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#1 Edited by deactivated-59c71b4425224 (369 posts) - - Show Bio

The Flesh Fair

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Bounty hunters. Well-equipped persons whom pursue supposed criminal and fugitives in pursuit of a reward. In the vastness of space they were only a shade different than mercenaries. In the Cyber-Knight's experience, they were worse. One could easily pay off a mercenary, get them to either discard their task or turn on their employer. But bounty hunters? They were terribly persistent in their single-minded pursuits, and Westley had encountered, trapped, or dispatched his fair share of them over the years.

Today, he'd arrived at the Flesh-Fair to discreetly take care of a employer who'd lately been relentlessly in deploying bounty hunter after bounty hunter to capture the Cyber Knight. The first few attempts had been fun distractions at first, but now they were becoming an annoyance.

And so, sporting a light grey balaclava and a stylish black garb over his signature undersuit, Westley emerged from an office onto the dense, neon-purple lit streets of the Flesh Fair. For now, his bounty hunter problem was taken care of, and the silenced pistol he'd used for it was holstered beneath his jacket. This called for a mug of Ventuian mead at the bar a few streets over.

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#2 Edited by deactivated-59c71b4425224 (369 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm a simple dread. I see a Princess Bride gif--

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Oh but it will.....

--I respond with another Princess Bride gif outside of context.
--I respond with another Princess Bride gif outside of context.

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#3 Posted by deactivated-59c71b4425224 (369 posts) - - Show Bio

@kayle_rez: [Made a small retcon to how much time has passed since the Open RPG. Makes more sense for it to have been a few days rather than a day].

In the resulting detonation, Abigail had been found moments later by her horror stricken parents, her bedroom littered with bits of debris, the teen slumped unconscious against a wall in her somewhat large bedroom. She'd been rushed to the hospital with incredible haste, authorities on the scene of the sudden attack as more family and friends alike were alerted.

Her injuries had been considerable, but not entirely unforgiving. Fractures ran throughout her femur. She'd sustained a few burns as well as some shrapnel embedded in her legs. She was disheveled, a contusion on the back of her head where she'd impacted with a wall from the force of the detonation.

It was some of the worst several hours Noah had ever experienced. The time spent waiting in the hospital during her surgeries, along with her family, several friends, and Zach, seemed to stretch on endlessly. A strained silence hung over the room where they waited, broken only by the occasional sobs from Abby's mom (followed by the tense but comforting murmurings of her father).

Noah felt himself panicking, his heart rate quickened perpetually, fear and anguish filling his insides like never before. He felt them all desperately asking how and why this could have happened, and part of him asked the same question. The other part of him knew this couldn't have been a coincidence. A bullet and a detonation? His fears were all but confirmed. The Dolls had dug into his identity, and were targeting him personally. He'd warned Zachary that Rose had caught a glimpse of his face, given that he was the only other person that knew his identity.

But Abby.

He could hardly bear the thought of it, eyes almost watering with rage and torment. She was one of the sweetest persons he knew. More than just a really good friend, he was smitten with her, had been for a long time. But his closeness with her had seen her be involved in the Doll's unforgiving game. She had nothing to do with this...

He balled his fists, shuddering. How dare they drag her into this, and for what?! He had to go after them, to find them, to end this. But it couldn't be now. Right this moment, he needed to be here.

In the day following the attack, the surgery had been complete, and visiting hours made available. Once again, Noah and Zach sat in a waiting room, by themselves however, as Abigail's family had gone in to see her first. The investigation into the shooting and detonation was still ongoing. Noah and Zach had already discussed it at length outside of the hospital.

"There wasn't anything you could've done man," Zach breathed, distress plainly exhibited on his face. Noah shook his head, a lump forming in his throat.

"Calamity surrendered herself," the hero whispered, tonelessly. "I could've dropped her in the Sahara. I could've stranded Rose in Anartica. I-I...Calamity told me to break her neck."

"You don't kill people, man."

"But I could've!" Noah snapped, nostrils flaring. "TELL ME that this city wouldn't have been better off for it?! Half the heroes out there would've done it!”

“Arquitenens wouldn’t have.”

“Arquitenens would’ve stopped them…”

Noah trailed off, lowering his head. He swallowed, blinking back tears. “Soldiers kill, and they aren’t bad people for it.”

“You’re not a soldier, Noah. You’re a kid.”

“Yeah, a kid that can magically control wind and probably asphyxiate people with it..”

"You can't think like that man."

"How else do you want me to think, Zach? Abigail just got shot and nearly blown up, and her attackers won't be phased by my usual tricks..."

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#4 Posted by deactivated-59c71b4425224 (369 posts) - - Show Bio

Hooray for character development! xD.

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#5 Posted by deactivated-59c71b4425224 (369 posts) - - Show Bio

The Aftermath

The sun glistened high above the clouds, but not even its golden rays shimmered through the blinds drawn across Noah's bedroom window. He lay still atop the deep blue sheets, head resting against a pillow as he stared blankly into the ceiling, idly watching his fan's perpetual circulation. His 50'inch Samsung Smart Television was set on the news, providing him updates on the aftermath of the carnage that had gone down the previous night.

More members of the Doll's mascot gang had torn across the streets while Noah had been at the penitentiary. Civilians overrun, establishments fired on, police vehicles reduced to nothing, a comically militant machine pervading the streets with chaos. The body count was high, the injuries higher, and that was excluding the ruins of the prison. Noah had hardly slept, for his stomach hadn't stopped aching with guilt. He couldn't stop replaying the events of last night over and over in his mind - the corrupt guards, the onslaught of vines, the structural collapse of the building as it also erupted in hellish fire.

Moreover, his chest was tighter than ever with dread, paranoia gripping his heart. In his brief encounter with Rose, she'd exploited an agonizing weakness he hadn't even been aware of - his tail. She had tried to rip it clean off, and in doing so, had prompted unconsciously Simian to revert to his human state so that there wouldn't be a tail she could agonize. He hadn't meant for that to happen, but desperation had been wrought upon his mind, and in that moment of terrible suffering and sudden relief, he'd given her a glimpse of his face.

The thought of it loomed over him like a shadow. If she remembered his face, she could sculpt a picture, figure out his name, his family, his school, his friends. It would only be too easy for them to research Noah's high school and pull up the basketball team and find his face. Everyone he knew and loved was in danger. He needed to get to the dolls before they could kill anyone else, take care of them before worse things happened. He had to be ready to defend those he loved, whatever it took.

With all their resources, he doubted there was a place in the world he could drop them that they would bounce back from. As terrible as it was, ending their lives was perhaps the only option left to guarantee his loved ones' safety. If worse came to worse...

-what choice did he really have?

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#6 Posted by deactivated-59c71b4425224 (369 posts) - - Show Bio

@cassius_knightfall: Reminds me of that one quote, "Where there's no struggle, there is no strength."

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#7 Posted by deactivated-59c71b4425224 (369 posts) - - Show Bio

@cassius_knightfall: You're awesome dude, 'ppreciate it.

Everyone has a time when they feel they aren't hitting their personal bar.

Maaan I used to be there all the time, lol. Started getting better though, just fell in a little rut.

@archivist: Yeah, took me a while to realize it myself lol We're the best at fooling our own selves.

Don't force anything, though, forcing just feeds that illusion.

Maybe so. When I'm feeling writer's block though, I feel like unless I forcefully break through it, I'm gonna be stuck in it and not write anything for a while.

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#8 Posted by deactivated-59c71b4425224 (369 posts) - - Show Bio

@beta-tester: That...actually makes sense, xD. 'ppreciate it.

Trying to write my way out of writers block, so maybe that's what triggered the illusion.

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#9 Edited by deactivated-59c71b4425224 (369 posts) - - Show Bio

< Insert self-deprecating remark about writing.

Joking aside, stylistically, my writing feels somewhat poorer in quality. Maybe I'm just imagining it.

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#10 Edited by deactivated-59c71b4425224 (369 posts) - - Show Bio


Simian suppressed a sheepish grin as Rose began to dance proactively. "Okay, so you're not ugly, but quips before reason" he admitted as he forced himself to meet her gaze rather than her hips. "Also, er, a boss fight isn't exactly what I had in mind--"

No time to quip as a verdant whip sprung forth to ensnare his arm in sync with Rose's vicious swaying. He tore from its earthen grip with the strength of many gorillas, but a cry of pain issued from him as a vine slashed the fabric of his suit, already worn from the struggles of yesterday.

Simian clutched his chest as an arc of pain shot through it. Another vine bound his leg like a python whilst another shot towards his neck like a viper. On survival instinct alone, Noah batted it away with his free hand, heart pounding. With a grunt he pried his left leg free of the vine, only to here two more whistling through the air behind him.

"Seriously? I thought you said no earth!" Simian protested, spinning 'round and narrowly vaulting over the vines - or attempted to, at least. Even as he nimbly maneuvered over them, the vines took advantage of this close contact to ensnare his tail, the other creeping up 'round his head. He was strung up in midair, desperately clawing at the vine attempting to give him a brand new face. It was as though iced had filled his stomach as he realized that Rose could release her toxins at any given time, regardless of her word.

It was then that an agony like no other raged along the point where his tail phased through his undergarments and pants. It was like a hundred band-aids were deeply rooted into his bottom...and were all being pried off simultaneously. Noah released a terrible scream from his throat, blinking back tears as he felt a vine attempting to rip off his tail.

All sense of reason was lost. He felt himself convulsing, shuddering, a series of incoherent cries sounding from him as the pressure the other vine was putting on his head deepened. He didn’t think to teleport – rather, he wasn’t thinking much at all. In that moment, as Rose threatened to relieve him of his tail, he wanted only for the pain to end.

And then it did. It was a miraculous turn of events. The vine seemed to go limp, the agony diminishing on the spot. With both hands, Simian tore apart the vine bruising his face – wait, his hands! He dropped to the ground, swaying on the spot, eyes wide with horror as he realized his hands were no longer beige, as his skin always was in his alternate form.

Horror stricken, Noah touched his face, his head – his mane of fur had vanished, and instead the smooth low fade of his human state could be felt. He’d unconsciously reverted back to his human form, in front of Rose. His tail had vanished, but so had every other component of the transformation.

A deafening BOOM and Simian shielded his head as the penitentiary seemed to collapse in an inferno all around him. The corridor rapidly fractured apart, walls thoroughly dismantling on all sides. The structural integrity had given out completely at the hands of an outside force, leaving Noah’s red clad form lying amidst the smoldering rubble, coughing as smoke filled the air.

His vision was hazy, but through it he could see the blurred outline of fire raging along the freshly ruined prison. His bones screamed with protest as he rose up, breaths ragged as he examined his failure. Death and destruction flooded his senses, so much as that his keen nose could barely discern Calamity’s arrival. He felt sickened, weak, helpless to do anything, helpless to save anyone.

There was nothing more to be done here. In any case, he needed to escape before Rose emerged from the destruction to see him, lying there among the chaos. He wasn’t sure if she’d gotten a good enough glimpse of his face before the prison fell. His chest tightened with overwhelming dread at the thought of what could happen if she had seen his face. She didn’t know his name or really anything else about him aside from the obvious fact that he was a teenager. But if she remembered his face…

A moment later, he vanished, allowing the mystic zephyr to take him somewhere quiet, many miles away from the prison.