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Author Topic: Finished Project  (Read 771 times)

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Offline Rofelam

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Finished Project
« on: February 26, 2018, 12:09:51 PM »
My most recent work that isn’t absolute trash.

Synopsis:
What does it take to be human?  Elizabeth wonders this as she is thrown into an unwanted adventure. Within the past few generations, her world has had many wonderful technological advances. However, most of them were for the purpose of war and conquering. She knows this all to well, the bloody princess being a rather unsavory nickname she has gained. Still, that’s not all people call her, some say she’s a robot, a metal heart pumping oil through her veins. Maybe it’s true, especially considering she doesn’t feel emotions like a real human. Hopefully the actual robot she meets suddenly will help her out. Then again, he’s seems to be quite the fool. The fool though, he’s always the one who stabs the king in the back. There’s a lot more going on in this world than just her existential crisis.

Spoiler
Chapter 1- Always apologize when you’ve been a jackass
Despite having highly advanced space traveling capabilities, they couldn’t make good toilet paper. The stuff she had in her cell was so thin, it practically dissolved when it hit the water. How was she supposed to make her escape if she couldn’t clog the toilet? Her entire plan hinged on getting one of the guards to come in and unclog her toilet. She could have used some of her clothes, but they were the only things she had left. That and her pride, but her pride wasn’t doing crap for her right now.
“Dammit all to hell!” She yelled kicking the chrome toilet.
She sat back down on the cold metal bed and tried to come up with another plan. Only there wasn’t another plan. She didn’t even have metal bars she could cut through. Red lasers were what kept her from breaking out. She folded her hands together and rested her chin on them. The lasers were far enough apart that she might be able to squeeze through.
While she considered this option, one of her captors came over to check in on her. Despite it being so far in the future, his armor still looked like a medieval knight’s. Like all soldiers he had a sword, but it was mostly for ceremonial purposes. His real power lay in the assault rifle on his back. Though laser weapons were making a big push in the higher ranks, normal bullets were still the choice for the grunts. This guy must have been one of her brother’s men. He looked all too pleased to see her locked up in there.
“Hello princess, enjoying the room, are we?” He said, pulling his face mask away to reveal a sneer.
“As much as a person in my position can, yes.” She said in a cool voice, looking at him straight in the eyes with her own gray dead fish ones.
The guard spit in her face and said, “Listen to yourself, still acting so high and mighty when you’ve nothing but the clothes on your back.”
She calmly wiped the spit off with her gloved hand and said, “That may be true, but I think most would say I’ve lived a good life.”
The guard smiled and said, “You’re about to be executed by your own brother…I don’t think it matters what kind of life you had now.”
She nodded and replied, “Yes but unlike you I was once great and will die a great death. You’re just a lowly grunt who’s probably going to be sent off to the war to die like the rest.”
His upper lip curled and he snarled at her, “You know, I think it’s about time someone showed you some manners you pompous bitch.”
The guard punched in the key code to the lock on her door. Maybe he was going to beat her up, maybe he was going to have his way with her. The farthest his hand got was her light auburn hair. The next thing he knew, his hand was almost ripped off. After that she stuck his head into her toilet and gave him a swirlie. Taking his assault rifle, she locked the cell behind her and ran for the nearest exit. She was in the castle dungeons, a place she had been to many times. Thus, she knew the place like the back of her hand. Speed was a necessity. If she didn’t make it out fast enough someone was certain to raise the alarm.
Right as she thought that the alarm went off. It was a loud honking sound that made a person’s ears hurt. She ignored it and went on towards the exit. As she ran, the princess passed all the criminals locked up, many by her own hand. They were all screaming at her, alerting the guards to her position. One such pair rounded the corner in front of her, assault rifles raised.
“Halt right there-ARGH!” The one talking cut off by a bullet to his throat.
The other one made the mistake at looking at his comrade. When he looked back, all he saw was the stiletto point of a white thigh high boot. The princess pulled her heel out of his eye and walked over them not even looking at them. Normally she’d make sure they were dead. She didn’t have the time for that now though. If she made sure to finish off everyone who got in her way, she’d never make it out of there.
She was almost out of the dungeons. There was just one last set of stairs, and she was free. However, she never thought it would be easy getting out at this point. The stairs were in a narrow space, so she couldn’t just run past the guards on them. She also couldn’t fight through them as they were all shield bearers. They were trained to hold their position to the last of them. Looking over she saw the main control panel for all the cell doors. As the guards pulled out their pistols, she had no choice but to get some help.
She shot the panel with a few rounds, and that was enough to do the job. All at once, the lasers holding back the prisoners were shut off. At first, they just stood there, and then they realized what had happened. They rushed towards the exit, slamming into the shield bearing guards. Though the prisoners thought they could take on the guards, none of them were stupid enough to take on the princess. All of them except one.
“Hello princess, long time no see.” A large man said as he cracked his knuckles.
“Hello Knuckles, I see you haven’t lost any muscle mass.” She said, pointing her rifle at his head.
Knuckles, aptly named for how much he cracked his knuckles, was a murderer. He had killed his wife and her lover after discovering them in the shower together. Even before that though he was known to be a violent man. Assault charges, harassment, and just being a public nuisance were on his record. As if he had been born for this role, he was a large man, even taller than the princess’s own 6’2. He also had scars all over his tanned body from his many encounters with the law.
“Well they do have a pretty nice gym here.” He said with a terrifying grin.
“That’s good…do you still get letters from your daughter?” She said, teasing the trigger of her rifle.
“Every day.” He said advancing on her.
They were interrupted by a crazed prisoner rushing them. Not even looking at him, Knuckles brought his meaty fist into the man’s throat. Unable to breathe, he collapsed onto the ground. The princess shot him once in the head to shut him up. Knuckles cracked his knuckles again and smiled.
“I would love to do that to you.” He said getting so close the rifle was touching his chest.
“Yes, but it seems neither of us have the time for that now.” The princess said pulling back her assault rifle.
“Truce?”
“I suppose we must.” She said turning to look at the staircase.
Blood from both sides ran down the steel steps. Despite her situation, the princess hoped someone would clean all this up. She didn’t want the castle to be a mess when she finally returned. However, that worry was for a later time. The prisoners had managed to push back the guards a quarter of the steps. If she and Knuckles weren’t careful, there would be so many bodies no one could get past.
“Are these stairs bomb proof?” The large man said as he walked towards a fallen guard.
Stepping back as to not ruin her gold trimmed white coat and vest the princess said, “Don’t make too much of a mess, we don’t want to slip in someone’s remains.”
Giving her a thumbs up, Knuckles picked up a grenade from the fallen guard’s corpse. As if he were playing little league softball, the giant man lightly tossed the grenade into the pile of bodies. A few seconds went by, and then a thunderous explosion cleared out the staircase. It looked like someone had left the lid off a blender when it was all over. That and they had put a lit stick of dynamite in it for flavor. The temporary allies quickly made their way through the carnage. At the top of the steps more guards were pouring in over their fallen companions. Knuckles bashed his way through the frightened men and women. The princess supported him by firing off rounds into the skulls of guards. While they may have had enough courage to take on Knuckles, it was just a few days ago the princess had come back from a battle drenched in blood.
Looking much the same way, she shouted, “Stand down and we won’t kill you! Impede us and die!”
That was enough for the guards. They stumbled over themselves trying to get out of the way. When they broke through finally they were greeted by a burning stream of sunlight. Large windows lined the far walls allowing them to see into the castle garden. However, they had no time to look at the pretty flowers. Running left, the princess led them to the ship bay. Passing ancient suits of armor and white and gold banners, the red carpeted hall looked straight out of the 14th century. The defenses put in place were not however. Little red eyes dotted the ceiling every ten feet. The princess knew her brother was looking down on her. He was most likely sending every guard they had. It’s what it had taken last time to capture her.
“Dear princess…I’m sorry it had to end messy like this.” A man in shiny steel armor said as the pair of escapees rounded another corner.
“Captain Morgan…I see you just got a fresh supply of that crappy shampoo you use.” The princess said, not even cracking a smile at her own joke.
Tossing his long, luxurious blonde hair back he said, “Princess come now, do you really want your last words to me to be so cold? Why not an admission of love after so many strenuous years of denying what we both feel?”
Knuckles looked over at the princess and said, “Is Goldilocks over here for real?”
“My name is not Goldilocks!” Goldilocks said.
“Ha! What a loser, even the narrator is calling you it.” Knuckles said as he burst out laughing.
“Whatever! You’re about to die so who’s the real loser here?” Goldilocks said with disdain.
“Still you loser.” The princess said right before she made her move.
That move was to dash towards the nearest window and jump through it. Thankfully she knew how to land without braking her legs. Knuckles, after some due consideration, jumped after her. He landed in some bushes, so the large man only bruised his ass. Next thing they knew, those pretty flowers were cutting and scraping them as they ran for the exit on the other side. When they got back inside the princess brushed some of the remaining glass and foliage from her battle skirt (it basically made it so no one could look up her skirt in the heat of battle) and went straight for the ship bay.
“Do you even know where you’re going?” Knuckles shouted as they ran down the corridors.
“I’ve lived here for 21 years, of course I know where I’m going.” She said just as she made good on her word.
Opening an inconspicuous door, they went inside to the ship bay. It was big, and it was a shiny metal not unlike a gangster’s hubcap. The ships moored here were sleek and as new as they came. To give off an air of regal authority, the ships were a white gold color with actual gold trim. Each one was well equipped. Missiles and machine guns were a standard part of peace keeping in their fair country.
“Which ship do we take?” Knuckles said spinning in circles as he looked for their escape vessel.
Not answering him, she went to the only ship that would work for them. Her own model, a 2300, had been specifically designed for her. It looked like any other ship, a pointed nose and twin rocket engines, but it was nonetheless unique. She had it custom made not for any sort of posh luxury, but for brutal war mongering. She wasn’t the sort of princess to sit back and let her troops fight her battles. That’s just not how their family worked. Something her father always said was that a leader should be the first one in and the last one out. She firmly believed that’s how it should be.
“We’re taking mine, it’s got triple the weaponry of a normal ship.” She said unlocking the door via retina scanner.
“Holy crap…no wonder they call you the bloody princess.” Knuckles said following in after her.
Squeezing into the two-person cockpit, the princess winced slightly at the nickname. She and her brother had been raised in a country constantly at war. After their father died, her brother had been forced to take over at the tender age of twelve. She had only been five at the time, but both of their destinies had been chosen for them then. The new king was handsome and charming. He could win over anyone’s heart. So that’s what he practiced, until he was so skilled with words that he had won over many of their father’s allies. Peace and friendship were what he always preached. Unfortunately, someone still had to fight the wars going on.
“Get ready we’re taking off.” She said pressing all the right buttons for her ship to start.
Goldilocks and his men came into the bay guns blazing. It was too late for that though. The princess was already in the air and heading for the bright opening in the ceiling. Porridge eater was having none of that though. A single guard came out of the group holding an RPGX. This was like an RPG, but it was far more powerful. Only trained specialists could use them, and those who could were very good. With the auto lock on system zeroing in on the princess’s ship, the guard fired.
“We’ve been hit!” Knuckles screamed as he looked through the gaping hole in the ship.
“No *censored* Sherlock.” The princess growled undeterred.
Even in less of a stable condition, the princess still was an ace at piloting her ship. They made it through the opening and were gone. Soon the castle was shrinking behind them. The capitol of Mysore lay before them. A mixture of old stone buildings and massive skyscrapers, this was the perfect mixture of ancient and new technology in a dying land. It truly was an oasis in a barren wasteland, for outside the city was nothing but dirt and rocks. Not even capable of producing any crops, they had been forced to get resources other ways. This is what had led them to be such a militarized country. If they couldn’t make something themselves, they took it from someone else. Of course, the other countries could avoid a war if they paid a high tribute. Still, most thought dying on their feet was better than living on their knees.
Knuckles whooping and hollering said, “We made it! We actually…”
Another explosion shot through the ship. This time it had taken out an engine, cutting their speed in half. Looking at the sensors, they saw bogies on their six. The castle guards had gotten in their own ships and were catching up. They had just made it over the city’s walls, and the ship was sputtering over the landfill. The princess knew that if they kept on like this, that both her and Knuckles would die.
“Here take control.” She said rerouting the controls to his side.
“What the hell are you doing!?” Knuckles screamed as he was forced to take the wheel.
The princess didn’t say anything. All she did was take a deep breath, and then she jumped out of the ship. The air rushed past her as she fell making her eyes sting. Looking up she saw the ships had stopped pursuing her own. They weren’t shooting down after her. They knew the moment she hit the ground she’d be dead. For a normal person that would’ve been true, but not for her. She hit the ground rolling as she went down a hill of trash. There was a lot of broken metal on the way that cut her and her clothes. She probably dislocated a shoulder too, but when she reached the bottom, she was alive.
“Hey who’s out there?” A voice called out from far away.
She was public enemy number one. If anyone saw her they’d be sure to report it. What she needed was a hiding spot, someplace she could lay low for a while. Before she started looking though, the princess gritted her teeth and popped her shoulder back into place. This had happened before, and it always made a clicking sound when she moved it for a few hours afterwards. Other than that, and a few flesh wounds, she was ready to move.
“Hey I’ve got a gun!” That same voice yelled.
Her body would heal on its own soon enough, she needed to go. Stomping through the rusty junk, she went in the opposite direction of the voice. Passing mountains of old robots and broken weapons, she searched for a safe haven. She had to keep on searching until well into the afternoon. Finally, when dusk was almost upon her, she found it. A tunnel, she didn’t know if it was man made or not, went into one of the mountains of trash. Getting on her hands and knees, she crawled through it. When she finally reached the end, the princess came out into a small cave. Well it was more like a car that hadn’t been completely smashed. The back-passenger door was what she came through. It looked like an old Ford Pinto, only it was rusted badly. Her night vision was pretty good for a regular human. So, what she could see was pretty much nothing except for an old robot in the driver’s seat.
Giving a sigh of relief, the princess settled into the leather upholstery and said, “I should be safe for now.”
“Safe from what?” A voice said startling her.
Her eyes shot open, and she looked at the only possible source. The robot in the front seat was newer, if only because he wasn’t rusted through. He had light blue combat armor on. For a face he had a gold mask that hid all of his circuitry. To complete the soldier look, he also had two very large desert eagles .50 at his sides, a Russian 4-gauge shotgun on his lower back, two katanas on his upper back, and one USMC combat knife over where his heart would have been. If she had to compare him to something, it would have been master chief.
Ever cool headed the princess said, “That depends on who you belong to.”
“I’ve been here for more than a decade now.” The robot said as he turned around, “Even if I did belong to someone, I doubt you’d be running from them.”
Leaning back, the princess crossed her legs and said, “Fair enough.”
The robot cocked his head and said, “I can see your nipple you know.”
The princess responded by grabbing him by the face and smashing his head into the front window. The robot just laughed at her as he brushed the broken glass from his view. The princess, despite knowing it wasn’t true, looked down to make sure her clothes hadn’t been ripped there. This just made the robot laugh even more.
Frowning more than usual she said, “I don’t care for jokesters.”
“Well you’ve met the wrong person then, because that’s pretty much my main function.” He said with much hand movement.
Folding her arms, she said, “Well you must be pretty bad at it if you’re here.”
Despite not having a mouth, the robot somehow smiled as he said, “You’re down here too princess Elizabeth, daughter of the now late king Richard.”
Though this troubled her, Elizabeth didn’t let it show as she said, “So you know who I am. What of it?”
Still with that nonexistent smile he said, “Don’t worry, I only know who you are because I was alive when your father died. You’ve certainly grown up a lot since then.”
She certainly had. Her father had been murdered sixteen years ago by an unknown assassin. No one knew why, her father was like her brother, a handsome charming man. He was quick to make an ally, and just as quick to crush his enemy. Still, as far as anyone knew, he hadn’t made any enemies that didn’t already hate his family and their kingdom. So, they looked into the normal suspects and nothing came up. To some he was a tyrant, but to her he was what a great ruler should be. Strong, decisive, intelligent, and unafraid to get a job done were his best qualities. Elizabeth had always strived to be like him, but so far, she didn’t believe she was living up to his greatness.
Shaking her head clear she said, “I have.”
Shaking his own head, the robot said, “Tsk tsk, you won’t make any friends like that. You need to better articulate your emotions.”
Glaring at him she said, “How’s this? You’re annoying.”
“Ooh, kitty’s got claws.” He said clawing at the air.
“Shove it.” Elizabeth said with a little growl to her voice.
More hand gestures as he said, “If you’re going to be like that, then you can leave little miss piss.”
“I think I will…”
“Check over there! The king wants her body!” Sounded from outside the cave.
The two of them looked at each other. Yet again, without even having one, he made a face that just pissed her off to no end. It infuriated her so much, she grabbed him by the head again and smashed his face into the steering wheel. The fool just kept on laughing as if nothing was wrong.
“Shut up, your damn hyena laugh is going to alert them to our position.” Elizabeth said as she wrapped one hand around his muscular throat.
“Come on…they can’t hear…”
“I heard something from this tunnel!”
“*censored*…”
“You idiot!”
Pointing his finger to the ceiling he said, “To the escape hatch!”
The guards definitely knew they were there. They started shining flashlights down the tunnel and could see them. The robot waved hello and received another face smashing from the princess. He just kept on laughing much to her ire.
“Where’s the escape hatch?”
“Well it’s not so much an escape hatch…”
“GET US OUT OF HERE NOW!”
“Okay okay…don’t get your panties in a bunch…here we go!” He finished by pressing down on the horn.
Nothing happened at first, then they heard a small click and it was all over. Fire exploded from the trunk and propelled them forwards through the junk. The tires had long ago gone flat, so they were pretty much driving on the rims. The castle guards didn’t shoot at first, they were so shocked. That didn’t last long as soon they were firing rounds at the speeding pinto. When the robot looked over to receive his praise, all he got was a fist to the face.
“What the f*** is wrong with you!?” Elizabeth shouted as she laid into his face.
“Aw man…the f-word is being censored? What a drag…”
“Shut up and drive this thing!” The princess said as she smashed his head into the steering wheel.
Drive he did. The wheels might not have had much traction, but the rocket boosters in the trunk were plenty enough to get them away from the guards. Though the headlights were out, the rocket boosters provided ample amount of light to drive by. Really, the rocket boosters pretty much did everything…
“Shut up about the damn rocket boosters!” Little miss piss shouted at the narrator.
While little miss piss had her thumb up her ass, the robot was humming a fine tune. Eventually they ran out of fuel miles further into the landfill. The guards were left far behind. They were finally safe.  At least one of them were. The robot had gotten out of the car to stretch his nonexistent muscles, when the princess got out as well and stormed over to him. The first thing she did was to grab him by the head and throw him into the car. He left a huge dent in the door the princess had thrown him so hard.
Laughing all the same, he said, “You’re really strong for a human.”
“I take pride in the fact that I’m so strong. Especially since I don’t have any augmentations.” She said tossing some stray hair from her face.
What she meant by augmentations was the technology used to enhance normal humans. Just the usual sort of thing. Rocket arms, shotgun legs, and enhanced senses to name a few. They were becoming more and more common among the populace. Of course, there was still a movement to keep humans pure. A big argument of theirs was that getting an augmentation took away some of a person’s humanity. The princess had come to believe that more so over the years. It made her glad she was still just a normal human.
“You’ve also got a rocking bod, so be glad for that too.” The robot said standing up.
Folding her arms with a frown the princess said, “I’d say you should apologize, but I think it would just be a meaningless waste of effort.”
Clasping his hands behind his head, the robot said, “Honestly that word isn’t in my vocabulary.”
“Whoever programmed you must be an idiot then.”
The robot shook his head, “Actually they were the best of the best. They left out that word because they knew I’d never need it.”
Making a face, Elizabeth said, “So what? You can’t say sorry?”
Holding up a single finger he said, “Well let me show you what happens when I try to say-ERROR 967 WORD NOT FOUND-you see what I mean?”
The princess just put a hand to her temple and said, “Can you at least say your name?”
“Yes indeed. My name is Finished Project 324.” He said throwing his hands in the air.
“I’m not calling you that.”
“Well you need to call me something.” He said wagging his finger, “As much as I enjoy being called by nicknames, Handsome, Devilishly Handsome, Extremely Handsome…”
“Fin! I’ll call you Fin!” The princess shouted so to get him to shut up.
Stroking his chin, Fin said, “Well I don’t know how I feel about that name…but I see the Narrator is already calling me it so I’ll just have to roll with it.”
Elizabeth just sighed and went to sit on the car. Fin sat next to her, swinging his legs like a kindergartner. The princess, up to this point, had lived a very serious life. She didn’t joke, she didn’t smile unnecessarily. It wasn’t even the fact that she was now a wanted criminal in her own kingdom. What really bothered her was that Fin seemed to be one of the main characters in this story with her. This meant she was going to have to deal with him until this thing ended, or one of them died. And really, she wasn’t sure which she’d prefer.

Offline Rofelam

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Re: Finished Project
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2018, 01:28:12 PM »
Chapter 2

Spoiler
Chapter 2- Children really can be daft sometimes
“You know…”
Good God, he was still going on. Elizabeth had spent the entire night avoiding the castle guards. Fin had spent the entire night saying the most random *censored* ever. He must have gone through fifty topics before midnight. Not to mention everything out of his mouth was some kind of joke. The princess was actually kind of hoping she was captured and killed. Worst of all he was completely useless when it came to fighting.
“It’s kind of weird don’t you think…jumbo shrimp is like some sort of oxymoron…a paradox of some kind…a cruel joke from the heavens to make something so small yet give it such a name.”
Elizabeth put her hands to her temples and said, “You…why do you keep talking?”
“It’s what I was built for.” Fin said shrugging his shoulders.
“Then why do you have weapons?” She said with a clenched fist.
“Well my original purpose was to be a weapon…but that sort of got lost in the shuffle.” He said pulling out his desert eagles.
Elizabeth looked at those weapons and felt a sense of loss. She had an entire nation’s worth of weaponry at her disposal. She was trained how to use all of them like a master. Now all she had was her hands and feet. Both of them were considered legal weapons since she was trained in a number of martial arts. That wasn’t the point though, she wanted the variety a set of weapons could offer.
“What do you think we should do when we find her?”
“*censored* get down.” Elizabeth said pulling Fin behind a mound of scrap metal.
Peeking from behind the rusted junk, Elizabeth saw two low level grunts. It would have been so easy to kill them. Wait until their backs were turned, then she’d snap the one’s neck. Next, she’d take the dead guy’s gun and unload a full clip of lead into the other guard. Oh, how good that would feel. Taking out her frustrations on others was the only way she knew how to do it. If she did that though, more from their group might hear the fight. Then they’d call in reinforcements, and that would just be a real pain in the ass.
“Well I’m going to pop her right in between those dead eyes of her.” The other one said hefting his gun over his shoulder.
“Dude come on…you’ve heard the stories.”
“You mean that stupid one about her putting her whole army to the executioner’s block?” The guard said pushing his friend in the shoulder.
“Damn did you really do that? So badass…” Fin said giving a thumbs up.
“Shut up.” Elizabeth hissed before turning to look at the guards again.
“She’s put the torch to entire cities!”
Clasping his hands together Fin said, “Oh arson, such a wonderful thing.”
“Shut up!”
“You know the one I really believe? That she’s actually a robot…like her heart is made from an old circuit board.” The other guard said as he laughed.
That laugh turned into a scream of horror. Blood splattered onto his helmet from the metal pipe sticking out of his friend’s neck. If it even crossed his mind, at least his death screech alerted the others to what had happened. The rest of their squad consisted of four other grunts. They ran as fast as they could, but all they saw when they got there was the princess standing over their teammates corpses.
“Ooh…*censored*’s about to go down.” The peanut gallery said from behind the trash.
“P-princess Elizabeth…please come q-quietly…” The lead guard said with assault rifle raised.
The princess tore the metal pipe from the dead guard’s throat. The live guards stared into her dead fish eyes with wide scared ones. Before they could fire a single bullet, Elizabeth was high in the air. The two farthest guards looked on as the princess landed heel first into their leader’s head. The next one over got the same treatment as the first guard with a pipe in his throat. She then picked up an assault rifle and kicked the legs from out under the guard closest to her. The guard tried to get up, but Elizabeth pushed him back into the rusty dirt. The last guard tried to fire his weapon, but he instead ran away at the sound of bullets being fired into his friend. He ran as fast as he could, terrified of what he had seen. Or actually it was more like what he hadn’t seen. The princess, her face hadn’t changed a bit while she was killing the others. While he thought this, the guard ended up running right into a dead end.
“Man, you are screwed.” The robotic onlooker said from high atop a pile of trash.
Turning around the guard saw the bloody princess. She was certainly living up to her name covered in the blood of her fallen enemies as she was. He got on his knees and started sobbing, hoping there was even a shred of mercy in her heart. But when he looked into her eyes, he saw nothing. That nothing was the last thing he ever saw, right before he took a bullet to the brain.
“Wow you really are amazing.” Fin said hopping down from the junk pile.
“Yeah…”
Fin went over and started poking the corpse like a kid with a dead bird. Elizabeth didn’t bother trying to get the blood off of herself. They say the Spartans wore red so people couldn’t see them bleed. They also say that her country’s colors were white and gold so people could see the blood on them. Silly what people say about their country and its princess. Elizabeth picked up the fallen guard’s assault rifle since it had more bullets than hers. If she was going to get into another fight, then she’d need all the ammo she could get. Looking into the sky, she saw that it was well into the afternoon. There were dark clouds on the horizon, rain would hit them soon enough.
“We should find cover.” She said to her companion.
“Why is that? Afraid of catching a cold?” Fin replied as he stood up to look at her.
“I don’t get sick.” Elizabeth said as she headed off in search of shelter.
“Oh well aren’t we little miss perfect?” Fin mocked following after her.
Elizabeth wasn’t worried about getting cold or wet. She had been in far worse situations than a little light rain. Still, she knew the same applied to the castle guards, they’d be out in the pouring rain the rest of the day if needed. She needed to find a place, a stable place, to lay low. Preferably this place wouldn’t give her tetanus. It would also be nice if the shelter was too small for both her and Fin.
It began raining within an hour, and it was a heavy thing. Unfortunately, the blood that soaked the princess could never be gotten rid of by something so weak. It kept on raining well into the night. It got so dark that even she had trouble seeing through the stuff. The clouds had blocked out all moon and starlight. The castle guards wouldn’t be able to find her under a clear full moon let alone tonight. Midnight had come and gone when they finally found some light to follow. What it ended up leading them to was a cottage. Mismatched sheets of metal served as a roof for crumbling stone walls. Adjacent to it was a forge, another thing left over from the old times.
“Should we stay here old buddy of mine?” Fin said cheerfully, as if they weren’t being hunted on a cold rainy night.
Hearing him say buddy like that was a real annoyance to the princess. She didn’t have friends, not even with people she liked. At the best of times, Fin was an intolerable pest, at worst he was dangerous weapon that could turn on her. Walking past him she went to the door and knocked three times. Behind the door they could hear someone stumbling about as they tried to find the light switch. Finally, the light did come on and the door opened.
“What the hell are you knocking at my door for?” An old man growled as he opened the door.
He was gray haired and balding. The only facial hair he had was a goatee and thin mustache. Pink piggy slippers kept his feet warm and an old nightgown hid his wrinkly body. Coming up behind him was a young boy with short black hair and tan skin. Their almond eyes signified that they came from the kingdom of Zhou. Well known for their horse back riders, they had made a formidable foe in an ancient war. Now they made even greater allies for the Mysore.
“Well?” He shouted over the thunder and rain.
“We seek shelter.” Elizabeth said in a commanding voice.
“And I seek a good night’s sleep. Why should I let you in?”
“If you don’t I’ll kill you.” She said in all seriousness.
“Whelp…make yourself at home…there’s a couch you can sleep on and I’m sure I can find some clothes for you and your friend.” He said trying to get a better look at them.
Stepping past him, she knew very well what he was going to say, so she said preemptively, “If you say anything about me…”
“Yes, I know…kill me blah blah blah…now who’s your friend…” He dismissed her as he looked at Fin.
His eyes may have been naturally squinty, but they went wide as lightbulbs when he saw Fin and he said, “Oh-uh…hello there…”
Stepping past him as well, Fin said, “Hey there old man, how you holding up?”
Keeping his eyes low, the old man ushered the child back into his room. Going back into his own, the old man brought out a woman’s nightgown for Elizabeth. After he brought out some towels and blankets, he left them to sleep. Only it was pretty much morning by now so they just stood there and listened to the rain. An hour passed and the rain let up a bit, enough to let some natural morning light into the room. The old man came back out and so did the child.
“I guess since you’re guests in my house I ought to make you some breakfast.” The old man said shuffling towards the kitchen.
The young child came up to Elizabeth rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. She stared down at him with her lifeless ones. His mouth opened slightly as he stared back. The princess tried walking away, but the young boy insisted on following her. The little thing even went so far as to grab onto her nightgown. Elizabeth pushed him away with her leg, but he came right back to her like a lost puppy.
The old man laughed hoarsely and said, “That’s little Johnny. I know why such a common name when he’s a Zhou? His parents wanted him to be able to fit in better with the other kids. I said differently, that he needed a proud traditional name but…”
“Make him stop.” The princess commanded.
“Come on I think it’s adorable.” Fin gushed.
Elizabeth deep down thought it was cute too…
“Shove it narrator.”
Well while little miss piss denied her true feelings…
“I said shove it.”
While Elizabeth fought to keep her rising hatred for the narrator from over whelming her, little Johnny clung desperately to her. Fin made faces at her somehow with only his hands. The princess’s normally blank face became marred by a deep scowl. Apparently, she only had two modes, emotionless and angry.
The old man laughed at her face halfheartedly and said, “That’s his mother’s old nightgown. He must think you’re her, not that you look like her that much. Still…you’re not all that dissimilar, you and her.”
“They both have a stick up their ass.” Fin tossed out as a suggestion.
“Had…she…she and my son died a few years back…died in some bloody war…I can’t remember which stinking one it was…”
If he expected sympathy from Elizabeth, he certainly didn’t get any when she said, “If they died in a war they must have been too weak.”
The old man slammed whatever he was holding and said, “I suppose you would think like that miss bloody princess.”
“Oh no! He’s figured out who you are. Now what do we do?” Fin joked.
“Don’t worry…I know if I say anything you’ll kill me and the boy.” He said as he went back to making breakfast.
“All too true.” Elizabeth said, going back to staring at the young child.
“He’s not going to say anything if that’s what you’re waiting for. Hasn’t said a word the poor thing…not since his parents…”
The pair ignored him and went back to…really doing nothing. When breakfast was done the only ones who ate were the old man and Johnny. Elizabeth picked at her food but didn’t eat much. She had never really needed substance other than the standard rations given to soldiers. This was partly because she didn’t get hungry often. It was also because food just didn’t give her the pleasure it so readily gave to others. Growing up there had always been great feasts to celebrate one thing or another. Watching her brother sit there and enjoy food with their father, she had always thought she was missing out. But that was just her being weak, she just needed to get over it.
When Johnny pushed his plate away, the old man said, “Now that you’re done, why don’t you go outside and play in the mud?”
Johnny gave a nod and pulled on Elizabeth’s nightgown, to which the old man said, “He wants you to go outside with him and watch.”
“No.”
“Don’t be so cruel…he just wants his mommy.” Fin snickered.
While she glared at him, Johnny’s grandfather said, “His mother used to do it all the time. They both loved getting down and dirty…”
“Hey man that’s the bloody princess, she doesn’t react to sentiment.” The robot said wagging his finger.
The little boy kept tugging and finally she relented. It wasn’t like she had anything better to do. So, while the old man cleaned up, the other three went outside. Johnny immediately went diving into a big puddle. Fin leaned against the wall, and Elizabeth sat on an old rocking chair. The young kid rolled about in the filth and squished it between his fingers and toes. After some time, he brought what looked to be a mud pie to Elizabeth. She gingerly took it and held it until Johnny went back to playing in the mud. After that she put it down on the porch floor and went back to watching.
“This makes me remember my childhood…well it would if I had one.” Fin said flicking his hand about.
Elizabeth’s childhood consisted of training and more training. If she was lucky, she’d have a tutor come in and teach one of various subjects. At least that way she could have her body take a break. However, that didn’t mean the mental strain was any less. It took a lot to be a princess, well a good one for sure. It also took a great deal to be a good leader, especially during a heated battle. Both her and her brother excelled at most things, though they decided to take different routes to serve their country.
“Princess you can make even a plain thing such as that beautiful.” Goldilocks said walking up to them from around a junk pile.
At his sides were a dozen heavily armored men and women. Rocketeers, melee experts, sharpshooters, all of them most likely the best of the best. The princess stood up and got ready for a fight. Before she could charge in, a move that would have certainly led to her death, the old man came out with a sword in his hands.
“I hate you and your brother for killing my family…but if I had to choose between you and a dozen armed men…well, Johnny seems to like you, so I’ll just have to go off that.” He said handing over the sword.
It was a gold eagle headed ivory grip sabre in a white and gold scabbard. When she drew the sword, Elizabeth could see it was made of Damascus steel. If it had been made by the old man, then he was a master of his craft. Giving it a few test swings, it felt perfectly balanced in her hand. Touching her finger to its edge, she knew that this was a very sharp sword. The princess gave it one final swing and faced off with the captain.
“Princess…” He started as he walked towards her.
“Johnny come inside.” The old man said motioning for his grandson.
As Elizabeth walked towards the group of men and women, Johnny passed her. As he did, as if he knew the danger she was walking into, the young boy gave her leg a quick hug. This stopped her in her tracks. As the little kid ran off, Goldilocks and his guards laughed at the show of concern. Elizabeth for her part felt strange. People didn’t show concern for her, they knew she didn’t need it. So why did he? He just met her, even if he did think she looked like his mother.
“Princess, that was the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. Did you give into your maternal instincts and adopt a little foreign kid?” Goldilocks said slapping his armored knee.
The princess wasn’t amused. She started walking towards them again, her feet slick with mud. The captain smiled and signaled with his hand the rocketeer to fire his RPGX. The man got on one knee and turned the “lock on” feature off. He was so close there was no way he could miss this shot. Taking a deep breath, he pulled the trigger and launched the rocket. It flew straight for the princess, aimed perfectly for her chest. However, it was stopped mere inches away from her by the bloody princess herself grabbing it with her bare left hand. The thing kept on trying to hit its mark, but it couldn’t get past her steel grip. She tossed it back at the group of guards. Most were smart enough to get away, but the rocketeer was so shocked, he just stood there and blew up into a million pieces.
Looking to his remaining troops, the captain shouted, “Don’t just stand there, get her!”
There was one rocketeer left who got ready for when she had an opportunity to fire. That left just five melee experts, and five sharpshooters. The sword wielders charged in, while their friends stayed back and took well aimed shots at the bloody princess. She dodged the bullets until the swordsmen got in close. The sabre wielding princess weaved between all five of them. She used them to block the bullets so well that the sharpshooters fired less and less.
A female swordsman tried to sneak up on the princess while she blocked another attack. Elizabeth quickly side stepped the thrust, and the woman ended up piercing the man she was trying to assist. The woman tried pulling the sword out for another attack, but she was stopped by a sword to her throat. Before she could fall, the princess grabbed the sword from her hand and whipped it into the chest of a gun holder.
With less people in their way, the sharpshooters began firing off more rounds. Luckily these were powerful guns, almost the power level of a sniper rifle. This meant they could only fire one bullet at a time, unless they wanted their arms to be ripped off. The princess used this to her advantage and blocked each bullet with her sabre. Slowly she worked her way to the firing squad. She picked up the fallen guard’s gun and blew the top half of a gun holder’s skull off. Then she shot the remaining bullets into the last two sharpshooters.
Out of bullets, she tossed the gun at the closest remaining guard. Distracted by it, he wasn’t able to block the sword to his gut. Like a ballerina, the princess did a pierrotite and lopped his head off. The last two guards tried to lay down their weapons. All they got for it was a swift sword to the throat and an easy death. She turned to look at the captain, her feet cold and dirty, her clothes and body stained with blood. Oh, how good she felt to be in a battle again.
“Y-you…” Goldilocks stuttered as he surveyed the carnage.
“Man, you are screwed.” The peanut gallery said from the porch.
The captain plus the rocketeer turned and ran for their lives. The princess didn’t bother chasing after the captain, she’d have plenty of chances to kill him later. Walking back, she heard Fin whistle and clap for her victory. The old man came out having watched the whole thing from the window. The kid rushed over gave her leg another hug. She pushed him away, gently, but enough to show her feelings. His grandfather got her another nightgown, and he showed her to the bath.
The water was cold, they must not have had heat for the rest of the house was just as cold. The bloody princess sank below the water’s surface to get her top cleaned off. She also did it because Fin had started going on about the difference between muffins and cupcakes. How could she have ended up like this, she had won countless battle, waged innumerous wars and come out on top.
 Now here she was, powerless, a criminal in a kingdom she once fought for. No. She hadn’t fought for her kingdom, certainly not for her brother or anyone else. Not to mention they hadn’t really needed her. She wasn’t a real leader, there had been others doing that while she delved into endless bloodshed. While the men and women of their armies couldn’t beat her one on one, they could’ve won all those fights without her. Breaking the surface, she once again heard the outside world. Well all she really heard was Fin, but you get what was meant by that. Elizabeth…she stopped thinking about it.

Offline Rofelam

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Re: Finished Project
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2018, 01:29:12 PM »
Chapter 3

Spoiler
Chapter 3- Old men may be perverts, but they can still kick your ass
Elizabeth sat there in a borrowed nightgown listening to Fin prattle on. They were still at the old man’s place. It was midnight on their second night there. Fin was going on about the difference between sharp and mild cheddar. Apparently, he didn’t need to rest in the slightest. Actually, he seemed to be gaining energy as the night went on.
“Elizabeth darling, why are you still up?” He asked leaning in close to her face.
“I hardly ever sleep.”
Looking into her eyes, he said, “That would explain those bags under your eyes.”
The princess put her hand up to her face. Her brother, and her father and mother were beautiful people. She could have been too if she tried. If she used the expensive shampoos her servants brought her, maybe her hair wouldn’t have been so dull. Maybe if she had used makeup, her face wouldn’t be drained of all color. Not that she cared, no man would have her anyways. Those spineless fools were all too afraid of her.
“You really need to take better care of yourself if you want to look good. Now me on the other hand, I just roll out of bed looking good. Of course, I could use some polishing maybe a nice shine.” He said looking at his nonexistent fingernails.
Elizabeth just stared at him with her dead fish eyes and said, “I have no need for something as superficial as good looks.”
Fin just shrugged and went back to talking about nothing. It went on like that for the rest of the night. When morning came, Johnny and the old man came out to have breakfast. It was pancakes with maple syrup. Elizabeth always felt hungrier after a fight, so she had a few more bites than usual. When Johnny was done he pushed his plate away and went to sit on the couch. Other than the couch and a few end tables, there was an old box Tv. It wasn’t so old that the cartoons playing on them were in black and white. Elizabeth got up and went over as well, knowing full well what he was watching.
“Everyone knows that stupid cartoon is just political propaganda…but it keeps him occupied so I let it slide.” The old man said shuffling over.
The princess watched as a soldier in white and gold fought off against the bumbling idiot of an enemy. A little racist it may have been, the pristine soldier had a Zhou sidekick with buck teeth and slanted eyes. The enemy was from the northern kingdom of Volodymyr, and he was depicted as a hairy fur wearing buffoon. The Mysore soldier was a handsome brown-haired man with perfect white teeth. These three had fought each other for decades now.
Elizabeth remembered watching them when she was young with her brother. He had been her best and only friend. It seemed he had such a way with words, her brother could even win over her. He always had friends, the other noble children loved him. They never liked her though. They all talked behind her back, and though she beat the *censored* out of all of them, they kept on doing so. Not her brother however, he only had kind words to say to her. At least that’s how it had been until they were older.
“Princess, if I may have a word with you.” The old man said gesturing for her to follow him.
Fin had started singing the cartoon’s theme song, so she thought it’d be best to leave. The old man brought her back into his room. It was filled with as much junk as there was outside. Clothes for men and women littered the floor. As the princess tried not to step on anything, the old man picked through what seemed to be clean garments. After a few minutes, he had laid out on the bed a set of clothes. A man’s orange vest with a white button-down shirt and black tie laid on top of a red battle skirt. Rummaging through his closet, he brought out some white socks and brown stiletto heeled boots.
“This should fit you well enough…at least until you find more suitable clothes.” He said sitting in an old wicker chair.
“I suppose this means you want me to leave?” She said looking over the clothes.
“Well you’ll have to when I’m gone.” He said rubbing his eyes.
“Gone?”
Suddenly pulling his hands away, he said, “I’m going to die…more accurately I’ll be murdered…by that thing.”
“Fin?”
“Finished project 324…yes, he’ll kill me soon enough.”
“Why would he…”
“You have no idea what that thing really is…what he’s done…”
Getting angry, she said, “What are you talking about? What the hell is he?”
“He’s a monster…a horrible abomination…and it’s our own damn fault…” He said with clenched fists.
“What did you do?” Elizabeth said grabbing his shirt.
“We had to…or else we would have been killed…”
“Tell me now.”
“We treated him like our own personal plaything…and we payed the price for it…”
Frustrated she brought his face close to hers and said, “If you don’t tell me what’s going on, I’ll kill you before he does.”
“You can’t trust him princess…if he were ever to find out about you…”
“Find out what!?” She shouted in his face.
“It started with your father, and now your brother is continuing his mistakes…”
With a disgusted grunt she let go of him. Storming out of the room, she went outside to get away from all the noise. What was going on? Who was the “we” he kept talking about? What did this have to do with her father and brother? What couldn’t Fin find out about her? What the f*** was going on? Her thoughts were broken apart by a gunshot from inside. Rushing back inside, she went back to the old man’s room. She found Fin standing over the old man’s corpse. Johnny was beside his grandfather’s body crying silent tears.
Turning to look at her, Fin said, “Hey princess! Some guys just don’t know when to shut up do they?”
Angrier that she hadn’t gotten answers to her questions, the princess said, “Why did you kill him?”
“Because he was going to spoil my mysterious past too early in the story.” He said with that nonexistent smile.
The princess was furious, she hated not knowing something. If the old bastard had just told her what was going on, she might have prevented his death. Now all she knew was that Fin was a dangerous thing to have at her side. But dammit, she already had figured that out. She was sure as *censored* Fin wasn’t going to explain anything. The old man had also mentioned her father, but he was long dead. That only left her brother, but he certainly wasn’t going to answer her questions.
“Dammit! Fin take Johnny and get out so I can change.” She commanded, picking up her new clothes.
“Righty ho capitino!” Fin saluted.
Fin bent over to pick up Johnny. The little boy struggled to get away, but fin held onto him. Once they had left, the princess quickly put on her outfit. Tightening up the tie, she rolled up her sleeves and pulled on her boots. Leaving the room, the princess went and picked up her new sword. Johnny was still silently struggling as Fin and her left the house. Once they were outside, Fin stopped and held the child at arms length.
“What do we do with this little twerp?”
Taking the crying child from him, Elizabeth said to Johnny, “Shut up!”
This got his attention, but he kept on crying. Elizabeth was filled with disgust at the sight. Even when her father had died, she hadn’t shed a single tear. In fact, she had only been filled with a deep hatred for whoever had killed him. She didn’t let her emotions get the best of her however. Keeping a cool head, she waited and trained until she was ready to find the person responsible. Her only real regret in life was that she hadn’t discovered who the bastard was. Seeing Johnny though reminded her of what she never had, a good enough reason to cry.
“He’s dead but so what? Get over it. You know who killed him. So, get stronger. Get stronger so you can get your revenge.”
“Wait a second, are you telling him to kill me?” Fin asked.
“Listen to me. If you ever want to move up in the world, you need to kill that part of you that’s crying.”
“I don’t think that’s very healthy…” Fin muttered.
“Do you understand me?” She asked setting him down.
Johnny kept on crying, but he seemed to have calmed down a bit. Turning on her heel, Elizabeth started walking away from the house. The young boy, now without any family, followed after her. Fin just shrugged and went after them too. The princess needed time to think. She wasn’t going to stay a wanted criminal forever. Her brother had betrayed her, and he was going to pay for it. But how was she to get at him? Strong as she was, she couldn’t just storm the castle. She needed help, and the only place she was going to get it was in the city.
“So, what’s the plan exactly?” Fin asked as they neared the edge of the mountains of junk.
“I am going to get back into the city and gather my forces.”
“You know, we should also…”
Turning on him, she said, “There is no we. You are just an annoyance and this…orphan…isn’t coming with me any further than he can carry himself.”
Holding his hands up, Fin said, “Woah where’s all this hostility coming from?”
“You managed to kill a source of information. You are useless in a fight. You just piss me off without even trying. You should leave before I kill you…”
“So…you’re jealous of my good looks is what I’m getting?”
Elizabeth for the first time in her life was speechless. Not because of a lack of things to say, but due to her being so choked up with anger. Fin started going on about the difference in their looks. The princess turned the other way and walked as fast as she could. She kept walking, and he kept talking. She could’ve have just killed him, but that would’ve been a fight she didn’t need. She needed to stay in a decent enough condition if she were to get back into the city.
Passing along the outer wall, they made their way to the main gates. Anything and everything passed through here at some point. Most was tribute from other kingdoms. Some of it was things the people had actually traded for. All of it came in giant transport vehicles, nicknamed after the elephant. These elephants were built to hold as much as possible, and survive the harsh badlands surrounding the city. Coming up next to them were guards in vehicles known as mice. Small and agile, they kept off any bandits that roamed the land.
The gate they had to go through was massive. Fifty feet high and just as wide, it barely managed to fit the just as big elephants. They remained open from dawn to dusk, but they could also be shut at a moment’s notice. To get through them, a person, typically a merchant, would need the proper paper work. If you had the proper papers then just about anything could get through those gates. Elizabeth was hoping to use this to her advantage.
Searching the long line of elephants, she found it. A slave merchant with plenty of cargo. These slaves came from all over the world, or at least the parts that were at war with Mysore. Strong men were meant for menial labor, while the women were to end up in some noble’s harem. It was such a common sight, that the guards at the gate didn’t even look in the ship. This laziness was what the princess would use to get in.
“Follow me. If either of you get me caught though…” Elizabeth said leaving the threat open ended.
When her back was turned, Fin flipped her off but otherwise did as she said. They went to an elephant holding slaves that was far back in line. Nobody was paying attention to them. The merchants and guards were already celebrating another good haul. The slaves were held in the back, while the merchants were driving in front near the top. Using the stairs that led up to the cockpit, they snuck in behind the already drunk drivers. Going down into the hull of the ship, the three mingled in with the slaves and waited.
Minutes passed, and finally they heard voices from outside. The merchants were having a good-natured conversation with the guards, as if they weren’t dealing in human lives. Papers exchanged hands, and they were moving again. Elizabeth had come through these gates not a week ago. So, she knew where they were with accurate detail.
“We’re in the city, now what?” Fin asked in what he probably considered a quiet voice.
She held up a finger for him to be quiet and listened. They were on the main road that led all the way to the castle. All along it were various shops and businesses. The elephants would pull into whichever place they called home and unload their cargo. The slave markets were close to the edge of the city. As if on cue, the elephant they were in shuttered as it pulled into the markets. After they stopped, the back doors unlocked and light flooded into the cargo bay.
“I hope you had a plan after this point.” Fin said as the slaves shuffled past him.
“I do, but it’s not a very good one.” She said putting a hand to her sword.
“Hey move it you animals!” A guard said sticking his head in.
Another guard looked over and saw the headless body of his friend collapse to the ground. He tried calling for help, but he wasn’t able to with a sword in his throat. Now outside the elephant, Elizabeth could see the slave markets. It looked like a normal city square, shops and stands peppered the outside square hoping to make a profit on the perusing buyers. In the middle of the square was an auction stand. They must have been taking a break because no slaves were currently on the stage. Nothing was going to start up again, not with all the guards raising their guns to shoot the princess.
The princess picked up the body of the man she had just killed and used it as a shield. The body’s armor made for a good defense against the hail of bullets. Johnny avoided the barrage because no one was aiming that low. Fin dodged with minimal effort as the bullets seemed to bounce off his armor harmlessly. Under fire the group made it into the main street and started running up it.
Bullets made holes in the black asphalt, and chipped the buildings around them. The guards, uncaring of civilian casualties, shot at them through the crowds of people. Elizabeth turned down an alley in hopes of losing them. While she hid behind some dumpsters, the guards ran past. The princess and the others couldn’t wait there though. She needed to find a safe place to hide, and only one thing came to mind.
Running through the back alleys, the two tagalongs somehow managed to keep pace with the princess. Neither of them knew where she was going. Hopefully the same applied to those chasing her. She hadn’t been to this place for a long time. Elizabeth needed it to be safe, if it wasn’t then she had no place left to go. Jumping a fence, they ran head first into a long wall. Before the others could ask, the princess was scaling this as well.
On the other side was a Zhou dojo, worn from years of harsh weather, it still held great respect from the princess. Cherry blossom trees dotted the courtyard, kept alive not by advanced technology, but careful and loving attendance. As they made towards a side door, they passed a koi pond. The fish sparkled in the sunlight. They entranced the young Zhou boy who had only ever heard of them in stories his grandfather would tell of their homeland. As he remembered the old man, Johnny began to cry once again.
“Man, this kid will cry over anything.” Fin said as he kicked a pebble into the pond.
Elizabeth however, wasn’t listening. She was as agitated as the fish were. The fighter knew what was coming, she had gone through this a thousand times. Still, that didn’t stop her from gasping as a katana pressed up against her throat.
“As slow as ever I see.” An old tired voice said.
Elizabeth turned her head, causing her neck to bleed a little. She saw behind her, a grimace on his face, her old master. He was short, only standing at five feet tall. He had the tan skin and almond eyes of the Zhou people. His hair had been peppered with gray the last time she had seen him. Now it was a snowy white along with his bushy eyebrows. She tried to look into his eyes, but the icy blue again proved too much for her.
“Hello Master Shang.”
Pulling his sword away, he allowed her to turn around fully. When she did, she received a hard slap to the face and a grunt of disapproval. The blow itself had never hurt her, but the meaning behind it always left more than enough sting. The old man put his withered hands in his sleeves and walked back to the dojo. Elizabeth knew this meant follow, so she did just that. Johnny pried his eyes from the koi and went after them. Fin being Fin, the robot snickered and made fun of her behind her back.
Inside was a hard-matted floor with no chairs or cushions to protect a person from it. In the middle of the room was a bare wooden table. Her master knelt on one side, his hands folded in his lap. Elizabeth followed suit, as did the younger Zhou. Fin just leaned against a wall and waited for something else to happen in this silent drama.
Master Shang finally broke the silence by saying, “So, the errant student returns after so much time has passed.”
“Master…” Elizabeth said, her voice hollow.
“It seems your bloody ways have finally caught up with you. Now you seek safe haven with the man you once scorned.” The old man said with a calloused tongue.
“It is much to ask…”
“It is everything. Your blind pride and metal heart kept you from me these past years. You left under the notion that I was a fool who didn’t know what he was talking about. Now you expect me to risk my own life to save you, a person who has only ever destroyed lives.” Her master said, somehow shouting without ever raising his voice.
Elizabeth kept her head down as the old man went on, “Get up. Grab your sword and follow me.”
The princess did as she was told and followed. They walked until her master stopped in front of a sliding door. Throwing it open, he went into the middle of the training room and drew his sword. She drew her own sword like all the times before. They had never used wooden swords, each determined to truly hurt the other. Both assumed a fighting stance as the onlookers stayed back.
“Let’s see how much you have learned on your bloody crusades, Eli.”
Regaining her usual anger, the princess went for an over head attack. Though she was by far the stronger of the two, her master had seen many more fights. He easily dodged the attack, but didn’t fall into the trap she had laid out. Turning on him, she swung heavily, hoping to catch him in another feint. These were tired old moves though, that both had used and countered. She then tried to use brute force, but he effortlessly cast her sword aside with his own. Speed, maybe she could use her swiftness…to no avail. Despite his old age, he was quick as ever.
Neither of their faces showed any sign of emotion at first. As the fight went on however, Elizabeth’s face grew more ferocious. She got even angrier knowing that she was losing her cool. It just pissed her off so much that this man never reacted to her attacks. It was as if he wasn’t even fighting, like he wasn’t intent on winning. This made her swing wider and slower, leaving up openings for him.
He took these holes in her defense readily. A cut above her brow blinded her in one eye. A strike to the calf left her leg movement lacking. She continued to get hit, and there was nothing she could do about it. This man had trained her from the beginning. He knew all her tells, all her weaknesses. Just like before, the fight ended with her on the ground, his sword to her throat.
“You have neither the heart of a human, nor the fighting abilities of a machine. So, what does that make you?”
He left her there to wallow in her self loathing and shame. He was going to protect her, she knew that. But what cost would it take, being with the only person who could hurt her.

Offline Rofelam

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Re: Finished Project
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2018, 01:30:31 PM »
Chapter 4

Spoiler
Chapter 4- A human heart is the weakest organ
“You got the *censored* beat out of you!”
Elizabeth listened quietly as Fin reminded her of the fight. They had stayed the night in one of the guest rooms. The princess didn’t need Fin telling her what had happened. She had been thinking about it all night as she lay in her futon. It was just like the last time she had been here. Only now, she was no longer a student. She was a criminal who had been forced into hiding with the man she had never wanted to see again.
“That old dude kicked your ass.” Fin said laughing in her face.
Sighing, she said, “I know he did. I don’t need your loud mouth shoving it down my throat.”
“Maybe if you were to actually listen to someone, you’d win a fight with me.” Her master said through an open sliding door.
“Master…”
“A few new students will be coming by this morning for their lessons. I expect you to stay in here while your friends come with me.”
“Why would they…”
“I found the kid crying last night in his room. I don’t know what the deal with him is, but I don’t want a sniveling brat in my dojo. As for the robot…I’m curious to learn more about him.”
Her master left with Fin in tow to get Johnny. Laying back down, she remembered her first lessons with him…

All the other children were laughing about nothing she found funny. They were all acting like this was a vacation from their other studies. How could they consider themselves nobles, especially when they were all so childish? Elizabeth didn’t want to have anything to do with them, but Master Shang was the best fighter and teacher in the kingdom, so she had to. If she wanted to find and kill her father’s murderer, she’d need to train under him.
“Everyone shut up.” A gray-haired Master Shang commanded.
The other children stopped laughing out loud, but they continued to whisper. Hand on his sword, her new master looked each of the children over. Finally he stopped on her, and he scrutinized her face. Even so young, she had dead fish eyes. Her straight hair went down to her back, and the bangs perfectly framed her pale cheeks. He grunted at her and continued on to the last few children. When everyone had been sized up, he gave them their first lesson.
“As of now, you are all students, no one is better than another. As for how you’ll act around me, you remember how you were just laughing carefree? Well hold onto that memory, because it’ll be the last time you laugh or smile if I have anything to do about it.”
“What can a Zhou do to us?” A boy asked from the far left.
“Remember what I said? No one is better than another. Now that applies to more than just your fellow students, everyone is equal.”
Elizabeth flung her hair back at this, and Master Shang noticed it and said, “You have something to say girl.”
Stepping out of line, she said, “Clearly not everyone is equal. I am by far richer, stronger, and of a better pedigree than any of these low lifes.”
Nodding, Master Shang came over to her and smacked her hard across the face and said, “You must be princess Elizabeth I assume.”
As the others snickered, he went on, “You sure are mature for your age, but to me you’re nothing but a little girl. A little girl like you doesn’t deserve an adult name like Elizabeth. From now on everyone, this snobbish brat will be called Eli.”
Picking herself up, the princess said, “You’re nothing compared to me…how dare you…”
Another smack as he said, “Shut up. You’ll do as you’re told, or I’ll make sure you never learn how to fight.”
She stood there, shocked and furious with how he treated her. This old fool would learn his place soon enough, she’d make sure of that.

“Uh…excuse me…”
Turning her head, she saw a child the same age she was when she first started here. However, she looked completely different from her then. This girl had soft blue eyes with a kindness in them that Elizabeth could never posses. She also had curly blond hair that fell down her shoulders. She was wearing the training clothes Master Shang gave everyone. The girl kept brushing a stray strand of hair from her face as she continued.
“Excuse me but…where’s the training room?” She asked in a soft airy voice.
“What?” Elizabeth replied a bit harsher than necessary.
Jumping back a bit, the girl said, “I-I…I went to the bathroom…and now I can’t find my way back…”
Getting up, Elizabeth said, “Damn fool…follow me.”
The princess led the young girl back to the training room in complete silence. Opening the sliding door, she pushed the girl inside, but not before catching a glimpse of what was going on. Children of the same age were swinging wooden swords in a basic manner. The little girl rushed in and picked up her sword. As she started swinging again, Elizabeth stepped inside and shut the door behind her.
“Alright everyone take a break…except you Spencer.” Master Shang said to the blonde girl.
Looking around, she found Johnny sitting in the corner with Fin crying. Walking over, she could hear the robot making fun of the other kids. Johnny kept on crying, and she could see why when she got over there. His tiny hands were covered in blisters from all the swinging. Elizabeth gave a grunt of disgust. This child was far too weak for her tastes.
“Johnathan…”
“Oh *censored*, she’s using your full name, you know little Eli is serious…”
Little Eli highkicked Fin in the face sending him flying through the wall as she said to Johnny, “If you want to be treated like an adult you should use an adult name.”
From the other side of the hole in the wall, Fin said, “It’s not going to stick if the narrator doesn’t use it Eli.”
“If he knows what’s good for him, he’ll use both our full names.” Eli said.
Tossing debri of himself, Fin said, “Ha! Suck on those eggs Eli!”
“You should let your friends call you Eli.” Master Shang said as he walked over.
“These three imbeciles are not…”
Leaning in close, he whispered in her ear, “You’re already the imbecile who showed herself to a bunch of noble children. If you want to test fate more by using your full name then go ahead.”
Her face may not have changed, but they could feel the anger rolling off of her. She had been so quick to disobey, that she hadn’t thought about the consequences of showing herself. So far none of the children had recognized her. Nobody ever really saw her before all this, she had kept herself out of the public eye. Her brother wouldn’t say she had escaped. If people knew the bloody princess was on the run in their city, they’d lose their *censored*. He was going to cover this all up, say she had died in battle then cremate a look alike. Everyone would be none the wiser, and he could continue his hunt in secret. It wasn’t like she’d reveal she was still alive, that would really end up killing her.
“Johnny…I brought you something for your hands…” Spencer said squeezing past her new master.
Johnny looked up at her and stopped his sniffling. When he stood up, the others could see how short he really was compared to her. This was probably because she was one or two years older than him, but it was cute nonetheless. He held out his hands as she put ointment on his blisters. Next she wrapped them in bandages and gave him a big smile.
“If you have the time to help this bed wetter, I guess you finished your exercise.” Master Shang said looking down on her.
“Oh…uh…well I…”
Bringing his fist down on the top of her head, he said, “You’ll do another set, and as for you cry baby, you’ll keep swinging that sword until you bleed through those bandages. Now move it the both of you.”
The other kids started to laugh, but they stopped cold when Master Shang set his gaze on them. Eli looked at the two children expecting to see them crying or at least frowning. But the two brats were actually smiling as they swung their wooden swords. While she was a little disappointed, Master Shang nodded approvingly and went to get the others rounded up. Eli had never felt envious of anyone, and if she did feel a twinge of something, the bloody princess would just crush whoever it was. That’s how it had always been, even when she was little.

“Hey corpse face.” A boy said to her one morning.
They were having breakfast in the courtyard, and like always the princess was sitting by herself. The other children seemed to have formed one group that opposed her. They were constantly whispering behind her back, but in a way that she knew damn well what they were saying. A spoiled brat was what they called her, amongst other insults.
“You’d have to be human to be a corpse.” Another boy said.
The first boy smiled and said, “Yeah, you’re a robot.”
This got a few girls laughing. They laughed even more when the boys started moving their arms and legs like robots. Little Eli got up and walked over to the boys. Still smiling, the first boy took a punch to the mouth that knocked a few teeth out. While the rest of the children looked on in horror, Eli kicked the other boy in the shin so hard, they could hear an audible crack. The young princess loomed over them and was about to take it further when Master Shang came outside.
“Everyone but Eli, take these two crybabies to the infirmary.”
The kids quickly got their friends and left. Master Shang now loomed over the princess. Before she could raise her hands, the old Zhou smacked her across the face. Picking her up by the hair, he dragged her to the koi pond and made her look into the water. She tried pulling away, but he had an iron grip on her and wasn’t letting go.
“Look in there and tell me what you see.”
“Let me go you wretch…”
“Tell me what you see, or else you’ll be taking a swim.”
She stopped struggling long enough to stare at her reflection and say, “I see a strong princess…who would execute every Zhou in the kingdom…”
He pushed her face into the water, and when he pulled her out he said, “You know what I see? A heartless robot who is lying to herself…”
“Don’t call me that!” She said resuming her struggle.
“That’s what you are. An emotionless…”
“Shut up…”
“Heartless…”
“Shut up!”
“Machine.” He finished tightening his grip on her.
“I’m a human dammit! I have a heart! I have feelings! I am not a f***ing machine!” She cried pulling away so hard, Master Shang was left with strands of her hair in his hand.
Eli picked up a rock and threw it as hard as she could at her master. He caught it, but it still hit hard enough to cause his hand to bleed. The princess was splashing in the pond, picking up any rock she could find. She kept throwing them at Master Shang, but he dodged them with ease. Now soaking wet, Eli flung herself at the old man in hopes of harming him. He just side stepped her and brought his scabbard into the back of her neck. She tried to get up and attack again, but her master put his foot to her back and kept her down.
“Let me go so I can kill you!” She yelled through a face full of dirt.
“Letting you up before you calmed down would only result in your own demise.” Master Shang threatened.
Eli screeched and dug her nails into the ground. She kept on struggling for a good half hour before she ran out of resolve. The old man picked up the exhausted princess and slung her over his shoulder. The other kids watched from behind half closed doors as their master took the princess away. He brought her to her room and laid the girl on the floor. He knelt beside her and waited for her to catch her breath.
Finally, she said through clenched teeth, “Take it back…”
“Take back what?” The master said folding his arms.
“I’m not a machine…I’m a human being!” She shouted in his face, but otherwise she kept away from him.
“And when have you ever showed a human emotion? Besides anger of course.”
She stared at the ground panting in frustration as she thought about what he said. She had showed human emotions before, hadn’t she? Looking back on her short life, she couldn’t think of one time she had ever been happy or sad. All she did was frown, not once had she smiled. She didn’t even cry when her father died, or when her mother passed as well. So what though? She still had humanity, at least she had thought so.
Nodding at the confusion on her face, Master Shang said, “You must realize your problem before you can fix it.”
“I don’t have a problem…” She spit at him.
“Your heart is metal and has been so from birth…do you know what it truly means to be human?”
“A person has to be…”
“Wrong. It is not about the person themselves, but the people around them. A machine fights only for itself, a human is capable of fighting for more than that.”
“Figthing for another is foolish…”
“Such is what it means to be human. We fight for others knowing full well how stupid it is.” He said trying to impart some wisdom on the princess.
“There’s not a single person who is worth fighting for.”
“We know that too, but it is the compassion in our hearts that makes us continue our foolishness, something you seem to be lacking.” He said, his own compassion evident in his voice.
Turning her back on him, she said, “I’m still human…”
Getting up with a sigh, he replied, “You say you’re human, yet you don’t want to take the responsibility of being one. If you keep on like this, you’ll never…”
“Shut up.”
Master Shang shook his head and left her alone. Eli sat there in her room, telling herself again and again that she was indeed human. Only it was a lot harder to say now.

“Hello…”
Snapping back to reality, she saw Fin waving his hand in her face. Looking over, she could see that Johnny and Spencer had finished their exercises. The two were still smiling, comrades on a secret wavelength. That human connection was what Master Shang was looking for in all his students. He believed only a person with a human heart could be a great fighter. His philosophy was, you need a good reason to really fight, and what better than someone you truly cared about. This reasoning was why so few nobles made it through his rigorous training. Humanity just wasn’t a luxury the nobles needed or even wanted.
“Come on, it should be lunch time by now.” Eli said before walking away to the courtyard.
The two children followed after her as did Fin. When they got to the courtyard, all the children were eating lunches they had prepared themselves. Living with Master Shang taught them to be self sufficient. This was another reason so many of the students couldn’t make it here. They cooked and cleaned, then they trained the rest of the time. On very rare occasions did they have free time that wasn’t filled with eating or sleeping.
“Where do you want to sit Johnny?” Spencer asked her new friend.
The little Zhou pointed at the koi pond, and so they went there to sit. Eli knew when she shouldn’t be around, and she made a point of sitting away from her master. So, she ended up sitting under a cherry blossom tree that was in full bloom. She had no idea how he did it without the tools a normal person would use. Every spring without fail, all of Master Shang’s cherry blossoms would bloom beautifully. She had asked him about it once. All he said was that it took a human touch, much to her ire. An annoying shadow passed over her face. When she looked up, all she could see was Fin and his stupid nonexistent face.
“Leave me be.” She said.
However, he wasn’t paying attention to her as he said, “I’ve always loved cherry blossoms.”
“Why is that?” She said with minimal curiosity.
“Where I was built was nothing but metal and machinery. The people there needed food though, so they had a garden, and there was a cherry blossom tree in there. Something about beautifying the workplace…me and her spent a lot of time there.” He said lacking his usual upbeat energy.
A little more curious, Eli said, “Who would ever want to spend time with you?”
“Nobody really…just a girl I knew.”
Now her curiosity was peaked. She had never thought he could have a setting other than crazed enthusiasm. Whoever this girl was, she must have had one high tolerance if she could spend time with this clown. Eli was thinking of more than just the girl though. Fin, he was a wild card in all of this. The one person who knew anything about him, the robot killed. Apparently he was some kind of monster, but so far he hadn’t done anything in the fights before this. He had killed the old man for saying things, but where were the people who had made him?
“You’re a strange machine.” Eli said to him.
“As are you princess.”
Two of the castle guards were standing in the doorway that lead to the courtyard. They must have been grunts, because both only had a simple assault rifle. The pair must have been patrolling the streets looking for her. Most likely they had been ordered to search every house and business. If luck was on the princess’s side, they hadn’t told anyone they were here.
“Children go inside.” Master Shang said as he stood up.
“The royal trainer hiding the bloody princess. I always knew a damn Zhou couldn’t be trusted.” The guard said closing in on Master Shang.
His friend pointed his rifle at Eli’s head and said, “I wonder, if I shoot you will oil come out?”
Standing up herself, Eli drew her sword and said, “Keep that loud mouth of yours open so I can cut your tongue out.”
The other guard got so close to Master Shang his rifle was only a few inches away. It looked like he was about to say something, but all that came out was a bloody gurgle. Sheathing his sword, Master Shang advanced on the other guard. The guard made the mistake of turning his back on the princess. Next thing he knew, there was a sabre sticking out of his chest. Eli sheathed her sword as well and watched the man’s body drop.
“I suppose I have to leave now.” She said to her master.
“Knowing these idiots, they probably haven’t reported in for a while.”
“So what then?”
Turning to look at Fin, Master Shang said, “Robot, do you know how to use a shovel?”
“If it means I get to bury two bodies, sure I do!”
“Good. Follow me and I’ll show you where to bury them.” Then turning to the princess he said, “As for you, go to your room and don’t come out. There may still be more guards lurking about.”
She nodded and went back to her room. The children watched her through half closed doors. They must have been afraid, for when she cast her eye on them, they’d jolt back and slam the door shut. Finally, she reached her room and closed the door behind her. She would never understand Master Shang. If she had been in his position, she would have given her over. This then must be his damn compassion. As far as she was concerned it was a weakness. Besides, there were other ways one could be human…right?

Offline Rofelam

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Re: Finished Project
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2018, 01:32:05 PM »
Chapter 5

Spoiler
Chapter 5- The fool is always best with a knife
A week had passed and more guards did indeed come. Eli stayed hidden away in her room. The students didn’t know what was going on, but they obeyed their master when he said to keep quiet about her. Master Shang told all the guards off in a scary enough manner that they didn’t press the issue. Eli and her master knew they’d keep an eye on the dojo though. This meant she was never to go outside the walls. At the very least, she was able to roam about the halls and sit in the courtyard with the others. She even took the opportunity to sit in on the training sessions.
“Alright everyone, first I’ll be training you in swordsmanship.” Master Shang said to his students one day after a rigorous exercise.
“What were all these stupid exercises for then?” A large boy named William asked.
Giving the boy a swift crack on the head, Master Shang said, “To weed out anyone who isn’t capable of real fighting.”
This was how it worked. The first week was designed to intimidate and frighten the students. If it wasn’t the itense training, then it was having to eat their own handmade food. If the poison they had to make and eat didn’t get rid of them, it was being away from all the luxuries they once knew. If that didn’t scare them off, then having to live with Master Shang was the final clincher.
Of the original twelve that started, only three were left. Spencer and Johnny had somehow pulled through. William had bullied his way to the top. These children had survived Master Shang’s first test. Now they were on to the real challenges of training with the old man.
“You’ll be using the previous exercises as a foundation for the next part of training. Hopefully you built up enough arm muscle to swing a sword for a few hours.” He said, handing each of them a real sword.
“Master…” Spencer said.
“What?” Master Shang said staring her down.
“Uh…I mean…isn’t it dangerous to use real swords?” She said flinching from the anticipated attack.
“It is, which is why you’ll be using your wooden swords to first learn defensive techniques. Then you’ll move onto offensive. While you learn those though, you’ll have to keep that sword in pristine condition.” He said before turning to Eli.
“Master?” She asked.
“Get over here and attack me so I can show these kids how to defend.”
“With pleasure.” She replied, getting up and going over to him.
Looking at his students, Master Shang said, “Watch closely. You won’t be able to do something like this for quite sometime, but it’s good to have a goal to reach for. Eli if you will.”
The princess drew her sabre as her master drew his katana. Faster than the children could follow, she brought her sword behind her head and whipped it back down onto the old man. Master Shang blocked the attack just as swiftly. Next thing the children saw was a whirlwind of attacks. Eli did her best to beat down her master, but the old man blocked everything she threw at him. Sparks flew, and the cold ring of metal on metal sounded throughout the training room.
Never looking away from his opponent, Master Shang said to the children, “Now for something a little more advanced.”
As Eli tried again to break through her master’s defenses, he did a move the children wouldn’t be able to do for a long while. The next and final time the princess swung her sword, Master Shang met it with his own. Before she could pull back for another attack though, her master sprung his counterattack. Keeping his arm straight, Master Shang drew a circle with his katana. Eli’s sword got caught up in this move, and with a flick of the wrist Master Shang ripped her sword from her hand.
“Wow that was amazing!” Spencer said, clapping her tiny hands.
Silent Johnny clapped as well while William begrudgingly said, “Yeah I guess that was pretty good.”
Picking up her sword, Eli said, “I let you do that.”
“You don’t let anyone do anything against you.” Her master said.
“Just admit you got owned.” Fin said as he came over.
“Shut up.” Eli said, sheathing her sword.
Putting his arm around her, Fin said, “Come on, admit that you aren’t the great fighter you think you are.”
Grabbing his wrist, Eli tossed him into the wall as she said, “You’re the one who can’t fight. You’ve done nothing in any of the fights so far fool.”
“I don’t have any reason to fight.” The robot said, picking himself up.
“Then why did you kill the old man?” She asked with no emotion in her voice.
Shrugging, Fin said, “He was just a loose end I had to tie up.”
“Enough you two. My students need to practice, and since we only have three left I’ll be the youngest’s sparring partner.” Master Shang said, going to pick up a wooden sword as well.
William and Spencer faced off while Master Shang and Johnny did the same. The large boy seemed to enjoy swinging at the young girl as hard as he could. She only blocked a few of his attacks, getting hit with the rest. The older Zhou was no less tough on his younger opponent. The old man swung hard and fast, the little boy barely blocking any of his attacks. It went on like this for an hour, by then the two smaller combatants were too bruised to continue.
“You two take a break. I’ll keep going with William.” Master Shang said with a harsh bark.
Johnny was crying again, but fortunately he had Spencer to comfort him. The pair sat against the wall and let their bodies rest. Fin went over and started making jokes about how William was fat like a pig. This cheered Spencer up a bit, but Johnny kept his eyes low and ignored the robot. It looked like the young Zhou still held a grudge against the murderous machine. It reminded Eli of herself after her father was killed.
She had always been a cold child. After her father died though, it had just gotten worse. She’d become more and more reclusive, only really talking to her brother and mother. Anyone who did try to get to know her, well they were shot down immediately. She was such a heartless person to everyone, that people began to say she was a robot. It became a runnng joke, said by people behind her back. She would never admit it, but that was probably the only thing that ever really hurt her.
“Hey Eli, want to go get something to eat?” Fin asked, shaking Eli from her thoughts.
“Neither of us eat you fool.”
“I mean we should go watch the kids eat, honey bunches.” He said, putting his arm around her again.
Grabbing him by the wrist again, she tossed him out through the open door. He slammed into the wall on the other side. Still, he was laughing like nothing was wrong. Hearing him, seeing him, just being within a ten foot radius of him pissed her off. She had never seen a bigger dud of a weapon. Whoever had made him must have been high as a kite. Fin was just a smart ass loser of a machine.
“Come on, the kids are already outside with their lunches.” Fin said, heading towards the courtyard.
“Damn fool.” She muttered to herself, before going after him.
Outside in the courtyard the pair of friends were munching away at some apple slices. Fin went over and sat underneath the cherry blossom tree from before. Eli tried to stay as far away from him as possible. All of a sudden, she felt very uneasy. It was the kind of feeling she got before a battle. There, she could hear it. Air ships flying above them, but she couldn’t see them. A cough from outside the walls alerted her to the presence of enemies. They were being surrounded, and by a lot of people at that.
Master Shang came out into the courtyard and said, “Children, go to your rooms and don’t come out.”
Spencer pulled an apple slice from her mouth and said, “But why…”
“Do as I say, and no matter what you hear stay inside.” He said, putting a hand on his sword.
The children got up and ran inside. As they did that, Pooridge Eater walked in through the main gate. He had come with far more men and women than the measly group he had before. They were all pouring in through the gates, filling up the courtyard around them. Each of them were equipped with rifles and swords and grenades. Out of the sky came two fighter ships, each with missiles and a machine gun attached to them. Goldilocks had brought a small army with him, intent on killing her.
“Elizabeth…I hate to say, but this little chase of ours is coming to an end.”
“Indeed it will end, especially when I cut off your head.” She said, drawing her sword.
“Such bold words when I have a hundred guns pointed at you.”
Fin chose to pop in at this moment and say, “Hey Goldilocks, how’s it going?”
“My name is not Goldilocks you errant fool!”
Holding his hands up, the robot said, “Woah did I strike a nerve? I hope you don’t take your anger out on me.”
“What would you do if he attacked you anyways?” Eli asked, never taking her eyes off the captain.
“Yes, what would you do Finished Project 3…2…”
It was as if everything suddenly slowed down to a snail’s pace. One thing broke time’s hold on them though. Fin rushed the hundred guards, somehow having drawn his Damascus steel katanas without them seeing. Then he was soaring above his enemies. Like a tire heading for a defenseless animal, he spun as he fell towards Captain Morgan. The fact that he could only fall so fast was the only thing that kept the captain alive. Steel swords shot out of his arms just in time to block Fin’s attack.
“S-someone…” Was all Goldilocks got out.
A soldier nearby raised his rifle and shot at Fin. That was the last thing he ever did as Fin went low and fast at him. Coming back up, Fin skewered the man with both his swords. This kicked everything off, as now all the guards were aiming at him. Some of the men and women got between him and the captain. These brave souls were the first to die. Weaving through them, his swords sliced through armor to pierce flesh. He was back to the captain, but the coward ran and hid in the mass of guards.
The robot tossed his swords into the air, pistols appearing in his hands. He shot the first four bullets into the skulls of his foes. The next four went through their throats. The last six ripped through their hearts. Two magazines popped out of his legs. Using one hand for each gun, he reloaded them both. Back at his sides, the robot caught his swords and shot forward into the enemy.
The princess and her master stood there shocked. They watched as the thing they thought was a fool tore through the crowd of guards. A scream from the captain snapped them out of their trance. He had ordered the ships to open fire on Fin. Rockets and bullets alike flew at the robot. Fin ducked and weaved, dodging all of them. He’d use both dead and live guards to block the bullets. Whenever a rocket came at him, he’d jump over it and let it sail harmlessly past him to explode a group of guards. As he moved though, he got closer to the dojo itself.
“We have to stop those ships before they kill the children!” Master Shang shouted above the fighting.
“Cover me!” She yelled back.
The princess ran for the dojo as fast as she could. Guards tried to get in her way, but Master Shang cut them all down to clear a path for her. Leaping up onto the roof, she got close to the ships which were hovering about ten feet away from her. Whether he planned it or not, Fin helped her out by getting the ships to fly a bit closer to her. When they were in jumping distance, she got onto the wing of one of them.
Bullets wizzed past her as she tried to get to the pilots. Somehow staying balanced she got to one of the cockpits and saw the guards through the alumina glass. Though the material itself was too strong to the break for a normal person, she wasn’t normal. Taking her sword in both hands, she brought it down hard on the glass. A hair thin crack appeared, not much to look at, but progress nonetheless. She kept at it, and finally her sword broke through the the glass and one of the pilots.
Pulling it out someway, she angled it so she could get at the co pilot. A stray bullet hit her in the shoulder, making her grip slacken a bit though. She quickly tightened her grip again and pushed the sword through into the second pilot. With no one steering, the ship spun out of control and crashed into the ground, killing men and women in the progress. Tuck and rolling, the princess hit the ground and was back up ready to fight. She saw Master Shang keeping enemies from getting inside. It looked like there was only thirty guards left. She was about to go for the other ship, but Fin beat her to it.
The remaining ship landed, and the cowardly captain pulled out a pilot to get in himself. Gaining altitude, it seemed he was going to abandon his troops. Fin was having none of that though. Cutting his way through the guards, the robot did the same thing as the bloody princess had done. When he was up near the cockpit, Fin pulled out his shotgun and proceeded to blast his way to the captain. In response, Goldilocks took control and began thrashing the ship about trying to get Fin off. However, the robot was like a bug stuck to a windshield and wouldn’t relent. Spinning out of control the ship fell to the earth much like the first.
Pulling himself from the wreckage, the captain screamed, “Kill him! Kill him! S-somebody…”
There was only a handful of them left, and they knew a lost cause when they saw one. Fin covered in fire and debris, walked over to the captain. The robot kicked the pooridge eater in the stomach, and it sent him flying into the nearby wall, almost smashing right through it. Before the captain could hit the ground, Fin was punching him in the chest, really sending him through the wall. Captain Morgan landed in the street outside, coughing up some black oil stuff.
Kneeling next to him, Fin grabbed the captain by the throat and said, “Who else knows about me?”
“P-please…”
Fin stuck his thumb into the captain’s eye socket and said again, “Who else knows about me?”
“I don’t…”
Jamming his hand in the man’s mouth, he ripped out a handful of teeth and said once more, “Who else knows about me?”
“The king! The king knows…please…don’t kill…”
Fin squeezed on his throat tighter and pulled. A sickening pop, and Fin was standing back up, the captain’s head in his hands. The princess and Master Shang again stood in shock as the robot turned to look at them. All of a sudden his jokester appearance seemed like such a falsehood.
Dropping the captain’s head, Fin said in his usual tone, “Whelp Eli my dear, I hate to say it, but it looks like I have to kill your brother now.”

Offline Rofelam

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Re: Finished Project
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2018, 01:33:05 PM »
Chapter 6

Spoiler
Chapter 6- If the pot calls the kettle black, is it still racist?
“Does this disguise make my butt look big?”
“Will you shut up about your stupid ass?” Eli hissed back from underneath her straw samurai traveling hat.
Flipping his own straw hat up to see her, Fin said, “Just because you have enough courage to go around like this doesn’t mean we all do.”
“Shut up, the both of you.” Master Shang said in a low voice.
After the battle, the three fighters had quickly sent back two of the children to wherever they had come from. Johnny unfortunately had to stick with them. With no where left to run to, Eli was forced to look to her master again for help. He had just grunted and said his time as a royal trainer was over. Then he told them to grab their weapons and follow him.
“Master if you would just tell me where we’re going…”
“I’ll tell you this, I’m going to take a job offer, and hopefully that will be enough to have them keep us hidden.” Her master said, stopping before he rounded a corner.
Peeking around, he saw a group of guards. To a normal citizen, they would have appeared to just be patrolling the streets. Their group wasn’t normal though, and they knew what the bastards were really doing. The king had a tough time covering up the carnage left behind at the dojo. People had known and respected Master Shang. So it was difficult to believe the king when he said that the old man was a traitor. Of course, he had also been killed in the battle, along with any of his cohorts.
“Come on, we’ll go a different way.” The man in question said, pulling back and going for a nearby alley.
Right now they were half way through the housing area of the city in the west. The merchants and shops were down in the southern part. To the east was where the factories were. There they met the endless need for weapons and equipment to fight. In the middle was the castle, a large wall surrounding it as well. To the north was where the nobles lived. Small mansions designed in a medevial sense littered the man made rolling hills.
Where they were now though, it was nothing like the north. Towering skyscrapers made to hold as many people as possible in some luxury were closest to the castle. The farther a person got from the center however, it only got worse. Wooden and stone buildings, all in much need of repair lined the dirt streets. It was the lower class Mysore people who lived here, along with any immigrants who had mistakenly thought coming here would give them a better life.
“Man this place still looks like *censored*. I mean I was here years ago, you’d think they’d have cleaned up a bit.” Fin said, kicking at a dead stray cat.
“My brother always said he’d fix these slums, and people loved him for it…” The princess said as she waited for Master Shang to give the all clear.
“Too bad he only made superficial changes, like every house gets running water, only the stuff is as brown as the diarrhea it gives you.” The old man said, signaling that there were no guards on the next street.
“And if the people ever did rise up and try to change things, I was the one who had to give them the bad news along with a sword to the throat.” Eli said, sticking close to her master.
“”Is that guilt in your voice?” Master Shang asked.
“No. It’s anger that I had to dirty my hands for an asinine reason.” She said back.
“Was killing them really all that bad?” Fin asked to no one in particular.
“Though the bloody princess won’t admit it, it is wrong to kill innocent people…” Master Shang said, keeping away from a group of half naked dirty children.
“Were their lives really worth living though? I mean…maybe they’d be glad to be killed…or at least they would be when they got to heaven and were with their family.” The robot said, tightening his robes around himself.
Eli scoffed as she said, “You’re religious?”
“No, why would I be? I don’t have a soul. Still I need to believe that or else she’d…”
A rumble from Johnny’s stomach brought them out of their conversation. The three fighters could have gone for a long time without stopping, but the little boy was still just that. It was getting close to being dark, the nightlife of the slums would soon awaken. Waiting on the street corner, the group saw lowlifes and thugs come out of their holes. Bars and clubs started up their usual business. Ladies of the night came out to lure men and women alike back to their beds.
“We’re in the red light district.” The princess said, looking as signs began to light up.
The red light district consisted of one long road, much like the merchant’s. It ran along the edge of the city, as far away from the center as possible. Prostitution and other pseudo legal dealings ran rampant here. This was due to the fact that many nobles enjoyed a night out on the town. Not to mention a lot of them had money invested in some of these places. The princess had wanted to crackdown on the criminal underground, but her brother had kept her too busy fighting battles away from the city.
“What are we doing here with these criminals?” She said, disgusted with the blatant disregard for the law.
“Every now and then you need to remind yourself that you’re now a criminal too.” Her master said, leading them to a less filthy looking food stand.
“I’ve done nothing wrong, other than try to keep myself alive…”
Paying the man for a plain hotdog, Master Shang said, “That’s what these people are doing too.”
“They’re doing it in heinous…”
“Evil ways?” He finished for her.
“Yes, they’re criminals who do nothing but harm the well being…”
Fin burst out laughing, and when he stopped he said, “That’s the most hypocritical thing I’ve ever heard. You’re the bloody princess, from what I’ve heard, you’re the greatest terror to walk this earth in a thousand years.”
“I fought for order and my kingdom, these people fight for lust and greed.” She said, desperately trying to defend her position.
“You’re lying, to us and yourself. You know damn well you’re no better than these people you would so quickly condem. Remember, they are the product of your so called order and kingdom.” Master Shang said.
Eli shut up. While Johnny ate his hot dog, Master Shang led them to a brothel down the road. The sign read Creswell’s in bright red neon lights. This building unlike many of the others was actually in very good condition. It must have been five stories high, and it took up a whole block of the road. It was white stone walls and a black wooden roof, with large twin doors leading into the street. The blinds were drawn on the many windows, but they knew which were occupied by the light on inside.
Eli was suspicious of who owned this brothel, so she asked, “Who’s the madam of this place?”
“So you got the nerve to open your mouth again? Well the woman who owns this place is…”
Master Shang was cut off by the body of a man being thrown at them. The man himself wasn’t what they were looking at though. The woman dressed in a red kimono holding a katana much like Master Shang’s, she was what everyone was looking at. The woman must have been her master’s age too, and she was also a Zhou as well. Okay, the narrator couldn’t be the only person seeing the connections.
“Shang you old fart, what are you doing here?” The old woman asked.
“Hello Ching, I’ve come to take you up on that job offer.” Her master said, stepping over the fallen man.
“What happened? Training snot nosed brats got old finally?”
Getting close to her, he said, “You must have heard…”
She leaned in and said in a low voice, “Of course I heard. So, is that her?”
Nodding, Master Shang said in a loud voice, “Yes, this is my grandaughter Eli, as you can tell my son had a thing for Mysore women. The little boy is Johnny her son. The third guy is Fin, and he’s a dumbass who tagged along.”
“I resent that!” Fin said pointing his finger at Master Shang.
Nodding herself, Madam Ching said, “Good the more the merrier. If they’re anything like you, they’ll make wonderful bouncers.”
“I will not…”
“Eli, shut up and come inside before everyone knows that you’re here.” Master Shang shot at her.
Eli again shut up. Madam Ching led them inside to a soft lit parlor. To the right was a bar with a wall of every kind of liquor under the sun. To the left was a small stage with an unmanned grand piano on it. The women and men were all flushed in the face, drunk and enjoying themselves. The men must have been merchants or nobles if they could afford a night here. A person wouldn’t be able to tell though with how plain and unremarkable their clothing was. The women on the other hand had far more grand and revealing clothes. From lingerie to kimonos cut way above the knee, the girls were there to garner attention.
“We’ll sit here for now.” Madam Ching said, sitting on a couch off against the wall.
Master Shang stopped the others from sitting and said, “Don’t, you have no idea what could be on that thing.”
Madam Ching scoffed at this and said, “Always the prude. I’ll have you know these are cleaned every morning.”
“Nothing can clean what has happened on these couches.”
She waved her hand at him and said, “That sort of stuff happens in the bedrooms up stairs.”
“Nonetheless…”
Eli had finally had enough and said, “Why are we here with this woman?”
This woman happened to be the most prominent Madam in the whole kingdom, maybe the whole world. If you owned a brothel, you owed some kind of allegiance to Madam Ching. She was a ruthless foul mouthed brute. She held great power in the underworld and wasn’t afraid to use it. The Madam had enforced a system so rigid and orderly, it made more money than the king’s taxes. The old woman also made a large profit since the girls were all slaves.
Compared to the life they would’ve had, working for the Madam was heaven. This meant they didn’t ask for much or try to run away. Not surprising considering they had better benefits than any other kind of worker. Health care, maternity leave, safe sex measures so they wouldn’t need the other two. These were not the lifeless sex machines you’d think they’d be. They were well educated, lively, and all around fun loving women. Also, they were all above the legal age of eighteen, a law Madam Ching hammered through Eli’s grandfather.
“*censored* Eli, did you hear what the narrator just said? Why are you so upset with her?” Fin said, putting his hand on her shoulder.
Throwing his hand off, Eli said, “She’s whoring out innocent girls.”
“I don’t think any of these girl can be considered innocent…” Fin said, looking around.
“Eli, you’re acting like a damn fool.” Master Shang said to her.
Holding up her hand, Madam Ching said, “Listen here you little bitch, it’s you and your family’s fault it’s like this.”
“What did you call me?”
“A little piss head bitch.”
Eli drew her sword and said, “Call me that again…”
“And you’ll kill me, just like you killed these girl’s fathers and brothers and sons. You’ve personally captured and brought back countless innocent women, and if it hadn’t been for me they’d be knee deep in some Noble’s orgy.” The old woman said, unflinching.
“I…”
“Did whatever you pleased, with no thought whatsoever about those around you. Now you seek to push the blame, your guilt onto someone else. You’ve done nothing but take and destroy. You spout off with all these noble words like you’re an actual human being. But you’re not.” Madam Ching said standing up.
“Shut up…”
Smacking Eli’s sword away, Madam Ching said, “You’re a heartless machine. You do what you’re told, no questions asked. Nothing but *censored* comes out of your mouth, it all means nothing. You’re a robot incapable of feeling or knowing anything!”
Everyone was staring at them. Eli’s sword was dragging on the ground. Master Shang went to say something but the princess was already gone. Madam Ching gave the onlookers a death glare. They went back to whatever they were doing, but now they were in silence. Master Shang sighed as he said.
“And I thought I was the only one who could make her run like that.”
Eli was caught in an array of confusing emotions. The most prominent one was anger, but nagging her was the feeling of shame. What the hell was with old Zhous that could press her buttons like that? She wasn’t in the wrong here. What she did…what had she done? Dammit why was that old hag right? Why was everyone but her always right? She was a human, a real person. She had just done what she was told.
“F***!” She screamed, kicking an old trash can.
She had ended up in an alley. She was surrounded by trash and bad smells. Maybe this was where she belonged. The dumpster was where every machine ended up in the end. What was she? Nothing but a useless machine. Her brother had used her and thrown her away. She had no real purpose left, no battles to fight, no one to fight for. She was so undeserving, she couldn’t even fight for herself at this point. However, not everyone felt like that.
“Hey there little Eli.” Fin said from up on the dumpster.
“Piss off.” She said, and looking down she saw Johnny staring back up at her.
Fin kicked his legs at the young Zhou and said, “He was worried about you.”
“So what? I don’t care.” Eli said, knowing full well that she did.
“Narrator’s right.” Fin said, looking up into the clear night sky.
“Go to hell, the both of you.” Eli said, finally sheathing her sword.
Fin was still looking in the sky as he said, “I remember the first time I saw the moon…”
Eli didn’t look at him as he went on, “It’s funny how everyone calls you a robot, but treats me like a human.”
“You have more humanity than I could ever have…”
“I have nothing of the sort.” He said, still in that joking manner.
“Yes you do.” She said, starting to get pissed at him.
Shaking his head, Fin looked into her eyes and said, “Do you know why I fought those guys, at the dojo?”
“You were trying to keep yourself hidden.”
“Why did you fight them?”
Frowning, she replied, “For the same reason. For no one but myself.”
“Look at your feet.” Fin said, pointing at Johnny with his foot.
“What about him?”
“What you did with that ship, that was to save Johnny and the others.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” She said, actually thinking of what she had done back there.
“I led the ships right to them, and I’ll be completely honest, it wouldn’t have mattered whether or not the kids were killed. As long as I killed those guys, I didn’t even think about the children.” He said, still with that nonexistent smile.
“What are you…”
“I’m a machine. I’m only capable of telling jokes and killing, and that’s because I was programmed to do that.”
“You’re not making any sense.” She said, staring back at him.
“I’m not supposed to. I’m just the comedic relief until the story needs a cop out from a big fight.”
“What?”
Looking back into the sky, the robot said, “You started off pretty bad as a person, but you have this entire story to get better and change. I can’t change, I’m just a robot.”
“What does that even mean?” Eli asked, bewildered.
Hopping off his dumpster, Fin said, “You’re a human dumbass. Only a real person could be as conflicted as you are. I mean jeez, it’s like you’re some kind of dynamic character.”
Eli stood there and watched as the robot went back to the brothel. Looking down, she saw Johnny nod his head and tug on her leg. She didn’t know if the little boy had understood what Fin had said, but he clearly had his own thoughts about her. The princess followed the pair to the brothel. She didn’t really know what had just happened. It kind of felt like Fin was trying to help in his own way. Still deep down, she did know that whatever the robot was trying to say, it was right.
“Shut up ass.”

Offline Rofelam

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Re: Finished Project
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2018, 01:34:37 PM »
Chapter 7

Spoiler
Chapter 7- Popstars work best on their knees
“So the bitch returns.” Madam Ching said, never having left the couch.
Fin stepped in front of Eli and said, “I’ll have you know, that though she may be a huge absolute incorrigible…where was I going with this?”
“I may be a lot of things,” Eli said, looking Madam Ching in the eyes, “But I know for a fact that I’m better than you.”
“Is that so?” Madam Ching replied, picking up her katana.
Before anything could happen, Master Shang stepped in between them and said, “Both of you knock it off, or do you want the guards coming in here?”
Madam Ching glared at him, but put her sword back down saying, “You still think you can fight my battles for me brother?”
“If you keep acting like an idiot, I guess I’ll have to.”
Suddenly the lights in the room went out. From an unknown vantage point, a spotlight illuminated the stage. The grand piano now had one of the girls sitting at it. Next to it was another girl they hadn’t seen before. She must have liked the color green, her hair, eyes, and low cut kimono were all that same shade. Her hair must have been modified to look like that. This was just one of the many augmentations a person could get. Hair color was by far one of the tamer things a person could do.
She had a pretty face. Rosy cheeks with dimples when she smiled. Her teeth white as pearls. In her hand she held a microphone. Putting it to her lips, she took a deep breath and began to sing. It was a high pitch, but not so high it sounded like a squeal. Her voice was a little airy, as if she were playing a wind instrument and not singing. Her singing was smooth and measured, her breaths in between unnoticeable.
She sung about a monster created by the gods. How they would toy with him, make him see things that weren’t there. She sung of how one day, the monster met a girl, and they became close to one another. The gods wanted entertainment and made the monster kill the girl. This made the monster feel such sorrow, and a deep burning hatred. He killed the gods, he killed their creations, he killed everything connected to them. He kept on killing, until finally he was the only one left.
“Thank you so much for listening.” The girl said before bowing.
The girl hopped off the stage and came over to Madam Ching. The men applauded her on the way. They seemed to have completely forgotten their own girls. Whoever this was, she was well liked by the patronage. Madam Ching clapped for her as well. When the girl got to her, the old woman said.
“Lovely as always.”
“Thank you Madam Ching. Who are these with you?” The girl said, looking over the newcomers.
Standing up, the Madam said, “These are our new bouncers, but of course you remember Shang.”
Bowing again, the girl said, “Oh yes, I most certainly do. How are you this night Master Shang?”
“Fine just like always.” The old man said, bowing back.
“Well you dumbasses, are you going to introduce yourself?” Madam Ching barked at the other three.
Speaking on their behalf, Fin said, “Hey how’s it going? I’m Fin, this is Eli, and the little guy is Johnny.”
Bowing a third time, the girl introduced herself and said, “It is a pleasure to meet you all. Everyone calls me Mantis.”
“I’m guessing because you’re green like a mantis.” Fin said.
“Everyone thinks that, but it’s actually because my favorite insect is the mantis.” She said as she giggled.
“That would have been my second guess.” Fin said, laughing with her.
Eli didn’t like her. This girl was far too sweet and nice. Eli suspected that Mantis was really a bitch. She just used this polite act to lure men in. Then when she had them in bed, she’d bite off their heads. The princess had seen it plenty of times. Little miss goody two shoes was always the one who stabbed you in the back. Eli would have to watch this one closely.
“It’s very nice to meet you Eli.” Mantis said, bowing for a fourth time.
“Shove it whore.” Eli said, only to receive a smack in the head from Master Shang.
“At least pretend like you have a nice bone in your body.” Her master said, putting his hands in his sleeves.
“Did I say something to upset you?” Mantis asked, genuine concern in her voice.
Putting his arm around her, Fin said, “Don’t worry, being nice to her is like slapping her in the face, she does this to everyone.”
Mantis however, was not paying attention to what he said. She was trembling, as if something terrible had just happened. Grabbing Fin by the hand, she threw him up into the ceiling. The robot went head first through the next floor. Half his body stuck out of the hole, like something you’d find on the back windshield of a car. The girl immediately looked like she was filled with regret.
“Fin! I’m so sorry, are you okay?” She called up to him.
The robot just laughed and said, “I guess you don’t like it when guys touch you.”
“No she really doesn’t.” Madam Ching said, walking away.
As if there wasn’t a robot hanging from the ceiling, Master Shang said, “Where can we sleep for the night?”
The madam looked at him and said, “The sleeping quarters are on the fifth floor. You’ll get a room with the boy, and the girl gets her own.”
“What about me?” Fin said from up above.
“You get your ass out of there and work tonight! You need to pay for the damage you’ve caused.”
“I say bull*censored* to that good sir!”
“I’m a woman!”
“I couldn’t tell with how much of a hairy face you got!”
Grabbing Fin’s ankle, she ripped him from the ceiling and said, “Clean this *censored* up now!
The pair of them went back and forth after that. A couple minutes later, the onlookers had seen enough and went back to whatever it was they were doing. Mantis left to go back on stage and prepare for another song. Master Shang and Johnny went up to their room since they both had to sleep. Eli sat back down on the couch and ordered a drink from a nearby serving girl.
“A bottle of Old Crow.”
The serving girl gave a nervous smile and said, “I’m not sure…”
“Now.”
“O-okay…I’ll just put it on your tab…” She said, going to get a bottle from the bartender.
When she brought it back, Eli took it without saying a word. Opening it up, the princess took a big gulp of the liquor. She decided to take her time after that, even though she could have downed the whole bottle with no ill effects. Eli could drink anyone under the table and not get more than a little tipsy. She never got hangovers, the worst that ever happened was when she almost peed herself from drinking so much.
“Screw you, you old bat.” Fin said, having had enough of Madam Ching.
The madam just flipped him off and went over to get a shot of something strong from the bartender. Eli had watched the whole interaction, and as far as she could tell, Fin hadn’t taken any of it seriously. The robot didn’t seem to have a serious circuit in his whole body. The only time he did take his joking down a notch was when he spoke of his past. This only served to increase her curiosity of the robot.
Even after half a bottle, her faced wasn’t red in the slightest as she said, “You’re a real jackass, you know that?”
“I’ve called people worse.” Fin said, shrugging his shoulders.
Shaking her head, Eli said, “Why do you do that?”
“Do what?”
“Constantly make jokes, it’s starting to piss me off.”
“And it already wasn’t?” Fin said, laughing in her face.
“You just do it to avoid your past.” She said, putting down an empty bottle.
“Just like you avoid yours with harsh words and bloodshed.” He said, signaling for another bottle to be brought over.
When the new bottle was in front of her, Eli didn’t even look at it. She was too busy trying to figure out how to beat Fin in a game of mental chess. As much as she hated it, compromise was probably her best option here. She could just sacrifice a pawn or two, and in return get him in check. If she wasn’t careful though, her own past would be exposed. Like hell she’d let that happen.
“What’s your favorite color?”
“Blue.”
“Why?”
“I’m blue, duh.”
Opening up her second bottle, Eli said, “Alright, what’s your favorite place to be?”
“Under the moon and stars, yours?”
Holding a half empty bottle, she said, “On a battle field.”
“I took it as meaning a something different then.”
She had finished her second bottle and was ordering a third. Up on stage, Mantis was holding the mike to her lips again. This time she sang in a deeper more mellow voice. She sang about seemingly random things. Waking up in the morning, going on a walk, watching the stars in a truck bed with your best friend. Fin hummed along as Eli got into her third bottle.
“Can you sing?” Fin asked the princess.
“Of course I can, certainly better than that whore.”
“You are little miss perfect.”
Eli realized how stupid this conversation was. She had heard you had to ask off base questions to get the ball rolling. Only now she had no idea where the damn thing was going. Finishing her third bottle, the princess was finally starting to feel its effects. Still it was only enough to cause her to relax a little bit. She knew this would happen, which is why she hardly drank. At parties and the like, she had always secretly wanted to be part of the fun. Drinking a bottle someone had brought, going through about twenty cups of spiked punch, this had always allowed her to let loose, even if it was only a fraction of a tiny percent.
“I’m really not.”
Even after all the drinking, no one liked her any better. She hadn’t gotten any funnier or more friendly. All it had done was make a huge ass out of her. Even though she didn’t wake up with a beating headache, she always regretted her actions the next morning. Many a time had she at least attempted to open up to someone, only to get shut down instantly. Still, she’d always try her stupid plan again, in hopes that it would actually work that time. It never did.
“I think you should go to bed, you’ve had a lot to drink.” Fin said, grabbing her by the arm.
Pulling away, she said, “Piss off, I can drink as much as I want.”
“You’re drunk Eli, go home.” Fin joked as he grabbed her arm again.
“I don’t have a home, not anymore…” She said, trying to finish her fourth bottle.
“Neither do I, but what do you think is worse? Blowing your only home to smithereens, or just getting kicked out of it temporarily?”
“I see what you did there, and I don’t appreciate it…” She said, setting down her fourth empty bottle.
“I think she’s had enough.” Fin said to the serving girl.
Standing up, Eli shouted, “I’ll say when I’ve had enough!”
“So this is what you call a little bit relaxed. Sheesh, you drink a few bottles of whiskey and you start lying in your exposition.”
“I didn’t lie…I down played it…”
“Yeah because perfect little Eli couldn’t possibly be unable to handle her liquor. You’re already riddled with faults. What’s you getting drunk after only a few bottles of 86 proof whiskey going to do to your image?” The robot said, leading her upstairs.
“I have to pee…” Eli mumbled.
“You drunk motherf*****. Get your ass in the bathroom.” Fin said, practically carrying her over to the girl’s restroom.
Luckily there weren’t any girls in there at the moment. Even luckier was that the stalls were big enough that Fin could fit in there with Eli. Sitting her down on the toilet, Fin tried getting her clothes off so she wouldn’t piss in them. The princess however, was still just as strong as when she was sober. She kicked and punched him over and over again. By the time it was all said and done, the entire bathroom was destroyed and he was covered in piss.
“Yet despite all of that, you and your clothes are completely dry.”
Getting her dressed again, Fin tried to get her upstairs when Madam Ching stopped them and said, “You dumbass! You and that bitch are going to pay for all the damages you’ve caused with interest…what smells like piss?”
Sighing, Fin said, “You know it’s funny, a lot of guys would have payed top dollar to go through all this…they are the real dumbasses.”
Dragging the princess’s sorry ass up stairs, Fin managed to get to her room. Flopping her onto the bed, the robot looked over at the plastered girl. She may have rarely slept, but the princess was going to get a good night’s sleep whether she liked it or not. She didn’t dream of anything, just a black nothingness. While she slept, the men and women of the red light district worked. Some simply sold food to the thugs and harlots, while those people sold other things.
When she woke up, she didn’t have a hangover. She’d completely slept the alcohol off, and was ready for the new day. Looking out her window, she could see the few people who operated in the daylight. Mostly it was grunts cleaning up after the activity last night. The guards were in the street, but they weren’t looking for her. The princess could see the white outline of a body. She shrugged it off, it was probably just a drug deal gone bad.
“You still smell like piss!” Madam Ching shouted from ground level.
“I could’ve swore I wiped it all off on Eli!” Fin yelled back.
Sniffing herself, Eli realized she smelled like a urinal. Apparently that bastard didn’t want to be the only one with a piss aroma. She rushed downstairs, maybe if she was quick enough, she could beat the crap out of him before the day really started. Stepping into the parlor, Eli saw that only the people from her group were up. Mantis and Madam Ching were also awake, though the older woman seemed to have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.
“You better hope I don’t sell your ass for scrap metal!”
“It’d probably be worth more than this dump.”
“You’re acting like children.” Master Shang said from a bar stool.
When Eli got close to Madam Ching, the old woman made a face and said, “You smell like it too? You’re both animals! For crying out loud the little brat can take better care of himself!”
Said little brat was having a bowl of Mysoreo’s. Mantis was eating some toast and jam next to him. Her long hair was still wet from the shower she had taken earlier. The girl looked at Eli and gave her a smile. The princess just glared at Mantis until she looked away. Master Shang was having a cup of tea and some toast as well. The other girls had just gotten done with eating dinner and closing up shop.
“Where’s the shower?” Eli asked, ignoring Madam Ching’s tone.
Mantis spoke up and said, “I can show you where it is.”
“And while you’re at it wash my clothes as well.” Eli commanded.
“Oh no, you don’t go around ordering my girls to do stuff. You can get in the shower, and numbskull over here will take your clothes and get hosed off in the streets.”
Fin held a hand up and said, “Actually I only can be steam cleaned…”
“Move it now!”
Grumbling the smelly pair went to get washed. While Eli took a warm shower, Fin and her clothes got shot with a jet stream of cold water. The madam wouldn’t let them use the dryer, so Fin and her clothes had to dry in the sun. The princess came out in a modest red bathrobe to see if her clothes were done. Fin was standing in the middle of the street, the clothes on his arms. They weren’t dry yet, but Eli had nothing better to do, so she stood next to the robot and looked into the morning sky.
“What are we going to do today?” Fin asked.
Folding her arms, she replied, “Stay inside and out of sight.”
“What about what we’re doing right now?”
“The guards on day shift don’t start for another half hour. The night guys are probably slacking off since everyone here is asleep by now.” She said, knowing the schedule well because she had made it.
“Not everyone is asleep.” The robot said, looking up the road.
Where Eli had seen the crime scene earlier, there was a group of men now. They had hard faces with scars and tattoos all over their bodies. The princess knew who these men were from one of the tattoos. An ancient coin balance, it had a gold ingot on one tray and a bag of salt on the other. These then would be thugs from the Koumbi gang. If Madam Ching’s business had an equal, it would be this group.
The king allowed everything, from human lives to drugs, a merchant could make a profit on it. The Koumbi really were just merchants, only they did things a bit differently. A regular merchant would take some of the credits they made selling goods to the Mysore people, and then they’d go buy more goods to sell. The merchant would have his crew of an elephant and mice haul the heavy load back from the different kingdoms. There was plenty of good natured rivalry between the merchants, but with so many things they could buy, and at such low prices, there was plenty of wealth to go around.
The Koumbi on the other hand, they wanted more. Credits were the only thing these men had in mind. They would do anything to undercut and hurt their rivals. Hiring bandits to raid the elephants was a common practice of theirs. Then they’d take those goods and sell it to the people at a lower price than the other merchants. They did this by having their own storefronts, such as a clothing store, or a restaurant. These had become chains, and they made more than enough sales to make up for their lower prices.
Of course, everything was completely legal as far as the law knew. They paid their taxes, and so far had no connections to the actual illegal things going on. They may have started out in just this city, but they were making moves to expand into the rest of the world. There was one thing however, that they did not deal in. This thing was slaves, and it was because the entirety of the gang was made up of slaves and other downtrodden people.
“What’s a whore doing out in the daylight?” One of the men asked, coming over to the pair.
“What’s a baby doing out of its crib?” The princess shot back.
“What did you call me?” The man asked, pulling out a pistol.
There was three of them all together. An ebony Awkar, plus two fair haired and skinned Volodymyres came up to them. Slaves they may have been, they were now the strong arm of the most ruthless organization. The Awkar was about to put the pistol to Eli’s head, when she suddenly grabbed his wrist and flung him over her. The man landed with a dull thud in the dusty road. When he didn’t get up, the other two pulled out their pistols and went to fire.
“Damn whore!”
She was already out of sight though. Looking up, the man farthest from her saw a foot right before it crushed his nose. Using the man beneath her as a stand, the princess lashed out with her other foot, catching the second Volodymyre in the jaw. Hopping off her opponent, the bloody princess snatched the pistol out of one of the men’s hands. Like the Awkar tried to do to her, Eli put the gun to the closest man’s head and blew his brains out. The remaining guy ran to get help, but his knee cap was blown off by a bullet from the bloody princess. He tried crawling away, but she was faster. He tried to shoot at her, but she was quicker. Finally, he tried begging for his life, but she didn’t care.
Walking over, she put a bullet through the Awkar’s skull and said, “Give me my clothes.”
Fin handed them to her and said, “Was that really necessary?”
“Yes.”
“You’re just acting all tough to make up for last night.” Fin said, wagging his finger at her.
“Help me hide the bodies.”
“Okay you murderous little thing you.” The robot said, picking up a corpse.
Eli knew that nothing good would come of this. She had let her pride get the best of her, and now it just might spell her doom.

Offline Rofelam

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Re: Finished Project
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2018, 01:35:37 PM »
Chapter 8

Spoiler
Chapter 8- If you don’t like your family, screw them and go find a new one
“You two still smell like piss.” Madam Ching said as they came into the brothel.
“And you smell like your adult diapers are full.” Fin replied.
“You hunk of junk, I’ll scrap you and turn you into a toilet!”
“Not before I put you in a retirement home, you old bat!”
“Both of you shut up. My student needs to actually think while he practices, and he can’t do that when you’re both squawking like a couple of parrots in heat.” Master Shang said from his barstool.
Eli sat down at the end of the bar farthest from her master. She watched as little Johnny raised the sword he had gotten back at the dojo. Old habits died hard, and Master Shang couldn’t resist reducing someone to nothing just to build them back up again. The young Zhou was busy swinging his sword as a warmup for the real lesson. Mantis who had been watching from a nearby couch encouraged him with kind words.
“You’re doing great.” She said, clapping softly.
“His form is all wrong.” Eli said, scrutinizing the young boy.
“My thoughts exactly.” Master Shang agreed.
“You two are so mean.” Mantis said, seeing Johnny falter a bit.
Eli scoffed at this, “Mean? I’m making sure he can actually take care of himself.”
“But you’re his mom. You’re supposed to be loving and supportive.”
Eli had almost forgotten this lie. Besides a few people, everyone thought she was Master Shang’s granddaughter, and that Johnny was her son. She didn’t like this. She had never wanted a family of her own. All the men around her were weak, sniveling fools. Even if she did feel that damnable emotion love, she’d never feel it for one of them. Not to mention she hated kids, snot nosed brats. They would just be a weakness anyways and hold her back. She already had people she hated and couldn’t get rid of. Why would she want more people who could hurt her?
“Yeah Eli, why don’t you go over there and give him a big hug and a kiss on the forehead?” Fin gushed.
“Just because you’re his dad doesn’t mean you can’t do it.” Mantis said to a quiet room.
Eli made a face like she had just smelled one of death’s farts. Master Shang and Madam Ching looked at each other, and they had a hard time hiding that they were cracking up. Mantis seemed confused. She looked at Fin for some answers but got nothing. Pouting her lips, she had enough and asked what was going on.
“What’s so funny you two? Is it that absurd a dad hug and kiss his child?”
“You slutty, air head, bimbo! He’s not the dad!” Eli shouted, finally regaining her composure.
Hiding her mouth with her hand, Mantis whispered, “Well of course he’s not the real dad, I mean he is a robot.”
“What do you think we are?” Eli said, disgusted with what the answer might be.
“Don’t worry, I’m all for robosexuality. I actually think it’s sweets you two are a couple.” Mantis reassured her.
The princess’s jaw dropped. There were so many things wrong with that. So many horrible things wrong with the very thought of it. Fin had been introduced as a dumbass tag along, not her damn husband. It was so disturbing, Eli couldn’t even find the right words to deny it. After some hesitation however, she looked to Fin, even more worried what he’d say. The robot was silent though.
“Mantis you nitwit, these two aren’t a couple. He’s just an asshole we can’t get rid of.” Master Shang said, after he got his mirth in check.
“Oh, oh I’m sorry, I just thought with how comfortable you two were around each other…”
“You thought wrong.” Fin finally said.
Madam Ching started to laugh again at the ridiculousness of it. Master Shang shook his head and went back to Johnny’s training. Whether the young Zhou knew the implications of what was just said, none of them could know. Mantis, now blushing fiercely, got up and left saying something about needing to practice her songs. None of them really noticed when Fin left the brothel, that is except for Eli.
She decided to follow him. It had become a hot day when the sun reached its peak. People, both criminal and guard were sitting inside with the AC turned all the way up, or at the very least had fans going. The brothel had the luxury of an air conditioner, so when Eli went outside, she started to perspire a bit. She thought it was strange that there would be such a hot day in the middle of spring.
Wherever Fin was going, it was apparent he didn’t care whether or not he was followed. Eli realized this, and she began walking along side him. As they walked north on the red light district road, the pair kept silent. A vendor was selling ice cream, mostly fruit flavors. Fin stopped at this little stall, and from out of nowhere a credit was in his hand. He paid the man for a strawberry cone and handed it to Eli. She stayed silent and took it, only licking the melting ice cream so it wouldn’t get on her.
They ended up stopping at a shrine to the god Baimei Shen. Though Mysore had no religion, and many of the people were atheists, some things had been brought over by the immigrants. This was a Zhou god of prostitution and brothels, so naturally he’d have a shrine on this street. Eli herself didn’t believe in such things. She had been taught that people, especially Mysore men and women, were gods of their own lives. There was no higher being that judged and punished, or did anything for a person. That’s why they had to take care of themselves, and try to live the best life they could, for it was the only one they got.
Fin stared at the stone shrine and didn’t say anything. Eli had no idea what he could be thinking. His normal self was strange, but at least she had gotten used to that. Whenever he was like this, it just felt wrong. He turned from the shrine and kept walking up the street. The princess was right beside him.
Eventually they came to another little shop. This one was selling dumplings. A credit once more appeared in his hand. Only this time, Eli saw it had come from a previously unseen slot in his wrist. He only ended up buying a single dumpling, even though there was a bargain if you got three. The robot handed Eli the pork filled thing. She gingerly took a bite out of it, and then she nodded to the cook, saying it was very good. The princess thought about it, and she decided to eat the whole dumpling.
As they continued to walk, she asked, “Where are we going?”
“I’m just looking for something.” He replied.
“What are you expecting to find on this street?”
“Did you ever wish you could be better?”
Eli frowned at the change in topic, but nonetheless said, “I always strive to be a better fighter.”
“No, I mean like a better friend or family member.”
“I don’t have any friends, and my only living family wants me dead.”
“You saw the title of the chapter.”
Eli folded her arms and said, “That’s an idiotic thing to think.”
“People make new families all the time by getting married and having kids.”
“That’s one thing, but a person can’t just make a family out of random people.”
Looking at her, Fin said, “What do you think makes someone real family?”
“Well…I don’t know. Aren’t you supposed to love them, or something stupid like that?”
Fin laughed, “Yes, something stupid like that.”
“Who do you consider family?”
“No one, because I can’t feel real love. Still, I can pretend to be a friend to people at least, act like I’m a part of their family.”
“Are you talking about that girl?” Eli questioned.
“Why, yes I am.”
“You say all this nonsense and just expect me to understand it?”
He just laughed again and said, “No, so I guess I’ll just have to say it plainly. I’ll pretend to be your friend, since I’m only good at pretending to be things I’m not.”
“I don’t want your friendship.”
“Yeah, but that’s what makes it so fun.”
“You’re such an ass.”
“Come on, if I pretend to be your friend long enough, maybe it’ll become true.”
They had stopped walking. Eli could see that nonexistent smile plastered on his face. What was wrong with him that he said the most random *censored* ever. She’d never understand him, she’d never like him either. Same went for Johnny. The young boy could piss off for all she cared. Maybe there were gods, and they were conspiring against her. They made it so she was stuck with the biggest fools in the world. If she had it her way, the princess wouldn’t deal with anybody unless there was a sword between them.
“Let’s go home.” Fin said, heading back down south.
“We don’t have a home.”
“Home is where the heart is.”
“We don’t have those either.”
Fin just laughed that damn laugh of his. They walked all the way to the brothel. It was getting late, so the men and women of the night were crawling out of their holes. Signs lit up, and the many businesses began prepping for the night. The pair had to hide in an alley or two on the way back. Guards were out and about now that some real action could happen. However, they made it safely to the brothel.
“Where have you two piss heads been? We’re opening shop soon and we need bouncers asap.” Madam Ching berated them as they walked through the door.
“Listen grandma, if you keep on like that, your heart will give out.” Fin said, waving her off.
“Get your asses to work now!”
Fin just flipped her off and went to a corner of the room. Eli sat at the bar, but this time just got a glass of water. Men and women began trickling in from outside. The girls waited for them on the couches. Some would get up and greet a favorite customer. The really pretty ones sat on the bigger couches, this way more clients could sit next to them. The serving girls, usually the less attractive employees, brought everyone a bottle of the same thing as last time. The girls drank just as much as the clients, only they got glasses of weaker less expensive stuff so they wouldn’t lose any profit.
Later into the night, Mantis got up on stage and sang them a song. This one was about the princess and her exploits in the wars. She sung of how the bloody princess would charge into battle at the head of her armies. How she’d cut a swathe through enemy lines, just so she could personally take the head of their commander. Oh how she earned her title, bathing in the blood of her foes. Then she’d return home, and there she’d await the next call for battle.
Master Shang sat down next to the princess and said, “You’ve managed to get songs written about you.”
“Yes, but not as many as you.”
“Mine were for saving lives not taking them.” He said, ordering a glass of water as well.
“A great deed deserves a song whether it’s good or bad.”
“I suppose so. The reason I came over here was to let you know…”
“Yes, I saw them.”
About halfway through Mantis’s song, a group of young men had come in. Unlike the other clientele, these guys were dressed like nobles. Fine suits with large coats over them showed their status. They had slicked back hair and well trimmed beards. Gold jewelry with large diamonds gave off a sense of wealth beyond measure. These men, four to be exact, had come in brandishing pistols and short swords. Eli knew they’d be trouble from the moment they sat down and started harassing the girls.
Master Shang set down his empty glass and said, “Don’t kill them, or else this place will get a bad reputation.”
“I make no promises.” She replied, going over to the men.
One of the men took his head out of a girl’s breasts long enough to notice the princess. This one must have been the leader, as he had the most girls around him. He had a white suit on with gold trim. Like all nobles he was a Mysore, so he had the brown hair of their people. When the man smiled at her, it revealed that he had gold teeth as well. Eli didn’t smile back as she spoke to him and the girls.
“I think it would be best you go entertain the other clients.”
The man kept smiling as the relieved girls vacated the area. The other three men, most likely schoolmates considering their age, eyed her, but otherwise they sat there nursing their drinks. The lead man put his glass on the table, and he poured himself the brothel’s most expensive liquor. After taking a long refined sip, he looked into her eyes and flashed his blinding smile.
“So, have you come to take their place?” He said in a smooth voice.
“I’ve come to ask you to leave.”
“Come now, we were just having a good time.”
“Leave now or else.”
“Or else you’ll pull out that sword of yours? Well I’ve got a sword too, one that could make you very happy.”
Eli was about to break the man’s neck, when Fin came over and said to him, “Excuse me sir, but you’re really going to have to leave.”
“And why is that?” The man said, his smile faltering a bit.
“Well, we only allow men of character to be in here, and I have to say you’re really just a piece of *censored*.”
“Do you know who I am?”
Fin’s response was to stick two of his fingers in the man’s nose and drag him outside. The other three men drew their pistols and swords, but chose only to follow lest their leader lose his nose. Eli went after them, expecting to have to fight them. Fin most certainly wasn’t going to do anything. She was proven right when she got outside and saw that Fin was surrounded by the four men.
The street was filled with spectators. A fight was common occurrence to them. They knew what to expect and formed a wide circle around the fighters. A young street urchin was going around with a box. He obviously had been to many a fight, for he had the odds of who would win this one. People were throwing bets down for either side. Sure the four guys had numbers advantage, but the big guy definitely had the fire power.
“So you think you can make a fool out of me, do you?” The lead man shouted, clearly relishing the chance to humiliate the robot.
“He won’t be the one you’re fighting.” The princess said, stepping into the ring.
“Oh good, you can fight them Eli.” Fin said, walking away.
Smoothing his hair down, the man said, “Listen girly…”
Eli brought her boot heel up and into the man’s eye saying, “I’m not one of your whores.”
The man fell to his knees, clutching his bleeding eye as he said, “Get her you idiots!”
“The kid just changed the odds of the fight,” Fin shouted above the crowd, “It’s three to one against you. Do you want me to bet on you?”
The princess jumped into the air to dodge the three’s attacks. Instead of landing back down on them though, she went heel first into the lead man’s groin. His smooth voice went to a falsetto screech. As his pants began to turn a bloody red, she ran at the other three. One pulled out his short sword and swung at her. However, the bloody princess grabbed his wrist and tossed him over her shoulder. Before she let go, Eli made sure to break the man’s arm.
Tossing some stray hair from her face, she said, “Bet as much as you can. If we’re lucky, the winnings will pay off our debt to the Madam.”
Another of the men came at her with his sword raised. Without even looking, she brought her knuckles into the man’s teeth. While he spit out blood, the bloody princess slammed her elbow down on his neck. The man was still conscious as he hit the dirt road, a testament to the fact that Eli wasn’t trying to kill them. The man was also smart enough to stay down and out of the fight.
The third goon aimed his pistol at her head and fired. She dodged it, the bullet cutting through some of her hair. A high kick to his hand knocked the pistol from his grasp. He tried taking out his sword, but decided against it when he saw her go for hers. The two able body men took their third friend with his broken arm away from the fight. This left the leader feebly trying to stand.
“You whore.”
“Like I said, I am not one of your whores.” The princess said, standing over him.
The man smiled and pointed a finger at her. Next thing she knew, the tip of his finger popped off and revealed a gun barrel inside. Before he could fire his augmented hand, a katana came and cut it clean off. Madam Ching put her blade to his throat. The man clutched at where his hand was, the stump sparking with exposed wires. The madam pulled her sword away, just to bring the hilt down on his bad eye.
“Get out of here before I take your other hand.”
The man didn’t know which damaged body part to clutch at. He did know that if he stayed, there would be even more choices presented to him. As he ran off to find his useless companions, everyone else either groaned at the money they had lost, or smiled for what they had gained. Fin came over with credits of various values.
“Isn’t this great?”
“Not so much when you consider it only covers the interest you owe me.” Madam Chin said, sheathing her sword.
“Bull*censored*!”
“Shove it piss pot. Now get back to work.
They were about to go back inside, when a Awkar man broke through the crowd. He was dressed not to impress like the last group, but rather to blend in. Eli knew who he was when the man rolled up his sleeve and showed her the Koumbi tattoo. The princess waited for the crowd to disperse and for the madam to go back inside. The man who had shown his tattoo pulled out a business card and handed it to her.
“Kaya Maghan of Koumbi Merchants.” She read out loud.
“I ask that you follow me.” The man said.
Cheerful Fin popped up behind her and said, “Well, it looks like we’re boned.”
Eli sighed, but she knew it would just cause more trouble if she resisted. So, with Fin in tow, she followed the man out of the red light district. She had never met this Kaya Maghan before, so she had no idea what to expect. Still, she had killed his men, and that never fostered good feelings between two people.

Offline Rofelam

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Re: Finished Project
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2018, 01:36:42 PM »
Chapter 9

Spoiler
Chapter 9- Old black men are some of the wisest people
“Man this part of town is a hell of a lot better than where we just were.” Fin said in amazement.
Eli and her robotic companion had been taken to the east part of the housing district. The western slums had been lit up with activity, but they couldn’t compare to the light show the pair were witnessing now. Whole sections of skyscrapers had the lights turned on. They could see the people inside. Some were office workers just finishing off the last of forms they had to sign. Others were apartments, mostly merchants also doing paperwork, their families fast asleep.
“The only problem I have with it, is that I can’t see the stars.” Their guide said.
It was true a person couldn’t see the stars at night, not with ships in the air constantly. The people of Mysore didn’t use land vehicles for personal travel. The lesser folks had gotten used to walking everywhere, making being out of shape a luxury. Only the rich merchants or nobles were ever fat. This was because they could afford the air ships that would take them around the city. None of them knew how to drive the air ships. This meant however, that knowing how to drive one had become a sought after skill, one that payed very well.
“I’ll take just being able to see the moon.” Fin said to their guide.
“A beautiful thing, is it not?” The Awkar agreed.
“Do you take an interest in astronomy?” Fin asked.
The man nodded as they crossed the street, “Very much so, ever since I was little, I’ve been fascinated by the heavens.”
“I’m surprised you had time for it, being a slave.” Eli said to the man.
“Oh, I am no slave.”
Eli thought about it and said, “Then who are you related to that is one?”
The man gave a silky laugh as he said, “You are a keen one my friend. My grandfather used to be a slave.”
“And who is he to this organization?”
The Awkar just smiled as he led them into a tall building. Inside they saw that the floors were white marble, the walls a gray counter part flecked with gold. The receptionist was a pretty lady, and she smiled as the three of them walked past to the elevators. The man pushed the button for the penthouse level and up they went. Finally, after a minute of painful elevator music, they were at their destination.
“Welcome to the penthouse suite.” The man said, ushering them inside.
The floor had a creamy colored carpet that was soft to the touch. The furniture was of a modern sense, but they still looked cozy enough to fall asleep on. The walls were covered in things from the Awkar homeland. Tribal masks, ancient weapons, and even a few old instruments were on the wall, or on a stand to show them off.
“Where is your boss?” Eli asked, having seen enough of these artifacts.
“He is in the office. To the left and the door at the end of the hallway.” Their guide said, pointing them in the right direction.
“You’re not coming with us?” Fin asked.
“No, Mr. Maghan would like to see you two alone.”
Fin just shrugged and went for the office. Eli followed behind him, unsure of how this would end. When Fin opened the door, the first thing she noticed was that the room itself, though big, was actually very simple. It kind of looked like a normal office. It had bookshelves with various literature on them. The desk was neatly organized, but somehow seemed to be busy at the same time. Finally, there was a large leather chair, and in that chair was an equally large man.
“Hello, it is pleasure to finally meet you.” He said with an Awkar accent.
This then must be Kaya Maghan. He was old, about as old as Master Shang and Madam Ching. He didn’t have any hair exposed, but Eli assumed it would have been white anyways. He had on a completely black suit, made of the finest Zhou silk. He had on some golden rings and earrings, all with various gems embedded in them. His most noticeable feature however, was his eyes.
“Hello Mr. Maghan, the pleasure is all mine.” Eli said, showing off her practiced manners.
“Damn, you’re blind dude.” Fin said, showing off his discourtesy.
“Shut up you blithering idiot.” Eli hissed.
“It is quite alright.” Mr. Maghan said, holding up a hand.
“I apologize for his stupidity.” Eli said to the large man.
“I take no offense, he is after all just a simple machine.”
“How did you know that?” She asked.
“Two people entered this room, yet I only hear one person breathing.”
Nodding, Fin said, “Pretty good. What else can you tell about us?”
Tilting his head so his ear was pointed at them, he said, “Well, I can tell you’re both armed and ready to fight me if necessary.”
Eli was surprised that he had known that. Looking down though, she realized it had been her who had given it away. All the while they had been talking, her hand was on her sabre. Somehow he must have picked up on the sound of her fiddling with it. This man was obviously no invalid. She had to be more careful of what she did around him.
“Excuse my rudeness.” Eli apologized, taking her hand from her sword.
“Oh never mind that. If I was in your situation I would be ready for a fight as well.”
“You’re not mad about, and let me make this perfectly clear, her killing your men?” Fin asked, pointing an accusing finger.
The large man smiled, “Some may say I only have my own interests in mind, but I too was a slave once, and I care a great deal about my men.”
“So…” Eli started.
“So, what do I want you to do to atone for your offense against me?”
“If it’s money you want, we’re already in significant debt.” Eli stated.
“There are other ways you can earn me a profit. Klein will explain to you what must be done.”
“Thank you for being so lenient.” Eli said as she turned to leave.
“Oh and there will also be a hot shower and a change of clothes for you. You smell like piss.”
Eli’s eye twitched a bit, but she kept on walking. Klein was waiting outside for them. He gave her a set of clothes and led her to the shower. When she was done with all the fancy shampoos provided, Eli toweled off and looked at her new outfit. The white blouse had a collar and was sleeveless, so that it exposed her milky white arms. Frills ran down the front where the buttons were. She was also given form fitting jean shorts to go on top of black pantyhose. For footwear, she had black calf high boots with steel stiletto heels.
“Are the frills and pantyhose really necessary?” The princess asked, not sure she liked the extra fluff added.
“A girl of your beauty must where the finest clothes of the latest fashion.” Klein said to her dour face.
“Yeah, you look great.” Fin agreed.
She turned on him and said, “What would you know about what looks great on a girl?”
Fin just laughed at her and said, “I just know you look adorable.”
“That would not be the word I would use to describe her.” Klein said, shaking his head.
“Yes, I’ve been called many things, but never adorable. And frankly I don’t think I like being called it.” She said, going for her sword.
“Well then people don’t know you well enough.” He said, shrugging his shoulders.
“She is the bloody princess. That alone is enough to know she is not adorable.” The Awkar said, only now he wasn’t smiling.
Eli didn’t stop grabbing her sword as she said, “I’m guessing you knew all along.”
“Unfortunately Mr. Maghan knows Master Shang well enough to know that he has only one family member left alive at this point.”
“So you’re blackmailing me.”
Holding his hands up, the man smiled and said, “No, don’t think of it like that. We would have left you alone, but you went and forced our hand to move against you.”
“And why don’t you just send me to my brother in a body bag? Get the reward that officially doesn’t exist.” She said, staring into his cold calculating eyes.
“We have plenty of reason to hate your brother as well. The enemy of my enemy is my friend so to speak.”
“I suppose that’s true.” She said, reluctant to agree.
“Come now, let us not start off this relationship with distrust.” Klein said with a big smile.
“Distrusting someone is the only way I know how to start a relationship.” She replied with a frown.
That same smile as he said, “Follow me, I’ll explain your mission on the way.”
As they got into the elevator, Eli said to the Awkar, “Why did your boss want to meet us? All he did was insult me and say you’d tell us what was going on.”
Pressing the ground floor button, he said, “My boss only talks to people who have proven themselves through actions. The fact that he spoke to you at all shows how much your reputation proceeds you.”
Eli nodded and listened to the outdated elevator music. The three of them left the elevator and went outside when they reached the ground level. Their guide turned left and began walking along the paved street. The princess felt uneasy as they walked, as if she was being watched. Looking around, she realized there were more of the Koumbi stalking them.
“Why…”
“They’re here to make sure we don’t die along the way.”
“What the hell are you making us do?” Fin asked.
“You’re going to infiltrate another merchant’s building. Him and his family live in the penthouse suite. The remainder of the place is where his people live and work from.”
“Sort of like your guys’ place.” Fin said.
“Yes he copied us after learning how we did things. We are the trend setters in the business world.”
“Well aren’t we the popular kid.” Fin mocked.
“Popular and rich, not to mention good looking.”
“You’re the whole package.” Eli said in a dry tone.
The man laughed his silky laugh and said, “You two are quite the pair.”
He stopped laughing however when they came up to another building. It was similar to the Koumbi’s building. Eli put it off as just a coincidence, perhaps they had gotten the same architects. Whatever the case, the outside looked the same with its lit up windows and people shuffling papers on the inside. Looking through the glass doors, they could see that the entryway was black with streaks of silver running through it.
“So what’s the plan?” Eli asked.
“There is a meeting going on in the penthouse suite between the head of the Plata, Mr. Rubi, and a man sent by your brother.”
“Do we kill them or…”
“No, I want you to find out what exactly is going on. Of course, there’s a good chance things will go wrong. In that case we want a third party to be caught so it can’t be traced back to us.”
“If I get caught they’ll be more focused on capturing me, rather than investigating further into the matter.” Eli concluded.
“Exactly. Now, what you’re wearing is the uniform of the room service girls. In this you’ll be able to get through without attracting attention, at least until you have to get into the penthouse suite.”
“What about the giant walking eyesore?” She said, jerking a thumb in Fin’s direction.
“I resent that.”
“He’ll be going in through a less direct way.”
“Meaning what?” Eli pressed.
“There’s a maintenance elevator that runs up the length of the building. It doesn’t let out in the penthouse suite, but it should get him to the floor directly below it.”
“Alright sounds like a game plan.” Fin said, heading off for the back of the building.
“Wait you idiot,” Eli turned to Klein, “Are you just going to let him go off on his own? He’s a jackass!”
“Mr. Maghan said to let him do his own thing.”
“But…”
Leaning in close to her, Klein said, “I don’t know what this means, but he also said this. A Finished Project always gets the job done.”
With that, he walked away. Eli stood there and looked for Fin, but he was already gone. What exactly was Fin? Klein made it sound like there were more of these, Finished Projects. She assumed that they were weapons of some kind like the robot. If so, did they also have his dumbass tendicies? Why had she never heard of these until now? If they were so powerful, as evidenced by Fin’s last fight, why weren’t they being used openly by the kingdom?
She pushed these thoughts from her mind. She had a job to do. Not to mention that dumbass was in there by himself. If she didn’t get in there quick, he was liable to blow the whole operation. Looking down at her sword, she realized that keeping it would blow her cover just as badly. Then again anyone who valued their life carried some kind of weapon. She’d just walk in there with it. The worst that could happen would be they’d confiscate it from her. If things went well, she could just pick it up on the way out.
Smoothing her shirt out, Eli walked into the building. The service desk girl was pretty, only she didn’t smile as the princess walked by her. Eli was about to just walk by when the girl gave a small ahem and pointed to a sign. It said to please drop off any weapons there and have a nice day. She was reluctant, but the princess did give up her sword to the frowning girl. Eli almost smacked her when the girl tossed the weapon under her desk, uncaring of whether it got damaged or not. However, she refrained from doing so and went for the elevator.
When she got in, she pressed the button for the floor below the penthouse suite. While she listened to lame elevator music, Eli thought about Fin. If he found out that Mr. Maghan knew about him, well it wouldn’t end well that’s for sure. The robot was already intent on killing her brother the king. Strong as he was, she didn’t think he could go up against two of the strongest men in the kingdom. Her thoughts were interrupted by the door opening.
She walked out and considered how to get up to the last floor. She looked around, but it wasn’t her eyes that found an answer. She heard the AC turn on and smelled grimy dust from above. That was it, the vents would lead her up to the penthouse. Jumping up, she punched the metal covering up and got her hands inside. She pulled herself up and let the cover fall back into place. Eli was glad this building was built for the rich, it meant the vents weren’t too small for her to crawl through. Moving through them she managed to get up a floor and over the office of Mr. Rubi.
“Transporting them should be easy enough. We’ll just work out a payment and no one will be any wiser.”
She could see the fat man talking. This was Mr. Rubi, a noble turned merchant. His greed was legendary, and he was not content to watch it trickle in to him by normal means. He wanted to be an active part of his money making process. So much so, he ended up using the money he had to get into merchant business. He started off with two elephants and six mice, but that was only the beginning. Through ruthless tactics, bribing and blackmailing usually, he had gone from such low numbers to fifty elephants, and two hundred mice.
“You’re lucky sir. My men and women are only of noble Mysore backgrounds, so they’ll be glad to know they’re doing a service for the king.”
This was the key difference between him and Mr. Maghan. Both were willing to use any means to gain a profit, all except one. Mr. Rubi used the far more expensive option of only hiring purebred Mysore. His Awkar counterpart had no qualms about hiring the enslaved mutts of the land. This made them rivals not only on business terms, but also on ideological terms as well.
“And that’s all they’ll know about the deal I hope.”
“Of course, Captain Morgan.”
She heard gun fire from outside the room. Eli knew it could only be one thing, Fin. He must have heard Captain Morgan’s name. She didn’t know how the captain was still alive, but he was soon to be dead a second time. The princess hadn’t found anything out, and that fool of a robot was going to kill these two any second. She slammed her fist onto the vent covering and climbed down into the chaos.
“Princess Elizabeth, what a surprise. I’d love to stay and chat but it seems this deal has gone sour.” The captain said to her.
Mr. Rubi pressed a button on the underside of his desk. A bookshelf opened up to reveal hidden elevator. The two cowards ran inside of it, most likely going up to the roof. The princess pried open the closed doors and leaned into the shaft. They hadn’t gone far, and a ladder led right to them. Climbing it, she got on top of the elevator. She went down a hatch and into the elevator itself, but Mr. Rubi and Goldilocks were already gone.
Eli ran out the still open doors and chased after them. From below, she could here more gun fire as Fin got closer to them. She needed to get the information out of these two and fast. Only it was going to be difficult once they got on their airship. It was large and built for transporting the rich across both air and see, leading to its name, the whale. If they got on that flying battleship, she’d never be able to catch them.
“Mr. Rubi, leave quickly, the deal is still on.” Goldilocks said, pushing the merchant up the whale’s gangplank.
Swords came out of the captain’s arms as he prepared for a fight. However, he wasn’t fighting alone as his own whale appeared. Men and women began roping down from it, drawing their weapons as soon as they hit ground. There was no way she could win this fight, not with so many and without her weapon. However, she wasn’t fighting alone either as Fin came out of the elevator. He was covered in blood, both swords drawn.
“We need to get the information out of him!” She shouted as the robot walked by her.
He didn’t say anything as a hail of bullets came at him. Fin took each bullet, not getting so much as a scratch. He ran full speed at the captain, but the suicidal guards kept getting in his way. The robot killed two men by lopping of their heads. This might have sickened the other guards, but still they got in his way. Even with dozens of his people in between them, Captain Morgan knew where this was heading. The coward had a rope thrown down to him so he could climb onto the deck of the ship.
“Kill both of them!” He screamed.
Eli wasn’t going to let him get away though. Weapon or not, she was going to get her information. The bloody princess charged into the fray. The guards’ backs were turned to her, so she was able to snap one of their necks and take fallen man’s gun. Captain Morgan was almost to the deck, she needed to hurry. Eli shot only the people who were dumb enough to stand in her way. It wasn’t many, as everyone was focused on the rampaging robot. Eli managed to grab the same rope porridge eater had taken. Luckily she was quicker than him and caught up to him before they cut the rope. The captain was taking no chance with the robot as he screamed.
“Fire everything at him!”
Rocketeers leaned over the side of the ship and began firing RPGX’s at the robot. All they ended up hitting though was their own comrades. Fin saw his target getting further away from him as the whale started to take off. The robot sheathed his swords and sprinted towards the ship. When he reached the edge of the building, Fin jumped for the airship. Eli saw him hit it, but instead of sliding off, his hands stuck to the side like magnets.
“Kill him! Kill him! Kill him!”
They fired rockets at him, but somehow he managed to dodge them. This meant he couldn’t make any real progress though. Eli finally made it up onto the deck herself. She saw what must have been a dozen rocketeers firing at Fin. Thankfully, they weren’t smart enough to all fire at once, so Fin was able to dodge each one individually. He still needed help, and she was the only one who could give it to him.
She ran past the irate captain and leapt into the air. The bloody princess came down heel first on the closest rocketeer’s neck. Picking up his recently loaded RPGX, she fired it at two more of them, blowing the pair right off the ship. Their attention was now split between the robot and the princess. Five of them put down their rockets and pulled out a small sword. The remaining four kept firing at Fin in a staggered pattern.
Still holding the RPGX, Eli blocked the first man’s attack. Doing a spin, she sliced through the chink in his armor with her heel, cutting the assailant in his neck. He dropped his sword and tried to stop the bleeding. Whether he would have survived the wound or not, she didn’t know. The bloody princess swung her now useless weapon, and she knocked the man right off the side. She tossed aside the unruly hunk of metal for the more agile short sword.
Fin was getting closer to making it on board the ship. Eli needed to kill these guys and interrogate Goldilocks. The man himself was still hanging back, hoping his men could finish the job. Of course, he knew they wouldn’t be able to. So, he had to rely on other means. From a hole in the deck, a floor rose up. On that floor was a giant robot. It looked like a metal ape, only its hands were spiked balls.
“This was to be shipped away by that fat merchant. But I think the king wouldn’t mind if I used it to take care of you pests. Say hello to Finished Project 270.”
The thing’s eye began to glow red as it stood up. Before Eli could consider the implications of this, the robot raised its left arm, and its spiked hand shot straight at her. She was quick enough to dodge it, but the men and women who were just about to strike her down weren’t so lucky. The spiked ball was on a chain, and it quickly retracted back into the metal ape’s arm. Getting on all fours, the thing charged her, and it leapt into the air just before her, intent on crushing the princess.
Eli ran forward and underneath it to avoid the attack. When the robot landed, it left a huge crater in the steel deck. The guards firing rockets at Fin looked terrified out of their minds. However, they knew that as long as they stayed out of the thing’s way, they’d be fine. Poor fools that they were, the four guards still had to worry about the other robot climbing towards them. Fin was making slow but steady progress. Eli didn’t care about getting the information now, she just wanted to get off of this ship alive. If that meant letting Fin go wild, then so be it.
For the moment though, she had to hold out until her companion got up there to help. The metallic beast turned on her. It was an eerie creature as it made no sounds other than when its limbs smacked the ground. Suddenly it was running at her again, only now it didn’t jump. It simply swung its massive arms at her in a wide sweeping arc. The princess jumped over the attack and landed on the thing’s head. With sword in hand, she tried to gauge out the monster’s eyes. To no avail, as they were to strong to break with her pathetic weapon.
“You can’t kill it like that Elizabeth.” Captain Morgan mocked.
The thing began shaking violently, trying to get her off. It succeeded in knocking her loose, and she fell to the ground. It turned on her once more and raised its arms to smash her into mush. Eli saw her death in that machine’s eyes. It was all over. At least that’s how it would have been, however, she not only had the narrator on her side, but a certain robot as well.
A rocket slammed into the beast’s chest, knocking it back a few inches. Before her eyes, Fin ran past the princess without a single weapon in his hand. He jumped up, not onto the thing’s head, but its spiked ball of a hand. Finished Project 270 did its best to shake the smaller Finished Project 324 off its hand. Finally, it settled on aiming it to the sky and firing his hand off. Fin and the spiked ball soared into the air. When it reached its zenith, Fin drew his sword and cut the chain. Grabbing it with his other hand, the smaller robot came crashing back down spiked ball first. The metal ape’s head flattened against its body, and the whole thing shook until it didn’t move at all.
“Y-you…” Captain Morgan stuttered.
Fin went over to him and punched him in the stomach. He did this again and again until Goldilocks was spitting up black oil. Fin decided to rip off the man’s arms, not by pulling, but by twisting them so they’d pop like a bottle cap. Captain Morgan laid there in a pool of his own fluids. Like before, Fin knelt on top of him and began to question him.
“Where did you get that thing?”
“I don’t know…”
Fin punched him in the mouth and said, “Where did you get that thing?”
“Leonardo! Leonardo built it for us!”
“What were you going to do with it?”
“We were shipping it off to the war front!”
“Are there more of them? Where’s Leonardo?”
“There’s more in the hull of the ship. I don’t know where Leonardo is, I swear…please let me go, if I keep dying…”
Fin just snapped his neck in response. The robot stood up and looked around. Then he went up to the wall that led to the helm. Using his hands again, Fin climbed up there and broke in through a window. Whatever he did, a loud blaring began sounding out across the ship. She could hear the people below deck racing for escape pods. Fin came back down to her without that nonexistent smile of his.
“We should probably get off this thing.” He said, walking towards the edge of the ship.
Walking to his side, Eli saw that they were heading for the western wall of the city. Pretty soon they’d be right above it, then they could jump off onto the wall. As for the ship, it was going down, and when it hit the ground it and everything still in it would be destroyed. The pair of fighters passed over the wall and hopped off. They watched as the whale sailed away into the barren wasteland. Scavengers and bandits would probably salvage the wreckage, though she wasn’t sure they’d find anything intact.
“Fin…” She started to say.
“Come on. It’s pretty early in the morning, the others will be wondering where you’re at.” He said, ignoring the fact that he was gone as well.
They got down by way of a few buildings near them. Luckily the red light district was nearby, so they could get lost in the crowds of people there. They were a couple of blocks from Madam Ching’s place. As they walked Eli wondered what the Koumbi would do to them. She hadn’t really gotten any information, and Fin had taken out any evidence of what transpired. Her answer was soon to be answered, as Klein came up to them out of nowhere.
“Well, you certainly know how to make an exit.” He said with his silky laugh.
“I’m talking to your boss.” Fin said to him.
“And what makes you think he’ll talk to you? After all, you did just blow this plan sky high.”
“Stand in my way and I’ll kill you and your little friends lurking in the shadows.” Fin said, putting a hand to his gun.
“Now don’t be so hasty. I’m sure my boss would love to talk to you, though I’m not sure he knows anymore about all this than you or I.” Klein said, signaling his men to back down.
“Let’s hope he doesn’t.” The robot replied in a dead tone.
“But first, why don’t you two go get some rest?” The Awkar said, pulling Eli’s sword out of nowhere.
The princess took it and said, “Your boss just needs time to decide whether or not he should kill us.”
“Nothing so drastic, he just needs to figure out his next move is all.”
Fin was walking away, but not before he said, “I didn’t complete my mission.”
“What?” Klein asked.
“Tell him that message was from Finished Project 324.”
Klein nodded and turned to go the other way. Eli watched him go, but she eventually went after Fin. The robot was completely silent, and so was she. This was not the Fin she knew. Whatever was going on, it had become a lot bigger than just her. She needed to find out more. Then again, it looked like no one was going to give up any answers easily.

Offline Rofelam

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Re: Finished Project
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2018, 01:37:38 PM »
Chapter 10

Spoiler
Chapter 10- The Narrator has a voice too
“Where the hell have you two been? It’s almost closing time.” Madam Ching berated them as they walked into the brothel.
Fin stayed in the doorway and said, “Sorry about that, we just had some business to take care of.”
“Whatever, you’re not getting paid for tonight.” She said, too tired to get into an argument.
Madam Ching waved them off and went back to helping the girls clean up. Fin came inside, and he went to stand in a corner away from everyone. Eli knew it’d be hard to question him now, but it would be even harder once he got back to his usual nonsensical self. She went over to him and leaned against the wall beside him.
“Do girls really smell good without trying?” He asked her out of the blue.
“What?”
“That girl I knew, she said that girls always smell good without trying.”
“Where did she pull that out of?”
Fin shook his head, “She would always say the weirdest stuff.”
“Maybe that’s where you got it from.”
“Maybe…”
“What was her name?”
“Julie, her name was Julie.”
Eli looked away from him and out into the room. Madam Ching was yelling at one of the girls for spilling good liquor on a couch. When she was done, the old woman went to criticize another of her girls for some unknown reason. Still, they looked happy, and they laughed like nothing was bad. Had things ever been like that for her? Could she simply laugh for no other reason than life was good?
“That’s a pretty name.”
“Yeah, I thought so too.”
Eli wondered about Fin and his past. Most of the time, he was happy and carefree. If you only were with him then, you’d think nothing was wrong. However, she was now seeing a different side of him. It was one she wished didn’t exist. It made her feel awkward, like she was doing something wrong. Only she knew that it hadn’t been her who had made him this way. Was she feeling guilty because her father and brother might have something to do with him?
“Why don’t you want people to know about the Finished Projects?” She asked him.
Giving a realistic sigh, he replied, “We’re nothing but weapons. Machines of death and destruction. Nothing good has, or ever will come from our existence.”
“But if you’re also one…”
“I’m no better than they are. The only difference between us is that my targets are us.”
“Why are you like that though?” She asked, getting more and more confused with each answer.
“It’s just a simple mistake is all.”
“Why do you have to talk in such an obtuse way?” The princess said, becoming angry with him.
“You’re too naïve to handle the real answer.”
“Naïve? I’ve killed thousands of innocent people. I’ve put entire cities to the torch. I am the bloody princess.”
“And yet you’re still just an adorable little girl on the inside.” He said, ruffling up her hair.
Why? Why was he treating her like this? She was a grown adult. She could kill a man with no effort. Did he think of her as not his equal? That he was stronger than her? Where the hell did he get off acting like he was so much better? She was tired of this. She was tired of everyone acting like this with her. They pretended like they cared about her. All they really did was look down on her, like she was some simple machine.
She ripped his hand away from her and said, “Screw you. You arrogant, patronizing asshole!”
Before he could say anything, Eli was storming out of the building. He better not follow her, or else she’d turn him into scrap metal. The princess walked down the empty street. Then she began to run as fast as she could. Away from Fin, away from her master, away from her brother she ran. The princess was a couple of blocks away before she decided to slow down. It had become a bright morning. The sky was a myriad of colors, each shade different from all the others. The shining light burnt her eyes, and she looked away.
“I’m not some little girl.” She growled.
Maybe Fin was just trying to be nice to her.
“Shut up narrator.”
Maybe he just didn’t want to watch her get hurt.
“I said shut up.”
Maybe Fin, and her master, and everyone else were just treating her like a regular human.
“I’m not though!I’m not human.”
If people saw her talking to no one, they’d think she was crazy. Luckily, there was a small stand next to her. She could sit at its little benches and have a nice cool drink. Preferably strawberry since that was a favorite of hers.
“Shut up, and don’t go around saying stuff about me people shouldn’t know.” Eli said, going over to sit on the benches.
She needed to learn not to yell at her friends.
“We’re not friends.”
She said that, but deep down she knew the narrator was right. Fin and him were most certainly her friends, even if she continually denied it.
“Why would I want friends like you two?”
She should want them because they knew the real her. Not the bloody princess, not princess Elizabeth, they knew her as simply Eli. They were able to get past her formidable strengths, the things people saw as mechanical. They saw and accepted her weaknesses, all the the things that made her human. They had already seen so many terrible things. They just didn’t want to sit by and watch the same thing happen to her.
“What’s terrible is that you kept repeating they over and over again.”
Despite her literary joke, Eli knew that what the narrator said made sense. The more she found out about Fin and his past, the more distant he would become. If she were to ever find out the truth, then he might just end up killing her. He was after all just a machine. Then again, the narrator was good at telling stories, not predicting the future.
“So you’re saying I should remain ignorant of what’s going on?”
The ending of her story was still yet unwritten. She should do what she can to make her own future happen and not be worrying so much about the past. People who ignore history might repeat it. But those who ignore the future are doomed to make even worse mistakes.
“Words of wisdom from a disembodied voice should always be heeded.” Fin said as he walked up to her.
“What took you so long to get here?”
“The narrator wouldn’t let me into the scene until he had said all that.”
Eli knew why the narrator would do that. Fin was an absolute dumbass. If he had come before she calmed down, the fool would have just made things worse. At least now he can prostrate himself before her and ask for forgiveness.
“Piss off! I would have handled things just fine.” Fin said to the narrator.
“All you manage to do is put me in a bad mood.” Eli said, sipping at her strawberry drink.
“That’s because you have such a prideful temper. All I did was call you adorable.” Fin whined.
“You really are a dumbass.”
“Whatever, let’s just go back already. Johnny’s up and he wants his mommy.”
Eli sighed and got up from the bench. Despite herself, she was glad to see Fin back to his usual self. The pair of them walked back to the brothel. Along the way, they saw the remaining nightlife closing up in the bright sun. There were some ratty looking kids running about. While the noble or rich kids had to get an education, these poor children didn’t even have a real school. If they were lucky some kind adult would teach them to at least count and write their own name. She had never really thought about it until now, but now that she was face first in the uneducated masses, it kind of bothered her.
When they got back, Johnny was waiting outside for her. He shunned away from Fin, but the young Zhou went up to Eli and began pulling her hand. In his other hand was the sword Master Shang had given him. She followed him inside where the same people from yesterday were doing the exact same thing. Master Shang was eating some toast and drinking tea when he saw them. The old man brushed the crumbs from his hands as he said.
“The kid wants to show you what he has learned.”
“Aw…he wants to impress his mommy.” Fin snickered.
Only sparing Fin a glare, Eli said to Johnny, “Alright, show me what you’ve learned.”
The little boy nodded and got into a fighting stance. He began swinging his sword in fast but measured strokes. Eli could tell he had been practicing. His strikes were clean and flowed well. He may still be just a beginner, but he might become a real swordsman if he were to keep at it. Obviously, she’d never say all this. Instead Eli gave that same frown and said.
“You need to keep training. Right now you’d be taken out by a squirrel with a twig. Still, you’re not horrible.”
Despite it being wrapped in an insult, Johnny smiled at the compliment. The young boy went to Eli and gave her leg a hug. Everyone laughed at this show of affection. The princess just kept frowning and gently pushed the child away. Mantis came over and led Johnny back to her seat where there was some cereal.
The people around her were laughing and smiling at her expense. This wasn’t the first time it had happened. Yet somehow it was different than before. They weren’t so much laughing at her as they were laughing with her. This was strange considering she wasn’t smiling or laughing. Still, it wasn’t an unpleasant feeling being there. She had never considered her life a happy one, even though it honestly was a good one. In that moment however…
“Hello all.” A silky voice said.
Klein was in the doorway, only now he was far more dressed up. He wore a deep royal purple suit with matching tie and hat. His fingers were decked out in fine jewelry. The cane he carried was mahogany. Altogether it made him look like a pimp, a very wealthy pimp, but nonetheless a pimp.
“Klein, what are you doing here?” Eli asked the man.
“My boss thought about it, and he decided to come to your place to discuss our next move.” He said, stepping aside for the large man behind him.
“Hello Shang.”
“Maghan.” Her master said back.
Turning to Madam Ching, Mr. Maghan said, “You’re looking as lovely as ever.”
The tension in the room was so thick, you couldn’t move other than to look between the three elders. Mr. Maghan stepped into the room, and he looked pretty much the same other than the weapon he had on his back. It was a rungu made from the root of a baobab tree. However this was no twenty inch long stick with a club on the end. It was almost as tall as the man who carried it and just as thick as his forearm. The club on this rungu could take down even the most hard headed of foes. At the moment it was just hanging there on a leather strap, but from what Eli could see it might soon be put into use.
“What are you doing here? I thought we agreed…” Madam Ching started to say.
“Grandfather, you can’t even see her. How can you tell she’s beautiful still?” Klein asked the old Awkar.
“Her enchanting face is the last thing I ever saw, and I will always see that image when I think of her.” Mr. Maghan said as he walked over to the madam.
Before he got close to her, a katana was pressed against his throat. Master Shang had moved quicker than anyone could process. He stood there and stared into Mr. Maghan’s clouded eyes. The large man moved just as quick when he pulled out his rungu and brought crashing down on where Master Shang just was. The old Zhou came back at him and tried an overhead attack. Blind he may have been, the old Awkar saw this coming and blocked his attack. Just as they were about to clash again, Madam Ching was between them.
“You dumbasses! You’re going to destroy the place if you keep this up.”
“Outside.” Mr. Maghan growled.
“You first.” Master Shang shot back.
It looked like they were going to ignore Madam Ching and keep fighting there. Fortunately, Eli was able to hold her master back while Klein held his grandfather in check. The two men stopped struggling, but neither of them lowered their weapons. Before Eli could stop her, Madam Ching came over and crushed Master Shang’s balls in her wrinkled fist. She went over and did the same thing to the other man. Both collapsed to the ground clutching at their groins.
“Bokkie…” Mr. Maghan said between groans.
“Don’t you bokkie me. You come in here and try starting trouble, so what else would I do? I mean, it always stopped you idiots before.” She said, looking down on the two of them.
“That bastard came here knowing full well that I’d be here. He wanted a fight and I’ll give it to him.” Master Shang said as he stood back up.
Standing up himself, Mr. Maghan said, “I didn’t come here for you. I came to talk to Finished Project 324.”
Turning on Eli, her master said, “What did you do?”
Stepping into the middle of all this, Fin said, “Hey I don’t know what happened between you two and I really don’t care.”
“Good, it wouldn’t concern you anyways.” Mr. Maghan said.
“However, what does concern me is that you know about me,” Fin lost that nonexistent smile of his as he said, “That means I really should kill you and all your associates.”
Mr. Maghan tightened his grip on the rungu and said, “Then why haven’t you?”
Fin abruptly laughed and said, “Don’t be so tense. I wouldn’t kill you, not when I need you.”
“Need me?”
“Yes, because apparently this thing is a lot bigger than a few loose ends. I’ll need resources, allies, information, someone to fund my battles.”
“And why should I help you?”
“Because if you don’t I’ll kill you, duh.”
Klein spoke up and said, “What’s going on grandfather?”
“Yes Mr. Maghan,” Eli said, “What exactly is going on here?”
“Do not ask me. I am but a simple merchant who got the short end of a bad deal.”
“Fin?” Eli asked.
“All in good time. As for now we have a job to do, right Mr. Maghan?”
“Indeed. Mr. Rubi managed to escape, and it’s safe to assume the deal between him and the king is still in place.” Mr. Maghan said, putting away his weapon.
“So do you want more information, or do you want him dead?” Fin asked.
“Alive and able to talk is better than dead and silent.”
Sighing, Fin said, “What a drag, but I guess I am the one who wanted your help. And I suppose you can’t help me unless you have information.”
Adjusting his suit back into place, Mr. Maghan said, “Obviously. Now I’ll leave the rest of this explaining to Klein.”
Mr. Maghan gave a curt bow to Madam Ching and went for the door. Before he did leave, the large man glared at Master Shang with his milky white eyes. Somehow, it was like Eli could see the three of them back when they were young. She didn’t know a lot about her master’s past, but seeing this made her wonder. What could her master have done, not only to get where he was today, but to leave behind such a powerful enemy.
Klein gave a sigh and said, “I’m always the one who does the explaining.”
Walking up to the young Awkar, Fin put his arm around him and said, “But you’re just so good at it.”
“It seems like I’m getting more and more responsibility as the years go on.”
Mantis popped up into their vision and said, “I know, isn’t it awful? Madam Ching keeps making me do all the book keeping.”
“That’s not giving you responsibility you nitwit, it’s just her pawning off the crappy job…” Eli said just to receive a crack to the head from her master.
“She needs to learn all the crappy stuff I have to do if she wants to take over someday.” Madam Ching said, chopping Mantis on the head lightly.
With a greedy look in his eye, Klein grabbed Mantis’s hand and said, “My dear…is something wrong?”
Mantis had tensed up like an animal caught by its hunter. Suddenly, she grabbed Klein’s hand with both of her own. With strength to rival even the greatest fighters, Mantis tossed the Awkar over her shoulder. Just as he came to above her head, the singer brought him crashing down into the floor. She let go and immediately put her hands to her mouth.
“Oh gosh, I’m so sorry. Are you alright? Did I hurt you at all?” She said, leaning down to look him over, but not touching him.
He had a hard time keeping his cool as Klein said, “Y-yes…I’m just fine…”
“Thank goodness.” She sighed with relief.
“Hey dumbass, I probably should have told you she doesn’t like men touching her.” Madam Ching said, looking down on him.
Klein stood and brushed himself off saying, “Yes I can see that now.”
“Are you mad at me?” Mantis said, keeping her eyes low.
“No, not at all,” Then to Fin and Eli, “We’re leaving you two.”
“You are mad at me!” Mantis pouted.
“Of course he is. A pimp can’t be slapped around by a lowly ho.” Fin said with a chuckle.
“I’m not mad.” Klein said, straightening his clothes.
“Promise you’ll come back then.” Mantis said with beaming eyes.
“What?” Klein asked.
“Promise you’ll come back then…” She said, her face beginning to turn red, “You will come back, won’t you?”
Klein was obviously confused by the mixed signals, so he just said, “I’ll have to come back eventually…”
Mantis smiled and gave a little clap. She ran off up the stairs with a spring in her step. Madam Ching just grumbled and went after her. With a befuddled look on his face, Klein led the Eli and Fin out into the street. Johnny came to the door and waved goodbye to her before Master Shang took him back inside.
The three of them began walking southeast to the merchant’s part of town. Normally they’d have to stick to the shadows, being that Eli was the kingdom’s most wanted criminal. However, Mr. Maghan’s men kept the guards preoccupied, and so they had no trouble at all. It actually concerned Eli a little bit that there was such a force that could rival the king. Still, it was to her benefit these men existed at the moment.
“Where are we going?” She asked their guide.
“To where Mr. Rubi keeps his stock. He should be there ironing out the transportation of whatever those things are.” He said with a twirl of his cane.
“You don’t know what they are either?”
“Grandfather told me about every deal he’s ever made, both good and bad. Yet he refuses to tell me about these things and why it concerns us.” Klein said, frowning.
“It’s more for your sake than it is his.” Fin said to the Awkar.
“But why? What’s so dangerous about these things that I shouldn’t know about them?” He said, whipping his cane about.
“This isn’t a young person’s concern. It was made by the previous generations, and it should be fixed by them too.” Fin said.
“How old are you exactly?” Eli questioned the robot.
“Oh, my project got started back when your father was few years younger than you are.” Fin said, clasping his hands behind his head.
“So you’re…”
“But I should say the me you know has only been around for about twenty years give or take.”
The me she knew. Now that Eli thought about it, Fin was probably the result of extensive testing and prototypes. Even if the idea of him had been around for more than forty years, the final version of him couldn’t be that old. That begged the question, was there more Fins out there? Even if they were just previous versions of them, could they be as strong as him? Could they be as human as he was? Or were they just dumbasses like he was without the fighting capabilities?
“I see…” Eli finally said.
They had made it to the merchant’s road. As the three of them walked down the paved path to Mr. Rubi’s place of business, they saw much of the trading world of Mysore. To have a shop right on the street itself was the greatest achievement a merchant could have. This meant that most of the shops were back down the alleys. From what she could see though, Eli was amazed at what was being sold. The finest Zhou silk in an array of colors were on display behind a window. Exotic animals that would one day become someone’s pet made noise from within ornate cages. She had never bothered with all these luxuries before, but that didn’t mean she didn’t appreciate them.
“Eli, are you coming or not?” Fin asked her.
She hadn’t realized it, but the princess had slowed to a stop. Everything around Eli reminded her of how her life had been. She had never noticed all the things surrounding her. She had never noticed the people either. They had always been such a nuisance to her before. Now though, it was like the whole world was suddenly brighter.
“Yes, I’m coming.” Eli said, hurrying to catch up with her companions.
“You really are adorable.” Fin said, booping her on the nose.
Brushing his hand away, she said, “Shut up ass.”

Offline Coryn

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Re: Finished Project
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2018, 06:05:20 PM »
Crickey son I didn't realize you had the long story disease. I suffer from it as well. I'll push through as far as I can with my time today. We'll see how far I'll get, but I'm guessing the first two chapters.

The way I tend to do these things is I'll comment as I'm reading, and I'll skip any summaries you may have posted, because a story must stand on its own. So if you see me bring something up that you answer later, it's only because it stuck out at the time. I'm just going to wander through and poke at things to see what cracks, shudders, or breaks. Don't take it as a negative review, I'm not looking to be negative. I'm just going at it from an angle of over analyzation to find where the holes are. It's up to you to either act or not on the information I dredge up, for better or worse. Now, let's get to it.


Chapter 1 Review
- Might as well start with the first sentence. It feels like you would be better served tossing in some illustrative examples, rather than just saying that the space tech is highly advanced. Paint that picture.

- Why not put the bars closer together then? You haven't described her yet, but assuming she isn't anorrexically thin, this should be a problem that could have been fixed. People get thin in prison.

- Dumb guard removes protective face mask to gloat. This couldn't possibly come back to bite him could it?

- Dead fish eyes? If this is the heroine, you certainly aren't sparing her any niceties.

- We just got told she has nothing but the clothes on her back. Feels repetitive. Maybe just have him say she has nothing. End of sentence?

- I hope that face mask didn't act as a rebreather as well. A swirly though? How old is this chick? 13? If she's serious, drown the bastard. Obviously the bars won't keep him from yelling about her escape. What about a radio? This plan should go downhill fast.

- Okay, she obviously isn't against killing these dudes. But really, a stilleto thigh high boot? She's not doing high kicks in that, let alone running.

- We're stopping the exciting action scene to go into the backstory of a dude whose only name is Knuckles? Really throws a wrench in the flow. If he's important, save it for later. If he won't be alive enough for 'later', dump it.

- She's already killed a man at extremely close range. There's blood on that coat. Also, why is she going straight from worrying about her life to her clothes? There are obviously more important things.

- And now she's drenched in blood like 30 seconds later?

- 4th wall joke? Honestly at this point I don't know what the tone here is supposed to be.

- I really don't care what her battle skirt looks like. But considering she just punched through a glass window, maybe a quick note about its resilience? It looks good in the movies, but actually doing that will completely lacerate a human body.

- Wouldn't Knuckles already know that she would respond like that? Princesses live in their castles, and she doesn't seem like the "locked in a room until her 18th birthday type"

- Gangster's hubcap? Keep referential notes within the story itself. Otherwise it breaks immersion. Always imagine that the reader is someone living in the world you're creating. This applies to all the others as well.

- It seems strange that she has time to wage all these wars as well as keep up with the names and personal histories of street toughs.

- A minor gripe, but there's no need to say she pressed the "right" buttons. Of course she would. Something like "She ran through the start up procedure." says all the same things, but is a lot cleaner.

- Who the hell is "Porridge eater"

- So if this country is in such dire straights without constant war, how did they get to where they could wage wars in the first place? There had to be a point where they were living in the terrible place before they could raise enough soldiers. Did it not always used to be so terrible, and they militarized more over time?

- She's a terminator. It's the only way.

- So what? Junk dude just, walks away?

- That's a decked out robot. But seriously, what kind of universe are we in where a strange future kingdom uses a bunch of 20th century weaponry? And if those are viable weapons, shouldn't whoever buried this thing in a cave have taken them at the time?

- "Princess Elizabeth", "King Richard". The title constitutes part of their name in this context, so must be capitalized.

- It's a very well armed comedy robot you've got there.

- Muscular robot throat?

- This must be an awfully straight path through the landfill in front of them if they can go for several miles powered entirely by booster rockets.

- So now the robot doesn't have muscles.

- I'm calling bull*censored*. Aint no human strong enough to do the stuff she doesn't without some sort of augmentation. Flesh and blood only goes so far. She should at least have tetanus at this point.

- So he can understand the concept, but the word cannot be said... Seems like there are several ways to just say 'sorry' with a different combination of words.

- Heavy Star Wars vibes right now. Or rather, Starchaser: The Legend of Orin



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Offline Coryn

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Re: Finished Project
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2018, 06:33:31 PM »
And back for round 2.


Chapter 2 Reivew
- It occurs to me that the junkyard of a whole civilization cannot be easy to traverse in high heals.

- Now I'm hungry for jumbo shrimp, and to watch baseball. https://soundcloud.com/holden-mcneely/we-are-the-jumbo-shrimp

- Ah, so it was the soldier speaking about "finding her". It read like it was Fin. You might add some context there.

- Also, if she want's a weapon so bad, why not at least ask Fin for one of his. Or fashion a spear out of some scrap metal? There's got to be like, a length of pipe at least.

- I agree with the guard. She is totally a robot.

- See, lead pipe. Works every time.

- I'm beginning to wonder if the 'dead fish eyes' thing is figurative, or literal. If figurative, you might want to branch out with your description of them a bit. It's starting to feel repetitive since you say it the same way each time. If literal, just don't bring it up so often. We don't need to be reminded of a character's looks multiple times a chapter to keep from forgetting what they look like. Also, if literal, totes a robot.

- Just take swap out the magazines in that case, and keep the lower one. Or take a second to pop it out and top it off. And while she's at it, loot the bodies for their spare magazines.

- The mention of Spartans is a good time to bring up the fact that you really haven't given us much of a setting. Is this even Earth? What's the general sense of the year as relative to ours. It doesn't matter from an immediate story telling perspective, but it helps to give context. Even Dune, which has jack all to do with actual Earth history as we know it, opens with a description of its events relative to our own. It helps a reader settle in comfortably knowing from where to approach the story.

- Again, was that washing away the blood thing literal or figurative? It's really hard to tell.

- I mean he's been a pest this whole time, but Fin has never really shown to 'turn on her'. That bit with the shouting when they first met doesn't count, since they were not 'on the same side' at that point.

- They just stood and listened? At least sit down if the intent was to rest.

- Obvious Asian stand in is obvious Asian stand in.

- The exposition dump seems a bit forced, especially since we clearly understand that her childhood must have been nothing but training at this point.

- Oh man, Damascus steel should definitely be outdated by this point (assuming it is the far flung future). It was revolutionary at the time, but the time was when everyone else was using iron still, so that's only saying so much.

- Alright, so, what exactly is supposed to be triggering this rocket explosion? In real life, an RPG is triggered by pressure on the nose of the missile. So, if that's the case here, she should have just been exploded when she caught the damn thing with her hand, cause there's no way a normal human could just stop a thing like that with only their finger tip without it getting to their palm (I still say she's a robot. And if you're trying to keep that a secret, either don't, or stop having her defy the laws of biomechanics). Even if she had the theoretical strength, there's no way her fingers have enough friction. She end up crushing the thing like an egg and blowing it up that way if she just used force.

Second theory, then. It's a smart rocket that only explodes upon hitting the center of mass of the target, but then that doesn't explain why it would have gone off and blown up the guy who shot it. Or should I say, the guy who shot it and everyone else in the vicinity. Explosives have blast waves, and there's no way a charge that's powerful enough to blow a hole in the side of a freaking space ship isn't going to have a blast wave large enough to liquify the organs every one in this scene, and the house for good measure. I assume a battleship isn't being built with tin foil, and the blast wave is how explosives do a lot of their damage, not actually through shrapnel. Honestly, if these soldiers were as close to the princess as it reads, that shot might as well have been a suicide move.

- If these are long range rifles, why not position them like, far enough away to actually be effective as riflemen? This is the problem with the incompetent officer trope. In a militarily minded empire ran by this freaking chick, there's no reason this guy should be leading anybody.

- She has certainly grown fond of this kid in the grand total of 20 minutes she's actually interacted with him.



Well that closes me up for chapter 2. I got other stuff to get on to. Let me know if you're gaining any insight from what I'm laying down, and I'll make an effort to push further on.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2018, 06:59:06 PM by Coryn »

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Offline Rofelam

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Re: Finished Project
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2018, 10:43:56 AM »
Well damn dude, you put a lot of effort into this. I was expecting a couple of sentences, but you went all out. I have to say thanks for all the feed back. Though I’m also uncertain as to whether you like the story or not. Either way, I appreciate you taking the time to read it and comment. If I’m lucky this will get other people to read and comment on it as well.

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Re: Finished Project
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2018, 10:46:36 AM »
Well damn dude, when you review something you go all out. I was expecting a few short sentences, but you really put some effort into it. I have to say thanks. I really appreciate you taking so much time in reading it. Though I am uncertain if you like it or not. Either way thank you and I hope you keep on reading.

Offline Coryn

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Re: Finished Project
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2018, 10:35:35 PM »
It might be most accurate to say that that I would enjoy it if I weren't trying to send it down into its constituent parts while reading it. As a total product, it's a fun diddy, if not somewhat disjointed and tonaly all over the place. It really feels like you're trying to write a summer blockbuster over a novel. so it certainly works if you come at it from that angle.

Will review stories upon request. My latest arc: http://goo.gl/KYgsfF