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Ruins  
folder icon   08-26-2004, 04:02 PM
Ruins Post #1
Ultra_punk

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Ruins

Chapter 1 Wind
The wind blew but Akili did not bend. Like a statue, he waited. The sweat on his body lay still as his muscles. The rifle in his hands mocked him, in its uselessness, locked forward and shouldered but pointed at nothing. Akili could not move and did not move.

A low pitch buzzing resonated from his right ear to his left. Finally, the hovering machine of death that kept him still moved to the front of his face. The deadly work of metal had no eyes, but Akili could feel it look him over. Fear gripped Akili’s mind but he knew to lay still. The small floating machine became disinterested and moved on.

Not until sixty seconds passed, counted in Akili’s mind, did he let out a breath. A great sigh of relief escaped his mouth, before he broke his rigid form. He let the rifle drop from its readied position and loosened the vest of armour he wore. It was a moment Akili would not forget, but one where he knew he had achieved great success.

“You have learned well,” Kael said, placing his hand on Akili’s shoulder. “Others should hope to achieve the skill you have in twice the time. I will let you traverse the Ruins by yourself.”

Akili could not stop himself from smiling, having his mentor exclaim at his abilities to have learned the concept of “no-fighting”. Thoughts of all the missions he could undertake, deeper in the Ruins of Humanity, bypassing the alien forces, raced through his mind.

“Come, it is dangerous, even so close to our fighter cell. You shall have a talk with our elder,” Kael continued, leading him back through the broken shards of metal and stone that had once been proud buildings, soaring into the sky hundreds of metres.

Akili crawled through the tight tunnels woven into the piles of debris, ducked from broken vehicle to scattered debris across the open street ways and through the halls of deserted structures. It was only a few hundred metres, but the two dashed through the Ruins like they were chased by an alerted alien hunting pack. It was their life; brutal, desperate and perilous.

Kael stood guard at the fighter cell entrance and let Akili enter first. It was a tight hole, covered by several pieces of burnt sheet metal. None would have known that a fighter cell existed within that damp dark recess in the cellar of a hundred metre high building. None, except for those who belonged to the tight group of humans that called it home. Akili lifted the pieces of debris and dropped into the dark hole.

Garbage softened his fall but not his sense of smell. Akili had learned to ignore the stench of human waste over the years of his life. As he travelled deep within, the tunnel became constricted before he came upon multiple entrances. Only one was the correct path, the others were laid with traps. Knowledge was the only key to this puzzle.

Akili pushed himself through one hole and emerged into a vastly different world. Electrical lights illuminated his eyes. Heavy machinery hummed as fighters built tools, clothing and weapons. Cooked food lay on tables, ready to be consumed by hungry warriors.

“Go, speak now with the elder. I see you have a seed of importance within you,” Kael whispered.

Akili turned, but he did not know what his mentor meant. Perhaps, the great warrior believed him to be a great asset in the war against the aliens. One day, his “no-fighting” may become great enough so that he could penetrate deeply within the alien lands and discover their source of power. That would be worth ten thousand warriors’ blood on the battlefield.

For now, Akili would speak with the elder. He traversed through the catacomb of the fighter cell deep in thought. His body broke through the hot waves emanating from the machinery. His ears ignored the buzz of human activity. He let his physical senses rest but set his mind running.

Saidi, the cell elder, welcomed him into his dark room. Akili brushed past the cloth barrier that separated his room from the rest of the cell. Candles were lit along the side, giving a soft illumination. The room held books, wood crafted furniture and many pieces of woven items. It was a stark contrast to the fragments of modern technology that filled the rest of the cell.

“You are now twenty years of age Akili,” Saidi stated in his venerable old voice.

Akili nodded first but added, “My mentor has praised me in my ‘no-fighting’ skills, elder.”

Saidi acknowledged him with a long slow but thoughtful grunt. “There was a time when humans roamed freely across this planet. There was a time when Humanity once knew the name of this world, a time when we knew of this galaxy. There was a time when we lived in magnificent cities, spanning every inch of the world. Buildings that soared hundreds of metres into the air, people that flocked the streets, birds that sang in the morning. That time has passed.
“Humanity lives on, scattered across the wind and the world, living in these cells. None are larger than a few dozen. They come and ago without a sense of continuity. We live amongst the Ruins of Humanity without rebuilding a single structure. We cower before the aliens that infest the lands, scour the sky and plague the seas.”

Akili nodded in sombre acceptance of the world Saidi described. It was a dream, a dream of a child, of living in a world without the Ruins to call home and no aliens to threaten your life. There was a war, and these hardships had to be accepted.

“We live in a violent and perilous world, elder. These hardships we accept in childhood, and in adult life we train our warrior selves to combat the aliens. It is how it always is,” Akili responded.

Saidi’s sharp eyes locked onto Akili. There was something that flashed in the elder’s mind, but Akili was only taken aback by the penetrating gaze that looked into his heart and his mind.

“I see within you something special. You joined our fighter cell upon birth. You work labouringly in our machine shops. Now, Kael has taught you the concept of ‘no-fighting’,” Saidi paused for a moment, deep in thought. “Your friend Ajax is a warrior with no skill in ‘no-fighting’, but he will be leading a squad of soldiers that will meet with other cell forces tomorrow. Accompany him, join tomorrow’s battle against the aliens.”

“But, my elder, are my ‘no-fighting’ skills not wasted with warriors using ‘fighting’ skills?” Akili questioned, confused at the elder’s decision.

“I offered you my advice for your next actions,” Saidi replied.

“Why will I fight a battle with skills that I learned in my childhood and not those in my adult life?” Akili replied.

The elder, smiled but did not bulk at his questioning, “I see that you need to realize the power of ‘no-fighting’. Learning it is only one part. Knowing why you learn it is another.”

“Very well, elder,” Akili said.

As Akili stepped out from the room, he was confronted by Ajax immediately. The man had a large smile on his face, and eyes that shone with curiosity. It was already obvious what the man wanted before he spoke.

“I’ve got to watch over you tomorrow,” Akili said to Ajax.

“Bullshit! What did the elder really say to you? I heard you learned ‘no-fighting’ technique. What’s that like?” Ajax asked, jumbling his words by speaking too quickly.

“I’ll be going with you on your mission to hit that suspected alien gathering point,” Akili replied.

“Alright, fine but don’t get in my way,” Ajax winked as he said the words. The two walked toward the cafeteria, speaking softly despite the loud noise of hard labour. “Kael taught you ‘no-fighting’ fairly quickly, eh?”

The two sat on a metal bench, and picked a bowl of food each at random. Nothing tasted particularly well, so it did not matter which questionably coloured objects they chose.

“It is the most disciplined technique ever, I only hope to be half as good as the warrior Kael,” Akili said.

Ajax laughed his choice of words, slapping Akili on the shoulder. He ate loudly, as he spoke of his day’s achievements. There was a small battle on the outskirts of what was labelled cell territory. There were no actual markers for boundary, of course, but it was based upon what the soldiers deemed too dangerous to travel without a cohesive force or men who have learned ‘no-fighting’.

The battle described by Ajax was desperate, heroic and important to the cell’s survival. He had four other soldiers and rocket man to face a partitioned squad of alien heat hunters. They took no care to mask their body heat, for none knew the techniques of ‘no-fighting’ but instead used bullets. One man earned a laceration down his leg, a scar to remind him of the battle forever, but beyond that, Ajax came back to the cell with a resounding success; fifteen dead aliens and not a single loss. The value of human life was not lost on anyone in the world in these times.

“The greatest moment of my life was standing up and firing twenty rounds into one of those alien beasts. They had it coming, venturing so close to our cell. They don’t understand human language, but they sure as hell understand metal bullets,” Ajax joked, and laughed at his own joke.

“Careful, you might choke on that slop if you laugh too hard,” Akili said. Suddenly, at the corner of his eye he caught sight of Siran, the most beautiful woman Akili had ever seen, but never had the courage to express his feelings. There was a war, and more important things to contend with, than the chasing of a mere fleeting feeling of lust. Still, Siran did not need to hear the words to know how Akili felt.

“How was your day?” Siran said, stepping over to the dinner table.

“Oh,” Akili stammered, “good, it was good.”

“I heard Kael has approved of your ‘no-fighting’ technique,” Siran replied.

Without prior thought, Akili said, “Maybe we can both venture out together as a team, as beginners in ‘no-fighting’ skills.”

“I’d like that,” Siran said, smiling at the comment. After a few more words, she left Akili to his dinner.

Ajax would not let Akili go without a few insults but one thought clouded their mind. It was the dreading before a major battle the next day. No one wanted war, but war could not be avoided with the aliens. They retired for the night, to earn a restless sleep.

Chapter 2 Red Horizon

A sharp stone crunched underneath of Ajax’s boot, but his foot continued to the ground breaking the brick in half. He snorted, after he caught sight of other human warriors approaching his position. Out of unseen holes, and dark tunnels set in the mountainous debris that besieged them, they came. There were a dozen and half young, brave men standing around Ajax.

“Did you get any rest last night?” Ajax asked in a whispering voice.

“I couldn’t sleep,” Akili said. His body was strained, brought to its edge for this battle.

Ajax turned to the gathered warriors. Expressionless gazes met with expressionless faces. The barren and broken landscape that flowed about them mirrored their appearance.

“We’ve come together to attack an alien point of control. It’s an apartment building but a single wall is missing, which is where we will strike,” Ajax explained. He continued with his battle plan for another minute before sending the other soldiers off into the distance. Ajax would lead a group to strike the target dead on, while the others would protect his flanks.

Ajax guided them forward, every soldier stepping in line. They entered a dark alley way, only two men wide. Broken steel beams hung over head casting even deeper shadows in the morning light. The soldiers were alert, ready for any attack at any moment.

The apartment stood out in front abruptly as they exited the alley. Debris lined the front creating a ramp to the interior of the apartment. No wall blocked their path. Quickly, Ajax assembled the soldiers at the base of the hill behind a low wall.

They waited for the aliens to come. Akili could hear his breathing as he lay on the ground rifle out in front. The apartment was bare. No furniture or fixtures could be seen. Only an endless pile of bricks greeted him.

Suddenly, the hissing of beasts exited the structure. They were heat hunters, beasts the size of a human, travelled on four legs and claws that could tear apart a man in seconds. A single pack stepped outside. Its leader swept its yellow eyes across the street looking for humans.

Ajax flicked his hand, and a man stood with a rocket launcher ready on his shoulder. A calm expression remained on the soldier’s face as he pressed the trigger and let the rocket fly.

An explosion ripped through the apartment sending shards of concrete flying outward. A great cloud of dust engulfed the dead enemies and blinded Akili’s vision. Howling and hissing grew before a wave of aliens advanced on the soldiers.

In unison, the human warriors opened fire. Akili pressed the trigger on his rifle and watched as bullets break open the alien bodies, staining the stone with yellow blood. Shells fell from his rifle with an all too familiar metallic ring as they hit the ground.

A scream turned Akili’s head to the side as he saw a man sliced open by a heat hunter. Akili let loose a flurry of bullets into the beast, ending its life quickly. More beasts advanced on the body but Akili could only fire so many rounds.

One heat hunter picked up a grenade from the soldier’s body but a soldier rushed forward to grab hold of the alien’s arms. They struggled with one another but the beast overpowered the man. Claws tore apart his chest and his face, but he grabbed hold of the grenade and pulled off the pin. The alien continued to kill the man until the grenade finally detonated. Akili took cover from the shrapnel, but he still caught sight of the flying body parts.

Akili waited only a second more before standing up. He took in the sight of one beast and pressed his trigger. Bullets smashed the carapace and let flow the yellow blood within. He let go of the trigger only when the creature lay still on the ground.

Alien bodies, numbering in the dozens, lined the small battlefield. It seemed victory had been achieved but the buzzing sound of hovering machines echoed through the stale air. Out of the shattered form of an apartment, over a dozen motion hunters appeared. The deadly spherical machines hovered in the air for only a second before racing down the slope of debris.

A rocket struck the middle of their charge, smashing half the machines in a single blow, but it was not enough to blunt their charge. Without warning, a single soldier rushed onto the battlefield screaming. He fired off two bursts before the entire group of machines turned their weapons on him. A painful scream broke Akili’s ears as the man was eviscerated by the alien cutting beams.

No soldier held back, and fired everything they could at the motion hunters. Bullets smashed the metal armour and sent electrical sparks flying. Several explosions flashed before Akili’s eyes, but he focused his attention on a single alien machine. He let his rifle travel in unison with the object’s movements. As the orb dipped, his rifle was lowered, as the orb rose, his rifle was raised. Akili fired a burst of machine gun, only to have his bullets slam against a wall. He fired another burst, but it travelled into the morning blue sky. Finally, he fired a third burst, hitting his target directly. The motion hunter exploded with a shower of electrical sparks.

A sense flared in Akili’s mind and he turned around to smash the butt of his rifle into a motion hunter. He fell to the ground from the force of the impact, but it gave him time to fire back. Several bullets rammed into the machine’s armour sending it down to the ground.

Ajax stood over him and extended a hand. Akili looked to a groan to see a man in their group with his legs cut off. Behind, a soldier was using CPR to revive a man. Akili shook his head.

“A heavy cost,” Akili let out in a low voice, but the battle was over.

“Let’s see our reward,” Ajax said. He pushed his unit up the hill of debris, still in combat formation and readiness. They entered the apartment where he exclaimed, “fantastic!” loud enough for even the soldiers outside to hear.

Akili looked for the prize himself that they earned for their victory in the battle. He stepped on the creaking floor boards and look into the mess of the deserted apartment. Inside growing was a large patch of weeds. They were the kind of plants that could be used for the food everyone in his cell lovingly called slop.

The warriors in the battle divided the cache of food and returned to their respective cells. The dead were left were they lay but the injured were carried back. Akili and Ajax travelled directly to the elder after the battle.

Akili spoke first, “We lost six soldiers and two were critically injured. One was in our cell. He lost his legs.”

Ajax reported second, “We’ve gained a cache of food worth at least two weeks. We also managed to kill over forty aliens.”

“Very well,” Saidi said without any inference to his opinion of the matter.

Ajax nodded, “The resources gained are well suited for the losses we have taken. I will speak to the injured man so he knows that his sacrifice will be well served and forever remembered.”

Saidi let him take his leave but Akili was held back by his hand.

“You have something to say in private, speak now,” Saidi stated. There was no question only a statement.

“We lost six soldiers in that battle! Those are irreplaceable,” Akili said.

“Then the battle should not have been fought?” Saidi asked.

“It was far too risky. Human life is the most valuable thing we have,” Akili answered.

Saidi continued to stare at Akili with his penetrating gaze. Silence pushed Akili to speak more.

“Ajax values human life, but we lost so much,” Akili continued.

“You believe that we could achieve two weeks of food supply and forty dead aliens on a single excursion without casualties?” Saidi asked calmly.

“Well, no,” Akili responded in a defeated tone.

Saidi nodded to his response, but he changed the topic, “Why do you believe I advised you to accompany Ajax in this mission?”

“I know not, elder,” Akili said.

An almost annoyed grunt escaped his mouth, a display of disapproval which Akili had never seen in his life. Akili knew he had to rethink his response and his knowledge.

“You wished me to learn about war, then?” Akili asked breaking the silence that had followed Saidi’s angered response.

“Then what did you learn?” Saidi questioned, calmly again.

“There are casualties but there are gains. We lost six men but killed forty aliens and gained two weeks of food,” Akili answered but he thought for some time more, “We’re pushing for our freedom from the aliens.”

“Very well,” Saidi answered again in that tone that did not reveal whether he believed you right or wrong. “Continue your training with Kael tomorrow, for I have no advice for actions to take for your wisdom.”

Akili nodded and left the room, somewhat more confused than when he had entered.

Chapter 3 Darkness

Akili’s legs were stretched to their limit, spanning the entire length of air between the two walls they pressed against. His muscles laboured to maintain his several metre distance off of the ground. A slow breath slipped from his mouth as he reaffirmed his position. One hand grasped his rifle, the other his ammo clip. His eyes were closed but his mind focused. He echoed the words of Kael in his mind.

“You have learned the first step of ‘no-fighting’ in your first dangerous, but necessary test. The concept of ‘no-fighting’ extends beyond that of mere avoiding of detection. There is a grand fundamental difference between ‘no-fighting’ and ‘fighting’ that all students must learn, and you are my brightest,” Kael explained.

“Well, I’m your only student,” Akili interjected but his voice was quickly overrode by his mentor.

“Good, look for flaws in my words,” Kael smiled. “This will be your next test, but I will not be as close as in the first to assist you. You will learn, or you will die. Gain knowledge, or you will be overrun. Do not merely listen to my words, realize the essence of ‘no-fighting’ in this world.”

Akili opened his eyes, breaking his thoughts, and looked down the narrow path that he guarded. His legs were strained, but he kept his rigid posture. Steam rose off the hot metal of the walls in this industrial district. The factories that Akili guarded had once produced many great things, but now no one remembers the purpose of the dusty machinery inside.

A great beast stepped into his view. It snarled and grunted, making noise to sound its approach. This was a foolish alien, untrained and too young to be this close to a human fighter cell. Still, Akili counted himself lucky that this test did not involve any more peril than he could not handle with mere ‘fighting’ skills.

Suddenly, one of Akili’s feet threatened to slide down the bricks, scratching against the red wall to give away his position. Akili breathed deeply but silently and put forth even more strength into his legs. He delved back into his thoughts again to remember Kael’s lesson.

“When it is dark, fear to make noise. The great beasts that are sound hunters liken to the shadowy alleys, unlit rooms and the cover of night. Do not think that mere silence will avoid such beasts, they are more cunning than others. They know the shape of humans, the touch of humans and if they are close enough, the smell of humans. Let not one close to you, or you shall quickly find yourself dead,” Kael stated.

“You must learn silence in all its forms, even in movement. Stillness does not affirm survival. Fluidity and formlessness affirms survival,” Kael continued.

Akili shifted uncomfortably in front of him before asking, “What kind of movement?”

“You must act silently with the agility that one finds in the noisiest fighter,” Kael replied.

Sniffing and snorting, the beast was right underneath Akili now, breaking him away from his thoughts once again. This was the moment of truth for Akili. Slowly, he brought each hand close to his chest. With swift but constant motion, he placed his clip into his rifle. The ammunition slipped into the opening of the rifle, locking in without noise. One hand grasped the opening at the top of his rifle, blocking any escape of empty shells. Quietly, he cocked the rifle and a shell slipped into his hand.

He peered down at the beast, confused at his location. It could smell him, but it couldn’t hear him. The alien reached out its arms, but Akili was an inch too far from its grasp. Akili placed the empty shell in his pocket and shouldered his rifle. He bent himself at his abdomen to bring his head below his legs. The rifle in his hands pointed directly at the alien’s head. His finger was held softly on the trigger.

“Why does one learn ‘fighting’ and one learn ‘no-fighting’?” Kael asked, but Akili knew it was rhetorical. “The fundamental difference is in the goal one hopes to achieve with each skill. The technique of ‘no-fighting’ does not entitle you the honour of kills, or the rewards of smashing enemy positions. In its essence, it is about survival, the survival of human life. The most valuable object on this broken and torn world is human life. Without it, this planet is worth nothing.”

“Then what is fighting?” Akili asked.

Kael was pleased to hear his question, “Fighting is the skill that many warriors learn, but none truly master. ‘Fighting’ is to inflict damage upon the enemy. For warriors, to learn ‘fighting’ is to learn to destroy your enemy in its entirety. You learn to inflict maximum damage on your foes.”

Akili’s finger slipped out of the trigger and he took his aim off the beast that snorted noisily below him. The creature picked up a piece of trash, threw it against the wall and then ran off into the distance.

The tightness in Akili’s chest disappeared. He loosened his legs and led himself slide down the walls. With his rifle ready once more, he rushed out of the dark alley way. No aliens threatened his retreat back to his mentor.

“You have learned well,” Kael said, as Akili stepped up to him.

“If I did not learn I would be dead, mentor,” Akili replied.

Chapter 4 Reaction

The hard scrap provided little comfort as a bed, causing Akili to twist and turn on it. He rarely earned rest that soothed his muscles and ended the aching of a hard labour. His futile efforts in attaining sleep were ended quickly by a hand grabbing his arm.

“It’s a chase,” Ajax said in his hurried voice.

Akili jumped out of bed and grabbed hold of his equipment immediately. His senses returned to him and his mind cleared as his hands methodically strapped armaments to his body. When he finally gripped a rifle in his hands, he stepped to the waiting group of soldiers at the cell’s exit.

“One of the groups returning said they were seen by an alien when entering our cell. We can’t take any risks. We have to send every fighter out there now to stop that alien,” Ajax explained to the soldiers. The warriors waited for no more words as they filed out of the cell.

Siran walked past Akili but he stopped her with one hand. “Your armour vest is unclipped here,” Akili said as his hands snapped a belt into place on her chest. She smiled back at him but quickly left his reach. Ajax extended a hand holding a pistol to her before she left the cell.

Akili nodded to Ajax and they left the cell together. The bright sun sitting on the horizon brought a wakening light into Akili’s eyes as he lifted himself out of the cellar. A halo clouded his vision of the glistening grey landscape.

With a final check of his equipment, Akili ran down the street already trailing far behind Ajax. Gunfire ripped open in the distance as small staccato bursts that reverberated down the street. The sound echoed off the walls of the shattered structures. Soldiers shouted orders and fired rounds but that was not to be Akili’s place.

His eyes scanned the street but a single office building caught his eye. The roof was missing, as was the entire top half of the deserted structure, but it was high enough to provide a perfect vantage point. Akili’s feet shuffled up the dirty stairs, avoiding the pitfalls and shards of glass on the ground. At the top most level, he kneeled down and used the scope of his rifle to peer into the unfolding battle.

Muzzle flashes caught his eye and Akili could see humans desperately chasing a motion hunter. Akili took aim and fired a burst of bullets at the machine. They soared toward the alien but never touched its body. The motion hunter swirled about, dodging his bullets but never cared to avoid the machinegun fire of the other human warriors.

Far in front of Akili’s building was another broken office tower. Two soldiers hugged its wall as cover as motion hunters on the other side had stopped to fight the human warriors. The threat of discovery disappeared, but now they had a battle on their hands.

The leading soldier peered across the wall drawing the attention of the motion hunters. Akili put his rifle into action, downing as many of the machines as he could. The other human tried desperately to stop the advancing wave of machines but they still overwhelmed him.

Akili could see the man torn apart by the motion hunters, leaving blood that stained the walls and the ground. The other human warrior brought her rifle to bear and fired rapidly at the motion hunters. Akili’s heart stopped and he stood as he saw it was Siran. He pressed hard on his trigger, watching the rounds from his rifle strike the walls with clouds of dust and hearing the sound of empty shells ring across the floor beneath.

A low humming noise travelled up the stairs of the office building that Akili hid within but he cared little as he let loose his entire clip. A single motion hunter escaped his wrath. Siran marginally dodged its cutting beam but was sliced across her shoulder. A grimace flashed across her face for an instant but her mind was still focused. Her hands swiftly brought her rifle to bear on the machine and fired. Taking only several rounds the motion hunter exploded.

Suddenly, Akili could hear the humming directly behind him and he knew there was a motion hunter no less than two metres away. It was ready to strike him, but he became as still as a statue at once. Akili was still, waiting patiently for the motion hunter to move on. Without warning, Ajax’s voice shouted from down the stairs.

The motion hunter turned about instantly, escaping Ajax’s rushed bullets. Akili swung his body around and pressed hard on his rifle’s trigger but no bullets came out. His clip was empty. The motion hunter confused at the two motions paused for a moment. Akili brought out his pistol and fired a round directly into the heart of the machine. It bounced off its armour without noticeable damage caused but Ajax finished it off with another flurry of bullets.

“We took care of the machines,” Ajax said, kicking the defeated machine into the wall.

Akili nodded and the two walked out of the building to meet up with the rest of the soldiers. “We lost another soldier,” Akili whispered quietly to Ajax.

“This war will cost us more lives before it’s over with,” Ajax responded.

The cell’s fighters gathered about in the street and they discussed the battle. Ajax reprimanded soldiers for their lack of discipline, and failure of skill, highlighting the death of a soldier. Medically minded personnel cared to the small wounds suffered in the battle. The men counted their ammunition before heading back to the cell.

“Wait, Siran,” Akili said. She turned to face him, but it was the bandage across her shoulder that Akili’s eyes drifted toward. “You’ve trained in ‘no-fighting’, you should come to use it.”
“Oh?” Siran replied.

He held out his hand, “Come, let’s go out on an excursion.”

The two ran through the catacomb of the Ruins, leaving the fighters to return home with victory of a battle. Aliens were unseen and unheard for their journey, deep into alien lands. They came upon a deserted sky scraper, towering into the sky, mostly intact. Its windows had been long destroyed, its beauty long been covered in dust and debris, but Akili could picture as it once had been. It was a tall colourful structure, a spire amongst the smaller buildings in the Ruins.

Akili stepped into the foyer, his feet crunching the stone and glass that littered the floor. He paused, hearing the sound echo in the empty building. Siran waited behind for his next move. Finally, he walked once more but without noise. Siran followed closely, stepping lightly as he was.

It felt like hard labour itself, as they moved upward in the building. When they finally reached the top floor, their work was belittled by the view. The wind was strong, forcing dust into their faces, but they could look upon the Ruins like they had never done before in their childhood. They were deep in perilous lands, a place far from their cell where aliens roamed freely and uncontested.

The broken top of each building was fully realized as Akili looked outward to see an entire city of shattered structures. It was a sea of destruction, leaving only the foundation behind. The Ruins of Humanity held no end, no stop to its continuity. It was like the elder Saidi had once said to him in his childhood. The Ruins were endless, spanning the entire surface of the world.

“Humans have lost much knowledge, and all of our history. We do not know how we had come to this point and we do not remember the height of our civilization. These Ruins we live amongst are but simple evidence to the society we had once lived within. We may not be able to travel far from our cells, and each cell knows only a little space of the Ruins, but I know that the Ruins of Humanity are endless. They flow with continuity across the world, without end and without scarcity. No earth can be seen bare, but covered with the grey concrete and stone that we humans had built these cities,” Saidi explained.

“What happened to us?” Akili questioned.

“We have lost our knowledge of even our collapse of society. Now, we only know that aliens infest this world and that you must learn to survive here,” Saidi replied.

“How did the humans live in the past? What did they eat? Where did they grow their food? What toys did they play with?” young Akili asked with the inquisitiveness of the child that he was.

“We do not know,” Saidi replied calmly without break in his tone of voice.

Finally, thought Akili asked a question which Saidi held an answer, “Where am I from?”

“Ah, young Akili, we found you in the streets. We took you in as a new born child. Your parents were unknown, but in a perilous world such as this, if they left you alone, they must have died.”

It was a blunt answer to the question, a clear answer that carried a message of pain, but Akili accepted it. There was little else to accept, except that his parents perished in the Ruins.

Siran’s hand grasped Akili shoulder and he turned to her beautiful face. Her long flowing brown hair was caught in the wind, soaring upward. She squinted her eyes to the dust, but her dark eyes could not be mistaken in the mist.

“I have never seen the Ruins here, as a whole,” Siran said.

“Neither have I,” Akili replied, looking back to the landscape of past turmoil.

Their concentration shifted rapidly as the sound of an alien beast echoed from outside their room. It snorted, as if alerted by the presence of humans. Akili turned his head and stopped in his sudden motion. It was a motion hunter, but a beast instead of a machine.

“Don’t move,” Akili mouthed to Siran. Her body became rigid, but her eyes with fear.

Fear built in Akili as well, but his mind sharpened to the movements of the creature. It stepped into their room, attracted by their original movements. Its feet clamoured about without care to the noise it made with each step. Glass and concrete shards shifted noisily under the alien’s feet. Finally, it came to stand directly in front of Siran. With its claws it grasped at Siran’s legs.

Her mouth shifted slightly in fear, but Akili mouthed his words again to her. Even the slight movement of her lips caught the beast’s attention and his claws found their way to her face. She closed her eyes as it grappled at her soft skin. It did not cut her but it was not a light touch. Tears streamed from her eyes as the beast sniffing her body, holding her at different places. Finally, the alien found nothing of interest and left. Luckily, the blow of the wind moving her hair did not attract its attention.

“We survived,” Akili said to her, stepping close to her.

She wiped the tears from her face and recomposed herself. “Let’s go back,” she said softly. Akili offered no protest. One near encounter on an excursion for anyone was enough to send them running back to a cell.

__________________

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folder icon   08-26-2004, 04:02 PM
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Ultra_punk

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Chapter 5 Fires

The warmth of home brought comfort to Akili and Siran as they re-entered the base. Their excursion did not pass by unnoticed. Saidi immediately called Akili to his room and the machine shops called to Siran. Life was rough; everything they owned was built from sweat and labour. Nothing was given to humans freely.

Akili walked by the endless labour smelling the sweat and toil of the other cell members. Machines hummed, and the rattle of metal could be heard endlessly. The disorganized work flowing through the different rooms defied logic in its continuous function. Their cell was weak, filled with only several dozen fighters and besieged by countless aliens. There was little that existed to stop the aliens, but Akili’s cell continued to survive the years.

“Come, sit,” Saidi said as Akili stepped into the ill-lit room. There was a stone set at the other side of the room but Akili had never sat in it to talk to Saidi before. It was meant only for adults to use when speaking with the elder.

Akili rested on the cool stone. He let energy flow back into his limbs and relieve the soreness. In silence, the two sat, waiting.

“Kael tells me you are progressing well in your ‘no-fighting’ technique,” Saidi said. The elder took a deep breath and looked Akili in the soul with his piercing eyes. Wisdom flowed in the elder’s face, carefully calculating everything he could see of Akili.

Akili’s feet shuffled in his lack of response. Laughing and giggling passed by the elder’s room as two children playing ran through the cell. A smile slipped upon the warrior’s lips.

“Soon, the fighters in the cell will teach those two the use of a handgun,” Saidi stated. Akili nodded, realizing they were almost ten years of age.

“It is a cycle,” Akili said. “They will take our place when we are gone.”

“Oh?” Saidi replied in an inquisitive manner. Akili could feel the elder wished to converse slowly, spreading his wisdom over time. They had done this many times before and Akili had come to appreciate every second with the elder.

“One day, Ajax will not be so fortunate in his risky battles despite his ‘fighting’ skills. On another sun rise, my skill will evade my grasp and the cell will find need of replacing me. This war will not be over without its casualties,” Akili explained but he paused before adding, “Not without its sacrifices.”

Saidi nodded, but he was not yet satisfied with Akili’s response, wishing more to be said.

“Gideon sacrificed his legs in one battle but two days prior,” Akili said. “He lost them in a battle that destroyed forty of our enemy.”

“After these sacrifices, when shall the war end?” Saidi questioned in a level tone.

“When the aliens are all destroyed this war shall end. We will have our freedom, our world and our lives,” Akili replied.

“If the aliens are not destroyed?” Saidi said.

“Then we would be destroyed, and they shall have the total domination they seek,” Akili answered. The warrior saw neither disagreement nor support from the tone of the elder. “There is no choice for us. We must war with the aliens.”

“Would you like some tea?” Saidi asked changing the topic completely. Still, his display of generosity was looked on with shocked eyes from Akili as the elder passed him a clay cup of tea. Steam rose off the brown liquid filling Akili’s noises with a great aroma. Akili stammered, as he accepted the cup but he took only a small sip. “The name of this is not lost, for it was written on the box soldiers found it in. Luckily, the box kept the tea leaves unspoiled. Drink, it is called Jasmine.”

Akili took a larger sip, letting the hot liquid stay in his mouth for some time. He let the flavours wash against his tongue. There was never a point in his life where had tasted something with so much texture or filled his senses in such a fashion. “It has so much more to it than water.”

“Do you like this tea?” Saidi asked carefully.

For a moment, Akili’s eyebrows furrowed, then he looked up at his elder, “What is tea?” The elder’s face remained blank, but a moment longer than Akili expected.

“This is tea,” he answered in a most unhelpful manner.

Akili watched his elder enjoy the drink, savouring every moment of its short lived flavour. “Where does,” the warrior paused attempting to emulate his elder’s pronunciation, “tea come from?”

“It is lost to humans,” the elder said. “We had once grown the leaves, and the flowers that were mixed as one. At least, the knowledge of how to boil tea has not been lost.”

The elder turned back to his desk, writing in languages none in the cell learned. Akili stood from his stone chair, knowing that the elder was finished. He drank the tea and placed the cup on Saidi’s desk. Akili stood there a moment, looking at the strange writing on the paper. He understood none of it.

“Thank you my elder,” he said before leaving.

He stepped pass the cloth barrier to see a mother telling her child the different controls on a machine. Others around took no notice, laboriously toiling at the machines building weapons, armour and tools. Eventually, interest faded and Akili walked back to his quarters.

Electric lights illuminated the rocks in a soft glow, but there were too few to give light to every crevice. Shadows played upon the rocks, casting different shapes and figures to confuse Akili’s mind. He eventually came upon his hard scrap bed, looking at its deformed figure. Sleep felt unpleasant in sight of his bed.

“This is what we have,” Akili whispered to himself. He thought of the children, the cell members, and the catacomb that was his home. For seconds, he stood, dwelling upon the thoughts of the cellar his cell hid within before finally retiring for the night.

Chapter 6 System

It was another day of training for Akili, and Kael held no patience in waiting for him to wake. He was quickly rushed out of the cell with full gear. In only minutes of opening his eyes on his hard scrap bed, he was running through the Ruins of Humanity. His legs pounded and heart beat as he kept up with Kael’s endless endurance.

They ran far, and Akili realized they travelled deep into enemy territory. Akili’s eyes gazed upon an empty street littered with dust but void of life. Many structures lined the street, many almost intact but all deserted. It was a long distance from the safety of home. Kael did not give easy lessons.

“When it is cold, one fears to be warm. Follow me closely, and learn from my movements,” Kael said, as his first words in the lesson. “Look,” he said, pointing his fingers down the street. It was the unmistakable image of several heat hunters. They rushed down the street to meet them.

Kael turned abruptly, taking them inside of a building. Shards of light cut through the broken openings of the wall to illuminate the empty interior. Glass and brick littered the floor, threatening to signal every step they took. Akili took care with his feet, avoiding each piece of debris despite his quick speed.

“The skill of ‘no-fighting’ is not merely about you. ‘Fighting’ is about knowing your enemy and realizing how to defeat an enemy. ‘No-fighting’ is about knowing your environment. Realize every object that surrounds you,” Kael’s feet slid effortless through the debris as he lectured, “Know purpose in every stone, and every path.”

Akili glanced back quickly, seeing the heat hunter beasts sniff their way to the entrance of the building, “We are trapped inside.”

Kael gave a sharp glance at Akili, “You must realize what is around you, and how it can affect whether a battle comes upon you, or you evade it.” Suddenly, the mentor stopped. He spun in a circle, rifle in hand analyzing the entire hall. A staircase caught his vision and he ran up the steps. There was utter silence in his movements.

“The world is not simply one object, it is a collection of objects. One that is skilled in ‘no-fighting’ will realize that there are endless possibilities,” Kael continued.

They came upon a room when they cleared two flights of stairs. Instead was a large pool of water. It was rectangular and markings were scattered across the sides in bottom. Most were worn off, and the water was from rain through the shattered roof. Kael pointed to the pool. The two slipped into the waters and waited.

The heat hunters scrambled up the stairs but the water cooled the warriors’ bodies enough to mask their image to the alien eyes. For some time the monsters shuffled about confused before travelling back down the stairs.

“Where can we go now?” Akili whispered to his mentor.

Kael pulled himself from the shallow pool without response and walked to the edge of the room. He looked about with his rifle only a second, before climbing out through a jagged opening in the glass. Akili followed his mentor as he climbed out of the building and scaled the brick wall. The mentor’s skill created an appearance of ease, but Akili struggled behind using all the strength in his muscle to grab hold of the wall and climb upward.

The two found themselves on the roof. Pitfalls were scattered across the dangerous path. “Jump to that building,” Kael said. It was a shorter building but it was still a long jump.

They rushed across the roof and lunged themselves fully into the air, landing hard onto a concrete roof. A hard thump echoed in the streets but luckily there were only heat hunters after them. Finally, Kael searched for a path back down to street level. His answer was in a rope that led to the ground. Akili could see it was once tied to a pole atop another building but had long since fallen.

Gloves protected their hands as they slid their way down. Akili could feel the pull in his arms as he drifted toward the ground but it only lasted seconds before his feet touched the hard asphalt road.

“Move quickly,” Kael ordered forcibly in a whisper. The scraping sound of heat hunters was not far behind.

Akili’s mentor led him into an alley. A wall blocked off movement through it, but heat hunters were already waiting at the entrance. Akili prepared his rifle but the mentor pushed him against a wall. Suddenly, a warm vent of air washed over him. He looked up to see steam flowing across his body from some source inside the building he rested against.

“Aliens know what sound is human, what movement is human, and what heat is human. However, if we blend in with what is not human, then they cannot see us,” Kael explained.

The heat hunters scrambled through the alley way taking their claws at the wall. Unable to find the two soldiers, they left. Once again, they had evaded the beasts using only the environment.

Akili had an inclination to state once again that they were trapped but now he opened his mind to everything his eyes could see. “Shall we climb this wall?”

The brick wall was thick but it was heavily damaged. Chips and crevices offered many footholds to aid their climb. Kael allowed Akili to travel first. Once on the other side, they rushed back into the open street. They weaved through building to building, hiding once and then to evade the following beasts until finally the aliens were too frustrated to follow.

Once back to the entrance of the cell, Kael looked Akili with a hard face. “Always remember, there is more than you in this world. ‘No-fighting’ opens your mind to the whole world, and every object within.”

As Akili’s mentor stepped into the cell, his friend emerged. Following behind Ajax, another soldier appear and finally Siran hoisted herself onto the street. “Akili, care to accompany me as I teach this young man how to kill an alien?”

Akili smiled, “No greater pleasure,” he joked.

The young soldier, a new face to Akili, looked to Ajax with an expression of pure awe. Ajax ignored it, but his voice became much more formal when speaking to him, “If you want to be a great warrior, you must learn ‘fighting’ technique. It is not something as fancy as ‘no-fighting’, Akili here can attest to that. However, it is no less important in this war. If we cannot inflict damage upon the enemy, then we will never destroy the enemy. We cannot simply allow ourselves to be overrun without a fight.”

The soldier nodded in agreement, taking every word of Ajax into his mind. Akili looked carefully at Ajax’s lesson of ‘fighting’ technique.

Ajax continued the lesson as they bravely marched down the street without care to hide themselves. “The technique of ‘fighting’ focuses on your enemy. Know where he is weak. Know where he can be damaged, where he can be stunned. Know how he walks, what sounds he makes. You must learn everything about the foe caught in the vision of your weapon before you can destroy it.”

Stomping resonated from the distance, beyond a hill of debris. The young warrior let Ajax check his weapon before they continued over the small incline. Beyond stood a machine, slightly taller than a human but with three metallic legs. It sported two weapons hinged onto its long beak shaped hull. The torso twisted to face them the instant they moved into view. It sought the presence of human eyes to find its prey.

Ajax opened fire first, letting his bullets dent the armour of the alien. The young warrior followed suit and Siran fired last. Their rifle rounds ineffective in destroying the machine in a single volley, they threw themselves upon the ground for protection. Akili readied his little used rifle and prepared himself for combat.

“Once the bullets start flying, battle will find you,” Ajax shouted over the machine’s weapons. Beams of light scorched debris, lighting it on fire and sending thin grey smoke into the air. Burnt plastic smells wound their way into Akili’s noise. “Many young warriors often ponder our will to fight,” Ajax paused as a brick exploded above his head. “We are out here to make a difference by battling the aliens. We are not out here by choice. There is no glory or wonder. Once the first bullet is fired, there’s a battle.”

With his words in mind, the young warrior stood from his position and let loose his rifle. Akili watched every jerk in the boy’s shoulder as a bullet pressed its way through the barrel of the weapon. Empty shells flowed from his weapon as he continued his attack. He stood for only a second before Ajax slapped his leg and he bent back down for cover.

“You must learn when to attack, and when to take cover,” Ajax said, shouting over the noise of battle.

“Human life has to be preserved to the best of our abilities,” Siran added before firing several rifle rounds herself. They were locked in combat, and Akili could see the alien machine had taken cover behind a pillar of stone.

Another explosion rocked their hill of debris, but it was far too thick for the alien weapons to penetrate. Ajax waited below the debris, but Akili could hear him curse under his breath, “What is it they want?”

Siran looked at Ajax as he finished his words. Her face held an expression Akili had not seen before and he could not describe. He crawled his way to her side. With his rifle he aimed carefully at the machine and fired several rounds. Akili pounded the broken hull, letting his bullets find their way to the critical systems. Suddenly, black smoke billowed out of a hole in the machine’s long beak shaped face. Ajax fired a last round, and the machine exploded in a yellow fiery explosion.

In a quiet voice, Akili whispered to himself, “What do the aliens wish from us?” but Siran heard him. She placed her hand on his arm looking at him with blank eyes.

“Alright, I think this is a good time to stop. An eye hunter is too dangerous for a first lesson, but at least now everything else will seem easy,” Ajax said before patting the young soldier on his back.

The warriors returned to their humble home.

Chapter 7 Perception

A blindfold offered utter darkness for Akili’s eyes to feast upon. Eyesight was the enemy in his situation. His surroundings were his obstacles. Akili let his breath become silent and his movements still. He stood in the middle of a room, within a deserted structure, far beyond the safety of the cell.

“When it is bright, one fears to see,” Akili whispered to himself.

Eye hunters moved through the building. They were floating machines, larger than a brick but flat as one. They bristled with weapons of sort, none which humans could attach names toward. For humans, an eye hunter meant certain battle or certain death.

“One must not let himself be wholly dictated by a single perception,” Akili continued his recital of a lecture. “There are many visions in one person. Many ways to perceive the world.”

A door slid open to Akili’s side, and he swept his body around, his feet shuffling across the floor. He made care not to create noise, although the machines hunted only for his eyes. The rifle in his hand was pointed forward, but Akili could not see where he aimed. He let his ears guide his movements, his sense of touch inform him of error and his sense of smell to reveal objects about him.

Akili bent to his knees, and let an eye hunter pass overhead. Every sense he held was used to its utmost abilities. Without sight, he had to evade the aliens and escape the structure.

“There is always an alternate perception,” Akili said.

At once, he stood in a single motion. He stopped abruptly and let his ears watch the room. In the darkness of his eyes, he let it be replaced with the brightness of his mind. The landscape was painted in his mind, and he let his body manoeuvre. Each step was carefully calculated, placed in between debris, soundless in motion and a movement in the direction of avoidance.

Buzzing grew behind a single ear. Akili stopped, realizing an eye hunter moved quickly behind. His heart pounded and sweat threatened to pour from his skin, but he kept himself calm. Akili’s legs remained rigid but his body twisted to one side. Only a second passed before the eye hunter fleeted by him.

Panic called for Akili to open his eyes, his mind demanded he look at the room for its shape but wisdom held back the turmoil growing in Akili’s thoughts. Akili spun in a circle, feeling his surroundings, finding a wall to one side. He pushed against it, finding a rectangular opening. Stepping in front, he hinged his legs against the ledge of the opening and leaned back to the outside.

Hanging upside down, Akili reached out with his hands. Akili sacrificed his ability to shoot, but found a bar extending parallel to the opening. There was a pause as Akili imagined his surroundings. In his mind, he stepped out of a room, hung out a window and a bar stretched across outside hinged onto unknown walls.

Akili shook the bar with a single pull, finding it stable and immobile. He used both hands to grasp it tightly, extending his body fully horizontal. Finally, his legs pushed off the window, and he let himself hang in the air. In a single direction, he moved where the bar shook less as he moved toward. After only a minute of pulling his body along, his swinging legs felt the hard surface of a brick wall.

It was rough to the touch, forming the picture of brick in Akili’s mental image. First, his feet sought out footholds. Then his hands felt the safe clutch of a crevice. Without the aid of sight, he climbed to the street below. Akili counted enough movement to have accounted for two storeys of height traversed.

Down the street, Akili shuffled his feet, blindfolded but not defenceless. The rifle in his hands was not useless without sight. Still, he was in grave danger out in the open, unable to see. Akili still had to train his senses.

There was a snap that focused all of Akili’s attention. His rifle targeted the noise, and his finger held the trigger but he did not fire.

“Good,” Kael’s voice said. Immediately, Akili lowered his aim. “Do you believe you have seen the world through all your eyes?”

“Mentor, have you seen the world with all your eyes?” Akili returned the question.

Kael heaved a heavy sigh, “There is a grand ideal of ‘no-fighting’ that is missing from my knowledge.” Akili stood, blindfolded, waiting for his mentor’s next words. “Come, I shall show you a sight that requires eyes.”

Akili took off his blindfold and followed his mentor to a sky scraper. The glass entrance was but the metal frames it was built upon. Within was the desolation of mankind. It was void of life, purpose and history. Still, Akili knew Kael did not take him here to find nothing. They travelled up the long stairways to the highest floor.

The first steps onto the highest floor were amazement for Akili. It was soft dirt blown by the winds high into the sky but trapped inside the confines of the structure. Rain had given it life, and green plants grew sporadically across it. Akili had not seen so much green in his entire life.

Kael stood watching as Akili knelt down to the flowers and brushed his bare hands through the soft touches and flagrant smells. “What do I think of but the pleasant sights I have witnessed, my home, my friends and my family when I fight in battle,” Akili said in a low voice.

Kneeling beside Akili, Kael turned the question upon the apprentice, “What do the aliens think?”

Nothing came to Akili’s mind at this point but one thought, “The same?”

Kael made no comment or expression to his words but stood abruptly, “There is something else. It is many floors below this but we can see it on our return.”

Akili stepped back into the stairwell leaving the comforting breeze of air that rushed through the halls. The smells disappeared as soon as he stepped into the enclosure of steps, leading away from the beautiful scenery. With a heavy heart, he stepped back down the stairs with his mentor.

They came upon a different floor a great contrast to the previous. It was divided into many different rooms, each with a locking door. Papers, yellowed and torn littered the ground. Dust filled the air, and mould covered the walls. The glass windows were still intact, blocking the wind but not the sunlight.

They came upon a room unlike the rest. They stood in the middle, able to look upon the Ruins of Humanity through the wall of glass. Nothing else was in the room except the litter of untold years spread across the floor.

“Why do you learn ‘no-fighting’, Akili?” Kael asked abruptly.

Akili was confused a moment, unsure of his answer, but he was not speaking to an elder. Then, Akili felt he had a question worth more than his answer, “Why are we fighting, mentor?”

“I have shown you many things, in life, apprentice. It is the time that you decide what I have shown you. Far above us, on the highest floor were some of the small beauties still left in the Ruins. We fight this, and we fight for our survival,” Kael answered.

“How did this war come about, how is it that we live scattered amongst the Ruins across the world? What is our history?” Akili asked.

Kael breathed out slowly, a worried expression spread across his face, “I have long sought answers and I have found within myself those answers.” He gripped his rifle hard shifting it uneasily about his hands. “I have chosen to live in this world with its war.”

Suddenly, the humming noise of motion hunters echoed down the halls. The two warriors knelt at once readying their rifles for combat. Their muscles held still and but their eyes did not. Two motion hunters floated into the room, circling about them. Akili could not understand what interested these machines. Strange occurrences always happened deep in enemy territory.

Ten minutes passed without movement, but a great strain was upon Akili’s muscles. His arms threatened to shake, holding the rifle in position. The boots tightened around his legs, cutting off the circulation. Strength wore thin and breath became heavy. The motion hunters only edged closer.

Dust fell from the ceiling and covered Akili’s face. He shut his eyes a moment, but the ceiling unexpected broke over head. A large concrete slab fell forcing Kael to dive for his life. The motion hunters chased after the great warrior but he was too swift with his weapon. In a single burst of machinegun fire, each bullet struck its target with deadly accuracy. The rifle rounds pierced the metallic hides of the machines detonating the vulnerable systems within. They exploded but something within them detonated in a second much larger eruption.

Time slowed for Akili as he watched the shockwave push Kael into the air and out of the glass window. Every plane of glass smashed, screaming for Akili’s lost voice in the instance. The force of air smashed across even Akili, throwing him onto the floor with great force. Akili forced his senses back into coherency and ran to the edge of the building.

He could see Kael falling a great distance, but his mentor swung his body about to grab hold of a ledge with one arm. A scream of pain was echoed through the Ruins as Kael took hold of the concrete outcropping. Akili wished to reach out to him but he was two storeys below.

The glass windows lying in front of Kael exploded and motion hunters soared through the opening. Akili let fear take hold of his hands as he pushed his body through the window opening. Kael had trained him to be a marksman, now he put his skills to the test. A single missed round could kill his mentor.

Within the space of a second, Akili narrowed his eyes and pressed the trigger to let out a single round. The bullet smashed into the first motion hunter but did not destroy it. In the same movement, Akili swept his rifle’s aim across so that the empty shells would fall to his feet and not over the ledge of the sky scraper. Akili let his mind become thoughtless but his arms swift. He fired another round, and another destroying the first motion hunter quickly.

Another motion hunter burst into his vision, and Akili fired again. He ignored the staccato bursts the reverberated through the entire street. The only thought on his mind was saving his mentor. With his rifle in hand, Akili downed another motion hunter when a third entered his view. He pressed hard on the trigger ensuring the machine’s death.

There was little Akili could do as he watched a dozen motion hunters emerge from the opening. Akili fired again and again, destroying the machines in dazzling displays of electrical sparks and explosions. Still, the cutting beams activated and Akili watched in horror as they tore apart Kael’s body. Blood sprayed from his body, staining the walls of the old structure, untouched for untold years.

Kael let no scream from his mouth. When his hand no longer grasped the ledge of the building, Akili knew he was dead. The warrior kneeled trying futile to hold back tears from his eyes. Slowly, one by one they streamed down his face, even as he lay still to avoid the motion hunters.

As the machines disappeared and the peril ended, Akili rushed down to the street to find Kael. The lone object of colour in the washed out landscape, Akili’s eyes sought his mentor quickly. Akili ran to his mentor and knelt beside his body. He wanted to grasp and hold the massacred body but he stood there looking at the man. Kael’s eyes were still open, but blood covered their sight.

“You’ve shown me what we fight for,” Akili said. He looked up to the highest floor in the sky scraper, “Our war is to preserve that which we love, but at the cost of many lives. How we’ve come to this war, I don’t know.”

For an hour, Akili spent mourning his mentor’s death. At some point, his mind stopped crying and he put himself into action. He stripped every piece of useful equipment from him before leaving back to the cell. Akili’s returning journey was sombre but uninterrupted.



Chapter 8 Cyclops

Only with great effort did Akili lift his foot, slowed by the enormous weight of the blood that stained his face and his hands. Siran stood at the entrance of the cell to watch him enter, immediately rushing to him when she noticed the extra equipment he carried. Her arms wrapped around Akili, offering a comforting touch. Siran could see Akili’s pain reach down into the farthest regions of his heart.

“Akili,” Siran whispered into his ears. She pulled him to his room but could not avoid the stare of eyes. Weeping followed in her wake, as everyone realized Kael’s death. “Come,” Siran urged.

They sat upon Akili’s bed but he said no words. In the silence, Siran pulled the weapons and armour off the warrior. Her hands caressed Akili’s body, as she sat beside him in bed.

“He taught me the four pillars of ‘no-fighting’,” Akili said, under his breath. “When it is dark, one fears to make noise,” he began to recite.

“When it is bright, one fears to see,” Siran continued.

“When it is cold, one fears to be warm. When it is still, one fears to move,” Akili finished. “Did Kael teach me everything?”

“Even I know that ‘no-fighting’ is more than the four pillars of action,” Siran answered.

Suddenly, the elder stepped into the room, “Those answers lay within us. The greatest secret of ‘no-fighting’ technique is no different from the greatest secret of ‘fighting’ technique.”

“How do we seek those answers within us?” Akili replied.

“Travel to the east, where the aliens are strong and they hold their place. Experience will teach you what nothing else can reveal,” Saidi stated.

“How do you know what is in the east?” Akili questioned.

“You question an elder’s knowledge?” Saidi said, almost raising an eyebrow.

“Yes,” Akili answered flatly. The sharp word could be felt through Siran’s tightened fingers about his hand.

Saidi smiled and grunted. The two warriors had no idea what to make of it, staring with both confusion and surprise. “Very good. Questions lead to answers, warrior,” he paused realizing he wished to explain his knowledge, “I have lived far longer than you can imagine. I wish you to experience what I have experienced, to earn the wisdom I have gained in life.”

Akili watched the old man leave. He shuffled across the floor without the energy of young muscles to lift his feet. Perhaps, Akili thought, he was far older than he had imagined.

“You remember Jeslyn?” Siran asked.

“Yes, she was a fighter from another cell,” Akili answered. “A blonde hair woman, almost your height and learned in ‘fighting’ technique.”

With a soft touch, Siran pushed Akili to lie on his bed, and she wrapped herself around him. “She came to us today, to garner our aid on the battlefield.”

“They have found a possible alien base?” Akili asked. They both knew none had ever found one, but many have found possibilities.

“No, they believe they’ve been discovered,” Siran said without change in her voice.

“She must talk to Ajax to gather our forces,” Akili replied, with his mind now aroused by Siran’s information.

“Rest now, when you wake, we will move out,” Siran answered. Her hand reached over his head and turned off the light. The two warriors slept with one another.

Sleep did not endure for long before Ajax awoke them. They gathered their weapons and headed to Jeslyn’s cell at first light. Few soldiers joined their group but it was a sizeable force. No single cell ever had much to offer in assistance. Each struggled to find sustenance for itself.

They walked for an hour, an almost eventless trek until they heard gunfire in the near distance. The group rushed forward to find the whole of Jeslyn’s cell in the open fighting aliens. A massive attack force of robotic motion hunters flying in the air, and walking the ground assaulted the desperate humans. There were already several dead bodies lying across the street.

Three soldiers at the end of the street took cover behind a small wall of debris. They worked their machineguns to their fullest. Hundreds of bullets streamed from their position into the advancing wave of aliens.

Akili worked his legs, but their entire group of reinforcements were too far to assist. They could only watch as the battle progressed horribly. Motion hunter orbs floated down from the sky, armed with powerful ranged weapons akin to rockets. Mechanized units, bipedal with a beak shaped hull marched into the street. They touted a beam cannon, and heavy armouring.
The sense of combat and the heat of desperation flowed through Akili’s body, pushing his muscles harder. He forced his legs to run faster. His mind focused on meeting his comrades in arms.

Suddenly, a motion hunter broke past the machinegun fire and carved open a soldier. The motion hunter swirled about his body, ignoring the piercing scream that poured from his bloodied mouth. It cut at his body and tore at his armour, but it was not satisfied until it had completely massacred the warrior’s flesh.

Before Akili could react, a beam cannon fired striking against the wall of debris. The explosion engulfed the two other soldiers. Fire and smoke rippled through the air, turning everything it touched to ash. Akili, ignored the searing heat of the fires across his eyes. He shouldered his rifle and put it into action. A single burst from the press of the trigger brought three bullets from his rifle and into the skin of a motion hunter orb. The machine could not take the punishment and was torn in half.

Akili knelt to the ground, protecting himself from the fury of the battle but his vision included those who were not so fortunate. The burnt body of one soldier lay against the wall of debris, while another writhed about far behind it. Blood covered his body, flowing from the open wounds of his missing legs. He cried out in pain, and reached out for aid, but there was none that could help him.

Four soldiers down another street advanced on the aliens fearlessly. Muzzle flashes blinked in the distance from their endless fire. Akili looked upward to see a group of flying motion hunters swoop down from the sky. He fired his rifle but it did not save the lives of the soldiers. A single projectile launched from the motion hunters as they came to hover close to the ground. The missile detonated between the human soldiers, blowing them apart instantly.

Still, a single rocket was launched from the tight pack of warriors. It streaked through the air, leaving a trail of thick smoke behind. The explosive struck the ground and erupted in a shower of concrete and dust. No machine survived the explosion.

“No!” Jeslyn screamed out in hate and despair. The destruction of her cell, displayed before her eyes, tore her mind apart.

She ran forward grabbing hold of the one injured man still alive in her cell. He could not speak, except in convulsions. Blood filled his mouth blocking his words. Jeslyn gripped him tightly within her hands, offering soothing words to his deaf ears. The man cried, but his ruined body did allow him to communicate.

Tears flowed from Jeslyn’s eyes, painting her face with moisture. The man below could only stare back in pain. Every moment they were together gave rise to Jeslyn’s anger. When finally, the man’s eyes became listless, and his last breath flowed, she arose with a mind too tormented by anguish.

Jeslyn ran to the wall of debris, and let a fury from her rifle. Another soldier behind fired a rocket into the mechanized motion hunters. The explosion tore through the ground, destroying the legs of the machine but there were still many more behind.

With out numbered odds, Ajax ordered the warriors into protective positions. Taking risks would only result in the destruction of two clan’s warriors.

“Jeslyn take cover back here!” Ajax spitted out.

She didn’t listen to his words, but let her rage take hold of her body. Her legs pushed her forward and her hands worked her rifle. Two motion hunters swooped down to eviscerate her, but she swung her rifle about to send a flurry of bullets into them. Another motion hunter stepped up to her challenge, a mechanized beast with a beam cannon placed at its front.

Jeslyn dived to safety as the motion hunter fired its beam. The alien missed, hitting a wall on the opposing side. Bricks and dust fell to fill the gap that formed. Still, it did not stop Jeslyn from her vengeful attack. She threw a grenade at the machine and stood to watch it explode. The alien robot was thrown upward atop the expanding shockwave of fire. Its torn and beaten body fell to the ground in a loud crash.

More motion hunters pushed forward, soaring through the air. They were far too numerous for Jeslyn. One by one they slipped through her gunfire and hovered about her body. They cut her slowly, firing their beams in short bursts. Each time Jeslyn’s flesh was torn open, she screamed out and fire another burst from her rifle. She fell to her knees, with her legs cut, before finally they decapitated her.

The machines advanced, but now numbering only a dozen were torn apart by the gunfire of six well positioned soldiers. They stood no chance against Ajax’s warriors.

In a despaired gesture, Ajax stormed into the display of bodies. Dozens of dead lined the street. Their bloodied figures were the only remains of a once respected warrior cell. The war had cost them their lives.

“The aliens want our destruction,” Ajax spit, “they want our deaths. They will not have it. We will fight for our survival.”

Akili wore a worried expression as he watched Ajax shout his anger. “I will have to learn the secret of ‘no-fighting’, if only to let our cell survive.”

“Will you follow the elder’s advice then and travel to the east?” Siran said softly.

“Yes,” Akili answered, “I will go on an excursion.”

“I will accompany you,” Siran responded.

They spoke no more, as they turned to a new task. Every warrior stripped the equipment off the dead bodies, and marched back to home. They carried with them the victory of a battle, but the defeat of a cell.

__________________

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folder icon   08-26-2004, 04:06 PM
Post #3
Ultra_punk

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Chapter 9 Life

With a loud clamour, Akili walked to the entrance and set down a large pack of equipment. He adjusted his armour and checked his weapon. Thoughts flowed in his mind of what was necessary for his mission and what he could leave behind. Siran bent down in front of him and picked up extra ammunition.

“We’ll be travelling far,” she said.

Suddenly, a hand pulled Akili upright. He turned to see Ajax’s hardened face, “Remember that this war needs every one of us. We need to be able to fight this war,” Ajax said, “We need to fight this war,” he repeated.

“Don’t worry, Ajax,” Akili said, smiling to him.

Ajax nodded to him and turned away without a smile. He walked away with a limp, from a new injury from another battle. Doctors could treat little, with no equipment or the aid of drugs.

When his mind concentrated on his task, Akili stepped out into the open air outside his hidden cell. A breeze brushed past his face, but with automatic instinct he held still against the wind. The sun shone brightly in his eyes, bathing his vision in a golden light that drowned out all other images, but he did not blink. The discipline that Akili had instilled in himself with ‘no-fighting’ was the greatest prize in his mind and he would use it every moment in his life.

Alongside Siran, Akili moved into the rubble, looking for the darkest paths in the tightest streets. Akili’s path was not restricted but the open streets were perilous paths for those who followed ‘no-fighting’ technique. There was not a word spoken between the two warriors as they ventured deeper into the Ruins. They travelled for hours without pause, until the sun looked upon them directly at noon.

In an enclosed room inside an abandoned home, the two rested. Akili left his hands clasped on his rifle, not letting his sense dull for a single moment. He watched carefully, Siran at the other end of the room, sift through their equipment for the slop they had packaged.

A slow thoughtful gaze rested on her as her hands rummaged a backpack. Siran could feel it, but Akili did not care. He wanted to keep an image of her soft body in his mind. Akili let the flow of her hair mesmerize him and her light skin give colour to the grey world about him. She worked silently, putting forth great effort to match Akili’s skill. Finally, she found the packets of slop but she was stopped before she could hand one to Akili.

A piece of glass fell from a window pane beyond view, but any noise was an alert to the presence of aliens. They warriors waited without moving, until there was a crunch of concrete bits stepped upon. Akili knew now that they were close.

With the soft touch of his feet, he soundlessly traversed the room and peered out the window. At the corner of his eye he could see a single beast, sniffing the ground. It was large, armed with several long claws on each of its hands. In an instant, Akili recognized it to be a sound hunter.

Siran readied her rifle at Akili’s side, with her marksman aim set to fire on the beast’s head. Her face showed expression no longer, but her eyes gave away the focus of her mind on the target. She concentrated on the enemy, peered at every weakness and studied every point of its skin. In her mind, she could picture the beast dying from injuries in a dozen different points.

In his lowest whisper Akili spoke to Siran, “This is a battle we need not fight.”

Akili’s words were quiet, but their effect was loud in Siran’s mind. She lowered her rifle and waited for Akili. He did not move, shaking her confidence in his orders. Akili’s still movement continued, even as the beast ventured close to the house. Siran’s eyes darted back and forth, unsure of her next actions.

Claws scrapped against concrete, as the alien clambered up the front door stairs. It sniffed against the door, and looked within even though its eyes could detect no human. Suddenly, the alien snorted and banged against the door. A loud resonating thud shook the house but the warriors within did not react.

Akili brushed his hand against Siran’s machine gun, pushing it upwards and out of the line of fire. He blocked her actions as a fighting warrior, even as the beast shuffled across the window. It was no less than a metre away, but the beast could not find them beyond the glass.

Counting in his head, Akili waited inside the room, for the beast to pass out of hearing range. Siran studied his face, realizing every action he was taking. She remembered each skill Akili displayed before her to better her ‘no-fighting’ technique.

Siran waited until tension lessened from Akili’s body before speaking again, “Here’s your slop,” she said in an old cell tradition.

A short laugh escaped Akili as he heard the words, remembering his childhood in the cell. “You’ve never focused in either ‘no-fighting’ or ‘fighting’ technique,” Akili asked.

“I haven’t been able to decide what my life will be like,” Siran replied.

“Let’s go deeper into the Ruins. I have not seen anything of which I have not seen before in my life,” Akili said, before rising to continue their journey.
As they walked, Siran broke the silence with more words, “What was Kael teaching you before he died?”

The thought of Kael meant sorrow, but Akili met the words with apathy to avoid distraction. He responded slowly, “It wasn’t a lesson in ‘no-fighting’. He showed me a hidden wonder in the Ruin that he had found in his excursions.”

“What was it?” Siran questioned.

“They were flowers, hidden at the top of a sky scraper. None could find something like that trying to battle their way through the hordes of aliens that infest the Ruins from our cell to that place,” Akili replied.

“He died showing you flowers?” Siran asked again, in a more comforting tone to soften the topic.

“Yes,” Akili said, remembering the colourful petals of the plants he had seen only once.

Siran could not bring herself to ask more questions and continued on in silence. They walked through debris and broken towers, always heading east. The Ruins continued with them in a continuous flow, sometimes with sky scrapers reaching to the sun and other times apartments only several storeys high. As they walked they found no end but they continued.

Finally, they came upon an office building standing no more than ten floors high. Surrounding it were the broken shells of former apartments. Debris flooded the streets, choking the paths with blockades. However, on foot, everything could be travelled.

“What is it?” Siran asked, as Akili paused to admire the view of the glass structure.

It was almost intact, except near the bottom where stray bricks and concrete had pierced its walls. There was something about the structure that intrigued Akili. He let his feet guide him to the inside.

The soldiers stepped into the building through a broken pane of glass. They were careful to position their feet to avoid the crunching noise of stepping on glass. Yellowed and torn paper pampered their movements as they entered deeper into the building. Akili directed Siran higher in the structure. Finally reaching the highest floor, Akili could see what his eyes had seen but his mind did not realize.

The glint of green seen from outside was the colour of plants growing inside the building. A shattered pot and spilled dirt were the only evidence remaining of the plant’s origins. It had grown to a large size, but could grow no more without more dirt for its roots. The glass wall let sunlight pass through and a hole in the roof let rainwater drip onto its leaves.

“What is that?” Siran asked suddenly, pointing outside.

Fear poured into Akili’s body, tightening every muscle as he could see a swarm of machines fly down the slopes of debris that surrounded the office building. He could not believe his eyes, but there were hundreds of aliens. It was a sight unimaginable.

“Can we avoid this battle?” Siran said.

Akili looked back upon the horde that had gathered outside the building. Robotic enemies laid in wait, numbering in the hundreds. They seemed to camp about the building, not entering but not leaving.

Then, a thought entered Akili’s mind as he pondered his skill in ‘no-fighting’ technique. “Can we avoid every battle?” Akili asked back to Siran.

A surprised expression passed over Siran’s face but she too pondered his thought. “There is no battle until the first bullet is fired,” she replied.

With that, they sat there, waiting for the machines to move away from the base of their structure but hours passed without success. Darkness enveloped the sky, and cold winds howled against the shaking glass of the structure. The ancient walls seemed far too old to handle the force of simple air but they held against the pressure. They ate dinner in the building, gazing at the stars far above instead of the alien army below.

Akili, sat and waited for another hour. He looked at the machines once again before coming to a decision. “The death of twenty machines will mean the death of ours. I will not give up to these aliens. We shall sleep here, and wait for a better day.”


Chapter 10 Dawn

Sunlight crept along the slope of the Ruins, basking the crumbled towers of stone with glorious rays of gold. Shadows ran to the west, as dawn came. The glass walls of the office could not hold back the Sun. Heat spread across the stale air waking Akili and Siran.

Conscious thought spread through Akili, but he lay motionless and eyes closed. A light wind rustled against the windows, but no other sound fell into his ears. Believing it safe, Akili slipped his hand to the rifle at his side before opening his eyes. Still he did not move, but darted his eyes in every direction searching for danger. Finally, satisfied, he sat up and nudged Siran with a light touch.

She looked to his facial expression for signs of danger but even when finding none she still picked up her rifle. For awhile she sat quietly, without any action. They had not slept long, and they had not planned to sleep at the same time.

“We need to eat,” Akili said, looking to their needs other than combat. He rummaged through his equipment bringing out extra food they had packed.

They ate quickly, watching the sun rise past the horizon and into the morning sky. Akili played games in his mind, finding different shapes for clouds. If he could focus his mind in different manners, the shapes would find different objects. He let his imagination run wild until Siran broke the silence.

“They are still out there,” she whispered, peering through the glass window.

Dozens of alien machines still camped outside the structure. Akili could not know whether they knew of their presence or merely waited here of all places catching them in an unfortunate coincidence. Still, this was a battle that could not be won and he did not want to waste Siran’s life along with his.

Akili turned back to look at Siran standing in the middle of the large empty floor. Suddenly, something fluttered past the windows behind, spurring the warriors into action. Akili shouldered his rifle and stiffened his muscles to become immobile. The tension spread through the air and into Siran, throwing her into combat mode. She armed her rifle and spun about in a circle, watching the windows with her scope, keeping herself protected by kneeling to the ground.

It was now that they felt exposed, even in the highest floor of the office. There were no internal walls or divisions, just a single large empty room that stretched the entire expanse. From glass barrier to glass barrier the only objects left were ancient papers scattered across the ground.

Then the black object fluttered across the window again, now stopping at the ledge. It made a soft noise, opening it wide beak on its head. The creature repeated it several times saying “coo coo”. Then as suddenly as it had come the creature flapped its wings and flew away into the shining light of the sun. Akili squinted his eyes to see the white feathered creature fly into the distant east, soaring above the ruined structures.

“What was that?” Akili whispered quietly.

“I think that was a bird,” Siran answered.

The two stood and watched the creature until it disappeared from view. They were left in awe having seen an animal not human. No one had believed anything but weeds and human existed on this ancient planet. Still, the books that still existed in some cells had described many things no human had ever seen.

Akili stared blankly into the sky pondering the origin of the ‘bird’ when he realized he was staring at a massive steel column that was embedded in the side of the office building. The metal debris stretched between two buildings high above the ring of brick and stone that surrounded the office building. Akili thought for a moment that it was high enough to avoid the detection by the aliens.

Suddenly, Siran turned to Akili and pointed to the same metal beam, “Maybe we can crawl across that to a building we can safely escape.”

“Exactly what I was thinking,” Akili said with a smile. He was joyous to see Siran learning the art of ‘no-fighting’, to explore the entire environment, but then he also thought he was not exactly her mentor. Still, Akili was the only one who held the full knowledge of ‘no-fighting’ in the cell. Perhaps, though, Akili thought further, no one in the cell held the full knowledge of ‘no-fighting’ in the cell. Even the great ‘no-fighter’ Kael had said he never finished his quest to find the elusive grand essence of ‘no-fighting’.

The two moved down the stairs to the floor where the metal beam shattered the wall of the office building. Its size and shape was a testament to the once great size of the structures around the office. However, now, there was little left to see.

Akili stood at the edge of the opening in the glass wall, letting Siran wait behind him. He peered over the edge, seeing the alien machines below with sharper detail than before. They were motion hunters but they seemed almost inactive.

Warmth and light grew as Akili waited there, looking for any sign of aggression from the aliens. Many minutes passed without occurrence leaving Akili’s mind in relative ease. He walked to the metal beam first, wanting to protect Siran just as he would have liked to protect the entire cell in his every action but Siran pushed him aside to travel first.

“You’re more important,” she said winking her eye.

She bent over and grabbed hold of the metal bar and gave it a light shake. It was far too heavy for her to move, which was exactly what she had wanted. Siran moved down the metallic surface on all fours moving slowly. Her head only turned slightly to each side but she kept her vision limited to the end of the beam. Akili followed behind her.

They both let out a sigh of relief as they came off the other end of the beam. Peril still surrounded them, but it was easy enough for them to avoid with the skill they already possessed. They left the building and traverse the streets. The two took no breaks until they were at the comforting entrance of their cell. The street was deserted but underneath the surface there was much life at its busiest moments below.

The two waded into the warm sea of air of their cell relaxing in the safety. Soldiers marched past their view to make some excursion for food or resources. Machines rumbled in the background working endlessly to produce all the goods they needed to live. Chatter echoed through the halls, losing definition as they reached Akili’s ears.

He appreciated the cell, and everything inside. It was a hard and brutal life, but he enjoyed the people that lived with him, and the goods their small cell could still produce on its own. Technology could slip from their grasp in a single instant, language disappear in a generation and lives lost in a day but Akili thought to himself that is why he fought so hard in the Ruins. He was fighting to keep the things humans still had.

Laughter and childish screams of joy broke out in front of Akili as a young child ran into Siran. The child looked up at her but she held an inquisitive face. Siran knelt down to talk.

“Hello, older Siran!” the child piped in a high pitched voice.

Siran brushed a patch of soft brown hair from the small child’s face, before speaking to her, “How old are you?”

“I’m ten years old! Do you want to see me fire a rifle?” he replied.

“No, that’s fine,” Siran said visibly becoming much less interested. She detested the war’s effect on the cell’s lifestyle but she continued to fight the war.

“Did you just come back from an excursion?” she said, but when she turned her face to Akili she became excited. “You were with older Akili? Other olders say he’s the only person that can be a ‘no-fighting’ mentor. Older Siran, should I learn to become a ‘fighter’ or a ‘no-fighter’?”

A confused expression spread across Siran’s face as she could not answer her question. After so many years she was still undecided whether she would follow the path of ‘fighting’ or ‘no-fighting’. The child became disinterested as her question was left answered but she still continued to ask more.

“Do the aliens have children? How do they live? Where do they come from?” the child said, but Siran turned to Akili for him to answer, not knowing what to say. “Older Ajax says the aliens don’t have children. They just exist to kill us.”

“Perhaps,” Akili mumbled, but he said in a louder voice, “I don’t know. I’ve not seen any children, and I’ve not been to their home.”

An unhappy face washed over the little girl. She did not receive any answers she wanted, and it took Siran several minutes of soothing words before she left in a happy mood. “If only we didn’t have to fight this war. If only there was some way we could avoid all of this, then I wouldn’t have to see that happen,” she said.

Akili knew well what she spoke about. He had seen her grimace every time she saw a child learning to use a gun for the first time. It pained her to see humans needing to bring themselves to such violence and she cried in her heart for every sacrifice made in the war. Even still, she could see no other choice in the world but to live in it and fight the war they were presented with at birth.

“I will see the elder,” Akili said, hoping Siran would stay with him longer.

“I need some rest. Ajax will be making an assault tomorrow on an alien position,” she replied.

Akili grabbed her hand, turning all her attention to him in a single moment. “Will I be your mentor?”

Siran knew he asked if she wished to learn ‘no-fighting’ fully but she paused at the sudden request. “Okay” she finally said, quietly with a small smile.

Akili walked to the elder’s room, wishing to discuss his excursion with one of wisdom. While he had gained new knowledge of the world, and seen new things, Akili felt only wisdom would garner real experience. Only then would he learn from his lessons in real life.

As he stepped into the room, a manuscript was left open on the table. Scribbled across it were words like none that Akili had ever seen the elder read. They were constructed of many elegant strokes, separated into columns. It was almost a page of small pictures rather than a language.

“Have you ever read this, Akili?” the elder mused in his dark corner where he sat watching him step into the room.

Akili turned his head sharply at his voice, not noticing him beforehand. “No, elder, I cannot read that language.”

“Interesting,” he merely said in reply.

“I returned from my excursion to the east,” Akili said.

The elder showed no glimmer of having been impressed after hearing his words. He continued to sit in his dark corner, sipping a small colourful liquid drink. “So you have returned from the east. What have you seen that is new?”

“We were trapped out there for a night when aliens surrounded a building we were exploring. They just camped outside of it in the hundreds. I have never seen it happen before,” Akili explained.

“You did not fight them?” Saidi questioned in a plain level tone.

“No, that would have been suicide,” Akili replied quickly.

“Oh,” Saidi mused again before taking another sip from his drink. “So, there are some battles you do not fight?”

“I didn’t learn ‘no-fighting’ to start battles with alien squads,” Akili replied.

The words peaked a small interest in Saidi’s voice but he changed the topic, “Someone must learn the art of ‘no-fighting’ in our cell. You must become a mentor and recruit an apprentice.”

Akili looked at the elder, thinking carefully for a moment. The elder’s words meant he was becoming a prominent person in the clan. The position was one, perhaps, even as important as an elder in a cell. “I believe Siran should become my apprentice. She already has some knowledge in ‘no-fighting’, I can complete it,” Akili answered.

“Complete her knowledge?” Saidi mumbled quietly. “There are lessons in the east that you cannot teach.”

“Why is there something special in the east?” Akili asked.

“You must travel there alone,” Saidi said, “but now is not the time for such a long journey. It takes many days to trek deep into the eastern Ruins. Come now, read with me this manuscript. I shall teach you a new language, a new way to speak with the world.”

Akili sat beside the elder for many hours into the night attempting to read the manuscript. The symbols held no meaning for him but he took the time to learn to read. He gave his best effort in pronouncing the different words. It was a gruelling process but not as harsh as the lesson Kael had given him in ‘no-fighting’. Failure in remembering a symbol’s pronunciation and meaning did not entitle death.

__________________

a suicide bomber taken out by a suicide bomber? priceless
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folder icon   08-26-2004, 04:09 PM
Post #4
Ultra_punk

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Chapter 11 Choice

Only a few weeks had past but Ajax had begun an excursion deep into the east. He had spoken to the elder as had Akili, and now he was convinced an assault deep into the east would either end the war or show him how to end the war. Answers for everyone and everything appeared to lie to the east.

Akili had worked hard to train Siran in ‘no-fighting’ technique. In only a few days he showed her the four pillars of ‘no-fighting’ for the four types of alien enemies. She was yet to be a skilled ‘no-fighter’ but she was still strong. Now, she was to be put to the test with the excursion into the east. Akili would not be following the ‘fighters’ but instead led a ‘no-fighter’ excursion into the east.

They brought weeks worth of ammunition and provisions. Each person carried a hefty backpack, a formidable machinegun and full armour. There were five fighters with Ajax but the only ‘no-fighters’ were Siran and Akili.

Early in the morning, they exited the cell and look at one another. They would have to part ways for the excursion, for ‘fighters’ could not operate with ‘no-fighters’. Working together for the cell did not mean working together in the Ruins.

“Will you be a ‘no-fighter’?” Akili asked Siran, but he already knew the answer.

“Yes,” she replied, but her eyes darted. Her choice in life was not yet set in stone, even so late in her age but she took notice away from her indecision. She spoke about the elder, “Do you remember what he said about Kael?”

Akili looked back at Siran, remembering the elder’s words before he departed. Kael had never gone on an excursion into the east. He had remained until he was sure there was another in the cell that was skilled in ‘no-fighting’ before he left. Unfortunately, he never lived long enough to do so.

“We won’t be travelling with Ajax, for they will fight deep in the Ruins, whereas we will only seek to survive. Our goal won’t be the destruction of the aliens, but rather find their source of power,” Akili said.

“Don’t talk too mentor like to me,” Siran replied with a smile. She paused for a moment, shifting her foot, “Will we ever come to help them should they need it?”

“I don’t know what’ll happen on this excursion but we may run into them again. We are, after all, travelling in the same direction,” Akili said.

“What are we hoping to find?” Siran questioned.

The question was one Akili asked himself many times before. “I’m not sure. The elder speaks of answers there, but that means little to me. What I do know is that as we travel deeper into the east, there are less fighter cells and more aliens. Perhaps, they have built their stronghold there.”

Siran looked down the dirty street that lay in front of the cell, almost musing aloud her thoughts, “The elder had said once that the Ruins knew no end, covering every inch of the surface. There had been excursions many times before from our cell, and we have talked to others from distant cells. Each one could not find a place where the Ruins did not exist. Humanity must have been powerful once to be able to build such large structures across an entire world. Our technology must have been much better if they could feed everyone that could possibly live in these Ruins. The aliens would have had to clear a piece of these ancient remnants to build a fortress of war here.”

Akili let the soft words fade into the wind as he began the first steps in the excursion. The fighters paraded down the street with Ajax, not purposely making noise, but echoing their approach through the narrow streets of the Ruins. Stark contrast was met in Akili’s method of travel. With Siran alongside, he weaved through the buildings, and found tunnels that cut through the piles of rubble. Akili would not let himself be seen in the perilous open.

They had travelled far from their cell, moving over rough terrain. Even at these distances to the east there were still cells. Humans hid themselves amongst the broken pillars of humanity avoiding detection and living in squalor. They did so to evade the long reaching hands of the alien forces. The war brought much pain and suffering to their world and the only way the cells could respond was with fighters and bullets.

The two pass through this broken world, torn apart by war. Everything that surrounded them reminded them of the conflict. When they looked above they could see the great cracks in the towering skyscrapers that opened them to the elements. As they walked upon the hard ground, their feet touched the endless piles of concrete and brick from shattered buildings. Their lungs with filled with the dust that choked the air, constantly brought up by the soft winds the pass through the Ruins.

As no-fighters, they let none of it disturb their focus. Akili ignored the despair of the surroundings but his eyes noticed everything. He could see where they could hide, where their feet would make noise and where their feet could find footholds in the walls to climb. Sounds carried by the wind were deciphered in Akili’s mind in a systematic fashion. He differentiated the drop of a pebble by the air, to the crunch of brick underneath a human foot.

They climbed a small mound of concrete whose peak led into the lobby of a great structure. The front was a series of pillars but the walls had crumbled to a faded glory. There was once gold that lined parts of the exterior, making it an amazing site to behold from the street.

Inside Akili lurked about going into the ever darkening interior. He was careful not to let his feet slip on the steep pile of debris. At the peak of the debris he paused, looking about with his rifle ready.

Suddenly, Siran caught his attention with a wave of her hand from down the mound. She had heard something, but Akili could not tell what. He waited, stiffening his muscles. His finger found its way to the trigger slowly while his eyes darted around looking for a target. The wind brushed past his ear, bringing no sound of aliens. They waited, in silence, when there was sudden crunch. Then, a low whisper could be heard.

Akili knew immediately it was humans for no alien had been heard talking except in grunts and growls. Even Siran relaxed herself but they did not lower their rifles. No-fighters were always prepared for battle. They could not know if the humans were chased by aliens.

They waited a moment to hear the humans approach closer before deciding to greet them. Siran whistled in the air, but it did not sound human. Akili had once heard his elder say it was the chirping of a bird, but he had never understood him. The only aspect he had ever cared to know was that aliens did not recognize anything that did not sound human.

“Who’s there,” a high pitched voice answered quietly.

Akili moved to the edge of the mound and looked down upon the fighters. They were two small children, no older than twelve. Little armour was draped across their fragile bodies but they held large machineguns. The belt that hugged their waist was filled with many clips but most were not full of ammunition.

The fighters stood there looking at Akili with a forced blank expression. The children could barely hold back their interest in Akili. Soon, Siran climbed down to meet with them, and their interest shifted entirely to her.

“What are you doing out here?” Siran blurted out, confused at the sight of unguarded children.

The two young warriors were gave confused glances before piping up, “We’re on patrol.”

Akili put a hand on Siran’s shoulder. He could feel she was overly concerned over their well being. Unfortunately, whoever led the cell they lived within had felt the effects of war much more than they had in life. “Siran,” he whispered to her before she broke away from the conversation. Akili turned back to the children, “Where’s your cell?”

The two young warriors led them through the ruins, but it took hours to traverse. They did not take a direct route, as it was apparently too perilous. Aliens ran rampant in the region and to cross paths with them meant fighting a full battle. Still, the children were well experienced in the region and led them effortlessly to their cell. Hidden behind two storey high mountains of debris and underneath a broken shell of an apartment, the children led them into the cell.

Akili well recognized the warm touch created by overworked machinery as he entered the cell. Still, the differences with his cell were immediately obvious. He could feel Siran tug at his side to point out the most glaring problems in the cell. Few people were out of their teenage years and the children were all armed for war. It was hard to guess at what age they could have possibly already learned to fire a rifle. The fragile frame of the children didn’t seem capable of holding the metre long weapons.

No one gave care to their entrance, leaving Akili and Siran to explore the cell of their own accord. They walked into a machine shop, looking at the rather sloppy mess of manufactured ammunition and weapons littering the ground. Discipline was missing from the cell.

There was a sudden loud moaning of a machine to Akili’s side. When he turned he could see a man in his teen years reaching to grab an object that had fallen into the gears and jammed the machine. Akili reached out and pulled him away. The man shouted at him in frustration but Akili ignored him. Siran handed him a stick, and he used it to push the object out of the machine but as he did, the machine began running at full speed and grind his stick to half its length.

“That would have been your arm,” Akili said in a calm voice to the warrior but he did not respond.

They walked down the ill lit hallways barely able to make out the surroundings. Many of the electrical lights did not work and many of the remaining ones flickered from disrepair. As they walked down the path, they finally ran into an adult. He held a scarred figure but the armaments that adorned his body spoke of strength and power.

“Who are you?” he immediately asked.

Akili responded, “We’re on an excursion from a cell in the west.”

“Ah I see, well there’s not much here, but you can sleep in any of the quarters,” he said. The man was blunt and he cared little except that they were human. There was a dull chill of his eyes that spoke of a tired and battered mind that cared little for things. He had lived too long in a war that he only fought and fought for his whole life within. There may have been a time he was seeking something greater in life, but he had given it up and lived in the war.

“Are you the commander of the cell’s fighers?” Akili asked the man.

“Yeah,” he said in a breathless voice. “What are you?”

Akili thought about his own title before replying, “I’m the no-fighter mentor of my cell.”

The words sparked an interest in the man. The slouch in his back disappeared and he replied, “No one in our cell knows the skills of no-fighting. We are all fighters.”

“Can you read?” Akili asked out of turn.

“Yes,” the man stuttered. He did not the expect the question and he paused before replying in full, “Yes I can read.”

“Then I will write down the basics of no-fighting so that perhaps one of your cell can learn,” Akili said.

The warrior thanked him and smiled. His mouth appeared unaccustomed the shape but he managed to appear happy for Akili. He left having said his few words to the two.

“We can stay here for the night, and perhaps tomorrow we can help this cell. We could go on a food excursion,” Akili said.

“Shouldn’t we use our resources for our cell and not others?” Siran asked.

“Society didn’t build itself but hording resources against each other. Humanity built itself upon cooperation,” Akili replied and he could see Siran think about his words before nodding in approval.

They talked for a few more minutes before searching for some quarter to sleep within. There were no beds. They used some cloth inside their bags as pillows and let their backs rest against the cold hard floor. Akili only saw the sign once in the cell, but he suspected the entire place was constructed from something called an “underground parking lot”. However, the resident cell had built many walls that connected from pillar to pillar but the ground was still a black asphalt or grey concrete. The ceiling above was built from debris and stood only a little taller than a human. Akili let his mind believe the area safe before he could find rest.

* * *

Ajax awoke with a start realizing immediately that danger surrounded him. He grabbed the rifle that lay at his side and stood to look into the street. Pillars spread across his view, the support beams of the building they slept within. Debris blocked entry leaving them in the lobby but Ajax posted sentries to maintain safety.

A sentry stood into the moon light, revealing his heavily armed body. He had taken a step out from a pillar to give out a short hiss of warning. Ajax heeded him quickly, pushing his warriors into position. They assembled behind the pillars, readying their rifles and watching the streets for signs of enemies.

Suddenly, there was a bright flash, lighting up the rugged surface of the pillars. A blue orb of energy shot out of mechanized foe. The projectile left a trail of blue smoke that illuminated the air before smashing into a pillar. It exploded in a cloud of blue fire but only a few concrete chips were sent flying. Ajax was surprised at the little damage it caused.

In return, Ajax lifted his rifle and took the alien into view. The mechanical creature was only half a man’s height, wielding no arms but carried a head several feet long. The gun protruded out of its nose marring the perfect smooth surface of its face. Although Ajax looked at it closely, he did not care whether it held beauty or it was ugly. He looked only to find the weak point in its armour.

There was another flash as another blue ball of energy was fired from another alien. The street brightened for a moment revealing over a dozen aliens. Ajax could not recognize what kind of foes they fought but it did not matter. He met his enemies with the bullets and bombs of fighting and not the skilful evasion and thoughtfulness of no-fighting.

Ajax tapped his index finger on his rifle’s trigger just as the second ball of energy exploded. The blue fires blinded his view but Ajax fired an entire burst into the street. Other rifles let out more bursts of bullets into the fray. Small eruptions rippled across the sea of old debris and across the hard metal hulls of the aliens as the bullets rained down.

“The only way to win this is to kill them all, warriors,” Ajax called out. He paused a moment as the aliens returned fire. This time as explosions hit against the pillars, other aliens fired short energy beams. They came as pulses blasting away at the stairs that led up to the entrance of their hideout. “Hit the lead foe!” Ajax screamed again.

He fired his rifle again watching a dozen bullets ram into the alien. They struck with fire and lightning, but it took three other soldiers to fire upon the machine before it was defeated. The hull was broken open and the innards destroyed in a dazzling display of lights as the bullets struck deep into the beast.

More of the alien pulse weapons fired ripping apart the top step of the stairs. A human warrior stepped out and fired his rifle, blasting down a machine. Unfortunately, he was not quick enough to step backward into cover behind his pillar. Two lines of light drove into the ground underneath his legs exploding in a pillar of flying concrete.

Ajax felt his legs push him toward the man but he stopped himself. He convinced himself that casualties were a necessity of war, and that this war was a necessity. Instead, he forced himself to watch the man cry out as he fell backwards onto the floor of the lobby. The heavy armour he wore protected his body from the concrete shrapnel but he left leg was blown off from the knee. Ajax memorized what he saw and what he heard for he could not let himself forget the real life of war.

A loud detonation in the street returned his attention to the battle. Several of the machines had been caught in a grenade’s explosion and were too damaged to function. Ajax added to the fray of bullets and energy beams with his rifle. He took aimed bursts at the machines, targeting only the parts that caused the most damage.

A single burst tore off the leg of one machine, leaving it immobilized and its weapon pointing toward the ground. He fired another burst, tearing away the gyro of a different beast. The damage was enough to destroy the alien entirely. A machine manoeuvred itself to the front of the building and fired bursts of energy beams at Ajax. They erupted against the pillar, ripping apart stone and concrete. Dust billowed out of the craters formed shrouding Ajax’s eyes. Several more blasts wound their way up the stairs and into the lobby, leaving pairs of craters in a long trail. The explosions passed between the pillars. It was dangerous close to Ajax but he was not hurt.

Ajax twisted his torso around the pillar to face his enemy, before emptying the last of his clip. Each round the rifle spent struck against the face of the creature. The alien was twisted backward with each pounding of a bullet. Ajax held the gun steady on the alien and his finger tight on the trigger. He watched the armour dent before punctured it and then finally a small explosion that engulfed the machine in a fire.

The sounds of battle died down, and silence came over them. No warrior spoke, and none moved. There they waited almost a minute, looking upon the carnage of the battle. A dozen alien bodies lay out, some on fire to illuminate the broken shards of metal and smash hulks of alien machines, and others in the dark, torn apart and punctured where none could see. Fresh debris lay across the steps of the large building. They could feel and hear the damage as their feet crunched on the small bits of concrete scattered across the lobby floor by energy explosions. A man groaned in the back, the single casualty of the battle, lamenting the pain of losing his leg.

“Pick him up, we’ll have to move out tonight and find a new spot to sleep,” Ajax ordered. The warriors about him nodded before setting out. Two men carried the casualty simply by holding him.

Ajax took one last look broken structure they defended. The floor was made of black and white marble, and the pillars of another stone. It may have looked beautiful once but dust, debris and craters now broke its splendour. He tore his eyes away in a single movement and then set the platoon out into the night in search of a new hideout to survive another day.

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folder icon   09-09-2004, 07:14 AM
Post #5
Xenthar

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hey, keep em coming!!!

thats how it always goes... first they make sure you're addicted, then they give you less and less and make you dependent!

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folder icon   09-09-2004, 02:18 PM
Post #6
Ultra_punk

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I will be posting more story eventually, im waiting for inspiration to hit me so i can write it well.

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a suicide bomber taken out by a suicide bomber? priceless
Masey209: JUST MAKE HER HAVE SEX WITH ME!!
Enix: Oops added an extra zero to it just like your hydro bill
CowUltrapunk: SLOW
CowUltrapunk: slow as your dick
dimitri583: i told you
dimitri583: my dick is fast as fuck
CowUltrapunk: working on your unspeakable weapon of mass atrocities?
ZoraxP: Yep. I call it the USA.
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folder icon   09-10-2004, 05:05 PM
Post #7
Xenthar

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well, i agree that you should only write when you have inspiration... i'd rather write one good story in ten years than ten bad stories in one year

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folder icon   09-17-2004, 05:03 PM
Post #8
Ultra_punk

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I get internet on my own computer on the 22nd, i plan to write two different stories at the same time, since i have inspiration for one and i want to finish this one and i think i worked out how i want it done.

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a suicide bomber taken out by a suicide bomber? priceless
Masey209: JUST MAKE HER HAVE SEX WITH ME!!
Enix: Oops added an extra zero to it just like your hydro bill
CowUltrapunk: SLOW
CowUltrapunk: slow as your dick
dimitri583: i told you
dimitri583: my dick is fast as fuck
CowUltrapunk: working on your unspeakable weapon of mass atrocities?
ZoraxP: Yep. I call it the USA.
Urin Bloodface: i know ontario
Urin Bloodface: ive even been to vancover
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folder icon   09-23-2004, 09:53 PM
Post #9
Ultra_punk

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Chapter 12 Steep

The dust swept across the ground, stirring up the smell of concrete. A barren plain lay at every side. Even the buildings had crumbled to their foundations. Shadows danced to the rhythm of their step by the still standing walls that broke out the top of the mountains of rubble.

Akili let his stride synchronize with the sound of Siran’s footsteps. He felt self conscious of his actions. Two young warriors watched his every movement, learning everything by sight. There were moments Akili thought it would have been better if they were not following, for he could hear their feet scratch the ground and their deep breaths. Their lack of skill also contradictory pushed Akili to teach them. He wanted them to learn no-fighting so that someone in their cell would know.

He had written a book for the fighter cell describing every aspect of no-fighting he had learned. On the last page, Akili felt compelled to write a short note exclaiming his lack of the knowledge in teaching the essence of no-fighting. Akili remembered his mentors mention of it, but while he did not know what it was, he knew to tell the cell that it existed.

“Perhaps it is the quest for searching for something elusive and definite that will teach me something,” Akili said aloud in thought.

Siran turned her head, confused at Akili’s breach of silence. She did not say a word but her expression spoke to Akili.

“Maybe, there is nothing out east, but my journey there will be filled with hardships and obstacles,” Akili said.

“Perhaps it is both,” Siran replied.

Akili looked back to the young warriors, kneeled down onto the dirty ground, waiting but vigilantly watching the Ruins. “We need to teach everything we know to our children. That is how we can win.”

With a quick hand gesture, the two young warriors pushed forward with Akili and Siran. They marched quickly through the broken paths of the land. Already, the warriors were learning to silence their movement and looking for ways to pass through the Ruins out of sight. They honed their senses for the slightest crunch of stones or the lightest breeze of wind. Everything seemed more apparent and real, amplifying the sudden approach of aliens.

There was only a single noise, a crack of a small pebble, in the distance that alerted Akili. Siran quickly led the young warriors into a half standing apartment. Akili hid himself amongst rubble on the street floor. Even as he watched the road for aliens, Akili could feel the watchful gaze of the warriors above.
Siran did not speak a word to the warriors, giving them only small hand signals to stay low. They wanted to ready their rifles, tighten their gear and brace for combat. Siran stopped them with a single stern glance.

Three robots marched down the street, almost running. Their legs lunged forward at every step. The aliens were focused on moving quickly through the Ruins. They were definitely motion trackers but they did not notice the fighters that hid at the corner of the street as they passed.

The young warriors were astounded but the apparently ignorant aliens. They turned to Siran speaking their praises and exclaiming their surprise. This was the first time they were able to avoid a battle. They had thought combat was inevitable if aliens neared their position.

“We must continue forward and find food for your cell,” Siran said, calming them.

The four picked their way through rock and rubble, stumbling at times. The surroundings gradually changed, as the buildings became larger and the rubble was more coherent. Akili pushed them forward as quickly as possible, when they suddenly reached a clearing in the Ruins.

It was wide, a swath of destruction that had been smoothed by time. Nothing existed in a wide radius except a thick layer of dust over a thin layer of broken dirt. All the structures that had once stood there now disappeared and any rubble was washed away by time. Akili could feel the danger of stepping into the area. Any alien could see them from hundreds of metres away. Going around the clearing seemed a distant detour.

Akili decided to run it. The four tightened their combat gear and ran. Akili pumped his legs, feeling the burning in his muscles but pushed them to their limits. He could not silence his movement moving so fast, creating a crack and crush of his boots on the scattered concrete that was embedded into the dirt. The air forced to his lungs dried his mouth and he could feel the sticky saliva in his mouth grow. Still, he ran, time slowed but his muscles did not.

In a single instant, he pulled his muscles to a stop and he felt the pangs of pain in his chest intensify. They had run over two hundred metres to reach the far edge of the desolated area but many aliens could have seen their dash. Akili had no choice but to push the group deeper into the Ruins to avoid detection.

They had walked no more than several feet before Akili spread out an arm to signal a halt. A creak of a metal beam brought their eyes upward. They could see a beast holding itself above the street on a metal beam that was supported by walls of opposing buildings. It swung its tail excitedly as it sniffed the air. Other beasts of its kind lurked about in the shadows inside the building.

The beast snarled and hissed in random directions but when it looked Akili’s way, he could see it had no eyes. It was a sound hunter. A young warrior behind stepped forward with his rifle, but Siran quickly placed a hand over his mouth. Akili turned his face and mouthed the words “do not speak”. Siran removed her hand slowly, and the warrior let his foot touch the ground softly.

Suddenly, the alien howled out and scrambled from the metal beam into the building. The entire herd began moving downward in the structure. One of the warriors readied his rifle for combat but he stayed his hand realizing that Akili had made no aggressive movement. The aliens burst out a shattered wall in the structure, howling and hissing. Their heads darted from one direction to another.

They faced the group for more than a second before rushing down the road at them. It would only take a second before they reached them but Akili still made no move. The beasts almost touched them before Akili finally took action. He grabbed one warrior, placing one hand on his mouth and another wrapped about his waist. The warrior was firmly in his grip as he leapt to the side of the road. Akili turned as he jumped, twisting in the air to land on the ground beneath the warrior. Siran waiting behind did the same, leaping to the other side of the road. Their bodies cushioned the fall for the young warriors so they would be silent on impact. Luckily, they made little noise for the stampeding aliens to hear as they passed.

Still in shock from the ordeal, the young warrior lifted off of Akili’s body and said in a confused voice, “The cliffs are not far. There is a lot of vegetation growing there, and it is also what you must climb to continue east.”

Akili nodded and took the lead in the march. Again, they breathed in the dust choked air and pushed toward the cliffs. Their journey led them through tunnels, broken structures and rubble fields but it was not anything Akili had not seen before. It was still the lifeless void that surrounded his childhood home.

As they moved east, the sun disappeared behind a growing escarpment on the horizon. Soon, the cliff wall spread to both ends of Akili’s vision. There was something peculiar about the wall that made it appear different. It did not seem like stone.

Finally, they halted their journey as night plunged the land into darkness. The fighters may have the cover of darkness at this time but they feared the greater aliens that lurked about at this time. It was the constant fear of alien hunting parties that amplified at night.

The four gathered about in the highest floor of an apartment building and secluded themselves from the ruined world outside. They hoped the structure would offer protection from the alien methods of search. One person stayed awake at all times.

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Masey209: JUST MAKE HER HAVE SEX WITH ME!!
Enix: Oops added an extra zero to it just like your hydro bill
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CowUltrapunk: slow as your dick
dimitri583: i told you
dimitri583: my dick is fast as fuck
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folder icon   09-27-2004, 09:40 PM
Post #10
Ultra_punk

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Chapter 13 Trap

Ajax snarled as he threw another grenade through a window. The explosive wobbled in the air before it fell into the roving mass of alien robotic infantry on the ground. It detonated as it struck the ground, sending a shockwave that travelled up to Ajax’s feet. Dust hanging on the wooden ceiling beams was shaken loose, forming clouds about the warriors that hid inside the battered and beaten apartment.

Courage regained itself in Ajax’s heart and he lifted his eyes above the window pane to see two dozen alien robots sitting outside with their energy cannons ready to fire another volley. He dropped to the floor in time to avoid a hail of blaster bolts impacting the side of the building. Fiery explosions blanketed the walls of the apartment, but the building withstood the damage and continued to protect the humans within.

Another volley rocked the building, sending some fighters tumbling to the floor. Ajax nervously eyed the support pillars in the large room. He could see them collapse any moment, and take all of their lives at once. The aliens had already taken three lives in the trek to this apartment. Now they surrounded them in an ambush.

“Ajax! There are at least thirty of them out there,” Obelix shouted out to Ajax. He was the most promising warrior in the platoon, proving himself in countless battles since they had taken on this journey. Words of trouble coming from his mouth resonated deep in Ajax.

“Every time we strike down a force, they attack with another. If we hit harder, they come in even greater numbers,” Ajax spit out, “We have lost three to them, but we will fight harder for them. We will keep cutting down aliens so that no others will be lost!”

Ajax shouted the last words before standing and unleashing his entire clip into the ground below him. He pressed his finger hard on the trigger, but his arms worked hard to keep the rifle steady and his aim proper. Many foes fell into the rain of his shells. The stream of bullets tore into the metallic carapaces like their energy beams did to bare human flesh. Holes were rent through their armour before electrical sparks and miniature explosions engulfed their critical systems. When Ajax’s clip finally emptied, he could see his men had taken apart the whole alien force that was foolish enough to stand out in the open.

The broken hulks lay on the ground with small streams of black smoke floating out. Still, Ajax was not impressed by the sight. He could only think that the price paid, while necessary, felt too high for his heart alone to contain. Still, the resolve in his mind pushed him to continue the journey and destroy the aliens that sought to destroy him.

“We will press on fellow warriors,” Ajax ordered. “Obelix you will oversee the rear guard.”

The warrior nodded in silence, minding his duty enough to forgo the usual post-battle chatter. Ajax grabbed his equipment from the ground and held it tight in his hand. He looked at it closely before using one hand to brush the dirt off of it. As his hand passed over the surface the dirt erupted in large cloud before clinging back to the bag. Ajax brushed it again harder, and faster but his hand hit a small piece of metal and he was cut. The wound was small but Ajax could feel it. He ignored the pain and strapped the backpack on.

He pushed his soldiers out of the room and into the streets. They had fought a battle almost every four hours on their journey. The more the soldiers defeated their foes, the more numerous they appeared to become. The aliens matched their resolve and determination with numbers and bodies. A trail of carnage marked Ajax’s path east.

They marched, proud and strong, through the streets of the Ruins of Humanity. None of them sought to hide their presence, rather they wished to present themselves as a powerful entity passing through the lands. Ajax had met and destroyed every force of opposition that the aliens sent against him, and he thought in his head that he would continue to do so for the rest of the journey. He would rather die fighting gloriously in combat than to lay a slave at the hands of the aliens.

Hours passed as they moved further east. A great wall began to appear across the horizon. It was a long escarpment stretching for days in each direction. Ajax peered upon the great work of nature and decided not to take a detour. He would climb the escarpment.

Suddenly, an explosion erupted behind Ajax. The sound drowned out all noise except for a single high pitch scream. Ajax turned but was blinding by the falling dirt and dust. Gunfire broke out and he could hear people shouting. Boots scuffed the pavement, and shells hit the concrete ringing but Ajax could not focus himself. He peered around the battlefield watching his warriors battle the alien foes.

There was a single robot standing atop a mound of rubble as hideous beasts rallied about it. Bullets dug deep into both earth and alien flesh as they stood to take the assault from the humans. Ajax looked back down to see dirt and mud cover his whole body but he was quickly distracted when he saw another person lay beside. For a moment, Ajax was held tightly in his daze by the woman’s face. Her features betrayed her youth, her pose showed her determination, but her eyes yielded no life. The explosion had sent shrapnel through her chest, killing her almost instantly.

Ajax broke away from the sight of death and smell of blood, screaming out his anguish into the air. He swung his rifle into hand and opened fire on the charging aliens, standing his ground without fear. Soon, three beasts lay dead in front of him soiling the ground with their blood. Still, one more alien pushed through Ajax’s barrage and lunged at him with its claw bearing forearms. Ajax managed to block the claws with his rifle but he fell backwards onto the ground.

The eyes of the beast lay a foot in front of Ajax, and its hot breath washed against his face. Ajax spit at the creature, disgusted by its stench. He kicked it before hitting it with the butt of his rifle. The creature was stunned only a moment but Ajax used every piece of a second to bring out his pistol from his waist holster and fire it point blank. Each pull of the trigger gave a dull thud and a splash of the alien blood onto Ajax’s face. He kept pulling the trigger until he was satisfied the beast was dead.

A single swift kick pushed the alien body off Ajax. He stood full of fury darting his eyes to each of his soldiers. “How many?” he said through his teeth. There were wounds on his body, but his anger blocked him from feeling it.

Obelix walked forward with a sorry expression on his face. He was about to speak but Ajax interrupted. “Forget the numbers, it doesn’t matter how many of us live, so long as the aliens are defeated.” The other soldiers nodded in agreement before they began to move the bodies to be stripped of equipment and left in the Ruins.

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a suicide bomber taken out by a suicide bomber? priceless
Masey209: JUST MAKE HER HAVE SEX WITH ME!!
Enix: Oops added an extra zero to it just like your hydro bill
CowUltrapunk: SLOW
CowUltrapunk: slow as your dick
dimitri583: i told you
dimitri583: my dick is fast as fuck
CowUltrapunk: working on your unspeakable weapon of mass atrocities?
ZoraxP: Yep. I call it the USA.
Urin Bloodface: i know ontario
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folder icon   10-01-2004, 03:37 PM
Post #11
Xenthar

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phankz!

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folder icon   10-24-2004, 02:40 PM
Post #12
Ultra_punk

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Chapter 14 Ascension

A great wall stood in front of Akili, spanning across the horizon. Impassable to each side, the only choice was to climb it. The formation was strange, a new wonder to Akili’s eyes in the bleak terrain of the Ruins. This was once a cliff to an escarpment but now a thousand buildings had collapsed onto it. Each floor of each structure now enshrined in its side created a step, a staircase for a giant.

Akili and Siren left the other fighters to continue their journey. The other fighters sought food, with their needs met by the vegetation that grew at the base of the cliff. Akili and Siren sought answers and they had to journey on, to the east, to seek it out.

They began a slow climb up the rubble, clutching onto rough stone bricks and twisted metal pipes. It was steep but many footholds jutted from the jagged surface of the escarpment. Together, in the shadow cast by the cliff, they scaled the wall.

Akili was unsure how high they were but looking downward, he judged they could be at a height of fifty metres. Even this height was an accomplishment, its difficulty proven by the layer of sweat over his forehead. The lack of sunlight did nothing to cool their hard worked muscles. The mentor decided to stop a moment, letting the pause relax their muscles. Still, he did not want his body to idle, so he worked his brain.

“Kael had told me there was some significant secret to no-fighting skill, but he could never hint to me as to what it was,” Akili mused aloud. “I have been wondering what secret could be locked within this technique.”

“Perhaps it could be some universal method of hiding from all types of alien foe,” Siren replied. She leaned over closer, more serious, “The knowledge of the secret could be some form of ascension, to rise up in skill and power to finally defeat the aliens.”

“Finally defeat the aliens,” Akili repeated, in a quiet voice to himself. He looked back up at Siren’s eyes, locking his view with hers. “The aliens,” he started saying, almost to himself again, “what secret have these aliens?”

Siren gave him a confused look, “What do you mean?”

“We fight these aliens with everything we have, on every battlefield and at every turn of the corner, but they outmatch us every time. Why do they not just come in force to wipe us out? Why do they not just devastate our lands once again? We can see what they can do every day we go outside. This entire world is in ruins. There is nothing left. Humanity is on the brink of destruction and our hold on technology is but a desperate grasp of our hands,” Akili replied. “What secret do they hide, that they do not simply destroy us?”

Siren looked at him, without voicing an opinion, merely listening to every word he said. He could tell she heard every word, but she did not respond. There were no words of hers to offer.

Akili continued the one-sided conversation, “This no-fighting technique allows us to evade our enemy and live a day longer, whereas our fighters die in combat behind us. Perhaps, the secret is that we cannot hope to defeat the aliens, only evade them to live on another day.”

“We can’t run forever,” Siren said in a whisper.

The words struck a blow in Akili’s mind. He wished for humanity to live on forever, but he could see no way to end the alien threat. “Then what is the secret?” he said again in a low voice.

Finally, he stood up and looked out into the Ruins. There was nothing but the destruction wrought many years ago left on the surface. Boundaries did not even exist to enclose the cities. For all he could see, up to the horizon, was a city, laid to waste by unknown weapons.

The moment lasted in Akili’s mind, the image burned into memory, but he knew the journey must be continued. The secret of the no-fighting technique meant something. He looked down at Siren, sitting peacefully, with the wind blowing her dark hair about. Akili extended his hand down to her. She grasped it tightly and pulled hard to stand up. Together, they continued the climb.

It almost appeared as if the skyscrapers and apartments had melded into the escarpment wall. Half locked within the stone and half jutting out. As they moved upward, they could see rotted furniture and wooden doors. Akili noticed some small rectangular frames that held faded images. He could not see what pictures those frames held, but he had never seen anyone keep an image before. A thought struck Akili as he realized all of the history of their land was not known. Not even the name of this world could be remembered. Education meant learning to fire a heavy machinegun by the age of ten.

Akili stopped a moment in his climb and looked upward. A massive concrete floor passed over his head, completely blocking his view of the cliff’s edge. He jumped up in a single spring and grasped the edge of the concrete with his hands. The rocky surface chafed his hands but he held on. Using all the strength of his muscles he lifted himself upward. He rolled himself safely onto the surface of the floor.

He peered back down and extended his hands to assist Siren. With his help she climbed upward in moments. Akili fixed his rifle’s strap with a strange buzzing noise could be heard in the distance. They both backed into the darkened depths of the room. Something slid against the concrete in the near distance, causing pebbles to cascade down the side of the cliff. In unison, both Akili and Siren instinctively kneeled down with their rifles ready.
The crackling noise of the pebbles continued in echoes but it was the buzzing sound of hovering machines that were more distressing. Aliens approached, and in no quiet manner. Two massive machines came into view. They hovered in flight, scanning the area but it was their size that baffled Akili. He had never seen any alien flying machine longer than a foot, but these were at least a metre long and half a metre tall. A turret extended from its front, and Akili could see many other weapons jutting from its well armed body. Its design was sleek and its armour shining. Obviously, it had been in no battles, but its power looked far greater than any alien machine previously encountered.

They hovered a moment outside their hiding spot. Akili did not know how to react. He could not tell what type of alien it was. Thoughts raced through his mind of motion, heat, eyes and noise. Suddenly, the aliens peered in his direction and his heart sank. He did not move or make a single noise. Akili let his breath stop as the machines seemed to have sought him out. A second may have passed but as abruptly as they turned in his direction they turned away and continued their patrol.

Akili let out a long drawn breath in relief. Still, the east had become much more dangerous to the no-fighters’ minds now. They waited longer than the usual minute for the aliens to pass, but Siren could not keep silent with what she had seen.

“I had never seen such large machines used by the aliens before,” Siren said, stating the obvious. “If they could build flying machines that large, they could build walkers much larger, and they could equip their alien infantry with better weapons.”

“Now we know why the more East you travel, the less humans there are. No cells exist beyond this escarpment, perhaps they have the most powerful machines roaming those areas,” Akili replied.

Siren leaned over closer to his ear, “You are right, though. Why don’t they send those things against us? Even in small parties so as not to thin out their heavy patrols here. These could devastate us.”

Akili shook his head side to side, “I don’t have any answers. I hope, for all our trouble, the east holds it.”

They turned back to scaling the steep wall of the escarpment. There was only a small distance remaining. The last part of the wall held no concrete floors splitting out of the rock, only a layer of rubble cast over the dirt and stone that lay underneath. Their boots crunched the pebbles underfoot, making unwanted noise. At least now, though, Akili and Siren could hold their rifles in their arms, instead of using their hands to grasp footholds.

They came upon the peak of the escarpment, finding that while they were lurking about the shadows, dawn had come about. Sunlight pierced Akili’s vision, as he brought his head above the escarpment level. A great orange glow was cast upon an array of clouds that filled the sky. Everything was a shade of yellow, orange and red.

__________________

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folder icon   11-12-2004, 12:38 AM
Post #13
Ultra_punk

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Chapter 15 A Great Wall

They moved in unison upward on the steep climb, fully alert of the environment around them. Each soldier held back a pressure within them, a fear that had grown over their time in the Ruins. Their inspiration in their leader, and their conviction in a conflict that saw no end pushed their legs forward. Ajax let no man fall behind, and held them together with his vision.

Ajax was leading fewer men every day that passed. Hardly half his soldiers were still alive, climbing up the great escarpment. Still, he would let no sorrow stop him. He pushed on toward the east, desperate to find an end to the war. Ajax knew in his heart, that the single weakness within the aliens lay somewhere out in the perilous region.

A constant coughing brought his attention closer to his fellow soldier. Ajax turned to look at a man, when faded eyes and weakened muscles. He struggled to keep up with the other soldiers, but it was clear the man carried a weight in his legs. Again, the warrior coughed, showing his weakened state.

“Stop, warriors, take rest here,” Ajax said, before walking over to coughing man. He sat beside him, bringing out a container of water. “Here,” he said passing it over.

The forceful gesture of his hand was not refused but the warrior looked ashamed to be drinking his commander’s water. Still, he was not some young inexperienced soldier in the field. Wisdom lit up the back of his eyes.

“So,” Ajax began the conversation. He paused a moment, looking out to the golden sky, and the low sun. The sunset cast a warm glow of orange over the broken buildings, revealing their flawed shapes in silhouettes. “How many do you think are out there?” Ajax said with a laugh, before taking back his water.

The man watched Ajax drain the liquid before replying. “Too many,” he said in a quiet voice.

“We’ll win,” Ajax said with a smile, placing his hand on the warrior’s shoulder. Even as his eyes betrayed the hope he showed on his face, Ajax could see inspirational words would do better than the truth of the desperation he faced. “It’ll take time, and we’ll need to be in there for a good lot more fighting, but we will beat them. We can’t let the aliens win.”

“You think we can make it?” the fighter stalled a moment in his sentence searching for more words. “You think we can find what’s out there?”

Ajax turned his head to face behind him, to the east. The commander could think of nothing they could be seeking in the east that would bring the downfall of the aliens, but he knew they had to seek victory.

He stood up, and the soldiers turned to him. Their ears were listening and their minds ready to accept his words. “Warriors, fellow fighters, we’ve come this far. We will not turn back,” Ajax thrust his hand forward with his pistol held tightly. “Victory is out there, it is within our grasp. We fight another day, and we shall see our achievements in the morning.”

There was a soft whisper that spread out amongst the fighters before they stood again to continue the journey. With a renewed courage they moved forward yet again. Their feet travelled yet another few hundred metres reaching the peak of the escarpment. The soldiers had surmounted a great wall of debris.

“Commander!” a warrior shouted through a hushed voice.

Ajax could make out a series of robotic runners, a kind he had never seen before, rushing toward their position. In a quick series of hand signals he pushed his soldiers into position. They took cover behind broken walls and piles of ancient burnt bricks. Ajax checked his rifle before holding up ready to fire.

“Warriors, you are fighters, aim well and seek weakness in your enemies. Strike to kill, not to injure,” Ajax voiced to his soldiers, his voice calm and his demeanour forceful. He would not let the aliens make a coward of him, nor of his soldiers.

The enemies came within two hundred metres, when they suddenly fired their unseen energy cannons. Thin blue beams lashed out at them, causing eruptions against the walls and debris they hid behind. Dust choked Ajax’s lungs, and blurred his vision, but his fighter skills took a greater hold of his fully focused mind.

His hands did not merely handle his rifle, but guided it to the proper positions. There was no detail on the alien body that evaded his eyes. As his finger touched the trigger, his mind could feel one location in particular to target, and he fired his rifle. Staccato bursts rang out, and a series of bullets screamed out the barrel of his rifle. Their flight was too quick for human eyes to see, but their impact was clearly visible. The rounds drove themselves deep into the metallic hide of the alien beast, bursting apart the critical systems that lay underneath. Ajax had placed his shot perfectly, hitting the machine in its weakest point. A secondary explosion tore off a piece of the robot before a short jerk of its hind legs finally spoke of its death.

Ajax had slowed the scene in his mind, but it all transpired within a second. He turned and found his next target, seeing it not as some alien beast but as a moving series of targets, some more critical than others. He guided his rifle to it, and fired another series of rounds, bringing it to a halt in a single volley. The process did not end for him, not until every alien lay dead in front of him. He let his eyes find the next target, and his hands guide his rifle for its destruction.

The mechanical foes returned fire on the human warriors as they rushed forward in their fearsome charge. Explosions tipped with a blue tint of colour erupted across the battlefield as their beams sought human targets. They cared not for the bullets that flew into their faces. No human had ever seen an alien cower before the firepower of any fighter.

An energy beam struck against a brick wall, bursting through its thin shell of defence. The flames broke through to the other side, incinerating a human warrior. He fell down with a shout, but he would not stand again. The fires had burned away his back, crippling him.

Hiding behind another ruined wall, a human soldier turned to face the enemies. A tight group of aliens turned to face him, barring their energy guns in a show of force. Like instinct, he reacted with the grenade launcher in his heavy machinegun. The explosive slammed into the ground with a small clank before detonating. The soldier cowered back behind the wall as the forceful explosion tore through the alien foes. Mangled aliens bodies remained in the carnage.

As the aliens moved forward, with numbers far less than they had begun with, the human warriors gained hope rather than fear. In unison, the fighters stepped forward with their rifles. The humans were trained killers, destroying the aliens, spotting the weakest point and firing with sniper accuracy.

Ajax stepped atop of the mound of debris, using his cover instead as a stepping stone. He swung his rifle about, firing in short bursts destroying an alien with each press of the trigger. The soldiers behind him destroyed every foe his hands could not dispatch quickly enough. Suddenly, one mechanical foe that had escaped their firepower blasted the ground Ajax stood upon. The blue flames reached up to engulf Ajax’s arm, leg and face.

Ajax cried out in pain but it turned into a roar as a sense of wrath swept through him. He turned his rifle and unleashed a flurry of bullets that left only a twisted metal body before him. As the smoke cleared from the battle, he looked down to see patches of his arm and his leg burnt a crisp black.

“Are you alright?” a warrior asked. She and her partner stood with their medical equipment ready.

Ajax looked up at the only two medically inclined warriors in his force. “Yes, yes,” he grunted, holding up his arm for them to fix. He could tell the two were in love. It was why they both trained for the same position. Being under the same mentor, they could spend more time with each other. Still, the war was more important than their romantic feelings, and they knew it as well.

He sat down, waiting for them to bandage his skin with the crude cloth they had. The commander watched them work on his body to fix what damages they could, with the little supplies they had. They were wounds that would leave horrible scars, but in time they would heal. For now, he accepted the bandages, even though they would not be enough. Ajax closed his eyes, laid back and waited for them to finish their job. He let their playful whispered conversation lull him into a calm rest.

__________________

a suicide bomber taken out by a suicide bomber? priceless
Masey209: JUST MAKE HER HAVE SEX WITH ME!!
Enix: Oops added an extra zero to it just like your hydro bill
CowUltrapunk: SLOW
CowUltrapunk: slow as your dick
dimitri583: i told you
dimitri583: my dick is fast as fuck
CowUltrapunk: working on your unspeakable weapon of mass atrocities?
ZoraxP: Yep. I call it the USA.
Urin Bloodface: i know ontario
Urin Bloodface: ive even been to vancover
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folder icon   11-30-2004, 12:14 AM
Post #14
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Chapter 16 Struggle

They were deep in the east, far flung into the territory of the aliens. Threat bathed them daily, in the morning sun and the dark shrouds of nightfall. Unfamiliar surroundings thrust them into a world, almost new, yet still the same. For Akili and Siren, living another day became their sole purpose.

A broken wall of brick, stone and metal bars provided them with cover as they looked on deeper into the Ruins. Square structures, once straight and proud, now with smashed crests, lined the street, able to stand above the sea of rubble. At one corner, a patch of green could be seen. The blades of grass swayed as the wind swept through the corridor of urban remains.

Akili knew they needed that food, for their limited supply was quickly draining. It was a concern voiced many times by Siren through her worried expressions each time she looked into their equipment packs. Each passing day became more desperate as they grew more aware of their deteriorating situation. They required resources, and they lay only a hundred metres from them.

They halted as their sense could hear the distinct rumbling of foot upon brick. Akili look deeper in the street, noticing a half dozen amber colour figures striding down the path. As their shapes grew more distinct, he knew they were no humans. They were walkers, but of a like unseen by Akili, more vibrant in colour and larger in size. Their weapons carried a menacing appearance, enough to humble Akili’s soul.

Quickly, the warrior stooped back below the barrier, wary of discovery. He darted a glance to Siren, a sign of warning with no words given. Sound of any sort was more dangerous than the actual leering eyes of an alien. Akili crept his body closer to Siren, placing his mouth close to her ears.

“Aliens, down the street,” he simply whispered. Siren knew he wished her better eyes to take a greater view of their foe. She lifted only a little, scouting the view of aliens before dropping back down with a grim face.

“There’s dozens, a whole army marching down the street,” she spat out in a harsh whisper. “What do we do?”

“What kind are they?” Akili asked.

Siren looked again, but could not recognize any of the machines. She shook her head, confused and afraid. The two warriors were trapped with no known recourse. Akili waited patiently, feeling the robots trot closer. Soon, they rumbled past their cover. Their broken corner of a building served them well.

A minute passed, but the marching robots would not end. They filled the street from end to end. It seemed almost a hopeless matter, a thousand alien foes, standing between him and his journey beyond. Suddenly, they halted their march and stood silently in the streets. They became a sea of amber taunting the warriors and baiting them into reckless action.

Akili stood up from his cover, ignoring the grip of Siren on his arm. He peered directly at the robots and saw no reaction. For a seconds, he stood in shock, drawing in the view of so many armoured enemies, each capable of killing him with a single blow of their undoubtedly powerful cannons. He was unable to move, stiffened by fear, until Siren stood alongside him.

Slowly, he turned his neck, pouring his strength into his neck muscles to overcome his fear of moving in plain sight of aliens. He locked eyes with her dark brown pupils. Fluidly, his hands moved to his rifle and unloaded the clip. Silently and soundlessly, he let guided his feet through the alien army, avoiding any contact. The pair of warriors stepped across metal bars and concrete slabs, edging closer and closer toward the patch of grass. The aliens did not move and did not react. Akili did not even know what sense they hunted upon.

They stepped onto the soft patch of dirt, feeling the ease of contact as their feet touched the ground. Akili stooped down and cut a patch of grass. He took his blade to another patch of grass when one of the amber robots turned and faced him directly. It stepped forward in two great steps thrusting its face close to his hands. It looked at the grass he grasped, analyzing every detail as if Akili had made some great found.

Without warning, the machine’s cannon swung into a firing position only inches from Akili’s eye. As an instinctual reaction, the warrior swung his rifle’s barrel into the beast’s heart but a soft touch on his shoulder stopped his hand from loading the clip. Siren knelt beside him, waiting, and Akili followed suit. The waste of two human lives was inexcusable in human society.

Akili lay there, with his rifle locked in position, and his body stiffened against the menacing appearance of the alien atop him. The two lay still, Akili waiting for the alien to make a move but nothing would occur. Slowly, he wrestled with his mind to continue cutting the grass. One hand moved off the rifle to pick up his knife again, before the other hand finally put down his gun and grabbed a patch of grass. Akili sliced a patch of the weed growth and stuffed it into his bag. Again, he grabbed a patch of grass and then cut it. For a third time he grabbed another piece of grass, but the robot suddenly moved, pointing its weapons at his hands.

The fear and the swift sound of the robot’s swinging head almost brought a stop to Akili’s heart. He merely shifted his eyes to the side to see the alien had made no further movement. A finger at a time, he let go of the grass, and put away his knife. There was no reaction. Akili picked up his rifle and stood up over the stooping robot. Still, it did not react to his movement.

Akili looked toward Siren, and grasped her hand pulling her up from the ground. He led her again, through the robots. They would need to find a quiet spot to make slop from their newly acquired grass. It was hardly hearty food, but for the lives they lived, it was all they could ask for. A harsh world brought harsh conditions.

__________________

a suicide bomber taken out by a suicide bomber? priceless
Masey209: JUST MAKE HER HAVE SEX WITH ME!!
Enix: Oops added an extra zero to it just like your hydro bill
CowUltrapunk: SLOW
CowUltrapunk: slow as your dick
dimitri583: i told you
dimitri583: my dick is fast as fuck
CowUltrapunk: working on your unspeakable weapon of mass atrocities?
ZoraxP: Yep. I call it the USA.
Urin Bloodface: i know ontario
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folder icon   01-15-2005, 05:12 PM
Post #15
Ultra_punk

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Chapter 17 A Path

Sunbeams cutting through the holes and broken walls of the towering ruins lining the street warmed Akili’s face as he looked upward. The early morning sky was filled with clouds cast red in colour. It was a scene not reproduced by the Ruins that lay upon the ground. The dull grey landscape of broken structures held little hint of having once been vibrant.

They walked down the street, more open than usual, but still cautious of every noise that echoed through the winding tunnels of the Ruins. Each step they took was careful. Even if a stone broke beneath their boot, it would only be a soft crunch, easily mistaken for a falling pebble thrown by the wind. Akili had become greater at stealth yet felt less knowledgeable about the methods of detection employed by the aliens.

There was a sense that the aliens noticed him, but reacted to his actions rather than to his mere presence. They appeared more intelligent than the casual hunter. Siran could feel the same loss of instinct and gain of intellect. Still, their journey took them further into the east and nothing took them back into the west.

Akili ducked through a broken pane of glass into the lowest level of some structure. There were shelves upon shelves of decayed merchandise but he was concerned only of their ability to hide them from view. He took Siran to the rear of the room, and laid down his backpack. After hours of a rough trek, they took a small break.

“We haven’t seen an alien for awhile,” Siran whispered to Akili as she brought out the food.

Suddenly, a white feathered bird standing outside called out, “coo coo,” before flying off into the air. Akili readied his rifle instinctual but could see no threat outside aside from the flying creature. The two waited, scanning every detail outside the structure for a mere hint of a foe.

“Was it some kind of alien spying unit?” Siran finally whispered to Akili.

Akili pondered the question a moment but kept his rifle pointing outward as he replied. “No wait, we saw a creature like that before at the top level of the office building. The elder called it a bird.”

“What does that mean?” Siran replied.

“I’m not entirely sure,” Akili said but he paused a moment. “How has it escaped the wrath of the alien warriors?”

Siran’s eyebrows shifted in thought, “The elder said the secret of no-fighting was in the east. The further we travel into the east, perhaps the more of these ‘birds’ we can find. They must hold the key if they survive so easily without weapons.”
“If single soldiers can escape battles, are entire cells able to evade the alien horde?” Akili questioned.

Siran continued ignoring Akili’s question, “Perhaps the birds are not so powerful in their no-fighting skills. The aliens could have a much looser grip of this region than we thought.”

“If they have less power here and less power in the west, where is the source of the alien power? Where are their factories, their grand cities and their massive population? They can’t be waging this war with absolutely nothing, losing so much in every battle against us,” Akili said.

“A grand city would mean the Ruins end somewhere,” Siran said. “Let’s get a higher view and look into the east.”

Akili nodded and they headed back into the street when they finished their small meals of green slop. It was hardly satisfying and left a foul taste in their mouths, but it kept them alive and nourished them enough. For these human warriors, it was just another hardship that was part of life.

Within the hour, they found a structure of great height, even with a shattered top. It was difficult to find a building that was both towering and safe to traverse within. As the two climbed the stairs, a faint howling of wind grew. The stairs began to creak and moan at their feet. Even the floor became unlevelled when they reached the highest point of the structure.

They stepped into a room of broken walls covered by little more than scraps of concrete still tied to their steel support. High winds cut through the building, threatening to lift them off their feet. Akili had never been so high in his life without the comfort of walls to protect against the environment. In tiny footsteps, he edged out for a clear view of the Ruins. Siran held onto his arm as the two moved to view the east from their new vantage point.

It was a breathtaking view, spanning out many kilometres in every direction. They turned looking every way gazing upon the Ruins with awe. The beauty was marred by an overgrowing sense of loss. Every direction held the same view. A grey landscape of a lost civilization. Even the sun could not cast colour upon the broken rubble that lay before them.

There was no end to the Ruins, just as there was no end to the Ruins when Akili looked upon it in the tall structures near his home. No alien strongholds could be seen in the east, and no alien cities.

“How far east must we travel before we can leave our own Ruins?” Akili asked aloud. There was an answer to the question but Akili was not sure what it would bode for him.

Suddenly, in the distance a faint rumbling could be heard. Siran brought out her rifle and gazed down with her scope. They were too distant to see anything even with the scope but it was easy to know what caused the noise. Grenades, gunfire and energy bursts were the only things that echoed in the Ruins. Human warriors battled alien foes in the battlefield of nothing.

“This is pointless, why are we even travelling east?” Siran said gazing upon the battle. “If there is some grand alien city, it is so far, it doesn’t matter to us. It is distant enough so that if we defeat them here, they can no longer harm us.”

Akili turned his head to face her, but he was speechless. No words and no thoughts came to his mind, as empty as the Ruins about him.

“The elder may be correct that the secret of no-fighting is out here, but humans will never win the war with no-fighting. We’ll never rebuild our cities and our rediscover our technologies,” Siran continued.

“I’ll keep going east. There must be something out here, something that the elder wanted us to see here. There must be a reason why he pushed me to learn no-fighting,” Akili replied, defiant in his belief that something can end the war.

Siran turned back to face the explosions with her foundation of belief in the elder shattered. “I,” she paused for period of time, “I don’t believe in the elder’s words anymore. This place is desolate and empty. We can never find anything here.”

“I never believed in the elder, Siran,” Akili replied. “I questioned every word he spoke and every idea he told me.”

“Then why did you come out here on this journey?” Siran asked in a confused manner.

“Every human warrior in every human cell lives his life in the same manner and ultimately gains the same fate,” Akili stated.

“What is that?” Siran said sharply.

“We fight, we teach our children to fight, and then we die. What difference is there, if we fight there, or if we travel into the east to fight? I never believe in something blindly, and that fighting itself, if it weren’t for the constant alien raids, it would have been blind belief,” Akili responded.

Siran furrowed her eyebrows and lowered her rifle. “If we don’t fight, we lose, right?” she asked. Silence greeted her as an answer.

Another howl of wind cut through the structure and blasted bits of dust into their faces. Akili squinted his eyes, but he could see a white bird fly across the structure before quickly disappearing in the sky.
Chapter 18 Purpose

In a circular formation, eight robots stood around a thick patch of weeds. Suffering any longer under reduced rations, Ajax could not think they would survive the next battle because they would be too weak. The foes in the courtyard were not weak prey. They were hunters, efficient at extinguishing human life. Jutting out from each of their blocky rectangular arms were the ends of two cannon barrels, symbolizing their great power in war. The energy bursts that exited those weapons could easily rip a human in half. The bright colours of yellow splashed across their shiny grey metallic hides seemed to care little for their need of stealth.

Those alien foes were the obstacle to their objective. They stood rigid and still, never moving to any noise or distraction. They simply stood there, each of their two feet planted firmly in the ground, and their weapons aimed slightly high into the air. Ajax looked upon them, not as aliens but as targets. He could see where their weakest points laid and their maximum damage capacity.

Ajax held his rifle in his hands firmly, looking down upon the robots. They were caught in the middle of a courtyard surrounded by buildings several storeys high. Hundreds of windows looked down at the position. In a cautious fashion, Ajax edged closer to the window.

Suddenly, a boot could be heard to scrape across a concrete floor before a large stone dropped from a high level in one of the apartments. It struck the ground with a resonating thud. In unison, Ajax’s platoon thrust their rifles out the apartment windows and opened fire on the aliens below.

Ajax pressed on his trigger lightly letting out only three round bursts. The first bullets struck the left torso of one alien, eliciting sparks from the metal but left nothing but a small dent. Again, Ajax fired, below the torso at the waist. The rounds struck with seemingly greater force, rupturing holes in the thinner layer of armour. Critical systems were struck and the robot stumbled backward, planting a foot into the middle of the yellow flowers of the weeds.

Only a faint glimpse fluttered across Ajax’s vision as a grenade was lobbed into the courtyard below. A dirty explosion of earth and stone erupted at the feet of one robot catapulted half its body into the air. The other half was obliterated in the core of the detonation.

One robot turned its view skyward to peer across the many windows that looked back on it. Several bullets struck him from behind, tearing deep into the back of his neck. The wound inflicted great damage upon its body. The alien dropped forward into the ground, never to move again.

“The skill of a warrior is determined by how well he strikes and when he chooses to strike,” Ajax cited aloud to the youngest member of his platoon. As he finished his words, he dropped from view of the window and lay flat on the ground. The other fighter followed suit, at the adjacent window.

White flashes lighted up the courtyard as energy bursts erupted from the mouths of the alien weapons. Fireballs of blue and white struck against the apartment buildings destroying windows and walls. The structures shook at the sheer force unleashed upon them, and the Ruins could listen to the grand echoes of the alien fury.

A ball of energy slammed into the top of Ajax’s window tearing apart the wooden sill before erupting in a cloud of blue destruction. The hot flames licked Ajax but the ceiling and walls disintegrated into dust from the attack. Thick grey smoke blanketed his room, choking Ajax’s breath and blinding his vision.

Another fiery bolt struck his building, jolting the floor lying underneath Ajax. Ajax turned his head to see the blue white flames slowly expanding as if time itself had slowed. The thundering explosion filled his ears but his mind suddenly became deadly focused.

Ajax stood up from the floor and ran to the shattered wall where his window once existed. He did not wait for the flames to clear before he pointed his rifle back down to the courtyard. A cloud of dust hid him from the eyes of the robots but Ajax could see the bright yellow skin of the foes.

He pulled the trigger, letting out three rounds into the face of one robot. The bullets smashed the metal, blinding the alien. More bullets rained down, striking its knee joint, bringing it to the ground. Another flurry struck its neck, destroying critical systems and finally ending its life.

There was no mercy or pause to Akili’s wrath. One robot turned against him, and Ajax unleashed his weapon upon it. Bullets ricocheted off the thick torso and sparks bounced off the arms. Feeling undamaged, the alien returned Ajax’s fury with fiery bursts of energy. Explosions tore deep into the apartment to each side of Ajax. Shards of wood cut across his face and small blocks of concrete bashed against his body. Ajax took no heed of the growing cuts across his mortal body.

He focused his rifle on the visibly weakest in the robot’s torso and fired again. Five bullets soared from his rifle before the clip emptied. Even while the bullets flew, Ajax reloaded his rifle and fired another flurry of rounds. They struck in successive fashion, each dealing a grave wound to his opponent. Finally, a deep hole lay in its centre and it fell backward lifeless.

Ajax stepped closer to the edge, surveying the ruined courtyard below. A blackened crater marked the site of the grenade blast. Eight distinct heaps on the ground were strewn randomly about the ground. The mangled bodies of the robots displayed the one sided battle they fought. Great holes dotted the once undamaged apartment buildings about the courtyard.

Smoke still lingered about the air, filling Ajax’s lungs with dust. He could see no more foes to defeat and declared victory with silence. As he turned, he could see that energy bursts that devastated the room. The floors had fallen away and the ceiling caved in at many points. The whole wall was broken away, leaving only small pieces attached to the support beams.

In single thoughtful steps, Ajax walked toward the exit, when he turned to look at his side. A burned corpse was pushed up against a wall. Ajax bent down to the body, realizing it was the junior soldier in his platoon. He had died valiantly in combat.

“Your life, for eight of theirs, my friend,” Ajax said with sorrow. “You will not be forgotten.”

Suddenly, a voice beside Ajax said, “What children will read poems of his sacrifice?” Ajax snapped his head to Obelix but did not respond. “We’ve already lost our ancient history for what few men it remembered, who will remember any man in our time?”

“This war shall mark his life,” Ajax said as he left the room.

In a low whisper Obelix responded, “Our lives gain no more purpose in war.”

The two stepped into the courtyard, while the platoon waited assembled for his post-battle congratulations. He nodded to each man, noting only the one warrior had died in this combat. Finally, he walked over to the plants that were their source of food. The yellow flowers swayed atop the thin green stocks. Ajax bent down to run his hand through them. The patch was singed from the combat, leaving a portion inedible. It was a plentiful patch for the platoon, ringed by the bodies of eight alien fighters.

“Let’s reap our reward,” Obelix said aloud. The other soldiers immediately began collecting the food source.

One man sat on the ground and began crushing the plants and another began a small fire to cook the result. It would become the disgusting green slop that every human despised, yet it was the best way to get the most food. Ajax sat along with his soldiers waiting for the meal to be prepared. He enjoyed these moments, letting the position as mentor slip away and becoming of the same level as his fellow fighters.

The soldiers became friends and Ajax a well liked comrade. There were fewer fighters there than at the beginning. Almost half had died on the journey so far, and the grim toll was still not yet paid.

Ajax knew the aliens lay at every turn, to be defeated so that they can continue on into the east. There was a way in Ajax’s mind that could end the war. It was total victory against the aliens. Total victory meant only the total destruction of the aliens.

__________________

a suicide bomber taken out by a suicide bomber? priceless
Masey209: JUST MAKE HER HAVE SEX WITH ME!!
Enix: Oops added an extra zero to it just like your hydro bill
CowUltrapunk: SLOW
CowUltrapunk: slow as your dick
dimitri583: i told you
dimitri583: my dick is fast as fuck
CowUltrapunk: working on your unspeakable weapon of mass atrocities?
ZoraxP: Yep. I call it the USA.
Urin Bloodface: i know ontario
Urin Bloodface: ive even been to vancover
Last edited by Ultra_punk on 01-16-2005 at 02:43 PM.
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folder icon   02-05-2005, 05:19 PM
Post #16
Ultra_punk

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Chapter 19 Necessity

A light haze grew over the pile of stones caught in Ajax’s scope. The grey mist obscured his vision, but he stayed vigilant in his watch. The shattered street remained silent and lifeless.

Suddenly, a hand touched his back and he stiffened in response. A man whispered and left him a bowl of food. The green paste was half the size of a normal meal. Ajax never turned to face him before the other warrior left. He had no words in his mind to speak.

Ajax returned to his watchful post, guarding the broken street against invasion. Throughout his sentry he constantly gazed back upon the three corpses lying on the ground. Their sprawled corpses mocked Ajax at his inability to protect every one of his fighters. They were lost in combat, just as every other casualty in Ajax’s journey. Their lives were met with the deaths of many alien foes.

As time passed, the pangs of hunger grew unbearable for Ajax. In an almost defeated manner, he picked up his bowl and began to eat the foul tasting slop. Even with his hands fully engaged in consuming the food, his attention was kept upon the street. After some effort of chewing and swallowing, he finished the meal and placed the bowl back at his feet.

A figure appeared in the street, turning a corner around a grand structure. Alarmed, Ajax picked up his rifle and peered downward. Stepping through the broken concrete was a fighter, loud and obvious. The man bore marks of battle, and the weariness of a long trek. As he came closer, the fog disappeared, and Ajax could see Obelix.

Quickly, the warrior rushed inside the building. It was obvious a troubled mind was about to greet Ajax. No signs of fresh combat dressed the fighter as he entered. Obelix was not to have been expected to return for three more hours.

Ajax met him on the ground level, taking him inside a room for privacy. They set down their weapons, and sat upon ancient chairs to discuss matters over a rotted table. The two stared at each other a moment, assessing what each had suffered through in the past day.

“What have you to report?” Ajax asked in a low voice. He scanned with his eyes very carefully across Obelix’s armour, remembering each catastrophe that brought a new mark on the man’s armour.

Obelix eyebrows furrowed and he spoke in a slow deliberate manner. “I had to return early,” he began, “there was too many obstacles blocking me from journeying further into the eastern Ruins.”

“More aliens to battle?” Ajax replied in a lost voice.

Obelix nodded in response. There was a pause in the conversation before Obelix continued his report. “I believe I have found some kind of power source. There is a generator out there, which I believe to be solar cell based. As well, adjacent to it is a cultivated growing area. It is some kind of farm, or perhaps a naturally occurring patch of weed.”

“So the aliens have a source of food and energy here?” Ajax was quick to say.

Obelix interjected before Ajax could continue, “It is a small source of comfort in the Ruins. Still it is better than our depleting supply of food, and the constant weary of combat. I think we die before an energy burst even hits us.”

“Well, we will have to suffer under these hardships for some time longer,” Ajax said in a strong manner, “until we capture that alien source of food and energy.”

“If we can’t hold onto that generator?” Obelix responded sharply.

“We’ll take what we can and destroy it,” Ajax answered. “This war demands such actions. It is a necessity.”

Obelix grunted and stood quickly from his chair. He looked closely at Ajax with an unwavering gaze but Ajax was not daunted. In a slow drawn out voice Obelix said, “There are many foes here, and no doubt more generators and farms. We have many things to destroy before we can journey further.”

“I agree,” Ajax answered and left the room. He did not look back as he stepped out to gather his soldiers.

Soon, the warriors gathered about Ajax awaiting his orders to follow him into combat. Tired faces stared at the commander, and sore muscles awaited the next battle. The men were wearied by the war, but they were not willing to surrender to the undying might of the aliens.

Ajax spoke carefully but in a newly found commanding voice. Each person listened but did not question. He had become a true leader amongst the warriors, making each a valiant man of combat. The fighters listened to the commander’s description of the generator and the farm. Obelix explained the position and points of attack. When the final words were spoken, they walked out in unison.

A certain heat rose up from the asphalt dulling the senses in the outside world. They were careful not to let their guard down, using their three recently lost comrades as examples. Ajax led the front while Obelix carried the rearguard. It was a routine they had established and reinforced through countless battles.

They continued down the road, looking at every crevice and window for danger. Every soldier kept their sense acute for every noise. They were under a heavy pressure, and even the slightest crack or howl of wind pushed them into action. Their eyes darted from side to side watching for aliens. The soldiers were the results of years of hard training and great pressures of war.

They came upon a deserted street, much like the many others in the Ruins, but at a distant intersection stood the objective. It was a structure no higher than three storeys but its roof had been torn off by some unseen hand. There, green stocks grew and a single cylindrical machine stood at the one side where the walls still reached up to the missing top.

Each soldier fanned out, a motion that was so well trained no hand signals were needed to move in unison. One man followed Obelix as he pushed toward the right flank of the structure. They had not seen any alien foes guarding it, but they new the danger lay waiting for them. Obelix could feel the heat of the alien weapons even before they entered combat.

A collapsed wall allowed Obelix to climb upward into a structure that looked upon their goal. He moved to the highest level, taking along the junior soldier with him. At the top floor, he crouched down to his knees to look outward of a hole gouged into the wall. He could clearly see Ajax lead the main contingent of troops down the main street, while a few others raced through the left flank.

The junior soldier moved forward but Obelix suddenly thrust out his hand. “Shut up and listen,” Obelix spat out in a quick whispered voice. A strange low noise grew in strength as a few seconds passed before the obvious buzzing noise of a floating alien machine could be recognized. The dangerous foe cut quickly across their vision but just as suddenly as it had come, it stopped. The machine turned, but Obelix kept his hand blocking the junior soldier behind him, impeding any action.

Obelix’s heart thumped quickly, the pulsing noise vibrating through his ears. Only due to his years of warrior experience could he keep himself calm and still. In turn, the alien stared deeply at him. The machine had no eyes, but it carried a cutting beam that acted much the same. The threat lay in front, waiting for them to take action. Neither moved, waiting.

Like a crack of lightning before the approach of a storm, an explosion erupted in the background. Obelix’s muscles stiffened as he could hear the sound of battle flood the Ruins. He darted a single glance in the direction of the machine, but it had already disappeared.

“Why did we not attack it?” the junior soldier asked.

Obelix turned to face him, slow and thoughtful before answering, “You should know when a bullet should be fired.”

Finally, Obelix stepped to the edge of the hole and nodded to the other fighter and they jumped downward to race into combat. He had always had his actions guided by instinct, and in this case, it did not feel any different.

Chapter 20 Failures

Akili gave Siren a sharp look as she snapped another blade of concrete underneath her foot. The sound echoed throughout the library. Even so small a noise brought enough disturbance to wake the birds within the structure. They flew outward, creating more noise as their wings flapped rapidly.

“There are a lot of birds out here,” Siren whispered not caring to be quiet again.

Akili grabbed her hand and brought her head upward to face him. He did not speak immediately but rather let a period of silence occur between them. Sunlight, breaking through the moving clouds, wove through a shattered window and cast a glow on Siren’s face. The light blinded her and she closed her eyes for a moment even as she continued to face Akili.

The birds returned, flying in through the broken stained glass windows, and weaving about the stone columns. Their feet touched the ground with light scratches across the greyed black and white marble. It was an uneven landing area for them, with shards of concrete, rotten wooden debris and decayed books forming a treacherous path along the hall. Their numbers were hidden amongst the dancing shadows.

Wind blew past them, sweeping pieces of long lost texts, too decayed to read. The library had become decrepit over the countless years it had been in the Ruins, without a single soul entering it for knowledge. Even Akili and Siren only stood at its very edge, a long hallway that ran around the border, but even here its grand architecture and vanished knowledge could be seen.

Siren whispered again, breaking Akili’s imposed silence, “You won’t find your answers to our war standing here.”

Akili remained standing, but Siren finally brushed off his hands and continued forward. She almost rushed through the hallway, caring less for making noise and more about progressing through the structure. In a slow manner, Akili followed her, watching every movement she made and listening to every noise she created.

They moved forward until they reached the eastern entrance of the library. The doors, standing almost ten metres high, were a woven pattern of artistic sculptures pressed together into a proper shape to fit as an entrance. They were left ajar, giving the two warriors a small space to fit through to gain exit.

As they stepped outward, the sight of death greeted them immediately. A soldier lay upon the ground, having died many years ago outside the doors. Bullet shells littered the ground, and the man’s rifle was still gripped tightly in his hands. In a circle about his body a dozen defeated aliens lie.

Akili crouched low and looked over the body. “This must have been years ago,” he said flatly.

“Another death,” Siren replied. “It’s another death at the hands of the aliens.”

As Akili ran his hands over the man’s equipment, finding everything still on him, he looked upward at Siren with a puzzled face, “He was alone.”

Siren jerked her head around looking at the fallen human. “He was a no-fighter? Why did he use his rifle?”

“I’m not sure,” Akili said in a low tone but Siren shook her head.

“What’s the point then?” she said. “There must be some way to destroy the aliens.”

Akili hovered over the body motionless deep in thought for many minutes pondering every detail about him. About him laid the tragic scene of a man, who was undoubtedly great in no-fighting skill to have progressed so far alone, yet was ultimately slain by the aliens. It was a terrible death, but Akili looked also at the dozen aliens that surrounded the body.

“We need to keep going,” Siren urged, placing a hand on Akili’s shoulder.

Akili stood up and brought his rifle tightly into his hands. He stared at the weapon, realizing suddenly, how useless it felt in his hands. The lump of metal, the product of countless hours of work in the machine shop, was an ineffective tool in the war. Akili could sense, every piece of his equipment as simply nonexistent and yet it would make no difference to his survival.

“Yes, we need to keep going,” Akili replied. “There is no surrender.”

They moved forward until finding that they had come upon a short cliff. Ruined structures allowed them to climb below but they stalled looking beyond. A ravine was cut into the Ruins, illuminated by yellow metallic hides. The warriors knew what they looked upon. It was an impenetrable wall of alien machines guarding yet more indifferent Ruins.

Akili climbed downward, scaling the rocky cliff by stepping on the remnants of high rise apartments. He travelled only a few metres down when he noticed Siren was not following him. Distressed, he looked upward and whispered out her name. She looked downward at him with a changed appearance.

“That is suicide,” Siren said.

Akili looked back at her, thinking the same, “We can use our no-fighting skills.”

“You have that much faith in it?” Siren said.

Akili gripped his rifle thinking of his abilities as a fighter, and knowing his obvious deficiencies. “No,” Akili replied. “What other choice do we have?” Akili thrust out his hands, “This is the achievements of fighting, and our war. We can fight and die, or we can try to find what is out there.”

“We can fight, but we don’t have to die,” Siren retorted. “The achievements of our war can be weighed by the corpses of our enemies.”

“We have to try!” Akili whispered forcibly. “Everything we’ve seen, everything we’ve been through, fighting has only one end.”

Siren crouched low, “You will never defeat the aliens with no-fighting. Not a single alien death is caused by no-fighting.”

Akili stammered, knowing it to be true. Still, Akili would not surrender in the war, but nor would he surrender his skills of no-fighting to impossible odds. No blind faith carried his resolve, only his carefully given determination to peace found by something no fighter could find. “Fighters will fight, and I will do my end.”

For a moment, Akili imagined Siren climbing down to join him, but instead she turned and walked away. Akili was alone, the only one willing to continue the journey as a no-fighter.

In solitude, he continued the trek down the slope. It was an arduous task, avoiding pitfalls and jagged edges. The drop of a hundred metres created a journey worth five hundred on level terrain. Akili pushed forward, ignoring the lack of Siren’s presence. As he took his final step and touched the ground below, his attention was taken by the noise of an alien machine.

The creature could not be seen, but its powerful footsteps travelled through the structures it was hidden behind. Akili moved carefully, and silently, entering one of the structures to gain a better view of his adversary. Within one of the low rise buildings, he peered through a large pane of glass at the alien.

It was a green painted machine marching through the street, almost half a man taller than Akili. The arms of the alien sported weapons of great power, easily recognized to be energy burst cannons. Akili knew not to disturb an enemy of such power alone. He leaned back when the glass suddenly fall outward and shattered on the ground. The cascading noise of breaking glass filled the street.

The machine jerked and turned to face the noise. Its head stared directly at Akili, and it suddenly stiffened. Akili took a silent step forward, and watched as the machine remained completely motionless. In fear, he kept his rifle pointed directly at the alien’s head. Taking a chance, Akili took large but silent strides out of the building and into the street. He continued until he was far away from the alien. In all his movements, the alien had been utterly still.

Akili distanced himself quickly, finally stopping inside a secluded room of a large structure. Around him, scriptures adorned the walls on every side. He recognized only a few words, noticing that ‘government’ and ‘law’ appeared many times in the wording. It satisfied Akili that the place was safe rather than what ancient purpose this structure once held. There, he lay down his equipment sac and laid himself to rest.

__________________

a suicide bomber taken out by a suicide bomber? priceless
Masey209: JUST MAKE HER HAVE SEX WITH ME!!
Enix: Oops added an extra zero to it just like your hydro bill
CowUltrapunk: SLOW
CowUltrapunk: slow as your dick
dimitri583: i told you
dimitri583: my dick is fast as fuck
CowUltrapunk: working on your unspeakable weapon of mass atrocities?
ZoraxP: Yep. I call it the USA.
Urin Bloodface: i know ontario
Urin Bloodface: ive even been to vancover
Posts: 9,386 posposposposposhighposhighpos
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folder icon   03-23-2005, 09:06 PM
Post #17
Ultra_punk

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Joined: Jan 30 2001
Location: Canada
Posts: 9,386 posposposposposhighposhighpos

Chapter 20 Failures

Akili gave Siren a sharp look as she snapped another blade of concrete underneath her foot. The sound echoed throughout the library. Even so small a noise brought enough disturbance to wake the birds within the structure. They flew outward, creating more noise as their wings flapped rapidly.

“There are a lot of birds out here,” Siren whispered not caring to be quiet again.

Akili grabbed her hand and brought her head upward to face him. He did not speak immediately but rather let a period of silence occur between them. Sunlight, breaking through the moving clouds, wove through a shattered window and cast a glow on Siren’s face. The light blinded her and she closed her eyes for a moment even as she continued to face Akili.

The birds returned, flying in through the broken stained glass windows, and weaving about the stone columns. Their feet touched the ground with light scratches across the greyed black and white marble. It was an uneven landing area for them, with shards of concrete, rotten wooden debris and decayed books forming a treacherous path along the hall. Their numbers were hidden amongst the dancing shadows.

Wind blew past them, sweeping pieces of long lost texts, too decayed to read. The library had become decrepit over the countless years it had been in the Ruins, without a single soul entering it for knowledge. Even Akili and Siren only stood at its very edge, a long hallway that ran around the border, but even here its grand architecture and vanished knowledge could be seen.

Siren whispered again, breaking Akili’s imposed silence, “You won’t find your answers to our war standing here.”

Akili remained standing, but Siren finally brushed off his hands and continued forward. She almost rushed through the hallway, caring less for making noise and more about progressing through the structure. In a slow manner, Akili followed her, watching every movement she made and listening to every noise she created.

They moved forward until they reached the eastern entrance of the library. The doors, standing almost ten metres high, were a woven pattern of artistic sculptures pressed together into a proper shape to fit as an entrance. They were left ajar, giving the two warriors a small space to fit through to gain exit.

As they stepped outward, the sight of death greeted them immediately. A soldier lay upon the ground, having died many years ago outside the doors. Bullet shells littered the ground, and the man’s rifle was still gripped tightly in his hands. In a circle about his body a dozen defeated aliens lie.

Akili crouched low and looked over the body. “This must have been years ago,” he said flatly.

“Another death,” Siren replied. “It’s another death at the hands of the aliens.”

As Akili ran his hands over the man’s equipment, finding everything still on him, he looked upward at Siren with a puzzled face, “He was alone.”

Siren jerked her head around looking at the fallen human. “He was a no-fighter? Why did he use his rifle?”

“I’m not sure,” Akili said in a low tone but Siren shook her head.

“What’s the point then?” she said. “There must be some way to destroy the aliens.”

Akili hovered over the body motionless deep in thought for many minutes pondering every detail about him. About him laid the tragic scene of a man, who was undoubtedly great in no-fighting skill to have progressed so far alone, yet was ultimately slain by the aliens. It was a terrible death, but Akili looked also at the dozen aliens that surrounded the body.

“We need to keep going,” Siren urged, placing a hand on Akili’s shoulder.

Akili stood up and brought his rifle tightly into his hands. He stared at the weapon, realizing suddenly, how useless it felt in his hands. The lump of metal, the product of countless hours of work in the machine shop, was an ineffective tool in the war. Akili could sense, every piece of his equipment as simply nonexistent and yet it would make no difference to his survival.

“Yes, we need to keep going,” Akili replied. “There is no surrender.”

They moved forward until finding that they had come upon a short cliff. Ruined structures allowed them to climb below but they stalled looking beyond. A ravine was cut into the Ruins, illuminated by yellow metallic hides. The warriors knew what they looked upon. It was an impenetrable wall of alien machines guarding yet more indifferent Ruins.

Akili climbed downward, scaling the rocky cliff by stepping on the remnants of high rise apartments. He travelled only a few metres down when he noticed Siren was not following him. Distressed, he looked upward and whispered out her name. She looked downward at him with a changed appearance.

“That is suicide,” Siren said.

Akili looked back at her, thinking the same, “We can use our no-fighting skills.”

“You have that much faith in it?” Siren said.

Akili gripped his rifle thinking of his abilities as a fighter, and knowing his obvious deficiencies. “No,” Akili replied. “What other choice do we have?” Akili thrust out his hands, “This is the achievements of fighting, and our war. We can fight and die, or we can try to find what is out there.”

“We can fight, but we don’t have to die,” Siren retorted. “The achievements of our war can be weighed by the corpses of our enemies.”

“We have to try!” Akili whispered forcibly. “Everything we’ve seen, everything we’ve been through, fighting has only one end.”

Siren crouched low, “You will never defeat the aliens with no-fighting. Not a single alien death is caused by no-fighting.”

Akili stammered, knowing it to be true. Still, Akili would not surrender in the war, but nor would he surrender his skills of no-fighting to impossible odds. No blind faith carried his resolve, only his carefully given determination to peace found by something no fighter could find. “Fighters will fight, and I will do my end.”

For a moment, Akili imagined Siren climbing down to join him, but instead she turned and walked away. Akili was alone, the only one willing to continue the journey as a no-fighter.

In solitude, he continued the trek down the slope. It was an arduous task, avoiding pitfalls and jagged edges. The drop of a hundred metres created a journey worth five hundred on level terrain. Akili pushed forward, ignoring the lack of Siren’s presence. As he took his final step and touched the ground below, his attention was taken by the noise of an alien machine.

The creature could not be seen, but its powerful footsteps travelled through the structures it was hidden behind. Akili moved carefully, and silently, entering one of the structures to gain a better view of his adversary. Within one of the low rise buildings, he peered through a large pane of glass at the alien.

It was a green painted machine marching through the street, almost half a man taller than Akili. The arms of the alien sported weapons of great power, easily recognized to be energy burst cannons. Akili knew not to disturb an enemy of such power alone. He leaned back when the glass suddenly fall outward and shattered on the ground. The cascading noise of breaking glass filled the street.

The machine jerked and turned to face the noise. Its head stared directly at Akili, and it suddenly stiffened. Akili took a silent step forward, and watched as the machine remained completely motionless. In fear, he kept his rifle pointed directly at the alien’s head. Taking a chance, Akili took large but silent strides out of the building and into the street. He continued until he was far away from the alien. In all his movements, the alien had been utterly still.

Akili distanced himself quickly, finally stopping inside a secluded room of a large structure. Around him, scriptures adorned the walls on every side. He recognized only a few words, noticing that ‘government’ and ‘law’ appeared many times in the wording. It satisfied Akili that the place was safe rather than what ancient purpose this structure once held. There, he put down his equipment sac and laid himself to rest.

__________________

a suicide bomber taken out by a suicide bomber? priceless
Masey209: JUST MAKE HER HAVE SEX WITH ME!!
Enix: Oops added an extra zero to it just like your hydro bill
CowUltrapunk: SLOW
CowUltrapunk: slow as your dick
dimitri583: i told you
dimitri583: my dick is fast as fuck
CowUltrapunk: working on your unspeakable weapon of mass atrocities?
ZoraxP: Yep. I call it the USA.
Urin Bloodface: i know ontario
Urin Bloodface: ive even been to vancover
Posts: 9,386 posposposposposhighposhighpos
off.gif profile.gif sendpm.gif email.gif home.gif find.gif buddy.gif im_aim.gif im_yahoo.gif edit.gif reply.gif
folder icon   03-23-2005, 09:08 PM
Post #18
Ultra_punk

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Chapter 21 Blind

At each corner, rubble pile and crack of a building stood a sentry alien robot. They guarded the Ruins with vigilance, but remained motionless. Akili could not see any eyes on the creatures, but he could sense something probing the environment. He crouched down in a skyway connecting two buildings to avoid notice. The hallway stretched forward in front of him shrouded in shadows.

Akili looked to his rifle and noticed he had not fired a round since he had come this far east in the Ruins. Any bullet fired was a waste and an opening to further danger. He was but one human warrior surrounded by dozens of potential enemies. Disturbing the peace would bring devastating consequences.

In a slow methodological manner, Akili slip his foot forward and bent his body down so that he could peak outside through a crack in the wall. He counted every alien standing outside and every direction their heads were indefinitely locked in. Every move was calculated and visualized in Akili’s head. Not a single stone on the floor escaped his detailed analysis.

Suddenly, a cloud blocked the sun from view, and the entire Ruins were cast in a short darkness. In a single swift move, Akili rushed forward, making every planned step, dodge and curve of his body to avoid the windows and openings that would have revealed himself to the aliens. Even a skilled no-fighter as Akili could not readily tell what type of hunters guarded this street, but he took every precaution.

When he reached the other side of the building, he let out a sigh of relief. Quietly, Akili travelled deeper into the structure he had entered. Unrecognizable equipment lay on desks and tables, while rotten papers and bits of concrete littered the floor. There was not a single window that escaped some damage, leaving old glass strewn about the sides of every wall facing outward. Akili could hear nothing else in the structure except his soft footfalls landing on a thick layer of dust.

He ventured to the stairwell but found it had collapsed in its disuse. Akili peered downward looking for a path down through the use of footholds but strange buzzing noise echoed from below. Noticing it a little late for Akili’s skills, he was instinctively crouched low and brought his rifle to bear. Akili inched forward slightly, allowing his eyes to peer deep into the stairwell shaft. In the dark recesses below he could see several flying hunters swirling about.

Quickly, Akili stood up and took a step backward keeping his vision locked forward. Instincts informed him of dangerous eye hunters while his experience told him they were armed with more weapons than he had ever seen. A sense of panic grew within his chest as he could hear the buzzing increase. The aliens were approaching, slowly and thoroughly searching each level.

Akili risked a low level of noise, sprinting through the hallway. He searched for another way downward and out of the structure but he was finding nothing. Eventually he found himself standing in front of a locked door. Fear rushed into his mind, and he snapped off the door handle with the butt of his rifle. He stepped into the room and found himself in square space with no windows but several tables. Pushing deeper into the room, he thought of preparing a trap for the approaching aliens.

The low faint sound of hovering machines sounded down the hall. The dangerous aliens moved slowly, meticulously venturing into every room before moving forward. Akili knew the aliens appeared far more powerful in the east making his rifle appear insignificant in his hands. The blank walls mocked him for his lack of skills.

Panic and fear threatened to take hold of his mind, but Akili stopped his movements and closed his eyes. He pictured the room about him and something clicked in the mechanics of his brain. The environment around him appeared before him and he inspected every object. The desks were bolted to the ground and could not be moved. There were many chairs of no great importance. Small pieces of garbage littered the area as well as a thick layer of dust. Finally, there was a large vent at the back of the room, far larger than any he had ever seen.

Akili opened his eyes again and tore the vent open. He peered inside and could see there was little room for him to fit through. First, he pushed his equipment bag into the vent and heard it drop downward with an alarmingly loud thud. Without a look back, Akili pushed himself through and immediately fell downward in an unseen shaft. He fell hard onto the bottom and found himself stuck inside, still upright while the vent bent at sharp angles to a horizontal path.

There was little movement he could muster, but Akili snap his legs down hard. The force of his blow broke the decrepit vent, letting fall straight down. He landed inside the ceiling of the floor below. Dust choked his lungs in the dark area. Akili did not wait long before picking up his equipment and breaking his way to the floor below.

A cloud of dust sprung upward as Akili’s feet slammed onto a wooden desk. The object vibrated long after the impact, shaking debris off to the sides. Akili swung his rifle up and spun about looking for a target. All of his loud disturbances called out to nothing but shadows and dust.

The warrior stepped off the table and looked to one side of the room, noticing again, that there were no windows but instead one side of the room was filled with a large black surface. Akili was unsure what it was, but it had a panel attached to its bottom with bits of white sticks lying across it. He walked over and picked up one of the white objects feeling its rough surface in his hand. Unsure of its purpose, he put it close to his noise and sniffed it. As he drew in the smell it felt as if something far worse than dust crawled into his senses. Akili put the object back down and ran his hand across the surface of the wall. The black wall felt cold, yet smooth. As he removed his hand, he could see his hands were covered in a chalky white substance.
Akili looked back to the white objects, and pick one up to rub against the black wall. It left clear visible white marks upon it. Slowly, he drew a picture with the white object on the black wall and stepped backward behind one of the desks to look.

“What purpose did this room serve long ago?” Akili whispered but no other human would hear his question.

The hallway outside was left dark without windows are sunlight. It was too far in the interior of the structure to let sunlight through the numerous cracks and openings in the walls once perfect in design. As Akili proceeded through the structure, he found every room in the hall carried the same design. A black wall with rows of stationary desks filling the room. Akili counted the number of chairs, and found far more humans could sit in this building at once than all the fighter cells he could remember since his childhood.

Still, Akili knew the danger of alien pursuit was not behind him and he hastened to find another path downward. Akili walked until he reached the far side of the structure and the first sight of windows appeared before him. A wall of windows was spread alongside a crossing hallway. The glass was far thicker and sturdier, leaving most of the windows intact even in its long disrepair. The only exception appeared at one end of the hallway with a small hole.

Akili, walked to the offending spot and found the glass had been cut. Outside lay a rickety shape of stepping stones and footholds to get down to the roof of a building attached. There had been humans here before.

Without too much questioning, Akili followed the path set up by the unknown individual and proceeded out of the structure. Outside, fog clouded his vision and a brisk cold wind gave a quick chill. Akili left the structure, never to return to it to look again at the objects within and the purposes of the designs.

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folder icon   03-31-2005, 10:42 PM
Post #19
Ultra_punk

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Chapter 22 Cycle

Bursting into the grey sky, a flock of white birds fluttered into Akili’s view. Each flap of their wings sent noise deep into the Ruins. The spectacle gave rise to panic within Akili. He crouched low holding his dark rifle ahead of him, anticipating an attack from all directions. All of his no-fighting training tuned his senses to prepare for combat at any sight and any sound.

The birds flew off into the distance without occurrence. Akili was left waiting for enemies that never came. Clouds passed over head, each blocking the sun for varying lengths of time. Waves of shadows passed over the landscape, but Akili set still as the broken stone about him. No creature exited any of the hole-riddled buildings. There was no clamour from beasts rustling through the debris.

Akili’s fears proved invalid, and he stood up with confusion. The birds had attracted no attention, yet human warriors are locked into combat so easily. He kept the image in his head as he continued his trek through the Ruins. Some sounds, no matter how loud, arouse no aggression from the aliens. Perhaps, there were some movements, no matter how visible that they would alarm no alien.

After days of travel since Siren had left Akili, his journey had taken him deep into an industrial sector of the Ruins. Old rusted mechanical equipment lay at the sides of the dirty streets as random weed grew in cracks about the ground. The asphalt roads had crumpled into random bits and pieces strewn about in a disorderly manner. Every building that stood in the area looked decrepit, even if it was obvious they were never constructed for beauty.

In curiosity, Akili entered a factory but found it rather empty inside. The small interior yielded nothing but wrecked equipment and an inch thick layer of garbage on the ground. Above Akili’s head were metal walkways built along the side of the building. Glass windows lined the walls above the walkways, but too dirty to see through except for the portions that were shattered.

Akili entered the next room, finding a stair case inside that led up to the walkways. Suddenly, a stench of death entered his senses. Immediately, he readied his rifle and searched the room for the source. At the base of the stairs lay a dead alien. It appeared as an unrecognizable mass of flesh riddled with bullets and stained with yellow blood. The creature type looked unfamiliar but Akili did not linger long at its body. The odour was powerful enough to warn the no-fighter from staying long.

As he walked up the stairs, numerous bodies lined each side. Each creature was filled with bullet rounds. Finally, at the top Akili could see the killer. A human warrior laid against the side of the wall with his head turned toward the window looking outward. He was dead, but the rifle was still gripped tightly in his hands. The sunlight from outside passed just over his body, leaving him in the darkness.

Akili crept toward the fallen comrade in arms carefully, ensuring his movements warranted no attention. With a bending of his body, he kept himself out of view below the windows. He kept his composure even as he approached the dead body. The smell and the sight were disgusting but he did not let it disturb him.

There were marks on the man’s arms similar to those on Akili’s. They were marks a no-fighter used to signify his skills. Akili looked outward through a smashed window. Outside, there lay five robotic enemies, slain by the hands of the warrior laying at Akili’s feet. It seemed unlikely a no-fighter would begin a battle but Akili could see the results. The lost friend was claimed by a single energy beam to his chest.

For a moment, Akili crouched beside the fallen warrior. He counted the number of alien foes he had dispatched. There would only be a limited number of foes for any alien pack. Akili wondered for a moment if more warriors may have meant victory. It was possible to destroy one alien pack, but Akili wondered how many lives it would cost to destroy every alien pack in this manner.

Suddenly, a window pane fell and crashed to the ground with a thundering boom that echoed through the factory. Akili swung about looking straight in the direction of the noise. Some kind of creature stood in the walkway directly across from Akili. It had accidentally pushed against the wall, forcing down one of the weakly supported glass windows.

The no-fighter froze in motion staring straight into the eyes of the monstrous beast. In turn the alien directed its face toward Akili. Its dark red eyes focused on Akili, and its tail slowed to a halt. In a slow fashion it hunched down and it vividly displayed the large claws on each of its hands. A single quick grunt escaped its mouth, reaching Akili’s ears in a timely manner.

A split second passed as Akili eyed the alien before deciding between flight or fight. Akili spun back about and kicked a metal bar supporting the window panes. The impact snapped the ancient support and the glass began to rain downward. As the glass shattered into separate deadly shards, Akili bent downward and turned his body away from the wall. He let the debris strike harmlessly against his body armour. When the rainstorm of glass ended, he took another quick look at the beast before leaping.

With minimal effort, Akili landed with a roll and brought his rifle back into a firing position. He had judged correctly and noticed alien beasts were already climbing the stairs toward his position. The warrior waited no longer and began to sprint across the broken pavement. The speeds of human legs were no match for those of an alien beast but he had his mind to win this chase.

Akili raced forward, but the area was unfamiliar to him. He need his wits to be aware of every fleeting image that passed by his vision. With the threat of aliens close behind, the warrior kept his legs pumping forward without rest. Breath became short, but adrenaline took his attention away from his physiological needs. Suddenly, he stumbled upon another dead body. For a moment, Akili thought his foot stuck and dragged the weight a foot before looking downward.

A ring of dead aliens surrounded that of another fallen human comrade. Akili stooped low to look at the man’s arms. Inscribed along the fore arm were the symbols of a no-fighter. Knowing he was chased, Akili did not pause long at the body. He simply decided fighting this battle was not worth it.

Again, Akili took flight, rushing ahead into the Ruins. He came upon a cross roads, created by massive industrial facilities. There were three paths he could take and each led to another unknown region of the Ruins. Growls and the clamour of heavy feet approached from behind. Akili wondered which path to take but his mind suddenly clicked into the environment. He rushed into one of the industrial facilities instead.

Looking about the structure, he found nothing but machinery creating tight spaces. At the far end of the building there was a staircase. Quickly, he ran across the factory floor and hopped up the stair case. He stopped a moment and looked back to his path. Stopping, he looked at the structure of the stair case and found it held up by only a few existing bolts. The remnants of the support structure were but a few rusted metal pieces. Every step on the stair case rattled it to alarming levels but adrenaline pressure forced him upward.

At the top, he turned the rifle about in his hand and smashed the bolts. In seconds, the stair case crumpled and collapsed into a heap of unrecognizable steel. The staircase was now filled with useless debris at the bottom of the three storey drop. Akili could still hear the alien beasts scrambling toward him. The entrance door way slammed open and the aliens entered the building.

The warrior vividly in view at the top of the factory on a walkway immediately dropped toward the ground. He stretched out his body and listened to the sound of his pounding heart. Below him, the aliens hunted for the human between the machines and equipment until finally finding the broken stair case. The climbed atop the steel jumble and looked within it, searching for a human hiding within one of its dark holes. They looked upward and became disinterested. For the aliens, a broken staircase meant nothing had gone upward.

They searched the factory for several minutes longer but eventually left the structure. Hours afterwards, the howling of alien beasts surrounded the factory. None entered the building, but they continued a patrol outside. Akili had no choice but stay within for the night.

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dimitri583: i told you
dimitri583: my dick is fast as fuck
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folder icon   05-25-2005, 08:40 AM
Post #20
Xenthar

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Nice nice.. keep it goin ultra!

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folder icon   05-26-2005, 10:39 PM
Post #21
Ultra_punk

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You know, you're my main reason why i want to continue writing this. Knowing that no matter how long i post each part, someone still wants to read.

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a suicide bomber taken out by a suicide bomber? priceless
Masey209: JUST MAKE HER HAVE SEX WITH ME!!
Enix: Oops added an extra zero to it just like your hydro bill
CowUltrapunk: SLOW
CowUltrapunk: slow as your dick
dimitri583: i told you
dimitri583: my dick is fast as fuck
CowUltrapunk: working on your unspeakable weapon of mass atrocities?
ZoraxP: Yep. I call it the USA.
Urin Bloodface: i know ontario
Urin Bloodface: ive even been to vancover
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folder icon   05-26-2005, 11:16 PM
Post #22
Ultra_punk

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Chapter 23 Promise

Metallic dust bit into Obelix’s eyes as the wind carried from an industrial wasteland. It stung the warrior’s senses, but it did not dull his mind. Gritting against the harsh air, Obelix narrowed his eyes, and took himself to the edge of the structure. His feet lay at the very end of a broken building of mixed dark colours, looking down onto a score of aliens.

These foes had disrupted Ajax’s plan to assault another alien stronghold. Each warrior looked upon another of the last alien force to be fought. Little changed from the destruction of the first alien structure to the last they had wrought their wrath upon. Columns of smoke rose for a time into the sky after each battle was fought but the aliens remained numerous, and they stayed mortal.

The monsters pushed forward into the street, kicking bricks and metal bars from their path with little regard. Again, they were outnumbered, but the aliens had always managed to bring forth superior amounts of force against them. Obselisk cared little for the odds and more to the strategy at hand. He held the rifle tightly in his hand and meant for every shot to count.

Obelix pointed his weapon toward the lead alien. He pressed the trigger and let the staccato burst ring loudly in his ears. A shell flung out the rifle, flipping in the air before finally hitting the ground with a familiar tang. It was all reflex to Obelix. He looked to the next target. They were not aliens before his eyes but locations where bullets must be placed for maximum effect. Weak points mattered, not the whole foe before him. Obelix pressed the trigger again to let fly another metallic projectile.

Ten monsters fell before they had even reached the foot of his building. When they had come to its base, they were thrown into a trap. Glass windows smashed in every direction and rifles stuck out in unison. Rapid bursts of gunfire tore through the alien ranks, ripping limb and body asunder. Smoking carcasses were left behind but the battle was not won. The aliens had more to send their way.

Another band of aliens, twice as strong rushed forward, this time mechanical foes. Azure beams slashed through the dawn air to explode in clouds of debris against apartment buildings. The destruction was not enough. Another band of aliens, flying machines soar into view, moving directly toward Obelix. This time, Obelix remembered these creatures. They alien heat hunters.

As they approached, he fired upon them. The aliens swarmed ahead without heed of his bullets or their fallen comrades. It was clear to Obelix now, that death was imminent. He could already see the red glow of the cutter beams heated and ready to slice him apart.

“Where is our last battle against the aliens?” Obelix muttered. “Where’s their damned source of power?”

It was the words of a man too angered by lost hope and doomed to death. Still, Obelix felt the need to stand as a hero and destroy as many aliens before being cut down. He looked behind to the ruined staircase that would never let him descend quickly enough to evade the flyers. Then, Obelix, ran to the other edge of the building and found an open well below. Without a second thought he jumped into the warm waters below.

The flyers hovered above his roof for a time long enough to leave Obelix feel as if he were drowning. It was short enough to let him lift his head above the surface of water and gasp loudly for air. Obelix stood there, submerged up to the neck in water, listening to the sounds of the battle outside. Explosions rocked the ground, gunfire split his ears and energy beams tore apart structures.

Obelix lifted his head to look at the cloudy red sky. A strange white bird fluttered across his view before slipping away through the chaos unharmed.

“Why is it so easy for him to survive?” Obelix asked aloud.

The warrior climbed out of the water well and down into the street. He could still hear the sounds of war, but as he stepped gingerly into the open asphalt there were no foes about. Broken metal wreckages aflame and smouldering in thick black smoke filled the street every few metres. Upward, limbs hung loosely outward of broken holes in the apartment buildings. Even in his small time of absence, many lives had been lost.

Obelix trotted through the street finding his way back toward Ajax’s position. Suddenly, he stopped, looking at a fortified apartment to his side. The entrance was once blocked by piles of bricks, but the aliens had blasted their way through and for their efforts were rewarded with a hailstorm of bullets. Six alien bodies lay dead and aflame outside but no human warriors graced the ground with their soulless bodies.

In the midst of the stench of death, Obelix entered the building and raced up the steps. He found five soldiers cowering inside, with limited ammunition, few supplies and injuries enough that if concentrated one man, he would be dead. They were no longer fighting, nor were they in any shape to do so. Ajax would have spoken a few choice words, but Obelix had a different thought at the moment.

“Where’s Ajax?” Obelix said, knowing he had not taken position in this structure.

The other soldiers looked at him with blank stares. Only one man, with small abrasions across his arm answered, “He is not here, warrior.”

Another spoke, “There are too many, we haven’t any more bullets. We cannot fight them with knives.”

As each person said their piece, the next man was more encouraged to voice his opinion. They become a jumbled mixture of hopelessness and complaints.
“We’ve no food to survive if we have to fight another battle just to pick a few hairs of green weed,” the first one complained.

Obelix, hunched low on his hind legs, sat in the doorway listening but responding with nothing. He waited until they finished talking.

“There is no surrender, Obelix, lead us to them, with munitions or not,” a bold soldier proclaimed.

However, his words of bravery disappeared as another man spoke. “The last battle was promised in the last battle. Where has Ajax led us? We fight and we fight, but the aliens are still here. We still fight, the aliens still attack.”

“We’re heading back,” Obelix said suddenly.

“Obelix?” one of the soldiers said. “What about Ajax?”

“A fighter dies as a fighter lives. He can fight the aliens until his untimely death, but you warriors are still young,” Obelix replied. “Humanity must continue, and it will not from this. We must find other survivors and build another cell.”

Some of the warriors nodded in agreement but others cast doubt clearly onto their faces.

“How will we ever get back when we lost so many coming here?” the bold one asked.

“No-fighting,” Obelix replied. “There was a reason for it, and now I can see it. It’s about survival.”

“Isn’t it about the war? Shouldn’t we focus ourselves on the destruction of the aliens? How can we survive with their claws at our back every day of our lives?” the man replied.

“Perhaps,” Obelix replied thoughtfully, but said no more.

Finally, the first one whispered, “Elder Obelix.” The others nodded in agreement. “Lead us to a new cell.”

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a suicide bomber taken out by a suicide bomber? priceless
Masey209: JUST MAKE HER HAVE SEX WITH ME!!
Enix: Oops added an extra zero to it just like your hydro bill
CowUltrapunk: SLOW
CowUltrapunk: slow as your dick
dimitri583: i told you
dimitri583: my dick is fast as fuck
CowUltrapunk: working on your unspeakable weapon of mass atrocities?
ZoraxP: Yep. I call it the USA.
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folder icon   07-04-2005, 05:41 PM
Post #23
Xenthar

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultra_punk
You know, you're my main reason why i want to continue writing this. Knowing that no matter how long i post each part, someone still wants to read.


hehe and you're my main reason i'm still visiting my ol' cow buddies The story is very inspirational for me and well written.. and im addicted.. i just wanna know how this is gonna unfold. Those ruins seem so endless and there seems to be such low chance of survival, still Akili carries on and things keep being interesting
The only thing i found rather strange was that he didn't have sex with siren... i mean, hes just alone with a chick for weeks, how can he just do nothing! I know he's disciplined, but But seriously, i'm not trying to get a porn story here (i can get enough of that if i want to) but i think it would be good for the story to maybe just add a few lines somewhere that give the reader a hint of whats going on.

Anyways, i can't wait to read more dude!!! I know it can be hard to write further on things, i failed enough times myself to finish a story, but this is too good to stop. I'm sure there are lots of other people who would like it too if they only read it

Blarg enough of my rambling.. your turn again

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folder icon   07-13-2005, 12:29 PM
Post #24
Ultra_punk

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Im strugglin here. I dont want to write something uninspirational, so it gets slower as time goes on

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Masey209: JUST MAKE HER HAVE SEX WITH ME!!
Enix: Oops added an extra zero to it just like your hydro bill
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CowUltrapunk: slow as your dick
dimitri583: i told you
dimitri583: my dick is fast as fuck
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folder icon   07-13-2005, 04:25 PM
Post #25
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Chapter 24 A Dance

There was no doubt that the alien foes here were larger, more dangerous and powerful. Yet, Akili found them to act in the strangest manners. Their actions felt purposeless. The aliens did not seek out humans, as far and few they were this deep into the east. Instead, the creatures roamed about aimlessly, only loosely patrolling their territory.

Akili rushed through the upper levels of a destroy apartment. The top half was torn off as if by a giant hand. Dirt was blown into piles in the corners of the exposed level, letting tough weeds sprout from the grey debris. It had always amazed the no-fighter how resiliently life prevailed in this harsh world.

Ancient furniture laid traps for Akili’s fast stepping feet as he picked his way through the structure. Each small sprig of wood would snap at the slightest touch, being so ancient but still not yet turned to dust. For the well seasoned no-fighter, the play of feet upon the ground was simple. Avoiding small stones and shards of wood was simple, as was the light touch of the ground to soften the noise of footfall.

He travelled in these broken buildings, avoiding the dangerous streets. Monsters prowled them frequently and appeared without warning. These aliens were adept at stealth and it took every skill for Akili to avoid them. Foes of humanity here kept to the shadows, slipping silently through the unseen corners of the Ruins to strike down humans.

Akili was focused on avoiding battle with even the lowliest of opponents. The weapon in his hand was more of an obstacle to life than a tool of life saving. It’s loud operation and dramatic effects would beckon the wrath of a thousand waiting foes. It was not Akili’s purpose to spear this far east only to be cut down in a fool’s fight.

A towering beam of steel, which might have once been like an arm reaching into the sky, had collapsed across the top floor of the apartment. Its ruined structure stretched straight past the street dozens of feet below, forming a bridge to yet another building. The metal had struck deep into the form of the opposing building, forming a great hole in its side. A slick layer of moisture covered the beam, but Akili decided upon crossing it rather than setting foot upon the street.

The cylindrical surface was slippery to the touch, but once past the midpoint, Akili found no reason to turn around. He crawled along the length of the steel, inching his way carefully. Suddenly, a gust of wind swept past him and he gripped the metal tightly. The beam shook, shaking away Akili. Stones lying underneath the steel cracked and fell away and the beam dropped a few feet. It was too sudden a shock for Akili to handle and he fell off the metal beam.

With the grace of a no-fighter, he landed on his feet and immediately rolled across the ground. It was with lucky he landed in a patch of soft dirt and thick tall grass. Pain stabbed through his body, but he swung his rifle from its strap and steadied himself on his knees. He looked upward clear into the face of large wholly encompassing monster. Its dirty yellow stained but razor sharp teeth were clearly visible from its open mouth. Long sharp claws echoed their perilous nature as they jutted out from the creature’s hands.

Breathe left Akili. Looking up toward the beast he watched in bewilderment as it closed its eyes. The two were still in the swaying grass. The monster towered above him with a full array of natural weapons at its disposal. Yet, not a single muscle twitched on the beast. In turn, Akili was sprawl about the ground, in mid-motion of standing yet now locked into stillness. Every part of his body screamed for even the slightest trembling.

The rifle was not yet loaded, and lay in his hands at an awkward angle. Even with the weapon, Akili would not have dared use it. The no-fighter was unsure where he would ever use the rifle. It served no purpose but to call enemies upon him. It was more of a war horn, a call to battle, than a sword to sweep away the foes before his body.

The creature too did not use its claws to rend Akili. It kept its eyes shut, and arms still. There was no stance to his position, only the motionlessness of a statute. Akili turned his head away but in an instant the monster opened its eyes and gazed for but a moment on Akili. The no-fighter returned in his eyes upon the foe only to watch it shut its eyes against him again.

Akili ignored the monster and stood up. As he began to walk around, the creature too began to move. Its eyes still closed, the beast circled him, with claws now more ready to strike. With only a few quick strokes of his hands, Akili loaded his rifle and readied it for combat. They move through the grass pacing one another. The creature with its eyes closed but claws ready and the warrior with weapon in hand and mind focused.

With careful steps, Akili drew their circling duel away from the grass and toward the side of a structure. In a single spring of muscles, he lurched into the air and onto a high ledge on the first level of the building. The creature dropped and rolled across the ground toward his feet. Akili flung out one arm high above him and grabbed hold of jutting brick and pulled with every strength before turning and climbing up the uneven wall of the structure. Down below the monster stood and ran inside the structure with a loud scrambling of feet.

The alien gone, Akili return his rifle strapped to his back and climbed the structure. He did not stop until he reached the hole formed by the giant steel beam. Akili thrust himself into the darkness and raced through the structure. His feet found pebbles and scrapped across the ground, but noise meant little to the approaching alien. Sprinting through the decayed rooms of the building, he found himself at the edge within seconds.

A metal ladder lay against the side of the structure, too far from the ground to reach the street. Akili looked to his back and finding no creature ready to sink its claws into his chest earned himself a few moments to think. He knelt down low to grip his hands around the metal ladder. With a heavy pull, the ladder broke free from the structure. The entire bottom half of the weakened steel shattered away.

Ladder in hand, Akili pushed it through the window of the next building and formed himself a bridge. Without thinking of the dangers of such ancient metal, he raced across the ladder and hopped into the next building. Quickly, he shoved the ladder away and let it fall below onto the street below. The metal clattered loudly as it struck the ground and shattered.

Akili kicked down a locked door and moved through the new building. In a frenzied mind, he raced through the unknown halls. Everything became an interest to his eyes, drawing his vision in every direction as he ran through. He moved downward now, toward the street. There were no longer any bridges for him to cross and avoid the ground.

He stepped onto the base level after rushing through many flights of stairs. A glass wall protected the structure here from the elements. Despite his quick speed and agility, Akili found himself dangerously close to the beast. Roving about as a dark figure beyond the heavily stained glass, the monster still prowled about.

Hastily, Akili knelt behind a desk in the lobby. Shattered glass and sharp debris threatened to stab into his legs as he dropped toward the floor too quickly, but his body only touched the ground lightly as any trained no-fighter. The beast crept about outside, its presence betrayed only by his visible physical form. The monster was careful to avoid letting his feet touch the small pieces of concrete that would crunch under a footstep. It swept its gaze through the glass, but Akili hid well behind the wide wooden desk.

Hiding behind the desk, Akili found some mobility along the wall-breadth furniture. Crawling upon knees and hand, the no-fighter slipped through a hole in the wall. Akili crept more still about the base of the structure to swing about and steal a view of the pursuing monster. Remaining prone behind a low hill of broken debris, Akili swept his glance along the front of the building.

The monster had climbed up a support column that jutted from the front of the structure. Its crumbled surface made easy climbing for the clawed hands of the beast. Laying silent and still, the alien was perched upon a ledge just above the glass wall. There it stayed sentinel of the streets.

With an alarmingly speed, it raced across the ledge to peer from every corner of the building. Akili was given only moments before he could roll behind his hill of garbage and into a small cove of cover. The beast’s eyes swept overtop him, gazing past his position again.

Again and again, the beast prowled the length of the ledge vigilantly keeping watch over the street. Akili could see it was a skilled creature. Despite its speed, the claws never scratched the stone giving no hint of noise. Only the slightest rustling of the air broke word of the monster’s presence.

Akili crept back around his hill and into the lobby. He waited until the creature prowled to the far end of the ledge before acting. In giant leaps of strength and effort, Akili climbed onto the same ledge but he did not step. He continued to climb upward until he reached another ledge a floor above. The no-fighter committed no action until the creature stopped at the corner, watching the street. Akili rushed as best he could on the ledge above to keep pace with the alien and remain out of sight above.

He stopped midway, and turned his face toward the east, away from the front of the structure. Dredging within him a new found courage, Akili leapt down from the structure and rolled across the ground with a thump too loud. It did not occur to Akili that he should turn to face the monster. Instead, he raced forward as quickly as his legs could pump down through an alleyway. He ran straight for a short time only before dashing again into another structure.

There was no pause to his movement now, pushing ahead deeper and deeper into the east. Akili passed through structures in a whirlwind of movement. He did not stop until exhausted. It was not until the sun began to drop behind the horizon did he feel the sting of his journey in his muscles. The no-fighter was finally brought to a halt but there was no longer danger lying imminent before him.

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a suicide bomber taken out by a suicide bomber? priceless
Masey209: JUST MAKE HER HAVE SEX WITH ME!!
Enix: Oops added an extra zero to it just like your hydro bill
CowUltrapunk: SLOW
CowUltrapunk: slow as your dick
dimitri583: i told you
dimitri583: my dick is fast as fuck
CowUltrapunk: working on your unspeakable weapon of mass atrocities?
ZoraxP: Yep. I call it the USA.
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folder icon   11-01-2005, 02:27 PM
Post #26
Xenthar

Dread Lord


Joined: Jan 31 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 3,232 pos

is that the end, or?

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folder icon   11-02-2005, 11:11 AM
Post #27
Ultra_punk

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Joined: Jan 30 2001
Location: Canada
Posts: 9,386 posposposposposhighposhighpos

Hehe, sorry man, i think i have some kind of writer's block. I don't feel anything i think of now is good enough. I'll do more, ill do more

Btw, i did finish off another story (sadly enough during this lull), check it out in the general discussion.

__________________

a suicide bomber taken out by a suicide bomber? priceless
Masey209: JUST MAKE HER HAVE SEX WITH ME!!
Enix: Oops added an extra zero to it just like your hydro bill
CowUltrapunk: SLOW
CowUltrapunk: slow as your dick
dimitri583: i told you
dimitri583: my dick is fast as fuck
CowUltrapunk: working on your unspeakable weapon of mass atrocities?
ZoraxP: Yep. I call it the USA.
Urin Bloodface: i know ontario
Urin Bloodface: ive even been to vancover
Posts: 9,386 posposposposposhighposhighpos
off.gif profile.gif sendpm.gif email.gif home.gif find.gif buddy.gif im_aim.gif im_yahoo.gif edit.gif reply.gif
folder icon   11-03-2005, 01:42 PM
Post #28
Xenthar

Dread Lord


Joined: Jan 31 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 3,232 pos

*runs to the general discussion*

it better be good

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The procrastination of a problem of the system of an approach of a problem is the system of the approach of the problem itself.
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folder icon   11-03-2005, 03:27 PM
Post #29
Ultra_punk

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Avatar

Joined: Jan 30 2001
Location: Canada
Posts: 9,386 posposposposposhighposhighpos

Hehe, i hope so too

__________________

a suicide bomber taken out by a suicide bomber? priceless
Masey209: JUST MAKE HER HAVE SEX WITH ME!!
Enix: Oops added an extra zero to it just like your hydro bill
CowUltrapunk: SLOW
CowUltrapunk: slow as your dick
dimitri583: i told you
dimitri583: my dick is fast as fuck
CowUltrapunk: working on your unspeakable weapon of mass atrocities?
ZoraxP: Yep. I call it the USA.
Urin Bloodface: i know ontario
Urin Bloodface: ive even been to vancover
Posts: 9,386 posposposposposhighposhighpos
off.gif profile.gif sendpm.gif email.gif home.gif find.gif buddy.gif im_aim.gif im_yahoo.gif edit.gif reply.gif
folder icon   03-03-2011, 11:37 AM
Post #30
maksevrod

Critter


Joined: Mar 02 2011
Posts: 1 pos

So many letters! It's hard to read
-------------------------
taobao

Posts: 1 pos
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