Unwanted (Jak's Story)

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Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Jak on Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:18 am

Krall are ugly.

Most people know that, but you don't really think about it unless you spend a good amount of time staring at them. In the heat of battle, when one of them is bearing down on you, you can't really think long and hard about their huge, flattened noses, their cat-like manes, their bodies of pure muscle. But trust me, you watch them long enough, and every loping step they take makes you want to throw up.

Marcus and I had been staring at them for what seemed like an hour. We'd memorized their patrols by now, estimated how many there were, and pretty much figured out a way in to this mine of theirs. Of course, that was the easy part. Actually doing the sneaking in, that was gonna be the hard part.

Marcus leaned over me and whispered, "Are you ready?"

Now when I say 'leaned over me', I didn't forget the word 'to' in there. He actually did lean over me, but that's not hard for him to do. He's a full grown adult, and I'm a 12-year-old kid. It was pretty intimidating at first, but I'd gotten used to it over the past few days.

"Yeah," I said immediately, but there was just enough quivering in my voice to show that I was nervous. Not afraid! Just nervous.

Of course, he always assumes stuff. "Are you scared?" he asked.

"No!" As much as he says he's impressed with me, he still treats me like a kid most of the time.

"Are you sure? It's all right to be scared, you know. Probably wise, in fact. There's a few dozen krall in that mine, not to mention kobolds..."

"I'm not scared!" My voice got just a little too loud, and I bit my lip. Thankfully, the stupid krall didn't hear it.

He rolled his eyes. "Of course not. You're never scared, are you? Come on." He rose to a crouch, and began to stealthily make his roundabout way towards the cave.

I followed, frowning. Of course there's been times when I've been scared. But it's not before the danger comes. That's just nerves. It's during the danger that your heart starts beating faster, and you feel like you can't breathe. I remember times like that really well...

-------------------------------

7 years ago...

I heard my mom screaming first. Then I smelled the smoke.

"Jak! Jak, wake up!"

My mom grabbed my arms and shook me – much rougher than she usually did when I was being stubborn about getting up. My eyes opened, but everything was hazy. It was hard to breathe. I started to cough. "Mom? What's going on?"

"Don't you worry, sweetie, mommy's not going to let anything happen to you." She pulled me out of bed and hugged me close, her grip as strong as she could manage.

Parents only say that sort of stuff, and do that sort of clinging when something is very wrong. Plus things didn't feel right. I heard a lot of angry snapping sounds coming from the house, and the smoke kept burning my throat. So I started crying. A lot.

Hey, I was only five at the time, give me a break.

My dad rushed in, and wrapped his hands around my mom's shoulders. "Is he all right?"

"Yes, he's fine, get the window open!"

My dad rushed to the window and opened it, staring down into the garden below. He then said a bad word that I probably shouldn't repeat. "I knew I shouldn't have planted those rose bushes!"

"We have to get out of here!" my mom screamed.

He took her hand and led her out of my bedroom. "Come on, this way!"

As soon as we left my bedroom, I saw the flames. The bright yellow light was blinding, so I tucked my eyes against my mom's shoulder and kept crying as she carried me to safety. Or at least, what she thought was safety. My mom and dad kept looking for ways out, but from the sound of it they kept getting blocked off.

When I dared to look again, my mom was standing at the top of the stairs down into the foyer. They were completely engulfed with flames. She tried touching the first step with her foot, and it let out a snapping sound that really didn't sound good.

And then the roof collapsed.

The rain of debris that fell on top of us sounded like an angry monster, and I sobbed all the louder as my mom protected me with her body. I felt the heat of the flames, and the choking dust crawling down my throat, but nothing actually touched me. I don't know how much it hurt my mom to have all that stuff fall on her, but I didn't feel a thing. I cried all the same.

By the time I could see again, my dad has his arms around us as well, and the starry sky was glimmering down on us. The heat had gone away so suddenly, I thought for a moment we must have died. But looking around, I saw that the flames were now far below us, along with our house, and everything we had ever owned. Very far below us.

Confused, I looked at my mom's face again. She was smiling, with tears drawing lines down her soot-covered cheeks. "Are you all right, sweetie?"

I managed a nod, still too dazed to realize what had happened. That is, until I heard the flapping sound, and saw the movement of something behind my mom. Something immense, and feathery, and almost glowing in the light of the moon.

Wings.

They had looked so perfect that night, so angelic. My sobs turned to tears of joy as I hugged my mom tight. I didn't know what a Daeva was then, or that my parents had ascended in the heat of the flames. All I knew was that they had saved me, and that made them the most wonderful parents in the world.

Boy, as I naïve.

No, the fire didn't burn us to ash. But it still took my parents away. It just took years for me to realize it.
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Kiara on Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:28 am

-OOC- O.o; holy Nyerk, your good. Write a book, please? Razz
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Jak on Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:30 am

-OOC- I have written a book, and I'm working on a second. Getting published is the hard part. BTW, this is part one of his story. I'm thinking there will be 3-5 parts by the time I'm finished. Something to do until Sunday!
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Kiara on Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:34 am

-OOC- You've written a book? Hmm, just neeed a publisher huh.... What genre? (so want to read it XD)
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Navitas on Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:35 am

-OOC- Yeah that is a great story. My brain is fried right now and I can't squeeze out anymore RP but I just wanted to comment on your story. Oh and welcome to the guild. bounce
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Marcus on Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:08 am

- ooc -Yes, Jak is truly awesome. I have the fortunate opportunity to have been rping with him since the old Game Horizons and countless table tops now. An amazing writer and I wish he could get his stuff published ><

- ooc - But as they all said, that was great work! Smile


Last edited by Marcus on Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Jak on Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:11 am

-OOC- I write fantasy, naturally. Actually, Jak is based off a character in my novel. This is the first MMO where I can realistically make a 12-year-old character, so I figured 'Why not?'
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Akaara on Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:14 am

Yeah, that was pretty good. I've written a book too. It's sad, writing the book was the easy part. What I'm having the hardest time on is the query letter. It took less than a year to finish the first book. I've been working on the query letter for 3 or 4 years now...
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Jak on Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:15 pm

Most of recon is about waiting. Being patient. If you're not willing to sit in one spot for hours on end, you're likely to get yourself killed. You have to wait for exactly the right opportunity, or you'll get yourself killed.

Marcus tapped my shoulder, and mouthed the word 'Ready?' when I looked at him. I nodded.

Sometimes, though, you have to make the right opportunity.

Marcus yanked on the rope at his feet, which wove its way between the rocks invisibly. I'd put it there last night, under the cover of darkness, and it still lay undiscovered this morning. For all their strength, krall weren't exactly the most observant.

In the distance, I heard the satisfying 'clack' of the rock tied to the other end of the rope yanking out of place. The clattering of other rocks soon followed.

One of the krall screamed as a boulder the size of a shugo fell on his back. The muscular giant crumpled to the ground, and an avalanche of rocks pelted him from above. The surrounding krall ran to his aid. Even the most barbaric creatures know that losing one of their own isn't a good thing.

"Worked perfectly," Marcus whispered. "Good job, Jak."

I just nodded and made my way towards the temporarily unguarded cave. I wasn't used to compliments. In fact, I wasn't used to anyone listening to me at all, or my plans. I've spent my whole life ignored and patronized. It was a good change of pace.

I just wish my parents had listened to me as well as Marcus does.

-----------------------------------------

4 years ago...

"But you've only been back a day!" I screamed.

My mom grimaced, and avoided looking at me as she packed up her things. She'd gotten good at it after years of being called away. It barely took her half an hour to be ready and out the door. I knew I didn't have much time to convince her to stay.

"I know, sweetie," she said. "And I know I said we'd be back for a few weeks this time. But something came up that we didn't expect—"

"Something always comes up! Why can't they let someone else take care of it for once!"

"Because they are taking care of it, Jak. But they need all of us there. If we don't respond to a call, our enemies could break through our lines, and all of Elysea could be put at risk."

"I don't care about Elysea!"

My mom spun about, eyes wide. "Jak, that's a horrible thing to say!"

I knew it was, but it didn't change how frustrated this was getting. "That's because you care more about Elysea than you do me!"

"That's not true! By protecting Elysea, we protect you. We fight like this so that you stay safe."

"But I never get to see you!"

My mom knelt down so she was eye level with me, and put her hands on my shoulders. "Jak, I promise that next time we come home it will be for longer, we just—"

I twisted out of her hands. "You promised that last time! What good is a promise if no one ever lets you keep it?"

"Jak!" My dad stepped forward, his wings spread behind him. They always came out when he was angry, and made him seem three times as big as he was. I think he was trying to intimidate me without even realizing it. "Do not interrupt your mother like that! I will not tolerate such disrespect in this house!"

Those wings just made me want to talk back to him more. "You're never in this house! You're always in that stupid Abyss place, fighting other stuff instead of staying here with me! I wish you had never become Daevas!"

My dad snatched up my arm, gripping it tight enough to hurt. "How dare you say that! Would you prefer we had died in that fire, instead of flying you to safety? Would you prefer for Elysea to have fallen without our help? Are you denying Aion's will?"

I started to open my mouth, but I couldn't really respond to that. To speak out against Aion would be blasphemy, and that would get me in a whole lot more trouble than talking back to my parents.

My dad took that as a sign of victory, and let go of my arm. "I didn't think so. Now, be good while we're gone. Uncle Carven will take good care of you."

"Uncle Carven doesn't like me," I grumbled.

"Of course he likes you, he's family."

"He wishes I wasn't here."

My dad threw up his hands. "Well perhaps if you didn't whine and complain all the time, he'd be more accommodating!"

That stung. A lot. Coming from my own father... I couldn't help but start crying. I didn't want to say goodbye to them anymore. They could go to the Abyss and never come back, for all I cared. I ran to my room, trying to hide my tears but failing miserably. I heard my mom scolding my dad as I ran off, but I didn't care.

They didn't want me complaining? Fine, I wouldn't complain. So sorry, dad, for wanting you to be around! So sorry for loving you! I'll do my best to stop!

I collapsed on my bed and sobbed into my pillow. I wasn't willing to say it out loud, but I wanted to curse Aion for taking my parents away. Their lives weren't their own anymore. They belonged to Elysea.

And I was just one small part of Elysea. Insignificant. Unimportant. And alone.
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Lyria on Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:29 am

-OOC- Moar!! You are a seriously good writer; can't wait for the next part!! study
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Ariana on Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:34 am

(( I am waiting also for more. Soon I hope?))
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Marcus on Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:49 am

((Me too! But then I am always waiting for more of his awesome writing Razz I am even part of this one, sorta, he hasn't gotten up to the actual rp part yet.))
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Jak on Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:58 am

((My hope is to have all six parts posted before the game starts Sunday. So that I have something to do until then. So I'll probably post one sometime this evening, one tomorrow afternoon, one tomorrow evening, and the last one sunday afternoon before 3 EST.))
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Nibbles on Sat Sep 19, 2009 1:55 am

Those anecdotes are excellent! They motivate me to attempt my own. I can roleplay, but it's the effort of actually putting a character together that intimidates me.

+1 Subscriber for Jak's Story!
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Bent on Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:03 am

The flash backs are great. Very clearly sets the vibe as much of life isn't fair... at least it doesn't seem so in the present.
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Marcus on Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:08 am

Maybe someone will come along and teach him something new. Razz
Nibbles, I found coming up with concepts after I have done a few can be a challenge. But actually getting it from idea to actual character and fleshing out who they are can be a real challenge. Sometimes through RP you work all that out tough.

My greatest and favorite of all characters I have done did not actually have a full background till sometime after I had been rping the char in-game for awhile.
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Jak on Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:05 am

(( I apologize for the length of this one. It sort of got out of hand. Hopefully y'all can stand to read it all the way through. >.> ))

There's a reason most spies work alone. If they have someone attached to their hip, it slows them down, and increases their chances of getting caught. Of course, going alone means increasing the risks a lot, but sometimes you had no other choice.

Marcus and I were in this together, but in separate ways. As we climbed deeper into the mines, the krall got harder and harder to avoid. Sure, it was dark, and they weren't expecting two Elyos to be creeping through their underground lair, but ignorance can only be exploited so far. Especially when you're easily recognizable from anyone that's supposed to be there. So the two of us split up. He took the left side of the cavern, I took the right. We were harder to spot that way, and if one of us got caught... well... at least it was only one of us.

Now, I try not to think I'm better than anyone else. Even when I meet some really stupid people, I don't want to be arrogant and think I'm superior. Thanks to my parents, I've met my fair share of Daevas, and the worst ones are the ones who treat us mere humans as lesser beings, even though they used to be just like us before Aion gave them his blessing. I don't want to be like them.

But it has to be said. When compared to me, Marcus is about as quiet as a puppy with bells tied to its tail.

He wore leather armor, and maybe some chain, but he didn't look very natural in it – like he was used to wearing those ridiculous suits of armor made of metal plates. He looked uncomfortable squeezing himself into hiding places too, and had the grace of a drunken kobold rolling down a hill.

Luckily, mines tend to be noisy places, what with the crashing of metal on rock and the grinding of wheels into the dirt whenever a miner pushed a cart filled with ore by us. The krall hadn't caught Marcus yet, but that's because we'd already passed the more observant guards at the entrance. If we got near anything important – in other words, exactly the sort of stuff we'd want to scout out – then we'd probably run into smarter opposition.

As if on cue, a krall turned the corner up ahead, and he was armed with a lot more than a pickaxe. He used a spear as a walking stick – well, I don't think it's really called a 'spear', because the metal head looked more like an axe with a long tip, but I don't know all the names for weapons. But it was jagged, pointy, and twice my height, which made the krall carrying it pretty dangerous.

Marcus crouched behind a rock on the other side of the room. Or at least, he was trying to. It was way too small for him to use as cover. The krall guard was just tall enough that he'd spot Marcus out of the corner of his eye when he passed. Even of Marcus managed to fight back, it would cause enough noise to draw the whole mine here, and we'd be swamped.

I was starting to wish I'd come in here alone.

As the krall crept closer, Marcus went rigid. It was a good thought, but these things weren't wild animals. They didn't spot things just by movement. They could spot the light reflecting off his sword just as well.

Me, I was where Marcus should've been standing: behind a large boulder that blocked out the light. When he froze up, I started moving: clambering up the boulder as quietly as I could. By the time I reached the top, the krall with the spear was already passing it, and in another second or two, it would spot Marcus and probably sound an alarm.

Below me, across the passageway, Marcus' eyes had gone wide. He mouthed the word 'No!' But considering his hiding ability, I didn't exactly trust him on matters of stealth. I drew my knife. The blade stretched about half as long as my arm, which is pretty big for me. But when you compare it to a krall... well, they'd probably use it for shaving.

The krall stopped, and turned his head ever so slightly towards Marcus.

Now or never. I wished it was never.

I leapt onto the krall's back, and slit his throat.

Or at least, that's what I tried to do. Instead, one of my arms wrapped around the beast's shoulder, and the other one slipped. Without any leverage, I flailed my knife around, hoping to stick it into something and find some support.

Somehow I managed to stab it into the side of the krall's neck. Oops.

The beast dropped his spear and let out a raspy gurgling sound – probably intended to be a scream but kind of hindered by my knife being in the way. The krall's enormous tree-trunks-for-arms reached back and swatted at me, like I was some sort of giant bug. I took a few good hits to the head and shoulders, but the krall couldn't strike me very hard from that angle, so I held on.

The krall started to spin about, and I spun around with him, my knife digging through more flesh and spraying blood across my hand and the wall of the cavern. Eventually, the hilt of my knife was too slick to hold onto, and I fell. The krall still stumbled around, and I had to skitter out of the way to avoid being trampled.

Now, when something sharp is sticking out of you, it's not a good idea to pull it out. It keeps the blood in. But krall aren't known for their smarts. He pulled that thing right out of his neck, and blood started gushing out of the wound. A few seconds later, the krall collapsed, writhing on the floor as he died a miserable death.

I shook some of the blood off my hands as Marcus ran over, sword drawn. He looked half furious, half frightened. He hissed out a whisper, "Jak, what did you think you were doing!?"

"Keeping him from seeing you." I picked up my knife and wiped it off on the skins and tattered cloths this krall had once considered 'clothing'.

"You didn't have to..." He shook his head. "Kid like you shouldn't be slaughtering krall like that."

"Better than being slaughtered by them." I sheathed my knife again, and continued down the passage. They'd discover this body soon. When they did, I didn't want to be anywhere near it.

Besides, it's not like I wasn't used to death. Maybe other kids get to lead innocent lives without killing, but other kids didn't have Daevas for parents. Other kids were lucky.

------------------------------------------

2 years ago...

I snapped the rabbit's bones between my fingers and sucked out the marrow from inside. After all, if I was going to kill something, there was no sense wasting any part of it. My stomach gave a churn of approval. One rabbit had been more than enough meat for me, and devouring it meant I wouldn't have to eat my uncle's lousy cooking.

I tossed the stripped bones aside, and wiped the slick animal fat off my fingers onto my pants. I couldn't help but smile to myself. I'd made my own snare, caught my own food, and cooked it, all by myself. It reminded me of the hunting trips my dad used to take me on, on those few occasions he was actually home. Back then, I deluded myself into thinking he'd be proud of me if he heard what I'd managed to do. It was easier than the reality – that he'd probably be angry at my running off all day without telling Uncle Carven where I was.

Not that my uncle cared. The less I was around, the less I got in trouble for being in the way. He lived alone, never wanting to share his home with a wife or kids, and only took me in because he felt obligated to his brother, my dad. I could've dropped off of Elysea and he wouldn't care except for having to tell my dad about it.

I tossed dirt on the fire until satisfied it was out, then picked up the remnants of the rabbit's bloodstained fur. I wasn't exactly an expert at skinning things, so it probably wouldn't sell for much, but maybe someone could line their slippers with it or something. Leaving the forest as I found it (except for one less rabbit), I headed home under the sound of nighttime crickets.

Normally, I can sneak into my uncle's house without him noticing, or at least without him caring. But then, normally when I creep in, my uncle isn't sitting at the dining room table, staring at the front door.

"Jak, come here."

A few choice curse words came to mind, but I didn't say any of them. Uncle Carven had strict rules about bad words. Without any way of escaping my inevitable punishment, I slunk over to the table and sat down, dropping the rabbit skin onto the floor beside my chair.

I expected him to ask me what I was doing with a clump of mangled fur, but he didn't. Instead, he pushed a plate of cold food in front of me – dry chicken, undercooked rice, and peas. "Eat."

"I already ate," I mumbled.

My uncle ran a hand through his hair, looking more exhausted than angry. "Of course you have. Where were you all day?"

"Hunting. Caught a rabbit."

"What's a boy like you doing hunting? You should've told me where you were."

"You've never cared before when I—"

"Well I care now!" He pounded his fist on the table, looking me straight in the eyes for the first time since I came in. His eyes looked red, like he had been crying. But he never did that. At least I'd never seen it. "I need to know where you are at all times, you understand me?"

"Why?" I scrunched my nose at him. "Afraid you'll get in trouble with my dad?"

He snorted, like he wanted to laugh but couldn't muster the energy. "Listen, boy, I'm your guardian while you're here, and that means it's my responsibility to take care of you. I can't very well take care of you if I don't know you're off in the woods somewhere, killing rabbits with your bare hands and eating them!"

"I used a snare, and I cooked it first." I picked up a fork. "If you want me to eat your food, fine, but—"

"You think this is about food?" He swiped his hand across the table, flinging the plate aside. It flew halfway across the room before crashing to the floor in a spray of rice. "You don't go anywhere unless I tell you to, or I'll nail you to the floor!"

I jumped out of my chair, just in case his arm came at me next time. He'd never hit me before, but I didn't want there to be a first time. "I'm gonna tell my dad you said that when he gets back..."

My uncle's anger went away so suddenly, he drooped a whole head in height. He stopped looking in my eyes too. He wouldn't give up a fight that easy, not unless something was wrong.

I was pretty sure I knew what that meant, and I sagged too. "My parents are gonna be late coming home this month, aren't they? You're angry cause you're stuck with me for longer, aren't you?"

Uncle Carven held his hands in his head, and shuddered. "Yes. No. I didn't... Jak, I'm sorry. I can't... I don't want to have to tell you this..."

I shrugged a shoulder, and started moving towards my room. "I'm used to it."

"They aren't coming back, Jak."

I froze.

"Ever."

I started trembling. I couldn't believe my Uncle would say something like that. My parents didn't treat me the best, but they wouldn't just abandon me. "You're lying," I said, not even turning to face him.

"I got the letter this morning. They didn't make it back from a mission. In the place they were, they're as good as... they're gone."

I spun around. " They can't be gone! They're Daevas! Daevas can't die!"

"If they're too far out into the abyss... it's happened before. People don't come back from out there."

"You're lying!"

"You think I would lie about the death of my own brother?"

"He's not dead!" I shouted, tears blurring my vision. "They'll come back! They always come back! It may not be for long, but they always do!"

My uncle shook his head. "They aren't this time."

I was shaking all over. It couldn't be true. It just couldn't. My uncle was lying to me, just to get back at me for being away all day. His eyes weren't red because he was crying all day, it was because he was... it was...

My uncle rose from his seat. "Jak..."

I didn't want to hear him anymore, or see him. I ran straight to my room, and slammed the door shut behind me. I didn't even make it to my bed. My knees just let go, and I fell to the floor. I sobbed, loud and hard, until my whole face was wet with snot and tears.

And I admitted to myself that he wasn't lying. That my parents were gone.

They'd died as Daevas, protecting everybody, protecting Elysea. Everyone else would probably talk about their sacrifice for years. They wouldn't talk about how they weren't strong enough to survive. How they never should've been fighting out there in the first place. They wouldn't say it was a mistake for Aion to make them what they were.

But I would. I knew. My parents didn't belong out there. They belonged at home, with me. Maybe we were all supposed to die in that fire. If we had, at least we all would've died together. But instead, Aion saved my parents, only to steal them away from me. In the end, they died for him.

Aion killed my parents, by giving them his 'gifts'.

And I will always, always hate him for that.
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Kiara on Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:03 am

Whenever you manage to publish your book, lemme know, ya can count atleast one sold Razz
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Marcus on Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:39 pm

Make that 2 Wink Oh and he made Marcus look like a cluts >.> haha
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Jak on Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:01 am

Sometimes I wish I were wrong.

Like with this mine, for instance. There was no reason for the krall to dig out a mine at the end of a long ravine, far away from any sort of supply lines, when they had a perfectly good strip mine they could get a nearly endless supply of ore from. Sure, the mercenaries had been interrupting their operations for a while, but this hidden mine couldn't be producing enough ore to make its distance worthwhile. Marcus and I figured they had to be hiding something else inside, past all the miners.

Turns out we were right. Deep inside the twisting tunnels, the cave opened up into an enormous cavern, packed with krall, kobolds, and a mass of weaponry. Oh, and a churning portal into the darkest depths of the abyss.

The ring of stone stretched as high as a small house, and the aether inside it swirled angrily at being contained. The air of the cavern wavered, as if it were being heated over a fire, due to the massive amounts of magical energy required to keep the gate open. Except... it didn't seem totally open. Like they were still working on completing it. Once they did, who knows what could come through. Furbacks, Balaur, or maybe even monsters I'd never even heard about.

Marcus went pretty pale as soon as he saw it, and I wasn't particularly happy about it either. There were dozens of krall in that room, though. We couldn't possibly take them all. I tugged on Marcus' sleeve and whispered, "We should tell the captain."

He turned toward the entrance, then shook his head. "There's not enough time. This thing could open up any second. We have to stop them now."

I stared at him in disbelief. Any of the other mercs would've taken this opportunity to retreat. None of the ones I had met since my time here had been willing to take up a suicide mission like this unless there was a whole lot of money in it for them. Who did Marcus think he was, trying to protect the whole island with just the two of us?

Then again, who did he think he was converting some kid off the street into a mercenary?

Knowing that arguing with him at this point was useless (and would probably draw attention), I looked around for some way of achieving the impossible. Whatever we did, it couldn't involve fighting all these krall. We had to sabotage the gate instead.

All that magical energy had to be coming from somewhere. It only took me a few seconds to figure out the source.

I tugged on Marcus' sleeve again, and pointed at a strange totem dug into the ground on the far side of the cavern. The air around it wavered and shimmered, an obvious sign of excess magic. "What's that thing there?"

Marcus followed my finger, and nodded. "Good eye. It's a magical generator. It takes in aether from the surrounding area and focuses it on a single point."

"Like that gate?"

"Like that gate. If we disable it, the backlash might disable the gate permanently."

"Great. How do we disable it?"

"It's a delicate instrument. If you hit it hard enough, or stuck a blade in and carved it out from inside, that would do it." He rose to a crouch. "Looks like there are three of them..." He considered for a moment, then shook his head. "Stay here. If I don't make it back, you need to warn the others."

As he started to move away, I grabbed his arm. "Wait, shouldn't I be the one sneaking around, since you aren't very good at it?"

Startled, he opened and closed his mouth a few times before managing to say, " I'm not sending you in there by yourself."

Stubborn adults. "Fine. You get that one, I'll get the one on the other side, and we'll both try to go for the last one."

He frowned. "Listen, kid. You're good, I'll give you that. But I'm not letting you go into that cavern."

"Tough. Cause it'll make a lot of noise if you try to stop me."

I darted past him, keeping closer to the wall. I heard him hiss out a whispering, "Get back here!" But beyond that, the sounds of the mine blocked out anything else he said.

I was used to being underestimated. It can be an advantage, most of the time. If no one thinks you're capable of anything special, it's so much easier to hide...

--------------------------------------------

Uncle Carven took dad's death hard. I did too, but I was used to my father being gone for long periods of time. After a while, the shock of his death dulled, and it all just felt like another long mission where I wouldn't get to see him. But my uncle had lost a brother he'd grown up with, and instead he got a kid who hated him and a grave with an empty coffin inside.

He started drinking. A lot. At first he got so strict with me, I couldn't leave the house. But after awhile, he was too drunk to care. Too drunk to stop me. I started staying out for hours at a time. Days. Then a week.

Then I just stopped coming back. I think we were both happier for it.

I could catch my own food, I could make my own fire. I had trouble finding shelter at first, but it didn't take me long to find a solution. They never completely tore down my parents' old house. The charred husk still sat there at the fringes of town, and the cellar was mostly intact. I hid down there, away from my uncle and everyone else, for a long time.

Eventually, I started needing other things besides food and water: new clothes, a better knife, something to sleep on besides the cold, hard floor. You needed money for that, and I had no job.

So I started stealing. I thought it'd be hard, but it wasn't. I spent years avoiding the notice of my uncle, so it wasn't hard to keep strangers from seeing me. I have nimble fingers, and fast feet. Akarios doesn't have much in the way of crime, so everyone was way too trustworthy.

The best part was, when people started to notice their things missing, they blamed it on others. The krall and kobolds had been advancing in from the north, and it wasn't much of a stretch to think they were raiding the town under the cover of darkness. It helped that I left discarded chicken bones and scraps of dirty cloth wherever I went. The townsfolk even hired mercenaries to catch me, but I just waited for them to grow impatient and give up before going back to my antics.

Then Marcus showed up.

He was dressed like a merchant, loaded with a heavy purse and flaunting his wealth all over the place. Looking back, I realize it was an obvious ploy to draw me out. He was using himself as bait so he could catch me in the act. It was a decent plan.

But just like the others, he underestimated me. I stole his money the first night without him even realizing it.

But the stubborn fool came back again a second night, still playing the role of the wealthy merchant. This time, he upped the ante. He spent hours at a local tavern, buying rounds of drinks and flaunting money about as if he hadn't been robbed the previous night. By the time he stumbled out of the building, he could barely walk straight.

I watched from a nearby rooftop, waiting for him to leave the safety of the well-guarded streets. A few well-intentioned guards offered to escort him home, but he pompously waved them off. A few more minutes of wandering about, and he was hopelessly lost, mumbling to himself about all the buildings looking the same.

He turned down an alley, away from the view of others, and I made my move. Climbing down from the rooftop, I stuck to the shadows of the buildings. As he drew near, I pulled out a broken shovel handle from some trash nearby. The clumsy oaf continued his steady stumbling, using a nearby wall for support.

As he passed me, I shoved the wooden handle between his legs. The drunkard toppled into the dirt with a heavy thud, and screamed curses at whoever hadn't cleaned up around here. While he was fumbling around, trying to get up, I cut his coinpurse from his belt with my knife, and ran.

It was a clean grab, perhaps too clean, but I was used to the adults of this town being bumbling fools most of the time. All the same, I took a roundabout path home, and didn't light the lantern at the bottom of the cellar stairs until I'd closed the doors shut behind me.

I took the lantern and my earnings over to the far corner, where I hid my stash. At this point, I had more money than I knew what to do with. Stealing gave me something to do, and I have to admit, it was kind of fun making all the adults in town look like idiots. I poured the coinpurse out over my collection, smiling to myself.

Something smaller than kinah plinked off the top of the stack and rolled along the floor. I snatched it up. It was a ring, made of gold, and engraved with weird letters I'd never seen before. Perhaps it was magical, and would allow me to run faster, or turn invisible. I'd heard there were rings that did that sort of stuff, and all of them were really valuable. This was my lucky day.

Or at least that's what I thought, as I slipped the ring on.

Imagine an explosion, but without any of the fire. Just the sheer force of it, pushing back everything around it. Now take that, and add a high-pitched shriek to it, so horrible that your eardrums shatter upon hearing it.

Now stick that explosion on your finger, because you were stupid enough to put on a trapped ring.

Needless to say, the sensation wasn't pleasant. I was flung backwards, my neck nearly snapping as I did a few backwards somersaults before hitting the far wall. The lantern nearby shattered, plunging the room into total darkness. I couldn't tell if the shrieking had stopped, because my ears were ringing too much. And the headache... by Aion, that was the worst headache I've ever felt.

Luckily, I didn't feel it for long. Warmth surged up my arm from where the ring was, relaxing my muscles and making me go limp. I tried to crawl away from the sensation, but seeing as how I was trying to move away from my own arm, it didn't work to well. The warmth spread across my body, and up into my head. I suddenly felt really, really drowsy. Sleeping would get rid of my headache, wouldn't it? Sure it would. It had been a long day, and I needed my rest.

I closed my eyes, snuggled into the immensely comfortable stone floor, and fell fast asleep.
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Jak

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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Marcus on Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:10 am

(( Awesome! You made that sound better than when we had rped it out, and captured what I was trying to convey with Marcus pretending to be a drunk fool perfectly ^.^ ))
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Erical on Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:36 am

I love it, how many more are going up before launch?
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

Post by Marcus on Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:37 am

He went to bed, but I think he said he had maybe 2 more to do? He has done 4 out of the 6 he mentioned.
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Re: Unwanted (Jak's Story)

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