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 Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)

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Umbrangelus

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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon May 12, 2008 3:17 pm

Hey guys,

Does anyone else have any comments about my story?
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PostSubject: Chapter 1 Rewrite   Mon May 12, 2008 3:26 pm

Chapter 1


The lights were out. They were never out. Varse sat huddled in a corner cowering behind his sister. Over her shoulder he could make out the shape of a guard a few hundred feet away. Hearing the soft muffled sounds of harshly clad boots, he knew the guards were moving into position for something bloody. Trying hard to curl deeper into his ball, he let out a soft whisper only his sister could hear. She glared at him to keep silent. Indignant at her lack of sympathy, Varse began to pout, but he quickly lost interest because the guards now became visible. They were in full battle gear and had Night vision goggles on, making it quite difficult to move silently, but they tried anyway. Varse watched as they slid into a defensive position like the petals of a flower curled defensively around the center. Varse heard some of the other children, who had noticed the battle gear and large guns to, howl and coo softly afraid of disturbing the silence or become noticed. At the moment one of guards pointed his gun into their pen, Varse let out a yip and hid his face. Syran, on the other hand, growled loudly and arched her winged back like a cat with hackles.

“Shut up, soldier!” said the guard as he stupidly kicked the door. His lack of attention to the necessity of silence showed just how frightened he really was.

Had Varse not been cowering, he might have noticed the clear panic in the guards voice and the trembling of the rest of the guards. Still, there was no time to notice these details for a moment later, the man in the center let out a yip of pain then collapsed to the floor. Suddenly, the air erupted with the sounds of gun shots. Frightened guards spun around in circles shooting at chest level. Varse saw his friend, Ebony in the cell across from them stand a moment too soon and take a bullet to the head. As he watched his friend’s blood move towards the drain in the center of the hallway, he noticed the other rivers quickly joining it.

Syran crept forward to see who else was shot, making sure to stay well out of the way of bullets. A moment later, she slinked triumphantly back to her brother and whispered, “Ebony was the only one shot. All the rest of that is the blood of the guards. One guard actually made it through the door before Auburn took him out.” But Varse was no longer listening. A monster silhouette appeared at the door, keys in hand. At the sound of the tumbler turning, Syran whirled around to defend the cell. Before she caught a glimpse of the intruder, she was caught by the throat and pinned against the wall. Varse let out a yelp at the attack on his sister and coward in the corner again. The attacker slid into the darkest parts of the room next to Varse and released his grip on Syran’s throat indicating he wanted them to be silent. Varse grabbed his sister’s arm and pulled her protectively between him and the attacker. As he did so, his hand brushed against the attacker’s knee. Fur! He must be one of us. The fur was course, not like their own fur, but like that of a wild dog. Immediately, his fears dissolved and he stopped cowering. He could not fear one of his own, no matter how good they were at killing.

The main door next to his cell burst open and a new file of guards rushed in past the cells. In the center was a man in a suit cringing and cowering behind the shield of men. The man in the cell with her slid silently away from them. Syran quickly grabbed his wrist and pulled him back. Now it was her turn to keep him silent. Varse saw what she was doing and stepped forward to participate. Varse spread his wings slightly, as an eagle would if cornered and scared. Syran duplicated the motion effectively blocking all but the man’s head from view, a position the attacker quickly rectified.

Moments later, a few more guards rushed in. The door to the cell was still opened and the guards checked to make sure we were still there before they continued their sweep.

Varse whined a pathetic whine and whimpered softly, “Don’t let him hurt us. We promise we will be good. Please don’t leave us. I’m afraid.” Tears now poured freely down his face. Others in adjoining cells quickly saw what was going on and began to say they afraid to. Annoyed by their pleas, the guards moved down the hall searching for the attacker. When they were far out of ear shot, the man whispered in their ears, “My thanks to you children. My name is Thresles and I am here to get you out. Will you help me?” Eagerly, they both nodded their agreement.

Folding their wings carefully against their backs, they edged towards the cell door. Listening carefully, Varse crept from cell to cell releasing their friends while Syran and Thresles stood by the door listening for footsteps. As Varse unlocked the door to Harlowe’s cell, he heard Syran slap her wings against her sides. Instinctively, they all dove into nearby cells and closed the unlocked doors softly. They crept into the corners and within a minute were silent. A few moments later and the rushed footsteps of guards trying to conceal their approach could be heard. Varse could hear their footsteps loaming and jumped with the sudden sound of gun shots. Harlowe draped an arm over his chest to comfort him, his soft scaly arms rubbing gently against the delicate feathers on Varse’s wings. The gun shots sounded for what seemed like hours until, just as abruptly as they started they stopped. No one moved.

“It’s alright, you can come out now,” Thresles whispered.

Silently, everyone poured out of the cells and continued releasing their friends. Suddenly, a guard appeared through the door, obviously shocked by all the blood and people out of their cells. Varse saw Syran leap for him, clamping her hand over his mouth and her other arm around his neck she dug her hind claws into the tender portions of his back. No one moved. All were watching her kill the man. He struggled to scream, to breath, and to get her off. He stumbled into walls and tripped over bodies before he finally dropped to the floor himself. Syran rode his body to the floor before she released her grip.

As she stood, she was panting and felt exhilarated by the kill. Everyone went back to work cautiously, avoiding her gaze. Varse approached with the same caution a mouse would give a dozing lion before the rodent’s nest. He bent and rolled the guard over. Varse stared at his face a long time and remembered his first, clumsy day on guard duty. Varse always did like him, he was just a kid and often snuck them food when the other guards refused to feed them. “Dang Syran, it’s just the kid! He can’t be any more than 17. You didn’t have to kill him. You didn’t! You could have knocked him out or gagged him or something—”

“He was the enemy, Varse, plain and simple! This is a fight for survival and our survival is more important than his. Don’t be such a baby!” Syran bent to clean some of the chunks off her claws as Varse glided away, dejected and disgusted. As Syran scrapped away the eviscerated innards, she saw Thresles approached, chest heaving slightly.

“How old are you, girl?” he asked timidly.

“Five,” replied Varse. “We’re both five.”

“Welcome to the Assassin’s Guild, Syran,” Thresles said as he turned and walked away.


Last edited by Sphinexfire on Wed May 14, 2008 5:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon May 12, 2008 3:27 pm

I need some help making Syran hated. Could you guys check this out and help me out? I would really appreciate it! Thanks!!
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon May 12, 2008 9:07 pm

Well, I think it's good. I was going to suggest you make Syran innocent and then have her attack the guard to try to prove herself to the stranger, Thresles. That's not what you want though. You want Syran to be hated--without visible weakness.

So what I suggest is that you identify Syran as the cruel person she is, but make Varse stand up to her cruelty to him. When she tells him to shut up, make Varse say no! That way, you can maximize the effect of the end of the chapter by making Varse suddenly scared of Syran when she kills the guard. This is death we're talking about and these are children. Plus, it's a little confusing when Varse talks about the guard as just a boy. He's too mild about the death.

Perhaps you present the assasin's guild as new, just having come about because of the pressures of overpopulation. That way you can make Syran out to be a driving force of the guild later in the story without making her a founder. She could be one of the first to join, and she could be one of the people who believes in the guild's purpose and enforces it in the new recruits. You don't have to say any of this last part in your story, but you can allude to it and it will make Syran even more hated. You could make Syran say something about how disgusted she is with all of those spineless recruits and how she'd love to kill half of them. The reader will think, The assasin's guild wouldn't have gotten along without her? Wow, she must be evil.

Also you need really emphasize the point of view that Syran is hated whenever possible. Making Varse's opinion, Oh that's just how Syran has always been, except now she's taken it up a notch. probably isn't the best use of this opportunity. Everyone is so calm in your story.

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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon May 12, 2008 9:36 pm

The Assassin's Guide is a new thing. Thresles calls his army the Assassin's Guide because that is how they hunt, by assassinations. Syran is actually the first Assassin recruit. Everyone is so calm about death for two reasons. First, Varse is not freaked out about death because they (the children transgenics) are being trained to be soldiers. Death is not a foreign concept. Furthermore, you may have noticed that Varse, who is five, calls a 17 year old a kid. This is because the 17 year old is a kid to the kill. He has never killed anyone before (a fact which I think I should emphasize more). No one else in the dungeon is concerned because by 5, most soldiers had already proven themselves (I could allude to this by saying something to the effect of "She dug her claws into the tender parts of his back, as she had been taught...")

Syran's whole problem with society is how people blatantly follow the social norms without question. She is not evil in that she kills, but evil in that she hates the kill (a fact revealled in Chapter 7). I want to make her character hated in the first few chapters to add radical contrast between what she does and what she believes emphasizing the characters internal conflict.

I want my story to have depth and dimension, but the more I have to explain, the more I realize how shallow my story currently is and how much work I need to do.

Thanks for all of your input. I will definitely take your comments into consideration. I really value your critisism Daniel!

Thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon May 12, 2008 11:15 pm

I wouldn't say shallow! Hey! Shocked As Card says in his book, the best stories are marriages between to seemingly unrelated ideas. Perhaps you just haven't thought long enough. I had the same problem with the telepathy fantasy story I was trying to write. It got boring and cliche (not that this is the problem with your story). So I rewrote it and added another idea (aliens). Three or four big ideas later I have the drafts you see now.

One problem I find with your story that seems to keep popping up is the difference in social standards. How did society get this way (how did your characters become part human--maybe you can't evolve this from present day Earth). Perhaps you should add a prologue to explain how society got to be this way. It would give you added depth, plus it might help to straighten some things out for the reader (and maybe change the rest of your story in the process).

Perhaps you could invert society and see what it's like? In your society, killing is rewarded. What if saving a life was frowned upon? What would be different between in this society? That would give you a bunch of ideas for your story. Plus you could cast Syran as a hated villian in the eyes of the characters, but also cast her as a heroine in the eyes of the reader. Would that work?

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Last edited by Multi on Tue May 13, 2008 12:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Tue May 13, 2008 7:32 am

Is that "Guide" or "Guild"?

The word "assassin" is related to the word "hashhish." Apparently a secret society of hired killlers used that drug to keep up their courage.

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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Tue May 13, 2008 8:42 pm

Its Guild. Why, did I mess that up somewhere?

And yes Daniel I think that would work wonderfully. Thanks for the ideas. I'll see what I can come up with.

I really appreciate your help. I love you lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Tue May 13, 2008 11:31 pm

Keep in mind that the reader is still going to like Syran if you tell it from Syran's point of view. In Psych 201 it's called self-serving bias. People have to justify their actions as being right, and they make themselves out to be better than they actually are. If you want the reader to hate Syran, you're going to have to tell it from a different perspective (period). If you only need to make her hated by other characters, then your story is already set up for that--don't change point of view.

Perhaps the motives for Syran to kill weren't all that extraordinary. She wanted to be famous, or she needed the attention to make up for a void elsewhere. Perhaps her parents were killed and the killer was a really famous person. That way she'd have a whole boat load of reasons for killing with that kind of passion. She wants to kill the murderer, or she wants to out do the murderer, or she needs the attention from killing that her parents couldn't give her. I could keep guessing for a while. You could contrast her even better because Varse and her would have seen their parents die. He would hate killing, while Syran thought she needed killing. I mean think about a society that rewards the killers. Varse would look pretty weak, and Syran wants to be strong. Celebrities would either be famous for escaping death or by dealing in death. Any position of power would be a dangerous risk to the person in office because that person is now a target for the killers. The real order would be anarchy or maybe assasins. Those who could hold power without dying since everyone wants to be famous, right?

This is your society obviously. People only kill with madelines it seems, and they seem to have no problem with food or shelter since the planet is so overpopulated. Kids are trained as soldiers... maybe these are the kids of the aristocrats? The ones trained in killing are the more powerful in society. It would make sense if Syran and Varse ended up where they are in chapter 1 if their parents are dead. Maybe both parents didn't die, but only the father or mother died? What would that mean? We could go on and on about this...

I guess to cap this one off,-- find out what you would like to see happen to your characters. What events do you want? What characters are there? Make sure that this story is everything you want it to be. I don't know because I haven't read! scratch See you tommorrow!

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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed May 14, 2008 9:12 am

All of the "soldiers" in the beginning of the story (the ones in the base where Syran and Varse are) are transgenic soldiers. They are created. They do not have parents but gene doners. They are the result of scientific research and a combination of genes to form creatures that are a combination of different animals.

Syran and Varse are ferternal twins resulting from one experiment involving the combination of human genes with genes from a golden eagle and a panther. They were grown in test-tubes and raised by the military to kill. Truthfully, killing is all Syran has ever known. The depth in her killing is only the result of training. The depth in her character is the fact that she chaffes under the confines of society demanding the kill. Varse simply chaffes under the thought of killing. He is viewed as a social outcast because he would prefer to save a life than take it. In a world were overpopulation is a huge problem, the act of saving a single life could endanger countless others. The basic premise behind the story revolves around the problems associated with "the greatest good for the greatest number."

I'll try to make that more clear.

Furthermore, I know what events I want as well as who the characters are. The only problem I am having is finding the correct words to describe these events and characters. I lack the verbage to invoke the correct reactions from the reader and that is what I need to correct. The story is all there, the myth has been determined and set down. The proper writing is what is missing.

What I really need is a week of uninterrupted rewriting in which I can utterly destroy my story and put it back together in a coherent manner. I'll see what I can do.
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed May 14, 2008 9:02 pm

good luck!

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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Fri May 16, 2008 5:11 pm

Thanks Daniel. Good luck with yours!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed May 21, 2008 12:02 pm

hey...long time no type. I'm not sure how much you have changed the first chapter since you last posted it above, but i have a few suggestions for wording. I'll keep playing with it. Have you sent me the whole copy yet via email? I could have missed it. I'll find you...its easier to show you wording suggestions in person/paper.

And good luck, of course...
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed May 21, 2008 5:07 pm

I thought I had. I'll send it again.
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Thu May 22, 2008 1:49 pm

I have decided that my story is not going the way I wanted and needs a lot more work that I am able to due in the next two weeks. I have a lot of research I need to do before I feel comfortable writting about some of my story. Therefore I have reworked chapter 1 a lot and turned it into my short story. Please let me know what you think. Thank you!!!
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PostSubject: The Assassin's Guild ~ The Shortstory   Thu May 22, 2008 2:01 pm

The Assassin’s Guild
I knew they would come for me. They would always come for me. I was the first; the first created, the first to succeed…the first to escape. They would never stop hunting me. Bad; bad for them. Every time I started to relax, thinking I had finally escaped, they sent a team, one of their best. If only they would just leave me alone. I can still hear their screams, the scream of my first still echoes in my head. But it got easier. The blood seemed to wash off easier; the screams became a constant drone in my ears that would fade over time, the faces began to blur into obscurity. Every kill became an easier task. I almost began to enjoy the hunt.
Then I got tired of running. I got tired of sleeping in the trees I couldn’t stand. I got tired of stealing cattle to eat and to survive. I got tired of hiding. So I went back. I was in Aurora, near the base. Its actual name was The Arc: Science and Technologies Institute and Military Instillation. The residents, or rather prisoners, just called it the Archipelago of Lost Souls because the general layout was that of an archipelago with military prison wards separated by water, fences, and guard towers. Each ward houses anywhere between one to two hundred transgenic soldier trainees at a perpetual boot camp, a boot camp whose inmates were “lost souls” to the world.
Creeping towards one of the outer rim guard towers, it was easy to move undetected through the roar of the bayou and cover of darkness. The search lights swiveled their dark bodies to and fro, bright glowing eyes searching for nothing in particular. They were easy enough to avoid. Moving farther in, I was stopped dead by the blood curdling sound of a dying rabbit, but it didn’t sound quite right. Cautiously, I slipped deeper into the bowels of this hellish prison approaching one of the interior wards. This one was the junior ward, housing the youngest and least trained, and hence least dangerous, soldiers as well as the base headquarters. I remembered this ward from when I was locked deep within its research vaults. I knew the layout, both inside and outside, better than my own hand. Ducking into an excess water runoff drain pipe, I crawled through the pipe and under the fence.
That was when I found them. The squeal came from a little boy, a panthle (panther/eagle), restrained by two guards. Major Sanders, the toughest jackal of a guard employed by The Arc, was swinging a barbed bullwhip over his head. Unconsciously, I rubbed a stripe on my own back where that whip once fell, cracking a couple of ribs and landing me in the infirmary for two weeks. At his feet a few paces off, lay a heap of broken feathers and matted fur. It stirred. Shifting slowly to push itself upright, another panthle defiantly rose.
“Do you want more, you piece of shit trany?” Sanders barked in a deep husky voice.
The small ball of feathers straightened and took a defensive pose, waiting for the next move. It didn’t have to wait long. Sanders swung the whip once more and brought it down, cracking on empty air. The ball swept sideways coming around the end of the whip and took hold, heaving hard. Sanders pulled back harder, causing the ball to whip around like a living flail. It spread its mangled wings and came around behind Sanders releasing the whip close to his shoulder. It snatched at his neck with its arms and clawed at his back with its hind claws. Sanders shrieked in surprise and pain. Hurling themselves towards the panthle, they flung the squealing boy aside and drew nightsticks, clubbing at the flailing wings. It didn’t take long to remove the creature and hurl it across the courtyard. The body slid into a spot light, which immediately stopped to watch the commotion.
Jesus, it’s a girl! I thought as I drew a sharp breath and saw her lift her face defiantly, blood dripping down from the side of her face and lip. She started to laugh a dangerous laugh, one full of malice and hate. She could not have been more than seven yet she had already mastered a demonic laugh. She began to push herself up as she laughed. Finally she stood, shakily, and turned to watch Sanders, who began a large circular hobble around her. She took up the circle sweeping wider than Sanders had. Just as she began to close the gap between her and her prey, she stopped abruptly staring, dumbfounded and confused, straight at me. The spot light, which had followed her every move, noticed her confusion and traced her line of sight straight to the pile of barrels I was crotched under.
“Check it out,” Sanders called to one of other guards. A hardened criminal of a guard stocked up to the barrels, dagger in hand, the flat of the blade pressed lightly against his forearm. I dove from my hiding place and crushed his windpipe with a swift jab. His body staggered back a moment then collapsed dramatically, acting like a curtain falling between Sanders and I. I did not bother to hide myself and stood defiantly, as the panthle had done. And then, I was on the run again.
“That’s Thresles,” Sanders called, “Quick, get these beasts back inside and bring him back. And he better be alive. I want the pleasure of killing that bastard myself.”

Continue on next post. Apparently, this story is too large for the post. I actually got a message that said, "The posted message is too big." So I have to wrap around to the next message. Sorry!


Last edited by Sphinexfire on Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: The Assassin's Guild ~ The Shortstory Part 2   Thu May 22, 2008 2:02 pm

The guard pushed him me forward with a rough nightstick.

“Hurry up!” he barked forcing me to jump in surprise.


“Oh shut up, you overgrown pimple. Just because your afrai—”

The guard spun on Syran and slammed her with his nightstick. She doubled, but refused to drop.

I ran to her and tried to help her up, “Stop it. Please Syran, haven’t you had enough?”

She pushed me away, whispering and hobbling onward towards our pen, “No Varse. I will never have enough. Not from these shit-heads.”

“Don’t talk that way! You sound like them.”

She let me help her up the stairs, “I’m sorry Varse. I’m sorry for everything.”

Back in our cage, she whispered, “Did you see that Thresles, that guy? I think he was a trany, but I don’t –”

The lights were out. They were never out. I huddled into the corner cowering behind her.

“What’s going on? I’m scared!” I clung to her shoulder trying to crawl into the inch of emptiness in the exact corner of the cage.

“Shut UP and stop whining! Listen.”

I was indignant and glared at her back, not really paying any attention. But then I heard it; the thumping of boots running up the metal steps to their cells. Over her shoulder I could make out the shape of a guard on the other side taking position as a sniper. Below I could hear the soft muffled sounds of harshly clad boots as guards moved into position for something bloody. Trying hard to curl deeper into my ball, I let out a soft whisper only she could hear. She glared at me in the darkness. I began to pout, but quickly lost interest because another guard now became visible right in front of our cage. He was in full battle gear and had night-vision goggles on, making it quite difficult to move silently, but he tried anyway. I watched as he mirrored the first sniper and took aim down the long hallway at the other end of the corridor. Some of the other children, noticing the battle gear and large guns, began to howl and coo softly afraid of disturbing the silence but unable to help themselves.

Syran began growling menacingly at the guard in front of their pen. The guard swiveled instantly and mechanically, pointing his gun straight at her. I couldn’t take it anymore and yipped as I hid my face. Syran, on the other hand, growled louder and arched her winged back like a cat raising her hackles.

“Shut up, trany!” said the guard as he stupidly kicked the door. His lack of attention to the necessity of silence showed just how frightened he really was.

Had I not been cowering, I might have noticed the clear panic in the guard’s voice and the trembling sound rising from below. But then, there was no time to notice these details. The sniper on the other side of the room let out a yelp of pain tumbled through the hand rails, crashing into the neat formation below. Suddenly, the air erupted with the sounds of gun shots. Frightened guards spun around in circles shooting at chest level. I saw Ebony in the cell across and below, stand a moment too soon and take a bullet to the head. Her blood moved towards the drain in the center, merging with other rivers from different sources.

Syran crept forward, “Who else is dead?” she asked nonchalantly.

At that moment I hated her. Ebony was dead, others could be, and all she could think about was the kill. “Your disgusting, Syran.”

A moment later, she slinked triumphantly back and whispered into the cowering ball of temporarily filled with rage, “Ebony was the only one shot. All the rest of that is the blood of the guards. One guard actually made it through the door before Auburn took him out.” But I wasn’t listening. A monster silhouette appeared at the door, keys in hand. At the sound of the tumbler turning, Syran whirled around to defend the cell. Before she caught a glimpse of the intruder, she was caught by the throat and pinned against the wall.

Again was yelped and pulled even tighter into the corner, a feat I had previously thought was impossible. The attacker slid into the darkest parts of the room next to me and released his grip on Syran’s throat indicating he wanted them to be silent. I grabbed Syran’s arm and pulled her protectively between him and the attacker. As I did so, my hand brushed against the attacker’s knee.

Fur! He must be one of us. I thought as I began to stroke it gently, all fear forgotten and curiosity setting in. The fur was course, not like ours. It was like that of a wild dog, matted in some places and dirty everywhere. This must be Thresles, the only trany ever to have escaped. I could not fear one of my own, no matter how good he was at killing.

The main door next to our cell burst open and a new file of guards rushed in past the cells, half sweeping the bottom floor, the rest dividing themselves into two files pushing along the top. In the center of the bottom file was Major Sanders, hobbling slightly but quickly. Thresles tried to pull away moving next to the edge of the wall where he could slink out after the guards, beginning his work again.

Syran grabbed his wrist and pulled him back whispering to both of us, “They never check for babes in a blanket.” Thresles was obviously confused but I knew what she meant. We shoved Thresles into the corner and curled ourselves around him. Syran then pushed me back against the wall next to Thresles and spread her wings growling deeply. I grabbed my teddy off the cot next to me and prepared my best whine. Thresles got the idea and shrunk back even more into the wall letting me slip even closer to the corner completing the illusion.

A few moments later, the file swept past and immediately saw the cell door a jar. The leader was a terrified sergeant clearly not happy at taking point. He swiveled his guns bright eye into our cell and scanned the faces. Syran growled more menacingly and began to hiss defensively, pulling back farther in towards me.

That was my queue. I whined my most pathetic whine. Tears in my eyes, pouty lipped, and terror stricken, I whimpered, “Don’t let him hurt us. We promise we will be good. Please don’t leave us. I’m afraid.” Tears poured down freely instantly drenching my little teddy. Others in adjoining cells quickly saw what was going on and began to say they afraid to. Annoyed and distracted by the increasing intensity in our whimpers, the guards moved down the hall searching for the attacker.

When they were far out of ear shot, Thresles whispered into our ears, “My thanks to you children. I’m Thresles.” He extended a grateful hand. They both took it eagerly and he said, “I’ll be right back.” He crept out of the cell and vanished. Less than a millisecond later, another deafening burst of gun shots rang out, but they were abruptly silenced. Syran cautiously slipped through the door and caught up with Thresles. Major Sanders kneeled before them groveling nervously.

“Shut up!” Syran shouted as she kicked him backward and pulled the trigger of a hand gun she had hidden somewhere. The shot echoed loudly in the silence. Thresles ripped the gun from her hands and hissed at her a swift lecture I could not hear. They climbed the stairs two at a time and stooped only to pick up strewn knives and keys as they walked. Thresles and Syran came storming back up towards the cage whispering an argument furiously.

“I thought I told you to wait for me in the cage?” he hissed.

“No. You just said that you would be back.” She gave him that defiant look she gave everyone who yelled at her.

I came up next to Syran as he shook his head and looked away before answering, “I am the first made, the first to succeed and the first to escape. You are the first to talk back to me, the first to take such a beating and laugh as if you enjoyed it, the first to risk your life for me, the first to come out of hiding, and the first to have an attitude. I like that.” He bent down on his knees before us and looked up at us like he was an older brother before he continued, “Let’s get the hell out of here, with everyone!”

Eagerly, we both nodded our agreement and set off to the tasks he assigned. I was assigned to friend release. Syran and Thresles took up guard duty at opposite corridors.

Folding my wings carefully, I edged away towards the nearest row of cells with two sets of keys. Listening carefully, I scrambled from cell to cell releasing friends while Syran and Thresles stood by the door listening for footsteps. Unlocking the door to Harlowe’s cell, I heard Syran slap her wings against her sides. Instinctively, everyone dove into nearby cells and shadows, closing the unlocked doors softly, slinking into the corners.

The silence echoed throughout the perfectly still corridor making it perfectly simple to hear the rushed footfalls of guards who had not yet rounded the corner a hundred or so meters away. Everyone held their breath as the guards rounded the corner and flooded into the corridor. The gasps could be heard as they came upon disemboweled comrades.

“What kind of monster could have done this?” asked one of the guards unable to lift his eyes from the eviscerated innards.

"Their gone!” came the shocked reply of another.

"What? Who’s gone?”

“Look, the cages are empty.”

“Shhhhh. You idiots, they haven’t gone. Look at the footprints.”

I looked down at the ground, suddenly disgusted and terrified. Sure enough, the entire ground was covered in blood covered footprints, none of which actually left the corridor. We all, having come to the same conclusion simultaneously, slumped farther into the protection of the shadows. At the other end of the corridor, the guards could be heard shifting positions, no doubt forming a clover flower formation, four sweeping the ground layers and four cloistered in the center sweeping the top floor.

Suddenly, a rabbit screamed in agony behind the guards.

“Syran!!!” I swept out of the cell and charged towards her. Thresles dropped from some unknown spot sending me reeling into the shadows and slaughtered the closest guard. Syran used the momentary confusion at the screams and fallen comrade to slam a pole into one of the guards heads and dropped to her knees rolling away from them into the shadows. From the safety of my shadows, I saw her watching attentively as Thresles dismembered the rest.

The last shot left a deafening boom that echoed musically. No one moved for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, Thresles rose and called softly, “It’s alright. You can come out now.”

I ran to Syran who was laughing in the shadows by the door, “Are you okay? I heard you scream.” Fervently, I checked to see her injuries.

She laughed more loudly and more uncontrollable, “I’m fine. It was a diversion, Varse, a rouse, a trick,” he laughter sounded more like a harsh cackle now, “but I’m glad you fell for it. Varse, you are such a delightful idiot sometimes.”

Again, it was a slap in the face. Again he recoiled from her stinging tongue. But she ignored the slight, as usual. I turned my attention to the tranies pouring out of the cells. There were repirds, birlines, canishs, dozens of different combinations of animals and man, each glistening with their own kind of beauty, scales, fur, wings, talons, claws etc. shimmering in the ambient light reflecting from some unknown source.

Silently, everyone poured out of the cells and continued releasing friends. Suddenly, a guard appeared through the door and into the corridor, just past the stairwell. He froze shocked by all the blood and people out of their cells. I saw Syran leap for him, clamping one hand over his mouth and the other arm around his neck. For the second time tonight, she dug her hind claws into the tender portions of a guard’s back. Instantly, everyone stopped to stare at the struggling pair. Thresles instinctively rushed forward to help her, but she growled at him and bit into the guard’s neck, her sharp incisures slicing cleanly through the skin and into the muscle. The guard struggled to scream, to breath, and to get her off. He stumbled into walls and tripped over bodies before he finally dropped to the floor himself. Syran rode his body to the floor before she released her grip making sure he was dead.

I approached gingerly, afraid she might lash out at anything that moved. Edging closer I caught her eyes, aflame with passion and adrenalin. She shook from fatigue and excitement.

“You have blood all over your face.” I said as I gagged, having trouble keeping my stomach down.

Harlowe cleared his throat and soon most got back to work cautiously, avoiding her gaze. I bent over the body, heaving at its shoulders. The warm body rolled lazily over to reveal the kid, the youngest and kindest guard at The Arc. I stared at his face a long time and remembered his first, clumsy day on guard duty. I liked him; he was just a kid and often snuck in food when the other guards refused to give them their meals.

“Dang Syran, it’s just the kid! He can’t be any more than 17. You didn’t have to kill him. You didn’t! You could have knocked him out or gagged him or something—”

“He was the enemy, Varse, plain and simple! This is a fight for survival and our survival is more important than his. Don’t be such a baby!” Syran bent to clean some of the chunks off her claws. It was a harsh dismissal. She never dismissed me. That one awkward moment seemed like an eternity of agony as she ignored him. Dejected, I almost slipped away when Thresles put his hand on my shoulder, chest heaving slightly.

“How old are you, girl?” he asked timidly.

“Five,” I replied. “We’re both five.”

“Welcome to the Assassin’s Guild, Syran,” Thresles said as he turned and walked away.
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Thu May 22, 2008 2:03 pm

What do ya think?

I would love all of your suggestions and critisisms. Thanks!!!

Btw, sorry Daniel for getting to page 7 first. How's your story going?
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Fri May 23, 2008 8:46 am

You'll have to read the last couple of posts to see how my story's doing. It could use some help, but not the kind you can just leave in a comment. Too many external factors tying it down right now, so I'm trying to rewrite the drafts so that they'll be more full.

If it goes further, it may become two stories. I mean I could finish it off, but I want to say more now that I have my characters exactly how I want them. The 'more' I want to say could be quite a bit more.

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Shadow of the Colossus, the best form of story telling.
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:49 pm

Hey everyone, here is my short story but it still needs some work. Can you guys help me out and tell me what is wrong with it? Thanks!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:01 pm

Okay, here is my completed story unless Dr. Edlund has any changes I need to make and then I would just update my post. The only reason I am not doing that now is I have to break it up into three parts and I cannot do that with posts in between. It would get confusing.
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PostSubject: Part 1 ~ Short Story   Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:02 pm

The Assassin’s Guild ~ The Short Story



I knew they would come for me. They would always come for me. I was the first; the first created, the first to succeed…the first to escape. They would never stop hunting me. Bad; bad for them. Every time I started to relax, thinking I had finally escaped, they sent a team, one of their best. If only they would just leave me alone. I can still hear their screams, the scream of my first still echoes in my head. But it got easier. The blood seemed to wash off easier; the screams became a constant drone in my ears that faded over time, the faces began to blur into obscurity. Every kill became an easier task. I almost began to enjoy the hunt.

I was held up outside a town near Chicago by a little girl and her puppy. She was cute, clutching that little puppy around the middle as she bounced through the fields, picking wild flowers as she went. She had made a crown for the puppy and herself out of Purple False Foxgloves and Purple Poppy Mallows. The puppy nipped at her fingers as she placed it on his head. It was too big and kept slipping into the puppy’s mouth. She giggled and laughed as she took the crown away and tried to reposition it better. I hid in some bushes nearby admiring her innocence, envying her freedom.

And then they came. Another team, better than the last, but foolish , charged into the waist high weeds sweeping the area. They must have found that last kill. I was getting careless, bored with their little game. I screwed up and because of that this little angel and her puppy were in danger. I swept around the team and began picking them off with a knife I stole. The grass made it easy to hide and the wind covered up the noise pretty well. After two went down, the others noticed and began to panic. When the captain went down, the last man freaked and plowed through the field shooting at anything that moved. He burst through the bushes upon the girl, still playing with the now terrified puppy. The girl stood innocently with her back to the guard. I rushed forward to stop it, but it was too late. The soldier saw the fur and skin, panicked, and shot. I finished the job and ran to the girl, cradling her in my arms. Her blood was warm, like the others, but this time, I took no pleasure in its feel.

“Why didn’t you hide, child? Why didn’t you run?”

The girl, weak and in pain, pulled her hands before my face and started to sign. Moments later, she died in my arms. Her puppy, still sitting in her lap, began to cry pawing at the motionless hands that had once held it so tenderly. I carried her body and her puppy to the nearby road and set her down. As I turned to leave, I returned her puppy’s pathetic cry and patted it gently on the head.

And that was it. I was tired of running. I was tired of innocent people getting hurt. I was tired of sleeping in the trees I hated. I was tired of stealing cattle to survive. I was tired of hiding. So I went back. I took the fight to them, to end the chase. If they caught me, then they would kill me and no other innocent would get hurt. If I succeeded, then I could save the rest of them. There were hundreds of us, just like me; transgenics bred to hunt, to kill, to become soldiers. But all we wanted, what most of us wanted anyway, was peace.

So I went back. It wasn’t long before I was back in Aurora, near the base. Its actual name was The Arc: Science and Technologies Institute and Military Installation. The residents, or rather prisoners, called it the Archipelago of Lost Souls because the general layout was that of an archipelago with military prison wards separated by water, fences, and guard towers. Each ward housed anywhere between one hundred to two hundred transgenic soldier trainees at a perpetual boot camp, a boot camp whose inmates were “lost souls” to the world.

Creeping towards one of the outer rim guard towers, it was pouring rain making it easy to move undetected through the roar of the bayou, alive with the sounds of crickets and small animals, and cover of darkness. The search lights swiveled their dark bodies to and fro, bright glowing eyes searching for nothing in particular. They were easy enough to avoid. As I began to move farther in, I was stopped dead by the blood curdling sound of a dying rabbit, but there was something fundamentally wrong with the sound. Puzzled by the awkwardness of the cry, I cautiously slipped deeper into the bowels of this hellish prison approaching one of the interior wards. The sound came from the courtyard of one of the junior wards, housing the youngest and least trained, and hence least dangerous, soldiers. This particular ward also happened to serve as the base headquarters. I remembered this ward from when I was locked deep within its research vaults. I knew the layout, both inside and outside, better than my own hand. Ducking into a drain pipe, I crawled through it and under the fence.

That was when I found them. The shriek had actually been made by a little boy, a panthle (panther/eagle) who had obviously learned the sound from the surrounding bayou. He was being restrained by two guards and was forced to watch the brutal flogging of another soldier. His cry was a plea for mercy as well as a show of sympathy for his injured comrade. In front of the boy stood Major Sanders, the toughest jackal of a guard employed by The Arc, who was swinging a barbed bullwhip over his head. Unconsciously, I rubbed a stripe on my own back where that whip once fell, cracking a couple of ribs and landing me in the infirmary for two weeks. At Sanders feet a few paces off, lay a heap of broken feathers and matted fur. It stirred. Shifting slowly to push itself upright, another panthle defiantly rose. Its movements were jagged with the pain. Blood trickled out all across the creature’s body in neat little strings which would occasionally crisscross. Here and there, small pieces of flesh that were torn by the barb we lifted and bleeding. All in all, the creature would be alright, if it would just stay down instead of insolently rising to take another hit.

“Do you want more, you piece of shit trany?” Sanders barked in a deep husky voice.

The small ball of feathers straightened and took a defensive pose, waiting for the next move. It didn’t have to wait long. Sanders swung the whip once more and brought it down, cracking on empty air. The ball swept sideways coming around the end of the whip and took hold, heaving hard. Sanders pulled back harder, causing the ball to whip around like a living flail. It spread its mangled wings and came around behind Sanders releasing the whip close to his shoulder. It snatched at his neck with its arms and clawed at his back with its hind claws. Sanders shrieked in surprise and pain. Lunging towards the panthle, the guards flung the squealing boy aside and drew nightsticks, clubbing at the flailing wings. It didn’t take long to remove the creature and hurl it across the courtyard. The body slid into a spot light, which immediately stopped to watch the commotion.

Jesus, it’s a girl! I thought as I drew a sharp breath and saw her lift her face defiantly, blood dripping down from the side of her head and lip. She started to laugh a dangerous laugh, one full of malice and hate. She could not have been more than seven yet she had already mastered a demonic laugh. She began to push herself up as she laughed. Finally she stood, shakily, and turned to watch Sanders, who began a large circular hobble around her. She took up the circle sweeping wider than Sanders had. Just as she began to close the gap between her and her prey, she stopped abruptly staring, dumbfounded and confused, straight at me. The spot light, which had followed her every move, noticed her confusion and traced her line of sight straight to the pile of barrels I was crouched under.

“Check it out,” Sanders called to one of other guards. A hardened criminal of a guard stalked up to the barrels, dagger in hand, the flat of the blade pressed lightly against his forearm. I dove from my hiding place and crushed his windpipe with a swift jab. His body staggered back a moment then collapsed dramatically, appearing like a curtain falling between Sanders and I. I did not bother to hide myself and stood defiantly, as the panthle had done.

“That’s Thresles,” Sanders screamed, “Quick, get these beasts back inside and bring him back. And he better be alive. I want the pleasure of killing that bastard myself.”

And then, I was on the run again.


Last edited by Sphinexfire on Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:32 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Part 2 ~ Short Story   Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:03 pm



“Varse, get your ass over here and get this bitch up,” the remaining guard barked. I quickly obeyed the command, rushing to Syran’s side and pulling her gently to her feet. Her eyes followed the limping Major Sanders furiously as she pushed herself onward toward the door. “Hurry up you piece of shit trannies. Get your asses back inside.” The guard pushed me forward with a rough nightstick, wind and rain betting against my back.

All around us, the alarms sounded out in panic. Syran limped over the threshold of the door staring around wildly.

“Did he say Thresles? THE Thresles! No way. He would never come back. They would never catch him,” Syran muttered under her breath, half to me, half to herself.

“Hurry up!” the guard barked again, forcing me to jump in surprise.

“Oh shut up, you overgrown pimple. Just because your afrai—”

The guard slammed her in the kidneys with his nightstick. She doubled over pulling her wings around to protect the spot, but refused to drop.

I tried to help steady her, “Stop it. Please, Syran! Haven’t you had enough?”

She pushed me away, hobbling onward towards our cage and whispering, “No Varse. I will never have enough. Not from these shit-heads.”

“Don’t talk that way! You sound like them.”

She let me help her up the stairs, “I’m sorry Varse. I’m sorry for everything.”

I led her on silently until we reached our cage. I let go and stepped in first expecting Syran to follow. She didn’t follow. She slammed our escort in the groin, sending him stumbling backward and slipped into the cage. Pulling the door closed behind her, she smirked at the wounded guard who glared back behind the tears.

“You are such a bitch. I wish I could just kill you.”

But Syran wasn’t listening. Back in our cage, she whispered, “Did you see that Thresles, that guy? I think he was a trany, but I don’t –”

The lights went out. They were never out. I huddled into the corner cowering behind her.

“What’s going on? I’m scared!” I clung to her shoulder trying to crawl into the inch of emptiness in the exact corner of the cage.

“Shut UP and stop whining! Listen.”

I was indignant and glared at her back, not really paying any attention. But then I heard it; the thumping of boots running up the metal steps to their cells. Over her shoulder I could make out the shape of a guard on the other side taking position as a sniper. Before our cage, the guard Syran had hit took up a rather skittish defensive position shaking both from the pain of the blow and from the fear of what would come next. Below I could hear the soft muffled sounds of harshly clad boots as guards moved into position for something bloody. Trying hard to curl deeper into my ball, I let out a soft whimper only she could hear. She glared at me in the darkness. I began to pout, but quickly lost interest because another guard joined the first, right in front of our cage. He was in full battle gear and had night-vision goggles on, making it quite difficult to move silently, but he tried anyway. I watched as he mirrored the first sniper and took aim down the long hallway at the other end of the corridor. Some of the other children, noticing the battle gear and large guns, began to howl and coo softly, afraid of disturbing the silence but unable to help themselves.

Syran began growling menacingly at the guards in front of our cage. The wounded guard swiveled instantly and skittishly, pointing his gun straight at her and shaking terribly. The sniper merely turned his head and rolled his eyes. I couldn’t take it anymore and yipped as I hid my face. Syran, on the other hand, growled louder and arched her winged back like a cat raising her hackles.

“Shut up, tranny!” said the guard as he stupidly kicked the door. His lack of attention to the necessity of silence showed just how frightened he really was. The sniper slapped the back of the guard’s head and motioned for silence.

Had I not been cowering, I might have noticed the clear panic in the guard’s voice and the trembling sound rising from below. But then, there was no time to notice these details. The sniper on the other side of the room let out a yelp of pain as he tumbled through the handrails, crashing into the neat guard formation below. The idiot guard before us managed to shoot our sniper in the back before he also tumble over the edge. His fall was caused by his startled fear when Syran snarled at him and not by any actual injury. Suddenly, the air erupted with the sounds of gun shots. Frightened guards spun around in circles shooting at chest level. I saw Ebony in the cell across and below, stand a moment too soon and take a bullet to the head. Her body bounced off the wall and her blood moved towards the drain in the center, merging with other rivers from different sources.

Syran crept forward, “Who else is dead?” she asked emotionlessly.

At that instant I hated her. Ebony was dead, others could be, and all she could think about was the kill. “Your disgusting, Syran.”

Seconds later, she slinked triumphantly back and whispered into my defensive and hateful ball, “Ebony was the only one shot. All the rest of that is the blood of the guards. One guard actually made it through the door before Auburn took him out.” I slid my face out from under my wing to glare at her and immediately stopped listening. A monster silhouette appeared at the door, keys in hand. At the sound of the tumbler turning, Syran whirled around to defend the cell. Before she caught a glimpse of the intruder, she was caught by the throat and pinned against the wall.

Again, I yelped and pulled even tighter into the corner, a feat I had previously thought was impossible. The attacker slid into the darkest parts of the room, which just had to be exactly where I was cowering, and released his grip on Syran’s throat indicating he wanted us to be silent. I grabbed Syran’s arm and pulled her protectively between myself and the attacker. As I did so, my hand brushed against the attacker’s knee.

Fur! He must be one of us. I thought as I began to stroke it gently, all fear forgotten and curiosity setting in. The fur was coarse, not like ours. It was like that of a wild dog, matted in some places and dirty everywhere. This must be Thresles, the only tranny ever to have escaped. I could not fear one of my own, no matter how good at killing he was.

The main door next to our cell burst open and a new file of guards rushed in past the cells, one half sweeping the bottom floor, the rest dividing themselves into two files pushing along the top. In the center of the bottom file was Major Sanders, hobbling slightly but quickly. Thresles tried to pull away, moving next to the edge of the wall where he could slink out after the guards and begin his work again.

Syran grabbed his wrist and pulled him back whispering to both of us, “They never check for babes in a blanket.” Thresles was obviously confused but I knew what she meant. We shoved Thresles into the corner and curled ourselves around him. Syran then pushed me back against the wall next to Thresles and spread her wings, growling deeply. I grabbed my teddy off the cot next to me and prepared my best whine. Thresles got the idea and shrunk back even more into the wall. I slipped even closer to the corner, completing the illusion.

As the file swept past, they immediately saw the cell door ajar. The leader was a terrified sergeant clearly not happy at taking point. He swiveled his gun’s bright eye into our cell and scanned our faces. Syran growled more menacingly and began to hiss intermittently, pulling back further in around me.

That was my queue. I whined my most pathetic whine. Eyes glazed with tears, pouty lipped, and terror stricken, I whimpered, “Don’t let him hurt us. We promise we’ll be good. Please don’t leave us. I’m afraid.” Tears poured down, instantly drenching my little teddy. Others in adjoining cells quickly saw what was going on and began to say they too were afraid. Annoyed and distracted by the increasing intensity in our whimpers, the guards moved down the hall searching for the attacker.

When they were far out of earshot, Thresles whispered into our ears, “My thanks to you children. I’m Thresles.” He extended a grateful hand. We took it eagerly and he said, “I’ll be right back.” He crept out of the cage and vanished. Less than a millisecond later, another deafening burst of gun shots rang out, but they were abruptly silenced. Syran cautiously slipped through the door and caught up with Thresles. Major Sanders kneeled before them groveling nervously.

“Shut up!” Syran shouted as she kicked him viciously in the groin. He immediately sprung forward to shield his crotch from further injury swearing profusely. Just as he came to a stop, Syran pulled the trigger of a hand gun she had previously hidden somewhere. Her arm, which had grown accustomed to the recoil during shooting practice, had held the gun at the base of his skull. At least it was a merciful death, surprisingly. The shot still reverberated in the silence when Thresles ripped the gun from her hands and hissed at her a swift lecture I could not hear. They climbed the stairs two at a time stooping only to retrieve knives and keys from bodies as they passed. Thresles and Syran came storming back up towards the cage whispering an argument furiously.

“I thought I told you to wait for me in the cage?” he hissed.

“No. You just said that you would be back.” She gave him that defiant look she gave anyone who yelled at her.

I came up next to Syran and surveyed Thresles for the first time. He was young, maybe seventeen. His ebony hair glittered with a slight silver sheen. His arms, chest, and face were covered in the delicate silver scales of a king cobra while his legs were the strong and beautiful hind legs of a grey wolf. He shook his head and looked away painfully aware that orders and reprimands would not work with her. He took a deep, calming breath before answering, “I am the first made, the first to succeed and the first to escape. You are the first to talk back to me, the first to take such a beating and laugh as if you enjoyed it, the first to risk your life for me, the first to come out of hiding, and the first to have an attitude. I like that.” He cracked a surprisingly charming smile as he said this. It was then that I first began to see the true human in him instead of the hardened killer we were all becoming. He bent down on his knees before us and looked up at us like he was an older brother before he continued, “Let’s get the heck out of here, with everyone!”

Eagerly, we both nodded our agreement and set off to the tasks he assigned. I was assigned to friend release. Syran and Thresles took up guard duty at opposite corridors.

Folding my wings carefully, I edged away towards the nearest row of cells with four sets of keys. Satin, a beautiful reprid (reptile/bird) took the second set of keys and flew to the other side of the upper level. Bejum and Talis, two canishs (canine/fish) took the other two sets. Bejum finished the top row and Talis and I dropped to the ground level. We worked quickly and silently, carefully releasing friends. As I unlocked the door to the birline (bird/feline) Harlow’s cell, I heard Syran slap her wings against her sides. Instinctively, everyone dove into nearby cells and shadows, closing the unlocked doors softly behind them and slinking into the corners.

The silence was deafening throughout the corridor making it simple to hear the rushed footfalls of guards who had not yet rounded the corner a hundred or so meters away. Everyone held their breath as the guards flooded into the corridor. Their gasps could be heard as they came upon disemboweled comrades.


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PostSubject: Part 3 ~ Short Story   Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:03 pm



“What kind of monster could have done this?” asked one of the guards unable to lift his eyes from the eviscerated innards.

“They’re gone!” came the shocked reply of another.

“What? Who’s gone?”

“Look, the cages are empty.”

“Shhhhh. You idiots, they haven’t gone. Look at the footprints.”

I looked down at the ground, suddenly disgusted and terrified. The floor was covered in bloody footprints, none of which actually left the corridor. We all, having come to the same conclusion simultaneously, slumped farther into the protection of the shadows. At the other end of the corridor, the guards could be heard shifting positions, no doubt forming a clover leaf formation, four sweeping the ground layers and four cloistered in the center sweeping the top floor.

Suddenly, Syran shrieked that rabbit like scream behind the guards.

“Syran!!!” I swept out of the cell and charged towards her. Thresles dropped from some unknown spot sending me reeling into the shadows as he slaughtered the closest guard. Syran used the momentary confusion at the two screams to slam a pole into one of the guards’ heads. As the pole completed its arc, Syran let it fly and dropped to the ground, rolling away into the shadows. From the safety of my shadows, I saw her watching attentively as Thresles dissected the rest.

The last shot left a deafening boom that echoed musically. No one moved for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, Thresles rose and called softly, “It’s alright. You can come out now.”

I ran to Syran who was laughing in the shadows by the door, “Are you okay? I heard you scream.” Fervently, I checked her body looking for injuries.

She laughed more loudly and more uncontrollably, “I’m fine. It was a diversion, Varse, a rouse, a trick,” her laughter sounded more like a harsh cackle now, “but I’m glad you fell for it. Varse, you are such a delightful idiot sometimes.”

Again, it was a slap in the face. Again I recoiled from her stinging tongue. But she ignored the slight, as usual, slinking back into the shadows to continue her guard duty. I turned my attention to the trannies pouring out of the cells. There were repirds, birlines, canishs, dozens of different combinations of animals and man, each glistening with their own kind of beauty, scales, fur, wings, talons, claws etc. shimmering in the ambient light reflecting from some unknown source. Silently, everyone poured out of the cells and continued releasing friends. I admired their beauty, marveling at the combination of creatures and the diversity of appearances among those in the same series.

Unexpectedly, a guard appeared through the door right behind me. Whirling around, we faced each other before I dove into the shadows. But he froze shocked by all the blood and trannies out of their cages. I saw Syran leap for him, clamping one hand over his mouth and the other arm around his neck. For the second time tonight, she dug her hind claws into the tender portions of a man’s back. Instantly, everyone stopped to stare at the struggling pair. Thresles instinctively rushed forward to help her, but she growled at him and bit into the guard’s neck, her sharp incisures slicing cleanly through the skin and into the muscle. The guard struggled to scream, to breathe, and to get her off. He stumbled into walls and tripped over bodies before he finally dropped to the floor himself. Syran rode his body to the floor before she released her grip making sure he was dead.

I approached gingerly, afraid she might lash out at anything that moved. Edging closer I caught her eyes, aflame with passion and adrenalin. She shook from fatigue and excitement.

“You have blood all over your face.” I said as I gagged, having trouble keeping my stomach down.

Everyone stared, horrified by what they just saw. Harlow cleared his throat and soon most got back to work cautiously, avoiding Syran’s gaze. I bent over and pulled on the guard’s body until it rolled lazily over to reveal the kid, the youngest and kindest guard at The Arc. I stared at his face a long time and remembered his first, clumsy day on guard duty. I liked him; he was just a kid and often snuck in food when the other guards refused to give us our meals.

“Dang Syran, it’s just the kid! He can’t be any more than 17. You didn’t have to kill him. You didn’t! You could have knocked him out or gagged him or something—”

“He was the enemy, Varse, plain and simple! This is a fight for survival and our survival is more important than his. Don’t be such a baby!” Syran bent to clean some of the chunks off her claws. It was a harsh dismissal. She never dismissed me. That one awkward moment seemed like an eternity of agony as she ignored me. Dejected, I slipped away into the commotion.

The rest of that night was a complete, bloody, horrible blur. Like a plague of locust, we swept across the Arc destroying the guards and freeing our friends. With Thresles leading the way, we mobilized into a single, terrifying, perfect army crushing all resistance with a mostly gentle hand. We let those that surrendered be taken prisoner and later released them to the government as a show of our good will. But for those who were particularly brutal or were too proud to submit, Thresles’ army exacted their revenge.

The more killing went on, the more Syran seemed to enjoy it. Each new drop of blood shed represented a quickening of her pulse. She seemed to dance with the beat of the bodies hitting the floor, intoxicated by the bliss of the kill. She finally came to a stop before Thresles and I, her face and body were covered in blood and bowels; her hair and fur were matted with bits of flesh.

I shuddered and tried to pull away from the revolting sight before me. Thresles stopped my retreated when he put his hand on my shoulder, his chest heaving slightly.

“How old are you, Syran?” he asked incredulously.

“Five,” I replied. “We’re both five.”

Shaking his head and laughing to himself, Thresles stared at her and said, “Damn. You have got to be the youngest and most brutal killer in the world.” Trying to assuage my obvious revulsion at Syran’s appearance, he patted me reassuringly. Turning back to Syran, he shook his head, almost reproachfully, and walked away saying over his shoulder, “Welcome to the Assassin’s Guild, Syran.”
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Join date : 2008-04-09
Age : 30
Location : In dreams of a child!

PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:37 pm

I'm DONE!!!! Yay!!!!!!!! cheers

Please, feel free to comment. If you find any mistakes or things, I would love to know about them. I eventually want to try and get this published so any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Very Happy thx. Have a great summer and good luck on your finals!!!!!!!!
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Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)
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