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26 Re: My fiction. Readers beware. on Mon 07 Sep 2009, 23:36

Morbid Spawn

One of The Ten Thousand
Very Nice Writing, Brother Remiel.
Keep it up. The Guy

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27 Re: My fiction. Readers beware. on Mon 14 Sep 2009, 13:09


I tried to fix the spacing but I'm on a time limit here. You'll just have to put up with it.

Chapter 4
Crushing defeat... There was no room for pride or ego here, just misery and pain. What wasn’t in pain was completely numb, I just laid there in the dirt and rocks, cursing my weakness... Contemplating the humiliating defeat. ‘I was so close... I had him under my blade... I should have just ended it when I had the chance...’ All my swords were taken from me, and were now moving away from me at an uncatchable pace... My pride taken with them. Some of the pain started to leave me, and the numbness was receding as well. My left hand was clenched in a fist, but my right hand had something in it’s grip, I looked... shining sword, glowing with my pendant, healing the wounds. “Damn cursed weapon! Why do you haunt me when so many others deserve it!?” I let anger flourish and threw the sword into some brush. I then looked furiously at my pendant and tried to remove it. Stuck. The chain went up no further than my chin, just as always. The sword would undoubtedly find it’s way back into my possession. I couldn’t be rid of it. What some would consider a blessing I saw as a curse. The light was there, and it was magnificent, but it was only a distraction to disguise what could very well be death.
I started to walk away without taking a second look at the patch of weeds where I threw the sword. It would find me if I needed it, right now I just had to blow off some steam before I could fully accept this curse for what it was. On my whole trip back to those dim lights, I was completely lost in thought. I established that I had indeed been beaten, and survived. The only blade I had now was this sword with a name deemed by the people who either feared it or praised it, the ‘Shining Sword’. Now that I thought about it... I recalled a past conversation from one of my victims, ‘You know what I mean! That’s the sword people see glowing when you roll your eyes in the back of your head!’ The sword did glow. And so did my eyes... pure white, making it look as if they were rolled back in my head. I suppose the name was fitting.
By the time I reached the ruined city the sun had risen and began it’s ominous trip through the sky. The landscape was illuminated, but it seemed rather hot today... I thought it better to take an alley path and head back to my dark corner, it always seemed cooler there. I closed in on my claimed domain, but as I drew nearer I could see a person... just sitting there... maybe they had noticed the chill of this area as well. I was in no mood for company though, they would have to leave. I tried to push aside the anger I was still carrying from that wreck of a mission and reached back to draw my sword... not there. ‘Hmph, I must not need it then.’ I went in unarmed. Nothing but my clawed gauntlets and a swordsman’s wit.

When I reached the outer rim of my domain I could see that this person, unlike me, was armed. A shotgun in his lap, a large blade on his back, and a satchel bag with who knows what in it hanging from his shoulder. A bit of my confidence faded when I saw that gun, but this person looked as if they were preparing to walk through fire, there was nervous fear here, as well as despair. I sized up the situation and walked forward, making my steps a little louder so I could catch his attention without startling him. He did panic a bit when he realized he wasn’t alone, but when I saw his face it was me who jumped. It was just a kid, couldn’t be older than seventeen, might even pass for fifteen. I made sure to stay calm when I asked, “Can I help you?” He stood up and tightened his grip on the shotgun, he was trembling a bit, but he was no coward. He wanted something, and he was determined to get it. “They told me I’d find you here.” He didn’t answer my question, I hate it when people do that. “I’ll ask again, is there something you want?” He looked toward the ground and said solemnly, “My brother is dead...” That could have meant two things, and I hoped it was the better one... “I see, but... what is it you want from me?” He looked back up and drilled me with a stare, I could tell by the look in his eyes that my wish for a good outcome was hopeless, he obviously wasn’t here to hire me.
He pulled a revolver out of his side satchel and showed it to me. “This was his, you sold it after you stabbed my brother through the heart.” I recognized the gun of course, but I never knew the idiot had family. Any sorrow I felt for this kid disappeared once I knew that he was related to the fool who tried to kill me through deceit. I shot him a cold stare, “Actually, I missed his heart.” I took one step forward and the kid jumped back and pointed the gun at me. I gave him a stupid look, “That gun failed to kill me once before, what makes you think it will do better in your hands?” I took another step forward and he pointed the shotgun at me instead. This kid wasn’t very bright. “Tsk, tsk, didn’t your mother ever tell you it’s not polite to point?” I picked up an iron bar and smacked the gun out of his hand, it discharged when it hit the pavement causing a loud echoing boom to course through the alleyways.
He fired the revolver at me and reached for his blade, but the round ricocheted off of my shoulder plate and I gave him a crack in the head with the pipe before he could get his sword. He fell to the ground holding his head as blood ran down his face. I reached down and removed the belt from his chest and took the large blade for myself. ‘Just what I needed.’ He managed to get his eyes back open and tried to swipe up the shotgun. As soon as his hand came in contact with it I stomped on it and pinned him and the gun to the ground. He looked up at me with an inferno in his eyes and anger in his heart. These things were useless if your mind was clouded by revenge. “Do you really think killing me will help you cope with your loss?” He was blinded by rage and once again didn’t answer my question, “You bastard! You killed my brother! He was all I had! I swear I’ll make you pay! Let me go!” I managed to handle the greatsword with one arm and brought the point to rest on his ribcage. “You’re in no position to be demanding anything from me boy.” He started to cry a bit and repeated himself, “You murderous bastard... he was all I had...” “So you would risk your own life to avenge your brother? Even seeing that it’s all you have left, you foolishly gambled it before the cards were even dealt. Completely unprepared. Tell me boy.... Have you ever killed before?” He looked up at me and back down again, “My brother was my hero.” He was still doing it, I started to dig the blade into his chest, “Answer me...” He teared up and cried, “No! The most I’ve ever done was broken someone’s leg and ran away!” “So you have no experience and yet you come to face a killer. Perhaps you should have thought this out more thoroughly.”
I pulled the blade out of him and brought the tip to rest in another area of his chest. He watched blood trickle from the wound I had created, all the strength he had brought with him was now gone and replaced by a solemn wanting. I could see it in his eyes, ‘Please don’t kill me...’ The time had come to test him. I removed the blade from it’s lethal position and dropped it in his lap, then took his revolver and shotgun and threw them into one of the abandoned buildings. He looked up at me confused when I started to walk away, but he quickly learned what was happening when I turned around five yards away and said, “Take up your sword.” He grabbed it and stood up, quietly shaking in the shadow of alley walls. “Now is your chance to avenge your brother and earn your keep as a warrior. Defeat me, and you will accomplish something that hundreds have tried at and failed.” I reached to draw my sword, but oddly it had still not returned. Just because I wanted it didn’t necessarily mean I needed it. At least I could use some of this junk that I had accumulated in my alley to fight him. He stared blankly... I had to snap him out of his trance, “So attack me, if you will.” He stared at me still, his brother had annoying mood swings but this kid seemed lost and confused. “Remember your rage boy, I killed that fool you called your brother. Murdered in cold blood.” He focused a bit more, I could see his face tense up. “I barely had to move, just stabbed him once after he tried to rob me.” He snapped, “Rob you!? Never! He was an honest businessman! He only carried a gun for defense! My brother was a great man!” He went off and clenched his hands around the sword handle, he was ready to fight, he just needed a little more provoking. “You brother was an idiot, and a thief. He died because he made a dumb move and took me for a fool.” I pushed him to the tipping point, he yelled with rage and charged at me with the sword locked in his grip.
The first attack was aimed at my torso, and it was quite a powerful swing, I barely jumped back fast enough. I expected him to go off balance from the force of the miss, but when I tried to grab a weapon I realized he hadn’t given me an opening, he quickly spun, brought the sword over his head, and tried to cleave me in half. I jumped and rolled and heard steel bounce off of concrete, seems I underestimated this kid a bit. He recovered quickly and charged at me again, he had strength and stamina I couldn’t see before... I checked for my sword again but still the scabbard was empty. I dashed at him and grabbed his arm, preventing the swing, then started digging my claws into his flesh. Even from this, he refused to let go of his sword when I pulled on it, he kicked me in the stomach and sent me into the wall just behind. My ears rang when my head rammed into the bricks, but I forced my eyes open to witness the kid attempting to thrust with that huge blade. The attack was slow enough to dodge, I spun off the wall and ducked. When his attack came in contact with the wall he created a giant hole in the building’s foundation. I knew the walls were weak, but that nearly brought down the entire thing.
He picked himself up and stared at me full of vengeance. “Stop testing me! I’m no child, show me the sword that killed my brother!” That’s funny. He thinks I used a sword... I decided to just tell him the truth of his pitiful sibling. “I didn’t even have to draw a blade to kill that waste of oxygen.” I slid the shining sword’s empty scabbard back to my side where it belonged. “I killed him with this.” That pissed him off. He yelled again and swung at my side but he was now blinded with rage and I had the advantage. He missed me and once again came in contact with the brick wall, causing another gaping hole to form. I heard smaller pieces of rubble run down the wall and bounce on the ground... this wall was ready to go down, and I needed to get out of the way. I found that iron bar I was using and ran to it. Upon further inspection, it was almost the same weight as that kid’s sword, but it had an unknown balance point. I could probably duel him with it if I held it in the center. I turned and prepared for the fight but he had taken a defensive stance. “What the hell is that thing? Why won’t you draw your sword?” He was getting suspicious... I could use this to an advantage as well, “I didn’t need a sword for your brother, I won’t be needing one for you. Give me a reason to need it and you might die by the blade as a swordsman should.” He wasn’t very observant, I didn’t have a single blade on me. I had to wonder though just how long I could keep lying to protect myself.
What I had said about the pipe didn’t seem to faze him, “You mercenaries sicken me. You kill people for money, you take the lives of hundreds just to preserve your own. How can you continue with all that blood on your hands?” He wanted to talk. Or maybe he just wanted to preach and point out my flaws. I responded, “It’s natural order. We do what we can to preserve ourselves, as for me... I kill. You came here for a reason right? To kill. The number doesn’t matter, if you’ve taken someone’s life, you’re a murderer.” Once again he didn’t snap... seemed he developed a cool head somewhere amidst the chaos. “If it’s to protect my brother’s honor, so be it. I’ll be a murderer.” I felt a bit of respect for the little wretch after that. He had a point, but it was one that held no meaning to me. A killer is a killer, no matter what they do to try and redeem themselves or give reason to their violent action.
He charged boldly, and swung diagonally at my shoulder. I blocked it with the pipe and jabbed him in the stomach. He cringed back and quickly blocked a swing to his head. We exchanged blows for a while until we both began to wear down. ‘If I just had a sword this would be over already.’ With a burst of strength, the kid jumped into the air and swung directly down at me, I didn’t have enough time to move so I tried to block it with the pipe, but it was bent by the force of the swing. I now had only my claws to work with. The kid smiled, “Now what are you going to do? You don’t have any swords do you? I’ll kill you anyway, you don’t deserve an honorable death.” I wasn’t about to lose dominance, “Your getting awfully full of yourself. How about letting your sword do the talking for a bit?” He got mad again, he had reverted back to his old self. He tried to swing at my side but I jumped back, I was now against the wall. ‘Not a good position...’ He took another powerful swing at my side, I had only one option where I stood. I jumped and grabbed onto a fire escape ladder, his swing sailed beneath me and hit the crumbling wall. I lost my grip and fell to the ground, the wall had finally given up.

The boy looked up at the stone debris now falling toward us. A terrified look took his face and he cowered beneath his sword. I saw the foundation give way and the wall start to fall, there was nothing I could do... I panicked. My thoughts fought with each other, each trying to catch my interest, but none of them made any sense. I stopped thinking and just let my unconscious mind function. Through my closed eyes I saw a bright flash of light. My arm swung over my head, whatever was now in it’s grasp came in contact with something above me and forced it’s way through it. When the noise of the destruction faded, I forced my eyes open. The thing I was holding was the shining sword, and around me was a massive mess of bricks. The point of the boy’s greatsword protruded from the rubble. I took a long look at the shining sword. Eventually I came to the conclusion that it had saved my life. I carefully placed it in it’s sheath and walked over to the pile of debris where the greatsword was showing.
When I pulled it out, the bricks avalanched and revealed the boy’s head. He looked at me solemnly. “It hurts so much... you win... just kill me, I want to see my brother.” I grasped his sword by the handle, “Very well, you can go be with your brother...” I violently forced it past the bricks and through his heart, “ Hell.” I buried him again in the rubble. He had fought well, but considering what I lost an hour ago it would have been much different if I had my own sword. I made a place for the greatsword in the scabbard on my back, and started to search for a new place to rest. I needed to find a new residence thanks to that confused adolescent. The sun beat down on my black armor in the light and heated it until it made most of my upper body sweat. Luckily there were clouds moving in, they would at least protect me from direct heat. ‘None of these places are any good. I’ve almost run out of places to check.’ I drew nearer to the edge of the city where the clouds had reached.
I was about to give up when something in the distance caught my attention. Someone was walking out there in the open, dragging a crate on a shoddily made cart. Upon closer inspection I realized I had met this person before. He was wearing a white suit jacket, torn in the back, blood stains running down it’s length. ‘Charlie... What are you up to?’

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28 Re: My fiction. Readers beware. on Mon 14 Sep 2009, 13:13


HA! I don't need to fix (or try to fix) the spacing this time!

Chapter 5

I followed Charlie for what seemed like hours; he was limping from the injuries I had inflicted and the chore of dragging that cart made his advancement slow. I had nothing better to do though, and curiosity fueled me. I probably could have walked up right behind him. Whatever he was planning, his focus was placed on solely that.

It was dark before he finally came to rest about a quarter mile away from an old business complex. Like every other remnant it was in terrible shape and had the hideous colors of decay stretched across it, but despite this, the inside was full of people and activity. One thing behind the building caught my interest; after I saw it I knew exactly what Charlie was up to. A steam engine... this was Gerald’s place.

By the time I was done looking around Charlie had set up sandbags. There were fully automatic guns mounted on top of them and tubes on stands behind them. ‘What could those do?’ His cart was full of weaponry and armaments, he was going to assault Gerald’s base. After he had fully outfitted himself with guns, ammunition, and armor they called ‘bullet proof’, he shoved bombs into the tubes and took hold of one of his automatics.

With the flip of a switch the bombs blasted out of their tubes and sailed into the air, I thought they would miss at first but they turned sharply downward and caused thunderous explosions on top of, inside of, and all around the base. Everything had turned into a scramble. I could see the people inside running around frantically trying to figure out what had happened.

Huge pillars of light were cast from spotlights as they tried to find what had attacked them, but they were individually shot out by Charlie’s automatic. Armed guards flooded out of the building and took aim at anything that looked suspicious. This caused me to make sure my own hiding place was sufficient.

One more spotlight flashed on and located Charlie’s encampment; it was pointless now, he had dropped their pitiful rabble with one sweep of his gun. He took this opening to fill his launchers with bombs again; this one man was going to obliterate an entire drug ring by himself. One he had previously endorsed for his own gain.

After his bombs had fired and brought any remaining spotlights down, he checked over his personal equipment and sprinted toward what was left of their base.

I drew the shining sword and followed after him at a slower pace. I didn’t want to get caught up in this war, but the sheer power of it held me here; I had to see how it would turn out.

He burst through the door and opened fire with two automatic rifles. He didn’t look like he was aiming, but with a spray of lead like that he probably didn’t have to. After checking the corners and windows he continued to the next room. He kicked the door down and tossed a flash grenade into the middle of the room. I watched carefully from the entrance as he easily killed each guard one at a time while they blindly fired at an unknown enemy, stupidly killing their own soldiers.

After clearing this room successfully, he spied into the lobby through a large hole in the wall his mortars had made. Everyone in here was either dead or too injured to fight back. He walked slowly through the room, conserving his remaining energy while putting a 9mm round in anyone who showed any sign of life. He looked like he knew exactly where to go from here.

He headed through the lobby toward a set of large double doors. They were splintered with shrapnel and charred by fire but whatever was behind them had to be confirmed dead. It had to be Gerald’s office. I walked quietly through the lobby, sticking to the shadowed rubble and silencing anyone who dared give an inconsiderate grunt. I still didn’t want Charlie to know I was following him.

When he reached the doors he un-strapped a rectangular object from his belt. An explosive, I could at least see that much. After he had secured it he retreated to a safe distance and dropped his extra weight. All he kept were two handguns, his 9mm and a revolver of high caliber, and his armor vest.

For such a small device it made an incredibly large explosion once Charlie shot it. It blew both doors clean from their hinges opening the way the shattered office. I managed to get a glimpse of his face as he scanned the lobby again for living lackeys. He had a look of raw determination, spattered with an ounce of pain. My hiding place was well enough he didn’t find me, so after he was done with his once-over he continue with his mission.

He had obviously found Gerald in the room, voices echoed through the rubble and still standing walls... but I was too far away to make out what was being said. ‘Time to readjust my position.’ As I grew closer I could make out a few shouts, “I found the damn suitcase. You wanted to kill me! After all I had done for you...” The rest was muffled as Charlie struggled with his words. Gerald must have been injured because I couldn’t understand a thing he said as he cried his plea. ‘Still have to get closer...’

“It was just business. You were becoming, agh... a liability.” Gerald was definitely injured. “How the f... No, it doesn’t matter. I don’t want to hear your lies. If you say I was a liability, so be it. I’m glad someone tried to kill me that night. His greed actually saved me so I could see what was really in that case. Now I’m going to kill you...” I saw a shadow move. It was Charlie raising his gun. I waited to hear the gunshot, but instead I heard a struggle break out. I checked the shadows from the firelight and noticed someone had Charlie from behind. His guns clattered to the ground as a bag engulfed his head.

“I told you Charlie, you’re no good at this game. This time I’m going to make sure you’re dead.” Gerald paused to catch his breath. “Do it, kill him with his own gun.” A body thudded to the floor and metal scraped across the cement. He was going to be killed. ‘Time to jump in.’ I leapt over the pile of rubble that had hidden me and dug my blade into the skull of Gerald’s guard. I recognized him and scoffed, “You again? I figured a swordsman would know better than to lower his defenses by picking up a gun.”

He had made his own strap to hold all of my swords. It was nothing but garbage compared to mine, which had been modified over the course of many years. “I’ll be taking my swords back now. I hope you don’t mind.”

Gerald peered over his desk at me and took an incredible fright, “What the? How..? You’re not dead!? How did you survive being thrown off a train!? And without a scratch! What are-” I didn’t want to hear the rest of that question, partly because I didn’t feel correct answering, ‘Human.’ “Shut up, your voice annoys me,” he was easy enough to silence. His fear had made me sick last time we met; he was a pitiful excuse for a man. I picked up Charlie’s revolver, which I recognized as a remnant of the past, a .357 Magnum. It was in good shape for being so old.

I walked over to Charlie and freed his arms with a well-aimed swing of the shining sword. The swordsman had put handcuffs on him before stuffing his head in a bag. I removed the covering from his face and was met by surprise, then rage in his eyes. “You again? Come to finish me off?” His aggression faded once I handed him his gun. I said only two words. “Finish it.”

He was in a slight state of confusion for a second, and then he remembered why he was here. Though he didn’t say it, I could tell he was thanking me when he stood and took the gun from me. He walked back to his showdown position and lined up the sights with his former ally’s head. “Well, I was going to recite a monologue for you, but now I’ve decided you don’t deserve anything resembling a eulogy...” A few seconds of silence. “Goodbye Gerald.” The bullet from the Magnum splattered what Gerald had for brains against a clear patch of wall. It was one disgusting mural, but suited my tastes just fine.

Charlie turned to address me, “I don’t even want to know how long you followed me, but I have to ask... Why? You tried to kill me yesterday, and now... you’re helping me? What do you have to gain?” It wasn’t until then that I remembered there was something to gain. I held out my hand palm up, and demanded his identification. He thought about it for a second and reached into his pocket. Before handing it to me he asked, “You’re going to let me go?” I answered him with a question, “Are you out of the drug game?”

He was sure of himself when he answered, “I was never in it! I stumbled upon that massive stash and figured I could make a profit.” He looked at Gerald’s bleeding corpse. “I used to sell guns to this piece of shit. I knew he was dealing drugs under the table and saw an opportunity to expand my business. He must have thought I was trying to out do him and decided to off me.” He turned back to me and handed me his card, “But I swear I’ll have nothing to do with gangs any more.”

After giving me a once-over he smirked and said, “Maybe I should consider bounty hunting?” He meant it as a joke, but based on his work here I considered him quality material. And considering he manufactured guns, he could do well in the mercenary’s world. I must have disappointed him when I didn’t laugh, but instead replied, “As long as you aren’t taking business from me, do what you will.” He looked on with disappointment. I wasn’t looking for any friends, and though he had proved himself here, to me he would still be dead weight.

After collecting my swords and Gerald’s identification, I left. Charlie could gather his thoughts without me there; it was his time for a revelation. It is a rare occurrence that someone should turn from a world of corruption to an open mind. I collected my payment for Gerald and Charlie’s IDs and managed to find the perfect place to set up my new encampment.

A forge.

I was quite pleased to find a large building with a stove and many anvils and hammers. This would be the perfect place to work on my smithing skills and repair and enhance my weapons. With what I had, I could completely re-work my inventory. But not now... I had been awake for days and nearly worked myself to death. It was time for sleep. A musty office up a flight of stairs harbored a moldy desk and office chair. That chair is where I found my bit of peace. As I settled in and closed my eyes, I began reciting my vows I had made up to say every time I prepared to let my guard down.

‘Remain vigilant, no sound shall escape your ears, no motion is beyond your detection. Even in sleep you are awake. Remain vigilant, no sound shall escape your ears, no motion is beyond your detection. Even in sleep you are awake. Remain vigilant, no sound shall es...cape.... y... your...’


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29 Re: My fiction. Readers beware. on Mon 14 Sep 2009, 13:17


Sadly, for people who are actually reading this, this is the last chapter I've completed. There may be more chapters later but nothing is for certain. Nothing ever is.

There is a new character in this chapter that I think a few of you may be able to relate to. Just remember the main character is a creation of my mind and closely reflects my viewpoints, though his personality is warped to be more cruel and curious than I am.

Enjoy the show.

Chapter 6

A middle-aged woman paced worriedly through the kitchen of a noble house on the high streets. Her black hair was matted, as she had not washed in days. Two children came running down the stairs, one with an equally worried look on his face. This boy, maybe eleven or twelve years old, asked her, "Mom, are we really being pushed back? If we start losing the war what will happen to dad?" His hair was as black as his mother's but not quite as long. His eyes were a deep, sorrowful blue as tears welled up in them.

The other boy, maybe eight years old, stood still at the bottom of the stairs with no emotion in his eyes. "Our father is the strongest man alive. You shouldn't say such things. You'll kill him with your words." The black haired boy was hurt, "How could you say such a thing? I would never hurt dad..."

The woman forced up her courage and pulled them both in tight. "Now boys, you're both so young I couldn't expect you to understand. But whatever happens to your father you should know that he'll never leave you. Just remember that..." The black haired boy broke into sobs while the blonde one stood silently in his mother's grasp. No tears left his eyes and no emotion filled them. He just stared...

I was awakened by a scratching noise above my head. I discovered a squirrel in the rafters. 'Damn animal...' It was still dark outside, but the room I was in was illuminated. I had something in my hand.

Shining sword.

As I stared at it's glow, these words continuously flowed through my head, 'Never leave you... Never leave you...' It meant nothing to me. 'I must still be tired...' But further sleep wouldn't benefit me at all. I decided to gather some wood and test out the stove downstairs. Aside from sleep I hadn't eaten in days either, and a stove had more uses than one.

I started to think of hunting, and quickly removed the idea of squirrel meat. It wasn't uncommon to find wild animals loose in the streets. After all, society was but a scattered mass of people too afraid of their own shadows to worry about hunting dangerous animals. 'Never leave you...' There it was again, "SHUT UP!" I threw the sword across the room and it stuck into the wall. 'Great, now I'm going insane. I'll never sleep again.'

I gathered the rest of my swords and strapped them on, followed by my shoulder plates and cloak. I still had wire mesh wrapped around my arms so all I had to do was secure it by snapping on my clawed gauntlets. It was a strange cloth, woven of steel wire and wool. For impact it did nothing, but no blade could cut through it. It paid for itself for how many times it had worked.

It wasn't until the sun was rising that I found a family of deer grazing on weeds that had burst through the road. I saw the one I wanted... eight-point buck. 'If I salt it after I'm done this could last me a while. But first...' I hadn't brought a gun or bow, even if I had, I wasn't very good with either. I would have to try and get the jump on them. 'This is the part I hate...'

I had one hand on my swords to make sure they wouldn't clang against each other, and the other hand held a long sword, the best sword for the job considering its reach and light weight. 'Damn, they're all facing different directions.' As if God had heard me, the buck turned around to devour a new patch of grass, leaving an open spot for me to sneak up to it. I said nothing, but was thankful. 'Thankful to God? Why would God help one like me? The buck just wanted more food.' I thought it, but I didn't believe it. Whatever it was I had to use it or my meal would escape.

As discreetly as I could, I walked one step every four seconds. I couldn't make the slightest sound or their sensitive ears would pick up the disturbance in the air. It was painfully slow as I proceeded down the street, mainly because my boots weren't meant to be stealthy. They were heavy, black leather with steel toes. A difficult find in this barren wasteland, I traded half of my last kill for them. It was worth it.

I was almost close enough. I took extra care as I neared the animal. Swinging the sword without alerting it was going to be the hardest part. 'Three feet away... one more step.' I lifted my foot and started my swing as I brought it down. 'Never leave you...'


The deer were running away. I had almost been kicked in the stomach as the buck fled. I threw the sword and missed. I was too angry to aim. I missed twice more but finally impaled the buck's head with my short sword. I looked up at the sky. 'Thanks. I guess...' Had it not been divine intervention I would have surely missed again. But the questions of faith were difficult to answer in a world where any “god” would have to be a twisted tyrant who likes to see humans in torture. This place, what was left of Earth... It was nothing but rock.

I retrieved my swords from the road and headed toward my kill. I would get no money for it, and no satisfaction for killing something that hadn’t had a chance to give me a reason to. I just needed food.

The creature still stirred. I hadn’t killed it, but its spine had been severed, making it jerk sometimes, but controlled motion was beyond its grasp. ‘If you hadn’t run it would have been quick.’ I remembered then that it was not human who has a free will, but an animal that ran on instinct. It had no choice, instinct said, “Run,” so it ran. A human can choose to ignore instinct and make decisions, though most don’t. That’s why I hate people. ‘I guess you’re off the hook.’ I slit the creature’s throat and removed both swords from its neck. It was now still and silent.

Most people saw death as the absence of life, something to be feared. The way I see it... Death is peace. At least for a moment, then you’re in Hell.

This world offered few forms of entertainment. I found mine in books, particularly the Bible. Even though it still appeared as a story, it held me like no other book could. Any book with this much truth could have only come from God. But this book says there is a way to Heaven, so not everyone goes to Hell... ‘Just the ones like me.’

I placed my mind back into focus and tried to think of a way to get this monster back to the forge. It easily outweighed me, and I was already carrying fifty-plus pounds on my back. I had brought rope. ‘I’ll have to drag it.’

The stove was built to heat metal, so even when dampened it gave the deer meat a black outside. It was good nonetheless; almost anyone in this age would literally kill to have a meal like this. I looked over at the hanging buck with its guts spilled on a tarp. ‘I still need salt, otherwise this won’t last more than a day.’ I would have to go to the center of the city and find a trader. Salt was one of the things we had plenty of. The other? Ammunition.

The building were much taller here than where I had last stayed, and prevented me from seeing where the business center was. It was hard enough to find it at night following the lights, but in the middle of the day, even with a good guess, you’d be lucky to find it. I was going to try anyway.


The world spun before me, how many did I order? “Stop moving around so I can count you.” The bottles on the counter were doing a circular dance to prevent me from doing a head count. “Servus, what are you doing?” Someone was talking to me. “Who is it? Quit wobbling so I can see you...” She laughed, “You’ve had way too many. Do you want me to find you a bed?” Sleep didn’t sound too good. I didn’t like swimming in a sea of sheets while trying to keep my head still.

“I think I need coffee. I can’t remember how many fingers I have.” Her three heads nodded at me and she went behind the counter. “Black?” I smiled stupidly, “Yep. That’s my name.” She didn’t laugh that time. “I meant your coffee you drunk idiot.” I still had the stupid look on my face, “I’d rather be a drunk idiot than a bitchy bartender.” She glared at me with six fuzzy eyes. ‘That wasn’t very nice. Be a gentleman.’ “Uh... yes please.”

Something else blurry slid up next to me at the bar. “Hey Servus, have you thought about what I said?” Who was that? I hadn’t been thinking anything for the last hour or two... “Uh... sure. What do you think about it?” An annoying giggle filled my ears. ‘Oh, her again.’ Coffee appeared in front of me in the form of three dancing identical mugs. ‘Sweet redemption.’ I gulped down the entire cup and let the burn run down my throat and into my stomach. A tear forced its way out of my eye as I savored the pain.

“Whoo! Instant sober... That shit hurts. Anyway,” I then remembered who was sitting next to me, and turned back to the bartender, “Vodka please.” She didn’t want that, “You still haven’t told me what you think about it.” About what? Why did she have to keep screwing with me? I didn’t want to tell her I had no idea what she was talking about, so I said, “I’m not ready yet.” She gasped.

‘Aw crap, I didn’t want it to sound like that...’

She stood up immediately and yelled, “Not ready yet!? I can’t believe I ever asked you to marry me!” ‘Oh... now I remember.’ “I’m leaving! You can just stay here with your floozies and drink till you explode!” I HAD thought about it, and then tried to drink it away. The drinking didn’t help, but now it was going away. “Will do, have a good day.” She slapped me and walked out the front door. ‘I guess I deserved it.’

As if on cue, two more women filled her spot, “Does this mean you’re available?” This was not going to be a good day. I didn’t want to lie to them though. “I guess. And you are?” She leaned in closer and said, “Interested,” as if it was supposed to be clever. They both giggled and I tried to fake a laugh to entertain them. ‘Just let me be.’ The other one followed up with a question as equally stupid as her friend’s answer. “That’s a nice sword. What’s its name?”

‘Are you serious?’ I looked at the black scabbard that hung at my waist. The sword had a hilt of silver and a handle wrapped in black wire. The jewel that hung from a chain at the end of the handle was blood red, and shaped almost like a tear, matching the one set in the hilt that merged with the sword’s blade. It was a deathly creepy looking sword, but I wasn’t one to argue. I lifted it to eye level out of courtesy.

“You mean this?” I had a stupid thought. “I call him Bob.” They laughed hysterically as if I was the funniest thing alive. ‘And I thought I was drunk.’ Two glasses of vodka were placed in front of me. I looked at my sword, “You want a drink Bob?” They laughed again. What a headache. As I lifted the shot glass I said quietly, “Me too.”

I downed the first glass and looked back at Bob, “Sorry Bob, you don’t have a mouth,” and downed the other one. That was just enough to make my head swim. At least the alcohol drowned out the stupidity around me a little bit.

They chattered on for a while with me completely oblivious to anything that was being said, until the bell at the door rang and a giant walked in. He had ragged blonde hair and eerie pale green eyes. ‘He looks... bah, you’re drunk.’ He had heavy armor on his shoulders and waist. I could see that his shirt, though it was red, was splattered with blood stains. He walked up to address the bartender; he wanted directions to the business center. ‘Just another lost traveler.’ I paid him no more mind until one of the girls said something that immediately sparked my interest. “Hey Servus, that guy has a sword that looks a lot like yours.”

My attention immediately shot back to this person. He had too many swords, ‘Which one?’ I was losing my faith until I saw a black scabbard hanging from his belt. The hilt of the sword was gold. The handle was wrapped with white leather and a chain on the end led to a diamond shaped sapphire; one that resembled the one set in the hilt. ‘No fucking way...’

He was leaving. ‘Uh... what do I do? Ah, think...’ The bell dinged, ‘Ah crap. I have to do something...’ I watched the door close. “Excuse me ladies, I have to be leaving.” They whined and begged for me to stay, but all I could think about was how I would greet him after sixteen years apart. ‘Has he been looking for me too?’ I left the door and it slammed behind me. He was still there, I wasn’t drunk enough to be hallucinating. “Hey, wait!” That sucked. ‘That’s the best you could come up with?’

He turned menacingly, his maroon cloak swept the ground and kicked up a small cloud of dust. He glared at me for a second while I stared in a stupor. ‘That look... It HAS to be him.’ He spoke in a dark voice, “Did you want something, or would you rather just stand there in your drunken stupor and waste my time?” I had to think of something, but my brain didn’t want to work. I had just been dead drunk five minutes ago, ripped out of it, then eased back in by way of a couple shots. “That sword...” ‘That’s a start.’ “Where did you get it?” ‘Maybe this will work.’

“Be specific, I have six of them.”

‘Ah jeeze...’ “The one on your belt, the... shiny one. Can I see it?” He glanced at it then looked back at me with the same blank expression. “I’m a mercenary, not a merchant. If you want a weapon, find a dealer.” He started to leave again. ‘Damn it! I don’t want to lose him... you’ll have to challenge him. Sword mercs love duels. Yeah... but, I’m so drunk.’ I had no other choice. “CYRUS!”


‘Cyrus? I haven’t heard that in... That’s my name. Cyrus Black. How could I not know my own name? Who..?’ I turned around to face the drunk. I didn’t recognize him. He was wearing a deep navy blue trail duster that had a black inner lining and a black poncho over the shoulders. His shirt and pants were also black, matching his past shoulder length hair. ‘What a freak.’ I looked at his pendant, which stood out on the field of black. A red jewel was set in a silver lightning bolt shape. It closely resembled mine, which was gold, with a sapphire set in it.

He spoke again, with an ‘I-want-to-die-early’ tone in his voice, “I want to see that sword...” He drew his sword, which, like the pendant, looked strikingly similar to mine. ‘Great, he’s a wannabe.’ After finding his balance he spoke again, “So I’ll fight you if I have to, just draw your sword.”

Instead of doing what he asked, I drew my hand-and-a-half sword and said, “You obviously know me, and that’s a rather good replica, but one thing you can’t match is my skill.” I saw him shake a little, but that was probably just the booze. I waited for him to make the first move, but aside from the drunken swaying, he stood still.

I found an opening in his stance and ran for it. I had almost reached him when he raised his arm and pointed the palm of his hand at me. The sword in my hand shot out of my grip and buried itself in the ground. I stopped. ‘What the hell..?’ He started talking again, “No,” all of the swords on my back shot out of the scabbard and buried themselves. “I want you to use that one...” He was pointing at the shining sword. Had he done that?

I asked him, “Who the hell are you?” He was focused now; his eyes almost looked solid black. “Draw your sword Cyrus. I want to see you use it.” I cautiously reached for the handle. It did nothing when I touched it. I warned myself, ‘Don’t let go of this one. You don’t want to have to fight him with your claws.’ I drew it and brought it around to defend. His eyes widened when he saw it, and that’s when I really saw his eyes. Where white was supposed to be, there was black, and where your retinas and pupils are supposed to be, there was white. ‘What kind of a person is this?’

He lowered his guard, and while still staring at the sword he asked, “Cyrus, do you know who I am?” I had no idea. He knew me, and bore items that resembled mine. And the powers he had... They made me think of the things I could do. “Afraid I don’t, but if you wish to introduce yourself, go ahead.” His eyes reverted back to human blue, and he stared at me. “Try to remember...”

I had seen someone that looked a lot like him, but where? ‘I know it’s there somewhere... is he?’ I found nothing. ‘It’s useless.’ “Maybe a name would help.”

Why I was still talking to this drunk I had no idea. Something held me captive. He stood up straight and smiled. “My name is Servus Black,” the dream flashed by my head in an instant, “I’m your brother Cyrus...”

I took a step back, “I have no family.” He scoffed and stepped forward, “But the evidence is right in your face! The sword, the pendant... I mean, we look nothing alike, but you remind me so much of dad!” I stepped back again bringing up my sword, “I have no family! No brother! No father! You’re just an insane drunk trying to get his hands on my sword...” He stepped forward again and I swung at him, but my sword stopped in the air in front of his outstretched hand. His eyes flashed back to black and white and he yelled, “Listen to me!”

I sunk into the ground knee deep, almost in an instant. As I panicked he took the sword from me and threw it into the street. “Call it back.” What? This guy was completely nuts. ‘Call it back?’ “Do it, call your sword back, warp out of the ground, stop time. Do something.” I couldn’t hold it in any more, “Are you fucking insane!? What the hell are you talking about??? My sword isn’t a dog and I’m not a fucking magician, so if you’re gonna kill me just do it!” I sank further into the ground, up to my waist.

“I know you’ve done it before. I can see it in your eyes. You’ve established a connection with the Ultimus Light and used its power.” He was starting to sound like he had stepped out of a sci-fi novel. “Have you ever ended up somewhere and not known how you got there?” I had. On the train, twice. And the numerous times I was walking to town. But how did it happen? It was out of my control. More important was how this guy knew I could do these things. I had never to my recollection stopped time, but that sword continuously found its way into my hand. Maybe he was my brother... ‘I have no family.’

“Just kill me.” I sank in further, up to my chest. My arms were still free. “Believe me, I’m getting there.” I stared up at him. It felt as if the black and white eyes could see into my mind. “You have it in you, fight back. You’re the strong one, not me.” Was he saying he wasn’t powerful? People don’t commonly sink up to their ribs in dry cement. “I don’t know what you want from me. Just finish me off.” I sank in up to my neck; only my armor and face remained above ground. “Damn it Cyrus, do you want me to bury you alive!? Just use what you’re blessed with and save yourself!” That was too much. “I have no blessings, only a curse. If you want to bring it out of me then you’re not just a stupid drunk, you’re a fool.”

He tried his best to put on an emotionless face like mine, but I could see the pain in his expression. “You haven’t changed. Always the one to judge. I’ll be waiting for you up here. I want you to kill me.” He was insane. Just as I was about to retort I sunk completely under the earth and darkness engulfed me. Then the human emotions rose. The panic, the fear, ‘I don’t want to die yet! Get me out of here!’ I couldn’t move at all, I was in a custom fit grave. My lungs began to crave oxygen. ‘I’m going to Hell.’

The emotions rushed through my head and my head sent power through my body. The earth surrounding me fled, forming a large sphere for me to stand in. The light from the pendant illuminated the grave. ‘There’s still no oxygen in here. Got to get out somehow...’ I closed my eyes and thought of escape. ‘I need a weapon!’ I reached for my shining sword and felt nothing. At first I felt nothing... then a flash of light erupted behind me and the sword handle rested itself in the palm of my hand. ‘This is completely crazy. How am I doing this?’ I was losing breath. ‘Still have to get out of here...’


The ground stirred where he was buried. He had released a fraction of his power. ‘Come on Cyrus, I don’t want to kill you. Get out of there...’ The sword was no longer lying in the street. ‘Good job little brother. Now get your ass out here!’ The ground crumbled and caved in. “Oh shit. Cyrus!” I screamed for him in the hole, but I heard him speak from behind me. “You...” I turned to face him. He was floating off the ground and had an eerie blue steam around him. His eyes were a burning solid white, ‘Just like dad...’ He was breathing heavily as he said, “You... have... to die...”

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30 Re: My fiction. Readers beware. on Mon 14 Sep 2009, 13:20


And yes, I know the name Servus has already been used in Harry Pothead. Names are hard to come up with so I haven't yet changed any. I made these characters before Harry Potleaf ever came out so don't give me grief about the names.

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