View Full Version : The Land of Ruin

02-03-2012, 12:31 PM
Chapter 1

A man sat beneath a destroyed highway. He wore a black duster over a dirty torn t-shirt and black jeans. A machete in a black sheath lay at his left hip, an unknown symbol on the sheath. On his right hip was a pistol. An old sniper rifle was slung across his back. A small switchblade was on his belt next to the pistol. It was as if he tried to hide it. He simply stared at the ground.
A group of six people approached him from the west. They wore jeans and dirty white t-shirts. Besides the one with the beard, the only way to tell them apart was by their weapons and accessories.

“Them some nice weapons, mister,” said the one with the beard. He had a baseball bat that lay on his right shoulder.

“You mean these?” asked the man sitting under the highway. He rested his hand on the hilt of the machete. He turned his head to face the group of men.

“Blight! Witch!” exclaimed the man with a longsword in both of his hands – holding it in front of him in a defensive stance. He noticed the man under the highway had milky pale colored eyes – like he was blind – the sign of a witch.

“I’m not a witch,” said the man under the highway – now known as a witch. “I’m a paladin, can’t you tell?” He put both of his hands in front of him, revealing five rings on his right, and two on his
left. They were simple bands – small finely cut diamonds were equally spaced around the circumference of each ring. The diamonds of each ring were a different color.

The man with a rusty blood-stained butcher knife spat at the witch and said, “Paladin Hunter.”

The man with biker goggles and a lead pipe said with a tone of fear in his voice, “I don’t know about this. Maybe, we should get out of here.”

“To late now,” laughed the witch – with a tone of dark humor, “You’re already here.”
The man with sunglasses and brass knuckles – who appeared to be the leader – walked forward and asked with a nervous, but authoritative tone, “Do you know who we are? We are the most deadly gang in this area, the Witchhunters.”

“Where’s your proof?” asked the witch.

“We burn them,” replied the leader.

The witch smiled and said, “Then you would know, that the bones of a witch do not burn.”

“I know,” claimed the leader defensively. “We hang their bones up in our hideout.”

“You enjoy the company of demons?” asked the witch, amused.

“We kill them for sport,” said the leader.

“Come on,” said the witch, laughing now. “Even you, know that demons are immortal.”

The leader stepped even closer to the witch. He was looking down on him now, yelling, “Look witch, do you know how many of your kind we have…”

Before he finished his sentence he was on the ground, holding his face in pain. The witch – standing now – seemed surprised and asked, “What happened? You alright?”

The man with the longsword charged towards the witch, his sword held high in the air. The witch grabbed the man’s wrist and forced him to stab himself. The rest of the group gasped, then yelled and charged forward. The witch took out his machete – a black blade with a strange gray symbol running down the length of the blade.

The group of men lay dead around the witch. The witch approached the leader – who was still on the ground, but no longer held his face – and pulled out a pistol. The pistol had a similar symbol as the machete which twisted around the entire gun. He pointed the gun at the leader and fired.

The witch approached a small town. Scattered buildings made up the town – surprisingly they were made out of stone and not a lesser material, which was rare for such a small settlement. As the witch walked through the town, people gave cautious and curious looks at him – even though he had sunglasses covering his eyes and had gloves covering the rings. He approached a particular building, the pub, and walked in. Being the middle of the day, not many people were in the pub – besides the drunks. He walked up to the counter and sat down on a stool.

“What will you have?” asked the bartender.

“Rum, triple,” answered the witch.

“Ten cards,” said the bartender.

The witch reached in the right pocket of his duster and pulled out a King of Hearts, he tossed it on the counter. The bartender picked up the card and got the drink, which he then placed on the counter, in front of the witch. As he downed the drink and asked for another, he noticed a drunk trying to make a move on a young girl who was sitting next to him. He paid for his second round and kept close watch – using his peripheral vision – on the situation.

“You look like you can handle yourself,” observed the young girl who was just getting flirted with – and still was. She had short light brown hair. Her skin was a bronze color, like most of the population of the world. A sun beating down on a desert does cause darker skin pigments. Most people ranged from bronze to black colored skin. Anyone with lighter skin tones was most likely a witch – or rubbed chalk all over their bodies.

“Excuse me?” asked the witch.

“I noticed your weapons,” explained the girl. “You look like you actually, made friends with survival.” What she didn’t mention was she thought he was a witch – which she was right about.

“Please… him?” hiccupped the drunken man that was just hitting on her.

The girl ignored the drunk and introduced herself, “I’m Eve.”

The witch introduced himself as well, “The name’s Lucifer.”

The drunken man spat towards Lucifer and accused, “That… is… a witch name.”

Eve, still ignoring the drunk, asked, “What are you doing in End?” End was the name of the town. It got the name because it was the farthest town in the north, and there was nothing further north for at least 40 miles.

“Passing through,” answered Lucifer.

“To eat all of us,” said the drunk. Surprisingly, he was actually able to get that line out without pausing or hiccupping.

“Excuse me, Eve,” said Lucifer. He grabbed the drunken man’s head, and slammed it into the counter. He threw a Jack of Spades on the counter and explained, “For the mess.” He walked out of the pub and left the town, heading south.

Lucifer was maybe half of a mile away from End when he suddenly stopped. He felt Eve’s presence behind him. Lucifer asked, “Where are you going?”

“I… I need someone to protect me, a bodyguard I guess. You look like you can handle yourself, like I said before. So, what I’m asking is, can I come with you?”

“No,” Lucifer said. He started to walk again.

“What do you mean, no?”

“I mean, no.” Lucifer continued to walk away.

“I’ll pay you.”

Lucifer stopped walking. “How much?”

“200 cards. And a casino chip.”

Lucifer walked up to Eve. “Let me see.” The cards were nothing, but the casino chip, that could be worth some money.

Eve nervously reached into a bag and took out a cigarette carton. She opened it to reveal 200 cards and a casino chip from the Lucky Card casino.

“Alright, let’s go,” said Lucifer. He began to walk again.

“Where are we going?” questioned Eve. She followed after Lucifer, trying to keep up.

“Don’t know,” admitted Lucifer. “Guess we’ll find out together.”

Leo looked up as far as he could, but still couldn’t see the top of the colossal mountain. He had been climbing for days – almost a week – but still was nowhere close to the peak of Haven – the mountain’s name – where the end of his apprenticeship lay. He would reach the domain of the Guardians, and would become a Paladin. He assessed that three days remained before he reached the top. He really needed to start moving or he would run out of oxygen.

He still didn’t know what exactly happened when he reached the Guardians – the protectors of humanity, who had been at war with the demons since the beginning of time. All he knew was that you changed, came back more mature. And another thing happened, the thing he was so scared about. Everyone that came back, all Paladins, had glowing white eyes. Like the irises and the pupils ceased to exist. He was terrified because he didn’t know the cause of it. He started to climb again.

Lucifer and Eve approached the town, Beginning. It was about 10 miles southwest from End. It got the name because the only remaining ramp to the highway that stretched north to south for miles was nearby.

Before they entered the town, Lucifer turned towards Eve. “Alright, here we are. I protected you like I promised. Now you will pay me, like you promised.”

“What?” asked Eve. “We… You… What the blight are you talking about?”

“It sounded pretty straight-forward to me,” explained Lucifer.

“You only brought me 10 miles!” yelled Eve. “I could have got here myself.”

“Then why, did you ask me to protect you?”

“I thought we would go farther than this. Isn’t that the job of a bodyguard? Travel all over the world with their climate?”

“I’m going to need more money than what you offered, for that deal.”

Eve let out a sigh. “Please. That’s all I have. I need you. You don’t understand what’s after me.”

Lucifer cocked an eyebrow. “You never told me that someone is after you. That is information you don’t keep to yourself. And that just makes my request for more money, even more of a necessity, if I’m going to continue to travel with you.”

“I didn’t say someone. I said something.”

This perked Lucifer’s curiosity. “What do you mean, ‘something’?”

“Ummm… You’re going to think I’m crazy. A dragon.”

“A dragon? You mean, a Guardian? And what did you do that a Guardian… You must have done something really bad, if that’s true.”

“No, it’s not a Guardian. It’s black, evil looking. Its eyes are… glowing black. I don’t… it’s a demon.”

“Demon you say. That’s a big accusation. You’re saying a possessed Guardian, is pursuing you? You do realize that’s what you’re saying, right? And how do you know this? It would never have let you get away.”

“I had a vision…”

“A vision? What exactly are you? I’ve never heard of a human having a vision. Are you sure it wasn’t just, a dream?”

“It’s constant. Almost every day I see it. That… monster. It is in the air, calling my name. Like it, wants me to find it, and go there. That’s why I need someone to protect me. I’m afraid it will come looking for me. If it does, it will hurt people. I don’t want that to happen. So I want to go find it, so no one will get hurt, but me. I need a guide, to lead me through the forest.”

Lucifer let out a laugh. “You are a piece of work. You want me, to lead you through the forest, so you can find a possessed Guardian, so no one gets hurt but you. And you know this because of a… vision?”

Eve got angry by his laughter. “I’m not making this up, I’m not crazy! You want more money? Fine! My uncle owns the Lucky Card casino. He’ll give you all the money you want.”

Lucifer got serious real fast. “I can’t go there. I try to avoid larger settlements, but a casino…” he shook his head at the thought, “Look at me. I’d be killed before we even entered. I can’t hide what I am, no matter how hard I try. I’m a witch. That’s all most people see. They think: witch equals evil. So, forget that plan. I’m not going.”

“No you’ll be safe, I promise. My uncle only cares about profit. He doesn’t care who is making him money. As long as he’s making money, you could be Sara for all he cared.”

Lucifer froze. Sara was a name he did not want to hear. A myth that a long time ago, a demon possessed a little girl – which happened occasionally, kids being innocent and wanting to help out. So when Sara strolled into the forest – which was obviously foolish, let alone the normal dangers of it, the fact that all evil lived in the forest – she was approached by an invisible voice, which asked for help. She obliged, letting the demon possess her. Unlike other demons – which possessed people to escape the forest and get out into the rest of the world – this demon remained in the forest – taking advantage of the immortal life he gained from possessing Sara – and waited 200 years, Sara becoming more and more corrupt the entire time. Stories are told of people going into the forest – once again, a dumb idea – and seeing a little girl, dancing with the monsters of the forest. When they run to her aid, the girl disappears – laughing joyfully – and the monsters attack the would-be saviors.

Eve had meant to tell a simple joke, making fun of the greed of her uncle, but had brought up a past that Lucifer had hidden deep down inside of him.

Chapter 2

Lucifer and Eve approached the highway. They had to go under it, and continue southeast to reach the mountain range that they had to cross in order to reach the Lucky Card casino. Lucifer had decided to go with Eve to the casino after all. There was something about her he couldn’t quite explain, he was going to travel with her until he found out what it was.

Lucifer stopped walking. “Wait,” he told Eve. They watched as about 20 people walked out from underneath the highway.

“Look what we here,” said one of the people. He had a leather jacket on. He turned around to the rest of the group, revealing a logo on the back of the jacket. “Hell’s Angels” was on the logo, a Paladin jacket. He took out a pistol, the hand holding it had a Paladin ring on his index finger. Paladin Hunter. He must have been the leader.

“You would think people would know to avoid this area by now,” he continued. “Well, what do you have in exchange for your life?”

This group wasn’t like the other group Lucifer had dealt with. This group was an actual threat. They had obviously noticed that he was a witch, but they weren’t fazed at all. Lucifer stepped forward.

“Not another step,” ordered the Paladin Hunter. “We can talk at this distance just fine. Now, answer me. What do you have in exchange for your lives?”

“Do you really think I’d give you anything?” asked Lucifer. “Look, you’ve only killed one Paladin. I’ve killed seven.” Lucifer held up his hands and showed all seven rings. Some of the people in the group got nervous. They looked around, like they didn’t know what to do.

“For your information,” said the Paladin Hunter, “I am a Paladin, or at least used to be one. And now, you just pissed me off.” He removed his sunglasses to reveal glowing white eyes. “Now I’m going to kill you, blighted witch.”

The group grabbed their weapons, and ran to cover. The former Paladin lifted up his enormous pistol, and fired a round at Lucifer.

Time stopped.

Lucifer moved so fast, he was a blur, while everyone else appeared as statues. Two from the group laid dead – a male and a female. A blade went through the third, two more down – bullet holes where their eyes should have been. Lucifer took cover behind a shattered pillar that was part of the highway.

Time resumed.

Bullets from automatic weapons flew by Lucifer and tore the pillar to shreds. Once again, it was as if time froze. Lucifer spun out of cover, and threw his machete towards one of them that wasn’t in cover. He fired four more rounds at the others in cover, before the blade plunged itself into its target.

“Stop!” screamed the former Paladin. He was a short walk away, holding Eve in his left arm, while he had his enormous pistol digging into Eve’s head. The rest of his group fortified their positions – reloading their weapons and finding better cover. “Don’t move, or I’ll blow her blighted head off! Now throw your weapons over here.”

Lucifer paused for a moment. He could have killed him if he wanted, but there were still around 14 other – heavily armed – people around him. They wouldn’t be able to kill him, but what about Eve? Lucifer dropped his pistol on the ground, then pulled out his machete and threw it to the ground – the blade sticking into the dirt.

“The rifle too,” demanded the former Paladin.

Lucifer slowly reached up and grabbed the rifle slung across his back. Squeezing tighter, he froze. A flashback flooded his mind.

Barren wasteland surrounded Lucifer. Dust kicked up when he walked, and it already covered all of his clothes. This new world was strange to him, but it was better than the forest. Large mountain ranges surrounded him, so he was in a valley. Not knowing where he was going, he continued walking.

He froze. He dove to the ground as a bullet flew over his head. As soon as he hit the ground he was rolling. Another bullet hit the ground near him. He jumped up and started sprinting towards one of the mountains. On top of it was a Paladin sniper. Lucifer dodged another bullet and leaped up the side of the mountain. He grabbed the side of the mountain and jumped even farther up the side. Continuing this action, he climbed up the mountain towards the Paladin. The Paladin stood up and continued firing while he backed up. Lucifer reached the Paladin and knocked him towards the ground.

The Paladin rolled backwards and got up, holding a massive combat knife. He lunged with the knife towards Lucifer. Lucifer watched as the blade glided through the air towards him. Grabbing the Paladin’s wrist, he twisted the knife out of his hand, but the Paladin grabbed another knife with his free hand, and thrust it into Lucifer’s ribs. Lucifer – ignoring the pain – flipped the Paladin on to his back, yanking the knife from his ribs, and shoved it into the Paladin’s throat.

As the Paladin lay, choking on his own blood, Lucifer searched his still living body. That’s when he came across the rifle. It was black and a dusty brown. Looked like it had better days, but it was still a machine of death. Carved into the butt of the weapon read, ‘Sword of the Prophet,’ the letters looked like lightning bolts, three tally marks were carved next to the name. Lucifer slung the strap of the rifle over his head – aggravated that he had only found eleven rounds for it – and continued to walk on.

Lucifer let go of the rifle. To him, it fell in slow motion. The feeling started as soon as the rifle hit the ground. A shiver ran through his body while sweat began to form in his armpits and on his brow. He was hot and cold at the same time. The shiver turned into vibrations throughout his whole body. When he inhaled, it sounded like he was hiccupping; he exhaled in short uncontrollable gasps. Hopelessness summed up the feeling. He no longer was in control. The feeling focused in the center of him, forming a lump in his chest. He began to shake violently.
The group was terrified. They began backing away – still pointing their weapons at him. Only the leader wasn’t fazed. He pushed the barrel of his weapon into Eve’s head, his finger slightly squeezing the trigger.

The feeling pulsed through Lucifer now, he felt as if he was going to explode. He fell to the ground, losing his grasp on the outside world, only the feeling mattered to him.

Most of the group was running away at a full sprint, only a few remained. The Former Paladin – now just as scared as the rest of them – pointed his pistol at Lucifer, screaming at him to stop whatever it was he was doing.

Lucifer stood up. The feeling ruptured inside of him, radiating everywhere. It got dark, lightning struck all around him, wind howled. Lucifer began to scream – sounding like a demon in pain. Demons gravitated around Lucifer, laughing maniacally. Lucifer joined them.

Everyone was frozen in place. Only Lucifer and the demons remained mobile. Moving so fast that not even I – the writer of this novel – could describe the speed at which he moved, Lucifer grabbed the switchblade he still had on his possession, and threw it at the former Paladin.

As the blade sped through the air towards the former Paladin, Lucifer let out another bone chilling scream. A bright light flashed. Fire erupted and consumed the whole group. Screams filled the air. When the smoke cleared, everything was back to normal, and they were all dead. The former Paladin lay in the dirt, the switchblade in his chest. Eve lay on the ground in the fetal position. Lucifer bent down to regain his strength, breathing heavily. When his strength returned he approached Eve. He knelt beside her.

“Eve,” Lucifer said gently. She remained in the fetal position. “Eve, it is okay now. They’re all gone.”

She looked up at Lucifer, and began to cry.

Chapter 3

Leo looked up to the sky above him. He had finally made it to the peak of Haven. Surrounding him, were Guardians. They looked like different forms of dragons, but they all had wings. Some of the Guardians were small, and some were gigantic, all deadly. This was it. He was going to become a Paladin. One of the Guardians – a massive one I might add – landed in front of him.
It looked like a standard European Dragon, except for the four huge wings and spikes down the length of its tail. It was dirty silver, its underside was tan. It opened its mouth to reveal large white

“Mortal, speak your intentions,” demanded the massive beast with a voice of fire and stone.

Leo froze in fear. This thing was going to be inside of him? It was too much for him to take in at once – no pun intended.

“Speak Mortal!” roared the Guardian in an even more terrifying voice than before.

“I… I am Leo,” stammered Leo. “I am here to become a… a Paladin.”

“Are you now?” asked the Guardian. “So be it.”

The Guardian flew up in the air – its eyes glowing white – and flew towards Leo. The entire Guardian began to glow white. It looked like a white lightning bolt. The Guardian flew into Leo’s mouth and down to his soul.

Leo stood before the Paladin base. He was about to be home, a Paladin this time. To his surprise, the Guardian hadn’t taken control of him as he thought it would. They didn’t even exist together in the same body. Instead, both of their personalities became one, to make a completely different person. He was now a being of judgment, but remained a calm person. Excited to be home and show everyone that he had succeeded, he walked inside the base.

“Leo?” asked a woman when he was inside. “It is you. Leo!” She ran and embraced him. “I was getting worried. I was afraid you had failed. So what happened, tell me everything.”

“Victoria, I’ve missed you,” Leo said, hugging her back. “Obviously, I’m a Paladin now. And what an amazing journey, at some points, I didn’t think I was going to make it.”

“Come on,” she urged, “You can tell me all about it in the dining hall. I’m starving.”

‘Ah, that was Victoria,’ thought Leo, ‘Always thinking about food. It’s good to be back.’

“…So this massive Guardian flew towards me,” explained Leo, “and turned into pure energy before pouring itself inside of me. All of a sudden, I felt completely different, like it had become part of me. I felt really assertive, but still calm. I wanted to find some demons and rip them to shreds. But I knew I had to come back here first, so I pushed the felling out of my thoughts and began my journey home – which was a lot easier than getting there.”

“Wow,” exclaimed Victoria. “I wonder why that Guardian chose you. Your personalities are so conflicting.”

“That’s what I thought at first,” Leo answered, “But it feels right, like a part of me has been missing for a long time, and now I found it.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re back, Leo,” said Victoria. “Hopefully, we’ll be in the same patrol.”

“I hope so too, Vikki. I hope so too.”

02-03-2012, 12:56 PM
This is good stuff CE. Not just saying cos I'm bias. I'll have to read it a bit later though. It's kinda long