Author Topic: Artemis' Scales  (Read 1178 times)

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Forgotten_Bard

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Artemis' Scales
« on: May 28, 2010, 03:00:57 AM »
January 24, 2135

Dusty light filtered through cracked windows, staining the gray shadows with pale patches of warmth.  The smell of dirt was heavy in the stale air as it mixed with the odors of sweat, blood and death in a powerful concoction that could suffocate any one person to entire without knowledge.  Fragments of the ceiling and walls hung with cracks spider webbed from the wounds inflicted upon them as the wood groaned in protest to the weight and age of it all.  Pictures were faded, ruined or hanging in disarray while shards of vases and shattered mirrors littered the floor like improvised tacks, glittering in what little light there was as the only warning to not tread in those areas.  Silence seemed dominant over all.  All, save the long and solitary breathing of the man in the corner, grime soaking him from the skin to his poor quality armor that hugged about him like a torn set of clothes.  Dry swallows caught in his parched throat as each gasp tried to inhale what little musty moisture still clung to the air.

A groan and shift of a left elbow corrected his hunched lean to sit against the corner eyes closed, his face streaked from where the tears fell, though no more tears would come if he tried.  Blood caked his cheeks and clothes, yet it was not his own, but the blood of the fallen comrades about him, six in all, the last of his trusted friends who had holed up in here with him against the enemy.  Yet even now he was alone, save their lingering stench and rot to remind him of what came next.  His eyes opened yet bloodied and empty sockets gazed out at the room, a black life for a dark man.  His lips closed and teeth clacked as he swallowed again, his right hand propping the ancient, post-war machine gun on his side, the clip resting against his knee as he faced the lone door into this room.  His mind called for answers yet none came, not even his own name.

The nameless man whimpered in pain at his lost sight, his ruined left stump where his hand was, at his shattered memory and fallen allies.  Yet is this man could remember anything he would howl with rage and sorrow at his pathetic state, for this man was the Notorious leader of the Terrorist cell, Artemis' Scales, a group bent on finding the truth and breaking free from turmoil, a group so influential the entire city was under their control... though they were all dead now, save him.  Save him.

A voice called out from the blackness ahead, light and familiar, stirring up old thoughts from a ruined mind, drawing out a name to go with them.  He spoke dry words his throat parched as his body howled for moisture or sustenance.  A warm bath of sun spilled from some open passage as the voice spoke again, drawing closer and he extended his left arm out in greeting and asking to be pulled up.  Yet those heavy footsteps keep coming as three roaring cracks burned holes through the silence as they burrowed three rounds into the chest and he coughed, feeling the last of his meager life spill from the wounds as he slumped over, right hand dropping his weapon as it stretched out to grab a leg.

"Alicia.... Why?"

The armed soldier called Alicia only watched behind her shaded visor and kicked away the filthy hand as a hand extended up to her com, clicking it on to send a short burst back to command.

"Sweeper Three to Omega base, Clean Sweep Confirmed, I repeat Clean Sweep Confirmed, I am heading home."

"Roger Sweeper Three, the evac pad is green, we are waiting for your return, well done."
A letter, a word
...
A sentence, a paragraph
...
A page, a story
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A book, a novel.
...
They all mean so little when you can't take time to put your soul into the work.

Forgotten_Bard

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Re: Artemis' Scales
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2010, 04:07:15 AM »
December 20, 2134

The gavel echoed into the hall as the loud voices that swirled like a raging sea fell silent.  The walls were barren save fresh cement that had cured not a few weeks past as clear and crisp windows shed light into the room, spilling long golden rays over more than half the room and chairs, illuminating every face that sat or stood facing the podium as a short and portly man stood behind it.  His head balding with what remained on the sides a deep silver.  Circular spectacles hanging over the bridge of his nose as a pudgy hand raised a silk handkerchief to his face to wipe off the beads of sweat that had accumulated on his brow.  A man well known by the community as Mayor Winslow, and the man responsible for all the acts and jobs to rebuild this little town outside the edge of a forgotten city.

Those before him were part of that effort to rebuild.  The Police, Fire Patrol, Medical staff and various groups, who used to operate independently, now pooled together as one quick-response group called Artemis' Scales.  For they were the ones that balanced life for the citizen's of their town.  Winslow looked out at the crowd in silence for a few more seconds before beginning, his voice rather high for one of his stature yet everyone was long since passed joking about it.  "And it is with great pleasure that the first meeting of Artemis' Scales begins today... And after much delegation and deciding a member of our society has been chosen to help lead and make this group work efficiently in times of crisis..  I give to you, or honored war veteran, Ferdreck Weber."  He clapped his hands as he stood to the side and the man off to the side came up to take his place taller than Winslow by at least a foot.  the audience clapped for him until a calm smile and raise of a hand stopped them.

"Well then, I guess I do have an introduction after all."  He smiled as a hand brushed through his deep brown hair.  His uniform was the usual greens of the Military Recon patrol and decorated with countless awards and medals that helped him stand out.  "I take no small credit for the work our fair mayor has already put forth though I hope my experience in the "worst case" can help pull us through."  He looked out at the watching eyes and clapped his hands before stating again.  "I'm usually not a man of many words, as you all know so i will stick to what this card tell me...  We have now estimated that, by January 1st, 2135, we will have finished all repairs to ou town."

He paused for the applause and let it continue for a bit longer before raising a hand.  "In that time we must continue to be diligent in our tasks to make sure that everything is working smoothly until then... Now I will let you go back to your families and your fires on this cold winter's day, though I want to discuss something more with your chiefs of staff.  I don't know how to end this other than by saying dismissed so... Go on and get outta here."  Everyone laughed as he smiled and waved to them once more before looking around at Winslow who smiled and nodded his head.  Ferdreck's cheek twitched and his eyes went half closed as he began to rock before catching himself.  His mind phasing between present and an old war memory as his breathing quickened and became calm once more.

He began to move closer to those that remained when a phone rang in the back corner of the room and Winslow moved off to pick it up, taking the black phone with a smile and putting it to his ear and listening, his face seeming frozen before it began to sag slowly and he waved over to Ferdreck.  The veteran went over and took the phone and put it to his ear.  "Mr. Weber?"

"This is him, who is this?"

"You can call me Alicia... I'm a part of the Military First Recon Unit...  I am currently stationed a few miles west of your town."

"Always nice to meet a fellow recon, but what seems to be the problem?"

"You see, I happened to find an abandoned truck at city limits, the truck is full of holes, as if from a gun fight and the drivers are missing.  As part of the requirements I performed a check to see what was wrong and... Well the entire cargo area of this truck is filled with old, post war weaponry..."

Ferdreck sucked in a breath as he remembered those old guns, ones he sometimes collected, stripped of course, but just to look at.  The M16, the AK-47 and many others.  "Alicia, what might this suggest?"  He knew damn well but he didn't want to think about it.

"I'm going to get a driver and get this truck, and myself into city limits to meet with you directly, we can discuss this further, but being a fellow Recon you do who this will mean Quarantine right?"

He glanced over at Winslow and the waiting men, "I do, but damn it all we are close to making this town whole again, to do this might do more harm than good."

"So I hear the reconstruction is going well... Look, this might not be as bad as we might think... I will come in and check out the town and then sign you off if nothing is out of the ordinary...  I'm sure it is nothing."

"I sure hope so..."
A letter, a word
...
A sentence, a paragraph
...
A page, a story
...
A book, a novel.
...
They all mean so little when you can't take time to put your soul into the work.