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Sci-fi/Fantasy - Walkabout - Chapter 3 - Test

Started by Ren, Nov 07, 2019, 06:01 pm

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Ren

Ian hefted his pack and slung it over his shoulder. Waving at the guy in the pickup as he pulled away, he looked around at his new location.

It was a medium sized city, somewhere in a place he'd never heard of.

Ian had once seen a cartoon with a man driving a car. The man had been holding a map labelled 'nowhere', and there was a sign by the road saying 'Now entering the Middle.'

This must have been how he felt.

"Well, fuck it." It was hardly the fist strange place he'd ended up.

Follwing his intuition, he turned around and walked down a nondescript street in the failing light.

Ian hated being somewhere new when it was dark. He liked to get his bearings when it was light, then he could find his way around better.

Still, it was what it was.

Glancing at his watch he saw it was half past seven. Still plenty of time.

The street he was on was on the outskirts of the town centre, home to all the shops and businesses that aspired to be on the main street, but hadn't quite made it. Second rate burger joints and charity shops lined the road. And bars. And, yes, there it was. A club.

The 'Rowdy Buck' wasn't busy when he strolled up to it, but there was still a large bald white man with tattoos on his head outside.

"ID," the bouncer said, when it became clear Ian was intending to enter.

"These are not the droids you are looking for," Ian said in way of reply, waving a hand.

The bouncer went blank for a moment, and Ian slid inside. He'd always been a fan of Star Wars.

The bar wasn't busy yet, but there was still a reasonable smattering of clients. Mostly middle aged guys on their own, but some younger couples.

He looked around. There was a pattern to these things, and he was well familiar with it.

Crossing the dance floor, he made his way to the corner of the place, to an unmarked door. It opened at his touch, and, going through, he found himself in small but clean office. It was dominated by a desk that was covered in paperwork. Behind it sat a large man with an even larger beard.

"Who the fuck are you?" he began to rise.

"I'm employed here," Ian said.

The man hesitated a moment. A strong willed one this chap. Then he sank back into his chair. "Oh, yes," he said.

"I'm Ian, you hired me a week ago, but I had stuff to do, only just arrived."

"Yeah... yeah sure," said the man, frowning.

"What's your name?"

"Kevin," the man answered, still uncertainly.

"Well, Kevin, I need a room. Where's the best place?" Ian dumped his backpack down on the floor.

"We have a spare room upstairs, I was saving it for... saving it for..." Kevin frowned, as if confused. Not surprisingly.

"You were saving it for me," Ian said. "Where is it?"

"Oh, yes. Sure." Kevin pulled out a drawer and, after a moment of fumbling about, pulled out a key on a tarnished ring. "Here. Number three." He threw the key at Ian, who caught it with his left hand. "That way." He nodded to a door at the back of the office.

"Cool. See you around." Ian picked his bag up again and headed towards the exit.

"Yeah..." Kevin shook his head. Ian did too, he'd have to watch this one.

Still, nothing to worry about for the moment. He made his way up a rickety flight of steps coated with a carpet that that was apparently held together with semen stains, and found a brown wooden door with a faded 'three' embossed upon it.

Using the key, he opened it to find a surprisingly roomy and clean place beyond. There was even an en-suite bathrooom.

"Top notch," Ian said, throwing himself onto the bed. "This will do."

>>

The club was in full swing, and Ian had hooked his mark. A fit older guy, probably about fifty. Grey haired, but surprisingly intelligent and strong willed, he'd stood out the moment he'd walked in.

It had taken Ian only minutes to hook him. His new friend was called Ron, and he was the owner of some precious gem business, just passing though.

As they went, this one was good. He was clean, well educated and paid for everything without Ian having to even suggest it.

And when it got late, he wasn't adversed to staggering up to Ian's new room for some... extras.

All in all a good night was had by all. Ian went to sleep as satisfied as he'd been in a while.

>>>

Sunlight streaming in woke him.

"Damn." Ian rubbed at his head. He hated mornings, it was when he was weakest, unsure of himself.

He frowned and looked at his hand. It was covered in something.

"What the hell?"

Sitting up he looked around. The place was trashed. His nice new room was a tip, with most of the furniture matchwood. The bathroom door was hanging off one hinge.

That wasn't all. Ian's nice new friend had not been spared. He was ripped apart. Pieces of Ron decorated the walls, floor, furniture and Ian.

"What the fu..."

There was a hammering at the door. The sort of hammering that suggests serious people in uniform on the other side. The sort of people that wish to ask questions, such as... 'what the fuck happened to Ron and why did you do it?'"

Instinct took over, and Ian ran to the window, which overlooked the car park, which, he soon saw, was full of flashing blue lights.

"Oh bollocks," he said.

>>>

I posted this elsewhere, but I shall post it here from now on too.

<<<

Ren

Ian looked around wildly, he was far too hungover and not remotely enough awake to be in this sort of situation.  Plus, what that fuck? 

Another round of banging on the door encouraged him to focus on the matter at hand, namely not to be dragged off and locked up for murder.  He could only 'encourage' people so much, and then there was the other matter...

The door started to buckle as the banging stepped up a notch.  Ian made a decision.  He dashed over to his small bathroom and dived in, flipping the lock behind him.

Just in time.  There was a loud crash as the room door finally gave way, followed closely by the sound of serious people in body armour shouting "Freeze!", though to whom it wasn't certain.

Ian squeezed himself up under the sink and put on a face of abject terror, which wasn't too much of a stretch given the circumstances.

It was only seconds before somebody tried the door, and, only a few more seconds before it, too, was kicked in.

Two large men in dark paramilitary gear filled the room, swinging guns before them.

"Please!" Ian screamed, cowering, "Help!  Someone help!"  Just for good measure he started to blubber.

One of the cops relaxed a little, and pulled his helmet faceplate up.  The other didn't move, the gun still trained on Ian.

"Who are you son?  What happened?  Who butchered everyone?"

"I... I don't know," Ian sniffled, absorbing the 'everyone'.  He thought quickly.  "I... I was in here, and then there was a lot of screaming. A lot of screaming!  I  was scared, so I hid."  He looked up at the cops and summoned what little strength he had.  "That's what happened," he added.

They wavered for a second, but then relaxed. 

"Yeah," the first one said.  "Yeah, that's right."  He nodded at the second cop, who pulled off his helmet, and then back at Ian.  "Here lad, are you hurt?"

"Not much, just really shaken up.  I'm probably in shock," he added.

"He's probably in shock," said the second cop, speaking for the first time.  "We should get him to the ambulance."

"Yeah, okay."  First cop nodded, and they both helped him stand, on legs that really did shake. 

They let him throw on some clothes, and then led him out through the club. 

It was a slaughterhouse.  It seemed that everyone, everyone who had been in the club last night was dead, though it was a little hard to tell, as whatever had happened to them had ripped them, literally, into pieces.  Ian shuddered. There could be only one explanation, though why he had escaped was a mystery.

The two cops led him outside, and handed him over to a paramedic in a waiting ambulance.  Telling him someone would be back to question him later, they left, presumably to kick any remaining doors down.

The ambulance guy, a kindly fellow, asked him a few basic questions, took a pulse, measured his blood pressure and did all the usual things medical people do when there's nothing really wrong with someone.  Finally he gave him a blanket and told him to keep warm and get some rest.

Nodding, Ian wandered off, wondering if they would let him back into his room to get his stuff, and, more importantly, where he was going to stay tonight.  Perhaps he could break back into the club...

He stopped.  A tall man in an immaculate, long black coat was looking down at him through expensive looking sunglasses.

"Er, hello?"  Ian said. 

"Hello Ian," the man replied, smiling with his mouth only.

"How do you know my name?" Ian asked, panic beginning to rise.

"Oh, we know who you are."  That smile again.

Ian focussed hard.  "I'm not Ian, I'm not who you're looking for."

The smile remained, and for a second Ian thought the man was going to leave.  No such luck.

"Good try," the stranger said.  "You are really strong, probably more than you know."

Ian's knees started to buckle. "Oh shit.  You're..."

"Yes.  We've finally caught up with you."  The man took his sunglasses off, and unnaturally pale eyes bored into Ian.

"D... did you, was that..."  Ian gestured at the club.

"Yes, that was us.  We wanted to show you what we were capable of.  It was a reminder of our power, in case you had forgotten, but also how kind we are."

"Kind?" Ian raised an eyebrow. 

"Yes.  You're alive aren't you?"

"Mmm." Ian narrowed his eyes and ran through where this was going. "You want something from me don't you?"

The man, or whatever he was, smiled again. "Yes, I was told you were smart."

"I'm not going to like this am I?"

"Probably not, but then, you wouldn't like the alternative either.  You've been giving us the run-around, and you know how that makes us feel."

Ian pulled his blanket around him and shivered.  This was not turning out to be a good morning.

>>>>

Very well, short and sweet.  Bearing in mind we don't know who (or what) this stranger is/represents (suggestions welcome!), what is the task Ian has to fulfil?

Be imaginative folks, nothing's off the table here.  In fact, there's not even a table.

<<<<

Scribe_siren


hi there C'ren. As I've replied on the other area this was posted. Get to know the people who have been following them, hide other talents and befriend your enemies and get their weaknesses then use it against them. Bam!

Ren

Thanks Scribey! Welcome to the one true Opus Path!

Ren

"So, what do you want then?" Ian asked. 

"No beating about the bush eh, Ian?" The man nodded.  "Very well."  He glanced back at the club, which was still swarming in police.  "When I said we did that," he waved a hand at the chaos behind him, "I was only telling you half of the story."

"I don't get it," Ian said.  He was having trouble focussing.  He'd been awake less than ten minutes and a lot had happening in that short time.

"It was us, but it was also... another group."

"What?" That woke Ian up.  "What other group?  Who else could do that?"

"They were after you, we think.  We arrived about the same time as they did and the situation... got slightly out of hand."

"I'll say," Ian said.

"We beat them off, no pun intended," the man continued, "but by then the cops were on the way.  So we had to... dispose of any witnesses.  Sorry about your friend."  He didn't sound sorry. 

"Well, he'd run his course," Ian said, distractedly.  "So, I assume I'm not screaming under torture because you would like me to do something?"

"Yes.  Well done, such a lovely boy, and so quick on the uptake."  The man lifted Ian's chin with a smooth hand, raising his head and looking at him with a slight tilt to his own head. 

Ian went cold.

"Such a shame," he said to himself.  "Next time maybe."  He stroked Ian's cheek and then dropped his hand. 

"This group calls themselves 'The Red Hand,' for reasons we aren't sure of.  Probably because it sounds 'cool'.  Still."  He took a deep breath and looked around before continuing. 

"They're still gathering their strength, which is why we think they were looking for you."

"I'm not sure I like where this is going," Ian said, beginning to twig.

"Of course you are.  It will be fun. An adventure."  The man smiled his smile again.  "We don't know where the leaders of this Red Hand are, and we don't know who they know in our operation, so we would like you to infiltrate them for us.  Say you got away from us, we'll make it convincing, and get them to trust you.  I'm sure for a boy of such charm that won't be hard."

"But I don't know where to find them!" Ian complained.

"Oh, don't worry, they'll find you I'm sure.  We'll hang back this time.  Unless you would rather the alternative?"  Smile.  "Oh, there will be a test first of course."

"Of course," said Ian.  "Written or oral?"

"Such a clever boy."  The man stroked his cheek again.  "Well, let's start then.  I'm sure they're watching us.  The test is:  You will need to escape from me."

"I see."  Ian nodded.  This was a training scenario that he was well familiar with.

"I'm sure you do.  Such a clever boy.  Quick on the uptake for sure.  If you haven't got away before we return to where I'm staying, then we shall consider that a fail."

"No doubt that will be fun for you," Ian said.

"So cynical for one so young," the man replied.  "Now, where's my car?"   

He waited until the car came between them and the multitude of emergency services and then slapped Ian around the head. 

Unexpected as it was, Ian had been trained by the same methods, and his unconscious at least, was half ready.  He deflected some of the blow and rolled with the rest of it, which had the added effect of making him look like he'd been knocked down.

He kept rolling, and so the following kick only grazed him.  Then something grabbed him and slammed him against the car, holding him steady as several more kicks didn't miss. 

"There now, that should be convincing enough," the man said.

Ian, now gasping for breath, winced as another shape loomed over him.  The man, or possibly half gorilla, was dressed in a classic chauffeurs uniform, and loomed over him like a terminal asteroid about to strike the earth.

"Put him in the car," said the man.

Gorilla driver grunted, and some unseen force dragged Ian off to the side, and then catapulted him into the rear of the vehicle, which turned out to be a limousine of some kind.  Ian landed on the floor.

The man climbed in after him and sat demurely on the seat.  The door closed of its own accord and then, a few seconds later, Ian felt the car begin to move.

"The journey back to where I'm staying takes about forty minutes or so, depending upon traffic," the man said.  "I suggest you don't hold back."

>>>>

Oh oh. Trouble!  How the heck is Ian going to escape? 

Without wishing to give away any backstory, he is very capable if needs be, and who knows what, if any, other 'skills' he may have at his disposal, so be imaginative when suggesting how he's going to get away! 

All options on the table!

<<<<

Shoutbox

Jan 27, 2020, 07:31 pm Ren says: Right then, The Other One is now polling!

Jan 26, 2020, 09:12 am Ren says: Another episode of Theodore Chance is now up!

Dec 31, 2019, 07:00 pm Wanderer says: I don't think I did anything with the snowflake colour!  Anyway, Happy New Year to all![color]

Dec 30, 2019, 04:57 pm Ren says: Happy New Year to everyone! - More of Theodore Chance has been posted! [/b]

Dec 26, 2019, 02:23 pm Scribe_siren says: yeah, thanks for making darker snowflakes....  :o

Dec 25, 2019, 04:42 pm Scribe_siren says: Merry Christmas. Ill try reading once I stop being confused by snowflakes. You got fireworks planned for newyears'forum

Dec 08, 2019, 03:56 pm Ren says: Another chapter of Walkabout is up, and needing suggestions!

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