Board Writing :: Aftermath: The Prologue :: Page 1
Nov 27, 2004
[This story was originally written in the forums, where the original copy can still be found.]
He had been running for days. Whenever he slowed even the least bit, a firefight ensued. Badly wounded and finally pinned down in an abandoned house, he took time to mend a shot to the leg when the shooting died down.
"Heh, the price we pay for knowing too mu--urgh!"
He yanked the slug out, throwing it in a nearby vase.
His hand flared up violently, and he struck the wound with searing flames. It cauterised the wound, but made no apparent burns. He recalled his lessons at the old Arc Cane Institute of Magick in his hometown.
"As you know, there are eight types of magick which exist in this realm", an intelligent looking professor stated. "Water, Ice, Lightning, Fire, Wind, Earth, Heal, and Curse. What you may not know is that every one of you is imbued with one, or in rare cases two or three of these elements, unless you're one of the 25% of the world's population with no magick ability. You need not worry since you've all been screened and ..."
His reminiscing was cut short by a bolt ripping through the wall. A tall woman clad in a yellow and black suit appeared through the hole.
"Vincent!" She shouted as she drew a whip which grew alive with electricity. "Return the tome, and your death will be quick and painless."
"Heh, haven't yoo learned Maria? Pain is good!" He directed a wave of flame at her and ascended another floor.
He thought back to the briefing he and his comrades received before embarking on the mission
"Tango unit, your job is to steal the Tome of 10 magicks from the Thanox complex. Be warned, if you two don't get to the rendevous point in time, you'll have to make it to this abandoned crack den thirty miles south where we'll get you backup. Tanner, Vince, try not to make too much of a mess."
Vince, jumped out a window onto a ledge in the back, putting a few fiery rounds into some mages standing guard. He climbed a lattice to the roof, and silently observed his surroundings. A massive group of goons were positioned surrounding the house, taking cover behind large black vans. Many were entering the house, and some were investigating the shots fired in the back.
"Dammit Tanner, why did you have to stay back and fight him?!!"
A chopper sounded in the distance, closing in fast, and it distracted the majority of the enemies in the area.
"Heh, late as usual." He then launched a hail of flaming gunfire unto the vans, sprawling guards out amid the combusting vehicles. He took cover behind the chimney as the helicopter slowly positioned itself over and swung down a ladder. He climbed aboard, and as they started to depart the scene, an RPG ripped into the aircraft.
It lost altitude, and crashed somewhere in the ghetto of Neo Columbus...
[Woo, that was long for me. Anyway, darker styled modern, magick (I like this spelling) guns swords whatever. I don't want this to be ruined like the search so a bit of warning- if you are new to RP or have been told you suck at it, don't try any major plot alterations.]
Vince's eyes opened to roaring flames. The chopper had been utterly devastated, its frame torn asunder. He pulled himself out of the fire, knowing that they would catch up soon. Aside from some rather nasty cuts and bruises, and his previous wounds, he was fine. His alignment did come with its advantages. There was no time to see if anyone else survived. He had a job to do. Stumbling from the searing wreckage, a gathering of tramps had herded around the crash. Most were drawn to it in their daze of drug induced trance, others just saw it as a way to pass the time, regardless of the danger.
"What's wrong with you guys," one of the particularly scraggy homeless men yelled, "shootin' up an' blowin' up our streets? Why can't you just..." The urchin rambled on, but Vince was focused on the van pulling up at the end of the alley. Grabbing the man and pulling him in front of him, a rain of bullets eliminated the crowd as a problem. Casting the man to the pavement, a barrier of flame rose, preventing their entry while Vince made his escape. He had to go, fast, as far away as possible. As he dashed through the urban disaster, he sparked trails of fire in false paths to fool the hounding Thanox goons, hopefully. He had to put as much distance between them and the book as possible, and he had to get out of there. This task was always made more difficult when his feet were bound, of course. He never saw it coming, but he could never forget the sound. Just a crack was heard, and he was flat on the ground.
"I liked this suit," Maria stated, dragging Vince closer to her, snared and bound in her whip, "you know that." Her hand began to crackle, sending a slowly building current through the whip. "Give me the book." Her eyes gleamed with evil. "Now."
"Book?" he falsely asked. "What book would that beAAAHR!" She had spiked her voltage to show that she meant business.
"I can drag this out all day, Vince," told she. "Days, even. And I'd love to. Or, if you are a good little boy, I can make it much faster." He studied his current means of escape, but his options began to run low as more black vehicles swarmed around the exits to the corridor in which he was trapped, locking him in. Or, at least, so they thought.
"Aw, now c'mon, doll face," Vince smooth talked, aiming to buy some time for himself. "You know I wouldn't want to cause you any trouble." He tried to focus on her, but his concentration was on the barricade of automobiles. "If I had the book, you know I would give it to you." He flashed a charming smile to bait her in. He witnessed her eyes swell with realization, just the moment he wanted.
"You mean you-" Her words were drowned out by the huge eruption at the alley's entry. A single spark was all it took to set off a cascade of exploding vans. The force shot down the narrow way, hurtling Maria far over Vince. Using a precision flame, the whip was snapped from around his ankles, and he resumed his run into the night.
Meanwhile, far back at the crash site, where masses of bullet riddled hobos and addicts lay, a body stirred. The angry, outspoken, grumpy man rose to his knees as bullets rolled from his back. Reaching his grimy fingers into his aged coat, he felt the Tome, safe and sound.
"I swear, Vince," he spoke to himself, "what would you do without me covering your tracks?" He knew their little swap would not fool the Thanox agents for long and made haste.
Music blaring in his Impreza, Jules roared down what was left of the road. "Maria, that *drum set solo starts up* dumping me for that *screamo yells* job. Just pizzes me off!"
At this time, the reckless boy just realized that he had gone off the road and towards some sort of burning wreckage. Rolling the steering wheel with both hands like he was falling off a rope, the rash young man ends up broadsiding an old man and sending an object through his window.
Jumping out of the car, Jules makes his way to the old man and shoots a brillant light at him. Immediately the the guy stirs. "What the hel, were you doing you sonova-"the elder's voice goes up two octaves as Jules removes his foot from the man's groin.
"Subaru's and stones may break your bones, but I healed you. However, no one can heal the dent in my car and the broken window, I'm just going to have to deal with it, as you are with your new problem."
As the man falls to the ground for the second time in the past few seconds, Jules gets back in his car and hastily leaves. After a long while later he pulls over and begins to remove the glass from the back seat. "Hello, what's this? A book? Must have been that geezer's back there." Tome in hand, about ready to toss it out, the boy glances at it again. The book seems to be ancient, but shows no sign of wear and tear, not even from the impact with the window. Elaborate designs fill the covers and binding. "On second thought, you might be interesting, or at least fetch a good price. Going to want to give you another look through someplace more private."
Meanwhile, Vincent darted through the shadows to the backup rendezvous point, once there he would wait for twenty hours or until the mission was deemed a success, or the man with the book came for help. There was no need for both of them to be seen together, they'd just make a bigger target.
Nov 30, 2004
Several goons and a man outfitted in dark purple combat fatigues dashed through a narrow alleyway, as flames in front of them cut off to the left. They turned into a small playground, enclosed on all sides but the alley by tall low income housing complexes. The four agents walked out into the chamber, searching for the fugitive. The large purple clad agent squatted down to inspect the newly singed grass beneath a jungle gym. A swingset's chain rattled in the shadows of a distand corner.
"He is still in dah area men! Look in dumpsters, anyvere! He is in dis alcove!" He raised a radio to his face, "Maria, get Sasha and head down to the playground betveen the Cather projects, the tome is in he.. DERE! Shoot it dammit!"
A dumpster in the far corner of the niche began smoking hevily. The troops roaming the scene opened fire with submachine guns, peppering it with bullet holes. As they stopped firing, the leader slid over to the container, exhibiting his ice mastery.
"What?!" He yelled as there was no evidence of a body in it. As he backed away, embers slowly floated from above, and he looked up to see a weakening fire escape topple down. It was met by a large icy shell as he shielded himself and a nearby agent from the burning shards.
Vincent leaped from the structure, only to hit the pavement hard on a patch of black ice. The purple agent swiftly lifted him by his collar and began choking him against a wall. His quickly escaping breath crystalized as his torso began to cling to the bricks. He was beginning to search Vince with his free hand when he spoke in his thick Russian accent.
"You thought you could get vid of Gunter that easily, Vincent? Not in dis lifetime...Vere is it?!" His grip loosened as he panicked. When unable to find the Tome Gunter slammed him onto the ice, skidding to some yellow high heels.
"Vere is vat, hon?" Maria mocked holding up a familiar book.
Vince's eyes widened. "What, HOW?!"
A younger woman in a Brown suit approached, and threw down a healers limp figure next to Vincent.
"Quite a weak fighter, but he kept healing any wounds we gave him. I finally just knocked Jules over the head with some rocks, and she zapped him unconscious. But you can't expect much from a healer alone."
"Oh, Sasha, you're such a bitch." Maria remarked. "I'd love to keep having these encounters Vinchenzo, but you've become quite the thorn in my employers side, and him I'm doing just out of spite!" The whip snaked around the two downed men, and rapid shocks began to pulse into them.
Before she could finish them off, the walls surrounding them seemed to bend outward, and write impossibly. Maria looked up at them and gazed in awe, stopping the current. A purple haze began to collect and the sky disappeared leaving only a void. Through a wall where the alley had been, the aged man walked. He cast aside his coat revealing a metallic armor, easily bendable, but it appeared hard as steel.
"Samael" Vincent managed to hoarsely speak as he staggered up holding the incapacitated Jules.
He cast a hand to the jungle gym and swingset, which both erupted from the ground and became a mess of twisted metal, he molded it from afar until it looked like a spider, with chains whipping from where the madibles would have been. It crashed over Maria, and violently thrashed her to the side, the Tome falling to his feet.
"I think we'd best leave now." Samael declared, and the three left through the newly reopend alley, book in hand. The three entered a blue van with Samael driving them out of range of any agents left looking in other alleys. "That power.." J whispered inaudibly
Meanwhile a batterd trio stood gasping over a heap of scrap metal. The walls had returned to normal, and any effect of the old man had ceased. As Gunter stepped over a lesser body, Sasha radioed in.
"They've escaped with the Tome, we must regroup and decide the next course of action."
A small group of remaining minor soldiers assisted Maria up.
"Dammit, how did they enlist the aid of Ever?!"
The forceful swaying of Jules head awoke him from his physically induced slumber.
"Ow ow ow what the hell?" the healer cursed as he was slapped back into consciousness. He quickly realized he was laying down in the back of a van with total strangers and immediately panicked. Vince held him down as he tried to escape with what little strength he had left. Getting your chest encased in ice after a long night of action does not bode well for the body. However, his benign powers proving to be of little value in tough situations once again.
"Whoa, now, Jules," the pyromaniac soothed with a croaking voice, "calm down now. We're the not the enemy." The young man was startled.
"H-how do you know my name? Have you been following me? Cataloguing me? Oh, man, you're with the government, aren't you? I'm part of some project, aren't I?" In his paranoid stammer, he proddled off the first delusional thoughts that popped into his racing mind. Another slap for good measure quieted him down.
"Look, I already explained it," Vince repeated, "we're the good guys. But, right now," he added with a scowl. "I'm not much above being a bad guy right now. We're not following you, and the government has no interest in keeping tabs on you, and I regret that you have been dragged into all this. I only know your name because I overhead Maria say it."
"Maria," Jules uttered beneath his breath, "that stone cold bitch." After fuming over his "fond" memories of the woman, he focused in back to the situation at hand. "So, the government isn't interesting in studying my freaky powers?"
"Freaky powers?" The elderly driver chuckled. "Kid, most of the world has these 'freaky powers', it's simple a matter of knowing you do and the extent honed." Jules stared at the man as though he had encountered him before, and his familiarity was soon realized.
"Hey, you're that bum I hit with my car," he blurted out. "And that's the book I stole from you." Samael turned a cocked eye at the odd man in their little envoy. "Well, I didn't mean to steal it. It just was stolen... by accident." An awkward air built up in the fast moving vehicle. "Um, yeah, so... sorry about the whole running-you-over thing."
"What? That! It was nothing," the scrungy geezer assured. "I've lived through far worse in my time." Vince laughed.
"Isn't that the part of your problem, Ever?" Vincent jested his associate. Despite needing his eyes to stay glued to the slum streets that he was wildly steering the van down, Samael shot daggers at Vince through the rear view mirror, swelling an unsightly pimple on his face. "Yeah, I pretty much was asking for that." With all that happened in such a short time, the last thing Jules needed was inside nicknames and peculiar happenings. The young agent sighed. "I guess you deserve some explanation for all of these. Allow me introduce myself. I am Agent Vincent of the-"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hold up," demanded Ever. "What do you think you're doing? He's a civilian, not an agent!"
"'In times of extreme circumstance, a civilian may be recruited as a temporary agent in an assignment assuming a particular and necessary service can be supplied by said civilian.' Besides, in all fairness, neither are you."
"Oh, and what possible task could this healer offer- oh, right... healing," Ever came to realize as he looked at Vincent barely being able to hold himself up right.
"Not only that, but someone seems to have some more personal information on Maria. Now, if you wouldn't mind," Vince requested, "I'd like to even be able to explain everything else." Eager for some knowledge of what exactly was taking place, Jules was quick to begin healing the agent. Vince explained everything. Roughly, but everything none the less. A crash course in the Magicks, elements, his mission to retrieve the tome, all of which either severely overwhelmed the young man or was too much for him to even comprehend.
"... okay," Jules asserted, "... okay. I... I think I get it all. You screwed up bad and now need me to patch up bullets holes."
"Hey, I like this kid," Samael changed his mind. "He's right on the money!"
"Shut up, Ever," Vince grunted. A new question popped into Jules head.
"Why is he called 'Ever', exactly? I thought his name was Sam?" Vincent ran his hand through his hair, wondering not if but how to tell it.
"As you are aligned with the powers of Heal," Vince explained, "Samael is aligned with Curse."
"I am Cursed," the driver clarified.
"Well, yeah," the Flame Slinger agreed. "His magick came through a rather unorthodox means, and it carries a very heavy price. You may not have noticed it when you hit him with your car, but he was in no danger of dying, even if you had left him with his injuries. You see, he's effectively immortal and doomed to an eternity of misfortune." It was all true, too. Samael carried not a curse of life but of undying. He knew countless deaths, but none would take his life. Never ending pain and torment was a worse fate than an end. He had hopes that the Tome would help in finally ending this plague, and ending him.
"But, but doesn't that mean-"
"Yeah, it sure does, little buddy," Ever concurred. "Not even time shall claim my soul. I've been around for a long, long time."
"No, that's not what I was going to ask," he conflicted, but then paused to study the suit of metal donned by the older, grizzled gent, making an estimation to his age. He would have asked but had more pressing matters to discuss. "If Samael is a walking magnet for disaster, then why are we transporting this oh-so-important book in a fast moving vehicle with him?"
"I don't like him anymore," Samael commented as one of the van's tires blew out, causing them to lose control and smash into a wall, demolishing only the driver's corner in the vehicle. "I'm okay," he shouted, "of course."
** There is still more to this story.
Continue to the next page