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View Full Version : VoD R1: Kyra vs Aquila



Jessepinwheel
07-31-2014, 10:19 PM
L.L Bust (Aquila): Cyborg, morphing gun w/ special ammunition, bottled chemicals.
Rykosar (Kyra): Metal skeleton, robotic hand (right), and robotic leg (right).

The stories below are posted in the order that they were submitted and may not be the order in the title or of the character blurbs above. When giving feedback (and you should), please keep the authors of the respective stories anonymous even if you know which one it is.

Bust shuddered as he laid on the ground. He wasn’t spread eagle but rather balled up, his head encircled by his arms and his legs pressed against his stomach. He groaned as he uncurled himself, his metal plates rubbed agitated and his fingers dug into the ground as he tried to push himself off the floor. He stood up and stared at the ruins he was within.

Scorch marks were blazed across the floor and walls, the traces of black, ashy flames were ingrained into the stone, indicating that this had happened years ago. On one side of the wall there was a melted mass of plastic that oozed off the wall and covered a wall-to-wall desk. Suddenly, a revelation hit him and his legs buckled underneath him. He sat back down on the ground, his arms outstretched behind him to stabilize him. His hand moved involuntarily to his mouth to cover what would be a gaping expression if not for the fact that his jaws were wired shut and covered in bandages and a bandana.

It wasn’t possible, he tried to focus, this is impossible. His scoping lens on his left eye analyzed every inch of the basement he was contained in, from the melted and obliterated tools that sat in a corner, to the destroyed ladder that led up to the laboratory, his laboratory. He was back in Mechanus, and he was among the ruins of his house. This couldn’t be real, he rationalized, I must be dreaming.

To reassure his wavering resolve, he stood up and walked over to the scorched wall. He placed his bandaged right hand and could feel the coarseness of the rock, the cold seeping into his body, my god it’s real! He could feel his knees shake and could feel the urge to fall again but he steadied himself.

He hurried to take out a cigarette and it trembled in his hand as he fit it into the hole that exposed his mouth. He took out his lighter but it fell out of his hands, he just couldn’t take it in. He is a science man, and this was beyond anything science could explain. He picked it up and flicked it on, the flames danced and with the wall as its background it reminded him of the hellish inferno. He threw the lighter on the floor and stomped on it, crushing it. He watched the butane fluid leak into the floor and with a heavy groan he turned on his heels.

Blunderbuss was lying on the floor next to where he was curled up and he picked up the cannon, the chains encircling it rattled as he hoisted it onto his back. He could tell he couldn’t climb up to the main floor but his basement had an emergency door which he kicked open, exposing himself to the outsides. He was greeted by the everyday morning sounds of Mechanus, engines of machines were being revved up and sunlight shone on the city.

Mechanus was built along a mountain, it began low and climbed up. The top of the city had a great castle which housed the royal family, and the bottom was embanked by a great wall with a heavy metal gate powered by gears.

Bust set off walking down the sidewalk next to a wide street, he looked around at the buildings that bordered the streets. They were all similar in build, blockish and two floors with windows and doors facing out to the street. His own house was built the size of two houses, thanks to his old position in the city as one of the top inventors in Mechanus. However all that was in the past, as now his appearance and the cannon on his back attracted the stares of people and of surveillance bots. He heard the annoyed mutters, “Isn’t that L.L Bust?” “What is he doing back here?” “How did he get here?”

He sighed, they were so loud. He stared up at the sky. It was a beautiful azure blue, white clouds were swimming all fluffy, and the sun was brightening the blue every second. Suddenly it all darken with a shadow and he hit what felt like a mech, and not a small sweeper drone, it felt like a battle bot. Thanks to his metal body he wasn’t knocked over but the impact stumbled him back a few steps. He looked at who he had bumped into and was fascinated by how human the robot looked.

It was designed to look like a man and he was a giant, standing at 6’4”. Bust had to crane his neck to simply look at the person’s nose. The giant looked down to see what he had bumped into and Bust was able to stare at the skin work. It was very patchy and the mech looked ancient, having as many wrinkles as he did scars. It seemed as if the scars were all that was holding the man’s face together, there were also spots of discolored skin that had been sewn in.

He had matted gray hair that slightly covered his eyes which were the same color as the sky. He was garbed in a great brown trench coat, underneath was a tan colored shirt that was tucked into black pants. He wore black boots and black gloves, and his clothing was also very patchy. The man looked so old but he stood straight and proud.

“Never thought they’d ever make a humanoid machine, and this one is beautifully done, little amateurish though, but hell I can’t really judge.” Bust rubbed his cheek, talking to himself. He brushed his unlit cigarette as his fingers traced his jawline, “So who made you?”

The man responded, his voice full and gruff, “Well my mother and father if I had to guess. Except I did the rest I must say.” He cracked a smile that moved all the scars on his face.

“Wait you’re human?” L.L pulled out a pack of matches and lit one.

“As human as a metal skeleton can make me. And like you said, you’re not one to judge.” He placed his gloved hand in between L.L’s lit match and unlit cigarette. “I’m sorry, but I don’t like smoking.”

L.L waved the match out before it burned his bandages. Normally he would be pissed beyond all hell at the man but something about him made him take it, “Alright, alright. So what’s your name old timer?”

“My name is Rykosar, but you can call me Ryker. Who may you be?”

“I’m L.L Bust. I used to live here but I moved a while ago. How about you Ryker?”

“I don’t know,” the man’s expression relaxed then grew taunt, “I can’t remember, all I know is my name, and I guess what I’m made of.” The man rubbed his chin, a light smile played on his lips, “I woke up near the entrance of town and just been walking around. Until I bumped into you, young man.” His smile widened.

L.L couldn’t help but feel close to the man, “Strange. Alright Ryker, sorry for ruining your walk.” Bust moved to let him through but the man stood there.

He beckoned L.L forward, “How about we walked together Bust? I would very much appreciate your company. I’m going to see if anyone knows more about me.” The bounty hunter paused and with a shrug stood next to him.

They began strolling and L.L asked, “So do you really not remember anything Ryker?”

“No I can’t.” He sighed, his boots making dull booms on the floor, “I just woke up by the gates and started walking, do you have any ideas?”

“We can ask the civilians. However I don’t have much of a good relationship with the city.” He chuckled, “Let’s try it I guess.” They went walking and stopped by a grocery store. Bust went up to the man who was stocking the stalls, “Hey mister do you know this man?” He pointed at Rykosar.

The man looked at Rykosar then at Bust, his eyes first confused then when he realized who Bust was, his voice dripped venom and his eyes shot daggers. “Why would I ever tell you anything after what you’ve done?” He turned around and walked into his store, simply leaving the crate of oranges he was using to refill the stalls sitting on the floor. With a sigh Bust continued walking with Rykosar behind him.

They met the same hostility everywhere they went and finally Bust couldn’t take it. A taxi driver was blowing them off when he finally yelled, “Come on now! I may have done some wrong yes, but this isn’t about me! I’m just trying to help this man find out stuff about himself, he has amnesia!” The taxi driver looked at him in surprise then with a sneer drove away.

Bust could hear the voices around him, “Look at him, so violent.” “Yea why did he come back?” “Who does he think he is?” “Him trying to help someone? Inconceivable.”

Bust’s hands opened and clenched as he tried to contain his temper, suddenly his lens beeped three times and with a relieved voice he asked Rykosar, “Hey you want to grab something to eat, I need to take my supplements anyway.” Rykosar made his way to a café and Bust followed. They took a place inside that overlooked a balcony that hung over the streets and bustling people. Rykosar didn’t take a seat, saying that his weight would crush it. He said that was also why they couldn’t go out to the terrace.

Although the waitress politely asked Rykosar what he would like to eat and drink, hostility was further expressed as she outright ignored Bust. Bust didn’t mind though as he pulled out a syringe from the pouch on his waist. He injected the murky fluid into his body through the metal cap he had grated in his right shoulder. He placed the syringe back into his pouch and watched Rykosar as he dined on a sandwich with some tea. “Sorry Ryker, I told you I had bad history with this city.”

“What happened?” Rykosar inquired, clearing his throat with a sip of tea, “These people are very hostile to you for some reason.”

“I disturbed the peace I guess that’s what you can say.” Bust glowered and rested his elbows on the table, his hands supporting his head.

“Disturbed the peace? How so? This place looks very tranquil to me. A simple pickpocketing would disturb the calm it seems.” Rykosar tried to lighten the mood with a light joke.

Bust chuckled slightly, “I never liked this city, like you said it is too peaceful. I used to be loved in this city, I was famous. But that all changed when I created Howitzer.”

“Howitzer? Like the cannon?”

“No he was a battle bot, which are strictly only for the royal family. So this was much more severe than a simple pickpocketing. When the guards found out through a tattletale neighbor, all Hell broke loose.” Bust paused momentarily, his fingers flexing as his body grew tense. Taking a brief inhale, his gaze left Rykosar, sinking low to the ground as he made a fist, clenching it hard, “They lost a couple of their men and robots, I lost my position, house, and my humanity. It was a big shock to everyone and soon the whole city hated me.” Eyes lifting as he collected himself once more, he scanned the cafe, hand shaking from the tightness that it clenched. Clearing his throat, his robotic voice was cold and low, lower than it ever had been before. “So once I got myself patched up I left.” Bust smashed his fist against the table, causing everything to jump and rattle. “Goddammit I wish they’d just let it go.”

“Why do you care?” Rykosar asked, placing his tea gently back down on the table, “I mean you don’t live here anymore, so why do you care what they think about you?”

Bust looked at Rykosar and sighed, “I don’t know, I just… want a place I can call home. Like somewhere to return after everything in my outside life goes to the shits.” He choked and cradled his head between his hands, “I just… want to be accepted.” He sounded pathetic but he didn’t care, he hoped Rykosar would understand.

He felt a heavy hand on his left shoulder and he thought that the man’s hand had dented the armor, “I understand how you feel L.L. I mean isn’t that what we’re doing for me right now? Trying to find where I belong? You’re a good person Bust, don’t let these people make you think otherwise.” The waitress came up and told him the bill was six dollars. He smiled sheepishly, “Speaking of being a good person, Bust could you by any chance pay for this? I don’t think I have this place’s currency on me.”

Bust chuckled and pulled out his wallet, he handed the amount to her but she wouldn’t take it. “I’m sorry but it’s ten dollars.”

“Ten? You told him it was six.”

“Well for who you are, you should be lucky I even let you into this café. It’s ten dollars.” Aggravated, Bust pulled out more and handed it to her. “Thank you,” she snapped, “please don’t come again.” She snapped and walked away.

Bust got up from his seat and joined the still standing Rykosar. “Well Ryker, let’s go, maybe someone will tell us something.” Rykosar placed down the tea and with a final bite of the sandwich left. Bust said all of it just as a motivator, he knew in his heart no one would tell them anything but he didn’t want to abandon Rykosar like this. They continued to get shot down as they traveled across the city, people refusing to talk to him for being him.

They stopped and he rubbed his temples, “I’m sorry Ryker, I think I’m just making this worse, you should ask these people by yourself.” He turned to leave but he felt Rykosar’s heavy right hand on his shoulder again and stumbled.

“Bust what did I say? Don’t let them drag you down. We’ll find someone or something that’ll help. Don’t give up Bust.” Rykosar laughed. Suddenly it was cut short by a gasp as something hit him in the stomach. L.L felt Rykosar’s hand loosen and when he turned his head it got snapped back by a baton smack. He shook off the shock and looked at what was happening and noticed that they were surrounded by men, courtesy of the Royal Family Guard. Rykosar was being dragged away by officers, their hands wrapped around his arms. “Oy guys, what the hell are you doing to the old man?” He marched towards them.

Another hit from the baton brought him to his knees and turned his attention away from Rykosar and to his assailant. “Hey Bust, eyes on me fool.” The commander in chief lashed out with the metal club again.

Bust’s skull pounded with pain and he bent his head down dodge the attack. The club clipped him and he felt blood wet the bandages wrapped around the back of his head. “What’re you doing to the old man? We’re just trying to learn where he came from and who he is.” He stayed on his knees, his head still spinning.

“Wanna know who he is? He’s a convict who escaped from your majesty’s jail.” The man smiled, “Thank you Bust, you just caught a convict.” Handcuffs and shackles were chained to Rykosar’s arms and legs. Then the beating started. Batons, pistol grips, belts, and chains were used to lash at the old restrained man, and Bust couldn’t do anything but watch.

“What the hell guys! How is he a convict?”

The commander in chief helped Bust back up, “Don’t worry about it. You’re a hero now. Look.” Pedestrians and shop owners began approaching him. “He caught a criminal.” “Maybe he’s different now.” “Wow he’s a hero.” Their attitudes were mechanical as they suddenly began accepting him and treating him like how they did before the incident.

Bust brushed off the commander’s hands, “Wait you gotta be kidding me, how… Hey let me go.” He smacked away the hands of villagers who were congratulating him. “Leave me alone I need to get to Ryker.” Suddenly he caught an action from Rykosar that stopped him in his tracks.

Rykosar was trying to tell him something, but Bust couldn’t hear him over the commotion of the people around him. His lens zoomed in and he read the man’s lips, “Don’t worry about me. Look, you’re being accepted, just like you always wanted.” Then his head was snapped down by a blow to the head.

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. Was this what he really wanted? The people surrounded him and pat him on the back, congratulating him and saying all these other things. He didn’t want acceptance this way, he couldn’t take it this way.

“Fuck this.” He murmured and he took Blunderbuss off his shoulder. He fired a shot into the air and everything grew silent. The shot echoed across the empty streets as everyone just stared. He pointed the cannon at the officers, “Release Ryker, or I’m going to kill you. Don’t test me.” The officers backed off and Rykosar was left alone.

Rykosar slowly shuffled over, “Bust why did you do this? You had what you wanted.” The man looked like hell, scars had opened up, pieces of his skin peeled away, and there was new wounds cut into his head from concussions and lacerations. Blood ran down the old man’s head, wetting his hair, darkening the trench coat he was wearing, and reddening his shirt. Even though he was so wounded he cared more about Bust than himself. Bust felt like he could tear up.

Bust shrugged, “Who cares. At least we know a little about you, you’re a convict.”

Bust reloaded his cannon as he stared at his enemies. They stood at the ready to fight him but stood still, awaiting orders. Like sheep who will only move according to their shepard.
Bust stood next to Rykosar, his cannon at his side. The commander gestured with his head at Bust, “Arrest him for obstruction of justice.” Guards slowly approached him, batons at the ready. Bust stood there helplessly as they approached him, his cannon at the ready to kill someone but he couldn’t risk Ryker’s life.

“Don’t fight them Bust, just let me go. I’m old, I’ll be okay.” He began shuffling towards them again.

Bust grabbed his hand, pulling him back, “I won’t let them take you. And who cares? I’m a convict too anyways.” He pushed passed Rykosar, “Now I advise you to close your eyes if you abstain from violence, this isn’t going to be pretty.” Bust left no room for retaliation as he set upon his enemies with buckshot rounds, the shrapnel shred through his enemies.
Hairs floated down along with spatters of gore and bone fragments, and Bust walked over to join Rykosar who had put it upon himself and watched the whole thing. “Sorry you had to see that Ryker.” He picked gore and bone out of his toupee.

“Why did you kill all of them? You should’ve let them live.” Ryker glared at Bust.

Even though he had been at the job for 4 years and he had gone through more life and death scenarios than a daredevil, L.L felt like a little kid in front of the old man. “They were going to… We were…” His voice waivered then firmed up, “It was either them or us. I stand by what I did.”

Ryker glared then his gaze relaxed and softened, “Bust you can’t just kill people like that. Yes our lives were in danger but killing all of them was unnecessary.”

A soft smile played on his lips, “Why did you go so far to help me? Now you’re a wanted fugitive, you’ll never be able to call this place home now.”

Bust shrugged, “I’ll find somewhere to call home. Now let’s go to prison.”

“Why?”

“Well apparently you escaped, so let’s check out if that’s true.” The two made their way to the top of the city and entered the dungeon that sat nearby. They walked down the steps and finally hit the bottom of the dank prison. Cells were lined across the walls, the metal bars covered the entranceways and brick walls separated them. They walked down the row of cells and finally found an occupied chamber at the very end.

Shackled to the wall was the empty shell of a man, the man was simply skin and bone, some patches were falling off his face. He wore a moth eaten dank trench coat that was falling apart, and you could see his bare hands and feet. Someone had taken his boots, and his right foot featured blunt claws as toes and skin was peeling away to display dull metal. The same with his right hand, and Bust couldn’t help but feel sorry for the man.

But something about the man reminded him of someone, he just looked familiar. Bust stared up at Rykosar and looked at the strange expression on Ryker’ face. Tears were welling up in the old man’s eyes and the man’s facial expression was one of revelation. “How did you escape? I see no bent bars, did they replace them?”

“What do you mean?” Rykosar looked down with sparkling eyes and a smile, “I’m right there.” He pointed at the corpse.

“Wait what? How is that possible?” Bust panicked, no Rykosar couldn’t leave him, he actually accepts Bust. “Ryker you’re joking right?”

But as much as he wanted to deny it, he could see it. He watched as Rykosar’s image began changing to look like the corpse. His face grew gaunt and his cheeks were sucked in, barely covering the man’s bones and his hair began thinning and falling out. The clothing became dirty and old, his skin began falling off, and his gloves and boots disappeared. The man blinked and a smile cracked across his tearing face, “Thank you Bust, don’t worry, you’ll find your place.” He placed his heavy right hand on Bust’s left shoulder. His body began fading away before he finally disappeared.

Bust’s back hit the wall with a loud thud and he slid down the rocks, the rough surface ripped away at his bandages and he could hear the shrieking of metal against rock and could feel the occasional cut into his flesh but he didn’t care. He felt hot blood trickle down his back and could feel his wound against the cold rock. He took out a cigarette and pulled out a pack of matches. The sound of him lighting the match echoed throughout the prison and he stared at the flame as it stood between him and Rykosar’s corpse.

He replayed everything that had happened through his head as he stared deep into the flames, and just couldn’t believe it happened. He began mumbling to himself, “I am a man of science, I am a man of science. Ghosts do not exist, spirits do not exist. I am a man of science, I am… I… I miss Ryker.” An image of the scarred old man’s smiling face flashed before his eyes.

“Fuck.” He sighed and lit the cigarette, and the flames casted away the image. Smoke drifted through his cheeks and from the cigarette and he flicked the match into a puddle. Rykosar’s face flashed before his eyes again. He tilted his head back and covered his lens with his left arm, smothering himself into darkness to hide away from Rykosar’s smiling face while listening to the echoing hiss of the doused match.
“Shit, out of cigarettes.”

A young bounty hunter paced the Toronto city streets, it was a warm night so he didn’t need as many layers as first presumed. After searching his pockets, double, and even triple checking their contents, his arms hung limp at his sides and he let out a disgruntled exhale.

As he shifted his weight between his feet, eyes narrowed, he noticed a large shadow from across the ways, casted by a streetlight. The young man turned to find a terrifyingly tall elder in thick coats behind him. The man resembled the victim of a bear mauling, a twisted array of horrifying scars molding to a rather pale and terrified face.

“What do you want, old man? Need help crossing the street?” The mock shined only for so long before he became impatient and fully turned to face the old man. “Hey!”

At that, the old man snapped upwards, straightening his back as he limped over slowly and carefully. “I apologize for the bother.” He started, a deep baritone voice rang in the empty streets. “I was wondering if you could aid me with something.”

“I ain’t a boy scout if that’s what you’re asking.” The younger man scoffed, nearly straining his neck to look all the way up at the towering elder, the scope screen of his left eye boring into the old man’s piercing blue gaze. “Go ask someone else to carry your bags.”

“That’s not quite what I-“

The young one wouldn’t have much of it, he turned to leave as the old man started to outstretch his arm. The bounty hunter held down a chuckle at the opportunity to strike a small fight if this guy laid a hand on him. However, he felt nothing despite his anticipation, until he glanced down. Even his bandaged face and optical eye piece couldn’t remove the emotion of the gasp that tore through him in momentary surprise. There was a metal hand sticking right out of his chest, the individual fingers tinking as the mechanics inside curled to their movements.

“I believe you’re the only one that can see or hear me.” The old man croaked, then attempting a playful series of finger wiggling for the younger to see.

The man quickly stepped back to be out of reach of the older one, whirling around before a hand reached for his…where was his cannon? It didn’t take long for him to vocalize that concern.

“What the hell did you do to my gun?”

The old man only responded with a flat face and raised shoulders, however the small crack in his lips showed he was holding down a grin. “Can I have your name? I’m Rykosar.”

“You can have mine when I get my gun back.” The young bounty hunter turned to leave after that, but could hear loud clomping footsteps from behind. “You know. For a ghost, you’re pretty fucking loud.” He turned and looked over his shoulder to find Rykosar’s shoulders raised a second time. “I suppose only you can hear it. Guess that’s the guidelines for ghosts.”

“Guidelines for ghosts?”

“Well do you have a better name for it? Directives for demons? Strategies for Spirits?”

Though the ideas were amusing, the young man was still unhappy by his missing cannon and the loud ghost now following him. At this point he wasn’t even sure where he was going, he just wanted to move. So Rykosar followed.

“Can you tell me about yourself?” The old man piped up again, the request asked meekly. “It’s not like I can expose any of your dark secrets anyhow. And don’t say you don’t have them, no one walks around in that kind of dressing unless it’s Halloween or you have something to hide.”

A growl sprang from the young bounty hunter before he tried to quicken his pace, only to hear the persistent clunk of heavy metal on the sidewalk mimic his speed. “Dead or not, it’s none of your business!”

“Well, maybe it is.”

The bluntness of that statement mixed with Rykosar’s confidence called the young man to freeze in his place. “What?”

Now that the old man had caught up, he stood to the young man’s left side, hands gesturing towards them both. “Perhaps there’s a reason you’re the only one that can see me. I’d like to get to know you before some supernatural phenomena takes you away from me. You seem like a kind soul.”

A muffled scoff was heard through the bandages. “-Kind soul-. Yeah. Good one. If I had my gun, I would have blown you to pieces and collected whatever prize is on your metal head.”

“Funny you should say that, my head actually isn’t metal. Everything else pretty much is. But look at me, I’m digressing.” Rykosar shook his head, leaning towards the young man until he could see a glare shining passed his scope screen. The young man veered in the opposite direction, crossing the road as Rykosar followed. “Collecting prizes. Giant gun. You’re a bounty hunter then? Ever fought in the RHG tournaments?”

“Yeah. So what?”

The old man chuckled, “Well, so do I!” He’d exclaim, attempting a pat on the back until his arm swung right through the bounty hunter’s body. “Whoops. I did, at least.”

The young man rolled his visible eye. “You know, I always figured being dead would make you a lot less…fuckin’ happy.”

“Well it’s not like I didn’t see it coming. Look at me! I was falling apart by the shreds of my skin.” Rykosar would exclaim with a snicker, still falling into step with the young man. However, moving to his right side to limp.

“Hmph. So how’d ya die then?”

“Pardon?”

“Gah, you ain’t one of those deaf old folks, are you? I said how’d you die.”

The old man’s brows furrowed, pressing close as his scar tissue stretched to fit his contemplative features. “I’m not sure, actually.” His eyes had tilted up towards the stars, then slowly rolled down towards the younger hunter. “Would you like to help me find out? Maybe that’s why I haven’t disappeared for you yet.”

The young man groaned, moving a hand to rub his concealed face. “If it gets you off my case and gets me my gun back, fine.” He looked around Rykosar, given apparently the ‘Ghost Guidelines’ didn’t allowed the old man to be see-through. “Where should we go? What do you remember?” He questioned impatiently, boot clicking on the sidewalk as he tapped his foot.

“How about we just wing it and head…Mmmmmmm.” A long drawn out humming noise rang in Rykosar’s voice, twirling a scarred finger in the air before shooting his arm out in a random direction to their left down the next street. “That way.”

The bounty hunter hardly even spared an eye roll at the motion, pushing off that way. “You’re really weird, you know that? Pretty happy ghost. Ready to haunt souls or something?”

The old man shrugged, tucking his hands into his heavy coat pockets. “No. I’m just enjoying the time I have. No reason to act different than I normally do because I’m dead. Besides, I’ve still got someone to entertain, teach, and learn about before time runs out for us.”

“Well, you definitely aren’t entertaining. It’s creepy. What the hell do you plan to teach me anyways? How to not die?”

“Oh, that would be too easy. How about something a little simpler, like how to dance-Oh yes! Aha, come this way!”

The young man blinked. “What, you remember something?”

“No, don’t be silly. I’m going to show you how to dance!” The man stated with a warm tone of glee. “Come on now, there’s a park down this way.”

“You can’t be serious-Are you even taking any of this seriously?”

Rykosar stopped when noticing the young man not following, tilting his head with a smirk. “We have plenty of time to figure out what happened. Come now…” He beckoned with the curl of his mechanical fingers. The young man could almost hear them from halfway across the street where a small fenced-in park was spotted.

“You’re –dead-. This doesn’t concern you, at all? You’re a walking ghost that only I can see and all you’re worried about is teaching me how to dance? You’re. Dead.” His firm tone was also implied by his unmoving stance. Rykosar was silent for a few moments, his smile finally dropping before a more brittle version took its place.

“Well, maybe I just wanted to forget that for a while.”

There was more silence, which sparked a sigh from the elder. “I’ll go with you to keep looking, if you do me this one favor. I wouldn’t like to go out with you empty handed from such an experience.” With the beckoned hand still extended, a softer smile spread across his lips as the younger man shuffled down the street. Not happy, but compliant as he followed him into the park.

“It’ll be quick and painless, no one’s around to see.” Rykosar would assure him in attempts to lighten his mood. The stone walkway circled the park, in the center past a ring of trees and foliage was an open field which the old man led him towards.

“There, now stand in front of me, back straight.”

“This is completely stupid.”

“Well, you won’t get a lady that way, and you’re just saying that to soften the embarrassment of someone spotting us. Come on now.” Rykosar stopped near the center of the field, turning around to face the man.

“Lift your hand up to grab mine-Yes, I know you can’t grab it, let’s just pretend-and the other down to my side.” Rykosar waited until the unnamed bounty hunter replicated his motions before kicking at his right leg, his shoe going through him. “Now move that one out.”

“Gah.” He grunted, shifting his leg back from the reach of the old man’s foot. “Can you not do tha-“

“Right leg out. Come on.” The old man persisted with a grin.

The old man let hints of a chuckle slip from his mouth as the younger man kicked his leg out over-dramatically in his reluctance. Rykosar leaned back, fingers slipping through the young man’s before stepping off once, waiting for him to catch up and move so his hands were lined up again. Rykosar moved forward after a pause, stepping completely through him, which sparked a grunt before the bounty hunter staggered back and moved into position.

“Do you have a nice girl waiting for you? Parents that don’t give curfew?” Rykosar would ask, repeating these steps in a smoother succession with a cracked smile when seeing the young man picking up the pattern.

“No one but myself.” The bounty hunter replied gruffly, keeping his eyes straight ahead, which meant he was staring at Rykosar’s vaguely bulged stomach. He couldn’t see Rykosar’s expression anymore, but the tone seemed warm.

“That’s a shame. No one should have to live like that. Any friends? Also watch your foot on this next part, I stepped through it and you didn’t notice.”

“I’m in a clan. Also, you’re a damn ghost, what does it matter if you step on my foot?”

“Well, it’ll matter when a lady does that to you some time in the future.” Rykosar would chime in response, not saying anything when clans were brought up. “Will you tell me your name now?”

“You gonna give me my cannon back?”

Rykosar began to hum, then forming a small melody out of it that matched how he carried the bounty hunter as they danced. After trailing out of thought for several seconds, the younger man growled, which allowed Rykosar to remember what he was asked, speaking as he hummed the final note. “Mmmmaybe later.”

Rykosar stopped dancing after that, the younger man quickly stepping back in relief it was over before responding. “Hmph, forget it then. I’m picking a direction this time. We’re going left down Altorn Street. Thought there was some noise that way a while ago.”

The old man lifted his shoulders, mood lighted though his smile tired. “Fine by me.”

Though the bounty hunter assumed it would be over from there, he moved a hand to his forehead as Rykosar began to speak about a minute later. “Are you scared?”

The young man lifted his head up. “Scared of what?”

“Of dying. Of what’s happened to me right now.”

“Well, -you- obviously aren’t scared and you’re the one that’s dead. No reason I have to be scared. Hasn’t happened to me.” He’d respond simply, noticing the older man falling back so he was walking behind him now.

“I suppose I’m not scared, this is true.” Rykosar professed, reaching a hand out to attempt to rest it on the younger man’s shoulder. Whom flinched and stepped back as he saw the fingers passing through his body. “Could you stop doing that?!”

“So, you aren’t scared then?”

“What?” Confusion was evident in his tone before irritation replaced it. “No. Of course I’m not.”

What was left of the old man’s smile disappeared. “Then I guess I’ve done what I can.” He wouldn’t let the bounty hunter’s perplexed gaze sit in his own for long. “Can we keep walking?”

“Wait, hold on. What the hell are you-“

Rykosar’s body passed through the young man’s as he kept walking regardless, metal leg stomping on the sidewalk. “Come on, now.” However, movement didn’t spark from the bounty hunter until Rykosar had disappeared around the corner of the street. Eventually, he moved to follow. “Hey, don’t just walk away after-“

The street was bright here. Blazing blue and red lights circling the surrounding buildings. Two police cars and an ambulance were gathered in a small abandoned section of the road. However, there was no one in sight. No police officers to their cars, no medics or drivers operating the vehicles. But they were all left running.

“Huh…” Was the most the younger of the two could muster, finally catching up to Rykosar. “Did you know about this place all along? What’s your deal, leading me on a goose chase like that?!” With each question, his voice rose in anger, until Rykosar cut him off from the bombardment.

“You’re right. I knew where it was.”

The old man turned his head left and right before waving the bounty hunter over, continuing to walk. Despite his mixture of rage and confusion, he followed. Freezing at what was said next when they saw what laid between the space of the two police cars.

“But it’s not because this is where I died. It’s where you did.”

Bits of glass still sprinkled around the vicinity, with the dark smudges of dried up blood pooled onto the road was a white body bag. A cannon was set beside it, as well as a full box of cigarettes.

Rykosar’s face turned fragile as he turned around to face the silent man, lifting up his arm to rest on the bounty hunter’s shoulder, or at least pretend he could. The tips of his fingers passed through the coat. His metal fingers twitched subtly before curling into a half fist in the young man’s arm. “I’m very sorry.” He spoke meekly, the last word held a juvenile crack from his voice. The old man forced himself to look the younger in his eye, which held no visible emotion underneath his wrappings and in the quiet.

“I saw the car hit you, then I saw you on the street hours later…I didn’t want to frighten you.” Rykosar was unable to elaborate from there for several moments, moving a scarred hand to his mouth. He struggled to smother a choked breath before removing his hand and forcing a sad smile which quickly faded. Despite the pale scarred patches of skin, his cheeks began to flush as his eyes glinted from the police lights. “You’re so young. It shouldn’t have been you…”

“You…”

Rykosar stopped when hearing the word.

“You just…lied? You couldn’t have just told me? What the –fuck-!” The volume grew with each question, Rykosar didn’t need to look passed the man’s optic to feel the anger in his voice. He answered him calmly, speaking soft to keep a waver from his voice.

“How do you think you would have reacted if I had just walked up to you and said you were dead?”

The young bounty hunter drew his hands through his hair, gripping his head as a hysterical chuckle blasted through his lips, eye piece shimmered in disbelief. “Something that would have made a whole lot more sense than this!” The young man bent his legs, crouched on the road as he brought his chin down. “This…This is obviously some sort of…mistake.” His head snapped up to meet Rykosar’s darkened gaze. “It has to be. Some car can’t be the one thing that takes me out. Not this soon. I have so much to do. I haven’t-“

“-Lived like you should have?”

A paralyzing fear gripped the young man as he remained crouched. Rykosar’s expression continued to contort as he watched this process, taking a soft step towards the bounty hunter before bending his metal leg. A chorus of gears snapped into place before the knee hit the road. “I’m…not a perfect man. Just because I’m old doesn’t mean I’m wise.” Rykosar started, voice raspy and partially choked. “And…” He stopped, a few fingers half-curled rose up to gently hover under the bounty hunters chin. “Will you come sit with me?”

He didn’t get a response. The boy remained silent and still, head bowed and hidden under folded arms resting along his knees. Rykosar wasn’t able to hold the quiet for long, noticing the man had grown excessively still. “Breathe.”

Some crashing wave of relief flew through the old man when hearing the younger man finally speak up. However, this did not eliminate the sinking in his stomach from the entire situation. “Can’t really breathe when I’m dead. Doesn’t…really matter.” The young man’s nails dug through his hair and into the skin along his head. However, pairing with this conclusion, the young man began to tear away his bandaging. “I’m too young. This wasn’t…supposed to happen.” He struggled to say clearly, still ripping at the cloth that covered his face.

“It’s not supposed to.” Rykosar whispered in agreement, metal leg groaning as he pushed himself up with his arms and barely managed to maneuver his massive weight closer to the bounty hunter. “I know.” And he refused to let himself speak anymore after that. Not without the boy’s permission. The old man slowly but surely shuffled his huge form closer to the young man, until he could pretend to wrap his arms around him. Though his voice croaked on the higher notes and wavered from his soft volume, Rykosar began to hum a similar melody to the one he used at the park, too carried in the moment to keep his pledge of silence.

“If I could steal one final glance,
One final step,
One final dance with him.
I’d love to dance with my father again.”

There was a pause, the melody was cut short by Rykosar’s slow breathing. “How about you?”

“Wh…What kind of…?” He started, first signs of movement being as he lifted his head and turned back to face Rykosar. “I mean…sure. I suppose.” The old man’s attempts at a broken smile failed when noticing, despite him being dead, the young man’s breathing was still quick and partially choked from panic. His cheeks were metal plates when he finally brought himself to face Rykosar. Ears, nose, and lips. Gone. Both eyes were robotic in nature. The old man allowed no reaction to this, which likely surprised the young bounty hunter.

Rykosar wasn’t sure how much time they had. There was two more things...

“Can I have your name now?”

“Bust. L.L Bust.” His jaw was wired shut, but he seemed to speak through an artificial apparatus.

Rykosar nodded slowly, the scars along his face curling into a forced smile as he blinked and drew tears. “With what you’ve endured here. I don’t think you have anything to be afraid of.”

“…I suppose I-“

Bust was gone in an instant and the world was flooded with sound.

A harsh cold gust blew down the street as Rykosar blinked several times, his arm still half raised in mid-air from comforting the young man who had once been kneeling beside him. The old man turned at the sound of clomping boots on the pavement, a uniformed officer ducking under the yellow police tape circling the two vehicles.

“Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave. This is still an active investigation.”

The ancient man was frozen for several short seconds before he tilted his head curtly in a nod, bringing his arms behind him to help pull himself up to his feet.

“Are you alright, sir? You…did you know the guy that was hit?” He’d ask, looking middle aged himself as Rykosar got a better look at him, then following the officer’s hand as he motioned towards the covered body.

“You could say that. Yes, officer.” He replied softly, unable to look beyond the tip of the officer’s fingers before he drew them back to his side. Despite this, the officer kept his authoritative tone, if less persistent this time. “If you aren’t a legal guardian or family to the man, I’m going to have to ask you to step back. Regulations and all.”

“Regulations for the reanimated…” Would be a soft mutter, forcing the joke with a smirk to follow as Rykosar’s features fought this and twisted in mourning.

“What was that, sir?”

“Ah, n-nothing…” Rykosar noticed his voice was faltering, but he cracked a smile, showing some metal and yellowed teeth towards the officer. “Can I say goodbye to him at least? I never got to before…I’ll leave right after.”

The officer was quiet, not saying anything in response before he half turned his back on Rykosar and picked up his radio. He looked to be adjusting a crick in his neck before it snapped slightly in the direction of the bag, then bringing the radio up to his mouth. “Collin here...yeah?”

It didn’t take Rykosar long to decipher the code, attempting to keep his metal leg quiet against the road as he made his way to an area behind the police cars so the other officer currently monitoring the other end of the police tape wouldn’t catch him. With this brief time, Rykosar slipped his scarred hand into the bag, adjusting for the man’s height from how he recalled when dancing to look for his own. As his fingers traced the shape of a palm, he ran his thumb over the area, not moving it from its place.

“Now where was I before I was so rudely interrupted?” He’d nag quietly, mostly to himself, as he flashed a grin with somber bloodshot eyes and wet damaged cheeks. Sucking in a small bit of air from his throat growing tight, the old man offered a momentary glance towards the officer and back to the bag.

“I understand, they’ll be here to pick up the kid in a few minutes…”

Rykosar eventually removed his hand from Bust’s, trying to calm himself as he stood and turned to limp off. The words passed his lips after he turned away from the boy. “Goodbye, Bust.”

Tremorfist
08-02-2014, 09:02 PM
I do want to do a quick CnC.

Story 1, I did enjoy the style of it, a very intense story that I really got gripped into as I read more and more of it, the ending, honestly, was very beautiful. You showed two very well developed characters and I really enjoyed what I read. Unfortunately i am not -great- at critiquing, so really I can't tell you the intensive flaws of it, but I did enjoy the work.

Story 2: A bit less wordy than Story 1, which is actually a bit of surprise, it felt very tight and well done, something to be respected. The reason though, why I chose this story, was really, an exceptional amount of emotion put in near the end. I did enjoy Story 1 by all means, and I think it was a very well written part, but just near the end, it honestly just caused me to cry, I don't know why, but at the twist, and if you are reading the CnCs first, I won't spoil it, but my heart caught, it was just...exceptionally well done, the emotion showed and it was just...exceptional, I loved it, and I have to say, you get the point.

I did love both stories though, fantastic from both writers, and I hope to see you both do well in this tourney!

Boomerang
08-02-2014, 09:40 PM
Both stories flooded me with absolute feels, endings in particular. Amazing stories for the both of you, I loved reading every waking second of it.

Story 1: I liked that you included much more descriptive words in your story, as well as added the depth of so many other people, rather than just the two characters. The ending was unexpected, and made me go like "What?" For a moment. I feel like the story lacked a bit of emotion towards the end. But that could be just compared to the emotion of Story 2. I loved this story. Quality work.

Story 2: It didn't include as many descriptive words as Story 1, except for the ending. While both endings took me on the feels train, this one hit me much harder. Bust's reaction, and everything coming together, with Ryker teaching Bust something before he passed. It was all a beautiful moment. One gripe is that sometimes I couldn't really tell who was speaking, because 'he' was used a bunch of times. Sometimes I'd have to reread to see which one it was. Quality work to you as well.

In the end, I have to go with Story 2, simply because of the amount of emotions it all had. Terrific work from the both of you.