The War for Wonderland

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by ShatteredSkies, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. Its been years since Alice's last adventure in Wonderland. In the interveaning years, she has grown up, but so has Wonderland. Struggle and conflict now permeate the land, all orchestrated by the Queen of Hearts. She manipulated her husband, the King, into starting this war, this power grab, and with her uncountable army of cards, she is almost seen as unstoppable. The only ones who can challenge her, the Aces of Wonderland, are gone. Only one remains, and he is a hunted animal.

    The White Rabbit chimes in, "between the years I traveled between Wonderland and your Earth, I learned a lot of things about your world, Alice. I think you could liken the chase for the last Ace like the American's hunt for... Oh what was his name, Osama Bin Bhramin?"

    "In any case, we need you two. You Alice, are the wildcard, do you know what that means? You can be anybody, and you are everybody. You have the speed and agility of a Jack, the influncing power of a Queen, the mind of a King, and the heart and power of an Ace. But the only other wildcard to ever live was killed long ago, before the Wonderland Wars. You are half of the key, the other is the Ace of Spades.

    "Aces are ancient, they look no older than you, but they are the power in Wonderland. They are the highest card, and can beat every other in single combat. The Ace of Spades is the strongest of them. The Queen and the Ace of Hearts killed the other two, but she was unable to defeat him. Because of her failure, the Queen and King destroyed her. Aces cannot stand alone against royalty for long. Thats why the last Ace needs you, and you need him.

    He is hiding out in the mountains. Finding him shouldn't be hard, just follow the trail of dead cards. He won't attack you hopefully, because you aren't a card. He wouldn't be able to defeat you, because you are the Wildcard, and more powerful than he is. You must be careful finding him though, for the Army of Hearts patrols the mountains ruthlessly. You can take anything you need from us, you can even take our army, but they wouldn't do you much good. Do you have any questions, Alice?" The King of Spades asked the blonde.

    In the mountains, deep into a valley, a single shot rang out. A card fell. His partners started to react, and they too fell. Michael Spade rose from his perch atop a rock formation and dropped to the ground. He approached the cards to make sure they were dead, then searched them for anything valuable. He found nothing more than weapons. He left these, because he already had a mountain of them. He swept the area, then moved to a place where he had encountered other card patrols before, setting in to a perch used dozens of times. The cards never knew wherenhe fired from, because no survivors would tell the tale.

    It was a war he could not win, by most definitions. He coulsnsimply strive to do as much damage to the Army of Hearts to make them realize the futilty and leave. Never mind the army was nearly limitless and was hell bent on ending him. Michael sighed, amd chose toneat a quick meal, unwrapping some bread and mest slices he had packed before. He slapped the two together and sat in his snipers nest, rifle propped against the rocks, watching the treeline in the distance. A path cut through the trees, following the curve of the varied terrain, and it was along this path the cards patrolled.
    #1 ShatteredSkies, Jul 2, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2016
  2. Was it some morbid twist of fate that ensured that Alice would keep returning to Wonderland? Thinking back on her childhood, she could have easily dismissed them as fanciful dreams that Alice the child couldn't differentiate from reality but at twenty three and definitely drug free, there was no denying that the White Rabbit of her Wonderland adventure had not only reappeared in her room but had taken her back to Wonderland once more.

    It was not the Wonderland of her past though. The days of bright, vibrant aura of happiness were long gone and now a smoky, almost oppressive nature hung possessively in the air, almost like an old dog over a bone. It was a stark comparison from what she remembered and Alice couldn't help but mourn for the changes wrought upon the land.

    The Rabbit's explanation only seemed to confuse her further. The Queen of Hearts had urged the King to start some kind of uprising or a war against the other suits in some kind of bid to take over Wonderland entirely. Then came the revelation that Alice was the only living Wildcard, one that could bring an end to this mindless destruction and chaos. The White Rabbit and the King of Spade seemed to believe that if she somehow convince the last surviving Ace to join forces with her, they could somehow be the harbingers of the end of this meaningless war.

    "But I'm just Alice." Alice protested, eerily recalling saying something similar in her first foray into Wonderland.

    The King of Spades must have suspected that she would not capitulate so easily. He gestured at someone and a card, a Deuce of Spades, if Alice remembered correctly, stepped forward with a velvet pillow in its spindly hands. "I believe, Just Alice, that this belongs to you."

    Alice closed her eyes before opening them once more. Not long after her first foray into Wonderland, Alice had gone through the Looking Glass. It wasn't quite Wonderland but Alice had long suspected that the two realms weren't very different, nor too far apart.

    The jeweled coronet winked in the light and the King of Spades picked it up carefully before crowning her. "You are one of us, Alice, and we need you to help save Wonderland."

    It was not long after that Alice had set off from the crumbling ruins that was the current hideout of the royal court of Spades and its army. Clad in what amounted to Wonderland fatigues - although Alice doubted it would stand up in a proper fight - the blonde was headed up north to the mountains, in search of the ally it seemed that she desperately needed. Her grip on the gun tightened. It was long and felt unwieldy in her arms and the spare rifle and the obsidian blade strapped to her back felt equally foreign. The King of Spades had insisted on their necessity so Alice had reluctantly taken them.

    "Treachery lies abound." Alice muttered to herself as she stepped off the beaten path and headed into the wilderness. The King of Spades believed that by following the path of dead cards, Alice would reach the Ace sooner but Alice had a feeling that if the Ace wanted to be found, it would not be Alice who would go to him but he would come to her and she could only hope to buy herself enough time to convince the Ace of her motives.
  3. Michael had almost finished his sandwich when his eyes caught movement. A patrol of cards, three Dueces, two Fours, and a Nine leading. A Nine was a bit high for just a patrol, and he was weary. He decided to let this one pass. He finished his lunch atbout the time another patrol came around. All Tens. The highest card he usually saw. They were dangerous, but manageable, and six of them would take some finesse.

    While he plotted, he wondered. Why were they changing their tactics now? Michael shook tuencrumbs off, gathered his rifle, then went into the woods. He moved with the stealth of a natural predetor, and his low form could be mistaken for a lone wolf. Which, he thought in retrospect, kind of fit. As he moved beside the path, he found yet another group of Tens. What was their plan? Draw him in with some easy targets, then overwhelm him with higher powered cards?

    He slung his rifle over his back and drew his shortsword, keeping the blade in shadow so a reflection did not reveal his position. He crept to the path, then when the last card in the patrol passed, he slipped up behind it and shoved the blade through it. Michael quietly dragged the card into the foilage and made sure it was dead, then he repested the process. It would drive the survivors mad. But madness was Wonderland's reacurring theme, state of war or not.

    Just as he was about to take a third, he heard footsteps. Not card steps, human footsteps. None had come up here since the Ace and Queen. Whoever it was, if they looked down they would see the drag marks from the card he had killed, then a second set. He stalked back towards the sound, intent on discovering who or what it was.
  4. From the little that she had hurriedly picked up from the Spade army before Alice had left the court of the Spades, the bigger the number of the card, the higher their rank, strength and abilities were. The Jack, for instance, had speed and agility while the Ten cards were the strongest of the numbered cards. It wasn't to say that the smaller numbers were useless. The Deuce cards were a strange lot as well. Their strength were comparable to the bigger numbered cards but their special abilities tended to vary which was why they were valued at courts as much as they belonged on the field.

    The first patrol had been rather careless, stomping through the jungle like environment. Alice had swung the gun back before clambering up a tree, hiding in the foliage as the patrol continued beneath her. They seemed to be determined to get somewhere so Alice figured she was better off taking a short break and regrouping internally. She judged it to be a decent amount of time before she dropped back down, gun in hand. It still wasn't something she was adjusted to but Alice was beginning to see why everyone was insistent on her carrying some weapons.

    Her footsteps increased in speed as she focused on moving. The patrols were fairly regular, according the the reports and if she wanted to avoid the next group, Alice was going to have to pick up the pace and get to the mouth of the valley's pass before too long had passed.

    Alice was beginning to see what being the Wildcard meant. In the human world, she would say she was a decent runner - nothing special but good enough to be lost in the middle of a group in a foot race but in Wonderland, it was like she was flying over the grass and earth, barely stepping down long enough to leave deep enough prints as she sprinted. Curious, she wondered what the other cards' special abilities were but Alice dismissed it. She could always investigate that after she had returned to the Spade court but right now, she needed to find the mysterious Ace.
  5. Michael saw her, plotted quickly and then darted from cover. It was a human, a blonde female who for some reason, rang a bell in his mind. However, he was focused on action, so he wrapped a hand over her mouth and put the blade of the sword to her throat. He quickly brought her back into the woods and out of sight and earshot. In a small clearing, he released her and took several steps away. "If you try to signal the patrols, I will kill you. Understand?" He asked.

    "Now who are you and why are you here?"

    Something about her though made it hard to think that fighting her would be easy as fighting cards. He was not quite sure what it was, but she raidiated something powerful. It was enough to give the Ace pause.
  6. Alice had not even gotten a chance to react when something, or someone, had grabbed her from behind, a hand snaking over her mouth and the glint of metal flashing at her neck as she was dragged backwards and into the underbrush. Alice was furious with herself, having been caught off guard and then dragged away like she was nothing more than a flimsy playing card. The person seemed more curious than violent. Despite his threat, he had released Alice before questioning her.

    Alice had pulled a hand to her neck, checking for blood but it came away clean. As a sign of good faith, she had pointed the gun down and away from the person. The male blonde looked calculative as he scanned her over. Alice frowned inwardly. This was a person who would look at her and see 'asset' or 'liability' instead of her curves and labeling her as 'woman'. In the human world, she might have appreciated it but over here, another person who saw her weapons would mostly likely call her foe than friend.

    "My name is Alice. And I am searching for someone." She finally said. Was this man from a resistance group that the Ace might have allied with? The Spades army did concede that there were pockets of resistance groups scattered across the realm but the army had never been in contact with any of them so Alice would have to tread carefully among them.​
  7. Michael sighed, "not a lot of someones around here, Alice," he told her. She was at least appearing neutral, so it was likely she did not want him dead, but there was still the lingering possibility she could have been sent by Hearts to snuff him. Then the sun caught the crown, and a flash of memory struck him.

    "Someone beat the White Queen on her own turf, in the Looking Glass?"
    "Yeah, and apparantly she had been in Wonderland a little while before. Apparantly the White Rabbit brought her," the Ace of Hearts said. "You know what that means, right?"
    "Wildcard right?"
    "Whats her name?"
    The Ace shrugged, "Just Alice, thats how she introduced herself."

    "That crown, thats the crown from the Looking Glass. You're Just Alice, the Wildcard," he said quietly. "Why are you here?"
  8. Alice could feel a slight flush of embarrassment. It wasn't the best answer but she had been forced to be purposefully vague since it would have been silly to name the Ace, given that he was more or less an enemy of the Hearts kingdom. Even if this man was not a supporter of the Hearts empire, it was probably a topic that few would be willing to broach, much less discuss with a complete stranger.

    His expression and attitude seem to change after a moment. The man had recognized the crown - and knew of the tale behind it. A hand tentatively reached up to touch it. Surprisingly, it wasn't heavy and Alice could honestly say it was a comfortable weight on her head, like how she used to parade around in Alice bands during her childhood.

    "Yes." Alice said warily. "I'm that Alice."

    Her identity as the Wildcard was a known one, the King of Spades and the Rabbit had told her somewhat apologetically. It seemed that her adventures had become tales, much like how human children enjoyed fairy tales and myths, in Wonderland. The crown would give her identity away at all times but it was her right and the law of the realm that royalty kept and minded their status and rank so it was only that reasoning that had Alice donning it even if she thought she looked ridiculous.

    Why was she here? There were so many ways to answer that and Alice wasn't quite sure what the man wanted.

    "I seek an ally." She told him. "The King of Spades informed me he resides in the mountains." There was really very little else she had to go on and at this point all that she had held to her chest was the name of the person she was seeking.
  9. "Like I said earlier, not a lot of people reside in these mountains. As for allies, it all depends on whose side you're on," Michael observed. "In case you haven't noticed, Wonderland's gone mad, madder than it was before. The fact you're looking for an ally means you've chosen a side, but which one? The resistance, or the Hearts?"

    Of course, he already knew that she was looking for him. No one else lived up here. His only unknown was her intentions. If she was with the Resistance, then he could trust her and would listen to her. If she had allied with Hearts, then he could only hope to run. To survive and maybe escape. As the Wildcard, Alice was more powerful than him, so a straight up fight would be short, The Ace was not in the habit of straight, clean fights.

    He hatched a quick plan, one way or another, he would reveal her intentions. The caves to the east, where he sometimes slept, were a perfect place. As long as he could shadow her there, see if she contacted any card patrols, or moreover, how she handled them, he could discern what she wanted with him. Though she would not need the cards, but if she were to amble upon one see how she reacted.
  10. Had she really picked a side? Alice wasn't terribly sure. She had nothing against the Hearts, Alice hadn't been impressed with them on her first adventure into Wonderland but they had done nothing to her to garner her hatred. The Spades were the same, she had nothing to favor or hate them for. But like the King of Spades had said, they had need of her, they needed her to help save the rest of them who were being persecuted and attacked by the Hearts army.

    "The resistance." Alice's finger was on the trigger, hoping she wouldn't have to shoot the man. It looked like the still nameless man was right. Alice had already picked a side, she was merely fortunate that it was a minor situation that had spurred it on and not a battle that could have had disastrous results.

    She stared at him as though somehow it would enlighten her on his identity. "Do I get to know your name or am I suppose to play guessing games?" She asked him. Alice was pretty sure that this was the Ace of Spades she was talking to, given their proximity to the mountains but she had her doubts as well. The information the Spade army had given was minimal at best which left her skeptical of making any assumption or simply buying into someone's words.
  11. "If you're with the resistance, that means you're looking for the Ace. He lives in these mountains," he said. Michael saw her tense, and made ready to move and engage as well. He really hoped that this did not devolve into a shootout, because he wasn't sure of his chances of victory. Michael pointed off behind her, towards a low rise of snow capped peaks. "There is a cave system in those mountains, and if you want to find the Ace, that's where he'll be."

    Which was only partially true, he slept there sometimes, in adverse weather, but not often. Lest his hiding spot become known to the cards hunting him. He knew the trails that the cards never used, and it was these he would use to follow Alice.
  12. A cave system? Alice felt her stomach drop. That wasn't the slightest bit comforting even if she would truly find the Ace there. For all she knew, the man in front of her was just setting her up for an ambush or kill. Well, perhaps not a kill since he could have easily slid his blade into her spine and be done with her earlier on. Alice shifted slightly, weighing her admittedly limited options. If she declined, then at best the man would disappear and at worst, their current stand off might devolve into a full on fight - something that he would have the upper hand on.

    "Why should I trust you?" She finally said. Although he might have spared her life, it didn't mean that she could blindly trust him.
  13. "There is no reason for you to trust me," he admitted. "but what cause have I given you to distrust me?" Michael asked, "you can take my advice and find the Ace you are looking for, you do not follow it and you stumble around these mountains searching for him, running into card patrols left and right. I've given you the path, but I can't make you follow it," he said finally, sheathing his blade and stepping backwards. He melted into the greenery and waited until out of earshot to start running.

    Michael placed himself between the caves and Alice, hoping to watch and observe her actions more before confronting her as the Ace of Spades.
  14. Alice cursed when the man merely left her more cryptic advice before disappearing. "Maybe Wonderland has human Cheshire cats as well." She muttered, remembering the Cheshire Cat who had done something similar, giving Alice equally thought provoking words. Admittedly it was confusing but Alice had enjoyed the Cheshire cat's company and for a moment, she wondered where it was now.

    Seeing that she had limited options, Alice hefted the gun before beginning her own trek through the underbrush. She couldn't afford to stay on the path and risk stumbling into a patrol. Her speed easily covered more ground and soon enough she could see the base of the mountains that the Ace allegedly resided in. She had passed the first possible cave entrance, deeming it too exposed and therefore, very unlikely for the Ace to be at. She would have missed the second if not for the trick of light and Alice eagerly slipped into the crack of space, easily squeezing in given her small frame - or was it from the work of being a Wildcard? Yet another question to her ever growing list of questions, it seemed.
  15. Michael tracked her through the woods, having to stop and silently eliminate a card patrol on the way. When she found the cave, he waited a second before ducking in behind her. It was dark, but that was to those who did not know where they were going. Michael slipped past Alice, making his way further in where his shelter was. There, he lit a small lamp, the faint glow visible from Alice's position.

    When she reached him, he sat on a small, benchlike rock outcropping. A sleeping bag was rolled up on the bench, and canned goods were stacked along a wall along with green ammunition boxes. Next to the lamp was a small cooking stove, plate, and a few utinsels. "Welcome to my homely adobe, Alice," he greeted, though the smile and casual greeting was punctuated by the rifle he held on her.
  16. Alice wasn't very surprised to see the man from earlier waiting for her. She, after all, had already suspected his identity from their earlier encounter. His gun was trained on her but then so was hers on him. She was on his stomping ground though and he held the home advantage which Alice had reluctantly accepted that she would have had to step into.

    "Ace." She greeted, although she didn't bother smiling or with pleasantries.

    "The White Rabbit and King of Spades failed to inform me that my welcoming would be less than.. friendly." She commented, her keen eyes scanning the encampment. It looked barely lived in but that she supposed, was to be expected if the Ace of Spades spent more time evading patrols while taking out as many cards as he could.
  17. "Have you met my neighbors?" he asked. "Not quite the friendliest people in Wonderland. But that doesn't mean we have to treat each other like that." he said, before loosening the grip on his weapon and lowering it. "Welcome to casa le Spade, this is the living room, kitchen, dining room, master bedroom, and laundry room. So, why did the White Rabbit and the Kinb want with me? And why did they snd the single most powerful figure in Wonderland to find me?"

    He already knew, she wanted him to join their resistance. Because with the Wildcard, they could beat the Queen and her army. The King had asked him to early in the war, but he had abstained. He had been blind then, a love affair that nearly killed him. Now... Now maybe he could make up for that mistake.
  18. Alice felt like she was seven again and back on her first journey into Wonderland. It had been utterly confusing and amazing then, it was still utterly confusing and amazing now but ultimately people still played with secrets, hoarding them and holding them close to chest which left Alice on an unfair playing field simply because she was not from Wonderland and she had little idea of what was going on.

    "If you're asking questions meant for them, it's better you address it to them." Alice was quick to retort, she was beginning to feel like a pawn in a chess game once more.

    Sighing Alice lowered her gun as she took a good look at the Ace. She was here to try and convince him, not pick a fight with him or anyone else. "Look. From what I know, the Queen of Hearts is making her power play and the rest of the royal suits are struggling to just survive. The King of Spades believes that our powers as Ace and the Wildcard would be enough to topple her."

    Alice laughed a little bitterly, feeling like this had been thrust on her thin shoulders too suddenly. "I"m just Alice." She repeated stubbornly. "And apparently, also the Wildcard. I don't really care for the titles or names that people want to load me up with. What I want is to preserve the Wonderland that I fell in love with and to do that, it appears that I need your help."
  19. "Well, yeah, everybody in Wonderland knows that," he pointed out. "But the question is why? I happen to know, just because I was there." He mused while grabbing a can and opening it. "Would you like some..." He looked at the can, "beans and pork?"

    "You and I want the same thing, Wonderland restored to what it was, however, that will be nearly impossible. See, the King, Queen, a Jack, and a nine and ten of hearts is practically unstoppable. No other group can match it. The only higher one would be me, the King of spades, you filling in for the Queen, the Jacks are missing, and any ten of Spades we can find." He listed, eating with a spoon. "Then we have to blast a hole in their lines to get to the court, which is the most guarded and defensible place in Wonderland. Once we get inside we have to hold everyone off until the others can arrive, then we can win." He looked up and met Alice's eyes. "Its you and me against an infinite army."
  20. Alice reluctantly perched herself on a rock, although her grip on the gun still remained tight. While she wasn't from Wonderland, it didn't mean that she wouldn't be affected by events that happened to her in Wonderland. It was why she gave Ace a wry smile before shaking her head at his offer of food. The last time she consumed any sort of food in Wonderland, she found herself growing at an accelerated and frankly, abnormal rate.

    "Do the Jacks only have one eye?" She asked, half in jest. In a regular playing card deck, only the Jacks of Spade and Heart had only one eye visible and given what she had seen so far, she was inclined to believe that Wonderland mirrored the world Alice came from as far as the cards went.

    The idea of having to not only infiltrate what Ace believed to be the most heavily defended location in Wonderland but to hold their ground until reinforcements arrived was a daunting one. How could just two people hold off against an infinite army, particularly two humans against an army of cards and the handful of human inhabitants? "So its a suicide mission then?" Alice asked, feeling rather hopeless at Ace's words.