Novel 44

wc3shady

You can change this now in User CP.
Writers Note - I have never written before (besides scripts for my warcraft project, the New Age), I'm just a high school student who had an idea and started writing. I'm not so sure on how good my writing is, in fact I think it's not that great, but I decided to present it anyways. So, I present to you 44.

Note to Mods/Admins - I accidentally marked this as "Novel". Please change it to short story. Well; if you guys like this it could end up being a novelette (between 7,500 and 17,500 words)

44
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.


Chapter 1 – the Awakening
In these lands, terrible things have happened. And terrible is the nature of these lands themselves. What dark denizens lie we don't know. But what we know is what they've wrought. And now wherever you peer is but desolate memento.

Something within this man is strong. It's anxious - it's true. It's his heart. How he ended up in this wasteland is known not even by him. At first, he feels he is dead. But what is dead is the world - the silence. The dead silence. The sky is no longer blue. It has no clouds. All it is the ashes of visions of thoughtless kings. It's sight over the world has burned it deeply, and now the azure is faded and the sky is ever gray. The ground is abused, beaten, neglected. It has been charred from the inside out and is now but a cracked plain of regretted philanthropic intentions. But we all know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.​
Awoken now to the newly dug grave that is the world, this man begins to hear shrouded whispers of mighty men past. And as if the vacuum of the underworld, the weary whispers pull the blood from his ears. And then he hears one word, "north," and the whispers fade. This man suddenly feels his veins pulse, and become restless, as he pukes onto what was once soil. His body is jerked towards the only remnant of the living past - the faded sun - as if some separate entity is in control of his body. And then he knows he's facing north.​
Devoid of memory, this new man feels as if he has an all knowing passenger in his conscience. If this passenger is benevolent or of ill intent he knows not, but it's the only thing he has to follow. As he moves north, he wonders of what malice has happened to him. What is inside of him? Why does it carry his memories? And most importantly, who is he?​
After traveling for hours on end, he sees something in the distance - something vibrant and emerald green. How could something live in such an apocalyptic plain? And this rises the question - how is he alive? As he comes closer to this odd anomaly, he sees something - water. Has he forgotten about his natural needs as well? He suddenly finds himself immensely thirsty; deathly thirsty.​
Upon reaching the vibrant oasis, he finds fruit as well. After quenching his thirst and fulfilling his hunger, he suddenly feels energized - new. A voice comes from behind him, "It's good to see you again, Incubus." Startled, the first question this man - Incubus - asks is, "Who are you?" as he turns to see an elderly man of incredibly ragged robes. "So, you don't remember. I'm Losk," says the man with a troubled glimmer of a smile. After a moment, Incubus responds, "Losk... how do you know me? What has happened to this world? Who am I?" After a slightly dumbfounded look, he says, "I guess its true. It's the year 44 AM, and something... phenomenal has happened." After taking these events in so he has just a sliver of clarity in this confusion, Incubus says, "You said... my name is Incubus? Please - tell me what is going on." With a relieved sigh, Losk says, "I can't even describe it in words. You must find out for yourself." Still taking this all in, Incubus says, "But... how? Everything - everything is dead with the exception of this oasis." Losk pulls a vial from his pocket and says, "Drink this. You will awake before all this happened - in your conscience of years forgotten." Beginning to feel weary about this man, Incubus says, "Why should I trust you?" And Losk says, "Because - because we are the only ones left. Everyone is dead, Incubus." With a troubled but understanding frown, he drinks the vial. Before Incubus falls, Losk says with a now slightly worried look, "Before you go back, remember - do not let it happen." With blurred vision you ask, "Let what hap..." and you fall asleep.​


Chapter 2 – Inauguration

Incubus awakes with a gasp in a large crowd. Only now does he realize how cruel the air was before. It’s clear now. He feels something weighing him down. He begins to reach for it, and discovers a handle – it’s a sword, and a very large sword at that. Now aware of his surroundings, Incubus scans his clustered horizon. The crowd he’s in is atop a colossal city made of stone. In front of this parade of pondering eyes is a finely carved granite stage, on top of which a few noblemen and royal guardsmen stand. An elderly man preaches, “Today is the 45th anniversary of the Aftermath!” The crowd cheers. The elderly man says, “The great citizens of Cion have worked hard to keep the forces within at bay. And now I, Soldrid Monag, will gladly introduce our soon-to-be Primus, Drathon Gryt!” A large, young man walks leisurely to the front of the stages as the crowd cheers, waving at them in the process. Drathoon says, “I thank all of you for supporting the cause. Before I become your Primus, I would like to say just a few words. The force beneath us is still very much alive. And if it weren’t for the great city of Cion, it would have been unleashed. But I promise you, as your faithful leader I will not fa-“ he is cut off by a javelin tossed through his back.​
A man in the crowd yells, “The Mortred! The Mortred are attacking!” the crowd is screaming and harpies are swooping down and picking people into the air. Brutal savages come from all corners with swords and spears. The guardsmen attempt to fend them off, but the fiendish marauders overcome them with sheer mass. Civilians are being killed left and right – it’s a massacre. And then from their lines, a massive beast emerges. It is of human shape but it’s features are disfigured, it’s giant and it’s green with grime. This ogre comes charging at Incubus with a club in hand. He hears a whisper, “your sword,” and Incubus pulls his massive claymore out and it glows a bright turquoise. As the ogre rushes towards him, Incubus ducks beneath his swipe and stabs his sword through the ogre’s head. Incubus stalls for a moment, amazing and confused by how he did it. He dashes through the crowd, sword in hand, but suddenly he is pulled down to the ground. One of the Mortred used a whip and with his other hand was about to use his spear to deliver a killing blow through Incubus’ back. However, Incubus rolls out of the way and kicks his leg out, which still has the whip wrapped around it. The whip pulls the man holding it down. The man lets the whip go, and Incubus gets up and stabs him in the back, only to have a spear shoot by and scrape the side of his leg. The man who threw the spear throws another one at Incubus. But this time Incubus is ready, so he catches the spear and throws it back. This spear goes through the man’s arm and shackles it to the head of a dead body sitting next to a wall. Realizing that the Mortred would soon overcome him, Incubus ran into the nearest alley way where he found, where there was a stone ladder leading to the balcony. As he began to climb a ladder, a few men began to follow him up. A harpy came from above to attack him. As the harpy flew down at him, he cut her head off, and her body landed on the men below Incubus on the ladder, knocking them down as well.​

He enters the building through the balcony, where he discovers a meeting between the men that were on the stage with Drathon. He hears a whisper in his head, “quiet.” A man says, “Soldrid, the fate of Cion is sealed. Now there is no one that can save us.” Soldrid, with look of sorrow and uneasiness, responds, “Quiet, Troius, quiet. There is one more.” Troius, with a look of disbelief, says, “No. Not him. He’s only a child.” Another man says, “I have to agree with Troius on this one Soldrid. Losk is too young.” Soldrid disappointedly says, “You should understand this most of all Roy – you are his uncle. I was appointed overseer for a reason. Losk is the only one left. Any other choice, and we will be left to rot and the Mortred and their damned queen will rule this land. I’m sorry, but I know what’s best for this city.” Troius, angry now, says, “God damn it Soldrid! We are your advisors for a reason.” Soldrid says, “And I am your leader for a reason.” Roy, attempting to make peace, says, “This is no time for quarrels the Mortred are upon us and they will find us if we don’t leave here now.” Soldrid, staring into Troius’ eyes, says, “Roy is right. Let us move this discussion to somewhere safe – the catacombs.” Roy gestures to follow him, and leads the way through a secret door in the stone wall, but Soldrid and Troius wait. Troius, glancing to make sure Roy is gone, says, This isn’t over, Soldrid.” Soldrid calmly responds, “It appears that the decision has already been made.” Troius, approaching Soldrid, says, “As of now, at least. But once I find a way – I will kill you.” Before Soldrid can reply, they hear Roy scream from the catacombs. Soldrid quickly says, “We will discuss this later.” They both run into the catacombs. You hear a whisper, “Follow them. You must aid them.”​



Chapter 3 - the Darkness Within


Darkness. These ancients catacombs are catacombs no longer, but the womb of black terror. All Incubus knows is that something has brought him hear on purpose – something within him. As he ventured through this ebon abyss, Incubus began to hear whispers. More than just his “passenger”; they were everywhere, could they be the lost spirits blinded by the death incarnate that is this vile place? Suddenly the voices become vicious, gnawing, vengeful memories that whirl around Incubus, prying the energy from his soul. And then, he collapses.

As Incubus wakes up, he feels the life returning to his veins. With a gasp, he raises his body into the air; something dark has been seeded within his soul: memory. They rage through him like a violent shroud of a storm. The one thing that Incubus can conceive from this nausea is blood. Blood, death, and by no hand but his. Then, a voice, “Ah… Incubus. You see now, don’t you? So the carnage?” with that word a rage pours from Incubus’ soul, and everything becomes bright. Corpses – standing corpses – surround Incubus. But in front of him is this man. He looks more like a wraith – a reaper – than a man. While he and his soul is only black, a thousand weapons hang from his back – scythes, rapiers, blood-broiled axes, anything and everything that has tortured these undead entities. “Incubus – you must embrace your beast. You must embrace your rage. It is the only way to win,” says the man as he walks closer. Incubus, beginning to question what he has begun to do says, “You – you did this. You tortured these souls.” And the man, revealing a smirk from his shroud, says, “Don’t you realize? These abominations want to harm you for a reason Incubus. You did this.” Incubus, feeling confident, says back, “No – no I didn’t do this – I couldn’t do this. You killed them.” With a sigh, the man responds, “You’re smarter than this, Incubus. We’re smarter than this. I’m part of you.” With a scream, Incubus rushes towards the man to stab them. But at the moment the claymore marks his lack of flesh, it strikes through the chest of a different man.

Then, he recognizes this man – it’s Roy, from the conference hall above. As Roy screams, Incubus pulls his blade out, appalled at what he has done. Then, Soldred and Troius run down the stairs from the above room. Soldred yells as he points at Incubus, “Where did you get that sword?” Troius charges at Incubus with a war cry as Soldred leans over the body of Roy. Incubus runs through the halls as Troius throws a glaive by Incubus’ face. And then, his rage takes over. Incubus turns around, and jams his sword into the ground. With a look of disbelief, Troius stalls for a second. Incubus pulls the blade out of the ground, and the earth with it, launching the stone straight Troius. Troius pulls out two swords and cuts through the rock, and rushes towards Incubus, pushing himself forward by thrusting the twin blades into the ground and pulling himself forward. Incubus charges forward as well, and as the two meet Troius takes the two sabers and attempts to force them in Incubus, but Incubus pushes him back with his steel. He jumps into the air to land the killing blow into Troius, but Soldred walks up and creates a wall of static energy between the two. Soldrid says, “I don’t know how you’ve acquired those powers, but we’ll deal with that later.” With a snap of his finger, Soldrid puts Incubus into a deep slumber.
 

DogOfHavoc

Future Tragedy
I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but the number 88 is a symbol for neo-nazis. It is actually one of the more popular symbol used by such groups. The origin comes from the fact that H is the 8th letter of the alphabet. 88=HH HH=Heil Hitler. Contrived, I know, but hate groups have never been known for being particularly clever.

I just thought you should be aware of the racist connotations your title carries for some.
 

wc3shady

You can change this now in User CP.
Well... that sucks. Well the explanation around the numbers/year in the story can be changed, so can a mod/admin change the title to 44?

Oh, and any comment on the story itself?
 

DogOfHavoc

Future Tragedy
The story itself is pretty good, you definitely have potential. You said you don't usually write, and I can tell from some of the wording (some of it is awkward sounding). You should definitely keep writing and you will keep improving. I would be interested in reading more of this story.

Also, as far as changing 88 to 44, it's not totally necessary. I abhor censorship of artistic expression and I wouldn't want you to change a title you like because of something I said. I just want you to be aware of contemporary connotations (another one being that an Incubus is a demon who rapes people in their sleep as well as being the name of a very popular band) when you write, since such connotations affect how the reader interprets your work. In simpler terms, be aware of connotations, but don't necessarily avoid certain words (or numbers) simply because of the connotation. It's your decision as a writer.
 

wc3shady

You can change this now in User CP.
Thanks for the comment.

Changing the number isn't a big deal.

I wanted a title that isn't too specific, and I didn't want something thematic.

88 AM is the year that this catastrophe happened. You don't know what it is - well, I wont say anything more.

I was aware of the Incubus thing, but I just love the name.

When I write (and I rarely do) my flaw is mainly wording I think, like you said. I like to focus on the story element. With wording, I try to make it a bit odd with some reversed thoughts and purposeful short repetitions (i.e. "In these lands, terrible things have happened. And terrible is the nature of these lands themselves.")

I'm working on Chapter 2 now. I already had a rough draft done earlier.

EDIT

Chapter 2 – Inauguration

Incubus awakes with a gasp in a large crowd. Only now does he realize how cruel the air was before. It’s clear now. He feels something weighing him down. He begins to reach for it, and discovers a handle – it’s a sword, and a very large sword at that. Now aware of his surroundings, Incubus scans his clustered horizon. The crowd he’s in is atop a colossal city made of stone. In front of this parade of pondering eyes is a finely carved granite stage, on top of which a few noblemen and royal guardsmen stand. An elderly man preaches, “Today is the 45th anniversary of the Aftermath!” The crowd cheers. The elderly man says, “The great citizens of Cion have worked hard to keep the forces within at bay. And now I, Soldrid Monag, will gladly introduce our soon-to-be Primus, Drathon Gryt!” A large, young man walks leisurely to the front of the stages as the crowd cheers, waving at them in the process. Drathoon says, “I thank all of you for supporting the cause. Before I become your Primus, I would like to say just a few words. The force beneath us is still very much alive. And if it weren’t for the great city of Cion, it would have been unleashed. But I promise you, as your faithful leader I will not fa-“ he is cut off by a javelin tossed through his back.​
A man in the crowd yells, “The Mortred! The Mortred are attacking!” the crowd is screaming and harpies are swooping down and picking people into the air. Brutal savages come from all corners with swords and spears. The guardsmen attempt to fend them off, but the fiendish marauders overcome them with sheer mass. Civilians are being killed left and right – it’s a massacre. And then from their lines, a massive beast emerges. It is of human shape but it’s features are disfigured, it’s giant and it’s green with grime. This ogre comes charging at Incubus with a club in hand. He hears a whisper, “your sword,” and Incubus pulls his massive claymore out and it glows a bright turquoise. As the ogre rushes towards him, Incubus ducks beneath his swipe and stabs his sword through the ogre’s head. Incubus stalls for a moment, amazing and confused by how he did it. He dashes through the crowd, sword in hand, but suddenly he is pulled down to the ground. One of the Mortred used a whip and with his other hand was about to use his spear to deliver a killing blow through Incubus’ back. However, Incubus rolls out of the way and kicks his leg out, which still has the whip wrapped around it. The whip pulls the man holding it down. The man lets the whip go, and Incubus gets up and stabs him in the back, only to have a spear shoot by and scrape the side of his leg. The man who threw the spear throws another one at Incubus. But this time Incubus is ready, so he catches the spear and throws it back. This spear goes through the man’s arm and shackles it to the head of a dead body sitting next to a wall. Realizing that the Mortred would soon overcome him, Incubus ran into the nearest alley way where he found, where there was a stone ladder leading to the balcony. As he began to climb a ladder, a few men began to follow him up. A harpy came from above to attack him. As the harpy flew down at him, he cut her head off, and her body landed on the men below Incubus on the ladder, knocking them down as well.​

He enters the building through the balcony, where he discovers a meeting between the men that were on the stage with Drathon. He hears a whisper in his head, “quiet.” A man says, “Soldrid, the fate of Cion is sealed. Now there is no one that can save us.” Soldrid, with look of sorrow and uneasiness, responds, “Quiet, Troius, quiet. There is one more.” Troius, with a look of disbelief, says, “No. Not him. He’s only a child.” Another man says, “I have to agree with Troius on this one Soldrid. Losk is too young.” Soldrid disappointedly says, “You should understand this most of all Roy – you are his uncle. I was appointed overseer for a reason. Losk is the only one left. Any other choice, and we will be left to rot and the Mortred and their damned queen will rule this land. I’m sorry, but I know what’s best for this city.” Troius, angry now, says, “God damn it Soldrid! We are your advisors for a reason.” Soldrid says, “And I am your leader for a reason.” Roy, attempting to make peace, says, “This is no time for quarrels the Mortred are upon us and they will find us if we don’t leave here now.” Soldrid, staring into Troius’ eyes, says, “Roy is right. Let us move this discussion to somewhere safe – the catacombs.” Roy gestures to follow him, and leads the way through a secret door in the stone wall, but Soldrid and Troius wait. Troius, glancing to make sure Roy is gone, says, This isn’t over, Soldrid.” Soldrid calmly responds, “It appears that the decision has already been made.” Troius, approaching Soldrid, says, “As of now, at least. But once I find a way – I will kill you.” Before Soldrid can reply, they hear Roy scream from the catacombs. Soldrid quickly says, “We will discuss this later.” They both run into the catacombs. You hear a whisper, “Follow them. You must aid them.”​
 

wc3shady

You can change this now in User CP.
A short chapter.

Chapter 3 - the Darkness Within


Darkness. These ancients catacombs are catacombs no longer, but the womb of black terror. All Incubus knows is that something has brought him hear on purpose – something within him. As he ventured through this ebon abyss, Incubus began to hear whispers. More than just his “passenger”; they were everywhere, could they be the lost spirits blinded by the death incarnate that is this vile place? Suddenly the voices become vicious, gnawing, vengeful memories that whirl around Incubus, prying the energy from his soul. And then, he collapses.

As Incubus wakes up, he feels the life returning to his veins. With a gasp, he raises his body into the air; something dark has been seeded within his soul: memory. They rage through him like a violent shroud of a storm. The one thing that Incubus can conceive from this nausea is blood. Blood, death, and by no hand but his. Then, a voice, “Ah… Incubus. You see now, don’t you? So the carnage?” with that word a rage pours from Incubus’ soul, and everything becomes bright. Corpses – standing corpses – surround Incubus. But in front of him is this man. He looks more like a wraith – a reaper – than a man. While he and his soul is only black, a thousand weapons hang from his back – scythes, rapiers, blood-broiled axes, anything and everything that has tortured these undead entities. “Incubus – you must embrace your beast. You must embrace your rage. It is the only way to win,” says the man as he walks closer. Incubus, beginning to question what he has begun to do says, “You – you did this. You tortured these souls.” And the man, revealing a smirk from his shroud, says, “Don’t you realize? These abominations want to harm you for a reason Incubus. You did this.” Incubus, feeling confident, says back, “No – no I didn’t do this – I couldn’t do this. You killed them.” With a sigh, the man responds, “You’re smarter than this, Incubus. We’re smarter than this. I’m part of you.” With a scream, Incubus rushes towards the man to stab them. But at the moment the claymore marks his lack of flesh, it strikes through the chest of a different man.

Then, he recognizes this man – it’s Roy, from the conference hall above. As Roy screams, Incubus pulls his blade out, appalled at what he has done. Then, Soldred and Troius run down the stairs from the above room. Soldred yells as he points at Incubus, “Where did you get that sword?” Troius charges at Incubus with a war cry as Soldred leans over the body of Roy. Incubus runs through the halls as Troius throws a glaive by Incubus’ face. And then, his rage takes over. Incubus turns around, and jams his sword into the ground. With a look of disbelief, Troius stalls for a second. Incubus pulls the blade out of the ground, and the earth with it, launching the stone straight Troius. Troius pulls out two swords and cuts through the rock, and rushes towards Incubus, pushing himself forward by thrusting the twin blades into the ground and pulling himself forward. Incubus charges forward as well, and as the two meet Troius takes the two sabers and attempts to force them in Incubus, but Incubus pushes him back with his steel. He jumps into the air to land the killing blow into Troius, but Soldred walks up and creates a wall of static energy between the two. Soldrid says, “I don’t know how you’ve acquired those powers, but we’ll deal with that later.” With a snap of his finger, Soldrid puts Incubus into a deep slumber.
 
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  • The Helper The Helper:
    but yeah man you should come to Houston there is so much more opportunity here than San Antonio. Just look at all the homeless people on the Riverwalk and downtown there you cannot even walk down the street without getting mobbed them
  • The Helper The Helper:
    check out this place apparently it is the best roommate site out there roommates.com lol
  • Varine Varine:
    The homeless people reminded me of New York
  • Varine Varine:
    I'll check it out, my lease expires in like a few months so I need to figure something out.
  • Varine Varine:
    I tried to open a food truck in Sandpoint a few years ago but the city said no, then like two years later they passed new laws to encourage it and gave them all fucking tax breaks and shit. And at that point I didn't have enough money to go buy one so I was way too late to the game once other cities realized they could just bring their existing truck there, or sell their brick and mortar.
  • Varine Varine:
    I do like food trucks though, they're way more fun than restaurants and usually I also get some of that tip money there.
  • Varine Varine:
    Restaurants are really hard if you don't have a back up source of income to fund them sometimes, in my experience most owners either got really really lucky, had existing money that allowed them to buy an already successful one, or they have family money to fall back on for loans. It's few and far between to see very inspiring success stories where the person actually got it through hard work and perseverance. I thought about opening one lots and I always just end up not thinking it'll work. I would much rather just find someone that has that money and go work for them
  • The Helper The Helper:
    i am not talking about opening a brick and mortar I am talking about food trucks though I have seen some brick and mortar mexican places open up during covid that are doing good because there food is awesome!
  • The Helper The Helper:
    Food trucks are killing out here because Bars cannot open unless they sell food and the governor ok'd the use of a food truck in front as serving food
  • The Helper The Helper:
    Just not enough food trucks
  • The Helper The Helper:
    a buddy of mine just opened up a food truck and he is killing it but he is a great cook and has awesome food right in the middle of the pandemic too food trucks are immune to pandemic because they are take out in Texas you will always be able to get take out or delivery
  • The Helper The Helper:
    He is in the different food facebook groups in houston and posts videos of him making his food
  • The Helper The Helper:
    he is killing it
  • jonas jonas:
    @Varine with the restaurants, there surely is a lot of luck and hard work but most restaurants fail because they suck. Flair isn't right, economics not well thought through, food is mediocre or sucks, location is bad, etc. If you're thinking about opening one, make sure you're looking at the stories of those that would be playing at your level, don't let your hopes be dragged down by all the subpar restaurants out there.
  • jonas jonas:
    I'm a bit worried about the future of data science, there's an influx of incompetent people hired by incompetent managers, that can't last. But I'm sure smart data scientists will always be useful and hireable. Same as smart security people.
  • jonas jonas:
    My sister in law worked in a vegan food truck, the owners were also making a killing, added several trucks and opened two restaurants over 5 years
  • Ghan Ghan:
    The CompTIA stuff is pretty much crap unfortunately. The places that ask for those low-level certs aren't likely places you want to work. For IT you really want a degree, but in the meantime you need to figure out some way to learn the skills. Cybersecurity is really hot right now so competition is fierce.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    I realized I don't have anything much to say, other than "Good luck!". Compared to other places, I'm just very lucky we didn't have a lot of surges of cases coming in.
  • The Helper The Helper:
    My daughter just got back from school at Georgetown TX, outside of Austin and said there were 100 cases in the last week but she also said nobody was wearing a mask anywhere so people mask up and stay safe!
    +2
  • thewrongvine thewrongvine:
    happy thanksgiving folks!
    +1
  • Ralle Ralle:
    PLOOB
  • Varine Varine:
    @Gyah Yeah I figured they aren't particularly valuable, but they'll at the least act as a baseline for some entry level work somewhere.
  • Varine Varine:
    I now see how horribly I spelled @Ghan
  • Varine Varine:
    I had a rough morning
  • The Helper The Helper:
    that field is going to explode and though there is competition there is going to be room for all levels in the coming years imho.

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