THE RP THREAD!!! *sparkle sparkle*

Postby Tbolt on Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:23 am

A wail of sirens indicated the arrival of other authorities.

Piotir and Syrryxys nuzzled for the first time, but the strain was too great,and her injury too fresh, she nearly collapsed into Piotir's arms. He cradled her head in his lap until the paramedics arrived.

The doctor explained to the paramedics the extent of Syrryxys's injuries as well as the state of other wounded refugees. Soon other ambulances arrived in force to retrieve the injured to the county hospital.

Piotir hitched a ride in one of the ambulances as it sped away. Filling out the various forms was entertaining to say the least. Somehow Piotir managed to declare himself Syrryxys's “guardian”. The initial surgery took over three hours to repair damage to her lung and drain off excess fluids in her chest.

Piotir hung out in the waiting room looking like a child who just found out that Christmas had been canceled the night before. One of the nurses took pity on him and convinced him to spend a little time in the gift shop, to pick out “something special” to help in his beloved's recovery.

At first he tried to protest, but the nurse arched a knowing eyebrow, and Piotir knew that denial was useless. They found a little plushie grey fox with a bandage on its arm and a hang dog expression. The tag on the little critter read: “Hug me, Darn it!”

Piotir also purchased a small bouquet of flowers. A blank card inside required a private message, unfortunately, some diabolical power had stripped Piotir of all ability to write.


Syrryxys endured the surgery. They needed to reopen her wounds to ensure that no foreign material remained within her that could cause infection. Fortunately, she was unconscious during most of the trial. The only thing she could remember about the entire ordeal was Red holding her paw on the ambulance.

She woke the next morning to find herself in a clean hospital bed. A little grey fox stood watch over on the small stand beside her. She looked at his tag and followed its instructions. Next, she saw the bouquet, the flowers covered up the scent of her own blood in the room. She saw there was a card with the flowers. Weakly she reached over and opened it. The message was simple sincere and awkward, but she smiled because she knew what it meant: “Don't die, please?”
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Postby Tbolt on Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:37 am

Syrryxys lay in her bed in the intensive care ward throughout the morning, her only company being the plushie fox and the visits of the nursing staff. About 10:00 visiting hours started.

Piotir poked his snout into the room “Good morning, angel of dawn, I am glad to see you did not leave us in the night,” he smiled.

She looked at him, her lips curling upward. Red looked like he had barely slept last night. His cheek ruffs were unkempt and slightly matted, like he had just splashed water on his face to freshen up. His eyes were red with a lack of sleep and his tail had several stray hairs sticking out at odd angles, and it was dented near the end, like he'd used it as a pillow. “Piotir, I” she started, but a coughing spasm took her. Her throat was raw because of the tube they had to insert to reinflate her damaged lung. She tried reflexively to cover her mouth, but the IV needle in her arm caused her to hiss in pain.

“No, please, don't” he gently stroked her forehead. She had an IV in both of her forearms, a tube ran underneath her nose to trickle oxygen to her, and a large tube snaked its way below the sheets into her lower torso. He sat there, watching her breathe, one paw on her forehead, and one on her hand. Her eyelids grew heavy and finally she drifted off into dreamless sleep.

She awoke hours later to find him still there, perhaps a little fresher than the morning. He'd been forced to leave when morning visiting hours had ended, so he had gotten a ride home to change and shower. She still had difficulty speaking, so he helped her drink a glass of water to ease her throat.

“Tell me about this place, Piotir.” she said.

“Well, where do I begin?” he thought for a moment. “Let me tell you about Serbia, where I was born.”

He told her of rolling hillsides, the Danube river, the ancient towns and villages and the people that lived there. It was a beautiful and a sad country. So many battles and wars had steeped her hills in blood as far back as history was recorded. He remembered his youth.

“How do I tell you about her? She was most beautiful fox in world.” The old fox sighed in remembrance. “In the old country, they say nobility was determined by your markings, if that were still true, she would be queen.” he leaned back, closing his eyes. “Her fur was pure silver, her eyes were blue as summer sky, her lips dark as midnight. Her ears black velvet with just a hint of white at the tips, like the mountains at dawn. An ebony cross graced her forehead and split her muzzle. Fine black fur covered her hands halfway to her elbow as well as her feet to her calves. Her tail was a silver cloud tipped in black with just a hint of white at the end. I could continue, but the dreams of an old fox are not too interesting...”

“She was best thing that ever happened to me, but I was worst thing to happen to her. My markings are so plain, her parents would never approved marriage. Most old ways died when communists took over, but some things still linger. In a few families, the fur is more important than the heart. Such was with my dear Mishka. We played together in fields outside of Groca when we were littl. But as I grew it was obvious I would never be as well marked as her. She was betrothed to another with a finer pelt than I.”

“We were young and foolish, we thought we could follow heart, wherever it went, our love would stand up to anything.” The old fox sighed. “We were wrong. When he found out that Mishka was pregnant with my child he was furious.

I was in small democratic movement at time, we met in old houses abandoned since the war, we thought we could make difference once Tito died, maybe Serbia could be free again. That night we were met with secret police. There was struggle. I somehow got AK47, I was very small fox at time and could not control recoil of rifle, I do not know if I shoot anyone, I remember being thrown into table, then nothing.

When I woke all was dark, nothing moved. Something was on top of me, it was Mishka, she covered me with her body. I could not see her, but I knew her scent, she did not stir when I got up. I was covered with her blood, she was already cold.”

Piotir looked down, his ears collapsing to his head at the memory. “I was only one to make it out of there alive, everyone, Roban, Levjeki, Harmann, Omar, Svitil, Brojne,... I could name more, they are all gone because of me.”

The old fox shuddered and tears began to run down his muzzle. “I only buried Mishka, there were too many others, I... I was afraid police would return. I never got to say goodbye to my parents, or anyone else. I don't know if they are alive, or dead.”

Syrryxys gripped Piotir's paw and smiled at him.

“I'm sorry, I talk foolishly, I should not burden you with such things.”

“No Piotir,I want to know about you.”

“When I saw you at the tables serving others yesterday. I thought I saw Mishka again, after all these years. But you are not her, and I am wrong to try to look at you the way I saw her. You are different, and wonderful in your own way. I do not want a ghost from my past, I want someone warm and alive in my future, I...”

It was well past 10:00, visiting hours had gone well past. The nurse hated to interrupt them, but even a positive strain on a patient was still a strain on their resources. Apologetically, she ushered Piotir from the room and darkened the lights.

Syrryxys was alone in the dark, now. She hadn't realized just how tired she was. Soon her eyes closed into sleep again.
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Postby Tbolt on Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:12 pm

Syrryxys fell into troubled slumber in the cool, sterile hospital room. The tubes connected into her did not permit her to move much, so she needed to remain somewhat uncomfortably on her back. Now that she was no longer under the effect of the anesthetic, she could enter into the realm of dreams.

She walked outside the senatorial estate of Hiriam Rohath Callivert, her parent's employer and one of the wealthiest and most influential politicians on Vulpes prime. It had been such a long time since she stood on the verdant green hills of her homeworld. She almost forgot just how beautiful they were. She drank in the beauty of the estate, the grass soft under her feet, the tall straight Vyzarth trees with their spiked green foliage planted in neat rows. She could see all the varieties of flowers planted near the mansion, practically exploding in color.

While she admired the sculpted and manicured beauty, a pair of grey kits rushed at her from the small fruit orchard. “Syrr, Syrr!” they called. Syrryxys recognized them immediately, the twin daughters of Senator Callivert. How Syrryxys hated growing up with them. It was one thing to have a rival that one was never allowed to surpass, but split that rival into two who could taunt you in stereo...

“Lookit who's here!” shouted one, “Rat tail!” chimed in the other.

There was something wrong, but Syrryxys couldn't quite put her paw on it, something she should remember. But she did remember how much she hated being called names by the pair.

“I do not have a rat tail!” she fired back. “My tail is...” she looked at her rearward appendage. Unfortunately she had needed to shave it in order to fit into the Viledarian encounter suit. The fur was still little more than stubble. Once again the twins had gotten one over on her.

The twins caught up with her. “Here, rat tail, you can have ours!” piped one “It's the least we can do!” echoed the other.

Suddenly the two kits pulled their plush tails off. But they weren't tails anymore. They were huge Northern Grubb Maggots. Their bloated bodies fat and round in the middle, tapering to a dirty black spike at one end. Their evil brown heads sprouted a large set of mandibles and three sets of segmented legs good for grasping and crushing bones. The two worms began to crawl towards Syrryxys at an alarmingly swift pace. The twins were beside themselves with laughter as the horrified Syrryxys began to back away.

“Get her Chitters! Go for her squishy middle parts!” shouted the first twin. “Lunchtime, Skittles! Remember how tasty I was?” seconded the other.

Finally Syrryxys remembered, the twins died when the Viledarians bombed the governor's mansion in their initial strike against Vulpes prime. She ran across the flower bed to get to the main entrance to the mansion, stumbling in the cool moist soil, barely catching herself with her hands. She made it into the door and slammed it shut at the two gross insects arrived on the porch. She could hear them squee in frustration as they scrabbled against the door, trying to get in. A knight in red armor with a white two headed eagle emblazoned across his chest stepped forward to hold the door for her. “You go on, I will hold thees, but my strength is limited.”

She stepped back from the strange knight, and nearly fell backwards into a butler who appeared out of nowhere. Mr. Cobb said sternly. “Young lady, you must wash your hands before dinner.”

“But, I ... ” she looked at the face of the butler, there would be no argument.

“And wipe your feet before entering the senator's mansion.”

Syrryxys obeyed. She went to the ground floor bath and began to wash her paws in the cool running water. “Hands of black velvet...” Piotir's words echoed in her mind. She looked at her fur, it seemed exceptionally coarse and wiry, at least her tail would grow back full and plush. She sighed and reached for the soap dish. But it jumped back and clattered at her. All she could do was stare at the little, sharp, white teeth it displayed. Suddenly it jumped off the vanity and leaped at her. There was no room to dodge and with a quick nip it bit her tail clean off!

The vulpinian felt no pain, only anger and annoyance that the little thing had just absconded with her tail. The small creature dashed from the washroom with her tail in its jaws, clittering happily as it ran. Syrryxys gave chase. “Curse you you filthy little!” She was cut short by the butler. “There will be no chasing of one's tail, nor the use of profanity within the house, young lady! Please follow me to the dining room dinner will be prepared shortly.”

Slightly subdued by the stern demeanor of the butler she stopped chasing the soap dish and proceeded to the dining room. The room was just as she remembered it, tall, arched, open windows, letting in light and air from outside. A huge, polished greenwood table with matching chairs dominated the center of the room.

The twins were already there, sniggering as the animated soapdish ran by, still holding Syrryxys's tail in its jaws.

Syrryxys scowled at the pair and was rewarded with a set of matched tongues shot in her direction. The butler seated her at one end of the long table.

“The master has arrived.” announced Mr. Cobb.

A large black lupine with terrible glowing green eyes entered the room. “Good evening, little one, I hear that you have a problem.” He seated himself opposite her, his strange eyes pierced straight into her with their unblinking gaze. His ebony fur almost absorbed the light in the room, making things unnaturally dim. Syrryxys had no idea how to reply, cold icy tendrils of fear began to grip her heart.

“Apparently you have a rival whose head was adorned with an ebony cross that split her muzzle.” The creature mused. He seemed far to close for comfort despite the intervening table. His eyes began to burn more brightly in their sickly green hue. “I don't know anything about a cross,” he said, “But,” he held up a nightmare black digit. “I think we can split that treasonous muzzle of yours!” At those words, a long silvery blade extended from the creature's finger!

Syryxys recoiled back in horror, falling over her chair as she backpedaled away from the monster across the table.

“Please refrain from knocking over the furniture in panic.” stated the butler.

The twins squealed in delight.

The polished floor gage Syrryxys's claws no purchase as she attempted to scrabble away from the dark beast bearing down upon her.

“Here, let me relieve you of a little dead weight!” The creature raised its hand to strike. Just as the blow descended a sword intervened. The red knight had returned to fight back. “Go! I cannot stop them all!”

“What? All!?” Syrryxys looked around as the knight fought the monster back. Suddenly the two Grubb Maggots leapt in the open window.

“Dinner is served.” said the butler laconically.

“Yea! Go, Skittles!”

“Eat up, Chitters!”

The two little monstrosities dove into Syrryxys gut. She tried to brush them off, but in no time they disappeared into her.

The twins were practically dancing with joy. “There will be nothing left but the pelt!” “We can play spang ball with her deedly-bobs!” then in unison, “You're fat, mean, and ugly! No one will ever love you!”

A sudden crash to her right heralded the end of the duel between the knight and the black beast. A powerful overheat throw expelled the beast from the mansion through one of the vaulted windows. The beast snarled once in defiance, but retreated before the advance of the knight.

Syrryxys lay on the floor, unable to move, tears flowing from her eyes. “Thank you, but I am dead, the Grubb Maggots...”

The knight knelt down and gently cradled her head. “The Maggots will only devour that which is corrupt, but cannot consume that which is whole. See, they leave you as we speak!”

Sure enough, Syrryxys could feel the knot inside her loosen. The two worms exited her body, they seemed smaller and thinner.

“No! Poor Chitters, come here!” “Awww, Skittles, what did she do to you!”

“A-am I safe, now?” asked Syrryxys.

“There is an egg inside of you, if you nurture and let it grow, the worm that hatches will consume you from within. It nearly had hatched, but the one who can save you will kill it once and for all.”

“Who is that?”

“You already know him. Just remember what you have learned.”

“Who are you?” she asked.

“Just a fellow traveler on the road. Here,” he spread his cloak over her “You have had a hard journey, you will need time to heal. This will keep you warm. You are safe now, just rest.”

=--=

A warning light caught the nurse's attention. Her newest patient was experiencing accelerated breathing and heart rate. She quickly walked into the ward to check up on her.

Syrryxys had squirmed in the night and lost her bed sheet. The nurse could feel her chill in her hand. Quickly she obtained a warm blanket and placed it under the squirming vulpinian. Syrryxys's eyes fluttered open. “Where am I?”

“It's OK Syrr, you're in the city hospital. Everything is fine, you are alright, you caught a little chill, and it gave you a bad dream. You're safe now. Do you want to talk about it?”

“No, thank you, I'll be fine. Just looking forward to the dawn.” With that Syrryxys drifted back into peaceful rest.
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Postby Fusion on Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:36 pm

One week after the second fight, 7:15 am.

The heavy tracks of Ben's truck maintain a death grip on the pavement as they quickly accelerate the three ton beast up to it's very low top speed. Engaging the recently installed cruise control, he takes his foot off the gas feeling the slight stiffness in the muscles in his leg. Close combat training with Sebastis was brutal, but he had added his own endurance training program on top of that. The combination left him exhausted by the end of each day. He was going to take a quick break from that today, he had other things on his mind.

It was Xenda's birthday, and she didn't know he knew! The boxes and cake beside him shifted slightly as he stopped to let the Todd brothers cross. She also didn't know he was coming. But there was one thing he knew about her, she loved surprises! Especially in the form of a few bullets in the back of your head in Halo.

They had been on a couple dates in the past week. It was quite surprising. Even though he had technically known her for a year, he hardly knew anything about her, so he found he was asking quite a few questions. It was ok though, she was doing the same thing. He chuckled as he remembered the incident that got them started dating in the first place.

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It was they day after the second fight, and he was at the dinner eating lunch. He was somewhat flustered as he had just caught himself looking over his shoulder at Xenda for the 5th time that minute. Suddenly something smacked him on the back of his head.

“Why don't you just ask her out already?” Nip was unmistakable as he rounded the booth and sat down across from him.

“Well...I, uhm, err...” Ben tried unsuccessfully to come up with a response.

“She's waiting for you you know. Heh! By how much you're stalling, you would think you never had a girlfriend before!”

“That's cause I haven't.”

“What?!?” a pair of surprised voices exclaim in unison, one of them distinctly female.

Ben spins around and begins to melt under the table as he sees Xenda standing right behind him. She had been listening to the entire conversation!

Noticing Ben's hesitation and awkwardness, Nip quickly pipes up, “Hey Xenda! Will yo go out with Ben?”

That did it. Ben slid the rest of the way under the table showing bright red through his fur.

Xenda quickly bent under then table giggling as she kissed him on his nose.

“Yes! I'll go out with you!”

“Uh, we-, erm,” he stammered in surprise before finally getting out something somewhat intelligent. “Bowling?”

“Sure! Pick me up at 6!” she replied before having to turn her attention to a customer who just came in.

Ben sat there for a minute as it slowly sank in. He was actually going to go out with her!

His thoughts where suddenly interrupted by a kick from Nip.

“You going to get up from under there, or am I going to have to finish your steak for you?”

Ben quickly gets up to see Nip pretending to chew on something.

“Ooooh no you don't!” he laughs. “That steak's mine! Besides, didn't you already have lunch?”

“Seconds wouldn't hurt!” the fox grins at him. “Ah well, I want to see to something anyway. Catch you later!”

Ben watches as Nip walks confidently out the door, only to return 15 minutes later and order a heartbreak special.

“Maby next time,” he hears him mumble.

Ben waves Xenda over and whispers to her, “Put his “treatment” on my bill. It's the least I can do.”

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Something on the right side of the road catches Ben's attention. A large Peterbuilt had run off the road into the ditch. Slowing down, he notices Gus trying desperately hard to start the rig to try and get it back on the road. He was getting ready to stomp on the gas and tear away laughing when his conscience kicked in. With a sigh he brings the truck to a stop and throws it in reverse. He didn't WANT to help that obnoxious bore, but he wasn't going to be able to sleep well if he didn't. Sometimes a conscience was such a burden.

Pulling to a stop, he gets out and starts pulling a cable from the back of his truck and carefully hooks it on to the rig's chassis. Gus was standing nearby cursing something terrible at him, but he still didn't dare come any closer that ten feet.

Satisfied the cable would hold and not damage either of the trucks, Ben walks back to his truck and gets ready to tow the rig out of the ditch. Flipping a switch over the radio brings both of the redundant drives into play, ready to transfer the turbo diesel's torque into slow, powerful motion. Slowly increasing the throttle, he had to look back to make sure that he was indeed pulling the rig.

Gus's truck now back on the road, he gets out, unhooks the cable, and inspects the truck. Although it was banged up a bit, nothing immediately said why it wasn't starting. Ignoring Gus's threats he opens the hood to find one of the the wires that connects to the battery had come loose. Putting it back on and tightening the bolt was easy work, and he soon had the large truck purring again.

Driving away, he takes a quick look in the rear view at the gawking hog behind him. Just maybe things with Gus could smooth out.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Pulling up to Xenda's house, he noticed her out back firing at some targets. After waving at each other, she indicates that she'll be inside soon. He pulls up close to the front of the house so she can't see as he takes the boxes and cake inside.

Once inside, he had to work fast. Taking the lid off the cake, he sets in on the Dinning room table and begins putting on candles. He just managed to finish lighting them and set up the presents beside it when Xenda walked through the back door.

“Surprise!” he watches quite satisfied as she stops dead, jaw just about reaching the floor.

“H-h-how did you know?”

“I just did a little research!” his smug grin only getting wider.

Snapping out of her surprise, she somehow manages to pounce on him from across the room kocking him down and kiss him on the cheek while letting out an excited scream. Blushing a little a little, he returns the kiss before getting back up and helping her up.

“Make a wish!” he says as she turns her attention to the cake.

After thinking for a few seconds, she lets out a giggle before blowing all the candles out at once. His automatic reaction to clap quickly turns to laughter as she pretends to curtsy in response.

“So what did you wish for?” he asks.

“Wouldn't you like you know!” she giggled picking up the largest box.

Making short work of his five layers of wrapping pager, she quickly reveals a deluxe X-Box 360.

“You're such a nerd!” she giggles.

“Wow, you got through that fast! Maybe next year I'll have to use newspaper and duck tape!”

“You do that!”

The rest of the gifts on the table consisted of an extra controller and two rechargeable battery packs for the wireless controllers.

Waiting until she starts coming in for a Thank you kiss, he suddenly says “Oh, hey! Silly me! I still have one in my pocket!” while pulling out a DVD box sized gift.

He waits until she is about to take it before quickly moving it just out of her reach. After waiting a few seconds she tries again with the same results. He was going to let her get it anyway this time, but she charges him landing a kiss on his cheek and grabbing the gift out of his hand with an “Ah HA!”

Well, that works! he thinks while watching her tear though the wrapping paper to get to the piece of folded cardboard within.

“Oh gee! Did I forget to put it in there?” he quips producing a “Halo 2, Special Edition” case from his other pocket.

Xenda snatches the game from his hand letting out another of her ear splitting screams.

“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! You didn't!!” she hits him with one of her 'death squeezes' combined with another kiss. “Thankyouthankyouthankyou!”

He chuckles kissing Xenda on the cheek, “Hehe! Love you hun!”

After Xenda finally gets a hold of her excitement again, Ben quickly runs to the kitchen and grabs two plates, forks, and a knife. Cutting a couple small pieces out of the cake, he puts them on the plate and gives one to Xenda waiting for her to take the first bite as was his families' tradition. After she digs in, she expression changes to one of trying to figure something out.

“Ben, did you make this yourself?”

Uh oh! He knew cooking wasn't his strong point, but he thought his families' recipe for Black Joe Cake was pretty hard to mess up.

“Uhm, yes,” he says and takes a small bite.

Yep, that didn't taste right. It was slightly bitter.

He sets down his fork with a sigh, “Yep, I guess I managed to mess it up.”

“Don't worry about it. I'll just have to get you back in this!” she waves the Halo 2 case around with a grin.

“By the way, I think you just used a little to much Coco powder,” she adds as he starts to help her open the packages.

Opening the package the 360 was in, she pulls out the owner's manual to make sure she doesn't miss anything important. Glancing up, she notices Ben already has the front of the machine off and is carefully sliding something into it.

“Uh, Ben? What did you do?” she asks as he puts the face plate back on.

“I just put the hard drive in.”

“Hard drive? You mean it's like a computer?”

“To a point. I can get Linux to install on it if you'd like.”

“Uh, no thanks.”

Soon he has everything set up and they are battling it out in a split screen death match. Although he never claimed to be better than her at Halo, his prier experience with the new weapons and features in the game's second version gave him a clear advantage. She was catching on fast though!

Looking through the rail gun's scope, notices her duck behind a pillar with a sniper rifle in hand. Taking aim, he waits for her to show around either side of the pillar.

Suddenly something hits a more ticklish area on his side distracting him just long enough for a shot to ring out bringing him down.

“Hey now!” he comments as he waits to re-spawn.

Grabbing a shotgun, he quickly makes his way around the arena to where she was hiding. Being careful to use the color of his armor to his advantage as he comes in beside her, he gets as close as he can with out her easily noticing him before firing. Xenda's shields fail under the blast, but he wasn't close enough to make it a one hit kill. She quickly turns firing with deadly accuracy as she tries to move to avoid getting hit with the next blast from his gun. Just as he's about to pull the trigger and extend his lead, his ticklish spot gets hit again causing the shot to go wide.

“Stop that! I'm ticklish!” he protests.

“Oh AAARE you!” her sly grin almost making him regret mentioning it.

She quickly pounces on him digging her fingers into his sides and stomach. The next several minutes are spent in a close tickle fight that outdoes the furry of Halo by a long shot. As it draws to a close, they lay on their backs trying to control their giggle fits.

“Hehe! So what are you up to today Tiger?”

“Well, the first thing on my list is now taken care of,” he grins. “Now besides take you out to dinner later on, I was going to head over to S'aaruuk's to check how the projects are going.”

“You aren't working out today?”

“Nope. I need a day to recuperate.”

“Ok. You going to head over there now then?”

“I guess. Unless you want another shot a this,” he nods at the television witch is still showing were they left off.

“Oh, I can always kick your fuzzy rear some other time!” she kisses him and gets back up. “I'll be right back!”

He gets up and turns off the TV and 360 as she disappears into another room. Soon she reappears checking the contents of her purse before slinging it over her shoulder.

“Ok, let's go!”

Outside, Ben jumps into the drivers seat as Xenda makes her way around to the passenger side and presses a hidden button Ben installed recently. There is a soft click and a hum as the door opens and a step ladder extends from the bottom of the truck allowing her to clime in fairly easily. Once inside, she closes the door and listens to the hiss and click as the ladder automatic pulls back up under the truck. A short drive later they arrive at the mansion and walk up to the front door hand in hand.
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Postby Spacewolfomega on Tue Aug 15, 2006 5:54 am

(one week later...)

Omega sat in the commander's seat, eyeing the familiar controls. He slid his hand along the arms of the seat, gently feeling the various buttons and switches located there. Looking up, he took note of the two chairs forward. He could almost see friends lost long ago sitting there... smiling... eager... anxious to scramble into the fray. The youngest he had buried here on Earth shortly after arriving. Omega found himself suddenly lost in memories.

"You're not going to keep us in suspense, are you?"

Omega suddenly took note of Aldar, who must have entered the bridge without him noticing.

"No..." Omega replied, still groggy from reminiscing. "No, I suppose not." He smiled.

"Go on, then," Aldar urged.

Omega extended his hand, reaching out to a particular button on his main console. He paused, saying a quick prayer to the Great Alpha... and pressed it.

The console flickered a bit... and then went dead... and then suddenly flickered into life. The bridge came alive with flashing lights, glowing screens and a warm, familiar silent hum. With this resurrection, the ghosts of the past faded away.

"It's working!" Omega shouted, smiling at Aldar. Aldar returned the smile.

"It's working!" Omega repeated into his comlink this time. He could hear Mac cheering, almost as if it were in stereo... part of it being heard through his comlink, the other part being heard from further within the ship.

S'aaruuk had managed to fix the damage to Omega's Ship, now named the Wolfstar, and had provided Mac, Aldar and Omega with enough training and plans to reconnect a new hyperplasmotic generator, scavenged together from parts of the Viledarian frigate. Omega had figured that S'aaruuk could have handled that part of the job as well, but he had many other projects to work on, including the rest of the newly formed Malarkey County Space Militia. However, Omega had a suspicion that part of the reason might've been that S'aaruuk wanted to pass along some technical skills to Omega, which he badly needed, as well as allow him the opportunity to put the final pieces of his own ship together and really make it his. He'd have to thank S'aaruuk for that.

Soon Mac joined Omega and Aldar on the bridge. It was time to run a systems check just to be sure they hadn't lost anything. The old girl had run fine when Sebastis and Omega had been using it as a simple dwelling place, but to rework the generator they had had to disconnect the power supplies and reroute everything... just thinking about it all again started to make Omega's head spin. Mac sat down at the piloting console, Aldar at weapons, and Omega sat at the command chair.

In a Lupinian gunship like this one, the commander almost served as more of what Mac had termed a "RIO"... assessing the situation and advising the pilot and weapons controls. The gunship served as a support and command vehicle for a squadron of fighters, so the commander often was coordinating the squadron's movements while trusting his own ship to his crew.

"Everything's looking good on my end," Aldar reported.

"Everything's fine here," Mac agreed.

"And everything's looking good up here," Omega said, breathing a sigh of relief.

"Well, whaddaya know?" Mac said. "Looks like the Three Stooges actually managed to get this thing cobbled together without blowing themselves up!"

Omega and Aldar looked at each other. "What's a 'stooge'?" they both asked Mac.

"Um... nevermind."

"From where I'm standing, I only see one stooge," a feminine voice said from the doorway.

Everyone turned to see Hope smiling wryly at Mac. Sebastis stood next to her. They both carried sacks of food freshly brought from the diner. Captain Ferguson had helped set up Omega and Sebastis with a house in town, despite their protests about accepting his money, however he had assured them it really was no trouble. After that, Hope had agreed to help Sebastis move all of Omega's and Sebastis' belongings into the new home, which was probably a good idea since the gunship was being restored back to its original purpose. It wasn't meant to be a home anymore.

Mac leapt up from his seat to snatch his food from Hope, but she playfully kept it out of his reach.

"So, I'm a stooge, huh?" he said.

"You're the one who said it first!" she countered.

Aldar got up and took the remainder of the food from Sebastis and began separating everyone's orders. Omega embraced his wife and they kissed.

"We got it all working!" Omega said, excitedly.

"I know... I heard..." Sebastis said, smiling.

"The only thing now," Omega grinned, "is our first test flight. Ready for a quick trip into space?"

"Sure..." Sebastis smiled.

Omega was a bit puzzled. He was excited about going into space with his own ship again, but Sebastis seemed unusually happy about it. In fact, it was like she was positively glowing.

"Hon... are... you okay?"

"Yes," she beamed, her eyes moistening.

"What?" Omega was feeling uncomfortable. Something was up and he couldn't quite put his finger on it. "What?"

Sebastis led him outside the bridge and embraced him tightly.

After a few moments of eating, Mac noticed that Omega's food was being left unattended.

"You know, that's getting cold," he said. "Maybe he wouldn't mind if I..."

Hope slapped his hand. "Don't you dare!"

"Ow!" Mac exclaimed, drawing back his hand. "Well, what are they talking about anyhow?"

"I can't tell you," Hope replied. "Not until she tells Omega."

"Hmmmm," Aldar replied, curious.

"Wait a minute," Mac said. "That means you already know what it is!"

Hope simply sat eating her food, pretending to ignore Mac.

Suddenly everyone jumped as Omega let out a cheer. They turned and looked as Omega lifted Sebastis off the ground and held her up, spinning around as he did. He held held her close to him and they held each other, spinning and smiling.
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Postby Sebastis on Tue Aug 15, 2006 6:12 am

Sebastis had ben ill for the past few mornings. She had almost gone green when offered breakfast after having to visit the lavatory on the ship.
The first time she thought it was just something bad she had eaten the night before. But when it happened again, she had decided to go to the ships sick bay and see what the scanners could tell her. Sebastis had almost fallen off the examination table when she saw the read out. What was she going to tell her husband?

Seba had mulled over it for the next few days not sure what to do. Then she had decided to confide in Hope about what she had found. Hope had almost squeeled with glee when Sebastis told her the news. Seba had asked Hope not to tell even Mac. The sphynx wanted to figure out how to approach her husband first before she just let the eitirety of Malarkey County know.

When all were assembled on the bridge after the first testing of the systems went well. Sebastis knew she had to tell him.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

(After Omega has ben told)

"Omega and and I have a joyous announcement to make!" Sebastis beamed to the friends gathered on the bridge. She snuggled close to Her husband with a glowing smile.
"My husband and I are going to have our first child soon!" She kissed her husbands muzzle. Mac's jaw almost hit the floor along with the chicken leg he had ben tearing into.

Aldar came foreward and embraced the couple with tears forming in his eyes. "I guess this means I get to be a grandpa soon." Aldar laughed as he slapped Omega on the back. "Hope the kid doesn't turn out like you or we will all be in trouble."

Omega gave a sheepish grin as he shook his head and laughed. "Or even worse he could be like his GrandPa." Omega shot back. As he put his arm around the old wolf's shoulders.
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Postby IronFox on Tue Aug 15, 2006 7:02 pm

Mac grins and thumps the two wolves on their backs.
"This calls for a shindig!"
Aldarr and Omega look at him questioningly.
"...a What?"
Mac's infectious grin spreads even wider.
"You know...a hootenanny."
Both wolves shake their heads slightly.
"A hoedown... A fiesta...tidrik?"
The two start backing away as if he were a crazy person.
"...a party?"
"Ohhhhhhhhhh" Aldarr glances sideways at Omega, his eyebrows raised. "You know, it's been a long time since we've had something to celebrate."
Mac's grin broadens.
"Just leave that to me, guys. I'll make sure we have a party you'll never forget, no matter how hard you try!"
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Postby Earl McClaw on Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:48 pm

(In the same time-frame as recent posts.)

McClaw parked his old motorcycle at his usual spot on one end of the refugee cabins. As he was retrieving the case from the back, Tandelli, one of the extraterrestrials who'd become a de facto leaders of the little band, approached him and said, "What do you have this time? More form?"

"Better," the taller tiger replied. He took a sheet of paper from the case. "Could you have these people meet me in Cabin 1?"

Some minutes later, McClaw addressed about half a dozen of the refugees in Cabin 1, which had become something of a "common space" for them. While most activities could take place outdoors or under the pavilion near the creek, there were still some things that needed to be done indoors. McClaw had decided that this meeting was one of them.

"Thank you all for coming, especially as I didn't explain the reason." Picking up one of the folders he'd set on the table, he showed it to them while keeping the writing on it hidden. "These are the latest materials received from the State Department concerning you. This one is for Nomis..."

"What is it?" Nomis asked.

"Open it and find out." At first puzzled and then wide-eyed in awe, Nomis seemed to want to ask another question, but couldn't make the words come out, so McClaw said it for him. "Yes, those are your 'papers'. Identification card, permission to be in the country... And I've got some debit cards, too," he said as he began passing folders out to the others.

"But I thought you were trying to get us all admitted," Tandelli said when passed his folder.

"You are," McClaw grinned. "These are just the first sets ready. Or hadn't you noticed that only three of you were on the 'short list' that were originally going to be admitted?"

"You've seen this?"

"It would take an act of Congress to stop it now, and they don't move fast enough."

"This means I can get a job? Earn money for myself instead of having to have it given to me?" Nomis asked, still stunned.

"Yes, Nomis. Now you can join the rest of us in daily drudgery instead of spending all day lazing about." Which was a joke, of course. Nomis was one of the hardest working refugees and was rarely idle.

After the ooh-ing and aah-ing and thank-yous and other forms of excitement had died down, Tandelli caught up with McClaw back at his motorcycle. "We really do want to thank you and the others for all you've done for us."

"I'm just glad that stupid deal with the State Department came in useful for once."

Looking at the debit card he'd been given, Tandelli said, "I'm very surprised your government would give us money."

"They didn't," said McClaw. He paused to slip on his helmet. "Those are from one of our big corporation's goodwill charities. It's amazing what you can get if you know how to hunt down the right information."

The motorcycle coughed once, then settled down into it's normal rough idle. "Don't go crazy with them, though. There's not really that much there, but it's enough to have some things you bought for yourselves."

As the tiger set out for the old Hunsacker place, Tandelli waved goodbye.
Earl McClaw invites you to visit Furryco and the DGL. (Avatar used with permission of Ralph Hayes, Jr.)
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Postby Tbolt on Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:48 am

S'aaruuk was visiting Red in his basement.

“Thanks for coming over comrade, I don't know what iss wrong with reloading press. Everything was working fine until just few days ago. I just am having no luck.”

“That's alright, friend, we've been mulling over the Hir so much this past week, I thought my eyes were going buggy. I'll be refreshing to take a look at a different problem for a change. Let's see what you got.”

“Here iss table, and this is what hass ben happening.”

The big lupine held up a mutilated brass cartridge. “Hmmmmm,”

“Do you think press could be out of alignment? It iss so hard to ram cartridge into die, and nothing seems to be coming out right.”

S'aaruuk looked at the heavy-duty turret press, inspected the ram, and checked out the dies. “You're distracted, aren't you.” It was a statement, not a question.

“What do you mean?” the fox's ears rolled back in confusion. “I don't even haff radio in heer?”

“Red, you're trying to mash a 500 magnum cartridge into a .480 ruger die.” the big wolf's ears rolled down in dismay “and apparently,” he looked over a small array of carnage on the table “you've done this five hundred times!”

Red's ears collapsed in embarrassment. “Oh, heh, well... you know what it iss like when you get into rhythm...”

“What is wrong with you?” asked S'aaruuk.
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Postby Sharuuk on Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:30 pm

The normal pale blue luminescense of his eyes brightened just a bit and the blue tint took on a more pronounced coloring as he stared at his friend.

"Red....you don't make the same "mistake" over and over again destroying shell after shell and not realizing something's wrong without being seriously distracted! THIS *points at the pile of mangled brass* goes well beyond simple distraction.....something's gnawing on you my old friend, and gnawing hard."

He knelt down eye to eye with the old fox his voice and face softening considerably. Holding a crushed .500S&W shell in front of Red's face he again asked:

"Something dominates your thoughts totally Old Man......what is it that weighs so heavily on your mind? Talk to me."
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Postby Kerry Skydancer on Thu Aug 17, 2006 4:49 pm

Skydancer sighed with relief as the latest rinse from the Tiger Moth's sprayer tanks tested below threshhold for gasoline. About time. I thought I'd never get the things cleaned out. He grinned to himself. Could be worse, though. At least I got Fergie to pony up for the repairs.

Disposal of the contaminated gasoline had been the tricky part - one couldn't safely trash-burn it due to the pesticide contamination, nor use it as fuel for the same reason - the first wasn't hot enough to destroy the pesticides completely, and while engine use was hot enough to break down the pesticide it would also gum the plugs. Recycling the fifty gallons or so left in the sprayer tanks had been the most expensive part of the whole affair. He finished draining the water out of the sprayer tanks and stretched his wings with a sigh of relief. Between repairs, crop-dusting with the AgCat, and working on the puzzle of the Utulso Hir, he'd barely had time to scratch for most of the past week. He hadn't seen Omega or Aldar at all, though S'aaruuk (as he was starting to think of him now, rather than just 'Perfessor') reported that they were busy with repairs of their own.

He hadn't seen Red, either, but S'aaruuk had caught him up on the story of the Serbian fox and the little alien he'd befriended. He was still suspicious, but willing to give her the benefit of the doubt for the time being.

He arrived at the mansion as the sun was setting, and headed out to the lab. S'aaruuk was already there, and waved to the bat as he arrived. "Omega's going to be ready to fly soon. I'm going to be their wingman for the first trial, in case something goes wrong. Would you like to come along?"

Kerry grinned. "Absolutely!"
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Postby Wayfarer on Fri Aug 18, 2006 8:03 pm

(The next morning...)

Lauril swayed a bit and, after pulling absently at the purse strap hanging from her shoulder, adjusted her walking sticks so she could lean her weight against them. She studied the wall of brush ahead of her intently, trying to concentrate through the pain in her leg and the fog in her head. At least... at least now she could see. At least now it was light. Morning. But how... was she going to get through? Problem with streams... the thought ran vaguely through her foggy mind, they... grow more... stuff.

There was something wrong with that statement. What?

...What...?

What was she doing?!

She shook her head in as much frustration as she could muster through her exhaustion. No more... mind-wandering! She had to keep going. She had to... get help and... pass on the message. That was it. She had to pass on the message. "Twenty minutes into forest... from 'Old Forest' and 'Lake Overlook'. Sign," she recited to herself, willing the words to remain in her memory. "Twenty to forty minutes... from sign... to Route 470. Follow... the stream to the cabins. Get help."

She lifted her crutch-walking sticks and settled them into place for her next step. She swung herself forward... and straight through a spiderweb. "Gleeth-eeth-eeth-eeeth!" she squeaked. She shook her head a little and, dropping one of her sticks, swiped feebly at her face in disgust. Then she looked despairingly at her stick on the ground. A whine of frustration escaped her as she half-sank, half-collapsed to the forest floor and grasped for the stick. Her head throbbed. Her leg throbbed. And the very thought of the wound throbbing in her leg made her throbbing, spinning head go even lighter. For the... who-knew-how-many-ith time since the night before, tears began slipping down her cheeks.

"What... am I doing... supposed to do, Lord? Been... trying to make it... forever. Can't walk. Can't stand. What... what do I do... now?"

For a moment she sat there staring vacantly ahead, tears streaming down her face. Then, suddenly, a strange and naggingly familiar sound broke into her consciousness, almost making her jump.

Be-be-bomp.

What was that?

Ba-ba-beep.

And then it clicked. "Not. It's not... goodness... I didn't just...." She pulled her purse in front of her and fumbled around until her paw closed on... her cell phone. She pulled it out and stared at the display that glowed with the message that she had just re-entered her service area. "Oh, Lord... I'm a bug. Bug, bug, bug." Still gripping the phone in one paw, she covered her face with the other, laughing hysterically and sobbing at the same time.

----------------------

Riiiing. Riiiiiiiing.

Felix Cobb walked over to the telephone and picked up the receiver.

"Professor S'aaruuk's residence, Cobb speaking, how may I help you?"

From the other end of the line, a strangely wavering voice responded. "Help? Yes, need help. Need... need-

First! Need to tell the Professor... and... and all the other folks fighting... the... the alien guys. I was s'posed to... to call here... if I was passing through, and-

No! I mean, never mind: not important. I mean-" a deep breath sounded over the line. Then the voice began speaking again, this time a little more slowly. "Prisoners. Folks kidnapped. Ummmm... ummmm.... IknowIrememberIknowIremember Twenty minutes into the forest... from where 'Old Forest' and 'Lake Overlook' trails cross. Trail crossing's twenty to forty minutes from Route 470. He said to follow the stream to the cabins to get help, but I remembered my phone. Need to tell them-"

From the speaker's first words, a troubled look had begun forming on the butler's face. As the strange and rather muddled message continued, the look only grew. But whatever the confused and extremely tired-sounding caller meant, two things were certain: something was wrong, and it was important.

"Well, now, Miss, Professor S'aaruuk is not nearby at the moment, but if I might ask your name and where you're calling from, I will ask my wife to come speak with you while I go and see if I can find him."

"Name. I'm not sure... not sure if he ever heard my name," the voice mused over the line. "Um- um- name... name is Lauril. Sorry, very tired, and having trouble... processing. I'm calling from-" the statement broke off in a somewhat strangled laugh "-from my cell phone... in the middle of the woods... sitting next to the stream, trying to get to the cabins," the answer, spoken through slightly hysterical giggles, finally came. "At least... not trying anymore. Just sitting, now... 'cause I'm a little light-headed. Sitting were I remembered my cell phone-"

"Okay, thank you, Miss Lauril," Cobb replied soothingly. "Now if you will be so kind as to wait a moment, I will go and get my wife, and then we'll see if we can find someone who can help you."

He soon had Emma on the phone, and went off to tell the Professor about the call.
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Postby BrockthePaine on Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:21 pm

((OOC Note: This takes place slightly earlier in the day))

"Sweet Mary Queen of Scots!!" Fergie screamed. "Slow down, you're going to kill us both!"

Gil laughed. "Who'd have thought that my future self would be afraid of driving 55mph a perfectly good '69 Charger?"

"It has to do with the fact that you have no onboard AI, no collision avoidance systems, no onboard computer and PLEASE KEEP YOUR HANDS ON THE WHEEL!!"

"Nah," Gil chuckled. "Those thing's would just take the FUN out of my driving. Ooh, do I spy a grade crossing ahead? I DO!"

Fergie's eyes grew wide as Gil flattened the accelerator. "No. You are not... so help me Gil, I will ring your neck Oh my God we're gonna DIE!!!"

The Charger had hit 80 miles per hour as they reached the railroad crossing: a slight rise to the tracks, followed by a sudden drop. The Charger went airborne as Gil whooped. "Yeeee-haw!"

The car scrapped bottom as it came down, and Fergie nearly lost his lunch.

"Oh $#!&!" Gil shouted, reacting instinctively to avoid a pig-driven Peterbuilt, which was oddly driving in the wrong lane. The Charger slipped by with inches to spare as Fergie unloaded a lunchtime-salute out the passenger window, onto the passenger-side running-boards. Fergie was still green when Gil pulled the Charger up the driveway to Professor Sharuuk's house.

"I am so going to kill you," Fergie moaned. "Right after I recover from this heart attack I'm having."

Gil laughed and got out of the car. "The General Sherman has ARRIVED, boys and girls, with presents for all the... wait a minute, Fergie, did you bring the whiskey?"

Fergie could only groan as he crawled through the window of the car.
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Postby Tbolt on Mon Aug 21, 2006 3:17 am

Red looked at the mangled brass. He flicked his ears, and twittered his tail . “I don't know,...”

He thought a moment “Well maybe I do know....”

“But I don't know if I'm right... This may be my only chance.”

S'aaruuk blinked. “What are you talking about?”

“Ever since she said she had to leave, to go home, would I lose her? Should I do this now? Should I wait? Am I just being an old fool?”

The gears within S'aaruuk's head whirled and turned with the disjointed information given to him by his friend. Finally an answer clicked into place. “No, Yes, No, No”

“So you think iss not rushing things?”

“If this is what you want, and if she agrees to it, then I say go for it.”

“OK, then iss settled, I weel!”

“Alright, friend, good luck! Now let's clean up this mess. Hmmm, that is an interesting idea, though...”

“What?”

“Back the sizer out a bit, and neck the brass down to .480. I wonder what kind of velocity we could get?”

“Would mean making custom cylinder...”

“Ehh, that's why they invented machine tools...”

The pair then went to work on their “Mad science” project.





The next morning saw Red going off to the big city again to visit Syrryxys in the hospital, although he had to make a quick stop off first.





Syrryxys felt miles better. She was no longer in intensive care. The tube had been removed from her lung, she no longer had to contend with the oxygen trickle, and she was down to one IV. She still had to put up with the heart rate monitors, but at the rate things were going, she should be free to be released soon enough. But, where to go after that?

“Good morning, Syr!” chimed the nurse. “You're looking a little pensive this morning, you didn't have any more strange dreams last night?”

“Morning, Allie.” Syrryxys replied. “No just thinking about what I need to do once I get out of here.” she heaved a considerable sigh. “I guess I just need to get back to reality.”

“Awww, c'mon, is it that bad that a trip to the hospital is like a vacation?”

“Trust me, you don't want to know.”

“Let me finish my morning rounds and I'll be back if you want to talk about it.”

Syrryxys nodded and sank back into her pillow.

A few minutes later there was a light knock at the door. Syrryxys smiled as Red poked his snout in. He returned the grin, but he seemed strangely nervous for some reason.





At the central nursing station an alarm started going off. One of the patient's monitors just went berserk, heart rate and blood pressure through the roof. She called for assistance as she hurried to the room of the stricken patient.

She opened the door to find Syrryxys clutching Red to herself as though her life depended on it. She held a small box in one hand. Something therein glinted the morning sun into a multifaceted rainbow.

The male silver fox appeared slightly surprised by this turn of events. “I take it that thees meens yes?”

Two other nurses and a doctor arrived on the scene as the duty nurse softly closed the door behind her.

“What's going on here, what happened, why aren't you inside there?”

The duty nurse just pointed at her ring finger and beamed.

“That silver fox that has been visiting her all week?” asked another nurse.

The duty nurse nodded.

“Well, good for them!” smiled the third.

“Oh, my.” said the doctor aloud. “I guess we need to admit the poor guy to the psych ward now until he stabilizes”

The three nurses began to beat the doctor with their paperwork.
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Postby Calbeck on Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:25 am

The unicorn sat in the same chair, at the same desk, in front of the same computer, that he'd set down in and at and front of --- how many days ago? It didn't seem to matter. His joints felt like forged iron, weighty and resistant to a change of position.

Well worth it, though, he mused. Whatever else he might be, S'aaruuk's got a distinct penchant for mechanical details, and so do his schematic arrays.

Roy forced himself to stand with a groan. At least he'd been able to take care of the burn damage already...a few minor "adjustments" at the molecular level, and his uniform looked good as new. Amazing what one could do with carbon atoms and a few loose quarks...his mane, too, had grown out of its "frizzle burn", lengthening into a reasonably decent mohawk that ended in a Trojan-like crest overhanging his muzzle.

Perhaps now I won't scare passing mothers with children quite so easily.

He snorted at the image and made his way to the kitchen to rummage up a workingman's lunch. It was going to be a long day...

* * * * *

Suppertime found him standing before Generator Two at Malarkey County Power and Water Supply. It had taken a fair amount of time to find and examine the place before committing to entry, and more than a little willingness to bypass various relatively primitive security measures, but the preparations being taken by the others made it fairly obvious what he was going to have to do. He pressed his finger against an electronic safety lock mounted low and to the side of the machine, and he imagined he could hear it crackle with anticipation as the code went through and the panel unlatched.

Within, the twin auxiliary lead mounts glistened silently.

"I hate this part..."

With each hand, he reached out and grasped a mount. Blue-white arcs of electricity instantly wreathed his body with the stench of burning ozone...
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Postby Sharuuk on Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:10 pm

Returning from Reds S'aaruuk chuckled a bit at the old fox. There was no doubting his feelings for the alien Vulpinian....and he was sure that the old Serb wasn't grasping at ghosts of his lost love Mishka. Still, maybe she had been 'redeemed' he really didn't know....but....time would tell....time would tell.

Arriving at the Manor, he went back to the security building to take care of some last minute details before Omega's scheduled test flight. He'd been there only a few minutes when Kerry arrived in a soft rustle of wing leather and cloud of leaves.

"Hello Kerry....welcome back."

"Hey S'aaruuk.....thanks...thought I'd follow up on some thoughts I'd come up with concerning the Hir...do you mind?"

"Not at all. By the way....Omega's going to take his ship out on a check flight shortly....will be going into space and I'll be his wingman....would you like to join me?"

A huge grin split the bat's face at the suggestion...

"Absolutely....wouldn't miss it for the world...thank you for the invite."

The B'Thraanti chuckled..."No problem, welcome aboard."

Abruptly, Felix Cobb entered the room.

"Beggin' yaw pawdin Suh....hello Mawster Kerry....Suh, there's a Miss Lauril on the phone....she seems to be in some sort of distress and needs to speak with you."

"The chipmunk?" *raises voice slightly* "Speakers ON."

Emma Cobbs soothing voice suddenly came from several speakers in the room...she was doing a fine job of trying to keep the frantic chipmunk calm.

"Lauril...this is the Professor.....what's wrong...where are you?"

A slightly hysterical, wavering voice filled the room as Lauril tried to explain her situation. Even through the disjointed sentences, it quickly became clear that she'd been wounded somehow, was exhausted, on the verge of both a physical and mental breakdown, and had only the most rudimentary idea where she was.

"Lauril....listen to me." He coaxed..."Can you tell me about how wide the stream is where you are? And are you in the trees?"

"Ahhh....ummmm....wide...wide.....ahhh....well I can't get across it...can't get across....why do I want to cross it...In the trees....no I'm not in the trees I'm on the ground....why would I want to be in the trees??"

A sudden fit of uncontrollable giggles filled the room as her tenuous grip on reality began to slip away.

*"MUTE"*

Turning to the megabat, concern darkening the lumenescence in his eyes, urgency filling his voice.

"Looks like we've got a rescue mission on our hands.....Thank you Mr. Cobb...see if you can keep her on the line and talking....Kerry, since you can fly, take off now....she seems to be trying to follow the stream that ends up through the campground. She hasn't passed the highway 470 bridge so she's somewhere upstream of there. The woods are pretty thick so my whirlybird is out as a vehicle.....I'll use an a-grav harness.

*"OPEN"*

"Lauril....this is the Professor.....we're on the way....just hang on and keep talking to us......*aside and low voiced*....."Kerry, take off...I'll join you in a few minutes.....*normal voiced*....Lauril....Kerry Skydancer is on the way, and I'll be joining him....hang on girl, the cavelry's comin'....Emma, you still there"?

"Yes Suh.."

"Excellent....keep her talking."

*"CUT"*

*Kerry dashes out to the side yard for wing clearance.*

**Opens comm link."**

"Anyone still on comm link.....Repeat...ANYONE still on comm link.....Lauril, the little chipmunk is lost and injured somewhere above the highway 470 bridge...(repeats)....She's following the stream down to the cabins.....she's injured and pretty much exhausted....anyone copying this transmission please respond....Kerry Skydancer and I are covering the air search but we could certainly use some ground support.....repeat..ANYONE copying this transmission please respond."

Just as he turned to leave the building, Cobb re-appeared, distinctly out of breath, but carrying one of the heavy lift a-grav harnesses.

Smiling as he put on the harness held by the winded Airedale he looked affectionately at him...."Mr. Cobb...you Sir are a marvel and quite likely a life saver."

*huff* "Thank you Suh....thought....*huff*....this might save some valuable time."

"Indeed it did...and quite possibly a life as well.....thank you."

With that the big wolf turned, lifted slightly off the floor sailed through the door and up into the morning sky in pursuit of the hard flapping bat.

Breathing a bit easier, Felix leaned against the doorjamb and watched as his employer disappeared over the trees surrounding the estate.

"Good hunting Suh....Lord, please help him find her." It was both prayer and wish.
Last edited by Sharuuk on Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:17 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Spacewolfomega on Tue Aug 22, 2006 6:13 am

It was the following morning and Omega awoke to find himself aboard the Wolfstar in his quarters. Sebastis lay next to him and everything seemed peaceful and serene. He looked down at her and she stirred slightly... still smiling and beaming, even in her sleep, at the idea of the new life forming inside her... a life they had created together.

Omega remembered something Aldar had said about war. He always said there was something positive about it. He wasn't referring to the necessity of destroying evil men or rescuing lives in danger... those were the reasons for fighting a war... but Aldar alwys mentioned a positive about war itself... the process of fighting for survival, facing death and danger, enduring the horrible pain it presented. It was the fact that it made people keenly aware of just how important both life and love truly were. It was a bitter irony how that in times of peace, life and love would lose their value... but in times of war people would cling to them with an unmatched fervor.

Compared to the backdrop of this interstellar war and all the horrors it had wrought, Omega could think of nothing more beautiful than his peacefully sleeping wife, now with child. Stroking her hair softly, she sank deeper into the covers, still wanting to sleep. Omega kissed her gently and carefully got out of bed and began checking around the ship.

As he walked out into the corridor, he was greeted by Mac, who was apparently leaving his quarters at the exact same moment. They both nodded for silence as the doors hissed shut behind them.

"I, uh.. guess the girls need a little more time to sleep in, huh?" Omega smiled.

"Yeah," Mac nodded. "I'd say we were all up a bit late celebrating your good news."

Omega nodded. "Let's see if we can find Aldar."

"Probably asleep on the bridge as usual," Mac suggested.

And he was right. Aldar sat slumped in the weapons control seat, still sleeping.

For long voyages the Space Wolves would hook up to a medical unit which would put them into a deep sleep where they would stay until a proximity alert or destination arrival would cause the onboard computer to rouse them. However, there was always a slim but ever-present danger that the chemicals used in the process could cause a reaction, endangering the life of the individual using them. Aldar had come from a day before the use of those chemicals when space travel had not been across such great distances... therefore, he had especially always been keen to avoid using them. While on short patrols, most Space Wolves learned to sleep in their seats, Aldar had become a master at it and Omega believed that Aldar could hibernate like that for months if he chose to.

Mac went over to wake up Aldar while Omega went about contacting S'aaruuk. Today would be the test flight of the Wolfstar. While the young boy in Omega wanted to simply fly it into space and "take it for a spin", S'aaruuk had advised Omega to let him follow the Wolfstar just in case anything went wrong. Omega agreed with that, so now it was time to make sure everything was still a "go" for today.

"S'aaruuk, this is Omega," Omega said into the comlink. "Are we still on for that test flight today?"

------------------------------------------------------------------

The Viledarian held the wicked looking blade in front of him. He stared over its features... designed to inflict the maximum amount of pain possible to its target before allowing them to die. It wasn't the most functional weapon... unless, of course, it was being used for malicious purposes... or if it was being used to make an example of someone... which at this moment it was.

He looked at the other Viledarian kneeling in front of him... his commander. The one who had trained him in everything he knew about fighting, killing, strategy, tactics... everything. The commander simply looked at him with a stern expression, alomost devoid of all emotion save one... commitment.

The Viledarian knew what he had to do. All eyes were upon him. An audience of several of his fellows stood around the far reaches of the chamber. And upon the throne, the emperor sat and watched, anticipating the Viledarian's next move.

But try as he might, the Viledarian hesitated. He could not complete this task so easily. He didn't experience love or affection as other beings would know them... but he did have some feeling of respect... of obligation... his commander had made him everything he was. If "father" would have had any special meaning for the Viledarians, he would have thought of his commander as his sire.

"Do it," the commander grunted, quietly enough that the audience could not hear.

The Viledarian still hesitated.

"I trained you to be the best. Don't dishonor me by demonstrating that I failed in my ability to train you as well."

The Viledarian raised the jagged sword, but still there was refusal in his eyes.

"It's your duty. You have no other choice. You will follow the Emperor's orders."

Something about that last statement made the Viledarian wince. What did the commander mean? Was he resigned to being a faithful soldier until the very end? Was he disgruntled, knowing that he was powerless to rebel against the Emperor?

There was no time to ask as suddenly the commander let out a shout, shaking the Viledarian from his thoughts.

"GLORY TO THE EMPEROR!" the commander shouted.

Driven by the fierceness of the commander's voice, the Viledarian shouted and ran the blade through his commander... his mentor... his "father"...

"GLORY TO THE EMPEROR!" the Viledarian shouted as the blade sank deep into the commander's chest. His death was gruesome and violent as the blade went about its work... slowly, as was its nature...

The Viledarian and the commander met each other's gaze. The life ebbed from the commander's body. The audience cheered. The Emperor nodded in approval.

When the applause had died down, the Emperor spoke.

"Commander Kalchak," he began. The new title struck Kalchak, still feeling the wound of the death of his commander. "You have now replaced Gorgkek as commander of the Terran attack forces. You have seen the price of failure and I know you will not fail me. Go! Go and retrieve the sphere and activate the Final Voice!"

Kalchak saluted the Emperor. "YES, MY LORD!"

Before leaving the chamber, he turned to look upon the body of his most revered friend one last time...
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Postby Earl McClaw on Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:26 pm

Sharuuk wrote:"Anyone still on comm link... Repeat... ANYONE still on comm link... Lauril, the little chipmunk is lost and injured somewhere above the highway 470 bridge... (repeats)... She's following the stream down to the cabins... she's injured and pretty much exhausted... anyone copying this transmission please respond... Kerry Skydancer and I are covering the air search but we could certainly use some ground support... repeat... ANYONE copying this transmission please respond."

McClaw was headed for a late breakfast in the diner when he heard S'aaruuk's APB. *Good thing he showed me how to link this thing by Bluetooth to my cell phone,* he thought as he activated the comm functions. "McClaw here, on my way to the cabins now. I'll approach from downstream end. Do you have coordinates? Over."

The old Army "vet" motorcycle must have understood it was back on duty, because it didn't utter a peep of complaint as the big tiger riding it made a sharp "U" and sped for the refugee cabins.

Slowing briefly at the cabins as Tandelli jogged up, McClaw didn't give the refugee leader a chance to ask anything. He just told him, "Get something ready for first aid; we've got someone lost in the woods and we might stop here if things aren't too bad. And don't let anyone follow me! We don't need two people lost."

During his little speech, McClaw had dug out his smartphone and activated the GPS functions. A trace might be useful later to verify where he'd been. Without waiting for a reply from Tandelli, he accellerated and started up the trail closest to the stream. One thing still nagged him, though.

*What the heck is Lauril doing back in Malarkey County without telling anyone?*
Earl McClaw invites you to visit Furryco and the DGL. (Avatar used with permission of Ralph Hayes, Jr.)
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Postby BrockthePaine on Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:13 pm

Fergie and Gil wandered into the front of the Professor's house, only to be quickly briefed by Mr. Cobb on the situation. Fergie and Gil glanced quickly at each other. "Let's go."

Gil dove through the window of the General Sherman, while Fergie jumped and slid across the hood to the passenger side. Gil fired up the car, racing the 440 Magnum, getting the Charger in gear as Fergie jumped headfirst into the passenger-side window. Unfortunately Fergie was rather less dexterous than he could have been: as the Charger spit gravel heading down the driveway, Fergie's legs and tail were still hanging ungracefully out the passenger window.

"Get your fuzzy rear in the car," Gil said, grabbing Fergie's arm and pulling him inside.

Fergie straightened up in his seat and glowered. "I suppose you thought that was funny, Gil?"

"Immensely," Gil chuckled.

"Now," Fergie continued, "It sounds like we've got trouble... some kind of kidnapping. Probably could be shooting. You okay with that? It's just that you've never shot anyone before... Well, besides that ricochet incident on Tuesday. That doesn't count."

"Hey, that HURT," Gil interrupted.

"I know," Fergie growled. "I've been shot before." Fergie reached into the back seat and produced his SAR-48, and then Gil's antique Springfield '03. He looked up to find the General Sherman travelling 95 down the dirt road to the cabins. "Uh.... you going to slow down?!"

Gil smiled. "I don't tell you how to shoot, brother, and you don't tell me how to drive. Folks'll move out of the way. I learned that driving at Rockingham." Gil hit the horn as he came up on the cabins, and the Sherman tootled the first thirteen notes of "Marching through Georgia" as it flew down the road towards the creek, where they both spotted Earl heading into the woods, on a trail the Charger couldn't follow.
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Postby Kerry Skydancer on Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:17 pm

Skydancer was on his way out the door of the lab as soon as he heard the location. He patched into S'aaruuk's commnet as he took off, heading for the cabins. He swooped past them and banked to head upstream, moving at a fair clip. The bat didn't stop as he saw the tiger move out along the trail, but he did acknowledge him on the commnet. "Glad you're here, McClaw. I can find her, but I probably can't pack her out if she passes out on us. Perfessor, I can search this creek pretty quickly on my own. The poor girl sounded pretty out of it, though. Maybe you'd best scout around some of the other branches, in case she didn't know where she is?"

S'aaruuk responded. "I'm trying to narrow it down by getting her transmission located. Go ahead."

Kerry could cover a lot more ground in the air than someone on foot, and it gave a better view as well. The chipmunk hadn't been that far from the cabins, and he touched down lightly beside her just about twelve minutes after she first called. "Miss Lauril? Help's on the way. What happened to you?" He did a quick first aid check, and drew in his breath with a hiss as he looked at her leg.

"Perfessor? I've found her, about a mile and a quarter upstream from the cabins. Home on my signal, and keep your eyes open. She didn't break an ankle or something. She's been shot. I think she's going into shock, too."

Lauril was still on the phone, trying to talk to Emma. "I ... someone's here. Thank you.. I..."

Kerry swore under his breath. Lauril was clammy and her pulse was rapid, sure signs of blood loss and shock. "And me without any blankets... oh, well, I've got built-in blankets, if it's safe to move her." A quick check revealed no broken bones, and the bat got her to sit up. He sat down beside her and wrapped a wing around her, letting her head rest on his shoulder. "There we are, Miss Lauril. I'll keep you warm until S'aaruuk gets here. You'll be fine..." With his other hand, he thumbed the safety off his pistol, watching the woods with sight and ultrasound both. "And if anyone tries to finish the job, I'll just have to beat them to the draw..."
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