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Broken World: Beastmasters [IC/OPEN]

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Cerrania
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Posts: 2932
Founded: Nov 15, 2013
Ex-Nation

Broken World: Beastmasters [IC/OPEN]

Postby Cerrania » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:15 pm

Broken World: Beastmasters
Chapter 1: Entrance




Ellie Johannes
Annapolis, Maryland
Beastmaster Expeditionary Academy
September 2026


Fall certainly had not yet come to Maryland in early September. Even in the wee hours of the morning, Ellie felt sweat drip down her brow as she crested the final hill before her destination. Shifting the weight of her rifle onto her left shoulder, she carried on. It had only been a few days since she'd entered the city, and despite the fact that classes didn't start for another three days, the Academy wanted its incoming class to report today. Ellie couldn't imagine why. You'd think a school would want its students to report on the first day of classes, not beforehand.

Yet she waved the thoughts out of her head. Approaching the gate guards, she popped the magazine out of her M21, and then cleared the chamber, catching the round that bounced out. In an exchange that looked like it had been practiced, the guards and Ellie simply exchanged gear back and forth until all of Ellie's weapons and equipment had been given a green light for entry. Neither wasted any time in the procedure, both knowing the exact steps that needed to be taken. It was a routine that was done at almost every town and important building up and down the New United States, at least since General had been synonymous with President.

Now nodding to the guard, Ellie stepped forward into the campus. It was a stark contrast to much of the rest of the city. Where Annapolis as a whole is made of low-lying brick buildings, many in a state of disrepair from the heavy fighting in the area, the Academy has an entirely different look. A tall, twelve-story building. It's sleek metal walls, glinting against the rising morning sun, struck an imposing image. It was the tallest building in the immediate radius, and was visible from the wilderness outside Annapolis. Ellie had seen it several miles out when she first entered the city, mainly from its obnoxious reflections.

Approaching the door, she took a deep breath before pushing it open. A rush of cold air came up to meet her. As did almost pitch black. She scoffed, unslinging her rifle and snapping the magazine back in. Now creeping forward, she kept her head on a swivel. While it was improbable an emergency was occurring, nothing was impossible. Suddenly, a trail of red lights illuminated the room slightly. They seemed to lead off into another area of the building, turning a corner back into darkness. Ellie followed, staying wary of her surroundings. The red lights seemed to lead her through an endless amount of twists and turns before she came upon another door. Pushing it open, she was once again greeted with daylight. Covering her face with her hand, she stepped outside. The scene reminded her of some old book she had read as a kid. Maze Runner, perhaps. Around a hundred kids, varying in shape, size, and age, stood in a large grass field. On the left it sloped downwards towards a small gathering of flats, whereas straight ahead the field gradually gave way to a small outcropping of trees, and on the right the ground sharply rose upwards into a rock outcropping and a metal tower. On all sides, the field was surrounded by high walls. Ellie could barely make out the silhouettes of people standing on the rightmost wall.

Suddenly, the crackle of a microphone activating echoed across the entire field. Ellie craned her neck to look around, resting her eyes on the four individuals atop the wall.

'Welcome to the Beastmaster Expeditionary Academy. Congratulations on being selected for this prestigious program. You should all be incredibly proud." Thundered the voice. Even without the microphone, it would have been a powerful voice. Deep, resounding, and somehow inspiring. It continued.

"I will waste none of your time by saying this Academy will not stretch you to the limits of your grit. You will be tried, tested, and pushed until you think you cannot continue. And then you will find a reason to keep on. It has been done before, by the First Cadets before you. You can, and you will, do the same."

The voice paused, and in this time a lump rose in Ellie's throat. What could possibly be so challenging that an already tried-and-true unit in the military would acknowledge its difficulty.

"Those trials start today. Only the strong survive the Academy. Your devotion to success and survival will be your saving grace. Good luck."

With that, the voice cut off, and all across the walls panels hissed and rose.

Ellie heard the howls before she saw them. Cursing, she bolted back to where she had entered this trap, only to find a featureless wall. A panel very close to her whisked open, and three Howlers came tearing from the opening. Raising her M21, she squeezed the trigger. Once, twice, three times. The infected rocked backwards from the impact of the shot and fell motionless on the floor. Now turning, she watched as the scene descended into violence all around her. Gunshots began to echo around the field, and the screams of the infected mixed with those of the healthy. Her eyes darted around before resting on the tower in the rightmost sector of the field.

"Run to the tower, now!" She bellowed to whatever classmate was in earshot before taking off.

She would not die here, not today.
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Saleon
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Posts: 8567
Founded: Mar 12, 2015
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Saleon » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:02 am

"Gon' build that wall until it's done
But now you've got nowhere to run

So build that wall and build it strong
'Cause we'll be there before too long"
—Bastion

What is it... about this world that can seem so sedate? Calamity rides upon the heels of a society that is barely holding on, people are barely capable of building back what was lost in their great cities, crime seems to paint the town red while a military force merely adds to the lone statistics by keeping the piece by beating up the dissidents—yet everybody seems so hollow. Are they beaten down to the point of defeat? Is it a cry for help, hoping but not receiving? Why is it that this world seems static, yet fragile? What keeps it held back from change? Why is it that people almost clamber to this fossil structure—the wall—as if it will protect them forever? It is as if everybody is a still painting looking over an intense fire, hoping it never expands outward. They built up this wall, a fragile piece of security theatre, which they hope will keep standing if they keep building it up, but despite trying for its permanence, most people only hope it don't fall today.

Even the striders, meant to be the army against all that lie behind the wall, merely hope the wall don't fall. Within that wall, every person becomes a cage of "stability" which merely keeps them in one place while it all goes wrong. But even this society, so weak, should be remembered. Each Strider traveled outside that wall, doing it for many reasons: protecting that fragile city, search for others to cultivate in that wall, or to be able to feel something beyond that sedate state lying in that city.

There was no security in this world, merely instability. To need security is to be in a constant state of danger. And often that instability followed into the deep recesses of every individual. Ruko Synan was but one of these people: a once optimistic and empathetic person who, due to tragedy, became a colder shell of her old self. She holds on to her life, though. It is hard for her, and everyone, to hold on. She hopes, internally, for life to come back, but nobody has any hope left in this new world: a world where everybody holes themselves up and fears these diseased howlers, zombies, and all the infection and destruction they keep.

It is this contradiction in her that may lie at the crux of this world: where do we find hope, in a world that needs hope not has hope?

Ruko walks silently through the elaborate Beastmaster Expeditionary Academy's ominous orientation. The dark antechamber that seemed to dispel any idea that this would be an easy venture. But Ruko knew there was no easiness about this job, she nearly died learning it the first time, and through a miracle she somehow decided to experience it twice.

As she walked in, the speakers boomed. She saw four of her old Striders lying at the top as if they were looking at a field of ants. Knowing her old "friends" they probably did think they were looking at ants."I will waste none of your time by saying this Academy will not stretch you to the limits of your grit. You will be tried, tested, and pushed until you think you cannot continue. And then you will find a reason to keep on. It has been done before, by the First Cadets before you. You can, and you will, do the same," they boomed.

"f#ck," she mumbled, "I think I am just about to remember why I hate them..." She had rested upon the glass wall. It was only after that the wall began to lower. It was an ominous sign; she knew it was never a good sign. Why couldn't it be a welcoming party and getting to meet everyone.

Then the screams of Howlers could be heard and everyone either broke apart into chaos. She raised her middle finger at her old "friends," adding salt to the old wounds, "F#ck you too, sh!tholes!" She pulled her face-mask over her lips and nose, pulled her eyepatch over her right eye, and pulled out her semi-automatic. As the howler descended on her, she felt no fear and began to fire over the horde. She squeezed the trigger, it rang out six times. Six howlers fell down dead. She began to walk forward, heeding the advice to head for the tower. As each howler was knocked down, other howlers popped up.

It was more of a war of attrition, with many strider initiates blindly running like chickens with their heads cut off. Surely the kind of show a bunch of First Class "friends" would enjoy when watching an ant colony. "group up!" she shouted quickly, "better to be together than picked off by the horde one by one!" Three Howlers swarmed at her from behind. She pulled out her revolver, quickly spun around, and fired 3 rounds while making a long sweeping arc. She turned back around and continued to fire forward with her semi-automatic.
Last edited by Saleon on Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Sammuramat
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Founded: May 05, 2016
Corporate Police State

Postby Sammuramat » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:49 am

Raushan had almost grown used to the gleaming monolith on the skyline. Today the sight of it made her giddy with anticipation.

She hadn't seen anything so large in her life. In her home village, there’d been only small and simple homes; then in Orenburg, a little larger, five storeys at the most. She’d fallen off one of them once, gotten away with a broken leg. This one – probably best to avoid the top.

She arrived at the Academy before sunrise. The sky glowed light red, and the building gleamed with it, refracting squares of dull pink. Even stranger, now, to have it rising steep before her. It barely felt real – like she’d pass the gate and it’d fade into a dream. She endured the usual ritual with the guards. More impatiently than usual, but she waited, and passed her belongings one by one for inspection. Time seemed to stretch out unbearably until the moment she snatched back her stuff, slung her bag over her shoulders, and rushed to the door. It swung shut behind her.

The tunnel plunged her into darkness, and Raushan froze a foot from the entrance. She didn’t mind darkness, so long as it was darkness she could orient in. Here, there were no stars, no trees, no faint moonlight. This was the right way, wasn’t it? One hand curled around the handle of a knife, just in case. A moment later, red lights started to glow. They carved out a trail in the darkness, twisting round corners and corridors, that Raushan followed, still not letting go of her knife. She stared at the lights until the trail abruptly stopped; green afterimages floated in her vision. She spotted the door handle and wrenched it open.

Light flooded in, and Raushan shielded her eyes until they stopped protesting. In the dull dawn light, a green field spread out before her, a handful of people dotted around. It had been years since she’d seen a proper field like this. Most fields nowadays were just overgrown wastes penned in by collapsing gates. In some places, grassland had begun to spread again, and she’d spent days there. Many of those places had once been towns, and Raushan had picked her way east between abandoned houses and fences.

This was different – it seemed taken care of. This whole place seemed immaculately groomed. Raushan turned around, inspecting the walls, the flats, the trees. Perhaps it was just that she’d spent the last five years wandering through the apocalypse, but the preciseness of it astounded her. She breathed in the scent of grass.

The air was thick with tension, waiting for something. She supposed the sun must be crawling upwards, because she could see a thin band of light at the very top of the walls. Some of the other people were talking; she could hear a murmur under the wind. She grew bored waiting and sat down, shrugging off her bag. More people trickled in, and the light made its way down the wall.

After a while, a skinny boy with a hardset face sat by her. His bare arms were decorated in bruises and white scars. When he greeted her, it was with a Southern accent so strong it seemed fake, and a low reassuring voice. Raushan immediately liked him. He was Oliver, he told her, and he could hardly wait to kill some fucking Howlers. As he said this his hand brushed his gun.

“Karimova,” she replied. “Recruiters must have loved your personality.”

“Oh? You don’t even know my personality.”

At this point, perhaps, she could have stopped herself. Taken the hatred out of her voice. She didn’t. It was a reflex. She gestured at his thin arms. “I don’t see any other reason they’d want you.”

It isn’t her strongest. She isn’t surprised when he only laughs. “So they didn’t pick you for your eyesight, then.”

She laughed right back. It felt strange. She was obviously not as good at insults in English as she thought. That was a relief. She’d come here with a yearning to make friends, and her attempt at insulting him here had been a lucky miss. They talked. Mostly, Oliver talked. He talked about how he’d defended his entire family from Howlers just last week, and twice the month before. Killed two of them with a single bullet. Hope began to grow in Raushan. She stayed silent, laid back into the grass, and scanned the top of the walls.

He was in the middle of a story about his sixteenth Howler kill when Raushan interrupted him. “Those people on top of the walls. They’ve been there all the time?” Oliver hadn’t even noticed them, he said. Raushan kept her eyes on them as the field filled up. A wire-tight tension infused the air.

More people flooded in, just before the words “Welcome to the Beastmaster Expeditionary Academy...” rang out. She sprung to her feet, tugging Oliver up after her. At first, she agreed with the speech. Yes, she was incredibly proud. Must be the best youth left in America gathered here. It continued. Yes, she knew it would be hard. Yes, she was ready to never give up.

“Those trials start today.”

Her heart plummeted. Swallowing hard, she glanced around the walls. Panels split apart. The blood-flecked faces of too many Howlers peered through.

What she felt at the first unmissable howl was not fear, but anger. The Academy had chosen the most suited youth in America. Maybe even the most suited youth in the world. And immediately they were killing off all they could. In what world did this make sense? Why gather so many people who could be useful if trained, only to throw them away before they had the chance to learn? No chance to think more. Raushan and Oliver had settled near the centre of the group, but already people had begun to rush from the edge inwards. They were left far closer to the infected than they’d have liked.

Two Howlers barrelled straight for them. Oliver hefted his gun, and laid shots into the first until it stumbled and fell. Raushan’s first knife fell into the second’s throat, and lodged there. After the Howler fell, she could see the blade sticking out the back of its neck.

By that time, three more had descended on them. All the other cadets seemed so distant. Raushan’s world was herself, Oliver, and the Howlers. She grabbed another knife, aimed it right in the eye of the closest Howler. Missed, got it in the mouth, but it was just enough. It fell, rolling onto its back. Oliver took out the second with thundering shots. Raushan could hardly hear. The gunfire filled her head with static noise. The third Howler was almost on them. Oliver’s shots rang out. Raushan dodged the lumbering beast easily, snatched the handle of her knife from the first Howler’s mouth, dug it into the third’s back again and again.

When it fell, Oliver lay under it. His ripped-open throat gurgled. Raushan finished him off.

Behind the static of the gunshots, she’d heard someone bark a command to get to the tower. She pulled her pistol from her bag, and dashed to the people who seemed to know what they were doing.

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Spindle
Senator
 
Posts: 4542
Founded: Aug 04, 2015
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Spindle » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:50 am

Jenna Bishop
Beastmaster Expeditionary Academy
Annapolis


Jenna drifted gently towards the building overshadowing the skyline of what could once have been called a city, eyes dreamily tracing the lines of the husks sinking into the ground on either side of her. A pistol was held between her hands with a casual grip, muzzle facing the ground and a bulging backpack distorted her profile into something only vaguely human. Around her waist was the faded, tattered remains of what was probably a hoodie before it had been put through the wringer. There was a slowly-spreading mess of mangled cloth and thread which vaguely resembled patchwork keeping the garment together and adding disturbingly bright colours to an otherwise drab jumper.

Something scurried up ahead and Jenna paused, as if admiring the city art ahead of her, partially destroyed as the wall had decayed. The eyes slid across the buildings in view, searching for the source of the noise. A scrabbling noise erupted ahead of her as some form of rodent crashed out of a building, paused for a moment to glance up at the girl, and then shot across the road to disappear into another ruin. Smiling to herself at the indication of life in the otherwise-dead city, Jenna continued onwards with a bouncing gait and ceaseless eyes.

Reaching the checkpoint, the bag swung off of her shoulder and flew open. In moments, pieces of equipment were being traded back and forth until, before Jenna was really sure what she was doing, she was walking through and the tower which had been a distant, shimmering monolith until now loomed before her like a sunbeam frozen in time. Making her way to the doors, a welcome blast of cold air hit her face before she stepped into the enveloping darkness, door shutting with a small click behind her, the sound swallowed up in the darkness of the corridors around her.

As the lights flared up around her, blood-red rubies guiding her to her destination, Jenna felt her mind wandering further and further from her body, her hands surprisingly empty now that her pistol was on her hip. She didn't know when that had gotten there, but it now sat snugly in the holster by her side, fingers on her hand absently tracing patterns into it as she followed the crimson glow to a patch of angelic light in the wall. Approaching it cautiously, Jenna breached the invisible barrier, divine warmth sliding a gentle caress up her body before clamping down into the oppressive heat of mid-summer.

As she emerged fully into the light, Jenna looked longingly back into the cool, dark interior of the tunnels she'd arrived from before looking around herself. Dozens of people, roughly her age, sat and stood and talked and moved, a slow buzzing drone rising from so many people talking mutedly to each other and shuffling and readjusting themselves. It was quite probably the most people she'd seen in the same place for as long as she wanted to remember. If they were anywhere else, it would have been a safety hazard of the highest order and Jenna would have been running in the other direction. Here, she doubted that the infected could get in if they tried.

The sound of a speaker plugging in brushed itself past Jenna's ears, her eyes doing a lazy circuit of the square of sky above her until they landed on the first figure. Speeding up, they slid from one to the next, until all four had been pinpointed and one of them had begun speaking. Frowning, Jenna tried to concentrate on whatever was being said, but her mind was elsewhere. How were they going to get down from up there? She couldn't see any stairs descending to the courtyard, nor was there a lift to get them down - or up - with. Glancing around, something pricked in the back of her mind as she saw that the tunnel which had been behind her was sealed shut. Without warning, she was ambling towards the centre of the courtyard they were trapped in.

Trapped?

There were screams. Eyes tracing the perimeter of the courtyard, Jenna felt the unease droning through the people around her as they registered the screams as well, the doors hissing open to present ragged lines of the infected to the would-be Beastmasters. As the first screams began to rise sweetly from the throats of the healthy, Jenna found herself frowning. Would she be a Beastmaster, or a Beastmistress? She'd have to ask her teachers, as soon as she met them. It was going to bug her endlessly if she didn't, and that could be a problem if they were in the field.

With a start, she realised that there was something in her hands. Looking down, she saw the soft curves of a pistol winking at her as she ambled backwards, the tide of humanity breaking harmlessly against the rocks surrounding them. The screams and howls rose to the heavens above, echoing madly and creating the illusion of a pitched battle down in the courtyard. People were shambling and running and screaming and the gun was still in her hands as she found herself breaking into a soft, heedless jog towards something she hadn't realised she needed to head towards.

Somebody reared up in front of her, mouth agape and blood running across their slack jawline before they were falling backwards and spraying blood across Jenna's face. Looking down at the smoking barrel of the pistol, Jenna frowned and set off again. Something flickered in her peripheral vision and her hands were moving again, loud bangs echoing through the courtyard and adding to the general cacophony which was still rising, as if in prelude to some great epic, as somebody sprayed blood again and fell as if they'd been punched.

Someone was calling out something, a clarion which cut through the noise of the massacre before being subsumed into it, another meaningless echo bouncing from wall to wall. As her eyes sought out the sender, they suddenly landed on a girl with a blaze of fire following behind her and her momentum shifted, Jenna now finding herself headed towards this new girl. Another bang: another person going down in a spray of blood as her eyes glazed over a little. Something crashed into her side, a harsh screaming coming from the teeth gnawing frenziedly at the kevlar of her vest. An impact shot through her arm as her elbow slammed into its temple, head hitting the floor with a sickening crunch as she absently noted that the skittering sound she could hear was probably her gun.

And then there was a knife in her hands and blood running in ruby river between her fingers, lubricating the motions of her fingers as her knife disappeared into its sheathe and the gun leaping back into her hands as she found herself moving again. Something sticky was running down the back of her neck as she pivoted on her foot at the base of the tower, eyes catching another girl as she shouted something which was lost to the chaos of the sick dance she could see unfolding before her. More people were falling around her: one of them was pulled down by someone else, who buried their face into their victim's neck. A spray of blood spurted like a short-lived fountain before pieces of brain went everywhere and another bang joined the echoes.

"So...climbing?" She heard herself ask, oddly calm, or even content, for the situation she'd found herself in, "Who wants to go first?"
Last edited by Spindle on Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Disclaimer: Nothing said here is the product of a rational mind.
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Amerikan Columbia
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 54
Founded: Sep 10, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Amerikan Columbia » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:18 pm

Elliot Green Jr.
Beastmaster Expeditionary Academy
Maryland


The crowd of new Cadets steadily grew in size, trickling into the yard one after the other at a seemingly consistent rate. There were those that looked older, but what didn't sit well in Elliot's stomach was that some looked no older than 14. Was that really what this world had come too? Was it so deep in shit that the people in charge (or whoever was actually left) was putting rifles in the hands of little kids, before sending them off to die? This was not the world his father had died for, that world was gone, replaced by a hellscape that was unrecognizable as the world Elliot had grown up in.

In some respect, Elliot thought he too was nothing more then some kid with a gun, though he couldn't say he still felt like one. He sighed, looking around him to make sure he had some space before he crouched down on the grass of the field. The whole situation reminded him of WW1, and how he'd read about thousands of young boys, stupid enough to go half way around the world to fight, completely ignorant to the reality what they were being sent to do. Of course in this situation, they weren't fighting a pointless war. This was different. It was necessary. And despite himself, Elliot wanted this, to become a soldier. Not only was it what his father would have wanted, but it was what he needed to do. One day the world would be safe again, and Elliot would be sure to see it.

As the Cadets around him murmured quietly, Elliot kept to himself and his thoughts. He unsheathed his knife from his belt, leaning back on the grass as he twirled the blade casually. He chose not to talk, but his eyes darted about the field as a basic instinct, something he'd developed while crossing the States, from Seattle to Maryland.

His ears perked up as a commanding voice spoke over the loud speakers in the yard, "Welcome to the Beastmaster Expeditionary Academy. Congratulations on being selected for this prestigious program. You should all be incredibly proud." Elliot snorted quietly to himself, grinning just a little bit, pride and apprehension both equally powerful in his mind.

"I will waste none of your time by saying this Academy will not stretch you to the limits of your grit. You will be tried, tested, and pushed until you think you cannot continue. And then you will find a reason to keep on. It has been done before, by the First Cadets before you. You can, and you will, do the same." We'll see, the boy thought. He tried to exude an air of confidence, but still felt a bit nervous.

"Those trials start today. Only the strong survive the Academy. Your devotion to success and survival will be your saving grace. Good luck." Elliot's brow furrowed, and he pushed himself back onto his feet. Across the yard, a set of wall panels hissed, and in a flash Elliot's M14 was already in his hands. He craned his neck to try and see what lay beyond them, but didn't have to wonder for long. The sickening howls were a dead give away. Within seconds, the gunfire had started, accompanied by screaming.

"Aw crap..." He groaned, and with an rising intensity, began to push his way through the crowd. Bullets were flying everywhere, zipping through the crowd of new cadets as howlers charged onto the field, "Watch your fire! You're gonna get someone killed!" He heard a growl come directly from behind him, and he spun around to see a howler almost upon him, "Piss off!" The howler's head exploded in a shower of blood and puss as the butt of Elliot's rifle connected with it's temple.

"Group up!" Someone nearby shouted, and it didn't take long for Elliot to pick her out of the crowd, a dark skinned girl with white hair, firing in all directions with a revolver and sniper rifle. Taking down a pair of howlers with his M14, Elliot bounded towards her.

"Hey! Watch your fire, I'm coming in from your 6!" He shouted at the girl, before crying out louder at the Cadets as a whole, "You heard her, form up here!"
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Aghrabia
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Posts: 1189
Founded: Jun 22, 2014
Ex-Nation

Postby Aghrabia » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:44 pm

Alex Hancock

There was nothing left for Alex, nothing at all. Since his time in the hospital he had a lot of time to think about what he had lost in the conflict and the pain, with the depression that came with it, all came back for the first time since he had seen the ruins of the town where his mother had been living. The physical loss had been bad, with a complete amputation of his right leg being necessary, but nothing beat this. He had been depressed for months, but the pain faded after a while and he slowly became the person he had once been: brutally honest, calm, hardly emotional at all- especially now.

He attached the prosthetic to his leg and sat their considering the last few rushed months of the war. The final push back against the Howlers, the construction of the Wall, the reform of the government, the successive coups- this all went through his mind. Then came the final bit of good news, his time in the military had apparently left an impression- given the fact his brain scan was on record and that he was Aspect-compatible- he had been invited to join the Beastmaster Expeditionary Academy. It was a rubbish name, if you asked him, but the concept was interesting enough- a permanent link-up between man and machine intelligences- direct mind-to-mind communication, this was enough to convince him to join (also free food, lodging and medical- but why focus on the details...?).

Continuing a similar range of conversations with himself as he got ready to travel from his temporary location of residence to Annapolis, Maryland. A grim, ruined city, made of bricks and broken dreams; the only thing that conflicted with this was the large building (a skyscraper, basically, given the fact it was the largest building in the immediate area) sticking out of the city, like a giant middle finger to the Howlers. The famed Academy was a bit imposing for an institute of higher education, being made of sleek metal like that.

He trudged through the burnt-out husk of your typical post-apocalyptic city; it was tedious work, but he was gaining ground fast. It was getting lighter as the sun rose higher in the sky. He saw, just a little bit away, the entrance to the facility appeared, with a few people occasionally going in after being checked down by the guards. Soon enough it was his turn to be checked and, after a quick look-over, he was through to this special place he'd heard so much about. The deep red lights flared up around him, prompting him to follow them to the end of their course, wherever that may be.

He didn't have to wait that long, it turned out, and he had soon found the door that led into the, admittedly strange, meadow. A huge throng of cadets swarmed the field, a it too many, he thought, but he quickly dropped that thread. Hardly having any time to think, a large announcement boomed forth from a small group of people on the top of the wall. They went on about some nonsense about being proud to be picked or something like that, but the thing about being tested caught his interest; he thought about this just as the speech ended, but he wasn't given much time to think as the sound of the sliding wall panels was heard all over the field. There was a very singular noise, one he would recognise anywhere...

Then came the Howlers. Ugly bastards one and all, that was for certain. Gunshots started to ring out from across the field, this was followed by his own- three were dead in quick succession, then another, and another. The screams echoed through his head, reminding him of certain... experiences, but he shook off the memories and returned to reality. He heard three specific voices in the madness, two females and a male, in fact- one telling them to run to the tower and the other two to group up; they were both relatively near him, but one had already ran off towards the tower in one of the eastern sectors, so he picked his way through the fray- shooting when necessary- towards the others, Ruko and Elliot- though he didn't know that yet.

"Hi, nice to meet you and all of that," he said, almost infuriatingly calm, as was the norm for him. "Crazy, huh?" He turned back to the action, letting out a few more shots. The magazine had almost ran out of ammo, so he calmly unloaded the remaining bullets into the, now-displaced, skull of a nearby Howler. He reloaded.

"I wish these absolute idiots would stop screaming, like," he continued. "They're giving me a bloody headache." Continuing to empty the bullets of the magazine into any zombie that got even anywhere near him, he waited for the two to respond.
Today's air quality is mauve and speckled...

The Japanese Army is about to get a serious asskicking by Doctor Jeremiah Gottwald. That's right, I'm a Doctor. PhD in Asskicking, a Bachelors in Pain and a Minor in Woman's Studies
~ Jeremiah Gottwald


This nation does NOT represent my political views.

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Amerikan Columbia
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 54
Founded: Sep 10, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Amerikan Columbia » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:59 pm

Elliot Green Jr.

"Uh... Yeah, sure. Sup kid..." Elliot look quizzically at the boy, who looked perfectly at home amidst the chaos. He'd seen calm in situations like this before, and Elliot prided himself in being able to keep a level head during a fight, but this kid looked like some highschooler walking into second period Spanish, and not a fight for his life against zombies, "I mean, they do have a reason to scream, seeing as we're being attacked by howlers."

Elliot's M14 ran dry, and instead of reloading he upholstered his side arm, putting 5 holes through the chest of a howler that had gotten through the crowd. The M9 let out several more bangs, before Elliot thought it was safe enough to take up his rifle again.

"You think this is the time for small talk, kid? If you've got a headache, you might wanna find somewhere to hide and wait this out. Our would you rather get in formation and focus! We've got a job to do!" As Elliot's eyes darted around the yard, he saw some other Cadets pushing towards a tower on the other side of the field, "Yo! You think we should follow?"
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Aghrabia
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Posts: 1189
Founded: Jun 22, 2014
Ex-Nation

Postby Aghrabia » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:12 pm

Alex Hancock

He smiled. "Well, they were picked out by an exclusive program designed to teach us to fight these things," he shook his head. "At least come prepared, you're basically showing whoever's judging us that you don't belong here."

He shot some more Howlers, then grabbed the knife out of its sheath on his right trouser leg and stabbed another through the throat. Being slightly off-balanced for a second, one of the zombies rushed him, but, saving himself just in time, he kicked it straight in the face- letting a bullet or two follow it down.

"And no need to be so rude about it, I'm just being polite is all," he sighed, gunning down some more of their enemies. "Also, you should notice that I'm in formation and am doing quite well for myself, thank you very much. And just because I have a headache doesn't mean I need to sit out, I've been in a lot worse."

He followed where Elliot was looking and responded quickly, "Sure, why not?" was his only answer.
Last edited by Aghrabia on Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Today's air quality is mauve and speckled...

The Japanese Army is about to get a serious asskicking by Doctor Jeremiah Gottwald. That's right, I'm a Doctor. PhD in Asskicking, a Bachelors in Pain and a Minor in Woman's Studies
~ Jeremiah Gottwald


This nation does NOT represent my political views.

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Sammuramat
Attaché
 
Posts: 99
Founded: May 05, 2016
Corporate Police State

Postby Sammuramat » Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:42 pm

Nothing angered Raushan quite so much as the constant gunfire. It filled up her head with harsh black noise. Bullets whipped across her vision. The air stank of blood. She assumed many people would die today. How many deaths would be thanks to the Howlers, how many due to friendly fire? And all of them thanks to the figures who had stood on the walls. She seethed. Perhaps the anger was good. It made her want to kill as many of the infected as possible. And it made her wonder if one day, she could throw far enough to hit those idiots on top of the wall.

The air was thick with shrieks. She couldn't blame anyone for screaming. They were promised an education on how to kill these things better - they must have wanted to help save America too - they were being killed for no reason. Raushan was still running. Hearing a closer scream, she turned, saw a young-looking girl attempting to fend off a Howler with the butt of a rifle. No bullets left, she presumed, with how many everyone else was firing. Raushan rammed into the Howler, knocked it away from the girl, aimed her pistol at its neck and pumped two bullets in. It juddered into stillness, and Raushan turned to the girl. She was small, couldn't have been older than fourteen. Looked like she'd been ready for this, though. She had the muscles of an athlete, and a steely, determined look, even if right now her eyes were dazed. She'd have been a good soldier if she was trained, Raushan thought.

"We're going to the tower," Raushan informed her. She scanned the area. Howlers everywhere, of course. Nearby, three cadets were firing in all directions, mowing down Howlers as they went. They weren't screaming like most of the rest. They were chatting, as if it was a game. Fuck you. People are dying. She'd have loved to avoid them, but safety lay in numbers. She pointed out the group to the girl, who was still recovering from the panic, and they ran again. The rifle dropped from the girl's hand, but that was fine. It was hardly far, and Raushan only had to get past a single Howler on the way. She was only a few yards away when she noticed the girl was gone. Raushan turned. The girl was half-kneeling, her face contorted in pain.

"Get up!" she ordered, "get up!" then saw red dots blossoming on her shirt and leg. Must have been friendly fire. Raushan cursed everyone here who couldn't control their guns.

She turned to the three cadets, snarling. To be heard over the constant thunder of shots, Raushan had to yell. "See that girl over there? She's unarmed. Can't run. Badly injured. We don't help her get to the tower, she dies." Her eyebrows furrowing, Raushan admitted, "She might die anyway. She can't fight again. She's still human, though. You get to choose! How heartless do you want to be?"
Last edited by Sammuramat on Sat Sep 17, 2016 2:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Ularn
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6864
Founded: Oct 23, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby Ularn » Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:56 pm

They were seated at a table outside a bar on a street not far from the academy. She was drinking beer from a beaten steel mug; he was drinking apple juice from a similar container. It was hard to find real glasses any more; no one made them. Passers-by eyed them curiously, not because there was anything particularly unusual about them, but because of the massive bear dozing placidly next to the table. Ritz was supposed to be some kind of crossbreed between a brown bear and a grizzly, though any taxonomist would have struggled to recognise her species now through the armour plating and exposed fibre-optic cabling that encased much of her skin and fur.
Sarah had brought Scott here as her treat. The First Cadet had just turned eighteen but her younger brother could still have had a beer as well if he wanted. Laws - especially drinking age laws - were another thing the end of the world had largely done away with. Besides, with the alcohol to sterilise it, beer was probably healthier to drink than a lot of the water one found these days. But Scott was due to report to the Academy in less than an hour and Sarah had advised him to do it sober, looking a little uncomfortable as she did but not saying why. So he drank apple juice - still a luxury in this time and the fact Sarah could afford it spoke to the truth of the army's words said when they said Academy students would be looked after.
They had sat and talked for a while now, catching each other up on their lives - or rather what Sarah was allowed to tell of hers, since much of the Beastmaster program was still intensely classified even for a new initiate like her brother. In the year since he had seen her Scott could make out subtle changes in his sister. She had always been skinny; both of them had, but she had put on a lot more muscle now and her hair was shaved high and tight with what remained of her golden mane tied back in a topknot. She had new scars as well. Some of them were surgical, she told him - part of the pairing process. Others were not.
"We should've been training together." Sara stated - something that the regret in her tone suggested she had wanted to say for a while.
"Yeah," Scott agreed, not meaning to sound so bitter, "We should've."
It had been neither one's fault. Both Scott and Sarah had been determined to be Aspect compatible and sufficiently healthy for the Beastmaster program. The decision to include Sarah in the first intake and not Scott had been made behind the scenes; apparently with limited resources they decided to go with someone else instead of the younger Wishart. Scott sometimes wondered what happened to the kid who got his place - where they might be and what they might be doing now.
"Is it hard?" he asked her.
Sarah considered the question for a long moment before replying, contemplating her beer as she thought. Eventually she locked eyes with Scott and replied, "It's dangerous. People will die in training and they'll make you do things you'd've never thought you could do." Her stare flickered over to Ritz for a moment, who snorted and then closed her eyes again, and Scott wondered if his sister was only talking about controlling animals or if there were other impossibilities the Academy could teach. Sarah continued, "They'll find your limits and push them, again and again. They'll ask you to do the impossible and you'll do it because the alternative is dying.
Sarah's eyes were cold and Scott felt a weight festering in his stomach. He wondered if he had perhaps made an utterly terrible mistake in joining the Academy. He was not his sister. He could not do the impossible.
But then Sarah's expression relaxed into a smile of reassurance and she added, "And at the same time, it's no harder than anything we've already done."
Scott smiled as well as he realised she was right. Five years living off the wilderness, a boy and his older sister, in the middle of the apocalypse. Scott had already been pushed beyond his limits many times. Their own survival was testament to the fact that impossible was just a word weaker people used for something they thought was too difficult. "Thanks Sar," he said, smiling as well.
At that moment Ritz grunted and rose onto her feet, starting a nearby pedestrian. Sarah looked at the bear and said "It's almost time."
Scott looked at the clock tower and nodded, wondering at the same time how Sarah had known the time; she could not have seen the tower from her seat. They both stood up from the table and embraced. Scott was about to break the hug when he felt his sister go tense and she whispered, "They'll set howlers on you at the induction. Stay close to the tower in the courtyard and be ready."
She released him and smiled, though Scott could make out the edge of worry in her expression. "Take care, Squish," she said, "I'll see you soon, okay?"



Scott was already at the tower when the howlers entered, holding his rifle tightly underneath his poncho, trying not to look like he was nervous or forewarned. The moment the doors opened the rifle flew from under his cloak and he dropped to one knee, sighting along the barrel at the first one he spotted. The muzzle cracked and the stock kicked and the creature went down - temporarily, probably; Scott decided he only winged it.
He managed all of this on instinct; it was not the first time Scott had put down an infected. In the wilds he came across them often enough that he was no longer really scared of them. Howlers were like snakes, bears or any number of other dangerous creatures; by being aware of them and staying out of their way he could avoid most confrontations. He only put one down when he had no other choice; anything else was a waste of ammo for meat that was inedible. Against this many of them though, he could only run.
Running was not an option now.
Someone had shouted to run for the tower. Smart girl, thought the small part of Scott's mind not given over to analysing the scene or suppressing the gut churning fear welling up within him; he was not sure he could have thought that quickly without Sarah's warning. He tried lining up another shot but could not find a clean target through all the bodies running towards him. He put up his rifle as a girl with a bloody knife - perhaps the same one who'd shouted for the tower, asked "So, climbing?"
Scott glanced up at the facade. There was a drainpipe and above that a radio antenna or a lightning rod or something that he could use to scale the side. From the crow's nest up top he could have a clear shot at the whole courtyard. That must have been why Sarah told him to come here; she knew what his shooting was like. He should have realised that the moment he walked into the courtyard. Stupid!. He usually thought faster than this!
"Yeah," he breathed, slinging his rifle over his shoulder, "climbing." He set about pulling himself up the drainpipe.
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Cerrania
Minister
 
Posts: 2932
Founded: Nov 15, 2013
Ex-Nation

Postby Cerrania » Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:31 pm

Ellie Johannes



By the time Ellie reached the tower, there were already several of her classmates holding their ground. She looked around quickly, to see if any others were following her example. The scene before her was gut-wrenching. More than a hundred Howlers raced about the field in the immediate vicinity. From the vantage point on the rock outcropping just underneath the tower, Ellie could see another massive engagement down the hill by the buildings on the other side of the field. At least a dozen of her comrades were holding a massive wave of the infected back. She smiled momentarily as she watched them swiftly dispatch almost twenty Howlers before adjusting fire and running into one of the buildings.

"So, climbing?"

The voice of another girl broke Ellie out of her haze. Turning to whoever said it, Ellie nodded. She helped hoist the boy who volunteered to go first, and as he was climbing she raised her M21 and swept the area for any hostiles. Several infected were slowly scrambling up the outcropping, and Ellie dropped to a knee to take aim. The sharp kick of the rifle was couple by the satisfying sight of the dispatched Howlers losing their grip on the rocks and tumbling back down to the grass field. It, unfortunately, only attracted the ire of more than a dozen others. They turned their bloodshot, beady eyes up to Ellie, and loosed their vicious warcry before quickly taking the place of their fallen brethren. Without any fire support, the tower would quickly be overrun. It mattered little how much of an advantage someone up top would bring.

And then, Ellie had an idea.

"Cover my position!" She yelled to the girl who initially suggested they climb the tower, before rapping the butt of her rifle on the drainpipe to attract the climber's attention. Procuring a thermite grenade from her backpack, one she had "tactically acquired" from a sleeping soldier back at the city limits of Annapolis, she said, "Throw it down by those trees. They'll flock to it. Then we finish it."

Then throwing it up to the boy, she barely had time to turn and raise her rifle again to reassume a firing position when something hard hit her from the side. She went careening to the ground, landing painfully and dangerously close to the edge of the rock outcropping. She looked up just as the Howler on top of her raised its fists, and twisted just before they slammed into her head. She then bucked her hips, throwing the thing off balance before throwing all her weight to the side. The off-balance Howler fell off Ellie, and both of them quickly got to their feet.

Ellie was quicker, however. She twisted violently and delivered a vicious kick to the thing's chest. It stumbled back and its foot slipped off the rocks. It locked its enraged eyes with Ellie one last time before falling out of sight. The sickening crunch Ellie heard moments later confirmed she was safe, briefly. Turning back towards the tower, she raised her rifle once again. As she was setting a group of Howlers in sight, a cacophonous groan echoed across the entire field. On the opposite end, near the buildings, the walls were separating. From the gap, it seemed a zoo came out. An enormous collection of animals, accompanied by dozens of armed individuals, flooded through the gates. Immediately, they set upon the Howlers. Ellie noticed something strange about the movements of some of the animals. They were quicker, more precise, than anything she had ever seen. And then, her eyes went wide as she realized what they were.

They were robotic. True Beastmasters had entered the field.

She watched them for a few seconds. The incredible unity with which the Beastmasters fought with their Aspect was something she felt she could never understand. Both seemed to work off of eachother's position, and every move they made seemed to be towards the benefit of the other. Yet, even with the deadly efficiency that they mowed down the Howlers, Ellie knew it would be a while before they reached the tower and thus pulled her, and those with her, out of danger.

"Push to the buildings. Push them back! Keep fire from the tower!" She bellowed, before reloading her rifle and stepping forward, now walking towards the mass of enemy under the outcropping.
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Aghrabia
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1189
Founded: Jun 22, 2014
Ex-Nation

Postby Aghrabia » Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:08 pm

Alex Hancock

"Jesus Christ, more fucking shouting..." he said, shaking his head. He looked over in the direction of the shout that came towards them with palpable intensity. "Stop your shrieking, it isn't exactly our fault that we're in this situation!" He considered Raushan's question and quickly formulated an answer. "OK, God, we'll (well I'll, at least) help!"

He leaped towards to the two newcomers' position and grabbed her from the ground (she was quite light, but he had no idea how he would carry her all the way to the tower). He turned towards Elliot and Ruko and yelled over to them: "Hey, want to come with us?"

Suddenly, noticing the walls in the distance open, he saw a large crowd of animals- cybernetic, he saw- and an equal number of armed individuals come out of them. It took a few moments for him to realise they were Beastmasters.

Shaking himself out of a sudden attack of awe at the complex interplay of the partners as they took down Howlers left and right, he tried to grab the attention of the others: "Come on then, let's get going!" And with that he ran towards the direction, dodging the zombies that came towards him- his speed being an advantage.
Last edited by Aghrabia on Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Today's air quality is mauve and speckled...

The Japanese Army is about to get a serious asskicking by Doctor Jeremiah Gottwald. That's right, I'm a Doctor. PhD in Asskicking, a Bachelors in Pain and a Minor in Woman's Studies
~ Jeremiah Gottwald


This nation does NOT represent my political views.

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Saleon
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 8567
Founded: Mar 12, 2015
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Saleon » Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:48 pm

Cerrania wrote:Ellie Johannes



By the time Ellie reached the tower, there were already several of her classmates holding their ground. She looked around quickly, to see if any others were following her example. The scene before her was gut-wrenching. More than a hundred Howlers raced about the field in the immediate vicinity. From the vantage point on the rock outcropping just underneath the tower, Ellie could see another massive engagement down the hill by the buildings on the other side of the field. At least a dozen of her comrades were holding a massive wave of the infected back. She smiled momentarily as she watched them swiftly dispatch almost twenty Howlers before adjusting fire and running into one of the buildings.

"So, climbing?"

The voice of another girl broke Ellie out of her haze. Turning to whoever said it, Ellie nodded. She helped hoist the boy who volunteered to go first, and as he was climbing she raised her M21 and swept the area for any hostiles. Several infected were slowly scrambling up the outcropping, and Ellie dropped to a knee to take aim. The sharp kick of the rifle was couple by the satisfying sight of the dispatched Howlers losing their grip on the rocks and tumbling back down to the grass field. It, unfortunately, only attracted the ire of more than a dozen others. They turned their bloodshot, beady eyes up to Ellie, and loosed their vicious warcry before quickly taking the place of their fallen brethren. Without any fire support, the tower would quickly be overrun. It mattered little how much of an advantage someone up top would bring.

And then, Ellie had an idea.

"Cover my position!" She yelled to the girl who initially suggested they climb the tower, before rapping the butt of her rifle on the drainpipe to attract the climber's attention. Procuring a thermite grenade from her backpack, one she had "tactically acquired" from a sleeping soldier back at the city limits of Annapolis, she said, "Throw it down by those trees. They'll flock to it. Then we finish it."

Then throwing it up to the boy, she barely had time to turn and raise her rifle again to reassume a firing position when something hard hit her from the side. She went careening to the ground, landing painfully and dangerously close to the edge of the rock outcropping. She looked up just as the Howler on top of her raised its fists, and twisted just before they slammed into her head. She then bucked her hips, throwing the thing off balance before throwing all her weight to the side. The off-balance Howler fell off Ellie, and both of them quickly got to their feet.

Ellie was quicker, however. She twisted violently and delivered a vicious kick to the thing's chest. It stumbled back and its foot slipped off the rocks. It locked its enraged eyes with Ellie one last time before falling out of sight. The sickening crunch Ellie heard moments later confirmed she was safe, briefly. Turning back towards the tower, she raised her rifle once again. As she was setting a group of Howlers in sight, a cacophonous groan echoed across the entire field. On the opposite end, near the buildings, the walls were separating. From the gap, it seemed a zoo came out. An enormous collection of animals, accompanied by dozens of armed individuals, flooded through the gates. Immediately, they set upon the Howlers. Ellie noticed something strange about the movements of some of the animals. They were quicker, more precise, than anything she had ever seen. And then, her eyes went wide as she realized what they were.

They were robotic. True Beastmasters had entered the field.

She watched them for a few seconds. The incredible unity with which the Beastmasters fought with their Aspect was something she felt she could never understand. Both seemed to work off of eachother's position, and every move they made seemed to be towards the benefit of the other. Yet, even with the deadly efficiency that they mowed down the Howlers, Ellie knew it would be a while before they reached the tower and thus pulled her, and those with her, out of danger.

"Push to the buildings. Push them back! Keep fire from the tower!" She bellowed, before reloading her rifle and stepping forward, now walking towards the mass of enemy under the outcropping.

"Oh, and now you decide to come out the other side, motherf#ckers?" Ruko shouted, "the better late than never principle means nothing when you can't even help cuz you decided to help from a mile away!" She bit her lip and jump down from the tower. She stood her ground and made sure everyone was able to move to the building. She stayed and waited for everybody to get off the tower, and only moved when everyone else could.

Ruko saw a lone group of two initiates who had gotten separated from the group. A swarm of Howlers divided them from the others, cut right through. "Sh!t," she mumbled. She crouched sl8ghtly, calmed her breath, and divided her attention to the lone group. She could see a number of Howlers sneaking behind and rushing them. Her cold semi-automatic stood still, gave a soft breath; fired a loud and precise shot from across the horizon. It shattered the brain of one howler, two, three, four, and five. They all stumbled to the ground, smashing downward at the steps of the students.

"now get your butts back here, I can't provide covering fire forever," she whispered quietly. A howler sscreamed outward as it tried to rush her. the mindless beast didn't have a care about silently srriking. Ruko pulled out her revolver and, without giving much effort to see where she was firing, smashing the howler with her revolver, the bullet crushing through him.

She continued to pay eyes at the line group, firing at the Howlers and splattering them to the ground before they could reach them. As soon as they weresponded safe, she continued forward, taking her semi-automatic. She reloaded, staring down into the depth of the battlefield. First Cadet "friends" sure didn't care about the casualties. They came in like "white knights," despite having been the cause of all these unnecessary deaths.

"Move on!" she shouted, "if we don't reach the striders.... than we won't see the light of day, again."

She silently cursed every fool who thought they could survive on their own, self-purported best fighters, self-aggrandizing, who suffered.a meaningless death because they had no survival sense. She hated watching people die, especially when she couldn't do anything.
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Spindle
Senator
 
Posts: 4542
Founded: Aug 04, 2015
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Spindle » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:39 pm

Jenna Bishop
Beastmaster Expeditionary Academy
Annapolis


Jenna's eyes flitted towards movement as the girl with the flaming hair nodded briskly at her while someone behind her volunteered to head up first. Acting more on instinct than on any thought process, Jenna turned away as the girl gave the boy a leg-up and carefully considered the battlefield around her. There was a small bubble of isolation they'd managed to create around them, but it was rapidly being pressed against by the tide of infected. However many of them were victims of the onslaught and how many had been infected beforehand didn't matter, but she would have guessed that perhaps eighty of the infected were fresh.

Something deep inside her twisted in revulsion, but it felt so far away that she could ignore it easily. Like the sudden jerking motion twisting through her hands as a bang resounded through her world and one of the infected dropped to the floor. Several more of went sprawling as more bangs echoed upwards into the tumult surrounding them. Glancing towards the source, Jenna found that the flame-haired girl had taken a knee and was calmly moving her rifle from one target to another. Turning back to the battle without hurry, Jenna's hand snapped up and the head of the person in front of her exploded into pieces which coated her in another layer of bloody markings.

The flame-haired girl called for her to cover her position before standing up and throwing something up to the boy on the tower. Jenna pivoted smoothly on one foot and caught a knot of five infected as they scrambled up the hill towards the girl she was meant to be protecting. Her hand barked four times and four of them exploded or else sagged before the fifth slammed into flame-hair. Frowning to herself, Jenna pivoted again, fingers working the trigger noiselessly. With a spark of realisation, her hands were moving to empty the magazine and discard it, a new one slamming in before firing at the arm which was sweeping through the air towards her. Three shots tore into it and blood and viscera sprayed, the infected person screaming in rage or pain. Then the butt of the pistol had slammed into its ribs, a sharp snap filling the air before three more shots barked and the infected person staggered away, collapsing to the floor in a bundle of limbs streaked with blood.

More bangs flew through her world before she realised that there was now an extra element being added to the screams and gunshots. There was a long, drawn-out moaning, as if some vast beast was awakening and announcing its triumphant return to the world. Pausing for a moment, a brief, contracting bubble of space cleared around her, she glanced up to see where it was coming from. The doors to the courtyard were opening and, as an infected crashed into her, Jenna noticed something coming out of them before her world was a whirl of limbs and blood and the glinting of a blade in flight.

And then she was on her feet and the momentum of the battle - if that was what the senseless violence could be called - was changing. There was the urge to push on thrilling through her blood but it was so far away, like the dull ache in the back of her head where she'd hit the floor or the faint wetness as the blood and bits of flesh clung to her skin and clothes. At the periphery of her vision, she could see a knot of people carving through the infected and presumed that the intent was to rendezvous with them. Moving again, she walked at a measured pace, occasionally pausing to reload or tussle with an infected at close quarters. All around her, people were screaming and shouting but it was so far away. So far away. Stepping over the corpse of what had once been a boy perhaps a year younger than her - it was hard to tell when so much of his face was gone - she continued to advance with slow, relentless determination.
Disclaimer: Nothing said here is the product of a rational mind.
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The Land of the Golden Blobfish
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 188
Founded: Aug 19, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby The Land of the Golden Blobfish » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:58 am

Hi there, my name is Adrian. Adrian Pulse. I was born up in Canada, Vancouver to be exact. It was a beautiful city, crowded, but beautiful. There’s something in all the chaos of city life that I find so relaxing. Whether it was the constant rush of people or the background noise of traffic. It all just seemed so lively to me, I guess. But I was never allowed out there. At least not for long. I was born with several chronic breathing conditions, and combined with some severe anxiety and a pinch of asthma, it was certainly a recipe for disaster. I was constantly in the hospital, restricted to a bed with a ventilator running through me. The doctors thought I never had a chance but well, I guess it was some divine miracle that saved me because here I am now. I was eight when it seemed like the whole world around me changed. My dad had came home with some kind of mask, saying how it was originally some sort of military equipment meant for… high altitudes.. Hiking.. Or at least something? I have no idea to be honest because if anything, it really looked like a gas mask. Anyway, he had spent weeks modifying it for me. The mask itself I was to put over my mouth was connected through a tube to a canister of sorts which I could just stick in a backpack and sling over my shoulder. It was a combination of air and some sort of prescription my dad got. The air kept me breathing while the medicine calmed me down, let me think, when I had one of my panic attacks, which were rather frequent.

Then my parent’s work forced us to move far up North, which in all honesty was probably the best thing for me as it meant clean air. As I got older my conditions grew less and less severe, to the point where I didn’t have to keep the mask on 24/7.
It was amazing for me at the time, being able to walk in public not feeling like a freak. Of course I was never able to completely go without it but I found myself using it less and less in everyday life. It was almost like living a normal life, that is, one full of undead meatbags eager to tear you apart. At least that was what I heard. I never got an actual good look at a howler, with the closest I’ve ever gotten was through my scope when it was my turn out on watch. But that’s enough rambling, I suppose it’s time to turn towards the reason why I’m here. Several days ago, a rather mysterious black suited man came to my house. I guess it was something about my parent’s work, as I was never allowed anywhere near it, as they forced me to head outside. Whatever it was, it ended up me being sent thousands of miles into the US by helicopter to Annapolis. I didn’t realize it back then but my whole life was about to change. And if only I could say it was for the better.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Adrian stood amongst the others when the voice had cutten off, replaced by the screams of the howlers that soon surrounded them. The sudden realization of what was about to happen paralyzed him, his breath in smaller, more hoarser gasps. He fell over as the world crumbled around him, threatening to tear him apart. Such an extreme reaction to the situation was caused by one thing: He wasn’t wearing his equipment. Wanting to have a good first impression at the academy was about to cost him his life.This isn’t right, it can’t be real! Why would they do this? I.. I don’t..

“Hey! Wake up!” A guy a couple years older than Adrian ran up to him, trying to get his attention. “This isn’t the time for this! We need to- AHH!” His attempts to regain Adrian were cut short as a howler leaped at him, tearing through the kid’s throat. It was shot down as fast as it appeared by a couple other students who ran up and grabbed Adrian with them. Along with another dozen kids, the group sprinted to the farther side of the field along the outcropping of trees in the distance. However they never made it there as they were soon surrounded by howlers in every direction.

“Shit, what do we do?!”

“I told you we shouldn’t have broughten that idiot with us. He’s just weighing us down!”

“Nevermind that, shoot them! Shoot them!”

The group stood together and fired at the oncoming threat yet but with every one they took down, two more would take its place, making it only a matter of time before they would run out of ammo.

“We’re screwed.. Hey, you!” One of them grabbed Adrian and proceeded to shake him, “Wake up! We need you in this!”

No, no no no no. This isn’t right. I need to help... but I'm stuck. I can't... why can't I... ? My body… It won’t move. “My ..m-mask..I n-need.. My..”

But before they could even process what he said, a howler broke through the formation and leaped onto them, knocking Adrian over. In turn, his backpack opened and his mask fell right out in front of him. The sight of it broke his trance and he quickly held it against his mouth, taking deep breaths. After several moments his body stopped shaking so severely and he was able to grasp his surroundings. The entire place was in chaos, with the group completely surrounded. And if things weren’t already bad enough, a larger, more concentrated, horde was rushing towards them. We can fight off the ones already here but if that horde hits us that's it, game over. So.. He looked to the corpse of the kid who had only moments before was trying to catch his attention. He held a M67 grenade in his hand. Reaching towards the body, Adrian grabbed it and faced the huge horde. This is it. Our only chance. If the grenade lands too far, we’re dead. If it doesn’t explode in time, we’re dead. That’s why…
He pulled the pull ring and rushed forward, chucking it at Howlers. Within the second Adrian had, he lifted his sniper and took aim. Five seconds is too long, I can’t wait for it to explode on it’s own. This may be impossible but… that’s why I have to make this shot count!

With that, Adrian pulled the trigger and was greeted by a sudden wave of heat and force as the bullet hit its mark.

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Drakmah
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Drakmah » Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:23 pm

Gunvor Hjalmar
Academy Security Checkpoint


“What do you mean I’m late?” Gunvor asked, the shrug of his shoulders along with the glare from the guard painting the picture as he stood outside the gate. His armor was bundled up under his arm and his weapons were either on his belt or slung along his back. The guard shook his head and sighed, picking up a clipboard and looking it over before raising his head to him.

“Name.”

“Gunvor Hjalmar.”

There was a few seconds of writing before he tossed the paper aside and motioned to his gear. Gunvor handed over his armor whilst he gathered his weapons in his arm. The man opened the bundle up and checked over it quickly but thoroughly, handing it back to him piece by piece. He accepted it back, handing off his weapons for the same check. He received another odd look, but the guard continued checking them, turning them over and making sure nothing was out of the ordinary.

“Will I need the armor anytime soon?” He asked, the guard only giving him a solemn gaze before holding out his weapons. However he continued to hold his hands out, his eyes having conveying some sort of expectation from him.

“Is there anything else?” Gunvor asked, raising an eyebrow.

“I still need to check your guns.”

“My… Oh, I don’t have any guns.” He said with a genuine smile, going to move forward.

“Sir, I don't think I…” He stopped, looking over Gunvor’s body before glancing at his weapons. After a few seconds he simply rolled his eyes and waved Gunvor through. The teenager passed through, walking toward the building he was instructed to go to, while the guard turned back to his co-worker.

”That one won’t last the day..”



Heavens.. This cold air is much appreciated. He thought to himself as he entered the building. Being used to the winters of northern Norway, this temperature was a much welcomed change from the heat of the North American continent. While the room was dark, his eyes adjusted quickly when the dim red lights illuminated the room, allowing him to find his way through the building. As he walked through he began to piece his armor together. First came the cloth liners, then the thin leather and metal plates, next came the heavier ones before he laid over his signature caution tarp. While it was yellow and black and inhibited his ability to hide, he was never one for hiding anyway.

“I wonder why I would need armor?” He asked aloud, his mask hanging against his collarbone while he walked. “This is supposed to be a welcoming party, not a test of any means.”

Finally he found his way to the door, having travelled through many twists and passages to get there. Knowing he was late, likely having missed the beginning of any ceremony, he moved to open the door gingerly. He hoped that he might be able to slip into a seat and finish out the ceremony before moving on with the orientation. When he pushed on the door, however, he found that it wouldn’t budge. He pushed a little harder, worried that the door was jammed and that he would have to slam it open and disturb whatever was going on. After firmly pushing on the door he sighed, looking at the frame all while shaking his head.

“I will probably regret this in a few moments…” He said, lining himself up with the door before slamming his foot into it, the metal plates riveted onto his shoes bashing into the bar that opened the door. The opened a few inches for a second or two, however slammed shut immediately.

“What the…” He said under his breath, quite confused now. He gave it another hard kick, and then another, before finally whatever was blocking the door gave way and it swung open, revealing the carnage that was happening in the field.

What had been blocking the door, incidentally, was the bodies of several howlers who had been mangled and slammed against the wall. Their likely killer laid a few feet away, his arms and neck torn apart. Blood was everywhere, the husks that had once been people and howlers alike littering the ground. He began to survey the area when he heard a groan behind him, turning to find a howler picking itself up off the ground in response to his presence. This howler was particularly slow, having had its right arm and left foot blasted off by some means. He guessed, due to the constant sound of gunfire, that bullets were the cause of its wounds, but it seemed that whoever was shooting either wasn’t aiming right, or just didn’t know how to kill them.

He drew one of his Sawblade axes, approaching the lumbering howler in order to finish him off, however this one wasn’t done fighting. In a burst of speed it rushed at him, baring its teeth whilst swiping with the only arm that was left. Coming in too quickly for him to efficiently kill with a simple strike of his axe, he slammed his armored elbow into its jaw and watched as its feet swept out from under it. The howler, still suspended due to the shear force and weight behind the blow, was swiftly beheaded when Gunvor pivoted his body in a position where he could bring his axe down on its neck. With the head blow having tilted the head backwards, the swing was clean and the body fell lifelessly to the ground.

With the howler dead, and none others in the immediate area, he took a moment to survey the large field. The whole thing was surrounded by a large wall, with the only apparent opening now shutting as the many beings who had streamed out of it had gone out to fight the beasts. Around the previous opening this group was fighting and quickly gaining ground, the mass of people and animals slamming the horde of howlers. On the other side, however, were a number of people fortified around a tower. He saw no such beasts with them, and thus guessed that he was meant to be with them. The others would likely be the previous graduates of the Academy, as they were the ones with the animals at their command. He sheathed his saw blade axe and picked his sharpened stop sign up from off of his back. Having enough time, he unhooked the strap that he used to carry it, placing it on his belt before making his way down the hill.

The Land of the Golden Blobfish wrote: -Snip-


He was nearing the mass of howlers when the grenade when off, splattering body parts in a wide radius around them. He himself caught some of the blood bath, Gunvor having to wipe some of the intestines from his shoulder.

“Twas a good shot my friend!” He bellowed out into the battlefield, shaking his head to get the blood from his hair. “I’m glad I made it in time to see some action.” With the majority of the howlers between him and group having felt the brunt force of the grenade, he simply went through with his axe finishing off those who only lost limbs. They were incoherent for the most part, stumbling and crawling around as they tried to gather their even their most basic senses. Those who did returned to their aggressive ways, but they were easy pickings for the blade of Gunvor’s axe. When he was finished you almost couldn’t see the white letters that read “Stop”, as the entire tool was drenched in blood.

Saleon wrote: -Snip-


“You there!” He called out to Ruko, stabbing his axe head into a nearby body and gesturing with his arms open, smiling widely as he shouted. “If I heard you correctly over the gunfire, you said something about meeting up with those kind folks and their machine animals. I must say I agree with you! They are doing quite the number on these angry villains…” He said, looking down to kick the head of a nearby dead howler. “... And meeting up with them should allow us to deal with them more effectively.” With that he pulled his axe out of the body and walked over to Adrian, giving him a hearty pat on the shoulder.

“That was quick thinking with the explosives lad, you are certainly a bright one!” He said with a smile, raising his head to shout back to Ruko. “We can use the path created by our friend here to circle around. More howlers will have to die, but with good group work I’m sure we can make it there relatively unscathed!” After he finished he turned around, seeing another shambling howler, limbs missing and blood flowing everywhere as it ran towards him. This time, however, his blood was already pumping, and so instead of having to resort to his elbow he was quick enough to swing his sign in a wide arc, separating the howler at the knees. Following through on the swing, he brought the axe above his head before lowering it down to split the howler in half.

“Friends in the tower!” He called up, using a cupped hand to extend his already booming voice. “We have a path to escape through, It may be prudent to come while we have the space!”
Quazin the Great wrote:Rules
9. Title stuff so Drakmah doesn't burst into flame. This rule may not matter because Drakmah
has grown old and tired and no longer trifles with such inflammatory conduct.

☠ Just your friendly neighborhood Necromancer

R.I.P. Tony the Possum - May 29th, 2017

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Sammuramat
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Founded: May 05, 2016
Corporate Police State

Postby Sammuramat » Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:23 pm

Any other time Raushan would have gladly informed Alex of why exactly she was shouting. it’s loud out here, you fucking moron. Have you already completely lost your sense of sound, as well as perspective? There are people dying out here – can’t you hear them screaming? And you care more that I’m raising my fucking voice?

She wanted to grab his shoulders and shake him. Already, though, he was dashing off to the girl, and scooping her up. Best not to criticize him, not while he could have dropped her. The red stain on her shirt had grown since Raushan had looked away. Now her shirt looked soaked through.
There’d been an earthquake in Kazakhstan not long before H1 started to spread. It had been all the way over in the Urals, but it had been strong. Strong enough that Raushan had felt the aftershocks at her home. The ground had trembled enough to knock her off balance. On the TV later, they’d played the sound of the earthquake: the rocks letting out a deep whine, and the vibration rushing through the ground.

Raushan had never been fighting quite so many Howlers. Adrenaline coursed through her, making her senses much sharper, but also more exaggerated. When the walls groaned open and the Beastmasters came charging out, her first thought was of the earthquake. It disarmed her. She turned to the epicentre, saw the gleaming menagerie in the distance, stared for a second. Striders. If she could survive this, she might be one of them one day.

Anger was what brought Raushan back to herself. The Academy could have sent the Beastmasters in at any time. They’d waited until everyone was fighting for their lives so they’d be thankful for even hope. “Fuck them, they’re making ushave to go to them,” she called out, but Alex was already gone, speeding towards them.

She would have offered to help support the girl – that way they’d both have had a free arm. Less agility, but at least they’d have some defence. Raushan felt she had no choice but to cover him, if only to cover the girl. She dashed after them. He was surprisingly fast for someone carrying what looked like dead weight. Two Howlers lumbered past, which Alex dodged, but Raushan went for them. She noticed, while doing this, the bulletholes already ripped in them. One was missing an arm. The doubt bit at her that perhaps she hadn’t fully killed as many as she thought. This time, she would try to do it right. She tried to decapitate the first with a knife, but the knife became lodged in its neck, and she had to leave it. It wouldn’t be safe doused in all that blood. She shot at it until it fell. The next one she copied Alex, and tried to simply avoid it.

It didn’t work. The Howler smashed into her, and Raushan almost fell. She staggered back, attempting to aim for the neck but shooting into its belly. Its teeth tore into her shirt. She jabbed her elbow down into its skull, thought she felt something crack. Fingers scrabbled at her. She pried them off – hoped she’d broken them. Once it let go, Raushan shoved it away, and sprinted for Alex.

Not too far to the Striders now. She caught up to him, glanced over her shoulder to make sure the Howler hadn't crossed the distance yet, and slowed down slightly. “We should both support her. Then we can defend each other. And her,” she gestured to the girl, who had gone alarmingly pale and was muttering in a language Raushan didn’t recognise. “Then... we see what happens?”

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Aghrabia
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Ex-Nation

Postby Aghrabia » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:11 pm

Alex glanced next to where he was, Raushan had caught up with him again, but it hadn't surprised him very much, even through the noise of the now blood-covered battlefield- which was currently littered with dead bodies, both Howler and human. He quickly shrugged the lower part of the dying girl's body into her arms and drew his gun into his left hand- shooting a Howler who has gradually approaching them on his left.

"Thanks. To be honest carrying her was starting to hurt my arms..." he started, but, given the temperament she had shown during their previous encounter, he decided hurriedly rescind this statement. "Not as if I'm complaining or anything." He regained his composure and continued, "Yes, I agree, in fact, it would be better for the three of us. Either way, I'd advise continuing to our apparent "saviours" over there," The sarcasm at the "saviours" was almost palpable. "There probably our best bet for help- though I'm unsure if they'll give any."

They continued moving forward, slower this time- walking at not exactly a leisurely pace, but not too fast either. They eventually covered the ground, which was still a view of your typical post-apocalyptic almost-wasteland- given the fact it was still a meadow, between them and the Beastmasters, slaying more than a few Howler's on the way and got quite near to their position. He then turned over to the Beastmasters, who were continuing to slaughter their way through crowds of zombies, and decided to alert them to their presence.

"Hey, assholes, we're over here!" Alex yelled at the top of his lungs. Well, this isn't probably going to endear me to them, but it's probably their fault we're in this mess, so I can take as many fucking liberties with my speech as I want, he thought. Oh well. "And besides the obvious medical attention," gesturing at the girl in his and Raushan's arms. "We'd like a bloody explanation as to what the fuck is going on here!"
Today's air quality is mauve and speckled...

The Japanese Army is about to get a serious asskicking by Doctor Jeremiah Gottwald. That's right, I'm a Doctor. PhD in Asskicking, a Bachelors in Pain and a Minor in Woman's Studies
~ Jeremiah Gottwald


This nation does NOT represent my political views.

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The United Equstrian Front
Minister
 
Posts: 2243
Founded: Mar 04, 2016
Left-wing Utopia

Postby The United Equstrian Front » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:38 am

Josh Russminov

He sighed as he sidestepped a clumsy attempt at a hit from a Howler and cut through its shoulder and removed an arm, he finished it off with a stab to the heart. He grunted in exertion as he pulled the sword out and wiped it clean on the howler's clothes. He checked the area around him and found a group of three near him. He nodded and dashed to them bobbing and weaving through initiate and howler alike, soon coming up three feet from them where he stopped.
"Hi there, uh really wasn't expecting this at all. How're you holding up?" He noticed the unconscious girl i one of the guys arms and farrowed his brow.
She better be alright. I really hope these guys didn't hurt her. I'm not going to be known as the dude in the wrong crowed.

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Sammuramat
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Founded: May 05, 2016
Corporate Police State

Postby Sammuramat » Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:26 pm

Raushan gladly accepted the burden of the girl. She was buzzing with adrenaline, which made the girl feel disturbingly light. Soon, probably, her muscles would be suffering as much as Alex's. Though he'd called out to the Beastmasters, his voice was dripping with bitterness, and she had the same amount of faith in them. Still, an image lingered in her head of the Striders hearing the call and rushing to help them, and carving a path in the mass of Howlers for everyone to escape, and saving the girl's life. More likely the Beastmasters would do their bit to impress everyone and leave the unimpressed to die. The hope was still there - the Academy probably wanted that hope there. She'd fallen for the trap and felt worse knowing she'd fallen for it. They seemed to have no choice now but wait for the Beastmasters to respond.

A boy arrived coming up behind them, asking how they were as if they were meeting over coffee. She answered his “How’re you holding up?” with a cold glare. It didn’t matter so long as she wasn't dying. She could feel something wet and hot dripping down her arms, and didn’t need to look to know it was the girl’s blood. Raushan feared more for the girl’s life than her own.

"Nobody expected it." She had been so excited to be told she was considered for the Academy. It had filled her with pride. How many others, proud to be among the best, were already dead? "They lied to us, they said we would be trained, and they are killing us," she fumed. Nodding to the girl, her voice harsh and blunt, she added, "Help defend her until they get here."

She’d thought for a moment that the Beastmasters might have heard Alex’s call, and that they would immediately come to their aid. They crashed onwards in their glorious metal ranks. There was no sign of acknowledgement. Raushan’s blood ran cold. Perhaps they simply hadn’t signalled yet, but they would? Of course not. If they cared about us living or dying, they wouldn’t have set the Howlers on us. The Academy must think we’re disposable. Why wouldn’t they think the same? She turned to Alex. "I don't think they'll explain. They don't care."

The howl hit her ears as loud as a shot. She flinched, turned to face the Howler. Raushan’s pistol was still in her hand, but twisted under the girl’s leg. She fired, but the aim was off; she couldn’t even tell if it had hit. “Come on,” she roared at her companions, firing again, missing again.

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The United Equstrian Front
Minister
 
Posts: 2243
Founded: Mar 04, 2016
Left-wing Utopia

Postby The United Equstrian Front » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:16 pm

Sammuramat wrote:Snip

Josh Russminov

He blinked and sheathed his sword and drew his gauss pistol and crouched and aimed at an approaching howler and fired, and the small magnetic bal plowed through the things hip crippling it and he aimed at another gaining a shoulder being blown open he sighed and stood back up and holstered the pistol and unsheathed his sword and slashed at a speeding one closing in on him. It dropped and he checked the girl and froze,
Oh there's no way you know her Josh focus on defending the group and maybe the cold chick might thank you. He sighed and kicked a pouncing howler and stabbed it's head and whirled as another talked him trying bite him. He grunted with exertion and shoved it off and punched it as it rebounded off of something. He jabbed it's throat and followed up with a pin wheel kick that caved in the skull. He panted and grabbed his sword from the ground and with a raised voice,
"So have we even attempted in entering the tower? Cause I think we might just throw the finger up at anyone in there, and commandeer it for ourselves!"


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