Spring Ceramic DM™: WINNER POSTED! - Page 32
  1. #311
    I'm yo' huckleberry.

    Bring it on. Macbeth, pshaw- who reads shakespeare anymore?

    Everything I needed to know about great literature I learned from Frank Miller.

    Macbeth, you are going down! (well, it could be up, that whole bracket thing is so confusing)

  2. #312
    Match 1-8: NiTessine vs. Francisca

    Be careful what you wish for...

    Agent Keady had been waiting for this meeting most of his career. He had been shunned and ridiculed by his peers, reprimanded for “wasting time and department funds on fairy tales and tabloid fodder”, and lost partner after partner. It was all about to become worth it. Every single humiliation he had suffered was about to pay dividends.

    Seated outside Section Chief Rumfield’s office, Keady realized that for the first time in years, he was reporting to his supervisor without fear of losing his job.

    The administrative assistant’s intercom buzzed.

    “Section Chief Rumfield will see you now.” she said.

    Exhaling loudly, Keady stood and walked into the office.

    ***

    Fifty minutes later, Section Chief Rumfield closed the file folder he was holding and sat it on his desk like he glad to rid his being of its presence. He then leaned forward, placing both elbows on the desk and held his head in his hands. After a pregnant pause he ran his fingers through his silvering hair and finally sat up and leaned back in his chair. With a look that was equal parts anger, humiliation, and fear, he said to Keady:

    “I guess I don’t need to tell you what this means.”

    “No. The question now becomes, what do we do about it?”, Keady said, trying not to sound smug.

    Rumfield turned his gaze to the ceiling.

    Rumfield sat silently for several minutes. In the back of his mind, he always had a nagging fear that one of those crackpot theories might be true. Now it seemed that his fears were warranted.

    ****

    Six weeks before his meeting with Rumfield, Keady was on his way to meet an old friend at a topless bar. Branch was Greenlander who immigrated to the US when he was 12. When he was of age, he joined the Navy and became a SEAL. He knocked around the world for several years, until a medical condition led to his discharge. At least, that was the story Branch had always told Keady. After his discharge, Branch joined the CIA and spent most of his career investigating various cult activities, mostly looking for ties between cult activity and international terrorist organizations. It was during a joint investigation with the FBI that Keady had met Branch. They had kept in touch for the last ten years or so, often comparing notes on an unofficial basis. Keady hadn’t heard from Branch in about a year. Then out of the blue, the phone rang at 1:00AM. Branch wanted Keady to come out and meet him for a drink. Keady had objected, but Branch was unusually insistent. Finally yielding, Keady now found himself in his pickup, trying not to hit the drunks stumbling about, going from bar to bar. Finally finding a parking spot in the back lot of the bar he was meeting Branch at, the passenger side door opened and Branch jumped in, just as Keady was about to remove the key from the ignition.

    “Start it up, we gotta move!”, Branch urged.

    Sensing a tinge of fear in Branch’s voice, Keady complied. After driving around for a few miles to make sure they weren’t being followed, Keady finally asked:

    “Alright, now what the hell is this all about?”

    Branch replied, “Do you remember what I told you when you asked where my interest in cults came from?”

    Keady answered, “Yeah, wasn’t there a cult active in your home town? And weren’t there a few murders? Isn’t that why you guys left Greenland?”

    “That was most of it. What I didn’t tell you is that most of the village was caught up in the cult. Man, it was bizarre. They would get into a frenzy during their rites that you have to see to believe. Nobody thought too much about it until the murders started, that’s when a lot of the villagers who weren’t part of the cult decided to get the hell out.

    So most of us left. I went back to Greenland last month. My hometown has now been completely taken over by the cult. But, that isn’t the scary part. My cousin told me that they claimed to have found their god! At first, we were in disbelief until we started bumping into people who were talking about something being found up on one of the glaciers nearby. This cult worships some dragon-god, who they claim to be descended from the Midgard Serpent. So my cousin and I decided to go check it out. We hired some local Inuit guide….”

    Keady interrupted him, “What the hell are you talking about? Dragon-god? You been drinking and playing D&D, or something? I can’t believe you dragged my sorry ass out of bed for this. I mean, I believe some pretty outlandish things…”

    “Hear me out!”, Branch shouted. “I wouldn’t pull your leg about something like this!”

    “Sorry, man, go ahead.”, said Keady.

    Branch continued, “So we hire these Inuit guides to take us up on the glacier. After a solid 2 days of searching, we find the damn thing! At first, I thought it was a dinosaur, but then it dawned on me: If it was a dinosaur, its flesh and skin should have rotted off before Greenland iced over. But the proof was that the thing had wings! We scouted around, and found that the cult had been busy chipping away trying to dig out. After about an hour of climbing around, we figured it to be around 250 feet from snout to tail. It was about then that the cult showed up and started shooting. So we hopped on the Inuit’s sled and beat a hasty retreat down the mountain side. Pull over, I got some pictures.”

    Pulling into a parking lot, Keady flipped the light on and looked at the pictures.

    He was astounded. Stepping right out of legend, there it was: 200+ feet of scaled terror. It’s scales were a steely gray with an orange-red tinge. It’s head was easily the size of a full ton pickup truck and came complete with fangs as long as man’s leg. Even the pictures of it - dead and frozen no less - were enough to make Keady’s skin crawl. It was just so unnatural and menacing.

    “This is amazing!”, Keady shouted.

    “Oh wait, there is more. The cult plans on reviving it. Who knows what a dragon might do….”

    “There you go again!”, Keady shouted.

    “Look man, it’s a freaking dragon! If the thing exists at all, why couldn’t it be revived? Look, pack your bags, we’re going to Greenland.”

    “Are you nuts? Rumfield wants to fire me as is.”

    “Look, it’s simple. You go, you get proof. You tell Rumfield to go to hell.”

    Keady reluctantly agreed, but could not leave for a few days due to some work that needed to be done.

    ***

    The next morning, Keady called up a buddy in the satellite imaging group and requested several high resolution images of the glacier Branch had told him about. They were ready that afternoon. His pal, Ronson, brought them over personally.

    ‘Pretty amazing stuff! What is that, a dinosaur or something?”, asked Ronson.

    “Yeah, something.”, replied Keady.

    The images were astounding. Plain as day, the dragon could be seen, as if it had lain down to take a nap and had yet to wake.

    “Hey, Ronson, before you go. Do me a favor. Until you hear otherwise from me, pull the images down from this same site every time the satellite passes over. I’m concerned about the site being disturbed.”

    “No problemo, buddy!”, Ronson said as he left.

    Keady went to Rumfield’s office to turn in his leave paperwork. When he got there, Rumfield looked at him suspiciously.

    “So what is it this time? Bigfoot? Loch Ness monster?”, mocked Rumfield.

    Keady just grinned and went home to pack.

    ***
    The next morning found Keady and Branch on a plane quietly looking over the files on this particular cult. As Branch had told him earlier, Keady learned that this cult worshipped a dragon-god. The followers claim that the dragon was put into it’s current state of suspended animation by a bastard son of Thor, who had extracted it’s heart, causing it to fall into a slumber. This supposedly happened around the time that Christianity was coming to prominence in Greenland, so the cult was quickly driven underground, and has only recently resurfaced. At any rate, the followers believe that they only need to bring the dragon’s heart back into it’s presence and it will be re-absorbed and the dragon re-animated. Legend has it that the heart is hidden in plain view, somewhere near the glacier.

    Branch handed Keady another sheet of paper. This document concerned a Christian church, the Church of the Blessed Herald. Apparently, in ancient times, this church was the primary reason the cult was driven underground. Ancient lore says there is a prophecy which even discusses the return of the dragon. A fragment of the prophecy reads:

    “And the chosen one shall seek the Golden Herald.
    And by doing so, his body and spirit shall be arrayed in the cloth of the Lord,
    And his hands made mighty with the power of Him,
    And his infernal foe shall be cast down.”

    ***

    Keady and Branch arrived at the hotel and checked in. Branch soon made contact with the same Inuit guide who had taken him to the glacier on his last visit, and made arrangements for another trip.

    Having a full day before the trip to the glacier, the next day was spent knocking around town looking for anything resembling a dragon heart. While walking around the town’s harbor, Keady was asked to take a picture of a family posing in front of what appeared to be a giant ball of twine. The ball was apparently a local oddity that drew a fair amount of attention. Branch questioned the old man who owned it. The old man told him that it wasn’t twine at all, but rather material from old fishing nets. Further, the ball was started by his forefathers several hundred years ago, and had been passed down through the generations, father to son, each adding net material and growing the size of the ball. Branch and Keady looked at one another, each wondering what size a dragon heart might be.

    ***

    The next morning, while preparing to meet with the Inuit guide, there was quite a buzz about the hotel lobby. Branch enquired and discovered that during the night, someone had cut apart the old man’s ball of net cording.

    Wasting no time, they found the Inuit guide who quickly drove them to the base of the mountain where he kept his sleigh. About an hour into the trek, Keady asked Branch a question.

    “What are we going to do if we find the dragon alive and well when we arrive?”

    Branch thought for a moment, then replied, “I don’t know. At least we have the Inuit!”

    Keady laughed as a he started to form a mental image of the Inuit charging the dragon wielding a makeshift lance, from the back of his Caribou-drawn sleigh.

    ***

    The second day of their journey found them observing the snow they were whisking past. Scores of tracks were present, some were from people on foot, and others were from Caribou-drawn sleighs. It was clear: the cult was assembling to wake the dragon.

    It was near dawn when they closed in on the glacier. Branch instructed the Inuit to stay put behind a ridge of ice and drifting snow, where he would be out of sight. Keady and Branch headed up the slope. When they reached the top, they dropped down onto all fours and peered over the crest of the ridge. What they saw was straight out of fiction.

    Surrounding the dragon were followers bearing torches, all dressed in long black and red robes. A man was standing in front of the dragon’s snout, holding up what Keady guessed to be the heart, as even at this distance, he could see it slowly starting to pump. Chants began, which quickly rose and fell, undulating like a serpent. Slowly, but with purpose, the follower carrying the heart made his way to the dragon’s left side. Pressing the heart up against the dragon’s ribcage, just behind the forelegs, the follower gave a mighty shove. In an instant, he and the heart disappeared, presumably into the dragon’s chest cavity.

    At this point, the chanting stopped and the followers began to edge away. In a span of a few seconds since the follower/heart disappeared, loud sounds of cracking ice began to echo about the glacier. Then suddenly, the dragon raised his head and flexed his wings, sending shards of glacial ice into the air and all over the followers. Then the dragon began to feed. After snatching up a dozen or so of his black and red clad worshippers, the dragon belched forth a volley of hellfire which burnt the rest to a crisp.

    It was then, Keady and Branch decided they had seen enough. Half sliding, half running down the slope as fast as they could, they shouted for the guide to make the sleigh ready. Jumping onto the sleigh as it set into motion, they urged the guide to push the Caribou as hard as he could. But it was too little, too late. The sound of giant beating wings was soon upon them. Wheeling, the dragon came down and snatched up all five Caribou in one fell swoop, taking the sleigh up into the air with them. Branch and Keady jumped immediately, but the Inuit was tangled in the reigns, and plunged a couple hundred feet to his presumed death when the dragon bit through the reins.

    Seeing a small ravine to their left, Keady and Branch made a run for it. Upon entering the ravine, they discovered it had a steeply sloped floor which caused them to tumble downhill almost immediately. When they reached the bottom, Keady looked up and caught the light of dawn reflecting from a golden statue set atop a church steeple.
    Dragging Branch up by the arm, Keady made his way to the church doors and flung them open. He was stunned to find that the church as full. Suddenly the Priest shouted:

    “Hurry! Our time of action is now! Bring forth the relics!”

    Three men came forth. One bore a large round shield, the outward side black as pitch. The second bore a conical helm of bright steel and chainmail shirt, shiny as chrome. The third bore a large cross, made of a heavy wood and iron shod. They dressed Keady in the armor and place the cross to him. The priest blessed him, and bid him to go forth and defeat the dragon.

    Oddly, Keady was not afraid. He stepped forth from the church just in time for the dragon to fly over. He ran out into the open and yelled something in a language he had never heard before. It was at this he noticed that cross had taken on a slightly different appearance. It no longer seemed to be a cross, but rather a giant war hammer, shod in steel and covered in runes, which he could now read. Mjolnir, they said.

    Steadying himself, he spread his feet wide apart and raised his shield. The dragon again belched forth a torrent of hellfire. Behind the shield, Keady was untouched. The dragon passed and turned for another attack. Dropping the shield, Keady grasped the hammer with both hands and held it over his head. The dragon was coming full tilt, with it’s gaping jaws wide open. When the dragon was just close enough to snap it’s jaws shut around him, Keady deftly stepped to one side and struck a blow straight down onto the dragon’s head.

    There was a clap of thunder and a flash of brilliant white light, Keady passed out.

    ***

    Keady awoke to find himself looking at Branch.

    Keady muttered, “What happened?”

    “You killed the dragon, that’s what!”, exclaimed Branch.

    ***

    About 5 weeks later, Keady was still savoring Rumfield’s silence when he asked:

    “What got you? What made you believe?”

    Rumfield slowly brought his gaze back down from the ceiling to Keady.

    “DNA, satellite, eye witness accounts. Hell, it even showed up on NATO radar. How could I not believe it?”, muttered Rumfield. “Now I have a question for you. You must have always wanted one of these investigations of yours provide you with concrete proof you could show me and the world. You got it now. What has that done for you?”

    Keady considered the question for a moment, then stood up and started for the door. He stopped, turned around, and said, “ I guess to be careful what you wish for.”

  3. #313
    Well, there it is, for good or bad. I was only able to find about 3 hours to spend on it tonight, and I won't have time tomorrow, so it will have to do.

    And I just realized one of my edits didn't make it in before I posted. GGGRRREEAAATTT!!!

    Hell with it, I'm going to bed.
    Last edited by francisca; Thursday, 15th April, 2004 at 09:55 AM.

  4. #314
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    I feel your pain! Last Ceramic DM my story was missing an element from it during copy/paste. I haven't re-read this one yet to see what I missed here. But hey, focus on the positive, you just took 4 wacky pictures and tied them together with some sort of cohesion and you did it in less than 72 hours.

    Good job!

  5. #315
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    Match 8-1: NiTessine vs. francisca

    Ragnarok

    Jack Fort had left the agency a year ago. They’d been very understanding about it. No confinement to a strange island, no hitmen sent after him, not even mandatory therapy. Still, the other agency wouldn’t have been nearly as friendly about it, so Jack thought it might be best to disappear for a while. Like the next five decades. And thus it was that the man who had once been Jack Fort was now known as Björn Østersund, a fisherman in the Norwegian Lapland.

    The diet was monotonous, consisting mostly of cod, with a little dried cod every now and then, for a change. The weather, frankly, sucked, with the winter lasting ten months, and the weather alternating between raining hail, snow, and just plain old water. Still, nobody was trying to kill him, and everybody else in the village was human, so Jack – sorry, Björn – couldn’t complain. He was almost beginning to enjoy the simple life, spending the days out at the sea and the evenings in the town’s pub. Björn never drank too much. Paranoia dies hard, even when the Hell has frozen over. That, and Norwegian beer tasted like something that’d been drunk already.

    After all the trouble he’d gone to in order to stay hidden, according to Murphy’s Law it was only inevitable that someone would find him.

    It happened late at night, during what passed for summer within the Arctic Circle. Björn was trudging his way up the hill to his cabin on the outskirts of the village, having finished his pint of Guinness in the tavern. He was uncertain whether it was a stroke of luck or just the power of a well-known brand that made the Irish stout available in there, in the most distant corner of the civilised world, nor did he much care, as long as it was available. He may have given up his old identity, but only death would part him from Irish spirits.

    As soon as Björn crossed the threshold to his dwelling, he sensed something was wrong. There was no discernible reason, merely a twitch of the sixth sense that he had cultivated during his previous life. For a moment, he stood stock still in the doorway, his tall form silhouetted against the starry sky. Then, he sprang into motion, lunging low across the room and sweeping the semiautomatic pistol from its hiding place on the underside of a chair into his hand, all in one fluid motion.

    Björn pointed the gun into the darkness of the cabin, waving it from one shadow to another. There, movement! The Beretta swivelled to point at the figure of a man, disentangling itself from the shadows, stepping into a pool of moonlight in front of a window. The pale illumination revealed a man in his mid-fifties, with eyeglasses that were rimmed in neon blue. (1)
    “Hello, Jack,” the man spoke.
    “Will, what the hell are you doing here?” Björn demanded, the gun pointed at the man’s head.
    “Having a gun pointed at my head. Please, I speak a lot better when not being threatened,” the man retorted, indignation in his voice.
    “Right,” Björn said, lowering the pistol. “Now, tell me.”
    “I came to find you,” Will spoke, moving to close the door. “You quit, so you’re the only man I trust who can do what I need done. Oh, and you are in the right country to begin with.”
    “You said it yourself. I quit. And there’s nothing in Norway that the agency would be interested in. We’ve got cod, cold and cold cod.”
    “You’re absolutely right and absolutely wrong at the same time. There’s something very interesting indeed here, but the agency does not know about it.”
    “What?”
    “I’ll tell you if you agree to help me. This is not a small thing.”
    There was a long, expectant silence. Then Björn spoke:
    “Well, I’m getting tired of fish, anyway. Talk.”

    Willem Brock let a momentary smile pass his lips, and then began.
    “It’s a long story, but I guess we’ve got the time. You’ve seen the world’s largest ball of twine?”
    “Yeah, I drove past it once.”
    “Well, it’s not just an ordinary ball of twine.”
    “Of course not, it’s the biggest in the world.”
    “No, it’s not ordinary twine, either. See, I was there some months back, following a lead. There was this stumpy old woman there, waiting for me. (2) Weird clothes. She knew my name, my job, what I was seeking, even where we hid that mob boss’ body twelve years ago. And she told me her name was Urd.”
    Jack’s eyebrows shot up.
    “You think she was for real?” he asked. In the agency, he’d had more than enough brushes with the supernatural, even though they weren’t his area.
    “Yeah, I do. Had even a genuine accent. She was one of the Norse Fates, I’m pretty sure. And the world’s largest ball of twine is really…” he trailed off.
    “The Nornor’s yarn of fate,” Jack finished. “So, that’s why you’re in Norway. What else did she say, then?”
    Willem’s expression turned grave.
    “I’ve got less than a week to live. Some genetically engineered disease we never found out about, just to kill me. Vengeance by one of the mad scientists we put behind the bars, probably. The only thing keeping me alive is this.” He turned his head and tapped the blue arm of his glasses. With a start, Jack realised it went inside his head.
    “Recycles the oxygen in my head. One of the boys down in the lab fixed it up for me. And this, this is small compared to the big news.”
    “What’s that, then?”
    “The Ragnarok.”

    * * *

    When the day next dawned, they were riding a snowmobile southwards, across the snowfields. The Skand Mountains loomed in the south, their snowy caps majestic in the distance.
    “Why would we be able to prevent the Ragnarok?” Jack was shouting over the motor’s roar. “The Norse believed in Fate, and that’s a hard thing to overcome.”
    “The Norse believed in what they believed, but the real world doesn’t work that way. It sure is trying to, though,” Willem replied. “I came to you because the agency got compromised. Damon and Lyesmith were working for the other side. It’s all a giant power struggle about the end of the world, Jack. Us, the Illuminati, the KGB, even the Holy See, they’re all playing it. And this won’t be a cakewalk. We won’t need to go deep in the mountains, but the other side’s in this, too.”
    “Loki?”
    “Yeah. Some others, too, but mainly Loki.”
    “There! We’ve got company!” Jack pointed at a plume of snow in the horizon, directly in front of them.
    “That’d be the other side. How many shots you got?”
    “One clip armour-piercing, one clip hollowpoints.”
    “Ain’t gonna be enough, but they’ll have to do.”
    As they drew closer, their adversary came into better view.
    “Will, it’s a sled. With reindeer,” Jack said.
    “I can see it, Jack. But that’s not Santa Claus.”

    Indeed, it could only have been Santa Claus, if old Papa Noel had lost some 200 pounds, shaved, worn black, and carried a lance. (3)
    “What he thinking? This isn’t jousting,” Jack said, as the man levelled his spear and directed his animals straight at the snowmobile.
    “Tell him that. Got the gun?” Willem said, tensely.
    “Yeah,” Jack replied, pulling the 9mm pistol from his jacket and flipping off the safety.
    “Let him have it.”
    In a snowmobile going at top speed, one of the things you cannot do is aim. Nevertheless, Jack was a master marksman, and several of his shots hit the lance wielder, his black-clad form shuddering at the impact of the hollowpoint slugs. Considering a normal man’s reaction would have been to collapse in a bleeding heap, this was fairly worrying. Jack’s clip was empty, and the lance was still pointed at them. The former agent was fairly certain, though he could not clearly see, that the man on the other end of the deadly weapon was grinning as its point pierced the snowmobile’s engine. At the same moment, Jack felt himself bodily flung from the vehicle. He and Willem landed in a heap, as the snowmobile continued on, throwing somersaults in the air and coming to rest in a crumpled heap a good thirty meters from their position.

    “That was no ordinary spear,” Willem groaned as he lay on his back in the snow, staring at the bright blue sky.
    “Longinus, you think?” Jack replied, laying next to his friend.
    “Yeah, or Odin. More likely Longinus. Vatican is working for their side.”
    “Let’s kick his ass.”
    They rose to their feet, facing the assailant, who’d stopped his sled and was now approaching them, wielding a curved scimitar, its sharp blade glinting in the sun. At this distance, his Asian features were plain to be seen.
    “Well, he’s no Northman.”
    “Nobody said they must be, Jack. It’s a good thing I brought this,” Willem said, pulling something small and black from his jacket. He did something, and it was suddenly very long, but still quite black.
    “A collapsible bo. Got another?”
    “No.”
    “Have to do this by hand, then.”
    “Looks like it.”

    The battle was quite short and very brutal. Though a skilled swordsman, the Asian was outnumbered and facing equally skilled fighters. The agency didn’t skimp on training expenses. Willem was bleeding from a gash in the arm, and Jack’s protective glasses were neatly bisected, with a corresponding thin red line across his face, but neither were seriously hurt. Their foe lay dead in the snow. They buried his spear but left him there. Jack took his scimitar. After transferring their salvageable equipment from the snowmobile to the sled, they sped off. The reindeer were surprisingly easy to control, almost like machines. Willem suspected their minds had been tampered with.

    * * *

    The two faced no more adversaries as they travelled south. They cut the reindeer loose when they reached the foothills and could not carry on with the sled, but the animals just stood there, dumbly. They were still standing when Jack last glanced at them with his binoculars, five hours of walking and climbing later.

    “Now, let’s hope we don’t run into trolls. It’d be stupid to be eaten at this point,” Willem muttered, as they hoisted themselves up on a plateau.
    “Don’t jinx it. Besides, it looks like we’re here,” Jack replied, pointing at something in the distance. Willem raised his binoculars. There, in the valley, stood a golden statue. It was thirty feet high, at least, though the surrounding mountains made accurate estimations impossible. In one hand, it held a long horn, raised to its lips. (4)
    “Yes, we are here. That is Heimdall,” Willem confirmed with a smile.

    “So, now we have to prevent Loki from getting to Heimdall?” Jack asked.
    “Yes. Heimdall blowing his horn will signify the start of the final battle, and he’ll do it the second he sees Loki. Then, they are supposed to do battle, and both will perish. The tricky part is in how you find a god of subterfuge and lies who does not with to be found,” Willem said, scanning the snowy landscape.
    “Easy. You make yourself an annoying obstacle in his way,” a third voice answered. It was followed by a gunshot. As Willem collapsed, groaning, Jack whirled around, bringing his own gun to bear. He found himself facing a man in thick, black winter clothing, wearing the black glasses issued by every secret organisation everywhere to its operatives. He was slightly balding, and also pointing a gun at Jack.
    “Damon,” Jack spat out the name.
    “Yes. I expect he told you I’d gone to work for the bad guys. He was slightly inaccurate. See, I am the bad guy. My boss, being imprisoned under a serpent, has to work by proxy in this. And you are getting in the way of the biggest fireworks in the history. Goodbye, Jack,” the agent said, and it almost looked like his shades were blinking...

    Lightning-quick, Jack turned around, dropping low and slashing with his scimitar before he even saw what he was striking, while shooting at Damon without aiming. Three gunshots rang out almost simultaneously. A reflection in the sunglasses, that’s all it’d taken...

    To his great surprise, none of them hit him. Two pierced the breast of the now-former agent Damon, who keeled over, quite dead, a smoking gun falling from his hand. Another gun fell to the snow from the hand of the also former agent Lyesmith, shot through the breast by his associate and nearly split in twain diagonally by Jack’s scimitar. It was sharper than it looked, and it looked very sharp indeed.

    Almost before the bodies had fallen, Jack was kneeling next to Willem, turning his old friend around. Blood stained the snow around him, and more spilt each second.
    “Don’t worry... old friend,” Willem said, quietly. His glasses were caked with snow and red flecked his lips. “After... preventing Ragnarok... I can’t be going to a bad... place.”
    And he died, his face freezing into a smile.

    Jack rose, feeling strangely calm. A pistol in one hand, a scimitar in the other, he turned to look at the golden statue, down in the valley. It had lowered the trumpet, and was looking at him. Somehow, even though there must’ve been a thousand feet between them, he saw its face clearly as if he’d stood right in front of it. The wind howled between the mountains, and the clouds picked up speed, travelling impossibly fast. Heimdall’s golden lips cracked open.
    “Thank you.”

    * post roll count doesn't match database

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    And I had, what... 28 minutes to spare? Truly, last-minute panic is the greatest of all inspirations...

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    I Defended The Walls!

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    Now I have that darn Weird Al song stuck in my head...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mythago
    Now I have that darn Weird Al song stuck in my head...
    Ah, I had to scan the story enough to find the reference. Long time Weird Al fan. I can even sing that song all the way through. Just not quite as fast as he can.

    Looks like it will be a great read NiTessine!

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    I don't remember putting in a Weird Al Yankovic reference. What do you mean?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NiTessine


    I don't remember putting in a Weird Al Yankovic reference. What do you mean?
    Biggest Ball of Twine - From the UHF soundtrack/album.

    Well I guess I had two weeks of vacation time coming
    after working all year down at Big Roy's Heating and Plumbing...

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