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Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6450 on: April 10, 2017, 08:40:07 AM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN:
And It All Goes To Hell From There . . .

"DACTYL!!!" came three heartwretching cries.

But Dweebers was quick on his feet, and deftly shrunk to his compact size before Screweye could try it again. The explosive-laden collar he wore clattered to the ground, and he deftly kicked it off to the side, and Dino quickly followed suit.

Unfortunately, Don wasn't all that quick on the uptake.

"Die," Screweye said, full of venom and hatred now. His mental stability was questionable for months. The question of why he was so harsh and hateful towards his staff and so manipulative and conniving the next was an utter puzzle.

But now . . . now Don, Dweebers and Dino didn't care. They hated the guy with every fiber of their being. He killed Dactyl -- even with that stupid Johnny Roulette "game", if you can even call it that, they never fathomed, never even conceived the possibility of one of their own dying. Never . . . never expected this.

But that feeling was about to be compounded, when Screweye pressed the button again. But not at Dino, who was collar-free. Not at Dweebers, who's neck was naked. But at Don, who still hadn't figured out that he should have shrunk to his compact form yet.

There was a boom and . . . and Don was gone as well. He was a tail and hindlegs.

"Don . . ."

Both Dino and Dweebers had cry in their voices, and the deepest lament. However, they should have been paying far more attention to Screweye. He was loading bullets into all thirteen chambers of his revolver.

They couldn't mourn at a time like this, not with a very real danger presented to them. But . . . Don . . . Dactyl . . . they were family. The only family that the two knew. Now they only had each other, and this overwhelming sadness. This gaping hole where Dactyl and Don used to reside.

They heard a click, and turned to see that Screweye was hefting Johnny up and taking aim. But not at Dino, not at the leader.

"Dweebers, LOOK OUT!!" Dino screamed, as Screweye said, "Die."

But her warning came far too late. Screweye fired the revolver and it hit Dweebers in the right side of the head, exploding out the left. Dino . . . didn't want to see the aftermath. She didn't want to imagine it. She didn't want to think about it.

She was the only one of their little troupe left. She was the only one. She lost everyone and everybody that she had ever cared about. It was now Dino understood what Hugh felt. It was now that she really understood. She was alone now -- she had no one. Dweebers, Don, Dactyl -- they were her everything. And now they were no more.

Alone. She would always be alone . . .

Click!

"What?! Jammed?!" Screweye's voice seemed to be carried across a vast ocean. At least, until Dino forced herself to be in the present. She'd have to mourn later. "How can this damn thing be jammed! I take better care of it than I did my own mother!!"

He was within striking distance of her tail. So she did not let this opportunity go to waste. She hit him full force -- but it wasn't enough to kill him. Just send him into the nearest wall (or tent canvas), and break both his left arms, his lower right, and his right leg. Johnny the revolver went skittering away from him, and crumpled into mess when Dino deliberately stomped on it with all her weight. Making it a useless hunk of metal.

"Johnny!" Screweye said, as blood trickled from a corner of his mouth. "How . . . *cough* . . . how could you?"

"How could I?!" Dink snapped angrily. "How could I?! You've taken away everyone that I loved, and you ask me how I can destroy a stupid hunk of metal?!"

Dink walked up to him, at her full and considerable height. Screweye wasn't so dismissive and arrogant now. He was helpless.

"What are you going to do?" he asked, fearfully.

"Have a little snack," Dino said, uncharacteristicall y savage.

It was then that Dino . . . ate him. Yes, ate him.


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 5: "Ch-ch-changes"
(September 23, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Bladeh, Broken, Dino, Faerie, Gaz, Helen, Horse, Kelly, Melissa, Parker, Saffa, Sakki, and Shenmue.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6451 on: April 10, 2017, 08:02:07 PM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN:
Alone, Always Alone

After eating Screweye -- which proved rather unpleasant, before and . . . after -- Dino ran away. She didn't really care what happened to his lobotomized staff (they wound up becoming trolls, unrecognizable by anyone, and headed by the Banned). And she just ran away. Ran away to the woods. To the deep woods.

She was trying to run from the pain in her heart, the pain in her mind -- it was just all too much. She could scarcely believe it had even happened. For the first few days, she just deceived herself that maybe it was all just a dream and maybe they would join her soon enough . . .

But it wasn't too long before she realized that that was just stupid. They were gone. Gone. Nothing was going to change that. At first, she was irate at Screweye -- he didn't have to do this! He didn't have to enslave them. He didn't have to use them as oddities in a circus. He didn't have to . . .

But no.

No, she thought, this was just as much her fault as his. She could have weighed the options better -- Hugh had a literal death wish, and she denied him it. Why? For no other purpose than to soothe her own conscience, to ease her own qualms about it. She had basically sentenced her friends to death -- they had trusted her, and she had betrayed them . . .

But how had he even found out about their existence? How had he even known? By what method did he come to covet them for his petty little "scare circus"?

Dino believed she knew. It was during the parade. During the parade when . . . when Dactyl was trying to talk sense into her, trying to appeal to Dino's better judgement. Dino cursed at herself for not listening to her. He must have seen her on television or else somehow heard about them because of that damn parade. Why didn't she listen to Dactyl? And now . . . and now she's . . .

It was too much. Too much to handle. Too much to process. She just didn't want this anymore. This pain. It felt as if the hole in her heart was growing, becoming more painful. This emotion . . . this pain . . . who needed it?! Why do people do this to themselves? Attach themselves emotionally to people, then have death them rip them all away, whisked off to who knows where?! Death -- what an unbelievable prick he is!!

What she wanted now was the simplicity of the animal mind. She didn't want to think, didn't want to feel. He pain threatened to consume her whole -- so she just . . .

Gave up.

***

Dino lost all track of time, but she kept herself sequestered to the deepest parts of the lush forest. She allowed her animal instincts to reign supreme, only reining them in when they would lead her into less dense parts of the woods, or if they would make her harm a human.

If she harmed a human, she knew that would invite people looking for them. Rangers and . . . and loved ones. She tried not to dwell on the last bit too much. There was still too much pain there.

How long was it that she had confined herself to these woods? Months? Years? In the end, it didn't matter to her. Nothing matter anymore. Her heart still bled (mephatorically-speaking, of course) for her lost loved ones.

But there were intruders in her forest. And they would not go away. Her instincts were in charge and she was actually struggling to deal with them and a strangling feeling of futility. But she found herself suddenly calmed down when she felt a gentle touch on her snout. She felt as if all hostility leaving her.

It was then when Kelly sang to Dino, apparently already guessing at her pain.

"No one has to be alone
In this world we live in.
You don't need to feel
There's no one by your side.
Everything you see
Is a gift you're given.
Anywhere is home
and no one has to be
Alone.
"

Morfowt sang:

"There is so much that surrounds us.
There are friends we've yet to find.
"

Richard sang, in a surprising baritone:

"There are dreams to be discovered
And dreams to leave behind.
"

Kelly sang:

"All the wonders up above us
And splendours down below.
"

The others joined in:

"There is so much more to everything
Then we can ever know.
"

Phoenix sang:

"You don't have to be afraid
Of being lost and lonely.
"

Ash sang:

"Everything you need
Is right before your eyes.
"

Richard sang:

"Each bright and shining day
Is waiting for you only to
Make this world your own.
"

Kelly concluded.

"And you'll never be alone.
Remember,
No one has to be
Alone!
"

It was a nice song. It really was. But it didn't work. At least, not immediately. But, after some time, some coaxing, she eventually acquiesced (thinking it was against her better judgement) and went to the forum, where she had eventually joined.

She was initially standoffish. Understandable, considering what she had been through. But, over time, she opened up and became the Dino the RAFians know today.



SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=6whFDcEyyFQ


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 5: "Ch-ch-changes"
(September 23, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Bladeh, Broken, Dino, Faerie, Gaz, Helen, Horse, Kelly, Melissa, Parker, Saffa, Sakki, and Shenmue.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6452 on: April 10, 2017, 10:47:19 PM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER NINETEEN:
Dino's Tale's End

". . . And eight and half months later, Cloak came and joined the forum, with your daddy some time after." Dink said, concluding her story.

Leatherhead yawned in response. It was getting late, and he was still a six-year-old.

"So, Leatherhead," Dino said, "what was the moral of the story?"

"Don't work for scary circuses?" Leatherhead said, almost as if he was deliberately trying not to understand Dino's message.

"Well, while that's always sage advice," Dino said, "that wasn't what I was getting at with my story, Leatherhead, and you know it."

"I know," he said, with another yawn.

"Well?" Dino prompted gently and patiently.

"Sing a lackluster song during a parade?" he asked.

"No, that's not -- wait, lackluster?" Dino said, as Leatherhead giggled. Then Dino got back on point, "Leatherhead, the point was that, even if they annoy and frustrate you sometimes, they are your family. You should cherish them, and revere the time you have together -- because you never know when they are gonna be taken away from you."

Leatherhead looked unconvinced -- but all children can be stubborn at the best of times, so Dino just sighed, and said, "Just go easy on him, okay, kiddo? Being a parent isn't exactly the easiest job on earth."

With that, she left Leatherhead with GH so he could toddle off to bed.

***

Cloak didn't want to believe it. He didn't want to believe it at all.

When his aunt, Mercy, the youngest of his mother's siblings (his mother Ursa was the eldest) and a nightingale-form Realm Walker, came and told him, wearing a cloak the same color of nurse scrubs, he didn't want to believe it. When he heard that she wanted to speak to him, he thought he knew why. He didn't want to be right. He really didn't want to be right.

But she confirmed his fear. His Aunt Wheeza, German shepard-form Realm Walker and the second eldest daughter of Master Sage, had died. She went peacefully, in her sleep. But that didn't make the news any less devastating, any less heartbreaking. Cloak felt that he wouldn't have been who he was if not for her. He cried unabashedly when heard the news. He threw himself on his Aunt Mercy's shoulders and sobbed with every breath. His body shook with unadulterated grief and sorrow.

And guilt. He had never gotten to say goodbye to her. He had never gotten to thank her properly for all that she had given him. She helped facilitate his coming and living in RAF. She helped him regain his confidence back. She . . . she did so much for him. So, so much. And what did he do for her? Nothing. Nothing that he felt was adequate to equate the sheer amount of gratitude he had for the woman.

It was hard, keeping it together. It was as if his heart was a clock and was trying to work with a missing gear. He felt hollow and empty. He . . . he never got see her after their brief parting for what seemed an absolute eternity ago.

Mercy told him of the memorial that would take place the following day, and warned him that . . . that . . .

That his mother would also be there.


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 5: "Ch-ch-changes"
(September 23, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Bladeh, Broken, Dino, Faerie, Gaz, Helen, Horse, Kelly, Melissa, Parker, Saffa, Sakki, and Shenmue.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6453 on: April 11, 2017, 01:23:31 PM »
New book ideas!

  • Book MCLXXX (1,180): "Knight Fall" -- The RAFians must take out some pretty important Knights.
  • Book MCLXXXI (1,181): "Walker Vs. Walker" -- Cloak and the other RAFians come up against a very different kind of Walker. A kind that disturbs Cloak greatly. Noncanon.

Don't think I rehashed anything. Although, I'm aware I might be reposting these book ideas unintentionally.

New chapter.

CHAPTER TWENTY:
What a Dive!

Specter was dispatched to investigate another fiend sighting while Dino was tell her story to Leatherhead. It was at a decommissioned, defunct, and dilapidated naval base. And had been so for several years, if the rust was to be believed.

Anyway, Spectre flew, almost sedately, into the facility. He headed deeper and deeper, to the location of this manufactured fiend's location. He noticed a large part of this facility happened to be submerged, and he wondered idly if that it was submerged intentionally or not. In the end, it didn't matter. He wouldn't need to descend into that mire of rusty, forgotten metal unless the fiend was there.

He flew by some junker submarines that almost looked like whale carcasses, lonely and forgotten. Such waste, Spectre found himself thinking, such waste, and all for what? The illusion of an nonexistent threat to national security? A prick-measuring contest between people of power who haven't anything better to do with their time? Time better spent cleaning up their mess here.

But he pried those unhappy thoughts from his mind. Priorities. He had to find this fiend, whatever and whoever it was. It wasn't long before he made it to the facility proper. And, big surprise, it didn't look as if it was in the best of conditions. What was it with people and abandoning things and facilities to rust and deteriorate into rundown messes rather than picking up after themselves.

At least the local plant life had seen to it, on their own volition, to try to reclaim the area for vegetation again. But such waste was still appalling.

So, he flew up to the highest deck of the facility, and touched down. It seemed to be still solid, but seeing the foundation of it still made him feel iffy about it. Then it became increasingly obvious that the fiend wasn't here. So, apparently, he would have to get wet.

He dived down into the water, the nature of Spectre's power and the technicality of him being dead allowed him to survive submerged without requiring breathe regularly. Might be one of the reasons he was chosen for this mission, although someone like Horse would have probably made better sense, if Spectre was honest with himself.

There he was acquainted with another submarine carcass, lolling in the water, as if wondering why it had been forsaken. This was a dreary place, above or below the water, Spectre decided.

There! Below him. That had to be the place to go, the place where the field lurked . . . wait. But no. That couldn't be. That would be deviating from the information they had on it. Granted, that information came from Demos, and wasn't always the most reliable, but still. The point still stood.

Then he found that he had to dodge several live mines in the water. This just made him think that the people who pulled out of this location we just lazy. That they didn't bother defuse the mines around their -- wait, who puts mines around their base. That would be a major liability, especially if they went out for naval maneuvers and such. Did they just have so much money they were just looking for asinine things to spend it on? Or did they think that they were Saturday morning cartoon villains?

Wait! There. There, behind those metal shutters. He was sure of it. The fiend was behind them. And, of course, he was right about this.

The humanoid creature was taller than a full grown man with human-like eyes, with yellow sclera and black irises. It was thick-bodied with light orange armored skin that met in his chest in a way to make it look like the keel of a ship. It was able to fire torpedo-like missiles from this chest. It had white upper arms and thighs, and black dexterous hands, pod-like feet and fins on its light orange armored skin. It had a black stripe around its midsection, and a third eye on a stiff, rigid, periscope-like stalk on its angular head, which had an exposed, human-like face.

It noticed him very quickly, and Spectre thought it had the disposition of a YouTube commenter. He didn't say that, because one, they were underwater, and two, he felt that it would only serve exacerbate the situation.

It charged forward, spinning like a whirlpool, causing it to have a very dangerous slipstream. Spectre dodged it easily enough, though his emerald green cape tore at his neck, getting pulled by the fiend's slipstream. When it tried it again, Spectre was prepared for it and dodged it easily. He was also quite prepared when it tried and failed a third time.

Persistant thing, wasn't it? Spectre thought.

Then.it opened its chest, MetalGreymon-like, revealling what appeared to be the front of a submarine, and fired what appeared to be four blue torpedoes. The Spectre allowed one to bypass him before realizing that they were homing projectiles. So he caught them instead, transfigured them into exploding skulls -- because why not -- and sent them back at the creature.

The fiend had no defense for this, and it slayed him immediately.

***

Demos called it a "daibusapien". He claimed that he was designed to gather edible fish, but eventually admitted that he was supposed to be for naval purposes.

***

"What a dive," Malice crowed.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 02:14:34 PM by Cloak »


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 5: "Ch-ch-changes"
(September 23, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Bladeh, Broken, Dino, Faerie, Gaz, Helen, Horse, Kelly, Melissa, Parker, Saffa, Sakki, and Shenmue.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6454 on: April 11, 2017, 09:20:09 PM »
New chapter.

BOOK CXLVIII:
JOURNEY TO HER PAST

CHAPTER ONE:
Fire Drills

Parker went to investigate a possible fiend sighting in an excavation site. He arrived to the opening of a tunnel. He had decided to bring along one of his more powerful weapons. But, since the loss of the Walker tech from his armor, they weren't stored in his armor anymore, which he was a little disgruntled about. As it allowed him a more versatile weapon choice, from melee or long range.

"Tyr, confirmation on this being the right tunnel." Parker said, waiting for the response. "Okay! Sheesh. There's no need for the attitude."

Apparently, Tyr was partial to the Walker tech as well, as he had decided to get snippy with Parker ever since he lost it and they weren't dealing with some sort of calamity. Parker was getting frustrated with it, but was confident that Tyr would let it go. Uh, eventually.

Parker entered the tunnel with a sedate, cautious pace. Demos didn't really divulge too much on what this creature would do, aside from an irritatingly vague description. Parker had to be careful of sudden pitfalls (some of which he strongly suspected weren't made naturally).

He tended to notice a profusion of stalagmites and stalactites that looked oddly like drills. It was almost as if it was foreshadowing something, but Parker shrugged it off as unimportant. At least for now.

He proceeded on, and looked a bit leery about the path ahead. He wasn't too incredibly sure about the stability of it, which was probably why this area was completely abandoned. It wasn't safe for civilians.

But he was a RAFian, in addition to being a SPARTAN, and, thus, trained extensively for such situations and circumstances. He was prepared to whatever he had to -- and if the worst happened . . . well, he knew Cloak would be able to find him easily via his Earthsight.

And then, Parker found him.

The creature was roughly the size of a human child, with humanlike eyes (green sclera, dark orange irises) on a dark blue head that was little more than a base for the metallic drill structure atop it. It also had no hands of its own, just dark blue lower arms that ended in metallic drills. Its upper arms, crotch, and thighs were colored chalk white, everything else was dark blue with purple accents. Its abdomen was purple, and its lower legs and feet were dark blue. It hadn't a mouth or external ears to speak of. It had a thin, svelte build.

When it saw Parker, first thing it did was dive into the ground as if it were water. This didn't take Parker by surprise, though. He had seen Cloak do it many, many times. Granted, it was with more panache and verve than --

Suddenly, Parker leaped to the otherside of the room, and ducked and rolled as the creature came up beneath him. Or where he would have been had he not timed his jump as well as he did.

Before the creature could recover from its own attack, Parker fired three shots at the creature, which homed in and hit. This caused it to fire its drill hands at Parker (immediately regenerating them, a la Deadpool), which exploded upon contact. Thankfully, with his armor, he managed to tank the blasts.

But when his line of vision cleared, the creature was gone. Parker was certain that the creature didn't flee. Their records indicated that none of the fiends fled thus far. It had obviously gone underground.

Parker waited until -- now! He jumped again. Ducked and rolled again, as the creature resurfaced where he was standing moments before. He shot it twice more, scoring direct hits. And that was all it took. The creature was dead.

Now Parker had to deal with the arduous climb out of this tunnel . . .

***

Demos called it a "dorirusapien". He had designed it for excavation purposes, for the broader purpose of construction.

***

"And he knew the drill, too," Malice said, with mock pity.


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 5: "Ch-ch-changes"
(September 23, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Bladeh, Broken, Dino, Faerie, Gaz, Helen, Horse, Kelly, Melissa, Parker, Saffa, Sakki, and Shenmue.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6455 on: April 11, 2017, 11:23:23 PM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER TWO:
Here Comes a Thought

It was moments before he had to leave for the memorial. They don't really have funerals in the human sense, since Realm Walkers don't leave bodies behind, as their corporeal nature collapses and evaporates into pure energy that, some say, go through the Oblivion Veil in the only natural way possible. All they leave behind is their cloaks. That's it.

Cloak's departure wasn't unknown to the others. GH, Abby, Saffa, Ash, and Shen were amongst the first to support him in this trying time. He was crying unabashedly as he informed them of this. He was glad that Odie was AWOL. He don't think he would be nearly as civil with the little skeeze.

He had, he felt, moral obligation to go and attend her memorial. She had done so much for him . . . she helped make him into the kind of person he was today, if not being a major contributor -- how could he do anything less?

But, part of him was afraid. His mother would be there. The one woman that he feared, even after his sessions with Aniyu, above all others. The one person he feared above all others. His enmity with her would have not cooled, no matter how long they were apart.

But he had an obligation -- no, a duty to pay respects to her. A duty he wouldn't take lightly. But he could help but remember a time, shortly after his mother threw him out, despite everything he did for her -- served her and waited on her like a friggin' house-elf, and respected just as much. His aunt had sung to him a song . . .

One he would later sing to Esty.

***

"To find balance, you must understand your feelings. To understand your feelings, you must see them clearly. Without running from them." Wheeza told him, sitting down. "From there, you can rebuild your confidence in yourself, and help you trust others."

It was then that the music started up.

"Take a moment to think of just
Adaptability, love, and trust.
Take a moment to think of just
Adaptability, love, and trust.
Here comes a thought
That might disarm you.
What she said
And how it harmed you.
Something you did
That failed to be warming.
Things that you said are
Suddenly swarming.
And, oh. You're losing sight. You're losing touch.
All these things seem to matter so much
That they confuse you.
That I might lose you.
Take a moment. Remind yourself to
Take a moment and find yourself.
Take a moment to ask yourself if
This is how we fall apart.
But it's not. But it's not. But it's not. But it's not. But it's not.
It's okay. It's okay. It's okay. It's okay. It's okay.
You've got nothing. Got nothing. Got nothing. Got nothing to fear.
I'm here. I'm here. I'm here.
"

"Here comes a thought
That might disarm me.
What she said
And how it harmed me.
Something I did,
That failed to be warming.
Things that I said are
Suddenly swarming.
And, oh. I'm losing sight. I'm losing touch.
All these things seem to matter so much
That they confuse me.
"

Then she joined in:

"That I might lose me.
Take a moment. Remind yourself to
Take a moment and find yourself.
Take a moment and ask yourself if
This is how we fall apart.
But it's not. But it's not. But it's not. But it's not. But it's not.
It's okay. It's okay. It's okay. It's okay. It's okay.
I've got nothing. Got nothing. Got nothing. Got nothing to fear.
I'm here. I'm here. I'm here.
And it was just a thought. Just a thought. Just a thought. Just a thought. Just a thought.
It's okay. It's okay. It's okay. It's okay. It's okay.
We can watch. We can watch. We can watch. We can watch them go by.
From here. From here. From here.
"

Then Cloak sang the concluding verse solo:

"Take a moment to think of just
Adaptability, love, and trust.
Take a moment to think of just
Adaptability, love, and trust.
"

Then she embraced him. And Cloak, honestly, felt better.

***

Cloak felt miserable. He could feel the tears already streaming down his face by the time he arrived at the memorial. His Aunt Mercy and her husband, a serval Realm Walker, had arrived at the same time. He didn't say anything, but he did feel out of place. Then he met Mercy's mother-in-law, a white dove Realm Walker. He got along with all three, though he still had a feeling of an outsider.

He had believed that his mother had exiled himself from the family, but yet here was proof of defiance of that belief. But then she walked in. His mother, Ursa, a grizzly bear Realm Walker. He immediately pulled away and left the main atrium of the building and dallied in the main antechamber that connected it to the main part of what passed for a Realm Walker church.

He hadn't any interest whatsoever to engage her in conversation. None whatsoever. She went to sit in the front row, on the left side of the aisle, sitting close to the aisle. (As such, Cloak sat on the right hand side of the aisle, furthest away from the aisle seated all the way in the back -- the furthest he could be away from her.) An albatross Ream Walker sat a row behind her, and talked to her. Cloak vague recognized her as his remaining living aunt. Out of the six, only three now survived.

Then someone arrived that he didn't recognize. He was a young, caracal Realm Walker. He only later recognized him after he heard Mercy call his name, Impel. It was surprising, because Cloak just remembered him as a tyke, barely older than Leatherhead. He was Mercy's youngest of four.

Then his younger sister, the venomous snake that she was, arrived with her husband, a corgi Realm Walker who was really too good for Dagger, Cloak thought. Dagger had a habit of backstabbing people -- she was really like their mother, but in many ways, more, well, venomous. She went to sit with their mother, which was odd because Cloak heard that they were on the outs with each other.

Faith and Shadow didn't come however, because Faith couldn't get off of work. It might have made this a bit more tolerable for Cloak, had they been here.

Then his cousin, a leonine Realm Walker named Airlion, arrived. He was the eldest child, four years younger than Cloak, and he arrived with someone whom he presumed to be his wife. And this, funnily enough made Cloak feel inadequate. He was still single and childless, and family members younger than him were marrying and starting families. And yet, he was terrified of marrying a woman like his mother. Absolutely terrified.

Speaking of which, he saw her come up the right side aisle towards him. She was crying tears that reeked with insincerity, and he would not be manipulated by her again.

"Wheeza wanted me to tell you something, --"

"I don't care," Cloak said, immediately leaving the main atrium of the Walker version of a church. He would spend the service in the antechamber if he had to. He was not about to be manipulated and used by her again.

Of course, his albatross aunt confront him about it. Saying something about letting go hatred or some other empty platitude that Cloak wasn't in the mood for. And he told her so -- that that piece of work told him the proper way to kill himself, and he wants nothing -- NOTHING -- to do with her.

Part of him wanted to tell his mother off. Part of him wanted to scream and yell and accuse her of all the things she did to him, but would be wrong. That would dishonor Wheeza. That would be turning this into being about him, and, while his mother may have no qualms about doing that, Cloak wasn't about to disrespect Wheeza like that.



SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=dHg50mdODFM


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 5: "Ch-ch-changes"
(September 23, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Bladeh, Broken, Dino, Faerie, Gaz, Helen, Horse, Kelly, Melissa, Parker, Saffa, Sakki, and Shenmue.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6456 on: April 12, 2017, 04:39:15 PM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER THREE:
Noelle's Field Trip

Noelle went to a secret field that she knew of, a quiet meadow with rolling hills ringed with trees, or other woody plants, -- alder, beech, black walnut, laurel, oak, rowan, etcetera, etcetera. The grass there was unusually succulent and tasty. It wasn't in the forum, but it also wasn't too far away. She always went here when she needed some time to think, to retrospect, to introspect.

She always liked to feed slowly at first, working up to a higher gallop. As she did so, her mind wandered. She remembered her past and how she came to be here, how she came to bear the Mark of a RAFian.

***

She came from humble beginnings. The daughter of a minor technician, who loved her deeply. It was decent scoop, nothing overly extravagant, and nothing too shabby either. She was an avid reader of stories, and found some of the fictions of Earth particularly engaging, some of which in the nearby town -- the Andalite analogue of one, anyway -- thought was odd, and thought Noelle a bit of a nonconformist for liking over Andalite stories, despite the fact she liked Andalite stories as well.

She walked to the town, singing:

<Little town, it's a quiet village.
Every day like the one before.
Little town, full of little Andalites,
Waking up to say --
>

<Hello!>

<Hello!>

<Hello!>

<Hello!>

<Hello!>

Then Noelle strolled nonchalantly amongst them.

<There goes the maker with his tray, like always.
The same old thingmajigs to sell.
Every morning just the same.
Since the morning that we came
To this poor Andalite town.
>

<Good morning, Noelle!>

<Good morning, sir.> she had replied. Then she noticed some peculiarities about his behavior, before deducing that it was because he was looking for something. <Have you lost something again?>

<Well, I believe I have. Problem is, I can't remember what,> he said, absently. <Oh, well. I'm sure it'll come to me. Where are you off to?>

<To return a book to Erep-Bertor-Beekooppur,> Noelle said, <it was about how the Yeerk Empire collapsed.>

<Historical fiction? Sounds boring,> he replied before heading off onto his business.

Then the townsfolk sang as she walked by:

<Look there she goes, that girl is strange, no question!
Dazed and distracted, can't you tell?
Never part of any crowd
Cause her head's up on some cloud!
No denying she's a funny girl, that Noelle!
>

<Hello!>

<Good day!>

<How is your fam'ly?>

<Hello!>

<Good day!>

<How is your wife?>

Noelle then proclaimed, before entering the trade post, which functioned as a small library (though not much call for books), run by Erep:

<There must be more than this provincial life!>

"Ah, if it isn't the only bookworm in town." he said, affectionately, when he caught sight of Noelle though his right stalk eye. Turning to face her with his main eyes, he asked, <Where did you run off to this week?>

<Two planets in the northern quadrant,> Noelle said, smiling. And, with Andalites, smiling is all in the eyes. <I didn't want to come back. Have you got anything new?>

<Not since yesterday,> Erep said, with a laugh. <But you may reread any of the old ones, if you like.>

<Your small library makes our small corner of the galaxy feel so big,> Noelle said, in thanks, as she selected a book that she already twice reread.

<Bon voyage,> Erep said, with a smile, as she left. And, when she did, the townsfolk started in again:

<Look there she goes, that girl is so peculiar.
I wonder if she's feeling well.
With a dreamy, far-off look,
And her nose stuck in a book.
What a puzzle to the rest of us is Noelle!
>

Noelle sang, as she thumbed through the book.

<Oh, isn't this amazing?
It's my favorite part because you'll see
Here's where she meets War-Prince Gnimrach
But she won't discover that it's him, 'til chapter three!
>

The townsfolk sang:

<Now it's no wonder that her name means "beauty",
Her looks have got no parallel!
But behind that fair fa├žade,
I'm afraid she's rather odd.
Very diff'rent from the rest of us.
She's nothing like the rest of us.
Yes, diff'rent from the rest of us is Noelle!
>

Meanwhile, looking at her from afar, Ardnalil-Shicom-Maar watched her, almost voyeur-like. He was accompanied by his "friend" (more like a lackey and a minion), Syko-Phantik-Phoohl. Ardnalil was village hero and utterly infatuated with Noelle, who deigned to date him. It only lasted an Earth week, before she got so fed up and kicked him to the curb.

But this only made him more amorous and more . . . well, let's just say, he didn't take "no" for an answer.

<Look at her, Syko,> he said, imperiously addressing his friend. Syko seemed to like Ardnalil in a different way, though. <My future wife. Noelle is the most beautiful girl in the town. That makes her the best.>

<But she's so . . . well-read,> Syko argued. <And you're so . . . athletically-inclined.>

<Yes . . .> Ardnalil said, <but ever since the war with the Yeerks, I've felt like ive been missing something. And she's been the only girl whose given me that sense of . . .>

Ardnalil looked as if he was struggling to find the words, so Syko supplied, <Mmmm .
. . je ne sais quoi?>

<I don't know what that means,> Ardnalil said, still eyeing Noelle with desirous stare, before launching into song:

<Right from the moment when I met her, saw her,
I said she's gorgeous and I fell!
Here in town, there's only she,
Who is beautiful as me.
So, I'm making plans to woo and marry Noelle.
>

Then three airheaded admirers of Ardnalil sang:

<Look! There he goes.
Isn't he dreamy?
Ardnalil-Shicom-Maar,
Oh, he's so cute!
Be still my heart.
I'm hardly breathing.
He's such a tall, dark, strong and handsome brute!
>

Then a cacophony of townsfolk singing about various, but disconnected things, before Noelle proclaimed:

<There must be more than this provincial life!>

Then, unheard by Noelle, Ardnalil declared:

<Just watch, I'm going to make Noelle my wife!>

Then the townsfolk sang:

<Look there she goes
The girl is strange, but special.
A most peculiar mad'moiselle!
It's a pity and a sin.
She doesn't quite fit in.
'Coz she really is a funny girl,
A beauty but a funny girl.
She really is a funny girl!
That Noelle!
>

She stopped, and then looked around, and the Andalite townfolk went about their business. And she came face to face with Ardnalil, which was something that she really rather not have to deal with.



SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=IzwWXNxFiyA
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 04:41:40 PM by Cloak »


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 5: "Ch-ch-changes"
(September 23, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Bladeh, Broken, Dino, Faerie, Gaz, Helen, Horse, Kelly, Melissa, Parker, Saffa, Sakki, and Shenmue.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6457 on: April 13, 2017, 06:21:47 AM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER FOUR:
Ardnalil's Pitch

<Ardnalil,> Noelle said, sounding less than enthused, <what a . . . a surprise.>

<Isn't it though?> he said. <I'm so full of them.>

<You're full of something, alright,> Noelle muttered. Ardnalil apparently didn't understand her tone, or he chose to take it as a compliment. She had thought she had been clear when she ended it with him. She didn't ask for him to continually and routinely butt into her life.

She most certainly didn't ask him to sing.

<You've been dreaming just one dream,
Nearly all your life.
Hoping, scheming, with just one theme:
Will you be a wife?
Will you be some male's property?
Good news! That male's me!
This equation, girl plus man,
Doesn't just help you.
On occasion, women can
Have their uses, too.
Mainly to extend the fam'ly tree.
Noelle, extend with me!
We'll be raising sons galore.
>

She muttered as he sang the last lyric:

<Inconceivable.>

<Each built six foot four!>

<Unbelievable.>

<Each one stuffed with ev'ry Ardnalil gene!>

<I'm not hearing this."

<You'll be keeping scoop with pride!>

<Just incredible.>

<Each day gratified -- >

<So incompatible!>

<That you are a part of this idyllic scene.>

Then switched to speaking, <Picture this: A rustic scoop lodge, my little wife massaging my hooves, while the little ones amongst trees. We'll have six or seven.>

<Trees?> Noelle inquired, hoping she had misheard his intent.

<No, Noelle! Strapping boys . . . like me!> he said, proudly.

<Imagine that,> Noelle said, feigning politeness. It was obvious as to why she dumped his butt. But clearly he wasn't getting the message, and that made him even more fervent to marry her, despite she making it very clear the answer would be no.

He sang:

<I can see that we will share,
All that love implies.
We shall be a perfect pair,
Rather like my stalk eyes.
You are face to face with destiny!
All roads lead to . . .
The best things in life are . . .
All's well that ends with me!
Escape me? There's no way.
Certain as "Do, Re,"
Noelle, when you marry . . .
"

Then he abruptly returned to regular speech, "So, Noelle, what will it be? Is it "yes", or is it "oh, yes"?>

Noelle managed to duck his advances, vanishing, using the morphing abilities she got from accidentally touching an Esfacil device, (she had procured it on a visit to the project and no one noticed, so it was a little illicit, and thereby no knew she had it) and say, <I . . . I just don't deserve you!>

Ardnalil replied with, "Who does?"

Then belted out:

<ME!>

Noelle, escaping in a kafit bird morph, added rather insincerely, <But thanks for asking.>



SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=s3iwwZ6SG48


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 5: "Ch-ch-changes"
(September 23, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Bladeh, Broken, Dino, Faerie, Gaz, Helen, Horse, Kelly, Melissa, Parker, Saffa, Sakki, and Shenmue.

Offline Ash

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6458 on: April 13, 2017, 09:24:47 AM »
Quote
"Oh, aren't we forgetting one teensy weensy, but ever-so-crucial, tiny little detail?" Screweye said, almost in a singsong tone of voice, before roaring in sudden, unexpected rage, as if he would explode into a fiery inferno, "I OWN YOU!!!"

Haha, reminds me of Hades.
You may have been given a cactus. Doesn't mean you have to sit on it.

...

Generation One

Keep up with RAF! Twitter | Facebook

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Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6459 on: April 13, 2017, 09:26:43 AM »
Quote
"Oh, aren't we forgetting one teensy weensy, but ever-so-crucial, tiny little detail?" Screweye said, almost in a singsong tone of voice, before roaring in sudden, unexpected rage, as if he would explode into a fiery inferno, "I OWN YOU!!!"

Haha, reminds me of Hades.

There's a very good reason for that. ;)

:edit: New chapter.

CHAPTER FIVE:
Reprise and Surprises

Ardnalil left in a huff, after realizing his self-aggrandizing song didn't woo Noelle the way he thought it would, vowing some day to marry her and make her a wife, his wife. He was completely unaware that this chase, this confession of seeing her as nothing more than a trophy, a prize to be won, was a major turn off for her. She despised him for seeing her as property, and that was a major factor in her dumping him, in her rejecting him.

She looked around, still in her morphed disguise, and asked to no one in particular, <Is he gone?>

When she was confident that he was, she demorphed, grousing, <He ask me to marry him. Me! The wife of that boorish, witless -->

Then she burst into a song:

<Madame Ardnalil,
Can't you just see it?
Madame Ardnalil,
His little wife.
No, sir! Not me!
I guarantee it,
I want much more than this provincial life!
I want adventure in the great wide somewhere,
I want it more than I can tell!
And, for once, it might be grand,
To have someone understand.
I want so much more than they've got planned . . .
>

She sighed heavily, as she put her hand on her Guide Tree. She felt a sadness in her hearts that she would probably never find a place were she wasn't considered an outsider, an oddity.

***

Ka-POW!!

The sound of the gunshot pulled her back to reality. It was a real gunshot. From a human-grade weapon. It was most definitely not a Shredder, Dracon beam, or blaster of any sort. Granted, she was not a weapons expert. But the intention was clear -- someone was using a human weapon to shoot at her.

She took a quick and succinct inventory of her surroundings and privately cursed that she had allowed herself to wander too far from the forum. And at a time where a majority of the other RAFians were either on missions, like Parker, or on personal business, like Cloak. The forum was pretty bare at the moment besides Hunter (babysitting Leatherhead) and XenoFrobe, on communications and monitoring duty.

Stupid! she cursed herself. It wasn't like there weren't fields in the forum specifically grown to accommodate RAFian Andalites. But no, she had elected to leave to travel to a field that she had foolishly and arrogantly believed to be secluded and unvisited by anyone but herself. She should have been wiser. She should have been more cautious.

She knew of the threat of the Knights. She knew what their xenophobic stance was on immigrant species like hers. She knew that these people would never welcome her -- and she should have thought to see if the field was being monitored in any way. She didn't take enough precautions. She peered around as she galloped for cover, dismayed that she couldn't see who was shooting at her.

It was when she found cover amongst the trees when an idea occurred to her. A pretty farfetched one, though. What if Ardnalil's family put out a hit on her, blaming her for Ardnalil's death? But that couldn't possibly be it. As far as she knew, he didn't have any siblings, and he had survived both of his parents.

But what if she was mistaken?



Song Source: https://youtube.com/watch?v=5Oni8_k5twU
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 05:12:20 PM by Cloak »


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 5: "Ch-ch-changes"
(September 23, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Bladeh, Broken, Dino, Faerie, Gaz, Helen, Horse, Kelly, Melissa, Parker, Saffa, Sakki, and Shenmue.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6460 on: April 14, 2017, 08:24:04 AM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER SIX:
Questions of Motivation

Noelle was hidden in the forest, and she could not see or hear her would-be assassin. All the same, her mind whirred. Ardnalil's family could have sent a hitman, or a two-bit assassin, to take her out, in vengeance for the death of their son -- a family that Noelle wasn't privy to.

Or maybe one of his fanboys or any of the townsfolk who idolized the cretin. Maybe Syko was behind it -- he worshiped Ardnalil. Maybe he was just a fan or just a closeted . . .even though that was considered somewhat taboo in Andalite society. Hell, Andalites weren't exactly the most progressive species out there, considering how they treated vecol, which Noelle found disgusting and disgraceful. Andalites, like humans and many other species, were far from perfect and idyllic. Aspirations of perfection were for the stupid and overachieving, anyway.

Or maybe, just maybe, this was completely unrelated to Ardnalil at all. That was a clear, and distinct possibility. But who could have possibly shot at her . . . whoever it was, they had a human weapon. They used it. This suggested highly that it was a human. Or possibly a human-Controller. Or possibly another species trying to frame a human to throw suspicion off themselves.

She swiftly acquired a raccoon and morphed it, hopefully out of sight of this would-be assassin. Then she clambered around looking for the said would-be assassin. She actually had to demorph and remorph at least once whilst looking for him or her. Until she thought she had eventually found her.

She was a human, female. Fair skin, hazel eyes. Long, dirty blonde hair tied into a tight bun. She had rather prominent, horse-like teeth that tended to stick out when her mouth was shut. She clutched some sort of rifle -- Noelle was unfamiliar with the specifics of human weaponry -- but she supposed that that kind of weapon was used for hunting. She wore what appeared to be similar to that ceremonial armor that the Knights of Humanity liked to wear (because apparently bigots really liked to play dress-up), only instead of metal, her body armor seemed to be made of kevlar upholstered with camouflage-print fabric, as well as having camouflage face paint.

She clearly didn't want to be seen. She wanted to kill Noelle and Noelle had no idea as to why. While Noelle wouldn't profess herself to be an expert, the look on this woman's face indicated that this wasn't a paid job -- it very well could be, but her face, her eyes especially, said this was personal to her.

Why? Noelle couldn't help but wonder. Why did this woman have it out for her? What could she have possibly done? Did Syko come to Earth and morph a human? But, if this was indeed Syko, why morph a human female? He was in the same mindset of Ardnalil in thinking woman as inferior, as property -- or at least, that was her take on him. If she wasn't Syko, then why did she want to kill Noelle so badly?

Was she a Knight? Her choice of attire would suggest that she was, but a more covert, black ops-style Knight. If she was not the only one, this could spell very disturbing consequences for RAF and non-Terran species on the planet. The Knights of Humanity like to style themselves as the defenders of mankind, when it reality, they consist of a bunch of bigots in the style of the Ku Klux Klan who like to play dress-up and talk big, and denounce integration with any non-Terran. Most RAFians have relegated them to nothing more but a nuisance status, as they haven't the resources or intelligence to become a real coherent threat.

Not yet. And considering the gunshot Noelle heard, was actually, apparently, an accidental misfire from her rifle, suggested that this woman wasn't exactly too skilled or trained at this. But, if she was a Knight, that was to be expected. And there was stronger evidence that she was a Knight, perhaps radicalized somehow, and that that was the reason she wanted to kill Noelle. Being an Andalite, Noelle was an alien to this world, she was a non-Terran. So, just by that account alone, she earns the ire of the Knights.

But the question was what to do next.


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 5: "Ch-ch-changes"
(September 23, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Bladeh, Broken, Dino, Faerie, Gaz, Helen, Horse, Kelly, Melissa, Parker, Saffa, Sakki, and Shenmue.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6461 on: April 17, 2017, 07:18:08 AM »
Sorry that I didn't post over the weekend. I had to pull two double shifts in a row and was spent by the time I got home.

New chapter.

CHAPTER SEVEN:
Ardnalil's Supporters

As she watched this would-be assassin, Noelle found herself thing about her past again, about Ardnalil again. Before he was killed by Dark Phoenix.

***

<Who does she think she is?!> Ardnalil demanded in the Andalite analogue of a bar. <That girl has messed with the wrong male. No one says no to Ardnalil-Shicom-Maar!>

<Damn right,> Syko said, sycophantically.

<Dismissed! Rejected!> he groused. <Publicly humiliated! Why, it's even more than I can bear.>

<More ispear root?> Syko proffered.

<What for?> Ardnalil dismissed. <Nothing helps. I'm disgraced.>

<What? You? Never!> Syko said, bracingly. <Ardnalil, you've got to pull yourself together.>

But this didn't console Ardnalil one bit, so Syko launched into a song:

<Gosh, it disturbs me to see you, Ardnalil,
Looking so down in the dumps.
Every guy here'd love to be you, Ardnalil,
Even when taking your lumps!
There's no male in town as admired as you.
You're everyone's favorite guy!
Everyone's awed and inspired by you,
And it's not very hard to see why!
>

Ardnalil still looked unconvinced. So, Syko continued:

<No one's slick as Ardnalil.
No one's quick as Ardnalil.
No one's neck's as incredibly thick as Ardnalil.
For there's no man in town half as masculine!
Perfect, a pure paragon!
>

Then the townsfolk present at this watering hole, sang with Syko:

<No one's been like Ardnalil!
A king pin like Ardnalil!
>

Ardnalil sang:

<As a specimen, yes, I'm intimidating!>

Syko and the rest of the townsfolk sang:

<My, what a guy, that Ardnalil!
Give five "hurrahs"!,
Give twelve "hip-hips"!
>

Then Syko went solo:

<Ardnalil is the best and the rest is all drips!>

Then the townsfolk sang:

<No one fights like Ardnalil!
Douses lights like Ardnalil!
>

Then three ditzy females sang:

<For there's no one as burly and brawny!>

Ardnalil gloated:

<As you see, I've got biceps to spare!>

Syko added:

<Not a bit of him's scraggly or scrawny.>

Ardnalil agreed:

<That's right!
And every last inch of me's covered with hair!
>

Then the rest of the townfolk sang:

<No one hits like Ardnalil!
Matches wits like Ardnalil!
Ten points for Ardnalil!
>

Ardnalil boasted:

<When I was a lad I ate four dozen acres
Ev'ry morning to help me get large!
And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen acres,
So I'm roughly the size of a barge!
>

Then the townfolk sang:

<No one shoots like Ardnalil!
Makes those beauts like Ardnalil!
>

Then Syko reported:

<Then goes tromping around
With his big hooves like Ardnalil!
>

Ardnalil sang:

<I use horns in all of my decorating!>

Then the townfolk sang:

<Say it again!
Who's a man among men?
And then say it once more,
Who's that hero next door?
Who's a super success?
Don't you know? Can't you guess?
Ask his fans and his many hangers-on.
There's just one guy in town
Who's got all of it down . . .
>

It was at this point that Noelle left the proceedings, feeling absolutely disgusted. It's funny how no one noticed a simple kafit sitting nearby, listening to this absolute schlock. She had morphed and came to see what all the commotion was about -- she kept her morphing ability secret from the townsfolk, Syko, and Ardnalil. She morphed instead coming au naturele because she didn't want to be intrusive -- especially if it was about her.

She couldn't lie, part of her felt betrayed that the townsfolk was endorsing and encouraging Ardnalil's brutish, boorish, and chauvinist attitude. They were actually rewarding his arrogance and conceited personality -- not only rewarding but celebrating it! As if he didn't have a swelled enough head already.

One thing was clear to Noelle now. Crystal clear. She couldn't stay here any longer where the uncultured idolized, where lacking delicacy or refinement was praised. She had to leave, to find the adventure she sought so desperately and to escape this backwards town -- maybe not every village on the Andalite homeworld was like this, but Noelle had . . . bigger aspirations.



SOURCE SONG: https://youtube.com/watch?v=VuJTqmpBnI0


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 5: "Ch-ch-changes"
(September 23, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Bladeh, Broken, Dino, Faerie, Gaz, Helen, Horse, Kelly, Melissa, Parker, Saffa, Sakki, and Shenmue.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6462 on: April 17, 2017, 06:28:44 PM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER EIGHT:
Gotta Go -- But How?

She had to leave. Even this town she had lived in for so long started to feel oppressive. She couldn't believe that the townsfolk were actually cheerleading Ardnalil's chauvinism! They were endorsing his narrative and encouraging his arrogance. How long before they start pressuring her to agree to his proposal, one she knew was just endless misery and torment for her. She would wither away, being his wife. How long before they started shaming her for not accepting, these people she thought liked her well enough?

She had to leave. But the question was how. She didn't want to simply move to another scoop far away. She would find that too unstimulating, too boring. She wanted something more adventurous. She had never been off-planet, even when illicitly obtaining her morphing ability. Granted, she only had one morph -- the kafit bird. And getting off-planet was what she decided that she must do. It was also her best shot at dodging Ardnalil's dimwitted advances and refusal to acknowledge her disdain for him. The galaxy at large is a very big place -- her chances at hiding from him there was very good. Very good indeed.

The problem was, however, she hadn't any idea how to do it. Each and every idea she had come up with had serious downsides that could get her in some serious trouble, both legally and socially. Her acquiring the morphing technology, while illegal, was also, in some ways, taboo. As Ardnalil and the townsfolk's attitudes showed, the Andalites weren't all that progressive as a species yet -- or perhaps it was just this area of the planet -- and she would be even more of an outcast than she is now.

She could steal a ship, she supposed. A fighter, most likely. But the Andalites in charge would see it leaving and breaking the atmosphere. She'd probably be shot down way before then, given that she hadn't any training in piloting anything, and no book she read ever detailed it. It was almost as if it was forbidden knowledge for her, but she knew that wasn't the case. Most Andalites learn this stuff at the Academy, and she never took the class, never thinking she would need it. Of course, this was before she foolishly dated Ardnalil.

That option was out.

She could stowaway on a Dome Ship, in the dome section, of course. With her morphing ability, it may be easy to hide amongst the foliage, even impersonating members of the ship. Trouble was, doing that was considered a capital offense in her understanding of Andalite law. And even hiding as a kafit bird wasn't as plausible as one might think. As a precaution against introducing an invasive species into another planet's ecosystem, and completely decimating said ecosystem, no homeworld animals were in the dome. They had learned their mistake with the Yeerks. She'd be quickly found out, no matter how hard she tried to hide.

Second option, undoable.

The only other option she could think of was so farfetched, she dismissed it right out of hand. It was far too implausible of having any possible way of working. It would entail acquiring and morphing a creature that could fly into space of its own accord and find a habitable world all within the morphing time limit, which far shorter than she would have liked. She could deliberately become a nothlit she supposed. She did consider seriously, as it would make it even harder for Ardnalil to find her. But she dismissed again, because the likelihood of such a creature ever coming close enough for her to acquire its genetic blueprint, its DNA, was absurd beyond any absurdity.

Then her left stalk eye caught a glimpse of something falling through the atmosphere nearby. It didn't look like anything she's ever seen before either. It looked like a creature of some kind -- and it looked severely injured. Noelle galloped toward it, knowing whoever or whatever it was, it would need help. Possibly medical attention.

Although, a small part of her, in the back of her mind, was thinking that it could be her ticket out of here, her ticket to freedom. It was the part of her that she was ashamed to admit.


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 5: "Ch-ch-changes"
(September 23, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Bladeh, Broken, Dino, Faerie, Gaz, Helen, Horse, Kelly, Melissa, Parker, Saffa, Sakki, and Shenmue.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6463 on: April 18, 2017, 12:14:34 AM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER NINE:
The Dying Alien

Noelle quickly made her way to the spot where it had just impacted, expecting a large crater. But, if anything, it was barely a dimple in the planet's surface. And, somehow, it was still alive. And suffering. Noelle had to help it, as she hurried to approach.

It was a large, red and yellow alien, similar in appearance to a manta ray. It had hands with three digits and feet with three digits. It had yellow horns above its eyes, which had a yellow stripe leading down to yellow lips. It had a lizard-like tail. It had ray-like patagia, which are yellow in front and red in back. Its sides had markings that resemble gills and it had a zigzag pattern around their upper torso. It was a male Aerophibian, though the species was unknown to Noelle at the time.*

"Not . . ." he muttered, standing up (or, at least, trying to), "Aeropela . . ."

<Don't move!> Noelle cautioned. She noticed the extensive burn to his left side and upper arm. It looked like a deadly serious wound. <You're hurt!>

His tail flicked with yellowish sparks, as he warned, before he collapsed onto the ground, "St-stay away . . . wh-whatever . . . you are . . ."

It didn't take any rocket scientist to see that this poor alien's life was ebbing away ever so slowly. The only reason that Noelle could deduce that he hadn't succumbed already was due to sheer obstinance. He was determined to get back to this place, this Aeropela. But there was no way he could.

<I do not wish you any harm,> Noelle said to him, rushing to his side, dangerously close to his neuroelectric shocks. But he hadn't the energy or strength to summon their full force. <Quite the contrary, friend, I wish to help you.>

"T-too late for that," he said, his breath was ragged. "T-too late."

<No, no, stop moving,> Noelle cautioned again, touching the alien. Hoping to offer him some comfort in his last moments. <You will just exacerbate your injury, and increase your pain.>

She had to acquire him just to settle him down, to help him find some peace. A piece of him would live on in her -- although she would later forget to having an Aerophibian morph when she gain more powerful morphs, and she would be ashamed to admit this, when pressed.

But he came out of the acquiring trance, still alive and still very much in pain. Noelle decided that it would be best to soothe him, to be with him until his final moments passed. It's what she would want if she was in his situation.

<What's your name?> Noelle asked, attempting in vain to distract him from his pain, kneeling very awkwardly, given her centaur-like body design. <Who and what did this to you?>

"My n-name?" he said, his breathing noticeably labored now. It seemed to cost him everything just to speak. "It's un . . . unimportant. You seem l-like a . . . a good soul. Not that I've ever been a g-good judge of s-such things."

<Shhh,> Noelle said, now thinking encouraging him to speak might have been a mistake, considering how much energy he was expending when he probably didn't have much of it left. <Save your strength.>

"It was the armada . . ." he said, as if he was determined to name his murderers and warn Noelle of them. "Beware the Ex--"

He died mid-word, before Noelle could do anything about it.

<Go in peace, alien friend,> Noelle said, kindly, when the shock ended. But then she was interrupted . . .



*
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 12:18:07 AM by Cloak »


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 5: "Ch-ch-changes"
(September 23, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Bladeh, Broken, Dino, Faerie, Gaz, Helen, Horse, Kelly, Melissa, Parker, Saffa, Sakki, and Shenmue.

Offline Cloak

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Re: Memoirs of a RAFian
« Reply #6464 on: April 18, 2017, 12:34:53 PM »
New chapter.

CHAPTER TEN:
Vel Lynn*

Her name was Velma Lynn Lord, Vel Lynn for short, and she was a probationary Knight. Such members are know as Squires, and they were supposed to be covert members. She had joined up with them a while ago, ever since the RAFians dealt with Billion.**

And Billion was the driving reason why Vel Lynn joined the Knights to begin with. Her brother, Randall "Mad Dog" Paul Lord, was one of Billion's many unnamed victims. Vel Lynn didn't know this, though she kept the skin carelessly discarded by Billion when he moved on beyond the biker bar. Vel Lynn had always had a disdain for nonhuman species, but at the skinning of her beloved older brother, this bloomed into outright xenophobia that any Knight could be proud of.

She always idolized Mad Dog, who, despite his aggressive-sounding nickname, was not a criminal. He was just a biker -- or, for the politically correct, a motorcycle enthusiast. His fashion choices tended to be stereotypical as well, wearing either jeans and black shirt or leather that rather showcased his large, gorilla-like build. Vel Lynn was about nine or so years younger, and Mad Dog was always explicitly good to her. He never hesitated to babysit her or take care of her when the need arose. This is where much of her idolizing stemmed from.

But Mad Dog was far from perfect. He was highly opinionated, and could be really belligerent when he drank enough. He wasn't anywhere near fair and egalitarian, either, having just as much disdain for sentient nonhumans as Vel Lynn, only he was willing to hide behind religion to do it, using cherry-picked passages and deliberately taking some out of context to justify his views. His only life goals -- his dream, really --was either to become a prominent Knight of Humanity or become a prominent Hell's Angel, despite not really wanting to put in the necessary work or effort to become either.

He may have been a good big brother, he was slovenly and lazy. He wasn't going anywhere, and he was principally living by doing odd jobs, though he considered himself a nomad. He just made enough to feed himself and his bike, and he felt as if he didn't need anything else. Not even a phone. He felt as if his life was set for the time being -- he didn't care if he was technically homeless, and that he didn't make nearly enough to pay taxes. He had his bike and the road, and he would visit his favorite sister (because she was his only sister).

This happened principally because he had a falling out with his rather conservative parents who wanted him to get out and get a real job, find a good woman, and settle down and have a family. Mad Dog didn't want any of that -- he preferred his wandering, nomadic life and the freedom he felt that it brought to him.

Then he decided to go to that shady tavern on that late February evening.*** Vel Lynn never learned what happened to him at that dirty bar, which she could never remember the name of -- something like the Toepick Tavern or something stupid like that. But she knew that place is where her brother was murdered. And murdered by alien scum, she knew it. She knew it! Every last one needed to be killed -- not removed from the planet, not deported away, killed.

They, in her view, didn't deserve to live. They hadn't any right to breathe Earth air, smell Earth scents, hear Earth sounds, taste Earth food, touch Earth ground -- none of it!! Especially if they possess that "R"-shaped marking. She listened to Bern Bridges, she knew the threat these bearers of this sigil posed. If she killed one of them, and presented its bloated corpse to the Knight leadership, that would surely streamline her to full Knight status, instead of being a stupid Squire. She would achieve her brother's dream for him, since he couldn't. Because he was just and empty skin, which Vel Lynn had cremated and kept on her mantel in an ornate urn.

She disowned her parents when she considered they're reaction to his fate inappropriately benign and muted. When they didn't follow her extreme radicalization. They were fools, she decided. They never loved Mad Dog, and this inaction on their part was unequivocal proof of it. Action must be taken to rectify this grievous mistake. And the only way to to do that is to kill all aliens, to slaughter them like the swine they all are. She had come a long way in the five months since her beloved brother's death.

Noelle was just in the wrong place, at the wrong time.



* Say it five times fast to understand where the name was based on.

** See Book CXVI/Book #116, "Skin Crawlers", for details.

*** See Book #116, Chapter 12, "Investigation and Replication".


Book 158: "Princess Pearls"
Chapter 5: "Ch-ch-changes"
(September 23, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Bladeh, Broken, Dino, Faerie, Gaz, Helen, Horse, Kelly, Melissa, Parker, Saffa, Sakki, and Shenmue.