The Autumn RiotsIt started with whispers and footsteps in the dead of night. Desperate Drag workers crept from their quarters and broke into the storage buildings while most of their guards slept. Tires were slashed and cans of gasoline spilled over the harvest, very nearly ready to be reaped its bountiful yield. With the strike of a match blue flame rippled across the crop, consuming it in a towering inferno.
Alarm quickly spread as the Citizen guards awoke, charging from their barracks into the darkness with clubs at the ready. Everyone ran to the growing blaze, where they immediately clashed with the rebellious workers. Drags still loyal to their masters speedily set upon the fire with buckets as the melee raged incomprehensibly amid the glowing chaos.
Papers reached every eye, immortalizing the broadcasts of an impending food shortage. The Drags knew the hardship would be theirs to bear as the Citizens ate heartily. Protests formed outside government buildings, crowds of discontent congealing agai
The Feel Good DragBetween skeletal buildings along an avenue stood bulky vehicles flanked by soldiers in dehumanizing armor. Through their largely featureless helmets they scanned the surrounding ruins of the demilitarized zone in search of heat signatures, audio echoes, electromagnetic radiation, and any other sign of impending ambush.
An explosion suddenly threw one vehicle, smoldering, onto its side. The troops dove for cover amid the concrete rubble as bullets filled the air from all directions. Infrared beacons designated friend and foe through the technologically-enhanced chaos of battle as their equally-equipped aggressors fired from the destroyed buildings.
Ragged civilians scampered from the perimeter, clustering closer to the helipads as troops took up defensive positions around the war-scorched park. Searing lines blazed through the dust amid static-infused shouts and the drone of gunfire. A rumble from the heavens rose amid the chaos as a dozen or so helicopters appeared just over the crumbl
Heart-to-Mechanical-Heart"I know not what to do." the inquisitor said aloud. Expanding beyond his comprehension spread the overwhelming complexities of the world. The struggles of every citizen, the agendas of every politician, all interweaving to create an inexorable maelstrom in which he was but an imperceptible part.
He fancied he heard a sigh from within the machine sitting beside him. A breath of despair from the mechanical lungs of a being once just as human as he, now suspended in an automation between life and death. KgM110's cold circuits began to articulate.
"Go home. Hug your wife. Dine with your children. Be to the world the man you wish to be to them. Make not my mistake. Do not sacrifice that which you love for that which you think you must do, lest you become nothing more."
Within the electronic speech reverberated a paralyzing sorrow which pressed upon the inquisitor as powerfully as a wave pushed by the ocean. With a sudden clarity in his heart, he turned to his companion.
"Who were you? Befor
We Are the WolvesRaven's heart pounded in her ears, drowning out the rustle of branches as they tore against her flesh. Overhead shone thin shafts of moonlight that pierced the black canopy of her nightmare. Each breath reopened the cuts of cold in her throat as she ran through thick uncertainty.
Faint lines of blood crossed the graceful designs on her skin, leaving spots on her white dress. She couldn't stop for long, the breath of fear was already warm on her neck. Through the heavy shadows the girl sensed the wolves prowling silently across the undergrowth.
Another burst of energy launched her deeper into the forest. The scream of a cougar froze her blood and Raven stopped amid the towering trees. Before her stood a stranger, waiting in the darkness with an expression of dangerous delight. There was nowhere to run.
With unmistakable aggression he advanced, but halted at the rising of a howl that echoed through the woods at Raven's back. Before she could turn, three figures stalked around her, facing
A Witch HuntHakrel stared into space as he lifted the mug to his mouth. Azim gazed attentively at the old man, black and blue ink staining his lined face in exotic patterns. The old hunter didn't pay her any attention as he finished his drink, placing it on the wooden table in view of the barkeep. The apprentice waited patiently as he internally debated.
Illuminated in the orange glow of several dozen torches, a crowd of men clad in long coats and wide hats marched from a wood-shrouded village. Vengeful purpose drove their boots through the puddles dotting the dirt road, their gloved hands dutifully fastened around brass rifles and powder charges. The women watched them go in dangerous silence, their own faces either shining with apprehension or dimmed by grim approval.
As planned, the party divided into smaller groups that proceeded into the dark forest along different routes. So terrible was their presence that the nocturnal creatures of the woods made themselves scarce. A long simmering wrath h
Faceless SuitsGun smoke swirled through the dead silence of a dim hotel room. Sean sat on the bed, the revolver still warm in his hands. Moira hadn't moved from the corner, her horrified expression froze in place as she gazed at the corpse near the door. A black suit and tie adorned a haunting figure devoid of features with skin as white as paper. It had no face, no ears, and there was no blood.
Sean didn't know what had just happened. Moira's last scream echoed in his ears. All at once the haze cleared from his mind as a single thought snapped his head around.
"We have to go." His urgent tone pulled Moira from her own dull panic and she stood up. A floor down they heard the screech of tires and slamming doors, but no sirens. Hastily but without a word the two grabbed only the necessities and dashed into the hall.
"No! Not the elevator!" Moira shouted, leading the way to the fire exit. Single drops fell through the calm city from a black sky. Pulling their coats on they made their way down the alley