Posts Tagged ‘Blade’

The Gunslinger

The Gunslinger (Photo credit: The mofoJT)

So, ‘Natural Selection’ is done, and all that remains of it is the past posts that you can read and re-read ‘til your foot gets stuck from kicking yourself in the ass for not pushing for me to continue the project. But don’t fear, as a bonus for you, I shall provide you here with the DVD Extras. These are bits that I wrote in ‘Elimination’ that ended up getting changed for one reason or another, some of the bits got recycled, in what you got, while the rest was simply left in the scrap file (I’m sure I had to of mentioned this before, and if I haven’t, I am now: never delete large amounts of writing no matter how bad you think it is, always put it in a scrap file. There will always be bits in it that you’ll find useful that you would have lost otherwise—plus, it gives you something to put on your website to appeal to the fans—I’m going to have those some day)

This is the original version of how it started just after Bahb hit the button. I tried writing Father with a cliché Southern-draw, so trying to figure out his dialog was always interesting, making this speech fun to write, but in the end, it was just too much “blah, blah, blah” with nothing happening and was killing the pace. So, I pushed back the zombies (the fight with them was going to start in this story, but then decided it was more dramatic to end it with them coming), I put Bahb’s guards back because I couldn’t figure out any way to get him a weapon that wouldn’t just leave him hiding behind the aliens for most of the story (even though most of his efforts of fighting were useless, I needed to keep the concept of him not backing down—since that’s the direction that kept getting chosen, so I wanted to keep that reflected as such):

What is that—Oh-dear-god—“

There was a slight pause, and a popping sound that came from the other PA speakers, and Fathers voice came over all of them at once, “Attention, my children, this is your father. It would seem that Hell has opened its floodgates and we are in the direct path of its fury. You are the greatest of a whole new species of mankind—now is the time that you must prove yourselves! Now is the time you must fight for the survival of this species! Defend our children, defend our families—“

A load groaning sound came across the speakers, followed by the sounds of multiple gunshots, and them the speakers suddenly cut out.

The room was flooded with a red strobe and a blaring alarm, and the capsules containing Soo and the other alien began to drain of their fluid.

They’re waking up now…” the unknown voice announced in Bahb’s mind.

The glass chambers started rising up in sync and the two grotesque creatures slumped over and dropped to the flood with a wet slosh, and with tentacles splayed about randomly. They lay limp and seemly lifeless in pools of excess liquid. Just as Bahb began to work up the courage to try to check them for signs of life, the being he knew as Soo began to move a tentacle, and then another, and then started to push herself upright. Shortly after, the other began to do the same.

Bahb went over to Soo and crouched to her level, “Are you ok?”

Soo looked at Bahb with a slit eye at the end of a long stalk, and directed the other towards her companion. Bahb looked between them, and notice they had their stares locked on each other.

“Am I missin’ something?” Bahb asked.

They’re talking… I can hear them…” The voice stated, “Would you like to hear them too?

“That would be—“ A piercing pain shot through Bahb’s mind, with him clasping his head with his arms, barely managing to stay on his feet. He suddenly heard the sound of thousands of voices, frantic and screaming. Slowly the voices began to calm, and filter down to fewer and fewer, until Bahb heard a conversation between only two.

…they tried to hide him from us… the experiment is ordered to be brought to an end… all results so far must be cleansed…

Everything?

We are to retrieve the evidence of their violation… otherwise, everything must be subjected to elimination…

And so it must be… no one can escape the Selection!

“What the hell is the damned ‘Selection’?” Bahb blurted out, “Everybody that has anything to do with this damn crazy cult keeps going on about ‘there’s no escaping the Selection’ or some crap—what the hell—“

A sudden sound like a surprised gasp sounded through Bahb’s mind from the two creatures. The one that was Soo suddenly began to melt into an abstract of itself, a multi-colored blob, phasing into a shade of skin, and sprouting arms and legs, and becoming the woman that Bahb had come to recognize as Soo—also naked again.

Soo examined Bahb with her infinitely dark eyes, “Bahb, were you able to hear us just now?”

“Um… yes…” Bahb answered with uncertainty.

With Bahb’s single word, he was alerted to the metallic sound of an unsheathing blade behind him. He turned and saw a man with long black hair, darkly tanned skinned, and narrowed black eyes, standing with his right armed formed into a long blade directed at Bahb’s temple.

Bahb narrowed his eyes to match that of the alien, “Is there a problem?”

Who is this? He is not one of them…” Bahb heard in his mind.

He was useful in getting in here… he may continue to be…” Soo’s mind responded, and then out loud to Bahb, “Bahb, how were you capable of hearing us communicating before?”

“Present tense—I still can,” Bahb responded, “And I really don’t know the how of it. There’s another voice that I’ve been hearing since I got here, aside from Scarlet’s and yers. I assumed it was me losing my mind, but then the crazy started becoming a bit more functional that is probably normal for crazy.”

The other entity I detected earlier,” Soo announced in her mind.

Is it the evidence?” The other asked.

“If you and yer naked friend here are just gonna stand here mind zapping each other, I’m gonna go back to finding Scarlet now,” Bahb interjected.

Bahb walked to the doorway leading to the outer lab, while grabbing a couple of lab coats and tossing them in the direction of the aliens, “If you don’t mind, you two are make it feel drafty in here.”

Bahb went to the main door. He glanced out the window noticing that his two guards seemed to no longer be anywhere in sight, “They must have been pulled away by whatever that commotion over the PA was…

“Commotion?” Soo asked walking up behind him.

“Damn’it, is that thing still on—am I gonna be permanently incapable of a private thought?” Bahb said and continue, “When Father was speaking earlier, something was responded to with gunfire.”

Kyriakos’Dionysodoros’Eli’Mongkut’Jorje,” Soo’s mind blurted out.

Gesundheit…” Bahb responded, “Ok, that joke is weirder when it’s in my head. You mean that Jorje guy from the cemetery? What about ‘im?”

“Jorje guy?” The other alien responded out loud for the first time.

“They should have been here at least a month ago…” Soo said, “The hibernation must have weakened the signal… I am not sure what they were doing between time… no matter, the elimination has begun, and we must complete the mission now…”

Soo’s counter part crossed his bladed limb through the door and it fell to fragments before him.

“Not to sound like I’m criticizing the quality of yer handy work, there, but it was actually locked from the inside—where we presently are,” Bahb pointed out, “You happen to have a name?”

“Irfan’Ramachandra’Arjuna’Tafadzwa’Gaun” The alien responded while walking over the destroyed door and into the corridor.

“Ok…. Gaun… what’s the plan? If you two are gonna start escaping, that’s fine, but I still gotta find Scarlet before I go anywhere—with or without the either of you,” Bahb paused, “But, I’m not gonna lie, I’d rather have at least one of you incase I come up against another Evo along the way.”

“I believe the ‘Evos’ will be indisposed,” Soo responded, “However, I will accompany you, while… Gaun… continues our mission.”

Why are—“ Gaun started in his mind.

Silence! Follow my command!” Soo responded with Gaun simply giving a subservient nod and began making his way down the corridor at an unreal pace.

And this is the alternate final fight between Bahb and Soo. Originally, Bahb actually got Father’s pistol-cannon, because I just completely loved the idea behind that gun, but after re-reading what I wrote, I declared that the fact that I just juiced Bahb up like a Super-Evo wasn’t really being sold the way it needed to be. So, I took away the gun, pointed out the healing, the reflexes, the strength, and just hand-to-hand stuff:

Bahb gripped the pistol-cannon and became one with it, turning on his heels; he aimed at the charging Soo, and fired an explosion of thunder, sending its giant bolt through her chest, and being followed by another being sent through her right shoulder, completely removing her bladed limb. He then went to his feet and moving toward her, fired again, and again.

When he reached her, and stood over her switching body, it was phased between her human and original state in a fit of chaotic confusion. Bahb crouched down, and threw his fist through the grotesque thing that was Soo’s face until he felt soil behind it.

This story is essentially a display of me blowing off frustration during a very dark point in my life (those who know me have ideas of the details, but I’ll spare the rest of you). It started off simply with the first image of the story—it ran through my head for almost three days straight, then I finally gave in and wrote it out assuming I would use it for something later… next thing I knew, there was a completed story in front of me. The name is another of my joyful plays with the letter ‘y,’ similar to Syn, it was something that I thought up a bit ago with little idea what it would be used for, but kept it around anyway. In addition, you will also get an extract from the novella version of this (yep, there’s one for this too… it starts with a short-story, then my brain just wants to see where else it can go).

Cÿd:
Red Stream, Wet Dirt, and Scars
Red stream

Red stream (Photo credit: Tim Green aka atoach)

I watch as the glistening of a red stream flows, merging into the horizon. I lay in the cold wet dirt—unblinking, hypnotized, I watch the stream of red until it appears as an ocean flowing on forever.

My daze is wavered by the stinging of my eyes—the sweat tainted with my filth pooling and dripping like tears, falling and disappearing into the wet dirt—into the red stream.

My body resists as I command it to rise. Every muscle flames as if to tear through my flesh, but I plant my hands into the wet dirt—into the red stream. I claw my fingers, stabbing deep—so deep, I can feel the squirming life below, crawling and exploring their way through my fingers. I push myself to my knees, my spine ripping with pain through my body. I slip to my elbows, drunken by the sudden erection of my head and the over-flow of endorphins—my body’s own battle to fight against the pain.

I push myself back up. I feel the handle of my blade still beneath my palm pushing against my hand until I am forced to grip my fingers around its leather wrap—a feeling so natural and familiar that I react to it by almost complete reflex. With my sword in hand, I rise to my feet as if powered by the feel of the cold steel as I clench it tighter, turning my knuckles to glow red to white to red.

I raise my eyes and gaze upon the man who stares down to me with such arrogance—as if he believed he had won before his sword was ever drawn. How long was I lying there since his last devastating blow—how long has he been standing there waiting for me to get back up—was he waiting for the sake of honor, or because of his own swelling arrogance.

His bare sun-darkened chest, covered in thousands of scars of random ages and depths—as if he had been fighting endlessly since the beginning of time without a moment of peace. So many battles that he must have won, even if at the edge of his own death, he came out with some deciding trait above his opponents that declared him victor—be it skill, speed, strength, or just constant luck. How many of those faces could he still have in his head—if I fall, will he remember me, or will I just be another unnamed blood-stain splattered on his sword and clothes.

The sun gleams off the steel of my blade forcing me to squint my eyes to focus. Staring my opponent dead in the eye until all I see is him—his every movement, the slight involuntary twitching of a muscle, the slow rise and fall of his chest, the blade of his sword gleaming as if in response to my own—two swords signaling each other with their secret language, screaming for their craving to meet with flesh and blood.

The sweat of my flesh turns to vapor as the noon sun stabs into me. The sensation of the heat tries to make me lazy, and force me to surrender to my wounds. I force away the cloud in my head, and feel the sudden coolness of a breeze that seemed to come out of nowhere, as if sent by the gods themselves as a sign—a sign to begin attack. And so I brace the balls of my feet deep into the wet dirt—into the red stream—and I lung forward in a swift charge.

I hold my sword across me in guard, prepared for any move he could make against me as I charge. He’s not moving—he’s still standing there with the same look of arrogance—is he really so confident in his ability to counter whatever I throw at him that he would just stand there unphased and wait for it to come—have those scars brought such experience; such sense of immortality—or does he wait for my own death dealing strike to end his life of steel, blood, and war.

It’s too late to change my attack now, it would risk putting me off balance, leaving me open for even the simplest of blows to become deadly—is that his plan, to throw me off, to force me into his game so that he can defeat me as easily as a three year old child. No, I can not falter my own strategy, I must force him into my game if I am to win.

I reach him in range of my blade, and I raise my sword swiping for his exposed neck. It was so sudden—a flash of light, and a split second of a sharp pain that throws me to my side. I look up at him from behind—he never moved, he still stands as he did before. And the sharp pain returns—I look down to see a red stream flowing into the wet dirt—slashed deep across my body from collar bone to my waist, tearing apart the more I twitch in response to the pain as the red stream flows into the wet dirt.

He finally turns and looks down at me, I look up at him and strainfully force out my words that tear at me with each breath, “How… you never moved… how…?”

He holds up his sword against the light of the sun, and a red stream flows from it raining into the wet dirt—as if to respond showing that he must have obviously somehow… moved—moved with the swiftness of the flashing lightning—there was never any thunder to follow but the sharp pain.

I stare into his eyes and see what I thought was arrogance. I stare until his face begins to haze and separate into distorted shapes, “Who… are you…?”

He crouches down, his sword held behind him—his movement so sudden, so fluid… or is it in my head. His lips move, but the words seem to take extra seconds to reach me, “I am the one who has sent you to the next life—you have no use of my name…”

“Your name… as I lye waiting for my end… as it is creeping unto me… please… tell me your name… so I may warn the spirits of my next kin…”

He simply smiles with a smirk of what I thought was arrogance. I see him move his hand to me—I think he laid it on my shoulder, but I can only barely feel the foreign pressure to indicate his touch. His hot breath blows across my ear and my mind slowly translates the vibrations in the air, “The spirits of your kin are soon to be gone from the world, for you are now the last… I am Cÿd… … …” His presents seems to simply fade away… or I never saw his movements.

His words echo in my head, “…the spirits of your kin are soon to be gone from the world…”—my eyes stinging as the sweat tainted with my filth pools and drips like tears, falling and disappearing into the wet dirt—into the red stream, “…for you are now the last…”

I watch as the glistening of the red stream flows, and merges into the horizon, “…I am Cÿd…” I lay in the cold wet dirt—unblinking, hypnotized, I watch the stream of red until it appears as an ocean flowing on forever… … … “…Cÿd…” … … …

Cÿd

Prologue: Red Stream, Wet Dirt, and Scars

Scars

Scars (Photo credit: svimes)

I remember it every time I close my eyes. The hot stink of the mid-summer sun burning down, casting gleaming rays through the dark smoke-filled clouds as they blanketed over the sky and burrowed through our farm.

I watched as a stream of the reddest blood I have ever seen flow in front of me, the sun gleamed off it in a way that made it appear somehow infinite—infinitely deep, and flowing on forever like a great red ocean.

I sat there under our table huddled with my knees as tightly to my chest as I could get them as I looked through the legs of a chair like the bars of a cage, and stared out our front doorway. The red stream branched slightly towards me as I watched it creep through the crevasses in the cold ground. I just sat there hypnotized by it, it was the only thing I could see, it’s the only sign of anything since I heard my father’s scream.

I’ve never heard such a sound from any man before. It took me a few seconds to even realize that it was human, then only to somehow recognize it as my father’s voice. The horrifying sound echoed through my head as I watched the red stream flowing through the cold wet dirt.

Where’s Mother—she went out after Father and my brothers… after the yelling and screaming started. Why didn’t she come back—why isn’t she saving me—why isn’t she coming and picking me up before the red stream reaches me?

As I was about to push out the struggling breath to cry out for her, I was instantly silenced by a sudden crash against the outer wall. A brief instant later, I saw a hand before the doorway falling limp—somehow falling with the grace of a dead leaf from an autumn tree. Slowly, I crawled from my sanctuary under the table with the sluggishness of a thousand hands holding me back—but I had to see, I had to see who’s hand lay lifeless before my eyes—I had to know.

I reached out my small hand to touch the large fingers covered with sprinkles of blood, and even before I could see around the corner of the frame, I already knew—I knew that gentle but somehow strong hand almost better than I ever knew my own. The hands that I saw throughout every day from my very first day of life—as they cleaned me, clothed me, fed me, and held me.

I crawled to see her face, her eyes still staring, struggling to cling to life. Her gaze suddenly jumped its focus over to me, and almost frightened me enough to fall back, but I resisted, She isn’t gone, she’s still going to get up and save me—I will still have her gentle touch to nurture me—she’s not gone.

I put my small hand into her hand that always seemed so large and gentle—so strong. I could feel the muscles of her hand as they struggled to move, but allowing her fingers to only barely twitch. As I stared into her eyes as they stared into me as I wished for her to take my small hand in hers, I heard myself crying out with partial words through my tears, “Mother, get up, get up! Why aren’t you holding my hand? Get up!” I order her with anger and tears over and over, “Mother, get up! Hold me!”

Her fingers still twitching in timid struggle, her eyes begin to pool with tears, filling until almost her entire eye was blurred with water. Spilling over, across her nose, and down her cheeks and streaming along the detailed lines of her lips until the stream found its way to open air. It fell in glimmering drops that seemed so small, but seemed so very big as they splashed into the cold ground, disappearing as the dirt soaked them in.

I watched her tears as they fell with my own until the ground turned to mud. I watched as her eyes stared into me—I watched as her twitching fingers stopped twitching—her eyes still staring into me, but somehow different… as if there were some candle burning somewhere inside them that was suddenly blown-out by a breeze. I knew… it took time for it to really hit me, for it to tell my mind to react, time that could have been a mere second, or several hours—I couldn’t tell. But still, from the very moment that I saw the light leave her tear filled eyes, I knew that she was gone. My small, frail hand still grasping at her lifeless fingers, pulling and nudging her as if to some how wake her, but I already knew it was useless. They say a child so young can’t possibly understand death, but I know that I somehow understood it in every detail from that very moment.

I sat there on my knees staring into her lifelessness until my tears turned hot—so hot I almost thought they’d burn my face. As my tears burned I clenched my small hands into fists—fists so tight that I could have pushed my fingers through my palms. That’s when I could somehow feel him there—feel his presence as if I could feel the weight of his shadow blanketed over me.

I turned behind me to see in the distance through all the mist of the smoke-filled darkness, the silhouette of a figure clenching a gleaming steal blade. I stared until my eyes focused and the smoke cleared, and I saw a man staring down to me with the coldest dark eyes I have ever seen. His bare sun-darkened chest completely covered in thousands of scars of random ages and depths. His sword and hands dripped with streaming rains of blood.

I saw laying around him, the edges and silhouettes of more bodies that I already knew before I ever checked them were the bodies of my father and brothers—their screams from before still echoing in my head.

If I told you I wasn’t afraid, you’d know I would be lying, but as I stared into those cold dark eyes, my anger rose to completely overshadow any sign of fear. The tears covered my face, burning even more into my soft cheeks, my fists clenched so tight that I could feel small streams of blood trickling off the sides as my nails stabbed into my palms so deep that when I later pried them open I found that I had my own blood-dabbed skin stuck beneath my tiny nails.

I stared into those eyes unblinking, ignoring the dry burning, waiting—waiting for him to come for me and take my life as he did my mother’s. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hopelessly fight him with my rage, with my only weapons being my small infant hands, allowing me to add to his collection of scars with tiny specks. Or if I wanted to simply lye down and let him plunge his blade into me like a skewered pig so that I could be released from this world and see my mother’s light-filled eyes again—feel her gentle hands again.

Just as my anger caused me to loose patience and I was about to yell out to the man covered in scars, a sudden gust of wind blew, bellowing a ball of curtaining smoke so thick that the scarred man became completely engulfed. His silhouette merged and faded into the cloud, and when the wind finally broke it up and blew it to mist, the scarred man was nowhere to be seen.

I looked around everywhere I could see, he couldn’t have possibly left sight completely in that short of time. Even if he was as fast a runner as my brothers, there was nowhere he could have hidden—he was just… gone.

And I was left sitting there, my rage returned to grief as I looked down at my mother’s lifeless eyes. Sitting there in the red stream—in the wet dirt—the image in my head of the man covered with scars.