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Topic Summary

Posted by: Cloak
« on: Yesterday at 11:05:36 PM »

New chapter.

Fight Back!!

"But you're not a tiger!!!" he snarled. The rest of his pack was evidently forgotten to him now, though Ian Fefnir seemed to realize what Cloak's plan was. But he was browbeaten enough to know not to contradict their father, Abraham. Especially when he was in one of his rages. Such an ironfisted control he had over his pack, over his family.

Cloak had noticed this, but he was waiting. He was waiting to see . . . to be sure . . . until then, he was quite confident that he could handle this ruthless brute. Authoritarians are never loved, but feared. How anyone could enjoy such a role, Cloak would never know. He would never understand the need to have every little thing under your control -- it was a patent impossibility for every little thing to be under someone's control. It would just serve to make someone neurotic or paranoid or both. Why would anyone choose such a life, such a role?

He lunged at Cloak again. Why did he do this repeatedly? Cloak had demonstrated a number of times that this didn't work. Was he just that obtuse or simply obstinate? Cloak was finding it rather difficult to tell now. All his attacks were rather quixotic and impulsive, and so sadly predictable. Cloak wondered idly if the RAFians would have been this patient with this waiting to see if --

He swiped right, Cloak dodged left easily. He then swiped left and Cloak dodged right. It was really simple, paint-by-the-numbers type of fight. However, it would seem as if only Cloak himself was privy to this. Cloak quickly deduced that this guy didn't fight a lot. He clearly wasn't as trained a fighter as he believed he was. If anything, he was a berserker, someone who fights without any forethought or strategy, but just brute strength and nothing else.

"Fight back!" he roared, frustrated.

"And if I should refuse?" Cloak said. And, of course, the alpha, Abraham, had no answer. It was becoming increasingly clear that he could not touch the stranger, but his ego wouldn't allow him to end this battle or tell his children to help him. He wanted to do this, and he wanted the glory all to himself.

He never thought of the one weakness he and his children had. How this whole thing was pointless from the start. No, his enormous ego reigned supreme and his children were too afraid to disobey, or disappoint, or anger their father. His punishments . . . well, they're best not elaborated on in detail.

Cloak had no idea of their human identities, but he knew why the pack refused to go against their leader. It didn't take a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon to deduce that they were afraid and intimidated by him. Cloak could understand that -- he had dealt with that himself. He knew what prisons one's own mind could conjure up, which is why he held absolutely no enmity towards Shanker for fleeing. He thought he understood the emotions.

"Coward!!" the alpha werewolf snarled. "Fight me, like a man!!"

"I am no more a human than you are right now," Cloak said, wondering idly if this man was a Bern Bridges listener. He didn't know why that thought struck him at this particular moment, but it did. Perhaps it was because he was finding this battle rather lackluster. Garrotik, he wasn't.

"Stop talking in riddles!!" he roared.

"I wasn't," Cloak said, truthfully. Funny how obsessive this man could be. He was now obsessed with this fight, seemingly forgetting the entire reason he came here. All he thought about right now was winning this fight, and wiping what he imagined to be a smug smirk from Cloak's face, despite the face Cloak wasn't smiling at all. He was quite literally taking zero enjoyment from this fight.

"What are you waiting for?!"

Cloak ****ed his head, and gave him an incredulous look. "How haven't you figured it out by now?"
Posted by: Cloak
« on: Yesterday at 02:49:05 PM »

New chapter.

Questions to Be Asked

Shanker was still clutching to his roost under the eaves of this house, which was on the outskirts of the outskirts of suburbia. He didn't know how far away he was from the forum, from Cloak and the Fefnir clan. He still shivered with fear as images of their abuse and fearmongering and intimidation played through his mind as if he was strapped down in a cinema and forced to watch a movie that he rather not.

The more he tried not to think about Cloak and the Fefnir clan, almost paradoxically, the more he did. He did not want to constantly revisit this stuff in his mind or in reality. He had thought he was free, he thought he was . . . free . . .

He had successfully repressed all these hurtful memories. Or, at least, he thought he had. But, as it turns out, he had repressed them without really dealing with them. He had suppressed and downplayed them, as they were not significant. He had even tried to convince himself of this. He had tried so hard . . .

But none of it was true, was it? What happened really happened, and pretending that it didn't was doing him far more harm than good. He had always harbored a guilt for killing the boy -- but he knew it and understood it to necessary for his escape, but part him wondered. Was it really? Was it really necessary to slay that boy? He didn't do it in cold blood, so to speak, but he was like a frenzied, pent-up animal desperate for freedom.

But did he have to kill the werewolf adolescent? Was it truly necessary or . . . or excessive? Could he have just pushed him aside and . . . no. The truth of the matter was that he couldn't do that. He was already very malnourished at the time, and his strength was sapped, even with the kindness they gave him about allowing just the most bare-bones food proportions. He would have died of starvation or just by werewolf, and he had picked the one that felt less dangerous, less incumbent.

The alpha Fefnir would not rest until his head was on a pike. The alpha actually thought that he was being kind to Shanker by allowing him to live so that he could be hunted and chewed on every full moon. This is why his Boggart was a full moon -- because it meant torture . . .

But then why didn't he leave when the moon wasn't full? Why did he stay? Why didn't he escape then? Full moons only came once a month, after all. He could have left . . . as malnourished and mistreated as he was, he could have left. And . . . yet . . . he never did. He fed on the woodland critters to get his vampiric sustenance, but he didn't leave. He could have any time that it wasn't. He could have . . . why didn't he? Oh, why didn't he? Did that boy really have to die? He could have left before the full moon rose that night, or just simply left earlier.

But would they have allowed him? When he left, it was when the whole Fefnir clan had gotten complacent with him, had gotten careless. They were at the point where he was little more than their beaten pet. No, he was lower than that. They had cowed him into compliance, with the alpha in particular taking a sadistic joy out of it. He was a cruel, twisted man -- and he was that way whether wolf or man.

Shanker was little more than animal to them, a thing undeserving of compassion and understanding. Not surprising, as this alpha obviously considered such things shameful weaknesses. He was a man who believed strength was being cruel and merciless, that being tough was refusing to seek medical attention for any wound, no matter the severity. He was a backwater primitive sort of man.

Shanker could not face him again. He could not . . .

Why did Aidan abandon him there? Why did his own maker forsake him in such a way? To a vampire, his or her maker was very much like their father or mother, and their sire a child. He would have never abandon his two sires in such a way. Never. He was unable to stop Gaz's blood brother from being slain by the Slayer, but he tried. He had tried. Why was he neglected and rejected in such a way? Why did his maker not show him the kind of loyalty that he showed his own sires?
Posted by: Cloak
« on: March 22, 2017, 10:21:39 AM »

New book ideas.

  • Book MCLXXVII (1,177): "Lemme Tell Ya Sumthin', Wraith!" -- The RAFians must deal with the vampiric Wraiths.
  • Book MCLXXVIII (1,178): "The Kinetic Connection" -- The RAFians must save a family of seven newly-orphaned siblings from an old faction.
  • Book MCLXXIX (1,179): "Always Trying to Come Back" -- The RAFians must deal with an old villain trying to come back into power again.

Don't think I rehashed anything (a very tangible possibility this many books in).

New chapter.

Boisterous Overconfidence

The alpha snorted derisively. "You think you're tough? You? I defeated and cowed into submission and subservience the great Vereticus Fefnir!! And you think a scrawny thing like you would be able to stand up against me of all people? Especially my werewolf form?"

Cloak was anything but scrawny. He stood roughly eight feet tall with the appropriate humanoid proportions to match. Granted, if the alpha decided to rear back unto his digigrade feet (which Cloak suspected might become plantigrade, but this was speculation), he would be about three, four feet taller than Cloak. But that did not make him stronger, faster or smarter than the Realm Walker.

"What? Why have you stopped talking?" he said, mistaking Cloak's stoic silence for fear and cowardice. Clearly, this guy was used to using fear and intimidation to obtain compliance and capitulation. Only this time, it wouldn't work. "Are you scared you weak, little NOTHING?!"

Cloak just simply, with folded arms, clearly unimpressed with the alpha, "You really have no idea who you're dealing with, do you?"

"No," he disagreed, rather boorishly. Then he spoke in a way that Cloak found rather childish, "you don't know who you're dealing with."

"Nice comeback," Cloak said, voice drenched in acid sarcasm.

"Fine, you want to fight, then let's fight." the alpha growled, already launching his attack.

Cloak barely had to move to evade his attacks. The technique was sloppy. The execution was amateurish, and telegraphed so obviously. Cloak wondered if the so-called "great" Vereticus Fefnir was blind and deaf when the alpha took him on. Honestly, this was disappointing for a battle. He fought like a brute, relying solely on brute strength instead of tactics and strategy. He had no nuance, no finesse, no noteworthy skill. Honestly, it was embarrassing.

Perhaps all the years consumed by his obsession had corroded and eroded his fighting prowess. Or maybe it was an aftereffect of being in his wolf form. Who knew which one was if? But it scarcely mattered, as this was one of Cloak's easy battles, bar none.

"Stop moving!!" he demanded, despite the fact that Cloak only moved in the most minute manner possible, and still none of his strikes landed.

"I haven't, not really," Cloak said, "in case you haven't noticed."

This just incensed the alpha more. And this was just pathetic. This guy was clearly not practiced at all. If he ever had skill at any point, he had allowed it to atrophy to the point of ridiculousness. And he also had one glaring weakness that he didn't care to acknowledge.

"Stop moving, coward!!"

"Are you blind as well as stupid?" Cloak said.

"RRRRRAAAAAAAAAAHHHH HH!" the alpha said as he lunged at him again. This time it looked like it may have hit -- if Cloak didn't somersault over him, using the alpha's.own shoulders to do so. He landed daintily, without a sound behind him, as he had a tremendous crash, like something out of a cartoon.

"Just a thing to note," Cloak said, as the alpha picked himself up, shaking off the impact. "In an one-on-one battle, a tiger will triumph over a wolf every time."
Posted by: Cloak
« on: March 22, 2017, 12:10:05 AM »

New chapter.

A Need For Distance

He had knew that they would come after him. He knew. He knew it.

So, then, why did it take him by such surprise that they actually deigned to show up? Why did it just hit him there and then that they would be there? Why did the fear have to bubble up making him nearly incoherent? Why did he default to that demurred, submissive state again? They were not his masters. They held no sovereignty over him. They held no dominion over him.

He flapped his wings as hard as he could, putting distance between him and his abusers as much as he could. He didn't really care about the destination as long as they weren't there. All he wanted was as much distance as possible from them.

They still terrified him, making him feel as though he were a child -- though he couldn't really remember his actual childhood -- it's been too long, and too much has happened to thoroughly eclipse it.

He allowed himself to fly high enough that his bat form was silhouetted by the huge, full moon. He didn't think this through, his mind too full of fear and intimidation to consider the possible implications and ramifications of this.

He had honestly entertained a notion, once, that he would never the Fefnir clan again. That he was safe from their reach. That he . . . that they could never touch him at the forum. Thought he was always . . . thought that this part of his life was behind him. This whole situation was nothing but an echo of a past that he so incredibly didn't want to catch up to him.

His chiropteran arms felt as if they were on fire and he found that he didn't care all that much. All he knew was that he wasn't far enough away from them. He would never be far enough away from them. They always were with him -- if not physically, but in his mind. He had always dreaded this day. This day when they found him.

A momentary shriek and he discovered that an owl had decided that he was prey. Now even the woodland critters were turning on him. He didn't know if owls preyed on bats, but he felt that it might be wise to take cover. So, he did just that, narrowly missing becoming a meal, roosting in the eaves of some old, abandoned building. He clung to the shadows, feeling a modicum of safety there.

Life really wasn't fair. Undead life, even more so. He had never asked for this. Any of this. What had he done to deserve this kind of treatment? What did he do to warrant it? He would really like to know. He would really like to know why he must suffer through this misfortune.

Even though it was a warm June night, he shivered beneath the eaves of this house. He wondered idly if he never retook his human form and just stayed a bat, maybe that would be sufficient to keep them from finding him. Maybe that was the perfect disguise. Maybe . . .

He sat their for the longest time -- he may have dozed once or twice he did not know. He just felt miserable. Even more so when he realized he had just up and abandoned Cloak. For really no reason but his terror.

This made his bat body feel heavier than it should have. The weight and burden of guilt. He knew that he should go back. He knew he was just running from his problems. He knew that he was allowing fear and intimidation to dominate him. He should go back. He should . . .

But he was so afraid. The Fefnir clan was one of the fiercest, most fearsome werewolf clans in existence, if not the fiercest and the most fearsome. How could he go back? Cloak was more than capable of taking care of himself. He w-wouldn't need his help.

Posted by: Cloak
« on: March 21, 2017, 03:59:34 PM »

New chapter.

Fight and Flight

"There you are," said a husky voice, with somewhat of a Southern drawl, as eleven were wolves padded out of the forest. They were far larger than ordinary, generic wolves. Most were the size of bears, with the largest only being significantly larger than the rest. Their tails were tufted, their snouts a bit more stunted and flatter than a mundane wolf, and possessing human hands, only a lot beefier. Clearly able to walk bipedally or quadrupedly at a whim. "You thought you could murder my boy and get away with it?"

"I -- I didn't --"

"The hell you didn't!" the largest werewolf said.

He was obviously the alpha, Cloak, observed. But he was noticing Shanker's reactions. And he immediately recognized the similarities . . .

"I didn't mean t-to do it, I d-didn't want to d-do it --"

"Oh, and that makes it alright then? You didn't mean to?!" the alpha said. Cloak could understand where the alpha was coming from, but something about him was rubbing the Realm Walker the wrong way. "You killed my favorite boy --"

It was at this point Cloak thought he could detect some expressions of resentment on the faces of some of the other, smaller ten werewolves. He thought he could deduce why.

"I just wanted to escape! I'm sorry -- I j-just c-couldn't do it anym-more." Shanker said.

"I didn't come here to hear you whine!!" the alpha roared. "That was your place, leech! You should have been grateful to be our chew toy every full moon. To be our practice dummy against legitimate threats, against competent leeches."

Shanker stammered, but this is when Cloak thought he had ascertained enough information to intercede on Shanker's behalf. "His place, you say? What gives you the right to make that determination?"

"That's none of your business, stranger," the alpha growled. Cloak wasn't intimidated. He had faced a lot of things scarier than an alpha werewolf. His mother, for instance. "Stay out of it."

The last four words were clearly intended as a threat. Cloak almost laughed derisively.

"You mess with a RAFian, and it becomes the business of other RAFians." Cloak said, keeping his cool.

"If you don't, stranger," he growled, "then you will die as well."

This time Cloak did laugh, finding the last six words hilariously ignorant.

"DON'T YOU LAUGH A ME!!" he roared.

This was enough to cause Shanker to abandon all pretense and flee his abusers. He transfigured himself into a bat as he did. Cloak did not feel abandoned. Quite the contrary, he thought he knew the emotions Shanker was experiencing was probably very similar, if not identical, to how he felt when he desperately fled his mother's custody.

"DON'T LET HIM GET AWAY!!" he roared to his pack.

But the trees had inexplicably closed in tight around them, and whenever there were gaps, they were inexorably filled with earth.

"I'm sorry, but no." Cloak said.

"You would be trapped in here with us?" he snorted. It was amazing that this full moon had not been obscured by a single cloud yet. But, then again, it was a cloudless night.

"No. I'm not trapped in here with you," Cloak said, with a sly smile, behaving a bit too much like Ryan Haywood. "You're trapped in here with me."
Posted by: Cloak
« on: March 21, 2017, 08:46:43 AM »

New chapter.

Calling Out

"DAHHH!" Shanker screamed. He had neither heard or smelled Cloak. Cloak did have a habit of not making a sound when he walked -- it was super annoying. "DON'T DO THAT, CLOAK!! You almost made me have a coronary. . . ."

"Can vampires even get -- never mind, questions for later," Cloak said. "So, what are you running from? It can't be Odie -- though that, admittingly, would be perfectly understandable."

Shanker hesitated before saying, repressively, "None of your business."

Cloak said nothing, just waited.

"Don't look at me like that," Shanker said.

Cloak said nothing.

"Don't judge me, Cloak," Shanker said.

Cloak remained silent.

"Don't you judge me!" Shanker cried.

The Realm Walker still refused to utter a word.

"I know what I'm doing, Cloak," Shanker said. "I'm protecting everyone else."

"By running away?" Cloak said, at last.

"I'm not running away!"

"You're out of breath," Cloak said.

"I am not!"

"What could have possibly driven you from the forum, then? You remained during the Madre de Vampyra debacle. You remained during the antigravity and the shrinking sun situations.  And more perilous events you remained steadfastly with us." Cloak said. "What do you fear enough to cause you to flee?"

"I'm . . . I'm not afraid!"

"You don't sound so sure of that," Cloak pointed out.

"Enough with the third-degree, Cloak!" Shanker said, feeling nettled, perceiving a pique. "I know what I'm doing!"

"Then if you will do away with the faux nobility and martyrdom, then we can hash this out," Cloak said, civilly.

Shanker was feeling provoked now. "Faux nobility, Cloak? Martyrdom? I'm doing what I need to do to protect everyone else, including you!"

"By running away from your problems?" Cloak said.

"By running away f-- hey!" Shanker said, rife with irritation now. "I'm not running away from my problems, Cloak! And you're a fine one to talk about that! I know you're running away from your problems back in the Nexu or whatever it is you come from. Why don't you go there and confront your problems before lecturing me on running from problems? Hmmm?"

"Because," Cloak said evenly, "a political exile is not the same thing as running from a problem."


"But that's not important, right now." Cloak said. "Perhaps you can tell me why there are -- three, six, nine -- eleven werewolves surrounding us right now?"

Posted by: Cloak
« on: March 20, 2017, 07:37:43 AM »

New chapter.

It's Terror Time Again

So, Shanker ran.

He ran, looking over his shoulder, looking to his left and right. Looking straight ahead. It never occurred to him to transfigure himself into a bat and fly away. Besides, that would go against his plan to leave a scent trail leading away from RAF, to make the others less of a target by the Fefnir clan.

It was slightly cloudy, but it was a full moon tonight. As he ran, he seemed to hear:

He hears the screeching of an owl,
He hears the wind begin to howl,
He know there's werewolves on the prowl,
And it's terror time again,
They've got him running though the night,
It's terror time again,
And he just might die of fright,
It's a terrifying time.

He continued run, actually feeling more and more afraid with every step.

He hears the beating of his heart,
He knows the screaming's gonna start.
Here comes the really scary part!
And it's terror time again,
They've got you running through the night,
It's terror time again,
Oh, he just might die of fright,
It's a terrifying time.

Shanker did not like feeling this kind of fear again. Especially when, mere hours before he thought he was forever free of this brand of fear. But he should have known. Nothing is forever.

All the trees begin to moan,
And the werewolves grunt and groan,
Rotting fangs, full of slime,
Doesn't he know that it's terror time?
And it's terror time again,
They've got him running through the night,
Yes, it's terror time again,
Oh, he just might die of fright,
It's a terrifying time.
It's a terrifying time.

He was getting further and further away from RAF. From his home. His heart ached that he'll very probably never see the place again. But as long as the others were safe from the Fefnir clan . . . then it was well worth it.

All the trees begin to moan,
And the werewolves grunt and groan,
Rotting fangs, full of slime,
Doesn't he know that it's terror time?
And it's terror time again,
They've got him running through the night,
Yes, it's terror time again,
Oh, you just might die of fright,
It's a terrifying time.

The last word echoed ominously as Shanker stopped thinking that he was far enough away to keep the Fefnir clan from discovering his connection to the forum, thinking that the scent, his scent, was stale enough now there that there would be no danger of the others feeling the wrath of the Fefnir clan.

But what of him? If they found him, they would kill him. He knew it. And there was a full moon tonight. That was entirely possible.

"So," came a voice from the shadows, a familiar one, "what was this all about?"

SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=67dVpgUry7Q
Posted by: Cloak
« on: March 19, 2017, 07:21:15 AM »

New chapter.

Shanker's Decision

He had to come to a decision. He had to decide and stick to it, no matter what. But he was rife with indecision and anxiety of the two options he presented himself: Whether or not to leave RAF.

This place was a safe haven for him. He had never before felt such camaraderie and companionship. He was also part of something bigger, though still himself. Could he really just up and abandon them? Even when he had a dissenting opinion, he was not swiftly kicked out and banned (he had actually experienced that once or twice before joining the forum -- some people just had fragile egos, he guessed).

He couldn't just abandon a place he called home for so very long. Even in his scarcely decorated thread with his four-poster bed (standard to each thread, unless inhabited by a species that either doesn't sleep or doesn't sleep in beds) was wonderful and almost sacred to him.

And the others? There was no way that they would betray him. Okay, Odie might, but he was gone now, no longer a threat. And it was true, there was always the chance he might be killed on a mission, like Rotiart was, despite his body never being found. Other than the . . . bits . . . of course.

But then an idea occurred to him, one that he hadn't had before.

What if him being here wasn't about his safety? What if he was putting the others in jeopardy by being here? Those werewolves probably already had his scent, by now. They've probably memorized it after all these years, after he had to slay one of their own to facilitate his escape. They probably had it memorized -- and could use it to track him to the forum. Track him to the forum and endanger the lives of everyone living here.

Or worse -- the alpha Fefnir could decide to not kill everyone, but convert some of the human RAFians, if they fit his fancy. Turn them, whether willingly or unwillingly into werewolves. He never sired an unwilling subject. Both his sires were willing, both Gaz and her blood brother (before his untimely demise at the hands of the Slayer). He found it unconscionable to do it on someone who does not want it, who has no interest in being converted. But -- sometimes they don't realize what they're getting into, like Gaz's late blood brother.

True, the presence of so many people of varying species around here may be sufficient to mask his scent, as vampire scents are more subdued that the more vibrant, the more alive, species, but they still have them, like Vladats. And only neophyte vampires experience vulnerability to sunlight, which they lose as they mature. And they don't sparkle in sunlight when they are mature enough to survive it, and Shanker was livid that that misconception got around as truth.

But back to the problem at hand. Even if his scent was masked, he had left the forum enough times that it could be still out there, in the surrounding areas. To stay here would be making this place at target. To make his friends and allies targets.

The decision was made. He would leave the forum. Lead them away from RAF. Lead them away from the other RAFians. He would not renounce the forum (thereby keeping his Mark), but he would never return. He wouldn't be able to, not while there was this hunt on his head. He could almost hear the howls now -- they'll close in soon. He would have to lead them away. Maybe even sacrifice his life in the process.

'Tis a far nobler thing to do, he decided. So, he packed as many belongings as he could, all the things that he would need and had room for in a bindle, a blanket roll, that he created. It didn't have much within the monochromatic cloth, but it would have to suffice. He was a prepared as he would ever be.

And so he set out. But he never knew that he was seen, scented, and followed.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: March 18, 2017, 07:30:32 AM »

New chapter.

Panic Attack

They . . . they couldn't have possibly found him, right?

RAF was too well protected for them get it unbidden and unwanted. Right? The forum would protect him. Would save him. Would rally to his side. Right? Right??

There it was. The old fear that he thought that he had long forgotten. Those dreams . . . those accursed dreams . . . they were telling him something. Warning him of something . . . something very, very dire . . .

No. No, it was just a dream. Dreams were meaningless. Just the subconscious playing tricks and such. He was safe. His jailors hadn't returned for him. They hadn't. He was safe and secure here, in his thread. Safe and secure.

But what if he wasn't?

What if he wasn't any safer here than anywhere else? Code Avalon has been broken before, after all. And no other RAFian is obligated to protect him, to save him. But they would any way, right? They would protect one of there own, right? He was a RAFian, after all. He never prevaricated or waffled when it counted. That would be good enough to ensure some loyalty, right?

But what if it wasn't? What if they turned on him? What if they sold him out just to make things easier? They wouldn't do that. No, they would never do that. Never. He just had to have faith in them, just like they had faith in him.

Although . . . did he give them any real reason to have faith in him? He wasn't exactly useful in past events. He had been off active duty for a while now . . . did they . . . did the others resent this? Did they perceive him as a part-timer or a freeloader? Would they be supportive or leave him to his fate?

He could not go back. He would never go back to that forest. He would not allow himself to be trapped like that again. He had found freedom in the forum. He had found friends and community in the forum. He was free to be himself here. He was free . . .

But was he really? The Fefnir alpha wolf could come through Code Avalon . . . could come at any moment. He had no doubt now that he was after him. After he had to kill that kid in sheer desperation to escape. He didn't want to,but he was left with very little option. He didn't know he could transfigure into a bat until after the deed was done.

It wouldn't have had to happen if his maker and blood brothers hadn't decided to up and abandon him in that forest. He wasn't trying to displaced blame, he acknowledged and accepted his role in the boy's death. He found it regrettable, but necessary for his escape, for his freedom. He was just fortunate that it wasn't a full moon that night.

But he knew a full moon was drawing closer and closer. And, if the Fefnir clan was looking for him as he believed wholeheartedly that they were, this would just make them all the more dangerous. If they caught him this time . . . well, this time they wouldn't be playing. This time they'll be playing for keeps. This time . . . if they caught him . . . they'd kill him on the spot.

He was up and pacing around his thread, which had a scarce few possessions that he managed to collect in the intervening time. All were cared for meticulously, helped a great deal by the house-elf housekeeping staff. But he wasn't thinking about that. His concerns and series of doubts that kept cropping up was seriously upping his anxiety. So, he was antsy, jumpy, and just plain stressed out. He would be required to feed soon -- a blood substitute, of course -- but it was the furthest thing from his mind at the moment.

He just kept contemplating what he should do. Should he tell the others, especially his sire, Gaz? Should he remain at the forum, but tell no one? Should he just leave and try to run away from the Fefnir clan once again? He was indecisive, but he needed to reduce his anxiety or he was likely to have a panic attack.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: March 17, 2017, 08:26:23 AM »

New chapter.

Still Hurting

It may have been several years since the death of his seventeen-year-old son, Abel, but the alpha wolf of the clan, Abraham Fefnir, was still hurting. He was still mourning. He still wanted revenge, wanted to kill his son's murderer. He and his pack had gone on a warpath every full moon, killing every vampire they smelled and tracked.

But none of them was him. The murderer of his son was the only vampire he wanted to kill. He even came close to killing Aiden, Shanker's maker, before he escaped -- never knowing that Abraham let him escape, when he discovered that he wasn't the vamp he was looking for he didn't try as hard to slay him.

Abraham was determined to have his vengeance, to the point where he ignored his other children (most by different mothers than Abel) -- Ian, Monica, Diane, Patricia, Tetra, Quinn, Hectare, Hermes, Octavio, Nora, and Dekker Fefnir -- all but Ian had challenged their father on his obsession with their oldest brother, their father's favorite child. They were summarily put into their place by physical violence, severely alienating themselves from their father. They weren't given time to mourn their brother, and many of them resented their brother for their father's preferential treatment towards him and the sometimes utter neglect the rest of them faced.

All but Ian had tried to usurp their father's leadership of the clan through battle and politics, claiming that he was unfit for the role of alpha, that Abel's death had rendered him unfit to lead. Such challenges were put to a brutal end, and the punishment that followed was . . . well, the kindest way to put it was that it was brutal and cruel.

Not too surprising, as Abraham was the one who decided to trap Shanker forevermore in the woods as target practice. He was the one who enforced the ideology that vampires were lesser creatures than werewolves. An ideology that he enforced, as sympathizing with one was simply not tolerated in the clan.

He thought the Dawkins, Huntington, Lykos, Lupin, and Wolfe clans were weak for not doing the same. Weak, liberal, egalitarian clans. He only respected the Jacobs and Roman clans for their brutal stance on this also, despite all three being strictly the minority of this lycanthrope community.

If he heard anyone using the pejorative term of "Ahab" to describe him, he would let them have it. He would not abide having anyone criticize him, not even his own children. He was the worst kind of authoritarian, through and through. Worst of all, he was an authoritarian with an all-consuming obsession.

He never considered the "after" of killing his favorite son's murderer. Never considered how empty that would be, how it wouldn't bring back Abel, how it wouldn't make him feel any better in the long run. He never paused to consider letting go this hurt, never considered forgiveness. A harsh, unforgiving man, these thoughts were inconceivable to him.

Even in human form, something of the wolf lingered around his face and build. He tended to wear flannel shirts and blue jean overalls. He sometimes wore boots, but preferred to be barefooted, even in the cold of winter. He saw it as a visual cue of just how tough he was.

He felt like he was getting closer and closer to his quarry than he had in the past however many years it was. He had ceased caring about that. Indeed, he had ceased caring about anything other than his revenge and vengeance. He didn't have a single thought that wasn't devoted to this aim. And all he knew was that he was getting closer . . .

His sense of smell in human form wasn't enhanced in any way, but he was absolutely convinced that he could detect the foul stench of that particular vampire here. He was here. He was sure of it.

He would make that friggin' leech pay . . .
Posted by: Cloak
« on: March 16, 2017, 10:55:21 PM »

New chapter.

Nights in the Woods

Cloak wasn't the only one with strange dreams. But in Shanker's case, they were.not really dreams, but nightmares and night terrors. But unlike Cloak, he knew precisely where this was coming from.

He was dreaming nightmares of his pre-RAF days. You see, Cloak, GH, and Xeno weren't the only ones with . . . complicated . . . lives before RAF. Every RAFian has a "before RAF story", naturally. But not all are as complicated as others, and vice versa.

Anyway, he's been suffering from this dream from night to night with no real interruption or break. Its always in the woods. Always. Always those woods. Their woods. He remembered that he would aways hate the full moons while in this forest. They would aways come around then. They always did. And he never had any help. Never. He was always alone. Forever alone.

No one to protect him. No one to save him. No maker to guide him, to shelter him. No sire to comfort, to make hims forget his own fear. No one. No nothing. Nothing, but an all-consuming fear. Fear of death, despite being a vampire. Fear of survival.

Then the howls came.

If they were ordinary wolves, he wouldn't have cared. But he knew better. These weren't generic wolves. He knew them, and knew them well. These were the Fefnir clan. It was always the Fefnir clan. Shanker never knew if they would actually kill him this time, or just play with him as a cat plays with a mouse. It was absolute hell -- and they knew that he couldn't escape. He had yet learned how transfigure himself into a bat or smoke, and, even if he did, he was so stressed and anxious he probably wouldn't have even thought of it. He was still a neophyte vampire -- this was long before he sired Gaz and her blood brother.

He saw no escape from their stupid monthly hunts. He was basically surviving on the blood of the woodland creature. He could have fed off these beasts who kept him imprisoned here, but he could smell that their blood was tainted. That there blood would taste bitter and unappealing. It was an instinctual thing, by virtue of being a vampire. They knew by this instinct not to drink from a werewolf, and he did not know what would happen if he ever did. He didn't want to know.

And apparently the Fefnir clan knew it. Shanker assumed the other werewolf clans that he knew of -- the Dawkins clan, the Wolfe clan, the Jacobs clan, and the Roman clan -- knew this as well. He sincerely doubted that it was a well-guarded secret. He was trapped. Trapped by his own inexperience and fear. He was doomed to dwell in this forest forever, until his food source is exhausted. Then he might, just might have to see what happens when he drinks from a werewolf. . . .

He had to get out of here. He couldn't stay here. They'll kill him eventually. They clearly don't think of him as an equal, a being with feelings and opinions and thoughts of his own. They clearly thought him as a lesser being. He couldn't live like this, especially knowing this.

He ran, but then a young werewolf cub stood in his say. No. No, this wouldn't stop his escape. He swiftly attacked the cub -- which was in human form, as it was dawn. He hadn't meant to kill it, but he did. He did it so he could facilitate his escape, discovering that he could turn into a bat.

"Abel!" he heard a heartbroken voice cried out. But it was true, Abel Fefnir was dead and Shanker was free.

Shanker awoke in a cold sweat -- he wasn't even aware vampires could sweat -- and he tried to steady himself. Why did he have to relive that every night for . . . for . . . god, he lost track by now.

All that happened about a year before joining RAF, and eight or so months later, Cloak joined. So, it was about six or seven years ago? Geez, he didn't even remember precisely how long anymore.

Why was this still haunting him?
Posted by: Cloak
« on: March 16, 2017, 04:56:15 PM »

New chapter.

Wand Matters

Quaf, Hunter, Cloaky, GH, Xeno, Visser :3, Abby, Canicula, and Saffa were standing around a magic wand shop. None were there proper age, but, instead, between the ages of eleven and twelve. And they were all perfectly human, strangely enough. They were waiting for their chances to purchase a wand of their own.

The shopkeeper tended to them after selling an thirteen-inch, acacia wand to a previous customer.

Visser :3 was up first, and the shopkeeper had him try out many wands before he handed him a twelve-and-a-half inch long, hard black walnut wand, with a phoenix tailfeather core, that was apparently very good with charmwork. The moment he touched it, he smiled as he felt a warmth issuing from it. The shopkeeper declared it a match and Visser :3 left to do the rest of his shopping for the coming school year.

Canicula was next. The shopkeeper seemed to have an easier time finding a wand for her. He gave her a ten-and-three-quarters long, rigid laurel wand with a phoenix tailfeather core. But she felt as if her fingers were rejoicing the minute her fingers touched the wand. The shopkeeper declared it a match, and Canicula paid his fee for it. Then she left to peruse the other shops.

Quaf was next. She went through slightly more wands than the other two. Then the shopkeeper provided her an eleven-inch, hard black walnut wand with an unicorn hair core. The moment it touched it sent out a pudgy raven, which all assembled laughed at, despite Quaf's momentary humiliation. Unlike the other two, she decided to stick around and see what wands everyone else got.

It was Saffa's turn now. She proved to he quite finicky to match up with a wand. The storekeeper would put a wand in her hand, then without a word remove it within seconds. Eventually he handed her an eleven-inch, supple laurel wand with a unicorn hair core. A light coursed around as her wand and her touched. She paid and sat down next to Quaf.

Abby was up next. She went through fewer wands than the others, but the shopkeeper decided to try and match her up with a twelve-and-a-quarter inch long, bendy laurel wand with a unicorn hair core. It allied itself to her within seconds of her hand touching it. And the shopkeeper noted that it was interesting, because its brother had chosen Saffa. And she and Saffa talked about it excitedly as they waited for the rest of their friends to get their wands.

GH's turn was next. He proved to be a bit finicky to match with a wand as well. But the shopkeeper never gave up on a customer. Eventually he gave GH a fourteen-inch long, brittle alder wand, and when GH touched it, guitar music seemed to play. His guitar seemed to be playing of its own accord, welcoming this newcomer to their fold. GH gracious paid and went to wait with the others.

Xeno was up, with only Hunter and Cloak remaining. There were a few boxes of wands littering the floor, before the shopkeeper thought he found the perfect match. He offered Xeno a twelve-inch long, swishy English oak wand with a dragon heartstring core, and Xeno felt an elation the moment flesh touched wand. The wand issued a jet of warm air, and Xeno paid for it. Then he went to sit with the others.

Then it was Hunter's turn. After a few tries (and a few stolen glances by GH), the shopkeeper offered him a ten-and-three-quarters inch long brittle beech wand with an unicorn hair core. Hunter grinned brightly as soon as his hand welcomed the wand. Then he was informed that his wand was brothers with GH's (which caused the latter to blush suddenly). Then he took a seat with the others.

Finally, it was Cloak's turn. He had tried out the fewest wands out of the lot before he was offered a ten-and-three-quarters inch long, slightly yielding rowan wand with an unicorn hair core. The feeling when he held the wand -- it was indescribable, but the most indescribable positive feeling that he had ever had. It was like meeting a friend that you immediately like and would have an everlasting friendship with.

Cloak paid the shopkeeper and wandmaker, and the group left, talking excitedly about Hogwarts . . .

And the Cloak awoke. He sighed, "What the Veil is going on with these dreams lately?"
Posted by: Cloak
« on: March 16, 2017, 10:56:42 AM »

New chapter.



Rad had been dispatched to some crystal catacombs. It was a psychedelic place, and she wasn't too sure she even liked it. It was almost like an alien world. She was armed with her Zat'nik'tel, Zat for short, so she knew she would be able to handle anything.

She proceeded forward, and the more she did, the more the catacomb seemed very alien to her. Especially when she came to a huge chasm that she had to climb down. She was starting to very quickly not like this place.

And all this for one of Demos's stupid fiends. Why couldn't he be more prolific at something more mundane like stamp collecting or flower arranging. Why did he have to create so many fiends? Honestly, what was the point of all this for the demon?

Anyway, she descended, still grumbling, and proceeded to her right. Then, much to her annoyance and frustration, had to sift through some rubble to get through to the other side and climb upward. There she had to sift through some more rubble to climb upward again. This was becoming very monotonous and tedious for her.

Once there, she . . . Had to sift through more rubble to proceed to her right. Someone was having a laugh. Someone must be having a laugh. This was rapidly becoming a Mega Man game, she decided ruefully. So, she sifted through the rubble again, seriously considering retirement, and discovered a wide expanse of a room. She was relieved that there was no visible rubble to sift a way through, so she she was allowed a modicum of happiness.

Passing through a small doorway, she came into another cavernous room. She thought that the doorway-size opening was just ridiculously redundant, but sighed and let it go. Then she dropped down into a bit of a narrower corridor, with another dropoff. She followed it, and came to an underground lake. Wonderful.

So, she hopped across the crystalline rocks that littered the surface of the lake to make it across. How she did it, she didn't know -- the accursed things were as slippery as hell. Then she climbed higher, wondering why this was even necessary. This place was remote enough -- did Demos's fiend need to be taken out this badly? Seriously? She crossed a small hill that sloped downward, where she saw the creature.

The creature was roughly the size of your average ten-year-old human child. It was humanoid with a pale orange body, with a dark blue stripe at its waist and a metallic plate that resembled stylized sunglasses on its chest. Its forearms and hands were black (although, it lacked a left hand, just had what appeared to be a nozzle of some sort) as well as its lower legs and feet. Its head was dark orange and rounded  with a crest with four diamond-cut crystals fused together on its brow. It also had a dark, flat face that lacked a nose or lips. It had human-like eyes with black sclera and dark orange irises.

He and Rad just eyed each other for what seemed like the longest time. Apparently waiting for the other to make the first move. It seemed like a standoff, until Rad made a small, involuntary movement with her right hand toward her zat.

Then its crest glowed and a second one appeared, jumping at her, its crest also glowing. Rad had to roll away to dodge it. It had jumped far higher than it should have been able. She rolled to her feet, zat in hand as the two creatures began to run around her -- even running on the ceiling! She didn't know which one was the original -- which was complicated when an additional two joined the party.

"Weren't two enough?!" Rad said, exasperated. She was starting to see why this fiend needed to be dealt with.

Then they all fired a bluish-white laser that rebounded of the walls a couple of times before dissipating. Rad didn't know how she dodged that one. It seemed to be point blank.

She fired her zat at one of the creatures, hoping that it was the original -- believing that if the original was hit, the others would either vanish or feel it as well. The one she hit just vanished -- and vanished in a way that let her to deduce that the other two replicants were really holographic constructs. Holographic constructs that could somehow manipulate matter in a tangible way . . . how did that make any sense? No matter, no matter. She knew what had to be done.

She fired two more shots, with each blue discharge from her zat hitting the head crest of the creatures. The first shot hit a duplicate, however, the second shot hit the original one, the real McCoy. Rad swiftly ignored the remaining duplicate and fired a second shot at the original which proved fatal. The duplicate blipped out of existence.

"'Go back on active duty,' they said," Rad grumbled as she holstered her zat and began to make her way out of the catacombs. "'It'll be fun,' they said. . . ."


Demos called the creature a "geminisapien". Demos couldn't come up with a coherent excuse for the design of this fiend of his. In the end, he admitted, that this one was for combat purposes.


"Sometimes four aren't better than one, I see," Malice sighed.
Posted by: Cloak
« on: March 15, 2017, 08:20:47 PM »

New chapter.

A Cowardly Snake

Parker had come to some sort of forgotten jungle facility that had been completely overtaken by the native foliage which gave it an admittingly exotic feel. Completely ensconced within his armor, he couldn't help but feel a little out of place in this facility.

He couldn't help but notice that there seemed to be an abundance of snakes of varying types here. Of course there would be. Their venom would never penetrate his armor, it was the constrictors that might be a nuisance.

Along the way, he kept seeing a strange symbol, two types. They were both covered by the grime and dirt due to this facility clearly falling out of use and abandoned for quite some time. Both were triangles that contained an eye and within the eye was a beaker. And within that beaker was a strand of DNA*. This iconography meant nothing to Parker (one clearly had words below it, but that was lost to time) and Tyr didn't have any helpful interpretations, so he just back-burnered it and moved on.

This place was just plain creepy. There was no other word for it. Even Tyr couldn't provide one that described this place as accurately. The profusion of serpents didn't help anything.

"They should have gotten Indiana Jones for this instead of me," Parker grumbled. He paused for a second, then said, "shut up, Tyr."

Then he heard something flop to the ground behind him. It sounded like the drop of many different cables, and Parker knew at once where Demos's fiend was. He turned immediately, before the creature attacked, and saw what it was.

"Of course," he muttered.

The creature was little more than an anthropomorphic snake with human-like eyes (with black sclera and red irises), arms, and retractable legs. It had a cobra-like hood with a tail coming off from the crown of its head. It had scarlet scales and a dark brown underside. It had a black chest and shoulders, as well as its clawed right hand (as its left was another snake head, though colored black as well). It was white on the uppers arms and the thighs of its retractable legs. The lower legs and feet of its retractable legs were black, and the toes each possessed a single claw.

"So, you wanna go. That's it, isn't it?" Parker said.

The creature let out a hugely serpentine hiss in reply.

"Your funeral, snake," he said, pulling out a gun. One that he could rapid fire -- he wanted to be done with this quickly.

But the creature retracted its legs, becoming more lithe and maneuverable, was not an easy target. Parker, while a skilled shot, was not as familiar with this location as this creature was. It managed to elude Parker's shots, which caused the SPARTAN to become less flippant with his opponent.

Then it opened its snake-head hand and spat out three things -- one red, one blue, one green -- that Parker quickly dodged with surprising agility, despite his heavy armor. Upon closer inspection, the they were mini snakes. Mini snakes that were easily gnawing through the corroded metal, mouldering stone, and the sweeping blanket of moss in a straight line from where they were fired. They only managed this for a few moments before dying, and shriveling up, and withering away.

"That complicates things a bit," Parker noted. "But not by much. Let's get this over with."

Parker rapid fired his gun into the creature's gut, thankful that he had done some training in their "Danger Room" (Cloak's name for it, any way). He was relentless with his attack, and within moments after the first projectile ripped into the creature's body, its body was soon riddled with it.

It was dead, and Parker's task was done.


Demos called it an "ophidosapien". Demos claimed that he designed it for the investigation of narrow places and survey the topography of foreign environments. It sounded like an excuse.


"Snakey, snakey," Queen hummed herself as she watched the battle.


(images by Xeno -- give him a round of applause everyone!)
Posted by: Cloak
« on: March 15, 2017, 11:37:42 AM »

New chapter.

What's the Use in Feeling Faith?

GH and Leatherhead were trapped in a room that was scarlet with gold highlights, and they were trying to escape, when the door to the room slid open, and a cloaked woman entered. She went to the very end of the room and knelt down.

She lowered her hood, revealing a vulpine head, with tear streak down them. Realm Walkers can cry just as humans do. This Realm Walker was currently in mourning, grieving the loss of her baby brother.

Then the door opens again, to reveal a serpentine Realm Walker, with an austere, severe look on her face. The vulpine Realm Walker's baby sister. She said, "Please tell me you're kidding."

She slithered as she said, "You only just left, and you're already back?"

"Dagger!" the vulpine Realm Walker exclaimed, as GH and Leatherhead watched secretly. "Wh-what are you doing here?"

"I'm here to bring you back to reality, Faith, and back to your senses." Dagger said, almost contemptuous.

"I'm fine," Faith said, "just leave me alone."

"It's been an age, Faith, and you still can't bring yourself to destroy these RAFians?" Dagger said. "He was killed by a RAFian, every Dweller deserves the same fate."

"But they were his," Faith protested.

"They should be wiped out of existence, not kept alive!" Dagger countered.

"But he forged the Mark with them," Faith argued. "This is all we have left of him. These RAFians. This place. Earth."

"I thought we agreed that we need to put that planet and this whole debacle behind us," Dagger said.

"Why can't you just let me grieve?" Faith said, looking away from her.

"You can't just keep coming here forever!"

"Why not?!"

Suddenly, music started up. And it seemed to come magically from GH's and Leatherhead's instruments, but neither of the Realm Walkers noticed as Dagger began to sing:

Why would you want to be here?
What do you ever see here
That doesn't make you feel worse than you do?
And tell me, what's the use of feeling, Faith?
Why would you want to employ his
RAFians that destroyed him?
Why keep up her silly memoirs, too?
Oh, tell me what's the use of feeling blue?
An army has a use, they can go and fight a war.
A politician has a use, they can tell you what it's for.
A dragon terrifies, a Master terraforms!
Where's their Walker when they need her, Faith?
You've got to be a leader, Faith!
Yes, of course, we still love him,
And we're always thinking of him,
But now there's nothing we can do!
So, tell me,
What's the use of feeling?
What's the use of feeling?
What's the use of feeling, Faith?
How can you stand to be here with it all?
Drowning in all this regret?
Wouldn't you rather forget him?
Won't it be grand to get rid of it all?
Let's make a plan of attack!
Start looking forward and stop looking back!
Yes, of course, we still love him,
And we're always thinking of him,
But, tell me,
What's the use of feeling . . . ?
What's the use of feeling . . . ?
What's the use of feeling . . . ?

And it was at this point that Cloak woke up. "What the Veil was that about?"

He sighed and he thought about it pragmatically.

Faith wasn't prone to being so sappy. She was, without a doubt, one of the strongest women he has ever known of his species. She always treated him well, even when she was frustrated with him. She never made him question his worth as their mother had. She never stripped him of his self-confidence, but actually helped him (though he was never sure if she knew that she was helping him) rebuild it. He thought the world of her, and her daughter, Shadow.

However, he sincerely doubted that Dagger would even care if he was dead. This was the woman, after all, that thought she was well within her rights to beat on him without retaliation. Dagger was, whether intentionally or not, following in Ursa's footsteps, and she was loving playing the victim just as much -- nothing he could have done could have stopped this outcome, sadly enough. Dagger did not see him as a brother, but as competition, he felt. It is little wonder why Faith became his favorite sibling, despite her being nine years (ninety years in Dweller time) older, and Dagger was just two years (i.e. twenty years) younger than he.

His family was still rife with dysfunction . . .

SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=fiAHqCqBAHk