Two Guys Walk Out of A Bar...
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Author:  Clay_Allison [ Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:58 am ]
Post subject:  Two Guys Walk Out of A Bar...

In a mere step from the threshold of the Bar and Grill, Clay and Mad were in a place far different. For one thing the air was cold. It was not a good cold. It was a dull, stupid cold that refused to understand that when you shivered and huddled against it that you wished to be left alone. Instead, like the great labrador puppy of hypothermia, it leapt upon you anyway, heaping its freezing misery upon you with joy.

It also bore heavily upon the tolerance of the living organism that despite its blatant necessity, breating was nearly out of the question. Apart entirely from the searing pain of the cold and Ice Chrystals tearing rivulets in one's throat. The air had an exchange rate with normal air like the Yen to the Pound Sterling. In an indignity that was beyond the scope of outrage, it barely had any oxygen.

Clay smiled back at mad as he leaned lazily against a nearby Yak, who far from objecting, merely looked at them placidly as if to say: You think you have problems?

Clay passed Adrick a hip flask to help erase the expression of shock and horror and spoke. "A bit nippy up here, isn't it just? Don't worry, just 100 proof charcoal-filtered Vodka, don't want to lose perspective."

Author:  madadric [ Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:09 pm ]
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Adric took a generous swig of the burning liquid, as he huddled against the yak "F-f-fucking f-f-reezing." he muttered, his breath steamed in a white cloud that was quickly dispersed by the strong frigid wind.

"I d-don't handle th'the c-c-c-cold v-very wwell . . . t-too s--static. mmolecules don't mmove around enough. . . th-third law o-of th'thermo-d-dynamics. . ." The red-haired man pushed further into the Yak's fur, the placid still ignoring him. The brutal cold quickly tore through his cotton shirt and jeans to suck whatever head his body had right out of him and his lips and fingernails swiftly took on a blue then purple tinge to them.

"L-look, i rreally nneed t-to ffind s-some heeaaat oor i'm g-gonna d-die. i-is there a-anywheere nearby, oor am i gonna h-have to skin a bitch?" At this sentance, the yak shifted uneasily and looked askance at the shivering man huddled against him.

Author:  Clay_Allison [ Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:03 am ]
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Clay sighed theatrically and simply threw mad over his shoulder and walked into a nearby shop, depositing Adric in front of a small but warm stove he talkes to the proprietor and purchased a number of fur coats from the seller.

When Clay came back to Adric, he seemed to be hugging the stove, or berhaps the air a few inches from it. Men in furry hats drinking some kind of local beer looked at him with mild amusement. Clay guided Mad away from the stove a little ways and started piling fur coats on him. When he was finished, Mad looked like a Yak impersonator in a very silly hat that seemed to be all flaps and was made from the skin of some unlucky large rodent, maybe a muskrat or beaver sort of thing. Leather gloves, followed by big poofy Rabbit-Skin pittens were shoved onto his hands and he stepped into overboots that could hold a Kilo of potatoes each.

Clay guided the confused Mad outside and leaped astride a very surprised Yak, Mad clambered aboard and Clay whispered in the Yak's ear and they raced away improbably fast in the bizarre hopping gait of a mountain creature that doesn't get to stretch its legs much.

"I just told the Yak we have a matter of hours before the country explodes!" Clay explained.

Author:  madadric [ Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:49 am ]
Post subject: 

"That's great!" adric's muffled voice came through the layers of fur garments that now adorned him. "Now i'll know what to say to a yak anytime i need to make it run!" He clumsily gripped a mittenfull of yak fur as he was nearly dismounted by a particularly severe bump.

"Well, hopefully the yak can run fast enough to get us out of the blast radius!" Clay calls over his shoulder. Adric laughed in response, until he realized the traveller was not joking. "Faster you overgrown goat!" Adric yelled at the large shaggy steed.

Author:  Clay_Allison [ Sat Mar 24, 2007 8:16 am ]
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Instead of leaving the country as Mad had apparently hoped, they soon arrived at the doors of a great temple, a veritable palace where the most revered mystic of all of this mystical land lived. There were two temple guards with Bolt action carbines standing at rigid attention at the front and Clay made no effort to slow down the Yak, instead he turned it slightly, trampling one guard as he drew a revolver and shot the other one in the right arm. Against all reason, the man threw the rifle left handed at them, as if the bayonet made it an impromptu javelin. Clay, far from being impaled by the heroic throw, caught it, pulled off the bayonet and handed it to Mad.

"It's got ten shots in it, it's a straight-pull bolt. Shoot people when it seems appropriate, like if they are armed or look like they might arm themselves."

They crashed through corridors for what seemed like an hour but was probably a chaotic, confusing, terrified minute and a half.

Finally they burst upon a great hall where a girl somewhere in her teens sat in marvelously expensive silks in the lotus position attended by servants and surrounded by Monks wearing the least fashionable shade of orange in all of human history,

Clay bore straight down on her as the monks scattered in terror, seeming as if he would run her down as she froze, wide eyed in shock. At the last moment he corrected his course to take him right past her and he scooped her up, placing her in front of him on the fiercely brave and heroic Yak.

"Hold onto the fur or you'll fall off and get trampled!"

A quick reign of terror through a confused and panicked household later and they were out of the Temple through one of the servant's doors. The Yak bellowed in triumph as they charges the quarter of a mile to the High Priest's private airfield.

Selecting a cargo plane that had been unloaded, one he had known would be there, Clay charged the Yak up into its open rear door and disembarked, taking the rifle he pulled Mad off the Yak and yelled at him.

"Go fly the plane, East for about ten minutes then due north up a long twisting pass at low altitude!"

Pushing Mad toward the cockpit and leaving the confused girl sitting on the Yak, he shouldered the carbine and calmly shot two policemen who came running towards the plane.

Author:  madadric [ Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:41 pm ]
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Sec retly, adric was extremely relieved when clay pulled the rifle from his grip - firearms had a nasty habit of accidentally malfunctioning or misfiring whenever he used them, often to his, or his allies' disadvantage. He'd intended to unload it and use it as a club at any rate.

"Go fly the plane, East for about ten minutes then due north up a long twisting pass at low altitude!" clay yelled at him and shoved him in the direction of the front of the lage contraption. Not slowing down his pace, adric turns his head and speaks to the panting yak and the young girl trying to clamber off his back without falling off. "I don't suppose you know how to fly a cargo plane Billy?" The yak just gives him a flat look and shifts on his front feet as if to say do i LOOK like i can fly a plane? and continued to try and catch it's breath. The girl just gave him a frightened look that only grew more frightened when he grinned, and then petrified when he let out a maniacal chuckle.

"Guess i better learn real fast then" he muttered as he entered the alien world of a cargo plane cock-pit. He stared at the dials and switches and levers for a long 30 seconds as he heard the sound of fighting break out, and the mechanical sound of the cargo ramp begin to lift itself back into position at the rear of the plane. "Aha!" he said with satisfaction and conviction. "i have absolutely no idea what i'm doing!"

With that, he stretched his arms out to the left side of the cockpit controls, letting his other set of senses move his thoughts into the control panels and left-hand 'sterring wheel'. While he didn't gain any knowledge or understanding, he did get a sense of how things worked, and what he'd need to do to be able to use them a little more directly.

What i'd give for some good ol' fashioned psychometry right now.. he thought as the co-pilot set of control buckled and twisted with a series of ear-piercing squeals and a loud, mournful groan. Wires and levers and switches re-organised themselves, or simply shot out of the panels and flew across the cockpit and fell on the floor. Metal continued to buckle and re-shape itself until the control panel looked like someone had taken to it with a pickaxe and an acetylene welder.

The engines started up.

The propellors began to spin, and the ship lurched forward, accelerating at an alarming rate, and everyone inside had to catch thei balance. Several soldiers trying to board and fight Clay lost their grip and fell to the gravelly runway close below. The plane continued to rocket down the runway, and mad used his powers to pushed forward on the flight wheel and...

nothing really happened. the ship continued to accelerat down the quickly vanishing runway as a sheer cliff loomed nearby. "Get in the fucking air, diabolous machina! he yelled, pushing further on the flight wheel with his mind. the plane lurched, and continued to rush towards the gaping chasam of open sky before them.

"Clay!" Adric yelled back out the cockpit as he travelling companion fought off the last of the soldiers with the bayonett from the now empty rifle and his pistol. "It's not fucking working! we're going to fall off the runway!" Clay called back with an exasperated cry; "Pull back! Back goes up!"

"...oh" mad says quietly, and telekinetically wrenches back on the the flight wheel so hard every join and rivet in the huge machine groans, and everyone bar the sturdy, stalwart Yak falls to the plane floor as the aircraft shoots into the sky at an almost 45 degree angle.

Author:  Clay_Allison [ Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:17 am ]
Post subject: 

Kim Han Wu was daughter of the high priest of the most ancient and revered religion in her world, icon of the country that had been called the Gateway of Peace, who had lived her whole life with the adoration of the people of her home city, the City of Enlightenment.

She was also a terrified young girl, terrified at first, but then, terror turned to a dawning horror as she saw the Explosion. Through the rear view port of the plane she saw the blinding flash and the mushroom cloud as the City of Enlightenment quite literally ascended into heaven, along with over 100,000 souls. She had never seen, nor heard of an Atom Bomb, but she knew somehow what that titanic blast meant. They were all dead.

Mercifully she suddenly couldn't see any more. The tears stung her eyes and she didn't mind when the man who had terrified her just moments before gathered her into his arms and held her while she sobbed into his chest.

Presently, though, she had to consider this. Was this wordless comfort the act of a kidnapper? Or, was that mad dash on (of all things!) a Yak really a rescue?

The tall man who was holding her (she still didn't feel like letting go) seemed to be in charge, she had heard him barking orders at the other man, who may or may not outrank Sergeant Yak on this mission. She suppressed a fit of hysterical laughter. Instead she spoke, hoping the tall man spoke her language.

"You, you didn't do that did you?" There was no need to tell him what.

"No," He said quietly. "The Mandarin and Dravidian Empires did it. We had to get you out before the whole thing fell apart."

"But," She said. "Your methods..."

"There was no time to explain, and we had no proof to offer in any case. It is of the essence that the spirit and faith of your land must survive. As such, you are it." Clay was impressed that she was asking questions rather than levelling accusations. He supposed it must have to do with the serene wisdom of the faith...or she was in shock...or something.

"Well, why me then?" She demanded, in the same tone as one would say to a gathered audience: "The killer is in this room!"

"Because this is going to be a hard trip and you are the only enlightened one under 50. On top of that, given the choice between saving old men and pretty young girls, pretty girl wins the race without competition."

Kim was pretty enough, though not stunning in any particular way. His statement, matter of fact though it was, had a stronger effect than one would expect. Having been an enlightened holy prodigy she was used to being spoken to by people who gave the impression that they weren't conversing so much as talking about you in the third person. Everything was always addressed so formally, most of the time she felt like she was hiding behind a larger than life statue of herself.

Suddenly reminded of the existence of the front of the plane by a sudden lurch, Clay called up front.

"Adric! How is the plane? Are you flying it or is the Yak? If it is you give the Yak a turn or try to keep us in the air, either one."

Author:  madadric [ Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:44 pm ]
Post subject: 

Adric looked over his shoulder, a scowl of concentration wrinkling his brow.

"The yak declined my offer to drive! what's going on back there? this thing's shaking like a leaf!" his point was proved when the cargo plane suddenly dipped and lurched to the left, causing everyone to stumble but the yak, who was placidly chewing on some strapping rope.

"The blast waves from the explsion are buffeting us, and it's about to get a lot worse! go faster, any way you can!" the Traveller shouted back over the roar of the engines, and another roar building from the pyrotechnics show behind them.

Adric swore under his breath and returned his gaze to the contorted flight panel. "Faster, he says. Any way possible he says. They always say any way possible until you actually do it and realize that it <i>IS</i> anyway possible!" With a wordless growl, adric steps forward and thrusts his clawed hand deep into the shattered console. "Come on, where are you hiding, <i>Diabolous Machina</i>?"

His mind followed his hand, into the console, and out into the fram of the plane. his consciousness loos past the sheets of metal, the struts and supports, past the rivets and wires and machinery, past the <i>how</i> and into the <i>Why</i>.

<i>To Fly!</i>

"You want to fly, <i>Diabolous Machina</i>? you want to soar and scream? the do it! take what you need and become what you wish!" Adric pushed his forearm against a jagget piece of metal justting from the console, creating a large gash, and bgan slashing the arm about the cockpit, spattering the metal and glass with his blood. Where it hit, the blood began to flow and move into unnatural shiting patterns, and emitted a soft red-orange glow when one glimpsed it out of the corner of one's eye. The entire aircraft began to shudder and groan alarmingly, more that it had at takeoff, as though it were about to pull itself apart and fling it's myriad components out into the sky.

"Mad!" Clay hollered from the rear of the plane as he watched a great wind push a firey, boiling wall of clouds and smoke toward the comparitively tiny aircraft. "whatever you're doing hurry!"

Adric snarled as he reached deeper into the machine, and opened himself to swirling, maddening pulse that his being clung around like wet tissue paper around an explosion not unlike the one they had just fled.

Raw energy poured out through him and into the plane, the energy of change and possiblity, spontaneous birth and equally sponaneous destruction flowed into the fram of the machine. The two engines burst into orange and red flames wih a great <i>WHUMP!</i> and the fire and black smoke trailed out from them. The plane tipped forward, and began to fall out of the sky as the blast rushed toward them.

"MAD!" Clay called out again.

"SHUT UP!" Adric yelled back, his voice roiling and tumbling with the life and fury of the chaotic energies flowing through him. The plane's metal cried out with him, as the wings nearly tor off and bent back against the body on the now plummeting coffin-to-be.

Then the blast wave hit.

Adric screamed out a wordless, passionate cry that was echoed in a cacophany of tortured metal as the shape of the aircraft buckled and stretched. The wings widened and flattened out, jointed ribs forming between the now canvas-thin metal. The body's shape contorted as the center redistributed itself, elongating to half again it's original size. The cockpit and nose of the aircraft reformed itself into a triangular shape, with jagget spikes of metal forming two curling horns at either side. The pointed tip of the nose split into a beaked mouth, and another tortured-metal and combustion engine roar emitted from the gaping maw with a billowing clout of smoke and orange sparks.

The tail of the plane, too elongated and segmented, the metal across the whole chassis tearing and segmenting into jagged scales with a dull, burnt finish to them. Black smoke and flames poured from the entire exterior of the craft, leaving a sooty trail as it shot like a burning bullet from the boiling clouds pushed ever outward by the nuclear blast.

The smoke and fire from the change receeded until it only poured from the beaked mouth and the two engines, now huddled close to the metallic beasts's body under the now outstretched batlike wings and above short, but powerful legs not unlike a mountain cat's. The mythical creature crafted - or born - from a dead metal thing soared into the blue at an alarming speed and bugled it's tearing-metal cry as it looked about it's realm with it's single newborn cockpit-eye.


an hour and a half after this dramatic transformation, the newly birthed creature descened upon a low mountaintop near a sheltered valley, it's metal claws melthing the snow and gripping the frozen rock with steel talons. It folded it's segmented, batlike wings and leaned forward. with the drone of blast door moters, the creature's massive, heavily muscled breast opened like two swinging blast doors, and three humanoid figures and a mountain yak stepped out into the glare of a snow-bright nuclear sunset.

After it's passengers had disembarked, the huge metal creature let out aonther twisting-metal-and-engine roar and alighted into the swiftly darkening sky.

"I'm impressed, mad." Clay said as he looked over at his exhausted travelling companion after the buffeting wind from their transport's depature had settled. "What exacly did you do back there? i have to admit you had even me worried for a moment"

Adric leaned heavily on the ever stalwart Billy the yak and smiled tiredly. "I gave a new voice a very, very old song to sing."

Author:  Clay_Allison [ Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:55 pm ]
Post subject: 

Clay looked at the erstwhile plane he sighed as the girl, who had just started to get calm clutched at him, understandably terrified. Well, that was some benefit. He wished he could wonder what he had gotten himself into. But he couldn't because he knew. He knew what Adric was, he knew damned well. the only single factor that could deliver victory. Also he was pure, rarefied insanity.

Still, in his current form, in this place he could be a force for good. Without Mad, Clay would have to choose the East or the West, and the best he could hope for is a tie, and another confrontation, on another world. This had already escalated once too often. He should have had Walter Marten, so he called himself that time, on the last world. This time he had brought his own luck, and demons don't have friends.

He turned and started walking, leading the girl. He knew those explosions had not been the nuclear weapon, they had to be anti aircraft, they should have been well away from the bomb, unless the second bomb was off target. No, the man in white would have micromanaged that much. So, Nyar knew that he knew and guessed that he would make a beeline for the pretty girl with the faith to save the world, but he didn't know Clay had Adric. Nevermind. They were in Pashtun airspace now. Pashtun was a fortress, one of the few mountain kingdoms with an air force that could maintain air superiority against the empires.

The walked 6 miles into town, Clay had to insist that Kim ride Billy the Yak. Her slippers weren't even shoes, not worth a good goddamn. The ricks here were hard, broken and sheared to knife edges, a slip here wouldn't be a little blood, she could lose tendons.

They walked right to the palace, explained nothing to anyone. by the time they arrived they were surrounded by at least 60 men. A Captain came forward.

"What is your business here?" He demanded.

"I am here to see the King." Clay said simply.

"Infidel dog! How dare..." He stopped because the sword at his throat suddenly occupied his full attention.

"You need to think very carefully about what you are going to say. I am Clay Allison, King of the Eagle's Rest, Lord of the Hashishiyun and I beg the hospitality of your great king. The Empires have destroyed the land of enlightenment and I have brought their high priestess here to beg santuary for her. Do you have the authority to refuse my request?" Clay looked at that moment a portrait of violence and the entire company of soldiers backed up a step.

"I must not, but I am shamed and I must challenge you on a point of honor," he said stiffly.

"I am a king, you are a king's champion, you may fight mine. Adric, would you mind?"

Author:  madadric [ Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:51 am ]
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The captain looked adric up and down, and was uimpressed. He made a comical figure, wrapped from head to toe in thich furs. Underneath all the furs, the captain could tell the the stranger was shiverring from the cold. He noted unnatural red hair peeking out from his fur cap. The captain noticed that under the strangely coloured hair, were odd eyes, red iris' with yellow pupils. The man had no visible weapons, and did not have the build of a warrior. This weak warmlander did not look like a champion at all.

"Since i have made the challenge, your . . . <i>Champion</i> . . . has the right to chose the nature of the challenge." The captain's tone was stiff, his expression affronted.

Adric looked around the sixty or so guards that surrounded them, then to clay's expressionless face, then to the irritated captain. He stood a few inches shorter than adric, at about 5'7", and was well built without being overly muscled. He worea short sword on his left hip, and a pistol on his right.

Adric pulled the furs from around his mouth and grinned at the captain. "It takes skill, strength, and courage to be a good fighter, yes?" The man blinked, and then nodded as adric leant down and picked up a rock the sized of his palm from the ground. "It also takes something else that's less quantifiable, but can be just as influential, particularly when foes are evenly matched. Luck."

one of the other guards spoke out angrily at Adric's words; "What makes you think that you match our king's champion in anything, let alone skill or streng-" He stopped mid-sentance at a loud <i>CRACK!</i> that echoed around the square, and every guard stared at the dust and pebbles falling from adric's fist, held out in front of him. There wasn't a man or woman in the 60 soldiers that didn't suddenly have a very dry mouth.

"I propose a challenge of Luck." Adric said, and his voice was very low and dangerous, as though it dripped with a black acidic venom, and he opened his hand, allowing the remainder of the crushed rock to fall to the ground. Then, his voice lightened into a conversational, even warm tone. "Does your country use coins for currancy, captain?" The white-faced captain of the guard nodded, and pulled out a large coin and handed it to adric. On one side was the image of some mythical beast and lettering adric could not read, and on the other was the profile of a face.

Adric tossed the coin back to the man, who deftly caught it. "The rules are simple. first you will toss the coin in the air and i will call how it shall land. Then, we will reverse. If we are both wrong, it is a tie and we try again. If we are both right, it is a tie and we do it again. If one is right and the other is wrong, then we have a winner." The captain looked about to protest when adric interrupted again. "Or, if you prefer, we could climb to the top of your mountain, jump off, and see who learns to fly first. I've done it once already today, so i'm not too worried about the outcome." The man just scowled at adric for a few moments, first in shock, then in consternation as he saw the stranger was completely serious. Then he flipped the coin.

"Heads." Adric called.

The coin landed in the dirt, the head facing up. Adric leant down and picked it up. He tossed it in the air and the guard called out "Gryphon" The coin landed with the gryphon facing up.

This continued for an agonizing 20 minutes, the tension in the guards building each time adric missed the call, only for the captain to also get the call wrong. Soon, there werew murmurs and bets being passed around as to whom would win, and the wagers grew bigger with each round, until the men were calling out in excitement or dismay at every throw.

Aside from being a little bored, and irritated with having to wait out in the cold, Clay was impressed with how quickly mad had turned what would have been violence and bad feeling into a friendly coin toss, joking and laughing with the men who 20 minutes earlier would have happily skewered the both of them for insolent outlanders.

Kim, the girl, was still in shock from the events of the day, and very much in awe of her two captors come rescuers, and was only baffled and terrified by the red-haired one all the more, after seeing the terrible energies at his disposal and the way he seemingly effortlessly disarmed a volatile situation.

"This is terrible!" adric joked aftaer another tied round, where both he and Menan, the captain had miss-called the toss. "At this rate both you and i will still be here in fifty years' time, old men, tossing a tiny copper coin in the dirt, our backs," he hunched over, imitating the opsture of an old, decrepit man perfectly "curled up and hunched like a gorrillas, and shaggy beards like my close, personal friend, Billy the Yak!" The men all laughed openly and without reserve as adric stood up from collecting the now dusty coin again from the dirt.

"Menan, you are by far the luckiest, and most profoundly canny champion i have ever had the challenge of facing!" He paused, rolling the coin between his knuckles and went on a little more quietly, a good-natured seriousness in his voice. "Menan, i know it is despicably bad manners of me to do this halfway through a challenge, but how would you feel about an amendman to the rules, that we may be about our business, and perhaps after hours meet each other in the warmth of one of oyur local establishments, all expenses paid by the winner of our challenge, of course!" there was another round of laughter, and the now somewhat relaxed captain smiled, his earlier pique forgotten. "What are these new terms, warmlander Adric?"

"I propose that we have the honoured Holy lady my 'king' escorts to you honoured kingdom throw our coin, that it's landing can be called divine wisdom, to which we take in turns calling. The first man to call it's wisdom correctly is delared the winner, and his King entertains us at a place of your recommending." He leans in conspiratorily, his voice set to a stage whisper so that all those nearby could hear clearly. "after your shifts, of course!" Once the laughter had settled again, Menan agreed, and Kim Han Wu was coaxed to come to the center of the circle and take the coin. "please, my worthy adversary." adric said, bowing formally to Menan. The crowd held it's breath as Kim tossed the coin, and Menan called "Heads!"

The coin landed Gryphon up, and the crowd moan despairngly. Adric picked up the coin and handed it back to the girl. "my lady" She had trouble looking at his unsettling eyes, images of the terrifying metal dragon taking flight flashing through her mind. She feard the thing would give her nightmares for months.

She tossed it again, and adric called "Gryphon.", and the crowd again waited breathlessly.

The coin landed heads up. After the groaning subsided and Menan had reclaimed the coin for Kim Han Wu, she tossed it three more times, each time the challengers guessed wrong until it was once again Adric's turn. The crowd went still, and the girl again threw the coin high into the air. Adric didn't take his eyes of Menan as he called "Edge."

And the coin landed, bounced, and rolled, stopping on it's edge at Menan's feet.

Author:  Clay_Allison [ Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:54 pm ]
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Clay was gone halfway through the contest. He had a mental string and bell tied to Kim, he wouldn't be far away.

Over the sheer wall he scrambled, where nobody looked because nobody could climb it, and everyone was watching Mad anyway.

He slipped past sentries with sheer speed and silence. He simply slipped past as swiftly and silently as a the shadow of a bird. The men couldn't see in all directions and he betrayed nothing else to the senses.

Soon he stood in the sitting room of the King of Pashtun. The man's back was to him and he sat, seemingly in meditation, on a cushion on the floor. Clay stood for a long moment and finally pulled an apple out of his pocket, tossing it high into the air of the palace. It rolled and spun in midair, seemingly for a long time to Clay's senses, then it fell. The King took a moment to look at the dagger, sitting on the pillow a few feet in front of him.

Slowly and regally he rose. He took the apple from the pillow and turned. Clay bowed deeply and he returned the bow to the exact measure.

"You are courteous. O King." Clay said.

"I know not who you are, it may be that you are a King yourself. It would not be proper for a man of great honor to give offense to a man who may be a friendly king." The King smiled, clearly enjoying his little joke.

"It so happens that you are correct, I am the King of the Hashishiyun and I hope that you and I may be friends." Clay smiled.

"I would presume to question you, had you not made it past all of my guards without a whisper. If you are the master of the High Fortress then I bid you welcome. An apple?" The King smiled as he regarded it.

"I beg that you accept my gift in return for your hospitality. It is the most valuable thing I have to give." Clay gestured as if to indicate that the King should eat.

"Yes my new friend, it is a fine apple," He cut a piece and ate it slowly. "But, why is it so valuable?"

"It is an autumn apple of the city of enlightenment and there will never be another. a rare joy which your majesty should have one more time." Clay said simply.

"Never...?" The King looked lost.

"The city is no more, the temples destroyed, and the monks of the faith have died at the hands of the Empires." Clay expressed great sadness in his voice.

"Please, sir, tell me that you jest, I will forgive if only... no, you do not, I see. I only wished for a moment. Just days ago I dined with the High Priest, now..." The King absentmindedly bit the apple.

"His daughter lives, I rescued her at the last moment. She is under my protection." Clay said, interjecting the good news quickly.

"Then you have braved much to do a great thing. You are a guest in my home." The King surprised Clay, throwing his arms around him in the quick embrace of friendship. Clay returned it and stepped back.

"I apologize for my rudeness your majesty. I must find my friends." He bowed.

The King returned his bow and waved away his apology. In a moment, Clay was gone.

Author:  madadric [ Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:52 am ]
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"Ah, good!" Adric called as is travelling companion made his way through the simple tavern's front door. "Our benefactor has come to join us in a drink!" A dozen men in partial guard uniforms and varying degrees of drunkeness all cheerd and raised their glasses and mugs of alcohol. Adric had shed his many layers of furs and animal skins in the warmth of the inn and once again looked his scruffy, lithe usual self, with his wild red hair sticking in all directions, and short, patchy stubble.

"It seems, my friend, that we are destined to meet in bars! Anyone else would thing your were determined to hit on me!" he said in a quieter voice so he was only sharing their joke with the table, not the whole inn. A few of the men chuckled, but most were unfamiliar with the term. "Adric," Menan said, a merry glow to his cheeks, although he was still in full control of his mental faculties. "What is to 'hit on'? are you going to spar with the King of the Hashishiyun? 'tis a brave man indeed that would stand in the circle with such a one."

"No, Menan, to 'hit on' is to well, make advances to, i was joking that Clay had romantic intentions behind our meeting in these social environs." He smiled as comprehension and a new confusion dawned on the guard's face. "It was but a jest, Captain Menan, and a common one in my culture." "You have a strange culture indeed, warmlander."

"Indeed he does," Clay said with a note of displeasure in his deep voice. "What is this about me being a benefactor?" Adric's brow wrinkled for a moment in thought. "Oh! you must have slipped off before we made the agreement. The king of the winner of our challenge of luck is bound by honour to accomodate a quiet gathering of the keep's finest, for some relaxation, in the interest of bringing our cultures closer together. Besides," he gestured to where a few of the guards were bowing and talking reverently to kim, who answered in a quiet humble voice and ate from a bowl of vegetable stew, simple but good fare. "The girl was getting hungry."

As adric spoke Clay's face showed a slightly cross expression, and then became very flat and still, a sign of anger in the reserved man's face. "You think i have coin to throw around trivially?" he said in a quiet, controlled tone. Adric made a show of leaning closer to the man, and jovially wrapping an arm around the taller man's shoulders, but as he turned himself and clay away from the others, his expression also grew serious. "I don't know what you have, exactly. But that's beside the point. This is not a trivial exercise. Not only has it averted me spilling bad blood between us and this country, but it's a good way o get us remembered well amongst the guards. While being on good terms with the nation's ruler is important, a solid recognition and camraderie with his followers and soldiers is even moreso. We won't be fighting next to the men's king."

Clay was surprised to hear the wisdom in adric's words. Not because the words were a new concept to him, he'd done more than a lifetime in varying trenches on countless worlds, and knew the importance of having a solid rapport with the 'grunts'. his surprise was that these words came from Adric, an individual he'd always thought acted purely on instinct with little thought for long term plans or goals. It should go agains the crimson-haired man's very nature. "Adric, you have done nothing but surprise me since we got here." Adric grinned. "That's what i'm for Traveller. Surprises."

"Although it would have been nice if you'd informed me of your plans beforehand." Clay said, checking his finances ruefully. While he was a king in his own right, the amount of money he had with him was not limitless. "I would have," adric said as they turned back to the table of guards. "but i only just figured out that's what i was doing after the third drink."

As he sat down at the table between Menan and the high preist's daughter, adric was completely oblivious of the glare Clay directed at his back.

Author:  Clay_Allison [ Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:49 pm ]
Post subject: 

Clay looked at Kim and his mood lifted. Reaching into the bag at his hip, he fumbled through the diamonds he kept there. Finding one of the small ones he handed it to the inkeeper who simpered over to his table hoping for assurance of payment.

"That's enough to buy your tavern. Instead, keep the drinks flowing and lock out the evening crowd. Private party."

Clay didn't listen to the man's overtures of gratitude and whatever else. He just clapped him on the shoulder, said "Good man," and sent him on his way.

He treached into a pocket and handed Mad something. It was small and was made of a lustrous and expensive metal.

"This is a cellphone. Well, more properly an Quantum Particle Phone. You open it and push the button. There's only one. Hold it like so," he demonstrated. "Then, my voice will come out of the end closest to your ear, speak into the end closest to your mouth. If you hear it suddenly make a noise like wind chinmes in a gale force wind, pick it up and say 'hello' and listen for me to talk to you. I have one just like it and we can communicate anywhere in this universe with them."

Mad stared at him and finally nodded.

"I'll be staying with the King in the palace tonight, you stay here. Tomorrow, travel west and down into the warm lands. Spread the truth and start revolutions. Gather an army of zealots around you, there is an armory and ammo dump for bolt action rifles, ammo, grenades, mortars, revolvers, and Light Machine Guns. Here's the map to where it is. The stuff is 20 years old and in a jungle, but perfectly preserved. You'll also find outdated uniforms. Combine those with white face paint (also there) and striking from the deserts and Jungles of the warm west and you will appear to be an army of ghosts. It will terrify the crap out of loyalist soldiers."

Mad started to grin.

"I know you don't like guns, but there are officer's sabres there. Take a couple of those. In the morning, Kim and I will be going to the Mandarin Empire, taking over a radio station, and broadcasting the truth to the people of the east."

Author:  madadric [ Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:11 am ]
Post subject: 

A few hours after clay had entered the inn, he and the young girl left for the palace, and the Guards had retired to their barracks, Adric made his way to one of the inn's modest rooms at the back of the building.

The room was simple, but comfortable. The stone walls were softened by slightly threadbare tapestries with patterns and figures of previous monarchs. A handful of embers glowed in the firepit in the center of the room, illuminating it with a warm red glow. A low double bed nestled nearby, the covers looked soft, downy, and inviting.

Adric closed the door, and slid the simple, thick bolt home. He moved about the room, lightly touching a few various objects and knick-knacks. He went back to the fire pit, and threw a few small logs onto the embers. He watched new flames lick at the logs for a few minutes and then moved to sit on the edge of the bed, pulling a stone coin the size of his palm out of his pocket.

He rolled the large stone coin between his knuckles, then held it up. The symbol on the face of the coin shifted and blurred under his gaze, until he unfocused his eyes and stared through it, and it changed into a stylized image of a young woamn's softly smiling face. Adric smiled at the image on the large coin.

"Hey there," he said, a warmth and affection in his voice. The image shifted, and the young woman's somile brightened with the same affection. "It's been a hell of a day. hell of a long day..." He said wearily as he leaned forward and rested the medallion on his forehead and laughed softly at an unheard remark. "Yes, he did. I met another old friend today as well, although, as usual, he couldn't stick around for long. You knw how they can't stay on the ground."

He stood up and held out his hand, with the coin resting in his hand, and in a blink and a flare of the flames it was gone, and before him stood a naked woman of about 5 feet 8 inches. Her light purple skin was a deep lusterous red-pink in the firelight, and her blue-black hair gleamed. He stepped closer and looked deep into sapphire blue eyes.

"Yes," He said softly. "I'm very tired..."

"So very tired."

Author:  Clay_Allison [ Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:42 pm ]
Post subject: 

Clay slipped out of the darkness, of Kim's room at the Palace. She saw him and for a moment, she was terrified and didn't know why. She trusted Clay, she even liked him why...why was he moving like that? Then she saw the other shadow in the room and was far too frightened to scream.

The man was covered from head to foot in black, his face in a black shroud, in his hand was a dagger, the blade gleaming with poison in the moonlight. Shinobi she had heard these men called. At first she thought he was coming right for her but instead he made directly for Clay, attacking the greatest threat first.

What happened next was so fast that Kim's mind had to replay it in slow motion to make sense of it. Clay drew up into a basic fighting stance and as the Shinobi came forward, Clay's back foot shot forward so fast it seemed instant. One moment the Shinobi was in a crouch, prepared to spring forward with his knife. The next moment there was a loud crack and he was standing straight up, boot against his chin, head at an awkward angle.

For a moment the two seemed frozen in time, then Clay allowed his foot to return to the rest position. And just as suddenly as before lashed out with his front foot with a thrust kick that hit the man directly in the chest, sending the man flying out the window. It was twelve floors down to the bottom.

For a moment he stood there looking at her and then smiled, almost apologetically. Then he spun. In that instance she saw the second shadow. it had been coming up fast but Clay was fast in an entirely new froma of reference. Clay's left hand struck the man's right forearm, knocking the knife from his grasp and gripping the arm as his right hand struck the man with an open hand, palm heel just under the chin. There was another crack and continuing his motion he grabbed the man's right forearm with his right hand, joining his left and as spun the rest of the way around, bodily flinging him from the room throught the window into the night sky.

Finally, he came to her and sat on the bed. Taking her hand he spoke:

"Are you all right?"

She compsed herself. "I-I'm alright, did the fall kill them."

"No, definitely not." He smiled. "They were dead before they reached the window."

She shivered, "That's what I thought."

"Hold a moment dear, don't worry, you're safe for now." he said suddenly.

Clay walked from the room into the next.

"Were those yours, or did you pick a busy night?" He seemed to inquire of an empty room.

The man in the corner chuckled. He was easily missed in the chair in the corner, by any mortal man in any case. He was very thin, with gaunt features, and sat straight as an impaling pike. He was dressed in apallingly formal clothes and wore a small smile. He reminded Clay of a Grand Moff Tarkin character from a movie he'd seen on some world.

"Neither. I merely followed them to find you. I trusted you not to let those amateurs kill your precious new find." He smiled nastily.

"I've got no quarrel with you, Demon. You are not the one I seek to thwart." Clay said, grimly.

"Of course, nor would I interfere with your little tet-a-tet with the man in white. He was foolish to start this feud, I admit, but I am interested in your leaving the door open to the supernatural world. You really hate him so much you would open Pandora's box to get him?" The thin demon leaned forward.

"Of course I would. You know our conflict." Clay turned to look out the window.

"I don't see why, he only gave you what you wanted." The demon said quietly.

Clay spun, fury in his eyes burning with supernatural light. "LIAR!"

A dry chuckle was his answer. "Deep down, you wanted what he gave you. You would deny yourself to drink of that cup but you did not dislike the taste."

Clay looked like murder wearing a hat. "It was not fair, not to the girl. She wasn't ready."

"That was the little twist wasn't it, but it was consentual. You always like them a little young anyway. Oh don't spit on me. I know that meddling in your affairs of the *ahem* heart was foolish. I don't think even he knew how close you came to walking away." He spoke as if discussing a regional sporting event.

"It would have been worse for her had I not. That's why I did it. I'd have left, taken her away, told Nyar to shove it. The hostages would have haunted her though. Even now I have no guilt for her, she was a great companion, we had a fine life together." He turned back to the window.

The Demon looked shocked. "No guilt, then why..."

"Because he meddled, because Nyar assumed too much, because he tried to destroy me, thought he could make me lose my soul for altruism. Because he used people to get to me. What's mine is mine. He and his kind will learn that lesson and no one will use hostages on me, never again." Clay fumed.

When he turned, the demon was gone.

Author:  madadric [ Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:41 am ]
Post subject: 

Adric woke that morning as he usually did, with a frightened start as his eyes flew open and stared unseeing at the ceiling, and the sweat-drenched sheets tangled about his naked, scar-covered body.

He sat up in the low double bed, and hunched forward, and looked at his trembling hands through the strands of sweaty tangled hair that fell over his face. His top lip itched, and he wiped and scratched at it absently. It was then that he stopped dead still, and all of his attention fixed on the room around him, and it's dead silence.

The firepit was completely still, the fire having guttered out during his uneasy sleep. The room was softly illuminated by diffused morning sunlight pushing agains the thick curtains, giving everything a muted grey pre-dawn feel. His eyes scanned what little he could see of the room from his position, which mostly consisted of the far wall with the door on the right, a cabinet with a medium-sized mirror and a simple wooden chair . On th chair was a towl and an earthenware jug, since the simple tavern did not have running water.

Adric closed his eyes and gathered his thoughts for a moment, and then he slowly and stiffly moved to the edge of the bed and stood. as casually as he could manage, he moved to the chair next the the cabinet and splashed water from the jug onto his face. He then grabbed the towel, and patted his face dry, as he attempted to scan the room in the mirror.

Using th mirror, and pretending to inspect the patchy, laughable stubble that always plagued his face if he did not shave for more that 2 days in a row he managed to see most of the room, and found...nothing.

The room was completely empty besides himself and his effects messily scattered about the place, clothes either on the floor or draped over various pieces of furniture or knick-knacks. As his eyes adjusted to the gloom he noticed that the shadows in the corner near the curtained window remained impenetrable. After a short moment's hesitation, he lifted the pitcher, swiftly turned, and silently hurled the water at the darkened corner.

A shadow detatched itself before the water splashed over the curtain and the wall and puddled on the floor. The shadow stopped, and he was able to make out a figure in a grey cloak and grey cloth clothes underneath. The hood of the cloak cast deep shadows over the intruder's face, and one of their hands was hidden under the cloak, reaching for something.

"Interesting." Mad said, and smiled his crooked half-smile.

The figure stood perfectly still, and he noted how shadow seemed to just build up around it as it became harder to define the intruder against the room around.

"What is...interesting?" said the figure, and adric wasn't sure, but he thought it sounded rather high, like a young boy, or...

He sat on the wooden chair, and placed the now empty jug on the floor. "You're not wet, and i'm not dead. That's interesting, because i'm quite sure you're an assassin."

"Nod dead yet," the figure said, and although whatever effects were at work had obscured both it's shape and voice even more, he was sure the intruder was a woman. "And please refrain from using that word. It's a vulgar misprnounciation." A rather grumpy sounding woman. Adric sighed, and leant back in the hard wooden chair as he casually rested his forearm on the low cabinet next to him. Hidden from her view, scars swirled and reorganised themselves on his palm.

"What, then, should i call a woman that i find hiding in the corner of my room - my Locked room - early in the morning, dressed in grey and collecting shadows about her like they were floating strips of silk and gauze on the wind?!" at his last word, he flung his palm out, and a burst of hot wind and a flash of orange-red light flashed out.

The woman instinctively threw one hand up to protect her eyes from the bright flash, and reflexively threw a small stilletto dagger with the other hand. The wind blew back the hood of her cloak, and the gathering shadows were banished. She had wavy brown hair, trimmed short in a bob that tapered from the back of her neck to a rough point halfway up her skull. She had slightly almon-shaped eyes and pale brown skin that looked as though it should have been darker if she'd just go out into the sunlight. Her features were plain, neither pretty nor ugly, with cheekbones that could have been a little more prominent and a nose that could have been a little smaller. Serious brown eyes flashed angrily at the red-haired man across the room.

Adric did not notice any of this. He was too busy being distracted by the thin spike of metal sticking out of his upper arm as he fell back against the chair and then onto the floor. The woman cursed and rushed forward to put her hain against the small wound and withdraw the thin blade from his arm. He grimaced, and let out a short growl of pain as she pulled the stilletto free. "Fool man, what did you do that for?"

"Me?!" adric griped "You're the one that stabbed me!" He looked at the wound with a critical eye. It was small, but deep, going a fair way into the tricep. Dark blood seeped and oozed out, making his still sweaty skin even slicker under her soft grey leather gloves. He fended her off and pushed himself awkwardly to his feet. With much griping, he grabbed a sheet from the bed, and tightly wrapped the end around his arm until the blood slowed it's flow.

"Now," he said in a gruff tone as he turned back towards the woman in grey. "Since i'm still not dead, i'd like to ask what the fuck you're doing in my room."

"I will answer your question" the woman returnd an equally gruff reply, "As soon as you wrap that sheet around your indecency."

Adric looked down at himself, naked and smeared with blood, and laughed.


"Where to from here?" Adric asked as he and the woman who had only given her callsign, 'Stoat' stood at the end of a path that they had followed through a maountain pass, several valleys, and now down into what appeared to be softly rolling hills of dirt and sand, with spotted bush in some of the inclines. Off to the nsouth along the line of foothills he could see a haze that might be a forest.

"The king said i should take you to an abandoned armory in that jungle. Another two days' travel by horseback." Adric sighed and groaned as he clambered back into the docile mare's saddle and they started riding off to the south.

Two weeks ago in that inn room Stoat had told adric that Clay, the king of the Hashishiyun, had decided adric would need a guide and assistance on hisds task, and had sent this serious, sombre woman to fulfill that role. She had ridden them hard along secret and hidden paths and they had come quickly to this point and would soon be at the ammo dump, where adric would have to start recruiting some local talent and scaring the shit out of some soldiers.

He just wanted to get out of the fucking saddle.

Author:  Clay_Allison [ Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

Clay whistled happily as he made tea in the little copper kettle he had taken with him when he and Kim had disappeared into the mountains.

Kim felt safer here, among the high passes, wrapped in the soft furs of foxes and mountain ferrets. She suspected that Clay had killed them all himself, perhaps made the coats with his own hands. He used available resources with constant scrupulous efficiency. He hunted for food, gathered herbs to cook with. He even made good tea. Who ever heard of a barbarian who could make proper tea.

A connection struck her mind. He uses the resources at hand. Am I such a resource? She knew she was a political resource, a voice that could bring the guilt of the terrible act that had exiled her from her land upon those who had committed it. But was that where it ended? Almost certainly not. She had heard snatches of the talk he had had with the third intruder, the one different from the Shinobi sent to kill her. They had spoken in the other room, Clay and the intruder. But then they had not spoken, not in words. They spoke in understanding, in the words of the mind. Much of it was veiled to her, but she caught some things. One above all.

Clay required a companion, the other man demon? had made that clear. The concept in her mind was complicated: companion, friend, lover, someone to protect, someone to talk to, to make him feel...human? Yes. Clay was not human. What was he? Kami? One of the little gods that walked the earth and the heavens? In the tales of Kim's religion the gods could take forms like men or women, even took them for lovers but...who had ever seen one?

Clay also did not seem ephemeral, he was so solid, so REAL. Maybe more solid than the world around him. He made her seem more real. It was as if she had been translucent and he was making her solid, opaque, to stand out in sharp relief.

She had tried to say to herself that she did not want this tall strange barbarian man. Her religious training rejected the lie of it. Too long she had trained her spirit not to twist itself with lies. She could find no reason in herself to reject him. Though, strangely he did not make advances, not as such.

He spoke to her often, quietly, intelligently, and with a kindness that belied his dangerous nature. And yet, even in his most formal moments, she could feel his interest, his longing, his need. It was physical, spiritual, at once wanting her as a woman and needing her as a friend. Above all it was intense.

Kim Han Wu agonized for a moment, then meditated, seeking the source of her unease. It was indecision. She needed to know what he was. She needed to know what they could be together. There was no way she could be sure to find out, but there was only one way to try. She asked.

"Clay." She said. He stopped pouring the tea instantly. the little copper kettle motionless over the little copper mug. Kneeling on the other side of this tiny patch of green, sheltered from the bitter mountain wind by the slab of rock at her back (at his back was the sheer drop into an abyss that made Kim dizzy to look at) he looked up at her and smiled.

She wondered at his reaction, but realized that this was one of very few times she ever addressed him by his name, informally. Until now she had nearly always called him by some formality. She was glad she had not done so this time because it clearly made him unhappy when she did so.

"What are you?" She said simply.

"I suppose you mean that literally." he sighed. She nodded. "I don't remember where I was born, but I know I was born on a world that was destroyed. The forces of entropy took it, suddenly and completely. By suddenly I mean in the course of a hundred years, but for worlds, that is but an instant. I am the remnant of that place, I am the vessel of all of that world that was still to strong to die. For all that died is gone forever. I live on, to gather the seeds of dying worlds and plant them anew so that which is strong and good may live on to give greater life to new worlds."

She sat silently, her eyes looking into his, a thousand fractured images slipped and slid around her mind as she saw him preside over the deaths of civilizations and take the special few from the doomed places so they might give wisdom to the new life on newer, stronger worlds. He continued.

"I am the traveller and I seek to preserve what I can, to work for the balance, to always work to continue life, to forever maintain the balance of the forces so that all may not be lost in the courts of chaos. And so I continue on, untouched by time, and I live the lifetimes of uncountable men, ever working for my purpose." He smiled as he saw she understood.

"Then," she said, "I will be your companion." As she spoke the words, she knew they were true, they had always been true.

Author:  BandMan2K [ Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:52 pm ]
Post subject: 

In a quick flash, BandMan is swept through a dimensional bridge and thrown into another realm. When he regains his senses, he notices it to be very still. Nothing is moving or speaking. A chill runs up his spine as the absence of any sound or movement usually means trouble is around the corner. The snow creeps up his boots. It’s a light cold that thankfully isn’t exacerbated by pounding winds. All the same, he puts on his gloves, buttons up his jacket and makes his way towards something that seems unusual. As he gets closer, the sight of melted snow & permafrost is evident. He sees what might be something protruding from the quagmire and makes his way slowly. His heightened demonic senses have the taste of metal…a sure sign of radioactive fallout. He then focuses on the object and finds that it’s a human forearm, burnt beyond recognition & the gold band on the third finger is melted into the bone.

“Holy Hell. What have I walked into?”

He trains his eyes further out towards the epicenter of the fallout. All he sees is the rim of what appears to be multiple craters and the radiation pulsating outward is impressive. He looks around his surroundings. The doorway he entered through had disappeared, thus negating his option of getting back. The surrounding mountain ranges had the look of a porcupine’s rear end. There did seem to be a road heading easterly down the range and towards a plateau. There also appeared to be a railhead but no visible movement to suggest a locomotive. Thinking of payment for a train ride, Band reaches into his pants’ pocket and overlooked his handful of Universal Currency, a gift from LovelyAngel some time back. She had been bounding around one realm or another in her Mech and found that it was a pain in the ass to have currency for all the realms she visited, so her CO gave her a small chest full of gold coins. The coins were made of pure gold and were inbued so that anyone who saw it would see it as their local currency, no matter the realm you visited. Seeing he had 40 gold pieces, he pockets the money and looks back down the winding trail.

“Well…knowing those two I might be able to find them in a decent sized city, or at the very least get some info about what happened up here. I can only hope that they had nothing to do with it.”

With his decision made & a shot of scotch from his flask, Band proceeded to walk down the mountain trail in an east-southeasterly direction. The twists and turns were quickly upon him as he traversed the deteriorating trail. Two days later, he made his way to the plateau. The green grass tickled his thighs but he was on the alert, unsure what to expect in this region. An old growth forest loomed large to the North, keeping his attention for anything that might come bounding out quickly. Suddenly, he hears the distant wailing of a woman and the sounds of battle being carried on the wind. Picking up speed, Band breaks into a full run and heads more southerly along the plateau. Smoke rises into the air and the familiar sound of gunfire is heard. Children scream harshly at the top of their lungs trying desperately to revive a fallen parent. Fathers, husbands & brothers yell in agony as they are shot and killed. Those that weren’t killed immediately had to bear the sight of their mothers, wives & daughters being brutally raped in their sight. Band’s senses go into overdrive along with his building anger. Flexing his wrists, the pommels of his beam blades are released into his opened hands and immediately turned on. The blades of crackling jade slice the surrounding grass field around him as he trails his arms. He focuses on his nearest perpetrator, a brute of a man astride a vehicle akin to a Jeep. The mangled hair, pitted skin, gnarled teeth and half-torn clothing made him to look not unlike a barbarian. The sub-machine gun in his hands continued to go off without a hitch. The finger firmly planted on the trigger kept the gun launching one projectile after another towards a potential target, be it rock, wood, or flesh. The barrel itself was starting to turn crimson and orange from the prodigious amounts of heat exuded from the exploding gunpowder. In one smooth motion, Band leapt into the air, brought his right arm up towards his left side and in the process cleanly invaded the bone & sinews of the shooter. Blood started to gush forth from the right of his stomach to just above his left shoulder, inundating the Jeep & the driver with a deep crimson rain until the one whole split in twain, thus silencing the sub-machine gun & the sadistic laughter of the operator.

The air of astonishment from the driver & the victims was palpable as Band then proceeded to gouge, slice, disembowel, & tear into bits of flesh. A Blood Frenzy began to take hold as he could taste the blood of his enemies, emboldening him to push forward. One after another fell to his blades. When they fully ran out of power, he dropped the pommels on the ground and reached for his bayonet. The feeling of metal on skin was delicious and insatiable. One bullet after another would go into his trench coat but merely bounce off thanks to the armor he had put into it. However, even with that assistance he was taking one hit after another. A graze along his cheek, a bullet through his left palm and other pieces of shrapnel impinged upon him. He didn’t stop. He kept going and going. The scream from his throat was more gutteral and feral than anything the invaders were uttering. Finally he rid the town of the invaders but he needed more blood to be spilt. He turned and focused on a wounded man. Smelling his blood in the air, he moves up slowly and prepares to sink his blade into the man’s chest. He rose his hand and started to come down…

…until a young girl dropped on top of the man. She was screaming something at the top of her lungs but he couldn’t make heads or tails of what she was saying in her language. His hand stopped in mid-drop. Her clothes were torn and blood seeped from between her legs. She turned to Band and delved deep into his soul with her tear-filled eyes. The look of pain was prevalent throughout her body & mind but she wanted, nay needed to protect this man. As suddenly as it started, the Blood Fever drained away and Band took one step backwards, then two, then three. His right hand fell to his side, the blade still firmly gripped. Three feet to Band’s right, a member of the invaders was struggling to breathe his final breath. His mouth pursed and a familiar language issued forth.

“You…have made…an enemy. The Demon…will kill…you and..ugh!”

At that moment, Band had thrown the bayonet into the man’s eye, reaching through to his limbic system at the back of the brain and killed it, thus killing him. Taking a knee, Band went over his body for injuries. His pact with Uncle Pervy gave him a regenerative capability thanks to him not having used his alter ego in this confrontation. His body starts to heal itself slowly as he begins retrieving his weapons. The bayonet is pulled from the head of the dead man and after being cleaned on the man’s rags is re-sheathed. He then picks up his two pommels and reconnects them in his sleeves. Once done, he looks around and sees the others of the village keeping their distance from the stranger. All of them looked asian and thusly thought him as nothing more than another barbarian. On the wall of what appeared to be a municipal building, there was a map of the entire continent. A mark on it showed his location and the nearest railhead further south and east for a few more kilometers. Taking the map and folding it into his jacket, he proceeded to clean himself up in the lavatory. Once done, he took a pull from his flask of scotch & headed out of town, cigarette burning from his lips. The thought of The Demon and its possible connection to Clay & Mad would occupy his mind on the way to the train station.

After reaching the train station, he produced the map and motioned towards the biggest city on the east cost of the continent. With a nod from the ticket teller, he produced two of his gold coins and received his ticket. As the train pulled out of the station and headed towards the capital of the Eastern Empire, Band’s mind mulled over the battle in the village earlier in the day as well as what he’ll find out when he meets with either Clay or Mad.

Author:  Clay_Allison [ Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:07 pm ]
Post subject: 

Clay and the prophetess take over a major Mandarin Empire radio station. Clay kills all the personnel with a silenced .45 MAC 10 and they broadcast an accusation against the empire and a warning of divine retribution.

[spoiler]Whoever edited this as a joke should be handcuffed to a sewer grate and have their legs run over by a bus[/spoiler]

Author:  madadric [ Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:34 am ]
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The Hashishiyun woman looked over at her charge, the odd and irritating outlander whom her king had called "adric" and "Mad" (although she was unsure if the second was a name or plainly a description) as he swayed in his saddle, his head periodically drooping before it would snap up to a weary attention, before it would shortly begin to drop again to his chest. Her rigorous Hashishiyun training meant that, with meditation, she required little sleep and could go days or even weeks without needing to slip into slumber. While the outlander had lain down, and occasionally drifted into fitful dreams, she could not say she had ever seen him 'rest' in the two and a half weeks she'd been his guide.

Their travel had been delayed by a few days when they had come upon the trail of a platoon of Dravidian border patrol, and the outlander had insisted on following them and sabotaging or destroying them. She recalled his calm, almost zen peace as he wandered through the obliterated encampment, and the roaring flames from the truck competed in volume with the moans and screams of 20 dying men and boys. It was as though he wandered through an elegant palace garden, full of cultured beuty, not a battlefield full of fire and body parts.

Her attention turned back to the present, and her charge swaying in his saddle as the mare he rode plodded along the dry, low hills. "We shall camp in the next incline for the night" What infuriated her most about the man was his inconsistence. Some evenings he would stop his horse before the sun had fully set, and go about making camp, other times he would suggest making camp moments before she was about to announce it. On a few occasions, she had waited to see how long he would keep riding before suggesting camp if she said nothing, and she remember one early morning when he'd simply fallen out of his saddle from exhaustion because neither of them had suggested stop. After that incident, regardless of what he said or did, she did not discuss or wait for him to make camp and set their rests and stops with sharp discipline. "Right you are. . ." he said sleepily. Another thing that had surprised her was how he had freely allowed her to do so, even stopping his habit of stopping early some nights.

While she set about making camp and getting a simple cold dinner ready, the man brushed and watered the horses before setting them to graze on the tough, dry grass that was the staple foliage of the foothils in Dravinia.

The outlander sat down on his bedroll next to the Hashishiyun woman and she handed him a tin plate with some dry ration biscuits and an assortment of dried fruit and nuts, good energy to weight ratio, and compatible with her vegetarian diet.

The meal passed in silence, if she could consider her charge's irritatingly loud munching of his biscuits and trail mix to be silence. after wiping down the plates and repacking them in a saddlebag, she sat down to sharpen, check, and clean the various tools and weapons hidden about her person, and the outlander stretched out on his bedroll to look at the darkening sky. After a time, his breathing fell into a slow, shallow rythm.

After a while, he surprised her by talking. "So, why stoat?"

She blinked, but quickly hid her surprise by returning to sharpening the stiletto in her hand. "I beg your pardon?"

"Why do they call you Stoat?" He asked again, turning his head to look at her. The last of the false dusk put an orange highlight along his cheekbone and jawling, and caused his bizzare eyes to glimmer in a way she found most unnatural.

"It is my callsign for this mission." she said flatly. These were the ways of her people, plain as the sun rising and setting to her, but when she saw no comprehension in the red-haired outlander's expression, she sighed and continued, not really wanting him to continue staring at her with those horrible, oni-spawned eyes. "When one of the Hashishiyun leaves on assignment, they leave behind their life, and are considered dead until they return. All that Hashishiyun was, including their name is left behind. Success is rewarded with the return of your name in honur, failure is met with dishonourable death."

The man seemed to ponder her words for several minutes before he smiled and softly spoke. "Honour, but not necesarily life." She nodded somberly. "The mission is always of primary importance at all times"

"And what is your mission again, Stoat?" he said, and she noticed an oddness in his thoughtful expression she did not like.

"To get you safely to the ammunition dump. To assist you in any way i can in your task here, and to follow your orders." She said automatically in a measured tone, although her uneasiness was growing. "Clay actually told you to follow my orders?" he said almost incredulously, although that slight discrepancy in expression that had her on edge was still there, and her suspicions as to what it meant grew more worrying. She nodded warily.

"He either knows me better than i thought, or not at all" the outlander muttered with a wry expression on his face, before the oddly thoughtful look returned, before it grew sly and somewhat malicious.

"I don't usually give orders, codename stoat, but i'm going to make an exception this one time. Codename stoat, My task in your world is to one: destabilize the Dravinian govornment to help forestall a war of mutual and total destruction. two: find and help destroy an entity that helped arrange the circumstances for this war and the consequent obliteration. Three: Help Restablish a new world order based on the ideals and philosophies of the sole survivor of the nation whose destuction will prove the catalyst for this war. I also have other ideas of my own for this world, but those can wait for now. My point is, i'm going to be at this taks for a long time."

He looked at her again, and this time, she noted with dread it was the look of a cat that had just cornered a mouse. "Perhaps a lifetime, you could say." She could not yet say why, but a pit of dread had opened up in her stomach. "Wat is your point, Outlander?" she said warily.

"My point is this one order. Codename stoat, while performing your duties in my service, i order you to take every action within reason to live long, fulfilling life."

Confusion immediately crossed her face as she tried to discern exactly what the outlander meant by this foolsh order. Did he mean to protect her like some weak warmlander milksop female, like the veiled Dravinian slaves that were only good for breeding? One look at his face disprovd that theory, as he was grinning like he had just stumbled across the sourc of all humour.

"May i ask, what th meaning of this absurd oder is, Outlander?"

He chuckled, he actually chuckled aloud, and she found she did not like the soound at this particulr time. "Perhaps absurdity and contradiction are the only meanings in it, codname Stoat." She glowered silently at him, and he only laughed more. "Consider it an experiment. I've met a few like you in the past, all orders and honour and programing. I've always wanted to test how this programming handles contradiction. I'll be interested to see if you find a medium ground between thoughtless obedience and confusd free will."

After glring at her infuriating charge for a few moments she swore under her breath. "I think in hindsight i was wrong to have thrown that stiletto into your shoulder."


"I should have put it through your eye and into your brain."

He laughed softly again as she, infuriated, turned over on her bedroll. "Goodnight, Muz'So'Soth," he said, and she shot up out of her bedroll and turned to him with open shock on her face. "How do you even know that name?!" she hissed in a furious whisper, a shard of control and honour the only thing between her and the pleasant feel of a stiletto crunching through his eye socket and the out the back of his skull. He only smiled tiredly before turning away himself, all the mirth having seemed to have evaporated from him like a morning mist hit by the sun.

"Because of my nature, order tends to press in around me closer and harder than it would most. This means that despite what i am, patterns and consistencies occur with more regularity and preciceness than chance would otherwise allow." it was his turn to lay down on his bedroll facing away from the furious woman. "Consider it order's immune sustem trying to expunge a forigen body. There was no other name you could have had. Although your gender was a nice twist i'll have to congragulate my patron energies on. . ."

That night, there was only one thing the Hashishiyun woman Muz'So'Soth was sure of; that if her life was to be long, the only thing it would be full of would be frustration and irritation at this madman's side.

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