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PostSubject: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:11 pm

Ke'ak
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Member # 2005 posted June 13, 2006 04:04 PMJune 13, 2006 04:04 PM

________________________________________
SYSTEM ERROR... REBOOT SEQUENCE INITIATED.

"What is it doing?"

"We can't be sure, sir."

"Since when does the entire Mind Game begin to restart itself without any instructions?"

"It's the Mind Game, sir. We can't explain half of the things that it does."

[BEEP]

"What was that noise? What's it doing now?"

ANOMOLIES RECOGNIZED. CANCELLING REBOOT SEQUENCE. ADAPTING TO CURRENT SITUATION.

"Anomolies?! Since when are there anomolies?"

INITIATING ILLUSION SEQUENCE. LINKING... LINKING... LINKS ESTABLISHED. RETICULATING SPLINES. DEVELOPING CURRENT SCENARIO.

"What in the world is going on!?"

"Sir, this has happened before, don't you remember?"

"You're not telling me that this is..."

CURRENT SCENARIO DETERMINED. ACTIVATING PROGRAM 362-XX4R. BEGINNING ILLUSION.

"What is this 'Illusion' program?"

"The computer apparently has created it on its own."

"Well, turn it off!"

"We can't turn it off, sir."

"Why not!?"

"The mind game has stored this program into the life support systems files, and I can't exactly tell how, either. If we shut down this program, it may shut down some things we'd rather have running."

"The mind game did this by itself?"

"There's no trace of any user intervention."

"So what do we do?"

"We'll get people on it sir, but for now we just get to watch, I guess."

BEGINNING ILLUSION SEQUENCE
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:12 pm

angelo
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Member # 1260 posted June 14, 2006 01:25 AMJune 14, 2006 01:25 AM

________________________________________
She was left-handed and could never be bothered to dot anything. Her letters were all thin and dark, compact and huddling together.

Raining again.
The horses broke loose this morning because we couldn’t negotiate better pay. Now I feel like I’m walking under a schizophrenic waterfall. Occasionally it howls, other times it rages, and just when you think it’s spent it starts throwing up on you.
Reminds me of dad.

But really, if I get slapped in the face with one more leaf I swear by my left knee I’ll burn this entire forest down. I don’t care if it is a rain forest. The “rain” part is just a ******* suggestion. Do we really need a reminder every half hour?

We get it.
You’re humid and damp. It’s fitting for such a geological armpit.

Pffomp.

Giggling in the darkness.

Sway clenched her jaw and squeezed her eyes shut as she figured this would make it harder to explode. She didn’t want to wake up Kyle, it was his turn to sleep, but she was having an itch to destroy something.

The light had gone out in her lamp for the thirteenth time and counting to ten was not going to do it. Her shoulders were shaking as she stuck her right arm in the air and incinerated a tree that once looked like wet sea wreckage but now looked like the smoking trickles of water were secretly rocket fuel.

The heat alone evaporated any rain that would have neglected to find somewhere else to land.

“And Sway said ‘It was good,’” she sighed, wiping her black hair out of her eyes and watching the frightened trees around glance at each other and ever so delicately lean away from their friend turned inferno.

She leaned back with her legs out straight and her hands behind her and said with all sincerity, “Keep dumping water on me. Keep finding it funny. Keep getting turned into Popsicle sticks.” The trees directly above her were now making a good show of feigning sleep.


This is day 39 of our expedition to find if there are any survivors of the curse on the Red Dessert. So far we’ve found nothing but a bunch of weak vegetation and some deranged looking elk.
Both taste like jelly and salt soup.

Kyle is hinting we stay another day. Maybe he likes round numbers. I don’t give a s*** what we do. But anyone who can turn an entire dessert into the Amazon is balls out insane for all I care. I was ready to leave a month and five trillion mosquito bites ago.

Pffomp.

Sway didn’t like water. Neither did the Wicked Witch. That wasn’t all they had in common. She could get nasty.

“That’s it you deciduous pieces of—“ She was already up, aiming a fire arrow at the closest trees when the ground shook underneath her. She tripped over Kyle and nearly fell into the fire.

“What in the…”

An eight-foot tall centaur with golden fur and fierce eyes walked into the clearing and stared at the burning tree. He glared at the campfire where Sway was trying to put out some fireprone feathers.
He wasn’t smiling.

“This tree you burnt. You will have to pay for.” His voice was deep and wavered like he was speaking to her underwater.

Sway was not a negotiator. She blew things up and casually walked away. Kyle did the talking. All the while she was nudging Kyle, “Quickly… Kyle… Quickly…”

The golden centaur brandished a wide blue axe.

“Either die or be burned.”

“Decisions, decisions.”

[ June 16, 2006, 04:32 PM: Message edited by: cuchulain ]
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:13 pm

Amory
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Member # 3763 posted June 14, 2006 05:19 PMJune 14, 2006 05:19 PM

________________________________________
Caspar chewed on his lip, a habit he was trying to break, as he maneuvered the little green rat through the maze. Althought it wasn't just a simple maze of lines, there were obstacles like pits, swinging blades, creeps, and traps. And to top it all off, once you began the game a huge stone boulder was set in motion behind you so you had to act decisively. Balancing a steady pace with constant struggle against obstacles required...well, not really THAT much effort.

"Heehee!", Caspar said gleefully as he made the rat tapdance across the minefield with precision and skill that belied the crazed look on his face. The rat crawled through the next door and Caspar found himself in a level he hadn't seen before.

"Uhhhh", he mumbled as he fidgeted with the camera angle.

He seemed to be perched on the bow of a large naval vessel, of somewhat ancient design. A huge swirling pit enveloped the center of the level, flowing with murky blue-black water that frothed and churned vigorously enough make a foggy mist that wrapped itself around what seemed to be a sea of old military vessels, aircraft, cruise ships, and other assorted vehicles.

"This can't be", Caspar whispered as he felt all the muscles in his body contract tensely.

It was the Bermuda Triangle. An anomaly existing in the stretch of water housed between Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and the Florida Keys. Caspar had been fascinated by it as a child, so much so that he had convinced his father to use the Leer jet, that he cherished as dearly as his only son, to fly them both over the Devil's Triangle. His mother had been anxiously waiting for their return and when they did make it back his father reported dryly that nothing had happened. Afterwards, Caspar had disputed several times with his father that something had indeed happened. He remembered feeling a distinct chill go up his spine at the immediate second that they had crossed the meridian into the Triangle.

And here he was now...again. The water and the mist he remembered, as well as the chill going down his spine. At for the ships and the maelstrom that was glaring at him like a huge black eye, that was all DEFINITELY new.

"Rats off to you, my calculating opponent", he announced in the rats high-pitched, squeaky voice. "I'm not sure how you did it, but this is most impressive.

And this is definitely not the work of human technology. Nano-technology is advancing, but this is lightyears beyond what we're capable of now.

"Sneaky sneaky", he squeaked as he searched for the portal to the next level. He groaned to himself as he realized it was on a tiny island, apparently floating directly in the center of the swirling water pit.

Urge to strangle mindgame...rising...

Caspar hopped around the deck of the ship until he found what he was looking for, a huge harpoon-launcher.

Oh yeah, great. This thing's probably about as accurate as a blind archer standing on an anthill. Ah, but it's not like I have any other choices.

Caspar made the green rat cross himself and squeak a little prayer before climbing onto the wooden missile. The rat's pink tail curled over to the trigger and flexed expertly.

"Ahhhh, holy crap this was a bad idea!", he squeaked as he struggled to keep his balance on the hurtling harpoon-taxi that he had managed to flag down. He mistakenly looked down to see himself hovering over a murky dungeon of churning water. Torrents of water seemed to jump up at him, often jumping off the backs of other torrents of water.

What the heck?

Caspar puzzled at the seemingly animated water as he looked up and gauged his descent. He flattened his body and stuck his tail out straight behind him in an effort to get more forward velocity and lift.

It was working!

He was going to make it!

"Better luck next level, you ol' devil", he chuckled haughtily as somewhere in the depths of the maelstrom something stirred in the waters.

Caspar was really enjoying himself. He was making the rat mime as if there were an invisible wall in front of the level portal.

"Oh geez, there seems to be some kind of magic force field in front of the portal", he teased as he winked to no one in particular.

--*CRRRRRSSPLLLLASHHHWHUMPPPP!@$@#%!^#$@&#^%#*--

He never saw the enraged behemoth that came up out of the water and blocked out the sun. Or the enormous tree-sized tendrils that snaked out of the water with spade shaped appendages covered in what looked like suction-cups. The only thing Caspar saw was a huge shadow that turned the world into night. His high-pitched squeaks of despair echoed up from the stormy depths of the basin as he tumbled into darkness.

[ June 14, 2006, 09:20 PM: Message edited by: Amory ]
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:14 pm

Ke'ak
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Member # 2005 posted June 14, 2006 06:00 PMJune 14, 2006 06:00 PM

________________________________________
They'd been here for what seemed like an eternity. Something in the forest seemed to call to them, and whether or not it was real, there was an aura about these trees that kept them investigating. What they were looking for was anyone's guess, including the two figures settled under the dripping foilage.

As was custom between them, Kyle had taken first watch last night, keeping an eye out for potential dangers as Sway drifted off into slumber. The sun was just sinking behind the distant horizon, the pink and purple glows slowly fading as they filtered through the trees. Night was on its way, and the whispers of the evening were quickly approaching. Sway was asleep quickly, or so it seemed. With her, you could never be sure. Several times Kyle had been certain of her slumber only to be surprised by her answering one of the rhetorical questions he had posed to her in the silence. But today had been long, and even Kyle was fairly fatigued by the labors of the day.

The unpredictable rainfall had proven the demise of their lean-to, and so Kyle had spent some time in the past couple of weeks putting together something a little more sturdy out of fallen trees. He'd had to be careful, for it seemed that the trees were alive, and even the sight of his hatchet had caused the whispers of the forest to increase in pitch and volume. But as of yet, nothing had happened to them. Kyle had been able to put together a fairly sturdy small cabin, semi-weatherproof, but with a good share of leaks. But he wasn't about to wake Sway just to finish the cabin; that would have to wait until tomorrow.

Birds and other animals added their sounds to nature's concert as Kyle watched with diligence. He looked over at his travelling companion, as she lay motionless in the dark. The lamp above them was still lit, and Kyle preferred it that way. His vision was good, but the light was a welcome comfort in the increasing darkness. The night seemed clear, and peaceful. A relatively easy watch.
_________________________________________________

They had switched watch sometime in the early hours of the morning. Kyle just couldn't stay up any longer, and felt that it might be dangerous if he were on watch and tired. He had nudged Sway, who really had been sleeping, and she awoke. She had mumbled some sarcastic comment about it being too early, but Kyle was well used to that. She took watch, and Kyle's eyes quickly fell shut.

Something hard hit him in the stomach, and then something else landed nearly on top of him. Kyle mumbled something, his mind telling him just to go back to sleep and let whatever it was sort itself out. But then he felt another nudge, and another, and slowly his eyes began to open.

A centaur towered above them, a menacing blue axe held in his hands, with a quite...unhappy demeanor. He could hear Sway's voice, "Quickly… Kyle… Quickly…” He always slept with his sword at his side, and this night was no different. His hand was mere inches from the hilt, his trusty blade almost inviting him to strike. The centaur, the only true sign of life they'd seen in over a month, began to speak.

"Either die or be burned.” Oh great. Kyle's eyes quickly glanced at Sway. What happened?

Sway responded in her usual candor. "Decisions, decisions."

Kyle knew that he had to do something. He gripped his sword slowly, and then began to stir. The centaur's attention riveted on Kyle, and the axe began to move, a little too quickly for Kyle's taste. The centaur was swinging the flat end of the blade, but Kyle reacted as best as he could. He jumped, rebounding off of the wide flat surface, and being launched backwards. He turned to find himself flying straight for a tree, at much to fast a speed. Kuso.

SMACK! He hit the tree, but only with a glancing blow, spinning in the air before hitting the dirt with a thud. Thankfully his sword stayed in his hand, but the blow dazed him slightly. He shook himself and grit his teeth. Heck, you bugger. I didn't even do anything! And to Sway, There better be a good reason for this.

Kyle was on his feet, and running towards the golden creature, who was now heading straight towards Kyle. Kyle raised his blade, and the two weapons collided with a terrific clang. The centaur was strong, but Kyle was no weakling. Years of fighting in this place had prepared him well for physical encounters. It was the height that was the biggest challenge.

He glanced over at Sway, his eyes pleading with her to intervene. Then the blades continued to crash together. "Sway, what did you do?!"
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:14 pm

Penthesilea
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Member # 4625 posted June 15, 2006 12:31 AMJune 15, 2006 12:31 AM

________________________________________
It wasn’t uncommon to see Nava searching passionately for a crack in the wall where she could be alone with her sometimes uncouth thoughts. She often found solace in crouching into her bunk, desk on lap, using important ‘work’ as her mask. The girl did keep very detailed records of everything that went on - well, everything that she felt was important enough to note in the form of a diary entry, the closest thing she had to a secret document. With her smug little pout on her face, few people would doubt that the girl was doing anything besides running the launch from her desk as she typed away at the keys, eyes locked on the screen in a fierce and dedicated glare. A busy girl, she was, even in her downtime. Every so often, however, the ever-convenient diary program was substituted for the fantasy game, which had become a secret procrastination device over the time she’d spent at battle school. It was tangible entertainment and she seemed to be good at it. She would have been reluctant to admit that she’d been doing a lot more ‘work’ lately, having found a nice game within the fantasy world that sparked her interest significantly more than the much sillier game in the thunder clouds that she gotten stuck in frequently the week prior.

The game she played now as she lay sprawled out on her bunk, belly down, was addictive. Her eyes were glued to the screen with a severe fervor and her mouth, rather than sitting puckered together, was slightly open in concentration. She had abandoned all hope of looking presentable moments before, and seemed about ready to begin drooling all over the desk and her hands, which moved fleetly over the controls with no regards for anything else. The game took place in the same thunder-cloud setting as the previous one, only it was darker and the storm grew more violent. The realism of the setting was impressive, with the lightning bolts striking at no predictable interval and the screen flashing equally at random with blinding intensity that drew her pupils with each strike. It was exciting, and caused her human heart, as well as the disconnected heart of her avatar, to jump frantically, though her body was dormant where she lay. The game was all in her character, and it made her almost nervous. She had already died once in the heat of the game. Had she died before reaching this point? How many lives did she have left?

It was intense, as odd as it seemed. At some point her snake character had become a vine, which snaked up a tree and into the clouds. At first, Nava had been disenchanted with playing as foliage. What could a stupid tree do, anyway? Eventually, she realized that she was fighting a battle of the elements - electricity versus earth, with a fierce rivalry existent between the two, though neither showed the human characteristics of any of the human or animal characters she’d had in the game in the past. The vine was working as an extension of her rapidly pounding fingers, absorbing the electricity and performing dangerous whip-like maneuvers with the newly acquired power. She was able to strike back with force, break up the gray clouds, entangle thunderbolts when they struck, and make impulsive decisions while blinded by flashes. Her energy drained, though, and the lightning often reached for her before she could reach for it - she lost her smaller vine appendages to flame periodically. The challenge of the game was clearing the storm before the storm cleared her. It was all in the timing, split second decisions, and being completely responsible for everything that happened and every bit of the vine she lost. There was no doubt that an intelligent program had invented this game for her - it was empowering, but forced responsibility… everything that a mind like Nava’s required.

And in an instant as quickly as the flashes that had been dominating her screen, the vine she was playing as was cut off at the center and stood suspended for a second, as if confirming its own demise. It writhed for a moment - this climactic death seemed different from the ones that Nava had experienced in the past, and it, along with her connection to it (was it always like this?) came plummeting through the raging sky. There was a feeling of weightlessness, then panic, then disorientation, reorientation - and the climactic and frantic landing on earth that was undoubtedly… wet.

Nava panted miserably, a look of confusion written on her face where her characteristic pout would normally sit. She had landed on her hands and knees and the impact had sent a wave of pain through her wrists and knees, and into a body that just didn’t feel right.

She’d never procrastinate again.

She hadn’t even noticed she’d been screaming, a high-pitched wail that was straight from her pipes. She was lucky it was a long fall (From the clouds, she told herself, unable to separate herself from the game in her moment of disorientation), and she was able to land on all fours rather than on her head. She didn’t think to look around yet, only to tend to herself in her tigress-like manner. She became more and more like a cat every day. She examined the palms of her hands, her knees, and took a second to wipe away the tears that had begun to coat her cheeks (whether they were from the rush of air or she’d been crying she’d never admit).

“Where the hell am I?” she asked nobody, coming back to herself. That, it seemed, was a rather big question to answer.
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:15 pm

angelo
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Member # 1260 posted June 15, 2006 01:17 AMJune 15, 2006 01:17 AM

________________________________________
Kyle flew past her and slammed hard into a disgruntled tree. He barreled back at the centaur and when their sword and axes met there was a jarring clash.

Sway could always count on Kyle to drop kick any and everybody that was trying to mess with her. Since she knew he always would she tried to give him as little reason to do so as possible. She cleaned up her own messes. Turning people into ice sculptures, burying buffoons alive, and heating up hot heads was a sort of passion for her. But some things just required a sword.

Even though she felt sort of guilty.

The entire expedition had been so boring that Sway had for once let her guard down. She’d started to relax. And in that very second there was a huge beast trying to impale possibly the last person she knew that would dare tolerate her.

They pressed their weapons together as Kyle shouted, "Sway, what did you do?!"

Clearly she hadn’t done enough or she would have gone through with her threat to taken down the whole forest, neutralizing the entire situation. Her left knee was itching.

She rubbed her hands together to power up the fire and just as she spread her arms the tree directly above her handed over a special gift in the form of a fifty-gallon bubble bath. A gallon of water weighs eight pounds, she thought dizzily. That might be why this felt vaguely like being hit with a park bench. She lay crookedly in the small pond that the tree had tailored for her.

While she was down it dumped on seconds. It felt like someone had chucked the giant squid every little boy dreams of catching straight at her. It was wet and heavy enough to have broken her neck if she had been looking up. She crawled off her stomach and made an obscene gesture at the demonic trees crying, “Look they started it!”

She looked up just in time to see an even larger reservoir hovering a split second above her. She sidestepped and narrowly avoided baptism.

In the long shadows of the burning tree she could see that Kyle was holding on.

She stamped her foot on the ground and it immediately sunk ten feet under her making a sucking sound like a straw groping for more soda.

Two seconds later a spike of earth and wiggling roots erupted right under the centaur. The golden creature was tossed back into the forest with the force of alone.

She ran to Kyle while slipping her arms into her gauntlets and trying to tie her shoes. “I know I wasn’t supposed to touch anything,” she said breathlessly grabbing his arm to help him up, “but they kept putting out my lamp and it was almost day time anyway and I didn’t think that there was anybody here. I mean we were leaving tomorrow. And and technically I didn’t even touch it… I just lit it on fire.”

An ocean of water approached from the trees above. She glanced up, pulled Kyle close, and with fire evaporated a tight enough ring so that they could avoid its limb amputating weight. She coughed, “A little.”

The tree in question tried to wheeze a rebuttal.

It was at this point that Sway came to a profound realization. Now that they had found something in this misnamed desert Kyle probably was going to want to find out if there were more “somethings” somewhere else. Meaning they’d be here for another millennium.

Sway fought the urge to scream at that thought. She hated foliage. It was such a waste. Growing up in Arizona made it possible to see clear into different cities. There were no trees blocking the way and there weren’t as many hills intercepting normal lines of vision. In essence there was a sense of space, not this claustrophobic sweatbox she’d tripped into.

A conch shell pierced the air three times.

Reinforcements were probably on the way.
“Sorry Kyle,” Sway frowned trying to wring out her hair. Hair that she’d spent the previous day braiding. Not that anyone would have noticed.

She found a feather shaped hole in her shirt that she tried to hide. Usually when she got angry or scared the feathers on her wings would turn into individual razors. Maybe it was for her own protection, she just found it sort of embarrassing. Two cut hands and a sliced up shirt made it abundantly clear that she could not make them stop until the danger had passed or the offender had been lain to waste.

If something really scared her she pretended to be upset so no one would know. But she didn’t even try to kid herself. When she saw that centaur she could have coughed up a turtle.

Another pretty shirt destroyed. She’d died it red with some flowers she found, which was a departure from her usual black. Not that anyone would have noticed that either.

She could hear the trees around her murmuring. They were probably telling the other creatures were to find them.

“We need a plan or an escape route,” she said picking up her bow.
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:17 pm

KO
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Member # 4719 posted June 15, 2006 11:36 AMJune 15, 2006 11:36 AM

________________________________________
---Beginning Fears

KO was playing the little Fantasy Game on her desk before going to bed and was swimming around the pond as a fish. This was one of her favorite avatars in the Fantasy Game since she could think of few things better than swimming. Even in this little simulated world where she got to be a fish, she felt the warm memories of her youth springing around in her mind of all the wonderful trips she used to make down to the Cove back home. How she used to love to swim with her dog Moe in the surf, and race to the bottom to fetch something she had thrown into the water.

Her fish looked sort of like a Silver Dollar, only it wasn’t even the size of the money the fish was named after. As the fish swam with the school, she could see the sunlight from above was shinning through the dark water and making her and the rest of the fish sparkle like the stars in the night sky. Ah to be but a fish, she thought, so care free with nothing but food on your mind.

Suddenly she saw a worm a ways off in front of her, funny, she thought, I don’t remember a worm being a part of this mini-game before, but I bet my little fishy is hungry, so why not nibble. She took her fish up close, letting the school go by so she was alone, and stared at the worm. It was still alive, moving about, twitching around. She brought her fish in toward the worm to take a small bite off of one end of the worm, that way she wouldn’t get killed by the game in some impossible way like was normal. If she bit down all the way it would probably be attached to some creature fishing in the pond that would fry her up and eat her, or would be connected to some long catapult that would slingshot her out of the pond and onto dry land where she would dry out slowly.

When she drew near to the worm she noticed it was not a worm at all but another fish. It swam right at her and straight into her mouth catching her lip right on the hook in an instant. darn, she thought, stupid game got me again. Only when she expected to see the fish go up, it instead when down. Further and further into impossible depths the likes of which a pond could not possibly hold.

She drew closer to desk, her face only inches from the game screen, eyes locked into seeing where this would take her. When she was started to see her avatar change, it grew a body, legs, arms, hands, feet, and then a head, until she realized that it was a person. She suddenly felt chills and the fear of all fears began to tug on her. The memory of what happened that one night on her father’s boat when she fell overboard came back. How she had struggled to stay above water and the hammering of the waves that forced her under. How icy the water had felt as it filled her lungs until she felt she was about to burst.

She could see her own face on the body now, the inaudible screams that it was trying to produce, and could feel herself inside the body, feel herself back there screaming those same screams, feeling the life starting to slip away.

When she screamed at the desk and unwittingly brought it up and into her forehead it smashed easily, spraying blood and metal everywhere, and allowed her to slip into the darkness with the madness of the memory still gripping her.
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:20 pm

KO
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Member # 4719 posted June 15, 2006 11:36 AMJune 15, 2006 11:36 AM


_____________________________________________________________
---Reborn the Illusionist

She gasped, flopping onto her side, spewing forth large quantities of nasty foul smelling water from her lungs. Gasping still, her mind began to come back to her; the cold that gripped her body began to become noticed as she clutched the shore of the pond and laid on her stomach feeling the warm sand against her skin.

“You alright? Damnest thing I’ve ever seen that’s for sure. Thought I caught the King of all Carp’s or something hauling you out of the water like I did,” the little man said with a grin smiling at her seeing that she was in fact still alive somehow.

“Ugh…so cold…where…where am I?” KO asked still feeling a bit woozy and realizing for the first time that she was as naked as the fish had been lying there on her stomach.

“Your at my estate, oh I’m sorry, where are my manners, I am Master Yuri Sodoku,” he said with a bow.

“But you must be cold, here take my cloak, and let’s see if we can get you walking; my house is just a little ways from here, and what you need is a warm blanket and a fire in front of you,” he said looking away in the direction of his house and handing over the cloak.

KO took the cloak and tried to stand up, stumbling a bit at first, but then gaining her balance and putting on the cloak. Her mind was still reeling and her lungs were still screaming in pain, so it was hard to focus on anything really, other than getting warmer and breathing.

She stopped to look at the little man in front of her, who could not be more than three feet tall considering she wasn’t even five feet, she thought looking down at the ground which seemed to be quite a bit lower than she was used to. She looked at her feet, then her hands, feeling the dread and confusion starting to rise, felt for her hair, realizing all of her was much longer and larger than it used to be.

“WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?!” she exclaimed pinching herself just to make sure it was really her that she was pinching.

Her skin was cold, but she could feel the pinch, when it occurred to her to run to the water’s edge and look into it for a better look.

“I’M OLD!” she screamed nervously running her hands around her face, her mind trying to grasp how she could have aged at least five years from when she last remembered.

“If you say so, but I’d say I am a fair bit older if it makes you feel better,” he said with a small chuckle and a smile, “Now how about we get you in front of a fire huh? And get you some decent clothes and a warm cup of tea.”

She looked back at him, still in utter shock, and noticed that he was in fact a great deal older than her, old enough to be her Grandfather actually. But he was not quite a short as she had realized, she knew he must be about four feet give or take, and had the strangest bicycle moustache she had ever seen. He also had a funny straw hat on his head with such a large brim that she doubted the sun could not touch any of him with it on.

“Who are you? Where am I? Where’s the station? Why aren’t we in space? How did I get here? Where is here…” she kept yammering questions until her interrupted her.

“Your memory will come back to you soon, let’s get you some tea now, come,” he said and beckoned her to walk with him crooking his arm out slightly for her to take it, which was not easy as she was more than a foot taller than he was.

Her mind spinning she didn’t know what else to do other than to go with him, for now, but to be on her guard and find a weapon as soon as she could. She had no idea where she was, or who this man was, so protection was number one. But if he was going to give her clothes and some warm tea, she was not about to turn it down, it would only make getting the answers out of him later that much easier. And besides, he had to be in his sixties at least, taking him down would be cake if he tried anything especially if this new body was as taught and toned as it looked.

They approached Yuri’s house rather quickly, as it was his Koi pond that he had plucked her out of in the first place. The house had a Japanese style, but was arranged kind of strangely since most of the walls you would have expected to be inside had been removed, leaving a grand room being the only room on the inside. There was a small fireplace on one wall, with a spit over it, a cot, a table, a pair of chairs, a cupboard, and a few other sparse trimmings.

“KELLEY!” KO heard screeched by a large black bird that came bounding toward her, she couldn’t help but scream and jump out of the way.

I’m so glad he found you! I didn’t know where else to turn after I lost you like that, which I am still REALLY sorry about by the way. I’m just so happy to see you are back! But what happened to you? You’re practically blue and shivering, and are you wet? Were you swimming? You hate the water, what the hell were you doing in there?

What is this bird trying to do, kill me?! And what are these thoughts in my head, who are you and why are you in my heard, GET OUT! She yelled it in her head still dashing about the room as the bird tried to land on her, but settled for landing on the back of one of the chairs.

You don’t remember? I’m your familiar Ramses, you idiot girl, the raven that just tried to land on your shoulder, and the one that sent this guy to go find since I couldn’t. Don’t you remember? We ran into some big horse guys in the forest and we had to split up, I got my wing broken but luckily stumbled into the master here who fixed it. And I don’t have a clue what happened to you, but it looks like you don’t either, or even have a clue who I am for that matter.

“I don’t think she has her whole memory back yet Ramses, I plucked her out of the pond only an inch from death. She needs rest and some time to think, it sounds like she had been dreaming about some pretty strange things like being in space, can you imagine!” he said chuckling to himself and walking over to the cupboard for a teakettle and some herbs for the tea.

KO did not have a clue what this Ramses was talking about, or rather thinking about, or whatever.

We’re bonded you and I, we can read each other’s thoughts and communicate through them. Look, just think about some questions while he prepares the tea and I will try to answer them for you as best I can.

Where the hell to start! How about who am I and how did I get here?

Your Juliet Kelley O Callaghan, or so you have told me, we really haven’t known each other for too long before we had that run in within the forest. I don’t know a great deal about your past, since you have neglected to tell me, but I do know you like people to call you Kelley, you hate water, and you love to use your magic. As for getting here…

“Magic?! Now I know you are nuts!” she exclaimed.

“What dear?” asked Master Yuri.

Stupid girl, keep it inside your head will you?

Sorry she thought, still amazed at the idea of magic and remembered to say, “Oh nothing, sorry.”

To answer your last question, if I am nuts, than you are a lot more crazy than I am, considering you are talking to a bird through your mind, don’t you think?

Thinking about this for a moment, she decided he was probably right, if there was anyone crazy in this room it was probably her. But that still doesn’t explain how she got here off the station, or does it? If magic did exist, than maybe that is how? But that’s crazy, even if it did why would someone pluck me out from there and put me down here?

No idea. But it is real, just as you and I are, and the old hermit who is making you some tea over there.

Okay, let’s say I entertain this little fantasy of yours for just a moment and think you are right. You said I have… powers, how do I use them then, huh?

Actually, I didn’t say you had powers, I just thought it loudly. And I don’t have a clue how you use your powers. You always just did hand gestures and spoke weird stuff and out popped who knows what. Although, more often than not it was useful at the time, or at least funny, we used to play all sorts of tricks on people with some of the Illusions you would conjure.

She couldn’t remember anything about using magic before, course she couldn’t remember talking, or rather, thinking to a bird before either. Wonder what would happen if I gave it a try. She moved her hands about in a couple of circular motions and then snapped her fingers.

Light started to emanate out of her hands, which startled her as she sprung from the table knocking the chair over and gasping, flailing her hands about trying to knock the light off of them. But as she relaxed and realized that they weren’t on fire, she thought it was kind of pretty staring at her glowing hands. She noticed that the small man was eyeing her just then, and she didn’t want her hands to glow anymore, which instantly put them out.

“I guess I should thank you for saving my life, I’m not quite sure how I got here, but I am glad I’m here instead of in your pond,” she said with a sort of half smile as he brought the tea over to the table and set out cups.

Upon sitting down and motioning her to do so as well, he said, “It’s no trouble at all, I was out getting Ramses and I some lunch, or at least trying to, when I pulled you out. It has been so nice to have company up here, having Ramses here these past few weeks has been a real joy, and he has healed up quite quickly as well.”

“It’s been that long since I have been gone, I don’t remember a thing,” she said amazed that she had obviously been gone for so long, but then remembered that can’t be right, she’d never been here before, she didn’t remember a Raven like this before, or did she. As she thought back, she could remember something like a dream, seeing herself flying above the ground until she came into a cloud, and Raven showing her where to go, leading her to something important. Have I been here before? Was it magic that made me fly and Ramses who showed me something important? She was so confused and her head still ached.

“Drink up, you’ll feel better afterward, and then it’s off to bed for some rest,” he said watching as she enjoyed the tea, or at least seemed too politely.
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:21 pm

KO
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Member # 4719 posted June 15, 2006 11:36 AMJune 15, 2006 11:36 AM


_____________________________________________________________
---Awaken the Magic

Kelley awakened feeling much better than she had yesterday, actually warm and not in pain, which were two big pluses. She was still not quite used to this body yet, it was familiar but then it wasn’t at the same time. She was such a complicated tangle of things right now she knew, but better to get up and start working them out than lying here.

It was nice of Master Yuri to have given up his cot for her while he took the floor, and even nicer, she noticed, that he had left clothes out and folded by the bed this morning. He was no where to be found, and neither was Ramses for that matter, but she figured they must be out searching for breakfast she thought feeling her own stomach grumble.

She picked up the clothes and walked to the mirror, setting them down on the bed next to her, she looked into the mirror. The woman that stood before her did bare a striking resemblance to the girl she remembered herself as being, but this was no girl. She could see she was in very good shape, toned muscles that were there but only shown but a whisper of themselves. Long slightly curly, and very slept in, red hair fell down over her all the way down to her waist. She drew closer to the mirror to examine her face, and could see the freckles wrap around those emerald eyes she was all too familiar with until they seemed to flow from her cheeks down her neck and onto her shoulders.

I look like my mother, she thought and wasn’t certain whether she liked the idea of it very much or not. She loved her mother of course, but then looking at herself, could feel the home sickness come back to her. Guess there could be worse things than looking like that lovely woman she thought, and then it hit her, is the woman I am remembering really my mother?

She had so many questions about what she remembered and what was really true. Time to get dressed, find the others, and get some answers she decided. She pulled the leather pants that were provided on, which were quite a nice fit she thought admiring herself in the mirror, wondering how Master Yuri had gotten her size just so. Then putting on the top, which was loose thankfully, allowing space for her bust which she cinched it around, and putting on the simple shoes. She tied her hair back with a simple piece of string she found, after trying to tame it back to some half way decent look, and decided to walk outside.

The sun felt fantastic and she just drank it in. The smell of spring was overwhelming as she looked out over grand field in front of her, full of wild flowers that smelled sweet, and the light breeze that danced along carrying the fragrance of the flowers with it. From here she could see just how close the pond really was from the house, and could see Master Yuri and Ramses coming back up the walkway from it. Master Yuri was carrying a fresh catch over his shoulder, and Ramses was sitting upon the other shoulder trying to take some nibbles of the fish on the pole behind his ride.

He spoke as he saw her walking back up to the patio in front of the house and said, “Ah, feeling better I see. That is good, I have breakfast here, which since you are up, you can help me prepare right outside here on the patio.”

Morning sleepy head, hope your feeling more like yourself today and less like the fish that we just caught. These here look a lot like you did yesterday, but are definitely going to end up with a worse fate, as I plan to eat all of them.

You are not going to eat them all, we are going to prepare them, and then you can have some. Now behave yourself.

Jeez, first she doesn’t know me, and now she is giving orders. Guess you are feeling more like yourself.

“Yes I am, feeling better that is, thanks to your generous hospitality and fishing ability,” she said eyeing his catch and making sure she gave Ramses a look.

“Good, I am glad you are feeling better, and I wonder if after breakfast you would like me to help you re-hone your magic skills,” he said with a smile dumping the fish onto a large wooden block and getting out a knife to gut them with.

She saw the knife and tensed a little, then remembered his question said, “Magic? You think I have, or had magic skills?”

“Yes I do. Few could have survived that little bout in the water, fewer would be able to light up their hands without magic, and fewer still would have a familiar along with them that had not ascended to quite a level of magic to which you must have to obtain a familiar like this,” he said while casually gutting the fish and preparing the filets.

She wondered if he was right, but seeing the logic in what he spoke, and what Ramses had told her she knew it had to be true, that she really had magical powers. But then, how did he know of such things? Was he a teacher of magic?

“How do you know of the familiars and magic? Are you a teacher?” she asked watching as he ignited the fire under little stove with the point of a finger.

He turned and smiled, “In a manner of speaking, yes you could say I am, or at least was. I used to teach and train many of those that posses the gift for the Emperor before I retired here. So if you wish, I will train you as well. But I warn you, becoming a true sorceress, like I believe you will become, is not an easy task, nor a short one.”

She was beyond intrigued, and knew that if she had this power, she must learn how to use it, and master it as much as she could. Perhaps in doing so she would start to remember her past a bit more, instead of these dreams about a school in the stars.

“I would very much like to become your pupil, tell me what I must do Master,” she said in a bow wondering what her training would entail.
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:21 pm

KO
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Member # 4719 posted June 15, 2006 11:36 AMJune 15, 2006 11:36 AM


_____________________________________________________________
---Journey Forth

Spring became summer, and summer into winter, and back into spring once more. It was nearing Kelley’s birthday and the anniversary of when she first met her Master. She would be eighteen, they had discovered through some magic early on, and was very happy with her life here. Learning and discovering all sort of magic had been more fun than she had imagined, and Ramses and herself had become more adept at it in the passing year; as well as better friends than she would have thought starting out.

She had not really mastered any of her skills quite yet, for that took a great deal of time as the Master had told her, but she was more skilled with one type of magic more so than any of the others- Illusions. She loved to be able to create things from her imagination, and had quite a talent for it. She could create images that could move around, make sound, and even if she tried really hard could make smells, which were rather funny at times.

She could become invisible, make mirror images, and even have Ramses touch things to set off spells. The multitude of spells she had learned became second nature to her as she harnessed the power she had inside. Even the Master had seemed impressed with her performance with every challenge he put forth for her.

But then their came a day when she awoke to find him missing, she sent Ramses out to search from the sky and talk to a few of the local birds to see if they had seen anything. She searched the grounds herself, looking for tracks, or anything that might shed a light on where he had gone, and why he had not said goodbye. She knew he would not leave without letting her know like this, and that there must be something else going on, but she could find no proof of what may have happened.

No one has seen anything, but there were not that many of them to ask, so something must have scared them off. Isn’t there a way for you to use your magic to find him?

I can’t think of anything in particular off hand. She tried to think back on his teachings until she remembered a spell he had taught her. It would allow the user to see magical auras and trails for a time. So she cast it and felt her eyes glow and then fade, she now saw some light coming from the chest the Master kept by his bed. She went to it and opened it to find many objects, some of which were glowing brightly.


Inside were a few objects, the dagger and crossbow he had trained her to use saying that magic was not always the best way to solve a problem. A stick, no, a wand which she had never seen before was also there, her Master had told her of such magical devices but she had never seen one up close before. It was finely crafted, with a small inscription written on it, which she read and immediately made the wand shoot forth a jet of bright light that hit the wall next to her turning it into solid pink ice. She stumbled back, aghast at seeing straight through the ice wall now to the pinkish tree right behind the wall.

Better not say that incantation again she thought setting down the wand and looking back into the chest to see a brightly glowing bag. She picked it up and opened it and peered inside, what she found she could not believe. The inside was a great deal larger than it looked from the outside, she could swear there must be hundreds of square feet of space in the bag, including a few items that could come in handy: some gold, bolts for the crossbow, bedroll, plenty of food, and the Master’s spell book. Odd, she thought, this would be perfect for taking a trip, and yet the Master had left it behind. Odder still, was the fact that he would go anywhere without hiding his spell book in a better place than this.

I need to find him, she thought, something must have taken him, he is never gone this long without telling me. She put the crossbow in the bag then tied the bag to her belt, along with the sheath for the dagger and it, she noticed that the wand also had a sheath and put that on as well. She got up and put on her boots the Master had made for her, donned the cloak, and walked out of the icy house.

With the spell still active, she now noticed an incredible amount of magic emanating from inside the forest a ways off in one direction. Then she saw a trail of, well not evil magic per se, but destructive magic leading in that direction. I knew it, he was taken!

Yes your very smart, but if whatever took him could over took Master Yuri, what hope have we hmm?

You have a point, but they won’t expect us to be coming, and there are two of us. And, well, I don’t particularly care. The Master was more than just a teacher, you know that, we have to find him, so we might as well get going. They started for the forest as it began to rain, pulling the hood over her head, she was glad she had the cloak, but unsure if setting out on this quest was such a wise idea.

[ June 16, 2006, 04:40 PM: Message edited by: cuchulain ]
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:22 pm

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Member # 2005 posted June 15, 2006 02:52 PMJune 15, 2006 02:52 PM

________________________________________
"Look they started it!” Came the reply. That was comforting. Kyle's grit teeth didn't give him the time for a reply, simply a grunt. The centaur was strong, and easily out-weighed Kyle by over two-hundred pounds. Thankfully, though, it was mostly in horseflesh, and the beast's upper body wasn't much larger than Kyle's. The blades clanged again.

Water suddenly soaked both of them, knocking them to the side. Kyle risked a glance, and noticed that the trees were literally dumping water, in volumes akin to small swimming pools, directly onto Sway. He turned, intending to freeze the next one, but the whistling of a weapon to his right prevented him. His sword hand came up, and deflected the axe, as he brought his hatchet up to deliver a response.

The message was quick, but the leg was quicker, as the centaur's steel-shoed hoof blocked Kyle's strike. "What do you want?!"

The creature grinned. "You have offended the spirits of the Forest of the Red Desert. The sentence is dea..." Kyle swung again, cutting off the end of the tirade. I hate these over-zealous lackeys. The centaur was quick, and delivered a rear-hoof kick. Kyle was quick enough to shout "Jalarei" just before the strike, creating a barrier of ice directly in front of himself. It slowed the blow, and simply sent Kyle for a somersault, instead of taking his head off. As he landed, ready to rush again, roots appeared directly under the beast.

With a quick whip, the horse-halved creature was flung into the depths of the forest. Kyle looked crookedly at Sway, and smirked slightly through his panting breaths. She seemed to understand that he wanted a response.

“I know I wasn’t supposed to touch anything,” she said breathlessly grabbing his arm to help him up, “but they kept putting out my lamp and it was almost day time anyway and I didn’t think that there was anybody here. I mean we were leaving tomorrow. And and technically I didn’t even touch it… I just lit it on fire.”

Suddenly a torrent of water poured from the sky, and Sway pulled him near. She burned a neat hole in the "bubble" as it splashed around them, further soaking both of them to the very bone.

She coughed, “A little.” Kyle looked at her again, and shook his head. Sway, Sway, Sway. I love ya, but we've really gotta work on your hobbies.

He looked around as the blast of a conch shell pierced the air. The centaur was likely only the prelude. Kyle sheathed his sword, visibly not wanting to play with the creatures friends.

“Sorry Kyle,” said Sway. He turned to her, and put a hand on her shoulder. He noticed that her feathers had cut up her shirt yet again. He remembered when she'd taken the time to dye it, and Kyle had remarked that it was a welcome change from her usual bleak, black costume.

"Don't worry about it, Sway," he said, his signature grin on his face. "Maybe if I'd let you torch the place when we first got here we wouldn't have wasted a month waiting for something interesting to happen."

The trees were humming again. Kyle knew that something would happen far sooner than he hoped. Sway crouched down. “We need a plan or an escape route,” she said picking up her bow.

Kyle didn't need to verbally agree with her, for they both knew that she was right. It was just that Kyle didn't have any plans to give, and finding out what was going on here had been the plan from the beginning. Kyle noticed that the trees seemed to be looking down on them. "I think that water is the biggest of our problems..." A splash crashed down to their right, and Kyle took another wave of water. He vigorously shook his head, and laughed. "You ready for a swim?"

(ooc - If I remember right, she can't swim, can she?)
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:36 pm

angelo
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Member # 1260 posted June 19, 2006 12:49 AMJune 19, 2006 12:49 AM

________________________________________
"Don't worry about it, Sway," he said, his signature grin on his face. "Maybe if I'd let you torch the place when we first got here we wouldn't have wasted a month waiting for something interesting to happen."

Sway smiled as the rain scattered all around her. She wondered if she really could evaporate all this. She started thinking about turning up the ground first and then trying to nuke all the trees that were left that would be the most efficient way to lay this evil florist’s to waste.

The trees started murmuring. Kyle looked fidgety. Maybe he didn’t have a plan. It wouldn’t be the first time they went out frolicking into oblivion without a map. "I think that water is the biggest of our problems..."

“Clearly,” she muttered as she tried to take a step forward and her entire boot was stuck in the mud.

"You ready for a swim?"

Her eyes widened.
“No,” protested abruptly.
To Sway, swimming was a mad dance to be performed just before suffocation.

Then seeing he was probably kidding she tried to smile but was really looking for a way to get out immediately. If she started flying maybe she could get past the trees but that would require her to leave Kyle behind. Old school Sway would have been gone at the first sign of precipitation. But he had saved her from a centaur today so she decided to cut him a break.

There was a rustling in the bushes around them. “I have a feeling we’re probably already surrounded,” she said breezily. She couldn’t help but be excited about it. This meant that she finally, after 39 days on her best behavior, was getting a chance to bar-b-que.

A tall beige centaur stepped out of the darkness and leveled his bow, squinting. Sway whipped out her bow and shot him straight through the stomach twice so fast that he could only clutch the arrows, twitch because they were electric by her magic, and gasp.

“It tingles,” she said grinning. Three more approached. They were various shades of yellow, female, and wasted no time fumbling with their bows. As she dodged their shots, Sway wondered why in Common there were different words for shades of red like pink and purple like lavender, but there was no word for “almost-yellow-but-not-quite.” By the time she’d finished that thought two girls were taking nap, one was on fire and trying to put herself out, but she would be asleep soon.

Sway glanced over to see how Kyle was holding up.

In that moment, behind her a strong centaur charged and tried to kick her to the ground. She dodged him and fell down a slope into a shallow river. While she tried to get up he flung himself down the slope with grace and speed and in the same motion, gripped her hands.

“I have you.”

“Wrong move.” She said. He recoiled in horror as her hands turned into tiger paws and she scratched him from his shoulders to his fingertips. His skin folded off in sections like pages in a book.

Terrified, he reared up on his hind legs to crush her. Sway tried to run but her feet were stuck in the riverbank. All his weight landed on her and she hit the ground so hard she could feel the blood in her mouth. He reared up again, this time to kill her. There wasn’t enough room for her to use her bow and all her spells used this close would have burnt, frozen, electrocuted, or buried her too.

She could imagine her throat splitting and all the blood pouring out of her body. She crossed her hands over her face and closed her eyes. She felt a heavy warmth spread over her in the second he should have crushed her. Was this what it was like to die?

No, this was what it was like when the trees dump an Olympic sized swimming pool on you. The centaur was swept away after taking the brunt of the blow. By now Sway was in fifteen feet of water. She kicked her legs but couldn’t tell which direction was the surface and which was the ground. She swam as hard as she could and right when she felt she couldn’t wait to breathe any longer she could see the surface.

She reached out for what should have been air and salvation but was nothing but brambles, tangles, stones, and rocks. She was at the very bottom of the river. She couldn’t tell which direction was up and which was down. Now she remembered how she’d never been any use in the battle room… and never would be any use for anything else now.

She was going to drown. All because of a potted plant.

She started to scream. Dirt, water, and leaves got into her mouth, and lungs, and throat. She tried to cough it up but water spilled into her nose and she began to choke.

She tried to kick herself off the bottom and swim toward the top but her strokes got lazy and her feet were tangled in tree roots. All her breaths were full of water and dirt and she felt her vision get hazy.

Maybe if she had flown away before, right when she’d thought of it, she would be safe.

She flapped her wings. She started to move. She tried harder and harder and she felt her face break the surface. She gasped for air but got more water than anything. She started coughing and reaching out for something, anything that would keep her from sinking again.

She hated water. Hated it. If she ever got out of it she vowed to never get anywhere near it outside of a bath.
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:39 pm

Ke'ak
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Member # 2005 posted June 19, 2006 12:06 PMJune 19, 2006 12:06 PM

________________________________________
He had barely finished his little joke when the foilage started to rustle around them. Sway glanced toward the sound and muttered to Kyle, "I have a feeling we’re probably already surrounded." Kyle drew his sword yet again. This is going to be a rough day. Kyle didn't exactly have anything against fighting, but it wasn't really his favorite thing to do. He fought to protect, but he knew that Sway enjoyed the killing far too much.

A tall beige centaur stepped out of the darkness and leveled his bow, squinting. Sway whipped out her bow and shot him straight through the stomach twice so fast that he could only clutch the arrows, twitch because they were electric by her magic, and gasp.

“It tingles,” she said grinning. Three more approached. They were various shades of yellow, female, and wasted no time fumbling with their bows. Sway dispatched them quickly, with two dow, one completely in flames, and the last trying desperately in vain to put her flaming fur out.

Kyle noticed the malicious grin on Sway's face, but didn't have time to make any remarks. Three centaurs emerged from the bushes, one carrying a bow, and two with the same wide-blade axe that the first had carried. Their golden skin was almost blinding, but Kyle's eyes thinned anyway. Let's dance.

The bow was leveled between Kyle's eyes, almost taunting him to make the first move. Kyle pulled his hatchet from his belt as the projectile went flying. His sword came up first, deflecting the arrow, as it skittered and struck a nearby tree. Kyle thought he heard a scream. In a smooth reaction, Kyle let the hatchet fly, striking the bowman in the chest. He lurched, dropping his bow. The two others were charging, and Kyle knew that he wouldn't be able to hold them both off at once. He pulled his boomerang out and threw it with the skill that he'd honed for years. The boomerang's sharp edge flung wildly, almost unpredictably, and the centaur to the right went to dodge. The other lunged at Kyle, axe coming down to strike. Kyle chanted quickly, "Strayle."

Time began to slow, all except for Kyle, as he braced himself for impact. The plus of slowing down time was that he was stronger than in normal flow. The con was that everything went extremely cold. Kyle caught the centaur's axe, and then pulled it back with him. Planting his feet into the beast's belly, he leaned back, effectively throwing the centaur over himself. He looked back, and noticed that the axe blade would land on the ground, but the centaur would flip right over... to where Sway was standing. With her back to them. Kuso.

He didn't have time to run over to Sway, because the time spell was wearing off. He turned back in time to catch his boomerang, and quickly slipped it into the sheath on his belt. The other centaur roared. "You shall die!" Shall? Kyle was confused, but it wasn't the first time someone used that kind of language in this place. The blades collided again, but this beast was much faster than the first, but not nearly as strong. Kyle made a good match. Kicks and spins went rampant, until one strike launched Kyle towards the fallen bowman. His sword hit the dirt, landing blade-down in the soil. "You shall die," grinned the centaur.

A wicked grin appeared on his face as he raised his axe to strike the final blow. Kyle saw his salvation sunk in the fallen bowman's chest. He swiftly yanked the hatchet from the fallen centaur and flung it, just as the axe fell. It struck the centaur in the neck, and Kyle rolled as the blade hit the dirt. The centaur fell, and Kyle was still alive. Okay, it's still a good day.

Sway was gone, and Kyle was praying to whatever gods might be listening that she was still alive. He retrieved his sword and hatchet, and ran towards the crest of the hill where she'd been standing moments before. At the bottom was a river, likely created by the constant "rainstorms" of the trees. He looked down and saw a centaur's mutilated body lying on the bank, and ran down the hill at top speed. Then he saw Sway break the surface, her wings spread. She's alive! He ran toward her as she sunk under the river's surface yet again.

Reaching into his belt pouch, he pulled a rope from his largest pocket. He quickly tied the end to his boomerang and launched it at one of the trees. It spun around the trunk once, twice, thrrice, finally looping around itself and drawing itself taut. He tied the other end of the rope around himself and dove in after Sway. He swam one-armed, pulling with all he had. Finally he gripped a limb. It wasn't until he felt the foot that he found it was a leg. He pulled anyway, and turned her around. Finally he kicked off the bottom of the river and started pulling on the rope. He pulled with everything he had, and finally the two of them broke the surface. The rope grew taut, and tight around Kyle's waist. The brown water rushed around them as Kyle grinned. "Sway," he said. "We really need to teach you how to swim."

He pulled on the rope, and finally reached the bank, pulling them both onto the dirt. He was panting, but then noticed that there were more shapes around them. No less than twelve bows were aimed at them, each with a golden centaur's arms around them. Out of the pot and into the fire, thought Kyle.
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:40 pm

KO
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Member # 4719 posted June 19, 2006 01:47 PMJune 19, 2006 01:47 PM

________________________________________
The trail was faint until it disappeared into nothing and all that was left was a hint of some huge magic force in the direction they were traveling.

Ramses, go scout out ahead and let me know if you see anyone that could be generating this kind of magic up ahead. Someone up there has got to know what happened to the Master.

But it’s raining and cold, why can’t I stay under the cloak?

Cause you’re a bird and your feathers protect you from getting wet anyway, and I need to know what is up ahead before we walk blindly into a trap.

FINE

He jumped out of the pocket in the cloak and onto the ground, then set off, flying straight ahead high in the canopy looking down upon the world, until he saw a couple sitting around a fire. Relaying what he saw, Kelley told him to perch and watch them while she stayed back where she was.

They look perfectly harmless, and I like the one with the wings. She’s rather cute, you think she likes birds?

I don’t think you are her type considering she is more human than bird, and you are more bird than anything. Look, just watch them and tell me what they are doing, okay?

You are really boring some times you know that, and mean. Can’t a bird have dreams?

Your only dream should be finding out what they two are doing here, now what are they doing?

Keeping watch I guess, but the trees don’t seem to like them, they keep dropping water on her and her… WHOA!

What?

My new girlfriend just set the tree next to me ablaze! And now it seems the trees are REALLY not happy. They’re dropping tons of water at a time now and…JEEZ!

WHAT?! Do you see the master? Does this magic bird woman have him?

NO, a huge centaur just appeared, and is royally pissed at my girlie. But it looks like the man is there to save the day. He’s fighting it off, can I help?

No, it sounds like her boyfriend has it handled well enough. But we don’t want the magic one harmed, she may know something, so if it gets too dicey we may have to act.

How do you know he’s her boyfriend? They could just be friends you know, why must you always…The centaur was just tossed away by the ground he was standing on, but..

They both heard the noise echo through the forest; a call for back up, she thought. Great, looks like we will have company and it could be from anywhere. Be careful alright, but don’t let them out of your sight, we have to question them, she told Ramses turning herself invisible and running in his direction.

They appear to be booking it out of there, I am following. OH! There are more, and they are splitting up!

Follow the girl! We know she is very magical as it is, she is the priority but don’t act. Wait until I am close and we will get her together. We might also be able to settle a score with these beasts as well.

Ramses watched as the winged-one took care of all of them but one that seemed to beat on her chest until the river fell on them both washing the centaur away.

I think she’s drowning in case you are wondering. Oh wait, never mind she found the surface, and the guy found her; my hero. He’s pulling her out, but it looks like the centaurs found them both. There has got to be at least a dozen here, all with a bead on them.

Great, well that will make it easier to get answers if they are dead. We need a plan, and I just thought of an idea.

Uh oh, what do I have to do this time.

Who said anything about involving you? Actually it does, but it doesn’t put you totally in harms way, if you trust me that is, she thought smiling to herself.

Your plans are always much more zany and nuts than they have to be, so why wouldn’t I possibly trust you.

Good, I thought you might.

I was being sarcastic, but I know you will just convince me anyway, so what do I have to do.

Well, how high can you get up in the canopy? We need a straight shot right down on them if this is going to work. I need you to drop down right on them then stay there until you see me approach alright?

Say what? What makes you think they won’t kill a bird in the way along with those two?

Because you will be looking like a spider web not a bird. I am just about there, and when I get there will make a large spider drop down above them from the trees, which is where you will be, then it will shoot a web and collect them, which will be you coming out of the spider and landing on them. Once you hit them all of you will go invisible and my illusion of them getting pulled up in the web will take over. The spider will take off out of the forest, and I will shoot some real webs on them for effect as they pursue from a couple of other illusion spiders near me that will run off after the first illusion.

That’s one of the dumbest plans I have ever heard of, and what am I suppose to do take a flying leap onto these two, hope they don’t do anything, and wait for these things to HOPEFULLY go away?

Yeah, now get ready.

Of all the people to be stuck with, why you.

Kelley knew this had to be more than carefully orchestrated, but if she couldn’t do it then no one could. What had she been training for this past year if not to do something like this? She was a little worried that they might still smell them, but since they were covered in the foul water of this place, she could see now, and she would shoot some real web, this just might work.

Go now Ramses, and suddenly a large spider appeared to descend from the canopy down upon the centaurs. As it dropped within ten feet, the centaurs seem to take notice, as a couple of them trained their bows upon it instead of them.

You don’t pay me enough for this

Shut up! I am trying to concentrate! She thought glad to see it was starting to work.

Suddenly a couple more spiders appeared on the other side of the river and hissed, one of them shooting a web at a couple of the centaurs on one side; Kelley had managed to cast the spell and shoot the web right on them. They howled as the sticky goo tangled them up getting in there hair as the struggled to get free. A couple of them shot arrows at her creations on the other side, and started to move toward her; she only hoped they hadn’t notice the arrows go right through them.

Go now Ramses! And the spider that was right over head dropped a web right on the two victims lifting them into the air and taking off along the canopy hissing along the way. Ramses landed on both of the wet adventurers hoping they would keep quiet as the centaurs began to move and take off after the spiders.
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:41 pm

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Member # 4747 posted June 19, 2006 04:03 PMJune 19, 2006 04:03 PM

________________________________________
Illusion Sequence Beginning, Game Protocals Overridden.

What was going on!? Arael tried every back door and hack in the book, the game still wouldn’t shut off. Arael threw his computer into his locker frustrated with it. He had more important things to do. The computer would shut off eventually on its own.

----------------------------------------------

“Arael! Stop dozing, we do not have the time for you to be slagging around, this is a crisis!”

Huh? Where am I? Wasn’t I just in my Barracks? Arael looked around, he was in a large wooden building. Around him were dozens of winged creatures. All of them staring at him, none looking happy.

“darn yourself man! Wake up! The Book has been stolen!

“Begging your pardon sir but he doesn’t remember. The Fallen got to him first. They nearly killed him.” One of the winged creatures spoke to him now. “Arael, you are in the City of Clouds. You are a guardian of the Book of Ages. A transcript with knowledge so powerful it could destroy the world. It has been stolen. We were changing the guard when they broke in. They were horrible beasts with animal parts where their bodies should have been. They knocked you out with a spell, shattered the protective aura around the book, and fled from the city. Are you beginning to remember?”

Arael had no clue whatsoever as to what this thing was talking about. Or where he was, or why he was being yelled at for that matter.

“We don’t have time for this, here, drink this and remember.” Another creature stood, he wore robes of gold and his face seemed to give off a light all it’s own. He held out a glass filled with a strange clear liquid. Arael took it, drank, and was immediately swarmed with thoughts, feelings, and images the likes of which he could scarce describe. He started to shake and fell from his seat. But none of the creatures seemed to mind

Why won’t they help me? It is as if they expected me to spasm like this. I will surely die if I don’t do something. Just concentrate, concentrate, like mother told you and all will be fine.

The images kept on coming. There was a book, and there were creatures like the ones around him that his mind told him were angels, (how did he know that?) were chanting around it. It was some sort of spell. A bright white light erupted around them and surrounded the book. The light rose the book up, up, up into a tower like a lighthouse, and cast its glow over the city it surrounded. A city on the clouds. Then he saw himself, locking the room the book was now in, and walking away. Where was he?

His vision began to return to him. He knew these people, his friends, and what he thought were angels…no, they were the Sentinels. They guarded the Book of Ages. The text within held the secrets of the world, and the key to a power that was so great it could unmake the world. The Book had been brought to the City of Clouds, and its keepers were given wings, the only way to reach the city. The Book had been hidden here by an ancient king of the world, when it was nearly stolen by thieves. Now it had been stolen. That was bad news for all. Except for the ones that stole it of course, they had the key to ultimate power.

“I remember now,” said Arael. “When was it stolen? How long have they been gone?”

The Sentinel who had given him the drink, Artemis, answered him, “They have been gone for days Arael. We have been unable to track them. But our soldiers did manage to remove their wings. And we have scouts still looking for them. They have not reported in though. We are lost Arael. There is no track, and nothing to do but look."

"How can you be so calm about this!" screamed the other, angrier Sentinel, Jacob. "We are all doomed, and you two are reminiscing like it's already over! We need a full-scale search launched now! Every Sentinel in the city on the prowl!"

"No Jacob," said Artemis. "A full-scale search would not only alert them of our coming, but assure that we would never find them. They would know our every move with so many of us around. I say we send one, a scout who can stay hidden, one who knows the land, and perhaps, one who has the power to fight back if need be. I suggest we send Arael. He can transform like none of us can, he will blend. And his ability to converse with basically everything would be a nice advantage as far as tracking and spying go. He is also the best swordsman of any of us. If he finds them, he should be able to at least hold his own."

"Thank you for your confidence Artemis," said Arael. "But I feel it is misplaced. If they took me out and got the Book, they will surely have the power to do it again."

"As much as I hate to say it we can do nothing else." said Jacob. "Go Arael, find them. But do not reveal the purpose of your travels to anyone. You never know who they may be working for."

"I thank you for your trust. I will do what is necessary. I will leave now. Be sure to inform me if anything comes up. Any bit of information could help."

"Fly with all speed Arael. You must retreive the Book!"

And with that Arael left. The clouds around him were dark. It was pouring and gloomy out. What a way to start a voyage.

He flew for hours, scouting the land. The forest he flew over was vast. He needed some sign of civilization somewhere to begin his search. Then he saw it. Smoke. In this rain, that much smoke must mean a large fire. I must help if need be. He flew near to the clearing, only looking on at first. He saw two people, or rather a man and what appeared to be another Sentinel. She had wings, she fit the bill so far. They were surrounded by centaurs, all with aroows trained on them. Oh joy. Then suddenly a giant spider dropped down into the clearing. Then another, and another. They shot web all over the place. The centaurs scattered, whether they were in pursuit of or being pursued by the spiders was hard to say. But the two others were gone as well. They must have left in the commotion. Arael landed to see if he couldnt ascertain what had happened. And maybe track the two he saw earlier. If the winged one was indeed a sentinel, she would be of great help to him.

[ June 19, 2006, 04:10 PM: Message edited by: Hunter ]
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:43 pm

Amory
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Member # 3763 posted June 19, 2006 04:42 PMJune 19, 2006 04:42 PM

________________________________________
Caspar held his side as he choked up mouthfuls of saltwater. He coughed violently, his body expunging every deca-liter of the vile Bermuda Sea. He lay there for a while, gasping and struggling to catch his breath.

"It doesn't make sense. How is the mindgame making me feel this", he thought as he stared down as hands, which seemed to look much larger than usual.

He looked down and was stupefied by what appeared to be his own body. He was much older now. His legs had grown long and sinewy, as had his arms. He was twice as broad as he used to be, and well muscled. In many ways he was the spitting image of his father's enlistment photo back when he lied about his age to get into the Persian Navy and become a fighter-pilot, he had been 17 at the time. His father was so fit and athetlically skilled that he became the Navy's boxing champion in the first month after he enlisted, and beat down any man that foolhardedly entered the ring with him for the next three years. Caspar had undoubtedly inherited these genes.

His apparel had changed as well. His Tide uniform had transformed into a simple, faded green tunic made of something that resembled cotton. His pants were a loose-fitting drab brown affair, probably made of sharkskin or leather. And most peculiarly, he was wearing an expansive, silky cloak.

"This thing is huge", he whispered as he stood up awkardly. He never remembered being so far up from the ground, what looked to be atleast six feet. What was more surprising though was the size and detail of the cloak, no, sail that was outrigged on his back by a series of leather straps and darkened iron buckles. The collar of the cloak reared up on the sides and back of his head to the point that unless you were in front of him you wouldn't be able to see his face or head at all. Below the collar a large hood was cleverly tucked into the mantle. The cape seemed to be eight feet long and miraculously rolling and tumbling over in folds while there wasn't even a touch of a breeze pentrating the arboreal behemoths that seemed to look curiously at him. He imagined them jostling eachother and gossiping about the strange new person in the forest.

He ran a hand through his hair and realized that had not changed. It was still cut in the same Persian fashion, at such a length that it could be tied pack to form a tiny ponytail. He searched around the clearing he seemed to have landed in until he found some worn vines that were wrapped around a fallen branch. He unwound the vine and used it to tie back his hair. As it impractical as it may be, tying his hair back had become a ritual that Caspar had engrained into his very existence. He sighed at the familiar tightening he felt in his scalp.

Caspar surveyed the forest seriously for the first time. The trees seemed to stretch out on all sides for miles, shrinking into a blur of vertical shapes and slanting light. The woodland carpet consisted of moss and comfortable earthy loam. Caspar reflected that this was most fortunate considering that his new outfit had not come with shoes. He looked down and wriggled his toes, basking in the childishness of the act.

Caspar was interrupted by what sounded like...steam escaping? "No", he thought, it seemed like something else. With his curiosity piqued he took off in the direction of the sound, stalking through the forest noiselesssly and with a skill the betrayed his experience. Whatever the mind game had in store for him, it had apparently endowed him with certain talents. "Some most likely to be discovered yet", he thought wryly to himself as he approached the origin of the sounds.

He was stunned as he peered in from the haven of a thicket of trees and vegetation on what appeared to be several enormous spiders. Huge dark eyes dotted their head, from which hung a sinister looking pair of slimy, clacking mandibles. Dirty looking hair jutted out from the chitinous beasts in all directions.

There, also, stood a host of golden centaurs, brandishing gleaming metal weapons and frowning through their beards. They looked to be attempting to fight the spiders off. He groaned inwardly when he spotted two humans...er, human-like, atleast individuals crouching near both the centaurs and the spiders.

Webs sprung through the air from somewhere out of Caspars' vision as a large spider dove in from above and captured the two humans in its own web, before taking off with them into the roofs of the forest. Caspar considered the situation and as much as he was disinclined to, he began stealthily approaching the area where he thought he had seen the spider take the two people. Actually, that one girl looked more like some kind of sadistic, angelic creature, but more or less human all the same.

A branch far above his head groaned. Caspar craned his head back and swept his eyes over the canopy. He couldn't see anything, but he knew that this was the exact location he had seen the spider take off to. He couldn't see anything, but some instinct told him that something was off. He wondered what he expected himself to do if the spider appeared. He wished that instead of his ridiculous cloak that he had been furnished with some means of defense. Resigning himself to whatever fate dealt him, Caspar decided to wait around and see what happened. He couldn't shake feeling that he was in the right place. Furtively, he looked around the trees, before kneeling into a shadow, effortlessly disappearing against the trunk of a deadened tree.

"And now we play the waiting game", he thought sarcastically to himself as he squinted his eyes against the harsh sunlight. He would have to wait for the spider to make a move, wherever it was. Even if he managed to scale the tree where it was hiding, he had no means of defense against such a creature. He would have to risk the couple's fate on the odds that a situation would present itslef that would make it easier to sneak into that particular spider's hidden parlor.

[ June 19, 2006, 05:01 PM: Message edited by: Amory ]
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:44 pm

Penthesilea
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Member # 4625 posted June 19, 2006 11:46 PMJune 19, 2006 11:46 PM

________________________________________
Nava had to stop and wonder, just for a moment, if she’d died. The feeling was unique to the girl, and she couldn’t comprehend why she felt completely and utterly lost. She hadn’t gone anywhere or done anything - generally, Nava’s acts of stupidity were premeditated. Her whole self was different in this place. She couldn’t help but feel like something had happened to her - like her life essence had escaped into another body in another place, or that she had somehow fallen through a hole in time. She didn’t know what to do besides panic in private, putting on her brave face (which looked suspiciously like her puss face, her angry face, and her otherwise miffed face) and push herself upwards, despite the fact that it felt strange.

It never took this much force to get off the ground. Furthermore, she had never had legs this long before. She turned her feet inward and looked down to observe them, allowing her eyes to travel upwards to her legs and her bony knees, all covered in a fresh layer of dirt. Like a baby she took a step forward, testing out her new, more lengthy appendages, not sure she trusted them. She felt awkward (which was justified, considering adolescent had just been thrust at her like an unwanted gift that she couldn’t refuse in front of the generous relative that had given it to her). She even noticed, with an awkward fascination that disgusted her as much as it amused her, that she was beginning (or had started and then stopped) to develop breasts.

She stood for a minute, opening and closing her hands, walking around, and even doing a cartwheel for good measure. This was her body - a teenagers body - and she loved it. She’d always wanted to be a teenager - they even made jokes about it back at home, though she’d never admitted it to the jokers that it might be true. It just showed. She’d been looking forward to moving out since she’d turned four.

Finally, after discovering herself, she’d looked to her surroundings. There was the big question again - where am I? ‘Forest’ something inside told her, and she knew it had to be true. After all, she was surrounded by an obscene number of trees and foliage. Somehow, noticing the greenery made her feel calmer, though she couldn’t drop her snarl - especially not in the middle of nowhere, where anyone could come and attack her from behind. She had to look ready, or, that’s what she’d always told herself. There was a fine line between ‘ready’ and ‘like a sourpuss’, but the girl hadn’t had enough time to discover it. She ran her hand through her short, boy-cut hair in thought, wondering exactly what to do.

There were trees in all directions, and all of them seemed impossibly similar. She sighed and leaned against the nearest one, but found herself repelled, as if she’d been caught in an electric fence. ‘Back off,’ her mind seemed to say, though she hadn’t specifically heard a voice say it. She turned to look up at the tree, but could see nothing to indicate that it housed anything that may have spoken to her. She did, however, notice a vine growing around one of its topmost branches, so similar to the one she’d just “been” in the game. It sent a shock of déjà vu over her, but nothing beyond that. Though she convinced herself that she’d made it all up, she backed away from the tree carefully, thinking alright, I’ll give you room.

She walked on, in the direction ‘straight’ (whatever that meant) in search of… absolutely anything. As she walked, carefully avoiding walking too close to trees, she noticed that the large foliage seemed to move out of her way, as well. Could the nature here be intelligent? She doubted it. It was just a forest. Forests were just groups of trees. Groups of trees were not intelligent. Clearly she was losing her mind. After all, she wasn’t a teenager before. She wasn’t in a forest before. You couldn’t just become a teenager in a forest. This was what insanity was like. She was reluctant to admit she enjoyed it.

And so she walked on, and on, and further on. It was a time before she heard any noise at all that could have been anything alive and really intelligent (besides the rather schizophrenic messages her mind picked up every so often), and found herself curious. She was beginning to get lonely on her journey to nowhere. She walked a few feet forward and placed herself behind a large-trunked tree. She leaned into a trunk for the first time since before and was surprised to, once again, receive some sort of subliminal sign - ‘Don’t hide - take a look. It’s exciting’. NOW she was confused, yet she reluctantly walked out from behind the tree to behold the scene.

Okay, giant spiders, horsey-men in jewel-tones, and crazy winged people were not at all what she’d been expecting. She gaped, for lack of something better to do, and stared awkwardly from her safe distance.

Well, this proved it. Nava was, without a doubt, out of her mind.
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:44 pm

Ke'ak
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Member # 2005 posted June 20, 2006 01:03 PMJune 20, 2006 01:03 PM

________________________________________
Kyle spat water onto the ground, almost choking on it as he glanced around at the twelve centaurs. Now Kyle was good, but he wasn't so sure he could duke it out with twelve on one odds. His hand started to reach up to his Frost Amulet as he looked over at Sway.

"Stay close to me..." He closed his eyes.

Suddenly he heard an odd, high-pitched shriek. His eyes flashed open as he saw spiders. Large spiders, falling from the trees above. "Roll!" Kyle yelled as he began to dodge the imminent impacts. The centaurs' arrows began to launch, but none of them hit the dirt. Instead, they started firing at the spiders, and Kyle took a moment to draw his sword and hatchet yet again. What a day!

He noticed the webs from the spiders start to muck up some of the centaurs, like some real-life version of Spider-Man. While Kyle had never had the chance to see the movie, anyone in New York knew who the red and blue tights belonged to. The centaurs continued to fire. Then Kyle shouted his spell yet again. "Strayle!"

Time seemed to slow. Kyle expected to be able to see what to do about all the fun new "friends" that they had met, but instead, the scene changed abrubtly. Kyle watched, mesmerized, as the spiders faded to nothing, and next to them was a black... raven? The centaurs were still aiming, some firing, at the "spiders" that didn't really exist. Their arrows were striking trees, but they actually believed that they were defending themselves. "What in the world...?"

Kyle looked over at Sway, still locked in time. The only way to get her attention would be to revert back, but, now that Kyle had seen this, what would he see when time began to speed up? "Xrista," he said, ending the spell. Time quickened yet again, and suddenly the spiders re-appeared. The centaurs began to retreat, still firing their arrows, as they were chased into the brush and across the river by the eight-legged creatures. Some of the centaurs actually began chasing the creatures, hoping for a good kill. Kyle turned to Sway. He had to tell her what he'd seen. She needed to know.

"Sway..." He was interupted as a figure approached.
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:45 pm

KO
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Member # 4719 posted June 20, 2006 01:48 PMJune 20, 2006 01:48 PM

________________________________________
Now that the centaur’s are gone I am going to send in an Illusion me to talk to those people you are sitting on, and I will lift the Illusion placed on them as well. So you’d better fly up to a near by tree and watch, alright?

Can do, the sooner I get off this smelly guy the better. Why couldn’t I have landed on the girl, just once, it’s always the guy.

She lifted the invisibility from Ramses as well as the Illusion once she knew the centaurs were far away and confused, and then brought in her look alike quickly to question these two whom she had captured. Ramses did as she asked squawking and flying up to the tree overhead as the figure of her approached them.

“Good they are gone, I hoped my little ruse would take them off and away long enough to ask you two some questions. I am looking for my Master; he is a tiny little man with an odd mustache who lives not far from here. He was abducted and the trail led me right to you two, so speak or I will return the centaurs here,” she directed at them awaiting an answer.
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:45 pm

Ke'ak
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Member # 2005 posted June 20, 2006 02:10 PMJune 20, 2006 02:10 PM

________________________________________
“Good they are gone." Kyle looked up to see a girl standing there. Her head was covered with firey red hair that tapered down to her waist, and a freckled, but attractive face. She was wearing leather pants and a simple tunic, with a long cloak draped over her shoulders. Kyle guessed that the girl was around seventeen or eighteen years old. He also surmised by the way that she carried herself that she'd been around for a while. Perhaps a local?

"I hoped my little ruse would take them off and away long enough to ask you two some questions." So this is the girl with have to thank for the little spider trick. Now that the secret to countering her spell was locked in his mind, Kyle didn't fear much. Anyone dumb enough to just walk over here after a display like that can't be much of a threat.

"I am looking for my Master," she continued. "He is a tiny little man with an odd mustache who lives not far from here. He was abducted and the trail led me right to you two." She eyed Kyle and Sway cautiously. "So speak or I will return the centaurs here."

Did I just catch that right? Did she just threaten us? Kyle almost felt insulted. A practically unarmed girl was giving him threats now. He'd seen the other side of her little charms, and wasn't all that impressed anymore. There's one thing to ask for help, but to come in with threats was quite another. Kyle's eyes thinned, and he began to stand. His blade was still in his hand, though his hatchet had been tucked back into his belt. He stood erect, trying to disguise the distain in his reply.

"I've never seen your master," he said. "And threatening us won't get you anywhere." He already didn't like this girl. Too demanding. Too threatening. It might take a little while for him to actually trust her, if it came to it. But then again, he'd had his own misunderstandings before, after all, he and Sway hadn't always been very good friends. He was just cautious of people who just happened to walk into their life. More often than not, it ended up in bloodshed.
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:46 pm

KO
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Member # 4719 posted June 20, 2006 03:17 PMJune 20, 2006 03:17 PM

________________________________________
“For one thing I wasn’t talking to you I was talking to the girl, she is the magical one, and the magic trail ended at her. And for another, it wasn’t a threat, just a simple fact that, if you were the ones who took him, it may have encouraged you to tell me what you know faster. Besides, you look far too puny and dim witted to possibly have taken someone as powerful as my Master,” she boasted easily with a large grin upon her face.

“But since you don’t seem to know anything, that’s just fine, I will have to keep searching. By the way, how far should I take the centaurs? I can only take them a few hundred yards you know,” she asked absent mindedly.
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:47 pm

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Member # 4747 posted June 20, 2006 04:21 PMJune 20, 2006 04:21 PM

________________________________________
Arael looked around the clearing. There was nothing left. Not a print or feather or scrap of cloth leaving a trail for him to follow. A dead end. He was about to take flight when the man and the winged girl suddenly reappeared. A large bird flew off of them. He must have magic. Maybe I can talk to him about my predicament.

Then another figure walked into the clearing. She told the two how the spiders were all her illusioning. And how she was looking for her Master, apparently kidnapped. No help to him. She hadn't seen him yet though. Maybe an oppurtune time to do some questioning of his own.

“But since you don’t seem to know anything, that’s just fine, I will have to keep searching. By the way, how far should I take the centaurs? I can only take them a few hundred yards you know,” she asked absent mindedly.

"You are strong girl, and you know the ways of magic. Maybe you can be of help to me. If you are indeed powerful as you seem." he said as he walked up to her and reached out to grab her by the shoulder.
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:47 pm

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Member # 3763 posted June 20, 2006 11:34 PMJune 20, 2006 11:34 PM

________________________________________
Caspar slumped against the tree he had been leaning against as he surveyed the expanse of forest he had gallavanted into. It probably wasn't a good idea for him to be adventuring through this new world since he knew nothing about it. He winced slightly as he remembered how large the spider creatures had been. If those were what the spiders were like, he had no inclination to discover what other oddities his new environment held for him.

-crack-

Caspar whirled around with his arms curled like he was ready to box what looked to be...a squirrel. "Shoo", he whispered under his breath at it as he flexed menacingly in its direction. "Get outta here".

Despite his hisses and hushed threats the squirrel persisting foraging around and crunching into acorns happily. This dang squirrel giving away my position. Actually, do spiders have ears? Caspar pondered this for a while as the squirrel continued to crunch and burrow noisily.

-crunch cruch crunch-

"I know insects have ears, but spiders are arachnids", he reasoned as he stripped the bark from a small twig.

-Crunch Crunch Crunch-

"But then again, normal spiders tend not to exceed refrigerators in mass."

-CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!-

All the hairs on the back of Caspar's neck prickled up indignantly as he thought to himself. How is that squirrel making all this noise? The ground beneath his feet rumbled and the air was filled with the thundering sound of hooves. Caspar emerged from his niche and rounded the tree, nearly falling over stupefied at the sight of a wave of spiders crawling towards him with the centaurs he had seen earlier in pursuit. He stood there, dumbfounded, gaping at the mammoth spiders that seemed to be running straight towards him. Caspar frowned as he looked down at the tattoo that had somehow survived the transition into whatever existence he was in now. Maybe the curse WAS true. Well, atleast I'll go out like a man.

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh", he screamed at the top of his lungs, holding his hands out in front of him so as to shield himself. Well, not quite like a man.

-whoooooosh whoosh whoosh-

Caspar peeked open one of his eyes as he nervously patted his body. Everything seemed to be whole and not horribly mangled.

"What the...", he muttered as he watched the last of the spiders run up to him and then through him. Ghost spiders?

"You there!", a deep voice boomed, breaking Caspar's reverie.

"Huh?", he grunted as he looked up at the approaching centaurs.

"Stay where you are and identify yourself", another centaur brandishing an axe yelled through his bushy beard.

Caspar looked back at the retreating spiders and then again at the centaurs that were nearly upon him. Ahh, I have no idea if these guys are hostile or not. Those weapons don't seem to be very cheeful looking though... Without a second thought he spun on his heel dashed away from the centaurs.

"The intruder is fleeing. Kill him!", a centaur howled as he raised his axe triumphantly over his head. "Yes, kill him!", another shouted. The other centaurs cheered and brandished their weapons as they turned their sights on him.

Caspar's heart beat frantically as he stormed through the forest into a clearing of mainly waist-high brush and grass. Instinct took over as he ducked and weaved through the lush vegetation, often disappearing completely in the surrounding flora before appearing again in unexpected locations as the centaurs yelled with seeming enjoyment at their elusive prey.

"Crap...crap...crap...crap...crap", Caspar swore in a low voice as he wormed though the apparently endless clearing. Nettle, thorns, briars, and thistles all snagged onto his cloak and raked across his skin as he propelled his unfamiliar body through the undergrowth.

-sssssssssst-

A quivering arrow grew out of the ground barely an inch to the right of where Caspar's hand was now.

-ssssst ssssst sssst-

Arrows whizzed through the air like angry hornets, arcing through the air rapidly and dotting the clearing. The centaurs had apparently grown tired of the hunt and decided to find satisfaction in simply killing him.

"Crap...crap...crap...crap...crap.."
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:48 pm

angelo
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Member # 1260 posted June 21, 2006 01:47 AMJune 21, 2006 01:47 AM

________________________________________
Sway closed her eyes and even her thoughts went dark. She spread her fingers and tried to grope for something solid that would save her but there was nothing in reach. She started to sink as the undercurrent of the river brought her in closer for a kiss. She opened her eyes under the murky water.

Her hair spread out in front of her and through the folds she saw a dazzling array of brown turtles. She reached her hands out toward them as if they could save her. Turtles were her mother’s symbol. She felt delirious.

How was she going to explain all this to her?

Sway’s father had been a bad man. One of her first memories was of him ripping her out of her mother’s arms and taking her away to Arizona forever. The only memories she had left of her mother now involved being carried around on her back. She remembered feeling her heartbeat through the cloth and imagining herself as an extension of her mother, a tiny window on a beautiful tower.

She remembered the day she taught her to weave. She laughed underwater. She was so bad at it her mother insisted she would never get married and fussed over her about getting an education instead. She was just kidding though, at least Sway thought so. Her mother had a sharp way of talking, she was immeasurably patient, always on time, she sighed a lot.

Someone grabbed her ankle.

She wasn’t afraid to die. She didn’t care at this point because she couldn’t breathe anymore. There was no afterlife anyway, so there was nothing to worry about. When she died, like all the other Hopi and perhaps everyone else in the world, she’d just enter another reality and live a new life there. It wasn’t something final, it was sort of like a change of residence. Maybe that’s why she lived so recklessly compared to other people. She didn’t really have to worry about being judged by anyone.

But was this world her other reality? Maybe she was dead already.

She was being pulled up and up and up.

Kyle dragged her on shore. She was dazed but not surprised or ungrateful. She just lay there on the bank with her eyes half open. All around her were monsters. She tried to reach for her bow but as soon as she moved her lungs protested and tried to dry themselves by turning her into a hacking sponge. All around her spiders came out of the sky. She just shook her head and kept coughing. Today was one of the absolute worst days of her life.

"Stay close to me..." Kyle said. She couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

He slowed down time. She could always tell when he was doing it because she could see a faint trail of where he had been before and where he was just then. But it was like trying to follow a fly around and she didn’t feel up to it. She was all ready for death fifteen minutes ago. If they were going to kill her the invitation was still on the table.

"Sway..." Kyle turned to her like he had something to say. By then she was sitting with her knees pulled up in her chest. Her smoker’s cough had disappeared and she was trying to collect her arrows off the beach. All the spiders had led the centaurs away and there was a raven flitting between them. She didn’t ask any questions.

A second later a girl approached from the forest. She had red hair and green eyes. Sway was reminded of her best friend, Chase. But this girl was white and freckled and Chase would never be caught dead in leather and was nowhere near this place. Being here so long was like battle school. Nobody talked about home.

“Good they are gone, I hoped my little ruse would take them off and away long enough to ask you two some questions. I am looking for my Master; he is a tiny little man with an odd mustache who lives not far from here. He was abducted and the trail led me right to you two, so speak or I will return the centaurs here.”

Wrong move. It was never a good idea to assume you could hold something over Kyle. She’d done it once and that was the last time.

"I've never seen your master," he said, offended. "And threatening us won't get you anywhere."

“For one thing I wasn’t talking to you I was talking to the girl, she is the magical one, and the magic trail ended at her.” Sway raised her eyebrow. Magic trail? “And for another, it wasn’t a threat, just a simple fact that, if you were the ones who took him, it may have encouraged you to tell me what you know faster.” Why was she explaining her threat? Maybe it wasn’t a threat. Sway didn’t care she was ready to nuke somebody if Kyle had a bad feeling about them. “Besides, you look far too puny and dim witted to possibly have taken someone as powerful as my Master,” she bragged with a grin on her face.

Sway was exhausted. She’d been up since two A.M. The day before she’d spent twelve hours jogging through the forest trying to track down a trail and the day before that they had to climb up five hundred feet of rock because she couldn’t fly over the water on either side. Not only was she starving but she had seaweed in her hair and mud in places the ecosystem should not allow. A huge horse had fallen on her and nearly cost her her life. She’d contemplated joining a school of turtles and coughed up most of her internal organs for the past ten minutes.

But she knew right then she was going to have to get past that long enough to blow someone up.

”I see right now you’re going to make me get up,” Sway said to herself narrowing her eyes. There was no way she was going to go through all that just so some little girl could frolic into the forest and talk junk about Kyle. Not after the five billion times he’s saved her from drowning from drinking water too fast or plucked her out of peril or been the first to laugh at her when she fell on something. That was trust.

“But since you don’t seem to know anything, that’s just fine, I will have to keep searching. By the way, how far should I take the centaurs? I can only take them a few hundred yards you know.”

”So you’re both weak and inexperienced and you’re going to come up to him and tell him he’s dimwitted and puny? Let's see how smart you are after this.” Sway said sending a pillar of flame straight at the girl. In just that moment a young man approached out of the forest and placed his hand on the other girl's shoulder.

Sway was so shocked that with her free hand she put out the first fire and saved the girl from being cooked.

"You are strong girl, and you know the ways of magic. Maybe you can be of help to me. If you are indeed powerful as you seem."

Sway didn’t know which one of them he was talking to.
She looked at him stunned. “Don’t you go anywhere, Red, we're not done with you yet.” Kyle could handle her.

This winged guy was the first person she’d ever seen in this land that looked anything like her. On impulse she asked the first question everyone always asked her, “Are you an angel?” She stared at him closely, sizing him up, trying to figure him out.

“Where are you from and who are you? Don’t try anything that would convince me I need to torch you. I usually ask questions later.”

Then she had a revelation. "Are you fake too?" She leveled her bow directly in the middle of his chest.

She reasoned the girl wouldn't come alone. And what a better way to distract the two of them than by making two of her.

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” she heard someone shouting in the forest behind them.

“And where are all these people coming from!” she said getting noticeably irritated.

[ June 21, 2006, 02:04 AM: Message edited by: angelo ]
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PostSubject: Re: Story - Unedited   Mon May 07, 2007 5:49 pm

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Member # 4747 posted June 21, 2006 09:39 AMJune 21, 2006 09:39 AM

________________________________________
The winged girl rose from her feet. She looked haggard but that was hardly her fault. From what Arael had seen she was actually quite pretty beneath the seaweed and whatnot she was covered in. She looked at him and spoke, “Are you an angel?”

Ah the joys of misinterpretation. The first person he meets mistakes him for an angel. She wasn't a Sentinel then, if she didn't know he was. Then her mood turned decidedly hostile.

“Where are you from and who are you? Don’t try anything that would convince me I need to torch you. I usually ask questions later. Are you fake too?"

Such questions, such mood swings, so little time. Now with a bow aimed at his chest he felt he should at least answer honestly.

"I am no angel. I am merely a Sentinel. And I assure you I am as real as that bow you are so rudely preparing to kill me with. Now might I ask, who are you?"

All of a sudden a bloodcurdling scream rang throughout the forest Someone was in trouble, and the Fallen Ones could be the cause of it. Yet Arael didn't move. He may be swift but he couldn't dodge an arrow from this distance. He could only listen in abject horror.
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