Archive | August 6, 2014

Three-Word-Wednesday: The Job

To Three-Word-Wednesday (Today’s words are Liberated, Muddy, and Vicious). It’s been so long since I’ve done one of these, I had to go digging in my tags.. April 29, 2011!

It was dirty, it was vicious, and it was illegal, even by the lax regulations that counted as law in the wastelands. But it was necessary to get the job done, and nobody had ever said of the Rangers that they did not do the job.

They slipped in at night, like raiders, like bandits. They slid through the cracks in the outpost’s defenses, like assassins, like thieves. They took what they needed and were gone without being sighted, like ghosts in the night. When they moved on, there no proof they’d been there, except the holes in the storeroom.

It was muddy, it was nasty, and it was immoral, even by the standards of the gods who would have wastelanders and rangers as subjects. But they had to do it, and so they did it. Rangers prayed for forgiveness rather than petitioning for permission.

They collected their supplies from seventeen small outposts and villages, townships, farmsteads, way-stations and junkyards. They left no payment, note, IOU, nor apology. They left three corpses behind, none of them their own, and did not miss a single piece of their equipment.

Raiders, their victims assumed, monsters and ghosts. The rangers preferred those assumptions.

It was messy, it was close to monstrous, and it was exactly what they had been recruited to do. They had a job to do, and they had not been hired to keep their hands too clean.

They built a machine out of blood-soaked gears and mud-caked pipes. They hammered it together with stolen tools and liberated rivets; they fueled it with oil seasoned with widows’ tears and their own tired prayers.

It looked like an abomination, and there were some – even among the Rangers – that would say that it was. But it would get the job done.

They were muddy, they were vicious, and they were at the border for only one reason. The laws that the wastelands pretended to honor ignored them, and the only gods that would have them as subjects were looking the other way, lest they see something they shouldn’t.

The Rangers couldn’t care. They had a job to do, and a city to take back from the monsters. Their task was bloody and violent, dirty and nasty, but it was what they had been recruited to do, and there was no-one who would say that the Rangers did not do the job.

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Test Story the Second: A Promotion

The base of this came from a 7th Sanctum generator. Not sure about this one, either, but it’s another interesting beginning

“It’s not like we need to learn this shit anyway. I mean, what’s there to learn? The world was there and then it ended. Everything blew up and here we are.” Benji kicked the ground. “I could be doing something useful, like scrounging the wrecks or hunting down Ovarod spawn.”

“Or helping Malcom with the still he’s building.” Thad had slightly different priorities than Benji, but they agreed on the basics: History class was a sad, Ovarod-feces waste of time, and Math and science weren’t much better.

“The still would be nice. I can’t remember the last time I had some nice…”

“Benjamin Widdowson-Chatwyn?” The voice cut over Benji’s reminisces.

“I didn’t do it!” He twisted, yelped, and jumped all at once. His mother did that to him, complete with full name. Nobody but her ever called him Benjamin.

Next to him, Thad sniggered. Oh, Benji was going to be living this one down for weeks. He coughed and tried to redeem himself.

“That is, yes, I’m Benjamin Widdowson-Chatwyn.” He bowed, smiled, and managed to look the woman in front of him up and down all at the same time.

Her hair was so blonde as to almost be white, her smile was just a little too amused, her ankles were beautiful, and the rest of her was covered in a Recovery Service uniform. “How can I service, ah, help the Service?”

“That is the proper question.” Her smirk was growing to a full-fledged grin. “Your uncle thought I might be able to use you; he said you were eager for promotion.”

“Promotion? I mean – graduation, sure. But it’s not like I have a ow Thad what the Ovarod-trails?” He danced away from his friend, who seemed to have suddenly developed a twitch in his leg.

“What Benji means is that of course he wants the promotion, Corporal. Doesn’t he?”

“What? Oh, yes. Yes, Corporal.” If you moved past the severe nature of her field gear, the Corporal was a stunning woman. And anything had to be better than learning the history of a destroyed world. “Is Thad up for promotion too?”

“That remains to be seen. For now, however, Private Widdowson-Chatwyn, we have a quest for you.”

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Anything She Wants…

First: So, Who Are You?.
Previous: Orientation

I can do almost anything I want to you.

Blaecleah swallowed. “Okay.” It really wasn’t okay. On the other hand, he was sort of past the deciding point on this one. “Okay, so this is why it’s supposed to be hard to handle.”

“Yeah.” Niobe opened her eyes. “Yeah, that’s why it’s hard to handle. What you gave up when you took Sedge’s bet, you gave up free will. Freedom at all. Choice. Until your term is up.”

“That’s…” terrifying. “A bit intimidating.”

“It ought to be. We’re almost to my room, come on. We can handle the hard stuff inside.”

“There’s harder stuff?”

The sound she made could only be called a laugh because he didn’t want to call it a bark. “Depends on your point of view, I suppose. But yeah, it’s probably safe to say there’s harder stuff.” She squeezed his hand, a gentle sort of squeeze. “Man, I did not sign up for this.”

Blaecleah swallowed around a lump of guilt. “I’m sorry. It was just, he pricked my pride…”

“…and he wants something I can offer, and used you to get it. Oh, don’t – look, if I say ‘don’t worry,’ it’s never an order, okay?”

“Okay?” He was still trying to work on the concept that she could order him not to worry, and have it work.

“-don’t worry, you were well and truly set up. This isn’t your fault.”

Despite the don’t worry not being an order (whether or not the world ought to work that way), he found her reassurance a little calming. “Thanks.”

“Look, this doesn’t haven’t to be horrible or anything. As a matter of fact, the general goal is for it to not be horrible.” She swung open a door. “Come on in. This will be your room, too, for as long as I’m Keeping you.”

Blaecleah looked around. He’d shared a room his whole life, in the creche, but… “There’s only one bed.” It was a big bed. But still.

“That there is. Kneel.” She barely waited for his knees to start obeying the order. “Take off your shirt and then put your hands behind your head. There. How does that feel?”

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Next: Not All Bad

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August’s Theme Will be… Reiassan

My Patreon supporters/donors (all two of them!) voted, and agreed on a topic.

The theme for August is Reiassan

Magic, war, battling religious interpretations, mysterious history: the story of Reiassan goes from a Dark-Ages-level technology right up to steampunk.

Learn about magic swords in their dark era, follow Rin & Girey across the continent in the End Of War era, or watch a steampunk academy in action in Edally Academy.

The landing page for Reiassan is here -

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