Chapter 1: Coffer Chasers Guild
The sun beat down on another hot, humid, summer's day in the city of Port Sarim. Away from the bustling main streets of the city, tucked away in a quiet, unassuming alleyway behind the Magdala pub resides the cellar entrance to the coffer chaser's guild. Four animals of unique attributes that will take on any job…. If the price is right. The air itself was full of laughter and merriment as drink was consumed, but with a creek of the doors opening it all fell silent.
Dogger, the leader Coffer Chasers perked up "it seems we have a customer!" he reached behind his back and grabbed for the buck knife "or an intruder" he continued. Two sets of footsteps where herd coming down the cellar stairs and two cloaked figures stepped out of the shadows.
"Is this the Coffer Chasers Guild" the first voice asked?
"No it's the glee club annex you're looking for two cellars down" Dodger replied sarcastically. A knife flew across the room and missed Dodger, bouncing off a metal column concealed within the shadows at the back of the room. Stepping into the light and removing her cloak stood a lynx.
"You best watch your tone vagabond" she barked
Dodger laughed "vagabond, you guys hear that? She called me a vagabond". Laughter broke out around the room.
"I should have your head for such insolence…" she growled, charging forward as she drew her dagger. In the back of the room stirred of movement as the column was lifted. A low deep snort was herd as a giant bison stepped into the light and revealed that it wasn't a support column at all but a massive hammer. The lynx was taken off guard for a second but continued her attack. Suddenly a cane was thrust in front of her stopping her in her tracks. Stepping forward into the light the figure spoke calmly, and with purpose
"Enough! I am Ronon, mage of Omega the girl with the knife to your throat is my daughter Teyla." Ronon pushed the knife away from Dodger
"Well, that does change things" Dodger said. "Allow me to introduce the Coffer Chasers. I am Dodger, that massive man-mountain behind me is slab, the badger loosing horribly at cards is Pronto, and the otter about to kill him is Piper"
"I am not! Pronto has her right where I want her" yelled Pronto
"Oh please, aces and eights and she's holding; a flush?" Dodger seemed to ask
"Close, royal flush" Piper said with a smile. Pronto threw down his cards and stormed off. Piper collected the coins from the table and strolled over to Dodger
"So, about this job" Dodger asked, "the usual babysitting? You Omegans aren’t known for the most adventuress tasks but you pay well"
"Something like that" Ronon smiled "and rest assured you will be paid most handsomely"
"Now you've peaked my curiosity what are we going after?" Dodger asked
"Understand, I can't divulge everything to you, however, I can tell you that we are after a holy relic that lies in the southern desert. We are in need of Transportation and a Protection Detail." Ronon answered
"The southern desert, humm, we'll have to get permission from the Golden Jackal then" Piper said
Ronon growled "yes, those arrangements have…" Ronon cleared his throat "already been made" a slight smile flashed across Ronon's face for a split second and an uneasy feeling fell across the room
"Oookkaayy then" Dodger said "Transportation across the desert is going to be very expensive"
Ronon Smiled and nodded at Teyla and she withdrew a leather bound sash with the Omegan logo embossed into it and threw it at Dodger's head.
Dodger laughed as he caught it out of the air. "A little high and to the right my dear, no wonder you need a good shot." Teyla growled as Dodger passed the sash off to Piper to be counted. "So, when do we get this little, endeavor, under way?" Dodger asked
"I have already traveled a long way and require rest. If everything is in order we can leave at first light" Ronon answered. Piper returned and whispered into Dodgers ear
"Well it seems everything is just fine. We'll meet you outside the city gate tomorrow then" Dodger said. Ronon smiled and nodded his head then escorted Teyla out of the room.
After Ronon and Teyla left Piper turned to Dodger "I think I need to take a hot shower and wash the creepy vibe off me"
"Ya" Dodger replied "They seem to have that effect but this one was extra creepy. I want you to ride on ahead in the morning. I'll tell Ronon you will be scouting out the road, it won't be a complete lie. But check on the Jackal's keep and make sure everything is copasetic. As for that shower, I'll come and join you soon enough" Dodger winked at Piper and slapped her on the but
"You wish!" Piper Replied as she walked out the door.
The next morning was cool as a thick fog blanketed the valley Ronon and Teyla stood anxious to embark along the road that runs east of the city. The woods echoed of wildlife just out of sight. The calls and chirps of the animals fell silent as a roar was herd from behind them.
"Brace yourself daughter. These roads can be dangerous" Ronon warned. Teyla reached into her cloak and grabbed hold of her dagger. As the roar grew louder a figure riding a motor cycle came into view. It was Piper on a shiny black Canes Venatici. "Impressive roller" Ronon said "I didn't think that model was available yet".
"It's not" Piper replied with a smile. "Didn't think you knew rollers" she added
"I know a thing or two about them" Ronon replied "I did supervise their development after all." Ronon looked over the bike with scrutiny "I see you've already modified it. Just how long have you had…" the woods grew louder as the sounds of machinery filled the air. Dodger rolled out of the fog on his Sagitta followed by Slab on his Taurus. Ronon looked around "You seem to be one member short" he said
"Oh, he's around" Dodger said pointing up. Ronon looked upwards to see Pronto in a three-wheeled airship
"Very impressive." Ronon said
"Why of course it is" Pronto Boasted "I built it myself". Teyla walked over to Dodger and ran her hand across the fuel tank of his Roller
"That's some impressive - equipment you have there" she said with a seductive grin. Piper's hands clenched the handle bars of her roller and if she could have set Teyla on fire with a look she would have. "Can I ride with you?" Teyla asked
"Sorry hun" Dodger answered "This chopper is built for one" Teyla put on a cute little pout and sad eyes. "You and your father will be riding up with Slab." Slab reached out his hand and growled.
"He does not say much does he?" Ronon asked
"No, He's more of a man of action." Dodger replied "anyway, we're burning daylight. Piper you ride up ahead and make sure the roads are clear." Piper Saluted and road off into the fog. Slab helped Ronon and Teyla into his A.P.C. "Pronto is covering our flank and I'll be on point. All right guys, let's roll out!" Dodger motioned with his hands. A massive whoosh came off the Taurus as the air breaks let go and it rumbled to life. By then Dodger's Chopper was well into the fog and the sounds of it's motor where fading.
The ride from Port Sarim was quiet and uneventful in the wee hours of the morning as Piper raced to Lumbridge to speak with the Golden Jackal. The massive stone walls stood strong, and at first glance everything seemed to be in order. But Piper's intuition kicked into high gear, it was too quiet. A bustling city of comers like Lumbridge should never be this quiet. Piper jumped off her Roller and raced up the stone steps. The inside of the city belied that of its exterior. Alarm bells raced as crews raced to put out the fires. Piper made it through the chaos to The Jackal's keep which was engulfed in flames. The inn beside it been turned into an impromptu hospital and Piper bolted through the door.
"I'm a field medic can I…" Piper yelled
"Most here have sever burns or smoke sickness" yelled a pale mare
"…And the Jackal?" Piper asked
"I don't have time to worry about one M.I.A. genus at this exact moment! Now either help or get the fosh out of the way!" the horse screamed. Piper quickly got to work treating the wounded, opening her kit she grabbed a large bag of dried mulberry and peach leaves and ran over to the fireplace. Grabbing the teapot and adding the emptied the contents of the bag as well as a near by canteen of water and started the tea. Next she grabbed another bag of Elm, Mallows, and Aster as well as her mortar and pestle. She then ground the plants into a sticky paste and began applying it to the burn victims. Once the tea had begun to boil she grabbed up all the china she could find and distributed it around.
"Drink this it'll help with your breathing." she said. As the chaos began to die down the pale mare looked up and said to Piper
"You sure know your way around herbs. You must be Piper"
Piper smiled "I am, and that makes you…?"
"Mason" She Replied. As daylight shone through the windows of the inn Piper realized how late it was getting and that her absence would be noticed.
"I've got to go" Piper said. As she dawned her goggled and proceeded out the Mason grabbed her arm and whispered into Piper's ear
"The Golden Jackal is a hard one to kill. Many have tried. All have failed".
Piper smiled and placed her hand on the Mason's forehead "Dii vobiscum" she said. Running out of the inn she jumped on her roller and proceeded back South-West towards the Barricade Mountain Pass. By the time she had arrived Dodger and the rest of the Coffer Chasers had made camp for the day.
"Welcome back, I hope you found everything to be in order" Dodger said with a smile
"I'm sorry I'm late I stopped at Lumbridge for some provisions, there was a fire and…" Piper replied
"It's all right Piper, we had to make camp for the day anyway, it's far too hot to travel across the dunes during high sun." Dodger said
"Where's Ronon and Teyla?" Piper asked
"Those two? They haven't left the A.P.C. all morning." Dodger answered. Slab nodded and let out a grunt.
"Do we have any idea where exactly we're going yet?" Piper asked
"Pronto over herd something about Jamnico's Palace" Pronto said
"Nice eves dropping" Piper replied with a wink
"Pronto was not eves dropping, he was simply checking on Teyla" Pronto replied with a pout
"HA! That girl is so far out of your league she's just a shining star up in the night sky" Dodger laughed
"Glad you think so" Teyla said from behind. Dodger blushed
"So, any word on our destination" Dodger asked
"I'll leave such things up to my father" Teyla replied curling up next to Dodger
"Speaking of your father" Dodger stood up causing Teyla to fall over "I'm going to demand that…"
"You will demand nothing!" Ronon shouted "I pay you to do, not to question, now, if this little love-in is finished I have got a relic to reclaim."
Dodger leaned over and whispered in piper's ear "remember Trinity?" Piper Nodded "I've got that same feeling again, be ready" once again piper nodded. "You herd the man! Let's roll out! I'll scout out ahead, Piper, you stay with the group, Pronto watch our six" he shouted. Everybody ran to their rollers as Dodger anxiously jumped onto his chopper muttering under his breath as he roared on up ahead. Dodger waited up at the mouth of the cave until the rest of the group could catch up.
"Feeling better boss" piper said with a smile
"Better once this whole thing is finished" Dodger replied. Not far beyond the end of the cave lay the runes of runes of the searchlight outpost. in it's hay-day it was the front line of Jamnico's empire, now burnt-out husks of Jamnico's war machine is all that remains. slowly but ever present the desert swallows up the fallen machinery and buildings of Jamnico's tyrannical reign, like pulling the covers over a life extinguished. the entrance to the outpost was a deep Trench carved into the earth. at it's widest point it was no more then men marching six abreast. Tall statues bordered the smooth stone walls, some with crowns that once held gun emplacements, others reaching upwards supporting the runways above. the loose debris of the collapsed tunnel made the assent upwards for the rollers one last battle for Jamnico's fallen empire. Slab's Roller was especially hit hard as it sunk with it's own weight
"you sure this bucket-of-bolts can do this" Teyla yelled
The roller shuttered and shook clawing for traction. Slab let off the gas causing the roller slid backwards. the shift in momentum threw Teyla to the ground. grabbing her head she yelled at Slab "what the hell are you doing?" Slab ignored her and pushed a button on the control panel. an electric buzz and a loud clunk was herd and an impact beneath their feet was felt "oh great, now we're stuck" she screamed. Slab turned around and wiggled his finger and smiled. he stomped down on the accelerator and the roller leapt forward with renewed enthusiasm. the differentials locked the roller growled tearing up the ground. slab reached over and flicked a switch dropping the tire pressure. the roller was almost airborne as it screamed out from the depths.
"now how is pronto supposed to get out." pronto shouted Slab stepped out of his roller and walked around back he pulled a large lever and spooled out some chain throwing it at Pronto. the chain landed hard on the front of Pronto's roller ejecting him. "HAY! YOU DID THAT ON purpose" pronto shouted. Slab let out a happy snort and a devious smile.
Dodger crawled off his roller and walked over to the pit. pronto was wrapping the chain around his recovery hook and muttering obscenities under his breath. "if you kids are done playing in the dirt..."
"now get me out of this hole" pronto shouted. slab turned to Dodger
"you herd the man" Dodger said. slab smiled and rammed the lever all the way up. the winch quickly spooled the chain back in and Pronto's roller lunged forward nearly dumping him out again."
"now that everybody is here" Dodger winked at Pronto "we can get moving again." everybody took a look around. a massive steel wall ran east to the end of the canyon, circled around and behind them ran west as far as the eye could see. it also ran west as far as anybody could see. directly in front of them was a massive steel gate and it seemed to be the only way out. as everybody dismounted their rollers they walked towards it. portions of it was melted, some sections cut and the lock was broken from being forced once upon a time. "Pronto, fire up your balloon and get the lay of the land, see if there's another way out of here" dodger said
"Pronto will use his eagle eye to survey the perimeter" Pronto replied returning to his roller. pronto reached into his roller and opened his seat. and started pulling out the envelope for his airship. once it was unfurled Pronto fired up the two-cycle air compressor. As the envelop was filling Pronto reached back into the cubby and pulled out a wrench. unbolting his exhaust he turned it ninety degrees and bolted it back together.
"What the hell is he doing? " Teyla yelled over the noise
"Just wait for it" Piper grinned. Pronto fired up his roller and drug the balloon over the exhaust. the heat generated by the motor began to heat the air inside, as it did the envelop began to rise. once the roller was off the ground Pronto went to the rear and pulled a pin. the tire turned straight sideways and slid into the center locking it back in place. the rim itself doubling as a propeller.
"the motor not only drives the propeller pushing it forward but by dumping raw fuel into the exhaust provides the heat necessary to maintain altitude. it's my own design" Piper said
"Impressive" Ronon said
Dodger walked calmly to his roller and reached into his saddle bag grabbing a MKV radio.
"I'm not even going to ask how you got your hands on that" Ronon snarled
"Probably a good idea" Dodger Replied. Dodger pushed the button on the radio "What do you see?" he asked
"Well, the good news is the wall is open at this end. the bad news is it's a near vertical drop down to the river. looks like the only way out of the fort is through the door.
"I've got this covered" Piper smiled
"But how?" Teyla asked "that gate looks like it's been through hell and survived. the lock's toast and judging by the melted sections and cut marks we're not going to be able to cut a hole in it"
"Amateurs!" Piper replied. Reaching into her pack she pulled out a large block of what appeared to be clay
"oh? what's she doing to do? make a key out of clay" Teyla said sarcastically
"we all might want to back up, way, WAY up!" Dodger said running to his roller. Slab Motioned for Ronon and Teyla to get into the APC. Piper molded the block around the lock and pushed in a small metal box with an antenna. she then grabbed what looked like a pistol grip from her pack and started walking towards the group she opened a cover on the top and flicked a switch and it lit up, then she pulled the trigger. the explosion caused not only blew the gate outward down the hill but was enough to completely blow the man-way that was above it up and out of the way.
"What the fosh was that?" Teyla asked, her ears still ringing from the blast. as the smoke cleared she stared in utter disbelief at the destruction caused by a fist-sized block of clay.
"little C-4 knocking at your door" Piper said
west down to the Piros River
city of Csillagfény.
fall back to the castle we're bugging out
grenade everybody down
door collapses trapping coffer chasers
forced to use the cronosphere
Pronto's ultimate hydrofoil
Chapter 2: Down Came the Phoenix
Bad guys take princess captive to ransom her for the tree
Wesley Phoenix comes through wormhole (unconscious)
His arrival scares off bad guys to regroup
Princess and guards load him into cart and beat a hasty retreat before the bad guys can regroup
Wesley wakes up in cart and freaks out
Gets rifle butt to the head
Wesley clings to his guitar because it was a gift from his mother
Chapter 3: The Legend of Kane
Chapter 4: The Talon Awakens
Chapter 5: The Story of Akilah Amsah
When I found her there was but not more then an ear sticking out of the desert sand. Glittering and metallic I thought it was a blade maybe a knife or a sword. But to my amazement it was a girl but not. Armored from tip to tail and dressed in fine, strange linen. I picked her up and tossed her into the back of my cart and continued on my way to Lut Gholein.
Fortunately I still had my watch maker's tools, it took some time to clean the dirt and debris from her joints, the mechanics had all but seized solid in the harsh climate still, who is she? Where did she come from? And how long has she been out there?
Well, I did it! All parts cleaned and oiled and re-assembled with just as much care as her maker (hopefully) she seems to have some sort of energy source a strange blue glowing liquid I have not been able to identify. No sign of anybody looking for her though maybe somebody in Khardung La will know something about this?
To my amazement she sprung to life! I almost collapsed as her body started whirring and humming and, for a short time she was understandably in a panic, waking up in a strange place, with strange people.
Much more intelligent then I had expected after she had settled down and I explained what little I knew of her origins she looked up at me and smiled. She had little to no memory of her past. For now I have named her Akilah Amsah (Intelligent, logical, one who reasons Friendly; of good company)
She awoke from a dream last night… can a machine even dream? Still she was terrified a glimpse, a flash from her past an escapee an android on the run seeking freedom beneath a lonely desert sun trying to change her program trying to change the mode -- crack the code images conflicting into data overload. Memory banks unloading bytes break into bits unit One's in trouble and it's scared out of its wits guidance systems break down a struggle to exist to resist a pulse of dying power in a clenching plastic fist
The wizard Jamnico! That was her creator? No wonder she was trying to escape. She was the one not just another of his robotic slaves, more like his concubine she would look down at the suffering caused by her creator. Her brethren would do anything for Jamnico they fought for him, they died for him, and they did anything he wanted. But they where no more then slaves, only she was given free will and still, she was treated as a slave herself. I, myself was a lowly mechanic, just another cog in his army when he fell I took my chance to escape never expecting to find her.
We arrived in the town of Center Ridge today. My talents where quickly put to use getting the forge up and running and I was paid handsomely. I like it here and was thinking of opening up a shop my mother was a baker, not of all that much use to a robotic army so they locked her away in the mines never to be seen again. Still, I did learn from her and I think it would be a fitting tribute to open up a bakery, somewhere where her trade would be appreciated
Akilah looked up at me today and smiled. If I didn't know any better I swear she was in love with me. But she's just a machine. And machines can't love? Can they?
Chapter 6: A New Hope
Chapter 7: Fear Campaign Secrets Revealed
Chapter 8: The Razing of Celest
Chapter 9: The fall of the Masters of Puppets
Chapter 10: A Hero's Destiny
Once, long ago, our world was consumed by chaos. We where, little more then savages. King (name) leader of the northern tribe began to march upon the world. Uniting the tribes and bringing civility to the world. But the king fell ill with plague. Kane marched upon the city and was forced to burn it to the ground, sadly he too fell ill and the world fell back into chaos. Jamancho tried once again to regain control of the world but his lust for power was only surpassed by his cruelty and the people revolted. What is left of the world is policed by the former royal army. But their numbers have dwindled down to nothing and the chaos once vanquished from our lands has returned
Control the populace
Weed out inferior specimens
Convert people to "cyborgs"