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Dyson: Journey


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(I want to apologize for any spelling mistakes as I'm posting from a new computer which lacks any programs with spell check.

*Edits 'apologize' for spelling.* :roll:


To NSO readers: I'm just taking a bit of a break is all. )





The sun sweeps across the landscape bringing the dawn of a new day. Just like it always does, always has, always will.

This time I woke in the prairie North of the small mountain range where my old home was.


I snapped fully awake once I realised where I was, then climbed to my feet and gathered my belongings.

I'd been running for two day straight and must have passed out from exhaustion. The sun was up now though and I had to keep moving. I threw the large broadsword over my back, picked up my small scorched pack along with my smaller longsword and headed north along the nearby dirt road.


I ignored the injuries I'd taken. The ache of nearly every bone and joint, the burns and cuts covering my skin, none of them were enough to slow me down.

As the permanent noonday sun beat down from above I tried to remember again.

The escape was still a blur.

The aliens, I didn't know their species at the time, considered my sentence of a seventeen year exile to be a pittance by their measure of time.

Close to two years ago now I'd unknowingly helped to foil some attempt at taking control of the region, and while doing so killing someone of importance.

They tracked me down, sent assasins and hunters and when that wasn't enough they sent a small army.

Normally I just lead the hunters away and killed them in the mountains but they must have gotten tired of that trick.

They surrounded our village and threatened to burn it to the ground if I wasn't brought forward to participate in what I think they called a 'blood hunt.'


It was something that they did for prisoners back wherever they came from. I didn't particularily care, except that if I retured to my village while this hunt was still underway they'd kill everyone instead of just me.

I didn't really have much of a choice. At best we had perhaps twenty men in the village that had fought at the shoals, myself among them, but they had more than a hundred.

It didn't help my case any that I was an outlander, a stranger who'd been dragged into the village five years earlier half dead.

The only help I'd ever really had was from another stranger to their town, a non-human girl that I eventually married.

And then I'd been forced to leave. To just run away from it all litterally the day after my son was born.


A thunder like rumble followed by a high pitched sound shook me out of my reverie. I knew they'd found me. As the noice increased in volume I started to run faster and glanced over my shoulder. An almost egg shaped vehicle made of dark metal streaked down out of the sky and began firing at the road. I threw myself into the natural ditch that had formed on one side of the dirt road. The weapon blew holes in the dirt surface, each shot causing the dirt to gyser up in small clouds of fire.

The craft slowed before it could fly past my position and began to decrease it's altitude. I was up and running in the blink of an eye. It's weapon fired three more times but I was moving erratically enough that only bits of gravel pelted me. It started moving a little diffriently after that and I didnt realise why until it was nearly too late. When it passed above me four hatches on the underside opened and some of the tall thin limbed aliens dropped down.


All four hit the ground slightly ahead of me with weapons drawn, a thick curved obsidian blade and an energy pistol. These were the same sort of hunters that had been sent to kill me before and I knew most of them had to be fairly young. I never slowed as I ran straight at the closest one, both hands on the sheath of my sword.


With my right hand I swept my longsword out and caught the hunter's blade, sweeping it aside. With my left hand I drew a dagger and slashed the side of his neck. On the backswing I made sure to cut the front of his neck to be certain he went down. The dagger stuck so I let go of it. Grabbing the front of the hunter's clothing I wrenched his body arround to use as a shield. Just in time too because the other three trained their pistols and fired.


One of the orange energy beams that lanced out missed entirely, probably trying to miss his comrade. The other two hit the body and burned a pair of craters in it's back. I threw my sword at the next closest hunter and the blade stabbed him in the upper chest. With a hand free I scopped up the pistol my first kill had dropped and fired at the other two. Both dodged away from each other and a few more shots hit the body I was using for cover, one burning clean through. I threw the corpse in the direction of one and rolled away, shooting at the other. My second shot burned off an arm above the elbow so I tracked fire at the other one.


I dropped and rolled to avoid any shots and drew my remaining dagger. Beams struck the ground near me as I rolled but I was still able to throw the dagger, catching the previously uninjured one in the hand. Both remaining hunters, having taken hits to their pistol arms, charged me with their blades. I aimed at the armless one who was closer and pulled the trigger but my stolen pistol failed to fire. With no other option I blocked the incoming sword thrust with the pistol, the front guard and the energy cell cracking from the hit. I grabbed the hunter's wrist and elbowed him in the throat, and we both went down wrestling for the sword. I smashed the broken pistol into the other man's face and he went limp.


The last hunter had waited for us to stop before striking. His sword came down as I rolled away slicing into my forearm. I kicked his nearest leg out from under him and he went down. I didn't bother going for any of the other weapons lying on the ground, I just jumped him and started punching. I slammed his sword arm against the ground until the weapon dropped from his hands and then hammered his face with my elbow. My right fist caught him in the throat just as he stabbed me with the dagger I'd put into his pistol hand. The hunter went limp.


I`d stunned him enough that the dagger hadn`t penetrated far but it still hurt. I pulled the dagger from my back and slit the hunter`s throat for good measure.


I grabbed my pack and tied off the wound to my arm but didn`t have any way to treat the cut to my back. One of the pistols still worked for the moment and my sword was intact so I retrieved it and my daggers. Just as I was about to startf off down the road again I heard the same echo of thunder and a slightly deeper whine than previously. I spotted a larger slower moving vehicle made of the same dark metal as the previous one.


This one descended towards the road just south of me and began droping hunters much like the smaller ship had. This one dropped twenty though.


I ran.

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Rima Tharen, probably my best friend ever told me about the events of that same day once. She woke from the sounds of the thunder like echoes and spotted the flying craft that had been droping hunters to persue me. Some of them had passed near the town she was staying in and were clearly visible from the hotel. Supposedly she cursed so strongly and loudly at the sight that the windows nearly broke.


"Bail get the hell up!" she yelled at the man she'd been sleeping with.

"What's wrong?" He asked.

"We've got out-worlders at the edges of town that's what's wrong! They normally won't bother airships that are already in mid-launch. We need to get to the ship, and now!"

The pair sprinted from the hotel they'd been staying at and through streets now filling with merchants.


In the time I'd known her Rima had fought her way up from the streets of the outpost towns to become the Captain of an airship. The White Witch wasn't the fastest ship arround but she could launch quickily and had a slightly longer range.

The Raven haired woman dashed ahead of her male companion making straight for the anchoring points at the north end of town. Once they were close enough she started shouting to the crew members still aboard.

"Start the ship! Prepare us for takeoff! Somone get the dock attendants to loosen our lines or we'll cut them ourselves."


Rima climbed up a rope ladder onto the deck of the large gondola attached to the underside of the airship. She grabed a magnesium flare from a rack and lit it before she threw it into the ship's furnace.

Bail topped the ladder shortly after. "So does this mean I've found passage on your ship?" He asked while giving Rima a dashing smile.

"Yes, but you've still got a lot to learn about women, or perhaps just me."


One of the crew members yelled over from the furnace. "Power is coming up cap'n."


"Good! Half power to drives when we get it." With that Rima ran to the ship's wheel and began checking for wind speed.




I'd given up the dirt road and opted for cross country shortly after the larger transport dropped it's squad's of hunters. I was still headed for the outpost town of South Reach, hoping that the alien's wouldn't burn it to the ground and that I'd be able to find a faster means of travel than on foot. South Reach was as far south as any airships from the Three Kingdoms ever traveled due to a number of reasons. Though I could almost never remember what any of them were.


Despite having to run through the grasslands I still made good time towards the town, only occasionally having to dodge beam fire. As I neared the town, fences started to appear seperating crops that people had planted. After vaulting a few fences I was into the outskirts of the town and the hunters ceased fire lacking any clear shots. The small crowded streets were starting to fill with morning foot traffic. Startled people ducked out of the way as I ran past.


I turned down an alley, cut across another small street and through a backyard. It was hard to tell if I was still being followed but I had enough of a lead to try something. I grabbed a thick red blanket from a clothes line as I ran through another backyard. When I reached the next alley I tied the blanket arround myself like a cloak and hood. After that I cut through a large market just filling with morning crowds.


The hunters entered the market from another side street and spread out. The sight of the hunters drew the attention of many people in the market. Before long some of the town`s guards were pushing through the crowds in their direction. Meanwhile I slipped out of the square and onto the rooftops.


The streets below were like a maze and I didn`t have time to navigate it. The distances between houses wasn`t too great so I started jumping from roof to roof. Most of the houses had been built using baked clay tile for their shingles which rattled as I landed on them. As I crested the top of a roof line I head the sound of propellers spinning up and saw a small plume of smoke from one of the airships in dock. I just needed to reach that ship.


I leapt from roof to roof as quickily as I could, barely slowing enough to gauge distance before each jump. Finally I reached the airship docks and clambered onto one of the girders that connected the different docking pits. The Airship that has already started it's engines was begining to lift from the dock. I looked arround for a way to reach the ship before it could gain altitude and saw that one of the girders extended along the side of the pit. The construction of the girders made running difficult. A brick tower held up one corner where the metal supports connected so I jumped between the two.


Running out of time with the ship was almost clear of the dock, I did my best to run along this longer stretch of girder. Thankfully workers had placed sections of wood along the top in some places to act as walkways. I sprinted to the very end of the girder and leapt at one of the mooring lines trailing from the Gondola. The red cloak almost fouled my grip on the line but I mannaged a solid grip at last. Wrapping my legs arround the line I began to pull myself up.


The ship was a fair distance up in the air by the time I got a hand on the ship's deck. A pair or cross bows were trained on me by crew members as I brougt my head up.

"Don't shoot!" I grunted out as I tried to drag myself onto the supprisingly smooth deck. Finally I rolled onto the flat surface and caught my breath.


A familiar voice asked me, "Whoever you are, give me a reason why whe shouldn't toss you overboard once we reach altitude."

As I lifted my head I noticed a very sharp looking lance poined at me. This was slightly worrying until I realised who was at the other end.


I started to laugh and pulled by my hood revealing my face. The old ragged scar that ran from my left ear down to my chin is normally all anyone needs to pick me out of a crowd.

My old friend Rima looked confused or annoyed by my laughter until she recognised my features.




She dropped the her lance and rushed forward, grabbing me in a strong hug which I returned.


"What are you doing here?" She asked at length.


"It's going to take a little bit to explain I think."

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