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  1. - Top - End - #121
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Before I comment on Magtok's story... which of my own stories do you all think I should continue? Sophie's backstory or the goblin history?
    Goblins. Because I haven't actually been following the Sophie story. >.>

    Ps. SEVET coming soon to a theater near you.

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  2. - Top - End - #122
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Before I comment on Magtok's story... which of my own stories do you all think I should continue? Sophie's backstory or the goblin history?
    Both! Though if I had to pick, I suppose I would prefer you continue the goblin history.
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  3. - Top - End - #123
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    @ LOTRfan: That was pretty amazing, although like Magtok, I feel like it'd be better if I had context. Still, good job. It's not easy to really write things from the perspective of someone like that.
    @ Magtok: Well, both parts were pretty amusing, in a grim, bloody dark comedy sort of way. Who would have though the afterlife of a MagClone would be this entertaining? And that's bearing in mind I'm not a fan of D&Desque afterlives.

    Anyway, looks like the prevailing opinion is that I should write more goblins. I guess I'm better at gruesome war stories than personal drama.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Kid Kris. Sigatars by Gulaghar, Kid Kris, Zefir and billtodamax, respectively.

  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Alright, getting back to this now; What sort of context do you guys have in mind?

    The opening and final part are both taking place in the Nexus (its actually written right before the encounter Finbar and three of ThirdEmperor's characters are in right now), though I figured it wouldn't matter if I stated it outright. Basically he's just going around the Nexus looking for interesting things. Finbar's definition of "interesting" might be a little weird, though (like finding an odd stalagmite formation might be more interesting than a massive, thirteen-tentacled eldritch abomination).

    EDIT: I'm not sure how he got to the Nexus. Originally I envisioned Finbar much differently; he was the unwitting pawn of a faction in the Temporal Cold War, having been considered a perfect candidate due to his "oddness" to more or less function as a storage device for highly advanced aliens.
    Last edited by LOTRfan; 2012-06-22 at 04:49 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #125
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    The Interrogation of Marcel Lanier

    Still trying to figure out how this guy gets to the Nexus. But basically he's a normal person who comes with two "plot-clones."

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    National Security Headquarters. Asbestos, Canada (Dominion Territory)
    March 26th, 2103. 23:14 hours, Eastern Standard Time
    Marcel Lanier Interrogation Recording


    Three men walk into the room; the central figure is Mr. Lanier, flanked by Dominion soldiers on either side. He is seated at a table, with the interrogator (Ms. Elizabeth Moreau) across the table. Mr. Lanier appears resigned.

    Moreau: Can you please identify yourself, sir?

    Lanier: (Looking visibly annoyed) You already know who I am. Why do we have to go through this, again?

    Moreau: Just answer the question, sir. Your citizen ID code, as well.

    Lanier: (sighing) Marcel Lanier. A270480N619. Any chance I can get a drink or something? Getting manhandled for no reason really makes a guy thirsty. (He and one of the guards at the door exchange nasty glances)

    Moreau: Just answer the questions, please. Where were you on March 12th, at 5:43 PM?

    Lanier: Yíknow, youíre a very cold woman. You sorta remind me of my sister. You look like her, too. Maybe a little prettier.

    Moreau: Again, where were you on March 12th, at 5:43 PM?

    Lanier: Do you have a fascination with asking questions that you already know the answer to, orÖ?

    Moreau: Where were you?

    Lanier: Alright, alright. Youíre pushy, you know that? I was at the international airport in London. I still have the visa that permits me to travel to Alliance territory, if you need it. (A second passes, and an expression of false realization forms on his face) Oh, wait; you took everything that belongs to me.

    Moreau: But thatís not the only place you were on March 12th, at 5:43 PM, was it?

    Lanier: (stares out into space with a blank expression, not responding)

    Moreau: You were also in both a Fukushima City hospital and the ruins of Islamabad at that exact same time. So, tell me, Mr. Lanier, can you tell me how you can be in both the Alliance Territories and the Collective Territories at the same time?

    Lanier: (still does not respond)

    Moreau: Weíre awaiting an answer. (When no answer comes, she motions to one of the guards, who starts to walk towards Lanier)

    Lanier: (the soldier walks up directly behind Lanier, and slams the back of his rifle into Lanierís forehead. The man grunts in pain) Iím a citizen of the Dominion. Whereíre my rights, exactly?

    Moreau: Potential national threats lose them. Now answer my question.

    Lanier: You know what? Never mind what I said earlier. My sister wasnít as big a bitch as you are. (the soldier slams his head against the top of the table)

    Moreau: Answer the question. Are you three terrorists that use the same alias?

    Lanier: (spits blood onto the floor to the right of him) Do you really think terrorists are that stupid?

    Moreau: Are you clones? Has the Alliance finally perfected its flash-cloning program?

    Lanier: This whole ďCold War IIĒ thing is getting pretty old, you know that? What happened to World War III being the last of the global conflicts?

    Moreau: Are you or are you not part of an Alliance-sponsored infiltration cell?

    Lanier: No, of course not. My family have been Dominion citizens since its creation. My grandfather was declared a hero of the Brazilian military during World War III. My dadís family has been living in Quebec since the 1740s. I have no reason to betray my country.

    Moreau: So then you explain it; itís not identity theft, because the scans we have of the other Mr. Laniers show that you three are genetically identical. Explain this to me.

    Lanier: (hesitates for a moment) Youíre not going to believe me.

    Moreau: We wonít know that until you tell me.

    Lanier: No, I mean you seriously wonít believe me. (he motions to the guards, but glances specifically at the one that hit him with the rifle) Plus, Iím not sure Dumb and Dumber over there will understand. Hell, I donít even know if I understand this completelyÖ

    Moreau: Are you done stalling, or should we wait for you to come up with an excuse?

    Lanier: (his expression darkens) Iím not stalling. Itís just that those were me. I was at all three different places at once. (Moreau just stares at him for a minute, glaring) Ö So, what about that drink?

    Moreau: I want a serious answer, now.

    Lanier: For crying out, lady, that was my serious answer! I told you that you wouldnít believe me.

    Moreau: Ö Okay. Letís assume for a second, and this is a pretty big assumption, that you are not completely insane. How on earth do you explain that?

    Lanier: IÖ I donít know. Let me try to explain it, better. Weíre separate people in that we work independently, but we share a mind.

    Moreau: What?

    Lanier: Uh, let me try to explainÖ I really donít want to lay a whole lot of sci-fi sounding crap on you. But here it goes, I guess; you know how most things occupy one single space in the space-time continuum? Well, I guess you can call me ďspecial.Ē And not in the special education sort of wayÖ Well, actually, maybe that is the kind of way, but thatís irrelevant at the moment. Basically, while I occupy one space in terms of the time line, I occupy three different spaces in terms of physical location.

    Moreau: Explain this more simply. I donít even think that makes sense on a metaphysical scale.

    Lanier: (he rubs his temple, as if trying to figure out how to explain) Okay. Imagine all three of me as a single person. We all know what the others have done, but-

    Moreau: So you three have a hivemind, of a sorts?

    Lanier: Yes- wait, no! No, itís not like that. None of us can directly influence the others. We just sort of see what the other ones are doing. I donít really know how to explain it. Basically, I see what they are currently doing, but I donít see it as if its currently happening. I see it as if it already happened, and I am just sort of remembering it.

    Moreau: Iím still not convinced any of this is real, but keep going.

    Lanier: Think of it as sort of three alternate timelines, but they all exist in the same timeline, and can directly affect the other.

    Moreau: Okay. Letís pretend that this is all true. How could this have started?

    Lanier: Now, thatís the question, isnít it? I donít know. This didnít actually start happening until recently. About two years ago, give or take.

    Moreau: What happens if you three were to meet each other?

    Lanier: I have no idea. I donít want to test it out, though; its too much of a headache when weíre all separate. I donít think my mind could handle trying to work this all out when weíre together.

    Moreau: You realize that weíre still going to have to keep you here until we can verify your story, correct?

    Lanier: Oh, please. Youíre going to keep me here long after you ďverify my story.Ē Iím something no one has ever seen before. Youíre about to make me your little lab rat. A forced test subject, all in the name of your creepy little science experiments.

    Moreau: If youíre so afraid that thisíll happen, whyíd you tell us the truth?

    Lanier: Because otherwise I would have been executed. I might have to live the rest of my life labeled as a freak, but Iíll be alive. Can we get on with this, now? Iím tired, and Iíve been sitting in solitary confinement all day.

    Moreau: Guards; take him to his cell. (she points to one of the guards) And make sure he gets a glass of water, will you?
    Last edited by LOTRfan; 2012-06-29 at 06:02 PM.
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  6. - Top - End - #126
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    @The Interrogation of Marcel Lanier: Plot clones as a superpower, nifty.

    Anyways, here's the next Harpoontok tale. A little shorter than the last, and I'm not quite as happy with it as I was with five and six, but trying to fix these things usually just inadvertently makes everything worse, so here it is!

    Post-Death MagJournal Entry 7 - Wow, Seven? I Could've Sworn I'd Be Done Breathing By Now

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    Thereís been news coming in of a new sort of enemy, completely unaffiliated with all the major players around here. It was suspected that they mightíve been working with that erinyes lady, but those suspicions quickly died out when a number of her best got in this new foeís way, and were promptly torn to pieces. They just sorta steamroll over anyone in their sight, near as we can tell, cutting a swath through even the toughest of soldiers as if they were merely a stack of used tissues, and using some sort of unidentified chemical weapon. Worst part is, theyíre headed right for us, if the reports of our scouts (the ones who werenít gibbering incoherently about ants crawling in their skin, I mean) are accurate. That means Iím liable to be deployed against these monsters, in the hopes that I get another ridiculously unlikely lucky victory like I did last time.

    Speaking of that last time, and since this might very well be the only chance Iíll ever get to update this MagJournal before Iím brutally eaten alive, I suppose I ought to continue where we left off, and explain just how it was that I came to defeat the mutinous scumbag bastard that was Lord Demontok, Jerkface Supreme. Contrary to what youíd expect from a Magtok vs. A Bigger Magtok fight, it was ridiculously easy. In fact, if it werenít for the fact that he was miles away from being a true Magtok, after all the heresy and grossness and terrible foolish nincompoopery heíd been up to in all his time here, Iíd feel really embarrassed about the whole thing. The guy went down like helicopter with a dead Reinholdt clone jammed in the rotor (funny story about that, but letís save that for another time), fell right over in the first round, and I almost found myself feeling sorry for the guy. Almost.

    "So let me get this straight. You, the MagClone with a harpoon in his chest, want to duel me, the guy running this little cave network, and youíre willing to put up centuries of loyal servitude and duty as your wager if you get knocked out, whereas all youíre asking for, if by some freaky miracle you win and kill me instead of just knocking me out, is my corpse, that Libby ladyís corpse, and a non-magical telewarp which can only be provided by my hands, back to your home base. Which youíll use to call in a bigger team of Clockworks to explode everyone here whoís unlucky enough to still be around when the reinforcements hit."

    "Yes, thatís basically everything. Oh, and would you mind letting my have my pick of weapon from anything in this cavern? Excluding your trident thingy, of course, and any obvious loophole nonsense that shouldnít fly."

    "Whatís the catch, Whaley? And donít tell me there isnít a catch, I know us well enough to know you wouldnít risk it all on something this stupid and pointless without a ghost of a chance. "

    "Thatís my little secret, Lobsterface. You should at least let me have that much. I mean, Iíve already made it easy enough for you as is."

    I smiled back at the bastard. I had him right where I wanted him, and he was falling for everything hook, line, and sinker. He knew it too, but with all his little devil buddies watching, what kind of leader would he appear to be if he passed over a chance to put an arrogant fool like me in their place? What kind of coward would bow out of a thing like that?

    What I wasnít expecting was for him to respond by ripping my left arm right out of its socket and telekinetically smashing my face against a table. Cheap, underhanded bastard, that guy. Nothing said I had to be perfectly functional before our big fight, and with all his friends around and his demon powers to back him up, I couldnít exactly protest that little assault, either.

    "Fine. You can have your little tricks, insect. Deep down, we both know Iím going to stomp you flat anyways. Choose your weapon, and letís get this over with."

    "Fine. Libbyís corpse is my weapon. Feel like walking all the way down the cave to go get her, or are you going to waste a precious telewarp portal just to avoid whatever I might have planned?"

    He scowled at me, floated up into the air on those ragged gossamer wings, and raised the trident arm menacingly, before sinking back down. I got him, folks. Right then and there, I knew I had him hook, line, and sinker. He put his hands together, pulled them apart to open a telewarp portal with what little power he had left for that sort of thing, stuck his arm into the portalÖ

    And then he died. Just as Iíd hoped, Libbyís domain was death, her corpse maintained such magical power, and without any sort of consciousness in her head to restrain herself from doing so, Libbyís fingers instantly zapped Demontok dead. His eyes rolled up, his legs gave out from underneath him, and I was the legitimate winner of our little spectacle.

    "GET HIM! FLAY THAT CHEATING LITTLE RAT BASTARD! RIP THE FLESH RIGHT OFF HIS BONES!"

    Just a shame his loyal minions didnít see it the same way, though. I ran like the hell I was living in, screaming and flailing my arm around like an idiot as fireballs, magic bolts of death, energy-draining lightning, and just about everything else they could find to throw at me. I took about as many injuries from that volley as Demontok probably expected to hit me with in our incredibly short-lived battle, with blood and oil and gods only know what else leaking from every inch of my body.

    I thanked about forty-eight different gods that Demonfaceís telewarp portal was still open, jumped through, and closed it up behind me just as some sort of hideous dog-monster with three separate slavering mouths full of razor sharp teeth on its face leapt for my throat. I was alone now, with Demontokís severed, lifeless arm, the horrible mess that was Libbyís face after I freaked out and shot her for no reason, and also the bodies of my comrades. The solitude wasnít to last, however, as I could already hear a stampede crying out for my blood, organs, and a few things that I shouldnít repeat, making its way into the tunnels.
    I grabbed Demontokís dead limb, thankful that his body didnít have any leftover death goddess energy in it to kill me with, and opened his last telewarp, punching the coordinates for my home base into his left arm. My vision was getting cloudy, and I couldnít be sure Iíd gotten the last two numbers right, but I wasnít going to get another chance anyways, so I clapped our hands together, pulled them apart, and then threw his arm, Libbyís body (I only grabbed her robe, Iím not stupid), and myself through, blacking out before I could be certain Iíd jumped into the right place.

    As we both already know, of course, I did. I won, I saved the day, Libby and Demontokís bodies were sent somewhere to have the magic sucked out of them, and I was the proud recipient of some stupid Champion of (the hell-layer of) Lust award, after several grueling and painful days confined to an infirmary bed. The story ends there, I kicked butt, took some names, ensured the eventual downfall of several other enemy units in the surrounding area, didnít steal anything out of dead-Libbyís pocket before blacking out which might be of strategic value without telling anyone, and proudly completed my first mission for Her Insidious Majestyís Infernal Guard. The end. For today, at least.
    Last edited by Lord Magtok; 2012-07-10 at 11:05 PM.
    "Heroes aren't supposed to do bad things. That's what villains are for. So either the good supersedes the bad, or the bad makes it impossible to remember the good. We don't like it when such duality exists in one person. We don't want to know our heroes are human."
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  7. - Top - End - #127
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Who am I?
    Xifra


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    Who am I?

    My thoughts float in a fog, and I swim through my mind, trying to reach them, until there is a scent that puts all thoughts aside.

    Salome. That name is burned into my heart. My beloved. My Mistress. I reach for her at once, and the next few hours disappear in a haze of bliss.

    When I am aware again, she is trying to help me up. "Come, Mistress. I must show you the temple."

    "But you are my Mistress,"
    I insist in confusion.

    Who am I?


    "Yes, I am your Mistress. So when I call you Mistress, you must allow it," Salome tells me playfully.

    I can make no argument. The sacrifice ensured that I was bound to her will. I remember the sacrifice, my heart beating faster and faster, the fear as I felt death approaching, and Salome's whispered assurances that she would be waiting for me on the other side.

    I remember all this, but not who I am.

    I try to attend to Salome's words, but the strands of Warp keep distracting me with their beauty.

    I remember the Warp. The Palace of Pleasure. My Lord Slaanesh.

    "Mistress, you must attend! We must be prepared to defend the temple," Salome tells me.

    "Is there war?"
    I ask.

    "No. But there was a Priestess of the Inquisition seen, wielding fire against a heretic. We must be alert."

    My claws extend, making me aware for the first time that I possess claws, and I hiss angrily. "We will find her and tear out her heart," I say. Then I correct myself. "No, we will capture her alive, show her the beauty of the Dark Prince first, and then consume her."

    I realize that I thirst for her blood.

    Who am I?

    Then Salome brings me before the Lady Jezebel, and the two of us, as one, drop to our knees in worship.

    Jezebel cups my chin and looks into my eyes. "Ah, Xifra. You look beautiful."

    Xifra. I was Xifra.

    I remember a few flashes of my life, and only a few are needed. Xifra. The name that means 'nobody'. The curse that made me nobody to anyone. The wizard who found me and made me into someone. The Objects. The Serpent's Gaze. Juan. Jezebel.

    Salome.

    There are memories missing, and some instinct tells me that these memories are actually gone rather than hidden in fog. Something about my beautiful Mistress - yes, Our Lord Slaanesh had removed certain memories from both of us.

    They must have been terrible for him to do that, and I thank him in silent prayer.

    "How do you feel, Xifra?"
    Jezebel asks. I look up at her, returned to the present, and marvel that I matter to such a magnificent angel.

    "I..."
    I struggle for words, trying to pull them from fog. But there is only the one question I cannot shake. "... Who am I?"

    The answer comes from Salome, who drags me close with her tail, grabs a fistful of hair, and hisses in my ear. "Mine."

    The Warp shimmers around me. The answer is true, and it is enough.

    I love my Mistress.
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  8. - Top - End - #128
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    * applauds *

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  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Part 6: Cooperation
    Elaine de Vere Stevenson

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    Elaine, Jacob, and Vasquez had been playing cards. Jacob took the trick, and it was Elaine's turn to deal. She shuffled the cards a moment, then set them down on the table.

    "I'd like to meet Gus,"
    she says.

    Jake looked at Vasquez first, then back to his mother. "As you wish. Gus won't be expecting it at this moment, but he's ready in general."

    Vasquez blinks. "You mean now?"

    "She does,"
    Jake says, knowing his mother's tone and looks. Elaine nods in confirmation.

    Jake takes the hands of both his mother and Vasquez, removing his hand from his mother's after a squeeze. And then he withdrew to let Gus emerge.

    Elaine watched in agony as her son's form and features changed in front of her. She had never witnessed her own transformation (and had declined watching the video that Remnant had). From within, it simply felt like a battle lost, a falling asleep and then discontinuity. But to an outsider it looked painful.

    To a mother, even more so.

    Finally a man with bright red hair opened his eyes and looked at her. He looked surprised, but immediately recovered. "Mrs Stevenson. I'm glad to meet you at last." Elaine's eyes flicked to where his hand was still in Vasquez's, and she wondered what relationship the Commander had with her son's Other.

    "What is Gus short for?"
    Elaine asked. She had an inherent dislike of nicknames.

    Gus was a little puzzled. "I'm not sure. I don't even remember how I chose the name."

    "Augustus then. Does that work?"

    Gus looked at Vasquez, a little lost. "I... suppose?"

    Elaine steepled her fingers. "Tell me, Augustus. What do you think of 'Billie'?"

    "Oh she's nuttier than a bag of squirrels," Gus says. "But... anyone would be, if they'd been through what she has."

    "What has she been through?"

    Gus looked at Vasquez, as if for permission. "I think Elaine should know," Vasquez says.

    Gus sighed and pushed his fingers through his hair. "She's spent most of her life on the streets, working as a prostitute. She's been through it all - drugs, physical and emotional abuse. She killed her first pimp in self-defense, and that isn't the only life she's taken. Every time she woke up, she was in a different city, having to start over with no contacts, no one she could trust. It was some time before she learned about your existence, and knew what happened during the missing parts of her life."

    "She knew you had an idyllic life, compared to her, and she hated you for it. Then after Jake was born, she hated you even more, and hated Jake for being your son instead of hers."


    Elaine answered in an icy voice. "Are you blaming me for this?" Her cold tone masked the sick feeling she had inside. She had only been with one man in her life, but her Other had sold her body (my body!) to the lowest of the low. She hadn't been prepared to hear that, and she felt unclean.

    "No ma'am." Gus said. "You didn't try to reach out to her, but she didn't try to reach out to you either. You both chose warfare. I chose warfare. Jakey's the only one of the four of us who did the right thing."

    Elaine smiled faintly. "He gets that from his father. Henry was a good man."

    "I know. I wish I could have met him,"

    "So do I," Vasquez said.

    Elaine lowered her eyes and put her hand to her necklace. "I tried so hard to keep her away from Henry and Jacob. I never thought..." That there was a person I was doing that to.

    "She would have done the same, if she'd had the husband and child," Gus said. "I would have done the same to Jakey."

    "But Jacob chose to talk to you." Elaine said. "I... I want to see Jacob again, please."

    Gus took her hand, and kissed it, trying to appear gallant. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Mrs Stevenson. Give my love to Jakey."

    In a moment, Elaine was holding the hand of her son instead of the hand of a near stranger. And in another moment, she was hugging him tightly.
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  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Part 7: Identity
    Elaine de Vere Stevenson

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    Tracey knocked on the door. It was longer than usual before Mrs Stevenson answered, and Tracey could tell at once that she had been crying.

    "I have your groceries," Tracey said, and made her way inside without asking for permission. She had a hard time defining why she disliked Elaine and preferred Billie. His Evilness that Dwelt in Fire knew that Billie was bat**** insane. Tracey had taken her share of scratches and bruises from the other woman, while Elaine had been nothing but polite.

    Yeah, that was it. Billie was a fighter. She wouldn't have sat around crying. Whatever it was that had upset Elaine, if it had happened to Billie, she would have come up with some ridiculous and violent plan for dealing with it.

    As Tracey unpacked the groceries, she saw the high-end tea, and realized that there was more to it than that. Elaine was upper class. Old money.

    So basically, I'm a bigot. It's not her fault she was born rich.


    Tracey sighed, and instead of heading out the door after she finished, she turned to the other woman. "Would you like to talk about it? I'm a good listener?"

    Elaine shook her head. "No thank you."

    Tracey barked a laugh. "Pock that. I'm a crap listener. But... well..." she sits down on Elaine's sofa. "I know this will sound crazy, but I kind of know what you're going through."

    Elaine stiffened. "I highly doubt that."

    "Your body isn't your own. You can't trust it. You want desperately to be something different than what you are, and you'll do anything to hold onto your identity. Sound familiar?"


    Tracey saw the moment when Elaine started actually listening to her. "Maybe."

    "I was born in the wrong body - a male body. I spent most of my life trying to reconcile what I knew I was inside with what I saw in the mirror. There wasn't another person inside me, like there is you, but I had a secret identity. On the outside, I was a big, bad, butch Marine, trying to be as masculine as possible to keep people from suspecting the truth. And on the inside, I was a woman. I was born in a world where there were no gender bender potions, and even medical treatments for transsexuals were controversial."

    "And then you got sucked into the Nexus?" Elaine asked. It happened to a lot of people, after all.

    "Eventually. Not at first. First I was dishonourably discharged for homosexuality. Of course, I wasn't gay. I was a woman attracted to men, but since my body was male, they treated it as homosexuality and I was kicked out. I ended up on the streets. Drugs. Prostitution. Sound familiar?"

    "Yes..."
    Elaine said faintly.

    "I was jumped outside a club and beaten. I blacked out and woke up here. For all I know, this is the afterlife. Hell for some, heaven for others. I can't even put into words how I felt when I learned that gender bender potions existed and really worked. I'd have traded my soul for one, but they were being treated here as practical jokes. The merchant I bought mine from sold them in twos, on the assumption you'd drink one for a wild night and reverse it in the morning." Tracey shook her head, with a soft chuckle. "My second one got poured down the drain, of course."

    "There isn't a potion I can use," Elaine pointed out.

    "No, there isn't. But you can't keep fighting your secret identity. It doesn't work." Tracey said.

    "I know it's the right thing to do. It's just..."

    "You hate her," Tracey said.

    Elaine didn't answer, but they both knew it was true.

    "I hated Private First Class Matthew Smith."
    Tracey said. "Hated him with a passion. But after I became Tracey Elton for good, and stopped being afraid of turning into him, I realized that I had really loved being a Marine. So here I am."

    "So I will make my peace with 'Billie', and discover I have things to learn from her after all. Pardon me, but that seems a little too neatly packaged to represent reality."


    "Probably," Tracey conceded. "Maybe I'm just trying to make it easier for you to do what you already know you have to do."

    "Or maybe you just like Billie better than me."


    Tracey looked flustered. "I never said that."

    "You didn't have to. It wasn't hard to figure out where your sympathies lay." Elaine said. "As hard as I thought it was for me, it was worse for her. The wonder is that more of you aren't secretly taking her side."

    "That would be due to all the bruised ribs and broken noses she handed out," Tracey said. "It didn't exactly endear people to her."

    "Except you."


    "Guess I'm a glutton for punishment." Tracey said with a grin. "Billie and I have that in common."

    About an hour after Tracey left, Elaine opened the notebook that she'd requested with her shopping order.

    Dear Billie,

    We've known each other for years, but never spoken...

    Last edited by happyturtle; 2012-07-29 at 03:14 PM.
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  11. - Top - End - #131
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    I mentioned I'm poor at planning. And I am. Just so happens I suddenly recalled my Mrs. Bloodplunder story today, and when I checked I was actually somewhat surprised that I posted part one this year. Anyway, this bit hasn't been written before and likely won't be repeated elsewhere (but I could be wrong).

    Wars and Weddings (Part 2)
    Mrs. Bloodplunder
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    She lost. Aldora had, in hindsight, little chance. Yes, she'd been in battle before, but that was different. A vast melee with hundreds of participants, not one-on-two fighting like this. Especially as she's the Chief's eldest daughter- if things looked difficult before, she could always rely on a clan-mate riding to the rescue. The two orcs, however, had done this countless times, and even practised occasionally, testing their skills with wolves, bears and wolf-bears.

    Alondra was disappointed. She thought her sister had more in her than that. Almost literally; whilst the leather padding prevented skull crushing and broken ribs, it didn't prevent lots of blood being spilt. After Aldora collapsed and didn't get up until the orc's cleric of Luthic hopped into the pit and helped her up and cured her more grievous wounds, Alondra went to find her father. It wasn't hard; he was in the guests-of-honour tent, alongside the orc chief (who had stormed out earlier, disappointed by his prospective bride), the clerics of Gruumsh and the Ancestors of the Great Tree, and Xanthus Xalachar, who'd impressed the orcs by defeating five at once, armed with only his fists, feet and tail. "Father, let me take my sister's place. She's been proved weak; the orcs won't accept her now. I can take them, I know it."
    "They defeated your elder sister. She's been training non-stop since you went to slack off, explore ruins and what-not. She's the best we have, and proven in battle. No." He was angry, and upset; without the wedding, the Great Tree clan's surely doomed, alongside the Bloodplunder orcs.
    "But, Father, I wasn't slacking. I was training, too, and without fifty of my kin to back me up. You saw what Xanthus Xalachar did to get here; he's taught me a few tricks, for when I don't have my flail. I can do it, and we have nothing to lose and everything to gain."
    "Iz troo. She learnz well, for an uncultured mammal. No offenze." Xanthus Xalachar speaks slowly, opening his crocodilian jaw slowly to pick raw meat from his teeth.
    "... Fine. But you won't have my blessing unless you succeed, so it's not a political arrangement. So no padding."
    "Easy peasy squashed oranges."


    The twist was planned; I'd plonked it into place before I wrote part one. Although I was thinking it'd be obvious, as Mrs. Bloodplunder is canonically a retired adventurer.
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  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by LOTRfan View Post
    The Interrogation of Marcel Lanier

    Still trying to figure out how this guy gets to the Nexus. But basically he's a normal person who comes with two "plot-clones."

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    *snip*
    Idea: One of the other two plot clones makes it to the Nexus and hires adventurers to rescue this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
    Post-Death MagJournal Entry 7 - Wow, Seven? I Could've Sworn I'd Be Done Breathing By Now

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    *snip*
    Loving it! I can't help but have the wicked thought that Xabrieal, Jeanne's succubus mother, would try to show up to lust on the big hero of the day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Earl of Purple View Post
    I mentioned I'm poor at planning. And I am. Just so happens I suddenly recalled my Mrs. Bloodplunder story today, and when I checked I was actually somewhat surprised that I posted part one this year. Anyway, this bit hasn't been written before and likely won't be repeated elsewhere (but I could be wrong).

    Wars and Weddings (Part 2)
    Mrs. Bloodplunder
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    *snip*


    The twist was planned; I'd plonked it into place before I wrote part one. Although I was thinking it'd be obvious, as Mrs. Bloodplunder is canonically a retired adventurer.
    I <3 Mrs Bloodplunder. I'd love to see a scene of her and her husband living (and killing) together in wedded bliss after this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Rise of the Prophet, Part 3

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    *snip*

    I really like this... the growing sense of the threat. Some images of what the non-combatants of each side are thinking would be nice, but that might not be part of your story, which is fine too.


    1

    Indexing still needs to be done. Not feeling up to it today, but hopefully soon.

    Dear everyone: Moar stories, please! And more comments and feedback too!
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  13. - Top - End - #133
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by LOTRfan View Post
    The Interrogation of Marcel Lanier

    Still trying to figure out how this guy gets to the Nexus. But basically he's a normal person who comes with two "plot-clones."

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    *snip*
    What Magtok said. Plotclones as a superpower... not sure if I'd call it a blessing, though, seeing where it got him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
    Post-Death MagJournal Entry 7 - Wow, Seven? I Could've Sworn I'd Be Done Breathing By Now

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    *snip*
    Magtok's sheneniagans in Hell continue to be pretty amusing. I'm not sure what the deal is with Libby, though. I kind of lost track as to who she is and what she's doing there.

    Quote Originally Posted by happyturtle View Post
    Who am I?
    Xifra


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    *snip*
    Very karmic for Xifra. She enslaved Salome and now she's a slave herself. Of course, this is what she wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by happyturtle View Post
    Part 6: Cooperation
    Elaine de Vere Stevenson

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    *snip*
    Quote Originally Posted by happyturtle View Post
    Part 7: Identity
    Elaine de Vere Stevenson

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    *snip*
    I'm not sure, but this whole character arc doesn't really do it for me. It's not badly written, just... unengaging to me for some reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Earl of Purple View Post
    Wars and Weddings (Part 2)
    Mrs. Bloodplunder
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    *snip*
    I had to re-read the first part to remind myself who's who. Still, this is developing nicely. I'll be waiting to see more.
    @Happy: Well, I could devote the next part of the story to the non-combatants from all the races. I suppose it would be an interesting change in perspective.
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  14. - Top - End - #134
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Everything on this page is awesome. Happy has an unparalleled gift when it comes to her stories and characterization and stuff, Morty does really nifty world-building stuff with his goblins, and Bloodplunder is crazy.

    Post-Death MagJournal Entry 8 - Dictated But Not Read

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    Hi Magtok diary! This Dippy, official imp scribe-servant of Magtok, Hero War Man of the Lusty Plane! The Harpoony One busy, he say. Canít be bothered to write own diary entry. He say ďYou there, ugly imp, your name is Dippy now! Go scribe stuffs for me, I too busy being important and Xabrieal whore lady fangirl was hiding under writing desk and wearing strange panties last time I try to write things myself!Ē

    Alright Dippy, got your little foreword thing out of the way? Good, from here on out youíre to write down every last word that comes out of my mouth until I give you the codeword to stop that we mentioned. Yes, good, I see youíre doing a fine job of keeping up with everything Iím saying. Youíre a much better Dippy than the Nexus one, thatís for sure. Now let me see what weíve got so far; I stopped for a moment to imagine some goblin youíve never met getting sideswiped by the Skyline, and just completely lost my train of thought in doing so.

    Okay, right. Yeah, Xabrieal. Not the first succubus or incubus or erinyes or whatever to try to get with the big superstar hero guy, but definitely one of the more creative ones. I made the mistake of listening to advice one of the other clones got once, of agreeing to meet the pest and then standing her up, but it didnít work out so well. Tried to take that time I was supposedly going to spend at some silly gala, and instead use it to work on my next MagJournal entry. Was getting to a good start too, when suddenly I feel hands on my hips, followed by a certain someone wiggling right out from under my desk and into my lap, dressed in an outfit even a Slaaneshi nudist colony would probably find a little distasteful. Two Aís in Slaaneshi, Dippy. Oh wait, nevermind, you already had it right.

    "Hey Shiny, weíre going to be late for the gala," she said, scooting across my lap and neatly limboing her way under the harpoon. "Címon, letís get you out of those nasty old robes and into that sexy uniform with all the tassels and medals and badges."

    I opened my mouth to protest, only for a big, fat, ugly pair of fingers to shut me right up before I could utter a word of dissent against her unseemly intentions. Equally large, fat, ugly lips whispered right in my ear, a weird mix of brimstone and strawberries scents pattering against the side of my head. "Oooor, if youíre really not in the mood for all those stuffy diplomats and cranky generals and stupid dignitaries, we can just take those robes off, and save that gala and uniform for another day?"

    Anyways, to make a long story short, my quarters arenít quite secure enough for my tastes, and I canít afford to spend any time in a place where people might expect me, so all my writing has to be done on the go, someone elseís hand on the quill while I keep an eye out for trouble, wandering from one part of the Clockwork Fortress to the next with about as much predictability and consistency as Kirkís love life. I know, I know, right now it seems a lot of trouble and aggravation, just to keep a log of all the nonsense I go through here, but trust me, history will vindicate me. Deep down, I know this will all be worth it someday. Gods willing, my journal will escape to the surface, even if I donít, and future MagClones will know my name. ďHarpoontok,Ē theyíll say, ďnow there was a guy who could kick some devil ass. Man, if only I was half as sexy and talented as that genius, that supervillain, that god amongst men.Ē I canít ruin that now by being caught up in curtain with some spray-tanned teenagers with goat horns sticking out of their head. I simply wonít let them drown out my better judgment in a fog of lust auras, bondage gear, and cheap cologne. No hero of mine ever traded his dignity away for a warm bed, and after that near-accident with Libby (followed by a completely different kind of accident with Libby), I just canít take any sort of chances, no matter how many weird looks and glares I get from the local floozies. Someone will die if I give in, and with karma the way it is, itíll probably be me next time who does.

    My imaginary future fans arenít reading this to hear about me beating away women with a stick though, right? So letís move on, Dippy. Letís get back to the Second Circle as a whole, instead of fiddling around with all that fine detail stuff. Remember that new swarm enemy I mentioned in the last entry? Itís getting closer. The clock is ticking, they only get bigger and bigger with each kill, and if my suspicions are correct, itís got everyone who isnít working on the solution going into a crazy breeding frenzy, in a dimwitted effort to enjoy what little time we have. Weíre looking at something like a zombie apocalypse, from what Iíve gotten off the intel reports, but admittedly, thatís not much, and our only advantage is that they havenít seemed to figure out flying yet, bar one or two rare exceptions. Not much info, I know. Being a Hero Champion of Lust can only get you so far, as most of that junk is on a strict need-to-know basis. Lady Morgana and her generals assure us that everything is being done to forestall that enemy, but we all know what theyíre really up to. With all that newfound power, Her Kinkiness is having the time of her life, stomping all over Malach and Bielaís forces for daring to oppose her rule.
    I donít particularly blame her, really. I mean, if I won the divine lottery and was still in the Nexus, Iíd probably suffer a little tunnel-vision, too. It probably wouldnít be as bad, of course, since thereís only so many Reinholdts and Julies and ponies in the world, but Iíd definitely be wide open for a sneak attack in those first few days of celebrating, just as she is now. Man, kinda wish I could tell her all of this, maybe smack some sentence into her yes-men generals and arrogant lackeys, but I canít. Yíknow, what with the lust auras complicating things. Hers especially, what with it being turned way past eleven and all. I probably shouldnít be telling you all of this, Dippy, it being borderline treason and all, but I know you wonít rat me out. I mean, youíre an imp. Iím a war hero, and since itíd be your word against mineÖI think even your namesake could figure out why that wouldnít work out for you in the end. Speaking of the real Dipsnig, have you ever wondered why goblins are so dumb and ugly? I think itís because they-

    AAAAAUGH OH GODS EARTHQUAKE AIEEEEE! WEíRE FLYING IN A GIANT FORTRESS AND SOMEHOW THEREíS AN EARTHQUAKE GOING ON WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?! OH GODS, NOOOO! NO GODS, TAKE DIPPY INSTEAD, NOBODY WOULD EVER MISS HIM AND-

    Hrm? What, itís over? Wow, well that was weird. The alarmís still going off, though. Something about battle stations, and getting into them, but Iíll be damned if I can remember what mine was. Think weíre finally being invaded? Yeah, thatís probably whatís going on, isnít it? Can you keep writing and following me while I go do heroic battle stuffs, Dippy? You sure? I mean, I donít want to risk it if youíve got a gun or something you could be shooting instead, but if you're sure...

    Oh, and move on to a fresh new MagJournal entry, would you? I think weíve covered just about enough with this one. Also, if you get shot or stabbed or exploded or eaten alive, try to shut the journal closed as fast as you can, alright? I donít want gross imp viscera ruining my-

    Last edited by Lord Magtok; 2012-07-11 at 09:42 AM.
    "Heroes aren't supposed to do bad things. That's what villains are for. So either the good supersedes the bad, or the bad makes it impossible to remember the good. We don't like it when such duality exists in one person. We don't want to know our heroes are human."
    -LZ Granderson
    Maggy Dent by happyturtle

  15. - Top - End - #135
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
    Everything on this page is awesome. Happy has an unparalleled gift when it comes to her stories and characterization and stuff, Morty does really nifty world-building stuff with his goblins, and Bloodplunder is crazy.
    Oh! And two three of your stories are on this page as well! Vanity much?
    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

  16. - Top - End - #136
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    If Dipsnig knew Magtok called an imp "Dippy", he'd kill him. But the MagClone who did this is already dead. So that would be awkward.
    Also, once I finish Rise of the Prophet - which will probably take two more parts - I might branch out into more world-building and history stuff from that world. Maybe some backstory on how Wenomir and Dorota's homeland went from being the seat of an empire to a decaying feudal kindgom. But Sophie's story might take priority.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Kid Kris. Sigatars by Gulaghar, Kid Kris, Zefir and billtodamax, respectively.

  17. - Top - End - #137
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Kris View Post
    Oh! And two three of your stories are on this page as well! Vanity much?
    Okay fine, fine. Everything on this page except my stuff, because I'm so very modest, and not at all a million times better than everyone forever and rightful lord and master of all, is awesome. There, happy now?

    Fun fact: I once saw KidKris make out with a radioactive, three-nosed African bush elephant. He made me promise not to tell anyone and to burn the records, but apparently I'm not very good at keeping promises.
    "Heroes aren't supposed to do bad things. That's what villains are for. So either the good supersedes the bad, or the bad makes it impossible to remember the good. We don't like it when such duality exists in one person. We don't want to know our heroes are human."
    -LZ Granderson
    Maggy Dent by happyturtle

  18. - Top - End - #138
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    Index updated.

    I demand that Magtok's next imp-scribe be named Dippy 2, and that one day in the future, a Dippy 12 shows up in the Nexus for some reason, and tells everyone that the Great Harpoontok named him after a smelly goblin.
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  19. - Top - End - #139
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    Wow. Been three months since I last stuck something here.

    Well, I'm back. Continuing Zel's backstory.

    Memories - Part 11

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    That first mission was an eye opener for many of us, myself included.

    Based on how long the trip was, we had to be a good distance out of Rembress by the time we finally arrived. As soon as the tram shuddered to a stop, the guards were yelling at us to get up and get out. We scrambled out, making sure our gear was with us. Trace stayed as close to Selvik as she could.

    Instead of a platform, we stepped out onto a flat plain that looked like it hadn't had rain in months. Off in the distance ahead of us I could make out the shape of some big structure. Couldn't tell if it was one building or a small town or what. Near us were several military trucks, engines running. My guess that they were our rides to this structure were confirmed when we were yelled at to get in them. They stuck two of us in each truck by some predetermined strategy or something. I was paired with Selvik, much to his and Trace's disappointment.

    As the trucks took off, our guard turned to face us and yelled over the noise of the truck.

    "Each pair is to get into the fort and clear a path to the center! Take these radios and update us when you clear a section! An extraction team is being sent there to gather an important item! Do not worry about getting the item yourselves! Kill any who resist you! Do not let any resistance back into your path, or you will suffer severe consequences! Do I make myself clear!?"

    Selvik and I gave a quick nod. Selvik kept his face straight, but I'm pretty sure he was having similar thoughts to mine. Mainly what kind of "resistance" we'd be expecting. And what this item was.

    As soon as the truck came to a stop, we were practically shoved out of the back. We had a moment to see a huge, old stone wall in front of us before we were being shoved towards an opening at ground level. Our belts had a thin flashlight that we each turned on as we entered the doorway. The hall in front of us wasn't lit, and seemed to be as long as the wall was thick. It was damp, old, and entirely stone. Completely reassured me, that did.

    After a minute, we walked into an area open to the sky. My earlier thought of this being some kind of small town was confirmed. there were a bunch of small, single-story buildings near the wall with narrow streets running between them. Over in what I assumed to be the center of this "fort" was an old, steel building on a hill. That was where this "item" was located, I guessed.

    My radio crackled and an angry voice was yelling at me to get to work before I ended up like the mannequin head back at the base. I shuddered and started forward, with Selvik following. The area looked like it had been under heavy fire for a while. Buildings had gaping holes in them, and others were burnt to the ground. As I passed one building, I looked to my right and froze in my tracks, wishing I kept my eyes forward. There was a small, burnt corpse not more than ten feet from me. I couldn't tell if it was a little boy or girl.

    My knees threatened to buckle under me. Selvik must have noticed that, because he gripped my shoulder hard and spoke my name. I turned to him and saw the sadness in his eyes. "Come on, Zel. Nothing we can do about it." I swallowed, nodded, and turned forward again, making it a point to not look down any more streets.

    Which, of course, got me shot.

    A couple streets further, there was a shout from my left. I turned in time to see a man with blood across his head aim a gun at me. I swung my arm towards Selvik to shove him back and lunged forward at the same time. Selvik landed on his butt as I fell forward. Before I hit the ground, I heard the gun go off and immediately felt pain in my left calf. As I landed, I heard a scuffling sound, a shout, and silence. Slowly, I turned over to look towards the man. He was crumpled on the ground with Selvik standing over him. Selvik was staring at one of his swords, which was covered in blood. He turned to me, and something was different about his expression. I couldn't tell what it was.

    "You okay?" He slowly walked to me, putting the sword back in its sheath. I gritted my teeth as I moved my leg to find the damage. There was a nice hole on both sides of my calf. Selvik looked at it a moment, then sighed. "Round went through. Looks like it missed the bone." I nodded a little. "Good. At least I some good event today." I took one of my knives, cut the leg of my suit above the wound, and used that to tie around the bullet holes. Slowly, I stood up. Hurt like hell, but I could walk.

    "Alright..." I looked to the body of the guy who shot me for a moment, then back to our target location. "Let's keep going. Eram knows that a bullet hole would be a poor excuse to quit." Selvik gave a smirk and followed me.
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  20. - Top - End - #140
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Well, I believe it's time I dumped a lot of posts here that I've been meaning to for quite a while. I tend to write longer posts quite often, but there are a few with special meaning to me and since I'm going to be leaving Giant soon, I want them to be easily found.



    Edijar's Death

    This one is Non-Canon currently, but when I initially wrote it, I had planned for it to actually be true. Circumstances changed IC though, so while this got posted in my absence like I requested, it simply couldn't be canon any more. Even so, it was probably my first real attempt at writing such a post.

    Even now, I admit I've always had a fond spot in my heart for death scenes. I seem to have a special knack for writing them if what I've been told is correct.

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    [Trenches]

    Edijar felt another twinge in his already broken heart as he hears the final cry of one of the last men under his command. Vasquez and Hicks had died hours ago, the former being gutted by a bayonet while Hick's luck had finally run out, his gun jamming as his section of the trenches had been overrun by the enemy troops. Even so, the Commander couldn't stop fighting, the troops inside the wall needed every second they could to organize, to defend people who deserved their livelihood.

    Just as him and his wife had deserved.

    He could remember their last moment together, her warm smile as he brought her breakfast. Bacon, omelet, hashbrowns, and some coffee, 3 sugar and 2 cream, just as she had loved it. At least, so he had thought at the time. He remembered her lightly scolding him for the onion in her omelet. She later kissed him, apologizing because she normally loved onion in it, but her stomach couldn't handle it that morning as the effects of being pregnant started showing. Even so, he had tossed it out and remade it to her new tastes just because he loved her.

    He hadn't regretted being late to work that morning.

    He stabs another one of the enemy soldiers through the chest with his shock blade, it's length broken from deflecting a shotgun blast earlier. Neither it nor his shield crackle any more, their charge drained from extensive use.

    A soldier further down the trench stabs one of his wounded subordinates through her chest, making her lay still. Aliza was her name he remembered idly, his thoughts wandering. College graduate, 21 years old, and a Literary Works major. Joined to help pay off her loans. Smart kid, she used to love dogs.

    Edijar roars in anger and smashes the man into the wall with his shield, bashing him over and over and over until the man couldn't move any longer before bringing a the jagged edge of his shattered shield down on the fallen enemies neck, stilling his limbs forever. He pants and looks around for another foe before his animal instincts realize something.

    The shooting had almost stopped. His men were dead.

    All of them.

    He bows his head in shame, long past due tears finally falling down his face. He had failed. He had failed his men, having sworn to guide and to protect them in times of battle. He had failed his wife and his unborn child, having been unable to save them.

    But perhaps the worst, was that he had failed the Empire which he had sworn to defend against all attacks, from without and within.

    There's the sound of several dozen sets of boots coming closer before they stop, and he looks up, only to see the barrels of dozens of rifles pointing down at him.

    "Sir, you will come with us. Deactivate your weaponry and surrender."

    He stares at them for a moment, then smiles. He hadn't failed yet, there was still one last thing he could do. He remembers the final bullet loaded into his pistol. A special bullet. Hollowpoint, semi-explosive. He knew there were ways to force prisoners to talk against their will. Magic spells designed to dominate minds or advanced life support machines which they hooked your brain up to so you couldn't resist answering their questions.

    He wasn't going to let them do that to him. He wasn't going to let them force him to betray the only thing he had left.

    His smile grows a bit more as he considers what he's about to do...

    "For the Empire."

    Before any of the soldiers can react, he draws his sidearm and tucks it under his chin.

    Anyone nearby will here a loud BANG, followed shortly by a thud as Commander Edijar's headless body slumps into the bloodsoaked trenches.


    Tale of The Beginning and Dark Step

    Even though this story is recent and I posted it in GLoG in two parts, it is likely the longest piece that I've written for ffrp as I consider it a single story. As such, here it is in it's entirety. It is...quite extensive, so as a warning, it's a long read compared to most stories. It details the beginnings of the homeworld of my Wolfen race and their spirit worship.

    Spoiler
    Show


    Storytime!

    As the crowd watches, Pathfinder's spirit steps into the fire and seems to vanish. After a moment, a paw of Wolfen paws appears in the smoke, seemingly turning it solid in front of their eyes. "To understand this story, I must first tell you about my world. But fear not as the story will begin soon" Pathfinder explains with a small sweeping gesture towards the crowd. The gesture fades back into the smoke and other misty figures slip into the bonfire to aide the storyteller. Natalie will feel a touch of cold on her shoulder as a skeletal looking hand sets itself on it. If she looks up, she'll see the misty shape of a cat-person skeleton. It looks down to give her a silent "mew" before taking a seat next to her.

    One by one, other spirits creep into the audience. More cat-people, humans, large insects, small animals, and even an odd tree or two gather around. Each one is silent and appears fully dead, either a skeleton or an empty husk enshrouded by the grave-mist. These are the spirit-guardians that Pathfinder has called forth to protect this ground. Even the sacrificed yak has come forth, settling down behind Reelshka with a silent snort.

    "In the beginning of my world, there was utter chaos. Three primordial forces fought for control."
    He explains as images begin to resolve themselves in the smoke. "Life, Spirit, and The Darkness fought a seemingly eternal battle. No side could gather more strength than the other two, and the thought of alliance only made them retch in disgust." As he speaks, three figures form in the smoke. First, a great and powerful beast, followed by a tall and thin figure of a man, and the third is that of a large fanged mouth. The three begin to fight all at once, struggling against each other, tearing themselves apart even as they grow whole once more at the same time. As the audience watches, bits and pieces that are torn apart begin to collect in the middle of the three, forming a sphere. "Out of the struggle, shards of the three Primal Forces began to collect, forming the Natural World. At first, the barren world was ignored, unnoticed by the three rivals, but slowly, the forces were pulled apart by the fledgling domain. Only then did they take their eyes off of each other to examine it."

    The three forces in the smoke pull back from one another as they slowly begin to examine the world that their war had made. "Slowly, they began to poke and prod at the Natural World, judging it for what it was worth. At first, the world had been a barren rock, but slowly, the proximity of the Great Forces began to change it. Where Life touched, trees and animal life grew. For Spirit, the stars, moon, and fledgling souls and spirits appeared into being..." He explains. Before their eyes, the world expands, showing mountains, rivers and forests growing and appearing as the Sun and Moon began revolving around the Natural World. Off to the side however, The Darkness grows a pair of angular eyes and drifts around, looking at the world and prodding at it to no effect.

    "But The Darkness wasn't so blessed it seemed. Whatever it touched never changed. Be it living or not, It couldn't seem to grant life of any sort or even change the shape of the world...and because of it, it grew angry. Life and Spirit found their creations interacting with one another, forming bonds that they could never have conceived of. The Darkness saw this and became scared, but try as it might, it couldn't do anything as the other Powers grew in size in strength."
    The image of The Darkness seemed to shrink, seemingly pleading as Life and Spirit grew stronger and larger, until Darkness was merely the size of a man, left to roam the Natural World.

    "Eons of peace passed by. Races simply grew and flourished, but eventually a problem emerged. People and Spirits thrived, but they never stopped. Because the battle of The Powers ceased, the Natural World could no longer grow and the world soon became too crowded. Misery and sadness started spreading amongst the Natural World, the creatures looking up at Life and Spirit, begging for aide. Seeing the despair they hadn't meant to cause, Life and Spirit turned to one another, searching for an answer."


    "I cannot stop this. You must."
    Life pleaded of Spirit. "I cannot take from them the breath I previously bestowed. It is against my very nature!"


    Spirit shook It's head. "But alas, I cannot either. I am the one that gave them the drive and desire to do what they have done. To take it from them would be anathema." Spirit said. "


    Slowly, the view in the smoke lowered to the surface of the world, back to a small human like figure made of black. It looked up to the sky, towards Life and Spirit before speaking in a small voice. ""Then let me." cried out a tiny voice that somehow reached to the very core of the Spirit and Life. Searching the world they thought their own, they came upon what little remained of The Darkness. "But what can you do?" Asked Spirit. "You would only seek to destroy us if you gained power once more."

    The Darkness growled up at the pair. "I am like this because of my fear and jealousy, but you'll be many times the worse due to your pride and ignorance." It tells the pair, gesturing a small staff at them in fury. Despite It's size and diminished power, the others shrink back. Could it have been true? "Look at your precious creations now. Look upon them long and well. Can you claim them to be happy? This world is out of balance and you need me to set it straight. I have the strength to do what you could not, but you must stand aside to allow me to do so."

    Spirit and Life looked at one another, but without needing to speak, they bowed their heads and granted their once hated foe a bit of their power. Before their eyes, Darkness grew quickly spreading across the world and covering it in It's black cloak. The event lasted for just a moment, but it was long enough to change the fates of everyone and everything on it. Snow began to fall, many people and spirits vanished, and others finally felt their years take their toll on their bodies. Others began to fight one another as new found emotions began to flood their souls. At the sight of this, Life and Spirit roared up in anger, feeling betrayed, but Darkness simply held up It's hand, having none of it. "Watch." It told them, gesturing at the inhabitants before slowly dissolving from the view, the temporary power it had spent. Darkness' form fell to the world in the form of black mist, burrowing deep into it to slumber, hoping to some day emerge once more...

    "Doing what was bid of them, the other two watched and kept watching for years until they finally understood. Even though the creatures mourned the loss of their brethren and conflict erupted, it made those living happier for what they had. See, Darkness provided something to them that Life and Spirit never could."
    Pathfinder says as his paws form back in the smoke, sweeping away the images. After a moment, his face appears as well, and he turns to each of them in turn. "It gave them happiness. You see, despite the tragic losses, their new found Mortality, and conflict, it is these experiences that give us the contrast and comparison we need to truly be happy with what we have instead of merely content and living for the sake of living."

    Pathfinder, with his body of smoke and flames seems to kneel down in front of his audience. "The worlds that most of us live in likely share similar stories in one way or another, but they all mean one thing. There must always be a Balance. Life cannot live meaningfully without Spirit, and Spirit cannot grow more mature without Life, but neither of them can renew themselves without an End, or Darkness to come, for without it, there is no reason for us to strive or grow away from what we are now." The Wolfen looks at them all with a slight smile to his eyes and ears. "And I hope you take this to heart, for without it, my next story is meaningless."


    1

    StoryTime!

    Pathfinder lets the audience talk amongst themselves for a moment to speak to a few of his spirit companions, telling them which story they were going to be telling next. As they wait, his brother Waterstrider holds Tito close. "It'll be okay. I'm sure his next story will be happier." He promises the little halfling boy.

    During the brief interlude, the spirits remain still, watching the storyteller in the smoke. Finally, Pathfinder finishes his quiet talk and reaches for some powder from one of his pouches. His misty paw grabs a handful before he tosses it into the smoke, giving off a bright flash of green light and turning the flame into a similar color. It should be easier on the audience's eyes, and Pathfinder's form reappears in the smoke. "Some of you may know that my race was created by two of the greatest Spirits that ever blessed our realm with their paw-steps. Dawn Wolf, The Great Mother of Sky and Fenrir, The Lord of The Earth." As the Wolfen speaks, the image of part of a world comes into detail amidst the smoke. The scene is of a starry night above a forested mountain range. Slowly, according to his words, the star and earth slowly begin to twist, forming two wolf shaped beings who begin to chase each other around the smoke cloud, playing in joy as they travel throughout the world. In their footsteps, Wolfen sprang up from the ground, forming little villages.

    "As the years passed and their creations grew, a great hole started growing in their hearts. It took several generations for them to realized why, but eventually they took true Wolfen forms, allowing them to bear an actual child of their own. Not only would the child be strong of flesh and blood, but would inherit part of their spirits."
    Dawn Wolf and Fenrir circle each other quicker and quicker before blurring together and forming a small Wolfen cub in the arms of his mother. "Their son's Child's Name was Dark Step. His fur was of bright red, but all his paws were of black. He grew quickly with the other cubs of his generation." Before their eyes, Dark Step played and wrestled and hunted alongside his friends. He was always taller and stronger, but there was no animosity amongst them. "He was destined to be a great leader and warlord. But unfortunately, Dark Step grew dreadfully ill the year before his Naming Ceremony." Pathfinder fades into the smoke as a scene begins to unfold...

    Dark Step arrives at a cave, smiling and wagging his tail as the thirst for adventure fills him. He waves behind him at the other Wolfen who were barely able to keep up, but they join him momentarily. With a spear in his paw, Dark Step gets on his belly to crawl through the entrance. He knew exploring a place like this was dangerous, but with his soon-to-be mate Silverstreak behind him and her brother Tanhide with them, he couldn't but feel safe. There was no one else he trusted more aside from his parents. His thought's stop when he thinks he hears a small crackling sound, but when nothing new comes, he feels Silverstreak's staff poking his rear. "Get moving. We still need to hunt on the way back and we don't want to stay out too late. I don't wish to spend another night on Watch." Her brother chuckles, but even so, Dark Step understood the need to hurry. "Alright, lets get going."

    It seemed like eons, but once they finished crawling through all the passages, the three of them entered a large natural cavern. Struck speechless, it took a small crackling noise to cause their ears to twitch. Following the sound, Dark Step's eyes found a small shard of glittering blackness resting in a little pool of standing water. As he moved closer, the presence it gave off made his fur raise. It was definitely unsettling, but nothing bad came from picking up a crystal, right? With his curiosity deepening, he reaches into the water to pick up the shard against the wishes of Silverstreak and Tanhide.

    As soon as his paw made contact, the shard vanished and a terrible itching sensation crawled over Dark Step's body, quickly turning to fire and making him howl out in agony. It only lasted a moment before sweet blackness washed over him. The last thought to occur to him was questioning why his left paw was now white...

    The images of the two smaller Wolfen pick up Dark Step's collapsed body and make their way back to the village, giving him to Dawn Wolf and Fenrir. For nine days and nights the pair watch over their son, but eventually he passes and his soul joins their spirits. "What Dark Step had found would have instantly slain any Wolfen of lesser blood and spirit, but because of his heritage, he lasted for a while. What he found had been the very anti-part to everything he had known. Dark Step, who had died without Name, had found an undissolved shard of The Darkness." Pathfinder explains as an image of Darkness' jaws drift in the smoke behind him. "In mourning, his parents gave up their existence of flesh and returned to their Spirithood to spend time with him. When they saw his spirit however, it had been changed. It wasn't the one they had made when Dawn Wolf had given birth." Dark Step's body grows larger in the smoke, and in the center of his heart lies the shard he had picked up. "To their knowledge, it was the first time Darkness had merged with anything of Spirit. As much as they loved their son, they grew afraid until he looked up at them and smiled, saying the two words that would ease them.

    He simply told them..."Thank you."

    With that, their reunion was complete, but it wasn't long until Fenrir asked why. Looking up at them, Dark Step explained. "Father, mother...no one could have asked for prouder parents. No one could have made him happier in life than they." He told them before cracking a smile. "Except for maybe Silverstreak, but that time had passed." Dark Step admitted. Amidst their chuckles though, the son started to look sad and distressed. They asked if it was because he missed his friends, and though he said yes, it was more than that. "What of the rest of them?" Puzzled, Dawn Wolf asked who he meant. "The other Wolfen. Those that pass on. They don't ascend like myself, so what happens?"


    His parents couldn't answer as they didn't know themselves, so Dark Step continued. "I can see their lights of Life winking out one by one. Can't I do something?" He asked, crying out in dismay. He didn't know that the Darkness within him allowed him to see such things when his parents couldn't. Taking a chance in the dark, and in an attempt to sooth his son's turmoil, Fenrir nudges Dark Step gently. "You can. You are more than us now. You're the one who can go out and make sure they have a life beyond the mortal." With his parents' encouragement, Dark Step began his new path as the guide for the souls of the fallen..."

    Pathfinder sweeps his paws to wipe the images out of the cloud before addressing the audience. "It was shortly after that a new group of Wolfen appeared. Shamans. Each one of us have a link to Dark Step, a tiny sliver of Darkness that rests within our soul to intermix with Life and Spirit. It is because of Dark Step that we're able to transcend into Spirit to aide our tribes from beyond death. When each of our times come, the current Dark Step comes to us and reaches out with his or her white paw. In payment though, it is also necessary for Dark Step to take our Earned Names from us, to grant them to others worthy of them." Pathfinder informs everyone as the smoke begins to die down. "As for those without Earned Names? It is these souls that Dark Step holds a special affinity to. For those who have passed on young, they are offered his or her black paw and given a name. For those especially young though...cubs not even yet old enough to speak, Dark Step, with the help of Dawn Wolf, places them within expecting mothers to grant them a new life."

    "That said, the path of Dark Step is one that is merely temporary. It is a long and trying duty to one's race, but it is a necessary one. Because of this, it is tradition for Dark Step to choose a predecessor every hundredth year to take his or her place. It is a great honor for the one chosen, but the burdens are heavy." Pathfinder explains. "And as for the second life of the first Dark Step, you ask? Well my friends, that is a story for another time..."

    Slowly, the flames turn back to their normal color and die down. The smoke lessens and it isn't long before the surrounding spirits dissolve back into the grave mist and seep into the ground...


    The Fall of the Firebrand

    This was written on a whim, I admit. I wanted to try my hand at writing some "Space Opera" style space combat. It's a bit rough in my opinion, but I'm happy with it.

    Spoiler
    Show


    In Orbit

    "Can't anyone tell me anything about where we're at?"


    "Negative sir. It doesn't appear on any of the star charts. We're in a completely new system."

    Listening to what his First Mate said, Captain Ika of the Dominion's Firebrand(Destroyer, Hellfire Pattern) looked out the viewing port to see the shifting colors and twisting starscape that existed in this place. It was like nothing he'd seen before. "And you're sure we're not in Side-Space still?"

    "Positive, Sir."
    First Mate Jutax told him with a nod. "Not only is it not on the star charts, but we've lost contact with the rest of the floati-"

    "Captain! This is Radar! We've reported a Peacekeeper Ship inbound. 7k Kilometers and closing! ETA 3 minutes and 15 seconds!"
    The crew member's voice snaps Captain Ika out of his sluggishness and he strides to his Command Throne. "Identify the Class and Pattern. Communications, alert all personnel to stations and all engines Ahead Full." His voice is steady, but his mind is in chaos. Lost in a foreign system, enemies inbound and it'd take at least three days for their Side-Space drive to cool off enough for another jump. Firebrand was the heaviest pattern for a Destroyer the Dominion had, but it still wasn't capable of taking on most ships alone. He looks up at the speakers when his commands are issued, but Radar's voice reaches out to him once more.

    "Peacekeeper Battleship, Tranquility Pattern, sir."
    Radar tells him. "We've also picked up another pair of Side-Space signatures. Definitely Peacekeeper."

    Captain Ika curses their luck. As fast as his ship was, the Tranquility Pattern was faster. It was something that would defy logic if not for the sheer stupidity of it's design and entire disregard of safeguards. The fanatical Peacekeepers were known to do such things and it resulted in better ships, even if 2 out of 3 blew up on their first mission out from the reroutes done to the drives.

    Their stupidity and fanaticism was the reason they were winning The War for Sol.

    "Navigation, reroute our vector to the nearest planet. We're making a break for it. Power, put all our power through to Engines. A hundred and thirty percent."


    "A hundred and thirty?!?! Sir, it'll melt the en-"
    "THEN LET THE DAMN THINGS MELT, MAN!" Ika snaps at his subordinate When the command rings through the speakers and the ship suddenly jolts, he relaxes just a bit to look at the holo-charts in front of him. The first of the Peacekeeper ships had already closed half the distance and as the new data came in, it was followed by two more Tranquility Patterns. After a moment's thought, he shook his head. They weren't going to make it in time. The Captain flips command of the speaker system to his throne before giving more orders. "All gunner crews, damage control, and engineers are to be on standby. Prepare for hull damage." "-FOR HULL DAMAGE. He commands, the speakers echoing his voice.

    Sitting back, there was nothing to do but exhaust themselves for their hunter...

    When Ika woke, he knew he couldn't have been out for more than a few seconds at most. His head was ringing, klaxons wailed, and he could smell fried electronics. He couldn't hear it himself speak at first, but he figured someone else might. He shouted to Damage Control, to see what the situation was. He got his answer, but with his eyes watered, he had to ask for it again and again until finally he heard himself. "-at?!?" Ika shouted, shaking his head while gripping his throne to steady himself. "I said that we've lost all Prime engines, sir! As well as Starboard plasma turrets 1 and 4, Port plasma turrets 1 and 2. Hull breaches in sections J through M and the infirmary is gone!"

    That left the dorsal missile bays untouched, but half the defensive turrets gone. As for the engines...only 4 were left of the nine. It wouldn't be enough to let them try and land on the planet's surface. Closest they could get now was within a few hundred kilometers and then launch life-pods. Taking one last look around the bridge, he retakes his seat, brushing the blood from his eyes. The initial salvo of missiles had punched through their thick hull, crippling them, but they were still alive. While it was fortunate that a Tranquility Pattern only had the one salvo, it just meant Firebrand was in for a slow death.

    "Patch me through the comm."


    _______________________________

    "ALL UNNECESSARY CREW ARE TO GET TO THE LIFE PODS AND PREPARE FOR EVAC." At this, Gunner's Mate Jess snorted. "Well, there goes my last hope." She said, taking a deep breath of her cigar. Sure, it was against rules to do so on the ship, but using up a bit of extra oxygen in these final moments didn't amount to anything. Hearing a ping to station, she pulled up her holo-chart and started locking missiles onto the inclosing battleship. "Eat this you rotten bastards."

    All around her, a hiss from hydraulics could be heard as missile pods opened up. They were solid warheads, non-explosive and while that sounded silly, adding any sort of explosive, fissionable or otherwise, would be utterly redundant at the speeds these missiles would travel.


    _______________________________

    Back on the bridge, Captain Ika smiled as the first of the three Tranquilities was hit and started tumbling. It was out for now. The damage wasn't too severe, but it gave them time to limp along. "Communications, page all hands to the escape pods before going yourself. I'll be along shortly." He says as he begins plotting an Auto-pilot course. His crew leaves quickly after doing as ordered and he stands once the computer accepts the command. He takes a moment to straighten and brush off his green tunic and hat before turning down to hallway and running towards the escape pods.

    Halfway there, the ship suddenly rocks to the side, suffering another heavy impact, knocking Ika against the bulkhead with a curse. The Peacekeeper ship must have saved a missile or two. It wasn't long before another one hit, followed shortly by another. Steadying his heart, the Captain began to run to the nearest escape bay, but had to jump back when blast deals began to seal off the damaged area. The pods must have been hit as it was too soon for the computer to launch them.

    "Computer! Are there any pods still accessible from my location?!?"
    He shouts into his comm piece as he steps over a badly burned body, stumbling through the hallway.

    "TWO. PODS 9 AND 1-."
    For a moment, there's a burst of static. "ONE. POD 13. POD 9 HAS SUFFERED INTEGRITY LOSS."

    Ika rushes towards his salvation and time seems to slow. Every step turns leaden under the stress. His ship and crew would likely be lost and marked MIA. Thousands of people would mourn their loss even as they hoped for their return. No one would ever know that they died in this god-forsaken system. Lost in thought, he didn't see a young ensign turn the corner in front of him. The two hit hard and sprawled to the floor even as the ship began turning onto it's side. A stabilizer must have been hit, but their course is still true with any luck. It's not like they could risk it now.

    The Ensign under him crawls out, cursing before grabbing his arm and pulling him along. "C'mon, Cap'n!" She says, dragging him towards the life pod. Ika grumbles and gets on his two feet. It was in sight and empty, so he couldn't help but smile at her. Ensign Vencigad grins back, but it falls quickly when a new message comes over the system. "AUTO-PILOT FAILURE. MANUAL DRIVE NEEDED TO COMPLETE COURSE." Ensign Vencigad doesn't waste any time and begins drawing her sidearm. "Sorry Cap'n, but you're going on tha life boo-" The redhead's body collapses like a wet rag when Captain Ika slugs her jaw. "Apologies Edda..." he begs as he drags her onto the boat and straps her down. "But it's my ship."

    Straightening his hat once more, he walks out of the life boat with his powerful stride and makes his way to the bridge as the boat's door seals shut behind him. There's a dull clank as it's locked, leaving the Captain no other choice.

    A short while later, the Captain stands in front of his Throne on the Bridge, a glass of wine in one hand while the other's fingers play over the holo-charts, driving the ship and tweaking the thrusters to keep her from tumbling too badly. With a slight smile to himself, he takes a sip of his wine. "Know what we're missing, computer?"

    "NEGATIVE."

    Hitting enter on yet another command, the Captain begins steering Firebrand in an arc away from the planet. Only one life pod had launched, but one was enough. "Music. That's what we're missing. Turn on some Tchaikovsky for me."

    The computer does so, and shortly after one final course adjustment, Captain Ika retakes his seat and raises his glass at the Peacekeeper vessel getting larger in the reinforced view port.

    "Cheers."
    Tango Wolfy by Kid Kris


  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Tualth and the Three Trials

    Now, half of this is made up of a speech that Jezebel Tel'vree, my cultist leader of a Slaanesh Cult makes, but it is still a good look into the kind of person she tends to be and about how she was forged into the person she is now compared to what she had been before. No one is "evil" without reason after all. It was given during the Charity Auction plot in MaGLoG.

    The latter part of the scene is a play I had written out. Compared to most other things I've written, this was one of the more difficult pieces because I wanted to defy most of the cliches and had to make a logical "thought-out" plot that held up under brief scrutiny.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Cabaret - Stage

    Assuming that everyone eventually filters into the place and takes their seats, The Lady walks in front of everyone, standing tall, elegant and graceful in her form fitting black dress and her signature White Half-mask. She smiles at the crowd as the lights dim except for the spotlight that stays upon her form. She opens her hands and waves for people to quiet down before speaking.

    "Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd like to thank all of you for showing up tonight and wish you the best of evenings. Before the show Tualth and the Three Noble Trials begins, I'd like to say a few words."
    She starts, her words loud and crystal clear. A few in the audience may recognize the voice's owner however.

    "I called together this event for more than one purpose. Primarily, I, like the rest of you I hope, wish to better our fellow people. You have all seen the state of the infamous Red Zone, and I have decided that it is the purpose of my organization as well as myself to change at least a section of it into a small safe haven for those looking for a new path of fate to follow. Every bit of money risen through the Auction tonight will go towards expanding the areas we've already rebuilt." As she says that, her lips form a gentle smile. "I would be lying to all of you here if I said personal pride wasn't also involved."

    Reaching up, she pulls off her mask, revealing an absolutely gorgeous face behind it. She flicks her head, letting her short raven hair resettle itself. "My name is Jezebel Tel'vree, and a few of you here will know me from my failed business venture Outside with the Serpent Gaze hotel. I apologize for the misunderstandings that occurred there and my part in the matter. As you can hopefully see, it has caused me to change my view of things." She explains humbly. She pauses while looking into the darkened audience and guesses that about half will probably feel shock, and certain Watch members might just up and leave. However they feel, she hopes they'll at least hear her through.

    "For those of you who don't know me, I believe I owe it to you to tell you a bit about who I am and how I came to be here." She offers with a small gesture of her hand. "Like many of you here, but unlike most beyond these walls, I came from a privileged upbringing. I was considered Lesser Nobility in the Hive, a vertical Mega-City, I was born to. To teach me my role in society, I had been sent to the Underhive at a young age to learn what it was like to be underprivileged. It was a place much like Red Zone, except worse. Chemical showers, radioactive waste littering the streets, merciless gangs of Higher Nobles deciding to hunt those that weren't as blessed as them..." Jezebel visibly shudders at the memories before looking back at the audience, preaching to them softly. "The lesson hit me hard and I took it to heart. There were millions of good decent people out there, mutant as well as human, simply trying to survive against all the odds. I spent years there, watching these people slowly wither away just to see more replace them. The cycle was endless." Jezebel says sadly. "I want you to take a moment and imagine such an existence. If you've experienced it, then remember. Wearing the same clothes for weeks or months on end, being raised without the knowledge of what a bath or shower might be, and knowing that the next glass of "water" you drank might cause you to grow extra limbs or your skin to slough off, yet unable to bring yourself to care in your downtrodden state. That was what daily life was like down there."

    "Finally, I decided to do something about it. By that point, I had joined a gang of misfits as well, and over time, we began to solidify our area much like we're doing now in Red Zone. We brought together all the unfortunates we could. Joygirls, drug addicts, fleeing crooks and mutants. We took them in, reformed them, and gave them a Purpose. But more than that, we gave them a life. A life they never had, and in many cases, could barely even dream of." She explains, pacing slowly back and forth across the stage as she speaks. "We built a real society in that Hell-Hole, and every painful step of that process had been worth it." She tells them with a near grin.

    After a moment though, the grin fades into a sigh. "I could have returned to the Upper Hive any time. Return to that Ivory Tower that lived in ignorance of the common people and spend my life in bliss and politics, but that wasn't my home any more. And as much of a home it was, it didn't last." She adds sadly, looking down at her mask as she speaks, somewhat quieter now. "You see, my colleagues and I didn't worship the deity that "proper" people should, and foolish zealots chased us away. Ultimately, we ended up here to start anew."

    Jezebel looks over the crowd before looking down at the mask in her hands. With a flex of her wrists, she snaps the porcelain piece in two. "A Mask has many uses. Most of which are to hide things. To hide who we are, to hide our weaknesses and to hide our flaws are the most thought of and the most common." The conductor of the Orchestra reaches up, and Jezebel kneels delicately to pass the pieces to him. "Thank you." She whispers before getting back up. "But, masks give us something else as well. Protection. They allow us to distant ourselves from the harsh realities of the worlds we live in. We all have them even if not in the literal sense. All of us here have a Mask of Status. Our lives are separated from the lives of those that are less fortunate. So, tonight, I want you to myself, and everyone who's counting on us, a favor." She says strongly.

    "I want you to remove your Masks as I have removed my own. Close your eyes for just a moment and relax. Try to find what you have in common with everyone as a whole. Try to find the purpose of what you're doing here tonight and embrace it. Know that tonight, even if you choose not to do it any other time, you are doing something good for the sake of others instead of yourself. Right now. That is what we're doing at this very moment, and because of it, this moment is a glorious one." She tells them with a smile.

    "I welcome you all to come to the grounds we have been putting together in three weeks time, in order to show you what progress has been made and to make you feel pride in the achievements that are sure to happen tonight."
    The cult leader tells the crowd with a near-grin. "That said, I am afraid I have kept you waiting all too long for your show. Tualth isn't going to be like many stage shows as there won't be any dialogue. Instead, all "vocal" work will be done by the talented musicians before us and their Composer, John Williams. Acting will be done by locals within and without my organization who have volunteered to perform tonight. Without further adieu, I present Tualth and the Three Noble Trials."

    Giving a deep bow, Jezebel takes her leave as the lights on stage brighten and the curtain draws.

    Tualth and the Three Noble Trials

    The music starts slow, composed of mostly strings and light brass as the first act opens. It reveals an elaborate scene of a Harem with women sleeping on cushions and the Sheik sitting on a marble throne. In front of him a young woman argues with him. Presumably his daughter, she has the voice of a flute in contrast with her father's oboe. She's quite tom-boyish in appearance, even under the lavish clothing. The fighting seems to go on for a couple minutes before the father stands up and gives a sharp gesture, telling her to stop and leave.

    Nearly in tears, she leaves to head to her bedroom, set above the other scene on another platform. Laying back on her bed, she gives a light sigh. The music turns more gentle, almost a swaying lullaby, and the platform below her darkens as a spotlight shines above Tualth, hitting a cloudy area well above her and revealing a handsome young man in aristocratic clothing. She turns to her side, looking out at the audience as she thinks of him.

    The music dies off before suddenly flares up as she sits up at the same time and the spotlight on the man shuts off. A plan has come to her mind and she quickly races off behind a screen before stepping out. She's changed into traveling clothes and could easily be mistaken for a young, if effeminate, man. She's dressed in leather boots, trousers, a leather vest, long sleeve shirt and has her long hair tied back. Grabbing a pack, she races down the stairway, back down to the Harem Chamber where a party seems to be going on. Many people, both men and women seem to be drinking and dancing in revelry, but Tualth is in the back, sneaking from pillar to pillar as she makes her escape.

    The curtains close for a mere moment before pulling back up, showing a drastically different scene. Those who can sense it will tell that magic was being used to switch out the sets so quickly.

    This time, the scene is that of the inside of a European style castle's Grand Hall. Tualth enters the hall from the left side, looking a bit weary from a great travel, but after dusting herself off, walks up towards the Lords of the keep. There were four of them: Grand-Father, Father, Brother, and Son. Son looked just like the man Tualth had been dreaming of, and when Tualth speaks, he is just as shocked as the other three. By the expressions and words they seem to be saying, they believe that Tualth is a man asking for the hand of Son in marriage. Father and Brother stand and yell back, voices of low brass even as Tualth argues back, but after a moment, Grand-Father stands and raises a hand slowly to cut off the yelling.

    He appears thoughtful before nodding and raising three fingers. He begins to speak, and one by one, images appear above the stage of the three tasks that will need to be done for the approval of the union to be granted. The first is a golden feather that hangs above a cliff face, the second is a thick tome, and the last remains a blackened cloud of mystery.

    The Son looks at him in shock, about to refuse, but a sharp gesture from Grand-Father cuts him off. Grand-Father looks at Tualth with narrow eyes before offering his hand, and the pair shake before the latter leaves. The scene ends with the others arguing amongst themselves.

    When the curtain opens again, the stage is split in half vertically. A desert cliff face sits on the left of a dungeon. There's a Tualth in each scene and they continue at the same time. The one at the cliff begins at the bottom and slowly begins to ascend, seemingly to take forever. She isn't wearing a harness to protect her if she falls, but surely there's a method of keeping her safe if she does. The climb is slow and hazardous, with her nearly slipping and falling as rock crumbles beneath her hand, but eventually, Tualth reaches the top to reach a bird's nest filled with gold and other treasures. She appears hesitant to leave any of it, almost reaching out to take some, but she keeps her hand back and simply searches until she finds what she's looking for. The Golden Feather. When she picks it up and holds it in the air, her side of the stage goes dark as the dungeon half brightens.

    The protagonist starts at the top and begins racing down the series of passages, twisting and turning and climbing up and down various pieces of a cavern. As she does so, she leaps back, ducks, and swings a blade to avoid or protect herself from various traps. Fireballs, pitfalls, arrows and blades are included. The scene takes even longer than the climb, and at the bottom corner, a pedestal with a thick tome awaits. She approaches it cautiously and after looking around for traps, she takes it. As soon as she does, the stage shakes and percussion instruments sound off loudly, likely startling the audience. A blue light washes over the area Tualth is in, slowly rising as she starts to panic and move out. The "water" rises constantly, following her as she makes the hazardous climb back out of the dungeon. At some parts, she even swims through the air when the blue light gets too deep. In the end though, she finally gets out, struggling and gasping for air with the book in her hands as the curtain closes.

    When it rises, she's back at the Castle, ragged and still disguised. She walks up to Grand-Father and kneels before she hands over golden feather and the magic tome. He takes them with a nod before speaking once more. Above them, the image of a man in leather armor and the mask of an eagle appears with a blood-stained sword in his hand. Grand-Father speaks slowly before making a cutting motion across his neck, ordering the bandit's execution.

    Even with his precarious situation, Son pales and loosk shocked before standing at Tualth's side, trying to say that it wasn't necessary and that he understood the implications if it was stopped, but his Grand-Father raises a hand to silence him. With a gulp, Tualth gives a nod and an appreciative smile to Son, but takes her leave.

    When the audience next sees her, they'll find her walking through a forest, sword in hand and wearing a suit of leather armor. She's dropped most of her disguise, having let her hair down and wearing what's more comfortable. After a moment of wandering, there's a shrill whistle of a piccolo as the Bandit steps on stage, full of swagger, pride, and with a bloody sword in his hand. Tualth takes a step back in surprise and her flute sounds off a little shakily as she speaks. Her confidence slowly grows as she delivers her message and draws her own blade. For some reason, Bandit seems somewhat surprised, taking a step back before raising his own blade.

    The two blades clash with the sound of cymbals, and the fight begins in earnest. Tualth is obviously not very experienced and Bandit seems to just be playing with her. She gradually begins to grow more and more frustrated, nearly screaming in anger as she swings until one hit finally gets through, causing Bandit to leap back. His feet land unsteadily and he can't help but fall backwards, losing his sword. Tualth grins and steps onto his chest before flicking her blade up to knock away the mask.

    She looks absolutely shocked at seeing Son's face and can't help but take several steps back in horror at the fight they just had. Son begins to speak, a scene showing above them on a different platform. It shows the interior of of a tavern with the scene concentrated on a table in a dark corner. In it, Brother it talking to a shady group of cloaked figures that include Son-dressed-as-Bandit. Above them, the images of Father, Son, and Grand-Father are shown right before Brother draws a finger across his neck and shows a large pouch of gold that is offered as a reward to whomever succeeds.

    That scene fades and goes back to the forest where Son tells Tualth that he's been trying to protect Father and Grand-Father from the other assassins and Brother, and that Brother has told them that Bandit had been roaming the countryside and murdering innocents in order to keep the deal secret.

    Tualth takes a minute to compose herself and take all this in before admitting her own story with a small blush, causing Son to be the one shocked this time. After a couple seconds, he reaches up and she takes his hand, pulling him up into a kiss. It lasts for only a small moment, but it's long enough for the pair of them and Son breaks it off, looking rushed. Before there's any time to lose, they race off stage and the curtain closes.

    When it raises once more, they're back at the Castle, several guards around them since Son is dressed as Bandit except for the mask. Grand-Father, Father, and Brother all stand, the first two in anger and the third in fear as Grand-Father demands to know what was going on. Son points an accusing finger at Brother as he tells his tale. Panic shows on Brother's face when everyone turns to him before showing anger and desperation. He tries to draw his own blade, but the guards seize him and take him away as he shouts futilely to be let go.

    Once he's gone, everyone turns to Tualtha. She shrinks a bit before hesitantly going into her own story. At the end, Father and Grand-Father smile before the former nods. With a gesture, he tells her that all there is hers now and that she's passed her third Trial. With a grin, she pulls Son close and kisses him once more, dipping him slightly as the stage curtain closes for a final time.

    The lights in the room begin to brighten and all the cast and crew filter out on stage to give a final bow. All 40 of them.


    Last Stand on Abbott & Costello

    This was originally separated into many parts as I hadn't become good enough of a writer to do it all at once, and even though I can now write something like this fairly quickly, it took me most of a day in order to write it then.

    For those who don't remember, Mortal Coil was a Spec. Ops. unit in The Empire and later became the command structure for Remnant.

    Spoiler
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    [Red Zone]

    Arla, Priestess of Horus, gets sprayed with a red mist as a zombie's arm thrusts through her brother's chest, killing him instantly before she hacks it's head off with her glowing Khopesh. She doesn't feel anything other than duty as her sibling's body falls, just another corpse on the mountain the remains of Mortal Coil were standing on.

    With a battlecry, she spins and cleaves another in twain, the last of this wave. Arla has to look around for the other members of Mortal Coil, her helmet long gone, unable to give her their vital signs. She frowns a bit when she sees only her and three others are left.

    Then Ted, vampire killer and undead hunter, waves a hand to her, and she ups the tally to three and a half. As she scurries over to him, he gives her a pained smile, the others taking up new defensive positions. Even with the suit's powerful pain killers, he still feels the agony of being wedged under half a car. "Some more ammo would be nice." He says with a slight wince, accidentally tugging at his pinned legs as he sits up, using a couple zombie corpses to keep his upper body upright.

    She gives him a sad smile and offers her last battery for a laser pistol. "It's the last of it on the team. Make it count." He laughs even as Taul's suit bursts into flames to destroy his body on top of the corpse mountain. "Always."

    Before she can say anything else, one of the team shouts from his section of the intersection. "Incoming!!"

    She squeezes the dead man's shoulder and he nods as she races off, back to her position as the next wave begins...

    [Red Zone]

    Arla's body burns from exertion, her blood boiling with adrenaline and the combat stimulants that her power armor feeds her. Her body flows across the battleground, as if she were a falcon flying through the air. The ninja zombies swing their blades at her, but she simply weaves through them, her powers and training keeping her alive and fighting.

    Others of her team though, will never be so lucky.

    Ted, halfway under a car, takes careful aim at each of the zombies in his zone of fire. His scowl is the only expression on his face as he fires beam after beam of searing energy through their heads. He growls when he notices that they're coming too fast for him to hope to stop each of them before they reach him.

    He lets out a deep breath as he seals off the laser battery, causing it to overheat and sets it on the over turned car's gas tank. It'd take a few moments to have the desired effect, so he pulls out a few of his stakes, activating their charges. One misses the oncoming horde, but the other slams right into the eye of a zombie.

    Then they close the distance all the way.

    Ted stays silent as he's stabbed over and over in the chest, but keeps enough strength to stab one last zombie in the head and activating the stake's charge, shooting it through and into it's dead comrade.

    His vision fades to black just before the laser pistol battery detonates.

    The car explodes when the charge ignites the gas tank and the fuel in it's lines. When the roar and fireball fade, only a crater is left in the middle of the street.

    At the Comm Center at the ISF HQ, Commander Vasquez feels another twinge in her heart as another life line goes flat on her screen...

    [Red Zone]

    The man who shouted the warning, a massive bear of a guy in his power armor, roars in anger as he sees his friend blowing up. Sue slams his spiked fist into a zombie, completely caving in it's chest and dropping it. Another tries to grab onto his shoulders, but he simply reaches onto his back and swings it into another group. "Die, you ****ing zombies!"

    His wicked right hook slams into the faces of a couple more zombies as he bashes a few back with his shield, crushing them against the walls with his greatly enhanced strength. Another wave of the undead reaches him, but he grabs hold of a nearby motorcycle in one hand, a death grip on it's chassis.

    With a mighty swing, he throws the vehicle at waist height, easily breaking a dozen of his attackers in half with his throw, leaving them useless. Sue lets out a loud battlecry, challenging more foes to try to strike him down.

    Three zombies accept the challenge, using one thing that Mortal Coil lacks at the moment. Heavy Weapons.

    The trio of zombie commandos, hiding on the rooftops above him, fire their rockets straight down.

    The last of the Wraiths spots the attack. "NO!" she shouts, but it comes too late. When the smoke clears, there's not enough left of Sue to fill an envelope.

    The Wraith raises her sniper rifle and fires three quick shots, one for each of the commandos before she adjusts her aim, keeping to her spot on top of the mound of corpses, firing endlessly. She doesn't notice when her stealth cloak flickers, it's power dying...

    [Red Zone]

    The Wraith fires round after round, but it isn't until the zombies start coming for her, that she notices her cloak is dead. "Dammit!" She reaches up to activate her comm unit before she continues firing. "Commander, we're at the intersection of Abbott and Costello! We're under heavy attack, we request more air assistance now!"

    Commander Vasquez answers the call. "I'm trying to reroute a couple fighters towards your position for the past ten minutes. They're under just as heavy of an attack, response will be slow." She stammers a bit and closes her eyes as she says the bad news. "I...I'm sorry Carol."

    Carol, the Wraith, stands and tosses her empty rifle to the side and holds still for a moment, watching the oncoming wave. "I understand, sir. Just...just make sure everything is ready for us." she says before drawing a pair of long kukri and wading into the mass of zombies, every blow decapitating another.

    Arla and her last team member can't help but watch as she gets dragged under by sheer numbers before a burst of plasma tells them Carol and a grenade had been prepared for it.

    The other man removes his helmet and pulls on a small comm set, showing his ebony skin, pointed ears, and close cropped hair as he does so. "It's been a pleasure." She gives him a smirk before moving to put her back to his. "Yes, it has. First to be resurrected wins." He laughs. "You're on." He shoulders his shotgun while she readies her khopesh and a scavenged revolver.

    "Fred, you take Abbott, I'll take Costello."
    With that, the two race to their individual deaths.

    Fred's shotgun booms again and again, taking out at least one undead with each slug, and when it clicks empty, he presses the button on the side, ejecting the long silver bayonet before he uses it as a short spear, hacking and slashing endlessly.

    Arla however, begins to slow as her fatigue begins to take it's toll, but she continues to fight, seeing that no other reinforcements have joined the tide against her. She doesn't hear anything, her comm unit long gone, but Fred's crackles with his Commander's voice. "Fighters incoming. Recommended payload?"

    Fred doesn't bother looking around, figuring he's surrounded and fey, before answering. "Napalm along Abbott. I'm finished."

    There's a long pause before his Commander answers. "Understood. It's on the way."

    [Red Zone]

    Arla finally finishes off her last zombie when the fighters rocket past, dropping canisters. They ignite in the air for a burst effect, lining all of Fred's street in fire. The drow doesn't even have the chance to breathe or register the pain as he's turned to ash.

    The priestess can't help but turn around and watch the flames burn for several minutes before she looks around for a comm unit. She finds the discarded helmet of one of her friends and takes out the comm unit before tossing the rest of it into the massive funeral pyre, cooking its systems until it's useless. She turns on the one on she scavenged. "Combat Command, this is Mortal Coil. I need a situation report right now." She says coldly.

    There is a long moment before Vasquez answers. "I'm sorry, you're it now Arla. I'm being ordered to recall you back to base." The priestess doesn't answer for a moment. "Is the area clear of hostiles?"

    "It is. APCs are being sent to pick you up."
    There's a long moment as Arla looks over the graveyard of so many comrades.

    She then smiles. "Understood. And don't worry sir, they'll be back soon enough." Her Commander hears the cheerfulness in her voice and can't help but smile as well. "Good. I'll have their rooms waiting for them."

    As the only other member of Mortal Coil awaits her pick up, she looks over the 3 story high pile of burning corpses, her smile growing.

    They'd done their job, and did it well. Any price was worth the reward.

    Even death itself.


    Origin

    This is the Origin/background of one of my more famous PCs. Wolfy, God of the Primal. If nothing else, it ought to go here for anyone curious.

    Spoiler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfbane View Post
    Streets

    As far back as It remembers, there had been no big explosion, or a divine lungful of dwarven breath to give a little clay world life, there was just The Beginning. Nothingness one moment, and then It and the Multiverse next. At first, It hadn't been very powerful, just the boiling of emotions given life, barely sentient in all it's former "Glory". In a way, It missed those times. There had been not thought towards consequences, no thought about what had happened or going to happen. Things merely acted. There'd been no sorrow, no malice, just the...pure need for survival. Over time however, It grew as the life in the multitude of universes had, and so Its responsibilities increased with Its sentience.

    Eventually, It became worshiped.

    Only a few of the Universes ever figured out Its presence in their realm, and even then, the still simple nature of their inhabitants never really knew what It was, just that there was Something among them that could help or hurt them. Back then, It had been a rather...quick entity. Something that was quick to appease or anger. In time, those who actively worshiped It had made It stronger, much stronger, and something less primordial, capable of true in-depth thought. Capable of Gifts and similar Miracles. In one Universe, It favored those who worshiped It more than any other place, granting them strength, power, abilities that they'd call "magic". It granted them without thought, believing it to be an acceptable trade for their faith, their emotions. A trade for...feeding It, it could be said.

    All too quickly, It learned Its mistake. No sooner had he granted these gifts than those who worshiped him began to slaughter each other without abandon. In anger, It stripped them of their powers at once. It started to chastise them, but...then they cried out, begged for It to resurrect their loved ones like It did before, all the while begging for forgiveness. For the first time, It felt conflicted. In the end however, It did the only acceptable thing It could think of.

    It erased their memories of Its existence, and left their 'Verse.

    That had been Its first real lesson in limitations. There had been many others, all learned the hard and sad way. In the end of it though, It had no restrictions on Itself other than self-imposed ones, ones that It could break at any time.

    As much as It learned hard lessons, It also learned good ones. Such as how It could "feed" off of people who didn't worship it, or any of it's Ideals. It fed off of their more basic emotions. With how advanced some of the races in the Multiverse grew, It could taste all sorts of new ones. Wrath, Lust, Greed, Joy...each one was powerful and each one tasted wonderful and different to Its...palette.

    Looking around at this place, this Crossroads, It could taste each one simply by plucking at the air. It could see everything here, feel the "power" coming from all the Multiverse It was in, and even better, the ones It didn't know existed!

    Even here though, It followed Its code, "aiding" most people without them knowing It was even here. With just a "thought", a dozen seemingly miniscule things across the City of Inside occurred at Its behest.

    A little girl, riding on her pink bicycle, hits a small bump in the street and a small chip of asphalt punctures her tire, causing her to swerve and crash badly. She begins to cry at her broken ankle as her parents come running. It ignores her cries, knowing that without full use of her leg as she grows, she'll work her mind instead. Maybe become a great philosopher or powerful mage. It knew the real answer already, knowing what would happen to the girl as she grew, her entire life in fact. Such knowledge was unbarred from It, except by Its own wish.

    Four blocks away, It allows Itself a slight smile at the knowledge that there'd be a surprise for It in the future to come. Without missing a beat, It continues on Its walk, plucking little bits of emotions out of the mind and soul of people, returning the favor with little bits of fortune, good and bad, to let them make the most of themselves.

    Unlike before however, Wolfy would let them do it without them knowing of his presence.



    That's it for now, but:

    Morty: I hope to see more on the history of the world soon. I imagine it'll be quite the treat.

    Magtok: Never stop being crazy.

    Kerfl and Earl: Know you two have different stories and PCs, but the reaction is about the same. While I know little about the PCs, I hope to see more.

    LOTR: While I normally don't care for most "Recording" style posts like that, you worked it quite well.

    Happy: Wonderful, as always. Especially since it concerns several of my PCs.
    Last edited by Wolfbane; 2012-07-12 at 10:34 PM.
    Tango Wolfy by Kid Kris


  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Memories - Part 12

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    I learned that day just how much a bullet hole in your leg hurts. Especially when you insist on walking on it.

    After another ten minutes of walking, I had to stop. Selvik looked to me as I leaned my back against a wall and slowly slid down it, using it for support. I could hear the guard yelling at me over the radio, but I didn't care at that point. I waved my hand towards the hill in the center. "Go, go on. Get to whatever it is we're getting to."

    Selvik looked to it for a moment, then sighed and sat down next to me. I wanted to protest, but I was too drained. That and...well...it had been a while since somebody showed any kind of actual kindness to me. I liked it.

    We did get a lucky break, though. Another minute went by, and we heard footsteps approach from behind us. We turned and saw two figures come out of an alley we passed. One was Trace, the Life Base. That got me feeling better. She could probably heal my leg. Selvik waved to her, but she only nodded her head a little. Her eyes were wide, and she kept throwing nervous glances to the man in front of her.

    That man was Wolver, one of the Wind Bases. The one who got the scythe. Said weapon was being carried at his side. He had a kind of happy look on his face. When they got closer, I saw why Trace seemed worried. The blade of the scythe was covered in blood, leaving a trail of drops behind him as he walked.

    Once they were close, Trace quickly went to Selvik, who caught her in a hug. Wolver put the end on the pole of his weapon on the ground like it was a walking stick and surveyed us both for a moment.

    "So, you guys gonna call it quits?" He sneered a little.

    Selvik raised an eyebrow. "Huh?"

    Wolver waved his hand in the air a little as Trace knelt down beside me and started untying my makeshift bandage. "Quit. Give up. Not continuing. You know. Not completing the mission."

    "Dude, she got shot in the leg. She can't walk more than ten feet without her leg giving out." As if to emphasize his point, I let out a hiss of pain right then as Trace moved my leg a little to look over the wound.

    "Well, she's a whiner then." Wolver glanced at me for a moment, and the look he gave me made me wanna punch his head right off his shoulders. "If she can't continue, then take her out and keep going. Duh."

    Selvik's hands quickly formed fists, and just as he started moving, Trace let out a loud whistle. Selvik glanced at her. Wolver did as well. He had his scythe up, ready to strike at Selvik.

    "Will you two just shut up for a minute? I'm trying to work here!" She shook her head a little as she moved her hand over my wound. Her hand glowed a little, and I could feel the pain leaving. Selvik and Wolver watched, and a moment later, all signs of the wound were gone. I stood up and put some weight on the leg. It felt fine to me. I looked to Trace and smiled. "Thanks." She waved a hand. "No problem. Least I could do." Then she looked back to Selvik and Wolver. "Now, can we continue? I want to get out of here as fast as possible."

    Wolver took the lead. He looked around a lot, as if he was looking for people to fight. Selvik was next. He also satyed cautious, but I could tell he was thinking more in terms of defense. Trace insisted on walking with me, in case her healing didn't hold for some reason. At least, that's the reason she gave. Based on the fact that she kept her eye on Wolver, I think she just wanted to be as far from him as possible.


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

    And now, backstory of another character!

    Sisters - Part 1

    Spoiler
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    They say that blood is thicker than water. That the bonds with your family are the strongest and that they will stand the test of time. That your family are the most important people in your life.

    That does hold true for my family, but probably not in the way they meant.

    My parents were, to use an ancient term, hippies. They were both Life Bases. While they could heal just as good as any other Life Base, they also trained themselves further in the abilities that dealt directly with Life forces. At that time, they were probably the two people who had developed that area the most. So, when they found each other and shared their discoveries, you could say that they instantly fell for each other.

    It took them a while, but my mother eventually got pregnant. With them being so involved in the process of life and creation, you could imagine their joy and surprise when they discovered that she was pregnant with twins. Given their attitudes about...well, pretty much everything, the names they picked for my sister and I should not come as a surprise.

    Zavi and Ivaz.

    I guess they thought it was cute to have twin daughters whose names were simply just reverse spellings of each other. I still think it is stupid. But, it is the name I am given, so I shall use it until I die.

    Before we had even turned two, our parents had decided that they wanted us to have as close of a bond to each other as possible. It was their belief that sisters should live and die together, and should always be there to share in each others lives. They thought that about family in general, but siblings the most of all.

    So, in the spirit of these beliefs, they combined their knowledge of their abilities to do something that, to my knowledge, had not been done before. Or since. They pushed themselves to the limit to achieve this one goal that, in their eyes, would create sisters that would have the closest bond possible.

    They joined our life forces together.

    Some of you might wonder about the details of the procedure itself. As I wasn't much older than a year at the time, I couldn't tell you these details. Suffice it to say that it probably took a lot of their energy, and might have even damaged their abilities in general. They were attempting something that shouldn't be done. No two living things should have their life forces connected directly like that.

    In fact, I wasn't even made aware of this connection in any way until Ivaz accidentally discovered one of the consequences of it. Much to my dismay.
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  23. - Top - End - #143
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Indexed. Authors, please check your links and make sure they're good.
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  24. - Top - End - #144
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    Hellstomper Goes to School
    Jefferies Hellstomper

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    Jyarl ended up using one of Missy's ideas for computerized learning. They set up a large screen tv and console behind a thick screen, operating under the hope that bulletproof glass was also little-orc proof.

    Is there a kid anywhere that doesn't love video games? If so, Jefferies was not that kid. Jyarl had parental access and set it so she could play educational games anytime. The entertainment games were limited to 30 minutes a day, but she could earn more time by good behaviour, doing household chores, and completing school work, either on the computer or manually. There was no penalty for getting the work wrong - so long as she actually tried. She could lose time off her 30 minutes for bad behaviour though, and that proved to be a better disciplinary method than anything else Jyarl had tried.

    There were a few hiccups. Jefferies destroyed a few game controllers and keyboards in temper fits, until she learned that doing so meant a full day without until a new one arrived. She did well with the numbers, colours, and shapes, but the games to teach her letters frustrated her. She learned the alphabet song, learned what all the letters were called, but couldn't make the jump to the letter sounds.

    "C-A-T dun make cat, it make seeaytee," she argued. Usually with the computer, which dutifully replied back: "C-A-T: cat." This would go on for a while, till she screamed in fury, (carefully) set down the controller and went to her punching bag to scream and punch some more.

    Once Jefferies had been taught to use a punching bag, the incidence of broken items in the Olearius household went way down. She needed a physical outlet for her anger, and she had learned to delay releasing that anger long enough to reach the bag.

    Of course Jyarl couldn't let her keep beating up on that bag with poor technique, could he? He found a boxing sim with motion sensitive gloves and a motion mat to give her points for proper stance and different punch styles.

    Jefferies loved it. The game didn't replace the punching bag for anger management, but it gave her goals that she was excited about. She stopped playing first person shooters and racing games and spent all her entertainment game time on boxing. She started begging for extra chores to do to earn more boxing time. She was already in charge of taking out the trash, walking Gorgutz, and pooper-scooper duty, all of which she could do without difficulties. Folding clothes, vacuuming the floor, and washing dishes she did enthusiastically and with little skill. Jyarl gave her the points for them, but often had to redo the work when she wasn't looking.

    Jyarl and Missy started to talk about her going to school part time. Missy thought she had learned enough self-control and needed the social interaction. Jyarl worried that since she was still so far behind her age group, it might damage her self-esteem. Missy thought her self-esteem was fine, but she hadn't see some of the more vulnerable moments that Jyarl had.

    Finally they compromised, and decided to put her into a crafts class - two hours long, three days a week. Little Jefferies was good with her hands and liked to make things, so she should be on about the same level as the other kids.

    The night before the first class, Jyarl found Jefferies sitting in her room hugging the plush beargon that Missy had given her. (No, not the same beargon that Magtok had given Missy for Thanksmas. Missy bought a new one for Jefferies.)

    "Hey, whats the matter, champ?" Jyarl said.

    Jefferies held up her beargon. "Master Chief is scared," she said. Jyarl knew by now that 'Master Chief' was a convenient way for the little orc to talk about her feelings.

    "What is she scared of?" he asked. He also knew that 'Master Chief' was a girl, despite the name.

    "She's scared because the uder kids will call her a **** greenie. And den she'll hit them really hard like you said to. But den Missy will say, 'No, Master Chief, you shouldn't hit uder people unless dey hit you first. Dat was a bad ting.'"


    Jyarl winced. He remembered telling Jefferies that, the first day he'd brought her home. At the time, he'd been picturing nameless faceless bullies. But of course, they'd be children her own age, small and fragile, who probably didn't have tusks and almost certainly hadn't spend months diligently learning to punch hard. He imagined some unconscious child being sent to the emergency room, with a distraught mother or father worried sick about whether their kid was ever going to wake up.

    How do you teach a kid when to stand up to bullies and when to walk away? He hadn't realized how damn hard parenting was going to be.

    "You better tell Master Chief that Missy was smarter than me this time," he told Jefferies. "If someone calls her a mean name, then tell a grownup. If someone hits her, then she can hit them back, but only one time. If they hit her again, she can hit them again. But no extra hits. Punch for punch."

    Jefferies holds Master Chief up to look in the beargon's plastic eyes. "Did you hear dat, Master Chief? No hitting first." Then in the voice she used for the beargon. "Okay Jefferies. I no hit first."

    "Good girls," Jyarl said, and gave girl and toy a hug and kiss. "You'll both do great."



    Nobody called Jefferies a greenie. Instead two of the boys laughed at her tusks, and stuck popsicle sticks in their lips to make fake ones to mock her. Jefferies got mad and made fists, then remembered what Jyarl had said. Punch for punch, and they hadn't punched her. They hadn't called her mean names either. Maybe since they had laughed at her, she could... laugh at them? Laughing for laughing? She consulted with Master Chief (luckily Master Chief could hear her even if she didn't say stuff out loud), and Master Chief thought it would be okay. So she went to the biggest of the two boys and said. "Your stupid face looks eben stupider like that." And then she laughed and laughed, and some of the other kids laughed too. And Jefferies wasn't mad anymore.

    Best of all, when class was over, Jefferies could tell that her popsicle stick box was much better than theirs. She had finished it early enough to colour it with markers and write on the lid. She only knew the writing by memory. She couldn't understand how the letters made the word. But she knew that J-Y-A-R-L meant 'Jyarl'.
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  25. - Top - End - #145
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    @Jefferies: That was an absolute joy to read.

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  26. - Top - End - #146
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    Sisters - Part 2

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    You know what it's like growing up with a couple of hippies for parents? They're always like, "Oh, you and your sister have to love each other at all times!" and, "No, Ivaz, you can't throw rocks at the neighbor's dog!" and, "Hitting your mother is a very bad thing to do!" By Rasslin, they are so annoying. It'd drive anybody crazy.

    So, yeah, I have a twin sister, and my parents were peace-loving tree-huggers. And while they were both Life Bases, my sister and I somehow ended up being Shadow Bases. Not unheard of, but definitely unusual.

    When we were really little, I guess you could say we were normal enough. I mean, what infant isn't? Right? Psycological stuff usually takes a few years to develop. Like, maybe five or so. That was about the time I discovered my connection with Zavi.

    I'm sure we had experienced it before. Our parents did it when we were a little over a year old, so it had been going that long. And kids being kids, we had each gotten our share of bumps and bruises. But, at least in my head, it never really clicked until this one time about a month after our fifth birthday.

    We were out in the backyard, goofing around like little kids do. Our parents were probably there. Don't really remember their part in it much. Zavi was sitting with her legs sprawled out, playing with some toy ponies. I was running around with an airplane in my hand. I tripped on a loose shoelace and fell, my knee landing on a rock. Now, being only five, I took the normal course of action to such an event. I started bawling my eyes out. My parents rushed over from wherever they were and picked me up. It was then that I noticed that Zavi was holding her knee and crying just as hard. Which confused me cause I was the one that fell, not her. And I was the one bleeding, not her.

    So, after I got bandaged up and our parents stuck us in our room to play (yes, of course we shared a bedroom), I got curious. As I was sitting next to my sister, I decided to try something out. So, I decked her in the arm. As much a five year old can, anyways. As soon as my fist connected, I felt it also hit my arm, right in the same spot. Zavi cried out and winced away. I did it again, laughing as I felt the same impact. It amused me.

    Zavi scooted out of my reach, and when I tried to go near her, she moved. Then I thought that if it worked one way, why not the other? I decided to try by punching my leg. Zavi cried out again as soon as I hit myself. I was grinning and completely forgot the toys. I amused myself by either punching Zavi or myself.

    Now, our parents saw the bruises we got from my punches and started asking what happened. For some reason, Zavi didn't tell them the truth. I wasn't sure why. She never told me. Still don't know. But, hey, whatever. Kept me from getting into trouble.
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  27. - Top - End - #147
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    You know Kerfluffle, the fact that you haven't posted a single word of feedback on anyone's stories makes me rather negatively predisposed towards your output. Perhaps you should do something about it.
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  28. - Top - End - #148
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    I'm not reading all the stories; I kept up until page four or so, but I wasn't paying much attention. Now I'm reading all the new ones that start, and will do so until I get too busy to read them for a few days, at which point I'll probably not catch up again. Just because I'm not reading your story doesn't mean it isn't good or I don't enjoy it; it's that I'm too lazy to go back, find the first post in it, and work my way forward through ten or so posts.

    Rise of the Prophet: Very good story; I'm really enjoying it. Definitely like the way everybody is underestimating them; it shows they've learnt from past mistakes and are certainly not a species worth crossing.

    Who Am I?: Very good, though quite creepy, too; I think that adds to it. I quite like reading Xifra, too- it's a rather sad ability she was born with, and I feel sorry for her.

    Wolfy, General: You are a superb author, and if I knew your real name and saw a book by you, I'd probably buy it. Even if it wasn't fantasy or science fiction; I do read other genres, but not often enough to know any authors of them.

    Sisters: For scientists, those Life bases seem rather stupid. Or, no, they just didn't think it through properly and consider all the possible outcomes. At the least, they should have waited and asked Zavi and Ivaz's opinion on the matter.

    Hellstomper Goes To School: I don't routinely follow the Remnant thread, but I can remember Hellstomper's introduction. Particularly asking if a badly burnt elf (I think- maybe human or something else) was her supper. Really enjoyed the story, and I think Mrs. Bloodplunder would like meeting her. Not for very long, however; she's not as young as she was, and has had difficulty with orc young for as long as she's known them.
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  29. - Top - End - #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    You know Kerfluffle, the fact that you haven't posted a single word of feedback on anyone's stories makes me rather negatively predisposed towards your output. Perhaps you should do something about it.
    That's...a good, point. I'm sorry.

    I'm normally not good with review stuffs. At least, I don't think I'm good. But, I'll do what I can to fix this.
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  30. - Top - End - #150
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    I'm trying to do this whilst it's still in my head. Should I forget and neglect it, I'll have to re-make-up all this information. Which probably wouldn't be too hard, as I've done it once .

    Wars and Weddings (Part 3)
    Mrs. Bloodplunder
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    Alondra climbed down into the pit and looked across at her adversaries. They were large, heavily muscled, and each were stronger than the most powerful barbarians of her tribe. Strength, however, isn't the only test in this ceremony- cunning, endurance and speed are equally important. She smiled, taking a battle-ready pose, opposite the two orc berserker-maidens opposite, confident in her abilities. They took up similar positions; they're both battle-seasoned warriors, and they have clubs against Alondra's bare hands.

    Suddenly, Alondra charges the closest, ducking under its blow and kicking one of her legs out from under her. The other orc charges into the melee, expecting Alondra to be focussed on her fallen adversary and possibly in unwrapping the club's straps from the downed orc's wrist. Instead, Alondra grabs the fallen orc under the shoulders and heaves the stunned orc into the way of her companion. The two orcs collide and tumble to the ground, Alondra quickly jumping onto the pile and head butting the orc on top until she's unconscious, before rolling off and dragging the insensate orc off her companion with a grip on her arm.

    The other orc gets to her feet and stands ready for another attack. She smiles and charges wary of her human adversary's tricks as the unconscious orc starts to recover. Alondra grabs the orc's wrist and heaves, pulling her attacker not only off balance, but off her feet and over Alondra's head, landing heavily on her head and shoulders. Alondra lets go and grabs hold of the orc under the armpits and lifts her off the ground as she starts to spin. The other orc has gotten up by now, and sees Alondra spinning, the other orc's legs and back nearly horizontal as Alondra lets go, the thrown orc flying towards her companion who only just dives aside in time. The thrown orc is out of the fight; she collides with the pit's wall feet-first and with a crunch of breaking bone. The other orc just grins and charges, Alondra dodging out of the way and rolling to her feet before jumping onto the orc's back, wrapping an arm around the orc's neck whilst the other thuds repeatedly into her ear and the breath is squeezed out of her chest by Alondra's legs. Eventually, the orc collapses and Alondra has won.


    I'm not too good at fight scenes, but I hope people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
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