Water Patrol – Bionic Commando

 

Daniel is hitting it out of the park over here at Deviant Art.

 
The water had been still for hours and the LOC sent the all clear. They knew he was out there and probably laying low.
“Lager to Low Orbit Command, everything looks good down here. We are suiting up and heading out.” He tapped the headpiece and nodded back to the next Commando in line.
“You sure about that Log? You’re still looking shaky to me man.” Booster was sincere in his remark. Normally any chance to give Lager some crap about his setup was a no brainer. But today he had a bad feeling about his buddies state of mind.
Lager smirked unseen behind his face shield and HUD. “I got this. And once I get out there and I’m 5 by 5, we find this Spike and we put him down.”
Booster sighed as he raised an eyebrow and nodded. “Alright man, But you better stay up so we can read you out there. Ill amp you up a bit from here, but don’t get out of range without letting me know.”
Lager nodded and tapped his beacon once more before dropping out of the ship with the others limply behind him. The city was eerily still for what had just happened. A level 7 Spike just went off the grid 200 miles away. When they finally picked up his trail it was too late. 3 towns decimated and at least 80 dead. A Momentum Swapper is what the report read. Able to take the momentum from one object and swap it with another. Normally from something small like a rock or pebble to a wallet or purse. It usually makes it easy to steal things here and there. Still enough to be bagged, tagged and sent to a Cooling facility. But at a level 7 rating, a spike well off the charts, he could control it to a degree that was catastrophic. Swapping a speeding cars movement with a building wall was just a more deadly example. Unfortunately, there were enough cars and gas tanks here for him to have a huge supply of ammo. He had put his skill to good use tearing a path of death from the front door of the facility he escaped from.
He hit the ground and checked his scanners. Nothing showed up and he was ready to start. Just hours earlier his crew had a run in with the Spike. He never saw him and before they could get a good look he launched a row of mobile homes at the transport. Taking out two of Lagers scouts. Luckily he only had two up at the time but the pain still put him out for a while. The transport went down and he was doing well to survive the landing. This time he wanted to scan the area before he put any scouts on line. They would do a Full Hand formation, five spread out, and be in constant contact. The plan was to find him and get several eyes on him so a more armed team could be called him to deal with him. Lager was perfect for the job. The more scouts he could get up the better chance they had. And LOC also knew that his guys were expendable. They couldn’t pass up the intel they could get and the sheer numbers Lager could create.
Lager was a Battalion Generator. A combination of his natural abilities and truckloads of military stimulants, training software and nanites made him a one man army. With focus and training, he could animate and stay in contact with very simple soldier clones. Blanks. Mainly capable of scouting and very limited combat. At his minimum he could create between 2 and 5. But when the job called for it, he could get up to twenty at once. All moving and looking independently but still connected. A platoon of networked soldiers that worked as one. Even though he wanted a full group of 20, today his one target meant he needed finer control. So 5 was all that was needed.
They fanned out and as he linked with them his world expanded. He could hear and see and sense all they could. Different angles, different elevations, all information he could use and comprehend. Soon he would be able to watch and see the whole city from several points of view. The Spike wouldn’t be able to hide from him for very long. But as luck would have it, the Spike decided that hiding wasn’t his thing today. Today, he would see how two soldiers sounded when they slammed into each other at that speed of a bullet. All ten eyes never saw it coming.

Unnatural Selection

Johannes has much more awe inspiring work here.

Sisko tried to control his breathing. “They look for things like that don’t they?” He told himself as he took breath after breath, holding them in longer and longer.
This was like any other day on the line to many but by his calculations he would be picked very soon. In the pins they always played the morbid game of “What we know” and what they knew was that if you hadn’t been killed, picked or lost by the age of Nineteen, then your days were numbered. Six of the twenty in his pod were already gone. Sedated and drug away to Maker knows where. Stories were passed down from the old timers that ages ago the machines never drugged them. They just scanned, picked, and snatched the ones chosen. They would scream as the Grabbers lumbered away with them in tow. They only began to sedate them when the panic became too much to contain. They often had to put down many who went too wild with the whole situation. Dozens at a time were quickly shot and killed. Sedating the whole floor must have proved too costly as well. So a simple needle prick and instantaneous unconsciousness preceded the grabbing now. That only fed into the idea that somewhere, somehow someone was profiting and keeping costs down for this whole operation.
Sisko saw the Picker make its way down the line. Four had been picked already and two more was the norm. At one point he realized he breathing was calmed. He was no longer afraid. He could smell the antiseptic smell wash over him and then knew it was the mist coming in from the vents. The mist acted to further calm some of them down. His thoughts wandered back to the mornings in the fields. Working and picking crops in the cooler hours before the sun rose. Dropping off the haul in special containers and for a few brief hours enjoying talking to his pod mates. He longed to be back there and wake up in his bunk. All a bad dream.
A thud snapped him back to reality as two others fell to the floor next to him. Two more picked. Six total, today was his lucky day yet again.

The son of sand

So much more awesome art abounds on Lin’s Deviant Art Page.
296 steps to the gate.
Jinbeh went over it again in his head. He knew his time would be limited once he touched Down in the city.
4945 stairs to climb.
Each part of his journey had to be perfect if he was to get there in time. So he counted over and over again.
Six days ago he saw the first troops. An army of priests all blessed and fortified with the markings of God himself. They marched in great columns against the borders where the sand receded and his families reign grew weak. Here it was held by ancient treaties and good faith. He followed for most of the day and night hoping to understand their true intentions. The two kingdoms had peace for generations. War would benefit neither side. As he moved in silence and listened through shadows the picture he painted became more frightening with each word. Each stroke his mindseye made revealed a horror he could not fathom. This army was only the second wave. An advanced group was days away from his homelands already. He knew he had to warn his people on the other side of the great mountains. A months journey he could never hope to make in enough time. He wrestled within himself and the plan took form.
14 guards in two towers.
He would not have time to stop. They would assume he was an intruder he would have to evade them somehow.
He knew his idea was risky but in times of war he had no choice. He could see the markings on the banners. Rebirth. Resurrection. Redemption they said. That meant these priests were empowered to bring back the fallen. The old tactic of the ancient adversary. Their greatest strength would be used against him no doubt so he had to be precise in his actions. That’s when the plan truly took form and he began to count the steps.
1078 strides to the grand hall.
He breathed deeply and imagined the pain to be a temporary set back. He dove from the shadows and waded into the camp. Priest was only their job. But these men were born warriors. He was set upon in seconds. Blades and fists rained down and with a jolt he felt the life slip from his body.
A wave of hot air filled his lungs. He blinked as the sands of his homelands filled his body. The son of sand was home yet again.
He knew he had a short time before the priests brought his body back to torture and question. But he wound have enough time to warn his king of the coming army.
He ran the 296 steps to the gate. With a kick he flung it wide and rushed within. The 4945 stairs took no time. Bounding over two at a time he crested the top and saw the guard towers. In his sand forged body he could easily avoid their vigilant eyes and made his way to the hall. 1078 steps later he was in the main chamber. Breathless he stood before his uncle the Sultan. His court of advisors and servants are shocked at the boys arrival unannounced.
“My king. My sultan. My uncle the ancient adversary moves against our borders. We must begin”
He interrupts the boy.
“Jin, how are you here? You were in Kakaa. If you are here before us in the gab of the deserts then..”
As the words left his mouth he hears the horns. They have been sounded as the warning for the kingdom.
“Uncle it is too late. I am…”
The sands swirl about his body. Pulling at him from each direction. Back and away like plumes of smoke into a pipe, he vanishes. Only to awake thousands of miles away yet again. This time at the hands of the ancient adversary.

Oh no Not Again

noy_again[1]

Check a bit more of Eduardos work  here.

Ernest rubbed the sore spot on his hip as he rocked back and forth and around in a nice smooth circle. Sometimes the circular motion was the only way to get the soreness out. He stretches and pushes the door to the bottom half of the barn open. With most of the work done, he was overdue for a rest and listen to the Royals game. Static whispers back to him as he powers on the old machine. Turning the dial in any direction gives him the same static. “Well great. They were probably going to lose anyway.” He mumbles as he stands to adjust the antennae and look for a better orientation. “What’s got you in a fuss now old man?” The voice comes from outside and along with it the hard steps of Hera. She walks in with oil and grit on face, clothes and head scarf alike. Her red hair was tucked beneath but at the corners you could see it peaking through. Almost matching the sun that would sneak under the clouds every now and then. Looking hard, the remnants of freckles are barely visible. A large dimple was harder to hide as she smiled. Her eyes seem to smile right along with her mouth before she pushed the cuteness to the side and hocked up a loogie as big as Kansas was flat.
Ernest grunts as he fiddles with the antennae and stands dangerously close to taking a tumble from a stool older than him and planting his head on any number of the death traps lain prone around the barn floor. His barely milky blue eyes look around for a spot to step back on to as he grips one hand on a post and the other steadies his old frame. A dusty cap covered his head. A reverse ice cream sundae with white hair on top and dark brown near the bottoms. The sun has done its job tanning and mostly preserving him well. But the life of a farmer takes is toll on even the most hardy of man and woman alike. “Damned radio is messed up again. I just wanted to hear the Royals and Rangers but its being crappy. Nothing but static.”
Hera stopped in mid wipe of the unrecognizable tractor part she held in her hands. “What kind of static?” She leans to look at the sky and scan the horizon.
“Static static. It ain’t got no kind woman, just bad white noise.” Ernest grumbled back as he hops to ground and stands back to look at the radio as if his adjustments would make a visible difference to the contraption.
“No Ernest, there are different kinds of static. Is it, like a hum that repeats? Or just a constant hiss?” She sat down her project as she walks towards the radio with outstretched hands.
Ernest smacks her hand away with a speed a man of his age has no business having. “Don’t change it, that’s the right station. You mess it up, i’ll have you on the first bus to Olathe.”
“No you wont” She says, “But I really need you to turn up that thing, I want to hear that sound.”
For seconds they both stare. Hera at the radio and Ernest at her. Eyes squinted, mouths gaped wide enough for a ruler the long way and two baseballs side by side. Just waiting, hoping to hear or see something different. Finally, “Staticy enough for ya?” Ernest ends the slack jawed standoff.
“Ernest, we need to talk for a minute.” The threat of panic rises in her voice but her old partner in crime doesn’t register the tone. “Just let me get the game on and we can talk all you want. Its gonna rain soon anyway so I’m done working and you can have me all to yourself.” He manages to stay in one piece as he jumps back and forth from ground to stool to adjust the antennae looking for a signal for the game played hundreds of miles away.
She pushes the issue. “No, Ernest, this is important.” “Fine.” With a grunt he sits on his stool and begins to turn the dial on the radio as he moves to face his nagging farm-hand. “Well go on Copper-top. Shoot.”
“You know how you always say that I was the best thing to happen to you out here?. Said God finally sent you another good thing.” “I do recall saying that, but the longer this conversation goes on, I’m getting closer to taking it back.” A wry smile picks up the left corner of his mouth. “Now don’t get me wrong i’m really glad you showed up here. You made things a lot better since, my wife is gone. Ora would have liked you. Maybe not that red hair of yours, but you work harder than the devil on a Saturday night, so she would look passed that mess you got going on up there.”
“Well Ernest, what if I told you that God didn’t send me here?”
“That’s easy, id tell you i ain’t got time for no more talk about church and Jesus, the virgin Mary, the wheel within the wheel or how you are trying to go straight to hell. I just want to listen to the game for crying out loud. Can’t we have philosophical questions about God later?”
Hera stiffens , sighs and speaks all at once “No, its not that. It’s. Somebody, not God helped me get here.”
Ernest sits the radio down hard. “And yup, you win. I’m mad now. Well go on then, spit it out. Who sent you?”
“I did.” Hera swallows and holds her breath.
“What in the hell now girl?”
The wind outside the barn picks up. Piles of hay and lose bits of wheat or corn sail through the air.
“Ernest, I need you to listen to me now. It wont make sense, but know its the truth OK? I’ve never lied to you before and I wont start now. I did something bad.”
The doors above the barn swing open and the debris carries a few chickens with it. But Ernest and Hera don’t have chickens on their farm. Closest chicken coop is about 10 miles away at the Jackson farm.
Almost yelling Hera talks above the noise “A long time from now I do something really bad but I cant handle it. The punishment is too much so I ran away. Or I will run away.”
“Girl you’re not making any sense. Now we got a storm coming and we ain’t got time for your gibbering.” Ernest wipes dust from his face with his cap as he answers the girl back.
“You gotta hear me out here Ernest. I messed up and I ran. and I somehow ended up at this farm. That noise on the radio isnt static. Its the people I did wrong coming back to get me. They’re blocking all the radio waves so that I cant call for help. And if we don’t leave, if we don’t run the same way I did before, then they are going to hurt you. I cant have that.”
Ernest has made several steps towards the open door. A small whirlwind of debris and other small animals sits outside the door. “Now, my gun is out by the tractor and you will probably cut me down before I make it. But im gonna go for it anyway. You hear me? I’m gonna do it.”
“Ernest listen. I’m not joking or crazy or mad. I’m trying to save you. Trying to save us.” She pulls her hand to her face and bites down with her front teeth into her palm. A wince of pain is shared by her and the onlooking Ernest as blood starts to trickle down. Hers real, his out of shock. She gingerly pulls her head back with a black piece of something in her mouth. As she spits it into her hand she reaches into her mouth with the other and yanks at a back molar. Another spit produces another small black piece to match the other.
A thunderclap rocks the barn as the skies part near them. Rafters on the barn now slam again and again as they are lifted and peeled back only to slap down once more.
“I knew it! Look at you bleeding and spitting!” Ernest is backing up as he shakes his head and yells.
“We don’t have time for this. We need to leave now the same way I came here or you are dead and I cant have that happen.”
Through the open doors the shadow of a huge object overhead crawls along the ground. It blocks out the sun from their angle and Ernest can feel it in his chest. The rumbling from above shakes the ground harder than any train he has ever been near. The radio crackles to life but a voice in a language he has never heard comes through. Guttural noises, then clicks and whirs. Something almost French and Spanish and then suddenly “SURRENDER. FUGITIVE 8911. SURRENDER”. Then Ernest recognized it as it it starts in German and then more words he could not make out. A second later it begins to repeat.
All doubt in her voice is now gone, Hera yells “NOW ERNEST WE GOTTA GO!”
Hera stretches out her hand to him as he turns back from the booming voices outside his barn. Her other hand holds the two devices now connected. Before her a hole near the ground opens. A seemingly long hallway with its walls made of mirrors reaching out before them. A midst all of the chaos and noise, this made sense to Ernest and he grabs Hera’s hand.
A pulse of heat seems to pull then push ahead into the barn as they step into the corridor of reflection. A shockwave of pressure follows as a beam crashes into the building obliterating anything in its path.
“I don’t know whats happening, but you folks went through a lot to stop me from hearing the game.”
Hera smiles just a bit as they stretch 90 degrees from each direction at once
“Oh they probably would have lost anyway.”

Meet the Crew

001_Personal_2010_11[1]

Jan’s Deviant Art Page can be found here, a very well done body of work.

“And this is the Rascal.” She looked over the lines of the ship and was taken back for a moment. The photo files she was sent earlier didn’t do the ship justice. It was almost perfect.
They walked at a nice speed taking are not to bother or get in the way of the other ships. Hundreds of them lined the bay and the smells of ozone, arc welding and quick setting expoxys filled the air. It was crunch time and no crew wanted to not be ready for the first wave. There was no such thing as overtime because that didn’t exist when you never actually stopped working.
Tiran exhaled deeply before starting. “I wont tell a lie.”
“Good” Keelah quipped Tiran continued
“She looks good, I’m really really impressed. When I got the offer I was sure that I was gonna have my work cut out for me. But you pulled together a nice one here…Kel…”
“Keelah, like key-luh, like Kilowatt. Long story, ill tell you later. I would say thanks but i cant take the credit, These guys can.” She pointed across the bay to the open underside of the ship. The Rakasha sat hunched tapping a screen while Remo the fae-born scrolled and tapped another pad.

“I swear to the maker that if I look at your screen and all of  your plans are ending in attack” Remo said sounding annoyed. Derk hunched his shoulders as he defended himself “Its a battle plan” Remo breathed out as he spoke.
“No, its contingency programs and they are supposed to get us out of situations. If you cant help you can go do something else Derk.”
“But I like helping.” the gentle giant said. His voice sagged and contradicted his face. Teeth and scars dominated his head. A mane of hair that proved he had spent many tours in space and brought down countless others with his blade. Plugging away at this tiny screen was foreign to him, but when Remo said he could use some help he jumped at the chance.
“Yeah I understand but sometimes punching something until it stops moving isn’t a help. Try to think of commands that will get us out of a fight instead of deeper into one. We cant get good loot if we have to fight every ship out there tomorrow.”
Keelah started again “That big guy, that’s Derk. Rakasha Pride Battalion. You wont find a more deadly fighter in the fleet when we get off the ship. Trust me, you’ll want him along anytime we are on a planet. The guy across from I’m is Remo. Nest trained Coder. Top of his class, best in the sector until he burned out. So why is he here? honestly, he came cheap, but still a quarter of a Nest trained coder is a hundred times better than any code monkey in this hangar. Behind them is H-M. Helio series maintenance and sensor droid. As far as we can tell he has never had his memory wiped and been around long enough to have maps you couldn’t dream of just sitting up there. He got imprinted with a brain scan of one of the techs that worked on him. It seemed to have degraded over the years into some half droid half tech hybrid personality. Sometimes we get facts about gas-giants and other times just long debates on lager vs ale beers. Point is, no better navigator than that guy. Up top is Twist. He’s our mechanic. All the little special bits on the ship come from him. Thank him for the micro-chill in your bunk. And that’s the crew. ”
Tiran nods and half grimaces as he takes it all in.
“Well, you forgot a few things.”

“True, but we already met earlier and Ill tell you about the name another time, we got things to prep right now.” Keelah didn’t miss a beat as she waved to get Twists attention. He sat up high etching an emblem in another spot on the hull. Tiran smiled fully now.

“Yeah, fair enough, but you didn’t tell me why you picked me?” She stopped but never looked at him. Eyes and head forward she looked her ship up and down.

“That’s a no-brainer. I’m not sure why I picked you up. But I know why I didn’t let anybody else do it. I scanned the boards for Slipspace pilot. Hundreds of postings. But when I saw who was bidding for your contract I knew I needed to have you aboard.” “Really? That’s it?” Tiran looks shocked as he remarks.

“Yeah, If my brother wanted you on his ship, then best believe I needed you on mine instead. ” Keelah tosses her case up to Twist as he sits on the nacelle. A sharp “Woo Hoo” is heard as he shimmies down the side and runs towards the cockpit with it.

“We’ll get this Nav-helmet of up soon. Then we will see for sure if I paid the right amount of money for you.”

White Necromancer

 

 

 

 

 

More of Jasons work can be found on Deviant Art.

“We don’t have that luxury.”

Rina snapped back. “We need a guide to find anything in there and as crazy as it sounds street rats die everyday from starvation. There will be one there I’m sure.”

Her partners stared back in various states of anger disbelief and annoyance. Chibb was first to argue. “It will be too risky and it wasn’t worth it last time so why now?”

Treva agreed and weighed in. “All of your rules and conditions make it to bogged down. A real Nec…”

“What? A real Necromancer wouldn’t have this problem? Enough. I am a real Necromancer and my rules and conditions are the only thing saving us from going down the paths of those sick ones. You and your souls should forever be thankful that I keep us reasonably righteous.”

After more squabbling the others finally agree and on the cover of night the group enters the beggars graveyard.

” it’s over here. Quiet.” Rina whispers to the others.

“How does she always know?” Nebbir asked as a chill ran down his neck. “She says she can feel the new innocent ones and those are the easiest. I got no problem with that. I do like easy.”

Suddenly she stops and turns to the group, motioning them close. . As they gather near she begins to chant. Her hand reaching for her bag as she sprinkles dogs hair over the freshly dug grave. The ground pulses and her arms tense up when the presence enters the their circle.

“I am Rina of the Grey Scrolls. I implore you guardian spirit let us enter into a partnership with this soul.” Her voice was solid and sure. Of all the tasks she does, entreating the spirits of the dead was one she was most confident with.

As she lowers her hands she feels the tug on her robes.

“Well , did it work?” Chibb questions on a whisper.

Rina smiled as she began “Yes it did. We have a guide now people. Also, very few know these streets better than him. Now let’s go find this dagger and keep up our end of the bargain with that fool of a dragon.”

Trouble at the Herald 06-02-2014

Truly some of the best work ive seen in a while. Check out the rest here.

“I understand. yes, I know you worry but listen Dad. I didn’t come here to do stories on what diner has the biggest corn dog. Real journalism is real risk. I love you too.”

Karen looked at the clock and saw that she had a few more minutes on her lunch break. Time enough for a smoke before she got back to the grind. She rolled back in the chair and took another look at the old wife and kids before reaching into her purse for a pack. As she stared at the boy and girl and the their mother wearing the Mickey Mouse ears she shuddered a bit. “Mrs Lewis, you are a saint.” In her head she was imaging Ralph and his wife in the throws of passion making those two beautiful children and she couldn’t piece it together. Ralph was a walking wildebeest of a man. Today he was out on assignment and no matter what kind of a beast he was, his chair and phone were the best ones in the building. The Herald spared no expense on his accommodations apparently. And her makeshift desk was a pile of railroad spikes compared to Ralph’s special spot. He would be out for only another 2 weeks but she was quickly growing accustomed to sitting there.

Part of her felt she owed her first real story to him. Afterall, she sat that for many long nights as she made phone calls and typed up draft after draft of her piece. “The greatest story never told. By Karen Dennis.” Or “K.D.” she hadn’t decided one what to use for the by line. She knew that seeing Karen may instantly turn off some readers so she went back and forth on what to do. With a bit of luck she could make that choice and not her editor. It was luck in the first place that even lead her to the story.

While moving to get a paper from Ralph’s desk the day after he left, she knocked over a stack of books. One book, left behind most likely by one of his kids after they came to visit, opened right to a section on Melvin Laird. Next to it a more recent newspaper article on a man who had faked his own death for insurance money. Almost absentmindedly she wonder to herself about Laird faking his own demise. Then it hit her to do some digging. Later that evening she was shocked when she was able to get proof that maybe Laird was alive. Not only Laird, but several other connections and links were made. The surprising thing was that ease of it. As far as she could tell no one else had thought to check if these figures were really dead. So with her press credentials and some quick thinking she could find all sorts of things out. She connected them back as far as the 1800’s. Hours of library time with microfiche older than her dad lead to more questions and fewer answers. The list of those who were not really dead read like a Who’s who of American history. Politicians, scientists, civil rights activists. Dozens thought to be dead but in actuality never truly confirmed. She was proud of her investigative work and after it was completed and left at her editors door she called her sister and dad to talk about it from Ralph’s desk. Her sister was very happy and supportive and her dad was just worried. “Be careful when you go digging through stuff like that. People can find out things and you may upset somebody.” Her old man was paranoid and even when they were younger he had a preoccupation with the worst case scenario or the ever present “Them” watching the families every move. But honestly, she didn’t mind growing up with a crackpot dad.

As she made it back from her cigarette with the girls from the billing department, she decided to take the stairs. When exiting to head back to the big comfy chair she heard the commotion.

“I am Agent Hagar and this is Agent Neil. We need everyone to calm down and cooperate. We are looking for a coworker of yours a woman named Ralph Lewis. It is imperative you help us find Mrs. Lewis for questioning.”

She saw them and ducked back around the corner. Two men, shaved head and no facial hair. They wore nicely pressed suits and moved with military like precision As she peered around the corner she saw them near her desk. Ralph’s desk. How did they make that mistake? Ralph was obviously a mans name. The way the moved it was easy to tell they had no idea what Ralph looked like. One of the men held a badge up to her coworkers and tried to quiet them down as the questions began. A few moved towards a door to leave the floor and another pair of men appeared. The same look. Clean shaven, nice suits and something off putting. She poked her head around the corner once more and saw as the second of the first two, Agent Neil, reached in and adjust a gun in his jacket. It was like no gun she had seen before. Karen knew that something wasn’t right and suddenly she felt sick to her stomach.

She took a deep breath and made it quickly and quietly into the stairwell. As quiet as she could she made her way down the stairs and thanked all that was good that she hated wearing heels. Her flats that her coworkers and sister always joked about were coming in handy right now. The thought raced across her mind. If they thought that she was Ralph that means they had tapped that phone line. That meant two things. One, it meant that they had heard her phone calls to her sister and dad. They most likely knew everything about them. And Two, her dad was right. She had upset somebody with her digging.

She made it to the car garage and fumbled for her keys and stopped. If they had already gotten into the building what chance did she really have of getting her car out of there. She would have to leave on foot. She began walking and plotting her next move. About a block from the Herald she noticed it. A car following her. She moved across the street and took a few more turns to make sure and the car stayed with her. She wasn’t paranoid and it really was following her. Before she knew it her turns and shortcuts had succeeding only in confusing her. She made a mad dash across a busy intersection narrowly missing a bloody and painful end to her slow chase. Finally she felt she had lost them. Until she looked over her left shoulder. An older Cadillac pulled up next to her and kept pace. She had no place to run and swallowed hard as the window was rolled down.

“Get in!” She stood there shocked as her old crackpot of a dad stared back at her.

“Dad, something crazy is happening. There’s trouble at the Herald.”

“Honey, you have no idea.”

Radha 05-30-2014

 

 
More incredible Magic Cards by Jim can be found here.

The arrows roared overhead. The sound of thunder could be heard deep beyond the walls of the keep. As the attackers loaded and readied another volley, a lone figure moves towards the wall. With skill they climb up and over, vanishing into the certain and soon bloody death.

“Who was that?!” The bloodied captain asks as he hobbles to a position to avoid more arrows as they fly over the walls.

A soldier, far too you young for combat blinks and grimaces favoring the wound in his side as he answers. “Sir, I’m, I’m not sure but I think it was her.”

“Well, who the hell is “her”? If you haven’t noticed playing guessing games isn’t on the top of my list right now. I want to know who the hell just hoped that wall and committed suicide. Who the hell took the easy way out?!?”

The soldier answers half heartedly as if he would be in trouble for the reply. “Sir, it was Radha…”

“Blessed be the Green Mother. She came back.”

For weeks she had followed the signs that took her far from the Keep into the deep forest. The first clues were in the trees. Their leaves slightly turned and twisted. Most would never see this and that was fine. She knew that only a precious few could understand and sense the change that was near. This was her birthright and not to be understood by all. From the trees she then saw signs in the waters, the birds, the creatures of the forest. Nature itself was pulling inward to protect herself from the coming storm. All things pointed towards war on the horizon. Radha was no stranger to war nor did she fear it. She was born in battle and raised in strife. Her first words were a battlecry and her first toys the tools of combat. What she feared most was the peace that would follow. Would it be a peace forged from an understanding or a peace made from the slaughter of people. As a Red Warden she knew that she walked a thin line between two worlds. She understood that the battle that raged in her and the peace she was born to protect would mean quick actions, tough choices and the skill of hundreds of warriors. When she arrived back at the keep the beginnings of the fighting had already begun. She felt she was not too late and in her mind, she still had a chance.

She moved through the lanes of the Keep. Her body growing tense and at the ready for an attack. But her fight would not be by the side of her brothers and sisters. Her fight would in a much more deadly place. Radha did not fight wars, she ended them. And if her moves today were perfect, if her aim true, then she could stop this one before it truly began.

The ranks of the enemy were strong. They came prepared to wash over the Keep in a wave of strength they could not withstand. Their first attacks designed to weaken and strangle the fight out of them then they would rush the walls of the Keep and take no prisoners. Radha made it deep pas the front lines. Her sword deflecting arrows, her foot finding home in the legs and ribs of those who would move to stop her. She used her half blade only to disable, not kill the countless warriors that dared challenge her advance. Within frighteningly few moments she was near the inner ranks. Near the leader of the group. As she saw him she made her choice. No amount of talking would bring this conflict to a livable end. She made peace within herself and did what she had to do.

“Shes mine!” Yelled Gahrl as he moved quickly towards his would be attacker. His shield raised high to block her sword slash but also to push her back. He would use his defense as his weapon. To him, they were one in the same and he followed through with a mighty downward push to knock her off balance. Radha stiffened her back and pivoted to turn the attack to her side. Hoping to open up his left side to a deadly blow. Gahrl, no stranger to elven dirty fighting, instinctively defends himself with a turn into her. His knee lands in her ribs as he tries to grapple her sword hand and finish the scuffle. He digs a thumb into her neck and forces her to recoil in pain. Nearly destroying the nerves there with his unnatural grip, he succeeds in making her break the grapple. He draws his sword and sees the slight smile upon her face. Radha smiles because she knows that now they fight her fight. Sword against sword, there was nothing that walked on two legs in the forest that could best her. Gahrl charges and with a swift turn and swing down. The Half Sword of the Burning Tree cleaves the head of Gahrl, Warlord of the Five Nations.

A hush falls over the crowd that has gathered. A foolish warrior draws his blade and takes a step forward.

“Run home cur, I have already taken your masters head, don’t make me trash you with it. Now, I will speak to the next in line to be in Warlord and discuss your terms of a treaty. Today this war ends, before it starts.”

Powerpuff Girls 05-12-2014

See Ricky’s other incredible images here at his Deviant Art page.

The city of Townsville! lays in ruins…

For decades an evil element was held at bay as deadly villains and the criminally insane were held securely in T-MaS, Townsville Maximum Security Subterranean Prison. But all of that changed when the mastermind known as Mojo Jojo escaped. A plan that had been in the works for years was finally fully realized. Responsible for putting him, and countless others away, the city’s only hope are the Powerpuff Girls. But will the experimental creation of the long dead Professor Utonium be able to stand up to this threat?

Distant Radio voice : Red Blue and Green are you reading me? I am showing hostiles on the ground about 2 kliks out heading for your position. Girls, do you read me?Blossom: Copy that Dexter, This Is Blossom, we read you loud and clear. Just not used to these new head-plants. Do they really pick up everything?
Dexter: Yes they do, and you don’t have to yell I can hear everything perfectly fine. Even Bubbles and her chewing gum.
Bubbles: What? I get nervous and then I chew.
Buttercup: Come on guys, Dexter is right, I’m picking them on up on my long range scans too. We need to get in formation and hit them first.
Blossom: Buttercup, calm down. We don’t know if this fight is even necessary, We don’t haven any indication they know where Mojo is or what he did with Mayor Bellum. Our first task is to find out what they know before we take anybody out. Neutralize and question before putting them on ice.
Buttercup: Fine. But when this goes crazy, you’re gonna have to put up with my I told you so danceLOCK AND LOAD GIRLS, LETS DO IT TO IT!

With years of training under their belts the girls spring into action. Blossom begins her list of commands. They have done it hundreds of times before but the repetition has been the thing keeping them alive. The ritual of combat that they stick to hoping to never have a mistake again.

Blossom: Im up girls, Increasing energy output and molecular density. We are now operating with an energy increase of 50%. Bubbles you’re up!
Bubbles: No problem!

With a smirk and almost laugh, Bubbles hits the control panel on the left wrist of her armor. Small pebbles and debris nearby begins to vibrate and pulse with unseen waves of energy. With a final press she activates her Static repulsor shield enveloping herself and then the others in electrically charged bubbles of force.

The girls make their move and head out. Blossom flying well over head and leading the charge. Below on the ground Bubbles opts to use her signature method of jumps and leaps slightly magnetizing and demagnetizing her personal shield to make her jumps more powerful. Buttercup runs at incredible speeds and keeps a keen eye on rooftops and spots for hidden hostiles. As the girl get within range of the targets Bubbles loads a large ball of statically charged energy, finally launching it into the center of the advancing group. The impact sends enough energy out to stun and stagger most of the group. Blossom from her elevated vantage point targets the weapon systems and guns of the hostiles taking care to not injure any of them. A few random shots or two are fired at her but seem to only add to Bubbles shielding. Buttercup stops short of the scuffle and makes a final scan. She pauses as if to make calculations and gives a nod to herself before blasting ahead. With a series of darts and dodges she knocks down and disarms the rest of the group. Breaking guns and stun batons with expertly placed kicks, punches and rifle strikes.

Dexter: Girls, you need to..
Buttercup: Dexter, we’re kind of busy now. Can we turn this thing off?
Dexter: No, you’re not listening to me
Blossom: We understand, but we do this all of the time, its best to use non lethal force first, its what the Professor trained us for.
Dexter: No, but girls, Look.
All 3 girls: WHAT!!?!?!
Dexter: That wasn’t the group of hostiles i was talking about.

The girls check their sensors. Nothing appears wrong with them. Blossom begins to slowly rotate and increase her elevation and then suddenly she sees it.

At the edge of the city coming in from almost all angles, waves of troops.

Blossom: Buttercup, can you hear me?
Buttercup: What is it Blossom? What do you see?
Blossom: I hope you have that music for your I told you dance ready to play. Things just got crazy.

Front Mission: A Moment Alone 04-2014

 

 

See more of Kai’s work on his Deviant Art page.

32 units accounted for. Ranner made a final walkthrough of the warehouse before heading to the control room. He looked at each of the majestic warriors as they sat powered down but still viscous as ever. He knew that in their machine brains no time was truly passing and if given the command they would spring into action again. They would power up, scan for friendlies and targets and carryout their missions without a single thought. They would do so according to parameters hardcoded into their systems. Parameters he put there years ago. The sleek lines of the Alamo model, the deadly curves of the Shugenja and the powerful stout body of the Pax-Bjorne were some of his favorites. He could remember the points in his life when his current obsession with a moment in history prompted the design of each one. 32 in all each inspired by a great warrior or battle or moment in out collective history. But that was long ago and the Ghost Wars were long ended. He made sure each mech was in its proper place. He told himself that he was glad mankind no longer needed them but secretly hoped that one day he could push the button and wake his mechanical marvels up for battle again. For now, for this moment, he would have to settle for one last moment alone.