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Neosate
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12. Faited Fairwell

11. Not Left Behind
12.fatedfairwell.doc
Keywords male 683010, female 561865, hybrid 39785, tiger 25195, m/f 24336, lion 24153, otter 22115, bat 20365, adult 12633, sheep 6737, eagle 2406, meerkat 1540, chinchilla 1223, liger 894, moose 890, espionage 241, kangaroo mouse 241, funeral 72, american moose 71, mouflon 42, burglary 28, lilliana fargo 21, lion/tiger 21, marblecliff 9, detlev helfgrad 7, colin burke 1
Darkriders of Marblecliff

Fated Fair Well

by


November 20, 2013


The old badger’s body rested in a fine mahogany coffin, understated yet elegant in its appearance, just like the soul of its occupant. All arrangements for the ceremony were so meticulously planned that one who knew Detlev Helfgrad would know that, were he still alive, he would be conflicted about how to feel concerning the effort. On one paw, he would have been proud with the precision and effectiveness his old team came together in their grief to orchestrate such a well-executed event on such short notice; on the other, he would have fussed over the amount of effort being spent on his behalf. His face was not unpleasant to gaze upon; it bore a slight smile on his muzzle as though he was pondering the dilemma.

As the hour approached for the ceremony to begin the mourners and well-wishers started to arrive. Some were old friends of the General that had served with him throughout the years, others were officers of the different branches of the military that had not known the man but wished to pay the proper respect afforded to his station. Then there were the representatives from the city of Marblecliff: a few of Colin’s friends from the firehouse, Lieutenant Summers and Officer Goodman from the police department, Mayor Archer, Mr. & Mrs. Ebonshade, DA Ashbacher, and a select handful of members from the local media. After offering their consolations to the grieving family - for that is what the Dark Riders were to Detlev - they solemnly seated themselves around the room while being mindful of their importance in the scheme of the proceedings.

At exactly the appointed time the minister entered the room from the antechamber and the remaining members of the Dark Riders: Alex, Susan, Hank, Daisy, Cecily, and lastly, Lilliana took one last moment to pay their final respects before taking their places at the front of the audience. As the meerkat approached the podium the lesser perimeter lights were dimmed and the whispered murmurs of the assembly faded to complete silence. Setting his Bible down on the oak surface, he turned to one of the marked pages and pulled a pair of reading glasses out from his shirt pocket and placed them on the bridge of his nose.

Mournfully and low the man of God began his eulogy to the dead and his doleful voice rose and fell like the ebb and flow of the tides, punctuated by the occasional outburst of sobbing. The gloom of the day grew darker and deeper as he spoke, and the soft rumble of distant thunder accompanied by the drumming of rain on the chapel’s roof mingled with his words, creating an effect that both stimulated and sustained the crying among the gathered.

When the preacher finished his eulogy with a reading of A Gaelic Farewell, a young bat woman was introduced to sing a selected hymn, “Like as a Father.”

“When silent falls the gushing tear,

O’er cheeks grown pale with care;

And on the heart a cross is laid

That seems too hard to bear,

Remember what our Lord has said,

And trust, in weal or woe,

His holy Word, that changeth not,

Though uttered years ago.


Like as a father pitieth His children,

So the Lord pitieth them that fear Him,

So the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.


When one by one our treasured hopes

Like autumn leaves decay,

And they who made our life most dear

Are borne from us away,

O look beyond the veil of time,

Where springs of comfort flow,

And trust His Word, that changeth not,

Though uttered years ago.


Like as a father pitieth His children,

So the Lord pitieth them that fear Him,

So the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.


The clouds that bode the darkest hour

The purest light may bring;

The heart that mourns its broken chords

The sweetest song may sing;

Though oft a rugged path we tread,

Yet this one thing we know,

God’s holy Word can never change,

Though uttered years ago.


Like as a father pitieth His children,

So the Lord pitieth them that fear Him,

So the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.”


Her voice was beautiful and haunting, her natural echolocation providing an eerie, otherworldly vibrato that almost created the sense that the spirits of the ancestors were present, beckoning the old man to come Home. Despite tears that stained many a face, faint smiles began to form on lips wet with saline as the grieving mass took comfort in the thought that the man who had been like a father to them was joining his Father.

A faint murmur rumbled across the audience as the one member of the Dark Riders no one expected to was the first to stand and approach the podium. Hank, the quiet handyman, never seen in more than overalls and maybe a jacket or coat, walked across the front of the room dressed in his blue army uniform. The medals on his chest rattled as he turned to face his fellow mourners. He slipped his paw into the jacket and pulled out an oil-smudged paper and unfolded it on the stand before him. He didn’t clear his throat, made no real visible move to prepare himself of the attendees as he looked over the crowd.

“I know what many of you are thinking, even those that don’t know us well. You’re thinking, ‘Why Hank?’ Last night, or was it early this morning? It’s hard to tell now. We all sat  and went over what were were going to say. Many of you know Miss Hawkins from her now public efforts here in Marblecliff to defend and stand up for the rights and well-being of the youth. You’ve seen her calm and collected. She has even made the news where you’ve seen her angry.” A slight chuckle rolled across the audience. “But you have never seen her truly lose her composure. As she sat and read her short speech about Detlev... about the General, and how he found her at the worst moment in her life. About how he, and the rest of us, got her back on the right track. She couldn't even get past the first few words without her speech devolving into incoherent slang-ridden sobs that even we, who have spent years with her, could not understand.”

The otter paused as everyone's attention was suddenly pulled to the sound of  the eagle being thrown back into the pew.

“Then there is Susan Hart… Miss Shelby, the face and voice many of you have seen and heard at the press conferences and interviews about The Darkrider House, and what we are doing here in the city. For the first time since I’ve met her, she was at a total loss for words. Once again, the General had found her at her lowest point in life, and gave her a new direction. As for Miss Fargo, Sergeant Fargo, our fearless squad leader. Those of you that know her may be glad that she is not the one up here speaking. She is blunt, often rude, and very outspoken. Detlev even touched her life and helped her get past something she held onto.”

“The fact is, Detlev hand picked each of us, and each of our fellow teammates that are not able to be here today. Each of us had our own issues, some of us society had given up on, but he saw the potential, and he brought it out of each of us. He took unruly teens, and turned them into soldiers. He took twelve lost individuals, and turned us into more than a team, he made us a family. He made us his family. I could tell you of all the things he has done, I could tell you stories of combat where he saved lives, or we saved his. But nothing I, or any of us, could say this day would even come close to shining a light on who Detlev Helfgrad was in life, or even who he still is to everyone who knew him. To us, he was more than a leader, more than a friend, even more than a father figure for some. And even in his last moments, he went out of his way to help one more young soul, and helped pave the way to save countless more.”

Hank walked back to the open casket and pulled a large, round coin from his pocket. “Old man,” he said just loud enough to be heard without the microphone, “You stood there when the General of the Army gave us one of his coins for a job well done after our last mission. Things may have ended there for us, but you kept going, right up to the end. You deserve this more than me.” Then he placed the coin on the old badger’s chest, and turned to walk away, his head hung low, showing his grief for the first time since he approached the podium. In turn, each of his fellow teammates walked up and said a few soft, unheard words as they followed his lead in giving the General their coins.

Five Days Ago

Detlev sat in the hand-crafted rocking chair in front of the roaring fire in the great room as he read a book and savored the uncommon moment of silence in the often-loud, energetic house. That night was one of the few Fridays that everyone had taken off to do their own thing. Alex was out at another “political engagement” with the Mayor. He chuckled at the thought of her continued denial of his attraction to her, but for once, he was not going to point out the obvious fact, even though she would believe him more than the others.

Lilliana was out with Colin, looking at a few rollers from Craigslist as body replacements for the Camaro that was totaled by some teen joyriders. Just the thought of the full events of that Halloween concert, and the effect they had on Cecily raised his blood pressure. But even the little mouse was out with Daisy, doing better than most of them had expected only two weeks later.

Hank and Susan were out getting supplies for some project the otter had started in the basement, but he didn’t expect them back anytime soon, considering their relationship was blossoming once again.

He went back to his book as he sat in the dark, cavernous room, lit only by the fire. The atmosphere felt more like sitting at the campfire back at Hank’s cabin more than the massive house they now occupied. He figured the place probably looked like the dark abandoned mansion they first moved into from the outside, except for the fact that the siding and windows had been repaired and painted.

 When they first moved in, they had a few break ins by local teens that were unaware that their secluded getaway was no longer open. That ended quickly after Lilliana pulled her Bone Collector on a group of teens gathered in the unrenovated basement. Since that time things had always been quiet when he was there alone. He would sit and listen to the natural sounds of the house as it settled, or the old pipes groaned. He had come to expect the sounds. But when the familiar sound of the new wooden floor squeaking near the entry foyer echoed through the house without the usual voices attached to it, he knew something was out of place.

He quietly sat down his book and picked up the remote to turn on the Large screen TV that was connected to the home security system. When it didn’t come on, he knew this was more than just some teens looking for a place to to to what teens do. He readied his .22 well aware that most home invaders would back down and run if confronted with force, and slowly started moving in the direction of the foyer and newly finished office space that used to be a master bedroom on the first floor.

-------


Hank cut off the engine of the old, beat up Chevy truck as it rolled to a stop in the Auto-court by the side entrance to the massive house. Susan sat next to him, in the center of the bench seat. The house itself was quiet and dark. The normal state of things when the general was left to his own devices. He started to exit the truck, which earned him a groan from the chinchilla that was leaning on him, nearly asleep. “Come on Fluffy, We’re here and need to get this stuff in  out of the rain. “[/color]

Susan stretched and groaned again. “If I wasn’t totally in love with you again, I’d kill you for calling me that.”

As he stepped to the side of the truck to untie the tarp he said, “You’d probably still kill me if I wasn’t keeping that Willie of your’s running. You know how hard it is to find parts these days?”

She slid out of the truck and headred for the door as she commented, “I’ll get something new when Lilly stops driving Camaros.”

“That’ll be that day, the otter snorted, “She is out with Collen now looking at a roller to rebuild after the Halloween incident.”

“I’m surprised it took her this long to find one she thought was worth looking at.” Susan looked up at the light above the door. “Hank, I think the power's out. Or the motion sensor is shot.”

The otter turned to look at her, “The power should be fine. You know it was the first thing we really dealt with, And the motion sensor is new, along with everything else. Maybe the power got turned off.”

“That’s unlikely. It’s paid in advance like everything else….”

Both military vets fell silent, their paws slapping against their side arms as the sound of two quick succession gunshots  echoed through the air. Without a word, the two communicated through eye contact. Susan pulled out her phone and started to dial as Hank pulled out his own .45 and quietly moved into the house.

The otter could hear the fading whispers of his lover as he pressed his back to the wall in the dark mansion. “Yes, I have shots fired at the Darkrider house. No I don’t know what’s going on but I know it’s not  anything like…”

As the otter moved further into the house he could hear muffled movement and a new unfamiliar whispered voice. “We have an issue,” it muttered. Hank moved toward it, keeping his back to the wall and pistol at the ready. As he edged past the kitchen toward what was once meant to be the formal living room, converted into a waiting area, the head of Detlev came into view. The old badger was on the floor motionless. Hank could see blood starting to pool around him.

As he made it to the corner, he could see that the old badger had been shot twice, but had also fired back at least once. Near the entrance to the converted office space stood a somewhat small camine dressing in all black. It looked like a perfect rendition of the television spy, down to the combat harness which held a few simple poaches for his tools. Quickly he ran the scenario through his head. This was no common thief. He feared were poking at the hornet’s nest of what was really going on with Paul… and it's strange connection to Ralph through Bio Gen. and it’s strange connections might lead. But they had what they needed, And this guy had taken one of their own.

He turned the corner, took one shot and watched the canine fall to the floor. His mind was all business at that moment, he couldn’t let the sight of his commanding officer distract him. He moved to the second body, firearm never moving from the target. On quick inspection it was a clean kill, a shot through the back of his head. Whoever he was, it was sure they were not going to be recognizable.

The otter heard a muffled voice from the floor. A cheap flip phone had fallen from the canine’s paw, still open and active. It was obviously a burner. Hank picked it up, and put it to his ear. The voice asked, “What’s going on?’

“I don’t know who you are, or why you sent some one here. We are even for now, and I hope you keep it that way. If you send anyone else, we will come for you.”

He slapped the phone closed, ending the call, and quickly slipped it into a pocket. Quickly he rummaged through the pockets and pouches of the intruder. He found a camera, thumbdrive, but little else of use. No I.D.  no wallet, money or keys.

“Hank!”

The otter spun on his paws, .45 in paw as he lifted and aimed it at the sound. Susan stood before him.

“This floor is clear,” he said, “Anyone else with half a baine should have run by now.”

“The cops are on the way”

“Good, Clear the second floor. I’ll get the basement.”

“I’ve got to call Lilly.”

“Clear the house first, this was not a robbery. They were looking for something.”

Susan’s eyes went wide, “Do you think?”

“That’s not our concern. We are just looking out for Daisy’s family. I hope they got my message.”

The chinchilla nodded and readied her gun as she turned to head up stairs.

First Public Squeaking

Cecily slowly walked up to the podium, her heart was racing for more than one reason. She climbed up on the small stool that was set there just for her and looked out over the audience. She was terrified, But for the first time, it was not about her safety or what someone might do.

She yipped as a hum started behind her. She looked up to see a projection screen being lowered as he photo slideshow started behind her. She took a deep breath and looked forward once again. News cameras were trained on her, along with every eye in the auditorium. She gulped as she glanced down at her notes.

Her voice cracked as she started, “We… I’m sorry, this is my first time speaking, and it is really uncomfortable and new to me. It’s hard to  have all this attention on me. But I am not why we are here. We are here to say goodbye to one of the few that have had a good effect on my life. “ tears started to roll down her face. “ Less than a year ago I was out on the street. Without Detlev, the General, DarkRider 1, my mother would never have been able to adopt me. In the short time he has been in my life, I have gone from living on the streets in a haze that I still hardly remember, to seeing some of my dreams come true. He has been what I feel like a grandfather would have been to me. There is not much I can say… It’s going to be hard to continue without him…” She stopped, breathless as the panic started to take over. Her eyes darted around the silent room. Everyone was looking at her, hanging on her every word. She could feel it, the need to run. The Halloween attack, and now now her family being taken from her. She forced herself to stay, to not run, it would all be taken care of soon enough.

“He will be missed by many,” she choked out through the tears. Then she stepped down from the stool and returned to her seat as the slideshow of the Badger and her family continued to play on the screen.

Daisy walked to the podium, taking her place behind it as the slideshow continued behind her. “I only knew the General for a few short months. Just long enough to get to know the smallest part of what the man was made of. When I first met him, I would have been hard pressed to not call him crazy. But I quickly learned that as odd as he and his methods may seem, there was always much more to himself, and the things he said and did than it appeared.” A half grin came to the moose herms lips as one thing stood out in her mind. “The day I met him he called me over to him and of all the things in the world to do, he put a fistfull of toy jacks in my paw. I looked at him and asked what they were for. His only reply was that I would know when the time came.”  Shaking her head slowly, tears beginning to trickle from her eyes she continued. “Over the days and weeks since there have been more than a few times that I think about that day, and about his comment.  General Helfgrad was about as mysterious to me as my own grandfather, but thinking back to him I remember that a lot of what he said meant more than just the words he said too.” Daisy reached to the neckline of her dress and extracted one of the small metal toys and held it between her finger and thumb as she turned and walked to the open casket. “General, I got that these would make a good trap to keep people from sneaking up on me,” she said as she turned to face him one last time. “Whether you meant to or not I got something else from them as well. You were warning me about what it meant to be a part of the Dark Riders family. They’re a prickly bunch and will get you at every turn if you let them. But in a bind you wouldn’t want anyone else backing you up.,” she said as she lay the small toy on the old badgers chest. “I have to agree with that. We’ll all miss you sir,” she finished as the emotions of the moment became to much and she began choking back sobs as she walked back to her seat beside the small mouse.





Next came Colonel Conrad Burke, pushed to the podium in a wheelchair by his son. The elderly ram tightly gripped the handle of his cane and forced himself to stand, waving off Colin’s assistance. A tense silence filled the room as the weary old soldier peered over the crowd, seeming to make eye contact with everyone in attendance. It could have only been a few seconds, but it seemed like several minutes as they all waited respectfully for him to speak.

“They say, when a soldier dies in combat, that he ‘paid the ultimate price,’” Conrad began. “To this, I politely disagree. Not that I wish to belittle the sacrifices made by these brave men and women; no, their lives are sacred and their passing deserves to be properly mourned. But, when these soldiers pass away, they live on in the memories of their loved ones. Parents. Children. Spouses. Family. There is beauty in this, and honor.”

He paused for a moment to allow his listeners to process his message, the intensity of his glare not lessening as he continued, “Something else that folks tend to say is, ‘It is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.’ He was never one to boast, but Detlev saved my life on more than one occasion. For the sake of time, I will spare you all the details, but you may find me later and ask, and I will gladly tell you what I can.”

His expression softened slightly, allowing a single tear to roll down his left cheek, leaving a streak in his fur. “If not for this great man,” Conrad said with a sweep of his arm, gesturing towards the casket, “I would have died not knowing love. I would have never have had the chance to meet the love of my life, Betty, or raise my three beautiful children.” He waved Colin to his side and gave him a firm squeeze on his shoulder. “Or live to witness the births of my grandchildren. Because of this extraordinary man, I would have made the ultimate sacrifice: to have died before having the opportunity to feel alive. Yes, there is honor in that, but there is no beauty.”

The Colonel’s voice began to crack under the weight of his emotions, so he took a sip of water from a bottle offered to him by his son. “The General was prepared to make this sacrifice himself. Throughout the years, the old coot had his share of female admirers, but his country was his duty, and that duty came ahead of all else. Those years of service turned into decades, and those decades became a lifetime.  There never was a Mrs. Detlev Helfgrad, no little badger pups to carry on his genes. He was prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, but the Army - or maybe a higher power - had other plans. Before he retired, he was given a family.”

The old ram indicated to the front row of the audience as he spoke. “These brave men and women were trained by Detlev, and served honorably under his command. Some of them he found and rescued from less than favorable conditions, while others found him. But in each of their cases, he found the best they had to offer and brought those qualities out. They fought together, they bled together, and they mourned the deaths of their brothers-in-arms together. And by the time everything was said and done, they had become more than a unit. They were siblings, born in the fires of war; America was their mother, and he was their father.”

“Some of you already know this, but many more of you do not,” Conrad explained, “but  my boy, Colin right here, wanted to follow in his old man’s hoofsteps. He was all set to go off to the Citadel, then my Betty, God rest her soul, passed away. I won’t lie; I was an emotional trainwreck, though I was too thick-skulled at the time to admit it. My oldest was busy with newborns while my youngest was still in high school.” He turned and looked his son square in the eyes and said, “I wasn’t fit to go on, and my kids recognized this. After talking it over, my son gave up on his dream to see to my well-being.”

Turning his head, he looked dead-on at Lilliana as though she was the only other soul in the room and said, “If it wasn’t for your father, I never would have known what it means to truly live, and I never would have helped to create this fine young man. Words can’t begin to express how proud I am that you, the adopted daughter of my dearest friend, consider him to be worthy of your affection. If you two can show one another what it means to love, then I will consider my debt finally repaid.”



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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by Neosate
11. Lions, Tigers and Goats, Oh my
Last in pool
Coming to Terms
11. Not Left Behind
Show 5 More Pools...
11. Lions, Tigers and Goats, Oh my
Last in pool
Coming to Terms
11. Not Left Behind
Coming to Terms
11. Not Left Behind
Coming to Terms
Shyara iPhone and Samsung Case
11. Lions, Tigers and Goats, Oh my
11. Not Left Behind
This is a work of fiction and is meant for entertainment purposes only. All names and characters in it is fictional, a composite drawing from several individuals and from imagination. No reference to any living person is intended or should be inferred. No animals were harmed in its production. Businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. All art of minors are simulated pictures. All models over 18 years of age. Some actions and activities may be illegal or dangerous and should not be attempted. All products, services, and characters copyrighted to their respective owners. Some content may not be safe/suitable for work or school. Some content and depictions may be illegal to view in some areas. Some content may be illegal to view by those under legal age of connect.
LbNzVzOz
Characters
©
Neosate
Neosate
; Lilliana Fargo, Detlev Helfgrad, Officer Goodman, Alex, Susan, Hank, Cecily[/color]
©
VerbMyNoun
VerbMyNoun
: Colin Burke, Lieutenant Summers, Mayor Archer, Mr. & Mrs. Ebonshade, DA Ashbacher, Colonel Conrad Burke
©
Cormenthor
Cormenthor
: Daisy, Paul, Ralph



Keywords
male 683,010, female 561,865, hybrid 39,785, tiger 25,195, m/f 24,336, lion 24,153, otter 22,115, bat 20,365, adult 12,633, sheep 6,737, eagle 2,406, meerkat 1,540, chinchilla 1,223, liger 894, moose 890, espionage 241, kangaroo mouse 241, funeral 72, american moose 71, mouflon 42, burglary 28, lilliana fargo 21, lion/tiger 21, marblecliff 9, detlev helfgrad 7, colin burke 1
Details
Type: Writing - Document
Published: 2 years, 1 month ago
Rating: Mature

MD5 Hash for Page 1... Show Find Identical Posts [?]
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107 views
8 favorites
4 comments

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Tanna
2 years, 1 month ago
You all made me a crying wreck....

Rarely do I cry while reading, but I have found that the stories your group writes doing this on more than one occasion. This one had me in tears to the point I had to stop reading a few times to dry my eyes. I want to say thank you for writing such an emotional story and sharing it with everyone.
VerbMyNoun
2 years, 1 month ago
^^

We are doing our jobs, then. Thanks!
Neosate
2 years, 1 month ago
um... thank?
FoxyLove
2 years, 1 month ago
It was truly a sad story that us hardcore fans. I won't lie, I shed tears when even we knew that the Old Man would be leaving us, but that dark ops organisation has just know learned that they just plain fucked up!

I thank you three, Neosate, VerbMyNoun, and Cormenthor for these stories, and hope that your muses will keep you going on this journey for a bit longer.
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