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Author Topic: Mystic: One-Shot  (Read 1736 times)

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Offline Autumn McJavabean

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Mystic: One-Shot
« on: August 28, 2019, 04:09:29 AM »

In a world littered with monsters and mythical creatures, the world stands ready to combat the evils of the world with a special force called the Mystic Knights. These people are humans born with special powers that grant them the powers of the Zodiac, granted by the deities of the world. These people are called “Mystics”, humans with extraordinary skills.

For those that belong to the Mystic Knights society, gathering people from all across the
Globe, they are granted tools that help combat the monsters, creatures, spirits, and demons. For some, this was easy, others it was an arduous task.

   It was a warm summer day in Mystic Knights’ home base, the Mystical Society. It was in a pocket dimension that only Mystics could access via the shadow realm, the use of manipulating the shadows to get from point A to point B, or through light manipulation teleportation. Each was unique to the two classes of Mystics; Keepers and Seekers. A Seeker was a light-based Mystic, while a Keeper was a dark-based Mystic. Neither determined if someone was good or evil, it was just a power they possessed.

   For Michael Frannagin, life was easy as a high-ranking member of the Mystic Society as a Mystic Knight. He was top-tier and for a long time, there had been peace in the world. Save for random attacks in high targeted places like Japan, Greece, Romania, England, and the United States. Japan was notorious for its attacks, as one might expect from the rumors of mythical creatures roaming around, from the Kiyotaki Tunnel to the Tengu. Japan was known for its highly popular urban legends of ghosts, curses, and monsters. Japan had a special unite and base specifically because it was such a highly targeted area, but as was the United States, with sightings of Slenderman, the Rake, and other legends.

   Michael was sitting at his desk waiting for orders from the Captain when Sarah Appleseed entered with her close childhood friend, Jake Weeder. He was popular, skilled, and highly recognized, as well as loved by most of the girls and some of the guys as being extraordinarily attractive. Sarah had long red hair with red eyes while Jake had shaggy blond hair, calm eyes, and a smile. Michael had shaggy medium length brown hair with blue eyes and was sitting there with a cigarette in his mouth when he looked up at them.

   “Oy, what do you want?” Michael asked patronizingly.

   “So, you’re Michael,” Jake commented as he extended a hand out to shake his hand as a means of respect.
   “Yea, what of it?” He retorted.

   “Michael,” Sarah began with a sigh and pinching her knows, “stop being an ass for once. We have work to do,” she said.

Sarah had in her hands a stack of papers with reports that had to be finished. She dropped down on his desk as he reacted with his eyes wide open.

“Oy, the hell?!” He shouted, “I ain’t got time to do your work again, Sarah. Why don’t you head back to the London Division and get your own work done?”

“Because,” she began, “YOU caused a lot of collateral damage last few missions. Twenty-two, to be exact, and your signature is required as well as a synopsis of your perspective on what happened and why you decided to destroy half a town.”

“Eh!?” he reacted. “It was not on purpose, they wer…” he was cut off.

“No excuse, sign the damn papers,” Sarah said sternly. “After that, we can get going on our next mission. HQ says there’s a demonic presence in Prague, so you have been assigned to it with us,” she said with her hand pointing to Jake who had a casual smile on his face. “Furthermore, a large number of monsters have been released from their prison lately, we don’t know who or what did it, but we’re going there to try and investigate, as well.”

“Yea, yea, alright,” he murmured. For the next hour, he worked on reading the papers but was so tired he didn’t want to continue. “Eh… Why…?” he asked under his breath.

Finally, it hit noon and he shot out of his chair, which fell to the floor as he ran out. He found Sarah sitting at her desk with Jake eating sushi.

“Did you finish already?” she asked.

“Um… yea, totally. Hey, you know that mission you spoke about?” Michael asked.

“Yea, what about it?” Sarah looked at him curiously with an eyebrow raised.

“We should go now, get it done with. I’ll finish the rest of the work later,” he explained.

“No, Micha…” Sarah began to say before being cut off.

“Look, Sarah, dear, can I call you dear?” Michael asked.

“No…,” she responded.

“Look, Sarah, by the time we finish I may have to sign MORE papers, so why not go now, finish them later when I likely get more crap to file. There, we do it all at once,” he explained.

Sarah pondered on this explanation, in truth, it did make sense, he likely would cause more destruction, though he shouldn’t, knowing his level of expertise. Sometimes he could be a fool, but despite that, he was one of the best Mystics the organization has had, an organization that has lasted over 2,000 years.

“Fine,” she replied as she pinched her nose again in aggravation, “Jake, let’s go.” She stood up as Jake did as well, finishing his sushi and the three walked outside to the portal gate that the Knights’ would use. She placed her hand on it as it glowed a bright white color and then a white portal opened, which they entered and took them to Prague.

As they arrived, they stepped out onto the stone road that Prague had, it was an old, well-kept-up road, and Michael loved the concept of it, whereas the U.S., where he was from, did not have roads and walkways like this. Instead, they had newly contrived designs for sidewalks that were normally very wide, as were the roads, which were not always kept very well. While from the U.S. he currently resides in East London.

The city was empty, save for something flying in the sky: a dragon.

   “You’ve got to be kidding me,” Michael said, “ a dragon?!”

   “It’s no biggie, they’re not as hard as you are making them out to be, Michael,” Jake commented with a smile as he stepped forward with his hands in his pockets. His white blazer made him look very fashionable.

   “You’ve got to be kidding me…” Michael murmured under his breath.

   As the dragon flew in the air, Jake began to glow yellow and white as his eyes turned white. He summoned his spirit partner, a ‘Tenshi, which is an angel in Japanese. These are beings only Seekers, beings of light, can summon to aid them in battle. “Rise, Akira,” Jake said as a figure of pure white energy appeared and formed into a male with a crystallized bow in hand. The summon began firing at the dragon as Jake turned to Michael and Sarah, “you can join in at any time.”

   Michael nodded as he took a stance, his hands glowed with bright flames as he pushed off the ground and flew directly at the dragon. It was large, black and had massive spikes sticking out of its back. As he neared it, he focused his energy as black wings formed on his back and began to flap them to fly further to the demonic beast.

   Sarah began to shapeshift her hand into a gun, a large canon to be specific, as she aimed it and fired off black beams with a red outline towards the dragon.

   The dragon dodged the crystal arrows and tried to bite Michael, who was swallowed whole in seconds, that’s when the beam hit it in the left-wing, forcing it down.

The dragon came tumbling down to the ground and into some buildings as Sarah rushed over to see if Michael was OK. Jake raised his hand to stop her.

   “If he’s dead, he’s dead. Ain’t no way he survived that,” he morbidly told her.

   Sarah sighed, he was right. Sarah was a very logical person, who tried to adhere to logic and reason as much as possible, and while her feelings told her he was alive and that they should check, her rational side told her it was both dangerous and unlikely.

   She nodded, “you’re right.”

   “Now,” he began, “let’s end this creatures miserable life.”

   They both walked over to the dragon, the creature eyed them with its sinister gaze but eyed Jake the most, as if it recognized him. He stopped walking forward, slowly to hide the fact he was coming to a stop as Sarah didn’t notice and instead continued walking forward. That’s when she stopped and began to turn around.

   “He’s still…” she was cut off, a crystal stabbed her in the gut and lifted her up only to be thrown to the side like trash. She looked over to see Jake looking down at her with a serious look in his eyes.

   “Sorry, Sarah, but I can’t let you get any information here, it’s a shame the dragon killed you with its claws,” he lied about how she was attacked.

   “J-Jake, you were…Why?” She asked in pain as blood came rolling down her lips and pooling the ground underneath her.

   “So you figured it out, that was fast,” he said to her. “Yes, I released them, because life has been so boring lately. I figured this would spark a little fun and get me promoted faster. Soon I’d be deemed a hero and I could get the jewels I needed to take over as the head Mystic General, but you and Michael were in my way. I have other reasons, of course, but why would I tell you everything? Chances are, you might survive or leave a message, so I can’t let you know the full scope of my plans. Let’s just say that General Masako’s time has come to an end.”

   Suddenly, the city became hot as the dragon tried to move but soon exploded into a ball of fire as meat fell from the sky, landing where it used to be. Out of nowhere, Michael landed his two feet into Jake’s gut, sending him flying into a nearby building. Michael stood there with eyes red and hands ablaze with black flames. He had an angry look on his face.

   “You traitor!” Michael bellowed as he dashed towards the Sagittarius Seeker. Jake formed a shield of crystal to block the oncoming attack as fire surrounding him. He began sweating as Michael appeared behind him and clapped his hands together, causing a large explosion.

   As the dust cleared, Michael saw an angelic form takeover the Seeker. He had white wings, a halo, and white horns sticking out, protruding from his scalp. His crystals became a strong, bright yellowish-white as he raised his hand only to have multiple shoot out at the Keeper. Jake’s summon was now gone, fused with him as he began firing.  Dodging left and right, jumping back and dashing forward, Michael evaded the attacks as he begins to transform. He grew black wings with black horns and fangs as his skin turned white with black veins showing as he punched the Seeker, his crystal shield barely withstanding the blunt force of the attack.

   Jake took the shield down and twirled around, sending a kick at Michael, who raised his arm and used his right arm as support, blocking the attack as he felt himself be pushed back slightly.

   “Now, now, let’s not do something that would get you killed,” Jake commented.

   “Too late for that, eh?” Michael countered as he lifted a stone from his shirt, it was a necklace with a bright green color: a peridot, and it was infused with wings surrounding it: the ashes of his fallen friend.

   The stone glowed brightly as Michale’s flames turned bright green with a black outline, he kicked off the ground at sound-shattering speeds and landed a punch in Jake’s gut. Jake spit up blood as he skids back. He raised his hand as he summoned demons to his aid. “Fight by my side, protect your savior!”

Out of nowhere, demons of all shapes and sizes appeared, some with wings, some with sharp fangs and others with deadly claws. They eyed Michael down before turning to Jake.

“I said attack him!” Jake bellowed. That’s when they began attacking him instead, devouring him until there was nothing left. “Stop! I… I saved you!” He was then drowned out and went silent. The demons then turned towards Michael, one was a puppet demon that attempted to attach strings to Michael, but Michael himself dodged it and fired off balls of fire, disintegrating the demons.

Their body parts began to form together, however, as a humanoid demon formed from their ashes and charred pieces. The form was that of a female with high-heel feet, foot-long claws, and a whip as a hand. She had no eyes and a smooth complexion.

“I guess I can play with you a bit longer,” she said as she stepped forward. She stood at least six feet tall. Michael dashed towards her and sent a strong punch at her with his fist engulfed in flames. The demon female grabbed his hand and wrapped her other arm around his neck, slamming him on the floor four times before tossing him aside like a ragdoll into a building and outside of it, slamming into a locked car, which began beeping as the alarm went off.

“OK, she’s strong, she must be an S-Class demon,” he thought. Demons and mythological creatures were categorized by the Mystic Society and the Mystic Knights based on their power, strength, and capabilities of doing damage, or in short, the threat they posed. The lowest tier is E-Class, normally weak creatures that merely pose a nuisance. The highest rank that is most common is the S-Class, there are ranks higher, but they’re exceptionally rare. The list form E-Class, D-Class, C-Class, B-Class, A-Class, S-Class, SS-Class, and finally SSS-Class. The former is reserved for planetary destruction of all human life. These would stickied to things like deities almost exclusively.

For an S-Class, that means they pose at least a continental threat and a risk to most human life, all if left unchecked. The Mystic Society also has its own tiers for Mystic Knights, as well. They follow as Dog, normally a slang but was adopted to officially classify the weakest members and entry-level positions. The next is Hikui or Foot-soldier. Following that is Corporal, which is reserved for those higher than a Hikui due to having special leadership qualities. With that is also Specialist, rank the same as Corporal but given special permissions for having a special set of skills that are otherwise a rarity. After that rank is Officer, a general term for those in entry-level positions, they normally do the receptionist-esque work. Following that is Lieutenant, which is reserved for those who is second-in-command. Finally, the head is a Captain. After these ranks come division ranks, who rarely see battle but are some of the most powerful, and there exist only four. This rank is General. There is a final one after these special ranks that are above Captain, which is the Head Captain of all divisions. There are a total of 9 divisions, which includes one Sealth or Recon division, the only Medical division, one Research and Advancement Division, four Direct Combat divisions, one lead division lead by the head Captain or First General, another name for the Head Captain, which is in command of its own division, but has final say, when needed, for every division, a Diplomacy division, which is tasked with monitoring the globe and maintaining relations to gather information from civilizations, via spies. Finally, there is the Special Forces division, which is composed of Mystics trained in specialty combat, such as Demon experts, Greek Mythos creature experts, and so on. They are normally seen as higher-skilled Mystics than your normal Mystic, but they are normally the same level save for a specialty in combat that they’re trained to do. It’s the only division that is in of itself broken into over 10 divisions of the Special Forces division.

The female demon pointed her finger at the location Michael was roughly at, knowing the exact location was pointless. A red beam formed at the tip and as it fired she was struck in the back by a dark black. Her ball of energy flew into the sky and exploded as she looked over her shoulder to see Sarah holding her gut and her free hand still in the shape of a cannon with smoke tunneling out of it.

“Now!” She shouted as Michael broke through the window of the building he went through and aimed his hands at the demon, who turned around just in time to see who her attacker was, only this time she was hit by such a large explosion it was the size of four city block.

As the smoke cleared, her body was torn in half by the attack as she began to disintegrate. “You… Bested me. Shame…,” she said as she fell to the ground and turned to a collection of light blue energy balls.

Michael was panting as he looked over to see Sarah fall to the ground. He rushed over and ignited his finger as he began to stop the bleeding.

“We need to get you to the 7th Division, ASAP,” he told her.
She hushed him, “It’s fine…”

“No, it’s not,” he said. “I’m not leaving you behind. Besides, who would bitch at me if you were gone?” They both laughed.

He placed his free hand out as a black portal formed and he carried her through to the other side. They came out on the other side to find themselves in the Mystic Society where he took her to the medical division to be healed.
The first division Head Captain was told of the events and demanded Michael appear before him. As he entered the room, he found himself surrounded by elite guards normally used to protect the Head Captain.

“Michael Frannagin,” the Head Captain began, he was an old man with a white goatee and white robes, akin to a Japanese kimono. He was an old man with years behind him, and arguably the strongest the order had. “I was informed about your troubles with Jake Weeder and an S-Class demon. I’m also aware of the destruction you put the city through, a record you seem keen on keeping.”

“Head Captain,” he bowed. The Head Captain was Japanese and originally from Japan, so due to his customs many would bow before him as respect. “In all honesty, I don’t care how much damage I did, I did what I had to in order to save a fellow member of the order.”

“I’m aware of this much, young one,” the old man responded. “Because of that, we’re wiping your record clean and hoping you will be more aware of your surroundings. And with all you did, you have our sincere thanks.”
H-Head Captain…?” Michael asked.

“You will also be promoted, you demonstrated a skill that only Captains and above have proven. Seldom have non-Captains survived a fight with an S-Class demon or monster,” he said. “Because there is an open position within our ranks, as we discovered recently that Jake was responsible for the death of your Captain, hence why you were waiting a long time for him, you will take his place. You have the skills of a Captain, taking on a primordial form, something very few could do.”

A primordial form is a form a Keeper or Seeker take based on their type. Seekers can summon their Zodiac partner while Keepers transform into their avatar state. After that is the primordial form, which involves an angelic or demonic form, which increases one's power over one hundredfold.

“Th... Thank you, sire,” he said with a bow. He stepped out of the room and smiled as he visited Sarah to find her laying in a medical bed with an IV in her arm. “Sarah, you’ll never guess the news I just got.”

“You’re a Captain now,” she said before he could.

“H-How did you know?” Michael asked curiously. She wasn’t in the room.

“Silly Michael, I heard about the fate of your Captain and with the skills you displayed, you deserve it. It was just a guess, but your response seems to confirm what I guessed. Good work,” Saah responded with a smile before wincing from the pain.

Following this event, Michael began his work as a Captain wearing his new outfit, which was a suit and robe mix with white and a white cape gilded with gold that said “5th Division Captain”, but his job was not easy as it included a lot of paperwork. Knowing Michael, he wished he had skipped out on the trip, to begin with at least with Sarah dead, he wouldn’t be doing all this work. He smiled, he was glad he went. He only hoped she endured a speedy recovery.

That’s when the door to his office opened and came in his Lieutenant.
“Captain, we have alerts saying some demons infiltrated the Mystic Societies pocket dimension, we’re all being called to battle.”

He smirked, “right, tell the troops I’m on my way.” She nodded and closed the door. He stood up and punched his fist into his right hand as it ignited with black flames. “Let’s do this.”

« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 04:12:56 AM by Autumn McJavabean »

Offline Coryn

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Re: Mystic: One-Shot
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2019, 10:19:06 PM »
Alright then let's give this a whirl! I hope I can drum up some useful critiques for you!

- You dump a whole heck of a lot of exposition at the top there. I understand that that this is a one-shot, so you don't have time to slowly roll out information, but while that remains true you should look at it from a different point of view. Instead of "This is a one-shot, I need to get the information out fast.", It should be "This is a one-shot, I don't have to give them everything." It's good for the full more to exist, it makes for a better world, but for a self contained piece, you only need to give the reader what's necessary to get through. For instance, unless we end up dealing with specifics related to the shadow realm, it's perfectly fine to say the base exists in a dimension only the mystics can access. A reader doesn't need the full break down when the concept can be interpreted without it.

- Going out of the way to explain that Japan has a lot of monsters feels really ham fisted. It's enough to list a boatload of places, and if the story happens to be set in Japan, then great. But everywhere in the world is bursting with urban legends and tales of creatures. Folklore runs deep no matter where you go, so taking a paragraph to wave your hands about Japan is just a way to scream "I'm heavily influenced by manga and anime!". Just let us know what the situation is, and arrive to the setting naturally.

- There's a lot of fat I'm seeing that can stand to be trimmed. Little details that don't add to the story, and only serve as distractions. For instance, we really don't need to know what the guy was eating for lunch. If he is forced to stop in the middle of lunch, that's all we need to know. The reader isn't going to be interested in what that lunch was. If the reader isn't logically going to ask a question, then you don't need to spend time and energy coming up with an answer.

- The consistency of the dialogue could be improved. There's a whole lot of improper speach and spellings ("ain't", "yes"), tossed in with elaborately worded sentences from the same character a moment later. Aim for every character to have a specific time of speech. Imagine what they sound like in your head. What does their voice sound like, what accent do they have, what slang have they picked up, do they have any speaking quirks. As it is, everyone has the same inconsistent sound to their dialogue, so it's hard to pick out their intentions.

- So what? We just kill of the bad guy in the middle here? You take a second to hint at a larger plot, but then we have a massive gear shift out of nowhere. It's narrative whiplash, but the nature of the short story is that you need a strong narrative track to bring us from beginning to end. Imagine the classic plot curve from literature class. Rising action, climax, falling action, conclusion. This thing needs to be self contained, a single story unit that you can put on a wall and describe easily. But you're veering off the road, and that's adding needless complexity to something that needs simplicity. Curve balls are fine, but only once you've earned them. Don't have twists just for the sake of them.

- Okay, so I get that "hero causes a lot of damage but it's okay because he's the hero" is a trope that is absolutely everywhere, but that doesn't mean it's a good one. Literally everything this story has told us about its main character is screaming that his only redeeming quality is that he's good in a fight. He doesn't read as human, just as a protagonist robot. If anything they should be demoting him to janitorial assistant, not putting him in charge of people. The character is obviously a deeply flawed individual, and yet he goes through no character arc, doesn't improve himself in the slightest, and is yet somehow rewarded for it. God help whoever falls under his command, because being a leader isn't about being the strongest. They don't put the best sniper in charge of all the other snipers right? They leave it to someone who is trained in tactics. Leadership requires you to have a whole host of skills in order to succeed, none of which are on display by the main character, I guess is what I'm getting at.

Anyway, I hope I wasn't too harsh on you Autumn. I only mean the best by it. There's certainly more to be said, but I tried to comment on the things which stuck out the most. These are probably the place to start which will help future works improve the fastest. Especially, you need to concentrate on the cutting out of fat, as it were. Focus first on telling a good story. Understand it's bones. Only then should you add flesh, and only then may you add skin, hair, and make-up. Don't confuse set dressing for content.

Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions on what I said.

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

Offline Autumn McJavabean

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Re: Mystic: One-Shot
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2020, 11:53:30 AM »
You're totally alright. I'll use this to improve the writing.