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 Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)

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Umbrangelus

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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:05 am

Please tell me what you think! Crying or Very sad
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:21 am

It is becoming clearer. Syran is ugly. It will be interesting to see how this resolves.

John Edlund
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:53 am

In my honest opinion, and I hope it does you no offenses, Syran simply talks too much. She talks to the boy. She talks to the surrounding crowd. She has to explain herself. She stops to admire things too much. The mysterious assasin that can fly, but likes to walk through the annoying crowds with her blades drawn and screaming at people.

Let her actions do the talking. Why doesn't she just fly to her next target since she's on a schedule? It's not the subject of the story I find hard to read; it's the implied poetic sense that doesn't exist. What I mean by that is if you say Syran was beautiful with a hint of hatred in her soul, then don't say she was afraid no one would leave her alone until she killed the kid. Don't say she screamed at the people that crowded her (it implies she's afraid of them).

I'm sure your story will turn out just like you want it. I'm just trying to help you get it there. Wink

PS- If you do have Syran yelling at someone though, use her wings. Wings are very powerful at showing emotion, plus she'll look scarier.

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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:01 am

Chapter 2 Rewrite Coming Soon!!! cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:10 pm

Daniel the only reason you think Syran talks too much is because your characters don't talk enough. You leave too much unsaid and have too many things that confuse the reader. Syran is a complex character which needs to be developed strongly in order to explain later delemas. She can't fly to her next hit because there are too many people and there is no where to land. Syran is an Assassin, a person who no one ordinarily goes near. Because she gave a simple peasant a hero's death, the crowd felt honored to have witnessed it. Syran is not used to having people within the same 30 foot space as her. Yet she understands she is only one person against 1000 and there is no way she can take them all out. This degree of uncertainty terrifies her when everything else in her life is planned, ridged, and alternatives are precisely calculated. Plus every good action character must have a fatal weakness; Syran's is clostrophobia. This is a fact that I will try to emphasize a little more clearly.

By the way, in case you don't seem to comprehend, wings are very fragile limbs. She is completely surrounded by about a hundred people pushing in to touch her. Trying to slam them out of her way with her wings would only succeed in breaking them and making her completely unable to escape if the necessity arose. She is an Assassin with 2 completely devastating weapons at her disposal. A single scratch is enough to kill. She doesn't need to look any scarier than she already is.
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:29 am

Hi Daniel,

I was going back over the thread today and I noticed an increasing level of hostility between the two of us. I realized that there is absolutely no reason for it and I just wanted to apologize. There is no excuse for this behavior and I am sorry. I would also like to thank you for replying to my thread soooooo many times and giving me all the feedback. I really appreciate it. It helps me to see what is not clear from someone elses perspective. I really appreciate it and I am sorry I have been getting angry at you on the forum.

Thanks again for all your insight into my story and I look forward to your next post.

Sincerely,

Nishel I love you
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:25 pm

NO DEAL!!! Evil or Very Mad
you're not supposed to make it to the 3rd page before I do!?! It's not fair, you use bigger font! lol!

We've developed quite a rivalry here. Laughing No hard feelings.

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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:48 pm

Below is the updated story. You can basically ignore everything before now. This is what I am going with and I would really appreciate it if you guys would give me your honest input. Very Happy

Thanks, I really appreciate it.
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PostSubject: Chapter 1   Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:52 pm

The lights were out. They were never out. Syran sat huddled in a corner between her brother and the door. She could make out the shape of the guard a few hundred feet away. Hearing the soft muffled sounds of harshly clad boots, she knew the guards were moving into position. Night vision goggles and full battle gear made it difficult to move silently, but the guards tried it anyway. Syran watched as they slid into a defensive position around the entry to the main hallway. She heard some of the other children howl softly and coo gently, trying be still and unafraid at the same time. Varse was even having difficulties staying quiet. When he tried to whimper in fear, Syran clamped her hand over his mouth and covered their bodies with her wings.

Suddenly, the air erupted with the sounds of gun shots. Frightened guards spun around in circles shooting at chest level. Syran saw her friend, Ebony in the cell across from them stand a moment too soon and take a bullet to the head. As she watched her friend’s blood move towards the drain in the center of the hallway, she noticed the other rivers quickly joining it. She stepped forward to see who else was shot, making sure to stay well out of the way of bullets when she saw most of the guards laying dead and the last remaining few were trying to claw their way into the cells for protection. One guard actually made it through the door before he was attacked by its occupant. Silently retreating to tell Varse what she had seen, she heard the door slid open with a loud clang. Spinning to defend the cell, she was caught by the throat and pinned against the wall. Varse let out a yelp at the attack on his sister and coward in the corner. The attacker slid into the darkest parts of the room next to Varse and released his grip on Syran’s throat indicating he wanted them to be silent. She slid in between the two trying not to touch the intruder when her hand slid across fur. Not like hers or her brother’s, but a little courser like a wild dog.

The main door next to her cell burst open and a new file of guards rushed in past the cells. In the center was a man in a suit cringing and cowering behind the shield of men. The man in the cell with her slid silently away from them. Syran quickly grabbed his wrist and pulled him back. Now it was her turn to keep him silent. She pushed him into the corner and her and Varse spread their wings slightly and pulled the blanket around their feet to cover him. A few moments later a few more guards came rushing by with dogs. The door to our cell was still opened. The guards saw that and checked to make sure we were still in before continuing on their sweep.


Varse whined a pathetic whine then whimper, “Don’t let him hurt us. We promise we will be good. Please don’t leave us. I’m afraid.” Tears now poured readily down his face. The others in adjoining cells quickly saw what was going on and began whining to. Annoyed by their pleas, the guards quickly moved down the hall searching for the attacker.

When they were far out of ear shot, the man whispered in their ears, “My thanks to you children. My name is Thresles and I am here to get you out. Will you help me?” Eagerly, they both nodded their agreement.

Folding their wings carefully against their backs, they edged towards the cell door. Listening carefully, the crept from cell to cell releasing their friends. Syran and Thresles stood by the door listening for footsteps. Softly, they came. Syran and Thresles quickly took to the sides. Syran slapped her wings to her sides to tell Varse someone was coming. Everyone dove into nearby cells and by the time the guards rounded the corner, no one made a sound. Thresles and Syran crouched by the door waiting for them all to enter. When they did Thresles made his move. Within moments, six of the ten were dead or dying. She marveled at his skill and speed and when a straggler guard stumbled through the door into the fray, Syran lunged at him. Wrapping her arms around his throat and digging her claws into his back, held on firmly until he stopped moving. As he collapsed to the ground, Syran dropped her legs from his back to stand over his body. Rolling him over, she saw a child’s face staring blankly up at her. This boy could not have been more than 17 and she had killed him. It was not the fact that she killed him that disturbed her most, but the reason why she did it that terrified her. She lunged at him not to protect Thresles, but to know what blood felt like; to know what death felt like. She killed this boy to understand what it meant to die. Finally, she looked up from the body on the floor.


Thresles stood staring at her, panting slightly, “How old are you, girl?” Varse approached his sister cautiously, “Five. We are both five. This is my sister Syran, and I’m Varse.” Thresles stared at her blankly for a little bit, then turned his back to her and headed down the hallway saying softly as he went, “Welcome to the Assassin’s Guild, Syran.”


Last edited by Sphinexfire on Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:19 pm; edited 4 times in total
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PostSubject: Chapter 2   Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:57 pm

Syran rounded the corner of the apartment complex she had been circling for the last half hour looking for a place to land and staring down at the ocean of color beneath her, the ocean she hated and was terrified of. Disgusted by their sheer number, she dreaded landing until she eventually settled on an old automobile long ago abandoned when the streets became pedestrian only zones. Landing with a metallic ting, she crouched on the roof of the rusted edifice glaring at the sea of people. Quickly a bubble opened up around her. No one went near the Assassin perched menacingly. She dropped from the roof and made her way through them cutting across the normal flow of traffic.

As she passed she noticed the playground cordoned off for little children to play in. No one was allowed in to a playground unless they were with a child. Glaring around her, Syran quickly remembered why. Attempting to ignore the feeling in the pit of her stomach, Syran watched the children playing. Some of the kids were chasing each other with sticks in their hands. She laughed softly to herself remembering her and her brother playing similar games, except they were you not using sticks, but Madelines.

Coming around a corner staring behind him, a little boy miscalculated the clearance between him and the monkey bars. He slammed into the poll and skinned his knee on the harsh concrete. Silence immediately fell on the playground. Children peered around at the boy from a respectable distance. The boy stood up and glanced around.
A single drop of blood slid from his knee onto the pavement. A child nearby screamed.

“EEW, BLOOD, BLOOD. Robin is bleeding!!!”

He ran to his teacher who cautiously approached Robin. Meeting the child’s eyes as she approached, Syran stepped up to the fence. The blood was obvious, the contamination eminent. Syran stepped into the playground and sent the children back inside, all except Robin. They were too young to see blood. They would be terrified. Robin stood brave and strong a slight tear in his eye.

Guild members knew not to speak to them, it only complicated things. The crowd certainly never helped matters, but she knew no one would leave until it was done.


"Your name is Robin?" she asked as she pulled her Madeline out of the metal scarab on her left forearm. Fingering the blade gently, Syran remembered that night 14 years ago when she had earned her first rank in the Assassin’s Guild, when she had kill the guard in the cell block. Now she would use the weapons that rank had earned her. It was rare that a huntress choose such a weapon, and far rarer that anyone outside the Guild got to see one up close. The child noticed it in a heartbeat, and, despite himself, he was getting excited. After a moment’s gaze at the Madeline, the boy answered quickly.

"Yes, madam."

She noticed with a smirk, the boy’s fascination with the weapon and flipped it in the air to catch its blade. She held it out to him to hold. Eagerly, he took it and held it gingerly in his hands.

"Wow, a real Madeline, in my hands. With a single nick, the nanocytes coated on the blade will kill you, decompose your body, and purify your remains before becoming inert. I bet your going to use it on me aren't you! Wow, my momma will be so proud. Thank you, madam for the honor."

As he bowed a low bow, he flinched slightly then returned the Madeline to her. Robin quenched his fists and turned his back to reveal his spine, a death of a peasant. Death from behind was dishonorable for a noble, but for a simple child, death by an Assassin was a high honor no matter the form. “Do you know what this means, Robin?” she asked softly. It was customary that one to be executed knew why he died. He turned to face her before replying.

“Yes. You have to kill me because I have bleed. I could infect the world with a disease and kill us all. That’s why I have to die. But you will kill me. You are an Assassin, and a high ranking one at that. I always wanted to be killed by an Assassin, and I wanted to die young. Not like those old people in the internment camps outside of the city. I don’t want to be a burden on my society. I just want—” he cut off suddenly. “I’m sorry, I am rambling. I will not keep you much long, madam.”

He turned again waiting to honor his sacrifice. Syran thought that he looked more like the white dove in the stained-glass paintings than anything she had ever seen. His soft blonde hair glistened in the sunlight. He stood as if poised on a crucifix, but his hands were still to his sides and his head still bowed submissively waiting for it to be done. She could almost see the Carpenter’s thorny crown on his brow. His innocence was glaring. He was young and his soul was beautiful. She would enjoy this and moved her blade according to her desires.

Expectantly, he waited; but it did not come. Confused, he turned to see why she had not done it and impaled himself on the Madeline. Looking down, he realized she had been holding at the base of his spine without touching as a silent offering of a death much more meaningful, a hero’s death. She wanted him to turn, she hoped for it. Pleased with himself for the high honor it would bring to his family, he dropped to his knees to finish the job. Seamlessly, the blade slide up his body and he collapse backward onto the steps with a smile on his face as he waiting the last few minutes to finally die. Women in the crowd where smiling, tears of gratitude and joy poured down their face. Syran watched the nanocytes making short work of the body. Within moments, they had broken the body into dust while a j-droid came to collect the pieces. The blade, which still held the stain of his blood was quickly wiped and purified, then replaced in its scarab. As she turned to leave, a woman approached the fence.


"Thank you for the kind blessing you have given us. A hero’s death, by an Assassin. Wow, what an honor. You are always welcome in my house. Thank you, thank you."

Ignoring the women, Syran reached for the gate and the crowd backed away to let her through. But as soon as the gate closed behind her, they swelled forward to shake her hand and thank her for her service to society. Pulling her Madelines, she searched for an escape and found none. She could not open her wings now, they would break them trying to push closer to her. In desperation and panic, she screamed.

“I didn’t kill that child for society. I didn’t do it for you or for him or for honor. I don’t give a damn about you or your definition of honor. I used the Madeline, watched him gut himself, bleed to death, and decompose because I wanted to. I wanted to see something so innocent and beautiful suffer before it died. I wanted to destroy something beautiful. So get the HELL out of my way or you will join him.”

The crowd backed away instantly. Keeping her Madelines drawn and ready, she headed towards her mark breathing deeply with the look of a wild animal in a wide open glen in her eyes. The sooner she killed the man at the next corner, the sooner she could retreat to the dark confines of Harlowe.


Last edited by Sphinexfire on Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:20 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Chapter 3   Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:01 pm

Storming through the crowd, still leery around the crowd, she saw him leaning up against the wall near her. Thresles’s face looked tired, but his eyes were darting and alert, “A hero’s death! For a child?” He looked at her, her alluring shape, her elegant wings, the black fur across her legs. A fool would have thought her beautiful. Yet Thresles knew better. Her body may have been blinding, but her soul had a hint of hatred to it that betrayed all illusion of beauty. He had known her for a long time; he knew how she felt about the kill. She returned his gaze a long time before she responded, “He cut his fingers with the Madeline knowing the agony and slow death a small scratch would cause him before he would die. He expected nothing more than a peasant’s painless death. He humbly cast aside his innocence and accepted his fate. He was my hero for the day. Besides, it’s been a long time since I have seen that much blood. I missed it.” He was always amazed at how unfeeling she could be sometimes and then how tender she could be at others. Her callousness about the child’s death disgusted him, even revolted him and yet, her comments about her hero had a surprising note of serenity to it. If he did not know her better and if he could have replaced her, he would have. But she was the best. No one was ever so committed to the kill, no one ever took so much joy in the sight of the last breath or the blood soaked concrete.


Syran was a killer, a shadow dancer and death dealer. Every kill was a seductive dance to her, as intense as the Tango, as powerful as the River Dance, and as elegant as the ballet. She was the most accomplished of Assassins having passed the Madeline test when she was only 10 and, in less than 9 years, has killed 1927 people, more than double any other in the guild including Thresles and quickly became second in the command of the Guild. Many feared and respected her for her abilities, and most slinked away from view to avoid her gaze afraid of provoking her anger. What none but Thresles understood was that she was as much afraid of them as they were of her. Syran was claustrophobic and hated being in a crowd; crowds were unpredictable. That degree of uncertainty terrified her when everything else in her life was planned and ridged, and alternatives were precisely calculated.

Shaking off the last remnant feelings of their bodies pressing close to her, Syran eyed Thresles again. His skin was a pale silvery color. His chest was bare, as usual, showing the delicate light-black scales. His lower body was the legs of a grey wolf, strong and powerful. He was the only one of this combination and as such, stood out easily in a crowd (when he chooses to be seen at all). Syran often amused herself by pretending Thresles was a warrior of Anubis whenever he would lecture her, with his dog like legs and upright posture seeming perfectly stricken for such an occasion as an Egyptian pyramid. Now those powerfully muscled legs did not amuse her at all, but rather intrigued her. But it was his eyes that always caught her off guard. His eyes, framed in the ebony locks of his bangs, were a kind of golden red capable of hunting in the darkest of pitch. Then she looked away as if she had looked too long. “I have to go or I’ll be late for dinner.”

As if she had some untold reason to blush, she blushed. Walking away towards her original destination, her thoughts were on anything but the job at hand. She reached the door to the house only to find it open and her charge sitting peacefully on a meditation mat before a small pedestal. Upon the pedestal sat a bible opened to the final chapter, Revelations. “Come in Syran. We have been expecting you for some time now. I hope that business with the boy outside hasn’t impinged upon your ability to see reason,” said a voice inside the house. She entered, quietly, cautiously, never leaving her back exposed for any length of time. As she came into the room where her charge sat calmly, she noticed His hench sitting in the chair behind him. Suddenly, her attention was not on the feeble man at her feet, but at the archangel now standing to greet her. “We have much to discuss Shadow Dancer, much indeed. Join me, we will talk as we fly.” He was tall, dark skinned, and beautiful. His wings were made of pure gold and his hair was black and wavy. His body seemed etched in marble, strong muscles bulged gracefully under the angelic wings. Ignoring her charge, and her growling stomach, they stepped outside and took flight. It was then, in the fading light that the true majesty and brilliance in his form glittered to full reality.

--------------------------


“So, let me get this straight,” she said, growing rather impatient with the continuous barrage of riddles and questions which dug too deep for Syran’s liking, “You want me to find the monster, kill its protector, protect it myself from his minions, and bring it back to you. And the reason you can’t get it is…?” He could see he was getting no where fast with her. He watched as she paced flipping the Madeline into the air and catching by the blade. As small nick with that blade would easily kill her, but she did not seem to care. Assassins could not fear the death they inflicted on others. If they did, they would always be afraid of their greatest weapon. “I already told you, the archangels are not allowed to get involved. This is a battle for the survival of Earth and humanity, it cannot be fought by us. Only you can make a difference. If the child is killed, Lucifer will be released from his prison. This you must stop at all costs. You may take one person with you. I recommend your brother, Varse. He would do well with the child and he could probably get her to come quietly without alerting the other guards.” Enraged at the embarrassment of taking her older brother with her on a kill, she lashed out, “I do not need a protector, nor do I need a daycare provider. The monster will do as I command it to do without hesitation, or I will cut off its limbs and drag its bloody pulp back to you. Do you understand, or shall I speak slower?”

With her last ounce of patience spent, she dove off the building they had been arguing on and head back to her charge. Gabriel quickly caught up to her and said, “Why are you going back? You will not be killing anyone more today. Go home and rest. Tomorrow, you leave.” Ignoring his patronizing tone, she surged forward and landed harshly on the ground before the door. Quickly walking inside, she noticed the j-droid cleaning up. He had already been here, and she would not hear the end of this. What infuriated her most was the fact that she was set up. And infuriating her off was a bad idea. Shoving past the smug archangel, she took to the skies and flew home. Not only had she missed her mark, but she had missed dinner as well.

Entering Harlowe, Syran was bristling with anger. The air around her seemed to crackle and pop with energy of its own. She stormed into the corridor where Thresles’s study was. Madelines drawn, she stormed towards the two guards, who stepped forward to interrupt her, saw her glare and then thought better of it. They knew they could not best her. They also knew Thresles would not tolerate them allowing just anyone in. They hoped she would order them out of the way so that when they got into trouble they could blame her. Such an order was not forthcoming; still, they decided moving away was a better idea.

Tearing down the hall way, she extended her wings anxiously without enough room for a full extension. When she got to the door, she noticed it was lock. Stepping back, she kicked the door into submission. Without hesitation, it acquiesced to her command. As the door swung open, Syran threw the Madeline at the spot she knew he would be. Thresles, who was on the phone at the time, snapped the knife out of the air as if he was prepared for it. Of course he was, he always was. He said, “Yeah, she just broke down the door. Don’t worry about it, I knew she was coming.” He hung up the phone, “That was Talis and Bejum. You scared the Hell out of them and they thought they should warn me. Now I know they were right.”


He laughed softly as he shook his head glancing at the Madeline in his hand. Quickly, he continued, “Before you throw the other one at me, just listen for a second. Gabriel came to me and asked for an Assassin who was good with kids. Immediately, I suggested Varse. He agreed that Varse was the best candidate for the job and then, absentmindedly (if a hench could be absentminded) told me about the job. He was going to take, not ask, take Varse to get the child. He knew Varse could have killed the sentinels to get to the child, but when it came to Legion, there was no way he would survive. I suggested a partnership instead because you could do both jobs with ease and he could take care of the child. Hence the reason he asked you, and the reason I sent you for the old man. Gabriel agreed about the meeting and requested secrecy. He said if I even hinted to you, he would just take Varse knowing he would die. Now if you wish to kill me, go for it, but you may want to know what you are going to face.” No matter how much she tried, she couldn’t be angry with him. He saved Varse. Even though they were both Assassins and twins, Varse was clumsy, unorthodox, playful and reckless. Traits that don’t necessarily work for an excellent Assassin. Even still, she knew she could train him to be a better killer. She knew he could train her to be a better person. Perhaps this venture would teach them both something new. At the very least, she could look out for him. “Fine, when do we leave?” He marveled at her blatant disregard for the courtesy he had paid her in order to protect her brother, “Tomorrow morning you will meet me at 0300 in the training temple. Don’t be late or Varse will take your place.” That settled, she reclaimed her Madeline and headed to the kitchen for a scanty dinner.
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PostSubject: Chapter 4   Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:03 pm

The room was pitch when he woke up. He had heard the door open quietly and felt someone in the room with him. Immediately, he knew who it was. He heard her soft, study breath hushed as a person trying to be completely silent. Silently, he rolled off the bed. He retracted his claws so as to not make any noise on the tile floors. Eyes fully adjusted to the pitch black, he quickly saw her standing, gapping in the darkness trying to see him sleeping. She took a clumsy step forward and tapped the coffee table at her knees. Instantly she froze trying to detect any movement from her quarry. Now he was amused. Glancing down to her hand, he saw one of his Madelines in her hand, the Golden Eagle dagger presented to him on his Day of Induction by Syran. She had intended to kill him. Madelines were never used for any other purpose. Even an Assassin-in-Training (AinTs) knew how deadly Madelines were, knew enough to never play with them.


He would enjoy this. Again she took a clumsy step forward. This time, he slipped behind her moving gracefully, like a dancer. In one seamless motion, he grabbed the hand holding the Madeline with one hand, pulled a dagger from her belt and pressed it against her throat. Immediately, she was completely immobile. “Lights,” she barked. Immediately, the lights snapped one. Her small human form was weak and pathetic compared to Varse’s powerful body. With one wing, he slapped the Madeline out of her hand and spun her around to face him. “Hello, Angel.” He paused to shift his grip on her wrist, “Did you honestly think that soft almond blossom scent would not wake me up? If you are going to be an Assassin, you should stop where scents, even something as subtle as almond, especially around me.” Playfully, he rubbed his forehead against hers. She squirmed against him trying to kick her way free. He had made his point; there was no reason to continue the lesson. “By rights, I should slit your throat for using a Madeline. They are not toys, you know that. And don’t ever try to kill me with my own blade. What’s bothering you anyway? You haven’t been yourself for a few days now.” Immediately, she melted into his arms. Babbling incoherently, he took her to his bed. He expected her to sit. Instead, she threw herself onto the bed and quickly shifted the pillows to make it more comfortable. Sobbing lightly into his pillow, her body relaxed slightly when he pulled his body close to hers.

She was only 16, still a child to him. He had rescued her after Syran had killed her mother, father, and baby brother. She said he reminded her of her father. Her brother was an infant, only three years old, when he contracted an influenza virus and had nearly spread it around his class during multiplication week. When Syran was called to contain a possible outbreak, she took no pity on the babbling infant or on his family. As soon as the boy’s mother saw her, his mother tried to hide the child. His father tried to kill Syran to protect his infant. Syran, annoyed by the interruption, left his father with a mere scratch on the cheek with the Madeline; a dishonorable and agonizing death that would have disgraced the entire family had they not all tried to protect the child. The mother fought much better, being an Assassin herself. Syran nearly died in that battle, but she finally bested the woman.

The little boy sat unprotected in his crib playing with his feet when Angel arrived. Screaming at the site of her mother’s body decomposing by nanocytes, she ran to her brother’s side. Varse was there with his sister to learn the trade between than his teachers taught. “Pitiful creature,” he thought to himself. He scooped up the little child in his arms, kicking and screaming the entire time, and carried her to the hazmat team waiting outside. They checked her out and found she was clean. “Good, I couldn’t have killed such a tiny child.” A few moments later, Syran returned from the house carrying the boys tiny bear, slightly blood stained and requested the hazmat team remove the blood without damaging the bear. Syran, without so much as a hesitate glance of the tiny, helpless three year old boy with a the once common flu, had slit its throat to kill it, a painful death for one so small. When the bear was properly cleansed and all contaminates removed, Syran gave it to the Angel to remind her of her brother and family. To this day, Angel has never forgiven Syran for the death of her entire family, and worse an icon to remember that she had lost them. To this day, Syran carries around the infant’s pacifier around her neck as a constant reminder of what she must always do, “She may even consider it a trophy knowing her,” thought Varse.

“Why are you leaving with her, Varse? She is evil. She kills little children for fun. I heard what she did to the boy in the market place today. That poor boy, she tortured him before he died a painful terrible death. She is a monster. Prime evil. She will kill you if you get to close, you know that’s true, Varse. Run away with me. Just run. You know what you need to work in another city. You know what she will do to you if she finds out you are with me. You know what a monster she is. Just do it. She is just—” Varse cut her off with a gentle hand, “my sister. I know how terrible Syran can be. I know how evil she can be. I know how many children she has killed and I know how she has killed them. But I also know that if someone is not there to stop her from going over the deep end and killing everyone, she will. I know I can stop her. Besides, she loves me too much to hurt me, and yes, she is capable of love. If I don’t go with her tomorrow, if I don’t protect the child we are to pick up tomorrow, Syran will bring her back in the most convenient way possible, regardless of the damage it does to the child. I won’t let her harm a child needlessly, not when I have the power to stop her. She will listen to me. She always does. Don’t worry about it, I’ll be fine.”


His words did not inspire much confidence in Angel regarding Syran. Yet the harm, comforting embrace of his arms was enough to put her to sleep. A few hours later he left her asleep in his bed to met Syran and begin their journey. Where, he did not know, but what, he knew completely.


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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:27 pm

Ah, good, an update =) I was waiting for you to clear up all the minor typos and perform all the stylistic touch-ups.

I'll provide more in-depth commentary later. For now:

For your future story-writing I strongly suggest separating dialogue by paragraphs (as Daniel proposed before). It's a pacing technique and helps the reader to easily follow sequencial events. It also makes it easier to reference details in the text. Here, I'll revise one of your paragraphs for you.

nnbaswell wrote:
“Why are you leaving with her, Varse? She is evil. She kills little children for fun. I heard what she did to the boy in the market place today. That poor boy, she tortured him before he died a painful terrible death. She is a monster. Prime evil. She will kill you if you get to close, you know that’s true, Varse. Run away with me. Just run. You know what you need to work in another city. You know what she will do to you if she finds out you are with me. You know what a monster she is. Just do it. She is just—” Varse cut her off with a gentle hand, “my sister. I know how terrible Syran can be. I know how evil she can be. I know how many children she has killed and I know how she has killed them. But I also know that if someone is not there to stop her from going over the deep end and killing everyone, she will. I know I can stop her. Besides, she loves me too much to hurt me, and yes, she is capable of love. If I don’t go with her tomorrow, if I don’t protect the child we are to pick up tomorrow, Syran will bring her back in the most convenient way possible, regardless of the damage it does to the child. I won’t let her harm a child needlessly, not when I have the power to stop her. She will listen to me. She always does. Don’t worry about it, I’ll be fine.”

"Why are you leaving with her, Varse? She is evil. She kills little children for fun. I heard what she did to the boy in the market place today. That poor boy, she tortured him before he died a painful terrible death. She is a monster. Prime evil. She will kill you if you get to close, you know that’s true, Varse. Run away with me. Just run. You know what you need to work in another city. You know what she will do to you if she finds out you are with me. You know what a monster she is. Just do it. She is just—”

Varse cut her off with a gentle hand, “my sister. I know how terrible Syran can be. I know how evil she can be. I know how many children she has killed and I know how she has killed them. But I also know that if someone is not there to stop her from going over the deep end and killing everyone, she will. I know I can stop her. Besides, she loves me too much to hurt me, and yes, she is capable of love. If I don’t go with her tomorrow, if I don’t protect the child we are to pick up tomorrow, Syran will bring her back in the most convenient way possible, regardless of the damage it does to the child. I won’t let her harm a child needlessly, not when I have the power to stop her. She will listen to me. She always does. Don’t worry about it, I’ll be fine.

---

It's a major change, even though all I did was hit "Enter" at a certain point. Making paragraphs inclusive to a specific character's actions and quotes makes dialogue and action easier to follow in conversations.

So imagine this. We're talking about your story in class or something, and we're arguing about when, exactly, Varse cuts her off. The format I've revised it to allows this issue to be resolved seamlessly-

"Right here - he cuts her off after she starts ranting off about Syran being a monster. He waves his hand and everything."

-JUST because it's easy to pick out from glancing at the text. Rather than scanning through lines looking for a specific spot where a key point of interaction takes place, you can save this trouble for the reader by isolating dialogue and action for specific characters into paragraphs.

Also, the line break forces the reader to undergo a mental shift as they switch character perspective. The result is a more dramatic transition =D
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:46 pm

Of course I have to agree. Neutral

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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:28 pm

Of course you have to agree, your Daniel! jk. After all you are the one who suggested the dreaded paragraph dialogue blocks. It is not that I do appreciate all the assistance in making my story easier to follow or understand. It is simply that I abhor Mad this technique. I will do it because you requested it, but not because I like it.

Thanks for the input, the changes should be up by tomorrow if you want to check it out.

Thanks again for letting me know! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:58 pm

Hey, I still love it! very cool.

However, I think you have gotten a bit too discriptive now. In your first draft, even though I didn't understand everything, it was very smooth story telling. Now it is a bit more clunky and repetitive. You have some truly amazing sections that are worded beautifully, and then some where your telling rather than letting the story tell.

For example, you have that great backstory now, and then, in the third chapter, first paragraph, you say Thresles has know her for a long time.....we already know that. Also, your have the description of the weapons in the begining, and then seem to explain how they work again during Robin's death. Personally, i would love to see the first chapter end with the “Welcome to the Assassin’s Guild Syran." line. Maybe you could play with rearranging the first chapter so that the weapons are found first, then the children? It would make a nice bridge to the second chapter.

Secondly, some minor typos and wording suggestions.... ( I would hate if no one told me....)

--In the last sentence of the first paragraph, ch. 1, maybe change "tried to wimper" to "started to wimper" - maybe to empahsize that he is one of the children, or just to sound smoother...

--In the 6th paragraph of the 2nd chapter, I would take out "and impaled himeslf on the madeline" part....i stumble over it every time. I never know if robin impales himself then or what.

--In the second to last paragraph, 3rd post, it should probably be "locked", not "lock" for the door, and for 2nd parag. 4th post, "where" sould be "Wearing", and finally.... very last parag., I hope his arms were "warm", not "harm" Very Happy


Ok... this post is long enough. I have some other ideas where you might be able to tighten it up, and I can show you better than type them here. I can't wait for the next chapter!!! (and you posted something while I was writing this...but I need sleep...so I will read it tomorrow.) =-D

~Andrea
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:16 am

Thanks Andrea. I'll make those corrections.
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PostSubject: Chapter 5   Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:20 am

"Are we there yet?” asked Varse hesitantly. They had been flying for nearly two hours and they were both tired. “Almost,” she responded hastily. They were out of breath and cramping. Varse rolled his eyes and headed for a nearby building. He landed on his stomach gently too tired to land on his feet and rolled onto his side, panting and resting his head on the cool concrete, beads of sweat pooling on his brow. Syran landed next to him on her feet, but quickly gave up the attempt at standing and fell to the floor plastering her head to the concrete. Both lay unmoving for some time until their backs stopped quivering violently. They drank slowly from their water skins and ate a little of the rations they brought with them thanks to Thresles, who packed for them.

“Are you ready?” Varse asked timidly. Syran nodded weakly and snatched up her pack, trying to show more energy than she really had. As she fastened it under her wings and over her shoulder, she checked to make sure it was secure and her weapons were easily accessible sliding easily from their sheaths. Glancing wearily over her shoulder, Syran launched herself of the building and glided awhile before she started the rhythmic beating of her wings. Varse was quick to follow and caught up with ease.

Within the hour, they arrived at the small, abandoned subway tunnel in Chicago nearly forty miles away from Aurora. Diving, they landed on the steps and let their eyes adjust to the shadows. Cautiously and silently, they entered the tunnels not knowing what to expect. Moving silently, they pulled their Madelines waiting for their eyes fully adjusted; eventually, they could easily see the small opening and all its detail. One of the two access tunnels held the remnants of an old subway train car, burned and collapsed under the shattered tunnel. The other held an ominous light flickering gently back and forth as if a touch was marching back and forth across the tunnel. Syran turned towards Varse, who had also seen it and began crouching defensively with his back towards her. Creeping towards to the access way, Syran saw the flicker was not a torch, but rather a demon. Let the games of Hell begin, thought Syran bitterly.
-------------------------



“Those sentries were cake. Don’t you think?” asked Varse gingerly rubbing his ribs, still tender from the glancing blow of one of the sentries.

“Yeah, cake!” Replied Syran, still cleaning the blood from her Madeline with a tattered rag she found in the subway, “Hey, check your Madelines. Make sure they are clean. The blood from those demons disintegrated our other daggers. We don’t want that to happen to these.”

Hastily, Varse pulled both Madelines, purified them and then inspected their shinny surface. Reflecting his hansom visage, the Madelines seem flawless although darker than usual. Perhaps it’s just the lighting, thought Varse.

Syran also noticed the darker coloration of her blades as well, but, content that her blades were properly cleansed, she continued towards the hallway opposite them not bothering putting them away, “According to this map Thresles gave us, the child should be in the next access shaft. We should keep moving.”

“Yes you should!” A powerful gust of wind swept the two hunters off their feet. Varse and Syran had their weapons poised and were back on the feet, backs to each other, long before the creature had made one full rotation about the 5-by-10 foot room. Materializing a few feet before Syran, a ruggedly hansom demon laughed as he said, “Well, well, well; if it isn’t the Assassin twins, half angel, half demon. I am impressed you made it this far, but the child is mine and you shall not take her. But surely you expected that. So now, I offer you a courtesy; it is really a matter of simple manners. I am Legion, and I have served the lord since the great fall. He has been good to me and thus charged me with the protection of his child. Would you care to see her, before you die? She is really—”

Syran, annoyed with the constant jabber, cut him off with a violent swipe from her Madeline. Legion, who had not expected this severe lack of manners from the Assassin, was slow to respond and was caught in the leg by her stinging metal. Whirling away in pain and rage, Legion vanished and danced around the room around them. Back to back, Varse and Syran circled the room with him, slicing and slashing whenever Legion got close enough. Noticing a pattern in his movements, Syran suddenly reversed directions in the turn and slashed at a space just before the demon, missing by a moment. Legion took the opportunity to slam at her head with his powerful fist, sending her reeling across the room.

“Syran!” screamed Varse.

As he moved towards his wounded sister, Legion snatched him up, ripped the Madelines from his hands and cast them aside. In a touch, Varse’s wings burst into flames. Screaming in agony, Varse dug his clams into the demons legs and slapping the air with his withering wings as they each struggled for a clear advantage. Varse reached forward to catch Legion’s throat in a deadly grip. Legion swung out of the way and slammed Varse against the wall before letting him drop to the floor in exhaustion and agony.

Both Assassins lay panting on the ground wreathing in their own forms of pain. As her head cleared, Syran saw her brother fall. “Varse,” she whispered desperately. Legion turned his head towards her and let out a throaty laugh, “Oh that’s right, the Assassin who kills innocent children for pleasure but is terrified for her older brother’s safety. You just can’t bear to see anything happen to your better half can you? Well, you will bear it.” He scooped her up in his arms and slammed her body into the wall. Again, she crumpled to the floor, but this time, her eyes were focused on Varse, still laying dazed on the floor a few feet away. Trying to call out to him, she choked on her own blood and made no noise.

Legion laughed his deep hollow laugh again and seized up the tattered body as if it were a rag doll, “Any last words, Varsy-Varse? Your dear sister is watching you die,” a small sound crept from Varse’s throat, “What’s that? She can’t hear you. Speak up dear boy.”

“Protect the child, be good, and end it,” was the gentle response, “I love you, sister!” Legion stood smiling a sick toothy grin from ear to ear, holding the boy in his grasp and waiting for Syran’s response.

“I love you to, brother!” Legion ripped apart his body and flung it aside with a deep, ominous laugh, so much so that he did not her hear say, “I promise to protect her and end it.”

Legion danced around the room laughing at the tears rolling down her face, “So, you can cry! Do you know you never have; you have never once cried. Even when you broke your arm, you never once shed a tear. Oh this is truly precious.” He was so busy musing over her tears to notice she was holding his Madelines and arching her back to stand. As she let out a raspy breath, he turned and found her fully armed with Varse’s Madelines and furious.

“Yes, Syran, let the games begin. Release all your anger, you still will not win. I am stronger—”

She ceased listening to him then and began her dance, the dance of the Death Dealer, the dance she had learned to master and love. Rhythmically she began the first steps and as she did so, she remembered Varse’s smile and laughter, she remembered Robin’s innocence, she remembered the guard’s young face. She remembered all the people she had killed and danced the same dance, modifying it to suit her purpose. Spinning the blades across her hands she never once flinched as the Madelines scratched her forearms. Legion, realizing the true mastery of death in her rage, began his panicked movements trying to pull away from her dance, but she was too fast, too focused. Bit by bit, she cut him to pieces. Every memory of her those she had killed, the memory of all those who died to protect a society she hated, added fervor to her vicious strokes.


“Syran, if you kill me, you can never stop the lord from returning to Earth. This child will die and you will lose. You need me, you need me to help stop the lord. I can help you.” Ignoring his logic, she focused all the love for all the innocents in the world who died needlessly towards the child. Resolute in her necessity to protect the creature Varse had died to protect, Syran slammed his Madeline into Legion’s chest, gutting him and vindicating the innocents she had killed. The fuming stench of his demon blood mixed with the sweat blood of her brother. She stood, panting, small scratches glittering with blood littered her arms. Every ounce of strength spent, she slid down the wall next to the rest of her brother’s body unconscious.
------------------------


“Wake up Syran. You must wake up.” As she opened her eyes, Syran saw a small child crouching above her, her dark red hair cascading across her pure white, naked skin. The 666 of her position etched carefully into her forehead.

“You must be Snowfires,” Syran said, her eyes still sliding back and forth into her head.

“Good, you are awake. Come with me. We don’t have enough have much time.” Snowfires helped Syran to her feet then guided her body towards a pool of water to drink. It was hot but pure; not pure like the water from the replicator, but of truly clean water. After she had drunk a lot, Snowfires pulled Syran away and moved her into a room brightly lit, “We have to get out of here before the guards come to check on me.”

Syran’s head swam with each step but she forced herself to continue. Back in the room where Varse’s body lay strewn about, she pulled the necklace and the ring Thresles had given him when he became an Assassin from the pool of blood as well as all of the blades in the room, slipping them into whatever slot she could find. She had everything she could carry and fumed at not being able to take Varse back to Harlowe. The child was waiting for her at the door, carrying Varse’s pack on her shoulder and a Madeline in her hand.

“Give me that blade, child. You are too young to kill and that is all this blade knows how to do,” Syran said wearily.

The child looked away as if crushed and indignant, but quickly got over it, “As you wish. I only thought you would need some help fighting them off.” Snowfires flipped the blade into the air and caught it by the blade, exactly as Syran had done for Robin in the market place.

Impressed by her skill but furious by the carelessness with which she flipped the poisonous blade, Syran snatched away the weapon and scolded the child, “NEVER, never play with a Madeline. A single scratch will kill you. If you want to help, stay out of my way.”

Without another word spoken, Syran led the child out of the tunnels in perfect silence without interruption. There were no guards to speak of, which was strange because they were supposed to be on hourly rotations, yet the next rotation had not yet stumbled upon their dead comrades. Many times, Syran had to sit down and rest with Snowfires doting on her over her wounds and giving her water. When they finally did make it to the surface, Syran collapsed at the stairs. Lying unconscious, she was unaware of the beating wings far above her, nor of her body being lifted ever so gently from the ground and back to Harlowe. She did not know about the army that had awaited their exit, nor of the slaughter that happened afterwards. Syran knew nothing but sleep.


Last edited by Sphinexfire on Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:38 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:23 am

Okay guys. Chapter 5 seems to have something wrong with it but I can't find it. So if you find something you don't like, let me know please and explain how you think I could fix it.

Yes, by the way, Syran is supposed to be more careing now that her brother is dead if that is a complaint you have. Her character is supposed to change drastically in ch. 5.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks!!! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:36 am

This is a minor point, but I think you need to work on how you imagine winged beings landing on the ground. If you watch birds, you find that every species has its own way. Some are elegant and some are clumsy (ducks come to mind), but they all have a way. How would winged humans land? I don't think they would land on their stomachs and endanger their faces. It's rather comical, and I don't think you want that effect.

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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:03 am

Ordinarily I would say that they would land on their feet like the more graceful of the bird species, but in this particular instance of their flight, Varse is simply to exhasted to stand and sort of lands on his feet but does a controlled fall to his stomach. This is a point I could probably clear up by makeing Syran land differently, in the more ordinary fashion. This would also show how Syran is more controlled than Varse is, whose only care at that moment is that he is exhasuted.

Thanks for the input. I will try to make it more clear. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:04 am

Sorry Daniel,

I guess I just have more to say. Besides, Chapter 5 is pretty long. Laughing

Hope to see your story approach page 5 soon! lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:50 pm

First of all, I really like it! I must agree that the landing on the stomach isn't clear, perhaps you should just comment that it was because of exhaustion. The story is much clearer now, and I actually think I understand what's going on Wink So wait, if Syran scratched herself with the madelines, how does she live?
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:17 pm

I have already fixed the the flight part. And no, I did not forget about the deadlyness of the Madelines. I could put back in the scene that described how dangerous the Madelines are if someone is scratched if that would be easiler to understand. What do you think?
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PostSubject: Re: Archipelago of Lost Souls (AoLS)   Thu May 01, 2008 8:29 pm

I am currently working on Chapter 6 and I hope to have it done shortly, but I wanted to know what everyone thought so far. Any thoughts? Suggestions? Wishes that I would stop harassing people? jk jk Razz
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