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Heavy Metal - Chapter 19: Red Shield Revealed
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Thunderbird



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 2139
Location: Rising from the ashes

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 12:37 am    Post subject: Heavy Metal - Chapter 19: Red Shield Revealed  

Heavy Metal
Chapter 19
Red Shield Revealed


Thomas’s gaze met that of the grizzly, star-lapelled military man. He realized the gruff General would see the sparkle of starlight beams lancing from his pupils as his lids appeared to droop lazily, his irises lolling upwards, aiding him in opening his mind’s eye to glimpse the events to come down the various paths they could take from here. Perhaps that military discipline could be trusted not to overreact to his foresight application, but he’d know soon enough either way.

With a sigh of relief that the old wolf held his calm demeanor despite the priest’s subtle, momentary superhuman display, Thomas opened his eyes and matched gazes with the General once more. Slowly, Thomas shook his head, glancing around knowingly at the array of arms brought to bear against them. His expression wrote of the disaster that resistance would usher upon them.

And to Thomas’s delight, Sternheim gently nodded, his expression returning a clear understanding of the subtle communication Thomas had hoped to convey.

Turning to the gathered SWAT rifles, Sternheim loudly announced, “Very well. They’re yours. But you realize, of course, that the political battle here has only just begun. And that’s one of the MANY kinds of blasted warfare I know how to win!” Pointing out the SWAT commander, he snarled, “You might want to start writing your resignation soon, pal!”

Twisting his finger towards the Bouncer, shelled in his cocoon, Sternheim added, “I’ll be back for YOU Tyrone. You’re still MY mess to clean up so you’d better walk straight, narrow and in the shadows deep, buddy, cuz I ALWAYS get my Goddammed man!”

Letting his gaze wander a couple feet off to the right, he added, “And I don’t know what the HELL you are – some kind of undead miner? Can’t kill what’s already dead? BULLS**T! I don’t give a rat’s ass if you ARE a walking corpse! I will straight ANNIHILATE you if you step foot in my path again!” Waving Thomas and Kape forward towards the stairwell, he shouted, “C’mon, we’ve got some discussin’ ta’ do!”

The SWAT crowd parted to allow them passage. Just before they reached the door to the stairwell, however, two policemen barged through the door, panting and grabbing at their knees, gasping for breath.

“Freeze! *cough – sputter*” exclaimed the winded, wide-torsoed cop wearing the flashing label, ‘Tolbert’ on his chest. “That man is *aheh* under arrest!” His finger pointed out Thomas who somberly nodded as he smiled.

“Not TODAY GOD DAMMIT!” Sternheim cried as he stepped forward and, with a meaty forearm, brushed the policeman out of the way. The skinny cop behind the first sidestepped the doorway as the General barreled through declaring, “Unless YOU wanna get the GOD DAMMED Chief of Staff on the phone TOO!”

“Sorry Gentlemen. I’ll be back to offer a full report. God does work in mysterious ways, doesn’t He?” Thomas whispered to Lieutenant Tolbert as he passed by in a swish, offering a sparkling wink before vanishing into the stairwell.

~

Once on the roof, a wiry black man dressed in a single jumpsuit of black fabric nodded at Sternheim, plopped down a black helmet with black shades over his black hair and leapt into the pilot’s seat of a huge Apache style chopper, painted, of course, all black.

Sternheim led a dizzy and somewhat bewildered goat-man by the forearm down the landing pad. Thomas’s eyebrows rose in piqued interest. The man in the black jumpsuit gave them a thumbs-up through the windshield as the engine screamed to life. Slowly, the blades overhead began to accelerate in chopping rhythm.

Sternheim grasped at a barely discernable handle at the side of the chopper and pulled aside a panel that allowed all three to climb inside.

Once within, Thomas was at once amazed with the startling display of blinking red lights and control panels.

Punching a few aluminum shining panels near to the floor, Sternheim popped open a couple seats and a stretcher spit out on the far side of the cabin. “Lay down for a bit while the pill works its magic on ya Kape. Usually works a bit faster than this but that poison must be a doozy, huh?”

Kape bleated and nodded, turning to show both of them a still festering green wound oozing with puss from the lower end of his stout neck. “Whew… a humdinger,” the General nodded in affirmation.

“He was a rather lethal Tainted indeed,” Thomas calmingly agreed as he stepped in behind the military men, taking a seat facing the rear, behind the black man at the helm. Kape settled down to rest, his chest heaving in labored breaths. Thomas was impressed with the warrior’s spirit in this goat-man that stoically suppressed cries of pain and anguish that any man could find impossible to resist.

Nevertheless, he could not understand how such a creature could fail to radiate that red aura.

Turning back to the General as the gruff old soldier settled down and clasped himself into a seat harness, Thomas smiled as their gaze met once more.

“Hmph,” Sternheim blurted after sitting there sizing each other up for a time. The helicopter began to lift from the landing pad and he called out, “Take us up for a fly around Stick-man! I want you to track the prisoner cargo vans as they pull out. Follow them and keep a close eye on where they go.” He growled a bit lower, “They’d better be headed for the station,” as he flipped out a viewing panel over his shoulder wherein, on a flat screen, a clear view of the streets below emerged.

Stick-man shouted back in his almost juvenile sounding tone, “You didn’t get him? Now why the hell did we even come all this way out here then?”

“Stuff it Stick-Man! Things got complicated!” Sternheim shouted back.

“Don’t get all testy with me old man! I’m just the cab driver here!” Stick-man defended as he shook his head. “An I ain’t even met all the passengers! Ain’t THAT some s**t!”

Glancing back to again meet gazes with the penetrating eyes of the priest in leathers, Sternheim said, “I’ve got a damned lot to juggle in my line of work, as I’m sure you can imagine. So I’d be God dammed pleased if you explain to me what the F**K you know about what the HELL went on back there. And make it brief!”

Thomas inhaled and exhaled calmly, his eyes prying further into the General’s for a moment before intoning, “I’ll forgive you your breach of the Commandments, Officer Sternheim. They are not mine to judge. And I’m sure you’ve had to commit to worse in your time spent conducting your violent profession. My Lord knows I, too, have had to learn the art of War. So you and I are not so different. And if there were any doubt in which forces you align yourself with, you realize I would not speak a word of these things with you.”

Sighing, Sternheim shook his head and gripped at his grey temples as he leaned against his knee groaning. “Could I favor you to GET to the G-g… f**king point!?!”

“Certainly, Officer,” Thomas nodded with a smile. “I’ve been following your ‘man’ for some time now. Around Vegas, here, they call him ‘the Bouncer’. But he’s not who I’m most concerned with. In fact, after all the experiences I’ve sent him to witness, I am left to wonder if his ‘threat’ to the world is at least now stifled.”

Sternheim suddenly, wide-eyed, reached out and gripped Thomas by the shoulders crying out, “What did you do to him? Do you realize what he’s capable of? Do you KNOW how much damage he can cause? He ruined YEARS worth of construction at my last base! Trashed decades worth of research, much of which we may never now recover!”

Un-phased and cool, Thomas nodded. “He may be the most powerful Tainted I have ever fought. He nearly had me out there in the desert. However, I managed to get close enough to him to send him into a life review reverie; the ‘Gaze of St. Peter’ besets him.”

The priest’s eyes began to glow softly into Sternheim’s, prompting the General to back away.

“You wouldn’t want such an experience while you live, I promise you,” Thomas warned. “Therein, all of your sins will be relived – then all other choices you could have made are illuminated. Subsequently, you will experience first-hand, all the pain you have brought to any souls you’ve done wrong in your life to date.”

Sternheim shuddered and averted his gaze back to the screen.

“Yes. We are all sinners, Sternheim. You know this. I can only imagine a man such as he will suffer greatly before he awakens again with the awareness of the second chance he’s been provided. Nevertheless, with the Bouncer, it may make him worse. He will know all too clearly how lost and irretrievable his soul now is, and as a result, may decide to implode into something far more evil and self-serving yet.”

“So why did you tell me we should let them take him?” Sternheim asked, looking at Thomas now out of the corner of his eyes.

“Because we would have failed to keep hold of him without a great deal of needless slaughter. Many of those SWAT members have wives, families, loved ones. The pool of suffering such events would have ushered on so many was too great a toll to take on the community, even though we may yet have spared more to come. The Bouncer must be allowed to make his decision at the finale of his Life Review, whether to come back into the light, as painful as it may be, or to surrender further into darkness.”

“Well, I believe we’ll have to ‘extract’ him at a later time. I have a lot of authority for those sorts of things within our shores,” Sternheim grumbled.

“You will have some political negotiating to attend to first I think. They will be letting him go free, you know - he and the Prospector, both. For all of your lofty political might, you seem to not realize who really owns this world.”

“I know a lot more than you think, boy. I’d be surprised if you can tell me something about the rule of power that I don’t already know but I’ll give you a shot. What are you referring to exactly?”

“The Red Shield. Do you know of them?” Thomas asked.

Sternheim grinned like a stalking lion. “Told ya’ I knew more than you’d think, priest. Still, I must admit, I’m surprised to hear YOU know anything about them. So tell me… what do you THINK you know?”

“I was given my blessings so as to avenge their sins,” Thomas answered simply as Sternheim’s eyebrows rose in piqued curiosity. “But after a long research, aided by my angelic guide, Tik-an-ni, I came to understand it was not the entire group of them that had to be addressed.”

Sternheim nodded, gesturing Thomas to go on. “As I understand it, the Red Shield came to power in the middle ages. They were once just a family of Jewish radicals who ran a simple, unchallenged, courier system throughout the dangerous territories of Europe and the Middle East. As a result of their growing network of travelers bringing information from around the civilized world, they grew strong in knowledge of then-current events.

“Cleverly, they began to leverage this knowledge into money and power, brokering their intelligence information to nations who sought to understand the strengths and maneuvers of their potentially hostile neighbors. Before long they grew in wealth to such a degree that they formed the first crude banking systems and began to loan to nations when those were under threat of war. Gradually, they began to incite wars such that they could further profit from these loans.

They would lend to both sides in any conflict and played an ultimately neutral role, assisting anyone so long as it would profit them. It was they who formed and sent the Templars to dig beneath the ruins of the old Temple of Solomon and they who reaped the benefits of its treasures.

Eventually, as generations passed, their banking might grew and became more complex. As it stands now, they and their subservient secret-society cronies own all the largest shares in every major bank in the world, among other industries. Their dominance over our systems and their control has led this world to become exactly what the Red Shield wishes it to be.”

“Mhmm,” Sternheim confirmed. “Tell me something I don’t know preacher-man. How does this play into my old friend, Tyrone, ‘the Bouncer’?”

“When I had discovered enough to understand the structure of the Red Shield and the power it held over all major industries and ‘first world nations’, Tikanni finally informed me that the majority of the Red Shield answers purely to my Lord through that ancient holy artifact, the Arc of the Covenant. They have been following His directives ever since the Templars unearthed it for them.

“Therefore, I was left confused as to my role in serving God as apparently the Red Shield faithfully serves Yaweh. That is until Tikanni further shared with me that one of the Dark Lord’s servants had come to stand among them, wielding as much power and clout as any other Red Shield. For some reason I do not yet understand, apparently this ‘Tainted’ has found some means to avoid elimination from their highest council, despite serving my Lord’s only true foe.”

“Tyrone? Cummon preacher! If you know the Red Shield as well as I think you do, then you KNOW they’re all a bunch of old Jewish WHITE guys!”

From the pilot’s seat came a shout, “Yeah, ain’t THAT a bitch? It really IS a bunch of old white geezers ruling the world!”

“I do realize this,” Thomas nodded. “Apparently this Tainted Red Shield is a newcomer. He’s linked by blood to their family, which is a requirement of course, but he also had the money to buy his way up through the ranks. And apparently any who stood in his way ended up vanishing mysteriously. Unable to prove anything on him, they could not stop him from taking a seat on the High Council.

“And it is he who employs your errant soldier they call the Bouncer. He employs the one they call the Prospector as well. And the others we faced there in the hospital.”

“Ok, now I’m learning something,” Sternheim stated. “Who is this mysterious figure in the Red Shield then?”

“His name is Timothy Hatfield, but around Vegas they call him ‘Lucky’. Even the local bigwigs wonder what’s up with this guy that every casino has banned until recently. They just figure he got rich enough to get around them. To a degree, they are right. Whether they know it or not, he now owns primary shares on every major casino franchise.

“I’ve been hunting him now for some time. I know he’s up to some big things but I haven’t been able to get a bead on what they are.

“That’s why I finally took action against the Bouncer yesterday after that fuel heist at McCarran. I thought Lucky was finally making a big move and I responded by closing in, hoping I could figure out what they were up to. I was rather surprised by what I found though, and now I’ve blown my cover.

“The Bouncer and his friends know me now and must also, too, suspect how many of their demonic hordes I’ve dispatched from among their ranks here over the last year. Now I should be the hunted I would think.” His eyes sparkled with enthusiasm. “They can bring all the might of Hell that they can muster, however. For the Lord is on my side and I shall not fear them.”

“None of this really surprises me,” harrumphed General Sternheim. “I’ve had some suspicions there might be a fly in the ointment with the up and ups for some time now. My superiors, what few of them there are, actually seem to be growing afraid of some impending war on the horizon. And that’s extremely unusual. Until recently, they’ve had unwavering confidence.”

“Yes. As Tikanni has explained it to me, there remains a vast political separation between the world the Red Shield has in its control and that which it does not.”

“Communist bastards,” Sternheim spit before thrusting a stubby cigar between his teeth.

“Well, yes. To put it in your terms,” Thomas nodded. “I prefer to call them the Dragon-Charmed.”

“S**t, you know about that too? That angel of yours sure has a flappy little mouth don’t she? I suppose they must really trust you,” Sternheim paused for a long drag on the thick smoke. Exhaling it around the cabin prompted tiny fans to pop open above them in the ceiling in a futile attempt to filter the air. “So, you said you were surprised by what you found when you went after Tyrone?” Sternheim pressed.

“Yes. He was with two men, one young, one old. The old man had a hint of the taint, but I suspect whatever contract may have been agreed to must have not yet been fulfilled. And the younger man was pure as snow.

“I couldn’t begin to comprehend why they had all three decided to steal the fuel. The truck they were driving was… certainly not something Lucky would have funded in such an effort. It was extremely old and rusted, though it surprised me with how well tuned it must have been to carry those tanks. It sped off into the desert as the Bouncer and I continued our battle.”

“To where?” Sternheim asked.

“I do not know,” Thomas replied. “But now I have some curiosities of my own,” he pressed back.

“How is it that I’m not surprised by you and everything you’ve told me?” Sternheim preempted.

Thomas simply nodded with a sparkle in his eye. “You seem to understand my Lord and the hidden secrets of His world.”

“Yeah,” Sternheim grunted, “Let’s just say I’ve seen some s**t. I’ve spent my whole career studying what you call the ‘hidden secrets’ of the world, being informed, trained, groomed for the role I now possess. I’d be hard pressed to think you know anything near the depth of the situation I understand things to be.” Sternheim leaned back, his seat creaking beneath his weight.

He added, “I must admit, it’s nice to have such a frank discussion among the enlightened. We’re few and far between you know? It gets kinda lonely on this perch.” Then leaned forward, exhaling another plume of smoke from his lips, “But I do find you an enigma still. We’re going to have to find more time to discuss your ‘abilities’ and how you got them. I have a scientist’s curiosity about such things and my team would like to inquire a great deal further still, I wager.”

“More importantly, General,” Thomas waved a hand across his face casually squinting his eyes against the smoke. “You should know that if you wish to follow the trail of that truck, I can utilize my insights to guide us to where it ended up. But I’d like to ask something else, if you don’t mind?”

“Hmph,” Sternheim expressed, the gears in his mind already cranking over in consideration of the strategies he should enact next. It was more than obvious to him that this ‘Lucky’ had called in a favor – the type of favor only a Red Shield could demand of Governmental officials. Breaking the Bouncer out of that jail and taking Tyrone back to his base for study would not go unnoticed, and could likely cost him his command.

“Back there… you said you ‘made’ him - the Bouncer. How is this so? You are not Tainted and clearly, like many other powerful Tainted, he must have received his might and invulnerability from Satan’s unholy gifts?”

“I’ve never been called ‘Satan’ before, but I suppose it could fit for those who cross me,” Sternheim chuckled. “No… no. I took that wreck of a boy under my wing and put him through our Limb Replacement Program, LRP for short. We were in earlier days of development then, playing around with our new archeological discoveries that had led us to the vast wonder that is monoatomic elements.”

“Mono-atomic elements?” Thomas asked, curious.

“Yeah, decades ago, we unearthed a load of Sumerian texts regarding the stuff. Ever since, we’ve employed teams of biochemists the world around to explore this growing technology. Obviously, it’s the Gold and Silver that have the most applications. With Tyrone, what we were doing was developing a… well… ‘super-soldier serum’ you could call it – based on injecting a soup of monoatomic elements and various other bio-chemicals that interact with them in fascinating ways.

“Unfortunately, with Tyrone, he went berserk after his transformation and took out the whole lab’s worth of data with him – along with so much more. It was a dismal failure. He must’ve been flying under the radar here in Vegas for a long time because only now, thanks to reports of that fuel heist and you incapacitating him, have we gotten a bead on his location.”

A bleating from the cot next to them gave Thomas a sudden start. Glancing over, he could swear he saw the wounds on the slumbering goat-man’s neck vanishing before his eyes.

“Limb Replacement Program, huh?” Thomas asked still watching Kape.

“Yep, fascinatingly useful applications abound,” Sternheim assured, confirming Kape’s origin.

“Hmm,” Thomas considered, “As I understand it, the Devil is quite powerful at shaping events in the time stream. He must have somehow put Tyrone in front of you for that process, in answer to a contract he held with Tyrone.”

“Yeah, can’t rule it out. I must admit, I found it a bit funny that his file was found alone on my desk one day. That evil bastard must’ve planted it there for me to find, knowing Tyrone and his background would be a perfect fit for my next test subject. We didn’t realize until much later that he had become a likely suspect in a slew of murders before his arrest for a convenience store robbery. I’d say the ‘Dark Lord’ had a hand in suppressing those discoveries until it no longer mattered.”

“I didn’t think you’d turn out to be a religious man, General Sternheim,” Thomas asked as much as stated.

“I’m not. But I know the Devil exists. Hell, just the other day…” Sternheim seemed to stop himself from further divulgence. “Let’s just say I think your ‘God’ meant for us to meet holy man. What’s your name by the way?”

“I am Pastor Thomas Forsythe,” Thomas nodded.

“Cassius Sternheim, at your service, Pastor,” the General grinned toothily as he stuck out his palm in a handshake – accepted. “I may not be religious, but I can confidently say we’re on the same team. Nevertheless, I think you and I have much more to discuss down the road here.”

“Sure, don’t introduce the Stick-Man or anything. Just leave me out of the whole conversation like I’m not even here! I’m only flying the chopper – wouldn’t wanna distract me, I might run straight into the Stratosphere and kill us all if I’m distracted,” blurted the pilot. “At least now I know who I’ve got on board anyhow! Pleasure to make your acquaintance Thomas Forsythe.”

“The pleasure is all mine,” Thomas replied over his shoulder.

“Trust me buddy,” Stick-Man assured, “You don’t know the half of it!”

Sternheim grunted.

Predicting the General’s next sentiment, Thomas interjected, “So for now, do we follow the truck’s trail? Or do we plan a politically upsetting extraction of the Bouncer and his unholy ally, the Prospector? Who knows what we would find where that fuel bearing truck went off to? A lead that could help us understand Lucky’s plans? Yet who knows how many lives may be saved by putting a final end to the Tainted’s dreadful activities?”

Glancing back at the screen over his shoulder, Sternheim grunted as he confirmed the police van was pulling into the station.

Scratching his bristly chin he nodded, “That’s the question isn’t it? Or should we go about this a whole ‘nother way entirely?”
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Smee



Joined: 16 Oct 2004
Posts: 5215
Location: UK

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 10:33 pm    Post subject:  

Good chapter - I had to smile at the reference to Tikanni :P

This General sure is a good find for Thomas, he knows an awful lot and is open-minded in a practical kinda way.

The extra info on Red Shield, and the combining of the two threads of story with mention of the monotomic research... all starting to come together nicely.

Thomas seems to think the Tainted will be hunting him now, and expressed a need for the Bouncer to finish his review. So why go to them when they seem likely to come to us?

Follow the truck's trail.

Happy Writing :)
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Lebrenth



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 1470
Location: Utah

Posted: Tue May 17, 2011 9:11 am    Post subject:  

Good point Smee! Of course, we'll want any altercation to occur on our terms. I also feel we owe it to the Bouncer to be there when he emerges from his vision. We just put him through his own personal Hell and now he's got to make a choice for good or evil. If that choice is made behind bars or in the presence of very persuasive evil, he's likely to make the same choice he's made all his life. If Thomas shows he is there to help the Bouncer find the light, and even risked his own life to do so, it might inspire the Bouncer towards good.

... The cost of losing even a single soul is too great for something as petty as reputation. Do the extraction immediately. Do whatever is necessary to get it done (barring outright evil acts of destruction and slaughter, of course). Unless, perhaps, the vision can be reliably depended upon to last long enough for proper preparations. Otherwise a simple missile to the right location should do the trick. The Bouncer will easily survive more than the walls and Thomas should be able to determine precisely where he is kept.
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Thunderbird



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 2139
Location: Rising from the ashes

Posted: Tue May 17, 2011 9:23 am    Post subject:  

Thanks for reading guys!

And yes, I would like suggestions for HOW to extract if you seek that route. We currently have 'blast our way through' from Lebby so far.
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PopeAlessandrosXVIII



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 1858
Location: Surrounded by many beautiful naked men

Posted: Tue May 17, 2011 9:58 am    Post subject: I Think......  

YAY!!!!! More HM!!! *Runs around excitedly then collapses dead*


*Revives* O KAY! Moving on...I too must giggle and jump at the use of Tikanni-chan here! A very lovely sentiment. And I have to say, I SO saw Tom going all "Ooo, pritty lights!" When he stepped into the chopper. All 'stary eyed'. Heheheheh, made me giggle. Must also say, his character is really starting to sound like my kinda guy... The flashing of sparking "Back off" eyes, and the wink to our poor police guy. He's starting to bring up my Cute Meter, so if he's not supose to, you may want to look out for that.

Aslo, way to go all Balls Out with the millitary man. RAWR RAWR RAWR! Nuff said....It was very....manly....=^.^=

Poke, the rappid sessesion of -Gaze- gave me pause. Little too much gaze. Need some variety!

DP! Higher some "Entertainment" for the guards, and while they're distracted, kidnap the prisioners! OR! Ignore those dummies all together and go throw Tom to the scientists. Maybe they can use science to enhance or copy our fair priest's abilities. *Evil grin*

Another excelent chaper! More more more I say!
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D-Lotus



Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Tue May 17, 2011 12:46 pm    Post subject:  

Good, good. Most of the recent chapters have been information dumps, and although this one contained information as well, it had a more strategic bent. The General and Thomas were on equal ground in terms of their knowledge-- it was more of a back and forth-- which avoided having the text sound preachy.

On the other hand, the characterization of the General is a bit stereotypical. I'd like to see a difference beween the general and a general. The first is a category, the second an approximation. Choose the second, for it is more dynamic. Try to keep the framework of Generalhood, but make him unique. An individualized rather than general General. For example, maybe he really likes ballet. o-)

By the way, the Red Shield-- it reminds me of the conspiracy theory surrounding the Rothschild family (which is probably partly true)!

As for the DP, can't they split up and each follow their own objective? Thomas could follow the truck, and the General break the Bouncer out.

If we want to avoid splitting up, I'd say the priority is to follow the truck which the Bouncer was protecting. That was the real objective for the Bouncer, so it should be the primary objective for Thomas as well. The cost of doing this is that the Bouncer might return to haunt us, and it's always better to be on the offensive than the defensive, but alas, if we lose sight of the truck, we might lose the war.
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Thunderbird



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 2139
Location: Rising from the ashes

Posted: Tue May 17, 2011 7:28 pm    Post subject:  

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions guys!

From the suggestions mentioned so far I think I might want to make it very clear that the Bouncer and Prospector have been taken to the LVPD Metropolitan Police Station, presumably held in a temporary holding jail there. It is the police (SWAT team) that has them, thus that is where they will be for now. Keep this in mind as you suggest possible solutions in that direction. I'm thinking I may have failed to make this point clearly enough.

D: I've been thinking on ways to deepen Sternheim's characterization. I've been thinking he's only come across as a representative of his General profession so far, but then, he's been performing his civic duty since we met him so it shouldn't be surprising to find such a man would keep his private life hidden behind the camos. As we go, I'll try to find some ways to drop more and more of his 'character' through the narrative. This man has spent his life learning how to be an 'authority figure' and an important 'cog in a well oiled machine' over being an 'individual' - This lack of characterization is in fact a part OF his characterization I believe. It is only once we grow close to him that we'll see anything more - and that's the only way I can remain true to who he is.

From an 'author's perspective' this creates a quandry because it means he will, at least at first, show himself to be little more than the role he plays, which makes him much like every other General character we may have seen in movies and read in books. But we'll be getting to know him much deeper as the story progresses and as it does I'll find more and more ways to bring forward his 'humanity'.

Rothchild Family? hmmm... Is it any surprise then that Rothchild means Red Shield when translated from its German roots? Congradulations on being the first to take note of the direct parallel I intended! (And THANK YOU for pointing it out - I was wondering if anyone would see that.)

@Pope: I'm glad Thomas is becoming a 'character' with a bit of personality to you. As Smee said, I introduced him in a rather cold and sudden manner with little regard to delving into his personality. This makes him rather a contrast to Walt who we understood thoroughly from the beginning. He has been an effort in developing a character from the opposite approach. And I'm thinking your 'cute meter' goes off whenever someone becomes charming, no? It's nice to think that I'm succeeding at turning a devout Pastor into something of a Rock Star here. He's intended to be contradictory to our usual perception of a Holy Man.

Again, thank you for reading! :D Y'all make it worth the effort!
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D-Lotus



Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Tue May 17, 2011 11:18 pm    Post subject:  

Quote: From an 'author's perspective' this creates a quandry because it means he will, at least at first, show himself to be little more than the role he plays, which makes him much like every other General character we may have seen in movies and read in books. But we'll be getting to know him much deeper as the story progresses and as it does I'll find more and more ways to bring forward his 'humanity'.

Rothchild Family? hmmm... Is it any surprise then that Rothchild means Red Shield when translated from its German roots? Congradulations on being the first to take note of the direct parallel I intended! (And THANK YOU for pointing it out - I was wondering if anyone would see that.)

I like the idea that his lack of characterization is in fact characterization. However, I fear that this could turn into an excuse for every case, so make sure that your claim has validity (i.e. make it apparent that the lack of characterization is deliberate). I'll look forward to getting to know the General better in the future.

As for the Rothchilds, I only happen to know because my uncle is big on conspiracy theories. He was reading some book about a race of aliens hidden in the moon who controlled our evolution. Something like that.

There are some similarities with Heavy Metal, except that your tale is a self-admitted work of fiction, whereas the book my uncle was reading claimed it was the truth. There was also stuff about the Rothchilds in there.

Also, if you are interested, you should research flouride in our water system. Did you know flouride is a poison? Don't drink tap water in the US-- it is harmful! If you are in the European Union you should be safe, though, since they don't poison their own water.
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Tikanni Corazon



Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 1286
Location: Running through the plains of my mind, my wolf spirit at my side (but doing so in the UK!).

Posted: Wed May 18, 2011 5:35 am    Post subject:  

*giggles* Well, guys, Tikanni is a pretty name, very suitable for an angelic guide! 'Tis rather cool though, to have ones name mentioned in anothers story. ;)

Another excellent chapter, TB! My favourite ones come from Thomas's point of view, and I always look forward to them slightly more than the others... but only the tiniest little bit. I've loved them all. Sorry it's taken me so long to read it, by the way.

Okay, I had to go back over chapters 2-5, in order to remember about the truck and the fuel and everything. Now, the truck that Thomas saw the Bouncer in, before their fight, was the one that Walt and Dave used to steal the fuel for the Spaceship, is that right? The younger man was 'pure as snow', while the old man had a hint of the taint. So, if I'm correct, that means that Walt is slightly tainted, yes?

If these parts of the story, and the parts with Walt are happening simultaniously, then the truck is long gone, and the driver unreachable, even to Thomas, I would imagine. So I guess they should focus on breaking out the Bouncer and co. and seeing if they can extract the information about the truck from him. Lucky wanted to help Walt get to the moon, and he was the one who sent the Bouncer to aid them. in getting the fuel Their best bet is to try and break out the Bouncer, and hope that he might be willing to let them in on a little info. I don't think that they should split up, as Thomas nearly got himself killed by the tainted the last time, and if he meets them again, he'll be just as vulnerable. Stay with the General, try and get the Bouncer back, and then attempt to get some info out of him.

Looking forward to the next one, TB! :)
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Lebrenth



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 1470
Location: Utah

Posted: Wed May 18, 2011 6:44 am    Post subject:  

D-Lotus wrote: Also, if you are interested, you should research flouride in our water system. Did you know flouride is a poison? Don't drink tap water in the US-- it is harmful! If you are in the European Union you should be safe, though, since they don't poison their own water.

I suppose this is a good place to talk about conspiracy theories, but I don't think the fluoridated water in the US is bad for our health. It helps prevent cavities by re-mineralizing teeth, and that's a definite benefit. Many studies have concluded it's safe in proper amounts and improper amounts aren't that condemning because you can go too far with many things, such such as Vitamin C which has a lethal dose of 11,900 mg/kg. The fluoride levels are being carefully monitored in tap water so that is under control, but fluoride is not so closely watched in bottled water which also often contains fluoride, even when collected from natural sources. Bottled water is a consumer product which is sometimes regulated federally, and sometimes within the state, and that ambiguity worries me. Some bottled water is merely tap water in a plastic container (aren't you worried about dioxins now too?).

Sorry, I'm getting carried away. I actually kind of detest conspiracy theories. :) I'll try to keep myself in line.
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D-Lotus



Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Wed May 18, 2011 12:12 pm    Post subject:  

And yet in Europe they don't flouridate water. They have a free health-care system that gives yearly doses of flouride in order to re-mineralize teeth. The doses works by applying the flouride directly to your teeth, rather than drinking it! In fact, as a younger child, I remember they told me not to swallow any of it, because it was poisonuous.

If you look at the info in the back of your toothpaste, it says that if you swallow any more than you use for brushing, you should call a poison control center right away.

Flouridating water is a cheap way to deal with the problem of free dental care, and it is definitely hazardous to our health, even if only at very miniscule levels (these begin to add up).

I also could go on, but I'll leave it at that. Don't hate conspiracy theories-- they can open your eyes to the truth. The negative connotations surrounding 'conspiracy thoeries' is an effort by the media to delegitimize them.
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Lebrenth



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 1470
Location: Utah

Posted: Fri May 20, 2011 8:34 am    Post subject:  

D-Lotus wrote: I also could go on, but I'll leave it at that. Don't hate conspiracy theories-- they can open your eyes to the truth. The negative connotations surrounding 'conspiracy thoeries' is an effort by the media to delegitimize them.

Let's just say I believe in the system and I don't believe people are very good at keeping secrets.
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Thunderbird



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 2139
Location: Rising from the ashes

Posted: Fri May 20, 2011 9:14 am    Post subject:  

Ok, I've been meaning to chime in here on the subjects brought up:

Conspiracy theories work because those partaking in them believe themselves superior to those around them as a result. They desire the power that they will derive from their secrecy and zealously guard it from others. I mean... the whole thing that secrets are impossible to keep is bullshit. The masons have kept a good bit of information secret from society for a very long time. And when secrets leak, and evidence builds, they are often nicely discounted by attacks from the media and propaganda efforts to ensure that few will actually believe these conclusions (such as downing the intelligence of anyone who believes that horsecrap). Now, not every conspiracy theory is true, sure, but an apalling amount of them likely are.
(I do believe we went to the moon despite much good evidence to the contrary - much in part due to the reverse speech evidence that clearly shows Neil Armstrong stating 'Man will Spacewalk' in reverse during his classic "One small Step" statement)

Anyhow, As to the flouride debate. There are many layers we can look at something like this. On the surface its an arguement about the values vs the possible harm and it appears right now government has decided on the positive effects.

BUT when you dig a bit you start to see that the positives don't add up. The studies are showing that flouride doesn't help fully developed teeth, only in building enamel when that process is taking place in childhood. Once you have it, you're pretty much done and if you lose it thereafter its gone.

So we take a look at what flouride poisoning, particularly low doses over extended periods of consumption, are likely causing according to the curring edge research and you find, violla, Attention Deficit Disorder and the many hosts of such cousin disorders such as Dyslexia.

Now why would our government care to infest the public with such disorders?

Well, two possible answers come to mind:

A) The pharmaceuticals get lots of profits from the meds they sell to those that have such disorders so they pay politicians to overlook the harmfull effects and pronounce the 'positive'.

Which is probably true

and

B) ADD has some positive side effects as well. It allows one to adapt to streams of information more quickly - which is exactly what the media is teaching us to do with flash imagery now. So perhaps its a way to GROW our consciousness (All 'medicines' are poisons) to the point that we can adapt to the coming New World Order

There's also

C) ADD keeps the public less capable of leading productive lives leading to the crash of the system which the globalists can use to their advantage as well - an Illumanati saying: Order from Chaos

and

D) Some minerals and chemicals propogated through the pool of a society may react to particular radio frequencies, so its possible that flouride may be paving the way for... mind control efforts?

Of course, it could be any combination of the above and it could be nothing - just absolute stupidity on the part of our government - but I have more faith in human intelligence, especially among the highly strategic elite vs the highly confused public.

Anyhow... I'm ultimately a conspiracy theorist myself but I try to keep in mind that whatever I think I know probably isn't half the true picture, even if there's some valuable insights there.

Here, I'm just playing with some of these conspiracy theories to create a unified global theory for which to build a backdrop for an epic Superhuman tale. Its fun, and it gets us thinking - which is the point - not so much to say I know it all.
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PopeAlessandrosXVIII



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 1858
Location: Surrounded by many beautiful naked men

Posted: Sun May 22, 2011 3:07 am    Post subject:  

Thunderbird wrote: And I'm thinking your 'cute meter' goes off whenever someone becomes charming, no?

Not so not so! My cute meater don't ALWAYS go fer charm! I also have a thing for badguys... Not bad 'boys', real badguys! Like the assassin from Lyn-chan's work! *Grumbles* But yeh, Tom is charming....*Grins* I shall jump him next I see him and eradicat the charming demenor! *Evil smirk* What cha thin bout that?
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Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 2:51 am    Post subject:  

D-Lotus wrote: And yet in Europe they don't flouridate water. They have a free health-care system that gives yearly doses of flouride in order to re-mineralize teeth. The doses works by applying the flouride directly to your teeth, rather than drinking it! In fact, as a younger child, I remember they told me not to swallow any of it, because it was poisonuous.

Europe is many countries, and they all do stuff differently, to greater or lesser degrees. There is flouride in our water in the UK. I've never received a yearly dose of flouride to re-mineralise my teeth. Yes we have a free healthcare system here, and there is also free dental care, but I don't know if that's true for all European countries. The most common effect of too much fluoride is dental fluorosis, which is a brown/white mottling of the teeth that occurs when the teeth are being formed.


Anyways, back on topic.

So, the Prospector and Bouncer are being held at a regular police station, eh? The Bouncer is incapacitated, but I don't expect the Prospector will be easily held. I'm not a gambler, but since we're in Vegas I'll bet that Lucky's minions are already on to sorting out a rescue mission. The police won't know what's hit them.
To be absolutely sure they arrive, perhaps the thing to do is to hang around at the police station, since Thomas thinks they'll be after him too.

The Tainted won't believe their luck, and the police will perhaps be very willing to give up their prisoners for a quiet life.

The only downside to this option would be whether Thomas would be able to survive another attack.
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D-Lotus



Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 4123
Location: Hollywood, USA

Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:45 pm    Post subject:  

Quote: There is flouride in our water in the UK.

Good to know. I will only drink ale if I visit. ;)
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Thunderbird



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 2139
Location: Rising from the ashes

Posted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm    Post subject:  

Now Polling for next week's chapter! A wide array of interesting options despite what I thought would be a simple poll... very nice!
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Thunderbird



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 2139
Location: Rising from the ashes

Posted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:09 am    Post subject:  

I think we've got about 2 days for polling left here before another chappy ariveth...
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Thunderbird



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 2139
Location: Rising from the ashes

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:59 pm    Post subject:  

I woulda bumped the poll before closing it but there was too great a chance for an incompatible tie to emerge here. So the poll has been closed and a new chapter is in the works.

Thanks for reading y'all!

Interesting winning option - not what I had expected I must say...
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