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 Army of Me Chapter One(alpha draft) 
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Chibi-Czar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 12:58 pm
Posts: 220
Location: Dallas Texas USA
Post Army of Me Chapter One(alpha draft)
AOM chapter one

Okay, here it is- chapter one. I wrote the original draft of this chapter back before the last chapter of missionaries was posted, and it dictated a couple of changes. Chronologically this story ought to be happening about the time missionaries ends. Originally Pluto and Mars were going to be around, but with Setsunas untimely demise and Rei’s new years trauma I had to make a few changes! I don’t know how well Neptune works in the role I originally wrote for Rei (you might notice some leftover dialogue hasn’t been cleaned up yet) but I like how it plays you (and having the two aquatic Senshi hanging together is all the excuse I need for bath scenes!) anyway this thing has some chronological errors and such, but that can all wait till its dozen brothers and sisters get written. Lemme know how it looks so far!


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Eye of the Storm
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Once upon a time, there was a great and powerful kingdom on the Moons of the planet Jupiter. The house of Inachos- heirs to the moon Io- were protected by a corps of twelve knights who wielded the very magic of their planet in service to the royal house.

It is said, that at the dawn of the kingdom, a demon appeared to torment the peoples of Jupiter, a scar born from the first wound of an Age. It was an undying blight upon the heart of the people. For two thousand years, the Knights of Jupiter did battle with the Scar.

Legend speaks of the greatest of the Jupiter Knights facing the beast down in the last days of the Silver Era. Legend says that the Knight brought the demon low, defeating it with the last breath of magic left on the Moons of Jupiter.

There are accounts, however that contradict this legend. The Senshi of the Crystal age have found a Prophecy in the empty halls of Inachos Palace. According to the Queen of Jupiter, the Last of the Jovan Knights would fight the Demon, and fall in battle. This would seem to match the legend, save for one fact that has come to light in recent years. At least one of the Jupiter Knights survived the Silver Era.

During the tragic conflict on Luna that marked the close of the crystal age, a Knight of Jupiter called Ward was caught up in a spell meant to save the souls of the Kingdom from being devoured by the rulers of the Negaverse.

His soul was reborn on Terra a thousand years later in the country of America.

In the year 1999, the world froze. A power unleashed by an ancient alien race covered the world in ice, and for a thousand years, the world was held in that moment. then, a miracle. The imperial crystal, a relic of the silver era, awoke. In that moment, Usagi Tsukino, Sailor moon, claimed her destiny and used the gems power to free the world of the ice. It was now the year 3000.

In the aftermath, the world was forever changed. Powerful forces rose in the wake of the Ice. magic had returned after a restful slumber.

Five months after the Great Darkness, a young wizard known as Scratch decided on a whim to wreck a passenger train in the city of Dallas, Texas. Moments before he teleported away, he paused to play with the mind of one of the passengers. That psychic contact triggered latent abilities that helped save the man’s life as the train derailed, and he used them to save the life of another. That man was the reincarnation of the lost Jovian knight.

Sailor Mercury was sent undercover to investigate this reincarnation, and determine if Ward was to be an ally or enemy. Disguised as a student traveling abroad she met Ward as a guest in his family's home.

Ward was repeatedly attacked by Scratch, and Ami learned quickly that he wasn't to be any sort of foe to the Senshi. She fought alongside him as he recovered his heritage and powers. A romance began to blossom between them along with a strong bond of teamwork. They traced Scratch back to his master, who conspired to seize control of the growing magic in the city.

As June Winterstone summoned a dark force to grant her power, the Senshi arrived, and joined the battle to stop her. Winterstone was defeated in the streets of downtown Dallas, and Ward nearly lost his life.

Wounded in the final battle, Ward lost most of his power and would later learn that his Heart Crystal- the spiritual periapt of his reborn soul- was fractured. It had been broken when he was revived by sailor Jupiter. The magics used to create the knights placed limits on their power, and drawing energy from Jupiter after that limit was exceeded brought deadly consequences.

By the time he learned of this, however, Ami had become estranged, and was unaware of this fate. Her mother had disapproved of her relationship, and she had been forced into an ultimatum. Choose between her family name and her new love. She struggled with this in private, and Lee was unaware of her reasons for avoiding him.

Ward was not without allies, however. the Omega Web, a coven of mystics and the Senshi themselves came to his aid in this time of need- embarking on a mission to the moon Io to find a cure for his condition. Ami, learning of Ward's condition joined the quest. The mission was a success, and not only was his life saved, but his powers were reshaped into those of a Senshi.

Disaster struck when the last of a alien race known as the Galactic Lords emerged from a millennia of solitude and overthrew the landing party as they departed the moon. The alien had implanted his own mind in the brain of an Omega Web crew member. His victory was short lived, one of his own creations assaulted him, and in the resulting chaos, he was forced to retreat. This creation was a feline-human hybrid named Pi. Fleeing the ship, Lok’ela of the Uranok redemption has vanished from even the Omega Web's vision.

In the two years that have passed, the world has moved on. Countries have risen and fallen. The world has passed in and out of war and strife like a pendulum. In America, the Salem academy of magic has become the first public school of magic in the western world. private underground chapter houses across Europe have open their doors in response, and the world holds it's breath in unspoken anxiety of the outcome this may have. Meanwhile, in Asia- where magic was never quite forgotten- wise men and cunning women smile at the news as they show their apprentices the proper ways to prepare herbs and potions.

In Japan, the practice of Shinto has flourished, bringing renown to the simple tradition of monks who have kept the faith for thousands of years. Yuuichirou of the Cherry Hill shrine has earned much respect for his dedicated work in quelling spirit insurgents and performing exorcisms since becoming the senior priest of Cherry Hill. He has found himself with influence, and has used it to insure that the spirits of Tokyo are at rest.

Lee has continued to act as groundskeeper for cherry hill. His engagement to Ami Mizuno has caused a stir in the Japanese media. Other Senshi have dated foreigners in the past, and the relationship between Sailor Mars and Strike Fiss of Canada has been known for some time. However, the Mizuno family is a very old family, and the current matriarch, Ami's mother, has curiously remained publicly silent. The reporters have begun speculating that perhaps Doctor Mizuno disapproves of her daughter marrying a foreigner.

It is because of this silence, both public and private that Ami Mizuno has taken a short leave of office, and left Tokyo to visit her mother's estate in Kyoto. Ward remains in Tokyo, assisting with the New Year festival at Cherry Hill. Neither knows that events are already in motion that could tear their hard won happiness away. Neither knows that many thousands of miles away, a small craft glides through the asteroid belt undetected.

Neither knows that the prophecy was true, and is about to be fulfilled.


Lo the last Jovian warrior did awake,
thus loosened was the wound of dreams.
And it shall not be known unto the end
where hides the beast.

From betrayal is an ancient tool broken;
from it a new mystery emerges too late
to change it's wielder's fate.
The thief of mind laughed; believing victory at hand,
but rather ensured death would find him before the end.

A dark army rose,
all bearing the trust of it's prey
And the number of the army shall be two hundred and twenty two.
They set upon the nation of crystal
and brought ruin upon it's people.

I began to weep, but then I saw hope
in the form of the mind thief's only true child.
She would became his bane,
and by her hand would his craft be undone.

Then, I saw the blood of the messenger's daughter spilled,
awakening the deadly fury buried in a gentle heart.
The thunder awoke, and the sky did dim with wrath,
filled with the screams of dying guardians.
Lightning split the sky as unlooked-for power was unleashed
at long last.
The dead fell from the sky like rain
and all their faces were the same.

The last Jovian warrior did fall,
stripped of power and honor.
From those ashes, then did the wound of dreams finally rise,
shedding it's deception.
And then a choice was made,
but either choice meant death.



[]====================================================[]

This story is for Autumn, who saved me once upon a time.

[]====================================================[]



Chain Lightning Studios
In association with studio Shinnyo
Presents
Sailor Moon Omoi S2: Eye of the Storm
Book Three: Army of Me
Written by T.L. Webb


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[]===========================================[]
Lake Ray Hubbard, July 14, 3000, 0315 AM CST
[]===========================================[]


Ami woke from her dream to an unfamiliar, but comfortable sensation. There was a warm body pressed against her back, and an arm around her waist. Biting her lip, she smiled to realize that she didn't feel at all embarrassed at her own nudity or that of the man holding her against his body. She was proud of this- having long feared that she might find herself unable to embrace sex, and the closeness it implied.
She was a shy person by nature, unaccustomed to displaying her feelings. She had only let a select few people close to her heart, and never to this degree. She shifted against the man behind her, pulling his arm to draw them even closer.
Lee Ward had proven himself to her the moment he put himself in harms way to save her life. Even before he recovered the abilities of the Jovian Knights, or discovered her true identity- he had stood against Scratch. He was a man striving for the ideals of courage, chivalry and honor. He possessed a mind that quested to understand the world around him, a sense of humor that danced along the abstract and a kindness that touched her heart.
As she drifted back into sleep, she felt a soft whisper in her mind. The pendent around her neck- newly forged from a mystic talisman- tingled slightly as the mental link it forged between her and Lee flickered on. She turned in bed and pressed her forehead against his- looking into his sleeping face. His eyes twitched slightly under closed lids, and she let her mind drift towards his and looked into his dream.

The mountains of Io loomed behind her as she walked a old faded trail through the forest. She could hear arguing up ahead. Two voices- eerily alike were exchanging heated words, and she could feel anger blooming from just over the hill. As she approached, she realized she recognized the voices- and that they weren't truly separate.
One was the voice of Lee Ward, a data entry clerk in a medium sized internet business, the other was a Knight of the Moon of Io who shared his name. As she drew closer, she began to make out their words.
"This isn't open to debate, boy." The deeper and more powerful of the two voices insisted, "It is abundantly clear that the coming conflicts will require more discipline than you possess."
"I don't care- it's my life and my body and my god-damn future that you're talking about. Key word- mine."
"You claim to care about the future, but by denying me you will put it and the princess in jeopardy. This is foolishness, and you know it."
"You know what? I'd have a lot more confidence in your argument if you hadn't left me high and dry in the middle of Downtown. I had to fight those lunatics without your precious 'discipline', and I recall doing just fine."
"You can not conceive of the cost of your actions, boy- you were rash, impulsive and deeply foolish."
"Funny how I'm still breathing despite your bitching."
"Yes, you breathe for now."
"Meaning what exactly?"
"The price will make itself manifest. I see no reason to deprive you of the chance to learn it in your own time. As you so proudly boast- your fate is your own."
"You know what I think? I think you're pissed because I won without your help. I think you were shit out of ideas and you sat back to watch- praying I'd come up with something to save those kids and stop June. All those other times you took over- in the museum, outside the restaurant, and while I fought scratch downtown- you handled those just fine, but without your powers you were stranded. I think you're trying to horn in now because the crisis is passed and you think you can handle whatever else life throws at me. Well fuck you."
"You can think what you wish. It will not stop the future from coming into being."
"Cryptic much?"
"Yes."
"You know what? Piss off. I have your memories. I have your skills and I have your powers- or whatever's left of them anyway. I have an amazing woman who cares for me, a whole new life waiting for me in Japan and a chance to make an honest to God difference in the world. You can kiss my ass- because you're sure as hell not taking over my head."
"You will regret this decision."
"Yeah, well… I regret a lot of things."
As Ami watched through the underbrush, the armored figure of the Knight vanished in a hurricane of lightning, leaving behind Lee. He stood there for a while, then turned and walked towards her. She stood out on the path, and he waved when he saw her. As he approached, she considered what she had just seen. When she and the other senshi reincarnated, they had remained fairly close to their original personalities. Lee and his own past life seemed almost polar opposites. Grim seriousness and jovial good heartedness.
She embraced him and they kissed, both in the dream and in the waking world. In both, she felt a sense of unease from her lover. She sensed that he was unsure of whatever decision she had watched him make, and that he felt as if it might have greater consequences than he could anticipate.


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Disk Three
Track One
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Crystal Tokyo, Japan, January 01 3008 12:32 AM CST
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The light of the fireworks showered down upon Crystal Tokyo, and was reflected brilliantly off of the Crystalline walls of the city. It was the New Year's festival, and the streets were awash in celebration. As the sky erupted in joyous color, the people of Tokyo had almost entirely taken to the streets. Shrines all across the country played host to small carnivals. Cherry Hill was no exception. Lit by ornate paper lanterns, people sat in the grass around the shrine- enjoying the lights above, and walked the pathways- playing games of chance and skill.
Near one of the shrine's larger koi ponds, a man wearing shrine robes and a clay mask was surrounded by a cheering group of children. He was balanced upside down on the end of a broom handle. As the children laughed, he began to hop about- each jump bringing him closer to the pond. He stopped at the edge, his body twisting subtly to keep his balance.
The children gasped as he leapt back, the broom handle hovering out over the water for a vulnerable moment before striking sharply on one of the pools stepping stones. The masked man tilted wildly, and the children cried out in suspense. Then, balance returned. The masked man slowly bent at the waist, bringing one, then both feet down to the flat end of the handle in a startling display of flexibility and skill. With one last deliberate motion, he stood tall, balanced perfectly. The children erupted in applause, and the masked man bowed. He then stood, held his hands out wide and let himself fall backwards into the pool.
The children watched the spot where he landed for several seconds, then began to wander away one by one to find the next novelty of the night. far beyond the reach of the lanterns light, the masked man changed from soaked robes into a set that had been placed on a stone along with a stack of towels and a thermos of hot chocolate. He watched one of the last kids poke at the water with a stick, then run along to join his friends. he lifted the mask, revealing a bright smile and short brown hair. There was a silver pendent of a hammer around his neck, and it glittered in the light of a nearby firework.
Lee Ward chuckled and bundled it with his soaked robes. He waved to a few familiar faces as he walked along the path leading back to the building. As he passed a hallway door, he found Yuuichirou talking with a small group of older men- all wearing robes identical to their own. He walked past silently, setting his wet robes in a laundry hamper he'd placed there earlier that day.
He caught snippets of conversation- and realized he was hearing an extremely polite argument taking place. Yuuichirou was telling the men in firm but polite tones that he was keeping the current groundskeeper.
"But he is gaijin," the eldest protested, "the spirits will take offence."
"The spirits find him amusing," Yuuichirou said simply, "your protest has been noted and considered- I must now ask you to leave before our discussion disrupts the tranquility of this holy place."
Clearly upset, but unwilling to breech manners, the priests departed. Unseen during the discussion, Lee stepped from behind the door and into the room.
"I appreciate you looking out for me," Lee said.
Yuuichirou gave an exasperated wave in the direction of the priests, "they're doing what they think is best. I've had to defend your presence before- just not from anyone as well respected as them."
Lee's eyes widened as he put names to faces.
"That was the head priest of the shrine downtown, wasn't it," Lee said, "the one that all the businessmen attend."
"Yes, but I wouldn't worry."
"Mind if I do enough worrying for the both of us?"
Yuuichirou shook his head, "Lee, you were invited to stay here as a guest. An honored one, at that. When I found you raking leaves one morning. I said nothing, merely made a note in the books and started your salary. I never appointed you groundskeeper in any official capacity- it was a decision you made. you are welcome to continue on as groundskeeper as long as it continues to soothe your soul. Do take the night off, though- enjoy yourself. If you don't Ami's going to kill me."
Lee laughed aloud, "I did wonder why we were having the hallmark moment."
"Well I really did want to talk with you, but yes, she made me promise to make sure you enjoyed your New Years before she left last week. I hope I'm not overstepping."
"Naw," Lee said, "I don't mind. She’s right too. I think I'll go for a walk. It's been awhile since I wandered the city when I wasn't patrolling."
"Then go, and try to have a little fun."
"I'll try, and thanks," Lee said, walking down the corridor to his room.
Yuuichirou watched his departure, then went his own way.


[]==============================[]
Downtown Tokyo
[]==============================[]


The security system was silent, so the only noise other than the approaching sirens in the business district was the door exploding outwards of its hinges. A gust of wind came after it, roaring into the street like a runaway car. Leaves were stripped from the trees and rained down on the empty promenade.
Three slender figures ran out the open door and through the shower of needles and leaves. All three women wore stylized, tight fitting body suits with ideographic numerals. One wore red, the next white and the last wore a pale blue, and each wore a wig of the corresponding color. They were all young, and wore looks of fear and delight as they ran across the promenade and into the empty streets. A police car roared around the corner as they entered an alleyway, and reached the mouth of the corridor as they were halfway to the exit. The one in red turned and clapped her hands together sending sparks dancing from between.
A lick of flame roared out from her cupped palms and danced along the alley towards the car. It seemed alive, and bounced from wall to rail faster than the eye could follow. It struck the car in the side, burning through the back seat. The police- seeing this stopped the car and scrambled to get out. One made it out, the other was caught in the explosion as the fire melted through the seat and into the gas tank.
As the surviving officer beat the flames from his arm, the three girls resumed their dash to escape and freedom.
They ran for two miles, dodging through neighborhood festivals and parades. Twice a helicopter circled the area, but the girls had already disappeared into a funhouse by the time it came close enough to spot them. they changed their clothes and wigs while in the maze of mirrors. The three laughing young women emerged, having even changed their makeup.
The oldest of the three, and ringleader, grabbed the other two by the shoulders and hugged them tightly, "I suggest we go for a drink to celebrate."
"Tomiko," the youngest whispered, still nervous from the close scrape with authorities, "we're nearly broke- we should wait till tomorrow when we sell the jewels."
"Don’t be such a wussy, Yuka," the one who had been wearing red laughed, "we've won already. They'll never find us."
"Chisato is right," Tomiko, the eldest said, "we will enjoy this night- the last night of our poverty. We will celebrate it- and tomorrow, a whole new life begins."
"But Chisato really hurt that policeman, and-"
"I'm not going to argue about this," Tomiko said, narrowing her eyes, "unless you want it to be a very violent argument."
Yuka shrunk back from the older girl's glare, then hung her head meekly. Chisato broke out into a triumphant grin.
"No," Yuka said, "you're right. Lets go party."

[]====[]

The Shibuya district's festivals were always memorable. The goth crowd had come out it force to mourn the passing away of the old year, while the rave community busied itself with celebrating it birth of the new. It was a striking clash of cultures that somehow fit together, and complimented one another. People paraded down the street- some in costumes that would earn arrest on nearly any other day of the year. A swirling river of shining neon and black lace.
Singing a pop song in triple harmony, the trio of jewel thieves walked the block, taking in the sights and drinking the most expensive drinks they could find.
At two in the morning, they found themselves pleasantly buzzed and stopped to rest in a small children's park on the way to their apartment.
"After we get paid tomorrow I'm going to get fat," Yuka laughed, "and I'm going to love every second of it."
"yor such a tard, Yuka," Chisato giggled, "I'm going to stay in the same perfect shape, and I'm going to be a famous heiress who sleeps with only the most perfect young men. They will look upon me with lust and suffer when I do not look their way."
"You need rich parents to be an heiress, baka."
"So I'll give some cash to my folks to leave me when they die- no biggie."
The three broke out into an uproar of laughter at this, and as they gigglefit faded, they sat on the stone slide and watched the clouds drift by, catching the light of the city and shining it back down on them.
"What are you going to do with your share of the money, Tomiko?" Yuka asked, walking to the swing set. She sat down and began rocking back and forth.
"I'm going to buy a little house in the country, and let the world go on it's own damn way."
There was a soft click, a tapping of metal on stone, and Tomiko sat up from the slide she was laying on. She looked around, scanning the bushes around them for movement.
"You realize if you get fat, no one will want to sleep with you, right, Yuka?" Chisato teased
"Both of you shut up," Tomiko said, her voice dropping to a whisper.
"What is it, Tomiko?" Yuka asked
"I said be quiet!" he older woman hissed.
All three women stood, and took in their surroundings. The slide was a concrete mold- a mass produced public park sculpture you could find all over Tokyo. It was about five feet tall, and Tomiko scaled it in two steps.
"I don't see anyone," she whispered, "but I feel that we're not alone."
"Do you think it's the senshi?" Yuka whined
"shhh!"
The wind died down, and all three listened for any sound in the night. the crescent moon lit the park as it came from behind the clouds. They seemed to be alone after all. The moonlight faded, and they were left in the dim light of the park lamps.
"Damned nerves," Tomiko muttered.
"Y’all going to finish that sake?" a voice asked from nearby.
All three turned to the sound, and found a hooded figure crouched on the jungle-gym a few feet away. He was mostly concealed by a long coat, and was balanced on the metal railing.
"I only ask because I figure it might be the last alcohol you get for a couple of decades. Feel free to drink up."
"Who the fuck are you?" Tomiko screamed, stepping back and off of the slide. The others formed ranks on either side of her.
"I'm called Hotwire. I'm one of the Senshi," the hooded man said simply, "I'm here to take the three of you in for armed robbery, supernatural mischief, manslaughter and assault with supernatural energies."
The moon came out from behind the clouds again, and in the reflected light around them, the girls got a look at his face for the first time.
"Are you..." Chisato laughed suddenly, "holy fuck- he can't be senshi, this guy's a Gaijin!"
"I don't think you girls realize the trouble you're in here," Hotwire said as he pulled back the hood of his coal-colored coat, "if the police found you before we did, you'd have probably been shot. They don't take kindly to anyone murdering their men in the first place, and then you had to go and bring magic into the mix."
He looked to all three, as he said this, speaking calmly.
"You’ve just become the three most wanted women in Tokyo tonight," Hotwire said, "and I'm offering you this one chance to come out of it without further bloodshed. You come with me now, turn yourselves in and I'll speak on your behalf at the hearing."
"Are you shitting me?" Chisato spat, "what, did you rehearse that speech?"
"Actually, I did," Hotwire said with a shrug and a somewhat ironic grin, "this isn't exactly my first language, but I'm sure you already knew that."
"We can take him," Yuka whispered, "he's stalling for time- he'd have attacked if he could take all three of us."
"Please don't get ahead of yourself, darlin. We've been tracking you since you left the jewelry store. We let you go to keep casualties to a minimum. I got tapped to bring you in because I was closest. The other senshi are on their way. And maybe you three could drop me like a sack of potatoes, but you won't escape. Your adventure ends tonight. Let it end peacefully."
"What the hell is a po-ta-tos?" Yuka asked Tomiko.
"yuka's right," Chisato said, interrupting, "we have to act now."
"Don’t do this," Hotwire said "please."
"Sorry Gaijin," Tomiko said, "but thanks for trying."
"Shit," Hotwire said, flipping his hood down and rolling backwards off of the jungle-gym. A ball of flickering flame chased him and ricocheted off the bars until it struck his back in mid-air. There was a WHOOMP of air displacement as the flame died, and he landed, unburned. Small flakes of red ash drifted down around him as he stood and turned to face them.
Peering through the red, melting bars of the jungle gym, Tomiko saw sad resignation in the eyes of her enemy, and knew that she had made a bad decision.
Hotwire dodged to the right as another ball of fire came roaring from Chisato's cupped palms. He jumped over a spring-mounted riding toy, and pulled the spring as he flipped over it and hit the ground. He released the saddle, and it snapped back up just in time to smack the pursuing fireball off into the gravel play area. Tomiko held out her hands and let loose with a burst of frost and ice that flickered in the moonlight as frozen shrapnel rocketed towards the Senshi.
He spun something in his hands, and it grew as it twirled- sending pieces of ice flinging off into the air. Yuka watched from where she was frozen in place by fear. The senshi were far out of their league- they were going to go to jail- or worse, some type of reeducation camp for mystics. Then, she saw the Senshi shift the whirling blur to his other hand, and realized he was in pain. Chisato hadn't even scorched him, but Tomiko's attack had nearly frozen his hand solid. The frost covering his hand ran all the way up to his elbow.
Yuka had been included in the trio primarily because she was the only one of the three with any real idea how to use their recently discovered abilities. The others had been frightened and horrified after the night they got their powers. They'd feared that a curse had befallen them- but Yuka was otaku, and recognized their situation for what it was. she had convinced the others to practice, and soon they found the powers obeyed them if they concentrated. It was Chisato, however that suggested the heist and Tomiko who planned it.
She knew they'd rather have left her behind, but they couldn't afford to. She'd figured how to use their powers in concert to blow the vaults. Freezing, heating and then causing a concussive microburst of wind to shatter the fatigued metal.
Right now, she was also the only one of them with a clue as to what to do. She knew that a Senshi would be too skilled for them to take in hand to hand combat, and worse, this one seemed immune to Chisato's fire. His coat seemed to protect him somehow.
They needed to change their tactics fast if they were to survive. Seeing the effect of the ice, however, gave her an idea.
"Chisato!" she shouted, her legs at last obeying her and putting her in motion, "burn the trees!"
Chisato- shocked that her fires were washing off her foe like water, nodded and turned her flame to a tree trunk behind the Senshi. Tomiko, having needed a moment to gather her energies, let out another spray of frost and razor sharp shards. Hotwire suddenly seemed to vanish, shooting upwards so fast the eye had trouble following. The blur in his hand had stopped, and they saw he was being propelled upwards by a Chinese fighting staff covered with strange runes.
Yuka concentrated as Chisato set more trees aflame. The leaves around them began to stir, and as Hotwire descended in an arc to land atop the park's slide, the wind began to whip burning leaves and debris all around the playground. He found himself at the center of a nightmare of flame-. His hair caught alight as the leaves tore through the air around him. yet, instead of dropping to the ground to put his head out, he tucked the shrunken battle stave in a pouch on his belt and held his hands out to either side.
"GAYDAMINE THUNDER HAMMER!" he cried out, bringing two closed fists together in front of him.
There was a flash of brilliant green light, and then all three girls were blown off their feet as a concussive wave of force washed across them. The fires were robbed of their fuel, and in the backwash of the brief explosion of sound and force, the smoke was drawn inwards to curl into a mushroom shape above the park.
Tomiko was the first to her feet, although this was short lived. A round metal sphere burst through the smoky air and broke two teeth as it struck her face. She fell to the ground, not to awake until handcuffed to a hospital bed two hours later.
Chisato fared slightly better. She saw the Nyoi-bo retreat back into the smoke, and dodged the second attacked, aimed at her. Screaming curses, she unleashed her flame upon the park- melting the jungle gym and the swing set. Flame coursed from her hands, and through the sheet of heat and fire, she was horrified to see that her opponent wasn't even before her. The fire shut off like a water faucet, and the park suddenly grew dim, and orange as the only nearby source of light became the overheated puddles of metal around her. She looked around, seeing the fallen forms of her friends- Tomiko unconscious and Yuka sitting up and staring at her from outside the blast radius.
"Where the fuck did he go?" she shouted to Yuka, who seemed too terrified at the sight of her power at full to answer. Then, Yuka screamed. Chisato followed her line of sight, and saw Hotwire standing several feet away, crackling sheets of electricity flowing down his coat.
Before Chisato could raise her arms, Hotwire had crossed the distance. His passage left behind footprints glowing with green sparks, and as he struck Chisato, she felt an arc of electricity pass between them. a surge of pain hit her mind like a fist, although she felt his open palm over her ribs. Her entire body tensed, as her nervous system gave out from the stress. Thin tendrils of steam rose from her skin as the sweat evaporated. Then, she collapsed in a heap at his feet.
Yuka saw Hotwire shake his head. He turned and walked over to her in slow, measured strides. He stopped just a foot away, standing over her.
"Can we call it a night?" he asked her, offering a hand to help her up, "I really don't want to hurt y'all any more."
Yuka looked at the outreached hand, then up to his earnest, trusting brown eyes. she hesitated for a half second, then reached up to take it.
"You might have difficulty walking for a few minutes," he said as he pulled to help her to her feet, "the sonic boom can-"
He was cut off as the strongest wind he'd ever felt suddenly blasted both him and the teenager into the sky. In seconds they were over two hundred meters in the air. Yuka held onto his hand like a vice- and he watched the city shrink below with stunned disbelief.
They flew over two thousand feet in the air. They rose above a cloud and hung there as it drifted below them. The wind held them aloft, and while their ascension had ended, Hotwire was fully aware that the power of the young girl holding his arm was all that prevented them from reliving the journey in reverse.
"I'm not going to jail," Yuka shouted, her once innocent face twisted in anger and fear, "you can't make me."
"You don't want to do this," Hotwire yelled above the wind, "I can still-"
"Oh shut up," Yuka laughed, "It's gone too far and you know it. The cops will find a way to make me pay for what Chisato did. I'm a cop killer now, thanks to her!"
"I'm very sorry," Hotwire said, then began to speak under his breath.
"What did you say?" Yuka screamed at him.
There was a burst of blinding green light, and a blast of sound that caused her to bite her tongue. Thousands of volts of electricity coursing through her body, Yuka couldn't even scream. Enough power to send a antique sports car skipping through time left Yuka unconscious, and unable to control her power.
"Europa Lightning," Hotwire repeated as the wind died and they both began to fall.
Smoke drifted in Yuka's wake as a hole in her jacket burnt out from within. Hotwire flung his arms out, slowing his fall just behind her. Once he had the teen in sight, he leaned into the descent, his arms locked at his side. He shot downwards and he caught Yuka as he flew past. He turned as they tumbled together, securing a grip around her torso as he pulled the Nyoi-bo free with his spare hand.
He tuned both of them upside down and looked groundward- squinting his eyes against the wind. Twisting to change their angle, he held out the hand with the ancient staff, and the metal sphere on one end suddenly shivered, then thinned into a spike. He pointed this at the approaching earth and it shot outwards in a blink.
Several hundred feet below, the spiked end struck the concrete slide, and was buried into it.
As he felt the staff hit home, Hotwire hooked an elbow around it and began to slide down the length in a spin. Five hundred feet in the air, he came to a stop.
Hotwire let the Nyoi-bo lower them the rest of the way to the ground. When they reached it, he placed the unconscious girl on the slide, then walked to the gates of the park. The entire fight had taken only a few minutes, and the adrenaline was still pulsing through his bloodstream. He tapped a small red button on his watch.
"All units, this is Hotwire," he said in Japanese, "three murder suspects have been apprehended in Takami park. Send an ambulance and alert the burn ward. Over."

[]====[]

As he walked down the concrete steps leading back to the road, Lee saw a shape moving across the rooftops in his direction. Gliding down to street level, the shape gained definition, and he smiled. One of the other Senshi had arrived. It took a moment to identify the color of the approaching woman's Fuku. He sat down, looking at his left hand, where he still had melting frost clinging to the fabric of the coat. He shook it, and watched the ice fall to the ground in tiny puddles of slush. He flexed his hand a few times, working out the cold.
"The lightning bolt seemed a bit much," Sailor Saturn said as she approached from the park gateway. She sat down beside him, resting her hands on her knees and leaning down to look him in the eye.
"Probably," Lee said, shaking the rest of the slush from his arm, "got a little carried away, I guess."
"Want to talk about it?" she asked.
"I guess I've been edgy ever since Setsuna died," he said, dwelling on this for a moment before continuing, "She told me to stay behind that day. I was all set to go… and she walked into the shrine just as I was finished packing my gear and told me she wanted me to stay in Japan with the others. That’s why I was in the Palace when the bombs started going off. It was how we stopped sixteen more in route. Lost about thirty good officers, all told. I saw one of the bombers just before he… the guy just smiled and threw the switch. Boom, and three people die- just like that. If I hadn’t used my thunder hammer spell to re-direct the blast at least ten more have been toasted. But the whole time, I kept wondering-was this why she told me to stay? Is that normal; wondering if she was setting you up or not?”
“Setsuna drove us all a little crazy sometimes,” Hotaru said, “she’d drop hints here and there about the future, acting according to some complex system of rules concerning exactly what she could say about it. Just asking if she would like to go out on the town could turn into a guessing game. But she helped us when necessary, and we made it through all those battles. When she fell… I guess I still don’t believe she’s really gone. Kind of funny, me being the Senshi of death and all.”
Hotaru paused a moment.
“You’re not going to find any answers sitting around Tokyo brooding about it,” Hotaru said, “None of us ever did. If you want my opinion, I think that you ought to go back to the states for a few days. Trust me, if you want to get out of this funk, you need familiar faces right now."
“Was that a Caucasian joke?” Lee said.
Hotaru paused for a moment- her eyes wide. Then, just as she was about to defend her words she saw his smile. Rolling her eyes, she shoved him and smiled, “you dork. We were having a moment there.”
“Sorry,” he said, “I have been meaning to drop in on April. Do you want anything particular as a souvenir when I get back?"
"Something western," Hotaru said as the paramedics arrived and raced past them to the trio of unconscious mystics in the park.
"everything’s west of this place," Lee chuckled, rising to his feet, “okay then- something western it is. You have been warned.”
The moon came out again as he walked off, and Hotaru waved. She sat there for some time afterwards, looking over the valley beyond the park; watching the city lights.


[]====[]


The very same moon shone on the mountains outside in Kyoto, and beneath it, Ami adjusted her coat as she sipped her steaming tea. Soft footsteps approached, but she didn't have to turn to know it was Michiru coming with the comforter. She handed her friend the second cup beside her as she sat down, and they watched the snow fall in the mountain in silence for some time.
They had been there for two days, and would remain for the rest of the week. Her mother lived by a very strict schedule, and they wouldn't actually be meeting until the following morning.
"Yuuichirou called," Michiru said, "the festival ended an hour ago."
"Did it go well?"
"He said they had a record turn out- mostly because of the new gardens. They’ve been keeping people out of the east acre for months while Lee finished the pond. Everyone in the neighborhood wanted to see it."
Ami smiled. She knew Lee had been excited about the layout- he’d worked on it for over a year before even letting her see the sketches.
"He also said that he did what you asked. So did Hotaru and Usagi said she’s writing the trip up as a ‘goodwill ambassador thingy’ to use her exact words. Did I ever tell you that you're a sneaky bitch when you set your mind to it?"
"Language dear," Ami said, smiling, "and I'm just thorough is all. I learned well from watching you handle Hakura all those years."
"Point. Well, that wasn't the only reason that Yuuichirou was calling. He had a visit from Mr. Tomaka."
"The priest of the downtown shrine," Ami said, nodding.
"Apparently several of the local shrine elders were with him, asking that a certain groundskeeper be fired."
"Hmm."
"Ami, I know you're the mistress of ice, and you have a reputation to keep, but responding with 'hmm' when someone's making moves against your fiancé is a bit... cold. Are you worried about this at all?"
"I'm worried, but it's not a surprise. It's a first move. There will be more. If I get upset now, later will be an absolute disaster. So; calm."
"Rei’s supposed to be the zen one," Michiru said with a roll of her eyes.
"I've had almost a year to prepare for this. I'll have my breakdown after it's all over."
"I understand," Michiru said, "it's just that I'm here for emotional support, and you seem to have forgotten to pack your emotions."
Ami's lips pressed together in a small frown as she heard this, then she laughed.
"Sorry about that," she said, smiling at her friend, "it's just that if I open that door, it'll all come out in a rush and I'll never make it through this. My mother is just the opposite. Father once told me that once they went camping and came upon a man with an animal bite. He was half mad, and while mother was stitching up his leg, he stabbed her in the thigh with a hunting knife. Father knocked the man unconscious, and during the entire affair- as father stitched her wound- she never once cried out or stopped what she was doing."
"You called me an ice maiden? Compared to her, I'm merely lukewarm. She was kind to me as a child, but every year that faded. It’s been gone since Usagi took the crown and we let the world know who we are."
"Was she ashamed of you?"
"Goodness no, she was incredibly proud."
Ami looked down at her tea. She thought about the day she'd been called home several years ago- after her mother had learned of the relationship with Lee. Ami had arrived at the downtown office in the late afternoon, weary but looking forward to seeing her mother for the first time since the great darkness. Her mother had greeted her, and they spoke for fifteen minutes before Dr. Mizuno casually explained to her that if she did not end her relationship with the gaijin that she would be disowned from the family.
She'd sat there across from her mother, and fought the urge to scream for another ten minutes as the doctor changed subjects and they discussed improving the Tokyo medical center. She had forced her face to remain passive until the clock struck, and the meeting ended. She made it all the way to the elevator before the tears started.
She'd been afraid for so long that Lee wouldn't understand. She hid from the problem, half dreading and half hoping he'd break off their relationship. She deluded herself into thinking that if he did that they could remain friends. That somehow things would still be okay. In the process she nearly lost him forever.
In the end she found that he understood after all. He had waited, and welcomed her back with open arms.
Four years had passed since Io, and it was time to face the ultimatum her mother had laid down. The price would be high for what she planned to do, and not only to her. The repercussions of this act were going to run deep across the entire nation. It was because of this, that she had been counseled to wait.
Setting her tea aside, Ami clasped her hand over the pendent of the Royal crest of Mercury around her neck, and she gave a small prayer to the highest kami that she was doing the right thing.


[]====[]


Orbiting the sun known as Sol, between the planets Mars and Jupiter, a massive ring of shattered stone drifts through space. No living person knows what caused these asteroids to gather there. Some scientists on Earth theorized that the asteroid belt might be debris from a tenth planet, although no evidence has ever confirmed this theory. The band of Scientists called the omega Web once stationed engineers in the asteroid fields to mine for ore in the days before they perfected synthesizing technology.
For several months, these abandoned facilities had supplied the captain of a small space vessel with supplies and materials. The ship had been refitted many times over, storage tanks and extra chambers had been welded to increase not only the size of the ship's interior, but provide storage on the outside. This was not a vessel meant for planetary travel, but rather a ship intended to become a home in space.
A particularly bad storm of dust- capable of ripping the hull to shreds had driven the ship into a large asteroid's cavern network, and as it sat in the dark of the passage, small probes were released from an outside storage tank. Small spider-like robots scrambled out into the cave, and sent back video and sonar feeds as they traveled.
The lone occupant of the vessel sat in the bridge, sipping an orange liquid from a baggie with a straw. The liquid floated freely within the bag.
He wore a black vacuum suit that fit over him like a second skin. Long red hair drifted in the air around him as he listened to a woman sing of her unconscious mental activity. His expression was that of a lover of classical music during the climax of a Beethoven composition.
He took another drink from the straw and glanced at one of the many monitors strapped to a framework before him. It showed a rendered map of the cavern system as delivered by the probes outside.
One of the probes deepest in the cavern suddenly stopped moving as it received an anomalous reading. He watched as it sent out several rapid sonar bursts, and compared the data. On confirmation, it began sending the rendered map of a structure that was obviously designed by living creatures. He was fairly certain masonry didn't happen by chance.
"Looks like the day won't be wasted after all," he said with a smile.
He leaned back in his seat and hummed along to the music as the computer continued to render the schematics.

[]====[]
[]====[]

_________________
"I never made any great claims on my sanity"
Hotwire
Chain Lightning Studios


Last edited by Hotwire on Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:47 pm
Profile
Chibi-Czar

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 12:58 pm
Posts: 220
Location: Dallas Texas USA
Post Re: Army of Me Chapter One(alpha draft)
[]===============[]
salem new england
[]===============[]

As the cab drove through the wooded highway outside of Salem, Lee looked over his diplomatic papers and the accompanying documents for travel in the United States. He smiled as he noticed that the travel papers had been signed two days before he’d even asked. Ami was looking out for him again. They both did that from time to time- anticipating the others moods and concerns and quietly dealing with them. It was one of the advantages that being able to read each others minds gave them. He absently brushed his thumb across his throat where the Pendent of Moljonier hung.

traveling along Shadow Lane Road, the driver took an unmarked exit and they traveled down a well maintained gravel roadway. Lee noticed that there were a number of cars parked along the road as they neared a massive set of gates. Around the gates were people, all wearing a look in their eyes that was familiar, in the tiresome sort of way of a reoccurring hangnail.
They marched in a circle, carrying signs which announced things like ‘god hates magic’ and ‘witches are whores’ along with less original declarations. Those carrying the signs wore strained expressions that were either fury or constipation. It was difficult to tell and they had likely been there all morning.
It depressed him to know that it would get worse for the school. Christianity was deeply rooted in America, and it wasn't taking the reemergence of magic well at all. Lee considered himself Christian, he knew he had lapsed over the years, but the core of his faith was still in tact. He didn't feel threatened by people of other faiths- or even people who drew power from their faiths. Sadly, a large portion of Christianity was not quite so open minded on the subject. It wasn't quite at the lynching stage, but that was mostly because so much of the truly mythic chaos had happened outside the US.
This was part of the reason for the protests. They were afraid it meant they were next. People claimed that the school would be a training ground for mystic terrorism. They accused the school of promoting and teaching devil worship.
The true reason it depressed him, however, was that the Christians didn't seem to see their own precarious position. There was a movement in America to reject all things supernatural- and all faiths that supported it. Lee wondered how many people would be surprised when their forms worship were thrown into the same category as spell-craft. Would they allow themselves to side with people they'd cast stones at for thousands of years?
“I’ll get out here, thanks,” Lee told the suddenly relieved driver.
He got out of the Taxi and retrieved his knapsack from the trunk. As he walked towards the protesters, he noticed a sign come around the circle he hadn’t seen before.
It read- Snape is Innocent.
Lee had to fight to keep a straight face as he passed the line. It grew more difficult when a helpful young girl handed him a pamphlet telling of the evils of magic. He thanked her and stuck it in his pocket. Several of the picketers shouted at him as he approached the gate- calling him a sinner and a fool and worse. He ignored them, sinking into his thoughts.
The smaller gate to the side opened at his pull- which surprised him a little. He stepped over the threshold and shut the gate behind him- just as a pair of severe looking men reached the gate behind him. They pulled repeatedly on the gate, but it didn’t budge. They banged on the bars- shouting to be let in and Lee shrugged, and then walked down the road towards the school.
After a half mile, he the trees opened up and he saw the school.
The campus had originally been a community collage that had gone under financially halfway through construction. The Coven of Twelve, headed by April Foxglow bought the land, and had turned it into the Salem Academy- the first open training center for the mystic arts.
"helloooo-Hogwarts," he said under his breath.
“Not quite but it is the second most popular book series on campus.” A voice said beside him.
Lee looked to find August Dayspring leaning against a tree. August had been with the mission to Io, and Lee owed the man his life. August still wore his hair long- and still looked like he belonged in a bishonin comic.
“What’s the first? Lord of the Rings?” Lee asked as they shook hands.
“Diskworld, actually. Chaos magic is one of the more popular courses, and they love that sort of thing. How have you been? We haven’t seen you since that dinner two years ago.”
“Things have been… busy. Being a full time Senshi eats your personal life, and… well you know about Setsuna.”
“We all mourned the loss of the Senshi of time- more so than you might expect. Our faculty recognizes the astrological importance of her place in the Senshi pantheon. Things have been very interesting in the astral reaches since last year.”
“right.” So where’s April?”
“She’s in her chambers dealing with some political issues, lets see how she’s doing.”

[]====[]

as he followed August up the stairs leading to the main building. inside, students of a wide variety of ages walked the halls. Their clothes ranged from practical to outrageous with hair of every shade of the rainbow, and more than a few walked the halls stark naked.
They made their way through the crowd, and to a door marked Faculty Only. Paintings of doorways lined the hall. Upon close inspection, a passerby might notice that the ink moved slightly in some paintings, and a perceptive passerby might realize that it was in fact a live image.
Under each painting was a name corresponding with a month of the year. The Coven of Twelve were the children born of a fertility ritual. During a year of power, one child was born each month, and named for it. there had been a few setbacks over the years. The month of May yielded twins, bringing the total number of the Coven to thirteen- not necessarily an unlucky number, but certainly an ominous one. Then, June Winterstone had rejected her mothers teachings, abandoning the coven and turning to darker forces to fuel her power.
The Coven had recovered, however, and seemed to be thriving nowadays.
At the end of the hall a final painting held a purple curtain. Without hesitation, reached into the canvas and pulled aside the curtain. then stepped into the painting, which rippled and changed to show a warmly lit room within.
When he entered the painting himself, he found he could hear an angry conversation from a room away. The room they arrived in was circular, with several doors leading into adjoining rooms. He could see a figure moving quickly back and forth, pacing.
"I don't care what your administration's policy is, Bethlehem," April Foxglow said, "your authority does not extend to this campus."
There was a pause, then April gave a brief sharp laugh.
"I'm very sure you do. Let me give you my perspective. We’re an educational facility that teaches people how to understand the world around them in ways modern science has abandoned and ignored for several hundred years. We've been planning this school for quite some time now. We're prepared to weather abuse from religious groups, scientific institutes, left AND right wing reactionaries, government spin doctors, and PETA. If you think you can outdo them in creating a threat to us, then I look forward to the spectacle. I do assure you that we've gotten ourselves nice and comfortable here. Salam has the largest population of mystics in the continental US, and I don't think you, or any of our other detractors are equipped to uproot us without paying dearly for the presumption."
"yes I realize I'm insulting the honor of your special forces group, Mr Bethlehem. I've spent the past several months wrangleling with politicians and activists who currently command small armies in their territories- you frankly don't frighten me as much as the inbred rednecks with nuclear weapons who run my home state right now. Your inspection team won't be allowed within fifty feet of this school."
There was a short pause.
"Oh thank you, it's been hours since someone called me a rampaging bitch. Feel free to fly down so we can discuss this further. Just try to keep a more civil tongue in your head, or it might find a new home."
There was a loud crash as the phone hit a wall, and a short burst of profanity from the adjoining room.
"Damn April, did you just pick a fight with the Duke of New York?" Lee laughed as she stormed in through a beaded curtain.
"August," April said- ignoring Lee, "lets forget for a moment how many wards and shields you just bypassed- you brought a guest. Are you just showing off or is this how you arrive in everyone's private sanctum?"
"Surprise?" August offered helpfully.
"And you, "April said, "get over here and hug me, Lee."
April laughed, and met him halfway across the room- throwing her arms around him.
"Welcome to my home," she said, giving August a calculated glance, " unannounced as though you may be, welcome."
"Why in the world would PETA be mad at you?" Lee asked as they sat down in the circle of couches that surrounded a fireplace.
"There are some magicks that can only be done with the power of sacrifice," April said, "and while we have a severe ban on killing humans, a few people on campus use animals. Mostly chickens and goats. The occasional hamster."
"Kinda freaky," Lee said, "I can see why some folk might get riled. Isn’t that stuff dangerous to the soul though?"
"you're right to say that blood magic can taint the soul if done without reverence to the life being taken," April replied, "and murder for power is against everything we hold dear. But when you commune with the infinite, sacrifice is often necessary. If you go back far enough, most faiths are bathed in blood. Didn't the Carpenter use his own life to open such a channel for the people of your faith, Lee?"
"Yep, "Lee replied, "and way before that it was Abel's sacrifice that god smiled upon over Cain's. I get what you're saying. I just think that it's a bad time to be gutting sheep."
"It’s a bad time to be doing anything supernatural, but we've chosen not to hide ourselves. The only way that people are going to accept the supernatural is if someone's there that can explain it. this is first and foremost, a school. anyway I have class in an hour. Your room has been prepared."
A small glowing shape suddenly darted into the room. Leaving a purple afterglow behind it, it rocketed through the room like a drunken hornet before stopping right in front of Lee's nose.
A little fairy hovered in front of him. it had black hair, and wore a dress made of a soda wrapper. A purple halo of light surrounded her, and purple sprinkles of dust drifted below.
"hi, I'm Shasta," she said, "I'll take you to your room now."
Lee blinked, and looked up at April.
"She’s a fairy," she explained, "specifically an urban pixie. They’re a relatively new phenomenon. I found her in a garbage dump last month."
"I like her, she's funky," Lee said.
Shasta frowned and looked at him with hands on her hips, "did you just insult me, pecker-breath?"
"She’s also a little salty in the language department," April added, "Shasta, Lee thinks funky is a compliment. He's weird like that."
"Really? Fuckin' cool!" the diminutive creature giggled. She landed on Lee's shoulder and pointed to the west, "you're rooms are over there."
Then her wings made a sudden whirring sound as they fluttered, and she took off with a shot in that direction.
Rising to their feet, Lee followed after.

[]============[]
Kyoto Japan
[]============[]

Save for it's occupants, the only feature of the room was the table. It held several sheets of paper, and a calligraphy set.
The woman with hair so black that it seemed an absence of light in the room studied the document before her, then with one steady motion, picked up the brush beside it. With delicate and swift strokes, she dipped the pen in the ink and signed the page. Her eyes shifted back to meet her daughters. At no point had she moved her head, or any part of her body that wasn't pertinent to the task.
Ami sat across from her, silent and patient. She was fighting a horrible itch on her nose, and had held her posture perfectly despite it. She held her eyes level with her mothers, and smiled as she spoke.
"We had a meeting with the Tokyo police force and worked out a charter for a new Psyonics division."
"I imagine this caused quite a stir."
"Yes, the negotiations took us several months. We had to assure the policemen that heir jobs weren't at risk, and we had to assure the public that we aren't creating an Orwellian thought police state."
"Wouldn’t that be an effective crime deterrent?"
"It would, if it were actually feasible. The number of psychics necessary to cover a city as large as Tokyo alone would be at least as large as our regular police force, and there just aren't enough telepaths to go around for that sort of thing. Precognition isn't reliable enough to use as testimonial evidence, and most other talents are too independent to make reliable officers. We've been lucky to find enough stable and sane psychics to start the program at all."
"I see. I do hope that Queen Serenity is still considering the motion to reinstate the Samurai."
"She is, but that is a project that may take generations to come to fruition."
"Why would that be?"
"Because if we are to restore the Samurai, then it must be done so that their order will stand for centuries. The first to be called must be prepared to follow their code with a dedication that the first samurai possessed."
"Surly such Japanese may be found among us still."
"We are looking," Ami said, "but we don't expect to find more than a half dozen. The Samurai of this age must possess more than just swordsmanship. They must possess the ability to wield their chi as a weapon. Such people are rare, and often their talent unrecognized."
"Something that would never have happened if we had let the west alone," Dr Mizuno sighed, "the greatest thing that our queen has done has been to reinforce our island's independence from the western world. It is now us to who they look for aid. "
Ami smiled, "our independence is the key to renewing the hearts of our people. We are at the dawn of a new age, and we are doing everything we can to nurture the spirit of our people back to health."
Dr Mizuno smiled, but it was a hollow pantomime. Ami knew why, and was glad that the subject would not be brought up. Her mother smiled, but inside Ami knew that she was writhing. It comforted her somewhat to know that she was forcing her mother to work harder in order to maintain her demeanor. She would not bring Lee up this day- that would come later. The anticipation was agonizing, but she was dealing with it. She also made a mental note that her mother must be under an enormous amount of stress if it was even possible to detect anything at all out of the ordinary.
They spent the afternoon speaking of politics and policy. They discussed the advances medical science was making as they learned to detect the human aura. They had a simple and delicious dinner, and then Ami returned to her room. It was a wonderful day, and Ami made sure to remember that. She made sure that no matter how bad things got when she and her mother spoke about her fiancé, she would treasure this day.


[]===================[]
The Salem Academy
[]===================[]


"There is something I've been meaning to ask you for some time," August said as he and Lee walked the grounds of the campus.
"Shoot," Lee replied.
"I'm aware that you are a Christian. April tells me that you've never really objected to magic, and yet you've chosen not to practice the art itself. Why is that?"
Lee thought for a moment.
"It’s complicated," Lee replied.
"Something you don't wish to discuss?"
"No, I'm cool with talking about it. It's just that I've always had a hard time articulating this. When April asked, I told her that I felt it would be disrespecting my faith."
"She told me as much, but that doesn't explain why you continue to do so even now when your fate is so entwined with magic. How do your powers as a Senshi not contradict this?"
"What do you believe in, August?"
"Mathematics, the worlds of thought and dream, angelic hosts and the power inherent within their movement through our world."
Lee nodded, "Ever since I gained the memories of my life on Io, I've sort of struggled with what I believe. Learning Magic was real, and the senshi were more than just a Japanese urban myth wasn't very traumatic for me, it was more of an epiphany. It was like learning that not only is Santa real, but so are Jedi."
"While I don't know about the fat man, it may amuse you to know that there are a half dozen or so active Jedi in Australia and the UK."
"They got lightsabers?" Lee asked, perking up.
"Not to my knowledge," August said- smiling as Lee gave an over exaggerated sigh of disappointment.
"Oh well... but you see my point, right? So much is real now that people always told me didn't exist. There are fairies, super villains, wizards and ghosts. UFOs. covert societies of super-science. Dragons. Angels. Think about that last part for a moment. Angels are real. Maybe it's just a fluke- winged hosts of mystic warriors who revere an entity that they call God. What I'm saying is that if angels are real, then I think there is a pretty good chance that there is a God."
"I grew up believing in God, August. I didn't even question it until my late teens. I was leaning towards agnostic before the train wreck that pulled me into all this, but I never abandoned my faith entirely. I've read about Wicca, kabala, Taoism, Gnosticism, Buddhism, and Santeria. I enjoy learning about other peoples faiths and their practices. I just don't plan to take any of them up."
"But what about you own powers? What keeps those from being a violation of your faith? Isn't magic forbidden?"
"I don't know, to be honest," Lee replied, "I spend most of my nights wrestling with it. I guess I've come to believe that these powers were allotted to me with a condition that I do my absolute damndest to be worthy of them."
"It would seem to me that with training, you could harness even more power."
"August, maybe you've never noticed it, but there's a strong tendency in this line of work to go overboard in the 'accumulation of power' department. It usually ends with a lot of blood and too many good people dead."
"So you feel that power would tempt you?"
"Not exactly."
"Then what?"
"Why are you so intent on this topic?"
"I teach magic professionally, Lee," August said, "I find it interesting that someone would possess as much mystic potential as you do and refuse to train themselves to tap into it. I understand that you might disagree, but your choice seems paradoxical to me"
"You mean hypocritical," Lee said, "and maybe you're right. I don't pretend to be sure about this. But I made up my mind on this subject some time ago. I'm not going to justify my conscience to you. Sorry"
"No need to apologize. I just wanted to understand your choice. At any rate, I wonder if you'd be willing to speak in my class tonight?"
"They're studying the fabric of space and time, what could I add?"
"You possess an ability to speed up your temporal perceptions and accelerate your body through mystic means," August said, "I'm sure they'd love to hear what bullet-time feels like first hand."
Lee considered this, and with a smile, agreed.

[]========================[]
.07 seconds in the future
[]========================[]


In a place just outside the edge of space and time, a young woman in a lab coat strode purposefully down a stark white hallway. At the end of the corridor, a light blinked green, and a door cycled open. It was curved, and made of several interlocking panels that folded and collapsed as they opened to allow the woman.
She was a member of the Omega Web named Lovelace. She was just over five feet tall, twenty two and violently red-headed. Freckles cascaded across her face and arms, and she made no effort to conceal them with makeup.
Inside the sealed room, a small lithe figure was sitting on a cushion. The room was circular, and contained little furniture, save for a carpeted pole in the corner.
"Good afternoon, Pi," Lovelace said.
"hiya," Pi replied, looking up at the ceiling, where a projector was showing a historical document on Eastern pictographic languages.
"What's the topic today?" Lovelace asked, sitting beside the cat-girl. Pi had been given access to much of the OW database, and was learning at a phenomenal rate. The only reason that she hadn't memorized it all was that she hadn't seen even a fraction yet. There were only so many hours in the day, and at best it would take her fifteen years to see all of it.
"I'm learning Chinese."
"What dialect?
"All of it."
Lovelace smiled, she was a new recruit in the Web, and was sharing her lesson time with the cat-girl.
"Showoff- it'll take me all month to catch up."
"You're the one who keeps trying to make this a contest."
"It helps keep me motivated. The Web's had more than one member with ADD as bad as mine."
"Couldn't they cure that?"
"They could, but I opted not to. Some of the Web's best members have ADD and use it to advantage. If I can tackle my studies properly I'll improve my chances of making a name for myself in the Web. Hence the competition. I know I can't match the speeds you learn at, but trying forces me to work hard enough to keep you within sight."
"Well I'm glad you're in my class," Pi said, "you know all the good movies."
"Well if I accomplish nothing else in my life, I at least got to introduce the greatest thinking machine the world has ever seen to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. that ought to look good on my resume."
Pi grinned, and turned back to the monitor, and went about broadening her vocabulary

[]====[]

The curtains of April's bedchambers parted at her approach. She was late for dinner. Her class had gone long. So often she got caught up in the exhilaration of teaching. Talking theory with the class always left her with an extra mental high. She threw her clothes aside as she strode through the room, heading for the shower.
"I was planning to make a rather more intimidating production of this," a voice said from her left, "but I feel that I should just announce myself before the moment becomes any more awkward."
She spun around, dressed only in a tank top and found a man sitting near the fire pit. She knew him well enough from the television, and his self righteous smirk was even more irritating in person. she wasn’t going to let him get the upper hand by angering her. Not while she wasn’t wearing pants, anyway.
"Some people have themselves announced before they enter someone's home," she said, not making any effort to cover herself.
"It’s strange, but after our charming talk last night I felt an odd and overwhelming need to show you up. Almost as if someone had made a vicious and uncalled for attack on my masculinity. A rare event in diplomacy, and one that usually results in reprisals of some kind."
"And that's why you’re here?"
"No, but I suppose It'll be difficult to convince you of that. The reason I'm here is because you're about to make a very foolish political mistake."
"Oh really?"
"Very much so."
"You come in to my home, and then tell me I'm being foolish? Do you know that I can nuke you where you sit?"
"I suspected you might feel the urge, and I rather have a higher opinion of your intelligence than to believe you'd actually attempt to do so. Just the same, I'd like you to meet a friend of mine before you tried that. May I invite her in?"
April looked into his eyes, and found them fastened tight. This man had been trained to shield his thoughts. Reading this mind would take time and preparation, two things she didn't have if she gave any sign that she was in any way not on top of this situation.
"By all means, but if it's all the same to you, I'm going to take a second to dress for company," she said.
Bethlehem, who at no time had taken his eyes from her own nodded, and produced a small black cell phone from his pocket.
"Dorothy, you can come in now," he said as April went to her closet and changed into a short tunic that was only slightly more decent than the shirt she'd been in.
As she returned, a small, meek woman walked into the room from a side door. She was dressed in a sweater and a long denim skirt that came down to her ankles. she had dark hair that she tied back in a ponytail and horn-rim glasses that were so old that they were back in style for the second time.
"Hello," she said with a brief, shy smile.
"Welcome," April said, "now what is this about Bethlehem?"
"You’ve been working off of several misconceptions, Miss Foxglow.
But the one I'm here to discuss is that you believe I am not in favor of your establishment here."
"That isn't what you told sixty minutes."
"Yes, I told them differently in the interview. I told them I would order an immediate investigation into any dangerous satanic practices here. And I plan to do just that."
"And you're not contradicting yourself how?"
"I've given enough study to the occult to know how important what you're doing here is, Miss Foxglow. Given the changes our world is seeing, it is more important than ever that you succeed. But just because I believe this does not mean that the people of New York do. I understand your position, and I respect your desire to keep outsiders from stomping around your school looking for more reasons to hate you when they already have so many."
"What is it that you want?"
"I want you to let our inspectors do their job."
"I told you before- that isn't going to happen."
Bethlehem sighed, "I really wish you'd reconsider that."
"why?"
"Because the sooner I can conclusively prove that I'm not backing a group of devil worshipers the sooner I can start providing public support to your school. I appreciate your idealism, but the world looks at its leaders with a much more cynical eye."
"Okay, lets say I believe you," April nodded, "what happens next?"
"next, I go home," Bethlehem said, "I'll let you think about what I've told you and tomorrow, I'll call you to discuss the terms of the inspection team's visit. Before I go, I do have a question for you, however."
"What’s that?"
"You handle admissions for the school?"
"Yes."
"Dorothy has an unusual talent, and while I feel the best place for her is here, she is unfortunately indispensable to my staff. I was wondering if anyone might be able to tutor her."
"and what is this talent?"
"I can nullify magic in close proximity," Dorothy said suddenly, then blushed and retreated back into her turtleneck.
April looked at the mousy girl in surprise. In her mind, a number of factors were added up. That Bethlehem had brought this woman into her presence was like bringing a loaded gun into the room. Yet when she'd first arrived, Dorothy hadn't been there. Bethlehem had met her without the protection her power implied if it proved true. She realized how he'd gotten past her mystical defenses into her chambers now, and she made a note to make a change to that.
She wasn't sure what to make of Bethlehem now. Was he threatening her, making a peace offering? Was it possible to do both at once? She decided to treat this as if he were being absolutely straight with her, and gave Dorothy a smile.
"I'm sure we can spare an intern at some point to give her lessons," she said, "I'll see who has the time and get back to you on the issue."
"I'm glad that we could come to terms," Bethlehem said standing, "I look forward to our talk tomorrow- I hope it's at least as energetic as our last."
He and Dorothy stood, and headed for the door, leaving April by the fire pit with a bewildered smile.


[]===================[]
The asteroid belt
[]===================[]


Lok’ela’s ship anchored to the asteroid unfolded two of it’s cargo pods. They rose on stilted legs, and leapt to the ground. A third pod detached, and as it lowered to the ground arms and legs unfolded from it, revealing the pod to be a humanoid armor suit. Inside, Lok’ela controlled its landing and instructed the other pods to follow as the armor made its way up a series of steps leading to a sort of primitive temple entrance at the top.
The architecture was remenecient of the miserable peoples of the Jovian moons, but much more primal. The structures on Io had been made with an eye towards grace. This place ignored grace for raw force of emotion. The lines of the walls and even the stairs drew the eye to the center where a dim light shone from the temple entrance.
“Somebody’s home then?” Lok’ela mused as his suit and gear climbed the steps.
But his sensors showed no life. Not that anything unprotected could live in the vacuous empty husk. They were detecting a distortion in the timestream. The data itself didn’t make much sense- it was as if several different moments of time were compressed into the largest chamber within the temple. The visual footage was no help- a glowing green sphere floating over a platform. That told him only that light in the green spectrum was all that escaped the anomaly.
His arrival in the room told him little more. There were a number of gouges torn out of the masonry. And circular cracks in the walls and floor that implied that some sort of fight took place in the chamber at some point. He ran a program to analize their displacement and build a rough approximation of the placement of humanoid weapons and bodies and the positions they might be in to create such damage.
The auxellary pods set themselves up and began running broad-energy spectrum scans of the anomaly. As he ran over the data, Lok’ela tuned in once more to the broadcast radio signals he was picking up with his ship and hummed along to another mindless pop hit from Europe.


[]============[]
Salem mass.
[]============[]


the Fire Wheel was south of the campus, on a plot of land that had been set aside as a park and nature preserve. In a clearing, a carefully assembled circle of massive stones formed a ring around a bonfire with a massive boulder of solid granite. At the base of this thirty foot tall rock, a tunnel ran from one side to the other- large enough for two persons to comfortably walk abreast. The bonfire had blazed sooner that evening, and was now a burning pile of ashes that would heat the ring for hours. Thirty people sat in small groups and circles, speaking, eating and laughing.
Atop a square of stone to the southeast of the monument, Lee sat with his cell phone in his hand.
On the screen, a blue smiley-face was speaking.
"There's still no answer, do you want to leave another message?"
"no, I'll try again in the morning."
"I'll holler if anyone calls then, enjoy the party."
"thanks Pong," Lee said as the screen winked out. he put the phone in his pocket and braced his hands on the stone on either side of him. lifting himself up, he vaulted off the stone square and landed softly on the grass below. He entered the light of the Fire Wheel and navigated the crowd to where April and August were talking.
"I agree that it's perhaps a somewhat disloyal thing to do, August, but it was agreed upon when Texas joined the union."
"Someone mention my home?" Lee asked as he sat down.
"I was just explaining Texas history to August here. the poor boy grew up in Boston."
"My condolences," Lee said.
"This is exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about- your state abandoned the US, and you still act like you're the Almighty's gift to the union."
"We left because the president was acting like a jackass, and had his head up it's ass." Lee said, "I think the whole business with the nuclear subs was a bit much- I'll grant you that, and I was pretty much as shocked as everyone else when it happened. but shit, man- the state was this crazy when we joined up with the Union in the first place. why the shock now when we play to character?"
"I guess it offends my sense of honor somehow."
"the entire last couple of decades of American History offended mine." Lee said, "I don't even want to know how much worse the bullshit was going to get."
"odd. I expected you to be more patriotic somehow," August said.
"maybe you can tell me who to be patriotic for then," Lee replied, "am I Jovian, Texan, or American? I'm marrying into Mercurian and Japanese heritage. I have European and native American blood. Oh, and I have Christian beliefs and eldritch powers. Who the fuck am I supposed to be beholden to?"
There was a silence around the circle. Lee had never raised his voice like this before. There was a frightening force behind his words. Many of those with him were sensitive to the emotions of others. Each of them could feel the raw, open wound in his psyche.
"Lee?" April said, "is there something wrong?"
"nothing."
"oh for the love of the goddess," April said, "you're not hiding anything here."
"I can't get a hold of my parents."
April didn't know what to say to that. after an awkward silence, she reached out and placed her hand on Ward's arm.
"your family is under powerful protection, Lee. the magic that the senshi wield obfuscates their lives from notice by those who'd harm them. I'm sure they're okay."
"right," Lee said with a brief nod.
"you'll get in touch with them soon," she said, "I promise. Now come back to the party. If you haven't heard from them by tomorrow morning I'll look into it myself."
Across the hill, she saw a teachers' aid running through the grass towards the fire wheel. When April saw her she excused herself from the group and met the woman. They talked for some time. Lee returned to the others and for a moment forgot about his troubles.


[]====[]
[]====[]


"Lee?” April said, approaching him a few minutes later.
he turned to find her expression grim. May was standing beside her. They nodded at one another.
“what’s up?” he asked.
"Victoria and Sylvia were sent out to help with a haunting reported in the southwest. They have turned up a more concentrated gathering of lost souls than they anticipated. They need backup. May is going, and if you would join her we would indeed feel better."
Lee looked to May. He hadn’t really gotten to know her on the Io mission. She was one of those people who were so serene that you could easily overlook them. He’d never seen any side of her but quiet competency in all she did. If she wanted help he was prepared to believe that it would be absolutely necessary.
"when do we leave?"
May leaves in thirty minutes, April says, "you leave with her after you get Ami's permission. I don't give a rats ass if you have a blood bound agreement to let each other fight at will- you will do this thing before I let you take one step on the train."
Lee’s mouth worked soundlessly as he looked for anything to say in response to thei. Finally he laughed and agreed
“you’re footing the bill then.” He said.

[]==============[]
Kyoto japan
[]==============[]

Ami and Michiru were sitting in the spa when the first flickers of light emerged from Ami’s pendent. Ami smiled at her friend and excused herself as she took the symbol of mercury in her hands and closed her eyes to the light of it’s magic in her mind’s eye.
The light bent inwards, and Lee stepped from the folding glow.
Ami said nothing, her mental projection embraced Lee wholly, and Michiru could feel their energies from the water beside Ami's body.
"hey beautiful," Lee said, "how's the meeting going?"
"Horrible," Ami said, "but I just now started feeling better."
"I have a confession to make," Lee said, and told her of the trip to America, and of the offer he'd made to the coven. She listened and smiled when he explained April's insistence.
"and that's how I have the juice to reach you across a half dozen time zones," he said.
"just take more care of yourself than you did on Io," she smiled, and kissed him.
Lee faded, and Ami's mind dropped down into her body, her eyes opening. Michiru sat there, elbow perched on the rock beside her. a smirk twitched at the corners of her lips and her eyes were drawn close in smug amusement.
"what?" ami asked, crimson racing up her cheeks.
"that must have been one hell of a good chat," Michiru said, stretching and then slinking down into the water in a relaxed slouch, "If we could bottle the good vibes you two radiate through those pendents, we could really clean up."
"thus speaks the chairwoman of the arcane defense commission," Ami said, splashing Michiru. She settled down into the hot water and looked up at the stars for awhile. Above them, far from the lights of Kyoto, the sky burned with stars.
"is it really that strong?" she asked, breaking the silence.
"hmm?"
"Lee and I, our bond. Is it really all that powerful?"
Michiru sat up at this- there was venom in those words.
"because I know that sometimes we say something to people we love that isn't so true, but sounds pretty. Sometimes we tell the geeky girl who has to wear glasses how beautiful she is. Sometimes we lie to be nice."
"Ami?" Michiru said, wondering for half a moment if the shiver she felt was from her friends cold words, or her power over the element. They had come to blows in the past over matters of the heart. Had she pushed a button she didn't know about?
"I just... want to know. What do you sense?"
"Ami," she said, "there is nothing strange about you and Lee- other than his sense of humor. What passes through that little spell on your necklace is an honest emotion- and about as strong as any I've felt."
"but not the strongest," Ami said.
"Ami, what's this about?" Michiru asked, "you never seemed insecure about this before."
"it's my mom," Ami said, "when I was a child, she told me that the man I would someday marry would be the most worthy in the land. The reason I never worried about love or romance- until I met a certain ditzy queen we both know- is because I didn't have to. I always trusted that she'd find the man of my dreams, because that's who she is."
"you never talked about this before."
"I was embarrassed by it," Ami said, "I had a free check to my future as long as I was the best student I could be. I grew up in Tokyo because she wanted me to have a life to be proud of."
"and not become Paris Hilton," Michiru smirked.
"exactly."
"okay, so what's this got to do with your bond with Lee?"
"I saw three Shinto priests in the upstairs living area after the meeting. She intends to scrutinize every aspect of my life with Lee, and if it falls short in any way, It'll be over in her eyes. He will have failed."
"Why are you doing this Ami? You don't need to prove anything to anyone. The two of you have fought for and earned your happiness. Why are you here?"
"Because as much as I love Lee, I love my mother too. You know what will happen if she disowns me. All together, our collective family owns ten percent of this nation. Serenity can't afford to loose their support. Not with our position so un-molded in the world. we have to be united. It's too soon for things to crumble."
"she's blackmailing you?" Michiru frowned, "she's blackmailing one of the Senshi? I'm going to kill her!"
Ami shook her head
"she hasn't made a single threat," she told Michiru, "just made a move on the chessboard designed to test my loyalties. If I choose her- in her eyes the wise and only true course- nothing will happen. She will let me go on with my life as if this had never happened. If I choose Lee, however, she is literally set to throw our pretty new kingdom into a frustrating state of affairs. "
"Does Usagi know about this?"
"She does."
"And Lee?"
"Oh god no, he's been through this once already. That's why I arranged for him to be in the Americas right now."
"That explains a lot, just not why you're putting yourself through this crap- Usagi would have told you to tell your mom to shove it."
"She rather wants to, actually," Ami smiled, "but I have a more personal reason for doing this. I love my mom- she made sure I was raised to be who I am, and I'm proud of who I am. She's not evil, just very stubborn and a little bent on some subjects. I have an obligation to present my choice to her and convince her to accept it. There are some hoops to jump through, but if I succeed, she won't drag the whole family into a civil war they can't win."
"You know what?" Michiru said, leaning back into the water, "I'm proud of you too."
They sat there for a little while longer, their breath steaming in the cold winter air.

[]====[]




the layers of time peeled back from the sphere one by one. It was fascinating to watch. The figure inside was covered in less and less dust as the ages crumbled away like eggshells. The figure was female, revoltingly human and wearing some form of modest battle garment. A shredded gown and cloak were plainly visible in outline.
Finally, the layers of distortion cleared and a gap opened in the sphere. The figure inside dropped to her knees as the weak gravity of the asteroid took hold for the first time in millennia. Lok’ela was about to launch a protective felid so that the vacume of space did not rip the moisture from the flesh of his new test subject but he was amazed to find some form of protection was already in place.
The dust settled and the woman rose. She wore a tattered green dress. Across her breast, shoulders and loins were elegantly etched pieces of armor. Her blonde hair rise slightly in the low gravity as she looked around. Lok’ela had many samples of the soalr systems language patterns in his computer. He loaded them up and sent out a wave of energy designed to transmit soundwaves across a vacume.
“I am a scientist of the Galactic Lords- the rightful rulers of this region of space. I am called Lok’ela, and I welcome you to this era. You have been in stasis for over two thousand standard years. Do you have any questions?”
the woman considered him for a moment, and smiled.
all of his psyonic warning indicators went off at once, but he didn’t have time to respond to them. A powerful force seized a hold of Lok’ela’s formidable mind and squeezed his will right out.
He felt the presence of a very old and powerful mind browse across his memories and find what it sought. It’s passing was like a horrible itch across his whole body. When it let go he sagged in his harness. The thing had left his mind, but he was chained to it’s will. It had taken all possible intentions of escape with it.
The woman picked up a dust covered lump next to where she had been held prisoner. An ancient and battle scared sword emerged from the falling dust. She looked to Lok’ela and spoke
“your lords are the rulers of nothing and you are a psychotic madman responsible for genocide and murder.”
He felt the presence in his mind squeeze at the edge of his consciousness, and knew that with just a small exertion the thing could break his soul like a twig.
“you will do for a start.” She said.

[]=============[]
end of chapter one
[]=============[]

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Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:48 pm
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Post Re: Army of Me Chapter One(alpha draft)
Neat stuff, man! The added material looks really good, and the edited older stuff is good, too. This is turning out to be a great story. :)

Just to remind you, I'm still available as a beta-reader. Roll on the next exciting section!

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Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:01 pm
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Post Re: Army of Me Chapter One(alpha draft)
thanks BTL I'll be working on the second chapter tonight actualy. I have a LOT of ground to cover, but heres a rough idea of the first act of the story:

Hotwire travels to Lake Havasu where a necomancer with ties to wire's past (spooky!) has raised a army of the dead and taken the city. the Texas Navy Special Forces will have a unit in the city pulling survivors while what military groups the southwest still possesses suround the city.

the necromancer plans to resurect the great beast of London using an item hidden in a stone within London Bridge- which resides on lake Havasu. then he'll bind the thing to his will and march his army to Baja where he plans to set up a kingdom.

zombies, walking skeletons and ghosts stand between Wire and act two. this story arc should take up the first four or so chapters of AOM

the prophecy works like a rough outline for the story, although not all the details are as neat and straightforward as they look. translated peophecies rarely work so well... heh heh heh

oh, while I'm thinking about this- do any of the other authors around here get nervous when the post you put out for advice gets a bunch of 'good job' replies rather than people picking it apart? or is that just me?

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Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:40 pm
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Post Re: Army of Me Chapter One(alpha draft)
Yes, yes we do.

Also, yeah, it needs some betaing, and maybe when I have time I'll help out with that. Mostly it's just simple stuff though, and it works remarkably well, all told.

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Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:10 pm
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Post Re: Army of Me Chapter One(alpha draft)
Hotwire wrote:
oh, while I'm thinking about this- do any of the other authors around here get nervous when the post you put out for advice gets a bunch of 'good job' replies rather than people picking it apart? or is that just me?


No, that's normal; we all get that. :) (I did kinda get that with 'Gendou's Child' Part 1.)

And this draft is pretty good; granted, there are things to improve about the punctuation in sections, there's the 'Gaydamine/Ganymede' thing to correct, but for the most part, it's looking pretty good. And it is only the first draft, after all; you don't expect the first draft to be perfect. Also, being a beta (i.e., speaking purely for myself), I think it's better to get into the nitty gritty in private, so if I have a lot to go over, it doesn't seem like I'm running the story down (which I wouldn't). But I do get what you're saying; you do get nervous if all you get is 'it's great!' - you start to wonder how bad it really is. But don't worry; it is good, and with a few corrections here and there, it'll be great. :)

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Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:18 pm
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Post Re: Army of Me Chapter One(alpha draft)
Any news?

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Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:00 pm
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Post Re: Army of Me Chapter One(alpha draft)
Im working on chapter 2 but its slow going. theres a new character im introducing based on a friend of mine and Im trying to quardinate with him for colaboration (I'll explain when I post the chapter why I needed to include him- hopefully it'll be explained in the chapter itself

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Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:34 pm
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Post Re: Army of Me Chapter One(alpha draft)
No prob, man; happy to help. Let me know when the next part is ready, and I'll be glad to look it over. Good luck with the new character! :)

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Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:00 pm
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Post update
chapter two is back on track. I'll be working on it all week so by this time next week I'll probably have enough of it to post.

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Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:53 pm
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Post Re: Army of Me Chapter One(alpha draft)
Sounds great; ready when you are! :)

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Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:05 am
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Post Re: Army of Me Chapter One(alpha draft)
Any news?

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Mon May 26, 2008 1:38 pm
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Post Re: Army of Me Chapter One(alpha draft)
Anything at all?

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Sat May 31, 2008 6:36 pm
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Post Re: Army of Me Chapter One(alpha draft)
damnit. I meant to get back here sooner- IRL is FUBAR at the moment, I promise I'm gonna get chapter 2 here eventualy. *bows* gomen


UPDATE

so heres the basic situation. aside from my own effed up schedual, the fella I'm colaborating on with a character is curently taking a blow torch to his personal life. I'm not exactly happy with the situation- but it is his life, and I cant really tell him how to live it. this does make it somewhat odd to write about him, however and has slowed the progress considerably. I've known this guy for over a decade, and I dont want the fact I'm annoyed with him to color what I want his character to be in this story. makes it kind of tricky.
I've got chapter 2 mostly done, just gotta clean up the prose and flesh out a couple of scenes. all in all its turning out all right.

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Sun Jun 15, 2008 11:12 am
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