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 Garbage Day!

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PostSubject: Garbage Day!   Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:26 pm

Torvald finished enclosing himself in his armored exoskeleton, a set of powered armor. The end to the previous fifteen years of fighting was near. The Asianic forces - no, Claire - Claire was betting her entire empire on a duel. Europe would then be hers, and nobody could stop her. At the moment, Torvald was the only one capable of the feat.

He stepped out of his room into the hanger and looked at his mech, 20 feet tall. He barely reached its knee. The height ratio of 3:1 was the greatest that could be reached by Euro-Oceanic technology. Asianic technology far surpassed this. He seated himself in it with the help of his aides, who shook his hand and wished him luck before the metal gate closed over him and the external cameras activated.

After the destruction of the Americas, which still causes weather in Africa demonic enough to void it to human life, and the barren wastes of the poles, Claire's empire was on the verge of capturing the world. Such an abomination cannot be permitted.

Torvald was wheeled through the hangar to the second shell, a worn armored exoskeleton almost ten stories tall. To the cockpit of this he was raised, but he had to enter it himself.

Claire's weapon was a Reaper. Named for bringing death upon her enemies. It was armed with veritable stockpiles of conventional and nuclear weapons. The pinnacle of Asianic technology.

Torvald walked to the third shell, the height of a foothill. The steps as he walked noticeably stretched the floor. He climbed up a ladder before lowering himself into the cockpit.

In the previous fifteen years, war has raged nonstop in the border between Asia and Europe, stopping at the Ural mountains in Russia and forever wavering in the Middle East. Major sites, such as Turkey and the area west of the Mediterranean - the entire Abrahamic holy site - were now ocean or glass. The wasteland war was now seeing in its front lines those who were born while Claire was grabbing land in Asia. To them, this war is a constant.

The fourth shell was outside of the hangar, 500 feet tall. The sun heated its dulled surface. This was the main unit until two years ago, performing adequately in southern Russia until Claire began deploying Dreadnought units. Torvald's current shell was the first with the capability of flight, and he used that to reach the control seat of this newest shell.

War also raged in the skies, mostly around the superpowers' borders, but also sneak attacks from every angle conceivable. The formerly great cities of England, the most exposed country, were now long-flattened gopherhills.

The fifth shell was, until very recently, the latest unit. Impressive, and towering over the formerly impressive World Trade Center towers, a now ancient benchmark. Torvald carefully maneuvered himself into this machine as before.

It contained more conventional arms than the first armies conquered by Asianic forces. They consisted of heavy rounds as well as specialized AA and anti-armor rounds.

Now Torvald looked to the final shell: the Messiah. It reached nearly a mile to the sun, which obscured its features and cast a shadow on the war machine below. The Messiah could redeem the human race. It had to. Its metal plating glinted in the sunlight: it had never been used. The principle was the same, but the sheer volume was testament to the power of the good left in humanity. Torvald seated himself in this final mech.

He took a step away from the base and noted how deep the foot sunk into the soil. Down to the bedrock. He activated the thrusters and approached the final battle.
___________

The Reaper stood in the designated arena, a valley. Dark red and with every intent to intimidate, it traced the Messiah's flight. A single piece of metal, unlike the rebels' machine. Complete in itself. Claire herself was seated in a protected chamber jutting over the body of the machine. In the head of the machine, unlike Torvald, in the chest.

Head versus heart. Strength versus will. Logic versus fallible emotion.

Torvald landed and Claire opened communications. Each face appeared in the other's machine, Torvald's nervous visage facing Claire's suite of mechanical support. She nodded, and the Reaper drew with its four arms four swords.

"Let us begin."


Last edited by Ethanthecrazy on Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:53 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Its gotten pretty pervasive. Made it a sticky.)
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PostSubject: Re: Garbage Day!   Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:03 pm

The Reaper crouched low, readying to rush the Messiah, so Torvald raised the cannon embedded in the machine's arm, apparently pointing at the red behemoth. It jumped - it actually jumped, not terribly high relative to its height, but the force required was amazing - and Torvald fired the round without enough to to aim to brace himself for the impact.

From nearly horizontal in mid-air, Claire caught one of her swords in the right shoulder and another in the left leg of Torvald's machine to brace her impact, and they were embedded deeply in the armor. Warnings flashed as the one in the leg penetrated some of the hydraulics. So soon into the fight, too. The other two were caught in Torvald's left hand (now badly damaged), crossed as though they were going to decapitate him.

Torvald noticed that Claire's upper left arm was where his round hit; the armor was buckled in on itself. It would now be the weakest point of the mech. Torvald tried to take advantage of this and, shrugging off the sword in his shoulder, grabbed the sword on his right (held by the weaker arm) and tried to throw Claire off balance.

She responded by digging in with the sword in his leg, which cleanly severed the entire section of armor, exposing the vulnerable machinery underneath. 1500 feet of heavy armor fell to the ground. The scale was truly lost in this fight.

With his grip on the sword, Torvald used his other hand to break the sword in half and shrug off Claire's attack on his leg. Warnings flooded his HUD as system after system failed. Claire's face smiled as she took the broken sword and stabbed into the heart of Torvald's mech, spearing through the first layer of armor before taking a step back.

They were resting. Torvald pulled the broken metal out of the front of his mech, which hit the ground and kicked up tons of dust. So the Messiah's face plate had been punctured, the left hand was crushed, and the left leg was almost completely inoperable. The only damage the Reaper showed was three missing swords - two others were bent out of shape - and a heavy shot taken to one of its arms.

Points all over the Reaper's body flashed, and Torvald's HUD informed him they were all rockets. Torvald unleashed a wave of his as well as the automatic anti-ballistic commands, and the space between them was filled with fire as explosives were all detonated in mid-air. He had to lean forward to accommodate for the occasional rockets that survived as well as the sheer mass of rounds he was firing. Dark smoke filled the void between them after they fired their entire payloads. Infrared was full. He saw the profile of the Reaper in the ultraviolet wavelengths - it was preparing for another attack.

Torvald took the initiative and fired another round at hit, which struck it squarely in the head.

Claire recoiled violently on the monitor. Her face darkened.

"Well, Torvald. This was all interesting. Now it is time for you to lose." She raised one of her arms and fired another projectile, but slower - the ABM easily caught it. It kept going, though, now in a lower arc, and struck his right leg.

A nuclear device! A small one, but the damage it caused was immense. Systems flickered as the leg dissolved and solidified, a useless shard of metal, and unstable on top of that. He started to list forwards, unable to stop. 10 degrees.

"I don't think I'll give you the option to surrender." 15 degrees. Wait. I shot it in the head earlier. If it's armor's weakened...

Torvald disconnected from Messiah and his HUD was replaced with the next level of mech. He saw only black with the whole from Claire's sword before the plate was ejected, showing the battlefield. Claire was to the left somewhat. Torvald jumped out of his mech towards the much larger one - so much larger.

The Reaper automatically opened fire with its guns. The Messiah would have withstood this easily - perhaps it already had - and they now felt like heavy rain against the armor. Claire's sword was sweeping towards him - he quickly ejected again and flew out of the machine before it was impaled. The bullets were like a heavy chop at sea. The Reaper was a Leviathan.

Torvald locked all missiles to where he hit its cockpit earlier - possibly Claire's only weak point. He fired before ejecting again; his current machine could no longer fly.

He was over halfway to the Reaper. He watched most of his missiles fail, but several impacted and shrouded the machine in smoke. The autoguns had ceased firing - they probably recognized him as debris. This is the same machine that previously toppled the skyline in Riyadh, and now it's too small to be of note.

The Reaper suddenly heaved forwards, and Torvald barely had the time to slow down before impacting its shoulder. It was ruined. He ejected again to find that he was protected by the crater he made in Claire's arm. He looked down - Claire was leaning over - and saw that she had snatched an earlier shell out of mid-air and begun to crush it. Torvald rushed up to her head, but the distance was so great. The size of the machine was now nearly one hundred times of Torvald's.

She looked over to the remains of the Messiah, now obscured by a shroud of dirt kicked up in the impact.

He made it!

He was in the fissure created by his weapons, but his machine was lodged in the gap. He had to abandon this most familiar of his shells.

Now he felt almost naked. He was in only his exoskeleton and the first mech. The ground lurched as Claire made some small gesture. The gap narrowed as he progressed even further and he had to shed to all but his final skin.

He found a hallway.

Amazing.

Through this hallway, he found a marked door with crossed scythes. He pulled out his pistol - Claire was in the next room.

The door opened automatically. Claire glanced over, looked shocked, and jerked her arm to the side. Torvald hit his head into the wall, hard, and fell down. The shot went high. Claire pulled a gun from under her chair and shot Torvald. Torvald shakily raised his gun and fired again.

The shot easily penetrated her jumpsuit, unlike the spiderweb cracks that obscured his vision. The shot was in the upper chest, likely fatal.

Claire was dead.

Torvald laid back against the wall. It was extremely unlikely or impossible that the Asianic generals would give up their empire, but their figurehead was gone.

The world had hope again.
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PostSubject: Re: Garbage Day!   Thu May 13, 2010 11:26 pm

Spoiler:
 

The Fifth Servant to the Dark Lord Tortus saw an intruder in his realm: a mere human, of inconsequential size and power.

The Servant bent down on his front legs, fire curling around his bloodstained claws, to inspect the mortal. Monstrous fangs clashed against each other as the muscles in his jaw worked themselves unconsciously. Raw muscle distorted his thick hide.

He spoke, his fetid breath carrying the pain of those he had tortured. "You should not have come here, human. Why have you entered my domain?" Wild demons nearby stalked closer to the human, raising chipped weapons coated in blood.

"I was on my way to the kitchen for a snack and I got lost."

The Fifth Servant closed his palm around one of the demons. Gore poured onto the ground, and the others vanished in fright. The putrid odor of the Servant's rotting entrails permeated them both as he spoke again. "You entered the Realm of Torment on your way to the kitchen? This is the source of nightmares, mortal. This is the forge for the Nightmarish Consumers; it is the origin of the Scutter Spawn ravaging your plane and the Curdled Banes of past."

He leaned closer, his large eye coming within feet of the human. Lesser demons scurried into his decaying hide to conceal themselves. His unholy voice rang out again, exuding agony onto the landscape. "You mean to say you came here accidentally?"

"I am not a clever man."
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PostSubject: Re: Garbage Day!   Wed May 19, 2010 9:28 pm

I hate my job. This thought passed through his mind on a daily basis. With a grunt he rolled out of bed, taking in his quarters. A thin sheeted bed, a metal folding chair, a pitted old table with yesterday’s coffee still sitting in a mug, and a bathroom. He shook his head. He was among the highest ranked men here, and he lived like a poor man.

He shuffled into the bathroom and showered. If only the warm water would wash away the previous day’s memory, just like it did that day’s dirt. Of course, it didn’t. He stepped out of the shower, and cursed as he almost slipped. His previous quarters had had a rug. As he toweled off, he looked in the mirror. It was too fogged up to see.

He wiped at it with the edge of the towel, revealing the blurry face. It was angular, with a cast about the mouth that could be easily given to a jovial smile, and even more easily given to a cruel sneer. He saw the rings under his eyes. He hadn’t slept well in a long time. Grey eyes. He could have sworn that they once were a deep blue, but the color seemed to have been washed out of them a long time ago, just like in his life.

He looked at his goatee. It was dark, crisp, followed regulations. It was the only ‘permissible beard’ for one in his station. He was tired of it. He grabbed his old razor and hastily removed the facial hair, along with the new day’s scruff. It was cheap razor, standard issue, and he nicked himself here and there. He hated the military life.

It was time to get dressed. From his closet he pulled out his uniform. Black boots. Black pants and shirt. Black gloves. Body armor. A neat little cap. So melodramatic, he thought. His station was supposed to inspire fear, and therefore loyalty. He picked up his gun, and loaded the thumb sized rounds into it. He examined the weapon for a moment. He felt the uniform was unnecessary. The gun was more than enough. He holstered it.

He picked up his sword. This was his pride and joy. A golden hilt, worked blade, hardy, strong, sharp. It was a manifestation of elegance. Then he remembered yesterday, three men, and his mood soured.

It was time to start his day. He kicked open his door, and walked into the hall, ignoring the pained yelp of the man who had been setting on the other side of the door. Idiot, he thought. The attendant managed to gather himself somewhat swiftly, though he seemed to be constantly shifting trying to keep the pile of paperwork in his hands from falling. “Good morning, sir. Here’re the day’s reports. Only one man today, Com-” the attendant was interrupted at this point.

“Ah, very good,” he had said, leaving the attendant behind. He didn’t much care for the man’s fawning words or the waves of bureaucratic paperwork that seemed to pour from his every orifice.

Down the hallway, on the right, two doors down. That room was the designated holding area for the slime that he had to deal with. He opened the door and entered swiftly. Inside, tied to a chair, was a soldier. The soldier wore the uniform of whatever the heck regiment he was currently assigned to. He walked up to the soldier, plopping himself down on the metal chair in front of the man.

“So… you’re a deserter,” he had started. “Care to tell me why?”

The soldier was blindfolded, but he knew who was speaking. Everyone knew his voice. The man, for he was no longer a soldier, visibly swallowed. “We were being sent to die…” the man trailed off.

He shook his head, and stood up from the chair. As he walked out the door he called over his shoulder, “Four of the ten man squad, your squad, returned alive. More probably would have if you hadn’t fled, taking your supplies with you.” With that, he exited, closing the door behind him. He turned, only now noticing a different attendant outside the door.

He took the paperwork from the man and signed his name. He checked the box ‘firing squad’ and filled in a time and place. It would be in front of the other soldiers of course. Just as he turned to leave, the attendant spoke up. “Sir, orders have been passed down. The first man to find you is supposed to inform you that you’re wanted at the front,” the man cringed at the end of his decree. He looked like a dog, expecting a blow from his angry master.

“Ah, thank you”- he read the man’s nametag aloud to him- “I’ll head out with the next group.” The man seemed to be positively beaming at the personal recognition; he most likely had forgotten that his name was embroidered on the front of his uniform. Idiot.

It wasn’t too far of a walk to the transports. In fact, they were just outside the building that held his quarters. He often had to see off the daily export of men to the front, though this would be the first time in a while that he left with them.

He pulled out his timepiece. It was an old thing, reliable. He clicked it open and cursed. The glass plate had cracked and the hands were no longer turning. He put it in his breast pocket and walked out into the grey light of day.

It was always grey here, on this continent. The sun struggled against interminable clouds of dust to little avail. It was a dry, cold, dust that blew across the ground. On occasion a warm wind came from the west, but it was not a welcome warmth, but had the feel of a corpse’s last breath about it. It looked like the troopers were right about to head out.

He ran to a transport and hauled open the door, cramming himself in amongst a group of soldiers. They were new; they did not know him yet. One of them, just a boy with a gun really, called out to him: “Who’re you? Discipline?”

A smile came to his face, and the rings under his eyes had disappeared. He pulled out his gun, setting it on his lap. “Konstantin Konst. I’m the Commissar, and I love my job.” He pulled back the hammer of his pistol with a loud crack. “And that’s all you need to know.” Still, four men, that day.
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PostSubject: Re: Garbage Day!   Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:37 pm

Commissar Konstantin Konst hated many things. He hated this war. He hated the enemy for making him fight this war. He hated his soldiers for not having won the war already. He hated the constant artillery bombardments going back and forth, making it impossible to sleep. He hated the trenches. He hated the bureaucratic officers that kept him here. Honestly, he hated the whole damned planet.

It was cold. Here the grey skies, forever covered in cloud, were twisted and whirled, locked in an eternal storm front. The air constantly thrummed with the rumble of thunder, and the boom of artillery. And, it was cold. Konstantin cursed the design of his uniform again; its open cloak left him vulnerable to the harsh gusts of wind that sometimes blew through the trenches. He looked to his left, envying the trooper next to him for his greatcoat.

Suddenly, the soldier ducked low and in response Konstantin did the same. After a heartbeat, he too heard the all too familiar whistle of incoming artillery. A percussive thump pulsed out from his right, and he heard a few men cry out. A lucky shot must have gone just over the lip of the trench.

A medic, his once white uniform now stained grey with dust, bumped into the Commissar on his way by. For an instant, he felt a flash of agitation towards the man. He almost called him to a stop, before he realized how childish he was being and let it go. Rank should only be given to those who can handle it, and it was in those moments of immaturity that he wondered if he could. He shook his head to clear the unpleasant thoughts away.

A moment later he heard a persistent, “Uh, sir? Sir- excuse me, sir. Err, Sir? Commissar?” It was a quiet voice, barely audible over the constant sounds of small arms fire and the much larger artillery. Commissar Konstantine turned to put his weighty gaze on the mouse-like courier behind him. In the cramped and dusty trenches, he was only then noticing the man.

“Wha-“ he coughed. Stupid dust. “What is it?” he rasped, before pulling out his canteen and taking a swig. The nervous man watched Konstantine’s every movement, and with his hand shaking, he handed the Commissar an envelope.

“Or- orders from the General, sir. ” The courier didn’t stop to watch the Commissar’s reaction to the contents of the letter. He turned and fled headlong in the direction from which he came. Konstantine didn’t notice. He had opened the letter and was trying to keep his heart from sinking into his boots. Over the top. He was to lead the next charge of men over the top. Into the no-man’s land of turretfire, small arms fire, artillery, mines, and Throne knows what else. He had known from the moment they sent him out to the front lines that this would be how he would die: in some pointless and suicidal charge. It had just been a matter of when.

Expecting it didn’t help prepare him for the reality of it however. No one wants to die, and few just accept being handed over to death. But orders are orders, and he had no choice. It was either lead the charge and die with an honorable record, or be shot by a higher ranking commissar. Actually, he probably wouldn’t be shot. Dishonoring the Commissariat would have a much worse penalty than a simple shot to the head…

He shook his head again. “Damn,” he muttered under his breath. Putting on his famous Commissar’s charisma smile, he drew his saber and thrust it into the air. “To me!” he shouted, his somewhat deep voice carrying a significant distance down the trenches. It was a strong, rich voice. An authoritative voice. Already the soldiers we looking at him. I hate my job, he thought again. “On my word, we take the fight to the filth.”

He closed his eyes, trying to keep the tremors from his voice. He heard the whistle of shells and the buzz of bullets. For a moment, he thought he heard the beat of drums, and then immediately realized that it was probably just his heart about to give out. He took a deep breath. “When I give the word, we move against the enemy.” A pause. “Charge!”

In a blind panic, he scrambled up and out of the trenches and ran. Forward, straight forward. He wasn’t even sure if he kept his eyes open the entire time. What did it matter if he died with his eyes open or not? He heard explosions and the buzz of bullets. Heck, he heard several of his men cry out in pain around him.

Suddenly, there was nothing under his forward foot. He opened his eyes as he fell to find himself tumbling into the enemy trench line. Well, this is an unexpected development, he thought. In a reflex movement, he swung his sword beneath him, bisecting the soldier that was about to impale him on a bayonet. Konstantine landed with a thud and would have fallen over if it weren’t for the narrow walls of the trench.

His soldiers were arriving now, laying into the enemy. Konstantine drew his pistol and started adding his fire to that of his soldiers. It was hard to tell between friend and foe, he realized with horror after a moment. Both wore heavy greatcoats and gas masks, and their uniforms only varied slightly in shades of grey. The dust, he thought with agitation. One ran at him, yelling obscenities with his bayonet raised. The commissar ran him through with his saber. This was going well, he thought, just as he realized that the soldier in front of him was not one of his.

Suddenly he felt a searing pain bloom in his abdomen. He’d been shot. Konstantine shot the man out of petty spite. The man’s head exploded in a spray of red. Konstantine smirked as his knees gave out beneath him; he’d always prided himself on his skill with a pistol. Then the darkness came, and he was glad for the peace.
_____________

He woke to clean sheets, and the smell of stylization chemicals. And pain. A lot of pain. So, he hadn’t died. A soldier waited at the end of the hospital bed.

“Oh, you’re awake, sir. I have some good news for you. Your push was successful, and once we were within the enemy’s defenses, they stood no chance. Their number’s turned out to be only two-thirds of our estimate. –“ The man droned on and on for a bit. Konstantine stopped listening for a while. He just stared out the window, watching the grey rain slam into the window. Some storm, he thought.

Then something the soldier said brought the Commissar back from his thoughts. “Oh, and you’ve been reassigned, sir.”
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PostSubject: Re: Garbage Day!   Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:53 pm

I somehow missed your second Commisar story, Greg - I enjoyed it.

And, of course, I came here for my own reasons as well.
__________

The man next to me was in his bed - calm and breathing shallowly. Around the room was an explorer's life: a few scattered notebooks, a trusty bow, some prize pelts. The man's body showed some wear from his travels, but his nobility still showed.

Indeed, the only thing out of place in the room was me in the corner, wearing a black cloak and watching the man sleep.

---

The Kingdom of this world is blessed by the five Gods themselves: Tahlkora, the goddess of health and foresight; Goren, the god of war and courage; Olias, god of death; Margrid, the goddess of nature and hunting; and Anton, the god of deception and shadow.

Each member of the royalty is blessed by one of the Gods, and through these connections they manifest thrmselves in the world.

The King's patron goddess is Tahlkora. His first son was blessed by Goren, his first daughter by the ominous god of death. His second son's birth was watched by Margrid herself and - presumably as a matter of default, all other gods already having affiliations in the royal bloodline - the youngest son was endorsed by Anton.

This caused a stir. Anton was, among other things, the patron god of thievery, chaos, and assassination. Olias is the god of death - not murder. Anton almost advocates crime. Such a purpose could not be ignored and the last son, upon reaching his tenth year, was ostracised and sent away from the capital.

However, Anton is not a naive deity. He knew His controversial ties and, in a new city, guided the young forgotten prince to society's depths, which accepted him eagerly. He was trained as an assassin and as a thief and thrived.

As time passed, he grew bored. The elite ordering assassinations for the elite, all woefully unguarded and petty. After ten years, he deigned a new goal for himself: he would kill the royal family. All of them. It was both a challenge and a means for revenge.

So I have been led here - to my youngest brother's room, as he sleeps, the deadly poison working through his veins and cutting off his breathing. The bow in the corner, then, is none other than Margrid's legendary Syvvaris.

His breathing stops. I take a polished dagger out of my Cloak (my gift from Anton himself) and admire the hilt: two dragons curling and facing each other. Destiny meeting destiny. Fate. I plunge the dagger into my brother's heart.

Taking Syvvaris, I attempt to commune with Margrid. There is a chance she will support me.

Another agent of Anton, I see. I refuse to acknowledge your acts from the shadows as "hunting." Your path is a destructive one, far from the way of nature. For this, I condemn your acts.

I hope your path of carnage ends soon.


It is a response to be expected of a calm goddess. Now - now? I have just stepped on to the path. Now I continue.
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PostSubject: Re: Garbage Day!   Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:49 am

Anton's Cloak is extremely useful; its contents change to suit the user's needs. For a thief, it may contain lockpicking tools; for an assassin, knives and other weapons. That is why, when the city guards searched me as I entered, they found nothing.

"Security is tighter than normal, isn't it?" I ask.

"There was a minor breach at the Capital itself. The security here is a response. You can go through," he said, motioning me forwards.

I knew a haven for my kin where I could wait until night.

---

Darkness has fallen. Now I hunt.

The palace is too weak. I can climb up the rock walls using specially designed hooks - and, once inside, locating my sister will be easy.

I was just starting to relax when - clang. I kick some metal on the ground. I can't make it out in the darkness, but I hear the rushing of armored feet and growing light as somebody draws close with a lantern.

I'm in a hallway - I can't run.

Upon seeing me, the guard draws his sword and exclaims, "Stop right there, criminal scum!"

I reach inside my Cloak's folds and pull out a dagger. The guard runs toward the new threat, ready to swing. His blade meets air, and the dagger sinks into the thick bone at the bridge of his nose.

There was certainly going to be a commotion.

Well, I thought, readying some throwing daggers, It can't be helped.

More appeared. Two from each end - all charging with longswords.

Useless.

I flick my hand and one falls, metal glinting from the gap at his knee. I run in that direction, his companion falling at a blow to the neck. As he falls, I grab his sword and, almost flourishing, cut the neck of the guard on the ground.

I pull out an exotic weapon - after all, I am bored. A rope dart: a small weighted blade on a rope about ten fleet long.

There are two left. I flick my wrist and the blade sinks into one of their skulls; a pull to the side and the other trips, helpless prone as I take advantage.

Far too easy.

---

Now there is only sister - a princess, technically, though hardly pampered. She has been through many trials.

But she has her weaknesses.

"So, assassin, have you arrived to kill me as well? I am protected by the god of death himself, Olias!" She brandished a carved claw. That would be his Blight, then. This will be easier than anticipated.

"You rely on this 'power' too much." She points it at me and, with the sound of air, the stone where I was standing cracks audibly.

In the same motion as stepping away, I throw three darts: one knocks the Blight out of her hand and the other two immobilize her; her tendons.

She cries out before laughing dryly. "I have endured worse than this! Olias will protect me, as always - you cannot make me die!"

"Know your place! Olias endorsed you; he does not protect you! As for killing you... if I burn your body, your soul will be trapped or taken by your god."

Her eyes show some fear. "How do you know that?" I grab a lantern. "You can't be..."

"Yes, I am. Your brother. Come to wash away the sins and lies of his family."

I opened a valve to release the oil; it spread across the floor and mingled with blood.

"You intend to cleanse us of sin with murder, then?"

"In order to achieve it... I am willing to sacrifice my own innocence." I smashed the lantern against the floor. The flame caught, and the oil and my sister were engulfed in flames.

Taking Blight, I again commune with a god.

Excellent! It is truly a shame you could not have been acquainted with me sooner - though I do admire your work. Anton's followers and I have always coexisted well. I look forward to working with you in the turbulent days to come.

He was almost jovial.

Before I leave, I place a silver dagger near the cooling flames.
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PostSubject: Dancing in Shadow   Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:44 am

Can't dance your body away.
Turn around and make some noise.
The music lasts only today.
So, kick it up and dump the toys.

Can't dance your body away.
Spilled drinks and broken ice.
Forget what all the others say.
Fill life up with love and spice.


The music pounded through Rieka's head, the kind of bass reserved for rock concerts and raves. She lay on the ground cloaked in the smell of stale alcohol, her headache gradually lessening, the tile floor cool beneath her cheek.

Eventually she opened her eyes to a dirty wall and the pulsing lights reflected off of it. Pulling her arms beneath her, she turned towards the center of the room, bracing herself against the wall. The first thing she noticed was the pulsing lights reflected from the disco ball at the center of the massive room, then she recovered enough to notice the hundreds of dancers gyrating to the music. It was all so wrong.

The last thing she remembered at the party was the bodies of dead, with a man with a gun walking towards her, the weapon leveled at her. There was a flash and a bang, then she was on the floor.

Her boyfriend! Parker had stayed home to study for his exams! She reached into her back pocket and pulled out here cellphone. The screen remained stubbornly blank as she tried to turn the device on, each second stretching into an eternity. She flipped it over to try and reset it by taking the battery out, only to find that the compartment was empty.

She looked around, on the verge of tears, before gathering herself up and walking over to one of the dancers, a man in a flashy jacket and shorts.

"Hey!" She shouted over the music,"Can I use your phone?" Either he didn't hear her, or ignored her, continuing his absurd wiggling.

"Please", she waved her hand in front of his face to no avail.

She pushed him in frustration, but he seemed to roll with the blow and recovered to continue his dancing. She stomped her foot in frustration and began wonder what to do next. It was all so strange. She stood there for a while on the edge of the dance floor, lost in the music. At some point she must have fallen down, because she found herself getting up off the floor again.

The man she had pushed earlier was gone, replaced by another strangely dressed woman. Working up her strength, she decided to leave the club. Rieka had no idea what was going on, she just wanted to get out. Pushing her way past the flailing arms of the other dancers, she made her way across the dance floor.

At what seemed like hours, she arrived to the front. Two bouncers stood on either side of the entrance, each as slab of meat as faceless as the sliding glass doors they stood guard over. Each wore a dark suit and sunglasses and neither of them seemed to notice when she approached. The doors slid open with a smooth "woosh" and she took her first step outside. There was nothing but darkness, the lively street the club was supposed to be on was gone, the light spilling out into a complete and empty black.

"I wouldn't go out there if I were you," a man sat next to one of the bouncers, dressed in an almost normal t-shirt and jeans.

"What?" Rieka stopped and stared at the sudden apparition.

"I said, you shouldn't go out there. There's these things, they get you. Sarah . . . Sarah never came back."

"Your crazy!" Rieka backed out the door and into the darkest darkness she had ever known. Everything was gone. The only thing there was the entrance to the club, with its buzzing neon sign. There were no closely packed buildings like she remembered, only the pitch black of nothing.

She began walking, stuffing her phone in her back pocket as she plodded on.

"Thank goodness I didn't wear heels" she thought to herself. In the distance the light of the club shrank to a small dot, then to a speck, as she moved farther and farther away into the dark realm. Then she heard the first snarl.

It was a low sound, almost inaudible in the silence around her, coming from off to her left. She turned just in time to feel a piercing pain in her arm as something bit deep into it. Whatever it was was smooth and wet to the touch, almost like some kind of aquatic thing.

Rieka let out a scream and the thing detached itself from her arm, the sound of its footsteps now audible and circling her. She heard more then one and realized that she was not along in the darkness. There were at least a few . . . something.

She couldn't take it anymore, she had to get out of here, even if it was back towards that strange club. Rieka took off running, the padding of a dozen feet behind her, urging her forward. But she just couldn't keep going. One of the creatures landed on her back, the weight forcing her forward and into the smooth, cold ground.

They were upon here, tearing at her back and arms, trying to get past them to her face. She was sure she was going to die . . .

She heard a squeal, then a voice.

"Get up!" She uncurled to see the guy from the entrance, his shirt ragged and torn. He held a flashing blue light, presumably one from the club. As one of the dark shapes jumped at him, he swung the light to meet it, sending it flying with a squeal, black blood splattering around them.

"Get up! I left Sarah to these things, but I'm not gonna let them get you!"

Rieka jumped to her feet and took off running, the man following behind her. They were getting closer to the club now, the welcoming light a relief as the ran through the sliding doors.

The creatures attempted to follow but were met by the bouncers. The first one tried to leap through the door, only to be caught by a massive pair of hands and broken over a knee. The other bouncer pulled an assault rifle, seemingly from nowhere and began to fire on the shapes rushing towards them. A few made it through, however, and ran into the crowd, tearing into the dancers. They didn't even seem to notice, and kept attempting to right themselves even as they died, their blood staining the floor.

The bouncer with the rifle moved to block the door while the other ran into the crowd. The shapes, now revealed to be dog-like, ran deeper into the club, leading the bouncer on.

"I just gotta see this," Rieka's rescuer took off after the bouncer, still clutching the light. Rieka followed behind, not wanting to be alone in the crowd.

When they caught up with the bouncer, it was in a corner, surrounded by the dogs. It assumed a defensive stance, then all of the creatures leapt at once, overbalancing it. It fell into the wall behind it, gouging a large hole in the apparently thin wall. They tore through its suit and blood once again splattered the floor. The guy ran forward, wielding the light like a hammer, beating at the dogs until they resembled a pulp. It was too late for the bouncer, who remained motionless, lodged halfway through the wall.

Blood dripped from the now dented light as the guy removed his now ruined t-shirt and sank to the floor. Rieka sat next to him, picking up the shirt amd tearing it into strips.

"What just happened?" Rieka pulled on of the strips tight around her arm.

"Hell if I know, I don't even know where I am. I thought I had just toked too much or something, but this pain hurts too much for this to be an hallucination . . ." he turned to look at her.

"You were there right? That guy came in and we all got shot up, right?"

"That was the last thing I remember, before I woke up here. Honestly, you should bandage those." She motioned as the lacerations on his sides.

"Here", she leaned over a began tieing strips of shirt around him,"well at least we know we aren't dead."

"A lotta good that does us, oh I'm Orin, B T W."

"I'm Rieka."

"Huh, funny name," he stood up and walked over to the bouncer,"poor guy, I wonder if the other one knows anything about this place." He glanced through the hole.

"Whoa, Rieka, check this out." She pulled herself to her feet and moved next to him. Through the hole was something akin to mission control, computers everywhere, each displaying various statistics about incomprehensible things.

Orin pulled a phone and a short cord out of his pocket and jumped through the wall. On the other side he bent underneath one of the desks and a computer turned off suddenly.

"Hah!" Rieka herd his shout of success, "It works, now if only my phone hadn't broke when . . . when . . . me n' Sarah had tried to leave."

Rieka clambered after him," let me see you phone."

"Here," he tossed it to her as she came out the other side. She caught it deftly and held it up against hers. They were the same model.

"Hey! We have the same phone," she rushed over to him, pushing him back and plugging the cord into the slot on her phone. The display lit up and the joyous little startup jingle rang out as the cellphone activated. 3 bars!

Rieka fumbled with the keys as she dialed. 9 . . . 1 . . . . 1 . . . .
It rang once, then went straight to the busy signal.

"Like I expected that to work. This is like something out of a horror movie." Orin looked over.

"Huh?"

"911 has a busy signal."

"Damn, that's strange." Rieka bit into her lip.

"I know . . ."

Fumbling with the keys a little less this time, Rieka dialed the number to her boyfriend's cell. There was a pause, and then time stopped. It rang, once, twice, three times.

Rieka held her breath as the line was picked up.

"Hello?"



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PostSubject: Re: Garbage Day!   Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:58 pm

And then the man continued to ramble on for a quite a while. He mentioned a planet, some other war on some other soil, but Konstantine didn’t hear it. Not a word. It felt like a lifetime. He’d been trapped on this Throne-forsaken rock for the majority of his dull career. And now he had his chance. To go elsewhere. Maybe he could make a name for himself in a field of battle worth the trouble, instead of the soul-crushing combat of this grey little planet. Or better yet, maybe he’ll be stationed somewhere nice and safe; maybe he’ll even life long enough to do the unthinkable: retire.

He didn’t hear anything else the man said. He just smiled like an idiot until the man ran finally saluted and left. It was amazing. He felt so alive. He kicked his legs over the bed and stood. Then he promptly wished he was very, very dead. The thing is, happiness and a general feeling of well being don’t cause a traumatic abdominal wound to spontaneously heal. He wasn’t sure what it was, but he heard a ripping sound somewhere far off before he blacked out.

He woke up, again in the hospital run by the sisters of the Ordo Hospitaller. The air smelled of disinfectant and had the ‘used’ feel of having been recycled. He had his own room, as warranted by his position as Commissar. Whatever pain medication they had him on made it impossible to tell time effectively and the days began to swim together.

He was pretty sure a week had passed while he was recuperating. There wasn’t much he could do to entertain himself. He remembered one of the old propaganda posters he’d seen in his days of training at the Schola Progenium. It depicted a wounded guardsman being treated in a field hospital by an exceptionally beautiful woman in the uniform of a Sister Hospitaller. He watched the Sisters walk by his room, and in his drugged state came to an epiphany: the reason the Imperium is giving way is because it doesn’t have enough beautiful women. Of course! It made so much sense, or at least it did to his befuddled brain.

Unfortunately for Commissar Konstantine, he was also speaking aloud many of his thoughts in his drugged state. He was sure the Sisters started being markedly less accurate with their injections afterword, often having to jab him several times to hit the proper vein.

Then, before he knew it, his head was clear and he was back in uniform headed towards the transport that would take him off world. He looked at his salvation. It was an old troop carrier, much of its old paint was scored away, and it was starting to show rust in patches. But to Konstantine it was beautiful. He took one last look behind him, resisted the urge to spit, and boarded the ship.
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PostSubject: Re: Garbage Day!   Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:39 pm

Stepping onto the rust-bucket was like a breath of fresh air, and of course this had nothing to do with the quality of the air-scrubbers, which left the air constantly feeling ‘used.’ It was a change in perspective; the entire world felt new as I took made my way down the rows of cramped soldier seating. I felt alive with freedom for the briefest of moments, until I saw the soldiers around me watching my every move. It was then I remembered my profession. Morale Officer, Disciplinarian, out-side-the-chain-of-command-Executioner: Commissar.

The black pall of the soldiers’ attention having descended upon my shoulders like the weight of worlds, I returned my attention to my assigned seating. The grating under my feet shuddered and bowed a bit with each step of my heavy boots, and I could see the soldiers on the level below through it. It was a little worrisome, realizing that this ship consisted mostly of armor plates and what looked like chicken-wire.

I pushed those thoughts from my mind. Some things you just didn’t need to think about. It seemed like I’d walked half the galaxy in the last few moments, but I had finally made it: my seat. Without further ado I crammed in next to a somewhat smallish soldier in the full combat gear of a formless trench coat, gas mask, and helmet. The rest of his kit was in a pack situated on his lap. Since I’d be stuck in close quarters with this man for the next four hours or so as the ship made its way into orbit and waited to dock with the much larger Retribution-class battleship hanging in space about the planet, I decided to be somewhat cordial.

Putting on my brilliant smile, I turned to the trooper next to me and greeted him. He just gave a curt nod and turned bodily towards the viewport, clearly not wanting to engage in conversation. That was perfectly fine with me, as one can guess. I just leaned back in my chair and tilted down my uniform cap. This trip’ll be over in no time, I had the misfortune of thinking as I drifted off to sleep.

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PostSubject: Re: Garbage Day!   Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:49 pm

"Hello Gents, I'm Ruggedly Smooth, Owner of Ruggedly Smooth Co.: If it ain't Ruggedly, then it probably ain't Smooth. Im here to tell you how you and your friends can get all the ladies. Thats right, ALL the ladies. But you must follow these steps EXACTLY how i tell them. do you understand? Good, step number one: be rugged. Step number two: be smooth. Got that? Good! Now go out there and tell the ladies that Ruggedly Smooth sent you...You think thats good Alfred?"
"It was breathtaking, sir." commented the old butler.
"I dont know Alf, it seems like its lacking something. Maybe it needs more Ruggedly stuff in it. Or perhaps some more Smooth."
"I thought it was brilliant, sir."
"Your monotone voice doesn't help Alfred"
"You know i normally talk like this. I honestly dont think i can help it, sir."
"You should probably go see a doctor about that, Alf. Anyway, enough of this speech! Lets go on my private yacht and drink some Ruggedly Smooth's Alcoholic Beverages: Its rugged and smooth just like Ruggedly Smooth himself."
"That sounds like a good idea, sir."

I got bored again XD. but i dont think this will get its own sticky like the other one XD.

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PostSubject: Re: Garbage Day!   Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:09 pm

The Stormtroopers had left, but I still wasn't able to locate Luke and the others.

"Oh, the comm link! I'd forgotten to turn it back on."

Speaking into it: "Master Luke! Can you hear me?"

Master Luke's voice screamed back at me. "3P0? 3P0! Turn off all the garbage mashers on the detention level!"

He continued to scream that as I hurried to R2-D2. "Hurry! Turn them all off!" If it's not fast enough...

R2-D2 beeped his confirmation. However, on the other side of the comm link, there was only pain as everybody screamed in apparent agony.

"Curse my metal body! I wasn't fast enough!"

I could only listen to their agonized screams. What was happening to them I couldn't imagine.

"R2, end their misery. Turn it back on."
Spoiler:
 
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