NaNoWriMo 08 Ch.1

 I figured I'd post the first chapter here (from the 2008 NaNoWriMo) since I've been thinking about doing it here for awhile…and that I currently don't have anything else to post here atm.

It looks like alot, I know, so sorry if the huge wall of words scares you away. Sorta an experiment, next chapter we'll see how/if I release it.

Hope you enjoy it! (And hope you actually read it :P) 

 

Maybe I'll have something to post about this weekend 🙂

            Lord Olan Jarrell caught the blade in his gloved hand.

            The man who swung the blade in front of him was dressed in blue and green armor stained with blood; blood from the many wounds inflicted upon his body. Jarrell looked at the blade in his gloved hand, and then down at the bloodied man who stared at him with an expression first of surprise and then anger. It was a reaction Jarrell saw every time he accompanied his troops on an attack, aiding in driving a death knell to the opposing forces morale.

            Shock and anger.

            Only this time the death knell had long since been driven home.

            With the planet’s major population centers ablaze and their people dead, dying, or wishing they were dead, morale for his enemies was in short supply. The planets remaining defenders were fighting to stay alive while trying to keep Jarrell’s troops from reaching the last standing stronghold left on the planet: the Jo’San Royal Palace.

            The Jo'san Royal Palace stood out in the dark, smoke filled sky, glowing from a faint blue light coming off the nearly invisible shielding. The waves of energy traversing over the shield shook like ripples in a pond from the shock of constant attack from the ground, air, and space. Jarell's fleet rained down hell from the heavens, but unlike the ruined, flaming city that surrounded the towering palace, he wanted it to remain intact, it not mostly untouched.

            With an annoyed sigh, Jarrell placed the barrel of his pistol against the chest plate of the surprised man and pulled the trigger. The sound of shattering composite steel mixed with burning flesh reached his ears as the round became a personal friend with the man's chest cavity. Jarrell holstered his weapon and walked towards the glowing palace, leaving the dead soldier to fall to the ashen ground.

            Jarrell had an appointment to keep.

 

 ***

            “Is it over for us? Am I witnessing the last moments of our kingdom? Our people?”

            Queen Ish’tial, dressed in a formal gown with her long black hair done up behind her in a braid, gripped the balcony rail as the guard, one of her elite Swords-woman named Leal’Drow, spoke in a somber, hushed voice from behind her. (This doesn't make sense, is the guard speaking above or is the Queen? If she's not speaking then there's no need to say she spoke at all, so make that more clear).

            “How long do we have before we can expect our guests?” Ish’tial asked, staring through the red and black smoke from her lofty perch up on the tallest spire of the palace.

            “Only minutes, milady,” Leal’Drow said, folding her arms over her chest. “Is there a chance that milady has changed her mind and now will allow her personal shuttle to deliver her away from the fate that’s about to befall us all?”

            “No, I have not changed my mind,” Ish’tial's grip tightened with subtle irritability as she turned and walked back in to her state room. “Are my Swords ready?”

            “Milady,” Leal’Drow said humbly, following her queen back inside the well lit room. “Your Swords are ready to do what must be done to ensure the safety of their Queen.”

            “I do not question their abilities Drow,” the Queen said, walking to the stand-up dresser to the left of her bed and opening the doors, reaching in with both hands to unfasten an object imbedded within.

            “Of course, milady.”

            “Now,” Ish’tial said, her hands gripping the hilt of her sword, “is the time we make a final stand.”

            “Milady,” Drow said, bowing her head in respect. “I shall inform my sisters that we have reached the appointed time, then.”

            “Do so if you feel they need to be told … I know it is your duty to protect your Queen, Drow.” Ish’tial said, stabbing the tip of the heavy blade into the floor before reaching back into the dresser. “However, I will not run as my Kingdom turns to ashes. If today is the day it will fall, then today is the day I stand and fight for its survival. I can’t be a Queen without a Kingdom to rule. If I shall die, then so be it.”

 

*** 


           Trysten Socall dropped down behind a chuck of concrete that used to be part of a larger structure. He ignored the sound of deadly rounds flying over his head and impacting the concrete to his back as he expelled the empty magazine from his combat rifle to inject a fresh, fully charged magazine into the vacant slot. He checked the rifle to ensure it was ready to return fire at his attackers, and once satisfied that it was, he grunted in relief despite the sound of more rounds impacting the concrete wall to his back. Socall tapped the side of his helmet and did his best to speak above the sounds of explosions, fire, and weapons permeating the air around him.

            “This is Corporal 1st Class Socall of the 90th infantry, 4th platoon, calling any Jo’San military personnel that can respond. I am currently in the market district six blocks south of the Palace. I’ve been separated from my squad and lost contact with them. If there is anybody out there on this channel, please respond.”

            Socall winced as a mostly intact building across the street exploded after a bomb was dropped from the smokey skies and detonated, tossing debris in all directions. He peered over the concrete slab at his back, he watched as unidentified enemy soldiers gathered in large numbers, still sending the occasional pot shot in his direction.

            “Corporal Socall,” a voice crackled over his radio helmet, the heads up display on the inside of the visor draped over his face flickered with the identity of the woman speaking. “This is Lieutenant Duwall, 1st Army. All surviving units are to regroup. Coordinates for the location are being uploaded to your heads up display now. Proceed there as quickly as possible, copy.”

            “Roger that Lieutenant,” Socall replied. “En route now.”

            Socall rolled over onto one knee, sighted his rifle towards the enemies and opened fire, driving the soldiers walking down the road to cover. Once they did, Socall climbed to his feet and began running down the road in the opposite direction as fast as he could. His armor weighed him down and its energy levels were low; Socall didn't want to waste what power the armor had left just running down the street.

            Several yards later, Socall made a quick right, running down an alleyway—jumping over trash and debris, bouncing off of immovable objects that populated alleyways on any world. The sound of his breath covered up the sounds of battle around him, as did the pounding of his heavy boots on the cracked pavement below. His noisy flight did not cover up the sound of a bomb exploding over his head in a nearby burning building. Looking up, he ran for the exit of the enclosed alleyway, and gasped as the building above shattered into large, fragmented pieces. They came falling down towards him. He quickly re-activated the power to his armor and began sprinting with powerful, earth shaking strides. As the world crashed down around him, he leaped, diving for the end of the alley, but was quickly slammed to the ground and buried by the falling pieces of building.

 

***

 

            Lieutenant Duwall stood behind the palace’s force field listening to the sound of the war being waged in the city, and watched as Jo’San soldiers filtered in and out of the devastated city in small groups or battered and alone. It was disheartening to see so few stragglers fleeing under the Palace's shielding, and it and only reinforced the effectiveness of this surprise attack. The attack came far sooner than any person of worth within Jo’San could have predicted, nor did they expect it to happen at all.

            The Jo’San kingdom was not a space faring empire boasting a military built for war. The kingdom only ruled over the lands of the one planet it resided on, and it held a loose grip on the space within the nearby solar system. War was not something that they were prepared for—much less an interstellar war leaving the kingdom a perfect target for an outsider to pillage.

            Duwall stood behind the relative safety of the palace's shield as soldiers milled around behind her, preparing themselves for a last stand. The realization struck her that this attack was more than a pillaging of their world, but instead it was a deliberate attempt at extermination. While the truth was shocking, Duwall forced her mind away from the question as to why. She adjusted her dark blue robes to her sweat-coated white undergarments as if to try and make the swords against her back more comfortable.

            “Lieutenant,” a man’s voice called from behind her.

            She turned to see a short, bearded man with armor battered and caked with ash and dirt. “           

Yes, Sergeant?” 

            “Excuse me, ma’am,” the sergeant said with a slight bow of his head. “Who do I look to for direction? We seem to be wandering about here waiting for the end….”

            Duwall sighed and ran a hand through her hair, forcing a smile.

            “Sergeant, you now have positional authority to organize our force here. Delegate as you see fit.”

            The sergeant blinked several times and clamped his hanging jaw shut.

            “Yes ma’am,” he said with a slight bow; he then turned and got to work getting the soldiers into position to ward off an impending attack.

            Duwall nodded silently before turning to look out in to the smoke and fires, steeling herself for what was to come.

           

 ***

            Captain Jarv Cre’Ale started his work day like any other. He caught up on message traffic from the Carrier and fleet before moving on to the day's mission briefing and was given his flight orders. Afterwards he adorned his flight suit, boarded his fighter-craft, and performed all the required pre-flight checks. Then he was launched into space, coasting over another new world that was just beginning to burn from the fleet's orbital bombardment. It was a sight Cre’Ale had seen on dozens of planets in dozens of systems before, and his job had always been the same: dominate the airspace of the target's world and deliver supporting fire power when called upon.

            It was a simple job, and it was done on such a routine basis that he felt he could fly the mission in his sleep. Now as he flew over what looked to be a blanket of smoke he offhandedly began to think that sleeping as he circled around his designated area of patrol wasn’t such a bad idea. From his position it looked as if the war Lord Jarrell started was all but won.

            “Captain Cre’Ale,” a male’s voice came through his communications unit, snapping Cre’Ale out of his wandering thoughts. “You are ordered to proceed to sector Alpha-1 to provide close in reconnaissance to Fleet 1, and air support when needed for friendly ground forces, do you copy.”

            “Copy Fleet 1,” Cre’Ale said, taking his nav computer out of standby mode and instructing it to set his next way point. “I am en route to sector Alpha-1 now.”

            Cre’Ale took the yoke between his legs and rolled his arrow-head shaped fighter to the right, diving down toward the blanket of smoke. He only slowed once as he broke through the thick blanket of black and found himself within feet of once-tall shattered buildings. After a moment of weaving back and forth through the ruins, Cre’Ale opted to steer his flight path down a wide street that that was relatively obstruction free. It was only a mere moment before his nav computer informed him that he had reached the designated sector. This prompted him to further slow his forward momentum and activate the holo-recorder on the underside of his portside wing where visual and audio data was recorded and retransmitted to the fleet in orbit above.

            Ahead of him loomed the enormous Jo’San Palace completely untouched by the fighting around it. If it wasn’t for that shield we would have flattened that palace just like the rest of this world, he thought as he approached. Surprisingly he received no resisting ground fire as he advanced upon the one remaining stronghold left on the planet. Veering the nose of his craft up and to the left, Cre’Ale turned the underside of the fighter craft towards the palace to give the holo-camera a good view. It was the one place on the planet with remaining, viable resistance; they were holed up waiting for a chance to strike back or to simply die in a last stand.

            Either way, he reasoned, they will all die in the end.               

            Suddenly his sensory instruments began to blare a warning as ground based anti-air positions locked on to him when he flew dangerously close to the palace. Out of instinct he quickly leveled out and pulled the nose of his fighter-craft up, throttling forward up toward space. While he strove to get out of the range of the AA weapons, the warning sounds ceased but the red lights that accompanied the sounds continued to flash. Before he could look for what the warning lights were trying to tell him, a beam of red energy shot from behind and to the right, flashing by the cockpit. Cre’Ale turned to port and dove back down toward the ground while more flashes of red energy came dangerously close to him.

            With another beam striking by his cockpit, Cre’Ale rolled and weaved back and forth as fast he could without tearing his fighter-craft apart. Suddenly, a final beam leaped up and burned away his starboard wing, immediately sending the craft into an uncontrollable tumble.

            “Mayday, mayday,” Cre’Ale yelled into his radio as the world spun around him. The severe g forces caused by the abnormal, high velocity tumble struck him, and he struggled to reach the ejection lever before he passed out.

           

 ***

 

            Lieutenant Duwall watched as an aircraft broke back through the smoke and tumbled straight into the force field. It exploded violently into a ball of fire and super heated metal, casting the debris back out toward the city as she expected. What she was not prepared to happen was the light blue color on the shield beginning to flicker in and out of existence until it vanished all together. And so this is how the end begins, she thought as she walked over the nearest wall and picked up a sleep, long barreled rifle. She hefted it with a grunt and peered through the scope above the trigger. They’re coming.

            “Sergeant,” Duwall shouted behind her.

            “Ma’am,” the Sergeant said, appearing at Duwall’s side faster then she had expected.

            “Are the men ready?”

            “Yes ma’am, they are taking up their individual positions as instructed.”

            “Good,” she said, lowering the rifle to look at him, “because we are now out of time to organize any more. I’m going to get in position above this gate to try to take some of them out before they get here. We need to hold them off as long as possible.”

            “Yes ma’am.”                        

            “However,” she continued, “don’t waste men and ammo holding a position you can’t defend. Take up new positions if you can…it’s a big building, use it to your advantage.”

            “Yes ma’am.”

            “And one more thing.…”

            “Ma’am?”

            “Good luck, stay alive,” she said, adding in that last bit even though she was positive that staying alive was going to be harder to do then coming across any good luck.

            “Same to you ma’am,” he said, giving a slight bow before disappearing into the shadows.

            Duwall took one last look toward the city before running through the gate and taking up position a floor above. She lay prone with her eye peering through the mounted scope and watched as many men in black armor emerged from the burning ruins and moved quickly towards the gate that led to the inside of the palace. As the men came toward her, Duwall sighted onto the head of one of the armored men, held her breath, and pulled the trigger.

            The rifle fired with a thunderous clap and time slowed down for Duwall as the charged bullet left the barrel and sailed toward the soldier she had picked out of the group. It impacted the man’s helmet, drilled through, and penetrated his skull, effectively killing him before he could finish taking his last step.

            Then time resumed its normal course as Duwall exhaled. The soldiers in black armor, all noting the that their comrade in arms was just eliminated from the field of combat, sped up their pace tenfold towards the gate. The palace itself was shaken by explosions occurring on all sides where enemy soldiers were trying to blast their way in.

            They are a lot quicker than I thought they would be, she thought as she sighted in again and in quick succession neutralized six more before they disappeared under the lip of the palace wall. Sighting in the scope on another group sprinting quickly to meet up with the first group, she emptied the remaining rounds into six more targets, and then dropped the empty magazine and replaced it with the only one that she had. She sighted again and emptied the last magazine, causing twelve more soldiers to drop to the ground dead.

            Just as her last bullet left the barrel, the floor underneath her shook violently as the gate below was blown open, causing smoke to cascade up and out in any direction that wasn’t blocked by a wall. The passageway that she was occupying was enveloped in residual smoke and with her sniper rifle was out of ammunition, so Duwall stood and placed a comforting hand on the sheathed swords resting on her back. She walked slowly and quietly to the staircase leading down to the gate, hearing the sounds of exchanged weapon fire echoing off of the stone walls. Another explosion rocked the floor below her, causing her to reach out and grab the railing of the staircase.

            Below the gunfire faded away as the smoke settled and dissipated from sight. The quiet caused Duwall to become increasingly cautious as she stepped down the stairs, slowly unsheathing her swords without a sound. As she reached the bottom of the staircase, she lowered her blades as she spotted several of her men hugging walls, while several others, friend and foe alike, littered the floor with their blood slowly pooling.

            “Ma’am,” the familiar voice of the Sergeant called out to her from behind a damaged stone pillar. “I suggest you take cover and acquire a weapon that has better range then your swords.”

            “Right,” she said. She sheathed the blades quickly and scooped up a combat rifle lying on top of a motionless body, and then moved behind a free pillar. “You men had me a little worried with that last explosion you know.”

            “Sorry ma’am,” the Sergeant replied with a slight smile. “We’ll try not to do that again.”

            “I’ll hold you to that Sergeant.”

            “Here they come,” another soldier shouted from further up the passageway near the shattered gate.

            “Let them come,” the Sergeant said rather smugly. “They’ll get as far as they did last time.”

 

 

***

            


Lea Dreashna pulled her green and blue silk robe over her silken red undergarments and tied it down as the room shook around her. They’re coming now, she thought as she stared at the young woman in the mirror whose dark red hair shined in the light. It’s time for me to meet with the rest. After pulling her hair up and into a bun, she walked over to a single curved blade, sheathed in a bright green case, and hefted it up in front of her with one hand.

            “Time to put you to some good use,” she murmured as she took a green silk rope and tied the sword to her side before walking to the door. The intercom system installed above the door to her room became active.

            “Lea,” a woman’s voice shouted at her. “We need you to join us now.”

            “I’m on my way,” she replied, opened the door and walked out.

            Moments later she arrived in a small circular room where a dozen or more women stood, all dressed in a similar robe with a curved blade attached to their sides or strapped to their backs. They all turned as Lea entered and walked confidently over to the group with her hands held together in front of her.

            “Lea,” an older woman, whose dark hair was turning gray at the temples, spoke up. “This is not a good time for you to be lollygagging.” (Lollygagging? Really?)

            “I apologize, Kreal. I was preparing myself.”

            “You are a Sword,” a younger woman said with slight contempt. “You should always be prepared to die.”

            “I wasn’t preparing to die,” Lea retorted. “I was preparing to kill.”

            “That’s enough,” Kreal snapped. “The Palace has been breached and our defenses are quickly being brushed aside and neutralized. We will soon be all that stands between them and the Queen, and we must do everything to ensure that these barbarians do not get to her.”

            “We know our jobs Kreal,” another young woman, Ishabelle, interrupted. “We’re not apprentices.”

            “No, you’re not,” Kreal said with a sigh. “However, the Queen does not intend to flee….”

            The entire room erupted with a gasp, followed by protesting and anger.

            “Swords,” Kreal shouted to bring the noise to an end. “I am with you in your disagreement of the Queen's decision to stay as opposed to fleeing for safety…however that doesn’t negate our duty to protect her at all costs.”

            Kreal paused hile the murmur of frustrated agreement came from the others.

            “Now, we all know where to position ourselves,” she said and motioned toward the door. “It’s time to be where we must.”

            With that last statement, the group dispersed and hurried off towards the entrance of the circular room.

            “Lea,” Kreal said before Lea got the exit.

            Lea, perplexed, stopped and turned to look at Kreal. “Yes, Kreal?”

            “…be careful. You’re no good to the Queen if you go and get yourself killed.”

            “As always,” Lea said popping up an eyebrow in question. "Is there something else you want to tell me?”

            “No, that is all.”

            Lea bowed her head slightly in acknowledgement and walked out of the room. Moments later she found herself running quickly down a passageway towards the sounds of gunfire and the clashes of close quarters fighting. It echoed off the stone walls and into her ears. She slowed down as she approached the area where the fighting was taking place. Stopping and peering around the corner, she watched as friendly soldiers exchanged blows with the black armored enemies. The flash of blades from the rumble of armored bodies shone brightly before an anguished cry of pain echoed off the walls. The close quarters fighting soon ended as the attacking soldiers fell back and regrouped to start shooting at the men who kept them from getting deeper into the palace. As the groups separated, a woman with two swords, dark brown robes torn and bloodied, limped quickly over to Lea and ducked in to the hallway. She leaned up against the wall to catch her breath whilst being out of sight from friendly and enemy soldiers.

            “Are you Swords finally coming out to help?” The woman asked without trying to hide the disdain in her voice.

            Lea scowled at the woman.

            “Yes Lieutenant Duwall,” Lea said, examining the woman for any wounds. “Are you hurt?”

            “I’m fine,” Duwall grunted right before an explosion rocked them both to the floor and covered the area with a dense cloud of smoke and dust. (This happens way too often. I get that it DOES happen in the fighting all the time, but it's starting to get comical how often smoke is everywhere and they can't see because of an explosion. Try to think of other creative awful things to happen to them, lol!)

            Coughing and gasping for, Lea sat against the wall and reached out to Duwall who was bleeding heavily from the back of her neck.

            “Duwall,” Lea said in concern. “You’re hurt.”

            “Lea,” Duwall coughed, blood coming out of her nose and through the corners of her mouth. “Don’t…don’t let them get…to the Queen….” Then her shaking body ceased moving alltogether. As she died, the dust and smoke cleared enough to reveal the hallway Duwall came from was now under a collapsed ceiling. The only sound was that of tumbling rock, leaving the route blocked to anybody looking to leave or trying to enter the palace.

            Shaken and angered by the suddenness of it all, Lea gently laid Duwall's head onto the floor and stood with her hand gripped tightly around the hilt of her sword. With this route secured by the collapsed ceiling, Lea turned and strode off quickly to an alternate entrance where she was sure to find enemy soldiers upon whom she could unleash her fury upon.

            Hurrying through passageways she finally came to a halt halfway when she spotted several figures moving in the direction of the main throne room. She silently drew her blade and crept towards the end of the passage. She quickly ducked behind the wall to hide as dozens more men began filing by with a concentrated pace and she heard gunfire in the distance. Watching the soldiers go by, she decided it wasn’t a terrible idea to take an alternate route to try and intercept the front of the enemy before they could get any closer to the throne room.

            After several moments and many turns later, Lea found herself deeper in the palace where the sounds of war still existed but was muffled down to a mute roar. She watched around a corner as enemy soldiers moved down towards her, the waiting blade hidden behind the corner flat against the wall next to her side.

            The closer the men got the nervousness that she had worked so hard to get under control earlier threatened to creep in to her system and sabotage her mission; and nervousness was something she felt she couldn’t have affecting her ability to protect her Queen. With that in mind, she pressed herself flat against the wall, closed her eyes, and focused intensely on that spark of nervousness pictured in her mind instantly slowing her heart beat down to a calm, normal pulse. Once done, she opened her eyes as the men moved to the corner where she was hiding and lifted her sword from the wall and, in a moment that seemed to freeze in time, stepped out in the group of men who seemed so still. She brought her sword down cutting through the first man's armor and flesh before dipping underneath the man’s rifle,slicing the blade up under his lifted arm. Without missing a beat she swung the blade up at the man behind him, who seemed to move ever so slowly as her blade cut through his armor like it was butter, opening his chest and chin in a single stroke. Moving her body with the momentum of the blade, Lea leaped into the air, pushing forward into the surprised group of men who tried to respond to the sudden attack from the woman in silken robes. As she came down to land, her blade passed through the skull of another man and then back up through the last of the group. Lea finished by crouching on one knee with her bloody blade positioned defensively in front of her face, staring down at the next group of enemy soldiers that followed the first Lea had felled with her blade alone.

            With her heart beating loudly in her ears and the soldiers clad in black armor bearing down on her, she reached back at one of the men she had just felled and placed her hand on a large, round metal object near her foot. She hefted it in front of her face and was struck by an idea as soon as her eyes recognized it to be a grenade.  Without a second thought she pulled the safety in and pitched the grenade down the hall at the men. They had just begun to pull their triggers, bullets slowly exploding out of the barrels toward her, and as she threw the grenade she flipped away, twisting away from the bullets and into the adjoining passage where she disappeared.

            If the soldiers clad in black armor were astonished at the speed and agility of the woman, they had little to no time to express it as the grenade exploded in to a bright, hot white light. It shredded men and armor alike with intense force of heat that subsequently caused the roof and walls to destabilize and implode, blocking any further passage.

            Leaning up against a wall as the passageway she had just exited collapsed, Lea exhaled loudly and swallowed as she was suddenly overcome by a wave of heat. Her body insisted on sitting down on the floor to recover, an insistence that she couldn’t refuse. Too much, too soon, she thought as she wiped sweat from her brow and was only reassured by the fact that she was successful in slowing down and stopping the advance of enemy troops in to the palace within her area of responsibility. Closing her eyes for a moment she sat and listened to the distant sounds of gunfire and war. Opening her eyes, she pulled herself up on to the wall, took a breath to collect herself, and hurriedly headed in the direction of the fight where her sisters were engaging the enemy.

            Lea soon found herself standing on top of a walkway, looking down at a spread of unmoving armored bodies from both sides with blood pooling in the center of the marble floor. The sight sent chills down her spine as she stared down at the dozens dead, and as she moved down to the floor itself she found the dead were much more than a few dozen, but instead hundreds of men. They were all laying on top or close to each other as if they had died giving and gaining only inches of ground at a time.

            Lea gripped the hilt of her sword even tighter as she crept deeper into the palace, following the trail of bodies that didn’t seem to end, but only seemed grow in number as the walls grew closer together and the furniture and decorative items constricted movement and turned longer range gun fights into close range slug fests.

            After several minutes of following the trail of death, Lea stopped as her eyes caught sight of a young woman sitting up against a tattered wall with her robe, once a silken white, now stained red with blood and by her limp hand a bloodied sword laid discarded. As the sword caught Lea’s eye, she rushed over the young woman who was breathing raggedly and who Lea now recognized.

            “Ishabelle,” Lea said, kneeling by the wounded Sword, gesturing down the hallway. “Did you make this mess?”

            Ishabelle opened her eyes halfway and managed a smile.

            “Lea,” she coughed. “You’re still alive.”

            “As are you,” Lea said. “Though a little worse for wear. Stay awake, I will get you help.”

            “No,” Ishabelle gasped. “I’m dying. The wounds are mortal. The others…the others.they need your help. The enemy rushed us, overwhelmed our defenses before we could,” she coughed violently as she tried to speak. “…before we could respond in kind. There’s a man….” Blood began to become visible at the corner of her lips. “…there’s a man…he’s after…”

            “After what,” Lea demanded, her eyes wide with curiosity. “What is he after?”

            “…Queen is.…”

            Then she stopped coughing and her eyelids slid shut for the final time.

            Lea stared at Ishabelle's lifeless form, her mind trying to put together what Ishabelle was trying to tell her. After a moment she shook her head, stood, and hurried down the hallway towards the throne room, following a trail of armored bodies that occasionally were peppered with robed, bloodied woman who had long since stopped breathing and their grips on their swords loosened from their hands. After several minutes of running and jumping over dead bodies Lea came to a halt when she arrived at the doors to the throne room. Pinned to one of the large doors with a sword through her chest, Kreal hung eyes wide in shock and her jaw hanging loosely open from the overwhelming pain that had taken her life.

            The sight of Kreal pinned to the door by her own sword filled Lea with fear only helped to inflame her anger to the point of absolute rage. Pushing the other door open, Lea strolled in, with her sword gripped in her right hand. At the other end of the large, spherical throne room stood the Queen, another Sword that Lea couldn’t recognize from the distance she was at, and a tall man clad in a black cape and a dark red jump suit. Upon seeing the three, Lea slowed and walked quietly towards the man, hoping to catch him by surprise.

           

            Leal’Drow scowled at the tall, dark haired man.

            “Stay back or I will cut you down where you stand,” she sneered.

            Lord Jarrell raised a brow at the short, blonde Sword.

            “If you think I fear your blade, wench, then you are poorly mistaken.”

            “You are the one who are mistaken not to fear my blade, villain.”

            Jarrell chuckled loudly and cocked his head.

            “Are all your body guards this naive, your highness? Or…have you failed to your wenches about the mighty Lord Farrel?”

            “Watch your tongue or I’ll cut it out for the world to watch,” Drow snapped at Jarrell.

            “I bore of your bitching, wench,” Farrel said, a pistol appearing in his hand and firing well before the Sword could react.

            Drow fell to the ground with a hard thud, unmoving.

            “Well Queenie,” Jarrell said, putting his pistol away before scooping up Drow's blade. “Do all your old boyfriends have to kill so much to talk to you face to face?”

            Queen Ishteal glowered at the Jarrell.

            “You started the killing, Olan. If you wanted to talk to me, you could have just called.”

            Jarrell smirked.

            “Of course,” he said, hefting Drow's blade up to examine the cutting edge. “But where is the fun in that?”

            “You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t find the idea of genocide to be fun,” Ishteal retorted, staring at the blade. “However I can’t say I’m surprised about your uncaring attitude towards human life.”

            “Oh dear,” Jarrell chuckled. “I am not uncaring towards human life, dear. I am only uncaring towards those who aren’t loyal to the Empire.”

            “And I could care less about your Empire, Olan.”

            “Hah, not my Empire, dearest, not yet.” Jarrell grinned and in a blur, slashed the blade down towards the Queen's head where it came within inches before it was stopped with a loud slamming of steel against steel.

            “What’s this?” Jarrell asked, cocking an eyebrow in question as he followed the newly arrived blade to its bearer. At the hilt-end of the new blade stood Lea, glowering.

            “Step away from my Queen,” Lea spat with rage, her blade pressing firmly against Jarrell’s.

            “Well, here I was thinking I had eliminated all of the Swords in this palace,” Jarrell scowled down at the young woman. “Not quite a pleasant surprise, but it’s a surprise none the less. Oh well.”

            In a flashing movement, Jarrell freed a hand, backhanding Lea in the face, causing her to drop her sword in stunned shock before stumbling backwards towards the shadows. Several gloved hands reached out and grabbed her in a manner that caused her to scream, and she was pulled in to the shadows followed by more screams carried along with the sound of tearing clothing. Before Ishteal could respond in any way, she found herself fallen to her knees, her hand gripping the pommel of her own unused straight sword, gasping for breath while staring at the blade that Jarrell had plunged into her stomach.

            “Sorry, I expected more of a fight out of you…or I guess I could have given you a chance to defend yourself.” Jarrell said, yanking the blade from her stomach. “But I have never been one to give my opponent a fair fight.”

            Ishteal closed her eyes in an attempt to hold back the tears that threatened to consume her before the inevitable death that was to come.

            “You won’t get away with this,” she gasped, falling to her side while grasping her stomach, trying to hold back the flow of blood. “Mark…my…words.”

            “I won’t get away with this? Dear, I already have,” Jarrell said walking up to a soldier who was refastening the armor to his pants as Ishteal gasped a final breath before passing away. “Is she still alive?”

            “Yes m’lord. She is unconscious now, but still alive.”

            “Good,” Jarrell said, casting the blade from his hand to the ground. “Take her, and then seal this building. Once that’s done, get the engineers to reactivate the shielding for the palace. We will leave this palace as a final standing tomb for their fallen kingdom.”

            “As you wish, milord.”

            As the soldiers dragged the barely conscious woman away, Farrell walked to the end of the throne room, stopping at a solid wall where he paused for a moment’s thought. He pressed a hand on the red, painted wall before muttering a string of words under his breath and stepping back as the wall began to vibrant. The dust jumped off the walls and high rise ceiling, creating a white cloudy blanket as the wall in front of the warlord split open. As soon as the wall began to slide open a brilliant bright light burst out and filled the room, and with little hesitation, the Warlord stepped in to and vanished in to the brilliant light.

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2 Responses to NaNoWriMo 08 Ch.1

  1. WOW! I read the entire thing. I could not stop once I got into it. I especially liked your notes to yourself, lol! I think the story is exciting and draws in the reader almost instantly. I wanted more than just the Queen to survive….I wanted the warrior woman with the sword to survive as well. I was not connected with the opposing army but got connected to Lea. I really got to know Lea better than the Queen even. Just a thought for you. I don't know where the story is going but do you think you could let Lea survive with the Queen 🙂

  2. Rel says:

    LOL, thought I deleted all those notes…hmm..

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