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 Post subject: Some Afternoon Mental Trauma
PostPosted: 06 Jul 2015, 15:21 
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As some of you may know, I started playing Star Wars: The Old Republic a little while ago, and as part of this joined an rp guild or two. Or three. Okay, I'll confess I actually started an rp guild of my own, though I don't remember doing it. Anyway! Here's the start of an rp scene I was part of a while back. I think I need to build on it, but since my first duty is to you lot I thought I'd share what I wrote.

Oh yeah, so as not to be fanfic I have wrapped this into a concept I've been wanting to use for a while anyway. I want you all to think this very loudly; NOT A SITH. NO SITH HERE.

Spoiler:
The Slow Return

Six years had passed since the shift in the nature of the world, and most people still hadn’t noticed. Sure, there were a lot of strange coincidences, weird stories on the news and wars that didn’t seem to go anywhere, but was that really new? So what if your neighbours kid dropped out of school and took a lengthy holiday to France; so what if a few satellites stopped working; so what if you saw a car crash but no bodies were found; so what if certain people made you feel like ice was crawling up your spinal cord? Most people convinced themselves that it was all in their imaginations, because as everyone knew, there was no such thing as magic.

Some, however, were unable to escape the reality of things. As Brom walked through the near-desert wastelands that had been a retirement village until three years previously, she reflected that people must be pretty dumb not to notice something this obvious. After all, it was a scorched wreck of land about ten miles across, the ruined cottages crumbling and everything between them sand and dust. The midday sun beat down on her tan skin, rivulets of sweat slipping from her hairline down her narrow spine. She had tied her hair back, but a few strands fell down in her face, wet with her sweat. Pausing for a moment in the small shadow afforded by a mostly intact piece of wall, she pulled off her pack and checked the contents.

Inside she found a flask of water (nearly done already), two ham sandwiches, wire clippers, a wrench, a crumpled five pound note and the results of her scavenging trip thus far; two coils of good wire, a handgun with no bullets, several bits of computer she hadn’t managed to categorise yet, some duct tape, miscellaneous pieces of metal, and a bag of nails. Eager for any reason to stay out of the sun a while longer, she sat down, pulled her boots and socks off, sipped the water, ate a sandwich and made a grenade.

Brom’s grenades were not renowned for being safe, which she insisted was sort of the point. Having had absolutely no formal training, it was a miracle that she hadn’t blown off both her arms yet, and some of her more sensible friends had suggested that she should quit while she was ahead of the odds. Advice, Brom reflected, was the one thing that everyone was willing to give and nobody wanted to take, as she slipped the last loop of wire into place and exhaled through her teeth. She performed a few safety checks on the mess of metal, gunpowder and old nails that she’d put together, and decided it should be fine unless those two wires were connected and then a lot of momentum happened to the thing at once. She mentally applauded herself on a job well done, and stood up to leave her shaded patch, when she heard something entirely unexpected.

“Deal with the animals,” said a gruff voice, maybe twenty feet from Brom’s wall.

A pair of dogs – once domestic animals – now turned feral, had sniffed out something delicious in the wastes. Whether it was Brom herself or her ham sandwiches will never be known, as their stealthy approach to her spot of shade was cut short by two neatly placed shots. The first dog went down instantly, but the second dog whined in surprise as a bolt of metal shot through its head, tried to howl, then perhaps realising it was already dead, fell and was motionless. Brom pinned herself to the wall at the sound, listening carefully.

Another voice spoke, quieter than the first, and further away. “Let’s make this quick.”

Brom gritted her teeth, slung her pack over her shoulder and gripped her nail bomb tightly. She had that feeling, the cold nausea settling in the pit of her stomach and turning over and over, and she knew what that feeling meant. Still listening intently, she connected the two wires that armed the grenade and hoped she wouldn’t have to throw it. She glanced down at her discarded boots for a moment, and decided she didn’t have time to put them back on. Her toes dug into the hot sand, adrenaline coursing through her body.

There was a sharp metallic sound a few feet away, on the other side of the wall, a sound that went on a second too long, and Brom tensed as she imagined the man behind her drawing a sword. She took a breath and stepped away from the wall, and as she did so, two figures stepped around the corner.

The first man was tall, well over six foot, dressed in military grade armour all in black, over which he wore a cloak and hood, hiding his face from view. Brom couldn’t begin to imagine how badly he would be sweating under all that, but before thoughts of personal hygiene distracted her, her eyes fell upon his sword. It was a curved model of the kind designed for finesse rather than strength, although the wielder himself looked to be strong rather than dextrous. As the sun caught on the blade, it shone an unearthly shade of blue, and Brom felt her guts knot together in fear.

The second man was dressed less ostentatiously, in a conservative grey suit over which he had thrown a police riot vest. At his hip was a small pistol, and in his hands he held a light crossbow. His face, uncovered, was bland, neat and bearded, with dark brown eyes that looked at her and saw another target. Behind him, the bodies of the two dogs lay lifelessly.

Brom gulped. She needed to say something, anything, to break the tension, because she was so very afraid that these men wanted to kill her. She opened her mouth, and let some words fall out.

“Um. Hi. What do you want?”

The second man almost smiled, a twitch in his mouth that did not extend to his eyes. The first man laughed openly, the sound grating through Brom’s bones, his whole body shaking with it. He lifted the sword towards her, gripping the blade unceremoniously, the pommel aimed towards her head. She yelped, sidestepped, jumped backwards and threw the nail bomb at his feet.

Brom had already turned before the grenade exploded, sending shrapnel and rusted nails out in every direction, so she didn’t see the bigger man stand stock still, taking the brunt of the explosion in his armour, chuckling to himself. She didn’t see the smaller man throw himself to one side, then stand up carefully, dusting the sand off his clothes, smiling coldly with what some might have called approval. She saw none of these things, because she was already running as fast as her bare feet could take her.

The sides of most of the buildings were still intact, but none of the rooves, which meant that areas “between” the houses were safer underfoot than those “inside” them, with less sharp edges of brick or tile sticking out of the sand. Brom danced through the cul-de-sacs and ruined gardens, never turning to look behind her as she tried to put as much distance between herself and the two men as she could.

When her breath became too sharp and painful to keep moving, she ducked under a low wall and tried not to cry, looking at the clear footprints she’d left behind in the hot sand. Her feet burned from it. She pulled open her satchel and cursed at the empty pistol. She checked the pockets of her combats, which were usually full of bits of tech of her own design, but most of the useful items had fallen out as she ran. She clutched the heels of her hands to her forehead and shook.

After nearly a minute, Brom realised she was still alive, and gathered herself together for another run. Her feet would burn, maybe take a few cuts, but it would be worth it to get away from… whoever they were. She crouched, catlike, and charged out her hiding place, running headlong into the huge cloaked figure.

As she fell back on the sand, he laughed again and reached down towards her. He grasped her by the throat, squeezing tightly. Slowly, he lifted her bodily from the ground, the force of his grip the only thing stopping Brom from screaming in terror. She flailed, though, her bare feet kicking at his armoured chest, her hands clawing desperately under his hood as he laughed. Brom felt her body fight for air, her vision narrowing, and then a sharp new pain shot through her right knee, and then her left. The huge man dropped her unceremoniously, and after a huge gasp of air she screamed, screamed and screamed, hands grasping uselessly at her bloody knees. Each of her kneecaps was shattered, neatly cut through by a single crossbow bolt.

Tears in her eyes, Brom felt her spirit break a little.

“I’ll tell you everything,” she heard herself shout in desperation, “everything, please don’t kill me!”

And the huge man only laughed.

_________________
Eruantien wrote:
Well, you gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run... I think we can conclude that "She Who Must be Obeyed" won that round.

D'aww. :) Meep!


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 Post subject: Re: Some Afternoon Mental Trauma
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2015, 14:39 
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Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 23:22
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I do wonder what on earth she was keeping from them to have her knees shattered by a crossbow bolt. That's a lot more than ouch! A great read, Lilith, and you always know how to hook us in for more.

Thanks for submitting your FF entry. :)

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