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Merc's Writing Stuff

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1 Merc's Writing Stuff on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:36 am

Mercenary Lord

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WRITEY STUFF.
*************
The End

Folks used to talk about the end of the world. People had all their theories: nukes, aliens, undead. They had their preparations, too- bunkers and filtration systems, guns. They were ready for anything. The rest of us, well, we didn’t pay them too much attention. We thought we were so clever. The world wasn’t gonna end any time soon, we said. The nutcases were ruining their lives, and wasting their fortunes. And then…and then it all went to hell.

Couldn’t prepare for the end too well. Not really. People thought they knew what they were doing, up until it counted. And bam: dead before their careful plans could work. One second, fine, and the next, your family dead, home destroyed, and your life shattered. All in all, it’s too bad folks didn’t just get ready for a good old natural apocalypse. All this talk ‘bout zombies, aliens, and plagues, nobody really got ready for the earthquakes, the lightning. The hurricanes. The ones still living are the ones who did, and there ain’t many left. Shotgun’s got no use against a storm. Logic? What logic? Logic said we’d be fine- that we’d never have to worry. Logic don’t stop fire, and it sure don’t stop a flood.

I only made it this far with the help of a few guys I never even asked the names of. No time for that. Good fellas- sharp eyes and sharp shots. Guns might not’ve helped while we suffered, but they’re useful as anythin’ in the aftermath. Things seemed to have settled down, little bit. After all, Mother Nature ain’t trying to kill herself. Just us. She might’ve sent us hell, but she’s been nice enough to the leftovers. Strange enough, only humanfolk got hit with the end, mostly. We’ve found no animal corpses. Least, not yet.

Things got tough when it all fell apart. Alliances? Hmph. Only reason my group was still going was their efficiency. They’re stronger together. Me? Can’t shoot to save my life, but I’m a damn good storyteller, and I’m good at cooking with next to nothing. Grew up without a lot of food, see- but that’s for another time. Weapons are scarce, too. Lucky me- I found a group with a gun store. Don’t take this the wrong way: didn’t see many humans around anymore, but the end must have kick-started animal’s instincts. Wolves and bears came at us too often, and even some dogs have been giving us trouble. Funny thing- the cats ain’t changed at all. Too lazy to begin with.

The rest of this story- hmm… Well, things had started to settle down, as I said before, after enough time. Group was talking about hitting a gardening store- maybe starting up a farm. Solid plan, I suppose, but things went south real quick after. Head boy of our little gang got an infection in his trigger finger. We amputated. Guy wasn’t too pleased, but we managed, until we met another group.

There wasn’t any words exchanged- ambushed ‘em right off the bat, with a bat. Well, I was none too pleased with that. They didn’t want to hear it. Dropped me in the woods. Went around a bend, and gone. I found a stump nearby- a last remnant of man’s dominance. Sat down on the old wood. I wasn’t gonna last long on my own.

“Are you all right? Heard a voice, then. Woman’s voice. A fine looking one, too. See, the movies preach that only the pretty girls were in apocalypses. Countering that, we all though only the average ones really survived. As with everything, there’s a mix. I just got the long end of the stick.

Didn’t say too much, I recall- wasn’t much to say. She sat down on the stump, next to me, and handed me a pack of crackers. “Here,” she smiled at me. “Not everyone in this god-forsaken world is going to leave people behind.” Apparently, she’d seen the other group drop me off. “I’ve been travelling by myself for a while, now. The only reason people wanted to be with me was to, well…” She motioned to herself in general, blushing a bit. I got her meaning.

I raised my head. “Thanks.” I’m not the talkative type, anyway.

“What’s your name?” She seemed interested in me: more than I was comfortable with.

I shrugged. “Jack” Simple lie wouldn’t do much damage. I tore open the crackers. Been a while since I had much.

“Oh, uh...” She went quiet, too. I reckon there wasn’t much to say in response. Until she perked up, and talk a bit more. “Well, then, Jack it is.” Jack. Close enough. “Listen, Jack. There’s a place a few miles north of here. I’m headed there myself- I know the owners. If you like, uh…you’re welcome to come along…uh…” Guess she wasn’t too confident with her speaking.

I nodded. “Sounds good.” Standing up hurt, right there. I’d been on the move so fast, for so long, I’d forgotten how bad I really was. Still, I made it, and after a few steps, turned and looked at the woman. She smiled again.

“I’m Erica.” We were on a first name basis already. She popped up, and set off. I followed, and the two of us walked on, to a so-called safe haven. I had nothing left in my life, not really. Say it was a trap- I’d be dead soon enough, either way.

True to her word, Erica led us straight, and a cozy little farm popped into view, complete with cows, chickens, and huge fields of grain. Like a whole chunk of the Earth, saved from the end. Self-sufficient, with water collectors, solar panels, and plenty of surplus food. Erica and I fit right in. the place became my home, in more ways than one. Linda and Bob- the owners- hired us without a second thought. Been here for a month and a half, and nothin’s gone wrong at all. The place is like a little paradise, right in the middle of hell on Earth.

Erica’s been nice- nicer than a friend should be. I guess she’s been alone for a while. Anyway, we’ll have to see- we’re the same in years, sorta, but I've been feeling the cold of old age in my bones for a while. Maybe it came with the end. I’m feeling better now, but who can tell. Her part in my life- that’s another story, for another time.

The End.

It’s gone. It ain’t coming back. And now?

We’re picking up the shards- one piece at a time.
********

Written in celebration of the Mayans being wrong.

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2 Re: Merc's Writing Stuff on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:37 am

Mercenary Lord

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Flight
-
He cursed, vehemently, as his left boot slipped off the rock, shaking his very grip of the cliff-side. It took all his strength to not let go and fall, four hundred feet straight-down, to his death. Twice now, his shoes had slipped from the wet stone, and each time, he had hung on by a single hand. He’d waited months for this day, and nothing was going to stop him.

With a groan of effort, he pulled himself up another few feet. The rope around his waist was cutting off his circulation, but that didn’t matter, as long as he succeeded. His arm snaked up to the next handhold, and his foot lodged itself firmly in a new crack. Almost there. He climbed another foot higher. Almost there.
He barely realized he had made it; his hand simply fell over the edge, rather than finding the next hold. He hardly cared, really: every muscle in his body screamed in agony.

Acting on instinct alone, he rolled onto solid ground moments before his legs cramped, and he lost all control of his appendages. A reflexive laugh clawed its way out of his throat, more a method of dealing with the pain than anything.

He could have lay there for hours, oblivious to everything but his pain, but he became acutely aware of the rope still crushing his waist, so with massive effort, he rolled onto his stomach, and grabbed the rope. Slowly, painfully, he pulled the cord up, lifting the heavy box tied to the other side to the top. His arms were going to fall off, he was sure of it. Nevertheless, he kept pulling. The box was his entire reason for coming here, after all- losing it now would invalidate all of his suffering.

He wasn’t sure how much longer he could have lasted, but suddenly the bag was beside him, and he was on his back again. This time around, he couldn’t move at all, and blackness flickered on the edges of his vision. A tired grin flickered across his face, and he welcomed the dark, with its soothing embrace and peaceful bliss.
-

He woke abruptly at dusk. Parched and tired, he sat up, grunting as his sore muscles clenched up again. The full moon shone down on the little mesa, illuminating everything almost as much as the sun. He waited for a minute or so before he moved again, attempting to get some semblance of response from his limbs.

Eventually, after much consternation and painful stretching, He managed to get to his knees, and crawled over to the box. Flipping the latches, he opened the lid, and a warm multicolored light washed over his face. He instantly felt lighter, and his aching alleviated, somewhat. Thus was the power of the materials he used. He pulled a leather bag from the box, and looked inside, counting the number of metal ingots inside. He checked the side of the box as well, where a number of blue feathers were stored in separate ‘sheaths’.

Satisfied, he shut the box, and stood, albeit awkwardly. He turned to the other edge of the cliff, where a large, metallic rock sat slightly back from empty space. His reason for coming up here in the first place. He lifted the box and limped over to the green-tinted rock.

Setting down the wooden container, he pulled a strange, glowing hammerhead of gold and silver from the box, along with a short rod of metal. Connecting the two pieces, he tossed the hammer into the air experimentally, pleased with the balance. It was a surprisingly light tool.

From there, he pulled the bag of ingots from the box, and emptied it onto the metallic rock. He grabbed the glowing materials from the box as well, and spread them out evenly over the green surface. He twirled the hammer thoughtfully, then took a light blue orb and a pink orb, and placed them side by side, next to one of the silver ingots. He drew back his hammer-arm, and slammed it down onto the materials.

Rather than smashing into the rock, the hammer went right through the three things, as if a ghostly apparition. It passed through the rock as well, and swung out at his side. He looked at the result, content. The green rock underneath the former materials glowed with energy, and the ingredients were separate no longer. In their place, a shining bar of metal pulsed with newfound power. He lifted the ingot appreciatively. It was far lighter than it had been previously. He reached into the box, and pulled one of the feathers from its spot on the side. Adrenaline rushed through his veins as he worked, all of his previous pain defied and ignored. He was so close.

He touched the feather to the glowing ingot, and watched in fascination as it was literally sucked into the metal. Instantly, a change occurred: the bar weighed next to nothing, as if it was barely heavy enough to stay down on the ground, and not float into the sky. He grinned, exhilarated, set the finished bar back inside the box, and pulled out the next set of materials. With a light heart and a fierce grin, he set to work.

He finished the creation of the almost-floating metal as the moon began its descent across the sky. From there, he pulled a chisel made of the same material as the hammer from the box, and began the detailed work of creating his dream. He would succeed. He knew it.
-

The sky was lightening when he finalized his work. With a sigh of exhaustion and contentment, he sat, cradling the massive jumble of pieces in his hand. They didn’t look like much, yet, but there was one final piece of the puzzle to be completed. He arrayed the parts on the green, metallic rock in a confusing pattern, one that made sense only to him. He grabbed the chisel again, and started the second to last step, etching a pattern into the metallic rock. A circle, one he had memorized from a book in the library. A fusion circle.

Once completed, he pulled the last item from the chest: a flawless, many-faceted diamond. The final piece. Setting the jewel in the middle of the circle, he settled down to wait for sunrise, when the reaction would occur. He didn’t wait long before the first ray of light cleared the horizon.

The diamond lit up with the morning sun, and launched the light in all directions. As he watched, the entire stone lit up like a lantern, and tendrils of energy slowly fizzled into the air, one by one obscuring the metal pieces and parts. He watched in awe as it flashed blindingly in the dawn light, sparking and flashing rapidly. He had to close his eyes to avoid losing his sight.

When he finally opened them again, his jaw dropped open a little. There, sitting on the rock, was a pristine pair of metallic, feathered wings. He moved as if in a dream, slowly approaching the device and lifting it off the stone, and examined the work of art. Aside from the perfectly shaped, almost weightless wings attached to a main frame of sorts, two pairs of straps- obviously to secure the mechanism to the user’s back- branched off from the frame.

The spell broke suddenly, and he slipped the wings onto his back, excitedly securing the straps and slipping a loop around each of his fingers. He clenched his fingers experimentally, and the wings whipped downward, nearly blasting him off the cliff. He laughed in delight, and steadied himself. This was it: his dream for years, and his project for months. He grabbed the hammer and chisel, kicked the box off the edge in his excitement, and took several steps back.

Without a second thought, he dashed toward the edge of the cliff, and hurled himself off the edge, spreading his arms and clenching his fists. The wings flapped once, twice, three times; and then he was lifted into the air, riding the wind. He shouted jubilantly into the air, his voice echoing over the hills. He unclenched his hands, and the wings stilled, unfurled. The wind caught him, then, and sent him gliding over the world.

He quickly became accustomed to the new ‘terrain’. A simple lowering of the shoulders caused him to descend, and a simple twitch of the fingers caused him to rise. He soared over the earth in happiness, spinning, whirling, and diving as he became accustomed to the wings. Up down, left right. He veered toward a cliff-side and stretched out his feet. They hit the wall and he started running, up the side of the cliff. As his speed waned, he kicked off, and flipping backward into open space once again, and whirling down, picking up speed again.

He sped toward a forest, smiling savagely as he reached out with a hand. He glided across the tree tops, plucking leaves from the trees as he wove in and out of the taller ones. He’d finally done it. After years of dreaming and months of planning, he’d done it. He was the first man to play with the birds on their own turf, the first person to ride the wind.

He was the first man in flight.
***
NOTES AND STUFF
-Inspired by a piece of techno music by the duo 'Approaching Nirvana', called 2nd Flight, and the legend of Icarus.
-The wings are a representation of Angel Wings, in case you couldn't guess.
-Character is unnamed for a reason.

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3 Re: Merc's Writing Stuff on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:39 am

Mercenary Lord

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A silver-armored man gazed down on the milling mass of soldier beneath him. He had long since abandoned his helmet, chilled ice cold by the intense rain. The droplets had whipped through the plains, stopping the advances of either side- wiping clean the slate of combat. Each side retreated, treating their wounded, and cursing their infernal luck.

“General Altos!” A young man, a lieutenant, slipped and scurried his way up the steep hill. Altos had ascended the hill without a thought, but others were not quite as limber as he. “Altos, sir!

Altos glanced at the lieutenant. “Yes, soldier, what is it?”

“We’ve obtained a general idea as to their numbers, sir. It looks as if our original estimations were overly optimistic. They have a hundred thousand soldiers, General. That’s four times ours.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, General.” The man shifted uncomfortably. “We cannot hold against such numbers, sir.” A pause. “The men are growing restless, even without knowing the odds. There’s been talk of desertion. No one here wants to die, and, honestly, our reason for fighting seems a bit weak.” Altos was silent for a long while. The lieutenant shifted again. “Sir?”

“I will speak to them. Do not falter in your efforts, lieutenant. Any and all information you can obtain on our enemies is both useful and valued. You are dismissed.”

The lieutenant bowed, and staggered back down the hill. Altos looked over his shoulder, to his hastily erected tent. A horse stood there, tied to a post. Inside, his second in command and brother waited. The other man met Altos’ gaze intently. There was nothing else to do.

Altos gathered his energy, and painfully made his way to the edge of the hill. He was not injured, physically. The battle had been long, and the sacrifices great, and now he learned that it was all for naught. He was not as young as he had once been, either. His arm shook, but he stilled it through sheer will.

“Soldiers!” Altos roared. His voice carried over the practically flat land, causing all the various people below him to suddenly freeze and turn their gazes to him. “To me!”

With all attention on him, Altos stepped onto the side of the hill, and descended to the camp. Whispers and looks all hissed all around him. The General rarely descended from his tent during times of ‘peace’. He spent the time planning, and thinking. For him to be walking through the common soldier’s camp was rare indeed.

He made his way to a scaffold of sorts, where messengers and merchants spoke and traded. Took one heavy step after another, up the creaking wooden steps. He turned to face the crowd. He took in their features, their defeated, bleak looks, and made his decision. They would fight, no matter the cost.

“Comrades! I have recently been informed of our enemy’s numbers.” He was cut off by murmurings and shifty glances. “They far outnumber us! A hundred thousand men!”

He was stopped again, this time by outraged cries and moans of fear. He persevered. “We are tired, cold. Our muscles sore, our minds weary. You wish to flee, and I would accompany you without hesitation.” This statement brought another round of muttering.

“I would leave with you, if only I were able! To abandon this cause of ours and retreat to safety! I would gladly flee!” The rain continued to fall, pouring onto his face, soaking his grey-streaked hair. “This, I would do, and do it happily.”

He raised a hand. “But consider why we are here! We are not here for some baseless purpose. We are not here on the whim of some warlord or prince. No! We are here for a far nobler cause!”
There were no more unhappy sounds from the crowd of bedraggled soldiers. They were staring at him with almost hungry looks on their faces.

“I have come here, today, in the hopes of ending a conflict which has long since run its course! A war which has torn families apart, ripped men from their homes, and crushed the souls of those left behind.”
His voice continued to rise. “We are here, not because of our own reasons, but because we will not stand these horrors any longer! WE WILL NOT LET OUR ENEMY DESTROY US AND ALL WE STAND FOR!”

A fierce light burned in Altos’ eyes. “My friends! We are here to protect our families, our livelihoods, and our world itself! Will we abandon our position simply because we are outmatched? NO! We will stand here, and hold our lines! We will fight! Take heart in your purpose, men! Show the enemy that your courage cannot be denied! We will fight! And we will win!”

It was hastily created and even more so delivered, but Altos’ army bellowed approval. They stomped their feet, banged swords on shields, and shouted.

As if on cue, the sun peeked out of the clouds, shining down on the silver army. Altos had not even realized that the rain had stopped.

“Are you with me, comrades? Will you give me the honor of fighting alongside you?” As the sun shone down onto his face, and the sound of victory filled the air, he heard the answer before it came. Slow and disjointed at first, but then more and more powerful.

“YES! YES! WE WILL FIGHT!”
*

FOR NARNIA yada yada

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4 Re: Merc's Writing Stuff on Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:01 pm

Magix430

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You have so much time.

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