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Thread: Afterworld - Chapter 2 now up.

  1. #1

    Default Afterworld - Chapter 2 now up.

    Heres an idea ive had rattling around and this time i think i have an actual plot and story to go with the premise . Reviews give me motivation hehe.

    Afterworld

    “Is there anybody there?” a voice asked out in the darkness. The air was chill and the breath of the speaker and his 6 companions could be seen in the light of the sole flickering candle on the table they were all sat around. The dancing light giving their faces eerie reflections.

    “Is there any presence here with us?” he asked again. The room was deathly quiet and his voice seemed to boom out as it often did in the type of old house they were spending the night in.

    There was a loud scraping sound and they all jumped, wide eyed, their breaths catching in their throats as they looked around.

    “Sorry” came a voice from the darkness and a small torch was turned on illuminating a man holding a boom mike a meter above their heads. “I tripped on a cable.”

    “For fuck sake Mike!” snapped the Host of the show before calming down slightly. “Its fine, we’ll fix it in the edit lets just calm down and get back to it.”

    There was a rustling of movement as the surrounding camera crew shook out the tension that had built as the séance had begun and now settled back to silence as it resumed.

    “If there is anybody there…” began the Host, pausing for effect “…could you knock on the table.”

    They paused for a moment, listening to the faint whistle of the wind in the glassless windows.

    Knock.

    Their eyes went wide again, the host span around to glare again at the sound-man but he shook his head in innocence.

    Knock

    It came once again, and another, this time faster. The crew began getting excited at actual possible contact with the other side; this would be great for their ratings.

    “Can we ask you some questions?” the speaker asked again “tap twice for yes and once for no” but the tapping continued, alternating from fast to slow, repeating a rhythm.

    “What’s going on?” asked the host. “There’s definite activity but it seems to be ignoring us, just tapping as it likes.”

    “Wait a minute…” said one of the girls around the table “…I know that beat.”

    The host looked at her confused for a moment before stopping to listen to the rhythm being tapped out on the table by seemingly invisible hands.

    “Is that…..” he asked with a slight pause, knowing how silly this must sound

    “…is that 'We Will Rock You'?”


    “I wish you’d stop fucking with them like that” spoke a deep gruff voice in the darkness. A voice that none of the crew could hear for the simple fact that the speaker was dead and infact one of the ghosts this team had come to hunt.

    “I know but its so much fun” replied a lighter more teasing but equally as dead voice from the woman leaning over the crew drumming out the solo of ‘In the air tonight’ over and over again on their table. “You need to learn to relax more Duggan” she teased. “It’ll be the death of you.”

    “Har Har” he replied with no trace of humour in his voice. He leaned against the far wall watching this team of ‘ghost hunters’ as they went through the motions of psychic investigations. He would have made an imposing sight if any of them could have truly seen him. He stood a little over 6ft and seemed to be almost as wide across at the shoulder. He looked like the typical army vet that could never quite give it up. The grizzled beard and weathered face added to that effect. His partner on the other hand was the opposite. Slim, petite and always carrying that look of mischief on her lips. Her red hair occasionally covering one eye as if to keep something a secret.

    “Get serious Kat, stop wasting energy” he sighed in a low rumble. “One day you’re going to make a serious mistake and have all sorts of media attention investigating the afterlife.”

    “3 things” she said smiling as she turned to walk back to him.

    “Number one, I like attention” she winked as Duggan shook his head.

    “Number two, I don’t make mistakes. I admit that occasionally I do unwittingly create situations that are unplanned for however can still be turned into an unusual advantage. Never mistakes.”

    “And 3?” asked Duggan, already knowing what her next excuse would be.

    “Number three is that this table is loaded with energy, they must have been using this thing for years.”

    He could see the traces of glowing blue/green energy, the energy of creation, the fuel of life itself and the same energy that people in his world used to interact with the world of the living trailing from her fingers before falling back to be reabsorbed into the table. Only living things gave off life energy, the humans in the room were almost alight with the stuff but natural materials, especially wooden, could absorb it sometimes, the older the better, and it allowed them some level of interaction. This table it seemed had absorbed a lot over the years.


    “Is he any good?” asked Kat as she moved to lean on the wall beside him, looking at the member of the crew that Duggan had been paying special attention to. This one claimed to be their psychic, the medium of the group and although from the extra energy the two Ghosts could see radiating from him it was obvious he did have psychic potential but it was unharnessed.

    “Nah, he’s Bullshitting his way through it. Apparently the tapping is coming from an evil old witch.” replied Duggan, considering the obvious joke but the scowl on Kat's face made him think otherwise.

    He stood and stretched, wincing as he did. It was odd really when he thought about it, to be dead and still have aches and pains. The same old dull ache in his shoulder he picked up long before any of these crew members were even born. Truth be told he had been dead for a long time before any of these people were born but he had still been here all this time, doing this same job. Kat too, while new relatively speaking was still more than likely older than any of the living in the room yet she had the appearance of a girl barely out of her teens.

    “But he’s got all that potential.” said Kat, indicating the corona of energy she could see surrounding him.

    “Yeah but he doesn’t know about it. He’s basically woken up one morning and said ‘I’m gonna pretend to be psychic and have some schmuck believe I can talk to ghosts‘ when in actual fact, if he learned how he probably could.“

    “And now it’s our problem.” said Kat.

    “And now it’s out problem” said Duggan, echoing her sigh as the corona grew brighter and the ethereal winds picked up, the candle flickered wildly.

    It was happening.


    ***


    Today was the worst day of Seth Bryant’s life. He hated days like these. The ones that seemed to go on and on. The ones that if you looked at the clock you could swear it was going backwards.

    Today had been a nightmare. Late for work because of road works, no lunch because he had forgotten his wallet and now, to cap it off his car decided it was time to give up the ghost and with no money for a bus his only option was to walk home. In the rain. Sometimes it just didn’t pay to get out of bed.

    His attention was taken by the beep of a car and he turned on autopilot to wave to whichever colleague it was taking the piss that they were nice and dry in their car. He held off on the annoyed expression and obligatory raised middle finger when he realised it was Abby from accounts.

    “Never know, it always pays to be nice” he said through a forced smile.


    After almost an hour’s walk the rain eased off. With not far too go till he got home he realised he had made pretty good time considering he was soaked.

    He was starting to look forward to getting his feet up. A hot shower, a hot meal and a night in front of the TV to start his weekend off. He had considered going out but payday was Monday and he’d rather have one big night tomorrow instead of stretching it out to two little nights.

    He smiled to himself realising that Sunday was probably going to be a day of headaches and sleeping till the afternoon but he knew it was going to be worth it. And it would have been, if he had looked both ways before stepping out into the road.


    He couldn’t remember the bus hitting him. Just a flash of something very large and very fast out of the corner of his eye. Then, for a second there was nothing. Just darkness with some bright point that he seemed to be drifting towards. As it got closer he looked around, the light began illuminating his surroundings, a tunnel, some sort of huge tunnel that he was floating down towards this point of light.

    He knew he should probably be panicking, should be worried about what was happening but he wasn’t. Something inside him just said ‘relax’ and he did. The same instinct seemed to explain to him that he was dead, but it was alright, and he believed it. He just let himself float along.

    Something here wasn’t alright though. He could see other people around him, they were fine, and they were just floating along like him. But one wasn’t. There was one person in front of him, he looked like he was swimming, thrashing wildly as if fighting the invisible current.

    ‘Why would he do that?’ Thought Seth, ‘the voice said its all ok’.

    As the thought formed the swimming man came close enough to Seth that their eyes locked. The man reached out, grabbing Seth’s arm and pulling, using him to pull himself against the current, fighting desperately. Seth pushed back, finding himself unable to speak to tell the man to let him go, that he wanted it to be alright.

    As they fought they drifted closer and closer to the walls of the tunnel, and when they finally touched it Seth saw only a flash, then the blackness again.

    When he woke the man was gone but he found himself in a room, a dark and draughty room with hard wooden floors covered in dust.

    Realising his voice had returned he coughed and looked around.

    “What the hell is going on?”


    ***


    They had seen him come through; Duggan and Kat stood patiently watching him. The portal had opened as it usually had, directly above the psychic and had launched this spirit across the room to land heavily. The candle flickered as if agitated but the room itself, for the humans at least was calm. The ethereal winds of energy however blew a gale. Kats hair blew up around her face and her eyes quickly glanced to Duggan, beginning to get unsure of the situation.

    “This one feels powerful” she half shouted over the roar of power in the air.

    “So why isn’t he changing?” asked Duggan taking a step towards the man sprawled on the floor trying to get himself up.

    “What do you mean changing?” asked Seth looking up into the faces of two people. One was a huge stockily built man, the other an attractive but worried looking woman. Both wore some sort of black bodysuit with what seemed like padded jackets over the top.

    As if to answer his question he heard a thud beside him followed by cruel laughter, and the two figures backed away, the man reaching out to drag Seth with them.

    “It’s a Double!” shouted Duggan, dragging the first spirit away before turning to face the source of the laughter.

    Seth turned to look and saw the man he had struggled with in the tunnel. His eyes were bright and seemed to glow. His arms outstretched from a kneeling position and Seth could swear he was seeing some sort of greenish blue energy whirling over his head, radiating from the walls and being absorbed by this man.

    As his body began to bulge and deform he turned to the large man and asked again.

    “What the hell is going on?”

    The big man looked down with stern but sympathetic eyes.

    “Ill explain later, for now stay out of the way. Welcome to the Afterworld kid.”
    Last edited by Ultimate Charizard; 17th July 2012 at 10:11 PM.

    Afterworld ~ Chapter 2 | Blood Bowl ~ Chapter 3
    If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.

    ASB Record
    W-12 ~ D-2 ~ L-2

  2. #2

    Default Re: Afterworld - Chapter 2 now up.

    Well, glad to see ive really captured everyones imagination with this one lol...*sarcasm off*



    Chapter 2

    ‘It was always the same’ Duggan thought to himself as he watched the man before him laughing like a maniac, his eyes wide with the madness of extreme relief. It didn’t matter how many times he had seen it over the years he had been witness to these events he always felt the wave of nausea as the bodies of these ’escapees’ found new ways to mutilate themselves.

    He let out the breath he hadn’t realised he was holding, another curiosity he had considered a number of times. Was he really breathing or just imitating it through habit?

    He shrugged the thought off as this new targets laughter turned to roars of insane power. The flow of energy from the surroundings was starting to increase, feeding the transformation, its body swelling with impossible muscle, his legs snapping violently so they bent the wrong way at the knee, his head seemingly sinking into the bulk of his neck and his left arm seemed to burst. The skin hadn’t broken but it seemed everything inside the arm had turned to fluid before re-solidifying into a heavy rope of powerful muscle like some sort of obscene whip.

    Duggan could see the drain starting to spread. The subtle glow of life energy in the walls flowing into the target and he could see the affected area beginning to reach out towards the TV Crew. He walked over to the still dimly lit table, risking a glance, first at Kat who simply nodded and then to the newcomer. He was panicking; his face alight with fear as he watched this other mans body broke against all the laws of nature in front of him. All would be explained to him eventually but for now there were more important things to deal with.

    “Excuse me” he said to no-one in particular as he leant between two of the crew members to lay his hand on the table, feeling the energy that was contained within and drawing out a portion into himself. As it stood, the table would stand out like a beacon to the target. Its hunger for life energy would draw it like a moth to a flame and draining it into him would dim that flame slightly. What it had managed to steal from the surrounding room had mutated it so much so fast; it couldn’t be allowed to absorb such a concentrated amount.

    He tensed for a moment, feeling the same power that was changing the target flowing through him. Normally using this energy wasn’t dangerous, as Kat had done earlier, it simply allowed them to interact with the world of the living to a degree but when the energy was taken inside it could quickly overwhelm. Duggan however had been doing this long enough and knew the secrets. He concentrated, feeling the energy changing inside him, moulding it instead of letting it mould him.

    He thought it sad as he turned back to his target. A spirit like this one, an ‘escapee’ who’s only thought was to fight its way back into the world of the living, like a drowning man clawing and grabbing at anything it can to pull itself free and the energy of a latent psychic was like a rope thrown to its aid. Once it broke through the instinct to keep pulling was still there and unfortunately the easiest thing a spirit can grab hold of in the Afterworld is the life energy around it until it became what he faced now.

    He could see its eyes glaring, its face contorted into a mad mans grin and it seemed to be locked on him. Perhaps it was because he was the only one moving around but Duggan didn’t care. The whole point was to make it focus on him.

    It roared and lashed out with its whip-arm. Slamming heavily into the ground where, only a moment ago, Duggan had been standing. The crew around the table all jumped in unison.

    “What the hell was that? “ the host exclaimed though it was more in wonder than fear.

    Though the weight of the attack should have shattered the hardwood floor no spirit, no matter how pumped up it was, could have that level of influence on the living world and though the crashing impact seemed deafening to the other spirits in the room to the crew members it would have simply sounded like a loud and urgent thud.

    Duggan rolled out of the dive he had used to avoid the impact, ducking another wild horizontal swing aimed at his head and began to charge towards the target, his hands beginning to glow with a fiery blue energy. It was the same energy he had absorbed from the table but he had changed it, stripped the life force from it until only the raw energy remained. It was a tricky technique to learn, but it was the only way of dealing with this particular problem.

    He dodged again and again, the arm starting to strike at him like some sort of serpent, proving it still had muscle control of its own and was no mere lash, as he made his way closer and closer to the beast before him, lashing out with a strike of his own, a powerful uppercut to its bulging gut from which it screamed and recoiled as if scalded. He was momentarily surprised at how quickly it moved away from him, attempting to keep him at its considerable arms length.


    ***


    “Can someone please tell me what’s going on?” asked Seth. His voice little more than a hoarse whisper now. He had watched the madness unfold and tried to close his eyes to block it out. The noises wouldn’t go away though and he soon found himself almost rocking in a corner, wanting to wake up from a nightmare that wouldn’t let him go.

    He was beginning to wonder how much more scared he would have to be before he pissed his pants before a sharp stinging slap cracked across his cheek making him forget his situation for a moment and glare back at the stern, yet he couldn’t help notice, attractive face glaring angrily down at him.

    “Will you shut the fuck up!” she yelled at him.

    “What the hell was that for?!!” he exclaimed back though she ignored him and turned back to watch what had turned from a man seemingly blowing up from the inside like some bad manga movie, to a fight between the beast and the guy who had dragged him away, except now his fists were on freaking fire!

    It took him a moment to realise she wasn’t freaked out at all by what was going on, infact she was watching intently as if waiting for a cue and the room wasn’t empty either. There was a bunch of people, it looked a lot like a film crew, all sat around a table but they seemed oblivious. Seth got to his feet, half running, half dragging his way across the room towards them. They looked around as if listening for something but how could they not see what was going on.

    “Hey!” Seth yelled, waving his hands in front of their faces. Nothing registered. “HEEEEYYYY!” he tried again directly into one woman’s face though none of them focussed on him. He reached out to grab her by the head and his whole body paused as his hand passed right through her.

    It was then he remembered the brief glimpse of the bus, it was then he remembered the calming tunnel with the man swimming against the current, it was then he realised how scared you actually had to be before you pissed your pants.

    “Come away from them!” Shouted the woman again, grabbing him by the shoulders and pulling him away. Dumping him roughly against the wall on the far side of the room.

    As he fell away he could see something on his hands, something glowing and green that trailed from the head of the woman and he could see her physically sway. The rest of the crew looked over, some reaching out to help her as she claimed she felt dizzy and unwell.

    Seth looked at his hand, freaked out beyond anything he had known before. So much so he hadn’t seen that the monster had noticed him, and was now staring at the strand of energy running between him and the woman. Its tentacle arm shot out impossibly fast and wrapped around the strand.

    Seth yelled out in pain as it was physically stripped from his fingers and saw the woman collapse as the creature’s tentacle arm began to pulse and swell as if it were drinking something from her. The rest of the crew jumped from their seats, some calling for Paramedics, others moving to catch her as she fell.

    “Oh shit!” exclaimed the woman and soon she was yelling. “Duggan quick!”

    The man turned, he had ducked the arm assuming it was another strike at him but hadn’t taken his focus away from the beast but his eyes widened as he saw what was going on.


    ***


    “No you don’t!” Duggan shouted, grabbing hold of the arm with his blazing hands. The spirit screamed with pain but refused to let go. Duggan knew that if it was allowed to it would completely drain that poor woman of her life force and so poured more of his own harmful energy into the beast. What looked like burns appeared where his hands lay and as the power increased he squeezed.

    With a final effort he raised one fist high and brought it smashing down on the limb, the sickly wet snap of muscle and flexible bone still within it being broken in two filling the room. The spirit howled in pain as its ethereal blood sprayed for a moment before dissolving away into the air.

    Duggan wasn’t about to let the beast recover and pressed his attack. The open wound was haemorrhaging energy now; it couldn’t keep this up much longer. He pummelled it repeatedly to the body and head, each hit making it sluggish and more fatigued. The one small mercy that Duggan counted on was that although these spirits could absorb a lot of energy fast they burned through it just as quickly.

    “Get ready Kat!” he called out and heard her warning the newcomer to stay out of the way. His part of the job, the physical part, was almost over and he didn’t have to look back to know she would be preparing herself.

    One final blow finished the spirit off. It screamed and its body lit up as the last traces of energy were used up. What was left was just about a man, its body torn by the forced it had been put under. His skin split and stretched, his legs ruined and bloody.

    “Don’t… don’t send me… back there….” he gasped through ragged lungs.

    Duggan simply shook his head and took a step back. The mans eyes seemed to be struggling to focus and it took him a moment to realise that Kat had now stepped up to him and his head snapped around to plead with her but she too ignored him. Whispering words of power under her breath.

    She spread her arms above his head and spoke louder. A circle began to form around the heaped mess of his form, it glowed with a power all of its own and was lined with runes that seemed to hum in anticipation.

    She opened her eyes as the circle completed and placed her palm on the forehead of the man. He sobbed as best he could, his eyes closed as he wept and with another word from Kat his body disintegrated in a flash of light. The energy expelled drawn quickly into the glowing runes before they too faded away.

    Duggan came over and patted Kat on the shoulder. They both smiled sadly and stretched, taking a deep breath which seemingly cleared the air.

    “No mistakes huh?” asked Duggan with a smile as they turned and walked away from the site of their victory. Watching the film crew slowly helping the woman back to her chair after she had come back around.

    “Nope… ” she said full of confidence “It gave you the opportunity to cause a major wound and finish it quickly.”

    “An unusual advantage huh.” laughed Duggan.

    “Exactly “she grinned, the protested “Besides, it wasn’t my fault. You can blame our new guest here”.

    They both stopped as they reached Seth, still sat on the floor against the wall where Kat had told him to stay.

    “Ill ask again” Seth said as they stood staring at him. “Will someone please tell me, what the fuck is going on?”


    --------------------------------------------------

    I know theres a huge chunk of exposition to pad this out but i felt that since im half showing the point of view of an experienced 'agent' (or whatever i choose to call them) id have to explain why he's doing what he's doing.

    Afterworld ~ Chapter 2 | Blood Bowl ~ Chapter 3
    If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.

    ASB Record
    W-12 ~ D-2 ~ L-2

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Afterworld - Chapter 2 now up.

    I'm not kidding, I've had this open in Firefox for like 3 weeks now. I keep saying, "Okay, today I'm going to read it." But then something comes up and the cycle begins anew.

    Halfway though the first chapter now, looks good so far
    [img][/img]

    Mewfour is a Canadian writer and longtime TPM veteran.
    Over his impressive 9-year ficcing career he has won 5
    Silver Pencils and 3 Golden Pen awards, and currently holds
    the record for most times won Most Evil Fanficcer (3)

    He's also not above posting stuff about himself in the third person.

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