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 Jeff

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PostSubject: Jeff   Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:26 pm

Prologue: Part one

Heroes, heroes heroes heroes. A popular topic in many stories, don't you think? I mean, think about it! A man from nowhere arrives, known might I add, into a land filled with trouble. We all know what happens, man comes to save the day! And indeed he does, quite well in fact. But what if a hero has no idea why, why he fights the bad guy. Say, all he knows is this other person is a villain, and that he must stop him. What if the world he is saving doesn't even seem to hold those who should be inhabiting it? Well, this doesn't matter. All that matters is what the hero knows, even if he doesn't know why he knows it.


Sir Jeff walked down the woods. He was clad in a light plate armor, steel. Over his slightly trapezoidic head was a helmet, of course it had red plume. On his back a sword rested in it's harness; it seemed mostly average besides that the blade's metal had a light blue tint. The knight had just finished off the last of his foe's minions and retrieved the map to the villain's hold. He needed to rest, the town on the way would be a good place.

Like all the towns, it was empty. This was okay, towns were supposed to be empty, they just served as a place to rest and buy trinkets that healed him. He plopped down onto a bed, and started to think. Yeah, to be honest the knight had wondered now and then about the idea of the existence of other people. He looked over to the mirror facing the bed. His armor was off and all he had on was the black cloth shirt and pants he always wore under the metal. His skin was green and on the top of his head was a single, thick brown hair. Hmm, probably like him, with the same two line eyes and no mouth. The only mouths he's seen were on monsters, and that's the only other living things he's seen.
In his thoughts, Sir Jeff fell asleep. He'd need the energy for the villain.


Last edited by Loreic on Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:27 pm

Prologue: Part two

Without warning, an alarm clock rang. This, like a lot of things, was normal. Alarm clocks are always there to make sure you don't over sleep in the inn. Very important, can't waste time when there's evil to slay. Sir Jeff hopped off the bed and got to work reequipping his armor, didn't take too long since it appears when needed. Perfectly normal, all like it should be and always has been.

The trip to the villain's layer was fairly uneventful. A monster here, a monster there; all that tried to stop the brave knight were brought down to justice by the blue tinted blade. In fact, he got to the gates pretty quickly. The building loomed over the armored knight, giving off an evil glow. The place, well, looked, say, evil. That's all that could be said; nothing really seemed definite besides it held evil inside of it, and that was enough for the knight to go charging in. Many a monster jumped in his way to stop the noble warrior from getting through, but it was all for naught. He was building up the force that had got him this far, Momentum, the gift that made him stronger the longer a fight went on and the more he pushed it. He didn't know how or why, he just knew he had it, and more impotently, hoe to use it. This charge was important, it was always important in the other strongholds. The running fight through the hall would build up great Momentum, something needed if he wanted to succeed in his glorious fight against the villain.

At the end of the hallway, and at a large cellar door, the knight turned around to look at his handy work. All monsters gone, disappeared into mist at their death. This was business as usual, monsters always disappeared after their deaths, it was normal. He turned back to the door, and with firm certainty, opened the door.

On the other end of the door was a large room, almost like a cathedral, and in the center was the villain himself. It was a large and black dragon, with spines abound throughout it's scaly hide. Sir Jeff gripped his sword with both hands, the dragon roared.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:52 pm

Prologue: Part three

The dragon reared back it's head; this was Sir Jeff's cue to get out of the way. Why? Because everyone knows that means fire breath, and this dragon was no exception as it did clearly shoot a huge jet of fire from it's great maw. The knight had barely managed to avoid the blast radius, soot now covered his shiny steel armor. That shouldn't be right, his armor should always stay gleaming, but it didn't. It was something very wrong, but it still happened. The knight looked up to the dragon with a confused anger, the dragon looked back with unreal smugness. Well, maybe not unreal, the was normal, but real, and real wasn't normal. Putting the whole think away in his head, the knight charged at the dragon's belly, the soft area of a beast. Annoyingly, the dragon belly flopped him, ow.

Also bad for the dragon, for the knight, in an act of quick thinking, lifted his sword upward. Ow, for the dragon. Yet, this didn't change the fact the the dragon was still collapsed over the noble hero, and the next ten minuets were spent painfully squirming his way out of the bulk.

Plop, he broke free from the dragon's girth. He turned around just in time, the dragon itself was just regaining it's consciousness. The dragon seemed to wobble around, dizzy. Clearly this wasn't something that the knight shouldn't take for granted, so he didn't. The knight dashed to the dragon and leaped onto the beasts leg. With Momentum carrying him, the knight ran across the leg, up the torso, and just avoided a swat from the shocked reptile he landed on the arm from which he continued to run up, and neared the neck. Victory was right in reach, and the knight was on a roll. With the knowledge that's obliged to heroes Sir Jeff struck right where the the dragon's jugular vein was, a successful hit. The knight jumped from the beast as it fell and waltzed his way to the other end of the room, with the understanding that something should be there.

There wasn't. That shouldn't happen, there's always something at the end of a powerful defeated enemy. Maybe as the final menace, that was, really it. Maybe, it, is, over? In confusion the knight turned back around.

The dragon was still there, that shouldn't be. All monsters are supposed to disappear after death, it's common sense. Then the knight made a connection in his head, there was no end because the dragon wasn't really dead, that's why it was still there. In fury the noble warrior charged at the creature that was still before him, and drove his sword into it's forehead.

Nothing, it didn't disappeared, all that happened was the leaking of a red liquid from the wound. No, NO. DAMN IT NO. The vile creature was playing games with him. Once more he struck it's head, just the same liquid. More and more strikes were liberally given to the dragon. Just, the same, red stuff, everywhere, on his armor, on his sword, even on his face from the helmet's sight openings. The knight became filled with confused rage as he looked at his hands, covered in the foreign liquid. Sir Jeff began to shake uncontrollably as he fell to his knees. This wasn't right, nothing was right now, nothing was right, nothing.

The world seemed to blink in timing with the knight collapsing face first.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:00 pm

Prologue: Part four

A slit of light grew, this was the opening of eyes. In fact, the opening of eyes looking up to a ceiling lit with florescent lights. Sir Jeff tried moving, he could. He was still in his armor and he could feel his sword in it's sheath, since he was laying on his back. Oddly, his armor was clean again, from the soot and that horrible red liquid. He sat up, and looked around. The place, well, strange. Although he had no idea how to describe it, to you it would look like a future-ish looking laboratory, just ever so slightly on the run down side. Oh, and over him was a glass tube. The knight didn't like that and seeked to rectify the problem. With a swing of his sword he shattered the glass.

This act didn't go unnoticed, right by the the glass tube was a large computer, and sitting in front of it was a hunched over figure. He pushed itself away from the computer, and hopped off his office chair. What approached the knight was something human-ish, his hunching over robbed him of at least a third of his height. He wore so many jackets and coats he probable needed a binding for them every three layers. And the face, good god, his skin was an orangey brown, and the features of the face made it seem like the fellow and been pied with a hot lead brick. The eyes, urg, seemed to be sitting on the edge of their sockets.

“Ah, it seems like my first little champion is awake,” oh lord, what an awful voice; if hyenas evolved to the point humans are now they'd have that guy's voice, “glad ta see the procedure worked, hadn't tasted the blasted thing before now.” He man seemed to put aside the fact the knight had broken the tube, in truth he had a few more back in storage. “Now then, I suppose ya should hold still, need to make sure evra thin is executed properly.” From the depths of his clothing, which his form seemed to slosh in, he withdrew some GSP looking device that connected to a long needle with a thin wire. This caused the knight to find his 'voice'.

“That the heck are you doing with that!” honestly, the knight himself was a bit surprised at his voice. It was the voice you'd guess comes from a twenty-three year old scruffy man who's spent his life in the medieval past. What was also weird about it was that it wasn't exactly vocal said, more like thought, but not like your privet thoughts. It was like if you could think with a part of your brain that publicly announced that section's thoughts, urg, I suppose the whole complexity of the thing just adds to the oddness of it.

“Yah, seems like yer got a hanging of ya built in jabber fish, det's see vat else is verkn'.” the man said as he neared the knight with the prod. It stabbed him in a space between the armor's plating. A shock went through his body. It hurt. The man looked down at his device, and nodded happily to the results. “Good, good, the mind made proper connections to the outside body, body functions verkn', okey dokey.” He pulled the needle out of the knight.

“Gah, could you answer my dang question?!” the gasped, but without the actual gasping intake of air.

“Eh? Oh, yes.” the man wheezed as he went to a desk. He retrieved a book and began to flip through it. “Sir Jeff, first virtual character to pass the game, first virtual character to be given a body,” he looked back up, “any questions?”

“Who are you,” the knight asked in disbelief.

“Why, your maker of course.”
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:36 pm

Prologue: Part five

“Ma-Maker?” Sir Jeff stuttered. The person in front of him chuckled, and leaned his head closer.

“Aye, Imma your, say, creator.” the man said with a gesture of his hand, “I made ya mind and da world you 'xplored, and da body which ya just now got put inna to.” Then his eyes, on stocks, freed themselves from their sockets and looked at the knight from a left and right side, “justa call me, 'The Maker'.” The Maker walked off from the knight and back to his computer, and gestured Sir Jeff over. When the knight looked up to the monitor he saw a sight that almost crushed him. It was a map. He saw where he started his journey, where he found his sword, where he killed the Hivemother, and last, but not least, where he killed the dragon. The knight shook his head and backed up, which prompted a grin from The Maker. It was a grin made up of mostly flat teeth that, somehow, seemed more frightening then the maw of the great dragon.

“Beginning ta see? You wha just data in a game till now, and I think I did a knock up job on dat body of yours, even crafted da armor and sword, a beauty, ain't it? The knight fought to get himself together, and managed to do so after much shaking.

“No, this can't be true, god damn, I fought that dragon!” Sir Jeff argued.

“Ya did, ya MIND did, in dar,” The Maker said with a finger pointed to the monitor, “now ya mind in da BODY, and now ya HERE.” The Maker seemed very satisfied with himself.

“Well, what the hell do you want with me!?” The knight challenged, “I'm here! What now!”

“Dn't know,” The Maker shrugged, “dn't think dat far.” Sir Jeff shook his head, and backed up. He found a door, saw The Maker just watching him with no plans of intervening, and threw open the door before running blindly out side. The Maker's home was an Observatory-like place on top of a thin and tall rocky island, the knight fell into the sea. A rough storm was raging.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:39 am

Chapter One
Twilight Zone

In front of a oddly dressed and small fellow, two dead bodies lay. The person wore dingy armor, the plume of the helmet was ratty and torn. What could be seen of the guy's face was green, two line eyes, and shivering. He also had a sword, which was actually nice looking in contrast to the creature's armor.

The bodies were bleeding.

As we zoom out it is seen that this place is a run down factory, the kind of abandoned place often called home by everyone from hobos to drug dealers. The people in front of the small fellow seemed to be of the classier latter group, mafia grunts. The lowest mafia members are still higher then the most when known soloist. Speaking of those two, they seemed to have large slices to the lower abdomen and one clean slice in the neck; they had probably been dead for an hour now, the green armored guy just staring at the bodies in raw nervous fear.

It's hard learning your life was a lie, especially if it had felt like years of fighting for a nameless but righteous cause. Now, of man, now things were different. Before the days were warm and the nights were cool, now the days burned and the nights froze. People killed each other for seemingly no reason, for all he could see. In fact, these two had busted into the place screaming about failed shipments or what not. When they saw him they attacked with strange hand held cannons, the guy retaliated. Oh, did I mention that three broke in? One guy escaped, ran right out for his life while the other two fell from the slice, silenced when they fell from a strike to the throat.

Outside it was the bastard child of a grasslands and a desert. Sure, there was grass, but it barely grew higher then a half a foot at most, to do mention it was always a dried out gold-brown. It went on forever, that and dust, dust was what you'd find when the dry grass was on break. Right now, probably midnight, the sky was clear and cold wind bellowed over the plains. This coupled with the small man's armor gave a freezer level chill, but the real cold affecting him was still the bodies.

They bled, he still couldn't get over that. Blood wasn't something this tossed aside knight liked, it horrified him, it just. Felt. Wrong. He tried to force his fear to the back of his mind, he needed sleep, he had been wandering for days, hopping from one shelter to the next. With effort, he fell asleep.

A loud noise was heard lower down, it startled the small man. He peaked down from the walkways and saw a group, about seven, of the kind of people he killed, and saw run away. They had the same tiny cannons on their waists, and now carried bats, golf clubs, that kinda stuff. They also seemed very angry. This was confirmed when one of the men saw the knight and pointed to him.

“There's the bloke! Get him!” he yelled. The knight quickly took to the window, smashed the glass with an armored fist, and dove. It wasn't smart thinking, based on the fear of the moment. The guy was three stories up and the guy himself was one foot ten. All in all it was a big fall, one which he wasn't happy to wake up to.

Damn it he was tied up in the back of a van. It had probably been weeks since washing up on shore here, and now he was tied up in the back of a moving vehicle. Fate is a total bitch, one who's menstruation cycle knows no menopause.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:08 am

Chapter One
Part of the Family

Day light was starting to shine through the windshield, only lightly since all the windows in the van were reenforced one-ways. In this van were two people, since the knight in the back was deemed a threat due to his killing of two grunts. The one in the passenger's side held the sword in it's sheath, the knight in run down armor was glaring at him. The man holding the sword looked behind him, he had been feeling those eyes and wanted to make sure it wasn't all in his head.

“Don't look at me that way,” he said with a minor Irish accent, “Ya the one who killed two men.” The knight continued to stare. “Well, ya gonna say somethin?”

“Don't botha,” said the driver, in a southern drawl, “guy doesn't have a mouth, he's one of them mind speakas, clearly.”

“What, he reading or minds?!”

“Nah, ya need one of them watcamacallits, a jabber fsh.”

“Fsh?”

“FISH, damn it!”

“Oh,” They went to being quiet again, the knight never stopped his stare down. What a trooper. Through the hours that lasted of the drive he kept on trying to burn a hole through the man's head, too bad he didn't have eye beams. Just when it seemed like the ride would never end, it continued for five minutes, then stopped. Both men got out of the car, the driver opened up the sliding door and flung the small green man on over his shoulders. The knight squirmed, obligatorily. They were in some shady town that somehow managed to be dustier then the planes, all the building looked to have tin walls and ceiling panted with faded and peeling black paint; like hell they better have AC in there. The man holding the sword knocked on the metal door, making the hollow sound of thin tin.

“Password,” hissed a voice as an eye panel was opened. The man leaned close to the door and whispered, he could just make out, “open the door or I'll cut your throat open.” It seemed very effective, since the door did seem to be flung open. Turned out that the house themselves, or at least this one, weren't truly meant to be lived in, the latched door on the floor was a dead giveaway, and the fact it revealed stairs when opened. Without further pause the two men, with sword and knight, went down.

Now that he was there, having the main quarters underground suddenly seemed logical. The biggest pro was it was cool, but the fact that it was still dry up above also stopped the place from being like a moist dungeon. Instead it gave the feel of a smooth running shady society, probably helped that it was on that note. This way and that, as the passages opened up like those small European roads, there was enough space for people to go this way and that, a few seemed to be carting around goods that they shouldn't. There was a lot of going this way and that, and soon the number of people lowered, and the amount of pass code doors that needed passing grew. The passwords, changing at each door, seemed to actually be taken more serious now, that and the knight was actually unable to hear how carefully the men whispered.
Then the doors opened up to a room, and not another corridor. It was eerie, but in a professional way. The floor had a proper carpet, wine red short. It was musty, but in the book and tobacco sort of way. A violinist was playing a slow yet matching mood to the dim room, at the end of which was a desk, and behind that was a women, smoking.

It wasn't any pansy cigaret, it was full sized fatty, the kind that need to be imported past a blockade to be enjoyed properly. Wore a back pinstripe, the kind that seem both fit tightly and loosely depending on your philosophical view on glasses and the liquid content at the middle line. The hat, of course, went with the suit, a stingy fedora in black pinstripe. Then there was the herself. She looked to be in her mid to late twenties, had a sharp and focused shape to her face,but still had enough room for any amount of facial expressions needed to say how she felt about the situation, right now it was curiosity mixed with mild anger. Her hair was didn't go over the ears, but just fell down just below the shoulder and had a wave effect, and was brown.

“So,” she began in a accentless voice which seemed perfect for staled out commands, “this thing is what you found in the building where our so-called 'trusted shippers' held our goods?” She took a long draw from the cigar, shade fell on her face to a perfect effect. “and that not only did the goods just happen to be missing, but this, thing, killed two of our top muscle?” she tapped her cigar on the ashtray on her desk, “disappointing, disappointing. How did the runt kill'em?”

“Well Hesta, with, err, this,” the guard holding the sword proceeded to unsheathe it. Even in the purposely dimness of the room you could tell the blade was a strong light blue. The women, whose last name was indeed Hesta, looked it over without getting up from her desk.

“A sword? Bloody hell, suppose it matches the thing's taste in body armor.” This was not to say these mobsters didn't wear armor, on the contrary, they often never took them off, but there is a clear difference in the culture of plate armor and a built proof clothing cover of choice. “The can talk?” she asked, referring to the knight as a common metal device for storing food. The man holding the knight forced the helmet off, much to the little guy's anger.

“Nah, thing don't got a mouth, probably need a jabber fsh ta talk wit him.” the man said, pointing to the clear lack of mouth on the angry green man.

“Fsh?” Hesta inquired.

“I mean fIsh, madam.”

“Right,” Hesta put out her cigar, which was halfway gone, out on the ashtray. With a tap of her index finger it was easily implied she wanted a jabber fish, which a goon that was standing around went off to go get. There was a long quiet pause as the goon was out, the knight was still doing his best to burn everything with the raw anger from his stare. Thankfully the goon returned, a jar in hand.

These jabber fish didn't look particularly pleasant, or like a fish. It looked more like the forbidden love child between the prince of worms and the princess of eels; it short the things were long, thin, and slimy. What made it all the more creepy was that Hesta tilted her head to the side, held the jabber fish over her ear, then let the thing squirm down. After a short shudder Heta learned an interesting fact, the strange green thing had been yelling wordless rage the whole time, she chuckled.

“What? You think this is funny? Do I look ready to dance around for your entertainment? Go drown yourself ya filthy bitch! (It should note that during his time going from shelter to shelter Sir Jeff had met some hobos who felt obliged to teach the mute but fellow outcast some hatefully things to rabble about, mostly it would be to the world and forces that be, but it is easily flexed for people),” the ragged knight swore. Hesta gave a hand signal, the knight got a fist to the face.

“Look buster, I don't know how things work in your little world of dragons,” the knight flinched at dragon, “but hee you don't get away with killing hired men.”


“Hmm? Oh, want him in the tenderizer?” the man holding the knight asked thinking he knew where his boss was going with her speech.

“No,” she returned her stare to the knight, the coldness extinguished the knight's fiery hate with chilling nervousness, “so tin can, what do you call of yourself?”

“I am Sir Jeff, “he said while trying to relight his anger, with less then he wanted and more then he expected.

“Well Jeff,” Hesta said, to the knight's annoyance on the shortening, “we have to rules in the Eska family. One is that debts must be paid, in anyway possible,” the manner which possible was said made you want to guess but never ask, “and that to join the family, you have to kill someone already in the family.” She let this ferment a bit before finishing. “I expect family members to fulfill their debts, faster and more reliably then business partners, am I clear?

Sir Jeff nodded, she couldn't be clearer.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:42 pm

Chapter One
Crash Course

Sir Jeff learned fast and hard about the policies employed by the Hetsa family, and most mob families in general. One of the hardest was just how easily people bled. One prick and the stuff just flows its way not. This indirectly connected to another one, no mercy. The knight, though trashed physically and mentally by his experience on the land, still had a knightly way of thinking; it took a bit to get over the fact you could bleed so much without dieing, and more so that he was supposed to make sure that they did in fact die. This was all lessons at this point, it would be one dumb ass move to give an unstable grudge holder a gun, worse so that he was small and could jump out of nowhere on ya.

He had done so a few times, he got a mild beating and a major scolding after each one, but he felt it was worth it. Like recently he had jumped from a air vent and landed on a goon's back, on purpose, and ready to give the lug a taste of hell. Turned out more like purgatory. The real hell was the knight's to find out, turned out this leap was the final board on the bridge to break, the river underneath was named Hesta.

The head of they family preferred to be formal with her title, many of the lower members didn't even know her fist name name. This was okay, since like any mafia the lower ranks are absolutely filled with potential whistle blowers. It it's Ruth if you must know, but that's not really important. What was important was that Hesta was one of the very few people the knight had come to truly fret about, he'd take the dragon from the fake world any day, it didn't have that real and upfront disappointment that coated over the lava-like anger underneath.

“So, hear you enjoy jumping the employed hands, a duster this time?” Duster was a term that could be taken differently then it was. She was, of course, referring to a knuckle duster. “Surprised on that, just attacking the huge guy.” He was in fact standing by the door, he looked a bit like Frankenstein's monster in build, but horribly alive and real.

“Ya, da ga ja umped ma nd-” the man said before interrupted.

“Please leave, I can't honestly understand a bloody word you're saying.” Hesta said.

“Ight oh,” he said before leaving. A brawler, at least a good one who gets to see a long career and many good fights, ends up with some(a lot of) missing teeth, and some throat damage. The over all effect, as Hesta stated, is not understanding a bloody word they say.

“Right, fish me.” A goon walked over and put a jar of jabber fish on her desk, she took one and let it squirm into her ear. Most jabber fish only last about a day before vaporizing harmlessly, the ones in the jar were like most. “Now then, explain to me why on Rylon you'd waste my time like this,” she spoke with magma, “you think you're the only problem I have?”

“No, but I wish I was, you can only fathom how much I enjoy our little talks.” the knight said in his mismatched voice that, probably for the extra edge to the sarcasm, sounded a little bit British.

“Oh yes, obviously I should find more time,” she sneered, “do you realize how big of a damn distraction this his? Some of the less labor oriented hands don't even walk down some of the blasted corridors because of you!” She paused, reached into her desk for a light, and lit a cigar. The knight flinched, tauting her was fun until that queue. Hesta straightened up, and gave the knight a cold stare, one he'd have to jump into a freezer to warm up from later. “I've tolerated to much from you up until now, forget shit hitting the fan, you're throwing it like confetti!” Sir Jeff let himself sink lower in his seat. “Do you think you're so far in this that there isn't any point in crawling out? Trust me you maggot, I can it much worse for you if I have to die trying. Tomorrow you're getting your first hit assignment, and if you plan on coming back here alive then you're gonna shape up in the mission, am I clear? I said am I clear!”

“Yes mam!” he said with a jolt, straitening upright.

“and before then we'll need to fix you up, no way you'll properly kill the bastard in a suit of armor. Besides, makes too much noise and you can't possible move properly in that can.

“Wait wait wait,” the knight said wide eyed and handing his hands in front of himself, “what if I get attacked?”

“Don't get attacked,” Hesta said flatly, then took a draw on the cigar, “if you do your job right they shouldn't get a clear look at you.” She tapped the cigar on the ashtray. She looked over to the knight, he looked like a nervous wreck. “Fine,” Hesta rolled her eyes, “you can take your freaking sword.”

Sir Jeff raised his arms in victory, hot damn he was getting his sword back. It was the only thing that didn't seem to tarnish, you know.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:33 am

Chapter One
Hit

Turns out being a hit man involves a whole lot of waiting in cramped spaces, at least in his case. The knight found himself wedged up in a ventilation shaft with a good view of a door. He was told to keep an eye on that door and for a guy with a green feather in his hat.

“Make sure to keep on eye on the door when you make the turn to the room,” Hesta instructed, “and make sure, dead sure, that you shoot the man with the green feather in his hat, that would be Sargent Rickus, leader of a large militia that covers a good amount of the Grange.” Among his lessons was where the hell he was. Turned out it was the dry side to a subcontinent, he didn't find the subcontinent or the continent's name important, just the place he was in. The Grange spanned almost the entire subcontinent, about three-fifths of the place; the rest was just mountains that circled and dried the rest of land. You know, hard for much moisture to get over the altitude. But. There was a space for a clear shore that leads directly inland without much climbing involved. The Jamander Valley, it was also Sir Jeff's path inland after washing up on shore.

Anyway, the knight now found himself waiting to kill someone who, according to Hesta, as trying to stop the transport of black market goods. He felt bad inside, but Hesta promised that she could find a way to make him feel awful inside out. It was case of damned if you did and youreallywishyoudidit.

Outside the door and through the hallways walked two men, one wore a green feather in his hat, and the other wore a standard military beret. They were deeply in a discussion, it revolved around securing towns, arresting bandits, and intervening in illicit trade. The Grange had no formal countries in it, only towns lead by a mayor, this also meant no military and protection from the vast seedy network that was oh so clear in the dry land. It was a man by the name of William Rickus who started traveling from town to town seeing if people would volunteer to build up a militia, and at first it seemed to be a total bust, but soon people tired of the hardships felt like something should be done about the criminals. This equal minded people joined William bit by bit as he met them in his travels, the man he was talking to was one of those first few, a John Mills. That was six years ago, the militia now numbered a fifty people consent, with quite a few summer soldiers that came and went by the growing seasons. Something all the soldiers had in common was that they all looked up to William, who gave noble speeches that they didn't just have to take the crime, the leaking corruption, the drugs that ruined the youth, they could act! They could fight! They had the strength to make sure their kids lived in a safe world! A world were his, he was married man before his travels and his wife traveled with, and your children could play with out getting in the crossfire of gang wars inside their own town!

Sir Jeff had to kill this man. He was also was informed by a agent within the Hesta family about his hit. He had switched uniforms with John, who volunteered despite William's claim that the meeting could just be called off. John insisted that it was important, and it was. Very few times can this many towns send a representative, and even fewer are the chances of creating a more formal shipment line of supplies and weapons to to so many towns. This also meant many secrete path lines would be discussed, storehouse locations, the whole deal. It was important for the knight to listen and remember these, it was the kinda thing that would give the Hesta family an advantage other the other mafia families.

Sir Jeff broke from his sleep-like trance, people were starting to pour in. The knight went about looking to each one, and saw his man, the one with the green feather. The knight got a better hold of the gun he was given, it was heavy and cold, it didn't feel right to him. He had been training at a shooting rank, and, well, the whole thing just seemed so impersonal. Then again, he had to admit, he wouldn't have to deal with blood.

The meeting was boring as all hell. Really. Twice the knight had went into a trance before coming to and panicking if he missed the information. He didn't, these guys went into the kind of detail that was impotent but boring to listen to. Just when he thought they'd go on forever, they discussed more nonsense, then they got to the good stuff.

Yes, yes, the info flowed much better now that it was important to him. The knight inscribed what he was hearing into his brain like a wood carving, this was the stuff damn it, the important stuff. Then, almost like it was hardly discussed, they stopped.

From the perspective of a Mr. Rickus, the talk of the transport and supplies couldn't of ended any sooner. As far as he knew a mafia agent was waiting outside, straining to hear with a gun in hand. He knew that as soon as they stepped out side his friend would most likely die. Now, he hoped this meeting would last forever at this point forwa-

*BANG!*

While the others got up in a panic William just sat there, staring forward. He slowly looked to his right. His friend, John, who was dressed and playing his role, was dead. The gun shot seemed to come from everywhere. The sound just echoed through the entire room. Oh lord, what happe-

The knight was crawling through the ventilation shaft, like a bat out of hell. Personally, that's exactly how he felt, to the point. The gun was suddenly warm, it was awful, the gun. Truly a contraption crafted in the bowels of hell. At the end of the maze he killed open the vent. He looked around, mind in a tassel. There, the god damn van. It was a long run, but they had a van waiting for him. At least there was that.

On the way to the van Sir Jeff broke his gun on a large rock. In the van the driver scolded him for doing that to a perfectly good weapon, he thought it was worth it.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:43 pm

Chapter One
Reflections

Sir Jeff sat in front of Hesta. She seemed happy, the knight was thinking that he'd rather see her angry considering what she was happy about. When they had gotten back from the hit he was brought to her, zam, straight to Hesta. A mission of such importance needed immediate confirmation. Oh, he told her, about the horribly feeling of pulling the trigger. The feeling of his soul swearing at him for taking a life at such cold blood. About the blood itself, it was just as bad from a distance. Hesta said he'd get over it, she said they all did. Sir Jeff looked up, he asked-

In empty room the very alive William Rickus thought about the fact that he was now publicly dead. News reported that Mr. Rickus was assassinated, everyone saw that, it was why his friend John Mills was missing that got people searching. It felt awful, he was living someone else's life now, it didn't belong it him, it belonged to John. God, he told the idiot he could just cancel the meeting, but he just had to go and say it would be all fine. That they couldn't kill him in there and that, if it made him feel any better, they'd go to the meeting as each other, only one other person to be told. That was the other friend, Alf, as he preferred to be treated informally. Only Alf knew William was alive, not even Mrs., now Ms., Rickus knew he was alive. Oh lord, he thought, why, just why.

“Is there any meaning, any at all?” the knight almost sobbed, “to any of this?” Of course, no one could hear the knight, they only saw his body language. Now Hesta, she spoke out loud despite the jabber fish.

“Now listen here,” she said as she, no, wait, got up! She got out of her chair, a tower at five ten to the small knight. She walked straight to Sir Jeff and grabbed him by his single think hair. Then, ow, she pulled him off the chair and pulled him to see eye-to-eye. The feeling was roughly comparable to a crane putting clamps on your ear lobes, nose, tongue, and hair. “there are two things that are most important above else here in the Grange. Your personal survival, and money; the Hesta family will supple both as long as you dance our dance, capice?”

The knight squeaked a “yes”, Hesta let go of his hair and let him drop to his seat. So, this was it. He went from a knight in a dream world to a cold blooded killer in a world that was, well, too real. When Sir Jeff got back to what could be called his room he practiced his swear to the gods, he felt like he was really getting good at it, too.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:22 pm

Chapter Two
Home

What can you say about a half a year uneventfully passing by? Not much I suppose, besides that two more people were taken out by the small green man that clings desperately to his former knightly ways. He was still able to remain claim to his armor, though not allowed to actually wear it, and his strange blue sword, which he was allowed to have with him as long as it stay sheathed.

One thing that recently became mandatory was fire-armless combat. The reason that was given was that if the small guy was cornered he'd need some knowledge on how to fight his way to safety. The real reason they wanted him to train was for some revenge on when Sir Jeff would jump them. They really weren't expecting him to arrive fully clad in his banned armor and illegally wielding his sword. After they managed to grab the blasted runt they dragged him for yet another meeting.

Hesta seemed to think the whole thing very funny. The attacked goons didn't think it funny. Sir Jeff kept with his standard fear and hate, he had an image to keep up with.

“So explain again what you said about the armor and sword?” Hesta said, quite humored.

“'It an illegah' move, mam.” the goon said in the fashion of a scolded rototiller

“So, as you seem to be telling me, he came at you, two mafia men, with an illegal weapon.” she said, “I repeat, came after you, two mafia men, with an illegal weapon.” She paused, the effect seemed expertly executed, “is it odd that I don't find this a wrong?”

“Err, bad 'oice ah words, mam.” he seemed to now understand the irony of what he said, “but 'till, ya said he can't be haven with dat sword, kill sometin with it.”

“Yes, I suppose,” Hesta agreed, “I did say he couldn't wear that armor, tear it off him.”

“Hmm!” the knight perked up. If it wasn't clear, Hesta had a jabber fish, had to have one in advance to catch all the amusing swears the guy said. “What exactly do you mean by that!” He demanded. Hesta ignored him.

“Rip it apart if you have to, throw it in a smelter or something. He shouldn't need it.” she finished with a small gesture of the hand, “next time it'll be his sword.” The anger Sir Jeff felt was, well, strong. You could bake a cake on it, metaphorically of course.

“Why!” He said as he the men closed in on him, “they said you can't bring a fire-arm, so I didn't!” he screamed at Hesta. “It's not fair.” Hesta was finishing a drag of her cigar, she looked over to him.

“This hasn't much to do with fair as it has to do with your behavior, you act too much like a child, can't have children running around the place,” more smoke blew into the air, “need a hard lesson for you, take something you love and smash it, your armor, that'll work.” The goons proceeded to happily rip off Sir Jeff's armor, they got their revenge after all.

Sir Jeff's room was small, but then again, so was the knight. The ceiling was also low, to be honest, the place was just an unused closet. That was okay, it didn't take long for the knight to clean it up and make it his own he even got a few pillows to sleep on, a big improvement from the hard, cold floor. Right now he lay on the pillows, staring at the low ceiling, swearing at the gods. What he didn't expect was the door to fly open, who was on the other side was enough to make him leap.

Hesta, bloody Hesta. Hesta was outside the door. Still smoking the same cigar, somehow she managed it to last almost an hour, she walked right in and sat on the floor. Hesta sat on the floor, what the hell. Was it the end of days? The hobos from those hard times awhile back had told him about that.

“Look here ya green idiot,” ah, things seemed a little more normal, “I have reasons for keeping you here, and you're damn lucky I do.”

“Like what,” the knight said like a child, he didn't like the smoke getting in his neat room.

“Huh, guess it's not something you've noticed,” she used his floor as her personal ashtray.

“What?” now she got him curious. Funny, it was the same tactic used to get children interested in what you were saying.

“Ya see Jeff,” Sir Jeff made an angry face, “ya have this thing working in your head, like an internal jabber fish. Mostly you can only send out speech to some one with the same type of fish, they're subspecies you see, it helps keep just anyone from popping in and hearing what you're saying.” She stopped a short bit to get some air, ironically from her cigar, “but you, you can hear ALL of them! Do you realize how handy that is? A lot of groups out there, us included, have our very own jabber fish, but with you that doesn't matter! Enemy has a meeting, boom, you can hear them. People are conspiring against me, boom, you can send a warning. You see now, you're the best damn opportunity to fall in this dust ridden place!”

“Wait,” Sir Jeff started slowly, “I'm just a tool?” Hesta's face fell flat.

“Duh, you'd think sympathy was the reason I didn't just throw you away? Listen you-,” she stopped and gave him a good look, “-what ever you are, you're lucky to be so usefully, don't look a gift horse in the mouth they say.”

“What's a horse?”

“That's not the point here. You just need to be glad you're so fucking usefully, that's what keeps you here.” Hesta sat up and headed for the door, which was only about a foot from where she was sitting.

Sir Jeff looked around, it was quiet again. What a bitch.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:18 pm

Chapter Two
Dead Man

William Rickus is dead, besides the fact he's alive. Every one saw him get killed, but he wasn't shot. The news reported on his tragic death, but it was his friend that died. The militia was in an awkward state of decided who'll be the new leader, he was in the same town they were deciding in. Some people think it sucks to be dead, it's far worse when you're alive for it.

It had been some time since John took the bullet for him (six months give or take a week) and he still was trying to get used to being dead. As apparent, theres no sophisticated method at the morgue to determine it wasn't really William. All they need was that the others saw William die, and that, well, that's it. Really. Can't say much when the your highest medical technology is a large fridge to put stuff in.

One of the many issues was going out in public, can't do that, you're supposed to be dead. That would be an awful sight, all those screaming people. Another was listening to Alf, not a very agreeable guy. Alf was the only one who knew about the switch-a-roo, and thus the on;y one who knew William was alive. Alf was a tad big boned, balding, and gruff. Wouldn't even let poor Mr. Rickus leave the compound for the first three weeks, that wasn't fun. At this point he was allowed to leave, as long as he wore a cloak and kept his face hidden and all that.

Of course this wasn't how he was going to spend the rest of his life, just the rest of his personal life. If anything he was more driven, trying to piece together how a hit man got in. Were the guards bribed? Couldn't of, he already back checked their files, Alf had access to those. A device set in the room to shoot by remote? That wasn't it, everyone knows the damn place was throughly search afterwards. In fact, from the crime records, the shot seemed to come from the direction of the air vent, certainly the place to put such a thing, but it wasn't there. Suppose it was put on wheels and when the shot was finished-

He tossed the wadded up notes in the direction of the trash can, he actually got it in this time. Will got up from his seat and garbed the cloak from its hook, he needed a drink badly, every person in this kinda position needs a drink.

The town, like almost all in the Grange, was small and dusty, but it was big compared to the average Grange town. In fact, it came with a total of three bars to pick from! The one Will picked was on the seedier side of the spectrum, Alf suggested to go to those types since people hardly ever talk about what they've seen there. Will walked straight in, ignoring the bar fight, and sat down to order his drink.

“You,” a sausage-like finger tapped his shoulder, the voice behind him was low as a cavern, “get out my seat.”

“Really,” Will said, not turning, “I don't see your name on it.” The bartender gestured at the counter's wood, 'Larg' was caved into it. “Oh. Well. Just take another seat.”

The figure spun the stool around so that Will faced him. The man was probably about six five, had dark skin, was completely bald, and wore sunglasses regardless of the dim light in the room. His attire and build made him look like he'd be great at being a bouncer, but obviously the pin on his jacket told he already had another job, it read 'Gravert'. Regardless that the man looked like a common goon, he obviously had connections. The Gravert Family is recognized as the second wealthiest Mafia group in the Grange; needless to say, power is directly related to money when it comes to a Mafia. Larg was reaching slowly for the billy club on his belt, with the confidence of one how knows that things will work the same regardless if he takes all day.

“No,” Large responded, and swung at Will's face. The force knocked Will to the ground, right on his back, Large took his seat in the clam manner that nothing really happened. Will got off the ground, fed up with this. The Mafia thinks it can do anything it bloody wants, Will thought, pushing people from chairs and killing like it doesn't matter. He wanted his drink, dang it, he swung a punch at the goon's head. Sadly, it connected. Even worse, the goon fell off his seat.

“Now why did you go and do that?” the cavern voice responded oddly happy, “sorry, but that lack of respect deserves a beat down.” Larg tossed aside his billy club and got into the position of a good ol' fashion fisticuffs. Will felt like an idiot, what was he doing picking a fight with a guy twice his width? And mostly in muscle that. No turning back now, he thought, might as well play the act of tough guy, or at least clueless drunk.

The fight happened in a way that would be a lot easier to just list it out.
First Will threw a punch at the goon, Large dodged. Then Large garbed Will's arm and pulled the thin man to him, giving Will a good punch in the gut. Recovering from the punch, Will hurriedly grabbed a bottle and fashioned a bar brawl dagger; he smashed a bottle and stabbed the goon with the pointy ends.

The goon staggered backward, getting sharp glass to the face is bad no matter how strong you are, especially when you're stabbed in the eye. Larg looked up from his hand. Glass, glass and blood were the clearest thin on his face, next to that it was rage.

“I shouldn't have to deal with ya,” he said with enough logic that he needed to see a doctor about the eye, “but this ain't over yet, chum.” Large stormed out of the bar, and will took his seat.

“You're in for it now,” the bar tender warned,” you're as good as dead dealing with a Gravert.” Will looked up, pondered his place in the universe, which was next to some cheap alcohol, and responded.

“Well, can't die twice.” Will took a swig of the drink, it was strong as all hell.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:16 pm

Chapter Two
Greed

“Do you know what this is?” Hesta was holding a dollar by it's edge, “this is what everything at the end of the day worth while, money.” Sir Jeff was siting in the large, leather chair in front of Hesta's desk. Now with his armor trashed he just wore the lose, black clothing underneath. He was making sure to pat attention. “If you see a solid, tangible object, as long as you have enough of these, you can make it yours.” The whole lesson fascinated the little man.

“Even another suit of armor?” He asked, curious. Hesta rolled her eyes.

“Yes, anything,” she summarized, “now, do you know what happens when people just create money without some other tangible thing to back it up?”

“I can get a lot of suits of armor?”

“No, inflation,” she responded, “it just makes this dollar worth less, now it just take more of those dollars to get a suit of armor. Same amount of goods, but massive amounts of paper.” Hesta reached into her desk and pulled out what looked like to the armor-less knight to be another dollar. “Now, think you know what this is?”

“Err, another dol-”

“Wrong,” Hesta interrupted. She held out both dollars for Sir Jeff to hold. “hold those up to the lamp and tell me what you see, what you feel.” The knight did so.

“Huh, I can kinda see through the stiffer one,” he answered.

“Bingo,” the knight handed them back, “the thing is, some people don't exactly care for the proper market. They pump out home made dollars under the fact they can always just make more, do you know how that effects us?”

“Gosh, you could just make your own,” Sir Jeff said.

“No, we can't, we'd be digging our own grave, Jeff.” the knight cringed at being plainly called Jeff, “any good business knows this, you can't just fake your way through wealth, it has to stand for something.” She paused to take a drag from her cigar, “do you know how the family feels about counterfeit?”

“I guess we don't like it?” the green man guessed.

“We hate it, it ruins us, makes our power weak. Any mafia family agrees on this if anything. You see, these little counterfeits have been popping up in unsettling
amounts, we want the person responsible killed. At this rate it'll take fifty smacks just to buy a god damn sandwich lunch.” This humored the knight, Hesta seemed to him to be the type that wouldn't care too much about cost.
“So, you want me to find and kill him?” the guy asked, “how?”

“Oh, we know we know the general location were they make the stuff,” she said matter-of-fact, “it's just that they've got the place surrounded with snipers up the wazoo and can't get past the damn perimeter.”

“Still, how am I going to get in there?” Hesta stared at him, the goons stared at him, and even the butler, who just stopped playing his violin, looked at him. Sir Jeff looked around and guessed what they had in mind.

It was all nice and good that he wasn't a claustrophob.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:49 pm

Chapter Two
Counterfeit

Boxes, pretty dang useful things. Come in all sizes to store things in all sizes, never doubt their the role in the world. Take a bunch of junk and store it away, done with it. Need to move something, throw it in a box and ship it off, handy!

In fact, that was the use being executed for Sir Jeff right now, he was thrown right into a box, handy! Though, he didn't find it handy, he thought it was awful being in that thing. It was cramped, shaky, and dark; box shipment not exactly travailing first class. It will make it easier for you to sneak past the patrol line, she had said, you'll just be some shipment of paper. That aside, the knight still hated it; it was just an all around bad experience for the guy.

Then it stopped, the truck the box he was in stopped, thank goodness. The knight heard the sound of the back door being drawn open, and the idea chit-chat of the workers. Next Sir Jeff felt the box he was in being lifted by two people, the fact that one let the box slant annoyed him greatly. After that was the bumpty-bumpty-bump of them hauling the box, and knightly hit man, away.

Needless to say, these filthy counterfeiters have no idea how to properly treat boxes. If they did Sir Jeff wouldn't be crawling out of his in a dark room after the box was given a careless throw. The knight looked around the room, it was jam packed with boxes, boxes which had met the same cruel fate as the knight's. He went and investigated one, it had paper in it. When he held a sheet in his hand he couldn't help but think it felt familiar... Ah! When he thought about it, the paper felt just like the counterfeit bills, huh, they must be hording paper for the bills. It also just didn't feel, how to put it? Full bodied. The fake money to the real thing was like comparing a full Thanksgiving feast to a happy meal, which are certainly not happy at all. With little effort Sir Jeff soon found and entered a ventilation shaft, off to find the bossman's office.

Not only did these people have a clear racial hatred toward box's, they also disrespected air shafts. The ones the knight was crawling through was a current of dust. It is a good thing to have in mind that The Maker didn't give Sir Jeff a mouth, nor a nose. If so he'd already have his lunges filled with the discarded layer of skin commonly labeled dust. Through this the reluctant hit man trudged on. And got to another vent. Sir Jeff peeked out the gratings and saw the devices used to crank out the fake bills. Gosh, it awful. The copiers span, printing artistically made designs on paper that were meant to mimic true bills. The hum gave the knight reason to turn back to his search, he couldn't take that sound, that hum.

It was almost too perfect. Sir Jeff looked down at the figure hunched over a desk. By reason that he most have not like always seeing the vent poke out of the wall, the shaft was rested behind the boss of the ring, how lucky! He even looked to be asleep, even better! The knight carefully undid the vent over the shaft, and brought it in at an angle so it wouldn't just end up falling on the ground and waking the guy. He took aim, right where the back of the head be. Two bullets at most if they flew true? Probably, this is way that damn gunman drilled him over and over again, and if he got it right, droved some more for good measure. His mitten hand was ready to pull, just as he was ready to get the heck out of dodge.
BANG!
Plochhhhh
What.
That wasn't the sound of a bullet meeting flesh.
BANG BANG
Plhuchhhhhhhhh.
What.

The figure was already rising in a startle at the first shoot, how he took two more was beyond Sir Jeff. When the person rose to full height the knight just knew something was wrong. Were most human seven feet tall? He currently hadn't seen any that were that tall that, and having the ownership of a grayish-white skin, now that he noticed it. Then he turned around and things got just all weird. The boss also had a heavy looking lower jaw from which two short tusks rose. He even had a brow that would put a Neanderthal's to shame. The knight was used to people with large builds since he saw a lot of mafia goon types, but most people would be a tad frightened by the boss's build. It held a small bit of fat, but told that the muscle underneath more then made up for that fact.

Sir Jeff had no idea what he was looking at, people that did would comment “Oh, a troll, a troll dressed in a sharp suit and dress hat.” And After that they'd run, because a well dressed troll is still a troll, and trolls are brutally strong, mind you.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:11 pm

Chapter Two
The Ladder

Alf paced by the door, he had a cigarette in his mouth along with a sour look. He was looking at a half-drunk Will who was sobering up at a surprising rate. It didn't matter if he used to be the leader of the militia, something about Alf gave most people the creeps. Alf had on a plains camo (like desert camo but closer to a gold then a brown) jacket that was unbuttoned over a white undershirt. Even when he did dress properly something about Alf always made him appear sloppy.

“So,” Alf said, “you stabbed a Gravert's eye out, huh? Boy, don't know what wrong wit ya.” he shook his head. “only hiding will help ya, good thing you've been practicing”

“Come on now, what's the worst that could happen?” said the remaining alcohol in Will, “some goon was harassing, so I stabbed him.”

“You're really not used to underground tactics are you?”

“No”

“That's the problem.” Alf spat on his cigarette and carelessly tossed it to a trashcan, he missed. “Now, I bet that you're used to being Mr. Hero. Sir 'Imma gonna thwart the mafia where evah they poke their heads out'. Don't work that way chap. You live in the underground now, you need to play by a new set of rules. No more of this up and front.”

“Well what the heck am I supposed to do?” Will snapped. He was getting a bit angry at Alf, him and his monologue.

“Really kid, you need to learn some patience, and most likely some experience,” Alf continued his lectured, ”this is why the militia as it is now is bound to fail. None of you have actual experience in modern warfare, most of it is sneaking around to tell you the truth.” That, in fact, is the exact reason Alf was even in the militia. He claimed to have experience as a soldier in some foreign nation, which makes sense. The only honest people in the Grange were either born here or running away from some issue elsewhere. Alf had earned his place in the militia by the fact he was the only one who knew anything about proper undercover work, in fact, he was the one who originally got the info that a hit was out for Will.

“What, you expect me to go and join a mafia or something?” Will said sarcastically. Alf had done that, probably part of the reason people felt nervous around the guy.

“Yep,” he responded.

“Oh, really?” Will didn't like where this was going.

“Kid, ya got to do something. You still want to be a help to the militia regardless that you're supposed to be dead?” Will nodded. “Good, there's a reason I had you hind instead of coming out and yelling 'hey guys! It wasn't me killed!' The family that had you hit are sure you're dead, they don't exactly expect to worry about you still being around with that budding military mind thinkn' up ways to stop the mafias. No, they let their guard down as far as seeing the militia as some serious threat, you made it a threat, Will, and in reality you're still around to get some plans in. We just need to get you thinking in different terms of war, the effective kind where you uproot the scalawags right where they stand.”

“But isn't getting into a mafia dangerous? I mean, they just kill people.”

“So do we,”

“But they're shady about it!”

“We gloat about it.”

“Because they're the trouble, the reason for everyone's problems!”

“They put that blame on the lower criminals, besides, you believe they actually think themselves evil? No, kid, people are a lot more complex then that, you just need to know about us verses them, let your morals be swept up into the corner while no one's around to judge them. You're dead boy! No one's gonna call you a villain, not the you people remember!”

“I will,” Will mumbled. “Besides, how the hell do you just jump in those gangs? Bloody difficult if you ask me.”

“Well, it all depends on which ring on the ladder you hop on,” Alf stated in a matter of fact way, “easier to get in the lower ones, but no use bothering with those small fries.”

“Ladder? I know you're making shit up now,” Will snarled , “anything about rules and placement are beyond the minds of criminals.”

“Oye,” Alf rubbed his temples, “you that dumb boy?” Alf shook his head and walked to a water cooler sitting in the corner of the room, and got himself a drink. Damn, where'd the boy be without me?, he thought, probably dead in some alley, boy has only charisma and drive. “Mafias love laws, it gives them something to sell that most people can't.” Alf tossed the cup into the trashcan.

“Still, there can't be more then three families, people like that-”

“Six, actually,” Alf interrupted.

“Six, really?”

“Yep, each has a place on the ladder.”

“and I suppose you know the damn order,” Will said bitterly.
“Oh, I do, in fact,” Alf rummaged through his jacket, and withdrew a crumpled piece of paper, “Number one, Maltoma. Number two, Gravert, that's the famliy of the goon you stabbed. Number three, Jandu. Number four, Hesta. Number five, Flintmen. Number six,last and least, Bodenwell.”

“Doesn't the phrase go' last, but not least?'” Will asked.

“Not for the Bodewells. Say, remember that minor scare over the runaway bulls?”
“Yeah, just kinda stampeded out of nowhere.” Will commented.

“That was an accident on part of the Bodewells, were transportn' hormone juiced bulls to some illegal bull fightn' ring somewhere close to the mountains.”

“Gosh, I suppose I've never guessed. Wait, how in the hell could the mafia do so much damage when their that stupid!” Will felt appalled that these were the kinda people who got him killed.

“Ah, but you know the crippling drug deals that are ruining towns everywhere? You know, the one ruinin' the lives of youths?”

“How could I not?”

“All of that, the whole dang thing through out the Grange, is just a project for the Maltomas, big difference between one and six, remember that.”

Alf had left and Will was sitting around thinking. Mostly about, now that he was completely sober, just how inexperienced he was. Sure, he had the passion to do what was right. Sure, he had the way to influence people to stand and fight, but how much fighting has he done? Little, mostly raids on some mafia caravans, but he had only lead two raids on mafia hideouts. Huh, now that he though about it, they might just have been hideouts to some of the lower families. Ugh, he needed some sleep.

He dreamed about fighting a large dragon. Huh, weird.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:11 pm

Chapter Two
No Business like Troll Business

Trolls are, quite clearly, large and strong creatures. This often gives them the bad rep of being stupid monsters that eat people; this because most live in the rugged mountains, a place where education is how to smash thing with a club and the definition food is anything with meat that won't destroy your insides. For race that lives in harsh mountains, they're well built for the life. Their built large and strong, with a small amount of fat thinly layered over powerful muscle; better to mover rocks out of the way, and in fact, attempt to mimic them. In according to that they also look to be made of living stone, craggy skin with rock color to it. Horns are expected, having to do with bull-like behavior in many respects. They are a favorite to study in scientist's opinions, because many differences in appearance can arise when you compare trolls who live on large hills to those who live in tall mountains, color, matching the common rocks in the area, are an example. (Some scientists have proposed that there might be a type of troll that lives in the jungle; they say these trolls are acrobatic, lean, come in bright colors, and are professional hunters with the bow and arrow. These scientists are ignored, because of how stupid of an idea they've got.)

In truth, when given proper education and easier access to food, trolls can become civilized beings with an intelligence near humans. Still, on a whole, they do have a tendency to be awfully mean regardless of life style; one is mean and wants to smash your brains out with a club and then eat you, the other is mean and will embezzle your company into crippling debt and then buy it cheap.

Sir Jeff was currently in conflict with the latter, and the modern lifestyle really doesn't subtract from a troll's brutal strength. In fact, the boss was already pulling out a large beating stick out from under his desk. He grunted at the tiny hit man.

“Hrrag, thought those tiny bullets would get through my skin?” he taunted. The troll grabbed his chair in his off hand and threw it at the shaft, the knight instinctively jumped out of the shaft instead of doing the smart thing of getting out of there. Sir Jeff got to his feet and run to the door on the other side of the room. The troll threw his desk in that direction. What, is he going to throw a damn sink at me know? Sir Jeff thought. Turns out he didn't, in fact, he was bull rushing the knight with his stick raised high. In a quick dodge he avoided being crashed; the knob at the end of the stick smashed in the desk, causing most of that area to be a network of large splinters. The knight grabbed on to the boss's rough skin for his position in mid air, and scampered up to the troll's head. Sir Jeff's life in the fake world pulsed to his mind, he remembered doing stuff like this, if you where on the head the musclebound monster couldn't reach you.

This happened to not work, turns out a troll's arm is long enough to reach over its own girth. The boss flung the little guy into the wall, and slowly approached him with a smug grin on his face

“So little creature, who send you?” he asked, “more importantly, what the blaze are ya?” Sir Jeff scampered to his feet, and gave a burning glare at the gray bulk in business wear. The troll glared back and, quite awkwardly, found himself out stared. To compensate for this, the boss once more brought down his beating stick toward the knight.

What he didn't expect was the knight to jump onto the stick. In fact, he was even more surprised when the little creature ran up the stick, up the arm, and jumped over his head. There was a gun shot, then a stinging pain of a bullet going into the back of his head. A soft thud was heard, the knight had landed on his feet. The troll chuckled.

“Well boy, look like I underestimated you,” the boss said as he turned. Another gun shot was fired, this time the pain was far worse. The troll looked down, and saw Sir Jeff pointing a fired gun towards his crotch. He was also aware that there was a hole in his expensive pants, but really, the pain was more of an issue. He fell to his knee, the knight took advantage of this. As the pain over came the boss Sir Jeff walked up, jumped onto the trolls arm, and put his gun in his massive maw. A brief look of fear glinted off the troll's eye, and then the knight fired. And he fired again, and once more, for good measure.

You know, regardless of how strong your skin is, a gun in your mouth will kill you so many more times then not. If it doesn't, then you're a luck person and not that troll.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:59 pm

Chapter Two
Undercover Undercover Agent

Alf, as it can be said, is a god damn professional. Most militiamen in Alf's district only went as far as going undercover in a mafia family, but that wasn't enough for him. He was undercover in a family while going under cover for that family, in another family. This was not only more efficient then being undercover in two families as a militiaman, but it also opened up a whole wealth of information that gave a fair bonus to the good fight.

Now that being said, it wasn't easy. Not only did he have to hid he was a militia agent from one family, he also had to hide that he was both a militia agent and a mafia agent from the other. But, to Alf, it was all worth the pain. The main family he was inside of was the Graverts, while the one he was investigating for them was the Hestas. There was something about the Hesta family that set it apart from the others, and through intensive research Alf was curtain that they shared it with the Maltomas. There was something to be said about the Hestas. Regardless that they were only the forth strongest family, they still far ahead of the Flintmens and Bodewells; they also were showing to be a growing threat to the higher families.

Back in the times before, the main tactic to undermining a family stronger then you was, for a short time, sell their prized product cheap for little to no profit. When they fell you just went and started selling your more money earning merchandise again. The Hestas didn't follow this. Instead of seeing a product really well, they did almost everything. It's not that any family couldn't do this, they could, what was so strange is that they still managed profit. Profit, from running many projects at once! This was unheard of, the more projects, the more people you have to pay. The more people you have to pay, the less profit you make in the end. There was a thought out balance that mafias practiced, and the Hestas broke it while still managing quite a bit of spending change.

Coincidentally, this was similar to Maltoma practices. No, Alf thought it wasn't a coincidence. Something must be going on in both that's the same, and Alf was going to find that out. Figure out the Hestas, then you somewhat figure out the Maltomas, and it was much safer to go after the Hestas.

“Yo, buster, ya gonna get to work or spend your day in la la land?” An overseer snapped in Alf's face. Oh, yeah, he thought, the cargo. At this moment Alf. Along with some other goons, was unloading goods that the Graverts were planing to use to, shall we say, stomp on the toes of the ones grabbing at their ankles. Alf was important to this plan, he was their undercover agent in the Hesta Family.

Gun powder is a very crud thing to use for large scale explosions, but it sure does its job, I reckon.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:04 pm

Chapter Two
Performance Review

Sir Jeff finished telling his story. He was back in Hesta's office, explaining what the hell happened at the Counterfeit compound, you want to know why your hit man was two hours late at the pick up point and covered in soot. His story went like this.

“So, After I shot that big guy in the mouth I looked around for a door, the only one in the dang room was that one with the blasted desk in front of it. So AFTER I managed to get that out of the way, I look into the hallway, and people with guns are everywhere! And guess what? Each and everyone of them sees me! So I running down the corridor and I get to this open door, I jump through and slam it. Lucky me huh? Nope, it was the printing room, the god damn printing room! Do you know how many people were in there? Jeez, at least a hundred! So now I have to go and run away from them AND the others who burst though to door. I kept jumping from machine to machine, the people down below shooting at me. I jump behind this large contraption and those guys just keep on shooting at it. One of the printing room guys runs to the shooters, as I heard it, 'Stop! If you keep with that it'll blow!'. It did blow, me up into the sky that is. Gosh! I could see mountains in the far distance all around! It was an amazing site, until I looked down and saw the ground rushing to me, that is. Huh, I think I blacked out, because when got off the ground and walked to the meet up point the car guy was yelling at me about time and all that.” That was his story. Hesta was glaring at him in the kind of icy stare that was opposite of the knight's blazing glare.

“So, I guess you, well, got the mission done,” Hesta said. God, she did ask him to ruin the operations, but blow up the entire facility? That was a tad over doing it.

“Damn straight I did, you can ask the driver himself, sure he saw the ruins,” Sir Jeff barked. Hesta raised an eyebrow, the knight calmed down. For a second there he almost forgot who he was talking to.

“Well, I suppose we should get to payment,” the knight sat up, “I believe that earned you a god some of money. From somewhere in her desk Hesta retrieved a calculator. She punched in some numbers for a bit, nodded, and looked back up. The knight waited.

“Well?” he asked.

“Well what?”

“My payment, you said I'd get payed.” Hesta shook her head.

“You're in debt, remember? All you payments are going straight to paying that off, until then, no money.”

“No money?

“None,” Hesta finished. Sir Jeff looked to his feet, damn, he was sure looking forward to getting money, he even made a nice space in his room to put it. A goon opened a door, and the knight made his way to his tiny room, which fitted his tiny size. Along the way to his room he passed a guy he'd seen a few times, a rather large, greasy looking man. Something about the guy just seemed to give you the willies, regardless if he was just an average transporter. The man gave Sir Jeff a funny look, one that read, 'now what the hell is that thing' as he passed. Sir Jeff didn't like him, nope, just a feeling.

When Sir Jeff got to his room he got to work. Doing nothing. He just lay on his mat, thinking of money, it seemed to creep into his mind like a welcomed parasite, if there was such a thing. There seemed to be a flavor to the idea of money, and he wanted to taste it. And to him, it seemed, he was far from getting it, being in debt and all. Most people can hardly try and imagine the price of a life, but that's exactly what the knight was doing right now. Two goons dead, what amount of money was he to owe to Hesta for them? It would be a lot easier to think about if he even knew how much money was earned from a job like his last. Then he'd at least know how quickly he could pay the blasted debt off.

His dreams encompassed him chasing after dollar bills with stick legs, all over some kind of holy temple. When he finally cornered it, the bill turned into a large troll wearing a green tunic and wielding club made of gold. The troll challenged him to a fight, if he could win he'd earn all the money in the land, if he lost, he'd live in permanent debt. Sir Jeff stared at the giant, and noticed he himself was in his full armor. Sir Jeff stood strong, raised his sword, and-

Woke up to the sound of loud explosions. The kind of explosion you get from barrels, and barrels, of gun powder. Sir Jeff was aware of all the screaming, but he was mostly focused on one thing. Was Hesta mortal or not? Because if she wasn't, she had him fooled, and if she was, he better get off his ass and save her, or else he might get farther in debt.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:31 pm

Chapter Three
Hot and Cold

Sir Jeff looked up at the sun. Hot, he didn't like hot. Hot was trying to kill him as he walked the Grange. Sure, the cold could kill you just as well, but it was different. The cold keeps your mind in the reality, the heat makes it all mushy drowsy. He knew what he was doing out here, he had experience from before the mafia took him in. Sir Jeff had all the locations of the abandoned factories southward burned into his brain. This would have been great, if it wasn't for the heat playing with his head; he was heading north, not south.

Will was sleeping. His new life, according to Alf, would be much better if he adjusted himself to be nocturnal. Oddly enough, the heat was helping him go to sleep much better then he would have expected. Speaking of Alf, he had just opened the door and walked in to the hideaway.

“Well, boy, looks like your death wasn't in vain!” he announced, it woke Will up from his groggy slumber.

“Huh, wazat?”

“Ya know, the mafia that put the hit on you?” Will was getting his head awake now, thoughts and questions polity began to form a line at is mouth.

“Which one was that now?” Will asked. Alf never did tell him which family did send the device that killed him out of slight.

“None other then the Hestas! Let me tell you, boy, what a sight that was!” Alf was about to go on with a story. Will sat up and allowed Alf room on the couch to sit. “Gunpowder, a bunch of the stuff. You'd never think it'd be a good replacement for TnT, but man oh man! Ya just need to up the dosage! Maybe that was the only flaw to their underground design, enough of the supports go out and the place caves in, wow!” The sweaty man droned on.

The hot, it surrounded every square inch of the day-time, not a cloud in the sky to give merciful shade. Sir Jeff dared a glance upward, the sun was a golden disc that seemed to vibrate in the sky, now that he looked down it seemed everything was moving in the same way. The knight slapped himself in the face.

“So what you're saying,” Will started slowly in fear he might set off another monologue, “is that you destroyed an entire facility.”

“Yep,” Alf said happily. He took a cigar out from a pocket in his camo jacket. “Can you believe it? That bitch Hesta had a whole bunch of these thing in a storage room, boy let me tell ya! You can't get this brand just anywhere, you have to import the things from the far southern islands, not just anybody can afford sea trade.” Sea travel is one of the riskiest things a person could do, it takes special types of people to risk the troubles of the sea. Storms are not really a big deal, it's the giant sea monsters that give all the trouble.

“Basically, you ended up killing a bunch of people,” Will gave up the 'easy in' approach as it clearly didn't stop Alf from going off subject.

“Aye,” Alf said, “it's what you'd want right? 'Justice must be kept', you say, 'at any cost'. Will, you can't say fire and then scold yourself for shooting, you just have to shoot.” Alf to a long drag from the scavenged tobacco, “nothing like a good ol' infiltration ass kicking, man, those Graverts sure know how to rig up explosives.”

“You really sound like you've been enjoying yourself, Alf,” Will said coldly.

“I have, boy, I have!”

Sir Jeff tugged on in the awful heat. He allowed himself to rest on the ground for a bit. The world felt fuzzy, he really didn't like that, made it hard to stay focused. As he sat he looked off into the distance. Something was just on the edge of his vision it was, wait, water? Of course the Grange had to hold water, grass, although very dry, covered the place, but to actually see some! The knight may have had no mouth to drink with, but the water helped cool things, Sir Jeff wanted to be one of those things. He got up from the ground and ran to the pool of water.

Alf was shocked, never in his career as a militia man had he seen William blow up. He knew the kid gave great speeches about protecting the innocent and all that, but straight up outburst never seemed to happen to Will. Alf was also on the floor with out would, eventually, turn out to be one heck of a shiner.

“Don't. Ever. Say. You enjoy ending lives,” Will said sternly. The balding bad carefully felt where he had been punched, ow. Alf though about saying- You need to shut up, boy. I never said I enjoyed the killn' part, just the satisfaction of a job well done. How many jobs well done can you claim, child? I've had more experience getting into enemy organizations then you have with your sippy cup. You may be the leader of the bloody militia, Sargent Rickus, but you're dead, I ain't. - Instead he said, “sorry, didn't mean it.”

Sir Jeff rolled in the embrace of the water. It had to be less then a foot deep, but that didn't matter, he was small anyway. The water was a life saver, he didn't know what he would of done if he hadn't found it. It was amazing, it was wonderful, it was-

“Jeff, you're rolling around in a sand pit,” said Hesta. Sir Jeff slowly came back to reality, and looked up. There wasn't much to look up to, since she was only a few inches taller then he was.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:17 am

Chapter Three
Before the Walk

Sir Jeff ran through the compound, fires had just started up and soil was beginning to ran into the building. With all the collapsed supports tossed about the knight did have an advantage; while most people would have to break through the blocks throughout the narrow hallways, Sir Jeff just had to crawl under them. But then the fire. The fire. The god awful fire. It burned, heat, he had never in his short life, nor his fake one, had he felt so miserable.

The door to Hesta's office was open. Well, correction, it was torn down, most likely by goons who wanted to get the hell out of there. When he entered a chill ran down his spine, regardless of the heat; Sir Jeff had never been in the room without be escorted by at least one goon, just entering felt like total disrespect. Another thing felt wrong with it, the lack of violin player, for some reason he had just assumed the guy would stay and play through the fire, he was just a part of the room. Sir Jeff snapped back, bad idea to hang around a burning room. By near instinct the knight ran to Hesta's desk. He wish he didn't.

Somewhere else in the facility a heavy man in his late forties was laughing as he exited the door and headed out one of the many tin buildings that was used to cover the entry points. It wasn't a laugh that can from enjoying the people being crushed, or even of getting a perfect excuse to explode something. It was just the chuckle that means someone felt they did and damn good job and couldn't wait to get home for some rest after an eventful day.

A large chunk of ceiling had fallen right on top of Hesta, her whole lower body seemed to be crushed. Sir Jeff rushed over and fruitlessly tried to push the stone off of her. While he was just deciding to give up he heard a sharp nose, like air escaping from a pressurized tube. He looked over to Hesta, who was on her back, and saw something strange. It was hard for Sir Jeff to consider something strange after all the shit he's been through, but he was damn sure a person's torso shouldn't open up. The area around the body became filled with vapor so he could on;y just make up the shape standing up from the opening. He saw the shape pull something from the body's jacket, cigar shape, and put it near the fire burning on the desk. The vapor cleared up from the heat quickly, Sir Jeff squinted to get a better look of the shape.

Now the knight was confused, because even through he had no real knowledge of human beings, he was sure that tiny versions of themselves don't crawl out of their bodies after they die. The small person looked almost exactly like Hesta, scaled down with some proportions that get changed when you have small people. Two things that was completely different was the nose, it looked a bit too long and crooked down at the end, and the ears, which looked like they could draw blood from their tips which curved downward. The small figure noticed Sir Jeff.

“Oh, you, ya didn't get the hell out of here yet?” she asked. She was even wearing smaller version of Hesta's suit. “Come on, I still got that blasted jabber fish in my head, speak up Jeff.” The last bit hit the knight in the face.

“Hesta? How, what, you, hell?” Needless to say, Sir Jeff didn't have any idea what the hell happened.

“No duh it's me, now come on, let's get the fuck out of here before we burn to death,” she headed to the door and walked on out as with she had just not came out of her own body. Sir Jeff went after here and stopped by the left over body. Looking inside, it turned out to be made out of metal, the outside was just covered in some kind of latex. It was a human suit, and human suit for something much smaller then one.

Outside Hesta and Sir Jeff looked at the tin houses that where sued to enter the underground base, the whole area appeared a little, sunk. The knight looked to Hesta.

“The other people, they?”

“Probably a third,” Hestra said in the way that made you think she was reading your mind, “most in there probably escaped and a lot of others weren't even there.”Sir Jeff thought that that was an extremely insensitive thing to say, he also thought bring it up would mean a great deal of hurt. So he decided to ask something else.

“So, you're not human?”

“Nope,”

“Oh,” the knight paused, “Then what are you?”

“A gremlin, what's it to you?” Super Jeff though about somethings, then questioned on them.

“So, you were in that suit, how did the fish-” he got cut off.

“Tube going from the suit's ear down to mine, annoying as hell, doesn't change because you're expecting the blasted eel.”

“What about those cigars?”

“Oh, don't actually smoke in the thing, really, it's just for the look of the think when I do it then.” she explained.

“Well, why bother with that thing anyway,” Sir Jeff said with annoyance, “seems like more trouble then it's worth.”

“No one wants to do business with a gremlin, not even other mafias. There's a long history about gremlins being worth no good, mostly with breaking people's mechanical nonsense when they're not looking.”

“Well,” asked the knight, “is that true?”

“I'll just put it this way, you'd have no idea how much I pay the secret team of saboteurs every month.” Sir Jeff's left eye rose and formed a 'T'.

“What team?”

“Exactly,” responded Hesta. She grinned a pointed grin, not the typical carnivorous ones found on many stereotypical grins, but a scavenger's. The kind of teeth used to pull the final and remaining meat from the bone of a long dead animal. It wasn't menacing as much as it was unnerving. “I suppose we should head out,” she said after some time staring into the horizon, “no doubt word will spread and other families will want to come and take what's left, and if not them those rag tag militia men.” She walked a few paces then turned around, “well, Jeff? You've wondered around for awhile before we found you, take lead. Sir Jeff ran ahead and looked around. Left, right, left right. Finally, he picked a place, and set off.

Sir Jeff wasn't to happy about this, not only did he think he'd never have to cross the Grange ever again, but Hesta was also behind him. It didn't matter that she was a gremlin now, she was still Hesta. Hesta could probably give the devil a nervous twitch, at the very most, of course.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:04 am

Chapter Three
Temple

“You gonna get off the ground or are you still wack?” Hesta said. She waved her hand in front of the knight's face, he responded after five seconds.

“Huh, oh, sure, let's go with that,” he absentmindedly thought to Hesta. She shook her head.

“This heat's really getting to you isn't?”

“Yes, yes it is,” Hesta helped him up, “don't know how most people take it.”

“Well,” began Hesta, “personally, I had an underground lair with air conditioning,” her voice drove it in, like it was Sir Jeff's fault the place had exploded, and on extremely loose terms it was, “most people? Don't care.”

The answer was actually very simple. It's not too different then what was done on other worlds, take hard packed earth, and build with it. Mud bricks, and there's a lot of thick clay under the short, dry grass of the Grange. The Granci had perfected it long ago, taught it to people who, for the gods know why, came to the Grange. Since then the Granci have moved on to something else, the people they taught? Still living in mud homes, but they have been improved.

For example the home of Alf, it only had one floor, like most, but had a furnished basement, also common. Most people can't afford to build sprawling complexes under ground, but almost anybody can live in a basement. The top floor is all the stuff you want to show off to your friends, in Alf's case war medals and weaponry that earned him said medals. The bottom floor is everything else, in Alf's case that would be Will. While there have been cases where people have hidden dead people in their homes, few are actually alive.

“You want me to do what?” Alf said.

“Go to the large temple south from here and leave on offering,” Will restated. Sure, Will always was the type to make speeches of justice and joining together in hardships, but he never struck Alf as a religious man.

“Just seems like a tad waste of resources ya know, with shortages and stuff like that,” explained Alf, “no one even remembers what god that temple's for.”

“That doesn't matter too much,” Will said, “we need all the help we can get, even if it's just hope.” Alf bit his cheek, couldn't blame the lad too much, he hadn't seem his wife and kid for awhile now, and that'd just keep growing.

“Fine, fine, but only a small one, alright?” stressed Alf, “we can only afford to give a sheep or what not.” Will raised an eyebrow.

“I was talking about a money donation, there's an old priest who lives there.” Alf bit his tongue next.

“Oh, yes, money, gotcha,” Alf walked out of the room and threw on his camo jacket. That was the thing with gods, Alf thought, can never trust what might happen. You put all your faith in the divine and nothing happens. You have only a small amount of faith, draw it when you're just 'bout dead on the field. You die, but a fourth the time a miracle happens, only a forth. Only a fourth.

Sir Jeff was leading on again, a rock found earlier provided enough shade for the knight to get some rest. Because he was now clear in the head, he knew something was wrong. By now he was sure they would have came to at least on abandoned factory, but there were none in sight. Hesta could tell he was nervous, mostly because of his constant head movements and panics.

“Let me guess, you got us lost,” she said. Sir Jeff looked back carefully. What could he say? If he lied, he'd be died, truth would do that to, he came up with something.

“I'm not lost,” he said proudly, “I just don't know where everything ELSE is!”

“That is the biggest load of bull crap I've heard you say yet,” she said. Hesta walked right passed him and grabbed his collar, she dragged him. “Come on, I think I see a building ahead.

The thing about the temple was, that in fact, nobody but the priest who lived there actually knew what god it was for. This didn't matter to the in town too much, when you're in need of help from a higher power you find that you suddenly become not very choosy on which god it is. This particular church was large by Grange standers but less then, say, Baptist standers. It was also being approached by two people who would only come up to you knees in height.

The Priest had lived most of his life in the temple, living off the kind donations of the Grange folk. And you had to be a legitimate holy man to get donations for people that struggled themselves. Oh course he offered the two small people food and water, and a place to rest to boot.

“So, we're about here,” Hesta had retrieved a map from what passed as a front lobby, “and the compound existed around here, more or less, so we have been headed... north.” She looked over to Sir Jeff. “I thought you said we were south.”

“I did, I did think we were heading north,” he shrugged, “never said we were.”

“Remind me later to fine you for this.”

“What's that mean?”

“You owe more money.”

The two were in the back of a spare room, all the Priest could spare, and he had to spare it often. A free, safe place to stay in The Grange was like a desert oasis, only cozier and less wet. The Priest smiled, he liked having guests, even if they were loud and rude. He often, when not renting that room, was left only to his duties, which were keeping the temple in presentable shape, and his thoughts. In fact, he was ecstatic when he saw a jeep rolling in from the distance. Three visitors in less then a day imagine that?

The man that got out the the vehicle was wide, like he enjoyed a good meal. Balding, too, and greasy to boot. The signature camo jacket gave him away as a militiaman, you could always trust them, you could.

“Hello there, priest,” said Alf as he approached, “have so money for you.” The priest looked around, then back at Alf.

“Well, thanks, but not exactly much I can use it for,” he replied, taking the money,” I never leave for town, you know.”

“I didn't know,”

“Ah,” The priest turned back and walked to the temple, he turned looked behind him, “come in, come in, you must be hot from driving in that machine. And the truth was that Alf was burning up, 'air conditioning' wasn't something found at all in the Grange despite the seeming need for it, a waste of valuable resources.

As thankful as he was to get out of the heat, being in the company of the priest was awkward. He just sat there, eyes closed, thinking. You'd think he'd be happy to talk to someone seeing how alone he often was, you'd be wrong. Alf decided after a few tries to get a conversation going to just give up, and drink the water given to him.

Then Alf became flat out worried. While previously the priest's face was calm, it suddenly seemed if the man was having nightmares. The man's eyes shot open, Alf fell back on the backless pew he was sitting on.

“It's here, it's in here,” the priest seemed to say to itself. He got up from the pew and wobbled over to the lobby.

“What's in here?” Alf had no idea what was going on with the man, but decided to play along anyway.

“I had, had a, had a vision,” he stuttered. He was making a turn to a hallway.

“Yeah, yeah, and?” pressed Alf

“He came to me,” the priest said dreamily, “Great Rlo visited me.” Alf assumed this was the god the temple was dedicated to, he'd be right.

“What, there be a demon in here?” Alf didn't hold with the belief of demons, it seemed to him there were too many real things to worry about without having to make up some more.

“No, no no. I was told the thing was worse, it doesn't belong, Rlo said.” the priest said as if he was in a dream, a very, very real dream. Alf sneered, he came he to drop of a monetary donation, not to clean the supernatural rats from a religious building. The priest stopped in front of a door, seemed to gather his will, and flung open the door.

Sir Jeff and Hesta were on the floor, looking at a map. They both looked up. The priest was looking straight at the knight, Alf couldn't help doing the same. He remembered seeing that thing, it was like yesterday, it probably was, Alf didn't go by night and day like most people. The priest had a zealous look in his eyes.

And then back to that creature, the green thing with no mouth, thing unnerved him, he heard stories from mafia goons while he went undercover there. All about a small green thing that jumped you and smacked ya around. They blinked, and felt something run underneath them.

Hesta and Sir Jeff were already out the front door and pounding the Grange soil. The knight seemed particularly frantic.

“I remember seeing that guy! At the compound!” he thought at Hesta.

“That so? Wondered how people got in,” she commented, “curious job, it was, gun powder right under the oil hold, must have been integrated awhile to get far enough in the family to get access to the place.” Hesta's response troubled Sir Jeff.

“You not mad?” he asked, “no call for vengeance, no blood oath to his death?”

“Nah,” she said, “you need to have timing with it, vengeance, if you jump into it immediately it's hard to execute, wait awhile, boom, an easy opening can be found later.” The knight didn't like the sound of that, he was used to a world where there were monsters you just constantly fought.

The priest was at the door, Alf had just caught up in that type of run only possible by being the full hand of overweight, middle aged, and military trained.

“You have a weapon in that jeep?” the priest asked. Alf smiled, he lied where this was going.

“Why yes, a bazooka, but that's it, and I don't suppose you have a weapon.”

“I already have one,” the priest said simply, “I have the blessings of Rlo, that is the only weapon I need. You, start up the vehicle, I'll be out shortly.” The priest reentered the temple, Alf went and started his jeep. The priest returned, with a staff in hand. It was a simple wooden staff painted white, until you got to the top. What could be assumed as the holy symbol of Rlo rested at the top. It was a circle , the staff met a line going through it and made a disproportionate T inside the circle. The symbol was gilded with silver and gold.

The priest hopped in the jeep and Alf revved the engine. Even through his career in a foreign army Alf had never hunted contraband as stated by a god, that kind of stuff happened to big name heroes, ones with swords that grow up in mountain kingdoms. Actually, people much like Will. Alf smiled, it was going to turn out to be a interesting day, a very interesting one indeed.

All while Will was stuck in his house, alone, thinking about military strategies that Alf would present in his favor. Poor guy, he'd have loved to be a part of this.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:13 pm

Chapter Three
Of Gods and Men

You didn't hear much about the gods in these days, it was enough to cause people to start developing atheism. This alone is used as a philosopher's trump card. “If god's existed, surely they'd wipe out the non believers.”

This is, like what most cloudy headed individuals think, wrong. They'd also say if two nations next to each other had a bitter rivalry, then they'd break out full war until one died. A god wouldn't want to destroy atheists, a determination to not believe in gods like that is very close to belief, close enough, anyway. The gods certainly did exist, and it took a big something to make them get together a talk about the something.

Sir Jeff was a thing, the gods had no idea what to make of his existence.

“Magic? Could he have been made from magic?” spoke Therm, a god of fire.

“If it was magic then it wouldn't be so,” Allos, a god worshiped by mystic thinkers, paused a second before getting the right words, “real.”

“Ohows vut yous know dingle nuts,” taunted Lasnoll, “de would just use majic to MAJE dit real!” He was a god meant to represent bad temperament on a whole. Like Loki, but an ass hole instead of a prankster. There was a pause.

“Like your mom?” Therm spoke quietly. The less mature gods spattered out laughing, a good thirty percent which where clearly not that worshiped and more of a place holder in mythology. Most are in fact, it's just the rest had more self control.

“Silence!” Everyone decided to obey. The gods were clustered around a large table, and in a high seat a the end of it, sat Rlo. Throughout the many worlds there are many gods like Rlo. Gods of gods, seers of all (at least most), and undoubtedly the most powerful. Unlike most, he wasn't overly muscle clad . His hair wasn't long nor white. He did have a beard, but it did not flow. No, he was simply tall, had hazel colored hair, yes he wore a toga, but that's just what gods wore when with other gods.

“I believe I know exactly were this- thing -comes from.” Rlo spoke, “it definitely isn't magic-”

“Here that, Lasnoll, it's not magic,”

“It's a science.” The gods shut up. Science was boring to them, it was all waiting and no gain for them. Sure, it always developed correctly, but it still took time. Gods had all the time in the world, but they didn't like to give it up unless they had to.

“Science?” spoke up Lethin, goddess of seafaring, “if it had just developed it wouldn't be, “ she paused to collect her words, “not belonging,” she ended lamely.

“Oh one, that's the point,” Rlo went on, “this is a strange brand of science, the kind only a god would understand.” The other gods stared at him.

“What god would bother with science?” a voice spoke up. Rlo rose from his seat and waved a hand over the table. Nothing happened, it was all for drama. Gods loved drama.

“Tell me, what Parthenon do you think would bother with science?” The gods looked among themselves, for the most part they were all here, they were sizing each other up on who might be the daft idiot with them. “I'll give you a hint, they're not here.” The the gods stopped.

“Is it,” started Allos, who thought a bit quickly, “you know, Them?” Rlo grinned, that was all gods like to mention of Them. The gods didn't really like to deal with Them do to major differences in opinion. That's the reason the thing didn't belong, it came from Them, or at least one of Them. Almost the whole of Rylon had the gods' signature on it, anything with Theirs was old, old to the gods. It didn't belong because it was something new from Them.

The Maker smiled as he worked on his computer. Everything was displayed on his screen. Not the Grange, not the Parthenon, just everything. But there was a window open that focused on Sir Jeff. He smiled, the eye stalks squelched out of their sockets and went to work on seeing the far sides of the screen at once. It's been centuries since he had last been so busy, and he wanted to make the most of it.

And then he laughed. It felt so good to be active again.
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:05 pm

Chapter Three
Enough

The Grange is said to go on forever. Although this is imposable, and not true, it's said by people who have tried to cross it. To them, it might as well be true. The actually geography tells that the Grange is a peninsula, completely surrounded by mountains. It is a pocket of dry land, which gathers no storms. All it's moisture is drawn from wells and the rare few springs that the lucky may find. It is a desert with grass instead of sand, and that simple fact makes it just a notch worse. Grass and trees still find the water, but you can't. It mocks you.

Sir Jeff stabbed the ground with his sword, he didn't like being mocked. It had so far been one shit-hole life for him,even the fake world he lived in seemed safer. Everything that wasn't yourself was a monster, and they never touched the empty towns he'd stay in. It was also a lush forest, in contrast to, well, the Grange. If a woodsman even visited the Grange he'd probably cut his wrist.

Hesta coughed. “It would be a good if you went ahead and dug a hole.” the knight stared at her. “The jeep, you know, those guys chasing us?” The knight grumbled in his mind and set off to work digging a hole with his sword. He didn't like that, the sword was special, the world he fought in was fake, but that bastard who made him still got the sword to exact specs. Of course he did. HE made it in the first place.

The jeep stopped, Alf had a good look around. Tracking in the Grange was almost pointless. There were no clues or landmarks you could go by, it was just the same for miles. He turned to face the priest, for was in the passenger seat.

“Sorry, pal,” Alf said, “looks like they lost us.”

“No! They can't get away!” screamed the priest, “I was told by Rlo to make sure that thing was dead!” His face was red.

Right below the jeep was a clod of dirt, and if you looked closely, a hole in the side of it. But the two on the jeep weren't really in the position to be looking at it closely, so they drove off, the priest fuming.

“Close one, huh Jeff?”

“Meep”

In a room in a house in a Grange town someone was throwing on their cloths. It was with the determination of one who is damn sure that they won't be coming back to get a change, or to just come back. Period. Will flung his rifle onto his back, put on his helmet, and after a short time of consideration, a pair of sunglasses and a scarf. I've had enough of this crap, he thought, I'm going out there to fight those bastards one way or another. He opened Alf's door, and slammed it behind him. There was little chance that'd he'd get anything done, little chance he'd survive traveling the Grange. He didn't care, he was dead set on his goal. Will was dead, as far as the world knew, then what was left was a goal with a body, a man with no place in the world and who wanted to do big things. Gods LIKE these kind of people.

“Jeff”

“What?”

“Get off my leg.”

“Right.” Sir Jeff crawled out of the dirt. The 'dig a whole to avoid being caught' strategy is put aside by most, but most aren't around two feet tall tops. He brushed the dirt off his black cloth clothing, Hesta emerged from the ground.

“You didn't happen to piss off any people before we picked you up, have you?” Hesta questioned.

“Not a soul, all the hobos I meant liked me,” he felt like he should add something, “and he didn't look like a hobo.” Hesta shrugged, then pulled out a mad from her dress coat.

“We traveled from here,” she pointed to the space in the map that represented the temple, “and we ran off in about this directions,” she drew her finger across the map, “so we are probably here.” She looked up from the map to see if the knight was following along. Gods, she thought, he's still gripping onto that sword.

Murphy of Murphy's Good Auto Deals stirred in his seat. It's not that he wasn't used to strangers with hidden faces and guns buying something from him, he just wasn't used to those types being so honest.

“And this one, it runs well?” the stranger asked. He was in militia gear, and a the same time a scarf in the heat of third summer (The Grange don't have a fall of winter, First Summer, Second Summer, Third Summer, and Spring.). He probably killed one of them, Murphy thought, and now he needs an escape. The stranger handed over a wad of money and held his hand out. Murphy jostled in his pocket before drawing out a key, and handed it over.

He itched his scalp as the man drove away. “Strange,” he thought out loud, “this must be the best damn counterfeit I've ever seen.” Latter that night he was surprised to learn that he did in fact make a good thousand off of the motorcycle. He needed new pants after that.

Hesta rubbed her chin, it had been an interesting story. She had given in a asked what the hell was up with Jeff and his sword, this of course brought his life story with it; that wasn't a problem since it was short. Made by some crazy man on his own little isle? She'd never heard anything like that outside of fiction.

“Let me see your blade,” she finally said. Sir Jeff gave her a look. Even in the face of Hesta, his sword was still special to him. “Now,” she asserted. Intelligently, the knight handed over the blade. It was a long sword, scaled to Sir Jeff's height. It looked completely normal besides the strange tint to it, dark teal? Something around that. She squinted her eyes, there was some writing on the blade.

“Somnium Klinge?” said said, “that's Ancient.”

“Can't be, couldn't of been around much longer them me,”

“No, as in the language,” her brows furrowed, “you can't understand Ancient?” The knight's eyes slanted at the tops

“Sorry if I don't know many damn languages,” for the look he had his arms spread out into the air.

“Doesn't matter, hardly anybody actually knows the thing, but everybody understands. Doesn't matter if you can't speak or write it.”

“Well I can't,” snapped the angry knight. After a pause his eyes slanted. “Say, whats 'somnium klinge' mean, anyway?”

“'Dream Blade', as in, that blade is from a dream, or figment, or it is one,” Hesta fumbled in her coat and got out a cigar and a lighter, “once you try to speak it the mind gets fuzzy, you understand Ancient, not speak it or of it.” She lit the cigar and took a long drag.

“Son of a bitch!” Alf erupted from his house. The priest, although a new found zealot, cringed at the slightest use of foul language. Alf jumped into the car and immediately slammed the gas hard. He had come for supplies, but didn't seem to have gotten them in his rage. “That bastard! He took all my money! All of it!”
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:31 pm

Chapter Three
Games

Alf's grip of the steering wheel had gone beyond white-knuckle, the rage of his theft drove him on. In the same way gods liked people like Will, the disliked the ones like Alf. Alf was late middle aged, over weight by almost a hundred pounds, balding(and the hair that was there was making a beeline towards gray), naturally greasy and sweaty, and had learned all his skills from over twenty years in armed service. Alf was REAL, as real as a person could be while still being human. To gods, Alf was just something that came with the meal you had to eat with the rest, like the Lima beans in an otherwise perfect Shepherd's Pie. Will, Will was something the gods could work with. He had gotten all his skills from sheer determination and talent. Will and Alf were practically analogs for the gods and Them.

Will was at this moment swelling with guilt. He and Alf, despite their differences, getting along well. Sure, he had to steal his money, maps, and a rifle plus some ammo, but that was just Getting the Job Done, like Alf had said. It just happened that Alf's advice and Alf's personal interests clashed this one time. He tried shrugging it off, he'd have to. He knew where he was headed, he had double checked the map several times before heading out. In The Grange planing point A to point B was easy, the landscape allowed you to make a straight line.

“So, my sword's a fictional object,” stated Sir Jeff.

“All in the writing,” replied Hesta.

“Well, I suppose that's all fitting.”

“Might just be.” As they walked the knight was creating the brand of communication you have with another person just to not have any actually communicating done, so far it had lasted him a good two hours of walking.

“All in the same way that I'm a fictional being given a body to match his myth,” continued Sir Jeff.

“Yep,” she returned, “although it seems that nowhere in that journey of yours really fits the fact you're in the Grange.”

“Ya, like anything really belongs in this forsaken place.” After some quiet Sir Jeff noticed Hesta had stopped walking, he turned around.

He was just looking at him, casual motionless, and smoking a cigar that seemed to come from nowhere. If the knight had a esophagus he would have swallowed.

“Tell me Jeff,” he cringe, “how much do you really know about the place?” He walked forward and prepared to speak but Hesta started up again. “You've been alive for, what, a Month or two? You don't even have your legs yet.” Sir Jeff looked down, “not those.” Hesta took a long drag from the cigar and put it out on a convenient rock. “A lot of things belong in this place, look around if you don't believe me.” He did so, and missed the point by a mile.

“I see nothing,” he whined.

“Really?” Hesta paced back and forth, “if you really saw nothing, it'd be black. Actually, no, because there'd be no light to tell you black from anything else.” Drag, exhale, “The things that belong here, quite simply, are the things that put up with this place. The grass finds water and sun, it lives. The few trees are lucky and they find deep water, they live.” Hesta tipped her hat upward. “People find a place where their previous troubles don't matter, they live.” Sir Jeff felt like eyes were one him from all sides, but that was just the effect you got when Hesta lectured you.

“But us? No, we don't live, not in the same way, but we still belong,” it ticked in the knight's brain that see was talking about the mafias, “belong to scrape or living from what ever a careless person allows us to. The people get their life from the Grange, we get it from the people. Life that is converted into dollars and change. Ever wonder what the money here is based on?” Sir Jeff realized that this was an actually question unlike most of what had been said.

“Err,” he managed.

“You remember what I said about counterfeit? Ruining the dollars worth?” Sir Jeff nodded. “Most money, money from proper countries anyway, they're based on gold, mostly, or other metals or value. Grange money? Not so, we have no gold nor much of any money. Grange money is based on something you rarely find in more happy lands, it's based on their hope, Jeff, hope strong enough to ring out into cash; you don't get hope strong in places where you don't need it. Counterfeit dilutes that hope, makes you think you have more, then crushes it. It's all fine and good as long as you have just the right amount.” She took some puffs from the cigar then moved on passed the knight.

“Ya coming? Or are ya still trying to get all that through ya head?” she called back. In a snap the knight got his head back and ran to catch up.

“Where are we going, anyway?” he asked, “I thought we where stuck to just wandering, but you're studying that map like you're looking for something.”

“Oh, I know where it is, just not on this map,” she said.

“And that would be...” he pressed.

“Nothing much, just business, a loan in fact, good thing I paid off my last.”

A figure stirred in a heap of rubble, when it stood up it was called Will. This was the place, huh, he though, Alf did a number on it. Will was at the former and only compound for the Hesta family, all destroyed, though no doubt many of the mobsters were away on job. When Alf had made the metaphor about the mafia sticking their heads from their borrows, he never guessed it was this littoral. The sound of a engine was heard, got louder, then went off. Then feet hit the ground and a gun was readied.

“You truss passin' on Hesta property,” barked a goon, “get off and then I'll kill you.” Will looked to the man, the rifle was pointed right at him.

“Doesn't it go, 'or I'll kill you'?” Will asked the man.

“Not the way I do it,” he said with a smile, and fired.

It shouldn't of happened, it was against all logic, but gods don't give a hoot, they say if they think somethings logical or not. And in this case Will seemed to have all the time in the world to move to the right of the bullet's path toward his heart, and plenty of time before the man could shot again to pin the goon to he ground.

“AraAgh,” the goon bellowed, “bastard I'll kill you! This a new suit!”

“Sorry pal,” Will said, “you can't die twice.” He pulled a pistol he had stored in his pocket, and shot the goon in the head. 'Get the Job Done', Alf had said, this was just an obstacle, anybody that'd need killing was just an obstacle, that's what he'd tell himself. And the gods wouldn't have it any other way.

Hesta and Sir Jeff were staring right ahead of them.

“So, suppose you don't see those things around here, do you?” said the knight.

“If we did they it's new to me,” said Hesta.

“When I think about it, it looks more like something I'd see back in my fake world, the one with only monsters.” In front of the was a giant scorpion. No, not the size of a rat, or even a dog. It's body rose from the ground as the size of a van, not including the height from the legs and tail. A dull and long hissing nose was consent. “Yep, a monster”

“Good fucking shit!” Alf cursed in bellow. The priest cringed. “how in the world did you summon that thing!?”

“You get good connections being a priest, friends in high places.”
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PostSubject: Re: Jeff   Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:27 pm

Chapter Four
Rumble

The scorpion's tail slammed down into the soil, Sir Jeff jumped away to the side just in time. Hesta had already walked off, and was now standing in the background smoking her cigar.

Sir Jeff fell from his jump in a roll, got up flawlessly, and drew his sword. The scorpion just looked, not with complicated emotions, just kill and eat. A claw shot out, the knight jump straight up, and landed running on the arachnid's claw. He leaped just as the scorpion thrashed it's arm, and came down on the creature's back, sword stabbing downward, the beast screeched and bucked him off.

The feel, it was familiar. A driving force pulled the knight from the ground, and sent him charging once more.

For miles the only sound heard was a motorcycle speeding through the Grange. It's driver wearing a scarf and packing heat, the former more out of place then the former. He stopped as he saw something in the distance, a mafia caravan. This angered Will, the mafia was so confidante that it ran transportation lines in broad daylight. Well, they'd learn their lesson.

The scorpion brought it's tail down once more, but was blocked by the tiny object that was the knight's sword. With a push the tail was flung backwards, again. Hesta was watching the fight with fair curiosity, the scorpion was a titan by human standers and here was this little, little, thing, that was throwing back blows like it was of equal size. Hesta took an enjoyed puff from her cigar, he just kept getting more and more interesting.

Another connect, this time with a claw. The two, monster and Jeff, strained to overtake each other. Sir Jeff began sliding back, the dust soil giving away at the scorpion's strength. The monster began chittering madly, and then stumbled forward, Sir Jeff had fallen back, and with uncanny energy had already gotten under the beast.

The armor gave away under the edge of the sword, like a knife cutting through an apple, green blood oozed slowly through the wound, and the monster collapsed onto of him. Hesta whistled. Sluggishly the scorpion got up and lumbered forward, trying to prove it was still alive. So did the knight, who peeled himself off the ground and shook off the dust. Then he noticed, the scorpion had it's back to him.

The caravan had no idea what hit them, out of thin air several shots broke through the reinforced glass and killed the drivers of some of the transport vehicles. They weren't dumb, instead of stopping to get a better look of what was going on all the remaining drivers floored the gas, and sped off. Eventfully a motorcycle reached the transporters, and had a look around. Alf had only the best guns, and sniper rifles were no exception. Will opened up the back to one of the trucks, and threw a match inside of it. He got into his bike, and drove off from the burning trucks, the cargo of drugs now burning.

The knight ran towards the scorpion, the beast still dazed. Once near he swung his sword and didn't stop his dash, even as the tail of the scorpion snapped and fell. A jump, and a sword forward fall, the back punctured. Sir Jeff dragged the blade down the creature's back, it being too weak to thrash in defiance. At the head he jumped down and faced the thing, no facial features on it existed to tell signs of it's pain and defeat. Sir Jeff stabbed it there, arm moving like a gun shot. He withdrew his arm, up to his shoulder was covered in slime. The knight turned at the sound of clapping.

“Well done, Jeff,” Hesta said as she walked up to him, “I'd shake your hand but it seemed like the insides of that thing already have.” He returned a glare.

“NO!” the priest cried, “How could that thing take out a divine beast!” His robe swished as he stalked back to the jeep, “that thing must be destroyed!” Alf was rubbing his chin in thought, he'd be lying if he said that fight didn't amuse him.

“Now, your giant monster thing was impressive and all,” said Alf, “but, you know, I could just get him with my bazooka right now and that'd be that.” The priest turned around.

“Fool!” he yelled, “it has to be done right! Not with your little toys, but with the power of Rlo!” Alf sighed. He had a feeling that this would take longer then it'd need to be.

“So, what, do we just leave this here?” said Sir Jeff.

“Why not? Not like we have to worry about it poisoning the soil, arsenic would even be an improvement.” Hesta responded, “say, how'd ya even muster that much strength?”

“Didn't need much, the blade's nice and sharp.”

“I meant the blocking of a stinger that probably weighs thrice as much as you.”

“Oh yeah, that,” he staled, “was driven to, you know, Momentum.”

“Pretty sure momentum doesn't work standing still, Jeff.”

“Bah!” The knight strode past the dead scorpion, Hesta followed behind at her own pace. Inside Sir Jeff, the Momentum went down slowly, sensing it's need gone. They continued on their journey through the Grange.

In the jeep Alf swore under his breath, he was stuck with a fool who did things to pomp, and things never get done with pomp, just a lot of “Oh-and-Ahing. But his better side stopped him from throwing the guy out into the Grange, that'd be straight up mean, it would.
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