Pisky's ATS Story

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posted on Mar, 23 2004 @ 08:44 PM
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yes well done Pisky, we want more!!!!




posted on Mar, 24 2004 @ 02:39 AM
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Oh yes, into battle we ride!



posted on Mar, 25 2004 @ 09:53 PM
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The four quad bikes roared into the darkening countryside. Tobias had warned them that once they reached the area of Chetwynd they had to be on high alert. It was, at least when he was there last, a supply base. A large area covered with hangars of various descriptions and storage huts. They had a large turnover of men and equipment, with trucks constantly entering and leaving the compound. Tobias believed that getting into the place wouldn't be too difficult. Leaving, however, could be a different thing altogether.

After an hour, they stopped to check their position and to evacuate their bladders.
"Do you know what we look like ?", asked Loki, looking down at his military fatigues complete with green waterproof hoods.
"SAS ?" asked Benjj, checking that his shotgun was safely holstered on the side of his bike.
"Fecking pixies", came Loki's reply.
"And what's wrong with Pixies ?", asked Pisky, settling his bow and making sure that his backpack was balanced properly.
"Nothing", came the reply, "I just didn't think that pixies were very ... well, martial".
Pisky mounted his quadbike. "Feck that". Pisky replied, "They aren't those 'tinkerbell' faeries", he said,"actually, according to the old legends, they fought the Roman legions two thousand years ago - and stopped them from conquering their country"
"Well bugger me", replied Loki, "We learn new things every day"
"I posted it in an ATS thread before everything went to #". said Pisky.
Do you know". interrupted Benjj, "We really should have some kind of code name like the Americans have - 'Deus' Devils' I think they are called. Apparently Deus Ex and his group have been kicking serious corporate arse".
"Thats true", said Loki, "Arthur told me about that earlier on - He got it from the net. The corporates arent very pleased, apparently Deus Ex's group have shot down a couple of their helicopters".
"Feck the corporate bastards". spat Tobias, "They're a waste of space. Good look to Deus' Devils I say".
"And the same to 'Strike force Pixy !", said Pisky, having decided on the groups name without any kind of democratic ballot.
"Fair enough", replied Tobias, who just wanted this thing over with. And at that, he gunned his quad bike and rode off into the darkness, quickly followed by his companions in battle.

They rode for most of the night, avoiding obvious roads and any area that could be patrolled by the corporate militia. Tobias was unsure as to exactly what relationship these hired mercenaries had with the British armed forces, but knew from first hand experience that quite a few squaddies had balked at firing on unamed civilians. Some, like Tobias himself, even went as far as to turn their weapons upon the black garbed mercenaries rather than follow their murderous orders.

It was the hour before dawn, supposedly the darkest time of the night, when they reached the hills just above Chetwynd. Killing the engines, they hid the quad bikes in a small gully before climbing to the top of the nearest hill to survey the base. Tobias pointed to a small sentry hut at the right side of the compound. Beside it was a barrier which currently was lifted to allow a black lorry to enter. "They have at least three men in there", Tobias whispered, "The barrier is pretty strong. One arsehole got drunk and tried to crash through it with a lorry", He grimaced at the memory, "The barrier bent a bit but held. The driver ended up in the glasshouse. If we get noticed, we'll try to get back the way we came in - ramming our way out is out of the question".
"What about explosives ?", asked Loki, eager to try out his new experimental grenade.
"Lets see if we can get out without making too much of a ruckus first", Tobias said seriously. "The medical supplies were kept in that white cabin over there", he continued, gesturing in the direction of a small building with a generator built into the back. "Its refrigerated so the antitoxins keep, but once we take the stuff we have to get it back to the castle before it has a chance to ..."
"# !!! Look over there". Benjj gestured dramatically towards the back of the compound.
On a bare patch of concrete beyond the small supply hangars stood one of the black helicopters. "Definite corporate presence then", Pisky said, breaking wind. "That's what I think of those bastards".
"Your arse is a fecking biological hazard !", complained Loki, wafting away the offensive odour.
"Sorry, Vindaloo for dinner". Pisky grinned evily. "Followed by four pints of Guinness".
"What ?", Loki asked, astounded, "No 'Best Pixyland' ?".
"Not this time - it doesn't have the same entertainment value".
"Not true", Loki replied, a look of concentration on his face. He let rip one of his own, grimacing as what felt like superheated gases burst forth.
"OK" Tobias ordered, "lets get going before Terrence and Philip over there give away our position". That said, he rolled over the top of the hill and began sliding carefully down the opposite side, heading towards the back of the compound.
Benjj secured his kit and followed suit, with Loki and Pisky close behind.
Reaching the chain link fence, Tobias removed a set of bolt cutters from his kit and deftly snipped away. Within seconds he had cut away enough of the fence to allow him to squeeze through. Once in, he took up covering position while first Benjj then Pisky followed.
Loki was just forcing himself through the hole when Tobias' whispered voice carried over.
"Stay still". Loki froze. Voices were coming from the other side of the small supply hangar to their right. Pisky slowly took his bow from his shoulder and readied an arrow. Two militia guards came around the corner. Arrogant to the core, they obviously did not expect an attack while actually inside their own compound. For their pains, one received an arrow in the throat while Tobias grabbed the head of the other, twisted violently and broke his neck.
Muttering abuse, Loki finished scrambling through the fence and joined the others.
Pisky retrieved his arrow, while Tobias dragged the corpse of his own victim behind the hangar. Once done, he did the same with the other as Pisky cleaned the arrow and placed it back into its quiver.

"It won't be long before those feckers are missed", Loki said, glaring at the dead militia.
"Enough for us to get what we need though". Benjj took the safety off his shotgun and scanned the area, while Tobias sprinted across the gap between two of the hangars and dropped to a crouch. Soon enough, he waved them on. First Benjj, then Loki and finally Pisky followed, another arrow fitted to his bow in case of corporate interference.
The sound of the generator beside the medical stores masked the sound of their footsteps as they reached their objective. With his back against the wall, Tobias leaned out and carefully looked towards the door. Nothing. This was going easier that he expected. Quickly he crept alongside the side wall to the door. Pisky covered him as he scanned right and left before opening the white painted door and slipping inside. Hearing nothing untoward, Pisky followed him inside, with Benjj and Loki close behind.
They were in a small antechamber with a door to the left. A coded lock with a glass panel gleamed beside the door. Pisky walked over to it and investigated; "Feck knows what this is", he said, "I've never seen a lock like this". He put his hand on the panel and a green light scanned his palm. A small display flashed above the palm scanner - "No ID", said Pisky.
"Bollocks to this", Loki said, "Time for the maestro to go to work". So saying, he removed a little package from his pocket, peeled away some tape and stuck it to the panel. Lighting a match, he placed the flame to a small piece of detonator cord and quickly moved away.
With a rather loud 'crack', the explosive detonated, shattering the panel and causing the display above to show the blue screen of death. Grinning, Loki pushed the door, which opened without a sound.

"Down !!!"
Tobias yelled, firing round after round through the open door and into the bodies of the corporate merceneries stationed within the room. Pisky let loose an arrow, the shaft of which impaled one of the guards, pinning him to the wall. Benjj blew another's head clean off while Loki scrambled on the floor where he had dropped upon hearing Tobias's yell.
It was a massacre. The guards didn't expect to be attacked and had no chance to draw their own weapons before being sent to Hades with fleas in their ears. Tobias quickly checked the room. Apart from the smell of cordite and the sound of blood dripping from Pisky's impaled victim, all was still. But Tobias knew it couldn't last. He rushed towards a refrigerator unit, pulled open the door and began rummaging through, calling to the others to do the same with the remaining units. With fear lending speed to their hands, they dragged trays and trays of antitoxin from the shelves and stuffed the contents into the bags brought specifically for the task. Each phial was labelled, but they hadn't the time to check each one. Hopefully the ones they needed were kept here. Benjj finished with his unit and looked around, glancing at a small desk to the back of the room. He checked it over, opening the drawers. There was little of interest, other than an old Windows 98 manual, a pornographic magazine and a CD with a numeric code written on it, followed by the previous days date. Benjj ingored the manual and magazine but took the CD and rammed it into his pocket before returning to help Loki with his antitoxin trays.

The aforementioned Loki however, heard a sound from the door and spun around to see the shocked face of a corporate scientist within a few feet of his own.
"# !", Loki dropped the tray he was holding and scrambled for his pistol. The scientist, realising what was happening, turned to run but was grabbed by the back of his white coat by Benjj, who dragged him into the room. Tobias stood up from where he had been unceremoniously stuffing a tray into his backpack. The scientist gasped at seeing Tobias and started squirming in Benjj's hands. Tobias merely grinned nastily and drew his sidearm, pointing it towards the scientist whose face had now turned as white as his lab coat. The scientist gibbered unintelligibly, his hands shaking as he dropped to his knees. Tobias levelled his pistol at the mans head while Pisky pushed the last tray into his own rucksack and stood to leave, watching the scene unfolding before him. By now the scientist was rocking forwards and backwards on his knees, begging for mercy. Tobias closed his eyes for a second; "Show some dignity, doctor", he said, and pulled the trigger. Benjj leaped away as the scientist's head exploded, the body slowly sliding to the floor, blood pooling from the wound. Tobias growled and reholstered his weapon. "Out!", he said coldly, "Now !". Loki needed no second bidding and, firstly checking the doorway, quickly slipped out of the cabin. Pisky went next, followed by an incredulous Benjj. Tobias left next, not sparing a glance for the man he had gunned down in cold blood.

"Throw down your weapons and lie on the ground !"
Searchlights speared the night, illumining the ground and making the white cabin shine like new. A group of coroporate militia, resplendant in black armour, stood not twenty feet from the exit. Loki had been the first to leave, backpeddalling rapidly as the bullhorn blared out the orders to disarm. "Bollocks on a stick !" Loki ranted as he pushed the rest back through the antechamber and into the refrigeration room. There was no way out. No other door nor windows. "I hope you've got something in your bag of tricks, Loki", Tobias said, leaning out the doorway to guage the closeness of the militia thugs. "Of course", Loki said, grinning. "cover me,and push the fridges over. We're going to need some protection". With a curse, Tobias pushed over the first unit, while Loki grabbed something shiny from his bag and started fiddling with it.
"They're here !!!" yelled Benjj, blasting through the open doorway at the first soldier to enter the antechamber. The soldier flew back, his helmet shattered, while the ones behind shifted position and began a concentrated fire. Benjj leaped back, the stock of his shotgun shattered by a high velocity round. "That was a fooking Purdey !!!", he ranted as he ducked back behind the door. Loki whistled, jumped over the fridges and, accompanied by his three companions, ducked. A fiery explosion shook the room courtesy of Loki's incendiary device, and the back wall erupted in a sheet of flame. Tobias swore, clambered over the now scorched refrigeration unit and kicked at the blackened wall. It turned into ash, leaving the way open.
"Fook faced pile of old #e !" ranted Pisky as the first of the corporate thugs elbowed his way into the room, weapon levelled. Unfortunately for him, he was rapidly disembowelled as Pisky's new Pictish sword took its first victim. The screaming mercenary slammed into the doorway, desperately trying to hold his guts in and effectively blocking the way in for his companions. Pisky sheathed his sword, leaped over the overturned fridge and followed the others into the compound.

By now the place was in uproar. Militia mercenaries mixed with the occasional British Army squaddie milled around looking for something or someone to shoot. Tobias dragged the group into a nearby hangar and looked around. He saw what he was looking for - a black jeep emblazoned with the insignia of the Corporate Militia. Throwing his bag into the vehicle, he called to the others to do the same and started the engine. With Pisky yelling abuse from the back of the jeep and Loki shouting that he had found something, Tobias gunned the engine and the vehicle screamed into action. Careening around crates marked 'Ammunition', Tobias skillfully drove the car out of the hangar and into the compound proper. "# !", he muttered as he remembered the strength of the industrial steel barrier at the base's entrance. He was about to heave the jeep back the way they had come when Loki caught his eye and waved his new toy. "Look what I found !".
Tobias grinned. "I hope you know how to use that", he said, "Because we've only got one chance". And with that, he drove the vehicle right at the barrier.

"Shift over, Benjj", Loki said, squeezing between Benjj and Tobias and aiming what looked like a green pipe with a sighting mechanism on the top. Ducking the wild firing of the militia, Loki closed one eye, sighted along the crosshairs and pulled the trigger. A jet of compressed air shot out of the portable rocket launcher as its projectile flew towards its target. With a massive explosion, the barricade was ripped out of its base and shot into the air. Loki yelled in glee. Pisky swore as a bullet slammed into his seat, flicking the V's in the direction of the assailant. An army truck was approaching the base, the driver struggling to keep control of the vehicle as it was buffered by the blast wave. With a yell of triumph, Tobias drove the jeep over the small crater caused by the explosion and skirted the truck. Loki threw a grenade into the back, and the truck exploded, effectively blocking any pursuit. Looking back, Pisky watched as the militia mercenaries ran to their own vehicles and gave chase, only to be blocked by the burning truck.
But that wasn't all he saw.

In the distance saw the elite black helicopter pilots scramble. It looked as if they wouldn't be giving up very easily. "Helicopter !", he yelled in Tobias's ear."Loki, can you hit that chopper ?". Loki shook his head and threw the rocket launcher out of the jeep. "One shot only", he said mournfully, berating the designer who had denied him his pleasure.
The helicopter powered on, rotors spinning. A gunner sat at the left of the aircraft, preparing his weapon, a side mounted high velocity machine gun. Pisky watched as the chopper took off and began to move rapidly towards them. "# # # !!!", Tobias said, ramming his boot onto the accellerator pedal. Loki watched the helicopter, a thoughful look on his face. "Can you hit that chopper ?, he asked Pisky.
"I can hit it, but I don't think a fecking arrow's going to do much good". Loki was rummaging in his pockets. "Here", he said, handing Pisky a roll of industrial tape and something that looked like a Roman Candle. "Tape that onto an arrow and stick it in that fecking helicopter". Pisky complied, all the time watching the aircraft as it flew gracefully towards the fleeing jeep. Closer it came - soon the side-gunner would be in range.
With the explosive fastened to the arrow as best as possible, Pisky took aim. Because of the bouncing of the jeep, it was all he could do to keep his aim straight, but finally, having compensated for every variable he could think of, Pisky released the arrow. It flew true, embedding itself into the side of one of the rotor exhausts.
"Now watch this". Loki took the remote that he had previously used for switching on his boombox, and pressed the 'Play' button.
Nothing happened.
"Fook !!!", he ranted, "Bastard batteries came loose". Quickly he removed the door of the battery compartment, replaced the 'bastard batteries' and pressed the button yet again.
The 'Roman candle' exploded. Far from being a normal firework designed to give pleasure to children all over the world, this thing was deadly. A small radio-controlled detonator was embedded inside a piece of C4 and it was this that gave the little 'firework' a lethal punch. Given that it was currently fastened to an arrow embedded in the helicopter's rotor exhaust, the result was obviously going to be pretty bad for the crew. The rotors were blown off and the helicopter plummetted to the ground while the crew were sent on a one way trip to Lucifer's kingdom.
"Yes !!!" Loki screamed in delight, "I've been waiting to try that out for ages !!!".

Without further ado, the group returned to where the quad bikes were parked. Loki set fire to the jeep and they headed west, back towards the castle. Every now and then they would look back and see a corporate helicopter hovering around the base, but other than that they had no further problems. It was afternoon by the time they got back, riding quickly over the drawbridge into the courtyard. Pisky stretched his bones and yawned. Benjj cursed foully as he looked at his shotgun's shattered stock while Loki and Tobias picked up their bags and trudged over to where Fingal was waiting near the entrance to the hall.

Tobias made to enter, when Fingal stopped him. "I hope you got what you went for", he said, looking over to Pisky and Benjj who were walking across towards him.
"Why ? ... what's happened ?"
Fingal swallowed and blew out a tense breath before continued: "Its spread", he said.
"The plague?"
Fingal nodded.
"They're in the infirmary", he said, "four so far ... and one of them is Pantha"

KayEm closed her eyes and leaned against the wall. Pisky stood nearby. Arthur looked across at the four plague victims lying in their beds at the other side of the infirmary.
"I've given them the antitoxin", KayEm said, "and everyone else has been innoculated ... but I don't know how much of a chance they have". She walked over to where Pantha lay unconcious and shaking. "I don't know if we were fast enough".



Since I am on somewhat of a high at this point, I've almost finished the next chapter already. You can expect it tomorrow



posted on Mar, 25 2004 @ 10:01 PM
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well written...i like the humor, a little gross but funny nonetheless...wonders what happens to pantha...poor girl..

look forward to reading the next installation



posted on Mar, 25 2004 @ 10:28 PM
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Hey! good chapter!!! Looks like someone else likes the explosive arrows.



posted on Mar, 25 2004 @ 11:13 PM
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Looking good, Pisky! Nice to see you worked in a reference to Deus's Devils. Very cool.



posted on Mar, 26 2004 @ 03:30 AM
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excellent work amigo, keep 'em coming!



posted on Mar, 26 2004 @ 03:39 AM
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another action packed installment Pisky

I got chills when I got to the line where I found that I've got the plague

I can't wait till tommorrow to find out my fate.



posted on Mar, 26 2004 @ 02:48 PM
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As promised, and rather than keep Pantha in such terrible suspense, here is the next chapter



Chapter Five - Philomena

The night was long. Ever since KayEm had told them that Pantha was one of the plague victims, the members of 'Strike Force Pixy' had volunteered to look over her. KayEm and Pisky were first, eventually returning to the Solar to catch a few hours sleep. Loki was next, watching as Pantha lay shivering, occasionally mopping her brow with a damp cloth and wishing that she would awaken. He was relieved by Benjj and later by Arthur himself who stood with Excalibur at his side and performed a druidic healing ritual. And all through the night, Tamsin, now KayEm's unofficial assistant nurse, had stayed checking on the patients and wiping fevered brows. She was immune now, having suffered the plague during the first outbreak. It was only due to the skill of KayEm that Tamsin survived, so, out of gratitude and respect for KayEm and a love for humanity, Tamsin had taken up the task of caring for the sick.

The sun rose over Camelot. Arthur greeted it in his normal manner before walking back to where Pantha lay. He shook his head. The four plague victims were quiet. Arthur knew that they were all close to the end. He sat, took Excalibur from its scabbard and leaned on the sword for support. Closing his eyes, he sent a prayer to the deities to deliver Pantha and the others from any more pain.

Pisky was in the courtyard sitting at one of the outside tables with Loki, Benjj and Tobias. All were morose. Tobias picked up his coffee cup and took a sip. "So how did you guys meet up?" he asked, wanting more than anything to break the silence.
"I was living in Tamworth with KayEm", Pisky replied, "when everything fell apart. We already knew what was happening, and guessed that the plague was man made, so we holed up in our cottage for a while before the corporates took over. Then we picked up what we could and buggered off. We hoped that we could find somewhere that the militia would overlook, at least for a while. I'd been to Stokesay before and realised that it would be a perfect place to stay. It was far enough off the beaten track and there was no way I wanted to end up in one of the corporate holding pens until we were relocated, feck that".
Pisky leaned back and closed his eyes, letting the memory flood back. How he and KayEm had avoided Militia interest until, close to their destination, they ran out of luck. Bumping into a Militia search group, they were about to be herded into one of the transportation trucks when a group of strangely garbed guerilla fighters charged into battle and took down the mercenaries within minutes. They were based, amazingly enough, in Stokesay castle - the very place Pisky and KayEm had been heading for. They had been away for a week or so, and were unaware of the presence of the plague in the castle until they returned to bedlam. KayEm had taken control of the medical supplies and managed to save some of the plague victims - including Tamsin - while Pisky had introduced himself to Arthur and did what he could to help.

Pisky was about to continue with his story when with a yell, Arthur came running out of the hall. "Over here !!!", he shouted, waving and gesturing to them to follow; "Its Pantha !!!"
"# !" muttered Tobias. He had attended too many deathbed scenes not to know what was coming. He didn't want to go, he wanted to stay and drink himself into a stupour. But in respect for Pantha, he forced himself to follow the others into the infirmary.

What he saw was not what he expected.

Pantha sat on the bed, smiling at those crowded around her. KayEm stood with a look of disbelief mixed with happiness, while Arthur grinned and waved his bottle.
Pisky capered around, then took the bottle and drained it, handing the recepticle back to Arthur who shook his head. Pantha quickly scanned the room, noting Fingal's absence. She turned to KayEm; "I need to talk with Fingal", Pantha said, "Before I forget".
"Forget what ?", KayEm replied, taking Pantha's wrist and checking her pulse. It was strong.
"A message"
"He's in the courtyard - I'll get him", Pisky volunteered, "I need a pee anyway". And with that, he was gone, sparing a quick glance at the other plague victims who were definitely looking more perky now that they had received the antitoxin - but definitely not as well as Pantha. Passing Tamsin in the hall, Pisky went outside to find the priest.

Fingal was hard at work carving a replacement for the rood screen that once stood in the adjacent church, and which he planned to reconsecrate as soon as possible.
"Forgive me father, for I have sinned", said Pisky jovially as he appeared beside the priest. "I'm well aware of that", Fingal replied, smiling, "You're the only person I know who needs a season ticket for the confessional"
"Pantha's OK", Pisky said, relieving the priest's fears. "She wants to talk with you".
Grinning, he carried on towards the toilet block before turning back to Fingal. "She says its important". The priest put down the plane, wiped the wood shavings from his cassock and started off towards the hall, where he met Tamsin imperiously ordering all visitors from the infirmary. Fingal started to turn away. "Not you father", Tamsin said, beckoning Fingal through the hallway. "Pantha asked for you."

Fingal entered. He knew Pantha was rallying but was completely amazed at how quickly she had improved, and to what level. She waved him over to a stool beside the bed, greeted him, then began to talk rapidly. "I know the Catholic church talks of the supernatural", she began, "And I've heard myself of lots of similar things. Ghosts, spirits and whatever. Astral projection, out of body experiences, telepathy. I've read a lot about them, I've even spoken to people who have said those things have happened to them. But I've never experienced anything that you could call 'psychic' myself. At least", She took a drink of water, "not until now".
"But you've gone through a serious trauma", Fingal replied, watching Pantha's reaction carefully. "You had a high fever."
Pantha smiled at the old priest. "It wasn't a hallucination" she said, "It was real. As real as you are, as real as I am".
"Then pray continue, dear lady"
Pantha took a deep breath. "I remember being in the courtyard and feeling really ill. I started going dizzy and remember KayEm rushing over towards me". Fingal nodded, remembering the fear he felt inside when he saw Pantha collapse. He knew she had the plague and was fearful for her life and the lives of everyone in Camelot.
"I remember waking every now and then, and seeing KayEm and Tamsin hovering over me in the infirmary. But I was so tired and hot and my mouth so dry that I couldn't speak". She took another drink of water then continued. "Then last night, I woke and I knew that I was going to die. I was so sad that I wouldn't see my children again. I looked out of the window at the sky, at the stars and I was so miserable. Then I felt this terrible pain. It was all over my body, I was burning and shivering at the same time and I must have passed out". Pantha closed her eyes, forcing the memory back, in order to give the priest a true account of what happened next.
"Then I was standing. I was in the infirmary, looking down at myself in bed. I felt calm, even though I knew what was happening to me. I thought how nice it would be to stand on the battlements and just look out into the countryside one last time before going away for ever.
And the very second I thought that, I was there - on the battlements. I remember thinking that this must be an OBE. There were two of Arthur's people watching through those low light binoculars they use, but they couldn't see me. I spoke to them, but they didn't hear me either. But the girl did."
Fingal sat up at this; "The girl ? - the one who was in the truck with Tobias and me ? - the one who died ?"
"No", Pantha replied, "I'd never seen this girl before. She was glowing and had the sweetest smile - I sensed that she could be quite mischievous too."
Fingal walked over to the table and picked up a glass which he filled with water before returning to the stool. "What did she look like ?".
"She was dressed oddly", Pantha said, scowling as she forced the memory from the back of her mind. "Like one of those Roman princesses in the 'Gladiator' film, or those old ones from the 60's. And in one hand she was holding some arrows and what looked like a flower, but I don't know what type. I'm not into gardening much."
"Did she say anything?"
"Not at first. She pointed to something that looked like tiles on the wall - I've been to the battlements before just to look around and could swear that these tiles weren't there then."
Fingal leaned closer; "What was on the tiles ? - pictures ?"
"Not on all of them, there was a carving of a ships anchor on one and the others had some strange words on them. One said "LUMENA", the next said "PAXTE" and the last "CUMFI". I don't know what they mean".
Fingal smiled. He had heard those words before, although not in that order. "I know who the girl is", he said, "and all will be revealed - but please continue, I sense there is more to come".
"At least tell me her name", Pantha asked, "I don't feel at ease calling her 'the girl'"
Fingal Smiled, his mind elsewhere. "Philomena"
"Thank you", Pantha said, then carried on; "When 'Philomena' was satisfied that I would remember the words on the tiles, she spoke. Her voice was like the tinkling of little bells, with hidden laughter hidden under the serious demeanour". Fingal grinned - He knew that well enough. "First", Pantha continued, "she asked if I wanted to see my children, and of course, I said 'yes'. And we were ... there ... In the Highlands sanctuary, hidden away from prying eyes. I saw my children, my 'terrible trio', in their beds, sleeping peacefully without a care in the world. Philomena told me that they were happy, but spoke often of me and missed me as I do them. She said that I could kiss them and that they would dream of my visit, so carefully I kissed their foreheads. I was so happy to see them again, and to know without a doubt that they were safe. Even so, I didn't want to leave them. But Philomena told me that we would be together again soon enough and not to worry, and brought me back to Camelot."
Pantha leaned back onto the pillows before completing her story; "When we got back, she said that she had a message. 'Tell your priest', she said, 'that the son of Tobit and the Angel have work to do' ... And don't even ask me what that means, because I haven't the foggiest".
"And Philomena ? - what did she do then ?".
"She placed her hand on my forehead - it was cool and almost refreshing and I felt a surge of energy surge right through me. Then she just smiled and disappeared. She got fainter and fainter until she was gone. I woke virtually instantly and felt completely well". Pantha closed her eyes, relieved that Fingal believed her description of what as to what had happened. She hadn't been hallucinating - this was a genuine 'psychic event', although she had no idea why she was chosen to carry this Philomena's message.
"Who is she, Father ?", Pantha asked, "Who is Philomena ?"
Fingal took a sip of water, grimaced due to the lack of alcohol, and placed the glass down before beginning. "In the early 1800's", he said, relishing the opportunity to tell one of his historical stories, "A group of archaeologists found, deep in the catacombs of Rome, a hitherto undiscovered tomb. It was marked only by some terracotta tiles. They said 'LUMENA', 'PAXTE' and 'CUMFI'. No one could understand what they meant, until they moved the first tile to the end. The correct inscription was 'PAX TECUM FILUMENA' - 'Peace be with you, Philomena'. It seemed that whoever buried the occupant of the tomb did so in a hurry. Later, the bones were removed, alongside a little phial of dried blood. This is how the early Christians marked someone who died for their faith".
"So Philomena is a saint ?", Pantha asked.
"Yes. The arrows she carried and the anchor carved on the tile described the way she was martyred. Or rather, how the Roman Emperor of the time attempted to have her killed. The flower - a lily, was the symbol of virginity".
Fingal grinned, pleased to be able to tell one of his stories to a 'captive audience'. "Philomena was the daughter of a Greek Governor - she was about 13 years old. In order to halt an unjust war that the Emperor Diocletian was waging on his state, he took his wife and daughter and requested an audience with the Emperor. As soon as Diocletian saw Philomena, he agreed to cease the war if she would become his Empress. Since she was a Christian and had already dedicated herself to the service of Christ, she refused. After some attempts to get her to change her mind, Diocletian ordered her executed. She was beaten and shot by arrows. Left to die, she woke the next morning completely healed - just as you are. Diocletian then ordered her thrown in the Tiber tied to a ships anchor. The anchor fell away and Philomena returned to the shore.
So then the incensed Emperor ordered his archers to shoot her with heated arrows. This time the arrows missed completely, killing instead the archers themselves. Finally, she was beheaded and her body taken to the tomb, probably hurriedly since Christians were persecuted at that time and anyone seen performing Christian rites would have ended up feeding the lions".
"But why did she tell me ?", Pantha asked, bemused. "Why not you? - you're a priest after all".
"I think you answered your own question earlier, when you mentioned that she told you that your children spoke often of you and missed you. Who did they talk with ? Their friends, yes. Philomena ? - most definitely. She has been looking over your children".
Pantha sat up, somewhat shocked at this revelation. "But I ..."
"It doesn't make any difference if you're Christian, Jewish, Muslim or", Fingal grinned, "pagan like that heathen, Pisky ... Philomena cares for all people. And through your children, she learned of you. And was able to appear before you to give her message".

Pantha sat for a while digesting this new information, before continuing; "But what about the message - who are the son of Tobit and the Angel ?"
"That is something that a good Catholic like myself shouldn't normally be concerned with", Fingal said, grinning. "But I assume that Saint Philomena has her reasons for mentioning it". He took another sip of water. "The book of Tobit is from the Apocrypha - Do you know what that is ?"
Pantha shook her head. "I've heard the word, but don't know what it is".
"The apocrypha", Fingal said, "refers to the biblical books included as part of the Greek version of the Old Testament, but not included in the Hebrew Bible. Basically, that means that the books considered 'Apocryphal' are not considered inspired. Hence are not included in the Bible".
"So what's that got to do with Philomena's message ?"
"One of the apocryphal tales has to do with a man called Tobit who became blind. His son, Tobias, wished to take a woman as his wife. However, this woman was tormented by a demon, Asmodeus, who had killed her previous husbands. Tobit prayed for help and received it in the form of an angel who healed his eyes and bound the demon from causing further harm".
Pantha considered this for a while; "The biblical son of Tobit was called 'Tobias' ... So when Philomena mentioned the 'son of Tobit', could she have meant our Tobias ?"
"That's possible", answered Fingal, "But who the 'Angel' is, I have no idea"

Outside the hall, the sun shone down upon the courtyard. Pisky was fastening more arrowheads onto wooden shafts while Benjj attempted to fix the shattered stock of his shotgun. Arthur sharpened Excalibur and Loki sat in the Solar, working on translating data from the CD Benjj had picked up during the raid. The sound of Angover hammering a piece of metal on his anvil rang through the air. KayEm and Pantha sat on one of the benches near the curtain wall and enjoyed the warm sunlight, while Tamsin clucked like a mother hen, making sure that they both had what they needed.

Pisky had just finished fastening the last arrowhead to its shaft and was preparing to go outside for some archery practice when he was distracted by Loki hanging out of the Solar window calling for their attention. He put down the quiver and headed up the steps towards the solar, followed by Arthur and Benjj who were also interested in what Loki had discovered. Entering the solar and avoiding KayEm's hamster who was zooming around in his plastic ball, the three strode across to where Loki sat before one of the computer terminals.

"Look at this", he said with a grin, "Guess whose coming to dinner ?"




posted on Mar, 27 2004 @ 03:27 AM
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Wow ! - I didn't expect that at all, but I'm glad Pantha is ok


I've been talking with DE about writing my own version, so would you mind if I used some of your ideas too ? I'll understand if youd rather I didn't, but it certainly would help.



posted on Mar, 27 2004 @ 04:22 AM
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Phew! I'm glad to see that I made it through the plague
and I loved having a psychic experience even if it was only as a text version instead of the real thing.
can't wait to read the next chapter.
excellent writing as usual



posted on Mar, 27 2004 @ 06:38 AM
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Wow, loving this pisky, good to see a brilliantly told piece of kick-arse British fiction!

(More please sir!)



posted on Mar, 27 2004 @ 09:37 AM
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Pisky, missed the last installment. Oh well, double your pleasure. What better than a good story and cup of coffee on a Saturday morning? I may even let the kids live another day.
Exellent writing, looking forward to more.



posted on Mar, 27 2004 @ 10:48 AM
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You da man, Pisky. I have to hand it to you, I loves it. I loves it alot.


It's almost like I wrote all my parts myself. I'm liking it ALOT, man. Keep up the good work.



posted on Mar, 27 2004 @ 02:14 PM
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Originally posted by Gothique
I've been talking with DE about writing my own version, so would you mind if I used some of your ideas too ? I'll understand if youd rather I didn't, but it certainly would help.


Feel free to use what you need, just don't kill any of my characters
- and if you kill me off, I'll just come back from the dead and destroy the world in pure spite



posted on Mar, 28 2004 @ 03:02 PM
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all i have to say is WOW, and keep them comming!!!!!



posted on Mar, 28 2004 @ 06:35 PM
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Thanks for all the good comments ... The next chapter should be ready tomorrow evening for those readers in the US - Tuesday morning for those in the UK.



posted on Mar, 28 2004 @ 07:52 PM
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wooo hooo i CAN'T wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



posted on Mar, 29 2004 @ 08:02 PM
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Oper*****al ba*e CHETWYND infor****on datab*se.

USA:
Ter***ist bunk*r disc*ver*d. Heavy cor****e casualties. *** cor**rate helic*pters destroyed. Suggest ****** caution when dealing with *** group.

UK:
Boscobel based te****** group ***covered and liquid*ted. No escapes rep*rt*d.
Cyb** terr***st ***** Ch**e, known as ERISIAN captured Londo*. Current where*bouts COAHQ Wa*w*ck. Ex*cution/Sacr**icial d*te: Fe*st of S* Ant*n L**ey.
News***d based terrorist gr**p disc****ed. 80% terr***st casua****s. Remai***g escaped to Sherw*od. Insuff***ent manp*wer to mount se**ch at this t*me.

M*r* Info***ti*n foll*ws:


Pisky looked at the unscrambled data from the CD Benjj had removed from Chetwynd. What the unscrambler was unable to translate appeared as asterisks, but it was good enough to get the gist of what was on the disk. It looked to be a standard information database sent originally via email to the base commanders. This data was then burnt onto CDs and tranported to the officers on the ground, to be read on portable data readers. Apart from a warning about 'Deus Devils' The information was mainly of a propaganda nature, stating how the Corporate presence was being gradually accepted by the people and listing the successes of Corporate forces against the few freedom fighter bands that had sprung up in their wake.
Pisky was pleased to note that there was no mention of Stokesay.

"So what exactly did you mean ... 'Guess whose coming to dinner ?' ... Have you heard from Newstead ?" Pisky looked back at the screen. At last count there were about three hundred people in and around Newstead. With 80% casualties, that would leave about sixty eking out a megre existance in Sherwood forest.
"No", Loki said, pointing towards the screen and highlighting a section with his mouse.
"Cyber terrorist 'whoever', known as ERISIAN captured London. Current whereabouts COAHQ Warwick. Execution/Sacrificial date: Feast of St Anton Lavey".
"Nice to see the little demonic touch there", Arthur said shaking his head. Saint Anton Lavey my arse !"
"Who's Erisian ?" This from Benjj who had a general idea as to what Loki was going to suggest and wasn't looking forward to it.
Loki looked up, askance. "You don't know who Erisian is ? ... feck me, where have you lot been recently ?"
The hamster ball slammed into Loki's chair and skittered off, heading towards the open door. Pisky grabbed it, opened it and replaced its furry driver into his cage, but not before the annoyed rodent fired a jet of foul smelling urine over his hands.
"Erisian", Loki said over the sound of Pisky's ranting, "Is the hacker who cracked the Bank of England codes and transferred millions of pounds of corporate money to charity accounts"
"A kind of cyber Robin Hood then ?" asked Pisky, washing his hands in the nearby sink.
"Partly".
"So what happened ?"
"Last I heard, he was caught trying to bust into the Beast", Loki said, "And according to this, got sent to COAHQ for execution".
"COAHQ ?" This from Pantha who, alongside KayEm had come over to the solar to see what was going on.
"Cult of Azrael", explained Pisky, "Death squads. Nasty bastards ... make the Nazi SS look like cute little kitties".
"Nice", said KayEm, walking over and looking at the monitor.
"Erisian takes his name from 'Eris', the goddess of chaos", Loki explained. "He's been screwing with the corporate systems since before the # hit the fan".
"And you want us to spring him from Warwick and bring him here ?" Arthur looked dubious. He knew the reputation of the Azraelites and didn't want to go within a mile of any of them, let alone their base of operations.
"Think about it", Loki said, "Erisian will be able to crack all of their security codes. We'll know what they are doing before they do".
"You have to be out of your fooking mind !". Arthur started pacing back and forth, muttering abuse in some ancient druidic language. "You want us to risk our lives by going into Warwick-fooking-castle to rescue some gob#e whose only claim to fame is to get caught trying to crack the Beast ?"
"And the Bank of England scam", Loki defended his idea, "Don't forget that"
"Bollocks to the Bank of England". "No fooking way".
"You agreed with Pisky's raid on the transport truck though. Tobias and Fingal were being taken to Warwick, as well you know".
"Yes", Arthur concurred, "But raiding a truck out in the wilds and getting someone out of Warwick are two different things ... This Erisian is probably in the fooking dungeons. Do you know what that place is like ?"
Loki shook his head.
"You don't want to know", Arthur said, "It was bad enough as a tourist attraction. Fook only knows what its like now, or what 'little changes' the Azraelites have made".
Pantha walked over to stand beside Loki. Leaning on his chair for support, she turned to Arthur. "Who exactly is Azrael ?".
"The angel of death. Death personified". Pantha looked across the room; Tobias' entrance had been so quiet that even Pisky's sensitive ears hadn't picked up his arrival.
"You've met them before", Pantha said, "I can tell".
Tobias nodded.
"Yes, I met them". Pantha thought she could see tears in Tobias' eyes, but he blinked once and they were gone. He looked down at his scuffed and dusty boots then back again at Pantha.
Taking a deep breath, he began.

"I was in REME", he said, "The Royal Engineers. I enjoyed the job, learning about new vehicles, getting to take them apart. I got to do everything I ever wanted to do when I was a kid". He smiled, but the smile didn't reach his eyes.
"I drove tanks, armoured cars ... I even had a few flying lessons on the choppers. I wanted to learn everything. Life was good. Then the corporates took over. The plague hit and there were riots. They had those mercenary bastards ready to take over and expected us to help them". Pantha walked over and put her hand on his arm. He looked down, grateful for the support. "I was in a unit that was seconded to the Corporate military. We were ordered to fire upon unarmed civilians who were just protesting about Corporate mismanagement. We refused. The milita turned their weapons on us and ordered us to fire. We did. We fired on them. Wiped the lot out. We ran then, went AWOL. We split and went our various ways, knowing that if we were caught, it was all over".
Arthur proferred his ever-present bottle of 'Best Pixyland'. Tobias smiled his thanks and drank deeply before continuing.

"I went to my sister's house", he said, the pain in his eyes apparent to all, "But one of the curtain twitchers noticed and turned me in. It had been on the news, but I didn't know. There was another group of mercenaries in the area. Seeing what had happened, they gunned down the civilians and blamed it on us. Said the murderous bastards we'd shot were heroes killed trying to defend the populace".
"It wasn't the normal militia who came for me. It was the Azraelites", Tobias spat the last word out as if it was poison. "I didn't know what they were then. They took me, my sister and her two kids. Put us in a van and drove to a compound. We were taken to a medical facility. I was chained up and forced to watch what they did. What they did to Sissy and the kids. Beautiful little girls ... they were ..." Then the memory overwhelmed him, his resolve broke and tears blossomed from his eyes. He began to sob. Painful heartrending cries of pure grief. Pantha took his hand and, taking strength from her compassion, he took a deep breath and continued. "I swore over their little bodies that if I ever saw that bastard again, I would kill him. No reprieve.".
"And he was the one ... in Chetwynd ?" Pisky asked, although he already knew the answer.
"Yes. And I've only got one regret. It was too fooking quick. Far too quick".
"And afterwards, you were being taken to Warwick ... for sacrifice ?". Pantha shivered.
"Yes. With Fingal and the girl. Whoever she was".

"#". Benjj rubbed his hands across his face. For the first time since the corporate takeover, he was worried. Human sacrifice ? In Britain ? What the hell was going on ?
Arthur walked over and slapped Tobias on the back. "OK my old mate", he said with a fire in his eyes that wasn't there a few minutes ago, "So you think we should go ... to Warwick ?"
"Yes"
That's all he had to say. The matter was settled. Somehow they would get into the Azraelite's base of operations, rescue Erisian and get out.

Or they would die trying.






[Edited on 29-3-2004 by Pisky]



posted on Mar, 29 2004 @ 08:33 PM
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into battle they go again! wow, pisky, your writing is great!!!!!





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