Turtle of Doom

The Monster Under Your Bed
Original poster
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
  3. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Prestige
  5. Douche
  6. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Magical, Romance, Dystopian, Religious, Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies (but the plot has to consist of more than just mindlessly murdering the undead), Steampunk
The din of the crowd roared in his ears. A couple of burly Crebs had decided to cause a ruckus, but it was to be expected. Lorkpar's often attracted the rougher crowds, after all. Mel rolled his head back and forth, stretching out some of the tension and waved for another refill. He'd lost track of how long he'd been there, a few hours at least...

"You sure you're up for another?" Lorkpar raised what should have been an eyebrow, but on his smooth browless, jade green face it was a second row of lashes.

"I don't pay you to judge my choices, man. Just keep 'em comin'." Mel's voice was gruff, low, and deep, but the smile that pulled up the corners of his mouth reached all the way to his eyes. There wasn't many creatures in the universe he'd consider his friend, but Lorkpar was definitely one of them.

A crash sounded from the back of the room and Lorkpar growled, setting the bottle in front of Mel and grabbing a shock stick from underneath the bar. "Help yourself," he grumbled as he went to take care of the problem.

With a shrug, Mel grabbed the bottle and filled the glass, ignoring the bar owner's usual two-finger rule. As he set the bottle back on the bar he was suddenly aware of another patron sitting way to close for his comfort. Raising an eyebrow and swiveling in his seat, his jaw dropped. Ex-wife number two had cozied right on up to him.

"You know," he said, taking a sip of his drink. "One of the reasons I stick to places like this is so I don't chance running into the likes of you."

Mel scoffed and turned away from the unwanted visitor, rolling his eyes and swiveling his stool around before staggering off to a booth a little ways away.

@firejay1
 

firejay1

The Phoenix
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
  5. One post per week
Online Availability
My times are pretty erratic, but it's only really rare to see me PST 3-11am. I'm on most of the time.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Slice-of-Life, Modern.
"Why, Mel, you make it sound as though you don't want to see me." Vera followed him, navigating the rough crowds much more skillfully than her drunk ex-husband. She slipped into the booth with him, trapping him there with her. "Come on, it's been more than twenty years, Mel. Haven't you missed me?" There was a little smile on her lips, and her eyes were shrewd and mischievous. For a woman in her late forties, she had kept herself well and most men there would have at least cast her a second glance, but as much fun as flirting was, that wasn't what she was there for. Her eyes kept flickering over to the doorway and scanning the room nervously.

The door of the pub burst open, and her face flinched into a grimace for half a second as she saw who walked through the door. "Well, this has been fun, but it turns out I actually need your help. You used to be a bounty hunter. You know how they work. When you're a little less drunk, call me." She slid a card onto the table. It was a business card, simple and black, with nothing more than the words "Vera Vance: Attorney at Law" and her number on it. It was a risk, leaving it for him and not pursuing the conversation further, but coming here had been a risk to begin with. She hadn't really had any better options. Standing up again, she made her way to one of the tables where a not-too-drunk, but incredibly surly-looking Nordic was nursing a drink. "Excuse me, sir." He gave her a sideways look, looking none-too-pleased about the company. "Do you know the Reptilian with the scar over his right eye?"

He frowned at her and gave the man a look. "No." The Reptilian Terrin spotted her at the same time, and her hands shook lightly, even as she tried to keep the smile on her face.

"That's strange. He seemed to know you. He asked me to tell you your wife needed to shave 'down there.' It seemed like an intimate thing to say, but he must have gotten the wrong person." Please have a living wife, please have a living wife. She begged him mentally. He looked over at the Terrin again, who was heading for the both of them with a triumphant grin on his scaly face and looking very much like he knew one of them indeed, and she took the opportunity to make a run for the back exit. Squeezing in past two of the brawling Crebs, she burst out the back door before getting a chance to see what the Nordic did. She could only pray that it served to delay his chase and distract him from the fact that she had just met up with Mel.
 
  • Love
Reactions: Turtle of Doom

Turtle of Doom

The Monster Under Your Bed
Original poster
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
  3. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Prestige
  5. Douche
  6. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Magical, Romance, Dystopian, Religious, Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies (but the plot has to consist of more than just mindlessly murdering the undead), Steampunk
For the most part, Mel was lost in his own little world. Not paying much attention to Vera or her rambling. It’s not like it mattered anyway. Vera would press the issue. Mel would ignore her. That was their way. She was acting different though. Not her normal charismatic self. As she slid the business card toward him Mel shook his head. He was never “less drunk”; if she had done the research to find him, she should have known that.

He ignored the card on the table, and took another sip of his drink. He was almost able to ignore the scene Vera had caused as she left too, but there was something off. Why had she hunted him down after all these years. Suddenly, he had questions, dammit. With a gruff growl he slammed the last of his drink and stumbled to his feet.

Who did she think she was strutting in here and acting like no time had passed? Who the hell did she think she was? There was a stumble in his step as he followed after her, but the stumble soon turned into a fall, and there he was catching himself on a very disgruntled Nordic, knocking a pissed off Terrin out his arms.

“Watch where you’re going, asshole,” came the immediate reply as the burly male made another grab for the reptile.

Expecting a fight, Mel turned to get a better look at the aggressors and his jaw dropped as recognition struck. Jo’plin Kindoom, the reptile once again in the clutches of the pissed off Nordic, was a face Mel recognized from his working days. And not a face he’d ever expected to see again.

Dammit, woman,” Mel cursed under his breath. What the hell had she got herself tangled up in?

“What did you call me?” The Nordic dropped Jo’plin again this time turning and swinging on Mel. In his drunken haze, Mel felt the full brunt of the brute’s fist as it beat into his face and knocked him away.

Mel took the opportunity to duck into the crowd, hauling ass after Vera. There was only one dock on that rinkydink space station, and if she was headed off world, that’s where she would be going. He moved as fast as his drunken feet would carry him.

Stumbling and staggering through the narrow alleyways, he’d been on this blasted station long enough to know which paths would get him to where he was headed the quickest, and sure enough he managed to get ahead of Vera and cut her off. Running out into the open pathway, he stood in front of her. “What the hell was that,” he shouted at her approaching form.

She wasn’t stopping, she moved around him and he almost fell trying to follow after her. “Dammit, woman, slow the hell down.
 
  • Love
Reactions: firejay1

firejay1

The Phoenix
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
  5. One post per week
Online Availability
My times are pretty erratic, but it's only really rare to see me PST 3-11am. I'm on most of the time.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Slice-of-Life, Modern.
Vera was moving quickly towards the space station, taking long strides and trying hard not to glance behind her. The damn bounty hunters were catching up to her faster and faster with every planet she hopped to. She had hoped to have more time to convince Mel to help her. She didn't want him to see just how desperate she was. Had she not been trying to stay a little inconspicuous, she would have been flat out running, but as it was, the sound of her shoes hitting the hard ground felt too loud, every person who passed her was a potential hunter leering at her. The urgency to get off the space station intensified as her breathing grew harsh with the speed-walking she was doing. She turned her head finally to glance back when someone ran out in front of her, nearly causing her to careen into him. "What the hell was that" whoever it was yelled at her, and Vera's first instinct was to dodge the man by a hair, moving before her brain registered who it was. Her momentum carried her forward before the sound of "Dammit, woman," finally reminded her who that voice belonged to. He had always enjoyed saying that. Some things didn't change, even after twenty years.

Vera stopped, relief nearly causing her legs to shake. Back still to him, she jammed her tongue between her teeth so the pain would remind her not to show weakness, then she turned to face him with a cool smile. "So you decided to join me, after all. Excellent! But if you're coming, do keep up, darling, we have to collect something before we leave." One hand reached out to wrap around one of his wrists. The minute she had her claws on him, she turned as if to continue her break-neck pace. Unfortunately, before she could carry on, there was a shout from ahead.

Her head turned to see a towering Ent knock someone out of the way. She ducked her head, but he hadn't seemed to see her. Instead, he was heading for- "Mina..." She breathed in panic, surprising herself by not shrieking it. Reptilians tracking her and an Ent heading to their temporary lodging.... They really were catching up faster and faster. Reaching down to yank her shoes off, Vera didn't even realize when she let go of Mel. It wasn't really her top-priority as she began to pelt down the street, sticking close to the buildings in the hopes that she wouldn't catch the tree-man's attention. No matter what, she had to get there first. She had to get her daughter out.
 

Turtle of Doom

The Monster Under Your Bed
Original poster
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
  3. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Prestige
  5. Douche
  6. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Magical, Romance, Dystopian, Religious, Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies (but the plot has to consist of more than just mindlessly murdering the undead), Steampunk
Keep up? He didn’t even know where she was going. And he’d landed himself in front of her. If the blasted woman would just take the time to tell him what the hell was going on then maybe, just maybe, he’d be able to help her out of whatever mess she got herself all tangled up in.

Just as Vera’s hand came down on his wrist, Mel moved to jerk it back, but he didn’t really have a chance. She let go of him as fast as she’d grabbed him and he ended up swinging on himself. “What the hell is a Mina?” he called after her before growling and heading off in the direction she was headed. The direction of the ent, of all things. Like that woman could take on an ent and live to tell the tale. Mel gave a derisive snort at the thought, but still he followed.

They ducked and dodged through alleyways heading towards the station’s lodging quarters. It was mostly slums. The dredge of society that nobody else wanted, and Mel. They all lived down there, holed up together waiting until the day they could prove to be useful again. Despite not knowing the lay of the land, Vera seemed to know exactly where she was going… and as a by product where the ent was going.

Woman, if you don’t slow down you’re going to give this old man a heart-attack. You gotta tell me what’s going on.” But she didn’t. She was singularly focused on heading straight into danger. “Vera!” Mel called out, it was the first time he’d used her name since running into her, and still she didn’t stop. Cursing under his breath he continued to follow.

The ent was making short work of traversing the habitats; it paid no mind to what was beneath its feet, nor did it seem to care who was beneath its feet. People and houses alike got trampled as it continued moving to meet Vera in the middle. And Vera continued heading right for it.

Out of breath and out of patience, Mel tackled Vera out of the middle of the street and dragged her out of sight. “Woman if that thing is coming for you, you gotta get smarter. Now tell me what's going on so I can help you and get back to my drink.
 

firejay1

The Phoenix
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
  5. One post per week
Online Availability
My times are pretty erratic, but it's only really rare to see me PST 3-11am. I'm on most of the time.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Slice-of-Life, Modern.
Zipping through the streets as fast as she could, Vera didn't even feel the tunnel vision setting in, ignoring Mel accidentally rather than spitefully. She barely felt it as one of her bare feet stepped on something prickly, merely hopping up on one foot absent-mindedly to brush the object off before plowing on. They were getting closer, oh so much closer, she turned a corner to see the building of their little shelter, the ent barely two blocks away. Before she could race the short distance there, however, someone grabbed her, yanking her out behind another building, out of sight of the ent... and Mina's quarters. Without thinking about it, Vera slammed the heel of her foot into the boot of the person behind her, trying to twist out of his grasp at the same time. Unfortunately for her, that move was far less effective when she was not wearing the short but pointy heels still dangling from her fingers. Instead of breaking free, her foot recoiled with the pain, knocking her slightly off balance. She would have fallen over if the man hadn't been holding onto her. The painful surprise was good. It snapped her out of her desperation and panic. She suddenly realized that both her feet and lungs hurt and the man holding her had said something. It was Mel. That was definitely Mel's voice, and she thought he sounded a bit concerned for her, for all his brusque words.

That strange development calmed her somehow, and she twisted around to look at him, breathing slowing. It felt odd to be looking at him like this, face to face without the slightest hint of levity on her mind. "That thing, as you call it, is not coming for me, and if you want to help me, you're not going to be going back to your drinks any time soon. I don't have a lot of time to explain everything, so if you're willing to help me, it'll have to be after we get Mina out of that building the Ent is heading for. Mina is my thirteen year old daughter, and there's a bounty on her head. Now, if you want to go back to your cups, do it now. I have to go save my daughter." She took a breath and flashed him one last self-confident smile before turning to prepare to leave. Truthfully, she didn't know how she was going to save Mina from an ENT that was already much too close, but she'd be damned if she wasn't going to try.
 
  • Love
Reactions: Turtle of Doom

Turtle of Doom

The Monster Under Your Bed
Original poster
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
  3. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Prestige
  5. Douche
  6. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Magical, Romance, Dystopian, Religious, Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies (but the plot has to consist of more than just mindlessly murdering the undead), Steampunk
Daughter? Mel stood in shock as Vera ran towards the obvious threat. Since when did she have a daughter. After some quick math, Mel was satisfied that the woman hadn’t been hiding from him for all this time, and he followed after her. He sure wasn’t up to taking on an Ent, but if they could get in, grab the kid, and get out they could get the hell outta Dodge quick enough. His own ship wasn’t docked too far away, after all.

While Vera was taking a more direct approach, Mel opted for the back way, keeping the ent in his sight he was easily enough able to discern where it was headed, and if he could get there first, well… Well then, he’d just have to worry about Vera stomping in all brave and maternal. Shaking his head he focused on the task at hand, or as focused as he could get with the alcohol still clouding his thoughts. And as soon as his vision cleared once again he caught sight of a small figure ducking into the shadows and taking off down an alleyway.

The kid!

Mel took off after her without a second thought. Surely Vera had told the girl they were here to talk to him and given her a description, but as soon as he grabbed her arm he realized how wrong that was.

Brunette curls bounced off the side of her head as a small foot reared back and hit him as hard as it could against the shin. Mel bit out a curse, and nearly dropped the girl, but he managed to keep a hold of her.

Sonovahbitch, kid, that hurt. We needta get your mom and get the hell outta here, now, so if you would stop trying to kick me that’d be great.

Defiant, and familiar blue eyes glared up at him from beneath a furrowed brow. “Yeah right, get your old man hands off me.

Another kick was attempted but this time Mel was able to dodge. He grabbed the girls shoulder and gave her a quick shake. “Look here, kid. See that giant thing? Well your mom is planning on fighting it, and if you don’t stop fighting me we might not get to her in time. Do you understand?” The last question was emphasized as if he wasn’t entirely sure how to talk to a thirteen year old. As if she couldn’t speak common yet, and kind of like he was an idiot. And he may have been an idiot. One thing for sure is that he hadn’t talked to a kid since he was a kid himself.

Mina’s face paled, but she didn’t answer. A long moment of silence hung between the pair of them before Mina jerked herself free, kicked Mel between the legs and took off running again, this time in the direction that he indicated her mom was in.

Her bright blue gaze darted back and forth over the streets until finally she found her mom. Heading down the center of the street brazen as she could be straight to her death, Mina was pretty sure. How could she act like that. She knew Mina was smart enough to hide. She ducked down an alleyway, moving closer to where she was when suddenly a hand clamped down hard over her mouth and she was yanked backward against another person. Her body went stiff for a fraction of a second before she started thrashing.

Kid you’re putting yourself and your mom at risk, I’ll get her and bring her back, but you gotta stay right here.

He couldn’t wait to see if she obey; he let her go and dodged his way back into the street. Vera was too close for comfort to the Ent now. He grabbed her, his arms wrapping around her shoulders only to shift her into a more comfortable position and toss her over his shoulder and then he was off, darting back into the alley where he’d left the kid. “Let’s go, keep up!” he called out, not waiting to put Vera down as he continued in the opposite direction of the Ent.

Once they were far enough away he place Vera back on the ground and placed his hands on his hips. “Mind telling me what the hell is going on now?
 
  • Love
Reactions: firejay1

firejay1

The Phoenix
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
  5. One post per week
Online Availability
My times are pretty erratic, but it's only really rare to see me PST 3-11am. I'm on most of the time.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Slice-of-Life, Modern.
Vera had run out to meet the Ent, but she slowed as she grew closer. Her little tiff with Mel had cleared her mind a bit. Her Mina was clever enough to go and hide, the only question was whether or not she'd make it out in time and without being spotted. Pulling a laser pistol from the folds of her purse, Vera had tucked her shoes away and lifted both hands steadily to aim at the Ent's head, wishing she had a taser instead. She steeled her nerves, but before she had a chance to fire, she found herself picked up off the ground and thrown over someone's shoulder. She wasn't exactly in top form lately, but she'd never precisely been stupid, and being accosted for the third time by her ex-husband was starting to lose its shock factor, so instead of struggling, Vera checked to make sure it was him, then kept her eyes peeled.

Her breath came out in a relieved puff as she saw Mel zip past Mina, warning her to keep up. It was good that he had found her, but she wondered with a little concern how he had easily convinced her child that he wasn't another one of the bounty hunters. No matter. Before she knew it, she was being set down, and he was staring her down, demanding an explanation. They weren't nearly far enough away yet for her liking, but she supposed she did owe him some sort of explanation. More importantly.... "Mina, this is Mel Vladis. Say hello to Uncle Mel, he's an old friend of mine, and hopefully he's going to be helping us for a while." She made a face of polite disgust and added unnecessarily, "He may be a bit funny-looking and slightly smelly right now, but he's a bit better than I am at finding people, and at hiding from them, so we do need him, sweetheart."

She heaved a sigh and looked at Mel, launching into her explanation with no further ceremony. "It's the Eahta Cult." Her mouth curved into a slight grimace. She had told Mina already, but just saying it still made her anxious and unhappy. The Eahta Cult were an illusive group of assassins believed to be so high in status they were almost above the law, if the law could catch them at all. Newer members of the Inter-Galactic Agency believed them to be myth, but most acknowledged that they were very real. They were not mercenaries - no one could contract their services; it was more accurate to call them a force of nature. When the Eahta Cult moved, something big was about to change the flow of the universe. She wasn't sure if he was going to believe her, hell she wasn't sure she believed it sometimes when she woke up in the morning, but it was the truth.

"About two months ago, a neighbor's kid comes to me with a story, saying some strange woman had visited his crazy uncle. The woman was wearing a dress that was open at the back, and she had a large red mark in the shape of an hourglass burned on it, with four, strange appendages curling around her body. He didn't hear the whole conversation, but his uncle was scared of out his wits at the end of it, and he said something about Mina. Mina being in danger. Two days letter I get a holomail from a source claiming to be a prestigious boarding school, saying Mina had won a spot. I've lived long enough to know a scam when I see it, and I ignored it. Another one came the next day, this time claiming that she was being sponsored by the Sisterhood of the Widows, Eahta. I know not everyone believes they're real, Mel, but I didn't think a scam was going to use their name. I responded with a polite declination. Yes, I was polite." She stressed, in case he was worried she might have said something to specifically irritate them. "But never received an answer. Next thing I know, one of your old buddies I kept in touch with knocks on my front door and tells me every bounty hunter within two star systems just received the same notice: the Eahta Cult will grant any wish, as long as you bring Mina Vance to them. Alive. I hoped more than believed it was a prank, but less than a week later and I get notice that our home alarm system was activated. I come home and find our TV and some of my jewelry stolen, but also a family photo missing. We left Earth that night and have been going from planet to planet under false ID's hoping they won't catch up to us, but every time, they do, and every bounty hunter seems to know just a little bit more about who we are, what we look like, and where we are going.

"I don't care if you believe in the Eahta Cult or not, Mel. We are being chased. I don't know why, and I don't know why they're not doing it themselves, but I need your help."
Her eyes flickered to Mina, expression tight as she watched Mel, keeping her composure by some combination of miracle and practice. A crash sounded back from where they'd come, and her eyes flew up wondering how long they had before their chasers would find them or block them from leaving. "If you have a way off this station, that would also be greatly appreciated." She muttered tensely.
 
  • Love
Reactions: Turtle of Doom

Turtle of Doom

The Monster Under Your Bed
Original poster
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
  3. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Prestige
  5. Douche
  6. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Magical, Romance, Dystopian, Religious, Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies (but the plot has to consist of more than just mindlessly murdering the undead), Steampunk
Mel blinked stupidly at Vera, unable or unwilling to grasp exactly what she was saying until a crash sounded from somewhere close by snapping him to his senses. His gaze flickered from Vera to the girl and back again before shaking his head and waving his arm in a “Well, come on then” sort of gesture.

He moved swiftly, though not quite as run, through the back alleyways of the slum they were in. Not too many creatures were out and about and it was probably a good thing. They were most likely getting as drunk as Mel wished he was right about then.

Mina kept right on his heels staying close to her mama and right behind him. She didn’t say a word. She’d heard most of what her mom had said before, but the reality was still setting in for her. She just didn’t understand most of it.

Her feet were covered in muck and grime by the time they’d reached the docking bay and Mel slowed them to a steady walk. “Just keep quiet and if anyone asks you’re my family finally coming to retrieve me. I’m going home a broken man,” he muttered that last part beneath his breath and shook his head.

Where are we going,” Mina’s voice was quiet as they moved through a throng of people.

Don’t know yet.

How are you supposed to help if you have no plan?” she questioned him defiantly before turning to her mother for support. “He couldn’t even fend me off. There’s no way he can help!

Her defiance didn’t last long though because soon enough she was following after him towards the dirtiest, most dinged up ship she’d ever seen in her short life. The dingy grey door opened, recognizing Mel’s signature step, and allowed them entry.

The inside wasn’t much better. It was cluttered, and dusty and it smelled funny to boot. Mina didn’t like anything about what was happening and she definitely wasn’t keen on trusting this old man that mama had known once upon time either.

As they came to the galley Mel waved his arms about and said, “Home sweet home, make yourselves comfortable, I guess.” His arms stopped and his finger landed directed straight a Vera. “I’m going to get us outta here, but when I come back me and you are going to talk some more. And you’re going to slow down and take it step by step for me. I left that life a long time ago, woman, and I’ll be damned if I let you drag me into something stupid.

As he left the room Mina sighed and slumped down into dining chair. “He doesn’t even know where we’re going. Are you sure he’s not turning us in?

The engines roared to life beneath their feet, the odd vibrations of the ship moving out into open space was one Mina still hadn’t gotten used to. It made her stomach do flips and she didn’t like it. Worrying her lip her gaze swept the room. It was the cleanest part of the ship so far. A table and chairs were bolted into the middle of it and it had nice island counter and a kitchen of sorts. Or what Mina imagined was what a kitchen looked like on a ship. Small cabinets lined the top of the room and each one proudly displayed a lock in the top right corner. The whole room looked locked up tight.

Within a few minutes Mel returned and took a seat at the table. Leaning back in his chair, he laced his fingers behind his head and fixed his intense blue gaze right onto Vera. “I set a course for an uninhabited in the next system over. If they can find us there they’ll find us anywhere, but I’m going to need some context about what you said.

He unhooked his hands from behind his head and dropped his arm. Leaning forward toward her. “Because something had to happen first for you to fall into the sights of Eahta Cult.
 

firejay1

The Phoenix
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
  5. One post per week
Online Availability
My times are pretty erratic, but it's only really rare to see me PST 3-11am. I'm on most of the time.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Slice-of-Life, Modern.
Mina's objections were sound ones, Vera had to admit. She hadn't really been sure about coming here and seeing him, not only because she wasn't completely sure if she trusted him, but also because he really didn't deserve to get dragged into this mess, if he wasn't already. The bounty had said, "Mina Vance and any family members." She'd checked on Stephie, but it seemed the ignorant chit hadn't been a target. She lived a quiet life, anyways, and the court records declaring her as the birth mother had been sealed ages ago. Almost no one knew that Mina was adopted in the first place. What they did know was that Vera had been married once, which made Mel a target. She'd gotten his location from his old bounty hunter buddy, who had kept tabs on him, but she no longer really knew what kind of man he was. It was true that Mel was better at procuring fake ID's. He also had a ship, and knowledge of places to hide, but she had really wanted to check on him, and bring him with her if he'd come.

Thankfully, "my kid is in danger" had been enough to get him off his butt. The only question now was, could he be trusted? Vera had followed Mel all the way to his ship, tapping her foot anxiously even as the ship took off into space, and when Mina had asked if he was turning them in, Vera had simply given her shoulder a little squeeze and muttered, "I don't know, sweetheart. I just don't know."

She sat down and tapped her heels hard against the floor, having returned her shoes to her feet. They still hurt, and she suspected she'd cut them open, but the sound of her shoes tapping against the ground comforted her somehow. Mel returned, and she stilled through force of habit, straightening her back and pasting a cool smile on for "the judge." She had no idea what Mel meant by "context," so she settled for going a little deeper into her story. He didn't have to know the part about him being Mina's father. "I believe I made myself clear. I don't have the smallest clue why the Eahta Cult is after us. The man the woman went to see, though, he's the local nutcase. His name is Doctor Frasier. He was a mid-wife, was there when Mina was born. He's a little strange, but he's never gotten anyone hurt. He mostly just stays at home making dire predictions about the end of the world. He started losing his mind eight or so years ago, getting worse and worse, and saying something about how Mina was the Gift of the Ancients and had the Map of the Glass Heart, things like that. She's my daughter; there was nothing strange during her birth, so naturally, I never paid him any attention, beyond hoping he'd never decide to kidnap her." Vera gave a grimace of a laugh. "When Garrett came to me telling me his uncle was terrified, I assumed it was just more of his ramblings. The woman was the only reason I remembered it at all. Whether that really was related and how she found him or us, I don't know. I don't have any details on that. I assume the bounty hunters are finding out details on their own." She crossed one leg over the other, meeting his blue gaze coolly.
 

Turtle of Doom

The Monster Under Your Bed
Original poster
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
  3. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Prestige
  5. Douche
  6. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Magical, Romance, Dystopian, Religious, Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies (but the plot has to consist of more than just mindlessly murdering the undead), Steampunk
Mel ran his hands through the unruly mop of hair on his head and sighed. She wasn’t really giving him much. Just that the whole thing centered on the child. His blue gaze wandered as he really looked at her for the first time. She had shoulder length brunette hair, the curl in it was outrageous. With her striking blue eyes and olive skin she was going to grow up to be a knock-out. There was just something missing, something he couldn’t quite put his finger on. It was almost as though he’d seen her somewhere before.

What are you staring at,” Mina scrunched her nose and looked from her mom to Mel and back again. “Weren’t you ever taught that it’s not polite to stare?

Mel blinked in response. He was, by no means, obligated to answer a child with an attitude. Transferring his stare to Vera, Mel cocked an eyebrow. “Perhaps a little gratitude would be nice. From the both of you. I didn’t hafta participate in this little mess you have happening, and you’re aboard my ship. Some respect.

Not waiting for a response, he rubbed his hands on his pant legs and stood up, but no sooner than he did the internal alarm start sounding. “Sonnovah bitch,” he muttered, making his way back to the pilot’s chair. A string of colorful explitives erupted from the cockpit as he started banging on machines.

Stupidest fuckin’ machine thats ever invented that’s what you are.

Sorry, sir. You mapped the shortest course. This is the shortest course.” The voice that responded was more mechanized than human, and curiosity managed to get the best of Mina.

Standing up she tiptoed across the path that Mel had taken and disappeared behind a door.

Why is it stupid?” she queried.

Damn thing charted our course right through the middle of a warzone,” came the gruff response. “Now get outta here while I try to concentrate, kid.”

I have a name, you know.” Mina defiantly stood her ground. “And the machine is only as stupid as the person operating it.

Vera!
 

firejay1

The Phoenix
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
  5. One post per week
Online Availability
My times are pretty erratic, but it's only really rare to see me PST 3-11am. I'm on most of the time.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Slice-of-Life, Modern.
Mina and Mel were getting along splendidly already. Vera wasn't sure what Mel's beef with either of them was about, though she supposed Mina had been somewhat rude to him since meeting. It wasn't much wonder, though. They had spent almost two months being chased around by people just like him. Had things been a little different, he may have been one of the chasers, and Mina had never been one to take nonsense from anyone to start with, a trait Vera was actually quite proud of in her daughter. She had followed the two of them, a little grateful that Mina had managed to interrupt his staring before she'd spoken up. The less time he spent looking at the eyes her daughter had most definitely inherited from him, the better. "Mina." She spoke with a slight warning note in her tone. "Mel is actually probably trying to help us. Take it a little easy on him, dear." Pressing a kiss to Mina's forehead, she added, "Go on and explore the ship a little. I don't know how long we'll be here, and mama needs to speak to Uncle Mel for a bit. I promise if anything important comes up, I'll let you know."

Turning her attention to their ornery pilot, she addressed Mel pointedly. "You. Refrain from being rude to my child. Your lovely string of curses and generally excessive alcoholism is also unwelcome in front of an early teen. I am grateful to you, but that does not excuse poor conduct." Without giving him much of a chance to reply, she moved closer and leaned a little over his chair, all business. "Now what's this about a warzone? What are we passing through and how dangerous is it? Is there no way to avoid the area now?"
 

Turtle of Doom

The Monster Under Your Bed
Original poster
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
  3. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Prestige
  5. Douche
  6. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Magical, Romance, Dystopian, Religious, Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies (but the plot has to consist of more than just mindlessly murdering the undead), Steampunk
Mel scoffed and glowered at Vera as Mina rolled her eyes and wandered out of the cockpit. Manners were apparently the last thing on the list for things to teach the kid. And now that she was gone Vera was scolding him? This was it, the final straw. He was going to have to put his foot down or these women were going to walk all over him. He puffed up and opened his mouth to snap back at them, but the look on Vera’s face as he was about to launch into his tirade made him think better of it and his mouth snapped shut with an audible click. Poor conduct, indeed, he thought, but her next questions brought him out of his sulk and he spun back around to the control panels.

He tapped the screen and a giant map was projected into the room. With a few more taps he was able to zoom in to where they were in the map and with a couple more taps of his fingers two different planets lit up and pulsed a light orange color.

We’re already smack in the middle of the blasted thing, Vera.” His gruff voice had lost the slur that it had previously, but the alcohol was still apparent with every breath. “This war has been going on for a millennia or so, I don’t even know. We’re relatively safe, but it’s best to avoid it just in case. This is the battleground for the the Slow War, and nobody knows when the next attack is going to happen… They ain’t the quickest creatures in the universe, you know.

Scratching his beard he shook his head. “There’s no getting out without going back, and going back would mean a fight.

It was then that a lightbulb went off over his head. “Come to think of it, I don’t know any pilot that flies into this stretch of space… we might actually be safe in here for a while, but…” His blue gaze flicked back over the control panels and he grimaced. “I didn’t exactly have time to fuel up before we took off, I wasn’t plannin’ on leaving anytime soon either, so we’re not exactly low on fuel, but we will be soon. We could always choose a side and make an ally, land in the warzone.

His eyes met hers again, he was looking for her input, but if she had come to him she might just be looking for him to make all the choices. Truth was, he was out of practice, and this whole thing was like a whop on the head. He was still reeling from the implications of agreeing to help.
 
  • Love
Reactions: firejay1

firejay1

The Phoenix
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
  5. One post per week
Online Availability
My times are pretty erratic, but it's only really rare to see me PST 3-11am. I'm on most of the time.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Slice-of-Life, Modern.
The two of them had never exactly gotten along on a personal level, but when it came to work, both of them knew how to put their personal feelings aside. Speaking in a brisk tone, she met his gaze and made a choice. She had made it this far with her wits and the work of a forger friend of hers. "It seems our best option is to pick a side. It sounds like we don't have enough fuel for many other options anyways, and it may even be safer." She gave a little smile and let out a breath of laughter. "After being chased by most of the universe's bounty hunters, I could use more than my little girl and a grumpy ex-husband as allies." She found her right hand shaking and pulled it back by her side, curling her fingers into a fist of rigid self-control. Hoping Mel hadn't noticed, she continued speaking, smiling nostalgically. "The Slow War, huh? The last time I heard that name, I was making a pop-up project about it in middle school. Which side do you think we'd have better luck with? And how the hell are we going to go about making allies in the middle of a war?"
 
  • Like
Reactions: Turtle Knight

Turtle of Doom

The Monster Under Your Bed
Original poster
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
  3. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Prestige
  5. Douche
  6. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Magical, Romance, Dystopian, Religious, Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies (but the plot has to consist of more than just mindlessly murdering the undead), Steampunk
Mel looked his ex-wife over, and for a brief moment there he remembered what it was about her that made him crawl into bed with her to begin with. Their original attraction had been a mutual distaste for his first ex-wife, but that wasn’t all there was. No, she had fire. Conviction. Something that he had always lacked. He saw that in her right then, and for a just a fraction of a second, Mel felt what he once did. But the feeling faded as soon as she spoke.

With a sigh he laid his head back as he listened to her, not completely paying attention. Lost in a different past. One beyond her, one that made him feel homesick, and lonely. It wasn’t until she brought up the Slow War again that he snapped back to reality.

Shaking the memories from his head, Mel glanced over at Vera once again and shrugged. “We have one thing they do not. Speed. Choosing a side… well let’s flip a coin. Heads we give the turtles a boost, tails the sloths…” Digging into his pocket, Mel pulled out an old, antique coin. It was his good luck charm, he’d found it on Earth as a boy and always kept it with him. The coin flipped up into the air, spinning around and around until he snatched it back into his meaty palm and slapped it up against his opposite hand. Raising his hand, the dirty coin revealed an embossed image of a head.

Turtles it is then,” he claimed readjusting himself in the seat and hitting a few buttons on the dash to readjust their course.

What about turtles?” Mina asked poking her head back in and grinning sheepishly at her mother. She knew she was supposed to be anywhere but there, but the ship was boring and she’d found nothing of note during her snooping expedition.

We are going to be turning the tide of a war, kid. Have a seat somewhere, we’ll be landing within the hour.

Mina shrugged and disappeared back into the ship, and as she did Mel turned to Vera and forced himself to grin. “See, I can be civil.

He gaze didn’t linger long though, and as soon as the words were out of his mouth he’d turned back to the controls and hit a few more buttons. The final one pulling up a 3-D map of the area, with a blinking dot that seemed to scream ‘You Are Here’, and a dotted line that looked to be the path they were heading down.

The hour passed relatively quickly, and Mel found himself looking forward to the journey ahead. He wasn’t much a mechanic, but he could offer a little bit of know-how to the turtles to make their crafts have a bit more speed. He just hoped it was enough.

As they landed a series of alarms and bells went off alerting them to the fact that their ship had been expected and that they had company. A solid sounding knock reverberated throughout the ship followed by a very precise, and slow voice.

If you ---are here---to cause may--hem then it is --- best you--- leave now.” The words were so drawn out it was hard not to hear multiple syllables as two words. It was as though there was an invisible comma after every syllable, Mel wasn’t sure how long he’d be able to deal with that if that’s how they spoke too.

Mel opened the door and stepped out, keeping his hands visible. A squadron of grey shelled tortoises were poised at the ready, weapons in hand and heads in shell. They would be a difficult army to subdue due in part to their ability to tank almost any sort of damage you could throw at them.

We’re here to offer an alliance. You hide us for a few nights, and let us fuel up the ship and I’ll work on your ships while we’re here giving you a slight advantage over your enemies. I can help you go faster.

Faster?

Mel just nodded. The tortoise that seemed to be in charge gave him a small nod in return. “Very well,” he said slowly. “But we offer you safe harbor for two nights only, and you must be done before you leave. Otherwise…. You’ll be introduced to our dungeon.

Mel shot Vera a glance over his shoulder and shrugged. Two nights was better than no nights.
 
  • Love
Reactions: firejay1

firejay1

The Phoenix
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
  5. One post per week
Online Availability
My times are pretty erratic, but it's only really rare to see me PST 3-11am. I'm on most of the time.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Slice-of-Life, Modern.
The sound of the turtles' voices was horrifically slow. She had met a great many different kinds of people as clients and was more patient than she might seem at first, but that was going to get old fast. Speaking of fast. Vera kept pace with Mel and asked quietly, "Can you really make their ships faster in two days' time? It's not very much time." Her voice betrayed some worry. The turtles were slowly leading them away from their ship, towards the outskirts of some kind of settlement. In truth, two days was far less time than she had hoped for, and if he was going to be working on these ships, it gave her less time to discuss things with him, come up with a plan of some sort. She couldn't just keep running forever. The sisterhood or cult or whatever these women really were would find them soon enough, no matter where they hid, even if the bounty hunters didn't track them down.

Vera caught herself trying to reach for Mina's hand, and shook her head. The teen was getting to that age where she wanted to stop being treated like a child. She did glance back anxiously to make sure her daughter was keeping up with them and handling herself alright. Her brave little girl really had taken this whole messy affair rather well. Distracting herself from getting into much more morbid thoughts, Vera searched Mel's face. What had happened to him for all these years? She had barely given him a thought since taking in Mina, but she hadn't really expected to see him so... he didn't look exactly in peak condition.
 

Turtle of Doom

The Monster Under Your Bed
Original poster
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
  3. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Prestige
  5. Douche
  6. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Magical, Romance, Dystopian, Religious, Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies (but the plot has to consist of more than just mindlessly murdering the undead), Steampunk
Mina watched with wide eyes as the turtles retreated back the way they came leaving the three of them without so much as a guide. They could easily catch up, but what were they supposed to do? Stay in the ship? That would be ridiculous. What were they going to do for food? What was she expected to do for two whole days of nothing? Part of her was terrified of what would happen if they got caught, but the other part of her was already tired of running.

With a sigh she dipped back into the ship just far enough to be out of sight.

“Can you really make their ships faster in two days' time? It's not very much time." Her mother raised a valid point, as usual, but Mina didn’t try to interject. She stayed quiet and listened.

One or two, sure. I never agreed to a number of ships. They’ll get what they get in that amount of time. It shouldn’t be too difficult anyway, their engines are much the same as anyone elses. A few minor adjustments to the airflow and fuel intake and it should be good to go. Anything faster than what they have would be an improvement.” Mel was rambling now and the little faith that Mina had in him was waning.

With a scoff she pushed herself away from the wall she was leaning on and went to the bedroom she’d claimed as her own. There weren’t many sleeping places on the ship, but this was the one she was the most comfortable in at first glance. It was the only place in the ship that was reasonably uncluttered too.

What Mina didn’t see was that Mel set to work right away. The nearest ship to them was already down for maintenance, and he managed to convince the mechanic that this was the ship he’d promised to modify. It didn’t take him long to see the problem. The turtles didn’t seem to want to go fast. There was a governor on the engine which prohibited it from flying faster than a snail’s pace… or more like a turtle’s pace. With a sigh he changed the programming on the governor to allow the ship to move moderately faster. If that was the only reason for the ships’ lack of speed then it was something that was conscious on the part of the turtles.

It made Mel uncomfortable to think that they would have allowed him to mess with their ships at all if that were the case. There was something else going on here, and he wasn’t sure what it was. Thanking the mechanic for his time, Mel turned and hustled back to his ship.

The Lazy Boat wasn’t much in comparison to the fleet of Turtle ships surrounding it, but it made him feel a bit safer, at least. He rushed through the cabin, and ducked into the galley looking for Vera.

Vera? You here?” he called out. “Dammit woman, where are ya when I need ya?” he muttered to himself as he continued to look for her. Something fishy was happening and they needed to skedaddle before the turtles realized that he was onto them.
 

firejay1

The Phoenix
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
  5. One post per week
Online Availability
My times are pretty erratic, but it's only really rare to see me PST 3-11am. I'm on most of the time.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Slice-of-Life, Modern.
As soon as Mel started muttering to himself, she knew she'd lost him. Vera saw Mina head towards her room, evaluating what to do while she waited. There was obviously no getting any planning out of Mel for the time being. On the way here, she had carefully cleaned her feet and changed her stockings with the spare she kept in her purse, returning her shoes to her feet, though it still hurt to put pressure on them a bit. The pain would go away after a bit; she'd mostly gotten scratches. She moved her weight testily from one foot to the other, as she considered what to tell Mina about "Uncle Mel" if she should tell her at all. On the way there, she'd told Mina nothing, because she wasn't sure if she'd succeed at all. There was also the matter of fueling up and collecting some new clothes and supplies. They'd left the lodging in a hurry, and the only things she had left were the stuff in her purse and whatever Mina had managed to get out of the room. She grimaced as she realized their host would likely rifle through the stuff they'd left behind once their absence was discovered. Hopefully the Ent had destroyed it, she thought viciously. Ents were not the most delicate creatures in existence.

She scrounged around her purse and pulled out an old holo-em - a Hologram Emulator meant to be worn on the non-dominant forearm. She had managed to get a mechanic friend to sell it to her and set it up so that her phone would forward any calls and holomails to this new device. It was a hasty precaution, but better that than nothing. Couple calls from her work, because she had passed the limits of her vacation time, but she ignored them. They were probably firing her, and what did that matter when she couldn't access most of her new funds anyways. She had withdrawn as much cash as possible every time they'd made it to a busy hub, and they'd been living off of that. Bills. She ignored those, too. But then....

There was an odd red notification on the side of her screen, but it was nothing like she'd ever seen before. Old holo-ems were hard to hack. They were unsophisticated technology and few people could obtain their serial numbers or parts to fix them. That was why her friend had sold it to her and for so little. Beyond forwarding messages, there was little she COULD do with it, but the little, circular red dot on the left was giving her a rising sense of foreboding. She raised her hand and touched it lightly. Instantly, the message blossomed across the hologram, covering the entire screen with red letters. Most of it was in some language she'd never seen before, strange, square characters. But, in the center, there were just two lines, larger than all the other letters and a blinding white.

Presence of Shard: Detected
The Glass Map has been activated.

As Vera watched, one new line began typing itself out in the middle of the red letters, right below the other two.

Welcome, Vera. She who claims to be Mother of the Next.

Vera looked at it for a long moment. She didn't panic or flinch. She simply consigned the strange symbols to her memory and pulled the thing off her arm before calmly finding a plastic baggy. Placing the holo-em inside the bag, she tied it up and took it outside before finding the closest corner sticking out and smashing the wrapped device against the hard surface as subtly as she could. She had just finished grinding it into pieces, and was about to ask one of the turtles for a trash can or metal recycler, when she rounded the edge of the ship and saw a couple of them deep in conversation. She edged closer quietly, holding the bag gingerly so that it wouldn't crinkle, and tried to listen in. She got close enough that she could hear them if she strained her ears.

"-on our lands. We have no choice," one of the turtles there looked quite important, his shell adorned with strange paintings that incorporated the natural pattern, "we must kill them. So that no one will come again." The slow, almost monotonous cadence of his voice was making Vera's jaw hurt. "If we keep the protracted war with the sloths, others will assume they were killed in the war, and will leave us alone. Not try to help. Unless they have friends... coming."

Vera stepped back slowly, opening her mouth and breathing carefully, quietly. She placed the bundle of useless technology next to the door of the ship so that people could think she'd just dropped it there to dispose of later and retreated into the interior of the ship. Shit. She had to find Mel. They had to leave NOW, even if it meant fighting their way out. Grabbing her purse from where she'd left it on the table, she slung it over her shoulder, hand slipping inside to grip the handle of the laser pistol. She was halfway to the ship's storage area to see how his arsenal was stocked when she heard Mel's voice.

She was out so fast, she almost bumped into him. "Mel. We have to go. RIGHT NOW. The tur-"

A muffled boom sounded, and she raced to the cockpit to see fire on the horizon. It wasn't close, missing the settlement by some distance. Were the sloths suddenly deciding to attack, now, too? Or was it something else...?
 
  • Love
Reactions: Turtle of Doom

Turtle of Doom

The Monster Under Your Bed
Original poster
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
  3. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Prestige
  5. Douche
  6. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Magical, Romance, Dystopian, Religious, Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies (but the plot has to consist of more than just mindlessly murdering the undead), Steampunk
Through the very beginnings of a headache Mina stood behind Vera with her mouth agape. The words that she’d seen didn’t make any sense to her. What was the Shard? Why would a map be made of glass? Was she the Next? There was no other explanation. Vera wasn’t claiming anybody else.

A sharp, knife-like pain lanced through Mina’s skull before she had a chance to ask any of her questions. It was so intense, so sudden that she dropped to her knees and cried out. “Mom,” she whispered, afraid to speak any louder than that. “Something’s wrong with my head.

Another lance of pain caused her to cry out again, cradling her face in her hands as tears began to form in her eyes. Something was seriously wrong, but the wrongest part of the whole thing was all Mina could think about was getting up and moving. It was like she was compelled. Struggling to her feet, she took a few steps toward the door and the pain began to subside.

Mel poked his head in from the back of the ship. “There you are,” he breathed in relief before his gaze wandered over to Mina. The pain was etched into the girl’s face, and he wasn’t sure what to do. He looked to Vera for some guidance but the girl cried out again and fell to her knees. He was at her side in an instant, some sort of protective instinct had kicked in. Mel got his arms around her and swooped her up off her feet. “I’m going to put you on the bed, okay kid? Hopefully laying down will help.

Mina bucked out of Mel’s arms. “That’s not going to help. Nothing will help. I have to find it.” Her feet made a hollow sound against the floor of the ship as she pushed her way towards the door and out into the air of the turtle’s planet. Her feet shuffled along forward, and as long as she was moving the pain was manageable. It was still there, just behind her eyes, but it didn’t feel like her brain was going to explode either, which was a step in the right direction.

Mel was left struck stupid for a few moments before he gathered his wits enough to realize what had happened. “Well, shit,” he muttered as he took the first few steps after Mina. His mind was focused on the fact that they needed to go. They had to get out of there as soon as possible and now the girl was out wandering around the planet. His feet rushed to catch up with her.

Grabbing ahold of her arm he turned her around. “Now listen, kid, we gotta beat feet. This ain’t the time for you to go on exploring.

Mina struggled in his grasp, her voice growing more and more desperate as she tugged against him. “I can’t go back right now. It’s here; I just have to find it. Let me go.” She reared back and kicked him hard in the shin and took off running toward the maze of buildings littering the landscape.
 
Last edited:

firejay1

The Phoenix
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
  5. One post per week
Online Availability
My times are pretty erratic, but it's only really rare to see me PST 3-11am. I'm on most of the time.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Slice-of-Life, Modern.
Vera hadn't seen Mina. The girl had been behind her when she'd left the ship to destroy the holo-em, and she hadn't passed through the same passageway to reach the back of the ship. When the explosion happened, however, her first instinct was to turn and find her daughter. "Mel, where's Mina?" She'd demanded with some urgency, and he'd popped out and found her almost immediately, to her relie- her very temporary relief. It was like the girl didn't even see them. The pain, the need to go "somewhere." What was going on? Vera didn't even bother to help Mel when Mina slammed her foot into his shin. She simply raced after her daughter. "Mina? Mina!" She couldn't let the girl out of her sight.

It wasn't long before they reached the mass of buildings, but Vera barely saw it as she wound through the buildings, eyes locked on to the small figure. Her feet throbbed, heels pinching and the soles of her feet still tender from earlier. It struck her that she'd been spending a lot of time running lately, and she really needed better shoes for it. The turtles weren't paying them anymore mind than she was paying them. They were busily racing making their way in the opposite direction, towards the explosion, carrying long poles that looked oddly like cattle prods crossed with spears. Some of them were trying to converse with each other, and the slow-motioned panic would have been funny if she didn't have bigger things to worry about. Dammit, where was Mina going?

The two of them went deep into the settlement, Mina still outpacing Vera by a bit, and as the older woman paused to take a breath, she realized that they'd been heading for an odd-looking spire in the middle of the settlement. It was tall, by the standards of the rest of the buildings around them, but still probably no more than 5 or 6 floors, which was probably the only reason it could sustain that strange shape. Instead of tapering off at the top, the building widened with every floor, resembling a horn stuck in the ground. The roof seemed to give off some sort of light, a white glow pulsating it seemed from the entire surface. She remembered something that crackpot back home had said once when talking to Mina as a five-year-old, before Vera had gently tugged her away. "Some might reach for the sky, some may be hidden deep underground, but all will have guardians." She wasn't sure why she was thinking of that now, but the memory disturbed her and she ran with renewed strength. A feeling rose in the pit of her stomach. Something bad was going to happen. Another explosion rattled the ground, but it was too far behind them for either to give it much thought.