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The Voyages of the Penelope and the Yydryl

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posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 09:18 AM

A Tale of Two Nenos

Nenothtu burst into the saloon looking around for things he could make war with. The barkeep, startled, ducked under the counter and neno yelled at him "iffen you pop up with anything in your hand, it better be a candy bar so's it goes down smooth when I make you eat it, bub!" Assuming neno must be armed to speak so, the barkeep rose again empty handed, with his hands raised to show they were empty.

"You're dead, mister. The whole town has been talking about how Taggart killed a stranger fer no apparent reason, and Taggart claimed he knowed ye from away back. He said you wuz nuts, had kilt off a bunch of his folks on some sort of unprovoked rampage then took to the woods ahead of the law an' lived there a couple of years on the run. Went so far as to claim ye ate buzzards and cooked 'em just by passin' a lucifer under 'em and callin' 'em cooked."

neno had taken advantage of the confusion to roll across the top of the bar to the back side of it, and snatched out the shotgun from where the barkeep had been reaching underneath it before he replied. "Ya know, ya gotta think about these things jes' a little before swallerin' the hook." he said. "Now, if I was 'on the run', just how in the hell would anyone know how or what I was eatin'?" he checked the shotgun for loads as he spoke, and tucked Jo's pistol - which he had snatched up as he tossed Jo's corpse on to Margo - into his belt.

"Wal that's what Taggart said!" the barkeep lamely said in his defense.

"Yeah, yeah, I've heard the stories. I also heard the one where I was supposed to be holed up in a cave with a female panther for company whilst I was on the run." He paused and gave the barkeep a lopsided grin before deciding to push it even further. "You know, I don't think she EVER got used to havin' me around!" The barkeep blanched. "Now where is yer store room? I need all of the strongest liquor you've got - the more alcohol, the better."

The barkeep eyed neno dubiously. "That's a powerful lot of drinkin'. Are you sure this'd be the time fer that?"

"I ain't going to drink it, you idjit! I just want a couple of cases of yer finest - and the most potent you've got - and a pile of clean rags what you'd wipe yer bar with - but afore the wipin', if you get muh drift."

"What for, then?" the barkeep asked.

"To keep me busy enough sos's I don't kill you in a fit of rage that you failed to give it to me, of course!" The barkeep hustled around the bar towards the store room. As neno followed him, he saw, out of the corner of his eye, one brave or drunken soul attempt to draw a weapon on him. Without much thought, neno spun and cut the patron nearly in half with the shotgun. In the stunned silence, he growled "Any more brave souls who aim to make me waste ammo on their worthless carcasses?" He scanned the room, but found no takers.


Taggart scanned the ground from his second story perch. How in the devil that guy was walking, he couldn't figure out. He'd killed him, of that he was sure, yet here he was strolling around with Margo, getting all wrapped up with those she-devil daughters of Mac's. Taggart knew he should have let Jo kill neno - again! - but made the decision to pop her skull on the spur of the moment. She'd been trouble for far too long any how, and that was too good an opportunity for him to pass up. He could always spin it up as "protecting Margo from a threat", and he'd deal with neno in short order.

He couldn't see where nenothtu had run to from his vantage point, and dared not go down to the ground and outdoors without knowing where he was. The shot inside the saloon changed all that, and Taggart was about to go down to meet the enemy secure in the knowledge that he was in the saloon, when neno suddenly showed up at the corner of another building. Taggart did a double-take, and that put his aim off. The shot he sent to neno flew wide, and gave nenothtu a chance to duck back around the corner, putting him out of sight again.

"DAMMIT!" Taggart muttered. he was still trapped on the second floor, afraid to go to the ground since he obviously didn't know where neno was going to pop up again.


In the confusion of the firefight, Chumley - in his nenothtu suit - ran to the assistance of the real neno as Carpet ran inside to protect the people within the cabin. Chumley, rounding a corner and searching for neno, heard the shot inside the saloon and was going to proceed there when a shot from Taggart's perch made chips fly from the wall just above his head, causing him to duck back and re-evaluate his route to the saloon.


Nenothtu was occupied opening quart bottles of liquor and stuffing torn strips of rags into their mouths when Chumley finally made it into the saloon. "Neno! You like Earth cat, with too many lifes!" he greeted the gunslinger.

Neno grinned and replied "How many is 'too' many, Chumley? Here ya go - help me stuffin' these rags into these bottles of liquor, would ya? We ain't got a lot of time before Taggart decides to bring the fight to the ground."

"Funny kind of straws these are." Chumley commented. "How you drink through them?"

"You don't, Chumley. You light 'em and throw 'em into wooden buildings."

Chumley looked at neno with mock horror "That not very nice."

"Neither is shooting at guests, or jammin' knives into their chests, eh Chumley?"

When they had completed the task, Chumley asked neno what was the best side of the building to approach Taggart from. "Here's how this is going to work, Chum. We approach from opposite sides to keep him busy running back and forth between them. I pop out on one side, throw a lamp full of oil or a burning bottle of liquor at the building, and when he takes a shot at me, that's your cue to do the same from your side, since he's occupied on mine. When he runs back and takes a shot at you, I go back to work on my side, and we just pass it back and forth like that until the whole damned thing is a pile of ashes. make sure you get the doors and windows set afire first, to make it tough on him coming out and blind his vision from having to go through the flames and smoke to get out. Once the exits are all on fire, start lobbing the bottles through the windows to the inside. Cover your side of the building and the end to your left, and I'll do the same on my side."

neno gave Chumley the shotgun, kept the pistol in his belt, picked up a case of whiskey molotovs and said "Let's git to work".

edit on 2012/2/8 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 9 2012 @ 11:42 PM

~*~ dead Men ~*~

Margo bloodied and shaken lurched through the door of the cabin on legs wobbly as a new calf’s even with Carpet’s help. Silo’d watched from the window and knew Margo - covered in red - wasn’t hurt but still blanched at the sight of her. Who knew U-Man’s had so much blood.

‘Where’s Neno and Chumley?’ Silo took Margo’s elbow and Carpet stayed by the door to stand guard.

‘Neno’s gone after Taggart who‘s holed up in the saloon.’ Steered into a chair Margo’s knees let go, her breathing coming fast. Accepting a dipper of water from Silo she drank deep then dunked her hem into what was left trying without much success to wash some of the gore off her face and hands.

‘Then he’s as good as dead. And we’ve got to use the diversion to get out of here.’ Silo took the dipper back, rinsed it and stared at the firelight planning.

‘Neno?‘ Margo paled under the spattering of red streaking her face.

‘No, not Neno.’ Silo barked a laugh, ’Taggart! He‘s dead already. He just doesn’t know it yet.‘

Margo shook her head, ‘What do you mean by diversion?‘ Her eyes had gone round as an owls.

Silo refilled the dipper handing it to Pip motioning he should try to get some water down his father’s throat and came back to the little table bracing her arms on the heels of her palms.

‘Neno’s not just going to kill Taggart Margo. Oh, he’ll figure out something that’ll flush Taggart into the open you can bet your boots on that but you can also bet he’s got something planned to give us a chance to get out of the compound.’ Staring down at the woman in shock Silo could hear her next question as if it had already been spoken.

‘How do you know?’ There is was Silo thought smiling.

‘Because I know Neno. And if I know Neno? It’ll be fire. So you best pull yourself together and be ready to run when I say run.’

‘Silo!’ Carpet spoke from his stand by the window. ’There’s smoke pourin’ from the saloon and a U-Man just ran out. He’s yellin’ and waving his hands and running like hell.’ Carpet smiled grimly.

Silo gave Margo a wink and a jerk of her chin. ‘See, Neno’s right on time then. Let’s go!’

It wasn’t until Silo, Carpet and Margo focused on Pip and his father that the inevitable became clear. The bright pink rivulet of water running from the corner of Gep’s open mouth, the streaks of tears running from Pip’s eyes crunched closed in pain told them all.

They’d be leaving, but without Gep.

posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 02:48 AM

Nenothtu and Chumley each worked his side of the building, throwing burning bottles and flammables until Taggart worked his way to that side and took a shot or two. The smoke wasn't helping his aim any at all, and he seemed unable to hit anything. Neno figured Taggart was firing to try to keep their heads down more than anything else, but the damage was already done. The wooden building was going up in flames like a dried out Christmas tree. It wouldn't be long now before Taggart HAD to flush out, or become a crispy critter. Those were his only two choices.

Nenothtu lit a cigar off of his last alcohol molotov before he threw it into an already broken window.

Sure enough, Taggart soon made the decision to live another day and bolt - but living another day was not one of the choices neno had given him. Still, Taggart had to try. it was hardwired in. Amidst the pouring smoke and licking flame, neno and Chumley heard crashes within the building, indicating that Taggart was on the move, and unable to see the things he was crashing into because of the thick smoke. The crashing and thrashing noises approached the door, and Taggart suddenly burst out of the doorway through the flames, running for all he was worth, screaming, and clinging to his rifle like his life depended on it.

The rifle wouldn't help preserve his life, however. He couldn't see through the tears which the smoke had produced in his eyes to fire it. Chumley, approaching the running Taggart from his side of the building fired at the running man with the shotgun, but Taggart's motion threw Chumley's aim off, and the shot took out Taggart's lead leg, sending him flying face first into the dust. Neno, approaching from his side of the building, strolled up to Taggart with his pistol drawn, and as Taggart was desperately trying to clear his eyes said "You shoulda knowed better, you sumbitch. Just like the rest of your worthless, extinct clan, you made war on women, children, and the helpless." He paused as he raised his pistol and continued with "Problem is, I weren't as helpless as you thought."

Taggart had struggled up to his knees, but couldn't rise any further on his shattered leg. His eyes cleared, and he desperately looked around for the rifle he had dropped in his spill when Chumley's shot hit him, but instead of the rifle, this is the sight that greeted his eyes:

It was the last thing Otis Taggart ever saw.

Chumley walked up and said "He fall like timber in the woods. No drama, no twitch, no nothing. Disappointing. Why he just drop thataway?"

Nenothtu replied "Brain stem. Send a bullet through a man's brain stem, and he just drops dead like a puppet with cut strings. No trigger finger twitch, no crawlin', no nothin'. He just drops like that. We didn't have time for dramatics or a spectacular heroic end for him, we gotta get back to the others and get the hell outta here whilst the rest of the town is trying to put this fire out. Help me with this carcass before anyone sees it."

The two dragged Taggart's carcass back to the burning building and chucked it back inside through a flame-belching window. Had Taggart's men seen it laying in the street, they might've been tempted to chase the killers. As it was, they should be preoccupied trying to put the fire out and save Taggart, unaware or unsure if he were already dead or not.

Neno and Chumley then trotted double-time back to the rest of the waiting group.

edit on 2012/2/10 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 10:22 AM

~*~ Neno Suit ~*~

‘You just don’t understand! I have to! I HAVE TO! I promised!’ Pip sobbing through his pain dashed a sleeve cuff across his face before squaring his shoulders. ‘I’m not a boy’ he ground his teeth at Silo who was trying to stop him from attacking Carpet, ‘I’m a MAN and I want his suit!’ Pip pointed at Carpet who’d backed against the wall.

Silo tried to lay a hand on Pip’s shoulder but he shoved her away, hard.

‘Maggie, Silo. Whoever you are,‘ He continued to snarl and cry, ‘My Pa...loved you. I loved you. But Pa’s dead and I gotta make that right! With one a them suits I can kill! I can revenge my Pa!’ Cooling with intent Pip took on an icy cold stature and stare that reminded Silo of Neno.

‘Son, please...’ Silo reached out again but Pip caught her hand in his.

‘I’m not your son!’ Pip screamed into Silo’s face his grip brutally sawing at her fingers.

‘No boy. But I am!’ Neno called around his cigar at the doorway, ‘And if you don’t let her go I’ll shoot you dead boy or no.’

Margo, Silo, Carpet and Pip stood stunned watching Neno’s eyes, red rimmed from smoke, expunged hate and deadly intention flick from Pip‘s grasp on Silo‘s wrist back to the boy.

Pip dropped Silo’s hand and ran to the gunman flinging himself into the U-Man’s arms without hesitation, kind liking to kind.

edit on 10-2-2012 by silo13 because: cheese

posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 11:10 AM

................................................~Nearly There~......................................................

Hobbs End was on fire and the Boy In A Dress could see figures running from one burning
building to another, the eyeless-freak assumed to attempt to dowse the inferno, but the
flames roared with a confidence that told BIAD no structure would be standing at dawn.
The railtracks glittered with the flickering light as the Man/Girl stepped from the darkness
into a small alleyway between two stores.

Then the sight before him stopped his high-heeled foot in mid-stride, 'Neno-twins' were
jogging past the space that BIAD had entered and those ruby-red lips made a 'O'-shape at
the sight.

Two Nenothtus...? BIAD tipped his head sideways and let the confusion run it's course, the
existence he was currently in rarely made sense to the long-fringed Being and he had long
ago become accustomed to just 'ride the day out'

The orange glow from the blaze seemed to soak into the ground of Main Street and as BIAD
appeared from the small alley, he glanced left-and-right for danger... and then swung his
head again for the feel of his hair on his shoulders.

The two Nenos were silhouettes further down Main Street and as the Boy In A Dress raised
his red-nailed hands to his lips to shout the Gunslinger's name, the gun-sight in the shadows
fell on the place where BIAD's neck meets his skull and the bullet left it's chamber.

BIAD dropped to his knees with a puzzled look on his half-hidden face and as the dusty
ground came up to meet him, he tasted copper and wondered how it would all turn out.
Velvet-smooth blackness enveloped the bare-assed-displayed body in the red dress and
his last thought was that he never got to hear a girl call out his name.

Hobbs End.

"Hob... well it's short for Hobgoblin, have yer never heard the word before?" Jenkins said
and after stomping the snow from his boots, he wiped his red-nose with a scarlet
Brakeman's 'kerchief.

It was Christmas Day in DugWay Proving Grounds and the snow had sneaked in overnight,
Jenkins -the Janitor for the West section of the Base had come in even though he and many
of the staff had been given the day off to spend with their families.

The young-looking creature in the red dress and high-heels had never asked his only-friend
if he even had family, all BIAD knew was that the grinning red-cheeked Brit had come back on
a holiday and that he hadn't been left behind.

Professor Shaw was down in Houston arguing again with the Military, they now wanted to
launch BIAD into space to see if he could endure whatever the heavens were made of.
The Man/Girl had ignored the wolf-whistles from a passing troop of soldiers as he leaned in
to the window of Shaw's car just before he left.

"How long will you be?" BIAD asked the tired-eyed man that he looked on as a Father.
Charles Shaw looked back at the Being he had found on the floor of his lab many years before
and smiled at the impatience of his ward "Two days... two days and I promise you that there'll
be no space-walk for you" he beamed and rubbed the red-marks on his nose where his
spectacles always sat.

"I'll be home for Christmas Dinner, BIAD... don't you fret now" Shaw said easily and patted
the the long fingers on the car door. The fingers danced like piano-keys in mockery.
Pulling the back of dress down to hopefully silence the cat-calls and saucy comments, BIAD
leaned further into the creaking Buick and kissed his mentor's forehead "you better be or I'll
gobble-up all the turkey" he whispered into the Professor's ear.

The swinging keychain -that doubled as Army Tags below the steering wheel glinted in the cold
afternoon sun as Shaw gunned the engine and looked out at the now-standing Boy In A Dress.
The DNA scientist felt a sudden lump in his throat for the poor creature, but kept his comment
light and hearty.
"Well, you are a Goblin!" he shouted with a huge smile and hit the accelarator pedal with
verve, the Buick bucked and flew off down the small road to the Main Gate, the 'Please
Drive Slowly' sign ignored.

BIAD put his hands on his hips, grinned at the back of his creator's car and breathed deeply.

(Continued Below)
edit on 10-2-2012 by A boy in a dress because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 11:13 AM
(Continued From Above)

"Is it a word you use in England?" the smiling Boy In A Dress asked and focused on packing a
new snowball between his red-nailed hands, the cold meant nothing to the bare-legged
hermaphrodite and today was enjoying 'Brass-Monkey' weather.

Jenkins blew into his cupped hands and sniffed the icy air "Yeah, it was said that Hobgoblins
lived in the mines where the tin-miners worked... they could sometimes hear them knocking
on the tunnel walls" he said softly and rubbed his palms together.

The two odd males were quiet for awhile as BIAD enjoyed throwing snowballs (some over-
arm!)... at the 'Please Drive Slowly' sign and Jenkins sat on the Canteen rear-door step, sipping
from a small hip-flask... all was well with the world.

"My creator says I'm a Goblin" BIAD offered without looking at Jenkins, the 'S' from the word
'Slowly' was almost obliterated with the Man/Girl's snowballs. Jenkins snickered and felt his
jacket inside-pocket for his newspaper "Maybe you are Kid... maybe you are" the ruddy-faced
Englishman said under his breath without really caring, the damned paper was over in his
locker at the far end of the Base Section.

"I'm happy that you came to visit today..." the Man/girl said and this time, faced the the
old man sitting on the cold step "... it was a decent thing to do" he added and joined Jenkins
in a warm smile.

"I'm happy to be here" the Janitor answered and watched the bare-limbed creature turn
back to his chilly antics in the snow. The cheery-grin faded away as he gazed at the long
black hair that bounced on BIAD's naked shoulders and the slim neck that glimpsed through
the dark tresses.

"If it was up to me, I'd put a bullet in it just where the spine meets the skull..." the soldier
known as Fletcher had sneered "... that thing shouldn't be allowed to be kept alive -never
mind being let loose on the base"

Jenkins had been fixing the latrine cistern in D-Block and overheard a couple of the grunts
talking about the Base's 'Lab-Rat' called BIAD. The young man with the ginger-crewcut
and his two listeners were sitting at a badly-damaged table in the middle of the Bunk-Room
and smoking unfiltered cigarettes, Jenkins hated them things.

"... I overheard the Major hollerin' about how that monster will be the death of us all..."
Fletcher went on and stubbed the butt out dramatically "... he reckons that it s a Goblin
and will come to a bad end" he sneered and glanced over his shoulder at the overalled-
backside of the Janitor.

That Janitor now looked on the so-called 'Goblin' and as BIAD whooped and clapped to
himself in the Utah snow, as he made strange rune marks in the icy crust with his high-
heeled shoes, Jenkins made a silent prayer that a bullet would never find that neck in the
depths of that strange-textured hair.

edit on 10-2-2012 by A boy in a dress because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 12:18 PM

Nenothtu looked back and forth between Margo and Silo, wondering what he was supposed to do with this unexpected turn of events, but Silo amd Margo just looked back and said nothing. He couldn't tell if they were shocked, amused, or... something else. "Fat lotta help you two are!" neno muttered. He peeled Pip off of himself as gently as he could, then squatted on his haunches and said "There'll be time fer that later, Boy. Right now, we need to concentrate on getting out of here."

Pip drew himself up and said "My name is Pip Not BOY. I ain't no boy, I'm a MAN, mister."

Neno suppressed a chuckle - Pip's demeanor told him this was serious business, and said "Naw. I reckon You are. They grow 'em fast out here. Now, as a man, you know as well as I do that the first thing we gotta do is get these women out of here. it just ain't safe - it's less safe than it was a few minutes ago, and that weren't much even then. We'll have time to yak over coffee later, b... Pip, but right now, first things first."

My pa..." Pip started.

Neno eyed the pallid figure of a man on the cot. "We ain't leavin' no one behind, Pip. He's going too."

Pip sniffed and replied "He's dead, mister, and I gotta avenge that. it's in the Code. Mac and Taggart got to pay".

Nenothtu shook his head and said. "Don't matter if he's dead or not, he ain't stayin' here. As for revenge, I dunno who this 'Mac' is, but I had dibs on Taggart. He kilt the folks that raised me from a pup a long time ago, and I just now took care of that little loose end, Taggart ain't no more. He's over in yon burnin' building."

Pip said "Mac's dead, too." He looked... hopeful, for lack of a better term... for just a moment and said "Taggart might get outta there, you know.."

This time, neno DID laugh, but without any humor at all. "Nossir, he ain't going nowhere. We seen to that. Taggart has taken his last step in this life."

Pip looked disappointed. "Ain't no one left fer me to kill, then?"

"Just lackeys, and we ain't got time to waste on 'em." As if it were an after thought, neno added, "Killin' ain't all it's cracked up to be, anyhow, Pip. Thing is, it leaves YOU alive, and you gotta live with that forever after."

Pip eyed the taller man and said "it don't seem to bother you none."

Neno replied, not unkindly, "Son, you got no idea what bothers me. It ain't worth advertising."

As the young are prone to do, Pip changed thoughts in mid stream, as if the thought had just struck him. "You said Silo is yer ma, but yer old, and she ain't. Now how does that work? She adopt you or something?"

Neno snorted and said "Something like that. it's complicated." but that was enough for Pip.

"Well then, that makes us brothers of a kind, and I ain't never had a big brother!" Just that quick, with the logic borne of youth, Pip figured out his place in the world and every one elses. He'd found his own security in the midst of the loss and turmoil.

"Well now that's settled" nenothtu said "Where is the way out of here? I wasn't in much shape to observe on my way in, and we need a guide out. Margo? this is YOUR turf... and we're gonna need horses" he indicated the cot's burden with his chin and he stared expectantly at the woman, waiting for a reply. As he waited, another shot rang out nearby.

"... and the natives are getting restless. Figure it out. I'll be back in a minute" and he ducked right back out the door, as ever marching towards the sound of the cannons.

edit on 2012/2/10 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 11 2012 @ 09:11 AM

...............................................~Paying It Forward~...................................................

Pandora smiled to herself from the shadows of the Saloon porch and watched the
unmoving body of A Boy In A Dress, the flames around her ignored except for the
reflection in her eyes. "That will teach him to mess with me" she hissed and placed the
rifle against the doorframe of The Hobbs End Bar And Restaurant.

She waited another few seconds to see if the specially-created bullet had done it's task
and after seeing no movement from the Man/Girl with the red dress rucked high up on his
back, she sauntered out into the inferno-wrapped Main Street and the oncoming saddle
tramp called Death.

"You no longer have a brother..." Pandora said and swung her hips seductively, the limping
old man in the floppy hat and carrying the Wells Fargo saddlebag licked his lips at the smiling
beauty before him "... our path is a little clearer today" she finished.

"You mean you 'killed' an immortal...?" Death asked in the high-sounding 'Stumpy' character's
voice"... but how?"
The Grain Store across the street surrendered to the fire and blew out it's two second-floor
windows, the licking flames lapped against the shingled walls. Pandora enjoyed the dramatic
moment and let the noise die down before she spoke.

"It was in my Box all the time, I should have known when I first placed it on your Watch chain"
the raven-haired Deity said evenly. "The Green Man broach that you took from the Sprint
Flyer during your time with your brother and that stunted idiot called Tibbs"

'An immortal bullet for an immortal killing' the elderly man in the worn clothes thought.

Death's sappy grin faded and his watery-eyes left his lover's face to peer over at the body
laying in the dust behind her, he just hoped that BIAD had worn them.
"Well Lady, we better git frum here quick-like... that no-good Neo will be comin back this
way" Death said -keeping in character and reached for Pandora's gloved-hand.

The ethereal pair slipped out of the current existence and Hobbs End continued to be
engulfed in flames.
(Continued Below)

posted on Feb, 11 2012 @ 09:14 AM
(Continued From Above)

The kid was choking... it was obvious the gas-mask was leaking and now the kid was choking.
It was two days into the New Year and tests had began again at the DugWay facility. Boy In A
Dress was strapped into his usual chair inside the chamber and for the first time, he wasn't

"Yer' a freak and I ain't happy about doin' this" Fletcher muttered and twisted the Air Tank's
handle, a high-hissing sound told him that all was well. BIAD nodded to show that he was
aware of the soldier's feelings about being locked into a metal tank, but he was also confused
at Fletcher's first comment.

"Have I offended you in any way?" the Man/Girl asked and felt the vibration of the big motor
behind the gas tank, it was almost time for the experiment. Fletcher showed a face of disdain
towards Boy In A Dress and said nothing, seconds later he placed the mask over his mouth.

The warning light flickered on above the exit-door and BIAD moved his gaze from the dull-
red bulb to the young Private sitting on the metal seat opposite him.
"And here we go" the hermaphrodite whispered and sat back in the steel-meshed chair.
Fletcher pulled the head-covering over the gas-mask, picked up the clipboard and waited for
the sound from the grills in the floor.

Two minutes in and the strange creature with the long fringe seemed to show no ill-effects
from the exposure to the new agent, XV -1 was a nerve gas and the Man/Girl's body should be
convulsing violently by now.

Fletcher ticked the box that said 'Two Minutes -No symptoms?' and saw his hand tremble, the
smiling Boy In A Dress noticed it also and sighed to get the soldier's attention.
"Are you okay over there?" BIAD asked politely and tested the leather-straps that held his
forearms to the chair, he had never understodd why he should be tied-down like this.

"I'm fine... just be quiet" Fletcher grumbled and through the see-through hood and gas-mask,
his voice sounded like he was ten fathoms deep.
It was when his left arm jumped and dropped the clipboard that the soldier realised all was
not fine, seconds later Fletcher began to choke.

The in-house investigation later -showed that that the attending scientists had observed the
distressed soldier and curtailed the experiment, what wasn't put in the files was that the
guinea-pig in a red dress had actually saved the ginger-haired recruit.

Mid-January saw the recovered-Fletcher waiting to go to the Mess Room and after his two
friends had gone in to a huge plate of roast-pork and all the trimmings, the Private that had
nearly died in the Gas Tank stepped out into cool noon-air.

"Ah' owe yer' my life Mister..." Fletcher mumbled and glanced at the smiling creature sitting
on the Canteen's back-step "... ah' wuz wrong about you" BIAD's cheeks flushed a little at the
confession but stayed silent.

The aroma of food billowed out of the air-conditioning at the rear of the Mess Hall and it was
this that made the two men giggle. "Do you think you can handle that?" the Man/Girl said and
held his long-nailed hand over his chortling mouth, Fletcher copied the gesture and nodded
in the affirmative.

As the soldier and the Boy In A Dress strode towards the main door of the Mess, Fletcher
held out his hand to the wig-wearing Being beside him "Here... take these" he said and
stepped ahead to open the door.

BIAD sucked in a gulp of air to stop himself sobbing as he looked at the small pieces of metal
in his cupped hand. Dog Tags... he was one of them now -he thought and promised himself
he would never forget this moment.

"Ugh" BIAD muttered and felt the gritty Main Street dust on his cheek, the evening's breeze
told the Man/Girl that his other cheeks were aware of their surroundings and with a slow
hand, he gently pulled the hem of his red dress over his exposed rear.

"Time to get back in the game..." he mumbled and attempted to stand up. Enduring the dizzy
feeling and wobbly legs "... thanks Fletch" BIAD said and carefully felt the back of his head.

The Dog Tags that Death had given him to pay Kokopelli with, the clinking name-plates that
flute-playing Deity had handed back to his pupil -now felt like two battered chunks on a small
balled-chain. BIAD pulled them from the hair strands that held them and peered at the
damaged souvenir.

"Nearly there, Missy.... but no cupie doll" the red-lips sneered and sucked in a deep breath,
the sight of Nenothtu charging down the street urged the dark thoughts about Pandora to
fly away into the fire-lit night.

"Quit layin' about on the job, BIAD" Neno called amiably and shaking his wig-wrapped head
once, he fell in beside the tall Gunslinger... he was back.
edit on 11-2-2012 by A boy in a dress because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 12 2012 @ 02:30 PM

........~~Quoth the Raven~~.............

Dag was becoming restless as the dawn twilight grew. The trail was narrow, so she and Ben had to ride in file rather than abreast.

It had grown very cold in the last two hours before the sky began to lighten, and she felt rather stiff, and her bum was numb. She twisted in her saddle and looked at Ben, who had nodded off.

"Well, no wonder he's gotten so quiet," she murmured, and reined in her mare. Ben's gelding stopped also and she grasped the rope that hung loosely round his neck, and placed one hand on Ben's knee.

His head lolled to one side. "Ma, quit! I ain't a-goin' taday!" he mumbled, and swatted vaguely at Dag's arm.

"Ben!" Dag called clearly.

He opened his eyes and they rolled around for a few seconds until he got his bearings. "Aw, hellz bellz," he said. "You got any coffee?" He thought of Neno's excuse for the potion and hoped Dag was better at brewing it than his dear friend.

"No," said Dag. "I have a sore fanny, stiff elbows, and my knees want to have a reunion. I'm going to walk for a while." She paused and looked at Ben with her head slightly inclined. "What were you dreaming about, just then?"

Ben's face screwed up in concentration and his gaze drifted off to the left, "My ma, she was trying to rouse me fer school, and I wadn't havin' it." He chuckled. "How long I been asleep?"

"I don't know," she said. "About an hour ago you stopped talking."

"Hmmph," Ben grumbled. "An' we ain't got no coffee? You sure? I'd a thunk the boys would'a packed some." He slid down from his horse and began rummaging through the pack behind the saddle, his face contorted as he identified the contents by feel. "Now what in the sam hill.....?" he said, and scrabbled a little more, then pulled out a leather cord to which was attached an amulet. He held it in his palm and gazed at it.

"Huh!" he said. "Cain't make out what its spose ta be, but it looks like it's old as these here hills."

He threaded the thong around a finger and let the amulet dangle. Dag grasped it and withdrew her hand quickly. "Ouch!" she said. "What the ----- Did it shock you when you touched it?"

"Nope," said Ben. He grasped it once more, closing his big hand around it completely, and waited, his lips pressed sideways. Then he shook his head. "Nope," he repeated. "You wearin' polyester? Sometimes it makes static electricity." He pronounced the word EE-lectra-CITY."

Dag's brow screwed up. "Polyester?"

Ben laughed. "What about panty hose? Them boots o'yourn leather? Er plastic?"

"I don't know what you are talking about," she said. The gruff old guy smiled at her.

"You ain't missin' much," he said. "They's all crap ideas, them. Synthetics. They were outlawed back a while ago. I remember Miss Mars was the crusader that saw to that. Said she hated the stuff men expected women to wear, 'n' after she got all famous, she said so to lots o' folks, real loud-like, and there were riots." He chuckled. "People got their panties all in a wad about it! All up in other folkses grills, shoutin' and a-cussing. And over what? Fer my part, I couldn't see why women folk were having to pack their pegs into them stupid things anyways like so much sausage. And them shoes with the high heels like gutter spikes!"

This made Dag think of her friend the man/girl. She hoped he was all right; and suddenly she had a very strange sense of foreboding. "Let me hold it," she said.

"Well, you sure there, li'l lady? I ain't too keen on the ideyur o' you gettin' knocked flat on that numb bum o' yours," he said and grinned in a slightly menacing way. He was twisting the cord around his finger idly while he talked.

Dag said, "I'm sure, thank you." She held her hand out for the strange item. Ben let it drop onto the end of the leather cord and it spun round, seven times. When it came to rest again, it was glowing.

"Aw jeezus pleezus," he said with a sigh. "Not another magic thingamabob. Keerful, the tip there's really pointy," he added and lifted his palm toward her. She saw drops of blood near the heel of his hand. "That's from when I first feeled the thing. I thought it might'a been a spider."

Dag took the cord from Ben, but did not touch the amulet. It was about the length of her longest finger, and was carved in the shape of a raven's head. The beak pointed downward, and was very sharp.
It was glowing brighter now, and then overhead they heard the screeching of a raven, a deafening banshee-like cry.

"Aw crap. Now we've done it," muttered Ben. "We get outer this one 'n' I promise I won't never go diggin' for coffee agin. Won't touch the stuff."

The overhead screech called again, now much louder, and then an enormous black, shiny raven swooped down upon them, out of the treetops. Its talons were extended right at Ben's face. It's eyes were glowing a fierce red, and the amulet now took on the same hue.

Ben's mouth dropped open just before the enormous bird reached arm's length, and then his hand shot outward and grabbed the thing by the legs. He swung it overhead like a lasso three times to get momentum and then let go, and the enormous bird shot through the air and hit a tree.

"Holy toledo!" Ben cried. "That dang thang near ta ripped my face right off!"

"Is it dead?" asked Dag.

"I hope so," he said. He looked at the amulet, which now dangled from Dag's hand on its leather thong. "But nope, Ah'm thinkin' it ain't." Her gaze followed his, and they saw the amulet now had real eyes, which were looking at them.

"Oh boy," said Ben. "Seems yer boyfriend up yonder mighta been a mark o' some kind er'nother. That thing was meant fer him, I reckon. And I think I know what it wants."

They both looked back at where the bird had fallen, and now a tall figure stood there with its arms crossed, and a hood drawn up over its raven head.

"You are not the boy," the figure said, extending a hand out and pointing at Ben.

"Nosir, I shore as shootin' ain't, but Ah'm a thinkin' he ain't gonna wanna meet you much," said Ben. "Whats yer bidness with him?"

The raven-headed figure's eyes grew wide. He was unaccustomed to being addressed disrespectfully. "What business of that is yours?" he hissed.

"Weeel, seein's we got this here jewlaree, and it's what made my hand bleed and you come screeching through the trees disturbin' the peace, scaring my friend here, and nearly rippin' mah head off, I'd say you'd best start talkin' or there's gonna be trouble. I ain't skeered a you. I've done my share o' killing zombies and such. Ain't that right, missy?"

Dag nodded.

"Fiona said the lad would be on that horse," said the Raven.

"Well, Fiona must'a been usin' an expired crystal ball," said Ben. "And who the hell are you, anyway?"

"A friend of your pretty companion's mother," said the Raven. This caused Ben to look at Dag, and his mouth to purse. He raised his voice and looked defiantly at the Raven. "She ain't got a ma, buster. She's a lab-rat, plain 'n' simple." He looked back at Dag. "You know what he's yammering about?"

"I met a woman who said she was my mother, and ... the lad's. That we were half-siblings through her. And that we had to get Lance to Avalon somehow."

"Oh, horse hockey," said Ben. He drew himself up to his full height and glared at the Raven. "What a load of preposterosity." He looked down at Dag once more. "You didn't believe this yarn they spun ya, didya?"

"Well," said Dag, "I was sort of confused, but it seemed to make sense."

"Pfffftt," spat Ben. "Oh shore, if'n you been drugged up and held captive and some smoke'n'mirrors show gotcher skin to crawlin'. A little naive, eh?"

Dag frowned. "I don't know what to believe anymore. I want to find our friends and go back to the ship," she said quietly.

"Well, then, I suggest you give the guy his kazoo there, and we'll turn back. Makes no never-mind to me whether yer pal up ahead is alive or dead."

Dag's brow furrowed. "I thought you said it was important that we follow him," she remarked, and crossed her arms in front of her.

"That was afore I realized you yunguns been told a pack of lies," said Ben. "Fiona told me there was a mission to git you two to some portal and my pay was gonna be gimme after I came back with him delivered there. Ah reckon she's in on these lies, too, so now all bets are off. I ain't no one's tool, and I won't let you be one, neither. Yer pal kin find his own way or not, but I'm not a-playin' these games no more."

He reached and grabbed the amulet from Dag's hand and wrapped the thong tight around it and then flung it overhand, but not toward the Raven. Instead, he flung it the other way, into a deep ravine that ran parallel to their path. They heard a faint splash about seven seconds later.

Ben reined his horse back toward the west. "C'mon, missy, we're done here," he said. Dag mounted and then Ben leaned forward and raised the reins, touching his heels to the gelding's flanks, and within moments the two horses had sprinted a half a mile.

Behind them, they heard the raven screech again, and its eerie cry echoed up out of the ravine angrily.

"Crap," muttered Ben, but Dag didn't hear him. She was wrestling with her own emotions: glad to be going to find their friends, pissed that she'd been played like a fiddle, and worried for herself and all of them.

edit on 12-2-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 03:18 PM

...............................~If It's Not One Thing -Then It's Another~....................................

The surroundings that held Mucklebones and Tibbs' attention changed again and the
Witch who had visited this Earth so many-many years ago and the Vithian who used
time like citizens of Temple Cross used the steam vehicles -felt the night sky appear
above them.

"How far now?"Muckles called and banked right to hear her lover's answer, Tibbs
peered ahead and saw the glowing blaze, a smile struggled beneath his flapping beard.
"That's Neno's work..." he hollered to the gliding Gray in the green poncho and felt the
tail-wind waft under his robes.

The darkness below came closer and a few moments later, Tibbs clattered through Sage
Brush and Mesquite -ending up spitting dust and facing the roaring fire of Hobbs End.
Mucklebones landed on her feet, although she nearly tripped on a jutting rock and with
a look of ease, she stopped herself lurching into a cactus patch.

"This town... does it mean anything to you?" the alien-Witch said as she helped the small
Tibbs to his feet, after flapping dirt from his robes, he shook his head in a negative.
Shapes moved about in the brightly-lit Main Street and for a moment, Tibbs thought he saw
the Boy In A Dress. The shape disappeared behind a wooden building and was lost among the

Nun'Yunu'Wi waited a moment more before stepping up to where the thin Crone and the
smaller Being with the white beard watched the burning town, Death had visited him earlier
and asked of the boon, the bare-shouldered Sorcerer had agreed without relish.

"Pandora must never know of our talk here today... she would be very angry" Death had
whispered with serious tones. Nun'Yunu'Wi's cane stirred secret messages in the mist around
his friend's black robe as he listened to the request, the magical staff that had visted so many
homes for the nourishment from tears -now nudged a lethargic Horned Toad in the desert

"I seek the one known as Tibbs..." Nun'Yunu'Wi called and raised himself to his full hieght
".... I seek the Magi of Time" and noticed the Toad amble off under some dried brush.
The two silouhettes turned from the inferno and as they did, the stone-skinned Deity
spotted the tall Witch reach under her grubby poncho.

"Your spells will not help you here -Crone" Nun'Yunu'Wi said loudly and aimed the feather -
adorned cane at the Alien with the brooding eyes, Muckles became still as if trapped in a
moment of time and Tibbs gulped at the statue-like stance of his lover.

"Please Mister, let my partner go... she was startled by your sudden appear..." Tibbs stopped
his pleading as the black-haired stranger with the magic stick held up his hand.
"Still your tongue, I bring news from the one you call 'The Splutter' he needs you urgently"
Nun'Yunu'Wi stated and watched the frightened Vithian's features show humour.

"Forgive me...?" Tibbs waited for a name and when the Deity that knew of many remedies,
the God that had been there when Pandora had first opened the Box -muttered slowly
'Nun'Yunu'Wi', Tibbs continued.

"... Mr. Nunyoony Wee, yes, er... the name of the Time-Mechanic is 'Splitter... Sp-i-tt-er,
say it with me" Tibbs said kindly. The Spirit that feared menstruating women mouthed the
word to himself before saying 'Splitter' in tandem with the little man.

"You need to gather your people and prepare to travel on your craft from the heavens" the
black-haired Being said softly and passed the cane across the rippling shadow of
Mucklebones, claw-like hands slid slowly and empty from under the poncho.
"Another demon...?" the wary Witch hissed from the side of her mouth and Tibbs ignored
her question. "May I ask what the quest is?" he chirped at the young-thin Nun'Yunu'Wi
standing among the Sage, the robe that hung from one shoulder rivalled the darkness of
the night.

Without looking, Nun'Yunu'Wi revealed a human skull from beneath his shroud and held
it up in the night air "I will show you" he said and moved the ivory-coloured gourd to face
the two-person audience.

(Continued Below)

posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 03:25 PM
(Continued From Above)

Mucklebones saw it first, the black spaces from under the skull's brow had called to her
instantly and there in the sockets, the sight of the Tree Of Knowledge flickered.

Tibbs saw it after a few seconds and marvelled at it's glittering leaves and smooth-skinned
trunk. The light-blue sky promised a warm day and the waving grass seemed to yearn for
running children or snuggling lovers.

Nun'Yunu'Wi breathed softly as he felt his arm begin to ache, the leather thongs hanging
from the skull were there to use for tethering the Universal Seer around his neck and the
Sorcerer now wished he done just that.
The vision went on.

The Tree Of Knowledge shook as if something had struck the tall blemish-free torso with
a large object and as Tibbs and Muckles leaned forward and squinted, the source of the
shaking revealed itself.

Four huge wolves stepped out from behind the tree and both the Vithain and the Witch of
the Winds noticed the blueness of the sky darken close to the steel-grey fur of the animals.
Like sentinals of the four points of the compass, the wolves sat on their haunches and waited
for whatever foe came a-calling, blood-red eyes watched the horizons.

"The wolves prepare the way for another... a Being from the end of Time" Nun'Yunu'Wi
whispered and lowered the skull, a click from his shoulder seemed loud in the desert night.
"The universe will slow and become molasses, insight and discovery will be ash in a
forgotten campfire, the hope for wisdom and peace will be as elusive as the wind..."
Nun'Yunu'Wi warned "... the one who the wolves obey has already attempted to take
the sacred casket and now seeks it's hideaway, you must thwart this monster"

Wood smoke passed slowly between the Deity and the two recent visitors of the desert,
crackling of popping pine could be heard behind them.
Tibbs shook the vision away and reached for Mucklebones' hand, the Crone leaned and
clutched the Vithian's tightly.

"We'll do what we can" the small bearded man said and the odd-couple set off towards the
burning town.

"Thank you..." whispered Death from behind Nun'Yunu'Wi "...the further away my brother
is from Pandora, the safer he is" he finished.
The scourge of a long-lost race didn't turn around as he slipped the skull back inside his robe
"And what of your quest for the sword?" Nun'Yunu'Wi said evenly, the inferno flicked shadows
across his narrow face, he knew of the plans that Death and his entourage struggled with.

The Neo will show the way" the tall black robed-figure hissed and both Beings slipped away with
the drifting woodsmoke.

edit on 14-2-2012 by A boy in a dress because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 01:25 PM

~*~ Bygones ~*~

‘What are you doing here!’ Silo hissed and gave up wrestling her gun from Neno’s grip. ‘You idiot! You shouldn’t sneak up on me like that - I might have shot your ugly ass!‘ Silo added nearly growling but glad to see him none the less.

Neno snorted and gave a grimace. He felt better but he’d not knit together tight enough to ward off the pain of bones poking through his skin after scaling the wall and coming in through the window of the hotel just to wrestle a gun from a female bent on revenge.

Crouching away from the banister her back against the wall Silo jerked her gun back from Neno and reloaded. Taking a seat on the floor next to her Neno removed his hat, examined it’s new hole and scrunched it back on his head again before lighting a cigar.

‘Look, there’s a body to bury and a kid to take care of before we get goin’ and you’re wasting daylight.’ He whispered under his breath but Silo could hear the pain and regret in his voice. He loved this earth and didn‘t want to leave it. How could she blame him? She did too - though she was beginning to hate the U-mans who inhabited the place.

‘Neno, use your head. We can’t just let Mac’s girls take over this place. They been selling women here Neno. Selling them.’ Silo crawled back to the banister looking down over the hotel bar where the remaining sisters crowded around a table screeching and clucking like a hatch of chicks.

‘I agree but you can’t just shoot them. Not like this.’ Neno’s sense of fair play didn’t include popping off fish in a barrel.

‘No?‘ Silo laughed spinning her six-shooter on her index finger, ‘Just watch.’ Stuffing her gun between the banister rails she aimed and fired. The thump of a body hitting the floor was followed by the scream of the five other sisters who went ducking under the table.

Incredulous Neno’s mouth popped open leaving his cigar to hit the floor - the hot end giving birth to curls of smoke from the carpet before he snatched it up and stuffed it back between his lips. Pulling Silo back by her heels - this time wrenching her elbow behind her back Neno made sure she got the point. Silo’s gun hit the carpet the nerves in her hand deadened with pain her cheek roughed against the rug her balance on her fore.

‘Stop that you!’ Neno’s voice lowered but still pierced her ears louder than if he’d hollered. ‘I’m not going to let you kill ‘em. Not like this!’ He wasn’t sure who to pin the fault on but he wouldn’t cotton to needless bloodshed.

Tears leaked from Silo’s eyes into the rough horsehair scratching her face. She knew Neno was right, but her blood sang for revenge.

‘I don‘t care if it‘s their fault or not! Gep’s dead! Pip‘s lost his father!’ She screamed this time. The terrified girls below heard her and quieted.

‘And it’s no fault a those little ’uns!’ Neno pulled her to her feet before giving her a hard push against the wall. ’And mother or no you’re going to leave off shootin’ them before I really get mad.’ Neno started for the stairs pulling her along by the hand. ’We’re taking them chits with us. We can’t just leave ‘em here.’

Tripping down the stairs beside him Silo grimaced when Neno gave her a wry smile and smirked over the bloodless body laying prone on the floor. She was all bluff and wonder. She hadn’t shot the girl, she hadn’t even grazed her. Reaching the table Neno gave it a great shove with his boot toppling it to the side to expose the remaining sisters.

‘Get up. You’re coming with us.’ Neno snarled at the wide-eyed girls blinking like baby owls from Neno to Silo and back again.

‘What about her?’ One of the yellow haired beauties pointed to her ‘dead’ sister lying flat on the floor.

‘Get her up, we’re taking her too.’ Neno thumbed his hand towards the hotel exit.

‘Oh thank you!’ Yellow Hair squeaked and broke into fresh sobs just before throwing herself in Neno’s arms.

Watching the byplay Silo swore under her breath and stalked to the door checking for marauders outside the bar but the streets were strangely abandoned.

‘They just can’t resist you can they...boy?’ Silo spat before exiting the hotel and heading for the stables.

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 06:31 PM

Nenothtu peeled the blond girl off of himself and said "We'll sort this out later, but you don't know me that well yet! Right now, we got a fire to escape from" and headed out of the hotel at a trot, the girls in tow.

The fires had not yet reached the stables when they arrived, but the billowing smoke had made the horses near frantic to escape. The attendant had his hands full trying to move them out by himself, and in the confusion neno yelled at him "We're here to help. Girls! Everyone get two horses apiece - one for each hand. Throw the blankets over them, make sure you get their heads covered, and lead 'em out by their halters."

Between the eight of them, they managed to lead 16 horses back to the cabin. They were barely enough, with two left over. Neno, Pip, and BIAD went back to the stables while the women had their hands full trying to keep the horses calmed, and returned shortly towing a buckboard loaded with livery for the horses. When neno and BIAD dropped the rails and started unloading the livery, neno looked at BIAD and said "Tenk der gotts fer strronk lekks, eh?" BIAD just looked at him like he was speaking a foreign language and grinned his grin as they unloaded the buckboard.

As they were saddling the horses for their escape, nenothtu wondered aloud "Do they still hang horse thieves?"

Margo, eying the girls with disdain, replied "Considering the rest of what you've done here - and are about to do - I doubt that horse theft will be very high on the list of things they're going to hang you for."

Neno grinned. "huh? No. I meant you. They ain't gonna hang me fer nothin'! I know how to take 'em out at the knees if they try." He paused, grinned wider, then added "YOU I have my doubts about. I don't b'lieve yer used to dealin' with knees atall!"

Margo glared at him and said "I do OK - I got YOUR sorry ass out of the pokey, now didn't I?"

Neno chuckled. he just loved needling folks when the heat was on. "That weren't no big deal - I was DEAD, and jus' couldn't fight you off!"

Margo drew back to slap him, and neno laughed and twisted his back to her so she could beat the bejesus out of it - which she did - and feel better. he laughed the whole time, and managed, at the same time, to cinch the girth tight enough that the saddle wouldn't slip and leave him riding under the belly of his horse. While she glared at him, he added "Ain't you got a horse to saddle or sumpin'?" and ducked the blow again.

As she pummeled his back this time, Margo punctuated each blow with a word. "YOU - THREW - A - DEAD - BODY - ON - ME!"

"Yeah, well, count the bullet holes in that body, then count the bullet holes in YOU, and tell me again what a bad idea that was. Nice massage - can you work on the shoulders a bit?"

Instead, Margot balled up her fist and punched him right between the shoulder blades, then hollered "OW!" as she grabbed the fist in her other hand. "You're mighty flippant for a man about to die - after all the hard work I did to keep you alive!" Margo fumed.

"Eh. I been 'about to die' since the day I was born. You get used to it." and he set off to haul Gep out of the cabin to tie him across a horse for the trip to the burial site. The general consensus was that the buckboard would be more appropriate transportation for the body, but neno vetoed that notion, saying "we might have ter go cross-country, where roads don't run."

One of the girls looked at Margo and observed "that feller ain't quite right."

Margo glared back at her and said "I'm not so sure he's wrong, either" and dismissively went back to checking the saddle straps on her horse.


After everything was secure, they mounted up. Pip insisted on leading Gep's horse, and no one begrudged it to him. Nenothtu looked to Margo. "Lead the way, m'lady - this is your neighborhood." and they set out as the town went up in smoke behind them.

edit on 2012/2/17 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 06:50 AM

~*~ What now? ~*~

She didn’t feel like talking and she didn’t want to share her grief over Geb’s loss with Carpet. Or Neno. Or any of them. Not even Pip. Trailing slowly behind the others Silo watched Gep’s body shift from side to side atop the horse carrying its lifeless burden. The horse, a spooky young bay spent more time shying at shadows growing from under rocks and cactus then flat walking. More than once Silo caught her breath thinking this time the animal’s gruesome burden would slip from it’s back. She imagined the sound Gep’s body would make hitting the sand and shivered.

Neno reigned his tall paint from the front of the line of their little convoy sidling up beside Silo nearly knocking into her mount.

‘You’re not Neno are you...Chumley.’ Silo finished and chuckled wryly. Horses, for whatever reason didn’t like her friend the Regalian so much so Chumley had started out driving the buckboard but too soon it filled with yellow haired girls who could only giggle and flirt with one of the three ‘manly’ strangers who all looked the same. Not an easy choice for Ship’s Captain of Security but between girls and the horse? The horse won, or lost as it would seem by it’s reaction to Chumley.

Trying again to smoothly maneuver his horse closer to Silo Chumley raised his voice. ‘Why you sad Silo? We go home to Ship now.’ Chumley’s voice shook with the choppy gait of the horse who wanted back to the head of the line and kept jerking the reigns from Chumley's hands. Sighing Silo snatched the thin strips of leather from Chumley’s grip forcing his horses head close to her thigh. A little firmness and the animal settled into a steady pace leaving Chumley’s hands free to grip the saddle.

‘Thank you. Dis horse be broke or something.’ Proficient at most types of transportation Chumley had finally found something he couldn’t control and he didn’t mind giving up the reigns. Silo hesitated telling him the more ‘broke’ the better with equines but she just wasn’t up for a long drawn out conversation.

‘Yeah Chum, these critters have a mind of their own alright. Speaking of which, what’s on yours?’ Silo smiled again. Sometimes it was nice talking to someone and not having to worry about smooth segues and politeness.

‘You gonna stay here after we put yur friend in da ground?’ Chumley didn’t remove his hands from the saddle horn to point at Gep, ‘Or you gonna go home with us?’

Silo’s eyes rested on Gep’s corpse, flashed to Pip and back to Gep again. As if feeling her eyes on him the boy turned in his saddle, blocked the sun from his eyes the corner of his mouth picking up when he saw who was watching him. Silo squinted her eyes in return lifting her chin in a silent command for him to to go back to riding and leading his father’s horse.

Silo pulled her horse and Chumley's to a standstill and cocked her head. ‘That's a good question Chum.’ Silo handed him back the reigns to his roan, ’but it's one I can’t answer bud cause honestly I just don’t know.’ Patting the butt of the Regalian’s horse with her hat Silo smiled as Chumley went careening off to the front of the line where his mount dropped neatly into place beside Margo’s grey.

‘Wonder if he’ll ask her the same question?’ Silo sighed to her herself and went back to watching Gep’s body roll from side to side over the back of the jigging horse.

edit on 20-2-2012 by silo13 because: very bad spelling fix lol

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 11:22 AM

.................~~ Closed Doors and Creepy Feelings ~~.........................

Ben and Dag reached the cabin just as the shadows began to lengthen once again. It had been a drain of a day, and Dag was acutely aware that she'd not had the chance to stretch her legs and gluteus maximus, let alone the medius and minimus.

"Do you think the others will find us? I'm sure they must be wondering where we are; they won't wait forever, you know," she said as she slid to her feet. "Arrgghrrhhh," she moaned and with both hands massaged her seat.

Ben grunted in agreement as he swung down from the saddle and grinned when he looked at her shamelessly doing so and wincing in that particular 'oh it hurts so good kind of way. When she bent at the hips and touched her hands flat on the ground in front of her and began stretching he smiled outright and shook his head.

Women, he thought to himself. They think once we get old enough we ain't bothered by their antics. He couldn't blame Adam for being helpless in her presence, and suddenly a concern formed in his head. His smile overturned and he cleared his throat as Dag straightened up again.

"Ye recall I saw one a them Tumbler deals, right?"

Dag nodded. "I was going to ask you about that. Where do you suppose it landed?"

"Some ways away," he said, and flung his thumb toward the setting sun. "We ain't gonna get to the landing spot afore another two days at least. And there ain't no more grub here."

"There's not?" asked Dag. She had been glad to climb out of Copperhead Gulch without incident, but things certainly weren't all hunky dory, yet, either.

"Nope," said Ben. "We're gonna have ta go to Home-Town for provisions."

Dag's face sunk into itself. "The solstice," she said.

Ben nodded once. "And no, I ain't a-fixin' to leave you here alone, no way no how."

"If I go down there again, they'll mob me," she said. "They think I'm Gia, you know, their mythical goddess supreme. They even took me down into this trap-door room and showed me the original jewels that she wore. They sai-----."

"Wait, hode up there," said Ben. "Who is 'they'?"

"The two girls in the shop. Bella and Bridget. They were the ones who took us to meet that old woman who said she was our mother, the Lady of the Lake. Well, they were the guides that took us near there anyway. It was Fiona who opened the door, though. With that crystal key."

Ben frowned in thought. "You remember how to get to that jewlaree shop?"

Dag nodded. Ben held out his hand and she slid hers into it, and like a little girl with her dad they descended through the trap door that led down into the mountain and Home-Town.

They found the place deserted. There was utter silence, no sign of life anywhere. As they moved toward the town square from the outskirts, both of them were wary. Ben squeezed Dag's hand in a comforting way, letting her know he'd not abandon her, nor allow anything to separate them. When they reached the marketplace the gas-lamps hissed on spontaneously in sequence, matching their progress with each few steps, lighting their way, though nowhere did they see anyone on stilts.

Dag recognized the bench on which she had sat while Brittle had entered the gypsy shop for her disguise. On it was a newspaper broadsheet, lying open, with the very same ad she had read that had enticed her to go to where she and Brittle had met Bridget and Bella. She scowled at the realization and looked about her without moving her head. She was getting a creepy feeling now that something was very 'off' here. She leaned forward to read the ad.

Gia's Bower, Offering Only the Finest in Exquisitely Crafted, One-Off Seasonal Amulets and Charms.Tomorrow Only! Auction - Everything Must Go. We Anticipate Deep Discounts, No Reserve on Any Item. Store is Closing Its Doors Forever. Treat Your Loved Ones this Solstice Season to the Very Best and Last of these Historical Reproductions. Special Viewing of the Originals for First 10 Customers.

"Oh dear," she said very quietly. Ben leaned beside her to look. With her slender finger she underlined Store is Closing its Doors Forever and they looked at each other in the silent camaraderie of traveling buddies in deep doo-doo.

They both straightened up and looked about. "Apparently the whole town was Closing all of Its Doors Forever," Dag said aloud. Her voice seemed to thunder in the echoing silence of the enormous chamber.

"Sshhhhh!" Ben hissed.

"Why are you shushing me?" asked Dag. "Obviously someone knows we are here, the lights don't have minds of their own, and they are decidedly not motion-sensor activated. This paper cannot possibly have simply been left here accidentally. It was placed here for me to find again, and" --now she raised her voice -- "where in the hell IS EVERYONE?"

She angrily grabbed the broadsheet from the bench. "C'mon old man, we're going back to the shop anyway." And off she stomped, with Ben frowning right behind her.

"You know, I'm sick and tired of this place," said Dag. "I don't know who these people...or whatever they are...think they are, but they are messin' with the wrong little lady," she added, louder now. "I mean really, enough is enough! Show yourselves, you lying cowards! What have you done with all the good people who lived here?!"

Ben cringed a little behind her and looked around nervously, but Dag continued stomping fearlessly and with wrath down the cobbled streets.

"There it is," she said. "Blow the bloody door off, if you would, Ben."

He spread his hands to emphasize his unarmed condition.

"Then kick it in!!" she shouted. And he did.

edit on 21-2-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

edit on 21-2-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 12:17 PM

..................~~ A Reckoning ~~.......................

Ben and Dag entered Gia's Bower to find all inventory just where it had been when she'd first entered the place. Angrily she pulled back the rug from above the trap door that had led to the original jewels, and began to descend into the hidden lower chamber.

Some distance away, and above ground, a bell tinkled in a small hut off the beaten path. The sound lifted above the trees and floated gaily through the evening air, and the small unseemly group around the Tumblers all lifted their heads to hear it.

It was Cecilia who spoke first. "Doctor, that is your cue," she said. Adam tossed one more twig into the fire (he being the only one who needed climate control, he had built it by himself and for himself.) The droids -- Skinny, Squibbs, Drake and Corky -- waited for him to respond. A long moment passed before he did.

"How do you know," Adam said grumpily. Cecilia sighed. The droids all looked at him for another long moment before Cecilia spoke up again.

"Doctor, you are ordered to stop your moping and get to your feet," she said. "Ship's orders. Now."

All of the parties exchanged glances then, and Adam scrambled to his feet, forgetting the fire.

"Which way did the bell come from, Cecilia," he barked. She raised one enormous arm and pointed to the east. "Hatch open," he commanded, and the whoosh of the act was immediate. Drake and Corky started to follow, but Adam held a palm up to stop them. "No, not you two," he said. Then he pointed at Squibbs and Skinny. "You two, let's go." The other droids visibly slumped with disappointment. "You two stay here with the other Tumblers, and stay online with Ship. One of each of you, into the cockpits, and keep your radios on. You got that?"

Drake and Corky nodded, but Adam did not wait to see if they complied. He hurried Squibbs and Skinny onto Cecilia and she began the overland journey toward the source of the bell's ring.


Meanwhile, Dag and Ben had reached the lower chamber and found the crown jewels, just where they'd been left as well. Dag snatched them up and found a soft bag in which to tote them.

"Thievin' are we?" asked Ben.

"No," said Dag, still with an angry tone. "Bargainin'. C'mon."

She moved aside the tapestry that covered the door leading to the passage she and Brittle had previously been escorted down.

Gert stopped mid-cackle when the bell in the cave of enchantments sounded at the same time as the one in her now unoccupied hut. She and Pandora were sipping tea while they tensely negotiated the plan for Pandora's seduction of Nenothtu, as well as the scheme which they, along with the Spirits and Deities, Merlin and the Splitter, Death and Charon had all concocted.

"Someone is coming," she said.

"Here? Now? What fun!" said Pandora. "Who is it? I haven't seen Kokopeli for so long. Ah, did you plan a surprise party for me, Gert? I didn't realize we were that friendly."

Gert scowled at her. "We ain't," she said. "Look, yer the one who called this meetin', and now someone's comin' to my hut, but I ain't there to meet 'em, am I now? That bell is activated when the one in my hut is, a remote alarm if you will. But no one is in Home-Town, so it must be coming from my hut. Someone's there looking for me. Perhaps it is Nenothtu."

"You think? Okay then, that's where I'll go."

Now a deep male voice interrupted her. "You ain't goin' nowhar, ma'am," said Ben as he and Dag entered the cave of enchantment. He looked her up and down, though, readily admiring her beauty and her seductive get-up. Then he glared at Gert for a moment and turned to Dag. "This the crone sez she's your Ma?"

Dag nodded. Pandora and Gert, both flabbergasted by the invasion of their privacy and the audacity of these two powerless beings, one a U-Man and one a biodroid, to confront them so brazenly, placed their hands on their hips authoritatively.

Gert laughed first. "You are going to stop her? YOU?" she cackled. "Either of us could smite you down so quickly that you'd never know what hit you. I suggest you show a little respect, son."

"No, ma'am, 'tain't me's gonna stop her. It's someone else, who's a might pissed at y'all right now for betrayin' her."
He nodded to Dag, who put her hand into the bag and withdrew Gia's jewels. "And fer thievin' her stuff and hidin' it so's she ain't been back in a while."

Gert laughed. "What do you know about anything?" she sneered.

"Where's them townsfolk, lady, what was livin' up there'n town?"

Gert grinned evily. "They're on vacation," she said in her best Mizz Gump voice. She reached to grab the jewels, but Dag held them high over her head.

And suddenly from behind her someone else grabbed them. She whirled around. There stood the Splitter.

"Tsk, tsk, Darling," he said to her. "Shame on you. We mustn't keep the wolves waiting, nor their mistress."

edit on 21-2-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

edit on 21-2-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 12:47 PM

.............~~Playing Catch-up~~....................

Adam and the droids watched through the windscreen as Cecilia made her way briskly toward the hut. It was getting quite dark now, so she turned on the floodlights to facilitate their view of the scenery.

They had reached the hut within a few moments, and now they saw the door was open. Adam told Cecilia to stop, and disembarked.

"Skinny, you come with me," he said. "Squibbs, mate, you stay here. If Ship pipes up, relay the message to Skinny, eh?" Squibbs light revolved in accordance as Skinny scrambled out.

The two of them approached the hut, which was well lit by Cecilia on the outside, although the interior was engulfed in darkness.

"Doctor, would you like me to enter first?" asked Skinny. Adam started to nod, but then stopped himself and raised his chin once more, proudly. "No," he said. "I'm the Commander in Charge here, and it's time I lived up to it. You follow me."

And he entered the low door. Immediately, he let out a shriek like a little girl who's discovered a bug on her hair and stumbled backward. Skinny caught him before he hit the floor, and the cause of his alarm began to purr.

Sslar had launched herself at Adam in joy to see one of the crew, and Adam had been knocked off balance. But he quickly recovered himself.

"Sslar!" he said. "Thank Jenovah someone is here besides us!" Sslar twitched her tail and then took a couple of paces further into the room. Then she returned with the Caliburn in her strong jaws and dropped it in Adam's lap.

edit on 21-2-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 04:00 AM

........................................~Like The Corners Of My Mind~...........................................

The horse looked balefully at Boy In A Dress as he strapped the saddle tighter, the recent
comment from Nenothtu still had the Man-Girl confused and it was during his musing of the
words that the memory came to him.
Red-nailed fingers suddenly shook as BIAD cinched the strap, the vision of the man in the
sanitized garb and the gauze mask loomed into his mind and the words "... it's okay, I'm a
Doctor" echoed inside the wig-wrapped head of Boy In A Dress.


"This may 'pinch' just a little" the man on the platform said and yanked down the front of
BIAD's dress, the huge room was chilly and this didn't go unnoticed by the white-uniformed

The laboratory hummed loudly with machines and today at DugWay was the day that the
experiment to see if BIAD could endure a bombardment of Gamma rays -whilst having an
electrical charge coursing through his body.
True pioneer stuff.

The straps that held the grinning Being were cinched tighter around BIAD's wrists and the
large-oval table that he had laid on was hoisted ten-feet into the air.
'Test One-Of-Eight to commence in two hundred and forty seconds' the sultry-female voice
announced and Doctor Crane placed the last of the sensors onto BIAD's bare breasts.

"I assure you son, this will be perfectly safe" Crane muffled through his mask and turned
to the controls of the hoist-platform, his hurried action told the hermaphrodite that the
good-Doctor may be a-tad frugal with the truth.

Hoses and cables adorned the air around BIAD and the giant reactor-coils stood sentinal
-like either side of where he hung from the harness, the calming voice of the unknown
woman came again.

"All readings in the Green... two-hundred and ten seconds to commencement"

The other scientists on the floor of the lab busied themselves with checking consoles and
signing clipboards of paper as BIAD breathed in deeply and wondered if Professor Shaw
was among them.

His renowned Creator had spoken to him just as the sun had risen, an early morning was
apparently the best time for this particular experiment. "They're gonna do a test, BIAD...
it's an unusual one and I've done all I can to deter them from it" Shaw had said quietly
as BIAD had laid in his bed.

"One-hundred and eighty seconds..." the voice warned and BIAD continued with his

"Listen to me... this has gone on long enough..." Charles Shaw had whispered during the
Man-Girl had washed and brushed his teeth, the foam-covered grin had moved from the
Barracks-issue mirror to face the worried father-figure with the grey hair.

"After this test, I want you to leave... I want you to escape" Shaw had said and any plans on
how to do so were halted as the two Military Police had noisily entered the one bulb-lit

"Steel yourself for a little discomfort" the tall scientist with the blue name-tag shouted up
to where BIAD hung and then returned to his work on the clunky-looking computer near
where the Major stood, the uniform was at odds with the gauze mask and the dark-round

"Fifty-seconds... please leave the building" the bitch said calmly and the coils thrummed
with power "this is gonna hurt" -BIAD mumbled to himself.

Afterwards... after the drool was wiped away and the poor wretch in the straps had been
brought down, laid on the gurney and had his nakedness dealt with, Professor Shaw looked
down at the creature that had appeared in his New-Mexico laboratory -so many years before.

The Recovery Room was quiet and warm and even though BIAD lay as if he was in an easy
sleep, Charles Shaw could only guess at what the young Being's body had endured.

The stupid test had no value, it seemed that recently, the Military asked for more-and-more
experiments to see if the could kill Boy In A Dress and the old man in the off-white Lab coat
knew in his heart that it was time for BIAD to leave.

(Continued Below)
edit on 25-2-2012 by A boy in a dress because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 04:02 AM
(Continued From Above)

"Tonight... just before they change fence-sentries near the East gate, I want you to get to
where Jenkins the Janitor parks his car, the trunk will be open" Shaw whispered into the
place where BIAD should have ears, the smooth skin there was still the place where the
scientist was convinced BIAD heard from.

"I've told the other Doctors that it will take a day for you to recover and that I will monitor
your vital signs" With a caressing hand on the coarse-wig, Charles spoke to the nearest thing
he had as a son. "I love you BIAD... and I think it's time you were free" he sobbed.

As Professor Shaw left the room, he said with a aching heart "I'll do okay... now get your sorry
ass out of this pokey" and closed the door quietly.


Boy In A Dress shook the thoughts away as he patted the horse's nose, Nenothtu was already
mounted and without another thought of that terrible day, the Man-Girl climbed ungainly
onto his own horse.

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