it was just retreating.

“Damn deer,” Garrett grumbled, crawling back into his tent and trying to ignore the thunderous drumming his heart put out, “Bothering me when I have plenty of food.”

He lay facedown on the bedroll, pulled the blanket over himself, and was soon snoring again.


Part 3
After two days and three nights of walking, Garrett was back home.

Well, he was at least back in his home town. County Everett had always seemed to be in too much of a rush to be home, and it was especially hard to see it as a home with the new memories surfacing.

The town was surrounded by a carefully crafted stone wall, with one large wooden gate that the cobblestone road lead into. The top of the wall was dotted with parapets and archery slits manned by guards in their typical green and silver lamellar steel suits.

One such guard stopped Garrett at the gate.

“Hold there, I need to know who you are. Not many things with good intentions walk around alone in the guise of a child,” the guard set his spear aside and reached out to grab Garrett’s shoulder. Garrett raised his right hand and showed the brown haired and mustachioed man his white gold signet ring.

“Sorry, I was forced to come here in a hurry,” Garrett apologized to the wide-eyed man, who nodded, bowed, and signaled for the gates to be opened.

“Should I have it announced that you are home, sir?” the guard asked hesitantly.

“I would prefer you didn’t, thank you,” Garrett squeezed his way in as soon as the doors had opened enough to let him through, and was soon taking a left into the nearest side street. The guards weren’t known to be good at keeping secrets, and he needed to get home without being seen. He had never understood why his father insisted he enter this way when entering alone on personal business, but he assumed it had something to do with those damnable politics.

The buildings in the town were well kept wood, brick, and plaster constructions, with painted shingles and plenty of windows. With trade, outsourcing, and political provision being the main sources of commerce in the region, the closest thing to a farm or ranch house within a mile of the wall would be a small shop with a garden in the back.

Further back, on top of the hill the wall encircled, was the keep. A stone structure that was smaller than most castles, but definitely larger than any normal mansion. There were several wide towers and the green flags drooped in the still air, but something wasn’t right.

One of the towers, the tower Garrett remembered his sister living in, was gone.

“I knew something like this had to have happened,” Garrett groaned and walked straight up to the front door of the county hall, the meeting place of the keep and the largest room in the town. On weekdays, the town hall was filled with merchants and guardsmen and courtesans with complaints, gifts, requests, and other things that annoyed Garrett to no end. He oft wished that he had an older brother to inherit the place in his stead, but unless Garrett could invent a time machine, there would be no such luck.

To Garrett’s dismay, the guards were expecting him, and sent him in with an escort to the back room of the hall. The two guards left him there, waiting at the door, silent and surrounded by the green and silver tapestries with their pictures of lanterns and wisps. The only sound for many minutes was their armored boots clanking on the stone floor and embroidered rug.

“Father is going to freaking kill me.”

Garrett stared at the door for a few seconds, then lifted the headband that blocked any psychic activity in his brain. The thoughts coming from the other side of the door were definitely his father’s, but there were two other people in that room.

No words could be made out, but the intent was clear. They were planning an ambush.

Garrett sighed and put the headband back on, then pushed the door open and stepped in. The room had no carpet or adorning, and the only furniture was a long table like one might see in a business meeting, and a few scattered chairs.

Simon Everett, Garrett’s father, sat in one such chair. Next to him sat a strange looking man with stark white hair and red robes. A burly guard sat closer to Garrett.

Simon Everett looked very much like an older Garrett, albeit with a wider jaw and brown hair, and he kept his beard close-trimmed. He motioned with a single sheepskin glove clad hand and the guard stepped up, locked the door behind Garrett, and looked to Simon.

Simon nodded.

The guard grabbed at Garrett but the lad was already up on the table. The guard tripped and fell into a chair, bashing his chin, and Garrett jumped down on the man’s back to keep him down.

It didn’t work. The guard shoved Garrett against the wall and pinned him against it as the red-robed man strode forward, one hand on his forehead and one outstretched towards Garrett’s.

“Dad, I remember!” Garrett shouted.

Simon simply nodded.

“The Order will know, you’ll be demoted, banished! An outcast!”

“Not if they don’t know,” Simon sighed.

Garrett smirked.

“I already sent a message. If they don’t get constant updates over the next few months, they’ll know.”

Simon reeled back, then composed himself and made that obviously forced cough people make when getting attention, “You are my son, and this is for your own good. They have no jurisdiction.”

“I’m also an official member of the Order of the Lantern now, or were you too busy scheming to wipe Donovan’s memory of his inhuman heritage to remember?”

Simon was across the room in an instant, shoving the guard out of the way and backhanding Garrett hard enough to knock the boy against the opposite wall. He furiously shouted,” You will not bring your brother into this!”

Garrett rubbed his cheek. He hadn’t felt pain since he was ten, but the thought was still there.

“No, you’re right. I’m here to discuss my sister. You know, Gwyn, the one you erased all evidence of? Yeah. I plan on killing Michael for that. Also, I’ll be telling the Order about that assault. We’re equals on one ground now, father.”

Simon scowled and ignored the last part of Garrett’s comment.

“Believe me when I say I’ve tried, boy. He burnt down his home when he fled town, and we’ve seen no trace of him since.”

“I plan on searching like a competent investigator would, not by smashing everything the man owned. You forgot, dad, I remember now.”

Simon could take no more of his son’s insolence. Never had the child acted this way! Never had he earned the right to! He kicked Garrett across the face so hard that Garrett was knocked unconscious and lay drooling and bleeding upon the floor.

“Take him to his room. Remove all the regents and magic items you find. Lock the door.”


Part Four
“Ow.”

“Ow, ow, ow. Ow. Ow, ow. Ooooooowwww.”

“Ow.”

Garrett awoke in his room, slung across his unadorned bed, with a splitting headache and the taste of blood in his mouth. He pulled himself up, much to his body’s apparent disapproval, and looked around.

Someone had obviously been looking around the place without much worry about causing a mess. All his books were on the floor, his supply chest had been emptied out, and all his drawers were upside down on the floor, with clothes scattered about the place. All reagents or magical objects had been removed, as well as anything that might have been used for escape. Tools, ropes, weapons, it seemed the only thing left was his iodine supply, the things messing the floor (which he didn’t need), and his bag, which hadn’t been searched. Garrett assumed that was out of pure incompetence of the searcher.

And his bedsheets were gone.

“Wow. He really doesn’t want me getting out of here,” Garrett mumbled to himself before walking over to the door, and giving it a gentle tug. It didn’t budge.

“Dem! Locked,” he tried the window, but the covers had been nailed together.

Garrett stood in the middle of the mess that was his room, looking disheartened. Then, a sly grin spread across his face.

“I love being underestimated.”

He searched around beneath his desk until he found what he was looking for, a chalked up stone with a small hole in one corner embedded in the wall. Garrett stuck hand through the hole and carefully wiggled the stone out of the wall, revealing an empty space within, full of things Garret probably wasn’t allowed to have. A springblade, aniseed, climbing gear, and a small chest full of reagents meant for weak spells Garrett had learned years ago.

“A strange, chalked up stone in the wall and my father didn’t bother to look. Thank whoever’s up there I inherited Mom’s brains,” Garrett shook his head in happy disbelief as he slid everything but the climbing gear into his bag, as well as the iodine on his shelves. He donned the gear, consisting of spiked boots and fingercaps, and grinned evilly at the window.

“Sorry, window.”

He prepared a small spell, focusing on it so as to bring his hands to that red hot burn, and put them against the window panes, slowly burning through the glass and the outside covers.

“Actually, no I’m not.”

The window was now open, and Garrett flicked his hands to the side, throwing off the molten glass, before crawling out without even worrying about cooling off first. His boots and fingertips easily found their way through the soft mortar of the castle tower, even heated as they were, or perhaps especially so, Garrett wasn’t quite sure if the heat made them more or less effective.

Of course, he stopped worrying about that when about twenty feet from the ground, his left foot couldn’t find a hold and he slipped and lost his balance.

“Woah-oah-oaaaaahhhh****e!”

CRASH!

Gulaghar
2010-12-15, 04:28 PM
Very nice.

I especially like this Ghar character:smalltongue:

happyturtle
2010-12-15, 07:51 PM
Just a hint on readability... adding a line space between paragraphs will help break up the wall of text.

Looks good though. Can't wait to see more. :smallsmile:

TechnoScrabble
2010-12-15, 07:54 PM
Good point, I forgot this site doesn't indent unless I code.
I'll fix it right away!

TechnoScrabble
2010-12-16, 09:29 PM
Part 2 is up! Part 3 (later that night) should be put up in a few hours!
Yeah...I'm not used to writing like this.
I usually just have a notebook on hand and write whatever comes to mind.

Maxios
2010-12-17, 03:46 PM
Good job :smallbiggrin:

TechnoScrabble
2010-12-18, 06:16 PM
Thanks!
I'm not used to writing in bits and pieces like this, but the story behind writing this wasn't good enough for the novel-sized pieces I'm used to typing up.

TechnoScrabble
2010-12-20, 06:34 PM
Er...Having serious writer's block thinking of a realistic way for a father to react that would allow the story to move in the direction I want it to...
It will be continued eventually!

happyturtle
2010-12-24, 09:42 PM
Oooh... the plot thickens.

TechnoScrabble
2011-01-10, 02:49 AM
I finally got around to part four!