The Darkness Prevails

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For love of Friends

Darkness above and below, nothingness in a vast city of newfound death and despair. These were the new times; the times of children's nightmares, where there was no one to save or protect them, no one to comfort and shelter them, a free for all battle with all others alive, suffering and anarchy covered all cities and towns, various bands of people formed together, some falling apart before they even became solid, treachery and dishonesty taking it's toll against leaders and the weak minded or just generally shallow souls that existed within the world at that point.

Open fires rages across what was once a beautiful city, a surface city that Cucumba had learned to call home. Enormous skyscrapers reduced to nothing but smoldering piles of ash and rubble and any that did remain standing were targets to the evil that had swept the city and destroyed it, or were at a point where a strong breeze would cause a total collapse. The outer city was in flames, from above it was a burning ring accompanied by a halo of smoke and airborne ash. Bruised skies rained down on the city continually, ash clotting up in drainpipes and gaps in rubble forming shelters for the distressed and broken souls that huddled within the cold embrace of darkness.

This was the real definition of 'hell on earth'. The one thing that many had pondered and dreamed about, how would it all end, another ice age or the apocalypse? This was nothing like they had expected. Screams echoed throughout the burning wasteland at night time and through the day people scavenged around for what they could.

This was the time of head mod Cucumba, at the peak of the three warring factions; NoA, F : C, and EoL, and before the rumble changed everyone.

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

bwaa bwaa bwaa bwaa

The morning had begun the same as any other. Cucumba woke to the sound of his alarm clock buzzing at the usual time, eight o'clock. He had nothing to do today, no work, no social responsibilities, nothing, just his usual morning exercises that he couldn't go a day without doing. He had built his life around normalization, trying to assimilate himself into the society which he now lived in, although being big and green had it's distinctive disadvantages when it came to such things, Cucumba did his best.

It had reached a point where he was a normal sight amongst the people along the Forumscant, all with the exception of the young children who still hid behind their parents, pointed fingers and asked questions, but none of this bothered Cucumba anymore.

It was a bright sunny morning; a cool summer breeze blew through the crowded park that Cucumba always jogged though, carrying fallen leaves around the park before gently returning them to rest on the ground. Everything was as normal as any other day, the heavenly bliss that Cucumba had grown so fond of, the key reason he stayed here rather than in the main city. The warmth of the sun against what skin was exposed from his leather garments, the soft, cool breeze against his face and the constant hum of the city life around him all added together within Cucumba forming some strange peace-of-mind.

As always Cucumba was the overseer of the Forumscant and here in this place it was no different. He frequently assisted others with their problems, and even occasionally 'fixing' the rogue users whom enjoyed causing trouble here and there, but this was the life he had come to enjoy and nothing could destroy this bliss, even with the menace Smith sitting in the back of his mind with every passing moment, he knew that he wasn't alone in stopping him, the rest of NoA had always stuck along side him, Engar, Kelesk, Arthos and a few others that remained quiet about it; at worst there was always F: C to stop him, yet no matter how many times he thought about the whole problem, it always put a smile on his face.

He slowed down at the other side of the park and took a rest against lamp post, smiling contently as he watched the small children there chase after pigeons as old ladies threw bread out to the ducks that called the large pond in the middle of the city home. The citizens of the city greeting him as they passed, some who hadn't seen him since he was elected as head of the Forumscant congratulated him and gave their best wishes in his endeavors and continued on. Even a few friendly faces stopped to say him, Engar being one.

The young man nodded once at gesturing a hello and Cucumba did the same.

"So how have you been Engar. It's been a while since I saw you last. I trust Avenger didn't give you too much trouble at the airport?"

Engar chuckled heartily and shook his head smiling.

"A little maybe." He replied, still laughing.

Cucumba exhaled quickly, laughing to himself and patted Engar on the back.

"Let's go get something to eat." He said, his stomach speaking for him as it let out a low growl, Engar just smiled and nodded.

The two walked down the busy street, the murmur of people filling the air within the streets as they headed to the local diner that Cucumba enjoyed eating at. It was about the only place in town that sold 'healthy' breakfasts, half the reason Cucumba like it, aside that he had company, so he figured that going out for breakfast wasn't such a terrible idea.

After the third interruption via a citizen Engar giggled to himself and looked up at Cucumba.

"So, you're quite a star now Cuc eh?"

Cucumba smiled back down at him.

"Apparently so it seems."

There was a short pause before Engar stopped and shot up straight.

"Oh!"

Cucumba stopped and turned around to face him, ****ing his head to the side a little in confusion.

"Kelesk's little run in with Ravendust. ."

Cucumba's head tilted over a little further as he raised an eyebrow.

"What about it?"

Engar couldn't hold back any longer, smirking and almost bursting out in laughter.

"The lab is still a mess, but we got some new employees."

"Poor guys." Cucumba laughed.

The two finally arrived at the diner and walked in, being greeted by several more of the citizens, before finding an empty table and sitting down, Engar sitting opposite to Cucumba.

Nearly immediately a waitress came over and served them, Engar grabbed the menu and quickly read over it, ordering pancakes with ice cream. Cucumba looked over oddly at Engar as he told the waitress to get him the usual.

"Ice cream for breakfast?" Cucumba questioned.

"Sure why not?"

Cucumba slapped his forehead as Engar giggled to himself looking around. He'd never been to this place before, it had an old theme to it, 70's style, everything was bubbly and bright colored, not really his style. Pictures of old cars were hung from the wall, ones that only the most dedicated of collectors possessed now. Looking back at Cucumba he noticed a familiar face walk in, Arthos, who noticed him immediately and walked over and put his hands firmly on Cucumba's shoulders.

"How ya doin' big fella?" Arthos said excitedly.

"Not bad at all actually." Said Cucumba turning to look over his shoulder.

"Nice to hear!" Arthos replied, pushing off Cucmba's shoulders and patting Cucumba's head.

"And how's yourself?" said Engar, motioning to Arthos.

"Ahh, I'm alright I s'pose, a few problems back at base cleaning up Kel's mess and all but aside that all is fine." The three laughed amongst themselves for a while before Arthos spoke up again.

"Speaking of, have either of you seen Kelesk around? He asked me to do some fine tuning on his Rogue Scythe. Funny thing is he took off not long after."

"No. ." Engar shook his head, "You sure he didn't leave it somewhere for you? He's the type to do something like that."

Arthos chuckled, "What's that? Leaving and not telling anyone or leaving one of the more powerful weapons that exist lying around?"

Engar ****ed his head slightly and looked up at the ceiling as if thinking, looking back down at Arthos who was sitting down next to Cucumba, "A bit of both actually."

The waitress returned not long after, placed Engar's pancakes down in front of him and placed a second plate down in front of Cucumba. On it was a large omelet, the size of the plate, she turned around and went back to the counter, returning with a small bowel of yoghurt.

Engar looked over at Cucumba's food and smiled as he cut off a large bit of one of his pancakes.

"Well, your breakfast beats mine."

Cucumba smiled and unwrapped his knife, fork and spoon from a napkin that the waitress brought over and dropped the spoon into the bowel of yoghurt and began eating his omelet.

The three sat around and chatted for a while, the waitress occasionally coming back over to check if they wanted anything always to be reassured by Cucumba that they were fine. After around an hour Arthos looked down at his watch and shot up to his feet.

"****! Sorry guys I gotta run, previous arrangements!" Arthos waved back at the two as he ran into the door face first. Arthos rubbed his face and pulled open the door running down the street, attempting to wave down a cab.

Engar looked over at Cucumba and smiling, shrugging his shoulders, "Maybe he has a date?"

Cucumba smled back, "Arthos? I doubt it. He probably forgot to fix someone's ship or something."

Cucumba got up and looked over at the waitress who had been staring at him for a while now, "Just throw it on my tab!"

Engar looked at Cucumba curiously, Cucumba only noticing once he looked back.

"You have a tab now?"


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

I had woken up the same as every other day for the past few weeks, nightmares, visions of things that were erased from my memory the second I woke, but still sat in the back of my mind, clawing away trying to reach the surface without avail.

Most mornings I was awake before Cucumba, usually standing around somewhere as he wandered from his quarters at the same time each morning, seemingly unaware of what was coming in the possibly near future; but perhaps Cucumba was not all knowing, perhaps he just has a sense of things and for this particular thing, he did not.

This morning I'd left the base in a rush, the helper bots didn't help any either . . I've been telling Cucumba to reprogram them so they stop annoying me every morning but I guess he just never has the time to. I had even made a list of all the stuff I needed to do that day, a rarity to say the least, and every time I seemed to get something completed another thing was added, I even got lazy and asked Arthos to fine tune my Rogue Scythe when he got the chance, forgot to tell him I left it in the Armory . . Oh well . . .

That day was mainly a day to try and get a hold on my nightmares, the dreams that wouldn't cease, fortunately I had an idea who I needed to talk to, however, actually getting him to talk was another thing in its own. I ended up watching over Cucumba to see if anything pinged his mind, but since he was with Engar, I doubt his mind would have been fully focused so it ended up being a waste of time, especially since they ended up having breakfast with Arthos which lasted the better part of several hours.

I eventually found myself leaning up against a light pole, staring at a newspaper which was caught up in the street gutter, the headlines reading, "Forumscant Rumble!"

All this talk about the old arena being used; this 'indestructible' arena atop Mount Noobus . . Ha . . .

But still nothing added up, I swear I stood there for hours before I decided to head back to the base, only to be greeted by one of those cursed Helper Bots and Arthos.

"Where have you been?!" he screamed, "I've been looking all over town for you!"

"Then you haven't been looking hard enough . . It's in the Armory, locker 309."

From there I turned and walked away, I wasn't really in the mood to be arguing, or talking to one of those god damned bots. Arthos took the hint and wandered off in the direction of the armory, the bot however decided to follow me around. Damn thing . . .

The next person I saw come in was Engar, who must've guessed I wasn't in a great mood considering he only shook my hand, gestured a hello and walked away; either that or something had happened between now and when I last saw him, which was the doubtful option.

Cucumba didn't return to the base until some time after, I had been standing in the lobby for a good few hours before he actually turned up, and believe you me, he wasn't looking so great, sort of like he was sick or something, but he never did say. Droplets of sweat rolled down his face, like he'd just finished a triathlon. Perhaps he'd finally got a vision similar to mine, who knows?

One thing is for sure . . No one had anticipated the events that followed shortly after. Not even in my most chaotic dreams.
 
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That was pretty good. Spelling and grammar could use a touch of Mr. Clean, but other than that, nicely done.

I wanna be in it ><
 
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Very cool story and very nice start. I see you've adopted the helperbot/maidbot, hehe. Was also a nice surprise to see my old, little one manned faction mentioned. I expect good things from this, Mr. Kelesk.

If you need info on any of the Smith varients, just give me a pm ;).
 
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I loved it :p

Half the stuff i missed since im not to old school on the forum but sounds interesting :p
 
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I like it, Kelesk. Moderators behaving like real people rather than statues craved from obsidian rock.. :D

.. But do I have to giggle? Couldn't I just snicker? It would seem manlier..
 
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Engar said:
I like it, Kelesk. Moderators behaving like real people rather than statues craved from obsidian rock.. :D

.. But do I have to giggle? Couldn't I just snicker? It would seem manlier..
Snickering is reserved for evil people, and you are by no means evil ;P
 
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Dark Taints

Twilight halos and bruised skies, a few days following, the last snow of the season was falling across the city. Pride had had a long day and was sitting quietly in a down town bar, the only one he hadn't been kicked out of yet.

The bar was one of the more popular ones in town, despite its gritty appeal. It was set up like an old western bar. The walls were all wooden boards, as was the floor and bar. Essentially to a drunk it all looked the same but hey, the drinks there were good.

Pride eyed his pint of beer endlessly, his head buried in his hands, taking large gulps every few minutes then returning to staring back at it, after finishing one, he got another, a few turned into half a dozen. The day had been long.

In the back of the bar Grega had had way too much bourbon and was wandering around waving his glass around everywhere running his mouth. Bourbon spilt over various people he passed, even onto the maroon felt covering of one of the pool tables and it wasn't long before he bumped into someone . . Kain.

Kain turned around to his drunken provoker and snatched the glass from his hand before throwing it across the bar.

"Who in hell do you think you are?!" Kain yelled, the whole bar going quiet as the glass smashed next to where Pride was sitting.

Pride looked slightly to his right, looking at the broken glass that had barely missed him before returning his stare back into his own glass.

"Who the hell am I?!" slurred Grega, stumbling around before leaning up against a pool table.

"That's what I said."

Grega let go of the pool table and went to drink from his glass that he no longer had, realizing after he tried to take a drink.

Kain stared at Grega with impatience. Grega forgetting he was in an argument and began looking for his drink, turning away from Kain and wandering off in the other direction. Kain flipped, grabbing Grega's shoulder and yanking him back towards him with such force Grega spun around and accidentally hit Kain in the temple with the back of his hand.

"Oh **** sorry sir, I didn't mean it." Grega dribbled out, trying to find his footing.

"That's it! I'm sick of you!" screamed Kain, grabbing Grega by the collar and throwing him across the room.

The drunken Grega in his effort to stop, knocked over several tables more than was intended by Kain, but he didn't care, following up behind Grega and picking his head up by his hair, slamming his face into the wooden floor, each of the boards cracking every time Grega hit them.

Grega somehow managed to push Kain off him and get to his feet, almost falling back over, leaning into Pride for support.

"Come and get me you . . You . . Yea!" slurred out Grega, yelling at Kain, still oblivious to the fact that he was leaning against Pride who was now looking at him with an agitated look, his beer glass on its side and a small pool of spilt beer across the counter.

Kain was about to lunge forward before he realized who Grega had bumped into, horror struck him.

Pride pushed the stool he was sitting on out from underneath him, knocking Grega off him who stumbled around for a while before Pride grabbed him by the back of the neck and locked his hand, lifting Grega off the ground.

Kain began backing off, but Pride already had his eyes set on him. Grega being carried helplessly by the neck as Pride chased down Kain.

"Pride!" whimpered Kain, backing away from an enraged Pride, "Please no!"

Kain kept backing up until he hit the wall behind him, Pride still approaching furiously.

Kain kept trying to back up harder against the wall; fear had ridded him of logical senses. Pride grabbed Kain's face, slamming his head into the wooden boards that composed the wall, Kain's head *****ding itself within. Kain lost consciousness. Pride then lowered his sight to Grega who was dropping in and out of a drunken sleep, Pride wasting no time with Grega, threw him across the bar against the wall next to the door, a patron who had just entered watched as Grega slammed into the wall, shrugged and stepped down over him.

Pride bent down and grabbed Kain's ankle and dragged him over to the door, grabbing Grega's shirt and dragging both up the three steps that lead out of the bar, tossing both into the snow and returning inside to his stool at the bar, ordering another drink.

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

I'd been wandering around town for a while now, even seen two guys that looked similar to Kain and Grega get thrown out of a bar, but still no sign of who I was looking for plus Cucumba was still missing.

For someone who would usually stand out in a crowd to me I can't believe I've yet to even sense him. Maybe he knows I'm looking for him and is trying to avoid me . .

sigh

. . Who knows . . .

Considering the possibility of Cucumba being at the arena I decided to head up and check it out, perhaps he could locate the person of my search.

It was a calm and peaceful night in the Forumscant surprisingly even with the snow covering the ground it wasn't terribly cold. The long winding path that lead up to the great coliseum had deep foot prints in the snow that covered it, whether they belonged to Cuc or not was the better of all the questions that had risen in my mind.

As I got closer to the peak of the mountain I noticed dim flashes of light emanating from the roof of the arena, whoever owned these footprints was still in there so I was at least in luck there if it wasn't Cuc perhaps it was someone who knew.

As I entered the arena I saw all of NoA there, Cucumba, Engar, Arthos, even a few that weren't in NoA or didn't fight in public . . and then . . I had a ban dagger to my throat. Serves me right for going in quietly.

The guy behind me said something about going to see the boss, I didn't really care or want to argue, cause while him cutting my throat didn't so much bother me, as it would heal over relatively quickly, I was wearing a new shirt and blood leaves a nasty stain on a white shirt.

They say when you get held up you are supposed to obey all orders given to you, and quiet honestly not knowing who I was being held up by at the time didn't help my situation any, for all I knew it could have been one of F:C's punks. The way he shoved me around wasn't exactly very friendly either . . Heh . . .

So after a few minutes of walking around the coliseum the guy takes me to where Cucumba and the others were training; and now the best part--

"Master Cucumba, I found this F:C spy snooping around."

Cucumba stops what he is doing and looks over at me with this guy with a ban dagger to my throat and just starts laughing.

"So Kelesk, you got caught by one of the new guys . . That's a bit embarrassing."

I just rolled my eyes and shrugged. Cucumba mentions the kid's name but I didn't really take notice, however he did tell him to let me go, told the guy to fight me and deal with me appropriately.

"Cuc . . What's the go here mate?" I said to him after I heard this.

Cucumba grinned in a way I knew all too well.

"Am I allowed to hurt him?" I mumbled to him.

Cuc shrugged in an I-don't-really-care manner and crossed his arms in front of him.

Letting out an amused huff I turned to see the kid jump at me, his ban dagger ignited inches from stabbing my throat again. No time to move . .

bugger

Some of the new guys winced as the ban dagger went straight in and out the other side the kid immediately pulled the dagger out and hopped back to where I had last seen him.

I looked over to Cuc with an unimpressed look on my face he could see it in my eyes and I knew he could after all, he didn't care if I hurt the kid.

I looked down at my shirt, then back at the kid who was certain the fight was over already.

"You got blood on my new shirt kid."

I heard Cucumba laughing in the background. Heard him say something to the kid which made his face go pale, couldn"t make out the words though, too busy trying to fix the holes in my neck.

Tilting my neck to one side and cracking it, I felt the last of the wound heal over, and grinned at the kid, he took a big step back . . A very big step.

I felt Cucumba's hand grab my arm.

Consider yourself lucky kid . . .

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

Pride returned later that evening to F:C HQ, Hwo was waiting for him at the door.

"Man you need to stop fighting people in the pubs, we are getting too many complaints."

Pride grunted and continued inside.

"You've been acting strangely recently too, I'm getting worried about you."

"I'm fine!" Pride replied sternly.

Hwo cringed. Pride had been acting . . 'Tougher' than usual recently, far more independently than he usually did and it was beginning to bother Hwo. Something inside Pride had changed, and not for the better. Everyone who knew Pride knew the stories about him however none of them had been proven in any remote way.

Pride walked into his sleeping quarters and locked the door behind him. Hwo just stood staring at the door. There was nothing he could do unless Pride came to and actually said what was wrong, getting it out of him would be impossible.

He could only wait and see what happened, continue his training, the Rumble was coming soon.
 

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