Ceramic DM autumn '03(final judegment: new ceramic dm champ!) - Page 15
  1. #141
    2 days of silence....makes one...nervous

    and what in the heck is Dunsinane anyway?

  2. #142
    Don't expect to see my entry until noon tomorrow (my time, about two hours before the deadline) I'm taking full advantage of my time...
    Last edited by Macbeth; Saturday, 18th October, 2003 at 06:43 PM.

  3. #143
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    I Defended The Walls!

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    mythago vs. macbeth, round 2


    Inamori saw the panicked cloud of birds fly up as they drove onto the broken road, saw that among the pigeons and the other trash birds were a handful of white doves. He knew that they couldn't afford to risk killing any of those doves this early. He pounded on Boshears's shoulder and signed Stop. Boshears looked annoyed, but slowly rolled the T-91 down until he could cut the engine. The transport truck braked behind them.

    Cassetta started to sign a question, but Inamori interrupted him. "Go ahead and talk. If they didn't hear us pull in, then you talking isn't going to wake 'em up."

    His talk crap anyway, Boshears signed, behind the back of the seat where Cassetta couldn't see it. Inamori elbowed him to shut up. Unlike Boshears, who really was deaf, the squad used ASL as a second, silent language, and Cassetta was still struggling with it.

    "Sir, the men want to know why we've stopped. The compound isn't for another two clicks up the road."

    "Change of plans. I want to make sure none of Nassan's wives get in the way while we're setting this thing up. That means my team goes in and secures the entrance, then we come back, haul the generator and the lighting gear by hand."

    There were grumbles from the men coming out of the truck. Inamori waited for it to die down before he split them up and gave orders. He and his men left the road, staying in surveillance range while cutting through the forest. They got lucky enough to run across a patrol of wives who hadn't yet found the vehicles. Inamori watched them through binoculars. Seyoum Nassan liked his wives young, and these girls were barely teenagers, but Inamori knew better than to underestimate them. Most of Nassan's women were orphans, taken by warlords from hellholes in the Congo or Senegal, taught to be vicious killers as soon as they were strong enough to hold up a rifle, or a bayonet. Nassan married them so that no other man could have them, and then never touched them. They were deadly fighters and fiercely loyal to their husband.

    They weren't trained by the best military in the world, though, and so Inamori was not terribly surprised when his squad got the drop on them. His men heaved a cross-barrage of tear gas--Inamori shook his head, the girls had obviously never been through a gas chamber--followed it up with flashbangs, and his team moved in, well-prepared with their own gas masks, to take prisoners. He was relieved that none of the woman had any serious wounds; if they had harmed or even killed any of them, negotiation with Nassan would be nigh impossible. Then it was just a matter of half-carrying, half-dragging them back to the vehicles and securing them in the bed of the truck.

    They loaded the heavy boxes of stage gear onto a makeshift sledge, making jokes about being Uncle Sam's roadies. Then they dragged the gear along the irregularly-paved road, uphill, at a snail's pace, stopping often to make sure nothing was jarred or knocked off the sledge. Inamori refused to let anyone push--if the load slipped, whoever was behind it would be smeared under its weight like jam across toast. It was bad enough when part of the sledge broke off so that it took all of them to keep the gear from slipping back downslope. Their goal was a small clearing in the forest, screened from the main compound. A hundred meters from goal, a pale brick structure loomed out of the forest.

    Boshears frowned and signed something that needed no translation. Inamori agreed with him: the map didn't show this building, which meant that the rest of their intel was suspect. Bad enough that they were on an unofficial, plausibly-deniable mission that left them unable to call for backup. With the local government's fear of taking Nassan down by conventional means, there was no way to call the special-ops part of their job off and resort to shooting the bastard. Inamori blew out a lungful of air and considered. Maybe the building was abandoned, or used for storage. Too soon to panic and back out now.

    He signed to Shuttles and Condon to follow. The three of them eased through the low trees and undergrowth and cautiously approached the building. As they reached it, Inamori heard talking. It took him a minute to realize that they were children's voices. Crap in a hat, he thought, it's one of his schools. Nassan's schools made it hard for the local authorities to move against him. Orphaned children, especially the offspring of white mercenaries who ravaged the area every few years, were despised; Nassan took them in, taught them his religion, and kept them alive on the United Nations emergency supplies his wives stole at gunpoint. If they were here, they weren't helping the Lion's Army or the People's Front or some other militia band, burning farms and shooting up government officials for the hell of it.

    Shuttles eased up to a window, peered in, and then signed that the other two should follow suit. Inamori looked and saw that, yes, it was one of Nassan's schoolhouses. At the direction of a scowling man swinging a short leather strap, a room full of little boys dressed in pious garb recited a prayer in Fon. When one of the boys stumbled over a word, he got a crack over the head with the strap. Inamori noticed that he had moved his finger onto the trigger of his M1A1 and very deliberately moved it away.

    The three men swung open the schoolhouse door and pointed their weapons at the teacher. He put his hands in the air, terrified, still holding the strap. Inamori motioned with the barrel of his rifle for the man to sit, which he did. The boys hadn't moved. "Shuttles, Condon, you stay here and keep this bunch out of trouble. I have to get back and help Boshears prep." Without waiting for an answer, he turned and headed down the road. He didn't want to think of what would happen if the kids panicked, but right now he had to get Boshears ready before the whole op went chest-up. Literally.

    When he returned to their impromptu base, the squad had finished unpacking the supplies. Either they had heated the shower bag quickly or Boshears had gone ahead and washed in cold water, because his hair was still wet. He sat impassively on a director's chair while Sorensen laid his costume, makeup and jewelry out on a clean blanket on the ground. Inamori wondered where Sorensen had learned to put that kind of outfit together. Don't ask, don't tell, I guess. He looked past the men dragging the lighting gear to the road, at the horizon over the forest. The sun was a red cusp at the edge of the sky. He turned back to the two end tables that had been turned into altars and covered with cloth: black and white for Ogun, red for Erzuli. Inamori opened the box of regalia, sorted the candles, painstakingly put each in its proper place. He scattered iron nails over Ogun's altar, propped stock photos of Marilyn Monroe and Monica Lewinsky on Erzuli's. Somebody had taken the trouble to bubble-wrap the cheap stoneware salad plates, so only a few were cracked. He took the good ones and loaded them with honeycomb, palm oil, sticks of cinnamon, and an entire can of Libby's Pumpkin Puree, opened with his pocket knife. When he had balanced the plates on every available space on the altars, he got a lighter from his pack.

    He took a deep breath to calm himself. Of all the ridiculous things on this op--Sorensen dressing Boshears, of all people, up like a Carnivale drag queen; the US Army ordering this hush-hush op in the first place; the fact that they were being sent in instead of having the compound carpet-bombed into the group--the one stupid little fact that nagged at him was that he, a fourth-generation Japanese-American raised in an agnostic home, was going to invite the orishas down to help them out. He pushed that from his mind and lit the candles, one by one, first the white tapers for Ogun, then the red ones for his mistress, Erzuli. He called out a greeting to each in his halting Fon, directing them to the fine offerings and humbly inviting them to journey from their homes and visit their human supplicants. He was about ready to send one of the men to fetch him a white dove when he heard a rustling directly behind him. He turned and there was Boshears, wearing a shimmering two-piece dancer's costume and strings of pearls, with a gold-threaded body veil reflecting the flickering candle flames. Apparently, Erzuli had found the place prepared for her satisfactory.

    Her ruby-painted mouth curved in an inviting smile. "Aren't you going to get to the songs of praise?" she asked him in Fon. Her voice rippled like warm water. Inamori's scalp tightened. He could never tell whether the terrible thing about that voice was that it came from Boshears or that it belonged to a goddess. He forced himself to look away from her and over her shoulder. The lighting team stood motionless and stricken. Inamori knew the feeling, but he snapped his fingers at them to get going. They did, bathing the clearing in soft red light just in time for Ogun's arrival.

    Unlike Boshears, Seyoum Nassan had no need to change his appearance to please the orisha who rode him. Inamori recognized him from the surveillance photos, but had expected him to be taller, more muscular, somehow more fitting for Ogun the Ironworker; Erzuli towered over him by a head. I don't know what the orisha sees in that guy, he thought, and had to suppress a panicked snort of laughter.

    Ogun stormed into the clearing with a phalanx of his soldier-wives following him, his white teeth showing in a snarl. Then he saw Boshears and stopped. A few of the wives bumped into him, surprised, and he waved them off. Cautiously, he stepped into the ring of red lights. Erzuli walked toward him as slowly as if she were a catwalk model, her hips swaying like a dancer's. Ogun matched her pace with a slow, powerful step. His wives milled uncertainly behind him. Erzuli stared at them with pure venom, and they turned to avoid her eyes. Not once did she break the rhythm of her seductive promenade.

    Inamori waited until they were an arm's length apart to step between them. Ogun swore at him in Fon--not that the Defense Languages Institute had ever taught Inamori Fon swear words, but the translation was obvious enough. Inamori bowed. "Great Ogun, lord of iron, patron of warriors, Erzuli comes on our behalf, and for bringing her to you, I ask a boon."

    Ogun glared at him, then looked to Erzuli. She hummed and inspected her nails with interest. Since she was riding Boshears, she knew exactly what Inamori wanted. Apparently the offerings had been good enough that she was willing to play along. Not to mention those are genuine pearls she's wearing. I better remember to give Sorensen a commendation for that one.

    Ogun grunted through Nassan's throat. "Speak. Your offerings were proper but your interference is not."

    "But mine is," hissed a woman's voice. It was not Erzuli. Inamori and the two orishas looked around in bafflement. It seemed to have issued from the group of teenage girls now huddled somewhere behind Ogun. One of them stomped into the red light, using her AK-47 as a walking-stick and pounding the ground in rage with each step. She stopped in front of Ogun and spat at his feet. "How dare you bargain with this man so that you can take your whore in front of me and your lesser wives?"

    Inamori inched away from the group and knocked into Sorensen. Angry woman say what? the taller man signed. Angry woman big wife, Inamori signed back. Yemaja, Ogun's jealous senior wife. He had no idea how or why the third orisha had manifested without being invited, but right now she was making this whole op go FUBAR.

    "O Yemaja, great queen, please hear me," he interrupted. Three heads swiveled toward him. "My business is not with you, but with your husband. The human he rides has caused problems for the people of this country. We need him to find another hounsi."

    It was unnerving to have a twelve-year-old girl look him up and down like a woman three times her age. She considered his words, then nodded. "Quite reasonable. Here." She turned and gave a sharp come-here gesture to one of the other teenagers. The girl pulled back, but her friends moved quickly away, singling her out. Yemaja made an irritated noise and repeated the gesture. The terrified girl shuffled forward. Yemaja grabbed her arm and dragged her to Ogun's altar. She bent over the offerings and rattled off something in Fon, too fast for Inamori to translate, then grabbed the girl by the hair and slammed her into the altar.

    "There," she said with satisfaction. "Now, husband, this girl is your vessel. See if your mistress likes this one better!"

    Erzuli gasped and turned to Seyoum Nassan. The man was slack-jawed, confused, all his power gone. The teenager got unsteadily to her feet and shook her head as though dizzy. In a man's voice, she croaked, "Erzuli?"

    The woman in red ignored her and stalked to where Yemaja stood smirking. She drew back her hand and slapped the smaller woman across the face. Her plastic fingernails left long red trails on her rival's cheek.

    Inamori seized Nassan's collar and dragged the man back down the trail. His men didn't waste time following him. They ran at full tilt, tripping over stones and rolling and scrambling back to their feet, none of them bothering to pick up any of the expensive gear they had been assigned for the mission. Inamori shoved his prisoner at Sorensen and clawed for his radio. He needed to warn Shuttles and Condon to get the hell out and hump back to the trucks, to leave the kids and avoid the clearing, leave this whole mess of an op behind and hope that parading Nassan around the country would show the people that Ogun had indeed abandoned him. Without his god to back him up, Nassan was just another warlord for the government to execute.

    On the way out, he ran the T-19 straight through the flock of birds. He hoped he killed a few.


  4. #144
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    I Defended The Walls!

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    Quote Originally Posted by alsih2o
    2 days of silence....makes one...nervous

    and what in the heck is Dunsinane anyway?
    Been a busy little bee over here...


  5. #145

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    mmmm, interesting

  6. #146
    Cermic DM, Round 2, Macbeth vs. Mythago

    Richard Gavin moved into the decadent office, obvious signs of apprehension showing on his face. This was his first real mission, and the excitement showed. The director sat behind his desk, taking keen notice of Gavin's excitement.

    "Take a seat, Gavin."
    Gavin moved into the chair just a little to quickly, a clear sign that he was anxious to get started on his mission.

    "Yes, sir."
    New agents were always like this: all "yes sir"'s and "no sir"'s, but not an ounce of common sense.

    "Right. After your success on Taku Rikiki, we've decided to assign you to a new, more important mission. There's been rumors of a paramilitary group forming in the South pacific, and since you were there so recently, the mission is yours." the director passed a folder over the desk.

    Gavin opened the folder, and begin hungrily searching through the folder, devouring the info on his new mission. A certain picture caught his eye.

    "Um, sir, I think you left a... personal picture in here." Gavin moved to hand the picture of the gaudy show girl back to the director.

    Not an ounce of sense..., the thought runs through the directors head again. "No, Gavin, that's your primary target. Her name's Circe Monique, and until yesterday, the CIA had never heard of her. Then one of our contacts in the Venmon gave us info on some new secret weapon the Circe is developing for the Venmon to sell. We don't know the nature of the weapons, but we can't risk giving the Venmon that kind of power. Get in to her compound, destroy the weapons, and get out. You'll be airdropped in, and you can radio out for a copter out. Don't use your radio until your ready to leave, if you use it too often the Venmon may catch your signal. Got it?"

    "Yes sir, I think I do."

    "Good luck then. Off you go..."


    Airplanes and Gavin didn't agree. The series of flights from the US took their toll on Gavin's dinner, and when the jump finally came just before sunrise, it was somewhat of a release: no more airplanes.

    On the ground Gavin quickly collected his parachute and shoved it under a large outcropping of rocks. With a quick look at his compass he oriented himself and headed towards Circe's compound.

    No more then 50 ft. away Gavin was stopped by a sensation he had hoped to never feel again: the cold, hard steel of a rifle muzzle sticking into his back. A female voice spoke from behind him: "And what might you be doin here, darlin' ?"

    "I was just looking for the bathroom, I swear!"

    "Now that has to be the worst excuse I've ever heard. Get on the ground."

    A pair of hands began searching around through Gavin's pockets, and eventually cam across his ID. "Says here your CIA, you here to stop Circe?"

    "Depends on who's asking."

    "Listen sugar" Gavin was yanked up and finally got a good view of his captors. "If your CIA, and youre here to stop Circe, then your goin' to help us. If not, were going to let you go you merry way with a bullet as a souvenir.

    His captors were an unusual sight: three black women, all heavily armed, who looked more like a dance group then anything he would have expected to find.

    "Yeah, I'm CIA. Whats your beef with Circe?"

    "She kidnaped my son. I don't know why, but one day all that came back from school was a letter containing a letter from

    Circe explaining that she had Jimmy, and that she would take care of him, and a wad of cash that was supposed to pay me for

    my son. No money can buy my son. So I took the money, bought me ad my friends here some weapons and airplane tickets here, and now were going to get my son back."

    This was exactly what Gavin hoped to avoid: more civilian interaction. After the incident on Taku Rikiki, the last thing he wanted was to have some untrained civilians slowing him down. but what choice did he have? He couldn't leave this women and her friends.

    "Fine, you can come along."

    "Great. My names Beatrice. This here's Cindy, and she's Margarite."

    "Great, whatever, just follow my lead and we might just live through this.


    The greatest thing about these compounds on otherwise empty islands is that they never expect to be attacked. With an entire island to yourself, who could really threaten you? Gavin took the lead, taking full advantage of the lack of guards.
    Before Gavin could decide which entrance to take into the series of low building that Made up Circe's headquarters, a series of scream filled the air. Just what I need, another sidetrack from the main mission. But if there's somebody that Circe hates enough to make them scream like that, they might just be of use

    "We're going over that way. Anybody who Circe would torture like that might have some info we could use."

    Beatrice and her friends followed, accepting Gavin's lead, at least for now. The moved silently around the back of the compound, and found the source of the screaming: on a slope leading away from the compound there were several small ditches, each the size of a man, and in each these ditches there was a prisoner tied to a rope, which eventually went over a cliff at the bottom. The prisoners had to stand up against the bottom of their ditch or get pulled down by the weight. As each prisoner collapsed the remaining prisoners had to hold more weight. Only one prisoner was still struggling, and a couple of guards were watching over him.

    "How much longer do ya' think he'll last?"

    "Not long."

    "Then how abouts we go get some food, I've seen enough torture for the day."

    "Fine by me."

    The two guards walked away, but not before one gave the last prisoner mocking pat on the head. "Have fun."

    As soon as the guards were out of sight Gavin turned to Beatrice. "Cover me, I'm going to save him."

    Gavin ran towards the last prisoner and started trying to cut through the rope with his knife. The prisoner looked surprised at Gavin's appearance, but said nothing instead concentrating on holding the weight until Gavin finished the cut. A long 5 seconds later the rope broke, and the Prisoner heaved a sigh of relief. "Thank you... Thank you" Gavin pulled the man back to the hiding place where Beatrice, Cindy, and Maragrite stood watch. Now that the prisoner owed Gavin his life, it was time for answers. "Who are you, and why were you being tortured?"

    'My name is Victor Frish, and I am... I mean was.... one of Circe's head researchers. I was in charge of Project Oedipus. I lost favor when my morals started to get in the way of my work, and so Circe had me and my entire team put to death. The others collapsed earlier, I think their all dead."

    This was what Gavin was looking for: an insider. Now he was getting somewhere. "I'm sorry about your team, but what was Project Oedipus? Was that Circe's weapons program for the Venmon?"

    "I guess you could say it was a weapons project, but really it was a new kind of training. She kidnaped kids from all over the world, and she's been training them to be her mindless soldiers. I, I'm sorry to say, went along with the project, until she started talking about stimulants. The project was going to take too long, so she's going to inject the kids with a hormone cocktail and hope that it makes them grow faster. Thats what I objected to, and now my teams dead..."

    "Its not your fault," Gavin had what he needed, now all he had to do was get this guy out..."Cindy, Maragrite, take Mister

    Frish and get him to the point where you met me. Beatrice and I will go in and get the kids."

    Cindy and Maragrite took Frish off, and Gavin went in to the compound with Beatrice close behind.


    The compound was a maze, but Gavin managed to find the holding room for Project Oedipus. The children were being held in a classroom, with a teacher who seemed to have very traditional views on physical punishment. They had to get in, and there wasn't any easy way to go about it. Gavin had a plan. "On the count of three, I kick the door in, and we rush in. Ready.... one... two... three! Gavin's leg connected solidly with the door, but in a contest between a man and a locked, bolted, hardened steel door, who's going to win? Gavin doubled over in pain, and the teacher stopped beating the child to go open the door. As the door swung open and the teacher stepped out, Beatrice clubbed him with the but of her rifle. "Thats for Jimmy."

    The children in the classroom took advantage of the teachers absence and started to rush out the door. "Mommy !" one of the smaller children yelled at the sight of Beatrice. "Oh, my baby, its so good to se you. I love you honey, now lets get going. Mr Gavin, are you alright?"

    "Yeah, fine, just gimme a second." Gavin stood up, and, with a noticeable limp, moved back towards the entrance they had used earlier. Moving back through the compound was hard, with a group of a dozen kids trying to avoid the guards, but Gavin demonstrated some measure of competence, and got them all out without being noticed. Or almost got them out...


    As the group approached the forest, a rumble came out of the underbrush. A flight of birds took to the air, and a tank rumbled out of the trees. Standing on top was a women draped in so many beads and so much fine fabric it had to be Circe, and at her feet were Cindy, Frish, and Maragrite, all bound with ropes. "Now, Now, Now, Mr Gavin, you didnt think I would let you get away with my children, did you?" said Circe in a voice like sugar coated poison.

    Panic flashed across Gavin's face for a second, before something caught his attention from the corner of his eye. There was movement in the bush, so his fall black plan must be working...

    "I'm sorry, Mrs. Circe, but I'm afraid my associate in the bushes over there has something to say about this.' Gavin motioned towards the bush, and right on cue, a small pig wandered out.

    "Why, Mr. Gavin, I had no idea you worked with pigs in the CIA."

    Oh, %^&#$, Time to think fast... "The joke is on you, Circe, that pig is loaded with enough explosives to blow your tank sky high, now let my friends go."

    "Surely you jest, Mr. Gavin, I do not think you have any explosives, in fact, I think you are, as the masses would say, 'screwed."

    Gavin would have been 'screwed,' if not for the coincidence that his backup was there, they just weren't in the same bush as the pig. Circe jumped as the other CIA agent on the island jumped onto the back of the tank and held a pistol to the small of her back. "Circe, let us go or you'll be digesting lead."

    "Fine, go, this is but a minor setback."

    Gavin, Beatrice, and the kids made a break for it, while the other agent let Frish, Cindy and Maragrite go. A radio call while they ran and a helicopter picked them up before Circe's gooks could catch up.


    On the helicopter ride out, Gavin found time to talk to his backup. "Thanks Mike."

    "I told you, you don't have to thank me, Gavin. In fact, I told you didn't even have to talk to me."

    "I just thought..."

    "No. You didn't. Thats why I saved your ass. Now, the only reason I helped you was because you helped me back on Taku Rikiki. Let it rest. No "thank you"'s this time. Now were even."

  7. #147
    Just realized I didn't link to the pictures. Oh, well, I hope the parts that are from the pictures are obvious. If you want me to explain where I used the pictures, I can, but I think its self evident.

  8. #148
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    I Defended The Walls!

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    Yay! I was afraid you weren't gonna make it.

  9. #149
    I almost didn't make it. I had Mid-Terms friday, I went to Albuquerque yesterday to watch a Rugby Tournament and a Marching Band Tournament. Had to put the finishing touches on this morning.

  10. #150
    Unattainable Ideal COPPER SUBSCRIBER
    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

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    It's Ceramic Modern!

    Some great stories, guys. Thanks for the reading!

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