Tag Archives: battle

You few, you lovely few, might be getting something more stable on the update front. (And here’s a celebratory story.)

So, yeah. The lovely addition of a creative writing class into my life is forcing me to sit down and write real stuff. It’s quite lovely. So while there won’t be any specific post schedule, as long as I remember, there should be more than an update every month. Yay! So yeah, have a story. To explain the funky format, the requirement was that each sentence began with a, then b, then c, so on. Of course I did it about mole rats battling the forces of darkness, because…I’m unique. Story! Enjoy!

                Anyone who has ever seen a naked mole rat can probably agree on one thing; they look silly as sheep-wolves.

                Be that as it may, no one would ever question the bravery of a mole rat.

                Cherish your innocence, naysayer, for you would weep for it if you ever saw the mole rat battalions ride against the darkness of the snake-hoards.

                Do you really want me to point out how idiotic you’re being?

                Entire cities would be lost if not for the mole rats!

                For the love of…will you let me tell the story?

                Good.

                Hailing from long-forgotten ages, the serpent-hoards crouched within the depths of the earth, biding their time.

                It was thought that stories of ancient shadows such as these were simply myths.

                Journeyers would at times tell of terrible scaly things roaming in the silence of darkness, but those who spend their days on the empty paths have claimed mad things since humanoids began wandering this sphere.

                Knowing that such travelers’ tales were often true did not help the humanoids much in this case.

                Letting the serpent-hordes go unchecked was a very bad mistake, for when such things go unimpeded, they have the freedom to amass armies.

                Most of the humans’ warriors were not prepared, with the elves and sprites fairing little better.

                No one is sure how the tide of battle might have turned if the mole rats had not intervened, but before the assistance, things were looking truly grim for the humanoid forces.

                Out of their dim burrows the mole rats skittered, through the torn earth and rivers of death.

                Proceeding through the shadowed world, the mole rats at last reached the chasm from which the serpent-hoards crawled, to make war on the mortals, and they jumped into the fray.

                Quenching the tide of the serpent-hordes, the rats bared curving teeth and needle claws.

                Reinforcements from the humanoids finally arrived, but could do little against the shadowy creatures.

                Shadowy serpents fell before the fang and might of the rats by the dozen, but it seemed that even that great effort would not be enough to stop the endless flow.

                Things seemed to darken again, but when it seemed too dark for the world to continue, the mole rat queen climbed from the deepest of the burrows, simply widening tunnels grown too small for her, and emerged into the fight.

                Underground, the immense size of a mole rat queen is perhaps not quite so noticeable, her claws do not seem so finely honed, her teeth not nearly as sickle long and sickle sharp.

                Very few creatures find no fear within their hearts upon beholding a queen mole rat.

                What few emotions the serpent-hordes may have had, however, did not include fear; not that fear is a necessary part of defeat.

                Xeric scales and seal sleek skin parted beneath the wrath of the queen.

                You may have heard that victory even after that was hard fought, but in truth the serpents fell like wheat to the reinvigorated troops, and to the fury of the queen, and so the day was won, and so this tale is done.

                Zephyrus seems to call my feet to walk the road again, and if my storytelling was worth it to you, perhaps you could let the little ratties know of the goblins I’ve seen skulking in the shade of the mountains?

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No. 26 (goodness I’m lazy)

Hello dear non-existent readers (alright, I can make out semi-corporeal forms now, so it’s progress). Firstly, I would like to give a huge thanks to those of you who have, for some reason, decided that you enjoy my writing enough to want to read more. Thank you all so much. Secondly, I am lazy. I lack words for how lazy I am. The length of time it took me to post this had nothing to do with my muse going on strike, or my computer dying, but simply pure, unadulterated laziness. I wrote this story a few weeks ago, directly after No. 25, but I have just left it sitting in my folder.

As a bit more on the story its self, this was written as a practice for my written conversation skills, which I practice infrequently. I takes place in the city directly before No. 25, and since it is practice, is not the best, but nonetheless, here. Without further ado and/or exposition, the story! Enjoy.

 

No. 26
The man saw a woman sitting against the wall of a dilapidated building. She held an ancient sword in her hands, the blade marred with scratches and the hilt coarsened with chips. He walked over to her and crouched down beside her.
“You know, if you’re planning on doing yourself in with that there are easier ways.”
The woman looked at him, her expression unreadable, “I’m not. The hell will be here soon.” She spoke these words as if they were simply comments on the weather, and perhaps they were very close.
“Our soldiers can stop them,” the note of pleading in his words was missed by neither.
“They cannot. Just as you or I cannot stop the wind from blowing or the tide from rising.” She shrugged.
“Then we’ll fight them. We can, they can be killed. They have to be.” The pleading had turned to desperation, as if begging the woman to hear his words and find them to be true.
“And so we will. They can be killed, but we cannot succeed. I will take as many of them with me as I can, but it will not be enough.”
“How can you say that? We will win, we’ll make it. And if we don’t the other cities will.”
“Do you have faith in anything?” Asked the woman, looking at the tarnished blade.
Mutely the man shrugged. “Used to.”
“I do. And I am the last of my religion, just as we are the last of the people.”
She held up a finger when the man opened his man to refute her claim. “We are. There were never very many who believed in this religion in this area anyway, and everywhere else is gone. You know it’s true.”
“We can’t be. There must be more.”
“And yet there are not.”
“Then damn it, I’ll make them fight for every bit of these streets. They won’t get these stones, they won’t.”
“I believe in people. That we are truly good. And we are. But we will still fall.” She said this with a small smile as she spoke of her faith, and a look of conviction as she spoke of the truth.
The man shook his head. The woman began polishing the blade she held. A haggard woman called for the doctor.
The man stood, “Thank you.”
The woman nodded, “Goodbye, and stand well.”
Then the man left, following the caller, and the woman worked tarnish off the blade.

 

 

No. 25

All right, I listened to a song while doing this one as well. Two Steps From Hell, awesome, listen to it please. Link for the song I listened to here;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7qOJrT_lUg. Enjoy!

The Last Stand (No. 25)
The things rushed forward, thought and logic lost, for the scent of prey, of fear, of life. Screams were heard form the battlements, and the great gates shook in their foundations. The darkness was something unstoppable, like the ocean, or the wind.
They fought, brave survivors with no chance for life, and they knew it. They fought back with the ferocity of beasts, but still, inches were lost, and with each one, people lay down their lives, their blood, their souls, for that inch.
And yet still the things came, feasting on the lives lost on the ground they now overtook. They reached the gate, that had stood for long, but nothing stands forever.
Wood bent, and stone cracked, great chains twisted open like nothing more than paper links. At last, with the sound of death reminiscent of the long dead space whales, the gate gave.
The city had known that it would happen, and yet they had not been expecting it. But as unfathomable creatures swarmed their city, they had to. Nameless things, better unknown, came forward. Creatures of shadow and empty rooms, creatures of silence and leaf-covered graves, creatures of death and creatures of ending.
There were spots of still in the chaos, a million tiny eyes of an endless tempest.
A mother holding the things off for far longer than she should have been able to to protect a baby born only days ago.
A man holding a broken piece of rubble, prepared to defend an alleyway as creatures surrounded him on all sides.
A woman walking into the sea of things, a long forgotten holy sword from a dead religion glowing with the light of determination before she was overtaken.
And so the world was lost, save for the dark, simply craving the emotions that they could never feel, but for the hopes, and fears, and dreams, and terrors of their prey.
And so they fall, and so they forget, and so in the far edges of the forgotten a space whale cries and a mother holds her child.

And back to ones I like. Yay!

I listened to Two Steps From Hell, which is a wonderful band, and you should go listen to all of their songs. Listen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y4jBYEoeRE

Mercy in Darkness (No.23)
I wandered the battlefield under the darkening sky, searching for any survivors from either side. If there was one from our side, well I would have to evaluate their injuries, see if they could be saved. And if it was one of those things, that’s what the gun in the holster on my waist was for.
I was a medic, so it was my job to go out here and either put our men out of their misery or save them. The bugs were just collateral.
I wasn’t even sure why I’d taken this job, except that the pay was ludicrously good. I could see why. If you want people to do this hell the pay has to be exorbitant. Honestly, pay or no pay, if I had known that I would be wandering around a chillingly quiet battlefield in the dark, five months ago I would have thrown the pen in the face of the person holding the contract instead of signing it. There are days where being a gun, or bandage, for hire sucks.
But there are also days where it’s great. Traveling, seeing the stars. And on the days where a job goes well, or I and those working with me actually help someone, when we’re sitting on some craft with the stars shining all around us, I thank God, or whatever deity might be out there that I hadn’t ever wanted to have a desk job.
And there are days where it’s hell, where you lose a friend, or a chip of your sanity. Where you know that you did more harm than good, and you’re sitting planet side, not a star in sight through the haze of smoke in the bar that you decided to go to get good and drunk, although by the time you get there all you do is nurse a beer all night. Those are the days I wish I had taken a desk job, or something stable, that holds very little risk of serious injury.
Then there are days like this, the ones that will hold something more even though you don’t know it yet.
I was startled out of my musings by a…rattling….skreeking….sound. One of the bugs.
I came upon it, and looked at the thing. I was a bit like a dragonfly, mixed with a nightmare. Those bulbous, faceted eyes that seem to watch you wherever you are freak me out. They seem just humanoid enough to be highly unsettling, like retro video games that had the graphics in the “uncanny valley”, that place of rendering and pixels that is human enough to be realistic, but not quite human enough, where something is…off.
It tilted its head at me, legs pulled to its thorax and wings furled up, those tails of theirs never seemed to move unless they were impaling you with it, and it was in no position to do that right now, with one of its legs trapped over a flipped ground-ship.
I reached for my gun, and something stopped me. Perhaps it was the way the light from the stars seemed to glint off its eyes, or the way I had been thinking earlier, about doing good, but it suddenly seemed afraid. And almost human.
It was the first time I wondered if they had feelings, opinions, thoughts. It hadn’t been determined whether or not they had a hive-mind, but it was simply assumed that they did. They were bugs after all.
I wondered if they had mercenaries, and contracts, and payments, as well. If they had good days and bad. Or fear. Especially fear.
And so I figured out a way to get it out from under the ship, all the while wondering if this was a very stupid idea. It probably was.
I pulled it up, and it looked at me, it clearly looked at me, then it…bowed…said something in that language of its kind, and flew off. I finished my sweep, and turned in my resignation from this particular job as soon as I got back to base. I didn’t care that it would leave a bad mark on my ratings for hire.
It seemed like the thing to do at the time, and it still does. And if I’m faced down by a million of the bugs one day, with vengeance in their eyes for the wounded I had killed, well, I wouldn’t know whether to feel foolish or terrified. But until then, I would be glad of my choice.

Dredges No. 4

Sigh. There are way too many of these.

No.9
Flying, spinning, soaring. I darted after a sparrow, it wasn’t even a mouthful, with winter coming soon I would travel back to my cave, it was warm there, heated by the molten rock beneath the earth.
I was about to swoop down for a goat perched on a ledge, when I heard my name being called. The only person who had known my name had died years ago, I decided that it must have been the wind and loneliness. It had been many long years since the battle, and dragons had been forgotten again, fading back into stories and songs.
People don’t usually talk to stories and songs, and my own kind are territorial brutes, and have never really known how wonderful it is to have a conversation with someone.
I was making a dive for the oblivious goat when I heard it again.
This time I stopped and lowered closer to the ground. I saw the person who had called me, a woman with grey-streaked hair, and wrinkles around her eyes. I was interested, I landed next to her. “I’m sorry, but may I ask how you know my name?”
She smiled, looking at me through crinkled eyes, “Really old friend? You break my heart with how little an impression I left on you.”
She reminded me of someone, but she couldn’t be, she was dead. Dead and mourned. But I still had to say it, ask even, “You’re dead.” Ah yes, very eloquent at dancing around the subject, us dragons.
She sighed, “Damn bloody gryphon.”
My sensible part was struggling to rationalize, “I saw you die, the orc, and then that gryphon carried you away. You, what, how?” And yes, it is possible for dragons to be flustered.
She shook her head, “That stupid orc knocked me on the head quite a bit, I faintly remember being picked up by the gryphon, but I passed out. When I woke up I was still a bit loopy and somehow managed to kill it while it was flying. I was down for the count for quite sometime after that, and the gryphon had carried me a long way. By the time I got back you had left. I took up sculpting and blacksmithing, and I was in some little town near here when I heard talk of a dragon, so I looked, and I saw you. That goat never would have stood a chance.”
“Wow, well, sculpting.”
“I’m sure that you took up a much more admirable profession, cow herding perhaps.”
“Pah, of course not, no self respecting dragon would get near cows except for the taste. I herded sheep thank you very much.”
I had conversation again.

No. 3

This one is a.More cheerful (at least to me) and b.In two parts so I combined them. Enjoy!
I have an agreement with the humans of the land that surround my solstice. They just don’t know it. I use a little magic to keep their crops growing, their rain falling, and their weevils nonexistent in the summer, and I keep their hearth fires warm in the winter. And as my due I only take the dying ones.
                It is the curse of dragons to have to eat humans, but it stopped bothering me a long time ago. I keep many more of them from dying than I take, and I always give them two days to insure that I made no mistake, if they don’t improve I eat them quickly, and try to not let them suffer. But if they do seem to be getting better I wipe their memories of me, or, for the more strong minded, turn myself into something else in their minds, a healing creature or something, as long as they don’t decide that the thing that they saw was a monster and bring attackers. I could slay a small group easily, but if they could manage to muster an army I might have a problem.
                I see no heartlessness to it, they do the same with the animals that they raise, although they treat them worse. There are others of my kind who take the plumpest ones, the most lean, or the true fools, most of which must have had their eggs dropped, a lot, who take only maidens or princesses. There are progressively fewer dragons.
                War is a good time for me; I can go to the abandoned battlefields and take the dying. We cannot eat those already dead, whoever cursed dragons, for it was a curse from long ago, either truly disliked us or truly disliked the villagers near us.
                Often living people on the side of those who lost that battle will ask for death, so I give it to them. I do not care if it interferes with human politics, for I have little interest in the matter. But I do know that they do not allow females into the ranks of warriors. So, now that I have told you my past, and what I am, I would like to know what you are doing in the army, little warrior. You interest me.
So dragons are more than simply fables and stories told to small children. I digress. I was born pottage poor, but fairly pretty. I was taught to hunt by my older brother, so that I could help provide once he left to seek his fortune.
                I simply helped our family survive and might have done little else with my life if some pig of a lord hadn’t seen me and decided that “a lady of such stunning beauty mustn’t live as some poor wench” my parents arranged my marriage to him, so I left to do anything else.
                I was quite good with a bow and knew how to not cut my head off with a sword so I decided to become a knight. I didn’t quite achieve that, but it’s probably better. War was declared while I was headed to the city, and by the time I got there they would sign just about anyone up as a soldier. So I did that, as a knight more people would have seen me over a progression of years for training, so the army was more safe. Just take the bunk in the corner and don’t make trouble.
                We had a bit of training and marched out, some dreaming of glory, and some simply hoping to stay alive. I’m not quite sure which I was. We lost half the company in the first battle. Good people simply trying to protect their homes, although I found their views on women a bit bothersome.
                I got through the next few battles with more luck than skill. Last one I was in my shield buckled, so I ended up taking one from one of the dead, or at least I think he was dead. I was actually managing to do pretty well until a man who I swear must have had wolf blood in his ancestry got a good hit in. I managed to kill him, but I was left for dead. Last thing I remember was trying to figure out what kind of bird that flying thing was because it was quite large and getting larger. At which point I suppose I blacked out. And woke up here.
                You’re not going to eat me are you? I probably taste all stringy. Although if you do plan to wipe my memory can I request that you don’t. I’m not going to go talking about the dragon that I saw, not that anyone would believe me anyway, and I want to be able to remember this. And laugh a little bit when I hear people telling tales of dragons.