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Jarkal

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Jarkal

Postby Bolt » Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:24 am

This is a story I've been gradually working on for the last few weeks, on and of, since I have other priorites (web design, animation, life etc.)

Well here's the first of it. Enjoy : 3

--- Part One: London Bridge ---
Clenching his sword beneath his coat he looked onward towards the war-torn city. The bullets battered his senses as the guns of his opposers used up their final rounds. The clatter of armour surrounded him as he realised the situation he was in. He needed coverage and where he was, the closest thing he could see was deep beneath the rotting corpses scattered across the, once busy, suburban motorway. Stranded in the median of the great bridge, connecting Orroway to Benevaar, he began to scribe down strategies in his mind of some way to get out of his situation, but nothing lead to him safely returning to where he yearned to be.

Launceston.

For years he had wished to return to his rightful place in the headquarters of PDB, the Protectors of the District Boundary. He had abandoned his job as head of the PDB to aid his allies in the battle against those who called themselves 'WRACC'. No one has yet discovered what this Anagram means, if it actually is an anagram or if it even has any significance to the clan at all.

A loud echo shattered his thoughts and the crack of a wire sent the bridge into a series of slow swaying motions. The WRACC were snapping the huge metal ropes holding the great suspension bridge in place. The sword strapped to his thigh held no use to him at the moment and the chance of him getting out safely were slowly slipping as time passed. Another crack filled his thoughts and the bridge began to tip further towards the deep blackened, oil filled water, which would definitely be a ghastly death, not no mention a horrible end to the city. He fingered the rough glass object in his hand, ran his fingers around the thin metal coil circling the great object. The flame stored inside began to burn his hand and the metal coil had burnt a parallel collection of thin lines across his left thigh.

The artifact he held in his hand could not break. That would end in a horrible, disgusting, obscene way, as the flame inside the great glass orb was no ordinary flame. It was a myth, which a few weeks ago was believed to be untrue, but this object went against all the logic in the world's inhabitant's minds and defied all the quotes from the world's great scientists. It was proved to be a legend by over one thousand different geographic and chemistry professors and until now, the object was forgotten. What our brave man held in his hand was the last of the eternal fire, which was claimed, by legend, to be destroyed by dark magic centuries ago. When this flame set something on fire it spreads like normal fire, except there is only one known thing that can destroy it, and one known person who has the knowledge to perform it, although, he died over three hundred years ago.

Another crack echoed through the air and the bridge pivoted towards the oily pool below. The bridge crumbled and a huge crack ripped through the concrete supports, breaking the bridge across the middle. He dropped down onto his stomach and narrowly avoided the huge spiral of metal rope that sliced past the air above him.
The bridge creaked to the left and began to fall downwards towards the river below, sending a cruel shiver down his spine. The feeling of death overcame him and he realised that this may be the end of him.
NO!
He yelled out and scanned the area. His breathing became hoarse and he looked for something that could carry him away safely. There were a few broken cardboard boxes that looked like they were used for an old supermarket and there was an overturned shopping trolley, although that slid over the edge. Not that he needed it. The flame in is pocket was growing warmer for some reason and he moved it into the scabbed area, which had already had it's fair share of heat, and felt little pain in that area. Maybe the object could sense the rising possiblity of death...

The bridge had dropped down further, and he was surprised it was taking so long, but it had now begun to pick up speed, so he grabbed hold of a broken granite stump, which had once been the support for the huge ropes holding this now doomed bridge up for it's mere fifty years of service. He huddled against it and watched the black liquid devour the side of the bridge, which had severed itself from the side he was on and was now metres away from the water. The tip of the bridge dipped beneath the motley water and he clenched his eyes and grasped the concrete stump with all his might.
The end is now, echoed through his mind as he felt the oil trickle into his right boot.

--- Part Two: Adrenalin ---

His shin was now drenched with oil and the chill of the water still took it's effect through the oily texture. His right foot began to slip, as the oil rose up to his foothold and created a lubricant making it hard for him to stand. He began to struggle, realising that if he slipped he, and all the defenceless people hidden in their houses were to suffer a painful death. His fear quickly was replaced with adrenalin and he put himself into a safer position, on top of the now oily stump. Glancing around he noticed that the huge group of WRACC members were beginning to leave. They obviously thought he didn't have a chance. He also noticed that the other broken surface of the bridge had become completely submerged, leaving no route to Orroway, or even worse, Launceston...

If only he could return there... The chances of that were slipping and he realised he needed to do something before he plunged into the depths of the oily water, but he was urged to go on. He needed to return to his rightful position! It's where he belongs! Not in this hellhole, which will soon cease to exist at this rate.

A huge burnt out shell of a car scraped past him on it's roof, drawing his attention back to his current situation. The rotting bodies had begin sliding down the bridge, making a huge hazard for him to climb up the top, and even then, there were still twenty to thirty WRACCs standing about, waiting for something interesting to happen. He looked around the water and noticed that there was a large wooden billboard and, realising it was his only chance now, he stood up on the stump, which was now almost vertical. The billboard was about 4 metres away but he was about 1 metre away from the surface of the water so there was a chance he could reach it. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the flame-orb. He passed it from hand to hand, avoiding the searing heat and thought. The bright light of the orb shone out like a beacon, drawing the attention of the remaining WRACCs and intriguing them, both at the same time. He decided it was now or never. The bridge was falling, faster than ever, towards it's disappearance and he quickly reassured himself he would be okay.

He grasped the flame-orb tightly in his right hand and, holding back the searing pain of the glass burning his palm, crouched and jumped as far as he could towards the billboard. He quickly twisted around, while in the air, to land on his back and he thrust his hands in the air, keeping the flame-orb out of danger and his left hand free of oil, because the pure heat of the orb would set alight the oil. He landed with a thud on the billboard and, to his advantage, it carried him, thanks to the wooden frame beneath it. The landing plunged his head ten to twenty centimetres under the water's surface and he quickly closed his eyes, shut his mouth tightly, milliseconds before his face was submerged beneath the water. He held the orb up in the air as high as possible and fought the urge to lean upright, as it would pivot the billboard to too much of an angle sending him into the solution which would seal his life forever.

He waited, letting the time pass by, making sure he levelled out. Time passed slower than he thought and he seemed to be below the surface for minutes, although it was only for a few seconds. He felt that the steady rocking of the billboard had stopped, so he sat up and wiped the oil away from face with the sleeve of his left hand and checked the orb for oil. It was okay for now so he calmed down. Suddenly a huge crack, once again, echoed across the lake as the final rope snapped plunging the second piece of the bridge deep into the water a wave emerged and he attached himself onto the billboard by wrapping his already soaked legs around underneath the wooden frame. The wave picked him up and dragged him across the lake, although only a few metres. He settled, leaving twenty to thirty metres of water from him to Benevaar and about seventy to Orroway. The WRACCs were now cheering and hurling stuff at him from where the bridge was once proudly suspended.

Those bastards, he thought as he checked his sword, which was now covered in a thick layer of oil. He left it, as he expected it would get another coating before he was off the billboard and oil would probably be rather painful on a wound. He unwrapped his legs from around the billboard, lay down on his back, held the flame-orb high above his head and began to kick his feet. He picked up speed and began moving towards Benevaar - as Orroway was much too far away at this time - making sure he avoided the projectiles of concrete from the bridge's broken edge being thrown by the WRACCs.

The light from the flame-orb flickered, pointed out his trail and burnt his palm further, until he had to switch the hand he held it in. He eventually arrived near the edge, roughly ten metres away from land and he needed to make sure he could get there before the WRACCs could. Luckily they were still throwing stuff from their earlier place and didn't realise the situation properly. He kicked harder than ever as what was happening dawned on him.
Get to land and you will have a higher chance of living
He reached the rocky edge of Benevaar and clambered onto the solid area he could reach. He decided it would be a good idea to drop his coat, since it was soaked in oil and would only weigh him down. He climbed up the small earthy ridge separating the lake from the city, crawled over behind a large brick building and collapsed behind a large crate, covered in parcels. He checked the flame-orb, staring directly at the blinding light shining from it, and rubbed it with his clean right sleeve, making sure any chance of oil was removed before he continued.

He pulled himself up onto his fatigued legs and crept up against the wall of the building. He slid across the coarse brickwork of the building and slowed to a stop at the end. He peered around the corner and looked around the street he had come to. There appeared to be no sign of WRACCs anywhere so he crept out from his position and stealthily crept up to a house. He opened the polished oak door slowly, making sure it didn't creak too loud. He walked inside and slowly closed the door behind him.

--- Part Three: Refreshed ---

He reached around the wall where the light switch is generally found but he couldn't find it. He didn't really need to though as the blinding light from the flame-orb shone into every corner of the no longer dark living room. He placed the orb on a desk in he corner of the room and hid it behind some books, making sure people passing by couldn’t see it, particularly WRACCs. He explored the rooms of the house until he finally found what he wanted. He returned to the living room and grabbed the orb. He took it with him into the room he'd found and placed it on the bench. He'd found the bathroom and a shower was in his top priorities list. He pulled off his clothes, which had become sticky and thickly clogged with oil. He no longer had any use of them. He stood there naked for a moment before turning on the taps and adjusting the temperature to his liking. The oil poured out from his skin and flowed out of his thick black hair, which flattened down to reach his shoulders. He rubbed the oil off his body and almost felt his skin praising him as it felt the familiar air rush past it once again. The thick black liquid poured down the shower drain and, no longer sticky, he stepped out of the shower. There was no time to relax.

He opened a cabinet, which he had discovered earlier with towels in it, and dried himself off. He wrapped the towel tightly around his waist, grabbed the flame-orb and stepped out into the hallway. He continued to search the small house and came across a bedroom. He walked inside and searched the drawers for suitable clothes that would fit him. Luckily, the room belonged to, supposedly, a boy in his late teens with a large build, so the clothes fit him reasonably well. He searched for anything black, as dark clothes would be an advantage for his current mission. He found a black top, which fit perfectly, and he settled with the dark blue faded jeans he found in the bottom drawer. He found a pair of black school shoes and some grey school uniform socks, which would have to do at the moment, although, the socks wouldn't be seen beneath the jeans.

Satisfied with his choice he returned to the bathroom where he cleaned the oil off his sword sheath and strapped it on, around his waist. He cleaned off the handle of his sword too but left the blade oil-stained to provide extra sting for his enemies. He slid that into it's sheath and grabbed the flame-orb. He needed a secure place for this. A ball with a two-inch diameter can fit in the pocket of his jeans but a more secure place would be preferred. There's nowhere else secure he could think of where he had secure possession of it at all times so he slipped it into the pocket of his jeans and made his way to the door of the house. It was then that he noticed the voices outside the building, which sounded like a small gathering had taken place. He grabbed the doorknob and slowly creaked it open. He peered out of the gap and his eyes fell on the ten or twenty figures standing in a large circle, just meters away from where he had escaped the oily grasp of the lake. He focused hard on what was being said and managed to catch a few words...
"...The hell poured that oil in the lake?"
"I heard a pipe exploded up north and it travelled south"
"And who destroyed that pipe, exactly?"
"Well, some members of my squad bu-"
"Who's responsible for your squad!"
"Me, but-"
"So get them under control!"
"Yes, Sargent Harris"
"Do you realise, because of this we can't send our troops north towards Arlam?"
"Oh, shit, you're right..."
"How the hell are we supposed to work our way around that!"
"I don't know sir."
"Do you remember why I made you a squad leader, Hughes?"
"Yes, sir, because I was reliable and dedicated to my position-"
"Right, but you have the logic of a bloody pigeon!"
After an awkward silence Sargent Harris sighed and continued to speak
"Alright, this area seems desolate enough, don't you think?" He unsheathed his sword and scratched at the dirt at his feet. Hughes paused for a moment before replying.
"Would you like me to search the village?" He questioned nervously.
"You?" He retorted, "I have a great crew right here, isn't that right, men!" The dozen soldiers who had remained silent and motionless shouted out in their loudest possible volume they could.
"That's what a squad is meant to sound like, Hughes" Stated Sargent Harris, as he sheathed his sword once again, "So did you hear of that Jarkal fellow who died on that bridge?"
"No, sir."
"Well I did. Apparently your squad destroyed the bridge and-"
"My squad did what!"
"Don't interrupt me! They destroyed the bridge and harassed Jarkal from the water's edge."
"I wasn't told of that"
"I bet you weren't. It was a disgrace! Immature! Childish! I would expect better from your soldiers!"
"Sorry sir, it won't happen again."
"Oh, I know that, there's only one route to Orroway and Jarkal is dead."
"Is this the same Jarkal who took head of the PDB and resigned to help the people of Benevaar?"
"Do you know any other Jarkals, Hughes?"
"Good point"

Something is going to happen soon, and I'm sure I should stop it, thought our hero, now known as Jarkal, from behind the door. He slowly slid the door open and slid out into the darkness, closing the door behind him silently.

--- Part Four: Sting ---

"Sir, should I lead your men in their search?"
"Hah! I'll just send them off. They'll be fine"
Jarkal crept in and out of the shadows, taking cover under anything he could find. He slowly, but stealthily, crept up behind the one known as Hughes and reached for his sword. He grasped the handle and slid the sword out of it's sheath.

"Okay, sir," Said Hughes, "I'll go onward towards Arlam and tell them the troops are delay-" Suddenly the sharp oily blade plunged into his abdomen, leaving a thick layer of oil in the wound. A flash of light shimmered off the sword before it was yanked back out from behind. Hughes fell to the ground and cried out in pain trying to scrape the oil away from the gash, but failing miserably. It was like no other pain he had felt in his life. He groaned, fell on his stomach and crumpled to the muddy ground below. Sergeant Harris dropped down to his knees and turned the lifeless body over and looked into it's empty eyes. The soldiers, who until now had been standing perfectly still in formation, had begun to attack, making sure that Hughes' death was avenged. This gave Seargent Harris time, as he examined the sharp oily cut stabbed through Hughes' stomach with a look of disgust, curiosity and anger displayed across his face.

"Bloody hell!" He shouted and looked up, just in time to avoid the blade slicing at his neck. Harris rolled over and quickly shot to his feet. He felt to his gun holster but it had been removed. Jarkal held out the gun in front of him, flashed it to Harris, laughed and slipped it into the right pocket of his jeans. He knelt down and avoided one of Harris's soldiers who had foolishly ran at him flailing his fists around like crazy. Jarkal slashed the sword through the air and sliced off it's hands with one clean slash, leaving two blood and oil stained wounds. The soldier screamed out in pain and retreated to the pack. Jarkal straightened his sword and pointed it towards Harris menacingly.

"Jarkal... I heard you died?" Growled Seargent Harris, as he wiped the dirt off his knees, which he had accumulated on his knees.
"Oh, I don't think you have a reliable source, Harris." Smirked Jarkal, as he slowly walked up to Harris, until his sword pressed against his throat, "as you can see it appears that my body is standing here in front of you, as lively as ever..."
"Is that oil?" Harris exclaimed, eyeing the sword suspiciously and recollecting the thoughts of the extreme pain Hughes and his soldier felt he decided that question had already been answered. Jarkal ignored the question anyway.
"So, you thought you'd destroy this city eh?" Said Jarkal, "I heard you're planning on taking Arlam too, are you?"
"I can't tell you th-" Began Harris, but he was cut off by Jarkals blade, which had been twisted, leaving a small circular cut on his neck. He breathed in and continued.
"Yes, we are."
"Then tell me, what is your plan of action?" Inquired Jarkal, sliding his sword down to Harris' sternum where he pressed his sword in the gap between the sergeant’s ribcage. Suddenly one of the soldiers leapt out from his orders and tackled Jarkal to the ground. Harris ordered the soldiers to destroy Jarkal before running off like a coward into the desolate village and the darkness that surrounded it. Jarkal flicked his sword around and made a clean slice along the back of the offender's neck, who crumbled on top of him. He threw the deceased soldier aside and threw himself to his feet. The soldiers began to run forward, and Jarkal countered this attack by executing a perfect slide across the dusty ground and sliced the feet of two of the opposers. They collapsed to the ground, clutched the stumps which used to be their feet and screamed. Jarkal silences them with a slice of the sword and he leapt back up to his feet, placing a nice uppercut into a soldier's jaw, slicing his face down the centre. The lifeless body crumpled to the ground as Jarkal rammed the handle of his sword into another's neck. The soldier cried out in anguish and threw his arms out in front of him. Jarkal ran the sword around in an arc across his shoulders, dismembering his arms and replacing his head with a large bloody stump. Jarkal exhaled and dropped to his knees. The final five men were slowly retreating backwards, stepping back slowly and trying to hide their fear.

"Stop!" Yelled Jarkal in a menacingly loud voice, which would stop anyone who had common sense. Jarkal had withdrawn the gun from his pocket and was now pointing it amongst the opposers.
"Now I could save 5 nasty deaths today, although, I have no bloody idea why the hell I would." One of the soldiers swallowed hard and glanced among the other men, somehow expecting some sort of plan to come to his mind. Jarkal continued.
"You're good men, it seems," Tested Jarkal, "as a good man could understand what it can and can't defeat. You saw that I was much too powerful to defeat, and you backed off like any logical person would do, right?"
One of the soldiers let out a slight cough of disapproval and looked at the other soldiers, who were standing there silently, obviously damn scared of the situation they were in. He regretted the reaction had given but it was too late to apologise once the bullet had pierced through his temple and plunged deep into his brain. His eyes rolled back and his body fell limply at the feet of his allies. The soldiers stood tall and avoided reacting to what they had just seen the best they could.

"So tell me, what exactly is your motive, Wracks?" inquired Jarkal, using the nickname everyone had grown used to, as pronouncing each letter as part of an abbreviation could waste time and, in recent situations, lead to death, as five syllables can often take longer than the time you have.
"Uhh, it's a long story but-" Began one of the four, but was cut short.
"Well then, I want to hear all about it" Snarled Jarkal, who was desperate to discover what they really want and hid his excited interest with a rough and strong appearance, "come on, we're going into this house, no exceptions."
Jarkal ushered them across the street to a random house, which was locked, although not for long as Jarkal cut the rusty padlock off it's bondings. He opened the door and the four men slowly entered the room. Jarkal took a final glance at the war-torn village, followed them in and pulled the door shut behind him.

--- Part Five: History Lesson ---

The weapons of the four men were dropped onto a small leather stool in the corner of the room and Jarkal beckoned for them to grab a seat in front of him. They did as instructed, grabbing some stools from across the room and placing them in a line in front of Jarkal. The sword held in his tight grasp was enough to make four unarmed soldiers do anything.

"So," Began Jarkal, "I'm sure you have a great tale to tell me. Let's start with the Wracks in general. What exactly are 'Wracks'?"
The soldiers hesitated for a moment. The history of the WRACC was a well-kept secret of their clan. Luckily Jarkal had been left with some nervous and new men to their forces. They hadn't finished their training, nor had they learnt one of WRACC's biggest laws, 'Do not surrender or show weakness to your opponent." That law was followed by a lot of 'inspirational' sayings and orders that brainwashed the recruits into thinking that everything they do, they do for the good of the world.
"Well?" Emphasised Jarkal with a strong and cruel undertone, which managed to persuade one of the soldiers to speak.

"The WRACC has a very long history..." Began the soldier furthermost to the right. He rocked on his stool slightly, which was missing a leg, and continued, "Our founders originate from the village of Wirchaur when the Distirian tribe invaded them years ago, which you should be familiar with."
He was. Jarkal had lived at Wirchaur for twenty-four years of his live as he grew up, before he left to avoid the Distirian tribe's invasion. He had no idea that the Wracks had been organised from way back before the Distirian invasion so he listened intently, eagerly awaiting more details, while still only showing the menacing and strong appearance so now weakness could be recognised.

"The Distirians won the battle and claimed our village but they were completely unaware of the Wrack's deep underground cavern where the people who were close to the original Wrack followers, or those forced by them, were hidden, along with a food supply which would last for years and room for massive development." The soldier cleared his throat again, glanced nervously at Jarkal's oil stained weapon and continued.
"What they made was amazing. I was only a small boy when the development began so I was lucky enough to see the complete process of it's creation, which was truly amazing. The founders of our cult were reliable leaders. They cared for each and every one of the people in the cavern and were like living saints, until they went wrong."

The soldier stopped again, to think about how to say what he was about to say and as he did this he quickly looked over at the silent glares of the other three soldiers. Jarkal tapped his sword to recapture the soldier's attention. He was cooperating well and Jarkal didn't want his progress to change pace.

"The leaders were acting strangely. They knew that the Distirian people had found the entrance to their only escape route. The rest of the cult was curious when they were ordered to make another escape but they did because they had a lot of respect for them. The leaders slowly brainwashed the people into thinking that the world was impure and that the people above the earth were corrupt and disturbing beings, which half of them were at that time. They told the people that their only hope was to destroy everyone above the ground and recreate the world in their image. The villagers had grown onto the leaders and hung on everything they said, so naturally, they did as they were told. The second escape route was developed and the soldiers exited through there. They took back control of Wirchaur and continued to destroy any opposing tribes."

"Their enemies were now dead and they had no opposition, but yet they still felt the fear of being hunted on and captured or killed. They lived in their village for a couple of years and redeveloped it into a strong fortified city with almost impenetrable granite walls surrounding them. At some point - I can't remember when because I was relocated up to Arlam for training - the leaders commanded attack on everything. Literally. He sent soldiers out in all directions to kill anything living human they could find and take control of their dwellings. This was all part of his plan to fix everything, by removing anything that could 'break' his train of though, which was leading towards a world of no evil."

The soldier paused for a moment, looking up at the window across the room anxiously.
"What is it?" Questioned Jarkal, who glared over towards the window too.
"Umm, nothing," Replied the soldier, "I thought I saw something move outsi-" His words were interrupted by the rain of bullets which poured through the window into his face from the armed figure hidden beneath the thick shadow of the cloud. The bullets shot past and tore through the other three soldiers’ flesh and plunged deep into their vital organs, sending them to the ground, collapsing where Jarkal once sat. Jarkal had slipped away from his position and quickly hid himself in the furniture's shadows. The man outside had walked up to the window and peered inside, staring down at the four lifeless men beneath the windowsill. A strong gust of wind swept his hood away from his face revealing his broad smirk spread across his face. He looked up towards the room and spoke out to Jarkal.
"Come on out Jarkal." He beckoned menacingly, "I know you're here."

He wasn't. The man's words were enough to hide the almost silent creak of the tiny window in the bathroom and Jarkal slid through with ease. He dropped down to the ground below and crouched down still, waiting for any sign that the man had noticed. He took the man's muffled voice from inside as a hint that he hadn't so he stood up against the wall.
He had nowhere to go but a quiet place somewhere in the village would have to be the best option. He hadn't had a decent sleep for months and he decided this must be his chance. He picked his sword up from the ground, where he had dropped it as he climbed out from the bathroom, and returned it to his sheath. Satisfied with his progress he darted off into the nearest shadows and slipped off deep into the streets of the empty town.

--- Part Six: Visitors ---

Jarkal's morning begun with a loud echoing bang, alerting his senses and, by instinct, he quickly sat upright. He stared out the window towards the noise, although there was no sign of any source of it. The noise sounded distant and from the north, meaning Arlam was probably in a lot of trouble. Even the distance couldn't dampen the true effect of the loud explosion, giving Jarkal the feeling that not even distance could protect him from danger. He settled back down in his bed, lulling himself further into his sleep by his thoughts floating around his head, influencing every decision he has made, and those that are still to come. After some time of reflection he glanced out the dirty stained window of his temporary shelter and realised that lying down and contemplating wasn't the best way to use his time.

He sat back upright and pulled the few blankets off him. He sat on the edge of the bed and thought of his options. He looked over towards the dresser and remembered his main goal. The light of the flame-orb shone through the small crack between the drawers, reminding him of his duty to return it to safety. He stood up out of bed and stumbled over his dead leg he had been lying on. He slowly walked across the room towards the dresser where his clothes were. He had found a new outfit from in the wardrobe, in the room across from the one he was in currently in, which consisted of his black shirt he already had, a pair of scuffed black leather boots, the dark-blue jeans he had found with his black shirt at his last destination and some black woollen socks, which were much more comfortable than the grey socks he had obtained earlier. He completed his equipment with a large black coat, similar to the one he had worn over the last few days, although this one hadn't been soaked in oil.

He pulled his clothes on and returned to the dresser, pulling the powerful object he was protecting from the bedside table's drawers. The light from it lit the room, showing every inch of the floor and providing a strong glow lighting the window, almost directing his enemies towards him. He quickly slipped the object into his left coat pocket, first making sure there wasn't anything that could set the jacket and himself on fire. There wasn't so he placed it in there and buttoned the flap over the top. Once again the room was darkened, leaving Jarkal's heightened senses to navigate the room, which he could manage fine. He exited the room and continued down the hallway into the kitchen. It had been a while since he'd had a decent meal, so the first thing he did was walk over to the cupboards. The fridge gave off a low humming noise telling Jarkal that it was indeed still going. He passed by the cupboards and grabbed at the fridge door and pulled.

The door opened with a welcoming squeak and the contents on the door rattled, drawing Jarkal's attention to them. There was a bottle of milk and a small container with about a litre of water in it, which was much more appealing to Jarkal than the milk, as he was quite sure by the state of the house that it hadn't been lived in for over a month now, meaning the milk probably wasn't in the best quality it could be. He grabbed the container of water and placed it out on the bench by the empty metal sink and continued to explore the fridge. His eyes settled on a small box that he soon discovered to contain eggs although, like the milk, they were not fit to eat. He closed the fridge, realising that if there was anything to eat, it wouldn't be in there.

He returned to his container of water, stopping to take a mouthful before continuing to scavenge through the cupboards. He found a tin of baked beans that would definitely be at eating quality, so he pulled that out of the cupboard and placed it beside his water. He found a can opener in a drawer, which also contained eating utensils, so he grabbed them too. He found a pan under the sink, which he placed the beans in before sitting them above the lit element of the stove, which he set on fire with a box of matches sitting on the windowsill. The beans began to cook and the tomato sauce bubbled and popped, sending a strong smell of them into Jarkal's nose, reminding him of the taste he had been deprived of for the last few months. Jarkal grabbed the handle of the pan and brought it over to a table across the room where he had placed his water and set up a knife and fork to eat the beans with. He took off his coat and hung it over the back of the chair he was going to sit at and placed the pan on the table, not bothering with a plate as there wasn't really one required. He didn't need to leave the table in good condition, as the WRACCs would just take it. He picked up his knife and fork, settled back into his chair and began to eat his well-deserved meal.

He was about halfway through his meal when he was distracted by some faint voices from outside the house. He grabbed his pan and the fork and walked over to the window. He leant against the wall beside it and listened to the conversation outside. It sounded like two men and they sounded like they had stopped.
"I heard he was in this house," Spoke one of them in a low voice, "I think if we snuck around the back entrance we could catch him by surprise with our SMGs."
"That should work." Replied the other and ending their conversation they walked around to the back of the house.

Jarkal was way ahead of them though. He took a final mouthful of his beans and dropped the pan onto the sofa. He quietly ran towards the back entrance and pulled his gun from the right pocket of his jeans. He slid up behind the door so when it was opened it would close onto him and hide him from view. His plan was to catch them by surprise, as he knew not even his pistol could avoid the gunfire of two sub-machine guns. His heart rate rose higher as they were taking longer than it should take. He slowly moved from his position and glanced out at the empty doorstep from through the obscured glass window on the door.
Shit
He held his pistol out in front of him and turned around to face the two armed men pointing their guns at his forehead, huge grins spread across their faces. They signalled at him to drop his gun, which he did, then raised his hands above his head.
"Look at him..." Joked one of the men, "And they said he couldn't be caught."
"Haha, I knew he was listening at the window!" Mocked the other, "You clearly aren't as clever as you seem. Isn't that right Jarkal."
"So far." Smirked Jarkal. The two men looked at each other with a confused look on their faces. One mumbled to the other, which Jarkal's heightened senses could hear as "What the hell does that mean?" so Jarkal stood their smirking at them. The two men turned back at him and their smiles slowly slid off their faces.

"What the hell does that mean!" Exclaimed one of them, stepping forward towards him and pointing the gun right between his eyes. Jarkal stood there and looked past the other ones shoulder curiously and mouthed a few inaudible words. The two men turned around suddenly and pointed their guns at the room behind them.
"Wh- who's there!" One yelled out into the room, "Give yourse-"
Jarkal had jumped up and planted his feet firmly into the back of the two men's necks, silencing them, sending them to the floor, dropping their guns and landing, unconscious, on their faces. Jarkal glanced at their sleeping bodies and just laughed. It was such an old trick, although he wasn't surprised that they fell for it. He knelt down beside them and checked their pockets. He found a key and a paperclip in the left pocket of one of the men and a dagger in the pockets of the other man. He decided to hold on to all three items, as even the paperclip could be handy. He slipped the paperclip and the key into the left pocket of his jeans and grabbed one of the opposers' SMGs. He took the SMG and the dagger and slid them inside the coat so they were out of view.

He picked up the coat, slipped his arms into it and pulled it over his shoulders, suddenly aware of how much he was carrying. All the small things added up. A dagger, a pistol, a sword, a SMG and all the other small things really added to his total weight. Still, he decided it would be best to keep all of these items, as they are all extremely helpful. He double checked that he had collected all of his things and felt that the flame-orb was still safely buttoned into his coat then he stepped out of the door and walked onwards, towards the bridge where he was earlier swimming for his life.

--- Part Seven: Epiphany ---

Jarkal stepped out onto the twisted remains of the bridge, which was only about a foot of jagged metal hanging off the edge of a steep drop. The water level had gone down since yesterday's pipe burst from the north and the water was a lot clearer than what it was yesterday. He stared out across to the other side of the bridge, looking out at the huge city, which he has been deprived of, along with his job, his family, his past and what he hoped for as his future.
With the bridge gone there is no way to get there, Wait, what am I thinking! It's a river!
He stepped away from his position and examined the edge of the water looking for what he required.

There!

He ran along the water's edge until he found an area to jump down to. He readied himself then stepped out and fell down to the muddy bank below. He landed with a thud and rolled across his back to ease out of the fall. He got back to his feet and ran across to the small dinghy tied up to a post a few metres along the beach. He pulled out his dagger and severed the rope holding the boat in place, as the intricate knot which held it there was much too complicated than he felt like dealing with.

He placed the dagger back into his pocket, pushed off the land and climbed aboard. He sat down on the wooden plank that stretched across as a seat wiping the small layer of mud off the top. He reached to the side, pulled out the small paddles, plunged them into the water and pulling them backwards sent the dinghy into a strong backwards movement. He pulled the paddles back out of the water and continued with the long and boring process of rowing the boat across the river.

The other side of the river had been drawing nearer now and Jarkal could see the rocky banks of the islands he longed to reach. A strong chill ran up his spine as he thought of what could've happened to his old hometown. His thoughts took over his mind and he almost forgot that he was reaching there. He came to his senses as the dinghy scraped across the rocks beneath the water. He looked up to see the huge wall of rock separating him from the edge of the city. He scaled the huge wall, noticing that the wall was at least 3 times higher than he was. All he had was what he was wearing, the dinghy, the sixty centimetres of rope it was tied up with and the natural human inability to climb vertical walls.

He walked along the wall looking for something he could climb it with or somewhere he could get up but there was nothing. Then he had an idea. He returned to his dinghy and dragged it out of the water. He pulled it upright and pressed it up against the wall, making sure it wouldn't fall over, then he prepared himself. He jumped up onto the dinghy, and put his body weight forward so it didn't fall backwards. He paused for a minute before he slowly stood upright and, grabbing the wall for support readied himself for the jump.

He crouched down and sprang upwards with all his might, pushing his arms upwards as high as he can and reaching for the top surface. He had miscalculated the height of it. He grabbed the top with his fingers and held on as if his life depended on it, although it didn't work. His fingers lost their grip on the soggy grassy surface and he dropped down onto the dinghy.
Hard.

He wasn't ready for what happened and his feet scraped on the hull of the dinghy as he landed back on to of it, but scraping it wasn't enough. He fell towards the ground, buckling his knees and collapsing to the mud below him. He lay there for a while grabbing at his knees and holding in the pain. As the pain began to drift away to a pure memory he stood up and took in a series of deep breaths. He walked up towards the dinghy again and pulled out his dagger from his coat. He jumped back up onto the dinghy and again, made sure it didn't fall over on him. He knelt down on the dinghy and observed the part of the wall in front of him. It was a sturdy surface made of tightly packed mud and small rocks. It was perfect.

He looked down at the dagger in his hand. It was made of steel with a blade about twenty-five centimetres long and a handle about fifteen centimetres. It was almost perfect too. He swung back and stabbed the dagger into the wall about a metre above where the dinghy was rested. As planned the dagger's blade stabbed into the wall and the handle protruded from it. Jarkal stood up tall and grabbed hold of the wall. He raised his right foot and up and placed it securely onto the handle of the dagger. He jumped up with his left leg and balanced strongly on his right, grabbing hold of the ledge for steadiness and stood up straight. He raised his arm up and put his hands onto the grassy top. This attempt was much more successful than his last and when he jumped up strongly he could get his head above the ledge. He pulled up strongly and threw himself up above the ledge. He was there.

He stood up, brushed the grass and mud off his coat and looked across towards the city. Everything here looked familiar and he navigated his way with ease to his old house and stood at his old gate, remembering the old memories that made him wish for his old life to be his current one. He pulled open the gate and walked down the pathway which he can still clearly remember carrying his furniture and belongings in when he moved in. He also remembered when he slept on it that time he accidentally locked himself out, making him hide a spare key beneath the pot plant around by his bedroom window. He collected this key and returned to the front door and stopped. He looked at the key and observed the precise edge cutting on the end of it. His heart began to beat harder now as he shakily reached into his left pocket and pulled out the key he collected earlier. He held it up against the other and sighed. They were the same. He pressed the key into the keyhole and turned it. Hearing the muffled click sound, he turned the door handle and pushed the door open.
Bolt
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Postby Chuckles » Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:31 am

Wow, nothing I can say much to this except that you have a real flair for writing, you should honestly write a book, great work Bolt!
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