Rifters

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Rifters

Post  Grombrindal on Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:59 pm









Dark. So dark.

Dust on the floors. Dust on the shelves. Dust on the books. Running, running.

You look back. He’s still there. You run. Running, running.

He’s in front of you. You don’t know how. You turn, running down the aisle. He’s there again. Laughing. Always laughing. You hurl a book. He vanishes, then reappears a foot to the left.

He clicks his fingers. Light. Fire. In here? But he has. He’s still laughing, staring you in the eye.

You duck. The fire misses. But it was a ruse. He’s there. He reaches out.

Your world goes black.









Haven. As the name suggests, the floating city is the perfect place to forget life’s worries, if for a short time. Home to some of the largest bars and finest brothels in Council territory, Haven is the place to go for a good time.

Or to disappear, Carter reasoned, striding down the street. Haven was as busy as it always was at this hour in the morning; the last revelers were staggering home in a stupor, while those recently recovered were returning to their favorite taverns for the next round. Most of the revelers were airmen, stopping over for a night or two while they sold their goods. Carter blended right in; his white tunic and leather jacket were fairly regular attire for most crew, and in this day and age, anyone not carrying a blade was foolish. Running a hand through his rough brown hair, he flicked a coin to a beggar, offering a brief smile that didn’t quite make it to his dark blue eyes.

Glancing behind him to make sure he wasn’t being followed, Carter pushed past a group of merchants and turned down a side street, pausing for a moment. Above, the countless balloons that kept Haven aloft drifted slowly in the wind, and airships of all sizes sailed past, mere specks against the morning sky. The sound of heavy footsteps brought Carter to his senses, and he cursed and ducked into a doorway as five green-clad figures passed by.

The figures paused for a moment, standing completely still and staring straight ahead. From his hiding place, Carter couldn’t see their faces, but he didn’t have to – their attire told him all he needed to know. Their green jackets and black shoulder-to-hip sashes immediately marked them as Council guards, and their stiff posture identified them as automatons. Sure enough, one of the mechanical soldiers turned its head, revealing the metallic faceplate of one of the Council’s elite infantry. The automatons remained still for a moment, and Carter slowly reached for the pistol in his jacket – it wouldn’t do much good, but it was better than nothing. Abruptly, the automatons stepped off, marching down the street in perfect unison. Carter let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding, releasing his grip on the pistol.

“Looks like someone doesn’t fancy being caught by the Council,” a voice behind him whispered. Carter whirled, reaching again for the pistol. An Aeriel stood before him, arms folded – from its face, Carter could tell it was a male. An eyepatch covered its right eye, and it wore a leather tunic, patched in places with red fabric. “No need for weapons,” the Aeriel continued; Carter kept his grip on the pistol regardless. Sighing, the creature shifted its weight to its right foot. “Just here to deliver a message.”

“A message?” Carter asked, eyeing the birdlike creature suspiciously. Aeriels were bad news, in his opinion – their eyes always put him on edge, and the fact this particular individual lacked one was even worse. The Aeriel nodded and reached inside its jacket. Carter stiffened, tightening his grip on the pistol; the creature sighed, extracting a paper envelope.

“It’s all in there. Read it and come to the Duke with your reply,” he stated bluntly, tossing the envelope at Carter’s feet. The man knelt, picking it up. Glancing down, he quickly read the front. It was addressed to him, no doubt about that – printed neatly on the front were the words “Mister Jonathan Carter.” Looking up, Carter noticed the Aeriel had vanished. Looking around for a moment, he shrugged and flipped the envelope over. Breaking the wax seal, he opened the flap and quickly extracted the letter inside. Unfolding it, he scanned the letter quickly, eyes widening.



Reading the letter once more, Carter shook his head and tucked it into his jacket. Whoever this ‘R.M’ was, they knew a lot more than they should about him. Shaking his head again, Carter left the alley and headed down the street – he’d think about it all later. For now, he needed a strong drink.



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Grombrindal

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Re: Rifters

Post  The Magic Tuba Pixie on Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:52 am

Yay!

I like this a lot. I'll be watching this intently.
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