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Whata mad ride this is!
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This is a precursor for a character featuring in a larger work. All characters and work is my own, but please share if you wish. I am the author of these pieces.
The room was dark. A deep blackness that shrouded the stony room despite the best efforts of hundreds of candles, the darkness hung heavily on the edge of their aura.
Raffaello was never a devout man. He had lived his life selling junk in markets to nobles with more coin than sense. “Finest gold this side of Westlake. Gems that could make the very stars above jealous. Once worn by the legendary hero Tridonius, at the battle of a thousand pigs.”
But it meant nothing. He had earned plenty of gold to ensure his mother was secure and happy, as she could be, yet there was an emptiness. Deep within his chest there was a gnawing void. It screamed for filling but nothing offered an answer. Wine, women, fine dining, upper class society of the highest degree. None of it.
So he had come to a dilapidated chapel in the middle of the Barrows. It was taken over by a new religion, something the ‘higher ups’ of the city allowed. As long as it kept the people happy and didn’t cause any problems, they let faiths occupy the older buildings.
He held a small chain tightly, eyes fiercely closed and mind as blank as he could make it. The chapel was silent except for the small crackle of the candle wicks.
“Are you seeking peace or destiny my child?”
Soft clapping footsteps came from behind and stopped next to him. Raffaello kept his eyes shut tight, but his mind began to waver.
Peace? No, not peace. Peace is easy… Destiny?
There was a rustle, and a slight thud as the person, Raffaello assumed he was a priest but hadn’t seen him.
“I have been told that the ‘Chosen One’ will be found here and he shall be found with a heart and soul that longs for more in life.”
Raffaellos’ throat caught. He opened his eyes and looked at the man next to him, older than his voice, a simple brown robe that was very worn down. There was a small smile on his face, illuminated by the candlelight as he stared into the altar before the both of them.
“I knew it was you the moment you came in, you had the ‘aura’. Yes, I can feel the fates watching us as we speak.”
“I… I am found wanting. I have lived a good life, I have been successful in almost all of my endeavours, yet here I stand. Empty. What is it I need?”
They both stood, Rafaellos knees cracked as he rose, how long had he been knelt for?
“My child, you are the one we have been awaiting! You are the Paragon of the Paladins. You are the one to guide the light against the darkness that they rain down upon us!”
Raffaello felt a spark inside. It seemed to radiate a warmth from the hollow in his heart. Was this the answer? Was this why nothing ever seemed enough?
“But… No. No this is it isn’t it?”
Raffaello held his hands before him, they seemed to hold the candlelight, sparkling grains flowed through the air offering an ethereal quality. Suddenly, it twisted in his palm. A streak of dancing sparkles pooled in his hands and began to form the sign of the Paladin. A star shaped sun with a sword that hung straight down beneath it. It was faint, but all he needed to see.
“Come with me and I will explain everything you need to know…”
As Raffaello followed the priest, a bag of dust folded gently over where he had been kneeling. The priest returns back quickly and picks up the small bag and also burns a small letter that has several important signatures including one named A.Barnholdt…
There’s a certain danger from people so desperate for answers they’ll accept them from anywhere.
This work, characters and names are my own. Please feel free to share but keep me as the author. Hope you enjoy!
Harry Elsewhere – The End.
Harry was sat with his friends Ste, Mart and Dako, in the pub garden of his usual watering hole ‘The Pot and Stove’. It was a hot day and they were all complaining about having to work all week and missing several footie games. It was 11:56, and the day had just began. Harry had his standard Irish Ale, the others drank various renditions of lagers except Ste who decided that his favourite tipple was ‘Ma’s Best’. A bitter that left an aftertaste of marmite and feet as far as Harry was concerned.
“It’s shit. That store will work us all into the grahnd given arf a chance.”
Dako had a very distinct accent. They all did, but his was the ‘most’ distinct, as judged by the others in a secret poll taken by the others whilst he was off getting a round.
“It is shit, but at least it pays well”
Ste put forth, placing his glass down, a touch of foam sticking to his lip.
“Yeah for you, Bossman”
Dako responded grittily, lager made him grouchy but it was never serious.
Ste had recently been promoted to ‘supervisor’ which meant he had a slight say over what the others did. It would have caused issues, but Ste only focussed on the apprentices and generally left Harry, Mart and Dako to their jobs.
“Aint there an eclipse today?”
Mart spoke up, the others had nearly forgotten he was there. He never really came out and as such was quieter than the others and rarely spoke.
Harry checked his phone and social media confirmed the event.
“Yeah, bout 2 minutes away apparently.”
Several people passed by their table and milled around awkwardly. They wore what appeared to be robes, deep red with a light brown trim. As he looked around, he noticed that there was a considerable number of them…
“Right, *urp* yo round our ‘Arry.”
Harry snapped back from looking at the robed people.
“Yeah, I got it. You guys noticed the robed geezers?”
“Yeah… Ya never know yow’m a freak…”
Harry picked up the bunch of foamy glasses and brought them back into the bar, stooping in through the low doorway and waiting for his eyes to adjust to the contrasting darkness. He approached the bar and was greeted by the bartender, who was also in a robe.
“Hello my friend… What a great day this is!”
Harry was taken aback. “Grumpy” Mike was usually his namesake. There was never normally conversation, he would just grunt in your direction and serve what you asked for. Cocktails were particularly displeasing for him. This new persona threw Harry.
“Yeah… Same again please.”
Harry fetched his wallet out and “Grumpy” Mike held his hand up.
“Not this time, friend.”
“What? Are you sure? This isn’t a ‘tab’ thing is it?”
‘Grumpy’ Mike shook his head, and handed over the pints.
“It begins soon my friend. Be prepared!”
Harry frowned, what was soon? The eclipse? He headed back out to his friends and placed the glasses out. Each feverishly plucked up their glasses.
“So ‘Grumpy’ was acting a bit-“
The robed groups began to point and jump excitedly.
Harrys table all raised their drinks and looked through their drinks to see the eclipse.
“Ar there it goes”
The bright sun began to swallow a tiny circle, it slowly moved into the centre of the sun casting a shadow across the pub garden. The garden was filled with robed people that all chanted and sang, jumping and hugging each other. As the little black circle surrounded with the bright outer layer hung silently in the sky, two robed people jumped up onto Harrys table.
“What the f-“
Just then, part of the garden burst violently upwards, a small shining light rushed into the sky and hung still in the air. The ground began to rumble, softly at first, then quickly grew in strength and ferocity.
Harrys group struggled to maintain their balance as the ground rumbled violently. The robed members began falling around, one fell of the table and landed with an awful thud, crumpling into themselves. Ste had managed to take another sip whilst wobbling about, which both surprised Harry but he also kind of expected it.
An enormous bird-like creature whooshed through the sky, the air roaring as it went by. It stopped suddenly, spread its wings and hovered in the sky. It resembled something that Harry found familiar, an older civilization. Covered in patterns, colours of gold and green, blues and reds, it was striking in its beauty if it wasn’t so terrifying at the same time. The bird creature spoke at a deafening volume, Harry could swear that it was talking directly into his head.
“Mortals! The God of Sky and Lightening has returned! Your Judgement is upon you! Should you be Judged worthy of Our Blessing, You shall be Carried by My Wings to Our Paradise. Lest you be Cursed to remain on this plane Ruled By Our Brother.”
Out in the distance, Harry and his friends saw an enormous ragged skeleton rising high above the city of Birmingham. It’s tall body kept scaling higher and higher as it rose until it towered over the highest buildings, dwarfing the entire city as though it were a model and the skeletal being, its bizarrely clad owner. With a wave of its hand, a massive green light swept out across the city and passed quickly over the group. They felt no change in themselves, and instead threw worried glances at each other.
“I am C’Tha’NoTo, the God of Death. I have Risen Every Corpse in the World to Receive Judgement. Our Brother, Spir’Totho, the God of Sky and Lightening will Judge those Worthy. Those That Fail Shall Remain and This World Belongs To Me.”
Harry and his friends drank from their glasses in unison.
“I’m gonna need a few more of these, fellas. If he’s right, the in-laws are coming for tea…”
“They keep saying Our, like theirs a family. If that’s right, then where are the rest of them?”
Mart said worryingly. Dako stared at him.
“Had to go ruin the mood didn’t ya. We got us some ruddy great Aztic- modo- fuckin- patterned God thing sayin’ wim all gunna die and you think there’s more o’ them? Fuckin’ spot on meht, jus’ what I want.”
“Best go home and see who’s waitin’ for us then…”
Harry downed his pint, picked up his keys and nodded to his friends then left the pub, unaware of what he was walking towards…
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“I used to do tricks, nothing large, simple sleight of hand stuff, maybe the odd ‘pull your card out of someone elses coat’ things. Nothing major.”
Marlo lifts the tiny glass of water, rotates it slowly before him, eyeing the liquid almost suspiciously before placing it carefully back onto the steel table.
Officer Gregson watches, a slight sneer twitching his mouth but being reigned in by years of interrogation.
This “Magician” had been brought in as he was the main suspect in quite a phenomenal robbery. Somebody had managed to take several fully loaded armoured vehicles and vanish them in a singlr night. If the last signals were to be believed, they had all been taken at the same time.
“Then, well then ‘that’ happens doesn’t it.” His hands emphasize dramatically, used to being the showman Marlo knows how to hold attention where he wants it, and right now he wanted it away from from his face as he scanned the room.
“Once that had happened, well we all thought it was the end of the world didn’t we? Well that stopped and the rocks fell, just like everyone will tell you, I grabbed one. A meteor, directly from another planet. Everyone has one. Of course none of us knew what the… ‘Side effects’ would be.”
Gregson shifts, he had a piece of it too, but he rarely ever wore it. Some of them wore theirs all the time, sometimes resulting in a bizarre addiction.
“Look, we just need to know where you were and what your… ‘Ability’ is.”
Marlo smiles. His teeth are startlingly white, a pristine moustache adored the the top of his lip, framing his mouth like a fireplace.
“My ability, Officer, is the same as it has always been. Magic. The only difference now is that my Magic is a little more… Real.”
Marlo lifted his hands, the handcuffs slipped off as if made of liquid and he presented the Officers own keys, danglingly them tauntingly in front of him.
Officer Gregson snatched the keys back, slammed his hand down on the recorder and rose up, grabbing Marlo in the process. He pushed him backwards and slammed him into the wall behind.
“I dont know if you think you’re clever or you’re just a prick, but I will get to the bottom of this and all you’ve done so far is incriminate yourself further.”
“Relax Officer, it was just part of the show! Now 1…2…3…”
Marlo clicks his fingers and the interrogation room fills with applause.
Steve Gregson looks to his right, blinded by the lights of the stage and can just about make out the vague blank outlines of clapping hands, raucous laughter and cheering. He looks back to Marlo, quickly lets go and shakily stumbles backwards.
“Fantastic! Absolutely fantastic! Please give another hand for my volunteer, Steve ‘Officer’ Gregson!”
A stagehand comes quickly onto the stage and leads off a bleary eyed Steve leaving Marlo the Magnificent alone on stage.
The lights darken leaving just him illuminated.
He raises his arms and begins to wiggle his fingers, glaring out into the crowd, sparkling flashes reply as a smile cracks across his face.
“Sparkle my beauties… Show me your lights…”
The flashes increase from the crowd, a thick cloak lifts up behind him revealing a glittering blanket of diamonds that sparkles brighter and brighter until the lights flash off and plunge the whole theatre into darkness.
Holy fuck they’re going to kill me.
As I walked home, the images of what I had seen that day would not only be an influence on my search enquiries but also an assistance into my own growth as a person.
It had been a regular day at school, when we were given a project to complete.
The nasal voice of the teacher rang out across the classroom as he announced a very standard
‘Design a website and use images from the internet to apply to this blaaaah blaaah’
His voice droned on for a few more sentences but my attention had abandoned his monotonous speech and I clicked on the program we used to build these little ‘websites’ that were little more than badly written essays and pasted pictures.
So i began searching for the usual images I used to adorn this new website when my friend slid over, drifing across the dangerously fuzzy carpet for a room filled with computers, like the snake in the garden of eden. He came over literally just to corrupt my life from that day forward, but i still thank him for that.
“Dude. Check this out.”
He budged my chair over and grabbed the mouse. It whizzed across the screen to the little ‘settings’ option and clicked open a doorway to an as yet unexplored avenue in my life. Bear in mind, I’m 14, very, very naive and uneducated in the realms of sexuality, bar ‘wow she’s hot’.
With 2 clicks, the apple was offered but it was only by clicking ‘search’ did i truly bite into the flesh of this forbidden apple.
And my there was a lot of flesh.
In seconds, my screen was filled with various ladies, all somehow more undressed than the next, each revealing themselves in different poses and angles.
My eyes widened, both in awe and terror as this was on my screen, in a class full of about 30 other kids. And the snake bared his fangs.
The dread hit me almost as hard as the guy was pounding the girl in the 4th picture from the left.
‘It wasn’t m-‘
The teacher came over, clicked off the images deftly and spoke very quietly. He hovered just over my shoulder, the smell of sweat and coffee hung off him as he was not a healthy man.
In one fell swoop he removed my internet rights and also threatened to call my parents because of the incident.
So i walked home, doom lingering about me, but also a wild fascination as to what had been revealed to me. Nudity. For free. And in such vast quantities!
That night was filled with deleted search history, scrunched tissues and an awakening.
Sexy ladies. Naked sexy ladies. Naked Sexy ladies with boobs. Etc. Etc.
For the trouble I got in that day, it was well worth the development.
It was always fun trying to dodge round that filter that they had at school.
I still remember that confused looking hedgehog staring blankly at me in front of his wordart style computer. It never stopped anybody from finding porn at school though, those pure geniuses that kept finding websites that hadnt been blocked and just casually watching this stuff in the middle of I.T without losing their computer rights or any form of repercussion.
I never quite managed to figure out how they did it, but it sure brought the class together like you wouldn’t believe.
And this is the original source/ link/ posting of said prompt.
I think I already posted this but… Ahh wel, have it again.
Gunshots, loud stamping boots, more gunshots, screaming screaming SCREAMING.
Bax sat up breathing hard, he looked around, taking in his surroundings.
Trash, trash, slyline, trash.
The relief washed over, but brought with it a dehydrated sickness. He didnt need the display in his eye to tell him he needed a drink.
Standing up, Bax staggered over to a nearby wall and began to relieve himself as the tiny blinking word “water” flicked on and off at the bottom of his eye. The other warnings, such as MAINTENANCE, had now become virtually see through as they had been there for almost 20 years. As had the symbol for his Xtranol, but those were never going to go away so he had simply learned to “live” with it.
When he had finished, shook, and slipped back away and began to walk towards the end of the alley wondering what work he might find today, when something set his teeth on edge.
He rarely had this feeling, but a few years ago there had been an accident involving a lightning rod he had been working on and since then he occasionally got interference from subspace relay messages. It was entirely possible that the accident had turned him into some form of a relay antenna, but he didn’t like to think too much about what complications all of his augmentations could actually involve.
This one was more than the usual. Normally his head would fill with beeps and scritchy noises and it would go as quickly as it came. This one however, started with beeps and scritches, then prgoressively got stronger. A mans face began to accumalate in Bax’s vision, mostly in greyscale with minor shading. Then the voice came.
“To… All… Come… Co-ordinate… 717…492…717…send…help…any…help…treasure…rich…power…help…save…me…”
Baxs head filled with flashes, the numbers burned their way into his memory, embedding themselves painfully. The message cleared, but he could still see the mans image scarred onto his vision. He cleared his head by vomiting in the corner of the alley and headed out to find the merc board for the day, not thinking about the message.
Hours passed, the sun rotated around the planet as he worked, finding some heavy mechanic work on a freighter convoy. Bax was humanoid, meaning traders trusted him, and even without his augments kicking in fully he was still vastly stronger than the majority of species that worked on the labour line.
“Right fellas! That’s all i can keep you for today, come grab a beer and clear off until tomorrow. First come first served remember?”
The employer was a Hithergo, an outsider race, large and moderately passive, but capable of a lot of damage if provoked. Someone once told Bax that they’d seen pictures of a creature called a ‘whale’ and that was what most Hithergo’s looked like. But Bax found it strange to imagine something content living in water its entire life and never making any money.
The lights flickered, everyone suddenly silenced, static rising in the air. The beeps came again, heavier this time as Bax grabbed his head. Everyone around turned to look at nearby screens and projectors as a human male began to speak.
“Calling…distress… 717… 492… 717… Treasure… Masses of treasure… Help… Massive… Station… Undiscovered… Richer than you could ever dream… 717… 492… 717… Help”
Bax was on his knees, clutching his head. He squeezed and thumbed, prodded and poked, desperately trying to find some way to disable the message and its devestating volume inside his head. He blinked, his vision flashing, shocks, he thought and grabbed the nearby spark tool. With a deep breath he pressed the button on the tool and smacked himself in the brow with it.
His vision flashed once again as the tool connected with him, then it turned red, WARNING printed across the whole of his sight and he hit the ground hard as his eyes became dark.
Except for WARNING.
Hey all, check out the first time I got published on the front page of a magazine!
Now its just getting started but I know a lot of you guys are fantastic writers and I know theyre accepting submissions so, let’s see if we can get a good community going here yeah?
All for all!
Part 3: A Small Cloud Of Ash.
This had been an easy job. Way easier than anybody had expected. All they had to do was collect a small amount of supplies from one of the further outposts and bring it back to the headquarters. The problem with that, and why it was such a highly rewarded contract, was the location. The planet Exviosk 2, a decent sized biomap with an effective weatherzone system, was located dangerously close to TexanWests Corporeal SodaFloats system.
TexanWests was a vicious business, ruthless in the boardroom and also in battle. They had an all out war approach to other companies and were not afraid to engage in hostilities with anyone that was found nearby. Often it wasn’t worth the risk to bother going near the system as TexanWests would throw seemingly endless troops and ships at your base until you retreated. One time it had almost caused the collapse of both TexanWests and Grenco Cleaning Corps. Sadly the latter never recovered and their system was divided up amongst the highest bidders and the business was sent into liquidation by The Administrators.
Mag oversaw the last of the crates being loaded onto The Zephyr, puffing out purple clouds from his Vaze. He ran his hand up through the bristle on his cheek, visualizing the credit he would get for this mission alone.
“Twenty Thousand, with crew entitlement bonus…”
He had participated in competitions that had offerred less for prize money. This had gone without a sitch as well! A simple stop, load and go, just like the old days when he was a fresh captain. Or at least, new-er as it had only been about a year or two and some captains flew for about 30 years. The sun had begun to set now, Mag leant on a crate, still puffing out purple clouds and took the sight in. The Zephyr, on his right, stood tall at about 50 feet above him, quite broad from this angle. Behind it was a larger cliff that struck up into the sky, several Pterabirds screeched as they drifted on air currents, their silhouettes pinned to the sky. The whole scene reminded him of something coloured from an old cartoon, but he couldn’t remember which one.
A sparkle appeared in the sky, the stars must be working their way through the last of the sunlight, when it rushed down from the sky and eradicated one of the boxes near the ship.
Mag frowned, then he became aware of warning lights from his armpiece.
Several more stars shot down from the sky, hitting boxes and blowing up on the ground nearby.
“Everyone, get on the ship!”
Mag bolted from his crate, which quickly erupted into splinters behind him, the workers had begun to panic and dashed from place to place, desperately looking for somewhere to cover from the raining blasts. Mag made it to the ships doors, the blasts were coming faster and faster now, he would have to raise the ships shields soon.
“Come on! Get yourself to safety!”
One man left, surrounded by raining blasts, the ground was violently throwing itself up around him but he showed no signs of moving.
Mag was getting desperate now, scanned the perimeter. The man was an equal distance from the ship to the facilities doorway and quickly, both of those options were closing down. He took a deep breath, burst out of the hangar doorway, hoping against hope that either his P.S (personal shield) was strong enough to take a direct hit or that he was lucky enough to dodge the shots. The ground thudded and flung itself up at him, causing sparks and shimmers across his shield. It was quickly becoming a dirt maelstrom, the bullets and beams churning their way through the ground, Mag lost sight of the man, his vision a mixture of dirt and sparking jolts. There was an explosion.
Mag felt his shield dissapate as he was launched up into the air. The roar of rocks, bullets and the Zephyrs engines was deafening. He pushed into the metal platform, lifting his head to see where he had landed.
Markings. ‘Bay 106’
He rose up and rushed forwards, bay 106 was quite elevated to the ground, whatever the explosion was must have had some form of anti gravity core.
“Zephyr, this is Mag, anybody read me?”
The familliar voice of his second in command and also occasional night companion replied.
“Sir!? Where are you? We thought you’d come aboard?”
“Uhh… No. I spotted something wrong, tried to fix it but instead got myself caught in a storage bay.”
The voice sighed. It was feminine today, like it usually was, but Uthma was a Cylesian. A genderless race that focussed mainly on a breeding partners smell or ‘pheromones’. If they took an interest, they adapted entirely. This was possibly only once they had discovered galactic travel, but nobody knew for certain.
“You’re gonna have to fend for yourself for a bit”
“Fend for myself? What dyu mean fend for my -shit!”
WesternTexans had landed and had obviously stripped through the area hunting for people. Several were now firing at Mag as he attempted to communicate with his crew.
Mag dove behind cover, drew his standard issue pistol, small, comfortable and fitted with the latest in eco-bull, the never ending bullets. Except the handle felt slightly uncomfortable in his hand.
Still, he adjusted it, checked his wristpiece. The screen still read comms but with two twists it read combat and showed his info.
The last one confused him.
“Where’s the bullet c-”
Loud, violent bangs clattered just around him. Clearly he had taken so long to prepare for fighting they had started without him. He readied, popped out and fired several rounds towards the enemies, but none connected, instead he nailed the same wall 3 times and a guard rail. A second later they appeared again and railed hard into his cover, a small metal box.
“Shit… Ahh shit…”
Why did you go back for that guy? Look at this. What am i going to do with this?
“Ok! Ok I give! Stop shooting now!”
He heard heavy boots making quick movements and slowly rose to his feet, hands behind his head.
Knew it was too easy.
Mag stood face to face with the unit, all dressed in black, circular helmets covering their faces and each one was adorned with a little stereotypical half moon symbol.
“No, you fight.”
The burliest member flicked his hand down, springing out a club from somewhere up his sleeve.
Mag still had his pistol in hand and flicked it down reactively, but somehow it caught the guys club as he swung. Mag looked down at his pistol. It had begun something else entirely! Instead of his gun, it was now a vibrating, rapidly spinning chain of circles that lead from his hand, straight out at an angle and held the club off easily.
“What bullshit is this?”
Mag pushed through the big guy, swinging his new sword/chain as he went. Everything the sword touched evaporated into a cloud of ash as it went, including the clubs of those around him, so Mag ran, the bullets hailed around him, his shield soaked them up but he managed to run to the halls and began calling the ship again.
“Uthma! Hello, anybody!?”
Radio silence. They must still be fighting the raiders from earlier.
“Captain? Do you read me?”
“Yes Bazor! I read you! I need pick up!”
“Hang on. I have an idea. Can you reach the shipping bay? Im going to hack one of their drones for you.”
Mag was running in circles now, dodging and ducking where he could.
“Im already there! Please, whatever it is you’re gonna do, do it fast!”
Bazor tapped excitedly.
“Ok… Reroute… No not… Change that to 3… I’m in!”
“Yes! Im at hangar *gnn*
Mags shield broke, a bullet passes through his side.