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About Literature / Hobbyist DylMale/United States Group :iconwastelandchronicles: WastelandChronicles
 
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Dyl
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
DeviantID picture is Benedict Cumberbatch as the famous Sherlock Holmes from the BBC series, Sherlock.

I have dreams and goals to become a writer, for words put into good writing are formed in its odd and fascinating complexity. And I have a passion for literature and Shakespeare. Do hope that my future contains at least a successful career in writing.
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"Away below!"

Several voices shouted before a small, wooden life boat dropped out from below the wooden airship. Falling only a few feet, the lifeboat, containing several terrified civilians, began to float down to the relative safety of Newport as soon as its steam engine kicked into service. Meanwhile, a young man on the airship above stared down at the lifeboat. 

All the man could think of as his eyes remained fixed on the lifeboat was how he envied to be on one of them. Having only been a first mate for the Mad Familiar for about a year and half, he thought himself too young to be on board the Mad Familiar's last flight. He longed to be in a formal lieutenant uniform to replace his current brown and black gunner's uniform. Steamed every week, his uniform always appeared clean, emphasizing his rank and his devotion to the job. He only wished he'd die in a higher rank uniform.

"Deckard, duck!" 

The man spun on his heels and threw himself onto the deck in time for a cannonball to rumble past him. Deckard turned his gaze to the quarter deck, seeing the man who had just saved him.

"Thanks, General!" Deckard yelled back, picking himself up.

The "General" is the name Captain Hyland told his sailors to address him. A respectable man in the aristocracy, General was always seen with clean and expensive clothing, adorned with golden jewelry, accessories, and medals. Now, he only appeared battle-hardened, his attire covered in gunpowder and his master flintlocks in hand. His damaged arm-guard buzzed with distorted voices screaming for orders all over the ship, which was quickly descending due to their assailant's weaponry.

"Look lively, Deckard! I'll need my first mate if we're going to survive this!" The General spoke as he motioned for Deckard to follow him. 

The two men rush down onto the main deck, where more of the crew were positioned. Over the starboard side was where most of them were, firing their cannons and dual-cannons with much speed and anxiety. 

A good amount of meters across, the cannonballs collided with a darker and larger ship. Its hull was almost twice the size of the Mad Familiar, which was already considered to be a rather large airship. The enemy's airship's engine grumbled with a dull and loud buzz, and its shipmates rivaled that sound with deafening roars. Their armor bore smooth metal and elements of gold and black cover their body. Indeed, the soldiers looked like knights, except much scarier and with more pipes and steam. Above the metal-clad soldiers, however, was an even more spine-chilling sight. High above the airship hung their massive balloon. Painted across the side was their insignia; a golden gear piece laid upon a black background and surrounded by a seemingly flaming olive wreath. Any ship that came upon a vessel bearing that flag knew it would be a hard fight, as it was the Order. 

The Order oversaw the British Empire with a tyrannical grip. Its military state influenced every political and economical decision, as well as the social aspect of its citizens. No one knew where the Order had come from. One day, they just appeared out of nowhere with their airships and attacked Britain. Edinburgh was the first to fall; then came Faversham, then Rochester, and then Greenwich. One by one, each town and city fell under the Order's control. When they reached London, the remaining British resistance fought all they could. Alas, it was fruitless. The Order won swiftly and easily. They overthrew Queen Victoria and destroyed every ounce of what remained of Parliament. England was now fully under the Order's hand. When England fell, the rest of the British Empire drowned with it. The Order's greedy hands eventually transformed the British Empire into an oligarchy, with a small group of powerful individuals known as the Cabal.

Anyone who opposed the Cabal or the Order usually dealt with the Order's military forces. Organizations, companies, families were torn apart after voicing their distaste of their new leaders. However, those who were brave enough to rally a rebellion against the Order always faced the complete wrath of the Order. 

The Mad Familiar was currently experiencing that first-hand. Not only did the Order attack the airship, but it sent their dreadnaught-class flagship by the name of the Black Bastion; and it was winning.

As soon as Deckard and the General stepped onto the main deck, a pair of electric cannonballs blasted from one of the Order's customized dual cannons and shot right through the Mad Familiar's balloon.

"Oh no..." Deckard murmured.

He turned to the crew on the gunnery deck and shouted, "Gunners! Aim for the electric cannons! They pierce right through our balloon!" 

The gunners did as they ordered - or tried, rather. The Order had soon picked up the gunners' intentions and firing directions. As a result, the Order gunners continuously fired at the Kestrel's balloons while the regular cannons covered their barrage. 

"Master Deckard!" The General yelled to him, firing his flintlocks at the flagship. His shots reach an Order footman who falls onto deck, never to be seen again.

Deckard rushed to his captains side, and awaited orders. 

"Take my daughter and get onto the last lifeboat," General said quickly as he reloaded his pistols from behind cover, "A captain's got to go down with his ship."

Deckard furrowed his eyebrows and argued, "General, I'm staying here! As your first mate, I'm to be at your side. I'll send the midshipman with your daughter."

Before Deckard could get up to find the midshipman, a cannonball smashed into the cannon next to him, knocking its gunner far off over the port-side and miles down to Newport. Deckard could barely hear her screams as she fell.

The General grabbed Deckard by the shoulder and pulled him back, "Damn it, Deckard! I'm entrusting you with this task because you know me best! Now take my daughter and get on that boat! Defy me again and I'll see you over the side of my ship!" 

The General pushed Deckard with his flintlocks toward the steps leading to the General's cabin. Deckard made no haste to disobey and immediately ran up onto the quarter deck before opening the doors. He rushed inside, and searched frantically for the General's daughter. 

"Daddy?" 

Deckard turned to the voice, and found five-year old Rebecca Hyland hiding under her father's iron desk. He walked over to her, maintaining his balance the ship rocked and creaked. The ship was on its last strings, literally.

He knelt and held his arms out, "Come on Rebecca, we're going to get out of here. Addie's going to get you onto a lifeboat. It's not safe here anymore."

"...Okay.." Rebecca crawled out of the space and allowed Deckard to take her into his arms. 

Deckard lifted her up and began running out the door.

"Close your eyes, Rebecca." Deckard panted as he removed his brandished flintlock from his holster. 

Rebecca obeyed, burying her eyes into Deckard's shoulders before he stepped onto the deck. All Rebecca could hear were screams and loud bangs; all Rebecca could smell was gunpowder and the faint hint of blood.

Deckard advanced through the decks of fallen wood beams, dismantled cannons, and dismembered crewmates. He arrived at the bow of the ship, and opened the doors to forecastle deck doors to the bottom deck. The ship continuously rocked; before Deckard went below with Rebecca, he took a last look at the balloon above him. The Order had ceased attempting to blow the balloon. Instead, they were now attempting to sever the pulleys and ropes that held the ship and the balloon together.

Deckard quickly rushed down into the bay deck, where the last lifeboat lay idle. 

"Okay Rebecca..." Deckard murmured, his words barely audible over the sounds of the battle above. 

Rebecca opened her eyes and looked around. She had never been down here before, since her father had forbidden her to. The bay room was where the bottom of the ship opened up for the lifeboats to exit. She could see the last, dainty lifeboat that she noticed did not have her father seated in it.

"Addie, where's daddy?" Rebecca looked up at Deckard as he set her down.

"Your father's not coming with us. He's going to help all the good men and women here get to safety, and then he'll try to deal with the bad people." Deckard said, busying himself with unlocking the life boat and prepping the bay doors.

"But Addie! You said it was not safe! Daddy could get hurt!" Rebecca whined, and turned to run to the stairs.

"Rebecca, no!" Deckard stepped out of the lifeboat, releasing the restraints that held it down. Before he could reach for Rebecca, an explosion within the room blasted Deckard away and over Rebecca, who had also been thrown over and fallen. 

Deckard hit the wall back-first, and yelled in pain; his arm had been penetrated by a large piece of wood. Deckard reached over and ripped the wood out of his arm, causing another surge of pain through his arm. He looked toward the cause of the explosion, and found that the Order had managed to fire their way through the hull. A gaping hole lay against the hull wall, wind sharply blowing inside the bay room.

Deckard spotted Rebecca near the steps, where she lay in a fetal position. He ran over to her immediately, and began shaking her.

"Rebecca!" 

Rebecca yelped and pressed her legs closer to her chest. The ringing from the explosion still hung about in her ears. She had frozen up, incapable of recognizing anything but the fear of dying and the fear of losing her father.

Deckard instead took her into his arms, causing her to wail and scream further. Another explosion silenced her, however, and the ship rocked in a violent shake. Deckard regained his balance and rushed back onto the deck.

The Mad Familiar was on her last grip. The lines holding the balloon and the stern were about to give way. What was even more terrifying though, was that the Black Bastion was right up against the Mad Familiar. 

Deckard again removed his flintlock, believing the Order were about to board. Before he could take aim at a soldier a few meters away, he heard the General once more.

"Deckard!"

Deckard turned to see Captain Hyland leaning against an overturned staircase. He was obviously injured, but his face still held its stoic and courageous expression. 

"Deckard! What are you still doing here?! Get off this damn shi-"

The General's words were interrupted by a springrazor cannonball. When it hit, countless blades erupted from the cannonball. The explosion added onto the fatality as Deckard could only see the General's limbs flying in all directions. Unfortunately, Rebecca had witnessed the full scene when she heard her father.

"DADDY! DADDY NO!" Rebecca screamed, tears immediately forming in her eyes.

Deckard did not even try to silence her. He himself was in extreme shock. The unkillable General - his best friend - had just been torn apart in combustion.

Deckard's shock had been abruptly interrupted as the General's last words when one of the Kestrel's crew members suddenly shouted: 

"It's the Medusa Kiss!" 

Deckard turned to the Black Bastion. No wonder the Order was so close to them. They did not intend to board; they wanted to release their plague.

The Medusa Kiss was infamous for its effects in the Battle of Liverpool. The Order created it and tested it on their enemies in Liverpool. The Medusa Kiss took form as a yellow gas, which - when breathed in - was capable of practically freezing flesh. The early Medusa Kiss took almost a week before the plague completely took over its human host. During this period, known as the Rust, the flesh would then begin to emit a somewhat grey tint, and as a result the flesh would contract before crumbling and shattering into dust like dry clay. The British army stationed in Liverpool never made back home, and the residents never made it out of their homes. Since then, Liverpool was quarantined due to its high levels of radiation still prevading the air from the early designs of the Medusa Kiss. Now, however, the Order had discovered a technique for accelerating the processes of the Medusa Kiss. The plague could completely take over the human body in a matter of hours. 

Deckard immediately ducked back below deck. Even though the effects would only take place a matter of hours later, allowing enough time to administer a cure - the Visage, the soldiers of the Black Bastion wanted the Kestrel's gunners, who they knew did not want to come into contact with the plague, to abandon their stations. However, the gunners remained where they were, as if confident that they would not be alive by the time the Medusa Kiss took them.

Deckard, however, planned for him and Rebecca to live. 

"...Damn...where do we go?" Deckard said to himself as he looked about.

Rebecca was unresponsive. Her mind was still shrouded with the images of her beloved father being viciously murdered. 

Deckard finally set his gaze down the hall. At the end of the hall rested an iron door. As Deckard remembered, the door was thicker than the hull, as was the walls and ceiling of the room the door led to. Deckard hastily ran down the hall, keeping Rebecca close to his arms.

Above, the Medusa Kiss was taking over the remaining crew of the Mad Familiar. Painful as it was, the crew continued to fight relentlessly. Unbeknownst to them, this version of the Medusa Kiss could eat through basic materials, specifically wood and rope. Gradually, the starboard side of the Mad Familiar began to crumble. The ropes holding the stern and balloon together were melting away.

Back below deck, Deckard had entered the room, known as the Iron Chest. He set Rebecca down on the floor, where she sat once again in a fetal position. Deckard made haste to securely lock the door. The several mechanisms in the door snap shut, and Deckard turns to face the room. 

Rebecca noticed in her mental solitude that there was a faint hiss and beating sound. She slowly lifted her head from her arms, which were covered in grime and tears now. In front of Deckard and Rebecca beheld a massive beast of a machine - the Heart of the Mad Familiar.

Fitted with metal plates, steam-powered mechanisms, and organic materials, the Heart took its role as a generator, providing power to the airship. This behemoth was one of the largest England had ever possessed, but it certainly was not the first. Before the Order, English airships all possessed Hearts such as the Mad Familiar's. However, the Order began exterminating all of them, for they had discovered that it not only was a source of power for the airships, but it also had its own conscious. Of course, the Order did not want any aspect of technology to be fitted with a mind of its own. As a result, the Order began hunting down all of them. 

Currently, the Heart of Mad Familiar was beating quickly to keep the ship afloat. The walls of the Iron Chest creaked, as if acknowledging the presence of the two survivors. 

Deckard looked down at Rebecca, who was amazed at seeing the Heart. He knelt and said to her quietly: "Heart will keep us safe. You need only stay in this room. Now stay here, I need to do something."

Rebecca answered with silence, for she was filled with countless emotions of anger, sadness, awe, and panic. 

Kestrel stood and walked over to the Heart. He didn't reach it, however, for the ship suddenly began to tip down. The ropes of the stern had finally broke, and the ship was falling down by its stern. The Mad Familiar was sinking.

Deckard was slipping forward, and Rebecca snapped out of her daze. She screamed, and grabbed hold of a nearby console that was bolted to the metal floor. Deckard frantically searched for something to hold onto. He ran up, the ship continuing to turn. Grabbing hold of one of the handles on the door, Deckard held on for dear life. Deckard could hear the screams above deck, where the surviving crewmembers scrambled for safety.

It wasn't long before the Mad Familiar was completely vertical, and falling down toward the fields of Newport below. Rebecca screamed as the airship gained velocity. The Heart was pumping quickly but to no avail. Deckard glanced at Rebecca.

"Hold on, Rebecca! Hold on, for god's sake!" 

Rebecca only screamed further, but she was tightly packed against the console, her fingers refusing to release it. Deckard turned his gaze down at the Heart, which was steaming and hissing violently.

"By god, keep us safe!" He yelled at the Heart, "Keep us safe! I had a promise to fulfill, and I intend to keep it! Protect Rebecca! Protect me!"

The Heart seemed to slow its beating a bit, as if listening to Deckard's words. 

He continued, "The Mad Familiar will soon be no more, but the Heart will continue to live! As long as you live, then please, make sure both of us do as well!"

In response, the Heart whirred and hissed loudly. The Iron Chest walls hissed as well, steam bursting out of some areas. Rebecca's screaming was met with a piercing noise of metal scraping against metal. Pipes burst out of the walls and seemed to move on their own. Deckard could not see clearly, however, for the ship was rocking too violently. He looked at the handle he held and realized that his grip was slipping.

Deckard grunted, attempting to muster the remaining energy he could to hold on. Another part of the ship exploded, rocking the room. This caused Deckard to suddenly release the handle and began to fall. He yelled out and reached his hands out for anything else to grab.


The only thing Deckard remembered before he was knocked unconscious was hearing Rebecca screaming "Addie!" and something cold and solid wrapping around his waist.


--


From the streets and high windows of the buildings of Newport, the citizens could easily see the Mad Familiar falling toward the solid land. The flames of the Mad Familiar erupted and illuminated the sky before the ship collided with the earth in the distant fields of their city. Hopelessness and solemnity settled in the hearts of the British citizens; yet another rebellious airship and its crew had fallen prey to the hands of the Order. Above, the Black Bastion was sinking into the clouds, soon to disappear from the fight. 

On the balcony of a merchant's trading shop stood a man donned in a buttoned-up black frock coat gazed at the crash site of the Mad Familiar. He gritted his teeth before turning around and entering the room. Within the room sat many armed individuals, who all looked upon the man with silent stares. All of them looked hopeless as well, before the man spoke:

"The Mad Familiar has been destroyed...Yet we cannot risk giving up on the Heart, for it is one of our greatest. We must commit to the memory of Captain Hyland and his crew by salvaging what we can."

The group of individuals looked about each other, murmuring agreements and sighs. 

"Prepare yourselves, we move in three minutes. We must get to the site before the dust settles and the Order moves in," The man said, placing a black top hat upon his head. 

As the group began preparing for their dangerous expedition, the man turned to the balcony and gazed at the distant and faded wreckage, he sighed and muttered to himself:

"I do hope more than the Heart survived..."

The Flames of the Mad Familiar
This is in the lore of an old steampunk story my friends and I wrote together . Our version tied into the Wasteland Chronicles as well (dimensional jumping, etc.) I've always liked the steampunk genre, and I was excited to discover some of our old notes and conversation pertaining to this story. 

Anyways I decided to write a story (and possibly a series). Apologies for the hiatus, I know it has been far too long. I will do my best to find whatever free time I have and work on my stories.
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The Factions
June 3, 2067
Wednesday, 1:57 pm
Trent Street, New Olympia


"Hello Mr. Terry." 

Strix said, smiling with as much pretense as possible.

Mr. Adam Terry stood at his door, staring at the two men adorned in uniform coats. He had hoped he was clear from their suspicions. 

"I know who you are, and I know what you do to people." said Mr. Terry.

Before Mr. Terry continued, Raymond Atlas raised his hand, silently ordering the man to stop.

"We are not here to kill you or torture you, Mr. Terry." Strix continued.

"Oh...you aren't?" he sighed.

"Of course not. Would you be so kind as to let us in? We're a bit tired and we'd like to sit." 

"Yes. Yes of course, come right in." Mr. Terry swung the door wide open, stepping to the side. 

The two men smiled and stepped inside, while Mr. Terry looked about outside. Where was he?

"So." Strix said as he seated himself at the dining table. Atlas stood behind Strix, his gloved hands crossed in front of him.

"You two gentlemen would not prefer to sit on the couch? Much more comfortable than the dining area." Mr. Terry politely asked.

"Well, we would if it was a casual visit. This, Mr. Terry, is not a casual matter." Strix says, motioning towards the chair to the opposite of the table.

Mr. Terry silently cursed himself but smiled. He did as he was told. In his own home. His own property.

"So," Strix repeated. "Let's start with the basics, Mr. Terry-"

"Yes, I believe introductions are in order." Mr. Terry crossed his arms.

Strix smiled, "Well, if you insist. I am Arch Vindicator Strix."

"Arch Vindicator Atlas." said Atlas, placing his hand on his chest before returning to his original stance. 

"As I was saying," Strix cleared his throat. "Let's start with the basics. Your place of occupation is at the border wall, if I am correct. You work as a BOD operator."

Mr. Terry nodded.

"From what I have been informed, the BOD has been under pressure from the higher-ups due to the new laws. The BOD is in charge of preventing irregulars from entering the city." Strix continued.

Mr. Terry's jaw clenched.

Strix motioned his hands to him, "I'm assumed you've heard about this."

"Yes, I have."

Strix smiled once more, "Now, the crime of harboring irregulars applies to everyone. Including you, Mr. Terry."

"Yes...I am aware." said Mr. Terry.

"Then why...Mr. Terry," Strix leaned in, intertwining his fingers, "Are you harboring irregulars who seek refuge?"

Mr. Terry remained silent.

"Like I said, this isn't a casual matter. It's very important," Strix explained. "Anyways, that was a question I want answered."

"...Because they're not monsters. They are people who lead normal lives, and they are good people." Mr. Terry replied, his knuckles turning white.

Mr. Strix chuckled, "That's the answer we always get, Mr. Terry. I have heard it a thousand times, which means I have seen a thousand people shot in the head."

"Is...Is that supposed to scare me?" scoffed Mr. Terry.

"Of course not, Mr. Terry," Strix smiled. "This, however, is supposed to." 

Strix reached inside his coat and pulled out a gleaming, black APP-13 pistol. Adam Terry immediately kept his mouth shut, his eyes focused on the pistol. Strix placed the pistol on the table and leaned forward, placing his arms on the table.

"Now I'm not going to kill you, Mr. Terry. In fact I just want you to do a very simple thing," said Strix, clasping his hands together. "Give me the irregulars, however many you possess, and I will go. You will be untouched, and we'll even pretend it never happened."

Mr. Terry looked away, obviously contemplating the order he received. He sighed and gazed at Strix, "I'd rather die first."

Strix chuckled softly to himself, "No...Mr. Terry. You won't be the first to die."

"No, see, I believe your wife Agnes would be the first," Strix continued. "Then I'd go after your son Tom, and his wife and children. I'd go after everyone you ever loved or cared about. After that, when you have nothing else to live for...then I will come for you."

Terry's expression of fright brought a smirk to Atlas. It was always nice to see Strix handle interrogation. 

"Am I clear?" said Strix, his tone changing to low drawl. He wasn't smiling anymore.

It was at that moment that Terry had almost given in, but when the shape of a figure ran past outside the window, Terry smiled. He was here.

"I don't know where the irregulars are." said Terry, crossing his arms once more.

"Pardon?" said Strix. He hadn't anticipated this.

"I don't know. They're gone. I mean, they were hiding in my cellar, but now they're gone."

Strix had had enough. It was taking too long. Strix rose from his seat.

"Mr. Terry-"

The window beside Strix shattered, followed by Strix collapsing to the ground. As soon as the bullet had entered the room, Adam Terry ran towards the back door. Atlas removed his pistol and fired towards Terry, but he had already escaped. 

"Damn it!" Atlas exclaimed, slamming himself against the wall. 

Strix grunted as he rolled under the window, away from the sniper's view. 

"Where is he?" Atlas spoke.

"Sniper's gone. A shot like that was to warn us, not to kill." Strix muttered. 

His removed the splattered bullet from his protected chest.

"I can see why everyone likes this coat now." Strix groaned as he sat up.

Atlas shook his head, and activated his earpiece, "All units, I want a sweep of every building in a 2 mile radius around Trent Street."

As Atlas spit more orders to his troops, Strix stood up, taking the bullet with him. He lifted it to his eye level, turning and twisting the bullet as he observed it. It was a .577 caliber, a particular ammunition that not many people used nowadays. 

"That a .577?" asked Atlas. Strix placed it in Atlas' hand, allowing him to observe it.

"I thought production for this ammunition line stopped." Atlas murmured.

"It did. Doesn't mean it can't resume," Strix snatched his pistol from the table, placing it back into his holster. "Even then, the .577 doesn't fit with any modern weaponry. Whoever fired that shot is using a very old rifle."

"And they know how to bring a man down without killing them." Atlas added.

"Well hey, let's see if the Overseers can identify what gun was used." said Strix. He already had a cigarette in his mouth, and was busy lighting it.

"Alright, cancer-teapot, let's go. My team will take care of the house." said Atlas as he walked to the front door.

Strix pulled the cigarette out of his mouth, exhaling a long whisp of smoke. He walked past the Vindicator team barging in, watching them before leaving the house himself.

--

"This...this is a customized rifle."

Strix stood staring at the Overseer Forensics member. Strix was surprised that anyone as young as the woman would make it to the division. If she was here, the Overseers must be stacked with the brilliant minds of the century.

"A Martini-Henry 'Sporter'. Lever-action. It's from London, back before the...well, incident. You are right, it is indeed a .577 caliber round. You said that you heard no gunshot?" the woman inquired.

"Yes, I heard nothing, but hold on. How do you know what gun fired this?" said Strix, motioning to the bullet. 

"Well, I'd tell you, Arch Vindicator, but that'd be exposing the Overseers. And even though we work under the same organization, it doesn't mean we are in the same division, and it certainly doesn't mean that we are friends." the woman smiled.

"...Quite right." Strix muttered. 

"Anyways," the woman continued. "If you heard no shot, obviously it was suppressed. Although, I do know that the Sporter rifle is very difficult to fire without a scope, and it is very difficult to fire in itself. So in conclusion.."

She took a breath.

"You have a professional sniper on your hands. Good day."

Strix didn't move from his position. Instead, he crossed his arms.

The woman blinked, "I said 'Good day'. I am rather busy and I need to place this bullet in storage. So, if you don't mind, scurry along." She made a shoo-ing motion with her hands.

Strix took a deep breath.

--

"Strix, you have to cooperate with the Overseers."

Strix crossed his arms, glaring at Aclimus across the desk. Aclimus sighed, and rose from his chair. He walked towards the glass wall of his office, and stared out at the busy activities below. 

"I brought you in because you could bring perspective and something great to Aedepex," Aclimus turned to Strix. "And I did make the right choice. We've made more progress than I could have imagined. Than the Directors could have imagined."

Strix scoffed, "I could care less about the head of Aedepex's satisfaction. You brought me in. I expect respect. I give none if I receive none." 

Aclimus rubbed his chin, thinking. He turned his attention back towards the view, and spoke: "You're right. I'll speak with the Overseers, but you make this stop."

He turned and walked toward Strix. Strix narrowed his eyes, "What, me demanding what I want?"

"No. The irregulars." Aclimus took a deep breath.

"We're going to war. Well, we're going to declare it," Aclimus rubbed the back of his head. "It is long past time. Oasis will be brought down. Directors have given us the go."

Strix nodded, "Do we have any allies?"

"Well, we have the entire Federation," Aclimus laughed. "What we're going to do, however, is dismantle Oasis from within. You and I both know the minds behind Oasis."

"Right.." Strix said with an unsure tone, turning and beginning to walk out of the office.

"Oh, come on Strix. It's over for them!" Aclimus smiled.

Strix opened the door and faced Aclimus, "Of that, you can't be sure."

--

Strix stared at the civilian jeeps and trucks that were parked in the New Olympian Army hangar. Soldiers were yelling and running about, often transporting weaponry and equipment into the trucks.

"Sad we can't use any of our 'high-tech' material." Atlas' voice spoke with a sigh.

"If we don't want to get caught, we have to blend in," Strix said. "Hundreds of irregulars and supporters are trying to get into Oasis to seek refuge."

"Not for looonng.." Atlas said in a amusing tone.

"Yes," Strix smiled. "However, we do get to keep our uniforms. Border of Defense won't be able to detect them."

"Oh thank god," Atlas muttered, climbing into a jeep. "This'll be even more fun then."

--

Strix's hand continuously reached for his APP-13 pistol. He was having second thoughts about this sudden invasion. Having witnessed first hand what irregulars like Sinis, Lucas, Obsidian, and the whole club could do. Of course, many in the convoy did too, yet they were confident about their mission. 

"Sir, take a look out the window," The driver said. "There's no other vehicle in sight..."

Strix shook Atlas awake from his light slumber, and both of them stared out their windows. Indeed, there were no other cars besides their own set of trucks and jeeps.

Strix turned to Atlas, who was already contacting Aclimus of the mysteriously empty highway. Ahead was the shining city of Oasis, and Sinisadel could be clearly seen, gleaming with the light of the sun.

Suddenly, the reflection of the light on the Sinisadel windows wavered slightly. Strix blinked and stared for a bit longer before leaning back in his seat. His eyes never failed him, as he was always the most watchful and quickest at catching even the slightest detail in the Owls.

Strix lowered down the window, and leaned towards the opening. He shut his eyes and drowned out the engines of the convoy, the crackling of dust beneath the jeep's wheels, and the sharp wind that cut along the swift vehicles. There was small, high-pitched whirring sound above all the distracting noise that resided near Strix.

Strix's eyes flashed open and he leaned forward, yelling: "PULL THE CAR OVER. NOW!"

Bullets rained from the sky, seemingly attacking the convoy at all sides. As soon as the shooting began, Strix grabbed Atlas and ripped open the car door. He and Atlas jumped out, slamming hard against the asphalt at a painfully quick speed. As soon as they had jumped out, their jeep was riddled with bullets. The driver lost control, and slammed into a highway sign. The entire convoy stopped, and soldiers began to pour out, screaming on the whereabouts of their attacker.

Strix grunted as he slowly pushed himself up. He lifted his head and gazed about the sky. Since when did he have turrets...?

Once more, the invisible guns began firing, this time aiming specifically at the trucks.

Strix turned to a squad of soldiers taking cover behind a jeep, and he yelled: "YOU THREE! SET AN EMP KIT!"

With no hesitation, one of the soldiers removed a mechanical device from his person, and threw it onto the ground. The EMP device gave a loud hissing sound, before bursting its pulse throughout the area.

Strix turned his eyes toward the sky, and began to see the shape of a black jet take form. The New Olympian soldiers yelled and fired their guns at the jet, which was coming back for a second volley of fire. Atlas had gotten up and ran towards another jeep to take cover. Strix followed him, sliding two of his pistols from his holsters. 

"EVERYONE DOWN!" Atlas shouted.

However, the jet's turrets never fired. Instead, a bay door opened below the jet, and three figures fell through, slamming onto a truck and immediately attacking the soldiers around it.

Strix had not seen, but heard the commotion, and proceeded to run towards the truck. Suddenly, flames erupted around the entire convoy, and there was the sound of a plasma rifle firing in the distance. Strix's eyes darted around, trying to pinpoint its owner. Behind him, gunshots suddenly filled the air. Strix gritted his teeth and began running back. As he ran past a destroyed jeep, he slid to a stop. He turned, and quickly knelt to observe the corpse of a young soldier. A long gash was running down his face, and several more were spotted all around his chest. 

"No...can't be," Strix was appalled. "He wouldn't."

Strix's anger grew higher than the flames, and he continued down towards his jeep. As soon as he approached the jeep, a soldier was thrown back against the side of the jeep, and Strix could blatantly see the fear in his eyes as a looming figure raised its curved blades and slashed him until his screaming had ceased. Strix raised his pistols, aiming them towards the tall figure. 

As if sensing Strix's presence, the figure turned round, and Strix's hands quivered. The owl-like figure began to walk towards Strix, the mask retracting back into its dark armor. The figure's hands gripped the bloody blades firmly and stopped a few meters away from Strix.

Lucas Ragen stood tall and terrifying. His lips formed a half-cocked smile, and he began to laugh. 

"Oh...I should have figured you'd be part of this, Strix," Lucas spoke in his rumbling monotone. "I didn't think you'd be this stupid. Leave the Owls. Leave Oasis....And then join people who resent people like you?" 

Strix didn't respond to Lucas but continued to aim his pistols at Lucas. His hands had stopped shaking, and his expression was of nothing but cold and relaxed. His aim moved towards Lucas' unprotected head. Before he could fire, a battle-like cry suddenly rose behind Lucas.

Lucas growled and turned around, reaching for his sickles. However, a volley of bullets slammed against his armored chest before he could do so. Atlas was running towards Lucas, continuously firing his assault rifle. When he ran out of ammunition, Atlas threw the rifle onto the ground and slid his pistol from his leg holster in one smooth motion. He continued to fire, pushing Lucas back. Lucas' mask had quickly formed over his face, and was now embracing against the lethal headshots that Atlas was renowned for. Without a single bit of hesitation, Strix also began to fire at Lucas, who was now caught in the middle. 

Atlas threw down his empty pistol and jumped, using his momentum to airkick Lucas. Instead, his leg was caught by Lucas' strong hands, and he was thrown onto the ground. Practically knocking Atlas unconscious, Lucas focused on Strix, and began throwing sickles at him. Strix slid beneath a truck and began calling for reinforcements. He was cut short, however, when a stream of fire slammed into him, throwing him back a good few yards. 

His suit, also designed with flameproof capabilities, had prevented Strix from burning to a crisp. He quickly recuperated and picked himself up, running cover from cover to avoid taking another fire blast. Before he could make it to the next cover, a plasma rifle was fired, and its thick laser tore through Strix's gut, causing him to yell out in pain. He fell down, grabbing his side as he backed up against the wreckage of a truck. He waved his pistol about, aiming at his attacker. 

"I would have shot you through the head if it wasn't for Mr. Firecunt." 

Strix turned toward the voice, and watched as an even taller figure slowly settled onto the ground. Her rocket boots switched off, the ground thudding as soon as her boots hit the ground. 

Obsidian stood clad in her symbiotic armor, which was moving about, healing itself from the firefight before. Her clear eyepiece flashed with information, obviously reading Strix's signatures. The sun emphasized her yellow, cat-like eyes, and they followed every single bit of Strix's movement. Her dark brown hair was tied up in a ponytail, showing her elf-like ears. In her hand was a fire-ready Plasma Kalashiknov, and it was now being aimed at Strix.

"I'd love to kill you right now," Obi growled. "And honestly, I am a hundred percent sure I am going to right now. My husband would have no problem with it. Not anymore." 

Strix had not lowered his pistol, and more focused on keeping himself conscious than Obsidian's words.

"Obsidian." 

Obsidian didn't turn, and kept her Kalashiknov aimed at Strix. It was a while before any sound or movement was made.

Finally, she began to walk back, keeping her gun aimed at Strix.

"He's about to pass out anyways," Obsidian growled.

A gloved hand fell onto her rifle, and pushed it down. Sinis glared at Obsidian, who in turn, glared down at Sinis. Immediately breaking eye contact, Sinis turned to Sinis and snapped his fingers. The gun in Strix's hand caught on fire, causing him to release the now smoldering hunk of flaming metal.

"We'll take him back," Sinis lowered his hand. "I heard him calling for reinforcements. Best we get back anyhow." 

Obsidian slid her Kalashiknov onto her back, and walked toward Strix to pick him up. Strix didn't say anything, and he was attempting to crawl away from the only one who scared him. Obsidian growled in an annoyed tone. Black claws retracted from her armor, and she stopped Strix from crawling by embedding her claws into his calf. Strix screamed, but he was soon cut off when Obsidian's other hand enclosed into a fist and began punching his face. 

She didn't stop until Strix was completely unconscious. She stood up straight and dragged Strix toward Lucas' jet, her claws still embedded in his leg.

--

Upon seeing Lucas' jet take off, a bleeding Atlas laid back against his cover. He panted heavily and reached for his earpiece.

"Arch Vindicator Strix has been captured. The invasion will go as planned, and hopefully, the navy is prepared to use their newest missiles."

"Copy that, Arch Vindicator Atlas. What is the status of the convoy?" Aclimus' voice slipped through the earpiece.

"Heavy casualties," Atlas looked about him. "I've been wounded and have a few broken bones. Other than that, I have no further knowledge whether anyone else is alive or not."

"Copy. Hang in there, I'm sending reinforcements." Aclimus said.

"No, sir. I think.." Atlas sighed. "I think we should send in Celador."

Aclimus was silent, but soon responded: "Is there a particular reason why this is necessary?"

"The irregulars have.." Atlas grunted as he pushed himself up. "Upped their game. They've upgraded heavily, with new weaponry and equipment. We'll need all the help we can get, beside the entirety of New Olympia."

"..."

"...Sir?"

"Ten minutes. They're on their way."

Atlas sighed and switched his earpiece off. He turned towards the city of Oasis, and leaned against the wreckage. 

"Oh..." he smiled. "This city is going to burn."
The Business of War
I am not too fond of this entry, since I've been constantly putting it off whenever I have the time to do it. I apologize for it, and I plan to change up some writing styles in the future. 

Anyways, there is going to be a new character introduced, but not too soon. The character is yet to come, toward the middle of the war between NO and Oasis. 

Enjoy.
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 "All the world’s a stage,
        And all the men and women merely players;
        They have their exits and their entrances,
        And one man in his time plays many parts,                       
       His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
        Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
        And then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
        And shining morning face, creeping like snail
        Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,  
      Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
        Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
        Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard, 
        Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
        Seeking the bubble reputation
      Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
        In fair round belly with good capon lined,
        With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, 
        Full of wise saws and modern instances;
        And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
      Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
        With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
        His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
        For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
        Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
      And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
        That ends this strange eventful history,
        Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
        Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything."

                  - Jacques, As You Like It (written by William Shakespeare)

    There was a stillness in the sharp wind that he didn't like. Then again, he didn't like many things. He didn't like the way his mailman delivered the Costco sale pamphlet that he should have unsubscribed long ago. He didn't like the way his elbow cracked every so often. He didn't like the way the traffic moved below him. He didn't like the way the contractors and engineers built the building he stood upon. 

    It just wasn't high enough, but it'll have to do.

    He leaned back from the edge, and cleared his throat. He wished the edge of the building had no railings whatsoever. He'd have to take another step in order to...well, to just fall.

    How ironic. Another step up before he'd fall all the way down.

        "Look, it's a perfect summary of your life."

    He could hear the voice sweep through his mind, with numerous amounts of laughter tailing behind the echoing murmur. Yes, Riley would have said that.
   
    He placed his wrinkly hands onto the chill, rusting railing. Were those his hands? He didn't recognize them. Now, he wished there was someone here he could ask: "Are these your hands? Surely, they are not mine." They shook with frailness, and no matter how much he attempted to hide the trembling fingers, his hands still shook furiously. He was old. His once sturdy hands were now reduced to small, rough hands that he did not wish to possess. He lifted one hand up to his hair, and pulled a lock of hair down his forehead until he was able to barely see it. Grey. He'd have to blame the stress and worry throughout his life. Practically the entirety of his hair was grey or white, and he hated it. He lowered his hand.

    He sighed and looked down at his feet. He really was about to do it, wasn't he? Were his feet working? Testing, one, two, three. Testing. They worked fine. As a result, he lifted one foot, attempting to heave it over the railing. He grunted and inhaled, eventually placing his feet over and onto the small ledge that only gave support to the heels of his feet. He gripped the railing even tighter as he lifted his other leg over, eventually passing the metal barrier. He stood up straight, cringing a bit as the soles of his shoes scraped against the stone ledge. 

    Somehow, being right on the edge of the roof was much more different than being a few inches away from the edge. The traffic below bellowed with even louder noises. He almost wanted to hold his hands up to his ears and cover them, but he'd fall. He didn't want to fall just yet. He wanted to think for a little bit first, at least, until someone spots him and contacts the police and fire department.

    Now that he actually faced the Step From Death, he couldn't think of anything. He regretted many things; that he knew. Did he want to phone anyone? Leave a note? Perhaps rethink this situation? 

        "Listen to me, baby, don't do this. Think about it."

    Once again, the voice of concern poured through his ears, and eventually spread through his entire body. His aged heart felt a bit warmer, but was instantly replaced with a pang of tingling sensation in his chest. Old memories. They'd always want to make him break down and cry. 

    He shut his eyes, and drowned out the voice. He thought to himself: "Alright. I'm going to do it. Right now. No stopping myself."

    He took the deepest breath he could take in his donated lungs. He lowered his head until he faced death. The noise was of no bother to him anymore. He wanted to walk forward, but he was glued to the ledge. Why was he paralyzed? Was he afraid? 

    He closed his eyes once more, and tried to will himself to move forward. He remembered seeing brilliant artwork on the park. The artist had painted the ground similarly to the image he faced. He remembered standing upon the dried masterpiece, and looking down the same way he did here. He remembered walking off the artwork, half-scared that he'd actually fall.

        "Just imagine yourself walking off of that art piece..." He muttered to himself.

    He took several more deep breaths. 

    The air was crisp and silent.

    He felt many eyes on him, and he wanted the entire world to watch him. Some would cheer. Some would boo.

        "Just...walk..." 

    And so he did.
The Seven Ages of Man
"The Seven Ages of Man" is a series of seven stories regarding the life of the main character. Excluding this intro and perhaps the final conclusion, the seven stories will depict the man's life according to a monologue within William Shakespeare's play: As You Like It.

This is an independent project, with no relations to the Wasteland Chronicles. I will continue working on the Unit Classified series with my partner while writing several more stories for WC.

Enjoy.
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Soul is freedom.
Love is power.
Hope is love.
Dreams are revolutions…

I am a person. People were made to be loved. Things were made to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because people are being used and things are being loved.

But I am me. Just because someone doesn't like who I am, doesn't mean I should sacrifice myself. Sometimes I think I want to disappear, but really, I just want to be found. In solitude, we are least alone. Maybe it's not always about trying to fix something that broke. Maybe it's about starting over and creating something better. But I was born with flaws. Who isn't? I'd like to see someone give me an honest and serious answer on that. Just be who you are around people. Speak the truth, even if your voice hurts.

Love is what makes you smile when you're tired. Love is when someone says your name, the way they say it, it makes you feel as if your name is safe in their mouth. Your heart belongs to someone you have yet to meet. Don't give up in love because there is always someone that loves you. Even if it's not the person you were hoping for. You are more important than you realize. You were born because you are going to be important to someone. You deserve to be with somebody that makes you happy, somebody who won't complicate your life and somebody who won't hurt you. But remember, when you say "I love you", it means that you're promising someone else's heart. Try to honor it.

The happiest people don't have the best of things; they make the best of things. I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of feeling alive. Everybody wants happiness, no one wants pain. But you can't have a rainbow without a little rain. And pain makes people change. You need a reason to be sad, not a reason to be happy.

And in the endless pause, there came the sound of what it once was. The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. We must try to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. Exploration is the essence of the human spirit. Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting. Energy and persistence allow you to conquer all things. I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of feeling alive. Who dares nothing, need hope for nothing. Take every chance. Drop every fear. What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable? What's stopping you?
                                                               That's right, nothing.

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:iconthatdudechrom:
ThatDudeChrom Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Still alive?
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:iconsevermarec:
SeverMarec Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Can you RP sometime today?
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:iconflickingfire:
FlickingFire Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Hey we already made the chatroom. We're waiting on you.
Reply
:iconsevermarec:
SeverMarec Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm getting on right now. I got on earlier, but no one was on?
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:iconflickingfire:
FlickingFire Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Well we tend to be on when you're offline, and vice versa. We need to set up a schedule of some sort.
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:iconsevermarec:
SeverMarec Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
severmarec.deviantart.com/art/…

Just started the Sev returning arc out of sheer boredom. Don't worry about that whole mutation thing I came up with, I'm scrapping that. Anyway, what do you think so far?
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:iconsevermarec:
SeverMarec Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
On another note, what is the status of Oasis in the Chronicles lore? I plan on writing up some fresh entries, if there's no issue with you or the rest of the lot. Is the city still standing? Is Sev dead? o3o 
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:iconsevermarec:
SeverMarec Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Is Chronicles still chugging along?
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:iconflickingfire:
FlickingFire Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah it still is somewhat. Only a few people keeping it up. How are you?
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:iconsevermarec:
SeverMarec Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Decent. I sent Holmes (hehe) a note too. I started participating and creating some projects on Nation-States. Here's a current one: forum.nationstates.net/viewtop…

I figured the lot of us could start going on there, if you're up for it.
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