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A StandHave you ever felt like you were fighting against the world on every battlefield, with no armor and a dagger?
Like your enemies have conquered the Earth and are pressing up against you from every side?
Like no one out there has an ear for your trouble, let alone aid?
Like you have to suffer everything you're facing alone and in silence?
Like you have no reason to wake up in the morning because the day will be hell, revisited?
Like giving up, here and now.
You're not the last one left. The rest of the world may be after us, but we have allies, all of us. Stand strong, and join us, pushing back against the trials of life that are almost unbearable.
For those around us. For those we may yet influence. For ourselves. For each other. And for those we will never know, who forgot themselves and were defeated; who we lost to suicide.
We will not follow.
Ch1-Wildcats and Thieving RatsWell who do you think she is? Zavier asked the two friends standing to his side. They had watched this girl enter behind the man and look around. It had been Mallik to first notice her, but the others had turned their attention to it quickly. It wasnt often that potential students came alone, in country clothes, and with almost no bags. Or heavily armed.
I dont know, man, but Im dying to find out, Zavier glanced over to his friend, Lion, who was staring at the girl through his long gold bangs with that look of haughty mischief on his face. Besides, she looks like a challenge. Zavier and Mallik sighed in unison. Lion could get any girl he wanted, and practically made it a game to do so with every new one he met.
Lecher, he muttered, before turning to Mallik, who looked back at them and grinned.
Already she seems extremely capable of our special brand of chaos, he remarked. The other two had briefly turned conf
Prologue: Half-Breed ChildThe darkness, usually calming and reverent for them, was far from tranquil this night. The trees above their heads broke into the twilight sky, leaving only small patches for the stars to look down upon the pair, alone on the forest floor. They could see each other clearly, though, in what light was provided.
Another of her blows collided, and then another. She grunted with the effort at each one, but did not stop. Punch after punch, until her hands ached and the skin on her knuckles was rubbed raw.
Not good enough! the man yelled. Again. Growling deep in her throat, the young girl continued. She punched again and again at the elfs leather armor. He stood in a stable fighting stance, locked and absorbing every blow. She did not relent, but blood began dripping from her wrists and the older man called for a halt. The girl stood panting as he knelt in front of her to examine it. He wiped the cuts on each hand off and took out a roll of bandages.
Apologies...?The steam rose up and filled the room, hazing its features to a silvery blur in the candlelight. It swirled around everything, rising the temperature as it rolled.
He closed his eyes and basked in the feeling of the warm mist against his head and arms and the hot water that soaked the rest of his body. Nothing ever felt so good after a day of training. He didnt have to think about anything, didnt have to keep his alert, though he retained some measure of it, as always, and just relax for once. It was a luxury he had never had in the under-city and he never got tired of it.
It was starting to approach nightfall as Avarie finally decided hed had enough. He was half dressed and drying his hair when, outside the washroom, a knock sounded on his bedroom door.
My lord, a servant called, someone here to see you. Probably Aelorien, he thought.
Send them in, he called back, Ill be done in a moment.
Yes, my lord.
Inspector Wolf The old lady was dead. I could smell it before I even got into the house. The whole place reeked of adrenaline, sweat, fear, copper and steel. He’d dropped her right in her living room. Chopped and chopped until she stopped moving. But I could tell I was getting close. This had been done in a hurry, and the killer didn’t have the time to clean up after himself like he usually did.
Across the room, the phone rang. The shrill sound set my teeth to grinding, but I ignored it. Instead I followed the killer’s bloody footprints into the back bedroom. He’d climbed out the window. If I hurried, I could catch up to him and end this disgusting spree he was on.
Then the answering machine kicked in. “Hi, Gramma! It’s Red. Sorry I’m running late. I kind of lost track of time. But don’t worry. I packed the picnic and I’m heading out the door right now. Love you.”
She’d been expec
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