Year 109 P.A. (Post Apocalypse) – Earth Prime
Location: Castle Refuge
Time of Year: Spring
IT HAPPENED AGAIN…
…Another LUCKY SHOT.
I left the Embrace as Velma’s epic ‘bardic tale’ was getting to her point of our most recent encounter with other dimensional assailants known as Docents. I feigned having to go to the lavatory and if anyone noticed, they left me be. I couldn’t look her in the face anymore. That goddess was standing on the stage recounting how I convince everyone in our group to go and save her. I have to tell her somehow it was all a lie.
- Yes, I did convince my friends (which is nice to acknowledge I have some now) to go and help me save her.
- Yes, we face overwhelming odds that we should have died at. Were it not for, Rex, and his silver tongue we would likely be dead.
- No, I did not completely save her from the Cross-Dimensional Museum of Everything’s curator. That fiend’s tether is still latched onto her.
~ Valdus scratches at his hands and forearms as he writes this until they are becoming red and raw. ~
Far from this world his mind is drawn back to Copernicus-5 in a section of space on the edge of the Three Galaxies. Copernicus-5 was under the control of the F.W.C. or Free World Council. However, being under attack of the Kreeghor and their Invincible Guardsmen was all Valdus knew as he served his internship from his training school as a front line medic on this heaven forsaken world.
It was dusk as his brother and he made it to the extraction point with their team. The supplies and half the team were loaded on when two of the Invincible Guardsmen rained down upon their unit with enough firepower to leave a crater 30 feet deep and 80 feet across! Valdus had reached out to grab his brothers hand. When he came to he found himself knocked back into the transport. The transport was moving and he felt his brother’s hand in his. He rolled over to check on him and no one was there. Looking down he saw that he did indeed have his brother’s hand because of the tattoo. That and the next 4 inches of his forearm was all there was left of him.
~ Valdus scratches his hands more as he snaps back to his journal ~
Today, was the morning after the first night we got to stay in the constructed home Rex had purchased for the group. Lorraine had made the hover modifications to the Zone Ranger ATV and it was parked in the courtyard. I loved it because it gave easy access to the door and hallway leading to the room that would become our infirmary.
I had acquired furniture for Velma and I. She took the smaller room with the stand up shower despite my repeated attempts to give her the larger room with a tub / shower. I’ll never get married at this rate if the simplest gesture of kindness is rebuffed, now I really shouldn’t be surprised. One of these days she going to run into someone far more worthy of her time than I am. For the errant shitbag reading my journal just keep reading I am not the hero of this story.
We had been informed that three people had come to the house looking to speak with us. As I approached the foyer of our mansion I scanned the area in case this was going to go bad. I was rewarded with confirmation that my self preservation was need here as Copernicus-5. No wonder I dress daily in body armor, and today it earned it’s keep. I owe my cousin greatly for making it magicked enough for me to wear and pack extra fortification to it.
Many people think learning about one of the great cross-dimensional secrets societies would be a day of celebration but not I. Every time I have learned about some sort of secret it has always come at great cost to me or people I care about. On the first outing with my house-mates as an official group last week we came across a place filled with toys and we collected a few that took our fancy. We made sure to call out and verify the place was abandoned. Mainly due to Castle Refuge’s laws regarding salvage rights.
Well, the three people – whom I learned later were called Docents – were very skilled and each bore an item of immense power on their person.
The Female Docent was a front line fighter in possession of a sword with its own pool of arcane power and a focus on cold and death magicks. The first of the Male Docents was dressed in a scout’s apparel and bore and ancient bow that belied immense power of legend. The second of the Male Docents was dressed in fashion that I had seen among the Three Galaxies with a high tech looking gun on their side.
I informed Rex not to get to close because the sword wield Docent had an aura about her that would harm him if he did. The group was very aggressive about getting the nick knacks back. All of us seemed willing to sell them seeing how we had no deep seated attachment to them. Rex showed them to our new mostly empty study as we all (except for Keegan, whom was out on a mission with fellow Cyber-Knights) retreated to the safe room to discuss our options.
It would appear we took to long because the sword wielder attacked the door! Next the sword-wielding psychopath and the high-tech looking Docents teleported into the room! A split second later the high tech looking teleported out as the sword-wielding she-devil began to let the magical sword’s aura reek havoc on everyone in its range. If the aura of the blade was that powerful I could extrapolate the damage from a swing and it gave me flashbacks to Copernicus-5.
ThorFrid and some of the other were being attacked by the archer Docent through hole in the door by the sword-wielding she-devil. My armor was the only thing preventing me from taking the aura’s damage. When Velma was unable to take her down, aside from wounding her I knew I had to act before she killed everyone in the room. A fact she actually declared she had every intention of doing!
I learned about my potential for slaughter trying to fend off Kreeghor from wounded I had been treating on Copernicus-5. I became known there as the “One-Shot Doc” for my Psi-Bolts. What made me finally leave was being woken up one night after loosing my brother and I reflexively shot the person waking me up. I didn’t just kill them, I disintegrated them. I was discharged with a medical condition of insane and sent home. I think that’s why my family moved planets because I had brought shame upon them. No one says that to me but I don’t know of any other reason other than an effort to reclaim their ancestral home world. Who knows.
I raised my hands and scream, “DON’T TOUCH MY FRIENDS!”
Two volleys of psi-bolts later and I unwittingly saw it all over again. The female sword wielding Docent EXPLODED! Each limb went in a different direction and her head and torso became large chunks of corpse bits. I fell to the ground screaming in Spanish, El Diablo over and over! I was shaken and stunned unable to move and just reliving those last few seconds interposed with every other time I used that power to decided my will and desire to protect something was more worthy than that creature’s right to live and fight for what it believed in. Heroes are just the villain in someone else’s story. Some days the only thing I feel I am good at is the sins of pride, wrath, and gluttony. Yet somehow I keep winning and surviving! Why do I keep surviving?
I come around thanks to medicine from Turag our Trimadore Techo-Wizard. The other Docents lulled our group into a false sense of security that they would concede to Rex’s parley. However, they double-crossed him and stole Velma! I could the energy from the dimensional teleport and it was greater than any I had felt before. ThorFrid was offended and want revenge and I wanted Velma back. I know I care for her deeply even though I am aware how out of my league she is. We have been through so much together and I wouldn’t abandon her to a fate I might die trying to save her from. My brother did it for me so its the least I owe her.
The next few hours were a blur. ThorFrid and I went to Castle Refuge to request access to the Nexus below the castle. It was granted and the leaders are aware of the Docents from their contacts in the Magic Zone. I didn’t share the pin that Jad had found noting that they belong to a place called the Cross-Dimensional Museum of Everything.
Turag went to hide his nick knacks from our trip and run a few errands before we met up to access the nexus for a rift to that dimension. He was the only one of us that had gone off alone but it was a calculated risk. Since they had a cross-dimensional teleporter they could grab any of us they wanted.
Rex was contacted by his underworld contact known as the Shadow Broker and we got a chance to meet him. He was clearly a psychic on par with those that taught me my powers. However, he had access to magic as well which actually hid him within inky, writhing, shadows. He attuned the pin Jad had found to track the location it came from. In doing so I had to witness the fight again but I held it together this time. Velma was in danger and my pathetic spine had to become more stiff.
We met Rex’s Ley-Line Walker contact at the Castle and went down to room with access to the nexus. I was praying Velma was alright and when it opened ThorFrid jumped through the portal followed by me. Everyone was shortly in tow. Here is where I feel the hype is a let down. Yes, the place would solidify around us but I saw nothing unique. Just an old codger with hired thugs to steal things for collection that served no populace. This was just some cross-dimensional hoarder and its thieves’ guild.
He tried to go on about how the C-D.M.E. got its power from things that are unique, but it’s likely just propaganda bullshit designed to reinforce his narcissistic view of his self-inflated ego. He’s nothing but a tyrant with power and thugs that apparently like being bullies for him. Rex was the MVP to me because I was ready to throw my life away and go down swinging, however, he brokered a deal. I trade my nick knack in exchange for Velma. The deal did indeed go down and we got Velma back whom was stunned I had come across a dimension to get her back!
She leaped into my arms and tackled me with kisses. I tried to murmur that it was a lucky shot but she would hear of it. For a moment I thought she might actually have feelings for me and I just freaked out internally. She can have anyone she wants and all I was doing was saving my closest friend. I also didn’t do it alone, it was a team effort indeed. I check the rest of the team out and they are fine but something the curator said about once in the collection always in the collection. I begrudgingly inform Turag about the temporal tether I spotted on Velma as she walked up on stage to begin her performance.
I will find a way to break that, and if anyone hurts one of them I’ll bury the sonofabitch in the ground.
I’m tired and every time I close my eyes all I see is blood, I need a shower.
Much later that night Velma returns home ready to take Valdus to bed with her. She finds him sitting in the shower, hot water long gone and there are scratches all over his arms and torso. He is muttering a lot of things and she makes out:
- El Diablo,
- she still has a magic time-tether from the curator, I didn’t save her fast enough,
- I couldn’t save my brother what makes me think I can save anyone?
In his room things are sparse and she can see his journal. She holds him close the entire night and sings to him until he falls asleep.