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    The Story-teller *Adventure*

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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on February 7th 2016, 5:22 pm

    [Arc 1: New World]

    Chapter One: Of Kings and Princesses.

    A gentle breeze billowed throughout the park. Needles and leaves in the trees alike rustled. Everywhere, people stirred. A quick glance would show couples of all ages, walking or sitting, blissful in each other's company. Kids would run about, playing games like tag, or hide and seek. The sun was gentle, in the gentle spring morning, warming the inhabitants of the park.

    One such individual sat there on a blanket, his wife by his side. She sat there, head upon his shoulder, the two of them glancing at their beloved daughter. She giggled, arms outstretched, as she chased a butterfly around the field in front of them.

    "I almost caught it daddy! Do you see it?!" she giggled.

    "I see it, Amber." he called back with a chuckle. "Don't wander off too far now, we'll be having our lunch soon."

    As his daughter continued to frolic, the man glanced down at his wife, who smiled brightly. It was Saint Patrick's day, and he had asked his boss specifically to take it off. He had been overdue for a day off, so there had been no hesitation. To him, there had been no other way he would have spent it, than with his family.

    "She has you wrapped around her finger, you know that?" his wife said, sitting up.

    "Nah." he shook it off. "C'mon Amanda, you should know better. She's always had a certain bond with you."

    "That may be true." Amanda replied, brushing a bang from her eyes. "You can't deny that she idolizes you."

    The man's gaze turned back from his wife, to that of his daughter. She skipped through the rolling grasses, trying to clasp her hands around the bright orange and black butterfly.

    "She's my little princess." he smiled. "I'd go to the ends of the Earth for her."

    "You're such a dramatic, Clyde." Amanda said, gently pecking him on the cheek.

    "It's my hobby." he turned to her with a grin, before returning the favor.

    They broke off the embrace, however, as another breeze billowed through. Turning his attention to where Amber had once been, Clyde's heart sunk when Amber wasn't there. Standing, he held a hand out to Amanda, requesting she remained there.

    "Amber?!" Clyde called out, but with no answer.

    Concerned, he began to walk in the direction she had come from. Amber was only seven years old, her tiny legs wouldn't have carried her that far. Calling her name, other inhabitants of the park turned to face him, mild concern on their face. It was then that he heard a small voice to his right.

    "It's okay, I'll bring you to Momma." he heard Amber's voice in the bush. "She's a nurse, she'll make you feel all better."

    "Amber?" Clyde asked, as his daughter's head poked out of the bush.

    "Hi daddy!" she beamed, before stepping completely out of the bush. "Guess what I found?"

    "We should get back, sweetie." Clyde said, placing a hand behind her back.

    "First, you gotta guess what I found." she smiled innocently.

    "Is it the butterfly?" Clyde asked, crouching to her level.

    Shaking her head, Amber pulled her hands out from behind her, producing a stiff figure. Clyde frowned at the mangled bird in his daughter's hand.

    "His name's Birdie." Amber smiled. "He's sleeping, but I know Momma can make him feel better."

    "Oh geez." Clyde sighed, thinking his next course of action out. "You should put Birdie back."

    "Why?" Amber asked, looking down at the bird's corpse in her hand.

    "Well," Clyde paused. "If Birdie has a family, don't you think he would miss them if he woke up, and he wasn't home?"

    Clyde really didn't want to explain death to Amber already. He knew that it was pretty irresponsible, however, he also didn't think she was ready yet. Frowning, Amber gently placed Birdie back into the bush, before smiling.

    "Good night, Birdie. Fell better soon!" she said, before walking alongside Clyde back to their picnic.

    Amanda sat there, a look of relief on her face when she saw the two of them approaching. Standing, she placed her hands on her hips, before looking at the two of them, expectantly.

    "Momma, you should've met Birdie! He was really pretty, but he was sleeping. Daddy told me I should put him back."

    "Birdie, huh?" Amanda smiled.

    "Yeah, he was 'sleeping'." Clyde said with a frown. "I told Amber that she shouldn't disturb him."

    "Oh." Amanda nodded. "You should wash your hands then, honey. Touching animals of any kind, and then eating is very bad."

    "I saw a restroom earlier, I'll take her to wash her hands."


    Later that Night

    "Today was fun, right daddy?" Amber asked, wriggling in her bed.

    Clyde sat beside her, a smile on his face.

    "Yeah sweetie, it was fun." he nodded. "You want me to tell you a bed-time story?"

    "Yeah!" she giggled, covering her face with the covers of her bed. "Are you going to tell me the one about the Harlowe's?"

    "No, I've told that one far too many times." Clyde shook his head. "Tonight, I'm going to tell you the tale of Crane, the Gallant."

    "Our story begins in the fields of Nottingham, yes, the same Nottingham of Robin Hood. There once was this young man, whose family had been helped by the notorious Robin hood. His name was Crane, Irving Crane." Clyde smiled.

    "Crane was a fine young man. He served King Richard as a member of the King's personal hunting party. He fought well with a bow, but his true passion lay behind the blade of a sword. It was true, that when he was a child, he had always wanted to be a Knight in King Richard's court."

    "It had been on one fateful day, when King Richard came to Crane out of the blue. It had come to the King's attention that his daughter, the fair maiden Marian and her humble husband, Robin Hood, had been captured by a band of trolls in the wood."

    "Oh no." Amber frowned.

    "Richard, knowing the full extent of Crane's swordsmanship, sent him out to defeat the trolls, and save Robin Hood and the Maiden Marian. With nothing but the clothes on his back, and a lone mare, our hero set out from Nottingham to Leicester, where Robin Hood and Marian had last been seen."

    "On his way to Leicester, Crane had encountered a balding man in distress. 'Oh, what am I to do?!' the man asked."

    "'Good Friar, what is the matter?' Crane asked."

    "'A young lad! My name is Friar Tuck, and a dear friend of mine is in trouble. Will you help an old, holy man out?'"

    "'If you seek Robin Hood, I am already on my way.' Crane said."

    "'Aye and nay, child. My other dear friend Little John went out in search of Robin Hood already. Though I fear the worst.'"

    "So, what happened next?" Amber asked.

    "Crane rode to the east, continuing towards Leicester. Not only had Robin Hood and the Maid Marian gone missing, but it had appeared that Little John had as well. It was there that he encountered the trolls. Crane new the massive beasts were dangerous, but could easily be tricked. He pulled one shiny coin from his pocket, and approached the trio."

    "'Good Morrow, Trolls. I am Crane, son of the Crane family in Nottingham. I come to offer ye a bountiful reward for capturing Robin Hood, and his friends.'"

    "'We no interested in rewardses.' the troll's leader replied."

    "Crane, however, was clever, and flipped the coin in his hand. Much to the interest of the trolls. He pointed to the South, promising the trolls that a cave filled with the shiny coins awaited them. As is the nature of trolls, they left their post, in search of the cave of shiny coins."

    "Crane used this moment of distraction to save Robin Hood, his wife Marian, and Little John from their cages. However, all was not right in the Kingdom. For the trolls were the henchmen to the nefarious Skobul of the North. Robin Hood explained that his daughter, Amber, had been locked away in the Northern Tower."

    Clyde stopped his tale for a moment, as there was a vibration in his pockets. His cell-phone had been ringing.

    "Hold on one second sweetie." he replied, quickly pulling the device out.

    It was Harold and Drake, two of his co-workers. They had finished their shift, and were headed out for some Saint Patty's day drinks. Nodding, he turned back to her.

    "Where was I? Oh, yes, the Northern Tower." Clyde continued. "Crane told Robin Hood, and Marian, that he would save their daughter from Skobul, and free England from his reign of terror."

    "-and so Crane did. He arrived at the Tower, and scaled it. However, it was no easy task, as dangers lurked in the shadows every step of the way. Still, our Hero prevailed, and once he reached the peak of the tower, he and Skobul fought, magic versus steel. The skies rang out for miles as the two forces clashed. In the end, however, Crane had been victorious."

    "Amber, the princess, was very glad to have been saved by Crane. He told her his wish to become a Knight in Richard's court. Amber promised our Hero that she would convince her father to allow him this wish. Together, they rode off to Nottingham. When they arrived, Richard held a feast to celebrate the safe return of our Hero and his granddaughter."

    "As promised, Amber convinced the kind King to knight our Hero. All in all, they lived happily ever after." Clyde smiled, as Amber began to sink into slumber, gently rubbing his hand along her cheek. "The end. Good night, sweetie."


    Clyde stepped into the bar, Boris' place. As was expected on a Saint Patrick's day evening, the bar was bustling with activity. The keeper, Boris, beckoned him over, his friends Harold and Drake sitting there.

    "Gentlemen, welcome." Boris nodded. "An' a happy Saint Patty's to ye."

    "Happy St. Patrick's day, you damn drunk." Harold chuckled.

    "Shut yer pie-hole, ye Pakistani fuck." Boris chuckled. "Gentlemen, I've gathered ye hear this evenin' to try my newest concoction of corrosive chemical content."

    "By that, you mean yer nasty ass alcohol mixers?" Drake chuckled.

    "Precisely, boyo." Boris crossed his arms, with a stern nod. "Would ye lads care to try it? I call it the Saint Patrick."

    "Pass." Harold shook his head, turning to Drake, who violently shook his head.

    "Alright, sure." Clyde smirked. "What all's in it?"

    "Well, it's a bit o' a process." Boris said. "We start with a mixture I call the 'Viper's Venom'. It's a Bloody Mary mixed with a Corkscrew."

    "Oh god." Harold gagged. "That sounds so unpleasant."

    "That's the point!" Boris scoffed. "An' after you've had the Viper's Venom, you're supposed to chase it away with what I call 'Patrick's Shamrock'. That's a mixture of a mojito and straight potato vodka."

    "That sounds intense as fuck." Harold nodded. "Drake, fetch us a bucket. I feel like Clyde'll need it."

    Boris immediately set to mixing the separate parts of the overall 'drink'. After several minutes, the parts of the 'Saint Patrick' were finished. Clyde started with the Viper's Venom, coughing as the putrid mixture burned it's way down his throat. After a few seconds, he could feel a slight buzz start to overtake him. The Viper's Venom was no joke, just pure alcohol and vegetable juice.

    After a moment, he took the 'Patrick's Shamrock' portion, and felt a bit of relief, the sweetness of the mojito offering some solace for his esophagus. Boris and the others roared with laughter, as Clyde's head began to swam in a wide circle.The corners of his vision were starting to black out, and with a single hiccup, he passed out.

    Last edited by Shad0wChas3r on February 10th 2016, 12:16 am; edited 1 time in total



    Thanks for Reading!

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    The Story-teller *Adventure* Empty Re: The Story-teller *Adventure*

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on February 7th 2016, 5:25 pm

    Author's Notes: I've taken to moving any notes I have about stories, and move them to the following post, so they don't break up the flow.

    This is a new original story that I've been brain-storming for a while now. I'll admit here and now that it shares a lot of inspiration from a variety of different video games I've played, and may even have some hidden easter eggs in regards to them.

    That said, I'm only starting to build it up now. It might start a bit slow, and I'm sorry about that. Hopefully, however, this is something you guys might enjoy.



    Thanks for Reading!

    Database Director

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    Join date : 2013-01-16
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    The Story-teller *Adventure* Empty Re: The Story-teller *Adventure*

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on February 9th 2016, 8:58 pm

    "C'mon, get up you lazy whoreson." Boris grunted, rustling Clyde to a more conscious state. "It's closin' time."

    "Ugh-" Clyde groaned, placing a hand up to his forehead. "How long was I out?"

    "'bout an hour. Though, I can't complain. At least ye actually tried the mixture."

    Clyde shakily stood, with some help from Harry and Drake. Looking at the clock, it only said eleven. Boris never closed down early, especially on Saint Patrick's Day.

    "Wait, it's only eleven?" Clyde shook his head. "Why so early, Boris?"

    "Well, I'll be honest with ye." Boris scratched the back of his head. "I've had a bit o' a rat infestation out back. I've been tackling it all day pretty much. I didn't mean t' keep the place open as long as I did. I gotta take those nasty Blighters out before they breed."

    Harold, Drake, and Clyde looked among each other. They hadn't noticed that the once bustling bar, was now a desolate wasteland. All of the sudden, Clyde's cell-phone began to ring. The excruciating headache he was suffering from only worsened at the annoying alarm clock-esque ringtone it emitted.

    "It's Amanda." Clyde said. "Excuse me."

    Walking away, albeit shakily, Clyde flipped open the cellular device.

    "Hey honey, what's up?"

    "I just got an emergency call. I'm needed at the Hospital. You still at the bar?" Amanda spoke quickly, almost horrified.

    "Everything okay?"

    "Not really," Amanda huffed, Clyde could tell by the sounds in the background were of her preparing for a late night shift. "There's been a massive influx of patients tonight for some reason. I need you to come home and stay with Amber."

    "I'm on the way, I'm gonna hang up now and call for a Taxi." Clyde nodded. "Car'll be safe here anyways. If I don't see you, I love you, and be safe."

    "I love you too. Goodbye."

    "Bye." Clyde said, before hanging up.

    "Everythin' alright lad?" Boris asked from the front door, turning the Open side of the sign to Closed.

    "Amanda's needed at the Hospital. Guess a lot of people are drinking too much tonight or something." Clyde shrugged.

    "I see, well." Boris nodded, tilting his head to the door. "I'll give ye a lift home then. You other cunts'll need to find yer own ride home."

    Harold chuckled, while Drake lifted a middle finger to Boris. Together, they brushed past Boris, walking down the side-walk. Shakily, Clyde scavenged his pants pocket for the keys to his car. Upon finding them, he tossed them to Boris, who expertly caught them.

    Escorting Clyde out of the bar, Boris turned to the door, locking it behind him. The rats would have to wait. Turning around the corner to the parking lot, the two of them piled into Clyde's car.

    "Disease wreaks havoc across the globe today as-."

    "Blubberin' shite, the nightly news." Boris scoffed, turning down the radio. "It's the night of Saint Patrick's, there's no reason to be afeard. People are just drunken morons."

    "Yeah." Clyde nodded. "I wouldn't be surprised if we pass a couple of car wrecks on the way to my place."

    "Yeah." Boris sighed, tapping his meaty hands against the steering wheel. "Listen, Clyde. There's somethin' I should tell ye. My papers ran out today."

    "You're papers?" Clyde asked. "Wait, your visa ran out? I thought you were working on getting citizenship?"

    "Alas, I haven't had enough fundin' in the bar. Hardly anyone, minus you, Harold, and Drake, leave worthwhile tips." Boris frowned. "No money, means no citizenship courses."

    "I'll front you the money, then. For a new visa and the courses."

    "I know yer workin' a good payin' job, mister actor." Boris grinned, before his eyes focused back on the road. "Y'know me, however, if I can't support myself, I don't treat myself. I like to earn what I gain, y'know?"

    "Then you can pay me back." Clyde shrugged. "The others and I are fond of you, and the bar scene just wouldn't be the same without you. Consider it a loan, not a gift, you stubborn jackass. Besides, what would Amber think if Uncle Boris disappeared in the wind?"

    "Aye, the lass." Boris nodded. "That money should go to her future, not the future of some random man. I'm sorry Clyde, but it's time I return to Scotland."

    With that, the car pulled into their driveway. As Clyde had figured, Amanda had already left by the time they had arrived. Boris shut off the car, handing the keys back to Clyde. Walking around to the front of the car, Boris looked up slightly at Clyde, who avoided his gaze.

    "I'm headed for the airport next." Boris sighed. "The next owners can deal with the damn rats."

    Offering a hand, Boris looked up at Clyde, expectantly. Clyde hesitated, however, a frown forming on his face. He had known Boris for quite some time now, and viewed him like a brother. Taking the hand, Clyde squeezed firmly, before suddenly tugging Boris into a bro-hug.

    "Take care of yourself, you sheep stomach eating piece of sheep shit." Clyde said, Boris chuckling in response.

    "Aye, and to you as well. You greasy haired, limelight hoggin', light-weight sack of bleached whale shite." Boris replied, patting him on the back.

    With one last squeeze, the two friends released their grasps. Boris began to walk away, before pausing a few blocks down.

    "You take good care of those girls, y'hear?" Boris asked. "They're somethin' special. I'll miss 'em dearly."

    "I will." Clyde nodded, before watching his friend walk into the distance.

    When Boris was out of sight, Clyde shambled to the door of his house. He wasn't drunk anymore, the news Boris had shared had done a number on sobering him up. Opening the door, he was elated to see the hallway light was still on. Climbing up the stairs, he peered his eyes into Amber's room. She slept soundly in her bed, arms wrapped around a stuffed rabbit.

    Slowly, Clyde closed her door, before walking to his and Amanda's room. The room was mostly disheveled, due to her sleepy rush, no doubt. Clambering into his bed, he rested his eye, falling back into a deep state of sleep.


    "Daddy! I've gotta go to school!" Amber said, nudging Clyde's face.

    Clyde woke with a bit of a start, his daughter giggling as he did so. Turning to her, she had not changed out of her pajamas yet, nor had she brushed her hair.

    "I think you should get dressed then." he smiled. "I'll be downstairs, making breakfast for us then."

    The luxury of being an actor was that he had days where he wasn't working, the day before, and today was a prime example of that. He had requested Amber had the day off, because he hadn't really spent time with her as of late.

    He had traveled to China for his latest film 'Shanghai Suicide', which was supposed to be a romantic comedy about a Jame's Bond like character. He had only just returned home the other day, and wanted nothing else than to spend time with Amber. Stretching, he went into the bathroom and proceeded to take a quick shower.

    Upon exiting, he returned to his bedroom to properly dress himself. On his way down the hall, he could see Amber in her room. She coughed into her hand, before running a brush through her hair. Walking down the stairs, Clyde turned off the hallway lamp, having forgot to do so the night before.

    He made his way into the kitchen, pulling a carton of eggs, and a container of bacon from the fridge. Grabbing the remote from the counter, he wanted to watch the news while he cooked. Turning it on, he flinched as a jarringly loud 'amber alert' like alarm rang through it.

    "Thousands dead this morning, after an unknown pathogen sweeps the globe by surprise." the news anchor said, his hair slightly astray. "Efforts to contain this illness are underway, though the Center of Disease Control is asking everyone to stay home today."

    "Common symptoms are engorged lymph nodes, runny noses with yellow discharge, sunken eyes, fever, and most notably; loss of hair." the anchor continued. "If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, you are advised to locate yourselves to the nearest Hospital or CDC appointed quarantine. "

    "Shit." Clyde said, turning the television off.

    "You swore." Amber said, walking around the corner.

    "Sorry about that sweetie." Clyde said, flipping the eggs in his frying pan. "Daddy just saw something on the television, it was a mistake. Don't ever swear."

    "By the way." Clyde continued, flipping the bacon. "I just found out that there's no school today. People are getting sick, so I don't want you going."

    "Well, if I get sick, Momma will make me better, right?" Amber asked, tilting her head.

    "Of course." Clyde smiled at her innocence, before placing the scrambled eggs and a couple of slices of bacon on a plate for her. "Breakfast is ready, did you wash your hands?"

    "Yep!" she smiled, before coughing into her hand again. "Excuse me."

    "Oh, catching a cold are we?" Clyde said, flipping his eggs over once more.

    "Yeah." Amber frowned, before digging into her breakfast.

    There was a thump outside, as Clyde turned to the window. To his horror, there was a mass of people scrambling around like wild. Some people stopped to cough violently, only to topple to the ground. Still forms littered the street, and the various lawns. Their neighbor, the Donnie Harbor, coughed violently, before placing a shotgun under his chin, pulling the trigger.

    "Oh my god." Clyde whispered to himself.

    "Daddy, is everything okay?" Amber asked, as he turned to face her.

    She toyed with one fleck of scrambled egg, having hardly touched it, all but a bite from her bacon. There was heavy knocking on their front door, as he stiffened.

    "Everything's fine, but to be sure, let's go up to your room, okay?" Clyde said, escorting her up the stairs.

    Together, the two of them scrambled into her room. Amber went straight to Fluffykins, her rabbit, while Clyde closed the door behind them. In case of an emergency, he had a panic room installed in his daughter's room. With the rabbit in tow, the two of them entered the panic room.

    It had been located in the rear of her closet, hidden by a fake bureau. Turning back, he locked the magnetically influenced door behind him. The room was metallic and gray, but he also knew it was safe. Amber shivered nervously, Clyde leading her to the nearest bed.

    "Why are we in the scary person room?" Amber asked. "Is bad things happening?"

    "I didn't want to believe it," Clyde sighed, before rubbing her cheek. "-but yes, bad things are happening. Don't worry though, we're safe in here."

    Installed in the room was a computer array, complete with control to all the security cameras in the house. Logging into the system, he quickly scanned the cameras. Anyone who had been knocking on the door had left immediately, by the seems. The door hadn't been busted down, and no-one showed up on any of the cameras. Sighing with relief, he adjusted the camera attached to his computer.

    He took to the video calling service on the internet, calling for Amanda. It didn't take long, as her face appeared in front of him. Her eyes were sunken slightly, though he couldn't decide if it was from fatigue or if she was actually sick.

    "Clyde, is everything okay?! Why are you in the panic room." Amanda asked, as he turned to Amber. Signaling that she should cover her ears, he turned back to Amanda.

    "It's hell on earth here. Everyone's getting sick, dying on the streets, and looting houses. I figured it'd be wise to sit it out up here, avoid contamination. What about you, are you okay?"

    It was with that last sentence, that Amanda began to break down into tears. Her face turned red, as she coughed aggressively away from the phone. Clyde sat there in disbelief, she had been exposed and was sick.

    "The CDC is working on a cure, right?" Clyde asked, as she only got worse.

    "It's not looking good." she managed to say. "It spreads way too quickly to get a decent sample. By this time tomorrow, humanity-"

    "Daddy." Amber coughed, tugging at Clyde's arm. "I don't feel very good."

    "No." Amanda stared horrifically at Amber.

    Clyde turned to face her, as yellow mucus oozed out of her nose. Her eyes had sunken severely, and patches of hair were starting to fall out without much contact.

    "Bring her here. If we can get it fast enough, we might be able to- Suddenly, the room blackened, as the power went out.

    "Damn!" Clyde growled, hitting the desk.

    "Are you mad at me?" Amber asked in the blackness.

    "No sweetie, I'm not. We're just gonna go see Mom now, okay?"

    Walking over towards the door, Clyde opened the magnetic doors with a manual release. Amber scurried after him, although she stumbled as she did so. Scooping her up into his arms, he didn't care if he got sick too, he was getting her any treatment that he could.

    He jogged out the door and scrambled down the stairs. The door had since been fragmented, and he could visibly see where looters had taken his homely decorations and the like. Stepping out, he could see a couple of young teenagers attempting to hotwire his car. Placing Amber on her feet, he ran over, grasping one of the kids by the back of his shirt.

    Tossing him away, he sucker punched the other delinquent in the face, stunning him momentarily. Throwing him from the car, Amber ran over, as Clyde reached into the glove compartment. Pulling his personal handgun out, he turned to the two teens, who were walking towards him menacingly.

    "Get lost. Now." he warned, as they held their hands up, before sprinting away.

    Opening the back door, Amber climbed in. Clyde instructed her to lay down, before buckling her prone from to the backseat. Jumping into the driver's seat, he turned the vehicle on. Slamming it into reverse, he made sure not to hit anybody, before speeding off in the direction of the hospital.

    "Are we gonna be okay Daddy?" Amber said quietly from the back.

    "Don't worry Amber, I won't let you get hurt. Don't worry if you feel sick, I won't be mad."

    The streets were lined with dead bodies, sickness related or not. Gunshots rang out all around, transforming the once quiet neighborhood into a full-scale warzone. A group of people armed to the teeth with weapons stood in front of them, gang members by the looks. Instead of yielding, however, Clyde gunned it, ducking low. Surely enough, they fired on the vehicle, but his SUV slammed into them.

    With a shriek from Amber, and a thud, they had been cleared.

    "You okay back there?" Clyde asked, as she quietly responded.

    Looking in his rear view mirror, he could see the mangled corpses of the men he had just killed. However, his priority was not the safety of some common street thugs, his priority was to get his daughter some treatment, and he didn't care how many laws he broke to see it done.

    "What happened? Did we hit something?"

    "Just a bump in the road. It's okay honey."

    Clyde tensed, however, as an eighteen wheeler raced towards him. Fire danged throughout the cockpit of the vehicle, and it was clear to him that the driver was dead. Swerving to the left, he narrowly avoided the freighter. Turning left, the tires on his SUV squealed in protest.

    The Hospital was just ahead, pulling right up to the front entrance, he was not surprised to see the line leading in and out of the building. Luckily for him and Amber, however, he knew of the alternate entrance. Turning just before the entrance, the magnetically locked alley way door opened, Amanda beckoning for him. Carrying Amber in his arms, he could visibly see that her condition was worsening.

    One person noticed them, before shouting to others. Clyde handed Amber up to Amanda, before pulling the pistol from his pocket. Pointing it upwards, he fired it into the air, causing the mass of people to scream, backing away. Scrambling into the door, he holstered the weapon once more, closing the door behind him.

    People scurried through the white halls of the hospital, patients resorting to the floor due to the overburden of sick people. Sickly people lunged for Amanda, begging her to tend to them. Clyde grabbed them by the shoulder, punching each and every person off of her, as he personally escorted her to the lab.

    Men in hazmat suits awaited them, allowing the three of them inside. All three of them had to be infected recently, potentially offering a fresh sample of whatever the hell was causing this illness. Pulling Clyde aside, they flashed lights in his eyes, checking his hair, his eyes, and his nostrils for anything.

    "This one's clean." one of them, a woman, said.

    "No kidding, get him outta here!" one of the men replied.

    "No, I'm not leaving them!" Clyde said. "I've been in close contact with Amber, I have to be sick."

    "Immunity is a possibility. I don't want to take that risk, though." the man held his hands up ."I'm sorry."

    Pulling his pistol out, Clyde pointed it at the men in suits.

    "No, I'm sorry." Clyde said, anger in his eyes. "Sorry it's come to this. I'm staying here, I don't care if I get sick. I'm NOT leaving them!"

    "Relax." the woman said. "We want to help them. If you won't get in the way, than you can stay."

    "Cassandra, as you insane?!" the man replied. "He's a mad-"

    "-if it were you, Frank? You'd be doing the same thing, with Darla and Sue." Cassandra replied. "Don't separate this man from his wife and daughter. Don't worry, sir, we'll get it done."

    Clyde sighed, as he braced himself against the wall. Amanda helped Amber onto one of the many cots in the lab. Tying a tourniquet to her arm, she braced her daughter for the syringe, before extracting some blood. Performing the same action on herself, she passed the two vials to Frank, who brought them immediately to the nearby console.

    Applying the samples to the machine, it whirred for a moment, as Amber laid back on the bed. Clyde walked over, sitting on the edge beside her. Cassandra walked over to Frank, as the machine did it's job.

    "I'm gonna be well, aren't I Daddy?" Amber asked, coughing violently.

    "These two will make you feel all better, right Amanda?" Clyde said, before turning to Amanda.

    His eyes widened, and his heart sunk, however, as she lie on the bed, motionless. Cassandra seemed to notice this, walking over towards Amanda's still form. Flashing a light into Amanda's eyes, she hung her head. Glancing up towards Clyde, she shook her head.

    "Is Momma okay?" Amber asked, Clyde's eyes welling with tears.

    "Yeah, kiddo. She's just sleeping." he said, as she smiled too.

    "I'm feeling pretty sleepy too." she said. "Tell me a bed-time story?"

    Frank whistled to gather Clyde's attention. Looking up, Frank shook his head solemnly. Clyde's heart beat harder within his chest, to a degree that he could feel every painful flutter. Looking down at Amber, he gently rubbed his hand along her cheek.

    "Okay sweetie." he said, brushing her hair, tears streaming down his cheek.

    "There once was this beautiful young princess. Her name was Amber." he continued, shaking as she slowly closed her eyes. "She was loved throughout the land, by her father the King, and her Mother, the Queen, and even her friends in the village."

    "However, the Princess had a problem, for she could not sleep. For if she slept, she could never wake up. That is, unless a fair prince came along and kissed her on the cheek." Clyde cried, his body shaking as her eyes slowly creaked closed. "The King knew of this, and sent word throughout the Kingdom for a Prince worthy of his daughter."

    "The Prince arrived, and with a swift peck on the cheek, the Princess awoke." Clyde continued, pausing for just a moment. "Together, she and the prince married, and they both lived happily ever after. The end."

    "Hehe." Amber quietly giggled. "You tell such great stories, Daddy. Good night."

    "Good night, princess." Clyde said, his bottom lip quivering, as she slowly sank into the bed, lifeless.

    Clyde sat there for a time, his body shaking well out of his controls. Raw emotion running throughout him. His head quickly sank into his hands, as he wailed out in anger, frustration, and grief. Turning to Amber's still form, he lifted her into a hug, placing her head just underneath his chin.

    "No god, please." Clyde begged, his mouth agape, breath unsteady. "What did I ever do to YOU, huh?!"

    "I always did well by others, I always kept myself modest. I never once let my status rule over me. So WHAT, huh?!"

    Reaching for his pocket, Clyde growled in annoyance, remembering that he had placed the pistol down on the counter on the far edge of the room. Frank had possession of the weapon, as Cassandra and him went over the data they had received from the samples.

    "HAVE YOU NO MORALES?!" Clyde barked at them, as they turned. "You act like nothing happened!"

    "I'm sorry, truly, I am." Cassandra said. "They were both beautiful, I just, I can't cope with this whole event."

    Clyde thought on it for a bit, this all had been sudden for him. However, she was charged with the fate of the world. How could he be so selfish in his ways, without acknowledging the fact that she likely hadn't slept.

    "You're right." Clyde sighed. "I'm sorry-"

    "You don't need to be." Cassandra replied warmly. "I haven't lost anyone yet, to my knowledge. If anyone should be sorry, it's me."

    Resting Amber on the bed, he fixed Fluffykins in her grasp once more, before pecking her on the forehead.

    "If it helps with your studies, I'll give a sample of my blood." Clyde said. "Like I said, I've been in contact with... y'know."

    Cassandra nodded, walking over with a fresh syringe. Tying the tourniquet around his arm, she took her sample. Releasing the pressure, he continued to sit beside Amber, while she brought the sample to Frank. After a couple of minutes, they analyzed the data.

    "Son of a bitch." Frank said, hope in his voice. "He's infected, but look! The disease is dormant. He's immune!"

    Holding his hand to his face, Clyde began to chuckle, his body shaking again. Of course, he's immune, but the immunity didn't pass to his daughter.

    "Strange though, see how it's constantly changing? It's very quick at mutating. Frank continued.

    "Meaning?" Clyde asked, as Frank turned to him.

    "It means that a cure is not a very possible likelihood." Frank said. "Our only hope is in England. They have better equipment there. If I may, I'd like another sample to send overseas?"

    Clyde nodded, as Frank walked over with another syringe. However, he did not tie anything to Clyde's arm. The vial was also filled with something else. Before he could protest, however, his vision blurred, and he passed out.



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    The Story-teller *Adventure* Empty Re: The Story-teller *Adventure*

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on February 10th 2016, 12:11 am

    Chapter 2: Hell and high waters.

    Clyde woke groggily, wiping the sleep from his eyes. He sighed with relief, it had only been a dream. He shuddered, however, at the life-like qualities that he had just experienced. He quickly got over this nonsense, however, as he heard a sloshing sound beneath him.

    Sitting up, he realized that he was laying on a lazily thrown together cot. Glancing around, several other cots lined the room. By the door, a man stood in a gas mask. Standing, Clyde walked over to the man, who crossed his arms.

    "Where are we?"

    "We're aboard the USS Lexington, a battleship en route to England. Whatever shit's going down in the world, you and the other hundred people in here are immune, or at least highly resistant to it. We're escorting you to the CDC laboratory in London." the man replied. "You've been out for the past couple of days. We've still got a couple of days to go before we arrive."

    "Well, can I at least get some fresh air?" Clyde asked, as the man shook his head.

    "Sorry sir, we can't risk the possibility of you and the others spreading the illness to the crew. Shit, we had to evacuate everyone else off of the boat, and scrub the deck twice over, before the Captain or the higher ranking crewman were allowed back on board."

    "What if you produced me with a Hazmat suit, could I leave then?"

    "No. We don't have proper means of decontamination on board. The suit would be compromised the moment I brought it in here."

    With a sigh, Clyde walked back to the middle of the room. The lights had been out to accomodate the people that wished to sleep. There was a singular crate on the far wall, by the porthole window. Sitting on it, Clyde glanced out into the ocean.

    So it hadn't been a dream after all. Amber and Amanda really were dead. His heart slowed, his head in his hands. He had no more tears to shed, but he also remembered that Frank had tranq'd him. Anger coursed through his veins, the realization that Amber and Amanda likely weren't given a proper burial. Or worse, that he couldn't lay them to rest.

    "Hey." a young man's voice said to his left. "It'll get better, man."

    Glancing over, a young man sat in his bed, back resting against the wall of the ship. Dreadlocks trailed down the side of his head, a white tank top and a pair of shorts were his only attire. His feet were bare, with no socks or shoes visibly in sight.

    "I lost my wife, and my..." Clyde stopped himself, he couldn't bring himself to admit it.

    "For what it's worth, I'm sorry for your loss. I guess I haven't been taking it quite as hard, having been a loner the majority of my life." the young man said, glancing at his hands, which rested in his lap. "My names Jace. Jace Tronx."

    "Tronx?" Clyde asked, as Jace chuckled.

    "Ran away when I was little, never actually retained my last name. Called myself Tronx, it's a mixture of Tron, and the Bronx, where I grew up."

    "Well, it's nice to meet you, Jace." Clyde nodded, peering over his shoulder at the young man. "I'm Clyde. Clyde Fischer."

    "No way." Jace shook his head. "You're that actor, yeah! The one from Hotel Nevada!"

    "It's who I used to be." Clyde chuckled lightly. "Though, it also meant I wasn't by my family's side frequently enough."

    Jace stopped at that last remark, turning to his right. Clyde didn't look, but Jace's eyes fell upon the young woman in the bed adjacent to his.

    "I have a friend here, she's a big fan. Maybe meeting a fan could lighten your spirits?" Jace asked, as Clyde sighed, with a quick nod. "Chelsea, you gotta wake up girl!"

    "Huh, wuh?" Clyde could hear the young woman mumble a couple of feet from his position.

    "Yo, Chels, it's Clyde Fischer, he's here!" Jace spoke quickly, but quietly.

    "Ugh, go back to sleep." he heard her reply.

    "Naw girl, I'm serious! You gotta at least say hi to him!"

    Sighing, she stood up from her cot. Her head hung lazily downwards, her long brown hair covering her face. She walked around Jace's bed, who was, of course, beaming.

    "You may have my friend fooled to your identity, dude, but I'm not convinced." she said. "So, I'm saying hello, in hopes that Jace will finally shut his mouth, so I can sleep."

    Clyde didn't speak at first, as she sighed, the exhale causing her hair to pop out for a second. Turning on her heels, she began to walk away, as he looked to the floor.

    "Hi." was all he said.

    She paused for a moment, before turning back to him. Taking a cautionary step forward, she awkwardly brushed her hair from her eyes. Upon seeing his face, her face lightened up immediately, as she squeaked.

    "Ohmygod, it really is you!" she said. "My name is Chelsea, sir, I'm a big fan of your work."

    "Thanks, Chelsea." Clyde said, with a slight smile. "Please, don't let me stop you from resting."

    "You're no bother at all, Mr. Fischer. I thought Jace was just kidding, that's all."

    "I'm glad to hear that." Clyde smiled genuinely, before peering back out the window.

    "Is- is everything okay? Mr. Fischer?"

    "Please, call me Clyde." he replied. "I'm sorry to say, but no, everything isn't alright. I'll spare you the details."

    "His wife and kids were taken from him." Jace replied, as Clyde's head drooped lower.

    "Jace!" Chelsea said, slapping Jace's forehead. "I'm so sorry for your loss. I had only seen your wife and daughter via the occasional family picture on your Twitter, sir. They're beautiful."

    "Thank you."

    The three quieted down a spell, Clyde's gaze still drawn to the open ocean. In the distance, he could see the water spout of a whale, prior to it breaching. He smiled, remembering the trip to Maine he had taken with Amanda and Amber two summers back. They had gone whale watching, off the coast of Old Orchard Beach. He remembered Amber being doused by the spray of a blue whale, as she giggled in her little rain coat.

    Tears welled up in his eyes, as he watched the whale's tail touch down on the water's surface. The sun was descending on the horizon, coloring the sky a vivid red, pink, and orange, with a few touches of purple and blue. His head drifted into his hands, as he felt a gentle hand gingerly place itself on his shoulder.

    "If nothing else, Clyde, they aren't suffering." Chelsea said, with a slight smile. "I hope that thought brings you comfort. When my mom and dad died when I was little, I just thought of the good times I shared with them. It did a service, not only to me, but their memories."

    Several Hours Later

    "Hey Phil, did you bring the cards?!" Clyde snapped awake once more, turning to the center of the room.

    A couple of his boarding mates had pushed their cots together to form a makeshift table. One man sat on a crate, looking at the man standing in the far corner of the room. Upon the man's turning, it scared Clyde how strikingly similar the two looked.

    "Josh, people are trying to sleep here." the man said, pointing towards Clyde, who looked back at him. "Or, were, anyways."

    "Bah, fuck'em." the man called Josh scoffed. "There are a hundred of us here, Someone's bound to sleep while the others are awake, doesn't mean we need to cater to everyone here."

    "Don't be a dick." Phil replied coldly, before walking over towards Clyde. "Name's Phil, that bottom feeder is my twin bro Josh. We're about to play some poker, you want in?"

    "I don't have money to gamble."

    "We're not gambling!" Phil chuckled. "It's something to keep our minds at ease, and pass the time we're stuck on this boat."

    Clyde thought about it for a moment, as Jace and Chelsea pulled crates over to the 'table' as well. Shrugging, he had nothing to lose, and wallowing in his own pity wasn't going to help anything. Dragging the crate over to the table, he sat beside Chelsea, who smiled. Jace sat beside her, with Josh beside him, and Phil on the far end.

    "Obviously, because we don't have money, and I don't want to embarrass you all here-" Josh scoffed. "We're just playing for fun, no strip poker either."

    "We hear to have fun, or hear you running your mouth?" Jace chuckled, as Josh glared at him.

    "Wise ass." Josh snarled, as Phil slapped the back of his head.

    "Dumb ass, you're the dealer. Instead of boasting, how about we get the game started?"

    There was a moment of silence, as Josh doled the cards out, before setting up the game. Clyde looked over his choices, all in all, his hand was shit. He had an Ace of Clubs, a Deuce of Hearts, a Five of Diamonds, a Jack of Diamonds, and a Six of Clubs. Looking over the tops of his cards, however, he looked down at the five that Josh had placed on the table.

    Miscellaneous numbers that didn't affect his hand in any way, shape, or form. Smiling, he situated the cards in his hand, feigning putting a couple together. Holding his cards down, he tapped the table once, before pointing to Josh, indicating that he checked. Jace stuck his tongue out, before situating one of his cards, peering at the table, he frowned.

    Still, he tapped the table, before pointing at Josh. Clyde smirked, he knew Jace had never actually played poker before, he could tell by the look on his face. The act of tapping the table was him just mimicking Clyde's action. Chelsea held a straight face, situating her cards in a line, before tapping the table twice, pointing at Josh.

    Due to the lack of monetary funds, the group took the double tap as a signal for a raise. In kind, Josh mulled over his cards, glancing around the table at the others, looking for a sign of weakness to exploit. Tapping the table three times, he turned his head to Phil, who sighed.

    "I fold." Phil said, placing his cards face down on the table.

    Clyde smirked, before tapping the table four times, pointing to Josh. Josh's eyes widened, turning his gaze towards Jace. The young man glanced over his cards, and the newly flipped over Three of Clubs. Frowning, he was very deep in thought. After a moment, however, he tapped the table four times, pointing to Josh.

    "Everyone's got a good hand, it seems." Josh grinned. "I like a good fight."

    Chelsea shook her head, before placing her cards face down on the table in front of her. Josh grinned, glaring at Clyde, before tapping the table five times. Clyde looked down at the newly flipped Four of Spades, it still didn't do a lick of good for him.

    Smirking, he returned the gaze back at Josh, before tapping the table eight times total, pointing to Josh. Jace looked befuzzled, however, as Clyde pulled a twenty dollar bill out of his wallet, and threw it onto the bed. Looking down at his cards, Jace shook his head and placed the cards face up on the table.

    "Bad call, kid. That was a full house you had there." Phil said, shaking his head.

    "That's alright." Josh said, glaring at Clyde. "That's one less person for that twenty."

    Tapping the table nine times, he grinned devilishly from ear to ear, as Clyde nodded, locking eyes with Josh. With his own devilish grin, he tapped the table a total of fifteen times, before pointing to Josh. Josh stared at him in disbelief, as he folded.

    "Alright, you win the pot." Phil nodded towards Clyde. "Let's see what everyone had."

    Phil flipped his cards to reveal a singular pair of Fours. Chelsea had two pairs. Josh and Clyde looked each other in the eye, before Josh revealed his fold. He held an impressive four of a kind hand. Clyde chuckled, before flipping his cards, revealing his garbage hand.

    "You mother fucker." Josh chuckled. "I fell for a common bluff! That's one hell of a poker face, man."

    "Wait, Clyde won?" Jace scratched his head. "He didn't have a good hand."

    "Don't matter kid, everyone folded." Josh shrugged. "This dude reminds me of the old man. Playin' everyone at the table for fools with his legendary bluffing."

    "Yep, Morgan was a hell of a guy." Phil frowned. "I suppose introductions are in order. I've introduced myself to the lot of you, but I guess I never caught any of your names?"

    "I'm Chelsea."

    "Jace Tronx."

    The table turned to Clyde, Jace and Chelsea both smiling, as he shook his head.

    "C'mon man." Josh said. "I wanna know the name of the guy that played me for a fool. So I can respect him."

    "Clyde." Clyde sighed. "Clyde Fischer."

    "No fuckin' way." Josh shook his head. "I just played 'High Stakes' poker with a celebrity. Color me lucky!"

    "I thought I recognized you from somewhere, it's a pleasure Mr. Fischer." Phil nodded. "My wife loved your work."

    "I'm sorry." Clyde said with a quick nod. "I know the feeling."

    "Oh." Phil said. "I'm sorry."

    "Phil and I lived in Concord, New Hampshire. Shared a two bedroom apartment with our wives." Josh said. "We were headed to Vermont to visit our Uncle, man named Morgan, when shit hit the fan. Watched countless people get absolutely annihilated by cars, you wouldn't believe it."

    Chelsea and Jace shifted nervously in their seats, as Phil held his head in his hands. Clyde nodded quietly, as silence overtook the card players.

    "Actually, I could." Clyde replied. "My daughter, Amber and I, were rushing to the Hospital. She was infected, and I wanted to get her any treatment possible. This gang started looting the town. They made a road block to rob people of money and other niceties. So I ran those heartless fuckers over."

    "Woah." Jace turned to Clyde.

    "That's why you see so much chaos in these scenarios. People do whatever it takes to survive, to protect the ones they love." Clyde said. "Though, I couldn't protect them. Add insult to injury, I'm here on a boat, cruising to a country my wife has always wanted to visit, trying to establish a 'possible' cure for the disease that took her and my daughter away."

    "What the fuck do I get out of this?" Clyde said. "I'm not so selfish as to expect anything, I just wonder what the point is? I understand doing it for the greater good. I only wonder why I had to sacrifice everything, so that some rich fucker can save his family, when I've lost mine."

    Josh and Phil nodded sagely, as the two young adults between them looked at him. Tears streamed down Chelsea's cheek, as Jace placed a hand on his shoulder.

    "God graced them with his Kingdom of Heaven." Phil said. "That's what Morgan always said about people dying."

    "He always said that the living still have stuff to do here, so they have to stick around a little longer." Josh said. "I'm not into prophecy or any of that shit. However, I can't deny the idea that God has a purpose for everyone."

    There was a sharp knock on the metal door, as the some hundred people in the room snapped to attention. The man with the gas mask from earlier opened the door. A pair of men in Hazmat suits stepped in with trolleys filled with various foodstuffs, portioned to provide a decent fill of food, without overbearing resources.

    After everyone took a plate, the men carted the trolleys back out the door. They were instructed to place the plates in the far corner, they would return with lighter fluid and a box of matches. Clyde scarfed the food down, considering how he didn't eat the other morning, and the subsequent days leading up to today.

    Before he could finish, however, a trio of men walked up to him. They pointed at his plate, before holding their hands open wide.

    "Men use their words." Clyde grumbled, looking up at them.

    "You hear that? The bigshot Hollywood star thinks he's clever!" the leader of the men said. "You think you're doing yourself a favor, putting yourself in a room full of the common man, rich boy? I'm sure the caviar you've been sucking the past couple of weeks should sustain you, am I wrong?"

    "Very much so. I didn't come here, I was forced here. Even then, I've never once for a moment thought that my status as an entertainer put me anywhere on a scale above anybody. I'm only human, same with everyone else in this room. You were given food, I'm not sharing."

    "Would you look at that, rich boy's talking smart!" the leader taunted. "Fine then, you won't share, that's cool. Boys, take it from the others."

    Jace, who had also been scarfing down his food, grunted as he was shoved backwards, his plate stolen by one of the thugs. Chelsea whined as the other man tried to take her plate too.

    "You see kids, actors like Mr. Fischer here are pussies. They are greedy egotistical bastards that care only about themselves. They have no regard for themselves. As a result, you have been punished in his stead. If he was truly a common man himself, he will offer you his food."

    "This, friends, is the example of an oaf who thinks the world owes him everything." Clyde said with a smirk, his eyes never leaving his plate. "He probably didn't work a day in his life, and if he did, he did so minimally at best, with no drive to strive better. He's the kind of moron that blames the hard workers of the world for his hardships, failing to realize that it is his lack of proper work ethic, and the corrupt agenda of corporations that fucked him over."

    The man growled, before huffing turning his back on Clyde. His crones began to follow suit, as the leader turned back, and spat on Clyde's plate.

    "If only you had been smart enough to safe your bitch of a daughter, eh?" the man chuckled, before walking away.

    Clyde sat there, gaze stuck at the plate in his grasp. Clenching his hands on the rim, he stood, hurling it at the back of the man's head like a frisbee. It shattered on the back of the man's head, as Clyde jumped off of the bed, super man punching the leader in his cheek.

    The man fell to the floor, as the other two growled in annoyance. Phil and Josh stood, fists clenched. Clyde, however, had other plans in mind. Turning to his right, he fell into a complete split, before punching one man square in the testicles, hearing one of the man's cherries popping.

    Using his hands to gather momentum, he performed a spin similar to a break dance to sweep the two men's legs out from under them. Standing in one swift motion, he thrust his head into a nasty headbutt, as the leader marched towards him. Stumbling backwards, the man's eyes widened as Clyde gripped his wrist. Smirking, Clyde flipped the man over his shoulder smashing him onto the bed.

    "Fuck yeah!" Jace said. "World Star, World Star!"

    Sprinting at the man, he swung his foot up and into the back of the man's head. Josh whistled, throwing his empty plate at Clyde, who caught it. Swinging it down on the man's face, the guy howled in pain as the broken glass sliced his face on the cheek, and the bridge of his nose.

    Grabbing the man by the back of his shirt, however, Clyde dragged the man halfway across the room, the other passengers staring in a mixture of fear and pride. Every other step, he stopped to mule kick the fucker on the top of the head to stop any resistance. Pulling him up to eye level, Clyde thrust a nasty right cross against the man's cheek, bracing his opponent for another blow.

    Smashing a devastating left hook across the man's face, he stumbled against the metal wall, slowly sinking down it. Grabbing the man by his face, Clyde smashed the dude's head against the wall a couple of times.

    "You wanna know something about me?" Clyde said, kneeling down to the barely conscious man. "I'm a family man. I don't care what the fuck you say about me, or the agenda of my country. You fuck with my family, or say something I don't like about them, and I erase you from existence."

    "Please.." the man coughed. "I'm sorry."

    "The damage is already done." Clyde snarled. "There is a hundred of us that could potentially host the cure. What's one LESS?!

    "Yo man." a bystander said. "He gives up bro."

    "I know his type." Clyde shook his head. "Talks a big game, only gets his power from numbers. Once shit turns against him, he slithers away until he can overpower you. That's not gonna happen."

    With one final thrust, he cracked the man's skull against the metal wall, as blood began to trail down the metal wall. The man's body slumped downwards, as Clyde fixed the man's shirt.

    "Respect the dead."

    Walking back, the man with a gas mask had approached the others, a rifle in his hand. He pointed it at Josh, Phil, and the two cronies.

    "Stop right there." the man growled. "Don't take a step closer."

    "Why not?" Clyde said, continuing a slow pace towards the man. "You'd be giving me what I want."

    "Clyde, no." Chelsea ran in front of him, tears welling down her face. "It's not worth it! The pain you're feeling with subside, don't end it all now!"

    She cried in his chest, wrapping her arms around his torso. Shaking her head, he stopped for a moment, before placing a hand gently on the top of her head. It reminded him of what Amber would do whenever she was upset.

    "Shhhh." Clyde replied, gently brushing the teenager's hair.

    It was almost instinctual, what he had done. Returning her hug, he rubbed her back, as her tears began to soak into his shirt.

    "C'mon now, stop crying. It's all okay." Clyde said in a calming tone. "Quiet now, Amber."

    However, this did not help Chelsea, instead, she sobbed harder. Jace and the others, along with a couple of other bystanders, stared at the scene.

    "I'm sorry for the scene." Clyde said to the man. "There won't be any more issues."

    "See to it that there isn't. We'll decide what to do with you when this whole plague thing is over with." the man said. "Dude was a prick, but he did surrender. I had every right mind to shoot you."

    "Can I make an odd request?" Clyde said, changing the subject. "Can we get another couple of plates, for Jace and Chelsea here? Theirs was kinda stolen, and mine was tainted."

    "I can order a couple more plates." the man sighed. "Don't make it a habit though. Shall I prepare you another one?"

    "No." Clyde shook his head. "I'm gonna go watch the ocean for right now. I'd pay you, but I don't want it spreading."

    The man nodded curtly, before pulling up a radio. Clyde took this moment to take his crate, dragging it back to the window. At this point, the sun had gone, and it was soon to be lights out. However, the moon reflected perfectly on the ocean's subtle ripples. The plethora of stars illuminating the sky.

    After a few moments, the door opened once more a single man in a hazmat suit carried a pair of plates in. Jace and Chelsea took their plates with a smile and a thank you. Chelsea looked down at her plate of chicken fingers, wild rice, and french bread with butter. Smiling, she walked over towards Clyde. Sitting on Jace's bed, she offered the plate out to him.

    "Thank you, Chelsea, but I'm not hungry."

    "I thought we could share." Chelsea said. "You're way hungrier than I am, you've been knocked out for the past couple of days, I haven't."

    Clyde smiled, as she persisted in holding the plate out to him. With a swift nod, he took a chicken finger, dipped it into the rice while avoiding getting his hands in the rice. With a crunch, he ate the crispy piece of breaded chicken. The two sat there for a time, looking out at the ocean.

    "If it's not too personal." Clyde said. "How old are you, exactly?"

    "Sixteen." Chelsea shuffled her feet.

    "I see. You and Jace live out on the street or something?"

    "No, but my foster home wasn't far from the park where he lived." Chelsea said. "I've known him since I was eight."

    "He's a good kid. Must be an even greater friend."

    "He's a goofball, that's for certain." Chelsea giggled. "Sometimes his pranks irritate me, but other times, they really cheer me up."

    "I don't mean to pry." Clyde said. "What happened to your foster parents, if you don't mind my asking?"

    "This." Chelsea said, pointing all around her. "Sweetest people though, I loved them like they were my biological parents."

    Clyde nodded, looking out to the ocean. He himself was in his late twenties, having married Amanda at the age of twenty one. Amber was born when he was twenty-two.

    "I'm only twenty-nine, though I've been told I look a lot older than I actually am." Clyde chuckled.

    With a yawn, Clyde placed a hand gently on Chelsea's shoulder, before laying down in his cot. Closing his eyes, he truly feared what dreams may await him in the night.



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on February 10th 2016, 11:08 am

    "Alright everyone, get up!" the man with the gas mask yelled, slamming his fist against the wall behind him. "We're about an hour away from the port, and I want you all in a single file line!"

    "Are we Humanity's saviors, or are we like lambs to slaughter?" one man mumbled, brushing past Clyde.

    Chelsea, Jace, Phil, and Josh gathered together, waiting for Clyde to join them. When he did so, they formed with the line, standing in the line as a group. When everyone did so, the soldier opened the door, rifle in his hand.

    "You've all been permitted onto the main deck. The crew has evacuated to the bridge. I will warn you now, guns will be trained on you. If you try to go anywhere else, you will be shot and killed, and tossed overboard." the man said. "This... thing is way to dangerous to allow you to spread it. I understand you are good people, so don't make the mistake of pretending everything's okay."

    With that, he lead them through the door. When Clyde passed through, he glanced over his shoulder. Chelsea smiled at him, but he only frowned. A pair of soldiers stood in the far hallway, rifles trained on the group. One of them coughed, before retraining his weapon. His partner stared in fright, turning towards him.

    "Relax, I had a tickle in my throat." the man growled.

    "Face forward." the first soldier, who had inhabited their room with them, said to Clyde.

    He turned back around, and followed the line up and onto the main deck. The smell of fresh, ocean air was nice on his lungs. The smell of excrement and body odor from the others was overbearing. He wondered just how they were going to clean up that mess that the hundred or so people made in that hangar.

    Smiling, he felt a cool ocean breeze wash over him. The sun beamed down on top of him. Once they made it to their designated spot, he took a seat, watching as a whale and it's child breach in the distance.

    "Woah." Chelsea said, as her and Jace joined his side.

    "Never seen a whale before?" Clyde asked, as both of them shook their heads. "It's a hell of a sight, isn't it?"

    "Mhm." Chelsea nodded, as Jace just stared at the view.

    "I've never been to the ocean." Jace replied. "It's really nice here."

    "Amber and I loved to watch the whales." Clyde said with a smile. "Amanda always was tending to the seasick people."

    The two teenagers looked at Clyde, before returning to the baby whale and her mother. Gulls croned in the air above them, a lone albatross soared high above, before diving down for some fish.

    "See the Seagulls?" Clyde said, pointing to the white birds. "That means we're close to land."

    "They're pretty." Chelsea said.

    "Pigeons of the sea." Clyde chuckled. "Scavengers, that is. When and if things get better, never bring food to the Beach. These things'll literally take food from your hand."

    It wasn't long after that, however, as a scream filled the air. Clyde and the others jumped at the sound. One of the many soldiers that had been planted above the deck fell over the railing, landing on the deck with a sickening crunch.

    "It wasn't us!" one person screamed at the soldier that had inhabited the room with them, Neil, Clyde remembered.

    "Damn, it's possible that it's airbourne in England." Neil scoffed from behind Clyde. "We've made every precaution to keep everyone here quarantined from the rest of the ship. No-one's been in direct contact with any of you, except the food staff with Hazmat suits."

    "Did they take them off?" Clyde asked, turning to the Soldier.

    "All necessary measures were taken."

    "Hazmat suits protect you, only if you're INSIDE them." Clyde said. "It's possible your crewmen that got out of the Hazmat suits might have touched them, prior to burning them."

    "Son of a bitch. They thought they were clean, and it spread." Neil growled.

    Looking in the distance, Clyde could see the harbor gaining on them. His eyes widened, however, as the boat was not showing signs of slowing down.

    "Somethings wrong on the bridge." Clyde said. "We're approaching harbor way too fast."

    Neil looked at harbor and nodded curtly. Looking up towards the command tower of the boat, he saw soldiers firing on each other in the bridge to keep the Captain from getting sick. Sadly, in such a confined space, it was of no surprise that one of the rampant bullets caught the Captain in the back of the head.

    "Shit!" Neil growled, turning to the some hundred people he was charged with. "Everyone! Converge on me, and brace for impact!"

    Everyone that Clyde had seen in the hanger rushed over to him, Josh, Phil, Chelsea, Jace, and Neil's position. Standing, he and the others tried to maintain their footing, as a massive force on the battleship caused them to lurch forward, than backwards. The horrific sound of metal scraping against solid land.

    People slammed into each other, due to the inescapable forces enacted upon them. Clyde watched as one person was flung so badly, they rolled off the side of the ship. The grinding came to a halt, as everyone fell forward.

    Clyde groaned as he stood. Jace, Chelsea, Josh, and Phil also stood up with him. Neil had, in the crash, accidentally pulled the trigger on his rifle when he fell, explaining the massive hole in the top of his head.

    It was of no surprise as shortly after, the remnants of the British Army soon boarded the ship, weapons trained on Clyde and the others.

    "We're taking you to the CDC headquarters." one of them, a commando, said. "We've allocated a pair of double decker buses. You will not diverge from the bus. Any attempt to grab my chaps or I in protest will be seen as hostility, and you will be shot."

    With their hands on their heads, the remaining ninety something passengers were led, single file, off of the USS Lexington, it's crew either entirely obliterated by the illness, or followed in their path for being exposed.

    Clyde and the others loaded onto the top floor of one double decker bus. He glanced over at the Lexington, surprised that the ship had not been tore open by the impact they had just had. Several buildings had collapsed as a result, but knowing first had the devastation of this illness, he knew they were uninhabited anyways. As was expected, the streets were riddled with the dead, or people rioting one another for supplies to attempt to survive the collapse of civilization.

    Clyde decided to turn his gaze away from the sight, as the buses chugged along. Soon, they were out in the countryside, with very little in the way of populace there. In the distance, a massive facility awaited.



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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on February 10th 2016, 4:15 pm

    Chapter 3: Separation.

    Upon arrival at the CDC Headquarters facility, the British Commandos escorted Clyde and his fellow victims off of the buses. Instantly, people within Hazmat suits exited the facility.

    "We must hurry inside." one of them said. "Human population has already reached catastrophic losses, ranging anywhere between fifty and seventy percent."

    Clyde shook his head, this illness really had devastated the world. The world population, just the week before, had sat at nearly eight billion people. If nearly three quarters of their population was dead, that meant there was likely only a couple of billion people left.

    Worse yet, it didn't show signs of stopping either. Together, the remaining ninety or so candidates were escorted through a lone section of the Headquarters. Bodies littered the floor, so they had to be careful of where they were stepping.

    "It's been mutating like crazy." one of the men explained. "We can't find a basis to attack it at. It's ever changing nature makes it difficult to combat.

    "Previous attempts at a cure have had... inconceivable effects."

    Clyde passed by what appeared to be a quarantined room. A single glass window was all that separated them from the room. Disturbingly, the glass appeared to be stained black.

    "What happened to them?" one person in front of Clyde asked.

    "Spontaneous eruption." the man replied. "Illness acted like an explosive, that blackness on the glass is soot from the explosion."

    "Worse still, it appears the illness jumped the species barrier to reach us. It's having unique effects on different animal species.

    The group of ninety people were split up into three groups of thirty. Each individual was assigned a number. Clyde chuckled, he was uncertain why the number one hundred fifteen was given to him, if there were an expected one hundred to begin with. The Commandos followed each group into their respective laboratories, to keep everyone in line while the testing was done.

    Josh and Phil had been included in Group two, while Clyde, Jace, and Chelsea were a part of Group three. The CDC scientists circled the room, taking blood samples from the people of Group Three. When they came to Clyde, the man stopped.

    "You're that actor, aren't you?" he asked, as Clyde sighed.

    "Yes, well, I used to be." Clyde said.

    The man nodded, without saying another word. He took a sample from Clyde, before walking into an offshoot of the lab. Chelsea and Jace sat beside him. Eventually, another man came out to their side.

    "You two." the man said. "The illness has subsided completely. It remains within you, but it's completely dormant. That doesn't mean you're immune to catching it again. It just means that you survived."

    "Are we contagious?" Chelsea asked, as the man shook his head. "Yay! You hear that Clyde?"

    "Yep." Clyde crossed his arms, with a smirk. "You got a clean bill of health kids."

    "You." the man turned to Clyde. "You sure you were infected?"

    "What do you mean? When they checked my blood the other day, they saw it in my system. There was no mistake about it!" Clyde said, sitting up, hands on his knees.

    "Well, you're blood turned up clean in our systems. It's as if you were never infected." the man shrugged. "If what you say is true, you might be truly immune to the disease."

    Clyde nodded, pondering the thought. If he was truly immune, did that mean they could establish a cure from his blood.

    "What do I need to do to help you make the immunity."

    "Well, that's the problem." the man sighed, beckoning a soldier over. "We would need to, uh, harvest your brain. Sorry ol' chap."

    "No." Chelsea shook her head. "There has to be another way!"

    The soldier pointed his rifle at Clyde, who sat there. Figured, he survived the plague, but would be shot like a sickly dog, and harvested for the good of the world.

    "There isn't one, I'm sorry." the man sighed.

    "No." Chelsea said, a sudden heat filling the room. "I won't let you!"

    The soldier's eyes widened as a ball of fire formed in Chelsea's hand. Clyde and Jace looked with confusion, as the ball of fire shot forward, piercing the soldier's torso completely. The man grunted, eyes widened with shock, as the small ball of fire floated into the middle of the room. The people in the room panicked as the ball hovered there for a moment.

    Everyone scrambled for an exit, Clyde standing in front of Jace and Chelsea, shielding them with his body. The small fireball swelled for a moment, before exploding with the intensity of a small brick of C-4. Clyde groaned as he was thrown through the wall behind him, tumbling along the floor. From an outside perspective, the fire detonated a decent portion of the room. People that had tried to leave the room were launched in all separate directions.

    Debris and concrete settled, as Clyde was buried beneath it all. He couldn't move, he didn't feel much in the ways of pain. Was he dead? He didn't believe so, his occasional gasps for breath were a sure sign that he was alive.

    "Oh my god, where is he?" he could barely hear Chelsea's muffled voice.

    "You mind telling me what the hell that was just now?"

    "I dunno, I just, I got really angry and it happened. C'mon, we have to find Clyde!"

    "There they are, kill them!" a soldier's voice snarled.

    Clyde's heart sank as he heard bullets flying, followed by the sound of the debris on top of him shifting. People were walking on top of him. Screams of fright from everyone were heard all around, before things began to fall silent again.

    Grunting, Clyde was just barely able to move his right arm enough to get some debris out of his face. Taking a moment to rest, that explosion had drained him of all of his energy. Coughing from the inhalation of dust, he shifted his body to allow further motion. Grunting, he cleared his head of the debris, before sinking into darkness.


    Several Hours Later

    Clyde coughed as he snapped awake. His body was still buried underneath the rubble, but he was very much alive. To his surprise, nothing appeared to be broken, or overly wounded from the blast. With a sigh of relief, he wriggled his left arm free of it's encapsulation, before digging himself out of the rubble.

    Gripping his forehead, he stood. Rubbing his face for a moment, he turned to the room he had been blasted out of. Stepping in through the hole, he saw the lifeless, burnt corpses of the people in the immediate area of the explosion.

    How had Chelsea done that? Was it the result of the illness? Looking around, he found the spent bullet casings on the floor, from where the Commando's rifle had been discharged. Turning back, he saw bullet holes on the far wall. Stepping back through the hole, he didn't see any corpses, indicating that Chelsea and Jace had made it out just fine.

    "Thank God." Clyde sighed.

    Though he was a bit saddened, the past couple of days, he had truly bonded to the teens. Almost considered them like his kids. He hoped they were okay. With one last glance, he walked into the hallway. To his right was the sealed room with the blackened glass. Had the person inside this room done something similar to what Chelsea had?

    If that was the case, why did the glass not shatter? With a shrug, he continued down the hall. Lines of dead CDC people, and British Commandos alike, layered the halls. To his dismay, Josh and Phil were a part of the dead. Shaking his head, he mentally spoke a few words in their honor, before passing over them.

    To his left was a giant monitor, displaying the planet in a color code. Most of the world was covered in red, many places where there was red there was also a deep burgundy. He assumed this meant total dead as a result of the illness. It suggested that the surviving amount of humans in the world was merely five percent of what it was last week.

    "Eight hundred million people." Clyde shook his head.

    In some respects, that wasn't a small number. However, considering the number it had once been, it was relatively small. Deciding it was best not to linger, he worked his way out into the world again. The sun had long since set on the day, and he guessed it was likely ten at night.

    There was a shrill shriek in the air, causing him to tense. High in the sky, above the trees, he could see a winged creature fluttering. His eyes widened as it's massive form blotted out the full moon above him. Whatever this illness was, it definitely did a number on the animal populace too.

    Worst still, the winged creature was diving straight for him. Fear in his eyes, he saw a nearby BMW parked in the parking lot. Sprinting for it, he threw open the door, hurling himself inside. Slamming the door, he heard the creature land on the roof of the car, claws scratching at the metal.

    "What the fuck is going on!" Clyde yelled, as he pulled open the console beneath the key hole.

    He had performed the feat of hot-wiring a car in one of the many movies he had stared in. He had only hoped that it applied to this car as well. With a quick flick, he caught a spark, and the car whirred to life. Tying the ends together, he sighed with relief, before throwing it into reverse.

    To his horror, the creature tumbled down the length of the car. It had black, almost bird-like wings, but it's body resembled that of a woman. He didn't dare get out of the car, fearing that the creature was in fact hostile. Especially considering how it had landed on the roof of the car and scratched it with it's talons.

    On the other hand, he didn't want to run 'her' back over and kill her. Spinning the wheel, he raced off down the road. The creature took a running start, before swooping back up into the air. Staring in his rear-view mirror, he watched as the creature was actually gaining on him.

    Veering to his right, he aimed for the forest. He would surely lose speed, but he knew that 'her' wingspan would make it hard for her to catch up to him. Bobbing a weaving through the trees, he continued his speed until he was met with an incline. There was a crash, as his face hit a air bag. Groaning, he popped it with a shard of plastic he had gotten from the car's console.

    Thrusting the door open, he heard the shrill shriek again. Up on the top of the hill had been a log cabin. Scaling the side of the hill, Clyde occasionally checked over his shoulder. She was gaining on him, despite the closeness of the trees. After reaching the top, he rolled up to his feet, and sprinted for the door.

    Opening the door proved to be little of an issue. In fact, it opened right up. Turning around, he closed the door behind him. Placing a chair underneath the door's knob, Clyde chuckled in relief, closing the blinds of the window.

    "Phew." he said, wiping sweat from his forehead.

    Turning back, he saw a metallic blade up against his throat.

    "Guh!" Clyde stammered, a sword held up to his neck.

    On the other end of the handle was an old man, with piercing green eyes. White hair formed a halo around the back of his head, the light of a fire reflecting off of his bald head.

    "You ever think to knock, lad?" the man growled.

    "I'm sorry, bad things have been going on in the world. Some monster's been chasing me."

    "Bad things, you say?" the man pondered it. "You'll be having a bad time if you stay in here much longer."

    "Please, hear me out!" Clyde said, flinching as the sword came closer.

    Suddenly, the sword disappeared from his throat, before being expertly placed back in it's sheath.

    "Alright lad, I'll listen to your story. It's been a while since I've had company here anyway." the man chuckled, his lengthy beard jostling from the giddy laughter. "Care for a spot of tea?"

    "Um, sure. I could use a drink." Clyde said, as the man nodded.

    Headed into the other room, of which Clyde could only imagine was the kitchen, Clyde decided to explore the house a bit. In the corner of his eye, he could see an intricately made stone stove, with an open face. A roaring fire crackled inside, a strange accordion like instrument beside it. Stranger yet was the compartment built into the stove, where at least a foot of water resided.

    "What is this weird stove thing?" Clyde asked, as the man huffed in the kitchen.

    "It's called a Forge. It's what you use as a blacksmith."

    "You're a blacksmith?" Clyde asked, as the man chuckled.

    "Yep, make all types of swords for all occasions. I craft some for collections, some for movie props. Not only that, but I make other types of steel and iron do-dads and the such."

    Clyde whistled to himself in pure interest, before taking a seat by the table. Soon, the old man returned with a kettle of tea, and a pair of tea cups. Not only that, but he produced a plate of scones.

    "Should tell you, my name is Oliver." the old man said. "Oliver Ebony. London's best blacksmith. To whom do I owe the pleasure of this... unorthodox visitation?"

    "Clyde, Clyde Fischer." Clyde offered a hand, to which Oliver took in his mighty grasp.

    "Well met, Mr. Fischer." Oliver nodded. "I welcome you to my humble abode. Though I am a bit curious as to what you mean by a monster?"

    "Well, it all started a couple of days ago..." Clyde said, taking a sip of his tea.

    Clyde spent the next few hours explaining the illness, what it's ultimate cost had been, and the small adventure he had undertaken already.

    "-so, when I got to the top of the hill, I figured the cabin was empty." Clyde said, taking a bite of his scone. "As you can tell, the crazy winged lady isn't following me, or at least, I hope she isn't."

    "That's one hell of a tale, chap." Oliver shook his head, pouring himself another glass. "Damned shame about your family, and the world. Been alive for nearly seventy years now, lived through one World War. I've never seen or heard of anything quite like this."

    "If monsters like that are out there, I need to go back to that facility and look for clues in regards to Chelsea and Jace's whereabouts." Clyde sighed.

    "If monsters like that are out there, you'll need some arms, ol' boy." Oliver said. "If what you say is true, your friends will have likely fled from London by now. The trail won't go entirely cold. Starting tomorrow, I'm going to teach you how to make a fine piece of steel."

    "You are free to stay the night, if you so wish." Oliver said. "Make yourself at home."


    Two Days Later

    With Oliver's tutelage, Clyde had successfully taken an ingot of steel, and made it into the basic formation of a long sword. There was still much to do for the weapon, such as hardening and tempering it. There was also the decision of a handle, and what the pommel would be like.

    Clyde had enjoyed every second of the process thus far, considering how he had always liked Knights and Dragons as a kid. Stretching, it was the early hours of the morning, and he and Oliver were outside of the cabin. Beside Oliver's cabin was a wood-shed, where he held a collection of the world's finest hardwoods.

    "Have a look over my wares. If you find the wood you'd like for your sword, don't hesitate to take it." Oliver said, as Clyde nodded.

    Glancing at the detailed and exotic woods, his eyes fell upon one in particular. It's color was a red-ish brown in hue. Almost like a red chestnut, but with some dark brown infused inside of it.

    "Chocobolo. Native to Central America." Oliver said. "That's a nice natural color right there."

    For Clyde, however, it resembled the color of Amber and Amanda's hair. If this sword was going to be an extension of himself, he wanted them to be a part of it as well.

    "I'd like that."

    Oliver nodded, as the two of them made their way back to the cabin. The old man took to teaching Clyde how to run the power tools necessary to change the shape of the brick of wood. They measured the thickness of the tang in the sword, making sure that double the wood was on both sides of the tang.

    With a bit of sanding, and a coat or four of gloss, the hand was ready. Holding it in his hand, it had a bit of grip on it, thanks to the sanding, but the gloss also helped trap the original coloration of the wood. Oliver pulled out some brass. With some instruction on how to saunter the metal, he made a pair of bands for the handle. On top of that, he also crafted a guard, with Oliver's expert knowledge.

    The two wiped their faces from the sweat of the day, as Oliver retreated back into the kitchen. He returned shortly afterwards with a pitcher of iced tea, and a tray of biscuits, though Americans knew them as cookies.

    Clyde had learned over the past couple of days that Oliver had once had a wife, but she left him for another man following World War II. Ever since then, he had bided his time as a blacksmith, forming all sorts of replicas and usable swords by commission. So when Oliver had heard of Amber and Amanda's passing, he offered to teach him the skills of blacksmithing, and help making the sword correctly.

    Clyde had offered him pay several times, but Oliver wouldn't hear anything of it. He admitted to Clyde that he thought of him like a son, and respected his patience and willingness to learn the craft.

    Pouring Clyde and himself a glass, Oliver held his glass outwards.

    "Today, I propose a toast. To you, my friend." Oliver said. "When this sword is complete, and I train you the ways of sword fighting, may the wind of change guide you to where it is you need to go!"

    "To the future." Clyde said with a genuine smile, the two tapping glasses.

    After their brief 'brunch', Clyde continued working on the rounded pommel of his sword. Not a day went by where he didn't worry for Jace or Chelsea's well beings. However, he also knew that the world was getting more dangerous all the time. On one such excursion back into the city, he noticed that power had run out throughout London.

    With a lack of manufacturing, it was only a matter of time before guns would become a rare commodity, and with the illness now mutating and altering living creatures, he needed a sword to protect himself.

    With the pommel, handle, and guard now completed, he merely had to harden and temper the sword, following it with polish and sharpening. Standing, he walked to the Forge, pulling on his fire resistant gloves. Using the tongs, he pulled his prototype sword from it's home within the coals of the fire, the metal burning orange and red hot.

    "You'll need to take the scale off of it, remember." Oliver said from behind him. "Give it a quick bath in the water, just be careful of the ensuing steam."

    Carefully, Clyde dipped the sword into the water. There was a hiss as the metal's white-hot form touched the cool water. Giving it a few swift dunks, he returned the blade to the fire to warm it again. When it was warm, he dunked it into some oil to his left, as instructed by Oliver.

    "Careful of the-" Oliver started, as fire erupted up the length of the blade. "That's okay, just pull it out for a second, wait for a moment, and dip it back in. It'll ignite again, but that's normal."

    So Clyde did so, dipping the body of his long-sword back into the oily bath. It ignited again, but not as explosively this time. With another dunk, he dipped it into the water to rinse the scale off once more.

    "Good, now bring it to the anvil. There is one last step before we can polish the blade and sharpen it." Oliver stated, producing a blow-torch.

    Placing the sword on the anvil, Oliver handed him the unlit blow-torch, instructing him to swing it evenly up the middle of the sword, on both sides. Igniting the torch, Clyde did so, carefully swaying the fire of the torch up the center of the sword's length. Flipping it over with his tongs, he did so on the opposite side.

    He continued this process for a time, before the center had a strange purple coloration.

    "Masterfully done. You sure you haven't done this before?" Oliver chuckled. "Now we need to polish the blade, assemble the guard, handle, and pommel to it, and then sharpen it."

    Clyde grabbed a vice grip from Oliver's tool box, gripping the tang of the blade to the anvil. With a brick of wood and some fine grit sanding paper, he scrubbed along the surface of the long-sword. The purple coloration in the blade disappeared after a time, leaving the blade perfectly silver in coloration, with a bright sheen.

    "Good, very good." Oliver said. "Now we can assemble the handle, guard, and pommel. I've taken the liberty of cutting the brass pins to size for you."

    Removing the sword from the anvil, he brought it over to the table. It had long since cooled, so he removed his gloves to give himself a better grip of the weapon. Though the edges were still dull, he carefully assembled the guard, handle, and pommel onto the tang of the sword. With Oliver's guidance, he placed the bass bolts into place, grooming the metal and wooden parts of the sword to help the brass blend in.

    Holding his hand firmly to the handle, he raised the sword, looking it over. He had done it, the past couple of days, and he had successfully made a long-sword. He grinned with pride at his craftsmanship. Oliver smiled warmly, pouring himself another glass of iced tea.

    "Every master blacksmith names his creation." Oliver said, looking at the sword. "What will you name this weapon?"

    "Amber's Grace." Clyde said, with no hesitation. "I've been thinking about it since we started. It's why I made the handle out of the wood I did."

    "A fine name for a sword as beautiful as that." Oliver said with a curt nod. "Now, before you sharpen this blade, may I see it?"

    Clyde nodded, gently handing it blade down to Oliver. The man rested the edge of the blade, where it met the guard, on his index finger. It wobbled for a moment, before staying perfectly still.

    "Perfect weight distribution. Not bad for a first timer." Oliver said. "You made a couple of mistakes in the beginning, but I think you definitely turned it around, lad."

    Placing the sword gingerly on the table, Oliver took out what appeared to be a tiny hammer and chisel. After a few minutes, he handed the sword back to Clyde, pointing at the guard.

    On one side, it said In Loving Memory, and on the other, it said Amanda and Amber. Clyde smiled at the engraving, before placing the sword down on the table, wrapping his arms around the old man.

    "Thank you." he said, as Oliver chuckled.

    "It was nothing at all." Oliver replied. "Consider it thanks for giving an old man company for a change. Now then, I'll show you how to sharpen it with a whetstone. Then tomorrow, I'll teach you how to fight with it."

    "Not with actual swords, right?" Clyde asked, as Oliver shook his head with a smirk.

    "No, you daft fool." Oliver chuckled. "We'll be using wooden swords. They aren't as weighty as the real thing, but you'll learn the basics. For now, let us have some lunch."



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    Post  Manny on February 11th 2016, 1:54 am

    I haven't read the whole thing but I do know a bit about viruses.

    I don't think a virus being dormant means the host is immune. In fact, some viruses have preferences for hosts of certain species. If it infects a host that is not of its preferred spcies, it may try to keep its current host somewhat healthy until it can cross the species barrier (e.g. cat eats infected mouse).

    When your immune system reacts properly the disease is gone. Some cells in your body will have developed antibodies specific to the pathogen, and some of those remain in your system. Essentially those cells that survive act like a "memory", so the immune system knows what types of cells to produce next time it encounters that specific pathogen.

    It's late, so I'll double check this for you later.
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    Post  Shad0wChas3r on February 11th 2016, 11:35 am

    Manny wrote:I haven't read the whole thing but I do know a bit about viruses.

    I don't think a virus being dormant means the host is immune. In fact, some viruses have preferences for hosts of certain species. If it infects a host that is not of its preferred spcies, it may try to keep its current host somewhat healthy until it can cross the species barrier (e.g. cat eats infected mouse).

    When your immune system reacts properly the disease is gone. Some cells in your body will have developed antibodies specific to the pathogen, and some of those remain in your system. Essentially those cells that survive act like a "memory", so the immune system knows what types of cells to produce next time it encounters that specific pathogen.

    It's late, so I'll double check this for you later.

    I appreciate the knowledge that you've shared in regards to this. Most of this stuff I didn't know, so this will be helpful in the future regarding this story.

    On the other hand, however, the illness itself plays a pretty small role in the grand scheme of the story. It's my way of getting from Point A to Point B.

    The only reason the CDC scientists were under the impression that Clyde was immune is the fact that he was heavily exposed to the illness, and never once showed a single symptom.

    You said you didn't read the whole thing yet, so I understand that you haven't gotten that far, so that might've been a bit of a spoiler. The thing to know about this illness is while it had a substantial impact on the story, it's not a traditional sickness. In the fact that it cannot be identified as a virus, a parasite, or even a bacteria.

    When you do catch up with what I've written, it should give you an idea of the true nature of this illness.

    Thanks again for the feedback and the information regarding illness and the immune system, and for spending the time to read the story!



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    The Story-teller *Adventure* Empty Re: The Story-teller *Adventure*

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 26th 2017, 3:17 am

    [The Following Day]

    "That was some fine movement, lad." Oliver huffed, replacing the wooden swords he used as a base for his projects back in his 'Smithin' Room' as he lovingly called the closet beside the Forge. "Where'd you learn to fight with swords?"

    In the three or so days that Clyde had known Oliver, it had just now occurred to Clyde that Oliver had not been a particular fan of movies, modern or otherwise. As such, Oliver was probably the first person in this hellish adventure he called his new life that didn't recognize him as some famous actor.

    "I'm- er," he paused with a sigh. "I was an actor for Hollywood. I've been in several movies. Instead of stunt doubles for my action scenes, though, I usually took all of the stunts myself. Made my role seem much more realistic."

    "Didn't know I was in the company of a celebrity." Oliver chuckled to himself, stroking his lengthy, yet braided beard. "I thought you Hollywood blokes were all the same, gettin' into hard drugs and suckin' down fish eggs with yer cunt friends."

    Clyde flinched at Oliver's sudden bitterness. He figured Magnolia, Oliver's ex-fiance from decades prior, had likely ran off with a famous actor. Rubbing the back of his head, Clyde took his usual spot by the table, glancing at the sword resting on the table.

    "That's not my thing. I acted to tell people stories. Not in pursuit of fame or even fortune." Clyde's mind flashed back to a time when he first met Amanda.

    She had been skeptical of dating him because of his profession. They had met in a bar, which Boris did end up buying shortly after, to which she was confused how he had looked so unkempt and casual. She continued to pester him about it until they had Amber, when she finally realized that he was no different than the common man, and he himself had never viewed himself as any different.

    "It's a good way to be. Make's you a good person." Oliver pat him bluntly on the shoulder. "Now, I know you're worried about those kiddies at the CDC facility. In the necessity of haste, I've taken the liberty of, well, here."

    With a hint of confusion, Clyde turned to the elderly blacksmith, who held a crudely wrapped object in his hands. Clyde didn't really know what it was, though by the length of the object he was certain it was for his sword. Accepting the gift, Clyde smirked as he glanced down at the shoddy wrapping job, then back up to Oliver, who ushered him to open it.

    Beautifully crafted leather formed a lengthy, solid scabbard. Perfect seams ran up the side, with brass bolts holding the finely crafted sheath together. Glancing at the rim, or the 'throat' of the scabbard, he could make out an inscription of old Norse runes. Though Clyde himself didn't know them, Oliver beamed with self pride.

    "What does it mean?"

    "Gift of the Skald."

    "Skald, what's that?" Clyde asked, glancing back at the runes.

    "A Story-teller." Oliver sat backwards in the chair beside Clyde, facing him.

    "You told me of the times your daughter would ask you for stories, and with every mishap that's taken place over the past few days, you told them all in vivid detail." Oliver said. "Every waking moment you live, from this day forward, is the story of a man who will make and share history."

    "You are the Story-teller." Oliver smirked. "When or if whatever is happening in this world blows over, you will tell the stories of the old world, and teach those of the world to come."

    Oliver stood for a second, turning to one of the many bookshelves behind him. Producing a dusty old tome with a beautiful leather binding, he passed it to Clyde.

    "You are always welcome in this cabin, but if you truly invested in learning my trade, this book will teach you the various skills and projects I, in my long frail state, can no longer teach you." Oliver snickered, before coughing gently into his hand. "I have seen Humanity at it's worst... and at it's best, Mr. Fischer. I can say with swift confidence that you are an example of Humanity at it's best, especially at such a time of crisis."

    "Your luminous positively in the face of all that has happened, your optimism that you will find those teenagers again," Oliver nodded one final time to himself before chuckling. "If only I could be so grossly incandescent. I will have the pot on for when you return, Abbot."

    "Abbot? As in Abbot and Castello?" Clyde chuckled.

    "The very same." Oliver nodded. "Now hurry, the trail may have gone cold. Be swift, but allow your blade to be your guidance and protection against whatever the world has set out."


    Clyde stepped past the wreckage of the BMW he had jacked from the CDC facility. To his amazement, it hadn't caught on fire and burned the forest down. However, gasoline pooled underneath it's wheels and down the hillside. The hood itself crumpled in considerably, and it was a wonder to Clyde how the crash hadn't killed him.

    Thinking back on it, the explosion in the room the other day that Chelsea had spontaneously caused should have killed him too. Especially going through the wall and having all of that debris piled up on top of him. With all of that in his mind, it had felt like it had been months since it happened.

    Giving the BMW a quick once over, he noticed the claw marks of the strange winged lady on the roof of the vehicle, as well as on the sides where she had desperately tried to search for him the night he met Oliver. Grunting, he was already tired of carrying the scabbard and sword with his left hand. Instinctively, Clyde rammed his right elbow into the window of the BMW, extending the seatbelt on the driver's side.

    Removing his sword from the scabbard, he cut the seatbelt and pulled it completely through. The long, yet wide fabric was plenty sturdy for what he'd need. Folding the material in half, effectively doubling it's thickness but reducing it's width, he ran the makeshift belt through the rungs of his weathered jeans, and found a means of attaching the scabbard to the belt without sacrificing the belt or the scabbard's durability.

    After fastening it snugly to him, his gaze turned to the tire tracks embedded in the forest floor. Wild deer, the occasional rabbit, and the birds in the trees above him roamed about, acting as if nothing had transpired over the past few days. To Clyde, who knew absolutely nothing about illnesses, had no idea if it had yet to jump the boundaries to them or not.

    Or, was this even a sickness? It had come and gone so quickly, surely an illness of that scale would have been noticed well before it could do this level of damage. Most of the world's population had apparently died out on the first day, and many more following in the days after. Shrugging the thought from his mind, he didn't care. The illness didn't seem to have any effect on him, and sitting around thinking about it wasn't bound to help him find Jace or Chelsea any time soon.


    Clyde was especially cautious as he stepped foot into the now since barren City of London. He and Amanda had always glanced at brochures and photos depicting the City to be bustling with life. Much like the occupants claimed by this travesty, London was dead. There was an eerie silence that almost felt unnatural as he quietly walked up the sidewalk.

    Stains of dried blood would occasionally blot the old stone walkway, but much to Clyde's concern, there was no trace of the sources. His right hand grasped firmly to the hilt of his freshly made sword, as his eyes habitually scoured the desolate street.

    As a parent, Clyde had been well versed in keeping his line of sight out for Amber. She liked to hide, but he was generally very good at catching even the slightest of motions, even in his peripherals. Here, it served him well, as anything moving in this now still settlement could likely try to kill him.

    At the thought of his daughter, however, his heart sharply skipped a beat, and his stomach dropped. It had only been five or so days since her passing, but it felt as though it was an eternity. He tensed, however, as he heard something rustle to his immediate left, on the other side of the fenced in apartment complex.

    Poking his head silently around, his right hand remained tightly attached to the handle of the sword. He silently sighed in relief as a small dog, no older than a few months, scrounged for scraps through the trash bag front of it. Turning it's attention towards him, the puppy's back arched and gave him a stiff snarl of anger.

    "It's okay buddy, I'm not here to-"

    Clyde's voice dropped off as a fiendishly loud howl filled the air. The door leading into the apartment complex had been torn ajar by something, fragments of the wood scattered on the marble staircase leading up and into the building. Clyde didn't need to see much else but the glowing pair of yellow eyes peering at him from the darkness of the door.

    Each eye itself, from his position, seemed to be larger than even his own head. First came the snout, followed by the head, and finally the ears. As Clyde had expected, the feral dog was easily larger than the modest door frame it had been sleeping in. Patches of gray fur matted with dirt, mud, possibly blood, and other miscellaneous things covered the beast from head to toe.

    The large dog turned to the comical in comparison puppy, as it yipped excitedly towards it. The larger dog turned to Clyde, it's snout furling up, baring it's rows of blood soaked fangs at him. Backing away slowly, Clyde made sure his visage was out of the dog's territory, before bolting down the sidewalk.

    Surely enough, he heard the massive dog clear the stairs in a single bound, it's impact with the ground enough to cause the old wooden fence to rattle. It didn't matter much, however, as the old wood splintered when the dog charged through it.

    "Fuck this, fuck this, fuck this!" Clyde muttered to himself angrily as he suddenly ducked into a side alleyway.

    He felt the warm breath of the bestial mongrel on his neck as he maneuvered just between it's jaws in his turn. He heard it's elongated, razor sharp claws scrape against the stone, and in his peripheral he could make out the thing turning with it's momentum to charge him again. Sprinting with all of his might, he thanked his lucky stars for the dumpster directly in front of him.

    Using his sprint, he bounded off of one foot, his other making purchase off of the dumpster. Behind him, he could hear the monstrous noises of the large dog almost directly on him. With his momentum, he jumped off of the dumpster and for the slightly lowered fire-exit stairs. Both of his hands grasped onto the metal, which felt bizarrely wet.

    Glancing down, the dog lowered onto it's haunches, taking a mighty leap straight up and nipping at his feet. Clyde, who thanked himself for being somewhat limber, pulled himself up to avoid losing both of his feet. The act, however, caused the already wet ladder to give slightly, and he felt himself descending at a rapid pace. Desperately trying to climb the ladder, he found the task harder and harder to accomplish, as with each rung he grasped, more of the liquid caused him to slip.

    The higher up he climbed, however, the stickier the substance had gotten. With a yelp of surprise, Clyde felt the ladder shudder, followed by a yip from the dog below. The ladder had pierced into the front shoulders of the giant dog, pinning it to the alleyway beneath him. How sharp had the bottom of the ladder been, more importantly, why was it that sharp?

    Shaking the thought from his mind, Clyde climbed the short few rungs of the ladder until he was on the catwalk. When he did, however, he had almost wished he hadn't. A woman's torso, with little more than her right arm and face remaining, laid disemboweled on the catwalk. Her blood trickled through the grates in the floor and down the ladder in a slower pace.

    He guessed by the smell that she had been there for a few days, at least. Though he didn't know why she had been disemboweled like this. Glancing down at his hands, they were indeed covered in her blood. Releasing the contents of his stomach over the railing of the fire-exit catwalk, he turned to the open window inside.

    He needed to cut through the building and make his way to the CDC headquarters, there was no way he could do so safely on the streets, especially with abnormally large feral dogs roaming around. Squeezing himself into the ajar window, he glanced at the picture frame in the corner, the brief amount of sunlight behind him gently illuminated the woman on the catwalk and her husband, as well as a lion cub.

    He immediately froze, had the Lion grown up as a pet, but eaten part of her and him when the incident went down? Was the Lion still in the area? Who kept a Lion as a pet anyways? With a sigh, he quietly made his way through the apartment in search of a bathroom. Upon finding it, he instinctively tried the sink, to no avail. Of course the plumbing wasn't working, the City was likely out of power.

    His eyes glanced at the toilet for a moment, as he took a deep breath in, hoping it was at least clean. Opening the lid revealed, in the shallow darkness, some clean water, or at least he hoped so. Dipping his hands into it with a moment of hesitation, he wiped as much blood off as he could, before using a towel to dry his hands.

    "I'm sorry." he whispered quietly to the owners.

    Last edited by Shad0wChas3r on March 31st 2017, 7:46 pm; edited 1 time in total



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    The Story-teller *Adventure* Empty Re: The Story-teller *Adventure*

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on April 1st 2017, 10:33 pm

    Clyde worked his way out of the restroom and back into the apartment. Instead of headed straight for the front door, he decided to peruse the dressers and drawers in the establishment for anything he could use. To his relief, he found a functional flashlight. Grinning to himself, he froze as he saw a glimmer of silver light over his right shoulder. Ducking low, he narrowly avoided a knife ramming into his shoulder.

    "You think you can just come into me home and make off with my torch, you cheeky cunt?" a masculine voice growled from in front of Clyde, with the little ray of sunshine from the window illuminating the man's face.

    There was no mistaking the man's identity, he was the one from the image. Clyde slowly backed away, as he nearly stumbled on something. Glancing down, the same ray of light illuminated a bloodied pair of legs.

    "Good god, you killed her." Clyde shook his head in disbelief.

    "Aye, she and I had been fightin' fer some time, even before all this 'sickness' commotion." the man snickered to himself. "Made a great distraction when I did the deed too."

    "That's sick!" Clyde gently stepped over the woman's lower half.

    "A man's got urges, mate." the man's stupified voice was mixed with subtle crazed laughs. "Whether they be carnal, survival, or revenge. Man's gotta eat, and fit all of his necessities."

    As his chatting buddy stepped closer, Clyde couldn't help but notice the hungering red in the man's eyes. Where a normal human had white in their eyes, this man's had been completely red, but not like they had been bloodshot. Wisps of smoke poured out of the man's nose, as the occasional fleck of hot ash escaped a few fissures in his skin.

    "This 'illness' helped me realize who I am. I don't live to serve anyone anymore!" the man growled, as his form suddenly reached beside him. The grumbling sound of a chainsaw activating filled Clyde's ears as the apartment owner held it high above his head menacingly. "Now? I'm taking what's mine. An' if you're thinkin' I'm letting you take what's mine, you got another thing comin' yet."

    "Run while you still can, chap!" he chuckled as Clyde pitched his shoulder through the man's apartment front door. "'Cause if you don't, I'm gonna eat your feet!"

    Clyde huffed and puffed as he ran down the hallway. Behind him, he could hear the sound of the chainsaw cutting through the wall. Any sane man could have run through the door, but then again, it was abundantly clear that this man was now far from his right mind.

    Stumbling down the stairs, Clyde heard only silence for a moment, before flecks of drywall cascaded on him from above. His heart raced as he hurried faster down the stairs, so fast he nearly tripped over himself. At the bottom, he heard a heavy crash, turning only enough to see the man cascading from the upper floor to where Clyde had just been standing.

    Bursting through the front door of the apartment complex, however, Clyde skidded to a halt as a trio of the large feral dogs, not unlike the one he had pinned to the fire escape, stood in front of him. Their fangs bared, as they lowered onto their haunches. Behind him, he could hear the crazed chainsaw wielding man stand from his dive bomb.

    Diving to his right, the sudden motion caused the feral dogs to pounce. At that moment, the crazed man stepped out the busted door, to have a trio of the feral dogs on top of him. Nonchalantly, the man swung with his chainsaw, the activated blade flaying a modest chunk of one of the dog's shoulder flesh. With a whimper and a growl, the beast of a dog retreated.

    The leader of the dogs seemed to notice this, and pounced on the man with the chainsaw. Clyde, immobilized by fear, watched as the leader of the dogs wrapped it's giant jaws entirely around the man's torso and clamped together. The echoed screams of the crazed man echoed out of the corner of the dog's mouth.

    A loud roar filled the air, further adding to Clyde's immobilization. From the sky, a massive lion with a pair of majestic wings descended down on the Alpha dog, it's massive, impossibly sharp claws raking across it's back in one fell swoop. Releasing it's grip on the crazed man, the Alpha dog turned it's attention to the lion, which swooped just over Clyde's prone form to make another pass.

    With a growl from the dog, it charged the flying lion. The massive winged feline, however, opted to land on all four paws, immediately crushing the parked car beside Clyde. Shielding his eyes from the shards of glass, Clyde heard the dog yelp in pain. Opening his eyes, he was immediately splashed by a pool of warm blood in his face. Wiping the goo from his face, he could see the Alpha dog's head torn cleanly from the rest of it's body, with the lion producing a mighty roar.

    "'Ello there govna." the crazed man snickered. "Y' like Perry? Raised him from a cub."

    Clyde grunted as the crazed man, who paid no attention to the deep bite marks surrounding his midsection, stood over him. Now that they were out in full sunlight, Clyde knew where the source of the ember covered ash had come from. The fissures covering the man's face ignited a gentle fire underneath, as if there were no flesh or organs beneath, only a living flame.

    Clyde crawled backwards just in time to avoid the blatantly intimidating swipe of the chainsaw to his nether regions. Rolling over his back and onto his feet, Clyde pulled his sword from it's sheath, as the bloodied man held his chainsaw at the ready. Behind the man, the winged lion and the other two dogs battled fiercely, cries of pain echoing from each of them respectively.

    Holding his sword with his right arm, he extended the arm and sword outward, holding the hilt with his left arm underneath for stability. Having since stepped out into the street, Clyde's eyes stayed on the crazed man's crimson red eyes. The flat edge of his sword rested gingerly on his left wrist, his right arm bent just so for the extra lunging capacity.

    "That's a fine lookin' sword. I'll gladly use it to carve ya up after I'm done cookin' ya."

    "Not if I chop that incessant mouth of yours off." Clyde growled.

    The crazed man, visibly annoyed, charged directly at Clyde. Clyde ducked under the horizontal, head level swing of the chainsaw. Turning back, Clyde gave a mighty swing downwards across the man's back, leaving a massive gash. The crazed man roared in pain, as the blood trickled down his wound.

    The crazed man swung back around to catch Clyde off guard. Clyde grunted as the hefty engine of the chainsaw caught him under the chin, causing him to back up. As the crazed man approached again, Clyde swung the hilt of his sword against the man's cheek, the metal pommel breaking the man's cheekbone.

    With the man stunned, Clyde swung his blade with all of his strength down across the man's chest. As with the man's back, a giant gash formed on the man's torso, blood spilling profusely from the wound. Pitching his left shoulder forward, Clyde rammed his somewhat bony shoulder into the man's sternum. His adversary dropped the chainsaw in the onslaught. The crazed eyes, which once seemed fearless and horrific, now stood out as frightened and vulnerable.

    Sprinting away from Clyde, the man made his way for assistance from his pet lion. Grasping the man by his shoulder, however, Clyde span the crazed man around and swung his pommel up and into the man's nose, shattering the cartilage. Thrusting his boot into the man's chest, Clyde took a mighty step forward, swinging his sword as mightily as he could down on the side of the man's neck.

    With a splatter of blood and a sickening 'slick' sound, the man's motions seemed to lean into the sword, as all consciousness slipped the man. Planting his boot into the man's chest, Clyde pulled his sword out of the crevice it had formed. As he pulled it out, however, Clyde span in a wide circle, catching the valley in the man's neck and continuing to pull effortlessly until the man's head came off.

    His attention instead turned to the corpses of the three giant dogs and the lion. With a stern nod, he leaned down to the man's corpse, wiped his sword off, and returned it to it's sheath. He wasn't entirely sure how much farther to go until he reached the CDC headquarters, he just hoped that any trail left by the kids could be followed.



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