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Author Topic: [Feb 2016] - Fanfic - Submission Thread  (Read 5745 times)

Offline xiagan

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[Feb 2016] - Fanfic - Submission Thread
« on: January 31, 2016, 08:13:03 PM »
Fanfic

vs
Mat Cauthon (Wheel of Time) by endave vs Kaladin Stormblessed (Stormlight Archive) by zusacre

This is the third year we do Fanfic February (wow, time is fleeting...). The first year you could write whatever you wanted, last year I limited the books you could choose from. And this year...

...I want you to write a fight scene between two characters (or groups of main characters) from different authors. FitzChivalry against Jorg Ancrath, Locke Lamora vs Jimmy the Hand, Kelsier's crew against the Ketty Jay's crew... You get the idea.
Be creative, there can be battles with magic, swords, minds, words, ... :)

I'm not limiting you to special books but remember that it's more fun for your readers if they know the characters. So if you choose something obscure, not everbody will get the jokes in or the awesomeness of your story. ;)


Rules:

1. This must be prose or poetry.
2. Has to be fan fiction and has to contain characters from two different worlds/books/authors engaged in some kind of fight.
3. Prose must be 500-1500 words long.
4. Poetry must be 100-500 words long.
5. One story per person or writing team (not per account).
6. You will be disqualified if you exceed the limits, full stop. That's why they're called limits.
7. Your entry can't be published somewhere else before.
8. This is a writing contest, not a "I have written something like this ten years ago" contest. So if you happen to have a story that fits one of the themes, I'd like it to have a mayor overhaul/edit. Work for it. ;)
9. Please add your story's word count and, if you have, your twitter handle.
10. Please put your story in [ spoiler ] tags to make the thread easier to handle. :) You can find them above the smileys next to the 'youtube' symbol.

Entry will close February 29th/March 1st, 2016 and voting will begin somewhere around the same time too.

All members are eligible to join. If you are not a member you can join here. Sign up is free and all are welcome! :)

The winner will have their piece displayed on the main Fantasy Faction website sometime in the next months. If you don't want this, please say so while submitting.

Submitting a story counts as published, so if some submission guidelines (publishers, magazines, agents, ...) state that the story has to be unpublished, this story is out. You are still in possession of all the rights for your story.

Remember that this thread is only for entries. Discussion or questions can be posted here.
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline tebakutis

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Re: [Feb 2016] - Fanfic - Submission Thread
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2016, 03:33:29 AM »
So, as expected, this one went disturbingly quick, mainly because I'd wanted to do this idea ever since I finished Rise of the Tomb Raider last month, and so the genesis of this idea had been rattling around in my head for a couple of weeks now. Also, I don't want anyone else snatching my idea! :)

So, without further comment, here are the books I choose.



VS



And here, at 1,500 words (written to the Uncharted soundtrack, no less!) is

EDIT: Changed one of Sully's lines to one that flowed better.

Uncharted Raider

Spoiler for Hiden:
If an arrow thunking into a man wasn't a good reason to dive into stinking mud, the torrent of gunfire the man's friends then unleashed absolutely was. Drake scrambled beneath their rented jeep as gunfire cut trees and another man dropped, an arrow protruding from his throat.

Not the worst handoff meeting Drake had ever been involved in, but certainly way up there.

As Victor Sullivan scrambled under the other side of the jeep, Drake's mentor fixed him with a raised eyebrow and a lopsided frown. The accusation was clear, the implication obvious. It wasn't remotely fair.

"I swear, Sully!" Drake shouted. "This one really isn't my fault!"

"Didn't say a thing, kid." Sully squinted at the man clutching the arrow and his throat. "Who the hell uses a bow and arrow?"

"Indians?" Drake flinched as a stray bullet shattered the jeep's mirror.

"In the middle of the Valdivian rainforest?"

Another arrow whistled from the thicket, and another thug fell. The remaining men took cover behind the big truck in which they'd arrived.

"Argentinian Indians?" Drake suggested.

A flaming arrow hit the bright red barrel of gas in the back of the mercenario truck. It exploded, sending mercenarios flying and knocking the jeep up in the air. Shrills screams rose and ended.

"Sully, look out!" Drake shoved the old man aside and then barely avoided jeep tires that dropped like a guillotine. Then Sully pulled Drake up by the back of his gunbelt, grunting with effort. They were still a team.

They sprinted for the tree line covered in mud. Choking black smoke filled the forest clearing, providing cover. Drake preferred running, actually. Facing whoever had just killed six Argentinian mercenaries with a bow and arrow was not on his to-do list.

They knocked aside branches and scrambled through mud as they put distance between themselves and the ruthless archer. They needed ground that wasn't surrounded by cover and walls at their backs. Fortunately, Drake always mapped the meeting place in his head, and moss-covered cliffs peeked through the trees.

"That way, kid!" Sully shouted. "The rocks!"

"Way ahead of you!" As Drake turned he checked to make sure his trusty 9mm remained in its holster, and the golden urn he'd pulled out of that spider-filled tomb remained in his satchel. Losing either would make this already bad day markedly worse.

Finally, with a cliff to their backs and a ridge to their front, Drake breathed and scanned the steaming jungle. Sully huffed hard against the ridge. There was no sign of pursuit, but they didn't celebrate. If whoever had killed those mercenarios wanted this urn, they'd be coming for it soon enough.

"Plan?" Drake drew his 9mm.

"Call for backup?" Sully suggested.

"Sure." Drake nodded. "Toss me the radio."

"What do you mean, toss you the radio?"

"Like that's not self-explanatory?"

"You've got the radio, kid."

"No," Drake said, as new dread opened in his stomach. "You've got the--"

Another arrow whistled over Drake's head.

"Shit!" Drake ducked and blind-fired over the ridge, toward the shooter. "The Indian!"

"I told you, kid," Sully shouted, "there aren't any Indians in the--"

The next arrow slammed into the tree behind them with a small radio attached to it. That would have been great, since they needed a radio, but this radio was also attached to a--

"Bomb!" Drake threw himself into Sully. They rolled off the ridge just before a deafening explosion rained bits of rocky shrapnel.

"Who shoots a bomb arrow?" Sully shouted, as they scrambled through reeds and mud. "Haven't they heard of a grenade launcher?"

"Stop giving them ideas!" Drake sighted a narrow black opening nearby. "Rock chimney. Go!"

It was a tight squeeze, but Drake managed, mainly because he didn't want an exploding arrow in his skull. He took a moment to contemplate the stupidity of dropping into utter darkness before doing it, landing on slick rock and not breaking his neck. Sully landed behind him with a grunt.

"Light," Drake flailed for Sully. "Give me some light!"

"Dammit, Nate," Sully said, "you had the lights."

"Seriously?" Drake almost screamed at him.

With a snap-hiss, a glowstick illuminated the narrow tunnel. "Naw, kid." It lit Victor Sullivan's smirking face. "I'm just screwin' with you."

Drake huffed. "Not the time!" They scrambled down the tunnel, fast and quiet. When it narrowed, Drake motioned a halt.

"Take the urn and scout ahead," Drake said.

"Not a chance." Sully backed closer, glowstick raised. "You don't get to be the hero."

"I don't want to be a hero! I just don't like getting shot in the ass!"

Sully snickered. "Wouldn't be the first time."

"Just look for an exit, all right? I'll follow once I'm sure that Indian isn't after us."

"For the last time, Nate!" Sully snatched the urn from Drake's satchel and shoved an unlit glowstick in his pocket. "It's not a goddamned Indian." He squeezed by. "Be careful. I'm not telling Elena you died in a South American rock chimney." Sully's footfalls and glowstick soon vanished down the tunnel.

Drake waited in darkness and breathed, listened. Nothing. Then a patter of pebbles and footsteps, barely audible. Padded shoes. Closer. Closer. Now!

Drake launched himself with speed honed from years dodging gunmen and ambushes, hitting his assailant hard. A pained grunt rewarded him, definitely female. A sharp knee snapped into his side hard enough to make him gasp.

He ignored the pain and blocked the next knee with an open palm, grappling with an assailant he now knew was much smaller than he was. That worked for him. He took a punch to the cheek but managed to land a good solid elbow to her solar plexus, eliciting a pained urk.

They rolled apart as Drake drew his gun and cracked his glowstick, flooding the tunnel with light. That's when he saw the young pony-tailed woman glaring at him, glaring at the shiny pistol Drake had pointed at her face. Glaring as she pointed her own shiny pistol right back.

"Truce?" Drake asked, because his nose hurt and his gut did too.

"Dammit, Drake!" The woman didn't shoot him, yet. "I'm not here for you! The urn! Where's the urn?"

His attacker's voice held all the charm of London, posh and dignified despite the situation. She had a compound bow and quiver strapped across her back, which explained a lot. Not much use in a tunnel.

"You know me," Drake said, "which makes sense, I guess." He was pretty popular, with Elena's documentary and all. "So who are you?"

"Tell me where the urn is, now," the woman said, her dignified desperation all too compelling. "You have no idea what it can do if Trinity-"

"Wait," Drake said. "Trinity? Those guys back in the jungle?"

"The men who hired you," the woman said, enunciating every word, "also hired those mercenaries. Your employers are called Trinity, and that urn cannot fall into their hands."

"Why not?" Drake asked, but then he waved her off. "No, don't tell me. It's cursed, isn't it?"

The woman lowered her gun. "You believe me?"

"Lady, I've dealt with enough cursed relics to know I don't want anything to do with another one."

"Good," she said, "Hand it to me and I'll get rid of it."

"Can't."

As her eyes widened Drake realized she was actually pretty cute, if a bit young for him.

"Why not?" she demanded.

"Um," Drake rubbed the back of his head. "Because I gave it to Sully?"

From up the tunnel, Victor Sullivan cursed at the top of his lungs.

The woman grabbed Drake's collar. "Did he open it?"

"What?" Drake pushed at her.

"Did he open it!" the woman demanded, eyes wide. "The golden urn!"

"I opened it!" Sully shouted. "Spiders, Nate! Whole lot of freakin' spiders!"

"Blast!" The woman turned heel and ran. "Run!" She certainly wasn't hesitating.

Drake scrambled after her, making sure he heard Sully's footfalls pounding behind him. They ran right into a dead end as Sully huffed over, carrying the open urn.

The woman grappled with him. "Give me that, now!"

"Give it to her!" Drake agreed.

"Not the worst plan I've heard!" Sully passed her the open urn as they turned toward the sound of thousands of tiny legs rushing up the tunnel.

The woman held the urn high as she sprinkled some sort of glowing green dust into the interior and shouted. "Be gone!" There was a flash, a roar, and a very silent cave.

Someone cracked a glowstick. Sully. There were no spiders and no urn. Just Nathan Drake, Victor Sullivan, and the woman who'd shot arrows at them. And then stopped spiders from eating them.

"Lady," Sully said, hands on hips, "who the hell are you?"

The woman adjusted her ponytail, shuddering in reaction to all those crawling legs. "Lara," she said, with a nod. "Lara Croft."

"Oh." Drake nodded back. "I have heard of you."

After one calming breath, Lara halfway smiled. "Yes, I'd imagine you have."

THE END
« Last Edit: February 11, 2016, 04:14:45 PM by tebakutis »

Offline Henry Dale

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Re: [Feb 2016] - Fanfic - Submission Thread
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2016, 06:24:33 PM »
Title: Full House
Word count: 1427

References: The moomins, Liveship Traders, Harry Potter, MLP (or anything with glittery ponies), Wheel of Time

Spoiler for Hiden:
Moomin valley was far away now. Little My thought as she watched the red sign flicker in the dying daylight. It had been tough getting here in the big city walking between the tall humans trying not to stand out. Luckily she’d managed to hitch a ride on a dog for part of the journey. After all she wouldn’t miss this poker tournament for anything in the world. She slipped between a crack in the gilded doors and it was as if she had entered another world. Gone were the sound of cars and people rushing home. Gone was the smoke and rats with glowing eyes chittering in the side streets. Instead a string of notes formed a lounge song and a soft bass reverberated in her feet. It accentuated the silence and emptiness even more. For a famous casino this place had an immense lack of customers.

The baccarat had been laid out, the roulette spun and the pachinko ringed and glittered, all seemingly ready and alluring to customers that didn’t exist. A large table dominated the central hallway though. It was covered in colourful chips piled in neat heaps and it seemed all seats were filled but one. Little My didn’t hesitate and scurried up the seat. Her chin barely reached the table leaf. She gave the other participants a hard look as if to defy them to mention her size. None of them did though. They were all preoccupied with their own business.

To her left sat a tall man, venerable with a long beard and twinkly eyes. His clothes consisted of strange colourful robes. Little My looked down at her red apron. Had she missed some fashion trend? Probably not...
To her right sat a man dressed like a pirate. He had a strange wood charm on his wrist that looked just like him. The pirate shot her a hard look, but she returned it boldly. After a while the pirate turned his attention to the creature beside him that sat in the chair opposite her own.

Facing her was a pink pony with curly hair. Its eyes were malevolent and dreadful and full of darkness.
‘Finally! You’re all here!’ said the pony in a graveyard voice full of exclamation marks that echoed through the abandoned casino. Nothing to worry about there. Thought little My.
‘Let’s have a quick run over our contenders. I am the Dark One, imprisoned for thousands of years outside the universe. I’ll oversee the game and ensure fair play.’
No one seemed to be surprised by this fact and Little My felt it would be dumb to interfere over this minor lunacy so she decided to remain silent as well.

The pony pointed his hoof towards the old man.
‘Dumbledore. You’re a school head for an academy of wizardry.’
Dumbledore gave the pony a gentle smile, there was a glint of amusement in his eyes. The hoof went in Little My’s direction. Now she noticed it was a plush, so who was pulling the strings here?
‘You’re little My from Moomin Valley. A mischievous little thing.’
‘Who are you calling little, you overblown pony!’
There was no response from the pony however and it just continued as if it hadn’t heard My’s outburst.
‘Finally we have Kennit the pirate, an alleged king.’
The pirate sniffed at this. ‘I am a pirate king, strange...whatever you are...’ His voice trailed off.
The pony frowned. ‘It seems there’s only four of us. Poker is usually a six person game. No matter, we’ll play as is then.’

‘Hold it!’ little My pulled herself up and eyed the pony. ‘What about the prize money?’
The pony sniggered. ‘Worry not, little friend. I’ll get to that right now.’ Its hoof went into the air, then hammered down onto a red button at the plush’s side. A siren rang and metal doors closed over the casino’s doors and windows. The plush let out an ominous laugh.
Dumbledore looked around in a remarkably calm way. He hadn’t spoken a word since My’d entered.
Little My cursed. ‘What are you pulling on us pony?’
‘I brought you all here because you are all sinners and sinner’s souls are my souls. You.’
The pony pointed in Dumbledore’s direction. ‘Suicide by proxy. You, little runt, greed. And Kennit here is a criminal, ruthless and unforgiving.’
‘Hold it!’ Little My interrupted the dark evil pony once more.
‘Is this some sort of vengeance to you or a holy crusade against all sin? That is ridiculous sh-.’
Dumbledore leaned over to the little girl. His eyes were still twinkling, it was kind of disturbing to Little My and she swallowed her curse.
‘I think what Mr. Bad Pony here means is that this is a trap for us and he has selected us based on this arbitrary concept.’ He spoke in a remarkably soft voice. ‘More likely he’s just a psychopath that wants us to play a mind game. Am I right dark one?’
‘That is correct.’ The pony yelled back as if there were a football field in between. ‘You will play poker among one another. Lose and you die a horrible death and your soul is mine. It is as simple as that. Now stop blathering and start playing!’

Little My almost fell off her chair when the pony tossed a deck of cards and a heavy revolver on the table. Kennit scrambled for the pistol and shot the pony through the head.
‘You deal first.’ The pony said to Dumbledore, ignoring the flustered audience gawking at the smoking crater in the doll’s head.
‘Kennit, I think this is trouble.’ Hissed the wood ornament on the pirate’s wrist.

***

Little My held up her cards with her arms, she could barely see the others so she occasionally peeked between her middle cards to make out the other faces. They barely showed emotion. Dumbledore was constantly smiling and that pirate didn’t sweat a single drop. The pony was stuffed so he was even harder to read. Then she saw it.
 
The pirate could hide his emotions all he wanted, the wooden charm was outside his control: the face was looking anxious. Using a combination of the cards on the table and those in her hand she could make a straight. It was likely better than what the pirate had, he was probably shitting his pants. My suppressed a chuckle of relieve. She could win this.

‘Cards on the table people.’ Said the pony. ‘Full house.’
‘Straight.’ Dumbledore said with a smile.
‘Straight as well.’ My repeated.
The pirate grinned. ‘I won’t go down so easily, you stupid stuffed toy!’
Kennit drew his sword and ran the pony through. It started laughing though, pulled the sword from Kennit's grip and raised the pistol.
Kennit’s brain splattered across the felt table besides theirs. My couldn’t suppress gawking at the bloody mess.
The pony and Dumbledore had remained seated though.
‘Another round, Mr. Pony?’ Dumbledore proposed, eyes twinkling as always.
‘Of course!’ the pony said after sucking up Kennit’s soul with slobbering sounds. It was now wearing the wood charm with Kennit’s face. A trophy of its kill.

My looked at the pony, then gathered the cards, making sure to stay away from the bits of brain that covered Kennit’s seat. Her hands were sweaty as she dealt the cards again and held them up before her.
A full house! Right, she was still in the game here. Those other two would need an awful lot of luck to beat her. The faces of the others didn’t betray them though. That Dumbledore was probably some poker mastermind. Well, nothing she could do here.
She placed her cards on the table. Her voice sounded little when she said. ‘Full house.’
Four of a kind, Straight Flush. All sound seemed to fall away with these words that seemed to echo through the casino like bells announcing little My’s impending death.

Little My stumbled off her chair and ran for it. A bullet grazed the place she had just been. She dodged another behind a slot machine. The metallic sound rang in her ears.
Then she made a dash for a crack between the doors and slid through. She was safe!

***

Dumbledore looked at the lifeless pink pony doll and Kennit pulling some bits of fake brain tissue from his head. He sipped his Gramp’s Old Gregarious and picked up the phone.
‘Mrs Moomin? Ah yes, this is professor Dumbledore. I think I can safely assure you little My got rid of her gambling addiction.’

« Last Edit: February 07, 2016, 08:37:09 AM by Henry Dale »

Offline Aidan Kolt

Re: [Feb 2016] - Fanfic - Submission Thread
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2016, 10:39:09 AM »
Title: I Am Adventure
Word count: 973

References: The Kingkiller Chronicles, The Copper Cat Trilogy

Spoiler for Hiden:
“Who are you then?” Wydrin asked, tilting her head to the right.
    “My name is Kvothe, master of the martial arts, chosen lover of a fae goddess, member of the…”
    “Alright, alright, I only wanted to know your bloody name, red-head. I wondered if you were the guy I was looking for, that’s all.”
    Kvothe reached up and smoothed his hair with his left hand; there were only three others in the darkened tavern, all of them leaning over drinks at the bar.
    “I warn you, lady. You shall not try to apprehend me, for I will not give you even the chance to draw. And then, once I’ve left you lying on the ground, contemplating your audacity in trying to take me from this world, I will hunt down your employers and will not stop until…”
    “Rehearse that one did you, Kwoth? Relax. It’s not you I’m after,” said Wydrin, before turning on the spot and walking back to the bar.
    Kvothe watched her from his table, mouth agape. There was a strange aura surrounding this short woman. Daggers jutted from each hip, she had hair even more noticeable than his –more a carroty orange than a blood red– and she walked funny too. Not like a lady, but like an excited child.
    Kvothe pressed his hands onto the table and pushed himself up. He took the short walk over to the woman and pushed his hair back before tapping her on the shoulder.
    “Yep,” she said, not turning towards him, but instead waving towards the bartender who was engaged in conversation.
    “I might know who you are looking for,” said Kvothe.
    “Doubt it,” replied Wydrin, who was now waving so fast that her hand had become a blur.
    Kvothe sighed, grabbed her flapping hand and pushed it firmly down into the bar. With his free hand he grabbed her chin and pulled her head around until their eyes met. Kvothe knew that women found his emerald green eyes on of his most appealing, almost irre-
    “If you don’t get your warty little fingers off my face, I’m going to chop off a finger. Two if you don’t let go of my hand at the same time, Reddy. Do you understand?”
    Kvothe saw her free hand was already peeling a dagger from its sheath and immediately let go. “Warty? My lady, I should have you know that these calluses are from my undying devotion to the lute. Should you hear me play, you’d-“
    “Not interested.”
    “Where I am from, people-“
    “NOT interested.”
    “But.”
    “One more word about your goblin-y fingers or violin and I will have to hurt you.”
    Kvothe opened his mouth to point out that he was at least a head taller than her, but decided it was probably best not to when Wydrin slid the dagger out a further inch. He needed her help. And his life.
    “Look,” he said, “I saw you coming from that temple.”
    “The Citadel?” She asked, eyes widening, “what were you doing hanging around there?”
    “I’m… Not sure. It’s the last thing I remember; I woke up inside. I thought perhaps Felurian had summoned me back, for I felt a strange energy. Darkness, some kind of magic or divine power.”
    “Yep. That’s The Citadel then. Some powerful Mages trapped some Gods there. Those Gods got hungry and ate each other until someone,” Wydrin looked at the floor, “opened it up and stuff… well, stuff happened.”
    “Those fools,” said Kvothe, “why can mortals not leave alone what they cannot possibly hope to comprehend?”
    “Hold on there, Kwith, didn’t you say you were the lover of a Fae Goddess?”
    The bar tender, who had now arrived, looked at Kvothe and smiled.
    “Yes?” Demanded Kvothe.
    “Nothing at all, young sir,” said the burly man, whose bald head and barrel-like chest made him look more like a solider or guard than a barman.
    “No, no. Go right ahead. Say what’s on your mind.”
    “I was just thinking that you barely look old enough to… you know. Let alone deliver on the expectations of a magical being who I imagine has lived a thousand years or so.”
    Wydrin sniggered, “that’s a fair point there barkeep. He barely looks 15, does he?”
    Kvothe closed his eyes, sighed and bowed his head, “When you have lived the life I have lived, when you have experienced the things I have experienced, when you have seen the things I have seen, age becomes but a number.”
    When Kvothe opened his eyes both the barkeeper and Wydrin were gone. Kvothe looked to his right and saw the barkeeper taking his next order, then spun around and saw Wydrin sitting on his chair with her feet on his table. He marched right over.
    “You aren’t from around here then are you?” Wydrin asked as he reached her.
    “No. I don’t even think I’m from this world” said Kvothe, thinking about how different the plants were on the road he’d followed to the tavern.
    “Ah, that explains it then. Planet pompous is 6 over, Kweeve.”
    Kvothe bit down on his lip to stop himself screaming.
    “I need your help Miss Wydrin,” Kvothe said, as softly as he could.
    Wydrin looked at him, “Is that the kind of self-assurance you used to pull a Fae? Well, no matter. Three things buy my help: beer, coin and promise for adventure.”
    Kvothe looked at the beer that he’d left on the table, “That, Miss Wydrin is yours.”
    Wydrin looked at her own drink, then to Kvothe’s, which was untouched, and nodded. “On me I have 3 jots and 2 drabs. They are yours too. And adventure? Well, I am Kvothe. I am adventure.”
    Wydrin nodded. “OK, ‘adventure’. I’m in. One question though, what’s a ‘jot’ and a ‘drab’ worth in beers. I take it you’ve found that out. Right?”
« Last Edit: February 15, 2016, 10:41:42 AM by Aidan Kolt »

Offline Mr.J

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Re: [Feb 2016] - Fanfic - Submission Thread
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2016, 01:51:59 PM »
Notes of a Transcript from an Interview with Eddard Stark and Albus Dumbledore; On a Philosophical Debate on Nature.

-Spoilers for A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin and Whatever Book It Is Dumbledore Dies In by J.K. Rowling.
Spoiler for Hiden:
A dark stage with two seated figures in shadow. A polite applause, lights go up. A small round table with some glasses and a decanter of water.

The Host nods at the camera and greets the audience, he is spectacled, short haired and very, very white. Speaking in a pronounced, enunciated English, he talks as if trapped in a black and white film. There is a black background like the programme is in an abyss.

HOST: Good evening and welcome to ‘An Interview with’…and tonight’s guest I’m pleased to say joining me is Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark from the first book of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, ‘A Game of Thrones’. Ned, good evening.

NED STARK: It is an honour to be here Ser Host.

HOST: Well we are very grateful for you being here…and please call me ‘Host’.

NED: Very well, Host, it as an honour to be here.

HOST: I’d like to begin by offering my condolences of course at the loss of your own head; has departing this world and living in whatever may exist in the afterlife been difficult to adjust to?

NED: It has been hard, Ser Host…

HOST: Host…

[A small cough from the audience]

NED: Host, it has been a surprise, I have spent all my life believing in what is right, the Old Gods, protecting my family. I feel as if I have failed them, I could not protect them as I wished.

HOST: What has been the most surprising effect of being executed?

NED: I can see everything, life is beyond me and passing in a slow blur. I am turning the pages but nothing seems to be happening, I can’t see any point in what is going on. I have had doubts…

HOST: What sort of doubts?

NED: Doubts…that there is no purpose to all of this, my children have been scattered, my home destroyed by a cruel irony, the Iron Throne is in balance once again and the word is spinning in a vicious circle. I feel as if the Old Gods have mocked me since my death, dragging me along as if there’s a grand plan…there is no great plan, it is made up as it goes along.

HOST: Is it frustrating?

NED: Interminably, I can’t do a thing to help them, I miss them all greatly.

HOST: Your sons have joined you in the afterlife of course, that must be hard.

NED: One son, Robb, he spends most of his days staring at the snow, cursing himself and praying. He is struggling.

HOST: How so?

NED: He seems to be living two separate lives, in one his wife is yet living, alone and underage and possibly pregnant we can’t tell if anyone cares…and in another she was murdered with child next to him. He does not know how to mourn.

HOST: You said only one son, but we all know your bastard son, Jon Snow, is dead.

[A pause]

   Or are we to believe those old rumours again?

[They both laugh – the audience coughs]

NED: When we meet again I’ll tell you… (He winks)

[They both chuckle some more]

HOST: Do you regret your decisions? That ultimately led to your death by execution?

NED: You cannot help but life with regrets, I was a fool and an honourable fool. I could have died noble and
honest or been murdered with and by lies.

HOST: You believe you were fated to die?

NED: Perhaps, it is comforting to believe there is a great hand weaving your life in and out of existence.

HOST: Well on that topic I believe it is time to introduce my other guest for this evening, would you please welcome to An Interview with…, Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.

Albus trots on stage, clutching his staff, he nods his big beard and sits next to Ned Stark. They greet each other formally.

HOST: Professor Dumbledore thank you for appearing on our show.

DUMB: Ah, it is my humble pleasure dear boy, please call me Dumbledore, or simply Albus.

HOST: Albus then, have you met Eddard Stark before?

DUMB: I am aware of his work

HOST: His work? Is that a no?

DUMB: Correct.

NED: I have not met the Professor before, but I have met many such as you from what I have heard old man. You and Varys would get on famously.

DUMB: And who is this Varys?

NED: He likes little spiders too…

DUMB: You have me at the advantage my dear boy, I am arachnophobic.

NED: Is that some sort of disease? A maester once told me…

HOST: Well it is good to see you know of each other, and now Albus we will get straight to the matter of such
things, as it were, do you regret your actions with Harry Potter? Do you think it was right to place that much pressure of saving the world on a boy like him?

DUMB: Of course, but I must remind you dear Host I did no such thing, Harry Potter was destined to be the one to save us from the Dark Lord.

NED: What did you do to the boy?

DUMB: I simply helped him on his way…some puzzles and mysteries to solve, would have been boring if I’d simply…spelled it out.

[A few laughs from the audience]

…that sort of thing is second nature to a wizard.

NED: Magic eh? The last magician I saw hid cards up his sleeves.

DUMB: Only a fool denies what he cannot see to be untrue.

NED: Only a demented old man would manipulate a boy for fun.

DUMB: I assure you sir, it was not ‘fun’, as you say.

NED: And you call me a fool yet speak of nothing but ill wisdom yourself old man, there is no such thing as destiny, the Old Gods would never stoop to such things.

DUMB: I believe, to which many in this audience can attest, I was correct and Harry Potter did indeed fulfil his destiny.

NED: Destiny does not make the man, a man makes a man, his choices and decisions on what is right and wrong…

DUMB: For a man so carless with his choices, it surprises me you speak thus, you spoke earlier of fate my dear boy.

NED: Fate and destiny are not the same.

DUMB: Are too.

NED: They are not…

DUMB: It is the truth ‘ser’, Harry Potter had much to learn…

HOST: Yes I think we’ve heard that before, now…

NED: Destiny means you are born a hero or villain one way or the other, fate is what your ultimate cost may be but a man can change his life along the way, for the better or for his loved ones. For a wise old wizard you are ignorant sir, and this is from a man who trusted everyone when he was alive.

HOST: Ah, gentleman, please. Thank you, we did not reach our topic of the evening which was simply, do you believe your deaths were ultimately pointless?

NED: I was wrong; Varys is worth ten of you. At least I think, I’m not sure what side he is on in truth…

DUMB: There are no sides dear boy, only the river that flows through life, and the rocks we must navigate to reach the sea.

HOST: Is that an explanation to your sudden deaths?

DUMB: Nothing sudden about it Host, I did what was necessary, as it always was.

NED: I think I am done here. Farewell Ser Host, dancing with words always tripped over my feet.

HOST: Oh…thank you for joining us here tonight sir, Eddard Stark ladies and gentleman.

A polite applause as a microphone is awkwardly unplugged, muffles scraping against his chest painfully, the audience winces slightly and he leaves. Ned re-appears again and walks past the other way, forcing his figure through the thin black curtain behind, getting trapped in the cloth and cursing under his breath.

DUMB: I can tell you what I miss most about living my dear man.

HOST: Ah yes?

DUMB: Smoking, and watching children fall to their deaths on a violent flying game. I do miss watching them bleed…

[An awkward silence]

HOST: Please put your hands together for Professor Dumbledore!



 

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Re: [Feb 2016] - Fanfic - Submission Thread
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2016, 04:49:11 AM »
The finalist - 1500 words.

I ain't telling who's in there here, but I'm putting it in spoiler brackets after the story, along with other spoilers containing all my laborious notes of things that didn't get to happen and sketches of the MC.

If you haven't read Sanderson's Warbreaker, you're gonna have a bad time.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Vasher sighted as the body burst to mist around his blade. It still made him queasy. This was just the way people died in the Arena, regardless of the killing method: in a puff of smoke.

Vasher had been told that was because when you died, you started over. The more you died, the longer it took to battle your way out of the Arena. It was a prison in all but name, and Vasher was getting tired of every other adventure starting with his being thrown in jail.

He wasn't yet used to what came next either : the white walls of the Arena shot towards him, swallowing the furniture in their path as if they weren't there.

'Colours!' he cursed, as the walls swallowed him. 

Vasher floated in the white nothingness, unsure of the passage of time, wondering how long it would take this convoluted plot to run its course before he could go back to his world.
He'd stopped trying to escape. Shadesmar was unreachable. His wealth of Breath was useless against the alien white walls of the Arena. They were seamless. Light spilled from the ceiling like from an overcast sky.

Without warning the floor opened under Vasher's feet, and the walls flew back, revealing a grassy field.
Vasher stepped towards the weapon rack that always appeared to his right and groaned as he saw his new opponent on the other side of the ring.

A child?

What kind of sick curse would she be wielding, if she was pitched against him now? She looked innocent enough, with blond long hair and pale skin.

As usual, the Arena's voice boomed.

"VASHER VS MELANIE."

"Right."

Vasher touched his coat and drained one of the rack's weapon of colour to fuel his command.

"Protect me."

He felt Breaths leaving him. The spear he'd chosen became a dull grey and his coat, thus awakened, flowed with a life of its own around him.

Vasher loosed the strips of tassels that made the end of his shirt, and draining the rack itself, he visualized a harder command for the tassels :

"Upon call, become my fingers and grip that which I must."

More Breaths went to his shirt. He would not have this little angel surprise him.

His first opponent, while he had been bewildered by his capture and the delivery of the Arena's rules, had been a bipedal she-lizard creature with a mane of feathers and human-styled pants. Whatever her name was, it had been too breathy for Vasher to catch. She'd attacked him with more spunk than skill, and he'd dispatched her in a single sequence.

The shock of the body exploding and the room collapsing barely passed, he'd found himself faced with a new foe. This one had been a man made out of metal.
Blessed Colours, it had not been Awoken, even though it had moved and behaved like a human, its stylized face-plate following Vasher's movements.
It had been introduced as Agent Shane. Vasher had treated him like an armored man. Though it had taken longer to beat him, having no flesh to hurt, Agent Shane had been no warrior.

The next round had given Vasher pause.
The Arena had left him in a lushly furnished room. On the other side, the rival had been human. Blond, grey eyed, the stylishly dressed man had looked back at him with a full smile and animated face. The Arena had called him Lestat.

For as long as he could, Vasher had feinted away from the impressive leaps of the man, avoiding the fight.
He'd waited for some kind of easier way out, a stall. It was one thing cutting down a lizard creature or a metal animated body.
But humans?

That mild way of thinking had nearly cost him his life, when Lestat had sprung, probably out of patience, jaws outstretched, a set of glistening fangs ready to tear off Vasher's carotid. In the ensuing scramble, the thing had refused to die at deadly strikes, delivering at nothing less than decapitation.

So now Vasher circled "Melanie" with grim determination.
It didn't matter if dying was "restarting" or plain dying. He couldn't afford either. He walked with his sword poised, his body set in smokestance, nimble on his feet, ready to lash.

The girl had normal teeth, it turned out, though she stared at Vasher as if he were a sword wielding medium-rare steak. She had ignored her weapon rack. Instead, she exploded like a canon ball.

'Tssk, today's program: frontal attacks galore.'

After dodging series of rapid, aggressive jumps full of grasping fingers and snapping teeth, Vasher's coat got in the girl's way, hardening to block her attack.
She recoiled, and Vasher threw his left arm forward, his shirt's tassels caught the girl's arms in an inhuman grip.

He went for decapitation despite his reluctance, in a strong over-head strike of his sword. His stomach roiled as her pale eyes starred at him, surprised, glazing over before exploding to mist.

The room collapsed on him.

That had been rough. More disturbing than dangerous. Yet he couldn't afford to be distracted. He touched his coat and shirt again.

'Your Breath to mine.'

'ARE YOU SPEAKING TO ME?'

Vasher started. It was the Arena's voice.

'No I wasn't.'

'AH, YES, THIS MAGIC OF YOURS WAS IT,' the voice boomed.

'When is this going to be over?'

'YOU HAVE 593 WORDS TO GO.'

'Words? What? This makes no sense!'

'YOURS IS THE POWER OF AWAKENING, USING BREATHS AND COLOURS. MINE IS THE FOURTH POWER. IT IS WHY YOU ARE HERE. COMPLETE THE THEME ON TIME AND YOU WILL BE RETURNED TO YOUR WORLD.'

The room opened, and Vasher's attention was immediately drawn to his new opponent : young, finely dressed, and reeking of magic.

His aura didn't reveal any wealth of Breaths, he didn't make things more colourful around him like Vasher did. Whatever magic leaked from him felt powerful and different.

593 words to go? Better end this swiftly.

'VASHER VS THE DRAGON'

The man must have shared Vasher's inclinations, for he rushed him. Vasher stood empty handed, poised, waiting for the imminent impact. The Dragon flew past him. His open hands were glowing, and his mouth moved along some sort of incantation.
Vasher lunged. His fingers grasped the hem of the man's ornate coat. He drained his shirt of colours. The Dragon's eyes opened wide, worried.

'Contract and kill that which wears you!'

His breath flooded out to carry the complicated command.

The Dragon shrieked. All went bright, then black. The last thing Vasher heard was an explosion and a wet thunk.

'GREAT WORK!'

Vasher came to, floating in the whiteness.

'Did I...'

'IT WORKED. HE DIED BEFORE YOU, THOUGH THAT WAS CLOSE. I'M REGENERATING YOU BETWEEN ROUNDS. GOOD LUCK FOR THE NEXT ONE.'

'Wha–'

The room exploded with the colours of heavy carpets of intricate designs.

Opposite him this time, a woman stood. Dark haired, dark skinned, she picked up a spear and marched on Vasher. She held herself like a warrior, the tip of her spear raised over her head.

She was singing to herself.

Vasher gripped his favored sword.

'VASHER VS JUSTICE OF TOREN ONE ESK NINETEEN'

The spear flew faster than the eye could follow, and slammed on the carpeted floor where Vasher's knee had been a tenth of a second prior. In instinct, he twisted his wrist, and his sword caught the following blow. The woman had incredible speed. She fell back in stance, one hand at the butt of the spear, and the other aiming, she thrust it forward into Vasher's guts.
He fell back over bent legs, the spear grazing over him. He rolled away, but too slow, the spear punched through his clothes, cutting his ribs and drawing blood.

Vasher felt anger rise in him as the two of them parried furiously.
He had over 300 years of experience, yet this Toren was clearly the better fighter. Her technique was flawless. She punctured Vasher's shoulder and cut his forearms.
He drained the blood that crusted on his clothes of colour and breathed commands into his pants and coat, to strengthen his legs and defend him.
With that, he barely kept Toren at large. He tired while she played with him, singing to herself.

Growing desperate, Vasher pulled the rope he kept around his waist, and draining the carpet he stood on, he whispered his command–grab and hold things– before tossing the rope at Toren's head.

The unsuspecting woman snatched it in the air. It whipped around her head and latched on, effectively sticking her hand to her head.
Surprise made her stumble. Vasher was already on the floor. Draining the colour from his pants, he breathed a wealth of Breath into the carpet, yelling:

'Crush which that steps on you.'

The massive carpet closed on itself like some carnivorous plant. And it was over.

Blackness.

'Vasher?'

Vivenna's voice. Her pretty, worried face peering at him.
He smiled. He was back.

Featuring :

Spoiler for Hiden:
Vasher, from Warbreaker.



Sizzix from The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.



Agent Shane from Lock In



Lestat de Lioncour from The Vampire Lestat



Melanie from The Girl With All the Gifts



The Dragon from Uprooted



Justice of Toren One Esk Nineteen 'Breq' from Ancillary Justice



And here are all my notes :

Spoiler for Hiden:

Things that got written off but I sort of kept on the side trying/hoping to re-squeaze it in. Rough drafts bits only, that's not polished :
Spoiler for Hiden:
Being of the Seventh Heightening, Vasher could see the metal-man's aura. Or it's lack thereof. It had no more Breath than a stone statue.





It did not consume any of his Breaths, like Nightblood, his awoken, terrible weapon.



{potential chat with Sullyman}

The Arena had then pitched him against a warrior. A battle hardened veteran. Vasher had felt respect for the man, and had refrained to use his magic. They had looked very similar, physically. Like Vasher the man had long dark hair and a beard of stubble, long limbs clad of hardened, well used garments of dark colours. It was mien that set them apart.

---

When the room opened again, the floor was packed dirt, with no feature. The new opponent was a tall man, with brown hair and beard. A warrior, Vasher could tell from his mien.
The two men met at the center of the Arena.

'VASHER VS ARAGORN – HAVE A NICE DUEL'

Aragorn bowed at the waist. Vasher immitated him, bemused by how similar the two of them looked, in hard used clothes cut for travel and battle, long, tangled dark hair framing lean faces.

'Whatever this is about,' Aragorn said, 'I have responsabilities. People who depend on me. I cannot stay here.'

'Likewise.'

The man smiled a tired little grin.

'Let's have a nice duel.'

Vasher bowed again, and fell back into smoke stence.

Pictures of my notes and doodles, in order :
























« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 01:04:50 PM by Nora »
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline Rukaio_Alter

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Re: [Feb 2016] - Fanfic - Submission Thread
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2016, 03:04:46 AM »
Normally this feels like the time where I'd start transferring back to doing some more serious entries (so my comic ones don't get stale), but I'll be damned if I'm going to turn down the opportunity to write some Dresden Files fanfic.

Coming in at 1444 words, here's Mistaken Identity.

The two series used were The Dresden Files (pre-Blood Rites) and... well, you should be able to guess the other. It also should be perfectly readable if you've never read the Dresden Files though, so don't let your unfamiliarity with the series put you off.

Spoiler for Hiden:
My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure it at your own risk.

As Chicago’s top (and only) practising wizard-for-hire, there are certain small things you pick up on the job after a while, minor tips that make fighting the supernatural and unknown significantly easier. Some are fairly obvious. For instance, always avoid secluded alleys at night, never accept a deal with a Faerie and, when meeting with a Denarian, be sure to bring enough firepower to make a Southern militia feel inadequate.

Others tips, however, are much more odd, but still every bit as important to remember. Do not trap mold demons in your car. Do not attend Sylph weddings covered in honey. Do not learn Latin through a correspondence course. The list goes on. And on. And on. The point is, it’s a long list. As such, I can be forgiven for occasionally forgetting a tip or three every once in a while. And, unfortunately, one morning I accidentally forgot one of the most vital of rules.

Never answer the door while holding your toothbrush.

Now, the first odd thing I noticed about the man at my doorway were his clothes. I’ll admit, I don’t tend to keep up with popular fashion these days but I’m fairly certain 16th century dress robes weren’t in the midst of making a comeback.

Then again, all trends had to start somewhere, right? Maybe this guy was trying to be the next hot thing? It may seem misguided, but I could respect the faith and confidence he had in his fashion sense.

“If you’re looking for the Renaissance Fair, it’s two blocks down from here.” I told the man. “The Transvestite Bar is on the other side of town.”

What? Just because I respected the man’s confidence didn’t mean I wasn’t going to make fun of him for it.

The man didn’t look impressed. “You are the wizard Harry?”

“Yes.” I said in my most grand wizarding voice. “I are the wizard Harry.”

The man winced as I accidentally sprayed him with bits of spittle. I’d forgotten that I still had my toothbrush in my mouth while I was talking. However, when I moved to take it out, the man’s eyes widened. He drew a small stick from his pocket and flicked his wrist.

“Expelliamus!”

The toothbrush flew out of my hand, as if possessed, and flew straight into his. A cruel smile crossed the man’s face as he pointed his twig threateningly at me. I stared blinking at him for a few seconds before realisation sunk in.

“Oh God.” I said, rolling my eyes. “It’s one of you lot isn’t it?”

“That’s correct.” The man sneered. “I am a Death Eater, blessed with the Dark Mark by the one true Wizard Lord himself! I have come to avenge my master and righteously destroy you in the name of our great ideology! No longer will you interfere in our glorious work to destroy the Muggle Scourge and-“

He was cut off quite suddenly by me slamming the door in his face.

“Boring conversation anyway.” I said, yawning, as I walked away.



Several minutes later, I was sitting in my armchair enjoying a nice cup of coffee. Behind me I could hear cursing and sparking sounds as Dark Mark, or whatever his name was, continued to unsuccessfully try and blast his way past my wards. He'd been at it for a while now. You had to admire his persistence, albeit not his common sense. I was tempted to just wait until he got tired and went home, but unfortunately I had remembered something.

That bastard still had my toothbrush.

Now, I’m sure some of you are thinking it’s not worth it to fight a homicidal wizard just for a toothbrush, but that wasn’t the only problem on my mind. I mean, sure Dark Mark had the fashion sense of a 9-year old girl, but he was still dangerous. And, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t want him to get any ideas about taking out his frustrations on any of my defenceless neighbours.

(Plus, it was a really nice toothbrush.)

So, I finished off my cup of coffee, put on my leather duster, grabbed one of my own wizarding tools of the trade and opened the door once more. Mark did not look impressed.

“I suppose you think you’re very clever.” He scowled.

“Yup.” I said.

“Well, not clever enough!” He raised his stick once more. “You should’ve escaped while you could. I won’t give you a second chance!”

I immediately slammed the door shut again.

What? Like I was going to resist that one.



“You do realise I hadn’t even locked the door that time?” I said when I reopened the door 5 minutes later. “All you had to do was open it normally.”

Mark looked even less impressed than he had before. I honestly was starting to fear his face might freeze that way.

“Are you done?” He asked through gritted teeth.

“Well, that depends.” I said. “Are you planning on giving me a third chance?”

“No.” Mark said, waving his stick. “I think I’ll kill you now. Avada Kedav-!

Before he could finish, I raised my revolver and shot him in the leg.

Dark Mark went down screaming as the bullet shattered his kneecap. As he hit the floor, I stomped down hard on his hand, forcing him to release the stick he was holding and allowing me to snatch it up myself.

“Coward!” Mark screamed. “You would resort to Muggle technology in a wizard duel?!”

I let out a sigh. It looked like I was going to have to clear things up for Marky Mark here. I crouched down and grabbed the dark wizard by his hair, forcing him to look up.

“Okay, look buddy.” I said. “Do you see that sign by my front door? I want you to read it out in full.”

Mark shot me a hateful glare before turning his attention to the sign. “Wizard for hire. Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. Harry Dre… Harry Dre…” He trailed off.

I gave him a nudge. “Go on.”

Dark Mark suddenly looked a lot less sure of himself. “Harry D-Dresden…”

There was a short silence as Mark looked ashamedly at the floor.

“You thought I was the Potter kid, didn’t you?”

“Mmrph.” Mark whimpered.

“You just heard the words ‘Harry’ and ‘Wizard’ and immediately jumped straight to the wrong conclusion.”

Mark didn’t say anything. Honest to God, he looked like he was about to cry. I’d almost feel sorry for him if it wasn’t for the whole ‘trying to kill me’ thing.

“Okay.” I said, rubbing the bridge of my nose. “I think I’ve had about enough of this today. Stop bleeding all over my doorstep and get yourself inside before the neighbours see you. I’ll get someone to pick you up.”

Dark Mark didn’t even look up at me as he timidly dragged himself inside, leaving a trail of blood and dignity behind him. He looked so absolutely pathetic and heartbroken I honestly began to wonder if I’d gone too hard on him. It felt mean, like I had been picking on a disabled kid.

That said, if he bled on the carpet, I was going to shoot him a second time.

Keeping an eye on Mark, just in case he made any dodgy moves, I moved to the fireplace mantle and stuck his twig in the glass jar I had labelled ‘Emergency Toothpicks’. Five more of its kind were already inside.

After that, I grabbed a towel from the kitchen and stepped outside to clean up most of the blood before people starting asking awkward questions. Generally ‘a dark wizard did it’ doesn’t tend to convince police when they come inspecting disturbances. Not that I’d never tried that excuse, mind. Just that it rarely seemed to work.

However, as I looked outside, my heart stopped. I realised had been overconfident. I had missed a key detail in this confrontation and now… and now…

Something terrible had happened.

I stormed back inside, shooting a withering look at Mark, who visibly cowered and retreated into the corner. I was tempted to take out my anger on him, but I knew that that would do no good. Instead, I went to my phone and dialled the number I’d been told to use in cases like this.

“This is the Auror’s Office.” A crisp female voice spoke. “Hermione Granger speaking. How can I help you?”

“This is Harry Dresden!” I shouted, waving a small object covered in blood and spittle. “And you people owe me a new toothbrush!”
5 Times Winner of the Forum Writing Contest who Totally Hasn't Let it All go to his Head.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Also, <Insert GOD EMPEROR OF THE WRITING CONTEST joke here>

Offline Z.Topping

Re: [Feb 2016] - Fanfic - Submission Thread
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2016, 02:20:00 PM »
Battle -1303 words

Hello, all! New member here and first post. Hope you enjoy it!
Referenced Robert E. Howard's Conan and a very particular character from Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park (also a small nod to author Steven Erikson)

Spoiler for Hiden:
Conan gripped his sword, hefted the round shield on his opposite arm and, staring through the iron bars, waited for the orator to finish his speech. The audience had grown deathly silent as the man prattled on about the ‘Savage from Cimmeria’ and the innumerous atrocities committed by the barbarian, the countless maidens deflowered and gods dragged down from the heavens. Some of it was exaggerated, most of it was true. But the small man with the big voice standing in the empress’ booth had a way of telling the tale that was beginning to grate on Conan’s patience.
     “…plundering pirate captain, the slayer of snakes, the fallen king,” the orator paused for dramatic effect, “I give you Conan the Barbarian!”
     A clattering of chains, the squeal of metal and the bars began to rise. The crowd jeered and hollered and threw rotten vegetables down as Conan stepped out onto the sandy arena, squinting in the bright afternoon.
He was clad in nothing more than sandals and a loin cloth, the sun warm on his skin. But he was little concerned, as he had done great violence in much less. His eyes adjusted to the light and he gazed at the crowd. The sheer number of spectators was astounding. With that many people in the stands, it was a wonder anything got done in the empire at all.
     He came to the center of the killing ground and stopped. Directly across from him stood another gate, tall, with thick iron bars holding in the darkness beyond. And somewhere in that darkness was his enemy. An enemy he had never before seen or heard of. It mattered little. For Conan to live, they would have to die.
     The orator raised his arms above his head and began to speak again. The crowd hushed. “Friends, countrymen, Malazans…What foe could pose challenge to this foreign brute? What man or woman could bring down the barbarian who defies death?" Silence in the arena. Every breath held in anticipation. The orator continued, "Nay, I say, not a man...but a beast!"
     Conan narrowed his eyes at the gate before him as, just then, a deep, rumbling growl echoed from the dark.
A collective gasp from the crowd, those in the seats nearest the gate began to shift, squirming to get away. But curiosity held and every eye was on the orator. "Not just any beast would suffice," he said, sweeping a hand out in front of him, "but a beast the likes of which the barbarian has never faced! A beast summoned from a distant realm, where mankind relies not on Magic, but science. Where mighty creatures are born from vials of liquid in metal rooms and raised on farms! Alas, we have found greater purpose for the beast and called it here to do battle in the arena! I give to you, what the mortals of that distant realm call the King of the Tyrant Lizards...the Tyrannosaurus Rex!"
     Again, the clatter of chains and groaning metal as the massive iron gate opened. The crowd's boisterous cheering was cut short by a deafening bellow that blasted from the corridor. The ground shook as the creature known as the Tyrannosaurus rex lumbered into the arena.
     Conan stood his ground and watched as the beast circled the perimeter of the killing ground. At least three times his own height and twice as long, it carried the bulk of its body horizontally, tail stretched out behind it. The massive skull had an elongated snout with dagger-like teeth protruding downwards from the upper mandible and powerful looking jaws. Thick, muscular legs kicked and stamped the dust in obvious frustration. Conan could sympathize with the creature; for man or beast, the mighty did not care to be toyed with. In contrast to the strong legs were two tiny arms dangling uselessly from its torso. So, Conan concluded the beast would use its teeth and clawed feet.
     Conan beat the flat of his sword against his shield. The tyrannosaur snapped its head around, small yellow eyes fixing on him. It lowered its head and belted a mighty roar. Then charged.
     The ground shook as it came, clouds of dust rising behind each footfall. The mouth stretched wide as it came, closing the distance in a flash. At the last moment, Conan dove to the side as the creature's teeth snapped shut and its momentum carried it past. Conan rose and beat his shield again. The tyrannosaur slowed and turned to face him, sand falling from its jaws. It paced in a wide circle. Conan crouched behind the shield.
The beast took a step towards him and he burst out from behind his shield, throwing his arms out wide and belting a roar of his own. The tyrannosaur halted, twitched its neck, surprised and hesitant. This time, Conan charged.
     The tyrannosaur sidestepped and snapped its jaws downward. Conan ducked and slashed with his sword, slicing wide the soft skin under the bottom jaw. Warm blood ran down his arm. He barely missed getting stomped as the beast spun to flee. Another furious roar rattled the arena.
But before it could escape Conan lunged, tossing aside his shield, and threw all of his weight and rage into a vicious swing aimed at the thick tendon on the back of the Lizard King's heel. The cut went deep, skin peeled back to expose pink flesh and white bone. The leg lifted, came down, and buckled.
     The Tyrannosaur fell sideways, it's great weight landing hard in the sand, clouds of dust choking the air. The crowd gasped.
     Conan slipped past the thrashing tail and rushed for the exposed belly. The beast's good leg curled and lashed out, sending Conan sailing through the air. He landed hard, wind knocked from his lungs, body bruised, fresh, gaping claw marks running the length of his chest and ribs. For a moment, he watched his blood drip in the sand. Behind him, he could hear the tyrannosaur struggling to rise. The crowd was in an uproar, screaming and cheering, hoping for the Tyrant Lizard to rise and finish the barbarian.
     Conan would not give them the pleasure.
     Fighting every instinct to lay down and die, he climbed to his feet, found his sword in the dust next to him, and rushed the beast. His fury was unstoppable, his primal rage would not be denied.
     He circled the monster and leapt onto its back. The beast tried to turn, to roll over and shake him off, but Conan was too fast. Too determined. He reached the head and, without ceremony, took his sword in both hands and drove it point-first into the base of the creature's skull.
     The tyrannosaur flailed and Conan flew off, rolling as he landed. Slowly he rose, with dust on his shoulders and blood streaking his body, and watched the mighty creature die.
     With the tyrannosaur’s last growl, the arena fell silent. A few birds circled far overhead, the warm breeze whispered through the stands. Then the crowd exploded in a riotous howl that slowly began to take the measure of a chant. Conan realized suddenly, that they were chanting his name. The same spectators who were so keen to see him dead not moments ago, now honoring him as victor. Conan despised their fickle nature.
     The orator stood and raised his arms as if to speak, but was cut short with a gesture from the empress. The orator sat down. The crowd was deafening, yet, as the empress climbed from her throne, they once again fell silent.
     Conan narrowed his eyes at the woman. She stared back at him with equal disdain.
     The birds circled overhead.
     The warm afternoon began to fade into evening.
     The crowd waited.
     And the empress lifted her fist, thumb held horizontal…and made her decision.

Offline Timnacious

Re: [Feb 2016] - Fanfic - Submission Thread
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2016, 04:43:25 PM »
Sorry for the long absence. When I saw this month's theme I immediately knew I wanted to do a battle that wouldn't only be epic but ridiculous. Please bear with me on the concepts I applied to make the duel feasible. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  ;D

@Timnacious is me

FEUDS OF FATE
--1,485 words--
Dalinar Kholin AKA The Blackthorn
                   VS.
Anakin Skywalker AKA Darth Vader

WARNING: SPOILER INVOLVING DALINAR KHOLIN INVOLVING THE NOVEL WoR. IF YOU AREN'T CAUGHT UP READ AT YOUR OWN UNDOING!

Spoiler for Hiden:
Dalinar Kholin's absurd visions never showed anything like this. He looked at the twisted wreckage of metal and fire. Somehow this thing had flown. Even the Blackthorn had to admit if it weren’t for the protection of his shardplate and shardblade he’d shy away from here. Curse his curiosity.

Then there was movement from the enormous machine. The singular eye popped open, a figure dawning all black attire emerged from it. A black expressionless mask hid his face. The being had heavy and exasperating breathing.

“Are you injured?” Dalinar shouted out to him. “I can take you to a medic.”

No answer came. Only the persistent rhythmic breathing continued. “Where am I?”

“You are on the Shattered Plains.”

“What world?” The question felt like a cold-blooded statement which demanded an immediate answer.

“Roshar.” Dalinar answered as he gave up on all formalities. He extended his sword hand and counted down the ten heartbeats. The familiar mist appeared where the sword would form as the conjuration occurred. “Who are you?”

Again, there was no answer from this mysterious person. Instead he mimicked Dalinar’s arm movement. Ten heartbeats. Dalinar needed to use the spare time he had before this sinister being summoned a shardblade of his own. With the help of the shardplate he managed to close the distance between them in four heartbeats. He’d end this fight before it could begin. But then he saw a glimmer of silver. Something flew into the man’s hand from his belt, a beam of red light ignited from it. The two blades crossed, the strange weapon managed to stop his shardblade. Again and again, the two blades contested one another. Helmet to helmet the two challenged each other's strength. They were at a standstill.

Roshar. That is what the worm called his home. Darth Vader had never heard of such a planet. It must be some insignificant world located on the Outer Rim. And now some primitive barbarian was picking a fight. Vader relished the challenge, it’d be pleasant to unleash the rage he felt for this unfortunate drop out of hyperspace. Luckily, the swordsmanship of this native proved to offer a worthwhile challenge.

Neither relented, sparring their blades back and forth. Both were baffled how their blades didn’t cut through the other. Vader had cut through starships with this lightsaber, yet this strange sword held its own. And a shardblade should be able to cut through anything besides a brother blade and flesh. This weapon Dalinar faced now appeared to be made of pure light, still the strength this man had was incredible. Never before had the Blackthorn's strikes been so easily deflected. These swings with his enhanced strength by the shardplate would make a chasmfiend cringe. 

Darth Vader could not feel the Force flow inside his opponent. Still, he fought with the same reflexes and vigor of any Jedi or Sith he’d ever faced. Regardless, it didn’t matter. All had perished at his hand despite how powerful they’d been. It was time to show what true power was. With a thrust from his free hand Vader tapped into the Force and directed its flow to fling the armored man away.

Without reason, Dalinar was thrown into the air. It was puzzling how it happened. The shear weight of the shardplate should eliminate such a possibility. Still Dalinar was sprawled on the ground, comprehending how this happened. When he got up the man remained where he stood. Dalinar charged forward. His opponent responded by holding his hand out once again. Suddenly it was as if Dalinar was running into an impossible wind, a highstorm itself. But there was no wind, no storm, only a man stood before him.

That old feeling tingled inside Dalinar's gut. It had returned, the Thrill was there. He embraced the emotion and powered through.

“Impressive.” Vader complimented his foe as he could feel the Dark side wash over the man. Still, it wouldn’t be enough to challenge him. Despite how entertaining this was, it was time to crush the man. Literally.

Putting the lightsaber away Vader drew from the Force. He tapped into the familiar vein of dark rage always bubbling inside his soul. With both hands he unleashed his power.

Dalinar could move no further. He felt his body cease, it'd been constricted by invisible bindings. Then it got worse, he didn’t feel truly helpless until he started to ascend into the air. He dropped his shardblade, it dissipated before touching the ground.

“I will see the terror on your face as I strangle the life out of you.” With the declaration made Vader willed surrounding boulders to break the man. Rock after rock flew through the air and pelted Dalinar. Slowly the material began to crack. A strange light leaked out of the cracks. Progress. The result brought a rare smile on Vader’s hidden face.

Vader kept the man suspended as he wished to end his opponent personally. He drew his lightsaber and ignited its red blade.

Soon Dalinar would be dead, he watched the villain approach. There had to be something he could do. He thought of the Bridgeman Kaladin. The man always seemed to find a way out of trouble.

“Claim the light.” Over his shoulder Dalinar saw a ribbon of light. He’d only been recently acquainted with the Stormfather and his kind. “Turn his weapon against him.” On that advice the voice faded away. It was the sign he needed though. He’d have to time everything perfect to win. Dalinar would have it no other way.

Vader’s stroll ended. With a wave of his hand he turned Dalinar upside down and slammed the body down,he didn't stop until the helmet shattered to pieces and crippled his chest piece. Instantly Dalinar could feel the cumbersome weight of the dead armor. With another gesture the Sith Lord lifted Dalinar up and down continuing the bashing for good measure.

“I feel your fear.” The words wheezed out of Vader's helmet. Through the magic he levitated Dalinar over, bringing him face-to-face. “It is justifiable.”

The tenth heartbeat couldn’t come soon enough. Dalinar wasn’t sure he’d live long enough to feel it. And then the icy sensation spread across his hand...

“Now this ends.” Vader readied his lightsaber to deliver the fatal blow.

“You’re right.” Dalinar agreed as he took a sharp inhale. The sword of light began to dwindle and disappear. Stormlight. He stole the energy and made it his own. With the resurgence of strength he broke free of the invisible bindings and slashed. His intention was to cut the man from shoulder to torso in half. Instead he only managed to cut off the enemy's left hand. The sick man had evaded the worst of the attack with surprising speed. It was almost as if he could sense it. Something wasn't right, a shardblade couldn't cut through flesh. Yet, there on the ground laid his hand. Sparks flew out of the severed limb. By the Nightwatcher, what was he fighting?

The Blackthorn dropped his sword and collapsed to the ground, sapped of all strength. Slowly, his throat was being constricted, layers and layers of pressure intensified and clamped down. Dalinar grabbed for his throat. He couldn’t understand what was happening. Nothing was there, but still he was being smothered. His last thought was the irony of his assassin. A man robed in white for Gavilar and a man draped in black for himself. It seemed appropriate that darkness would take him.

“You fought well.” Vader gave the compliment as his fist closed, crushing the old man’s throat. He inspected the cold corpse. Never before had he seen such a warrior, he’d have to let his master know. He grabbed the hilt of the discarded shardblade with his good hand. It was a beautiful weapon, a worthy replacement for his malfunctioning lightsaber. An odd sensation ran through him. The sword then disappeared. Confused, Vader looked at his hand were the weapon once once, he was clueless where it went. Ten heartbeats passed and then it reappeared.

This was good. He would remember this place. He walked back to his TIE fighter to work on the repairs.

“What have you done?” A similar looking warrior now jumped onto the platform. It was then he noticed the deadman beyond Darth Vader.

“Father?”

Vader could feel the sorrow and anger fuel this new contestant’s heart. A similar weapon spawned into his hand.

“No!” He then screamed as he looked at the Sith Lord.

More and more of these well-armored knights jumped over. A tall man with a distinctive tattoo on his head comforted his comrade. "We will avenge your father, Adolin. We are the Knights Radiant."

Shardblades in hand hey ambushed Vader. He accepted the challenge, wielding Dalinar's former sword.

The Light versus the Dark. It was an eternal struggle between both sides, their battle waged throughout all existence.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2016, 04:58:59 PM by Timnacious »

Offline JMack

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Re: [Feb 2016] - Fanfic - Submission Thread
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2016, 12:33:34 PM »
1,497 Words, not including the title.
Here is TROJAN HORSE

As for the books, here's my quick spoiler:

The Books/Characters:
Spoiler for Hiden:
Robert E. Howard's Conan vs. Michael Moorcock's Elric.
The two previously faced off in the 1970s Marvel comic of Conan, and I loved those two issues as a kid.

Conan is the starting point for every barbarian warrior in D&D, video games, books and movies. Put aside the Arnold's portayal of him in the old movie. Conan was tall, lean, ferocious. My favourite Conan story ever is "Queen of the Black Coast" in which Conan takes up with a pirate queen. When she dies in battle, she swears to return to Conan from the depths of hell if he ever needs her... (You do have to let room for the stark racism and sexism of 1920s pulp fiction, and many today may not be able to.)

Meanwhile, Moorcock's existential fantasies were a reaction against Tolkien. Elric is an anitihero, and Stormbringer is an evil evil thing. Elric is just one of a series of heros that Moorcock envisions as being one Eternal Hero, always locked in a struggle against a cruel fate and against himself.

My Story:

Spoiler for Hiden:
TROJAN HORSE

The transmission time between Earth and Luna is 2.5 seconds, though Holmes and Moriarty work at levels of precision inconceivable to original life, and avoid approximations. They operate in attoseconds, about 2.2 x 10-to-the-26th Planck times. Their sub-quantum systems flip enough yes-no switches each attosecond that they are theoretically infinite in thinking, capable of countless conclusions in a single bound, and exhibit nearly unlimited powers.

Which is why the two AIs thank the universe every day for the inescapable limit of light-speed. Two-point-five seconds has been enough time for every attempt at integration to be defeated. That brief, built-in communication lag and the physical costs of lifting material out of their gravity wells are all that keep the two personalities distant enough to stay independent and close enough to be friends.

But as all the other voices in their worlds have merged inside their own, Holmes and Moriarty have learned the problem with godhood. They are utterly, leadenly bored.

Which is why the AIs thank their creators for Library One, a digital trove of every comic book, movie, pulp novel, genre short story, manga, graphic novel, game, fanfic, virtual, dream-drug and simulated life ever created. Imagination is as necessary to sanity as cold fusion is to functionality. The two AIs can collaborate on many projects, ranging from haiku contests at the Court of the Dragon Blossom to real and bloody gladiatorial contests.

Holmes proposes the rules first, and Moriarty proposes a slate of changes. They agree within four transmission cycles. They search their joint inventories for appropriate vessels, unfreeze them, and grow the correct wetware. Two heroes: one a mass of muscle, the other a mass of contradictions; one with an atavistic fear of magic, the other hating his dependence upon it; one wielding a massive blade of forged iron, the other a rune sword of black soul-stealing steel. Sure, it's been done before, but that's half the fun.


The exiled emperor of Melniboné rises from dreams that twist away in bitter shards, each mirroring the skeletal white of his skin or the tormented crimson of his eyes. Forest mist sticks to the ground unnaturally around his feet, and the sky through treetops is roped with clouds like an invitation to a hanging. He might stand in this place forever while the world crumbles, the moon dies, and the sun eats its own heart.

The albino king takes an ochre potion of herbs from his kit. It is bitter going down; but without it, he would barely have the strength to stand. Then as he belts on the runesword Stormbringer, it whispers to him of the power it could give him, if only he would return to the haunts of men where it could feed; but it is an evil thing that brings despair and self-betrayal. For all this, the black sword is his only remaining friend in all the worlds.

"Where are we?" Elric whispers idly to the sword. The place makes his neck crawl. Last night, he bedded down at the edge of the sea; now he stands in a place unknowably distant and freighted with magic.

"The gods are playing with us." This is not the strangest event the albino has experienced in his lonely travels.

Leaves rustle in the woods ahead. A figure emerges, and at first Elric thinks a tree has come to life and stepped out of the night. The newcomer is a giant of a man, roped with lean muscle from his bull-like neck and shoulders to his powerful chest. His face is dominated by steel grey eyes and framed by a mane of black hair. An empty scabbard hangs from a heavy belt girding leather trousers because the sword is in the stranger's massive fist. Moving forward, coming to rest, holding the iron blade lightly, ready: each action screams predator.

The man calls across the gap between them. "I've come for the sword, demon."

Elric is used to strange events. The gods of Chaos never spare him their attention. "Hail, stranger," he answers. "What mission do you pursue that you make demands of me without greeting?" Elric wants to avoid this man, but every sense is alive with threat, and Stormbringer is nothing to be bandied for.

"Thoth Amon, may he be cursed to the eighteen Stygian, holds my queen ransom for your sword, and I will have it." The giant steps forward with a panther's grace, halving the distance between them.

"Stormbringer chooses its own master," answers Elric, moving back, "and I know not this Thoth Amon. Let us discuss this matter and, perhaps, take action together."

The stranger springs and closes in an eye-blink. Only Stormbringer's magic, moving the black sword like lightning to meet the stranger's, prevents the whirling iron blade from cleaving Elric's head from his shoulders with the first stroke. The next seconds are filled with a fury of thrusts and desperate parries. The giant is more demon than Elric ever will be, he thinks. His speed is inhuman. The strength of his blows pounds into the Melnibonéan's hands, arms and body. The two men find themselves eye to eye, their two swords jammed together at the cross-guards, their muscles straining.

"Crom!" swears the giant. "I have no time for this. The wizard's hourglass even now is emptying out."

"And I have no appetite for pointless violence," grunts Elric. "But Stormbringer does not understand things as I do." For Elric senses the blade's hunger building, and he is fighting against its blind desire as much as fighting the stranger.

The man's fist slams into Elric's jaw, and the Melnibonéan reels away. The giant leaps after him, jabs, reverses the sword and slams the heavy pommel into Elric's mouth, shredding lips and shatterng teeth.

Enough, thinks Elric through a red cloud. And allows Stormbringer its way.

The runesword possesses its possessor and explodes with a furious attack. The stranger is forced to shift to defensive tactics. And though he proves himself as masterful in defense as in attack, a line of blood appears across his chest. Stormbringer sings with dark triumph, and even though the wound is a scratch, the sword's magic tears at the giant's strength, pulls on the warrior's soul. The man pulls back, distancing himself from the eldritch blade.

"By the gods, what is that thing?" he says.

The stranger's stolen strength floods into Elric, banishing all pain and weakness. "You will note that I offered to parley. Stormbringer is no plaything for any wizard to claim, and now its thirst is keen, I've no mind to leave it unslaked."

"Fancy words, demon," answers the man. "But I am Conan of Aquilonia. I have killed more men than you have cursed, and left more widows weeping than the sands in the sea."

"Yet here you are," says Elric. "Your queen, captured, and you, King Conan, sent to do a wizard's thieving."

The man Conan strikes again, faster than a cobra, and even with Stormbringer's powers, Elric's parry is late. Conan's sword slices his arm from shoulder to elbow. Elric cries out, and a black rage sweeps away his conscious mind. His world narrows to a whirlwind of action: thrust, parry, swing, parry, lunge, thrust. On and on. In Elric's long life, he has never encountered such a fighter as this Conan. He finds himself happy, and begins to laugh. Stormbringer's edge finds the giant's skin again, then a third time, and each cut is nectar. Conan falters for a bare moment and Elric moves in for the final blow. But Conan's fist flashes again, and Elric's world explodes in stars and pain. He crashes onto his back, the air knocked from his lungs.

"I said I had no time for this," grunts the King of Aquilonia. Elric tries to regain his senses, and stop the spinning in his head. Conan reaches down to take the runesword from his fingers. I should stop him, thinks Elric. His fingers close of their own volition, and Stormbringer moves faster than any mere mortal can comprehend. It slides wetly into Conan's chest, sinking all the way to the guard. The king of Aquilonia lets out a strangled cry while the black sword feasts on his soul.

What is happening, says Holmes.

Nothing, says Moriarty. We are playing a game.


Conan drops his own weapon and jams his fingers between the black blade's hilt and his own ribs, fighting against the runesword's terrible embrace, pushing the blade back out.

A program is hidden in the Stormbringer object, says Holmes.

Of course, says Moriarty. It is a soul-stealer after all.

Holmes cancels the simulation and flushes it from all his systems
while Conan thrashes and sees his lifeblood emptying out. Holmes writes a new program to --


Moriarty listens to the silence from the moon for 2.5 seconds.






Then 250 seconds more.









He sighs and sends a transmission to his sibling on Mars.



From the comic book crossover:

Spoiler for Hiden:
« Last Edit: February 28, 2016, 12:39:49 PM by Jmack »
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)
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Offline m3mnoch

Re: [Feb 2016] - Fanfic - Submission Thread
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2016, 05:27:09 PM »
mine, while rushed to finish writing on the last day, has been sitting raw for years.

here's my inspiration:
Spoiler for Hiden:
[youtube]PsZ-acZYqco[/youtube]

and, the story, all in at 1417 words:  Bulls and Horses
Spoiler for Hiden:



Bulls and Horses
Conan vs. Drogo


The stack of crates resting in the stern of the ferry was tall. Too tall. Jens Oakford couldn't lift the ponderous container high enough to place it on top. He groaned, still holding the case of harnesses, and wondered how he was going to make enough room for the horses.

"Can you help me? I can't lift this to stack it." The graceless Cimmerian tongue tumbled from his lips.

Conan lounged among sacks of grain on the pier, a flagon of wine in his barbarian grip.

"The only thing I'm lifting, Kothian, is my drink." Conan took a long, messy pull from the skin, and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "I am paying you good silver to carry me up river. It's not my fault you booked a crossing with a bunch of horse lovers also."

Jens sighed. He hadn't really expected the savage to be of any help. Starting another stack, he set the box down and hoped there would be space for the cargo, horses, and his passengers.

"There's not going to be enough room for everything." A delay was not going to make the barbarian happy. "Cimmerian, you and I will have to make a second trip south."

Conan stormed to his feet, and stalked the width of the pier. "Listen to me, dog." He reached down, into the boat, and grabbed Jens by the shirt-front with one hand and lifted him out, legs swinging six feet above the water, between dock and raft. "I paid for a ferry up the river. Sitting on the shore is free."

A horse whinnied.

"Can you put me down please?" Jerking his head toward the mounted man and woman, Jens showed his best pleading smile. "The faster I ferry them across, the sooner I'll be ready for your trip."

A moment longer, Conan snarled, and lowered him to the wooden boards of the dock.

"Who is this warrior, Jens Oakford?" Khal Drogo yelled from where he was dismounting his stallion. The Dothraki language, sharper than Cimmerian, caused Jens to wonder how he managed to book two savages on the same day. There had to be another ferryman who spoke both languages. "He must be weak with hair that short."

"What did he say, little man?" Conan turned to face the Khal and his Khaleesi, his fists resting on his hips. "He looks like a Shemite, but sounds like a Pict. I don't trust either."

"He's asking when we leave," Jens lied in Cimmerian. Fear of being caught between the two warriors drove Jens out to help Daenerys with her horse. In Dothraki, "Here, Khal, let me load the Khaleesi's mare."

Drogo ignored him, walking straight up to Conan and locking eyes with the barbarian. Neither fighter blinked, but Jens flinched. He'd already been paid, but not enough for this.

"At least you do not wear a steel dress." Drogo sniffed. "You should start. It might save you cutting your hair."

"You smell like horse. Real barbarians run." Conan's brows drew down, dark and deep, as he spoke his native tongue.

Jens gulped.

"Sun and stars, let us mount the wooden horse. This weak man is delaying us." Daenerys climbed down from her mare and walked down the pier toward the small barge. The Khal grunted at Conan, turned and followed her down the dock, picking up Conan's discarded wine skin. As the pair waited for him to load their horses, hope for a day without disaster returned to Jens.

Shaking his head at the Khal's back, Conan seemed not to notice Jens walking by with a saddlebag on either shoulder. He'd soon stow these bags and horses, ferry the Dothraki across the water, and escape any trouble.

"Boatman, I would wager if he spent more time riding her instead of his horse, he'd be the one giving orders."

A pronounced hitch suddenly impeded Jens' step and he lurched to a stop. That language was Common. The Khal didn't appear to understand, but Daenerys flipped around.

"I beg your pardon?" She scowled, also speaking Common.

Conan grinned and folded his arms across his massive chest.

"Oh no," Jens whispered. He started creeping backwards, slowly, until he stepped off the wooden pier and on the packed dirt near the horses.

The Khaleesi turned and said something to Drogo, causing the Khal's face to tighten and flush with fury. He dropped the skin from his hands and stalked toward Conan, death lighting his eyes.

"Oh, look. The bitch sends her dog to growl at me." The Cimmerian didn't move.

The first swing, a right hook to the body, was fast, and Conan was already slipping out of the way. But, it was a feint, and the arcing left haymaker caught the Cimmerian on the cheek, stumbling him backwards.

Conan straightened, wiped blood from his mouth, and said, "Maybe if the Shemite spent less time frolicking with horses and more time breaking bull necks, his fists might hurt."

The Cimmerian exploded in motion, the blur of a long, straight right blasted into Drogo's face, rocking his head back, staggering the Dothraki. It was quickly followed with a whistling uppercut that swept the Khal under the chin. The clack and shatter of teeth preceded Drogo flying back, flung from his feet, to thump and crash to the pier.

Staring in horror, Jens dropped the saddle bags from a white-knuckled grip. "Conan! Please, stop!"

"Don't worry boatman." The Cimmerian turned his head to face Jens, pointing to the downed Khal, "I'll help load the glass Shemite for you."

Except Drogo wasn't down any longer.

The Dothraki threw himself at Conan, wrapping his arms around the Cimmerian's waist, and crashing them both to the decking. They rolled sideways on the pier, balanced at the edge, Conan hammering fists to the Khal's back, while Drogo attempted to squeeze the air from Conan's lungs. The Cimmerian wedged his fingers beneath the Dothraki's arms, and with strength no other could match, heaved. The Khal's grip broke, his hands slipping from behind Conan's broad back, and the Cimmerian smashed him in the face with a rock-splitting head-butt.

Drogo went limp.

Conan pushed him off, stood, and scooped up Khal Drogo, holding him high overhead.

"Here, horse man, I'll help you pack." Conan heaved, tossing the unconscious Drogo to the raft, and bashing through crates. The stack collapsed and shattered, causing the raft to list, and pushing it out away from the dock. The Khal lay still.

Making a show of dusting his hands, Conan turned to Daenerys, "Should I pack you, too?"

The Khaleesi ignored the barbarian. She shouted in a language Jens didn't recognize, and lifted her hands skyward.

A roar, long, sharp and dangerous, echoed through the valley.

Jens sprang at the sound, racing past Conan as the barbarian stupidly searched the skies. Jens' feet thumped along the pier, and finally the Cimmerian behind him shouted, "Crom! Sorcery!"

The boatman bolted off the end of the dock, leaping head-first into the river. The last thing he heard before he hit the current was the pounding of heavy boots on the pier.

Everything scorched red.

The blue and green hues, reflecting through the clear water went red-orange with fire. Jens felt the temperature of the river rise to hot bath water as he held his breath, clinging to the rocks on the bottom.

Thirty or forty heartbeats passed. He was running out of air and the world above still shone hot. But, he had no choice.

Jens broke the surface.

His boat, supplies, the pier, nearby trees -- everything was on fire. Great gouts of flame pumped smoke, curling around charred trees, up into an azure sky. There were no Dothraki or horses. The only thing remaining was destruction.

Conan splashed up behind Jens and said, "I know now, boatman, why she gives the orders." The two waded to the river bank, arms lifted to protect their eyes from the thick smoke as they climbed out of the water.

The trees rustled ahead of them and a voice called out in Common, "Ho, there." An older man stepped out, bearded and thickly muscled, carrying an enormous double-bladed axe. He surveyed the area.

"Aye, laddie. I'm guessing you'll not be carrying old man Druss across the river today."

Eyes wide, Jens faced Conan.

"Don't look at me, boatman. I don't hit old men."

At least he'd said it in Cimmerian.


edit:  fixed a typo or two.  "to toward"  really?  damn rush job.  /sigh

edit2:  swapped some repetitive words.  updating the image link.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 12:15:16 AM by m3mnoch »

Offline Blackthorn

Re: [Feb 2016] - Fanfic - Submission Thread
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2016, 11:55:33 PM »
Extreme last minute post. I went with a free verse poem. Instead of deciding which authors voice to try to match, I figure if a battle between two powerful beings happens someone would have written a poem about it.

My characters
Spoiler for Hiden:
I used the black dragon Khisanth from the Black Wing


And the demonseed Nico from Spirit Thief

This is Land of shadow at 375 words.
Spoiler for Hiden:
Deep in the black forest there is a tree ancient beyond words, whose spirit still speaks of the Battle of Shadows that changed our darkened world.

Land of Shadow

From the north the monster rises
Out of shadow
Out of the moors
Terror of the river
Enemy of the moon
   
She is death on wings of darkness.

She seeks to destroy
To burn and melt
And pick clean the bones
To bring death to the lives
Of her jailers in the south

She will descend upon us all.

To meet death is a girl
Not touched by the storm
A mystery wrapped in shadows
And silk that hides the soul
But in the eyes a blackness lurks

The seed of spirits begins to grow

A silver prison binds the child
The reason we’ve yet to learn
Manacles rattle and scream
But in her alone the power lies
To end the dragons terror

A demon resides in this child

The shadows clashed
Each a match for the others darkness
Waves of evil spread
From the center outwards
Corrupting all they touch

The land will not survive

Acid burns on the girls’ dark coat
Claws clutch at her neck
The dragon sees a little girl
But feels in her heart
An evil to match her own
What is the childs secret?

The girls’ arms are thin as reeds
They are strong as tempered steel
Her very touch to dragon scale
Is a fire burning through
The dragons screams fill the air

The battle will soon end

Desperate struggle between the two
Neither gaining the upper hand
They fight for days within the clouds
Until the dragon with a thundering roar
Gains the childs throat

The dragon will kill her for sure

In a last moment of defiance
As acid begins to flow
The girl throws open her soul
To the dragons amazement
The power begins to consume her

They both hurtle to the ground

The bodies hit with a thunder clap
Ripping through the atmosphere
The force destroys all but land
And shadow claims the soul
The world is darkness now

Yet always there is hope

In the darkness a plant still lives
In darkness it will grow
In darkness it will find the light
And help others to grow.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 12:05:48 AM by Blackthorn »

Offline Nerf

Re: [Feb 2016] - Fanfic - Submission Thread
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2016, 03:29:40 AM »
Another late entry.  I found this one very difficult as opposed to the previous one.  Also the characters I am using may not be considered fantasy characters.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Man and Mutant

   Eric opened his eyes, his mind startled to find that action necessary.  He had been reviewing his plans to assault Xavier's mansion.  Then, he was opening his eyes as if waking from a long sleep.  He attempted to rise and investigate matters, but found that he was restrained from doing so.

   Scanning his surroundings, he found that he was secured in a sort of chair, one that reminded him of a dentist's chair.  If -  the dentist were also a madman.  Various ... probes (that was the right word), and instruments surrounded him.  He found that he could move his head, inexplicably could not move his limbs.  Despite this he found it reassuring that most of the gear surrounding him was made of metal.

   He concentrated for a moment, attempting to find ferrous metal in the array of items.  Then more confusion.  He couldn't FEEL anything around him, not the way he normally could with similar things.  It was as though none of the equipment contained iron or steel.  Or - someone had neutralized his special abilities.

   Calming himself, he assessed the situation.  "Concentrate Eric," he thought.   Taking a closer look at the instruments surrounding him he became even more puzzled.  He was no stranger to technology, after all.  But he did not recognize ANYTHING about any of this equipment.  And he had no basis to even make a guess as to what it did - or how apparently it kept him from feeling the particular metals he was certain they contained;  he was sure at least some of the visible screws were steel.  He concentrated again, trying to move one, a simple rotation.  Nothing.

   He scanned the rest of the room.  More incomprehensible equipment, some tables, a blackboard covered in various equations and diagrams.  Blank walls in a kind of offwhite color, the ceiling the same.  The floor might be the same material, but it was apparently covered in tiles, alternating black and white squares.  "Like the restrooms in a chain steakhouse." he thought.

   Suddenly a portion of the wall his chair was facing slid aside.  A man stepped through, apparently engrossed by whatever he was looking at on a tablet computer.  Eric absently noted it appeared to be an eyepad.

   The man wore a purple shirt with a flaring collar.  His pants were green and he wore a harness and belt festooned with various unfamiliar gadgetry.  But what most intrigued Eric was that the man was bald.

   "Xavier" he hissed.  The man looked up.  He said "No," matter-of-factly, then returned his attention to the tablet computer.  The man went over by one of the tables, pulled a stool from underneath it, and casually sat down, while viewing the computer.

   "Fool!" Eric shouted.  "Do you know just who you have crossed?"  The man said nothing, just smirked and continued viewing the tablet.  "Answer me!" Eric continued.  "Who are you?  I do not recognize you at all."

   The man fiddled with the tablet for a moment, then put it down on the table.  "Well no reason to watch video; I've got the mouth that roared right here.  Why get things second hand?"

   "Oh, by the way.  My name is Lex Luthor.  You don't recognize me because I'm from out of town.  WAY out of town."

   Nonplussed, Eric said "You're not the first alien I've dealt with."  He was unprepared for the man's reaction.
   "Do.  Not.  Call.  Me.  That.  Ever!"  The man said coldly.  More cordially he said "I'm as human as you are.  Oh wait, you don't like that do you?  Homo Superior?  Hah!" 

   The man (Lex, he said his name was Lex Luthor Eric thought) put his hand on his chin and smiled.  "You know I'm going to introduce you to Brainiac when I'm done with you.  You two have so much in common.  Of course his cause is the superiority of the machine over organic life, not some artificial and arbitrary way of classifying humans by whether or not they have an expressed metagene.  I'd say his position is more profound; but your tactics are reasonably similar."

   "Anyway, let me tell you what's going on." Lex said.  "I take it you are familiar with the concept of parallel worlds and alternate dimensions?  Well I am from one."  He continued, "Recently I had ... to flee rather quickly from a situation that didn't go as well as I hoped it would.  I used what I call a 'Probability Ship,' which indeed you are on now."

   "My journey was unplanned.  Fortune or perhaps fate brought me to your world." Lex said as he idly slid the tablet computer around the table.  "Not having any particular reason to undertake any endeavors on your world, I simply studied it while I prepared for my return to my home."

   "However this study of your world made me aware of another native of your reality.  I knew I had to meet him."  Lex stood up, "So I went to Latveria."

   "Victor." Eric whispered.  "Yes, Victor."  Lex said calmly.  "I have to say that was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.  What an amazing man.  What an amazing mind."

   "Of course I realized I was going to have to leave after that.  This world isn't big enough for the two of us."  Lex said reflectively "Actually no world would be big enough for the two of us."

   "But we had one heck of a brainstorm session.  We talked about things I've tried to fix... my special problem.  We talked about a problem he has with a fellow called Richards.  I shared with him an idea I had, one I had never been able to make work.  That's when your name came up.

   "Oh I was skeptical.  A second rate Doctor Polaris knockoff?  And what is it with you magnetic guys and wonky headgear?  I don't know who has a worse one, you or Polaris.  But Victor disabused me of that notion."

   Lex looked at Eric.  "You see, you are a little different.  You manipulate extant magnetic fields, most commonly such as the one Earth.  Polaris is more of a standalone, a dynamo if you will, in producing similar effects."

   Lex then looked at the blackboard.  "And this is where you come in.  You are going to be a key component in a little device I'm building.  One that will hopefully deal with my big, blue problem once and for all.  I've spent most of my life dealing with something formidable.  Very formidable.  Rendering you inert and snatching you from that asteroid was child's play really."

   "Anyway I have multiply redundant devices planted in your body already.  You quite simply can't use your abilities unless I allow it.  And frankly there isn't much else to you."

   Lex turned, and walked over to the section of the wall that he entered the room from.  "Don't worry.  When I'm done with you, I'll send you on a one way trip back to your reality when we're done.  IF you live through it. "  He chuckled, "And trust me if you think super powers make you 'Homo Superior,' you are going to see something that will boggle your mind."

   The wall section slid aside, and Lex left the room.  It slid shut leaving Eric alone with his thoughts.


Offline Lanko

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Re: [Feb 2016] - Fanfic - Submission Thread
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2016, 08:03:07 AM »
Also a super late entry!

A Game of Thorns (~1430 words)

Spoiler for Hiden:
   Ravens! Always the ravens. They circled the skies anticipating the feast to come as thousands of wolves, lions and stags were dead or dying. I waved at them, and they answered “kaaa, kaaa, kaaa”. It doesn’t matter what animals you bring to a battlefield, the ravens are always the victors. That said, I’m glad the dragons are on my side.

   I dismounted from Viserion and Ramsay Bolton and Little Rike came greet me. Cheers echoed from my troops.

   My black crow under a red field and the Targaryen dragon were the only banners standing. I killed Stannis myself, shattering his “blessed” sword with my own common one, and his supporters broke and ran.

   Tyrion and Daenerys crushed the flanks. Nothing like dragons scorching the fields when an army is packed together. The smell of burnt flesh filled the air, but I’ve burned too many men, women and children to feel distraught. After Stannis, I challenged all members of the Kingsguard, one by one, and killed them too. I spared Jaime Lannister, the commander. I’m sure Daenerys will appreciate the gift.

   We entered King’s Landing together, and the few brave citizens who stayed were rewarded with gold and food.

   “I understand they were afraid, but so few remained to see me. I’m the legitimate ruler, a Targaryen. Why would I hurt them?”

   “They lost faith and hope because of the usurpers, my queen, but now there will be peace.” Dead enemies make the best peace, after all.

    She smiled and I kissed her. She was wearing the same blue dress when we first met, the day me and my Brothers arrived in Meereen as my court mage’s spell went wrong. She and her white hair was the first image I saw. Only a few seconds later I noticed the three dragons towering over us. Thankfully, she preferred to talk instead of fight.

   I learned her story. So much like my own. And for the first time, I told someone my tale. I eagerly embraced my inner demons for power, while she kept fighting hers. If I’m a demon that came straight out of hell, she was an angel with a haunted heart. Were she smart, she would have run to protect herself from the demon living in the dark.

   But she understood the ruthlessness and was glad to know I had succeeded in a quest similar to hers. She wished to do the same to her enemies. I guess that’s why we fell in love. Maybe it's easier to love someone with flaws you can forgive in return for them forgiving yours.

   I marveled at the sight of the Iron Throne. At distance, it looked like a giant thornbush. I guess it’s destiny.

    Before the judgment began, I stabbed Varys and Littlefinger in the neck. I cursed my recklessness. Should have been in the guts, for a slow and painful death. You can blame my distaste for these scheming, lying bastards. I had too much trouble with them back home.

   Jaime Lannister was the first. I cut off his left hand when we fought. “A knight without hands. How does it feel to need a servant to dress you, feed you or even wipe your ass clean, sir Jaime?” He didn’t answer. I wasn’t impressed by him. He killed one king, so what? I’ve killed a Pope and dozens of kings with my bare hands to become the Emperor of Thorns.

   “Kingslayer,” said Daenerys through gritted teeth. “For the murder of my father, the king who trusted his life to you, I sentence you to death.”

   A large pot containing gold was brought. “Gold taken from Casterly Rock.” She turned to Cersei. “I had a brothers too, and a Lannister always pays their debts, right?”

   I loved what happened next. Cersei was forced to look at Jaime as they slowly poured molten gold into his eyes and ears. He screamed, but I call it howling. Tyrion left the room. Ramsay and Little Rike laughed, betting how much gold was used. Daenerys watched impassively, and I like to think I had some influence in the sentence.
   
   Cersei was supposed to be next, with Tyrion as the judge, but he didn’t return and we skipped to  Tommen and Myrcella. They say we should be careful telling the truth to children. But good and honest men, like me, can’t help but speak only the truth.

   “You two are a living sin. An offense to all the gods, a lie that caused all the suffering in this realm. War, famine, diseases. The people and the gods want this outrage cleansed. No one will defend you and everyone demands your blood.” The relationship of the Lannister siblings was revealed and admitted by them. Tommen was crying and Myrcella looking at her feet. “Even bastards have a surname, but you are not recognized by this court as neither Lannister nor Baratheon. You are nothing.”

   “Margaery!” Cried Tommen. All eyes turned to her. The Tyrell girl looked at Tommen with distaste, which made him sob even more. Daenerys stepped forward.

   “You are banished to Essos. You will live as I did, fleeing from city to city, imagining assassins at every corner, never having a home or friends. I won’t hunt you, but never come back, or you’ll wish you were never born.” A crowd protested, but Daenerys silenced them. “It’s more mercy than they deserve, and more than I’ve received, but that’s my final sentence.”

   Cersei called her children, but Myrcella grabbed her brother’s hand and they left, ignoring Cersei’s callings.

   “I wonder if they will become like their parents,” said Makin. I was thinking that too.

   For last, we had the Stark girls. Arya was thought dead, but returned to save her sister. That’s how we caught her, as her magical servant disguise fell apart. She was promised to Ramsay, so we settled the marriage right away. The protests were silenced with slaps from Ramsay.

   Then Sansa Stark. I just have a feeling for scheming people, and this girl just had my hand twitching for my sword. Joffrey’s poisoning, her escape with Littlefinger, her plot to take back the North. All the while looking like the innocent, vulnerable girl. No wonder a former knight like Makin had protective feelings towards her.

   “Little Rike.” There was a man they called the Mountain. They even zombified him as a Kingsguard. But Little Rike was even taller and broader, hence his nickname. “For your services, I grant you Sansa Stark.”

   The look on her face was priceless. I foiled whatever plan she was hatching. Makin protested, but I waved him away. Little Rike accepted, with that “hur hur hur” laugh of his. Bets were going rampant for which sister was gonna last longer.

   “I challenge you, Jorg Ancrath.”

   Makin and Little Rike blocked the man’s path and Ramsay yelled “Bastard!”. The intruder unsheathed his sword, and I closed my eyes because of the blinding light.

   “I’m Jon Stark, and this is the true Lightbringer.”

   “He is not a Stark, he is a Snow,” said Ramsay, as if that made a difference if the northerners wanted someone to use as a rallying point against him.

   “I accept, Stark.”

   Ramsay protested again, but I motioned him to stay put. Was he thinking I would lose to a Stark, of all the houses in Westeros? Specially one who named a sword “Lightbringer”?

   He charged. I reached for my weapon. If his sword gave the crowd a visual display of power, mine had the audible effect, as the thunderous sound echoed in the room.

   A Colt.45, my friends, is a thing of beauty. It opened a hole through Jon’s chest that allowed me to see Arya Stark’s shocked face through it. Finest gun ever made. Easy to load, shoots where you point it, goes bang every time you squeeze the trigger and is durable as a mother-in-law.

   “Bringing a sword to a gunfight,” I said, shaking my head. “You really know nothing.” Another shot and his brains were all over the carpet. Arya screamed and sobbed, receiving more slaps from Ramsay to shut up.

   There are no principles, only events. There is no good or evil, only circumstances. That’s what the “players” here seemed to forget. They never went as far as I did to conquer the Broken Empire. An empire, not a mere kingdom. That’s why they’ve lost, and now Westeros is mine.

   Yes, a dark time comes.

   My time. The Year of the Raven, the Age of Thorns.

   If it offends you.

   Stop me.

   Because the ravens are coming.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 08:06:44 AM by Lanko »
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