News

News: My thoughts are clouds I cannot fathom into pastries.

--1 June 2018--

Quote: Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest of hearts. --Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

The Fellowship

November 6, 2018

18.11.06 - War Zone Rebels

I bring yet another bus-contrived short story to you :) This one was inspired by overcast skies and the Inception soundtrack. Enjoy.

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A red dawn spilled across the distant mountain range like blood on a battlefield. Jace flattened his pale lips in a grimace and snapped the moth-eaten curtains shut. The squeak of booted heels echoed against the marbled floor as he turned, pacing back to the giant obsidian table that stretched across the room.  Thirty pairs of eyes, ringed with purpled bruises, dark shadows, and edged with dispair, flicked up to meet his.
“It’s about as dead as Halovan’s Helm outside.” Jace unzipped his black leather jacket, shrugging out of it before laying it across the back of his chair at the head of the table, “Our best suit of action would be to move our men through the tunnels as soon as possible. We can transit the warcraft and hellhogs tonight under cover of darkness,” he paused, “although I think the Council will predict that move.”
A shallow cough interrupted him. Elder Donovan, one of several forefront Rebel members, spit a toothpick onto the table and rubbed at his gritty eyes with greasy fingers.
“It isn’t enough.”
Jace turned, dark eyes narrowing ominously, “What do you mean it isn’t enough? It has to be enough.” His jaw jutted forward as the blue-black veins on his pale white neck pulsed angrily, “We have hundreds of lives dependent on this war council. We must be absolutely certain it is enough. This is why we are here, Elder. We have no other option.”
The caustic snap of Jace’s voice, laced with a poisonous expectation that warned of the very real possibility of death, silenced the sounds of fidgeting.
Elder Donovan raised his gaze from the toothpick to meet the Rebel leader, “Of course – but we all know it won’t be. There’s enough husked skinbags out there on the plains to make ourselves a new canvas for a full-sized airship. Moving hundreds of people is a death-sentence. Might as well surrender ourselves to the—”
“Donovan,” the woman beside him lay her wrinkled hand on his arm. He shrugged her off,
“And on top of that, we have dangerously low fuel reserves. Why bother with the warcraft and hellhogs in the first place when we know we won’t have enough to last.”
Jace ground his teeth and stood back, running calloused hands through a shock of dark, ragged hair. The distant rumble of a wall collapsing guttered against the hum of the emergency generators.
“I know.” Jace conceded, “I know, but we have to do our best with what we have. If we don’t move our equipment out they’ll take it. And I hate to raze such fine engineering, which must be done if we choose to leave it all behind.”
“Raze or regret,” a voice piped from further down the table.
“Raze or regret.” Jace nodded and exhaled, “What is our consensus? Do we attempt to bring the craft with us or leave it here?”
Several heartbeats passed before a clear voice loudly called, “Raze!”
The rest of the table nodded as the word was muttered and coughed from more than a dozen chemically-damaged lungs. Jace frowned, hands clenched tight behind his back,
“Very well then. Raze it is, although I —”
The hallway door smacked open with a vibrant snap and a tall, lithe female in assassins black stepped into the room. Two men flanked her, their automatic weapons were strapped tightly across broad backs.
“Ma’am you can’t be in here.” A Rebel ranger from a seat nearest the door stood to intercept the trio.
The newcomer held up a gloved hand as she raised the other to pull down her mask, exposing a face stained with ash, dust, and rusted blood.
“Don’t bother with your formalities, ranger.” Her voice was sharp and lethal, “I can be wheresoever I please.”
Several rebel members had started to murmur and rise from their seats. The sound of safeties unlatching clinked around the table. Jace glared at the intruder as he stepped forward,
“Shall I have you arrested? You have no place here, particularly unannounced. You need to leave.”
The assassin smirked and drew a fold of paper from a pocket, “I think you’ll reconsider that statement after you read this.”
The tension in the room roiled as it became obvious that the seal of the Council had been seared onto the message.
“Don’t touch that.” Elder Donovan spoke over the exclamations of disgust.
“How did you get in here?” Jace asked, having now made his way within several meters of the newcomers. They held their place with a solid assurance and calm that only befits an enemy with the foreknowledge that they have their prey in a bind.
“Cassandra,” the leader extended the message, “I think you’ll be thankful I come with this news.”
Jace took the message and broke the seal.
“What if it’s poisoned?!” someone shouted.
“Then their highly trained messenger is dead as well.” Jace looked up at Cassandra momentarily before returning his eyes to the paper.
He skimmed the note. A muscle in his jaw ticked in time with the watch on Elder Donovan’s gaunt wrist.
The room hushed enough for the pulsing buzz of electricity in the overhead lights to sound nearly deafening. Jace folded the message shut and reached into the pocket of his pants, withdrawing a lighter. He flicked it once, twice, and held the flame to the parchment until only ash floated before his feet.
The room was still – a staggered breath held before the exhaled scream. Jace looked up at Cassandra.

“Very well.” He nodded before turning to the room of leaders, “We have a new plan.”
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Signed with a torch, 
Squeaks.

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