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Author Topic: Ace of Duck Pond The Journey Home  (Read 632 times)
Ranger Reid
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United States United States


https://rangerreid.wordpress.com/


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« on: January 14, 2016, 01:27:00 am »

In a dark stone room two men sat in silence huddled against the weakly glowing fireplace.   Neither wanted to be the one to see the Brother.  Eventually a large hairy shepherd dog came in and stared intently at the smaller man.   He sighed in resignation, and stood.  His partner sighed in relief and leaned a little more closely to the flickering flame.

Augham followed the beast in to the next room.   This part of the keep was never warm, never bright, and very seldom seen by any but it's main tenant and his dogs.   Augham walked over to a round table and sat across from the only other living soul.   After a long pause the other spoke.   
"So.  The rift failed to destroy him."     Augham knew better than to answer.    "In fact, the boy has come fully in to his power."
Still Augham knew his place was to listen.  "You were to ensure that he never achieved this.  He was to seal the breech and die in the action.  I assume you will tell me that Idham is to blame?"
The nervous man knew his moment had come.   He cleared his throat "I was supposed to be the iron, he was the heart.  If the boy did not heal the rift it would be my head.   But he did.   That his chohram sacrificed itself for the splinter was an act of heart.  Idham did not break him enough.   Somehow the boy felt love.   I say yes.  It is Idham's fault."

For a very long time there was no sound.    Then the "other" stood.   His robes were similar to what the men were wearing, including a sigil of a crescent moon with crossed swords.  Only the other's cloak was black.   Augham's were dark grey.

Eventually the other spoke "I agree....   You may go."   A sudden fear went through Augham, "What of my brother?"

The other just stared at him, and with no other word the man in grey turned and ran from the room.   There was no sign of Idham.
Logged

Ranger Reid
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


https://rangerreid.wordpress.com/


WWW
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2016, 01:31:51 am »

Liam woke with Donna on his arm.  They were back in the grotto, this time there were others around and Liam was relieved to find that he and Donna were still clothed.

As he lay there in quiet joy he realized that he could sense a watcher.   Liam opened his mind to consider this other person and found that the person had shields and guards.   Suddenly on edge, Liam pulled away from his sleeping wife and looked in to the dark corner where he thought the other was.     

A man in a light grey cloak stepped out and dropped a note.   He turned and disappeared just as quietly as he had appeared.

Liam picked up the missive and opened it.   "You will return immediately to face punishment.  You may bring the others.  Idham is dead."

Liam fell to his knees weeping in silence.
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Stella Gaslight
Governor
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Looking for a few good lobsters.


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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2016, 04:20:13 am »

Donna woke to an odd sort of kick in her belly and a feeling of worry.  She ran by Jace who was kissing Al almost knocking them over. "What is wrong love?" Donna asked keeling beside him. 

"What on earth has gotten in to her?" Jace asked watching Donna plunge in to shadow.
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Ranger Reid
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


https://rangerreid.wordpress.com/


WWW
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2016, 04:30:48 am »

Liam looked at Donna, but it didn't even look like him.    He said "I have to return to the brothers in Zakarpattia.  I have a funeral to go to, and I guess I might in some trouble with them.   You should stay here with the baby."

Even as he said it, Liam's heart was rent with pain at the thought of being separated from Donna and his child.
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2016, 04:33:27 am »

"Sounds like something's up with Liam," Al said, still holding Jace tenderly.He had a sudden inexplicable urge tpo pull the khukri; he gripped teh hilt, somewhat surprised at his own reflex. "Now, that's worrisome," he said, "The knack's kicked in. Something or somebody unfriendly may be affecting them. I'm kinda surprised Tall, Dark and Vampy hasn't shown up."

"I really dislike that nickname, you know," said a voice at Al's side and slightly behind. "And I did feel a powerful surge of will just now; is someone being attacked?" Meri asked.
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Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
Stella Gaslight
Governor
Time Traveler
****
United States United States


Looking for a few good lobsters.


WWW
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2016, 04:40:40 am »

"Not that I can tell."  Jace peered over at the couple noting what she could make out of the faces in the shadows.  "I think we better go see what that is about."

"No Liam I bound my heart to yours so your troubles are mine as well.  Besides I can guarantee you as soon as my family knows we are together we will have another trip to make. A happier one I hope but you can never tell with the aunties."  There was a calm joy in her voice. She had roots now and a new growth to nurture.
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2016, 05:34:28 am »

There are certain signs that show up when someone plays fast and loose with the truth, either outright or by omission, whether their reasons are wholesome or otherwise. Al, having been an officer with the Slammers during the War and after, had been in on more than one interrogation, and had picked up on many such 'tells,' as they were called. Sometimes people learned (or were taught, in some cases) what those generic tells, and their own little personal, idiosyncratic tells, were. Such individuals became consummate experts at  "dissembling," or "telling the truth a hundred ways," as it was often called - but even that skill had tells that one experienced in dealing with, for example, enemy prisoners trying to sow disinformation, would still be able to discern.

Uh-oh, Al thought as he watched Liam's face for a moment, Somebody's been taught to keep a secret... Knowing what Liam felt for Donna (it was bloody obvious; both kids'  feelings were practically palpable every time the two were together in the same place), he decided to give the boy the benefit of a doubt,  but cocked his head to one side anyway, a tell in its own right that someone knew somebody else wasn't telling the whole story, and stared Liam in the face significantly for a moment.

"A sibling of your'n, is it?" Al said then, just drily enough, with just weird enough wording, to let the kid know he was suspicious, though he admired his attempt to save Donna and his unborn child. "My condolences. How long you figure on this takin', kid?" He half-feared what he thought the answer might be.
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Ranger Reid
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https://rangerreid.wordpress.com/


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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2016, 08:25:55 pm »

"I don't know." Liam answered "I am not sure what I am in trouble for exactly."   Troubling memories surfaced of other acolytes being "punished"   His mentors had explained it, and it all had made sense at the time.   Now the punishments seemed extreme.

"I never knew my parents.   Two of the older monks raised me.   They were really twin brothers.   I found Augham to be tough but fair. But Idham was tender but strong.   He always felt first and acted second.   I admired him.  I ...."  Liam choked on his words.

Absently he allowed the letter to drop to the floor of the cave.   The symbol of the brotherhood reflected dully in the dim light.
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2016, 03:19:07 am »

Al saw the symbol. He'd seen it before, in the goldfields. One of the "gentleman placer" miners, the ones who were obviously of higher-grade society than your average goldhunter, had gotten himself involved in some vendetta or other of theirs; as Al remembered from his oblique involvement in the incident (it had gone pear-shaped and turned into a firefight, both on the ground and in the air, worthy of a rangewar or spy cinema from Hollywood). Something to do with altering history; at the time he'd thought it was one of those academic political disputes, over what somebody rewrote in a book someplace, but after ten years spent alternately fighting and backing up dark-lanterners and metaphysics-crazy professors (one such had led the expedition that paid for the Blue Duck, after all), and having 'The Brotherhood' keep popping up in some form or other, Al had formed the opinion that there was something darker and perhaps even temporally nefarious going on with that shadowy organization.

"Huh. That 'Brotherhood' outfit? The History Temple or whatever it is? What've you got ta do with that skullduggery?" a few bits were starting to fall into place; not nearly enough to form a decipherable image, but enough to intrigue somebody with Al's somewhat-chequered background.
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Stella Gaslight
Governor
Time Traveler
****
United States United States


Looking for a few good lobsters.


WWW
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2016, 04:18:21 am »

Donna sat beside Liam not holding him but letting him feel the warmth and weight of her support. She held her had on his and noticed marks were a wedding band would be.  They were like faded tan lines faint but there. Donna was not at all worried about being marked, in fact it made her more comfortable. Their bonds had been recognised she had no clear idea by whom but it felt good just the same. "Meu bem, I think you have a better chance of convening Al his plane is literally a duck than getting him to back away from a mystery."

"Damn straight, If you mess with one of the aces you mess will all of us. We won't let them punish you for no reason." Jace said with a fierce grin.
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