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Novel I've been working on
Posts : 37
Join date : 2009-10-20
|Subject: Novel I've been working on Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:08 pm|| |
Hey guys, one or two of you may remember from the Corrupt a Wish game that I wished for inspiration for my novel. I doubt anyone felt an interest about this, but I figured I'd share anyway. I'll do my best to post a chapter or two a day until I'm up-to-date with where I am in it at the moment.
The Saga of Ias
The sun slowly rose above the snow-capped mountaintops, almost instantly heating up the frigid air and making a crackling noise that was thunderous enough to be heard all throughout the small village in the center of the valley. A line of light slowly penetrated through the shadows that still clung to the buildings, wagons, and the like, driving the darkness back for another day. The trees prickled with sharp noises, like the sound of ice breaking below somebody, and their frosty coating began to melt. This was how it was everyday this time of year: night was like the coldest of all winters, and the daytime was like that of the warmest summers. It happened for a month or so every year, and was inexplicable, but that mattered not to the people of the village, as they had been experiencing it for hundreds of generations.
Finally the tidal wave of light washed over a small unpainted log cabin near the edge of the village, its only distinguishable features being a small garden plot filled with herbs on the western wall of the house and a small stump in the front yard. The wood groaned and squealed as its icy shackles melted into nothingness. Its occupant woke, a boy of seventeen, on the verge of being considered a man. He was known to his neighbors as Ias, a name that would warrant envy in those times and would be an object of prize for the possessor. Fairly tall, he had a lean but powerful musculature, which tricked people into thinking that he was much weaker than he really was. He snapped his light brown eyes open, and was alert to all that went on around him. He threw his heavy blankets off, as it was already beginning to get hot, and set about his morning routines, starting with a warm blueberry muffin with freshly churned butter from town and ending with him thrusting the door open and inhaling the crisp mountain air. He ran his thin fingers through his slightly greasy dirty blonde hair, and set off down the road.
He strode along at a moderate pace, keeping an eye out for large rocks and wild animals. On his left hip hung a sheathed sword attached to his leather belt, its strangely long ten inch hilt protruding outwards in front of him, ready to be drawn at an instant if the need should arise. He had been trained with it from the moment he had been able to wield it, as had all others who had an Ancient Weapon passed down to them. Usually, the people who received a weapon were the firstborn males of the family, but on occasion the weapon would be passed down to a female child, if she was a twin, the only child, or if the original child to whom the weapon was given to was killed, in which case she would mysteriously find it upon her bed when she next returned home. If she was a twin, she would obtain it if she could prove herself more skillful with it than her brethren. Like all technology of the Ancients, nobody knew how or why the swords and other such weapons were made so strong and with such awe-inspiring power. Not only had a single one of them never been broken in combat, but almost every weapon had some hidden ability locked within that could help its wielder in combat. Ias had once even heard that a sword belonging to a man who was mortally wounded from the impact of an Ancient Hammer colliding with his ribcage not only loosed a bolt of pure energy, completely incinerating the antagonist, but it also healed the owner’s broken bones and mended his flesh. Weapons with powers of that strange magnitude were rare; usually, the power contained within was enhanced strength or something as trivial.
Ias was in the middle of his own thoughts when he nearly smashed into Ria, a girl of the same age as he that was also his closest friend. She was of tall but fairly slight build, with long yet not lanky arms and legs that had a strong but not bulky muscle tone. Her face had a very soft look to it, which was accentuated by sky blue eyes, thin, arched eyebrows, and long auburn locks that fell past her shoulders. She was dressed in loose leather chaps and furless moccasins, with a woven cotton shirt dyed black. Feigning insult, she chased him up the nearby hill, laughing, her voice like a light melody of wind chimes. At the top she jumped out and tackled him, knocking him to the ground and sending the two of them barreling down the other side of the hill. They came to a stop at the bottom of the hill, laughing like fools, and not noticing the compromising position they were in that would make any traveler on the side of the road think they were up to no good. Ias realized this first, and, clearing his throat awkwardly, rolled off Ria and onto the soft grass. They lay next to each other, watching the morning stars slowly vanish. Ria was special in that she was one of the few women who possessed an Ancient Weapon; in her case, a short staff with a four inch long curved blade at one end that she could use to bludgeon and rip through anybody foolish enough to challenge her while she had it on her person. She had intentionally left it behind only because she did not mean to be out long. If she had intended to head into town, she would not have thought for a split second about leaving it behind.
At length they rose, and nodding their good-byes, set off about their own business. Ias headed into town and browsed amongst the trading stalls; he knew what they’d have and he knew he didn’t need it, but it was as good a time waster as any. His real purpose was to wait until the storyteller arrived in town. It was easily the most anticipated event of the year in his village, and those who missed it were usually jokingly shunned until they had a chance to redeem themselves. On most occasions, the old storyteller spoke of the old times, or folk tales, but without fail he had a different story each and every time he visited.
At last the time came around for the village to gather in the square, and in the waning daylight all the lanterns except for the ones that illuminated the stage were extinguished one by one, as was customary. The people of the village waited in anticipation as they sat cross-legged on the cool ground, waiting for the old man to burst on stage. After about ten minutes, they grew uncomfortable, and began to mumble and whisper to one another. Suddenly, in a shower of red and yellow sparks and heavy drum beats, the storyteller appeared at the back of the group, startling more than one of the villagers with an inhumanly loud bellow. He was obviously very old, and had a significant hump in his back. His skin hung loosely from his bones, and his robe was faded and tattered in many places. He took a deep breath, and suddenly his voice boomed far louder than one would expect from a man so old. His baggy neck vibrated and flapped with each powerful syllable, his loud voice rumbling all through the valley, shaking trees and scaring the local wildlife into nonsensical chirps and squeals of agitation. “Let me tell you,” he began, his voice even louder than before, “of the legend of Ias, he whom many in the land are named after.”
Today we started out on our journey, leaving our fair city of Admartile behind, covered in the sinister fog that covers all our cities these days… Much could go wrong while we are away, which explains all of our unease. There are over sixty of us, but whether or not our supplies will last that long, we do not know. Not a single living person has traveled past The Wall of Itur, and thus all the lands beyond are uncharted and unknowably vast. I just hope that we can find new land in time to save our civilization. My only fear is </ERROR: FURTHER DATA CORRUPTED\> </COMMAND: TERMINATE ROGUE PROCESS\> </COMMAND FAILURE. SAFETY OF COMMUNICATION LINES COMPROMISED. ALL UNITS ADVISED TO BE ON ALERT FOR ALL SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY. FAILURE TO REPORT EVENTS RECORDED ON CAMERAS WILL RESULT IN SWIFT “REMOVAL OF SERVICE”.\></ALL UNAUTHORISED ACCESS OF THIS DATA WILL BE LOGGED\>
Last edited by T3h Pragerman on Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:52 pm; edited 2 times in total
Posts : 37
Join date : 2009-10-20
|Subject: Re: Novel I've been working on Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:42 pm|| |
1. There was supposed to be techno babble at random spots in Chapter 2 that just sorta vanished. I'll fix that tommorow.
2. Keep in mind that this is just something I've been working on in my spare time to amuse myself.
Posts : 606
Join date : 2009-10-30
Location : Las Vegas
|Subject: wow... Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:29 am|| |
at first i was skeptical, but I have to say im pretty impressed, i may read this during tasks, keep it up man.
Posts : 601
Join date : 2009-10-16
Location : Australia
|Subject: Re: Novel I've been working on Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:21 am|| |
Looks good, I may do the same and Post a few chapters of what I have been Working on.
Posts : 37
Join date : 2009-10-20
|Subject: Re: Novel I've been working on Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:28 pm|| |
Thanks for the compliments guys, you have no idea how much positive reinforcement means to me.
Here's 3 and 4 for you (it's important to remember that the text in Chapter 3 is a folktale and thus prone to exaggeration, half-truths, etc.):
“Long ago, at the start of our civilization, when the Ancients, bless their genius, had only been gone from the Plane of Existence for several thousand years, and our cities were almost in their prime, there existed a boy, who would later become a man of much importance, who possessed the name of Ias. He was both blessed and cursed with curiosity, and got into much more trouble than he could rightfully get out of. They say that he once nearly destroyed the city when, as a boy, he snuck into the main power control room of the Grand City Admartile, and nearly triggered the self-destruct mechanism on the generator when he started pushing the multicolored buttons as a small child would be expected to do when curious about the colorful display of flashing lights on the control panels. He was finally scooped up by one of the workers before any permanent harm could be done to the precious artifact or the city.
“He went through his childhood life in much the same way, until he finally matured to adulthood, where he gained common sense but still had that same curiosity. It was this that allowed him to gain a high position in government, Minister of Exploration, as it happens. However, the government had little interest in exploring, instead focusing all of its funds on war and conquest. This began to greatly bother Ias, prompting him to go as far as to secretly sabotage his own side’s war machines. This did nothing, however, to stall the government in its mechanized destruction, and it was not long before the foolishness angered the Ancients, and they released the horrific plague of the Artoth upon the coalition of cities such as Admartile and Tujark in the form of a sickly green cloud that instilled a feeling of dread into onlookers. The green fog was merely a mask for the hideous monsters within, which would descend at night and kill all those stupid or drunk enough to be on the streets after dusk. Their progress was slow, but they managed to kill more and more citizens each day, as more and more people tried to drown the sorrows caused by dead friends and family members with alcohol and thus were prone to be out after dark. Fools they were, but none of them ever realized their folly until they were ripped to shreds by the beasts.
“It finally happened that Ias was sent out of the city in an effort to either find more territory or a safe haven from the Artoth. He alone went, and carried enough food and water to last him only a few days, which is all he thought he would need.
“He ran out of supplies much faster than he expected, and, too far away to return to Admartile, acknowledged his condemnation and trekked out through the desert that surrounded the city. He had long since passed The Wall of Itur, that huge collapsed shell of a ruin which still to this day separates the port city from the desert that surrounds it on all sides but one. However, he quickly realized that, for whatever reason, he did not grow more tired, or thirsty, or hungry, no matter how far he traveled. With this, he felt free, and ran for days, weeks, perhaps months or even years without stopping. He passed every type of landscape you could imagine: jungles, mountain ranges, gigantic ruins of the Ancients that blotted out the sun, vast, cold tundra, rolling plains of grass, oceans, and even those strange mountains that spew out liquid rocks that burn through almost anything they touch. And still he did not stop.
“Finally, he came to a structure so massive it was amazing that such a thing could exist on the Plane. It stretched for several miles on all sides, and reached into the heavens for as far as one could see, and then some. It was the most beautiful and awe-inspiring sight in the world, and made Ias suddenly feel very, very, very insignificant. He approached it cautiously, and as he drew near a massive panel slid open to reveal a door to Ias. He stepped inside, filled with wonder, and the huge door slammed shut to prevent him from escaping. He suddenly felt very lonely, and very afraid. He walked farther into the structure, inspecting the smooth metalwork of many types of angles and curves, which must have taken millennia to create.
“Eventually he came to a lift of some sort, near or at the center of the monolith. As he stepped on it, it began to rise at such a speed that it quickly reached the top of the structure, which was an observatory of sorts covered with glass on all sides that overlooked the entire, vast Plane of Existence. Struggling to breathe, with his heart pounding in his chest, he slowly walked to the window directly in front of him. He looked out, and in an instant saw all that was, all that is, and all that will be. He became a God, fit to be among the Ancients, and it was then that they showed themselves to him. They glided up the empty shaft, and passed through the lift. They closed in on him, and, lightly gripping him with their lovely embrace, spirited him to the heavens, where he lived with them, and where he still lives with them to this day.
“But that is not why we remember him with such high regard. The real, underlying cause of his memorial is that while with the Ancients, he managed to convince them to lift the plague of the Artoth, saving our race. The green fog vanished from our cities, and life swiftly returned to normal. We know this because of the visions of our Prophets, the Enlightened, those who keep the truth amongst their inner circles and share parts of it with us, the common folk. They guide us, and protect us, and nurture us. They should be treated just as we would treat Ias if he returned to this world.
“And that concludes my story.”
The old man shambled off of the stage, which he had alighted while speaking, and, entering his customary wagon, left the town. He left behind charms in everybody’s hearts, wonder in some, pride in others, and a hidden and unfelt feeling of foreboding in Ias.
I bring dreadful news. We still have plenty of supplies, but overnight some beasts stole into our camp and took five of our men. Their names were </DATA STREAM LOST…REESTABLISHING STREAM\></STREAM ESTABLISHED\>, and they were some of the most honorable men I know. Their supplies are gone too, but that is inconsequential compared with the loss of their skills and knowledge. We now number at exactly fifty-seven. What’s more </FOLLOWING DATA IS ENCRYPTED. REQUIRED AUTHORISATION IS LEVEL SIX. NOT HAVING SUCH AUTHORISATION WILL RESULT IN AN ADDITION TO ALL UNITS’ REQUIRED TARGETS.\>… </AUTHORISATION CONFIRMED.\> I fear greatly for those we have left behind, although I feel in my heart that in the end everything will be fine. I just hope that ~~~~~~~~LOG VIEW INTERCEPTED~~~~~~~ </WARNING: FURTHER PERUSAL OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION WILL RESULT IN IMMEDIATE TERMINATION, IMPOSTER. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED\>
Posts : 37
Join date : 2009-10-20
|Subject: Re: Novel I've been working on Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:36 pm|| |
5 and 6 are up. Things are starting to heat up.
Also, what's the policy on cursing and violence? I've got some coarse language and some short fights coming up, is there a filter for curses or do I need to remove them myself?
The frigid air filled Ias’s throat, making it raw and freezing his breath before it could leave his windpipe. It had been only a few minutes since the old man had finished speaking, but the townsfolk had already dispersed, many of them heading home. As was his custom when in town at night, Ias headed towards the pub, a boisterous inhabitance almost always filled to the brim with raucous vagabonds and drunkards who made a spectacular mess all over the hardwood floor, which was swiftly cleaned up after they had all gone to sleep either in the corners of the first floor or, for those slightly more lucky with funds, on the second story.
The building itself had three floors. The first was, as has been described already, the drinking room and the kitchen, where minute amounts of delicacies and victuals were produced by the on-hand staff with ease. From the many bar fights and brawls that took place frequently, the outer walls of this floor were bloated slightly from the numerous bodies that often found themselves thrown against them. Inside, it consisted of tables surrounding a small bar, which was laden with meads, beers, wines, and many other alcoholic drinks that would make anybody acquainted with the stuff drip with saliva in anticipation of the taste. At the back of where the server would stand was a small window, through which orders would be relayed to the two or three chefs and would be completed and then passed back through in their warm goodness. The chefs were of high renown, and many a traveler came to the Admartilian Wastelands, as they were called by outsiders, simply to sample the fare served at this pub, which was called The Elk’s Antler.
The second floor was where paying patrons could rest their tired bodies on feathery pillows and sheets. There were 10 rooms, and each room normally possessed four beds, however, more could be added if necessary. Murder and theft happened occasionally, but no more often than at any other inn. Most guests had a restful night, and would awake in the morning to the smell of sausage, bacon, eggs, pancakes, and many other delicious scents wafting upstairs and into their open nostrils. Nary was there a day when there was not a traffic jam of sorts to get down the single staircase and onto the first floor for these delights.
Finally, there was the third floor, the residence of the owners and the morning crew. The maintenance of the establishment would be left to the night crew until midnight, upon which the doors would be closed and the guests rushed upstairs. Meanwhile, the owners and the morning crew had already been asleep for two hours, in anticipation of the busy day ahead. They arose at the first crackles of daylight, which was well before the rooster crowed, and after many years of this routine they had the ability to get up exactly as the first ray of sun peeked over the cascading mountainside and warmed the hearts of the sleeping folk. They would quietly descend a back staircase and enter the kitchen, where work would immediately begin on preparing to break the fasts of the sleepy, hung-over patrons.
It was to this institution that Ias visited every few nights. His customary drink was one mug of simple honey mead, with a sweet taste and a warming to his bowels. He enjoyed this luxury very much, and it was gulped down with a tinge of nostalgia for the days when his parents were still alive and would give him small tastes of their own private stock of the same drink.
However, this night would be far from usual.
“Damn! They’ve locked us out of the mainframe!” boomed a broad shouldered man, who leaned over a computer terminal, a look of anguish on his face. He was very tall, at least six and a half feet, and had rippling muscles that ran along his arms and veined his neck. His face was hard-set and bony, complemented by a pair of deep blue eyes, nearly violet in color. His hair was a very closely shaven fuzz of black hair.
“Calm yourself. That is the least of our worries. If you remember, there are units en route to our position. We should prepare ourselves.” This came from the much thinner but calmer looking companion who stood close to him. He was not as tall; only a few inches under six feet, however, he made up for the intimidation factor of his perhaps companion’s size with an equally if not more impressive set of muscles that were closer to his bones and much leaner, as well as an air of homicidal tendencies that seemed to emanate from his persona. The bones in his face were angular and harsh, outlining a broad, strong nose and dark green eyes. All of this was topped by raven hair that fell to the nape of his neck, which shone like a mirror when light reflected off of it.
It was with this that the two set about fortifying the room. On their backs they carried packs, and these were taken off and set on the ground. Inside, among other things, there were several small sandbags with adhesive on the backs, which they placed against the ventilation holes in the room. They each had two short swords sheathed on their left hips, as well as a holstered gun each on their right hips. These guns they removed, and, with the flick of a switch, two soft high pitched humming noises became audible. The guns themselves were black with lines of glowing light green running down the barrel, and a small rotating pin on the right side. Finally, the front part of the handle had a small blade attached that could be electrified.
Thus, as the first footsteps clanged down the hallway, they were ready.
Posts : 37
Join date : 2009-10-20
|Subject: Re: Novel I've been working on Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:54 pm|| |
Weeeel.... Nobody gave me a response to my question, so posting shall continue.
Ias pushed through the double hinged door into the pub, and at once his very thoughts were drowned out in the noise that filled the bottom floor of the establishment. Conversations of all sorts, from the mundane to the interesting, from the factual to the ridiculous, came from every inch of the room at once. Ias wondered to himself how, with such a ruckus, one could hear the words of those he was talking with. It was such that it induced a dull throbbing in his ears, and made him want nothing more than to sit down in a quiet back room with some honey mead and have the capability to hear. But this would not be so, and he instinctively knew that from his many nights of experience.
He waded through the mass of bodies and eventually came to the bar counter. He was lucky; there was still one open stool, which he promptly filled. Almost immediately the woman behind the counter recognized him and walked over. She was of medium build, and she had black hair tied up in a knot at the nape of her neck. She wore a smudged white apron with the name of the establishment emblazoned on the front in scarlet letters, and these letters were the only places where there weren’t stains of some sort.
“’Ello Ias,” and she had to shout, for the noise drowned out any normal voice and made shouting sound like casual talk. “The usual?”
“Yes, that would be great,” Ias replied as he shifted his attention downward to adjust his sword, as many were wont to do when they sat down, otherwise the sheath would jab into the side of the leg and make life most unbearable.
“Comin’ right up,” she shot back, as she whisked around and started to pour mead into a glass from one of the kegs on top of the counter.
After his sword was suitably adjusted, Ias took the time to look around at the many faces assembled at the ramshackle tables. Here and there he saw a face looking back at him, but each and every time that event happened the other personage would whip around and resume conversation with those he was assembled with. Gambling was an oft practiced activity in the pub, and it was the cause of more fights than anybody cared to count. As Ias looked around, he noticed one particularly boisterous game of Reckle, a game using dice, going on in a corner, and made a note to keep track of what went on.
Just then, the barmaid brought over his mead, and he thanked her and paid the customary fee of two Gahmms, the currency of the Plane, small coins made of pure gold. Gold and diamonds on the Plane are no rare thing. Every poor beggar has at least one gold or pure diamond ring, and they are easily the two most often found materials in the several colossal mines in the Southern Lands. Gold is used for almost everything, and pure diamonds are in such great amounts that many people have ornamental swords and other impractically brittle weapons made out of them.
He reached out toward the bubbling, golden brown frothy drink that lay in front of him in a polished glass, and slowly reached out and grabbed the handle. It was colder than he expected, and he almost drew back from the contact, but he continued, and raised the glass to his mouth. The drink poured out, with a sweet honey taste and a warming sensation as it slid down into his stomach, almost at once giving him a hazy feeling of intoxication at its mildest.
He set the glass down, and leaned back with a contented sigh, causing the back of the stool to creak in protest. He looked back at the corner and, seeing the players shaking their fists at each other, reached down and grabbed the hilt of his sword, prepared to intervene at the slightest provocation. He reached over and took a few more gulps, and before long the glass was empty. He set it down on the counter and nodded to the barmaid to signify that he was done. He let the conversation and noise swirl through him, analyzing as much of it as he could, when he suddenly heard the distinctive sound of a jaw breaking from the impact of a fist.
Almost immediately Ias was halfway across the room, his sword drawn and raised above the heads of the innocent that could be hurt by its sting. It’s slightly curved yellow-toned blade was veined by a blue line that traveled from slightly above the cross guard all the way to the tip. The front part of the blade, meant for the actual slashing action of fighting, was only slightly curved backwards toward the end, and it had an edge that could never be dulled because of the strength the material possessed. The reverse side was serrated with thousands of tiny teeth that ripped through flesh violently. He brought this instrument of death to the neck of the offender, who had the blood of his victim all over his right hand. The poor fool who had angered the obviously inebriated patron was currently reeling around the room screaming, the left half of his jaw hanging loose from his skull and bleeding profusely. The moment he felt the cold metallic material lightly touch his neck, the offender gulped loudly and stepped back, afraid of the agonizing bite that the blade would cause before death.
“This is not a place that one should be fighting,” Ias said calmly to the man.
“Feh!” snapped the man indignantly, losing his fear for a second as he spat at Ias.
Ias used his free hand to spin the man around and press his head against the wall, adding yet another dent to the already misshapen exterior.
The drunkard was not to be put down so easily, however, and immediately pushed back, catching Ias unawares and knocking him to the floor, where he cracked his head on a discarded glass made of diamond, causing immense pain.
Ias felt himself losing control, and quickly found himself standing up, in a blurry haze of screams and shouts. All he could see was the drunkard, who now seemed quite renewed of his fear, backing away towards the wall. Ias stalked toward him, and in an instant his left arm snapped forward, sending the man flying through the air and ripping straight through the wall, leaving a splintered hole as Ias regained control of himself and realized that every eye in the room had settled upon him.
“Where are they?” whispered the large man, his firearm pointed straight out in front of him, ready to fire.
“Patience, you oaf,” the other man shot back, quickly returning his attention to the hallway. “You know we heard them, they’re very likely hiding around the corner, waiting for us to drop our guard.”
His partner grunted, and resumed waiting.
It did not take very long for a small troop of five men to come around the corner. They wore gasmasks, and had expected the two men to be quite incapacitated from the poison gas that they thought was being pumped into the room. They could not have been more mistaken, as they only discovered when they were fired upon, the two men’s firearms discharging short green blasts of radiation that fried the insides of those hit by them quite instantly. They dropped like flies, and after only a few seconds the two men stood up and walked over to the heap of bodies. The armor of the troops was standard-issue; a simple color of dark green on a chest plate, leggings, and armguards, and looked quite silly compared to the segmented chest plate worn by the two men that featured a blue hexagon in the center surrounded by black, as well as the lightweight black plate armor that they wore on their legs.
“Humph,” said the thin one, as he stepped over the bodies and rounded the corner.
Posts : 37
Join date : 2009-10-20
|Subject: Re: Novel I've been working on Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:21 pm|| |
Really guys? Still nothing? Ah well, since I forgot to update yesterday you get two updates today.
Ias stood with his back towards the gaping hole in the wall, the chill air sending a shiver down his spine that directly contrasted with the warm feeling he felt on the side of his head, where the diamond drinking glass had punctured his skin and left a large, bright red gash on his left temple. He trembled, due to the amount of blood he had already lost, but what nobody noticed was his wound already mending, filling in the missing skin fiber by fiber at an extraordinary rate.
Except for one person, that is. A shadowy figure, clad in black robes with a hat drawn over his eyes and an open bottle of brandy on the table in front of him had lifted his head at the commotion, and watched intently. He took in every aspect of the fight from his shadow covered face, taking note of many things, such as the speed of Ias’s recovery and the healing factor present in his wound, as well as the model of his sword. When Ias turned the man could see the golden color seeping out of his irises, his eyes returning to their usual shade of light brown that could only be described as looking like the wood of the oak tree. The man carefully memorized each and every feature of the confrontation, and as the customers at the bar finally moved towards Ias to see if he was in need of assistance the man rose from his table and left the bar silently, his black robes swirling about his legs as he adjusted the woolen cap on his head. His superiors would definitely hear about this.
As the door gently closed Ias dropped his sword (which he had not let go of even after his injury), fainted, and fell upon the floor, his legs crumpling underneath his weight, sending the villagers surging forward to catch him. As his sword left his hand, his wound stopped healing.
Chapter 10 (Warning: Mild/some coarse language, some violence)
The two men walked down the long hallway around the corner from their freshly slaughtered victims, their metal boots lightly scuffing against the polished marble, another extremely common material used in many buildings. Their weapons were pointed directly out in front of them; should any fool come around the corner he would be defeated before he could draw his weapon. They kept a close proximity to one another, not only because it allowed them to push each other out of danger but because it was all the space the dimly illuminated hallway allowed.
The walls were made out of cold, hard, steel, with an indentation every few feet that was filled with a small light that allowed people to see down the otherwise pitch black hall. The ceiling was made from the same material as the wall, but it lacked the lights. This bleak architecture extended for several hallways, each as monotonous as the last.
They thought they would go insane when they finally reached a large room, filled with many large power cells attached to one large metallic sphere in the center of the room that was emitting a loud hum that blocked out any other noise. A lone researcher with a notepad and oil-stained white clothes was poking around the huge machine, occasionally writing observations on the little digital pad that was of the kind that was often found in the Western Mines of Tujark, a huge burial pit of sorts for Ancient technology that was excavated and exploited for its various applications.
The two men silently crept up behind the engineer, and the thinner one mutely unsheathed his upper blade, a sword elegantly curving at the base with a black Ancient symbol etched onto the base of the pale translucent red blade, which was of medium length and straightened out after the base. Pulling his right arm back, he lined up the point of the blade with the base of the researcher’s neck and prepared to strike swiftly and silently. However, just as he brought his arm forward the researcher turned slightly, causing the blade to miss his spine but instead pierce his gullet. The assassin swore and quickly finished off his victim by beheading him, but not before his prey could let out a bloodcurdling scream for help loud enough to be heard over the din. “Shit! Attach those bloody explosives, before those assholes get here!” he said to his partner. “Aye, you cover me an’ I’ll set it up!” the other replied, the explosive device already out of his pack.
He attached the small apparatus, consisting of a small keypad attached to four vials of a clear substance with an adhesive back, to the bottom of the machine and set the timer for fifteen minutes. Just as he finished, a door on his left side opened, and four guards wielding Eviscerators, long rifles that fired spinning, circular razors used to maim enemies to death, stormed into the room. “Sonuvabitch! Get out of here, Drauk! I’ll cover you!” yelled the thin one to his partner, Drauk, who swiftly got up and ran for the far door. Sil, the thin one, started firing into the group of guards, killing one of them but missing the others, who were already calling for reinforcements. He turned and ran to the door that Drauk went through, occasionally firing a few bursts at the remaining guards, who returned the favor with whizzing blades past his ears. One of the projectiles nicked his left shoulder, sending a violent stab of pain down into his arm. Rather than collapsing over in agony or stopping to heal the wound, he put his right hand on the hilt of the longer of his two swords, and he felt the sting of his exposed flesh dissipate as his mind ignored the pain.
Sil caught up with Drauk just as the two entered another large room, a hangar, filled with many crates and airships, with a massive closed sliding door at the far end. The crates were simply large green supply containers, filled with the supplies necessary to run an army on a battlefield. The ships, on the other hand, were far more detailed.
They were the standard aircraft for the Admartilian Navy; yet, they were capable of devastating strikes that could destroy even the largest capital ships. They were long and sleek, with powerful engines and devastating weaponry at the front and back and with a black and green glossy finish that gave them a huge upper hand in nighttime raids, as the AN was prone to doing. There were perhaps three hundred of them in the hangar, arrayed in neat, organized lines, ready for launch should the need arise.
The duo quickly ran into the room, jumping over a line of crates that blocked the door. Immediately on the other side was a lone guard; this poor fool was dispatched quickly with a swipe from Drauk’s gun blade. They ran to the two nearest ships and leaped up with surprising agility into the open cockpits. They flipped the switches on the front consoles, lowering their hatches and illuminating their controls with bright greens, reds, and blues. They set up a comm. link that Sil secured by turning on a small jamming device that he had procured from his pocket, just as the pursuing group of ten or so guards from the generator room reached the hangar.
“Let’s show these assholes who they’re messing with!” Drauk yelled, much to Sil’s annoyance, who despised the horrible sound quality in the cockpit and was also quite irritable from his wound, which was still bleeding freely even if he couldn’t feel its pain any longer.
“Ugh, quit your yapping, you know how annoying the voices that come over these damned speakers are,” he said, distaste evident in his tone as he aimed the main machine cannon, nicknamed the “Shredder” for what it did to flesh. He pressed the top fire button on the yoke, a single protrusion from the main console that further consisted of two small attached sticks, one controlling weapon aim, with three buttons corresponding to each cannon, and the other controlling flight path and aeronautic maneuvers. The triple barreled cannon warmed up instantly, and a hellfire of superheated plasma ripped the guards into bloody pools and several small chunks of flesh. Sil smirked with psychopathic contentment at the extinguishing of the lives of the guards, which gave him immense satisfaction.
“Want me to blow the door, Sil?” crackled Drauk’s voice over the speakers in Sil’s cockpit.
“Go ahead,” Sil replied, with a grin still on his face over his slaughter.
No sooner had he said that than Drauk began to charge the power cannon on his ship, a cylinder with small solar panels that allowed it to fire almost instantly when in broad daylight. This cylinder connected to a long barrel plated with mirrors on the inside, which created a laser that could rip through almost anything. A humming noise was heard as Drauk’s ship took all the energy from the engines and focused it into the cannon, which fired a beam of red light intense enough to blind someone if they were foolish enough to look at it. It slammed into the closed hangar bay door with enough force to smash a large gap right in the center, causing immediate decompression as the air inside the hangar was sucked out into the open sky. For this was no land hangar.
It was a carrier ship.
After being moved from The Horse’s Mane to the infirmary, it was several days before Ias regained full mental capacity from his outburst. He had awakened several times, but each time was fleeting and fog-filled. He remembered seeing Ria several times, in addition to some neighbors, but the memories of Ria were the clearest and most vivid. It seemed to him that each time she visited it was the same; her long auburn hair hung from her shoulders as she looked over at him from beside his infirmary bed with visible worry in her eyes. When he gazed upon her during his fits of awareness, he felt a strange twinge inside his stomach that held an unsure meaning for him. Too weak to put any thought to it, he would just relax and return back to his slumber.
When Ias finally fully woke, he felt dazed and unaware. A dull buzzing noise filled his head as he looked up at the ceiling of the unpainted wooden room. He craned his head around as much as he could in his reclining position on his infirmary bed and looked about the room. His bed was horizontal to the wall farthest from the metal door, which was closed and most likely locked so that nobody could enter without a key. There was a window just above his right side, and from looking out of it he could tell he was on the third floor, about forty feet off the ground. The window had a spectacular view of the surrounding forest which consisted of evergreens and oaks, with a backdrop of snow tipped mountains several miles away. Behind the head of his bed were several turned-off machines that were used to monitor patients in more serious condition than he had been. At the foot was a small wooden table with the clothing and personal items that had been on him when he was brought in; a brown cotton tunic, a pair of brown pants made from vyrn hide --a catlike predatory creature with scales instead of fur --, his handmade leather jacket, and his sword, sheathed and lying on top of his clothes. His wolf fur moccasins were underneath the table, the woolen socks tucked inside, and his leather belt with a socket for his blade wrapped around the moccasins. Other than this there was no furniture in the room, save a chair and table in one corner.
Ias slid his legs over the side of his bed and touched the cool wooden floor. As he stood up, he teetered back and forth as he struggled to regain his balance; finally, when he had reached equilibrium, he slowly began to put his clothes back on, as he was totally naked. Once his clothes were secured onto his body, he walked over to the metal door and grabbed the handle. After exerting considerable effort, he was able to turn the knob and open the door to the balcony, which he stepped out on. He leaned over the railing and looked down to the bottom floor of the infirmary.
The village infirmary building was really just a huge converted house on the edge of the village equipped with minor medical machines and medicines that could work small miracles. Major and hard to understand diseases were too much for the doctors working there, but such cases rarely appeared in the small village, so they had little burden upon them. The building consisted of a ground floor where patients and doctors could congregate and talk amongst one another, as well as where the chefs prepared food for those afflicted with ailments and injuries. The second and third floors consisted of a stretching balcony with two levels, of 7 rooms each, where patients could stay and receive care and rest. The building was made from logs and mortar, and came to a four-pointed open pyramid as a roof. There was a fireplace on the first floor with a chimney that protruded from the wall and traveled all the way up the building and outside on the roof. When a fire was lit it readily warmed the entire building, and one was crackling as Ias made his way down the stairs.
On the bottom floor, some of his neighbors were congregated in the middle of the room, Ria among them on a chair across from the curved outline of a couch talking to the people sitting on it. Ias stumbled down the steps, nearly tripping a few times, but recovering before he could fall over. After a minute, he finally made it to the first floor. One of his neighbors, Foli, a muscular man of medium stature with blazing red hair and a short, carefully groomed goatee, with intense green eyes that seemed to portray mental fortitude and empowerment, and a massive sword slung over his back that correctly implied incredible strength, was standing with a group of other villagers. It was as Ias stepped off the staircase that he happened to turn around slightly and, with his peripheral vision, recognized Ias standing at the foot of the steps. His jaw dropped, and his mouth moved, but Ias could not hear what he said. The people in the center of the room looked at him over their shoulders, and spun round with visible enthusiasm. They ran towards him, and grabbed him in a huge embrace. Ria was not far behind, as it had taken her slightly longer to get out of her chair and spin around, but she covered the only untaken side of him and embraced him just as well, kissing him on his forehead as a sister would to a brother.
And then he realized what that feeling in his stomach during his bouts of awareness was.
Chapter 12 (Warning: coarse language, violence)
“Shit, there’s one on me!” came Drauk’s voice over Sil’s speakers. “Take him out for me, I can’t hit the bastard!”
“Roger, I got ‘im,” replied Sil, as he took aim with the ship’s twin rail guns, magnetic barrels (nicknamed Stingers) that could fire large bullets at supersonic speeds for ship-to-ship combat. They made a whirring noise as the magnets were locked into place and the ammo was correctly positioned, and then opened fire, ripping the pursuing ship apart, ending with a fireball created by the exploding engine.
Most of the fleet of ships in the carrier’s hangar bay were flying around Sil and Drauk, trying to gun them down any way possible. It was by sheer skill that the duo hadn’t taken any major hits yet; any less experienced pilots certainly should have been killed in the first minute or so, due to the huge amount of Shredder cannon fire and Stinger bullets flying through the air. Indeed, many of the Admartilian pilots fell to friendly fire because of the mass confusion caused by trying to hit two certain ships amongst a crowd of two-hundred or so identical ships. However, the duo’s main fear was that they wouldn’t be far enough away from the carrier ship to avoid the massive shockwave that would occur from the detonation of the explosives that they had placed at the core while running through the ship. They had to be at least a mile away to avoid the destructive power of a core detonation, which would flatten everything within that distance and cause the ship to crash.
“Damn it! We got four minutes left before that floating shitbasket blows us to hell!” screeched Drauk’s voice over the radio as a magnetically charged Stinger bullet passed by it.
“We’ll have to break away before then,” answered Sil, and then after a pause, he continued, “Follow me. I’ve got a plan.”
Sil’s ship suddenly plummeted out of the sky as he turned off his engine, turning it on right before he entered the dense forest below. The engine roared back to life and caused Sil to just skim the evergreen canopy, out of sight of the enemy ships. However, Drauk too had lost sight of Sil, and was now alone in the swarm of black and neon green. “Blast it, where the hell did you go?” he yelled into the radio, clearly panicking to no avail; Sil had dropped out of range, and Drauk’s words fell on no ears. “Sil? Sil? crap!” he screamed, slamming his free arm on the side of the cockpit in frustration. Without thinking, he devoted the ship’s full power to the engines, causing it to shoot ahead from the pack, leaving most of the enemies behind. However, a small group of pilots managed to stay close, and these Sil saw as he was looking desperately for Drauk.
“Crap, what’s the oaf gotten himself into now?” Sil swore, as he pulled up on the yoke and made his ship rocket into the air. He came back into radio range just as Drauk was finishing a string of curses.
“… piece of crap just leaves me out here to rot! (naughty word)!” crackled the radio, which caused Sil to chuckle a bit.
“I’m right here, mate. I wouldn’t let you get killed without at least seeing it for myself,” he said, as he aimed the Stinger guns at the ships on Drauk’s tail.
“About time you got here! Where the hell did you go?” Drauk yelled, still panicking.
“Don’t worry, I got your back,” squealed Sil, as the radio quality suddenly fluctuated due to the aligning of the magnets in the Stinger guns right before they started to fire. In a few seconds what had been a group of ten ships was narrowed down to four, who were better pilots and were able to avoid the majority of the Stinger fire. Two broke off and engaged Sil’s ship from behind, where they started an onslaught of Shredder plasma that he had to avoid by drawing on most of his experience as a pilot. He did dips and turns, flips and rolls, drops and ascents, and yet still couldn’t shake the aggressors. He finally managed to destroy one of the ships by pulling back quickly and unleashing a quick hail of Shredder fire, but the other pilot was too skilled to be taken down by such a simple tactic. Drauk, on the other hand, was faring better as he had managed to destroy one of his enemies and severely damage the other’s ship. It was just as Drauk finished off his last opponent that Sil’s voice came in over the radio, scratchy from the interference of the magnets in his Stinger, which were once more aligning themselves to be fired.
“Bugger! There’s a town slightly to the North! If that bomb detonates now—“
He was suddenly interrupted by a thunderous crack that shook the air with its force, accompanied by a blinding blue light that filled the sky.
“Sonuva--!” was all that Sil could get out before the radio cut off.
Posts : 37
Join date : 2009-10-20
|Subject: Re: Novel I've been working on Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:25 pm|| |
After being embraced roughly, Ias had since relocated to the couch, the group of his closest ten neighbors swarming around him. Two were sitting next to him on either side of the three-seat couch, there was one on each arm of the couch, and four were hanging over the back to look over from above. The final two, Ria and Foli, were each sitting on the steel table in-between the now-empty chair and the overcrowded couch. Ias had a blanket draped over his back and a warm mug of peppermint tea in his hands.
The neighbors clustered around the couch had been informing him about what had happened while he was in bed, like what feuds had developed between whom, what land had been bought, and other simple chatter that Ias had only ever been slightly interested in. He listened halfheartedly, only catching a single wisp of conversation; namely, that some scoundrel had absconded with Foli’s fattest pig. Since then, he had been found, but not before he had feasted lavishly on pork for two days. “Bastard’s lucky I ain’t the one that found him, else he’d now be broken like a crushed insect,” Foli cut in with a callous tone, after the original speaker had finished. Ias smiled; he had always been amused by Foli’s brusque and rough personality.
As he took another sip of his tea, a bright blue light suddenly filled the room, causing exclamations of surprise and hand-covered eyes from everyone in the room. Two seconds later, a tremendous blare like a thunderclap magnified intensely ripped through the room, causing screeches of shock and pain, which were merely drowned out by the indomitable hum. Finally, the shocking noise ended abruptly four seconds later, only to be replaced by a sharp continuous ringing. After the ringing had dissipated and he had gathered his thoughts somewhat, Ias quickly got up from the couch and ran outside to ascertain what had caused the explosive din.
As he stepped onto the soft grass outside of the infirmary, his jaw hung slack as he saw a massive airship hovering close to the town, perhaps a mile and a half away. The entirety of the ship’s hull was ablaze with blue flames that burned with such intensity as if they were living creatures fighting to survive in the face of some inevitable fate. Several small blue explosions occasionally wracked the surface of the ship, their cracks eventually reaching the ears of the crowd that had now assembled behind Ias with similar expressions of shock upon their faces. As they watched, the ship began to list to the right and descend towards the ground. Suddenly, an explosion towards the back of the ship caused it to plunge downward and crash into the ground, creating a shockwave that picked up and threw everything in its path, and destroying what did not yield before its inexorable might. When it reached the crowd, who remained in place, transfixed by fear, it threw them backward and destroyed the infirmary, leaving Ias with an image of dusty rubble before he succumbed to the comforting embrace of unconsciousness.
The acrid smell of heavy smoke and burning wood filled Sil’s nostrils as he woke up, snapping his eyes open with a start and looking around intensely. The diamond-reinforced glass of the cockpit window in front of him was shattered in several places, and the outside was completely obscured by some colossal brown entity. He could feel a hot, smelly rivulet of blood trickling slowly along his arm. He realized, with a start, that it was going up his arm, towards his head, rather than down it, towards his hand, which was still holding on to the yoke of the control panel. Startled, he released his hand and cringed as gravity made it hang limp, going past his head. As his senses slowly returned to him, he finally realized why these strange things were happening: he had landed upside-down.
“What the (naughty word)!?!”
Panicking from the now-perceptible rush of blood flow to his head, he fumbled for the release button on his restraints. Not thinking of the consequences, he found his target, pressed it, and quickly found himself lying face up on the roof of his cockpit. Groaning, he pulled himself up into a more comfortable seated position, and examined the cockpit. Reaching up and rubbing the back of his head, which had smacked lightly against the window, he noticed a small red button to the left of the panel; it was labeled EMERGENCY HATCH RELEASE. He reached forward and pushed it with the palm of his left hand, which caused a dreadful metallic grating noise and a hissing sound. Slowly, a gap began to appear between the top of the panel and the lowest part of the window. Finally, the hiss ceased, and there was a gap between the window and the cockpit large enough for Sil to crawl through. He lay down on his stomach and crawled forward out of the gap on his elbows, scratching his right forearm on a small, sharp rock jutting out of the ground a few centimeters.
He clambered out from under the airship and looked up. A stunned visage adorned his face as he saw the widespread devastation laid out before him. Where once there were probably houses and market stalls, there were now only shattered piles of wood and bloody bodies disfigured into strange contorted shapes. No life had been spared this close to the epicenter of the shockwave; bodies of people from all stages of life, from the very young to the very old, from the notably poor to the fabulously wealthy, were strewn about like the discarded toys of an obscenely gargantuan child. A line of metallic wreckage was cast about a ditch carved out by Sil’s crash, the lot of it still smoking from the impact. Sil was disturbed by this sight because his homicidal tendencies only applied to people he felt deserved death; however, seeing bodies of innocents piled up always caused him to feel very uneasy. He sat down on top of his pirated airship, felt his gorge rise, and vomited, pointing his head to the right. He spit a few times to clear his lips of bile, then looked up and recognized the sight of another ship that had landed about one hundred yards away. He squinted, and caught a glimpse of a form in the cockpit that looked very familiar.
His eyes widened, and he soon found himself running at a full sprint towards the smoking wreckage. He tripped over a severed arm lying on the ground, and fell face first into the hard ground. He heard muffled chuckling from close by as he slowly rose to his feet, and saw Drauk’s rough form shaking slightly inside the cockpit of the downed airship. He couldn’t stop himself as a grin spread across his face, due to the joy of seeing his best friend and cohort still alive.
The two cohorts were citizens of a country close to Admartile called Karintho. They lived in the same city as children, and, because of their physical and mental prowess, were singled out by their government to join the Special Operations Force, a group of elite fighters and military minds who were called upon to carry out clandestine actions on behalf of the Karinthan government. Together they were a formidable duo, who, when provoked, were easily followed later on due to the incredible path of annihilation they left in their wake, which usually only spared innocent people undeserving of death. During the course of their several years together, they had formed an inseparable bond of brotherhood, up to the point where they were known to possess a knack for knowing when the other was in danger, even if they were separated.
Sil reached the diamond pane of the cockpit and shouted so as to be audible. “You alright?” he asked Drauk, while he looked around for the exterior hatch release button.
“Yeah, I’m fine, I guess,” came the muffled response. “The crash jarred me a bit, but my blades gave me the endurance to stay alive. What about you?”
“I’m fine, just a little bit shaken up. I landed upside-down, you know.”
A wide, toothy grin stretched across Drauk’s face. “Nice one, dumbass,” he said.
Sil smirked, not bothered by the insult. “Hey, it’s not my fault,” he said, chuckling slightly. He saw the small red button he was looking for close to the back of the window and pressed it. Nothing happened.
“Emergency release? Tried that already,” came Drauk’s voice from the cockpit. “I think the crash damaged the pistons somehow.”
“Yeah… that much seems to be obvious,” Sil replied, and thought for a second. “Hold on, I’ll break through with my blades. Cover your eyes.”
Drauk buried his head underneath his arms. “Ready when you are.”
Sil drew both of his swords and raised them above his head. Their clear, crimson blades caught the sunlight and reflected it, giving everything close-by a light scarlet glow. He brought them down with an audible whoosh onto the top of the diamond-reinforced window, cracking it in several places and generating a strange crystalline resonance that pervaded the clearing the airship had landed in. Raising his twin blades again, he brought them down with the same amount of force; this time resulting in a thunderous crash as the pane broke, sending shards of diamond and glass all over the place.
Drauk looked up and pulled a small fragment from his right arm. “Thanks, I was afraid I’d be stuck in there ‘til the AN showed up, the lily-livered bastards that they are,” he said.
“Yeah, well, you’re welcome. You owe me now,” Sil jibed.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever you say.”
Drauk shifted slightly and then leaped out of the cockpit. He rolled his neck and shook out his arms, and then turned to Sil. “Now what?” he asked.
“Now? Now we leave. It’ll be best not to be around when the Inquisitors show up,” Sil replied, alluding to the branch of the Navy sent in after a catastrophe to either ascertain the exact cause or to find a suitable scapegoat.
“Aye. Let’s go,” responded Drauk, and the duo began to quietly walk in a southern direction.
Ias woke with a start, hacking uncontrollably to clear his lungs of dust. He sat up and hunched over, feeling the effects of lightheadedness as he ran out of air. He gasped deeply, filling his lungs with unusually warm air that seemed to carry a pungent metallic taste with it. His coughing began to subside, and at last he had a chance to look around. Still woozy and confused, he did not immediately realize why bodies and bits of wood and twisted metal were strewn about. Finally, oxygen returned to his brain and his memory of the shockwave was restored. He remembered seeing the ragdoll forms of some of his neighbors and friends twisting through the air, their final screams drowned out by the rushing force. He began to weep quietly and tremble, curling up into a fetal position, his emotions flowing freely. It was during this that he heard a familiar gruff voice sound behind him.
“Oh, quit your blubbering, we ain’t all dead.”
Ias raised his head, his eyes bulging and cheeks crimson. “F-Foli? Is that you?” he whimpered pitifully.
“Yeah, it’s me all right,” replied Foli in his gravelly voice.
Ias leapt up, overjoyed and ecstatic, and wheeled around to see what he thought was his mind playing tricks on him. To his relief, he saw Foli’s strong form, patches of clothing around his chest missing, but what he didn’t expect was to see Ria standing on his right side, her clothes downright in tatters in some spots, with her arms hanging loosely at her side. Foli caught Ias’s stare and guessed at his thoughts. “Yeah, she’s fine, just a little bit shaken up, as I’m guessing you are too,” he said, his voice taking on a soft and assuring tone that was very atypical of his gruff personality. “We’ll be fine though, don’t worry about it,” he continued, before reaching behind his back and grasping for something. “By the way, I found something of yours,” he said, and took out Ias’ sheathed sword.
Ias’s heart jumped slightly at the sight of his inanimate companion, and he yearned for its comforting touch at his side. Foli tossed it to him, and he caught it swiftly and easily, attaching it to his side. “Thanks,” he stammered, after making sure it was securely fastened. His mind then returned to the present, and filled him with questions that he burned to have answered. “What just happened? Did anybody else survive?” he asked Foli and Ria.
“No, just the three of us,” Foli answered. “I remained conscious, but I was trapped under a wooden beam. However, my friend here” –and at this he tapped the hilt protruding over his left shoulder—“gave me the strength to get myself out. Ria wasn’t too far from me, and I woke her up first. She’s still in shock, I think, and hasn’t said anything yet. We looked for survivors until we found your sword, and then we came here to check if you were still alive. Along the way, we saw everyone else…” Foli’s voice trailed off, and he looked to the side. With a strange hint of compassion, he finally whispered, “They’re dead.”
Ias bobbed his head in recognition, and stared out in the direction of what was once the village he had spent his entire life thus far in. His mind was besieged by memories, which he shook away, so that he could remain sane. He turned and looked at Foli again. “Now what?”
Foli responded quickly and brusquely. “Now we have to leave. Immediately. The Navy ‘aught to be here soon, best not to be around when they get here. Head to your house and see what supplies you can carry on your back. Ria and I will do the same.” Ias hesitated slightly. “Go, now! There’s not much time. We’ll meet up at the base of Wen Hill,” Foli boomed, his voice carrying a tone that bespoke of a quick pang of frustration. Ias nodded, and started to run down what remained of the road to his house.
Ias arrived at his house in about five minutes. He slowed down, panting heavily, and sat down on the stump in the front yard, weary from running after recently awakening from a short coma. Once he had caught his breath, he looked up at his domicile.
The previously beautiful and glossy wood was now covered in gray dust, marring the natural splendor underneath. The windows were rendered invisible by the camouflage of earth that obscured the inside of the house from view. The former deep green and brown of the herb garden was now just a monotone grey, causing Ias to feel a poignant twinge of depression and sadness. He shook it off; he knew that if he gave in to his emotional wounds now, he wouldn’t be able to think logically, which could mean death in the harsh wilderness around his village. The sun was now beginning its descent, casting a strange brownish glow on the soot covered ground. He looked up at the sun, its usually yellow color replaced with a dusky brown. He sighed as he reached down and picked up a rock, then threw it as hard as he could. He saw the grass move where it landed, and rose.
Walking slowly, he reached the door of his house and grasped the knob. He slowly pushed open the door, sending a plume of dust into the air. He sneezed, then gazed into the blackness of the interior of his house, narrowing his eyebrows in annoyance at the impenetrable gloom. Walking back outside, he cleared the dust from a window with a burst of air, allowing light to pervade the entry room. He started to go back through the door when he heard a low growl behind him. He froze in fear, recognizing the sound.
The growling continued, and the sound of soft padding masked by a hushed rustle of scales grew closer and closer to Ias. He slowly moved his hand to grasp the hilt of his sword. He closed his fingers on it tightly, and notched the blade out slightly, revealing a pale yellow glint. He heard the padding stop, and knew from experience what was to come. So, when he heard the vyrn snarl and leap into the air, he spun around with a yell and drew his sword in an instant, creating a light metallic grating noise. The sword took its place in a vertical position directly in front of him, and the vyrn crashed into it, causing it to flip backwards in the air. The creature’s incredibly strong hide, thought to possess magical properties, prevented the incredibly sharp blade from doing mortal damage, but a gash across the middle of its face was clear evidence of its collision. It shook its head, snarling and hissing, and then straightened out and looked at Ias. Its deep yellow eyes connected with Ias for a second, and then it turned away and ran back around the house, heading for the forest not too far away. Ias ran around to the side of the house and watched it disappear into the trees, its scaly black hide catching the light and glossily shining before it vanished into darkness. He looked at the blade of his sword, the pale yellow covered in crimson blood. He flicked his wrist, sending the blood flying off, restoring the pale yellow. He sheathed his sword, and walked back inside.
Grabbing a small pack from underneath the table in the kitchen (which was connected to the entry room), Ias took all the bread, cheese, and salted meat he could find in the kitchen as well as three water skins. Two were empty, and one was filled with honey mead. He uncorked the mead-filled skin, and took a sip, reveling in the warm sensation. He put the cork back in, and threw all three skins into the pack. Finally, he opened the door to his room, which was still light because no dust had accumulated on the window, and took from the drawer next to his bed a set of flint and steel.
He was about to leave the room when he remembered something. He turned around and kneeled down, reaching his hand underneath the bed. Grasping around for something, his hand hit an item that was cold and hard, and he grabbed it and pulled. From underneath the bed came a long radiation rifle, made from a black metal of unknown composition with red veins pulsing along it. Ias looked at it for a second, memories of his parents flashing before his mind’s eye. He saw his father carrying him on his shoulders, and his mother making sweet smelling food in the kitchen. He remembered the long hours spent learning how to wield his sword properly, and a tear fell from his eyes in sorrow. He wiped his face with the sleeve of his leather jacket, and opened a small compartment in the butt of the rifle, exposing a leather strap. He removed it, and attached the strap to the hooks on the bottom part of the rifle’s butt and close to the end of the barrel. Throwing his pack over his shoulder first, he did the same with the rifle, and quickly departed his house, slamming the door behind him, which caused a sheet of dust to fall off the house. He started on the road back the way he came, in the direction of Wen Hill, a large natural mound of grass-blanketed dirt with a strange obelisk presumably made by the Ancients sticking out of it at the center. Foli and Ria, his only remaining allies in the world, would be waiting for him there. He quickened his pace.
It was during the last vestiges of the day, as the air began to grow cold and the sun began to retreat from the yellow sky, that Ias caught sight of the tall thin pillar that marked Wen Hill. A quick tinge of joy went through him, and he broke into a run, his sword clanging and his pack rustling. In a minute he was ten yards away from the hill, and two shadowy figures became clear. “Foli!” he shouted, his voice carrying over the vacant plain and to the mountains that bordered it on the northern and eastern sides. This effect startled him for a moment, until he heard Ria’s calm, soothing voice.
“We’re right here, Ias,” she said, her voice smooth as silk. Foli made himself known with a loud grunt. “’Bout time you got here. Thought we’d have to leave without ya,” he growled, with a teasing intonation.
Ias cracked a smile obscured be darkness. “Hey,” he teased back, “you’ve never been known for your punctuality, either. ‘Sides, I ran into a vyrn at my house.”
Ria made a sudden worried noise. “You’re not hurt, are you?” she asked.
“Bah! Vyrn, shmyrn,” Foli interjected rudely. “He’s fine. If there ain’t any objections, it’s best we get moving. Soon. Won’t be much longer ‘fore the Navy gets here, and trust me when I say we don’t wanna be here when they do.”
A slight movement of shadow indicated that Ria nodded. “Ias, you ready to keep going?” she inquired, her voice like birdsong.
“Yeah, just gimme a second to catch my breath,” he replied. “Just a little winded is all.” With this, he quickly alighted to the top of the mound, and, panting, he leaned on the pillar. As soon as his arm touched the thin monolith, a red miasma filled his eyes and a piercing ring filled his ears. The world went dark and silent for what felt like a few seconds, and Ias entered a strange trance where he felt no sense, but perceived instead. A strange figure, shrouded in hatred and darkness sat on a throne. Two piercing yellow orbs, seeming to gaze into the subconscious, and a third red one. Unspoken power filled the room, and issued a warning: Stay away, for here is where the souls of men are broken. The form stirred, and Ias felt the brush of a foul conscience, tainted by millennia of anger and plotting. He pulled away, and felt his real senses return. But it was not until he felt his eyes open that the tendril of evil receded from his mind, and he gained control of himself once more. The world was still dark, but he could see the stars in the void above him. Muffled yelling began to reach him, quiet and indistinct at first, but slowly rising into a sharp cacophony that made him jolt upright.
He heard Ria’s voice from what seemed like right next to him. “Ias!” she cried.
Ias was panting heavily. “Ugh,” he groaned. “Wh-What happened?”
“You just touched the pillar and fell limp!” Ria shrieked, her volume elevated due to concern. She must have realized, because when she next spoke she wasn’t nearly as loud, and the urgency apparent in her tone had decreased somewhat. “We’ve been trying to wake you for a good five minutes.”
“You’ve got a sweetheart, Ias,” Foli chimed in, his tone taking on a teasing edge. “I was all for leaving ya, but little missy here insisted we had to at least try to bring ya back.”
“Oh shut up, ass-hat,” Ria snapped back, fumbling for a rock and lobbing it at him.
Foli laughed and dodged the projectile. “Just sayin’, is all,” he chuckled.
“Yeah, yeah,” Ria said, her voice once more taking on a concerned tone. “Point is, when you hit the ground the obelisk sent out a bright red beam into the sky, so if anyone happened to be looking this way, it’d probably be best for us to get moving. Can you stand up?”
Ias grunted as he rose to his feet. “Aye, I’m fine. Let’s get going.”
The three shadowy figures regrouped at the other side of the hill, and started in the direction of the Southern Star.
That's where I am right now, still working on Chapter 18. Just thought I'd let you guys take a look at what I've written so far.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Praise? Constructive criticism?
Posts : 697
Join date : 2009-10-20
Location : Florida
|Subject: Re: Novel I've been working on Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:04 am|| |
I'm going to print it out and read it later, I'll update post when i do
|Subject: Re: Novel I've been working on || |