Saturday, November 12, 2011

National Novel Writing Month Dozen

In this episode, Rocky avenges Apollo!

    Tilda rolled over in bed, not really awake. The room was cold from the lateness of the year. The bed was nice and warm, though, and with how out of it she was from the fight, she really didn't feel like getting up. Tilda snuggled into a warm mass that was lying next to her.
    It took her sleep-addled brain a long time to realize that the breathing mass was another person. She had slept alone for her entire life, and so didn't immediately recognize it. When her dreaming mind processed just what was going on, she opened her eyes, blinking sleep from them, and jerked away.
    “W-what?!” She asked, coughing. Arma yawned, looking up.
    “Hm? What's wrong?” The reptilian was in the bed with her, and apparently had been for some time now. Tilda blushed. Arma hadn't even bothered keeping her human disguise. She was in her natural form and, on closer inspection, not wearing anything. Tilda blushed more and tried not to think about it.
    “Why the hell are you in my bed?!” Tilda moved away slightly. “You can't just crawl into someone's bed without asking!”
    “It's the only place to sleep in the house and I was tired,” Arma said, frowning. “Besides, you're the one who was trying to snuggle with me. I was staying on the other side of the bed.”
    “T-that's besides the point! Don't do that without permission!” Tilda got out of bed. It was much colder away from the covers. She shivered. “Besides, there's that monster. We can't just sit here and sleep all night!”
    “I suppose,” Arma said, reluctantly. “Though it was starting to get comfortable here.” She sighed and got out of bed as well, a white dress forming around her with the humming sound of ambient energized orgone.
    “Where should we go to look for it?” Tilda asked. She pulled on some warm clothing. “Last time it attacked the University and then came for me.” She glanced outside. It was dark. She couldn't see the clocktower's face in the darkness, but it must have
    “Well, since it hasn't attacked yet it's either resting or hunting. Maybe it knows it didn't finish you off.” Arma looked outside. “There's one obvious option, of course.”
    “What's that?” Tilda walked into the kitchen and grabbed Krieg from the makeshift orgone accumulator that had been shielding it.
    “You go somewhere advantageous to you and then activate Krieg. That much energized orgone should act as a beacon and draw it right to you. Of course, considering how you fared last time, I would consider using a different station.”
    “Yeah. I'll try to find some better music while that thing is killing me.” Tilda rolled her eyes and walked out the door. “Let's go.” Arma smiled, changed her shape into a warmly-dressed human, and followed. Tilda sighed. She was going to need to set some rules when they got back, or something.
    As she walked out, the other door of the guest house opened. Tilda sighed. This was going to be awkward. Paul stepped outside, glaring. He was a tall man, somewhat bigger than average. Tilda couldn't remember what he did for a living, if she had ever even bothered asking. He was just too creepy for her to ever want to talk to.
    “Hello, Paul,” She said. “Sorry. I'm in kind of a rush.” She walked past him. He glared at her the whole way, not saying anything. Arma looked back at him as she followed Tilda. As they walked down the stairs, Arma giggled a little.
    “How amusing,” Arma whispered, talking to herself. She shook her head, dismissing some thought.
    “What's so funny?” Tilda asked, quietly, as they got out of the man's hearing range.
    “I was originally going to try and use him as my champion. It was merely a coincidence that brought me to you. A lucky one for both of us. He isn't nearly as suitable or pleasant as you are. He would never be able to handle real power.”
    “Him?” Tilda paused. “So he would have turned into a monster. Right next door to me.”
    “Well, I have better judgement than that. That's why I chose you. You aren't turning into a monster, now are you?”
    “No,” Tilda agreed. “How did you decide on him, anyway? Is it just random, or-”
    “It's not random at all,” Arma said, shaking her head. “We're still reconnecting to this world, and so we need anchors. Almost half of the population used to be suitable for acting as anchors for my kind, but now only a small percentage remains.”
    “So is this happening all over the world, with monsters appearing?”
    “Oh, no. This town is special.” Arma smiled. “It has the perfect geomancy to act as a focal point for the fate of this world. The flows of orgone are strong here. It is probably not luck that Krieg was here, that you were here. And I suppose the same is true for that Pax thing.”
    “A conspiracy?” Tilda started walking. She had to get somewhere restricted, so the stealth the Verbesserte had displayed would be less of an advantage. There were some old warehouses on the edge of town, disused for over a decade now. They were as good a place as any, and likely with no bystanders to be killed in the crossfire.
    “No, no. Just... that things always seem to fall towards the center. It's a tipping point in space and time. What happens here will decide the fate of the world. My people can sense it, and so we are all gathering to this place for the Grand Melee. When only one of us remains, when only I remain, I will have the right to decide the path our return will take.”

    Claire laughed as she felt the wind beneath her wings. The power was so incredible! She had spent hours just soaring through the clouds. And all she had to do was kill a few people. And then a few more. That was easy now. She couldn't even remember why she was reluctant to do it before. In fact, it sounded fun. She could hear the bustle of the people down in the street, and even without looking she could tell exactly where everything was.
    Those people. So annoying and weak. They had made fun of her before. They wouldn't make fun of her now. She wanted them to fear her. That would be even better than making them like her. They had never liked her for long, but she could make them run in terror forever.
    Claire dived down to the busy street, where people were walking between stores, chattering amongst themselves. She landed on the street, cloaked, right in front of a few children on bicycles. They slammed into her, one of them going right over the handlebars to smash his face into her armored chest. Claire grabbed him out of the air and threw him through a window.
    She uncloaked and laughed, the sound coming through her new vocal chords and fangs as an ultrasonic screech. Someone screamed. Everyone started running. It was hilarious. Claire fired a missile at random into a building, a blazing fireball destroying the first floor and bringing the upper stories right down on it.
    “That's enough playing,” Someone said. She turned to look. It was a man, all in black. Her new husband. She smiled, and tried to respond to him, but it just came out as a sonic blast that knocked a running woman off her feet.
    “I know you're having fun,” her husband said, patting her on the nose. Snout. She'd figure out which it was later. “But the job isn't done yet. Arma is still out there, and so is Krieg. We need both of them destroyed before we can really be happy.” He patted her snout. “It should be easy for you. You nearly got them last time. We'll just have to make sure they're dead this time.”
    Claire screeched happily and fired another missile wildly down the street, blowing up a phone booth. She flapped her wings and took off, vanishing into the night.

    Tilda kicked the door to the empty warehouse. It stubbornly stayed closed. She frowned. She kicked it again, harder, and almost broke her ankle. Cursing, she hopped back from the door.
    “Well, that was impressive,” Arma said sarcastically. Tilda grumbled.
    “Shut up.” She pulled Krieg on. “I'll just do it with this thing, then.” She tuned the dial. “You said there are other stations, right?” She passed the station she had used twice before.
    “Yes. It has several others.” Arma stood back. “At least one of them should be useful. The 262 was a wonderful fighter for its time, but it has its limits. Going head to head with something as advanced as the Verbesserte is too evenly matched, and it has the advantage of firepower.”
    “But anything else will be just as old, right?” Tilda searched through the static.
    “That's true,” Arma nodded. “But that doesn't mean much if you're not fighting using the same tactics. Krieg's ability to generate orgone is just as good as the modifications made to a Verbesserte. The peak output might even be higher.”
    “Well that's good news,” Tilda muttered. She stopped as she stumbled on another station. Instead of Wagner, there was the even more familiar tune of Beethoven. She took a moment to adjust the station properly. “Okay. Here goes nothing.” She flipped the master switch.
    As before, a huge burst of energized orgone braided itself into strands and formed a body suit. This time, though, when the shell of orgone collapsed to forge itself into armor, Tilda yelped as she was suddenly put on her toes, the boots growing high heels. The rest of the armor formed as thicker and heavier, rounded on all edges. The lines were almost like a dolphin.
    “What is this thing?” Tilda asked, looking down at her boots. The heels were shaped like screw propellers. No, they were screw propellers. With a thought, they blurred into motion. Useless in the air. The armor became a greyish teal as the light faded.
    “Looks like a U-Boat,” Arma noted. She watched Tilda, thinking.
    “Well that won't help us,” Tilda said, putting her hands on her hips awkwardly. This armor had thick gauntlets that made it hard to move her wrist. “We're nowhere near open water, and I don't think it's going to play nice and let us fight it from a swimming pool.”
    “I admit it would be better suited for the ocean...” Arma circled Tilda. “But it might just be what we need. While a normal submarine would have problems fighting an aircraft, you don't share its limitations. Besides, you've probably got a system or two that should help negate the advances it has.”
    “You mean the stealth?” Tilda paused, thinking about the Bat Verbesserte. “Oh! I get it. I've got sonar now, just like a-”
    “Bat, Tilda. Just like a bat.” Arma smiled. “The stealth technology it's using doesn't work on sonar at all. It'll be visible the whole time. Now you just need to figure out a way to actually kill it.” Tilda flipped the sonar system on. A mechanical ping echoed between the warehouses. If activating Krieg hadn't attracted the Verbesserte's attention, that sure would.
    “Well I think the display is telling me-” Tilda stopped. She spun around. There, on top of one of the warehouses. She could feel it. The air distorted slightly, something terrible hiding there. And she couldn't see it. Stealth. The Verbesserte.

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