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Welcome to Year Eight

"Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurtin' fore she keens. Makes her a home."

Year Eight and Still Flyin'! Thank You, Everyone!

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 Burgesstown: Trial & Tribulations
Chloe Zhao
Posted: Aug 25 2010, 09:24 AM


Group: Members
Posts: 7
Member No.: 1,108
Joined: 9-August 10

Juniper Burgess's Mansion

This wasn't the time for Chloe to second guess herself, and yet that was exactly what she couldn't stop herself from doing. Hacking into one of the more hidden back entrances to the mansion with a master key given to her by Fanty and Mingo was easy; even though she didn't trust this foreign piece of technology. Normally she programmed her own tools, but Chloe was in a bit of a bind and starved for time. And the hard part had yet to come.

Sliding in through the door with unnecessary stealth, the woman headed quickly to the nearest security system outlet, having only moments before the alarm would go off. Having memorized the map shown to her by the felonious twins, Chloe found her way easily and managed to sabotage the system successfully in a matter of seconds, using a disabler of her own creation that also froze the frames of the surveillance cameras. Allowed a temporary moment of relief, she paused to consider her situation.

Her heart was beating fast, a feeling Chloe normally savoured when performing a theft of this type, but she was uneasy. Being forced into a job - whether or not it was her last - was not to her liking, and for the first time, she had something at stake, so she pressed on.

"I'm good, I'm good. I'm fine - there's no one around," she repeated to herself, being as vigilant as she possibly could. Ignoring the extravagant decor she would normally admire, Chloe thought back to the floor plan and walked carefully towards her goal, listening intently for any possible employees or owners while planning back-up exits. The widow Burgess was supposed to be at some big trial down the street, and all her attendants but some members of security were meant to have been gone as well. However experience taught Chloe that people are rarely where they were supposed to be. The place certainly seemed pretty empty though, except for that "surveillance team" she already circumvented.

It was at this point that Chloe began to tire of her own uncharacteristic paranoia. She reached the employee staircase that was supposed to lead to a section of the upper floor dedicated to Mrs. Burgess's pampering, as well as her bedroom - and at this point, she shook herself to gain back her old confidence. "Be cool," she urged herself quietly.

It worked this time, and the thief truly calmed herself so as to be able to enjoy her last heist. Chloe climbed the back stairs in the dark, preparing a mini jet-injector filled with a mild, but quick-acting sedative - in case anyone was left behind. The darkness of the stairwell however did not aid in her haste to move on, and Chloe tripped during a short moment of inattention. She landed painfully on her arm and slid down a few steps, until she stopped herself with a decisive yet loud stomp of her foot.

Without moving, Chloe listened for a reaction while she barraded herself for such a rookie mistake. Only then did she notice that during her fall, she dropped the sedative and crushed the injector with her body weight.

"IDIOT!" She thought as she waited for a cue as to her next plan of action.

This post has been edited by Chloe Zhao on Aug 25 2010, 10:29 AM
Marshal J. Kord
Posted: Sep 19 2010, 11:18 PM

Rim Marshal

Group: NPC
Posts: 25
Member No.: 561
Joined: 13-March 08

The dust storm was tossing the prairie up, covering the sky in a haze of yellow dust. Kord could taste it in the back of his throat, dry and hot, like coals waiting to turn to flame, but wilder and fiercer.

So focused was he on the storm, staring through it, hoping he would see Mackellroy coming through the dust like the pariah he was, coming to save them all, that at first he did not hear it.

It started as a low hum high in the sky, masked by the whistle of wind-whipped dust and debris. A common enough sound in Burgesstown, where a few times a week, transport ships dropped in and out of the glass factory space-port, that low burn of an engine high in the upper atmo.

Jimsen Kord wasn't a man to turn his back on a brewin' storm. He didn't know why he turned and looked up. It was dropping hard and fast, the dust-bronzed sky parting as the hum drew upward in volume, becoming a blistering roar. The unmistakeable roar of a ship running without containment.

Crashing. was his first thought. Before his mind connected the word, his keen eyes had made out what he was seeing.

Black and red and blood and fire.

Raining from the sky like hell was on it's heels.

The earth began to shake.

Kord ran, drawing pistol and priming rifle as he sprinted up the steps of the courthouse and slammed both doors wide open.

The Judge started to yell "Order" and Kord outshouted him, voice tearing like the coming cannon-fire,


Outside, the first round of repeater-fire hammered down over the empty streets of Burgesstown.
Posted: Sep 20 2010, 09:20 AM

all made up of rage

Group: NPC
Posts: 8
Member No.: 591
Joined: 8-April 08

They were men once. Parts still were. Flesh and blood and hunger and need. The rest was gone over to steel and rot and pain and fury.

They weren't supposed to be there. They were supposed to be ahead of the rest of the armada, leading the way back to the dark corners, back to the Black beyond the reach of those who would dare hunt them, but circumstances had led them astray.

Cut off by a stray Alliance patrol, their escape route had cost them their cargo. Without it, there was nothing to satiate their long craving. The rest of the armada was beyond them now, deep into the safety of nights so long lost they were near forgotten.

One small ship. One small unit.

One tremendous rage.

The small black cargo vessel, old, outdated, and burning it's last years out in deadly fight, dropped into Burgesstown's sky. Roaring fire and blood. Cooran turned loose the cannon fire, pummeling the raw dirt, leaving pitted holes down the dirt streets. The gunner's howl filled the small ship as he took triumph in those who would scatter and run from the fire.

People thought them animals, but ask any wolf. The pack hunters lived longest. Eight dropped from the belly of the steel beast as it roared low over the small town, surrounding with fire and flame and driving the citizens in. in. in. in.

Where they could be coralled and cargoed. Where they could be had.
Karen Sinclair
Posted: Sep 20 2010, 09:55 PM


Group: NPC
Posts: 9
Member No.: 707
Joined: 22-July 08

"Uh... is it the Judge, Miss Sinclair?"

"The judge has an important job." Karen replied, writing Judge on the chalkboard. "There are cases where a judge decides, but if the case is a criminal trial . . ."

She circled the words she had written before, stepping over to one side as she wrote beside the word Judge.

"then there is a jury."

The word Jury took it's place on the chalkboard as she wrote, the chalk scraping dryly across the old board.

That ship is flying too low, and it's engine is wrong . . .

"The jury," she continued, noting that some of the kids were already slightly distracted by the loud ship overhead, "is made up of twelve ordinary adults, who could be almost anyone, and they listen to the evidence and decide if the person on trial is innocent or guilty."

The roar grew louder as the chalk scraped out more letters on the board, adding the defendant to the chalkboard trial.


Some of the kids were openly looking towards the window, curiosity overruling classroom discipline.

You're going to be a teacher


The sound isn't right. It's . . .

These tests will identify the ones we need


The children were looking around, some whispering about a crash. Was it going to crash? The children . . .

are your highest priority. Your mission . . .

I have a mission? Where are these memories coming from? And that old test is ridiculous. It's not appropriate for the younger grades. Some of the questions are so absurd, you'd have to be . . .


your consent form for the procedure . . .

That's no crash, it's . . .

help to identify them . . .

The sounds of war filled the air.

The word filled her eyes as the dust sifted down from the board.


"Attention, everybody!" Karen's voice rose above the beginnings of startlement before it could escalate into panic. "We're all going down the hall and into the shelter. Please move quickly and orderly by rows, but don't run."

your mission . . .

What mission? I don't have a mission, I have a job. I'm a teacher.

name is Karen Sinclair. You're a grade school teacher.

What? I don't . . .

procedure is experimental, but it should . . .


Sarah, can you hear me?

who is

Karen stumbled, her foot catching on something. She looked down at the loose board by the chalkboard, lying there, overturned, a small hole opened in the floor where it should be.

Must have come loose. Have to have that fixed.

The children were safe, down in the shelter beneath the school. For once, it was fortunate that Jinye was tornado prone. She could remember taking them down the hall, followed by the older class, seeing them down into the small cellar, instructing them not to open the door for anyone they didn't know and trust.

Sealing the magnetic lock on the armored hatch door concealed under the wooden cover. Starting the ventilation motors.


need to set up some basic emergency measures when you arrive. Keep it low key and hidden so . . .

The children. It's all about them.


The sounds of rage and violence filled the streets outside.

Karen Sinclair stepped away from the hole in the floor. She wasn't even aware of the laser pistol in her hand.

It wasn't her that was holding it.
Lincoln Bloom
Posted: Sep 21 2010, 12:59 AM

Crew Member

Group: Members
Posts: 58
Member No.: 128
Joined: 15-August 06

It had taken some time but Lincoln had slowly gained stride as a teacher, his methods were off beat if anything but he was keeping the kids interested enough to at least do the homework. In his books that was pretty good for someone with very little experience with children. He’d grown a fairly good rapport with Miss Sinclair as well, often using her as a resource on how to further grow as an instructor. All in all it wasn’t such a bad life, the innocence of children turned out to be a good remedy for his bad conscience. Most days he could manage through without any thought of his dirty past.

The blood on his hand was more and more fading to a metaphorical soft pink than a crimson red. Sure he was still on the waiting list to hell but he felt good about himself when he woke up and went about his monotonous, violence-free routine. Today started off well, the students quietly sat at their desks studying for the test they would face in the afternoon and Lincoln sat behind his desk studying notes for tomorrow.

The silence however did not last forever as a strange but familiar sound broke through the windows and drawing the attention of his students. He too was torn from his concentration and rose up from his chair, moving towards the window to check out what was the disturbance. Inside he felt his stomach turn as the unnatural sounds a ship ready to crash met up with the sight of one looking like it was about to.

He didn’t need long to put two and two together. He turned to the children and immediately knew he had to get them to the shelter.

”Alright. Everyone, I think we all need a break from our desks. We are going to perform a tornado drill. Everyone line up at the door and head for the shelter." He watched as the students smiled and gladly left their desks, lining up not quite as orderly or quickly as he would have liked and followed them out the hall to the shelter. He gave a glance to Miss Sinclair as the halls emptied and the shelter filled.

”Can you watch over the children. I need to retrieve something from one of my suitcases at home. I shan’t be long.” He didn’t wait for a response; there was little time to spare. As he made his way to his small home he weighed the ethics of bringing a gun around children but the desperate nature of the situation won out and he opted to make an exception on account of looming mortal danger.

He hadn’t the array of arms he’d once held as a bounty hunter but his collection was the equivalent of a bounty hunters emergency kit. He had a couple pistols and a knife almost big enough to be considered a machete or short sword. He slipped his chest holster’s on, the two pistols resting underneath each arm pit and the knife holstered on his leg.

To conceal the weaponry from the children he threw on a long dark blue overcoat, buttoning up one button at the waist to ensure he’d still be able to reach his tools conveniently.

”God help us.” He said as he turned to head back to the school house, his eyes catching the preachers attire he had previously worn when moonlighting as a priest on that ship. A brief flashback to the manhandling his old rival Jubal Early had treated him to reminded him that he would have to be careful, he wasn’t the same man anymore. He didn’t even have the same name.

Lincoln hurried back to the shelter, seeing that the last of the students were just getting in and debated his options. He could remain there and protect the children or head into town to help in the defense. There were plenty of folks with weapons in town, these kids were defenseless. When he returned he saw that Miss Sinclair had found some protection of her own, which was surprising but welcome.

”Miss Sinclair.” He thought to tell her to get down in the shelter but what his brain said and what his lips spoke didn’t match.

”Do you know how to use that?” Something told him she did.

This post has been edited by Lincoln Bloom on Sep 21 2010, 12:59 AM
Vitorria Tate
Posted: Sep 24 2010, 10:55 AM


Group: OC
Posts: 126
Member No.: 194
Joined: 17-October 06

There was a long, long silence, filled with breath and heartbeat and movement, the sound of several dozen people trying to crawl backwards up their spines after their voices, the air escaped from between near every bone in their bodies.

Then sound returned in an explosion of noise and color, rending the air in a cacophony of screams, begging, and hoarsely yelled orders all competing to be heard, rocketed outward to fill the already cramped confines of town hall. We're all going to die! Blockade the doors! Get out of the way! The stories hadn't mentioned the noise, or the way Szatsu's borrowed gun, a tree among a sudden bristling forest, felt less than useless. A weapon you weren't confident of was your enemy's. Da had said that. It couldn't help her erect a barricade, or help Petaline outrun the reavers on her leg-


Vitorria tried to push her way through to the door, getting an elbow to the face for her trouble, but she made some progress. It was a bit easier getting through the edges of the crowd. People were trying to restore order, McCade among them, but hardly anybody was listening. If she could just-

Movement. A face leering at the window, but oh, that face-!

Vitorria spun, brought the handgun up to bear, and squeezed the trigger. Fire and thunder roared in stereo with the beast outside the window. Stars flew. Before she could try another shot, a hand slammed down hard on her shoulder. Whoever it was only just avoided getting his head blown off as she spun around, her gun hand shook so.

Vitorria took one look at him, and her yelped apology died stillborn on her tongue. She knew the face. It was, more than anything, that frightened her now, more even than the reavers, because she knew him. She had seen that same vague, tired smile and that old coat on the other side of a bar and a bed often enough, but. She wanted to believe that her eyes were lying, even more than her ears, that maybe the familiar face that stared back at her for only a moment, before losing contact, was just an apparition, because it just wasn't possible that someone who smiled at her and rubbed her feet in the morning could be-- but when he was only a stretch away, within arm’s length, she could see it coming, hell helped it coming. That familiar, tired face had been replaced by a creature very like the ones outside. He was shaking her, yelling at her, trying to wrench the gun out of her hand, and she could not him for the ringing and the groaning and the splatter around her, couldn't feel her mouth stretch around a scream for the dizzying heat. Something snapped, and he held on tighter, held on, and leg go. Let the floor drag her downdowndown.

The contact jolted air back into her lungs. Vitorria drew breath, shakily. Szatsu's gun was gone. Her knuckles whitened as they clutched and dug into the floor, trying to swim to safety, her throat so tight that she forgot how to breathe, and all she could think of was the stories. The warnings. The gap in Uncle Tommy's smile dripping yellow down the cellar steps. Your Da's leg is down there, Vit. The one the reavers et.

Feet were everywhere, trampling her down into the floorboards. Someone's heel --and who wore stilettos to a trial? she thought wildly-- left a bootprint in her side. Vitorria thrashed, tried to get up, to just ease the pressure, she couldn't breathe-

And then, just as sudden, there was a break. The forest of legs cleared, of a sudden, the pressure on her body eased enough for Vitorria to force her legs to move, to stand.

There was a sound.

With wide, disbelieving eyes, she turned her gaze to the window and stared as a hand burst through the hole she'd made.

Her voice joined the chorus of screams.
Copper Ripple
Posted: Sep 24 2010, 11:16 AM

Jinye Rancher

Group: NPC
Posts: 12
Member No.: 688
Joined: 1-July 08


Like horsemen of the Apocolypse, spreading death and destruction in their wake.

They didn't realize he was already a dead man. And a dead man's got nothin' to fear. His wife, his daughter, everything he loved was gone away. Let them take him too.

There was panic around him, but the bench where he sat, head hung, was warm and dyin' today was as good a day as any.

Glass shattered and a blackened hand, scarred and filthy, crashed through, grabbing for the head of blonde hair that ducked back, screaming. The whore, Copper knew. The whore who'd befriended his Jolene when she thought... when she knew... he didn't love her as much as a father shoulda. He should have told her, when she was alive, should have told her he loved her.

Should have had faith in her.

And it was them, those fallen ladies with their pale breasts and slippery smiles: the Delilahs and Liliths that he'd scorned and despised, who had taken his girl in and shown her what it was to be a woman of strength and faith.

The old man lurched up from his bench, his right hand unbanking his old pistol- the one he'd never quite had the courage to stick in his mouth, though he wondered which took the more courage: To do it, or to not. Reaching the girl-Vitorria, they called her- He remembered now, he plucked her by the shoulder, pulling her clear and spun her to face him. "Rue..." he tried to say it above the hubbub, ended up shouting it in her face, realizing only too late that it would sound like he cared about the horse when the town was burning, "Vitorria. The filly. She's tethered in the back. Fastest horse on this moon. You get to her and you ride, girl! You take Rue and ride for the Heart. Get help."

He held a second longer, touching her shoulder, grizzled chin thrust out, dark blue eyes loosing their shattered shadows as he found purpose again, and passed it on to her. "I've seen you ride, gal. You ken do this. You take Rue's wings, and fly."

Turning back to the window, he fired point-blank into the face he saw. Ripping the thick blackened steel blade from it's hand, he hoisted it up, giving it a moment of light before it returned to darkness. With eyes turned towards the doors, and movements of a man half his age, with half his cares, Copper Ripple threw himself into the horror.

Tao? If the GM-ing is to much, let me know. :) Just... I really don't want Vittie to get eaten!!!!
Ma'am Schooter
Posted: Sep 24 2010, 11:32 AM

Earthly Manifestation of Ethereal Plane

Group: NPC
Posts: 5
Member No.: 978
Joined: 25-June 09

At the House of Pies & Pillows

Ma'am Schooter had just put on a fresh pot of coffee. Well, mostly chickory, it was, but enough cream and you couldn't tell the difference. She'd sliced up the first of the apple pies when she heard the engine screamin'.

Reavers. The thought was almost idle in her sunshine warm mind, but the images it conjured were beyond any thought at all.

Took a lot to make a lady like Ma'am Schooter mad. Like burnin' down her whorehouse, or eatin' too fast without sayin' thank you. So when the first monster broke the through the doors, tearing one off it's hinges entirely, she was happy to yell, "Mind your gorram manners! Who's gonna fix that door, now?"

And when he... she? ... it, smashed it's fist through a table, sending cream and sugar and fresh churned butter splattering over the walls, she didn't really think twice of it, except to step behind the counter and remind it that, "If'n yer want lunch, that was two plat, fifty for the special. And money up front!"

It was when it swept the fresh hot pie off the counter-top, and apple bits splashed all down the front of her very special bright purple 'recieving' robe that she'd gone and ordered special just for sunny summer days that Ma'am Schooter got mad. Downright, pure and filthy, Rim-world whorehouse kickin' screamin' MAD.

And that's when she ripped the shotgun from under the counter and leveled two 12 guage rounds into the Reaver's chest, pumping the cock to level another into his radiation-blistered forehead as he went down. "I said, MIND your good-gorram MANNERS!"
Tessa Saville
Posted: Sep 24 2010, 12:25 PM

Farmer Bard

Group: Members
Posts: 46
Member No.: 306
Joined: 19-April 07

Moments before…

Frost, the ancient Carthusian, galloped toward the former stronghold of Rance Burgess with a youthful spring in his step and two riders on his broad back.

…surely somewhere a wildcat did growl.

The first, Tessa Saville, had been his handler for seasons uncounted, and together horse and lady had covered every inch of this corner of Jinye. White hat pulled low to block the sun, the farmer-bard’s tanned and muscled arms worked the reins; their hue a stark contrast to the fresh ‘whiteness’ of her clean cotton tank-top. Denim and leather finished the rest of her attire, as it did everyday of her young life.

Behind Tessa rode a man nearly as infamous as old Rance, Todd Mackellroy, the Rustler of Jinye. Accused of all sorts of lawlessness and guilty of most of it, the horse thief had proved many of the local tall tales to be a bit…shorter, when he changed his spots and aided the family of The Heart of Gold and saved Petaline’s young son, Jonah.

It had been a small matter to free Todd MacKellroy from his tether of timber and humiliation outside of Los Alamos, but the ‘matter of embarrassment’ was a vast and powerful act to Tessa.

One that she planned to water and cultivate for the rest of their lives.

”So to recap,” forward in Frost’s saddle, she glanced behind her to where Todd rode in silence, ”you got robbed and tied to a tree, while your bike got got.”

Tessa turned forward to hide her smile.

Before them, Burgesstown’s deliberate geometry spread out, inviting the horsewoman and cowboy into its embrace. With Todd’s tardiness to the trial of Gurloh not in doubt, she spurred Frost into a faster trot.

Aiming them toward the courthouse, she couldn’t help but issue one last rib at the man behind her…the man she loved,
"You know…” she paused for effect, ”If we’re searchin’ for a parallel in this little soiree, I guess you could say you got rustled.”


Where a moment before, things were calm, or as calm as could be expected when a trial was in doubt, now chaos reigned and its first decree was the production of sweet smelling terror.

A poet’s eyes needed not the obvious; instead they drew the death and murder in the moment…from the details.

Its origin unknown, a small hair ribbon, a child’s, floated by Tessa, burning.

Never a mother or even a sibling, the only daughter of Herb Saville focused on the ribbon, while Dante’s vision descended on Burgesstown, and redirected Frost’s flight away from the courthouse and toward the town’s schoolhouse. Hazel eyes, wide with terror, dissected the moment into details and moved for the children that wore ribbons in their hair even while Hell came for them.
Jared Zhou
Posted: Sep 24 2010, 06:21 PM


Group: Members
Posts: 10
Member No.: 982
Joined: 29-June 09

The heat was the worst part about staying out here with the horses, but Jared didn't mind. At least volunteering to watch the creatures, he'd managed to avoid sitting in a stuffy room with dozens of other people listening to lawyers attempt to get some resemblance of truth out of people. There were few things he thought could be more boring, even if it was a murder trial.

Wearing his noise cancelling headphones and listening to the latest album from Black Janice on his portable, he went about his business of fetching water for the horses. With his hands occupied by two buckets of water, he bopped his head in time with the drum beat of the heavy metal tune. He never even noticed the noise of the ship coming in.

The horses did, though, and they were struggling against the hitching rope keeping them tied to the post, their eyes wide with fear and panic. “Hey, hey, hey... Easy there,” Jared soothed, dropping the buckets as he went immediately to the prize filly, hand coming to stroke her neck. “It's okay, girl. Nothing here to be scared of. Shhhh...”

He pulled off the headphones, wondering what had scared the horses and was greeted with a sound that made his heart jump into his throat. There was a howl of a ship's engine that sounded wrong even to the jockey who had only been in space once in his entire life. Below that, but much more recognisable, was the sound of screams. And another, inhuman sound that he couldn't identify.

Glass smashing. Boards cracking. Gunfire? Cannon fire? Just around the other side of the building from where he stood, gripped by a fear that had translated from the horses to him, the emotion between them intensifying. Fear paralysed him, rooting him to the ground with one hand on Rue's reins and the other on her neck, his brain slowly trying to decide whether to investigate or just run, while there was still time.
Chloe Zhao
Posted: Sep 25 2010, 04:47 PM


Group: Members
Posts: 7
Member No.: 1,108
Joined: 9-August 10

Juniper Burgess's Mansion

Struggling to get up, Chloe became painfully aware of what must have been a bruised rib or its equivalent. Whatever it was, breathing was a mission in her condition, leading the thief to have to change her plans. Clutching her side, she stepped back out of the staircase the way she came, only to hear the intense roaring caused by a ship's unorthodox entrance into atmo. Not knowing what exactly the situation was, but fearing the worst, Chloe headed for the nearest exit to make her way towards her own ship.

As she reached the door however, the realization dawned on Chloe that with all the ruckus she just committed, still nothing else stirred in the home. Figuring that she could use whatever distraction was going on outside to her advantage, she needed not deliberate and simply scrambled as fast as she could up the stairs - with lights, this time.

Hitting the next landing, Chloe found her way easily through to Burgess's bedchamber and past the initial security system hidden in the woman's vanity. This gained her access to another room as a small section of the wall slid aside to reveal a surprisingly sophisticated safe design - one that could possibly rival the verse's most high-class cruise lines.

"Tzao gao" remarked Chloe as she approached and got a closer look at the complexity of the array of technological armour keeping her away from her jewels. Across from Chloe stood a vault door so obscenely large, and surrounded by such a multitude of recognition technology, that Chloe took a step back from mere shock. Fanty and Mingo did not warn her about this. How could a backwater world like this one carry such advanced technology?

Without a thought about the growing turmoil outside, Chloe set to work as fast as possible, giving herself exactly two and a half minutes to crack the vault. After setting up a signal interruptor, she looked for a name - the vault's designers - and found it quickly. Goliath, proudly read a plaque at the centre of the vault door. At this, Chloe's determination turned to steel as she recalled her last encounter with this manufacturer's work. It was of course, the one strongroom she never managed to find her way into - deepening her current resolve.

Unpacking her equipment carefully with one hand as the other kept unnecessary pressure on her side, a plan started to evolve in Chloe's mind. The only issue was, of course, whether time would permit her to finish her work.

This post has been edited by Chloe Zhao on Sep 25 2010, 07:02 PM
Vitorria Tate
Posted: Sep 29 2010, 04:42 PM


Group: OC
Posts: 126
Member No.: 194
Joined: 17-October 06

Vitorria looked after Copper Ripple, briefly torn with conflicting desires. There were so many things she'd wanted to say to this man, to hear from him, and now that she was here- Responsibility quickly overpowered that small, selfish voice, however --she could tell him those things later - they wouldn't live to have that talk if she didn't leave now-- and she forced herself up to her feet and out the window and into hell.

Vitorria's shirt was instantly plastered to her back, riding the heat up her skin. The very air was sucked away, leaving her gasping as she sagged against the wall for support, hands digging into her mouth to smother it. She stared, wild-eyed. Stared. Embers drifted, alight in Jinye's first snowfall. Ash and smoke and blood covered everything, softening the hard corners of the alley, a heady mix that blurred and disappeared as Vitorria ran a hand down her face, wiping away tears.


The alleyway between town hall and the boardinghouse next door was mercifully empty, for now at least, and Vitorria allowed her steps to quicken, breaking into a run as she came around the corner, she could already see the horses, and-

Vitorria froze, breath caught in her throat.

There was someone there with the horses, clutching the reins like a drowning man, boyish face locked into a rictus of disbelieving horror. Vitorria recognized that face, knew it well. She had worn it too, too many times. She knew, too, that he wouldn't run. Couldn't. Not on his own.

She couldn't leave him behind.

Five more steps and Vitorria was beside Jared, taking the reins from his unresisting hands, and was up and in the saddle before he could muster up a response. Muscles flexed under Vitorria's calves, Rue shying away before pressing back in, moving with her as Vitorria bent to give Jared a slap on the bottom to get him moving, just like one of the horses he so loved. "Go on," she ordered, not unkindly, and tossed him her boot knife. It was sharper than her kitchen knife had been, thinner, more suited to cutting flesh than vegetables. It'd do the job. "You can get in through the window on the other side of town hall. They'll-"

The air screamed.

Rue was moving before Vitorria had even fully registered what had happened, could look back, down the street and gone.

Slight pressure from Vitorria knee guided Rue up side streets and down into smoke, hooves kicking up sparks against the cobblestones as they rounded a corner, scrabbling for purchase, Vitorria following, leaning into the turn with a ululating cry that drew the gaze of dark forms, diverting them from them from the bundles of rags and skin crumpled at their feet. They gave chase.

The screams turned to roars, only growing in number as they streets flashed past them. Claws --or knives-- scored a long line down her scalp, slipped away, leaving the reaver holding a handful of cloudstuff as the girl and horse pelted away. Again, they tried, again and again.

Heat lightning boiled high on Rue's flank, the memory of a thunderous crack reaching her consciousness at the same time as the smell of burned horsehair. Rue screamed, or maybe it was her, as something caught Vitorria's wrist in a crushing grip, a hand, gnarled and scarred, a reaver trying to drag her from Diamond Rue's back, down to the ground.

Leather trailed from white hands as Vitorria lashed out with her elbow, catching the monster square in the mouth as it lunged in for a bite. Vitorria screamed in its face and did it again, and again. A thud and a jolt, and then, suddenly, they were free. Rue was fast. Deceptively so. Far faster than Zeph, on a straight shot, and more than enough to outdistance men, even reavers on foot, as Burgesstown fell away behind them, one moment cobbles beneath them, and the next, just sky.

They ran.

Vitorria's hands came up of their own accord, trailing across to tangle in mane, in horse, in Rue, as she leaned in closer, urging the filly on to greater and greater speeds. She was hardly aware of the discomfort of her swollen hands, of her fear, of anything but the need to go faster, further, teeth clenched, eyes fixed on the triangle of earth and sky between Rue's ears. A world entire delineated by fur and flesh and power, burned gold, the line between earth and sky lifted away until it was as nothing. Then fell, faintly red, in long shadowy stripes, their only companions on the long road to the Heart of Gold.

Sound went muffled. Far removed. There was only Rue and the desert, intermingled, until the were indistinguishable as separate creatures. It was Rue's breath stinging across her cheek, drawing and swallowing all of her, all that she was, leaving only the chase. It was Jinye surging beneath them, drawing them on and on and on into the unbroken desert sea, racing time, racing the sun.

And they ran.

OOC: Minor god-modding of Jared, let me knnow if that's okay, or any changes need to be made.
Jayden Nowell
Posted: Sep 29 2010, 06:02 PM


Group: Members
Posts: 18
Member No.: 976
Joined: 24-June 09

At the forge...

There were noises in the air.

Dust carried in the wind by invisible currents.

Screams tearing through the city.

For the moment, Jayden heard none of them. Just the cling and clang of the metal and the hammer. It was rhythmic and nothing could be heard over it. So it came as a surprise to him when, even after he stopped hammering, the sound continued.

Not being one for technology, it took him a moment. It was the rat-tat-tat of a repeater and the whine of an engine that had no business running. He stepped outside into the light and saw black smoke arching across the sky. But it wasn't smoke. it was exhaust. was reavers.

Jayden went on automatic. He grabbed up all the pointy objects he had and shoved them into the fire, getting them red hot. In the back of his mind, he was impressed at how well he was working under fear. Perhaps fear was just another kind of pressure, another name for it.

He grabbed out two of the pokers, ends glowing in the semi-darkness of the forge and he went to the doors. He closed them most all the way before raising the pokers to the sky. "Come an' get me, you ruttin' Rutters!!!"

If he was going down, it was gonna be fightin.
Jared Zhou
Posted: Sep 30 2010, 07:04 AM


Group: Members
Posts: 10
Member No.: 982
Joined: 29-June 09

A dream. Had to be a dream.

Inhuman screams came closer...

A beautiful woman appeared out of nowhere...

And then she was gone, along with the filly.

More screaming; louder, closer. Too close, too loud...


“It's not a dream...” he whispered, realising too late that the stories were true.

Jared turned, knife in hand (where had that come from?) and ran, toward the creatures swarming around the corner, their screams drowing out his own.
Silvie Tupelo
Posted: Oct 2 2010, 01:26 AM


Group: NPC
Posts: 7
Member No.: 1,026
Joined: 5-November 09

She felt them before she heard them. In the back of her head, a prickling along her neck, she could sense the shadow. Shadows coming in darkness in the sky, descending like demons from hell. That was a bit muddling, though, since the church-man said that demons ascended, and angels were supposed to descend.

When Miss Sinclair said for them to all go to the shelter, the prickling grew, raced down her tiny spine like a snake over her bare foot in summer grass- cool and smooth on fierce heat. Trap! Silvie wanted to grab Miss Sinclair and scream 'trap' that they'd be trapped in the shelter when the shadow fell down.

So when they all turned to the doorway, Silvie slipped back and back and back until her back was against the window, grabbed the sill tight and rolled out, landing on her feet in the dusty sand.

Smoke was already filling the air, and it choked her lungs but she straightened up. They needed help! She could see across and down the street on the church steps, black hands grabbing Minister Farley and dragging him out. Reavers.


The shadow was made up of rage and hate and hunger!

Silvie tucked her feet under her, small hands spread against the schoolbuilding. Her small heart was pounding so hard she could feel it in her throat, pounding out a rhythm. And she realized she knew that rhythm, knew it from every morning she ran to school late...

It was the rhythm of the Wizard.

And what Burgesstown needed now, more than anything, was magic.

Fear lent her tiny feet wings as she ran for the forge.

A thick shape lunged at her, and she ducked, falling to roll in the dust and impossibly coming back up again to her feet. If she could just reach the Wizard, everything would be okay.

Zig-zagging, like a game of tag, the Reaver slowed by heavy thick boots and herself so small and windless... Silvie Tupelo neared the forge, screaming with all her might, "WIZARD, SAVE ME!"
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