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12/31/2014 5:05:44   
Master Merlin
Member

We endure.

< Message edited by Master Merlin -- 10/2/2015 10:07:11 >
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 26
1/1/2015 7:18:13   
Arthur
How We Roll Winner
Dec14


Victor


A man once approached me as I stood waiting right in front of the Pudding Shop, you know, the one that’s famous for serving those chocolate and tart puddings that melt in your mouth. They do taste so good. Should you wish to visit this shop anytime soon, it’s located in Farmtown, east of Freyweather Hill and I must emphasize upon the fact that their puddings taste marvelous in the winter season.

“Good man,” the man called out to me. “Would you happen to know where I can find the Mages’ Haven here…?”

He was a middle-aged man, well-built and he wore a brown overcoat on top of a plain shirt. His Mage Crest was visible to me as he wore it around his neck, a symbol of arrows crossed inside a circle.

“You’re a Mage…?” I asked him tipping up my wide-brimmed hat and glancing at his face.

“Yes indeed, sir. I am newly recruited and I was asked by the Head Mages to come here. Although, I am quite lost, as you can see. Would you happen to be a Mage as well…?”

“You sure got that right,” I replied straightening up and adjusting my own coat as I buttoned up the front. “My name’s Calen Vahd, Elemental Mage, First Rank.”

I flashed my best smile extending my gloved hand to the man. He took it hesitantly and shook.

“Ah. I am fairly relieved to know, sir. My name is Tounell Hal.”

“Say, Tounel, were you conveyed the message by means of a messenger falcon …?” I further asked him looking around the busy square.

“Huh…? Wha-? No…!” He answered, taking out his handkerchief and wiping the sweat from his brow. The sun was especially harsh that day.

“I got this letter, you see.” He went on as he reached inside his coat pocket and brought forth a folded purple-colored letter that he held out to me. “In here is written the address to the Mages’ Haven.”

I took the letter and unfolding it, cast one last glance at the other man before looking into the paper. I looked on, twisting the paper from one side to another. But by now, it was apparent to me that the sheet was blank.

“Is this a joke of some manner…?” I showed him the sheet.

“Ah… I forgot completely,” He slapped his forehead before taking the sheet and bringing forth his crest, held it to the paper. All of a sudden, words started appearing on the sheet, arranged neatly into sentences and paragraphs.

How in the name of… I thought.

“Magic, see…?” He half-smiled at me as he showed me the letter, now filled with words.

I took the letter and went through it thoroughly. The address was indeed written on it.

“Say, would you mind if I kept it with me…?” I asked Tounell.

He shook his head.

I quietly stuffed the letter in my own pocket as I adjusted my hat.

“Come along, I know the address.” I said before I turned around and started walking down the wide street, Tounell close behind me.

For a while, we walked quietly before I spoke.

“Tell me, have you heard the story of Victor Volent…?”
“I haven’t. Who is that…?”
“Well, just another man like you and me.”
“A Mage…?”
“No, a normal man. But his story is interesting, nonetheless.”

“Do tell.” Tounell was interested, I could tell.

And so I began,

“Victor Volent was a very pleasant man, a man of many qualities, but most of all, he was a kind and loving man. He used to love a girl since his student days, Mary Euford and she loved him in return.
After graduating, they got married, as was expected and lived together in Chevenaugh, a decent bungalow by the hills.
One night, Victor walked into Mary’s room and found her crying by her bed. She held a letter in her hand

“Mary…!” Victor called as he went and knelt by her. “What’s wrong…? Why are you crying…?”

“Victor,” she replied amidst her tears, “You never told me…”
“Told you what…?”
But before she could speak out, the letter in her hands burst into flames and within moments, evil shadows with flaming eyes and sharp teeth filled the room, entering through the doorway, through the windows and through any outlet possible. These were apparitions, summoned by mages who had presently made their presence known. There were three figures, all clothed in white from head to toe and with hoods covering their faces. One of them noticed Victor and approaching him, raised its hand and flicked the index finger up.
Almost as if strings controlled him, Victor stood up and walking to the wooden chair, sat down.

The first figure then drew a dagger from underneath its robes and standing Mary up from the bed, thrust it silently into her chest. Victor watched this horrible sight but couldn’t even utter a scream or move his body for he was under this curse. A single tear crawled down his cheek as Mary dropped to the floor, dead.

“Leave him. Burn the house.” A whisper from the third figure commanded as with shuffling sounds, all three exited the room followed by their apparitions. Victor was left alone in the room with the dead body of his wife.

Shortly, Victor noticed that he could move his arms again but it was already too late. He had lost his love. There she lay, murdered by mages.

“Mary..” he whispered as he dropped onto the floor where he curled up.

The door burst open once again and this time, a figure clothed in brown entered the room with a black cloth in his hand. Lifting, Victor off the ground, he blindfolded him using the cloth and shoved him out of the room where a fire had just started to rage, having consumed half of the house already.

“It’s burning…. everything is burning…” Victor screamed for even though he couldn’t see anything, he could smell the inferno well enough.

“I know. Now shut up and keep walking if you want to live.” A raspy voice commanded.

The night passed on with the house being consumed in a raging inferno and two figures walking away from it-”

“Wait wait…!!” Tounell interrupted my story as we turned into an alleyway. “Is this the right way…?”

“It is.” I reassured him. “A shortcut to get us there quickly.”

“I am a bit worried, though,” Tounell looked around the street that we walked out into. “This looks like a pretty unsafe part of town.”

He beckoned to our right where, upon turning my head, I saw a lone man hard at work. He had a spade in his hand and he was digging a hole in the muddy ground where a substantial amount of the pavement was broken.

“Oi Heath…!” I called out. “How’s the hole coming up…?”

The man turned around and smiled, a toothless smile.

“Nicely,” he chittered back in a strange voice that sounded like he had a bad throat. “Just getting it finished, hopefully in time.”

“Good. Keep at it.” I shouted back with a wave of my hand.

We turned to the right and continued walking.

“Why was he digging a hole…?” Tounell asked me as he once again wiped the sweat from his brow. He was becoming uncomfortable.

“Relax, since we don’t have much surplus space in this town, we bury our waste under the pavement.” I answered him calmly, further tapping the pavement with my foot to show that it too was shaking.

“So, you mean the whole pavement is a giant lid for a waste pit…?”

“If… you’d like to put it that way.” I was amused.

“Strange town. But please continue with the story.

“Alright. So where was I… Ah. Victor’s saviour, right.

Victor woke up the next morning, having survived the previous night thanks to the man who now stood over him.

“Good morning, son.” the old man muttered, for he was old enough to be Victor’s father. “Slept well…?”

“I have to go.” Victor threw off the blankets and sitting up, started reaching for his boots.

“Woah woah…!! Easy there, son. Whatever has you in a hurry. Your house got burnt down, remember…?”

“I am going for those witches…”
“Mages… and do you know where to find them…?”
“I’ll figure it out.”
“How exactly…?”
“I’ll go back to the house.”
“And do you know which way to go…?”

Victor stopped all of a sudden. He had been blindfolded when he was brought here.

“Take it easy. I know where to find them.” The old man put a hand on Victor’s shoulder. “Rest now, you’ve been through an ordeal.”

“I don’t want to rest. Take me to them… NOW…!”

“And how exactly will you kill them…?”

“I DON’T KNOW…!!” Victor broke down as he burst into tears. “Oh… Mary…”

“Listen, boy. I hate those mages as much as you do. Infact, I’ve been after them since I was half your age. They destroyed my family and I’ve been on them ever since. If you want, I’ll go with you, but not today. Today’s a full moon and mages are at their strongest today. We’ll go tomorrow. How about it…?”

Victor raised his head, vengeance in his eyes.

“I’ll take that as a yes. Now, knowing’s half the battle so…”

The old man walked up to the bookshelf and pulled out a book from the shelf and tossed it over to Victor who caught it.

“... know.”

That night, Victor went through the book absorbing as much knowledge as he could on Mages and their various spells and even though half the content seemed like gibberish to him, he did figure out some of it.

Unable to process anything more, Victor walked out into the backyard where he found the old man digging a hole. He further noticed that the backyard was littered with mud mounds where the ground had been filled up previously.

“Don’t ask kid, ‘cuz I won’t tell.” the old man replied as he worked without pause. “Go to sleep. Gotta wake up early tomorrow.”

“So… what was the old man’s name…?” Tounell asked as they stopped at an abandoned square.
“I don’t know.” I replied. “Doesn’t say.”

“It’s a scary story, I’ll give it that much.” Tounell shivered as he adjusted his overcoat.

The weather had turned dull. Dark clouds had covered the skies and hidden the sun from sight and the wind was beginning to pick up. Not a soul lingered in sight.

“How much more to the Mages’ Haven…?” Tounell asked.

“According to the address, it should be right around that corner.” I pointed two blocks away. “And we don’t have much of the story left.”

“Alright. Let’s finish it, shall we…?”

“Very well then.”

“The following day, Victor and the old man arrived in Farmtown…”

“Wait a minute, here…?” Tounell looked at me, his eyes widened in surprise.

I nodded.

“They headed straight for the Mages’ Haven which was a highrise building easily consisting of 20 or 30 storeys.

“That’s an illusion, Victor.” The old man cautioned. “Don’t be fooled by it.”
“I see the edges. They are shimmering. Nothing of that size exists in Farmtown.”
“Very good. Now keep in mind. Don’t lose yourself if you see the mages. Their spells are dangerous and need to be broken before they can be countered.”

“You leave that to me.” Victor answered drawing his dagger, it’s blade built of Orichalcum, one of the three earthly materials that ward off magical effects and spells.

They walked into the massive building and upon entrance, found themselves in a courtyard with a single water fountain at its center. All around them were solid walls, they were trapped.

“Curses…!!” Victor kicked the wall as frustration took the best of him.

“Easy, boy. No illusion is without a flaw. A tell.” The old man looked around patiently. “Listen.”

Victor was puzzled. But after a while, he quieted down and listened.

The fountain, although there was nothing peculiar about its appearance, it was a peculiarity in its complete existence. A fountain, while visually is a simple structure that channels water through it such that it sprinkles out in beautiful forms, has one more dimension to it. The sound.

A fountain emits a sweet sound whereas here, one would find that the sound of flowing water was continuously fluctuating in its intensity such as a structure never does, and so it was clear that the fountain was-

“An illusion.” Victor concluded successfully as he stood up from his position and walked straight into the fountain, disappearing. The old man followed shortly.

They now found themselves in a massive hall.

“Watch out.” The old man said as he drew forth his crossbow from the satchel that he carried.

The hall was mostly plain apart from the gold columns that lined both sides and the dome shaped ceiling which was lined with gold and silver trimmings. The floor had a beautiful polished marble look with art on it that kept shifting and changing continuously.

Before the two could take one step, the old man was suddenly surrounded by three white figures, the very same ones that had appeared at Victor’s house that night. The figures grabbed the old man by his shoulder and dragged him into the ground with them leaving behind only his crossbow.

“Hey…!” Victor stood alone now.

“You…” a voice from the other end of the hall caused Victor to turn around once more.

There, at the other end stood a solitary figure in black, her hood did not cover her face-”

“Calen…!” A voice that I was all too familiar with interrupted my story and caused Tounell to look behind me.

We had finally arrived at the spot that I had shown Tounell to, the story here on out was his to tell.

And he was here.

He walked out from under the shadows, dressed all in black, with a black coat buttoned all the way up covering his body and a satchel slung across his chest, this man was famously known as the, the Ghost of Farmtown, The Chevenaugh Count and most famously, The Mage Hunter.

“Mage…” his voice boomed out across the empty street resounding around the square.
I backed away from my spot as Tounell looked at me, an asking look, asking for help.

“Who… are… you…?” Tounell was literally shivering in his coat, so much that he even dropped his ‘kerchief.

“Weren’t you paying attention…” the man walked out into the light. “... to the story…?”

Tounell’s eyes widened in horror.

“Let me finish it for you.” the man grinned. “Listen well.”

“Her hood was drawn back and she stood there, all alone, her face, unmarred, her look, as dead as the flowers that now lie charred at Chevenaugh. My young wife. Oh, so sweet, just as I had seen her on the very first day of our meeting.

“Mary…” I had said. “You… you…”

“Died…?” She said what I couldn’t. “Yes. The day you decided to hide from me that you were from a family of Mage Hunters.”
“I didn’t know you were a Mage.” I had replied helplessly.
“Would you have hated me had you known…?” She pushed on.
“Never…!!! I loved you.”
“I didn’t. The day my Mages found out that your family was against us, I, as a Master couldn’t bear it.”
“How did you know…?”
“I have been keeping an eye on your family since the day I met you.”
“But why…? Did you not trust me…?”
“I didn’t trust anybody.”
“Then why marry me…?”
“Because I was waiting for this very day.”

And then with that fell swoop of her arm, figures flew out from behind each of those massive columns and floated in the air before me. Bodies. My father, my mother, they were all there.

I was angry. Oh I was very very angry.

So tell me, Tounell. Who am I…?”

Tounell was on his knees, begging for mercy. He was muttering something that I couldn’t hear.

“S… Spare me, sir.”

“Who. Am. I…?”
“Victor… Volent.”

Within the blink of an eye, an arrow had whizzed through the air and lodged itself in Tounell’s left foot.

His scream rent the air but there was no one who would hear it.

He collapsed on the spot while clutching at the shaft sticking out of his left foot.

“The… the building…” he wheezed as he raised his shaking arm to point at the highrise building that I knew towered behind me. He then looked at me, tears in his eyes.

His lips shook as he formed the words… “Help me…”

I averted my eyes as Victor walked over to him.

“As for the old man, he did survive, but he was driven mad by your kind. You wanted to know his name, right…?”

“HEATH…!!” Victor called out.

Out of the shadows hobbled the toothless old man whom we had seen digging the hole at the square.

“Yes sir…!” He replied with a crazy look on his face, drooling at his mouth.

“One more for your hole.” Victor swept his hand at Tounell.

Heath broke out into a mad cackle as he grabbed the crying and pleading Tounell by his left leg and turning him around, dragged him into the dark alleyway where after a moment, both the cackling and the pleading died out.

“The letter,” Victor walked over to me with his hand held out. I placed the blank letter in it and Victor held up Tounell’s crest to it. Once again, the words appeared out of nowhere.

Victor held the sheet up to his nose and smelled it quite a few times, testing it. Then he looked closely at the crest.

“The words have been written with liquified lodestone, the kind that can only be found near Brukesfort. This is volcanic, rare and strange. The only two volcanos in our region are at Brukesfort and Verringham. We’ve cleared out Verringham so Brukesfort is where we’ll find the answer to all our questions.” Victor explained.

He then tossed the crest to me but before I could catch it, it dropped and strangely enough, whizzed through the air and stuck itself to my iron bootstraps. I pried it off and looked closely at it.

“A magnet…?” I enquired but Victor was busy reading the letter.

“Tounell was a loose end. I wonder what he’d done to deserve this false trail. The Mages know that Farmtown had been taken, yet they led him here.”

“To be hunted.” I continued. “Disgusting.”

“Loose your pity, boy.” Victor warned me with a pat on my shoulder as he walked by.

“And what about you…? Do you have none…?” The question I had been dying to ask. It finally escaped my lips.

Victor paused for a while before turning his head to look at me.

“I killed the only woman I ever loved. Isn’t that enough…?”

He walked away while I stood alone, listening to the howling wind.

End Round 6

< Message edited by PyroPuppy -- 7/27/2015 14:05:56 >
DF MQ AQW  Post #: 27
2/18/2015 19:48:42   
Kian
Creative!


Welp... I gave prose a try. Added some small poetic elements to it, but that's about it. I sincerely hope you like it, it might motivate me to keep writing these! It was very fun to do, so I hope it's more or less enjoyable.


THE RATTLESNAKES UNFOLD




No thinking, De’Lasi murmured to herself. I have to keep running.

Running until everything fades black. I can’t allow myself to rest. I should go faster.

Faster than any human has ever run. The Unworthies weren’t messing around.

Around here, she had to take a steep right turn (The Righteous Path, a famous pathway from the cliffs to the lower grounds) to reach her people.

People were taking their very last breaths as she arrived. Asmara was covered in fire.

Fire in her eyes. As if a volcano was about to burst. She was close to passing out.

Out of nowhere, a voice spoke. You couldn't save him. Nor them. You tried and you tried, but you wasted your efforts.

Efforts were made by her not to faint. Her vision began to blur. She saw a shooting star, and wished for all to turn out well.



WELL, WE'RE ALL SET. HEAD OUT! WE MARCH UPON CINTH’EL!



Voice of the people, Minre, assembled the men for an all-out assault upon Cinth’el, the Barrows of the Unworthy Traitors, commonly known as Unworthies. They are damned.

Damned Minre, she thought. Although Minre’s motives were more than justified, this could only end in bloodshed. She had to stop him and his forces.

Forces that were able to adjust to any environment, armed to the teeth could not even realize a beneficial outcome. Minre couldn’t, wouldn’t, realize that.

"That is a huge mistake you’re making, Minre. Stealing our cattle as offers to the Deities of the Lost is a wrong call by the Unworthies, but the Deities care not. They care only for their sacrifices."

"Sacrifices have to be made, my dear De’Lasi. We will return. With the heads of the Unworthies. I promise you." "You don’t have a clue, do you?"she said. "They serve the Deities of the Lost, and they are not to be messed with!"


With those words, Minre showed a shocked expression. It rapidly turned into a face of anger, while proceeding towards the City of Cinth’el.

Cinth’el was home to the outcasts, the abandoned, the traitors. Those who had no place on society gathered there.

There was something eerie about that place. Rumors had spread that some of the Unworthies left Cinth’el to steal cattle in order to sacrifice them to the Deities of the Lost. The only ones who would offer refuge.

Refuge might not be the correct word, more like involuntarily enslavement. Refuge has this nice connotation attached to it. And it wasn’t nice. Not in the slightest.

The slightest disturbances on Earth could have large consequences. The Unworthies were wrong to come claim their herds because they ran out of potential sacrifices. But it would be unwise to start a war.

A war which could not be won. But Minre was blinded by hatred.

Hatred is what drives me”, he once spoke. And those seemed prophetic words. Mere months later, here we are. Waging war upon something we do not understand. Waging war over stolen cattle. Waging war and risking lives.

Lives on Earth were precious. Our planet faced a huge, unforeseen meteor shower that struck all parts of the world. Only small parts of Africa were left alone. Survivors immediately tried to claim pieces, which led to disagreements and the First War of the Continent. How many precisely fell in battle, I dare not say. But the lost and cost was great. The biggest part, in the southern part of Africa, was claimed by a bandit group. But they did not know how to work the lands, nor salvage scrap and remains. And so, but a few weeks later, they starved to death, trying to get to the other remaining pieces of land. They are now forever merged with the Wasteland. Most of the survivors of the FWC agreed that some kind of mini-country should be established, so that the people could feel safe again. Mankind was made to be ruled. Rule provided safety. Rule provided equality. Rule provided fraternity. Mankind was made to be ruled. But, as history repeated itself, some felt oppressed and wanted to overthrow Mara, our small state. Mara got divided in two, equally big parts: Promarians and Contramarians. Many drops of blood touched the Earth’s surface those months. Yes, months. It was a long, painful conflict with little to no hiatuses. Eventually, the Contramarians surrendered because they were running out of forces and arms. But little did they know, so were the Promarians. If they waited a few more days, they’d have probably won, similar to Germany versus Great Britain in the Second World War, centuries ago. That concluded the Second War of the Continent. Out of the ashes of Mara came, quite metaphorically, Ashmara. But over the ages, people just said Asmara. A new rule was set, with the people having just as much power as the overseers. There was a swift silence. But it turned out to be one before the storm.

Storm, yes. That was exactly what we would face now. History is ever repeating itself. Minre has more or less declared war upon the Unworthies. The survivors that refused to be a part of Asmara, turned their back on the others. They left, hoping to find undiscovered pieces of land. But travelling through the Wasteland was dangerous. We never went too far, afraid of what lurks in the dark. But they did not hesitate. They managed to cross a big part of the south before being poisoned and consumed by the unclean air, filth and diseases of the rotting corpses that laid in the Wasteland. They suffered excruciating pain. For some reason, they didn’t die. That was because the Deities of the Lost commanded it. They have adapted to the suffering and now are but mere pawns. They are the Unworthies. After years of being oppressed by the other Deities that mankind worshipped, they finally were able to seize control due to mankind losing its belief and faith. If there really were Deities, they would have never let this happen, many thought. And thus, they stopped worshipping them. Little did they know that the Deities were able to protect Earth from the huge catastrophe. If not for them, Earth would be destroyed. Obliterated. Wiped off the grid, for good. It was written so. Mankind had become too greedy, too disrespectful that the universe must’ve decided to rid itself of them. Seeing that Deities gave all they had left to protect their subjects, the universe concluded that the Deities still had hope for mankind. And so they were allowed to live. While the Deities were left to rot, abandoned and forgotten.

Forgotten? Minre said to De’Lasi. I have not forgotten a thing. We will emerge as victors, I swear to you! There won’t be a Third War of the Continent, because wars are lengthy and have many casualties on both ends. This will be retribution. This will be payback.

Payback… The way he said it disgusted De’Lasi. But she just observed without uttering a word. She noticed that Minre dropped something, marching towards Cinth’el. A magnifying glass? What could he possibly need that for? But he was too far already, so she took it back to his tent. It had strange markings on it. And the letter ‘L’ on top. But again, she did not wonder too much about it. She had better things to worry about.

About 3 hours. That’s how far Cinth’el is for men. To the ever agile Unworthies, it shouldn’t take longer than a half hour to reach Asmara. What if they sent scouts to spy on us? What if they noticed we were marching to their city? To then launch an all-out attack while we are here, without anyone to protect us? She began to fear for the worst.

The worst plan ever, she heard being whispered. What about us? I thought we had a say in this matter? We want to vote! “Calm down” De’Lasi spoke. “The men are already marching, all geared up. Even if we were to gain the most votes, it’s already a lost cause. Eventually, the leaders have the final say. The fact that we have anything to do or say is an illusion. It has always been like that. We felt safe under rule, knowing that we were supposedly being protected, while we were being spied on constantly, being brainwashed that eventually we accepted everything our government fed us with the spoon. And even with Earth blown to pieces, it is still like that. I guess people don’t change after all.

All of this silenced everyone. For five minutes, everyone sat without even sighing. Until one of the women stood up and said. “If we can’t stop this war, we can at least defend Mara. Those who had the strength to fight all went, because the Unworthies are supposedly the only threat. But what if they’re not? And what if they’re on their way now?” De’Lasi smiled a little bit and said: “My thoughts exactly. You are completely right. What’s your name?” “I don’t have a name, miss. My parents decided a child could not properly be taken care of in these dark times. They were killed in the Second War of the Continent. Like almost all of the Contramarians.” “I’m sorry to hear that. May I call you… Virtus? It’s Latin for courage. I remember my brother telling me about Latin years back.” “Yes, miss. Heck, I’d be fine with you calling me Scoundrel. You prevented many deaths in TSC. We owe our lives to you.” She smiled. “And in return, you must make the most of it. Come, we’ve work to do.”

Do as I say, men, and we shall be victorious. I have a plan. There’s no way we could beat the Unworthies. They are with half a million, while our army consists of 10,000 men. All of the soldiers were shocked. But before they could scream at him he said. Relax, I have a secret weapon. An artifact that was said to be a myth by many and those who believed the tale, thought it was long destroyed. But years ago, before my father died, he handed it to me. I was given the Luxtor, the Rayshiner. It contains fragments from the Deity Lux’ power. But don’t take fragments too lightly. We shall end this once and for all.

All of them will burn. Over the years, we’ve lost so many people due to lack of food. We always thought the cattle escaped. But they were taken. Stolen. Let’s rid the world, or what’s left of it, from this plague. Men, brace yourselves, we are not far away now.

Now, that is not a bad idea at all. Virtus, are you sure?” “Well, now that we’ve fortified Asmara a bit, I suppose one person could be missed. But are you sure it’ll work?” “Well, De’Lasi said, “we haven’t used lightplanes for ages. But the weather didn’t change, nor did the elements, so it’s worth a shot. You’ll be safe with that parachute of yours, anyway.” He nodded in agreement. After discussing while setting up defenses, they concluded that there was too much at stake here. While salvaging scrap and remains, one of the townspeople, a woman, was able to construct a small lightplane. The idea behind it was to send someone off towards Minre to try and convince him to turn back while they still can. Virtus heard this and immediately volunteered. And so, they hooked him up on the lightplane after they pushed it up a nearby cliff. “You’ll be a hero, Virtus. You’ll do your name proud.” He smiled, but behind that smile, a lot of fear was hiding. But there was no turning back. And he felt that he had to do is. They pushed and pushed and… there he went. He was gazing over Asmara and laughing out of pure joy. The sight was beautiful. He could see miles ahead in every direction. He could even see small pieces of the Wasteland. But he was on a mission. He mustn’t forget. He flew north, where the soldiers were heading. He looked behind and saw silhouettes waving in the distance. They were counting on him. To prevent a third outbreak of war.

War… War has always been a part of the universe”, Minre said. “War is inevitable. It’s around us, yet nowhere to be seen. It’s inside us, but outside of us. It’s light, yet dark. The duality in war is much like the duality we constantly find in ourselves. And that what we find in ourselves, mustn’t be suppressed. It must be expressed.” His men cheered in unity. They were just a few miles away from the pyramid in which Cinth’el was located. They marched and marched, chanting battle cries. “I don’t know what you’ve been told” (echoing by soldiers), “but to me it seems the dice has rolled” (echoing by soldiers). This definitely boosted the morale. The chants were so loud, Virtus knew which direction to fly towards. And at last, he saw the men. He didn’t hesitate and immediately flew lower, gaining speed while doing so and when he reached the appropriate height, he disconnected himself, opened his parachute, and landed closely to Minre, as the lightplane mercifully touched the ground. Most of the soldiers thought of it as a huge bird, some that it was the incarnation of a Deity, and some that it was a lightplane. Virtus ran towards Minre, out of breath, and said: “Minre… There are way too many lives on the line here. We must retreat. For the sake of our kin. Don’t let cattle be the cause of a third war!” “Your presence here is in vain, messenger. I won’t call off the attack. And it’s not so much the stolen cattle that made me do this. It’s the lives that were lost because of it. But you needn’t worry: I have a secret weapon.” Right at that time, a massive spear was thrown out of the pyramid, piercing Virtus. He cried out and screamed. The men were in shock, and started to panic. Virtus started bleeding heavily, and in less than a minute, he fell, painting the dirt on which the men’s feet stood, in a dark red color. Minre’s face was growing as red as the blood that was spilt in front of him. “This man died for our cause. Let us crush them once and for all!” And so, his death was in vain. Out of the dark entrance of the pyramid, the creatures from Cinth’el crawled, carrying a variety of weapons, such as throwing daggers, spears, blades, kunais, and so on. They looked even more frightening and ugly than presumed. The men were shaking. Even the greatest warriors have a breaking point. Minre tried to assure the men: “Now it is time. They’ve all gathered in a massive group. THEY SHALL SUFFER THE WRATH OF LUX!” The Unworthies stopped advancing. Some even stepped back. This made Minre laugh. He was searching his pockets to then notice it was gone. The Luxtor was gone. Minre repeatedly said to himself “no… no… no… no…” until the Unworthies realized what was going on. They launched a full-fledged attack on the shivering troops, and in a matter of minutes over half of the men were slaughtered. A group of ten men escorted Minre, along with the lightplane that Virtus arrived with. Minre was to lead the the Asmarians away, or at least warn them, from this threat. Luckily, there were cliffs all over these foul parts. He attached himself to it and was pushed off by his soldiers, who stayed behind. A lightplane could only carry two men at max, with a high risk of crashing, so only Minre left. After a bit more than half an hour, the last 200 men were giving all they had left in them to slow down the vile Unworthies and to buy Minre and De’Lasi time. Minre noticed he was getting near Asmara, so he started to fly lower and lower. FTSCH! Two spears pierced the lightplane. Minre tried to control it but… it was in vain. He crashed against the cliff that Virtus took off from. De’Lasi ran towards him, crying. “Minre! MINRE! …. BROTHER! No… NO!” Minre’s body was broken, he was suffering an inhuman amount of pain but he lost the power to scream or express himself verbally. He took a sharp part of the lightplane, and stabbed himself in his own heart, right after he gave De’Lasi the sign to run. There was no time for sorrow now. She realized this. She could not waver. No.

No thinking, De’Lasi murmured to herself. I have to keep running.

Running until everything fades black. I can’t allow myself to rest. I should go faster.

Faster than any human has ever run. The Unworthies weren’t messing around.

Around here, she had to take a steep right turn (The Righteous Path, a famous pathway from the cliffs to the lower grounds) to reach her people.

People were taking their very last breaths as she arrived. Asmara was covered in fire.

Fire in her eyes. As if a volcano was about to burst. She was close to passing out.

Out of nowhere, a terrifying voice spoke. You couldn't save him. Nor them. You tried and you tried, but you wasted your efforts.

Efforts were made by her not to faint. Her vision began to blur. She saw a shooting star, and wished for all to turn out well, right before an arrow pierced her heart.

"Not every story has a happy ending, but that doesn't mean it's not worth telling."
- Steven Dos Santos

< Message edited by Kian -- 2/22/2015 16:21:01 >


_____________________________

AQ DF MQ  Post #: 28
2/22/2015 9:40:27   
Uskius
Member

The Heist




Ten, nine, eight… the count is all I have to go by. It’s a cloudy, moonless night, and the rush turns from adrenaline into fear. Seven, six, five… I begin to panic now, almost losing count. Four, three, two… I can’t see anything; I didn’t want to risk wearing my night vision goggles in case they got pulled off- one- praying I’m not too late, I pull the cord, and a few moments later I scream as I’m jerked upwards, thinking I had bounced on impacting the ground. Mercifully, my parachute has done its job well, and I continue to glide downwards. I get jittery again as I near the ground and can faintly see it off in the distance, and I tuck my chin in and make my landing. I fall down and kiss the sand, and can hear my team members touch down nearby.

“Goggles on, if they weren’t already!” That would be Geoff Langston, our team leader. He has a gruff face that looks like he’s spent years outdoors, and hair like he spent years in a salon, having a wiry, muscular build. I ditch my parachute and pull my goggles out, quickly getting them in place. “Abigail,” He says to me, “You’ll be taking the front until we get to the second wall.” I nod. I’m the scholar of the group, knowing the most about the pyramids. “At that point Mort and Stacey will handle the excavation until we’re in. After that, we will have precisely one hour to catalogue and carry out as much as we can. Understood?” We nod, and Geoff looks to me. I can see we’ve landed on the North face, and need to head around East. The mason team will have done their work there last week, replacing part of the rock with a plaster replica, and leaving a tunnel through the rest.

The false rock is fairly easy to spot- it bears the message “Chuck Noris wuz here lel” on it. I signal to the others, and begin clearing the sand away from the bottom. Stacey brushes it away in a path behind me, and then Mort and Geoff step over and pull it away, grabbing it by the empty underside. I take a moment to breathe, and then start my crawl in.

I ignore the spiderwebs because of my shirt’s long sleeves, but the smell… is unique. Dry and putrid, like the top notes of a carcass perfume. “Thanks for taking the lead, Abigail.” Says Mort.

“In your dreams,” I grumble to myself. I pause a second to make sure that that’s a dead rat in front of me, then brush it to the side as I pass. I’m going to have to burn these clothes after we get out. It’s a few moments more until the darkness opens up in front of me. “We can stand, now.” I say over my shoulder. As we advance I carefully study the walls, looking for any faded hieroglyphs. I see none, but a few carvings of crocodiles appear, sending a prickly chill down my spine. Of course- one would assume the carvings indicated the correct path, but they were actually a bit of very dark humor on the part of this place’s builders. A sliver of darkness on the edge of my vision almost makes me jump, until I realize it’s where the path splits. I pull out my blueprint to make sure, and then make a right turn.

“Shouldn’t we be splitting up?” Mort asks.

“We’re here for the tomb, not the other chambers,” Geoff replies.

“What about a second trip?” Asks Stacey.

“Tonight? No. Not enough time,” Says Geoff. “If we make enough to fund a second, then maybe. How close are we getting?”

“One more turn,” I answer. I wish I was able to take some time and really go over the hieroglyphs that are on the wall now, but time is of the essence tonight- the helicopters can only be around for so long before they have to leave, with or without us.

“Just like being Indiana Jones, right?” Mort says. I’d almost call him a meathead, but the man legitimately has some skill with B&E’s.

“I think we’re more like Lara Croft here,” Stacey says. I think I can see it up ahead, what’s either a dead end or-

“You hear that?” Mort wonders.

“Probably just vermin some that wandered in from the desert,” Geoff says firmly. I’m inclined to agree with him, but wasn’t there a dead rat in here? After fervently hoping it died of starvation for a moment, I get close enough to see that this is the next turn. As we round it, a flicker of darkness slides away from the edge of my vision. I close my eyes and shake my head, but when I open them the passageway is clear.

Checking the blueprints tells me we’re close now, and I study the carvings for any clues. “Hold on- I think we’re here,” I say. We’re at about the right spot, and the carvings on the wall in front of me are of the Nile and a bountiful harvest. “Mort, Stacey: from about here to here,” I say, indicating the edges of the scene.

Mort first pushes on the area, but apparently someone had more sense than to make the entrance to their god-king’s tomb a door, and the wall stays put. As Mort’s feet slide back it seems as if the sound echoes from our left, but not our right, and in any case Mort and Stacey soon have their gear out, and get to work. I wish there was some way to preserve the carvings, faded as they are, instead of breaking our way through. Ah, of course- I take out my camera, zooming in until Stacey and Mort aren’t in the shot, and take a picture.

“Abigail, you could have told us you had the flash on,” Mort gripes.

“Sorry…” I look over at Geoff, but he has his arms crossed and is focused on the entrance to the tomb. He seems impatient. I begin to feel watched, as if something is on the other side waiting for us- death. Well, technically death, but not ours. The steady sound of Mort and Stacey at work helps me to think rationally, and I calm down a bit.

“Alright,” Mort says, loosening up his shoulders and putting his hand into the small hole he’d made. He braces one foot against the wall and pulls, grunting with the effort. Somehow, the section of wall is moving out! Once one edge is free of the wall Geoff helps Mort pull, and then moments later the slab of rock is far enough out of the way for us to get into the tomb. I almost gag at the cocktail of rot that wafts up to my nose, but get my lantern out of my bag and switch it on.

The fear creeps in again as the shadows shift before we get the lanterns in place at the corners of the room. This room, it seems, is mostly free of the ravages of time: though covered with a layer of dust, I can still see the sarcophagus is richly decorated, and all the carvings and hieroglyphs on the wall are still sharp. I take a few steps back and get a shot of the wall, then take a closer look at one section. At first it seems to be a star chart, but only a fraction of the decans are present, and there is only mention of one planet known during this period. Upon further inspection, it seems these are details of this man’s auspicious birth, and the signs he was born under. I get down on my hands and knees to get a look at the lower portion of this carving, and something I hadn’t noticed with my first look jumps out at me- a small section is not even with the rest of the wall, with additional carvings on it..

This part seems to be like the above charting of the stars at his birth, but coinciding with the latter part or end of his reign. I’m no astrology expert, but I’m assuming these positions must have been favorable. And then, there’s this small area chiseled away- it’s not as precise as the carvings above. I get out my magnifying glass and check, and it becomes apparent this was not a part of the initial work. The decans are not in their natural progression, and what looks to be a shooting star hieroglyph is inserted into them. My unease increases, and when I stand up and take a step back something bumps into me-

“Sorry,” Geoff apologizes. “What’ve you got over here?”

“This section seems to be about certain decans and constellations coinciding with moments in his reign. But, see this part here?” I say, kneeling down and pointing. “That was added after the rest was completed. I have a feeling it may have been someone saying his reign wasn’t all picture perfect and happy.” Geoff nods and looks over his shoulder, and I turn to look- I’m startled to see an Anubis figure with a bow pointing the arrow straight at me! I calm down and see that they aren’t living, and that Mort is taking a selfie with them.

“There’s only the standard offerings over here,” Stacey says. “Should I empty the pots?”

“A few,” Geoff says. “We won’t be able to carry all of them, so just empty one or two for each of us.”

“What about those chests?” I ask, pointing to the ones I see at the feet of the figure with the bow.

“Open them up,” Geoff orders. Mort gets out the crowbar, and pries open the stone lids. I walk over to take a look, and inside get a glimpse of gold inside one, and some kind of cloth in the other.

“You wanna try the sarcophagus?” Mort asks. Geoff nods and steps over to it with Mort. They push on the edge, and it begins to slide with a dry scrape. Stacey and I both decide to help, and we quickly get the lid open until it’s about to fall off to the side. “Hold the other end,” Mort asks. Geoff does so, and Mort gradually slides the lid off, cradling it and squatting down until the corner is touching the ground. He helps Geoff lower the other side, and after that, we get our first look into the sarcophagus.

“The wrappings look well preserved,” Notes Stacey, as she takes a picture.

“Alright, let’s get started on loading up,” Orders Geoff. Inside I can see an ornate scepter next to the remains, and pick it up and very, very carefully place it in my empty carry bag. With only the contents of the chests and the sceptre and a few pots to carry, the load goes quick. “Abigail, if you’ll do the honors?”

“With pleasure.” I take the card out of my pocket, looking at the stylized letter L on it that serves as the symbol of the Langston Group, and gently place it on the chest of the mummy.

“Good. Goggles on, lanterns out, let’s go.” Geoff is the first one out, followed by Mort and then me, and Stacey in the back. As I exit the tomb I hear an impact and a startled gasp, followed by Stacey crying out and collapsing.

“Stacey?!” I turn around and look in, and see Stacey slumped against the sarcophagus with an arrow in her back! Off to the left I see a figure slowly drawing another arrow, and I drop my pot as I stumble back against the wall. “Run!”

“Abigail, what are you-” I don’t stop to listen to Mort, and soon enough he and Geoff are running with me. “That thing was dead when I took a picture with it, I swear!”

“Well, it’s not dead now!” I reply. As we round the corner I hear a faint whooshing sound, and there’s another dull, wet impact- I look over my shoulder for a moment, and Mort has been hit! The Anubis figure is drawing another arrow, and I can feel it’s eyes lock on me. I sob and try to put on a burst of speed, but I’m already running as fast as I can. I focus on the walls so I won’t miss the turn, but I can hear footsteps behind me. Geoff is slightly ahead and gets there before me, but as he turns the floor gives way, and he falls into a pit. I skid to a halt near the edge and look down, and inside the pit with Geoff are living, moving crocodiles.

“Abigail! Ru-” A crocodile bites down on Geoff, the rest of his warning trailing off into a scream. I look behind me, and the Anubis figure with the bow is only a few yards away, slowly walking forwards. My foot involuntarily moves away, but I freeze when my heel meets the empty air over the pit. I look over, and on the spur of the moment jump across the corner of the pit, landing on my hands and knees and sobbing for a moment. I wipe my eyes with my sleeve and get up to run, only to find the Anubis standing right in front of me, looming large like a malevolent mirage. It lets loose its last arrow into my chest, and I fall backwards...
AQ Epic  Post #: 29
3/1/2015 16:24:52   
Renn Shadowheart
Member

Journey of an Arrow

I send an arrow through the air, bound with fire, ice and full of scare.

An shooting star hits the arrow, turning the planet bleak, and narrow.

The magic imbued with the arrow shines, turning right as time binds.

A human looks at this with his magnifying glass, as a mage drops his wand, and slashes.

A rift appears above the Pyramid of Life, as the mage drops down in a parachute, with skill and might.

The core reacts to the mages presence; an L engraved on his head, and removal of all sense.

The mage falls and dies, through the Void of all Life.

All began with one arrow.



AQW Epic  Post #: 30
3/3/2015 23:03:42   
Crystal Sunshyne
Member
 

The Richest Planet

Focus.

The surrounding silence screamed at me from every side. I shifted the angle of my magnifying glass to catch the tiniest glint of reflected moonlight as I examined the document behind the glass. When they said ‘fine print’ they almost literally meant microscopic… what did they have to hide?

The fine print consisted entirely of the letter L repeated in different fonts for twelve lines. It was completely senseless. What did this mean—that they had nothing to hide except the letter L? I didn’t believe them.

I smashed the handle of the magnifying glass into the screen and stole the document behind it as alarms immediately flashed to life almost as loudly as the preceding silence.

When the security guards would arrive on the scene a whole minute later there would be no trace of me except two drops of blood on the jagged shards of glass that littered the display case… and the glove I just dropped in the corridor when I took it off to examine how badly my hand was cut. It was really just a scratch that I should have ignored because I would miss that glove; I didn’t have time to stop running and retrieve it.

Focus.

Which way through the labyrinthine passageways was the right one to take? Left, right, or straight? I came from the right, didn’t I? I thought I remembered that display of baguettes. I turned right and continued on with the dreadful feeling that I had gone the wrong way. There were baguettes everywhere, not just at that corner. Was that the sound of voices? Footsteps? Were they about to catch me? I needed a shadow to hide in…

Baguettes cast pretty long shadows, but even someone as tiny as me wouldn’t be thin enough to disappear behind them. Loaves of multigrain bread still weren’t thick enough, however nice the smell of fresh baked bread was. The shelf of trays filled with tiny muffins would not provide enough cover either. They were adorable and delicious looking muffins though—blueberry muffins, carrot muffins, banana muffins, raspberry muffins, walnut muffins, and… were those raisins or chocolate chips? I took one and devoured it in a single disappointing bite. Raisins. I should have known they wouldn’t let me find anything chocolate on this level.

Focus, Allyssa.

What I really needed from these halls of baked goods was a giant wedding cake to hide in while the guards passed me, but lacking that, my only option was to find the stairs quickly. But I was hopelessly lost and I could hear footsteps and voices tracking me. They had found my glove.

I glanced at the document in my hand, trying to glean directions from the part that wasn’t fine print. From what I could make out, there might be a stairwell near the breakfast cereal, which was beside the toast down a hallway of rice across from the corridor of corn.

Footsteps drew nearer, but then turned left when they reached the fork where I had gone right. Maybe it was a good thing I didn’t know my way around; I could confuse them better when they tried to follow me. But the loudness of their echoing footsteps alerted me that they might hear the sound of my shoes too if I wasn’t careful, so I quickly slipped out of them and tossed them in my bag. I knew they weren’t nearly as loud as the security guards’ boots, but it was better to take the precaution anyway. I sped in the direction of the hallway of rice, my footsteps now muted by fuzzy purple socks that I tried not to find slippery as I ran.

Corn, rice, cereal… yes, a staircase! I happily leaped up the steps two at a time, not letting myself be distracted by the apple, strawberry, cherry, and pumpkin pies lining the edges of the stairs. No, not even the tiny tarts that were almost cuter than those mini muffins. I was on a mission.

The next floor up was full of broccoli, garden salad, carrots, tomatoes, cherries, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, oranges, lemons, pineapples, peaches, pears… Fruits and vegetables made quite a colourful selection, but I told myself to keep climbing the stairs.

Was that fondue made of melted white chocolate? I speared a piece of pineapple on a purple fondue fork and tasted it. No, it was cheese, of course.

I didn’t even bother looking at the level filled with meat and dairy as I passed it. That second taste of something that could have been chocolate but wasn’t had instilled in me an even greater focus on reaching the top of this pyramid.

The top floor looked ominous. The small room I entered was filled with piles of sweets that would make the witch that captured Hansel and Gretel jealous, but there was a shadowed secrecy to it and something was missing. Marshmallows, gummy bears, caramel, cinnamon rolls, mint candies, cake so soft it looked like snow, ice cream sundaes in every flavour except the one I craved…

Beneath the flickering light in the dark corridor leading past this room I saw a sign with a hieroglyphic letter L and an arrow pointing onward. This must be the way to the stash they were hiding, the most precious edible substance ever created, the thing they were trying to deprive the world of by inflicting healthy eating on everyone. But they would not win this war, not with me. The corridor floor creaked loudly, and I hastened my step, hoping the guards were still a couple floors below. I knew better than to pause and distract myself testing whether those oatmeal raisin cookies were chocolate chip. I knew they wouldn’t be. There wasn’t any chocolate in this pyramid, not even here.

The door at the end of the corridor was labelled with another hieroglyphic L and it was bolted from the outside. Something growled softly on the other side of it. I hesitated, checking the description in the document to make sure this was the only place left that could lead me to the treasure I sought. They didn’t mention chocolate explicitly, but if I read carefully between the lines I could tell that’s what they were hiding here. The light flickered. The floor creaked.

“Hey, there she is! Catch the thief!”

Now I had no choice but to unbolt the door and throw myself through it. The creature that had growled looked up at the sound of the door slamming behind me, and I leaned against the exit to its cage contemplating whether I would get my glove back if I went back out and let the guards catch me. No, this was about more than a glove. I couldn’t let my fear of this beast stop me.

I carefully folded my map of the pyramid and slipped it into my pocket, moving slowly enough not to draw any further attention or anger the animal between me and my destination. So maybe it hadn’t been hieroglyphic L’s; maybe they had been pictures of lions. The lines of letter L’s on the document were just a distraction, a red herring. This was the wrong kind of pyramid for hieroglyphs anyway.

The lion looked at me menacingly. It didn’t move to hurt me, but it didn’t look peaceful either. I took a step forward, slowly, trying to imagine it as a large tame cat and imagine I had the courage of a lion myself. Its eyes followed me. Heart pounding, I told myself to treat it as a person of a different species and not assume it would be hostile just because it was unfamiliar and possibly hungry. There was so much food in this pyramid, it must get fed well, right? It wouldn’t need to eat me or attack me. I could walk past it. I could get to the window.

I took another step. Then another.

The guards still hadn’t followed me through the door.

I took the longer detour around the room to the window on the other side, staying close to the wall, not moving one inch closer to the lion than I had to. It still didn’t move anything but its head and eyes as it followed my movement. But that didn’t necessarily mean it wouldn’t be about to pounce and patiently waiting for a moment when it felt like doing so…

I was behind the lion now, finally at the window, when suddenly I was distracted by a brilliant flash of light as a shooting star fell directly outside. This was the moment the lion chose to make its move toward me. But I caught the light of the shooting star in my magnifying glass and focused it on the creature’s eye, and it was momentarily blinded. In the moment it took for it to pause and blink, I was already outside.

There was a ladder just outside the window leading up into the sky. I climbed it, not daring to look down at the empty space below me and the pyramid beneath. I kept my eyes on the rungs above and the distant destination growing ever nearer. The stars were magnificent in the midnight blue sky, but all I cared about was that little brown planet the ladder led to.

As I rose higher I noticed that all around me the stars were falling from the sky one by one, and I couldn’t catch them to hang them all back up where they belonged. So I watched them hit the ground and shatter, and shower the world in stardust.

I thought of making a wish on one of those shooting stars, but I snapped my eyes back to the ladder.

Focus, Allyssa.

Gravity weakened the farther I climbed from the pyramid, and it began to switch directions as I approached the small brown planet. I imagined falling face first onto the smooth, rich, creamy ground and sinking my mouth into sugar and chocolate. Shooting stars were crashing onto this planet, too, coating it in sparkling icing sugar and rainbow sprinkles.

My arms were growing tired of climbing. When the gravitational pull of the small planet was strong enough I let go of the ladder and tugged the string to activate my parachute. I drifted delightfully downward in the direction of the most decadent place in existence.

It didn’t matter anymore that I couldn’t understand the stars because there were no twinkling lights left in the sky to make sense of. They had all fallen. And it didn’t matter that I hadn’t wished on any of them. I had all the chocolate in the universe. I had everything I could wish for…

At least if I wanted the wish to come true.

End Round 7

< Message edited by PyroPuppy -- 6/3/2016 17:59:16 >
Post #: 31
4/2/2015 13:27:57   
  PyroPuppy
Adorable!


New round, new elements!

Actions:
Heavy crying
playing baseball

Elements:
Key
evil shadow
bumblebee
sleeping person
footprint
an interested person
keyhole

Deadline is May 2nd

< Message edited by PyroPuppy -- 5/3/2015 17:03:54 >
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 32
4/5/2015 21:17:11   
Dragonnightwolf
How We Roll Winner
Apr/Jun/Aug15


Key away, Key away, Key away ball by Dragonnightwolf

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Hands that race around a clock. Tick. Tock. As clouds spin around the world in a speed either too slow or too quickly for humanity to notice, things change. People change. People grow up, grow old and die. Life forces that ooze away the likeness and the odd, separation between reality and dream, the realms that exist of inaction and reaction where time and space have no bounds.

This is where we exist. This is where plans are made. Where dreams drift into futures. Where careers become legends. Where time passes by without so much as a hello or goodbye. And so that brings us to the place dear reader. The place is known as the Erlena University. A place where tradition is questioned, a school where education is indeed important, but so too are the questions that are brought. It is here that we discover the dream of a simple minded individual.

Mr. Peter Thornferry, an aspiring student who works very hard to earn good grades. The current time is 11:09 in the morning and Peter is in the middle of a lecture. Let’s listen in. “In 1953, Nathaniel Kleitman and a graduate student discovered what we call R.E.M sleep. The terminology is Rapid Eye Movement sleep. This is highly different then the deep-sleep state.” , Professor Michael Aster explained.

“When we go into deep sleep, the odds of REM are reduced. It is a continued study that fascinates humanity. Everyone dreams you see, dogs, cats, other mammals all have the potential to dream. When we dream we enter R.E.M state. We can touch, taste, see, and hear in this state although for some unknown reason we still cannot smell in such a state.” While professor Aster moved around, a projector was busy showing the 737 students images of the brain and neurons as well as other important visual shots to help reinforce the learning. Peter was a person who you could say was interested in the subject of dream sequence and how it functioned.

“Five types of dream exist. False awakening, normal dream, lucid, daydream and of course, nightmares. For example let’s say I go through a function of false awakening. My mind will fool me into believing that this is reality and I’m going through the normal process of my daily routine, get up, get dressed, make the coffee, kiss the missus, eat breakfast and so on and so forth.” Aster paused for a moment.

“It won’t be until something significant happens which tells me this is clearly a dream. Everything will look the way it does in reality. The reason this happens is because the consciousness adds every exact detail to this state of dream. Until the moment when you realize it is a dream, you will continue to believe it is in fact reality.”

“Now normal dreams are those which clearly someone realizes it is a dream right off the bat. Either by something peculiar or something abstract a person simply knows. This sort of dream is fairly easy for most people to recognize and as such can offer creative minds a way to enhance their skill.”

“Did you know that some people can daydream between seventy and one hundred and twenty minutes a day?” Aster paused again so this information could be acknowledged. “It’s true. Day dreaming is a state where you aren’t exactly completely connected to reality, but you aren’t fully asleep either. It happens at unusual times of the day too. For example, let’s say I was giving a lecture on the theory of relativity, naturally people would start fading pretty quickly.”

“But what if I was talking about something more fundamental like the process of how a game gets from point A to point B, or how thrusters helped Astronauts get to the moon. That would keep peoples interest.”

“So, with day dreaming we are simply in a state of semi-awareness. Now in a Lucid dreaming state we are all the way asleep. This is where we get to see dreams involving flowers or unicorns or whatever else you can imagine. Often times lucid dreaming communicates something from our subconscious mind. It could be a realization of our life or perhaps some abstract possibility for an unforeseen future.”

“Now we get to nightmares, Nightmares are the stress, the tension, the fears and doubts that are our life. A nightmare can quickly turn a pleasant dream sour and a person can even feel pain during such a time. “ A sudden banging sound caused Peter to look towards the nearby window. He watched the birds for a moment but could discern no explanation for the sound.

“Peter?” Professor Aster asked looking at the young student. “Is there a problem?” “Uh, no professor Aster, please continue.” Peter replied feeling embarrassed. “So as I was saying nightmares will usually pertain to some sort of fear or stress. Usually we awaken from them, there has been an occasion or two where someone else has to shake us awake from a nightmare. Some are so strong that you cannot wake up and it requires another person to assist in the waking.”

Peter started to feel odd. As if all wasn’t right with the world. Tick. Tock. He could almost hear his clock by his bed making it’s normal sounds. Yet that was impossible. Peter was here at college learning. Another banging sound caused the windows to shatter. Aster’s face went pale before he yelled at the top of his lungs. “Tornado! Quickly everyone, get to cover!”

Students started to scream or cry out in surprise as objects started sliding or flying around the room. Professor Aster and several students ducked down by his desk. Peter dodged a flying tape dispenser and dove under his table. Highlighters and chalk and black sharpies bounced down around him like hundreds of giant pins.

Aster’s face began to distort, in fact the entire room began to alter before Peters eyes. Light bulbs burned out, sparks flew across the class room, people’s yells were distorted by other sounds. Sounds of ambulances and fire trucks. The class room slowly faded to the scenery of a large grassy field with open blue skies and fluffy clouds. Some kind of archery or baseball target was set up in one spot and there was something weird about this place.

“Okay B-ley toss the ball.” Peter had to blink his eyes. Standing there playing a game of baseball were a couple of characters. A key and a key hole. “What the-“ Peter was interrupted by the sound of crying. Lots of crying. “WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” The keyhole sobbed and wailed and cried so heavily that tears were pouring down its face like so much rain.
“Why are you crying?” Peter asked with concern. “B. b. Because I lost a score of eight to zero in a game of baseball.” Wailed the keyhole.

The scenery started to change. One of the shadows of a key came to life. It held a knife and the evil eyes glowed menacingly at Peter. “You. Will die.” The evil shadow entity stated looking right at him. It made a movement with one hand swinging the knife at Peter. Peter’s shirt tore with the slice and he yelled in surprise and backed away. The trees started to look darker and meaner. Peter could again hear the distinct tick. tock. Of his favorite clock but knew this couldn’t be a dream.

A dark, shadow began to descend upon poor Peter as a bumblebee flew by. Peter reached out to pick up this blue sunflower he’d seen and the bumblebee who was collecting pollen stung him on the middle of his right hand. A baseball bat clattered to the ground near where the key and keyhole were playing. “YOWCH!” Peter yelled rubbing at his hand gingerly. The pain of the sting caused his hand to swell. So focused on pain was he that Peter forgot to look up.

Boom. Peter shut his eyes as a gigantic flash as if a bulb had gone off in his face. When he opened them burned into the grass all around this young man was a gigantic Footprint. Looking up, Peter saw a gigantic version of himself walking off, shouting something about fire and danger. Peter could almost feel the warmth and again could hear the tick. tock. Of his clock. But he could not make sense of it at all. The ticking got louder and the warmth got stronger the longer Peter remained here.

Boom. Again a gigantic flash of white hot piercing light shot past his eyes. Again Peter opened his eyes but now. Now things started to make sense. He was asleep. Peter was asleep! He could clearly see his bed, his body and his room. The entire room now was engulfed in flames and there was Peter sound asleep. “Wake up Peter!” he cried out to no avail. Either the young man was too deeply asleep or else he’d suffered smoke inhalation.

Peter yelled out in fear as the screams of his father and the heavy crying of his mother echoed through the window from outside. “Save my baby.” She wailed.
Running to the window despite the fire, Peter saw the ambulance and the fire trucks out on the lawn. Fighting a desperate situation that was only getting more serious by the moment. “I. I couldn’t wake him.” The father tells a nearby cop. “He just wouldn’t wake up. I tried to rouse him but my banging on his door had no effect. The boy had stayed up all night working on a report for his teacher.”

Peter felt the stinging, burning sensation from the bumblebee spread up his arm now. As if his whole arm was on fire. The feeling spread across his body and face. “Wake up Peter! Wake up!” He yelled shaking all over in worry and fear. He tried to shake the figure but the moment he touched himself, Peter wasn’t Peter. Peter was the evil shadow. No. Worse. The evil shadow became a gigantic shadowed horse. A creature with huge venomous fangs and deep red piercing eyes and the mane was ablaze. The hooves were red hot and the nostrils shot out smoke. This was a true nightmare. “Yes Peter, wake up.” It said menacingly.

The voice was thick and dark and rich. But here, the young man could smell. He could smell the sulfur and feel the heat emanating off the creature. Perhaps Professor Aster had been wrong after all. Perhaps there was more to a dream state then humans could comprehend. “Wake up Peter.” The creature snorted and mockingly spoke. The eyes brimmed with evil purpose and the ears moved up in anticipation.

“Time to say goodbye, Peter.” The creature cooed threateningly as it moved ever closer to him. Peter found all his strength gone, all his ability to speak was stolen away. He was going to die without being able to make a sound. That scared him. That frightened him. But suddenly Peter realized something. There was something in the very back of his mind that felt a familiarity with this creature. As the black and red tongue came out and touched his forehead the young man screamed in agony. It felt like every fiber was on fire.

Peter let out a loud gasp as he woke up. “Peter, Peter snap out of it.” Professor Aster was looking at the young man with great concern. “Wha, what happened?” Peter asked shaking. His head felt very lightheaded and dizzy. “You went into some kind of fever dream. I couldn’t get you back to reality.” The professor explained. “How long?” the young student asked as his face turned bright red. “You’ve been out for nearly two hours. I think I should escort you to the military’s doctors for further investigation.”

“What?” Peter looked around his face was all sweaty as he looked at laboratory equipment and metal cylinders and plastic frames and wires . The entire place looked like something out of a movie. “Don’t you remember?” Aster asked staring at the young man. “You volunteered for the experiment. FC-17. The dream walk assignment. We’ve been monitoring your vitals and your brain waves this entire time.” Aster said holding a clipboard with data statistics on it.

“It was that same. Creature Professor Aster. The one I saw in the last three test results.” Peter stated using a tissue to wipe his eyebrows. “I know Peter. For some reason that entity continues to haunt your psyche. You may just have to live with that. We’ve tried therapy, hypnosis, everything we can think of to remove that. That thing. But it just doesn’t seem to work. It keeps appearing every time we move towards your childhood.” Aster scratched his head. “I’ll-“ Aster was cut off when Peter grasped his arm. “Professor. Was there a fire in here?” Aster’s face paled. “Yes we had a small fire that popped up on the monitors but it was a residence not listed in our typical database.” “Professor, Where?” Peter pleaded looking at the mans face. Aster hesitated. “Over in quadrant C 5. The Thyston place area.”

“But that’s. that’s where my mom and pop live.” Peter said his head began to swim and his face turned brighter red. Peter fell back into the fever dream and despite repeated attempts to bring the subject back. Failure.

“And so I am inclined to believe that this patient suffered from a fever delirium so strong that it would never let him exit the program again.” Professor Aster concluded turning off the projector. “Yes Holly?” The man asked nodding to the woman on the right with her hand up.

“Professor, if this is all true. Where is this Peter now?” Holly asked. “He’s still hooked into the program, Holly. A program that continues to function around him but preserves him. We can’t explain how or why it does, but military experts tried to shut it down and it just kept re-engaging. They even pulled power cords and motherboards and it still came back online.” Professor Aster shrugged his shoulders. “This is one that science, can’t explain.”

The end
End Round 8

< Message edited by PyroPuppy -- 6/3/2016 18:01:04 >
AQW Epic  Post #: 33
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